Fiends Who Haunt the Night

There are stories of ghosts who come to love the living whom they haunt; tales are told, even now, of monsters who creep through the shadows, lingering just at the edge of the village. They have roamed there so long that some say by now they have come to love that which they once tormented. Ravagers, unearthly marauders turned silent sentinels to the realms of the living.

It is rare that they keep names for themselves. Perhaps, once, there were those who loved them, who whispered their names sweetly, offered prayers for their safe-keeping, wished for their prosperity.. but if ever they had them, they are lost to the passing of time now. The stories in which they loom are confined to horror, to myth and fairy tale – the wolves who snatches wandering girls in the woods, the wintry men whose icy blades can shatter the steel of men. They aren’t ignorant to the tales, to the loathing born by those they’ve come to love. No… they simply grow to love them in spite of it, or perhaps, like the victim who eventually worships their tormentor, because of it. Who can say who hunted whom first? Did the wolf snatch? Or did the hunter’s arrow pierce through that thick hide first? Men have their own beliefs, and they keep them long and well, but like the grey nights in which they roam, monsters know a different truth. In everyone there is a little monster… and so in everyone, there is a little beauty.

So they tarry along, no footprints sinking into the snow from which they watch. Bright blue eyes gaze through darkness, toward windows filled with hearthlight and smoke drifting up from crumbling stone chimneys. There was a time when these sleepy homes would fall quickly, helpless before the wrath of the monsters who roamed the dark, but now they remain, their endurance assured because of – and not despite – the fiends who haunt the night.

Credits (for full credits, check out this post at Egos Like Hairdos)

Skin: DLS – Caleb (Ceredil – Dark – Chameleon)
Clothes: Paper Moon – Runic Cult: Priest (Silver)
Necklace: Alegria – Dragonborn Necklace & Bracelets
Crown: Alegria – Pure Ice Crown
Weapons: Eldritch – Iceheart Brand, Eldritch – Pathfinder Staff

Photo taken in  Ravenshold.



Third Sons

Shadows linger over the third sons.

So it seems in every family, from the highest to the most humble. There are those eldest, who inherit land, homes – sometimes whole kingdoms. Firstborn, the men graced with the names of their forefathers – Grasson II, Wyllam IV, Gregor III.  These are the sons coveted by noblewomen, the sons whose marriages forge alliances and shape futures. Even second sons have futures writ large – they become the lords of the great estates, they lead armies and take up residence, oft times, at the courts of Kings. These sons, too, are prizes for the women (and often, men) who seek their attention and affection.

Third Sons

It is not so with third sons. Third sons have humble names,  cast-offs, the names their softer mothers thought sounded sweet, or gentle, or beautiful. Melvan, Sowyer, Clytas, Hyphrar and Jacke and Hamysh. These unfortunate souls must forge their own path, one all too often uncharted, unknown at the time of their birth, for often there is no land left, and none clamor for the love of men who’ve name alone to bolster them.

And yet… some things there are which only third sons may do. Third sons may dream, let idle thoughts color night as well as day. Freed of a world of politics and prestige, third sons may scour the great libraries of their childhood homes, devouring books, writing their own. They creep into the lairs of maesters, peering over withered shoulders; they roam the woods alone, unmolested by attendants, hunting, watching, learning the way of wild things. Thus their sometimes quieter natures hide something not found in first sons who lead, or second sons who serve: only third sons may be themselves grow wild.

Third Sons

This is my first post for the Fantasy Faire website (hello, fairgoers!) but not at all my first post about roleplay – I write about it regularly over at Egos Like Hairdos. Throughout the fair I’ll be sharing posts like these – characters I’ve already had, characters in the works and inspired by the fair, as well as the worlds in which they live (sometimes these will be the fair itself – like Tangleshimmer Grove, above!).  I’m looking forward to seeing what stories others will tell – at and inspired by Fantasy Faire!

Credits (see this post at ELH for the full credits)

Hair: Wasabi Pills – Jack (out now at Fantasy Faire)
Gorget: Stitched – Gorget (Lannister) (@ Fantasy Faire)

Taken in the Fantasy Faire sim Tangleshimmer Grove, by Searlait Nitschke.

Duchess and Irina Reporting from Fairelands, Day 2

Fairelands Junction (Sponsored by Sanctuary RP Community)
Fairelands calling, Fairelands calling! It’s time to continue our journey through the Fantasy Faire and our next stop is Blackwater Glenn. This untamed woodland settlement is breathtakingly beautiful, although I’m a bit vary of the marshes, there just might be eels waiting for an opportunity to attack me, and I don’t find the thought of eels very appealing. As any good female reporter would do, we check out the stores first.
Blackwater Glenn
“Okay, hit it.” Duchess says to me when we find a nice spot for the report after the shopping spree.
“One, two, three, testing… Is this thing on? Testing..” I tap the microphone less than gently as it doesn’t seem to turn on. “Testing … WORK! YOU WRETCHED THING!!” I shout out with all the fury I can muster and of course just then the microphone works.
Duchess looks like she wished that the earth could swallow her at this very moment as I’m yelling like a madwoman, and in live report no less.
“Erm, sorry about that!” I flash a smile to the camera and resume my report. ” Irina and Duchess live from Blackwater Glenn! As you can see, this beautiful swamp-ish -”
“Irina!! You can’t say swamp-ish! It’s not even a word!” Duchess exclaims.
“Hrrrmmpfff…” The smallest of sighs escapes from me. “This beautiful village in a forestal area, with a few marshes scattered here and there, is the perfect example of how a man and nature can exist in harmony.. and now for the shopping opportunities here…. “

One and half hours later we’ve finally covered all the local merchandise and it’s time to move on.

Heavenslough Sponsered by Creators of Fantasy

Next our path takes us to another marshland, Heavenslough. Also this place is incredibly beautiful. We’re rushing back and forth exploring the flora and the fauna, watching the little animals, admiring the massive falls at the center of everything – and of course shopping like no tomorrow.

Having learned from my previous mistake, I make sure the microphone works before we start our report. “Irina and Duchess live from Heavenslough! Behind us, you can see an ancient rock formation, which is often used in druidic rituals and -.” I sneak a glance into the bog on my left only to gravely regret it a moment later, for I see two tentacles briefly reaching out from the murky water. “Duchess!!! There’s a swamp-monster in there!! Look!!” I point to the spot where the water now lays completely still.
Duchess stares at the water for a moment and rolls her eyes. “There’s nothing in there, just water. Go on with the report.”
I step a little closer to Duchess just in case, my gaze flickering between the water and the standing stone we’re here to report, my voice quivering ever so slightly. “ .. The large boulder is also regarded as a shrine to the deities of the nature and many forest-dwellers wander here frequently to pray, make offerings or just to meditate. Also if you look carefully – “
“SON OF A TROLL!! There – is – a monster!!!” Duchess’ eyes caught finally unnatural movement at the water on our left. “Tactical retreat! TACTICAL RETREAT!!”

The microphone and camera fall into the ground and we run like little elves into the safety of the traveled paths. Thankfully, we meet a pleasant and brave gentleman, who agrees to get our equipment back to us for a small, nominal fee.

Photography by Duchess Flux
Text by Irina Strazytski

Duchess wears:
FAUN: Autumn Tribe Mesh Faun {Autumn Leaf} by Satyrs Moon ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Heavenslough
NECKLACE: Gilgalad by Bliensen + MaiTai ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Faery Court
ARM BANDS: Elf Armor by Death Row Designs ~ Available at Fantasy Faire at Hope’s Horizon
REMAINING OUTFIT: See Duchess’s blog Threads and Tuneage

Irina wears:
TUNIC:22769 – [femme] Linnen Tunic (brown) @ Hope’s Horizon
SKIRT: 22769 – [femme] Battleskirt (brown leather) @ Hope’s Horizon
BOOTS: Death Row Designs – Elf Armor @ Hope’s Horizon
REMAINING OUTFIT: See Irina’s blog Dark Chest of Wonders

The Faire is Coming!

The Faire is Coming!

Celebrating its fifth year, Fantasy Faire 2013 is the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, roleplayers and performers in the virtual world. From Saturday April 20 to Sunday April 28, treat yourself to nine days of shopping, live music concerts, auctions, hunts and roleplaying as thousands of Second Life residents and creators come together to support the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world without cancer.

You won’t want to miss what is coming this year. It will leave you breathless.

Poster Credits:
Picture by Tamzin Xiglia
Design by Alia Baroque
Logo by Marcus Inkpen