I had an invitation two days back to attend Lady Amber's Mabon ball. It was semi-formal, emphasis on traditional, Celtic or fae, so I threw on my new crown and tinted my lace bat-wings red, and went off to the ball wearing Adam & Eve's Refined gown. I have so few chances to dress up, and adore dancing so.
(Revelers at the dance.)
Unfortunately, no sooner had I arrived and Lord Regent Kintyre had asked me to dance, than I took a step forward and was flung far in an opposite direction. I had just enough time to note I was at the cavorite mines before everything went dark.
(Wondering why I'm not dancing around the pavilion floor at the moment.)
I fought my way back from limbo, back to the dance, apologized to Lord Regent Kintyre, and summarily was asked to dance by someone I only knew from brief mention, Lord Cymru, first Sealord of Caledon, his Grace Viderian Vollmar.
(I hope I got that right.)
We spent many hours dancing. Several times the urge to be polite surfaced, and I wished to tell him that some other gentle lady could dance with him...but he made first formal ballroom dancing, then waltzing (after I was flung once more into limbo) seem so effortless, and I was so enjoying myself...I never actually let myself speak the words.
(It was a lovely, lovely evening.)
We danced until the moon left and the sun rose; danced until the sun fell and the moon rose again. During that brief patch of day I will admit to a fit of cowardice that I'm only mildly ashamed of--but be fair! The last time I saw a steam elephant I died under its mechanized feet! And the Mammoth is bigger!
(Not wishing to share a similar fate and be pulped by a Mammoth, I'm indiscreetly hiding behind Lord Cymru...when he's not swirling me closer to the entrance!)
Towards the end of the evening Lady Amber, Lord Cymru and I stood (and danced) talking. Apparently there have been eyes cast towards all the new Dukes and Duchesses that they are, perhaps, not up to their newfound positions. I have every faith in Lord Cymru, but he felt the urge to show us he was up to his obligations. He invited us to tour Cymru's premiere castle, his home.
Unfortunately, Lady Amber was called away just as we entered the grand hall--and it is quite the grand hall! Also at that point, Miss Neome Graves asked to see me, and I asked if I could bring her to meet the Sealord, and he acquiesced. Off the three of us went on tour.
It is a sprawling castle of thickly quarried dark stone, ancient tapestries, and iron-bound wood. Four towers surround the grand hall and the floors above, the towers and the walkways between rooms leading to balconies here and there. I had, I admit, evidenced surprise earlier on something he'd acquired for his foal.
He laughed, and showed us her room.
Sir Edward? I take it back. I did not believe you, I'm afraid. I stand corrected.
(Yes, it's true. That is a My Little Pony fireplace. In fact, his foal, ginger-haired charmer that she is, has decorated her entire room in the pink, lavender and white of My Little Pony memorabilia.)
He took us to the main balcony, told us to stand very still and concentrate, and as we did, wind swept the night clouds away, and revealed nearly the most breathtaking site I'd yet seen, touring the castle--other lands, other isles, spread out below his, a pageantry of structure and pines.
(The magnificent view from the main balcony--you can see all four neighboring sims to him, SteamSkyCity, Greystoke, Kintyre and Nova Civis.)
I turned, and had my breath stolen again--SteamSkyCity, which I'd toured while it was under construction, the sounds of hammer and the sparks of welding still loud and strong in the air--hanging like a jewel in the night.
(SteamSkyCity from the second balcony.)
(On a clear day, he says, the ocean goes on forever.)
We walked up, and up, touring rooms along the way--the master suite, empty as yet, is the most amazingly designed piece of architecture I'd yet seen, with cunningly fitted curved stones comprising the cross-shaped space--and then walked out along the parapet and around to another flight of stairs, for once, descending them. He said we should be prepared for a walk, he was taking us up into the towers.
(The four towers of Castle Cymru, each rising more than 97 meters high.)
Again, he asked us to stand and concentrate, and this time, I swear, I could nearly have reached out, pulling bits of cloud off in my hands to melt and wisp away. SteamSkyCity looked both near, and like a child's charm, its turbine rotors slowly turning. Even the crisp cold air of the heights tasted new and sweet.
(Clouds near enough to touch.)
After a brief moment to recover, he took us down the steps, which was considerably more fun than climbing up them, and toured us around the side of the castle. There we saw the partially decommissioned gunship, just out from where we stood. He may or may not rebuild it, but it was quite large.
The very earth on which he's built this towering edifice of stone and history is unlike any other isle I've seen--it glimmers, nearly opalescent, seeming stone but soft underfoot. I was as taken with that as with the entire tour.
And his dungeon goes on forever, it seems, small little rooms and inlets underlying the entirety of the castle.
And the trees are so very large.
(Miss Neome and I looking very small indeed, next to one of the monolithic shade trees surrounding the castle.)
After that, all three of us, deciding summarily we did not wish the evening to end, went shopping at Grendel's and at Hybrid's at Gnoma. I had spoken to the Sealord about being a (named, at least) phouka for the Unseelie, and he took me to the best place to learn the horse form. It will take some practice, but I now have my sable horse.
Black rabbit; sable horse; ebon goat; dark-skinned human (at least in appearance). I now have three of the four traditional phouka forms. Now all that's left is the goat...and who knows when I'll find that?
In the meantime, at Gnoma, Miss Neome sprung some truly unsettling news. Mr. Fawkes Allen, after a trip out to Miss Megg Demima's for hats, had mused on what the child of a mating between Sweeney, my black lobster, and his Dove, would look like.
I refused to consider such things, and went on my way, choosing to wear my unicorn Vincent for the next few days.
Apparently...Sweeney got bored, or amorous, and went off looking for the Dove. The terrible thing occurred.
And now...Neome has a Love.
(Well, what else do you call a dove/lobster?)
Oh, the shame of it...though they seem far from ashamed, our hats, at this occurrence.
I suppose all's fair in love and mutation?
Still...and now, the unholy spawn of such hybrid desires needs a name! What on earth do you name a Love??