We broke our fast before the Sun had cast its first orange light across the broken walls and towers of Siren’s Lore, our guide having told us we must pass through the the Spirit Valley during the light of day, for our next place of rest lay on the valley’s far side, and at the end of a long journey. And so we passed beyond the wooden pathways of the city across the rugged lands beyond, our guide telling of the first place we would encounter, and how it came to have its mysterious name of Spirit Valley of Kuruk.
His tale sounded both wondrous and fantastical: bear warriors, ancient gods and and transformations. And yet we all knew that the Faireland realms held mysteries and wonders, so it was with excitement rising in my heart that we reached the pass that marked the start of the descent into the valley. At first I saw little worthy of the breathless tales our guide related, the path winding downwards, morning mists hiding the far side whilst fir trees at first screened or view of its deep floor.
But then we rounded a rocky curve and caught sight of the valley’s broad bowl, the path now clinging to the side of its rocky face. But it was not this breath-taking view that held our eyes; for there seated at the side of the road was a great brown bear, it’s fur tufted and arranged around its neck like a collar of office. On seeing it, my kinsmen cried aloud and reached for their bows, but our guide stayed heir hands. Cool black eyes regarded us, and our guide instructed us to pass the bear in single file. As we did so, the great beast raised its forelegs slowly, paws outward as if in blessing as we passed, and I heard the rumble of its voice, chanting deeply.
I could scarce keep my eyes from this marvellous beast until it was carried from view by a bend in the trail; but as I regarded the valley once more, so I saw more of these strange bears, watching us from high perches, including one that stood upon a wooden trestle, banners draped behind it, its fur painted and arranged into a headdress. I found myself caught in the gaze of a great chieftain or perhaps a medicine leader, who watched our progress even to the valley floor.
It was here that we paused to eat, a procession of children marching to us from a nearby village. They bore platters of fruit and jugs of water for us to partake, as our guide informed us these were the Grizzly Cubs, who follow the path of the Great Bear Tribe, and defend the spirits of the valley and its healing ways.
The children said nothing as we ate, but sat with us as we ate. Afterwards, they walked to either side of us as we climbed the long path, passing the painted mouths of caves our guides said we should not enter, least too much time pass and we fail to arrive at the night’s destination at our appointed hour. As we reached the pass that would carry us into the lands beyond the valley, a slender boy came to each of us and indicated we should bow in turn as he painted symbols on each of our foreheads, our guide telling us not to wash or otherwise remove them until after the Sun had set.
Beyond the valley the land changed quickly, rocks giving way to verdant grass and tall trees warmed by a rich afternoon Sun. At length we came to high curtain walls, their stones faced and well-fitted. Guardsmen hailed us from square towers draped with the Banner of Elemaria, and our guide went before us so that we might be allowed access to this walled realm of which I had heard so much.
Formed by the the elements – air, earth, water and fire all working in equal measure at the Edge of Time -, Elemaria lay as the Home of Nature, the elements present throughout its landscape, each having given of its best to create a place wherein harmony rules, and men, women and creatures live in peace, tending the land and creating a kingdom where all can find welcome and peace.
And so we passed along the grass-edged paths and between tiled-roofed homes and stores of Elemaria’s citizens, all of whom greeted us warmly or, on seeing the painted marks of the Grizzly Cubs upon our foreheads, with a degree of reverence.
Around trees and over streams we passed, drawing ever closer to the great castle the rose over this pleasing land, until we at last came to a paved circle marked by three arches. Here we were met by the royals of Elemaria, tall and fair folk of great grace and beauty, descended from the first people to enter this lands and peacefully occupy it to live in harmony with nature.
They greeted each one of us in turn, taking each of us by the forearms drawing us close as we each gripped theirs, until forehead lightly touched forehead. Then one each paired with us, and by twos in a line, we climbed the stone stairs up to where a garden of water and blue-hued trees lay before the towers of the castle, the roar of the falls that fell true and sheer from these gardens bringing an end to conversation until we passed over the gardens atop arched bridges to pass within the walls of the castle. Here the sound of the water passed behind us, to be replaced by music as light and warmth greeted us within those high, dressed walls.
And so we arrived in Elemaria, the length of our journey soothed by the music, and the grace and beauty of our hosts who guided us to our quarters high within the castle, treated as royalty even though they who served us and welcomed us to their banquet later, were themselves of high office.
Spirit Valley of Kuruk designed by Loki Eliot and sponsored by Spyralle, Little, Big Designs, Team ACTS, Totally Tinies. Featuring stores by: Attitude is an Artform, Atomic Kitties, Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Cheval D’or|Elysian, CHIMAERA, Designs by Isaura, Dinkie Boutique, Fantavatar & Moonstruck & Lilith’s Den, Icaland ind, Peeps Dinkies, Prehistorica: The Dawn Kingdoms, Stytchwytch Designs, Tiny Inc., and Twisted Whiskers & Dinkie Duds.
Elemaria by Bee Dumpling & Solas Enchantment and sponsored by Silvan Moon Designs, Secrets of Gaia. Featured stores: ABADDON ARTS, Ab.Fab skins and Fantasy, :: ANTAYA ::, =ED= Eagle Designs, FaceDesk Creative Creations, Flying Horse Head Studios, Gecko Creations & ~Soraida~, God Mod, Laminak, Last Ride, Stardust, Star Journey, The Elven Forest, The Wooly Pig, TRB – A Woman’s Touch, Unity Maxim, Valkyrie Designed, and .Viki.
Total raised by the end of the Faire’s third day: L$3,779,514 (US $15,118).
SLurls and Related Links
Regions are rated Moderate.