From the high mountains around Auxentios’ Pass, we at length descended to warmer lands. For the first part of our journey down from that strange, steam-powered town nestled in its high pass, we were led by one of the clanking, hissing machines that so startled and amazed us on first seeing them.
Driven by man sitting in a closet-like space below the rounded belly of the mechanical beast, the machine walked with a clumsy, yet sure-footed grace in response to the levers he pulled and pushed. A second man seated before him in that iron closet used the long funnel extending before it to blast our path with steam that cleared away the frost and ice, allowing us safe passage over the smooth rock that might otherwise have been as treacherous as glass beneath feet and hooves.
Even after the machine had stood aside to let us continue down warmer slopes towards the tree line below, it was hard not to keep looking back up the hard rock path to try to catch sight of our strange companion, even though we all knew we had left it behind and the echoing sound of its heavy footfalls echoed down to us as it made its way back up to its home in the snows.
As the day passed, so we came to the green lands beneath the mountains, and to the gardens of Lunafae. Here, built around a natural grass basin, the fae folk had established a home. We arrived as the Sun passed behind the mountains and the Moon slowly rose to the east. As it did so, life began to stir among the oval and round houses that ringed the basin, translucent orbs hung from arches and sitting upon stone pedestals lighting the paths and gardens within the circle of houses with the captured moonlight, while fireflies danced over the round of water that sat at the lowest heart of the basin.
So too came the sound of voices, as strong and fair as any among the elves – and also small and sweet as children at play; bright, happy laughter that I could not trace until tall, silvan folk stepped forth in greeting, more fireflies dancing around them. As they approached, so I realised that the “fireflies” were tiny faefolk, no taller than the length of my arm from finger-tip to elbow. They held tiny lanterns – and they floated upon the air! As they darted and danced around us, I perceived delicate wings on their backs that whispered gently as those of a humming bird.
Dismounting, we watched as our horses were gently led away to be fed and watered, while we were each taken by the hand by fae folk our own height, their long-fingered hands pale in our own, the air around them sweet with the fragrance of spring flowers. Together, we descended to the pavilion rising from the round of water. Eight runs of stone steps offered a way down the basin’s slopes, but only four connected to the pavilion by arched bridges over the water. The remaining four caught the light of lanterns and the Moon in silvered splashes as water tumbled from step to step in each, replenishing the waters of the basin.
Within the pavilion, we passed the night with food and drink, talking with our hosts as their tiny cousins danced and played on silvered wings, voices bright and clear. I cannot remember when I fell asleep, but I awoke on a green lawn sitting between stone steps and tumbling water. Two of my company slept beside me, and as I sat up and looked around, I saw more of my companions lying on other lawns across the steps and waters. Broad leaves carrying breads and fruit were set out on tables for us, but of our tall hosts, naught could be seen wherever I looked.
Laughter, high and sweet, caused me to turn my head and four of the tiny folk danced lightly above the waters falling down to the circular lake. “You will not find them!” A voice sang as they danced. “For they do not like the sun; night and the light our Lady Luna is more to their liking and desires. They will remain indoors until she rises again. But we are here, and we will dance! Will you not stay with us? The citadel lays not far, and we will show you the way, but not before you share Luna’s blessing once more with us!”
Sweetly given, and with laughter and music around is, we could not refuse such an invitation.
Lunafae by Sharni Azalee, sponsored by The Looking Glass, ~Jeanette’s Joint~*, Realm of Rosehaven*, The Lost Unicorn Gallery*. Featuring stores by Air, *Amaranthus*, Boudoir, *CINNAMON*, Cole’s Corner, *~Dream Things~*, :[Even~Tide]:, Fae Fantasy Creations, GUARAN-DOU, Kittycat’s Creations, Roawenwood, **Tir Na Nog**, Titans, Swank & Co., and The Olde Attic & My View.
Total raised by the end of the Faire’s eleventh day: L$13,311,225 (US $53,244). Remember, you can still visit the Fairelands and appreciate their realms through until May 10th.
SLurls and Related Links
Fantasy Faire regions are rated Moderate.