Aug 29, 2007

Journey to....Mysterious Island: Cream of Duchess Soup?!?

Well now! What a revolting development this is! Sitting in a very large iron cooking pot with Gabrielle. Beady-eyed natives staring at us and licking their chops. Mind you, we have been in hot water together before with people staring at us and licking their lips, but not with this particular look in their eyes. Good Lord! What now??

Thankfully the water was not yet boiling, nevertheless, my head was pounding and spinning. Gabrielle seemed to have fainted dead away. My hands were bound and I could not check her pulse or look for obvious injuries, but I could see the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed, her head laid back over the edge of the cauldron.

Shaking my head in an effort to clear it and remember how we got here, I suddenly had the strangest sense of deja vu. Wait! I felt this way earlier in the day, too. What in the world happened?

*cue the cheesy dream music. No. NO! Not the penguin NIGHTMARE music! Just put on the "hey, I'm having a flashback moment music" would you?*

Oh yes! Now I remember.

I was standing on the beach watching Lady Darkling as she struggled to "help" one of the sailors. Previously I been resting in the sun, but quickly changed into some adventure gear as the day progressed. I witnessed Dr. Sputnik and Miss Lightfoot as they circled around Darkling repeating the same Latin phrase in excited tones. It was not anything to do with the dying man laying under Lady Darkling....something about a... giant bunny.


Suddenly I noticed the very large imprint in the sand. I ran to my little hut on the beach, grabbed my sketchbook, and began to make some notes for the Royal Society. Professors Krogstad and Nicholas would need to have a look at this. Dr. Sputnik was good enough to take the measurements; I jotted them down on the drawing as he shouted them out.

Then I heard my cousin calling for me:
"Eva? I have some important Duchy business that I would like to discuss with you!"

Bless her, she had brought the Dom Perignon out for our discussion.

Yes. Now I remember.....

We dashed-off into the foresty-jungley area surrounding Phillip trying to follow Gnarlihotep. My eyes were blurry, I admit it. But the figure standing in the bushes just did not look like Gnarli - even from this distance. Who on earth could it be?

"Gabrielle? Can you tell who that is? Could it be....a SAVAGE!?!"

Suddenly this feeling was upon me for the first time today....a flicker of a memory...

As the gentleman laid his coconut shell scooter to the side, I heard Gabrielle exclaim, "...A fine specimen of a savage too. Quite…well grown. Look, his name tag says 'Hi, my name is Templeton'. How friendly!"

Even as I suggested that the only way to secure our freedom might be a Duchess Sandwich, I was still attempting to make sense of what my mind was trying to tell me.

"You know this savage from somewhere other than here. You have dealt with him before."

Mentioning something about the Liberace Deli - "Is that in the Bronx?" I wondered - his voice trickled down to a low pitched "woof" as Gabi and I stripped down to our corsets.

The effects of the Duchess Sandwich soon became obviously known, and I thought that we were going to win the freedom of Gnarlihotep, if he had in fact been captured by this man and his tribe. His tribe? Yes. I could sense the eyes hiding behind the bushes and trees. They were out there. He kept calling for things from the Liberace Deli. Mustard. Mayo. Large dill pickles. Boiling water. Double-sized pot. Really. I did not think this was the time to bring the ceremonial herb out, but.....


Suddenly it dawned on me! I know this savage. I met him years before. Where? When?

I was on assignment with the Royal Society in Lauk. I had been sent there as a novice scientist/explorer along with Professor Krogstad because of my adventuresome streak and my interest in other cultures. I was to study the yet undocumented nutritional habits of the Itchysporkchowchow tribe.

Having come into Lauk with high ambitions and lot and lots of tchotchkes to give as gifts to the tribal elders, we were fairly successful in our quest initially. They allowed us to study them from just outside the village seeming to enjoy the opportunity to have their pictures sketched for publication; even allowing the odd photograph to be taken with Professor Krogstad's new-fangled camera.

I suppose in my youth and inexperience I became too bold. I went into the village a number of times on my own, feeling completely safe in the presence of the young members of the Itchysporkchowchow tribe. The last time I ventured in...this man...this Templeton captured me. He bound my feet and hands and tossed me into a cook pot. This man!! I was lucky to get away that time....but that is another story.

What is he doing here on a mysterious island just off the coast of Caledon?

At the moment of this realization, I heard more than felt Gabrielle fall against Templeton's back. This pushed him into me. Gabi fell softly to the sand beneath our feet. She seemed OK. Just a little green about the gills.

Now what would I do? I confess my anger was barely held in check. I turned around to face Templeton and made some comment about an open-faced sandwich as I tried to keep him...erm...engaged needing to plot my escape and how to get Gabi out along with me.

I let my hand slide down my thigh and felt the comforting steel of the dirk held in place by my garter. Sir Telemachus and Sir Hotspur had advised that I should keep weapons by my side at all times. My father would have agreed, and this was the dirk he had given me so long ago before sending me on my way for Intelligence Service training. Bless him. But since none of them were around to keep me safe and out of trouble now, I would need to act quickly if Gabi and I were to get away. I hoped that my MI-5 training, and all the recent weapons work in the Loch would serve me well.

"Well you wanted adventure, Duchess." I could hear Lady Kate saying.

As Templeton was occupied with the rest of me, I slid my hand under the lace corset skirt. Rapidly pulling the dirk out of my garter, I tried to simply injure the man enough to get away. We would need to question him about his involvement in the appearance of the volcano. I struck him once on his thigh near his groin. He yelled out in pain, drawing several of the tribe from the bushes. Grabbing my wrist, he tried to make me drop the knife. I held fast and wriggled my way around to his back. He still had my wrist, but I was able to find the fleshy, exposed arse (never wear assless chaps in the jungle...good lord, who is this man's fashion consultant?). I lunged at it repeatedly. One hit. Two. Three. Four. Finally the wretched man released me as he grabbed his bum in pain.

Yelling Gabrielle's name and shaking her did nothing to rouse her. My poor Gabrielle. We had to get away. As I was bending to lift her, I was grabbed from behind. This time by several rather smelly men in matching bowling shirts. My dirk was now knocked from my hand, and despite my efforts to free myself - I did get several swift kicks to hit "home" on a few of the lads - there were too many. They had me. That wretch Templeton, yelled something about teaching me to sign my name to the check before dinner is over, and then hit me over the head with his coconut shell scooter.

Searing pain.

Then darkness.

Now here I sit in this pot of water. God! I hope some of the others miss us soon.

What did Templeton mean? Sign the check? Hmmm.

Aug 23, 2007

Eugenia Burton is Tartan For A Day

As has been reported elsewhere, after the formal portion of my ball to celebrate Taigh Ròis, we transitioned to a traditional Caledonian rave. That night, though, we also completed what I believe was the last outstanding Relay for Life event. Miss Eugenia Burton had bid for the opportunity to join Little Eva and the Tartans for one night as we donned the tartan of our State and danced the night away at one of the last RFL auctions of the season.

As the music blared and the Tartans and I gathered....getting our choreography worked out, Miss Burton arrived.

It was Miss Burton, wasn't it? Well that is what her HUD said, but she had changed form for the occasion. Suddenly she was Mr. JJ Drinkwater's evil twin.....but suspiciously she did not have the required goatee that evil twins must have.

At any rate we all had a grand time.

Little Eva and the Tartans work the floor

We'll see you again soon at a rave near you.

Aug 22, 2007

Loch Avie Academy of Arms

Consider this the formal announcement from Loch Avie that the Academy of Arms is accepting new members. While anyone may obtain the weapons system designed by Tharikis Olafson for use in Loch Avie, membership will guarantee that one may train with Sir Telemachus or Sir Hotspur on the practice green in Loch Avie (by appointment or on first come basis) . Members of the group will also receive any announcements of new weapons, tournaments, training events, and the like prior to any general release of this information.

All are welcome to use the system in the Loch and the practice green as long as they follow the rules of civilised engagement in the sparing ring.

Please see some more detailed information in Hibernia on the Skids.

I have had the fortune to train with both Sir Tele and Sir Hotspur on the green and I believe that my skills are improving. I have also had the opportunity to spar with Miss Gustafson, Miss Laval, Mr. Szondi, Mr. Webb, and Mr. Goodliffe. Each of these experiences has increased my abilities with the very fine weapons system. My favorite is the large axe, followed by the Claymore (which is a beautiful weapon), and then the short sword and shield combination. I have yet to try my hand with the battle hammer.

This is proving to be an excellent exercise and fitness routine. Perhaps those corsets will be a bit less necessary in the near future. And it is also great good fun. I have found myself laying on the grass face down many times now. But I have also managed to send a few of my partners to the ground as well.

Here are a few pictures from my adventures:

Eva Bellambi, Warrior Duchess.

Instruction with Sir Telemachus

Plthbb. Choke. Grass is not your friend....but one can learn much if one chooses to get back up and fight again.

A WIN!! (the good teacher does not have to win every time in order to teach the skills)

Short sword and shield training with Sir Hotspur

Miss Gustafson battles an old friend of Sir Telemachus.

Mr. Goodliffe, Miss Laval, Sir Tele and I watch as Miss Gustafson battles the master fighter.

Colonel Somme arrives for his match.

Mr. Webb arrives for his lesson as well. Busy night on the Loch green.

Aug 21, 2007

In Celebration of Hearth and Home - Taigh Ròis

It is with a sincere happiness and gratitude that I send my thanks to all who blessed my home by your presence and good will on Saturday, August 18th (and well into Sunday, August 19th).

We began the evening mingling around the fire in Taigh Ròis, greeting one another, sharing a dram or two of Uisge Beatha - perhaps a goblet or two of Absinthe, and meeting a few new-comers to Caledon. As the formal portion of the ball began, Her Grace Carntaigh provided a perfect blend of traditional Caledonian ball music, with liberal use of the pipes and drums. How at home I felt surrounded by my friends and fellow citizens in the warmth of my new home with music of the Highlands lilting in the air.

My sincere thanks to Grafinya Inbhir Abigh, Lady Kate Nicholas, for all her hard work on the manse. It is her ability to translate my vision into pixelated reality that permits Taigh Ròis to even exist. I am sad that RL kept her from attending the ball, but she and her work were certainly discussed and appreciated by all in attendance that night.

Now a few momentos of the evening.

The first dance of the ball, which I had the honour of sharing with Colonel Exrex Somme. (above and below)

The guests continue to arrive as the dancing progresses.

Earl and Countess Primbroke dance together as Professor Krogstad looks on.

The view from above of the beautiful ballroom.

Lady Darkling Elytis dances with Ambassador Roff

Beautiful ladies of Caledon

Miss Lammington enjoys a dance.

Dancing with Mr. Otenth Paderborn

Enjoying a slow dance with my dear friend, Professor Adso Krogstad

Coming soon:

Tartan for a Day - pics (the late night party at Taigh Ròis)


The Loch Avie Academy of Arms is open and taking members.

Aug 17, 2007

Taigh Ròis

I am so pleased to announce that my manor house has finally made her name known to me.

Taigh Ròis is Gælic for House of the Rose.

Please join me tomorrow in celebration of the naming of my home on
Loch Avie.

Aug 14, 2007

Journey to....Mysterious Island: Crash! HRONK!

After many days (God knows why it took so long since I can ride my horse or fly from sim -to-sim in a matter of minutes) at sea observing the volcano from the ever-shrinking distance and carefully taking measurements on the scientific instruments provided by the Royal Society Offices, we finally heard a sound from overhead. Well, we had heard many sounds coming out of the crow's nest, but I really should not repeat those in polite company. Mind you we discussed it no end around the card table in the evenings whilst playing, talking, and drinking, but that is another story.

"Land HO!"

Not generally being used to hearing that term used outside the context of one of Carntaigh's raves late at night, the first response from many of the ladies' lips was, "Yes?" Then realizing where they were, there were furious blushes from the ladies, and several coughs from the gentlemen.

"I beg your pardon." was naturally the next response.

Having sailed on numerous occasions with the Royal Society Expeditionary Group, in service of Caledon, and with a few close friends, I knew that the boy in the crow's nest was not addressing the group, but notifying us that he had spotted land. Really - we had been watching Phillip grow closer for days....but it was his job.

And so the group began excitedly preparing for our landing on Phillip. There was much debate about the best approach: immediate penetration, careful circling, dropping anchor and watching, jumping on dingies, &tc.

Suddenly a rather angry voice called out of the apple barrel: “Before you all go dashing onto the damn beach maybe you should let the kitten OUT of the bag before she FREAKIN‘ suffocates after all this DAMN time? JEBUS!”

Miss Kiralette? Many exclamations hit the air, which were once again, not repeatable in polite company.

Just as I was walking over to the barrel where the dear kitty was hiding...


I found myself in a pile of arms and legs, and apples. It rather looked as though Dr. Sputnik had been involved in a Duchess, Duchess, Baroness Triple Decker Sandwich gone wrong. Kiralette's luxurious, if rather cider-scented, tail was wrapped around my head.

"Good Lord!" I exclaimed as I picked myself up on the deck and attempted to assist my fellow travelers as well as I could.

It was not long before I saw that the Baron had gotten himself together, walked to the gangway, which had just been lowered by Sparrow's crew, and said, "All ashore that's going ashore."

I shot down to my stateroom and grabbed my bow, and slid my dirk into my garter. Coming back topside, I picked up some of my equipment and gave instructions to Gnarlihotep regarding which other pieces of scientific machinery his young Sherpas should be engaged to carry.

We hit the beach en masse. The ground was covered in a thick layer of ash from Phillip and I took a few samples for Drs. Krogstad and Honeydew. We could see lava flows to the west of us and several decided that we would head that direction in the morning. Darkness was beginning to set in and we needed to set up camp.

The beach seemed the obvious choice for this since the volcano continued to rumble and the lava was still pouring out to the west and possibly the east (there was a red glow all around us). It was too dark also to run into the forest that stood just below the volcano (odd that a full grown forest was here on a newly created island....hmmm....what evil is afoot??).

The crew got camp set-up much more efficiently than anticipated given their laziness aboard ship. I suppose it could have been related to Lady Darkling's persuasive discussion with them earlier. I had seen her talking very closely to them and heard something about using their bones for some ritual or another if they did not get their arses in gear. She is a very motivational speaker.

Gabrielle busied herself setting up her tent and ensuring that her music player and cylinders were usable after the landing. Lady Amber was working on some sort of circle around her tent - perhaps getting ready to place an altar. I was not yet sure.

I found Dr. Sputnik and Miss Lightfoot working on his ETC - muttering something about the "confounded dust and ash", and working on a solution to keep this material out of the inner workings of the machine.

Mr. Abel and Miss Kiralette were busily shepherding the penguins as they brought our equipment out to base camp. Although I heard both of them excitedly chatting about getting on with the adventure and exploration of the island.

Bardhaven was pouring over what appeared to be the map and drawings that Kate Nicholas and Professor Krogstad had provided us. Dagger in hand, point twirling on his chin as he thoughtfully stared at the maps. What plans are being created?

My own tent was successfully in order. Gyroscopes, barometers, steam powered specimen collectors all seemed to be in order. What the dear little Sherpas apparently forgot on board ship were my personal essentials: hammock, mosquito netting, tea set, cask of whisky. Grumbling I determined that I would head back to the ship myself to pick up a few things and see if any of the penguins were at hand to assist.

Finding the ship essentially empty, and quiet, the temptation to remain on board in my stateroom for the night was too great. I slipped into my lingerie and slid into bed. Shortly I was sound asleep.

At some point in the night, however, I became quite restless - almost fitful.

A wait!


I woke up in a cold sweat. I was screaming! HRONKING!



Then I saw him. That damnable little penguin who had been following me for the entire journey thus far. HE was the one who gave me nightmares! What is he doing in my bed??


Aug 13, 2007

The Presentation Ball of the Court of Carntaigh

On August 11th, Her Grace Gabrielle Riel, The Duchess of Carntaigh, graciously hosted a ball in honor of her court. It was a grand affair, which was well attended by many Caledonians as well as guests from other lands.

The Members of the Court of Carntaigh await presentation.

The Court of Carntaigh's Dance

Featured music included, Handel's Water Music and Fireworks Music, and Orff's Carmina Burana.

Colonel Exrex Somme and Lady Kate Nicholas

Another view of Lady Kate's exquisite Tsarina Gown by Shenlei

The Duchesses Dance

(foreground) Dr. Oolon Sputnik and Lady Darkling Elytis

My dance with Sir ZenMondo Wormser

A waltz with Jarl Otenth Paderborn

Mr. JJ Drinkwater and Miss Serra Annasi

The evening concluded on a spectacular note with fireworks and applause.

Thank you Gabrielle. It is an evening that will not soon be forgotten.