In the Aetherian Isles

Dantae sits at her kitchen table, sipping pumpkin seed coffee and musing over a book of poetry bought in the Faery Market. The book is a temperamental little thing, its pages fluttering with magical life. Dantae holds it gently as a butterfly, periodically turning a page as the volume allows her to read its contents. Even with the lively book in her hands, the nightfall has a delicious stillness to it, in comparison to the drama over Samhain Eve.

Enjoying a book by candlelight

Juxtaposed against Speirling's thunder, screams of nightbirds and howling wolves and owls, the sounds of the Isles of Aetheria seem downright tame--the birdsong chorus, tinking of chimes, babbling lullaby of the waters in the pools and waterfalls, and the periodic creaking of ropes as residents or visitors climb between the islands. Dantae smiles, losing herself in the melodic sounds momentarily while studying the steam and scent coming from her cup. An evening scenic flight over the surrounding lands might be a nice interlude--perhaps a visit to the Faery Market for another book or a walk through Wildefleur to see her butterfly friends in the gardens.

Muffled giggles outside draws Dantae from her thoughts, followed by a knock at the door. Dantae rises to answer and outside, is greeted by two giggling young nekos and their slightly exasperated governess.

"Dhampir! Moggie! Minnie! I did not expect to see you tonight!"

Moggie pushes past, entering and squealing out "omigoddessthisissokewl!"

Dhampir raises an eyebrow. "Mogdalena Constantine! Speak properly!"

The neko stops suddenly, turning on her heels toward Dantae. "Pardon me, ma'am. I meant to say 'Your home is quite lovely.'"

Minnie prances past the adults to stand by her sister, "Quite beautiful, Lady Dantae! I am very pleased to be here!"

Moggie elbows her sister and whispers, "Stop showing me up!" This makes Minnie grin even wider.

Dantae can't help but smile at the young ones. "Makes you remember being young, doesn't it?" she says to Dhampir.

Dhampir only raises her eyebrow higher. "I was never that young."

"So what brings you to Aetheria?" Dantae asks the group, then adds, "Not that I am not thrilled to see all of you!"

"When the girls were all together over Samhain, Oreo and Waffle filled their heads with stories of Faeway and how much fun they were having learning of the faerie lands at the Academy," Dhampir explains, "So, of course, these two wanted to come visit."

"Oh how wonderful!" Dantae brightens. "And timed perfectly too, as I was just now sitting and thinking of what I could do this evening. Seems I now know!"

Dhampir sits and puts her feet up, allowing her long legs to stretch. "Pardon my making myself at home, but I thought you would not mind if I rest a bit while you take the girls to the Academy."

Dhampir and Minnie relaxing on the sofa as Dantae looks on

"You aren't coming along?" asks Dantae, trying to cover the disappointment in her voice.

"My kind aren't exactly friends with the fae kin," Dhampir responds, "so I think it probably best if you take the girls further."

Though Dantae could place a glamour on Dhampir to make her appear more fae, she instead drops the argument. While Dantae and Dhampir were very good friends, they were an odd couple. Dhampir walked the boundary between light and dark--a child of both the creatures of night and the shining ones. Dantae was a child of the dreaming time, one of the daughters of Queen Mab and King Oberon--one of the many who blessed friends with dreams sent on butterfly wings but could just as easily bring terror on the backs of night mares.

After leaving Dhampir for a well-earned nap, Dantae and the girls make their way to the Gateway to the Faery Crossing, filled with visitors from many lands. Moggie and Minnie jump at the chance to peruse the tents of complimentary fae-themed items.

Moggie and Minnie peruse the goods in the complimentary goods tent

Sometimes it is good to have fae powers. After the kittens load themselves down with goodies, Dantae simply sends their loot back to her home with a wave of her hand.

"We don't want our arms weighed down for our ride in the butterfly coach, now do we?" she says, looking down at their disappointed faces, which quickly change to excitement.

Taking a rope bridge leads them to their next destination, the large shell adorned with magic and lead by a trio of giant butterflies. The kittens let out a squeal at the sight of it.

"It's so pretteh!" Minnie exclaims.
"We get to ride it? Please say yes!" her sister blurts at the same time.
"Absolutely!" Dantae says with a wide smile, "This is how we'll get to your sisters' school!"
The sound the kittens make at her answer may have awoken anyone in the faelands, and shatter a few windows.

The group crawls inside the oversized shell and Dantae gives the butterflies their signal to head towards the ground, to Faekin Hall.

Inside the shell coach
Our coach approaches the ground

 At Faekin Hall, it takes a while for the messenger to tell Oreo and Waffle that their little sisters have arrived to see them. When the bunnehs arrive, however, the four of them spend quite a while sitting at the long table, each retelling the story of Samhain Eve with more and more intrigue and monumental happenings.

At the long table in Faekin Hall

After exhausting the tall tales and plenty of nectar, cocoa and cookies, Oreo and Waffle lead the way through the dorms, showing the kittens where they may call home someday, if they become students at the Academy too.

Oreo and Waffle showing their sisters and Dantae the dorms

Minnie and Moggie plea to spend the night but are told no by Dantae. It is a school night and their sisters do not need to be kept awake all night with giggles and mews.

"Not to mention, the other students need their sleep as well!" Dantae adds. "Where are they all, anyway?" She had noticed the lack of students around the Hall.

"Oh, everyone is at the closing ceremonies for the Samhain festivities here," Oreo responds.

Dantae realizes suddenly that the Oreo and Waffle had missed the Faeway activities for the holiday. "Oh lovies, had I known, I would have said something to your mother!"

"No worries!" Waffle replies, "We had lots more fun at home! It wuz teh awesome!"

"Don't let Dhampir hear you talking like that," Moggie mutters, half under her breath.

"Now now," Dantae corrects the kitten, though only half-heartedly. "Speaking of Dhampir, though, I'm sure she wouldn't mind me keeping you out and about a little while longer. Why don't we go find something fun to do?"

The girls all seem to answer at once:
Oreo: "Disassemble the watering device for Wildefleur gardens?"
Waffle: "Go shopping for magic books!"
Moggie: "Learn how to shoot lightning bolts!"
Minnie: "Repaint your new cottage!"

"I was thinking something more tame," Dantae says with a laugh. "Maybe a mushroom dance?"

Oreo: "Woot!"
Waffle: "That's good too!"
Moggie: "Do they explode?"
Minnie: "Yay!"

The butterfly coach is sent for once more and the group find themselves back in the skies of Aetheria, at the mushroom circle just outside the Learning Path. The sounds of birds, waterfalls, chimes and Aethereal music is joined by the giggling of young kits and bunnies, filling the evening air.

Dancing under the evening's full moon


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