society ball

tfw you read historical fiction and can’t stop imagining yourself as one of those new york socialites at the turn of the 20th century whose only job is to wear fancy ball gowns and drink champagne out of dainty little flutes and wake up at noon to your maid lightly rapping on the door to your spacious, baroque style suite with a silver tray of tea and coffee and croissants and cheese and fresh berries and you’re wearing a cream colored silk robe imported from France as your ladies maid pins up your waist length hair and you eat your light breakfast and write in your journal and contemplate the beaded, gauzy gown you’ll wear the following evening at the next lavish society gathering

ok losers it’s your girl polcry here to run you through the basics of what the darn heck to bring with you to university to cover your naked body 

B A S I C S 

If you’re edgy and ~minimalist~ these’ll probably comprise the majority of your wardrobe. Regardless, you’re going to want to bring at least a few each of these.

LEGGINGS: at least one black pair, possibly more if you’ve accepted the inevitability of not giving a shit how you look at for 9ams. You can also get funky and bring patterned ones if you so desire, you maverick.

JEANS: I prefer jeggings for the comfort feel and ability to do spontaneous high kicks, but if you’re a fashionista boyfriend or bootcut jeans are cool too. Trust me, the freshman fifteen is real and if you have to choose between a lil’ too big and a lil’ too small, go big. Belts exist for a reason.

T-SHIRTS: you can get a wide array of fits of tees, so bring a few of your favourite style in simple colours like white/black/grey/striped. I find slightly wearing a slightly oversized tee gives off a certain effortless vibe, especially if you tuck the front in to the waistband of jeans to give it an IDGAF drape and pair with cute AF shoes. Hella cute with no effort. 

SWEATSHIRTS/JUMPERS/SWEATERS: I live in jumpers. I’m not going to lie. Go oversized with leggings or skinny jeans, maybe add a layer underneath if it’s a lil’ chilly. If you live somewhere that feels like the depths of Antartica, you might want to go with a finer knit and layer under and above. The struggle of getting a thick coat over a chunky jumper is real, guys. Turtlenecks, crew necks, V-necks. They’re all good. Avoid collecting too many sweatshirts with your university’s name on it, though - you will look over-enthusiastic. 

SHOES: one word: COMFORT. Campuses are big places. Chances are, you’ll be walking a fair bit. I love trainers - I have a pair of black Nikes, a pair of white Reeboks and a black slip-on pair. Converse, Adidas, New Balance are all popular. They crop up on the feet of almost everyone. Look down, and I guarantee the vast majority of any university class are wearing trainers. 

If you’re like me and enjoy torturing yourself, you can also wear heeled boots. I find them weirdly comfortable, probably due to my excessively hyperextended knees. Pointy ankle boots always look chic, but frankly people will be so surprised that you’ve made an effort that any type will impress. Zara’s always a good choice for cute boots. 

I’d avoid opened-toed or flats that expose a lot of your foot during autumn/winter/spring. It’ll probably rain, and then you’ll be cold and miserable and have soggy feet. Wellies (or rainboots for you strange Yanks) are a good choice if you’ll be in a wet climate (hello England), but they can be a bit cumbersome. Try and get some lower-cut ones to reduce the weight and to stop you from stomping excessively. 

COATS: this is pretty personal. Again, if it’s wet, I’d recommend something at least water-resistant. I have a North Face windbreaker that I keep in my car in case it starts tipping it down, but it’s not particularly warm. Leather/suede jackets look cute but are not a good choice if it looks like it might rain. Other than that, anything goes. I have a cute beige pea coat from ASOS that I love, and a shearling jacket from Bershka which is far too cool for a dork like me.

L O U N G E W E A R 

PJs: buy yourself some new ones. Please. Your flatmates don’t want to see your lady parts through that ever-expanding hole in the crotch. Some university flats feel like the pits of hell, so it might be a good idea to bring a few pair of short PJs too. You can always swap them out for joggers or leggings when you’re not snoozin’. I can always find cute pyjamas in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Primark. 

SWEATPANTS: as comfy as PJs but with the added bonus of being socially acceptable. Whether you prefer a tapered, slim fit or big ‘n’ baggy, make sure they’re stain-free and don’t smell funky. Bring a couple of pairs and rotate through as necessary. 

BRAS: regardless of whether you have the athletic capabilities of a sloth or Michael Phelps, you will want to bring sports bras. Hides the nips with basically no discomfort. Bralettes are cute too, but I’m an advocate of sports bras if you’re just slugging out in front of Netflix and nobody is going to see it. Forever 21 do a massive selection of surprisingly pretty sports bras with all sorts of fancy backs. Not so good for exercising, but really the majority of people don’t wear sports bras to exercise. 

F A N C Y 

PARTYING: this will depend a little on where you attend university. For me, going out outfits are high-waisted jeans, a fancy-ish crop top and flat shoes of some description. Club floors get hella slippery. More casual dresses are fine too, but make sure you gauge what your friends are going to be wearing so you don’t look too overdressed.

EVENTS: bring a nice dress or trousers/shirt. There will be fancier events (sports balls, end of term balls, society balls). They don’t always require black tie, so a cocktail dress is a good choice. Boys, bring a suit jacket. It doesn’t have to be tails or a tux, but bringing a tailored blazer that’ll match or compliment a pair of trousers you own will come in handy. And absolutely NO JEANS. Along the same lines, bring at least one pair of smart shoes/heels. Ladies, flats are more than acceptable for fancy events. Just make sure they’re cute. 

BUSINESSWEAR: “But Isabelle!” I hear you cry, “I’m in college! I don’t need businesswear!” Yes, my friend, yes you do. Interviews happen. You might need a part-time job, or get a spontaneous interview for an internship. Bring an office-appropriate skirt/trousers and a blouse/shirt, and some simple, smart shoes. You don’t have to go full-on Olivia Pope, but make sure you have one suitable outfit in your repertoire. 

Q U I C K   T I P S 

Accessories make an outfit: bring a choice of belts, scarves and miscellaneous wraps or shawls. By throwing on a buckled belt and a cute layered necklace, you can go from meh to a-meh-zing. 

Sign up for student discounts: British students, that means unidays. Register with your university email for discounts ranging from 10-25%. They’ll notify you when retailers that don’t have a permanent discount (like H&M) run promotions as well. Make sure you use your discount for eating out and going to the cinema, too!

Quality > quantity: the capsule wardrobe trend is real, folks. I’m an advocate of having a smaller, but better-made and better-fitting, wardrobe over one that’s overflowing and filled with cheap, low-quality clothing that’ll last a couple of wears. If you’re wearing pieces day-in day-out, make sure they’re flattering and of good quality. Having a smaller wardrobe makes moving in and out easier, too, and you’ll spend less time staring at all your clothes trying to mentally piece together something cute. 

Expensive =/= good quality: along the same lines, just because something is pricy doesn’t automatically make it of good quality. You can get really good basics at affordable shops. Feel the material (and make sure it’s relatively opaque), make sure the stitching is solid, and that it doesn’t have pulls or piling or holes. I like New Look and ASOS for simple pieces. 

Make an effort: it sounds silly, but lecturers and tutors do appreciate it when you don’t turn up looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed. Looking presentable makes them feel like you want to be there, which can make them a) like you more and b) more inclined to want to help you out if you need it. It isn’t that hard to put a pair of jeans and a blouse on instead of throwing a pair of joggers on under the T-shirt with ramen stains on that you slept in the night before, is it?

That’s pretty much it. University is a place to explore your own personal style, and you’ll see a massive variety in how people dress. Express yourself, learn what you like on, and don’t feel under pressure to dress a certain way! Style is definitely a creative outlet, so if you want to - use it and enjoy yourself!!

Plot 123: Victorian Era (1837-1901) Plots

  • Muse A has been groomed since birth to be a respectable noble-person, constantly reminded to practice the etiquette proper for their gender and expected to anticipate the day they will meet a well-bred suitor.  Muse B has never enjoyed the privileged life despite being within arm’s reach of it; they’ve worked on the estate grounds for Muse A’s family since they were a mere child and have observed the high life of the aristocracy all the while with envious eyes. Perhaps due to their contrary social standings, Muse A has always been fascinated with Muse B and vice versa. With Muse A constantly under the watchful eye of their chaperone, Muse A and Muse B have resorted to leaving letters for one another in an old tree on the property; they’ve been planning for several days to meet one another in secret.  
  • Muse A is fortunately matched to be married to Muse B, a wealthy aristocrat of higher ranking than the patriarchs of their own family. Though publicly reputed to be charitable and of high moral character, Muse B is a boorish, cruel person behind closed doors. Muse B’s sibling, Muse C, is sympathetic about Muse A’s undesirable union and one dreary evening they confide that this is not Muse B’s first marriage; they’ve had to endure their sibling’s awful behavior since they were young and they strongly suspect that Muse B was responsible for the demise of their first betrothed. Muse A and Muse C bond over their shared disdain for Muse B and they ultimately conspire to put an end to Muse B’s wickedness.
  • When their successful, merchant father amasses enough wealth to afford a valuable piece of property, a rather unrefined Muse A finds themselves thrust suddenly into the upper class. Though they have no title by birth, Muse A is now considered eligible for courtship by noble sort. Now more than ever, it’s of great importance that Muse A learns proper deportment- how to conduct themselves in society-from a professional; Muse B is hired for this purpose, to prepare Muse A for their debut to society at a grand ball. Every day Muse A attends etiquette lessons, in which Muse B attempts to teach essentials such as how to dress, how to ride a horse, and how to behave at a formal banquet and so on. Muse A proves to be an exhausting student, never quite behaving as they should, questioning every rule. 
  • Muse A is an unhappy member of the royal family.  Since they were a child, they’ve been reared to be a perfect model of virtue and modesty for the common people. For years, they’ve upheld boring traditions and repressed their true passions for the good of the crown. One afternoon, Muse A attends a play at the queen’s theater and is shocked by the vulgarity of the actors’ speech and risqué costumes. The shock quickly turns into intrigue. Though Muse A’s seated in an ornate balcony, sectioned off from the lower-class attendees, Muse A insists on meeting the actors after the play concludes. Muse B, the playwright and lead actor, is humbled when Muse A applauds their work and immediately commissions them to write another play. Muse B is excited, until Muse A reveals that they would like to star in this new play. If the queen disapproves of Muse B’s role for Muse A (or the new play in general), more than Muse B’s livelihood will be at stake.
2

Princess Dagmar of Denmark, not long before her engagement and subsequent marriage into the Russian Imperial Family and becoming Maria Fyodorovna

Not so beautiful as her elder sister, Queen Alexandra of England, the Empress was nevertheless a very attractive woman who for lon maintained her family´s tradition of appearing eternally youthful. Her superb luminous eyes … were her most striking feature. In many ways the Empress was the perfect consort to a monarch. She thoroughly enjoyed her role as a leader of society, revelling in great balls and ceremonies, superb clothes and fine jewellery. Her sociability offset her husband´s taciturnity and she was on the whole very popular in the world of Petersburg´s aristocracy. She had great charm and the royal knack that, “when she smiles she seems to single one out of the crowd, and each separate individual appropriates her smile as personally intended.” After fifteen years as wife to the heir before ascending the throne, Marie Feodorovna knew the Petersburg aristocracy very well. She did her homework before great events and, “gifted with a retentive memory for faces, she is particularly gracious at presentations, and puts such pertinent questions to the ladies who are being presented as to show the interest she takes in the circumstances of everyone´s life. She sympathises with people´s grief and rejoices in their gladness.” In addition, “in all emergencies the … Empress seems to know by intuition what is the right thing to be said.”

Dominic Lieven: Nicholas II - Emperor of all the Russias

F.Weasley: High-Class

Fred Weasley. Golden Trio Era.

Summary: Fred Weasley hates the upper-class pureblood society, yet at his first society ball he meets a person he finds fascinating.

Warning: None.

Genre: Fluff

Pairing: Fred Weasley  x Reader

Words: 1958


To say Fred Weasley wasn’t the least bit judgmental was a bold-faced lie. Despite his belief that all wizards are equal and muggles are boring but alright, he still put his nose up to the filthy rich pureblood wizards. He, being a pureblood himself, saw nothing wrong with any blood status but the way people like Malfoys treated people made him hate that side of wizarding society.

Unlike many other pureblood families, the Weasleys were never invited to fancy Christmas balls at Malfoy Manor and Molly had never received an invitation to join Nancy Parkinson’s elite book club. They were outsiders in the pureblood world, and frankly, Fred was just fine with that. He had no desire to dress up in ridiculous dress robes and have to make small talk to with Lucius Malfoy. He was perfectly content with spending Christmas Eve with the Weasley lot in the toast Burrow, slipping puking pastels into Percy’s tea and playing Quidditch with his brothers and sister.

But Fred couldn’t be invisible to the world of wealth forever. He learned that when he and George’s joke shop began picking up steam. Soon, they were becoming wealthy themselves and other people were noticing too.

At the beginning of December, a majestic eagle owl flew into their shared apartment. It landed right on George’s stack of pancakes, making the wizard groan and roll his eyes before snatching the envelope from the owl’s beak.

“Bloody bird,” Fred heard George grumbled as the owl ate some of the crumbling pancakes by his talons. The bird, happy with its snack soared off through the open window it entered through.

Fred grabbed his cup of coffee, joining his brother at the table. After gulping down a sip of the hot liquid, he asked, “Who’s it from?”

“Can’t be from mum, that’s for sure.” George quipped, referencing their family owl, Erol and his almost non-existent ability to fly in a straight line.

“I don’t know, maybe Erol beefed up when we left.” Fred joked.

George made a noise of agreement before tearing open the letter. He read through it, his face twisting into an array of emotions. Confused, then annoyed, then conflicted, and then finally a bit cheeky.

Fred, who was watching his brother closely, inquired, “What does it say?”

He grinned at Fred, tossing the thick parchment his way. “We are invited to a Christmas ball.”

Fred raised a skeptic eyebrow, reading the letter quickly.

Dear Mr. Fred and George Weasley,

We at Malfoy Manor would like the invite you to attend our annual Christmas ball. It will a winter wonderland, a night filled with banter from the elite of the wizarding world.

Dress Code: Black Tie/Formal and Strict.

We Hope To See You There,

The Malfoy Family

“Mental, absolutely mental,” Fred spoke, a look of amusement on his face. This was hilarious to him. The Malfoys who have looked down on the Weasleys for decades are inviting them to their party. Wait until the rest of the family heard.

“I know right,” George laughed, casting a spell on his pancakes to make them less squashed again. “But we’re going right?”

Fred choked on his coffee, “What?”

“We’ll be meeting possible investors. All the richest wizard folk show up to these things. Plus, it will make us prominent. If we want to be successful then we need to hang out with the successful people. It’s like a ball in chain effect.” George explained around his bite of pancake.

“Or like an airborne illness,” Fred said, shaking his head. “I don’t want to be infected by those people.”

“We’re not being infected!” George declared. “We’re mingling.”

“I don’t want to mingle with the Malfoys. And neither do you.” Fred pointed out.

George sighed, “Fine. We won’t mingle with the Malfoys. We’ll stop by and thank them for inviting us to their gaudy party and then make our way to the richy-rich people. We leave there after eating some lobster and getting a few investors interested. Barely any Malfoy ‘illness’ poisoning our way of life.”

Fred pondered it for a minute before letting out a frustrated exhale. “Fine.” George gave his twin a big grin. Fred grinned back saying, “You had me at lobster and money.”

~~~

“You don’t look nearly as good as me.” Fred joked and he saw his twin wearing the same dress robes as him, only in dark brown.

George snorted and rolled his eyes. “I think I look rather dapper, actually. The brown matches my eyes.”

Fred chuckled, straightening the collar of his own black attire. “Come on, Gred, we have a ball to attend.”

Fred and George grabbed their wands, apparating outside of Malfoy Manor. The usually dark and domineering looking mansion was decorated with hundreds of lights and the hedges were cut into different Christmas symbols. When they stepped inside, they were greeted by servants taking cloaks and coats from the wizards and witches arriving. The ceiling was cluttered by floating candles, much like the enchanted ones in the Great Hall in Hogwarts. Only these were scented, filling the room with gingerbread and pine trees.

They shook the Malfoys hands, who were greeting their guests by the door. Even Draco, who scowled at the twins, forcing a smile on his face to be hospitable.

“Welcome.” Draco greeted through gritted teeth.

“Nice to see you, Malfoy,” George growled to the blond boy.

“Merry Christmas,” Fred added in passing, a frown etched onto his face.

“Same to you both.” Draco darkly smiled, then turned to smile at an incoming plump middle-aged witch.

Fred and George escaped the building crowd in the entrance hall, entering the large ballroom nearby. The room was immaculate. The large chandelier in the center was decorated with pine branches and hanging mistletoe. There was a long table with a lacy white tablecloth on it, covered with a display of elegant food, mostly notably lobster.

“Jackpot,” George whispered before sauntering off to feast on some of the crustacea, leaving Fred behind.

Fred stuck to the wall of the ballroom, trying to avoid bumping into people and knowing no one other than George, who was pleasantly conversing with a fat wizard by the food table.

To his right, a pretty witch appeared next to him. She leaned on the wall with heavy exhale, looking a bit winded.

“Are you okay?” Asked Fred, hoping to make some kind of conversation instead of looking like some antisocial git.

The girl looked over at him, flashing him a breathtaking smile. “Just a bit winded.”

“Why is that?” Fred inquired, not wanting to pry but having no choice if he wanted to have any kind of a conversation.

“I’ve been dancing all night.” She told him, sounding exacerbated.

Fred raised his eyebrow. “Is that bad…?” He trailed off.

“Exhausting.” She corrected. “My mother,” She gestured to a pretty older woman talking to a group of distinguished magical people. “She’s trying to set me up with someone but she won’t admit it. She keeps throwing different guys my way like I’ll fall in love tonight.”

“Pushy mums can’t be fun.” Fred agreed.

“Not at all.” She agreed. “Sorry, I didn’t ask your name, Mr…?”

“Fred Weasley. Just Fred, if you don’t mind. I don’t think formalities apply when we’re around the same age.” Fred smiled, reaching out a hand.

She took it, shaking it daintily. “In my world, formalities always apply. I’m Y/N Y/L/N. Just Y/N works for me as well.”

“It’s very nice to meet you Y/N,” Fred said, still holding her hand in his large one.

Y/N smiled up at him, then glanced over her shoulder. She turned back to him, a small frown on her face. “My mother is watching us.”

Fred looked over in the direction Y/N had and saw the women observing them carefully. She didn’t seem upset by the scene, actually, she looked almost happy.

“I think your mother is enjoying the show,” Fred smirked.

“Why don’t we take the show outside then? Unfortunately for her, this show is private.” Y/N remarked, tugging Fred by their connected hand out of the ballroom.

Y/N grabbed her cloak from the servant by the door and dragged Fred to a random balcony overlooking the garden below. There were even enchanted light tangled into the bushes there, making the ground below look like a night sky. Y/N went to a stone bench by the railing, sitting down and patting the place next to her.

“So, Fred Weasley,” Y/N began as Fred sat next to her. “Why were you attached to the wall all night?”

“I didn’t want to come here. My brother, George made me. He said it would be a good business opportunity.”

“So you’re a businessman? What is your company?” Y/N asked.

“Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. It’s in Diagon Alley,” Fred told her, feeling the pride that always filled him when talking about his business.

“I’ve been there before. I have a cousin who loves that kind of pranking stuff and I got him his birthday present there. The er, Sneaking Snackbox-”

“Skiving Snackbox,” Fred corrected. “One of my personal favorites. You have good present taste.”

Y/N softly laughed at that, “I suppose so.”

“You should come by sometime. I’ll give you a tour and if you’re lucky I might even throw in some free samples.” Fred said with a wiggle of his eyebrows that made Y/N giggle hysterically.

“You’re a strange man, Fred.” Y/N stated as she giggled.

“Strange like Dumbledore or strange like Snape,” Fred questioned, trying to be serious but the glint in his eye betrayed him.

Y/N scrunched up her nose. “I wouldn’t be talking to you if you were strange like Snape.” She shook her head. “Definitely Dumbledore. I can see you with a white beard and everything.”

“Been there, done that.” Fred shrugged, remembering the incident with the goblet of fire.

“Oh, I have to hear that story.” Y/N demanded, leaning forward in excitement.

By the end of the story of how Fred and George contracted long white beards, Y/N was howling with laughter, leaning on Fred for support.

“You and your brother are ridiculous.” Y/N laughed, resting her head on Fred’s shoulder.

“Yes, yes but that ridiculousness made some amazing stories.” Fred nodded, taking in the sound of Y/N laughter. He was desperate to hear that sound over and over again.

“That I cannot deny.” Y/N giggled, looking up at Fred.

The two stared at each other, just taking in each other’s eye colors, the curve of the other’s cheekbones, the plumpness of the other’s lips. Soon, Y/N’s lips were all Fred could think about as he leaned in closer and closer, finally pressing his own to hers. The kiss was brief, as a loud person walked by the entrance of the balcony, making them jump away in fright. When they were both back in their normal state of mind, they shyly looked at each other.

“I’m sorry…” Fred apologized. He wasn’t sure if that was a very gentlemanly thing to do. He had never been this intimate with such an upper-class girl before. He wasn’t sure if there was a way of doing things that he wasn’t aware of. What if he had to ask her mother for permission before kissing her? Or kissing was against the rules until they were technically together. Fred wouldn’t mind being with her one bit, but in the meantime, he didn’t want to make her uncomfortable.

“About what?” Y/N quipped, cocking her head. “I liked that a lot, actually. In fact, I wouldn’t mind another.”

Fred’s concern wiped off his face, and he grinned. “Oh really?” He teased. “Well, I might be of a lower class but even we know to never keep a lady waiting.”

“So don’t.”


Masterlist

ajanamyth  asked:

Poor Steve being called a whore

UGH

ok listen. So i hate that word… but you know, pirates and wenches and whores and all that, right? 

PLUS I love the idea of Pirate!Tony being basically wed against his will to GoodBoy!Steve who has never set foot off land and thinks all sailors are heathens and basically wants to sit in his fawn colored pants and wine colored shirt wth a perfectly ruffled neck tie (neck cloth?) (neckerchief?) and do his paintings of the country estate? 

So when his arranged marriage to Tony comes through, everyone thinks Tony is like, a super wealthy merchant and AFTER THE WEDDING Tonys like, oh hey holla, Im a pirate. So drink up me hearties and Im gonna leave you here while I go pillaging and plundering and killing, but hey, good wedding and all. Im out. 

And poor Steve is like, forsooth? my husband is a pirate? my reputation will never recover?! 

But then he steals away on Tonys ship because he might be a fancy man but hes not about to let his husband just sail away into the sunset?? So he stows away on the ship and maybe First Mate Bucky finds him and drags him out onto the deck and is all, lookit this? Capn got us a whore for the journey? such a pretty one too!

And tonys like no goddamnit thats my husband. I only married him for the title, because I need one to be respectable, and ugh he’s driven off every suitor because hes a loudmouthed scrappy thing. WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON MY BOAT

And steves like IF I WOULD HAVE KNOWN YOU WERE A PIRATE I NEVER WOULD HAVE MARRIED YOU! I WOULD HAVE RAN AWAY AND JOINED THE PRIESTHOOD 

And Tony is so annoyed but like, not gonna treat his husband badly so he tells him to stay in the captains cabin and stay out of his way. 

So rumours start flying about the pretty blond that the Captain wont let out of his cabin, and of fucking course Harley and Peter assume the guys a whore, and yes even though Bucky smiles like he would tear Steve apart, hes really got a heart of gold and lets Steve out to show him how to steer the ship and all that, and when Tony starts ACTUALLY falling in love with Steve, its bucky who tells Steve to give him a chance, that Tony actually has a heart, and that hes wonderful. 

WOW I didnt mean to ramble that much. But im like, legit excited to write a harlequin romance/ pirates of the carribean status SUPER TROPEY romance between Pirate Lord Tony and a beautiful Steve who is scandalized because Tony wears his shirt unbuttoned scandalously low.

and of course… like boat sex. and sitting up in the crows nest together letting Tony teach him about the constellations because Steve has been so sheltered that he never is outside at night to stare at the stars. 

And Tony showing up to the high society balls with a gold hoop in his ear and all the ladies swooning while at the same time highly disapproving, and Tony twirling his husband out onto the dance floor with a hand WAY too low on Steves ass, but he doesnt care, because hes a pirate and if he wants to dance like that with the man he loves, then he totally will. 

(Im rambling again. sorry)

literally all this to say, dont worry, tony doesnt let the men call Steve a whore.  

3

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 1919.

In the summer of 1918 Elizabeth emerged in society. She attended a ball given by the Countess of Powis at 45 Berkeley Square for her daughter Hermione, a direct contemporary. “I remember dancing with a nice young American… she wrote later, “and the amazement and thrill when the next day a huge bunch of red roses arrived! In those days flowers were very rare!” At the time when young girls were excited by lunches at the Ritz, and young men coming to tea, she added: “one was thrilled by that sort of things.”  | Hugo Vickers.

Hamilton Characters as Things People Have Said at my School

Alexander- Fuck you for telling me it wouldn’t work and fuck me for not listening
Burr- I need to cuddle with a knife… In my spleen.
Laurens- I get scared whenever I see a vagina
Lafayette- Bad and naughty nobles are put in the shame guillotine to atone for their sins.
Hercules- Height of an arse giant
Angelica- My OxyClean™ vagina
Eliza- I saw the future kirby, it was not pretty
Peggy- Y'all think I’m gettin nudes but nah. I am gettin the pussy. Pussy cat that is.
Seabury- Do you hear the children of the granola?
King George III- George Washington is garlic
Washington- We jwalk as a family
Jefferson- Ive tried vegan mac n cheese, Ive tried vegan EVERYTHING
Madison- I need you to bake me another delicious drug breakfast
Maria- I’m gonna kick society in the balls
Philip- *very quietly* pow pow motherfucker

The Domestic Garden Witch: Crystal Balls!

So maybe you’re a college witch with limited space and money, limited to the one window in your dorm. Or, maybe you’re a witch without extensive backyard space who wants to start up a magical garden. Perhaps you’re a kitchen witch who wants the freshest herbs right at her fingertips.

For many witches, having a garden seems to be a bit of a no-brainer. After all, plants and magic go hand-in-hand. Plus, when thinking of a witch, it’s hard not to think of a cottage in the woods with a little vegetable garden out front. Unfortunately for the majority of us, our cottage in the woods is a tiny flat, and our garden out front is a windowsill with limited space.

This is when it comes time to embrace your craftiness and bring your garden indoors! Not only does it place your garden in a convenient location, it also allows you to freshen the air, recycle what would otherwise harm the earth, and embrace your witchy green thumb!

Garden’s Got Balls

Last week, I addressed a trend in parts of America which centered around placing glass bottles on trees as a form of charm and as a bit of aesthetic. In that same article, I mentioned gazing balls. It only seems right that I should talk about these lovely garden features next! After all, there’s more to gardening in witchcraft than just the plants or the containers. It’s also the additional features that can add or affect the magic that you’re using as a whole!

First, for those new to gardening, or witchy gardening, gazing balls are glass or metallic spheres placed in gardens for various reasons, whether magical or simply for aesthetics. Their popularity can be traced back to their height in Victorian society, where gazing balls were not only aesthetically pleasing, but also incredibly functional. The polished reflective surfaces allowed chaperones to unobtrusively watch over young lovers in courtship, while the servant class could place the spheres in strategic locations in which they can more easily see a room and provide needed service without having to interrupt their employers.

Like many aspects of the Victorian era, there were some more mystical qualities to this practice, as well. First, gazing balls were also referred to as witch balls, because like the blue bottle trees, they were said to capture malevolent spirits and witches who caught their reflections in the surface. When hit by the light of the sun, the spirits would burn away. It was important to keep the sphere clean, because if the glass broke or got dirty, the spirits could find a way out.

Though witches won’t be caught inside of them as a result of the reflection (I should know… I love gazing balls, and I’m still here instead of in some shiny ball somewhere), witches have used reflective spheres for other reasons! And this is where we turn to how a garden can be made witchy with these lovely decorations!

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball

Gazing into crystal balls and other reflective surfaces is a practice referred to as scrying. It’s a form of divination that allows for intuitive and subconscious interactions that can help the diviner consider various outcomes to a situation for the sake of finding a wiser course. For many witches, it helps to be in a comfortable place to do so. As such, placing a gazing ball in a garden is a wonderfully discreet way to practice divination.

Like the blue bottle trees, it’s possible to use blue spheres as well, for both protection from malevolent spirits and the Evil Eye and for good luck.

Consider the different materials available and the different colors available for gazing balls, and pair them with your intent and the purpose of your garden. If it’s a garden for prosperity and health, for instance, placing a white gazing ball may enhance that energy for that garden by providing that association for you each time you look at it or gaze into it during garden meditations. If you are maintaining a faerie garden, having multiple gazing balls of various sizes and colors can be a great way to attract friendly fae to your garden.

If you’re of the crafty sort, you need not have to buy fancy gazing balls. Instead, it’s fairly easy to make your own by taking an old lamp globe and painting it, as well as using strong glues to add stones, glitter, and other decorations! I’ve seen homemade gazing balls with faerie silhouettes, flat-bottomed marbles, and even glowing lights on the inside! The possibilities are fairly endless with such a project!

May all your harvests be bountiful! )O(

I think a mistake a lot of novice designers make when coming up with game settings - whether for computer games or tabletop games - is trying too hard to make them make sense.

The thing is, “does this make sense?” is coming at it from the wrong direction.

Game settings don’t have to justify themselves that way: gameplay always comes first. You start with a premise that supports your desired mode of play, then work backwards to arrive at the broader setting.

Like, if your gameplay requires that everybody travel about in giant plastic hamster balls?

Then your task in terms of setting design is not to try and devise a society that would logically result in hamster-ball-based transportation - if you do that, you’re forgetting which is to be the master.

Rather, treat people traveling about in giant hamster balls as a given, like the law of gravity, and imagine what a society defined by hamster-ball-based transportation would look like.

It’s critical that you never allow yourself to get sidetracked with explaining or justifying the central gameplay-enabling premise (e.g., why people would use this mode of travel in the first place); if something resembling an explanation happens to spontaneously emerge in the process of filling out your game’s setting, hey, bonus, but it’s not required, and trying to force one is both wasteful and counterproductive.

It can be a difficult adjustment if you’re accustomed to approaching worldbuilding from a prose fiction background, but trust me, your game settings will benefit enormously for it.