Blood rains from the cloudy web
On the broad loom of slaughter.
The web of man grey as armor
Is now being woven; the Valkyries
Will cross it with a crimson weft.
Valkyrie are the agents of the gods, flying over conflicts to pluck the Heroic Dead and bring them to the Halls where they will pass their days practicing and carousing in preparation for the End of the World. Foster Daughters of the One Eyed God, even as the Heroic Dead are foster sons, they serve and seek and weave in a world build by blood and wisdom. Associated with ravens and swans, Valkyrie are often depicted with winged cloaks or riding flying horses.
My Valkyrie wings are animated and, tragically, a gacha prize. Lassitude & Ennui are selling these amazing Bento-animated wings at the Gacha Garden, and the black and gold I'm showing off are one of the two rares. I managed to snag the rares along with almost all of the commons (if you have an extra blue - call me!) and have been enjoying them ever since. The animation comes in fast or slow varieties and the wing HUD also allows for posing the wings statically to make one's pictures more dramatic. As a wing aficionado, I'm smitten; the quality of the feathers and wing placement is Lassitude & Ennui's usual perfection, and the only sadness is that since they're rigged, they can't be resized. I'd love these in a variety of sizes and with more colors, and I sincerely hope this isn't Lassitude & Ennui's last foray into animal additions.
Starting out my focus on the variety of items available from Genre for their Viking event is this rezzable prop from Nacht featuring three swords point down into a patch of dark ground. It's based on the Sverd i fjell of Norway, commemorating the battle which unified all of Norway into a single country under the rule of Harald Fairhair. The in-world swords are as black as the bronze ones in Norway but lack some of the pitting cause by water and weather. Sverd i fjell rezzed quite large, but the mesh is resizable and the land impact drops quickly; I had trouble at first finding the bounding box, but if you keep zooming out it will show up. Since it's editable, I admit to some temptation of trying different textures on it; one of the advantages of Second Life is that we can take something quite realistic and elevate it to the fantastic, and I'd love to see what the swords would look like made of glass, or gold, or the hearts and hopes of the Norse people.
While I was off the grid, Sn@tch decided to start making hair - and it's a ton of fun. Inge is a charming updo with two long braids, and an additional, optional comb for decoration. There are standard and large options, and the fit was good except for where it overlapped slightly with my ears, a common issue when one has ears as enormous as mine! I especially appreciate the gentle curve of the braids over the shoulder, though; they move well despite being a tricky style, and the realism is really top notch. Both the hair and comb are color change via separate HUDs; the comb has ten options and is the same while the hair comes in five types with fourteen textures each. My only texture complaint is the grievous lack of a rainbow ombre - I weep that I can't have brilliant rainbow braids like any good Valkyrie should!
This +XAnSA+ collar would work well in overlapping communities, like Celtic inspired communities or Gor. I love how customization it is via the HUD - there are five elements which can be shifted between five options along with options for posing yourself and increasing the size of it along different axis. It's also editable, meaning one could add to the variety using the greyscale as a base for individual tinting. It came linked to the chest, but I found re-setting it to the neck meant it moved better with my body; I recommend playing around with it to see what works for you.
I paired the more foreign +XAnSA+ collar with a more traditional set of paired brooches from Spyralle. Often used to hold a shawl over the shoulders or a kirtle over a dress, the double brooches were one way women had to show off their wealth and to keep small items handy. Spyralle's shield brooches come in gold and silver, and have delicately rendered beads hanging between them. The shields themselves are decorated with brightly colored stones, and there are hints of Spyralle's usual fractal ways in the center bead, which has a spiral worked into it. The effect is bright, colorful, and perfect for any Viking's party frock.
Inspired by the angular shapes of Norse Runes, Dark Passions offer up twelve styles using doubled Elhas to increase protection and make a striking pattern. The texture is wood-like with simple shades of brown and white predominating with a few striking flashes of the teal I'm showing here, or an equally vibrant red.
All of the poses I used were from *Eternal Dream*, known for their fun combinations of action poses and accessories - usually weapons. Pose and item alike are high quality, with no clipping or distorted joints despite some unusual stances. The Shieldmaiden set comes with a sword and shield; the decoration of the shield matching my Dark Passions nails in design and shade, but I focused on holding the sword and giving a slimmer silhouette. There is some unexpected back flex to some of the stances, but others have a great deal of direction and power.
Senzafine does some amazing textures for her outfits, and this two layered dress and kirtle are no different. She's kept most of the shades muted and worn, and I couldn't resist showcasing the Viking's love of blue and red, especially paired together! Most of the colors would work well together, whether you aim for something coordinated or contrasting, though the kirtle tends to be a little brighter than the softer shaded dress. The knotted decoration is consistently that shade of off-white and it either exists as a soft accent to similarly soft shades, or a clear thread of brightness through otherwise vibrant colors. Although they are packaged separately, they really work best in concert with each other.
The final touch is a set of wrapped boots from Sweet Lies Designs, shown here in a rich blue leather. Available in six colors total, the design of the boots is four tabs held in place by cork or wood buttons with a similarly hued sole. There's a subtle pattern on each of the straps which shows up best on the white version, and I like how it looks as if the leather's been embossed but not otherwise decorated. They fit easily out of the box - I simply took off my shoes and they took over at the ankle - but also include an alpha layer. They're rigged, so you don't have to worry about placing them, and yet modify-ok in case you need an unusual shade. I love the growing trend of clothing being modify-ok; I sometimes want to accomplish some oddly colored ends, and being able to tint quality items to match is a blessing.
Genre is open for a couple of more weeks, so make sure to swing by and check out all of these Viking items, plus a whole lot more!
Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Tattoo: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: Sn@tch, Inge (Genre)
Eyes: .:Soul:., Space Cat Eyes - Deo (Group Gift)
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Ears: .:Soul:., Uni
Lips 1: Agua, Gloss Lip in Blood
Lips 2: Mock, Rusian Red Lip Jelle
Wings: Lassitude & Ennui, Seraphim Wings (Gacha Garden)
Necklace: +XAnSA+, Celtica - Knotted Collar (Genre)
Brooch: Spyralle, Viking Double Brooch (Genre)
Body 1: SLink, Hands
Nails: Dark Passions, Koffin Nails: Shieldmaiden (Genre)
Sword: *Eternal Dream*, Shieldmaiden Sword (Genre)
Outfit: Senzafine, Brenna Dress and Brynja Kirtle (Genre)
Stockings: Stellar, In Bloom Tights
Shoes: Sweet Lies Designs, Ragnarok Boots (Genre)
Prop: Nacht, Sverd i Fjell (Genre)
Pose: *Eternal Dream*, Shieldmaiden (Genre)
Location: Lunar Eclipse
Windlight Settings: Annamaria
Water Settings: Default
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping