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Hidden charms - well, usuallyAn Intimate Matter

I have been delighted to follow the discussions in this hallowed libatorium on the great questions and pressing issues of the day, such as hats, gloves, veils etc.

In fact I was a little surprised that Mlle de Serrière should suggest that you teach that elusive subject "civilisation" as that is exactly what I thought you were doing. Perfaps she thought that we should discuss something a little more fundamental. So, with the merest hint of a blush, I propose to do precisely that.

Flattering as well as flattening, madamThe subject I raise is certainly intimate and perhaps even a touch controversial, but I should welcome the views of this Assembly of the Wise. I refer to the matter of girdles. They have not been mentioned heretofore (to borrow a delightful word from young Miss Mitzi), perhaps for reasons of maidenly modesty, or perhaps because they were not considered important.

Nevertheless, I understand that in parts of Quirinelle and in many other places a girdle is considered the essential foundation of a girl's presentation, even a girl in her teens, and also a very attractive, albeit not-normally-visible item of apparel in itself.

Whereas the reaction against this garment found in certain quarters might possibly be considered - well, not entirely sound.

What do other girls think?

With intimate curiosity,

Miss Suraline


Belladonna

Dear Editress,

I was delighted to discover that my Belladonna site was mentioned on "Aristasia Friends"! And now I have the pleasure of informing you that Belladonna is on Elektra-space once more -- I had some trouble with the bongos who were serving me, but now I have found some who are better. I hope you will mention that Belladonna is in existence once more, and today I am bringing my links page up to date so that Aristasia Friends will be included!

Eve Taganov

Webmistress, Belladonna


Click here to find out more

A Scamp Writes

Most esteemed Blonde Management,

I should be most grateful if you could inform your correspondent Miss Lindie that these august pages are not the place to refer to me as a young scamp. Quite apart from any considerations of decorum and suchlike, it does nothing to enhance the oh-so-grown-up appearance she tries to put on among her elders in these sophisticated meeting-places.

Having said that I will agree that I should have mentioned the other Creatures that appear in Pocket Monsters Cereal. They are Pikachu, Ditto and Poliwhirl. Pikachu is yellow, Poliwhirl mauve and ditto Pink. Oddish is green. Lindie says that is the only way you can possibly tell them apart. But really, a little imagination is required, you know.

Anyway, Oddish is by far the cutest, as I have had occasion to mention heretofore.

Miss Mitzi

I am afraid Blonde Management maintains a position of strict neutrality in sororal disputes. You can go and squirt her if you like. But please, not in the Coctail Bar - they are a bit fussy there, and I am sure the Blonde Barmaid would like the opportunity to spank some one instead of being spanked.


Delightful girls, delightful drinks, delightful conversation

Phakes and Phonies

I really think some of the pictures on this site are being tampered with. The jinky veil picture was undeniably delightful, but the wording was highly suspect. Fredericks? What an outlandish name! Who ever heard such a word? And Hollywood - no doubt there is a town of that name somewhere, but might we not suspect that the in this instance it is actually a play on Ivywood - you know, the place where they make all those photoplays?

What do others think?

Miss Isalene


The Keep-inTouch Club

From the 15th of June, Blonde Management and some others involved with Girls' Town will be away. This will mean that Girls' Town will probably be dormant, with no one to tend its civic needs.

However the kind pettes at aristasia.com have offered us the use of their special server to create a private posting list. What this means is that if you send us your Elektrapost address we will be able to send bulletins to all members containing some of the material that would normally appear at Girls' Town.

That way we can all keep in touch while Girls' Town is asleep.

Just click on the button below and send us your elektrapost address and we will sign you up to the new posting list when it is ready. Needless to say, your address will not be given to anyone else - including other members of the Club


Mädchen in Uniform - the Novel

There are actually several works to be considered here. There is the stage play Mädchen in Uniform and the photoplay of the same name made from the stage play. There also now appears to be another photoplay made in Quirinelle (which, from the poster, looks fascinating).

However, the novel - which was, I believe, written after the stage play is not called Mädchen in Uniform but The Child Manuela, and I believe tells the story of Manuela's life from edarly childhood until the events of the play. The matter of the play forms only the last part of the book. That at least is what I seem to remember.

If we can each obtain copies of the book, it might be a pleasant idea to read it together.

Miss Isalene


Response à Miss Barbara

Ma chère Miss Barbara,

Your image is certainly quite stylish, and you are right: I could indeed offer some insights into the way a French lady would consider the uses of the veil in an all-feminine company. This being, however, a venue for Aristasians of all ages, I will keep my counsel for now. Perhaps as time passes and the site matures into several meeting places (a school, perhaps, would be a first addition), I will share my thoughts on such a piquant subject.

Sincerely,

Mlle de Serrière

In a school? Oh la-la!

Perhaps we had better not read Mädchen in Uniform after all. It is giving people ideas!


Response à Miss Gillian

My dear Miss Gillian (for I take it is you who bade me that gracious welcome),

I am glad to see the academic standards in Aristasia have not been relaxed since my last visit to it. I have had the pleasure of reading the extract of The Feminine Universe posted in your site, and must say that its piercing insights go much along the lines of my own thoughts. It is obvious that girls of all kinds will come visit Girl�s Town in the coming weeks, but if at least some of them discover the radiant "Weltanschauung" that emanates from it, some valuable seeds may be sown. I personally intend to obtain a copy of The Discarded Image with the greatest brevity.

As I believe in the importance of the commerce of ideas, I have a references to offer to all blue-stockinged Aristasins: a book by Mr. P. Hitchens. Its rather dramatic title, "The Abolition of Britain". Thoughtfully considered, however, it is perhaps a most apposite title. If Aristasia ever resolves to open an academic centre, I believe a great deal of it could be used to teach that elusive subject, "civilisation", that seems so much amiss in the Pit.

Et c'est tout pour l'instant. A bientôt.

Mlle de Serrière


Veiling Can Be Fun

Mysterious or merry? The most ambiguous accessory aveilable!A thousand welcomes to Mlle de Serrière. Some Gallic chic is precisely what we were wanting, and such a charming example thereof.

Miss Gillian, darling - there is nothing silly in a brunette's being captivated by the mystery and magic of a veil. Brunettes can be romantics too, you know. And should be in my opinion.

So I hope no one will think me iconoclastic if I demonstrate that veils are not always mysterious and shiveracious, but can sometimes be quite jinky. Not normally, I grant you, but here is a picture I found that captures the veil in its lighter mood.

I hope you all like it as much as I do, and if it gives one girl the courage to try a veil, I shall not have sent it in vain.

For I should just love to meet one of you in a veil.

And umm - does anyone have any thoughts on the subject of kissing through a veil. I confess the idea thrills me.

>blush<Perhaps Mlle de Serrière can give us a delightful French perspective on the subject.

Miss Barbara

Why, Miss Barbara - how a blush can suit a brunette!


Book Club Revisited

Maybe we really don't need to organize a book club. Instead, maybe we should all just try to read the books that come up in conversation here at the Cocktail Lounge and discuss them. Maybe we should all visit our local libraries and try to find copies of Mädchen in Uniform. Perhaps Miss Nicola could post the author's name. Of course, we should only do this if we are feeling very strong or have the guiding hand or a strong brunette to help us through it. Could there be a brunette schoolmistress right here in the Cocktail Lounge to help us blondes through this difficult book?

Thank you very much.

Miss Johannah


Enchant�e de faire votre connaissance

Dear girls,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Claude de Serriere, and I come from what in Tellurian terms is called "France". Some days ago I received a very kind note from Miss Miralene to the effect that the Aristasian society was, once again, active. Being an admirer of the Aristasian... shall I say "tradition"?, I felt compelled to visit, and I must say I feel quite impressed. Ladies, your attention to norm and your healthy curiosity is to be commended.

While perusing the postings in Girls' Town, I have had frequent occasion to smile, but perhaps the most touching intervention has been the one in which Miss Gillian describes the polity of Aristasia and uses that gilded term, the Dance of the Cosmos...

I am sure Miss Gillian understands when I say that some fond Elizabethan memories were awakened by her words.

Well, I do not wish to outstay my welcome, so I will leave the thread by now. Ladies, I hope to see this society grow and blossom as it deserves.

A bientôt

Mlle de Serrière

Your welcome, dear Mlle de Serrière, is one that could not easily be outstayed. The Dance of the Cosmos is very much an Aristasian concept - even in the "modern" West our ways of thinking are in many respects far closer to those of much older societies in Telluria. This becomes clearer if one reads The Feminine Universe.


Raihiralan

You mentioned the word raihiralan in your recent reply about the Politics of Harmony. I was under the impression that Raihiralan is a language. Am I wrong?

Miss Gillian

You are not wrong. Raihiralan is actually an adjective meaning, strictly, "of the Raihira estate" or more generally, especially in the West, "high-born" or "noble". It is, however applied to various languages or dialects derived from the Cairen language, which are spoken in various parts of the East and to a certain extent in Novaria.

True Cairen is often referred to as Raihira Cairen (the expression might be understood as meaning "High Cairen", rather akin to the expression "High German"). It is only spoken in a very few places now, and it is probable that even in those the pronunciation is not the same as in ancient times. Later dialects which hesitate to call themselves Raihira Cairen are often referred to simply as Raihira or raihiralan ditesh (raihiralan speech). The latter expression is usually abbreviated simply to Raihiralan and used as if it were the name of the language, which, indeed it has more or less become. This does not, however, affect the other and older usages of the term.


The Lady Question

It may seem a naïve question, but if the poor people in the Pit cannot find gentlemen to rule them, why do they not have ladies?

Miss Karen

Do you mean to rule them? Or in general?


Click here to find out more

That Picture Again

Any one NOT in this game?I have found a smaller but complete copy of that picture that seems to show Princess Zelda in Super Sweet Fighter (how nice that you all adopted my suggestion about that name). As you see it shows very clearly that Princess Peach is also there, on the far right, so there can be no confusion between the two.

Miss Barbara

Veterans of the Theatre of Life will know that the best way to know if two characters are played by the same person is to try to get them to stand together in the same room - so your logic is sound. Though nobody would have thought the other one was Princess Peach, as Princess Peach is not a Shia-maiden and hasn't pointy ears. Though I suppose you never know with personae.


Name the Milky Parties!

But Mitzila, you little scamp! You didn't tell us who the other three Pocket Monsters are, apart from your dearly-beloved Oddish! Not that I disagree about Oddish at all. I am an oddish-fan par excellence. But you'll never become a junior reporter on the Game Friends Courier at this rate

Miss Lindie


Recognition at Last!

Darling Oddish!I really must just pop in and tell you the most exciting thing! Today in a little shop in Verentaly, Novaria, we found Pocket Monsters Cereal! Yes there really is such a thing. It is in the most glorious box with gold writing on the front. The cereral is sugary and crunchy and has coloured marshmallow bits in the shape of four pocket monsters. Now if this wasn't enough to make you pop (with excitement, silly, not over-eating!), one of those four is Oddish.

Now I think Oddish is entirely neglected and overlooked. Even my Pocket Monster quilt which has nearly all of the original creatures on it has no Oddish. Oddish is the cutest and the best, and now Chelloggs, at least has begun to recognise that.

Anyway, do rush out and get your Pocket Monsters cereal because it is a Limited Edition and only lasts two months - and the front of the box is so jolly you can cut it out and pin it up in your bedroom if your blonde Mummie will let you.

Mitzi Marenkhe


Delightful girls, delightful drinks, delightful conversation

Politics of Harmony

It is fascinating to hear the peaceful and consensual nature of politics in Aristasia. Is this because Aristasia is something of an "ideal world"? In a real world, are not politics necessarily contentious? What would an Aristasian think of modern British politicians?

Miss Gillian

But what world could be realler than Aristasia? Certainly it is not true that politics must necessarily be contentious. Partly the problem in Telluria is that a patriarchal society becomes increasingly dominated by Vikhe (Mars), the principle of conflict. But even in Telluria the concept of politics - which should be merely the art of managing the State - as an arena of conflict is a relatively recent one. Let me quote a very eminent and wise Tellurian scholar, the late Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy:

A democracy is a government of all by a majority of proletarians; a soviet, a government by a small group of proletarians; and a dictatorship, a government by a single proletarian. In a traditional and unanimous society there is a government by a hereditary aristocracy, the function of which is to maintain an existing order, based on eternal principles, rather than to impose the views or arbitrary will (in the most technical sense of the word, a tyrannical will) of any "party" or "interest".

In this sense, Aristasia must be considered precisely a "traditional and unanimous society". As to modern politicians this "proletarian" aspect would be crucial to the Aristasian mind. No Aristasian could accept as a ruler, or potential ruler, any maid who was not raihiralan - in Tellurian terms I suppose the nearest equivalent would be "a ruler who is not a gentleman". Which modern British politician could be called, by any stretch of the imagination, a gentleman? I confess I am not familiar with the individuals concerned, but I rather doubt if any could.


What is it?

You say that this is not The Looking Glass - but what is The Looking Glass? Have I missed something?

Miss Karen

There are two Western Empire newspapers in Aristasia. Most people are aware of The Morning Letter which is extremely respectable and indeed quasi-official. The other is The Looking Glass. It is - well, not as respectable as The Morning Letter. It is certainly not scandalous by Pit standards (one would hope not!) but it tends to deal in gossip and is often regarded as a "shop-girls' paper" though in truth rather more people read it than just shop girls. It has a lot of pictures and its masthead is red instead of being entirely black and white like a respectable paper.

Its most famous feature is the "Ladyton Journal" of Miss Luella Winchell which reports events and hearsay in and around the Imperial capital - often involving people far from Ladyton itself. Miss Winchell famously once spent a month as a maid in punitive service after a court case in which she was proven to have unjustly defamed the characters of two highly placed persons whom we refrain from naming.


Nor iron bars a cageThe other Mädchen

I have managed to find a poster of the Quirrie version of the film Madchen in Uniform. I think it must be quite a rare film, with perhaps a restricted release, as all the film shops I visited in order to find some sort of poster only had the one from the Vintesse film. Perhaps this is why our Blonde Management has not seen it yet.

I feel I ought to recommend the book too, although perhaps blondes should only read it when feeling particularly strong, especially towards the end. It made me very weepy for days after, and even my brunette friends were affected by it.

Regards,

Miss Nicola

We never even knew this version existed. How very exciting. I hope we shall see it some day.


Elections and Parliaments in Aristasia

I understand there is some sort of election taking place in Telluria somewhere. It made me wonder whether there are such things as elections in Aristasia - and are there parliaments?

Miss Gillian

Politics in Aristasia is entirely different from that in Telluria. The party system does not exist, and the entire connotation of the word "politics" as implying "conflict" or "social change" is unknown. Politics (or, more usually, polity) means, in Aristasia, simply the art and science of managing State affairs.

The rulers of the Aristasian nations are their respective Queens who are advised by non-elected advisors, somewhat the equivalent of senior civil servants - that is professional managers of Sstate who help the Queen to do what she wants to do.

The job of the Queen, as titular and political Head of State, is essentially to facilitate the Dance of the Cosmos as it is reflected in the microcosm of her nation - not to change the steps, either according to her own ideas or to the latest fashions. Obviously certain changes must sometimes be made in adaptation to changing conditions, but these are rarely controversial and always tactful. It is the essence of the State to be literally stately. That is what Princesses are trained for from the earliest age.

There are parliaments in most nations, but these are of much less importance than in Telluria. They debate certain subjects and make formal recommendations to the Queen which are usually acted upon, though this is entirely at the Royal discretion. Again these recommendations are rarely controversial.

Most parliaments do not have general elections, but a representative is elected when required - when one resigns or dies. In many cases, though, a representative will serve for a certain limited perion such as five years, but it is not usual that all places should be elected at once. The limitation is more because the duty of service is seen as one that should have some term than to limit the power of a member or faction. Though some keen parliamentarians stand for re-election again and again. The job is not too arduous as most parliaments convene only a few times a year.

Election processes vary from district to district, some representatives being elected by a small number of hereditary electors, some by a greater or smaller group of the population. In a minority of districts there is universal adult suffrage or universal brunette suffrage - or occasionally universal blonde suffrage. But it should be remembered that these elections are not political in the sense of being party-oriented. They are merely an excercise in choosing a good individual for the position. Members are chosen not usually for their "policies" but for their wisdom, experience, family background and so on. An argument against universal suffrage is that candidates are too likely to receive votes for superficial reasons such as charm, personal attractiveness or stylish dressing rather than more important qualifications.


Hot Not Gossip

I don't know if Gloria has been here before but although Magdalena says she's never been here I have it on rather good authority that she has- a rendez-vous with a certain blonde I do believe- not that I am gossiping or anything!

Regards,

Ivy

Of course not. This isn't The Looking Glass.


Leading Roles

In discussing roles one might adopt in Aristasian Life Theatre, you suggest "A Milchford undergraduette? A shop girl? A schoolgirl? A maid? An actress?" But what if one wanted to play a schoolmistrect, a District Governess, even a prefect? Would that be possible for a newcomer, or would she have to undergo some sort of training before adopting an authoritative role?

Miss Karen

If you wish to adopt an authoritative role this can usually be done from a very early stage. Not a District Governess, perhaps (though if anyone wants to have a go at playing a D.G. in Girls' Town she is welcome to contribute as such) certainly a prefect, and in school Life Theatre it is usual for most girls to take a turn as schoolmistress, as happens in Children of the Void


Delightful girls, delightful drinks, delightful conversation

Oh, but how delightful!Charming Photographs

I've just had some photographs developed and thought I would bring them in to show all, I hope you don't mind- none of the District Governess though, I am still looking for that (yes I too would like a gold star!). The first is a photograph of two chums from Vintesse who are fellow students at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The blonde is Miss Gloria Teakston who is a keen botanical painter and the brunette is Miss Magdalena Laurel, a biology student. It was taken just before we went off on a hike in Kadoria, hence the rather unglamourous attire.

The second is of two Vintesse starlets we were lucky enough to spot on a trip to Gloria's hometown of Castleford, which is situated by the large Westmere lake. The starlets were promoting a film and it was good fun to watch them turn somersaults along the beach. We took the trip last week after a month of ghastly revison for horrendous exams- I do think that blondes ought to be excused from exams, they are beastly.

So now I have all of the glorious summer free to trot about without much care except whether to adopt the rather fun Quirrie poodle skirts this summer or to stick with my ordinary Trent dresses, a choice I will have many shopping hours to think about!

Regards,

Ivy

What utterly charming photographs. I seem to have met some of these people before! Not the starlets but the even more charming ones.

Keeping in trim to musicGold stars, by the way, have not been forgotten (in case any one was thinking they had). Both Blonde Management and Design Department are working on them. In fact we are thinking of having stars of various colours to collect - rather like a lightgame.

Watch this space!


What's in Two Names?

What a glorious veiled lady. Yes, I feel a veil is the most mystyerious accessory too - in fact when you called it in your popup The Mysterious Accessory I found myself almost taken aback to hear it referred to as an accessory at all. Gloves are an accessory and a charming one. So are handbags. But a veil seems something almost to secret and sacred, to magical and mysterious to be an accessory. Something that marks out a woman as a strange and beautiful Creature Apart.

What a swoonworthy-looking film!Well, I know it is an accessory, but does anyone know what I mean - or am I just being silly without even being a blonde?

Oh, and I was thinking about names - you spoke of that picture of Sai Sucri as "li Diati Sushuralinhe" and explained that "Sushuralinhe" means Sucri-like - but isn't it also a name?

And speaking of the so-excitingly-named Mädchen in Uniform wherein Manuela was played by Fraulein Hertha Thiele - isn't Hertha the name of one of the Old Aristasian months?

And still speaking of that excitingly-named film, I have just seen a wonderful poster for it, which I think you will all agree is absolutley spine-shivering, nicht wahr? Perhaps it is coming to a light-theatre near us soon!

Well, one can but hope. Apparently it is a terribly romantic film, in that wonderful, wistful Vintesse style about a schoolgirl who falls in love with a schoolmistress.

And you see - I can write about other things than lightgames!

Miss Gillian

Sushuralinhe - usually in the westernised form Sushuraline - is certainly a name - usually of course a blonde's name. Hertha is the name of the eleventh month of the Old Calendar, roughly corresponding to January, and also of the Angel of the home and hearth-fire.

And what a spine-tingling poster indeed! I should certainly love to see the film.


The Mysterious AccessoryVeiled in Mystery

I have just found this delightful picture of the Quirinelle actress Romy Schneider - some pettes might remember her from the film Mädchen in Uniform. I was quite taken a back by this and felt that I simply had to share it. There is something about a veil that is so mysterious, I never quite manage to pull it off myself.

Regards,

Miss Nicola

But you know, a veil is much more mysterious if you don't pull it off!

I have seen a delightful picture of Fraulein Hertha Thiele as Manuela in Mädchen in Uniform but sadly I have not yet seen the film. It was made in Vintesse I believe, and I am not sure if it has been released in my native Quirinelle - or was this a different version from Quirinelle itself?

Have any of our own Maidens in Uniform seen it?


Preparing for the Theatre of Life

We said a while ago that one must prepare one's Aristasian background before entering the Theatre of life, and we have received some enquiries as to how one should go about this. Since this is a matter of importance to all of us, whether we are planning to attend real-life events or to create an Aristasian character in Elektraspace, here are some instructions which we hope you will find of value.

1. Decide your Sex

Whether an Aristasian is blonde or brunette is fundamental to her identity. She will be regarded very differently according to which she is. First, remember that in Telluria your actual hair-colour has nothing whatever to do with it. I suppose most of us know this in theory by now, but I remember when I first became an Aristasian wondering whether I really ought to dye my hair to go with my sex and whether it would suit me. It was some time before I fully realised that this was entirely unnecessary and even irrelevant. One of our more prominent Aristasian coulples consits of a raven blonde and a lemon brunette.

Then how do you decide? Many of us know immediately which we are. One test, somewhat humorous but quite accurate, is "When you think of a kiss, do you picture yourself kissing or being kissed - if the former you are brunette, if the latter you are blonde." It isn't quite as simple as that - there are some very forward blondes these days! - but it is a good initial guide.

Preparing a face to meet a new worldMost girls have more than one persona, and many have blondes and brunettes in their repertoire (in Aristasia-in-Tellurian slang, such a girl is called an ambi). Others, while they have many personae will always play the same sex (such a person is called a plenary blonde or plenary brunette).

In the beginning, however, remember that your options are open. Whatever you choose, you are not "stuck with it" - you can change, develop different personae later, even alter the sex of your current one.

For the beginning just try to get the feel of your character and see what sex she seems to be.

2. Decide your Background

Now you know what sex you are, find out a little more about yourself. What province do you come from - Quirinelle (akin to the 1950s)? Trent (similar to the 1930s)? Arcadia (often Victorian)? Give yourself a home town. What was your blonde mother like? Where was she from? What about your brunette mother? Have you blonde or brunette sisters? What was your school like? Was it single-sex or mixed? How did you get on there?

And what now? Are you a military brunette? A blonde of leisure (Aristasia has a large leisured class - so you may well not actually have a "job")? A Milchford undergraduette? A shop girl? A schoolgirl? A maid? An actress? Do you live with your mothers? Alone? Are you married? Who are the interesting people in your life? Think of an incident or two that has happened to your character that she might tell about in conversation.

Your character might be wholly or partly a "translation" of your Tellurian life, or she may be completely imaginary - in any case she will always reflect something special in you.

The important thing is that you are building an Aristasian character who may be you or may be quite different - or may be something between the two - a character whom you can take to cinema outings, to school or to whatever Aristasian events you may wish to attend. This is the first step to taking part in the magical adventure of Life Theatre.

Do you need help?

You may want help in constructing your character. Advice on aspects of Aristasian life. Remember you can always post questions in the Cocktail bar or discuss your character privately. Don't be shy - we are here to help.


Delightful girls, delightful drinks, delightful conversation

An Archivist Writes

Well, actually only your Blonde Management. We have archived again, so now we have seven volumes. This one was getting so big it was starting to cause problems. Hope it didn't make your browser pop. Anyway now it is extra slim just to make up. If the page seems short just click "Continue to follow the conversation backwards" at the end - the rest of it is there!

My how we are growing.

The Blonde Management


Pink Bows Explained

The Normal Power of a blonde is surely charm. So this brunette thinks that a pink ribbon on the wrist of a blonde would not only enhance her natural and very great charm in a visual way (which surely it would) but also in some mysterious and magical way known only to the players of lightgames and other such mystical persons.

Miss Iralene

My, but you are so galant, Miss Iralene!


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So Many Things

Oh! I have seen and done so many things in my quest to rescue the Oracle of Seasons. Not that I have seen hide nor hair of the flame-haired dancer herself. She, as you will recall, is imprisoned within a blue crystal, isolated from the seasons whose dance she controls - which is why the seasons are changing all the time. When I awoke the Maku Tree, she told me I must gather the Eight Essences of Nature, each one hidden in a dark and dangerous dungeon - and those dungeons themselves hard to find and in strange, wild places.

Maple the trainee witchI now have two of the essences, so I am really rather clever. But so many things have happened. I have been bumped into on various occasions by a clumsy little trainee witch called Maple. How she ever gother Broomstick Licence I cannot imagine. I hope she will prove useful later as so far she seems a nuisance and not a very polite one either. Brunette drivers!

I have followed the strangest looking girl with a pink bow (I mean, she had one - does that mean she is a blonde?) I had to keep out of sight or she would disappear, but finally I traced her to a strange vortex in the earth which led me to the underworld land of Subrosa. The Subrosians were the strangest people all dressed in cloaks and hoods. They were very upset because a Temple had fallen in their land causing the underground volcanoes to misbehave. Not that they minded this as much as you or I might, since they enjoy bathing in hot lava.

But a Temple - could it be the missing Temple of Seasons? I joined a line-dancing class in Subrosa. Even though it was on the Gamebaby it felt rather like real line dancing and I was almost as bad at it as I would have been in real life. No quite though as I eventually won a prize - a boomerang - which is essential for continuing my journey.

I am now very well equipped. From my arrival with nothing I now have a sword, shield, boomerang, shovel, power bracelet, and many other useful things. And four kinds of magical seeds (mystical seeds, ember seeds, scent seeds and pegasus seeds - the latter make one run faster) and five different magical rings. Mostly I got the rings from trees I planted myself. One gets Gasha Seeds from certain places and plants them in soft earth and later when they grow the trees bear many curious fruits from rings to fairies. Oh yes, there are fairies, Wendy! Sometimes one finds them in fairy caverns and they heal one and replenish all one's life.

And the Temple was the Temple of Seasons - I met the wonderful Spirit of the Seasons. She told me to love all the four seasons, and she gave me the Rod of Seasons and told me to visit all the four towers of the Temple. I was surprised to receive this precious Rod so early, for it contains a fragment of Din's power and allows one to change the season in the area near to one. I could only reach the Tower of Winter however, and spoke to the white and beautiful Spirit of Winter. She gave my Rod the Power of Winter, so as yet I can only change the season to Winter. This, however helped me to find new places back overground. An impasable lake could be frozen and crossed bushy obstructing trees could be made bare and passed through. And once I created a snowdrift and climbing it descended into the house of a blonde named Holly - down the chimney. She gave me a shovel to clear her path and let me keep it afterwards. That has proved very useful.

I have met Rikki the Kangaroo who had lost her gloves. I magaged to recover them for her and she took me in her pocket and bounced me to new places. I have drained the Spool Swamp, ridden a mine cart and met Moosh, a blue bear with wings who has carried me over difficult places and who can be called by a magic flute.

Now I have found a new entrance to the Underworld, by which I may be able to approach another tower of the Temple of Seasons.

So you see - this is a game where something is happening just all the time.

Wish me luck,

Miss Lindie


Delightful girls, delightful drinks, delightful conversation

Pink Bows

Apropos of this matter of putting pink ribbons about the wrists of blondes, do you realise that in the Gold and Silver Games, a Pink Bow enhances Normal-type moves.

Now what exactly might that mean in the case of a blonde?

Miss Barbara


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Notes from the Land of Holodrum

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is quite delightful. The seasons keep changing from silvery winter to green spring, from glorious summer to golden autumn. And when they change (usually as one moves from one locatiuon to another) a lovely art-neo motif representing the new season floats across the screen.

The music is delightful - reminiscent of the other Zeldas - sometimes the same, sometimes similar - gentle and idyllic for the peaceful village, stirring for the dangerous outer lands, spooky for the dungeon levels and so forth. The story is very engaging and the game surprises and delights constantly with its prettiness and ingenuity.

Naryu - the Oracle of AgesIncidentally one plays a cute little creature in green and wearing a pixie-cap. You are called by your own name (or any you choose).

I shall not write so full a diary as the Silver Diary, but shall tell you some highlights as I go along. However, here is a little narrative of the first part of the game, just to give you the flavour:

I took my leave of Impa and proceeded south toward Horon Village. Suddenly it changed to Autumn and yellow leaves were blowing in a new-sprung wind from trees that had a moment ago been bare. The seasons were truly in turmoil and the villagers seemed confused. I asked where I might find the Maku Tree and they directed me Eastwards. Before long I came to a great wooden gateway, but it was closed and barred and bore a notice saying it would only open to one who had proved her courage. The blood of the High Raihira flowed in my veins and I had no doubt I could prove my courage - but how?

I returned to the village and met many people. There was a shop - but I had no money. A clockmaker (who was looking for a special cuckoo) a biologist (who wanted light for her lamp), a jeweller, farmers and many other folk. After asking about, I discovered various pieces of information. Legend had it that one armed with a sword would gain access to the Tree. No one carried or owned a sword in the village, but it was said that in Hero's Cave by the sea a sword lay in a chest, though no one had ever found it.

Proceeding to the beach, I began to see why. The place was infested with Octorocs and giant crabs. With a sword I could have fought them off. But in order to get a sword I had to get past them. In fact I had no equipment of any kind. It was a difficult and dangerous business, but in the end I made my way to the cave entrance and working my way through the cavern (which also had its share of enemies) I found the chest and retrieved a fine wooden sword - not as good as a metal one but still highly effective in the right hands.

Coming back was much easier, and I was pleased to find that some enemies, when hit, dropped a jewel. I returned to the village rich enough to invest in a wooden shield. I then returned to the wooden gates which swung open before me, revealing the great Tree, magnificent but fast asleep.

Miss Lindie


Delightful girls, delightful drinks, delightful conversation

Novarian Questions Answered - or Not

Both Novarian games and lightgames are used quite properly. Lightgames is probably the more formal term. Novarians themselves do not in any case call then Novarian games, though I think they rather like it that the rest of us do.

As to the pronunciation. Both are used. Let me spell them Novairia and Novahria so as to distinguish between the two pronunciations. Novahria is used in Novaria itself, and mostly in the East. In the West a few generations ago it was usually pronounced Novairia, which would be the more usual Western pronunciation. Lately however, there has been a tendency in the West to consider Novahria more "correct".

Some time ago there was a correspondence on the subject in The Morning Letter begun by an academic from Kadoria who argued that there is nothing especially correct about Novahria and that Novairia is the natural Western pronunciation. The debate was never resolved - unusually for such discussions in Aristasia where, unlike Telluria, some final authority is usually quoted and accepted by all parties.

The upshot of all this is - pronounce it as you prefer - at least in the West.

Miss Veleda

P.S. Note that my "phonetic" spellings themselves are Western. In the East if a word was spelled "Novahria" the "h" would be pronounced, whereas I merely use it to indicate the quality of the preceding vowel.


Blonde Goddess

In your reply about Sucrescence you show a picture captioned - or popupped - li Diati Sushuralinhe. But surely Sushuri is a blonde angel? This one is very dark. Of course I know hair colour has nothing to do with whether one is blonde or brunette in Telluria - but surely in a picture of the Divine Essence she should have the right hue.

Karen

You are quite right. This was a tellurian picture of Venus. Can any one send us an Aristasian picture of Sucri? Incidentally, I think Sushuralinhe means "Sucri-like" so we sort of hedged our bet!


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Exciting Times

These are such exciting times, aren't they? The new Gamebaby almost on us - squeal-makingly exciting news about the Cubie. But still no Alice. So much is on the way that one becomes almost tired of talking of the Shape of Things to Come and wants something new and wonderful now. Right now. Or I shall scream.

No need to scream though. Something has come. Despite the nearness of the new baby, the old one still has some surprises up her sleeve. Not that this is entirely a surprise. But it is new and wonderful. Yes, all right. I shall come to the point.

Princess ZeldaThe new Zelda is here. Well, it isn't quite, but I have an imported one to beguile my Alicelessness. And it is so exciting. A lovely booklet with beautiful pictures of all the people one can meet. Seeds to plant. Dozens (literally dozens) of magical rings to collect, all with different powers and - oh, so many things. Zelda is one of the great games, like Pocket Monsters. A new Zelda game is an Event of Years. And all this when so much else is brewing!

Actually there are two new Zelda games - The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. They fit together and one can send data from one to the other to enhance the game. Well, don't ask me. I only have Seasons right now, so I shall tell you about that.

The first big game I ever played on my darling Baby was The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. This was not a new game, but a colour-enhanced version of a game that had been on the Gamebaby for years. Until now it was the only Zelda ever to appear on Gamebaby. I told you a Zelda was a rare event.

I played that game for months two summers ago, and found it just enchanting. I had a wonderful map and guide. This time I am going to try to play with no help, or very little. So far I am managing, but these are early days.

It is wonderful to revisit this world. It is the same, yet different. The tunes, so charming, bring back memories. The graphics, said to be similar to the earlier colour game are similar but in fact considerably better. This is a colour-only game and so can take full advantage of the machine that was then new but now is old in the rapid-flowing terms of these things!

A travelling dancer - or something more?But let me tell you what has happened. I awoke at the start of the game to the sound of faint music. I tried to turn the sound up, but it remained very faint. As I wandered Eastward it became louder, until I found myself in the camp of a travelling troupe of actresses, with their waggons and campfire. A rather wild-seeming flame-haired girl was dancing on a tree-stump. Cunningly, her hair is mid-red, so brunettes can see her as a blonde and blondes as a brunette. It seems this girl found me asleep in the woods - in a sort of coma. I could not be awoken and seemed to be having nightmares.

Now every one is glad to see me awake. The red-haired dancer, whose name is Din, has it seems, conceived an affection for me. I talk to the travellers. One is a stout lady called Impa - Impa? Surely not. Impa is tall and slender, the Amazonian nurse and bodygaurd of Princess Zelda. This must be another Impa.

I begin to dance with Din. She is enchanting, mysterious, magical. Then lightning descends out of a clear sky. Whirlwinds scatter the travellers. Din is whirled away. I know somehow that she has been chained in a distant temple by some evil outlander. Chained and then enclosed in a great blue crystal.

When I came to, only Impa was nearby. She told me that she was indeed that Impa who is the nurse and bodyguard to Princess Zelda. Is she well disguised, or have strange forces been playing with time itself? The travellers were not really a troupe of actresses, nor Din an itinerant dancer. In truth Din is the Oracle of Seasons through whose power the natural order of seasons is maintained. Princess Zelda in a magical dream had foreseen danger to her and despatched Impa to bring her to the palace in disguise. Unfortunately the terrible General Onox has found her and taken her. The aim of this evil creature is to isolate her from the world in a crystal prison so that the seasons, cut off from her influence will run wild and the world descend into darkness. Like the Pit, the General is a force of pure evil who desires chaos and darkness for their own sake.

Already, though it was spring moments ago the snow is beginning to fall and the waters freeze. The Temple of seasons itself has disappeared. Impa has been injured by the whirlwinds and she charges me to travel to Horon Village and seek the Maku Tree, the guardian spirit of nature in this place. The tree will help me on my quest to find the Temple and rescue Din, the Oracle of Seasons.

Miss Lindie


Delightful girls, delightful drinks, delightful conversation

Sucrescence

Your esteemed correspondent in the Game Friends Courier uses the word Sucrescent to describe the colour of the milky pink Gamebaby Advance. I have looked this word up in two dictionaries and cannot find it. Is it an Aristasian word? And what does it mean?

Miss Barbara

Sucrescent is an Aristasian word. It is a little hard to translate exactly as it implies a world of thought which is somewhat unusual to the modern Tellurian mind. All that in just describing a colour!

li Diati SushuralinheEssentially Sucrescent means "Pertaining to the Angel (or Genia) Sucri (Sushuri)". Sucri corresponds to the Tellurian planet and goddess Venus (Aphrodite). Both the colour pink and milk are things that correspond to Sucri, so milky pink is particularly Sucrescent.

It may seem a little strange to bring angels or deities into everyday conversation about things like games machines, but it should be understood that everything in the world is shaped by divine essences and that the seven Great Geniae are among the most salient of these essences. To see things in terms of them is natural to an Aristasian and is not considered to be profaning the sacred, but rather making sacred the things of daily life. More correctly, seeing the sacred that is already in them.

Some will ask - Is a lightgame machine inherently sacred? We should reply - did the inventor of the lightgame machine invent the colour pink? Can anyone invent a colour? No. The colours were there before we entered world. We can only use the colours that Dea has created and they will mean what they meant when She created them unless we pervert their meanings. Of colours this is clearly true, but it is also true of everything else. We cannot create forms. Forms are inherent in the Universe and before that in the Intelligence that shapes the Universe. We can only work with the forms that are - combine and manipulate them, but not create them.

Thus a story or a game or an artefact, if it is true to Form and does not pervert it, will always reflect Divine reality. The Zelda stories, which tell of high princesses and noble adventurers and the eternal conflict of good and evil are a case in point.

Incidentally, the word Vikhelic - used earlier in discussing Super Sweet Fighters - is another word of the same kind. It means "Pertaining to the Angel Vikhe". Vikhe is equivalent to the Tellurian planet and god Mars (though, of course, she is feminine), and the term "Vikhelic arts" is precisely equivalent to the Tellurian term "martial arts" - though the divine origins of the word "martial" are largely forgotten in modern Telluria.


Two Novarian Questions

1. I hear the terms lightgames and Novarian Games used. Which one is the proper term for these games?

2. Is Novaria pronounced to rhyme with area or aria?

Elizabeth


Eight Years?

Miss Veleda states that there was a period of eight years during which there was no blonde successor to the title of Shuranya of Mereton - and then it passed to a distant cousin. Isn't that awfully long? I mean surely a blonde was born in some branch of the family before eight years had passed.

Miss Karen

Apparently not. However one should realise that in Aristasia Pura the birth of a child is a rather less common event than it is in Telluria. Remember that Aristasians live much longer than Tellurians and are more resiliant against injury and disease. If they were as progenitive as Tellurians they would have been swamped centuries ago by a population explosion.


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