From Dark City

All that is gold does not glitter;
Not all who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither.
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

~ Tolkien


 Hǽth is the Hollow of the Joyeux of Spring, Dr. Adelaide-Maebh Lovelace. It's often frequented for private conversations with her, but is truly open to anyone who needs some time in nature and away from the noise and machinery of the city.


When [you] were invited over to the doctor's home it is, perhaps, not entirely what one would expect. A tall building in Queens with a view of Manhattan, a central courtyard with a skylight and interior garden, the lovely balcony. Through that space she takes the other to an artists gallery of a kind, beautiful expressionist paintings and watercolor hang on the wall. One in particular is, or at least appears to be a beautiful Monet painting, it's gentle colors speaking to lazy mornings and sunlit strolls. Water lilies and hanging branches, vibrant pinks and greens with washes of blue. Getting eye level with the painting she leans forward and whispers something to it then steps back and pulls the painting away from the wall like one would pull open a door.

This reveals a long vibrant tube of color, not unlike the one connecting the pink palace to the Beldam's realm in Coraline. When Mae steps into it she stands up and holds out her hand to help [you] through.

Exiting through the other side of the tunnel the pair come to a large meadow, small rivers of water creating little ponds where strange fish leap to catch small insects. The wind blows through the over grown glen, wild flowers raising their blooming faces towards the gentle sun. The entire place looks like it is from a children's story brook, small fantastical creatures move about this place, and miniature biomes fill every nook and cranny. Tiny homes have been built, little shrines to small and forgotten gods. It's always spring in Mae's hollow and the cherry blossoms that bloom off of hanging will trees never loose their vibrancy. The babbling brook never changes it's musical tune and far off in the distance one can almost hear the song of a calliope, still beckoning spring from what could be miles away. The farther they walk the odder it becomes until finally [you] recognize it, as [you] walk through the meadow the Hollow starts to go through it's own day and night cycle. Almost as if they are walking through a twenty four hour period in the lengths of their footsteps.

It's always spring in Mae's hollow and the cherry blossoms that bloom off of hanging will trees never loose their vibrancy. The babbling brook never changes it's musical tune and far off in the distance one can almost hear the song of a calliope, still beckoning spring from what could be miles away. Starting at a beautiful clear morning and going into a gentle afternoon and evening rain.

A perfect day. An eternally perfect day.

Off in the far distance she can see a thick forest with a theatrical moon hanging over head, a symbol of the blessing of Artemis over this Hollow.


Together they walk into the misty liminal hours of morning, the sunrise peaking over the trees. A hand carved stone path that's been over grown with small white flowers leads them to a hidden miniature lake. As they look around they see hundreds of small stained glass butterflies that flitter about. The entire area is abloom with purple flowers of varying colors, some opened for the misty sunrise and some not quite. Buds furled away from a night that surely came.

Walking along the path with the butterflies they lead [you] out into the open air of the Hollow. Trees with small purple mushrooms up the side fall away to reveal a clear meadow with a body of water nestled within. Each crystaline butterfly is different and just out of reach, though the glimmering fractals of light reflect rainbows on the pair as they walk through. The first breath of fresh air seems of freshly cut grass, flowers and that ephemeral scent of rain. There are aquatic lilies that have been planted in shallow water and alien fish swim.

In the center of all of the water, is a gazebo, formed not from metal but from the oldest tree and lone survivor from the hedge, a massive wisteria bush. Maebh ushers the other in and takes a seat, "Welcome to Hǽth, please, sit?"


[Not set yet]


Instead they stay in in the vibrant sunlit greens of a bright noon, gentle clouds roll overhead and stone steps lead to a small outdoor kitchen, a wild and free cottage garden provides color and Maebh takes a few steps forward picking up a some greenery to put together into a small meal. The large ancient trees that grow in this forest are just thick enough to provide a comfortable shade, moss grows along the trunks, mushrooms of all colors sprout and the ground is blanketed with wildflowers.

It takes a couple moments to prepare, but the Wizened puts together a few dishes with simple ingredients. A few salads, what looks like pull apart saffron and cranberry sweet bread that Mae finishes with a dusting of pistachio. This is accompanied by a small army of short bread cookies each baked with a flower pressed into it's top, the edible flowers guaranteeing a slight crunch with the snap of the biscuit. The biscuit itself is buttery and flaky falling apart moments after being placed in the mouth. Some of it seems premade, the cookies and bread seem to be something Maebh has on had, but others are being made fresh. There's a small embroidery net with A-V-E stitched clumsily into the side of a long line of fabric, a list of ingredients she needs to get from the grocery store.

This is a lived in space, built for utility, comfort and beauty. When the Joyeux finds her way back over and sets down a picnic blanket for them to sit on, pulled out from where it was hanging on a discrete clothes line.

  {Tea Time}

She offers an arm to her guest, leading them into the woods, through the crisp mists of the morning, past noon, and into the afternoon. Here, the meadow has given way to light woodland, like an old orchard. Swathes of grass between tall, elegant trees, now in full bloom. The sun hangs low over the horizon, golden light penetrating the pink-white-yellow canopy of blossom in diagonal shafts, illuminating everything beneath in dappled patches of sunlight and shadow that shift as the breeze stirs the branches above.
Scattered among the trees, sprouting from the grass, there's nature in full bloom. Drifts of pastel pink and purple wildflowers, circles of deep blue mushrooms, wide-fronded ferns.
And among the flourishing plant-life, here and there? Little stuffed dolls, bundles of cloth and hay. Done up like characters from different stories. Here a dashing knight in grey felt armour, there a grizzled PI smoking a tiny cigar made from a twist of string. The dolls go about their own business, gossiping and arguing with one another, sometimes fighting, sometimes sat merrily arm in arm. A collection of larger than life characters condensed into stuffed toys.
The chatter of the various doll-sized protagonists blends with the rest of the background noise. The chirruping of birds, water running in the distance, the wind stirring the flower-laden branches.

And eventually, the destination is reached. Set among the trees, a wooden table, surrounded by a few matching chairs. A little chest nestled among the grass and ferns nearby nearby, and on the table itself a few supplies. A teapot and cups, and - inexplicably - a handful of hand-carved wooden dice of various exotic types.


They turn off at sunset into a quaint out cropping of cherry trees a perfect little picnic having been set up, lanterns hang from above, fireflies filled with golden and blue light flitter about and Mae folds herself into a seated position in front of her tent. The fairy lights and glowing mushrooms light her almost as much as the sun does.


Further and further into the day Maebh drags them until finally they're in the far end of her domain, the place where the wild things grow and twist. The most dangerous part of her part of the hedge and the least developed. Shadows bend and twist here and the tall trees loom high and mighty overhead. In the center of a stone circle is a roughly hewn table with many piles of different tools and implements the surgeon uses to treat those in need by any means nessisary.

Borough Out of Town
Summary Private Hollow of Dr. Adelaide-Maebh Lovelace
Sphere Changeling