Plague never rests for long.
The plague doctor moves through dark cities, his heavy cloak rustling with each step, his leather shoes a whisper on the damp streets.Â The world groans with sickness, and where there are labored breaths, aching shivers under blankets, and disease-dizzied minds, the doctor will go.
Birds bring plague, they say.Â Birds, cats, rats; mankind always distrusts animals first, and only later turns on itself.Â The doctor wears his birdlike mask â€“ bone-white, stained with the sweat and sputum of death â€“ to draw out the sickness, to call it back to the birds that brought it.Â It also protects him from the contagion, the rattling coughs and fevered skin of the dying, the decay of the already-gone.
In his travels (and he has traveled a long time, a great distance: plague never rests), the doctor has encountered and trapped a fiery soul: a small sprite, brightly burning.Â She lives under glass: she is both his prisoner and his patient, and he protects her from the dangers of disease while using her light to guide him through the darkened streets.Â It is not a mutual arrangement.Â The doctor does not care.
In every city, there are revelers â€“ those who are determined to dance despite the dying.Â They hold parties and fancy dress balls, laughing en masque as if disguise can hide them from the ravages of disease.Â In a low-lit side street, the doctor encounters two such elegant beauties: shining, gaily-wrapped like gifts, carefree in their party gowns.Â Carefree, at least, until they stumble upon the doctor with his lantern.Â They react with horror, and flee into the nightâ€¦but the plague is never far from them, and it is a swift stalker.
On birdsâ€™ wings, they say.Â Or on the scuttling feet of rats.Â Or on the curled tails of swine.Â The plague doctor knows no millennium, no century; there is always disease.Â There are always fevered sweats and hacking coughs, bodies aching with sickness, and the doctor will always go â€“ out into the night, holding his lantern, his fiery prisoner guiding his way, to draw out disease.Â Plague never rests for long.
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Ryanâ€™s recent post and upcoming vacation pushed me to go on and write this.Â Iâ€™ve been sitting on it for a while, waiting for Halloweenâ€¦and what do you know, Halloweenâ€™s just around the corner.
The plague doctor outfit â€“ down to the shoes â€“ and the lantern both come from Hasendow, by Aragane Nishi.Â Hasendow is one of my absolute favorite stores in SL, and this costume is a great example of Aragane Nishiâ€™s exquisite eye for detail.Â The slightly ragged eyes and beautifully painted and shadowed surface of the bird-head mask give it the look of bone, while the fabric draping around the back of the head and the neck have the softness and weight of heavy velvet.Â The hat, too, has excellent shape, shading, and the look of actual fabric.
This is carried to the cloak, which is in three separate attachments (spine, left shoulder, right shoulder), to give the proper coverage and movement as you walk.Â Not only is the fabric of the cloak excellently crafted, but it moves perfectly when you move, and the way it hangs â€“ just over the arms, but not hiding them, and flowing with your own AOâ€™s movement â€“ is gorgeous.
The suit itself, like Hasendowâ€™s other offerings, comes on several layers, allowing you to wear the full jacket and skirt (creating a long overcoat) or only a shirt with the trousers, which are belted (the jacket hides the belt).Â The shirt and jacket have cloth-covered buttons all the way down, which â€“ as usual â€“ are done with excellent, subtle detail, the shadows giving them dimension.Â Additionally, the fabric of the suit is very well done, its stripes suggesting the weave of the wool.
And the lantern!Â It comes with its own animation, allowing the doctor â€“ or anyone else, as it is sold separately â€“ to carry the little captive fire through the darkness.Â It can be carried in the left or the right hand, and you can turn the pixie dust particles on or off with a single click.Â The fairy is beautiful, and she moves: small movements, little shifts of her legs or wings, to appear more lifelike.Â The lantern itself is beautifully crafted, and not overly shiny in a way that would take away from the fairy herself.
My only complaints arenâ€™t actually complaints.Â The shoes come with the costume, and are shoes, not primsâ€¦but for non-prim shoes, theyâ€™re not too shabby.Â Also, the trousers donâ€™t come with prim cuffs â€“ none of Aragane Nishiâ€™s trousers do â€“ but his clothes are so well made, heâ€™s one of the few designers in SL that can get away with it.Â The look is excellent.
Photography by Marten Webwyre.