A while ago now, Annon was recommended by a friend as being somewhere I should consider exploring. As I rounded-out 2011 with an exploration of Black Spot, another recommendation, I thought it would be good to resume my explorations in SL at the start 2012 by visiting another recommended destination.
It is one of four sims owned and operated by Fallen Gods Inc., the others being Athan, Aear and Selidor – the last being home to the Fallen Gods store, owned by Alia Baroque. All four sims are Alia’s creations, and all are beautifully themed, presenting great opportunities to explore for romantics and photographers alike.
There are a number of arrival points within the estate; Annon’s brings you to a location just below a ruined monastary. Rezzing can take a little bit of time depending on your Viewer, but once complete, you can walk up to the ruins and explore them or admire the view across the water to the towers of an isolated castle, or out towards Athan to the south. Be careful when wandering the grounds immediately around the ruins – a lot of the rocks are phantom, so you can find yourself unexpectedly taking a rapid downward trip – especially near the waterfalls.
The monastery stands on a lonely promontory, with a semi-submerged causeway leading south and to Athan, a group of small and large islands that can be explored, and which offer an assortment of places to visit – such as the “library / chapel” lying just to the east of the main island. This offers wonderful views across the water to the monastery and castle as well as offering a place to dance (to the music of a double choired harpsichord). Go downstairs and you can peruse the library or sit in quiet contemplation in the chapel-like area, or enjoy and sit and a chat.
From here, you can also take a rowing boat (by Lia Woodget wonder), and row your way around the sims. Using this to reach the castle will take you past the Pelican, one of Lia’s tall ships, which I imagined sailing aboard from Black Spot to Athan.
The castle itself is a little odd: tall and graceful with commanding views from the towers, it’s a little cramped on the inside in places, and the spiral and straight ramps can be a little tricky for those using the default camera settings. However, the upward climb is worth it for the photo opportunities (or you can cheat by camming 🙂 ).
Down below lay the dungeons, which appear to have been converted for use as a possible club area – at least according to the Destination Guide, although there are few overt signs that this is the case.
From here, even if you used a rowing boat to reach the castle, the only way back is to fly – which is a bit of a shame in some respects – rowing or sailing would be more fun. One way back is to fly over to the monastery promontory and then use the causeway to reach Athan; you may get a bit wet, but there are good opportunities for photography along the way.
The largest island on Athan similarly offers excellent opportunities for the photographer in amongst the trees and plants, and presents a pleasant walk as you progress south towards Selidor.
At the north end of Selidor, a little to the east of the closest point between Selidor and Athan, you can grab a sailing skiff and explore – but be warned! The skiff has a habit of sinking out from under you if you stop at any point along the way!
Selidor is the home of the Fallen Gods main store, and the largest land mass in the group. The store itself is cleverly hidden, and the island is beautifully landscaped and terraformed in keeping with Annon and Athan, again offering a lot to see and enjoy.
All-in-all, there is much to see across the sims – and I’ve not really mentioned the options for romantic dancing, such as out in the bay on Athan, with the lighthouse of Aear as a backdrop – or viting the lighthouse at Aear itself.
For photographers in particular, there is a lot to recommend the estate – especially when you have the sun set to “sunset”, as I have for the majority of the pictures here. I would suggest exploring the regions with your sound turned on, as care has been taken to create a soundscape that gives an added depth to explorations.
It would be good to have more in the way of rowing / boating options to get about – flying seems to be cheating – but this is something of a minor complaint. When using both the rowing boat and the sailing skiff, I found the region crossings to be very smooth and painless (although neither type of boat was allowed into Aear).
I enjoyed my explorations, and will doubtless be back in the future.