Update: all of the Alchemy Imortalis regions, including the main store region, have been sold.
Alchemy and Immortalis Cyannis are the dream merchants of Second Life, and through their lifestyle store, they provide a wide range of goods and items ranging from sim landscaping kits to prefab buildings, to furnishings, apparel and jewellery to more esoteric items such as food.
As a part of their work, Alchemy and Immortalis developed four beautifully landscaped homestead regions adjoining their main store region to present a set of residential / recreational regions. These regions, which are modelled on a rustic Irish coastal theme, have given joy to many visitors, offering rutted tracks to walk, fields to roam and dramatic coastal scenery to admire, all of which fits perfectly with the overarching themes of magic and harmony which mark the couple’s work and lifestyle.
During 2012, Alchemy and Immortalis broadened their scope to offer something potentially unique in SL: short-term bed and breakfast rentals offered in cottages in one of their four homesteads, increasing the appeal of their work and lands.
Sadly, and via Ziki Questi, I discovered that Alchemy and Immortalis have decided to refocus their efforts on expanding the Alchemy Immortalis brand, and so have recently put the four homestead regions up for sale – although the store region itself will be remaining. This being the case, I decided to don my hiking boots, wrap up warm and pay a last visit to the regions to enjoy their beauty. If you’ve not already visited this emerald isle, then I would strongly suggest you do before all vanishes.
I’ve not had the good fortune to visit Ireland – as yet. I have, however spent a good deal of time exploring Northumberland and Cheshire, and well as time on the moors of Devon and Cornwall. The four sims around Alchemy Immortalis do much to remind me of each of these places – especially the rugged beauty of the Northumberland coastline. While there my not be any castle ruins lying on headlands or long sandy stretches which have played their part in many a television or film production of historical events, there is much here that reminds me of Northumberland, enabling me to feel very much at home in my explorations.
Suggestions of magic and mystery are evident here, be it in the tors and stone circles which can be found near to the tracks linking the various regions, or up on the high bluffs overlooking the sea, or indeed in and around the store and is grounds. Great care has been taken with the ambience of the regions, with everything coming together with a care and beauty which, while obviously designed, is nevertheless entirely natural in look and feel.
Much of what can be seen in the regions – the cottages the sheep, the furnishings – can be purchased within the store or via the Alchemy Immortalis pages on the SL Marketplace. As such, the regions very much stand as a storefront for the quality of the Alchemy Immortalis brand.
Which should not be taken to mean the regions are anyway merely an extension of the store. An extension of Alchemy’s and Immortalis’ personalities, certainly, but as already stated, the regions are far more than simply an excuse to display goods and services – they are very much a place; one with its own unique nature and personality, and one which is liable to be missed once the regions have been sold and, presumably, relocated.
For those into photography, there is much on offer here while the regions remain; the nature of the isle encourages one to work both with the default day / night cycle, and to experiment with windlight options. In fact, there are three specialised windlight presets which have been defined specifically for the estate. These may already be incorporated into the viewer you are using (Firestorm has them, for example), under the Alchemy Immortalis name. For those who wish to incorporate them into their viewer, they are available for download.
I couldn’t resist playing with several of my preferred settings as well as with those intended for use with the regions, to get the results seen here – including coastal lighting options, ambient lighting and Bryn Oh’s Mayfly. Parts of the estate are best left to their defaults however – particularly the west side, which is lashed by rain and lit by lightning, all of which comes together very atmospherically in the hours of evening or early morning, when the sun is largely absent from the sky.
Those not in the mood for walking the estate, a wheel form of transport is available in the shape of a glorious 1930’s (ish) roadster, which can be rezzed from any one of a number of lamp posts around the regions, and which will take you on a drive around the tracks. While I couldn’t help but feel a haywain might be more in keeping with the rustic setting, riding the roadster was nevertheless a huge amount of fun – and it is a great way to explore with a friend, as the self-drive nature of the car leaves you both free to chat and admire the scenery.
How long the residential / recreational regions associated with Alchemy Immortalis remain available is most likely open to how quickly they sell. In the meantime, they are still available to visit, and if you haven’t taken the time up until now to do so, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you do. Just please be aware that some of the cottages may be occupied and are thus private residences.
While there, don’t forget to visit the store as well!