Update August 5th, 2013: Wretched Hollow has reloacted to Rainbow Coast.
Rolling Restarts run every Tuesday and Wednesday (well, as a rule). For the uninitiated, and without delving into the deeper intricacies of what goes where and how, Tuesday sees updates to the Second Life Server (“Main”) channel, which accounts for about 70% of the regions on grid, and Wednesday sees the three “Release Candidate” channels (called BlueSteel, Magnum and LeTigre and which account for around 10% of the grid apiece) get their updates. For those wishing to know more on this, info on the various deployments can be found in my SL projects updates.
I mention rolling restarts, because they often mean that when logging-in to Second Life you don’t always get to go where you intended, be it home or anywhere else. At best you end up being diverted to a “location nearby” or to a “safe” hub (some of which seem, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, to have some strange new meaning of the word “safe” we’ve not been previously aware of), at worst you get a message pop-up during the log-in process stating the viewer has been “unable to connect to a simulator”.
Such was the case with me recently. I had planned an excursion to a specific region, but a rolling restart left me delving into the Destination Guide and opting for pot luck after I was left unable to connect to my desired destination.
So it was that I ended up at Wretched Hollow, which describes itself thus:
A dark, whimsical sim inspired by the love of Gothic Romance and Neo-Victorian things. As one of Second Life’s best-kept secrets, Wretched Hollow is home to the Wretched Dollies store and has several places to explore, including a small town and a fishing inlet with dock.
The first part of the description was enough to have me teleporting over to check things out. What I found was very much a curious mix, possibly sliding more towards the Victorian than the Gothic, but certainly which touches of whimsy, be it with the 18th century ships anchored offshore, or the very much more recent oil drums providing a little warmth for those out on the streets of the township.
The region is roughly split into two parts: a more rural, open setting, with a couple of private residences (one of which appears to belong to region holder Star Fairymeadow) The other part of the region forms an urban setting which provides a home for Star’s Wretched Dollies brand, offering a range of products – clothing, doll accessories, furniture – with a Gothic / Victorian leaning, as well as Star’s own textures and her range for Petites. For those into the club scene, the town also boasts an underground – literally – club featuring a broad mix of music (although Gothic Rock / Industrial / Darkwave, etc., seems to bt the primary theme).
I was drawn to the town because of its strong Victorian look and feel which, together with the default windlight setting and style of buildings, immediately put me in mind of the East End of London, and specifically the Whitechapel area and going out towards the old London docks of yesteryear. A newspaper billboard passed as I explored the streets heightened this feeling even more.
While Robert Downey Jr didn’t scuttle by me hurriedly swapping one disguise for another as he pursued clues to the mystery of the East End murders, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised had he done.
Like many store-front regions in SL, Wretched Hollow has been put together with a creative skill which is deserving of time spent exploring it, and which lends itself to a lot of playing around with windlight options. The town certainly offers an opportunity for the avid SL photographer to come up with some memorable images and possible vignettes (although just clearing matters of using the region for photography with Star ahead of time would obviously be for the best).
For my part, I enjoyed my little unexpected excursion to the streets of Old London; Wretched Hollow came as a very pleasant surprise in my meanderings and allowed my to focus on a subject and setting a little bit outside the norm for this blog.