It was by boat – a junk in fact – that I came at last to my destination: the fabled Lotus Valley Dream; a magnificent palace high on a rock face, overlooking a sheltered bay. Here my long journey at last came to an end, and as the junk steered a course between sea-worn rocks and into the bay, I knew I could rest for a time before starting my homeward trek.
Leaving the wooden junk at the quayside, I wandered among the wood-built houses and shops built on the green shores of the bay, the wind carrying the heady aroma summer pines through the air, mixing it with sweet fragrances from stores and homes and the scent of fish being simmered and cooked. Finding a place to stay, I set down my pack and changed clothes; a temple visit was not for the rugged travelling garments I’d been wearing. When satisfied with my appearance, I set out once more.
The temple lay beside a small stream which bubbled the last short distance to the waters of the bay over moss-covered rocks. A delicate bridge arched over the stream and I paused there a moment before removing my shoes and entering the shine, josticks in hand.
Afterwards, I wandered through the streets some more, admiring the wares on display in the many shops, pausing here and there to buy this or that. Those who have visited Lotus Valley Dream will know how strangely time passes there; while the rest of the world seems to hurry onwards, life there is altogether calmer and more gentle. So it was that while an age may well have passed in the wider world, a languid afternoon brought me at last to the stone steps climbing up to the great palace.
Here, longer still seemed to pass as I walked through the great halls and along the paved street, the sun slow dipping towards the horizon in a graceful bow. There was simply no need to hurry now; my heart was at peace matched only by those around me, with whom I shared smiles and quiet, gentle words as we passed one another; linked by the same magical spirit which made Lotus Valley Dream both mystical and mysterious.
As I arrived at length at my lodgings, I knew that the time would come when I must make my return home; but for now, I was content to stay yet a while. Perhaps I might even retrace my steps; for these lands, from Lumenaria to Lotus Valley Dream were all wonderful to behold and explore, and it might a long while before I might see their like again once I leave.
Region design by: Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee
Sponsored by: The Looking Glass; featuring: Hoof It!; ezura Xue; Quest for the Golden Prim; FALCONROSE; Raven’s Heart; Demons & Angels; and with themed stores: SAKIDE; Pin Me Down; Caverna Obscura; Kouse’s Sanctum; Affinity Boutique; Ari’s Neko Retreat; NAMINOKE; 2Xtreme; Star Journey; Flecha Creations; TRU Textures.
Total raised to date: L$6,840,284 (approx: $27,361 USD)
Note: The Fantasy Faire regions will apparently remain open an extra day: Monday April 29th (with thanks to Ziki Questi for the info).