Fantasy Faire: before they depart into the West …

Tuesday 30th April marks the last public day for Fantasy Faire 2013. If you have not already visited the Faire regions, or if lag was your personal Dark Lord who forced you to turn away when making a visit earlier in the week, I urge you to take time and pay the Faire a visit before the builds vanish altogether, as they are more than worth the visit.

Lumenaria: Fantasy Faire 2013
Lumenaria: Fantasy Faire 2013

All eight of the themed regions will remain open untill 11:59 SLT on Tuesday April 30th. Because of the requirements of the Key of Hope hunt, the Valley of Ish’Nar has already closed to public access. After midnight on the 30th, the regions will close to public access, although they will remain until some time on Friday May 3rd, and store owners are asked to keep their stores up for as long as they like between now and Friday to allow all the volunteers and helpers from the backstage team to enjoy them.

At the time of writing, some L$8,538,035 (approx. $34,152) has been raised for RFL during the Faire – an incredible amount by anyone’s standards, which once again demonstrates the generosity of Second Life users and which also takes the five-year total of funds raised in the fight against cancer by Fantasy Faire to over $100,000.

Valley of Ish'Nar: Fantasy Faire 2013
Valley of Ish’Nar: Fantasy Faire 2013

The Key of Hope hunt will enter its Final Chapter starting on May 1st, and will run through until the 19th May, so all those who have been busy working through the prologue won’t have long to wait before resuming their quest.

For me,what has again struck me as I’ve visited the regions and stores and blogged about them, is the way everyone who has been involved in the Faire in whatever capacity – organiser, backstage helper, store owner, or visitor – have all joined in the spirit of things, being not only been generous of pocket but also generous of deed and word from one to another. The Fantasy Faire public and Backstage groups have been filled with humour and good cheer, the regions themselves have been filled with people having fun, taking time to chat with one another, pursue clues to hunts, slip L$ into donation booths, seek out their favourite wares, tell their friends and blog, blog, blog.

Such is the overwhelming good spirit which pervades the event, it is a shame that it has to pass, but all good things must eventually come to an end. In some ways, even the closing of the Faire reminds me of the underlying purpose of the event; letting go is never easy, so those of us who have lost family and loved ones to cancer know well. But as with the previous Faires, we also know that there is another year to come, and with it, the Faireland gods and spirits willing, another Faire.

For my part, I’d like to pass on my thanks to Zander, Elizabeth, the core team behind Fantasy Faire, the backstage helpers, the volunteers, the region designers and builders and everyone else who took time and effort to make this event happen.

Fantasy Faire Fiction Competition

When I started exploring the Fantasy Faire regions, they struck me as so evocative that there were tales to be told about them – and this thought shaped my writing on the event, causing me to blog a series of vignettes of a traveller’s journey through the regions towards a final goal, rather than produce more review-type articles.

I wasn’t alone in feeling that there are tales to be told, for the organisers of Fantasy Faire have joined forces with Prim Perfect to present one last challenge for all those who wish to hold on to the magic just a little longer: to write a short story about the Fairelands of between one and three thousands words.

Once the stores are packed away and the crowds have departed … what beings take possession of the glass lantern city high in the mountains that shines in Titan’s Hollow? What languid aristocrats return to their faded palaces along the canal of Magnificat to watch the little boats sail out eternally toward the sunset? What troglodytes or dwarves emerge, grumbling, from the lower depths of Dragonspire to reclaim their caves? What heroes push their way through the blood-red roses of Crimson Fields, their eyes fixed on the looming Dark Tower ahead? And so for all the regions, each with their special tales to tell.

So reads the introduction to the challenge, which goes on to set-out the guidelines for the competition.

The closing date for submissions is Friday May 31st. A panel of judges will read the stories, and the results and winning entries will appear in the August issue of the Prim Perfect magazine. For full details and requirements, please read the Fantasy Blog post on the challenge linked to above – and good luck with your writing!

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