In a vampire’s garden

I’m not usually drawn to regions in SL with a vampiric theme to them but the home of the Gehena Vampire Clan is special. Designed by Clan member LouLou Teichmann, who is also Tableau Vivant’s set designer, working with the assistance of Neva Crystall, the region is beautifully constructed and presents an environment well worth visiting – and where visitors are welcomed and left free to explore on their own.

Gehena Vampire Clan
Gehena Vampire Clan

From the castle high on a rocky promontory, reached by a winding stone road, across to the tall, slender lighthouse and the stone-and-wood watchtower, the region is genuinely one of the “must see” places in SL.

Between these landmarks are a number of farmhouses set amidst a carefully sculpted landscape which mixes fields, trees and water, complete with the traditional “vampirey” elements: an old church and a couple of cemeteries.

Gehena Vampire Clan
Gehena Vampire Clan

The overall design for the region suggests it might be designed to fit the 19th century, the classic era of the vampire tale. However, take a peek behind the castle-bearing promontory and you’ll find a very modern stage area and dance floor.

A lot of vampire-themed regions are focused on role-play. Gehena Vampire Clan, however, is first and foremost a home – as the About Land floater states. I don’t think any of the farmhouses on the ground are used as homes – I get the impression clan members actually live overhead – but just in case they are, please be aware you might be approaching a private home when admiring them.

Gehena Vampire Clan
Gehena Vampire Clan

One of the things that attracted me to this region is that it is hard to escape the feeling that there are tales to be told here. The castle standing high overhead, the fires lit in the hearths as if to ward-off the coming night, the ship standing-to offshore, the church yard and cemeteries; they all encourage the imagination to take flight and weave stories about this mysterious realm and the people who live here. In fact I was very tempted to write this piece in the form of a short vignette.

Pictorially, there are stories to be told here as well. It really is one of the most photogenic regions I’ve visited. There is scarcely an angle or a camera position which doesn’t offer itself up as an opportunity for the framing of a good snap.

Gehena Vampire Clan
Gehena Vampire Clan

I opted to keep to a windlight setting which (to me) matched the theme of the region, using the Bristol setting with a few minor tweaks to try to evoke the latter part of the day, and to provide a what I hope is a slightly brooding air in keeping with the theme of the region. However, it’s worthwhile experimenting with settings, as the region really does lend itself to a variety of lighting conditions, as I hope the last of the pictures on this page shows :).

If you’ve not dropped-in on the region before, I would suggest you add it to your list of places to visit; the clan are very visitor-friendly and do not intrude unless the region guidelines are being broken. You’ll certainly find it worth your while to take time out to visit, whether or not you’re into vampires and bats. It really is that good. Oh, and make sure you have sound on should you visit.

Gehena Vampire Clan
Gehena Vampire Clan

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Relay for Life: the weekend is here!

2013_RFL_LogoThe 2013 Relay for Life weekend in Second Life is upon us, and with over $300,000 USD already raised this year, it look like the weekend is going to be a scorcher.

The theme for the weekend is 100 Years of Hope, in recognition of the American Cancer Society’s 100th anniversary.

As with previous years, the weekend will be focused on the 34-region Relay Track, which will be divided into Past, Present and Future themes and lined with team camps and exhibits. In addition, there will be five activity regions providing live music, DJs, an art show, snail railing, the Raffle for Relay, a flea market and the silent auction, with the Welcome Area and the American Cancer Society region rounding-out the total at 41 regions.

The Welcome Area
The Welcome Area

Schedule of Events

All times are SLT – please check with the RFL of SL schedule page and / or the RFL of SL blog for any last-minute updates / changes.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

  • 10:00: Opening Ceremony
  • 11:00: Survivor/Caregiver – CELEBRATE
  • 12:30: Teams Lap
  • 14:00: Round Up Western
  • 15:00: Walking with our Breedable Friends
  • 16:00: Fabulous Fifties
  • 17:00: Purple Passion
  • 18:00: Beach Party
  • 19:00: Musicians For Relay
  • 20:00: Bald is Beautiful!
  • 21:00: Luminaria Ceremony – REMEMBER
  • 22:00: Silly Shoes
  • 23:00: Sci Fi

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

  • 00:00: PJ Party
  • 01:00: Holiday Splendor
  • 02:00: Fantasy and Fairy Tales
  • 03:00: Crazy Hats
  • 04:00: Movie and Cartoon Magic
  • 05:00:Heroes
  • 06:00: FIGHT BACK
  • 07:00: International Lap
  • 08:00: Coffee and Donuts
  • 09:00: Formal Hour
  • 10:00: Closing Ceremonies
  • 11:00: Victory Lap – Walk the track and meet the Relay Committee
  • 12:30: RAFFLE Draw
  • 13:00: SILENT AUCTION Closes
  • 14:00 PM Enjoy walking the track and visiting the builds

Survivor/Caregiver Walk

Take your place at the side of the track and cheer on / applaud all those who have heard the words, “You have cancer”, as they walk the track in this opening lap together with those who devote their time and energies to caring and supporting for their loved ones and their friends in they fight cancer.

The Luminaria

As you walk the track you’ll notice luminaria (candles) line the sides. These are your opportunities to pay tribute to a lost loved one, or to thank a person who inspires and encourages you. Donating lindens to a luminaria gives you the chance to mention a special someone in hover text over the bag and will light and change color based on the linden amount paid to it, as noted below. Feel free to type in any amount you wish to donate. ​

  • L$50 – L$999 – Green
  • L$1000 – L$2499 – Orange
  • L$2500 – L$4999 – Blue
  • L$5000 – L$7499 – Yellow
  • L$7500 – L$9999 – Pink
  • L$10000 or more – Purple + fireworks ​

The Luminaria Ceremony

At 21:00 SLT on Saturday July 13th, the Luminaria Ceremony will talk place. The track regions will all be set to midnight and thousands of luminaria will be lit, each one representing a survivor or someone who has passed away from cancer. People are invited to walk the track in silence for one hour as dedications are read over the broadcasting stream.

Where to Start

The best place to start is the Welcome Area, particularly if you’ve not participated in the RFL of SL weekend. Here you can pick-up your track tools, which will record the distance you walk around the track and allow you to chat with friends and those around you and walk at the same time. You can also obtain a reference guide to the luminaria donation colours and detailed of the themed laps for the weekend. Greeters will also be on-hand to answer any questions you may have. Once you’re ready to go, use the teleport to get to the track regions.

Pick up your track tools from the Welcome Area
Pick up your track tools from the Welcome Area

Key Event SLurls

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