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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(view slideshow full-screen)