The rugged beauty of Toru

Toru. A land devastated by a major earthquake and underwater volcanic eruption hundreds of years ago, a cataclysmic event so devastating it split the land apart and left it barren for hundreds of years … But all is not lost as this land was rediscovered by an intrepid photographer who stumbled upon it, and its tragic history…


So reads the greeting, at least in part, when you arrive on Toru, a homestead region designed by Waynenz. Openly drawing inspiration from Hazardous, the region is dedicated to Wendy Xeno’s and Mandingo Quan’s work there, and to “all the designers and developers of SL who create content for us to fill this land and allowing us to share this space with residents and visitors of SL.”  It’s a beautiful place, one I knew I had to see for myself  after coming across it on Ziki’s blog.

There is a windlight preset for the region, but it’s really worthwhile taking the time to play with options and see what works for you – the layout from the cliff tops down to the lower-lying valley floor offers itself to a range of lighting options, and everything is perfectly positioned to offer the SL photographer a huge amount of choice and opportunity for framing many, many shots.


The cliff top area of the island is split into two, a single stone bridge spanning the narrow but deep gorge which separates them. On once side of the divide are signs of life returning to the island; a cafe has been built, as has a store (selling Wayne’s mesh creations), and other wooden building appear to be under construction. How well things are going for the inhabitants is hard to say, however; the cafe looks to be somewhat dilapidated, and there are a couple of rusting hulks of vehicles to be found – including one which looks like it might have been shaken from its parking spot by a more recent earth tremor…

Across the bridge there is the ruin of a stone-built structure, possibly a fortified house of some description given the remnants of two towers. There are signs of recovery here as well, with a stage set having been built, which suggests live gigs might be a thing of the future.


Follow the track away from the wooden buildings and you’ll find a set of stone steps leading you down to a smaller open space with a small cabin and outhouse, with further steps leading the way down to the photographer’s ultra-modern studio / home, which visitors appear to be invited to explore as well.

When adjusting windlight, make sure you give dusk / night settings a go; the island is prone to aurora displays just off the coast, possibly the result of underwater volcanic activity, which give rise to shimmering curtains just above the waves which look like a localised version of the aurora australis.


A fabulous region, beautifully conceived and put together and more than worth a visit. If you do, please considering dropping a contribution or two into the gratuities signs scattered around the buildings.

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A murder most foul and an adventure in Ireland

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library SL.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday September 8th, 13:30: Tea Time at Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen return to read another installment in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s volume of stories The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Inspector Hopkins, Holmes and Watson at the murder scene (1904, Stanley Paget, Strand Magazine)

Peter Carey, once the master of the whaler Sea Unicorn, prone to drunkenness and violence, having assaulted not only his wife and daughter but also the vicar in Forest Weald, where the family have settled in his retirement from the sea. Even so, when he is found run-through with a whaling harpoon and pinned to the wall of the outhouse where he spend most of his time, it appears to be a most gruesome and violent death, driven by a hatred beyond anything caused by the man’s behaviour.

The murder has left police inspector Stanley Hopkins mystified. No footprints or any other evidence of force entry and violence have been found at the scene. What’s more, it appears Carey was killed around two o’clock in the morning, yet he was fully dressed as if expecting a visitor. The only clues found are a pouch of seaman’s tobacco – yet Carey was thought to be a non-smoker – and a small notebook.

Reading the notebook, Holmes deduces that writing in it relates to the Canadian Pacific Railway and what appears to be stock exchange information. This, together with the unusual method of murder lead him to agree to return to Forest Weald with Inspector Hopkins, and so he and Dr. Watson embark on The Adventure of Black Peter.

Monday September 9th, 19:00: A Year in Tulfarris

TulferrisFrom the book jacket:

“My boss was wondering if I’d be up for working in Dublin for a year. What would you think of moving to Ireland for a year?”

And so began the adventure, chronicled by his photographs and her written musings, as they explore monuments and meet people (and animals) who will leave an indelible mark on them and their children forever.

Follow them as they trek down livestock-riddled narrow lanes, traipse through fields to standing stones and megalithic tombs, and deal with the delightful and at-times maddening resistance on the Irish to the intrusions of the modern world.

Join Caladonia Skytower as she reads from this very personal and charming tale, laced as it is with a bittersweet twist.

Tuesday September 10th, 19:00: Sci-fi Shorts

With Gyro Muggins.

Wednesday September 11th, 19:00: TBA

Please check the Seanchai Library blog for updates.

Thursday September 5th, More Adventures and Legends

With Shandon Loring.


Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for September and October is Water for People. Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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