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…

Toru
Toru

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.

Toru
Toru

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.

Toru
Toru

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.

Toru
Toru

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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