December is almost upon us, bringing with it thoughts of Christmas, winterfest and other seasonal celebrations, and the end of the western calendar year. Many regions in SL are already reflecting the time of year and bringing with them scenes of snow and frosted trees as is traditionally the case – at least in the northern hemisphere.
However, no winter in Second Life is complete without two things: the winter landscapes of Calas Galadhon (which I’d be visiting soon) and the special Calas Galadhon Christmas theme at SilverMyst, so recently the home of Truck and Ty’s Halloween-themed Veil of Darkness.
While SilverMyst had then been to home to ghouls, ghosts, the undead and monsters, all amidst deserted towns dark and mist-filled bayous, tall castles and more, with One Christmas Night it has been transformed into a gorgeous rural winter scene, where reindeer, brown bears, weasels, penguins, polar bears and more roam beneath a wintery sky from which big, soft flakes of snow fall to cover the ground in a thick blanket.
Ty and Truck kindly invited me over to One Christmas Night to take a look around ahead of the opening, and for anyone with a romantic inclination and / or a love of winter scenes, it is very much going to be the place to visit. It’s also likely to be very much photographed – I felt I wanted to travel around with an easel, canvas and paints, a feeling I’ve tried to capture in the images here.
From the arrival point, you are free to wander on foot or, if you prefer, hop into a magic sleigh which will take you around the region before delivering you to the Christmas Pavilion. There are actually two sleighs available: the first seats up to four people, while the second offers more intimate cuddles for couples. Just jump in and touch to start.
Both provide a gentle ride along snow-covered tracks, passing winter scenes, several of which encompass Ty and Truck’s eye for humour – such as mother brown bear, obviously worn-out by the kids, is slumped across a log as her energetic cubs continue play in the snow. Keep an eye out, as well, for the flying reindeer ride, which offers another unique vantage-point from which to see the region.
When you arrive at the pavilion, there’s more to do. Step inside and avail yourself of a glass of Cognac or goblet mulled wine, admire the Christmas tree or sit by the warmth of the fire. For those who like a challenge, a harpsichord invites people to sit and play it for a while. For the very active, and a short walk away outside, is a frozen lake where you can dance and skate, or sit by a small log fire and simply watch others on the ice and wait for the huge kettle of hot chocolate to come to the boil while toasting marshmallows and hotdogs.
As with all of Ty and Truck’s celebratory builds, there are a few things worth pointing out in order to fully enjoy a visit. The first is that if your system can handle it, make sure Advanced Lighting Model (Preferences > Graphics) is active. You don’t have to have Shadows enabled, but if you can, it’s also worth giving it a go, depending upon how busy the region is. On that latter point, do please make sure you travel light to the region, script-wise, particularly if you’re attending one of the special events planned for the region (check the Calas Galadhon website or join the Calas announcement group for details).
Most importantly of all, do make sure you accept the region windlight on arrival or, if you’re feeling particularly romantic, sent an evening / night windlight in your viewer and do accept the region’s media streaming. Once again, Truck has hand-picked the music for the stream, and it greatly adds to the mood :).
One Christmas Night opens to Calas Galadhon group members at 14:00 on Thursday December 28th, and will open to the public over the course of the weekend. Enjoy!