Fantasy Faire 2014: as the gates open

Fantasy Faire 2014 has opened its gates. This year, there are no fewer than 11 regions to explore (although at the time of writing, the Palace of Tears had yet to open to public access, and I encountered a considerable amount of lag on the neighbouring Fairelands Junction when trying to sneak a peek over the wall…

As always, there is a lot to see and explore, and I hope to be able to bring a round of updates as the week unfolds. For now, here’s a brief set of highlights, together with some sketches from my pad, grabbed as I explored the regions as a part of the bloggers’ preview.

Asperatus

Created by Beq Janus and sponsored by NeoVictoria (Asil Ares).

Asperatus, a mighty airship built by wealthy merchants and once both their home and seat of commerce. Now, in later years, the Asperatus sits as the mainstay of an unlikely floating colony, drawing power from the turbulent clouds over which it sits and providing a centre of trade as well as a floating home.

From my sketchbook: Asperatus: a floating place of commerce  - just mind those whirling rotors ...
From my sketchbook: Asperatus: a floating place of commerce – just mind those whirling rotors …

As you explore the shops and stores, slung beneath great gasbags and wander the catwalks linking them, keep an eye out for strange goings-on, particularly from Monday May 5th onwards. For it is to Asperatus that a renegade aristocrat and an evil scientist will flee after wreaking havoc in the power centre of the NeoLondon Cathedral. Determined to bring them to justice, a group of NeoVictorians are hard on their heels (role-play to commence in NeoVictoria on Thursday May 1st, before transferring to Asperatus).

Blackwater Glenn

Created by Marcus Inkpen/ Sharni Azalee and sponsored by The Looking Glass

Blackwater Glenn, once a vibrant community, is now being slowly reclaimed by nature as swamplands slowly encroach onto the land and under the old buildings. But not all is in a state of decay as gorgeous flowers and mysterious plants emerge sporadically throughout the swamp and pathways of open water lead to the centerpiece, a giant blossoming tree. Tread the wooden walkways carefully and rest assured that the surviving buildings will not collapse on your head. Traders and merchants still thrive here, and there is the hope of rebirth hidden within.

Blackwater Glenn: I sketched this while avoiding invites from pirates to enjoy a mug or two of grog ...
“I sketched this while avoiding invites from pirates to enjoy a mug or two of grog at their little tavern deep in Blackwater Glenn …”

Be wary of the pirates, however. Forced ashore to seek the means to repair their damaged ship, they have set-up a tavern within the Glenn. You can be sure of a warm and friendly welcome there and enjoy a good mug of grog – but you might also find yourself leaving with your purse missing considerably more coin than you may have spent – if your purse doesn’t mysteriously leave your pocket first!

The Fairy Court

Created by Elicio Ember and sponsored by Cerridwen’s Cauldron.

The Fairy Court, a land of light and dark, of water and tree, where mystical folk offer greetings and wares. Here is a place to tarry and renew under the spreading boughs of the tree of light and dark, its entwined trunks reaching up into the heavens. Wander the pavilions and walkways,  sample the water and the wares. Above all, to be at peace.

"I do not believe my pen in any way does justice to the fair pavilions of The Fairy Court..."
“I do not believe my pen in any way does justice to the fair pavilions of The Fairy Court…”

I confess to having a soft spot for Elicio’s works, which have never ceased to amaze me over the years, and this Fantasy Faire is no exception. Were I to be a creature of myth or fantasy, the Fairy Court is the place I’d call my home among the Fairelands.

Heavenslough

Created by Alrunia Ahn/ Eldowyn Inshan/ Sweetgwendoline Bailey and sponsored by Creators of Fantasy.

To set foot in Heavenslough is to set foot in another world, where the unexpected is to be expected.  down under the leafy canopy, the forest is the home and playground for sprites and secretive fairy folks, where ancient stilt houses sit above the marshlands and platforms and houses sit amidst the leafy boughs of the titanic trees. Above all this, sit rocky plateaus rising into the heavens…

"The sun was kind to me as I sat upon a plateau ledge, sketching Heaven below me..."
“The sun was kind to me as I sat upon a plateau ledge, sketching Heavenslough below me…”

Hope’s Horizon

Created by Jaimy Hancroft and sponsored by Dwarfins

Hope’s Horizon stands, like the fabled Minas Tirith, with its back to the sheer walls of a mountain, its streets winding up through stair and path to houses and stores which cling to the sheer rock, leading the visitor ever upward until at last the high plateau is reached. It is here, above the very clouds themselves, that the Citadel sits, together with the White Tree.

The climb up to the Citadel was long and tiring, but the Sun crowned the evening as a sketched..."
The climb up to the Citadel was long and tiring, but the Sun crowned the evening as a sketched…”

Jaimy Hancroft’s homage to Tolkien caught my imagination from the moment I first read about it, and it does not disappoint. The city is beautifully scaled to present a depth in keeping with the height of the build. The citadel on the mountain’s flat summit is the crowning piece, the echoes of Tolkien clear within the design, which also maintains its own individuality and the mark of Fantasy Faire.

Medhir Woods

Created by Rynn Verwood and sponsored by Solarium.

Medhir Woods is an elven outpost protected by the trees of a forest, yet open on one side to the sea. Here is a place of stone and wood, of tree and water, all blended together into a harmonious whole; a place for the wanderer to tarry and where the traveller can seek rest.

"Within Medhir Woods I found this place of sanctuary and knew I had to sketch it..."
“Within Medhir Woods I found this place of sanctuary and knew I had to sketch it…”

I’m not sure what I expected when I read the original description for Medhir Woods, but now having visited, I would not be surprised if it becomes a favourite among photographers, its open streets and hidden secrets offering a wealth of opportunities for composing pictures  – not to mention the angle which provide Hope’s Horizon as a stunning backdrop!

 Mourningvale Thicket

Created by Searlait Nitschke and sponsored by Roawenwood

Mourningvale Thicket is where darkness can rule the heart, and drowsiness give it the key. Thorns wait to claw wat the unwary arm or thigh and vines to trip the tired foot. In this place,  enhancement lies heavy, luring the weary to lie down and sleep, but where nightmares can be called forth if one does.

"Is Mounringvale Thicket so dark and dreary as to leave the traveller cold? I think not..."
“Is Mourningvale Thicket so dark and dreary as to leave the traveller cold? I think not…”

Yet even in this dark abode, light can still shine, revealing hidden places where company can be sought and goods exchanged. Here is where the music of gypsies can be found, more than enough to ward off dark thoughts, while wild roses lend colour to the night.

Sanctum

Created by Alia Baroque and sponsored by Fallen Gods.

The great isle floats above the surrounding lands, stout chains, eons old, anchoring it in place. It is said this place once stood between Heaven and Hell, a place of worship and respite, the great halls once echoing to prayer and chants. Still Sanctum stands today, rising from the grass of the floating isle, its great stone walls as sound as they were when first raised, while from the rocks upon which they are founded water gushes to feed the lands below.

"Such a magificent place as Sanctum could keep an artist happy for a lifetime..."
“Such a magnificent place as Sanctum could keep an artist happy for a lifetime…”

Alia Baroque is another designer who never fails to impress when building for Fantasy Faire. Last year he presented the magnificent Magnificat to the world, this year he gives us the stupendous Sanctum. No-one seeing this huge, regal place of worship, floating overhead as if held there by faith, cannot fail to be awed. A truly marvellous vision and build.

Wiggenstead Mooring

Created by Kayle Matzerath and sponsored by Tiny Inc.

Having stepped in at the eleventh hour after Nya Alchemi had to withdraw due to health reasons, Kayle Matzerath has produced a marvellously whimsical setting within Wiggenstead Mooring.

"The delights of Wiggenstead Mooring and its folk are too many to tell!"
“The delights of Wiggenstead Mooring and its folk are too many to tell!”

The built-up huts and bridges provide a magnificent view over the wild and whimsical beach jungle with its mermaid lagoon. Who knows what you might encounter in the Mooring: tiny sheriffs, dinkies, members of the Rickety Weasels fiercely protecting the Guardians of the Elemental Stones… come join the fantasy that never lost its delight in fun!

Fairelands Junctions and The Palace of Tears

No Fantasy Faire is complete without mention of the Fairelands Junction, where all paths cross and where the silent auction has its home. here is where one can meet friends old and new and travel between teleports to the Fairelands. It is a place of peace and freedom, where flowers grow free, trees grow tall and all are welcome to come and find rest. This year’s Junction is designed by Saiyge Lotus and sponsored by Sanctuary RP Community.

"Fairelands Junction. A place of rest and peace among the trees and flowers..."
Fairelands Junction. A place of rest and peace among the trees and flowers…”

The Palace of Tears will this year form the centrepiece for the Fantasy Faire hunt, although it will not immediately be open to the public. A great mansion surrounded by artwork by Haveit Neox, the Palace of Tears is a stunning setting. The hunt has been written by David Abbot, scripted by Encaitaron Korobase and Rynn Verwood is responsible for the design of the palace.

So that you might gain an ever better look at the regions ahead of your visits, I’ll leave you with a preview video by Draxtor Despres.

Keeping up with Fantasy Faire

You can keep-up with Fantasy Faire preparations and activities a number of ways:

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