As we enter the twilight months of the year, one of the things I enjoy doing is visiting the Calas Galadhon themed regions. Every October and December, Tymus Tenk and Truck Meredith have brought us fabulous themed builds under the Calas Galadhon name which have allowed Second Life users to fully enjoy both Halloween and Christmas. And October 2015 is no exception, the Calas Galadhon Halloween region having opened its gates.
Valyria is currently accessible to members of the Calas Announcement Group, and will be available to all in the first weekend of of the month. I’ve been fortunate enough to have special preview access over the last couple of days, and can say with hand on heart, anyone who loves Halloween, fantasy and the works of JRR Tolkien and / or GRR Martin, is not going to want to miss what is on offer.
This is a region which draws inspiration from both of these great story tellers and mixes them together with Ty and Truck’s own unique vision, to present a seasonal environment which is simply stunning to behold and to explore. Spread across, under, and over the region are a series of environments which naturally flow one to another, presenting visitor with much to see and discover – so much so, that I actually don’t want to say too much about it, because I don’t want to spoil the joy of discovery.
As is common with Ty and Truck’s builds, the landing point offers plenty of advice to get you started, and the information boards are worth a read – then it’s a case of following the paths and seeing whence they lead.
To further help you in your travels, there are also two tours on offer: one by boat – which you can join near the landing point – and the other by dragon, which you’ll have to make your way to. In doing so, you’re liable to find the path through the region offers many branches and splits, each one enticing you onwards into deeper explorations. Some might climb upwards into the hills, others may lead downwards and underground. For the latter, a flashlight is on offer near the landing point, so you might want to pick one up before setting out.
The dragon tour will also serve to see you started on a quest which is designed to help you find your way to parts of the region which you might otherwise miss; just look for the “journey cloths” after dismounting your dragon.
The centrepiece of the build – at ground level at least – is a marvellous ruined city. It is here that the various touches from GRR Martin and JRR Tolkien seemed to fuse into one for me. Exploring it, I felt as if I was both walking through the remnants of Tolkien’s Osgiliath, now the haunt of Sauron’s fell creatures, and also walking amidst the destruction which befell the City of Valyria, after being struck low by “the Doom”.
It is within the ruins that the Portal lies. This will take you to a further part of the build, up high in the sky, and which has another nod to the lands of Westeros.
With caverns and builds hidden below ground, the wonders of the city above ground, the world of The North in the sky, all bound together with dragons, winged beasts, monsters, spiders and so much more – including touches of Ty and Truck’s wonderful humour, Valyria is not something to be missed. It makes for another generous gift from a partnership who have given so much to Second Life over the years.
As noted, members of the Calas Announcement Group can enjoy Valyria ahead of the official opening, and the rest of SL from the first weekend in October. When you visit, do please consider showing your thanks by donating towards the upkeep of the Calas Galadhon park and make sure you have the audio stream enabled; Truck has once more produced a superb sound track to enhance explorations.
- Valyria – Calas Galadhon Halloween 2015
- Calas Galadhon main SLurl (note Valyria is not a part of the parkland regions)
- Calas Galadhon blog