Return to an enchanted Cauldron in Second Life

Cerridwen's Cauldron; Inara Pey, January 2016, on Flickr Cerridwen’s Cauldron (Flickr) – click any image for full size

I adore Elicio Ember’s work. As a craftsman of works of fantasy, he is one of Second life’s finest, as anyone who has had the delight and pleasure of seeing his work at Fantasy Faire over the years will know.

His in-world store of Cerridwen’s Cauldron is a stunning delight as well, and it is easy to spend a fair amount of time there, simply wandering, climbing the Dream Tower, riding a dragon around the towers, spires and outcrops of rocks and over the gardens, or walking its halls and chambers.

It’s been a while since I’ve actually written about Elicio’s home region, so when he recently informed me he was starting work and redeveloping the ground level (on which I blogged about far, far back in the mists of 2012), I was keen to see what he had done, although time played a little against me. So when he IM’d me to say he was making some additional changes and sent me an invite and Landmark to see things for myself, I knew I’d had to make up for lost time and hop over with Caitlyn to see.

Cerridwen's Cauldron; Inara Pey, January 2016, on Flickr Ground level – Cerridwen’s Cauldron (Flickr)

The Landmark Elicio sent me when extending his invitation for us to visit, delivered us directly to the Emerald Lounge. This lies within a huge cavern, seemingly hewn from the living rock, and through which water gently glides while crystal lamps hang from high ceilings.

Here, in a place I personally feel is best seen under night-time lighting, is a bar serving wines and ale and slices of delicious fruit, a space paved by great hexagonal blocks open to dancers before it. Nearby, on the dusty sand close to the entrance to the cavern, or just across the shallow waters, can be found places to sit, softly lit by the glow of crystals and some of Elicio’s beautiful plants.

Cerridwen's Cauldron; Inara Pey, January 2016, on Flickr Ground level – Cerridwen’s Cauldron (Flickr)

Steps lead the way upwards from the waters inside the cavern, allowing the visitor to go by glass-topped walkways and platforms up to the plateau overhead, revealing the incredible beauty of this island. The plateau sits like a table on stout rocky legs carved by the sea and sheltering the cavern within their midst, while beaches, exotic plants and an ornate water temple  gathered around their feet, while water tumbles from above.

Atop the plateau lies a beautiful realm of water, light, plants and open-sided structures with a distinctly elven feel to them.  Walk through the fluorescent plants at your feet, and slivers of phosphor drift into the air around you; walk under the great natural arch of a gigantic tree of life and witness the huge decorated skull of a long-dead dragon; climb the stairs to a broad hexagonal platform and find seating and refreshments awaiting you. Everywhere you turn, there is something waiting to be discovered.

Cerridwen's Cauldron; Inara Pey, January 2016, on Flickr Ground level – Cerridwen’s Cauldron (Flickr)

This is a place to be explored with local sounds enabled and your speakers / headset active. Like many regions throughout Second Life, Cerridwen’s Cauldron has an ambient sound scape, one beautifully crafted to add considerable depth to any exploration over the plateau and through the spaces beneath. It is one which really should be experienced in it fullest when walking through the fluorescent grasses or wading the shallow waters or standing beneath the slowly turning fae orb.

For those who prefer, a teleport system is available to scoot you around various locations – and up to and around Elicio’s store; but to use it exclusively in favour of exploring on foot would, both Caitlyn and I agreed, be a mistake.

Cerridwen's Cauldron; Inara Pey, January 2016, on Flickr Ground level – Cerridwen’s Cauldron (Flickr)

Cerridwen’s Cauldron has always been a magical, mystical place of harmony and beauty, and this latest design at ground level further reflects this fact. Indeed, looking at it from a distance sitting above the sea, it offers a harmonious echo of the store itself as the latter floats  in the sky atop its own islands, and extends beneath them with its stairways and stone halls, just as the garden sit atop their rock plateau and the cavern of the Emerald lounge sits beneath them.

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