Landing at New Caelestium in Second Life

New Caelestium; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr New Caelestium – click any image for full size

Reader Evelyn Held recently sent me a note card about New Caelestium, “a realistic medieval lifestyle sim with a touch of fantasy”, which celebrated its re-opening on Saturday, April 23rd. I’d actually written about the original Caelstivm (Caelestium) back in March 2014, but had lost rack of it in the intervening years;  so intrigued by Evelyn’s note, I hopped over to take a look.

The location of the original Caelestium was, so far as I can remember, unspecified; not so with the new build, which is described as, “a Celtic Isle with Scottish roots, a realistic medieval lifestyle sim with a touch of fantasy”, and I have to say that, as with the original, it is something of an eclectic mix of elements.

New Caelestium; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr New Caelestium

Those arriving at the region receive a back story note card, together with the rules of the region and some additional notes on this being a “lifestyle” role-play environment – meaning that visitors are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing and adopt a fitting behaviour and language for a medieval period setting, although as the region encompasses fantasy elements, “dragons, elves, faes, gnomes and other fantasy fellows” are also welcome.

New Caelestium can be broadly divided into four areas: the medieval town and docks, which takes up the largest portion of the region, the jousting area, transported here from the original Caelestium, a coastal area with period manor house, and the fantasy area, dominated by a gigantic tree of life, and over which hovers a set of floating islands.

New Caelestium; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr New Caelestium

The town and docks are mindful of the original Caelestium, although the quays are a lot busier, several of Lia Woodget’s unmistakable ships being tied-up alongside. The town forms an L-shape, and is dominated by a great castle sitting atop a rocky crag in its corner. Beneath this, a long street points the way to the docks in one direction, whilst the other arm of the L holds the market square and shops, beyond which lies the jousting lists.

The fantasy / fae area of the region lies separated from the town by narrow ribbons of water crossed here and there by bridges and rutted cart tracks. Here can be found paths to wander, and fae homes to rent (human houses can be rented in the town), while waterfalls tumble from narrow shoulders of rock, and the aforementioned enormous tree of life rises into the sky. It is on the south side of the region, and under lee of these rocky shoulders and the shadow of the great tree, that the coastal area can be found, trees surrounding a ribbon of beach and hiding the manor house from prying eyes.

New Caelestium; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr New Caelestium

Photogenically, the region has a lot to offer, as I hope at least some of the images here demonstrate. There is also a lot to see when exploring, however, I’m not entirely sure how well it all works.

As I noted in my review of the original Caelestium, that region was also very much a place of two halves – medieval and fantasy – but the overall landscaping was such that the two elements naturally blended together as a single, contiguous landscape through which visitors and players could ebb and flow. That sense of continuity feels a little lost within New Caelestium; rather than existing as parts of a whole, the medieval and fantasy aspects of the region came across to me as vying with one another for space and attention.

New Caelestium; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr New Caelestium

Nevertheless, if you are interested in fantasy or medieval role-play, or are looking for a medieval environment ripe for photographs, Caelestium is certainly more than worth a visit.

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