Anduril – click any image for full size
Anduril is a homestead region which has been designed as a collaborative piece between Asa Vordun and Marina Breen. I’ve long been a fan of Asa’s region design work, having first encountered it with Caprice and Easy A back in 2014, then following the development of Caprice, and after it, L’Arc-en-Ciel, which closed in 2015. So it was with a sense of anticipation that I hopped over with Caitlyn to see what this latest build might be.
Now, to be perfectly honest, with a name like Anduril, I was expecting a build which might exhibit at least hints of Tolkien or have something of a Middle Earth look or feel. However, this is not the case; which should not be taken to mean the region in any way lacks magic; quite the reverse.
Visitors arrive in what appears to be the main street of a small town. A hotel stand on one side of the paved road, a pub and warehouse-cum-cinema / club on the other. Close by, the rounded tower of a lighthouse rises from a blockhouse base, suggesting this is a coastal town, and indeed, it is surrounded by water, although hills are visible beyond, so perhaps it lies within the estuary of a great river.
Everything is caught in the filtered light of morning, the Sun to the east, masked by heavy cloud and casting a warming glow over the distant hills. Along the street lights gleam from windows or illuminate the fronts of houses. A sailing boat rocks gently, moored within the arms of concrete piers, and cars reflect the lights in their polished finishes. It is a picture of calm suburbia; only the soft moaning of the wind gives the scene an edge of suspense, leading to the question of, “where is everybody?”
A walk along the street in one direction will take you past the moored boat and to the white front of a ballet school, where a latter-day Marcel Marceau uses the lights illuminating the school to highlight an impromptu performance up on a balcony. Turn inland from the main street, passing under the bridge between lighthouse and hotel, and you’ll enter a rugged landscape, cut by a channel of water beyond which sheer, bridge-topped cliffs rise, reached via broad stairs, while rusted gates point the way to where a dirt track curls out over a blunt headland.
With the stairs, the track, and a low bridge spanning the dark waters, where you go from here is up to you – but be sure to explore all routes carefully. There is much to be discovered as you explore, be it wooded paths leading to reclusive places to sit and cuddle, the slender finger of old ruins bridging the gap between land and tiny island, the alone sentinel of a small hall sitting atop the vertical face of high cliffs, or the sheltered gorge where pandas play.
Throughout all of this there are statues by the likes of Bryn Oh, Kadaj Yoshikawa, Mistero Hifeng and Silas Merlin to be found, both indoors and outside. These perhaps mark Anduril as a place where art is highly regarded – and may even be symbolic. Whilst not all the building are accessible, those that are should be explored as well, as each sets out its own little vignette – although you might have to look carefully to find your way into the blockhouse on which the lighthouse sits!
Atmospheric, beautifully put together and married to a subtle sound scape, Anduril makes for an engaging visit.
- Anduril (Anduril, rated: Moderate)