The streets and paths of Anduril in Second Life

Anduril, Anduril; Inara Pey, February 2017, on FlickrAnduril – 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.

Anduril, Anduril; Inara Pey, February 2017, on FlickrAnduril

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?”

Anduril, Anduril; Inara Pey, February 2017, on FlickrAnduril

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.

Anduril, Anduril; Inara Pey, February 2017, on FlickrAnduril

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.

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  • Anduril (Anduril, rated: Moderate)
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Celebrating the Oscars at Caitinara Bar, Second Life

The limos start to arrive at the spotlights roam the skies outside Caitinara Bar
The limos start to arrive at the spotlights roam the skies outside Caitinara Bar

On Wednesday, February 8th, we opened the new look Caitinara Bar with our monthly Music With Anthony theme night – an opportunity for friends and guests to dress up and come along to the bar and have a little extra fun and conversation.

As February is the month of the Academy Awards, we’d decided to have our own celebration of the music and songs from award-winning films over the decades, as well as music and songs from this year’s nominees. To help set the mood, we did a little decorating as well: spotlight swivelling across the skies outside, a red carpet extending from roadside into the bar, complete with photo backdrop for those wanting to grab a snap or two (we kept the paparazzi outside!), and Oscar himself adorning the walls.

Ylva, Patti and Kerena
Ylva, Patti and Kerena

As people began to arrive, so the music started to play – Anthony had selected some of the more recent hits from major award-winning films, and as more arrived so the requests came in as well. Of course, there were the classics, like Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), When You Wish Upon A Star (Pinocchio), Windmills of Your Mind (The Thomas Crown Affair, 1968), to the songs we perhaps grew up with, like Up Where We Belong (An Officer and a Gentleman), through to more recent ballads, such as Adele’s Skyfall – and many, many more.

Everyone took to the evening in style, the gents looking dapper and dashing, the ladies glittering in frocks and gowns, and the conversation flowed around the music. sadly, we didn’t get the red carpet photos we’d hoped, but the sekrit camera was floating around the dance floor, allowing me to capture the odd shot or two :). If you’re not included in the pictures here, my apologies – I’ll make sure to catch you at the next event!

Bou, Anthony, Sam and Sister
Bou, Anthony, Sam and Sister

If you couldn’t make it to this month’s special event, our next is on Wednesday, March 1st, when we’ll be featuring the music of the New Romantics.  BUT! Don’t forget we have music and dancing at the bar every Wednesday and Friday, from 4:00pm through 6:00pm SLT on each evening, with Anthony Westburn providing the tunes on Wednesdays and Joy Canadeo playing them on Fridays.

So, why not make a note in your diaries and come along and join us? And don’t forget as well, Holly Kai Park is always open for visits, complete with our regular art exhibitions and displays.

Caitlyn and I pause for photos on the red carpet!
Caitlyn and I pause for photos on the red carpet!

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This article also appears on the Holly Kai Park blog.