Simbelmynë, also called Evermind, has its roots in Tolkien’s tales of Middle Earth. It was a white flower that grew in Rohan; now, in Second Life, it is the name given to one half of the homestead region of Isle of Love.
Designed by L E S (Lestat Heninga) with assistance from Arol Lightfoot, Simbelmyne in Second Life presents a beautifully wild landscape carrying echoes of Tolkien’s Middle Earth without intending the be representative of Middle Earth. Covering the northern half of the region, it is entirely open to the public with the exception of the beach house in the north-west corner of the land, which is a private residence.
The SLurl will deliver visitors across the region from the beach house, in the north-east corner, where they’ll immediately see the Tolkienesque influence. An ancient ruin stands atop a set of worn stone steps and runs southwards over a series of arches spanning a shallow inlet, to arrive at an old fortification, itself in ruin. Headless and armless winged figures stand guard over the steps, and across the bridge-like arches a stone robed figure stares blankly westwards.
A mist drifts slow inland from the arches, sharing the space between tall fir trees with ferns and white flowers which could so easily be simbelmyne, to where more walls, these intricately carved, sit within a small copse. Beyond them the land opens out, pointing the way towards the beach house on the horizon, allowing the view of it to remind visitors it is a private residence.
Further south, the trees give way to a small lake fed by a waterfall. An old wooden shack sits on the bank of the lake, bracketed by a moored rowing boat on one side and a small camp on the other, across the neck of a reedy channel that points eastwards to the sea. A track meanders by the lake, heading west to the beach (open to the public), the ground carpeted in ferns and flowers which slowly give way to grass as the sands on the beach are reached.
Across the curtain of cliffs dividing the land is Love Story – Lost at Sea, by Lauren (Daisy Kwon). This is a coastal setting with a story of its own concerning lost love, hopes, the passing of time, and a love that encompasses a lifetime. The best way to enjoy this story is to read it for yourself from the note card that#’s presents to all arrivals to the land, and I’m not going to repeat it here.
Hemmed to the north and east by high cliffs, but open to the sea to the west and south, the land presents itself as a coastal village or hamlet – where is not important, although the buildings running along the single street suggest this is somewhere along the European coastline of the Mediterranean. These buildings – a tavern, a bakery and a coffee-house – look out over a small, square harbour where sailing boats are tied alongside old wooden piers, watched over by a squat lighthouse. The latter seems needed, given the wreck brought up against the rocks to one side of the harbour entrance.
An old shack sits in the shadow of the lighthouse. It occupies a small space of flat land between lighthouse and rows of grape vines which step their way down a gentle slope. The shack forms a part of the story to the region, as does the gravestone close by. Looking out over the harbour, the shack is the perfect vantage point for sea views, perhaps only matched by the ruins of the old pavilion on the far side of the harbour, a place now devoted to dancing.
Set beneath a setting sun, both Simbelmyne and Love Story – Lost at Sea offer romantic locations ripe for visiting. Each has a number of spots where sitting and cuddling can take place, and both are very photogenic.
Isle of Love is rated Moderate