A Viking Lost Dream in Second Life

Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus – click any image for full size

I try to avoid returning to regions visited as a part of my Exploring Second Life series too soon after blogging about them. However, a tweet from friend Miro Collas prompted me to suggest to Caitlyn we head back to Les Reves Perdus (“Dreams Lost”), the homestead region designed by Chanell (zaziaa) for another look despite having only blogged about it in June.

As Miro pointed out in his tweet, a lot has changed in the two months since that visit. The provincial look has now gone, replaced with something far more Nordic in expression, but which is nonetheless as photogenic, particularly under the right environmental conditions.

Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus

The setting is a Viking settlement, the surrounding hills and waves breaking in the distance beyond them suggesting it is perhaps set upon an island towards the mouth of a fjord or deep-cut river valley. A visit begins towards the centre of the island, on a small bridge linking the low-lying village with a set of fortifications. The latter has tall wooden walls marching between square towers which look ready to withstand attackers – but which also appear to be protecting a flooded area of land or a former inlet, rather than the village itself.

This arrangement at first seems a little odd: the village sits on a low-lying stretch of land between the fortifications and the high cliffs of a plateau to the east, open to access from the surrounding waters – which are deep enough for longships to sail or row right up to the wharves. It thus seems to be without protection, exposed to any attack which may come. Where one might expect the village to nestle, within the protection of the fort-like walls and towers, horses and sheep graze beside the inland waters.

Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus

Perhaps the walls and towers are the remnants of a more violent time, when there was a need for fortifications. Perhaps they once completely encircled the lowlands of the island, joining at either end with the rocks of the plateau, but more peaceful times and circumstance led to the removal of part of their protection  to make way for the village buildings.

Whatever the reason, the village sits on open land, thatched huts and semi-stone barns offering homes and shelter for animals. Goats, chickens and cattle roam the gasses outside the huts as fires burn to cure cut meat and racks of fish are being dried on the wharves. Across the strip of water from the wharves sits an ancient circle of standing stones, a henge suggesting this island has been settled in the past as well.  Elsewhere, longships lie off-shore or moored close to the village – one of which is even ablaze, although I suspect this might be a funeral ship, rather than it being aflame as a result of battle.

Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus

The high plateau, reached by steps cut into the living rock, passing a tall statue as they climb upwards, is home to a great hall, where fires burn, plans are being made. It’s easy to imagine much carousing and drinking of ale and mead within its walls in the long evenings.  Although the fort-like walls run outward from the plateau, there is no way to reach them easily, other than scrambling over the rocks; nor is there any way to get up to their walkways from the lower ground areas. Whether this is intentional or the result of the region still being tweaked, I’ve no idea.

This is in some respects an oddly eclectic region design, About Land suggesting it is for exploration and perhaps role-play. While the design is primarily Norse, there are also oddities hinting at other genres / activities. There is, for example a very fantasy-leaning collection of statues representing the four elements, while the great hall contains a medieval iron maiden in one corner. But none of this detracts from the setting offering good opportunities for photography (with a suitable windlight selected) and exploration.

Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus

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