Seagull Islands is a full region designed by Balthasar Trebuchet and Angel Baxter which we happened across entirely by chance as a result of reading a group chat in-world. It offers an outdoor setting which might be seen as ideal for those wanting to capture the essence of summer vacations spent hiking through a national park – be it one in North America or the UK or Europe or elsewhere. It is also a place laid out in such a way as to feel far bigger than a single region.
As an outdoor location, there isn’t a set landing point, so for this article I’ve arbitrarily selected the little fishing wharf and warehouses located in the north-east corner of the region. From here, the region opens out to offer several routes of exploration. To the north, for example, area couple of secluded little beaches. Behind these, across the flat grasslands separating them from the wharf and buildings, stone steps offer a way up into the hills.
Follow these, and the route will take you past an old chapel, and on upwards into the hills. A fenced track, overlooking a steep drop, points the way onwards and – if you take the right trail – further upwards to a mountaintop lodge. this overlooks the bay and fishing area. A second path, passing via wooden walkways and narrow clefts offers a way back down to the red-painted buildings and warehouses.
The multiplicity of paths and trails are what make the region fun to explore – and gives that exploration the feeling that you’re on a hike. They lead to a range of locations from tented camp grounds to lodges, stone-built farms, and coastal walks, scattered across the lower-lying lands as well as within the inner hilly area.
Another way in which the feeling of being in an expansive parkland is through the use of region surrounds, from distant hills, to closer islands and a use of part of the region itself to form a protective bay around the quayside. Care has clearly been taken to blend these as far as possible with the region to given the impression of a continuous landscape.
Alongside of all this is the creation of a sense of history. Ruins can be found in the region and offshore: Kriss Lehmann’s Forest Ruins Tower sits on the north side of the island, while a TUFF medieval tower sits partially flooded in the region’s waters, as if caught by the slowly rising waters of a river. Elsewhere, the placement of stones give the suggestion of an ancient long ship, echoing the wreck of such a vessel lying across the bay.
This is a place which requires time to explore, as there is much hidden away under the foliage and along the paths and trails awaiting discovery, be they places to sit or to dance or simply to watch the fires at a camp site or the birds flying overhead. It’s also a place well suited to photography, either under the default daylight settings, or via a range of windlight settings – I opted to use a summer lighting for my photos here.
All told, a pleasant visit – just be sure to wear your hiking boots!
- Seagull Islands (Seagull, rated: Moderate)