Brand New Colony – click on any image for full size
In September 2017, we visited Brand New Colony, a homestead designed by Bunny Blessed (Svelte Blessed) and Mimara Blessed (Mimara), and we very much enjoyed our explorations. So when Miro Collas sent me a message to say the region had relocated and in the process had been rebuilt, we decided to jump to the new location and take a look.
Still in the hands of the Blessed family, and designed once again by Bunny and Mimara, with assistance from Seren La Croix (torturedstar), the region in its new location carries on some of the themes from the September 2017 design whilst presenting a wholly new look that touches on fantasy in an eye-catching and imaginative way.
As with the September design, a core aspect of this new build is islands. Surrounded by tall, grass-covered peaks, Brand New Island presents six islands – although three are not what you might expect. The largest of these islands is a rugged affair, thrusting up from foamy waters, its flat top home to a large villa which echoes part of the look from the September 2017 design. Furnished indoors and within its courtyard, the villa shares this table of rock with an outdoor terrace located closer to the water, sitting on a low shoulder of rock reached via a stone stairway. With plenty of room to sit around the fireplace, this terrace ends at a small jetty against which a Loonetta 31 is moored.
The terrace also offers a fine view across the water to two more islands – these so closely linked, they at first appear to be a single body of land rising gently from the surrounding waters. It is only while exploring that the narrow channel dividing them becomes apparent, stone and wood bridges spanning it to link these two richly wooded islands. Much is to be found on them, be it the red-roofed chapel or the little Romany encampment or, a little further afield and more secluded, various points where couples can sit and cuddle under the shade of trees or by rounded pools of quiet water.
But how does one get from the villa island to its neighbours? The answer to that question isn’t hard to find, lying as it does within the unique presentation of the three remaining islands, one of which forms the landing point for visitors, and is home to a gazebo those who visited the September 2017 design will likely find familiar.
Rather than being surrounded by the region’s foamy waters, these three islands are floating – rising, even – above them. It is as if gravity has forgotten them, so they have cut loose from their foundations to start a slow rise into the sky, setting smaller boulders and rocks tumbling and spinning in the air in defiance of gravity in the process. But they have not been allowed to escape entirely: great chains anchor the larger two of these floating islands to their cousins below, the chains massive and rusted, forming iron bridges visitors can use to travel between those below and those in the air.
Two of these islands seem content with their lot, firmly anchored in place to those below. The third, however, linked to the landing point island, appears more wayward. Canted at a slight angle, it seems to resent the massive chain impeding its upward progress and is still attempting to ascend, the great trees on its grassy top seeming to grasp the grassy rock in their roots, grimly determined to hang on.
With chains connecting it to both the villa island and one of the wooded islands, the landing point offers a natural connection between the two, while to the south-east, and linked only to the villa island, the last of those floating in the area offers its flat top to a garden setting. Focused on a large gazebo, this features statues, fountains, a rich variety of unusual flower planters – including an old grand piano and a garden swing to an overgrown tea party attended by stone sculptures, presenting a wonderfully fanciful scene.
For those who prefer not to chance the chains linking the islands together, a teleport system is supplied; look for the chalk signs boards found at or near each of the major locations and click on them for a list of destinations. Make sure you accept the local experience, and TPs will be automatic on selecting a destination thereafter.
At the time of our visit, some construction work still seemed to be in progress, so some things may well change over the coming days. However, that shouldn’t put visitors off. This latest iteration of Brand New Colony retains all the beauty of the former region, while offering something very new and fun to explore. Our only word of warning is that it is rich in textures, some of which can take a little time to load.
- Brand New Colony (Teasers, rated: Adult)