“Wold” in England tends to mean a piece of high, open uncultivated land or moor, so when encountering it in the name of a region, I tend to find myself expecting such open landscapes; places with swathes of grass, perhaps undulating, possibly with copses here and there, together with tors or other features. However, take things too literally, and you can find yourself surprised.
Take Ravenwold for example, the Full region held by the partnership of DaveOSaurus and Damoira and designed by Damoira. Far from having broad open spaces, it is presented as a richly wooded landscape, and so taking more of a Germanic root, filled with an enchanting and eclectic mix of features stirred together to produce a magical and mystical setting that really does deserve careful and thorough exploration.
Follow the trails through ancient forests to discover a land of beauty and intrigue. Ravenwold is as much a place of exploration as it is entertainment, with venues offering Live Acts and DJ’s as well as a fully stocked gaming area open for all to enjoy.
– Ravenwold About Land description
This may at first appear to be a region in two parts, split by the high curtain wall of cliffs running east-to-west across it. However, it is all part of the one landscape, the two halves linked by a connecting tunnel. Both sides of the region offer a setting full of whimsy and the unexpected, dotted here and there with buildings, but largely given over to woodlands dotted with various clearings and rocky areas where the treasures of the land might be found.
The north side of the region features one of the music venues: an impressive building called Obsidian, sitting on a large paved plaza and looking like it is suited to live performances. Across the region to the east is the gaming area located under the boughs of trees. Between these two are paths winding through the trees, offering opportunities to find shaded glades rich with characters suggestive of magic and fantasy, and places to sit and to dance.
Ancient ruins are to be found here, adding to the fantasy / ethereal feel of the region, and – in one case at least – offer the chance for a little whimsy as a cast of characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland appear before a ruin, together with a few friends. This part of Ravenwold also includes an outdoor folk performance area and a coastal bar, while a teleport portal offers the way up to another games area up in the sky.
Follow one of the brick paths to the tunnel running under the curtain of cliffs to connect the two halves of the region, and you’re find a further world to explore. Once again, trees raise a green canopy over the paths and trails that branch here and there to cross streams and climb rocky outcrops. More building – these with a definite fantasy lean – can be found here, sitting on plateaus, whilst down in the glades are more places to sit or dance, watched over by exotic and colourful plants. For those seeking a little piece and quiet, stairs up to one plateau point the way to where crystals guard a circle of stone arches surrounding what might be a storyteller’s circle.
These upland areas are particularly to be found on the southern side of the region, which also includes an ancient henge sitting in a box-like canyon. Among the stones and rocks here sits Excalibur, as if awaiting those who feel they might be up to the challenge of drawing it from its rocky scabbard. Not far from this, Also to be found here is the hidden entrance to another of the venue’s music venues, nicely hidden away.
Caught under a twilight sky (although I opted for a little more mystical windlight, courtesy of Stevie Davros), Ravenwold is beautifully put together, and beautifully photogenic. Even the 10-pin bowling lane is tucked into the region without being obtrusive or appearing out-of-place. The number of paths winding their way through the region, branching and joining, cross streams and climbing hills and rocks, all serve to give the feeling this is a realm much bigger than its 256 metres on a side.
Should you enjoy a visit and wish to show your appreciation do consider a donation towards the region’s upkeep – if you can’t find one elsewhere, there is a tip cauldron inside the Obsidian venue, close to the landing point.
- Ravenwold (Merlin, rated: Moderate)