Update: SilentRane has closed, and the region is now privately held. SLurls have therefore been removed from this article.
A bell chimes forlornly against the susurration of tide over shingles and the steady beat-like passage of the wind. More distantly, an owl can be heard hooting softly, as if worried by the darkening skies, while the squeal of rodents perhaps put the teeth on edge. On the high wooden deck, its planks aged, weathered and broken, oil can bonfires add their own basso voices to the air, while a conspiracy of ravens circles ominously overhead, perhaps eyeing the wreckage around the deck and its steps suspiciously.
Such is the greeting for visitors to SilentRane, the atmospheric Homestead region designed by region holder Quinn Holsworthy (Zoey Drammond) and Bailey Button Rowman (Bailey Delwood) and presented as an “apocalyptic” setting. It’s not clear what may have happened but there is absolutely no denying the “creepy” and “Halloween” epithets appended to the region’s description are deserved, and the general state of the place does suggest some kind of event has overcome it.
From the landing point, a raised wooden deck extends a finger out over the water and forms the bar of a shallow “T”, thanks to a short length of deck reaching for the land. Waves break against rocks and the tide clashes with itself as it rolls both towards and away from the coast.
Stepping down onto the railed board walk reveals the landing point and its derelict junk – which includes the wreck of an aeroplane lying in the water – is in fact located on a small off-shore knuckles of rock, a place suggestive of having once been a venue for entertainment.
Once on land, the path offers a choice of routes: along a ravaged, broken path where a fire burns between a tall cement wall and a tired fence, or under a rocky arch and up into the wilds beyond, where the hooting of the owl is even louder and the sound of chimes can be caught in the wind.
The lower path leads by way of a tall copse of pine trees to and fishing wharf, suggesting this may once have been a thriving place of commerce. A large warehouse sits on the shore while fishing boats are moored at the wooden piers. However, given the ruined state of the building, and the carcasses of shark and swordfish rotting as they are suspended from lines or lie strewn on decks, it’s not unreasonable to assume this is a place perhaps now all but deserted.
A little further around the coast, beyond more trees and a forlorn children’s playground sits a trailer park with suggestions of occupancy. A light burns, vehicles sit parked close to trailers and a flag flies from a pole. Closer inspection, however, reveals it as a place also long-deserted, the vehicles battered and bruised and nature starting to claim occupancy of the trailers and ground.
Above this, reached via the passage under the rocky arch and a walk up a winding path, sits an old fun fair and circus. These further suggest this place may have been a vacation spot, filled with the sounds of music and happiness, patrons perhaps staying in the trailers below. But those days are long gone; the big top is faded, its canvas mottled with mould; the lights and paths of the fun fair are broken, the rides now rusting, decaying shells. What was once a place of laughter and joy now little more than a carcass itself; one edged with a little menace, given the patrons who do remain – and who tend to suggest whatever did occur here may not have been an entirely natural event…
Set beneath an ideal windlight with the off-sim shadows of mountains suggesting this could be a place sitting on a lake in the wilds, SilentRane is hauntingly ethereal and wonderfully photogenic. A Flickr group is available to those who wish to share images of their time visiting, and should you enjoy yours, please consider a donation at the landing point so that others may also continue to enjoy SilentRane.