Update July 2019: Elvenshire has closed, and Zuma has a new region design elsewhere – see for details. Because of this, SLurls have been removed from this post.
It’s been two years since our last visit to Elvenshire, the Homestead region designed by Zuma Fae Dust (Zuma Jupiter); a fact I was recently reminded of by Shawn Shakespeare, who actually originally pointed the region out to us back in March 2017. So this being the case, we girded our lions for teleporting, and hopped over to renew our acquaintance with the region.
Back in 2017, the region was set as a place rife with magic and not a little romance, rich in little vignettes and suggestions of an elven (or at least fae) presence. A lot has changed since then; now simply called (Fae Forest) the region still encompasses a forested feel – but this time it is a rain forest, suggestive of somewhere in the sub-tropics, backed against at high arc of mountain-like terrain, the rest of the setting smothered by a heavy blanket of foliage hiding it from prying eyes overhead.
Much of the land around the feet of the trees is flooded, with water tumbling from the inaccessible uplands (while a path does offer a way up the steep hills, it only goes so far – to a plateau where a Koi house sits alongside the tumbling waters of falls). This is one of several places available for visitors to find when exploring the region.
Several of these maintain the mystical feel present within the region at our last visit. There’s an ancient, broken rotunda, for example. Slowly being overtaken by forest growth, it marks the way to an ancient garden area that in turn leads to an aged bath house rich in décor, brought together in an eclectic mix that completely satisfies the eye. A door to one side of this structure offers a way back to the landing point – but taking it might risk missing other attractions.
Elsewhere sit hints of fantasy and the fantastical: a great blue whale, swimming without moving on the water rather than below it, a garden on its back, the bulk of spaceship like submarine close by. Then there are the little vignettes still waiting to be found: the old round stone turret when rusting canon and makeshift sofa, the gamer’s hideaway, all sitting between and under the trees.
And then there is the landing point itself, a hall close to the edge of the region. It has a wonderfully homely feel to it setting that immediately puts one at ease, yet holds an exotic look offering the promise of discovery within the region beyond.
Should the forest prove too oppressive, gated steps run down from the landing point to a short tongue of land that licks the edge of a little grassy island crowned by a single tree (although two more lie to one side) and a sunken ring of standing stones. Here the rain falls lightly, and may well ease the more enclosed, oppressed air some might feel under the heavy foliage of the rain forest.
For those who fancy more of a challenge, the route to the path up the hills mentioned above can take some finding, but it also does reveal another little cuddle spot for romantics. Also, take care when crossing the bridges that form part of the route to the hillside path; we both fell through parts of the bridges to take a further dip in the waters below.
This is a very different setting from the one we witnessed two years ago – hardly surprising since it is two years since our last visit; but it is one that remains photogenic, and visitors are invited to share their images via the region Flickr group.