We first visited Broken, the homestead region designed and held by Natalia Corvale, at the start of 2019. At that time, it offered a winter’s setting: a place lightly dusted in snow (see The beauty of Broken in Second Life for more). Now, eight months later, things have moved on and in keeping with the northern hemisphere seasons, Broken presents a landscape caught in the bloom of summer and caught under twilight’s full gleaming.
The land lies split into a number of islands, some connected by bridges, others perhaps best visited by the little swan boats that can be found a short walk to the north from the landing point. The latter sits within the largest island in the group, a low-lying, grassy location marked by the presence of a barn and several horses that stand idly around.
Examination of the horses will reveal they are in fact Water Horse Animesh animals available for visitors to ride; just click a horse to mount it (you’ll be offered a riding HUD – not a vital requirement – and removable stirrups). Use the Arrow or WASD keys for movement, with a double tap of W or Up to cycle through the walk, trot, canter and gallop options (and a quick tap on the D or Down arrow to cycle back down).
The HUD, for those who want to try it offers an option to dismount and lead the horse around, whilst standing from it de-rez the horse – don’t forget to remove the stirrups from your feet! (you can also find out more about the horses in my review The Animesh Water Horse in Second Life). I should also note using the horses can make it easier to cross to those islands in the group that are not linked by bridges to their neighbours.
When writing about Broken in January, I noted that the region has the feel of being a personal design for Natalia. This still feels the case now; the dedication offered in the About Land description – “for anyone who’s ever lost someone” – remains the same, and it continues to resonate with aspects of Natalia’s profile information. Further the very setting, with the twilight sky under its painter’s clouds, invites a mood of remembrance and / or contemplation.
Also as I noted in January, “lost” doesn’t necessarily refer to having suffered the passing of someone close. Rather, it encompasses the separation born of a relationship – be it as lovers or friends – that has run its course and which now lies behind us. Thus Broken perhaps offers a place where memories can be recalled, although this doesn’t necessarily make it a place purely for the melancholy of heart. Far from it; there are plenty of places where couples can spend time to be found scattered across the island, both indoors and out.
These, and the very nature and placement of the islands one to the next, mean Broken ripe for exploration and photography. Some of the locations to be enjoyed are easy to find – such as the Hideaway cabin tucked away to the south and west of the region and that offers a cosy little place to share and o perhaps ruminate. Others are a little harder to find, and often pop out at you unexpectedly, presenting a smile of delight on being discovered.
Large among the latter is the hilltop open-air theatre; more subtle are the swings beneath stout boughs or the raft floating quietly in the shadow of shoreline bushes. Travel east and you might unexpectedly come across a little fish’n’chips bar; go north beyond the camper trailer visible from the landing point, and over the low hills beyond it, and you’ll come across another cabin, this one squatting above the open sea, its exterior careworn by the elements, its interior a cosy little retreat.
All of this is just scratching the surface of Broken’s delight, much of which extends into the very landscaping of the region, particularly in the use of grasses and flowers across the ground. There is a natural beauty that shines throughout the region from grass to flowers to trees and buildings and individual locations, that make it instantly attractive, and that encourages the visitor to stay.
With thanks to all who suggested a re-visit to Broken: Max, Miro, Morgana and Shawn!
- Broken (Farron, rated: Moderate)