Update, September 2021: Elvion has relocated and expanded – see Elvion expanded in Second Life.
We first visited Elvion, designed by BoZanoNL in February 2019, back when it was a quarter Homestead region. As I noted in Elvion: an elven sanctuary in Second Life, back then it offered the look and feel of a elven sanctuary, steeped in mystic magic and with little places for visitors to sit and spend time. More recently, the setting has moved to occupy a complete Homestead region, and in doing so has obviously expanded.
The move and expansion has perhaps lost some of the more “elven” elements from the former. However, the move has allowed for the creation of a more extensive, open landscape, rich for exploration, still with numerous places in which people are welcome to spend time.
Set under a bright sky suggestive of a crisp spring or autumn day, the region is largely open, rolling grassland, cut on its south side by a mountain range running west to east, largely separated from the rest of the region by a narrow water channel with its head as set of waterfalls at its western end. When seen from the north side of the region, these mountains give it added depth, assisted by a line of low hills running through the lowlands that naturally break the line of the mountains and make them appear further away.
The landing point for the region sits to the north-east on the grasslands. It sits along a cart track that runs part-way through the region, curling around the hills to curve north and east across the grasslands, two bridges allowing it passage over a bubbling brook until it meets the region’s hills and they turn north. It is at the landing point that visitors can review the region’s rules and can see that this is a horse-riding friendly region (for those with a wearable Animesh horse, or can join the region’s group for a L$500 and rezzing rights).
A further mark of the former Elvion was the wildlife – deer, herons, even bird calls, etc., – and this is very much carried over with the new setting, with horses joining the mix. All of the visible animals and birds are scattered across the region in a manner that makes coming across them both a natural experience when exploring and also opens up opportunities for photography.
As noted above, some of the more “elven” elements present in the former quarter homestead region space are now absent; however, there are some ornate arches to the south of the region tucked among the mountains there, but otherwise, the pavilions found in the former design are absent.
This doesn’t mean the region is bereft of structures, however. Towards the head of the waterfall-fed channel, for example, is a large cabin. Elsewhere there is a gazebo sitting amidst cherry blossoms that add to the more springtime feel to the region, and there are numerous hints of ruins to be found – one close to the landing point – all of which offer cuddle spots.
When wandering the region, and despite the lack of clear elven influences, I was still put in mind of scenes from Middle Earth – the mountains, when seen from a distance to me offered a hint of Tolkien’s Misty Mountains as perhaps seen from Rhudaur, while – and albeit it somewhere else in Middle Earth entirely – the cabin, put me in mind of Beorn’s house (if without the associated gardens of the latter).
Like the cabin, the various ruins offer places for people to sit and talk and cuddle. Other sitting / cuddle points await discovery, including a wheelbarrow, a shoreline hut, the aforementioned gazebo, and various wooden decks. These all encourage people to spend time in the region, as does the potential for photography – landscape and avatar studies.
Rounded-out by a corner woodland setting with ruins of its own, the expanded Elvion offers a lot to visitors, making it an ideal an pleasing visit that build on the former quarter-region setting. I will confess that I did have some performance issues with shadows enabled whilst riding my Animesh horse, but just disabling shadows for the ride solved that problem, and the issue didn’t otherwise spoil my explorations on foot.
With thanks for the update on Elivon from Miro Collas.