Souls of Dreams is a Homestead region we were pointed towards by Shawn Shakespeare. Largely designed by Loly Hallison, with the main house and other structures placed and furnished by region holder Xana Newall, the region is a peaceful setting, caught between offering signs of summer and winter snows.
Split into a series of four islands of varying sizes, Souls of Dreams has a little something for almost every Second Life explorer and photographer. The landing point resides on the southern end of one of the two large islands in the group, close by a low-place bridge linking it to one of the smaller islands. A sign – And So The Adventure Begins – greets new arrivals, who have the choice crossing the low bridge to the smaller island or wandering over a more humpbacked bridge to explore the rest of the larger island.
The smaller island, dominated by the huge bulk of an old brick-and-stone lighthouse, has something of the promise of the holiday season about it. A giant toy soldier of the kind that gets associated with the season stands guard at the door, while firs trees and lights sprout from the rocky table to the side of the lighthouse and a Citroen van is parked on the sand has its roof rack piled with presents. Inside, a blazing fire in the stove casts a warm glow and a decorated tree and a table set for dinner offer the promise of celebrations to come.
This wintry / seasonal theme continues on the main island where, over the humpbacked bridge that spans a bubbling, tumbling brook, the hills are topped with snow. The brook tumbles down from the hills and past frozen pines and oaks and trees denuded of their leaves while a rutted track follows the brook’s curve to reach the large house standing in the lea of the hills.
Divided into two by an intervening conservatory, the house has the comforting warmth of a lived-in look. Bric-a-brac lies scattered throughout, what looks like the making (or remnants?) of a breakfast clutter the kitchen, an unmade bed commands the bedroom – and a cat, presumably satisfied it has been fed, is curled asleep on the floor. It is, in a word, a homely place, rich in the suggestion of welcoming visitors.
A hop and a skip across the stream sits a zip line connecting house and isle to the long east-to-west curve of the second of the large islands. This has a far more summery look and feel to it: the trees are heavy with green leaves, the grass long and the rough beach on the island’s outward sweep offers parasoled places to sit along its length. A little more inland, a picnic basket and blanket under the boughs offers a more shaded place to rest, as does the inner curve of a cinder beach.
Follow the island’s beaches far enough, and they’ll bring you fist the signs of more celebrations – in this case what appears to be a birthday party setting with cakes galore and set within a glass-sided pavilion, and out to a rocky headland where a path of stepping stones snakes southwards to the final island.
A rough, flat-topped brick of an island, this is home to an old fortified house. Getting up to it is a little bit of a scramble – and not all of the rocks are physical – but it is well worth the effort. With inner doors taking the form of framed mirrors, the house offers a network of rooms and a treasure trove of furnishings that await discovery. At the same time, the rest of the island offer s series of vignettes that are ideal for photography.
Nor are the stepping stones are the only way to get between this island and the others in the chain. Depending on where it is located at the time of a visit, a swan boat can be used to travel over the waters of the region and between the four islands. It also makes for a pleasant way to take in the region from different angles.
With multiples places to sit, plenty of detail large and small, Souls of Dreams is an elegant setting, and a fee of L$250 will provide group rights for rezzing props. However, as auto-return is off, please do make sure you pick up afterwards. Now, if you’ll excuse me, a little plate of doughnuts and hot chocolate is waiting by a pallet sofa overlooking the brook, and I’m sure they could use some company!
- Soul of Dreams (Python Point, rated Moderate)