New Eldelyn is a garden world located on the far edge of the Circinus Stream. It is the new homeworld of the Kalimshari, following their exile from their home galaxy to the harrowing horrors of the void.
– from the “WikiDex, the free galactic codex”
This is the informative greeting given (via a holographic sign board) to arrivals at the landing station at Aoshima, a homestead region designed by Rydia Lacombe that is both a private home and a public space in which visitors are welcome to spend time and explore.
It’s a nicely presented setting, carefully considered and with a flow that makes exploration pleasantly relaxing, starting with the feeling of having just landed after a voyage through space. This is achieved by playing the landing point at the foot of the boarding / cargo ramp of a vehicle modelled after the Star Trek Online Delta Class of shuttle (which in turn was derived from the Delta Flyer from Star Trek Voyager). Around the landing pad are all the signs that this is a busy centre of operations: cargo bins and equipment sit to one side of pad, a storage unit on the other, while small drones periodically arrive to collect or deposit more cargo boxes and carry out repairs.
Beyond the landing pad gateway sits a raised walkway offering access to piers extend over the water, ready to receive water craft arriving from the seas that lie beyond the surrounding atoll hills. Beyond the piers, a series of habitat units have been stacked, awaiting occupancy.
Like the rest of the station, the landing pay and the habitat modules sit on decks raised above the all-encompassing sea, suggesting that while the station sits within a bay formed by surrounding islands, the land is far too rugged to allow any form of homestead to be established on it. Instead, the rest of the facilities sit on five more such pontoons, three of which are directly connected one to another and linked to the landing pad by a low-slung light bridge – note that if this isn’t apparent, touch the blue pad on the lag of the white gate at the water’s edge and facing the central group of structures.
The middle island in this trio appears to be a domed recreational / refreshments centre for the station’s personnel. it is bracketed on one side by a garden area with further habitat modules waiting to be pressed into service, and which forms a home for solar arrays that help provide the station with power. Some of this may well go to the industrial facilities on the other side of the recreational pontoon. Within this workspace are more modules, a greenhouse and silos, all watched over by a – somewhat ominous – tower block. Lit from within but with frosted as if to hide whatever is going on inside, this sits on its own pontoon adjoining the industrial area, blue laser-like beams menacingly guarding the arched gateway between the two.
The final pontoon sits beyond the recreational centre, another light bridge spanning the gap between the two. It presents a private dwelling surrounded by a garden of Earth-like plants combined with what appear to be local flora. Split over two floors, this accommodation is considerably larger than the modules found across the rest of the station, with plenty of space for those living within it.
Life is brought to the setting through the combined use of NPC characters that can be encountered while exploring – one of whom appears to subscribe to the idea that if it looks complicated, it probably needs a bigger hammer, – and by the numerous drones flying around the station, carrying boxes or welding equipment, together with the flyers that periodically pass overhead.
Also overhead sits the ICV Kyrona, which appears to be a sublight cargo hauler (at least going by the stasis pods housed within it) that has been converted into something of a space-going home. Reached via a teleport disc within the cargo bay of the ground-level shuttle, the Kyrona is also open to exploration, the teleport disc in the stern compartment returning visitors to the shuttle when they have done so.
Aoshima makes for an engaging visit, with – as noted – plenty to capture the eye and camera. Finished with a suitable sound scape, it does have a smattering of adult items scattered around, but for the most part these are placed so as to be nicely tucked out of the way so as not to be obtrusive, and so should nod interfere with a visit.
- Aoshima (Elbe, rated Moderate)