A touch of Celtic magic in Second Life

Finian’s Dream, March 2020 – click any image for full size

Finian’s Dream has been a destination that’s been on our list since the region officially opened; in fact it is one that has given rise to a few recommendations coming my way in the time since (thank you Miro, et al), with the only reason for a delay in dropping in is to allow the initial rush of visitors to be over, so we can creep around and peek at things without getting in the way of others too much.

Designed by Noralie78 of Lost Unicorn Forest fame (read here for more), the region’s description is perfectly offered by her through an introductory note card that can be obtained at the landing point:

Welcome to Finian’s Dream! This beautiful land is in celebration of old Celtic Ireland with a touch of magic 🙂 Ireland is known for its many mystical secrets of the forest…after all, that’s where fairies came from! Walk through the deep and magical woods, you might just make some discoveries along the way. Stop by the pub and allow Donngal to make you a drink while you watch Rowan perform her Irish dance (no she never gets tired :P).

Finian’s Dream, March 2020

This is a place that harks back to a time when Ireland’s many forests were united to cover much of the land; a place where Ireland’s legends and myths may well have been born. wreathed in mist and caught in a perpetual dusk. In this realm, awaiting discovery, is so much.

From the landing point, the forest, deep in shadow beckons; a place where tiny fairies flit and fly.  Statues and glades with stone circles, the air within them cut by slanting Moonlight, await along natural trails a paths set wide between broad tree trunks that hold aloft the covering blanket of branches and leaves.

Finian’s Dream, March 2020

A stream cuts through the forest with logs, either fallen or felled, providing crossing points over it, pointing the way to where a rutted cart track skirts the woodlands. Follow this in one direction, and it leads the way to where stone steps climb the region’s uplands, in the other it offers the way to open farmlands presided over a homely cottage and a lone windmill. Here the land is cut neatly by dry stone walls, home to sheep and cattle.

Above the farm and the canopy of trees, the highlands form a stepped plateau, home to a stone castle that commands the land and those surrounding it. The Irish tricolour hangs above the castle’s portcullis, casting a more recent time to the setting (the flag was a gift to Ireland in 1848, but not officially adopted until the early 20th century), which makes it a slight anachronism given the sense of age and history invoked by the rest of the region.

Finian’s Dream, March 2020

Within the castle can be found a marvellous display of CybeleMoon’s fabulous digital art, which is keeping with the setting, echoing as it does the rich sense of history and legend evoked by the design. Also to be found with the region are three story givers that relate famous Irish legends as narrated by SL resident Sukibombuki Resident.

With the heavy mists, the hidden farm beyond the woods, the cottage in the forest and the twilight sky, its not hard to imagine this is some form of Irish Brigadoon – a place cut off from the rest of the world, filled with its own mystery that, rather than appearing once a century, can only be found  by wandering deep into the older IrishfForests and following the path that brings you to this mystical, magical place.

Finians Dream, March 2020

Beautifully conceived and executed, Finian’s Dream is a place that is gorgeous to witness, lovingly put together by the hands and eyes that make Lost Unicorn such a joy to visit.

SLurl Details

Second Life: support for remote working & reduced education / non-profit fees – updated

via and © Linden Lab

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how Second Life can help organizations, events, and conferences continue to safely and efficiently operate during the coronavirus outbreak.

Many individuals and organizations are being affected by this unprecedented public health crisis, and we recognize that Second Life can provide an important and valuable way for people to stay in touch with their friends and co-workers amidst new social distancing protocols, mandated remote work requirements, and other precautionary measures.

– from Second Life to Expand Support & Reduce Prices for Education & Nonprofits

Questions have been asked of late how Linden Lab can assist in the growing crisis surrounding the Corvid-19 pandemic that is affecting the world. When asked about promoting Second Life as a platform for meetings, etc., Brett Linden, speaking during the Lab Gab #16 session featuring the Marketing Team noted that the company was aware of SL’s unique capabilities, but also of the need to respond to the growing crisis responsibly and in a manner that is not seen to be a crude attempt to simply leverage the situation for their own advantage.

On Friday, arch 13th, the company issued a blog post announcing a new imitative that is aimed at helping promote the platform as a platform for remote working, and to announce the reduction in region fees for registered educationals and non-profits.

In the latter regard, the blog post announces a reduction in tier fees:

One of the first things we’ve implemented to help is a reduction in pricing to a flat $99/month per region to qualified accredited non-profit or educational institutions. Effective immediately, this limited-time price reduction is applicable to any new or added regions including renewals of existing regions. See our Terms & Conditions for more information.

No time frame for the fee reduction (or applications for receiving the fee reduction, if this is what is meant) is provided, and I’ve asked the Lab for general clarification on this; if I receive a reply, I will update this post.

The post goes on to note practical steps those wishing to use the platform for remote solutions for conferences, events or classes can go about getting started, which also introduces the Lab’s new micro-website connect.secondlife.com, and an accompanying updated FAQ on working in Second Life.

Please refer to the blog post for full details.

Updates:

  • Patch Linden has confirmed that it is the period of the reduced fee offer on educational / non-profit regions that is limited. He added that the US $99 / month fee “will remain in place as long as their [the organisation’s  / individual’s] invoicing is current.” My thanks to Brett Linden for co-ordinating the clarification.
  • I noted to Linden Lab that the links within the knowledge base FAQ are (at the time of writing), not working. These are in the process of being fixed, in the meantime, Brett has asked me to refer people to the wiki version of the information.