A summer’s island in Second Life

Conall-Vika, June 2020 – click any image for full size

Conall-Vika is the name given to a Homestead region designed by Second Life partners Madflex and Trin Adasia we were directed towards by Shawn Shakespeare, who is always the expert locator of regions to explore.

The name, according to region’s creators, is derived from the Celtic for “strong wolf” – Conall, as in Conall Cernach, the hero of the Ulaid in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology – and “Vika”, which they give as “from the watercourse”.

Conall-Vika, June 2020

It’s certainly true that water plays an important  part in the formation of the region: it sits as a lowland island that at first looks might be taken for a broad inlet that cuts its way into coastal hills and eroded the island’s shores into their distinctive shape.

The landing point sits to the north-east of the island, atop its one highland area: a flat-topped mesa of sheer-sided rock crowned by fir trees, course grass and the remnants of an ancient villa. The latter is apparently long-deserted, lavender plants encroaching into the walls and across the fading wood of a terrace even as the branches of a tree within that terrace are starting to apply their own pressure on the surrounding walls. 

Conall-Vika, June 2020

A single path winds down to the lowlands to join with a lone track that snakes outwards across the island. It offers a route around the region that gently meanders from point of interest to point of interest, offering a perfect means to explore and discover. Many of these form places to sit or pose, most with options for individuals or couples and range from a simple blanket under a parasol through a tricycle built for two, to blanket-draped hideaways, cosy summer houses and beach-side loungers.

Towards the centre of the island the track arcs past a second house. This is a split-level affair with whitewashed walls suggestive of some age. Comfortably furnished, it has a western terrace that looks down over ground that rolls gently down to the island’s ribbon of beach and gives a view out over the waters as they reach into the inlet through a narrow neck formed by off-region hills and another island.

Conall-Vika, June 2020

The tall north side windows of the house present a further enticing look, this one over the bay that cuts it way to the heart of the region. True, aged willow trees drop their branches across the vista in a green curtain that partially obscures the view, but, what can be seen encourages investigation. Doing so reveals they bay is perhaps one of freshwater rather than salt: reeds grow around the bank, whilst swans and ducks swim on the water.

The presence of ducks, swans and reeds transform the setting from the suggestion of it lying on the coast somewhere to one sitting towards one end of a great freshwater lake surrounded by hills. Swans that can be found elsewhere on the water or nestling inland further add to this feeling, whilst the northern end of the island’s bay is occupied by a wooden pier and deck against which a sailing boat is moored. The presence of the latter encourages explorers to walk the grassy tongue that lick west and north around the bay to reach the deck and the loungers on its back.

Conall-Vika, June 2020

All of this only scratches the surface of the region, despite the apparent open nature of the island, there is a lot to appreciate. For example, sheep graze in a meadow with fencing that have seen better days – a fact attested to by the presence of more sheep further afield, enjoying the grass in the lee of the landing point plateau. Art elements are also awaiting discovery, as are some ancient ruins and a little coffee house.

With all that is going on in the physical world due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic,  Conall-Vika is another in-world settings that offers a sense of the the outdoors and a relief from being cooped-up inside the house all day. Plus, with all the excitement of SL17B going on through the rest of June, it may also give the opportunity for people to catch their virtual breath. Oh, and the wolves? They are on the island as well – but you will have to keep an eye out for them if you want to find them 🙂 .

Conall-Vika, June 2020

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