As is often the way, the changing of the year sees a lot of people in the northern hemisphere turn their thoughts away from winter and towards the promise of spring. With region designers, this often means moving to replace the snowy looks they may have set out on their regions for the holiday period with something with more colour and the promise of warmth.
Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight – some regions can continue to offer snowy scenes well into February and perhaps March. However, as January does move to February and thoughts of spring bubble up even more, it can mean that those who do like walking through a snowy white blanket or celebrating falling snow or taking to ice skates or sleds and are starting to miss opportunities to do so – or who simply like to witness / photograph the scarecrow form of trees without leaves, standing with arms upraised -, MoonStone (Hecatolite) and Louise (Sallielouise) may have just the right Panacea.
Occupying a Homestead region, this is a setting that – for now – remains caught in the grip of winter, although the thaw is showing signs from gradually breaking through.
Laid out along an east-west orientation (don’t be fooled by the map tile, that is still awaiting post-Uplift update at the time of writing), this is a rugged place. The highlands sit predominantly to the west: hills that while not high, are already showing signs of greening as the days lengthen and the air warms. The lower slopes, however, are still wreathed in snow, some of which are are under curtains of snow that is falling gently, testament to the fact that winds across the island are low.
As the land rolls down towards the eastern coast, so it is cut by water that almost splits it in two, it extends as far as the green-topped hills that form an open-ended ring around it. But is this a river that is flowing out from the hills – or an inlet of water that, having forcing its way around a little eastern island, found the line of least resistance to cut its way deep into the landscape?, as suggested by the water’s direction of flow within the semi-iced channel.
The land is also cut by a second channel reaching to the west side hills; however, it is still largely frozen, with two large tables of ice sitting against the step slopes of the hills holding it in. One of these appears thick enough to withstand a complete thaw: is is home to a wooden bench that would not be any fun to try and haul by up the precipitous slopes.
Scattered across the island are a number of buildings and structures. These include two cabins – a blocky one sitting up among the hills, and a more traditional steep-roofed one encompassing a single room, sitting on the north-east headland, close to the rocky coast and accompanied by a small folly. A lighthouse sits on the little eastern island guarding the river mouth / inlet, and beyond it, on the south-east headland, a gazebo provides a covering for the local ice rink.
Elsewhere, cafés offer places to enjoy a warm drink, while paths and trails winding through the land and the hills, watched over by the local wildlife. Most of the latter are birds, waterfowl, turkeys, squirrels and deer – although you might want to keep a wary eye on the wolves and polar bears that reside here. None of them appear to be aggressive, but you never can tell!
A simple yet carefully detailed winter setting, with sleds available for those wanted to have a little fun whilst a box at the ice rink will provide skates, Panacea offers a photogenic visit, and is also suitable for those who have a wearable horse and would like a winter’s ride. In this it’s name might also be taken as a pointer to the region offering a chance to sooth whatever stresses you might be facing.
With thanks to Shawn Shakespeare for the tip.
- Pancea (Ember Vale, rated Adult)