Update: As I posted this, L̶i̶n̶L̶i̶n̶ was preparing to open a new sky level – Western World -, so this article has been updated to reflect this.
It was off on a visit to a far East themed region for me this week, as I finally got around to dropping into the Full region that is called Exhalt, designed and held by L̶i̶n̶L̶i̶n̶ (Lyndy Lockwood).
In its current iteration, the ground level of the region offers a taste of the Far East, ancient and modern, but with a few twists – as seen by the African elephants, the giraffes the lions and the Indian tigers that can be found at various points throughout – and it does so with a certain flare that makes it both a destination that offers a fair amount to do and see, and which also offers a range of opportunities for photography, be it landscape or avatar focused.
The first thing to note about the region is that while the majority of it is open to the public, there are rental properties within it, so some caution is required to avoid trespass on people’s homes – although most of these have been kept to the north side of the region (with the exception of one), so can be avoided by not straying off the paths that wind their way through the region. A further point to note is that the region utilises a local Experience; this is not vital for ground-level explorations, but as there are additional settings in the sky over it, visitors will need to accept the Experience to reach them.
The landing point lies to the south of the region, a waterside wharf watched over by an octopus and bounded on one side by a little marketplace and the rentals office and on the other by the local stables, where a horse can be obtained for those who would like to ride around the region and make use of the small riding track off to the west.
The majority of the region presents something of an ancient Japan vibe, the land they stand upon cut by a series of waterways that effectively break it up into a series of islands, both high and low. These channels, spanned by stone bridges, mean the the best way of exploring really is to follow the earthen paths as they meander their way around the landing, linking the bridges and running past the major points of interest, with one in particular leading to one of the more hidden places within the region, a water garden tucked away out-of-sight.
While the majority of the region takes its led from Japan in terms of architecture, there are two exceptions. The first sits atop the highest point of the setting- and is called, appropriately enough Tibet. The other lies to the west of the region, but it isn’t accessed directly by any of the paths. To find your way into it without scrambling up a steep slope, you’ll need to locate the stairs and arch that lead to it – just be prepared to get a little wet (hint). When you have reached it, you’ll find you’ll pass from a sense of ancient Japan and into modern southern Asia, a setting dominated by elements of Eliza Wierwight’s superb PATRON builds that form a suite of exotic bath houses, with a small beach facing the sheltered southern waters.
Following the paths around the region will also reveal the smaller touches that add a living depth to it, such as a further water garden in the middle of the riding trail and the pavilion where you can play the harp to an audience of one – panthera tigris (although the giraffe standing in the shade of a large cherry blossom might eavesdrop)also be listening.
More animals can be found during explorations, ranging from swans and horses to bears, foxes, pandas, stags, deer, lions, and more. A whale circling in the air over the central buildings adds a touch of fantasy to the setting, as does the presence of giant (but friendly) trolls. For those perhaps not so taken by animals, there are table games available in the building up on the central ridge (with backgammon available just outside), while a high hive platform offers a sporting element. Art also waits discovery, with pieces by Cica Ghost, Mistero Hifeng, Qutsal Alex, x1XDanteX4x, L̶i̶n̶L̶i̶n̶ herself, and more.
As noted above, Exhalt includes several skyborne settings. At the time of my visit, three of these were accessible via Experience-based teleports, and a fourth – The Roxy Club – reached via a teleport board mounted on a wall above the landing point, although I didn’t spot an obvious TP back to the ground.
The other areas are reached by walking through Torii gates, one of which is alongside the landing point, with the other two a short walk from it through the main entrance into the ground level of the region. If you’ve not previously joined the region’s Experience, you’ll be prompted to do so when attempting to pass through one of the gates, which will take you, respectively, to the Old West (pretty self-explanatory), to Dark Tokyo (a modern urban setting with an adult lean), and to the Field of Dreams.
The last of these is close enough to be seen from the ground by those with a Draw Distance greater than around 150 metres. It presents a gorgeous walled garden with its own hints of fantasy and storybook elements that are enchanting to wander through – although the ghostly sasquatch wandering through it can be a little disconcerting! Both of these settings – Dark Tokyo and Field of Dreams – offer teleport loops back to the ground.
With all this said, there is still more to be discovered in Exhalt – details that help to bring it to life and which might also be used in exploring; but rather than give away everything here, I strong encourage you to go see for yourself. And if you enjoy SL photography, trying playing with different EEP settings.
- Exhalt (Caligula, rated Adult)