Bo Zano’s (BoZanoNL) Elvion has been a popular location for Second Life travellers since he first opened it to the public in 2019. Initially a quarter Homestead, it quickly expanded to cover an entire region, iterating through a series of settings over the years, with a period of absence as well.
Having returned to Second Life earlier in 2021, Elvion has now once again expanded: in August 2021 Bo relocated from a Homestead region to a Full private region with the additional LI bonus. The move has brought with it an expansion to his vision that is richly engaging, in some ways a double-headed coin offering two very different environments that come together as a whole to keep the dedicated Second Life explorer and photographer engaged for what can be hours.
On the ground level there is a rural setting mindful of the earlier iterations of Elvion: a place of open spaces, glades, tall trees, running waters and animals roaming free. At the same time, it offers much that is new to Elvion: a waterfront home for fishing boats that forms a place of commerce for those landing their loads of fish, watched over by the local chapel. Horses roam and open field close by, while further along the coastline is a rugged beach presided over by the ribs of an ancient boat and the tall finger of a lighthouse.
The landing point for the region sits to the north and west of this coastal setting, on the platform of an old railway line. The station serves a little corner-built hamlet, it’s paved square offering hints of cities from across Europe (perhaps most notably London, thanks to the wall-mounted street name). The shops here are furnished and the square rich in detail, making this one of the region’s many settings for photography.
Great oaks rise from the land bordering the town and sit between it and the southern coast. Under their broad canopy are multiple places awaiting discovery. I’m not going to name them all here, as exploration is a central part of any enjoyment of Elvion and I don’t want to spoil that; but wander far enough and you’ll discovery a wild garden with a greenhouse bathroom, ruins of considerable age. bridges awaiting crossing and many places to sit and pass the time.
Also circling its way through the trees and under their canopy is the railway line itself, rusted with age and probably no longer in regular use. A couple of buffered spurs branch from it, one the home of an aging boxcar. Without trains to threaten explorers, the track offer an excellent means to discover many of the region’s sites – and to reveal its chief secret.
I mentioned earlier that this is a region of two sides, each existing in its own right, separate from the other yet part of the whole. The link between the two takes the form of a small tunnel, a former pedestrian way under one of the region’s hills. sits alongside a length of the railway track (and admittedly not hard to miss given the signage 🙂 ), and which is in fact the teleport to Bo’s Sky World.
This is a genuinely magical setting, a series of island floating high in the sky, far above the clouds. Each offers a unique setting, all of them places caught in the midst of Autumn in difference to the summertime of the ground level setting. Some may appear entirely natural, complete with buildings and other familiar structures; others are more fantastical, the home of strange creatures – ShadowBull, giant scorpion and drangonfly or the most unusual setting for afternoon tea that winds its way up a spire of rock, itself topped by a steampunk-esque teapot/clock.
Throughout all of this there winds the rusting lines of the railway track, rising and falling, turning and crossing itself, offering a pathway around and between the islands. In doing so, it forms the motif that joins the Sky World with the ground level, even as they remain separate. Along the track can be found circular signs. Usually marking track point, here they offer teleport jumps to reach those island the track does not directly touch. Walk to the end of the and you’ll find a locomotive taking flight as it starts on its own journey of discovery.
Elvion’s ground level and Sky World both have enormous appeal about them (those used to running with shadows enabled may want to disable them when moving around to lighten the render load) and a which offer multiple opportunities for photography and / or sitting and passing the time.
Sadly, the members of Bo’s own Rat Pack and his three stooges are apparently absent this iteration – so no Frank or Sammy or Curly or Moe waiting to greet wanderers; but again, this is small price to pay for the sheer richest of the settings, and the dreamlike beauty of the Sky World.
Absolutely not a version of Elvion that should be missed.
- Elvion (Woodland Realm, rated Moderate)