Darya’s island fantasy in Second Life

DARYA, October 2021

DARYA (Da-ry-a) is, we are informed by the region’s About Land description, Persian for “sea”, and given this Homestead region held and designed by Zaffy Kiyori  Bailey (Zaffy Kiyori) sits as a island caught within the calm waters of a broad sea, the name is apt.

However, this is no mere tropical or temperate isle; the largest among a small group of islands (the rest being elements of an off-region surround), DARYA is very much a place that straddles the lines between realism and fantasy to present a setting that is at once familiar and also full of whimsy and the unexpected whilst mixing into itself a measure of artistic expression.

DARYA, October 2021

The latter commences t the landing point, imaginative set on a little off-shore pergola that is connected to the island by means of a short bridge and dark tunnel. A sign at the landing point encourages visitor to enable Shared Environment in their viewer (if not already active – go to World → Environment and make sure Use Shared Environment is checked). This is because the region makes use of several different environment settings as a part of the region’s artistic statement / atmosphere, and these should be properly experienced.

To further this, walking across the bridge from the landing point and into the short tunnel leading onto the island, will prompt visitors to accept the local Experience. The idea here is to allow the scripted environment cubes that mark parts of the region to automatically change your environment settings as yo pass into their influence; as such I would recommend accepting the experience when prompted. However, do be aware that this is not the most ideal way of applying environment settings, although I do understand why it has been used.

DARYA, October 2021

The first of these environments is to be found up on the crown of the taller of the islands two hills. Reached via a path that winds itself around the hill from an initial set of steps guarded by a cylindrical folly, this hilltop is marked by the darkness of night presided over by the stars, the path up to it lit by mystical mushrooms that cast a lavender light into the darkness. At the crown of the hill, the path gives way to a stone circle that holds within itself the green swathe of a faery ring to present a place rich in a sense of enchantment.

The second environment cube sits over a circular island that extends from the southern end of the islands’ east headland and reached via a bridge-like causeway. To be honest, I would was simply have parcelled the land here and applied the environment settings rather than use a cube. It’s a minor difference, but it would allow those on this little island to make some adjustments to the environment settings for photographs without getting kicked by into the region-wide settings. However, this minor quibble doesn’t change the fact that this little artificial headland offers another evocative setting that is palpably spiritual in nature.

DARYA, October 2021

It is these contrasts from the normal – the cottages (furnished and inviting to guests) and the quaint lighthouse over on the western headland, the arc of south-facing beach caught between the two – and the unusual: the high stone circles, the garden-like eastern setting with its tall fountain statue, the strange mix of plants across the entire region, and so on, that adds a whimsical, engaging and eclectic depth to DARYA that is quite captivating.

Take for example the footpath that winds around the northern shore of the island after emerging from the landing point’s tunnel. Bounded on one side by waters from which lilies and more exotic flowers grow and over which a small pavilion offers a tea party setting with faint echoes of Alice’s tea party; it offers on the other an equally exotic mix of giant mushrooms that cast shade over their more normal-sized brethren and the flowers that grow around them. With all of  this presided over by a gigantic mechanical teapot that is gently watering a spray of flowers growing within a large pink tea cup, visitors are immediately informed in the most natural way possible, that they have entered a place of art and fancy, as well as local beauty.

DARYA, October 2021

DARYA is a place that, wherever you wander, there is something awaiting to catch your eye, from the multiple statues and other artistic statements that sit quietly alongside patch or on shingle shore or on rocky outcrop, to the smaller more eclectic touches, such as a the little Shaolin monks carved along the side of the paved footpath or the cheeky winged sprite with dyed hair lurking among the flowers, or simply the pleasure of seeing the island’s wildfowl.

Engaging, photogenic and with places to sit throughout, DARYA is rich in mood and contrasts and very worthwhile the time taken to visit.

DARYA, October 2021

SLurl Details

  • DARYA (Dark World rated Moderate)

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