A trip to an Irish corner of Second Life

Carrowmore, January 2022 – click any image for full size

Courtesy of a suggestion from Shawn Shakespeare, I recently has cause to take a visit to Ireland – or more precisely, to Carrowmore, a little town located somewhere on the Emerald Isle, as imagined by Pleasure Ò Raigàin (vVEdanaVv).

This is a place to stay, chill, celebrate, perform, talk, chat, drink tea or eat some Shepherds Pie and listen to great Irish music and to taste our original Carrowmore Whiskey 🙂

– Carrowmore About Land description

Occupying a Homestead region held by Pleasure together with Evee Sturtevant and Mark Taylor (Mark42929), Carrowmore is a place where extraordinary care has been taken with its design (in fact, Pleasure is still tweaking parts of it), so preparation and care with a visit is essential to appreciating everything. As such, I’ve included some additional notes at the end of this article.

Carrowmore, January 2022

Offering something of west-to-east orientation, visits start at the proscribed landing point, located within the town of Carrowmore and in the shadow of a tall tower that once formed a part of the local castle (in fact, the square around it is all that remains of the rest of the castle, itself long since turned into a cobbled square with the exception of a sliver of curtain wall). It is here that Sir Taylor Eveerness is waiting to greet new arrivals, presenting them with a note card rich with details about the setting and its history, including its association with the production of whiskey.

It was in the year of our Lord 1150 AD, when a primal, primal, primal… we better leave that 😉 … when a great-grandfather of my family spotted this beautiful piece of land. He immediately saw the possibility of growing grain, vegetables and all nutritious things in this soil. And that was partly the start of our wonderful whiskey. You will have plenty of time to taste it later.
In the beginning, the original whiskey was not what we know now. We called it “Poitin” and I still have a bottle here in my Castle. And no, it’s not to be tasted. You understand, it’s an old family heirloom.

– Sir Taylor Eveerness, introducing Carrowmore

Carrowmore, January 2022

Beyond the castle’s tower sits the rest of the town. This is marked by a harbour on its west side, its wharves and fishing boats indicating the Carrowmore is as much a working town rather as it is a place relying solely on tourist dropping in and staying – although as Sir Taylor’s guide notes make clear, there are places in town where the traveller can rest up should they so wish! Town town itself stands as close-knit community of small businesses (the bakery and the pub understandably proving to be the most popular!) with living spaces in the form of flats and apartments above them.

The rest of the land is set apart from the town by a channel of water that gives the region its east-west orientation. A broad stone bridge spans the water to link the town with the rest of the region – although no road continues from it; instead, the eastern reach of the region is given over to pastoral countryside with many attractions within it.

Carrowmore, January 2022

This is a place where sheep may safely graze in the shadow of the local chapel while the local farmhouse sits on a ridge to the south, a place where the farmer can keep watch over his flock and care for his horses. Between the chapel and farmhouse, laying claim to a stretch of the channel’s edge sit a little tavern and the watermill that doubtless played (plays?) a role in the production of the local poitín and whiskey!

Also awaiting discovery are the ruins of the old monastery as described in the notes from Sir Taylor. Sitting on the east side of the region, they are reached by a small bridge as they sit on a misty isle of their own.

Carrowmore, January 2022

Keen eyes may also spot two towers – one to the north, the other to the south – poking their heads over tree tops. One, not far from the chapel, is in fact a circular cottage sitting in the embrace of surrounding trees and rocks. It’s a place of romance, a cobbled path leading to its door by way of a garden of wildflowers lit by lanterns floating overhead, and with outdoor seating in the form of a stone bench and little rowing boat moored at the water’s edge. Nearby, stone steps climb a grassy slope to the island’s wooded northern end, where another retreat, rich in pagan and ancient spiritual symbolism, awaits.

Off to the south, the second tower also sits within a circle of rock and trees that help form a natural courtyard before it. It lies behind a great iron gate with mist clinging to and writhing over the stones shrubs before it, giving it an air of menace. And indeed, beyond the iron gate, the door will open to reveal a pair of ghostly figures; but rather than meaning harm, they prefer to indicate the teleport disk that provides access to the tower’s upper floors.

Carrowmore, January 2022

Carrowmore is a genuinely immersive setting which has to be explored gently on foot in order to be properly appreciated. If you simply cam or move swiftly from point-to-point and rely only on the note card provided by Sir Taylor, you risk missing a lot; but it does help introduce you to some of the local character in town who – together with the static visitors to the bakery, etc. – help bring a sense of life to the setting. But there is far more that awaits visitors – such as the tower cottage described above, or the ring of standing stones overlooking the chapel and another little cosy corner can be found tucked into the ruins of an old waterside shack.

Within the pastoral side of the region, deer can be found wandering and owls keep a wise eye on things. There’s even the chance to come across one or two of Ireland’s famed leprechauns who are willing to offer you a mug of beer – but whether it is enchanted or not, I couldn’t really say! Nor are things limited to just the ground. A teleport near the landing point (look around, you’ll find it!) will carry you up to a slightly macabre location in the sky, whilst the return teleport will deliver you back to one of the two towers in the region, helping to encourage exploration on foot with a walk back towards the town.

Carrowmore, January 2022

As noted towards the top of this article, Pleasure has gone to additional lengths to add to the immersive atmosphere of Carrowmore, and as such, you should take some steps in preparation of a visit:

  • Make sure your viewer is set to Use Shared Environment (World → Environment sub-menu) – the region has a dedicated EEP Day Cycle, and it worth viewing the region under it (not the first two illustrations within this article).
  • Enable local sounds (if not on already) so you can appreciate the ambient sound scape as you explore.
  • Very important! – enable Media for the region (click on the camera icon on the right of the viewer’s top bar, and disable the music stream (if playing). Throughout the region are multiple points where media is used to add aural depth. Such media point may be triggered automatically, others by touch. To give a couple of examples:
    • Those entering the ruined monastery building will hear music and sounds in keeping with the location
    • Touching the central stone within the ring on e hill overlooking chapel will offer a rendition of (and admittedly Scottish in origin) folk song.
Carrowmore, January 2022

With live music provided by Mark Taylor in the square by the landing point (join the local group for details of events, the L$150 fee provides rezzing rights and goes towards the region’s tier), and put together with a huge amount of care and an eye for detail by Pleasure, Carrowmore is a richly engaging and highly enjoyable visit, one which – you can tell from the length of this piece – I thoroughly enjoyed!

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