I’m starting this piece with an apology; back on July 2021, I visited Perpetuity, a Full region designed by Tamara Sierota and Camis Sierota (Camis Lee) – see In Perpetuity in Second Life. Following that piece, and in November 2021, Tamara e-mailed me with an invite to make a return visit to the region, which had been redressed for winter and – of particular interest to me, as she noted – carries an elven theme as well.
Unfortunately, I completely missed the e-mail and invite, only stumbling across it when catching up on some overdue filing and sorting. Ergo, I’m only now getting to writing about Perpetuity in its winter guise, and therefore offer apologies to Tamara and Camis for my tardiness in doing so.
To be honest, I do regret not having visited sooner; as someone with a deep love of Tolkien’s mythology and tales (from The Hobbit through to Unfinished Tales as well as Tree and Leaf, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and so on), I was captivated by the setting from the moment I arrived at the landing point on the east side of the region. Not that this is a place that is “exclusively Tolkien”, so to speak – as a fantasy / elven setting, it casts its net wide; so it should appeal to those who many not be as enamoured with Tolkien’s writings but who enjoy winter and / or fantasy settings in general.
Certainly, the fact that this is a winter setting is a part of the setting’s magic. Possibly because of Tolkien (or fables in general), it’s likely that most of us associate elves with warmth, the greenery of woodlands in the spring and summer, etc. So in presenting a clear elven theme that sits within a wintery shell of ice, frost and snow-capped mountains, perpetuity carries us to another realm entirely; one that realm captures and holds the eye and the imagination.
Sitting on what at first might look to be a headland extending outwards into and semi-frozen waters of a mountainous coastline (to the west the land doesn’t quite merge with the off-region mountains, but lies close enough to give that impression), this iteration of Perpetuity sits as place that, but for the time of year, would be rich in the colours of woods and trees. Throughout the setting, can be found great twisted trunks of trees which in warmer months would hold aloft canopies of leaves to shade the broad paths that pass under them and offer places of rest away from the brightness and warmth of a summer’s Sun. Similarly, scattered across the region and along its edge stand copses and strands of birch and other trees that, when heavy with leaf, would draw curtains of greenery around the setting and between its buildings as if to drape them is a sense of privacy and natural separation of the world beyond.
Winter Magic – A place for quiet moments and photography with areas to bring your partner or to come alone and relax surrounded by nature in all it’s beauty.
– Perpetuity’s About Land description, January 2022
However, caught in the depths of winter as they are, these trees lie wrapped in coats of frost, their bare branches still raised aloft and splayed towards the sky, but only able to cast spindly shadows over path, terrace and courtyard, the stones of which all lay dusted with snow. Linked by stairs and bridge, these broad paths make circumnavigation of the island easy, naturally carrying visitors from place to place, and building to building, revealing all whilst also retaining some secrets that lie waiting to be found.
Watched over by the slender spires of a graceful castle that rise from the top of that high central mesa, the majority of the buildings lying within the setting are all of a distinctly elven look; the only potential exception being the more blocky, angular form of a more formidable castle to the north-west.
Furnished throughout, these are buildings that speak to a close-knit community, presenting living spaces, places for gathering (indoors and out) and places of ceremony and / or magic. As might be expected from an elven enclave, both art and music are represented here, and the entire design of the setting carries within it a natural sense of peace. Even the most casual glance around will reveal that considerable care has been put into ensuring this sense of harmony flows throughout, complete with touches here and there that help to both anchor it somewhat in Tolkien’s mythology whilst at the same time, naturally separating the two.
Take, for example, the presence of the Argonath. In Tolkien’s original tale, these huge statues represented Isildur and Anárion, the sons of Elendil, but within Peter’s Jackson’s 2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Anárion was replaced by Elendil, who is also represented here (indicated by the fact he is holding the blade Narsil in his right hand). Thus, these statues offer a direct link with Tolkien’s tales, particularly calling reference to the Last Alliance of Elves and Men as symbolised by Elendil’s presence.
However, floating above and a short distance from them is a flying ship that removes this setting entirely from anything Tolkien presented in her core myths, allowing this iteration of Perpetuity to both acknowledge Tolkien’s influence on our thinking around elven folk and stand independently from it is a realm with its own history.
But whether you are a lover of fantasy or not, this is a setting that is beautifully considered and executed; a place that is a genuine joy to explore and photograph (join the local group for rezzing rights, if required – a help support Perpetuity in the process). For those who do wish to visit and witness this iteration of the region’s design, I understand from Tamara that it will remain available through most of February, after which the region is liable to be redressed for spring.
- Perpetuity (Envylicious, rated Adult)