In the courts of a dragon and an emperor in Second Life

Long Feng and Akuma – Akuma, March 2022 – click any image for full size

Xue Starlight recently invited me to visit a pairing of two Full regions that have been developed for the Honour and Blood group by SHyJBuilder along an Oriental theme that mixes Japanese and Chinese history / fable with that of vampires, to present a highly-detailed setting geared towards role-play, but which is open to all with Payment Information on File.

Offering multiple opportunities for exploration and photography, the regions do have some access rules, perhaps the most important of which are likely to be: visitors are asked not to intrude into any role-play that may be in progress; child avatars are (not allowed, and visitors need to have Payment Information on File.

The regions draw upon on various elements of Oriental mythology – Yanluo Wang, the Chinese God of Death and Ruler of the Fifth Court of Diyu (Hell); the Jade Emperor, Ruler of Heaven, Creator of the Universe, member of the Sanqing (the supreme Doaist dynasty) and Lord of the Imperial Court; Akuma, the Japanese fire demon, and so on, as well as on the mythology of vampires.

Long Feng and Akuma – Akuma, March 2022

To understand the back-story to the estate / role-play, it is probably is easiest to refer to refer to the introduction on the estate’s website (roughly translated from Spanish):

I welcome you to the great Courts of the Yellow Emperor and the Jade Emperor.
We are in an age when China has been unified under the great Song Dynasty, and Japan in shines within the Heian period, the last classical era of that country.
A long time ago, so long in fact that no one remembers exactly when anymore, there was a war between the heavenly gods led by the Jade Emperor and the demons commanded by Yanluo. After days of battle heaven defeated the demons and confined them back to hell.
Today these two cities rise above the place where the battle occurred and beneath the place of heaven where the Jade Emperor triumphed. They are the cities of Long Feng and Akuma, and they are where we live this adventure of which you will be an active part, as you decide how your destiny takes you along different paths.

As a part of this, a core of the role-play is focused on vampires reborn, who use Oriental techniques – meditation, kōan / gōng’àn, singing, with a touch of Hinduism through the paths of Dhama – to regain their karma and reach a state of peace.

Long Feng and Akuma – Long Feng, March 2022

The regions share a common landing zone that actually straddles the boundary between them. This takes the form of a graveyard (remember the vampire twist), with each region having its own specific landing point within the graveyard such that visitors using either safely without risk of actually hitting the boundary between the two.

Located on a high table of rock, the landing zone connects to each region by means of paths that switchback their way down from the flat height to the north and south sides of the plateau. From the base of the plateau, visitors can make their way to either city by means of tracks and paths and, in the case of Akuma, by means of bridges.

Long Feng and Akuma – Akuma, March 2022

Within them, the two cities offer a mix of Japanese (Akuma) and Chinese (Long Feng) styles, with the two regions, each of which leverages the Full private island LI bonus, offering a good mix of land and water.

Of the two cities, Akuma is perhaps the more spacious feeling, occupying as it does pretty much all of the region on which it sits. The south-west of the city has its own port, watched over by what appears to be a large Japanese-style fort / clan house, beyond which lies a combat training ground (whilst secondary to the overall themes of role-play in the regions, I gather the SHyJ combat system is the permitted system within the estate). A multi-level palace rises to the north-west, complete with gardens and water features, and Onsen, while to the east are houses and places of business.

Long Feng and Akuma – Akuma, March 2022

To the south, the city of Long Feng is more crowded to the east, houses and businesses gathered around narrow streets and overlooking small sandy beaches. To the west, across a narrow channel of water, sits a large palace backed by a tall pagoda with a walled garden and temple alongside. These noble houses are split between men only and women only.

The majority of the buildings and rooms are furnished throughout both regions, further adding to the photogenic natures of both regions, while presenting much to see for everyone. There are also lots of engaging spots to be found throughout, such as places to mediate, little shrines where travellers can pray, while those who take a boat can make their way to the island of the Celestial Dragon. Or, if preferred, people can just watch the local panda within Long Feng. For those who don’t like walking, a horse rezzer can be found alongside the trail leading from the landing zone to the city of Long Feng.

Long Feng and Akuma – Long Feng, March 2022

What struck me about the estate was not only the richness of detail – and in places this can take its toll on a system, although not excessively so if you’re prepared to make some adjustments – was the sheer friendliness of the people running it; those I encountered were friendly, chatty and only too happy to offer a guided tour, if required.

There will be an official opening concert featuring Tia Rungray performing live in the palace in Akuma on Saturday, March 19th, 2022, and visitors are welcome to attend.

Long Feng and Akuma – Long Feng, March 2022

Richly detailed, rounded by a complimentary sound scape, Long Feng and Akuma make for a richly engaging visit whether or not the role-play is of interest, and I’d like to thank Xue Starlight for the invitation to visit, and to him and the core builder of the estate, SHyJbuilder, for their time in chatting to me journey my visits.

SLurl Details

Both Long Feng and Akuma are rated Adult.

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