Every year Fantasy Faire brings something extra special to Second Life, places for which “region” is too shallow a term: that are realms of the imagination; places rich with backstory and depth. True, there are years when not all may appeal to everyone’s sensibilities or style – but equally there are years when it is hard not to become lost within these worlds, one becomes so captivated by the creativity presented within them.
2022 is no exception to the richness of variety present within the twenty regions that are this year home to the Fairelands. All have something to say and to offer; but throughout my travelling over the last few days, I must confess that it is Mythspire Ridge that has captured both my eye and my imagination the most, and of which I write here.
Born of the mind of Elicio Ember – who, truth be told, were he to reveal himself to be genuinely of elven descent I would not be in the least surprised such is the beauty and serenity found within so many of his creations – Mythspire Ridge is a place of such depth and vision, it is perhaps too easy to overlook the intricacies it offers to those who pause to spend time simply exploring along its broad paved paths, up and down its crystal steps and along the less obvious trails awaiting discovery.
From the mists of legend, majestic white spires group out of craggy mossy cliffs in a mix of elven architecture and organic flow, surrounded by gentle cascades of otherworldly vegetation and serene contemplation terraces.
– Elicio Ember, Mythspire Ridge
The region is home to both shopping opportunities and the Fantasy Faire LitFest. Those arriving via teleport will find themselves on the top of the high plateau of those mossy cliffs and amidst the gleaming towers of the elven architecture. The landing point takes the form of a square terrace sitting between the Hall of the Golden Stag to the north-east, a centre for LitFest events dominated by the stunning stage that gives the hall its name, and the halls of the region’s selection of stores, watched over at its south-western end by a giant carved and winged elven warrior, a staff held upright in one hand, a mighty runic sword in the other.
Such is the height of the store towers it is easy to miss much of their slender grace and beauty walking between them – so be sure to take time to cam up / out and appreciate them fully. Filaments of light follow the line of filigree set within buttresses, under the supports of high balconies and along the edge of steps; lanterns hang from high points on each, offering a soft illumination that changes as the region’s Day Cycles progresses (again, do be sure to have your viewer set to Use Shared Environment (World → Environment).
Also extending outwards from the landing point are two broad paths. One sweeps around and between the other-worldly trees that add their beauty throughout the setting, and over the mossy ground to where crystal stairs descend under tall crystal columns to reach a storytelling (or perhaps Council) circle within an ornate terrace seated on a shoulder of the plateau. This also offers view down to the trees, greenery, waters and crystals of the lands below, giving a hint that there is a lot more to be explored – once the way down has been found!
And finding one’s way down is worthwhile: the waters are rich in luminous lilies, above which float firefly-like pinpoints of light. Lanterns mark trails that lead around the pools of water to where a hidden pavilion awaits those who love dance and the romantic at heart.
Nor is this all. Beneath the waters the magic continues in the form of a submerged garden of exotic corals and plant life. There are two ways down to the realm’s lowlands: a pair of great crystal stairways that start from the natural tower of rock upon which the elven warrior. However, only one of these presents the route to the pavilion; the other descends to a rocky island and a further broad paved path that connects Mythspire Ridge with Fairelands Junction.
The second path leading away from the landing point terrace (and pointing south-east) also ends in steps descending to another story / Council circle sitting within their own terrace (again, be sure to cam out / up to appreciate the architecture of both of these terraces). On the far side of this terrace a path continues along a broad ledge below the plateau top to where a bridge spans the gap between Mythspire Ridge and Atheneum.
So many elements combine in Mythspire Ridge to make it genuinely magical: the scale of the build, the sweeping beauty and geometry of the towers and terrace arches, the exotic plant life above and below the waves, the garden spaces, the hidden pavilion, the richness of the Day Cycle (it is genuinely worth staying within the region to experience the full 4-hour cycle) – but most of all the vision and imagination of Elicio Ember.
Whether you are a lover of fantasy or not, if you enjoy exploring Second Life, Mythspire Ridge is a place you must make time to visit between now and May 8th.
- Mythspire Ridge, Fantasy Faire (April 21st-May 8th 2022) – rated Moderate