For her latest 80 Days region builds, Camila (Camila Runo) carries us from Italy and the town of Ars Vivendi (see: A touch of Italy for photographers in Second Life), to her native Germany and a place of the imagination called Krayentanz, which once again presents a picturesque setting well deserved of a visit by SL explorers.
I say “place of the imagination” because while a visit takes us to Germany, it carries us back in time to offer a view of that nation as it might have appeared in the Middle Ages – a fact reflected in the setting’s name, as Camila explains:
Krayen is a variation of the Middle High German word “kraeje” and means crow. So the meaning of Krayentanz would be Dance of the Crows in English. As Middle High German was spoken from approx. 1050 till 1350 AD, so the build matches the time frame.
– Camila (Camila Runo)
This is very much a setting of three parts, two of which are open the public, and the third, tucked into the north-eastern corner of the region, forms a private home. The latter is neatly hidden by a curtain run of a hill, a richly wooded landscape and the hide side of a table of rock and grass; as such it is very hard to run the risk of trespass – just stay on the village side of the humpbacked curtain of hills or the top of the table of rock and grass.
The latter is home to a sprawling collection of buildings set within a large, enclosed courtyard protected by high walls and a pair of stout gates themselves guarded by defensive towers. Described as a convent, these buildings, with their stone towers, look like they many have previously served another, possibly more war-like purpose, while the floor mosaics within several of the rooms give a suggestion of Romanic influences.
But whatever its past, the place is now given over to holy worship and to the vows of the nuns who live within its walls. And two of these nuns can be found within the courtyard of the cloisters, engaged in conversation with an individual I assume is a visiting Prior or Brother. Behind them, the Blessed Mother holds the baby Christ as she keeps watch on the convent’s gates, whilst beyond the side of the cloisters the nuns are facing, the land rises again to become the seat of a church, reached via stone steps set into the grassy flanks of the hill.
The convent is itself reached via a dusty track the meanders from a small steam that feeds a much large pool of water, and which passes the region’s landing point just as it divides. One arm of the track then continues around the foot of the plateau before finally climbing it to the convent; the other presents a short walk to where a small but apparently prosperous town, given the look and conditions of the buildings and the garb of the locals, sits behind high, protective walls.
The men folk here clearly take the responsibility of protecting the town seriously: the gatehouse under which the road passes is very solidly built and has a strong portcullis which can be dropped to bar access into the town. Further, the walls sweeping away from the gatehouse to enclose the town in their protective arms are in good repair, if a little lacking in defensive positions along their length. Meanwhile, arms for the defenders come by way of the local smithy, conveniently place closed enough the gatehouse so they can be grabbed whilst running to defend it.
Most of the houses and buildings here are furnished in keeping with the period and are open to the public, whilst the town square features a raise stage where, doubtless pronouncements may be made from time-time-time to the gathered inhabitants – although for visitors, it offers the chance to partake of a medieval dance with music provided by the local bard. Music lovers can also find more at the local tavern, sitting on the lower should of an escarpment also within the town’s walls, on the track that leads to a thumb-like knoll rising above the town, and upon which a windmill benignly keeps watch on all that goes on.
As well as the village, stream and pool, the region’s lowlands are home to gentle woodlands to the west, sitting below the plateau of the convent. Here, sunlight slants between leaf-laden boughs to offer pools of light amidst the trees whilst glades open out from between their trunks, and deer wander and graze.
In introducing Krayentanz, Camila offers an apology for having to downsize her work from a Full private region to a Homestead. Personally, I think this is misplaced; this is a setting as richly engaging as any of her previous designs, the greater land capacity afforded by the Full regions they occupied notwithstanding.
Certainly, moving to a homestead has not diminished Camila’s eye for detail, and the manner in which she has seamlessly presented the region within a mesh surround helps enhance the sense that were are somewhere deep within Germany’s borders. This sense of immersion is further enhanced by the soundscape she has created for the setting – so do please make sure you have local sounds enabled when visiting. Finally, those wishing to engage in informal period role-play are apparently welcome to do so, whilst photographers and bloggers will doubtless find a lot to see and appreciate when visiting.
- Krayentanz (Esprit, rated Moderate)