An oriental Dragonfly in Second Life

Dragonfly, March 2023 – click any image for full size

Dragonfly is a Full private region designed by the Mad Ninjaz, offering a fascinating setting built along vertical lines and which – on first arrival – can appear deceptive to the eye.

The landing point sits within what at first appears to be a rocky landscape, close to a Japanese style of house built over an artificial pool of water. It looks for all the world like an ordinary setting – until one starts to look around, and the floating islands with water falling free to reach nearby pools come into view. A further indication of the strangeness to the land comes in the form of the large hole in the ground behind the landing point (be careful if stepping back too far on landing!) which reveals another world; one which I’ll come to.

Dragonfly, March 2023

A Torii gate marks the entrance to the house, and more march away to the east, following the water flowing away from the pool over which the house has been built. Crossing a small bridge over the water, the gates turn south, marking the way where large basalt blocks sit as oversized stepping stones across mist-covered waters to large to stone steps curving up a hill.

The hill top is marked by more basalt rock forms and patterns of pools fed by waterfalls dropping from more floating islands. Torii gates continue to mark a path over around and between all of these to lead visitors to  where a path winds its way up a naked table of rock to where more pools of water – these made by humans – can be found, forming hot baths for relaxing, with little hideaways sitting with them.

Dragonfly, March 2023

Down below, sheltered under the table of rock supporting the gardens is a waterlogged town, a place of many focal points. How you get down is something I’ll leave to your to discover – although jumping down through the hole in the land is perhaps the quickest!

Here, along flooded streets can be found a curious mix of shops, event spaces, industrial units, giant pipes, elevated tramways, all mixed together in a strange mix that is both vibrant and filled with neon, but also edged with a sense of dystopia and the alien in the form of the basalt/crystal rock formations.

Dragonfly, March 2023

The tram keeps itself busy trundling back and forth along the short length of elevated track, stairs from the shallow waters leading up to two little platforms where people can board it for the short ride if they wish. A further Torii gate sits close to one of the tram stations, marking the maw of what might be a cave, neon-lit steps rising into the darkness. Step through them into the cave’s mouth and visitors arrive in a huge cavern and a strange mix of shopping mall and suggestions of clubs and hidden spots.

There is more to be found at or near water level awaiting cameras and explorers, perhaps the more obvious of which is the glowing tree of a large pagoda again lit and limned in neon. Called the Jewel Box, it is a strange mix of old, modern and futuristic, water again forming a central feature – together with a Chinese dragon. Stairs climb between the various floors, allowing the building to be thoroughly explored.

Dragonfly, March 2023

A second pagoda sits across the region from the Jewel Box, but while it is watched over by a guardian of its own – one perhaps a little more frightening in visage than the dragon at the Jewel Box, it is a shell without interior, offered as a potential focal point for photographs.  Some of the other buildings rising from the water are also shells in form, but equally, other have interiors, some of which are again diverse in form – such as a winter garden sitting between apartments. As such, time should be taken with wanderings and looking.

Very much a place of two halves, Dragonfly is richly diverse and wee-presented with a lot of small details waiting to be found. The local sounds can be a little intrusive in places, but overall a very different style of place to explore in Second Life.

Dragonfly, March 2023

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