The official events of Fantasy Faire are all but over. The Djs have played, the artists have performed, stories have been written and told. Memories have been born, friendships renewed or made. As it is with every year, Fantasy Faire 2017 will leave its mark on all who attended it, whether for their first time, their fifth or as someone who has been a part of the magic since its inception.
But while the formal events have now ended, it is not yet time to say farewell to the Fairelands themselves; they will remain with us yet a while – until the end of Thursday, May 4th, in fact. So if you’ve not yet had the time to visit this year’s realms, now is the time to do so.
Every year, Fantasy Faire, perhaps more than any other large-scale event in Second Life, brings forth a set of utterly unique regions. Each of them is as individual and different from the next as chalk is to cheese; yet all of them are bound together in a way than makes them a unified whole. Together they become not just a grouping of regions, they become facets of a place, a world; realms as united as they are different. Exploring them, it is hard not to feel like a traveller or adventurer travelling a route through a mystical place, on a quest which offers something new at every turn.
That’s why each year I try to bring just a flavour of these realms to the pages of this blog, and why I always mark the closing of each year’s Faire with a plea to all of you who have not enjoyed the Fairelands to take a last opportunity to do so. Whether you are a fan of fantasy or not, you are almost certain to find something among them that captures your attention, or calls to you in some way.
This year I found two regions speaking to me particularly clearly: Dawn’s Promise and The Spirit Pool. Admittedly, both regions have been designed by people whose work I greatly admire – but this is not why either of them became one of my two “Songs” of the Fairelands: both are simply exquisite in design and execution – and the they are far from alone. While it may be a little unfair to point to one or two more regions when all have a particular appeal, I’m nevertheless going to do just that in the hopes of encouraging visits.
Kakushi Pasu, the home of the LitFest and the DJ parties during the Faire is first on my list. I so wanted to write a song story for this region, but never managed to get the words to come together. Designed by Lokii Violet, Kakushi Pasu presents a beautifully executed oriental theme. This is more than enough to attract me; but there is something else about the region which held sway over me: a sense of tranquillity. Despite all the comings and goings of the LitFest, the DJ parties, the role-playing activities, Kakushi Pasu speaks to the heart of peace and rest – and now the core activities have drawn to a close, now is the time to discover this for yourself.
Anansi, Fantasy Faire 2017 (until May 4th, 2017)
To the south and west of Kakushi Pasu, and reached via Egregore lies Anansi. Perhaps one of the most different environments of recent Fantasy Faires, this is a place which brings together so much: fantasy, steampunk, mystery – and menace. Designed by Beq Janus and Polysail, Anansi brings a touch of Ray Bradbury to the Fairelands through the circus-like look and feel to the region, which carries subtle echoes of Something Wicked This Way Comes. It is a place where each of the stores, sitting upon its mechanical legs or held up by great metal dragonflies suspended from the crane arms extending from stores higher up in the landscape, offer the challenge / threat of treat – or perhaps an insect-like stinging trick.
Further south, nestled between Dwarven Chaddul Ro and Halfling haven of the The Hill (both highly appropriate to this year’s Faire, given the Tolkien celebrations which took place this year), sits Ravens Perch. the fabulously atmospheric region designed by Kaelis Ember and lrriven. This is another place of which I should have penned a Song to add to my little series. A marvellous wrapping of Gothic and mystery, there are tales galore to be found here along the rose-choked streets, between the church-like buildings and around the Lady of the Rose. There is also a beautiful place of reflection to be found as well, a place of special remembrance which speaks to all of us who have lost friends or family to cancer.
These then, are the three regions, along with Dawn’s Promise (see The song of Dawn’s Promise) and The Spirit Pool (see The song of the Spirit Pool) which called to me in particular – and for numerous reasons. But again, they are only five of fourteen fabulous regions. So, if you have not had the opportunity to explore them all and listen to their voices, now is the time to do so, before they each pass into the West and beyond our ken.
Fantasy Faire 2017 SLurls (valid until the end of May 4th, 2017)