A Fairelands Journey: the domes of Agra Adara

Fantasy Faire 2020: Agra Adara

Beyond the borders of Heliodor the lands changed. Verdant grass and trees gave way to scrub, then rock and sand. As they changed, so did the say above, turning to the pale blue of burnished steel, the Sun hot and painful to the eyes. Hard and unwelcoming, these were lands that gave birth to doubt and the desire to turn back from our path and seek again the haven offered by the elves of Heliodor once more. 

But onward we strove, company and horses wilting in equal measure under the heat of the Sun and huddled against the cold nights that awaited at the end of each day. We were drawn by the mystical promise of Agra Adara, and when its golden domes and slender minarets rose through the horizon’s haze, we all could not help but be lifted in spirit and pace, despite the Sun’s heat until at last we came to the gates of the city as it sat between the seas of sand and water.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Agra Adara

Standing as a beacon of light in the surrounding darkness of desert and sea, Agra Adara is a place that defies description for those who have not seen it. Scarce have I found a place more strange to my eyes: the peoples here be-robed in white or bright colours even to their heads, their skins warmed brown by the Sun, their eyes bright stars filled with greeting, their houses and buildings natural palaces of cool air, rich carpets and tiles that carried the heat of the body away through the very soles of our boots.

The gardens surrounding these snow-white buildings offered a rich sanctuary from the trials of journeys by land or across the inland sea. As rich and verdant as those of Heliodor, Elemaria or the other realms through which we had passed, these gardens lay cut by channels of water built by hand, and by natural pools. Thus Agra Adara is more than an oasis – it is a haven for life, watched over by the strange – to mine own eyes at least – animal and man-gods of the ancient peoples who formed it.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Agra Adara

Never have a seen a place so rich in life – the people, the deer, the rabbits, the dogs and the most magnificent horses I have ever seen, tall and proud, with blankets instead of saddles. It was on these marvellous beasts that I and three of my companions were given a tour of the gardens on our second day in this most renewing of places. Dressed in the light robes and headdresses of out hosts, we followed paths through the long grass to discover the decorated gardens where the deer roamed, and thence out to the pools beyond where we were greeted by the wonderful site of elephants that raised their trunks in greeting.

It was here by day we could rest and renew our spirits and by night witness such dance and entertainment as we have never witnessed – but not for ourselves or the other travellers, traders and merchants drawn to Agra Adara’s jewel , but for the people of the city itself. Filled with an inner light and a lightness of heart, they dances for one another, for their love of life, weaving tales of the history of the world as they saw it, celebrating those strange gods who had helped them to found this golden-domed city and caused it to flourish.

For me, this was a place I could so happily have settled, the richness of history and depth of beauty called to my heart, the dance caused me to want to learn more of the legends of the gods and men who gave the city form. and so I counted each day within Agra Adara, hoping the ship that would carry onward might be delayed by yet another, so my time here could continue.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Agra Adara

Agra Adara by Eldowyn Inshan & Katz Republic, sponsored by United InshCon & Bad Katz, Camp Italia, Eagle’s Photo Studio. Featuring stores by: ChangHigh Art, CKit Falconry, DCKM & Rogues Echo, Dragons Arise, Dreamcatcher, .: Eclectic Stars :., Grumble, Hawker’s House & Dragon Forge Weapons, John Dee’s Emporium, Little 2 Large, Lyrical Bizarre Templates, Mirage Treasure Co., Sakka’s Studio, Shaman’s Hut, Stitched, and TFF – Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions.

Total raised by the end of the Faire’s eighth day: L$7,695,927 (US $30,783).

SLurls and Related Links

Fantasy Faire regions are rated Moderate.

A Fairelands Journey: the elves of Helidor

Fantasy Faire 2020: Heliodor

Our departure from Elemaria was for me a mixture of sadness and joy. Sadness, because my heart wanted yet to stay among these people of nature, and wander through their gardens and woods and study their herb lore and ways within their great libraries. The joy that countered it was because our onward path would be shared with a company of elves who had also paused at Elemaria on their way back to their homes in Heliodor.

It has been many a long year since I had first looked upon elven folk. I had been so much younger then, and knew not what to expect as entered the fabled – and now long-hidden woods – of Evensong. Even so, their voices and song had long echoed in my thoughts and dreams ever since, so hearing such voices again, even amidst so many fine and fair voices of the people of Elemaria, set my heart soaring. 

Fantasy Faire 2020: Heliodor

In truth, the elves of Heliodor are very different to their kinsfolk of the woods. Long ago they left the green halls of the forests and woods, their devotion to the ideals of creation and growth leading them to find a place where they could settle and create things of beauty and utility. And so they founded the city of Heliodor, the artisans and architects who lived there gaining fame throughout the known world for their skills and crafts.

Those who have not walking along the winding, white cobbles roads of this fair place or looked upon the sweeping curves  and curled roofs of their halls and houses can scarce imagine the beauty to be found within Heliodor! Far from their woodland homes these elves may have travelled, but their love of the ancient forests lives on with the great forms of their halls, the curled sloping roofs of which might be autumn leaves fallen from some giant Mallorn, the rise and branching of the stone pillars and arms that support those roofs suggesting trees with arms uplifted to the Sun.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Heliodor

And oh! The sound of music and song! To walk through Heliodor is to hear nature’s soothing voice, as pleasing and gentle to the ear as the breeze through high, young branches and as pure as the soft bubbling of a brook newly raised from its founding spring. Again I found myself wanting to stay, to explore each of these wonderful halls, but our companions turned hosts encouraged us onwards through the winding streets, past well-tended gardens and orchards until we crossed a small bridge to where a wide field awaited.

Here had been set tables and root-stools with platters of fruit and flowers set for a noon time meal, goblets and pitchers of the finest carved glass catching and reflecting the light of the high Sun. As we stopped, my kinsmen tending to our mounts, so we were taken by hand and lead to the waiting feast, even as more elves emerged through the screen of trees, separating field from town, and the air filled with song. My own companion, fully two heads taller than I and yet not yet full grown, held my hand gently as he led me to a seat, his long cloak seeming to float over the long grass. His wide face, delicate yet strong, shone with an inner delight and he helping me to sit, a warm smile playing at his lips as if he sensed the urge I felt within to reach up and run my finger tips around one of his elegantly pointed ears.

And so, once more, I found myself in the company of elves, and I and my companions scarce worried at the passing of the day, for in Heliodor, urgency has no place, and all who visit know that everything will come at its appointed time.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Heliodor

Heliodor designed by Nix Marabana and sponsored by Jinx. Featuring stores by: [ae] Adam & Eve, Dragonsworn, Dreaming Thicket, Dreamscaped Designs, !!Firelight!!, Grey’s Mind Maze, Home Whimsy, Kumiho-J!NX, Old World, .:Partners in Crime:., Rainy Fey Creations, Scarlet Fey, Simply Shelby, Sweet Intoxication, ^TD^Tirrany Designs, [TF] – Tamiron Forge, The One Team Initiative: Meet the Teams, and XPOSEure & SE.

Total raised by the end of the Faire’s fifth day: L$5,242,493 (US $20,969).

SLurls and Related Links

Fantasy Faire regions are rated Moderate.

A Fairelands Journey: the valley and the castle

Fantasy Faire 2020: Elemaria

We broke our fast before the Sun had cast its first orange light across the broken walls and towers of Siren’s Lore, our guide having told us we must pass through the the Spirit Valley during the light of day, for our next place of rest lay on the valley’s far side, and at the end of a long journey. And so we passed beyond the wooden pathways of the city across the rugged lands beyond, our guide telling of the first place we would encounter, and how it came to have its mysterious name of Spirit Valley of Kuruk.

His tale sounded both wondrous and fantastical: bear warriors, ancient gods and and transformations. And yet we all knew that the Faireland realms held mysteries and wonders, so it was with excitement rising in my heart that we reached the pass that marked the start of the descent into the valley. At first I saw little worthy of the breathless tales our guide related, the path winding downwards, morning mists hiding the far side whilst fir trees at first screened or view of its deep floor.

Fantasy Faire 2020: The Spirit Valley of Kuruk

But then we rounded a rocky curve and caught sight of the valley’s broad bowl, the path now clinging to the side of its rocky face. But it was not this breath-taking view that held our eyes; for there seated at the side of the road was a great brown bear, it’s fur tufted and arranged around its neck like a collar of office. On seeing it, my kinsmen cried aloud and reached for their bows, but our guide stayed heir hands. Cool black eyes regarded us, and our guide instructed us to pass the bear in single file. As we did so, the great beast raised its forelegs slowly, paws outward as if in blessing as we passed, and I heard the rumble of its voice, chanting deeply.

I could scarce keep my eyes from this marvellous beast until it was carried from view by a bend in the trail; but as I regarded the valley once more, so I saw more of these strange bears, watching us from high perches, including one that stood upon a wooden trestle, banners draped behind it, its fur painted and arranged into a headdress. I found myself caught in the gaze of a great chieftain or perhaps a medicine leader, who watched our progress even to the valley floor.

Fantasy Faire 2020: The Spirit Valley of Kuruk

It was here that we paused to eat, a procession of children marching to us from a nearby village. They bore platters of fruit and jugs of water for us to partake, as our guide informed us these were the Grizzly Cubs, who follow the path of the Great Bear Tribe, and defend the spirits of the valley and its healing ways.

The children said nothing as we ate, but sat with us as we ate. Afterwards, they walked to either side of us as we climbed the long path, passing the painted mouths of caves our guides said we should not enter, least too much time pass and we fail to arrive at the night’s destination at our appointed hour. As we reached the pass that would carry us into the lands beyond the valley, a slender boy came to each of us and indicated we should bow in turn as he painted symbols on each of our foreheads, our guide telling us not to wash or otherwise remove them until after the Sun had set.

Fantasy Faire 2020: The Spirit Valley of Kuruk

Beyond the valley the land changed quickly, rocks giving way to verdant grass and tall trees warmed by a rich afternoon Sun. At length we came to high curtain walls, their stones faced and well-fitted. Guardsmen hailed us from square towers draped with the Banner of Elemaria, and our guide went before us so that we might be allowed access to this walled realm of which I had heard so much.

Formed by the the elements – air, earth, water and fire all working in equal measure at the Edge of Time -, Elemaria lay as the Home of Nature, the elements present throughout its landscape, each having given of its best to create a place wherein harmony rules, and men, women and creatures live in peace, tending the land and creating a kingdom where all can find welcome and peace.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Elemaria

And so we passed along the grass-edged paths and between tiled-roofed homes and stores of Elemaria’s citizens, all of whom greeted us warmly or, on seeing the painted marks of the Grizzly Cubs upon our foreheads, with a degree of reverence.

Around trees and over streams we passed, drawing ever closer to the great castle the rose over this pleasing land, until we at last came to a paved circle marked by three arches. Here we were met by the royals of Elemaria, tall and fair folk of great grace and beauty, descended from the first people to enter this lands and peacefully occupy it to live in harmony with nature. 

Fantasy Faire 2020: Elemaria

They greeted each one of us in turn, taking each of us by the forearms drawing us close as we each gripped theirs, until forehead lightly touched forehead. Then one each paired with us, and by twos in a line, we climbed the stone stairs up to where a garden of water and blue-hued trees lay before the towers of the castle, the roar of the falls that fell true and sheer from these gardens bringing an end to conversation until we passed over the gardens atop arched bridges to pass within the walls of the castle. Here the sound of the water passed behind us, to be replaced by music as light and warmth greeted us within those high, dressed walls.

And so we arrived in Elemaria, the length of our journey soothed by the music, and the grace and beauty of our hosts who guided us to our quarters high within the castle, treated as royalty even though they who served us and welcomed us to their banquet later, were themselves of high office. 

Fantasy Faire 2020: Elemaria

Spirit Valley of Kuruk designed by Loki Eliot and sponsored by Spyralle, Little, Big Designs, Team ACTS, Totally Tinies. Featuring stores by: Attitude is an Artform, Atomic Kitties, Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Cheval D’or|Elysian, CHIMAERA, Designs by Isaura, Dinkie Boutique, Fantavatar & Moonstruck & Lilith’s Den, Icaland ind, Peeps Dinkies, Prehistorica: The Dawn Kingdoms, Stytchwytch Designs, Tiny Inc., and Twisted Whiskers & Dinkie Duds.

Elemaria by Bee Dumpling & Solas Enchantment and sponsored by Silvan Moon Designs, Secrets of Gaia. Featured stores: ABADDON ARTS, Ab.Fab skins and Fantasy, :: ANTAYA ::, =ED= Eagle Designs, FaceDesk Creative Creations, Flying Horse Head Studios, Gecko Creations & ~Soraida~, God Mod, Laminak, Last Ride, Stardust, Star Journey, The Elven Forest, The Wooly Pig, TRB – A Woman’s Touch, Unity Maxim, Valkyrie Designed, and .Viki.

Total raised by the end of the Faire’s third day: L$3,779,514 (US $15,118).

SLurls and Related Links

Regions are rated Moderate.

Fantasy Faire 2020: three reasons to relay

Fantasy Faire 2020: Agra Adara

Fantasy Faire is now well under way for 2020, the gates to the Fairelands having opened on April 23rd. In writing my shorthand guide to the the event, I was drawn again and again to Zander Green’s pre-opening letter to all those who participate in the Faire every year. So much so, that my shorthand guide risked getting sidetracked in thoughts surrounding Zander’s words. Instead, I decided it might be better to offer those thoughts in a separate piece.

Since 2009, Fantasy Faire has offered many reasons for people to come together and share their time and company in raising money as part of global Relay for Life activities. But this year, perhaps more than the previous 11, Fantasy Faire offers three particular reasons to relay that can apply to each and every one of us who spend time within Second Life.

The first is aligned to the cause of overcoming cancer in all of its forms. This is the campaign for which the Fairelands were born from the mists of imagination in 2009, and it is campaign which has – as Zander reminded us – achieved a tremendous amount:

This year, over seven hundred souls will work to summon the Fairelands back from the Somnia Caligo, the Mist of Dreams and twenty thousand will come as visitors to those summoned shores. Small numbers still, when you consider our world is home to 7.8 billion people.

Yet, sometimes the smallest numbers carry the most weight. Certainly, that is true in the Fairelands …

For example, 0.13% is – I’m sure you would agree – a very small number. But as always, context is king. So, to understand just how large that number actually is we first must consider the equation that yields that solution.

By the end of the 2019 season, Fantasy Faire’s total amount raised placed us as the 82nd most successful Relay For Life team on Earth [and] in 2019, there were a total of 63,270 Relay For Life teams worldwide …

Put another way, last year the Fairelands were in the TOP 0.13% of all Relay For Life teams, not just in Second Life but all across the globe.

That is how much weight a small number can carry. That is how much good a small group of people can do.

– Zander Greene, April 17th, 2020

In all, and through to the end of 2019’s event, Fantasy Faire has raised a stunning US $358,000 for RFL and ACS. That’s an incredible amount considering the Faire exists for just a handful of days each year. It speaks directly to the nature and hearts of all who attend, shop and donate. The money raised has gone on to support those stricken with cancer and their families and care givers through the Unite States and beyond, and most recently has helped give birth to the work of the Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel.

A US $2 million project, the Hope Hostel provides 156 beds for those seeking cancer treatment at KNH, Kenya’s largest public referral hospital with comprehensive cancer treatment facilities, together with support and resource facilities for family members and carers. Its existence means that those coming to the hospital from all corners of Kenya, and who might otherwise be unable to afford accommodation and care during treatment, can have somewhere safe, clean and secure to stay during their treatment sessions and where they can receive advice and support during their stay.

Kenyatta National Hospital Hope Hostel

In adopting the Hope Hostel as a focus for fund-raising at Fantasy Faire 2028, Fairelanders and Second Life Relayers were able to make a lasting difference to many cancer sufferers and their families in Kenya, as evidenced by a letter to Fairelanders written ahead of 2019’s Fantasy Faire by Kristen Solt, Managing Director of the ACS
Global Health Initiatives Programme.

Thanks in large part to Relayers in Second Life, we’ve been able to launch the Patient Navigator program at KNH which in the last year has given FOUR THOUSAND Kenyans access to better information and assistance. Think about that number for a moment: four thousand people! Ask yourself how many family members they each have. How many friends and loved ones? There are tens of thousands of people in Kenya today whose lives are already better because of you.

– Kristen Solt, ACS Global Health Initiatives Programme Managing
Director, April 13th, 2019

By joining in with this year’s Faire, all of us can help further work like this, helping cancer sufferers and those close to them the world over.

The second reason to relay in 2020 lies with the currently global situation. Because of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, events around the world are being cancelled – including those for RFL. Remember that in 2019 alone, there were 63,270 RFL teams around the word raising money for ACS; in 2020, few will be able to operate with the same zeal in raising funds. This means that for 2020, Fantasy Faire and RFL of SL are at the very forefront of fund-raising for ACS, as Zander again pointed out in his letter.

Right now, with so many RFL events around the world facing cancellation because of the dangers of Covid-19, ours has become one of the few that can proceed as planned. Our community has never been more important. Four million Relayers around the world are looking to us to carry the baton for them. A world full of cancer patients, survivors and caregivers turn their eyes to us. The American Cancer Society has asked us to be their Standard Bearer.

– Zander Greene, April 17th, 2020

Fantasy Faire 2020: Autumnium
That’s why for 2020 it doesn’t matter if you would otherwise categorise yourself as being Bored With the Ring or would rather play Monopoly than watch Game of Thrones or would rather wear a Starfleet uniform with your pointed ears than accompany them with a pair of faerie wings, your presence – your willingness to give L$ – at Fantasy Faire, really is important. By giving of your time and becoming a Relayer perhaps for the first time, you will be helping Fantasy Faire and RFL of SL rise to the call from those 4 million global relayers in continuing to raise funds for ACS and its world-wide projects.

And the third reason? Simply this: by bringing so many of us together from so many backgrounds and parts of the world in a place where we can feel safe and share in a vision of hope and experience one another’s joy, friendship, support and more, the Faire stands as a reminder that the current times of fear and concern will pass; that there will again be times when we can gather with family or with friends or with neighbours and enjoy their company, love, and friendship once more.

So whether you are a journeymen of Fairelands past or a neophyte about to enter into them for the first time, here are three reasons for you to Relay in 2020. Which leaves me only to say – stay safe, stay virtual – and between now and May 10th, 2020, see you at the Fairelands!

Fantasy Faire 2020 SLurls and Event Links

Shopping:

Entertainment, Performances, Etc:

Event schedules:

A Fairelands Journey: Siren’s Lore

Fantasy Faire 2020: Siren’s Lore

Our first view of the Fairelands – both our goal and the true start of our journey – came as our vessel approached the Isle of Shadows. It was perhaps not an auspicious start to our pilgrimage: the masts of sunken ships lay scattered amongst the rocky teeth that broke the surface of the waters leading to the inner bay; but our Captain assured us that the route to anchor was known to him, and as the clouds parted, our spirits lifted at the sight of the great vessel floating among them, held aloft by the form of a great dragon – Fairechylde!

Of course tales of this great flying ship had reached our homelands – where many considered it little more than a myth – but to see it now and after so long at sea, renewed our spirits, and we gathered on the deck as our ship slowly drifted into the bay, its anchors breaking the surface of the waters. Boats were lowered, and we were carried ashore aboard them, the entire crew eager to climb the ladders and steps that passed up through the raised hull that formed the moorings for Fairechylde, eager to avail themselves of the sky-ship’s welcome.

As much as we felt the same wish, and to seek the great caverns rumoured to be here, our path lay in a different direction. A guide awaited us on the the shores of the bay, ready to guide us onwards, across the high wooden bridge to where a stone path lay across the broken lands to where the high walls of our first destination lay, wreathed in afternoon mist.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Isle of Shadows

Passing over the bridge, we paused to look back at the bay and our ship, the Fairchylde floating above, before the road dipped into the vale beyond, carrying us past a tiny town formed from the trunks and stumps of trees. Whilst lights were starting to shine from little windows, we saw no sign of who lived within these strange small houses – the inhabitants perhaps driven indoors by the sound of our clumping feet and the hoof-falls of our mounts – and I was filled with a desire to wander down along the stone paths that ran from trunk to trunk, but with the lowering Sun approaching the horizon, our guide insisted we moved onwards.

And so at length we came to those high walls. Imposing from a distance, suggestive of great strength, I expected them to be watched over by armoured guards, our way forward challenged. But as we drew close, it was clear the walls had long since become broken, gates long ago gone, and so we passed unhindered into the realm of Siren’s Lore.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Siren’s Lore

Once a great and powerful city, Siren’s Lore stood through the ages as a beacon of beauty and power, a haven to all who came to her gates. A place close to the seas, the gods of which were revered by the city’s people. Then it had been a place of great commerce, where sea and land met harmony.

But that was before the Fall, its reason lost in time, but it left the city broken, towers and buildings crumbling, the  streets vanishing beneath the waves. And yet the citizens survived, and whilst the glory of the city’s former build was forever lost, so was a new Siren’s Lore born; a place where the Protectress still stands watch over the city’s remains and the the merchants, patrons and visitors who walk the wooden paths that have been lain to replaced the once sunlit streets that ran straight and true.  

Fantasy Faire 2020: Siren’s Lore

For Siren’s Lore, both lost and found, is once again a place of commerce, and we passed by many shops offering all manner of goods. It is also a place rich in mystery, and magical ruined beauty, all enhanced, I left as we passed along the wooden paths as the Sun reached the horizon and cast long shadows across the overgrown ruins of what might once of been a great palace or fortress.

And so it was that we came to the end of our first day within the lands of the Faire, strangers to these realms, yet welcomed, ushered to a place of refreshment and rest, where we could renew ourselves with a peaceful night’s sleep unbroken by the roll and creak of an ocean bound vessel. And as I settled upon my pallet in readiness for sleep, my mouth still tingling at the exotic taste of the foods we had been offered, I wondered what strange places we might find as we continued our journey on the morrow.

Fantasy Faire: Siren’s Lore

Isle of Shadows designed by Aelva & Emme Eales and sponsored by Seanchai Library.

Siren’s Lore designed by Syn Beresford and sponsored by Petrichor and Elysion. Featuring stores by: Ars Hokori, Belle Epoque, Celeste, Dragon Magick Wares, En Pointe, Harshlands, Living the FantaSea, LuluB!, Poet’s Heart & Mermaid Treasure Boutique, Poseidon, [QE] Designs, Romin Creations, RVi Design,[][]Trap[][], Valkyr RP, Voodoo, and Witchcraft.

Total raised on Day 1: L$1,829,351 (US $7,317).

SLurls and Related Links

Regions are rated Moderate.

 

Fantasy Faire 2020: your shorthand guide

Fantasy Faire 2020: Lunafae

Note that SLurl to the Fairelands are listed at the end of this article, rather than being embedded in the text.

The largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, Fantasy Faire 2020, opened its gates to fairelanders at 12:00 SLT on Thursday, April 23rd, and will remain open through until Sunday, May 10th, 2020 inclusive, once again raising money for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society’s efforts to bring about a World Without Cancer.

The majority of official events will run from April 23rd through until Sunday, May 3rd (although some, such as the LitFest and live performances will extend through until May 9th), culminating with The Final Shindig on Sunday, May 3rd, a four-hour jamboree intended to give as many people as possible the opportunity to drop in and celebrate the Faire’s success between 18:00 and 22:00 SLT. The final week of the Faire – Monday May 4th through Sunday May 10th – will be given over mainly to shopping – but even so, there could be a few surprises that pop-up, so eye an eye on in-world groups and the Fantasy Faire website.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Zodiac

This year the Faire is spread across 18 regions (including the entertainment and Quest regions). As applications were invited from those wishing to try their hands at world building, this year’s Faire offers what might be seen as a mix of the old and the new. While there are some familiar names behind many of the region builds (Sharni Azalee, Eldowyn Inshan & Katz Republic, Kilik Lekvoda, Sweetgwendoline Bailey and Alia Baroque, for example), so too several of the names attached to the design of the Fairelands by new to travellers through these realms – such a Bee Dumpling and SolasNaGealai, LRRiven, Nix Marabana and Aelva).

In bringing together so many talents, the Fairelands give life to the Faire’s broad theme of Many Realms – One Vision. And while all of the builds this year have a again sprung fresh from the imaginations of those who have given them form, so to do some carry with them echoes of the past Fairelands; something I feel adds a level of continuity as we pass from year to year, a reminder of all that has happened as a result of the Fairelands being called forth each year.

As a practical demonstration of the past being reflected in the present, take Alia Baroque’s Zodiac. Designed as a living planetarium, within its green lawns, domed observatories, board paths and stairways and tumbling waterfalls, lie subtle voices from his past Faireland builds, such as Magificat and Sanctum, whilst the boats that periodically slip down the central waterway harken back to The Golden Delta. Thus, although Zodiac is very much of this era of the Fairelands, we, as travellers through it and visitors to Fairelands past, are offered a reminder of the deep roots the Faire has lain and the growing richness of history enfolded within each year’s realms.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Queensgarden

These deep roots have enabled Fantasy Faire to grow strong over the years, and bear practical fruit in the physical world, as Zander Greene recently reminded us. Such is the power of the Fairelands and the willingness of Second Life residents to visit them and support Relay for Life, that by the end of 2019, Fantasy Faire was the 82nd most successful Relay For Life fund-raising team in the world. And while – as Zander also points out – “We’re 82nd!” hardly sounds like a cheer, when you consider there were 63,270 Relay For Life teams worldwide in 2019, Fantasy Faire actually sits within the top 0.13% of those teams. And that is impressive for an event that exists within the binary realm of noughts and ones.

But to return to the Fairelands. As with previous years, the realms that await us draw their inspiration from many sources. For Elemaria by Bee Dumpling and SolasNaGealai, for example, visitors find themselves in a world that has a chivalrous medieval tone to it; a place where a fair castle raises its walls and towers over a flourishing land and merchant’s houses lay under the watchful protection of rounded turrets and high, fluttering banners. Elsewhere, Briony Writer & childofpreservex take us into Poseidon’s (or Neptune’s, if you prefer) realm, which has laid claim to the city of Melusina, bringing it beneath wave and tide to become Melusina’s Depths, a place of merfolk and land folk alike, while Loki Elliot presents the mythology of the warrior bears within the Spirit Valley of Kuruk – and so the list goes on, worlds of wonder awaiting exploration.

And, of course, no Fantasy Faire would be complete without the Fairelands Junction, another fabulous design by Saiyge Lotus. As ever the junction provides the logical starting-point for explorations, containing as it does portals to all the other regions, as well as the remembrance wall, and The Worldlings – windows onto the Fairelands That Could Be.

Those wishing to shop can see what stores are where within the Fairelands realms via the Fantasy Faire Shopping Catalogue. For ease of getting around, you can also pick up a Faireland Teleport HUD from any of the landing points and use it as often as you like to visit the realms of the Faire.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Elemaria

Events and Activities

Fantasy Faire 2020 will again be filled with events and activities, with music from DJs focused on the the deck of the Fairechylde as she lies moored in the Isle of Shadows, while performances of theatre, dance and more will be on offer alongside the Faire’s art displays on and under the water realm of Ambigula. Dedicated schedules are available for both DJ parties and live performances are now available, so keep your eye on them as well.

Role-Play and Table-Top Gaming

2020 will once again there will be numerous opportunities for role-play within the Fairelands. Two groups are offering themed role-play, weaving tales and offering anyone with an interest with the chance to participate.

Sanctuary RP will also be hosting a series of role-play classes at Cassiopeia covering everything from character creation through RP etiquette, combat and weapons use, to complex subjects such as region design, managing lag, and so on. See the schedule of classes for more. In addition, the NeoVictoria Project will be holding a series of out-of-character Meet and Greet events at Auxentios’ Pass where visitors can talk about players from the NeoVictoria community about the project, the story-world and how to get involved.

2020 will also see the return of table-top gaming, this year focused on The Lamented Fens. Catch the full schedule and notes if you’re interested in joining in.

And don’t forget the live auction, the silent auction, jail and bail, the Bard Queen’s Quest, and the LitFest, all of which are crucial parts of the Faire.

Fantasy Faire 2020: Fairelands Junction – The Worldlings

Keep Abreast of Everything

There are many ways of keeping up to speed with events and activities at the Fairelands:

Fantasy Faire 2020 SLurls

Shopping:

Entertainment, Performances, Etc: