Fantasy Faire 2014: as the gates open

Fantasy Faire 2014 has opened its gates. This year, there are no fewer than 11 regions to explore (although at the time of writing, the Palace of Tears had yet to open to public access, and I encountered a considerable amount of lag on the neighbouring Fairelands Junction when trying to sneak a peek over the wall…

As always, there is a lot to see and explore, and I hope to be able to bring a round of updates as the week unfolds. For now, here’s a brief set of highlights, together with some sketches from my pad, grabbed as I explored the regions as a part of the bloggers’ preview.


Created by Beq Janus and sponsored by NeoVictoria (Asil Ares).

Asperatus, a mighty airship built by wealthy merchants and once both their home and seat of commerce. Now, in later years, the Asperatus sits as the mainstay of an unlikely floating colony, drawing power from the turbulent clouds over which it sits and providing a centre of trade as well as a floating home.

From my sketchbook: Asperatus: a floating place of commerce  - just mind those whirling rotors ...
From my sketchbook: Asperatus: a floating place of commerce – just mind those whirling rotors …

As you explore the shops and stores, slung beneath great gasbags and wander the catwalks linking them, keep an eye out for strange goings-on, particularly from Monday May 5th onwards. For it is to Asperatus that a renegade aristocrat and an evil scientist will flee after wreaking havoc in the power centre of the NeoLondon Cathedral. Determined to bring them to justice, a group of NeoVictorians are hard on their heels (role-play to commence in NeoVictoria on Thursday May 1st, before transferring to Asperatus).

Blackwater Glenn

Created by Marcus Inkpen/ Sharni Azalee and sponsored by The Looking Glass

Blackwater Glenn, once a vibrant community, is now being slowly reclaimed by nature as swamplands slowly encroach onto the land and under the old buildings. But not all is in a state of decay as gorgeous flowers and mysterious plants emerge sporadically throughout the swamp and pathways of open water lead to the centerpiece, a giant blossoming tree. Tread the wooden walkways carefully and rest assured that the surviving buildings will not collapse on your head. Traders and merchants still thrive here, and there is the hope of rebirth hidden within.

Blackwater Glenn: I sketched this while avoiding invites from pirates to enjoy a mug or two of grog ...
“I sketched this while avoiding invites from pirates to enjoy a mug or two of grog at their little tavern deep in Blackwater Glenn …”

Be wary of the pirates, however. Forced ashore to seek the means to repair their damaged ship, they have set-up a tavern within the Glenn. You can be sure of a warm and friendly welcome there and enjoy a good mug of grog – but you might also find yourself leaving with your purse missing considerably more coin than you may have spent – if your purse doesn’t mysteriously leave your pocket first!

The Fairy Court

Created by Elicio Ember and sponsored by Cerridwen’s Cauldron.

The Fairy Court, a land of light and dark, of water and tree, where mystical folk offer greetings and wares. Here is a place to tarry and renew under the spreading boughs of the tree of light and dark, its entwined trunks reaching up into the heavens. Wander the pavilions and walkways,  sample the water and the wares. Above all, to be at peace.

"I do not believe my pen in any way does justice to the fair pavilions of The Fairy Court..."
“I do not believe my pen in any way does justice to the fair pavilions of The Fairy Court…”

I confess to having a soft spot for Elicio’s works, which have never ceased to amaze me over the years, and this Fantasy Faire is no exception. Were I to be a creature of myth or fantasy, the Fairy Court is the place I’d call my home among the Fairelands.


Created by Alrunia Ahn/ Eldowyn Inshan/ Sweetgwendoline Bailey and sponsored by Creators of Fantasy.

To set foot in Heavenslough is to set foot in another world, where the unexpected is to be expected.  down under the leafy canopy, the forest is the home and playground for sprites and secretive fairy folks, where ancient stilt houses sit above the marshlands and platforms and houses sit amidst the leafy boughs of the titanic trees. Above all this, sit rocky plateaus rising into the heavens…

"The sun was kind to me as I sat upon a plateau ledge, sketching Heaven below me..."
“The sun was kind to me as I sat upon a plateau ledge, sketching Heavenslough below me…”

Hope’s Horizon

Created by Jaimy Hancroft and sponsored by Dwarfins

Hope’s Horizon stands, like the fabled Minas Tirith, with its back to the sheer walls of a mountain, its streets winding up through stair and path to houses and stores which cling to the sheer rock, leading the visitor ever upward until at last the high plateau is reached. It is here, above the very clouds themselves, that the Citadel sits, together with the White Tree.

The climb up to the Citadel was long and tiring, but the Sun crowned the evening as a sketched..."
The climb up to the Citadel was long and tiring, but the Sun crowned the evening as a sketched…”

Jaimy Hancroft’s homage to Tolkien caught my imagination from the moment I first read about it, and it does not disappoint. The city is beautifully scaled to present a depth in keeping with the height of the build. The citadel on the mountain’s flat summit is the crowning piece, the echoes of Tolkien clear within the design, which also maintains its own individuality and the mark of Fantasy Faire.

Continue reading “Fantasy Faire 2014: as the gates open”


Fantasy Faire 2014: Capture a Dream of a Lifetime and be immortalised in print

The 2014 Fantasy Faire photo contest has been launched, the proceeds of which will go to Relay for Life in a very special way.

This year, the theme of the competition is Dream of a Lifetime, and entrants are being asked to submit photos which capture the spirit of each of the eleven sims.

fantasy_photo_contest-1Entries must be submitted between May 1st and midnight SLT on May 11th, 2014, and must comply with the following rules:

  • Photographs are to be taken at your choice of eleven individually themed Sims for this year’s Fantasy Faire   (Read sim information note card for more details).
  • Pictures must be posted in the Fantasy Fiare Photo Contest Flickr group.
  • Twelve entries are allowed per person.
  • Photos may be edited with any photo software of your choosing.
  • Photos must be PG!  We will immediately disqualify any nude or distasteful photo(s).
  • Reminder, no text on photos.
  • Fantasy Faire & Relay for Life reserve the rights to use photograph submissions for event advertisement and publication.
  • Deadline for submission of photos is May 11th, 2014, midnight SLT.
  • Enjoy the Fantasy Faire Sims and have FUN!
  • In addition, contest winners will be required to provide their winning photography with the following dimensions: minimum  1800 pixels high by 2300 pixels wide  at 200dpi.

The Prize

This year the prize is very special: winning entries will appear in a special commemorative calendar which will be produced via Cafe Press and sold in RL to raise money for Relay for Life. All photographs used will be fully credited to the people taking them.

But wait – eleven sims for a 12-month calendar? What of the twelfth? The twelfth photo will be the one the judges of the competition feel best encapsulates the spirit of the Faire, and thus judged to be the overall winner. Not only will this appear in the calendar, it will also appear on the cover as well.

So, good luck to all who enter, and happy snapping!

Keeping up with Fantasy Faire

You can keep-up with Fantasy Faire preparations and activities a number of ways:

Fantasy Faire: a call to machinima makers

Following-on from yesterday’s blog posts on Fantasy Faire 2014, we now have news of the filming opportunities being offered to five machinima makers to gain access to the Fairelands ahead of the opening in order to create their films.

Given the popularity of the event and the number of visitors it attracts, filming machinima at Fantasy Faire can be fraught with difficulties. For this reason, five film-makers will be granted early access to the regions so that they can film their pieces without having to worry about frame rate issues, viewer lock-ups or people wandering into shot unexpectedly.

This doesn’t mean that only the five selected film-makers will be allowed to film in the Fairelands – just that they will be the ones receiving the advanced access; anyone else will be free to film once the gates have opened.

Why only five in advance? I’ll quote the official blog post:

People are still building, and each film-maker will need to work with us to ensure that they are filming what is finished (or certainly ready to film!). And as this is the first year we have done this, we want to ensure that we are able to help you to the best of our abilities.

Those interested in applying for a slot should:

  • Contact Saffia Widdershins in-world or via email at
  • Provide a brief outline of their proposed film (e.g. whether it will it be a story with actors, or something like an abstract from a travelogue, or something else)
  • Supply a link to a previous film or machinima they’ve made.

But hurry – applications need to be made by midnight SLT on Saturday April 26th.

In the meantime, I’ve included a couple of videos from last year’s Fantasy Faire, to hopefully serve as inspiration.

Keeping up with Fantasy Faire

You can keep-up with Fantasy Faire preparations and activities a number of ways:

Related Links

Videos by Designing Worlds (top) and Kara Trapdoor (lower).

Fantasy Faire: come gather and tell your tales – or join in with others!

Towards the end of Fantasy Faire 2013, a story competition was held, inviting people to weave a tale of their own focused on one – or all – of the Faireland regions, with the winners appearing in a special edition of Prim Perfect magazine.

This year will see another short story contest  – with the addition of a poetry competition as well. Full details have yet to be announced, but if you feel inspired to weave a tale or compose a verse (or more) on this year’s Fairelands, then your words might well be immortalised by the balladeers and storytellers from the Kingdom of Prim Perfect magazine!

Lumenaria, Fantasy Faire 20134 by Inara PeyLast year, the Faireland regions were used as the inspiration  / settings for a short story competition run is association with Prim Perfect magazine – will this year’s region inspire you to write a story or verse – and perhaps see your work appear in a future edition of Prim Perfect magazine?

Machinima Opportunities

At Fantasy Faire 2013, Draxtor Despres produced some special preview videos of the regions, including this one of Mayah Parx’ Ravenshard.

This year, there will be special advanced access granted to the Faireland regions for five machinima artists, allowing them to film in peace ahead of the Faire opening. Details on how to be involved in this unique opportunity will be announced soon.


But if story writing and verse or machinima are not your forte? Then how about joining-in with the tales started by others? As noted in my last update, this year there will be three role-play groups located in the Faireland regions, and each one is inviting visitors to join-in with their various tales and goings-on.

The Revenge of Professor Timmons

A renegade aristocrat and an evil scientist with revenge on their minds are using illicit Strand-world technology to create a murderous clockwerk automaton.  After damaging the power-center of the NeoLondon Cathedral, they decamp to Planet Asperatus and the NeoVictorians follow to bring them to justice! Beginning on 1 May in NeoVictoria SIM, they will be bringing the story to the Fairelands on Monday, 5 May when their intrepid band of roleplayers land in the sky-city of the Fairelands: Asperatus!

Presented by the NeoVictoria Roleplay Group.

Trade Wind Pirates

A group of desperate pirates have found themselves stranded in Blackwater Glenn, desperately seeking funds to repair their ship. What lengths will they go to accomplish their goal? You’ll certainly find a warm welcome in their impromptu tavern – but will you also find your pocket lightened?

The Rickety Weasels

In Wiggenstead Mooring, between the lagoon and the tavern, live a group of feral kids who call themselves “The Rickety Weasels”. They ferociously protect the four Guardians of the Elemental Stones, which keep the balance of the Fairelands.

(Don’t forget as well, that the Sanctuary RP Community are this year sponsoring the Fairelands Junction region, and Safe Waters Foundation are an event sponsor.)

And There’s More …

As well as the story and poetry competition and the role-play opportunities, this year’s Fantasy Faire will see a number of other special activities, including:

  • A special ballet production: in advance of the opening of the Faire, a special ballet will be staged and recorded. You’ll be able to see this on Fantasy Faire blog and elsewhere in the days leading up to the Faire.
  • A photography competition: the Faire organisers are looking for the photographs that best capture the spirit of each of the eleven regions of the Fairelands, which will be included in a RL calendar (with credits for the photographers) to be sold to raise money for Relay for Life. But … eleven sims … eleven months. What of the twelfth? That one will be the photograph that – in the opinions of the judges – best encapsulates the spirit of the Faire. Not only will it be the image for the twelfth month – it will also appear on the cover of the calendar.

Details of all these activities can be found in the Fantasy Faire blog.

Keeping up with Fantasy Faire

You can keep-up with Fantasy Faire preparations and activities a number of ways:

Related Links

Fantasy Faire: of sims, stores and role-play

We’re just a little over week away from the start of Fantasy Faire 2014. The regions have been delivered, the themes set, and building underway.

This year will see a total of eight themed regions for the Faire, all designed by some of the leading creative minds in Second Life, together with the Fairelands Junction. In addition, and following the unfortunate withdrawal from the Faire by Nya Alchemi (for reasons of health – so very best wishes to Nya), her planned region of Wiggenstead Mooring is being transformed, and its new purpose will not be unveiled until the start of the Faire.As usual, all of the Fairelands regions will be located alongside The American Cancer Society’s home region. So, without further ado, here’s a quick run-down of the regions (more to follow in ym preview of this year’s Faire!):

Asperatus by Beq Janus: “above the rolling, turbulence of the thick cloud plains the silence is broken by the deep throbbing hum of engines. The mighty “Asperatus” fills the sky, once the preserve of super rich merchants, this mighty airship is now the mainstay of the small colony that drifts around it. Come walk amongst the clouds, explore unlikely airships and marvel at mankind’s ever ingenious (and frequently implausible) devices in this steampunk inspired city in the sky.”

  • Sponsored by: NeoVictoria (Asil Ares)
  • Featured stores: [ContraptioN] (Faust Steamer); The Forge (Deccan Arida); .:Snoodles:.& Gypsy Wolf (Nikita Schapire & Yap Snoodle); BlueMoon Enterprise (SolasNaGealai); *BOOM* Clothing Co. (Aranel Ah); Unzipped (Destany Laval).
  • Themed stores: anc Ltd. (aki69 Resident); AZE Jewelry Designs (Amilia Zabaleta); Unrepentant (Jalynne Ohmai); Steaming Ahead (Brogancael); * GOTHIC’S MUSING * (Gothicmuse Resident) ; Grim Bros. (Cutea Benelli) ; Arx Loricatus (Dogma Trevellion); Sweet Lies Designs (hadarah Steamer); lassitude & ennui (Jackal Ennui).

Blackwater Glenn by Marcus Inkpen/ Sharni Azalee: “rotting buildings sink into the swampy undergrowth as Nature reclaims this ground from Man. Gorgeous flowers and mysterious plants emerge sporadically throughout the swamp and pathways of open water lead to the centerpiece, a giant blossoming tree. Dark and murky, Blackwater Glenn has not been completely abandoned. In it you will find the light of hope. Let it lead you to rebirth.”

Marcus Inkpen/ Sharni Azalee's Lotus Valley Dream, Fantasy Faire 2013
Marcus Inkpen/ Sharni Azalee’s Lotus Valley Dream, Fantasy Faire 2013
  • Sponsored by: The Looking Glass (Marcus Inkpen & Sharni Azalee).
  • Featured Stores: F*cking Ninjas – Mad Girl Ninjas’ Designs (Doll Galthie); meadowWorks (Garvie Garzo); Caverna Obscura (Elvina Ewing); ~SWAN~ (Cyneswith Luik); Eldritch (Kiera Ashdene); Dark Goddess Designs (Alesandra Markova).
  • Themed stores: De La Soul (Lerochelle Destiny); Wilds of Organica (Aki Shichiroji); Pin Me Down (Shyntae Demonista); Ari’s Neko Retreat (Arianna Voltaire); Luas (AinaraLuas); *paper moon* (sohma Dix); :[Even~Tide]: (Eve Gaelyth); Old World (Katrina Kristan); alpha.tribe (Alpha Auer).

The Faery Court by Elicio Ember: “the Cycle of Life. Season follows season as Light chases Dark. Seelie and Unseelie perform their eternal dance in the form of a giant tree composed of two intertwining trunks, one green and flowering and the other dark and leafless. Visit the Court and proclaim your allegiance.”

  • Sponsored by: Cerridwen’s Cauldron (Elicio Ember).
  • Featured stores: Epic (Jade Winthorpe); Boudoir (Precious Restless); Mermaid Treasure & Boutique (Theta Marseille); ThatChick (Anastasia Domenici); ~*Star Kindler Designs*~ (Elbereth Nightfire); Spyralle (Kerryth Tarantal).
  • Themed stores: Bliensen + MaiTai (Plurabelle Laszlo); . : yo bailo : . (yuuki solo); **Tir Na Nog** (Siarl Shan); Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions (Tayren Theas); Kittycat’s Creations (Kittycat Ninetails); *~Dream Things~* (Pia Uladstron); [ni.Ju] (Vitani Jun); BluPrintz (Mirajai Maven); [][]Trap[][] (Selos Dae); [Gauze] (Yukio Ida).
Elicio Ember's Titan's Hollow, Fantasy Faire 2013
Elicio Ember’s Titan’s Hollow, Fantasy Faire 2013

Heavenslough by Alrunia Ahn/ Eldowyn Inshan/ Sweetgwendoline Bailey: “not made of human hands, Heavenslough is a landscape sculpted for adventure and dreams alike. The forest is a playground for sprites and secretive fairy folks, while rising high above are the plateaus that stretch like rocky isles in to the heaven. Ancient stilt houses dot the marshlands and other abodes can also be seen perched in the leafy boughs of the titanic trees. Watch your steps and expect the unexpected.”

  • Sponsored by: Creators of Fantasy (Alrunia Ahn / Eldowyn Inshan / Sweetgwendoline Bailey).
  • Featured stores: FANTAVATAR & MOONSTRUCK (Luna Barak); The White Armory (Bee Dumpling); Pyewicket’s Myths (Pyewicket Tiger); Satyrs Moon (Vasa Vella); Analog Dog Hair (queue Marlowe) *Independent Objects* (Susan Independent).
  • Themed stores: Fae Fantasy Creations (Tamrielle Halderman); Sister Fate* Petites (Sifra Ceawlin); Affinity Boutique (Caroline Winslet); Mystique (Claira Jules); Star Journey (Starman Heron); Bare Rose (June Dion); Dreamscaped Designs (Dreamscaped Dagger); Whatz (Titania Halasy); Mindgardens Creations (Bonny Greenwood); Keystone (Aymee Monk).

Hope’s Horizon by Jaimy Hancroft: “inspired by Tolkien’s Minas Tirith, our White City gleams and shimmers on the horizon like a beacon leading wayfarers home. Carved out of the white rock of the mountains it clings to, Hope’s Horizon towers over the surrounding plains casting an aura of light into the darkness. Spiraling up lever upon level, the city ascends skyward crowned with a small courtyard. This majestic structure stands tall, upright, and full of power. One single blossoming tree stands at the top of it all to represent LIFE.”

  • Sponsored by: Dwarfins (Judy Chestnut, Jaimy Hancroft and Dante Spectre)
  • Featured stores:  .Luminary. (Augurer Resident); Dragon Magick Wares (Dragonia DeCuir); Sax Shepherd Designs (Sax Shepherd); Death Row Designs (Jaimy Hancroft); ND/MD (Alea Lamont & Moonlay Laval); ~*The Library*~ (Dreamfantasia Nightfire).
  • Themed stores: NAMINOKE (taiko McCaw); 22769 ~ casual couture / 22769 ~ [bauwerk] (Paco Pooley & Manuel Ormidale); .:CoLLisions:. (Guenevere DeCuir); . a i s l i n g . (Druunah Esharham & Damian Kleiner) Folly (Cane Sutter); Entity (Guestier Balut); Talevin’s Designs (Talevin Whelan); Kio-Kio (Kioko Kumaki).

Medhir Woods by Rynn Verwood: “a land where magic, nature and civilization meet. An elven outpost, protected by large waterfalls, in the middle of an enchanted autumn forest.”

  • Sponsored by: Solarium (Rynn Verwood and Encaitaron Korobase).
  • Featured stores: Curious Kitties (Ameshin Yossarian); Hoof It! (Erin Talamasca); Mythos (Karalia Halostar); Unique Obsession (Tremayne Barbosa & Lunaria Eclipse); The Arcanum (Zachh Barkley); Garden of Dreams (Kayle Matzerath).
  • Themed stores: Feyline Fashions (FeydaAnn Ferryhill); ~ Mystic Sky ~ (Skyler John): Niekra’s Dreams (Niekra Torvalar); Apsara (Mayaa Thistle); Almost Wonderland (Almostwonderland Resident); TempT (Lakira Ratelle); Kahli Designs (KahliDesigns Resident); MysMix (Mys Tigerpaw) ; Dysfunctional Designs (Kalia Firelyte); Unsung (Jaden Benavente).

Continue reading “Fantasy Faire: of sims, stores and role-play”

Fantasy Faire 2014: getting ready for the Faire

I’m a little behind on a number of things, including updates on Fantasy Faire 2014.

The Faire, an annual event in Second Life in support of RFL of SL and the American Cancer Society will this year run from May 1st through 11th inclusive, and the official press release announcing the event on April 1st, reads in part:

Celebrating its sixth year, Fantasy Faire 2014 is the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, roleplayers and performers in the virtual world. From Thursday, May 1 to Sunday May 11, treat yourself to eleven days of shopping, live music concerts, auctions, hunts and roleplaying as thousands of Second Life residents and creators bring their own visions together to support the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world without cancer.

Avatars, clothing, furnishings, gadgets and exclusive items are available from more than 150 of SL’s top Fantasy Creators across eleven stunning sims designed by some of the visionary artists behind many of the hottest spots on the SL destination guide.


Sponsors of Fantasy Faire 2014 include:

  • Event sponsors: Curious Kitties, Dark Goddess Designs, Epic, .Luminary., L’Uomo and Spyralle
  • Region sponsors: Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Creators of Fantasy, Dwarfins, Fallen Gods Inc., Fuubutsu-Dou, The Looking Glass, NeoVictoria, Roawenwood and Solarium.


Applications from people wishing to be official bloggers are currently being accepted. This year will see a change to how things are run, as the Blogger FAQ & application post explains:

This year there will be some changes to how the Faire blogging occurs. First of all, there will be no obligatory assignments. Instead there will be challenges. We do not want to force anyone to do anything, we want to inspire, dare, encourage: challenge.

It’s worth taking the time to read the FAQ in detail, as there are some important changes from previous years, including the option for people to blog for Fantasy Faire on the official blog. As it is worth reading the FAQ, I’m not linking directly to the blogger application form from here – please follow the link at the end of FAQ page.

The blogger challenges mentioned in the FAQ are open to anyone, whether accepted as an official blogger or not. These are designed to encourage bloggers to cover the event from unique perspectives. In all, there are three blogger challenges:

  • Faire Folk: bloggers are invited to create a character from the Fairelands and pick one of the Faire sims as their home, make a look mostly from Faire items, make the character come alive. Take at least one picture of that character in the chosen home sim and blog away!
  • My New Shiny: bloggers are asked to find a shop in the Fairelands they have never heard of before and blog something from the store. It’s about finding and showcasing the hidden talents, the newcomers, the surprises at this year’s Faire
  • Why I Relay: a challenge for those who have a personal reason to support Relay for Life events and who would like to share it.

As I blogged the 2013 Fantasy Faire from the perspective of a traveller passing through the Fairelands, I  rather like the Faire Folk challenge.

 Keeping up with Fantasy Faire

You can keep-up with Fantasy Faire preparations and activities a number of ways:

Related Links