Fantasy Faire 2016: As the sun slips westwards

Fantasy Faire 2016: The Dark Tower, Dangarnon
Fantasy Faire 2016: The Dark Tower, Dangarnon

Today marks the last day of Fantasy Faire. Once more the sun is slipping towards the western horizon over the Fairelands, and they will soon follow it into the west, leaving us once again with treasured memories of places visited, friends met, and activities shared. So now is the time to make a final pilgrimage through the regions and immerse yourself in their legends and stories.

I’ve already recorded my thoughts about this year’s Fairelands, how they’ve evoked memories and why each year’s event is perhaps a little more special than other Second Life events. I had hoped to spend a lot more time roaming their paths, tracks, road and alleyways, but as ever, time has proven itself difficult to balance.

So instead, I’ll just say that while the Fairelands may well soon be departing, there is still much to see and enjoy – and quite possibly, to take home with you. So don’t miss the events of this final day of fund raising, fun, performance and remembrance, which will include:

Time Activity
10:00 LitFest region tour – Blackmoor
11:00 Clover and Dru jailed at Bright Haven – who will bail them while Catalina Staheli spins the tunes?
11:00 Lady Garden Cabaret Dance Performance
12:00 ColeMarie Soleil Particle & Music PerformanceSapphire Mirror Lake
13:00 DJ Zander Green
13:00 The Blood King RP – Sanctuary: A Prophesy Fulfilled
14:00 – 16:00
Fantasy Faire Live AuctionSapphire Mirror Lake
16:00 The May Day BallSapphire Mirror Lake

The Fantasy Faire Live Auction

A highlight of every Fantasy Faire, the Live Auction will feature some of the most iconic features of the 2016 Fairelands, and will be overseen by Her High Faireness, Fantasy Faire Director  Elizabeth Tinsley. Items on offer include:

  • The Dark Tower of Dangarnon (seen in the banner image of this article)
  • Special Fantasy Faire marked versions of Black Anubis and The Guardian of the Delta statues from The Golden Delta
  • The complete family of Hedgehogs from Echtra
  • Both the Cinderella and Last Hope statues from Dangarnon
  • The entire region of Breeze!
Breeze by Kayle Matzerah - one of the many items on offer in the Fantasy Faire Live Auction, 14:00-16:00 SLT
Breeze by Kayle Matzerah – one of the many items on offer in the Fantasy Faire Live Auction, 14:00-16:00 SLT

The auction will be live in Voice, and broadcast by Fantasy Faire Radio.

King, Queen and Chancellor of the Fairelands

You also have until 17:00 to cast your votes for the 2016 King, Queen and Chancellor of the Fairelands. The leading contenders were, when last I checked, and in descending order of votes from left to right:

KING: SnapeSeverus Snape
(J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series)
GoblinThe Goblin King
(from the fantasy film Labyrinth)
FF-KING5-TYRIONTirion Lannister
(G.R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire)
QUEEN: October DayeOctober Daye
(from the books by Seanan McGuire)
(from the film of the same name)
(from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth)
CHANCELLOR: The Last UnicornThe Last Unicorn
(from the book of the same name by Peter S. Beagle)
( Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius series )
Cheshire CatCheshire Cat
(Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

Continue reading “Fantasy Faire 2016: As the sun slips westwards”

Fantasy Faire 2016: Otherworld


I’ve already written about what, for me, makes visiting the regions of Fantasy Faire special, so it may seem unfair to pick out one or two for mention beyond that post. However, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this blog, I am a long-time admirer of Elicio Ember’s work and designs, and so Otherworld tends to call to me strongly wherever I’m in the Fairelands.


I particularly love visiting it during the mornings (my local time, that is). It is then that the Fairelands are at their quietest and I can wander through the caves and high fields of Otherworld, climb the stairs,  descend under water or wade through the pools – and simply enjoy the tranquillity and the marvellous architecture.

At these times, My thoughts can roam, taking a short break between getting myself upright and plunging into all things physical and virtual, as demanded by the day.


Time has again conspired against me this year, preventing me from writing anywhere near what I had hope might have otherwise been the case for each of the Faireland realms; so I hope this video of Otherworld goes some way towards making up for things.

Fairelands thoughts and memories in Second Life

The Golden Delta - Alia Baroque
The Golden Delta – Alia Baroque

Fantasy Faire is one of the most popular large-scale events in Second Life. It is something looked forward to with huge anticipation by all those who participate and visit, not only because of its underpinning aim – to support cancer research and the care of cancer victims – but because it has such a unique atmosphere. The Faire is not so much an event, rich in activities and places to visit; it is a world within a world; a series of realms through which we are invited to travel and explore, where we can discover new things and make new friends.

A large part of this does come down to the regions themselves. Each year we area treated to the most incredible, region-wide themed builds, each joined one to the next to create a series of realms, contiguous to themselves through which we can travel as visitors, adventurers, the curious or the amazed.

Dangarmon - Jaimy Hancroft and Eowyn Swords
Dangarnon – Jaimy Hancroft and Eowyn Swords

But every so often a Fantasy Faire brings forth builds that are just that little bit extra special; and for me, 2016 is one of those years. Each of the regions has its own unique look and feel – as they always do; yet at the same time, there is something that resonates as we walk through them, a faint feeling of deja-vu; a feeling that while nothing quite like them has been seen here before, so to are these places someone connected to Fairelands of the past.

Kilik Lekvodas’ Bright Haven, for example, carries an echo of Kayle Matzerah’s Lumenaria from 2013 through its colours and broad streets, while Kayle’s build for Breeze carries a similar whimsy to that found in his 2014 Wiggenstead Mooring, albeit it with a little hint of Hobbiton thrown in! Meanwhile, in Kaelis Ember’s Serenity, one can also hear the elven songs once sung in Rynn Verwood’s Medhir Woods from 2014. Even dark Malfience in some ways carries echoes of 2013’s Valley of Ish’Nar.

Breeze - Kayle Matzerah
Breeze – Kayle Matzerah

Which is not to say that any of this year’s builds are in any way copied from the builds of the past – far from it; they are all truly unique. Rather, these echoes and hints help give us a feeling that not only do they form a world of their own, they are also part of a larger whole.

It’s not hard to imagine, for example, that if we could just continue a little further south from Mayah Parx’s Tinker’s Hollow, so might we come to her 2013 realm of Ravenshard, before travelling onwards from there to that year’s Blackwater Glenn, by Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee, and from there travel back to  Lokii Violet’s Blackmoor to continue our journey owards through this year’s realms. Or that by travelling north from Elicio Ember’s Otherworld, we might once again tarry in his Faery Court from 2014. whilst west of Twilight’s Illusion, by Sweetgwendoline Bailey and Eldowyn Inshan, there waits the winter city of Aurora, designed by Beq Janus.

Lucentia - Markus Inpen and Sharni Azalee
Lucentia – Markus Inpen and Sharni Azalee

Such echoes are strong throughout many of the Faireland regions this year, greatly adding to the sense of returning to much-loved and familiar lands, even while the regions themselves are unique.And where the echoes may be less clear, we have the magnificence of builds which may well resonate into the future – The Golden Delta, by Alia Baroque, or Loki Eliot’s norse masterpiece of Echtra, the Sapphire Mirror Lake, Dangarnon, Lucentia.

It is in exploring the regions at each year’s Faire they I find my greatest pleasure; allowing my imagination free rein to concoct stories about each of them while seeing if memories of past realms and places seep through and alter my imaginings. Of course, your memories of Fairelands past as reflected in Fairelands present most likely differ from mine. Nevertheless, they are still link us, one to another, as citizens of these realms, and of those which have come before them, and which are never truly lost to the mists of time.

Fairelands Junction - Saiyge Lotus
Fairelands Junction – Saiyge Lotus

If you haven’t yet visited the Fairelands this year, there is a still time – follow the links below!

Fairelands Junction Blackmoor
Breeze Bright Haven
Dangarnon Echtra
The Golden Delta Lucentia
Malfience OtherWorld
Sapphire Mirror Lake Serenity
Tinkers Hollow Twilight Illusion

This post can also be found on the Fantasy Faire website.

Fantasy Faire 2016: my King and Queen of the Fairelands

Vote for the King, Queen and Chancellor of this year’s Fairelands

Once again, visitors to Fantasy Faire are being offered the opportunity to vote for the King and Queen of the Fairelands and their (strictly non-human) Chancellor.  The winners will be crowned at the Fantasy Faire Masquerade Ball, which will also see their Chancellor announced.

Since the Faire opened, residents have been invited to nominate their favourite characters from the worlds of fantasy whom they would like to see crowned king and queen, or appointed to the role of Chancellor (a role for strictly non-human characters).

The nominations have now closed, and voting for the  top five nominees in each category (King, Queen and Chancellor) is open!

And the Nominees for King of the Faire are:

GoblinThe Goblin King
HatterThe Mad Hatter
(Lewis Caroll’s Alice books)
SnapeSeverus Snape
(J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series)
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
FF-KING5-TYRIONTirion Lannister
(G.R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire)

Another interesting bunch, although I’m a little surprised not to see the likes of Aragorn among the candidates – or at least someone from Tolkien’s realms, but there you go. It’s certainly good to see Tirion Lannister back again. He had my vote in 2015, and he gets it again this year, for pretty much the same reason – you’ll always know where you stand with Tirion Lannister. And who doesn’t like an honourable rogue anyway?

Nevertheless, I rather suspect that voting could be a close-run thing between the Goblin King and Severus Snape this years, given the sad loss of the lights who brought them both so wonderfully to life.

So, on to the nominees for Queen of the Faire:

Firiona VieFiriona Vie
(J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth)
October DayeOctober Daye
(from the books by Seanan McGuire)
(from the film of the same name)
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Once again Galadriel and Maleficent make a return as two of the Final Five for Queen. Again, while my love of Tolkien should see me leaning toward Galadriel, But again, as I noted last year, my bias for Tolkien might take the lead were it Arwen Undómiel or Lúthien Tinuviel on the ballot papers. As it is, and having no real feel for Firiona Vie or October Daye and not being particularly fond of Titania (mush as I enjoy the play!) – my vote is sticking with Maleficent.

And to whom might I give my vote for Chancellor?

Mrs Norris Mrs. Norris
(J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series)
( Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius series )
Cheshire CatCheshire Cat
(Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
(Doctor Who)
The Last UnicornThe Last Unicorn
(from the book of the same name by Peter S. Beagle)

I have to confess to being a little surprised by K9’s presence, as he’s less a figure of fantasy and more a figure from science fiction. However, three cats more than make up for this 🙂 . My mind isn’t totally made up as yet, but I admit to leaning towards Krosp; even if it is a bit of a come-down for him from the status of Emperor of Cats.

To vote for your favourites, visit the kiosks located on the magnificent Sapphire Mirror Lake, the home of much of the entertainment at this year’s Faire. To place you vote, simply make a donation against those for who you wish to vote – this is most definitely an election which can be bought!

Voting  will remain open until 17:00 SLT, on Sunday 1st May, and the results will b announced at the end of this year’s Fantasy Faire Masquerade Ball.

When visiting Sapphire Mirror Lake, do take time to visit the art exhibition if you have not already done so
When visiting Sapphire Mirror Lake, do take time to visit the art exhibition if you have not already done so


Fantasy Faire 2016: enjoy A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ohterwolrd - Home to Litfest at Fantasy Faire
Otherworld – Home to Litfest at Fantasy Faire

To mark the 400th anniversary of the passing of William Shakespeare, Fantasy Faire is staging a special production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of the bard’s best-loved plays.

Featuring the Fairelands Players, the play we be performed on the Litfest region, Otherworld, with live simu-broadcasts on Fantasy Faire Radio, and Radio Riel, and which will be livestreamed by Aview TV.

You can read about the cast and programme in full here.

Well-loved the play may well be, but not everyone is familiar with Shakespeare, so, what’s it all about?

In short: it’s a tale of love, magic, misunderstandings, complete with a hint of bestiality (all in the best possible taste 🙂 ), and a cast of thousands. OK, so maybe not thousands, but rather a lot, and keeping track of them can be a bit of a job,. So in summary, there’s:

The four Athenian lovers: Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander are in love, but Hermia’s father want her to marry Demetrius. Helena is Hermia’s best friend, and loves Demetrius, who only has eyes for Hermia. Got that?

The Fairies: Queen Titania, King Oberon, and his sidekick, Puck (there are others, but I’m taking the KISS approach here 🙂 ). Oberon and Titania are having a custody dispute over a human child. She wants to raise the boy, he wants the boy as a servant.

The Mechanicals (a group of local yokels): Peter Quince, Francis Flute, Robin Starveling, tom Snout, Snug, and the obnoxious Nick bottom. These lads are preparing to stage a play to mark the wedding of Theseus, the Duke of Athens to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.

The court: the aforementioned Theseus, Hippolyta, assorted courtiers and Egeus, Hermia’s dad, who has determined she will marry Demetrius or face death, and has sought Theseus to see if he had persuade Hermia to do her father’s bidding.

The players during final rehearsals
The players during final rehearsals

And so to the plot.

Refusing to heed her father’s orders, Hermia runs away with Lysander and they hide in the nearby woods. Demetrius sets off in pursuit, Helena in tow.

Meanwhile… in the woods, the yokels start their rehearsals while Oberon a fit of pettiness, tells Puck to slip Titania a magic potion as she sleeps. This will make her fall in love with the first thing she sees on waking up, thus forgetting the human boy, whom Oberon can claim for his own. This Puck does.

Job done, Puck reports back to Oberon and is instructed to use the potion on Demetrius as well, so he’ll fall in love with Helena. Sadly, Puck has no idea what Demetrius looks like, and ends up giving the potion to Lysander, who falls in love with Helena. Trying to correct things, Oberon gives the potion to Demetrius, arranging for him to see Helena, and so fall for her as well.

So, suddenly Hermia is bereft of lovers and blames Helena, and Helena has two suitors when she desires only one, and determines both are mocking her. Meanwhile, both men, besotted with Helena, determine to settle things by the sword.

Oberon, somewhat annoyed by Puck’s mistake with Demetrius, orders him to keep the two men apart all through the night by leading them each a merry dance through the woods, impersonating Lysander to Demetrius and Demetrius to Lysander.

Despite having his hands full, when he chances on the company of players and witnesses Bottom being an ass, Puck cannot resist giving him a donkey’s head, leaving him shunned by his mates, so he wanders around the woods and happens upon the enchanted Titania, who chooses that moment to wake up, thus falling in love with him.


Having nabbed the boy, Oberon opts to put things to rights. Bottom’s natural head is restored, the spell is lifted from Titania, the Athenian couples are correctly united (Lysander and Hermia, Helena and Demetrius), and there’s a jolly triple wedding with Theseus and Hippolyta. Which all just leaves Puck to deliver one of Shakespeare’s famous monologues:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

So… with that said… all that’s left is to enjoy the play.

Seats at Otherworld are liable to fill quickly, so don’t forget you can watch via the liverstream or – if you computer will allow – As you will be able to hear the audio on the Fantasy Faire Radio stream, you can actually watch the performance by camming in from Twilight Illusion (please do not use Echtra for this, as there will a role-play in progress)..

Fantasy Faire 2016: come gather for the Litfest!

Via Fantasy Faire
Via Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire 2016 will once again celebrate the written word through LitFest, featuring writers from across Second Life, participating in discussions, readings, tours and more, together with some of the top literary groups in SL.

LitFest will be focused on the pavilion in Otherworld, Elicio Ember’s magnificent build for this year’s Faire.

The LitFest Pavilion, Otherworld
The LitFest Pavilion, Otherworld

This year the emphasis is on creation, as a number of the leaders of creative writing groups in Second Life bring their regular events to the Faire, and welcome newcomers who want to join in with such events as the “Poetry Prompt” with Leslye Writer, where people are given a prompt word and write for 20 minutes then share what they’ve written or the “SL Flickr Photo Story Challenge for Beginners” with Prettyflower Vale.

There will also be daily writing challenges for everyone to enjoy: put your Fantasy Faire experience into words. There are stories, tales, legends, songs, and poems to be found around very corner in the Fairelands. How do the builds and the people, the places and the creations touch you? What stories do they whisper to you?

The LitFest Tours

To help inspire you with your writing, Fantasy Faire 2016 will include a series of tours to ten of the Fairelands realms, these will depart the LitFest pavilion  twice daily at 10:00 SLT and 17:30 SLT. Each tour lasts for an hour. To  participate, simply:

  • Join a tour at the start of a session, and travel to the selected destination.  Explore and open yourself to the voices there; see how they inspire you
  • Return to LitFest home base (or your own personal quiet space) and realize in words the narrative and feelings inspired by the region featured
  • Share your work in draft or final with the rest of the tour in a voluntary open mic, or submit your piece within 24 hours – either in-world or by email – to be posted along with others inspired by the same region. Sharing is voluntary.  Individual writers retain creative ownership of works shared.
Date 10:00 17:30
Thursday, April 21st (17:00 only) The Golden Delta
Friday, April 22nd The Golden Delta Lucentia
Saturday, April 23rd Lucentia Twilight Illusion
Sunday, April 24th Twilight Illusion Echtra
Monday, April 25th Echtra Serenity
Tuesday, April 26th Serenity Dangarnon
Wednesday, April 27th Dangarnon Bright Haven
Thursday, April 28th Bright Haven Breeze
Friday, April 29th Breeze Tinker’s Hollow
Saturday, April 30th Tinker’s Hollow Blackmoor
Sunday, May 1st (10:00 only) Blackmoor

The Golden Delta: first port of call for the LitFest tours

The Golden Delta: first port of call for the LitFest tours

Other LitFest Events

Note; the official schedule was still a work in progress at the time of writing – please check with it for any updates or amendments. All times SLT.

Date Time Activity
Friday, April 22nd 11:00 – noon Caledonia Skytower reads short stories
13:00 – 14:00 The Tales of Ashenborne with Ketsui Naidoo
15:00 – 16:00 The Short Story Discussion Group with Destry Recreant
Date Time Activity
Saturday, April 23rd All Day Shakespeare Day: a Fairelands-wide commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the bard’s passing
06;00 – 07:00 Poets’ Plunder Klannex Northmead
11:00 – 13:00 The Coldshot Players
13:30 – 15:00 A Midsummer Night’s Dream – a special Fairelands Players presentation of this popular comedy by Shakespeare
18:30 – 20:00 Tall Tales with Ceejay Writer (author Lori Alden Holuta)
Date Time Activity
Sunday, April 24th 11:00 – 12:00 Going Down the Tubes with Ceejay Writer, sharing a chapter from the 2nd novel in The Brassbright Chronicles
13:00 – 13:45 Boudicca Reads with Boudicca Amat
14:00 – 15:00 Self-expression & Discovery through Poetry & Stories
16::00 – 17:00 Literature Alive with Desideria Stockton

Continue reading “Fantasy Faire 2016: come gather for the Litfest!”