Monarchs: a royal dance treat in Second Life

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017

On Saturday, April 8th, I was among a 40+ audience for Monarchs Dance Company’s special production of Amnesia for Filling the Cauldron. And I have to say from the outset – it was fantastic.

“Allow us to invite you to join us on a trip along our twisting memory lane!” Diiar Vader Shippe, lead for Monarchs stated in the promotional material for the show, “Six very different dance performances, with original builds, choreography and a wide assortment of music take you back and forwards, up and down in time. Our time. The Monarchs’ time. To a distant past and a hopefully not so distant future.

“If that is not incentive enough to join us, consider this: there will be unicorns, giant robots, girl power, magic pianos and a new spin to a classic tale…and dragons!”

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017

And oh my, did they deliver!

I’ve seen many shows and dance performances in Second Life over the years, some of which I’ve reviewed in these pages, but Amensia was something else again. As Diiar states, six individual dances brought together into a single show. A show which  lifted-off from the world of steampunk and carried us through a marvellous “solo” dance in which two dancers offered a perfectly synchronised dance in which one was the “reflection” of the other,  mirrored in the water by which the other danced.

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017

From here we travelled deep into the jungles and an exotic dance complete with runes and fire, before we were all felt the chills multiplin’ as were carried by Greased Lighting to a world of cars, and a rendition of You’re The One That I Want, complete with rapping.  Nor did it end there; our next destination: an exotic garden worthy of Elicio himself for an enticing dance among towering plants.

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017 via Crap Mariner

Each dance was marvellously choreographed, perfect synchronised even with an audience of 40+ people in the auditorium. Each sequence offered a unique environment and some magical touches. The mirrored dance, mentioned above, was simply breathtaking in its technical creation and the elegant beauty of its execution. The jungle dance, complete with fight scene as two warriors appeared to the via for the attention of their tribal chieftess was magical, the Grease tribute a foot-tapping treat.

But it was the final dance of the evening which delivered the must visually stunning spectacle as we were carried to the lands of Ice and Fire and the gates of a fortress echoing both Winterfell and Kings Landing, for a tremendous dance scene which carried us on a tour de force reckoning of the Games of Thrones universe – complete with the promised dragons. The latter took to the sky over the audience in a choreographed flight and a fiery climax.

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017 via Crap Mariner

Amnesia was a stunning performance and an amazing introduction to the Monarchs and their shows, which I’ve previously (and foolishly) not had the opportunity to witness. From this show, you can certainly count me a convert – so much so that it is more than likely the Monarchs will be back at Holly Kai park in the future.

In the meantime, their next major performance will be Draco Eternum, a new show they will be unveiling at this year’s Fantasy Faire, and which Diiar describes thus:

The show tells the story of a world where dragons reigned supreme long ago. Their very existence securing peace and prosperity to the land – but now they are gone. Even in houses of learning dragons are but a myth, a legend, a story for drunken nights by the tavern fires…

Now the quest is on to discover the true secret behind the fall of the dragons and to save the kingdom before it is too late!

The show will be performed on April 21st at 15:00 at Fantasy Faire, and then daily from the 24th though 29th April. I’ll have more on the show – and on the Monarchs in an upcoming article in this blog and on the Fantasy Faire website.

With thanks to Crap Mariner for the images used in this article – see the rest on Flickr.

Filling the Cauldron: the closing weekend in Second Life

Filling the Cauldron — websiteSLurl

On Saturday, April 1st, we launched Filling the Cauldron to help friend and Second Life creator Elicio Ember and his family deal with their father’s medical situation (read more here and here). Since then, we’ve had a wonderful response from people who have taken the time to visit the event in-world, shop at the marketplace, bid on auction items, explore our nine amazing gardens, enjoy the art display and join in with the entertainment and music.

Filling the Cauldron draws to a close on Sunday, April 9th, and we’re bowing out with more entertainment and a final opportunity for you to visit and perhaps donate.  Should you opt to visit, here’s a break down of what is on offer.

The Marketplace

Filling the Cauldron Marketplace

Nineteen merchants rallied to the cause, offering fantasy, medieval and period clothing, accessories, avatars and furnishings for sale – and more besides. All of them have been exceptionally generous to us, offering far beyond the minimum of one item for sale at 100% of proceeds to Filling the Cauldron.

Our list of merchants comprises: AlruniaAhn – Lilith’s Den; Chic Aeon – Chic Buildings; Sweetgwendoline Bailey – Sweet Revolutions; Alia Baroque – Fallen Gods;  MalkavynEldritch – Ozimals; EldowynInshan – United Ishcon; Krystal Iridescent – Xtal Designs; SearlaitNitschke – Roawenwood; Plato Novo – %percent; H0neyHeart Resident – Ladies’ Pleasure; Johannes1977 Resident – Mahlberg Tailors; Raydenrider Resident – Dogg Mata; Tylar Resident – Tylar’s Treasures; xxsyrenxx resident – Syren’s Song; Irina Strazytski – Poet’s Heart; KerrythTarantal – Spyralle; TayrenTheas – Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions; Lunar Tripsa – Lunar’s Seasonal Designs; ShakiraAlexandra – Celtic Myst.

Filling the Cauldron: the limited edition Ozimal bunny and puffling celebrating Elicio Ember and exclusive to Filling the Cauldron. Read more

business has been steady throughout the week, and there are some very special items on offer, such as the limited edition Elico Ozimals, exclusive to Filling the Cauldron, and which you can read about here. So don’t miss a chance to come by and appreciate all that is on offer through the stalls and gacha machines.

And don’t forget, as well as visiting our merchants, you can also visit Cerridwen’s Corner, and purchase Elicio’s own creations directly!

The Auctions

Two auctions will be running over the weekend – out Silent Auction which has been running through the week, and our Live Auction, which will be held between 10:00am and 12:00 noon on Sunday, April 9th, which features some pretty amazing items, generously donated by so many. See the FTC auction overview for more.

Your choice of THREE Gachas from MadPea
TLG Ballroom Fountain

All Titan Avatars - Free the Cute!
Landscape 1 by Elicio Ember
Watercolour and Ink on Cotton Paper 23 cm x 30 cm / 9 in x 12 in

EE Real Horse Bespoke Experience Rental
The Night Theater will create a special dance for you!

The Sky Gardens

I’ve already blogged about the nine fabulous sky gardens built on a platform high above the main Filling the Cauldron events area. However, if you’ve not already done so, I urge you to visit them: they are incredible creations and deserve to be seen and enjoyed. Each is unique and offers a wonder space in which to relax, contemplate and rest. Saturday, April 8th also marks the last opportunity you’ll have to vote on the gardens as a part of a competition which will see one of the nine win the opportunity to be displayed at the upcoming Home and Garden Expo.

Sky Gardens, Filling the Cauldron – click any image for full size

Art Show

The Filling the Cauldron Art Show is an exhibition by a mix of Invited and Guest artists, with a focus on Elicio’s creation from past Fantasy Faire events. The art is displayed in the main event area, close to the auction and marketplace, and you can find out more about the artists and their work on the Filling the Cauldron Blog.

Filling the Cauldron: Art Show

The Entertainment! The Stories! The Dance!

Of course, we have more entertainment for you on Saturday April 8th, and Sunday April 9th as well, with lots of music from the DJs who have been supporting us throughout the week.  You can find the details by following the links above. However, there are two highlights for Saturday I’d particularly like to bring to your attention.

Fantastic Tales with Seanchai Library takes place at 1:00pm on Saturday, April 8th and features 1 hours of fabulous fantasy storytelling live in voice at the Filling the Cauldron Story Circle. Just follow the path from the event Welcome Area, turn off the music stream (if you’re listening) and enable Voice to listen to the stories (please keep any microphone you have closed).

Filling the Cauldron Story Circle

Then at 3:00pm, the Monarch Dance Troupe presents Amnesia especially for Filling the Cauldron, at the event main stage. ”

allow us to invite you to join us on a trip along our twisting memory lane! 6 very different dance performances, with original builds, choreography and a wide assortment of music take you back and forwards, up and down in time. Our time. The Monarchs’ time. To a distant past and a hopefully not so distant future. If that is not incentive enough to join us…Consider this: There will be unicorns, giant robots, girl power, magic pianos and a new spin to a classic tale…and dragons!”


So – do please join us at Filling the Cauldron this weekend; we’ve a lot to offer, and the cause is a worthy one!

Links and SLurls

Six days of Sky Gardens in Second Life

Sky Gardens, Filling the Cauldron – click any image for full size

Update: the Sky Gardens will remain at Holly Kai Park for the next couple of weeks. If you would like to visit them, touch the teleport “mirror” at the Holl Kai Park welcome gazebo and select “2” from the menu, then touch the beam. The winning gardens are numbered “1” for the overall winner and “2” for the joint runners-up.

ccI’ve written a lot over the last couple of weeks about Filling the Cauldron. This is primarily for two reasons. The first is that I’ve been one of the prime movers of the whole thing; the second, and more important reason, I believe in the cause – Elicio Ember is a very special person and a dear friend. Hence why I hope many of you will drop by the event between now an Sunday, April 9th, 2017 – but I’d like to give you another reason to do so. Well, NINE reasons, actually.

As a part of the run-up to the event, we put out a challenge for people to consider designing a garden featuring Elicio’s plants and creations. Nine people rose to the challenge, and their work is extraordinary, offering exotic, other-worldly realms nestled together which, because of their location on an overhead platform, we’ve called the Sky Gardens.

Sky Gardens, Filling the Cauldron

The nine designers who rose to the challenge are: Abinathra, Chic Aeon, Sweetgwendoline Bailey, Kzru Bruhl, Oscelot Haalan, Alliah Jewell, Opal Lei, Letty Luckstone and Eclair Martinek. All of them have produced the most amazing and beautiful designs  which we’ve set under a sky we hope shows them to their best and reflects Elicio’s use of purple in his work. This should set automatically on Firestorm, otherwise flick over to “[TOR] SCIFI – Purple wisps & egg yolk” if you are using a viewer which does not support parcel windlights (just reset to region default after a visit).

Each gardener had an area of 45 metres on the side, and a land impact allowance of 450 with which to let their creative juices flow. In addition, Alliah Jewell provided some surrounding landscaping and paths to lead visitors around the gardens, and placed some seating areas. One of Elicio’s gazebos finished off the setting, presenting people with another place to sit, offering a soothing environment in which to enjoy the gardens.

Sky Gardens, Filling the Cauldron

It would be easy to think that given the focus in on one creator’s items (although elements from other designers was permitted, as long as the focus was on Elicio’s work), all of these gardens would have a common look and feel. However, this is far from the case. All nine gardens are individual and uniquely beautiful, each one demonstrating a personal interpretation of the fantastic, mythological riches of Elicio’s creations, bringing them very much to life.

The gardens range from the simple elegance and tranquillity offered by gentle waters supporting exotic orchids and reflective bubbles drift on a gentle breeze, through the heart of Amazonian-like rain forests, where waters tumbles down rocks into shimmering pools, parakeets in bright plumage circle overhead; or where a path winds upwards through verdant undergrowth to reveal a temple-like structure hidden within the trees; to mystical places where sphere turn their rune-faced surfaces to visitors or the skeleton of a great beast rests.

Sky Gardens, Filling the Cauldron

Such is the depth of creativity shown with these gardens that I do urge you to pay a visit. Yes, you can also contribute to Filling the Cauldron if you so wish; but in this instance – and I know Elicio agrees – witnessing the creative vision embodied in these designs helps to bring each to life, and pays tribute to the gardeners for all of their work in bringing these garden scenes to us. And believe me, their beauty makes them more than worth the visit. I’d truly love to have them remain at Holly Kai park for people to visit and enjoy well into the future.

But they will soon be passing into the west. Filling the Cauldron draws to a close on Sunday, April 9th. But, should you visit, you can help to ensure one of the gardens will be reborn at another place and time later in the year, as one of these designs will – with your help – be selected for display at the upcoming 2017 Home and Garden Exhibition. You can read more on this at the Filling the Cauldron Gardens in the Sky page.

Sky Gardens, Filling the Cauldron

So, do please pay the Sky Gardens a visit; they will only bloom for a short time.

SLurl and Links

Filling the Cauldron opens in Second Life

Filling the Cauldron — websiteSLurl

Re-printed from the Filling the Cauldron blog.

Filling the Cauldron – our week-long fund-raiser between April 1st and April 9th, aiming to raise money to help Second Life creator Elicio Ember and his family -is NOW OPEN!!

Elicio Ember

Elicio is one of SL’s brilliant creators and a gifted artist. He’s known for his highly imaginative plants and fantasy designs provided through his Cerridwen’s Cauldron brand, and for his generous spirit and his involvement in charitable events such as Fantasy Faire.

Recently, Elicio’s father suffered a major stroke, leaving Elicio and his sisters facing significant and unexpected medical expenses after learning the insurance provided by his father’s employer does not provide cover for the care and rehabilitation he now needs. You can read more on his family’s situation in this letter from him to his friends.

So Filling the Cauldron is our chance to reflect Elicio’s huge heart and generous spirit by raising funds to help meet those medical expenses. We hope you’ll help us by feeding the donation kiosk here and those through the event area, and help to Fill the Cauldron with us!

And don’t forget! As well as the music and entertainment, we have more to see and do: there’s a marketplace with 20 creators, an art display, two auctions with some really fantastic items, a garden display – just follow the signs and use the Teleport HUD available for the givers on either side of this deck and take a look around – and be sure to come back through the week!

So what do we have to offer? A lot! Every day we’re inviting you to:

  • Come browse the marketplace and see what our merchants are offering, including special items with 100% of proceeds going to help Elicio and his family. Catch a list of our merchants.
  • See the silent auction boards and the fabulous items we have up for grabs, donated by some of the top talent in Second Life. See our full auction list.
  • Wander the art displays and revisit Elicio’s builds from the past and enjoy the art of noted Fantasy Faire photographers and our artists.
  • Hop to the Garden Design platform and view the creations by those who entered our Garden Design contest, then cast you vote for your favourite design!
  • Visit Cerridwen’s Corner and grab yourself some of Elicio’s fabulous designs and creations!
  • Join in with the dancing, singing and fun on our entertainment stage – see the day’s schedule below, and check the event calendar for more!

Take a look at the Saturday entertainment line-up

Everything is taking place at Hollykai Park (SLurl), generously donated for the event by Nber Medici and MarkTwain White of Hollywood Real Estate – so if you are looking to own land around the Blake Sea, with loads of opportunities for sailing, boating and flying – look them up!

To help you find your way around Filling the Cauldron, we have a series of teleport station where you can used map-based teleport, or you can claim a Filling the Cauldron telport HUD – which we recommend. The HUD will attach to your screen and ask to take teleport permissions – simply grant this, and then click the numbers on the HUD map to hop around all our locations – and even get to Cerridwen’s Cauldron – Elicio’s main store!

The Filling the Cauldron Teleport Maps – grab the HUD from the vendor under them (arrowed), and get around all the event locations even easier!

Our Merchants have been fabulously generous in providing goods for sale with 100% of proceeds going to the event – just look for the vendors with the FTC logo over them.

The FTC vendors – just look for the logo, and right-click PAY or BUY (depending on your viewer menu)

We’ll be talking more about merchants in the week – as we will about our artists as well, who have pulled together wonderful display of art celebrating Elicio’s work and Fantasy Faire, while John Brianna has generously donated a selection of his outstanding art for sale – all the pieces offered through Filling the Cauldron vendors, so 100% of all sales go to the cause!

There will also be posts about our line-up of entertainment through the week as well, and plenty of new about our auctions, which you are not going to want to miss.

So do drop by the event, keep an eye on this website and blog and do please help us to fill the cauldron for Elicio! Regular update on the amount donated will be given, and we’ll be publishing a breakdown of the totals after we close.

Event SLurls

Holly Kai Park is rated Moderate.

Are you ready to help fill the cauldron in Second Life?

Filling the Cauldron: the Garden Design platform

It’s hard not to miss the fact that I’ve not been blogging as frequently as is usually the case for me over the last couple of weeks. That’s because I’ve been buried in preparations for Filling the Cauldron, a fund-raising event to help Elicio Ember and his family.

As anyone who attends the annual Fantasy Faire event in Second Life, Elicio is frequently one of the world builders for that event. He’s also a fabulous creator, owning Cerridwen’s Cauldron, which is itself a fabulous region build and an iconic store design. He’s also an artist in real life and has built art installation in Second Life as well.

Filling the Cauldron: Art Show

Most importantly of all, however, is Elicio has one of the biggest hearts in Second Life. He is wonderfully supportive of those around him, generous, charitable and kind. So when he does – and with a huge amount of reluctance and personal embarrassment – put out a call for help, you can be sure it is genuine.

Earlier this year, Elicio’s father suffered a serious stroke. Despite being a government employee, Elicio and his family were shocked for find their father was without medical cover, leaving the family with extensive bills to cover. You can read more, in Elicio’s own words in this letter from Elicio.

Filling the Cauldron: Cerridwen’s Corner

While he was never asking for anything more than for people to buy his Second Life creations, those of us who know Elicio were determined to do more – and so Filling the Cauldron was born. Given the urgency of the situation and the mounting bills, we knew we had to move fast – and so this entire event has been put together in just three weeks. Even now, we’re working frantically to get everything in place in time to open the doors on Saturday, April 1st.

We may still have a few rough edges to smooth off when we do – but I hope that they won’t stop you from coming by and spending time with us, and supporting Elicio and his sisters but donating to the cause. We’ve got a lot going on, all things considered:

  • DJs, live performers and dance troupes
  • Two fabulous auctions – a silent auction and a live auction with some amazing items to claim, including original pieces of Elicio’s art
  • A display of photography celebrating Elicio’s creativity in Second Life
  • A photo contest with some great prizes – which you can still enter
  • A garden design contest featuring the talents of nine extraordinary builders in Second Life – and from which we’d like YOU to help select the best build
  • A great market filled with stalls from 20 Second Life creators, all of whom are donating at least one item to be sold with 100% of proceeds going to the fund-raising
  • Cerridwen’s Corner – a miniature version of Elicio’s store where you can buy many of his plants and designs – so if you’d rather give directly to Elicio himself, you can do so through Filling the Cauldron and still enjoy the rest of the event.

So… with our doors opening this weekend, please take time to visit the Filling the Cauldron website – and from Saturday onwards, so please, please come along and join us in celebrating Elicio’s work, raising money for his family and having fun! All of the relevant SLurl will be appearing in these pages as we open the doors, and they’ll all be available on the event’s web pages. You can also catch Filling The Cauldron in the Destination Guide!

Filling the Cauldron: part of the marketplace

Calling All Bloggers!

Yes, we know it is short notice, but we’re looking for bloggers to help spread the word about Filling the Cauldron! We’ve been running around trying to get things in place, this nearly slipped through the cracks BUT!  If you’d like to blog about Filling the Cauldron, we’d like you to! SO… we’re holding two guided tours of the event region to help you get familiar with everything that is going on – hop on over the FTC Blogger Applications page to find out more!

Filling the Cauldron: as things come together

From the Filling the Cauldron blog:

We’re now just a week from the opening of Filling the Cauldron, and everything is starting to fall into place. Our marketplace slots are all filled, several of our artists are all set up and ready to go, the entertainment slots are filling up. There’s a fair bit still to be done, but we’re getting closer and closer to being all ready to open the gates!

Cerridwen’s Corner, Elicio’s shop for the event is now complete, with lots of vendors and the opportunity to enjoy his fabulous creations. Elico has also provided a Welcome Area gazebo for us, which will have information givers, teleport maps (also located throughout the event areas), and more. Just follow the crystal stairway from the main landing point (SLurl coming soon!).

You’ll be able to purchase a lot of Elicio’s goods from Cerridwen’s Corner, located in the South-East corner of the Filling the Cauldron region

The teleport board, designed by Vecchio Barbosa is also available as a handy HUD – just grab it when you arrive, give it permission to teleport you, and you can hop around the event areas at your convenience – although signs and gates throughout the region will hopefully guide you around as well and offer a pleasant walk from place to place!

We’re not going o give too much away on the entertainment front, other than there will be music throughout the week, and we’ve also got two special dance performances being planned. On Sunday, April 2nd, the Night Theatre will perform for us – watch for more details in this blog! Then, on Saturday, April 8th, the Monarch Dance Troupe will be giving a special performance of Amnesia – and we’ll again have full details on that in an upcoming post.

Our teleport boards and HUD will help you get around

We also have a lot going on with out auction, with some very special items up for grabs. Saffia will have more to say on these this week, so keep an eye on the Filling the Cauldron blog for more very soon.

The full event schedule will be available via a Google Calendar soon, and we’ll have a breakdown of entertainment alongside that in the blog to help make finding out what’s going on easier.

And don’t forget – the photo contest is still going, with some great prizes up for grabs – just get your entries in before April 3rd.

We’ll have more for you throughout the week, so keep checking back!

The Welcome Area – you’ll be able to pick up your teleport HUD there