Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fantasy Faire Past: Cerridwen's Cauldron

Otherworld: Dragon

Fantasy Faire 2017 is coming soon! A short while ago the themes for ten worlds were announced, and this seemed a good time to reflect back on the past creations of some of the people making their windows into the infinite this year.

I wanted to start with Elicio Ember's Cerridwen's Cauldron. Although Ember said he had to step back from creating a sim this year, he's been a staple of years past and he makes amazing windows into fantastic realms. His worlds are always marked by brilliant colors, glimmering patterns in cut glass, striking architecture, great heights and depths, and wild plants which defy gravity. His Sea of Mer (see the end) was the first Fantasy Faire sim I ever took pictures of and blogged about, and it will always hold a special place in my heart due to that.

OtherWorld: Vertebra

What's most fascinating, looking back, is seeing the jump in skill and technology from year to year. I've become so much more sophisticated, and so has the faire itself.


Otherworld: Pathway Up

In 2016 Ember made a world wrapped around the bones of an enormous dragon; a world of mushrooms, enormous crystals, and stories. Otherworld was the basis of the Literature Side of the Fantasy Faire, where writers began and ended their days. This year the Literary Fest has Seanan McGuire as a headliner, and will be reprising their tours and story-centered events with new times - noon, 5PM, and 8PM. The events of the Faire are so vast that I despair of people knowing about them all - but I sincerely hope more people learn about the Literary end of things this year!

The Faerie Court

Two Sides to Every Problem

In 2014, Elicio Ember created a world to celebrate the mingling of Seelie and Unseelie fae. Half of the sim reflected the bright, light, summer spirit of the fae, while the other half reflected the shadowy, dark, winter phase.The tree where they meet is hug with lamps from both courts in a rare sign of solidarity, and I love their effect in the hazy air of twilight.

Titan's Hollow

Path Upwards to the Sky

2013 brought about an amazing collection of floating buildings in the middle of craggy walls. Titan's Hollow was filled with the unearthly glow of lasers and glass above depths filled with glowing orchids. The most striking part of this build was the clarity of the pathways allowing for an unimpeded view down into the heart of the hollow itself.

Ruins of Nu Orne


In 2012 Ember created two builds, one mainly on the surface with a winding path up into a mountain and the second half split between the surface and underwater. The Ruins of Nu Orne were initially deceptively simple; it wasn't until I returned a second time that I realized there was a winding path up to an abandoned temple made of much the same stuff as the surface stores.

Siren's Secret

Turquoise and Cyan

Siren's Secret was Ember's second realm in 2012, and it operated on two levels - above and below the waters. This led to a very fun mermaid sections under the waves, where the discerning mer-creature could pick up anything they might want or need. It was also the spiritual continuation of the Sea of Mer from 2011, using similar colors and textures for the buildings and having the same half above, half below structure. I'm inordinately fond of builds which do this without making me lost, and Ember is a master of straightforwardly complicated pathways.

Exotic Worlds

Places of Peace

2011's Exotic Worlds was a wild realm of oversized flowers tucked among eerie ruins which is reminiscent of ancient lands dominated by enormous animals. I particularly liked the mushrooms, large enough to hop up as one attempts to climb to see above the foliage.

Sea of Mer

Green Jellyfish

Sea of Mer, also built in 2011, was where I started with the Fantasy Faire. It was a dreamy location marked by giant jellyfish and clams large enough to swallow a half dozen people with a single gulp. There are hints of the eventual powerful architectural events even under the waves. Ember's style of bright plants and animals, heavily textured pillars and pathways, and sense of motion remains consistent even while the types of worlds drastically change from year to year, or even within a single faire. It's this kind of variety which makes the Fantasy Fare as wonderful and exciting as it is, and which brings me back year after year.

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