Friday, May 30, 2014

LEA 15: The Timewalkers

Time in Reverse

The Timewalkers is another widely moving sim experience, and I highly recommend it before this LEA Round ends. At the landing point it doesn't look like much - a neon stead and the edges of some glowing clocks - but ramp up your draw distance, set your windlight to the sim default, sit down either alone or with friends, and watch the world through mouselook (recommended unless you're taking pictures, so want more control) and enjoy the view. Created by Solide Auer and Lorys Lane, The Timewalkers is less interactive and more overwhelming - a blinding succession of first concrete and then increasingly abstract moving shapes against and as bold, geometric shapes. As the allusion to time indicates, you start and end in a clock - complete with giant Roman numbers and turning gears - but the time in between is spent ghosting down a simplified bucky-ball tube and then through a series of layers of spinning colors and shapes in more simplified circles and squares, which have been rendered ornate by the mixing of colors and the spinning of their forms. Halfway through there is a metronome - much larger than any avatar - another, different way of measuring time, and it's accompanied by improbably colored clef symbols.

Caught in Rings

If, like me, you get vertigo partway through as you're hurtling and lurching through space, I recommend focusing on a fixed spot for a while and trying to get some perspective. The exhibit itself is so huge that it defies easy capture in either image or words, and I'd imagine each person who came would find something different. I, actually, found a noob who tried to friend me, walked into a wall, and then went Away. I can only presume that she didn't know about IMs or typing at all, as she didn't respond to anything I said to her. I have no idea how or why she tried to friend me on the black floor of an art project; like many noobs, her name was a random collection of letters and numbers, and her face was mesh. There are times I wish I could step outside of our separateness and know what people see from the outside. Each avatar in Second Life has it's own story, just like each car which drives past me has it's own history and sequence of events which caused us to cross paths as we did, when we did, and in the manner that we did. In the echoing blackness under time, my newest noob looked vulnerable as she slumped over in the dark - seemingly as lost as we all are in the beginning.

Spining Rings of Doom

( More pictures here. )


Location: LEA 15: The Timewalkers
Light Settings: Sim Default
Water Settings: Sim Default

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fit for a Princess: Flowers in the Sun

Water's Reflected Light

There is barely any time left for the Fit for a Princess Event - so hurry and go if you want some of this cycles amazing, flowery gowns. Starting in June, we leave the flowers behind and it's Modern Princesses to the fore!

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Sparkles: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: Ploom, Kiera (My Attic)
Crown: Keystone, Bryre Crown (Fit for a Princess)
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Earrings: Illusions, Mystic Chains
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: Mock, Pantone Fall eShadow Duo
Lipstick: Mock, Opal Lipcolor
Wings: Deviance, Seelie
Hands & Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands & feet
Nails: Elephante, Diamond Flowers (Fit for a Princess)
Clothing: Moon Amore, Primavera Dress (Fit for a Princess)
Bracelets: AZE Designs, My Heart Bleeds Blu
Shoes: Felicity, Zoie Stilettos

Pose: Grafica

Location: Hakoniwa
Light Settings: Phototools, Miaa light 1
Water Settings: mirror water

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

MIC - Imagin@rium: No Signal

Bird's Eye View

I've been to Imagin@rium a few different times to enjoy the work often curated there, and No Signal, created by Nessuno Myoo, is the newest seaside creation. Placed over water, which gives one near infinite play room with reflections, even if you sometimes have to dodge photographing the enormous island complex nearby. His introduction, gotten by clicking the board near the landing point, directs one to a mystery hidden within the tower in some manner. I did a lot of exploring and poking around and found a couple of curved papers, one out in the open saying "loser" and the other hidden saying "96326464". I have no idea what they mean, to be honest, and I enjoyed photographing the tower against the vivid blue sky I had found in Torley's many offerings so it was difficult to think about mysteries and enigmas. If anyone has any insight or information I missed, I would - of course - love to hear about it. I love mysteries, but sometimes I can be a little oblivious.

Seeking Life

The design itself is lovely - all broken machinery and unusual creaking sounds. I especially love the figure at the very top, trying to capture his hat as it flew away. It seems like he has a hole in his heart, for all he is a robot and not a living creature. The whole design has a melancholy air - even the name of it, "No Signal", is reminiscent of lost chances, distant relationships, and rusty pasts. The texturing and build is lovely and broken down, worn in a way nothing has to be in Second Life - which is part of what makes it so striking. Unlike offline, online it takes an enormous amount of effort to make things old, stained, and rusting, and so it catches the attention the way something shiny and uniform never can.

Saturated Azure

( More pictures here. )


Location: No Signal
Light Settings: TOR, DUSK Blue Hour
Water Settings: mirror water

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Monday, May 26, 2014

Anniversaries and Statistics

I don't normally think much about my blogs anniversary - I didn't even remember I'd begun in May - but I happened to be looking at my stats and I thought people might be interested in the details.

2008-10-13 Bash Wren and Me_001

My first post, "A Beginning" was posted on May 5th, 2009, so this blog is now five years old. The first post was long after I began my Flickr account (which was in January 2009) with a bunch of images from Gaia Online, where I began my virtual fashion addiction. My second post, "Dancing the Night Away" and talks mostly about how I began in second life, in August of 2008. I was a lot more active in philosophical circles, then, and that's where I made the majority of my early friends.

You can see how rudimentary my photography skills were - this was before windlight, before I understood facelights and their use and misuse. From here on out, the posts were spotty and I missed a few months; it wasn't until the first Color Challenge that I began to codify and become more regular in my posting habits, and this is long before I began to use tags more intelligently (I'm slowly bringing my old posts into line and cleaning up the style as I do as well). It's amazing to look back and see how much I've changed over time, and how much I haven't - for example, once I started doing photoshoots, I settled on six pictures pretty early.


In 2010, I only had one post in May, the aptly named "Virtual Time". I was still doing a decent number of ballroom and motion shots, something which these days I do only very rarely. My framing could still use some work, and indeed I think framing is one of the skills I'm still struggling with today - I have a marked tendency to include too much, which can lessen the effect of an image.

Flower Shine

In 2011, I had a bunch of posts in May and was beginning to have a clutch of posts every month, instead of a smattering here and there. On the 25th, my post was "Little Battles" and it showed a bunch of different pictures I'd take over time. One of my top five posts also dates from this year, "Newbie Resources: Second Life Dictionary", which has had over 1000 views as of this post. I was doing photoshoots in the sense of six at a itme, but I hadn't yet begun reliably doing the standard variations of one or two headshots, one foot or let shot, a couple of torso portraits, and at least one full length shot; now and then you see a flash of a more unusual angle or limited cropping, but that wouldn't really kick in for every shoot until the next few years.

Beam of Light

In 2012, I began trying to make posts about all of the LEA sims; that project began in May but wouldn't finish until late last year, when I finally bit the bullet and organized posts about each sim by backdating them. The other post on the 25th was "Paths and Pilings", one of my many posts about Bryn Oh's art. With a rare few exceptions, I have blogged everything she's done since I became aware of her. This was really when I started picking up creators who would pass me things, too, but before I ever applied to blog for a store, and the only event I blogged was Fantasy Faire.

Butterfly Brains

In 2013, I had branched out to a lot of different types of posts. On the 25th I did a song-based one, "Cold November Rain", inspired by an art gallery. I think you can see the marked changes in my photography, from neophyte to apprentice, but I'm still sometimes struggling with using light to my advantage in world. My angles have become more exploratory, though, and now and then different emotions filter their way into and through my images. My month with the most pageviews is also this year, in September, when I broke 9000. Four of my five highest posts also come from this year - three of them are reviews of MadPea Hunts: "Lennon Park Massacre" with over 2200 views, "Room 326 Hunt" with over 1300 views, and "Dark Dimension" with over 700 views. The outsider, coming in with just over 1000 views, is a "Monday Meme: Google", and Monday Memes feature alongside hunt posts for the remaining top ten.

Taunting the Pigeons

And now, 2014, where I think I've improved greatly even in just a year, especially in terms of lighting and angles. I'm averaging around 5000 pageviews a month, most of them from google or unidentified sources but a healthy chunk as a result of the Monday Memes, which remain my quickest rising posts in terms of both pageviews and comments. It seems unlikely that I'll have any quick jumps in readership any time soon, but it's a healthy rate of growth and a respectable, if not influential, presence in the blogosphere. Going forward, I'd love a wider readership and a more regular commetariate, but I think that's unlikely given my style. I'd love more favorites, but I think that's unlikely given my photography style. I may, in the coming months, try to make a few changes, but to be honest I like what I do more than I regret not getting recognition, so any changes are likely to be minor - like revisiting old, favorite images in photoshop to play around with them.

I'm looking forward to five more years, though, and I hope you'll come along with me.

Monday Meme: Twenty Questions

Tempting Fate

Strawberry has twenty questions for us this Monday, and a gorgeous look (love the braids), and spoke a little about those initial meetings. Weirdly, people rarely ask me questions - I'm not sure whether they're not interested or they're intimidated; I have rather a history of intimidating people in my personal life (professionally I seem to be able to tap down whatever it is which overwhelms people, but it's not sustainable all the time).
  1. When and how did you discover Second Life? – My friend Ro-chan enticed me to stay in August of 2008. I actually have an account from before Deoridhe Quandry, Deoridhe Starr, who was part of an abortive attempt to join in 2006. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I met people and stuck around then.

  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? – Oh yes, I'd played a number of video games, including World of Warcraft (FOR THE HORDE) and various Final Fantasies. In neither of those settings was I particularly concerned with avatar appearance; in WoW it's about the stats, and you have very little to no individuation in the standard video game.

  3. Has Second Life met your expectations? – My only expectation was to be able to dress myself up, so it lived up to that pretty well. It has not yet led to me being universally adored, but I think that expectation is pretty much Dead on Arrival.

  4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? – Try opening your own store with that early drive to build things. Later on you'll have much less time.

  5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? – Flying I'm good at u til lag eats me. Driving I slowly started mastering during the brief time that Imagine was levels of streets, so I had a lot of room to practice, but I just don't do it much.

  6. Do you have a mystery alt? – Depends on what you mean by mystery. I have Alphabet Alts, so it's not like I announce them to everyone, but if we're stalking a lucky board or chair as a group, people will see a large chunk of my retinue. I think of them as extensions of myself, really, since they're rarely logged on when my main isn't.

  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? – I'd say usually Deoridhe Quandry is my bouncier, sillier side - especially when I roleplay - but that all of my faults continue to exist with her. I have a couple of alts who inspire different behavior due to roleplaying through them, and I'd say one is my Shadow and the other... probably closer to an Animus figure, of sorts. Me as a carrier of power.

  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? – I don't know if I'm insensitive or just arrogant, but I usually don't feel inspired by people in the way other people talk about. I rarely want to suddenly change everything, and if I am inspired to change it is usually some idea which has built up over time from a variety of sources, rather than something localized in another other individual.

  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? – I don't experience much difference, to be honest. It takes as long to get to know people offline, though you might get some early cues as to what kind of person they are through body language which might be concealed online for longer. Sometimes I miss hugs a lot, though, and it's harder to ask people to drive you to the airport.

  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? – Yes, absolutely. There have always been a subset of people who fell in love before meeting in person.

  11. Encircled

  12. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – It hasn't really changed; I'm pretty much as undatable online as off.

  13. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – No real change; I grew up with computer people, so the idea that you could have non-local work or work from home was always part of my consciousness.

  14. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. – Personal exploration, seeking of the sublime, and a subset of friends who cross over worlds.

  15. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix) – I would love it in brief bits, but I also really like having a console and being able to do other things - like right now I'm watching JP the Beeman videos as well as answering these questions. I usually have a few irons in the fire.

  16. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? – I think people are more honest. People who have to conceal their delight in annoying or hurting others are more likely to express it. People who try to act tough and protect themselves are more likely to become vulnerable. I think the added barrier of safety from immediate consequences shows us who we really are.

  17. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? – When I feel an urge to spend, I tend to come to Second Life, where twenty dollars goes a lot farther. I'm leaning now toward being more individualistic with fashion - coming up with a coherent style which remains consistent across many changes int he details.

  18. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? – I think it's just another means of interaction. Humans are highly adaptable and responsive to change, and a lot remains consistent even across different media.

  19. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? – I would want there to be a means to refuse the transfer; there are way too many people who would use it to torment strangers; anythign that intimate should have controls put in to ensure it's consensual.

  20. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. – Marketing, fashion styling, and writing copy.

  21. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? – I really don't know. I think I'm fairly consistent between worlds, so I doubt they'd be surprised.

( More pictures here. )

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Rose in Bloom

Night on the Town

One of my favorite books from my teenage years is Rose in Bloom, a sequel to the serially released Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott. It is a dated book, I'll admit, and her virtuous tone is all but laughable in the face of a modern era, but there's much I love about the enduring friendship between Rose and her housemaid cum lady's maid cum cousin-in-law. It stands in an odd intersection of racism-in-description of one of the Chinese men Rose and her cousins meet, and an odd sort of equality when one of her wealthy friends marries the Chinese man. It is feminist and progressive for it's age, especially with Rose's determination to be a philanthropist as well as wife and mother, but has unnerving classist assumptions, especially in regards to Phebe and her role vis a vis showing what "good" poor people were like. It is problematic along a few different axis, and I love it even now and even knowing it's many flaws. I love the equality inherent in it, the transformation of Rose's cousins from children into adults, and Rose and Phebe's own transformations. I love to imagine myself as Rose, sweet and unspoiled, surrounded by people who love her.


My gorgeous Rose in Bloom dress is from Petite Mii, and I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it. I love the overall shape of the gown, the sweet puffed sleeves, the high collar, and the lovely pattern. It is a wide sweeping skirt, which means sitting can be a challenge, but I adore the ruffle along the bottom and encourage you to invest in tights or underwear with good coverage. To continue the Wa Lolita style, I added Tama hairpins with lovely winter cherry blooms hanging from them; I picked these up in a wide variety of colors ages ago, and I'm so glad to have a chance to show them off. I especially love the additional earrings, which are open on the front to show the tiny cherry inside. I tucked them in around one of the latest updos from Wasabi Pills, and gloriously they fit around the twisted band of hair as if they had been made for each other. I love how the crown and pouf make it seem more formal, while the tangling twists over the shooulders give a slightly more casual vibe - something perfect for the quasi-formality of Wa Lolita. My lovely little purse is a recent release from Adore & Abhor, a set of pastel coffin purses which simply make me giggle endlessly. The colors are all very muted, which gives them a sweet yet disturbing edge. Finally, the quintessential shoe for any Lolita look is the Mary Jane, and I chose these adorably simple ones from Reign, which fit over the SLink medium foot. They have a nice chunky heel, and a lovely line.

Rise Up

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Sparkles: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Sanna
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Jewelry: Tama, Japanese Lanterns
Earrings: Illusions, Mystic Chains
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: Mock, Silver (light iced)
Lipstick: Mock, Bella Vetro Gloss
Wings: Deviance, Seelie
Hands & Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands & feet
Nails: Orc Inc, Rich Darks
Clothing: Petit Mii, Asian Dress

Purse: Adore & Abhor, Coffin Purse
Stockings: Stellar, In Bloom
Shoes: Reign, MaryJanes

Poses: Grafica

Location: Tropical Serenade
Light Settings: TOR, FOGGY Sad purple
Water Settings: mirror water

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How NOT to pick up a chick in Second Life - Episode 13

A Glace Behind

Well, at least he's honest.

[Imadik]: ru from?

Deoridhe Quandry: Excuse me?

[Imadik]: hello

Deoridhe Quandry: Good afternoon.

[Imadik]: good night in my country

Deoridhe Quandry: Good afternoon on Second Life.

[Imadik]: where are you from?
[Imadik]: ok

Deoridhe Quandry: Second Life.
Deoridhe Quandry: What do you like to do in World?

[Imadik]: i like sex
[Imadik]: you?

Deoridhe Quandry: Photography, blogging, intelligent conversations.

And that was the end of that - having established that I have interests that don't include sex with strangers, he would have nothing more to do with me.

Gray and Shadow

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Sparkles: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: LCKY, Morgan
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Earrings: Illusions, Mystic Chains
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: Mock, Glitterotica
Lipstick: Adore & Abhor, Fluff Lips
Wings: Deviance, Seelie
Hands & Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands & feet
Nails: By Snow, Circuit
Ring: Eclectica, Swirly Dress Ring
Necklace: Collisions, Red Corps
Clothing: katat0nik, Diner Dress (Collabor88)
Shoes: Hucci, Pinup Peep (Collabor88)

Pose: Don't Freak Out

Location: Imaginaria
Light Settings: Don't Remember
Water Settings: mirror water

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Fit for a Princess: The Bee's Knees

Pausing for a Look

There is about a week and a half left in the Fit for a Princess event, so you have plenty of time to explore and find something for your inner, or outer, princess. The selection is all floral, which is really quite a lot of fun. It's been seriously difficult to figure out what to feature, but the second I saw these wonderful dresses with the fluttery gathers around the arms, and the daring, but not plunging, neckline. It moves well in a variety of poses, even ones which can be unforgiving like walks and knee bends. I also love the wide waist sash, and the colors are Kouse Sanctum's usual right, soft shades. There is a delicate pattern which begins right about at the knees which I really liked, and the way she used materials makes the fabric glow slightly gives it the effect of silk. I also think a velvety pattern would have suited both the dress and the fabric; materials has added a wonderful subtlety to how clothing can be made. I paired it with jewelry from Krystal, which is the same creator - and the flower theme continues to this amazing diadem and the wonderful matching earrings and necklace. They are color changing, which means they can be matched to any of her gorgeous gowns. I particularly like the line of the diadem style crown, which can be placed right below the hairline, but there is also a standard crown design for over the hair as well. I would have loved to have seen bracelets and/or anklets as well, simply because I adore decorating my limbs extravagantly, but the sets are a lovely addition to any flowery ensemble.

Solid Stance on Solubles

The hair is also a Fit for a Princess release, a twisted updo from Calico with tiny rose-and-feather details. The flowers themselves are color changing using the same HUD that changes the color of the hair - and she has a wonderful assortment of haircolors including some of the gorgeous ombre that are sweeping across hairstyles in general. The hairline across the front is also quite nice, especially for diadems, which would be regular occurrences for a princess. I was also glad to see that the hair curved over my larger-than-typical ears, which is always a plus; while a bit of ear overlay can be hidden via angle or editing, I'm always happiest when my ears remain unmolested. Finally, my shoes are from Hopscotch and have the cutest daisies on them, ones which really make me smile. They're a smooth, Mary Jane style with a modest heel which are fit for SLink medium feet, and come with black or white shoes, four different flower color options. They're a wonderful sedate option for under your prettiest flowery frocks. My poses are not, this time at least, from Fit for a Princess - but they are a lovely set of coquettish and fashionable stands from Diesel Works and I really like how they work with the skirt of my dress in particular, offering variety without either pose or dress becoming to strained.

Down the Serpentine

( More pictures here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Sparkles: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: Calico, Aiyana (Fit for a Princess)
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Earrings: Illusions, Mystic Chains
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: Mock, Pantone eShadow
Lipstick: Mock, Glasside
Wings: Deviance, Seelie
Hands & Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands & feet
Nails: Nine Inch Nails, Colorful
Jewelry: Krystal, Marguerite (Fit for a Princess)
Clothing: Kouse's Sanctum, Sharon (Fit for a Princess)
Shoes: HopScotch, Ayana (Fit for a Princess)

Pose: Diesel Works

Location: Bee Swing

Light Settings: TOR, SCIFI Spartz puft
Water Settings: mirror water

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Meme: Photobomb

Running Past

Strawberry decided we should all take advantage of the crowds in Second Life for a Photobombing Meme, and I have to admit that though the wait was long, the images of people rushing past me as I stood still moments before a picture snap was a lot of fun.The most exciting time was when a couple of different people started dancing right behind me, which I have to admit gave me a serious giggle. I liked the interesting avatars the best, though, even when they rushed past too fast to rez.

The place ended up at Mad City, enjoying it in the few weeks before the end - MadPea Games is focusing entirely on their Unia Game and so can't afford to keep the city going. If you want to donate to MadPea Games to fund their Unia Game, go to their Go Fund Me Page where they are a little more than halfway done.

Dancing Pea Head

( More photobombs here. )


Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Sparkles: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: Ploom, Skully
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Eyeshadow: R.icielli, Eyeliner Collection
Lipstick: Mock, Glasside
Wings: Deviance, Seelie
Hands & Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands & feet
Nails: A:S:S, Unicorn
Jewelry:Eclectica, Perenelle

Ring: Eclectica, Swirly Dress Ring
Clothing: Fateplay, Lena
Shoes: Junebug, Vintage Leather

Pose: Don't Freak Out, [spotlight] haven't been myself lately

Location: Mad City
Light Settings: TOR, SCIFI Spartz puft
Water Settings: mirror water

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2014 Fantasy Faire: Fairlands Junction

Lotus at Rest

It's the end to another Fantasy Faire - long past in truth. I had a great deal of fun, though as always time was cramped and I wished it was two, even three weeks instead of the bare eleven days we get. A number of stores have their donation items still out, so keep a weather eye for things you might have missed during the faire proper and see you all next year!

( More pictures here. )


Location: Fairlands Junction
Light Settings: Sim Default
Water Settings: Sim Default

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

2014 Fantasy Faire: Sanctum

Begging Bowl

I walked for some time before the land ended before me - marking the end of my journey, or at least so I thought. My foot clatters against a small stone bowl, spilling must of the water into the thirsty stone, and I lift it gently in both hands to dip into the ocean, refilling it and leaving it back where I had found it, the damp imprint of my hands left on the edges even as I straightened again. It looked like the end of the world - a wide swath of water from within which fire belched forth, running redly to steam itself black in the sea. The smells are equal parts sulfur and salt, purity and fire all in one. After long moments of breathing in the mingling scent, I notice a glowing light at my feet drawing me upward, and turn toward it. There is nothing but a breath of salt and sunlight beneath my feet, and yet I continue to walk upwards into the sky.

Hot Lava

Nothing could have prepared me for what lies between red and sulfur, and gold and sun. A village - stone and greenery stretching out with total disregard for gravity.

Life blooming in midair.

The denizens are quiet, polite, disinterested. Soft greetings and goodbyes as I pass through, and my Lindens are as good here as any other place, but everything is oddly transparent and bloodless - as if only partial lives are being lived all around me. I feel vivid and explosive next to the mildness which surrounds me.


At the center of town, another of the streaming paths of light falls into the center of town - ignored by the inhabitants. Weeping figures are on either side of it, and they don't move as I approach - nor do those standing still and looking upward as if toward some wonderful or terrible thing. Beneath my feet, the stairs of light chimed gently with each step I take upwards, and seem to continue unendingly into the sky.

Locked Out

( More pictures here. )


Location: Sanctum
Light Settings: Sim Default
Water Settings: Sim Default

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 Fantasy Faire Hunt Part Two: Palace of Tears Walkthrough

Palace of Tears Hunt HUD

The Fantasy Faire is doing a two part hunt again,  and only the second half is available. The Hunt continues until the 18th, so you don't have much time to wrap it up - sorry I got this out so late. The HUD still costs 250L and is for sale at the Palace of Tears. It's fairly complicated, with a variety of menu options, and the HUD Instructions covers that, as well as a series of notes and encouragement to click on the sponsors links at the bottom.

I had an error with my HUD so that for some reason, despite the fact I finished the first half, it reset to halfway through the first half which could no longer be done. I chose to repurchase the second HUD, so I don't know if continuing with the original HUD changes anything at all. It at least starts at the same place - finding the Bard Queen and speaking with her. Like the first half of the hunt, this one has cutscenes; the transcripts are available through the "History" button.

One note up front - I have now run most of the hunt multiple times due to crashing and sleeping. Unlike some other HUD based hunts, removing your HUD and putting it on again clears the progress you've made instead of "locking" it. If there's one improvement I hope they make, it's some way to save progress as you go; since this hunt is so time intensive, the likelihood of crashing is high and after the fifth time I did the first half of the hunt I was not behaving in a ladylike manner. The only nice thing is that the puzzles all remain solved - though you have to make it "wrong" then "right" again to trigger moving on. Despite this technical difficulty, I really enjoyed this hunt - especially the puzzles.

Bard Queen
NEW OBJECTIVE: Talk to the Bard Queen in the palace's gardens.

[BARD QUEEN] And so it came to pass that after a thousand years of rule, the Emperor finally started to age. He sent away the courtiers, who served only to flatter him, and kept his counselors close. Then, after another generation, they were sent away as well. In time, only the most trusted servants were permitted to enter his presence. And now he has not been seen at all for a week.

The Eternal Empire is in chaos. No successor has been named, and now the lords and ladies strong enough to take the crown are drawing the lines for civil war. Thousands will die, unless...

Well, hero, unless you help. The Emperor cannot have left the Palace without being seen, so he must be in there somewhere. Can you find him? Help us, hero. Search the Palace.

Save us all...

Throne Room
Deoridhe: I need to find some clues first... I guess the throne room may be a good place to start.
NEW OBJECTIVE: Find the Emperor. Look for clues.

Now is the time to seek all over the building for various clues as to the Emperor's disappearance. As you click things, there is a response from your HUD, and sometimes your view changes to focus on a detail, or widens to focus on a place.

Deoridhe: Here is the throne room. It appears that the Emperor is interested in art...

Origami Unicorn
Deoridhe: Ahhh, the Unicorn. Symbol of the Empire, you know. Except when it's crowned like this one – that's for the Emperor himself. Hmm.... it might be worth trying his private rooms. They'll have the same marking.
NEW OBJECTIVE: Look for clues in the Emperor's bedroom.

Deoridhe: This must be the Emperor's private bedroom. Now if I were going to have a hiding-place, this is the sort of room I'd want it near. Perhaps there's some kind of switch?
NEW OBJECTIVE: Look for a possible switch...


Deoridhe: Hmmm... it seems that I can move these...
NEW OBJECTIVE: Solve the puzzle to proceed.

The hints are found by clicking on the images on the little puzzle.

Mysterious Key Hole
NEW OBJECTIVE: Examine the keyhole.

Deoridhe: Ah-ha – a keyhole! But we need a key... Hmmm. There has to be a spare, right? But powerful people get smug, and the Emperor's a tease. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some kind of clue around here.

Painting of the Emperor
NEW OBJECTIVE: Find the right key for this keyhole.
Deoridhe: So yes, that's him. In the crown jewels, too – very swish! But what's he holding there? Sceptre in one hand and...

This is where things get a little confusing. I'm assuming that if my first HUD had worked I owuld have already had the key, but if you purchase the second HUD you need to find it. I spent ages looking at where his right hand might be, all over, clicking everything I could find, and after a good night's rest I tried a door I had noticed in the main hall, but which I assumed was only part of the end game. Wrong. Click on the door between the stairs in the entrance hall to get to the Treasure Room.

Treasure Room Entrance

Deoridhe: The crown jewels... full of riches from all around the world.
Mysterious Key acquired.
Gold acquired.

The next step is to head upwards again. The next step is a little confusing - the first time of using an object. Stand near the keyhole and click the "inventory" tab and arrow over to the "mysterious key". The click "use." Your camera will be taken over again (by now, clicking on things, you should be used to that) and will focus on the door hidden behind the portrait. Click on the door and you will be teleported through it.

Deoridhe: It's working! It's opening!
NEW OBJECTIVE: Open the secret entrance and look for the Emperor.

NEW OBJECTIVE: Talk to the emperor.
[EMPEROR] Who..? Well, no matter.

They poisoned me, you know. Slow, but certain. I sent them all away so they couldn't give me any more, but... but I think I've had enough. There's a cure, you know, in the library. But it's in code, and I can't understand it. Help me... please?

Deoridhe: Hmm! So I need to find a recipe in the library?!...
NEW OBJECTIVE: Look for a recipe in the library.

Now it's down to the library, which is a few doors down from the Throne Room. It's a lovely room full of books, and the recipe isn't difficult to find.


Deoridhe: The palace's library, filled with all sorts of books. Romance, Action, Potions, Myths, Magic...
Potions Book acquired.
Deoridhe: Great, it's in code. Typical. Honestly, do these people have so much time on their hands that they can't just write down a recipe? There has to be an explanation of how to decode it around here somewhere. NEW OBJECTIVE: Find a way to decode the recipe.

Don't leave the room - the cryptokey is on the ground in the library.  Once you click on it, another puzzle will open up on your HUD - and in this case, the word you are trying to reproduce you have seen many times in many different ways as you went - and it's seven letters long.


Deoridhe: Right, so it's a sprig of Rosemary, a Mandrake root, a lump of gold, and some powdered sulphur. And we'll need an alchemist's or wizard's lab to mix it in.

Deoridhe: They should have the sulphur as well, so that's something. Best find the other three ingredients before tracking the lab down.

NEW OBJECTIVE: Find the following ingredients:
Rosemary ☑
Mandrake root ☑
Gold ☑
The items can be found all over the building - and you may have found some of them already. The first is someplace warm where you haven't been in the plotline yet. The second hides around the castle, dancing out of the ground. The third is key and I already picked it up in this walkthrough. If you, like me, already had everything, you have to "refind" something in order to trigger the next step of the hunt.

Deoridhe: The royal kitchen... It must have all sorts of ingredients, for all sorts of preparations... or at least some...
Rosemary acquired.

Mandrake Root acquired.

Deoridhe: Finally! Got everything!
Deoridhe: Hummm... The ingredients need a wizard to mix this. If only I knew where to find one... Perhaps someone around here knows one?
NEW OBJECTIVE: Find a wizard. Talk to someone who may know one.

This one is kind of obvious. Of course, if you're me, you've been back to click her about a half dozen times already.

[BARD QUEEN] You have ingredients, but need somewhere to mix them? This at least I can help you with. Speak to the wizard Fimbalius. The doorway will take you to his gardens, but you must find your way to his tower yourself.

Now, for the first time all game, clicking the door next to the Bard Queen lets you open it and clickt he tantalizing doorway beyond. You end up in the "maze". Cleverly, they've put a level at the top of the maze, so even if you have wings, flying over isn't an option. That being said, it isn't the most difficult maze to solve, and with [this image] it will be much easier.


You read... "Speak, friend and enter."

Hope you know your Tolkein.

You hear "You may enter..."
NEW OBJECTIVE: Talk to the wizard.

2014-05-15 Fantasy Faire Hunt_022

[WIZARD] Honestly, you put a maze outside your front door and people still keep managing to barge in! Adventurers, I ask ye!

Wait, the Emperor sent you? Oh, right. Well, I suppose he's better than the alternatives. If you've got everything you need you might as well be getting on with it, I suppose - the workbench is over there.

Well, don't just stand there gawping at me, get on with it!

You don't actually have to do anything - just look at your local chat.

Deoridhe: Perfect! I better hurry back to the palace now...
Cure acquired.
NEW OBJECTIVE: Return to the Emperor and administer the cure.

To get back down, click on the shiny door and it will teleport you to the front of the maze. Click on the door you just came through, and it will teleport you down to the Bard Queen. Run back to the Emperor's Room and just click on the picture to go through the door again (no need to use the key). Then open your inventory and use the "cure" you got.


You have the cure?

Thank you! Yes, this is the stuff. I do at least know what to do with it now.

You have done me a great service, stranger, and I am grateful. Go to the treasure room and take what you will as a reward.

Perhaps one day, when there is need, I may see fit to call on you again...

NEW OBJECTIVE: Retrieve the treasure...
Master Key acquired.

Now it's back to the Treasure Room, where you got the gold, and possibly the key. When you click on the treasure boxes, your inventory will become inundated by awesome stuff.

You have Won!!! 

Treasure Room

Art in the Throne Room:

Secret Garden at Imaginaria by Peace Edenflower-Switchblade
Secret Garden at Imaginaria by Peace Edenflower-Switchblade

Mermaid by Mena Lancaster
Mermaid by Mena Lancaster

A Siren's Call by Naniel Finlayson
A Siren's Call by Naniel Finlayson

Up by Gidge Adagio
Up by Gidge Adagio

The Secret Lives of Dwarves by Davie Frequency
The Secret Lives of Dwarves by Davie Frequency

I Loved a Maid Fair as Summer by Anabelle Marquis
I Loved a Maid Fair as Summer by Anabelle Marquis