Sunday, April 30, 2017
Fallen Sands is a desert realm with a metallic edge and a slew of mechanical creatures lurking among the cacti. I tinted the water green, like the heavy water found in other deserts, and set off to explore the onion towers and lead glass. Overhead, enormous iron flamingos fly, casting long shadows on the ground. The buildings are high and slightly angled, with pure glass tower tops on each corner. Those who went before have left behind only their skeletons, engaged in a wide variety of unexpected activities! My favorite were the elephants, though - either blowing water into the air to cool passersby, or cooling themselves in the dense water at the heart of the sim.
The transition between Kakushi Pasu and San Mora is abrupt and startling. On one side: calm and natural glory. On the other: post-modern destruction decorated with trash bags. Death Row Designs always does something post-apocalyptic (whether modern of medieval) and San Mora is an exemplar of the style. You can pick up a free gas mask from DRD (San Mora) at the entrance, and I recommend doing so.... just in case. Much of what you can purchase here is similarly modern and dystopic - and it's a good reminder, to me in particular, of what an enormous umbrella Fantasy is! I'm more of a sparkles and sunshine kind of girl, but the dark and rusted fantasies other people create are no less valid even if they aren't candy colored. Fantasy Faire always challenges me to get out of my preferred areas and into something different, and I'm deeply grateful for the yearly wake-up call.
I have loved Kakushi Pasu since I watched it slowly rez around me while listening to Seanan McGuire answer questions. Built like a Japanese Tea House, the open wooden walkways surround a rocky core surrounded by bamboo plants, maple trees, and enormous lotus blossoms. It is at once architectural and natural, the sharp lines of dark wood cutting pleasantly through the softer curves of plants and water. The shadows of bamboo leaves is particularly striking, especially complementing the dark red of the maple. The square shape of the walkways, with their small buildings cropping up here and there, invites contemplation of the floating lanterns which never stop moving. There are two notable areas - one an open air meeting room with a stage for readers and stumps for listeners, and the other a tall cliff where the Fantasy Faire Dragon has moored himself and his ship.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Egregore is a world of riotous colors which becomes almost completely overwhelming in daylight, and only slightly less riotous under the glow of the moon. This is a child's world, complete with enormous doll houses open in the side or tilted slightly so you can sneak inside to pick up the many delights of the Fantasy Faire. Jelly beans form the paths, pointing the way between stores and through the hiding spots and dance grounds of dolls and toy ponies. The centerpiece is a giant mannequin setting up her own enormous dollhouse, her feet the size of two Faireland citizens put together.
Centering on an enormous clown head, the carnival set up in Anansi has many attractions and even more contrasts. The landscape itself is sweet, pastoral, even medieval - a jackrabbit pauses to watch passers by in a field of gently drying grass; a bridge made of woven logs offers passage over a shallow waterfall; ferns and mossy rocks frame a loose stone pathway up the hill - and hovering over it is the mastermind clown with his army of eight-legged attractions and their flying ant attendants. His rictus of a smile is only visible when you crest the hill, and he hangs over the bay like a malevolent but cheerful majordomo. His minions dot the landscape, all but lost against the landscape, and now and then a crowd gathers at the main stage to play out the next part of the NeoVictoria Storyline.
For those who missed it - Part One is here.
Main Quest >> Locate the Bard Queen in Morbus
This is a lot easier than one might expect - no caves or going very far; the Bard Queen is just inside the border. Walk up, click on her, and another video will start - again, there are links to YouTube if it doesn't load in world. She doesn't look or feel well, but she can make the potion to help herself at the top of the tower if we clear the way for her. She even calls Farion brave - which embarrasses him! And now it's on to the puzzle-solving half of the Quest - this time getting the Bard Queen where she needs to go!
You can purchase the HUD for the game at the landing point of every sim; there's a deluxe version which comes with an outfit (350$L) and a simple version which comes with just the HUD (250$L). The deluxe version comes with instructions on how to Redeem the included gift card are included. The gift card itself is no-copy, so you have to rez the box in world in order to remove it. When you wear it, it will direct you to teleport to Fairelands Junction, where the quest begins.
A couple of notes - one, you can save the game manually using the "setup" button, and I recommend you do so. Two, it's worth it to drop your graphics down quite a bit; the Fairelands are full of people, and that can slow you down significantly. Thirdly, the hints really do help - read them a couple of times and they should do well by you.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Sunday, April 2, 2017
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.
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.