Tag Archives: sim sponsor

Sanctum Sponsored by Fallen Gods_003 by Alisaundra Andel

Meet Our Sponsors: Fallen Gods Inc.

Alia Baroque, creator of Fallen Gods Inc., sim builder and sponsor of Sanctum.
Alia Baroque, creator of Fallen Gods Inc., sim builder and sponsor of Sanctum.

 Alia Baroque, the creator of Fallen Gods Inc., sim builder and sponsor of Sanctum, shares with us the process of creating Fairelands, the story behind Sanctum and his vision of the Faire, his reasons for returning to the Fairelands year after year. 

You are one of the true Faire veterans, your builds have been a part of the Fairelands for many years. You create a whole sim — a fantasy world — out of nothing in a short span of months and nerves. How do you do it every year? What makes you return and do it all over again?

As the years go by we learn the emotions and mind training that involves an effort like this; the biggest challenge about building for the Faire is not the actual prims nor the technique, but the expectations we lay upon ourselves. Building for Fantasy Faire itself is a chain of common support, it’s not about individual sims, it’s not a competition, but a dance. Every sim holds each other’s hand in a circle, it’s a mutual effort where the success of one world depends on the respect of the other one. We are all genuine fans of imagination and creativity resulting in art the winner over lag, restrictions, personal issues and low LOD factors.

The sims you visit every year are children created by our imagination, visually immersive stories adapted to SL capabilities where we become containers, they are a world for everyone, but they do not exist without the eye with which they are seen and experienced. This is mainly the reason that makes me come back: contributing with my imagination and giving a world for others to experience while being part of an incredible huge virtual effort that allows me to help in a consistent manner a cause I believe into.

Sanctum Sponsored by Fallen Gods_015 by Alisaundra Andel
Sanctum, picture by Alisaundra Andel.

How many Fairelands have you built? Tell us about them, is there something that ties them together as a theme, as a development?

This is the 4th year I build a sim (Enchanted Mysts, Tides, Magnificat, Sanctum), the 5th year I sponsor a sim, and 6thyear I participate to Fantasy Faire.

The thread that connects my worlds is visual and emotional, what I wish for visitors is immersion, a song that follows them through the walk, a poem of scenarios, colors, images and sounds to make them think, feel and live there, for a while. A living book where everyone can read what their mind is focused at.

I enjoy reproducing classical architecture and landscaping I am familiar with, being European I love taking the heritage of old stones and ancient gardens and their growth and offer them virtually, then add a symbolic twist that is the tool to bring a concept to life, a metaphor.

I don’t believe much in explaining my creations as well as sim builds, I use too many metaphors and symbols that would make them look as intellectual philosophical exaggerations, prefer to let others see what they wish and enjoy perhaps a quiet garden or nice façade and wonder what is it all about, as we often do during our lifetimes: ask what it is all about afterall.

What are you bringing to the Faire this year?

Pieces of Sanctum stone brought to life, the Lacrimosa skin line, Anima petites, Ethos Purple auction skins and a live auction Sanctum memory, Enigma and Sanctum’s rest hunt gifts, jail and bail special edition Nirvana skins… and of course, Sanctum itself.

What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?

I fell into fantasy without warning, on personal liking I was always more of a science fiction fan, expecially concerning books. From Herbert, to Anderson, to Sturgeon and Van Vogt I stopped sometimes only a moment over Howard, Martin and Tolkien, to immediately grab my latin classics which are my main passion. I believe also my love for classical art forms pushed my illustrative style over fantasy which tends to use old school canons of aesthetics, so I ended up working as fantasy cover artist and character designer RL mainly for my painting style. But what still drives me genuinely to Fantasy it’s the connection with epic ballads and legends, our historical imagination that is the base of all contemporary fantasy: most of it you can find in greek, celtic or scandinavian legends, so I wonder: did we really add anything new in the past 2500 years?

Sanctum Sponsored by Fallen Gods 2 by Alisaundra Andel
Sanctum, picture by Alisaundra Andel.

What are you looking forward to most this year?

Stability. The faire passed its initial newborn phase and started having solid foundations. A delicate phase of transformations made the Faire stronger and so all the backbone pieces that is the whole team is feeling more secure and less volatile. The faire is like a system of transparent layers, each of them is light and fragile, but when you merge them all it becomes a strong solid element. Fantasy Faire is all the selfless people taking part in it, from organizers to visitors, with visions, fantasies, emotions, battles and challenges: the real thing that glues us, we transparent layers, is the will to contribute and relay, giving further as an act of gratitude for being merely alive and able to imagine. I simply wish the Faire to live long and, well… prosper.

Friendship. Because it’s the most beautiful thing in the world and what makes Friends Fighting Cancer.

Good looking pretty girls. Because you expect me to say it and who am I to disappoint you.

Sanctum Sponsored by Fallen Gods_003 by Alisaundra Andel
Sanctum, picture by Alisaundra Andel.

How was Sanctum born? What inspired it, what is its story?

It was late January. I was taking 3 months of nomadic life in New Zealand, my personal other side of the world, mostly spending time in the rainforest, chasing penguins and whales and making the great tracks, trying to work along the way and paint non PG appliers in toilets with good wifi. While getting ready for the Milford sounds series of walks I got a very close encounter with some vampires (sandflies) that knocked me down for a week in bed drunk of antihistamines, and also simply drunk. Covered in plague and itching to the edge of insanity, sleep deprived most of time by getting woken up by the itch, in one of the rare spans I fell asleep I had a dream: I saw the Sanctum. It was louder, the chains were shaking, the souls were hovering and rotating in circles around the chapels and their noise and lament was unbearable. As I recovered, and happily continued my kiwi journey, Sanctum changed and became a land of peace. I gained consciousness that we all are heading for the same direction, the same journey, a shaky and unstable one between two fates, the hell of our regrets that keeps us chained and unhappy, or the one of acceptance, dancing with the scary death, which is the only big truth and final checkpoint. I realized that all I have to do is make it worth, my own journey, and try to contribute as best I can to improve life for others around me, which is all what life is it about.

Thank you, Alia, for taking the time to share your view of the Faire with us and thank you for bringing so many Fairelands to being.

Alia by Alisaundra Andel
Alia in Sanctum, picture by Alisaundra Andel.

 

Meet Our Sponsors: Roawenwood

searlait
Searlait Nitschke, Creator of Roawenwood, Builder of Mourningvale Thicket.

Searlait Nitschke, the creator of Roawenwood and the sponsor and sim builder of Mourningvale Thicket, shares with us how it is to build Fairelands, her reasons to relay, her reasons to build and the depth behind the story of Mourningvale Thicket.

This is not the first time you have created a Fairelands sim — a fantasy world — out of nothing in a short span of months and nerves. How does it feel like? What made you return and do it all over again?

It can feel overwhelming but it’s a thrill at the same time. Picking a concept, an idea… then hoping that you can bring it to life or give it justice. Sometimes it can get a little frightening feeling if I can’t find the hook or the way to bring it all together the way that I want in my head. The ideas and concepts float around trying to take root and until that one little piece that you’re looking for starts to work it feels like it’s just floating and I need to find the anchor. Frustrating in that sense and right beforehand no one sleeps, we’re all working trying to bring it all to life and that is part of why I came back to do it again. The team, the camaraderie, the cause… RFL is very important to me. Being able to bring a small world to life, to try to convey a vision.

How many Fairelands have you built? Tell us about them, is there something that ties them together as a theme, as a development?

This is my second. The first had a lot of trees without leaves too but a lot of evergreens and such as well. It was a wintery themed sim. Tree city type thing, everything raised up off of the ground with platforms, ribbons, crystals, velvet and such. Snowy, and beautiful. I tend to dedicate my RFL builds to someone or something or an idea. It was for a few reasons… which I wrote up last year.

Probably easier to link it than try to explain it all again, it is far too easy for me to get wordy. The winter has a special meaning for me as do the trees and forests. The thing that ties them together, I’m not sure. That I try to convey feeling in my builds, a sense of wonder perhaps. Until I can find the sense of wonder it doesn’t feel quite right.

Mourningvale Thicket - I by Caitlin Tobias
Mourningvale Thicket – I by Caitlin Tobias

How did you begin building in Second Life? What inspires you to create?

I began building in SL almost as soon as I joined it. Not really on purpose but I couldn’t stand not having a place to ‘live’ so within a week or two I had purchased land through Anshe Chung, very big name at the time, on the side of a mountain on a Gothic zoned sim. So of course then I needed to get a house, furnish it, and most of the time I am not entirely happy with the things that I find. I’m particular, so I figured out how to do it myself. Before I was in SL I was in chats that used webpages for their backgrounds and learned all sorts of web design, paint shop, how to run a website, a database and tons of other things to create an immersive type place to live there. I had also been in a 3d platform called Activeworlds, we had a world for awhile because I just don’t like to do things small. I ‘built’ there too, creating an interactive environment so when I found Second Life it really was not a shocker that I was really really intrigued to figure out building and to take it up a notch. I felt like I could really create more in Second Life and give it the life that I wanted.

I’m inspired by almost anything. Feelings, desires, passion… the way the light filters through the leaves or the sound of the wind blowing. People can inspire me. An idea, a thought, wanting to give back and make their experience more enjoyable. I love seeing what people come up with when they use something I created. You never really know where your things might end up in here and the stories can be quite interesting, or the environments. From one end of the spectrum to the other what people can come up with can be truly amazing to watch. I love seeing it. When I am in a truly creative place and I’m making something that feels ‘inspired’ whether it is a furniture set or a piece of clothing I tend to try to place myself or the creation within a scenario of my own making and then get that feeling across. There’s a difference when I feel like I am making an item because it is expected or part of someone else’s plans and when I have that little thrill that runs through me when it just feels right. Finding that thrill is partly what inspires me, it’s fairly addicting. Almost like a drug.

What are you bringing to the Faire this year? 

Mostly… the sim. As I create the environment I tend to make pieces that will be given in the hunts, or sold at the auctions. This year for the hunts I’ve placed a couple items, a wagon you won’t see on the sim and some decorated lanterns.

And for the Silent Auction I’m adding the jail scene from the sim. It won’t be resold or placed in the store after this more than likely. A nice little souvenir for someone if they want it.

rwsilentauction

My RFL items are a few things at the moment but I intend to place at least one more before we’re all said and done. A set of shoes that weren’t released before: (though the black had been part of an event back in Nov. I almost kept them out of things due to that but decided it was too nice a color to do that. The rest are brand new and not released before)

rwblack

A set of wagons and then a decorated jeweled belt. As you can see I’m fairly all over the place, whatever I like I make so I make a lot of different things.

What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?

I’ve always been called to fantasy. I remember my first book of fairy tales when I was 3. I remember in 6th grade writing and illustrating my own fantasy tales with dreams of creating worlds with words to share and bring people into them. Wanting to give back the feelings that authors created for me when they wove a spell drawing me into their fantasies. Almost any genre, I wasn’t picky really but fantasy. Myth. Things where gods were created and creatures you couldn’t imagine caught my attention so I think that I have always been fascinated by it… the idea of things bigger than me, that nothing really is unreasonable or unreachable if you can imagine it. If you can let it live, breathe, and not be afraid of it then it is all possible. Fantasy allows us to dream, and to create dreams.

What are you looking forward to most this year?

The sharing, the environments, the people, the coming together. I think I am hoping that people ‘get’ what I tried to do with my sim too. I’ve already had some amazing feedback and in one instance…. a profoundly personal look into someones feelings, things that are tough to deal with on any level. The faire to me isn’t about the shopping. It isn’t even entirely about the sims though they play a big part. It isn’t about the profits made, or anything like that. It isn’t about the outfits, the accessories, it isn’t about the money though the donations are of course very important.

Fantasy Faire is, for me and to me, the one of the few times of the year that we end up feeling like something bigger than us is taking shape to help shape the lives of other people. It’s big. Epic in it’s own right. I meet and talk to more people within that week or two than I do any other time of the year and for the most part it is all because we come together to do something. To fight for a cause. To help each other. The sims are the backdrop, the background where the dreams and fantasies… the crazy avatars, all of the different things come together briefly in a way that just doesn’t seem to happen that often. We play, we laugh, we do things together… every year I look forward to that. I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas and then I get to wander, eyes wide with wonder watching, listening, soaking it in. It’s phenomenal.

Mourningvale Thicket Sponsored by Roawenwood3 by Alisaundra Andel
Mourningvale Thicket 3 by Alisaundra Andel

How was Mourningvale Thicket born? What inspired it, what is its story?

Before the faire started I wrote up something for my store blog talking about the sim. What inspired it, and how it came to be. Its story and its purpose. I’m going to paste that here and leave a link because I don’t think I could recount it much better than this.

“Fantasy Faire is just about here. It opens on the first of May to benefit RFL (Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society).

Each year for the past two I wrote up a little blurb to post on the blog about the faire after it was over. It is like a yearly peek inside what makes Sear tick, a cleansing, and some of what I am behind the screen along with a fair amount of theatrics as I describe the experience or inspiration involved. I don’t know if I will end up writing another snippet at the end of the faire this year… it seems to be something of a tradition since this time of year is very emotional for me. However I feel like I need to write already…. This year I want to share and reflect before the gates even open. As the faire goes on I’m sure there will be shifts and thoughts that come about but I want to share the inspiration and the dedication of the sim before we all get going in a whirlwind trying to experience every moment, trying to catch up and finish before it opens. With all of the stress, all of the anxiety, all of the expectations, and work I want to take a moment and I’m bringing you along with me. I know now is not the best time as we try to finalize everything but you never really know when that time might come again so I have learned to take life in the moment.

Mourningvale Thicket_009 by Wildstar Beaumont
Mourningvale Thicket_009 by Wildstar Beaumont

Mourningvale Thicket isn’t meant to be epic. It isn’t meant to be impressive. It isn’t meant to use the latest mesh or the latest greatest thing that SL has to offer in the way of shinies. It isn’t meant to push envelopes, it isn’t meant to make you catch your breath in awe or in wonder staring up at a magnificent build.

It is meant to make you feel.

It is chaotic in places. It is dark and raw. It is ruined, dead and has a sense of foreboding.

It also has life. Music, love, laughter and celebration.

From one extreme to the other Mourningvale Thicket is meant to take you on a journey. It is not just a shopping sim, I know this is a faire and I know this is meant to be a place to shop and spend your lindens but it is not just that, at least…. Not if I have my way.

In some ways it is understated and on purpose.

It is meant to on some level make you uncomfortable in spots. It is the sort of place that in some areas the darkness has overcome, the curse has taken hold… death and decay with ruins dotting the landscape of blackened earth and jagged rock are the things you will encounter.

There is hope.

Places where life has begun to spring back fighting back against the curse that has most of the land in its grasp.

There is regrowth.

There is celebration.

Depending on how you travel the sim there is a remarkable difference in what you will encounter first.

If you come from an adjoining sim you will be met with darkness.

If you travel in from a portal or landmark you will be met with life.

The extremes can be traveled as you walk along the paths.

Mourningvale Thicket_014 by Wildstar Beaumont
Mourningvale Thicket_014 by Wildstar Beaumont

Imagine walking from the sim next door met with dead trees, jagged rock, overgrown grass and ruins. Gnarled roots, black trees reaching up leafless to the sky… the sort of place that as a child you avoided your parents admonishing you that the creatures within might spirit you away into the darkness never to be seen again. Subdued one almost wants to whisper as you walk past the ruined buildings. Someone lived here once or it seems like they must have but their story has long been forgotten the cursed earth keeping its secrets locked in the darkness. There are times when you might be tempted to run back the way you came not wanting to travel further but if you keep going with a little bit of faith you will be met with hope. You begin to see renewed signs of life. Roses begin to grow amongst some of the ruins and craggy rock. The thorns are less dangerous looking. A people have decided to try to combat the darkness building their homes amongst the brambles and dead branches. Colorful and full of life they begin to beat back the darkness taking shelter on the outer edges of the cursed woods welcoming you to continue down the path.

If you keep moving forward through the darkness, through the ruins, through the thorns a clearing opens. Small flags sway gently in the breeze; trees have begun to regain their leaves even if still dark and grass is growing beneath your feet as you take in your surroundings. Laughter, celebration… Life. Firelight and campfires keep the shadows at bay, the night safe – the Thicket a place of warmth once more in this small pocket.

Mourningvale Thicket_006 by Wildstar Beaumont
Mourningvale Thicket_006 by Wildstar Beaumont

Mourningvale Thicket might mean different things to different people and it might mean nothing at all but when I decided to take on this design I wanted to create a world where even in the darkest corners there is hope and light, life amongst struggle, a balance… a journey.

I have been touched many times by cancer, loved ones struggling for life, some surviving… some succumbing to the harshness of it. I have watched a loved one slowly wither away from bone cancer crying out in pain, and I’ve seen a family member struggle for breath when his lungs were invaded by it hunched over powerless to help. I have also embraced and celebrated those who have survived and are still with us.

My sim this year is dedicated to those people.

The survivors, and to those we have lost. It is dedicated in loving memory to an uncle, to a grandfather, and to an aunt who has survived. It is dedicated to the journey that we go upon through our daily lives with the struggles, the darkness… the pain and the harshness… the light, the laughter and the music. To the lives we lead and the moments along the way that define us carrying us towards our journey’s end.

I invite you to join me this faire season in supporting a cause close and dear to my heart. To relay, and to make a difference in someone’s life.

Thank you, for sharing these moments with me and I hope you truly have a wondrous faire experience this year.”

Thank you, Searlait, for sharing your vision, your feelings with us and making them tangible within the Thicket.

Mourningvale Thicket_005 by Wildstar Beaumont
Mourningvale Thicket_005 by Wildstar Beaumont

Meet Our Sponsors: Creators of Fantasy

Heavenslough_006 by Wildstar Beaumont
Heavenslough picture by Wildstar Beaumont.

Alrunia Ahn of Lilith’s Den, Eldowyn Inshan of United InshCon and SweetGwendoline Bailey of ~*Sweet Revolutions*~ form together Creators of Fantasy. They have together built the Heavenslough sim and are also its sponsors. They share with us how such cooperation works, what made them sponsor and the enchanting story of Heavenslough.

This is your first year sponsoring Fantasy Faire. What made you decide to become a sponsor?

Alrunia: There was not really a decision needed. I always wanted it. Already when visiting the Fantasy Faire in the previous years , I instantly fell in love with the concept. It is a great honor and no doubt a great pleasure to work together with the many talented designers- and lets not forget the team of coordinators – to provide the best amazing experience for the Faire visitors and fans. I do love to support and help where I can with what I can do. And one of the things I certainly can do best is being creative.

Eldowyn: I’ve always admired the beautiful countrys and desired to make a sim.

SweetGwendoline: Oh I never thought that this will happen, but one day Runa and Eldo just spammed me the minute I logged in, that they have to talk with me. My first thought was… Oh my god what did I do wrong? Did I forget something? Maybe a birthday? But then they told me about Elizabeth contacting them about becoming sponsor and creating a Sim for the Fantasy Faire.

Runa
Alrunia Ahn

How did you begin building in Second Life? What inspires you to create?

Alrunia: Let me first say thanks. I do have the great luck to call wonderful people, great creative minds and skilled designers my friends, all of them inspired me and helped me develop my skills and find my own creative way in SL. Kisses to you all! That is in case you read this. 

Digital Arts are my profession and love. With entering SL I entered a dream that allows to craft whole worlds without borders or limits. Leaving out sim borders, but even there are ways to break up with the restrictions and open them up for illusions of endlessness.

I started as roleplayer, coming from reenactment in real life this was a perfect addition. Well, and you do need equipment for reenactment and roleplay and like in real life, I began crafting my own – pretty fast got invited into the team of builders of the estate. Eventually I became – thanks to Ciaran Laval - estate manager and chief designer of the Isle of Dee, and added landscaping and environment design to my skills list.  So since I got  the chance to play with whole sims the items became definitely bigger and I much closer to my dream of crafting and designing virtual worlds and events. 

Inspiration can come from little details I see in real life, curiosities, things that catch my attention, things I love or feel strongly about or, very often even, from  talking to friends. You know, someone makes a silly comment and the ” what if….” brainstorm starts. Also very often it is something I dream about. I get up and start making it. For example my dead butterflies piles. I hope no psychologist reads this, but yeah I dreamed it- really don’t actually want to know what this could tell about me – and made them. 

Eldowyn: I started to build 2008. But this time only for our Spellfire Roleplay Sim. Friends told me I should sell the things… and I have made it with a very good friends – Poco Seetan & Men Dinzel – we are United InshCon.

SweetGwendoline: I played medieval fantasy roleplay for nearly 6 years and at the beginning, we missed so many things like handcars, chairs, torches and a lot off stuff you need for a realistic roleplay. So one day I started to create the things we needed and from day to day my inventory filled up and I became better. A long time I just built for my own or friends, but they kept telling me to set a little store so anyone could buy the items. And after month of poking from friends, ~*Sweet Revolutions*~ was born.

eldowyninshan
Eldowyn Inshan

What are you bringing to the Faire this year? 

Alrunia: This year I go …tribal, in four amazing colors . I call them the Uraia Dancer.

Uraia Dancer

United InshCon’s items vary from chicken house to lily pads with frogs, from pack donkeys to rustic gazebos, from flower archs to spirit trees, like this.

uispirittreered

SweetGwendoline: There will be a new elven home series based on forgotten old overgrown ruins. 

~_SR_~ Waterfalls of Heavenslough BoxPIC

What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?

Alrunia: Thinking back in time…  part of my best memories of my childhood, I see myself laying wide eyed in this wonderful old medieval wooden bed with curtains, and my grand grandmother, white haired, with a knot, sitting next to the bed in the dark room, telling Grimm’s Tales. She did not read them to me, but she knew them all word by word as they are written down. My fascination for the fairy worlds began right there and never left me. Books generally have been part of me my whole life, when reading I forgot the world we live in. Later I  began pen and paper adventures with friends, eventually got into medieval reenactment. But I digress… I think what calls me to fantasy is that I love to get lost in the moment – especially the unexpected. Becoming one with fantasy worlds is part of remaining the child I once was – or rather  still am. Being a child means being able to dream. Someone once said, being able to dream is being able to hope. That is fantasy and that’s a way to be faithful even in darker times. 

Eldowyn: In my RL – as a child. I have built small funny things for friends. But in SL you can live your fantasies.

SweetGwendoline: From the first moment I joined the roleplay community for now nearly about 6 years. Since I can think I am in love with medieval and the fantasy side of Ireland and Island. 

Gwen
SweetGwendoline Bailey

Do you have a favourite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year?

Alrunia: I do have many good and fond memories of past Fantasy Faires. Time with good friends, funny moments like running in some weird avatar  into someone else in weird costume and we both laugh and point fingers… a jail and bail event that had me shake and shiver of stage-fright and that turned out to be a great  fun… and the many things I bought and and and so much more. But also calm moments at the memorials.

The strongest but not actually favorite moment I remember is the moment I came across a list someone put together,  reading names of all the ones that lost the fight against cancer. It made me sad and same time realize that we all together are strong and can change things. 

There is nothing in special I look forward to really. I am open and amazed and excited and actually just don’t want the Faire to end! My only concern is, that I don’t get to see and witness all and everything…

Eldowyn: I have not a favorite.. all are very cool. Healthiness – No Dramas -Luck

SweetGwendoline: Mhm not really, but I`m so excited for anything that will happen.

Heavenslough_009 by Wildstar Beaumont
Heavenslough picture by Wildstar Beaumont.

How did the three of you get together to build? How does it work, the cooperation between three builders?

Alrunia: Well, Eldo applied for becoming announcer at the Medieval &  Fantasy Grid CrierI made her laugh a lot, actually each time we spoke she broke into heavy laughter- I still don’t know what is so funny with me… but well. Then one day she pointed out that Gwen is a fantastic creator too and I met her and I instantly fell in love with all she creates. 

It’s like one thing adds to the other, we ended up as a team at the Medieval & Fantasy Fairs and Medieval & Fantasy Hunts of the Creators of Fantasy and well… it’s more about organization than building in first place. Then when it comes on building, Eldo comes with a mind endlessly producing ideas, building lots of funny medieval and fantasy things,  and the biggest inventory ever (though I claim mine is as big, just less sorted). Gwen is calm, builds huge lovable buildings  and has a skill to bring things to a point -  and I … am the critic and the translator and the weirdo. What we all have in common I think is our creativity and a great love for details. While we each have a different angle. No clue how that works!

Eldowyn: I am the Owner from Creators of Fantasy & the Medieval Fantasy Hunt. Gwenni, Runa and me have many times worked together. We make together our Medieval Fantasy Hunts and Medieval Fantasy Fair. Each of us has her place and her task in the organization.

SweetGwendoline: A good question. Sometimes I can`t believe that it really works but it does. One of us is always ready to bring us back to the topic and focus when ideas go wild. We talk a lot and in the end we all know that none of us has to be perfect. There is no envy or grudge between us and I think this is the key. We all are blessed with great imagination in different ways and together it fits perfectly. 

Heavenslough - I by Caitlin Tobias
Heavenslough picture by Caitlin Tobias.

How was Heavenslough born? What inspired it, what is its story? 

SweetGwendoline: Oh my, we started brainstorming right after knowing we were accepted as sponsors, and within a few days Heavenslough grew in our minds. We searched for pictures to point our ideas, sorted them and finally Heavenslough was born.

Alrunia: After knowing we are “in” we began brainstorming. We knew we wanted a swamp and lots of trees. Huge trees. And a story.

“Once upon a time, when the world was still in primitive state and the evolution just begun, a small part of the world, an isle, was left untouched. The isle remained for centuries in silent slumber, while the world around the Isle changed. Heavenslough seemed to be ruled by a spiritual energy, causing Vegetation and Civilization to become entirely unique.


Travelers came and left, bringing wares and entertainment. But mysteriously again and yet again people went  missing in the swamps and the clefted mountains – this may be the reason that nobody really dares to stay longer or settle down,  except for the androgynous parthenogenetic original inhabitants.

The probably mightiest, though tiniest creatures are the dark Batides and the bright Sylphs. They protect Heavenslough their very own way. Their high pitched warning voices seem to be all over, and with a little bit of good or bad luck one can catch a glimpse of them. The Sylphs guard and defend the memories of gone souls, near the memorial, whereas their dark cousins, the Batides, roam about the area around the water cages, to suck in the souls of the unlucky ones who – for whatever reasons- happen to end up sitting in the cages.

Well then, dear traveler, visiting the legendary land of Heavenslough, be wise and stay at the pathways, that no harm shall come upon you.”

Thank you, Alrunia, Eldowyn and SweetGwendoline, for taking the time to chat with us and for creating your story live for all of us to visit!

Heavenslough - II by Caitlin Tobias
Heavenslough picture by Caitlin Tobias.

Meet Our Sponsors: Cerridwen’s Cauldron

Blue Me

Elicio Ember, the creator of Cerridwen’s Cauldron and the sponsor and builder of The Faery Court, tells us what it’s like to build a Faireland year after year, what all the Fairelands he’s created have in common and what is the story behind The Faery Court. You can read more about Elicio, his involvement with the Faire and his reasons to relay  from the interviews from 2013 and 2012

You are one of the true Faire veterans, your builds have been a part of the Fairelands for many years. You create a whole sim — a fantasy world — out of nothing in a short span of months and nerves. How do you do it every year? What makes you return and do it all over again?

How do I do it each year? Barely…hehehe. Seriously though, the Fantasy Faire is not only a benefit event. Which I am all for. But its much more than that. It follows the kind of model where everyone wins; we do not only do a fabulous fund raising for Relay for Life, its also a great event for normal retails, and a great opportunity for landscapers like myself to showcase our skills. Its also a great showcase for new content, so everyone wins; we do great fundraising, landscapers get to do unique sims, merchants can display new content, visitors get to sightsee some of the most spectacular sims created during the year, and of course, there is great shopping! So everyone wins! Whats not to like about all that? That what keeps me returning year after year. 

And then, there is the team. We have great fun together and keep each other motivated (because, make no mistake, its lots of fun, but it is exhausting work). I have met some of my best friends during the faire. And then, there is the Tour…when the work is done, organizers, designers, bloggers and friends gather in a tour bus and we tour the sims, playing SL instruments and just fooling around….now that I think about it, that might be why I keep returning ;)

Faery Court_Seelie Gardens

How many Fairelands have you built? Tell us about them, is there something that ties them together as a theme, as a development?

Lets See: 2011 it was Exotic Worlds (an alien jungle) and an emergency extra hand in the Sea of Mer (the mermen sim). 2012 it was two sims (which was utterly insane), the Ruins of Nu Orne (a souther asian ruins style sim in a exotic jungle vegetation) and the Siren’s Secret, a deep water sim with structures stilted on partially flooded walkways. On 2013 it was The Titans Hollow, a canyon inspired sim with hanging structures shaped like Arabian stained glass lanterns. And this year, The Faery Court.

Hm, now that I think about it there is indeed a common streak to them all: Structures created in harmony with nature. But this has not been a conscious effort, its just a reflection of my deep love and admiration of nature. And my belief that humankind will eventually learn to live with nature instead of “from” nature. In harmony with it instead of destroying it where we live.

What are you bringing to the Faire this year? Give us some sneak peeks or teasers!

This year I am landscaping and sponsoring the Faery Court, based on the traditional idea that divides the Faeries in two courts (though some myths divide it in four, one for each season). The two courts are the Seelie, who represent day, growth, spring and summer, and life, and the Unseelie, who represent night, decay, autumn and winter, and death. In the center of the sim you can see a gargantuan tree (one of the largest trees SL has seen so far I think) composed of two intertwining trunks, one mossy and lush, the other dry and fiery leafed. The seelie side is full of mossy and fresh greens, bright hues, and a feeling of freshness. The Unseelie side is all dry and musty, thorny and slightly eerie. 

Its not about good and evil, its about balance, though of course, the Unseelie fae tend to be somber and less…attractive, to mortal perceptions, hehehe. 

Faery Court_The Tree Arch

Do you think the tiny sheriffs will apprehend you for your scandalous waffle-noming plants again?

Not if I can hide my heinous deeds from them or if I can outrun them!!

What are you looking forward to most this year?

To be honest to see what people think of the sim. I have tried lots of new things this year. Most of the sim is mesh, the structures are completely mesh. I also did a lot of complex texture work this year, using the new “materials” options to great effect I think: cool bump-maping, several types of metallic textures, iridescent floors, mosaics and roof tiles, emissive textures…. Also, the giant tree has pretty accurate physics, so you can walk around the giant branches or climb the base.  I love the atmosphere the combination of texture work, mesh, color schemes, light and sound gives to the two halves of the sim, and I am looking forward to see visitor’s impression on it.

How was The Faery Court born? What inspired it, what is its story?

Even though I personally start to work on the sim design around 2 months before the Faire, I start thinking many months before that. Usually around December or January. Sometimes earlier. Its a very intuitive process for me on what to decide to do each year. A couple of years I was given a very general guideline,  a mer sim, or a jungle sim. But the last two years it has been totally up to the designer. In the case of the Faery Court, I had seen a couple of movies that had inspired me, and played a couple of games that gave me great ideas. Also, I had been wanting to do some whimsical buildings inspired in surrealist architect Gaudi. I wanted to try my hand at doing all the mesh and texturing tricks I had learned. And the Faery Court was perfect for all of  that.

The story of the Court itself is that of a place where High Fae reside…the royalty of Fae so to speak, the Sidhe. These are either Seelie or Unseelie, and though with contrasting tastes and objectives, they are not enemies (though they do not have to like each other either). They both are conscious of the essential role their kind represents, and their interdependency with the other court. This is symbolized by the Tree, which represents both growth and decay, spring and autumn, in its trunks that intertwine and swirl around each other.  The stories that are told here, I leave to the fae folk that visit.

Thank you, Elicio, for taking the time to chat with us and for building us new Fairelands every year!

Faery Court_Unseelie Dusk

Meet Our Sponsors: Tiny Inc.

etheriaparrottEtheria Parrott, the creator of Tiny Inc., shares with us her Faire-memories, her development as a SL creator and of course her sneak previews of the new Dinkies for the Faire! 

This is your first year sponsoring Fantasy Faire. What made you decide to become a sponsor?

My first experience of Fantasy Faire was last year where I was invited to exhibit with the tinies. I enjoyed the beautiful sims, the ambience and taking part in all the fun events very very much. I just think it’s wonderful we can raise money for cancer sufferers and research in a virtual world for the real world. It’s my pleasure to be able to help.

How did you begin building in Second Life? What inspires you to create?

I began building from my first week in SL back in 2006. I happened to land in a sandbox where I met someone who showed me how to build a witch’s hat. I left it there with a 1L price on it and someone bought it. I didn’t know it was against the rules ;) I soon found the Library of Primitives and spent a few days there learning all the techniques. I am at my happiest when I’m creating but I suffer from perfectionism so output can be pretty slow. I taught myself to use Blender to create sculpties and then meshes. Now, with those skills I have made my most successful product to date, “Dinkies”. They are tiny mesh biped cat avatars which fit in well with the tiny community or any family.

What are you bringing to the Faire this year? Give us some sneak peeks or teasers!

I will be bringing Dinkies including a brand new special “Lilac Point Siamese” for my RFL vendor. My dear friend Kamasa Kutanaga who I work with collaberatively will be bringing one or more beautiful fairy outfits for Dinkies. Other wonderful Dinkie clothing designers will also exhibit with me.

dinkiessneakpeek

What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?

My perception of fantasy is probably not the correct one. I did not ever want to be a standard human in Second Life. I like to be a cat and that, to me, is pure fantasy. I’m happy that I create avatars for others to role play with too. I’m not sure what you mean about when I encountered the genre but if you mean in RL then it was The Hobbit and Neverending Story. In Second Life it was when I came across a shop that sold spells and other magic stuff. I bought a Quidditch snitch there.

Do you have a favourite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year?

My first visit to Fantasy Faire was last year. The builds and sim designs were stunning. I was blown away by their beauty and I can’t wait to wander through the new ones. We had masses of fun at the final hunt. There was so much thought and effort went into that and we really had to think to solve the puzzles. I met the loveliest people. Kind, gentle and funny. Lauren and Rynn as Dinkies playing the violin and banjo on stage drew big crowds. I filmed them for posterity.

Thank you, Etheria, for taking the time to chat with us. We’re delighted to have you with us again!