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The largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, Fantasy Faire 2020, opened its gates to fairelanders at 12:00 SLT on Thursday, April 23rd, and will remain open through until Sunday, May 10th, 2020 inclusive, once again raising money for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society’s efforts to bring about a World Without Cancer.
The majority of official events will run from April 23rd through until Sunday, May 3rd (although some, such as the LitFest and live performances will extend through until May 9th), culminating with The Final Shindig on Sunday, May 3rd, a four-hour jamboree intended to give as many people as possible the opportunity to drop in and celebrate the Faire’s success between 18:00 and 22:00 SLT. The final week of the Faire – Monday May 4th through Sunday May 10th – will be given over mainly to shopping – but even so, there could be a few surprises that pop-up, so eye an eye on in-world groups and the Fantasy Faire website.
This year the Faire is spread across 18 regions (including the entertainment and Quest regions). As applications were invited from those wishing to try their hands at world building, this year’s Faire offers what might be seen as a mix of the old and the new. While there are some familiar names behind many of the region builds (Sharni Azalee, Eldowyn Inshan & Katz Republic, Kilik Lekvoda, Sweetgwendoline Bailey and Alia Baroque, for example), so too several of the names attached to the design of the Fairelands by new to travellers through these realms – such a Bee Dumpling and SolasNaGealai, LRRiven, Nix Marabana and Aelva).
In bringing together so many talents, the Fairelands give life to the Faire’s broad theme of Many Realms – One Vision. And while all of the builds this year have a again sprung fresh from the imaginations of those who have given them form, so to do some carry with them echoes of the past Fairelands; something I feel adds a level of continuity as we pass from year to year, a reminder of all that has happened as a result of the Fairelands being called forth each year.
As a practical demonstration of the past being reflected in the present, take Alia Baroque’s Zodiac. Designed as a living planetarium, within its green lawns, domed observatories, board paths and stairways and tumbling waterfalls, lie subtle voices from his past Faireland builds, such as Magificat and Sanctum, whilst the boats that periodically slip down the central waterway harken back to The Golden Delta. Thus, although Zodiac is very much of this era of the Fairelands, we, as travellers through it and visitors to Fairelands past, are offered a reminder of the deep roots the Faire has lain and the growing richness of history enfolded within each year’s realms.
These deep roots have enabled Fantasy Faire to grow strong over the years, and bear practical fruit in the physical world, as Zander Greene recently reminded us. Such is the power of the Fairelands and the willingness of Second Life residents to visit them and support Relay for Life, that by the end of 2019, Fantasy Faire was the 82nd most successful Relay For Life fund-raising team in the world. And while – as Zander also points out – “We’re 82nd!” hardly sounds like a cheer, when you consider there were 63,270 Relay For Life teams worldwide in 2019, Fantasy Faire actually sits within the top 0.13% of those teams. And that is impressive for an event that exists within the binary realm of noughts and ones.
But to return to the Fairelands. As with previous years, the realms that await us draw their inspiration from many sources. For Elemaria by Bee Dumpling and SolasNaGealai, for example, visitors find themselves in a world that has a chivalrous medieval tone to it; a place where a fair castle raises its walls and towers over a flourishing land and merchant’s houses lay under the watchful protection of rounded turrets and high, fluttering banners. Elsewhere, Briony Writer & childofpreservex take us into Poseidon’s (or Neptune’s, if you prefer) realm, which has laid claim to the city of Melusina, bringing it beneath wave and tide to become Melusina’s Depths, a place of merfolk and land folk alike, while Loki Elliot presents the mythology of the warrior bears within the Spirit Valley of Kuruk – and so the list goes on, worlds of wonder awaiting exploration.
And, of course, no Fantasy Faire would be complete without the Fairelands Junction, another fabulous design by Saiyge Lotus. As ever the junction provides the logical starting-point for explorations, containing as it does portals to all the other regions, as well as the remembrance wall, and The Worldlings – windows onto the Fairelands That Could Be.
Those wishing to shop can see what stores are where within the Fairelands realms via the Fantasy Faire Shopping Catalogue. For ease of getting around, you can also pick up a Faireland Teleport HUD from any of the landing points and use it as often as you like to visit the realms of the Faire.
Events and Activities
Fantasy Faire 2020 will again be filled with events and activities, with music from DJs focused on the the deck of the Fairechylde as she lies moored in the Isle of Shadows, while performances of theatre, dance and more will be on offer alongside the Faire’s art displays on and under the water realm of Ambigula. Dedicated schedules are available for both DJ parties and live performances are now available, so keep your eye on them as well.
Role-Play and Table-Top Gaming
2020 will once again there will be numerous opportunities for role-play within the Fairelands. Two groups are offering themed role-play, weaving tales and offering anyone with an interest with the chance to participate.
- The Grizzly Cubs: pilgrimaging children who came to the Spirit Valley of Kuruk to learn and follow the path of the Great Bear Tribe
- Sanctuary present Legends And Heroes at Agra Adara, focusing on the legend of the Amazons under the leadership of Queen Hippolyta.
Sanctuary RP will also be hosting a series of role-play classes at Cassiopeia covering everything from character creation through RP etiquette, combat and weapons use, to complex subjects such as region design, managing lag, and so on. See the schedule of classes for more. In addition, the NeoVictoria Project will be holding a series of out-of-character Meet and Greet events at Auxentios’ Pass where visitors can talk about players from the NeoVictoria community about the project, the story-world and how to get involved.
2020 will also see the return of table-top gaming, this year focused on The Lamented Fens. Catch the full schedule and notes if you’re interested in joining in.