Anthem to the Worldmakers: A Special Broadcast on Fantasy Faire Radio
[Transcript of a special broadcast from Fantasy Faire Radio, May 12, 2020. You can hear the broadcast here.]
Fairelands don’t just happen. They are born of the talent, time and dedication of many people. The 18 Regions of this year’s Faire were built by some of the most brilliant, visionary artists in the virtual world or any other. Some of those have been part of the Faire for 12 years now. Some joined us in 2020 for the first time. Each played a vital role in making the 2020 Faire an experience that none of us will ever forget.
While Fantasy Faire Radio began this year with a tribute sets to the Regions, today we honor not the Fairelands that were created, but rather the creators of those Regions themselves. They are the reason why our One Vision found a home in Many Realms. They make us Stronger by giving us a place to be Together.
Fantasy Faire Radio is proud to present this special broadcast, “Anthem to Worldmakers.”
Creating a home for the Fairelands Quest takes an artist who is brilliant, collaborative, and who understands that there is a Mythology of the Faire itself. It also takes someone who embodies the core values that bring us all together each year. In every one of these categories, we were blessed to be joined by a first time Worldmaker who gets it. I first met Gidgette Adagio when she was putting the finishing touches on Queensgarden. I spoke with her that night and told her that I had an overwhelming feeling that the region was a very personal love letter of sorts. Gidgette then told me about her father who she lost to cancer, and that Queensgarden was in honor of him. shared are burdens halved. And joys shared are joys doubled. Gidgette Adagio created a living work of art because she is herself precisely that. She makes the world a little less cold, a little more magical. And these are gifts that do not fade when regions vanish into the mist. Thanks to Gidgette Adagio, the world is kind.
Now Playing: Dive Index – The World Is Kind – Mid/Air
For nine years, the sacred task of being the Guardian of Fairelands Junction has been entrusted to a Worldmaker whose creativity is as abundant as her spirit is gentle. Junction is the heart of the Faire, and like her, Saiyge Lotus connects us with roots that run deep. Also like Junction, it’s not so much with words that she speaks to us. Saiyge speaks through her artistry, and in so doing, transcends the limitations of language. With a gift for botanical wonders and for the mysticism that powers the Faire itself, Saiyge gives Junction a new form each year while keeping her underlying nature intact. Fairelands come and go, but Junction abides. From the Portals, to the Worlding Cradle, to the Halls of Remembrance, we know we are home when Junction reappears from the Mists each year and calls to us. Her voice, Junction’s song, is known to us all. It speaks to the deepest and most precious part of us. Her voice is the voice of Saiyge Lotus.
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The fantasy genre is not an easy one to define. It ranges from light to dark, from epic to interpersonal. Magic runs though it like a river, but even that can not be easily categorized. What it means is different to each of us, and each of those definitions has a place at the Faire. What we look for in a Worldmaker is someone who can bring their own idea of fantasy to life and then make of that vision a place for each of us to feel at home. For seven years, we have been given such a home thanks to the creations of Eldowyn Inshan. Eldo is unlimited in her range. You know her work not because each of her regions is woven of the same threads from year to year. Rather, it is something deeper, something more essential that makes her work distinct. Eldowyn’s regions are light of heart and we are uplifted by them. Grand architecture, stunning views from every direction, and something joyous that shines through time and time again. That is Eldo’s gift to us all. We are warmed by her Realms, basking in their glow. Eldowyn Inshan is a glorious sunrise.
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Earlier this year, Fantasy Faire sent out a call to potential Worldmakers who wanted to join the ranks of that most illustrious of roles. This year, we were blessed that one such brave, brilliant soul answered the call. The Realm we have known as Heliodor has been one where we found comfort, and inspiration. Nix Marabana was one of the new Worldmakers, but you would never know that by looking at the result. She has been generous, and she has been dedicated. She has been supportive, and she has been compassionate. Nix is everything that a Worldmaker is supposed to be and her creation has all the grace and originality that she herself embodies. It takes courage to create a region for the Faire. Nix has that courage. It takes talent and humility, and these too are strong in Nix. Junction provides, goes the old Faireland adage. This year, Junction brought us Nix and she gave us a world that is every bit as beautiful as is the spirit of its maker. We get through the hard times because we hold on to one another. Nix Marabana gave us a place where we could do just that.
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If a community works, it is because of its ability to be collaborative. If there is a theme that unified the fantasy genre it is just that. We as individuals are more powerful than we realize, and when we come together to form a fellowship, we can perform miracles. So, when longtime friends and Fairelanders Bee Dumpling and Solas Enchantment offered to create a Realm for this year’s Faire, we knew we were in good hands. Their brilliant collaboration, love for the Faire, and their unbridled enthusiasm for Relay For Life combined this year to give us the majestic realm we have known as Elemaria. The stone of its mighty castle represents the safety we find in one another. The quaint village that surrounds that castle feels at once familiar. It feels like home. Bee Dumpling and Solas Enchantment are not new Fairelanders, but as new Worldmakers they have given us a realm that will endure in our hearts forever. Their friendship together and with us is why the Faire lives on.
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Faireland Worldmakers are known for pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Not content with simply doing good work, they strive to open our minds to ever expanding possibilities. The most brilliant artists are often also the most unassuming. They toil away, diligently and quietly and when their work is done, they give us something that reconnects us to the childlike wonder that we come to the Faire in search of. This principle lives and breathes in the work of veteran Worldmaker, Loki Eliot. His realms are always stunning, always inspire that childlike belief in magic, and they are always driven by another Faireland Core Value. Loki creates a world in which stories come to life. Loki Eliot believes. And through his creations, we can too. Worldmaking it part science, part artistry and part something that can not be so easily named. But it can be seen and felt. In a world that is too often focused on feeling less, he makes us feel more. Loki Eliot may appear in the form of a young boy, but his heart is as mighty as that of the dragonborn.
Now Playing: Erutan – The Dragonborn Comes – A Bard’s Side Quest
You’re listening to Fantasy Faire Radio, This special broadcast, Anthem to the Worldmakers, continues in just a moment.
Anthem to the Worldmakers now continues, and we arrive in the capable hands of a Region builder who has a number of unique qualifications. Syn Beresford began her career at the Faire in 2018 as the mother of one of our Worldlings. That small creation had a big effect on us all and so the next year we asked her to grow it into a full Faireland region. The result was the 2019 home of Fantasy faire Radio. This year, she took on the even more challenging task of creating a shopping region. Sirens Lore was the result and Syn demonstrated that she is just as much at ease creating a region to be a home to our merchants. From a Worldling maker, to an Event Region builder, to a Shopping region, Syn Beresford delivers everything we could ask for and more. And she does that with an openness and kindness as inspiring as her creations. No matter how much work it is to create Fantasy Faire, Syn Bereford always helps us to keep our head above the waves.
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Late one night, in the week before the Fairelands were open to the Merchants, we realized that we were in trouble. We needed another Faireland and we didn’t know where it was going to come from. Fortunately, we asked the right person for guidance. We got more than that. We got our missing Faireland, and a new Worldmaker too. The Lady Aelva is well known to us all as the lead organizer of the Faire’s dance and particle performance series. But on that particular night she was there that night she was there for us when we needed it most and agreed to take on the additional challenge of creating the 2020 home of Fantasy Faire Radio. The Isle of shadows, which Aelva built along with her sister Emmie Eales was named for another beloved Fairelander, Shadow Tarber who passed away recently. Aelva gave us another beautiful performance series this year, including her own show with the Night Theatre, and as if all of that was not more than enough, she also gave us the perfect place for the Fairechylde and a perfect tribute to the memory of Shadow. Aelva loves to inspire us. She is like a shimmering vision of beauty and art, something we all reach toward because her artistry is magnetic. Aelva creates art and magic because that is what she herself is made of.
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As much work as it is to create a Faireland, it is even more daunting to create one two years in a row, let alone three, or four…to do for five consecutive years is a feat of almost unimaginable creative endurance. She began her tenure as a Worldmaker by helping another builder but Riven has long since stood on her own two feet. Her worlds also embody a dedication to what is best for the merchants on the region while also giving us a world that feels like it has its own story to tell. It feels that way because it always does. Riven immerses us in the worlds she creates for the Faire, and those worlds are places that always feel alive. If they also bring us the darker tones upon which so much of the fantasy genre is dependent, that is only because Riven knows she can guide us through those shadowy worlds safely. She has created shopping regions, and she has created regions for the Faire’s One Team initiative. And no matter what function we assign to her, Riven invites us into her imagination and works to make sure we feel right at home.
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2020 brought us a bumper crop of new Worldmakers. Some of them have been Fairelanders for many years even if this was their first time taking on the task of building a region. A few were new to the community as well. There is nothing more deserving of celebration than that because it means that as strong as our community is – it only grows stronger still. For a first time Worldmaker to give us a beautiful region is a truly magnificent gift, but Briony Writer went ten steps beyond that. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say ten fathoms below. The jaw dropping beauty of Melusina’s Depths would have been enough to earn her a place in our hearts. Combined with the fact that it offered up seemingly endless delights for the most intrepid of explorers – this magical underwater realm of the deep became one of the highlights of the 2020 Faire. Briony Writer embraced the role of Worldmaker from the start with passion, with joy and with heart.
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Worldmakers are asked to create regions that will inspire us with their beauty, but also that will work for the function of the region itself. That is tricky enough when its one thing, like being a shopping region. When you ask for a region that can be a home to the Faire’s Dance and Particle performance series, and the Faire’s Fantasy Art Gallery, and the Silent Auction, and the Fairelanders Ball – well that is more than should ever be asked of a Worldmaker. Which is why we always ask two, a dynamic duo, a pair to beat a full house. We ask Haveit Neox and Lilia Artis and they never fail to deliver. Their friendship transcends the virtual world, and their love for one another and for all of us comes through every year. Their regions are always like windows into their dream worlds. And as if that wasn’t already a thing worthy of remembrance in song, they are also among the most astonishingly kind and generous people you could ever hope to meet. Haveit Neox and Lilia Artis are heroes though neither would ever use that word to describe themselves. Their worlds are touchstones each year. They are our true north, and like a compass they point the way home.
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Whatever else a Faireland must be, it must be one thing above all. It must be magical, and it must help us believe that magic can be real. In this task, none are more adept than Sweet Gwendoline Bailey and Mondi Beaumont. Their worlds make you want to linger, make you want to forget the clock that drives so much of our day to day, mundane lives. They invite you into a world that dazzles you with its artistry and effects and once you are there you want the moment to last forever. That is what a memory is really. It is a moment in time that is so perfect, so mystical, so well balanced between light and dark, between then and now, that time itself bows and yields to the wonder of what they have created. We store such memories in the treasure vault of our minds, and in those moments when the demands of the world which some call “Real” become too much, we find that there is a safe place to which we can retreat. We have such a place because Gwen and Mondi make it their mission to build it for us. They regard it as an honor to give us that place and to work with the other Worldmakers as well. Gwen and Mondi whisper to us, come this way. Rest here for a while and worry not. We will keep your secrets safe.
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You know you’re at the Faire when you find yourself in a region that feels like a storybook setting come to life. It’s a world that you walk through and imagine yourself as a character in one of your favorite fantasy novels. You’re in the Shire of Middle Earth, or Narnia, or any of countless other beloved places. You’re not there as a spectator. You’re there because you belong there. You become a participant in your favorite legends. The charge to give you that feeling is the sacred task of the Fairelands Worldmaker, and it is a task that is executed with skill and precision year after year by Kilik Lekvoda. In his worlds, you find yourself cast in the role of your dreams. You are the hero because that is the space that he has created for you. You see yourself in that light and it changes the way you see yourself even after you log out of Second Life. Kilik Lekvoda understands why you return to the Faire each year. He knows what we come back looking for. We’re searching for the best idea we have of ourselves, and for place to practice being that. Great Worldmakers make more than great worlds. Like Kilik, they make us more by giving us a space in which we too can become the stuff of legend.
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Fantasy Faire has just completed its 12 year. And most of us have been around it for 5, or 7 or even ten years. But from the first year, one Worldmaker has been there by our side. It isn’t the fantasy of Game of Thrones, or Lord of the Rings, or any of those grand epic tales of struggle and triumph over unimaginable adversity which Mayah Parx brings to life. It is always Christmas morning in Mayah’s worlds, and we run downstairs knowing what we will be greeted by. Delightful toys, delectable treats, rivers of chocolate, forests of lollypops, floating cupcakes and all the whimsey and wonder of childhood. Mayah beckons to us to forget how seriously we take ourselves, and in so doing she reconnects us with the very reason we all fall in love with fantasy to begin with. Her worlds make us smile and laugh and forget ourselves just long enough to rekindle something in us that is made of pure, unbridled joy. This is the gift that Mayah has been giving us for 12 years now. And through her kindness and humor she makes us want to return again and again to her worlds, to be reborn free of all that afflicts us including the burden of being adults. We don’t want to grow up, we want to stay forever young in Mayah Parx’s little corner of the world.
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Another of the new Worldmakers who joined the Faire in 2020 is a man who has given us more than just a beautiful region. Walton Wainwright, also known as Faust Steamer is the genius behind Contraption and for this year’s Faire the master of Auxentios Pass. From the moment he dropped this fully realized world into the estate, we were astonished. Not only was it entirely unique in the long and illustrious history of the Fairelands – a frozen, steam punk realm of expert craftsmanship – it was also a model of how to build wisely and efficiently. The Pass, despite inclement weather – quickly became a favored location for shopping and for parties too. You would expect someone of such great skill to be rather full of himself. In Walton’s case you would be mistaken. In fact, he has shown himself to be every bit the gentleman that you would hope him to be. Humble though brilliant. Kind and wise. The kind of a Worldmaker who makes you feel as though you could outrun the storm, outlast the struggle and emerge victorious.
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Vitality. Beauty. Enchantment. If there are words that better express how we feel about the worlds created by Sharni Azalee, we don’t know what they would be. From the first year of the Faire, Sharni has been there, rolling up her sleeves, breaking out her magic wands and summoning worlds of unparalleled wonder. Sharni invites us to pass through the Looking Glass and into the Fairelands each year. And what we find each time we pass through that gossamer veil between worlds is a place that feels absolutely real, despite being so fantastical. Sharni doesn’t just build a region. She shows us a small part of world that feels much larger, as if just beyond the horizon it stretches on as far as the eye can see. Perhaps it’s because that’s what we want to see. We want to start walking into her worlds and never stop because she has created a place that feels like home. Life can be relentless, and the great Worldmakers are those who – like Sharni Azalee – make us feel that we can face it. We can find peace, and love and happiness come what may.
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We’ve almost come to the end of this special broadcast, Anthem to the Worldmakers. Only one stop left, one more door to knock on. One love letter still to deliver. And there is a reason why we began where we began and why we travelled counterclockwise around the astonishing regions of the 2020 Faire. Because it means we end here. We end where so much that is good, and strong and noble about the heart of the Faire begins.
When Fantasy Faire began, I asked Ember Farina how we would know when we were going to be ok, when the right people would find the Faire and love it as we did. I asked her for a name. Who will join us and confirm that the Faire would grow to become what we wanted it to be? Ember’s answer was Alia Baroque.
Soon after, Alia did join the Faire, first as a merchant and a sim sponsor, then as a Worldmaker, and then took on countless additional responsibilities including the creation of all of the Faire’s graphics and posters. His worlds are spectacular beyond words. His vendors and events bring in more money for the Faire than we can scarcely believe at times. And he leads. Alia is in many ways the Chief Worldmaker, though not because he commands such a title of respect be given to him.
That title, that respect is given freely by all who call themselves Fairelanders, because Alia gives that respect to each of us. The Fallen God lifts us all on mighty arms and with a mighty heart. Alia Baroque is our proof that the Faire is alive and well, and that each of us stands shoulder to shoulder with the very best of the human condition. With him by our side, there is nowhere to go but up and up.
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You’ve been listening to Anthem to the Worldmakers, a special broadcast from Fantasy Faire Radio. The program was written and produced by Elizabeth Tinsley and Zander Greene. Thank you for listening, and for supporting Fantasy Faire 2020, A Relay For Life Event.
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