Meet Our World Builders: Riven

Riven of Rivendale, world builder of Scrimshaw Warrens
Riven of Rivendale, world builder of Scrimshaw Warrens

Riven (lrriven) of Rivendale is the world builder of Scrimshaw Warrens. She talks about all the Fairelands she has built, introduces us to her yetis, and reveals how the Scrimshaw’s own quest was at the core of the whole region.

How many Fairelands have you built? Does it get any easier in time? What makes you return and take part in this particular form of insanity again? 

So many worlds… I started world building about 6 years ago though my first year I would consider myself as part of a team and not the actual designer. The first region I actually designed was Raven’s Perch and year after year I have grown more complex in my endeavors.

Returning to build for the Faire is like a compulsion that I cannot resist. Cancer is a great evil in my life. It has taken friends and family from me and I have a very good possibility of facing it myself. Building for the Faire is a way for me to cope with all of that. Every year I create a story that can convey how I feel and will immerse people in the emotions I am experiencing. It is cathartic to be able to release the pain in a creative way that can move and entertain others. I have a very good friend named Gwen Enchanted who has helped with the writing on many occasions as she has a talent for taking my ugly outlines and making them magical. She wrote the actual story that was in my hunts 3 of the 5 years and this year she edited my work – it is because of her that everything flows so nicely.

These are the worlds I have designed and the inspiration for their stories:
Raven’s Perch was about the 5 stages of grief. I had lost my grandfather to cancer and two good friends in SL and wanted to share how I felt about it. Gwen had lost her Husband. We really bonded with this story.
Astrid’s Nemeton took us through a journey that was an echo of my mother’s struggle through her cancer treatments. She was tested and is now clear but was warned that her type of cancer tends to come back in 3to 5 years.
Tensor’s Flying Market was an ode to the doctors, medical staff, family, and friends who all came together to fight the battle. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to rise up. It is also an ode to the Fairelanders. We come together every year and do great things for RFL.
The Lamented Fens was a dedication to a very good friend of mine who passed that year from breast cancer. She loved horror, cthulhu, and tricky endings. I did not know she was sick until she was gone and she passed just before I started building that year. She was on my mind all throughout the building process and the actual theme of that region was changed right after her death, for her. It was going to be something completely different.
This year, Scrimshaw Warrens is an acknowledgement that as one of those left behind, it is not easy to move on from the pain of loss.

Your Faire Store is naturally in Scrimshaw Warrens. What can we find there?

This year I taught myself how to make animesh so that I could make my singing Yetis. I also spent hours creating sound clips that would work seamlessly together. From the howling of the wind to the purposefully random phrases that are sung, you can sit in the warrens for hours and you will not hear the same song repeated. It is a soothing melody, a story and a dedication to the great dragon who is imprisoned in the ice. I have placed all of the singing yetis, and their drummer, into RFL vendors. You can have your very own singing yetis all year round, or bring them out for a snowy landscape. Individually, they sing snippets of the greater song. When you bring them together, they are magical.

In addition to the Yetis, I have also received many requests over the years to sell the Hope Candles that can be found floating over our Junction. You can purchase these to make dedications during the Faire, but it seems that people would like to have them for their personal use year round as well. I have updated their textures and put them in a vendor as Wisp candles. They sparkle, turn, and hover. They are a little bit of the returning magic of the Faire that you can take home with you.

Do you have a favourite Faire memory? What kind of plans do you have for this year’s Faire, what do you want to do?

I have many good memories of the Faire, but I think my favorite is of our fairy queen, from last year. I was working on hanging moss and out of the blue Fantasy sent me a message asking if I had heavy breathing sounds out. She was freaking out because she was standing there and these creepy noises were randomly occurring and she had no idea where they were coming from. Yes, they were part of our soundscape. I am not ashamed to say I was delighted that she had that reaction.

This year I plan to shop. There is so much to see that I am a little worried that I will not see it all!! I also plan on buying a pegasus and getting all the mods. There will be parties and the Fairelands quest! and I have heard that other world builders have actually created story quests of their own! I want to do all of this!

Scrimshaw Warrens - picture by Sunny Difference
Scrimshaw Warrens – picture by Sunny Difference

Tell us of your Faireland. What sparked its birth, what is its inspiration? Does it have lore, secrets, stories? Tell us everything! 

I started planning this region as last year’s Fantasy Faire was ending. I knew I wanted to do an icy region, I had originally had ideas of creatures stuck behind ice, in a huge cavern, but as ideas evolve, so did the concept. Eventually the story emerged. I knew that I wanted the yetis very early on and the dragon bones were an idea that was born of silly conversations with my scripter, Remnant Ashbourne. He has been my co conspirator on the lore of this world from day 1. I wanted to tease people with the region’s name and did not mention the dragon in the description when vendors got to pick where they wanted to be.

I officially start building for the Fantasy Fair in January every year. It takes me a while to get everything just right and I work on it after my day job and family obligations. This year I decided to do something I have never done before. Inspired by Loki Elliot’s region last year, I created my entire land as a mesh that I sculpted and painted in 3d software outside of Second Life. This took me a good while to create and I can’t even tell you how long the texturing took. In addition, I had to have the story hunt laid out before I ever had the landform in world so it required a lot of planning. These are a few of my very early ugly sketches as I was dreaming up the world:

The yetis are based on gorillas. I really wanted to have a unique creature that while recognizable as a variation of what a yeti is, was my own unique spin on one. They came out perfect. I am fairly certain that Gwen Enchanted is going to marry one. She keeps saying she is going to, but I don’t know if he has proposed yet.

This is where I tell you that the story of the world is presented as a hunt in the region. There is a free HUD that you can pick up at the landing point and each entrance. The quest is free and there are gifts that you can collect along the way, items to help you remember the journey. A lot of time, effort, and love was poured into its creation. While I have not charged any amount to do the quest and get the prizes, there is a RFL kiosk at the end. I ask that anyone who was moved or found joy in the story would please donate to the kiosk. It is for a good cause.

Thank you, Riven, for taking the time to chat with us. Thank you for bringing us this fantastic story in a shape of a Faireland!

Scrimshaw Warrens – picture by Sachi (Vix Zhou)

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