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Posts about creators and shops that are not interviews. (Separate sub-category for sponsor interviews.)

Swim with Me – The Merge

Boop Beep Boop Beep

***Fairelands Service Announcement***

We interrupt this scheduled story to announce that the story will not end today. We(as in me, myself and I) have gotten many messages, both to IMs and by Notecard, that you did not want the “Swim with Me” story to end with the Faire. It was always the plan, that this was going to be an exclusive story series, done for the faire, allowing for similar interests and lore to flow in. It was a unique way to cover some of the items from the faire, at the end of each story.

Due to public response, it has been decided that the story will go on, or a story within the same mer realm, continued in much the same format , in short little snippets, with various info and item coverage at the end of each post. You will be able to follow the rest of the story, beyond this point, on the blog Pixel Mythos. A special page has also been created, so that you can view all the “Chapters” in one spot.

It is the hope that the particular story, with these characters, will continue on again, here, come Fantasy Faire 2017.

***This has been a Fairelands Service Announcement***

Helena Stringer - Fantasy Faire 2016 - Swim with Me - The Merge - 1

Riletta and her new friend, Big Blue, had been traveling for many Lights now, and the call, which came twice a day, so powerful, finally seemed to be getting closer. Having a Blue Whale nearby was handy as he could accurately calculate the distance of the sound waves. It wasn’t a skill she acquired, sorting out long distance vibrations, carried through the currents.

The travel was fast, much faster than had she been on her own. She glided in the slipstreams that her friend made, and as they crossed the oceans of their world, she saw many new creatures, all coming together for the same goal.

Suddenly, a large shadow merged in the waters, casting dark shadows across Big Blue’s back. It was there and gone before she could make much sense of it. They were too close to the surface for it to have been a boat. She tapped on Big Blue, and sliced out out of the slip and up to the water’s edge. Surfacing her head, she saw a Thunderbird flying at breakneck speed, carrying what suspiciously looked like her mother in it’s claws. Off in the not so far distance, amidst the mists, she could see lands.

Not totally sure what was going on, she plunged back into the waters, veering towards her whale friend.

“I just saw the oddest thing. I noticed a large shadow glide along your back, and since we were so close to surface, I knew it wasn’t a boat. I thought I’d check it out, hence the tap to stop. It was a Thunderbird, and it looked like it had my mother in it’s claws. I inherited her royal purple colouring, it is a telling of our royal line, so it must have been she, there are only two of us left.”

“That does seem odd princessa, where could they be going?”

“The only thing I can think of is this; she either got impatient with me, and went to the birds to for information or she found out something and went to them for help.”

“Was there anything else you could descern from your slip to the air?”

“Yes, I know the direction they are taking, it is the same as ours. I saw mists, and lands beyond those. That seems to be our destination.”

“It is time to hurry then. I can’t compete with a Thunderbird, but I can try to get there in record time. Come now, lets be off.”

Riletta’s head was full of questions, as she let her body be pulled into the strong current her friend was producing. They would have half a Light yet, before the reached the mists she saw. Even at the speed they were now going. She hopped her mother didn’t get into any trouble, in that time.


Talise rolled along the rock, into the water, as the Thunderbird stopped his hover to alight onto the surface. The rock jutted out just beyond the mists, their swirling masses hinting at what was hidden inside, but never letting her see a true view.

She waited for the Thunderbird’s smaller brethren to arrive, for she did not have the gift of universal speach, and could not communicate with the Thunderbird directly.

She mused that Cambreyan was probably still fuming at her, cursing her decision to leave her realms in his hands, until either she or the princessa returns. He did not like the idea of her going off on an epic adventure, that was the whole reason why Riletta had been sent off originally, as a royal emissary.

The news they received, once they got to the islands, had not been good, and she could not wait for her daughter. If anything, she had to go, to spare her daughter’s fate.

An evil had found it’s way here, to her realms, and that of other oceans. Something that attacked from within, mutilating one’s body, until it works against the victim. The birds said the mist shrouded lands might be the key to what knowledge she seeks. So she opted to take a trip, directly to them, by air.

Her scales hurt, having been dried out from the harsh winds. It felt good to be back in the water, though the water felt different here. It was so infused with magiks. It felt like hundreds of little hands, all caressing her tail. She was glad to be propped up, she wasn’t ready for a full submersion into the handsy waters.

Just then, a Pelican landed beside her with a splash. It was Dronal, her translator.

“Finally, I am eager to figure out what this is all about.”

“I am not able to fly as fast as my much larger cousin, dear lady. Forgive me. He says he cannot continue beyond this point. The magiks within would tear him apart, as he is a fully realized magik, and does not have a mortal form. I, however, have been told to accompany you. He can speak through me, and see what I see.”

“Well that is a handy trick. I don’t wish to lose one of the last remaining wonders to our world, so if it pleases him to wait here, I am fine with you being my escort.”

“The Light is almost done, let us rest here, and wait for the new Light. We can start fresh then.”

“I agree, I will rest in the shallow little tidal pool there. I don’t feel up to sleeping under the surface this Dark. These magiks disturb me.”

“As you wish, my lady.”

Helena Stringer - Fantasy Faire 2016 - Swim with Me - The Merge - 2

It was just the start of Dark, when Big Blue guided Riletta towards a clustering of volcanic spires. He chose here to rest for the night. There would be no finding the queen just yet. When they surfaced, the whale for breath, and she, to see what she could in the moonlight, the calls of seabirds could be heard not far off.

She could almost feel her mother, not far off, but the swirling mists drifted out along the waters, obscuring most of her sight, even with the moon’s light. It couldn’t penetrate the swirls. They floated along, then flitted up, looking a lot like ancestral spirits do, when they are called for ceremony.

They seemed alive, these mists.

Submerging again, she followed Big Blue to his chosen spot, once again curling up on his fin. Her she had slumbered, almost a week. She had gotten use to his rise and fall, which he was required to do through the Dark, for breath.

Tomorrow, she thought, that will be the end of this journey. Mother will surely find out what is going on.


Talise awoke to such a clatter, that she was disoriented for a moment, forgetting where she was, and for what reason. The seabirds were dropping fish and crabs before the huge Thunderbird, which he was promptly crunching up in the pale glow of the cresting Light.

One little bird, one not known to her, ventured forth with a sardine, a fish too small for the Thunderbird to nab, and dropped it into her little tidal pool.

“Thanks, my feathered friend. A welcome gift.”

Dronal waddled over on his short legs, his pouch wiggling with his own catch.

“Ah, so you are up. I have some news. As the flock and I went off to catch a feast for our cousin, we spotted a young blue whale surfacing, not far. Not a unique experience in itself, we do see them from time to time near the channels that flow around our islands. What was interesting to see, was the purple hued mermaid nestled on his pectoral fin. Hued much the same as you.”

“Oh! that must be my daughter. We must go to her. We can figure out the rest together.”

“Then eat quick my lady, and come, I will show you the way.”

Talise scooped up the little fish, saying a quick thanks, flipping backwards into the rushing morning waves, to enjoy her breakfast below the surface.

The Light was rising ever so quickly, shooting it’s beams into the clear waters, allowing her to follow the pelican above with ease. Not much Light went by before she started to see volcanic spires, their bases rising from the depths. Resting not far was the aforementioned blue whale. Young bull was of good length, and had beautiful splattering of dots along his back, which flowed down into smaller ones along his side.

She saw nothing of her daughter, as approached. She started to slip along the other side of the whale, when she was grabbed from below.

“Mother! I thought we were going to find you this morning. I didn’t expect you to find us. I figured you had already breached the mists.”

“No, my fellow travelers wished for new Light, so we rested through the Dark.”

“We traveled until we got close enough to the mists. I was already partway into Dark by then. I looked a bit in the moonlight, but the mists drift out, back in and swirl around too much. It’s like they are alive.”

“I have a feeling, my daughter, that they are just that. The Thunderbird wants me to go inside, with his translator, who is going to act as his vessel. He cannot go himself, he is of magik, and would end up being dispersed.”

“I guess we go then.”

“Yes, yes we do.”

Their little party, now brought together, surged forth, swimming along the surface, while Dronal flew above. The mists got thicker, swirling, grabbing at their waterlogged bodies and wind ruffled feathers. They started to have to put actual effort into their movements, pushing back at the mists, the currents and winds. They could no longer see, from where they came, or where they were going. Where yesterlight the mists gave glimpses of what was beyond, this Light there was just a thick shroud.

Many moments went by, and finally the droplets seemed less dense, the thick layer over the water lessening.

They finally push their last push, and breached what seemed to be a barrier, suddenly hurtling forth into calm waters. Before them was a series of lands, all pushed up against one another, each different, but somehow inter meshing with it’s neighbor.

Before them were the Lands of the Mists, the Fairelands.


They traveled towards a towering piece of land, perched up on  flowerpot rocks, with the flora growing rather chaotically. The water would not be left out and competed with the grander of the land, with buildings jutting out of the shallows not far from shore.

It was a breathtaking sight, leaving one looking all about, as there was just so much going on.

There were all manors of intelligent beast, furred, feathered, finned and footed. They could see them chatting, playing, milling about. Little Sprites flew along the waves, leaving colourful trails in their wakes.

They rested there, staring, until slowly, those they were watching noticed and started watching them. Some hurried off, taking a crystallized tunnel, others came closer to the shore. Not sure who to approach for the best results, they waited, talking amoungst themselves.

“We are going to need to approach someone, figure out who is of a sort of power here, who will have the answers we seek.  We can’t just sit here and expect something to happen.”

The Queen had spoke to soon, because just as she had finished, a swirling mass came towards them, with a cluster of robed figures. They could not see a form, and it glided mere inches above the water’s surface.

The Mass swirled in vivid colours, with the core being the brightest of lights.

“Hello Travelers, I am the manifestation of the Fairelands, given a semi corporeal form. When you speak with me, you speak to the lands themselves. I am but an avatar, and have no one true form.  You will see what your heart desires most, so that your head can make sense of what is before you.”

It was true as well, they each saw something a bit different, forming from the core light. They each saw representatives of their own kind.

“The Fairelands wont be here much longer, already the visitors have gone, and all that is left are those too sick to leave and those who stayed to help with their care. There are also the people of the ceremonies, and merchants packing up their wares, but they will not know what you seek. I am going to take you to a place, where you can rest, and ask the questions you need to. There is a channel of water just there, you may follow that way, there will be enough room.”

So they followed.

Again, it seemed, there was just too much to look at. Such wonders were here, and it was just a small part of what they saw beyond the mists. Each one of them wanted to explore, the enchantment of the lands making them nearly forget the reason for being here. Far too soon, they reached a huge cavern, with water so still.

“Here is were you can rest, and we can talk. It is a safe place, set away from curious ears. What brings you here, and how were you able to pass through our shroud of mists?”

Talise, being the highest rank, felt it was her task to answer for them all.

“10 Lights ago, we heard the first Call. It vibrated through the waters, all creatures in my realms heard it. We could not understand it, but we felt there was some urgency. I sent my daughter, my quickest envoy, to seek out answers. When she didn’t contact me in a timely manor, and my people started to feel the lure of the Call, I started looking for information. That information lead me here. We wish to know why all creatures, from the whole waters, were compelled by it. What does it want?”

“It has been a long time, since a Call has been activated. Those here, in these lands, we do nor hear it, as we are already on the mission it tasks. This is not good news, for your world, that is has activated itself here. The Fairelands are full of magiks, from all sorts of lands, world, universes. The people are much the same, from all manors of places, and times. What you see here, is also elsewheres, at the same time. It can be confusing, I know, but we don’t have time to really explain it. What is important is this, each time the Fairelands appear, there is a sentinel, a sort of guardian, put forth to guard the places we pop up in. We lost our guardian for your world, due to an unfortunate turn of events the last faire. So the lands set up a beacon, to detect any trouble that might arise, and if something did happen, to send out a form of communications.”

“I have heard tell of this trouble. We have no name for it yet. It was already starting to target the waters. You brought it with you, with these lands?”

“The answer is no and yes.”

“That makes no sense.”

“We would never unleash something onto any of the worlds we manifest in. This is why we have or Sentinels. They are there to protect, to chase down and keep the evil at bay. The problem is this particular enemy can be slippery, and is also very good at detecting weakness. Your world was too pure, too whole, a beacon in itself, for this sort of thing. So while we did not bring it, did not unleash it, and normally have precautions, it watched and waited. It eventually found a hole.”

“So because there was no sentinel, we now have something preying on us, all of us. The Call didn’t help either, many have perished, trying to get here, eaten by the sharks, and other predators. All you have brought us is trouble. How are you, and the lands, to help us?”

“We go back into the mists, very shortly. I, again, don’t have the time to explain it, but think of it as another plane, where all thoughts, emotions, imagining, of every creature out in the cosmos, gets collected. It takes time to weave those into existence, so the Fairelands need rest. The Fairelands are here to teach and to help, to fight back, against this thing that now inhabits your world. We can teach you how to combat this, we can give you the knowledge, but you must come with us, to this cosmic plane. The Knowledge there will cleanse your world, and we will give it. There is a cost, as the universe is about balance. In order to learn, for you to absorb the information the Fairelands, you must stay with us, until the mists part again, and the lands re-emerge amoungst the worlds.”

“We would be gone, for a whole year, while this thing ravages our waters.”

“It is not just the waters it will attack, but every living thing. You have to come, knowing what you leave behind, but also knowing that when you come back, you will have the tools you need, to rid this thing from your world.”

“There seems to be little choice. One year of suffering compared to untold years, while still a heavy toll, is the lesser evil. We will come.”

“Only you and you daughter will come, for the others, we have special tasks. You, the speaker of the Thunderbird beyond, you will be tasked to travel the winds, with your cousin, and tell the world of what is going on. This evil doesn’t discriminate, and will attack any with a spark of life. There are some things that can be done, to bolster against it. I bestow upon you a crystal helm, which will slowly transfer this knowledge to you. You must go, make haste.”

With this, Dronal flew up, his new helm glinting, and took off with great speed the way they came.

“You, Big Blue, you I task as being the new guardian of this world. This is a task your ancestors, on many other worlds in the stars, have been tasked with, in the past. Your line of whales has always been known as protectors of the Oceans. You will stay here, and await the return of the queen and princessa. The beacon will stay, as it is set apart from the mists. Once one of every creature living in the ocean has arrived, it will cease it’s call. You will inform them of what is going on, you will tell them to follow the instructions of Dronal and the Thunderbirds. You too, must go now, for the mists are thickening, soon the lands will fall out of existence on this plane.”

Big Blue bobbed, signaling he understood, and turned to Riletta, and blew bubbles at her. She smiled, enjoying the playful underwater whale kiss.

“I will await you, my friend, you have given me much purpose and honour, on this journey. Do not forget this little whale.”

“Little my buttfin! Shoo you, until we meet again!”

“Daughters of the Ocean. Inside each of you is something that has been laying dormant for much too long. You have wild magiks, deep deep within, and this is what will protect you, in the moments coming. We don’t have much time, as the mists are swirling, and the water is already churning beyond shore. Are you ready for this next step? You will never be the same again.”

“Yes, we’ll do this for our world. It is our home.”

“Then come, the lands are prepared to protect you as much as they can, you must step into my core, I will act as a shield.”

Mother and daughter, stretching out hands, to hold one another, swam forth, and leapt into the embodiment of the Fairelands, which had turned back into a swirling mass of magiks and light.

Outside, the portals lit up, and the fairelanders set forth to return to their own homes, to continue their own fights. To bring hope to their own people, in forms of new information, new techniques of healing. To bring dreams, stories, memories created here, in these magikal lands.

Those left here to rest, those with no more sands in their hourglass, started to dissolve, flickering forth as bright sparks. The sparks flew up to form together, to swirl and fly in a rush along the lands. They are the glue, what holds the illusion, makes the lands take true form. They are the reason why the lands are here, and why the living gather. They now will forever be a part of the Fairelands.

From within their shielded globe, the mers watched all this. The rebirth of the dying, much like a phoenix, ever so bright. They watched them in fascination, as the sparks flew, rising up, and bursting forth. The lands glittered as they all fluttered down in a rainbow of colours.

Once the lands were fully covered, the mists came, almost malevolent. The thick tendrils started to touch everything, and with them came the waves. Inch by inch the waters rushed forth, everything touched crumbling to the depths below. Towers and statues tumbled, buildings washed out, floating, then sinking. Trees creaked and fell, caught up and into the whirlpool that was now forming.

A big wave rushed towards them, and all they could think of was their people, and why they were doing this. The wave pushed them, steering their globe towards the now gaping whirlpool.

The queen’s last thoughts on this plane were simple. She wanted Dronal to not be too overloaded with his task, that the Thunderbirds could use what he learned, and form a stand against this evil. She wished Big Blue the best, on his new task, and a task it would be. She desired Cambreyan to not be to mad at her, for he would have to run her queendom for a whole year, as well as fight this thing now in their waters. She wanted strength, for what lay ahead, for her and her daughter.

With all this swirling in her head, as the waters rushed in, enclosing them, pushing them, forcing them down, her last thought, looking at Riletta, was that of Hope.


An Original/Continuing story by Helena Stringer – With “chapters” uncovered over the course of Fantasy Faire 2016

Read the First Part HERE
Read the Second Part HERE

Continue reading Swim with Me – The Merge

Meet Our Sponsors: Fallen Gods Inc.

Alia Baroque, the creator and owner of Fallen Gods Inc., the world builder of The Golden Delta.

Alia Baroque, the creator and owner of Fallen Gods Inc. and the world builder and sponsor of The Golden Delta shares with us the story of The Golden Delta and more importantly, the story of the Fairelands. He also fed the interview question sheet to his wolves, but the result is truly much better like this.

There’s a land in my soul, made of warm sand and turquoise waters. There’s a land of deep blue skies, of dry scented smells and fresh nights, and this land haunts me since I visited it as kid. It’s a land of roasted coffee beans to chew while the songs of towering night prayers from Minarets color the busy streets. It’s a land of taxis stuck in the mud and the towns of dead where the living reside, of trash on roofs and watermelon eating kids with deep eyes. But it’s also the land of stone blocks tall as me… of boats for eternal life and sleeping Pharaohs in their Beds.

The Golden Delta is the 5th Egyptian build since I rezzed in 2007.

Fantasy Faire 2016 - The Golden Delta
The Golden Delta, picture by Wildstar Beaumont
Fantasy Faire 2016
A picture breathing the deep soul of the Delta as no eyes can see thanks to Alisaundra Andel.
Fantasy Faire 2016
The Faire Anubis, sculpted by Garvie Garzo, picture by Alisaundra Andel.
Sculpting the Golden Isis almost cost what little was left of Garvie Garzo’s sanity. Picture by Alisaundra Andel.

My love for the lands of the Nile started when I was young and never left me, it shaped who I am, my imagination, my artistic trials and my desires. Knowledge and passion for mythology comes from the study of Ka, Nut and the primeval mound and the desire to smell the desert is the desire of an open sky and nothing else above me. I wanted to embrace the open and breathe the air of a warm land again.

Garvie Garzo is the master sculptor of the Golden Delta, her geniality, talent and insane performance of masterpiece achievement are chaos compared to my technique and yet we are absolutely in synch. Last year our work merged in an improvised way at Odyssey and our friendship started, this year our collaboration bloomed in what I believe and hope will be a long term one for all the future builds that will come. Working with Garvie is a honor, whatever I have to endure is worth it. Hulahoop grumpy cats included.

Srs Workers
Garvie Garzo and Alia Baroque at srs dwagi-work.

There’s also another  land that is made of people with purple blood and golden hearts that beat together to create a rhythm that becomes reality: The Fairelands. It’s a land of selfless gratitude for being able to contribute to something bigger than ourselves, a land of old and new friendship, love and camaraderie. It’s a land of hope, sweat, blood and tears, and it’s our land… for at least a week, your land.

They are ours before they appear but once the Faire opens we give it to you, it’s your experience and your celebration while we recover and maintain the engine running.

What is not seen often is what us, the world makers, live through. Our world and Faire is never seen from the same angle, some of us see all months before it starts, as Elizabeth, where she composes the Fairelands as a symphonic piece, and others as myself travel a journey of melancholic goodbye the days after the last day and hope to see it all, reading and watching the experiences that happened during the life of the Purple Dragon through pictures you share with us, waiting for next year to see her spread the wings again and hope… will I be able to have time to see it all? Probably not, and I believe nobody really sees it all.

It’s a Land different  for each of us, each experience, journey is unique as life itself and sharing the view and perspective we have improves and enlarges the one of others and our own, like exploring a Mead Hall from a Human, Tookie or Unicorn point of view.

This is also the theme I wanted to use for this year’s posters, the expectation and the different experiences that each of the creatures of the Lands bring and take, and the power that is the joining of those.

It’s the chain of flamingos, where each one is a link that creates a path of a unique experience, because Fantasy Faire is the Fairelanders.

Fantasy Faire is the people.

Alia and Avariel 2011 - First Meeting
Avariel Falcon and Alia Baroque – A friendship just started at the Silent Auction of Fantasy Faire 2011.
Alia and Avariel 2016 - Picture by Caitlin Tobias
Alia and Avariel in 2016: the endurance of the Faire ties and friendships never fade, they simply grow stronger every year. Picture by Caitlin Tobias.

I could also skip this part and simply say thank you all but I will not be lazy, so here’s my Thank You for random reasons in an order of how much nude pictures of me you have in your hard drive:

Thank You Elizabeth, Zander, Sonya, Garvie, Avariel, Haveit, Aisling, Oldesoul, Encaitaron, Elayne, Lorin, Alisaundra, Elicio, Caitlin, Wildstar, Jaimy, Kilik, The Norn, Kayle, Cole, Sharni, Saiyge, Linn, Judi, Manfred, Saffia, Lilia, Elrik, Rynn, Aelva, Chandra, Kae, Mavro, Etheria, Aine, Marcus, Lokii and Loki, Sweetgwendoline, Tito, Lauren, Gabrielle, Justen, Eldowyn, Mayah, Eowyn, Inara, Ember, the Fallens, Tinies, Petites, Scout and last but not the least Imhotep.

Her High Faireness Elizabeth Tinsley, the tiniest boss with the biggest load to carry.

We managed to salvage some of the originally intended interview questions from the wolves, and received brief answers: 

–  What I think of my Jail and Bails? That Elizabeth forces me once a year to take my shirt off for charity, that’s what I think.

– Yes, I listen to music, usually it’s world chillout, or classical, or metal, or electronica, or bad disco if 4 am and I am aligning columns.

–  I got gold if you want some.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Alia. Thank you for bringing your magic to the Fairelands once more!

Tower Envy at Dangarnon — Till Next Year, Fairelands.

Meet Our Sponsors: The NeoVictoria Project

Asil Ares as "The Synthetic" One of the major arcana in the Steampunk Tarot.
Asil Ares as “The Synthetic” One of the major arcana in the Steampunk Tarot.

Asil Ares, the leader of The NeoVictoria Project, shares with us their reasons to sponsor the Faire, their roleplay story of this year’s Faire and how it has been like roleplaying in the Fairelands.

The NeoVictoria Project has sponsored the Faire for two years. What made you return and do it again?

Simply, to support Relay For Life. It’s good to come together in community and work with joy and enthusiasm on something as important as the fight against cancer.

Members of the NeoVictoria Roleplay group in ‘The Sidhe and the Soul-Eater’, our roleplay cycle for Fantasy Faire 2016.

What is it like roleplaying in the Fairelands? Tell us a bit about the experience.

Extremely challenging! The deadlines are tight and the lag is … well, let’s just say shooting machinima on SIMs with 30+ avatars (most of whom are dressed in their finest mesh) is practically impossible. Fortuitously, our roleplayers are extremely generous and patient, so we were able to get some tasty images.

Scene from ‘White Wedding’, the project’s offering for the 2015 Fantasy Faire.

What happened in the NeoVictoria Project’s storyline this year?

We always build the theme of the SIM we’re sponsoring into the reality of our storyworld: this year, the SIM was a mausoleum city, and we came up with the idea of a soul-well, infected by a monstrous soul-eater who wanted to consume all the spirits there. In the Neo-Verse, spiritual energy is the basis of the economy, so the Sidhe Empire was able to send members of their Soul-Caster’s Guild to assist. We were really pleased with how the story turned out! You can see all the machinimas on our page for this year’s event, but attention must be paid to “The Sidhe and The Soul-Eater: Battle Against the Soul-Eater”! This may be one of the best (if not THE best) of the machinimas we’ve produced for Fantasy Faire.

What’s your roleplay history like? Tabletop, mmorpgs, chatrooms, larp… how does Second Life roleplay compare and differ from these?

I have done them all! What makes Second Life unique and inspiring is the freedom it gives to create how characters and environments look. Here, people can make their own storyworlds and combat systems: one day you’re playing a vampire in Sanctuary using the Community Combat System (CCS) and the next, you’re playing a steampunk clockwerk in NeoVictoria using a titler and dice. It’s very empowering for the player!

The Lab has added real value to Second Life these last years. I was particularly impressed with how Loki Eliot used SL’s ‘experiences’ function in “The Gloom of Echtra”; little golden footprints that, when you stood your avatar on them, told the story of the SIM (and their roleplay). So clever and charmingly done.

“Hunting the robot on the magnificent Asperatus SIM, created by Beq Janus for the 2014 Fantasy Faire for our ‘The Revenge of Professor Timmons’ story-cycle”.

What was your favourite part of the Faire?

I was pleased Elicio Ember returned this year, his is a magnificent artistry and Otherworld is simply spectacular! So many levels to the SIM and each one was spellbinding. Spending several hours wandering that build was a personal highlight for me.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Asil. Thank you for bringing your group to weave their stories in the Fairelands for all these years!


Meet Our Sponsors: Cerridwen’s Cauldron

Elicio Ember
Elicio Ember, creator and owner of Cerridwen’s Cauldron, the world builder of OtherWorld. Picture by Alisaundra Andel.

Elicio Ember, the creator and owner of Cerridwen’s Cauldron and the world builder of OtherWorld shares with us the story of OtherWorld, how it became the world for the Literary Festival and Fantasy Faire Radio, what OtherWorld’s theme songs are and what he looks forward the most in the Faire. You can find out more about Elicio from his previous interviews:  2014 | 20132012

You are both sponsoring and building OtherWorld, which hosts the Literary Festival. How did the Festival affect the build, how was it different than building a sim for shopping? How did the collaboration with the Literary Festival begin?

The story of this build is very different to the other sims I have built. I started sketching this project out since last year’s Faire, but I made very little advances on it during some months due to hardware issues. I had said I wanted to do the LitFest sim from the very moment I knew there would be one next year too. Also, I had planned for a great scale remodeling of my own region’s ground. When I was able to upgrade my hardware I launched into a frenzy of building that lasted months and exhausted me. I had not been able to actually enjoy my own builds fully for years due to the old pc. So, after some more months I opened the new landscape at my own sim, though I slowly continued adding to it, with new mesh plants or features like the dragon skull. At that moment I thought I would not be able to do the landscape for the Faire, since the new landscape evolved into something that had not the usual Fantasy Faire requisites or layout, and there was no way that in the time left I would be able to do a new landscape, even if I had the energy for it.

Picture by Alisaundra Andel

So, a couple of months ago Elizabeth contacted me again to ask me if I would do the sim and I told her at first I did not think I could, but then it occurred to me that if the Fantasy Faire accepted, I could have my new landscape (which by now had almost a year of continuous work, but only a couple of months rezzed) adapted to the Literary Festival region and the Fantasy Faire Radio Regions. After visiting the sim, Liz accepted, so then I got to work on making the adaption for the Faire’s requirements and finishing the landscaping. It was very exciting, since my landscape had reached a complexity level which I could not afford to do for the Faire otherwise, and I thought it was a perfect fit for the parties and the Literary Festival with its gorgeous views of the surrounding lands and its many lounges and public and party areas. And so, there is also a very big difference to my other Fantasy Faire region designs; this one will prevail after the Faire at my own region. It will not be exactly the same, of course, but very very similar. That is something strange and somehow wonderful to me; like I get to keep a bit of the Faire at home.

Beyond the romantic reasons, there are also practical ones though, as I mentioned, I have worked on this landscape for over a year and finished it only recently. Projects this large need to prevail somehow for world makers that live from their designs. Otherwise we would need sponsors ourselves. And last, but most important of all, people love this landscape, and enjoy it deeply. And that makes me in turn deeply happy with it.

On how my collaboration started, it was simple. I found out there was a LitFest Sim last year, and as soon as I found out I shouted, as loud as I could, that I wanted to do that, heh.

Picture by Alisaundra Andel

How was OtherWorld born? What is its story?

Otherworld was first imagined as something I was not sure I could pull off, a massively vertical, elaborate plateau with a cave system. Something that would give a huge vertical area to expand the region’s explorable surface and lend the whole landscape an epic feeling and still remain organic and chaotic in its layout but following its own visual rhythms. Like nature does, naturally, heh.

Otherworld is a part of, quite literally, the Other World. It’s inspired in the Keltic Otherworld, the realm of not only Spirits, but of Gods and the Fae. For them the land beyond, though there were several interpretations, was often depicted as an archipelago of Islands. Cerridwen is actually a Welsh Goddess of Magic and Wisdom, and her Cauldron is known as the Cauldron of Wisdom and Poetic Inspiration. So, it was a natural evolution to have the land be part of Cerridwen’s realm in the Otherworld. It’s a place that was anciently volcanic, as we can see on the basaltic cliffs and columns, and we can surmise that either the sea or some other powerful force carved out the the island into the plateau supported on massive basaltic legs, and has a long history after that. The palette is subdued (for my style anyway) and separated according to the “biome”, so are the plants and fungi; so, for the cave area we have a purple and teal palette, for the plateau and beaches a green palette with touches of warm colors, and for the underwater reef purples and oranges.

FF2016 - set A - OtherWorld_011
Picture by Wildstar Beaumont

What are you bringing to the Faire this year? 

For the Relay For Life items I have some very popular Lovecraft inspired plushies in the RFL characteristic colors; a Cthulhu Plushie and a Nightgaunt Plushie. As for now these are for decoration, but I do hope to do more with the idea in the future. Also, the RFL ed. Tinderlings, which are only available during RFL events. As for my store, well, most of what you can see at Otherworld is new and available; the basaltic columns, the structures, four new plants, including the Chalice Flower, the Dryad Pitcher V2, the Tube Sponge, the Eggplant….and then the recent ones, like the popular Ancient One dragon skull, the clovers, the ferns….etc. And, I do plan to continue creating more v2 and new species during the following months, though I am anxiously expecting too the advances on project Bento to get to work on avatars again.

FF2016 - set A - OtherWorld_019
Picture by Wildstar Beaumont

Your creations always come with excerpts, pieces of a story. Where are these quotes from, is there a larger story somewhere just waiting to be turned into plants and environments?

My first contact with creative imagination was through writing. Tolkien, Homer, then anything I could get my hands on. Then I became a role-player, a Dungeon Master, and was so for 20 years. Sharian “The Old”, a character that often appears in my story snippets, was my first AD&D character. A young wizard (then). In a (not so secret now) homage to my storytelling years, he is now my master and teacher (and my implacable quality assurance alt), a grumpy, classic “Gandalf the Grey” wizard that enjoys sharing his admiration for nature and magic with his elven disciple.

I tell stories through my work, either be a painting or a whole SL landscape. I hint at these through the “Apprentice’s Journal” snippets I always add to a products description. The little snippets of story I give are to inspire people to create their own stories. That’s what they are for. And that’s why they always hint too to a larger world or telling. Quoting Ende on his masterful Never Ending Story; “…but that, is another story, and should be told another time”.

OtherWorld Sponsored by Cerridwen's Cauldron-Justen Tyme-017
Picture by Justen Tyme

You mentioned OtherWorld has a theme song. What is it? How does music inspire you and your builds?

Indeed! Music is incredibly important to me while working. I have my favorite genres I listen when creating, Epic (like the fabulous Two Steps From Hell), Lounge and Chill, Electronic (especially Psychadelic Trance), Celtic. I find like, soundscaping, the music is incredibly helpful to convey an atmosphere to SL ambients. I even created some time ago playlists on soundcloud for people to visit the new Otherworld landscape, when you are not listening to the FF Radio of course!

Epic Play | Lounge and Chill

I think that though in the end everyone will choose their own music to make their own “soundtrack”, I find it personally interesting, and think others might too, listening to music the landscaper suggests while visiting her/his work. It deepens the understanding of the atmosphere the author wants to convey. Even if it’s music you do not usually listen to and even if you decide you like your own “soundtrack” better.

And, all that said, heh, these are the “Soundtrack” songs for Otherworld:

Solar Echoes – Nigel Stanford | Icarus- Ivan Torrent

FF16 Otherworld - II
Picture by Caitlin Tobias

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

I am sure everyone involved with the Faire says or thinks the same; it’s so difficult to choose one, there are so many. The Fantasy Faire has such a special team and ambiance. But, picking up a couple I would say the first time I joined the now classic bus tours. They are always so much fun. As many as the team members as possible start on a now legendary yearly bus going around the regions, stopping at each and playing instruments, or joining the DJ, or just doing whatever tomfoolery we can think of (nothing disruptive or destructive) and celebrating the Faire. Also, as Kae noted, sitting atop a high point with the team and world makers and watch the regions fill up is always exciting and very special.

The Faire is loads of work, even though I had most of the landscape done, I was not really “ready” for the Faire until 10 hours before opening, and that felt like a lot of spare time, because usually everyone is still frantically working well beyond opening date. And even though it’s so much work it’s always so much more than just the work, its the relay, the team, the friends, the idea that always moves us; we can all win, and even have insanely amounts of fun while doing so. For me the Faire is always the highlight of the year and I look forward to it as soon as the current one ends. So thanks to you, to the readers, and everyone attending and involved for making the Faire an example on how things can be done differently, and lovingly.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Elicio! Thank you for the magic, enchantment and life you bring to the Fairelands!

Picture by Alisaundra Andel

Swim with Me – A Queen’s worries


Talise stared at the crystal encrusted shell sitting on her desk, waiting for anything, even the faintest glow. Beside her, her ever present advisor, a seahorse of the of the palest lilac hue, just kept smiling at her. It was the most annoying thing about Cambreyan, anything could be happening, and he always had his ever present smile.

“You know your daughter, she will contact you when she has something solid to talk about. I wouldn’t think, even with how fast she is, that she got very much father than the rest of the scouts did. Maybe a half a Light farther. We got to remember this call came from very far off.”

“Oh, I know. I think it was the other morning chats with those of the closer seas, that got me worried. There have been many mer who have not been able to resist, and a lot of them are perishing to predation. They seem to go into a trance, and all they can think about is finding the source of the call. I would really like to know why it does not work on the sharks and other deep water nasties.”

“Ah, they are so one minded, most of the time. It’s blood and tear. Only near breeding season do they even think of anything else, and with the way they fight their mates, it’s still mostly blood and tear in the end.”

“So you think there is just not enough room to care, in those little brains of theirs?”

“Yes, that is exactly what I think. Do you remember the tale, of that far off Sea, where the mer once had sharks as their guards. It was rumored to be the most feared mer queendom ever. Then one night, while all the mers were safely resting in their kelp, the sharks couldn’t take the domestic life anymore, and ate them all. They had no other form of militia, so they were utterly defenseless.”

“Oh, yes, I remember that tale, Grandmar would tell that one to me when I was being a bad little fry. She would later remind me of it when she started to teach me on military matters and strategy. She certainly thought it had enough merit to believe in it.”

“You Grandmar was never one to toss a tidbit of information away, just because she did not see it with her own eyes. She liked to weigh everything, and even those she did not think true, she still recorded.”

“Cambreyan, that just gave me the most wonderful idea! We should head off to the vaults, maybe she wrote something down in all her years, that was similar to what we are dealing with now. You know she liked to translate the old slates, maybe she did find something, once.”

“Now that, my Queen, seems like the perfect idea.”


The Queen and her advisor left her quarters, venturing outside the palace, to venture to the vaults. The Vaults were located not within the palace, as a Grandmar far far past in the line had decided it was a silly place to store all the great treasures of a queendom. It is the first place usurpers covet, the first place invaders go to. This is why there is a false vault at the palace, holding lesser treasures, though still lovely.

The greatest treasures of Talise’s realms were that of Knowledge. It seems her ancestors were very keen on chronicling everything that happened, in Lights past. Hidden amongst these writings were also enchanted objects, created by some of the most powerful seawitches of her line.

The reason for these being so treasured and secreted away, was simply that they hadn’t had a witch in the family for a few centuries. It is a hereditary thing, and while it normally skips a generation or two, with their line, it seemed to have just fizzled out. With no way to restore these items, if they need recharging, repair, or remaking, they are left one of the most guarded secrets.


They finally came upon the spot, a spot so ordinary, for the treasures held within. It had grown into a wonderful reef, with time, which was the intent. Talise guided them to the false rock that served as a barrier to the entrance. Only her blood, and the blood of her daughter, could invoke the rock to move. Once inside, she and Cambreyan went right to the place her Grandmar often sat, a beautiful shell seat carved in slopping waves. It is said to have once been a throne room chair, and it sure did have the flair.

Piled around it were stacks of tomes, all lovingly worn. It was a hard thing, to keep the written word under the waves, where ink and parchment would dissolve in but a few days. These tomes were another sort of enchantment, each carrying it’s own bubble of sorts. When one placed their hands within, they would instantly become dry, and the ink and parchment were protected from the watery elements.

“Well, I am not sure exactly were to start, so I’d say pick a stack, you can flip the pages with your tail, and I’ll pick a different stack. Having both eyes on these will make shorter work of the task.”

“Thank you my lady, for entrusting me with so precious of a task.”

“Oh shove it Cambreyan, haha, I just don’t want to be the only one with sore eyes tonight.”

“As you wish,” he said, as he picked a stack not too far from his queen. No one outside the royal merline has ever set eyes on what was written within these tomes. It was a very rare gift his queen had bestowed upon him, and he was not one to forget such gifts easily.

With both of them settling down to their task, each intent on finding some source of information of this unique call, each hoping for an answer that might save them all, a quietness ensconced itself into the chamber.


Much light had passed, when Cambreyan finally let out an excited noise.

“What is it, what did you find?”

“I am not totally sure if it is connected, but it surely is the first thing I have found that might be. Your Grandmar found some passages that talk about a place, far out in the oceans, with no lands nor isles in sight. There are deep, deep waters, and it is ensorceled in strong magical mists above the waters. It is said that but once a year, lands arise from the depths, and portals to other realms appear. All manor of creatures, not of our waters nor land, arrive there, through the portals. These lands only stay a short while. The mists and the oceans eventually eat them back up, closing off the portals for another year. When the lands do come back, they are forever changed, taking new forms.”

“Now that seems rather far fetched.”

“It might have been why that wasn’t one of the tales she ever told.”

“So magical lands, appearing out of the oceans, portals, strange critters. What does that have to do with our call?”

“Well . . . there is a notation as to the general direction of where this all happens. Can you guess what is also coming from that direction?”

“The Call.”

“Yes. It also says here, that the area was guarded by a Kraken. A Fallen God was given to it as sacrifice, and it ate him right up. The Fallen God transformed, within the bowels of the beast, to re-emerge as a sort of watcher of the waters, with the Kraken now at his command. I wonder, with no creature to guard this magical place, would something more sinister have found it’s home there?”

“You think if something did move in, that is why the call has come this far? Is it the one doing the calling, or is there something or someone else sending it out? There are too many questions, and never enough Light. Is there anything else written?”

“The only other information here is just that the lands appear each year, so that there can be a collective mass of beings to help heal those who need healing. They pool their talents and resources, from the many places they call home, for this one goal. They also give time to remember the ones who have been lost.”

“We all lose someone, at sometime, what could possibly be so bad, that so much magic would be expended to create such a place, for such short of a time. What is the point of these lands? I can see why Grandmar never told me of this tale.”

“The last thing is says, is the single word; Hope. The rest of the tome is blank. Maybe it was something your Granmar was still working on. Maybe we should start sorting though the slates.”

“There isn’t enough time for that. You can’t read them, and I am very slow at it. I need to get to the islands, I need to talk to the birds. I think what we need is a Thunderbird. We need something fast, even faster than my daughter. I wish the winds still spoke to our kind.”

“It is hard to keep friends with the winds, when the waves fight them so.”

“This is true. Come now, we have a trip to make.”

As the Queen and her Advisor head off to the nearby islands to find their feathered allies, a dark blackness spreads into their waters. It’s tendrils seek new victims, for it is forever hungry. It feeds of the source of life, in that of each victim. It sometimes slowly toys with it’s food, taking over bits and pieces of their systems, before pulling every last spark it can. Sometimes it can’t wait, and just quickly attacks, riddling their bodies with growths, each one making it more able to collect the power of that life so much faster. It has a name, but this world does not know it, it’s denizens so bright and pure. Such feast it will have, for they have not the knowledge to stop it.


An Original/Continuing story by Helena Stringer – With “chapters” being uncovered over the course of Fantasy Faire 2016

Read the First Part HERE

Continue reading Swim with Me – A Queen’s worries