Category Archives: Creators and Shops

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

Meet Our World Builders: Haveit Neox & Lilia Artis

Haveit Neox and Lilia Artis, the world-builders of Opal Flight.

Haveit Neox and Lilia Artis, the world builders of Opal Flight, share with us their reasons to return and create worlds for the Faire, the Story of Opal Flight, and their favourite Faire-memories!

You two have grown to become a part of the Fairelands with your realms that are perfect for arts and entertainment, as a stage for performances and as inspiring exhibitions in their own right. Do the realms you’ve brought to life connect to each other in any fashion, is there any lore or story or theme that they share, or are they all their own separate worlds?

Haveit: Our use of the mythological centaurs once again return to Fantasy Faire this year. By revisiting previous themes, it gives a sense of ongoing history to the sim. We also like to expand the mythological cast in the sim’s story, and this year, Lilia has introduced her harpies who have their own tale.

Lilia: With the expansion we try to achieve a working balance of the known, like meeting an old friend who makes you feel comfortable, yet also bring in new aspects, the unknown, like a new acquaintance that makes you feel excited and curious. Somehow we feel you need both, in life it might be the reliability and the challenge.

Opal Flight – picture by Caitlin Tobias

What is new in your Second Life, what have you been up to the last year?

Lilia: My SL life changed quite a bit since last year and I needed to cut down my time in the virtual world. I am still trying to figure out what to focus on here and what changes to make but the road to take is beginning to show itself. Somehow Fantasy Faire was an eye opener in many ways. It felt wonderful to work for a good cause and with likeminded people who give their best to make the Faire a special, unique event. And, life presenting its strange twists, shortly after the Faire a family member got diagnosed with cancer which came like a shock, as to everyone. I guess I don’t have to describe what it means for the family and how it affects our lives. So this year I am not just working for a good cause, I also do relay and the work for Fantasy Faire definitely has become my priority in SL.

Haveit: For the past year, I have been very busy working on two RL art projects and creating exhibits in Second Life. Presently, I am showing my exhibit “Bleeding Books” at the Split Screen Installation Space. Ironically Bleeding Books will come down at the same time as Fantasy Faire, so I will have to say farewell twice.

Opal Flight – picture by Alisaundra Andel

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

Haveit: Shortly after Fantasy Faire ended last year, and we’d received a warm invite to return the following year, Lilia had an idea almost immediately and most enthusiastically. She told me her idea of huge garden plants dominating a mostly white surface world, and drew out a simple plan to show me. I gravitated to her idea right away. She knows how I love to build under water, and suggested we make it a fun place for the Second Life Mer community to explore, and that I bring back my centaurs into the sunken civilization. Having the story clearly laid out, the next step was to share in the building and creation of textures, which we both shared above and below the ocean. Lilia would describe the story best, as it is hers.

Lilia: The long version of the story is already published on the Fantasy Faire website, on the Opal Flight page. The short version is that this is a story about mourning a loss, craving what you never had and how to come to terms with both. It includes the various ways of help we get on our journey, the good and the not so good. All this is clad in scales and feathers as the main protagonists are fish and harpies.

Opal Flight – picture by Justen Tyme

Do you have favourite Faire memories? What are you looking forward to most this year in the Fairelands?

Haveit: Last year, a group of fantasy avatars as well as centaurs, surprised Lilia and I at the sim we built. Our story was about the lost centaurs of the ancients, but through the magic of the virtual world, and many real hearts, the sight of a group of marvelous creatures flooding into the sim brought both Lilia and I to tears – no exaggeration. She and I were on Skype at that moment, and shared our deep delight with each other. There are many fine memories from the past, Fantasy Faire’s community is ripe with all kinds of wonders. As this year’s Faire begins, I’m already having lots of fun. Our neighbors have been great! While the sim builders were setting up, at about the half way mark, I noticed a rather amazing colossus on Fallen Sands. This is a mechanical bird, craning its house-sized head well into Opal Flight, displaying its grandeur in many subtle tones of rust. This metallic visitor needed sustenance, for its belly was plainly empty. I transformed one of my little birds into a like sized giant, as it offers a tasty rusted cog, large enough to satisfy the hugest appetite. On the other side of Opal Flight, is the border with Mudrana. Their green cliffs open into a mysterious path, with fine landscaping tempting the eye just paces ahead. I love working on sim borders, blending them in, especially when my neighbors have such original ideas! The Fairelands is full of creativity no matter where you venture. Certainly this is true of the performances as well. From plays, dances, story readings, fine art in the galleries, sim tours, particle shows, and on and on, the Fairelands provide visitors with ample fine entertainment and education. Once a year we all have this opportunity to enjoy the rich content of Fantasy Faire, knowing well that it’s impossible to see it all, yet anything you catch will be superb.

Fantasy Faire 2017 - Open Flight
Opal Flight – picture by Wildstar Beaumont

Lilia: I guess my most favourite memory is that of the centaur stampede too. But actually I have so many fine memories of the past event that they weave a colourful picture, almost like a unique quilt with its own history. I miss last year’s builds and wish I could dwell there one more time and I welcome this years’ new treasures which I will keep in my heart together with the old ones. And I love the performances. Of course we also watch them as sim builders to see if the stage we designed works and what needs change or improvement were we to do another event. But I am always totally floored by the passionate creativity of the shows. And I guess being a sheep in one of them might become one of our favourite memories. After all we stick to the animal tradition: from centaur to sheep… To finish my collection of wonderful memories I have to mention one encounter this year that was very special to me. When I entered Faireland Junction, I felt flung back into childhood. I grew up in a forest and to me as a child it was full of magic, life and beauty. Its serenity filled me with awe no human build ever since could. Seeing the Junction, it suddenly was right back and in front of my eyes, that special atmosphere only huge forests possess. I am very grateful for the time jump I experienced and felt reconnected, as much as I feel grateful for the numerous positive experiences Fantasy Faire offers each year.

Thank you, Haveit and Lilia, for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for bringing your worlds to the Fairelands and sharing their stories with us, year after year!

Fantasy Faire 2017 - Open Flight
Opal Flight – picture by Wildstar Beaumont

Meet Our Sponsors: meadowWorks

Garvie Garzo, the creator and owner of meadowWorks.

Garvie Garzo, the creator and owner of meadowWorks, has returned to sponsor the Faire and has also created the statues decorating The Rose. She speaks of her work, her creations for the Faire and her own spectacular Faire-transformations. 

This is your second year sponsoring Fantasy Faire. What made you decide to return and do it again?

Not doing so was unthinkable!

Do you have favourites among your creations or do you love them all equally? Are there themes that you’re more fond of than others, themes that you keep adding to?

I had some issues with a couple of them lol, so yes, I do have favorites. The Leaping Faun sculpture was a pretty joyous occasion from start to finish, (even the UV mapping). I have been wanting to make a dancing faun motif for awhile, so the excuse to have a pair wielding aloft Fantasy Faire emblazoned orbs was the perfect occasion. And the Lions, which were Alia’s idea/request were also a pretty sweet chore.

What are you bringing to the Faire this year? 

Lots of classical sculptures this time to go with The Rose’s Venetian theme… (and because he made me).

Some of these began as 3d scans, captured using photogrammetry which is just the coolest thing! That process, some brilliant software and a few very generous activist type geeks determined to make digital records of the world’s great art pieces allow people like me to truly borrow from the masters. There is a Centaur, Three Pretty Girls, Neptune and of course something to do with swans.

Last year in the Faire you galloped around as a fantastic golden centaur. That is very much what the Faire is all about, when such things become the new normal for all of us. How did the transformation take place? Do you have similar plans for this year?

The centaur idea was a complete steal from 2 fabulously pretty half horse half geishas who galloped past me at the start of the Faire. I really pay little attention to avatars generally, but sometimes you see these great, glorious gestures even. This year so far I have only had time to try some faun legs and some ballet dancing. I am hoping to attract the attention of those cute faun boys I guess.

Other morphologies may present themselves as I get more serious about shopping the Faire.

What are you looking forward to most this year in the Faire?

I’d like to go to more parties and events and meet more people than I usually do. Hell, I would like to go to allllll the parties and events and meet alllll the people

Thank you, Garvie, for taking the time to talk with us! Thank you for bringing life to the Fairelands in the form of your magical statues!

Fantasy Faire 2017 - The Rose - IV
The Rose – picture by Caitlin Tobias

Meet Our Sponsors: Faida, Kei Spot, Poliak’s Emporium & Velvet Whip

Titania Halasy, the creator and owner of Faida.
Keiko Zoon, the creator and owner of Kei Spot.

Titania Halasy of Faida, Keiko Zoon of Kei Spot, Robbyn Poliak of Poliak’s Emporium and Reeva Hax and Madmacit of Velvet Whip are friends who sponsor the Faire together this year. They share their reasons to support the Faire, their growth as creators, their love for fantasy and their favourite Faire memories.

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

Titania: I just love the idea of being more involved in such an amazing event. I could name a few people I lost, but I prefer remembering the ones I am lucky to still have on my side because cancer research is doing giant steps. If we are contributing even to an infinitesimal part of that, I can only be happy.

Keiko: One of the things I truly enjoy about creating is the amazing group of artists I have become close to over the years. The Fantasy Faire gives me the opportunity to collaborate and co-sponsor with some of my most favorite people!

Robbyn: Being part of such a large gathering is so much fun and to be able to do it with my family and friends this year makes it all that more exciting. Cancer has affected too many of my loved ones, both 2 legged and 4 legged, so to help raise awareness and funds in my virtual community is an opportunity i couldn’t miss.

Reeva & Madmacit: This is a great event for a much greater cause. After a couple of year as standard participant, it was time to step up a bit and give more.

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

Titania: It was the far 2008, which in SL it’s like saying it was the 80’s, when I started torturing prims and marveling at how they looked like objects I could use. Ideas and inspiration are easily found all around me, especially since I am surrounded by many creative people, and being able to actually make what I want is a wonderful feeling.

Keiko: I actually came to Second Life for a business meeting and my very first build was a model of one of NASA’s great observatories all in prims. Talk about geek! Three years ago I began learning 3D modeling which is an ever ongoing process. It is my artistic release. I can share the crazy stuff in my head and put it out here in this world for others to use and enjoy.

Robbyn: Wanting to create my own role play wearables and accessories… then furniture and clothing… i found using premade full Perm items wasn’t enough because I still couldn’t make exactly what was in my brain so I began the mind bending process of 3D modeling and fell in love with it. Inspiration comes from my role play environment and often times from real life treasures found while exploring.

Reeva & Madmacit: When it began difficult find things of our liking, related to roleplay & medieval fantasy, we thought to start making them by ourselves. It was so much fun, that after 4 years we’re still here creating stuff 😀 And inspiration comes from everywhere: from a roleplay situation in need of a dedicated prop, to a person searching something particular, to a sudden idea while watching a movie or reading a book.

 What are you bringing to the Faire this year? 

Titania: I am offering two gowns, and I hope they will contribute to the Faire or I will be forced to shred them. (Please buy them, they are 100% donations, save the gowns from a sad destiny)

Faida Artemisia - passione

Faida - Artemisia - nero

Keiko: Our sim is based on a Baroque Venetian masked ball. I play violin (well more fiddle!) and decided to do a violin/flute duet with original music.

Kei's Baroque Violin

Kei's Baroque Flute

Reeva & Madmacit: Something magic and something black 🙂

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

Titania: The very first book I read was a fantasy novel, my father is a collector of fantasy and sci-fi books so I was lucky to be raised in a house full with treasures.

Keiko: I’m a fairy tale kind of girl. These kinds of books became my best friends as a child, and the attachment to this kind of magic has never left me.

Robbyn: Some of the most beautiful art I have seen is from the genre and I have enjoyed it all my life. It opens the portal to limitless imagination and the wildest of storylines… I think it’s the unknown that calls me to fantasy.

Reeva & Madmacit: We love fantasy, because there is no limit to your creativity! But regarding the first time… well, that was waay too much time ago to talk about it 😉

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

Titania: I will never forget the emotion of being accepted as a creator the very first time. I was so overwhelmed by the efforts and the generosity of all the participants! I am already reveling in the same feeling this year, it’s incredible to see so many people selflessly involved! And of course, my hope is to see our past record broken!

Keiko: I cannot wait to see the designs of the sim builders and take a peek inside their imaginations. The sims are always gorgeous and creative and I am sure this year will be the same.

Robbyn: Of course my first year will always hold a special place in my heart, but I already know this year will be the icing on the cake 🙂 I look forward to bonding with current friends and making new ones, and of course, I look forward to all the shopping and art installations.

Reeva & Madmacit: No favorites, as every Faire is special, unique and different. This year we would like it to be even more special, with donations up to the roof!

Thank you, Titania, Keiko, Robbyn, Reeva and Madmacit, for taking the time to talk with us! Thank you for joining us and sharing your creativity with the Faire Folk!

Meet Our World-Builders: Beq Janus & Elizabeth Jarvinen

Beq Janus & Elizabeth Jarvinen – the world-builders of Anansi.

Beq Janus and Elizabeth Jarvinen (polysail) are the world-builders of Anansi, our worldling cradle. Anansi also hosts the roleplay of The NeoVictoria Project and has a set of stores, making it our nearly-eleventh shopping sim. Beq shares with us her reasons to return to Faire-building, the story of Anansi and the worldlings, news from her life and her wishes for the Faire.

You took a break from world-building last year. Did it affect how you approached the task this year? Did it feel different?

Not directly, but I think the reasons I took a break are still there. so that changed my approach, I had not even planned to be here this year really. In early 2015 I lost my father to Cancer, which made my Faireland Aurora and my RFL build that year all the more poignant. So by July I was burned out emotionally and creatively. I pretty much left SL alone, with other RL pressures too there was no way I had the creative energy to build anything. It wasn’t really until April 2016 that I returned properly, in large part cos of the Faire. I came to the Faire as a visitor and recharged. I still had not planned to return to the Faire this year, but Asil (the sim sponsor) asked me to return and I quickly failed to say no.

However, all the RL pressures remain, with a family, career and a part time degree I had no idea how I would squeeze in the time it takes me to form an idea and move that to a Faireland. I don’t work with others well, I’m horridly fussy and awkward, but luckily Liz somehow operates at my same resonance most of the time and just gets my ideas. She agreed to help out. Liz is an outstanding creator, and while probably 2/3 of the custom mesh in Anansi is mine, it is her texturing skills that made them look awesome. She also made the massive spider/boat/caravans that helped shape how we ended up looking and of course, the sinister grinning figurehead of Boaty mcClownface…

Anansi – picture by Justen Tyme.

What have you been up to in Second Life lately?

Uhm but…this is a family show right?….
Seriously, build wise not much. I am very lazy when it comes to doing stuff for myself. I spent a chunk of time last summer writing up various detailed blogs on mesh creation on my non-fiction blog. All kinds of things get covered, from good practice and design proper LOD shapes, to answering weird questions about mesh physics. At some point, I decided that the tooling for Mesh creators using blender is awful and so I’ve been working on a Blender addon that will hopefully make things a lot easier.

As part of all the Mesh stuff, I focussed on a long outstanding bug in SL and submitted a patch to the Firestorm team. Over the rest of the year, I got more involved in the viewer code and somehow got myself on to the Firestorm development team. That’s been amazing actually, the Firestorm team are incredible. I think people assume there are lots of developers working on Firestorm and all the other viewers for that matter. The truth is that there’s really not that many and they do an amazing job. Same goes with the support teams and testers etc. without their voluntary effort there would be a very different experience here. Of course, I had to put all that on hold to be here, but I will be getting back to helping out there and learning my way around the vast code base. I also plan to get more building blogs done and more progress on my blender tools, I just need to find an extra 12 hours a day really.

Anansi – picture by Caitlin Tobias.

What is a worldling cradle?

The worldlings were news to me too. They were trialled last year and considered successful so this year the project was scaled up a little.

What is a worlding cradle, and what is a worlding? That depends on who you ask. They are glimpses of future Fairelands, perhaps of Fairelands to come or of Fairelands that may never be. Baby worlds being nurtured. So when our glorious leader (Fantasy) came to speak to me about hosting those worlds it was clear that they’d need care and attention and so the worlding cradles became real.

Originally these were to be regular stores like on the other regions, so when I realized I was to house nascent worlds I pivoted the design and swung towards the incubator/vivarium design, each tent having air and water and “sunlight” to support it. Then as the whole Anansi idea came to fullness and through Liz’s spiders etc we settled into the bug theme that you see today giving us the glowworm/dragonfly hybrid cradle carriers.

Anansi’s worldling cradles – picture by Wildstar Beaumont.

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

Anansi came rather late to the design. Rather too late in a way, I had not intended to spend as much effort or tie up Liz as much as I did in bringing Anansi to fruition.

I tend to work from stories, for both my previous Faire builds Asperatus and Aurora, I had a story that guided my creation. Anansi was called something else entirely at first. Asil had come to me with her plan for a circus based RP. As fun and rich as the circus may be, I really could not get myself into the story. I had lots of ideas of how it would look. I knew right from the start that the centerpiece airship would have this giant creepy clown face but that was about it. I thrashed around on ideas and some of them stuck. the boat shaped hull of the “spider caravans” for example. My original design had shorter stubbier legs, more lizard-like with claw-like toes for gripping the rocks, but Liz was feeling lazy (*giggles*) and steadfastly refused to make toes. It was around that time that we were asked to accommodate worldlings, so after batting ideas back and forth my thoughts began to coalesce around the Anansi creation myths and making it core to the large store design. We had always had this notion that the tents were held aloft my arms from the large stores and so the spiders helping give birth to new worlds all suddenly began to come together into a cohesive theme… Well hopefully.

The story of Anansi is therefore really a reinvention of the African story of Anansi the spider. In my version Anansi stole or tricked his way into stealing the seeds of creation from the god and now he fleas through time and space busily encouraging new Fairelands to grow and thrive before casting them out into the voids to become standalone realities of their own.

Anansi – picture by Wildstar Beaumont.

What are you looking forward to most this year in the Fairelands?

Same as I always do, the same thing that I think brings us all back year on year…..

The Faireland people; the brilliant extended family, from the wonderful creators who fill the Fairelands with goodies to the bloggers and photographers who communicate it to the masses, to the storytellers and readers to the dancers and singers and entertainers, from the execs who think they run the show, to the pawlice, who really do.

I love the silly stressed out banter of the world makers as we struggle through 48 hour shifts to push the standards to new levels each year, I mean the other worldmakers of course….

It is a privilege and an endless source of pride that I get to build with and for all of you, so most of all I just enjoy seeing people exploring and having fun. Cancer is not a fun subject, but we show that fighting it through fundraising as we do, can and should be a lot of fun.

Thank you, Beq, for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you both for bringing us a Faireland!

Beq’s previous interview: 2015

Anansi – picture by Wildstar Beaumont

Meet Our Sponsors: Rivendale

Riven (lrriven), the creator and owner of Rivendale, the sponsor and world-maker of Raven’s Perch.
Kaelis Ember, a world-maker of Raven’s Perch.

Riven (lrriven), the creator and owner of Rivendale, sponsors Raven’s Perch, the Faireland she built together with Kaelis Ember. Riven tells us how their collaboration worked out, what inspired Raven’s Perch’s rich lore, and reveals Auction sneak peeks!

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

I have participated as a creator at the Fantasy Faire for many, many years. It’s always an emotional event for me that both celebrates life, and remembers those who are no longer with us. We are all coming together to support the fight against Cancer. This horrible disease has taken family and friends. With my genetic history, it could one day take me.

Last year I was honored to be Kae’s sounding board while she worked hard to put Serenity together. It was my first real glimpse at what the world builders go through to create their masterpieces. I even helped a little, creating her physics for the buildings. I realized as a watcher looking in that I could do so much more for the Faire, I could play a larger role and support it as I had never before done.

Raven’s Perch – picture by Riven.

You are also a world-maker and built Raven’s Perch together with Kaelis Ember. How did that collaboration work, who did what?

Well.. the idea for Raven’s Perch was rooted in a concept that Kae and I came to while we were wandering through last year’s Faire: Gothic Fantasy. She created a pinterest board and for the next year we pinned pictures we felt inspired by to it. When Elizabeth reached out to me to see if I was still interested in sponsoring, I immediately reached out to Kae. What followed was an entire night of us splitting the work and hammering out the lay out. We discussed in detail what the buildings should look like, referenced pictures, and I hand sketched the floor plans.

Kae is accustomed to building small, extremely detailed mesh. I build everything – from castles to furniture, sparkles and beyond. We decided that I would create the buildings. I also textured them. Kae is really good at forests. She chose the trees and paths and laid all that out. I fiddled with roses, moved things, and molded the land. She made the lanterns, the signs, and put in several hours saying not nice words to some rather stubborn ravens. She made one of the secret hideaways and I did the other two.

We work amazingly well together. Our ideas mesh and grow organically. We build off one another and aren’t afraid to can an idea if it isn’t feeling right. We did that a couple times. We literally live on opposite sides of the world. She is in Australia and I am in the US, Florida. To work together, one of us has to stay up late. So a lot of what we would do is build and leave presents for one another to find as we went along.

Raven’s Perch – picture by Riven.

How was Raven’s Perch born? What inspired it, what is its story?

I had this story brewing in my mind, guiding the way we were building. The mood, the key elements. Kae and I talked about it nearly every day and we knew that we needed to share it with everyone who came to visit so that they could have the same feelings we have about it. The perch wasn’t just another beautiful place.. it grew into a reflection of our mutual sorrow and our determination to keep going, no matter what comes.

Gwen Enchanted took my thoughts, my outline of the tale and breathed life into it. She captured the emotion I wanted conveyed, the whimsy and love. It really is a good read.

The most basic bones of the story lay in the friendship between the Lady of Roses; a mortal, and the Raven Queen; a fae. The story explores how their love changes one another. It is a gothic fairy tale so it does not have a happy ending but it is beautiful. It moves me. I am pretty sure it will move anyone who reads it.

Raven’s Perch – picture by Justen Tyme.

What are you bringing to the Faire this year? 

Well… I have been working so hard on Raven’s Perch that this year’s new items are going to be directly related to it. I am releasing the stores I built for sale to anyone who wants them but all proceeds from one of them will go directly to RFL. I also created a bunch of different low lag sparkle effects for the sim and have offered those for purchase. I re-textured the dragonfly wings I made last year as well. On top of that, I pulled a bunch of items I have made previously and dedicated the profits of their sale to RFL for this Faire. I do this every year.

For the live auction at the end of the Faire, we will be putting the lady in her crystal coffin up for sale. She is the center piece of the sim, a mutual creation between Kae and I, and is absolutely stunning to look upon.

In addition, if you complete the chapter hunt, there is also a keepsake at the end.

Raven’s Perch – picture by Caitlin Tobias.

Do you have a favorite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year in the Fairelands?

I have so many awesome memories. However.. there was this one world, all lovely stained glass suspended in the air over water. Its beauty made my heart ache. But aside from how pretty it was? Rhe ramps on it were also fantastic! I spent hours racing down them and flinging myself down into the water. Its sounds silly, but so many people joined me in the game that I made a lot of lasting friendships just from that one day of play.

I also met Kae at the FF of 2014. I was setting up my store and she wandered in. She told me that my work was lovely, but with more colorful words, and that began the start of a wonderful friendship. I couldn’t imagine not knowing her now.

Thank you, Riven, for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you both for bringing us the gothic beauty of Raven’s Perch!

Raven’s Perch – picture by Caitlin Tobias.

Meet Our Sponsors: Ruins of Xenark RP Community

Xarek (BandxofxOrcs), the owner of Ruins of Xenark.
Angel (Angela Carling), Staff Member at Ruins of Xenark.

Xarek (BandxofxOrcs), the owner of Ruins of Xenark, and Angel (Angela Carling), one of the Staff Members at Ruins of Xenark, share with us the reason why Ruins of Xenark RP Community is sponsoring the Faire and talk about their roleplay community and their love for fantasy.

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

Angel: I came to Second Life in 2007 and have been involved in Fantasy Roleplay since that time, in some of the great early sims like Everwind and Mystara. My first Fantasy Faire was in 2012. I walked around staring in wonder the whole time. Especially Cerridwen’s build…..it looked like something straight out of Lord of the Rings.
Over the years, I spent more and more time at Fantasy Faire, to the point that last year I was there at the Opening Bell and stayed through the final hours.

In the last two years I have lost too many friends and loved ones to cancer. This year when the website first opened, I looked to see how I could get involved, saw the Sponsorship opportunities and thought….. “I can do that.” I’m not a creator or builder, but I am an active member of the Ruins of Xenark Roleplay Community and this is an excellent way to spread the word about it.

Ruins of Xenark Photo Contest Winners: Dinokrieg -‘A House Once Stood There’

Tell us about your roleplay community. What kind of world-setting do you have and what type of roleplay do you usually do?

Xarek: I don’t like to really label it. We are fantasy. That’s the best I can do. We mesh medieval with steampunk elements and magitek elements. We like to really explore the world and such. As long as things don’t look too sci fi or modern it’s generally acceptable. I hate going to a ‘fantasy’ sim and being told that I can’t have goggles or something because they didn’t exist in the 800s and blah blah blah. That sounds so boring to base everything as if it was on earth. Keep fantasy fantasy!

Angel: We have one of the most beautiful, up-to-date roleplay sims in Second Life. Don’t take my word for it, come and see it for yourself! We also have great staff and terrific players.

Are you planning to roleplay in the Fairelands?

Xarek: I do intend to check it out some.

Angel: I do plan to. I think it will be interesting to walk into the scene, not knowing the players OOCly or in character, not having preformed ideas about what to say or do……Improv Theatre at its best!

Ruins of Xenark Photo Contest Winners: Mysz – Steampunk Gem!

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

Xarek: Realistic stuff is boring. I like monsters and magic and being able to do fantastical things. I love telling stories and being a part of stories.

Angel: I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, and most of my reading is fantasy books. I find that many roleplayers are writers at heart. We love making stories, having adventures, crafting a well-written descriptive phrase. And most of my own roleplay is light hearted comedy, I love to laugh with my friends.

Do you have a favorite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year in the Faire?

Angel: Last year I took part in the Fae Parade and it was enormous fun! Definitely looking forward to that again. Oh… and…. yeah, shopping…. I will probably drop in to a store….. or twelve. There are a lot of monthly shopping events now, but Fantasy Faire has always been the one the creators wait for, and they roll out their best, most awesome new creations.

Thank you, Xarek and Angel, for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for helping in bringing the Fairelands back!  

Ruins of Xenark Photo Contest Winners – Svenja 95 – Dragon Riding

Meet Our Sponsors: Kingdom of Steelwood

Max Arkala, the leader of the Kingdom of Steelwood.

Max Arkala (Maximillian Loon), the leader of the Kingdom of Steelwood, tells us about his roleplay community, why they decided to sponsor the Faire, how they roleplay at The Hill in the Fairelands, and reveals they will also have a presence in Sansar! Read more about their Faire roleplay and come join in!

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

Greetings, it’s a pleasure answer to your questions. Thanks for having me here. Well, Steelwood is around now from almost 4 years. I saw the Fantasy Faire in the past editions so this year we decide, according with the admins and players, to take a look more closer to it, joining it . The sponsorship part came after this decision also thanks to the generosity of our players. I have also to say thanks to Stevie Basevi and the Fantasy Faire staff for the great job and help.

Tell us about Kingdom of Steelwood. What kind of roleplay community is it, what is its world setting and background story like?

We are a Kingdom that is based mostly on norse atmosphere , taking from it also some details for our RP. We are not a viking land, this is pretty sure , but at the same time the atmosphere of northern countries is easy to find in Steelwood.

Some building in Steelwood are made on the RL buildings in my town or close to it. I am north italian, and here it’s not hard to find an inspiration for buildings. The same landscape of Steelwood is all based on RL places and really detailed, with a particular care about the low lag and scripts and obviously details. Our roleplay has its own story and lore. We made all the story of the Kingdom that is easy to find on our website, but not all is public, players roleplaying, will discover more parts of it. We have warriors, rangers, healers , druids, shamans and many races like Lycans or fae or elves, humans… etc… also some races that are native in Steelwood, as the wolfmen called Ulfjalls. A really clear set of rules and the total absence of drama makes the sim really enjoyable for players of different ages. The Roleplay is mostly in free form, some players prefer to para-RP, others to RP more naturally, like a conversation. Then Dungeons with prizes, events In Character and tournaments complete all the sim. In other words a lot to discover in the 3 sims of Steelwood.

How is it like roleplaying in Fairelands? Tell us about the storyline there. Can visitors join into your roleplay?

Our roleplay in Fairelands is something of new, not connected with Steelwood lore. We decided to give to our players the occasion to Roleplay something of different during these ten days. This permits 2 things mostly. One, our players can relax trying something of new, and the second, everyone can join the roleplay without to know the lore or the rules of Steelwood. The Rp is a mistery story, a strange object appears in the sky and leaves all the presents to guess what it is. But this is just the start, ’cause a stranger will come in the town and will start to do incredible things, charming most of the citizens and leaving others with a lot of doubts. At this point two factions will raise, the pro and the against, and is easy to imagine how all this will end… The end anyway is fully open, there is nothing of scheduled, so each faction can be the “winner”, if we can define them in this way.

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

I started to manage sims in SL more than 13 years ago, Steelwood is just the last one and till now the one that lasted more. Most of my sims were made for entertainment, like dances, clubs, or games. I made in 2010 a sci fi sim that lasted a couple of years, then I decided to switch on fantasy also ’cause I love to build and I wanted to try something of different. I’ve always loved the fantasy genre, just didn’t have the time for develop a game and a sim in Second Life. Steelwood is also present already on Sansar, the new platform from Linden Lab, so everyone will be welcome to visit it with the new stunning graphic of Sansar, when it will be open.

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

Till now we just did one roleplay and went pretty well, a part some technical problems that are perfectly natural in one event like this one. I am looking for go ahead with the roleplay and involve as many players is possible. Our players are really nice and friendly and I want to share this with the rest of the roleplay community. Steelwood is more than a sim or a game, is like a family and the success of it is thanks to players, admins and co-owner that in these years gave their time and money for it. I hope that this will be clear to the others when they will know us.

Thank you, Max, for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for bringing your community to adventure and share their lives in the Fairelands!