What’s That Coming Over The Hill?

Foxes

The day had started in a rather odd fashion, I had awoken in the beautifully scenic setting of Dawn’s Promise to find a mysterious note on my bedside table that simply said “Tolkien Day“.

Somewhat puzzled I wandered outside and found some foxes, keeping a close eye on them, the largest one sniffed me and said “Dwarfins now, Elves, Wizards, Hobbits, Humans, what is going on?”

More than a tad alarmed and wondering how much mead I had actually drunk last night if talking foxes were on the scene I shrugged my shoulders.

“Tolkien Day” implored the fox.

Bridge To The Hill

I decided I needed to walk further afield, the rustic buildings and well placed bridges saw me journey in the direction of The Hill.

I could see in the distance that there was much activity, so I moved closer to see what was happening. All sorts of beings were preparing what looked like an unexpected party, fireworks, food, mead ….this looked interesting, so I moved closer.

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” I heard someone muttering.

“You can’t say that!” someone else exclaimed.

 

Sonya Marmurek at The Hill

Someone turned towards me, how could she have seen me? “Aha” she said, “You got my note”. I realised that Sonya Marmurek was talking to me, I tried to hide once more but there was no getting away, no matter how much I protested that I didn’t want an adventure today, that I would invite her for tea, maybe tomorrow.

Alas it was to no avail, so today at 2pm SLT I may very well be at an unexpected party at The Hill to celebrate the work of author JRR Tolkien. I may be hiding on the bridge at Dawn’s Promise, but I shall probably be found lurking somewhere.

Those who don’t want to join an unexpected party may instead want to join in with the many activities that The Literary Festival have arranged for today .

Eleventy First, what sort of age is that, this wouldn’t happen in a mine!

Join us for LitFest Tour No.7: The Hill

Birdsong, friendly shop-keepers and green pastures, fresh as an early summer day.
Birdsong, friendly shop-keepers and green pastures, fresh as an early summer day.

We will be visiting The Hill
Wednesday, April 26th @ 5pm & 8pm SLT
Thursday, April @ Noon SLT

The Hill (Kilik Lekvoda)
A peaceful and beautiful village built into the rolling hills surrounding a small lake. Breathe in warmth, peace, and maybe a little pipe smoke, A place where friendships sprout as readily as the mushrooms beneath leafy green trees.
https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/the-hill/

As you amble along the lanes, be sure to check out that clock tower.
As you amble along the lanes, be sure to check out that clock tower.

Please note: you do not need to use any of these ideas; feel free to write about anything in this region.

This is a happy place, but perhaps someone doesn’t want to party, why might that be?

How do they pay or barter for all this food and drink?

Does someone desperately need a meal?

Did someone hide away to avoid everyone else?

Clock detail
Clock detail

Participants are invited to submit pieces written as part of LitFest Tours, or inspired by the Faire Lands, to be included in “Tales from the Fairelands” on the Fantasy Faire website and possibly to be read on Fantasy Faire Radio by yourself or one of our volunteers.

Work may be submitted at any time during the Faire, and we recommend that it be submitted by 11pm the day after each destination cycle has been completed in order to be considered for inclusion in “Tales of the Faire Lands” posts while the Faire is open. Individual writers retain creative ownership of works submitted.

A party in the making, it’s Tolkien day at the Faire and the scariest sound will be fireworks (or perhaps the Segways of the Pawlice).
A party in the making, it’s Tolkien day at the Faire and the scariest sound will be fireworks (or perhaps the Segways of the Pawlice).

Compositions of poetry or prose can be submitted in one of two ways:
1. Email to fantasyfaireshortstory@gmail.com
2. Drop a notecard into the LitFest Tours Submissions mailbox at Fantasy Faire LitFest home base on Kakushi Pasu

The Survivors and Caregivers Centre

Outside Survivors & Caregivers Centre

I would like to take a small brief pause away from the magnificent and magical fantastical world of Fantasy Faire 2017 to point people in the direction of The Survivors and Caregivers Centre in Kakushi Pasu.

The centre is a quiet, but important part of Fantasy Faire where you can find some information about Relay For Life’s support network for cancer survivors and caregivers.

River View

The key message from a centre like this, Fantasy Faire, the other fundraising and awareness efforts within Second Life and the wider network of communities is that we are not alone.

Inside Survivors & Caregivers Centre

Relay For Life in Second Life is of course part of that wider network of communities and as of 11pm, SLT on April 25th Fantasy Faire had raised an impressive L$ 4,457,535 (US$ 17,144).

I thank you all for your time, donations, purchases, effort, wonderful outfits, wonderful company (even the Elves) and wish you all the very best for the rest of Fantasy Faire.

If you would like to visit the centre the SLURL is :

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kakushi%20Pasu/194/183/49

Now I’m off to see what those Elves are up to at The Hill!

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

Celebrate Tolkien Day at the Faire!

FF17_TOLKIEN_Poster

A celebration of the work of the great fantasy writer – JRR Tolkien.

Every year at the Faire (well, for the last three years), we celebrate the work of a great Fantasy writer.

The first year, we celebrated the great Sir Terry Pratchett, who had recently died. And last year we celebrated another author who had died a rather longer time ago – William Shakespeare – on the 400th year anniversary of his death.

This year we are celebrating not the anniversary of the death – but the anniversary of a publication that was to have a huge influence on Fantasy – JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the first entry into the world of Middle Earth that was later to lead to the hugely influential trilogy – The Lord of the Rings.

And we have a fabulous region, created by Kilik Lekvoda, where we can celebrate – the hobbit-inspired land of The Hill!

We’ll be celebrating today with a series of events and a party – do come and join us.

10:00 – 11:00 AM SLT: NaPoWriMo: Fantasy Writing Prompts – Adele Ward This will be moving from the Writing Room in the LitFest area at Kakushi Pasu to the party field at The Hill just for today. Adele Ward will be leading it, giving out a Tolkien-themed Fantasy Writing Prompt to inspire you to write a short poem or a short story.

12:00 noon – 1:00 PM SLT: Region Tour: The Hill (Designed by Kilik Lekvoda)
See more about our special region tour and writing challenges here!

1:00 – 2:00 PM SLT: Tolkien Goes Partying – Dubhna Rhiadra & Caledonia Skytower
We all think of J.R.R. Tolkien as a scholarly gentleman with a penchant for language and myth. Come to realize, there’s some pretty great parties to be found in his published works. Caledonia Skytower and Dubhna Rhiadra present “An Unexpecting Party” (from The Hobbit) and “A Long-Expected Party” (from The Fellowship of the Ring) in voice.

The Hill by Alisaundra Andel
The Hill – picture by Alisaundra Andel

2:00 PM SLT: An Unexpected Party – And this time it’s our party – to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the publication of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. And there will be dancing. And Fireworks. (And possibly Hobbit Feet).

5:00 – 6:00 PM SLT: Region Tour: The Hill (Designed by Kilik Lekvoda)
See more about our special region tour and writing challenges here!

7:00 – 8:00 PM SLT: A Walk through Middle Earth – Seanchai Library
Seanchai Library takes you on a walk through Middle Earth, with selections from different episodes in the The Lord of the Rings cycle. Shandon Loring, Corwyn Allen, Aoife Lorefield, Kayden Oconnell, and Caledonia Skytower, live in voice.

8:00 – 9:00 PM SLT: Region Tour: The Hill (Designed by Kilik Lekvoda)
See more about our special region tours and writing challenges here!

Come join us at The Hill!

Daily Recap: Tuesday

The Hill – picture by Caitlin Tobias

Tuesday rolled into the Fairelands relaxing and inspiring, full of events, but with enough time to spare for the Faire Folk to explore the Fairelands and to try to solve the quest to save the Bard Queen. If you haven’t started The Fairelands Quest: The Bard Queen’s Song, I suggest you do it now!

The roleplayers’ stories proceeded at steady pace: have you noticed that you can read detailed updates on our website, both daily and in their own pages?

One of the roleplay-groups, The Lilypods at Mudrana, held a party as a part of their roleplay. The Faire Folk were encouraged to donate to the RFL kiosks to help free the Sunrise Fish with the magic of good will, charity and cheer. We have the exact details on the nature of the spell, if you’re interested.

When charity is involved, the Faire Folk don’t hold anything back! After Zander Greene announced that should the donations required for the spell reach 40,000 linden dollars, he would wear a hula outfit, Alia Baroque added that if 50,000 linden dollars were reached, he would follow the suit. So to speak.

“Alia looked at me, and himself and said ‘You and I make this look good!’ I pointed out that I agreed with exactly HALF of that statement.”
– Zander Greene

In the end the Faire Folk donated 60,000 lindens, which Zander Greene matched on behalf of the Faire Sponsors, and the final amount of charity reached 120,200 linden dollars! This was definitely enough to break the spell and free not only the Sunrise Fish, but also the next part of the story of The Lilypads. Their adventure is not yet done, and there is still plenty to figure out to save their beloved land of Mudrana from the Unweaver.

In the Literary Festival there were Region Tours to Fallen Sands and San Mora, as well as Fantasy Writing Prompts, Open Mic and Seanchai Library. There was also a delightful session with Morgen Rich, focusing on how to move from roleplay to being an author.

Opal Flight held three performances: The Night Theater, Misfit Dance & Performance Art and The Monarchs. DJ Madonna made Faire Folk dance at The Lilypads party in Mudrana, and DJ Holocluck Henly entertained the Faire Folk later on the deck of The FaireChylde.

Today is Tolkien Day! Today we are celebrating the work of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, who in many ways is among the founders of fantasy literature as we understand it today. Fantasy Faire owes him a great debt, for surely we would not exist in this shape and form without his imagination and vision.

We will have a series of Literary Festival events at The Hill, as is fitting, including Seanchai Library’s readings from Tolkien 1 – 2 PM and A Walk through Middle Earth 7 – 8 PM. The Fantasy Writing Prompts 10 – 11 AM also relocate to The Hill for today, only Stories from Rosehaven 4 – 5 PM stays in Kakushi Pasu.

There is also An Unexpected Party at The Hill 2 – 4 PM! It begins with a Seanchai Library reading of the party chapters from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, followed by a proper party with DJ Vasa Vella. Come join us at The Hill!

The LitFest Region Tours will travel to The Hill 12 PM – 1 PM, 5 – 6 PM and 8 – 9 PM. The tours gather in Kakushi Pasu first before venturing forth.

In Opal Flight we have two dance performances to delight you: La Coquette Cabaret 6 – 7 PM and The Monarchs 8 – 9 PM.

The roleplay in the Fairelands takes place in four different Fairelands: 10 AM – 12 PM Ynys Seamaide at The Spirit Pool, 12 – 2 PM Outbreak at San Mora, 2 – 4 PM The Lilypods at Mudrana, 4 – 6 PM Sanctuary at Raven’s Perch There’ll also be a Roleplay Class at Fallen Sands 10 – 11 AM.

The DJs rock the party ship The FaireChylde with DJ Elrik Merlin 1 – 3 PM and DJ ColeMarie Soleil 7 – 9 PM, and in between the two DJ Vasa Vella joins An Unexpected Party at The Hill 3 – 5 PM for Tolkien Day celebrations!

Check either Calendar of Events or Faire Happenings for daily event details!

Fantasy Faire has relayed L$ 4,457,535 ($ 17,144) by the end of the sixth day of the Faire. Keep up the fantastic work, Faire Folk!

The Fantasy Faire 2017 is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors: Abstract Soul, [ Aleutia ], AviewTV, Building Daydreams, Dandelion Daydreams Factory, Dark Unicorns of Lovelace, Dragon Magick Wares, DRD, Epic Toy Factory, Faida, Fallen Gods Inc., Kei Spot, Little, Big Designs, The Looking Glass, The Lost Unicorn Gallery, MacMoragh an Gabha, meadowWorks, Merchants of Dreams, The NeoVictoria Project, OtherSkin, Poliak’s Emporium, Rivendale, Roawenwood, Ruins of Xenark RP Community, Sanctuary RP Community, Satyr’s Moon, Silvan Moon Designs, Solarium, Spyralle, Steelwood, TIS Club Equipment and Animations, Titans, Velvet Whip and Vengeful Threads.

The Hill – picture by Alisaundra Andel

More News From The Lilypods at Mudrana: April 25th

Tuesday April 25th
Dogstar’s Ritual

After the Lilypods found the Sunrise Fish, many of them rested well that evening knowing what would be needed of them the next morning. But one child must always stay awake to keep the Godfrog awake as well.

Brinley the Lilypod was enjoying her evening, talking with Faire goers and keeping her dress from being eaten by passing deer when she visited Strifeclaw’s prison. There dark spirits spoke to her alone.

The Spirits Talk_001

They asked her why the children were fighting so hard for a land that had taken them so mysteriously, almost kidnapping them all.

The Spirits Talk_003

Before the taunting spirits departed they issued a dark threat, that their continued actions would provoke the Unweaver and they had other Guardians who could suffer as Strifeclaw had now.

The Spirits Talk_004

‘I don’t want this land to dry up and die!’ Brinley said defiantly. The Spirits departed and Lilypod left in a fury. She shared the warning, but neither she or the other Lilypods were to be detered from their actions.

We're ready

When the Lilypods, their allies, and caring Fairelanders arrived to help them, Dogstar cast his ritual on the Sunrise Fish.

Dogstar's Ritual

And Dogstar shouted to all present,
“THIS STONE HOLDS A TRUTH! ITS SECRETS HELD WITHIN! ONLY YOU CAN CRACK THE STONE AND FREE THE HIDDEN STORY!”

Signs of hope

“IT IS UP TO YOUR GOOD SPIRITS TO POWER THE WOADING I PLACE UPON THE STONE!”

Almost there

“YOUR ENERGY, YOUR GIVING , YOUR BRILLIANTLY BRIGHT SPIRIT WILL ENERGISE THE STONE, AND WITH IT CRACK OPEN AND FREE WHATS HIDDEN WITHIN!”

Now to break it

IT IS UP TO YOU! I CAN DO NO MORE HERE

And he left us there to fill the stone with good will, charity, and cheer and the charity was great this day for 120,200 L was given by the end!

Freed Spirit(1)

The great stone fish cracked and the spirit bearing a truth was freed! It told how the Pook had tricked the boy into being eaten by the fish and was lost inside trapped for all eternity.

Even now it will repeat its tale about how the Pook, disguised as the frog tricked the mother into being his servant and turned into a Prince, but the tale ended as the mother found the precious gem he had gone in search of.

The Next part of the Story

The children believe they need to find that lost gem now in order to find the next peice of the story. Remembering their trapped guardian they rushed to see if the ritual had freed them as well.

Beryl's free but...

Her prison had broken open, but the Guardian herself was nowhere to be found. Was she taken prisoner, or was she truly angry with the children? This would be questions for tomorrow, as well as the search for the Sunrise Gem that would take them beyond the borders of Mudrana to all the Fairelands!

A RFL of SL Event