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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 | 2013 | 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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!
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:
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!
Azlyn Vaher, the creator and owner of Yasum Design, sponsors the Faire for the first time. She shares with us her reasons to support Relay For Life and her sources of inspiration.
This is your first year sponsoring Fantasy Faire. What made you decide to become a sponsor?
I finally had the chance to be a part of this awesome event and I was more then flattered to be chosen as a sponsor. It’s a good event …I love sponsoring events where we can make a little change in these not so easy times. All those who are so fortunate to not fight that horrid illness, should use at least some of their energy to attend events like this. It’s a humble way of being grateful and showing that sometimes the world has to revolve around others.
How did you begin building in Second Life? What inspires you to create?
I began with a small cube back in 2008…. I guess I am one of the few that went through all the changes that SL fashion went through in the past eight years. And what inspired me? Hahahhaaha… I wanted to wear a pouch on a camisk belt, so I started with one of my best friends Roy Agrawal, and never stopped.
What calls you to fantasy? When was the first time you encountered the genre and realized you enjoyed it?
Well in RL I am pretty much a person that styles herself in Medieval streetwear. At one time I had “Steampunk meets Streetwear” written all over my designs. I try to do that with the Medieval wear too. Most of my stuff you are able to wear in a club too. *winks* All in all I guess I have a heart for antique and fantasy stuff…
Do you have a favourite Faire memory? What are you looking forward to most this year?
Pretty much simply raising money to fight the illness that:
>Takes Moms away from their kids
>Makes daughters cry over the loss of their dad
>Stops the tears in the eyes of children, who don’t understand why their hair is falling out and have to think about if there is a heaven above.
All in all, I am looking forward to hundreds of SL Creators trying to make a change once more.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Azlyn! Thank you for bringing your magic to the Fairelands!
Haveit Neox, the world builder of Sapphire Mirror Lake, shares with us the story of this beautiful world full of art and entertainment. He talks about his other art projects, shares stories of centaurs, reveals the soundtrack of Sapphire Mirror Lake and how it has been like dancing in one of the shows!
You have now been involved in the building of Fairelands for three years. Has the process of creating changed in this time, or your experience as a world-builder?
Color, and lots of it – I would say is a significant change. In many of my exhibits, I often tint in the family of browns, with accents of other colors. For Sapphire Mirror Lake however, it’s the reverse. Vivid color dominates the scenes. I’ve used variations of blues and reds in most of the figures, and in the underwater scene. For the festival around the giant centaur skeleton, I went wild with the child-like primary palette of yellow, red and blue. Secondary colors are also present there, but the main impact is delivered by the primary colors for a joyful toy-like aura. My friend Lilia Artis is a big influence there, always encouraging me on for more color. Hope I haven’t gone overboard! Another change is in the increase of mesh. The majority of builds on the sim are new and made for their unveiling at Fantasy Faire.
How was Sapphire Mirror Lake born? What inspired it, what is its story?
Sapphire Mirror Lake falls into a recurring theme for many of my builds where I focus on centaurs; a mythical creature begging for an appearance at Fantasy Faire. Practically speaking in terms of sim development, I keep a large area around the stage clear so that the performers have ample room to construct large sets if they need. In this way, I spaced the colorful islands of buildings sparsely around the sim as points of interest for visitors to enjoy and explore between performances. To fill out the wide open lake, I chose the mirror water to reflect the buildings trailing across the surface. The water setting also offers just the right amount of murk under the lake. The sky setting illuminates the figures, yet gives a hint of shadow effect. Under the lake is where the builds are more densely packed as they do not conflict with the stage. But how do you get there? The mirror is a magical layer of sapphire stones shielding the waters of the lake. To access the blue world, you must go to either of the two gateways, found on different parts of the sim. Just look for archways with stairs that lead into the water. One is in the archway under the theater. The other is at the Sea Temple where you find musicians. They safely take us below the surface of the lake. By descending the mirror, we travel to another time and dimension, into the realm of the centaurs.
On the first warm day of Spring every year, the people at Sapphire Mirror Lake indulge in a week of festivals and rituals, when they reconstruct an Iron Age skeleton of what we may call today a mythical beast: the centaur. It is said the secrets of a powerful lost technology are locked in their bones. If the worshipers succeed at reconstructing the skeleton in an exact, prescribed manner, one may hear the bones singing out the knowledge of an extraordinary past. To this day, the exact prescription has not yet been met. This year, the specimen is gargantuan in size, but will it sing?
What is new in your Second Life, what have you been up to the last year?
My LEA exhibit “City Inside Out” had its closing event in June last year. I made a film about the installation, which was one of my more interactive and complex pieces (see the video here). Later I set up an exhibit at Wolves Land and a full sim exhibit at Berg by Nordan Art. Lilia Artis and I made a couple machinima together for the University of Western Australia (see the video here). Recently, Lilia and I also collaborated on a piece for the Spring 2016 Art Show presented by Windlight Magazine. As you might have noticed, we have worked together on a variety of projects. I am very appreciative for her talented assistance and production of her own work in the preparation for this year’s Fantasy Faire with building, textures, and writing. We work very well together as a team.
I couldn’t help but notice centaurs in Sapphire Mirror Lake, and I remember them from the Palace of Tears as well. What is their story?
I built two adjoining sims which share a common culture, Sparquerry and ACC Alpha. Since 2010, they have been the abode of centaurs, clearly evidenced in the architecture of both sims. The temple at Sparquerry has a generous number of centaurs affixed to its tower. Another place centaur enthusiasts may enjoy is Centaurs’ Hall on the Verdigris sim. The large palace is filled with their culture. As you might have guessed, Lilia Artis helped me with that build too! Accompanying the buildings at Sapphire Mirror Lake are texts written in their language, which visitors may have seen engraved into the walls and written in books. It is not only a visual cue, the centaur language is actually functional, and has meaning. Because I have this ongoing history, it is a theme that shows up frequently in my exhibits. I met Lilia Artis in 2010, at a time when there were only a couple centaurs on the sims. She loved them and suggested making more, to fill out a story for the sims based on these marvelous mythical creatures. We are both artists in real life, and she is also an author, so I took her advice enthusiastically, and the rest is history!
Little bird told me that you are a part of the Misfits dance performances! Tell us about it, how did that start, how has that been like, when are the shows?
Oh, you know that little bird too JenzZa invited me to perform with her Misfits troupe in the finale piece “No Alice”. I first saw her troupe’s wonderful performance at Fantasy Faire last year, and jumped at the invitation. I’ve never done this kind of thing before, so this is a fun venture to see the audience from the stage. As of my writing this answer, there still remain two more shows at Fantasy Faire by the Misfits: Friday and Saturday at 5 pm SLT . In this performance, I am a playing card, and am thankful that regardless of my inexperience, JenzZa’s programming and the kind aid of the Misfits guiding and looking after me, will guarantee I don’t trip over my pointy socks. Please, no autographs
Do you listen to music when building? Do your works have theme songs, does Sapphire Mirror Lake have one?
I listen to music about half the time while building, especially toward the final stages when the essence of the piece starts taking on the look I was after. There are many kinds of music I listen to. The most frequent is European classical music, and various Asian classical forms, perhaps most frequently Southern Asian and South East Asian pieces. Rhythm, complex rhythm; Indian ragas, African drums, Balinese drums with their melodious metallic percussion, gongs and chimes… they all excite my imagination. While putting together the ritualistic scenes for Sapphire Mirror Lake, I listened quite a bit to the traditional performances of Kathakali dance from Southern India. I can watch for hours, always intrigued by this dance form of the face, and hands. It is a stylized kind of artistic sign language, with great control and attention to the eyes and facial muscles. The body movements are exacting, distinguished and graceful, but there is also a casual naturalness which makes the dancers seem like our neighbors. I love this extraordinary contrast. If I want to get hypnotized, I watch and listen to Kathakali. This is one of my favorites.And here is a piece of Indonesian music that fits the sim very well.
What are you looking forward to most this year in the Faire?
Performances! Writing venues! Fantasy Faire Radio! The HUNT! The array of events! Touring around the Fairelands! Receiving visitors! Seeing the blogs and videos! Reading the tally of donations for RFL at the end of the Faire! And lots more! These are a few of my favorite things I learned recently that there are 500 participating organizers and creators bringing Fantasy Faire to life. My hat is off to all of these folks who sat dedicated on their 500 chairs, with their 500 computers, 500 mice, 150,000 cups of coffee, tea, water, and green juices, 1,873 accidental spills on 500 keyboards, and the thousands of hours of obligatory lost sleep, coupled with the thrill of participating in something of great value. I am grateful to all of you in the supportive and friendly Fantasy Faire team who keep the Fairelands running smoothly. Thank you for the interview Sonya. I certainly include that in the list! And shopping, of course!
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Haveit! Thank you for bringing magic into the Fairelands!