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The good news first …

It’s been decided to extend shopping at the Faire by an extra day, till midnight on Monday 29th May – that’s in case any of us have any money left!

In other news – you may have read here (or elsewhere) about the amazing Hunt that is going on at the Fantasy Faire – the Hunt for the Key of Hope.

The Key of Hope Hunt

It’s been decided (and I’m actually not surprised in view of the huge amount of traffic that the Faire has been getting) that the second part of the Hunt should be paused and re-started on May 1st (definitely an appropriately witchy day in my part of the world!).   The team behind it – the amazing Mad Peas and the awesome Fantasy Faire team have reluctantly decided that a rebuild of the systems will be needed. You can read full details here.

In the meantime, it does give Faire-goers the chance to explore the beautiful and mysterious Valley of Ish’Nar, created by Rynn Verwood, as that will be open to all until the Faire ends.

 The Valley of Ish’Nar

The Valley of Ish’Nar – photograph by Judith LeFevre

And the first part of the Hunt, which takes you across all the Faireland regions, has been extended by an extra day too – so you’ll have more chance to find all the elusive items that make up the Talisman.

The Fugitives!

The Fugitives!

More news has come in about the dangerous fugitives, rumoured to be hiding out in the Faireland – as was warned in a recent post on the Fantasy Faire blog. Now further news has come in from Steelhead, where their crimes were apparently committed.

The Marshal of Steelhead and his Deputies

The Marshal of Steelhead and his Deputies

Demetrius “Fuzzball” Ortega, Marshal of Steelhead City, has informed us that he and his deputies – the famed “nun gunnies” – were investigating an anonymous tip regarding a disturbance at the home of a Mr. Carruthers.

The Questers caught!

The Questers caught!

The Sisters and the Marshal arrived to find the……”Questers” in the house, standing over the dead body of Mr Carruthers.

They were taken in for questioning.

The arrest!

The arrest!

And that should have been that …

Except that a mysterious accomplice disguised themselves as one of the deputies, bringing the Marshal some tea.

The mysterious accomplice

The mysterious accomplice

The tea was drugged, and as the Marshal passed out, they made their escape – having previously drugged the Deputies too!

The Unfortunate Deputies

The Unfortunate Deputies

Now the Marshal says that he has received a variety of communications suggesting that these “Questers” are in the Fairelands!

The Marshal says: “If you see one of these Questers, alert the Fairelands officials. They have the facilities for holding all ne’er do wells. Above all, neither approach them yourselves, nor assist them in any way. It is quite evident that they are very dangerous criminals.”

But other people are trying to find the fugitives too …

Note on the Quest for the Golden Prim:
There are several mysterious characters visiting the Faire with the words “Quest for the Golden Prim” or more simply the cryptic “QGP” in their titler. If you speak to them, they’ll be happy to tell you more – and they’ll share their calling cards with you too. It’s said that they’re based at the Explorers’ Club on Lotus Valley Dream – where it is rumoured that this delightful establishment is harbouring secrets of its own (as well as the ONLY washroom in the whole of the Fairelands!).

The Explorers' Club (Oriental Branch)

The Explorers’ Club (Oriental Branch)

In fact, on Saturday 27th, there will be a party at the Explorer’s Club (Oriental Branch) from 2pm – 5pm to celebrate the relaunch of the Quest for the Golden Prim. And – as the party begins, we suspect that some – at least – of the Fugitives will be safely under lock and key!

Today the defeat of the Demon Prince began. Today we passed 4 million Lindens raised. Today we saw incredible generosity, and the heaviest Sheriff’s presence in Fairelands history.Today we made history. Tomorrow…?

- Zander Greene

Yesterday, we were at peace with the world. Magnificat, elegant and serene, soothed away our weariness. Even the lag seemed to diminish.

Today we face something rather different. Laufey Markstein, owner of Trident, and creator of Crimson Fields built an epic viking landscape for last year’s Faire, his first as a sim sponsor. This year he has taken on a rather different challenge but one which seems to suit him well.

Crimson Fields by Laufey Markstein, photo by Beq Janus

Crimson Fields by Laufey Markstein, photo by Beq Janus

Crimson Fields, “The field of Oblivion” is built as a homage to Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series. On entry the skies shift to a flat low light, a vast sea of red sways before you, fringed by brown rock walls and crumbling ruins. But the eye is drawn skywards, as you resolve upon the monstrous central feature of the sim an ominous, dark, gothic tower. Standing at the edge of the walls the sea of red becomes clear, no sea at all but a vast open field of overgrown thorns and scarlet red roses.

Crimson Fields by Laufey Markstein, photo by Beq Janus

Crimson Fields by Laufey Markstein, photo by Beq Janus

We look back with fondness to the calm security of Magnificat, but we must go on, many delights await us beyond this trial. What can one do when faced with such disturbingly dark scenes? Shop, of course! Each of the ruined, crumbling buildings that line the parapet walls is a store containing the wares of one of the wonderful Fantasy Faire merchants.

Crimson Fields by Laufey Markstein, photo by Beq Janus

Crimson Fields by Laufey Markstein, photo by Beq Janus

But be warned, many of the merchants have been associated with this sim for a reason. If you love demons, Gothic  horror then this is undoubtedly the region for you. But even if those do not light your fire be sure to poke around in the ruins for some wonderful gems to suit lovers of other genres too.

Crimson Fields by Laufey Markstein, photo by Beq Janus

Crimson Fields by Laufey Markstein, photo by Beq Janus

Take a moment to observe the sim from different angles, notice how with comparatively few visual features, Laufey has managed to embody the ominous, dark nature of his theme, the barren, decrepit ruins speak of a time before now. If the dark, foreboding of Crimson Fields has unsettled you then step quickly over the border with us, for our next stop is the peaceful quiet of Evensong Woods.

Ravenshard

Ravenshard

Today’s jigsaw shows Ravenshard, the region created byMayah Parx of the Epic Toy Factory and a real visual treat with – of course – lots of chocolate!

There are many types of fantasy, but one that is often overlooked is children’s fantasy. Well, perhaps not by anyone who has read The Gruffalo five times on the trot …. then there’s Maurice Sendak …

It seemed totally in keeping with Ravenshard that I found one of my favourite designers – Cutea Benelli of Grim Bros – displaying some of her amazing range of goods in one of the fantasical crooked cottages.

Let’s do a jigsaw!

Click to Mix and Solve

Ravenshard, photograph by Judith Lefevre

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

Just like the people in the grand stories, one step at a time we are approaching something epic. A Faire five year total of $100,000 US. Now, if you’d ask me a week ago I’d have said that we might get there by the end of the RFL season in July. Now? We could be there by Sunday.  A 2013 total of $24,000 US would get us to that five year total of $100K. So. What do ya think? Sound like a goal? (Watch that total rise on a kiosk near you or at http://tinyurl.com/FF2013Total ) - Zander Greene

As we leave the forest of Fairelands Junction the light shifts, shadows slide across the ground and day turns to a subtle orange evening. We have arrived in Magnificat, sponsored by Fallen Gods and Built by Fallen Gods owner Alia Baroque. Alia has been building at the Faire since its inception 5 years ago and his creation last year “The Tides”, is one of the strongest images I retain from that year and this leaves the question, “what next?”

Magnificat by Alia Baroque

Magnificat by Alia Baroque Photo By Beq Janus

The answer is Magnificat. Where The Tides was an over the top, outrageous, fantasy rendering of a grecko-roman sea port, its brash towering statues a stand against the forces of nature, Magnificat is elegant, picturesque and if grand architecture cannot be considered understated, it is at least softly spoken.

Magnificat By Alia Baroque Photo By Beq Janus

Magnificat By Alia Baroque
Photo By Beq Janus

Magnificat will be best remembered for its oil painting-like quality, achieved in large part by the light hued stones and the soft evening lighting. Bisected by a wide river, Magnificat’s views are dominated by the yachts. Sailing noiselessly from beneath the bridge on the western border, they traverse the region, sailing into the void sea beyond where they duly vanish without a trace. For those willing to scratch beneath the surface there are surprises too.

Like so many of the regions created for Fantasy Faire, Magnificat is not just a themed build. It is too easy to consider that the stunning visuals are simply the work of a talented builder and to miss the metaphorical content. Each of the regions has its theme and its inspirations drawn from cultural history, from literature and art and very often they carry a message and it is the power of the Fairelands that people find both common and personal messages in the layers of the builds.

Magnificat's hidden charm. Photo By Beq Janus

Magnificat’s hidden charm. Photo By Beq Janus

Amid the bustle of business and the hectic hunting, people find a poignancy that speaks to them. Magnificat has poignancy in spades, there is something distinctly calming, cathartic even about watching the graceful yachts slide into oblivion to be replaced, renewed once more beneath the bridge.

I cannot tell you that Alia surpassed The Tides in creating Magnificat, they are not directly comparable in such mundane terms. I can tell you that Magnificat is a worthy successor to The Tides and a tribute to the creator, Alia Baroque.

Reluctantly we must move on, there are many regions yet to visit. Our next destination will feel very different, we will be exploring Laufey Markstein’s, Stephen King inspired, Crimson Fields.

Bobbekins eBook

Tony Dyson, well-known as the creator of R2-D2, the much loved robot from Star Wars, has long been working in Second Life (and real life) with Chantal Harvey, one of the most talented machinimatographers in virtual worlds. Together they are launching a series of kid’s e-Books with advanced animation, “BobbekinWorld”.

The e-Books combine video, music and still images of cute little characters called Bobbekins, more interactive than ever before, taking full advantage of new media – including Second Life – to create some engaging stories that children really love.  Chantal and Tony believe that digital books at this moment fail to take advantage of the full potential of the new digital readers. Even young children find digital readers easy to use and enjoy apps that are designed for them (I have a very young friend who loves to do jigsaws with me on my iPad, for example!).

Tony and Chantal believe that children expect to engage all their senses, when they are being presented with a storyline or teaching exercise. In addition, educators have found an enormous success ratio in the principle of not only engaging all the senses of a child, but also in motivating their imagination in a passionate way, that can only lead to the child developing a sense of wonder and encouraging their questioning mind. “We are looking for a reaction, in the magic words: but why? What does that mean? Our publications are designed to provoke,” they say.

To develop this project, they have turned to  Indiegogo.

“Over the last 2 years, we have invested a considerable amount of money and time in this project. It has been very difficult to stay independent. We know that if we sell to the large publishers too early, we will most definitely lose control over matters we find very important and are close to our heart. We now need to market and develop the full range of e-Books and printed material. At Indiegogo we have the perfect opportunity not only to pre-sell our publications, but to also offer exciting bonuses to families and teachers who share and appreciate our concept.”

You can find out more at:
Indiegogo project:  http://netdreamer.com
Website:  http://netdreamerpublications.com
Fanpage:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bobbekinworld/137238533106251
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bobbekinworld

Dragon over Lumenaria

Dragon over Lumenaria

If Crimson Fields, which I featured in yesterday’s jigsaw, represents a darker, complex side to fantasy, today’s region of Lumenaria represents fantasy at its most joyous.

Kayle Matzerath, its creator, is endlessly and seemingly effortlessly talented – as witness the amazing range of Dreamscenes he creates at Garden of Dreams, or last year’s awesome desert landscape at Fantasy Faire, with its huge sand fountains.

But this year he has created a beautiful fairytale city – although like a Pixar animated movie in its perfection. It’s the sort of town the disguised Prince rides into of his way to claim the beautiful Princess in the castle – and the celebrations will see these cobbled streets hung with even more bunting and filled with jovial and loyal citizens, having a good time.

Lumenaria, photographed by Judith LeFevre

Lumenaria, photographed by Judith LeFevre

But perhaps the most remarkable thing about this region is that – thanks to Kayle’s cunning mesh builds, the land impact (before the traders came in) was a mere 2,000. Yes, one could have six of these towns on a single region, and still have room for some furniture.

Perhaps it was this roominess that encouraged the dragon (created by Rynn Veerood) to fly in … and Wildstar Beaumont to take this lovely picture!

Click to Mix and Solve

Dragon over Lumenaria, photographed by Wildstar Beaumont

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Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).

If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.

 

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