Words By Beq Janus
Pictures By Judith Lefevre
Outworld Physicists speak of Emergent Properties: the arising of complex systems and patterns out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Fairelanders know this phenomenon well. Favorite Emergent Property of the 2012 Faire? Four words. Spontaneous Tinies Drumming Circles. Funniest. Thing. Ever. Full stop.
[Day 3 Faire total? $10,201.] Tinies…..hehehe
– Zander Greene, Friends Fighting Cancer
Day 4 of Fantasy Faire 2012 and we stand at the edge of the Candy filled delights of Jungle Bungle looking out into the bright surreal surroundings of Meandervale.
Meandervale is the creation of Marcus Inkpen and Sharni Azalee, of The Looking Glass
, who are also the sim sponsors. You may well recall their arabian influenced region from Fantasy Faire 2011, Dark Mirage
The ground here is dry and cracked, tall grasses sprout out from the cracks and yet a crystal clear stream threads through the shattered islands of the region. Stone buildings with implausibly high windows line the pathway. Perhaps we are in some magically drought plagued medieval village?
But all about us giant fruit lies half buried in the ground, chocolate dipped strawberries, grapefruit, apples, a spilled cart load of plums.
Fascinating windmills, whose sails are butterflies turn majestically in the wind, Implausible flora and fauna abound; the whole place is so real and yet somehow twisted and unreal, a surreal dream scene where the probable morphs into the improbable as you look more closely.
A grinning Sharni, is listening as we mull over the sim.
“Excellent then it worked, ” she says with a smile. “We wanted it to be real enough that it made you connect but surreal enough that it made you think and escape.”
The sim runs east west but to follow the path religiously would be to miss some of the highlights of this sim.
On the banks of the stream grow electric lightbulb plants, glowing softly by twinkling waterside. Nearby, tucked away from the main path, a small field of rocking horses graze quietly, rocking foals and their parents all ride-able.
Using the bridges that link this fractured land you can cross between the islands and away in the centre find a giant bee hive sat amongst a cluster of sunflowers stretching skywards. I would not like to get caught stealing honey!
A creaking sound from the water alerts you to someone approaching. Looking up you see an old oak tree with butterflies for leaves in a small row boat.
There is an interesting contrast to be seen between the Fantasy of Mayah Parx’s Jungle Bngle and that of Marcus and Sharni. A contrast that to me captures some of the essential attraction of the Fantasy Faire. Mayah’s fairy tale, almost cartoon-like fantasy is completely different in style and execution to Marcus and Sharni’s realistic, yet improbable, dream scene. The Fantasy Faire draws its creators and its energies from a broad spectrum of styles and influences and crunches them together as one.
“I think that is the beauty of Fantasy Faire, the organisers just let us run free and we are all so different so it so much fun to see what we all come up with at the end. We wanted to go lighter and more fun this year, show a different side to our creativity and I hope people find that here.”
We are not yet half way through the Faire and already we have seen 3 very different fantasy settings. We are approaching the end of this region now, feeling a little healthier for the honey and fruit after the chocolate debauchery of the preceding day. In Second Life I am regularly left in awe of the creativity around us, creativity that springs from the fun of the process.
“I love building for Fantasy Faire and RFL, it’s our favourite time of year. Not only that but the connections between the organisers and builders is truly magical.”
This feeling is something that will continue to echo through these posts as we hear from other builders and designers. The Faire is special, it is made special by the passion of those involved. Whatever your view on RFL, you cannot fault the dedication of the many people who devote so much of themselves to the cause and the Friends Fighting Cancer are the epitome of this, their efforts show through in the quality of the event.
It is time we moved on, other fantasy delights await us, but this happy bright land has darker more ominous shadows on its borders. Tomorrow, we will visit the land of Shadow’s Claw
. Join us, please!
I have also heard a rumour, that our hard working editor is being sought by the Fairelands Sheriff! A bounty on her head,
one can only guess at the trumped up charges. Run Saffia, Run!