Sunday, May 07, 2017


Fantasy Faire 2017 Experiences

The first hint I got that this year would be different from last year's Faire came with the arguments inside myself over what to play. I had, over the previous year, made four playlists I thought were suitable. After my formal assignment notice came, I realized I didn't want to play any of them.

The second hint came with a very terse private message from Oldesoul, who is the chief of the Pawlice. This was an induction notice; I was now a member of the Fairelands Watch, with all the rights and so forth attending thereunto. "You been nice to da Mary," the note said in an apparent offer of explanation whose cryptic nature mystified both me and the person whom I thought to be "da Mary."

The third hint arrived more like an official messenger with a brass band. A few days before the  Faire opened I'd done some experiments that led to the creation of a set of textures I thought some people might find useful. I sent test versions to some friends, who liked the idea. I was in the process of polishing the kit as a Hunt gift when talk in the Fantasy Faire chat turned to when people would be able to load in their stores.
"If I had more than one product, I'd get a store," I said. My thought was mainly to support the Faire.
"What's your product?" I was asked by two people.
"A set of textures for covering a large area without repeats."
"You can set it up in my store."

No more hints were needed. We did load-in at the store on Tuesday and the Faire opened Thursday. From there I simple bounced along from event to event, actions two or three steps ahead of thought, each day of the Faire.

The journey started with falling into the water. This is typical of my Second Life experience, and was a good thing as Fairelands Junction is a subtle place that rewards closer looks.

(Click on the images to see full-sized versions)

Maybe it was that initial immersion. Or perhaps the party on Wednesday before the Faire opened. Or else just being around Murasaki, who makes mermaid tail textures and shared her store with me. I realized that mer-people are beautiful and graceful. Being of a strongly utilitarian bent I've tended to stay with the hominid form, for which most Second Life infrastructure has been designed. Well, this is Fantasy Faire. Anything is possible.

Fantasy Faire brings together people who make stuff, people who build things, people who like to immerse themselves in new places, and people who buy things. I don't need much in SL, but I did need this.

Fantasy Faire also brings out, not surprisingly, role-players. I'd heard vague rumors of this, and even seen areas where role-playing took place, but had no idea how to approach it. I'd not done any role-playing since a live Dungeons and Dragons campaign  in the early 1980s. At the Faire, role-play groups set up simplified storylines and invite passersby to join in. Curious, I went to one of these that was hosted by the Steelwood group and was standing on the sidelines. I had to be close enough to see local chat. One of them sent me a  private message: "Move in closer, please, so we can get you in the pictures." I never got around to taking pictures during this, but there are images on their blog.
Steelwood Role-play day 1

Having gotten my feet wet (instead of falling in, I was invited to the shallow end of the pool) I looked up some other RP events. Murassaki had told me about the Ynys Seamaide group, and their campaign was starting just when I was available. This was an interesting story, culminating in a ceremony to drive the Elder Beings back and purify the waters of the Spirit Pool.

Fairelanders also like a good party. And any party is good in the Fairelands. Anyone hosting one of these should be prepared to cater to varied needs.

The Faire runs... well, about a week and the two flanking weekends. Sort of. Much passion goes into the creation of this and it's hard to let go. My friend Tai'lahr organized a kind of sub-finale Star Dance. This had one of my favorite moments from the Faire. I'd bought Lindens to help the cause, and was down to my last 156. I said "I have 156 Lindens left. Who'll match me into the kiosk?" I tossed the last of my cash into the kiosk, and got 6 or 7 matches... some for far more than 156 Lindens.

That was the Tuesday after the Faire's nominal Sunday closing. Someone at the Lab kept forgetting to throw the switch. On Thursday I was working on inventory when a notice came out in the Fairelands chat that... well, a very serious planning meeting was taking place in The Rose.

The Fairelands faded into the Mists, eventually. Total contribution to the American Cancer Society: Over 9 million Lindens. Total contribution to people's hearts: incalculable.
--Ktahdn Vesuvino

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