Fantasy Faire 2011 - Day 4 Dark Mirage

4/5/11  at 5:48 PM
Despite two sim crashes, problems with SL at large, and a tornado in my backyard, day 3 of the Faire has raised over L$250,000.  Also, we learned a few things; Evie can bring in the bucks even when her sim is offline; Saffia looks smashing as a Mer even in leg irons (tail irons?);  The Captain has the Lindens on speed dial;  And there is no challenge we can't meet working together.  Yeah, we knew that last one already.  You all prove it everyday.  This is Relay. And its what making a difference looks like. - Zander Greene, Friends Fighting Cancer
Yesterday as we were exploring the dark secrets of the Forest of Shadow, Saffia Widdershins was being clapped in irons and jailed. I am very pleased to tell you all that she is not only free and at large once again, but that her generous friends raised 50,000 L$ to secure her release by the jailers. Today, as she celebrates her freedom, we move on to the desert delights of Dark Mirage.

Dark Mirage
(http://slurl.com/secondlife/Dark%20Mirage/192/128/22)
Photos by Judith LeFevre
The sun is rapidly sinking towards the horizon as we step barefoot onto the cracked sandstone roads, warm to the touch as their captive heat is released into the cooling night air. We have entered Dark Mirage, at the North East corner of this ring of eight Fantasy Faire sims. Themed around a mystical arabian city, this sim, built and landscaped by its sponsors, The Looking Glass, Marcus Inkpen & Sharni Azalee, evokes an atmosphere of sensual, warmth and mysterious charm. The pathway tracks around the edge of this corner sim covering three side and all but encricling the broad lake at the middle of which stands the stunning landmark tower in brillant orange and gold. If you can set your windlight preset to any evening setting. Night time is spectacular but the town itself becomes so dark as to be lost in shadow; a fading evening sun gives a deep shadow and warm romantic atmosphere. Desert sunset was used in the images shown here.


The stores here are held in individual buildings each in theme with the arabian feel. More than any of the sims before you get the impression of uniqueness that is inherent in the nature of such cities in the real world and captured so well here. I would no be surprised to look again and find that they are no as unique as I felt, but the sim is assembled so expertly that reuse and duplication is not evident and the entire place is pulled tightly together in a strong pervasive theme.

Amongst the many merchants we find gorgeous body art, AOs and animations, glorious gowns and sensual silks. As you head east along the top edge of the map your eyes are drawn across the lake. A delightfully dilapidated fountain gushes water in an overgrown scrub garden, and two beasts of burden, the camel and the donkey stand watching you as you walk by.
High above you as you reach the corner of the map is a floating platform, known as the obsevatory, I could find no way to reach it without flying but it is worth rising up to. Up on the platform, you are afforded magical views for as far as your Draw Distance can let you see. when you have had your fill of the landscape you can step inside a bedouine tent. Here you can sit upon luxurious cushions and relax, mesmerised by the centre piece of the observatory, a giant crystal ball that swirls with magical colours.


Back down on the ground we head south in to the centre of the town. Here we find the arrival point for those who teleport in and of course the wonderful three storey home of The Looking Glass.
To either side sit the feature designers and it was there, in the Sa-eela store that I found the highlight, the finishing touch. Every arabian town needs its market place and here inside an authentic arab building is an authentic indoor souq. You can smell the incense and spices, hear the hubub of negotation as the merchants haggle with their customers.
Turning the next corner I was struck by the view out over the lake to the tower. The corner plot, in which a lantern lit tree, surrounded by cushions, welcomes the weary travellers to rest a while, affords a wonderful view out towards the lake and the tower framed by the buildings to each side.
As you pass westwards, towrds the inner edge of the ring of sims, more unique architectural treats are found. I loved the De La Soul building with heavy velvet drapes in particular. And so finally, we find ourselves at the end of the path. Beyond to the south we glimpse the tanalising rusty hues of Nemo Revisited, but more of that tomorrow....

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