The Crystal Grotto

It sits in a harsh, snow-covered landscape, looking from a distance like a large block of ice. The ice is very glossy, looking almost like blue-green crystal in places. When you come closer, you can see that there is a wide opening at the front (and a smaller one, almost hidden, along one of the sides) and that the block of ice is in fact a massive grotto. But, don’t get too close, because the grotto has an inhabitant…

The new Grotto building set from Fanatik consists of 32 different building pieces and 4 additional props. They can be used to construct tunnels and grottos of all sizes and because the meshes have an outside (unlike the Cave system pieces) these can be used in places where they need to be viewed from both the outside and the inside. The set includes several examples in different sizes to give a sense of what you can create; for this photo I am using the largest sample build which is 164 prims. I also added other rocks from Fanatik (Boulders from the Land Shapes package) around it to merge it better with the landscape (created with the Islands from the Land Shapes package).

There are four rock textures included (one of them being this ice version) and seven different ground textures.  You texture via a root prim that communicates with the HUD so make sure to read the instructions for how to build these sets.

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Show No Fear

She had come to the ancient ruin, half-buried by the desert sands, to learn if the tales were true. Did a dragon of flesh and blood still roam the deep desert? The bones of such creatures, bleaches by the sun, were occasionally revealed by the shifting sands. But no man, or woman, had gazed upon a living beast for centuries.

The single pose “Hurt” from Be my Mannequin? immediately suggested to me someone looking upwards with a sense of wonder on their face. What an excellent opportunity to bring out our wyvern avatar from Prehistorica again! I had also had my eye on Zaara’s latest release and decided to appropriate it for a desert fantasy look, beautifully completed by the latest release from Stealthic, Lavish. The scene was set using the a sky landscape from Landscapes Unlimited and the Ruins kit from Fanatik.

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The Blood Wyrm

After the Fantasy Faire, one thing stuck in my head: the dragon (or, more specifically, the wyvern, since we wanted to be able to portray a Targaryen dragon properly) from Prehistorica would be a very neat avatar to have for fantasy photos. But should I wait to see if it would be released as an animesh instead of a bento avatar? I did start with the bento avatar horse from Teegle and I still think it is fantastic, but the animesh horses are easier to use for photos since they do not require me to have an alt on playing the horse. But after inquiring and learning it could be quite a while before any animesh dragons see the light of day, I decided to take the plunge and sent one of Ran’s alts shopping.

For the first outing with our new wyvern, we went to Del-ka Aedilis Laketown build, a whole town in a rezzbox. It is currently available at an introductory promo price for the whole build but the buildings will also be on sale separately soon. I definitely recommend visiting the display build, its beautifully setup. And despite what my pictures might suggest, it escaped the visit by the dragon without any fire damage or crushed roofs.

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Fantasy Faire 2021: Imraith-Nimphais

As soon as I saw the Alicorn from Teegle, I knew that once I had shown it off with its “out of the box” appearance, I would have to transform it into one of my favourite fictional equines. Imraith-Nimphais, the blood-red flying unicorn from Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Fionavar Tapestry. If you don’t know it and you love fantasy, please give it a try. Its one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching series of books that has ever been written. Those of you who have read it will know why I included a dragon in one of the shots.

The dragon, of course, is one of the amazing creations by Prehistorica: The Dawn Kingdoms, who also created the whole of the Khol Dracys sim. I don’t think actual animesh pets are for sale (alas) but it seems for display purposes they turned their dragon avatars into animesh. And now that I saw that the avatar comes in five sizes, I have to get one (unless, of course, there’s a pet version around the corner…). But dragon or wyvern? Decisions, decisions, but I think wyvern to use for some Targaryen dragon photos.

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