Free textures are always great, and there are some great Linden-made sets available for you to use in your creations at the Linden Home Infohubs. Plus, you can have a lot of fairy-chasing fun at one of the Infohubs, and wander around a truly stunning two-sim build at another. What more could you want from a few hours of exploring?
Hop behind the cut! (And be warned: I have a lot of pics for you, so click the link and go make a cup of tea or something while it loads *g*)
We begin at the Meadowbrook Linden Home Infohub.
Meadowbrook homes are clean and modern with lots of shaded wood and soft metals. Click the panel in front of you to buy the free texture set. The Infohub is a good example of the kind of textures in the pack:
Next, we head to the Tahoe Linden Home Infohub. Again, click the panel for the free textures:
Tahoe homes are all about the wood. Cosy log cabins and A-frames and lots of colours to choose from:
Now we go to the Elderglen Linden Home Infohub. You’ll find the free textures panel in front of the large building in the middle of the sim. Watch out for those brooms!
Elderglen features faerie and wizard homes. If you’re into the fae or magical folk, or even if you like hobbits, these are the textures for you:
There’s a lot more to be had at the Elderglen Infohub, but let’s get the final pack of textures before we focus on that.
I’ve saved the best until last. Shareta Osumai Linden Home Infohub is a truly awesome two-sim build that takes you on a wonderfully-built journey in several directions. The texture pack is at the landing point:
Shareta Osumai is Japan at its finest. Lush, handpainted wooden walls and tatami.
Now for the fun bit!
Looks like he had to leave in a hurry, because he left his crates of booze behind! Click a bottle for something to drink ;)
Here’s the big Iron Forge at Elderglen. Not much to do here, except admire the great building:
Dodge around the graveyard (watch out for the spiders!) and you can sneak into the Wizard’s Castle. Mar found a spell book…
You can pick up a free wizard’s hat and staff here, too. The other thing that Mar’s carrying will be explained shortly *g*
And here it is: the fabulously-fun fairy-catching jar! Pick one up for free inside the main Infohub building and wear it. You’ll be carrying it under one arm, like Mar is in the picture above:
Now head outside and look for fairies. You’ll spot them bobbing around all over the place (they might look like glowing cubes until the initial textures have rezzed):
What you have to do is get very close to them. If you see one far away, tap-tap-hold the forward arrow on your keyboard to run up to it, then release and press it again to walk into the fairy, then watch what happens:
You’ll get one mighty pissed-off fairy (make sure your speakers are switched on!) and after a bit of… activity, your annoyed fairy will give you something…
Wings! There are lots of different colours to collect, so if you’re a fan of wings you definitely should have a go at fairy-catching!
For those without a place to unpack boxes, head through the main building and out back you’ll find a small sandbox with a 30-minute return time.
(Newbies, this means you can rez stuff here and it won’t be returned to you for 30 minutes, which is plenty of time to unpack things. Each box will remain there until 30 minutes after the time that you rezzed it, so don’t think you can only stay there for half an hour. It is polite, though, to pick up after yourself, no matter where you go, so get into that good habit now.)
Remember those spiders I’ve been warning you about? Yeah… stay away from them O_o
Well, Mar escaped the clutches of the mini-Shelob, and after that sheÂ was in need of some, er, relief:
*legs it inside and slams the door*
(This is another place where having sounds on will have you rolling with laughter *g*)
Phew! Well, after that Mar headed inside the main building to soothe her soul with a bit of music. Anyone with an interest in Medieval or Renaissance history will love the free lute with playing pose that you can pick up here; it’s a great roleplaying or photo prop!
Wander around outside for a bit and you’ll find the Curiosity Shop. If you missed the goodies elsewhere you can find a lot of them here, absolutely free!
Everything in here is free. Wands, candles, incense, spell books, crystals and crystal balls, wizard staffs, bubbling bowls of… something!
Skulls and potions, mushroom lamps and – in case you missed it – the fairy-catching jar:
Finally, as you wander around Elderglen, keep an eye on your chat. You might just see something mysterious whispering to you, and if you do, then look around. A portal to the new Linden Realms game may just have opened up nearby, and if it has… you’re in for a lot of fun (although you will need a mesh-enabled viewer to see it all).
Aaaand that’s the faeries dealt with. On to the real stunner: Shareta Osumai!
This place deserves attention to your Windlight settings. The orange-tinted pictures that I took here make use of one of the Elysium Eilde settings, which you can find on Strawberry Singh’s Windlight download page.
There’s less fun stuff at Shareta Osumai, but you can still pick up some lovely freebies here. Most of all, you should explore and admire the wonderful setting. In my opinion, this is one of the best Linden builds that exists. Kudos to the Moles that created it :)
From the central building you can go left or right. Do take both paths, because each one leads into gorgeous areas:
An inviting staircase. Talk about drawing the eye…
It leads you into the pretty little Mole Temple. I loved the frescoes high on the walls! The candlesticks and vases and flowers are all free to copy or buy in here:
Moving a little further up the path we come to a building where you can pick up your own free little cricket in a cage!
Leaving the building, if your graphics card will handle it, set your draw distance way out to 512m. It’s worth waiting for everything to rez:
Inside another building along your way you’ll find free fans, parasols, and masks that you can either rez in your home or wear:
It’s when you find views like this that Windlight truly comes into its own. This was taken using one of the Elysium Eilde presets:
The same preset, as we look down into the area where the actual Linden Homes are:
The view across just one of the Linden Homes sims around Shareta Osumai:
The buildings are beautiful, and I love the way they’re laid out. If I had a Linden Home I would definitely have one in this area:
With draw distance way out, looking back across at the Infohub from the Linden Homes area:
The second route out of the large building at the landing area will take you to the gardens. Just inside, if you wait by the sign, you can get a Mole rickshaw ride around the sim!
He’s a tad on the slow side (wouldn’t you be, if you were lugging that thing around all day?) but his rickshaw seats two and it’s a great way to see the sim. A possible nice, romantic spot, too, for those with proposals in mind ;)
Hop off when you get to the big pagoda in the middle of the gardens, because damn is this an incredible piece of building that deserves a closer look! The undersides of the roof section are just sublimely good. I wish I could build like that!
Cammed out to view the whole thing:
The pretty little pond (another romantic spot!) by the pagoda:
I spotted these lovely little windchimes everywhere, but they weren’t for sale :(
Finally, Mar ended up at the teahouse, and this is another jaw-droppingly good example of building and texturing:
What better way to end the day? :)
These Infohubs tend to be very quiet, so if you are looking for a romantic spot to propose, or just want some faerie-catching fun on your own, you’re pretty much guaranteed not to bump into anyone. I saw the occasional avatar pop up when I was there, but in the main these regions are quiet ones.