Fantasy Faire 2023 – Szystrum Synod

In the foreground can be seen the back of a woman's head with long white hair in ponytails. She appears to be gazing up at a sky filled with bright stars, glowing nebula and perhaps nearby galaxies. Parts of a large stonework can be seen at the edges of the view.

Today I managed to explore the Szystrum Synod region in some detail. I walked the loop starting from the Dingir entrance.

Sponsor: ContraptioN
Designer: Walton F. Wainwrigth & Victor Eton

A distant view of the entirety of the Szystrum Synod region. Large, planer structures fill the foreground while in the middle, a great open structure tower rises. The light is bluish and dim.

There’s an amazingly detailed story behind the Szystrum Synod region. Machines whose makers are gone and forgotten have become sentient, spiritual beings. The region I’m wandering here is but one artificial moon amongst the worlds colonized by them. There’s much much more in the designer’s notes.

A woman with long white hair in a white medieval style dress with black trim stands in a stone plaza. A series of tented stone arches curve behind her. Above her is a clear dark sky, dense with stars, filament like nebula, and perhaps other galaxies.

Where sky in Dingir looked fractured and broken, with weak and distant stars, the sky here in Szystrum Synod is alive. It looks down as an active presence, a part of the world. It glows. It scintillates. Great glowing nebula, star clusters and galaxies dominate the heavens. Occasional shooting stars arc aver the citadels of the city.

A view down from the top of a gigantic machine. Many nested rings swing in circles within each other. At the center is a glowing amber orb around which fragments of a sphere move. Around the edges, massive pillars support the structure. Between some are models of planets.

In the center of the complex is enormous machine. Is it a generator, one of the artificial bodies, just a huge orrery of some kind? Each of the seven houses’ pillars is surmounted by the image of a planet. They have familiar looks to them. Are our distant descendants the ones who abandon their machines in the future?

All the builds I’ve seen so far at Fantasy Faire 2023 have been great. (When are they ever otherwise?) But this one is my fave to date. The aetherpunk aesthetic is strong and consistent throughout. The EEP settings and lighting make everything look just gorgeous. The signature builds are intriguing and fun to explore. The backstory is detailed and involving. Overall, just a big hit with me. I think I’ll move in here for the rest of the event!

As an aside, I had been thinking that the theme for this year’s Fantasy Faire must have been flat lighting. Everything I had looked at previously was made up of low saturation colours with muted flat lighting and no or few cast shadows, very low contrast. However impressive the builds, that all makes for undramatic views.

When I take pictures at these events, I try to give respect to the designers’ EEP/lighting choices. I presume they’re considered and important to the mood. But it can make the photographer’s job a challenge!


In addition to being a fab build, this is another shopping region. Shops I encountered on my path include:

  • Cryptid
  • Unity Maxim
  • Somnium
  • Level 9
  • [ k o s m ii ]
  • The Forge
  • Evil Baby
  • Constraint
  • Jane & Finch Furnishings
  • Seydr
  • Naminoke
  • Classical Cute Clothing
  • Badwolf
  • Sakka’s Studio
  • DT&T Designs
  • Kotolier
  • Aii & Ego
  • Hanzel
  • The Eschaton
  • Jintaiya
  • Raven Bell
  • Oblivius Solem
  • Cubic Cherry
  • Ghoul
  • Naberius
  • ContraptioN

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