Hephaistion ~ a virtual world sim in Second Life by Xay Tomsen
Hephaistion is located in the Palace District in northern Irukandji. Hephaistion also serves as the winter capital of the kingdom, replicating much of the infrastructure found on Irukandji's capital city, Tamita Island.
Similarly, just as Tamita Island overflowed beyond its borders into its surrounding bays, so to did Hephaistion, perhaps even moreso. The most important of these bays was Arms of Patroklos.
Like much of Irukandji, the islands had a romantic gay theme. The name Hephaistion is taken from Greek myth, as is Patroklos, for the lovers of Alexander and Achilles respectively.
More than any other two regions in the kingdom, Hephaistion and Arms of Patroklos were directly intertwined for the entirety of their lives.
For the terrain, I based Hephaistion on a 90 degree rotated .raw file of Tamita Island, with a long hilly spine and deep river, and a tall mountain peak in the west.
The peak was later reduced to low hills to better join onto the Split Rock Mountain sim.
A tall sloping hill was then added in the northeast to provide a long runway to compliment the smaller airstrip on faraway Minoan Atolls. The runway was soon moved again to neighbouring Crystal Atolls, where the flat terrain better suited large aeroplanes.
The Odin River weaved through Hephaistion, which was also well connected to the Trans Irukandji Causeway via Valkyrie Shoals, Arms of Patroklos, and Split Rock Mountain.
Clockwise from west, sims adjoining Hephaistion were Split Rock Mountain, Byron Bay, Arms of Patroklos (later Palace Lagoon), Valkyrie Island, Valkyrie Shoals, Nouvelle Kiribas, Baie de Citron, and Crystal Atolls.
Late 2007 and early 2008 were the absolute halcyon days in Irukandji and especially on the island of Hephaistion.
It was a hugely fun sim, with the popular Lava Club, large shopping mall with several outside retailers, and a dozen rental houses that enjoyed high occupancy. The winter palace that I constructed on the hill was a beautiful build as well.
Visitor numbers soared and it was obvious that Hephaistion was now firmly entrenched as Second Life's 'Gay Central'. Those visitors bought land on surrounding islands, and it was clear that I needed to look to the future.
With a marketer's eye, I decided that I needed to capitalise on the gay market, yet simultaneously create a non-threatening environment for mainstream visitors as well.
My solution was to give Hephaistion a complete makeover and rename it Boyfriend Beach - ugh, in hindsight, but the change proved popular.
The second part was to create a 'straight-themed' estate to the northwest, which I named Jillaroo. Both have their own stories to tell, which you can read about on their individual pages.
Below you will find a few extra photographs of Hephaistion. If you would like to explore more of the Irukandji continent, you can also check out the main Islands of Irukandji page.
Andrew Thompson a.k.a. Xay Tomsen
Hephaistion Photo Gallery