The Tallies

It took a little while to sort through the transactions and various spreadsheets and ensure that everything was correctly reconciled – particularly where the auctions were concerned (the silent auction for example had money coming in and flowing out across days, as people bid / were out-bit and had their payments returned, all of which had to be gone through to ensure proper refunding had occurred). We also had some late-breaking donations and support which delayed things a little. (And I also needed a bit of a break from things, to be honest!)

So, that said, here’s the final tallies for Filling the Cauldron.

On March 29th, I cleared-down the Holly Kai Park account to L$100, ready for it to be used exclusively for the Filling the Cauldron event.

Account balance clear-down ready for Filling the Cauldron

With all vendor servers switched off, final balances on auctions received and reconciled, late-breaking donation gifts and final purchases through vendors / gacha machines, the closing balance came to:

Closing balance

That’s approximately US $4,000 – which in all honesty, was far more they we’d expected to raise during the event! So, thank you to everyone who got involved in Filling the Cauldron by who purchasing goods from our Merchants, donating through the kiosks and participating in the auction or simply through buying a T-shirt pack.

For those interested, I can offer tne following broad breakdown of the total amount:

Donation Kiosks
Merchant stalls and Gachas
Total 1,041,482


Landscape 1

A Thank You from Elicio

First and foremost I have to say that here I am talking for myself. Not in my father’s or sisters’ name, I express only what I feel and think regarding this. But I am sure my sisters’ would agree on much of it, and I hope that if my father gets to read this it will give him cause to do some soul-searching of his own.

It’s a common place saying there are no words to express certain feelings.

However, many times during the last weeks I have found this to be true time and time again.

At first, during the first weeks out of the pure dread and worry over the seriousness of the situation.  And, as the days progressed, and friends, patrons and strangers started offering their support, and the Universe itself started blessing us with unlikely silver linings, I found myself short on words again to express my gratitude and pure awe.

Elicio Ember

This experience has been full of hard learning and blessings, even though there have been complications at every turn the situation could have been so much worse. And, although there is still a road to walk to “normalcy”, it is clear that without the support of you all it would have been so much harder.

Thanks to what has been gathered during the fund-raisers I can cover the credit card debt of the costly expenses of that first week hospitalization. Thanks to you all I will be able to cover his medicine expenses. Thanks to you all I will be able to cover his apartment rent expenses for a few months while he is able to give classes again. Because he indeed will be able to resume most of his normal life (though there are still some uncertain risks) with time. And that on itself is the biggest blessing.

But it’s not just about money. It’s about caring, and support. It’s about living in the flesh that what goes around comes around. I have never prided myself on being a “good” person, though I do believe in kindness, and compassion, and caring, and I have tried to express that through my work and the way I do business as best I can. And it’s not because I expected anything in return, it is because I truly believe that we can be a better persons, and the road to a better world and a more enlightened human race starts with the self.

But though this all I have learned, that as my friend Saffia quoted to me “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many day” (Ecclesiastes 11), and I have found this to be true. And for that I am deeply grateful. Thank you all for caring, thank you for helping. Either in word and funds and prayer.

You have not only helped us through a deep crisis, you have changed my life personally, for now I feel I understand better myself, I have stared my fears in the eye, and found only myself: “I must not fear.  Fear is the mind-killer.  Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.  I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”  (Dune)

And I pray my father learns this too, but as the Seeker knows, that part no one can do for oneself. I have remembered why humanity deserves a place in the Stars, with your help. I can offer you in return only my deep felt gratitude, and tell you that it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, to ask for help, and I have learned of humbleness and strength though it. I have learned that helping one that one loves is not saving them, is just helping them as much as one can, and letting them realize that so much depends on their own decisions, choices, thoughts and emotions.

I have tried to remain attentive and listen to the lessons being taught by all of you, by life, by the Universe. And I hope I will always be able to listen attentively and continue learning. And will always remember with gratitude your love and help, and will strive to honour it through action, word and thought.

Thank you for your love, your time, your work, your effort, your generosity, your creativity, your caring. Thank you to all the members and organisers of Filling the Cauldron and Ember’s Cauldron. Thank you to the performers, artists, creators, designers, bloggers, photographers, attendees, donors, dancers, participants, auctioneers, DJs, writers. Thank you to all of you.

I wish I could thank you all personally. But be sure I think of all of you, and I wish the Universe repays you thousand fold your generosity, and these seeds flourish into what we can be as a species, caring, forgiving, understanding.
Thank you.


Our Contest Winners

For filling the Cauldron, we held two contests: a photo contest and a Design a Garden contest. It’s taken slightly longer than anticipated to get the announcement of the winners together, but here they are.

In both cases, the contests were decided by a combination of a popular vote and adjudicated choices, however, in the case of the Garden contest, the overall winner was selected by Elicio himself, in recognition of the work put into the garden designs.

Photo Contest

The three winners of our photo contest are:

  • In third place: Oema Resident with this view of Cerridwen’s Cauldron. Oema wins a voucher for items from Cerridwen’s Cauldron worth up to L$750
  • In second place: Opal Lei, with a look out over the waters of Cerridwen’s Cauldron. Opal wins a voucher for items from Cerridwen’s Cauldron worth up to L$1,000
  • In first place:ErikoLeo with a magnificent 360-degree panorama of Cerridwen’s Cauldron. Eriko collects the first prize of an original piece of real world art by Elicio himself, to be delivered her in-world and in the physical world.

We will be contacting all three winners concerning their prizes. Congratulations to them all, and thank you al all who entered.

Eclair Martinek – “Garden 3”

Garden Contest

We had nine superb entries for the Garden Contest – which is also written about here – so selecting a winner was an enviable task for all concerned. In the end, however, the combination of public and adjudicated votes give us three finalists. They were:

  • Eclair Martinek – “garden 3”
  • Oscelot Haalan – “garden 8”
  • Opal Lei – “garden 9”.

These three gardens were then visited by Elicio (more than once!), who would decide the overall winner. “Oh wow….this has been a though pick. They are all so beautiful!” he told me as I joined him at the sky platform after he had made his selection. People have put so much effort on these. They are so beautiful.”

Oscelt Haalan – “Garden 8”

And his final choice?

“Garden 3” he informed me, leading me to Eclair’s garden. “It shows a lot of time and attention to detail. It is complex without becoming visually cluttered. A restrained use of the palette too…that’s difficult.”

Of the two runners-up, Elicio said this, “The Caretaker one is so lovely, it has a clear message and it moved me. And the Dragon Skull one has a very neat and orderly layout. It’s beautiful.”

And the overall winner, Eclair wins the opportunity to have her garden displayed at the Home and Garden Expo in May / June 2017 and will receive a voucher for L$5,000 to spend at Cerridwen’s Cauldron.

As runners-up, Oscelot and Opal will each receive a voucher for L$3,000 to spend at Cerridwen’s Cauldron.

Our congratulations to all three – but that’s not all. Genuinely touched by all nine gardens, Elicio said, “Also, if you make a list of all the participants, I would like to make a small L$500 gift card for each. After how generous people have been, it’s the least I can do.”

Opal Lei – “Garden 9”

So in fact all of our Gardeners are winners!

All nine gardens will remain on display at Holly Kai Park for the next week or two. If you haven’t already seen them, please do drop by the Park and click on the mirror teleport in the corner of the Welcome Gazebo and  take a ride to the sky platform.

One Million Rising!

A MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has participated in Filling the Cauldron. On Sunday, April 9th we broke the L$1,000,000 barrier in funds raised for Elicio!

This is a magnificent amount – and the kiosks will be around for a while longer, and the Marketplace is still open!

We’ll have a breakdown of the final amount raised, together with proof of transfer of funds to Elicio in the next few days, as well as at least one round-up report, which will include news on our Garden and Photo contest winners, and a look a the Live  Auction, which raised in excess of L$350,000.

In the meantime – a special THANK YOU to all who participated in FTC, who came and danced with us, spent money with our merchants, donated, took photos, blogged and helped to FILL THAT CAULDRON!

Here’s the first round of thanks yous – I’ll have some personal ones to add in my own summary post here soon 🙂

The day the Dragons came to visit

Saturday, April 8th proved a magical day for Filling the Cauldron. Not only was it our penultimate event day, but it was the day Day The Dragons Came!

It started with Seanchai Library. long-time partners and friends of Holly Kai Park and a mainstay of the Fantasy Faire Literary Festival, brought us an hour of fabulous storytelling in voice. Caledonia Skytower, Aoife Lorefield, Dubhna Rhiadra and Kayden Oconnell treated an audience of attentive listeners to a feast of tales and poems, commencing with Bilbo Baggin’s encounter with the mighty Smaug in The Hobbit and included the adventures of Toothless the Dragon and Hiccup from the How To Train Your Dragon series.

Seanchai Library (l to r): Caledonia Skytower (green dragon), Aoilfe Lorefield (pink dragon), Kayden OConnell and Dubhna Rhiadra

Our storytellers all arrived suitably garbed, with Cale and Aoife taking dragon form – albeit it in miniature! At the other end of the scale, Stranger Nightfire arrived in a truly magnificent dragon form, towering over the audience  – and most of the trees in the park!

The hour flew by, with the tales keeping everyone spellbound – and me wishing I’d recorded them! My grateful thanks to Cale, Dubhna, Aoife and Kayden for being a part of Filling the Cauldron and in helping us help Elicio.

Seanchai read and a giant dragon listens with the rest of the audience!

And if dragons reading and listening to tales wasn’t enough, we had dragons dancing at the entertainment stage. It was there at the Monarchs Dance Company laid on a special performance AMNESIA, which comprised six absolutely astonishing dance sets from steampunk to jungle setting to a Grease homage to reflective (literally!) dance to – Game of Thrones!

It was the last piece that introduced the dragons, who soared and danced over the audience, set fire to the set (as planned!) and then settled in the fortress towers as this most magnificent show – which you can read about in depth here and see in the image at the top of this article – drew to a stunning close.

My sincere thanks as well, to Diiar and the Monarchs for such an amazing show! Together with Seanchai Library, the monarchs pushed the total in the Cauldron up by another L$25,000!

One of the dance pieces from AMNESIA, featuring a dancer by a lake and her “reflection” in the water (actually another dancer) in a perfectly synchronised piece

Of course, throughout the day we had music to keep people dancing – thank you to Blindman75, Magdalena Kamenev and AineMari Flanagan – the Market was open and votes on the photo contest and the garden contest drew to a close. There will be more on these, including the winners and runners-up in an up-coming post in this blog.

Even dragons need a rest from the boogieing

By the end of the day, the amount in the cauldron – which had been growing steadily through the week stood at over L$500,000, at a total of:



Monarchs: a royal dance treat

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017

Note: originally printed under the title: Monarchs, a royal dance treat in Second Life on Living in a Modemworld.

On Saturday, April 8th, I was among a 40+ audience for Monarchs Dance Company’s special production of Amnesia for Filling the Cauldron. And I have to say from the outset – it was fantastic.

“Allow us to invite you to join us on a trip along our twisting memory lane!” Diiar Vader Shippe, lead for Monarchs stated in the promotional material for the show, “Six very different dance performances, with original builds, choreography and a wide assortment of music take you back and forwards, up and down in time. Our time. The Monarchs’ time. To a distant past and a hopefully not so distant future.

“If that is not incentive enough to join us, consider this: there will be unicorns, giant robots, girl power, magic pianos and a new spin to a classic tale…and dragons!”

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017

And oh my, did they deliver!

I’ve seen many shows and dance performances in Second Life over the years, some of which I’ve reviewed in these pages, but Amensia was something else again. As Diiar states, six individual dances brought together into a single show. A show which lifted-off from the world of steampunk and carried us through a marvellous “solo” dance in which two dancers offered a perfectly synchronised dance in which one was the “reflection” of the other, mirrored in the water by which the other danced.

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017

From here we travelled deep into the jungles and an exotic dance complete with runes and fire, before we were all felt the chills multiplin’ as were carried by Greased Lighting to a world of cars, and a rendition of You’re The One That I Want, complete with rapping. Nor did it end there; our next destination: an exotic garden worthy of Elicio himself for an enticing dance among towering plants.

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017 via Crap Mariner

Each dance was marvellously choreographed, perfect synchronised even with an audience of 40+ people in the auditorium. Each sequence offered a unique environment and some magical touches. The mirrored dance, mentioned above, was simply breathtaking in its technical creation and the elegant beauty of its execution. The jungle dance, complete with fight scene as two warriors appeared to the via for the attention of their tribal chieftess was magical, the Grease tribute a foot-tapping treat.

But it was the final dance of the evening which delivered the must visually stunning spectacle as we were carried to the lands of Ice and Fire and the gates of a fortress echoing both Winterfell and Kings Landing, for a tremendous dance scene which carried us on a tour de force reckoning of the Games of Thrones universe – complete with the promised dragons. The latter took to the sky over the audience in a choreographed flight and a fiery climax.

Monarchs AMNESIA, Filling the Cauldron, April 2017 via Crap Mariner

Amnesia was a stunning performance and an amazing introduction to the Monarchs and their shows, which I’ve previously (and foolishly) not had the opportunity to witness. From this show, you can certainly count me a convert – so much so that it is more than likely the Monarchs will be back at Holly Kai park in the future.

In the meantime, their next major performance will be Draco Eternum, a new show they will be unveiling at this year’s Fantasy Faire, and which Diiar describes thus:

The show tells the story of a world where dragons reigned supreme long ago. Their very existence securing peace and prosperity to the land – but now they are gone. Even in houses of learning dragons are but a myth, a legend, a story for drunken nights by the tavern fires…

Now the quest is on to discover the true secret behind the fall of the dragons and to save the kingdom before it is too late!

The show will be performed on April 21st at 15:00 at Fantasy Faire, and then daily from the 24th though 29th April. I’ll have more on the show – and on the Monarchs in an upcoming article in this blog and on the Fantasy Faire website.

With thanks to Crap Mariner for the images used in this article – see the rest on Flickr.

Daily Events List, Sunday April 9th

Entertainments StageMarketplace, Silent Auction and Art DisplaysGardenPlatformCerridwen’s Corner

Here’s the FTC schedule for Sunday April 9th.

All Day

  • Come browse the marketplace and see what our merchants are offering, including special items with 100% of proceeds going to help Elicio and his family. Catch a list of our merchants.
  • See the silent auction boards and the fabulous items we have up for grabs, donated by some of the top talent in Second Life. See our full auction list.
  • Wander the art displays and revisit Elicio’s builds from the past and enjoy the art of noted Fantasy Faire photographers and our artists.
  • Hop to the Garden Design platform and view the creations by those who entered our Garden Design contest, then cast you vote for your favourite design!
  • Visit Cerridwen’s Corner and grab yourself some of Elicio’s fabulous designs and creations!
  • Join in with the dancing, singing and fun on our entertainment stage – see the day’s schedule below, and check the event calendar for more!


All times SLT. See the full schedule for the week.

9:00 am – 10:00 am Kardargo Adamczyk (DJ)
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Elrik Merlin (DJ)
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Magdalena Kamenev (DJ)
3:00 pm
Photo and Garden Contests winners

Entertainments StageMarketplace, Silent Auction and Art DisplaysGarden PlatformCerridwen’s Corner