Backpacking Burro: A Quick Recap

Dear readers, it has been some time (several moons, I fear) since last I told you of my tales of Cowell, Kahruvel and my mysterious backpack. I have been distracted with a multitude of other events and tales, all more up-to-date than my retelling of how I came to be a strange half-gazelle creature and find myself exploring this strange new world in search of artefacts that would prevent a great war from erupting. I fear I have lost my way and for that, I apologise.

In the spirit of making amends, what follows is a quick recap for old and new alike to renew my tale afresh before I continue in its telling. Many things have happened to me since I found the backpack in Kahruvel and my dithering only serves to prevent me from telling you about them.

So, and with all speed, let me start back at the beginning.

Nigh on a year ago I had taken myself off for a trek through the beautiful forest of Kahruvel when I came across a backpack I presumed lost by a fellow walker. Finding no one near and having no one answer my calls, I resolved to return the pack to the Cowell lighthouse where the forest’s guardian, one Salazar Jack, could look to contacting the owner. Alas, as soon as I donned the backpack it rendered me unconscious and I fell into a troubled state resembling dream-laden sleep where I imagined I was being remoulded and reformed by powers beyond my understanding. I awoke transformed from fully human to half gazelle, terrified and confused!

I ran as fast as my legs would bear me (which, being half gazelle, turned out to be impressively fast) for Cowell village only to find it empty bar a strange old man who proclaimed himself a shaman and said he knew what had happened to me. He claimed I had been chosen and, using a potent narcotic, allowed me to enter a strange other-world where I met powerful forces of nature called The Elders as well as the capricious and playful sprit known as The Elemental that, it appeared, was my backpack. They told me that the land know as The Grid by Linden Labs was much older than people knew and a great civilisation once thrived beneath its sun only to be destroyed in a terrible battle of powers known as The Last Great Shamanic War. It seemed that the great power invested in a few by the very nature of this world had riven a once noble order of shamen into to two opposing camps where one sought to protect the land and people whilst the others sought to control and dominate. The war escalated until the world was all but destroyed and the secrets of the shamen were lost forever. Or so it was believed. Now it seemed that some had begun to unearth those secrets and they were doing so in order to once again launch an assault on the world. For my part, I had been chosen (or I had chosen, depending on your point of view it seemed) to find the lost secrets, the keys, before the forces of greed and twisted desire reached them. My first steps, it transpired, were to be deeper in to the village and then back into the forest in order to seek out truths as to the antiquity and nature of this world.

I began to find many of the archaeological finds unearthed by Salazar and his family – the repeating pattern of eight, the strange standing stones that rippled with energy only I could see, the queer feeling that I was walking over land I knew but at the same time could never have known. Eventually I found myself atop a ruined tower looking out to sea where my next step, once I had eaten and rested, was to head over to a wooden lookout platform I had seen clinging precariously to the side of a hill in the next cove…

And that, dear readers, brings me up-to-date. I shall recount the tale of my journey to the lookout and how it led me to wander the streets of Nova Albion City soon…

Regards,
HeadBurro Antfarm, Backpacking Burro.
***********************************

p.s. To read more of the events mentioned above, simply start at the beginning of the blog here.

Advertisements

10 comments

  1. I don’t know if I’ve ever responded to your posts before, regarding your transformation, but I’m a bit in awe of what has happened to you since coming to the forest. I don’t think I’ve heard anything like this happening to anyone here before .

    It’s so strange that you would say that the sprit/sprite/spirit you met, The Elemental, appeared to BE your backpack. It instantly reminded me of the new music video of Bjork’s that I just found out about today. Wunderlust, indeed! That fits you to a tea.

    If your backpack is, indeed, sentient, then it is easy to see how someone could have morphed into an inanimate object such as that and waited for whomever to come along–or for you in particular. Morphing into different forms was possible before the Erase, but it was much more difficult. It took a lot of physical energy to accomplish the transformation and was much easier for the younger folks to do. Like flying. The Lindens’ Grid makes those sorts of things almost effortless.

    If not sentient, maybe the pack was simply left by someone else. Perhaps it was scripted to affect whoever wore it. If so, it’s not like any scripting I’ve ever heard of. Do you recall clicking one of those blue windows.. “Okay to animate your avatar?” You know what I mean? Were you able to morph before you wore the backpack?

    This is another possibility as well, it may not be from our space/time. The grid around the forest is much more problematic than most areas inworld. The grid in Grignano, Nova Albion, suffers the same sort of weakening, though not anywhere nearly as bad. During one of Osprey’s photo contests at the Brownstone East, a water pipe materialized and began spewing water into her second floor studio. The pipe was not part of the current building, but had existed in the previous brownstone before the Erase. A cork was put in the pipe’s open end, as a stop gap, until the rift could be dealt with.

    http://forums.secondlife.com/showthread.php?t=131380

    The intrusion was eventually sealed with the help of the Lindens. They had to adjust the grid harmonics in Grignano to compensate for the distortion. They weren’t too forthcoming with an explanation though. I wonder if the reconstructed brownstone building had anything to do with the breach? I had built it, near as I could tell, on the exact same spot as the pre-Erase structure. Could that have contributed to the crossover?

    All this to say, perhaps the person who lost the backpack wasn’t from our space/time? It just somehow ended up dropping into the middle of the forest out of mid air. Like kids through a wardrobe.

    The man you met in the village, the one who called himself a shaman, is not someone I have ever encountered before. I don’t think. Hard to say as so many folks travel through there. But I think I would remember him if I did. You don’t see too many old folks inworld currently. Well I don’t, other than my own parents and grandparents.

    I’m a bit concerned. If I remember your previous account of this correctly, the man had slipped this potion to you unawares. Are you sure that what you experienced was real, or could it be some sort of hallucination? This “shaman” could be the real deal or just a very clever magician hiding behind a drug-induced curtain. I wouldn’t want folks to fall victim to such circumstances in Kahruvel. The Trust has always wanted the forest to be a safe haven. Even so, it seems there may be forces that are working against that end.

    This makes me think of the stargate that Douglas Quinn found buried near the obelisk in Rodeo. It has become exposed as the sandy sediment has washed away. But most of it, like the nearby obelisk, is trapped in the rock deposits there. Was that gate buried on purpose or had it been buried along with the other artifacts that lie beneath urtahra in Kahruvel? If the former, then at some point in the past, great care was taken to prevent anyone from using it.

    Folks confuse urtahra with the Grid a lot. But they are two separate things. The Grid is Linden technology that has been slowly installed over the past few years as more and more of this world has been revealed. The land itself, urtahra, has been here for a very long time. The visible land area we see today is a very small part of the whole.

    I’m not familiar with the war described by the beings you encountered in your vision, nor have I or any of the other Trust officers come across anything that seems to relate to it, save perhaps the obelisk in Rodeo which does mention an ending to a war. Hmmm… I wonder if it relates? And who knows what still lies buried in the forest—or the rest of the world for that matter.

    http://forums.secondlife.com/showpost.php?p=315579&postcount=18

    I remember feeling drawn to particular places when I first came to this world—especially Rodeo, the surrounding regions and the lost city of Nova Albion that Magellan discovered. Little did I know at the time that I had been born here. So I can relate to your comments about “…walking over land I knew but at the same time could never have known.” I know that feeling.

    The forest seems to draw folks from many races and many places; humans, talking beasts, fae, elves, samurai, jedi, dwarves, Uru refugees, satyrs, cyborgs, ents, steampunks, merfolk and others. It draws energies too, as you have seen and as we have been able to detect with Grandma Thetan’s gini device as well as the Lindens’ technology. Among other things, Kahruvel seems to be growing into a wood between worlds. I’m glad you discovered it too.

  2. Hi Sal – thanks for such a long and detailed comment – one good reply deserves another in my book, so here goes 🙂

    “I don’t know if I’ve ever responded to your posts before, regarding your transformation, but I’m a bit in awe of what has happened to you since coming to the forest. I don’t think I’ve heard anything like this happening to anyone here before.”

    Looking back, I’m a little awed too. Not only because of the transformation (this was more terrifying at the time, and quite painful) but because of the position I have been placed in. I can’t help but think that any side who relies upon me must be rather short of decent candidates. I would have thought this would have been a job for a Bond or a Bourne, not a Burro!

    “It’s so strange that you would say that the sprit/sprite/spirit you met, The Elemental, appeared to BE your backpack. It instantly reminded me of the new music video of Bjork’s that I just found out about today. Wunderlust, indeed! That fits you to a tea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jam0jkOWmKw”

    Ooo, I’ll have to watch this – I’m not a huge fan of Bjork’s ‘sound’ but her visuals are always stunning and if I have in some small way mirrored them then I am more than a little pleased. If, on the otherhand, she’s bee here reading my tale and stealing my ideas, then I shall be speaking to my People!

    “If your backpack is, indeed, sentient, then it is easy to see how someone could have morphed into an inanimate object such as that and waited for whomever to come along–or for you in particular. Morphing into different forms was possible before the Erase, but it was much more difficult. It took a lot of physical energy to accomplish the transformation and was much easier for the younger folks to do. Like flying. The Lindens’ Grid makes those sorts of things almost effortless.”

    Oh it is. I get the idea that it is the gate and key to its own reality, that it controls the pathway between and how its excursions and incursions are perceived.

    As for the fact that once greater energy was require to create and fly, I’m afraid that I have never experienced that as I am quite firmly of Earth origin and my coming to the Linden’s Second Life was by way of an adventure rather than a journey home. Still, I can’t help thinking that some good has obviously come of the Linden’s re-building if it is now so easy to shape the very matter of the world. If only holding it in perpetuity were cheaper…

    “If not sentient, maybe the pack was simply left by someone else. Perhaps it was scripted to affect whoever wore it. If so, it’s not like any scripting I’ve ever heard of. Do you recall clicking one of those blue windows.. “Okay to animate your avatar?” You know what I mean? Were you able to morph before you wore the backpack?”

    I *could* change shape before, but only in the same way all new residents could. All I did to start the process was put the blessed thing on! No warnings, no OK boxes, nothing – just an explosion of green light, an eternity of nothingness, dreams of being changed, pain and finally, waking to find I was now half gazelle. I can still change shape, but not as easily as before and not for long periods. It’s more like putting a costume on now, rather than altering my fundamental form.

    “This is another possibility as well, it may not be from our space/time.”

    This is something I have considered – it may answer the strange matter of a battle that yourself and other inhabitants of urtahra know nothing of. It is possible that while the Elders and Elemental talk of The Grid being the lines and nodes of energy transference the world was built upon, they may not mean urtahra, or rather not exclusively urtahra – it is possible they are referring to a world that crosses not only time and space, but also dimensions.

    “They weren’t too forthcoming with an explanation though. I wonder if the reconstructed brownstone building had anything to do with the breach? I had built it, near as I could tell, on the exact same spot as the pre-Erase structure. Could that have contributed to the crossover?”

    It’s possible that the areas you are reconstructing have been weakened by the Erase. And there is no reason to suspect that other areas aren’t also similarly weakened but no one notices (or the Linden’s quietly fix it and say nothing). The matrix that holds all together, the Grid as Linden Labs call it, is built on the site of a great energy rupture and was built quickly in some areas – who is to say what weaknesses have been missed or introduced? And none of that takes into account the effect of dimensional anomalies, of course…
    “All this to say, perhaps the person who lost the backpack wasn’t from our space/time? It just somehow ended up dropping into the middle of the forest out of mid air. Like kids through a wardrobe.”

    /me thinks… kids in a wardrobe… imagine the peace and quiet…

    I *do* sometimes wonder about the person who owned the backpack before me (if there was one – it did just seem to pop into being, after all). I think the next time I’m ‘inside’ I should ask.

    “The man you met in the village, the one who called himself a shaman, is not someone I have ever encountered before. I don’t think. Hard to say as so many folks travel through there. But I think I would remember him if I did. You don’t see too many old folks inworld currently. Well I don’t, other than my own parents and grandparents.”

    I’ve seen a few more of late, but no he is quite rare. I had been to Cowell and the forest several times before and never once crossed his path. And he was gone in the morning as though he had never been there.

    “I’m a bit concerned. If I remember your previous account of this correctly, the man had slipped this potion to you unawares. Are you sure that what you experienced was real, or could it be some sort of hallucination?”

    He did indeed, slipped me a Mickey Finn without so much a by-your-leave and seemed quiet happy about it, amused even. I was all at sea (and somewhat groggy) but he did prove a calming influence and he did say he watched over me as I slept…

    “This “shaman” could be the real deal or just a very clever magician hiding behind a drug-induced curtain. I wouldn’t want folks to fall victim to such circumstances in Kahruvel. The Trust has always wanted the forest to be a safe haven. Even so, it seems there may be forces that are working against that end.”

    Well I understand your concerns, some of which I naturally share and you have my word that should he show up again, on Trust land or not, I shall inform you. To be honest it would be for others to see him, then I know he is not some figment of my imagination, which all of this could be… maybe I’m led unconscious and slowly dying of exposure on that forest trail after being hit in the head by a falling branch… that has crossed my mind you know. The idea I mean, not the branch. Although maybe both have.

    “This makes me think of the stargate that Douglas Quinn found buried near the obelisk in Rodeo. It has become exposed as the sandy sediment has washed away. But most of it, like the nearby obelisk, is trapped in the rock deposits there. Was that gate buried on purpose or had it been buried along with the other artifacts that lie beneath urtahra in Kahruvel? If the former, then at some point in the past, great care was taken to prevent anyone from using it.”

    I have only seen it in the briefest of brief pass-throughs, and in my experience if someone puts a lock on a gate they either want people to stay out or in, so digging these things up can always be a dangerous activity. May I suggest you advise Douglas to proceed with extreme caution (I will do the same next time see him).
    One last thought about this stargate, Sal – how did it survive the Erase?

    “Folks confuse urtahra with the Grid a lot. But they are two separate things. The Grid is Linden technology that has been slowly installed over the past few years as more and more of this world has been revealed.”

    The Elders and Elemental we very precise in aligning their system of energy lines and node with the Grid, rather than with urtahra. I get the impression that the lines and nodes underpin a deeper reality that the land we currently walk on and alter with such ease. Maybe a suitable analogy would be the utility fixtures of a great city – they power and drive the city, but the city sprawls and lives above them almost totally unaware they are there.

    “The land itself, urtahra, has been here for a very long time. The visible land area we see today is a very small part of the whole.”

    I wonder if Linden Labs can ever stray beyond the extent of old urtahra. If so, could we speculate about what they might find there?

    “I’m not familiar with the war described by the beings you encountered in your vision, nor have I or any of the other Trust officers come across anything that seems to relate to it, save perhaps the obelisk in Rodeo which does mention an ending to a war. Hmmm… I wonder if it relates? And who knows what still lies buried in the forest—or the rest of the world for that matter.”

    It is a strange and queer thing indeed, for in all truth the tale of the Last Great War was told to me before I had completed all my investigations into your findings and I had not heard of the War of the Three Tribes (as I call it). It *is * possible it refers to the same thing, but I see no connection – The Last Great War was between two great forces from what I can glean, using powerful energy warping the like of which even Linden can’t (or won’t allow). Again, there is a possibility that these events described to me occurred in a dimensionally shifted world separated by urtahra by the thinnest of veils.

    “So I can relate to your comments about “…walking over land I knew but at the same time could never have known.” I know that feeling.”

    I get the distinct impression it is not I who feels that, rather it is felt through me. I’m not of your world so there is no chance I could ever have walked these lands before, but yet still I feel it, or rather I feel it being felt. It is hard to describe, like feeling an itch on someone else’s neck or finding yourself humming a tune someone else is thinking of.

    “The forest seems to draw folks from many races and many places; humans, talking beasts, fae, elves, samurai, jedi, dwarves, Uru refugees, satyrs, cyborgs, ents, steampunks, merfolk and others. It draws energies too, as you have seen and as we have been able to detect with Grandma Thetan’s gini device as well as the Lindens’ technology. Among other things, Kahruvel seems to be growing into a wood between worlds. I’m glad you discovered it too.”

    I’m glad too, so much yet to see and discover – where did the Earth WW2 fighter plane come from? The pterosaur? What causes the energy bubbles to rise? Where does the small cave lead? You must let me know if your Great Grandmother has any thoughts on the photographs I sent her.

    Yours in Travel,
    HeadBurro Antfarm.
    *****************

  3. LOL – Have you got your shop up and running yet? I want to come along and feature it here to drum up some business for you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s