Cowell

A Much Changed Forest…

I took the long journey back to the forest yesterday but even the strangeness of my dream could not have prepared me for what I found there. The gridquakes I had heard about, often third or fourth hand from people who knew that despite my distance from the world Cowell & Kahruvel still meant a great deal to me, had wreaked havok through the ancient woodland and nearby village. It broke my heart to see so many familiar old landmarks gone, washed away into the void or desecrated by hateful thugs possessed by desires I would never, ever understand. Still, even though the tower had finally crumbled into the sea and the aqueduct had collapsed over the cliff, the forest itself still felt warm and inviting and I had a warm glow of nostalgia as I walked beneath her boughs. Even passing the spot where I had found the backpack that had transformed me so long ago made me smile a little.

But that smile faded as I came across the ancient landing stones near the border with Noyo. In my last visit Salazar’s archaeological dig had uncovered a circle of stone posts around a central dais and I had detected a weak, blue light rising up the stones and dissipating into the atmosphere. Although the stone circle had always been called a landing point, in truth I had no idea what it was for and the blue light inside it was just as mysterious, but now I found the site in an awful state of disrepair! All but one of the stones had gone, whether by the efforts of looters or the vagaries of grid stability I could not tell, but the rhythms of the blue energy had obviously thrown into discord and instead of a bubble of energy gently rising up the stones, now great arcs ballooned off into the air and crackled all around me.
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“Impressive, huh?” came a voice behind me. I spun around with my heart in my mouth only to find my old friend, and follow half-gazelle, Shigeko Tachikawa stood looking at the light show.
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“Shig! Wow! So, you see it too, huh?” I said.

“Yeah, I see it. No one else seems to, I’ve been watching and no one stops, just me, and now you. Oh, and hi by the way,” with that she hit me hard on the arm.

“Ow!” I said, “What was that for?”

“How long have you been away? How long?” she replied, emotion strong in her voice.

“Ahh, yeah, that,” I said sheepishly. “Look, I’m sorry, I’ve been busy…” I trailed off and offered her the kind of big toothy grin that often got me out of trouble, and occasionally got me in more.

“Yeah,” she said with semi-mock hurt, “Well just don’t do it again, ok?”

“I’ll try,” I said but knew I couldn’t ever keep such a promise. The lure of other worlds was always going to be too strong to ignore. I turned away from my lie and looked back into the light, a large arc just passing us by and running over some metal equipment Salazar had left out nearby.

“What is it?” she asked.

“I’m not sure but my guess only Sal, or his gran, will know what to do about it. How about we take a wander down to the lighthouse and leave him a note?”

Shig beamed a smile at me and said “Race?”

I laughed, “Yeah, why not but you go easy on an old guy, huh?”

She laughed back, “Never!” and pushed me to the floor. I landed with a thud in the dust of the trail and she shot off like a rocket over the hill. I jumped to my feet and shouted after her “You cheat!” Ha! Who was I kidding, there was no way I’d ever beat her. I set off at a trot down the path but as I passed the pile of Sal’s equipment I turned back for one last look at the energy bleeding and arcing from the old stone. What the hell did it all mean? I must speak to Sal.
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A Curious Dream in Kahruvel

I dreamt of the shaman last night, not something I have done in over two years.
Backpacking Burro - Kahruvel

In the dream I awoke on the floor of the old wooden lookout clinging to the side of the hills over the sea of Mohr and found the shaman sat staring at me, just as he had done so long ago. As always with dreams the details are hazy and hard to recall exactly, but I must have asked him what he wanted because he pointed out to sea and said “Look at the clouds.” Over the waters rain-heavy clouds hung like wet washing on a line. “Look at the clouds,” he said again, “the pressure is building.” I must have asked what pressure but he merely repeated himself before standing and pointing at the sun which suddenly began rising over the far off storm. “The light is rising,” he said, “The light is rising.”

And that was it. I awoke from my dream and found my fur sodden with sweat and my heart racing. I’m sure it is nothing, I mean the shaman, the Eldars and even the damn elemental in my old backpack have been silent for so long now I’d truly begun to believe the past was done with me. Maybe it is. Still, I think I’ll pay a visit to the old forest tonight and see how it is faring.

#SL: Salazar’s ArcheoExpo 2011

I’ve been so wrapped up in playing LOTRO that I had forgotten to upload & post my pictures from the ArcheoExpo Salazar arrange in Cowell this year. It was a really fun event that Sal and many other worked really hard to make so enjoyable and here are my photos from it (did I mention I got to see a Starax Wand in action? No? Well I did and it was bloody brilliant!)

A re-post: Salazar Jack and The Great Erase.

Aeons ago, I had the idea of cataloguing the various creation tales of SL. This never came off and a page on this blog I created for that purpose remained unedited for several years. Well today I’m deleting it, but not without copying across the information on Salazar Jack’s Great Erase. This information, or rather the links within it, can not be gaurenteed but I’m loathe to lose any nuggets and slivers of his tale and so I’m copying it across to this post. Enjoy and then head over to his blog and twitter feeds to find out more.

~~~~V~~~~

The Creation Files

Where did this world come from? What existed before the Lindens flicked the switch and opened the doors? Nothing? Void? Or another world entirely? A few people, I am one of them, are asking these questions and seeking their answers. Here’s your handy cut out and keep guide to the creation beliefs I’ve come across.

Salazar Jack and The Great Erase.

Salazar is actually a true resident of this world having been born in the one that existed before SL but was lost in 1969 (that’s by our calendar, I’m not sure what that would have been in the pre-SL world of Sal’s family) in what came to be known as The Great Erase.

The world of Salazar’s family, called Urtahra, was a bustling, populated one that was wiped almost entirely from the face of existence by a massive energy wave that deleted all in it’s path and erased the whole world. Only a few people survived and led by Salazar’s great grandma they escaped to Earth where they made lives for themselves never suspecting that they would ever be able to return to their home-world.

That was until Linden Lab opened up Second Life in 2003. Salazar and the other survivors have slowly made their way back and found in it ghostly echoes of their former world. From the re-built city of Nova Albion to the replanted forest of Kahruvel, Salazar has dedicated himself to exploring and reclaiming as much of the old world as he can find.

Even now, five and a half years down the line, finds are still being made such asMagallen Linden’s discovery of the Nautilus landmass that Sal’s great gran remembers tales of from centuries before her own time.

So the world we know as Second Life is built on the reclaimed ruins of an earlier world destroyed in some still-unexplained disaster. Given that the Linden’s have admitted they don’t know how they missed Nautilus and have never found a cause for The Great Erase, we must all worry that this new world is not as secure as we would like to imagine…

RESPONSES

Re: The Great Erase (From Salazar Jack)

“Only a few people survived and led by Salazar’s great grandma they escaped to Earth where they made lives for themselves never suspecting that they would ever be able to return to their home-world.”

In truth, more than a few survived. Quite a few. Acording to my mom and grandparents, over 70 people arrived with us in Kansas State on Earth, out of the hundreds that went through our portal that day. We never learned where the remaining souls went. And those that arrived with us eventually dispersed. Contact with them gradually diminished over the years. Life was quite difficult actually as the United States government was naturally very interested in our group whose sudden arrival was accompanied with little explanation. Most of us went into hiding to avoid scrutiny. A few, if the stories are correct, were apprehended and not heard from again. It was fortunate that the location we ported into was so rural and remote. It allowed some time for us to make plans before authorities became aware of the situation.

After returning here there were some stories that surfaced of others who had escaped. Like this one…

http://forums.secondlife.com/showpost.php?p=406300&postcount=42

I’m not sure if the portal they used was they same one we did. There may have been more than my folks were aware of.

Cowell coming alive?

I’ve been re-establishing my links with my old stomping grounds on the Sansara mainland recently and as part of that I’ve been checking out my old place in Cowell (kicked off in part by tweets from the Trust who look after Kahruvel and a visit to the village by Tish) and I’ve remembered just why I love the place 🙂

This is the view along the canal from east to west.
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This is my neighbourhood, with Ilia’s shop next to the news stand.
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The bridge over the canal.
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Sunset on the obelisk.
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Bridges, arches and alleyways.
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The village square.
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The community hall.
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The southern sea.
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The walkway across the lands washed into the sea.
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The view from the western edge of the village.
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The lighthouse and the aerodrome…
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The one thing Cowell needs is people. Its streets are empty, its square quiet. It has a community hall with no community to meet in it. If what I hear from Sal is right, that might be about to change and the Trust might… just might… be about to open up the village for rentals 😀

Where I am…

Where am I? That’s a good question you didn’t ask there and therefore you deserve an answer. Aren’t you glad you came? Don’t bother about trying to leave, I’ve locked the door. And the windows. And that chimney has been blocked off for years. Now sit down and let your Uncle HB tell you all about it. It all started with a couple of dickheads…

 

~~~~ wavey fade dissolve ~~~~

 

… And that’s how it went down. What do you mean you nodded off? Look, I’m not going through it again, I’ll recap the end part but that’s your lot, jeez!

  • HBA is staying in Steelhead St Helens but selling three of his five plots (contact me if you’d like one – mate’s rates of course).
  • HBA is also keeping his place in Cowell – it would take Sal burning the village to ground to get me out of there!
  • Ryne is staying in Steelhead Shanghai renting from Krystine.
  • Ya Yiwama I have yet to decide about – he’s either going to rent from Gia in Shanghai or move to Bay City and rent from Marianne McCann.
  • Alt No 4… Whilst there *is* no fourth alt yet, I *may* just create one to RP in Bay City instead of Ya Yiwama (who was only ever created to be a monster after all, hence the name).

What this means for my writing is that once “Gang Wars” has finished (it’ll be over very soon, at least my part in it will be) I’ll not be doing another one in Steelhead for a bit. I’ve done more than 18 months of writing there and whilst I’ve got more ideas, I don’t have the same drive. I refer you back to the starting point of this wee fireside chat. Let the babies have their milk and all that.

No, I’m going to be writing some stuff set in and around Bay City. Noir stuff. Horror noir. Think “Steal Head” mixed with “Goodunnit” but with Primouth motors instead of airships.

The Reading – New Film from TSMGO Studios & Mysterio Productions

My mate Enjah has been working hard (very bloody hard!) on her new movie – and what a doozy! She’s leapt from 2-3 minute comic shorts to a 9 minute drama set in the gorgeous seaside village of Cowell & mighty forest of Kahruvel, places close to my heart 🙂

So, without further ado, I present the latest TSMGO Studio release of the Mysterio Production*, The Reading…

* Don’t let Enjah’s modesty fool you. This is almost entirely the product of her hard work and certainly my only input was a few discussion emails and a very dodgy East European accent ;-D