Spring came early to Vargsangen

The Dryad wakes slowly like a flowers petals opening. When her eyes open she suddenly becomes aware of the temperature. It’s too cold, it’s too dark, she shouldn’t be awake yet. Being bound to the cycle of nature and the Seasons, she shouldn’t awake until Spring when the first green shoots appear. Something is wrong, she must find out what’s going on. Sticking her head out of the entrance to her underground sanctuary, she looks around to see white everywhere.

She finds some boots to protect her feet, usually she’d be barefoot but dare not walk on the freezing snow, frost is as dangerous to her as it is to plants. As she walks through the Human settlement she sees green grass poking through the snow, this is what’s woken her but how?

There’s no sign of industry that she’d heard of further south that made the climate warmer, just the usual primitive wooden homes. She visits a few of the buildings to see if there was anything amiss but found nothing unusual.

They have ships in the harbour so perhaps they have brought something here, or learnt of something that’s causing the problem.

Then she glances up and sees the temple up on the mountain, perhaps that has the answers.

She wishes she’d brought a cloak as she begins the ascent, touching the trees on the way up for reassurance, they are still slumbering as she should be.

Inside the temple she finds evidence of rituals and sacrifice, but these are not the usual practices of worshiping nature and beings such as herself, as could be found at the stones further down the mountain.

The locals still worship her kin it seems

These were darker works, the fools had evidently heard of crops being raised artificially out of season to the South and thought this was how it was done. 

Inside the temple

With her bow she knock everything off the Altar in anger at their foolishness. Picking up a collection of scrolls featuring illustrations similar to the altar goods she glances at them in surprise. These are old, so very old but she recognised them. The fae races had worked hard to destroy all copies of this arcane knowledge, in order to preserve the balance of nature. She knows what she must do.

Waiting at the doorway of the temple, to get some warmth from their fires, she is impatient until dawn. She was going to need all the help from nature she could get for what she had in mind. As the sun rises she takes a bud from the vines encirling her body and places it into a shallow hole she was able to make in the frozen earth with the end of her bow. Standing back she raises her arms and chants quietly calling on the dormant natural world around her.

Directing the energy into the barely buried bud she encourages it to grow and expand until the building is encased in leaves, the shoots running up between the stones of the building like roots through foundations of a house and pries them apart.

It takes time and a lot of effort but eventually the roots demolish the building entirely into rubble. The shoots recede and combine into a single living thing…a blossoming tree. They wanted out-of-season plants, this is what they shall get.

Exhausted and barely able to stand she returns to the forest to hibernate until Spring actually comes.

When I had been told by Camilla Runo the builder of Vargsangen that it had returned I was excited and just had to go explore! I thought I would wear something warm and furry like my previous post. But once I collect this New Year’s special skin from Fallen Gods that completely changed, a Dryad post was in order. I had earlier been out for a walk (in the odd world of Real Life) and I saw daffodils sprouting, which doesn’t usually happen for another couple of months and that gave me an idea, to which I added a fantasy twist.

The build is expected to close at the end of January 2022 so get over and check it out. Here’s a few extra snaps that didn’t fit into the story:

Arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Party%20Wave/24/54/22

Outfit Credits:

World of Helix

Back in May 2020 I wrote about a SciFi roleplay region called Helix, followed very shortly after by the news of it’s closure. This wasn’t however the end of my story, it was just the start of a storyline that’s run across multiple locations in SL on and off for the year and a half since then.

Now the former owners of Helix have returned with a new location called World of Helix. This isn’t a city this time though, its more an outpost town with cilivans as well as military personnel that they describe as an adult sci-fi Western.

You arrive in the woods outside the town, which is behind you with the wilderness in front of you.

After a brief glance at the nearby structures (more on that later) I headed into town to see what it has to offer. Immediately at the gates you get the tone of the place with guards posted outside.

I entered cautiously taking a glance each direction before heading left to walk a circuit of the town.

All seemed fairly regular civillian establishments, including the requisite pink neon entertainment. As I approached the place where I’ve decided my character will set up shop, I’m reminded of the military presence by way of a dark green truck next door.

Heading in that direction through a gateway there’s a few landing pads then the rest of the area contains Military personnel and installations.

Passing all this brings me almost full circle back to the entrance gate of the town. However coming from this direction I noticed something I’d missed before.

The local gun shop

Given my characters history of transporting weapons I had to have a quick peek. I was surprised there would be such a shop with the military around they might have wanted to restrict civillian weapon ownership. But what better way to control weapons than by controlling the shop?

Since I’d completed a circuit of the town it was time to have a look out into the wildnerness. Out here there’s a wide selection of buildings and terrain to be seen.

(Please bear in mind some of these are rental homes and may well be inhabitated by the time you visit, so don’t just walk in uninvited.)

Looking at the map on the website it’s quite evident I’ve only shown a fraction of this great new roleplay build, so I’d recommend any Sci-Fi fan come check it out and join in the RP if they wish. I would definitely suggest reading the story setting on the website before engaging in roleplay.

World of Helix is planned for public opening on 15th January 2021, so do drop by and take a look!

Photos were taken on 29th December 2021, so things may look slightly different by the time the 15th January 2022 comes aroud, but not much.

Arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Day%20One/131/132/21

Website: https://www.helix-sl.com/

Discord: https://discord.gg/ht2qvtbwQ4

For my Outfit credits see my previous post : AMZ Roleplay Character Refresh

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 14th January 2022.

Roleplay: The Bad News

Following on from my previous post, Awakening bridging the RL time gap between Hellas Planitia closing and World of Helix (post coming soon!) opening to the public.

Ava awakes to a beeping sound, a priority message has been received and she’s been woken up. Groggily she taps the flashing envelope icon and reads with growing shock.

---Message Start---

From AMZ Outreach Office:

Ms Delaney

I'm sorry to have to break this news to you, but based on the beacon of your capsule and the signal of drone 116s transponder, you're no longer near Mars. It would appear that at the time of this message transmission,you are headed for the planet Ithemba. You may even have arrived by the time you receive this.

We have contacted Helix Corp and informed them of the situation. Helix Corp representatives should not hinder you, provided they have received their correspondencece, but are under no obligation to assist you. Any assistance you get from them will depend on what you can negotiate in situ.

Given this turn of events we are sending a droid-piloted shuttle instead of the requested drone. This will contain a number of drones and related equipment and supplies that will allow you to operate localised services.

--Message Ends--

Ava reads the message a second then third time and sighs “Damnit” she mutters. At that moment she’s lurched to one side, she sees the crate above move slightly but doesn’t fall,. The ship was manoeuvring, apparently descending by the feel of things. It seems they have arrived.

So that was 2021..

So what can I say? Did lots happen? In the real world..well yes and no,depending where in the world you are,but let’s not go there because this blog is about SL. In SecondLife quite a lot certainly did happen.

I thought the easiest way to remind myself was looking through my snapshots and use them to tell the tale, so I’ve used the images from blog posts I made in each month. Occasionally I’ve found portrait or other shots that didn’t make it onto the blog and have included those too.

Click the month names to read the related posts.

January

12th Janauary Portrait

February

My current profile pictuure

March

Engine Room event inspired outfit

April

I dressed as Pross from Blade Runner for SL Book Club

May

June

American Cancer Society Relay Event

July

A cool SciFi outfit I put together for SecondLife Bookclub

August

Lexicutioner. A look inspired by character in a book from the SecondLife BookClub. See post of same name for details.

September

I revamped my Mars Cyberpunk RP character

October

My SecondLife Halloween photo contest entry

November

December

On Patch “Santa” Lindens lap for a photo with the Lindens

As you can see I had quite a busy year in SL during 2021, this small selection of imags really doesn’t do it justice. The highlight point was definitely being an official blogger for Fantasy Faire picking just a few for April was tricky!

Thankyou to all of you that have taken the time and interest to read my ramblings this year, it means a lot to me. I wish you all a happy and safe 2022.

Ava

Dreamz Express

Having recently paid a visit to the Winter Hop n Shop I had a very nice and warm outfit that just called for a wintery location to explore. I saw Dreamz Express on the Destination Guide and it looked perfect.

I arrived on a very busy train platform with lots of passengers apparently awaiting the next train.

The information available said the RP journey takes 2 hours and mentioned ticket prices of L$5oo and L$300 for children. Unfortunately there was no indication of who to pay and when the next train was departing, so I set off on foot. At the end of the platform there is a ski-lift that will take you down to the ground level.

I followed the nearest path through a beautifully festively lit arch way, which just brought me back to the station. So I walked the tracks instead as far as I could before meeting a blocked tunnel. Given not much choice I did what any SL resident would do (right?) and jumped over the rail..

Which turned out to be a very good idea (unlike if you were to do it in RL), there’s lots to see and explore down here so I’d recommend exploring on foot.

While exploring down here I came across a tunnel with some wintery inhabitants.

Rather than disturbing the Noob in the wild I took a side tunnel where I saw a snowborder outside.

Aside from not actually being able to ride a train (at the time of visiting) Dreamz Express is a beautiful and photogenic wintery location to explore alone or with friends. Definitely dress up warm though, the snow is rather blustery!

Arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dreamz/52/134/50

Outfit Credits:

S&P have a Trinkets machine at the Shop n Hop which is like a gatcha, but you know what you’re buying before you pay, the numbers relate to parts of the outfit.

SecondLife Winter Wonderland 2021

Every year there are masses of events and activities in SecondLife for the Christmas period that run throughout December. One of the regular highlights is the Winter Wonderland that gets built each year by the Linden Moles. Here you’ll find everything you’d expect from such a name, covering 5 regions.

When you first arrive you’re near the snowball fight arena, which is pretty impressive and is the venue for the annual Residents Vs Lindens snowball fight event:

But I wanted to see what else the place had to offer, so I went the other way up some steps through a snow corridor to where the landscape opens out again.

Main attractions are an ice skating rink, ferris wheel to ride, festive village to explore and a large snow race track.

I followed the signs to the Ice Skate area to check that out, if you don’t have your own skates you can get some at the kiosk. Even if you do have skates, the ones here do have a cool optional FX attachment that causes your skates to carve into the ice here.

Onto the other attractions..

Outfit Credits:

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 17th December 2021.

Roleplay: Awakening

Ava wakes in darkness. Reaching forward her hand hits the inside of the capsule and the control panel lights up in front of her. She activates the exterior cameras to see where she ended up..Wall, crate,slightly further away wall..and a purple detailed hover bike that can only belong to her friend Vic! She’s in the right ship at least. She mentally catalogs her gear of use. If Vic is on board, tools will be more useful than weapons to her so Ava snags the compact kit that’s standard issue in the capsule along with her weapons; 2 company-issue handguns with spare clips and a tazer, not fatal to a human but in Vics hands very Terminal to bots.

She presses the hatch release of the capsule, there’s a hiss of seals then a clunk and nothing happens. She looks straight up out the capsules window and sighs, the goons have stacked a heavy crate on top of her. Looks like she might need to call the office. She reluctantly activates the capsule emergency beacon then brings up the communications menu on the control panel and starts preparing her report for Head Office.

To AMZ Outreach Office
Situation Report:The resident community in the Hellas Planitia crater have been rounded up by what appeared to be Helix Corp employees. To prevent abduction I secured myself in my NukeSafe capsule, which they appear to have  loaded onto their ship, presumably unaware I was inside. Destination is unknown but likely another Mars location.I have attached the transponder for drone 116 to the transport ship, so AMZ will get the location of the new Helix Corp office, just in case my capsule is offloaded elsewhere.
AMZ lawyers should contact Helix Corp make them aware they are illegally carryig one of our employees. Maybe also remind them that trying to force open my capsule could have fatal consequences for their employees.

Requisition Order:

Prepare a shiping drone containing the following items and send it on it's way towards Mars ASAP, exact destination co-ordinates to follow.

Drone Control terminal & Workstation
Refresh pack for NukeSafe (power cells, all gas canisters)
Signage pack for new location office
Ammo packs for standard issue side arm
Fill any remaining space with cigarettes in reseller packs (A rare commodity,last shipment presumed lost at Hellas crater)

Message Ends

Ava transmits the report and reactivates stasis mode, all too aware of the time it may take the message to arrive, depending on current location and rotation of plantets. Hopefully there’s an AMZ drone or company craft nearby that will relay the emergency beacon signal faster.

Roleplay: The Roundup

OOC Background: The Hellas Planitia RP location I’ve written about previously has closed and the players are moving to a new place. The new location is being created by former Owners of the Helix City Cyberpunk roleplay, so it’s kinda full circle for the crater residents. This post tells the beginning of Ava’s IC part in the relocation story.

Ava is sitting in her office below the landing pad when she hears the sound of engines of a craft approaching. She brings up the feed from the landing area cameras and sees a personnel transport ship with Helix Corp logos on. They’ve not sent anyone here for a long time, this cannot be good.

A squad of armed personnel for which the best description would be “grunts” emerge from the ship and make their way to the open gates. As they enter the town a second ship arrives, this one more like a prisoner transport that lands right outside the gates. Defiantly not a good thing. Looking around at what weapons she had to hand, tackling them all herself really wasn’t an option; she’s a courier, a weapons courier, but still just that. Thinking fast she goes to one of her shipping drones. She opens the maintenance hatch and removes its tracking transponder and attaches it to part of the landing gear of the prison transport ship, all the grunts are at the other side of the ship facing the towns entrance.

Gathering up her company issue weapons and a few other useful items, putting them in the Nuke-Safe survival capsule, she had been provided with all that time ago when she first came to Mars. Dragging the capsule outside to where it will be seen by the thugs, she climbs in and shuts the hatch, hoping the grunts will be greedy enough to load her capsule into the ship with any other plunder they may take.

She activates the small exterior cameras on the capsule to see what’s going on. Her view isn’t great from this position, but she can see the residents of the crater being herded by force into the transport ship. Will they load her capsule in with the prisoners as loot among other valuable tech some seem to have gone back for? One of them seems to have spotted her capsule so she closes the shutter to prevent them from seeing inside an turns off the exterior status displays. Finally she activates the stasis function, setting it to wake her silently in 72 hours.

Pre-opening post about the new Helix Corp location coming soon!

Angel Manor

I came across Angel Manor by way of a Spotlight article on the SecondLife Community blog and what a treasure it is.

I used the Visit Us page on the website to find my way to a number of different places, starting with the Rose Lounge. The whole place has a wow factor, it feels classy yet relaxed with great attention to detail everywhere.

I explored the other “Rose” related locations on the region, which includes a Theatre and Gallery among other locations such as an Opera House. All looks simply spectacular.

The Angel Manor Region is the centre of a small continent consisting of no less than 12 Regions for you to explore. I paid a visit to both the boating lake and the gardens, which were beautifully relaxing to spend time in.

I would definitely recommend taking the time to visit Angel Manor and the surrounding grounds either on your own or with a friend because the ballrooms and other areas are just enchanting to dance in.

Links:

Outfit Credits:

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 29th November 2021.

Pixel Box – Roses

Today I’m showing off an outfit that’s a collection of purchases from Pixel Box the Steampunk clothing and accessories store. I don’t normally write about specific stores (except during Fantasy Faire), but Pixel Box have a great sale on right now. I saw this cool Rose eyepatch and it rightaway gave me the idea of the look I wanted; Steampunk meets Rock Chick.

I originally thought miniskirt and corset to go with the high boots, but then I saw this padded leather dress that just worked perfectly. Each of the items from this outfit were just 75L$ in their store and maketplace Black Friday sale. Everything is discounted right now, most items are 75L$ but there are some larger items (like full outfit sets and vehicles/decor) priced at 99L$, which are still bargain prices!

Outfit Credits:

(Teacup and pose are part of the chair which is from “*Gothic* Living room” set by  Made by .. Houses & Furniture @ Chicco.)