Following up on my previous posts featuring my new Centaur avatar and the Centaur Parade, I’ve come to visit the Ancient Order of Centaurs (AOC) . Although today I visited as a different “Taur”from Jinx called the Felintaur, which has the body of a large feline instead of a horse and was kindly donated to the Blogger room.
You arrive at a large circular landing point with four exits leading in different directions.
I opted for the one located directly behind me because I saw something interesting in the distance.
There was an intruiging arch that seemed to be mad of some large creatures rib cage over the path.
The AOC grounds cover four regions styled in a High Fantasy medieval appearance. There are long winding woodland paths everywhere connecting all the various places.
Leading to some lovely places to see and explore. Some of which are available to rent, I only spotted the “Private Property” outside the first one on the way *out* however.
No fantasy location would be without an abandoned castle..
If you want a nice aerial view over the place, there’s a handy lift:
There’s even a market where you can shop for many things Centaur related that I may well be returning to soon.
As usual with my blogging photo trips it’s not usually good for SLT so no-one around, but they do have regular meetups, a timetable is located at the landig point. I think I’ll try and make it to one of those at some point in the near future.
A very dear friend of mine for many years, Nytesong, got married last night and invited me along. Always nice to be invited to such things I think, it shows they genuinely want you around. Unlike an RL wedding where you sometimes have to invite people (like disliked relatives) out of a sense of politeness or to save hassle, you don’t have to in SL.
Occasions like this make me think again of the attachments we make in virtual worlds, there’s a lot of real emotions being experienced here. While there’s no legal commitment implications of an SL marriage, the emotional one is just as real. People that don’t understand would say it’s just pixels, it’s not real, sure what you see on your screen is made by computers, but the emotions are all too real.
I’ve absolutely no doubt Nyte was just as nervous and stressed as any bride before an RL wedding, wanting everything to be perfect. All the same things have to be done in preparation, from the Dress to flowers and photographer, pretty much everything except catering!
Of course there’s also that quiet bit where everyone is just waiting..that’s just the same in SL as RL too!
A very happy occasion they shared with friends from all over the world by the magic that is SecondLife. Congratulations and best wishes Nyte and Sorely!
(More precisely the community I blogged about has moved on or disbanded, I don’t know the details. However the location is still there, if you vistit now (August 2021) it’s a lovely garden location.)
This is a first for me. While I was busy blogging about Fantasy Faire I received a random notecard. It was an invitation to visit and maybe blog this place. The location is based around the Fallout games, while I’m aware of them I’ve never played any of them. That means I’m really going into this blind and means I’ll probably miss any references to places names or locations, so you’ll have to forgive me for that. Kinda how I like it when exploring in SL really, usually my only research of a place is just enough to ensure I’m dressed appropriately. In this case that resulted in a combat suit with weapon accessories. I did consider a helmet, probably would have been advisable for an IC visit due to the environment, but I just couldn’t find one that I felt worked with the suit.
The all-important landing area that gives your first impression is a small fenced area clear of clutter, just staff online boards, information about Factions, vendors for a group gift outfits and a table that offers free weapons:
[04:57:42] Second Life: Free Weapons Giver owned by Bishop Slade gave you '10mm Pistol 1' . 'Carter Knife'. 'NCR Standard Issue M16'. 'NCR Standard Issue M16 (Slung)'. '10mm Pistol'. 'US army Mag Pouch'.
There’s also a rentals board but it’s thankfully relatively discreet and there’s no nagging signs to ruin the atmosphere.
Heading through the nearby archway you arrive on the street where you get a very clear idea of what kind of place you’ve come to, cracked tarmac, boarded up ruined buildings and most noticiably, a green sky. That’s what suggests some kind of natural disaster, that there’s a story, seperating it from many other post-apocolyptic style locations.
I headed down the main road checking out various places along the way, but not exploring inside yet.
When I get to the far end there’s a large “This Way” neon sign. Presumably it meant the nearest doorway which opened into what seems to be a power station control room. Here you meet one of the several NPC’s that are dotted around the region. (Of course it could also have implied using the stairs, although that takes you to a rental, but also a good spot to jump over the wall into the power station yard, if you didn’t want use the doors.)
[10:23:40] Engineer Sophia: Hey! I need someone to go check the power lines for me. Can you head out to the Wastelands and check they are all looking ok? I'll pay you for your time of course. Here, take this radio with you so we can communicate out there. Head up the main street, take a right at Slocum Joe's, head straight through the tunnel and then you'll be at the Wastelands. You know, the desert? Check all the lines on the right side of the street. Theres 12 lines in total out there. Make sure you check all 12 before you come back here, I'll radio you when you can come back.
So I did as she asked, followed the directions and went to check all the powerline poles in the “Watelands” which are appropriately named. Out here is very dusty and barren like a scene from a Mad Max film.
[10:37:13] Power Line 1/12: You check the line for any signs of damage, it looks fine. [10:36:54] Power Line 2/12: You check the line for any signs of damage, it looks fine.
After clicking all the ones that gave a response I heard from Sophia:
[10:53:22] Engineer Sophia: *RADIO STATIC* ~~ Looks like that's the last one. Come on back and I'll pay you. Over and out ~~ *RADIO STATIC* [10:54:57] Engineer Sophia: Good job out there today, heres 20 caps.
Caps here referring to a HUD system the region uses, it’s automatically attached when you accept the SL Experience upon arrival.
I then started to explore a bit more there being a small alley adjacent to the control room, I headed down it to see where it led. Through some undergrowth, on what used to be a back street, littered with broken down cars I come through some fencing onto a basketball court. Either end is fenced so I cut through the building opposite, between some more cars and undergrowth onto a main street.
The street ended in one of the teleporter arches leading to an out of town forested area on the coast. If it wasn’t for that green sky you could easily have thought you’d returned to somewhere normal, but it is a lovely landscape to explore.
All these explorations were along the West side of the region (the teleporter arches taking you to different altitudes), perhaps the opposite side has similar locations to explore behind the row of abandoned premises, but I’ll leave that to you to discover, along with the odd npc or two located inside some of them. If that’s not enough there is a whole second region to the North to explore! The quickest way to get there is by clicking on the signs to the left of the teleport arch at the arrival point.
Something is wrong with a Spheres. She doesn’t know where or what, but something is wrong. The shrine where she stands was built where the leylines from various parts of the Fae races converged. Most of them maintained a connection to the respective Spheres continuously, except the Mermaids obviously. Their airheaded builders putting the temple in the wrong place,but at least it was regularly connected enough to do its job. But something still felt wrong.
There were some that were only occasionally showing up, but from different lines, as if they were moving, perhaps one or more had been stolen. The Web of spheres and leylines must be maintained, or the Egg of Ostara will hatch. With no parent, the bleached bones of the last of its race outside of the Khol Dracus valley curled around it, who knows how it will react.
She must leave the tower for the first time in centuries and track down these spheres. They need to be restored to their rightful places, or if the place is no more, a new home and caretakers must be found. She can keep them all at the tower they need to be spread out, there are already too many here.
They were mysterious and beautiful creations, many a lifetime had been spent searching and eventually she’d found one. Having heard the tales when a child she had first thought them just stories. It wasn’t til her teen years that an old journal had surfaced among a crazy old relatives possessions. This contained research notes in several different hands, clearly it had been written by many over a long period of time.
There were descriptions of egg-like objects of many designs but their purpose and origin were unknown. Apparently they held great power, but to what end and how? This one had turned up in a woodland, a logger clearing a swathe of ancient forest, that really should have been protected, found it secreted within a hollow tree he had felled. Apparently it had been found with a symbol made of gold, resembling two letter Fs back to back, this he had sold to a local gold dealer and was likely melted down by now, such a waste! He had shown a little more sense when it came to the Egg though. He took it to an antique dealer in the city, where he’d received a fair price for it he believed. The antique dealer was laughing all the way to the bank though, believing he had just acquired one of the famous jewelled eggs of Russia.
This was when it came to my attention, when the dealer listed it for auction. All those people that had spent decades searching for these things had lacked something that made the job much easier : Twenty-first century Internet with AI search algorithms.
I’d spent a lot of time and money setting this up using some possibly privacy invasive techniques along the way. When the antique dealer in the back end of nowhere pressed Submit on the Web page, my search algorithm picked it up. Which proceeded to run the photo through comparison photos of all the known Russian eggs and found no match ran a trace of the dealers IP address, using hacked access to the service providers customer list then promptly emailed me with the dealers home address and a photo of the item in question.
Now I had it in my hands and the dealer wasn’t going to be selling anything ever again. I say my hands, but currently it was sat on the ornate table in front of me while I watch mezmorized as candle and firlight reflect off it.
Little does she know, far away in a place she doesn’t even know exists, someone has noticed..
The Centaur patrols the pool below the waterfall, enjoying the cool water on her legs when everywhere else in the forest is warm.
She sees movement in the trees and becomes alert, she relaxes its just a faun come to drink. She doesn’t mind her watch shifts in the summer, she gets to stay cool in the water, it’s the best position to guard the cave behind the waterfall that contains her races sacred Sphere.
Generations of her kin have watched over it, not knowing its true purpose or function, just its importance to continued freedom of the Faire races.
More movement on the shore, something darker, not an animal. She nocks an arrow and wades slowly in the water, trying to remain silent as she moves into cover that will let her see better that area. It’s a human dressed in black, very curiously dressed for entering the forest, but suggests they are not trying to conceal their presence.
She calls out from her cover out of his sight. “Who goes there? What’s your business in this part of the forest?”
There is no response and the Human is even looking in a different direction, as if they had not heard. Curious now she comes up onto the shore and partially out of cover, her bow raised and aimed in no uncertain terms at the man..in a flat cap, this is most odd.
She calls again louder this time and the stranger responds this time. “I hope you’re not going to be loosing that that thing at me” he says. “That depends, what are you doing here in this part of the forest? Are you lost?”
He looks rather confused and asks “Am I not still in the park?” she eases the pressure on the string but doesn’t lower it just yet, “Where do you *think* you are? she asks a little concern in her tone now, this guy is clearly not all there. “Avebury?” he replies, clearly coming to the realisation that he wasn’t. Clearly he’s accidentally done something in the stone circle and transported himself to the Faire Lands.
She lowers her bow and gestures along a path, “Follow that path you’ll come to a cirlce of stones and there should be a glowing archway, walk through there and you’ll be back where you belong…then you will wake up from this weird dream you’ve been having about Centaurs. OK?” The man looks embarrassed and heads off along the way she had indicated.
She goes back to the waterfall and checks on the sphere behind it, satisifed she assumes her sentry position once again.
The Centaurs of Fantasy Faire 2021 gathered last night in The Wandering Woods for a a parade. They first all posed for a huge group photo. Then they rode out through the woods and across into Featherfall, out of the dark and into the light and back. The photos don’t do the atmosphere of camoradry justice. I’m new to the “taur” community so it was amazing to watch as they all chatted and socialised. They have a community known as the Ancient Order of Centaurs that meets regularly, I think I may well go along in the future and investigate.
My previous “New Shiny” post The White Witch of Petrichor wasn’t really an entirely new store, so whether it counts for “My New Shiny” challenge is debatable. However now I’ve found a truly new one to write about!
My last few posts have featured a Dryad , a Mermaid and a Demon looking after their respective mysterious “Sphere”. I was considering which other Faire races would have been given such relics. Two that came to mind were fairies and centaurs. I’d started looking at and asking around about Petites for a fairy avatar when someone mentioned a store called Jinx. The main selling point being their Petite supports BoM (Bakes on Mesh) and not just appliers for different skins, so I could use it with my new Petrichor and Fallen Gods skins.
I headed over to the Jinx store in Amethyst Rift and had a bit of a surprise, Jinx creates a whole host of animal avatars. More to the point for me was that they make Centaurs as well as the Petite.I opted first to get the Centaur made up, since there was a FF exclusive skin right there,as well as one for the Felinaur (more on that later).
I was a little concerned how it might work with my existing human (Maitreya) mesh body, but it was so easy! You just add the Centaur body and alpha the lower body then attach the included AO (animation override) which makes it all move correctly when you walk. Your existing AO will continue to function for your upper body, so don’t detach that. That’s it, you’re a Centaur!
For the top half I opted for some more Faire merchant goodies, a Fallen Gods skin, Raven Bell hair, Artoos Ink tattoos and a bow from CKF Falconry.
The young Mer goes about her weekly chore, she knows it’s important but she still finds it tedious going up to the temple to collect the artifacts and bring them down to the pedestal that marks the leyline. If the location is so vital, why didn’t they build the massive temple directly over the leyine? So now because of some architectural miscalculation from a distant ancestor she has to bring the Sphere and symbol of the Gods out and place them on the pedestal and watch it as..nothing..happens. After the prescribed amount of time she carries them back to the temple where they are secured once again, til next time she has to do her duty.
It was hard work sorting through the layers of mythogy and history layered on the site of the ruined Chapel. So many peoples had held this spot sacred and look at it now, crumbling stones. This being the latest addition to the place, attempts by modern religion to stamp out worship of the Old Gods.
I was here though for something that was far older,long forgotten and should not have been. No doubt below the earth there would be remnants of other buildings or worship structures, likely circular.
The significance of of circles had become distorted over time, commonly accepted as reference to the planet or the cycle of life, death and re-birth, it formed the basis for many variants of nature based religions. They were of course wrong. Old tales and legends talk of circles, but it’s a mistranslation. The correct term is Sphere. They did not refer to theoretical concepts, they were physical objects and I’d found one.
Looking at it now I can understand why there were misunderstandings. Demons had called it the “Zygot”, meaning egg. Which makes much more sense when it’s seen closed.
This particular relic and its accompanying symbol of the Gods was entrusted to my race, Demons. Legends told that each race had been entrusted with one, I’m sure somewhere they might be a Dryad or other fae sat in a comfy chair in the warm, unlike me in a draughty ruin. Regretfully my people had neglected their duty of protecting it. Or had they?
As I sat on the bed in the ramshackle shelter I’d built inside the ruins to provide some shelter, I thought how better? People can’t destroy or steal something if they don’t even know it exists, let alone where it might be found.
So some rather smart soul in the last couple of centuries had buried it, but not just anywhere. The legends also told that these relics needed to be near leylines to serve their purpose and this site was at a junction where two lines crossed. They must have had some human help obviously, the ground would have been freshly consecrated back then and no Demon could have got near the place, let alone bury something in the crypt.
Perhaps maybe that’s exactly where it belongs, or thereabouts. The Human Relations Department may have to try and officialy obtain the land, since the place is long abandoned, but that’s fortunately not my job.
Skin: HEL female + Fallen Gods Inc. FF2021 Ragnarok/Jail n Bail Exclusive