I paid another visit to Helix City, following up on my previous Helix City introductory review post.
I looked around at their various rentals they offered. If I was going to be visiting, I really needed at least somewhere safe to retreat to if the streets got too dangerous.
I opted for the cheapest option, which was a room in a hotel. I figured it was also quite realistic approach. Finding some temporary accommodation when new in town, makes more sense than renting a big apartment if you’re not sure how long you’re staying.
I then went for a bit of a wander to see what was in the immediate vicinity. I found a small back alley place where some of the locals were hanging out.
I introduced myself and reacquainted myself with the woman I met on a hover bike on my first visit. They invited me to sit and have a drink with them. So I joined them and we chatted.
I was asked the obvious questions of what brought me there. I hadn’t thought too much about my story at Helix yet so I recycled one. I adapted the ‘bounty hunter’ approach from my RP at Liddell Correctional Facility to fit the scene. I said I had been pursuing a bounty and had the tables turned on me, I was now the one being pursued. Hiding out in the crime – ridden Martian city made sense.
I padded this out when asked how I’d come to be a bounty hunter, I said it was a matter of dishonourable discharge from service, although I did not clarify *which* service and politely declined to expand on the “why?” because I had just met them all.
I was invited by a friend to go and visit an RP region by the name Deathlands. The name conjures up various possibilities of what it may be like, from a massive graveyard to a giant killing zone like in films such as Predators,The Running Man or Mad Max. The latter type is closer to accurate when you include the words ‘post apocalyptic’.
It’s an abandoned mining town setting with military base aspects, the welcome notecard describes it as:
Industrial, mining & military/civilian island community
The history describes a nuclear attack approximately 60 years previous. This leads to the possibility of mutations of your choice in generations since. So plenty of variety possible excluding any advanced technology, there aren’t even any functioning cars. Varied remains of main street stores through to a submarine.
It’s an interesting place that could lead to some fun RP. I’ll probably be back to explore some more, see what the mine has to offer for starters and see if anything develops.
In a previous post I visited the Tavern outside the walls and another time I had explored inside the city with potential plans to move there.
The decision has now been made for me however, the forest homestead is closing due to funding issues. So everyone based there is moving to the Lydius region, which is Full region rather than Homestead.
So I paid another visit to the City to explore housing and character role opportunities.
So I approached the gates of Lydius to find them surprisingly open and a guard sleeping in the doorway.
I stated my business and intent to find new lodgings and perhaps run the Inn or Tavern. When I mentioned I already had girls that could work in there in various roles,(which is true I’m still in contact with a couple of them from my old Tavern) he seemed very interested in showing me the places.
The potential issue here however is the differences between an Inn and a Tavern in Gorean lore. Lydius is a BTB (By The Book) region, meaning it’s supposed to stick strictly to the lore.
In Gorean lore the only females you’d find in a Tavern would be those on their knees serving drinks, dancing mostly naked, or on their backs in curtained-off alcoves. Taverns are basically male-only drinking dens. So having a female proprietor would be most irregular.
On the other hand an Inn is a much more respectable establishment. More suited to providing accommodation to visiting merchants or similar.
Neither place is currently used often, mainly due to lack of proprietor and serving girls.
I have to decide if I want to take on the role of innkeeper or not. It may be dependant on the availability of my former serving girls, (or recruiting new ones) since no place can be run properly without them.
Helix City is a Cyberpunk role play region with a bit of a difference. It’s not on a futuristic Earth, Earth is dying, it’s on Mars.
At first glance it appears to have taken inspiration from the likes of Blade Runner. However on reading the information/rules notecard at the arrival area, they insist most adamantly it’s not the case:
This is not Blade Runner, nor is it The Fifth Element, nor The Expanse. This is Helix, and the story is yours to write.
They do have their own lore (read it here) and want to keep to it that way, which I think is great. The ethos of “the story is yours to write” sums up role play in SL for me. So robots, cyborgs, appropriately dressed humanoids all welcome. However they’re quite clear about other Canon appearances, so don’t turn up in a Starfleet or similar uniform. I think it boils down to them wanting you to make an effort to make your own story, not copy a movie or series you liked.
I had already put together an outfit that I’d assembled from purchases at Fantasy Faire and recently from the Cyberpunk event. After finishing reading the rules, I added a combat utility belt and a leg holder gun!
Police intervention is rare, but swift and relentless. Muggings, brawls, and prostitution are some people’s forms of employment. Carry a weapon and keep your cash stashed.
So once I was ready, it was time to explore. Straight through the entrance portal takes you into a car park and taxi ranks like you would find coming out of an airport or transit hub, but we are not on Earth, this is Mars.
The general atmosphere is dark and foreboding punctuated by neon lights. You do get the feeling you’re in the set for one of the movies they claim not to be like, but I guess dark sci-fi can only have so many variations, it’s the storyline behind it that’s different.
Ava stepped out of the carpark onto the street and sees signs for various establishments, some in English others not.
She turns off the main street immediately, that’s a place you’ll be seen and that can be dangerous for a new arrival. She walked through an open courtyard area promptly not wanting to be in the open too long until familiar with the area.
She hears a sound behind her and steps quickly into the shadows out of the neon glare and finds herself hidden by a tree of all things. Briefly wondering how it could survive without much sunlight while she waits to see if her would-be pursuer passes by.
A young blonde woman walks past heading the way Ava has been going. Judging by her appearance she wouldn’t be stalking anyone, more likely to be stalked. She wore just shorts and a light top, definitely not the attire of a sane person around here.
Ava proceeded on her way towards what appeared to be a bar or club by the name of “Kink”. Possibly disreputable but probably a good place to get information if there were any patrons at this hour. Unfortunately the place was empty except a bored looking pole dancer.
As she pondered where she might head to next, the blonde approached Ava looking somewhat lost.
Ava took a seat at the bar, keeping an eye on the room in the reflection in the glass behind the bar. She asks the stranger if she’s alright, since she doesn’t look it.
There then followed a discussion between them that reveals the girl is a stereotypical “daddy’s little rich girl” who’s had her allowance cut off. She’d thought she might go for a jog while the ship she arrived on was refueling. That explained the attire but not the lack of sense that made her think it was a good idea. However she was now wandering the streets because the ships captain had left without her. We RPed for a little while before she had to go, possibly the beginnings of a good storyline here.
Ava left the woman in the bar with a suggestion that maybe she take up pole dancing to raise cash. Heading warily through the streets she sees evidence of various Earth cultures and some she isn’t sure about.
She steps into the alcove of one and sees writing on the door suggesting the place is definitely not open for business. Whatever Spice might be.
Further exploration has Ava a little turned around, while she tries to retrace her steps, she doesn’t notice a hover bike approach.
Ava steps off the gangway she had been crossing back onto solid ground. While the rider doesn’t at first glance mean her harm Ava remains wary.
The female rider asks if she is new in town and needs somewhere to stay, mentioning she knew of a half-way house. Ava thinks of the blonde she left at the bar and answers “I’m fine for now myself. However I met someone earlier that could definitely use that kind of help.” She continues as she puts a little distance between them, “I’ll go find them again and send them your way, or maybe bring them so they make it safely.”
I definitely like Helix City and will be back to RP when time allows. I must admit while I was exploring the region, having just read the summary of their lore, the advertisements in one of the films on their not list was on a loop in my head. “The off-world colonies, a chance to begin again.”
However once I read the extended lore on their website while writing this, its a film that isn’t on their list that came to mind. A film in which it was ancient aliens that built the tech to make the Martian environment breathable, not Earth corporations. I like the Helix version of the scenario better though.
But I digress, I’ll be back there again to followup on those RP leads and I’d recommend people check the place out too. Just remember to grab the rules notecard and read it before entering.
I decided I wanted a new steampunk look too, but the Faire wasn’t the ideal place to shop for that. While there are lots of excellence shops at the Faire I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for, so I went to The Engine Room event. I picked up a few things that I didn’t realise I was missing until I saw them, like this neck corset by Silvery K, hat by Insomnia Angel and new hair to go under it.
Corset: SteamPunk Corset with Watch (own creation from Full Perm items, ask for details)
Alara had heard the trembling and vibrations in the ground as she slept during the daylight hours. They got stronger the closer she got to the mountains and home.
She had seen machinery on a large scale sometimes pass nearby as she traveled at night. What were the surface-dwellers doing?
Rather than taking the cave entrance into the centuries old subterranean city her people called home, she decided to investigate what was going on. She climbed the slope in darkness, to a position where she could look down on the surface settlement and froze with shock.
They had always mined the rock miles above her home, but never had she seen a drill of that size! She looked down into the crater trying to visualize the layout of the city below. If they dug much further they would start to uncover old entrance tunnels!
She descended the slope away from the settlement towards the nearest entrance, she must warn her people. No doubt some would already be scared by the inevitable increased noise, but she suspected the Elders would be dismissing it as just more mining if they had no idea what was above them. Stopped for now, but inevitably that drill will start again.
There were several Meet & Greet sessions at Fantasy Faire for NeoVictoria, the one I was able to attend was on 29th April and it was pretty busy! Quite a few of the existing members were able to attend, so the varied collection of interested players were able to get plenty of answers to any questions they had. I believe we may well have gained a few new players for our community!
Visitors may think that the large serpentine statutes around Cassiopeia are just that, statute. They would be wrong.
The statues are meant to be a warning reminder of the planets largest natural predator. Although they have not been seen for a long time and have almost become myth. Yet the evolutionary evidence of the humanoid population cannot be denied, having dark patterned skin that would allow them to blend into natural terrain like a chameleon.
Evidently the humanoid population did not evolve from apes.
Custom dictates bright coloured clothing only be worn in private, going against this is frowned upon particularly by older generations. They say all stories are based on a grain of truth and the same can be said for customs originating from necessity. In this case it was survival.
A question that remains unanswered though is why each serpent statute is accompanied by what those of Earth would call an Angel? Do they represent an alien race? Perhaps a visiting race that destroyed the serpents, to allow the humanoids to thrive. Were they guardians against the serpents, or their keepers? The answers are no doubt long lost.
At the Faire last year I wandered rather aimlessly, I followed the Bubbo Owls storyline and one day I went to a NeoVictoria meet & greet, apart from that I didn’t explore much. It was that meet that would change my perspective, I just didn’t know it at the time.
This year I was at the planning meetings and discussions of what NeoVictoria may do at their meets and discussed what items they would be offering for sale and as gifts. It was this last part that was most relevant, I volunteered to make a freebie gift.
On the evening of the Wednesday before the Faire began I was invited to the “Backstage” group so I could Rez the item for visitors to purchase.
On the Thursday morning I logged back in to have an explore.
It was surreal being in the Faire before it opened. My previous experiences had always been of bustling regions full of people. As usual I didn’t really have much of a plan of what I wanted to see, I just knew I had about 3 hours before the Faire opened and there would be people everywhere. I just wanted to see as much as I could before the masses arrived.
Since the NeoVictoria store is located in Auxenio’s Pass steampunk region, that’s where I started. When I stepped outside I was blown away by the surroundings. I started walking the paths to see what I found.
With the regions being mostly empty except for store owners making final tweaks to their displays and other creators taking the time to wander, it was blissfully quiet.
I stuck mostly to the paths, with occasional detours, wanting to try and see as much as I could in the time I had. Traveling mostly clockwise around the Faire, I took in the sights of the created locations. Each one mind blowing or boggling in their design. I got about half way around before I ran out of time, but I had a large collection of snapshots taken as I went around. Here are some of my favourites.
Now I look forward to exploring the rest of the Faire!