Persia – The Immortals

This place is beautiful shadow-draped historically styled region based on ancient Persia of 550B.C.

Arriving through some undergrowth to the bottom of a set of steps drenched in shadows of statues cast by purple moonlight, it has got to to be one of my favourite region arrivals for quite a while.

As you proceed its pleasantly free of clutter, just a few boards, but not intrusive, before you come to your ride.

Ride a horse benefits: Fuel Efficient, Environmentally Friendly,Can drive you home when drunk!

Just click the horse and choose a name from the menu to get your own horse to ride. I picked “magic” because that’s how the place feels. You proceed by walking through a multi-layered veil into a dark but open space.

When you go through it’s such a view, dark and mysterious. To the left is the top arches of an arena, some steps ahead and to the right a small plain leading to a river.

At the top of the steps is a sign reading:

  • Raid Field
  • Arena
  • Shops
  • Rezz Zone.

Seeing the word “Raid” I decided I’d check that later and headed to the right towards the the intruiging palm trees and buildings.

The word “Raid” suggests caution is in order.

Heading towards the distant lights there are buildings and palm trees.

Down a gentle bank is a paved collanade following the path of a dry stream bed. Across the here are a few small homes, some of which are for rent.

Having seen all there was in this area I backtracked towards the steps and the arena.

Aerial view of the Arena

I headed down the steep steps and onto the cobbled path below, passing the entrance to the Arena. The next thing tou see is an imposing temple, which I’ll investigate later, there’s a more impressive view ahead.

What caught my attention ahead were two rather large bridges arching over an impressive harbour scene.

I took the nearest bridge and crossed to the other side where there is a row of various shops. These sell an assortment of appropriately themed weapons and RP props. I headed left towards the harbour mouth until I came to a guard (npc) blocking your way. Mainly because there’s nowhere else to go except back the way you came, or steps onto the roofs of the shops.

Back at the other end of the row there is a narrow but passable slope that used to get back down to the plains.

The bottom of this slope leads me towards the temples, so time to have a look inside. It’s rather imposing from the outside, with steps on either side of the entrance leading up to it. Inside its suitably gloomy in kind with the surroundings, lit by torches near the altar. It does have the feeling of reverence you often experience at religious sites, although I can’t really explain how that works in a virtua space.

Strangely however it’s for rent..but I couldn’t find any kind of residential accommodation thereabouts.

I stopped to meditate for a little while before leaving, because back outside there’s only one structure I’d not explored yet, the Arena and I’m not the fighting type.

A few moments editation before leaving the temple

Fortunately at this time of day there were no combatants about so it was a peaceful visit to this place of violent sport.

This is an amazingly beautiful region to see and wander around. If you want to join in their Roleplay there is a group joiner at the landing point as well as a vendor for their free combat system called “URA Kombat”.

Update 12th Feb: Wondering about the harbour? Check out the follow-up post: Persepolis Docks

Arrival: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sky%20Atoll/20/82/53

Post featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 11th February 2021.

Outfit Credits:

VARGSANGEN

A beautiful Viking/Scandinavian theme location that has a wonderfully cold wintery atmosphere to it. It looked great when I arrived and started taking my snapshots, then I remembered to turn on Shared Environment setting and wow, the place took on a whole new feel.

I find it’s always good to look behind you when you arrive at places, you never know what you’ll find. This is why most of my posts have a rear-facing shot near the beginning.

Most of the time it’s a blank wall, this is one of those times that it’s not, there’s a set of steps leading up the hill from the beach.

There’s a few houses and meeting hall which all look great and fun to explore. You can see from up here all across the bay, the waters seem to go on forever, but there is also a far shore that needs exploring!

Back down the steps there is a log bridge that takes you into a dense woodland. But this is no walk in the park! There’s an assortment of animals in here, not all of them friendly.

A couple of bears are far enough to not be a worry, but the wolf pack (you’ll hear it before you see it) deserve a wide berth, so as not disturb their catch. This small scene is actually really effective with animated deer and wolf snarling sounds, makes it feel real.

Further along the path widens into a small clearing containing someone’s home. There are a number of these dotted around, their simplicity compared to the houses suggests outcasts or solitary individuals keeping away from the main local community.

This place is on the end of a land peninsular so has water in 3 sides, I went across to the beach to get a closer look at something I saw in the distance from the landing point. A rather large creature circling in the water, definitely a place for a paddle!

Retracing my steps through the woods there is a steep set of steps leading up the mountain (by SL proportions). It’s quite a walk up to the top, with some great views as you go up and from the top.

There are signs of some old structures half buried in the ground as you approach the summit. When you reach the top (giving the solitary howling wolf plenty of space) there appears to be an area of worship, with standing stones and a sacrificial altar. You can also see from here another little home, on the beach below a large statue. In the opposite direction is a barren clifftop view over the sea, which can be quite calming to enjoy with the sounds of whistling wind.

Up here I met with the regions creator and we had a nice chat. I said I kept expecting to find an NPC of Floki (a crazy little guy from the Amazon series Vikings) in one of the huts. I asked her about RP in the region and she told me there was none organised, but people were welcome to come and use it for that, she just wanted to create a beautiful place.

Which in my opinion she has achieved and surpassed. If you’re a fan of the series or anything like Viking culture, you will love this place.

To get the best experience I would suggest you enable Shared Environment setting, so it looks how the creator intended it.

If you’ve not got this turned on, in a Firestorm goto the World menu select Environment then “Shared Environment”.

Enjoy exploring!

Landing point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/White%20Widow/101/205/23

Outfit credits :

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

Sindaria Part 2 – New Runner City

I found Sindaria via a Scoop.it article that led me through to a Blog post about the Cyberpunk area of Sindaria. At the time of writing my previous post on Sindaria, I hadn’t fully read the said blog post, for which I owe the author an apology for seeming rather dismissive of it,when that wasn’t my intention. Anyway onto my visit to this city. Obviously this time I took the other teleport doorway, the one lit with neon.

The teleporter to New Runner City

This brings me to a large circular platform surrounded by skyscrapers with giant ad boards on them (not actual advertising for inworld stores or services, RP related). The one that stood out the most was one for a place called “Galaxy Glub”, so clearly a place I’d have to look at. Nearby is a shuttle landing platform that I headed for.

The shuttle landing platform

Before I left however I thought I’d mention the eco-dome type structure containing a few trees. A nod to the other theme on the region, like the police car in the Elven Woodland area below. At the shuttle platform I hit the big green call button and a shuttle could be heard approaching and landed next to me and I boarded.

The shuttle system is fairly impressive with quite a number of locations it will take you. I picked a location at random and the shuttle tok off and flew me down to a lower level, rather smoothly.

At the bottom I found myself a short distance from the Galaxy Club so I went to investigate. As Secondlife clubs go this was fairly mediocre, but given the region is meant for RP not parties, this is understandable, much more effort has been spent elsewhere.

Back outside I found a teleport station, again with a reasonable number of destinations. This is good, because as I explored I kept finding more to see, similar to Hangars Liquides, but on a smaller scale. I ended up at what appeard to be the rear of the club, near the entrance to another unidentified building. No signage and a locked door. What was beyond this place however I found more interesting.

Rain. Yes I know sounds weird, but when most people try to add weather to a place in SL, it looks dreadful. Not that it’s something you deliberately look for, but it stood out to me because it was so atmospherically accurate and appropriate to the setting.

Rain, that actualy felt like rain.

To my left I saw what appeared to be pink crosses so went to investigate, I guess even cyberpunks need religion, but this seemed more of the Vegas variety.

I headed out in the opposite direction to see how far the rain went and where the road led. The rain didn’t extend far, but the road does, lots of winding bends, leading downhill. The further down you go, the scruffier it gets, more proligic garffiti and the like abound.

I didn’t explore much more of the region beyond this, it would take quite some time with the city being so large. Lots of RP locations everywhere and multiple transport methods to find and get to them. If you like your Cyberpunk RP this is a place to definitely check out. Usually I keep my writing about SL, because making comparisons to PC games is usually like comparing chalk and cheese. However while I was writing this peice I saw a video that mentions the much hyped Cyberpunk 2077 game. I haven’t played the game on any platform so I watched it with inerest to hear a critical analysis. It was mentioned a few times that the linear nature of the game didn’t allow for much aesthetic character customisation or Roleplay in what was meant to be an Roleplaying Game. But to me that’s like trying to hammer a nail with the handle of a screwdriver, it’ll work, but isn’t the right tool. You want to aesthetically customise you character to your hearts desire with few constraints and have freeform RP? Sign up to SecondLife and spend the game price on Lindens (at time of writing that’s about $L 16,400) to customize your avie to your hearts desire. Then visit the cyberpunk location of your choice and RP away. Obviously if you want to go round shooting folk and NPC’s as part of a structured plot, it’s not for you, but if your focus is the “RP” in RPG give it a go. Landing Point: https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sindaria/58/91/1089 Website: https://www.worldanvil.com/w/sindaria-scarlet-fey The Cyberpunk 2077 video mentioned: Youtube

Outfit:

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 20th January 2021.

Drune: Babalon

Another district of Drune is unveiled to us!

In a similar style but not ground layout as the previous build (Drune Crossroads), Drune Babalon is full of lights in a dark setting.

Like Crossroads you arrive by tube (Subway), although this time the arrival point is in a carriage rather than on the platform.

You’re not in the wrong place, walk forward!

Unfortunately the TP routing drops you too close to the back of the carriage when using the default camera position. Just take a step forward.

Walk along the carriage til you come to the doors

and step out onto the platform

Exit up the stair into a much smaller lobby leading out onto the street:

I went left and across the street to the purple steps and what looked interestingly like some kind of portal

Which took me into a small club calle “Peaches”. The neon lights change very regularly to different colours, giving the club a different feel from minute to minute, but thankfully not at a fast flickering speed.

Coming back out I saw a weapons shop across the street, a reminder of the dark kind of RP that could be found here.

Maybe it’s close to the station for a reason, but I came prepared with my own.

Along the street I find a club East of Eden, but didn’t go inside

The building across the street was more intruiging..”Jesus Saves..with Drune Central Bank”. I wondered whether I find pews or bank teller cubicles inside.

Turned out it was neither, the church had been converted into a nightclub,the pulpit the DJ Booth.

Out on the street again I see a neon sign for another potentially interesting place to investigate, a Fight Club.

This place wasn’t too surprising on the inside, exactly as it proclaimed.

While I explored it became evident that while the layout of the streets near the station were similar to Crossroads, there was more levels to Babalon. The Crossroads had another level but it was high up above street level, here the levels are more evident, due to a waterway running through the region. This meant there was a lower waterside level.

So obviously I had to explore the lower level and see what trouble may be found.

However before I descended I spotted a tiny detail on the bridge, just some puddles, but is another example of the attention to detail in Drune builds.

Only in SL might puddles deserve a photo, but the detail caught my eye.

As I descended to the lower level I could see some brightly lit places that might warrant later investigation.

Down on the lower level however I found a fun looking Rock Club

But Drune being a Roleplay simulation, it’s unlikely it’ll see any dancing.

Back outside I found there was a walkway that ran underthe bridges, but no way to cross the river without getting wet.

I retraced my steps and crossed over to look at the other places I’d seen. The most brightly lit turned out to be a chinese restaraunt. As you would expect from a Drune build,while not particularly exciting, this wasn’t just an empty facade.

Nearby however I found a small starirway and followed it up.

On the upper level I found a small cafe and access onto a walkway similar to that of Crossroads, but not quite as extensive.

When I reached the end of the walkway and a brief rest, I took the quickest way down to the ground, off the edge again. The fal being much shorterthan the one in Crossroads!

Back on the ground I found another instance of the Vooddoo club

At the end of my post about Crossroads, I commented that it could probably have got away with a Moderate rating,due to the establishment signage being merely suggestive and absence of adult furniture. So I thought I’d have a look and see if the same was true here.

When I arrived I’d tried a few doors and they seemed to have combination locks keeping the public out, seems I’d just been clicking the wrong part of the lock.

So first stop was a massage parlor, which turned to have functioning massage couches.

Then the more flagrant establishment across from the station..which was pretty much as you’d expect,but more peepshow type than couples animations.

So this district of Drune definitely requires it’s Adult rating. But as you can see, this is just fairly small aspect of the highly detailed cyberpunk build. Which along with bars and clubs, even includes your regular mundane service vendors..

As always we never know how long these builds will stay around, so go check it out before its gone.

Arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Blissful%20Summer/135/184/2496 (Region Rating :Adult)

Note on lighting: This Drune build uses an EEP shared lighting model, you’ll get a notecard about it when you arrive. If you don’t have EEP viewer thinks might look different.
(Also besides EEP implementation the photos got a whole lot better since the Crosroads post because I got a sweet new laptop with much better graphics!)

Outfit Credits:

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 5th January 2021.

A look back at My 2020 in SecondLife

While we may not all want to look back at 2020 in the Real World, doing so for my Second Life isn’t half as depressing.

Looking at my previous posts over the last year I was actually busier than I thought. I did quite a bit of RP in SL Gor during first few months of  the year tracking down old friends,

Pondering what adventures are to come with my return to Gor

before moving on to a Prison RP  which had me chasing escapees for a few weeks.

I caught up with one of the escapees in a bar

 

Then along came Fantasy Faire,where this year I was able to have early access the empty lands before the masses arrived.

Empty streets of Fantasy Faire

This was through my involvement with the NeoVictoria Project as opposed to the FF Bloggers (since I didn’t make the official list,maybe next year!)

This gave me a new perspective on the Faire that I wrote about. I also wrote two short stories  based around the Faire as part of their “Faire Folk” challenge, called Under the Pass and Casseopeia. How could anyone not be inspired by the Faire?

I next moved onto a different more futuristic RP, a cyberpunk location inspired by the city of Helix.

The city didn’t survive the RL lockdown,but it has led to a small but thriving group,making a life for themselves in a dusty Martian crater.

Bits of ruined machinery in the dusty crater

Halloween came around fast and all the spooky places sprung up for October and I had great fun blogging some of them.

Shortly before the *actual* date of Halloween arrived I was at a club called Ohana that I’d visited several times in the past and they mentioned Hosting vacancies,so I applied and was taken on after a trial set that went great.

Debut Set at Ohana Rock Club, 19th October

Finally in December I decided I’d try to go along to the SL Book Club readings. I’d seen the Twitter activity about it weekly (who could miss Draxtors enthusiasm?)but never actually got around to attending. I went along two and a half hours early,just intending to have a look and take a Landmark.

I realised I’d unwittingly taken myself hostage,the place was already half full and if I’d left,getting back in wasn’t guarunteed. Fortunately I’d already done my whip around of Christmas advent calendar clicking that day!

Already half-full hours early!

Which pretty much brings this year of Second Life adventures to a close.

However..

I’ve explored more places than I got around to blogging about, so I’ve lots of photos of places that deserve long posts of their own. Maybe I’ll write those next year if the locations are still there in the New Year.

For now I’ve simply made small galleries of some of the different places I didn’t feature on the blog, as well as some one-off snaps,in chronological order:

A storytelling evening at NeoVictoria (3rd January)

Furry Night at Kitty Kaboom (23rd January)

Bikini party at Kitty Kaboom,from PG angle. (13th February)

Hayo as a Tarn (18th May)

Tarns are large birds,ridden by some warriors in the fictional world of Gor.

Sci-Fi Con 2020 (21st May)

 

Ash Falls (15th July)

Murder City (21st July)

SecondLife 17th Birthday explorations via train (24th July)

Pandemonium (7th August)

Delerium (12 August)

 

Tea with Sheree (15th September)

Hayo preparing for Halloween (4th October)

 

Jeep Antics with Sheree and Hayo (11th October)

NeoVictoria 10th Anniversary Roleplays (22-24th November)

 

Boggying with Nyte after my set at Ohana (19th December)

Boogying with Nyte at Ohana

 

SecondLife Book Club (16+23rd December)

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 28th December 2020.

Drune Crossroads

Drune is back!

I missed the last incarnation of this place, since it doesn’t seem to stay for long, so I’m pleased I got to visit this time around. Hopefully it’ll still be there for you to visit when you read this.

To set the scene this is the land description:

Drune Crossroads
A drift down memory lane, with an eldritch tone. Cyberpunk Streets, Cyber Punk City, Sci Fi, Bladerunner, Lovecraft

So you can expect lots of bright neon lights, dark alleyways and (non-drivable)flying cars.

The arrival point is an Underground (Subway) station.

exit through the ticket barriers up the escalator as you would a real station.

This takes you up into a waiting room

Now we get to the interesting part, exiting this area takes you out into a main street where you are bombarded with the expected neon and shopfronts.

You then come to what must be the proclaimed “crossroads”.

You may have noticed in the last picture in the previous gallery I passed a blue Christmas tree, this becomes relevant when you reach the crosroads.

There’s different coloured trees in different directions, this helps you keep your bearings, when at street level at least. I picked red and went that way.

Drune has lots of little nooks and crannies full of detail, as I walked I saw a sliding door open slightly and had a peek.

This one was a car repair place,not super interesting from my point of view, but illustrates the detail put into the place.

When I got to the end of the road there was a junction

I headed right towards the pink neon lighting a stairwell and wasn’t surprised what I found..a bar with a some rather evocative statues at the entrance and some fun solo dance furniture.

Heading through to the back I had a look down at the street below

Next I retraced my steps down to ground level and took the opposite alley that took me to a ground level bar with a somewhat classier feel.

I then took a nearby fire-escape style staircase which seemed to go on for ever, when I reached the top I look over the edge…it’s a long way down!

However up at the top is a whole nother way of seeing the city, via a maze of walkways.

When I reached the apparent end there seemed to fortunately be a lift back down

But when I took it down and followed the subsequent corridor..It led to a locked door!

I had no choice but to go back up and walk around the gangways. But as I said, it’s a bit of a maze and couldn’t find the stairs! I decided to abandon my pedestrian approach that I try to stick to when exploring and took the express route back to the ground, that you could only get away with in SL, jump over the railing. The fall seemed even further than it looked.

Back on the ground I’d landed in what at first glance was a sex venue of some kind, til I read the second line “Cosmetic Surgery”, not what you normally might associate red or pnk neon with, also not a roleplay avenue I’d want to pursue!

On the whole another great incarnation of the cityscape, worth visiting for sure, lots to be found with lots of attention to detail.

Arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Real%20Angel%20Estate/33/128/37 Region Rating: Adult
(although it could probaby get away with being rated Moderate, if it weren’t for a few revealing photos on an upper level,since the signage everywhere appears to be merely suggestive and I didn’t find any furniture with adult animations.)

This post was featured on the SecondLife Community Blog on 14th December 2020

What SecondLife is about for me

Last night I watched Mika Snow interview the inspirational Strawberry Singh, blogger turned Linden. Following on from my post yesterday, I’ve another fun dancing snap. As I said yesterday, to me SL is about friendship, it’s also about Fun!

How people have their fun in SL can vary considerably in a world where pretty much anything is possible, but me right now it’s these simple things.

Strawberry echoed this yesterday, when she said that as a newbie, this was mostly what she (and most newbies) did; Made friends, danced and partied.

Ava is now waaay beyond the newbie phase at age 7 in SL, but I still love a good party. So much so I recently took a hosting job at Ohana Rock Club, which is great! The picture above was taken at one of my hosting shifts by Tina Twine, who labelled it “Hip-Grinding at Ohana”. To twist a Forest Gump quote “That’s all I should say about that!”

Ohana arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ohana%20Cove/234/61/25 Region Rating: Moderate.

Featured on SecondLife Community Blog 24th November 2020.

Cocoon

Cocoon is a Cyberpunk Roleplay location, but with a slight difference, as you will see.

Arrival point

The story lore incorporates various races/beings

Don’t forget to collect a visitor tag before you leave the arrival point

Once you arrive in the RP area find the taxi, clicking it will give you a grid displaying various locations to visit.

The various locations are what you would normally expect to find in a place of this genre.

However if you choose the “Main Starport” option on the taxi board, this is where things get a little different. Because here you will find a couple of vehicles that transport you to slightly different themed places.

The Limo-style one takes you to a location referred to as “Luna” and is very clean and utopian in style:

The other transport takes you a considerably more run down location, apparently located on Mars:

There’s certainly a lot to explore here and plenty of scope for RP storylines with the various race and faction options to choose from. Drop by and have a look if Sci-Fi or Cyberpunk are your thing.

A note if you’re going along just to take pictures. The default windlight is quite dark as you can see, so choose a lighter outfit if you’re going to use it. You can see in the first pic my suit was black and found I had to change that as soon as I left landing area because I was pretty much invisible (good for roleplay maybe, not for pictures).

Arrival Point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Esperia/236/163/4086

Website: https://cocooncorp.enjin.com/

Featured on SecondLife Community Blog 13th November 2020.

Halloween 2020: This is Halloween

“This is Halloween” quite a self confident name/claim for a location I thought when I saw it on the Destinations, so I had to have a look and see if it lived up to it.

It does certainly give you that kind of feel on arrival, the mandatoryhooded ghoulish figure, twisted trees and some pumpkins.

Behind you are some more trees with an inviting path, so that’s the way I headed

Through the trees and a dark hollow log tunnel, leads you to enchanging night view

and of course, the pumkin patch

Following the paths in any direction take you to a variety of spooky sights, I’ll include a few snaps here, but it’s worth having an explore to feel the spooky atmosphere yourself.

Does it live up to it’s namesake title? Well it has all the expected parts, the conclusion I leave you.

Landing point:http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bonaire03/112/129/22

Featured on SecondLife Community Blog 19th November 2020

Halloween 2020: Forgotten Souls

Forgotten Souls is a “abandoned frontier town” type of place with some older and newer elements thrown in. The landing point drops you outside a cemetery, but you can’t enter directly from this side so I took a wander.

There appeared to be some lights in the other direction, so I headed that way and found what appeared to be an old store of some kind.

Place unsurprisingly a bit of a wreck, but some figures ehead so I headed in that direction

Which lead me to some of what must be the Lost Souls the place is named for.

I took some stairs outside a near building to give me a bit of a better view

Seeing that there appeared to just be wasteland beyond the living corpses I went back the other way to see what else the town had to offer.

First stop was obviously the Cemetery

Further along what could only be called the main street was a foreboding building on the opposite side, the Asylum.

I just had to have a peek inside..

At the end of the street there appears some kind of ruined train carriage

Seems someone was living in it for some time, but evidently now a long time ago.

following the road around I found the rear of the main street had some shop fronts

Looking at the decayed shop buildings, I almost missed a stone staircase hidden in the mist

So up I inevitably went to investigate

At the top I found a half collapsed columned structure and within it a rather disturbing scene.

I retraced my steps back out to the main street and decided to see if there was any mysteries behind the store I saw on arrival. Sure enough I found a lake behind it.

Along with a number of other buildings that I’ll leave you to explore!

Landing point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Forgotten%20Souls/107/119/25

Featured on Secondlife Community Blog 8th October 2020.