September 16, 2006

All aboard!

There are two working railroads in SL that I know of. The privately owned Great Second Life Railroad (GSLR) and the Linden owned Second Life Rail Road (SLRR). The Independent State of Caledon has also begun work on a railway system that will transport its residents more quickly and easily through their ever growing community.

The TP associated with the GSLR in Find Places actually takes you to the station in Slate, but I reccommend beginning your ride at the terminal station in Purple.

the station in purple

The ride ends abruptly in Mocha (the end of the line anyway) where some delightful individual has littered the track with plywood cubes.

ply wood!!

The train dissappears after a bit so that it can re-rez in less hostile conditions.

The head of the "Great Second Life Railway Group" is Athos Murphy who's profile informs us:
"The locomotive (based on a Midland Railway 4-2-2 steam engine built in 1900) and the carriage (based on an 1890s private coach in Britain) are currently just test items, to work on scripts and to determine clearances and visual effect. The Slate station is based on Wingfield station, also in Britain; the signal and viaducts are also based on British practice. Scripts for waypoint-based motion, the interior experience, scheduling, and audio files are underway."
I am looking forward to these additions, trains are a great way to see the world.

The SLRR is tracked by a talking map in ANWR:

map with blinky lights

As you can see, the SLRR is still in development. The map only has indicator lights from Tuliptree to Jubata although track has been laid all the way to Bhaga. I teleported to the Tuliptree Station (conveniently located at almost the dead center of the sim) and waited and waited and waited for a train.

waiting for the train

There is a nice little picnic area provided by Abelard Ash just behind the station.

When no train appeared, I flew along the tracks (through many sims) to Jubata without finding it. Perplexed, I returned to ANWR to see if the map could give any more information. The indicator light was blinking red, north of Achemon, and the map was no longer talking. I decided to check the section of track on foot, but still didn't find the train. I can only guess that a Physics Accident or a Return to Inventory occurred, and the last place the train was seen was the location of the blinking red light.

peering down the tracks

According to the map, the train should be right around the bend...

When the train is up and running, I am certain that a ride on the SLRR is entertaining. Each station has its own unique look, and I noticed many other areas of interest (Including the Hobo Railroad in Calcutta which could be a Baedeker entry all by itself!) as I flew along the tracks. The locations of future stations are marked with "temporary platforms" of concrete. The SLRR is an ambitious Linden project, and one that I hope will not fall by the wayside (although I hope the inventory copy bug has a higher priority).

The Purple Terminal, Purple (136, 203, 25)
The Plywood Cube End of the Line, Mocha (227 208 42)

The SLRR Map, ANWR (96, 165, 35)
SLRR Tuliptree Station, Tuliptree (128, 128, 0)
Bhaga Terminal, Bahga (95, 38, 28)
Calleta's Hobo Railroad Infohub, Caletta (129, 207, 27)

September 09, 2006

Kasteel Veloren

"Welcome to Verloren
Please feel free to wander at your leisure."

I've been here before. On my very early explorations into SL I ended up so completely lost that I had to teleport myself out. Which should give you some idea of the sheer size of the Kasteel Verloren.

the Kasteel Verloren

The tp to the castle in "Find" (and in the SLurl below) will rez you in the entrance hall, but I prefer to approach from across the bridge. I recommend using the provided SLurl to Exact - you will get a much better sense of the scope (and may see something you like in Exact at the same time). By teleporting directly to the entrance hall, you also miss the cottages and outbuildings surrounding the castle.

the caretaker cottage

The Caretaker's Cottage

I was better prepared to wander about on this visit. And took my time exploring the maze of sitting rooms, bed chambers, dining halls, the kitchens and servents quarters - the seemingly endless network of corridors and twisty staircases leaves you in doubt of your exact position within the castle. At one point I dropped through a hole in the floor into what I first thought was a chapel but on closer inspection appeared to be the throne room. There is a dungeon that I didn't notice on my last visit (the entrance is somewhat hidden) and stables with horses.

the dining room

The table is set for just two.

The astounding attention to detail brings life to the build: carrot pieces have fallen onto the floor in the kitchen, boots are carefully placed under a bed, the fireplaces are lit in all of the rooms to ward off the chill of stone walls.

the kitchen

Dinner is being prepared

I kept my hover tips on for the length of my visit, the names of the objects are entertaining and occasionally, you will run across a free-to-copy item to take home as a souvenir of your visit (like the chicken feet in the kitchen). I came across only one other soul during my visit, a monk alseep in the courtyard. In true SL fashion, he was suspended in the air.

At the time of this entry, I had yet to reach Versu Richeliue, the individual responsible for the castle, to ask quesitons about the build. But Versu's profile reads: "The next person that tells me to "take a break" from building to dance or play tringo is going to get a smack...When I take a break, I log out." This sort of single mindedness and passion is marvelously displayed in the Kasteel Verloren.

Kasteel Verloren, Verloren (209, 131, 43) - The Entrance Hall
Exakt, Verloren (219, 31, 34)
Caretakers Cottage, Verloren (49, 200, 36)
Dungeon Entrance, Verloren (57, 78, 34) - Look around.

For more information about the beautiful Otherland estate, please visit their website or contact Dana Bergson or Ghoti Nya in-world.

September 02, 2006

The Forest of Kahruvel

When I first teleported into the Forest of Kahruvel, I was immediately struck with an intense feeling of Great Age. Meters and meters of forest spreads out around the landing spot - old growth. Prehistoric growth. On further exploration (that is, wandering around), I begin to come across the ruins of an ancient time, fragments of history and the hideout of a man named Phyneas Jack...

overlooking the coast

I was enchanted.

I immediately began searching the recorded history of Second Life to see if I could find out more about the forest and it's mysteries. I came to discover that Salazar Jack and his family have been patiently replanting, reconstructing and excavating the Forest and its surroundings since the Lindens made their world available again. A world that they had fled 35 years earlier because of a catastrophic event known as The Great Erase. Valdora Grayson's (Salazar's mother) description of the event can be found in her apartments above the Cafe Jack. For his part, Salazar is now collecting the accounts, documenting discoveries and preserving the history of the area with his website.

While exploring the Seaside Village to the Southwest of the forest, I located two maps that showed the extent of the reconstruction.

two maps

On the left, the area map. On the right, the terrain map.

I have not included SLurls for all of the sites of archaeological interest housed within the Forest of Kahruvel and surrounding area; it is much more interesting to discover them for yourself. I encourage you to take the time to explore the area thoroughly - you will be left with many unanswered questions...

Whose hand print is this?

handprint in the pillar

When touched, it makes the same noise as the landing spot.

How did this Tako come to be embedded in stone?

boat in stone

My guess is that this is the result of a Physics Accident that has gone unnoticed - not very mysterious at all!

What DOES happen if you ride the elevator in the light house by the village?

the lighthouse

Be sure to visit Salazar Jack's blog to stay up-to-date on the archaeological progress and rebuilding efforts!

The Forest of Kahruvel, Rodeo (29, 36, 49)
Cafe Jack, Grignano (96, 116, 28)
Seaside Village by the Forest of Kahruvel, Cowell (152, 79, 27)
The Tako in Stone, Stinson (189, 93, 61)