Friday, December 22, 2006

On The Move

One thing is for sure right now. Things are certainly stirred up for the crew and I as we try to figure out exactly how to take the next step with our presence in-world. For awhile, I was renting a small shop and using it in double duty as office and shop. I've had to reconsider a few things lately and we are, for the most part, completely mobile. My goal is to set up an office space for Frontier's Horizon. It's to be a small place where folks can see some of the things I've found, a place for discussions, interviews, and, if nothing else, a place for me to call my own and write up these reports.

For now, my most magical friend, Jesa Li, has offered me up a modest but warm cabin which is to be Frontier's Horizon first ever office. Over the next few days, I will be moving from our old studio space in Legacy Gardens and over to the new location. At the same time, the images and paintings will be going over to the An Lios Market. I'm sure that we will be announcing an official opening in the near future. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted as things settle after the big change.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Taking a small break away from dusty temples and artifacts, I decided to grab the spirit of the season and look for a few locations that have been hit with the holiday spirit. Winter festivals tend to bring out the best in many cultures, whether its Christmas, Yule, and others of Earth, the New Sun Festivals of the Earladyn, or the Cold Anvil Tossing of the dwarves of Gahlcrag. So, in due respect for the fun that can be had amidst the snow and good cheer of that particular season, I went out doing what I do which is, of course, exploring.

I portalled into the winter wonderland of Nepenthe's Forge located in Aldi and was glad to see the snow was deep, the branches were covered, and the mood was just right. I had to find my way down through the hover platform and found myself within a great tree. Great trees and the houses built within them are a big favorite of mine. What better way to entwine yourself into nature, have a great view, and, at the same time, a decent dock for your airship's shuttle? The great tree at Nepenthes' Wonderland stands on the coast and towers over a small frozen pond where one can pick up not only a pair of skates but a few tossing snowballs and a cup of hot chocolate.

Also, much to my delight, I discovered that quite a few gnomes lived in the area. After approaching their houses slowly, I knocked to introduce myself under my ambassadorial title. There were rather shy and unwilling to get out into the cold but I did get to give them a decent winter's greetings. I left them with some small presents of chocolate which they seemed to appreciate.

Shortly after meeting the local gnomes, I ran into Lynn Stardust who had come to try out her ice skates. It also appeared that she had come to challenge someone to a snowball fight. Being one that is unable to refuse a challenge, I agreed to such a duel and snow began to fly. I, of course, was pummeled. However, I fall back on the fact it is very hard to take pictures while throwing snowballs. Shortly after claiming victory, it was necessary for her to depart.

I grabbed some hot cocoa and walked along the icy shoreline in the off chance that the surf had brought up something interesting. Unfortunately, I had no luck but I did find a small yurt tent wherein an obscure film called, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" was cued and ready for playing. Now that.... that is entertainment.

Not having the time to enjoy a full showing, I strolled back to the pond and enjoyed peaceful birdsong and another cup of cocoa. The chill eventually worked its way through my explorer's coat and I began to portal back to my office. I was left with one amusing thought as I left. I wondered if they would ever make a sequel entitled, "Santa Conquers the Dwarves of Gahlcrag."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Busy Time On Deck

Just a quick post this morning. Quite a bit of New Year and Holiday festivities and changes going on right now so I won't be able to get another expedition in until Monday.

I'm also in the search for a small place to have my expedition headquarters. If I have any time to port into world, that is. I would like a small coastal place where I might be able to conduct interviews and use as a homebase in between excursions. If anyone out there has any ideas or hints where to find a good place, let me know. I think the little village in Cowell would be perfect but its not quite open yet.

Other plans include a re-working of the ship's shuttle. The Renaissance itself, my airship, is unable to be brought into world at this time. Part of the problem is her size, the other is her propulsion drive seems to interfere with atmospherics. It wasn't discussed here but originally I tried to bring the small shuttle craft from the ship into world a few months ago in order to better facilitate journeys. I encountered some interplanar discordance and the shuttle, the Albatross, underwent serious damage. I and the crew are currently working out what went wrong and redesigning it from stem to stern. I hope to have it about fairly soon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Into The Nest

In my search for places to explore I stumbled upon a wonderful little place, long standing from the looks of it, called the Lauk's Nest in Alviso. Originally designed by Laukosargas Svarog, it was purchased and currently owned by Fallen Anansi who currently has a home in the prominant treehouse at the Nest. Upon porting in, I was greeted by a trio of critters that bear a striking resemblance to an Earthen Hippopatamus but, in fact, are called Pavarottimus. I kept my distance as, with their sharp tusks, they seemed rather territorial.

Around the waterhole I discovered something that I, at first, thought were simple and very detailed decorative colored flowers. You can see two of them behind the fountain in the above picture. My first impression was that someone had gone to alot of trouble to add some small details.

Then I learned that the flowers were no mere decorations. They attract bees. Bees which are attracted to the flowers and when they pollinate it cause the flower to change colors. Some plants I discovered where also carnivorous and would eat any bees they were able to lure to them. I was unable to find any bees but I was there just before sunset which might have contributed to the lack of pollinators. I was a bit bummed as, of course, I wanted to see not only how the ecosystem worked but how quickly the carnivorous plants could take in their prey.

As the sky darkened, I did get to see some of the other insects on the island called Globugs. Unfortunately, due to their size and speed, I was unable to capture one with the image device.

My real reason for coming was the mention I had found concerning ruins and a Mayan pyramid on the site. The search did not take long! The pyramid seems to be in good condition but, of course, well travelled upon at this point. There are two entrances which I could find into the pyramid, both fairly accesible. A few masks and samples of pottery still adorn the place as well as a small stone outbuilding. I am unsure how many excavations have been performed in the area but given the size of the site, I am sure there is more to be found here with the proper skills and equipment. Also when the find I mention later is taken into effect, this site becomes even more important. I've included one image of the pyramid taken with my ship's imaging device for archival purposes. I will also place the temple on my maps in order to see if any connections may be drawn to other temple sites in-world.

After spending considerable time around the pyramid, my explorations led me upwards to the massive treehouse which watches over the land of Lauk's Nest. Now, I ask you, who wouldn't want to live in a treehouse? Especially one such as this? The height of the tree brought to mind the titan trees of the Meusha Rainforest and their colonies of inhabitants. Below the main living quarters is a secondary level for socializing and which, I was pleased to see, contained a nice drum circle. As I was exploring, a visitor by the name of Lexomat Wunderle dropped in. The spontaneity of this world is one of its wonders and fairly soon afterwards I found my searchings pleasantly interrupted by a drumming session with him.

The one true mystery I found at Lauk's Nest stood near the top of the island's peak. A circle of curved wooden branches encircled a central post. Atop the central post was mounted a white sphere and yet above that floated a misty globe with a small golden ring encircled within it. Greenish and silvery orbs floated in slow marching lines from the tips of the branches to the central pole of the circle. When stepped into, the affect is stunning. Harmonic chords, galactic and peaceful, thrum around you vibrating not only your flesh but your spirit as well. The overall effect is immediately peaceful and relaxing. Other then the restorative effects upon the person, I am unsure what its uses might be. I can only surmise that its close location to the pyramid is no mistake. I also noted that the eight curving branches which made up the circumference of the circle are similiar to the eight pointed stars found within the ruins of the Kharuvel forest. Is that similarity accidental or is this some long standing device left by the original inhabitants of not only the forest but those of Lauk's Nest pyramid? Perhaps it is a device created from information discovered at the pyramid or elsewhere? I was unable to contact Ms. Anansi for further questions but, like the pyramid, I have marked the location of the cannon upon my maps for further inquiry or connections.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kahruvel Beginnings

It is only appropriate that I begin with one of my favorite locations, right? Nearly two years ago, I first discovered the stretch of old pines called the Kahruvel Forest as well as the ruins which can be found there. In a land of shops, malls, and dance clubs it was, and still is, good to find unassuming places devoted to retaining the peacefulness of nature and the allure of mysteries from another time. I reveled in my find and would stay there for long periods, not travelling out and seeing other things but sitting by the small campfire and watching the ocean waves rolling into shore. I once told a good friend, "Ghosts walk in the Kahruvel Forest..." When I returned after a long eighteen month voyage I was delighted to find the forest, and the ghosts, still existed.

Lovingly watched over by Salazar Jack and a group consisting of his family and friends known as the Phyneas Jack Memorial Trust, the Kahruvel Forest holds the venerable ruins of an ancient culture. The forest itself stretches from Abbotts to the western edge of Bolinas and runs, at times, right up to the edge of civilization. Since returning and restoring this forest, the group has been researching those ruins which remain and looking for clues to solve the mysteries of what happened to whatever place once stood there. To the South, the seaside village of Cowell borders the forest and features an ancient lighthouse reconstructed from remains found on the village site. More enigmas have begun to service and, it would appear, Kahruvel still has many secrets yet to be coaxed out of it.

A more moderen feature is the lofted lookout tower of Salazar's grandfather, Phyneas Jack. Though a bit chilly with the wind coming in from the ocean at times, the tower is a good spot for quite, peaceful meditation. Currently, you can also take refuge from the storms which are currently tearing through the area. Lightning is prevalent so flying may not be recommended. What is causing these storms is unknown but there is some evidence that it is linked to the metal replicas created of stone pillars which once stood on the land. (Update-- More recently it appears the same storms and lightning destroyed an ancient tower which stands like an obeliskt in the first picture above.)

More riddles are scattered about the land but none give complete answers of what is going on in the Kahruvel forest. I've been carrying on expeditions there in my free time and all I can say is whatever the answer might be, its larger then just the Kahruvel Forest. If time permits, I will be returning to the Kahruvel for more commentary and expeditions. Check it out when you can and be kind to the place while you are there. Remember, there are ghosts there.

(You can find out more about the Kahruvell forest by visiting Salazar Jack's blog and website. )

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I've been gone for awhile, sorry for the silence. I needed to take some time to reconfigure a few connections with other worlds, other places. In addition, I've spent a good deal of time trying to chisel out exactly what I would like to contribute with not only this blog but what I would like to do "in-world" or what others might call "the grid."

Between any obligations as a father, a fey ambassador, a ship captain, AND constant problems with portal access, I've spent what time I could mannering out a few things. What that means for you is that this journal should be more consistantly updated. I think I've hit upon a plan that will enable me to blend a few things together.

What do I mean?

We're gonna go exploring.

For the blog, I will chronicle my adventures and random wanderings here. Since I do love photography and image capturing, especially when the world I'm in has the technology available, I'll be documenting things in the form of images. The best of which I'll up for sale as limited prints in my shop.

My focus of first explorations will be those places that are the best for such things; forests, ruins, old castles, and places of magic. I'll introduce you to a few friends and, with luck, meet several new ones along the way. After that, I'm opening it up and I have no idea where my wanderins will take me and no clue what or who I might stumble upon. Matter of fact, I'm giving myself pretty free reign to follow the explorer spirit on this little venture. I've noticed that when you are open to random happenings, the coolest things can happen. I also know that my eyes are set toward a far off land called Caledon which I have fallen in love with recently. I'm hoping for, at least, two entries a week and more if I can get them done. We'll have some fun, an adventure or two, and we will see where the grid winds take us!