Sunday 29 October 2006

Rapier Wits

Sworn off adventuring to finish my villa, I labour'd a few hours adjusting here, texturing there, but the sound of steel against steel and the promise of seeing reknown duellists in combat weakened my resolve and led me to Spangle, where Comhrag McLeod tutored two beginners, yours truly and the willowy Ishi Mirrikh (on the left), in the art of duelling by Combat Cards. After two rounds we broke off, rank beginners that we were, and unsure of our controls, to watch Osprey Therian, uncharacteristically putrid in her Sick Sumo guise (in the background), deliver grievous harm to her opponent. I cannot tell if I felt faint for loss of blood or from the sight of so much gore indiscriminately spilt.

We revived in the graveyard, where I faced off with the King of the Mountain, and suffered a good beating, my life spared by someone called Stack Overflow just as I was to receive the death blow, much to the consternation of Doc Boffin, author and inventor of the Cards. I have played with swords, cups, coins and staves; and with hearts, bells, sleeves and acorns, but never with arcana that nominated the Maiden's Moan or the Courtier's Cuff!

The duel of wits that presently followed while admiring the new game cards demanded more skill than any armed combat seen that day. There were intelligent and sharply honed minds in play, and few defensive moves available to any!

I shall return after I lick my wounds and recover my breath!

Saturday 28 October 2006

Other Lives

I refer to Second Life as This Life, only because it is but one of my many lives, perhaps the fourth or fifth, but hardly the second. I do not speak, as others are wont to do, of a change in career for then my count must multiply into the teens. I write of spiritual transport from one plane of existence to another. Such things happen more easily than might be imagined, and more frequently than expected.

My architectural career began in another life, and by happy fortune I have carried some evidence of those modest accomplishments with me into this existence. In that life one built with quite different primitives and enjoyed a quality of light that does not penetrate our clouds here. But one always built alone there and could not share the fruits of one's labour with others, and so I prefer our Community of avatars, angels, demons, intelligent insects, robed rodents, albino vulpines, mechanickal men and persons of all stations.

Thank You, Hamlet

Wagner James Au, the gentleman whose weblog inspired me to explore this Life more widely, has kindly made mention of my home in Orion in his The World from my Window column. I am brimming with Pride and Delight.

A busy day

Rarely have I the luxury to spend an hour in this Life. Yesterday I purchased the accoutrements of a Dark Life adventurer and marched into a boggy forest, populated by vermin, not unlike the courts of many noblemen I know. These rats, mosquitoes, and other unspeakables were there for the slaying, however, and as I struck a pose for this self portrait a monstrously large rodent took advantage of my inattention to make his move. Needless to say I survived its cowardly attack, but I have to wonder if there is not more to this pastime besides swatting at flies and hauling a heavy rucksack over soggy ground. The sword is quite handsome, all the same.

After dispatching the vulgar vole, I returned to my home in Orion and invited my kin Amorpheous (we share the surname, but no family resemblance) to visit.

Amorpheous is now a Master Coder (seated on the right), and seems quite full of novelties, and a surprising collection of amusing behaviours. He was soon joined by his friend Electron Electricteeth, a nine-foot ivory tower in red and black, whose eyes are perpetually covered by a shock of red hair. We followed Electron to his new home, watched him perform Phoenix Jutsu (don't ask) and went swimming. Amorpheous showed us his giant spoon (again, don't ask). In the painting, Electron is telling us the shocking storu of how he was given his remarkable name.

Today, Electron reappeared at my home quite changed, invited me for tea, but instead of tea, offered me a cow, then led me on a merry chase through interdimensional gateways. These strange devices transported us to a limbo filled with aught but the whistling wind. Our last jump left us falling several kilometres through empty space. An interesting, though bizarre, adventure.

Saturday 21 October 2006

Equine nobility

The noblest conquest man has ever made.

For want of a horse a kingdom was lost.... No person of quality should be expected to walk everywhere she goes. I have tried more modern conveyances, but I seem preternaturally unable to hover, too slippery-footed to skate, and too averse to narrow spaces for those metallick coffins popularly described as auto-carriages. A fleet steed for me and the wind in my hair! My mare will be easier to build than she will be to animate, but even still as a stone, she will be a pleasant thing to look on. Some oats and barley will fatten her up, poor thing, and put meat on those bones.

Friday 20 October 2006


Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what the appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man's task.

Epictetus also said, "Practice yourself, for heaven's sake, in little things, and thence proceed to greater."

Thus have I considered appearances this week and changed mine own. Black befits a widow, and though I mourned then, I am preparing to greet the World today in Sanguine, the colour of cheerfullness, hopefullness and a confident temperament. I am boldened to proclaim I am what I appear to be, and have aimed rightly and struck my mark wisely. My villa and my appearance are all so much practice behind me. Today I plan my first steps into the wider World.

And to my horror I discovered my black attire was so like a desititute version of Osprey Therian's handsome appearance as to suggest Plagiarism!

Tuesday 10 October 2006

Scale and Importance

Even as my neighborly vicinitas begins to fill in and new wilderness opens up nearby for exploration, I am finding my spare moments consumed by Construction and Improvements, courtailing any chance to adventure beyond familiar fields and greens, or to pay social calls on new friends. Obligations prevent frequent visits, so work has progressed slowly. Though it appear grand, the villa is smaller than many other local dwellings, and I think it is solely the effect of its Classicism that lends it Scale and Importance. I am finding many of the rooms barely large enough for an unobstructed view and most of the corridors must be navigated with fingers outstretched and still result in unpleasant bumpings of the shins and crown. So in the end it is a very modest villa, soberly decorated, temperately scaled, moderate and measured.

But it is my villa and I shall fill it with all sort of treasure!

Thursday 5 October 2006

Thank You, Amorpheous

[18:33] Amorpheous Geoffrion: A person by the name of ******* Webb is interested in buying a house; I have pointed him in your direction. He really thinks your work is amazing. You may end up famous for your buildings :)

Thank You, Amorpheous, only half as famous as you will be for your scripting!

Wednesday 4 October 2006

Under Construction

It is not the Bulk of the Fabrick, the Richness and Quantity of the Materials, the Multiplicity of Lines, nor the Gaudiness of Finishing, that give Grace or Beauty to the Building; but the Proportion of the Parts to one another and to the Whole, whether entirely plain, or enriched with a few Ornaments properly disposed.

So writes James Gibb (1682-1754), English architect and author of the Book of Architecture, Containing Designs of Buildings and Ornaments (1728) . One of those designs served as the model for my new home, though I have allowed a certain Roman excess in decorating the central, octogonal hall.

I have learned Corinthian capitals are not easily modelled with prims, so after many days' labour have replaced Gibb's original porch with one following a doric order.

The dust still flies and my modest villa wants a second storey and a roof, but you are most welcome to visit and look around as I work slowly on Improvements over the weeks to come.


The Tempietto, the name of Bramante's famous circular temple in the cloister of San Peitro in Montorio, Rome, is the model for my first architectural project in Second Life. It is purely formal: a hemisphere joined to a cylinder, encircled by sixteen columns; small and compact, only five metres in diameter. Yet it prefigured Bramante's next project: the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, marking the beginning of the High Renaissance.
Auspicious, non?