Friday, July 29, 2011

Saturday Photo Hunt --- Together


First I had a photo of a heron and a cormorant together, well in the same photo.

But then a gaggle of geese flew by and there was a heron and a cormorant together with geese in the same photo! Even more togetherness. Better clicked to enlarge.

Sorry I only had the camera with the 3.8x zoom with me.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Close Encounters of the Pointy Kind

It was a quiet day at the camp. There had been something happened earlier, I had heard of signs of arrows expended, Panthers unaccounted for. Townsmen again.

So I had a look round the forest and then took up position on the 'battlements'. I was trying to pot deer as far away as possible for target practice and provisions. Looking out for deer I spot a guy sneaking through the forest. I don't think he was a Townsman. We are being a bit sensitive about people getting too close to our camp just now. So I figured it would be good to try out my shooting skill on him.

He had stopped behind a tree and was looking at the camp, but I could see him from the angle I was at so I hit him with a flurry of arrows. I could tell I was getting direct body hits, so I should have been doing good damage. Then he started to move. I kept up fair accuracy getting more direct and 'splash' hits where the arrow bounces off the ground. I must have got in around 20 hits.

Finally he worked out where I was from my arrows and shot back at be. His arrow hit me real hard, doing real damage. It stunned me and I realised I couldn't take many more hits and survive so I moved sharpish, while trying to cover the approach to our palisade gate. I was shooting in a high arc to at least keep him busy dodging while I recovered.

I had him wary enough of me he was at least treating my shooting with respect. Then, not watching where I trod and trying to get a beter shot I slipped off the battlement and fell outside the camp.

"Oops!" I thjought... He spotted it and charged up shooting. Again there were a couple of very hard hits.

Then I sensed (by im) "Y" had escaped from the Town. I called to her to stay away as I was under attack.

I realised we were very unevenly matched and figuring it worked for me once decided to try for the ferry.

He was basically between me and the ferry so I set off dodging (Jinking I am told) as fast as I could run in the opposite direction towards the trading post with him at my heels. Then I curved, going closer towards the Town, and ended up doing a sort of "U" or "J" shaped path recovering from my hit damage a little as I did. I had managed to pull ahead and jumped onto the ferry and away. I kept quiet all through this (too busy fighting and escaping), no jeers or anything, so did he.

Once I was away and safe at the market I gradually recovered fully, he didn't follow.

After, I wondered if he was the same intruder pulled off the sneaky ambush the other day.

Later I went through the events with "A". She wondered if his bow or armour might be illegal (too good) anyway as it seemed too powerful and the damage I was able to inflict not as much as should be expected.

I am not sure, as we are not allowed armour and men are so much stronger. It might have just been that. I didn't log chat at the time so can't say for sure who he was now.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Earth Girls are... Armed to the Teeth

Tal everyone. Well life ticks on in Gor.

Some of our band were captured by Townsmen in the forest and held prisoner over the last day or so.

What is it with the way they obsess over Panthers anyway? I heard they have a tavern in town called “The Chained Panther” or some such.

So the elders decided we should make it real hot for the Townsmen if they crept more than an arrows flight into the forest. The idea being to maybe trade prisoners and generally discourage them from the forest on principle.
Also a band of mercenaries have set up camp fairly close to the town. I wonder if they will make a nuisance of themselves? ...And I heard a farmer had cleared some trees and set up, better not be more where he came from.

“Y” got back and had picked up a slave from somewhere who is happily pottering round the camp at the moment.

I was hunting in the forest the other day thinking, either two, or four legged, prey would do.

In the end I got a couple of deer and a condescending “Don’t worry babe. I am only after deer… so long as you don’t come too close to the town.”, call from a Townsman. I noted he was staying in sight of the walls, mostly on the town side of the bridge and gave that right back to him. I guess he seemed ok.

I also snuck up to the new Mercs compound in the NE and spied it out. There is a solid wood palisade with a gate in the corner. It has a big communal tent, a couple of smaller ones and an open one. There is also a cooking area.

I was soo not impressed with their lookout. Someone was there but maybe too occupied to keep watch, easy enough to shoot an arrow over their palisade I bet.

Later a trader came to the trading post in the forest, “F” and I went there. She picked up some spices and wine in exchange for a nice fur. I kept watch and chatted to the Trader after. Maybe we will keep in touch.

I am still practicing every chance I get to improve my weapons skills. I am told I am not too bad.

My main opponent is this automated ranger-bot at the OOC common practice ground. It is practically unbeatable on the top settings, but I am told no one wins against it set like that. Even set lower it still kicks my ass nine and a half times out of ten at the moment.

Weaponised Moggsy

OK a word about weapons. The very first thing I bought a nice bow for myself. It cost me 600 Linden$. I also bought a set of throwing daggers.

I shopped in the Primus Weapons Store:

Primus Weapons – Gorean Weapons, Primus Weapons (83, 55, 906)

Conspicuous product placement guys! if you feel like giving out any freebies, or anything…

I planned to go back there because they were affordable. I liked the products aaand a single HUD can conveniently cover all of their weapons. so much easier, plus it comes with built in grappling hooks.

Well I wanted to make sure I had at least one good melee weapon and took advice from “D” I really liked this weapon set that had a spear, bow and dagger at a discount pack price, but it had a shield and that is a no-no for us. Then I saw one similar also at a discount with a glaive instead. I thought surely that can’t be illegal but “D” assured me it was. I thought that was stupid. So I didn’t have any more time right then and bought nothing.

Later I went back with “L” my sl fellow runaway sister. We couldn’t find any spears without glaives. I guess I could have bought one and tried using it without, but $600L I did not want to chance.

Anyway I saw this lovely pair of roman sandals with knife built in in two colours so I snapped those up, melee weapon problem solved.

Then I spotted this… Hmm best kept for backup as a nice surprise… so I won’t post on it just in case. Mwahahaaa! If you-go down-to the woods-today…

Friday, July 15, 2011

Saturday Photo Hunt --- Backwards


Looking backwards down the hill, I took this photo of ships in Vancouver harbour and the mountains in the background, despite, those ugly electricity wires which are an eyesore. If I had more ambition and skill I would try to remove them. Click to enlarge.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Earth girls are (not so) easy

A day or so later, after my first Gorian post, I was in the caves below our camp and lookout point. The caves are beautiful, the sort of place that would be a tourist attraction you paid for a guided tour of in rl.

I heard one of my friends “Y” coming, by her treading on a twig warning system we have on the approach.

Now I have thought about what happened next and rewritten it a couple of times.

I think maybe she was followed by a raider from some place far away. Not a local from the town. It all got a bit confusing and I pieced this together after.

Now I should mention I can swim in SL (this will be important later because I bought and wear a swim animation)

So I thought I would go out to meet her and went out of one of our secret entrances to meet up with her. This must have messed with the lurker/stalker’s plans. I figure he planned to follow her and capture her once she opened the entrance. But I messed all that up by walking towards them.

Secret caves

He had to switch targets to me.

He must have had an arrow knocked. Suddenly there is a mad flurry of arrows, very close together that makes me think he was really close by. Me, I had no chance...

He managed to simultaneously take me out and follow “Y” into the cave after she opened it. She had enough warning because of him hitting me solidly with a flurry of arrows “Thwack-wack-wack-wack” to run into the caves and the chance to put up a fight, surprised as she was. She is good.

Now a quick explanation... If your health falls to zero in Gor (say from being hit by a bunch of arrows) then you are caught up in a capture net, helpless for 3 minutes while you can be tied up and taken away. Think of it like the way vets tranquilise wild animals on TV. Grrowl…

“Y” and I both got lucky that day. There were two of us, so twice as much time was needed. Time was in short supply as it happened.

I helplessly fell in the river fed by the falls, but luckily for me here the swimming ability helped. Instead of just staying where I fell, it basically carried me away, stopping me sinking, (probably a slight conflict between the two aos both trying to do their jobs at the same time) and I ended up netted but hidden in reeds well away from where I fell. “Y” had the luck to get some warning after I was shot. She managed to put up a fight but fell in the caves.

Then there was a lot of: “Sneaky raid!”, “Not us! Must be outsider” IMs on the group IM. So it all stirred up a hornets nest.

I figure he must have searched for me after be fought "Y" and that took up valuable time.

In the end the raider never had enough time to get round to capturing either of us before I got free and ran back into the caves all hyped and arrow knocked by another entrance to stand guard over his other victim until she was able to become free.

But he had fled and had his work cut out for him getting back to the ferry and away.

After that and a chat with the villagers we went to the local arena (see the picture below) to practice our combat skills.

Local arena

I think mine sure do need improving (tho people are making positive noises) and I really need a good melee weapon, being (literally in Gor) but a weak and feeble woman.. Grr..

Friday, July 8, 2011

Saturday Photo Hunt --- Near


Near or far off this tiny octagonal Russian Orthodox Church in Junea, Alaska is very intriguing.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church

In continuous use for 117 years, most of its congregation are native people. The Russian Orthodox Church missionaries were much more successful in converting the native population in Alaska, as they conducted services in the native Klingit tongue rather than trying to suppress it as other missionaries sought to do. In fact this church was established through the efforts and initiative of the local Klingit leaders.


Friday, July 1, 2011

An Earth Girl’s Adventures in Gor

Ooh boy! Let me tell you about adventures.

There is there is world called Gor. I have been a bit scared to go there up to now. Gor is big in sl, huge, like Steampunk and Vampires are big.

You all heard of Vampires maybe the Twilight books/movies or read Ann Rice maybe, and how things work with them I expect, maybe Steampunk also?

Well the world of Gor is based on books by a guy called John Norman, as far as I can tell they are something like 'X' Certificate Edgar RFice Burrows. Pretty risqué erotica really, not for shelves in the book store low enough for kids to get hold of them.

Basically Gor is a counter earth. Societies there are technologically primitive (swords, bows n arrows, spears) male dominated society that keeps slaves.

I am not sure about the books but one of the main occupations of guys in Second Life is to steal or capture female slaves or Karjira. ^_^

There are two main distinct cultures. A northern one and a southern one. The northern is more European, the Southern more Eastern/Southern Mediterranean. There are also counterparts to Vikings and native Americans.

There are all sorts of different classes in the main societies. They basically split into groups or casts and sub-casts. They include free men and women, warriors and slaves.

I bet you can Google tons about it.

So I had avoided Gor, because it seemed to be insanely complicated and very easy to slip up and to be specifically designed as a guy’s paradise, so why should I be cannon fodder, grist for the mill?

Mostly the girly advice was to avoid it, and I have for years.

But I got talking to a Panther. Now Panthers are women who live on the outskirts of Gorian ‘civilisation’ In the vast Northern Forests and woods.

Panthers are women who can’t or don’t want to fit in with the Gorian norms. They come from all levels of Gorian society, Escaped slaves, Free women, you name it.

So I did a little research and got a guy I trusted to show me around. I got dressed in something that turned out to be unsuitable armed with illegal (for women) weapons (so much for research) and after being assured I was “fine” we set off.

I had worked out a character/history. I felt like some sort of secret agent doing that ^_^

I was one of two sisters. Young daughters of a scribe, who had run away to join the Panthers, who they had heard tales of, rather than one of them be partnered with a guy their Father (probably sensibly) wanted for them, but they could not want to be with. Nicely accounting for any mistakes made and total lack of fighting ability. Way to go Moggsy! ^_^

When we arrived the first stop was a huge sort of meeting centre or clearing house full of people from all over Gor talking and arranging stuff.

Then we moved on to where there is this vast map in a sort of arena/stadium place..

You walk over the face of Gor like some sort of giantess to where you need to be and then teleport into the world at that location. The map really is the world ^_^

Despite seeming giant, in the pic I am still a tiny figure against the whole map, standing by the northen forests (the picture is taken facing south from the north). That gives an idea of the scale of it.

But he had to go off and do something after not really answering my questions about the prominent posters banning most non sanctioned armed females… Hmmnnnn

He went off to see a girl, with the parting advice to get in touch with my friend the Panther about details and guidance in that region.

To be fair he made sure I had an observer's tag and I think the rules vary, depending on where you are.. and he did say he was persona non grata with the authorities in that geographical location over some .. trifling misunderstanding. I think maybe some group of Panthers thinking on it after.

I was very struck by how beautiful, well made and detailed the sim was.

So I got in touch with ‘D’, an elder of a Panther clan. She had a quick OMG!! Over my general attire, seriously illegal weapons and general “walking disaster waiting to happen to me”-ness.

A quick shopping trip later.. Ahh Shopping… Stores I do know. And with the assistance of "Y" another Panther I met and more shopping with "L" and I looked the part. An awesomely sexy part too, I have been assured by several male acquaintances and a number of female ones also.

Basically the outfit I ended up is a fur bikini with fur leggings and a bow, daggers and darts. Also a GM ‘meter’ that keeps track of your health and fits you into the rules. I decided on going red head with an updo involving a looped plait and feathers.

OK so there I am looking the part with simply no real idea what to do. I can talk the talk.. but as for walking the walk? Nooo..

So super quick advice and a bit of training from several helpful people gives me the ability to know I am in deep doo-doo if I try to go up against anyone who knows what they are actually doing..

Oh and did I mention? Women are considerably weaker than guys on Gor.. by order of the laws of nature. And that is imposed on you too. So a girl needs to be much better than a guy to have a hope of equalling, or doing better than, him… Hmmmnnn sound familiar anyone?

“Crazy girl” you will be thinking by now, or maybe if you are a guy “Heyyyy.. easy capture” and I am not necessarily saying you are completely wrong.

I was genuinely nervous and scared as I got off the river barge to make my way to the camp in the forest. A raw Panther recruit. I saw one of the clan’s scouts as I approached who shouted at me to “Knock an arrow and Ruuunnn!, taking her own advice. I followed as best I could.

Thwack! Twang! Thwack! Arrows were falling and nipping at me as I ran. “Oh Crap! Oh Crap!” I thought and tried to zigzag and get behind a hill.

It turned out a sister had captured an intruder and was trying to trade them back when it all went pear shaped and a small brush war developed that I had walked into the middle of.

So I did a lot of running and shooting and hiding and spying. With a bunch of self assured full-of-themselves guys against us. I hit one who was a little too sure of himself enough that he had to actually run from me, but to be honest it mostly went the other way.

I did some spying and we regrouped, but then got really hit.

We ran for it, fighting as we retreated and splitting up. I was soo close to being captured when I reached the ferry 15%. Health and falling. I escaped down river by the skin of my teeth, not forgetting to Jeer at the guys in return for their insults.

I could hear our scout got captured and someone else "Y"? made it back to our secret camp. But I had managed somehow, against the odds, to at least get away ...and hurl insults back at them while I did it. Somehow it felt like a great victory. Way to go Moggsy!

Woo-Hooo! What a rush!. I got so into it. I was petrified but bouncing off the walls. I guess maybe that is why guys love this sort of stuff.

I soo need to practice this stuff.

Now we need to mount a rescue…