Every couple of weeks (RL-willing), I drop in on a Second Life sim -- one square on the grid -- just to see what's there. And every couple of weeks, I find a treasure or two. One never knows what one will find in an unknown region! This feature details the results of my explorations.
Note: This post was written on Wednesday, November 23rd, but I held off on publication until after the end date of the Unthemed Hunt. Some things may have changed between then and now, but the sim is still there and snowy as of this morning, so I believe this Sim Crossing should be reasonably accurate. It's only been four days... right? - Cica
I am in a seasonal mood so, instead of scrolling over the World Map, this time I do a place search using the keyword "autumn." The first result: "Oubliette ~ Autumn Surrounds Us With Her Mystery." Sounds perfect to me! So I teleport.
I land in front of Balderdash - Bagatelle and Trinketry, in this sim owned by Elizabeth Tinsley, but that's not what has my attention at the moment. Instead it's the fantastical snowy landscape that gets my notice, as I wait for it to slowly appear. My connection is sluggish this morning, but that's okay. I'm in no hurry today, and Oubliette is a place to savor slowly. That much I already know.
That said, I am eager to start my wandering, and Balderdash, a structure wrought in elegant stone and stained-glass windows, is just the place to start.
"Welcome to Oubliette!" says a notecard given to me by a greeter board in front of the store. I won't quote it here -- you'll have to take one yourself -- but it emphasizes the air of mystery here, and justifies the need for taking it easy and wandering. I get the impression that I won't see everything, but that's okay. It's probably better if I just touch on the big things.
It is necessary to use the teleporter for Balderdash. I click it, choosing number two, the front of the mainstore, and taking a seat. The teleport barely rattles my tail feathers, and soon I see that I am surrounded by all sorts of fantastical things for sale. Fey ears, an ancient looking skybox, a pose prop inspired by "The Lady of Shalott." There seems to be a little of everything for those inclined to fantasy and mystery, and while normally I would change the windlight settings to midday for better viewing, I decide to stick with the sunset.
There is a Lucky Chair on this floor, by the way, offering a beautiful Oak and Ash Necklace at the moment, but I am not lucky, and thus return to the teleporter, choosing the third option -- "the Ruins" -- this time.
And they are indeed ruins, of lichen-clad white stone. I've seen them from the second floor of Balderdash, and they are just as lovely up close. It's time to pause before moving along. There are five places offered by the teleporter, but there is so much to see here, and to listen to. There are bells, jingling faintly in the distance, and birds, too. Cousins, I suppose.
There is a stone path leading northwesterly from these ruins. I decide to take it. While normally I try to be methodical when exploring a sim, I'll get myself lost instead.
I cross an ancient stone bridge over gently-moving water, and find an improbable flower garden, inhabited by dancing butterflies. There is a stone sculpture here, too. Is that an owl? Magic. This place is magic, where colorful irises and foxgloves bloom out of the snowy ground.
I see another path beyond the garden, leading up, only to find Evie's Closet. Oh, I know this store! If you are not familiar with it, you should know that it boasts beautiful fantasy wear for elves, fairies, mermaids… even humans! The shop is full of winding staircases, trees and terraces. I think it's been redesigned since I've seen it last, but I'm not sure. While I want to browse -- I am keeping an eye out for clothing suitable for my strange new form -- I am intrigued by the idea of a secret garden, for which a sign is displayed on a convenient teleport board.
I land in front of steps, leading up to a walled and gated area. The door opens, revealing a green clearing with benches, a small tent, a fortune teller, a stage with an ivy-entwined pergola. I take a turn at the harp, and play "Greensleeves" as I imagine fairies and elves and fauns frolicking, and celebrating the change of seasons.
Before returning to the main floor of Evie's, I pause on a high platform overlooking the region. Where will I go next, I wonder, though I pause on a carved tree trunk to the southwest. There, I decide. If I can find it from the ground.
I browse Evie's for a few minutes more, considering gowns that would beautiful on a fae. I will have to come back, I think. Then I make my leave, and see that grand old tree across the river. There is no convenient bridge. Do I try to cross over on the giant snowy log, or do I fly?
Feeling adventurous, I choose the log, and instead of climbing to its summit, I slip through its walls. It is hollow, and functions as a bridge besides! There's a hidden treasure here, too, perfect if you are exploring with a partner and want some alone-time or a photo-op.
The log bridge ends right at the old man in the tree. I stop to admire him -- he is a cheerful fellow -- and smile at the will'o'the'wisps wandering around. Suddenly, "Old man Darach yawns." Have I clicked him by mistake? Maybe, but I touch his bark again, just to be sure, and listen to his dialog. Tree spirits speak very slowly, particularly tired ones, and I am glad of the written translation in my chat window.
He falls back asleep, and I move on over snowy ground, toward the sound of the river. And suddenly I am on the river. It seems to be frozen over! This would be a lovely setting for ice skating, wouldn't it? From there, Balderdash is easterly, and I will probably return there, but I decide to go downstream instead, following the watery path under the log to… a fork in the stream.
It seems the ice has ended, however, which makes my decision easy. I will take to the delta, upon which is a small lichyard watched over by birch trees and a noble deer. There are greens here, too, poking up through the snow, blooming with small yellow flowers. Winter may be in progress here, but it has not taken hold.
Climbing the hill behind the lichyard, I find a mystical waterfall. It looks strangely warm by virtue of the patterns in the stones behind it, and perhaps it is. There is a cliff just behind, and the river as well. Across, to the southwest, I see a statue. This time I will fly in for a closer look.
More will'o'the'wisps greet me as I land on the steps above the statue. What is he? I don't know. Perhaps he is an orc, perhaps a goblin. But whatever he is, he gazes happily at at a butterfly alighted on his palm. I like this fellow.
Continuing up these steps, I follow a brook to an upland meadow. All seasons seem to be represented here, though winter and autumn dominate. A weatherworn shack of a gnome draws my eye, but not as much as the greenery here. I am reminded that Oubliette borders Ode, one of my favorite sims for photos or just relaxation. The feel is similar. But older, I think. Maybe, though, that is just the winter wind talking.
I do not know where to go from here, or what pictures to take. Like Ode, Oubliette is the sort of sim that requires return visits. Every new visit will yield a new sight, a new sound, something missed before or something recently added.
Somehow I end up at No Strings Attached (according to the navigation bar) on the eastern border of the region. While I don't immediately find the pose store in question, I do find two stories of small shops offering fantasy costumes, eyes, skins, and more. Sweet Antidote is here, as well as Moonstruck Fantavatar, Banana Banshee, Fallen Gods and, above those, Skinthesis. At this last, I find a 10L avatar called "The Truth About Mermaids," and I can't resist it. There are plenty of fantasy skins and attachments to choose from in this shop, all reasonably priced, and some 20L Skydancer Wings call to me. I have been a wing addict almost since I started Second Life, and while I am rarely fae lately, that hasn't changed. I choose an earthy pair bordered in bright green. The colors remind me of trees. I try them on briefly and they are indeed full-sized fae wings, unscripted but ethereal. I like them! There are also lovely metallic mer tails here. I'll have to remember this place.
I find my way back down, in search of No Strings Attached, but no luck. I suppose what I see in the navigation bar is just a remnant of shopping past, and return to the front of Balderdash, quite close to my landing point. Have I missed something? Undoubtedly. And while I have captured some sights to the best of my ability, a serious photographer would have a field day at Oubliette.
As for me... Well, yes, I'll be back. I'm sure of it. How else will I get to see how winter progresses?
AT A GLANCE
Uses: Photography, Shopping, Wandering
Shopping: Balderdash; Banana Banshee; Evie's Closet; Fallen Gods; Moonstruck Fantavatar; Skinthesis
Highlights: Balderdash, Evie's, Skinthesis, Old Man Darach