Cass Developments

Figured I’d post a new KIimage of the new area of Cass and how the work is progressing.

Tinkered with the software after some suggestions from Nad and my wife about KIimages being bigger on Beneath, realized I have been posting smaller images for a lot longer than I really needed to, force of habit I guess.

Wondering if I should perhaps go through the older KIimages and see about re-exporting them under the new file size.

Cass

Illusions

Some time away was definitely needed I think. Off to the Fall Festival with the wife and kids this evening, will be a nice change of pace.

This last year (well the 10 months of it currently experienced) has taught me a great many lessons, an eye opener if you will. I’ve done a lot of reflection over the last few months, trying to figure things out.

Writing this is proving to be hard, I can’t seem to find the words I want to use…

I came to D’ni seven years ago, seven long years. Bright eyed and eager to learn and explore. I met a lot of people, and like most people ended up getting tied up cavern politics.
The lack of transparency with the DRC bugged the hell out of me, there was a lot about the group I feel they could have done better, and when The Third Path formed I took these ideas with me to apply to the group.

For years we worked away trying to release as much information as possible about the going ons and workings of the group.

Whilst in the cavern I tried to be as active as I could, spending days camped out in Kemo searching for Phil, joining the Guild of Greeters, The Great Tree.

I left the Guild of Greeters under messy terms which was probably for the best anyway, and the Great Tree and Sharper deciding that forging DRC chat transcripts was the way to help their agenda was when I decided to leave that group, wanting no part of that.
Shortly after the Cavern was closed down to visitors, the DRC pulled out, although many of us snuck back in. I knew then that a change was in the winds, but it’s only now that I realize what kind of wind.
Back then there was a thrill of sneaking around the city, reading communications from other D’ni Raiders who returned too. At the time I felt that this could be the start of something great, a chance of us to press forward and make progress in restoring D’ni.
Now of course I realize that it was in fact the start of something less than sunshine and rainbows.

The next few years saw an influx of new people, and a new mentality started forming, a mentality of ownership, of deserving. Like a poison apple, this mentality grew, and soon those who remembered the old days were outnumbered, those who remember the times before D’ni opened of hearing whispers back in 2000.

Some of us started Writing, some lashed out against this, others accepted and embraced our work. All the while I worried to the extremes about following the rules and guidelines set down regarding Age Writing.

Many would just dismiss it, pretending conflict never happened, oppressing opposing views in order to maintain their pathetic illusion of a Utopian society.

The DRC returned, and the poisonous mentalities continued and worsened, with zealots rising up with loud voices, flawed logic and a hatred that was, to be quite frank, was rather scary. For a while progress was made, new Ages released (if not hurriedly at times). But, once again, the DRC left, the cavern “closed”.

There were tantrums, there were tears, the people who knew the drill continued with their work as usual. Then members of the DRC returned, not as the DRC though just explorers. Opening access to those who couldn’t find their way back.

Oh how people cheered, hooray, they have their empty shell back. For that is what D’ni has become. The many people who can actually aid the restoration have stepped back into the shadows, many not wanting to deal with other people, and who can blame them really? Give me my shadows over a busy neighbourhood any day.

This last year has showed me how far we have fallen. D’ni went from being a place to explore, to learn to just being a meeting place for people so scared of progress, so afraid to let go of the illusion of some golden age of the past that they lash out at those who seek to learn, who seek to understand to make things better.

And so when we decide to retain this knowledge we have learned instead of sharing it with those who deserve it, there comes cries of theft, of selfishness and elitism, of power grabbing.

Ha! Power grabbing, an age old hang up of the explorer community. Power like many things in this community is an illusion, people perceive power where there isn’t any. Like the DRC Liaison fiasco, what power was there to be grabbed? I mean honestly, oh we get to speak to the DRC? Guess what? So do you, if you could shut people up from asking stupid questions over and over and yelling, it’s called being civil people.
Even the DRC didn’t have power. Oh sure they released new areas, and it was a while before we could get the workload done to do the same, but they couldn’t keep us out of D’ni, they couldn’t block entry they tried to on 2 accounts that I can think of and they failed both times.

This is what I learned this year, that it’s all an illusion, an illusion that is only given power if you let it.

And so I stopped. And I can tell you, in doing so, I literally felt a weight being lifted.

Why should The Third Path be transparent all the time? Is it really important? We release Ages, people visit them, that’s really all there is to the process, everything else in between is neither here nor there.

Why should I follow the rules and guidelines for the Art? Who is really there to enforce them?

No one.

If I want to mess around with concepts then I will, if it kills me so be it, the only time there is an issue is if it causes harm to others, and we’re pretty good about not letting that happen.

As for the politics and that vapid mentality in the community? To hell with it, let the fools have their illusions, let them bind their shattered dreams in the thought that they are not broken. I want nothing to do with it, with them.

I take my friends with me, they know who they are, to hell with the rest.

D’ni became this empty hollow shell of what it once was, part of that was from the D’ni falling, part of that was from us. There is still much to learn, much to explore, and I think that is why part of me will always seek to return. But D’ni will never be reborn as I used to think, as some still think, I made that realization years ago. But the illusions of other things still held me in place.

But they have been dispelled, and I feel better because of it. Where I go from here remains to be seen, D’ni holds little interest for me, the solace of the Ages, of my Ages is a comfort, and I have taken some of my Books with me to the surface, so perhaps time spent in them is a better use of said time.

I’m sure many will call me bitter, and for a time I really was, perhaps I still am to a degree, but most of this isn’t bitterness, it is disappointment on an epic scale.

Some time away, enjoying the surface, may be just what I need.

To the Surface

Gone to the surface, not sure for how long.

Norapod Brandy

After my meeting with Jilen and sampling some of his home-made wine I had been entertaining the idea of experimenting with something similar, perhaps using the Norapods from Fahets.

With Rob’s help I was able to acquire some equipment to add to Sul so that I could start my experiments, Sul has the best source of heat needed for the process so it seemed logical that I should set up the gear there.

Took us a day or so to get the equipment set up and the heat right. But we eventually got the Norapods processing. Given my fondness for harder alcohol like whiskey and brandy, I figured I’d try with a Norapod Brandy, fruit brandies are not unheard of after all.
The first attempt was a disaster, I’m still not exactly sure what happened, but the result was a mess and tasted highly unpleasant.
It took us a few more tries, experimenting as we went to get a formula that worked right.

Last night, we celebrated the success by testing the first bottle of 40% Norapod brandy that doesn’t taste like something served up in the depths of hell. The bitter after taste of the Norapod seems to be a little more pronounced in the brandy, I think I may have to look into finding a way to scale that back if possible, but it’s not a bad taste, I if mixing it would help.
I was fully prepared that the Norapods wouldn’t be suitable for the process, little surprised they worked.

Once some extra fine tuning is complete I think I shall process some bottles for aging and see how those taste in the future. I need to send a bottle off to Blake to try to see if he wants some for the pub he’s restoring.

Tosholek

I’ve been following the restoration of Tosholek closely, Whilyam has been talking about it frequently, along with the troublesome issues that arose during the restoration cycle.

It was only this morning that I had a chance to check it out. I sat at my desk in Sul, drinking my morning cup of English Breakfast looking at the Book he had left me. So I decided I should go take a look finally, I had been anticipating venturing into the area.

I linked into a long walkway which sat above the D’ni lake water, and was enclosed by cliffs. I noticed the water here was a lot brighter than elsewhere in the cavern and wondered if Whil had been experimenting with pellets there. But that wasn’t the only thing I noticed.

As I had Linked right in behind Diafero and Blake.

Tosholek

Not long after I arrived a young lady Linked in, Ri’ana, who was Blake’s fiancé.

Tosholek

We wondered around for a bit, looking over the work Whil had done, checking out the damaged areas. The walkway leads up some stairs to a balcony, which contains a notebook regarding Sholek and the location we were in. The balcony lead off in two directions, one of which was blocked off the other lead to an auditorium. In the auditorium was a balcony, which I am guessing is where Sholek spoke from to his followers (that or played Julliet).

Tosholek

I spoke to Diafero for a while as I read the notebook, Blake and Ri’ana wandered off to explore the lower levels, eventually ‘Fero left me to go join them.
I was half way through the book when I could hear laughter coming from below, I glanced over the balcony wondering if I could see the others, when I noticed they had all decided to go for a dip in the Lake.

Tosholek

I figured I could leave the book for now, I plan to come back and transcribe it for the Archive anyway. So I decided to go down and join them, it’s been a while since I last ended up in the lake (thanks to a damaged Linking Book).

Wonder if I can get this glow out of my clothes…