By Becky Shamen
I've showed you where to buy your own castle. Now we go on an adventure to find some really cool ones.
Annon, The Gate and 3 other sims
Annon is the Northern sim in the 4 sim collective, which also includes Athan, Aear and Selidor.
You can fly or rez a boat, to travel to the various buildings. Take notes and collect clues along the way. There seems to be a mystery to solve. The builders are big on RFL and also have shops, in world and on Marketplace. There is a lot here that I could tell you about, but I had so much fun finding it, I don't want to spoil it for you. Besides that, I have many more castles to tell you about.
Blarney Castle, Cork, Ireland 1446 According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab, great eloquence, or skill at flattery.
'Tis there's the stone that whoever kisses
He never misses to grow eloquent:
'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber,
Or become a member of Parlament.
"A noble spouter he'll sure turn out, or
An out and outer to be let alone:
Don't try to hinder him, or to bewilder him,
For he is a pilgrim from the Blarney stone."
I have heard of this legend, all my life, but never saw a picture of the castle from which it comes. I had seen some pictures of people trying to kiss the stone. To do so, requires the kisser to lay on their back and bend over backwards, into a lower area, in order to lay lips upon it. For these reasons, I went there to see some big famous castle and get a picture of myself, in this awkward position, for the article. Being there was not the fun I had hoped for. The LM puts you in the middle of a small square room. The texture on one wall is made from an actual photo of the real wall. Looking around for a pose ball, the only one there takes one to a spot on the hill, facing a small tower, on top of the hill, seemingly all that's left of this 567 year old castle. Entering the door of the tower, I found myself in the same room I started at. So much for a photo op. A sign informed that, in a shop in the village, I could buy a certificate, proof that I had kissed the stone, for $1.97. Not wanting to buy this lie, I could, at least, get a look at it and see how they could make it cost some fraction of whole Linden dollars. Alas, after wandering the streets of the village, I never did find the shop. In fact, none of the shops had anything in them. Their interiors were just painted on textures. Always looking for the silver lining, I did learn a valuable lesson. Don't believe everything you read in the destination guide. This advice goes right up there with the likes of, "when dreaming that you have had too much beer or coffee, it is better to wake up and find the solution, than to let the solution, warm and wet, wake you up", or "no matter how ugly you think you are, you are still cuter than a bunny rabbit....that has just met a hawk". On to our next castle.
Nydia Tungsten's Mouse Manor
No story about great castles would be complete, without mentioning the home of Nydia Tungsten and her partner, Brandi Streusel. In my search for great castles, I remembered having gone inside this castle, when noboby was around. I sent Nydia an IM, asking if it would be alright to talk of it in this article. As I logged in, next morning, her reply was waiting. "Of course' come any time, for a guided tour" she said. I asked if I should make an appointment or was she free then. She sent a TP, as soon as she finished getting dressed. I was greeted at the front door by Nydia and Brandi. Brandi always reminds me of a favorite Texas colloquialism; "cuter than dimples on a bunny rabbit". Our first stop was the outside deck, with it's comfortable seating, made for relaxation and connversation. She said they had many such gathering places, throughout the castle, because chat was an important part of SL. I strongly agreed, pointing out that I had written an article on the Priciple of Oneness and it's importance in SL. She explained that, like mine, her home is open to all, as long as they show respect for it and those that reside there.
Going inside, we toured room after room, most of which were bigger than my whole house. We even went through a secret passage, hidden behind a bookshelf. It's still a secret, to you, because the castle has as many books as the public library. Nydia explained that she was so bad at decorating that even a blind man would find it distasteful, leaving it all up to Brandi, who has a good eye for these things. The girls have a lot of irons in the fire and a huge office to handle everything from. The Theater/Family Room could entertain an army, with a hundred movies in stock. It's an amazing place to visit and I'm sure to return to see even more.
This castle is more a work of art than of defense. I had to look up the word castle, in the dictionary, to see if it could even fit the category. TPs allow one to go to various rooms in the towers, giving a great view. The castle is part of a 3 sim group, home to Elves. The entire area has an open, ethereal, peaceful ambience. The plant life is out of this world. They have furnishings, plants and other products for sale, but blended in, so not a distraction. They even have a selection of beautiful swords, but, for the life of me, I could not figure out what they needed them for. Perhaps these Elves only fight on other people's sims.
There are countless castles in SL, to view and even live in. I can't tell you about all of them here. A castle or cathedral found in my travels always gets my attention, Those given, in this article, are the latest to snare me in.
Becky "Sha" Shamen