Sunday, February 11, 2024

A hundred tablets for Zephyrus


As the winter lingered beyond its natural course, the people of my village grew desperate. Our village lay shrouded beneath a blanket of snow and ice. The cold was unyielding, the snow unceasing, and the icy winds howled like a wild beast refusing to retreat. We prayed to Boreas, the fierce god of the north wind, to soften his grip, to no avail. His tempests continued unabated, and with each passing day, our despair grew deeper.

It was then that we turned our hopes to Zephyrus, the gentle west wind whose breezes were said to usher in the spring. But he was nowhere to be found, his soothing presence absent from the skies. The elders of the village decided that someone should go to his realm to deliver the message personally. We crafted the clay tablets, each carefully painted with the image of a beloved spring flower or blossom. These were the symbols of hope, of the life that should have been awakening under the thawing embrace of Zephyrus. I was chosen to bear these tokens westward, to the realm of the gentle wind, where I would implore him to return and plead with Boreas to leave us in peace.

Armed with these tokens of our yearning, I set forth on a journey to the realm of Zephyrus, determined to remind the god of the season to come back and to bring spring with him. The biting winds of Boreas lashed against me as I made my way westward, a solitary figure against the expanse of white. With each step, the weight of the tablets was a reminder of the hope that my village had placed upon my shoulders.

The blizzards raged with a fury that challenged the very audacity of my quest. Yet, as I approached the towering mountain that marked the threshold of Zephyrus' domain, the ferocity of the storm began to wane. The snowfall eased, and the wind's howl softened to a whisper.

With significant effort, I ascended the mountain, and as I climbed higher, the grip of winter loosened. The air grew warmer, and the snow underfoot gave way to patches of bare rock. When at last I reached the summit, I was greeted by a sight that took what little breath I had left away—a palace bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun, a testament to the west wind's gentle power.

Zephyrus himself emerged to meet me, curious to the mortal who dared to visit his realm. I told him of our endless winter, of Boreas' relentless storms, and of our village's pleas for the spring that seemed it would never come. Then, with trembling hands, I presented the clay tablets, each a little canvas of longing for the springtime.

The god of the west wind was moved by our plight and the images of spring that we so dearly missed. He descended the mountain with me, the tablets cradled in his arms as if they were the most precious of treasures. Upon our return, Zephyrus approached his brother Boreas with a tenderness that belied the might of the gods.

Their conversation, though inaudible to our mortal ears, unfolded with an eloquence that the heart could understand. It was a dialogue of seasons, of the natural order, and of the need for change. As they embraced, a smile broke the sternness of Boreas' face—a reminder of the balance that even gods must keep.

With a nod that was both a farewell and a benediction, Boreas turned and retreated to his northern realm. Zephyrus, now with a serene smile, lifted the clay tablets high into the air and released them. They fluttered like leaves on the wind, and wherever they landed, life burst forth. Flowers sprang from the cold earth, unfurling their petals as if to greet the god's return.

In moments, the landscape transformed, from a tapestry of snow to a mosaic of vibrant colors and fragrances. The spring had finally arrived, brought forth by the hands of a god who had been reminded of the beauty and hope that his breezes carried.

Our village rejoiced; our spirits rekindled by the sight of the flowers that mirrored those upon the tablets. It was a spring that would be remembered through the ages—a testament to the belief that even the smallest voices can reach the heavens, and that even the mightiest of gods can heed the call of the human heart.

The realm of Zephyrus is depicted with:

1. Azores, the new landscaping tool by FANATIK ARCHITECTURE: two huge rocks (plus two mirrored ones) to create a picturesque landscape. With their size of 40 x 31 x 17 and 56 x 25 x 14 and the prim count from 56 to 61, they are rather reserved for bigger parcels. However, using them on a skybox can turn a flat surface into a dramatic cliff with a couple of clicks. Although, I'd advice a minimum128 x 128 m space.

2. Roman Temple by FANATIK ARCHITECTURE - a great piece of architecture to bring a Roman vibe to the parcel. It's 12 x 22 x 16 with 65 prim count. Could serve as just an exterior, but bring a statue of the God or Goddess inside along with some offers and braziers to turn it into a fully functional temple.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Another Luna Moth Invitation: Mysteries of Gulben

An envelope decorated with a botanical sketch instantly drew my attention amid a pile of otherwise ordinary mail. Inside was an invitation, either exquisitely handwritten or a superb imitation, printed on thick watercolor paper. I was invited to a unique Botanical Market, a rare opportunity to acquire exotic, magical plants. Considering my limited gardening success, which extended only to sustaining a few resilient cacti, this seemed like an odd offer. However, the invitation was so beautifully crafted, especially the Luna Moth illustration, that it felt less like a summons to a market and more like an invitation to an intriguing adventure.

The address led me to "Gulben," a building that appeared to have leaped straight out of the 1960s. It combined the architectural essence of a science laboratory with a cinema theater, characterized by its solid concrete structure, glass doors set in metal frames, and wood-paneled decorations. Yet, despite its grandeur, it appeared forsaken. Inside, the air was stale, and the silence was almost total. Checking the invitation again to confirm the date, I ventured further, drawn upstairs by a mix of curiosity and unease.

The silence deepened here, too profound for a bustling market. I nudged open a wooden door, half-expecting to find more emptiness. Instead, I felt a sudden sensation of falling as my foot found only air. The feeling was fleeting, and I steadied myself, assuming it was a brief spell of dizziness. The room behind the door appeared to be a small closet. When I turned to leave, the scene beyond the door had astonishingly transformed. The once-desolate stairway was now lavishly decorated with flowers in pots of all shapes and sizes, surrounded by a crowd that could only be customers observing the plants. The rich scents of fresh coffee and floral greenery filled the air, mingling with the soft rustling of voices.

How... Wait… I was confused for a moment but then had a flash of insight. Of course! There were just two similar buildings connected through a gateway, which I had mistaken for a closet. I had entered via the wrong, empty one. And when I thought I had turned back to leave the closet, I actually went through its second door into this building. Let me check it... I turned back, attempting to go through the closet again, but in the opposite direction this time, only to find the door I had come through had vanished. That was an unexpected turn of events. The only way to go was downstairs. Descending the stairs, I examined the flowers lining each step. Surprisingly, they looked quite ordinary, without any hint of exotic magic. No mysterious glows or enchanting particles. Could they be concealing something more? Intrigued, I reached out to a pomegranate, half-expecting to find hidden eyes or teeth on the other side of the fruit.

As my hand reached out towards the pomegranate, it was halted by the firm yet gentle grip of an elegantly dressed lady. "You must be new here. It's your first time, isn't it?" she asked, her smile radiating a warm, knowing amusement. Puzzled, I replied, "How could you tell?" She chuckled softly. "Only a newcomer would be so bold with the pomegranates." Her words piqued my curiosity. "What's wrong with them?" I inquired. "Ah," she said with a hint of mystery in her voice, "do you know the story of Persephone? How eating just a few pomegranate seeds bound her to the Underworld?" I looked around, slightly unsettled, half-expecting the surroundings to morph into something more sinister. "We're not in the Underworld, are we?" I asked half-jokingly.

She flashed another enchanting smile. "Not quite, we are somewhere in between the worlds. Remember how you fell through the portal? That's no ordinary closet you walked through." Her explanation left me more bewildered than before. The closet was a portal? To where exactly?

"Well, since you've come through the portal, you're indeed invited," she continued. "But, my dear, you're quite the mindless newbie. It seems you're the newest pupil of our brotherhood, here to acquire your starter's set. You'll need the first-year student's seed set and this purple rose," she gestured towards a delicate rose in a jade vase, "which will guide you through your first semester of herbology."

The information overwhelmed me. "Wait," I stammered, "student, herbology, guiding plants... what are you talking about?" She looked at me with a hint of surprise in her eyes. "Haven't you seen Harry Potter? This place is somewhat akin to Diagon Alley for you. Oh dear, they've sent you the market invitation before your admission letter!"

Her reference to Diagon Alley surprisingly shed light on the situation. It was as if the world of cinema had prepared me for this very moment. Confusion still swirled within me, but her words began to weave a sense of understanding.

"Don't worry," she reassured me, "I'll help you with your purchases, and then we'll seek some clarification from your faculty staff."

She directed my attention to the purple rose. "Handle her gently; roses here are quite temperamental. Treat her with care, and she'll be an invaluable guide for your upcoming semester. For today, let's leave the stairway plants be. Now, off to the alchemist's corner for your magic seed starter set."

Her guidance, though surreal, felt oddly comforting. I followed her, still processing the fantastical turn my day had taken, cradling the purple rose and stepping into a world that was an extraordinary blend of magic and reality.


This experience was possible with:

:FANATIK: GULBEN V1.2 B - a new product in a FANATIK shop, a huge building that requires 60 x 61 x 14,5 m of land and 237 prims. It offers a great choice for a museum, an exposition or even a secret hospital where people are held captive for the secret experiments. All behind the façade of an innocent administrative building with the look of the 60's.

*LODE* - different pieces of flower decor. Those are really great cut flowers and head pieces. The best florist of SL.

Apple Fall - the work by Apple doesn't require introduction. Just a must to visit place for home and garden decoration. His Plant stands I used are perfect to display the cut flowers. Some of his flowers I used are Baby Pomegranate Spray - Charred Pot, White Iris, Single Cut Hydrangea.