Monday, April 28, 2008

Grendel's Children

There is no way on Earth or anywhere that I can cover Grendel's Children in a single post. Like the Isle of Lesbos, you will probably see me writing often about this amazing place. Despite covering four sims, Grendel's can be though of as three places: The airborne store, with it's amazing array of affordably-priced, high-quality avatars; the community structure, not to be confused with the loyal following called "Grendel's Wanderers," I refer to the wonderful places to explore around the store, such as the library, the greenhouse, and the art gallery; and the desert eco-system at ground level and below.

When I was dashing around looking for Shansu (more later) I ran across this, er, wall, for lack of a better term. Flea Bussy and crew have created an amazing space to hold the store and then gone beyond that in several ways. First of which is the highly-detailed and unique style. To me it is tribal, tech, and inspiring. You will find examples of these -- I guess they are horns -- everywhere, but this is the largest collection. These folks build for effect, not just utility. The rock walls you see extend down and are the base for the hovering collection of buildings that make up the store and community environment. And all around you will find places to sit but likely you will want to keep moving to see it all. Don't. Take it slow and see everything. You can -- and will -- come back.

In the center of what I call the greenhouse is this great statue. Seeing it I know in my heart that someone sat down and wrote a mythology to explain everything. This is no rez-and-texture build. Inside the greenhouse is a nice pond you should explore. Just remember to bring a dive buddy. Safety first and sharing the fun is always good. You may also find a hatching spot for the fabled Drakelet Hatching activity that crosses all four sims and leads you to great places like this.

While I was outside, setting up my next picture, I crashed, but I took a screenshot to preserve at least a little of the view. I was setting my draw distance to show all the "boats" when I went boom, but as you can see here some wonderful builds are outside the buildings, too. If you go in only to buy avatars or accessories and don't explore you will miss many great things. Click the picture for a larger view and you will see me floating some 250 meters above the ground. That means these sailing ships ride the air! Well, I'm guessing they never leave port, but it is almost as much fun to climb around them as real life boats. When you first enter Grendel's you will receive a rules card and inside it is a "flight feather" to help you fly at this altitude.

But I went to see Shansu the dragon. I think that is her name. It is a complete guess based on a bottle of barbecue sauce I bought in the store there. This is a picture of me with her from last year. It was pure luck that led me to her then and I was awestruck. Sadly I didn't find her today, but I'll keep looking. The Second Life™ environment means that change can come swiftly and drastically so she might be gone. That would be a shame, really, and if so I certainly hope she is locked safely in someones inventory.

Future posts will have more pictures from inside and around the store, but I will also post some of ground level. The desert and caverns below are magnificent, so whenever you are inside Grendel's, look for a window or a ledge and jump.

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