Finally back

•July 2, 2007 • Leave a Comment

After finishing up a major project, I decided to give the Cavern a visit.  They’ve turned on the Great Zero, so there’s a cool blue line running through the City.   Apparently, it also enables the Zero to communicate across Ages, because we can put marker quests in every Age we’ve visited. Vortmax had the brilliant idea to make a marker quest for Minkata, so you just follow the markers to the Kivas.  I figured out the mystery of Minakta by myself, but I was only able to find the first and second Kivas, so I didn’t feel bad when I used Vort’s marker quests to find the others.  We must use all the tools at our disposal to enhance our explorations.  Come to think of it, the DRC, whether intentional or not, made a brilliant move by opening up Minkata ot the public before the GZ was calibrated.  They had Explorers running around in that place for a month, reporting all sorts of discoveries, getting lost, basically keeping busy while the DRC hibernated away…  i see the marker quests as being a kind of “you’ve run around in this puzzle for long enough, now we’ll throw you a bone…”  much like the belated map that explained the relationship between the Pod Ages.

Perhaps I won’t have to revisit that place again for a while.  Too much dust and sand fro my taste… Though I must say, I love the night sky and the sense of wonder it inspires.   The ephemereal music is also amazing – Where does it come from?  Maybe the music is the soundtrack my subconscious generates as I explore?  Nah, there has to be a better explanation for it than that…  Anyway, I hope the DRC can capture that music onto a D’ni music stand.

I also checked out Er’cana – things have changed a bit since I last visited there.   The Shell cloths are Green.  There is a mysterious hovering hologram  in one of the canyon alcoves.  I got some truly alien foliage for my Relto…. Don’t know if pine trees, deciduous fall foliage, grass, overgrowth, and now what look like mold spore stalks in one place are really a coherent decoration statement…  I’m actually getting enough options to give my Relto definite Moods – maybe I should have a costume party in my Relto and decorate it to match?  That coudl be a lot of fun!

Other changes in Er’cana – the train seems to have been added onto by the DRC – there’s now a blinking light that blinks red… eye candy, or meaningful?  I’ll have to wait until I can get inside the complex to be sure.  I’m looking forward to feeding that algae and seeing Kodama’s machine working.   Speaking of machines… I hope to see that weather machine from Delin someday.   Speaking of, I need to stakeout the Beginner’s Bevin and find the dude who can give us back our Delin book!

The Watcher’s Sanctuary is also open, and it seems that it will be the central meeting place for future meetings with the DRC.  The maximum population counter used to say 5000, but it recently got adjusted down to a more reasonable 100…  A shame, though – I’d love to have seen it filled with that many people!

I’ll probably be back down there later this week.  It’s just a shame we have to wait for ahnohay – Looking forward to that head trip!

Some thoughts

•June 20, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Has it really been almost a month since the death of Wheely?  It’s hard to believe.   I haven’t been to the cavern much this month at all, mainly becauae I am so busy, but also because the deaths in the cavern have cast a pall over my visits there.  Last time I went, I discovered another kiva in Minkata and found the Sprite, but couldn’t find any of the glowing glyphs in the darkness.  There are boots rumored to be in one of the kivas, but I’ve yet to discover them.  I didn’t really like Minkata all that much – after understanding the “puzzle”, the actual work of following through what it entails just could not hold my interest.  For the sake of completeness, I will finish it eventually, but only because I’m a completist.

So there is a new buzz of activity that says the DRC will release some new Age this Saturday.  I hope it can give some succour to us, still hurting from the wounds of the last DRC outing.  I don’t understand why they want us all to become PTSD victims, with such heavy and heady occurrences in the cavern when the restoration is just beginning.

This whole Bahro war is strange too – why are they in the city?  Why do they care?

I’ve also neglected Uru Search for the past month – I should give it to someone who can give it the attention it deserves.

Here’s to hoping a better experience this time around…

More observations on Minkata

•May 31, 2007 • Leave a Comment

In my previous post, I outlined some theories about Minkata.  It turns out I was mostly right.  Read on if you want to see my progress.  Warning: spoilers.

Continue reading ‘More observations on Minkata’

Find Your Path in the Stars

•May 26, 2007 • Leave a Comment

This post consists of some as-yet untested ideas concerning Minkata. Possible spoilers may exist, so click to read on at your own risk.

Continue reading ‘Find Your Path in the Stars’

The truth behind the Pods

•May 3, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I just spent a good 15 mintues in the watery grave of a pod known as Tetsonot.  Waiting in the red standby half-light, listening to the creaks and groans of the structure around me and feeling droplets of saltwater hit my head, I was struck with the sense of wanting to link out immediately – something is very wrong here, and I don’t want to be around when it all goes south.

Then it hit me:  the pods are  an exercise in meditation and consideration and were chosen to tell us something.

You must observe as you wait – you see the eerie lack of fauna in Negilahn, the lessons in stark contrast in Dereno and Payiferen, and the unease and disuse of Tetsonot.  Something is not right here, on this Age.  What used to be a museum has turned into more of a mausoleum.  Something happened here -three of the four pods show various signs of attack, wrought externally – N is split open, P has what appear to be “bullet holes”, T has obviously been damaged and moved from its original location.  Something wanted in to these Pods.  Why would Yeesha give these Ages to us to look at and examine, if not to teach us something?

All the signs of the Pods point to the fact that a damaging presence has visited that  Age.  Yeesha told us, “Destruction is coming. Find a way. Make a home.”  The pods are a harbinger of things to come.  Yeesha is warning us, urging us to learn from the D’ni’s previous mistakes, and letting us see firsthand the effects.  We must prepare for what is to come.  We must survive through cooperation and communication.  We must protect D’ni.

Pods and more Pods

•May 2, 2007 • 2 Comments

I’m finally free enough to invest the time to get the Pod’s rewards. Yesterday I linked in just in time for Payiferen. I saw the sign, shimmering in front of me, but could only pas through it. No link! I think the portals are connected somehow to the pod’s power. If the power is off (as it was yesterday) perhaps the portal appears as expected, but doesn’t have enough power to instantiate a link? Worth exploring. I should have all of them by the end of the day, I need to camp out in Testonot to make sure I don’t miss that one. Anyone care to join me? 😉

In other news, the Bahro opened up a section of the Great Shaft via a linking tablet. Reading Dr. Watson’s words again, and his encouragement to take a leap of faith still echo back to my first visit there, the cavern deserted, myself so young and full of hope. Once again I took the leap of faith, but the results were substantially different. As the ground rushed toward my feet, I had the distinct impression that something was wrong. Realizing my trajectory was going to drub me against the opposite wall before dashing me on the exquisitely tiled floor below, I panic-linked out. Perhaps the first time was a hallucination? Perhaps the Path of the Shell has been lost or destroyed. I don’t know, but I know I won’t be trying that stunt again for a long while.

I was reading Whilyam’s blog yesterday on Urublogs and he mentioned that Cate’s visits to the Caverns “answered most of his investigations.” Curious, I visited his blog proper and discovered a list of current mysteries in the Cavern. I believe I’ve seen this previously but gave it little attention. Then it occurred to me: If his investigation questions are being answered, where is he posting the results of said investigations? I’m sure his insights would make a great blog entry or even news article for TCT or D’net, even. Maybe I’m just missing his updates somehow… At any rate, I think a list of investigations is a fine idea, something every Explorer should consider doing. Keep up the good work Whilyam, and be sure to let us know what you find out!

Uru Search update

•May 2, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’ve made a simple homepage for Urusearch, replacing the terribly generic homepage that Google provides.  You can check it out here:

I now have a total of 6 volunteers willing to add content, and I started a Google Group for them, to communicate better.   If you like what you see, please consider joining the initiative.

Uru Search

•April 28, 2007 • 1 Comment

I’ve created a new Google Custom Search Engine dealing exclusively with the Cavern and everything D’ni.

Uru Search

I need help with it though. Artists to make graphics, volunteers to add even more Uru-related content. Check it out and click “Volunteer to Contribute” if you want to help! I’m not using adwords and doing this for any personal gain – this is totally for the Explorers Community. Have a look and tell me what you think!

The Zero and Autumn

•April 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

My Relto has a new page – Oaks with orange leaves create a decidedly autumnal feel to my little isle.  Even though it’s Spring on the surface, I do enjoy the nostalgia the new page brings.  Just when I think Yeesha can’t top herself, she gives something even better.   I want to host a Relto party soon!

The Great Zero calibration has begun, and I must say kudos to Laxman for simplifying the calibration process.  When I was in the caverns after the DRC withdrew,  I found calibrating the GZ to be less obvious and less fun.  Now, gone is the coordination of three different axes, replaced by 14 calibration missions.   I never thought I’d feel like a real-life pac-man, but I get the distinct urge to say “wocka wocka wocka” as I run through the cavern picking up the CGZMs!  A fun diversion with very immediate benefits, totally different from the waiting for the Portals in the most recent ages.

With each new Age, each new discovery, the Cavern gets a richer feeling.  Some Ages can be solved by a single explorer, others require a group.  Some challenges require patience and waiting, while others require agility and speed.  A little bit of something for everyone, and certainly enough to actively “do” for a solid week, if not more.  But don’t forget about the rich history, the friends you can meet, and the things you can take part in.   I believe we’re truly seeing a re-awakening of the Cavern, and we’re finally seeing some life and longevity here.  This is how the Cavern should have been when the DRC re-opened it.

However, some are concerned by the nearly complete silence of the DRC, and some even think this is a harbinger of “Destruction is coming…”   I still don’t know what to think of Yeesha’s last words to us, and what they really mean.  If this Destruction is coming, it’s taking its own sweet time.  Until something occurs that makes me think differently, I think I’ll just enjoy the Cavern as it is until such time as I can actually make decisions and take actions that may affect the Cavern’s future.

A new Explorer is born!

•April 6, 2007 • 1 Comment

I am proud to announce the latest member of my family. Marc was born April 5th, 2007 at 5:07pm. His weight was 7 pounds 12 ounches, and his length was 20 1/2 inches. Perhaps when Marc is old enough, I will teach him about the Journey and the Great City, and we can visit Uru together! For now, I’ll just be happy to tell him bedtime stories about Atrus, Yeesha, and the Kings of D’ni.