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.

More on Museum Ages (or why i haven’t gotten the pie slices yet)

•April 1, 2007 • Leave a Comment

With a busy Surface life, I find it difficult to be in the right time at the right place to enter the portals for Negilahn and Dereno.  I rely on the Negilahn Calendar to see when the next portal will open.  Dereno’s, I’m told is a few hours later.  Unfortunately, my times to be in the Cavern and the portals have not aligned yet.  I’m glad that I have the books on my shelf, as I can reach them anytime.  Getting 8 people together and coordinating them is easy compared to waiting around for those portals, so I’m not ashamed that I haven’t already gotten these slices.  In due time.  And since the only thing that seems to not be permanent is the Calendar Stones (and to a lesser extent, access to Eder Delin), I’m not too worried about it.

By the way, my Bevin (Monkeyboy’s) has a Delin book.  Contact me if you’d like an invite, as I understand it is hard to find a Delin that is not being used in the Public Hoods listing.  Perhaps hoods with the Delin book could arrange a reservation system.  They meet with a hood representative at the appointed time, and after 8 people entered their book room, the hood member could close the doors to the book room, so they could have it to themselves.  If the doors could be opened by anyone on the inside, even better, because the hood rep wouldn’t need to wait for them to finish to let them out.  Some of us Explorers are Managers, and so I’m sure this idea would appeal to them, and give people the peace and quiet (i.e. no need to shout) to solve the Delin Age.

Thoughts on the Museum Age and Calendar Stone Discoveries

•April 1, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Cate brought down a map that explains the arbitrariness of the Pods and the “Portals” that are appearing.  The first surprise is that the pods are all links to the same planet.   I thought they were linking to entirely disparate worlds at first.  All we’ve seen of the D’ni’s Writing capability (besides the City itself) are just small playgrounds, but this map tells us they can describe entire worlds with Writing, complete with geographical features, flora, fauna, an ecosystem, and more.  Naturally, the D’ni would want to explore different parts of the planet, hence the Museum Ages.  Ages are not just disposable, one-hit wonders; they exist within an even larger matrix of reality.  Just like Earth, you could spend a lifetime there documenting even just a small corner.

About the portals: The pod locations are nicely numbered on the map, and looking at them explains the disparate times that the portal appears – it is related to the time of day, or the passing of a particular point on the planet’s surface across some exciter or trigger… I remember reading somewhere that the Cartographers liked to build a calibrating machine like the Great Zero in Ages where they wanted accurate measurements…. Perhaps the portal is the Pod interacting with the neutrino beam of this Surveyor’s Machine as it sweeps across the entire globe?  Or maybe it’s an atmospheric phenomenon, like the Aurora Borealis.  Both possibilities intrigue me.

I also stuck around tonight at Eder Gira, to see if I could see the sprite/sparklies move to another location (it seems to move on the 1st of every month — oddly enough, in our month system, not in D’ni’s! – perhaps indication of Bahro observing us in our own culture?  Or… evidence that the DRC is behind the calendar stones?), but it stayed there past “midnight” on the surface.  However, I had trouble linking out – getting back to my relto took an unusually long time, so perhaps the Sprites link to other location using the same methods that we do?

Looking forward to checking out the next Pod, this one might be the key to everything else.  And perhaps we’ll finally get the GZ working.  Maybe the GZ’s hypothetical sister emitter will interact with it somehow.  Who knows?  I can’t wait to find out.

Back after a long break…

•March 27, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been out of the Cavern for about a month, and coming back I was only able to find three things that were different than when I last visited. The DRC added Dereno, another Museum Age to the Museum. The Great Zero’s imager Relto page has been rediscovered. And probably most important of all, a link to the view of Kerath’s Arch has appeared in the neighborhood book room. The most fascinating part of this story is the fact that it was actually delivered to the neighborhood by an actual Bahro.

Everyone says “The bahro made this change or that change,” but this is the first time that people have actually had photographic evidence of this happening. I wish I could have been there for that event, but it still says something about the Cavern that there was no easy way for me to find out about the Barho’s pre-appearance and creation of the Arch Link, except by reading message boards, blogs, or actually visiting the Cavern. Being away for so long, I didn’t want to read any message boards or blogs because I didn’t want anyone to spoil solutions or revelations.

Now, a month later, I feel lost again. Things are the same, but things are different. Apparently Sharper is back. He’s doing his thing, accessing parts of Ages that regular explorers can’t (ever) reach. And I suppose we’re supposed to fall in line and make him a leader again? I’ll keep news of him on my periphery. Until his actions directly affect events in the cavern, he’s just a nice news story right now. The Bahro appearances are fascinating to me, but I don’t see them happening often.

The biggest issue I have right now is there are new links, etc. but nothing actually seems to make much of a difference. There’s not a payoff for finding them. Top of Kadish’s pyramid? Great! no special level, switch, or even Relto Page up there: What’s the point?

Maybe I’m missing something, but the Museum Ages don’t seem to do much of anything. I turn the pod on, I can press the buttons and get sounds or lights, but there’s no indication that anything I do actually affects the environment.

Ever get that feeling that everybody’s going to a party and nobody told you about it? Yeah, that’s how I feel right now.

Yeesha’s appearance – Prayer Vigil or Curtain Call?

•February 21, 2007 • 6 Comments

I just read that Yeesha appeared in the Cavern, in holographic form, in sil_oh_wet’s bevin. I don’t know what to think about this. After reading Sosiqui’s post about the event, I am feeling vaguely disturbed. This vigil could have been mistaken for a religious ceremony.

We tried a lot of things to try and get Yeesha’s attention! Many people came wearing their Journey shirts, myself included. One of the first things we did was to get into a spiral symbol – not the spiral hand of the first Journey, but the mark of the second Journey, the same symbol as in Eder Delin and Eder Tsogal. We started from the fountain, using the center as the dot-and-circle in the spiral, and moved out from there… here’s a KI shot of the spiral at its height, though I’m not sure who took this image.

First, participants wore special clothes, and formed themselves into a symbol of meaning. A standard starting point for many human activities – football, posing for a picture, marching band, etc. Not alarming, in and of itself, but then it gets interesting:

[one explorer] tried talking back to the Bahro of the Cavern. A group went to the Egg Room to meditate. We all tried several rounds of calling Yeesha’s name combined with beckoning motions, and even did waves of movement like leaning to one side and cheering that swept down our human spiral.

One woman is speaking out to unseen creatures in the Cavern. Another group meditates (prays). The gathered group shouts “Yeesha! Yeesha! Yeesha!” in unison, complete with beckoning motions. They also perform other crowd-participation motions, such as leaning/swaying back and forth, and cheering. Change the location, the name being shouted, and you have an ecstatic religious ceremony, analagous to certain cultures’ calling out to their gods. But the strangest part is that Yeesha answered their call:

It seemed unbelievable, but those still present in the ‘hood reported that Yeesha, or a hologram representation of her, had appeared in a series of odd circumstances – not wearing a KI as their KIs did not detect her, but she appeared briefly at the link-in point before vanishing. A cloud of static then moved around the ‘hood for a few minutes before Yeesha appeared on the fountain top – precisely in the center of the human spiral from the vigil! She did not speak and remained there for only a short time before vanishing once more…

Not only did Yeesha appear, she recognized the importance of the spiral and placed herself in the focal point of it, where everyone had been looking expectantly.

I do not know what this means, only that our call was heard…

I can’t get past the religious implications of this meeting. It’s almost as if Yeesha were a god, and Yeesha’s appearance seems to confirm that that’s what she thinks of herself as well. Yeesha is not a god. She is a powerful individual, but she is not all-powerful nor omniscient, and arguably not stable – just look at her rantings in Myst V to know that she’s not stable, and that she harbors somewhat of a god complex.

I have always considered Yeesha to be a friend of the Explorers, a helper with mysterious resources. As such, I would never think to attempt to “summon” her. To me, shouting out to Yeesha would be like shouting out to my wife or my best friend, hoping they will appear – completely unthinkable. If I were there, in sil_oh_wet’s Bevin, would I be able to participate, even if it meant I get a glimpse of Yeesha? No, I will have to say I couldn’t do it. I worship one God, and I can’t even give the appearance of worshiping another.  I would have had to bow out of that event.  After this, I will still consider Yeesha a friend, but I will tread more carefully now, since apparently her delusions of grandeur are becoming obvious and influencing other explorers

I hope I’m wrong. I really do. I hope that I have misinterpreted the actions described. I hope that the event was not religious in nature and was more akin to a theater or sports thing, where fans begin to chant the name of the lead part or their favorite player in a sports event. I hope that Yeesha’s appearance was not a confirmation of a god complex, but instead was the equivalent of a curtain call, an acknowledgment of the people that support her. In short, I hope that this meeting was rational, and my fellow explorers weren’t carried away by emotion and then saw the visit as a mystical experience.

I hope this is an isolated incident, and that mysticism and ecstatic rituals do not become the norm in the Cavern. I came here to explore D’ni, to learn what I could from all of it, including Yeesha and the Journey, to make friends, and to discover deeper parts of myself. I cannot bring myself to call to Yeesha, even if only in the Cavern. That’s not why I’m here, that’s not who I am. That being said, is there a place in the Cavern for me now, or do I have to be complicit in this apparent Yeesha worship in order to enjoy my stay here? If it is the latter, I will most assuredly walk away.  That’s not the kind of Cavern I want to live in.