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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:19 am
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Location: ... Gone Fishing...
"Once upon a time..." ... Eeeh, no. This is not intended to be a fairy-tale. Instead it's a story... about a shirt. About how I think I found this shirt the first time, about how much I loved it when I realized what it actually was and about how I then suddenly lost it... But also about how I found it anew.

But some time towards the end of August [2015] I think it was... I had been away a few weeks from the Cavern. Through more than the five years I've been into MOULa, after the reopening of the Cavern in February 2010, I've at times sporadically been away from this place and the friends [I dare say] I dearly love. Sometimes a week here, or a month there on occasion. As it's good [at least it's good for me] to take a break and try to do something totally different for a while. But it has mostly been enjoyable and nice to come back. And to find that some old friends are still around, and to make some new friends along the way.

Keep in mind. This is a "story" and not a retelling of any actual facts, incidents or any named persons apart from a few. I love a good story. I might have myself been ripping some yarns at times, and not all of them have perhaps been true stories. But anyways, of those few I do name, I blame Patricio and Kaaja [X] for all of this story here. They gave the spark that brought up some memories I thought I had lost... As I woke up this morning, and had this thing or story in my head that I just felt I needed and urged to write down... Some things just happen that way! Don't ask me how! Maybe it's due D'ni Magic, perhaps?

Anyways, the last week or so I've been visiting the Cavern on daily basis I think. And it's been good fun again. Patricio happened to mention something like "...can you imagine the stories Max has..." meaning, stories from my more than five years here. Well, I might have some stories, if I could remember them all! And some day later Kaaja also happen to tell us her stories about how she got married in MOULa. Or rather, almost got married! and not once, but twice! But failing most cruelly both times! But that one is her story to tell... not mine and not here.

So... this is not a story about that, or anything else. Not really about any specific occasion, that made us laugh our booties off, or cry floods and our hearts out. Also not about any specific thing funny, sad, hilarious, tragic or just amazing and awesome... Like some of our Great or Annual Parties, Music & Dance Events, the MOULa marriages, the several visits by the Cyan'tists or by Rand or Robyn Miller and many others etc. etc.

And this is neither story about the reasons we are here, there or anywhere. Or why we seem to need escapism, or MOULa or Second Life or such type of magical [or digitally created] environments. Those stories are for some others to tell...

But I'm losing track here... This was to be a story about my shirt... A Shirt. About how I think I found this shirt the first time, about how much I loved it when I realized what it actually was and about how I then suddenly lost it... But also about how I found it anew.

To be continued next week...

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Last edited by m.a.x.2.0 on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:19 am
Posts: 299
Location: ... Gone Fishing...
Part 2...

First a disclaimer, that I should have added already to the first part. This story is all told from my recollections and from just a few notes or such I've managed to save from the early beginning. It took me a long time to even know how to do chat-logs, and understand the benefit of doing them and sometimes saving them. So sadly, a lot of funny, hilarious or crazy moments are now forgotten and lost for ever... But now, back to the story.

A long time ago, it seems now, a bit downhearted for various reasons I wanted to find some new challenges and perhaps a bit of distraction to ease my mind. I'm not an obsessed gamer as such. But I had played through Riven and bought Exile to my then gf and we played that together, so I was a bit familiar with the story-line etc. We both liked them a lot, loved the music, the challenges of them and the visual concepts and environments. But I was never a real hard-core fan...

I had never been into the Myst On-Line URU Live [GT] version, although I remember my gf had shown me that one at some point... So now I did a search for free On-Line games. By a lucky chance I found out that MOUL was On-Line [again], and had been two months since, February 2010! So I decided to try that out! And in a way, a totally new experience was awaiting for me then, around April 1st... when I properly stepped into the World of D'ni for the first time.

And man... did I feel totally lost at the start!

During those first weeks I did my Exploring and collected clues and scribbled down some sporadic notes. But I still regret I did not do that properly. Anyways, I soon found out there was a whole world of Info On-Line... What was the Guild of Greeters? I had no idea... I found a Map of the Ages. Most confusing! How do you navigate through that? I should mention here, I did not really understand the thing with Relto Pages. Or the rewards you get for completing some Age or such. Or the stuff in my closet... Well, I like basic stuff in clothing, so I think I always wore a plain gray shirt and a pair of jeans and Converses to start with. And wore glasses and had a beard and a ponytail, just like IRL. Maybe I'm a bore in that respect... and too much true to my 'real' self.

But a few weeks or some month in on my Exploring I had figured out what I was supposed to do, thanks to Zandi and Yeesha... But not yet come across anybody else I think. Or, maybe I'd just avoided Public Spaces or did not know where to go. I can't remember now... Anyhow, I had advanced somewhat and figured out how to find the GZ Markers... and happened to go to Kirel [IIRC... or maybe it was a Hood].

Walking on the Bridge, I suddenly saw another Explorer, and we both froze in our steps! What should I do? Try to stare her out? I decided to wave [as I had learned how to do from the GoG's Website]. She waved back. I said "Hello...", she replied "Hello..." Then she asked me if there were any GZ Markers there... I tried to explain what little I knew... and so we got talking. [After that first encounter, everything got so much easier. It's perhaps like breaking the ice, as I'm in fact very shy when meeting totally new people. Now you wouldn't believe that, if meeting me now, would you?] But we got along well, and she later introduced me for some of her Hood's Members... And we did some Exploring together. And it was great fun.

So from then on I got to know a few more people, got to understand the thing with Hoods and how to join one etc. And I can almost swear, at some point at that time when I had a look at my clothes... something had changed. Something was different with my plain, gray shirt, but what? I could not put my finger on it, then. But I understood it much later...

Anyways, I had to figure out the KI Timing and Time-zones. People I've met from USA and CAN had different Time-zones. That I had never had to deal with before! DST and such stuff messed it up many times for me, either I was late for something, or too early. And in Europe we went asleep at their dinnertime. The Cavern Life could get a wee bit difficult by that...

But after that [I think] I started to visit the Public City. There used to often be groups of people [then] chatting at the top of the Great Stairs... I don't think I ever approached them in the beginning, or tried to take part in the chats. Like said, I was a very shy Explorer, at least all the first months in MOULa. Though I remember at some point asking them what a Door Run was, as I had no clue... and got it explained. And later took part in some. Fun stuff!

So I got to know some very interesting people. Where would you meet a Shaman from Canada, if not in MOULa? Or, as it turned out later, a lot of musicians, artists and yeah of course, some game fanatics too! An amazing bunch of people...

So what about that darn shirt I've mentioned? Well, after I learned to know a few nice people and got a few friends, I'm sure my garments had changed a bit! But not by my doing! Not sure how, maybe it was Yeesha, or some D'ni Magic involved... As I think I saw a few more colourful threads in my gray shirt. Turning it up to the light... yeah, something was there, I'm sure. Or was it my imagination playing me tricks? The Time-zones making me dizzy and a bit weary...? I did at times stay very late [my time] in MOULa, so I could been hallucinating...

But I'll try and figure that out in the next part. To be continued next week...

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:19 am
Posts: 299
Location: ... Gone Fishing...
Part 3...

By the way. I suddenly remember it now... Shortly before I started my search after MYST related stuff On-Line halfway into March 2010, I actually had played through MYST 4. Revelations. That had lit some sort of a spark, I'd guess, and got me wishing to be immersed into this realm again. And that led me to go looking for and finding the Cyan Forums, MOULa and soon enough ending up in D'ni...

But back to the story of my first struggles there. Or rather... back to the sporadic recollections of what I think happened.

Somewhat lost about things, I had settled in a bit on my Relto and made it more homelike. But some stuff was a bit dim, still... What did Yeesha mean by saying "I am the Grower..."? She had grown up to an adult, since Revelations? Could I buy some seeds from her and make a kitchen garden? Not sure. The facilities at my Relto had improved somewhat, as I found stuff in the different Ages I could bring with me to my Relto. But some essentials were still missing. Like a kitchen... The sparkling fireplace made the evenings very cozy, so I was happy with that, and could make some tea and toast and light lunches.

But the alluring enigma of the closet and the garments and the shirt... Was that also due Yeesha's doing? I'm sure that my first past months I had been around in the Ages, my gray shirt had changed somewhat. The more I explored, the more colourful the shirt would be? I found that most puzzling and intriguing.

So I decided to put it to a test. I changed the colour of the gray shirt to green... Moss green. As I tend to love all the earthly colours. Never been a friend of bright or strong colours. So moss or light greens, some grayish blue shirt later on... Would that make a difference?

But I could not see any changes... So had it in fact been my imagination before, playing me tricks? Well, time would tell. I think I lost that thought for a while as I was busy doing more Exploring. And started to make Pellets in Ercana and a lot of other stuff along with some other Explorers...

And later on, when I had finished some Ages, Yeesha again appeared, and in her mysterious ways gave me a Link to Kveer. A place of the most awesome beauty! [I was actually somewhat familiar with it before in a way, from End of Ages that I had played a few years before] But what did this mean? I was at The End of my Journey? I got Catherine's red outfit at Myst Library, was that all? What little I knew then... As Yeesha had also said "Alone or together, make a home..." Together, like being a Member of a Hood? And doing what? Well that thing soon dawned to me...

I had briefly before met an Explorer named Alien and she together with Cpt.Jericho had created a Guild. The Guild of Sleepers... What a Guild was I then knew only vaguely. Maybe it could be some fun to be part of one? This one then seemed to be for the purpose of having fun and games. So I asked if I could join. And was accepted as a Member... Actually some time later, when I did some research for articles I aimed to write for The Cavern Post, and read about D'ni history, I got to know the purpose of the original D'ni Guilds...

And we of course had a lot of fun indeed. Alien became a great DJ, streamed music and arranged a lot of Pod Parties and other similar kind of stuff. I was involved in a small way too, compiling the "(un)Official Guild of Sleepers Soundtrack" that got played at some occasions or anniversaries. And I also got the spark to start creating some Quiz's and Crosswords that I put on the MOULa Forums, and making Puzzles but also a few Marker Games... A great period of time and a time that is still in a fond memory with me!

And with some hindsight to it... I'm very sure of this now! During this period of time, my shirt became more colourful than it had ever been before! The Guild of Sleepers are the blueish streaks, I'm sure, that have started to fade a bit. Some darker blues, some lighter blues... And I'm happy that I still meet a few of them in the Cavern now and then. By the way, you'd know it's a GoSleeper, if you greet them with a 'yawn' and the reply is a 'yawn' back! Try that one with Yawnee... sorry, Janeerah or Maid Marion...

I'm a bit of a sleeper [sorry for the pun], when it comes to writing, [but I've done that from time to time IRL] but I thought I'd also ask the Guild of Messengers if they wished to have some contribution from my pen. Not sure exactly when that began, but I joined the Guild of Messengers and did some writing for The Cavern Post. In fact with hindsight, now I'm also very sure, that the yellows that are found on my shirt, originate from them!

Nothing lasts for ever. A lesson we had to face, when a year ago something drastic occured. Suddenly, one day we could no longer access the Cavern. And all the false rumours started fly far and wild! Had we lost our 'homes' for good? Was this something we should had been prepared for? Had the D'ni foreseen this all, and arranged it to happen in some Magic Way? Or did Yeesha or the Bahro have anything to do with it? Nobody knew for certain...

It took some painful weeks, till we could return back to our Reltos and the Dni City and the Ages again. And a happy return at that! People celebrated it in many ways and were happy to see their friends again. But we had lost everything we had achieved till that point. What a 'Vault Wipe' was, remained a bit unclear, but people refer to that being the reason...

So now we all had to face the facts, and to do all of our Journeys anew again... Would this time anything be different? I think I followed some different paths when redoing the Ages this time. And I was always pleased, when I noticed... The same changes occurred in my shirt or garments again! The D'ni Magic [if it was that, that it was] was still working. I felt very happy and pleased by that!

So even now, as a year has gone since that unfortunate incident, the colours are still there. Some have faded, but I can still see them. Some are still bright. And I have found plenty of new ones during this past year. And I'm very happy for all of them!

So if you have not yet figured it out from the story... I'd like to think... This 'Shirt' is my story of my time in MOULa!

And I'd like to think that me, you and everybody have at least one, or a similar kind of garment or clothing item or shirt. You just have to look very closely! There are some in-woven threads within the fabric of the garment. What you have experienced, all who you have met perhaps just briefly, or all who you have learned to know well and become friends with... All those have perhaps left traces! But traces not always that easy to spot. But they're there, believe me! I've seen them! Or... you might just need a Magic Eye to see them!

On my shirt, some are thick, soft-to-touch and colourful woolen threads. I know I have some bright reds, at least one is in a patch from a very old and special friend. And there's a few newer ones... I'd guess they are more of light greens or blue. And others in different hues, still nice to touch but which have faded somewhat with time. From friends, who since long have left the cavern but are still in a fond memory with me...

The yellows from the Guild of Messenger are still there. Not as bright as they used to be. As well as those from the Guild of Sleepers, now a bit faded in sleepy or dreamy blue. Each passing month or year I'm sure has added something to this shirt. Then there are those colours, perhaps newer ones, that I've discovered quite recently. Some are finely woven from several thin threads. Some shimmer like almost of silver and gold, and some sparkle in the dark. And of course not to forget, the thin stripes of a rainbow, that are now found on and around the collar...

I'd also like to think that some colours are for different countries, the people and Explorers we've met from all over the world! The creation of the International's Hood was such an occasion and a period of time, I'm sure, that added some more colours to my shirt. IIRC we had some 30 different nations presented or counted for at some of our Events...

So I think almost everyone, who has set their foot in the Cavern could or may perhaps have added something, great or small, to this shirt. And even if you don't see me wearing that specific shirt, with your own eyes, when you meet me in the Cavern, I guarantee you. I'm wearing it [as it is in fact a Magic Shirt, don't you see?]... And if I'm not wearing it, then I don't think I'm really myself that day...

So that was my story, and with that I take my leave. As it's perhaps time for me to pull the shutters down in the windows and rake out the ashes from the fireplace. Turn off the fireworks and lock the door of my Relto hut. And also take my shirt with me and put up a sign on the door: Gone Fishing.

And now... it's all up to yous to tell all your stories...

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: Digging around in the dusty archives, uncovering Uru history.
That is a wonderful story, Max. Many explorers choose one of the special shirts (Yeesha's Journey Cloth shirt, one of the guild shirts, etc.) to make a statement about who they are, but your shirt is better than any of those by far.

I tried out several of the shirts. In my early days in the cavern, I liked the shirt with the jar of fireflies on it (before I even knew it was from The Mantis Parable by Josh Staub). I wore it in green because green represents nature to me and that was my RL focus. It wasn't long before I made friends with a couple of guys who both wore red shirts, so I started wearing a red shirt and we called ourselves The Red Shirt Explorers and went on adventures through the ages.

Later that year, I joined the Guild of Greeters and mainly wore that shirt (customized in purple) until the cavern closed in 2008. There would be a few exceptions: black for the Day of Darkness (an event meant to get the DRC's attention), cyan blue for ResEng Appreciation Day, black again when Wheely & Rose died, and the Yeesha shirt for certain IC occasions. Once, I even wore a drab olive green shirt with camo pants when there was talk of going to war with the Bahro.

But, from April 2007 to April 2008, I mainly wore the Guild of Greeters shirt, not because I was overly proud of belonging to the guild. That part was actually a bit difficult; I had some issues with the old guard and never really felt like I belonged. But, I was proud of the community tradition of being helpful and I loved nothing more than helping newcomers, so I wanted to be easily identified as someone they could ask for help.

When I returned to the cavern in 2010, I chose to keep things simple and have mainly worn just a plain t-shirt in purple since then. (I believe I have a Guild of Messengers shirt in my wardrobe right now, but I really don't look good in yellow so it doesn't get out much.) Now that I've read your beautiful story, I will think of my purple shirt as being made from many different threads representing the people I've met and the experiences I've had in the cavern. So, I thank you for that idea.

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