So between sufficient amounts of boredom accumulating and a lack of things to do in my various games, I decided to make a return to SL as I was feeling decidedly draconic recently. When I got back in, I was reminded that one of the projects I had kept putting off was a renovation of my home there.
Originally, before Kaitlyn passed on, we stayed in a small castle on the small corner of the Isle of Gazoo that we called our own. It was a cozy little place more fitting to our tiny-sized selves, and home to many virtual pets that she kept there. It had been there a while before we got together and once I “moved in” with her, I added a few things of my own, such as a Stargate, an art panel, and the stained glass window from the original Isle of Wyrms’ Cathedral, before it was bulldozed for the current version.
Now we’d discussed rebuilding it to better suit the both of us a few times in the past, but not much came of it. I’d suggested having the building adjusted so it appeared to be built out of the side of the mountain, and maybe make it a three level tower, but between time we spent doing other stuff, prim allotments and such, nothing ever came of it.
Once it became solely mine however, I was torn between doing something with Standing stones that teleported to a skybox above, or a dragon cave built into the mountain itself. I got as far as locating a cave building kit and trying to prototype a cave before, but the pieces did not have external textures so I had to build an outside wall, and I didn’t like how it was turning out so I trashed the work, and never got back to it until recently.
With time to kill and nothing better to do, I took measurements again and took another stab at building the mountain and cave. I threw a ice plain about level with the top of the next plot over, followed by another ice wall angled down to match the slope of the ridge next to it, ending at the rock wall. With that in place, I added some boulders to make a wall of rock, leaving a place for the cave, which I started on after that.
The cave came together better this time, but I found out due to the size of the plot and the cave pieces that if I made it big enough to accommodate my full size form, it wouldn’t be able to be as large around as I wished. I also found another issue with it, relating to the former castle.
You see, I wanted to leave some of Kaitlyn’s stuff as a memorial, and among the things i inherited were some of her virtual cats. They were basically confined to the second floor of the castle(which had been our living room of sorts) and I didn’t want to just remove the castle completely, as I couldn’t move any of the objects she had left, such as the bed for the cats. So the first thing I had done before returning the castle was build a room around the room, so that the cats wouldn’t escape and so everything I couldn’t move could stay where it was.
Anyways, once I placed the cave in, I found it was tall enough it was poking through the floor of the new lounge area, which means I would have to dig it out. Suffice it to say, that terraforming in Second Life with the in-world tools is a royal pain.
The last major addition was the observation balcony, and a third room to go with it. Since we had a great view from our part of the Isle, I had wanted to have a observation balcony to take advantage of it. That went in fairly easily, and everything else after that was furnishings and fine-tuning. But why describe when I can show?
Dragon’s Song has two different entrances, depending on how you may arrive. The more obvious one would be the front entrance, leading down to the cave below.
The first thing a visitor may notice is the metallic dragon statue at the forward edge of the cliff. At night, the eyes glow the same color as the crystals surrounding it, which also provide illumination for any admirers.
To the left of the statue is the flag of the Isle of Gazoo, flying high to show that this is part of the residential portion of the greater Isle of Wyrms. Beyond that, a willow tree stands in for Kaitlyn’s old favorite silver tree, accidentally lost during the renovations. her pair of birds however still are able to call it home, and on approaching close enough you may hear them singing.
To the right is a sign showing the crests of Kaitlyn, myself, and the IoG. This will be going away in the near future, to be replaced by a new sign over the cave. She may no longer be among us, but she is not forgotten, as the memorial on the far right shows
Where there is a dragon, there is treasure
Continuing down the slope, and entering the cave, the main attraction here is the small hoard of gold and gems off to the right. In the middle of it is my custom egg, representing my own kind of dragon.
You see, in the Isle of Wyrms each kind of dragon comes in its own special egg. As I created my own, I created an appropriate egg to go with, keeping to the style of embellishment that the original creator, Daryth, used.
Like the statue outside, several crystals decorate the cavern walls, providing illumination at night, and merely looking pretty during the day. Each one shines with a slightly different color, matching the color of the crystal itself.
Finally, at the back is a set of transportation rings, the method used to move between the various parts of Dragon’s Song.
On arriving at the lounge, the erstwhile visitor would find a floor of marble, with walls paneled in mahogany. A rug and furniture provides some measure of comfort to bipeds and tinies, while a TV on the far wall could display streaming video, if they chose to take in a movie or show. To the left and to the right, the walls are decorated with art – each frame a slideshow of additional pieces.
Of the ones here, the chakat art on the left is mine, while the other two frames display images that Kaitlyn had loaded into them. Similarly, the strange object on the far right is a meditation chair that she had occasionally used.
On viewing the lounge from the other end, three more panels of art become visible. The left one is actually static, as I only have the one piece of art of that kitsune character I created. The far right one is also static for the same reason, though it features a Caitian starship captain from the chakatverse that I once wrote about. The back piece however features most of my non-explicit dragon art, barring a couple pieces that were of the wrong aspect ratio.
From this angle, you can also see the cat bed on the far right, and a plant stand that the smallest of the cats uses for a bed. Apart from the TV and the art of my characters, the furnishings here were from the original castle, and will likely not change anytime soon.
Taking the rings up to the library brings you to a carpeted room, lined with bookshelves. Like the cave below, a pair of carefully placed crystals illuminates the room at night – one at the back, and one on the ceiling(not shown here).
At the back end of the room is a dragon’s seat, crafted of marble. Placed before it is a book easel, so that the reader does not have to hold the book while reading and can make himself comfortable. Currently, the stand contains a photo album containing many community screenshots of the Isle of Wyrms.
The other object of note is the stained glass window resting against black marble on the angled wall – the new placement of the stained glass window from the original IoW Cathedral.
In the other direction, four cushions provide comfortable seating to any guests, whether they be dragon, tiny, or biped. Just beyond the pillows, a pane of glass seals int he balcony, preventing anyone from accidentally walking off the edge while appreciating the view of the Isle below.
The cliffside above the cave is the new home for the Dragon’s Song Stargate. While not open to random dialing, it can be dialed direct, and at the base is the transportation rings for the “roof” area. A ring of standing stones decorates the area, and with winter leaving grass has come back in across the ground above.
I don’t know how much time I’ll be spending in SL, with a new season in Star Trek Online coming and a new expansion for WoW in the works, but Dragon’s Song is renewed, and I have a place that’s just as much mine as it was hers to hang my cap. If it wasn’t for the generous community and family around the Isle, I wouldn’t even have this, and I’m thankful for the generosity Gertie and the others have shown in letting me take over and keep the land after Kaitlyn left us. I just wish she could have seen it, but all things come to an end someday, including our own lives.
And maybe I’ll find someone else one of these days that I can share this with as well.