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How I Came to D'ni for Glasses

#1 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:14 PM

Looking through some old files today I found this old story I wrote up for... actually, I don't really remember. I wrote it for something. It was near when MOULagain opened and I got my first experience of Uru Live (as is somewhat explained in story, for my Uru account G. Loa [which sounds vaguely like a legit name, right? :p]). I'm not sure what the pictures were, although I remember what most of them were, basically (they were more or less my first screenshots in Uru Live [screenshots, not KI shots. I only started really taking KI shots a lot when my computer just started putting up black images for any regular screenshots]) - so unless I find them again they will have to remain a mystery.. (and yes, out of character I started with a single-minded focus to get those goggles to complete my appearance, so I felt I should give it some in-character reasoning). Some spoilers. How I Came to D'ni for Glassesand ended up staying anyway
So, well, after briefly toying with starting my story in media res, and leaving you gentle readers in suspense about the title for most of the piece, I figure I should probably explain.
I came to D'ni for glasses. Well, D'ni goggles that I could use as glasses. With my poor vision and occasionally absent minded and energetic lifestyle, I break a lot of glasses, you see. Also, I had seen a couple of the goggles before (yet nobody would sell them, even though most of my friends who had them said they were just nuisances), and they looked awesome. With all the other things you could do with them, and how they just apparently were lying around somewhere for free - well, it wasn't too far to New Mexico for me - a short detour on my planned summer trip to Mexico - and why not take such an easy opportunity?
Well, turned out to be not-so-easy. Turns out that the goggles were not where friends had told me they were. Rather, they were in an area that was - from all research I could do, and from what my friends told me, at least - inaccessible to those who had not gone on Yeesha's Journey. Well, that was a bit of a stretch. Most of my friends seemed to approve of it, though. Nothing I'd heard about Yeesha had been overly bad, and nobody had gotten grievously injured. Furthermore, I had read many accounts about the journey, including detailed descriptions of how everything had worked. I could probably get it done quickly - visiting some of my dear friends in the process - then continue my vacation with my new goggles. Not-so-easy, but still easy.
"I probably know more about why you're here than you do... You felt called here, just like the others." I didn't really want to argue with the man, and to my experience he is a very intelligent and friendly fellow. Still, I nodded and continued on with the concrete assurance that he was wrong (unless you all came for such technological insights and are just hiding it for odd reasons, which makes you the sneakiest community of people on the planet ...that's what you get when many are fans of a popular adventure puzzle game, I guess, though... I'm on to you...).
Ahem. So I knew he was wrong. Went through anyway, following the cryptic, well, mumbo jumbo of Yeesha's "request" and continued on. Sat in my pretty little clone of an Age and started unhastily to visit various the locales I had been told about many times before. For some odd reason, the first place I chose to explore was Payiferen - the desert pod machine.
That's when things clicked - at least, the first subtle time. The place is not especially popular among the photographs and videos sent home and posted online. The few that exist show what is mentioned to be rare visits by interesting wildlife, or other scenes of the bright sunbeams and other fancy stuff. I must have come in at night, or perhaps a storm - haven't been there since to look more closely at things. It was gloomy, dark, and foreboding.
[picture]This is about what I picture Dante's depiction of Hell to look like.
Perhaps it is odd that this abandoned piece of junk kindled my interest like no soaring piece of tourist photography had before. It was tangible. It was mysterious - not in the high excitement of the great journeys and puzzles of the D'ni and friends, but in an entirely mundane way. How was it made? How does it work? What did it signify? What did others see in it before?
Moving on somewhat abruptly, as I am afraid I can pull no more significance out of that lonely visit, there were two more early visits I made with similar impacts. My next explorations were in the City itself, and in Eder Gira (with the intent of completing one quarter of my Journey in my quest for my goggles). In D'ni, I got lost. Dreadfully lost, and for some reason I had forgotten even to put shoes on. Anyone with the slightest idea of what the city looks like will have some idea of what that felt like afterwards (although at the moment, I somehow missed that fact in my focus on how lost I was). There was another not-so-picturesque thing I saw, although perhaps it is more just the function that is forgotten, while the form is seen as nice. I saw a signpost.
[picture]This one, to be exact.
I had never thought, in all my various fancies of the stories I heard, or the strategems for getting my goggles, of using these signposts as, well, signposts, before. They were decoration - beautiful decoration - but I had never thought of them as actually functional. An actual mundane purpose, with just the same mystery as I felt in the pod - an overlooked and totally normal place of mystery. Now, I would like to say that straight from this revelation I was able to speed my way to my destination, but indeed I was not. In fact, I must have misinterpreted the sign, because I ran off in the wrong direction entirely. It's the thought that counts, though.
Anyway, to Eder Gira. To make a very long story (not that the Age was particularly confusing, but just because it's a whole Age with rather little story in this narrative of mine at the moment) shorter, I'll jump straight to the view that really caught my attention and brought out the second drive of exploration that keeps me here. It against wasn't the most beautiful view possible, nor was it here an especially surprising view. I knew, from what I had learned about the Age from others, everything I saw there. I had seen them all from more stunning angles, even.
[picture]
It wasn't the great mystery of exploring and finding that great surprise or stunning shot - indeed, with my inundation with photographs and video of the sites before, those are much rarer perhaps for me than anyone. Instead, it was the wonder of exploring what has already been explored.
I guess that's why they have museums, and historic trails and such. People have been there before (or seen the artifacts, dug them up and looked at them without glass walls and crowds of flash photography), and your view of it is hardly new or unique. It's more the significance of each view, and the connection between your actions and the tales told before that is important. I can't really describe it more, but it definitely intrigued me - and much more noticeably to myself than the previous pull had.
Related to that would be the next drive that I noticed. Again, it was based on the connection of my own actions, and the surroundings and all. This time, it boiled down more to the power of this connection, and the ability to interact so powerfully with what had previously been tales and stale video. Boiling it down more, it was the thrill of power.
[picture]Pictured: POWER
This ability to shape my surroundings - the surroundings of the story and information I had been told many times before - was quite fascinating. I noted this at the pictured scene in Teledahn, and also soon after when I took a break to visit the strange Age of Jalak Dador. Here, not only could I manipulate so many things, but I was almost encouraged to be the Age itself.
[picture]Even more power.
I was enjoying the sense of power again in Gahreesen, later, when I was startled by a perfectly mundane thing. With the power just recently restored, I had been running through the corridors in my attempt to find the elevator I had been told about - reveling in the new freedom of the opening doors. Then, suddenly to my view then, a door on the other side of the corridor blinked once and opened.
It was, of course, opening because a friend of mine had been running through the corridors from the other direction. I had invited her to my Age, and I had even known that she was in that vague direction - we had only gotten running off in opposite directions just a little while back - but it still surprised me. I realized at that moment that other people also had such great power and ability to mold the surroundings around them too. This still fascinates me - the interplay between the mundane mysteries of the D'ni, the Ages, and long times of absolutely normal things that happened; the mysteries and influence of the many countless explorers and tales told and acted before me; and the power of individual and contemporary explorers - both myself and others. After Gahreesen, I called back to arrange things for one last time, canceling my vacation trip to Mexico for the much more intriguing pull of the various places here.
That is what drew me here, or at least kept me here. Of course, one last influence to my decision must be covered - the community. Others have waxed poetic about this far longer and in far more detail then I have, so I will just cover this shortly with one brief anecdote.
I had gone and visited the Age of Minkata, the Surveyor's tangle of an Age. After quite some effort putting my advanced mathematical studies to the test with the puzzle of vectors and distances, I chatted with some friends I knew and got help. They had acquired a marker mission where a helpful explorer had outlined carefully the directions to navigate through the trackless sands. I, still being new and without much advances on the calibration of my KI, could not view this mission, but they could (and I could keep track of at least a couple moving landmarks of people, following the - to me invisible - trails).
It was in this way that I "found my path in the stars" - not so much by the careful navigation and direction the Age was originally known for, but by the stars of the distant explorer or explorer who had taken the time and effort to chart the path, and the stars of the friends who ran with me through the desert to highlight this path for me.
[picture or alternate picture](alternate picture tagline: Eh, no good pictures of that, though (too busy running and avoiding the sandstorms) so here's a picture of Negilahn, which is an entirely different place entirely, but with the same general concept.)

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