New Steelhead sim…Hey, I was just here!


Here’s something a little different for curious explorers….

The new Steelhead prime sim is in place. New construction has not yet begun. It’s a used sim. And it’s familiar to well-travelled SL Steamlanders. A couple of days ago it was Armada Breakaway!

For the moment, the Armada ships and buildings are still there, on fire.  You can be in two Steamland nations at once…when you’re not anywhere at all! To borrow a phrase.

It’s always nice to bring two recent, seemingly unrelated, stories together.


Editor’s Note: This article was re-posted from Mr. Whitfield’s other blog,

Journey To The Center Of The Metaverse 


Armada Destroyed By Fire

by Danko Whitfield

Winterfell Mourning Crier

Wind and water created Armada Breakaway. On Saturday night, fire destroyed it. Casualty figures were unavailable.

Armada burns2

The steampunk pirate city’s fiery finish featured a hot performance by the dance troupe, Armada Sirens before a packed and appreciative house of residents and friends of Armada.

This was followed by two-plus hours of dancing and partying in the Wheel House to steampunk tunes spun by DJ Ahynanka Delphin.

Armada dance

All of this as the fires raged outside. No effort was made to put out the flames. In fact, some witnesses said there were numerous and blatant incidents of arson involved. Finally the Wheel House itself caught fire but the dancing and drinking continued. The fires set off a cache of fireworks that was apparently stored in or near the Wheel House.

Armada burns4

Following the dance, the floating city was evacuated. Residents (and others) grabbed what they could and fled. Some carried their own belongings while other, lesser souls are said to have engaged in looting. A Mr. Acoustic Starship is said to have run off with a souvenir first anniversary Armada telescope which he had been seen with earlier in the evening as the dance party commenced. His whereabouts are unknown at this time.

Armada burns1

A source with knowledge of reports received by Winterfell Naval Intelligence said Armada’s infamous Scoundrel Fleet had been spotted in the Blake Sea and was believed to be intending to land on one of its islands. However, the commander of Winterfell’s naval forces, Adm. Wildstar Beaumont, would neither confirm nor deny the report.

At the risk of bodily injury, this reporter journeyed back to Armada Breakaway on Sunday night and observed the runaway fire as it continued to burn.

Armada Danko

Time Vault

Quin never gives up.

I have heard that said both as criticism and as compliment.

Earlier today, I used the coordinates Quin sent me and went to take a look at his latest experiment, Time Vault. I did not go in a professional capacity – not as explorer nor as time traveller. I was off duty. I just wanted to go have a look after reading Quin’s message about this project. Partly out of simple curiosity, as I had not been to one of the ages in Time Vault, and partly because I couldn’t believe he was expanding the experiment at this point and just had to see it for myself.

It is quite the undertaking. Here, he continues to work on his Future Past experiment…but that is not all. In this one place he has brought Illusion and Starfyre together with Future Past. Yes, Illusion. This was most surprising. I could tell the last time we spoke that he could not get this age – and his lack of success with it – out of his head.

I arrived in Starfyre, the age I had not seen before in person, only in pictures. The terrain was a very rocky one. A green-blue rock…or maybe blue-green. I was not about to study the color of the rock…as I say, I was off duty.

I was standing at the foot of a mountain. With the aid of flight, which appeared to be the only means available to me, other than climbing the mountain – which I was by no means prepared to do – I made it to the large structure at the top. I did not spend any time investigating the structure because two things distracted me. At first it was the large horns on the outside of the structure. Speakers? That is surely what they are. There was no sound coming from them, it was dead quiet here, in fact, but those are undoubtedly speakers up there. (This intrigued me as separately I am investigating what appears to be a series of towers scattered around some of the Devokan ages which I believe may be the antennas of an ancient relay system.) But before I could make any further observation about the speakers, came the second distraction – a shining, shimmering glow from inside the structure – crystals! Giant ones. Large examples of the blue crystals I have seen in several of the ages were sticking out from the top of the mountain. Not only that but green crystals of the same size as well. I tried to recall if I’d seen green ones before in my travels through these worlds. I will surely have to come back to Starfyre when I am on duty.

I headed over to Future Past which I could see in the distance. As best I could tell it was there intact, at least as it was when I last saw it. The blue orb still inside the spinning wooden frame, the fog or mist coming from inside the building that housed it, and so on. The sun was shining brightly in the night sky. Yes, you read that correctly. But at least it was to the west this time, rather than to the south as in Quin’s previous attempt to stabilize Future Past.

I wasn’t sure whether to enter Illusion or not. With much hesitation, I did so but briefly…just as in my last encounter with it. The place, as colorful as it is, still has the look of the aftermath of an earthquake. I am not sure how safe it is to be there. I suppose I should take a closer look sometime but today…that’s right, I am off duty. I moved through Illusion quickly and headed to the towers in the distance I recognized as the Devokan hub.

I arrived there and went down inside to the linking book room. Quin has turned some of the books facedown. The books for Deepwater and Waysmeet were in that position, apparently denoting their disappearance “from the current universe” as Quin had put it in a recent letter. A few of the other books were facedown as well. I could only wonder what else Quin had been up to.

Other books were open in the normal position. I hesitated to use them as Quin had mentioned in his most recent notes that these books were not working properly, if it all. I was not in the mood for experimentation, myself.

But then I saw the book for Selenitica back in Evergreen, my base in the Devokan ages.  Hmmm. Should I? No, I should go back the way I came…well…maybe…

At the risk of being “catapulted out of the current universe” I placed my hand on the picture of Selenitica, closed my eyes (which isn’t actually necessary but it’s what I did), and waited.

After a minute or so, I was back in Selenitica. Unharmed. I exhaled. And walked up to my room in the castle to pour a drink and resume my day off.


Steelhead Main Sim To Close – But Stay Tuned…

With the recent announcement that the Armada Breakaway sim will close at the end of the month, a message today that the main Steelhead sim will close too, seemed at first like just another piece of bad news for The Steamlands of Second Life. However, this latest news comes with quite a twist. The current Steelhead region will close for good after standing for over six years but it will be replaced by a new Steelhead in an odd turn of events.

It turns out that of the seven-region Steelhead estate, this one sim belongs to its first owner, Kattryn Severine, while the other six belong to TotalLunar Eclipse who runs the entire Steelhead estate with his wife, Tensai Hilra. Severine has gone AWOL. Her avatar has not logged into SL since May of 2011 and, according to the announcement today from Lunar, Severine has stopped paying Linden Lab for the sim.

But the good news is that Lunar and Tensai are shopping for another sim to replace Steelhead’s prime region and will rebuild it, keeping the seven-region estate intact under one owner.

Although the details have not been made public, it is unfortunate that Linden Lab would not allow Lunar and Tensai to take over the Steelhead sim nor care enough about a long-time SL community to notify them as to why the region had suddenly gone offline.

I have posted this news on my other blog, Journey To The Center Of The Metaverse and there I have included the official announcement by Lunar as to how he is handling the situation. You can find it here…

Back To The Future Past

Excerpts of a letter from Quin, dated 6 January…

Mr Whitfield, my friend:–
I regret to inform you that my experiments, yet again, have had unforeseen consequences….. the Age of Deepwater was catapulted (there is no other term for it) out of the current universe, taking Waysmeet and associated Ages with it….. I do not think Ms Dot will be very pleased with this. She was planning to develop those lands. That will no longer be possible, because I do not know where they have gone…..

With my sincere best wishes
Quinquifid Oddenfen


I had received two pieces of correspondence from Quin in which he was pleased with the progress of his recent experiments.

So I was a bit surprised to receive his latest…but just a bit. Not that I expected trouble. I don’t have the knowledge about these things that Quin does, I am in no position to ‘expect’ anything. But recent events – and my reading up on past events – tempered the level of surprise that I might have had. My surprise – my shock, actually – had come earlier.

Prior to the recent developments, Quin had asked me to visit Future Past, to explore it and document my findings. Although Quin has the powers of observation of a scientist, when it comes to investigating a land where none have gone before, there is no substitute for the services of a bona fide explorer, if I do say so myself…and I do.

I made three trips to Future Past to gather the information I needed. I published an account of my first trip in my own monthly journal, Steaming Along. I included that account in my formal report to Quin. Once he had read my report and we had a chance to discuss it, I also wrote a piece about Future Past for an explorer’s trade publication. However, I declined interview requests about my reporting as this whole area that Quin is investigating is just barely within my understanding. I had already said, in my writing, all that I could. After my discussion with Quin a month ago, I was glad I had ventured to comment no further.

My meeting with Quin to talk about my findings took place in Future Past itself. This was Quin’s idea as he had returned there to continue his experiments and he could not break away and come back to Selenitica as we had both hoped.

When I arrived, Quin seemed quite satisfied with his progress in “extrapolating the timeline.” As he explained how he discovered Future Past…or, rather, how it came to be…I suddenly realized fully – for the first time – exactly what he was doing. I have heard him talk about extrapolating individual elements from ages before but I thought he was talking in theory. But, after what happened with Illusion – which he still seemed quite disturbed by – and from what I have been reading about his previous work…all right, I’ll say it…his previous failure in Serene, and now standing with him in Future Past and listening to his explanation of from whence it came…I had an OMG moment.

This was not theory. He had done it!

If I may try, in layman’s terms, to explain it to you… At one time, some time far away from the other worlds I know,  there was Primordium. Over a long period of time after that, there was some sort of evolution…to Deepwater. And now, a long time after those earlier ages, there is Future Past. But this new Age was the product of revolution rather than evolution. For all intents and purposes, Quin put it here. And there are many unanswered questions – scientific, ethical and otherwise – about doing such a thing. This is complicated stuff! Not only do I not know the answers here, I don’t even understand all of the questions.

Basically it comes down to this, I have been in this place before…but not in this time. It was Deepwater then. I can’t say I recognized it now as Future Past though a few things seemed familiar. But I attributed that to things I had seen in other places. A tree here that looked like a tree back in Selenitica; a flower here that I had seen in Tao and Kamar. It had not occurred to me that I had seen the ancestors of this tree, this flower, right here in this very place but in a different time. But yet, it wasn’t actually this very place, not exactly. This part is over my head, I am the explorer, not the scientist. Quin had taken elements of long ago ages that he determined to be connected on the timeline and pulled them together – I know nothing of the process – to create the future! Or rather, to cause it to be created. And I’m not sure if it is correct to call it ‘the future,’ maybe ‘a possible future’ is more accurate. Do forgive me, as I am really into an area that is far beyond my knowledge and barely within my comprehension. It is enough to make one’s head explode.


I am standing there in Future Past, listening to Quin and starting to grasp what he has been doing, trying to hide my astonishment that such things are possible – IF they are possible! And I’m seeing him look down at the ground as he mentions Illusion, and now I am looking down at the ground too as I start to wonder if it is about to break apart and hurl us into that underground river that may run through this spot to that vast ocean and I’m looking at the sun setting or rising in the south – I still don’t know which – and wondering if it will suddenly suck this planet in and we will both die in a ball of fire.

And I’m trying to hide all of this from Quin as he is talking about his “encouraging progress.” Isn’t that what he once said about Illusion too? And Serene? And where are they now? Do we add Deepwater and Waysmeet and others to the list?

As it turned out, our meeting ended uneventfully. I went back to Evergreen and after tending to some work there the next day, I decided to leave for Winterfell, to rest up from all this activity and excitement. I also had some writing to work on and had to prepare a collection of photographs as well. This was work better done in Winterfell and it would take my mind off things for a bit. I spent a week there and then celebrated Christmas in my native world before returning to Evergreen to start my next project there. It was a busy yet relaxing time. Still, all the while, I was concerned for Quin. Not just concerned about what impact another failure would have but for his personal safety as well.

I was concerned for myself too. Because whether it happened in Winterfell or when I got back to Evergreen, I knew somehow it would end up that I would be the one who would have to tell all this to Dot.

This week, I received Quin’s latest letter with the bad news that only surprised me a bit. Before I could contact Dot, she arrived in Evergreen. There was no small talk, no time for pleasantries. As soon as she saw me, she began to ask what I knew. Before she could even finish the question, I pulled Quin’s note from my coat pocket and handed it to her.

And stood back.

Personal Journal, Jan 6

Jan 6 Ebonshire 6p 31d fog

Looking out my window at Laird Aislinn on our docks. The ferry service is to resume shortly, he must be working on that.

I just got in, warmed my hands by the stove, sat at my writing table. Trying to ward off the urge to write. What a wonderful position to be in!

I’m too tired tonight and I know how late I will go if I start. I came here to read Ghaelen’s stories. We just met recently, though I have read her before. Dot introduced us and together the three of us hatched a plan for the storytellers and writers of Devokan to get together. Today was the first of our monthly gatherings. It was inspiring.

I really don’t need more inspiration right now! I could go on about why and all the story options that lay before me…but then I’d be doing what I’m trying not to do. I’m just going to lay them out here on this table and look at them. And pick them up and caress them. I will write them all! Another time.

But first, I will sit and read Ghaelen’s stories. And look out my window.

Lady Aislinn has joined Laird Aislinn on the dock. I love the ferry.

I love where I’m at right now.

Road To Goatswood

Editor’s Note: This article is written in a different voice than what you are used to on these pages. It is the voice of a Narrator. This article appears as Mr. Whitfield’s profile or character story on the website of the Goatswood RP sim in Second Life.


From his appearance, you gather that Danko Whitfield is an American, in his mid-forties. He seems confident in his manner and friendly in conversation yet somewhat reserved. He may come across sometimes as not being interested in conversation but that is not the case. He is simply being careful. He does not wish to draw particular attention to himself but realizes this is difficult as he is an Outsider, a stranger in town. He also wishes to avoid drawing attention to himself by appearing to go out of his way to avoid drawing attention. It is a fine line he walks.

Usually he will avoid giving detail as to what brings him to Goatswood and yet there are times when he must tell a bit of his story…or he will go home empty-handed. It would not be the end of the world if he doesn’t complete his mission here…as it is a personal mission or quest. He does not answer to a superior on this matter, he has no deadline. He would be delighted to clear up this matter quickly but realizes that is not likely. It’s something he has wondered about for some time, more so just recently. He never actually thought he would come all this way from America to find the answer to his questions – when would he ever find the time? And it might all be a waste of time. And he didn’t actually come from America to travel to Goatswood. No, it was happenstance.

As luck would have it, he has some time to spare over the coming months and a holiday seemed in order. But where does a man who has travelled extensively go on holiday? He has always been drawn to London. And the thought of an extended stay? Too good to pass up. In his first week in London, while in a pub for a meal, he was sitting near three men having a jolly conversation about a recent book by a psychic. They were clearly making sport of the book and having a good laugh. He paid the exchange little attention as he had no particular interest in psychics or their books. That is, until he heard one of the men mention “Goatswood.” He tried to figure what the men were saying about Goatswood but their laughter had increased and he could make no sense of it. But that did not matter. For this was not the first time he had heard of Goatswood. And his interest in Goatswood was unlikely to be related to the conversation of the men in the pub or to the book they ridiculed. He had his own reason. Though, if not for the men in the pub Goatswood might never have come to mind. But now that it has… “I do have the time now,” Mr. Whitfield thought. “If I am ever going to do this…who knows if I’ll ever be in a position to even consider it again? Yes!”

After making some inquiries, Mr. Whitfield arranged transportation to Mortchester, in the Midlands, and took a hotel room. He spent two days in the library there and then took the train to Goatswood.

He was not the first Whitfield to visit the village. His great, great-grandfather, an American diplomat, had been to Goatswood about 70 years earlier. Edmund Whitfield’s visit came while he was on holiday from a diplomatic mission for President Adams. Edmund kept very detailed journals of his life, skipping over diplomatic matters but little else. Except when it came to his trips to Goatswood. He wrote much about his stay that summer in Mortchester where he was the guest of a friend. But there was only a passing reference to Goatswood, two actually. That was all Edmund had written about Goatswood until twenty years later. In the last months of his life he mentioned the village in his journal again, twice. But again, without detail or context.

Now, his great, great-grandson, a writer, explorer and former diplomat himself – and the self-appointed historian of the Whitfield family – was going to travel to Goatswood to see if he could answer a question that no one else had ever bothered to ask, “Why?” Why no details? A man who was all about detail gives no detail whatsoever about a trip (trips?) to a place that was off the beaten path?

Danko Whitfield has no good reason to follow his great, great-grandfather’s footsteps to Goatswood. No reason to think it will be possible to find any information about his ancestor’s doings here. No reason to believe that there is anything of interest to find. No reason to think that he has left his London holiday for anything other than a wild goose chase. And that is why he is here. No reason. No good reason for a detailed man like Edmund Whitfield to give no reason for his own journey to Goatswood, 70 years ago.

Attention: RP Storytellers & Writers

Announcing an informal gathering of Myst/Uru-inspired storytellers and writers!

This gathering, the first of its kind, will take place on Kitely grid on Sunday, 6 January 2013, at 16:00 UTC in the world of Curiosity.
4pm UK Time
11am Eastern US Time
8am Pacific US Time

The purpose of the gathering is to give RP storytellers and writers a place to share ideas, news, information, gossip, tea, biscuits, thoughts on issues of interest or concern and possibly even to inspire collaboration. You need bring only your cheery self. If you are not so cheery, come anyway but be prepared to put up with a general cheeriness.

We plan to hold a regular gathering on the first Sunday of each month at this same time. We will vary the time from time to time just to throw you off…no, to accommodate others.

We hope these gatherings – yes, we are avoiding use of the word ‘meeting’ – will contribute to a sense of community among Myst/Uru-inspired storytellers. However, we do extend the invitation to RP writers of other genres as well.

Hope to see you there.

Dot Macchi
Ghaelen D’Lareh
Ruby O’Degee
Danko Whitfield