Mr. Whybrow


Thanks to a g+ post last week by Ms. Beth Ghostraven, I learned of the RL passing of the gentle being behind the avatar, Alastair Whybrow.

Mr. Whybrow was my friend and neighbor when my Evergreen Pub was located in Caledon SouthEnd in Second Life, right across the street from his fine jewelry store. I will never forget my first day in the neighborhood when Mr. Whybrow came out of his store to greet me and to comment favorably on the addition of the pub and to offer any assistance.

We chatted about neighborhood news on a regular basis, always remaining in our proper Victorian characters, even in IM. But we did drop the formality of Mr. Whybrow and Mr. Whitfield when in private convo, then it was always the more familiar, “Mr. W.” And we would delight in the fact that we were both Mr. W. and therefore the convo often became rather silly, even when serious issues were being discussed.

But my favorite memories of Mr. W, will always be the spur-of-the-moment RP he would engage in, in ISC (Caledon) Chat. Usually it was something started by someone else. Then Alastair would jump in and get the ball rolling. And soon we were off on some brief, silly, joyous Caledonian adventure. Whether I joined in the RP or just read along with others tuned in at that time, Mr. Whybrow always gave us a series of laughs.

When an opportunity to relocate my pub came up, Mr. Whybrow purchased my land and created a nice public garden, which I returned to visit a few times.

This morning I went back to the old neighborhood in SouthEnd. I knew there would be some sort of remembrance in place, as they always do these things right in Caledon. Both Bluebird Park and the parcel where his Sparkle of Sound fine jewelry store and adjacent buildings stood are now the sites of memorials and tributes. Flags in Caledon are lowered to half staff in Mr. Whybrow’s memory.

I shall raise a glass to Alastair Whybrow this evening at the new location of the Evergreen Pub. You touched me and many others with your kindness and humor. Fair winds, Mr. W.

Nix Sands

After three years in Second Life, I left the Mainland behind and moved to Winterfell. I settled in one of the southern towns, Laudanum, which at that time had a Victorian Steampunk element in its mix of eras. Within a month I made a second home in Cape Wrath in the neighboring and allied nation of Caledon.

In my Mainland years, I didn’t pay much attention to my wardrobe. I was usually seen in a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers as I puttered around my towns, installing a building or tweaking a walkway, planting a tree or hanging out in my pub.

But when I came to the Steamlands, I had to get with the program and dress the part. I picked up a few items here and there, some freebies as I started, just to have something while I continued to shop and develop a “look” or style I felt comfortable with.

One day, while browsing the shops in Caledon Penzance, I happened into Xcentricity, the shop of one Nix Sands. I purchased some trousers and a waistcoat which came with a free white shirt.

After a few days of wearing these items with a coat I had purchased elsewhere, I was back at Xcentricity, browsing the waistcoats once again. I had found the basic element of my “look.” Nix’ various waistcoats and pants became – and still are – a mainstay in my closet. I’d say I’m wearing a waistcoat, pants and (color-changing/texture-changing) shoes from Xcentricity about 80 or 90-percent of the time I am in SL. Add to that a coat or jacket from other designers – Doc Wrangler, Thadovian or Eleanor Banx’ Cosmic Steam Designs – and a conscious decision to go without a cravat except on formal occasions, and I had my “look.”

It was further enhanced when I belatedly discovered that one of the many waistcoats I had purchased in Nix’ shop had come with a bonus item – a black shirt. Ohhhh, how smart that shirt looks with the rest of the items I’ve mentioned.

The other day I learned that, as we put such things in the Steamlands, Nix Sands’ typist had passed away. Such sad news to me and so many others he had touched with his creativity and sense of humor, whether they actually knew him or not. Myself, I had only IM’d with him once that I can recall. I knew him from the clothes on my back (and elsewhere) and from his other creations.

He was the man behind Gorgon Motors, building fine cars of a long bygone era. The Tinies community of the Steamlands and beyond knows him for his line of tinies outfits. He also made flying machines, radios, guns, and a selection of mustaches and beards among other things. All unique and with a dash of wit. Last night at our Summer Songs bash at Storytellers Pub, I wore a Victorian bathing outfit and matching straw hat that I bought in Nix store a couple years back.

The day I heard the news, I went over to his shop in the 1888 sim and picked up a couple more items.

Xcentricity shop in 1888 sim
Xcentricity shop in 1888 sim

Then stopped in Seraph City to see if there was any reminder of his auto dealership there.

Gorgon Motors sign in Seraph City
Gorgon Motors sign in Seraph City

And, even though I already knew it had been emptied out, I stopped at his main store in Caledon Penzance one last time. Items of tribute to Nix lined the front steps.

A lady sat on the steps quietly. I did not know her but recognized her name and said hello. We chatted about Nix.

“He was the kindest person,” she said, “wicked sense of humour. We were only creator friends, not even super close but we always exchanged silly builds and stuff. I miss that already.”

Last night in Caledon, there was a memorial tribute to Nix Sands that was attended by more than 50 avatars. Several leading citizens of The Steamlands spoke briefly and gave their memories of his role in their lives.

Audience at Nix Sands memorial in Caledon prime
Audience at Nix Sands memorial in Caledon prime

Nix Sands’ life in this virtual world is a fine example of how one person can have an important impact on the lives of others.

Summer Songs – at Storytellers Pub

Storytellers Pub, Winterfell Laudanum presents:

***** SUMMER SONGS! *****

One of the brightest stars of The Steamlands music and party scene – DJ Poppy – spins some of the biggest hits and best songs about summer. From The Beach Boys to John Travolta to Rascal Flats to Billie Holiday to Bananarama and more!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 6p SLT

90-minutes or until you stop dancing!

(or until Danko turns into a pumpkin!)

Suggested Dress: Usually we’re pretty loose about a dress code at our events but hey, it’s summer! So let’s show it off, huh? Beach attire – any era! From itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, yellow polka-dot bikinis to modest Victorian swimming duds. Got something for the beach in your closet that you’ve been holding for just the right event? This is it!!  (Note: it’s not a nude beach, do wear something 🙂 )

Come on up to Winterfell and celebrate Summer! (Huh?)

Host: Danko Whitfield, Winterfell Ambassador, Owner – Storytellers Pub

Storytellers Pub

6 – 7 Siddal Street

Winterfell Laudanum

Second Life


Steelhead City Open For Business

This morning, in my role as Winterfell Ambassador, I was reviewing the notes from last night’s Town Hall meeting in Steelhead and I saw that the first residents are moving back in to the prime region and shops and galleries are just beginning to return as well. I went over for a look. Rental boxes are in place and they are open for business.

It’s a good time to explore.

Street in the new Steelhead City
Street in the new Steelhead City



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

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…

This & That

It has again been a busy time in the other world and that has taken me away from my duties here for a time. Unfortunately, that situation will continue for several more weeks. But, most importantly, all is well in the “first” world. I have had a little time in the last few days to return to this world and show my face a bit.

The Tall Ships Races were held in Winterfell over the weekend, in support of the RFL campaign. What a grand event it was! A fine afternoon of sailing and seeing friends who I have missed in my time away. Only time to wave and say hello and promise to catch up as soon as time allows but just nice to see everyone again.

Winterfell’s newest citizen…

Word around town was that Lord and Lady Twilight had a new addition to the family. As Winterfell Ambassador, I certainly would not comment on rumors involving our realm’s “first family.” But Lady Twilight herself has confirmed the story in an announcement in Winterfell’s official newspaper. Baby Twilight, called Selena, arrived with The Mist…which comes and goes in Winterfell in a manner which I have not observed elsewhere, in all my travels through time. What a wonderful world this little one has entered. My best wishes to Selena and the entire Twilight family. And a belated Happy R’Day to Lord Twilight. I understand quite a bash was held in his honor while I was away.

Speaking of Rez Days, Addison Greymyst hosted a small gathering of friends on his special day last week. I was pleased to attend as I have known Addison since he first came to this world. Just two years but it seems like more. How virtual time does fly! (Addison, your gardens are absolutely lovely!)

Follow up on Steeltopia..

It’s gone from the map. I had the opportunity to check in several times in the days following my last report. Then I was away. Upon my return, I tried to travel to Steeltopia again. It was not possible though it still appeared on my live map. However, a check this morning shows that to no longer to be the case.

The Empire is just a memory now.

It makes one appreciate what they have. To make a home in such a wonderful place as Winterfell and to see it survive through the ups and downs and bumps and turns of this world is a special thing.

Little Selena doesn’t yet know how lucky she is. But we know.

I hope to see you around the realm soon.

Update: Attack On Steeltopia

2:15 a.m. SLT, Friday, June 1. Steeltopia still stands, however precariously, though by the time you read this that may no longer be true.

I have just returned to the safety of Winterfell to make these notes which are being written at my office in Anodyne, next door to where the Steeltopia Embassy once proudly stood.

The scene on the ground in Steeltopia City is truly a nightmare. Official Imperial buildings that were part of the reconstruction project have sustained massive damage. The fire and smoke can be seen for miles. The forces of the Valerian Confederation have carried out what one seasoned observer referred to as “a scorched earth policy” in hopes of wiping Steeltopia from the map.

Steeltopia burns following attack by Valeria

The Imperial Navy base sustained heavy damage to its buildings and vessels. I was unable to view this damage close up when I last visited two days ago, as Valerian forces were still on the scene, holding the position. Yesterday I received this dispatch from Invertigo Caldwell, Commander of the remaining Steeltopia defense forces… “The Valerians continue to pummel the capital with mass naval bombardment, sending in tanks and troops to finish the job and wiping out our small but brave military resistance. There are reports of enemy troops raiding and looting valuables from the Regent Theatre, such as the Men and Women Over Caledon paintings.”

On today’s visit I saw a half-dozen Valerian tanks in the city center. A lone tank of the Steeltopia military forces stood nearby, wrecked and burning, the last vestige of the skeleton force left behind in the valiant effort to protect the city. But Valerian military personnel appear to have withdrawn for the moment, their absence causing me to wonder if it was safe for me to be here. I had been advised by officials of the Steeltopia Consortium of Scientific Endeavors (from their secret position in exile) not to use standard time machines to enter the city as the temporal environment remains unstable, this due to the fallout from the Valerians’ attack on Anchorage last year. That attack was carried out with an ancient super weapon that had been hidden in the coal mines of Steeltopia, a weapon many thought to be mere legend. The Valerians captured the weapon, which has since become known as the Scourge, and used it to cause the implosion and complete obliteration of Anchorage. The SCSE cautions that any use of time machines could cause a new flare-up in the temporal environment and destroy the remaining territory of the Empire in the same manner.

Imperial Military sources tell me the Empire’s last hope is the Sky Defenders Fleet with its flying fortress Evangelion which was said to be en route to engage and destroy the Scourge.

The city’s residents were safely evacuated some months ago. The whereabouts of The Emperor remain unknown at this time. He is officially listed as missing in action.


Editor’s note: You may wish to read my report from Steeltopia from last August on the heels of the attack on Anchorage…

Bulletin: Steeltopia Is Burning!

An anonymous tip led me to take a trip to Steeltopia, most likely my last. I arrived at the site of the former Winterfell Embassy in time to view the aftermath of a full-fledged attack by forces of the Valerian Confederation against the ruins of Steeltopia. What remains of the deserted city has either been destroyed, damaged or is on fire as of this writing. Why the Valerians would bother at this point is hard to say.

I have no further details at this time but am working my sources. With the end of the month arriving tomorrow, it may be the last gasp for this once proud city. Explorers wishing to visit one last time must do so quickly!