Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Into Mystara

I decided to check out the Realm of Mystara, a very heavy roleplaying area. Mystara is a two-sim region with expansive waterways. I put on an observer tag so I could move around unimpeded, but that didn't seem to be a problem since most people were on land or in the sky. I only encountered a couple of mer folks under the water.

I landed in the Mystfolk Lagoon and found my way to the Merbrary, a Mer Library with an expansive set of notecards hidden in bookcases of shells. The cards contained information about Mer natural sciences, social sciences, and law and politics. I couldn't stomach reading the court transcripts, though. It was way too long, and it was too late at night for me to stomach reading a whole lot of something about nothing.

It was useful to read many of the other notecards, though. I found an actual map of the waterways. They seem to love ruins in this town. Witness:

The Dark Ruins:

The Light Ruins:

The Shallow Ruins:

With the Shallow Ruins, it really is shallow: you can't swim in the water surrounding the ruins. If by some chance you got there via boat, your boat would be stopped at the submerged steps if you had a keel. Only a catboard with a retractable centerboard has a chance at navigating that water, and even then it's so shallow that it's not very likely. There is also a secret cave behind the waterfalls at the Shallow Ruins.

There is some cool artificial life at the Shallow Ruins. A couple of birds caught my eye. They looked incredibly real.

Another thing that the designers of Mystara love is waterfalls. There are a few of them around, and they are lovely.

Lilypad Falls:

Another set of falls:

I think there are at least two more, not including the one near the Shallow Ruins and the one near the Shadow Market, as seen in the first picture. They are all beautiful. I especially loved hanging out at Lilypad Falls. It is the most beautiful spot I saw above the water, without exploring further on land or in the sky.

There is a lot more to Mystara. It has multiple levels of beauty and intrigue built into the environment. It is a prime example of a lovingly made fantasy roleplay environment. I cannot imagine how many hours it took to build it. I will come back and observe, probably as a human, so I can see the rest of Mystara's exquisite wonders.

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