Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Wheel of Time Turns and weaves Tar Valon in SL

One of the greatest works of fantasy in the known world is, beyond any doubt, "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien. The special Centenary edition (1892-1992) I have of this trilogy, published at the 100th birthday of Tolkien (post-mortem of course) quotes the Sunday Times:
"The English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them."

Thousands of works of fantasy have been published ever since, yet few come close to the absolute mastery of Tolkien. There is one though, that may have surpassed him, which is James Oliver Rigney a.k.a. Robert Jordan (actually -and sadly- was, as he passed away last year) who wrote the epic Wheel of Time series.

The Wheel of Time series is currently an 11 book epic story about good vs. evil (no surprise there). A particular place in the series is the city of Tar Valon.

Tar Valon is a city located on an island on the River Erinin, within sight of Dragonmount. It is the center of Aes Sedai power and is also the largest, most populous city in the Westlands. Tar Valon also controls a small amount of territory directly adjacent to it, although it does not have as much land as it did before the War of the Hundred Years. Tar Valon is ruled by the Amyrlin Seat, although the day-to-day bureaucracy is handled by a council of Aes Sedai sisters and civil administrators. The city is notable as the only place where Aes Sedai have wielded officialized administrative power since the War of the Hundred Years. The population of the city in 1000 NE is roughly 500,000. It has remained independent of outside control for its entire existence, although it has suffered several major sieges and even direct assaults. [WoT Wiki]

A shade of this magnificent city was created in Second Life and just opened today, so time to take a few snapshots. Let me start off with an official map of the city as it appears in the books of The Wheel of Time.

The Second Life version has to do with limited space on a one-sim build, but the outlines are quite similar.

Dominating the island is the White Tower, seat of the Aes Sedai. A few snapshots from the inside. The 'knight' you see standing there in the library (of the Brown Ajah) is actually me, VeeJay as a 'Warden', which are masters of war, bodyguards to the Aes Sedai.

A close up of me dressed as a Warden. Well actually, it's not just 'a Warden' This is me as al'Lan Mandragoran,

al'Lan Mangragoran - Uncrowned King of Malkier, a land which was swallowed by the Blight shortly after his birth in 953 NE. He is Dai Shan (DYE SHAN) a Diademed Battle Lord of the Malkieri and the last surviving Malkieri lord. At the age of sixteen he began a one-man war against the Blight and the Shadow which continued until he was bonded as Warder by Moiraine in 979 NE. Warder. His full name is al'Lan Mandragoran and his title is Lord of the Seven Towers.

The Aiel call him Aan'allein which means "a man who is an entire nation" in the Old Tongue. [Encyclopedia WoT]

The armor was tailormade for me by Jet Control, master armssmith and possibly the largest armsdealer in Second Life and was inspired by the cover of the first book in the Wheel of Time series, "The Eye of the World"

In June 2007 is sought out the Wheel of Time fans in Second Life and called them to start building the World of Robert Jordan in order to enter a calendar competition, which at the time didn't succeed. Now finally we've got our first place to RolePlay. Enjoy the fun at Tar Valon.


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Roleplaying Potter at Hogwarts

While browsing Paisley Beebe's Flickr Photostream I came acros this picture:

I couldn't find any more, so I went into Second Life to see if I could find Harry Potter and found the Hogwart Project Group. They've build several important decorums from the Potter series in Second Life (Two sims: Sunset Harbor and Phoenix Estates).

This first snapshot is of the Wizard's Alley:

The second snapshot is the Hogwarts school of Magic, and at the right bottom the Quidditch arena:

Finally, there's the Hogwarts express that traverses between the Hogwarts School of Magic and the Wizard's Alley.

A virtual world like Second Life is extremely suitable to do things which are not possible in Real Life, like playing Quidditch. I'd suggested this to a friend of mine a little over a year ago. He was very doubtfull. Off course, there are tons of Potter fans out there who'd love roleplaying the series. However, he was weary of copyright issues. The Potter series have been such a smashing success that it would probably be very hard to get Rowling's blessing to recreate the series in Second Life.

This build is certainly not an official build, but a very great hobby project. I don't think they've considered copyrights, but it's fun while its there.


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Friday, March 21, 2008

Magi Nations Goes GoFish

Tuesday Cookie Jar Entertainment, one of the world’s leading children’s entertainment companies, announced that it has selected GoFish Corporation as the exclusive in-game advertising partner for their highly anticipated online, role-playing game Magi-Nation: Battle for the Moonlands.

Magi Nation is yet another rpg targeted at 8 to 14 year olds and is based on the popular children’s animated television series of the same name, which is televised in the US and Canada. The series follows the adventures of 15-year-old Tony Jones, an average teen from Earth who finds himself mysteriously transported to the magical world of Magi-Nation. Tony and his two young Magi heroes-in-training follow an incredible journey of riddles, battle and self-learning on their journey to defeat the evil Shadow Magi who are out to rule their world.

Magi-Nation: Battle for the Moonlands is currently in open beta testing with a commercial launch set for mid 2008. Interested open beta participants can sign up by visiting

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