Saturday, October 6, 2007
Wolves Bain, Builder of Dreams
Wolves Bain is a castle builder in Second Life. He is both imaginative and practical and his castles are masterpieces that use the minimum number of prims (primitive objects) to allow even the smallest landowner to own and enjoy a castle of his/her own.
Furthermore, each castle is imbued with a history. Wolves Bain writes stories to accompany each of his creations.
Castle Row@Hyojong is worth a visit even by those with no ambitions to own a castle.
With his partner, Lady Darks Adria, Wolves Bain has created a totally immersive experience that includes many long avenues of castles and a garden with a superb ship named the Accalia at the end of it.
Like many children, I dreamed of having a castle of my own one day, without much real expectation of it ever coming to pass, although I designed a Palladian villa for myself when I was 13 years old.
It was only when I began to explore Second Life that I discovered my dream could be easily realised.
There are many castle builders in SL but Wolves Bain offers hope to the resident who cannot invest in an enormous amount of land. With even the smallest parcel of 512 sq. metres, I could have an exquisite castle with two floors and a rooftop.
In Second Life, every metre of land carries with it a limitation in terms of the number of 'prims' or primitive objects that can be created or placed on that land. It is not a need for space often but prim limits that persuade residents to purchase more land. Whatever the initial price of the land,it is monthly fees that often are the greater financial hardship for a resident. Any one with 'premium membership' is allowed to own 512 sq. metres of land without ANY monthly fee for that ownership. As one acquires more land, 'tier' fees increase. The system is far more complex than that, but suffice it to say that Wolves Bain allows a resident with 512 metres to realise the dream of becoming a castle owner.
Castles throughout history have been a symbol not of wealth so much as status. Originally in feudal Europe, the castle was part of the defence system of a realm as well as carrying with it a host of rights and obligations. It was the responsibility of the lord of the castle to protect and organise his fief, his knights or entourage and his serfs, the peasants who were tied to the land itself.
A castle was the centre of a self-sufficient economy at a time when towns were fairly weak in terms of their influence. The duties to the overlord or king could be light or onerous. The lord of a castle usually had the duty to defend the area as well as raising a specific number of soldiers for his overlord at any given moment. Taxes usually were paid in the form of produce and other goods.
Even though we live in a multi-national 'civilisation' where land ownership no longer carries with it very much status, the castle remains a symbol of nobility and is perceived as the ultimate 'safe haven' for any Romantic.
Wolves Bain made it possible for me to own my first castle and, because he pays attention to prim counts, it was a castle that actually could be furnished! In many cases, fabulous creations in SL use more prims than the small landowner ever could hope to be able to 'rez' on his/her land.
Another dream of mine always has involved the sea. I longed to live on a ship, preferably one from the Golden Age of the Renaissance in Europe, also sometimes known as the Age of Piracy.
One of the first fantasies in SL that inspired me to continue to explore the virtual world was an extraordinary pirate ship that I discovered moored in a Sim on a permanent basis. The owner of the Sim is a designer who had shops and casinos but now, because of the ban on gambling, is reduced to whatever income the shop may bring, I suspect. She has created an incredible fantasy land and among other things, is the owner of a ship named the 'Relic'. I will speak of this ship further in another post.
It is one of the most elaborate and detailed ships I have seen and definitely could be considered the embodiment of any romantic pirate's fantasy. It is incredibly expensive, however, and requires almost 900 prims, making it an item that is practical only for a landowner with a large estate.
There was a time when I visited the 'Relic' and pretended that I lived there, before I ever purchased any land in SL. It was beautifully furnished with every amenity, including a hammock on the top deck, where I could recline and watch the rising of the moon.
It was only after I visited Castle Row, however, that I discovered there was a ship that, like my castle, could become a reality for some one like myself.
This ship is named the Accalia. It is a wonderful vessel and one, moreover that, like Wolves Bain's other creations, has its own history, related by the creator himself.
Here is the tale of the Accalia:
'I remember it like it was yesterday. It had rained for 3 days solid. When the rain had ended, I walked along Castle Row to assess the damages and to locate two of my builders who had gone missing. When I reached the beach at the end, I noticed a ship had run aground there. I boarded her to see if I could be of assistance, but not only was no one aboard, there was no cargo. I noticed a plaque above the door that read 'Accalia'.
Accalia? Why do I know this name? Where have I heard it before? I then recalled that I had been held prisoner aboard her for near a decade (but that is another story). I'm not sure how, but I managed to escape.
That was almost a century ago, but she now has found me again, I fear she will not let me out of her grasp so easily. You see "Accalia" in Latin means 'She-Wolf'......... We all fight our own demons. She happens to be one of mine.......Wolves
Come see 'Accalia' at Castle Row, but be warned: Once you board her, you will be at her mercy. 'Accalia' 113prims $500L
The 'Accalia' does not sail, and in fact does not require open waters or even deep water. It can be 'rezzed' on any land with water texture and enough 'depth' to give the illusion of floating there.
Unlike the 'Relic', it is not an opulent fantasy ship, but has a genuine personality of its own and is snug and beautifully fashioned. It moreover is extremely sophisticated in its construction, with a cabin as well as a large area below deck. The door to the cabin can be locked and the many windows offer a view to the occupant while preserving privacy within from any inquisitive passerby.
In fact, the Accalia, like my little castle, does feel like home the moment one boards her. One feels safe and secure and very 'anchored' in its reality. I would like to thank the Accalia's creator for making it possible for me to realise another dream. I was shocked and delighted when Wolves Bain presented me with my own 'Accalia.'
I had the honour of being taken on a tour of Wolves Bain's newest castle yesterday evening. It is very different from my 'mini-castle' and the 'Accalia' in the sense that it is a large and spacious castle that would encourage great gatherings and social occasions. The style is very elegant but unique as well. There is a mixture of influences in the details, but all conspire together to create an impressive and delightful masterpiece. I eagerly await the story of this castle and its christening. As yet, it does not have a name.
Like many builders and creators in SL, Wolves Bain has a group for individuals who are interested in his work. He is extremely generous by nature, not only with his creations but with his time. Even if occupied, he is willing always to come to the rescue of an owner who has misplaced a teleport device or cannot move the castle to the best location. He is incredibly patient and helpful to newcomers, unlike many experts who often become arrogant and inaccessible. There is an essential humanity in his nature, I think, which makes it a great pleasure to own any of his creations.
His generosity was further displayed last night when he sent a notice to his group, giving each member an incredible Dome Skybox. Originally conceived as a dome for his new castle, I saw it first floating in the sky next to the castle and thought it incredibly beautiful. A few hours later, I received a group notice:
'Where can you go if you need to escape? Perhaps a Dome Skybox. it's a gift from me to the members of this group.
Needs a 1024m land, it's 37 prims and has a hot tub.
thank you for choosing me as your castle builder
Wolves Bain and his partner, Darks Adria have created a special 'interactive' environment for Hallowe'en. The notice for this announced that:
'When I purchased the land adjacent to Castle Row, I was not aware it held strange secrets. See for yourself ....visit Castle Row garden.'
I spent a wonderful afternoon with a friend exploring this area. Complete with open coffins, cages, ghosts and spectral wolves, it was an amazing, creative environment. It was lots of fun to explore.
CastleRow@Hyojong is to be found in the region of Hyojong at the following coordinates: (183, 175, 49).