Friday, 31 October 2014

Al Raqis

Sable's Spirit Knife

Al Raqis happened when the Herbert Foundation expressly told the community of SecondLife Dune fans that their Dune roleplay sim contravened copyright and must change significantly or else. What is emerging as a result of this is something better than the disappointed fans imagined. 

Al Raqis opened its borders to trade and share with other-universe groups as part of the SL sci-fi multi-sim network. Its culture is developing uniquely and poetically.

At this time I have been comparing the difference between the texture settings in Cheetah 3D and with how the same texture is rendered in SecondLife. The two different engines interpret the textures differently. This is not a problem so much as a beautiful creative opportunity. Every different engine opens our space into a different dimension, after all and so here we can see how things are rendered differently between universes. 

For me, this is what Dune was all about, ever since reading Frank Herberts original description of the Holtzman Effect (foldspace drive and phase-field generator). He was alleging to the Arabian Nights, which being about the magic of storytelling, and with specifically spicy eastern flavour, is a lifestyle guide as much as it is an amorous aromatic.

Al Raqis has a very dedicated team and is highly organized. It is not only this which makes a difference to the sim; it is the ethics involved in the Tau of the Desertborn.


Al Raqis is about community. The Tau is more than merely the result of social creed to maintain both a strong sense of belonging and the human way of trading and sharing (as opposed to the inhuman way of thieving and skulduggery). The Tau is an evolutionary development toward empathy bond which is unique to this culture.

The Desertborn philosophy:

Know that there is no single unmutable Truth.
There are choices, paths, consequences. 
Multiple paths made, many more not yet made.
In making your choices, you made the consequences. 
So, why complain?

No one else has the right to choose for you. 
You do not have the right to choose for others.
This is the Way of Life: 
If you are on the right Path for you, you will belong in your world.

Araxes teaches us with its silences…
In the silences are the light of the stars, the brightness of the sun,

the darkness of shadow.
Araxes teaches us with its sounds…
The sounds of life in the burrows and tunnels, the call of life in the skies, 
the hiss of wind over dunes, the scream of storms through the peaks speak to us.

Araxes is as it is. 
It has changed to love us, we have changed to love it.
If your world loves you, you do not kill it.

What does your family own? 
Resources, knowledge, traditions, wisdom.
What do you own? 
That which makes you an individual.
If you own many things, they will own you.

(blog to be continued)

Extra Spicy

Some time gazing at the remarkable Linden Sunset on this sim while contemplating the culture of Starborn traders visiting the town on the edge of the sands where mysterious Desertborn dwell, inspired me to write some epigrams: CoffeHouse.

a picture of Sable in a part of the Old City now gone to the sands

Fall 2015. A tragedy has befallen Al Raqis. Naturally the desertborn foresaw it and retreated south. Sable was engaged in her pilgrimage , traveling the worlds deserts, seeing the sites, becoming, a true desertborn proper. The pilgrimage is a rite of passage flr her people, a journey into adulthood. A journey which changes a person, by which they come to accept their place in the world and draw from the empowerment of those places of it.

The earthquake sank much of the equatorial desert regions and the mountain range upon which the ancient city was safely nestled. History, architecture, lives, stories, familiar places, faces, cultural routines; taken by the desert as is the deserts teaching. Sable returned to the remains of the city to help rebuild, as an envoy for her people. She now runs a bazaar in the old town selling art and artifacts crafted from the sands.

Fall 2016. The Southron Sim emerged, was built, as the frozen polar university city of the original inhabitants of Araxes who own the planet, and has now been abandoned to the Langoliers due to the funders pulling out. Since the Desertborn is their concept, this leaves only the main Araxes City sim for role-playing. Perhaps the funders will re-invest in this central core in the future. Meanwhile, Sable's Bazaar and some of my landscaping project are still to be found on the Araxes sim - locations worth visiting! Is Sable the last Desertborn?

These sims are always being reinvented. The sands of Al Raqis shift constantly. Our passion for the place and the cities central location with regular meetings such as Schola and politeering of the Concordant. It is a popular role-play sim. I have learned much there especially regarding diplomacy.

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