Monday, July 27, 2009

The Untimely End of Castle Row

(Views of a small portion of the incredible Castle Row of Wolves Bain, upper and lower levels)
As Freyashawk, I have been privileged and honoured to call Wolves Bain my friend. He is a great builder in a world named Second Life but he is far more than that. He is a truly great Lord, with an unfailing sense of personal honour and the sort of spontaneous generosity and instinct for kindness that is characteristic of the truly noble in any world.

In Second Life, a resident can own 512 land without paying any tier. At the very heart of Wolves Bain's philosophy is the premise that even an individual with only 512 land has the right to live in a castle. He built magnificent castles suited to the great landowner, but he never neglected the small landowner.

Castle Row was his home and it was a showcase for all of his castles but it was far more than a place where his work was displayed and offered for sale. Any one and every one was welcome at Castle Row. One could enjoy the spacious grounds, wander amidst the gardens or swamp... and of course, one could 'walk the Row' where castle after castle stood proudly, a testament to this man's incredible energy and creativity.

Those like myself who own castles by Wolves Bain and whose lives in SL have been touched by his work and by the man himself have spent many wonderful hours at Castle Row. It was so much a part of the landscape of my life in SL that I never could have contemplated its destruction. And yet, a few days ago, Wolves Bain announced that Castle Row no longer could be sustained. The man who did so much for others refused to accept any donations or aid. Truly a great Lord... although a part of me wishes that he would have allowed those who believe in him to lend their aid at this point in time, another part of me understands him very well.

He is a great storyteller as well as builder and I should allow the tale of the 'End of Days' to be told in his own words.

I am not ashamed to confess that I wept real tears on my final visit to Castle Row.

Castle Row, the Story

As I sit in front of my home at Castle Row I think back on the 299 years I have existed, Some would say 'You have lived a long life' when in fact I have lived many lives as told in my stories.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I have been a pauper and a prince, a beggar and a thief, a slave and a Master among other things. I was even a vampire for a spell before being bitten by the wolf.

I have killed many men in the time I have lived, but I have never killed for sport, all that I have killed have tried to end my life or others lives for their own amusement and financial gain only finding I had the upper hand and lived to tell the tales.

I am a man that is loved by some at the same time hated by others, I can be welcome sight or a fearful thought, I can be lasting memory or a forgotten moment either way I have always been here, but what exactly have I achieved?

I often think back on these lives when time permits and wonder if I had made an impact on this wonderful, but sometimes cruel world. It was when I told my gem Darks "Someday I will buy you a castle", but after searching for what seemed like an eternity I found none that were worthy of her. At that moment I decided if I cannot find a castle suitable for her I will build it myself.

I built that castle and realized, this...this is my purpose to build castles and not just any castles, but castles based on the stories of my long and up till now, meaningless life. I will build castles for people that never thought they would own one because they were limited by the size of their land and the amount in their pockets.

I have Built many castles over the course of my life and have enjoyed the messages of many castle owners when they realize they live in a castle that they can call home, they invite me to see how they have decorated my simple buildings into warm and welcome dwellings that are truly their own, It amazes me that the same castle can look so different when owned by such a variety of people from different backgrounds and still look so wonderful.

I so have enjoyed building these homes and when I explore SL and happen upon one of my castles out of nowhere standing there so majestically and the landscape around it is there for the purpose of accenting it further, it almost makes me say aloud "I built that castle and someone is enjoying it as their home"

It is these thoughts that bring me to this moment, a moment that had never crossed my mind, that is until now.
After long and careful thought and exhausting all my options, after centuries of building castles and ships I have come to the painful conclusion that I will be closing down Castle Row and letting the land go to the Lindens, I am not certain when, but it is inevitable, more likely on or before 7-26-09.

My heart aches to have to do this, but I see no way around it, a world called RL has taken my means to hold on to Castle Row for the time being, not to say I won't be back, but at the moment I cannot hold on to her.

I will always be at your service to help and maintain your castles as I stand behind all those who chose me as their castle builder.

This is not the final chapter, this is not the end, this is just an intermission in story of Wolves Bain.
I am not closing the group, but you are welcome to leave it should you need the room for another as I know group space is precious.

So now how do I end such a story, it is not a happy ending, but not so much a sad one, just different then my other endings. Perhaps I will just say......When the next chapter is written I will let you know.

Thank You for choosing me as your castle builder
Be safe and well M'lords and Ladies

Castle Row...End of Days

As I get my men ready to dismantle Castle Row tomorrow I realize how much needs to be done. There is the matter of rounding up the live stock and creatures all around the lands, There is the slow process of tearing down the castles stone by stone, beam by beam and placing them on ships to unknown destinations for storage. I must fill in the streams and lakes that had provided water and fresh fish for our meals.

I also must dismantle the docks and release Accalia¹ and her mother ship Lycanthia² from their binds to continue on to terrorize others who may cross paths with them.

But the most daunting task is the moving of my beloved Nyrah³ from her resting place of almost 25 years, what do I say to her?, how do I explain that I must disturb her sleep and place her in unfamiliar territory?

All this as I look upon Castle Row from it's highest point, a land that has served me well and has given me such pleasure. A place where all were welcome not only to purchase castles, but to just visit and enjoy the lands, a place to escape, a place to dream, a place some called home because they did not have a home of their own.

My heart is heavy and weighs me down as I accomplish these tasks, but know that I am truly grateful to all of you that have chosen me as your castle builder, also know that I will always be available to guide and assist you with your castles.

I am not leaving SL, I am just stepping back for a time to regroup and gather my thoughts. To those who sent me donations I am truly grateful, but I have returned them as I must battle this demon alone.

Be safe and well M'Lords and Ladies
A heart felt thank you to you all


¹ see Accalia_the story
² see Lycanthia_the story
³ see the Tavern_the story

The hour glass has turned and the sands run far quicker then I would like, I will collect a few small mementos that are left behind before I send my men in for the final cleanup.

As each grain of sand falls, so does a piece of my heart. She will be gone, but I await her return to fill the already emptiness I feel as I look upon her,

She is my maiden, my mistress, my lady and yes my love. I will wait for her because that's all I can do and when she returns I will be there with open arms and welcome her as if had she never left.

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