“Naughty Mole, Sylvian Mole, Opti Mole, Earthy Mole – these name might not ring out as mightily (or ’cause some need to offer up “innocent” explanations!) as does the name Magellan Linden, but they all pioneered many of the frontiers of Second Life, building roads, raising up towns, sculpting parks and rivers, fearlessly throwing bridges across deep gorges, taking the wilds of the Mainland and opening it for all who would follow.
“Until Pyri Peaks; those strange hills standing above the shoreline of North Forepaw, which the moles believed would be an idea spot to site a fun fair, high up on a plateau overlooking the sea, For a time it seemed as though all was going well; building work was progressing well, steam engines were shipped in to power the rides, the sideshows were taking shape. Then came the reports of caverns being found under the site of the fair, and then – nothing.
“I’ve no idea if The Powers That Be attempted any form of investigation or rescue (were one needed), but the way in which attention was suddenly diverted away from those strange hills and the remaining moles directed towards new projects did seem a little odd, although I’d hesitate to use the words “cover-up” (the Rodviks, after all, do have ears!). So, in the interests of journalistic endeavour, I set out to visit the now largely deserted fun fair and see if I could unravel some of the mystery…
“It is, one has to say, a strange place. North Forepaw is innocent enough…but the climb to the fun fair; that’s something else entirely, lined with strange, silent trees, which stand like sentinels, their trunks carved into strange faces, which seemed to watch me every step of the climb. Looking up at them, I had to wonder why, in passing them all those years ago, the moles still thought this an ideal place to site a fun fair.
“Nor did things get any better as I approached the entrance to the fun fair itself, seemingly guarded as it is by one more of these strange trees, a hand-like branch stretched out, ‘palm’ upraised, a single glowing “eye” in the middle. A last warning, perhaps, to turn back?
“More sombre warnings that all may not be well lay close to hand as well – a group of unmarked gravestones standing amidst a small copse. Did these pre-date the fair, or did they mark the last resting place of Moles struck down by whatever had befallen this strange expedition?
“Inside the ground of the fair, things seemed a little better: some of the rides still works, the sideshows were still lit and, oddly, the great stem engines still chugged and music played. It was only on passing deeper in the fair that I found signs that all was not well – boards nailed across the doors to the House of Fun, an ominous sign warning those approaching the building had been condemned and ruled unsafe. I wondered if the warning might be because this was where the Moles had first encountered the caverns mentioned in their last dispatches, but the heavy planks across the doors resisted my attempts to remove them.
“Indeed, if there were caverns here, I was beginning to feel that either the entrance had long-ago been lost or it had been quietly filled-in by The Powers That Be, when I stumbled upon it quite by chance, and not in the most loving of ways…
“And so it was that I found myself in a deep series of caverns and tunnels, with every sign the Moles had come down here with equipment and supplies, intent on both exploring and exploting them. Perhaps in doing so, they had brought doom upon themselves? I found scant comfort that this was not the case as I read the final entry in a journal left by the last of those poor, lost Moles:
‘I can’t find the rest of the crew. There is no sign of them. Supplies are running low. I keep hearing this strange howling noise. It’s sending shivers down my spine! This is not what we were expecting on our mining expedition. I have to say… the things I’ve seen… the noises I hear.. these are not normal caves.. there is definitely something strange going on here!’
“I also hear that strange sound, a long, slow noise almost like a horn being blown in lamentation; it is not a comforting sound. But now I am here, I have no choice by to go on; I cannot return the way I came – that is out of my reach. From the scrawled notes in the journal, it seems that my only hope is to go down deeper into these strange caves, if ever I am to find my way out…”
Located on the Mainland, Pyri Peaks is a Linden-directed, Mole-built interactive adventure which, while possibly not to everyone’s taste, can offer something of a small diversion for those wanting something to do.
The aim is to explore a series of tunnel-linked caverns discovered / mined by the Moles, and which contain various supplies and hidden treasures along the way, all of which can be collected as one wishes. The overall goal is to discover the Prim of Life. Along the way are various traps and pitfalls (in the literal sense) which can lead to your untimely demise and an automatic teleport home – although you are presented with the option of teleporting back and resuming your quest, albeit it from the beginning.
This latter point does get a little annoying; it is a shame that a means of implementing “waypoints” had not been found – perhaps returning you to the level prior to the one in which you meet your untimely end. As it is, constantly starting over from the fun fair gets slightly tedious if you’re a particularly careless explorer with a knack of suddenly finding yourself expectedly suffering from one of the more terminal forms death. And no, I’m not going to tell you how to enter the caves; you can find that out for yourself :). However, the clue is in the text of this article.
There are also clues to be followed as you explore the caves – maps of the caverns conveniently placed at key points provide hints and comments, some in plain text and others in verse. Some may not be of much help (although it was gratifying to note that Magellan Linden had passed through the caverns before me, which gave me hope of escape), while others should help lead you to your goal.
As noted another, Pyri Peaks might not be to everyone’s taste; it might not be the most elegant of builds when compared to others elsewhere on the grid. However, it does offer a distraction for those looking for something to do, and who don’t necessarily want to get caught-up in anything frenetic or which requires an overt use of grey matter. As such, it’s an interesting place to visit where you can while away an hour or so as the mood takes you.
Even if you’re not taken by the caves themselves, Pyri Peaks and both North Forepaw and South Forepaw which flank it, offer some interesting opportunities for SL photography.
- North Forepaw SLurl (Rated: Moderate)
- Pyri Funfair in the Destination Guide
- SL Destinations in this blog