Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Tenebris Falls Roleplay Community

By Bixyl Shuftan

Solista (Mistressbubbles Bondar) recently told me about a new roleplay sim and group: Tenebris Falls. It is located in the Nava sim. There was a grand opening party on Saturday January 22. She described it as a dark modern fantasy roleplay, adding they wanted a sim for it they could protect, and the RP itself "open to as broad a player base as possible. We are furry-friendly. Not many role play sim's like ours are."

"The Admin team here are all players that met on various Role Play Sim's that were great up till they weren't and shut down for various reasons. Well we got tired of losing story lines that we had dedicated ourselves to. So many of us carried our characters over and adapted them to each new sim." She pointed out Samasue, "Sam over there put forward the desire to own our own sim. He's the owner of this place. The other admins are also financial backers to keep the place going. This way we are not reliant on rentals to keep up open."

Samasue was happy to talk about the place, "We are a unique approach, the setting itself allows for almost every kind of race, and most "realistic" furry types....yes we are happy to accept Furry character for RP...but the lore and character creation guidelines allow for the most diverse character population possible, without the restraint of a masquerade.  And the roleplay here can be anything from slice of life, to dark RP (if you know you know) and everything in between.  its set to modern times, with current tech, and realistic expectations.  Magic is also here.

In the background lore of the story world (link), creatures from the four pillars of creation, Aether (order), Void (disorder), Veil (life and growth), and Pale (death and enthropy), had been subtly manipulating the human world, held in check only by magic-using humans and hunters. For millenia, the truth was kept away from the masses of ordinary humans. But with advancing technology it became more and more difficult to preserve the secret. So recently after secret meetings between magic-users, supernaturals, and world leaders, the Masquerade was dropped. Legally, supernaturals could live alongside humans with the same rights and responsibilities. But not all humans and demihumans were satisfied with this arrangement, the biggest problem being human vigilantes who were going after known supernaturals.

Samasue described the area, Tenebris Falls, as a city on an island off the mainland, "the city is a city in North America set aside after the break of the masquerade, where there could be some freedom from racism with humans. There are humans here, and there are some tensions. But for the most part, there is no requirement to 'hide' there is currently no governmental control. But there are local laws. Anything can happen, you can open a can just life your life.....develop a crime syndicate, run with a werewolf pack, work a normal job....what ever..."

Samasue would say besides previous roleplay sims closing down for various reasons, there was also a problem with a few not paying attention to what most of the players desired, "we saw too much martial law out there trying to make people role play the way the minority wanted. Well, with our entire build, we had the community in mind.  We really really try not to say no.  There has to be /SOME/ limitations, has to be. Some people just don't know when enough is enough.  But we're not going to fence in anyone's creativity.  The Lore and RP was designed the same way, how could we give the community the widest possible choices for character creation, and still have a lore that would support it.  It was tough, but our team pulled it off. The main lore writer Kaiya Otelier put in so many hours of work refining and working, and came up with a master piece.  And its community based, for as many possible builds as we could think of.  The City build, same thing. We have aquatics, caves, forests, city, rural, parks, slums, we really wanted an open canvas for the community."

Samasue stated there was an effort to be open-minded, "myself and my staff, are all diverse long time role players, we are friendly and welcoming to any. The community is a SAFE place for anyone, LGBTQ, BDSM, what ever, there is no hate. And if we find hate in our community its dealt with swiftly, with a zero tolerance system."

Of how many were in the roleplay, Samasue told me, "The active community on sim is small, but active, and we're always looking for more....anyone from the 15-20 year veteran RPer (like me) to the first timer, everyone is welcome. But the number is like 10-15 active currently."

Of future plans, there will be monthly concerts at the sim, and most likely some in-character events as the community grows. Samasue also mentioned, "we have a couple projects that we didn't get to add into this build," but they may be done in the future. 

Looking around later, I ran into one of the locals. While he asked to be anonymous, he did say, "As a regular joe player, and I've been playing in Second Life for a long time. Many sims have come and gone. You get nostalgic and looking for a home for old characters. Even if you've got to modify it to theme for whatever sim you've landed in. People are just looking for a home for some version of their beloved characters, to invest and grow stories in again, chance to explore a different aspect or change things up, dare to go a new direction with an old favorite. Sims like Tenebris Falls, fit that bill. Allowing creative freedom within the common sense balance of strengths and weaknesses and consent based paragraph roleplay.

He would then get me in tough with the lore writer and Kaiya Otelier (Hotarru Resident). Of how Tenebris Falls has been doing, "Well we've gotten a few people who rp here regularly, and a few shop owners who've already set up. But the official opening was technically today. I wasn't expecting anything to big because the idea of the sim was basically a place for all of us to RP and be friends, and.. we just wanted to open it to everyone else who would want to join. So, we made it so anyone could be whatever they liked, and.. we had a surprisingly high turn out for opening. I wasn't expecting us to get as many as we did so quick given we weren't trying to hard to advertise."

When I asked if there was a favorite type among the characters here, "Hm. (We) got some unique ones, honestly. I think because we don't use predetermined races and racials, we get quite a wide variety from normal people hosting Eldritch Horrors, to Kumihos people continue to mistake as Kitsune. Some typical fae, but I think that Fae are always so popular because of their varieties. Could have a group of ten fae and not one of them look anything like any of the others. But given all of the admins but one have at least 1 fae character, I'd say they are fairly popular. Fae and witches. People always love magic. Surprised I've only seen two or three demons, so far honestly.

"We are furry friendly, as long as they match their character up with the lore and setting.  I don't see why that needs to be stated.. As if furries shouldn't be allowed for some reason? But yeah, we let in anyone as long as they abide the roleplay etiquette, and character creation rules."

I pointed out the variety of buildings, "Yup. Tried to add a lot of different ones so people could find things that suit them. And I think we got a few different kinds, modern to old style, homey to run down.. people like a variety." I then asked what was the most unusual place made into a home, "That would undoubtedly be April Jean. During the build, (she) requested we give her a cave that she could set up a cardboard box in. (She) offered to pay rent, and Sam told her she didn't have to pay L for a 2li box. So yeah, we got her a cave. And a dumpster here in the city (chuckle). ... she's a bit of an insane and young unruly lycan.

"We want to be that place you can bring your character that doesn't fit anywhere else. (The) only thing we don't really have a spot for is scifi and cyber punk set characters. ... We are set in modern day, a place just off the coast of north west America. Separate mind you, as we try to keep politics, covid, and all that jazz out of the picture. People come here to avoid real-life, not get into it, ya know?  But yeah, you'll find a lot of people are playing characters that are either warped to present day from older time framed sims, or just grew to be a couple hundred or thousand years old. So you'll find their places fashioned up and decorated to be more old fashioned.

"I think a good idea of separation would be the confectionery shop run by a human that looks like a normal confectionery. Then if you go out to the woods, you can find a bath house run by a fae who grew up in the roman times. So it's an open roof dual sex bath house with lots of statues themed to look like it was run that time, but made to fit in with the settings."

I would look around. There was a small city area, and a housing area with a small event area in between. The houses themselves ranged from large homes fit for a wealthy man to small rustic looking ones for those with not much income. The town area had some businesses from manufacturing to local ones such as the coffee shop and the confectionery. There was a movie theater and what looked like a disco. And there was the clinic and police station. There was also a Japanese garden and a church with a cemetery. A tunnel led to the countryside (located on another level), with an asphalt road leading to a biker bar, and dirt paths that went into the woods. I found one abandoned building.

For those looking for more information about the roleplay community, check out the website at . You can also find a little information as well as ways to contact the admins at

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, January 7, 2022

Interview With Mattie Carlton of the RFL Sunbeamers

By Penny Shuftan

I had an opportunity to sit down with one of the Sunbeamer Relay team, Mattie Carlton (MattDCarlton Resident), for an interview about hir being in the Relay for Life in Second Life.

The first question was how long she had been in Relay for Life in real life. "Well, basically since I was old enough to walk," replied Mattie, "My grandma was big into (it), as it meant a lot to her, and when I was old enough I was going with her to the big 24hrs, even if just for a couple of hours to start. As I got older I started going door to door for donations and staying all night there with her. I took a break for a few years when she got sick again and had to stop going. It wasn't till a year after she died, I started to get involved again. The about another year after that I met Bix and you (Penny) that introduced me to the one on here, that I somehow never knew about. And I thank you both for that!"

I smiled and said, "You're welcome." before continuing on with the interview.  I was wondering if Mattie would continue her work in the Relay for Life. "I plan to as long as I am able," said Mattie, "I have ideas and hope some help out this season."

The next question would be what is Mattie's favorite part of the Relay for Life.  "Hmm that is a tough one. Let me think," Mattie said, "I think or me it is the camaraderie, the way we help each other despite being on different teams, and having a playful rivalry. That kind of one team mind set that helps all of us come together to raise the amounts that we do each year. Then the icing on the cake for me is seeing that final total.  Seeing all those epic builds for relay weekend is pretty epic too."

The next couple of questions came to being about her grandmother.  It would be about Mattie's grandmother being Mattie's inspiration.  "Yes, I would say she was my biggest inspiration for RFL," replied Mattie, "Especially when I was younger, she was the reason I went. As I got older and met more people I found more and more reason to help with Relay, but she was that initial spark that started the flame I suppose." 

I was wondering if Mattie's grandmother still inspires Mattie. "Very much so," she said, "A lot of the parties and little things she would do with her team still make me giggle or smile to this day, and I remember the smile I would see on her face during relay weekend at the one here in town. I hope to try and keep that spirit alive."

The interview changed to Mattie's writing. "Yes I have been off and on (on it)," said Mattie, "I suffer from CPTSD and Depression with anxiety. I am also autistic. The writing was and is an outlet for some of this. However I have a lot of self-motivation issues, and so sometimes I go months in between working on a story." 

 I was wondering if her grandmother inspires Mattie to be a writer. "Hmm, I would say to some degree, yes," said Mattie, "She did some writing and such as well, but she was a very creative person. She wrote poems, essays, stories, made her own blouses, my costumes as a kid, painted her home, decorated, etc. She even did skits for her Relay team. She had a big imagination as well. She was also a good cook."

I asked her if she's going to keep writing, and this is her response. "I plan to yes. I at the very least would like to finish one short story collection and get it published. I already have the cover art," Mattie said with a smile.

The next question was what is her best work, and Mattie replied,"That is a tough call. Some have really liked the story about my odd convention dream. Others like The Holiday Gift story. Then there was the one about my dysphoria and becoming my true self or fursona, via surgeries and experimental procedures.  That last one is called, 'Recoded.' "

As the interview drew to an end, I asked Mattie what her real life hobbies would be.  "Well, Some of my real-life hobbies, include photography, storm chasing (when able), going to various car shows and motor sports events," Mattie replied, "I am a furry on Second Life and in real life, (so) I go to a lot of conventions, and often Ren-fairs in my fursuit and hope to make a few people smile. As for here in world, I DJ from time to time, and mostly just hang out or visit with friends. I also like to spend time on VR Chat with a few friends to play games or fly planes. I used to fly a bit in real life, but my uncle moved away and I have not been able to as much as I used to.  I also like to make TikToks at times."

When the interview ended, I told Mattie that she had inspired me to start thinking more about joining Sunbeamers.  With a good feeling, I did check and guess what? I already am a member of Sunbeamers, and it was all Mattie's inspiring me to join the awesome Relay for Life group.  I thanked Mattie for inspiring me to be a part of them.

Here you have it, an interview with Sunbeamer Mattie Carlton.  To this very day, she continues to sing (she's a really good singer), as well as write, and continues to be a part of the Sunbeamers and Sunweavers group.  I don't know about you, but in my opinion, what Mattie had done so far with the Relay for Life is just that ... very amazing!
Penny Shuftan