365 days of SL, day 80:
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kyroraz suggested that I visit a place called Sheol (named after one of the underworlds of Jewish mythology); it turns out to be one of the older (oldest?) prison-ish places in SL. It wasn't huge, but it was nice, and quite atmospheric, even though parts of it were unfinished (although I've been told they used to be more complete in the past).
The place is a castle-like structure with a main floor, a "play" floor below it and a dungeon with cells underneath that; above the main floor are various bits of architecture, several more levels you can climb, up to and including the towers, but they appeared to be there just for decorative purposes. (Which I actually think is nice: so much building on SL is focussed on prim efficiency and having every bit have a function, rather than just being there to add to the atmosphere and make a place seem more real.)
OK, let's start at the beginning. :) The rest of these won't be in chronological order, though.
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One of the first things I found on the place's main floor was a bucket of soap water, made for slaves whose duties include scrubbing the floors. Since I really like the idea of being a domestic service/cleaning slave, I had to try it out, of course; just like with most toys on SL, there wasn't much of a point to it (you're much more limited with them than with text-based RP, since essentially, it's just your avatar being animated in a certain way), but it WAS fun.
There's also a few other toys and cages visible in the background.
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Here's a view of some of those cages (with me in one of them; they're RLV-enabled, too, so since I don't know cage-fu, I had to wait until I could be rescued by a friend, but then I knew what I was getting myself into). They're simple, but they work; fancier ones that blend in better with the surroundings would have been nicer, but maybe the place didn't have the prim budget for that.
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Here's another view of the main level. The whole place had several hellish touches, from a statue of a cloaked skeleton holding a double-headed axe outside the main door to a statue of a horned demon inside to various pentagrams etc.; I suppose some might take offense at that, but personally, I thought it was very nice and reinforced the eerie, eldritch vibe of the whole castle. I wouldn't have been surprised if that skeleton had come alive to personally torment those unlucky enough to be caught here — and I'm almost disappointed it didn't, actually. *s*
I wasn't sure what to make of the two huge TV sets, though. Perhaps those can be used to play back videos, but nevertheless, they seemed a bit out of place. Outside of these, you can also see the bucket from above on the left here again.
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Here's a view of the "playground" level beneath the main level now; there's all sorts of toys here, most fitting, some a little out of place, some just plain strange (I'm still not sure what that autumn globe thing next to the door and the pillar on the left even IS). Presumably, this is the floor that sees most of the action, although Sheol didn't seem to have much of a resident population: we encountered a couple of others, but they appeared to be just passing through, too, exploring the place like we did.
The toys were all sorts, BTW, but I did encounter quite a few fucking machines. Not a bad thing, mind you! ^.~
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One of the toys here was called "The Punisher", so of course I had to try it out. :P It turned out to have three modes of operation; continuous spanking, relentless automatic dildo-fucking, and "zapping", which is what you can see in the above screenshot. I suspected electricity, but I didn't expect the effect to be this dramatic; it was almost as if the device'd been designed by Lum the Mad. :)
It's entirely unrealistic, of course, but then, sometimes SL really is about escaping the limitations that real life imposes on you. You can't undergo full-body electric shocks like that in reality (well, you can, but then you'll be dead), but it's nice that you can in SL.
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Further below the "playground" level is the dungeon level; I'm standing there in the above screenshot, at the beginning of a long corridor with the occasional cell. There aren't that many cells, alas; the ones that exist are pretty large, too, much larger than I would've made them, and they're (mostly) empty. I was told that this didn't use to be the case, though, which makes me wonder why it is now; again, maybe the place is operating on a tighter prim budget than it used to nowadays.
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The above is also a good example of how the dungeon level seemed unfinished: nice as this screenshot would've been if everything had been in its proper place, you can't help but notice that a section of wall is just missing there on the left, so the ceiling isn't properly curved there. I first thought it was intentional, that perhaps there was an entrance to another area there or a ladder leading up or something, but no; it was just a missing section of wall. A real pity, if you ask me.
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Even further below was an isolation level; however, this one was only accessible by means of teleporters on the upper levels. Also a pity; teleporters are decidedly scifi-ish, and (IMO) don't fit the style of the place very well. I could see having them as handy shortcuts that are presumed to not exist ICly, but this area wasn't reachable in any other way.
That said, the cells were nice — not RLV-enabled, but definitely nice. :)
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Here we are heading up again — two of us, anyway. I actually spent most of the time exploring the place alone and on my own, but once the others came online and joined me, I showed them around and took a few extra screenshots.
When you're in a castle, it's good to have your servants and torch-bearers with you. :)
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This is an example of the architecture on the upper levels; the above screenshot was taking from a balcony up above the main floor, and while it's not a great one, it shows some very nice ceiling work. I wish more places had crossed arches and the like (and I wish SL supported CSG modelling so you could easily create these).
In fact, the lack of CSG support was one of my earliest gripes with SL; back at that time, the only 3D modelling experience I had was with POV-Ray, and CSG is extensively used there (unless you resort to visual modelling tools that output POV-Ray code, as opposed to writing your POV-Ray source files by hand). Given that SL's modelling is based on primitives much like POV-Ray's, I felt it would've been natural.
But I'm disgressing. :P
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These burning flames on the four corners of the castle didn't serve any purpose; they were just there to make it look
pretty sinister and menacing. (And they did a good job.)
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Here's a view of the backside of the castle. One of the flames (as shown on the previous screenshot) is clearly visible; the orange-lit window is the same one as the one behind the glowing pentagram in the fourth screenshot above.)
I quite like this screenshot, too; it looks rather like a Quake level or so.
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And finally, here's a view of the entire castle; it's not particularly well-framed, but this was the best I could do without having the terrain and from the parcels next door get in the way. Maybe I should've played around with a wider viewing angle — ah well.
I also apologize for the darkness of this shot, BTW; I know it's rather hard to make out, but the place just wouldn't have looked the same in bright sunlight. Click through to the full-sized shot and put your browser in full-screen mode (F11, typically), and you'll be able to appreciate it much more. :)
Location: ALTEREGO (46, 184, 38) (SHEOL EXTREME SANCTUARY - PREMIER PRISON)