by Rik Sullivan
The Great Canadian Grid’s owner and host, Roddie Macchi, has generously placed a 2X2 Variable Region (which is the same size as 4 standard regions arranged in a square) on the grid and named it the GCG Role Play Hub. Here is where any resident can go and learn all about virtual worlds’ role play. The region is designed to be a self-guided tour showing examples of many different role play venues; from Fantasy to Science Fiction to Urban, and to be interactive with information available by clicking signs placed throughout the region.
The theme of the Hub is ‘The Place Where Role Play Begins in the Great Canadian Grid’ and features ‘the ROAD to ROLE PLAY’. The landing point for the region will put you in the courtyard of a large medieval castle. The first things you will see are signs that show existing Role Play Venues in the GCG. By clicking these, you will get an information card and a landmark. There is an information sign that explains, in detail, how to explore the Hub, a sign which, when clicked, gives you the ability to join the GCG Role Players Group and a Teleport Pad that will whisk you into the Science Fiction Role Play display. Be sure your sound is on and ambient sounds are active. It gives the tour a fun, realistic touch.
When you exit the castle, you follow the ‘Road to Role Play’ signs. The journey takes you along a pathway where you encounter all the different displays. The hike is seamless because there’s no ‘sim boundaries’ to cross.
Begin your ‘road trip’ by walking down the castle byway until you turn into the mountain pass. There is a far-off thunder storm reverberating on the peaks around you.
Your first display is the Dragon Lair. A female fiercely protects her eggs and her mate breathes fire as a warning. Continue down the road to the Drow Underdark. Enter the dark cave if you dare and you’ll find none other than Lolth, the Spider Queen of the Drow, perched on a boulder.
The path continues to a bridge where you cross the Brandywine River and enter the Hobbit Shire. Several inviting Hobbit Holes are there for you to explore. Don’t forget to say hello to Gandalf and SamWise Gamgee and his family standing in front of their cozy home. (All of these display buildings are open to explore. Many of them are furnished and are quite inviting.)
As you cross the meadow onto a dirt trail, you wander into a forest… it’s an ‘enchanted’ forest where you’ll encounter pixies, gnomes, faeries and unicorns. You can hear the mournful cry of enchantment among the giant fungi and hear the sobbing wails of nymphs.
You come out of the forest into a field of blue tulips and green grass. The trail takes you to a bridge where you cross into a part of the tour that is still under construction. Just stay on the trail and soon you’ll be back on the tour.
Step back onto the pave stones and you enter the Woodland Realm of the Elves. Wood Elves and Dryads watch you as you wander through the forest. In the background, you can hear Elven melodies as you near the Towers of the High Elves. You pass Elven archers and find yourself within the walls of the Elven Fortress of fountains and gardens.
The path leads you to a stairway faced by two swan sculptures. Follow the stairs up to a large waterfall tumbling down from the high crags above. As you leave the singing Elvish voices behind you walk through a cedar forest until you come into the Old West display.
Go along the old split rail fence and then veer off the trail to the right to visit the Native Camp nestled between the hills and then Boot Hill behind the town. The trail turns into a road as you round the corner into the Old West Town. The street is lined with boardwalks and you can hear the sounds of horses, chickens and groups of folks going about their chores.
At the other end of town, as you pass the privy you come to a bridge to cross. There’s a pretty waterfall to the left. As you go between the hills, you come to a tropical kind of setting. This is the Shipwrecked Castaway Display. The green and white trail marker signs lead you through the palm trees to the beach. You can see a half-sunken square-rigged ship off the coast. On the beach, you find an old barrel that has been turned into a humble shelter for the survivors of the wreck who are marooned here on this palm-tree covered place.
The green signs point the way to a trail beside a long beach. Seagulls fly about and the waves lap the shore as you continue.
The dirt path changes again to pave stones and you start up a spooky hill to the Horror Display. When you venture up the crumbling stairs into the overgrown courtyard you need to duck so the bats don’t hit you in the head. There are zombies standing ready to greet you if you care to look into the haunted castle… and if you’re really brave, you can go out to the old cemetery.
Through the ruined archway and between the mountains you stumble into an Orc and Goblin camp; probably not a good place to dwell too long. They live inside the mountain and protect their homes with great relish.
Keep walking down the hill and past the swampy forest to the modern city. This is the Urban Role Play display. Here you can wander the streets, go to the Bodega, have a pizza, wash your clothes, play games at the arcade or go out to the board walk and sit on the beach with some cotton candy. Be careful crossing the streets.
Once you have enough of city-life, take the steep stairways up to the land of the Mountain Dwarves. The guards will welcome you to tour their mine, if you don’t mind a bit of spelunking… Carefully follow the tunnels into the mine cavern where you see the stout dwarves working hard gathering ore. A little further into the tunnels you come to the foundry which roars with heat.
Leaving the Dwarf Mines, you continue up the stairs to a trail along the edge of the mountain. You can hear that thunderstorm still raging in the peaks as you walk along the pine studded pathway. Down the hill, back to sea level you come to Pirate Cove. Be ready as you enter this lusty village where those that ply the seas come to drink rum and ‘cavort’.
Now cross the covered bridge at the waterfall and continue down the dirt road. You’ll pass a Gypsy Camp on the beach side where you can get your fortune told
and your pockets picked. The road hugs the cliffs where you come around a corner and find yourself entering a Medieval Village. These are the people who serve the royalty that dwells in the castle on the mountain above. It’s a seaside village with docks and old warehouses along the shore. There is a mercantile where you can find fine hats, sweets and many other things. (You can actually click on them and receive them for free.) There’s a grand old Inn and a rustic pub as well as a dairy merchant, butcher shop and various street merchants. Click on the street minstrel with the lute and he’ll play you a song.
On the way out of the village, you pass the public privy and continue along the coastline. Where the paving stones turn left to go up the hill, you’ll see a narrow boardwalk. Follow this out to the point under the natural arched rock. Here you’ll see the cove where mermaids and sirens and other see denizens play. You can hear the song of the siren but be careful not to follow it… Come back along the boardwalk to the paved path and continue up the hill.
On the left you’ll see great hewn stones that form a henge. At the end of the pave stones, the keepers welcome you into a Druid earth ceremony being performed in the middle of the stone henge. If you feel so inclined, you can kneel in prayer here and pay homage to the Earth Mother.
Continue on up the castle byway and enter back into the castle courtyard… here you complete your self-guided tour.
So, this is the Role Play Hub of the Great Canadian Grid. It’s truly a fun place to visit and it definitely is the ‘…place where Role Play begins in the GCG’. On your main map, type in ‘GCG Role Play Hub’ and then you can teleport to the landing point where you can begin your journey on the Road to Role Play.