Saturday, January 16, 2016

Castles in Second Life VIII – Casterly Rock


Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what's on the other side? 

Tyrion Lannister, A Game of Thrones


          Once again, in my wanderings across the Grid in Second Life (SL), I’ve come across another castle which I’ll include in my series about the castles of SL. 

          This particular castle is located in Casterly Rock which is a role playing sim inworld based on A Game of Thrones.  I blogged about the Casterly Rock community in an earlier

          My reasons for selecting this structure were several.  The castle is an impressive build which dominates the local landscape and is faithful to the castle described by Georeg R. R. Martin in his books.  It is well furnished and is integral to the role play of the community.  Overall, from my perspective, an ideal candidate for a story!  (Significant Other thinks I’m just biased because it reminds me of Dungeons & Dragons.)

          In the universe of A Game of Thrones, belongs to House Lannister.  The largest and most well defended of all castles in the land.  Purportedly, it has never been conquered. 

          Within the roleplay of Casterly Rock in SL, the castle still belongs to House Lannister but is set in a period about three hundred years before that of the books.  The castle is an important part of court life inworld.

          I first learned of the castle during my visit to prepare for my first story.  It was hard to miss.  The castle is imposing in size and one can’t escape its presence as one wanders around the sim. 

          The castle sits high on a promontory overlooking the Sunset Sea.  Gray walled with red tiles rooves on its keeps and turrets.  It is big.  Its perch is a rock jutting out of the sea and is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway.  Once across the causeway, one is faced with a steep climb to a drawbridge crossing a deep chasm. 

          On the other side of the draw bridge is a heavy wooden door studded with nails.  Entering the castle through this doorway, one passes through a series of rooms before
entering the Queen’s throne room.  The center piece of which is the throne which has a smaller seat alongside for the Queen’s daughter.  Here the Queen holds court weekly.  Coats of arms of noble families adorn the walls. 

          Crossing the throne room, one enters another room which contains the main spiral staircase leading to the upper and lower levels.  Climbing the stairs to the second floor, one’s attention is taken by the magnificent sea views from a balcony.  Located on this floor are a royal bedroom and a library.  The library contains a secret but more on this later! 

          Continuing to ascend the stairs from the second floor, one arrives on the roof where there are two small turrets each containing a bedroom.  One is afforded excellent views of
the kingdom in all directions here.

          Returning back down the stairs, one ultimately descends to the castle’s bottom level which is a large open room.  Heavy columns support the ceiling.  This room is used for social functions.  Unlike many other castles where one finds the dungeon here.  Apparently, the Lannisters see no need for one.  (Significant Other worries about my continued interest in dungeons.) 

          Now, the library’s secret!  By touching the mantelpiece over the fireplace, a hidden door is revealed.  Entering through this doorway, one is transported deep below the castle to a goldmine where the wealth of the kingdom originates.  A locked vault contains the refined gold ore.  Every good castle has to have at least one secret! 

          The overall quality of the Casterly Rock castle is very good.  Attention has been paid to its details such as windows, doorways, columns and textures to cover surfaces.  The lower levels of the castle have stone floors while the uppers ones are made of large wooden timbers.  A small detail over looked in many castles.  The layout of the castle is rational and
is not a maze.  Rooms contain furnishings and the walls are not unadorned.  There is a lived in and well cared for look about the place.  The castle is key to the role playing of the community and does not sit empty and unused like a mausoleum in a cemetery.  Working within the limitations of prims and RL dollars to pay for space, the builder has skillfully and cleverly recreated the atmosphere and look of the original. 

          I strongly recommend to either fans of A Game of Thrones or those who enjoy castles visiting this castle.  They won’t regret their decision! (Please wear appropriate dress and remember that residents are engaged in role play.)

          Casterly Rock is always looking for enthusiastic fans of A Game of Thrones to join to keep expanding their community so I recommend checking them out!  (I did after my first story, joined, and became the royal scribe!) 

          Casterly Rock and its castle can be found here. 

          Additional pictures from my visit can be seen on this flickr page.   

          I’d like to thank Her Grace Morgane Lannister for stepping away from Her royal duties and giving me a tour of the castle after I showed up on her doorstep unannounced one afternoon!    

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.
          Open roads and kind fires!          


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