“*We* could have given him riches,” protesteth Jeffrie Phillips back in Teepot. “Jewels, diamonds, the lot.”
Peter pauses. “You did.”
By Arria Perrault
with additional discoveries and 3D composition by Rosie Gray and Sudane Erato
The “real life” castle of Neuschwanstein, from which the Neufreistadt “Schloss” is inspired, is an example of an extensive architectural movement in Europe and around the world, the Gothic Revival. Through new buildings or restorations of ruined old buildings, architects have been inspired by the gothic architecture of the 10th through the 13th centuries in Europe. King Ludwig II of Bavaria was inspired by a restored castle in France and commissioned Neuschwanstein.
All arts influence each other. What happens in architecture will also happen in painting or sculpture. I have tried to find painting movements that were inspired by Middle Age legends and that are somehow contemporary. The artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood meet this criteria. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (also known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, mostly men, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. They were particularly fascinated by medieval culture, believing it to possess a spiritual and creative integrity that had been lost in later eras. Their paintings are delicate and colorful. They have a similar look and feel.
Among the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, I have selected the ones which are related to themes that are also represented in the decoration of Neuschwanstein or related to it in some way. There are themes of the operas of Wagner (Wagner has also inspired the King of Bavaria), Arthurian themes and other Middle Age scenerios and legends.
The bridge is derezzing behind me. No time. No time!
It’s my worst nightmare.
“He should’ve stayed, you know. We would have gotten him some linden plants around here. He didn’t even ask.”
“Shush, Jeffrie. I’m reading. The book is being written again.”
Of course the treasure is here, fools, escaped prisoner Casey One Hole thought from his perch while staring toward the simulation. One comes with a snowy peak, one doesn’t, duhh. And now it’s all mine to find since the Klancaster Dixons are out of the picture.
He peers upwards. Hmmm, snowy from a distance, but even higher up close. Artificial rock on top.
And between the decoy treasure and this peak is that treehouse over there — an actual house in a tree. Perhaps that’s where it is. Simple as that.
“I don’t *need* the treasure,” he says to himself while descending toward it. “But I certainly *want* it.”
“I see we’re wearing matching trackers.”
Duncan looked down. “The Pot-D pendant?” Yes, it was red and hanging around his neck as well. He hadn’t thought about it before.
“Except mine’s from Pan-Z, the other, newer organization that does those kind of things. More thoroughly, if you ask me. Much more.” Jeffrie Phillips was wondering how the *heck* Duncan was going beyond the mirror book via improvisation. He stared through him to the 3 trackers he knew dwelt within, one by one by one.
Then: “I of course know you’re in there… *girls*.” But Phillips knew not who he was dealing with (Ragdoll titters here). These were battle tested *women*, fighting for the core of Pot-D which they understood to be ultimate truth.
“We know about the treasure,” they admitted (Indigo). “We know about Big Baby Jane” (Ruby). “We know about *Audrey*” (Ragdoll). “Audrey,” she repeated through Duncan’s lips. He gestured toward the black and white, zig-zag patterned chairs they sat in. He pointed out the “teapot” between them. He indicated an owl decorating a fluttering national flag he rezzed out of his inventory, bought at the Snowlands infohub just before teleporting over here.
“‘The owls are not what they seem,’ I know.” Jeffrie paused. “So you’re just *handwriting* this in. To make, I don’t know, a more satisfying ending?”
“Yes,” they admitted as a collective.
“Is it working?”
“*Is* it working, Ruby?” asked Indigo to her left, sensing the fatigue. “We can’t go on much longer. The 12th (novel) awaits!”
“We *have* to continue onward,” implores young Ragdoll to Ruby’s right. “Duncan knows who Jeffrie Phillips is, and that the treasure guarded day and night by Big Baby Jane is a, um, red herring, a duplicate of the one near the Snowy Peak. Another decoy.”
“Can we compare the 2 treasures again, just to make sure?” Ruby knew they could. “Hold on,” she says. “We’re almost done!”
Yes. The same. “Well, that does it, I think,” Ruby then says, finally lifting pencil from paper. She shuts the book. “The treasure cannot be found here.” She puts it back on the shelf at the end of
graphic novels journals 1 through 10.
But they weren’t quite yet finished.
They all took turns looking through Duncan’s eyes. Disappointment! At least for Ragdoll. Indigo remained intrigued about the whole situation. Hand weary Ruby just wanted to wrap it all up somehow. A good night’s rest she’ll get tonight!
The peculiarly remote infohub was quite devoid of objects and activity. No coffee shop. No restaurant. Just 3 austere, alpine style houses. And the combination of their user’s Second Lyfe Moon and its own Moon (“Moon of the Moon”) from Collagesity novel 1 that Ragdoll especially anticipated? Turns out to be “merely” 6 conjoined sims located out in the Great Linden Ocean a bit west of the old mainland continents Sansara, Heterocera, and Jeogeot.
Indigo finally found a landmark in the information poor location. They teleported over to one of the two official villages of the 6 sims. Not Teepot, but the other one. Twin cities they were. This was their first hint, beginning with Indigo, that they were looking at some kind of resonance with St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Duncan was now there, after all.
Jeffrie Phillips was waiting for them at the infohub on the other side. All 3 took turns being escorted by him up a quite lovely mountainside to Teepot proper and his sake bar hangout we’ve already seen him at with sometimes mate Audrey. In truth, Jeffrie was trying to sell Duncan the idea of staying. But on the walk, Duncan knew his world was already breaking down here. He must get back to Linden land, the ones looking out of his eyes realized. And soon!
Duncan spoke to the just arrived Dr. Nightwing. “The train derezzed before I could teleport you over. Sorry about that. But never mind. We’re here.”
“The beginning of the end,” the Dr. offered. “The trail to the treasure.”
“Well… *they* might think so.”
The two began hiking through one of the most desolate, wastelandy places left in Our Second Lyfe. But the dotting system trees still comforted Duncan. He was Lindener above all now, since they saved him. *He* saved him. And this was about as Linden as you can get. Until you reach the end.
“They’re heading toward the Moon of the Moon,” Ragdoll squealed in excitement. “The big loop! Beginning meets end.”
“Well, not quite,” said Ruby, pencil still twirling away beneath her hand.
“Let’s pause here,” Indigo declared, stretching her arms and yawning. “Getting late.”
“No,” countered her ragdoll sister across the table. “We’re almost there! Let’s press on. Get these two to the — what do you call it? Infohub?”
Ruby stopped the writing. “We better fire up the interwebs and check. Check out the whole Confederation of Democratic Simulators site before proceeding forward.”
“Second Lyfe Moon,” cooed Ragdoll. “And its own Moon not far behind. Equilateral gravity on all 6 sides. Just like Phillip prophesized about.”
“The trees change here at this sim crossing, Dr. Nightwing. Snowier and shorter.”
“I still don’t see it.” He was a little out of breath by now. Duncan surged ahead, seeming to draw energy from the landscape.
“Not long now.”
“*There* it finally is. Beginning to worry the thing we saw back there near the road was a mirage. Dr.?” He turned. “Dr.??”
The alien man had collapsed in the snow, as if the very landscape around them *drained* him. Duncan walked back to the Dr. “I still can’t see it, Duncan. I’m not sure I ever will. I’m changing over here. It’s a weak point. I saw the end but couldn’t change it. Fixed point in time. Legend will say (he caught his breath)… will say you killed me here. But we’ll know the truth. (deep breath) That’s the important thing.”
The transition began.
He had no choice, if what the Dr. said was true. Head to the Second Lyle Moon — *potential* Moon — or else be imprisoned for life or worse. He turned back to the green pine forest now almost out of sight before ascending the final bit of slope. “Vanished, man,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. “Just vanished.”
He had always heard it was otherwise.
He was here.
“It really is unfortunate that Duncan had to be treated like that. But t’was a necessary evil to eliminate a competitor. One down, two to go. Maybe one. Horace Wise did his shtick well. Railroaded back to Dixie he was.”
“Treasure – must – be – protected.”
“Exactly, Potty Steve. They must never suspect we were the ones behind it all.”