Saturday, October 29, 2016

Luskwood and Trotsdale's Anniversary Events

by Bixyl Shuftan

On the weekend of October 22 and 23, the Luskwood and Trotsdale communities held a double celebration of their anniversaries this month. It was in September 2003, just a few months after Second Life was officially opened, that Luskwood began. But it's anniversary celebrations have been in October for as long as this writer can tell. Trotsdale was one of several pony sims that appeared after the collapse of the original Bronyville, probably in September 2011 as it's fourth anniversary was celebrated in September.

Over time, the communities have helped one another, notably Luskwood founder Michi Lumin helping with the pony sims' financing. But the Trotsdale anniversary celebration had always been a separate one, until this year when it was decided to combine the two, as well as giving both a Halloween theme as the date would be late in the month, Saturday October 22, and Sunday October 24. There would be one event in the pony area, and the rest at Luskwood.

Things started off in a forest at night high above the Trotsdale sim at 2PM.The darkness gave the place a spooky look, though all those ponies around helped give a cartoony kind of spooky feeling. There were all kinds of pony avatars around, including some sporting a costume of some kind such as a cape, or wearing a pumpkin with a space cut out for the nose. Someone showed up as the character "Nightmare Moon." Another showed up in a giant pony avatar that must've been close to 20 feet tall.

Not everyone was a pony as there were a number of furs around, notably Luskwood regulars, a couple four footed ferals, and a couple normal humans. Among the costumes that stood out was a  kind of battleship outfit on Hagalaz Nilsson, which he later called a "Yamato," that was worn like a jetpack, with swiveling turrets all over. Another was a kind of armor or robot that looked like it was from an 80s or 90s video game, and a feral with a "dogecoin" (a digital currency made as an alternative to bitcoin with an Internet meme as it's logo) in it's mouth. A couple of the Luskwood founders were there, including Michi Lumin.

DJ Crayzee was the pony DJ spinning the tunes for the first hour. For the second hour, Luskwood's DC Cyberfoxy took over. There was also a 'sploder, which most experienced residents will recall as a party game in which people put in amounts of cash and it either gives it out randomly with one lucky winner getting a larger share or half ends up in the hands of the last one who chipped in. But after their 'sploder went off the first time, it was obvious it was giving out far less then it was taking in. So it was set to not accept more cash from all but the staff, and would every so often shower the crowd with cash, some getting more amounts than others. Yours truly got totals from 2 Lindens to over 50L that added up to a few hundred over time.

At 4 PM, the celebration moved to Luskwood at the Perry Amphitheater. For two hours, there were live music performances. The first was by singer Keeba Tammas and her band of tiny avatars, the "Tiny Maniacs." The Maniacs were their usual funny selves with their squeaky voices , one holding a sign "I want your body." Following Keeba was Shannon Oherlihy, who sung while playing her guitar. People watched from the stands, or standing in a few boxes above the stands. There were some anniversary shirts available for anyone to take, but these were from last year's anniversary.

At 6 PM, the party moved to a new platform, one that Luskwood dubbed "Heck." Teleporting over, the place was mostly a hellish scene with a molten lava river and rock, with bleached bones and red sky, with only a couple small corners where anything alive grew. In the center was entched a red circle and demonic-looking symbols around it with a yellow dragon and pentagram in the center. Why this place of fire and brimstone was called "Heck" I never asked, though as swearing is discouraged in Luskwood and outright forbidden in Trotsdale, it was most likely a joke about their policy.

Haley Maruti, Lusk's squirrelgirl DJ spun the tunes for three hours as the crowd danced away apparently the ground not too hot for their bare feet (perhaps the rune offered some protection). When she was finally done DJ Apoth took over. The schedule only required him to play until 11PM SL time, but he continued on until close to Midnight, entertaining the group of furs, with a few ponies and a couple normal humans mixed in.

During this time there was much wisecracking and joking, with a few oldtimers such as Beatfox Xevious dropping to to make a once in a blue moon appearance. Besides Michi, founders Liam Roark and Eltee Statosky. The crowd remained thick until about Midnight SL time when Apoth hung up his headphones and got out of heck, "Goodnight everyone, thank you again for letting me help celebrate Luskwood's 13th." This was followed soon by Michi, and others began following soon after. It was indeed a heck of a party in Heck.

The next day, Sunday October 23, the celebrations went on with two performances that day. At 2PM, the dragon guitarist Alazarin Mondrian and his "Invisible Band" performed on stage at the colorful platform that was the setting for most of their performances on their tenth anniversary celebration, still called the "LW10B build." There was less dancing then standing and listening this time as the dragon gave a firey performance for an hour and a half.

Following the rock concert, there was a three hour break in the festivities, then one last event at 6PM when Frogg Marlowe of the popular Jaycatt and Frogg musical duo performed at the Perry Amphitheater. As it turned out, Jaycatt was on vacation, but he was on his way home and managed to get his laptop connected to the Internet in time to watch the show in the audience. It was an hour of relaxing music, a smooth end to a busy two days of celebration. 

There were numerous praises of Luskwood and it's founders and staff during the course of the event, by both regulars and friends who made their home elsewhere but come back once in a while. Among them, "just want to thank you Luskies for some of my happiest and most memorable memories. I know I'm not around much at all anymore but I'll always have a ton of love for this place. Thank you for getting me through a really rough time in my life and for being friends to me. I do appreciate it a lot. Very much."

For me, Luskwood was more or less where I got my real start in Second Life. While I might have moved on, I still come back to say hello. And the red fox avatar I got here in summer 2007 is still my main one over nine years later. One never forgets where they came from, and it's nice to drop by once in a while at the Big Tree to chat with those who still make it their home.

On a final note, the partying isn't over this month. It was announced later on that there would be a separate Halloween party after all on Saturday October 29 at 6PM at the "Perry Graveyard" at Perry (150/139/2016). So they still have plenty of celebrating to "scare up."

For more pictures of the event, check out those on their imgur account (here).

Bixyl Shuftan

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