***Mature subject matter***
Our journey through the world of Gor, as written of in the books of John Norman, this time takes us to the city of Rive-De Bois.
Rive-De-Bois is remote city, more like a trading post. It is located just south of the Northern Forests and at the furthestmost point of the Laurius River. Entering from Thassa you would pass Lydius and Laura. Your passage would take you North of Piedmont, Teveh Pass, and Koroba. A few hundred passangs North of The Road To Clearchus and West of the Sardar Mountains lies the entrance to the city.
We met with city Administrator Lockie Skytower to discuss her city and its people, and the ideals that Rive represents to the world of Gorean roleplay
Lockie Skytower: "There are two sides to Rive-De-Bois. There is our history and lives being told in stories ... or ... what we do to make it successful here. I would also encourage you to talk to the residents about Rive and why they live here and what makes it so different.
Doc Grun: And what is the main commerce of Rive?
LS: Produce. (But) It’s more that we aid in being the halfway point, not to mention the Larius moves straight from our docks, cuts through Gor and out to the Sea.
DG: So you are a waypoint to the open ocean. This must surely bring many strangers into the city. How do you deal with so many new faces?
LS: Most travelers come with a reason to be here. Lost, wanting to trade, desperate for food or simply a place to rest. Their stories are often woven into our own or they spark a new story to live with us.
DG: I noticed that the front gates to Rive are locked. I myself could not get in. Are you at war with another city?
LS: The laws and protection of a city extends as far as its walls. Behind that fortitude, there is simply outlaws and lawlessness.
DG: How long has Rive been in Second Life? And how many members do you have?
LS: Rive has been in Second Life for nearly five years, it’s one the early Gorean sims when it started.
[16:37] Doc Grun: an entire sim?
[16:37] Lockie Skytower: "Typically a sim can be just the city, other times it can be a collection of other groups
DG: what is Rive's most attractive quality? What one thing above all else will bring new people in to live there?
LS: I don’t believe that it is only one thing the brings new people in, I believe the beauty of the build, the rich stories we create and how we see role play is what inspired people to stay.
LS: The city itself was built by a fantastic builder and Gorean by the name of Boez Wulluf. Before this was Rive-De-Bois, Ostia was here for a long time along with a band of panthers who were together almost as along as Rive has been in existence. But their stories had been told so they disbanded for now. As for the inspiration for the new build, I wanted a home of wood and stone, one made to look as though its people worked hard to build it. Most importantly, fusion of the look of both north and south given its geographic location. We wanted a place that was arranged so the role play and movement flowed into the city naturally. I told Boez I loved the way old Cardonicus was built and he merged that into the design as well. People from old Cardi, as it’s called, have come here remarking on a similarity.
Skytower then proceeded to give us a tour of her fine city, starting at the entrance to the city.
LS: Before we head down, I wanted you to see from here the tarn take off and landing area over there in front of me. So remote, only tarns and ships really make it out here. Please follow me, I’ll take you to the docks.
LS: I have a dear friend working to design the kinds of ship that will handle the Larius River, his name is Sterrane Himura. Not just any ship can endure the torrid waves and shifting shores. Lady Nzuri, our chief merchant, will be creating a trading post here for visitors and shipping. For now, let's head into the city. As you will see, the edge of the Northern Forest is on our left as we wander down the path.
"Rive-De-Bois, as a hub of trade to the outside world is also its own hub for its residents. As is typical with Goreans, a circular design is favored. The outer ring is almost all residents where businesses are in the center. The exception is the slave house and merchant house."
Our walk took us through town, where one of the residents met us.
Aminatah Aquila: Well met Doc, I am Aminatah, Baker of Rive.
DG: Ah, the smell of pastries reaches my nose even now. What delicacies are you preparing?
AA: Thought I would try a hand at a Pear Upside Down Cake. My usuals are ramberry tarts and larma pies.
From there we walked to the slave house, where a learning session was I progress. The slave mistress, Lady Attie, spoke with us briefly.
DG: What lesson is it you teach tonight?
Lady Attie: Currently Sir we are working on a Tile dance for one girl. She is learning to better express herself for competitions and such. We pride ourselves in joining in as much as we can with other cities and such for such items, on top of that I have a newer girl learning focus as she is being punished from an error of last night. The other two are working on expression as well.
Without going into graphic detail, the girl being disciplined was taught the lesson of respect via the whip. The lesson would not soon be forgotten.
I asked about the slave population of Rive, and the procedure for Free to obtain their own slave.
LA: Well there are approximately six of the House of Kards, and another 4 that belong to one of the other slavers. The process is slow to ensure that the fit is right.. It starts with leasing.. where the person has time to see if the product is to his liking. After a time of such and a few discussions by the house with the person, then the girl is further trained and molded to the man's pleasures.. to ensure that the House of Kards is providing the man with the best product it is able to. Once that process is completed.. then the proper papers and coin is exchanged.
Thanking Lady Attie for her time, Admin Lockie and I walked to the center of town where we discussed the ideals of Gorean roleplay and how Rive upholds those ideals.
DG: What do you hope to accomplish for your roleplayers that would distinguish you from other RP sims, Gor or otherwise?
LS: So often in this medium, people want to say we're different, better, BtB, more rp focused ... it’s a common ideal here in Sl Gor. Here, we build a community of people behind the avatar. We work together for story ideas and ways to support one another.
DG: do you script storylines, or just set the idea and let it freeform?
LS: people ask me what positions are available ... I say what do you want to do and rp in the city to accomplish your goal. Honestly, there is a fine line there. People would like to say I’m a natural RPer, I just react to a situation as it happens. I have seen more cities fall over OOC panics and rages than I have a stomach for. I think at times, depending on what it is, some planning is needed. Otherwise people tend to take what people do personal.
LS: “If you know everyone here in Rive is participating in a story and working with others to create rp ... then you know everyone is working towards the same goal. I have been a role player for 30 years, there is an amazing and unpredictable way to tell stories. (But) how do you deal with OOC drama, that inevitably creeps into IC characters.
DG: And how do you deal with that drama to prevent it spilling over into the RP?
LS: talk to them OOCly in IMs and remind them this is simply role play. I also have a charter point if you cannot keep OOC out of IC, you will be asked to leave.
DG: Do you publish a public listing of daily RP so that others who may not have been there are able to keep up?
LS: I host a city blog and forum for the players here. rivedebois.ning.com. They can post it themselves
DG: Who decides if there is to be a new major story arc., like a new character entering the city that might be controversial, or say a raid that results in citizens being taken?
LS: I only ask for such an event or story to contact the moderators which are clearly posted.
DG: Do you allow unplanned raids from other sims that could force an arc such as this?
LS: I have no issue with unplanned ones, simply contact a mod and let them know you are coming. They will make sure you know the combat rules and see if you have a story behind your rp. It takes very little time
DG: By unplanned I mean totally unplanned, and unannounced. It sometimes takes things in a completely unexpected direction.
LS: Ok, I’ll put it another way. Do you know that 80% of unplanned/unannounced raids end invalid or OOC drama? For example: a man from Treve IM'd me .... we'd like to raid with tarns but have it become a melee combat in the city. Trevians don’t really need a reason, raiding is what they do. I said I have four men. He said he had four or five. I asked if he needed a copy of the rules to distribute. He said he was good. I said launch when ready .... I called in three other mods and the raid was flawless.
DG: As it should be.
LS: My rp is also out in the open ... my house is open to role play however it might happen. I have been nearly assassinated, had messages delivered and enjoy time with those in my household. It’s role play and story building.
DG: Indeed it is. Anything special going on in Rive at the moment?
LS: With the holidays, it’s been quiet. But we will have more swearing in, a kurii attack and an administrator election we have coming.
DG: How do new players get integrated into Rive? do they submit a bio and backstory for approval?
LS: I ask they come in and role play, there is no application or approval.
Rive-De-Bois has the group 3 Moon Nights inworld. The city is currently being reconfigured for more efficient roleplay, but the story of Rive goes on non-stop.
Lockie Skytower and her group welcome you to Rive, where the world of Gor lives in story.
Second Life® and Linden Lab® are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. No infringement is intended.
Like what you see here? Subscribe to Doug's column FREE and get email alerts whenever he publishes a new article.