Torn, beaten, and broken I found myself wandering the coastline. Stopping occasionally to scoop water from the shore or to even daringly catch myself a meal, my mind was full of mistrust and tension. What if a gaggle of underpanted warriors came at me while I was subdued with angling activities? The only solution was to keep running, never to look back, to find someone, anything, for protection.
It had been a while since I had come across any other players or even signs of settlements. I was alone skirting the enormous Lake Tahoe, sighing with frustration and yet secretly delighting in my situation. I was living in fear of semi-naked combatants and worse; my self-imposed exile was necessary, but, I was starting to pine for more than a life on the ‘lam’.
Eventually, and as I hit a patch of terrain too steep to navigate, I found myself scrambling up a rocky incline, and upon reaching the top; I finally rested my aching body. I was higher than I had been in some time, the sun was starting to rise and I could see the land sprawled out before me, dotted with incremental details. I sat back, recovering my stamina, and began to survey.
To the east was what seemed like the tell-tale signs of a settlement. There were tree stubs, and freshly fallen trees; there were a dozen or so camp fires littering the horizon, and even player made bridges, placed to help traverse the river mouth and its many streams of water. Scrolling my mouse over to the menu system, I increased the drawing distance with a few clicks and within seconds more features revealed themselves: a small fort, an area cordoned off by walls for resources, and even a small lighthouse in the distance – which on closer inspection appeared to be another man-made penis shrine. I was at home.
After a dozen minutes of quietly surveying this small, populated area, I decided that it was time that my solo-existence within Xsyon should come to an end. Getting back on my virtual feet, I slowly weaved a path down the rocky incline toward my distant destination.
Before long I hit upon a small road, and began to approach the now looming fortress I had viewed from afar. The settlement was an impressive spectacle of creativity and hard work. The fortress itself was encircled by a moat that was still under construction, there were even a dozen logs between the interior of the fort and the mud of the exterior. Crossing the make-shift bridge, I entered the fort, eyeing up the nearby tents in search of life.
The security in this place struck me as a little too casual. Here I was a bearded stranger, wandering around a masterfully crafted compound, and nobody was stopping me. Slowly I headed toward the ramparts and started to look at the land. If I was a brigand and a cad, I would be messing this place up, picking up items and putting them down in the wrong place, maybe even urinating up one or two tents, just where was everybody?
My search for living players was beginning to seem pointless, this place was dead. I started to retrace my steps when I finally, out of the corner of my eye, spotted someone. At the arc that allowed access to this fortress, was a player stood completely still. “Hi” I fired off, a little unsure of my new friend’s disposition. The fellow opposite me was wearing what appeared to be an outfit made entirely from grass – from hat to beautifully crafted shoes. “Hello” a reply finally came. Slightly bolder I took a dozen steps forward and gave a thumbs up emote. This chap only had a fishing rod attached to his back, what could he do? I was the master of this domain for sure.
The grass-equipped man still remained motionless, unspeaking, and slightly standoffish. I wanted to make him feel at ease “nice place this” I said, scrolling my view all around the surroundings, as if to show real commitment. “Thanks, it took a while” at last, this guy was giving me something; apparently Xsyon folk appreciate a compliment or two about their building prowess.
The scene was starting to get a little awkward. Here I was, a hairy trespasser, trying to make small talk with a man that appeared a little too fond of grass. I decided to be a little more direct and asked “so how do I become a member of this joint?” I made my terminology sound hip, maybe even a little “fresh” if you will.
The man simply stood there motionless, replying wasn’t this guy’s strong suite I guess. Social tension was beginning to get to me and so I slowly started to stretch my fingers towards the WASD keys, wishing to get out of the place before my grassy friend turned and emulated a scene from Deliverance.
Just as I was about to wheel myself away, I noticed that in the text box in the bottom left of the screen, a small line of green had appeared. “So you want to join our Tribe?” asked a player known as “CrazyDave”. Excited at my new correspondence, I typed in a reply and pressed enter – in white text, not green, a message appeared to my immediate surrounding and still motionless friend “ell CrazyDave, yes I would love to join, I think I’m stood opposite one of your grassy tribesman, he looks lovely”. The scene was even more awkward now, even “Grassy” shuffled uncomfortably.