The Satyr and the Centaur (or how to recreate yourself)

NOTE: This post was produced in collaboration with my friends Dafydd Rae (story, paragraphs in italic) and Tomais Ashdene (photos, as indicated). I, myself, took photos too (as indicated) and wrote the comments (not in italic). I’d like to thank both Daf and Tom for the amazing work that they have done.

The Satyr crouched in the concealing undergrowth of the forest, an arrow knocked in this bow, waiting patiently for game to come down the trail.  The scrape of hooves reached his alert, faun-like ears signaling prey on the stony path. He pulled back on the arrow and sighted down the shaft, his bright animal eyes spying the flash of fur among the dense brush.  The Satyr loosed his weapon and was rewarded almost immediately by a human-like, blood-chilling scream. A second arrow would guarantee that the prey had no escape.

The Satyr loosed his weapon and was rewarded almost immediately by a human-like, blood-chilling scream

The Satyr loosed his weapon and was rewarded almost immediately by a human-like, blood-chilling scream (by Ricco Saenz)

I argued elsewhere that Second Life is our road to the West, that it’s an environment where we tend to keep recreating ourselves: we can change our skin, our shape, we can suddenly live in a medieval world, move back to the 21st century, go further into the future and live in a cyborg environment, convert into a penguin, a wolf, a horse, a robot, a fairy, a car, a lizard… or even a satyr and a centaur. Summarizing, in SL we can “become” – and what matters here is not only what we turn into, but also the process itself of “coming to be”.

In his hands the Centaur weakly clutched two knives

In his hands the Centaur weakly clutched two knives (by Ricco Saenz)

The Satyr followed the trail of torn and broken branches through the forest; occasional splatters of bright red blood emphasized his quarry’s progress through the dense underbrush.  The Satyr broke through the brush into a clearing and found to his dismay, a centaur.  The beast stood in the center, his hooves braced awkwardly among the dead leaves and his broad human chest heaving with effort to hold himself upright.  The Satyr’s arrows were buried deep in the centaur’s flank. Blood still flowed copiously from the wound and stained the fur of his leg as muscles twitched in obvious waves of pain.  In his hands the Centaur weakly clutched two knives, too heavy to defend himself.  His wary, pain-filled eyes rhythmically squeezed close in suffering.

In our “becomings” in SL we are actually producing something based on our desires: for the stylish ones, a lovely house with fancy furniture; for lycans, a horde whose members care for each other as in a brotherhood; for the starmen, spaceships to navigate in outer space; for farmers, breedable animals; and for some classical mythical beings, the encounter that you see on the photos here, for instance. All these sets require lots of subsidiary products: sims, landscape and decoration items, prim-based objects, mesh objects, sculpts, gestures, animations, poses, outfits, scripts and so on. In this sense, SL is a big machine, articulating desires into an industry – an industry that is fed by dreams and that, at the same time, produces dreams, our dreams, as it was brilliantly remarked on this post on the Prim Perfect blog.

The Centaur drifted off into blessed unconsciousness

The Centaur drifted off into blessed unconsciousness (by Tomais Ashdene)

The Satyr moved slowly toward the wounded man-beast with open hands.  The Centaur relaxed and allowed his knives to drop from his numbing fingers as his equine body succumbed to the pain.  The Centaur slowly folded to the ground and drifted off into blessed unconsciousness.  The Satyr worked quickly to remove the arrows, clean the wounds and fill them with healing herbs from his pouch.  By the time his victim-patient awoke, the Satyr had built a fire and brewed a healing tisane. 

The Satyr worked quickly to remove the arrows

The Satyr worked quickly to remove the arrows (by Tomais Ashdene)

By the time his victim-patient awoke, the Satyr had built a fire

By the time his victim-patient awoke, the Satyr had built a fire (by Ricco Saenz)

Satyrs and centaurs are beings of a long tradition in Western mythologies – particularly in Greek and Roman ones. Both have been frequently linked to animality and uncivilized behavior, with the exception of two centaurs, Chiron and Pholus, who became associated with Heracles in Ancient Greek mythology (probably from those characters comes a more modern tendency to depict centaurs as wise and noble creatures).

They talked about their unique lives

They talked about their unique lives (by Tomais Ashdene)

The Satyr stayed with the Centaur for eight days, tending to his wound and seeing to his physical needs.  To fill the long hours, they talked about their unique lives as satyr and centaur; of dreams they followed, won or lost, and of experiences that touched their hearts or left their souls scarred, healed and wiser.  As they grew into friendship, they laid out their lives to each other and recognized common loves, shared goals and kindred spirits. 

Of course, we can humanize both satyrs and centaurs, and why not? They can take care of each other, they can get closer, as characters, to the “civilized centaurs”. But we can also animalize them, these creatures of the woods, associated with a more unrepressed sexualization and with bestiality – we can make them love each other in an interspecies becoming, blurring frontiers and producing (again, with avatar attachments, poses, scripts, mesh objects and so on – I mean, really “producing”) a new order, or disorder. And this is the beauty of these avatars: partly human, partly animal, they are an assemblage, going beyond the simple dichotomy that tends to represent nature and civilization as irrevocably separate realms. May I find more satyrs and centaurs on my ways in SL and may I keep becoming, myself, at once, human and animal.

The centaur holds the satyr in the air

Their companionship… (by Ricco Saenz)

The centaur holds the satyr in the air

… drew them even closer together (by Tomais Ashdene)

One pain-filled and sleepless night, their companionship drew them even closer together. Despite their physical differences, they were able to find comfort and pleasure in each other. 

Then centaur and the satyr kissing

They were able to find comfort and pleasure in each other (by Tomais Ashdene)

PS: Although this blog is not intended as a review of items in SL (outfits, etc.), since this post is built around the avatars shown here, I’d like to credit them. So…

On Ricco:
– Dreamcatcher Nivicola Horns by *~*Illusions*~*
– AJ:Midnight hair by Exile
– Khal Beard Onyx & Goatee Black by Tribal Soul (bought on Marketplace)
– Forest Satyr-Brown (various items composing the satyr avatar) by Tamiron Forge
– Weapons Harness III by Dark Prophet Designs (bought on Marketplace)
– Primus Castula Bow 3.51 by Primus Weapons (bought on Marketplace; I bought the 1.5 series and upgraded it later)
– Wood elf ear by {Lemon Tea} (bought on Marketplace)

On Tomais:
– Realistek Centaur Avatar, Bronze Stallion, by REALISTEK (bought on Marketplace)
– Bow & Arrow set from The Forest King avatar by Boudoir (bought on Marketplace)
– Hair Steve, Brown Sugar, by Amacci
– 3D Prim Chest hair by Jaryth’s Barbershop (bought on Marketplace)
– 3D Prim Arm hair by Jaryth’s Barbershop (bought on Marketplace)
– 3D Prim Full Beard by Jaryth’s Barbershop (bought on Marketplace)

Photos for this post were taken at Dweriken (gay male adult sim), DragonsHeart (private home), Dark Moon, Cove Hold at Gay City Beach (private home) and  Image Essentials.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “The Satyr and the Centaur (or how to recreate yourself)

  1. Thank you for this intelligent text that describes the relationship we have with our avatars, but also the absence of true limit between the worlds we call “real” and “virtual”. As the nascent love between the satyr and the centaur, there is limited only by the prejudices but nothing can prevent two honest hearts meet. The quality of photos, some of which are artistic compositions, strengthens all the power of the imagination that unfolds into SL.

    • Thank you, Chinon. There are those who, instead of using the pair of words “real” and “virtual”, prefer to refer to that distinction as “atomic” and “virtual”. This way, they are not denying a difference of “nature” between the atomic world and the virtual world, but they are not, also, refusing to recognize the status of “reality” to the virtual world. I find that very interesting, actually. About the photos, I love Tom’s work, I think he’s brilliant. Finally, on the love described in the story itself, between the Satyr and the Centaur – well, many thanks to Daf and his great, natural way to conduct the narrative.

  2. Pingback: Centaur/Satyr Fiction: The Arrows | Centaurica

  3. Pingback: Under the sheltering sky | Second Sighting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s