Editor’s Note: The following article is cross-posted from The Devokan Trust forums. It is Mr. Whitfield’s first post on that site.


“How exactly did you get mixed up with these Devokan people?” a friend asked me just the other day.

How indeed!

Well, I was just minding my own business one day when a call came for storytellers. This was in Winterfell (on Second Life) in the spring of the RL year 2010. The Seneschelf herself, Miss Serra, had put out the call to further a sense of community and add to the story of Winterfell, a land of story. In my native world I am a writer and storyteller. I was fairly new to Winterfell, keeping to myself and trying to learn its ways. I had no experience in RP at all, other than some acting when I was a young man. That was, it turns out, a good foundation for RP though I had no idea about such things at the time. And even though I am a writer, RP writing was new to me as well. But I wanted to answer the call of Lady Twilight (Miss Serra is known by several names) and I wanted to be involved in the community. So I stepped forward and wrote my first RP story.

Soon afterward I met Dot Macchi, a fellow Winterfallen who was one of the top contributors to the Winterfell Storyboards at that time. Ms. Macchi encouraged me to continue my story, helped me develop story ideas, gave me hints and tips and taught me about the ettiquette of RP writing. Her assistance was invaluable. I also read her story to learn from her example and it quickly drew me in. “Your story relates to Myst,” I messaged her one day. “Yes!!” came her reply. I sensed her excitement that I recognized this. I knew Myst from long ago. From many hours spent with its ages. Sometimes trying to solve a puzzle, many times not trying. Just being. Taking in the feel of it, climbing into it and away from my home world. You know what I mean.

In the time since I first spoke with Dot – it is odd to call her by her first name, I would never do so in Winterfell – I have visited her across the ‘Verse…Myst/Uru, OSgrid…and whenever she was in Winterfell. I was always interested in what she was working on and  often wished to become involved with her work but time was always a factor. I was very involved in the Steamlands, served as Winterfell Ambassador for two years, was (and still am) the chairman of Steampunk Explorer, was busy with my writing and there were responsibilities in my first world as well. But recently, a pleasant series of events has led to my having more time to spend inworld. And, while I still reside in Winterfell, albeit in much smaller digs than I had previously, I have now crossed into Kitely. And that is where my opportunity to work with the Trust has finally been realized.

It is a rather long story, how it all came together. In fact I have written about it elsewhere. I know Dot has put the links to that story in another thread here. I will eventually add those links to this thread as well. For now, I will just give you a link (below) to a new thread I have just started on the new Kitely Forums. It is called “Return To Devokan” and it can be used by any of you who are on Kitely and would like to contribute. And, of course, it can be read by anyone. In the initial post on that thread, you join me as I survey my new world there, called Evergreen. It is a collection of four of the Devokan Trust ages: Selenitica, Kamar, Tao and Satori. I have accepted the position of Custodian of Evergreen for the Trust. My friend, Quin Oddenfen, asked me to do so and, as I say, I have always wanted to get involved with this project.

Hmmm? Oh yes, I have known Quinquifid almost as long as I have known Dot. Quin and I get along quite well, in fact, always have. In the past, I put him up in my old guesthouse in Winterfell when he needed a place to stay. It is really quite exciting to be working with him now. Well, I don’t actually go with him when he travels. I’m usually in Evergreen, watching over the ages he placed in my care and…err…funding the operational costs  involved. But I do have the run of the place while he is away. Which is most of the time. But he does come to Selenitica from time to time and he briefs me on his activities over dinner. And he does ask my opinion and sends me on explorations of other ages at times and asks me to write a report. He does truly make me feel I am making a valuable contribution to…ah…to…whatever it is that he is doing. I mean, I know the big picture of it, “to restore what was lost” and all that. But knowing what he is actually working on at a given moment? Not so much. Sometimes though. (More often than Dot does, it seems.)

Well, I have taken up too much of your time. I just wanted to give a hello as I have just joined the Trust and wanted to introduce myself and meet others. I will post updates here in the days ahead as well as some links to my archive of past stories involving Dot, Quin, Elspeth – yes, I’ve met her too – and other things related to Devokan. (I was also glad to see Paislee in Kitely, hadn’t seen her for a while, always so nice and helpful.)

I’ll be off for now. Please do come to Kitely and have a look at Evergreen. If you see me about, do say hello. If I’m not there, I might be back in the 19th century Steamlands or away on some business in the 26th century (Firefly-Serenity) that I must tend to, or back home in Winterfell where three or four centuries are mashed up into..whatever it is you get when you mash up centuries. And yet I am so comfortable there in Winterfell, at home. I suppose that might explain why I am drawn to the Devokan ages. That and those days, long ago, spent “just being” in Myst.