Patrice recently finished a terraforming job on Forrest, a Gorean sim. The job was a forest (no pun intended) and hideout for a band of panthers. In Gor, panthers are fighting women, always needing to be on their guard to avoid capture by men who want to enslave them.
If you don't know already, Gor is a role-playing (RP) sim in Second Life. Actually, Gor is a role-play in First Life and probably in several virtual worlds other than SL. It is based, more or less faithfully (less in SL, it seems), on a series of fantasy novels by John Norman. I have never read the books, but I've learned some of the basics. Gorean men consider women to be worthy only of slavery, mainly sexual slavery, and supposedly men and women find their true selves through this relationship. The men, and panthers, fight battles using primitive weaponry of roughly Roman Empire vintage—swords (men only), bows and arrows, spears, and knives. There are free women in Gorean cities who fill particular non-slave roles, but basically women are either slaves, called kajirae, or panthers, struggling to remain free.
SL is a role play for me already, to some extent, so I have not sought out further role play. Patrice used to be a panther. The terraforming work she did was for her former chieftess. She left Gor for a couple of reasons. On the one hand, she got terribly bored with the politics, with the endless wranngling over rules and petty grievances. On the other hand, she got so caught up in the fighting that she felt things were getting out of balance. She'd be up at three in the morning to help her sisters ward off an attack.
I took this photo when I was visiting Forrest to see Patrice's work, in role-play costume but wearing my "visitor" tag so as not to be captured. The dagger in a sheath on my right leg is just part of the costume. Unlike Patrice, I am unarmed, and would be a rank amateur at fighting even if I were armed.
I must admit to a certain fascination with Gor, at least with some aspects of it. For one thing, panther outfits rock! Kajira outfits—silks—are even more overtly sexy. Even Gorean free women have good costumes—well, except for the veils. I'm not much on fighting, but I would like to learn how, and using this kind of weaponry is more appealing to me than learning to fight in a modern RP like Midian. And even the idea of being a kajira is both repulsive and intriguing at the same time. A good master or mistress (SL Gor has female slave owners as well) can create a potentially interesting relationship. If you're going to be owned, you want to be owned by someone worthy of running your life. I know a man who apparently is that ideal master—one who loves and cherishes his kajira. Unfortunately, from what I've heard, he is a rare bird in SL Gor.
I am going to try to learn how to fight in that style, perhaps outside Gor, since Patrice's panther sister Govindira, who would be a good teacher, has also resigned. I have thought of putting on my badge and exploring the library at Port Kar. And if I ever lose Patrice or otherwise hit some really bad patch, I might even consider "begging the collar" from my friend (although he seems not to be in world much these days), or taking my chances on finding a good master or mistress, perhaps even fighting bravely before that. It might be interesting and challenging, at least for a while. Or it might be a colossal bore! Either way, it would probably be something I could justify as a learning experience.