Princess of Chakryn Forest

What happens when a beautiful forest sits on the brink of destruction?  In the make-believe world of fairy tales and Japanese anime, a magical princess comes to save the day, of course!

The inspiration for today’s story and photo comes from the anime movie “Princess Mononoke,” produced by Studio Ghibli (the same group responsible for the anime about a little girl who transformed into a Neko in “The Cat Returns“).

Princess Mononoke is a story about the struggle between humans who seek to strip the land of its natural resources, and the supernatural guardians of the land itself.  In the movie, a magical forest is inhabited by sentient wolves, boars, forest gods, and other unusual creatures, including intriguing little white sprites called kodama:

Where might a virtual Neko Princess seek to reenact this anime in Second Life?  In the lovely Chakryn Forest… replete with magical creatures, mystical trees, and softly lit moon-bows (built by the very talented Andrek Lowell).  Within moments of arriving, it was as if the storyline of the anime was meant to magically unfold of its own accord, with the unexpected arrival of two distinguished wolves, Charity and Tobe.

In the story, Princess Mononoke (or ‘San’ as she was called by those who truly knew her) had been adopted and raised by wolves, giving her a great affinity and respect for all creatures of the forest.  Thus I was more than happy to overlook my feline biases in honor of the anime’s story, and join my fine furry friends in a convivial canine cuddle. Tobe responded with untoward kindness by offering gifts from his saddlebags, while countless mutual ear rubs, claw comparisons, group yowls, and merriment was had by all.

Soon however, my new Canis Lupus and Rufus friends were ready to depart to more important wolf matters (perhaps to fight in the final battle against the pillaging humans from Irontown in the anime…).

Left to my own devices, I spent the rest of the moonlit night wandering the ancient forest — my fine hearing noting the whisper of hawk wings above, the gentle roar of a waterfall below, and the creak of an old rope swing off in the distance — all the while pondering the underlying message in the anime:

In our world today, the impacts of deforestation are no fantasy.  Rainforests once covered an estimated 40% of our globe; today they amount to approximately 6%, with roughly 1.5 acres of forest lost every second.

And it’s not just the loss of trees… nearly half of the world’s plant and animal species found in these forests are either at risk, or on the brink of destruction.  Scientists estimate that we’re losing approximately 137 plant, animal, and insect species every day due to rainforest deforestation.

Considering that a great number of prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources, yet 99% of rainforest trees and plants have never been tested for their potential uses in medicine, the impact becomes clear:  As these species disappear, so do many possible cures for diseases.

What Can a Globally Conscious Neko (or Human) do?

Recycle everything you can (including your cat food cans).  Reuse as many items as possible (plastic tubs, paper bags, mouse traps).  Don’t use electricity when your arms (or a mouse) will do the job.  Install water-saver shower heads and toilet controls (oh wait, we Nekos hate water, no worries here).  Don’t drag the toilet paper roll all over the house (I know it’s fun, but it’s wasteful).  Turn down the heat and wear a sweater.  Pull weeds rather than using chemicals (okay okay, make the *humans* pull the weeds).  Or to quote the “Save the Rainforest” website:

- If you are thinking one year ahead, sow seeds.
– If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant trees.
– If you are thinking one hundred years ahead, educate people.

All joking aside, no matter how beautiful the forests of Second Life, all of these steps and more will help ensure that the future holds more than just virtual forests like Chakryn for us to explore.

Neko Princess Outfit Worthy of Chakryn Forest:

| Hair | Novocaine: Leona
| Dress | Evie’s Closet: Isolde
| Forehead | Inca Temple: Vanima Tari Elven diadem (the above photo doesn’t do this gorgeous piece of jewelry justice until you see it in person)
| Jewelry | Curious Kitties: Flower Necklace
| Shoes | Maitreya: Grace Heels in White Pearl

| Wolf Avatars | Lost Furest Creatures (in gratitude to Charity and Tobe; though if you keep climbing the tree, following the wooden “Lost Creatures” signs, you might find something of interest for Nekos…)

Excerpts from the Princess Mononoke anime:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg2DxcS4ZIU

Visit Chakryn Forest in Second Life:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Chakryn/114/123/21

Buy a Virtual Tree in Second Life and Help a Real Rainforest:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Second%20Chance%20Trees/143/93/23

Learn More About Rainforests and What You Can Do to Help:
http://www.savetherainforest.org/

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2008
http://virtualneko.com

=^..^=

~ by Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko on October 14, 2008.

13 Responses to “Princess of Chakryn Forest”

  1. [...] What happens when a beautiful forest sits on the brink of destruction?  In the make-believe world of fairy tales and Japanese anime, a magical princess comes to save the day, of course!  Find out more about this story, beautiful forest, and princess outfit… all on my Virtual Neko blog… [...]

  2. OMG!!!! Mononoke Hime!!! i can’t believe it, i had seen Totoro, even i bought its outfit, but this!!! i must visit it :D

    Thanks for the wonderful post ^^

    Cheers!!

    Ake.S.

  3. Oh wow that forest looks awesome! and I have a lost feral wolf myself. I must check it out. I love your blog, I’m a shapeshifter (furry, neko, quad [tiger, wolf], dragon (adult and hatchie), tiny (otter, bunny).

    I love your blog cause you tell of cool places to vist and where to buy the stuff your wearing. Very helpful for me and wil pass it on because i’m an SL mentor.

  4. Hi Stacia… What ravishingly beautiful photographs and what a great story! The ONLY thing I would add to your story is the name of the creator of Chakryn Forest: Andrek Lowell.

  5. Consider it done Bettina… thank you for pointing that out! ^_^

  6. What a lovely post, thank you.

  7. Those pics are really gorgeous, especially the first one. Not sure I ever visited Chakryn. The name definitely sounds familiar. I’ll stop by there sometime soon.

  8. Thanks for all the compliments everyone! Anya, even if you’ve been there before, it’s such a peaceful place to return to. The first and last photos are by Bobby… I agree… he is very talented. ^_^

  9. [...] forgot — here’s another totally beautiful place: Chakryn Forest (A blog post with [...]

  10. I love the waterfall it’s so awesome. It looks…. MAGICAL (lol idk) ;D
    cya

  11. lovely one…………………:)

  12. i like this tail very much

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