Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yes, Virginia, there really was a Santa Trader

It was mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve. I was wandering through a new store, appreciatively eying a set of Penguin avatars which used clothing layers for much of their effect. As usual, the Tiny Empires HUD was in its upper corner, giving me messages every three minutes.

Then a message came up which I couldn't believe... what did it mean? A mysterious stranger, dressed in bright red, had been sighted? As the messages continued in the next few months, we found that this mysterious stranger drove a sleigh with reindeer, and that he would be available for anyone to sit on his lap.

By this time, I was laughing and enjoying the excitement. Usually jaded senses, dulled by hundreds- nay- thousands- of "same old same old" months were getting a workout on this new twist. It was a Mysterious Trader... but not the usual sort. The messages flying in the chat rooms showed that I was not alone in my speculation and appreciation.

What would this be all about? What would the outcome be?

Finally the last month came, and we met the new stranger face to face. He didn't look at me with a "piercing gaze", he had a bright twinkle in his eye. And gold? Not a breath about it. He simply wanted me to sit on his knee. That was the question it asked- "Sit on his knee?"

What did I have to lose? I said yes.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear but cheap land! It was the usual prize that the Mysterious Trader gave out... but this stranger left with a light and empty sleigh.

This happened twice more on the next day- Christmas day itself.

And from then till now, there's never been a breath about him. But I know he came, because I was there- and I caught him all three times. He never charged me anything, but the prizes were just as good as that mysterious man in the black cloak ever gives out.

But now it's coming Christmas time again. Will it happen again? I have no clue. For those of us who spend much or all of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home, on the computer, in Second Life, playing Tiny Empires... we will have a chance to find out.

But I do know one thing. Yes, Virginia, there really was a Santa Trader.


Valentine Janus said...

Yes, there is a Santa Trader. He visited our tiny new kingdom twice on Christmas Eve, which means he has pretty good maps.


Vulpine Eldrich said...

The messages started appearing one a month:

Down in the street you hear such a clatter. You spring from your chair to see what is the matter. Away to the window you fly like a flash. You tear open the shutters, and throw up the sash.

The moon shines its light on the alley below. Hundreds of candles give off a fair glow. And what to your wondering eyes is displayed? A mysterious stranger preparing to trade!

His eyes, how they pierce you! His cloak makes you wary. You can't look away, but this is quite scary! A wink of his eye and a nod of his head lets you know you have nothing to dread.

He says not a word but goes right to his work. He writes on a card with a mischievous smirk. He offers the card and a smile most kind. It's yours at no cost, should you be so inclined.
(you say yes- I would hope!)

The stranger seems happy to help you, indeed. He hands you the card and sits back as you read.
(standard wording on the card as the regular trader)

He packs up his cart, to his horse gives a shout. He rolls away slowly to follow his route. You hear him exclaim as he moves out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

He appeared twice in Caledon that we know of- once on Christmas Eve, once in the morning on Christmas Day. He appeared again Christmas evening, but as the regular trader again.