Zed, the talking raptor

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“Greetingssss … “

Ssssss …. *coughing throaty sound*

I will try to keep my hiss..sss… ing to a bare minimum. Ah, there we are! Hello, humans. My name is Zederecatorix the Bloodthirsty. Zed, for short. Now, it may come as a suprise to some of you that I am a talking raptor. There’s a perfectly simple reason for it. I’m sure you will understand. My partner – some would call it love interest – was a bit suprised one night many moons ago when I said “thank you, kind lady” ass she dropped a fresh carcass in front of me and, so to speak, ruffled my feathers. No doubt you will be as suprised as she. The reason I can speak to you is simple:

A wizard did it.

I have often wondered why the kingdoms and realms of Azeroth don’t keep their wizards in a tight leash. There’s “mysterious mages” roaming here, “rogue wizards” roaming there – and there’s a notorious ghost of a wizard hiding in Karazhan. Yet no one bats an eyelid at this obvious threat to the very fabric of nature and reality. There’s mages and wizards of all kinds, too! Why, my partner has a sister who is a wizard, I mean a mage. Yes, some people can get very upset if you call them the wrong thing.

My partners sister turned me into a cat!

I got better.

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“Sure been to some crazy places, right … Ass?”

It happened not long after my partner had found me. Honestly, I was feeling rather peckish at the time. There’s not much to eat but scorpions and rats and the occasional orc in Durotar, you know. So when this young lady with horns turned up I decided it was time for some “exotic snacks”. Then I stared into those brilliant eyes and … well, you know. Raptors do have certain needs. I figured it would be a lot easier i I let het catch my dinner. I’m smart like that, see.

So a couple of nights later I was dozing a bit away rom her campfire. She had gone of into the dark – this was in Ashenvale. I suppose I should have accompanied her but, well … To be perfectly honest: I’m a bit lazy. I had just picked my teeth clean. There had been a particulary stubborn splinter of an orc femur stuck between my teeth. It was all part of the job, you see: Us raptors have a simple creed, once we have found someone who will fetch us dinner:

To protect and be served.

Yep, that’s me. So she dumped this deer in front of me, skinned a bit of it and cut out a good chunk of meat she grilled for herself. I can’t ever get used to people not eating raw foods. It can’t be healthy, rubbing salt and herbs on meat and then destroying it with fire. I took a bite out of the deer, chewed carefully, and said:
“Thank you, kind lady.”

I swear, she jumped three feet into the air! But she took it in stride, I have to hand it to her. Once the initial pleasantries was done away with we talked about this and that for a long time. If I were less raptor than I am I suppose I would have ended up kissing her. But, yeah you know, I let her ruffle my feathers instead.

It’s a very intimate thing among raptors. She should be honored I don’t bite her hand off. Allthough … it would be a rather stupid thing to do, no? Biting the hand that feeds you? That’s something the primitives of Un’Goro do. I don’t like that kind of raptors.

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“May I call you Ass? I’m going to call you Ass.”

Oh, we have had some wonderful adventures, me and my partner. She told me her name is Cassanna. I call her Ass (she doesn’t like it but I mean, come on! Check out that … Yeah, anyway!) I told her my complete name. She insists on calling me Zed. We are a team, Ass and me. I’m honestly grateful she crossed my path. If not I would either have ended up with a stone arrow inside me or worse – getting tamed by an orc.

I have seen the world thanks to Ass. Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms, Outland – arrakoa taste like chicken – and Northrend – and Pandaria. Of all the places we have been to I enjoy Pandaria the most. The cuisine is excellent. I never cared much for goat before. The goats of Dun Morogh are rather tough and tasteless (I guess that’s why the dearves boil their meat in beer). Other goats are just as bad. but Pandaria goats …

Excuse me if I salivate.

Fatty goatsteak. That sure put some meat on my bones! I dare say, I was twice the size when we eventually returned to a long stint of frugal living back on mainland Kalimdor. Memories of mushan ribs, goat, of saurok flesh and an occasional pandaren – that sustained me though all those dusty nights in Silithus, culling the bugs. All those night elves had to offer was cured ham. I’m not that picky with food, mind you, so I ate it, but if I have to eat another ham I’ll disembowel the next person I see. I guess Ass knew what would happen. So we relocated to Witnerspring eventually. Yeah, like that was a vacation … I mean, come on! I’m a cold blooded raptor!

I don’t like snow.

Still, someone has to pay for my upkeep I guess. If Ass needs to hunt bears in Freezerville, I’m right beside her … well, okay, five steps behind her.

The view is excellent from there.

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“Assssss… oh, ssssorry!”

Diary of a warlock

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From the diary of Sharenne the Warlock (born Gawry):

I wrote a letter to you the other day, father, a letter I never mailed. Besides, where would it be delivered to? There’s no “place of residence” for you anymore, is there – “dad”? Instead I burned it. I watched the flames eat my words – eat, as it were, my hate. It’s not that I am evil, wich I am not. It’s not that I want to hurt you (wich I want but won’t). It’s not that I wish revenge for all those time you hurt me – and more than that. It’s simpler than that. You see, father:

I want you to cry.

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Pain won’t matter. Words like, oh I don’t know, like “Do you see me now!? I AM somebody!” – that won’t matter either. You don’t care about that, do you? Sure you don’t. You cared more about yourself and your own needs than you ever cared about me. Pain is not revenge. I could kill you, I could snap my fingers and watch as Metaril, “my” Void Lord (we have an understanding), tore you limb from limb. Or I could afflict you with terrible curses, excrutiating pain, boils and venom, haunts of impending doom. I could set you on fire with the twitch of an eyelash. I could watch you burn. I could hear you scream. I could exterminate you. But no, father.

I want you to cry.

You see, the whelp grew up. Yes, the “bitch” you never fed. The “brat” one you never told a bedtime story to. The “slut” you hurt in ways I couldn’t imagine, back then. You showed me the meaning of True Power – and what I had to do to get it … It won’t matter to you. You wouldn’t understand, you wouldn’t care. While you were busy drinking with your buddies I destroyed such unspeakable evil that it would even have your silly little ghouls of Duskwood run crying back to mommy. That doesn’t matter either, I know that. Of course I know. You taught me a good deal about evil. I could call forth that ancient evil, if I wanted to. I could watch as it turned your flesh into green goo. I could listen as your soul was slow roasted over fel fire. I could destroy the very essence of your being, have it raised anew and then destroyed again. It’s within my power … something you so often told me I would never have. You called me worthless one time to many, old man. Wich is why, father …

I want you to cry.

You did one thing right in your wretched life. You sent me to cousin Gawens family in Lakeshire. Of course, you made damned sure I wouldn’t forget you first. I know that. I still bear the scars, both inside and out. If nothing else you taught me what men expect – ah, yes. I have the greatest power of all: To deny them what they want. I guess I was the only woman who didn’t have the courage to tell you to go fuck yourself. It’s hard to be ten, you know. But i grew. In years, in power, in knowledge. “Uncle” Valence taught me a great deal – things a kid shouldn’t know, of course, but that doesn’t matter now. I summoned imps while kids were busy splashing around in the lake. I read books of ancient power while kids were busy chasing each other, trying to get laid. “Uncle” did what you were supposed to do. He protected me from evil, he fed me, he read me bedtime stories, he loved me. He … forged me. That is why, father …

I want you to cry.

But I won’t. It’s too late or revenge. It’s not even worth it. You’re a miserable waste of life, you can’t even remember me. You didn’t recognize me the other day, did you? Sure you didn’t. I look upon you now and I see nothing but a pathetic collection of bones, covered by skin. You’re nothing. No pity, no remorse. You are not even worthy of my hate. So you know, father:

I want you to cry.

But I won’t make you cry. That would be to give you to much. I will deny you the satisfaction of knowing that your daughter is alive, and well, and more powerful than you could possibly imagine. Instead … I will go back to Darkshire. Instead … I will burn down your house. I will watch the flames engulf that grey cottage I once called “home”. I will set Metaril on them; I will watch as his strong blue arms of shadow rips asunder the very thing you took great pride in: The house you built, once when you were young and good and in love. I will watch as it turns to soot, the place where you drove my mother into an early grave. The house where you hurt me. The house where you taught me a valuable lesson about life: Sometimes the greatets evil isn’t a monster. Then I will spread salt upon the earth. Let nothing ever grow there, again. So you know now, father. I will get my revenge. One of these days, as the news of the fate of your rotten house slowly sinks in, as I stand on the other side of the canal, watching you beg for scraps of food, for a few coppers. One of these days I will get what I want:

I want you to cry.

I earned my wings (as people I roll with these days like to call it). I prevailed. You didn’t break me, you never will and I won’t let you. I have seen things you couldn’t possibly imagine: Ulduar in moonlight, the wailing banshees of Straholme, the secrets of Scholomance, the wonders of Pandaria and beyond. I have slain bandits and monsters, demons and Old Gods. I have killed men for less than what you asked me the other day as I walked past you; you dind’t know who I was. I have seen the magnificence of the world and despaired. I have felt pity, guilt – but most of all: Love. The very thing you did your best to destroy within me lived – and burned stronger than any flame I could ever conjure up.

I want you to die.

The Lament of Farmhand Geist – Ghouls don’t cry

“I give you fair warning before you attempt me further,
I am not what you supposed, but far different.”
– Walt Whitman, Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand

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‘Retrieved Incident Report: Naxxramas Security detail 02567. Unknown time and date (source material partially destroyed). Retrieved by Recon Team Alpha Charlie, Argent Crusade, with support from Wintergarde Garrison, 7 Legion (engineering detail), investigations completed at the fall of Naxxramas (Northrend). Report signed off: Shuanna of the Exodar etc etc, time and date: Classified.

Breach in middle section secured. Containment area still active. Intruders tracked and neutralised. Extra rations of meat met with cheers. Chief Administrator requires bones for further experiments. Residual morphic memories detected – suggested method of disposal: Burning. This order is hereby cancelled as request by [inelligible scrawled letters]-uzad. Experiment to resurrect Cat (animal) deemed more important than Geist Alpha (creature). Chief Engineer complaint overruled (Ch. Eng. body to be repurposed at convenient time).’

This is the first recollection we have of me. All of us. I like to read those few lines, jotted down on cheap paper (because the Argent Crusade thought the pen wasn’t mightier than the sword). I think this is our … my … for I am legion … This is my birth certificate. More or less.

I know the words by heart (a shriveled lump of dead tissue that once belonged to a dwarf named Hamadin; it tries to throb but it won’t but morphic muscle memory is stubborn; they filled my chest with body debris and coarse wood shavings). But it doesn’t matter if I can recite the words to anyone who asks for them. On long lonely nights I lay there in bed and read that piece of paper. I don’t know how Master got hold of it. Perhaps her sister was a good sport?

It has been a lot of lonely nights lately. I’ve been tossing and turning, trying to sleep. Now … Scourge never sleep. As such. We rather – power down. It’s like flipping the switch of a machine – we are machines, more or less – and some of us close our eyes. Others don’t. I close my eye, you know. Bonny K and Bonny M, well, they can’t close their eyes because they are skeletal constructs but anyway! We … sleep. Even an undead servant need to wind down, you know. Get som shut-eye. Charge up, that sort of thing. Most of us that am what I am likes this rest. Oh, especially Tink, she loves to sleep and relax. just like Alan the Ghoul.

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Ah, yes, perhaps I should tell you a bit of what it means to run a farm? don’t worry, it won’t take long. I will tell you in a minute what happened when Master came back. Hang out with me (as we Scourge like to joke with those who’s been lynched before we raise them).

Alan loves to tend the flowers. The Songbells, to be precise. He’s very good at it too! He keeps the birds away through his smell alone. He keeps the virmen at bay through, well, let’s say … ingenious inventiveness. Ask him what a virghoul is, I dare you!

In his own way – ghouls have a very rough and simple language not many understand – he’s told me exactly why I have to wake him up. He likes to sneak back behind the shed and … power down. you want to know why?
It’s the songbells. They … sing. The wind flows through their tiny stems and bulbs, gently shaking the fruits, and they sing. A faint, eerie sound as of tiny slivers of glass clinking. When you harvest a songbell the concentrated mote of harmony inside makes this beutiful sound, like tapping your nail on a crystal glass, very fast. Emma, my ears, like that sound. She used to be a … wassisname … ah! A hearthsinger. In Stratholme. She sang with a good friend of hers. Until He came …

(My ears don’t like to think about that.)

So the flowers makes him sleepy but he loves them. He feels … harmonious. So Alan sleeps on duty. He used to love to sleep. He’s told me he spent more time in the Wintergard brig than on look-out for Naxx. You know, some people are just like that. He was unhappy, and tired. The first years as a ghoul he spent most of his time wailing. Because, you know.

Ghouls don’t cry.

Creator, who also created Alan once the lazy peon was caught and killed (it wasn’t hard, he was afraid of death back then and still is), well – Creator was going to “repurpose” Alan. But then someone did an administrative error in the depths of Naxx and Alan ended up in “84th Inf Regt”. He was shipped off to Borean Tundra to turn mammoths and bugs. That’s how Master found him; a lowly ghoul, sleeping when he wasn’t wailing, on duty not far from the entrance to Ahn’Kahet. Master saved him, she did. Master saved us all. Gerard and “the bonny twins”, Alan and Ogrash and Fart and Stinker … all of us.

We help out around the farm now. But no one but me dares to speak to the living.

Did I tell you about my hair? Oh yes! Yes I did! It’s not actual hair. It’s a whig. A blonde whig (Tess remembers heir blonde hair; it used to turn her lovers crazy, when she lived in Eversong). So my hair is blonde. It’s a nice whig. Long strands of golden hair, spun from yak hair (not real humanoid hair!). Gina, though she pretends to dislike me, made the whig herself. Then she told me that “fashion” had changed. So one day she brought a pair of scissors and once I stopped screaming she “bobbed” my hair. I don’t know what that means. But it’s pretty.

I … love my hair. It’s … I don’t know. It’s me. I may be smelly (if I forget my mogu perfume). I may be stiff and coarse – but I. Am. Alive. Like I said, some time ago: “Life. Such as it is. Is the mogu alive, yet the do not draw breath? Is Master alive, yet she has no heartbeat? Am I alive, yet I am many?”.

Hair. Is life.

But enough of that (as the pandaren say). Let me tell you about Master. just a moment, I need to wake Alan up. Again. Prod you, ghoul! Get back to work – but don’t work too hard! Remember, Alan, you are free now. You don’t have to be afraid no more. The songbells keeps you company, friend.

(“Muuuraaaah! He-aaa! Haaa… rmony!?”)

Yes, Alan. Be safe.

(“Eeeah! Aaaurggghhh!” Mhr-haaah!”)

Ghouls are not that bad once you get to know them. Honestly!

Master’s been busy for weeks and months lately. Master’s been sad, and angry, and cruel. At one point we started to think that Master was like … Him.

But the Bad Orc far away is in prison now. There are no more battles to be ought. Master have drunk her filling of blood. But she’s been very busy even though no one has any need of an Alliance death knight no more. Bad earth talkers, Dark Shamans, caused a lot of trouble with Haohan and others not long ago. A kinfolk of Master, a draenei male, and a night elf, helped to sort it out. Mercenaries and adventurers and soldiers going home has attacked farmers and each one. So our good friend Mudmug and some other pandaren fellows asked Master if she could kill some orcs. Because it’s tuskfaces with no manners that’s usually cause a stir.

So she did.

She let our farm before daybreak and didn’t return until the wee hour of dawn. Weeks on end. I was very worried. She didn’t as much as look at the flower beds, we had to keep them tended and harvested without her help! Sometimes she was angry and tired, sometimes covered in blood. She hit us, once and again. Me and Alan and even Hossie (a hozen that was shunned by his hill-dwelling brothers and found his way to our farm, hungry and scared since there was a good silver for grabbing hozen heads; it was a daily quest for many brave hero to kill hozen,who really were just hungry – but anyway!). She never changed out of her armor. She just sat there, by a table for a while, staring at nothing. Sometimes she gently touched her locket, the one with two portraits … and sometimes she mumbled “I’m sorry, Menea, I will find you, I will find you, I am so sorry … “

She didn’t even play with Dog.

Dog was sad and afraid. We were all afraid. Alan couldn’t even sleep. As if the songbells had stopped chiming, so too were our life – such as it is for a redeemed Scourge – withering. She hit us, all of us, so many times.

Master called me a monster.

Master reminded me of that time when she had just found me. One night she brought a bundle with her – this was in Zul’Drak when we were helping trolls to survive. I was curious (because that’s how geists are!) so I ripped the bundle open and …

No, I’m not telling you what happened. Even Scourge know what pain is.

Master was “under pressure”, as Gina called it. “It’s like when harvest is in full swing,” she said one day as she combed my hair (uhm, my whig). “Sometimes you don’t have time to be polite and friendly. Sometimes people do things they regret, and you either forgive and let it be gone, Tim. Or the Sha will get you.”

Pehaps how to learn to forgive is what life is all about?

One night Master threw me out of the house, yelling in a drunken voice that “you sleep with the pigs, bitch!”. Then she broke my bed (it’s a nice bed, Mudmug fixed it up the next day while whiping away tears but it is a nice bed). I was terrified. Angry. But most of all sad. My skin crawled (my skin always crawl when I get nervous; then my arms start shaking – it’s residual memory interlapse, as my Creator called it).

Master came back one day, not long ago. A few days ago. She had been busy – so people said – on an isle that time forgot (I don’t know what it means and I don’t want to know what it means!).

This is how it happened:

Thunder rolled in from the north. The weather of the Valley has taken a turn for the worse since some year ago, there’ a lot of thunder going on even though Lei Shen – my Masters sisters helped defeat him – is no more. I have never liked thunder. It reminds me of fire – one of the things the Scourge fear more than Him.

I heard the footfalls on soggy ground outside long before she opened the door. A wind swept through the house as she did. When Master is away I keep a frostfire burning in the fireplace. Master don’t like that, but we are afraid of orange fire and blue fire won’t burn us the way the red-and-golden flames might do. I wasn’t asleep – I only pretended. I hid hal my eye under the whig, curling up under the blanket that Nice Li Li gave me (it has unicorns on it!). I peeked out thorugh strands of golden hair. Master was a shadow against the doorway, her swords drawn. She never enters a room without her weapons drawn.

Then her dead-light eyes stared at me.

We lived in fear then. I was sure she would throw me out, hur me, maybe even rip my head off. Alan whimpered and hugged a tiny little virmen he had rescued a few days earlier from drowning in the pond and the virmen squeeked with terror. It’s not afraid of Alan, it loves Alan. But it is afraid of Master.

Then Master closed the door. Then Mastes sheathed her swords. Then she sat down by the table with a sigh and then she waited for quite some time and then she said:
“I’m dead, inside and out.”

Tiny virmen snuck away from Alan and very carefully, trembling so hard its whiskers almost fell off, snuck up to the calf of Masters leg and whispered: “I have carrot, mother?” Alan very carefully shuffled out of his corner and with a scared smile placed a teracotta urn filled with moist soil and a tiny, green but gently singing, Songbell on the table in front of Master. Champs – you got to hand it to Champs, he never fails to entertain! – removed his helmet and in a skeletal wheese told a dirty poem about a hedgehog and a knob.

I just trembled.

Master sat there for quite some time. Eventually she stood up, strapped off her armor and put it in the wardrobe. She didn’t loose her swords, of course. She closed the wardrobe doors and then stared at them, for a long time, then whispered “I’m home, mommy’s home again.”

Then she went outside. We heard her splash around in the pond. I snuck up to a window and watched her standing there, in the golden light of dawn, naked, rubbing her cold body down with pumice and the sharpened leaves of Spiders Root. Caked dirt and blood, old vomit and still glowing green sludge – it fell from her skin. I don’t know where she had been, what she had fought, and I don’t care.

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Master is home again. She dressed in a blue overall. She cut her hair short using a sickle she had sharpened on a piece of stone. As daybreak came and Halfhill started to wake up with the sounds of goats and market-goers, she walked up the stairs to the porch and gave all of us a long, hard, dead look. Then, I don’t know how I could have missed it, she placed her hand on a bundle she had placed on a small wooden table right next to the door.

“I brought you a present, Tim,” Master Said. “I have been … angry. My sister says one should ask for forgiveness, because the Light forgives.” Master sighed, fingering her locket. “Maybe I don’t believe in the Light no more, but the Light still believes in me.”

Alan glanced at me. Tiny virmen twitched and found a piece of carrot. Champs hissed, he always feels uncomfortable if something can’t be hit with a sword (he has no brain, just an empty skull, cut him some slack, okay?).

I slithered out of bed. Fear kept me close to the floor. As I came close to the table close to the door I shot a glance at Master. I was certain she would hit me. It was as of old, right then, at that moment. Just a slave to someone more fortunate.

Master knelt down. My whig had gone askew as I moved. She corrected it. Then she smiled – one of those … living smiles.

I very carefully opened the bundle of coarse linen cloth she had placed on the table by the door. i took great care not to puncture the cloth with my saronite talons (nails, it’s called nails, even though they are quite long – and sharp). I grabbed the cloth and the hemp string … I pulled. As my trembling hands, part of me still sure Master would flog me, carefully removed the cloth and looked at the contents of the bundle, Master said:

“I’m not going away anymore, not for a long time. I was a fool to think I could go back and change what has been done. My home is here now, Draenor is gone. I am so sorry, Tim. I am so sorry …”

I opened the bundle. It was a dress. A pink dress. I looked at Master. Then I said, with a voice bereft of breath but it didn’t matter because at that very moment I ceased to be a geist – and became Alive:
“Master brought me a dress!”

Alan did his best to draw a picture of me, a bit later, as I jumped with joy across the fields and Dog chased me, barking like mad. Here it is

r2xefaM

It wasn’t until late that night I knew things will change, when I heard Master whisper to herself, as she sharpened her swords with slow and gentle strokes:
“All those stones the dragon asked for better be worth it.” She glanced at me, over her shoulder, smiling as my hands carefully stroked the pink silk dress: “We’re going home, geist. In a month or two …

We’re going home, at long last.”

- – – – -

Credit for Geist in a Dress-image goes entirely to commenter Razwick92, in the WoW Insider Queue, 20140829 . I asked for an image of a geist in a pink dress and I got it – in short time and all that. But I’m happy, so all is good!

In fact, this entire story depended on that very image – of a geist, in a dress. Isn’t it funny how your brain works? This story had been festering within me, I lacked an image to let it go – but no more!

Thanks, Raz!)

When worlds collide – How I met my paladin

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“This is an image. It’s believed to catch your attention.”

(Inspired by a breakfast topic on WoW Insider.)

“Right, Shu,”
“Shuanna. My name is Shuanna. Only Vass calls me Shu. And the dead one.”
“Yeah, so anyway! Welcome to Earth! Let me show you how some of us enjoy ourselves! This is how we play World of Warcraft. You ready?”
“Uh-huh.”
“Ok, this button here … ‘§’, wi… ok, you just hit the keyboard with your mace.”
“Oh.”
“Ok, uh … Right!”

*replace keyboard*

“You see that drawing on the brightly lit painting in front of you? The painting is called a ‘screen’ or ‘monitor’. It’s hooked up to this machine here, wic… oh, allright, you just dropped a holy hammer of light from out of nowhere on my computer, babe. Ouw!”

*later*

“I thought you never would wake up.”
“That mace of yours really, I mean it really hurts! Now I feel sorry for all those murlocs and ordon …”
“Phah!”
“Where’s my aspirins. Oh God, I’m bleeding from my ears. That can’t be good! Shu, call 911!”
“NINE! ONE! ONE!”
“No! Don’t call nine one one. On that … magical device. There. Press those buttons. Please, I think you cracked my skull. I can feel my brain throbbing. It hurts …”

“I didn’t hit you that hard … just, you know, a normal one. We call it a white hit.”
“I’m … going … to … fa…”

*light*

“Whoa. What the hell was that!?”
“I healed you.”
“But … What about ER? Bandages? All the stuff?”
“Eh. Light protect you.”
“So, uh … This healing thing, does it also come with a hard-on? Ouw!”
“Stop looking at my boobs, nitwit!”
“Sorry.”
“You should be.”
“They’re just, I mean … I’m a guy and … well allright, I am a feminist a–“
“What’s that?”
“What?”
“Fem… inist?”
“Oh, uh, it basically means that some people think of females as people. Other don’t.”
“Like people who stare at my breasts.”
“Yeah, exa– what? No! Ouw!”
“Oh hey, this is fun! What’s in this little yellow square. Why’d you call it ‘boring’. Oh. Ooh! Uhm … Oh.”
“Never mind that.”
“So this is how you … earthlings … procreate?”
“Uh … not exactly.”
“What?”
“Contrary to popular belief, you can’t get pregnant from a facia… Oh now I’ve done it!”
“Done what?”
“It’s on the internet now! Everyone will know!”
“Know what? That you’re a fem… inist?”
“Not quite.”
“I don’t understand this world.”
“None of us do, Shu. That’s why we kill each other because of how we look, or what we believe in.”
“I’m confused. And you don’t even have murlocs.”
“So, uh, anyway! Stop looking through my porn, you rascally paladin!”
“Oh, but this is … oh, I never done that!”
“No?”
“Well there was this blood elf who asked me once in Dalaran but I had had a heavy meal of beans a few hours earlier a–“
“Oh God … “
“What?”
“Oh nothing. Nothing at all.”
“Tauren don’t mind a bit of gas, you know.”
“Ok, you know what? I’m very uncomfortable with this topic right now, so why don’t we stick to teaaching you how to play World of Warcraft, allright?”
“Ok!”

*smirk*

“Oh my, you got a lot of these moving pictures in this … folder.”
“Shu!”
“Sorry. just curious!”
“Bad draenei!”
“Well it appears you have a thing for bad girls, mr righteousness.”
“I … uh … Anyway!”
“Oops, looks like I beat up Garrosh.”
“Wait what!?”
“Uh-huh. Oh, isn’t that sweet. He gave me a token or his gloves!”
“But … that … I … wait, was that on heroic?”
“Not sure. What does 25 HC mean?”
“Oh God … “
“Right, Im not sure who this ‘God’ is you’re praying to everytime I do something you thought I couldn’t do, so what is this … God?”
“It’s … uh … something that we humans have been fighting over for the last 3000 years.”
“Is it an old god?”
“No … not exactly. It’s just. You know. God. you know?”
“You don’t sound very smart now, I’m just saying.”
“I have an intellect of 119, thank you very much!”
“Yet you insist on staring at my breasts.”
“They’re ni– ouw!”
“Should I press this symbol?”
“Please.”
“And this line? The one? Two times?”
“Please.”
“Hi, this is Shuanna of the Exodar, Kingslayer, Firelord, Flame Warden and … excuse me? No, I do not know what ‘Russia’ is? Why do you … my accent? It’s a perfectly fine draenei – hello? Hello? Huh.”
“What ..? My head … You maced me, Shu … Help … “
“I think they … what was that you said before … ah. They hung up on me.”
“Oh God.”
“Need a light?”
“Please.”

 

*Mental note: Don’t ever let a paladin sift through your folders!*

Losing my words

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“This screenshot is here because, well, why not?”

This is a non-WoW related post. It is also a fair bit personal. In a way it could be interpreted as what happens to a draenei who end up on a different world, with a different language. But most of all it’s closer to a farmer, who once in the 19th century emigrated from Duvemåla Socken to a country far, far away.

You ready? Here we go!

I’m swedish, born and bred in what some people of the world call “paradise”. I grew up talking swedish. I learned how to read and write in swedish. I published a novel in swedish. I’ve been talking and reading and writing swedish for at least 44 years (I’m 45, btw). A year ago, give or take, I had the opportunity to be the translator of Joe Devers “Lone Wolf”-series, from english to swedish, a complete restart of the Lone Wolf-brand for a predominantly swedish market, for the first time since the late 1980’s. Needless to say I jumped on this opportunity.

I’ve been reading english on one monitor and writing swedish in another monitor for more than a year now. There’s a lot of Lone Wolf-material to be translated. At first I didn’t even think about it – but this is probably something that has been … growing on me. For years.

I’m starting to loose my native language.

Case in point: I’m doing this rather personal blog post in english, a language that should be foreign to me. But it isn’t. In fact, I have an easier time writing this than I have working on a personal project, a novel, in swedish.

I love words. I’m in love with the word. I have always been. When other kids tried their hardest to be a part of the soccer team (or the thug squad), I was deep in thought figuring out Tolkien, le Guin, Lovecraft and Strindberg. When other students tried their hardest passing the math test, I ditched class and hung out at the library (yeah, that wasn’t smart but insanely fun). I started writing “creatively” when I was seven. Writing kept me alive, in a very real sense, all through a teen chased by bullies and later on – through a terrible time of suicidal depression.

Writing keeps me alive.

But here’s the thing: Up until now I have never ever experienced this feeling of … lostness. I have lost my native language. Words that once came to me like flies to a heap of dung (well okay, I’ve never been great with metaphors) now are … lost. Or at the very least reluctant.

Swedish words, that is.

More often than not as I write I find myself writing a word in english, before I delete it and then write the same word – in swedish. Sometimes. not always, I actually have to try to remember what the word is – even though I know it, in my mind, in my very bones.

My bones talk english.

This is what scares me. I have never ever set foot in either Great Britain or the US, or any other english speaking country, yet english feels more native to me than my native language. Have I lived in a virtual english-speaking world so long that I have become an involontary immigrant to one or more countries I have never visited outside the internet?

Truth be told, I believe that is so. I’m losing my roots. My language. I’m starting to feel like Wilhelm Mobergs character Karl Oskar Nilsson, från Duvemåla Socken, who in the 1850’s emigrated to Amerika och såsmåningom changed his name to Charles Nelson. A man who didn’t “lade in veden”, but “puttade in veden” (as his wife Kristina put it).

The section above is exactly like my brain functions, right now. I’m glancing at, and listening to the lines of, an american movie on one monitor as I write this. I’m flipping over to a text in swedish (a daily newspaper) from time to time. The news article is about a certain right wing party in Sweden. In another tab another article, this one in US english, is open – that one is about the things going on in Ferguson.

Here I am, not knowing what language I should interpret the information in. At times I have to stop and look up am english word, what it means in  swedish, a word that I know the meaning of – because I … well, not actually forgot … but hesitate … What does it mean in swedish? Some five years ago I woul have done the exact same thing for an english word.

This … worries me. In a sense. Yet, in some strange way, it also comforts me. Because while I might loose one language, I’m gaining a new one – and maybe I can fuse the two together because one can never truly loose the native language.

But I am a little bit worried. Here’s a fun fact, by the way: I did write that as “lil'”. I guess I’ve listened to too many americans. I am worried for my words. It’s not nationalism – I am not the nationalistic kind. It’s more of … well … heritage. Honor. In a very metaphysical way it feels as if I’m letting my parents down. They taught me to speak, think and read in their native language. Yet here I am – a digital immigrant. I’m a man who in a sense does exactly what Charles O Nelson, near Kitchisaga Lake in Minnesota, a man born in Duvemåla Socken, Sverige, once did.

I’m losing my native words.

To save a life

“You’re not gonna die on me now, blue!”

The most amazing thing in all of her long, long life, was this. The one thing she hated most saved her life. The Light moves in mysterious ways.

“You’re not ordered to die, bitch!”

He pushed. Hand firm on her breasts, pushing, pushing, pounding with fists when the pushing wasn’t enough. Spit and saliva hung like tendons from his lower lip, allready half frozen in the cold, cold Icecrown wind. Undead everywhere around them. Screaming gryphons closing in. Talons. Dead meat raining down. Smoke in her eyes. Maraad screaming about securing the EZ.

“You little maggot, you’re no paladin, you’re a useless piece of fucking scum! I should let the maggots take care of you!”

Pushed.

“Come o-ooon, baby!”

Pushed.

“Please? Don’t die on me now. Please, oh Light! Hear this one prayer! Forgive me my trespasses and the misdeeds of my people! Save! This! ONE!!!”

Pushed.

“Come on! Don’t die on me now, draenei. Not after what we’ve been through.”

Pushed.

“you saved me, you did! So don’t you go and die on me now you c… Live, damnit!”

Pushed.

“Bitch, one breath! All I’m asking! One fucking breath!”

Pushed.

“She’s a goner, mate,” another voice, a human voice. A tired voice, used to seeing death. “Let her go, others need you.”

“No!”

She heard them, but couldn’t move. The poison was running and burning in her veins, paralyzing her. Fragments of fleeting imagery through her brain; the fall of Karabor, her first kiss, the burden of guilt as they left Draenor, sex in Dalaran, a drunken brawl back to back with Ramash the Redeemed, the wall of death closing in … a darkness, as a fog, rolling down from the frozen Throne, blanketing her, blanketing them all. Even Fordring. The voice:

“You thought you could defeat me? You though you cought cheat me? Behold now, the eternity of you being!”

Then …

She couldn’t remember Then. From that moment of coming darkness to this moment of green fists pounding her chest, ripping her shirt open and showing her breasts to whoever was watching, everything was blank. not black, not white, not even grey. Just blank – an absolute nothingness.

At that moment, she knew there was no Light. She had fallen. Perhaps the Lich King had won, after all.

“Wait … “

This small, viscious voice. Harsh and hoarse as if spoken through a throat that had not used words for many, many years.

“Let me near … her.”

Slipping away into nothingness, she was barely aware of what happened. She heard a hoarse snicker. She heard someone mutter “monster”. She heard Ramash roar with rage – then slam both of his fist into her chest, screaming ancient orcish curses and prayers. But she wouldn’t live.

“Her soul … is still … here.”

That voice.

“She’s still alive. Ah, yes, I can taste … her will. She’s clinging, like a spider to a wall. Aaww, how sweet.”

Those careful fingertips on her naked face, as the legs of a centipede.

“There’s still hope. But for what price?”

Those hands caressing her breast. That faint, gasping snicker through pursed lips, cracked with the thirst for what she was clinging to – life.

“Let me have … I mean let me save her … “

Another voice:

“You’ll own her, you will, I know your rituals, warlock!”

The first voice:

“Tell me, lord … What would you ask of death?”

“I should cut you down right now!”

“Oh, really? And who would save your precious kingslayer then, lord … Fordring?” A snicker, cold as deaths embrace, echoing as the voice of darkness. “This crying orc, infatuated with that wich he can never have? This draenei vindicator, lost in his own eternal pride? These … humans ..? They are scared of their own shadows after what they’ve been through! Who, I pray, would save her now, but someone who has cheated death? Perhaps we should call for a death knight, would you like that, lord … Fordring?”

“Then do what you must!”

So she did.

The Big Sleep – or head canon boost to 90

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Sometime later after Chromie scared the light out of Ravennah, she ran into a goblin peddling his rocket taxi services in Light Hope Chapel. For reasons that soon will become clear he talked her into a “great deal, the deal of your lifetime, dollface!”.

Yeah, uh, why don’t we let Rave tell it – in her own, charming way.

- – – – -
That [foul eredar word], that dirtbag, that panhandling damned [foul eredar word]! Oooh I should have listened to sis I should, Zavvie that is, she kinda ran into a gobbo in Booty Bay once. Forcefed him with a treasure map too she did. Green little devils, all of ‘em. Yeah ok, that’s not fair. Soem of ‘em are devils.

The rest is damned mother-[foul eredar word].

There’s no bloody houses in Silithus! Just bugs, and dust, and more bugs, and scorpions, and more dust, and more bugs. Oh, and cultust … cultists. Ran into a few of ‘em, they tried telling me the end was night or something … nigh. Yeah, that the word.

So I ended them. Damned loudmouthed [foul eredar word]. Sure learned something now, din’t I? Never trust a gobbo, honey. Once they stopped staring at your ass they’ll sell you the moon. Or parts of it.

The elves were cool though. And the tauren were friendly. Copule’o dwarves too, and some crazy human in a cave was pretty kind to me. So, uh … yeah, ok. Aight, ‘s like this ok:

No fucking (that’s a human word, I think it has wassaword Urk used when he tried deepfried worm meat ah, spice) houses in Silithus. Din’t even know where the bloody place was. Had to ask my way from Gadgetzan and it was like, well, like this kinda:

“I want to go to Silithus.”
“Nah you want, dollfa– aaauwww!”
“Sweet broken valves! You killed him!”
“Shoun’t call me dollface shoun’t he not.”
“Uuuh … “
“Ok, you just killed him a little bit.”
“Uuh … Who am i?”
“Brixx, Brixx.”

I kinda laughed there and said something like “that [foul eredar word] is punched out!”. That din’t go down well lemme tell ya. So the next day when they let me out of the cell – not sure what their problem is – I asked around again. Everybody was very nice. Go figure. Ah aight, dey not like my sis, y’know. Sis Vassie that is. Something about her running aorund Booty Bay beating up people just so some pirates would like her or something. Insane in the membrane, if you ask me.

So anyway, it kinda went better tho. I got like ten gallons of water n’ then they just pointed west and told me to get the hell out of Gadge. So I did. Funny thing tho, way out west there’s this giant hole in the world! Un’Goro, funny name eh? I tried finding a way down but eventually I had t odo some pretty impressive climbing. Then dodging. A lot of dodging! Oh man! Deres dinos down there! Huge ones! n’ nasty flowers too!

Kinda ran into a worgen n’ a tauren down there. They showed me a … camp. Or village. Marshal something. Got a gnome to guide me to a road up to Silithus. Good thing that crater-hole was full of streams, allthough I did kinda feel funky from drinking it.

But there’s still no damned houses in Silithus! No beach, no restraurant, no nothing! If I ever find that damned gobbo he’s in for a helluva suprise. Anyway, I was kinda broke when I got there so I picked up some cash work. I never knew elves paid good solid silver for human heads, but hey – it’s a big world. Now, I know elves are cool and all but y’kno’, I wonder what the hell they’re doin’ with all those buf saliva glands I grabbed?

Yuck.

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Eventually a human kinda grabbed hold of me and told me I should really do my bit “for the Alliance”. So they ported me to Blasted Lands. Aight, I’m no porting person ok? So I kinda ended up sprawled on the floor, puking. Was in no shape to do much y’kno’. So this innkeeper or quartermaster or something helped me up, handed me a drink and …

whoa.

Last thing I remember before the room stopped spinning was someone sayin’ “sweet crystals, never seen anyone down eight Nethergarde Bitter in less than an hour!”

When I woke up I had this strange feelin’ that I had the experience of a lifetime. Like I was 90*.

- – – – -
*: Ravennah is parked at level 60, she’ll remain there until I have a pre-order, then it’s boost time. While I do enjoy leveling it has become a fair bit tedious lately. Bring on the Iron Horde – a foulmouthed monk is ready to kick some ass.

Oh blasted, I need to snag the “Brawler” title. It would suit her just fine.