“Weave in, weave in, my hardy life,
Weave yet a soldier strong and full for great campaigns to come,”
– Walt Whitman, Weave in, My Hardy Life
Where’s the Doctor when I need him? I’m having alternate character troubles. It’s like Kairoz of Timeless Isle misplaced a batch of stones and somehow ended up creating a duplicate timeline with some small but important differences. Or, quite possibly, this is a cruel game played by Malganis on a few of Azeroths unsuspecting citizens. It couldn’t possibly be that I forgot my own lore, now, could it?
Nope! Nope! Nope!
Some time ago I decided to bench Shuanna the Paladin for good. I was almost going to delete her but she avoided such a horrible fate with a bit of intrepid interferance from commenters (and editors) of Wow Insider. Instead she was turned into a Shuannah the priest. I even updated her backstory to reflect this change of career. The priestly business – that is, leveling a “new” priest from 1-90 and eventually gearing said priest – was pretty much a run-of-the-mill experience. I have some routine when it comes to leveling, especially priests. There’s three of them (as of this moment at least). The jump from your basic TI iLvl 496 gear to something in the 500’s was fast thanks to LFR. Then … Shuanna’s story started to ebb. My big plan took a suprising new direction!
The Big Plan
Things looked really good while leveling. I dare say I broke my latest leveling record and got to 90 in something like 3 days. DoT, DoT, DoT – mindflay away. Once I had the necessary tools for LFR adventures Horridon … well, that horrid Horridon did knock me out cold but hey! I got loot. My big plan went forward in a stable and reliable pace: Turning my retired paladin into a priest, making said priest my new main. I even started the long and arduous task of rep farming. Not to mention filling up Void Storage with nice clothes.
I think the first hurdle to my big plan was the legendary questline. Once I hit the requirement for 3000 VP’s the light in the tunnel flickered, failed … and died. I just couldn’t get myself to do it, not again. I’m on the Secrets of the Empire part on my main priest – Vassannah and then there’s my warlock … trying to juggle a third character through the intricacies of the cloak questline turned into a sour lump of “mandatoriness”. I’m not particularly fond of mandatories, you know.
Upon analyzing the “problem” I came to the conclusion that I had simply played shadow priest for too long. I needed a change. So, after dabbling with a druid (wich failed) and another monk (wich also failed) I thought … Why not a paladin?
Why not indeed!
Thus Celessa was born. The youngest family member (and character no. 11; wich means no more new alts until EU-Saurfang gets connected).
I have to admit, a character brimming with looms make life a lot easier. Especially i it’s a class you haven’t touched for a very, very long time. Celessa dashed forth like a conquering hero. From Azuremyst to (as of this writing) somewhere in Pandaria. After some careful study of Icy Veins I even managed to get the rotation right. So – off she went, happily traipsing across countless bodies of murlocs and nagas and cultists and all the other deadly stuff in Azeroth. She even taught Ragnaros a lesson (after, I might add, he nearly killed her). Bad Rag! Shame on you – so, there. She stole his armor too (but alas not his hammer).
So one day, around level 86, while riding around Dread Wastes looking for ghost iron nodes and staying away from red mobs a thought occurred to me. ‘I allready have a paladin … a paladin alpha’. I wasn’t particularly serious about that thought. After all, Shuanna had been benched. She was doing good as a banker. Besides, it would mean a retcon of her backstory … and I didn’t have any decent gear for a 90
(Timeless, bank’s full of timeless)
level paladin who I hadn’t played since
(you KNOW how to paladin, look at you!”)
some unf… orseen … oh.
So here’s the conundrum. On one hand we have the PTSD-paladin Shuanna, rather comfortable in her role as a banker but with that rigtheous itch inside. On the other hand we have the carbon copy appearance Shuannah, who hung her mace above the mantlepiece and joined the priesthood. As for the story – those two are the same draenei.
But as for “main character”, I just can’t help but think that it would be more fitting to continue the adventures with the oldest character in my family, namely Shuanna. She’s the one I started with. She’s the one who leveled through Felwood in the early days of Wrath of the Lich King. She’s the one killing spiders in a statwise mismatched outfit because transmog did not exist.
Oh, she died a lot to those spiders … and later on she was the one to explore Icecrown on horseback (because she was too poor for a flyer). Yeah, she died a lot as an explorer … She’s the one I, without sounding too melodramatic, fell in love with. It’s a pity she’s a banker.
Or used to be.
The Training Facility of Molten Core
Her bank was full of TI tokens. It still is. Right now there’s a complete cloth set, a complete mail set and a complete plate set. There used to be two complete plate sets. Not anymore. You see, one of those plate sets are currently equipped by the paladin who wouldn’t rest. You saw that campfire image up top? That’s from Timeless Isle. That murderous place turned out to be not so bad at all, once she got there. You know why?
Celessa, paladin beta. I copied the rotation, I even copied the talents. Celessa was a trial run for something that was just as inevitable as destiny itself. Once I understood this I did what I always do in preparation for more dangerous tasks: I visisted Ol’ Rag.
Molten Core is a perfect place to get those skills down to muscle memory. Almost nothing can kill you (except Ragnaros knockback and, if you’re unlucky, Baron Geddons living bomb – both abilities do tons of fall damage). So off she went, partly because of the transmog items. It turned out to be a rather enjoyable training run. Fingers dancing across the keyboard like those of a concert pianist virtuoso. Elementals and Bad Bosses dying in droves. Those hounds were always as annoying but they did eventually obey their master. All of this thanks to the paladin beta, Celessa.
Ragnaros was pissed, of course. It actually got a bit dangerous. I should have anticipated the knockback but I was still a bit rusty. So Shuanna became airborne – just as Celessa during her MC run – and the fall damage was … bad. Like, really bad. It shaved off about 85-90% of my hitpoints.
It was a good thing I had Word of glory keybound.
Celessa, who will become 90 any day now, became the catalyst for what I now believe is the closure of a full circle. What remains to be done from a narrative point of view is how to come to terms with two of the same. God is in the machine, of course. And hey! If Blizzard can bring back old and forgotten warlords – maybe I can introduce an unknown twin. It’s not good writing, I know, but the Exodar Sisters isn’t a pulitzer price novel. It’s a hobby, it’s for fun.
Besides. What kind of writer would I be if I didn’t listen to my muse?
I circled around and around for a long, long time. Yet – there she was. All the time. Patiently dealing in iron bars and rugged leather, in combat pets and enchanting dusts. There she was.
Welcome back, Shuanna. Give ’em Hell!