Casualty of War – Wodans Story

WoWScrnShot_112815_062915“Dey be havin’ a dog up dere, boyo, re’mber?” He grabs the head between his hands. “Ye not goin’ sleepin’ on me now, are ye?” He slaps that pale face. There’s just the smile, facial muscles drawn back, showing teeth. Then the barely audible words:
“Not like this … ”

Wodan rolled over in bed, opened his eyes and couldn’t quite remember where he were. For a few seconds the face of a human in a trench at the Iron Front lingered in front of his eyes. Then the nightmare was over. Then the room came back. The stone walls adorned with animal skins. The fireplace, big enough to drive a steamtank through. The desk, the cupboard, the bearskin on the floor. A clutter of stone- and porcelain figurines. Hulma collected them. Some of those figurines came all the way from Lordaeron and would probably sell for three or four chests full of gold. They weren’t rich, not even well off, she had “collected” her figurines the way adventurers do. Yet they never even thought about selling them, even if every week was a struggle. Some things are simply too precious, be it love or tiny little unicorns some long forgotten human artist once crafted before the Scourge came and claimed them all.
Somewhere outside a shrill gnome voice shouted“Bread from tha ovin! C’ome n’ get it fre-eesh!”. Then he saw Hulma, sitting on a chair next to their bed, holding his hand.

“Wh’e’am’I!?” He struggled to sit up, at first he couldn’t but then he did. He sighed deeply. “Muradin’s beard, lass. That was a bad one ’twas.”
“Come now, my lil’ murogh ram, come now … ” she leaned over and kissed him on the sweaty scalp. “Ju’s a ‘mare, love. Tea’s reddy.”
“Aye,” he said, and swallowed hard. “Jus’ a mare. Tea?”
“‘t’ill be mornin’, love. ye slept for two days ye did. Had to help ye with the chamber pot. Jus’ piss, nuthin’ solid. Ye were drunk as a skunk when ye came ‘ome, love.”

He blushed, slumped down back into bed and wasn’t sure if he should hide under the blankets or cry. He closed his eyes – just for a second. Then he opened them, gasping. Because it was there. Everytime he closed his eyes he saw the tusks, less than an inch from his face. Everytime he closed his eyes he saw the froth, tinged with blood and fel. Then he plunged his sword into flesh and pushed the fel orc away.

Even with open eyes, sometimes you won’t escape the images. As he lay there in bed it all came crashing back, tea or no tea waiting.

“KILL YOU!!! KILL YOU!!!”

A brute of an orc, jumping right across the trench. The monster came down with a thump right in their midst. Wodan threw himself clear of the clutching hands but Duncan was too slow.

Then the rangari arrows came, blotting out the sky. Then there was an almost naked draenei woman, falling from Light knows where, slamming a crystal mace into the orc, screaming incoherently. Wodan saw a black panther dart off into the sky, magical energies trailing behind, roaring like a wilderbeast. Then the orc was dead. The draenei spat blood, turned her fierce white eyes on Wodan and roared. He had never heard such a voice. It was feral, almost like a demon.

“KILL ‘EM ALL!!! KILL ‘EM ALL!!! DEATH!!! DEATH!!!”

Her voice broke on the last syllables. Then she ran away across the battlefield, brilliant light engulfing her, the ground ablaze with holy power. He saw Gul’Dans minions burst into white flames, screaming as they ran and ran … and died.

She slaughtered them all. Reveling in it. Hate incarnate.

“Light have mercy,” he mumbled.
“Woody!” There was a painful shriek. “Woody help!” Then Duncan, fifteen years old, no taller than Wodan, was twitching, twitching, twitching … shitting himself.

“Mom! Mommy!”
“It’ll be ar’ite laddie, healers be here any secon’.” He cradled the boy, trying to stem the bloodflow with his hands but it kept pumping out. “’tis not so bad, fix’er rite up for sure!”
“Mom … Mom!?”
“Ye frem Goldshire, ain’t ye?”
“Yeah … It hurts … ”
“Look at me laddie!”
“It’s so cold … Mummy!?”
“”Dey be havin’ a dog up dere, boyo, re’mber?”
“I … Mom? Mommy?”
“A dog, laddie! Ye not goin’ sleepin’ on me now, are ye?”
“Not like this … ” Then his eyes stopped moving. He kept the smile, facial muscles.
“Dun! Dun! Dun boyo! D’ent ye give me the zee now, boy! Dun! DUNCAN!!!”

For some reason he chuckled, laying there in his bed in Ironforge. It wasn’t a pleased chuckle, more like a sound somewhere between a gasp and a cry but it came out as a laugh. He turned his head to Hulma, smiling even though he wasn’t sure if it was joy or fear that made him grin. For a few moments Duncan lingered in the corner of his eye – so was the draenei woman. The crazy one. Then it came to him – he knew her.

“’twas the commander, love,” he said, wiping sweat from his face with both of his palms. “Ye know the tech them etereal or whatcha call ’em ‘ave. She was wearing green she was. One crazy cunt that one, you jus’ don’ wanna know.”
“Was it bad?”
“Aye … ” He sighed deeply and sat up, heaving his legs out of the bed. “’twas very bad, love. Not forgettin’ nothin’, not.”
“Ye shoul’ talk to the priest, love.”
“Phah!” He grunted. “Whatch’er can do, eh? Can’t erase me mem’ry can she?”
“Ye can’t bottle it up, love. Ye know me uncle, yeh?”
“Me not crazy, lass!”
“Ye will be ‘f’yer not talk to some’un.”

There are defining moments in everyone’s life. Wodans moment happened right there. He stood up, feeling the blood heating up his face. He pulled back his left arm and was about to swing, palm first, when he just froze. He saw her eyes widen, her mouth drop in a shocked “oh!”.

He ran across the room, crouched up in a corner and hid behind his own arms, desperate not to cry – but he did. Retching, deep, shaking screams through tears and snot.

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“I we’nt be free of this, will I?” he said at long last, looking up at nothing, seeing not Hulma but an almost naked draenei, shimmering in front of him.
“No,” she said.
“Then me done for … ”
“Love?” Hulma, her voice low, almost subdued. Yet she reached out with a hand and very gently stroked his beard and head. “It’ll be a’right, love … ye get some tea first, then we go to the priest, yes?”
“Aye … ” he nodded, lowering his arms even though he still wanted to hide. That terrible, terrible visage of an almost naked draenei was still lingering in front of his eyes. “Aye, roe, y’er right, like always.”
“In the light … “the phantom draenei slowly faded away, giving a wink and a smile. “we are one.”
“Ye think I’ll be a’right someday, don’ ye?”
“Aye.”
“’twas a terrible war, roe.”
“War will always be here,” she smiled, leaned close and kissed his lips, dry from fear and panic. “Love will always be here. Ye live with either one but not both of ’em.” She leaned her forehead against his. “I be rite at ye’ side, me murogh ram. Rite at ye side.”
“Ye know sum’thin, lass?”
“What?”
“Sometimes, ye don’t have ta die to be a casualty of war.”

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Dear WoW Insider

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You taught me something important: You’re a part of this game. Once upon a time there was a very nervous boy who listened to the 1337s. The nervous boy did his best to copy what he read but no matter what he did things rarely worked out. Elitist Jerks was an awesome forum. The knowledge hidden within the sometimes patronizing posts was an absolute goldmine – but the way it was presented scared the nervous boy.

You’re either on top of the game or you’re nothing.

One day, the nervous boy was eating a kebab. He clicked around here and there and somehow he ended up on a site he had never even heard of. He had gone to Thotbot, he had gone to the Official Forums, he had gone to sites that made his antivirus yell “OH NO YOU DON’T!!!”. The site he ended up on was one of those buddies that your mother would be proud of. My, she would give them milk and cookies. This site, had in its comments and articles a simple message:

You’re a part of this game.

That’s how I met WoW Insider. This was years ago. I started playing World of Warcraft around 2008. As many others, I looked upon the people in their shiny armors straight out of whatever raid that was current. As many others, I thought ‘this is what I have to do’. As many others, I soon realised that I would never become what Those People were. I don’t function that well in ‘team sports’. I blame high school (but that’s a completely different story).

As many others, I thought I had to be hostile to play this game. I read comments all over the place in the years to come, somehow trying to convince myself to become a “raider”. The problem was, I had no friends in this game of ours.

Wow Insider changed that.

Before WoW Insider, I read MMO Champion, Wowhead, the forums, Elitist Jerk (again). Over and over I saw the same thing: 1337. The one thing all those sites except WoW Insider taught me was:

You’re either on top of the game or you’re nothing.

I’m used to being nothing. I’ve been a nothing all my life. I’m so fucking 1337 at mediocricy you can’t touch me. I was complacent with being the one who never went into a dungeon until I was 80 and could roflstomp everything unless it was current content. I got the Kingslayer title less than a year ago, just to give you a pointer at how I play.

Now, see … the introduction of Dungeon Finder and later Looking For Raid, LFR, changed things. But more importantly – WoW Insider changed my mindset. I realised, from the multitude of people commenting, usually in the Queue, that I didn’t have to be All – or nothing. I could be something, because there’s room for everyone in Azeroth. Which, of course, is solely Blizzard Entertainments idea – and a mighty fine idea it is!

But this post is not about Blizzard (even though WoW Insider wouldn’t even exist without World of Warcraft). This post is about WoW Insider. I stumbled upon them years ago, in 2008 or -09. For several years I simply lurked. People just knew so damned much! All that knowledge was, well, intimidating. Between the in-depth articles on warriors and lore and raiding and whatnot, there was a simple message hidden:

You’re a part of this game.

Over time, I started to realize that you didn’t have to be 1337. There were so many people playing this game we love, this hobby of ours, this internet dragon-killing philatelists society (before the internet people who collected stamps were wieved, buy some, as just as weird as we are). This outpouring of ordinary people investing time in something they cherished and felt was important was simply astounding. I had’nt realised how big it was, World of Warcraft, until I came across WoW Insider.

Hardcores, casuals, trolls, lurkers. Moms, dads, singles, couples. Hetero, bi, gay, trans. Vanillas, doms, subs, switches. Girls, boys, women, men. Dads, mothers, grandparents. Brothers, sisters, cousins, strangers. Haters, lovers, poets, warriors. Soldiers, oh so many soldiers; americans, brittish, french, swedish. Europeans, americans, south americans, asians. Englishmen, britons, russians. Dragons, ponies, giffers, orcs, draenei, belves, nelves, goblins, dwarves, worgens, inquisitors, Monty Pythonists, pop culturists … on and on and on and on.

Humans. All of you. Humans. THIS is WoW Insider. In the Queue following the news of AOL rumors, people started posting selfies. The orcs and the trolls and all the avatars had faces. I rarely get so moved that I burst into tears from something I see on the internet, I have the often spoken of “thick skin”, but dammit!

Without the staff none of this would be possible. We commenters would not be the band of brothers (and sisters) that we are without you, the WoW Insider staff.

Rossi, with your passion for warriors you made me fall in love with this game (fuck man, you made roll a warrior! Several times!). Sacco, though you left WoW Insider – you talked to me. Stickney, Ziebart – all of you: You talked and still talk in a way that I, a nervous boy, can listen to. You’re like that great teacher I had, the one that actually made me who I am. You have never patronized me. You have never trolled me. you have always stated the facts. You have had the courage to stand up for what you believe in – be it the state of the warrior or some other more volatile opinion. You have improved me, I dare say – you, and all the commenters of your site, has made me a better person.

WoW Insider showed me that there was more to World of Warcraft than killing internet dragons. You showed me, through personal editorials and comments and the multitude of various posts you did before the cutbacks a year or two ago, that behind the gamer there is a person. You have a tone of personality, of intimacy, that I have never seen anywhere else. Food recipies, beer brewing bravado, how to loose weight or else it might kill you – all of that played an equal part in me simply falling in love with “your” site. The fount of lore knowledge you all possessed was a gateway to just how big this game is! Blizzard themselves couldn’t do a better job presenting lore as you did, WoW Insider. There’s been many nights that I’ve been fighting a desire to sleep, just to catch your podcast. Time zones be damned!

I made myself public on WoW Insider around 2010. That’s when I started commenting. Just a few things here and there. At first I was … well, bit of a jerk, I think. I can’t remember, honestly. I didn’t post any comments on a regular basis until you integrated with Twitter (whenever that was). That’s when I started taking off. Over time, I started to develop a sort of friendship with some of WoW Insiders regular commenters. I live half my life on the internet. Most of my social life is virtual. You, you guys and gals, you are my friends, though we have never met.

Thank you, WoW Insider, for making this possible.

This is not the end. I’m sure your fanbase – and your connections – are working on a solution. You are a pillar of the WoW Community and if you fall, there will be dark days ahead. So let’s end on a WoW related paraphrase:

There must always be a WoW Insider.

#savejoystiq #savewowinsider

Others on the fate of WoW Insider: Sportsbard , World of Matticus , FecklessLeader , Apple Cider Mage , Captain Cakewalk , Growing up in Azeroth , Battle Pet Round Up , Lib Feathers and many more to come when I find them.

If Ingemar Bergman was in charge of Draenei lore

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“Daddy, when will the Legion fall?”

“Soon … ”

“You said that five planets ago.”

“You eat your brocoli now or the legion will get you!”

“Mom?”

“Yes, hon?”

“Does the Legion eat brocoli?”

“No, dear … The Legion eats little children who don’t eat their veggies.”

“Mom?”

“Yes dear?”

“My friend Laurie, she’s human, she says adults are not supposed to scare kids … ”

“Oh look! THERE’S A PITLORD BEHIND YOU!”

“Nah, it’s just gramps with an orc mask.”

“Husband dear, we should never have aquired this Haloween thing …”

“There will be no more treats on Draenor. Only tricks.”

“Big Sis used to talk about the tricks she turned in Dalaran when she was down on gold, pa.”

“We. Do. not. Talk. About. Her.”

*silence*

“Pass the salt, please?”

Life on the Streets, part I.

Editors note: Cahanna of the Exodar did her very best at transcribing the “street talk” of young men and women in Stormwind, Ironforge, Darnassus, the Exodar and Dalaran. These are the verbatim notes of her research, part of a thesis “Streets of the Alliance”.

This is presented as is. The Stormwind – and indeed the Alliance – streets has a language of their own. It’s hard to follow, but one who knows where to look can see further. Let the wise men and women decipher the truth.

Please note that High King Varian Wrynn declined to comment on the section below.

– – – – – –

Subject 1: Steve (Stephan, last name unknown, nickname Sloopy, Sloppy Steve, Uther ada Street, aged 14, male human orphan, place of birth – likely Goldshire, place of residence – Stormwind):

Ya gotta yella? No yella? Guckya then goatii! Kay ya noda arcane so kay I talk jusdonna urt me kay! Plese, some yella? Shinie go too, kay? No’opper, kay. Aint no Mcnab amma not amma Breaker Boie! We rula da cueee’ere ya’ere!? Yella, oneofem cool magics, ya ma frin’no. So I speek kay? We cool yeh? Yeh!

So yeh. Anway. Life on da streets, dey call it. Tha high-upp’rs yanow we call ’em. Yanow ryones goin on and on bout ‘Heroes of THE Alliance!’. No carebout us, kay. Ya feel it, doncha? Sure ya do bluiiee. Gotta blu inna gang we do, she call’d Rave she is. Cool gal yana. Shiving lefnaight fuckin monk she’s so dey sey. Sexxy! No wettin ma cock yano, sheurt yano iffa tryit ya? So annay, we younguns, we da can’t speak to da highuns. Dere solliers beat us dey do. Dey call us “trolls” cause dey don’t unstan ya gotta talk fast on da street or ya ded. nah jussice nah pice, yano?

Aintna fuckin horde we aint. No trolls we aint. Pop got killa dem horde orc. ainna horde Int. Feel? Yeh!

Yeh I gotta cation. See? Pefict! Ya kno what mon? Dat not da point. Amma on da street dusk to daan anna got time ta speek it, yano. Buchers gonan git me f I don speek fast or a gaard will. Bucher gotta otha kwarta, baduns dey be too dey jus kill not even sorry yano. Gonna stand up toem butta get solliers on da side’n gonna be stockade time innit’f we try innit? Yeh. Ainno hero’ere man. Amma gonna suvive – is all.

So pops gonnoff’n got kill in Norend, yano. Me amma jus like sis o’seven dat happen. Moms tried, moms really did yano, butta gaard came an den dey took me away. Da offie, yano. Or.Pha.Nage. Sos amma like sisteen noo yano, no more room inna offie. Gils get horin boy get fitin. Cause dats like it is, yano. Amma hangin by da trade cue, the aaigh, da place where da hero get’is amo’n’armo. Crap life yano butta gotta do what I gotta do. Gonna live, yeh. Amma jus da grunt, see? See init innit yeh yeh innit!?

Amma gonna die soon. Gaad gonna git me’n’amma off to da front. Like Monsta – his a sarge’e is – sed tame: “You gonna be a man once the Iron Horde breaks your fucking spine, so man up and shut it, trashboy!”.

Kinda not like’im I donna.

Fadda’liance!

Yeh I shoutta dat when da’roes wen off ta die. Denna signed up, yano. Cause yano …

Guess dyin aint to bad’caus I wonbe’ungry namore, yeh.

A sudden nomination – the Liebster Award

liebsteraward

As I was happily making my way through the strange land of narrative I glanced at my email and saw that someone had left a comment. I was curious, of course – could it actually be a Real Reader (and not a ‘single russian beauty looking for marriage’)?

Hotdiggedidam it was! This means two things. 1: Someone actually know that I exist. 2: Someone even liked what I’ve been up to. So, thanks to a gnome spy I was nominated for the Liebster Award. A big thank you to Diary of a Gnome Spy for nominating me! I must confess, I wasn’t exactly sure what the Liebster Award was. As i turned out it came with a set of rules (below). I’ll do my best to obey them.

Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.)
  8. Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

Eleven random facts
Uh … let’s see … hmmm. Aha! Cats, not dogs. I can’t swim and I have no intention of learning how to swim. I pretend I’m a decent cook (I’m actually not too bad).
Nicotine is the fuel of creativity.I’m a self-taught writer without academic credentials whatsoever. Coffee, not tee. Battling inner demons on a daily basis – most of them aren’t even pixels. Prefer long walks to working out (honestly, I’m to lazy to lift weights!). I should probably play other games too … but. But! Is that eleven? I don’t know, I can’t count. Well, not that well. Now where’s that blasted calculator? Oh, wait! Aha! I don’t own a shirt. There, that should be eleven.

As for the questions
I’ll do my best at answering them.

Which is your favorite in-game quest line? Like, one you don’t want to miss on any alts as you level up?

I have two favourite quest lines, depending on armor class. For clothies, I always finish the intro quest line of Hellfire Peninsula (because of the quest rewards). For plate armor classes I always finish the quest line in Terokkar Forrest, starting with “What’s Wrong at Cenarion Thicket”, wich eventually awards Cenarion Legplates (incidentally the same model as Saltstone Legplates). Other than that I don’t usually follow any specific quest lines. Some are fun, others are not.

Have you ever just spontaneously started to role play; for example, stood around some tables in an inn and offered to take peoples’ order?

Yes. I do it all the time. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, some other fellow joins in. There’s been a few memorable impromptu roleplays in dungeons and other places; alas, not in Goldshire (I guess I’m lucky).

What music do you chose to listen to, to accompany you in your epic battles? Do you play with the game music on? Or do you mute music and play your own in the background?

In-game music, most of the time.

Were you a gaming virgin before your adventures in WoW, like me? Or had you already played other games, or MMO’s previously?

My “career” as a gamer started out in the late 1980’s, first with several Commodore 64 titles, later on several Amiga titles (such as Wings, Paranoia Complex, It Came From the Desert) and eventually Doom (the first version) on a 486 PC without a soundcard. From there I went on a binge of FPS games – mostly Quake and Duke Nuk’em – until I ended up in the blissful land of Sim City … and the Sims … sprinkled with Age of Empires and Medal of Honor; Allied Assault. I was late to the WoW party, mostly because the MMO theme deterred me. I’m more comfortable as a solo player – that hasn’t changed, much. After all, DF or LFR is a group of solo players who just happens to work towards the same goal.

In your opinion, should Worgens have been added to the Horde’s races, or are they suited to be Alliance?

My draenei tends to stay as far away from the fleabags as possible, thank you. That does not include worgen, of course.

If you were brave enough to display your colors publicly, what symbol or quote could someone see stuck to your car’s bumper?

The Lion of Stormwind would be appropriate.

Say you were an über rogue and could stealth past anything, what would you do/where would you go first?

Well, I would sneak into a 25 heroic group on their way to Garrosh, hide in the shadows and then step out at the very moment the achievement dinged, change my title and then run like hell!

Do you have a favorite companion pet out at all times? If so, is it always the same one? How do you choose?

No.

What is your #1 in-game pass-time? Auction farming? Transmogs? Being trendy in Trade chat? Exploring old zones? (etc.)

It’s very mood dependant; I enjoy soloing more than having to work with other people on obtaining gear that makes soloing less challenging. Wich is why I spend a lot of time on Timeless Isle.

Is there a piece of art somewhere in game, a sculpture, a painting, that caught your interest and opened your eyes to the tiny details of WoW?

Karazhan. That place is sprinkled with details!

What real life thing do you tend to set aside for WoW?

I should probably exercise more than I do … *mumble mumble*. But, but … but!

Nominated blogs
in wich I fail to uphold the rules; but what good is a rule if it cannot be broken, eh? Besides, I couldn’t find more than these on the limited time I had writing this piece (zug zug kept me busy and now I’m hungry).

Sportsbard (because of the eclectic mix o WoW, sports and poems)

Grimoires of Supremacy (because warlocks – and the “huh!?” expression of the blueberry in the header)

Motherly Mage (because, well, mages.)

Should you be so inclined as to accept this nomination please answer these questions … wich incidentally is the very same ones I just answered. I know, that’s not how it is supposed to be done but I’m absolutely atrocious at thinking up questions. There’s a reason I stick to fiction – I’m a horrible reporter! (I’m also a little bit on the anarchist side so … rules. Eh, who needs ’em!) I hope you lot have better luck at creating new questions than I had.

  1. Which is your favorite in-game quest line? Like, one you don’t want to miss on any alts as you level up?
  2. Have you ever just spontaneously started to role play; for example, stood around some tables in an inn and offered to take peoples’ order?
  3. What music do you chose to listen to, to accompany you in your epic battles? Do you play with the game music on? Or do you mute music and play your own in the background?
  4. Were you a gaming virgin before your adventures in WoW, like me? Or had you already played other games, or MMO’s previously?
  5. In your opinion, should Worgens have been added to the Horde’s races, or are they suited to be Alliance?
  6. If you were brave enough to display your colors publicly, what symbol or quote could someone see stuck to your car’s bumper?
  7. Say you were an über rogue and could stealth past anything, what would you do/where would you go first?
  8. Do you have a favorite companion pet out at all times? If so, is it always the same one? How do you choose?
  9. What is your #1 in-game pass-time? Auction farming? Transmogs? Being trendy in Trade chat? Exploring old zones? (etc.)
  10. Is there a piece of art somewhere in game, a sculpture, a painting, that caught your interest and opened your eyes to the tiny details of WoW?
  11. What real life thing do you tend to set aside for WoW?

 

An angel of shadow

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Dearest Vassannah, little did you know you would grow into one of the most important virtual characters of my life (a position shared with heros such as “Shepard”, out there among the stars, and your sister, the troubled paladin). Once upon a time you were nothing but an alt. Once upon a time you would have opened an inn, come level 20.

But heroes prevail.

You’ve come a long way since those first careful steps out of a pod on Azuremyst. Little did neither you nor me know you would become – a hero. You grew on me, like moss on a stone. The class that I never could master. The class that always went OOM. The priest of darkness. The priest of despair. The shadow priest.

Then Deathwing came. In more ways than any of you can imagine.

Dearest Vassannah, it was, in truth, not just your ass or your waist or your boobs that turned me. Sometimes what’s inside is more important than the sex appeal.

You were an object, once. Eyecandy. A paperdoll of pixels. A wet dream. But then you grew on me. You ventured far beyond Ashenvale (where most of my priests start their careers as innkeepers). You turned my head.

You came alive.

As the Mists of Pandaria parted and the schlaraffenland of ghost iron and green tea leaves opened up to bloodthirsty orcs, curious gnomes and wayward draenei – YOU were my guide. As your sisters struggled through mercenary missions and terrible hardship – YOU prevailed. YOU achieved what not one else could achieve. YOU achieved what I will never achieve. YOU are the hero.

YOU. Are. Legendary (as of 30-04-14).

Me? Well, you know, Vass … I’m a failure, more or less. I’m raid trash. But you know what? YOU gave me this peculiar thought that maybe … I am wrong.

In a way you became a life saver. Therapy. If I could come this far with you, a bunch of pixels kept alive in my own imagination, then what can stop me but the Sha that lives within us all?

Dearest Vassannah, my troubled shadow priest with dubious morale. In a way, you are a reflection of myself. I can’t sport a legendary cape, far from it. So I let you carry the wings of an angel. And carry them well you do. You know what, Vass?

You saved my life.

Almost a year ago during one of my long walks I came to the conclusion I had failed the legendary quest of life. Maybe it was time to delete. Un-sub. I had failed at life. I had failed my partner. My family. My friends – those I have. I had failed almost everything. It’s a very melodramatic thing to say, I know, but … I had not failed you.

You are a patient draenei. Should you ever be a human you would likely by the partner I have (a wonderful lone wolf woman with a patience akin to that of the Old Gods). You and her – both of you. Both of you saved my life (though she still doesn’t know it), that terrible day as I watched the speeding cars and trucks and …

walked into traffic.

They missed. By Gods grace or an unsually lucky RNG – they missed. I reached the sidewalk on the other side of the road and that’s when it occured to me: You’re not done.

Strange that, isn’t it? A virtual spacegoat held more sway, at that very moment of despair, than the very real human I do love. Allthough it might not be obvious.

Dearest Vassannah. You have earned your wings.

Thank you.

Mists of Pandaria summed up

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Let me sum up Mists of Pandaria as it played out for my posse of quirky draenei sisters. Well allright, the expansion isn’t exactly “over”. There’s still plenty of months left before Warlords of Draeenor. But even so there is this feeling of “overness” about it all, now, this late in the expansions life. All patches have been implemented, all bosses have been downed. So I thought I should sum it up – from my point of view of course. I’m not your typical WoW player I guess, I’m still too busy with old content to really pay attention to the cries of injustice about no flying or sucky PvP or whatever.

Personal objectives:
I did set out on the grand adventure of Mists of Pandaria with a few personal goals in mind. Much to my chagrin – and suprise! – I reached only one of them. In part because of a computer failure; I was unable to play World of Warcraft for the period between 5.1 to 5.3, pretty much the entirety of “relevant” latest end game patches. I guess I was lucky I’m not in a progression guild! So I’ve been taking it slow. I’m still working my way through Operation Shieldwall dailies by the way. I did manage to snag the title “the Hordebreaker” with a few days left of the now removed patch 5.3. That was pretty cool.

WoWScrnShot_081812_214258Cahanna: The first sister to hit the beach of Jade Forrest was Cahanna the Mage. Right from the start I realised that Cahannas days as a main was over. My plan of building up reputations on her was shot down early on, wich was a bit troubling. She was the one I had 40 exalted reputations on. But the very thought of running around and pew pewing mogu for 10 minutes per kill wasn’t very inviting. Cahanna the Wet Noodle was benched once I got her to 90. I dinged end level in Towlong Steppes, handing in the Ruthers Harness quest, after 5 days of rincewind-esque gaming. She certainly ran a lot!

Kitty2Kittyanna: Up until my old computer said “splonk!” and turned into a heater whenever I tried anything but Chrome or Word Kittyanna the Monk was off to a flying start. I deleted Kittyanna the Shaman to make room for the monk. As a monk she kicked her way through 1-85 in no time; I remember pulling almost 90K DPS in Stonecore once, effectively tanking the instance. It was a godmode class. MoP ramped up the resistance but I had no trouble downing either corrupted shado pan-monks or mogu. Then my computer died. Upon my return at the end of 5.3 I had forgotten about the multitude of buttons a monk has to press. My plan – earning the title Shado Master on Kittyanna – failed. She was benched right upon my return to Azeroth, the in-house scribe. A few days ago I deleted her – and turned yet again into a shaman.

WoWScrnShot_010114_150402Zavannah: Zavannah the Death Knight turned out to be a real honey. I had my doubts about DK’s, I had attempted the class several times before but never made it out of the starter zone. Then the name popped into my head one late night while trying to figure out what to do. Everything just seemed to click. She was born in late Cataclysm. I managed to snag Treacherous Bite (x2, she’s DW frost) before MoP hit. Once in Pandaria she carved her way into history, a killing machine, unstoppable! Then she inherited a farm and got all cosy with carrots instead. My plan of making her my new main didn’t work out as I had planned, but that’s ok. She’s a good farmer.

WoWScrnShot_120313_155726Savenna: Savenna the Shaman, well … As Kittyanna (who used to be my main shaman) was turned into a monk Savenna took up the totems. Getting her to 90 was a run of the mill-thing; after all, I have a certain routine with leveling. I was actually going to bench her once she had maxed out engineering (a prof I lacked). But she was persistant. Upon my return in late 5.3 she started to turn “main”. She could very well have ended up as that had not Shuanna happened.

WoWScrnShot_120813_155410Vassannah: Vassannah the Shadow Priest was an experiment at first. But oh boy was the class fun! She quickly won my heart and mind and is now my Main Cloth Class. I had dabbled with priests before but never gotten anyone past level 20. Now? Well, all of a sudden I’m sitting there with a beutiful but deadly (and slightly crazy) shadow priest rocking an iLvl of 537 with just a few more final steps before the legendary cloak. Vassie was a big suprise and nothing went according to plan (I hadn’t planned on a priest to start with!).

WoWScrnShot_112112_012250Sharenne: Sharenne the Warlock was a calculated progression character with the intention of becoming my main cloth. It almost worked out as well – then Vassannah showed up and stole Sharennes Maker away in an air of Mind Flays and ass-waggle. Tough luck, Sha, I still love you but you’re just too … quirky. Still, warlock is a walking howitzer and Sharenne will continue being my second cloth main. I didn’t reach the goal of a legendary cloak though. It’s doubtful I’ll have the patience with the amount of LFR needed to get it. But at least I got a lady of darkness. And a blue cloud.

WoWScrnShot_042214_010414Shuanna: The circle is complete. It happened very quickly, once she got her hands on a mace. She did “work” as a shadow priest for some time but then she turned vindicator again. Of all my characters Shuanna IS the MAIN. this was in no way expected or planned. It was an extremely nice suprise – even more so when I the other day realised she’s now rocking an iLvl of 539. For some it might not seem much but for me it’s a tremendous success. I do plan on a legendary cloak, if only I can get into LFR-mode again. I was a bit put off by the boosted 90’s distaster, but maybe things have changed.

After all, if we’re going back to Draenor we might just as well go there well dressed.

A Lone Wolf at Gothcon XXXVIII

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I haven’t paid Azeroth a visit for a few days – a much needed break. A vacation from the routine of rep farming. A chance to do something completely different. In my case, the different was a games convention, held anually in Gothenburg, Sweden.

I’m still a bit in both shock and awe, to tell the truth. I’m not a very social person. But as chance have it and fate decree off I went. By train. And taxi. Since I’m also a very comfortable guy I even had an hotel room (the conventions own dorms didn’t appeal to neither me nor anyone else in my posse).

It was actually a “working trip”. The very reason I even went there in the first place was the chance to finally meet the person behind the words wich I’ve spent a good deal of time translating from english to swedish: Joe Dever, the author of the immensely popular game books about the solitaire hero, the kai monk Lone Wolf in the fantasy world of Magnamund. These days it’s also a digital game, you should totally check it out – http://lonewolfthegame.com/.

For the first time since the late 1980’s Lone Wolf is coming back to Sweden in a brand new edition (illustrated by, among others, the fantastic swedish illustrator Lukas Thelin).

I’ve been working with translating an abundance of material for quite some time now and meeting the creator was fantastic fun.

Parallell to my work on the Lone Wolf series – including a roleplaying game – I’ve been keeping up with some older projects; writing virtually all the texts to expansions for the leading swedish roleplaying game, Western (Western: New Orleans, and Western: New York). On top of that I’m still fiddling around with a novel, occasional short stories and trying to keep up an appearance on at least Twitter. Social media is not my forte. I’m probably lacking in a number of social areas (I do have Facebook but I honestly can’t remember when I last checked it).

Mr Devers swedish translator, yours truly, is a lone wolf (that’s a pun!).

The swedish version of the first installments in the Lone Wolf saga is scheduled for release this summer.

As for Gothcon, it turned out to be a suprisingly inspiring convention. I spent most of the time at the Western sales booth of course but managed to snag some peeks on other stuff as well.

Most of the time was spent talking to people (I guess that’s the true reason for conventions; using your voice, not your fingertips) but in the lull between “stuff” I ended up with a rough draft of, erhm … a “thing”. 60 thousand characters in 48 hours – I think that’s pretty good. Especially when you consider the surroundings; balancing a laptop on a table filled with magazines and books and coffee cups, people milling around everywhere.

All in all it was a much needed break from the daily routines.

The Lich Kings pet draenei

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Oops.

Yep, that’s “me” by his feet. The reason I’m there is because of an idea. Likely the most crazy idea I’ve ever had in my history of World of Warcraft.

I’m rep farming, inching my way to 60 exalted reputations and the title “the Beloved” (I allready have “the Exalted” on my mage, btw). Because, well, what better title than “the Beloved” for my oldest Alliance love interest, my oldest character, dating back all the way to 2007?

Shuannas reputation adventures began in earnest about three weeks ago. I had a flying start with more than 40 reputations at revered. I couldn’t even remember where and when I got so many.

It’s interesting going through the list of reputations. It’s sort of a historical document of her career. With a quick glance I suddenly remember how the early days of Shuanna actually were. There was a lot of questing involved – and, once I hit level 80, a whole lot of nothing.

Wrath of the Lich King offered one end game experience and one alone – raiding. Since I still don’t like the concept (I’ve never been much of a “team player”) you can imagine what happened. It was the lack of things to do other than rolling an alt that eventually led to Shuanna being benched for … gosh, it must be four or five years now. I haven’t played Shuanna, the troubled paladin, since about the Ulduar patch. Back in the days I was so far from any raids it never ever occured to me that I might, one day, also become a Kingslayer. I’m still working on it, by the way. But as you can see I have come a long way since the early days. Yes, I’m late to the party but I don’t care. I’m in no hurry. Besides, there is always a Lich King.

What better way to prove it to myself (and the guildies) that “Shu” is back than snagging a much coveted title, the Kingslayer? It even goes well with the evolving backstory of hers. Shuannas adventures – and misadventures – in Northrend is the very reason she’s a bit crazy. When all is said and done the Kingslayer is left with only nightmares and the terrors within.

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Wohoo! I saved the world!

Following a few weeks of running really old content I eventually ended up in a pretty good reputation place. Almost all Burning Crusade reputations save the raid rep’s, like Ashtongue, are done. I still have the really long grinds left – Consortium, Netherwing, Kurenai etc. Apparently I didtched Outland as soon as the Lich King appeared. Most of those old reps were at friendly or honored. With all Northrend reps save Ashen Verdict, Kaluak and the Oracles done I’ve started on the Cataclysm ones. Those are a bit tricky.

Shuanna was a banker throughout Cataclysm and only leveled to 85 through fast questing, skipping enormous chunks of content. As such I didn’t have any reputation above Friendly. The same goes for Mists of Pandaria reps, by the way. So right now I’m grind up reps through Pandaria dailies and running Cataclysm heroics on my lonesome. While farming reputation for various Cataclysm factions the other day I found myself in a tight spot. I had run out of dungeons for the night. All Cataclysm dungeons except Throne of the Tides was on cooldown. Bugrit!

I made a list of the reputation list. A spreadsheet of reputations still needed. It’s a lot easier to see what I need than scrolling through the somewhat cumbersome list in my characters window. That’s when I realised I had completely missed out on a Northrend faction – the Ashen Verdict. A quick research trip to Wowhead later – I knew it was raid rep but couldn’t remember wich raid – I took a deep breath and …

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Entering the Dread Citadel.

Marrowgar went down in a cloud of frozen bonedust. Lady Deathwhisper barely had time to whisper. Kor’Kron troops and undead ghouls was cut down without remorse. I was starting to get into a nice flow there – when the Gunship Battle happened. “To think you have come so far only to perish here!”, to quote the Scarlet Monastery boss … I was actually annoyed enough to stick through it. Seven times. It was with a tremendous sigh of relief I finally pulled it off after som digging through Wowhead comments and Youtube videos (the music of choice for those videos … urgh).

Deathbringer Saurfang hit the dust. So did Festergut and Rotface. The vampires of Northrend was due for a stake and proved to be a lot less scary than they looked. I did run into some trouble on Valithria, but with some inventive healing and silent curses I got through the roadblock with only two wipes. I really hope they nerf that boss. I’m lucky with heals and all but for DK’s, or warriors … I honestly feel sorry for the “no heal but self-heal”-classes.

I avenged the fallen in Pit of Saron with a quick strike to the neck of Rimefang and did the same to Sindragosa. then I spent an hour getting lost. As it turned out I had forgotten to open a few valves and completely bypassed Professor Putricide. Once I made my way back to the mad scientist Professor Putricides good news turne sour. I trod back through the empty castle, feeling a bit like Titus in Gormenghast. Eventually I found a portal and …

Unfortunately it was almost 4 a.m in the morning. Ahem. I accidentally positioned myself way wrong and had quite an interesting, albeit deadly, trip through the skybox around Icecrown. But, alas, if I had come so far I wouldn’t stop because of a silly mistake. So – first thing I did before work was to finish off Arthas.

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Much ice. So cold. Wow.

Or so I thought. Everything was just fine and dandy. Green lights across the board. In nice new transmog* armor straight from the forge of Icecrown Citadel itself I ventured out of Dalaran, into the citadel. A few quick portals later I ended up side by side with Fordring again – and commenced the dance. This time I was prepared of the nasty knockback and positioned myself in a perfect spot.

The fight started. Arthas the Lich King must have been quite annoyed at the perky paladin, back from the future. Adds came and went, ground was defiled but the king was hard pressed. Wich is when I started to notice how the green connection bar started to turn yellow. Then red. Then, just as I was knocked back sent sailing up the stairs to the Frozen Throne, lag reached almost 4000 MS followed by a very unfortunate disconnect. When I logged in again I found myself in a most troublesome position.

The Lich King had a pet draenei**.

Edit: But not for long … After some troublesome wipes – trial runs, lets call it that – I finally got what I ventured out to get. Now Shuanna of the Exodar is truly a Kingslayer.

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– – – – –
* I snagged both Blade Scored Carapace and Deathforged Legplates from Deathbringer’s Cache. For once I actually found some Wrath of the Lich King-armor I actually liked. It will be the base for my second version of the Dark Paladin, eventually. Stay tuned for future transmog post.

**If you, during your adventures in Northrend, come across a ghoul with horns, that’s probably Shuanna. I doubt she’s good enough to become a death knight.