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Now that I’ve finally completed my long-held goal of getting a character of every class to the level cap, I feel more relief than triumph. Of course, there are still all these things I want to do with my 90s before Warlords launches…

Other Objectives
Run each level 90 normal Scenario at least once
Get shinies for Transmogrification from Mists LFR with each of the healing classes: Shaman, Paladin, Priest (needs 1 more item), Monk, Druid
Get Shado-Pan Helmets and make Shado-Pan Transmogrification kits for Warlock and Rogue
Farm Skyshards and capture Alani (7/10)
Complete Kamalia’s Pandaren, Mogu (9 10 13/20), and Mantid (1 2/8) archaeology museums
Start Warlock on Green Fire quest chain
Play through Operation Shieldwall storyline and Kirin Tor Offensive solo scenarios with Human Mage
Start Rogue on Fangs of the Father quest chain

Iron Qon stubbornly refuses to drop Quet’zal’s Crackling Cord for the Priest. Focusing on getting the Warlock and the Rogue to 90, I continued to postpone getting either the Monk or the Druid ready for LFR. Additionally, mini-Kam has been making a fuss about wanting to get Wu-Lai, Bladed Fan of the Consorts

I purchased a Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion from the AH for the reasonable price of 5.5K. It might be awhile before I get around to doing the quest chain, though, considering that the Paladin has been carrying around a Battered Hilt ever since she reached level 80 and I still haven’t gotten around to doing the quest chain.

I’d hoped to be able to at least get started on the Fangs of the Father quest chain as soon as the Rogue hit 85. I was, however, under the sadly mistaken impression that pickpocketing Hagara was the third or fourth step of the chain… alas, it is the first step. Bah, humbug!

I’ve been doing Archaeology with Kamalia occasionally on Sunday afternoons and evenings and so far have been lucky enough to pick up one or more new Prisitine artifacts per session. I’ve been exchanging my crated common artifacts for Dwarf fragments and still haven’t gotten that last rare Dwarf artifact; perhaps I should be spending my crated artifacts on Tol’vir fragments instead, as I still have three rare Tol’vir artifacts to find.

I have been putting off various lower-level alts who have specific questlines or zones that they want to do, insisting that it was more important to get all of my Primaries to 90; now, perhaps, I can give them some attention, too.

War Crimes

Well, I finally got around to reading War Crimes. I didn’t go get it right away when it first came out in early May because I knew I’d want to read it right away, and I’d decided I’d rather save it to be a book to read on the airplane to France at the end of the month. When I went to the bookstore a few days before we left, however, there weren’t any copies in stock — and I didn’t have the time to wait for one to be shipped in from another location (I bought the latest Brandon Sanderson tome, Words of Radiance, instead). I looked in the airport bookstores for it, but didn’t find it. When we got back to Canada last week, I decided to look for it at the public library first — I’m contemplating culling my personal library when I unpack it from storage after our upcoming move, and as much as I have enjoyed the WoW books that I’ve read, they aren’t among the books that I love too much to give away, so why buy a book that I know I’m just going to discard soon? But the library didn’t have it at all, not even at another branch from which I could have requested it. So I tried the bookstore again, and got the only copy they had in stock.

War Crimes was a good, solid read. I have one major quibble with the writing itself — the continual shouting of “With respect, I protest!” got annoying rather quickly. I thought that surely neither Tyrande nor Baine should really have to shout to be heard so very often, and I probably would have been less annoyed if they had always “interrupted” instead. That aside, I enjoyed seeing a fiercer side of Tyrande — with only a minimal appearance from Malfurion — and a softer side of Sylvanas. I wondered/hoped for a time if we might see the effects of the side-plot with Sylvanas reflected in the game somehow; the way that plot wrapped up, we probably won’t see any effect on Sylvanas in-game, but it would still be nice to see the final effects for her co-conspirator appear in the game. I love, love the way Golden writes Baine and Anduin. I was glad to see Jaina finally beginning to heal properly. And Wrathion, oh Wrathion, you are such a brat!

I liked the use of the Vision of Time device to show events from the past. I didn’t really understand why Tyrande chose to show the Vision of the Hour of Twilight at the end of Thrall Go’el’s testimony, though, until I read Anne Stickney’s commentary on the book (part 1, part 2). That Vision showed the August Celestial jury what Thrall really did in choosing to move on from Warchief to World Shaman; it absolves Thrall of the choices made by Garrosh by showing that the world would have been even worse off had Go’el not done as he did. I had been expecting Baine to call a witness that would allow him to show the “Honor, Krom’gar, never forsake it!” moment from Stonetalon Mountains in a Vision and was surprised that it was not shown. I suppose, though, that that moment would actually have detrimented Baine’s case, showing how Garrosh had changed from better to worse, when Baine was arguing that Garrosh could still change from worse to better. Most of the Visions/witnesses and their testimonies were familiar to me, but I did not recognize the one about magnataur being used in a battle in Ashenvale. I don’t remember that from playing through post-Shattering Ashenvale as Horde. Is that event something that only Alliance players see as they quest through Ashenvale, or is it something that happens in a short story or in one of the novels I haven’t read yet (Stormrage or Wolfheart)?

BTH and I flew back to Canada on Wednesday, only to find that our home internet had gone out. It took us until this afternoon to get it back online.

Among the many museums I visited while in Paris, I became particularly interested in going to the musee du quai Branly when I saw signs advertising that they had a temporary exhibition about the Plains Indians. I visited the wonderful Palais de la decouverte earlier that morning (it opens an hour before the Branly) and my camera’s memory card filled up just before I went in, so I was glad, when I finally got to the Branly, that I’d remembered to bring a sketchbook and some colored pencils.

This dress is based on a Lakota/Cherokee woman’s dress from around 1825, and the baby carrier is based on one made by the Dakota around 1840.

When I went into the museum’s permanent collection, these masks from Vanuatu, which apparently represent ogres of the local mythology, immediately reminded me of WoW’s Trolls:

The main body of the mask is a red clay, with designs painted in black. One mask stood out because it had a round face instead of an elongated one and bright blue paint instead of black. My sketches don’t adequately convey the strong dimensionality of the noses, eyebrows, and lips.

Our travels in Germany took us to Wurtzburg. Walking over the Alte Mainbrucke immediately reminded me of the bridge into Stormwind.


click on the images to visit the sites from which I borrowed them

Our last stop was in Freiberg, where we spent the weekend visiting with BTH’s parents, who have been there for the past 18 months as missionaries specifically called to serve in the Freiberg Temple. Senior couple missionaries have fewer restrictions on their activities than the young proselyting missionaries do, so on Monday (their day off), they took us to see the Terra Mineralia museum housed in one wing of the Freiberg schloss. The many huge crystal formations showcased in the collection — especially the amethysts — reminded me of the Draenei. They are also reminiscent of the areas of Outland where netherdrakes are found.

These aren’t quite the same thing as Syrco’s wonderful “What in WoW reminds you of your home?” prompt, though, so I shall have to address it properly sometime.

BTH and I are in Switzerland now. There are not words for how utterly gorgeous it is; every way you turn to look there are mountains rising up steep and high and green and rocky, or lakes shimmering the most wonderful shades of turquoise, with towns crammed into the spaces between. We are staying in a B&B in a little town north of Luzern, in central Switzerland. On our way there, we stopped at the Chateau de Chillon –

–this is the most postcard-worthy of the pictures I took there. The herds of cows everywhere actually started in south-eastern France, as we drove through the Charolais region, which is famous for its white cattle. We have seen white cows and brown cows and red cows and black cows and red-and-white cows and black-and-white cows. We have driven through many tunnels — the longest one was 9.25 km. I saw a herd of cows grazing on the greensward just above the entrance to one tunnel. The weather has been sporadically showery and sunny, giving us moments like yesterday evening when we were driving at just the right angle relative to the sun to see a double rainbow!

Presently, the angle of the road changed just enough for us to be able to see both sides of the arc of the rainbow at once! That was simply magical!
This afternoon, we visited Altdorf in the canton of Uri. Some of BTH’s ancestors lived there, as well as this guy whom you may have heard of named William Tell.

The symbol of Uri has been a bull’s head for hundreds of years. The town hall at Altdorf has a display of Uri war banners from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Modern Uri flags have the bull’s head in either black or red on the golden ground:

Perhaps this explains part of BTH’s love for Tauren (that I soon came to share)?


Warlords has finally gone into beta, so it’s time for another To-Do List update!

I have not flagged my account for Beta Opt-In. I want to experience the new content fresh, for the first time, when the expansion launches — though I will happily devour any non-story/plot-spoiling information that those of you who are in the beta share. Plus, there’s this whole Real Life thing with moving and starting a new job in a few weeks and not having as much time for the stuff I still want to do in Mists content anymore…

Our hotel internet connection in Paris was just fine for me to play WoW, and with my authenticator, I didn’t have any problems logging on. I got a lot of leveling done during the first week, before I started doing a lot of sight-seeing, and during the end of the second week, when BTH fell ill and I didn’t want to leave the hotel room for too long. I walked my feet off doing sight-seeing in the third week. I did some more sightseeing in fourth week, but not as much; I also spent time with other alts doing the Midsummer Fire Festival. I don’t expect to be able to log into WoW much during the next week and a half while we are driving around Switzerland and Germany.

Alts still needing to reach 90
Draenei Mage
Male Tauren Warrior boosted to 90
Pet Battling Monk
Human Mage
Warlock (currently 62 75 86)
Rogue (currently 46 65 80)

Other Objectives
Run each level 90 normal Scenario at least once
Get shinies for Transmogrification from Mists LFR with each of the healing classes: Shaman, Paladin, Priest (needs 1 more item), Monk, Druid
Get Shado-Pan Helmets and make Shado-Pan Transmogrification kits for Warlock and Rogue
Farm Skyshards and capture Alani (7/10)
Complete Kamalia’s Pandaren, Mogu (910/20), and Mantid (1/8) archaeology museums
Play through Operation Shieldwall storyline and Kirin Tor Offensive solo scenarios with Human Mage
Start Warlock on Green Fire quest chain
Start Rogue on Fangs of the Father quest chain

If I’d been at home, I would have started the Monk or the Druid on LFR once the Priest got down to needing only 1 item/boss/wing of LFR per week. Because I wasn’t, I didn’t want to bother with doing all the preparation to get ready to run LFR or spend the time to run several wings of LFR per week. Additionally, I’ve been having a bit of trouble deciding which of the leather wearers I should do LFR with first — the Monk who wants many things, or the Druid who wants only a few things?

Click through the cut for some pictures from Paris! Continue Reading »

midsummer moggage

Some silly Transmogrification kits in honor of the Midsummer Fire Festival.
These are not “perfect” or “best iteration of concept” outfits by any means; I just looked for whatever I already have on hand that is orange and blue.

Scorched Clouds


Jewel of the Firelord, Mantle of Closed Doors, Cloudscorcher Robe, Angkhal Cord, Feralfen Mystic’s Handwraps, Ogre Slayer’s Cover, Funeral Pyre
Under most circumstances, I Transmogrify over the lurid Cloudscorcher Robe as quickly as I can. During the Midsummer Fire Festival, however, that orange and blue color combination is right in season.

Torch of Summer Flames


Jewel of the Firelord, Spaulders of the Ring, Lo’ap’s Tunic of Muck Diving, Serene Yellow Belt, Warchief Kilt*, Barrel-Aged Gloves, Cloak of the Frigid Winds, Torch of Noon
It took Katewatha almost the entire Fire Festival last year to get this cloak to drop, so naturally she had to wear it again this year.
A similar look could be obtained by using the Flamestrider Robes with a Stylish Blue Shirt. For non-Monks, I suggest Ogron’s Sash, Belt of Never-Ending Agony, or the Mighty Girdle.

Dancing With Fire


Jewel of the Firelord, Rocket-Chief Pauldrons, Engraved set, Cloak of Cheerful Flowers, Cerulean Filigreed Shirt, Carapace Breaker
I originally designed this set to go with the Crown of Destruction from Ragnaros 1.0 or the Crown of Flame from Ragnaros 2.0, but it works just as well with his Jewel.

Embossed Symbols


Jewel of the Firelord, Chilled Shoulderplates, Embossed Plate chestpiece leggings & boots, Symbolic belt & gloves, Illskar’s Greatcloak, Hatred’s Vise
Although Kregga has mostly resigned herself to being put into absurdly colored outfits during the holidays, if there was an animation for the /facepalm emote in the game, she would be using it.

new blog banner


My original blog banner featuring a portrait of Kamalia (in a pre-Transmogrification RP-wear costume) by Vidyala has served me long and well, but for some time now I’ve been thinking I wanted something more indicative of the “et alia”. Inspired by the Godmother‘s header featuring all her alts, I put together this banner:

I have this dream of drawing portraits for all my characters so that I can show how the way I imagine them differs from the limitations of the in-game models. For now, however, this will have to do.
I’ll continue to use Vidyala’s lovely portrait as my Gravatar.

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