Author’s Notes for Kaelinda and the Book of the Ancients
This story got its start nearly a year ago when Anna asked,
…for those of you who got the Celestial Steed, do you have an in character story to go with it?
At that time, when the Sparkle Pony was shiny and new and the subject of a certain degree of controversy in the WoW blogosphere, I did want one a little, because it was pretty and all, but I wasn’t certain that I really wanted to pay for it. Despite Kay’s desire for a Celestial Steed, I knew that as a Tailor she would be both making and using a Flying Carpet, so I decided not to buy one at that time — but I didn’t entirely reject the idea of buying one later.
The idea of writing an in-character story to explain how one of my characters would have gotten a Celestial Steed, however, continued to tickle at the back of my brain. After I responded to Liala’s Eleventh Hour Challenge, I realized that the Book of the Ancients might be a perfect plot hook to explain how Kaelinda acquired a Celestial Steed.
Presently, the Worgen “racial mount” was announced. Worried that I’d probably think the Running Wild animation was terrible, I purchased the Celestial Steed “just in case” I’d end up wanting it for my Worgen to use. Having now seen the spastic springing of the Worgen Running Wild animation in action, I’m very glad that I’ve got the Celestial Steed for Kymberlea to ride! And so Kay (and her relatives) got to have a Sparkle Pony, after all, and I got to write the story that had been banging around inside my brain.
The components for Elune’s Courser are inspired by the materials used in the (now defunct) Paladin and Warlock epic mount quest chains.
The Paladin mount required 6 Arcanite Bars, 5 Stratholme Holy Water or Scholomance Dark Runes, 40 Runecloth, 10 Arthas’ Tears or Sungrass, 1 Azerothian Diamond, and 1 Pristine Black Diamond.
The Warlock mount required 1 Arcanite Bar, 25 Dark Iron Ore, 3 Black Dragonscales, 2 Elixirs of Shadow Power, and 6 Large Brilliant Shards.
I was going to need 5 or 6 total components, including Arcanite Bars, something obtained from a level 60 5-man dungeon, and some level 60 crafting mats.
After thinking about what kind of materials would be appropriate for creation of a Celestial Steed, I came up with Kaelinda’s shopping list of 3 Arcanite Bars (midway between the Paladin and Warlock requirements), 2 Righteous Orbs (from Stratholme, for the eyes), 4 Azerothian Diamonds (for the hooves), 20 Dreamfoil (because of the name and because the icon for the herb is feather-like), 5 Greater Eternal Essences (broken down into Lesser Eternal Essences to make the stars of the skeleton), and 5 Mooncloth (for the saddle).
I didn’t actually collect all those items on her person, in the game, because she didn’t really have enough money to afford them — the picture for that bit of the story is a photoshop collage of a Backpack screenshot with icons swiped from WoWwiki.
Once faction changes became available, a there-and-back-again faction change wove itself neatly into the story. Not only did it suit the plot, it also allowed Kay to pick up some pretty new clothes. While I was playing with my characters on Argent Dawn, I discovered a bunch of lovely low-level Alliance-only quest rewards that I kept wishing I could have for Kaelinda. As news of the upcoming changes in Cataclysm trickled out, I realized that some of these quest rewards might not still be available after the world changed. I faction changed Kay to Human at about the same time that I changed my Blood Elf Hunter into a Night Elf. I spent the entirety of the first week after I faction-transferred her doing quests for RP clothing rewards. She did a lot more quests than I would have been able to fit into the in-character timeframe of the story. In-character, Kaelinda obtained almost all of those clothes during her semiconscious shopping spree in the Exodar.
Though I didn’t mention it at the time, the Human model in my “Essential Dalaran Wardrobe” post is Kaelinda, not Kinevra (who isn’t leveled high enough to wear some of those robes quite yet). Obtaining the Robes of Antiquity for Kaelinda’s “purple mage apparel” collection was a primary motivation to get her faction-transferred before the world changed. Getting the Astral Knot Robe — the main reason why Kaelinda’s week spent visiting the Wizard’s Sanctum in Stormwind was “remarkably rewarding” — was another. I was very pleased that she was able to do the Alliance versions of her Class Quests, despite having already done the Horde versions. She was also able to do the Operation:Gnomeregan questline, despite having already done the Zalazane’s Fall questline. Later, I was glad that I’d gotten her faction-transferred and done all that questing before Patch 4.0.1 hit!
Although the in-character timeframe of the story is approximately Patch 3.3.5 to Patch 4.0.1, I kept Kaelinda as a Human until after the Cataclysm so that I could have her bring back the Worgen level 1 robes. I particularly wanted the wine-colored level 1 Worgen Apprentice Mage robe as a stand-in for the somewhat similarly colored and very difficult to obtain (and quite possibly now unattainable) Necrology Robes. In-character, these are also a product of her Exodar shopping.
Kaelinda’s new clothes (quest reward items are starred*):
Draenei lvl 1 Priest, Draenei lvl 1 Mage, Fur-Covered Robe*, Robe of the Dragon Slayer*
the Fur-Covered Robe is shown with Nolkai’s Lantern*
Draenei lvl 1 Shaman (post-4.0.1), Draenic Silk Robes
Night Elf lvl 1 Priest, Robes of Crystal Waters*, Robes of Antiquity*
Worgen lvl 1 Priest, Worgen lvl 1 Warlock, Worgen lvl 1 Mage
the Gilnean Acolyte’s Robe is shown with the Bouquet of Scarlet Begonias*
Night Elf lvl 1 Druid, Dwarf lvl 1 Shaman
the Dwarf Shaman robe is another great monk-type robe, especially with a brown shirt underneath
Astral-Knot Robe*, Crimson Tunic* with Sage’s Pants, Candlewax-Streaked Robe*
the Astral-Knot Robe is shown with the Bouquet of Scarlet Begonias
the Candlewax-Streaked Robe is a post-4.0.1 reward from the Elwynn Forest quest to collect candles from kobolds; Horde players can assemble a tunic-and-trousers version of this style in this color, but I think the robe version is more attractive
Many thanks, sincerely, again to Anna for the original prompt, to Liala for the challenge that provided background and set-up for this story, and to everyone who made encouraging comments on my previous story about Kivrinne and on this story as I was posting it
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading Kaelinda and the Book of the Ancients as much as I enjoyed putting it together!