Archive for the ‘Alliance’ Category

art post: neon Trolls

When lacking inspiration for writing, post artwork!

A year ago, when bright, hot, neon/fluorescent colors began to come back into fashion, I doodled up these neon-accented outfits one afternoon during lab (my students weren’t asking enough questions to keep me from getting bored).

(The pigment colors of my bright markers and pencils did not scan well at all, so I touched them up in Photoshop.)

Then, as I thought about making a WoW-themed drawing incorporating neon/fluorescent colors, I was naturally drawn to the race with the brightest hair colors in the game — the Trolls.

This somewhat older “neon Troll” drawing was made with the same Crayola Color Surge paper & marker system that I used for this Lunar Festival drawing.

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Over about a year and a half, from September 2010 to May 2012, I drew a series of pictures depicting Azerothian sapient species dressed in the sorts of clothing that one might see in a contemporary congregation of Sunday church-goers.

Well, okay, perhaps this sort of dress might only be seen on a teenager during Prom season.

The unmodified artwork for “The Speedbarge Summer Soiree” fits into this meme, too.

This dress might only be seen during a town’s “celebrate our pioneer heritage!” week.

While I was in graduate school, one of my male friends found this outfit at a thrift store and delighted in wearing it to church periodically ever afterward.
I wonder if he still wears it sometimes?

Another dress most likely to be seen on a teenager around Prom season.
The blue shirt + yellow tie combination was very fashionable when I was in my late teens and early twenties.

I drew the lineart for this picture directly in ink and the figures turned out so badly proportioned that I needed to draw a background to rationalize them.

Then, with Humans, Dwarves, and Forsaken remaining, I ran out of steam.

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A couple of pictures that I drew around the beginning of Cataclysm.

The clothes these shaman are wearing are modeled after the apparel of the Shaman trainers in each of the starting zones. Once, each of the women in this picture was a character on my roster. Aside from Kamalia, only the dwarf and the orc remain — and the orc’s existence is somewhat tenuous.

Hey, look, it’s the curly-haired tauren! The night elf used to be on my roster, too, but, like most of the shamans, she didn’t survive the pruning I did last summer.

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For the fourth and final round of Transmogrification Survivor, JD issued the following challenge to the two remaining contestants:

… you no doubt want a fair opportunity to “shake your little tush on the catwalk,” [so] it only seems right that all restrictions are off in terms of requirement. You must still create an end-game transmog, but the design is completely freestyle. Create an outfit based on whatever you like.

Having deliberately exempted myself from being one of those two lucky contestants, and with such a wide-open-ended prompt to work with, I at first wasn’t sure if I would actually do anything to “play along” with this round. But as I thought about what I might do, that phrase, “shake your little tush on the catwalk”, popped an idea into my head that I just had to explore. Using a Draenei — (in)famous for their “waggle” — as my model, I wanted to create an outfit that would be at home on a Fashion Week magazine spread.

In this ensemble from Modiste Kamalia, touches of green perk up the timeless combination of tan, black, and red.

Black and red shot-silk stockings shimmer under a camel-colored suede micro-miniskirt with matching vest. The softness of the suede is contrasted with the shiny patent leather of the belt and knee-high stiletto boots and elbow-length gloves with maroon cuffs. A sheer crimson and gold scarf wrapped once around the neck and pinned at the shoulder with showy, yet elegant antique brooches leaving the ends to flutter down the back completes the look.

Hood of Focused Energy, Shoulderpads of Knowledge’s Pursuit, Journeyman’s Vest, Ritual Belt, Jade Dust Leggings, Lava Burn Gloves + Bracers of the Energetic Elemental, Saltarello Shoes, Cape of the Fire Salamander, Fang of Vashj, Umbrella of Chi-Ji/Inscribed Red Fan

Zazzy and Freyana produced two truly exciting Transmogrification kits! I had a terrible time deciding which was my favorite, and, because the two outfits were presented to the panel of non-Surviving participants anonymously, I didn’t know who’d created which one until JD posted the winner of the grand prize!

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In honor of the coincidence of her birthday with the Oscars this year, Mataoka is hosting a movie-themed Transmogrification event:

Submit three mog outfits, (Mogit is fine) of three characters from one of your favorite movies, or from one of the award nominees this year…. This is not their Oscar or red carpet attire, but the costumes in the films.

I chose the Harry Potter series as my movie and the main trio not of students, but of professors as my characters.

Minerva McGonagall

Skywitch Hat, Mantle of the Tribunal, Embroidered Gown of Zul’Drak, Living Mojo Belt, Replica Virtuous Gloves, Sorcerer Slippers, Drape of Smoldering Dreams, Mahogany Wand, Dungeoneering Guide
Although she is the Head of Gryffindor House, whose colours are red and gold, Professor McGonagall is clearly described as wearing “emerald green” robes. In the movies, she wears a dark forest green outer robe over a black dress.

Severus Snape

Duskhallow Mantle, Silver-Thread Robe, Ivycloth Sash, Black Mageweave Gloves, Sorcerer Slippers, Warmonger’s Cloak, Arakkoa Divining Rod, Tears of Heaven, Green Martial Shirt
Professor Snape should be dressed in the deepest, darkest black possible. The combination of the sleeveless Silver-Thread Robe with a Martial Shirt produced a deeper black color in the sleeves than the Black Velvet Robes have. The gold filigree on the sleeves of the shirt helps harmonize the gold trim of the Warmonger’s Cloak — the deepest black cloak available — and on the edges of the mantle.

Albus Dumbledore

Elder’s Hat, Stiffened Corpse Shoulderpads, Robe of the Elder Scribes, Vestal’s Irrepresible Girdle, Soulcloth Gloves, Footfalls of Memories, Cloak of Woven Energy, Cookie’s Stirring Rod, Cosmos
Headmaster Dumbledore is supposed to be tall and skinny, but Human facial hair options are simply adequate for his long beard. Dwarves and Gnomes have better beard options, and I judge Dumbledore to be more of a Gnome-type personality than a Dwarf-type personality. Of course, he is also supposed to have hair on his head that is also long enough to tuck into his belt, but the beard is more important for a correct visual impression.

Bonus: Harry Potter-themed Battle Pet Team

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A few weeks ago, Ketura went back to Northrend and began camping in Brunnhildar Village, smacking around poor tired miners and Hyldsmeet contestants and aspiring Val’kyr in hopes that someday Gretta the Arbiter would deem her worthy of a Warbear of her very own.

A week or so later, I brought Kinevra back to Brunnhildar Village, too, thinking that if I had two characters doing those dailies, I might get the bear a little sooner.

Today, Kinevra opened up her sack of Hyldnir spoils and lo and behold, there was the bear!

Hurrah! No more snowballs and salted yeti cheese!

That’s one more mount for my tally, but more importantly, now my Dwarf gals can have a loyal bear friend without having to be Hunters. :P

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Because I am only playing for the fun, not the prize, I thought it best that I drop out of Transmogrification Survivor after the second round. Upon seeing that I’d made it through the RNG, I did a die roll of my own to choose someone to swap places with. By fortunate happenstance, it came up as the person who’d chosen the same character I did — and done a bang-up job with the costume! — Rhuanious.

Even though I’m no longer competing, I still want to play along and test my mettle with the prompts for the last two rounds. And the prompt for the third round was a doozy indeed!

But now we move on to round three, which is all about me baby!!!

What? I’m not kidding.

…Pretend you’re part of the Blizzard development team [and] design an NPC of me. Any race you want, however you see fit. All I’m going to ask is you include a brief description of the character so that I know what you were aiming to achieve.

Jay Dee/Kenada, Amateur Raid Recruiter

Amberplate Headguard, Valorous Aegis Spaulders, Ango’rosh Breastplate & Legguards, Studded Girdle of Virtue, Spiritualist’s Gauntlets, Golden Cenarion Greaves, Cloak of War, Ironforge Smasher (Alliance-only)/Spirit-Clad Mace, Northern Barrier/King’s Bulwark (Horde-only)

In a yet-to-be-determined patch (or expansion), Blizzard finally gets around to retrofitting the pre-Dragon Soul raids with an LFR mode that uses a gear ilevel normalization algorithm similar to that currently used for Challenge Mode Dungeons to allow leveling characters to play through those earlier raids “at level” as part of the leveling process. For example, the Burning Crusade raids would be available for levels 70-75, and the Wrath of the Lich King raids would be available for levels 80-83. (Characters of sufficiently high level relative to those raids will continue to be able to solo or small-group the normal and heroic modes.) To help new players become aware of this feature, when a leveling character dings 60 and becomes eligible to enter Molten Core, they will receive an Auto-Accept quest to go to Stormwind/Orgrimmar to meet with Jay Dee/Kenada. Jay Dee/Kenada, who will be found near the Valor & Justice Point vendors, will then give the character a “tell me a story” style quest to listen to them explain how leveling LFR works. Upon completing this quest, the character will choose from a selection of stylish Bind-on-Account +5% XP belts, and the leveling LFR option will appear in the character’s queueing menu. The XP bonus on the belts would be effective from level 60 to the level cap of the immediately previous expansion, and higher level characters would be able to purchase the belts from Jay Dee/Kenada for an appropriate sum of Justice Points.

I was pretty pleased with this concept, but the “Build an Amateur” outfits submitted by the real contestants totally blow mine away!

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Physically, the towering personage who seemed to be the leader of the strange beings camped around the hermit Wei Palerage’s hut reminded Kaoling very strongly of Wugou. He had nothing of the ancient earth spirit’s sleepy, placid nature about him, however. As the — tauren, Kaoling remembered from her childhood lessons — briskly described to Ji, Aysa, Kaoling, Koralyra, and the others who had come from the Academy and the Temple the circumstances that had led to the crash of the sky-vessel into Shen-zin Su’s side — a battle of ships off an unknown coast, the capture of himself and his “Horde” companions by their “Alliance” enemies after their ship capsized, an insurrection against their captors, an attack by lizard-men who had stowed away on the airship that took everyone by surprise — and his efforts to locate his comrades and survive in the Pei-Wu Forest over the past weeks, he was also listening to reports from his people and issuing new instructions. The tauren’s decisiveness impressed Kaoling, as did the shelters, the pile of crude weapons, and what appeared to be the skeletons of several small boats he and his people had constructed from broken bamboo trunks and other woodland materials.

Aysa and some of the others left to find the survivors from the other side of the sea-battle the tauren had described as soon as he had finished telling them about why the airship had crashed.

“We want to return to our homes,” the tauren was saying, “but that airship isn’t going anywhere ever again. We can help you dislodge it from your island, but we need to find our engineer. He parted ways with us when we were escaping the wreckage. We’d also appreciate it if you helped us find a way back to our own country.”

Ji quickly agreed, and Kaoling could see the twinkle in his eyes that meant he was thinking up a Plan.

They found more small groups of “Horde” survivors, including the engineer, as they pushed through the woods toward the crashed airship. They also discovered that the strange lizard-men had survived the crash, too, and were wreaking havoc on the entire Pei-Wu Forest ecosystem.

The “Alliance” survivors had gathered and set up tents quite close to the wreck. Their leader, a slender creature who looked to Kaoling very much like an oversized, oddly-colored sprite, gave a rather different account of the sea battle, the fight aboard the airship, and the crash.
“This island wasn’t on any of our charts… we came through a thick mist and ploughed straight into the forest. We didn’t see it coming,” she said.
She explained that over the past weeks, she and her people had been scavenging as much as they could from the wreck, but their efforts had been severely impeded by the lizard-men. She praised Aysa for having gone off immediately to distract the leader of the lizard-men so that a final collection of materials from the airship could be made, and she asked for help in reclaiming the supplies and rescuing those of her people who had been wounded during the most recent clashes with the lizard-men.

“I think I like these people,” Koralyra mused quietly as the two girls carried a stack of crates back from the wreck to the tents. “See how they have gotten all of their people into one place. See how they are salvaging as much of their own material as they can, so that they take as little as possible from our land.”

“But they had taken those other people prisoners,” Kaoling replied.

“Their ship was sinking. They saved them from drowning. And it doesn’t seem like they’ve made much of an effort, in all these weeks, to go find them in the forest and re-capture them,” Kora pointed out.

Kaoling didn’t have a good answer for that, but she still felt more sympathetic toward the tauren and his fellow Horde.


The blast knocked Kora to the ground. The land heaved beneath her as Shen-zin Su groaned in agony. It was the most awful sound she had ever heard, worse than a whole herd — worse than ten herds — of yaks in labor. She struggled to her feet. The wound in Shen-zin Su’s shell gushed terrible rivers of blood. Though she was not at all squeamish, Kora began to feel a little light-headed and quickly looked away. Nearby, Kaoling was getting up. Kora saw her friend sway and her face pale as she caught sight of the awful wound. Quickly, Kora grabbed Kaoling’s shoulders and turned her away.

“Remember Master Firepaw’s plan,” she said urgently. “Hurry, go find as many healers as you can and bring them here to save Shen-zin Su!” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a movement — the strange lizard-men, maddened by the scent of blood. “I will stay and defend the healers once you get them here. Hurry!”

Kaoling nodded and dashed off. Kora settled into a comfortable stance and began running through warm-up movements and incantations. Soon Kaoling was back, carrying one of the slender, white-robed Alliance priests over her shoulders. Like the wind and fire of the philosophy she favored, Kaoling darted about, bringing back one healer after another. Like the earth and water of the philosophy she favored, Koralyra was both firm and fluid as she fought off the frenzied lizard-men and kept them from attacking the healers. All around, others from the Academy and the Temple were doing the same.

For hours, it seemed, they fought while the terrible flow of blood continued and Shen-zin Su groaned and writhed. The healers poured all of their energy into their spells, until they began to collapse from exhaustion. Slowly, the torrent quieted to a stream and then to a trickle, and then, almost suddenly, the wound sealed. The troll and tauren healers joined their hands in a great spell, and everyone stumbled as earth shifted out from under their feet to cover and protect the raw flesh. The Horde healers then flung enchanted seeds over the dark, bloodsoaked soil. As they chanted, grasses, bushes, and trees sprung up, magically, to further stabilize the earthen scab. It would still be centuries before Shen-zin Su’s shell completely recovered — and there would always be a scar, a weak spot, in that place — but for now, at least, he would not die, and his pain, while perhaps greater now than it had been when the wrecked ship had still been embedded in his side, would eventually subside and vanish.



For a fleeting moment, the scent of the breeze shifted from canal water and pumpkin pancakes to cherry blossoms and ginseng tea, and a piece of parchment hastily folded into the shape of a crane tumbled through the second-story window of the inn in Stormwind where Koralyra was packing her bags and came to rest at her feet.

Kora picked up the parchment and carefully unfolded it, smiling as she recognized the calligraphic scrawl.

I promised to write to you when I got to Orgrimmar, did I not? The EmperorWarchief of the Horde would consider even this contact treasonous, yet I cannot so blithely cast aside what Master Shang Xi told us so many times: “Forget injuries. Never forget kindnesses.” And you have been far kinder to me than I deserved. May your days bring you joy.

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the Bronze Maiden

Having carefully arranged the distribution of specializations among my other twelve Mages, I determined that my Tushui Pandaren must remain un-talented, making her some species of Ironman.

Considering the trials and tribulations of Elford the (Former) Executive, and other Ironman accounts I have read, however, I think that being a true Ironman is a little more challenge than I want. So, like the Underpowered Death Knight, my Tushui Pandaren will use a ruleset inspired by, but not strictly adherent to, the Ironman concept.

As with the Underpowered Death Knight, I will be allowing my Tushui Pandaren to use any health potions that she loots or receives as a quest reward. I treat Lifeblood from Herbalism as a class spell for my Mages; I use it like a potion or Gift of the Naaru for pinch healing. So she has already picked up Herbalism. I’ve heard that there are some tough spots in the leveling curve where the quests don’t go green very quickly, and the XP from picking flowers will help her get through those levels. Likewise, I think that getting XP from Archaeology isn’t much different from getting XP by prioritizing searching for treasure chests, so she will be picking up Archaeology when she reaches level 20.

Koralyra’s “pseudo-Ironman” ruleset, then, is as follows:
*She will not choose a specialization nor spend talent points.
*She may purchase health-only food from Innkeepers, and she may use any health potions that she loots or receives as a quest reward, but she will not purchase health potions or use stat-boosting foods and potions.
*She will not use glyphs, enchants, or gems.
*If she receives any sort of buff upon completing a quest, she will click it off.
*She will not join a guild nor participate in group content with a group (at high levels, however, she may attempt to solo lower level dungeons).
*She is allowed the following three professions: First Aid, Archaeology, and Herbalism.
*She will wear only Poor (grey) or Common (white) quality gear while actively questing.

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I was delighted to see the other day that the Kirina’s Closet Hallow’s End Costume Contest is back for its fourth year! It was Kirina’s costume contest last year that first brought Navimie to my attention; she submitted a fun “werewolf” disguise.

Draynee is also running a Fly Draenei Hallow’s End Transmogrification Contest, with special requirements that the model must be Draenei and the outfit must be fully Transmogrification-friendly.

I have had no new inspiration for Hallow’s End costumes this year. Well, actually, I guess I have had inspiration for one non-Transmogrifiable costume — but nothing else. So I won’t be entering either of these contests myself, but I look forward to seeing all the clever, creative costumes from the people who do participate!

Anyhow, Transmogrification wasn’t around quite yet at Hallow’s End last year, so I thought I’d take a look at updating a few of my previous Hallow’s End outfits to be Transmogrification-friendly.

Evil Pumpkin King (Theme)

Horseman’s Helm, Kraken shoulders, Embossed chest pants gloves & boots, Fel Iron Plate Belt, Green Workman’s Shirt, 2x Gurubashi Punisher
I watched the AH for the Embossed items all year so that I could make this set when Hallow’s End rolled around again.

Evil Pumpkin King (Variations)

Horseman’s Helm, Crystalvein Pauldrons, mix ‘n’ match with Embossed set (orange), Fel Iron Plate set (light green), Emerald set (dark green), Chromite set (light purple), Revenant set (dark purple), and Bogslayer Belt & Pauldrons of the High Requiem (black)
I think I like the Fel Iron Plate accessories better than the Emerald accessories with the Chromite chest & pants, and the Emerald accessories better than the Fel Iron Plate accessories with the Embossed chest & pants. I tried the Revenant accessories with the Embossed chest & pants and it didn’t quite work — though perhaps it could work with purple, rather than green, toned shoulders and helm.
I’m rather pleased by how nicely the Bogslayer Belt and Pauldrons of the High Requiem coordinate. I’ll have to make a “proper” DK outfit with them sometime in the future.

Balrog Stalker

Cured Orcascale Spaulders/Replica Beastmaster’s Mantle, Dark Iron Mail/Ebonhold chest, Warmonger’s Belt, Bloodmail Legguards*/Ebonhold pants, Engraved Gauntlets, Ravager’s Sandals/Engraved boots
The first set is what I might actually make for Ketura, because the items in it overlap with a couple of other sets I have planned for her. The second set is what I’d recommend for everyone else.

Warchief’s Wiseman

Puncture-Binding Spaulder, Prospector’s Chestpiece, Serene Yellow Belt, Warchief Kilt*, Fuzzy Gloves + Princess Poobah’s Bracelets, Aspirant’s Staff of Harmony
The Warchief Kilt dropped in old Scarlet Monastery. I’ve had this one in the bank for several months now, while I was trying to decide which character to bind it to. The Flamestrider Robes from BRD are a full-length version of this style that would make a very similar outfit with the same accessories.
For other leather wearers, I recommend the Prospector’s belt. For races who wear shoes, the Prospector’s boots or any other dark brown-black boots would be appropriate.

Classic Wicked Witch

Skywitch Hat, Regal Mantle, Black Mageweave Robe gloves & boots, Runecloth belt
This look will never go out of style for Hallow’s End. Try the Durable Belt, Conjurer’s Cinch, or Ivycloth Sash for a touch of different, but coordinating color (orange, yellow-green, or green, respectively).

Fancy Wicked Witch

Regal Mantle, Imbued Netherweave Tunic/Barbaric Cloth Vest/Black Mageweave Vest, Bloodthirsty Fireweave Belt, Leggings of the Icy Heart, Hands of the Exalted Herald, Saltarello Shoes
This set would also look great with a Wicked Witch’s Hat, of course.

Burning Watch

Balespider’s Mantle/Mantle of Closed Doors/Mantle of Roaring Flames (heroic)/Shoulders of Mercy Killing (heroic), Watcher’s Tunic, Invoker’s Belt of Final Winter, Legwraps of the Master Conjurer, Zaetar’s Gloves, Saltarello Shoes, no shirt/Bright Yellow Shirt/Orange Mageweave Shirt/Stylish Black Shirt
The orange, yellow, and black colors of the Watcher’s Tunic are perfect for Hallow’s End.
The last few tiers have produced lots of great firey shoulders!

Hallows Herald

Death Speaker Mantle, Consortium Combatant’s Robes, Clutch of Andros*/Black Belt of Knowledge/Embersilk Belt, Hands of the Exalted Herald/Embersilk gloves, Saltarello Shoes/Embersilk boots
This full-length robe version of the Orange Martial Shirt is not often seen anymore because most people don’t get far enough into Netherstorm to do the quest that awards it.

Bad Juju

no hat/The Hexxer’s Mask, Shoulders of Mercy Killing (heroic)/Replica Magister’s Mantle, Silksand Robes, Embersilk Belt/Replica Dreadmist Belt, Legwraps of the Master Conjurer (optional), Embersilk Gloves/Jumanza Grips, Orange/Purple Martial Shirt
This cloth robe is identical to the leather Flamestrider Robes from BRD.
Races that wear shoes can use the Saltarello Shoes or other dark-colored boots.


Embersilk set with Geomancer’s shoulders
This set is great for Hallow’s End — or just for autumn in general.

Speaker for the Dead

Black Mageweave Headband/Don Rigoberto’s Lost Hat, Death Speaker Mantle, Death Speaker Robes, Clutch of Andros*/Embersilk Belt, Enumerated Gloves & Sandals
Another classic Hallow’s End look.

Dancing with the Dead

Haliscan Brimmed Hat (not Transmogrification-friendly), Death Speaker Mantle, Death Speaker Robes, Conjurer’s Cinch, Enumerated Gloves & Sandals, Staff of the Great Reptile
Despite what Celestine of the Harvest said, no matter how many branches Kinevra threw into the Wickerman, she could not feel the burden of her grief and anger over what the Horde had done to her home in Theramore getting any lighter.
The Haliscan Brimmed Hat and Death Speaker Robes closely mimic the appearance of Catrina. Alas, the even the blue-quality Don Carlos’ Famous Hat is not Transmogrification-friendly, so I ought to take Kinevra to AQ sometime in search of Don Rigoberto’s Lost Hat.

Dressing up for the holiday in this way still counts, right?

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