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Hi Kamalia,

It’s Erinys from the Harpy’s Nest here.

Sorry for this being slightly late but I couldn’t decide what to do. Spending hours poring over your blog changing my mind every few minutes, I finally came down to the two Ts of Transmogrification and Taurens but how to combine them? Carolling in Thunder Bluff, the answer, it turned out was right in front of me… creation myths!

There is one outfit for each gear specialization in-game. I know that transmogrification is subjective and most definitely in the eye of the beholder but I hope you like these.

~*~*~

“Before the Age of Memory, the gentle Earthmother breathed upon the golden mists of dawn. Where the amber clouds came to rest, there were endless fields of flowing wheat and barley. This was the basin of her works – the great basket of life and hope.”

Endless fields of flowing wheat and barley
This is built around one of my favourite items in-game, the conifer cone staff. In my head, the Greatmother is a Shaman so this outfit had to be mail.

Crown of Flame (H)
Mantle of the Golden Forest
Khan’s chestpiece
Amber Filigreed Doublet
Bloodlust Gauntlets
Engraved Girdle
Valorous Earthshatter Kilt
De’rizu Greaves
Conifer Cone Staff

“The Earthmother, her heart heavy with her children’s plight, could not bear to watch them fall from grace. In her grief, she tore out her eyes and set them spinning across the endless, starry skies. An’she and Mu’sha, seeking to ease the other’s sorrow, could only chase each other’s faint glow across the sky. The twins still chase one another with every turning of the world.”

The Twins: An’she
I decided against going for the obvious golds and yellows, choosing to focus more on the dawning and setting sun, those delicate shades which paint the whole sky with just some subtle hints of gold to suggest the sun at its midday peak. The Sun had to be plate, whether I was influenced by those lines from Shakespeare’s Richard III,

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;

or perhaps I’ve just pvped too much but it makes me think of arrogant warriors and paladins charging into battle.

Crown of Empowered Fate
Pauldrons of the Souleater
Commander’s Armour
Amber Filigreed Doublet
Gauntlets of the Righteous Champion
Belt of the Seven Seals
Triton Legplates
Gothic Sabatons
Ashkandi, Greatsword of the Brotherhood

The Twins: Mu’sha
This could only be a cloth transmogrification with the mooncloth robe at its heart.

Moonsoul Crown
Aurora Mantle
Mooncloth Robe
White Tuxedo Shirt
Safeguard Gloves
Relentless Gladiator’s Cord of Salvation
Redemption

“This tale speaks of how the Earthmother gave the Shu’halo the love of the hunt. The Tauren became great hunters, but one spirit eluded them, Apa’ro, the white stag (called Malorne by the Night Elves.) The Tauren hunted Apa’ro to the ends of Azeroth, and finally the stag fled into the heavens. where his great antlers became tangled in the starts. As the moon, (Mu’sha) chased her brother across the skies, she saw the helpless stag, and immediately fell in love with him.”

The White Stag
The fact that Malorne’s a Druidic icon, so to speak, meant that this set had to be leather. We know that he is a pure white stag so the Boneshredder set seemed like the perfect starting point for this.

Crown of the Forest Lord
Boneshredder Shoulderguards
Boneshredder Jerkin
Jinxed Hoodoo Kilt
Heraldic Belt
Boneshredder Gloves
Dreamer’s Dragonstaff

The observant amongst you might notice that neither of the latter two are illustrated, that’s because I’m bad.

The full lore behind the Tauren creation myths can be found in the scrolls hanging on the walls of the Archdruid’s tent in Thunder Bluff, and it’s well worth taking the trip to read if you haven’t already. All of the quotes to illustrate my outfits are taken from there — but that’s a tiny portion of the full tale.

Happy Winter Veil

~*~*~

I love this concept of making costumes for a theatrical telling of the Tauren creation myths. All these outfits are so wonderful — the rich autumnal tones of the Greatmother herself, the rosy light of An’she peeking over the horizon at sunrise or sunset, the cool clear brilliance of Mu’sha in the night sky, the sleek elegance of Malorne! Thank you so much, Erinys!

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I felt an odd sort of whiplash watching The Godmother’s #TBLIZ feed during the initial Warlords announcement. One minute, people were squealing in giddy delight, “look at all the ladies!”, while watching the trailer cinematic. The next minute, they were passing around this image –

— and complaining that it has no women in it.

Wait wait waitaminnit… first you’re glad that there will be many ladies in the new expansion, and now you’re sad that there aren’t enough? I R CONFUZZLED.

In retrospect, I suppose I can understand why, after seeing the trailer, they’d be disappointed that that image — or this one, for that matter –

— does not have any (let alone the same level of) female representatation.

In the days since BlizzCon, there’s been this implication in the blogosphere that the principal thought a Real Female Gamer “should” have upon seeing these images is where are all the women?

I don’t know if I would have thought that or not — I didn’t really get the chance. Because blogs and their associated Twitter feeds updated faster than the WoW Insider coverage did, I started seeing that first image with “why aren’t there any women?” commentary well before I saw the unmodified image in its original context. I did wonder why Draka was not alongside Durotan in the second image, though.

I recognize that this gal (Y’rel?) –

— is something of a “token female” in the Warlords of Draenor promotional material we’ve seen so far. I get that there are women who play WoW who feel left out and pushed aside by the emphasis on male characters in what we’ve seen of the upcoming storyline. I acknowledge that, for them, their concerns are real, legitimate, and deserve to be addressed… but I am not bothered much.

As long as the plot and the characters are engaging, and there are not any other aspects of the content that I find disagreeable, I have never particularly noticed or cared about gender balance in the stories I consume. If Harry Potter’s two best friends had been Ron and Neville, the series would have been a rather different story, but I think I still would have enjoyed it just as much. I hope that Blizzard will tell a cracking good story over the course of Warlords of Draenor, as they have during Mists of Pandaria, and I intend to enjoy it without worrying about exactly how many of the “badass people doing badass things” (to borrow a phrase from Anne Stickney) are male and how many are female.

The Aggra thing, however… yeah, that bothers me.

Although I have been culturally raised to believe that stay-at-home-motherhood is the most important and worthwhile lifestyle a woman can choose, I agree that it’s utterly ridiculous that Aggra should be left behind just because she’s had a baby. It’s just not consistent with her character at all. Until someone specifically asked the question about her, I’d been automatically assuming that she would be going along with Thrall, and it does seem, from what I’ve read, that the presenters’ way of answering that question was condescending and dismissive. Aggra is an awesome character in The Shattering novel, and I have been disappointed that her development in the game has not fully lived up to that potential. Akabeko, Anne Stickney and Rades have expounded upon this topic much more completely and eloquently than I could. It would be wonderful if the strong concerns that have been raised over Aggra result in the CDevs changing their minds and more fully including her in the Warlords story, just as the strong concerns that were raised about Ji Firepaw during the Mists beta resulted in positive changes to his character. If that doesn’t happen, though, I’m still going to play the expansion and enjoy the story it tells.

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I’ve often wondered what Outland looked like when it was a whole world — what the Black Temple looked like before it was Black, what Farahlon was like before it became Netherstorm, what Hellfire Peninsula and Shadowmoon Valley were like before they were blasted. The screenshots of a lush, vibrant Shadowmoon Valley and the glowing, jewel-like Temple of Karabor do not disappoint! The geography of Old Draenor aligns suitably well with Outland as we know it, though I’m still a little skeptical about Zangarmarsh having been a Mediterranean-like sea. It is a reasonable ecological transformation… only on a geologic timescale, rather than the human timescale there is between one Warcraft game and the next. If those massive mushrooms were originally underwater, they would have evolved to be supported by the water pressure, and thus they should have utterly collapsed when the water drained. Were the sporeloks really originally an underwater species? If so, how did they evade extinction following the ecological catastrophe? I suppose it all must have been a consequence of the same fel energy that transformed Draenei into Broken.

I wonder how the time-travel thing is going to work out for Draenei characters. Even the youngest of Draenei player characters will have been born on Draenor, for the Draenei have simply not been on Azeroth long enough for children born there grow up enough to leave home and go adventuring. A Draenei traveling to Draenor-of-the-Past could very well encounter her or himself. What would you do, when confronted with your doppelganger, someone who both is and is not you?

From a lore/story perspective, I initially had a quite a bit of difficulty wrapping my head around the concept of Warlords of Draenor. I struggled to understand how an expansion focused on preventing the history of Draenor from changing could possibly conclude with any sort of heroic, triumphant, positive outcome. As Effraeti plaintively asked,

If we go back, are we just supposed to watch Draenor work through its intended history? Do we have to see Shattrath fall? Do we have to watch the genocide of the Draenei? Do we have to witness the creation of the Broken Ones? Do we have to stand aside as the Orcs destroy Draenor all over again?

I’ve been reading a lot of Diana Wynne Jones lately. One of her favourite themes is parallel worlds. Warlords of Draenor made more sense to me if I thought of it as side-slipping into a parallel timeline, a parallel version of Old Draenor. Such a side-slip convolution has happened more than once already in Azeroth’s timeline, after all — when Krasus sent Rhonin, et al., back to the War of the Ancients, and when Nozdormu brought a small group of adventurers into the End Time of another Azeroth sacrificed to save ours.

And, indeed, now that we know a little more about the expansion, that seems to be exactly what is going on. Garrosh goes back in time with the help of an as-yet-unidentified accomplice and unites the orc clans into the Iron Horde, thus splitting off a parallel version of Old Draenor that will now continue down a divergent pantleg of the trousers of time (to borrow a metaphor from Terry Pratchett). Our goal is to help that Draenor achieve a better, brighter future than that of the Draenor of our own timeline.

Time to put on our tinfoil hats crinkle crinkle and consider what else this twisting of timelines might mean.

I haven’t seen any of the Visions of Time myself yet, but apparently they hint that Kairoz or even Nozdormu himself might be involved in something shady having to do with Garrosh’s fate at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar. Suppose that Nozdormu is Garrosh’s accomplice, and goes off into that parallel timeline. Why might he do that?

Because knows how his life will end. As I already mentioned, at the end of Cataclysm, Nozdormu brought a group of adventurers forward in time to the achingly bleak and desolate End Time to defeat Murozond and release the binding that was preventing him from going backward in time to retrieve the Dragon Soul. By obtaining the Dragon Soul and using its power to defeat Deathwing, the Aspects and the mortal races of Azeroth together prevented Azeroth from falling to that awful fate. But if Azeroth was saved from the End Time, how were we able to visit it?

Because it wasn’t our Azeroth that died. It was/is/will be the Azeroth of the parallel timeline in which Garrosh redirects the orcish clans of Draenor and is thwarted from using them to invade Azeroth by our actions. (From what I’ve read, the Iron Horde isn’t intended to invade the Azeroth of that timeline, anyway — it is intended to come forward in time to crush and conquer the Azeroth that Garrosh just came from, our Azeroth.) The Bronze Dragonflight knows that an Azeroth never invaded by the orcs would not be strengthened by the orcs-versus-humans conflicts.

The Burning Legion could still attack that Azeroth using the Scourge as a tool, with some other being from some other unfortunate world as the first Lich King instead of Ner’zhul. When Deathwing rises from Deepholm in that timeline, the Aspects and mortal races could be too beleagured by the Scourge to effectively stop him from wasting the world. On that Azeroth, in the timeline where Draenor remains a whole and living world, the Aspects will fail in their charge and the Old Gods will succeed in bringing to pass their End Time.

Nozdormu knows that he must fall into shadow, become Murozond, create the Infinte Dragonflight. He knows that an Azeroth must die for our Azeroth to live. And so he chooses to aid Garrosh, because it is only by splitting the timelines that his future and what is now our past (the defeat of Deathwing) can come to pass.

The Draenor of “our” timeline must die so that “our” Azeroth can live. The Draenor of the parallel timeline must live so that the Azeroth of the parallel timeline can die… and “our” Azeroth can live.

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I wanted the character I used for the twelfth Batinna’s Dress Up theme to be one of the handful who I know for certain are/were married. At level 34, Kandrista is the highest level of my characters who I have already established to be wives or widows. Fortunately, that was sufficient to obtain and wear all of the components of the bridal outfit I envisioned. After several decades of (mostly) happy marriage, Kandrista’s husband fell in battle during Arthas’ invasion of Quel’thalas; a simple shift of color scheme converts the bridal finery into mourning apparel.

Blissful Bride, Weeping Widow


Aurora shoulders/Mantle of Haunting, Aurora Robe/Black Velvet Robes, Defiler’s Cloth Girdle, Blubber-Stained Grips, Sage’s Boots/Apprentice Boots

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The tauren priesthood is fundamentally a divergent sect of tauren druidism. Perhaps they might best be understood as Balance druids who have gone past the balance point and out to the other extreme in an attempt to balance tauren society as a whole. Whereas many druids draw their power primarily from the moon, Mu’sha (Elune), and Balance druids attempt to maintain an equilibrium between the power they draw from the moon and that which they draw from the sun, tauren priests, or Seers, are essentially druids who draw their power primarily from the sun, An’she.

The color scheme and the names of key items in this ensemble for the eleventh Batinna’s Dress Up theme reflect the druidic roots of a tauren priest’s power.

Dreamseeker

Greenweave Mantle, Mistyreed Tunic, Councillor’s Sash, Elunarian Sarong, Hewing Gloves, Rejuvenating Scepter, Dreamseeker Dandelion, Green Linen Shirt

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Laeleiweyn of World of Lae has kicked off a series of Alt Appreciation weeks to “celebrate all the classes!”

This week, it’s the Warlocks‘ turn in the spotlight.

Over the nearly two years since the Darkmoon Faire was revamped (my, how time flies!), my Warlock has been creeping through the thirties and forties by doing five Darkmoon Faire profession quests each month. After the Faire this month, she was perched on the cusp of 50. Yesterday, a few Hallow’s End quests were all it took to tip her over, allowing her to do some things she’s been anticipating for a very, very long time: visiting Shadowfang Keep to collect the materials for her scythe (she was already in her late twenties/early thirties when Cataclysm arrived, too high to queue for SFK but too low to solo it) and going to Blackrock Depths to get her horns.

Adjudicator of the Left-Hand Path


Horns of the Left-Hand Path, Geomancer’s Spaulders, High Robe of the Adjudicator*, Apothecary’s Waistband, Heavy Linen Gloves, Walking Boots, Staff of the Left-Hand Path
Besides being the dress of the Stormpike Emissaries and the Bloodmages, this robe is also a classic vanilla Warlock look. At level 30, Warlocks went to Ratchet to learn how to summon their Felpuppies. There, they also met Menara Voidrender, who started them on a Warlock-only quest chain that ultimately awarded the short-sleeved Enchanted Gold Bloodrobe. Across the sea in Silverpine Forest, there was a non-class-specific (Horde) quest chain that awarded a nearly identical robe, the long-sleeved High Robe of the Adjudicator. The Silverpine chain was easily soloable by the mid-twenties, making the High Robe of the Adjudicator available to my wee Warlock earlier and easier than the Enchanted Gold Bloodrobe. So I made sure to get the High Robe of the Adjudicator for her, just in case. And indeed, she never quite got around to starting the class-specific quest chain before Cataclysm came along and wiped away both quest chains. Then I was really glad that I’d done the general one in Silverpine!

Kalaneia’s spec has bounced around from Destruction to Affliction to Demonology and back again. I thought for a while that she might be a Demonologist, a wildlife biologist who became keenly interested in the biology of the wildlife of the Twisting Nether… but then the Metamorphosis mechanic was introduced, and I didn’t really fancy the idea of turning into a demon myself. Thus, she ultimately settled on Destro because that spec has the flavor I’m most comfortable with.

Once upon a time, Kalaneia was a Magister’s apprentice like her cousin, Kaelinda. Whereas Kaelinda and her master spent time studying all three of the major branches of mage-lore, Kalaneia’s master was primarily interested in Fire magic, and together he and his apprentices dug deeper and deeper, seeking greater power from increasingly darker sources. Kalaneia’s eyes had had a greenish hue from her birth, so no-one — including herself — quite realized how far into fel magic she’d gotten until the Sunwell was destroyed and she was barely fazed while the rest of her surviving family were prostrated for weeks. She reveled in her strength compared to her wilting relatives. Though she had not previously studied shadow magic, after the fall of the Sunwell, she gladly embraced the additional power it offered. She has since learned to summon several types of demons, but she generally only bothers with Pagnar the Imp, who gives her the enhanced Fire power she craves.

I have considered buying Kalaneia a Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion as a half-promise that, Real Life permitting, she will reach the level cap someday and be able to pursue green fire!. The price for those things on the AH, however, is almost all the money currently I have on her server, and, realistically speaking, she probably won’t reach level cap until said cap is 95 or 100. At which point, all things considered, it would be easy enough for her to just go to the Isle of Thunder herself and hang out with Cat’s best buddy until he coughs one up.

Though The Devil Wears Transmog rightly comments that the T16 Warlock set in its entirety is horrible, I think that the robe in isolation is rather nice. I like the nifty waterfall effect of the shading on the middle panels. It reminds me of the Farstrider Defender’s and Night’s End cloaks. So I set out to design a Transmogrification kit that would complement the robe and maybe even be a halfway decent Warlock outfit, too. I used the Flex/Normal version of the robe partly because I think it has the nicest color scheme and partly because if Kalaneia ever manages to acquire anything from Siege of Orgrimmar, it will most likely be in the next expansion via a Laid Back Raids/Old Ladies Raiding Guild-type arrangement that would be doing Flex/Normal modes.

A Real Horned Nightmare, Not A Fashion Disaster

Horns of the Betrayer/Horns of the Left-Hand Path/Hood of Disgrace, Illidari Shoulderpads, Robes of the Horned Nightmare (F/N), Sash of Mortal Desire, Helix Breaker Gloves (N), Falling Blossom Sandals

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This is a story about the patch 5.4 trailer. If you haven’t watched it yet, you probably shouldn’t click through the cut until you have.

A sudden loud peal of the chimes hanging in the Tillers Shrine in the front garden awoke Kamalia in the wee hours of the morning. As she sat up, the chimes continued to jangle and clamor, more loudly and cacophonously than any thunderstorm winds had ever moved them — and she did not hear thunder, nor rain pounding on the roof. She grabbed the nearest weapon before opening the door.

“Miz Kamalia!” Tak-Tak rushed up the stairs and began pulling her out the door, “Oh, Miz Kamalia, we must hurry! Something very bad going down, very bad!”

“Just a moment!” she said, “Let me get my armor first.” She shut the door in his face, dressed quickly, and grabbed the bag containing her other gearset, as she didn’t know which of her two specializations would be more needed.

Tak-Tak was already hovering on his kite when she re-emerged, and he took off steeply as soon as she was settled.
(more…)

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