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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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I’m not sure just what you’re doing here. I mean, yeah, you’re using the Demon Chain to subdue this monster proto-drake, but why? I sure hope we’re not going to end up killing you and this drake as an encounter in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid. That would be a horrible, senseless, tragic waste of your tremendous potential. If we do have to fight you, I’d much rather see the encounter end with us convincing you to change your mind (sort of like the Keepers in Ulduar), so that you then help us take down Garrosh and come out of this civil war as the new racial leader of the Orcs.

Do the Alliance SI:7 spying quests for the Battlefield:Barrens quest chain shed any light on what Warlord Zaela is up to? I’m not going to be playing through the 5.3 content as Alliance anytime soon, so I don’t mind being spoiled a little bit.

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“Wow… you’re tall, even for a tauren. And what happened to your face?”
“I’m not a tauren, I’m a taunka. We’re relatives of the tauren who live in Northrend. We all look like this.”
“Cooool!”

Alas, Matron is a title I will never obtain in-game until “School of Hard Knocks” is removed from the Children’s Week meta requirements. Although certain of my characters would like to be able to use that title, it doesn’t fall into the category of things I want badly enough to suffer through PvP for them.

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In mid-spring — or what she was told was mid-spring, back in Azeroth; here in Outland, there did not seem to be any noticeable seasons — Kaumalea returned to her lodging house one evening to find the public areas filled with chattering orcish and blood elven children. Surprised, she asked the innkeeper what was going on.

The innkeeper raised an eyebrow at her. “Ah, right, you’re one o’ them taunka from Northrend, ain’tcha? So you wouldn’t know ’bout Children’s Week. There have been so many wars everywhere that all the big cities have orphanages overflowing with children that have lost their parents. Once a year, the orphan matrons do a charity drive to get adventurers to recognize the cost of the wars by giving a little of their time to these poor kids.”

“But what do you, well, do with one of these children?” Kaumalea wondered.

“Oh, mostly you just let them follow you around as you do whatever it is you do everyday anyway. Usually, the kids have a few particular things they really want to do, too — places they’ve dreamed about going, famous people they want to see for themselves, that kind of thing. And it’s nice to buy them a treat or a toy or something at the end of the week, to help them remember you.”

Kaumalea looked around the crowded, noisy room. “It certainly seems to be popular.”

“Aye,” the innkeeper smiled. “The kids, they want you to remember them, too. They’re always taming little critters of one sort or another, and of course the orphan matrons won’t let them keep them, so they’ll give them to you. A lot of adventurers treat the orphans they sponsor kind of like a little sister or brother — write them letters, send them trinkets, that kind of thing. Those folks over there,” the innkeeper indicated an orc warrior and a troll hunter who were playing cards with two blood elf children, “have sponsored those same kids from the orphanage over in Shattrath for three years or so now. It’s great experience, they say — doesn’t strengthen the body much, but does wonders for the heart.”

Kaumalea considered this. She could definitely use more experience, in whatever form. The Battle for Light’s Hope Chapel had left her severely debilitated, making the usual ways that adventurers gained experience very difficult for her. It had taken her nearly a year in Outland to gain enough strength to even think about trying to return to her once-home of Camp Winterhoof, and when she’d gotten there, she’d soon realized that she wasn’t nearly strong enough yet to contribute meaningfully to the defense and provisioning of the tribe. So she had come back to Outland. She had surely created orphans herself during her time as the Lich King’s thrall. Because of her weakness, she was used to being careful, so she wouldn’t have to be any more careful than usual with a child in tow. Sponsoring an orphan was something that was certainly within her power to do.

Kaumalea had such an agreeable outing with the orphan that she sponsored from Shattrath — a clever-fingered blood elf girl named Ameridala who soon had her hair out of its customary braids and twined up into an elaborate crown never seen before or since on a tauren (or taunka) — that she decided to sponsor an orphan from Orgrimmar as well.


With the talkative orc boy Ezrom as her guide, she learned much more in a day or two about the history and heritage of this “Horde” that she had been swept up into upon being freed from the Lich King than she had gleaned during a whole year in Horde settlements in Outland.

“I am sorry,” Matron Aria in Dalaran said, “but only adventurers who have already reached their 70th season are allowed to sponsor the wolvar and oracle children. I have heard, however, that there is an orphanage of taunka children at Agmar’s Hammer in the Dragonblight; the matron there does not like to ask for help, but I am sure she would accept it gladly if you offered.”


“Oh!” said Matron Twinbreeze, when Kaumalea explained her intentions, “I had never thought of something like that, but, yes, it would be a wonderful thing for one of the older children!”

She introduced Kaumalea to a youngster named Omner.

“I miss my sister, Abish,” Omner said when Kaumalea asked him where he would like to go first, “She’s the only other member of my family who escaped when the Nerubians overran our village. She’s almost an adult, though, and she’s already started her real training to be a hunter. I think she’s probably at Westwind, where we’ve had a hunting camp forever. Everyone knows where it is — west of here, just this side of the bridge to Borean Tundra. That’s what made it such a good spot for the refugees from the Scourge attacks to gather.”

“I can’t wait until I’m old enough to start my real training, too!” Omner enthused. “Then I’ll get to be with my sister and her friends all the time!”

~*~*~

“Greatmother Icemist tells us a story about ancient druids trying to grow a huge tree in the middle of the Grizzly Hills,” Omner said next, “I don’t know how growing a big tree could fix the world in the first place, but I guess it didn’t work because she said the tree died. I don’t know if I belive that a tree could get that big, either. Can we go see the place where it was?”

“Wow,” Omner said as they flew over the fallen pieces of Vordrassil and down into Grizzlemaw, “that must have been some strong magic. Usually trees rot to splinters in only a few years after they fall, but Greatmother Icemist said that this tree fell thousands of years ago! I guess that strong magic is why the furbolg decided that this would be a good place to live.”

~*~*~

“Sometimes at night,” Omner confided, “I sneak downstairs and listen to the adventurers talking. Once, I heard one of them saying that he went to a place called the Bronze Dragonshrine, northeast of the dragons’ Wyrmrest Temple, and saw himself, only from the future! And then another one laughed and said that he’d done that, too, and then he’d come back later, and seen himself, only from the past, when he was there before! If we go there, do you think we might see me from the future and you from the past?”

“I wasn’t expecting that… I’ve always wanted to be a hunter. But I guess being a wind tamer wouldn’t be so bad.”

~*~*~

As they rode out of the pass leading to the Bronze Dragonshrine, Omner pointed at the great Titan structure rising up in the distance. “Wyrmrest Temple! That’s where the dragon queen lives, up on the very top floor. I’ve always wanted to see a dragon up close, and she’s supposed to be friendly… right? Let’s go!”

“I never knew that dragons could do that, change their shapes. It makes sense why they do it, but I’d still like to see her dragon form, someday. If her dragon form is too large for even that big room, she must be simply magnificent!”

~*~*~

Finally, Omner said, “I love to hear Greatmother Icemist’s stories. Matron Twinbreeze tells some good stories, too, about the place where she comes from. You know who has all the stories about our people, though? There’s an Elder named Xarantaur who knows everything! He lives at Tunka’lo Village. It’s on a mountaintop way up in the Storm Peaks, north and a little east of the frost giant place called Dun Niffelem. Will you take me to visit him?”

“That was so cool! Maybe being a wind tamer will be better than being a hunter, after all, if it lets me spend more time learning stories.”

Before returning to Agmar’s Hammer, Kaumalea took Omner to The Wonderworks in Dalaran. His eyes grew big and round as he took in the variety of toys. He inspected them all carefully, lingering longingly over the copper racers. Eventually, he chose a paper zeppelin kit, explaining that this toy was simple enough that maybe he could figure out how to make more, to share with the other children, from materials he could scavenge.

When Kaumalea at last came back to her lodgings in Outland at the end of the week, the innkeeper asked, “So, how did you enjoy helping the orphans?”

“It was good experience. It made me feel… warm. On the inside. I think I’ll do it again next year,” she replied.

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The most recent Blizzard short story, “Bleeding Sun”, not only thoroughly jossed the picture of Dezco’s Boys that I posted a couple of weeks ago, it also reveals an interesting similarity between the Golden Lotus and the Jedi. Like the old Jedi, the Golden Lotus choose new members as infants or small children and take them away from their parents and families to be specially raised and trained. Reading this newest story prompted me to get caught up on the rest of the Pandaria short stories, and I found that this particular Jedi-like practice of the Golden Lotus had already been hinted at in part 9 of “Li Li’s Travel Journal”.

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As she handed the last of the re-stolen vegetables to Farmer Yoon, Kamalia felt a sudden burning sensation on her forehead. It flared intensely for a second or two, then faded away.

Puzzled, she rubbed at the spot.
“Are you okay?” Farmer Yoon asked. “Your eyes turned red there for a moment. Come, sit down.”
He prodded her up the stairs, into the house, and onto a chair, then bustled around making up some ginseng tea while Kamalia tried to figure out what had just happened.
As he handed her the steaming mug, Farmer Yoon’s gaze fell on Kamalia’s mace. He frowned at the deep black gem glimmering on the pommel, and, shuddering slightly, hurried back outside.
Then Kamalia remembered. Only a few days after the Black Prince had given her that gem, she had visited him again with the news of the arrival of the Horde and Alliance warfleets on the shores of the Krasarang Wilds. He had received it with a rather childish degree of glee — but then again, she supposed, he was still very much a child, especially as dragons age — and challenged her to prove to him that the Horde was worthy to be the ultimate victor in the ongoing strife with the Alliance. Then he had done something entirely unexpected


Without warning, Wrathion sliced his thumb and pressed it against her forehead. His blood burned to the touch, but rapidly disappeared into her skin.

“There!”, he said, “My eye is upon you, shaman. I am watching.

The Pandaren, like the Horde, value the concept of “Valor.” There are many ways to prove yourself valorous on this continent, from daily tasks to the defeat of heroic enemies within their lair. I will let you choose your own course.

Prove your bravery to me!”

That had been nearly three months ago. Much had happened in the interim. Blood and oil soaked the sands of once-pristine beaches in Krasarang Wilds. Pressured by Warchief Hellscream, the Sin’dorei had helped him obtain a dangerous ancient mogu artifact — costing the Sunreavers their neutrality — and the Horde’s foothold in Dalaran — in the process. The young Prince of the Alliance, at once wise and brave and very foolish, had destroyed the Divine Bell. It had collapsed on top of him. Kamalia did not know his fate, but she hoped that he had survived, somehow. At this worst of all possible times, the Shado-Pan reported that the ancient mogu hero, the legendary Thunder King, who had been stolen away and resurrected by the Zandalari trolls at about the same time as the Horde and Alliance first arrived on Pandaria, would soon return to his full, terrible strength. While the Warchief continued to press the battle with the Alliance in Krasarang, the displaced and utterly outraged Sunreavers took this matter into their own hands, hoping to show the Shado-Pan that at least some of the Horde were interested in honorably helping. Kamalia had helped them secure an outpost on the island where the Thunder King’s stronghold was located. She’d spent most of the last month there, fighting trolls and mogu and mogu and trolls and occasionally some saurok and more trolls and more mogu, until finally the way to the gates of the palace itself was cleared. She had carefully stayed out of the sniping between the Sunreavers and the Kirin Tor, who were leading the Alliance’s effort to aid the Shado-Pan. She had a handful of keys to the palace treasure room that she hadn’t yet mustered up the… greed to use. And yet.. and yet… after all of that, it was completing a simple task of service, one that Kamalia had done many times before and would probably do many times again, that had apparently been the final “proof of bravery” that Wrathion wanted.

Kamalia carefully placed the empty mug with the rest of Farmer Yoon’s dirty crockery, and, smiling, went out into the garden to tell him that everything was just fine.

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Dezco’s Boys

Sunwalker Dezco says that he named one of his twin sons “Kor”, after Kor Bloodtusk, and the other after the adventurer who assisted him at Thunder Cleft. I suspect that, should the twins ever appear in some later expansion as larger children, the other one will actually be named “Kang”, after Kang Bramblestaff.

Edit, 3 May 2013: This picture has now been jossed by the publication of the short story “Bleeding Sun”.

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