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Before turning Sunsong Ranch back over to Farmer Yoon — who will have to learn how to divide his time between the Tillers Council and his own property just like Haohan Mudclaw, Mung-Mung, and Farmer Fung do — Kamalia planted a “one of everything” garden.

Kerisa planted tree saplings to help the Vale of Eternal Blossoms re-forestation effort.

Kaprikka the botanist carefully tended all the varieties of Pandarian herbs.

Katewatha honored all the different threads of monasticism in Pandaria by filling her garden with golden lotuses.

Kaohana will leave her garden filled with the songbells she’s been growing for months, a quiet reflection on Pandaria’s lessons about the necessity of balance between light and shadow.

Kregga’s farm has been abandoned for so long that it is full of stubborn weeds.

And the rest of them will just leave the fields lying fallow, waiting for Farmer Yoon to reclaim.

So, I may have mentioned that I’m not a big fan of platekini and only suffer the Jade set because I love its unique color. Imagine, then, my horror when late last week I suddenly realized that on the new female Tauren model, the Jade chestpiece — which had previously exhibited what I consider to be the absolute minimum of decent coverage — now displayed underboob!

Using MogIt, I checked it out on the other races; the new models for female gnomes, orcs, trolls, pandaren, and draenei (though to a somewhat lesser extent) also show underboob in this style of plate chestpiece.

Not feeling like changing Karaelia’s Transmogrification kit completely, I just slapped on a Cerulean Filigreed Shirt for now…

…but I will never use the Jade chestpiece in a Transmogrification kit again (and I probably won’t use the leggings, either). Even if I have the old models turned on, people who are using the new models will see me with underboob hanging out — ick!

I had already been planning to make the following Transmogrification kit, using the Saltstone recolor of the Jade set, for the Male Tauren Warrior because I don’t really like how that armor style displays on female characters. Now it is even more a kit that I would only ever use with a male character!

Pretentious Purple

Replica Soulforge shoulders & gauntlets, Saltstone chestpiece & leggings, High Chief’s belt & boots, Hammer of Grief
Perfect for a Warrior or Death Knight pretending to be a Paladin.

Hallow’s End was good to the Underpowered Death Knight this year. She started out somewhere in the middle of 83. Between the dailies and trick-or-treat touring, this happened when she’d completed Northrend, Eastern Kingdoms, and most of Kalimdor –

She finished up Kalimdor, did the tour of Outland, and went under the sea –

Finishing up the Azerothian candy tour and dailies over the next few days got her halfway to 86.

Then it was time to go to Pandaria!


Hey, what’s that lout still doing hanging around here?!

Once she got on the ground, she ignored the rest of Jade Forest questing to look for candy buckets. I quickly discovered that if a Horde character who is still hostile to the Forest Hozen tries to run through hozen settlements that later become allied with the Horde (Camp Nooka Nooka and Grookin Hill) the hozen there will treat them as if they are Alliance — Elite guards will spawn and one-shot the hapless character with their bows, and they will be PvP-flagged when they rez. I did manage to get the Grookin Hill candy bucket, though!


Except that you won’t be here very much longer, now will you?

The candy buckets, exploration XP, and a couple of fortuitously-placed (that is to say, not very dangerous) Pandarian Archaeology digsites soon got the Underpowered Death Knight to level 86. I hadn’t been able to get the Eastwind Rest candy bucket because of the quest phasing, and while I could have tried to get a summon into the Vale for the two candy buckets there, I didn’t try very hard. Instead, I went back to Kalimdor and did some more Archaeology until she dinged 87. Then she could do the quests to open up Eastwind Rest and the Vale. Because I wanted to succeed at these quests fairly quickly, I didn’t bother using her usual weak weapon, but instead equipped her Greataxe of the Ebon Blade.


The Vrykul Drinking Horn enlarges my Tauren Female player character to approximately the size that I would expect a female Yaungol of the same scale as this male Yaungol to be.


Somewhat surprisingly, Ur-Bataar proved to be more difficult than Varian Wrynn the Spirit of Hatred! She died twice to Ur-Bataar and only succeeded the third time because a Night Elf Shadow Priest came along and joined the fight. In contrast, the Spirits of Anger, Violence, and Hatred in Xuen’s trials went down fairly easily — perhaps because I already know all their tricks and how to avoid them, whereas Ur-Bataar is simply a contest of raw power?

Now I am somewhat tempted to spend the next couple of weeks until Warlords pushing her through to become one last 90 before the level cap goes up…

Meanwhile, my ensemble of level 90 characters were taking their daily turns to whack the Headless Horseman. They collected almost enough Magic Brooms to completely outfit six Quidditch teams –

– just about as many Sinister Squashlings (I didn’t count those because I just threw them away), and a handful of helmets and swords… but no Horseman’s Reins. :(

Now that this holiday stuff is over and won’t be eating up all my playtime anymore, I’ll be able to go do that pre-launch world event quest chain in the Blasted Lands and run the new UBRS a few times. I should do it with Kamalia and Kaprikka — the two characters who I know for sure will be going to Draenor — even if I don’t manage to do it with anyone else.

Finally, here’s my other Death Knight’s annual Horseman’s Helmet outfit:

Grave Moss

The Horseman’s Horrific Hood, Crystalvein shoulders chestpiece & gloves, Field Plate Girdle, Antique Reinforced Legguards, Pyrelord Greaves, Gravestone War Axe*/Greataxe of Stonard
I thought about making black “Grim Reaper”-type outfit to go with this axe, but somehow that seemed excessively cliche. These greens look better with the glowing helmet, anyway.

It had only been in the past few years that Tauren Druids had begun to feel Ysera — no, not Ysera, for the Great Dragons had spent their Aspect powers defeating Deathwing — the Emerald Dream itself calling them to walk its green shadows. Having no millennia-long tradition of Dreaming in specially-constructed Barrow Dens, as the Kaldorei Druids did, Tauren Druids who heard the call of the Dream tended to simply shift into bear form and find a snug den before entering the long slumber.

Standing at the mouth of the small cave in the mountains high above Mulgore’s golden plains, watching the gently-snoring gray bear curled into its furthest corner, Kamalia had never felt so lonely.

Kamalia and her closest-age cousin, Ronada, had been inseparable companions since childhood. They had traveled and explored the whole world — and the other world of Outland — together, growing in power and skill side-by-side. Karazhan, Zul’Aman, Serpentshrine Cavern, Naxxramas, Ulduar, the Trial of the Crusaders, the Bastion of Twilight, Blackwing Descent, the Throne of the Four Winds, the Firelands… all of these dangers to Azerzoth, they had faced together, with Ronada tanking and Kamalia healing.

That year in Northrend when the guild needed a moonkin more than another healer, so Kamalia’s sister Kerisa had raided Icecrown Citadel with Ronada instead, began the cousins’ slow drift apart. During the Cataclysm, Kamalia became so weary of the demands of constant raiding that she quit shortly after the defeat of Ultraxion and the reclamation of Wyrmrest Temple and the Dragonblight. Ronada, however, continued on to help bring down Deathwing. When Pandaria had been discovered, Kamalia and Ronada traveled together again to explore the new continent… at least until Ronada began raiding the Mogu and Mantid strongholds, and Kamalia declined to participate.

Though she no longer spent most of her time with Ronada, Kamalia hadn’t been alone. Her sisters, some Tauren friends, and her Sin’dorei friends had all eventually come to Pandaria, and they saw each other frequently. She’d also made many new friends among the Pandaren, especially in Halfhill and the surrounding farming communities.

After the Siege of Orgrimmar had dragged on for six months, Ronada, too, had wearied of raiding. The Emerald Dream was calling her. Kamalia had not felt sad or lonely when she had come to see Ronada safely off into the Dream half a year ago, but now…

When the Warchief’s Heralds had brought the news of the bizarre change in color of the Dark Portal and the invasion of a new, strangely-equipped sort of Orc, Kamalia had not gone immediately to the battlefront. She had come here, hoping to be able to rouse Ronada from the Dream, so that they could once more fight together. Kamalia had not begged or pleaded for Ronada to come back, merely told her cousin of her own excitement and anticipation. For a few moments, she had thought that Ronada might be waking. But then the bear settled back down into what seemed to be an even deeper sleep.

Sighing, Kamalia turned from the cave and began attuning her Astral Recall. Whatever strange new world now lay on the other side of the altered Dark Portal, she would be exploring it on her own.

~*~*~

In the spring, BTH decided to take a break from WoW. His guild had defeated Garrosh on normal mode a few times and was banging its head against the heroic modes — and after it had attritted enough people that even forming a 10s group became difficult, BTH decided he needed some time off from raiding, too. Plus, Elder Scrolls Online was coming out, and he’d really enjoyed Skyrim. He’s spent the past six months or so playing ESO and a variety of non-MMO games. Since D&D 5e came out a few weeks ago, he’s really been getting back into D&D.
Now, with Warlords just around the corner, BTH is not sure he even wants to come back to WoW. His guild hasn’t changed their raiding times, and the raiding times that worked well when we were in Atlantic Canada don’t work well now that we’re in the Mountain West. The guild has also decided to server transfer, and he doesn’t really want to server transfer his character. So he’d have to look for a new guild if he wanted to raid — and if he’s going to play WoW, he wants to do real (not-LFR) raiding. He’s not much interested in all the stuff that I still enjoy doing in Azeroth.
Which leaves me looking at playing through a new expansion entirely on my own for the first time… another indicator that Warlords has a fairly high probability of being my last expansion of playing WoW.

So, those Lounge Cushions in the Toybox that are supposed to be coming from Winter Veil?

Goblins make them. Here’s what they look like:

Clever Blizzard, using Winter Veil to give us some doodads that are already in the game that decorating-minded people have probably already been asking for on the forums.

Now — how will we get them, and will it be possible to get all four in one Winter Veil with just one character (for the One True Main folks out there)?

… does it?

In past years, I’ve not bothered with trying to farm for the Horseman’s Reins. That was before the Warlock could fly, however, and now that she can, it would be a perfect flying mount for her.

So I’ve been queueing up for the Horseman battle with my gemmed and enchanted characters — my healers, my ToT-geared Warrior, and the Warlock herself, whom I gemmed and enchanted just for this. I’ve been tempted, though, to just go ahead and queue with all my 90s, regardless of their mostly un-gemmed, un-enchanted states. No-one complained (to my face) when I let Kaelinda get away with being a scrub for the two weeks it took her to get what she wanted out of Terrace of Endless Spring LFR (most other people were collecting the Heart of Fear for Wrathion on their umpteenth alt by that point, and way out-geared the place), and the Horseman battle goes so fast that I doubt people would really even notice my characters’ sub-par DPS…

Knowing that Patch 6.0 would bring (along with the general stat squish) a complete removal of Base Stamina (requiring reliance upon Stamina from gear only) and auto-learning of certain glyphs during leveling, I was curious to see how the Underpowered Death Knight would be affected.

Her health went from 26925 to 17688.

Fortunately, the auto-learned glyphs were not auto-equipped, so she can continue as a playstyle experiment with no spec, talents, or glyphs and poor-quality gear. Practically speaking, this means that she will continue to be largely an alternative leveler — holidays, archaeology, and maybe even pet battles (though I have so far been unsuccessful in persuading her to pick up that baton) — rather than a quester.

I’m not sure how I feel about how the new model has changed her coloration.

I liked and wanted those brilliant blue braids.

The other DK-exclusive colors aren’t as bold anymore, either.

On the other hand, the new blue-gray coloration is very much like the existing blue-gray color of some Taunka males, reinforcing her backstory that she is a Taunka whose wanderlust got her into more trouble than she’d expected.

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