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The Patch 8.1 PTR is turning up some cool stuff already — upgraded Blood Elf Guard armor that may or may not be the Blood Elf Heritage Armor, a Boomkin form of their own for Highmountain Tauren Druids, new Night Elf stuff — but what has me most excited is that there will be capybaras!

I’m rather fond of capybaras. I think they’re funny and cute. Guinea pigs are my favorite small animal pet; we had a series of them when I was growing up, and by the time I was in college, the guinea pig was my special pet. I keep telling my toddler that when he gets big enough, I’ll get him some guinea pigs — but they will really be for me, and I’ll just be sharing them with him. And capybaras look kind of like gigantic guinea pigs.

I sure hope the capybaras will be tamable — both as big ones for Hunters and as little ones for Pet Battles. I haven’t tamed any new Hunter pets for quite awhile now — I’ve been meaning to tame a manasaber and to make the Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix and then go tame the purple-gold-blue mechanostrider in Gnomeregan, but because I rarely actually use any pets other than the faithful cougar who’s been with me since level 10, adding new pets to my collection always seems to be so low down on my priority list of ways to spend my game time that I never get to it. I think I’d go out of my way to tame a capybara, though 😀

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Last week, Kiralaira finally reached Exalted with Argussian Reach.

At last, Kaylynda and Alleria Windrunner could go in search of the renegade Magister Umbric and his followers…


I have played through the Ghostlands many, many times on my Horde characters — it’s one of my favorite level 10 – 20 zones — so it felt both familar and strange to be there with an Alliance character. I had to remind myself to go around Tranquilien instead of through it.


While we were in the Ghostlands, naturally I had to take Alleria to see her sister. I couldn’t quite figure out where to stand to put Alleria right next to Vereesa, though.


Did Dawnstar Spire always have this upper level, and I never saw it because I never looked up, or is this a new addition? It’s so pretty… If a Void Elf comes back to Dawnstar Spire on the ground, can they see and use the teleportation console to get up here?

Telogrus Rift itself doesn’t impress me much. It’s another scrap of a fallen world, like Niskara or Mardum or Dreadscar Rift, that looks like it should be airless and very, very cold — only with purple void goop instead of green fel goop. My new Void Elves were happy when they finished Alleria’s training and were able to return to the warmth and sunlight of Azeroth again. They will probably not go back to Telogrus very often, if ever.

These characters have stories, or fragments of stories, at any rate, which someday perhaps I will get together enough to be able to tell.

I chose the skin tone that appeared the most pink to me for Kaelyla and the one that seemed the next-most-pink for Kishalla. I find it a bit ironic that in this expansion where Sylvanas is public enemy number one of the Alliance, it is Alliance players who can most closely mimic Sylvanas’s appearance by being a Void Elf with the darkest blue skin tone and the silver hair.

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There is among the tauren of Kalimdor a tribe named “Highmountain”, perhaps in distant memory of Huln and his kin. Along with the Bloodhoof, the Ragetotem, and the Grimtotem, the Highmountain are renowned as warriors who led out against and bore the brunt of the constant attacks from centaurs, harpies, quilboars, and gnolls. The most well-known members of this tribe are Jerrik, Melgromm, and Trag.

When, following Eitrigg, the warriors of the Horde assaulted the Broken Shore, not all of them were snatched away by Odyn’s Val’kyr. Among those left behind, fallen, was Kaiopeqa of the Highmountain tribe.

~*~*~

After raising General Nazgrim as the first of the new Four Horsemen, The Deathlord wondered if the Lich King had given her this power just to fulfil his ends… or if she could perhaps use it for her own, as well. For all of the tolerance and kindness that had been shown her by The Farseer and others, the friendships she had managed to forge — and despite having managed to locate and regroup several of the Grimtotem Ningha during her time at Frostwall Garrison* — she still felt lonely, somehow. Now, the burdens of being Deathlord weighed heavily upon her, and she desired an apprentice. Knowing of the warriors’ catastrophe from her friend The Battlelord, The Deathlord sent one of Dread Commander Thalanor’s aerial patrols to do some reconnaissance of the area and bring her back a test subject — preferably a tauren female, if they could find one. They brought her Kaiopeqa.

The Deathlord raised the Blades of the Fallen Prince over the corpse of the young tauren warrior and Kaiopeqa arose into undeath filled with horror and hatred and unholy bloodthirst.

The Deathlord promptly assigned her to collect the Maw of the Damned and Apocalypse. When her new apprentice had departed on these errands, The Deathlord heard the Lich King’s hoarse whisper in her mind: Very well, I shall let you have this one indulgence. But no more. This power is mine, to be used for my purposes and mine alone. You will use it only as I command.
The Deathlord replied: You are indulgent, my liege. I know how you allowed me to obtain these blades. I know how you permitted The Archmage to take Felo’melorn. I am satisfied.

The Deathlord watched and waited, patiently, as Kaiopeqa went through the same sequence of emotions as she herself had after being released from the Lich King’s grasp at Light’s Hope Chapel all those years ago. Horror and hatred sank into despair and depression. From those emerged, in time, a desperate need to control the sadism that had been inextricably imbued into the soul by the process of being raised as a Death Knight by channeling it into useful service to society**. When Kaiopeqa reached that stage, The Deathlord assigned Kaiopeqa and her tribesman Trag to respond to Archmage Khadgar’s request for heroes to aid the tauren of Highmountain.

The two Highmountain returned from Highmountain filled with more questions than answers concerning the origin of their tribe. More significantly, the experience had given Kaiopeqa a form of… not exactly peace… but consolation, perhaps.

“When I was in Tanaan Jungle”, Kaiopeqa told The Deathlord, “I saw the Eredar, and I saw the Draenei, and I felt sorry for what the Eredar had allowed themselves to become. It is better to be this and be able to continue to fight against the Legion, than to lie idle in the Earthmother’s Embrace and be unable to prevent all of our people from becoming like the Feltotem.”

~*~*~

* Aurochs Grimbane, Kaasa Blighthoof, Kilga Mourningsong, Tigar Frosthoof, and Tipa Rimehorn — all of them had taken new surnames that renounced their Grimtotem origins and embraced their identities as Knights of the Ebon Blade.
And then there was that taunka woman, Kaumaleia — though she hardly counted, either as a fellow Death Knight or as a friend. Kaumaleia had somehow managed to shake off almost all of the qualities of being a Death Knight except the unfortunate condition of being undead — and she managed to ignore even that most of the time, too. Kregga suspected that Kaumaleia had been one of the ice-shaman of her people before her death and raising, and that the similarity of that magic to the way in which a Death Knight wielded frost was what had allowed her to elude most of the corruption from the Lich King. Or perhaps the Lich King had never truly gotten ahold of Kaumaleia because she was so remarkably silly… Kregga could barely tolerate her.

** Death Knights love Dailies because those tasks give them ample opportunities to cause the suffering and death they require to quell their own pain.

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One of my favorite female hairstyles in the game is the long, loose ringlets of the Draenei “Jeweled Band” hairstyle.

I’ve often wished that other races could wear ringlets, too.

Although I’m still a long way from being able to create my Void Elf Mage — I haven’t even gotten my Demon Hunter to Argus yet (though she’s already reached Honored with Argussian Reach from Kirin Tor Emissary tokens) — I can experiment with what I might want her to look like using the “Preview” option that the devs so considerately included on the character creation screen.

I was initially rather excited that the Void Elf female hairstyles include some options that, while more wavy than true ringlets, have a similar aesthetic to the Draenei style. Alas, most of the ringlets-like hairstyles also feature the animated, glowing void tendrils — which are too creepy for me.

This one is my favorite from the back, but in the front, it has those void tendrils instead of proper ringlets.

This one is my favorite from the front, but in the back, what would otherwise be very nice ringlets turn into void tendrils.

If I could have the back view of the first one with the front view of the second one, that would be perfect!

This wavy hairstyle is quite pretty from the back, and it doesn’t have void tendrils in either front or back — which might be why I see it on so many Void Elves — but I’m not much of a fan of the hair-over-one-eye look, either.

I think this hairstyle is rather romantic… except for those void tendrils in the front again…

I’m fond of the long braid pulled over the shoulder hairstyle — originally a Night Elf hairstyle, added to Dwarves and Blood Elves when the Barbershop was introduced — because Jaina will be wearing her hair like that in Battle for Azeroth, I think Humans should get it now, too — so perhaps my Void Elf will choose this long ponytail pulled over the shoulder hairstyle.

And is it just me, or does the animation of those tendrils not look suspiciously similar to the animated, glowing, sinuously-shaped pillars on the statue of Rhonin…?

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So I was thinking about how my Nightborne Mage just needs to exist, and then I started thinking about how all of the Minor Mages — and my Dwarf Paladin & Shaman — more or less just exist for the sake of existing.

So then I thought, well, if I were to roll one alt of every Allied Race and be content to let them idle at level 20 just so that I could have “one of everything”, how many Allied Races characters would it take for me to reach the account limit of 50 characters total?

And then I thought, well, if I’m going to do that, and have, like, both an Exodar Draenei and a Lightforged Draenei, a Darkspear Troll and a Zandalari Troll, a Bronzebeard Dwarf and a Dark Iron Dwarf, a Stormwind Human and a Kul Tiras Human, a Green Orc and a Brown Orc, et cetera — then I really ought to have both a Huojin Pandaren and a Tushui Pandaren.

So then I went and rerolled the Tushui Pandaren Mage that I’d created back at the beginning of Mists, then later pruned in a fit of alt fatigue. She’s not quite finished with the Wandering Isle yet, but I’ll get her at least to level 20 eventually…

So what does that make the character count?
There’s the one-of-each-class set of characters, currently numbering 12.
Then there’s the Minor Mages who, with the recent additions of the Nightborne and the Tushui Pandaren, currently number 13.
Then there’s my extra Tauren characters, who currently number 5.
Then there’s my extra Dwarf characters, who currently number 2.
That makes 32 characters total.
I’ll be converting one of those current extra Tauren into a Highmountain and rolling two completely new Highmountain Tauren characters, bringing the total to 34.
I’ll be rolling two Void Elves — I’ve realized that as well as a Mage, I’m also going to need a Void Elf Rogue (Subtlety, of course) because Alliance Rogue T9 — which brings the total to 36.
That leaves 14 spots for additional Allied Races characters.
The already announced Lightforged Draenei, Zandalari Troll, Dark Iron Dwarf, Mag’har Orc, and Kul Tiran Human would take up 5 of those spots, leaving 9 spots open for future Allied Races such as Taunka, Yaungol, Tuskarr, Vrykul, Ogre, Vulpera…

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This week being my Spring Break, I finally managed to sit down and power through the rest of Suramar.


It was indeed some very well done storytelling, and I enjoyed it — though it helped quite a bit that I’m at ilevel 900 from the slow ratchet of WQ rewards and already have flying. Although I still think she’s a conceited snob, I grew to like Arcanist Valtrois a bit more when I got to see her in her element, as it were, working with the ley lines — and the quest where she butts heads with Stellagosa in Zharkhenar cracked me up. I still like Occuleth the best, though.

I am not entirely “done” with Suramar, however, as I still haven’t gotten the Leywoven Flying Carpet. Kaelinda has Paragoned for the Nightfallen at least twelve times by now, and it’s getting rather discouraging to keep getting nothing but gold and Wakening Essences and other random junk when I open the caches. sigh…

I’d been making myself wait to purchase Battle for Azeroth at least until I’d completed Suramar and would be able to do both of the Horde-side Allied Race recruitment scenarios. I’d read that the Highmountain scenario is the longest and most involved, and that the Nightborne scenario has a scene that dovetails with the Void Elf scenario.

I spent the extra $20 to get the Collector’s Edition because fancy raptor for my Hunter who loves raptors —

— and fancy horse for my Human Mage who loves horses.

Although I could recruit the Highmountain Tauren and roll up the Highmountain Tauren alts I want to create now, I’m going to try to save that until after I’ve gotten all the classes leveled to 110 and experienced their Order Hall campaigns (through getting the last champion from the Broken Shore).

Because I only needed my Nightborne Mage to exist, however, there wasn’t any problem with sending Kaelinda off right away to help Lady Liadrin convince Thalyssra to join the Horde.

She was rather surprised and shocked by how harshly the Regent Lord treated Alleria Windrunner, though she herself was sufficiently well-mannered not to show it.

Kaelinda now has a “prettykitty” mount macro that includes the Mystic Runesaber, Arcanists’s Manasaber, Nightborne Manasaber, Luminous Starseeker, and Winged Guardian.

Thanks to a comment on Wowhead, I learned that I could create an Allied Races character on a realm where I didn’t yet have a level 110, so I was immediately able to create a Nightborne Mage on my Minor Mages realm (I’ll still have to get Kaylynda to 110 to do the Void Elf recruitment scenario, though).

Minor Mages, please welcome Koralythria!


She has pale pink hair (the color is very subtle) and no glowy tattoos (because she’s a commoner).

Koralythria is very young, as Nightborne go — only a hundred or so years old (about the same age as Kaelinda). Before — well, before Gul’dan, really — she was a junior assistant gardener at one of the smallest gardens in Suramar City, dreaming of someday becoming skilled enough to work on the Grand Promenade.

In her free time, she associated with a group of other young (less than a millenium old) people who were curious about the world outside the shield and wondered if there were things their leaders weren’t telling them. After the Legion arrived, she joined the cause of the Dusk Lily and became part of Vanthir’s network as soon as she became aware of them. Though her horticulture work had given her some proficiency with certain types of bladed implements, during the Insurrection, she discovered that she was more talented with magic than she had thought. When she came to Shal’Aran, she was overawed by Thalyssra. She was also rather disturbed and concerned by the Withered… especially by how many of them there seemed to be (so she’s even more of a conspiracy theorist now than she was before). She very quickly began to idolize Valtrois and Occuleth, though.

So… now that I’ve finally finished Suramar, what next?

Xe’ra’s Revisionist History of Illidan, then Argus, with my Demon Hunter — because the more Void Elves I see running around, the more I want to play one.

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Image from Wowhead
I am not sure whether to be jealous that they get a High Arakkoa-like form, or to be horrified by how it looks like a bizarre hybrid of High Arakkoa, Falcosaur, and Elekk…

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