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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

The story concept of Shadowlands isn’t hooking me any more than the story concepts of Warlords of Draenor or Battle for Azeroth originally appealed to me. Warlords had some great characters & character moments (I love Draka in Warlords!), though, and the Alliance-side leveling story story, being unified by the meteoric trajectory of Yrel, felt more cohesive than the Horde-side leveling story. I’ve also found myself much more engaged by the stories of Battle for Azeroth than I initially expected to be. So I am tentatively optimistic that Shadowlands will also have characters, moments, and locations that I will discover that I like very much indeed.

With four different endgame campaign stories to play in Shadowlands, I’ll want to have at least four characters at level 120 by the end of Battle for Azeroth. Three of those four characters will be Kaylynda, Kaelinda, and Kerisa; who the fourth will be, I’m not sure yet. Kerisa will of course Covenant with the Night Fae of Ardenweald. Kaylynda will probably choose the Kyrian of Bastion. Kaelinda is the most likely candidate to choose the Venthyr of Revendreth because the concept art for that faction suggests that their gear will coordinate nicely with the Sin’dorei Heritage Armor for Mogging mix-and-match and also because Kaelinda would like another chance to poke Kael’thas in the eye. That leaves the Necrolords of Maldraxxus… If I want to send a clothie there, the most logical choice from an RP-standpoint would be my Warlock, Kalaneia. The Vulpera Mage that I’ll be creating as soon as Patch 8.3 goes live could also be a good alt to team up with the Necrolords — the Vulpera have that scrappy fight-for-survival attitude and, thinking of Nisha and her maps and battle plans, could work with the “spy” angle of the Necrolords.

Kamalia will be retiring for Shadowlands. During Legion and again in Battle for Azeroth, I was more interested in doing end-game activities — specifically LFR for Transmogrification shinies — with my cloth-wearing Mages and leather-wearing Druid than with my mail-wearing Shaman. Because Kamalia had leveled first, however, she had a huge lead on story and reputation progress toward the Pathfinder achievements, so I felt like it would be better to keep going on those things with her than to play catch-up with another character. In Shadowlands, I want to have the character(s) who I’ll actually want to do end-game activities with be the first one(s) to level.


In-character, Kamalia finally met her match in one of Jale Rivermane’s sons and will be getting married and settling down to attempt to give her parents some grandcalves before she gets any older. Kerisa, meanwhile, spent the latter part of Legion and the first year of Battle for Azeroth being pregnant with her second child, then nursing the infant. She weaned her son, allowing her to return to active service with the Cenarion Circle, just in time for her to help with repelling the Void assaults on Nordrassil and the Emerald Dream.

I’m most likely going to purchase the Heroic Edition because of the special armor set — and the level 120 boost will go to Karaelia so that I can have a character of each of the four armor classes prepared to move into Shadowlands. However, I will most likely not level Kamalia and Karaelia in Shadowlands until the end-of-expansion lull.

I am relieved that there isn’t a new Class. That would be another alt that I’d definitely want to play, but considering that I haven’t even got a second character to 120 in Battle for Azeroth yet, when would I find the time and energy for it?

I’m excited for more character customization options! Kjerstin will be getting herself some Wildhammer tattoos. I wonder what new customization options Tauren and Blood Elves will get?

I’ll probably roll up a Pandaren (or maybe a Void Elf) Death Knight to check out the Bolvar Needs More Minions starting zone, but that character won’t be a permanent addition to my roster. I’ll need another temporary toon to explore the new 1-10 tutorial zone, as well.

I’ll continue to work on leveling my Allied Races characters (Highmountain Tauren Druid, Void Elf Mage, Kul Tiran Mage, Vulpera Mage) for their Heritage Armor. The level squish and ability to level from 10 – 50 in any previous expansion’s content (Wowhead, Blizzard Watch) will help a lot with that, I hope!

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Way back in 2011, Millya of Manalicious* was doing 5-minute sketch portraits (batch 1, batch 2) for her friends, and I requested a portrait of Kaelinda**, thinking that I might use it for digital coloring practice…

Eight and a half years later, I’ve finally gotten around to doing that.

drawing by Stacey Landry; colors by me

~*~*~

* I miss Manalicious and still regret that I didn’t ever commission a watercolor portrait of one of my characters, even though I wouldn’t actually be going to BlizzCon…

** because I’d already gotten a Millya portrait of Kamalia, which has been my Gravatar ever since

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In honor of the launch of Classic this afternoon, I thought I’d share (repost) the very first piece of art I ever posted on this blog:


I created this “Druidmobile” of some of the Classic Druid shapeshift forms in mid-Wrath, shortly before the debut of the updated Cat and Bear forms and of the Barbershop. Here’s what I said about it at the time:

[I] was inspired by the bone and bead charms found hanging in various doorways throughout the game world.
I pulled the cat, bear, moonkin, and druid form button images off WoWwiki. I printed each image twice, once normally and once after mirror-image flipping it, onto cardstock. I cut them out and glued the mirror-images back-to-back.
The leather cords are tied onto the supporting sticks with half-hitch knots and the ends are secured with pony beads. I chose colors for the pony beads cued from the colors found in the capital city architecture of each race.
The bottom tuft contains feathers, leaves made of glass and carved shell, a string of all the druid form buttons (bear, aquatic, travel, cat, flight, moonkin, and tree — the ones all druids can learn in the order they learn them, followed by the two talent-specific forms), a plastic bear claw and a plastic eagle talon.

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Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.

— Burt Bacharach & Hal David, sung by The Carpenters

I was sitting in a long meeting earlier this afternoon and this wandered out of my pen and onto my notebook page. Apparently Kaelinda’s relationship with her Special Friend back in Silvermoon City is at the stage of mutual longing, yet mutual trepidation about actually expressing the feeling.

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Kerisa leveled to 80 with BTH’s only male Tauren character, a Warrior named Watha*. I imagined them as a betrothed couple. They were wed at the end of the Northrend campaign, after the defeat of the Lich King and shortly before the beginning of the Cataclysm. Their daughter was born a little bit over a year later, in the Grove of Aessina on the slopes of Mount Hyjal .


This dress is based on a Lakota/Cherokee woman’s dress from around 1825, and the baby carrier is based on one made by the Dakota around 1840.

Perhaps because her mother spent so much time in Moonkin form while she was in utero**, Kerisa’s daughter has displayed a remarkable affinity for Moonkin form herself. She began attempting the transformation almost as soon as she could walk. Kerisa was shocked, then astonished, then delighted the first time she saw her daughter toddling around with feathered arms.


For the background, imagine the interior of a Pandaren inn, with Watha sitting on the side of one of those oval Pandaren couch-beds

The child had mastered the shapeshift by the time she was four***. When Kerisa arrived at the Dreamgrove, she was profoundly relieved to discover that other Druids’ children are similarly affected — and her daughter hooted with glee when she was introduced to the Moonkin School.


One afternoon, Kerisa’s daughter came home from Moonkin School with a parchment from Taronn Redfeather announcing that the next week, he would be taking the children on a field trip to the Moonkin Festival in Moonglade. Interested parents were also invited to attend.

Kerisa was surprised. In her years of studying moonkin, she’d learned that every four years or so, the moonkin tribes of Kalimdor gathered in Moonglade for an event that seemed somewhat similar to the Orcs of Draenor’s Kosh’harg. As a courtesy to the moonkin, the leaders of Nighthaven always closed Moonglade to all others for the two or three days of the event. Even Druids who took Moonkin form as their preferred shapeshift weren’t allowed. What had changed?

“The Legion”, said Taronn simply, when she inquired. Then he elaborated. “As this is now the third time the Legion has encroached upon this world in force, the moonkin tribes have concluded that they need to encourage friendly relations between their hatchlings and other peoples. They want the other peoples of Azeroth to see their people — not just Druids who emulate their form and powers — as helpful allies. Therefore, they are opening one day only of the gathering to the other races. From what I understood, this part of the gathering, this cultural exchange event for the hatchlings, will be held annually from now on — though the rest of the festivities will continue to be held only every fourth year.”

Many screenshots follow. Click through the cut to (more…)

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idle doodles

Occasionally, I have to observe a class of one of my colleagues for peer reviewing. In addition to the assessment form I’m supposed to fill out, I bring along some scratch paper to take notes of things that maybe I should do in my classes — and I usually end up doodling.

This one is from sometime last year.

This one is either from last spring or this fall.

These are from this morning.

The chibi/meeple style was definitely inspired by Tish Tosh Tesh’s steampunk meeple designs.

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Every time I go to Draenor’s Shadowmoon Valley and see the talbuk herds galloping in what I’m sure was intended to be majestic splendor, I chuckle at the silliness of their flipping, flapping (not flowing) tails and think to myself that this should be a thing:

(Someone somewhere else on the internet — probably on DeviantArt — has almost certainly already done this with much more skill — but I haven’t gone looking for it.)

I can just imagine Dornaa or Salandria begging their Childrens’ Week patron, Oh please, please will you get one of those for me, please!

When I thought about drawing little girls playing with ponies, though, the two great pairs of sisters that Warlords introduced to us immediately came to mind.


Draka and her more reckless sister, Lokra, make a subtle foil to Durotan and his more reckless brother, Ga’nar, in the Frostfire Ridge storyline. Like Ga’nar, Lokra is headstrong and bloodthirsty, but she is also able to be reasonable and temperate. Where Durotan frowns at his brother, Draka is proud of her sister.


The way Yrel describes her older sister, Samaraa, it sounds to me like Samaraa was much older — perhaps even enough older to have been born on a previous world where the Draenei temporarily sheltered — and that their parents may have perished while Yrel was still a child.
I am a child of the ’80s, and I have fond memories of my mother teaching me to braid hair using the tails of my G1 My Little Ponies.

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