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Officially, Shadowlands began in Year 35 from the Opening of the Dark Portal, and Dragonflight begins in Year 40; with World of Warcraft having begun in Year 25, there are 15 years between the beginning of Classic and the beginning of Dragonflight. What does this mean for my characters?

Way back in 2018, Gnomecore asked, “How Old Are Your Toons?” At the time, I began a rundown of the ages of my characters that then sat in draft for a few years until I eventually deleted it. Now seems like a good time to revisit that storybuilding prompt.

Although I have previously headcanoned the first several expansions of WoW as being two years in duration, the Official Timeline has one year for most of them. I’ll use the Official Timeline for these age calculations.

A couple more assumptions, which may or may not be Canon: Tauren become adults in their culture at age 16 and generally live to 90-110. Eversong Elves become adults in their culture at age 100 and generally live 300-500 years, though rare individuals may live for 1000 – 3000 years.

~*~*~

The ages of my major Tauren characters can be determined from my Tauren Paladin and Priest, the twins Karaelia and Kaohana, who came of age at the beginning of Cataclysm. Thus, they are 16 years old in Year 28 and were born in Year 12. The twins were a surprise late pregnancy for their mother. Keija (Warrior) was 10, Ketura (Hunter) was 13, Kerisa (Druid) was 15, and Kamalia (Shaman) was 18 at the time.
In Year 25 when World of Warcraft begins, they were: Kamalia 31, Kerisa 28, Ketura 26, Keija 23, Karaelia & Kaohana 13.
Kerisa married in Year 28 at the end of Wrath of the Lich King and her daughter Kessina was born about a year later during Cataclysm; either late Year 29 or early Year 30. Her son was born during Legion, probably Year 33.
Keija didn’t begin actively adventuring herself until after the twins came of age. She married at age 25 (Year 27), but she and her husband chose to remain childless until around the end of Legion (Year 33); they had a son in late Year 34.
Kamalia finally got married in Year 33 at the age of 39*. She may or may not have succeeded in having a child by the time Dragonflight begins in Year 40, at which time she will be 46.
When Dragonflight begins, Kerisa will be 43, Ketura 41, Keija 38, and Karaelia & Kaohana 28.
My Tauren Death Knight, Kregga, came of age approximately during the events of Warcraft III, which puts her at about 18 or 19 in Year 25 and 33 or 34 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
Kaumaleia, the Underpowered Death Knight, was about 25 in Year 27 at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King, so she is 38 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
My Tauren Monk, Katewatha, was a young adult, perhaps 21 or 22, when the Pandaren came in Year 30; she will be 31 or 32 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
Kasheena, my Highmountain Tauren Druid, was a young adult of 19 or 20 when the Highmountain Tauren joined the Horde at the end of Legion (Year 33), so she will be 26 or 27 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
Kaurinka, the identity of my Tauren Druid during Shadowlands, is in her mid-30s.
My Tauren Rogue will borrow the name Kazithra from Kregga’s mother, and she will be young, reckless, and insolent; perhaps only 17 or 18 at the end of Shadowlands and 20 or 21 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
My Tauren Mage, whose name I haven’t quite decided upon yet, wants to be middle-aged, I think, even older than Kamalia, maybe in her 50s or 60s at the beginning of Dragonflight.

~*~*~

I’ve always thought of Kaelinda as a young adult, approximately equivalent in societal function to a 21 – 25 year-old Human. In a story I wrote about a decade ago, she is raised from journeyman to Magistrix shortly before she goes to Outland — but the story is about her crafting a Sparkle Pony, which the story describes as being a construct pattern found in Ulduar — which places the story in mid-to-late Wrath of the Lich King or about Year 28. In a story I currently have in Draft, she is an apprentice at an Eversong Woods academy of magic at the time of Arthas’s rampage in Warcraft III, or about Year 24. So she would have been about 105 in Year 25 at the beginning of World of Warcraft and is about 120 at the beginning of Dragonflight.

Kaelinda’s best female friend, Kaelyla, is a few years older, perhaps 110 at the beginning of World of Warcraft and 125 at the beginning of Dragonflight.
Kaelinda’s best male friend, Ianestin, is also in the 120 – 130 age range as of the beginning of Dragonflight.

Of the various Mage Alter-Ego characters, Kaelydia is around 175, and I don’t know any of the others — Khrysanthemina, Kaelyra, Kateleina — well enough yet to estimate their ages.

Kalaneia and Keliora are both significantly older than Kaelinda, having had their own young adult children at the the time of the destruction of Eversong Woods. Thus, they are somewhere in their mid-to-late 200s.

~*~*~

* Coincidentally, this makes Kamalia about the same age as me — I am 42 this year.

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WordPress reminded me that today, March 9, is my blogiversary — my 12th one, in fact.

Red and I were having a little conversation about cosplay. I mentioned that I sew, and though I don’t do anything complex or demanding, I did make my own Senior Prom and Wedding dresses. I used simple patterns and let the materials make them fancy. Red wanted to see them, and I thought they’d make a good Special Milestone blogiversary post, so here they are.

Senior Prom, 25 years ago

Renaissance Faire dress, 15 years ago
this picture is from the weekend BTH and I got engaged

Test run of the wedding dress pattern, 15 years ago

Wedding dress, 15 years ago


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My WoW playing lately has been driven or dominated by what Kaylriene has recently discussed as the time-wasting or “hamster wheel” aspects of the game. I’m still logging in almost every day, but I’m just doing Anima Conductor Treasures and my favorite super-easy WQs to get my 1K Anima each week. I’m marking time, making minimal increments of progression toward Transmogrification collecting goals (by the proxies of collecting Renown and Anima and Grateful Offerings) between the widely-spaced opportunities when I feel like I have enough time and attention to do a segment of story progression.

Transmogrification is where I get the most fun out of WoW, as you might guess from the persistence and prominence of “Sunday on the Promenade” as a feature of this blog. I love designing new outfits & looks for my characters. With each expansion and patch, I am most interested in finding out what nifty new things there will be to wear and what interesting new character customizations will be available. I catalog which items are both awesome looking and not overly difficult to acquire relative to the comfort zone of my playstyle, then focus my gameplay toward obtaining those items and making outfits with them.

Although I am so, so far behind on experiencing the current storylines, I’ve appreciated and agreed with posts about how the story of WoW is struggling in Shadowlands such this one by Kaylriene and this one by Redbeard.

I’ve found that I engage with the story of Azeroth most at what I think of as the “middle” level — the zone and Campaign storylines. The “little” side-quest storylines can be quite interesting, but I don’t make the effort to search out all of them. As for the “big” overall narrative, well… it lost me in Warlords of Draenor.

For me, the premise of Warlords of Draenor was just a little too reality-warping, even for a fantasy universe. By interacting with the Draenor of the other timeway in such drastic ways, we essentially pulled it out of its original timeway into our own timeway. Between that and the magnitude of the differences between Draenor and Outland, I am more comfortable thinking of Draenor as just another continent (that happens to be on another world) than as a version of the past of Outland. Then there was the “boys’ trip” kerfluffle, which was only tokenly addressed by the roles of Draka and Yrel — and was a clue to Blizzard’s now very public internal woes.

Legion had a good overall premise and narrative. I think that we could have gotten to the premise of “the Burning Legion comes roaring back to Azeroth and we have to make our Final Stand and Stop Them For Good This Time” by another route that didn’t involve timeway shenanigans and alt-Gul’dan.

Battle for Azeroth‘s main premise and Sylvanas and N’Zoth narratives lost me again. I also couldn’t ever quite get over the cognitive dissonance of having the Zandalari be our enemies in Kun-Lai Summit and Isle of Thunder, then our buddy-buddies in Dazar’alor with seemingly very few hard feelings — even with the handwaving that the Zandalari invaders in Pandaria were Zul loyalists whose activities were not officially sanctioned by King Rastakhan, and that Princess Talanji had concluded that the best folks to help her with the Blood Troll problem would be the ones who had thoroughly kicked the butts of that rogue group.

And then there’s Shadowlands, in which I will be more interested, when I finally get there, in how the 9.1 Campaign advances the smaller Covenant narratives than in what it discloses about the larger Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot narrative. Because I don’t really care about it, I’ve let myself get spoiled about the Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot narrative while trying to stay only minimally spoiled about the advancement of the Covenant storylines.

In each of these expansions, because of my playstyle, I’ve felt like my character’s actions and interactions have mattered the most on the zone-leveling and Garrison/Order Hall/Suramar/Covenant Campaign storyline level. I feel like I could, if I so desired, write an in-character RP story about how my character(s) participated in and thought and felt about these events. The Battle for Azeroth War Campaign, however, was just a vehicle for showing me what was happening in the faction war because the events that happened weren’t things I was particularly enthused about having my characters actually be participants in doing (except for rescuing Baine from Sylvanas — Kamalia did help out with that!). I feel the same about the Torghast questchain and the Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot stuff in Shadowlands — it’s a way to show me what is happening with the faction leaders, but it’s not really stuff that my characters would be personally involved in doing. I may be a Big Damn Hero, but I’m not that much of a Big Damn Hero.

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On March 9, 2010, I made my first post as a WoW blogger.

Wrath of the Lich King was winding down and Cataclysm was on the horizon; that first post mentions plans I was making in anticipation of the coming changes of Cataclysm.

I had a few long-term WoW goals back then, and, over the past decade, I’ve accomplished them. I raided (in LFR) with a healer of every healing class during Mists. I got a Horde character of each of the existing classes to the level cap in Mists, Warlords, and Legion. I pushed an Alliance character to the level cap at the end of Cataclysm so that I could play the Alliance side of the pre-Mists events at Theramore; that character continues to be the only Alliance character that I actively play.

The introduction of LFR and Transmogrification in late Cataclysm revolutionized my WoW game. The upgrade of Transmogrification with the Appearances collections in late Warlords changed it further. The “Things my [Class] Wears” and “Sunday on the Promenade” series of posts have become this blog’s core content.

Once upon a time, I thought that when this big milestone occasion arrived, I’d put together something elaborate and special. Real Life has gotten in the way of that, however.

I landed my dream job; BTH and I bought a house and adopted two children. My blogiversary is now greatly overshadowed by its proximity to my older child’s birthday. The past couple of academic years have been rather rough and I’m running on the edge of burnout in my job — and that general exhaustion has propagated a feeling of being on the edge of burnout in keeping up with the “Sunday on the Promenade” series here on the blog, as well. So this small post of simple acknowledgement will have to do.

Here’s to TEN YEARS!

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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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Over at Blizzard Watch yesterday, Matt Rossi made an argument, one more time, that the Alliance should have High Elves as an Allied Race. It’s a popular idea, and for good reasons.

If the Alliance were to get High Elves as an Allied Race, the counterpart Allied Race for the Horde should be the Taunka.

Like the High Elves already being a long-time Allied Race of the Alliance, the Taunka are already an Allied Race of the Horde and have been ever since Wrath of the Lich King. We already have four types of playable Elves (and a few more types of non-playable elves) and three types of Human (four if you include the Forsaken), so a third type of Tauren shouldn’t be a problem, either. Mr Rossi discusses a compelling story hook for why High Elves could be involved in the concluding sequence of this expansion. The Taunka don’t have a story hook into this expansion, but if 9.0 is a Death-themed excursion to the Shadowlands, the Taunka, who live around the edges of the Lich King’s domain in the physical world, would have a vested interest in the thread of the 9.0 plot involving the schemes of Bolvar-the-Lich-King. And hey, both High Elves and Taunka would be Allied Races that could be allowed to be Death Knights!

If we were ever to get High Elves and Taunka as Allied Races, though, there really ought to be a new model for Taunka women, giving them the same facial structure as Taunka men, instead of leaving them as differently-scaled regular Tauren women like they are now. Just sayin’…

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I got to Honored with Mechagon today. I got the jetpack blueprint yesterday — no more wasting half an hour camping for Rustfeather! Finding three rares to kill for today’s Mechagon WQ was much easier with the jetpack to zip about!

Mechagon wants to be fun. It is trying so hard to be fun. Sometimes I even catch myself geniuinely having fun while I’m running around there.

But it suffers from what Kaylriene calls “the Curse of the x.2 Patch”

In Coffee Cakes & Crits’ guild, they’ve “swap[ped] exalted with exhausted” when referring to maxing out reputation with a faction — especially the 8.2 factions.

In a recent edition of The Queue, Blizzard Watch columnist Liz Harper writes, “I’m tired too, though at this point I think I’d be tired if we were dealing with daily quests or with world quests. Sure, world quests have more variety and rotate more often, but they’re very much the same idea as a rotating set of daily quests. They’re a chore that you must do every day, and they feel like a chore, too…. Whether it’s daily quests or world quests, whenever I log on now I feel like I have to do dozens of quests in order to progress in the game. And then the same again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It’s not a game at this point: it’s a chore.”

There are days when I log in, look at what there is to be done in Mechagon, and just feel so immediately tired that I log right back off. That happened in Nazjatar, too.

It’s not all the game’s fault, though — it is now T minus two weeks to the start of Fall Semester, so although I have made rather good progress with my course prep so far this summer, I’m starting to get into I AM NOT PREPARED! anxiety mode. Getting ready for the first day & exam unit of my classes and making progress toward flying are competing for my mental bandwidth, and there are days when I really and truly just want to work.

So for now, I’m hoping that I’ll manage to reach Revered with Mechagon before Patch 8.2.5 drops.

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Crown of Good Fortune, Deep Earth Shoulderwraps (N), Expensive Tunic, Darkwood Sentinel’s Cinch, Shado-Pan Reliquary Kilt (LFR), Twisted Wraithtalon Gloves, Hot Spring Sandals, Springrain Staff

I don’t know what you do and don’t have in your Wardrobe, Alunaria dear — I don’t have half of these items myself — but perhaps this will give you someplace to start?

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Netherstorm Eyepatch, Pozzik’s Vest, Coarse Leather Waistguard, Bluegill Breeches*, Nimble Leather Gloves, Prospector’s Boots, Thunderstrike

Alunaria is so sweet! She gave everyone who participated in her “Happy Thoughts” project over the holidays a Cap’n Crackers!
In consequence of this unexpected and generous gift, Kerithian is my first Alliance character to break level 110. She did some of the Druid Order Hall Campaign and some questing in Val’sharah to get to level 111 so that she could wear the Kul Tiras belt that I wanted to use for this outfit.

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The latest challenge from Z & Cinder is a list of questions to answer out-of-character if you’re comfortable enough to talk about your real life, or in-character if you’d rather not talk about your real life. It’s a long-ish list (26 questions), so they’ve said that you don’t have to answer them all if you don’t feel so inclined — so I’m going to cherry-pick the ones that have easy answers 😉

1. How do you drink your tea?
I’m a Latter-day Saint. I don’t drink tea.
Well, I don’t drink black tea or green tea. Herbal teas, though, I like when I’m not feeling well in the winter. I drink more hot cocoa than herbal tea, though; from about October to March, I go through great volumes of hot cocoa. I make my own hot cocoa mix using a recipe developed by my mother.
I tend to drink hot cocoa and herbal tea tepid — not much warmer than room temperature — because I set the mug on a corner of my desk where I won’t accidentally knock it over and then get absorbed in work (or blogging) and forget about it for awhile. I’ve gotten to the point where I actually prefer my cocoa tepid because I can taste the chocolate flavors better that way. When it’s hot, I mostly just taste the sugar.

3. Favorite season
Spring or autumn, especially those lovely few weeks on the cusp each way when I can regulate the temperature of my house without needing either the furnace or the air conditioner simply by opening and closing the windows. I love all kinds of spring flowers — crocuses, daffodils, tulips, lilacs, irises — but I am also rather fond of my roses and California poppies that bloom and bloom and bloom all summer long.

5. Dogs or cats?

7. How many kids do you want?
I used to say “no less than four, no more than six, in other words, five” — but now that I’ve spent the first ten years of my marriage wrestling with infertility, I’ll be happy just to get to three by adoption.

12. What is your family ancestry?
English, Scots, Swedish, and Norwegian

13. What scares you?
Student evaluations. I always put off reading them for as long as I possibly can on the excuse that I can’t ever afford to lose a day of productivity to being in a state of emotional turbulence over the negative things my students have said about me.

14. What are you most grateful for?
My family. I have awesome parents. I have good relationships with my siblings. I have a wonderful husband and a darling child.

15. Dream job?
I’ve got it! I teach at a small two-year college where teaching is my only responsibility — no expectation whatsoever that I will do research. It is exactly the kind of job that I imagined and told my mentors and peers was my career goal to get myself through the long difficult years of graduate school.

16. Do you believe in aliens?
There’s a bit in one of the Narnia books where Aslan tells Lucy that there are many people’s stories in the world, but he can only tell her about her own. There’s a bit in Latter-day Saint scripture where God tells Moses, “And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose… But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.”

17. Favorite sport?
Quidditch? Nah… even if I were a Wizard instead of a Muggle, I’d probably not pay any more attention to Quidditch than I do to Muggle sports.

20. If you could be a teacher, what subject would you teach?
I am a teacher, and I teach CHEMISTRY!

24. What superpower would you choose?
teleportation and telekinesis

25. Favorite animal?
I am quite fond of horses, but realistically, I will never be a “horse person”.
I adore guinea pigs, and I look forward to when my son will be old enough that we can get guinea pigs “for the kid(s)” as an excuse to get them for me.

26. Biggest accomplishment?
Getting my PhD, I guess. I still marvel sometimes that I didn’t get kicked out of my program for being an underperforming student and that my thesis committee let me get away with a doctorate even though my research project only produced one paper that wasn’t published until some months after I finished my dissertation.

27. Do you dare to show a real-life picture of yourself?
I suppose I dare. This is cropped from a picture of BTH and myself taken a few years ago — that’s his shoulder in the bottom left corner — and is rather more glamorous than I usually look.

~*~*~

As long as I’m answering survey questions about myself IRL, I ought to answer these questions that Alunaria gave me for the latest round of the Liebsters couple months ago…

1. Which World of Warcraft quote is your favorite?
I like to use this on my students after an especially bad exam:

2. If you could bring back one NPC in World of Warcraft, which one would it be, and why?
I can’t think of anyone in particular that I’d like to bring back from the dead. I guess I’d like to find out where Wrathion disappeared off to during Legion and what will happen when he meets Spiritwalker Ebonhorn, aka Ebyssian.

3. What is your favorite thing about the blog of the person who nominated you for the Liebster Award?
Alunaria always takes such beautifully framed screenshots with such wonderful character expressions!

4. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in World of Warcraft?
I think I might be in the middle of it right now… This semester is being utterly exhausting, and while I want to finish my Legion solo-play goals, I’m also feeling more and more behind the Battle for Azeroth curve. I’m wishing now that I’d gotten all my alts to level 110 and through their Order Hall Campaigns much earlier, instead of waiting until the 11th hour to do those things, so that now they’d be further progressed on their Legion rep grinds.
In-game, the Lightning Forge and Chi-Ji’s Challenge scenarios for getting the Legendary cape during Mists.

5. If you could give someone 5 million gold in the game, who would it be, and why?
You mean, if I could ask the Devs to give someone 5M gold? Because I sure don’t have that much moolah myself. Uhm… probably BTH, because maybe I could convince him to re-sub to WoW and come run dungeons and old raids with me occasionally if he could perpetually fund it with the WoW Token instead of with our bank account.

6. Which one of your own blog posts is your favorite, and why?
Oh, gosh, I can’t possibly choose. Everything on my Stories page, and everything on my Drawings page, and everything on my Transmogrification page….

7. If you could bring one World of Warcraft creature into the real world, which creature would you pick?
Kodos! Or maybe faerie dragons.

8. If your World of Warcraft-friends had to describe you with 3 words, which words, do you think, would they choose?
Altoholic Tauren Transmogrification

9. What is the best advice someone has ever given you in World of Warcraft?
Play what pleases you.

10. What is your ideal way for World of Warcraft to end?
A lasting peace between the factions is finally achieved, removing the “War” from “Warcraft”.

11. If you could change one thing in the game, what would you choose – and why?
More hairstyle sharing between races — and more new hairstyles for everybody!
On the one hand, I get that a unique set of hairstyles is part of the appeal of playing a character of a different race.
On the other hand, there are so many hairstyles that are unique to one race, or only shared by a few races, that I would love to be able to use on characters of the races I play the most.
Right now, I really really want to use the long-braid-pulled-over-the-shoulder style that Night Elves, Dwarves, and Blood Elves have on my Human because of how Jaina is wearing her hair that way in Battle for Azeroth.

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