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After a few days, the Underpowered Death Knight reported that she had collected twelve different pamphlets from the Doomsayers. It had taken her that long to be sure that she’d gotten them all, as after she’d gotten a handful, she started to get duplicates, but there didn’t seem to be any more than that. She gave them to Kaelinda to analyze. Flicking through the tattered, stained, crumpled, blackened, worn, damp, scrawled, scribbled, odorous, ominous, demonic, prophetic pile, Kaelinda quickly concluded that advice from other expert opinions would be valuable. She invited her Mage friends to study the pamphlets with her.

“The things that Kael’thas’ followers said about their plan to bring Kil’jaeden through the Sunwell,” Kaelinda said, “sounded a lot like this. There wasn’t actual death in that transformation, but the rest of it is more or less the same.”

“This drivel,” Kaprikka scowled, “is distressingly similar to the propaganda that Socrethar used to seduce the Sargerei.”

“I wasn’t there during the War of the Ancients,” Keriluna mused, “I was born a few decades afterward. My parents didn’t like to talk about that time, but when they thought I was old enough, they told me about it. These words… they are just like my parents’ memories.”

“Oh, I think I know what this one’s talkin’ about!” exclaimed Khrissalys. “Did yeh hear about how King Magni got turned into diamond when he went to commune with the earth just before the Cataclysm? Well, he woke up and I saw him with my own eyes walkin’ out of Ironforge.”

(the other two prophecies reference the second and fourth Legion comics)

Kaoling shook her head sadly. “The evaporation of the mists was enough of a shock, and then Pandaria was devastated by the escape of the great Sha, and especially the destruction of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. I think there are many Pandaren who feel like their lives were turned upside down who would be susceptible to this message. Those who were severely afflicted by the great Sha might be even more so.”

“There are many who are unhappy with the current state of our governments,” Kymberlea observed, “Those who ask, where is Lorna? Where is Tess? Where is Calia? It is bad enough that these people are… reluctant to fight in the normal conflicts of our nations. It is worse to think that those sympathies could be used to persuade them to turn traitor to our world itself.”

“Why,” Kenosha muttered disgustedly, “why are my people so stupid? After all that we have suffered because of our bloodlust in the past, why would they think that this is the most honorable way to deal with this threat?”

“Most of my family belongs to a sect of the Church of the Holy Light that has as one of its tenets being prepared for future misfortune,” Kaylynda explained, “I bet that’s where this list originally came from.”

“I’m not sure that this is actually related,” Kivrinne said, “This looks to me like a left-over Twilight’s Hammer flyer from before the Cataclysm. That, or poetry by a high level cleric of the Forgotten Shadow. I hear that priests who turn their backs on the Light are going not just into the Shadow, but all the way into the Void now.”

“Dem Darkmoon carnies are pretty clever,” said Kikimaia, “I wouldn’t trust just a suit, though. I’d feel bettah if it had a voodoo charm ta strenthen da illusion, too.”

“What a scam!” hooted Kermione. “We should put out some counter-pamphlets telling people not to trust this at all. Gallywix’ll just take your life savings and enslave you. Been there, done that!… Didn’t get a T-shirt, though… hmm, maybe I oughtta suggest the idea to Boss Mida.”

“Only two air fresheners?” said Kelilla, “They really think a demon invasion would be over that soon? But what’s more worrying is that they aren’t including any Trogg repellent.”

“Still, if there are folks trying to make gold off of this” — the Gnome waved her hands to encompass the pamphlets held by the Goblin and the Troll — “then this kind of stuff must have been going around for awhile already.”

Kaylynda shook her head in astonishment. “Just what has been going on on Azeroth while we were all away on Draenor…?” Her eyes widened and she buried her face in her hands. “Kairoz, you blithering idiot! Whatever you thought you were doing when you brought Garrosh to Draenor, you’ve gotten us into way more trouble than you were planning for!”

“You mean –” began Kaelinda, “Oh! Remember what the Black Prince said? What he showed us?”

All around the table, heads nodded.

That is what this is all about.”

“You know,” Kaylynda said after a moment, “tomorrow is Tuesday. New and strange things always seem to happen on Tuesdays. Kaelinda, you had better tell your Death Knight friend to continue keeping an eye on these Doomsayers, just in case they change their behavior somehow tomorrow…”

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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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When I made myself a list of all the possible Tauren followers so that I could keep track of which ones I’d gotten and know when I’d recruited them all, I discovered that Horde characters can recruit Tholo Whitehoof as a follower from the Inn. Though there are a handful of Human, two Draenei, and one Gnome followers available to Horde characters, there are no Night Elves. Even worse, Anren Shadowseeker isn’t even available to Alliance characters as a possible Night Elf follower. Poor Tholo! What happened to Anren?

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I haven’t heard anything about the progress of the Blizzard Watch Patreon coloring book, but in the meantime, From Draenor With Love has been providing its Patreons with occasional coloring pages to enjoy! Thank you, Stacey!❤


Rather than just coloring the characters as they are in the comic, I decided to do a palette swap. Wrathion turned into a red dragon… perhaps even Rhea’s last egg.

My printer was not printing black correctly when I first tried to print this coloring page. It just printed outlines of all the lines. After cleaning the print heads a few times, I got a better print. I kind of liked the look of the one that was just outlines, though, and I’d been having trouble deciding whether to color in marker or in crayon anyway…

The lineart for these pictures is by Stacey Landry. I just did the colors.

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picking cactus apples


A quiet domestic scene featuring my Orc Shaman and her mother — or my Orc Mage and her daughter. Although I kept my Orc Shaman around for a very long time for sentimental reasons, she didn’t survive my most recent fit of roster pruning.
The cactus apples quest in the Valley of Trials and the related prickly pears cooking quest in Orgrimmar inspire me to think of Durotar as being rather like southern Utah and Arizona.

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The semester having ended, I took a break from work during the first week of May to catch up on WoW. Specifically, I wanted to get my Tauren “one of each class” characters not just into their level 2 Garrisons, but also all the way through Frostfire Ridge. By the time I got to the last of those characters, I went into the system sound menu and turned the dialog slider all the way down to 0 so that I didn’t have to hear it anymore. I’d gotten so, so, so tired of Orcs. What is it that Taran Zhu says in the last of the Isle of Thunder scenarios? Ah, yes: “Every reprisal is itself an act of aggression, and every act of aggression triggers immediate reprisal.” That describes the escalation of the war between the Frostwolf clan and the Thunderlord clan pretty neatly, and after having played through Frostfire Ridge nine times*, I was utterly exhausted by Orcs and their bloodlust.

When I told BTH that I was so, so, so tired of Orcs, he responded, “Why are you still playing that game?”

BTH quit playing WoW himself several weeks ago; the raid time that had worked relatively well when we were in Atlantic Canada was not working very well now that we are in the Mountain West, and he wasn’t really enjoying Warlords raiding enough to want to look for another guild (possibly requiring a server transfer). He has always played WoW primarily to raid, so if he wasn’t going to be raiding, why play at all?

I… am not sure that I have a good answer to that question. Do I keep playing WoW just because I’ve gotten into the habit of using it to fill my idle time, and I don’t want to expend the effort to find something else, something better, to do with that time? That’s not a very satisfactory answer, even if it is an uncomfortably large fraction of it.

Being thus discomfited, I didn’t play much WoW for the next week. Instead, I read webcomics — catching up on ones I hadn’t read regularly for a few months and reading through the archives of a few ones I hadn’t read before — and reread the classic early detective novel The Moonstone (by Wilkie Collins).

Why are you still playing that game?

Syrco has been looking for a reason to log in.

BBB, in his characteristic way, answers with the things that keep him going.

The Godmother asks her audience, “if you’re tired of/angry at the game, why are you still playing it?”, in various forms, constantly. She is also continually asking herself “why am I still playing this game?” and exploring the various forms that answer takes.

When I think about the things I have enjoyed about WoW in the past, and why I’m not doing those things now, I inevitably get tangled up in either the Garrison or the Faction Divide… or both.

In the past, I’ve enjoyed exploring the stories of the World of Warcraft. Now, I’m tired of Orc-centric Horde stories… but I still prefer to play as a Tauren or a Sin’dorei. I’ve played mostly Horde for long enough that when I do play Alliance, the anti-Horde prejudices in the Alliance-side stories alienate me. I enjoyed the Legendary storyline in Mists, but when I found out what was involved with getting Garona for my Garrison, I decided that maybe I’d rather not continue following the Warlords Legendary storyline. When I think about going out with a low-level alt or perhaps back with a high-level alt to play through past-expansion storylines that I haven’t yet seen, I get tripped up by wanting to run through all my Draenor-level alts’ Garrison chores first… and then by the time I’m done with that, my limited playtime is gone.

I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of Transmogrification, but with the LFR gear being uninspiring and the normal/heroic mode gear being out-of-reach** because I don’t want to PuG with the Group Finder, I’ve been lacking in Transmogrification inspiration for this expansion. Some of the crafted gear looks really nice — though the upgraded appearances are, of course, nicer than the Stage 1 appearance. When I’m looking at making crafted gear for Transmogrification instead of just equipping, though, I start thinking about making whole sets, and then the upgrade costs — 150 of the daily CD material, plus 30 of Sorcerous whatever, plus 15 Savage Blood just to upgrade one piece once — start becoming overwhelming. Even with — especially with! — Work Orders, I feel like I’d be spending all of my playtime doing nothing but Gathering. I also can’t bring myself to go farm old raids just on speculation or to make money; my inventory space is crowded enough already that I have to have a specific item or items from a specific raid that I want, for a specific planned Transmogrification kit, that I’m farming for. Even when I do want a specific item for specific set that I’m thinking about, again, tending all my Garrisons usually takes up all my limited playtime.

Time to take a few pages from The Godmother’s playbook, I think.

Taking a bit of a break from the game and thinking through my current feelings about it (in the form of this Bearwall) has been a good start.

Next, I need to find my own motivation to do something other than just routinely tending my Garrisons. I should also find a reason to be doing the daily profession CDs that’s better than “just in case I want this stuff later”.

So — I should design some Transmogrification kits that use Warlords crafted items — but not full Warlords crafted sets — so that I have specific items that I want to craft. I should prioritize leveling my two Alchemists to 100 and getting their Garrisons to Level 3 so that they can get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader***. I should also prioritize Follower missions that reward Primal Spirits so that I can trade those for Savage Blood. The upcoming Patch 6.2 changes to increase the amount of materials, including Sorcerous whatevers, generated by the daily profession CDs will definitely help this plan!

I should shake off the OCD tendencies that have been shackling me to my Garrisons. When I know that what I really want to do on a given evening is farm an old raid for a Transmogrification item, or go Fishing, or do Archaeology, or do Pet Battles, or quest in Draenor with one of my high-level alts, or quest elsewhere with one of my low-level alts, I should allow myself to just leave my Garrisons untended for that evening.

And then maybe I’ll get back to playing this game because it’s fun instead of just because it’s habit.

~*~*~

*Eight Tauren characters plus the Blood Elf Warlock

**Yes, my Followers do bring me normal mode raid gear, but because it is randomly generated and not from the loot table of any specific boss (unless there is a correlation between the various Follower raid missions and the loot tables of specific bosses that I haven’t been paying attention to), it isn’t really a reliable way to collect pieces for Transmogrification. Plus, more often than not (in my experience) it turns out to be a non-visible item such as a ring, necklace, or trinket.

***Or, perhaps, get the Savage Blood transmute from the herb trader when he’s in the Garrison of one of my battlenet friends?

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click on the images to see the full-size versions of these pictures

I began this project last summer, as a follow-up to my rather crudely-assembled racial height and build comparison.

At the time, however, the sexism-in-WoW discussion was going around again, and I felt that it would be rather gauche to post what is undeniably an objectified image: I have reduced my models to shapes to be studied.

I’d been meaning to complete it anyway, but somehow BTH always seemed to already be using the tablet to work on his comic whenever I wanted to work on it😛

With all the wonderful new model previews being released, I figured I’d better finish this up quick, even though some of the subtleties of the stances and the shapes will soon be out-of-date.

I had been thinking I’d do a further follow-up of close-up studies of the front and profile shapes of the faces, because I feel like I still don’t have a really good grasp on how to make some of the races different from my standard way of drawing human people. I’d like to do a companion set of “beach bums of Azeroth”, too, because I feel that I understand the male shapes even less than the female shapes. Maybe I should wait on that until all the new models come out in 6.0, though.

Speaking of the new models, I’ve liked all the ones we’ve seen glimpses of so far, and I look forward to seeing the Night Elf, the Troll, and especially the Tauren. The new female Orc makes me wish I hadn’t deleted my level 35 Orc Enhancement Shaman. I do hope the shaved head texturing makes it into the final model.

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