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Kamalia barely had time to notice the ground heaving underneath her, throwing her off of her feet, before the pain overtook her. White-hot, blinding, like a blade had been shoved through her — worse, so much worse than when Garrosh had dumped the Heart of Y’Shaarj into the pools of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms — it consumed all her senses. Dimly, she heard herself screaming. Dimly, she felt herself rolling across the hard rock floor of the Heart of Azeroth as the ground continued to quake violently.

After some unknown interval, the quaking and the pain began to subside.

A hand was gently shaking her shoulder. A voice was calling, “Farseer? Farseer?”
A woman’s voice with a foreign inflection, repeating “Farseer, can you hear me?”
A Draenei’s voice… Earthcaller Yevaa.

Kamalia opened her eyes and looked up at Yevaa. Slowly, she uncurled herself from the fetal ball she had been lying in and, gratefully accepting Yevaa’s proffered hand, rose on trembling legs. She didn’t notice until she was fully standing that she had one hand pressed to her side as if covering a wound. Looking down, she half expected to see her hand and armor caked with blood, and fresh blood still oozing around her fingers. But she was only muddy and scraped and scratched from sliding across the floor, and no blood rushed forth as she tentatively pulled her hand away from her side.

“The Earthmother,” Kamalia gasped, “The Earthmother suffers. She is — ” the phantom wound in her side throbbed as the floor quivered with another small earthquake “– she is wounded.”

Yevaa was looking at her with complete incomprehension, and Kamalia realized that she had been speaking in Taurahe.

“The Earthmother is wounded,” Kamalia repeated, this time in Common.

Other members of the Earthen Ring were gathering around Kamalia and Yevaa. All were trembling and shaky from the earthquakes, but some, including Muln Earthfury, Stormcaller Mylra, and a few others, seemed weaker than the rest.

“You are the last to recover, young Farseer,” said Magatha Grimtotem. “For a while there, I wasn’t sure if you were going to wake up again. Your contact with those Artifacts seems to have given you a deeper attunement to the Earthmother than the rest of us.” Her tone held a slightly mocking note, as if she thought that what she had just said was what others might say about Kamalia’s collapse — but she herself merely thought Kamalia to be weak.

“Was I…?” Kamalia began.

“You were not the only one to be totally overcome,” grunted Muln. “I was also, and Mylra, and others. The Earthmother is wounded, certainly gravely. We must find where, and do all we can to save her. If we can save her?” There was a hint of a question in the senior Farseer’s voice, and he looked toward Nobundo and Aggra.

Nobundo shook his head. “I feel that this world is in distress and terror, but I do not think I felt what you felt, my friends. As for your question… I cannot answer that. We were just learning to become Shaman when Ner’zhul’s portals began to tear Draenor apart, and Draenor was not host to a world-soul. I did not know enough then to be able to compare what I felt from Draenor’s elements, then, to what I feel from Azeroth’s elements, now.”

“I was only a child, and had not yet begun my training, when my world broke,” said Aggra. “When my teacher told me about it, she said that she felt the elements’ distress and knew that the world was falling to pieces, but she didn’t describe being physically affected in the way that you were just now. And I… I can feel that this world is now in terrible pain. Greater pain, deeper pain than the surface burns and scars inflicted by the Legion on the Broken Isles. But I do not know if it will be fatal.” She nodded toward Muln. “We must find the place, and go there, and do all we can to prevent it from being fatal.”

There was a sudden clamor from the portal to Dalaran. The delegation of Earthen Ring Shaman whom Kamalia had sent to Argus, who had been out of contact for several weeks following their reports of the initial forays by the Army of the Light and the Legionfall Concordance into the seat of the Burning Legion — Antorus, the Burning Throne — burst through, running, shouting.

Seeing the toppled totems and other items, the rockslides, and the other members of the Earthen Ring crowded around the inner circle of Farseers who were all looking pale and some of whom were holding hands to their sides, the returning champions faltered to a halt and their shouts began to quiet even before Muln held up a hand.

“You already know,” one of them, a well-respected Troll man, said.

“Perhaps,” said Muln. “We know that Azeroth is gravely wounded, but we do not yet know where, or how, or why. It seems that you may know these things. Tell us what happened in Antorus.”

The champions began telling what they had seen and experienced in the Burning Throne. At first, they spoke in turns, but soon a Pandaren woman named Cinder became the main storyteller, with the others occasionally chiming in to provide additional details.

“…as the Pantheon’s power pulled Sargeras into their prison, he turned and plunged his sword into Azeroth! We weren’t able to see exactly where it struck, but we know it was somewhere in southern Kalimdor. If we take the portal to Ramkahen from the Earthshrines and fan out from there, we should be able to find it very quickly — that thing is immense!”

From Ramkahen, the location of the Sword of Sargeras* was instantly obvious: Silithus.

The Earthen Ring group landed on the ridge above the Oasis of Vir’sar and looked down on a horrifying sight.

The incomprehensibly large weapon appeared to have pierced Azeroth right at Cenarion Hold — all the valiant kaldorei warriors and Cenarion Circle druids who’d lived there, obliterated instantaneously. A new wave of pain and grief washed over Kamalia, bringing her to to her knees. She fought down a surge of nausea.

The sands of the whole Silithus valley had been turned to buckled slabs of slag. Around the edges of the weapon itself, white flames flickered and curled, looking eerily like Sha fumes. Elsewhere, the cracks glowed a strange color, neither the orange-red of lava nor the blue-violet of a ley line, but an unsettling golden yellow.

“This is not going to be as easy as blasting out the ‘thorn’ and throwing down some enchanted seeds, the way we healed Shen-zin Su,” Wavespeaker Adelee commented wryly from behind Kamalia. Adelee’s voice dropped to a despairing whisper. “Oh, Eonar, what do we do?”

~*~*~

* Of course, to actually see the Sword of Sargeras, I had to run through Antorus LFR with Kamalia. While I was there, of course I had to take a selfie with Argus, to get the filter — because I wasn’t sure if I’d ever come back there.

This story is still Kamalia’s canonical experience of the event, though — running the LFR was game mechanics.
Though reports from the PTR showed the Sword being visible from as far away as Thunder Bluff, I couldn’t see it from there. I could only see it from the edges of Mulgore, near or just over the borders with Feralas.

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Kamalia is TEN years old today!

In the first year of this blog, I made a post when Kamalia turned three in which I wrote:

When BTH and I were dating, he told me about this game he liked to play called World of Warcraft. He showed me the gameplay one night; it was a month or two after the release of the Burning Crusade expansion and he was leveling his Dwarf Paladin in Terrokar Forest. I remember quite vividly the strangeness of the warp stalkers and noticing that the male and female blood elves (at Firewing Point) had different death animations.

After we got married, we spent a month playing through Final Fantasy III together before he got me started on World of Warcraft. I wrote in my journal that night, or perhaps the next day, about having created my first character in this new game I was playing with my new husband — which is why I remember Kamalia’s “birthday” at all. I didn’t make note of, and therefore don’t remember, the dates upon which I created any of my subsequent characters.

BTH created an Undead Priest to level with my Tauren Shaman, but when I got stuck on some early quests, he brought in his level 16 Tauren Druid to help me out. Eventually I decided that I liked questing with the Druid better than with the Priest. By the time we got to level 70, the Dwarf Paladin had been abandoned and the Tauren Druid had become BTH’s new main. He wanted to try out tanking with his Druid, and hasn’t looked back since.

We’ve had a lot of fun playing this game together over the past three years. I’ve gotten a lot more involved and interested in it than I ever thought I would at the beginning — the world just has so much to explore, to see and to do. I don’t know if I have another three years worth of interest in the game in me, but I’ll enjoy it for as long as I can!

Well, here we are seven years later, and Kamalia (and her entourage of family and friends) is still a big part of my life. It’s been a grand ten years. I don’t know if I have another ten years worth of interest in the game in me — or even if the game itself has another ten years of longevity left in it — but I’ll keep right on enjoying it for as long as I can!

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By the time Kamalia got all of her Artifacts to 35 traits in mid-February, I was so ready to be done with World Quests. I went off and rattled around in legacy content, merrily bullying old raid bosses for their pocket change (seriously, Nefarian, just give my Priest her robe, okay?). After awhile, that began to get boring, but I wasn’t quite ready to jump back into Legion content, either — I couldn’t quite bring myself to do endgame stuff with Kam, nor could I quite bring myself to go level with any of my alts.

Now, though, the Legionfall campaign is fully unlocked. People are getting their class mounts and parading them around the streets of Dalaran.

I’m sure I will eventually do all the class mount quests for the stories. After seeing them in action, the class mounts that I’m most excited about getting, the ones that will get their own space on my characters’ action bars, are the Rogue raven and the Mage disc. The Paladin horse, Priest owl-gryphon, Monk tiger, and Warlock demonsteed will go into those characters’ mount macros. The others may not ever get used at all.

Now I can start the Legionfall campaign and progress through it at a rate limited only by my ability to complete the quests in a timely fashion. Plus, it’s World Quest bonus week. I skipped the last couple of those because I wasn’t doing anything with Order Resources. I wasn’t even running missions using the mobile app. I’ll need Order Resources again once I get started on the Legionfall stuff, though. This seems like a good time to come back to Legion content.

So I started doing World Quests again the other day, just enough to complete my Emissary quests, and lo and behold, what should fall out of the Suramar cache but my second Legion Legendary!

I got my first Legion Legendary, the equally generic and even more lackluster Sephuz’s Secret, from a Suramar Emissary cache, too. So I guess I should keep doing those Suramar Emissary quests, and maybe one of these days I’ll get a Legion Legendary that’s class & spec specific.

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Blingtron 5K finally coughed up the last encoded message after I-don’t-know how many duplicates (I didn’t save them). Now my Engineer can move on to leveling her Legion engineering and learn how to make Blingtron 6K.

Meanwhile, the mog farming continues. I am managing to cross items and raids/dungeons to be run off my list. I am starting to get kind of tired of doing nothing but mog farming, though.

Thus, I have been thinking about taking Kamalia down to the Broken Shore and starting to work on gaining Legionfall reputation, so that I can have flying as soon as my Mage gets through Suramar, and also so that I can see what’s up with getting Magatha Grimtotem as a Shaman Order Hall champion. Despite — or perhaps because of — Magatha’s betrayal of Cairne and attack on Bloodhoof Village and Thunder Bluff, Kamalia would prefer to have Magatha and the Doomstone close to hand so that she can keep an eye on them — she was very unsettled by Kaohana’s report of events in Thousand Needles immediately following the Shattering and has remained uneasy not knowing where Magatha and the Doomstone are.

I have also been thinking about just going out and doing Troll Archaeology until I get that blasted Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds. I have a Mog idea, maybe two, that I’d like to use it for. I guess it would be more productive to do Broken Isles/Draenor/Pandaria Archaeology and turn in crated artifacts for Troll fragments instead, though, so that I could work on my Pristines collections at the same time.

And I have been thinking that I ought to go through all my alts and work on their Professions until they reach the (first) point at which they have to go run a dungeon or two. Then I will be able to get the most efficient use out of the dungeon running I will have to do for their Order Hall campaigns.

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With today’s Kirin Tor Emissary quest, Kamalia reached Exalted with the last of the 7.0 reputations and got enough Artifact Power to put the 35th trait into Doomhammer. She now has 35 traits in all three of her Artifact weapons. I would like to be celebrating that I’m done with her Artifact weapons… except that come patch 7.2, I won’t be.

/headdesk

This is a great system for people who have an OTP relationship with their Main. For me, though, spending all my playtime with Kam farming Artifact Power is a rabbit hole that I’ve already spent too long falling down. If I want to accomplish my goal of playing all twelve of the Order Hall Campaign stories, I need to be able to let Kam rest.

So, I won’t be doing any more AP farming to put any further ranks into the Paragon traits of Kam’s Artifacts, and I will try to resist the lure of new content when Patch 7.2 comes out to focus on completing the 7.0 and 7.1.5 content first.

At Artifact Knowledge 25, it’s really only the last 5-ish traits that really take awhile to get. Kamalia can quickly boost each alt to Artifact Knowledge 20 as soon as she reaches level 110. Reaching Artifact Knowledge 25 is necessary to get the lore stories about all the Artifacts. Getting AK ranks past 25 will certainly speed my alts along the way to getting all of their Artifacts (or at least the ones for the specs I actually play with them) to 35, though, so I’ll probably end up doing it.

When I’ve gotten my alts’ Artifacts up to 35 traits, then I can think about doing the questlines to open up the Empowered traits. I must admit that I would like to do each of the seven Empowerment questlines at least once, just to see what they’re about.

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Kamalia hasn’t progressed any farther in the Suramar storyline than completing “Nightfallen but not Forgotten“, activating all of the leyline feeds to Shal’aran, and doing a few random side-quest chapters of “Good Suramaritan“. Nonetheless, through always choosing Suramar when I turn in a Kirin Tor Emissary quest and through doing Suramar Emissary quests when they are available, Kamalia dinged Exalted with the Nightfallen when she turned in today’s Suramar Emissary quest.

The Artifact Power she received in the process was enough to get the 34th trait in the Fist of Ra-den, too. Just one more trait in the Fist of Ra-den, and then I can start filling out the Doomhammer. Seeing how fast filling up Kam’s off-spec Artifact has gone since she reached Artifact Power 25 has made the prospect of filling up Artifacts for my alts much less daunting. The most important factor in that, of course, is that, my alts won’t have the same long hard slog up to Artifact Knowledge 25 that Kam had. Kam can just spend 11000 Order Hall Resources to boost them all up to Artifact Knowledge 20 as soon as they hit level 110, after which it won’t take long for them to get to Artifact Knowledge 25 — and then they can just blast through filling out their Artifact weapons. I like that!

Getting Exalted with the Nightfallen also means that Kamalia has managed to earn her entire Order Hall set. Even though I don’t much like the set as a whole (though the pants, gloves, and boots have some mix-and-match potential), I figured I ought to wear it, just for a little bit (meaning, I might Mog it over with a black and purple kit to go with the Nightfallen tabard as soon as tomorrow :P), because I might not manage to get the entire Order Hall set with any of my other characters.

Raiment of the Farseer

Raiment of the Farseer with Blue Workman’s Shirt, Theldurin’s Fist, and Shield of the Barrens

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Meanwhile, Kamalia got the Achievement for getting the 34th Artifact trait in Sharas’dal on January 2. She completed her Artifact Research and got the corresponding Achievement a day or two later. By concentrating on World Quests that awarded Artifact Power oojimies and completing Emissary caches, she’d gotten the 35th trait in Sharas’dal by January 6th. If I hadn’t put 15 traits each into the Fist of Ra-den and the Doomhammer, I’d have been able to finish Sharas’dal a little bit sooner, but eh, whatever.

With my “main spec” Artifact completed, it was time to figure out how to play Elemental in this expansion. I’m sure I’m not playing the spec “optimally”, as there are cooldowns I know I’m forgetting to use, but as long as all I’m doing with it is World Quests, that doesn’t really matter. With Artifact Research completed, a Champion Mission that brought back an Artifact Power item plus the bonus item zoomed the Fist of Ra-den from 15 to 21 in moments. By now, I’m up to 30 traits in the Fist of Ra-den and feeling like completing that Artifact is an achievable goal, even with the upcoming (hopefully very very soon!) much anticipated dramatic decrease in my time and energy for playing this game.

My play habit of late has been that if I don’t have very much time or energy for the game, I log on with Kamalia, set my world map to just show Artifact Power World Quests, and run around doing as many or as few of those quests as I feel like. After I’ve finished vacuuming up all the available Artifact Power quests (that I feel like doing), then I take another look at what Emissaries are up. If I feel like doing a few more quests to get the big Artifact Power boost from completing an Emissary Cache, I turn back on all the other types of World Quests and choose the ones that are the easiest or most fun.

If I have more time or energy for the game, then I’ll play with the next alt on the list for Artifact acquisition. I only have three left to go — Priest, Warrior, and Paladin — but they are all at less than 30% from 101 to 102, so getting the rest of their Artifacts will probably require at least two play sessions apiece — one for the leveling and one for the Artifact-getting.

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