Archive for the ‘Mists of Pandaria’ Category

Yeah, I ship it.
Oops, looks like I forgot to color the handle of Nomi’s knife. Maybe it’s ivory or bone or antler instead of wood 😛

A lady at church was wearing a pretty netted shawl that I wanted to draw, and it seemed like the sort of thing that a Pandaren might like.

This finishes up Spring Break Art Week and all the art I had in my backlog, so the next time I want to post art, I’ll have to have drawn something new.

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Before turning Sunsong Ranch back over to Farmer Yoon — who will have to learn how to divide his time between the Tillers Council and his own property just like Haohan Mudclaw, Farmer Fung, and Mung-Mung do — Kamalia planted a “one of everything” garden.

Kerisa planted tree saplings to help the Vale of Eternal Blossoms re-forestation effort.

Kaprikka the botanist carefully tended all the varieties of Pandarian herbs.

Kaelinda had intended to leave her garden full of windshear cacti, just in case she ever wanted to tailor a new garment from windwool or imperial silk in the future — but the idea of growing portals was entirely too amusing.

So Kaobeka, because she is also a tailor, had to take over growing cacti. She is a leatherworker, too, so she planted raptorleaf in the other half of her garden.

Keija the blacksmith planted snakeroot, of course — it was far and away the best source of trillium ores.

KinevraKaylynda left her garden filled with half with magebulbs and half with witchberries not because they might be useful to her, but because she liked the names of the plants and thought they looked pretty.

Katewatha honored all the different threads of monasticism in Pandaria by filling her garden with golden lotuses.

Kaohana left her garden filled with songbells, a quiet reflection on Pandaria’s lessons about the necessity of balance between light and shadow.

Full of rogueish mischief, Kelisanna laid out the welcoming mat for the Virmen.

Kregga’s farm has been abandoned for so long that it is full of stubborn weeds.

Everyone else just left the fields lying fallow, waiting for Farmer Yoon to reclaim.

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What would a Taunka woman look like if she had the same facial structure as a Taunka man?
What does a Yaungol woman look like?

Perhaps something like this:

The Tauren is wearing the Lunar/Twilight/Raincaller set. The Taunka’s clothing is that worn by the guards at Camps Winterhoof and Oneqwah. The Yaungol’s outfit combines the clothing of Yaungol melee combatants with the chestpiece worn by Yaungol casters.

Figuring out the relative scale of the three races turned out to be trickier than I’d thought. I initially had the notion that Taunka were about a head taller than Tauren and Yaungol about a head taller than Taunka, as I’ve shown them in this picture — my initial sketches may make that more obvious.

Based on my extensive study of Taunka and Yaungol NPCs, however, it’s probably more accurate to say that the Taunka and Yaungol shown in my picture represent the low-to-middle range of a size distribution common to both subspecies.

Taunka men are pretty consistently head-and-shoulders taller than Tauren. My player character Tauren woman’s shoulder comes to the armpit of most Taunka men, or to the elbow of the larger size used for Chieftains and the male guards at some of the Taunka villages in Northrend. A few Taunka men, generally vendors, are a bit shorter, but still about a head taller than my character. The size of Taunka women varies quite widely. In Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, and Grizzly Hills, some of the Taunka women are the same size as the men and some of them are only half-a-head taller than my character. Female Taunka NPCs who are very old or very young women, such as Greatmother Ankha and Nokoma Snowseer at Camp Winterhoof, tend to be about the same size as my character or even a little smaller. At Camp Tunka’lo in the Storm Peaks, however, all of the Taunka women are the same size as my character — I think the developers simply forgot to add the scaling factor!

The Yaungol invaders found in various locations around Kun-Lai Summit seem to be about the same size as the average male Taunka, with my player character Tauren woman’s shoulder coming to the armpit of a typical Yaungol melee combatant. The Yaungol casters found around Binan Village are somewhat smaller, perhaps only half-a-head taller than my character. The Yaungol at Deadtalker’s Plateau and Fire Camp Gai-Cho in Townlong Steppes are a bit larger; my character’s shoulder comes to the armpit of the smaller ones, to the elbow of the larger ones, and only to the waist of the “end bosses” of Master Snowdrift’s set of Shado-Pan dailies, Uruk and Cheng Bo. On the Timeless Isle, the Ordon Candlekeepers are about the same size as a Tauren player character, and Ordon Yaungol get continually larger as they get tougher going up the mountain, until one reaches Ordos, who is, of course, a Boss. On the extreme other end of the scale, the guards of the Bataari war banner located between Binan Village and the Chow Farmstead are very small indeed — smaller than my player character Tauren woman — so small that I think they must be mere youths, approximately equivalent in maturity to a twelve year-old human.

I always feel so bad about having to kill them all! And yet, it seems more merciful to do so. If you burn the banner after having only killed the pair you passed by on your way into the camp, the others yell “Ur-Bataar, Help!” and run around, panicked, until they run into the fire on the banner and catch fire and die anyway. This sad behavior reinforces my feeling that these wee little Yaungol are just children!

I can easily imagine this duty of guarding the war banner as one of the first martial opportunities a young Yaungol receives, a first step away from the chores of tending the camp and toward being a warrior who can help defend the tribe. If having enough strong healthy warriors is so important to Yaungol society and survival that even disputes of leadership are settled by non-lethal ritual combat (see “Dominance”), I cannot imagine Yaungol women being anything but warriors right alongside the men. I would guess that a Yaungol woman only rests from active warrior duties for the few weeks immediately before and after the birth of an infant, and that those who are too young for combat are mostly cared for by those who are too old or honorably disabled for combat.

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At first, I just stared in dropped-jaw awe at Maiu’s mesmerizing background artwork for the most recent pages of Contested Territory. When I’d stared at it for long enough to think that maybe I’d figured out how to do it, well, then I had to try it myself. Having recently completed the Thunder Cleft questline in Krasarang Wilds with another alt, I borrowed Maiu’s “dreaming” theme, too.

I drew these art noveau-ish fronds a week or so ago. They don’t have anything to do with WoW, but I’m pleased with how prettily they turned out.

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I finally convinced BTH to take our Monks out to finish Townlong Steppes, start Dread Wastes, and ding 90. I got distracted by which quest reward to choose at just the wrong moment, however, and totally photobombed my own “Dynamic Duo” achievement toast screenshot. Instead, here’s a portrait of Katewatha that I drew a couple of weeks ago.

Kate is fascinated with all things Pandaren, and while she uses the four “Tufts” Tauren hairstyle in-game, I imagine that ever since she came to Pandaria, she’s actually worn the Pandaren “Twin Loops” hairstyle.
This outfit is based on the leather version of the first round of quest rewards from the Wandering Isle.

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As she handed the last of the re-stolen vegetables to Farmer Yoon, Kamalia felt a sudden burning sensation on her forehead. It flared intensely for a second or two, then faded away.

Puzzled, she rubbed at the spot.
“Are you okay?” Farmer Yoon asked. “Your eyes turned red there for a moment. Come, sit down.”
He prodded her up the stairs, into the house, and onto a chair, then bustled around making up some ginseng tea while Kamalia tried to figure out what had just happened.
As he handed her the steaming mug, Farmer Yoon’s gaze fell on Kamalia’s mace. He frowned at the deep black gem glimmering on the pommel, and, shuddering slightly, hurried back outside.
Then Kamalia remembered. Only a few days after the Black Prince had given her that gem, she had visited him again with the news of the arrival of the Horde and Alliance warfleets on the shores of the Krasarang Wilds. He had received it with a rather childish degree of glee — but then again, she supposed, he was still very much a child, especially as dragons age — and challenged her to prove to him that the Horde was worthy to be the ultimate victor in the ongoing strife with the Alliance. Then he had done something entirely unexpected

Without warning, Wrathion sliced his thumb and pressed it against her forehead. His blood burned to the touch, but rapidly disappeared into her skin.

“There!”, he said, “My eye is upon you, shaman. I am watching.

The Pandaren, like the Horde, value the concept of “Valor.” There are many ways to prove yourself valorous on this continent, from daily tasks to the defeat of heroic enemies within their lair. I will let you choose your own course.

Prove your bravery to me!”

That had been nearly three months ago. Much had happened in the interim. Blood and oil soaked the sands of once-pristine beaches in Krasarang Wilds. Pressured by Warchief Hellscream, the Sin’dorei had helped him obtain a dangerous ancient mogu artifact — costing the Sunreavers their neutrality — and the Horde’s foothold in Dalaran — in the process. The young Prince of the Alliance, at once wise and brave and very foolish, had destroyed the Divine Bell. It had collapsed on top of him. Kamalia did not know his fate, but she hoped that he had survived, somehow. At this worst of all possible times, the Shado-Pan reported that the ancient mogu hero, the legendary Thunder King, who had been stolen away and resurrected by the Zandalari trolls at about the same time as the Horde and Alliance first arrived on Pandaria, would soon return to his full, terrible strength. While the Warchief continued to press the battle with the Alliance in Krasarang, the displaced and utterly outraged Sunreavers took this matter into their own hands, hoping to show the Shado-Pan that at least some of the Horde were interested in honorably helping. Kamalia had helped them secure an outpost on the island where the Thunder King’s stronghold was located. She’d spent most of the last month there, fighting trolls and mogu and mogu and trolls and occasionally some saurok and more trolls and more mogu, until finally the way to the gates of the palace itself was cleared. She had carefully stayed out of the sniping between the Sunreavers and the Kirin Tor, who were leading the Alliance’s effort to aid the Shado-Pan. She had a handful of keys to the palace treasure room that she hadn’t yet mustered up the… greed to use. And yet.. and yet… after all of that, it was completing a simple task of service, one that Kamalia had done many times before and would probably do many times again, that had apparently been the final “proof of bravery” that Wrathion wanted.

Kamalia carefully placed the empty mug with the rest of Farmer Yoon’s dirty crockery, and, smiling, went out into the garden to tell him that everything was just fine.

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Sunwalker Dezco says that he named one of his twin sons “Kor”, after Kor Bloodtusk, and the other after the adventurer who assisted him at Thunder Cleft. I suspect that, should the twins ever appear in some later expansion as larger children, the other one will actually be named “Kang”, after Kang Bramblestaff.

Edit, 3 May 2013: This picture has now been jossed by the publication of the short story “Bleeding Sun”.

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The Dawnchaser tribe are close cousins (on a tribal scale) to the Dawnstrider tribe, so Kamalia and her siblings spent their childhood and adolescence mingling as much with the Dawnchasers as with the Dawnstriders. Like young Dezco, heir to the Dawnchaser chieftainship, Kamalia’s youngest siblings, the twins Kaohana and Karaelia, were drawn to the philosophies of Tahu Sagewind and Aponi Brightmane. In those early days, as the fledgling Seers and Sunwalkers studied ways to effectively draw upon the Light of An’She, they were few enough in number that they all knew one another by name. Although increasing numbers of Shu’halo chose to follow the paths of An’she as the Cataclysm raged, Kaohana and Karaelia remained close to their Dawnchaser friends.

Around the time that the elite warriors of Azeroth were battling the Old Gods at Wymrest Temple, preparing to take on Deathwing himself, Dezco’s wife, Leza, began to have the same strange dream over and over. She described a beautiful valley, rich and fertile, watered with streams that glowed softly golden, giving the grass and trees shades of gold and crimson. When Karaelia and Kaohana told Kamalia about their friend’s dreams, Kamalia asked if perhaps Leza might be thinking of the enchanted lands of the Sin’dorei, where it always seemed to be simultaneously spring and autumn. The girls brought this suggestion to Leza, and she emphatically responded that she had been to the Eversong Woods, and this place in her dream was certainly not the same. Although no-one knew of anywhere on Azeroth like it, the more often Leza had what she began to call “The Golden Dream”, the more strongly she felt that this place did exist on Azeroth, somewhere in the uncharted southern seas.

That winter, Chief Dawnchaser passed into the arms of the Earthmother, and Dezco became Chieftain of his tribe. When, following the final Madness and defeat of Deathwing and the exhaustion of the Dragon Aspects, High Chieftain Baine Bloodhoof began to have strange dreams, he remembered hearing old Chief Dawnchaser tell of his daughter-in-law’s visions, and he requested Sunwalker Dezco and Seer Leza’s counsel. Upon discovering that his dreams were the same as Leza’s persistent visions, the High Chieftain decided that this place of golden peace must be found. He commissioned four ships to carry Sunwalker Dezco, Seer Leza, and any who wished to accompany them on their search. With their Chieftain, Dezco, in charge of the expedition, many of the Dawnchasers chose to brave the unknown seas. A few Seers and Sunwalkers from other tribes, including Kaohana and Karaelia, also joined the pilgrims. The ships departed from Ratchet barely a week before Warchief Hellscream began gathering his forces for the assault on Northwatch Hold that ultimately led to the destruction of Theramore…

Like Akabeko’s Weipon, the actual leveling of my Tauren Priest and Paladin lags severely behind their RP stories. For Kaohana and Karaelia, questing through the Jade Forest and most of the Valley of the Four Winds will be purely ‘out-of-character’ game mechanics. Their ‘in-character’ experience of Pandaria will begin at Thunder Cleft in Krasarang Wilds, because RP-story-wise, they came to Pandaria with the Dawnchaser expedition. Karaelia is among Sunwalker Dezco’s honor guard of Dawnchaser Braves at the Shrine of Two Moons, and Kaohana has stayed at Stoneplow with the greater body of the Dawnchaser settlers.

In the artwork, Karaelia is wearing her Grunt’s/Outrunner’s “Sunwalker Initiate” set, but I didn’t get the other clothes quite right. Leza is wearing Flirtation Robes when she should be wearing Magus Tirth’s Robe, and Dezco is wearing the BC recolor of the Battlegear of Might when he should be wearing the Vengeful Gladiator’s set.

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For Akabeko.

In one farming village, after what even Akabeko could tell was one ale too many for her pandaren companion, Weipon was convinced to break out her sanxian. Although Akabeko often heard Weipon humming or singing to herself, the long-necked instrument had remained in its case, quiet and safe from the elements while they traveled.

Now, though, eyes swimming with drink, Weipon laughed, said something that made the pandaren closest to her gesticulate encouragingly, and plucked a string experimentally. The room quieted as she carefully tuned the instrument. From the bar, a voice called out something that had other pandaren nodding in what Akabeko assumed was agreement.

“They are requesting songs,” Weipon said suddenly, looking at Akabeko. The sudden burst of Orcish made the druid jump, sloshing ale over her fingers. “Some of the titles sound familiar. Others may be songs I know by a different name.” She grinned, looking like a very different pandaren than the one that had shied away from an angry General Nazgrim, and began to play.

The gathered audience was mostly silent for the first verse. The pandaren nodded their heads, clapped, or turned to each other to whisper excitedly. Akabeko listened with interest, appreciating the sincerity and huskiness of Weipon’s voice. By the second verse, the older pandaren in the inn were singing along, ribbing each other when they forgot the words or differed from what Weipon was singing. The song continued, picking up speed, and those who couldn’t sing along made up for it by clapping, pounding the tables, and stomping their feet. Even Akabeko found herself humming along by the end.

Before the last note had died away, Weipon was slipping into another song, this one eliciting more cheers of recognition. Akabeko drained her glass, absently thanking the person next to her as they topped it off again. It seemed that the night was just picking up.

The following morning, Weipon still managed to look only slightly rumpled compared to Akabeko, who was more or less wrecked. She rubbed irritably at her temples, trying to pay attention to the new map the innkeeper was explaining to Weipon. The impromptu concert the night before had gained them not only a clean, locally-drawn map of the area, but a handwritten introduction from the village leader to the mayor of Dawn’s Blossom, which appeared to be a major nearby city.

The title of this post is a reference to the song of the same name from the Brubeck/Armstrong collaboration “The Real Ambassadors”, in which, after a chorus by the state department ambassador characters, Louis Armstrong’s character, a jazz musician, sings:
I’m the real ambassador.
It is evident I was sent by government to take your place.
All I do is play the blues and meet the people face-to-face.
I’ll explain and make it plain, I represent the human race.
I don’t pretend no more.

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