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This fortnight’s topic from Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge is a perennial favorite of the altoholic:

Making a new character in WoW can be one of the most fun things to do; you get to pick a new appearance and maybe a new class and there’s the anticipation of going to see all the low leveling zones again.. but first you have to name your new toon.
How do you come up with character names?
Is there a particular naming convention you follow? Do you like your toon name to reflect on their class fantasy? Does their name set their personality for you? And most of all… do you ever get stuck just staring at that pick your name box???

My primary rule of naming my characters is that I name them as if they were real people.
Occasionally, I choose names that are deliberately punny, but the puns are relatively subtle.

My naming convention — all of my characters’ names begin with “K” and the names of characters who belong to the “one of each Class” set must also end with “a” — arose somewhat spontaneously. If I’m remembering the way things happened mostly correctly (and not as a tall tale), by coincidence, the names I chose for my first three or four characters all began with “K”, and it was after I noticed that I’d done that serendipitously that I decided to continue doing it deliberately.

I wrote about how I name my characters during the first year of this blog’s existence. The origins of most of my characters’ names are explained in that previous post, so I won’t go over them again in this one. The inspirations for those names came from the gamut of sources — and sometimes I did get stuck staring at the name box and hitting the “randomize” button until it generated something I thought I could change around a bit and live with.

A few of my characters’ names have shifted since they were originally created due to server transfers — Kjersti became Kjerstin, Karelia became Karaelia, Kiraleia the Blood Elf Paladin became Kyraleia the Dwarf Paladin.

When I changed the identity of my Human Mage to be an Alliance surrogate for my Blood Elf Mage (who sometimes wishes that she were still a High Elf), I gave her a new name that is essentially identical to my Blood Elf Mage’s name, just with a couple of the vowels shifted to “y”s: Kaelinda/Kaylynda.

I’ve created several new characters since I wrote that post nearly seven years ago, so I’ll tell you about how I came up with those characters’ names.

My Orc Shaman’s name was “Keshona”; when I created my Orc Mage and decided that the Mage was the Shaman’s mother, I named the mage “Kenosha”, a rearrangement of the consonants in the other name (and also a town in Wisconsin).

My Pandaren Mage is “Kaoling” because I wanted to name her “kaolin”, the word for the specific type of clay used to make Chinese porcelain, but that name was already taken.

I don’t remember exactly how I came up with “Khrissalys” for my Dwarf Mage, other than that I began with the “Kris” syllable and iterated the rest of the name until I was happy with the result, a combination of “Kris” and “Alice”. I like the way it sounds like “chrysalis”, too.

I renamed my Goblin Mage from “Kazuliza” to “Kermione” (a name I originally used for a Goblin Shaman) because I just couldn’t resist how perfect the portmanteau of “Kermit” and “Hermione” is for a Goblin Mage.

I still wanted to use “z” in a name, so then I ended up with “Kazithra”, a slightly sinister sounding name for a Grimtotem Shadow Priest. This character was originally a separate alt, but now exists as an alter-ego of my primary Priest.

At the same time that I created a secondary Tauren Priest alt, I also created a secondary Tauren Paladin alt. I named this character “Kishalla”; the “shall” syllable is inspired by the character Shallan in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I later recycled the “Kishalla” name for, ironically, an Affliction/Demonology alter-ego for my Warlock.

Kamalia’s parents’ names, “Kehontah” and “Kawneiha”, come from playing with syllables and trying to come up with something that fit the Native American pastiche tone of Tauren culture.

My secondary Shaman, commonly known as “mini-Kam”, is formally “Kamalita” — literally “little Kamalia”.

The Underpowered Death Knight’s name started out as “Kaumalea”, which is deliberately, but obscurely, punny: “kau” is like “cow”, and “mal” is the Latin for “bad/evil”, thus, “bad cow”. Later, I changed the final syllable to “leia” because I wanted a Tauren with that ending syllable. When I draw the Underpowered Death Knight, I coil the long braids hairstyle that she uses in-game up into Princess Leia’s iconic cinnamon buns.

My Monk, Katewatha, got her name because I wanted to have a Tauren whose name shortened to “Kate” and because I wanted to use the letter “w” in another Tauren name. Searching for syllables that sounded okay together, the second half of her name ended up being the same as the name of BTH’s male Tauren Warrior who was my Druid’s leveling companion through level 80 (then BTH decided he didn’t enjoy Warriors and abandoned that alt).

My secondary Monk began her life as “Koralyra” (“coral” as a rearrangement of “carol”, plus “lyra”), a name I had previously invented for a short-lived Dwarf alt and liked enough to use again. Late in Warlords, I changed her name to “Kaobeka”, an anagram of “Akabeko” of Red Cow Rise. I’d actually already been using the name “Kaobeka” for a secondary Warrior alt, but I decided to delete that alt when the news of how specs would work in Legion came out. Besides, I thought that it was more fitting to name a Monk after Akabeko the Druid than a Warrior. When I recently decided to start using that secondary Warrior’s appearance as an alter-ego for Kregga, I retconned her name to “Kaobeqa” so as not to be an exact name-duplicate of Kaobeka the Monk (also, I wanted to use “q” in a name).

My most recent new character, the Demon Hunter, was originally going to reuse the “Koralyra” name. That didn’t quite feel right for her when I put it into the name box, though, so I shifted “lyra” to the “laira” that was the ending of my long-ago Blood Elf Death Knight’s name. Then it seemed better to shift “Kora” to “Kira”, the beginning of my long-ago Blood Elf Paladin’s name. “Kiralaira” felt much better for her both because it flows in a more Sin’dorei sort of way and because it recalls my two earlier characters.

Looking over the names I’ve chosen, they tend to reflect more on the racial identity of my characters than on their class identity. If I’m naming my characters as real people that makes sense — their racial identity has been part of them since they were born and their parents named them, whereas their class identity came to them later in their life.

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The challenge of the fortnight from Z & Cinder is

Is there something you’ve seen in WoW, or a NPC conversation you’ve overheard or even just an odd placed bit of scenery that just makes you stop and wonder?

I was doing Archaeology in Azsuna the other day when I noticed something odd on the ground. It looked like a little piece of metal grating, folded in the middle. No identifying information came up when I moused over it, however. Then I got attacked by a patrolling owlcat. After I’d killed and skinned the beast, I looked around and saw that the funny little grating was gone.

As I continued to traverse the digsite, I observed that all the sitting and sleeping owlcats appeared to have an extra pair of wings — insect wings! — poking out from their flanks.


When a seated owlcat got up and started prowling, the insect wings stayed behind on the ground at the place where it had been sitting.

I realized that the funny grating I’d noticed earlier was one of these strange insect wings marking the spawn points of the owlcats.

I observed this phenomenon in the Farondale and Rhut’van Passage digsite areas of Azsuna. I haven’t looked yet to see if owlcats in other areas or zones are similarly affected.

I’m pretty sure I’d never seen — not just “not noticed”, but truly not seen — these extra wings before Patch 7.2. What’s going on here?

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This fortnight, Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge has another topic that I can’t pass up:

Best Dressed: We want to see your best transmogs, and hear the story behind them. How did you come up with them? How long did it take you to farm the pieces? And just how often do you change your outfits? Let us know!

Since Transmogrification went live in Patch 4.3 (29 November 2011), my characters have worn a lot of outfits. If I don’t count things like the new character creation screen sets or the starting zone sets for Death Knights and Demon Hunters, I have posted…

12 Demon Hunter outfits
28 Warlock outfits
29 Rogue outfits
37 Druid outfits
44 Warrior outfits
45 Paladin outfits
45 Monk outfits
47 Hunter outfits
56 Priest outfits
67 Shaman outfits
69 Death Knight outfits
and about 100 Mage outfits (I didn’t go count exactly how many outfits all the Minor Mages have)

It was really hard to pick just one “favorite” or “best” outfit for each class, and if I did this again next month, I might pick different ones! I tried to choose kits that I thought expressed the class fantasy as well as being outfits I’m just really dang proud of. Well, except for the Shaman one, which I picked because I think it’s hilarious.

DEMON HUNTER: BatGirl

Most of my other Demon Hunter kits that don’t use class-specific armor items could really be done equally well with any of the other leather-wearing classes. This one, though, works best on a Demon Hunter because it partly relies on the unique blindfold to create the look (though I guess a Rogue could also make it work with the T4 helm). I was fortunate that once I decided to make this kit, I was able to get the Heroic Dragon Soul Rogue lookalike shoulders on the first try.

WARLOCK: Doomcaller Moth

I love this Warlock robe because it’s not black and skulls and ugly. Instead, it’s very pretty indeed. I was delighted when I discovered how nicely the Malefic shoulders go with it because I like this robe but not the shoulders that go with it, and I like the Malefic shoulders but not the robe that goes with them.

ROGUE: Silver Covenant Razor

This kit expresses my desire to be able to play an Alliance High Elf. I know it will probably never happen, though.

DRUID: Sun, Moon, and Stars II

This outfit combines a number of items — the helm, the shoulders, the belt, the dagger — that I coveted for a long time before I finally got them. Cymre was gracious enough to let me roll for the dagger (which I then won) even though she wanted it herself when it dropped while I was helping her out with acquiring Val’anyr. I spent real money for the shoulders — before servers began to be linked, I discovered the shoulders on the AH of my secondary Horde server for a gold price that I could afford. I hadn’t seen them on the AH of my primary server very often, let alone for a gold price I could afford. So I spent the real money to transfer my banker over to the other server, then back, to get them for my Druid. That’s how much I wanted them.

WARRIOR: Truesteel & Truesilver

When I discovered how the filigree on the Truesilver breastplate is a similar pattern to the filigree on the Truesteel armor, well, then, I just had to use them together. This is a great Parade Dress look for a warrior — though not perhaps so functional and practical for being down and dirty in the field.

PALADIN: Crusade Champion

I’ve made at least three Argent Dawn/Argent Crusade-themed outfits for my Paladin. This one was created specifically to wear while I was doing the Broken Hilt/Quel’Delar questline. After going back and forth between all three outfits for awhile, I decided that this one best expressed the Paladin “I’m SHINY!” aesthetic.

MONK: Shado-Pan Smoke Knight

I’ve made multiple Shado Pan-themed outfits for my Monk. I chose this one for this post because I like the combination of dark and light grays and also because I designed it myself, whereas my other favorite Shado Pan Monk kit is a design that I borrowed from someone else.

HUNTER: Draenor Beast Master

I just love the combination of gold, blue, and green in this kit. I designed it when Transmogrification was still brand-new. I couldn’t actually make it for my Hunter until the account-wide Appearances tab was introduced, however, because the chestpiece is a BoP Leatherworking item, and it’s Kamalia who’s the Leatherworker in the family. Ketura is an Engineer.

PRIEST: Mystical Dragons

I surprised myself a bit by pulling this outfit out of my Priest’s collection. I just really love the colors of this robe and how nicely they coordinate with this fun shoulder design. Some of my other Priest outfits are also really pretty — but they’re also rather vanilla, common, not particularly creative combinations.

SHAMAN: Ow Mon, Me Eyes!

So this funky orange and aqua fist weapon with intellect on it dropped in Throne of Thunder, and I couldn’t resist coming up with a funky orange and aqua outfit to go with it. When I decided to pull in the funky aqua and magenta shield from Mogu’shan Vaults, the idea just got better!

DEATH KNIGHT: Dark Runes

I think this chestpiece style is fabulous for a Death Knight because the sigils on it remind me of the runes on Death Knight weaponry. This particular color is crafted, and the pattern is somewhat hard to come by, so I was delighted when I found it on the AH for a very reasonable price. The shoulders are also crafted, and I think that they look like an upgraded version of the shoulders that a newly-created Death Knight wears.

MAGE: A Study in Blue; Theramore Arcanist

I love this style of robe, especially the blue version. Being able to wear it with shoulders and belt hidden is wonderful!


The white wizard hat is a very special item in my wardrobe. It was only available from the Alliance version of the limited-time level 85 version of the Theramore’s Fall scenario that was the entirety of the Mists pre-launch event. I pushed my Human Mage hard to get her to level 85 in time to do that scenario — and then I ran it until I was so, so, so tired of it. If I’m remembering correctly, it took me 85 tries to get that white hat.

Characters that I’m playing actively — or at least logging in with regularly to do things like profession cooldowns or old reputation dailies — tend to get their outfits changed every 2 – 3 weeks. If I make an outfit that I’m not really all that happy with, I might change it as soon as one week has passed. If I make an outfit that I like a lot, and I don’t have any exciting new ideas that I really want to make — or the items I need for that exciting new idea just aren’t dropping, I might leave a character wearing the same outfit for several weeks. Characters that I’m not playing actively might get left wearing the same outfit for months or years.

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I’ve been enjoying reading Zeirah & Cinder’s Blog Challenge posts, so it’s about time I participated in one myself. This week, the theme is right up my alley:
Show off your alts — ALL your alts.

~*~*~

The Big Fourteen — one of every class, plus my Alliance main and the Underpowered Death Knight — are the characters featured on my blog banner, who show up regularly in the Sunday Mog Show and whose activities I frequently talk about.


FARSEER Loremaster Kamalia of Thunder Bluff, Legend of Pandaria: Tauren Shaman, 110, Restoration/Elemental/Enhancement, Leatherworker
Assistant Professor Kaylynda the Diplomat: Human Mage, 101, Arcane/Frost/Fire, Scribe
Kaumaleia the Underpowered: Taunka Death Knight, 101, untalented


Talon Queen Kerisa, Guardian of Cenarius: Tauren Druid, 103, Balance/Restoration/Feral, Scribe
Stable Master Ketura, the Crazy Cat Lady: Tauren Hunter, 106, Beast Mastery/Survival/Marksmanship, Goblin Engineer
Blood Champion Keija, the Wakener: Tauren Warrior, 103, Arms/Fury/Protection, Blacksmith


Kregga of the Ashen Verdict: Grimtotem Tauren Death Knight, 103, Frost, Alchemist
Crusader Karaelia, the Argent Champion: Tauren Paladin, 103, Protection/Holy/Retribution, Jewelcrafter
Kaohana the Seeker: Tauren Priest, 103, Discipline/Holy, Enchanter & Tailor
Brewmaster Katewatha, Master of the Ways: Tauren Monk, 103, Mistweaver/Windwalker/Brewmaster, Alchemist


Ambassador Kaelinda of Silvermoon: Blood Elf Mage, 108, Fire/Arcane/Frost, Tailor
Firelord Kalaneia: Blood Elf Warlock, 103, Destruction, Alchemist
Kelisanna the Fabulous: Blood Elf Rogue, 103, Outlaw, Gnomish Engineer
Illidari Kiralaira: Blood Elf Demon Hunter, 104, Havoc, Leatherworker

~*~*~

The next major group of characters is the Minor Mages, a collection of characters representing each of the playable races. Some of them have more developed personalities and backstories than most of the Big Fourteen, which I occasionally reference.


Kaprikka: Draenei Mage, 92, Arcane/Frost
Kivrinne: Undead Mage, 45, Frost
Kelilla: Gnome Mage, 42, Frost
Kikimaia: Troll Mage, 36, Frost
Kermione: Goblin Mage, 33, Fire
Kenosha: Orc Mage, 32, Fire
Kymberlea: Worgen Mage, 32, Fire
Keriluna: Night Elf Mage, 31, Arcane
Kaoling: Pandaren Mage, 31, Arcane
Khrissalys: Dwarf Mage, 30, Fire

~*~*~

Then there are the Secondary Tauren — characters who I rolled to experiment with the third specs of my favorite classes. I discovered in Warlords that I didn’t really have the mental energy for more than one level-capped character per class, so since Legion made all specs available to everyone, I have retired these characters. I used to also have a secondary Paladin and a secondary Priest, but they were both under level 40 when Legion was announced, and I deleted them outright.


Kamalita of Thunder Bluff: Tauren Shaman, 100, Enhancement
Brewmaster Kaobeka: Yaungol Monk, 100, Brewmaster, Tailor & Leatherworker
Kaiuna the Explorer: Highmountain Tauren Druid, 63, Feral
Kamalita was originally rolled as an alt to leave behind in the guild we had been in on Lightninghoof when BTH and I decided to move our characters to Bloodhoof. I talk about her most frequently as “mini-Kam”. I eventually moved her to Duskwood, Bloodhoof’s linked server.
Kaobeka was originally named Koralyra; she is most often referred to as “the Pet-Battling Monk”, because that is how she did most of her early leveling.
Kaiuna is the Curly-Haired Tauren.

These two characters represent Kamalia’s parents.

Papa Kehontah: Tauren Warrior, 90, financial agent
Mama Kawneiha: Tauren Hunter, 60, financial agent
They both use the title “Elder” and wear Gold Wedding Bands; Mama also wears a Flawless Diamond Solitaire.

~*~*~

I love Dwarves — I think they might be my favorite Alliance race — so I have a handful of Dwarf characters that I keep around even though I never play with any of them anymore.


Kyraleia: Dwarf Paladin, 64, Retribution/Holy (originally a Blood Elf)
Kjerstin: Dwarf Shaman, 30, Elemental
Kimorene: Dwarf Priest, 26, Holy (originally a Human)
Karolynne: Dwarf Rogue, 22, Outlaw
Kerithian: Dwarf Hunter, 6, Beast Mastery

~*~*~

These alts are gone but not forgotten.

The Orc Shaman named Keshona (daughter of Kenosha), the Troll Shaman named Kilauea, the Blood Elf Priest named Kandrista, and the Gnome Warlock named Karrieanna persisted for several years; I finally pruned them mid-Warlords when I was trying to slim my roster down to just the characters I cared about the most.

And there have been many many more alts who had shorter lifetimes and often recycled names.

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