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After school was over for the year, BTH took a week of vacation and we went to see some national parks that are within reasonable driving distance from home, considering our small children. We checked out a suitable number of volumes of the How to Train Your Dragon series on audiobook CDs to listen to during the drivetime; of our local public library’s selection of audiobooks for kids, these were the books I thought would be most enjoyed by both the kids — our five year-old loved them! — and the parents.
The Barrens:

Thousand Needles:



Stonetalon Mountains:


I didn’t get any pictures of the grasslands on the interior of the top of the plateau, as I would have had to take them out the window of the moving car, but they put me in mind of Mulgore.

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A story in screenshots. See also Kaprikka and Dornaa’s marvelous adventure
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For all that she detested the physical environment of Maldraxxus, by the time she had completed the restoration of the Blade of the Primus and opened the door to the Seat of the Primus, Kalaneia knew that the Necrolords were the Covenant where she belonged.
Also, WTB cosmetic Blade of the Primus that can be Mogged over any and all weapon types.

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This weekend, I finished leveling Kaelyla. By the time she’d seen the vision of Ysera’s death and done the next two quests, she was 98% through level 59. At that point, I took her to Oribos and activated Threads of Fate. After completing next couple of quests to talk to Lady Moonberry, she was so close to dinging that I just went and did a little gathering to push it over instead of working on the “Aiding Ardenweald” fill-the-bar quest. I got her through Chapter 1 of the Night Fae campaign; now she’s gathering Renown, Souls, and Anima and waiting for Patch 9.1 to arrive so that she can not have to go to Torghast.

One reason I chose the Night Fae for Kaelyla — or Kaelyla for the Night Fae — is because of the aesthetic similarities I saw between the Void Elves and Ardenweald. I created her “Full of Stars” outfit (#37) to highlight those aesthetic harmonies —

— and specifically to coordinate with the animacone backpack that is an on-quest visual effect for the quest “Tending to Wildseeds” at the Tranquil Pools adjacent to Tirna Vaal.

There are a number of other nifty on-quest visual effects during the Ardenweald main storyline, so I ended up taking many, many screenshots of this outfit. I’ve put the ones from “Tending to Wildseeds” in the outfit listing on the appropriate “Things My Void Elf Mage Wears” page. To keep that page from getting overcrowded, I’ve gathered the rest of my favorite pictures of this outfit in this gallery — click through the cut to see them all!
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I suppose I’ll go rescue Thrall, too, sooner or later. Not so much for his own sake, however, as for the sake of Aggra and their children.

I still might just go watch that Anduin and Sylvanas cinematic on Wowhead, though. Doing layer 1 in fully upgraded Covenant gear means that Torghast isn’t difficult, but I do still find it rather tedious to have to clear all the mobs and smash all the jars so that I’ll have sufficient Phantasma to buy stuff from the Brokers. Six floors of that is quite enough. I don’t know that I want to crawl through eighteen.

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If I’m understanding the changes to Echoes of Ny’alotha in today’s updates correctly, they won’t drop anymore unless at least one character on the account has the Sanity Cloak. Guess I’d better go get that now, so that’ll be how I spend my WoW session this evening, after the kids are in bed.

The Sanity Cloak is Wrathion’s project, which reminds me of this thing that I observed during the 15th Anniversary Event, but don’t remember seeing commentary about at the time*:


During the 15th Anniversary event, which began during Patch 8.2.5, with its “Where’s Wrathion?” questline**, I observed Wrathion, in whelpling form, accompanied by Medivh in arcane raven form, flying around in the Caverns of Time. They aren’t there now, so I wonder if they were just there during Patch 8.2.5, or even just during the Anniversary event? What is Wrathion not telling us about what Medivh and/or Khadgar are up to these days? He must know something…

* at least in the main body of posts on Blizzard Watch or Wowhead, though it may have been mentioned in the comments

** which now seems to be unavailable — I haven’t seen it pop up for any of my recently dinged 120s

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An RP Story with dialog mostly (though not entirely) directly quoted from the Heritage of the Shu’halo questline. You might want to skip this story for now and come back later if you intend to play through this questline yourself.

Kamalia awoke on a hard, cold, damp, sandy rock floor with the taste of brine on her lips. For a moment, she struggled to recall what her purpose for returning to the Maelstrom had been. Then a pair of greenish-blue webbed feet flip-flopped past. Oh, right. Nazjatar. With a portal open to Dazar’alor, the real question was why had she chosen to sleep here instead of going somewhere more comfortable? A better question than that might be had she really helped Saurfang, Thrall, and, of all people, Jaina Proudmoore and Spymaster Shaw rescue High Chieftain Baine Bloodhoof from imprisonment by Sylvanas Windrunner in the chambers Garrosh Hellscream had built underneath Orgrimmar? Or had that just been a dream or a vision, seeing through the eyes of someone else who was actually there?

When Kamalia returned from her morning scouting & foraging run with one of the Kelfin, she noticed that Spiritwalker Ussoh was not sitting in his usual place by the bonfire. Had he been there earlier in the morning? She wasn’t sure. She asked Regent Lord Theron where Ussoh had gone.

“He said he had urgent business in Mulgore,” Lor’themar replied, “and he requested that you join him as soon as possible. He also asked that you stop by the Embassy in Orgrimmar first, however, to meet with a colleague of his. I think this is probably a genuine request, but still… Go with caution, champion.”

Kamalia took the portal to Dazar’alor, and from there to Orgrimmar. She approached the Embassy with trepidation… Why was Ussoh needed so urgently back home? Was Sylvanas already beginning her punishment of the tauren for Baine’s actions regarding Derek Proudmoore and his subsequent rescue? She relaxed a bit when she saw another Spiritwalker standing outside the Embassy. (more…)

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This week, I forsook trying to work on preparations for next semester during my kids’ midday naptime in favor of catching up with Azeroth.

I decided to see Talanji crowned first. That was a very well-done piece of story, though I do wonder how the word got out of Rastakhan’s bargain with Bwonsamdi. My inner thirteen year-old is totally shipping Talanji and Rokhan. My grown-up self scoffs at the idea of Talanji needing or wanting a consort or an heir anytime soon, and is pleased with how many women are in meaningful positions of power in Zandalar (and in Kul Tiras, from what I’ve seen of the Alliance story so far). It seems to me like Blizzard is trying to make up for the debacle following the initial announcement of Warlords of Draenor.

Intrigued by seeing the spirit of Vol’jin at the Golden Throne following Talanji’s ascension, I decided to do the Shadow Hunter questline next. I thought the revisiting of the events at the very beginning of Legion was nicely done. The visits with the Lich King and Eyir, and Bwonsamdi’s description of them as his rivals for the claiming of souls, and the hints that there are other rivals that we may not have yet met were great because they made the world of Azeroth feel more connected and coherent. Between those interactions and the unresolved ending of the storyline — we still don’t know what entity whispered to Vol’jin to make Sylvanas the next Warchief, or what entity sent his spirit back, or if those are the same entity or two different entities — I now understand better the speculations about 9.0 being the “death” expansion!

Then it was time to go help Baine save Derek Proudmoore from being brainwashed. I must admit, with my dislike of the Forsaken, it was very satisfying to beat up all those Forsaken mooks on Sylvanas’s big scary flagship! The cinematic was amazing, and I look foward to seeing it again from the Alliance side when I do that War Campaign with Kaylynda. But did we actually save Derek in time? I appreciated Boss Mida getting a cameo at Warsong Hold. I didn’t notice if I could talk to all the gathered leaders before the cutscene. I’ll have to try to remember to look for that when I do the War Campaign with Kaelinda/Kerisa. When I talked to them after the cutscene, only Gallywix and Geya’rah approved of Sylvanas’s actions.

Next, off to Nazjatar. Perhaps the most awesome aspect of Azshara’s power in using the Tidestone of Golganneth to open up Nazjatar is how it also instantly adapted all of those creatures to being air-breathing instead of water-breathing and to the sudden decompression of no longer being under the immense pressure of all that water… Chuckling at the Horde shipwreck being “The Hungry Riverbeast” — the name of the first ship constructed at the Warlords Garrison Shipyard. I’m glad to be working with Lor’themar again. I remember him being awesome in the Domination Offensive and Isle of Thunder storylines in Pandaria. Occuleth continues to be my favorite of the Nightfallen leadership trio. I like Neri Sharpfin, but I’d rather have Vulpera than Gilbins as an Allied Race to correspond to Goblins.

As soon as we get a portal back to Zandalar stabilized, look who should show up but Magni with some news about MOTHER and the Heart Chamber! How convenient! The Heart Chamber is looking much better now. Very crowded, though… I thought someone said they glimpsed Wrathion during this trip to Neltharion’s Lair? I must not have been looking around enough; I didn’t see the crafty young dragon. Anyhow, with the Heart of Azeroth upgraded, now we can return to Nazjatar.

I’m liking Nazjatar well enough so far, though I’m probably only going to keep pushing hard through it until I unlock the 8.2 War Campaign, which of course is followed up, for me, by the Tauren Heritage Armor questchain. After that, I’ll have to put WoW on the back burner again at least until I’ve finished getting OChem ready to go for Fall. At this point, I’m thinking that I’ll do the new zones & reputations in series, instead of trying to do them in parallel — stay in Nazjatar until I’ve reached Revered with The Unshackled before I go to Mechagon at all.

It feels good to be playing in the freshest current content again instead of lagging behind!

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With Patch 8.2 landing this week, it was time to stop making excuses, stop procrastinating, get my lazy tail off the ground and push through the 8.1 War Campaign. I did it during my kids’ naptime and after their bedtime on Monday. I wasn’t particularly enthused about the first two stages — the assault on Norwington Estate and the caper with Gallywix’s mech — though I appreciated the conversation between Rexxar and Zelling at the end of the Norwington assault. The breaking out of Lady Ashvane from Tol Dagor was more entertaining, mostly because of Arcanist Valtrois. Although I didn’t like Valtrois much at first, I like her more every time she gets involved in the story. She’s an interesting combination of conceit, snobbery, and practicality. The final stage, the battle in Nazmir — was amazing.



Then, of course, I got the quest to defeat Jaina Proudmoore, so I switched into Resto, queued up for the last wing of the Battle of Dazar’Alor, and off I went.

I got the chestpiece from the raid set, which was nice because that’s just about the only piece from that set that I like — by which I mean that I think I could play mix-and-match with it.


After I’d attended Rastakhan’s funeral, it was getting rather late, so doing the 8.1.5 part of the War Campaign, the recruitment of the Zandalari Trolls, and the continuation of the Vol’jin storyline would have to wait for later.

I’ll have to do the 8.1.5 War Campaign before I can go to Nazjatar, unlock the 8.2 War Campaign, and unlock the Tauren Heritage Armor questline, of course. I’ll probably also do the Zandalari Troll recruitment scenario before I go to Nazjatar — I’ve heard that it involves Talanji’s coronation, and I want to be in my current Mog for those screenshots. I’ll probably not do the Vol’jin questline until after I’ve gotten my Tauren Heritage Armor, though.

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I didn’t much like Argus itself hanging ominously in the skies of Azeroth, but the red star it left behind when Illidan’s portal closed sure has made for some beautiful images.

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