Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Story/RP/Lore’ Category

Hmm, hmm, hmm — now that brown will be an available hair color for Void Elves in Patch 9.1.5, I’ll be able to make Kaelyla’s pre-Telogrus Incident appearance with the toon Kaelyla herself. This opens up some interesting storytelling possibilities — Kaelyla as her pre-Fall of Quel’thalas self, with brown skin and brown hair and blue eyes, in Alliance locations; Kaelinda as Kaelyla’s post-Fall of Quel’thalas-pre-Telogrus Incident self, with brown skin and brown hair and green eyes, in Horde locations; Kaelyla as her post-Telogrus Incident self, with blue skin and blue hair and blue eyes, in Alliance locations.
Hmm, hmm, hmm — but I think I’ll still end up creating a new Alter Ego of Kaelyla who will be an Alliance High Elf through and through.

Read Full Post »

My WoW playing lately has been driven or dominated by what Kaylriene has recently discussed as the time-wasting or “hamster wheel” aspects of the game. I’m still logging in almost every day, but I’m just doing Anima Conductor Treasures and my favorite super-easy WQs to get my 1K Anima each week. I’m marking time, making minimal increments of progression toward Transmogrification collecting goals (by the proxies of collecting Renown and Anima and Grateful Offerings) between the widely-spaced opportunities when I feel like I have enough time and attention to do a segment of story progression.

Transmogrification is where I get the most fun out of WoW, as you might guess from the persistence and prominence of “Sunday on the Promenade” as a feature of this blog. I love designing new outfits & looks for my characters. With each expansion and patch, I am most interested in finding out what nifty new things there will be to wear and what interesting new character customizations will be available. I catalog which items are both awesome looking and not overly difficult to acquire relative to the comfort zone of my playstyle, then focus my gameplay toward obtaining those items and making outfits with them.

Although I am so, so far behind on experiencing the current storylines, I’ve appreciated and agreed with posts about how the story of WoW is struggling in Shadowlands such this one by Kaylriene and this one by Redbeard.

I’ve found that I engage with the story of Azeroth most at what I think of as the “middle” level — the zone and Campaign storylines. The “little” side-quest storylines can be quite interesting, but I don’t make the effort to search out all of them. As for the “big” overall narrative, well… it lost me in Warlords of Draenor.

For me, the premise of Warlords of Draenor was just a little too reality-warping, even for a fantasy universe. By interacting with the Draenor of the other timeway in such drastic ways, we essentially pulled it out of its original timeway into our own timeway. Between that and the magnitude of the differences between Draenor and Outland, I am more comfortable thinking of Draenor as just another continent (that happens to be on another world) than as a version of the past of Outland. Then there was the “boys’ trip” kerfluffle, which was only tokenly addressed by the roles of Draka and Yrel — and was a clue to Blizzard’s now very public internal woes.

Legion had a good overall premise and narrative. I think that we could have gotten to the premise of “the Burning Legion comes roaring back to Azeroth and we have to make our Final Stand and Stop Them For Good This Time” by another route that didn’t involve timeway shenanigans and alt-Gul’dan.

Battle for Azeroth‘s main premise and Sylvanas and N’Zoth narratives lost me again. I also couldn’t ever quite get over the cognitive dissonance of having the Zandalari be our enemies in Kun-Lai Summit and Isle of Thunder, then our buddy-buddies in Dazar’alor with seemingly very few hard feelings — even with the handwaving that the Zandalari invaders in Pandaria were Zul loyalists whose activities were not officially sanctioned by King Rastakhan, and that Princess Talanji had concluded that the best folks to help her with the Blood Troll problem would be the ones who had thoroughly kicked the butts of that rogue group.

And then there’s Shadowlands, in which I will be more interested, when I finally get there, in how the 9.1 Campaign advances the smaller Covenant narratives than in what it discloses about the larger Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot narrative. Because I don’t really care about it, I’ve let myself get spoiled about the Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot narrative while trying to stay only minimally spoiled about the advancement of the Covenant storylines.

In each of these expansions, because of my playstyle, I’ve felt like my character’s actions and interactions have mattered the most on the zone-leveling and Garrison/Order Hall/Suramar/Covenant Campaign storyline level. I feel like I could, if I so desired, write an in-character RP story about how my character(s) participated in and thought and felt about these events. The Battle for Azeroth War Campaign, however, was just a vehicle for showing me what was happening in the faction war because the events that happened weren’t things I was particularly enthused about having my characters actually be participants in doing (except for rescuing Baine from Sylvanas — Kamalia did help out with that!). I feel the same about the Torghast questchain and the Sylvanas-and-Jailer’s plot stuff in Shadowlands — it’s a way to show me what is happening with the faction leaders, but it’s not really stuff that my characters would be personally involved in doing. I may be a Big Damn Hero, but I’m not that much of a Big Damn Hero.

Read Full Post »

A collection of Transmogrification Kits actually worn in-game by my Blood Elf Mage. Outfits are listed from most recent to least recent. Items that are no longer obtainable are marked with an asterisk (*).

110) Minerva



Dazzling Spectacles, Mantle of the Tribunal, Labor Camp Frock, Mana-Cord of Deception, Sorcerer Slippers, Drape of the Loyal Vassal, Cauldron Dredger
Minerva McGonagall hits many of the same character notes as Morwen. I caught the Harry Potter wave just before Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released in the US; I was about nineteen at the time. Professor McGonagall soon became another of my favorite literary role models. Aspiring to be like Professor McGonagall is perhaps a little more within my grasp in my RL role as a Professor, though I still don’t really come close.
See also Human Mage #43.

109) None of This Nonsense, Please



Dazzling Spectacles, Black Velvet Robes, Shadow Council Boots, Tower of Theramore
Patricia C Wrede is my favorite author; The Enchanted Forest Chronicles are my favorite of her works; Morwen is my favorite character in that series. I was thirteen or fourteen when I first met Morwen, and I wanted to be like her when I grew up (spoiler alert: I’m not as much like her as I thought I wanted to be). When I was first venturing onto the internet over twenty years ago, I used “Morwen” as my screenname. So somehow it was no surprise that my primary Mage character ended up with an appearance very much like Morwen’s description. The Dazzling Spectacles are what I needed to finally complete that look!

108) Duel of Frost and Fire






Jewel of the Firelord/Crown of Eternal Winter, Frostwind Mantle/Mantle of Closed Doors (N), Cloudscorcher Robe, Frostwind Cord/Embereye Belt, Adept’s Gloves, Slippers of Serenity, Tabard of Summer Flames/Tabard of Summer Skies, Ebonchill (Hidden, first tint)
It’s Midsummer Fire Festival and I’ve had a note in my “Notebook” perpetual draft post that when Midsummer Fire Festival came around again, I should make a Mage kit with the Hidden appearance of Ebonchill — and I didn’t want to wait a whole ‘nother year to do it.
This outfit is derived from a Midsummer Fire Festival kit that I made several years ago for my Draenei Mage.

107) Scryer Illuminator



Helm of Arcane Purity, Elegant Mantle, Imbued Netherweave Robe, Black Belt of Knowledge, Adept’s Gloves, Shadow Council Boots, Scryers Tabard, Staff of Dominance
Having lost everything except each other when the Scourge invaded, Kaelyla and her husband, Ishaleron, travelled with Prince Kael’thas and Lady Vashj to join forces with Illidan Stormrage in Outland. Eventually, observing Kael’thas’ actions, they defected with Lord Voren’thal and became Scryers in Shattrath. Kaelyla had her first significant experiences with the Void at the beleagured Manaforge Ultris in Netherstorm. This piqued her interest, and, as a Scryer seeks the truth in all things, she began to investigate what was known of the Void.

106) Young Maiden


Journeyman’s Robe, Omnicast Boots, Wound Dressing, Expeditionary Staff
When Kaelyla was very young, her hair was lighter in color; it darkened rapidly during her early adulthood.
This appearance concept is mostly an excuse to use this Blood Elf hair color, which is new in Shadowlands, and this robe, which I’ve been wanting to make an outfit with for awhile.

105) Sin’Venthyr II


Crown of the Champion, Sin’dorei Pauldrons Belt & Slippers, Soulbreaker’s Crimson Vestments, Wild Gladiator’s Gloves of Prowess, Mantle of Crimson Blades, House Renathal Ceremonial Dagger + Red Crane Scepter
Another mix-and-match of the Sin’dorei Heritage and Venthyr Renown sets.
The dimensional pieces on the sleeves of the robe took layering priority even over the bulky, showy design of the Sin’dorei gauntlets, so I had to choose some different gloves.
Although the crane off-hand is a Pandaria item, its colors are very Sin’dorei, and its rather phoenix-like shape is also appropriate for the Sin’dorei.

104) Sin’Venthyr



Sin’dorei Helm & Tunic, Soulbreaker’s Crimson Mantle Leggings & Slippers, Corpse-Stitcher’s Cord, Primal Combatant’s Gloves of Prowess, Shadowfeather Shawl, Gilded Sineater’s Staff
A first go at mashing up the Heritage of the Sin’dorei and Venthyr Renown armor sets.
My Blood Elf Paladin is currently wearing this hat with this hairstyle, and they just suit each other so well. Using this hairstyle was too much of a change for Kaelinda, however. It works for Kaelydia, though — maybe because she has golden eyes, like the Paladin?
I thought I was done with Venthyr Anima collectibles, but apparently I needed just one more — the Renown recolor of the staff — and I had the Anima on hand, so I got it.

103) Crimson Soulbreaker



Soulbreaker’s Crimson Vestments with Resplendent Circlet and Twisted Visage
The Renown tint of the Venthyr Covenant armor set.
Kaelinda farmed Anima pretty intensively to collect this set and the two Venthyr Renown backpieces. Those were all the Anima collectibles she wanted, though, so now she can relax and let some of my other characters take the spotlight for awhile.
I chose Venthyr for Kaelinda partly because I thought that the red & gold variation of that Covenant’s armor set would be fun to play mix-and-match with the Heritage of the Sin’dorei set, so expect outfits along those lines to be showing up sometime soon!

102) Countess of Blades


Resplendent Circlet, Soulbreaker’s Crimson Mantle/Hidden Shoulder, Ferocious Gladiator’s Silk Robe, Illidari Bindings, Kavan’s Forsaken Treads, Shroud of Resolve (rank 6)/Mantle of Crimson Blades, Ebonchill (default, fourth tint)
There were two combinations of shoulders and cloak that looked simply amazing with this robe. Although I’ve included them both in this listing, the Mantle of Crimson Blades variation is what I ran around in.

101) Penitent’s Pilgrimage






Pilgrim’s Cover, Fireworm Robes, Black Mageweave Gloves + Wraithcloth Bindings, Windshaper Treads, Acolyte’s Shirt, Kael’s Dark Sinstone Chain, Hardened Root Staff*
Kaelinda feels no need to lug around a Sinstone.
Kaelydia, however, still keenly feels guilt for the actions of the Sin’dorei in Outland because she went to Outland with Prince Kael’thas and participated in some of his operations there prior to defecting to Shattrath City with Seer Voren’thal and the Scryers.
With the hood covering her hair, this character is primarily recognizable as Kaelydia by her golden eyes.
This outfit is all about the RP, which is why I took so many pictures of it — but I quickly discovered that in addition to not being particularly fond of the Sinstone as a static design, I also really don’t like how it bounces and jostles and wobbles and whips the loose end of the chain all over while she is moving. In fact, I disliked the movement of the Sinstone so much that this outfit only lasted for a few days; as soon as I’d finished taking the screenshots for this posting, I went and changed to a new outfit.

Read Full Post »

I decided I might as well get it over with, so off Kaelinda went to Torghast. I did the first 6 floors of the Twisting Corridors three times in a row, then watched 20 minutes of cinematics and conversations between the faction leaders in Oribos, and now I’ll be ready to skip into the Patch 9.1 Campaign. With the content of these questlines being rather significant lore moments, not to mention required to unlock the next stage of the story, I was expecting their completion to be signposted by Achievements and was rather disappointed that they weren’t.
The cinematics were really very good, and I’m glad now that I’ve seen them for myself, so that I know the whole story — not just the key bits that were summarized in the beginning of the Patch 9.1 trailer cinematic.
~*~*~
So now that I’ve done this, I’m thinking maybe I want to hold off on doing Covenant campaigns with Kaelyla and Keliora and Kalaneia until Patch 9.1 drops and they can all skip Chapter 2. Kaurinka has already done Chapter 2 of the Night Fae campaign and is getting kind of tired of waiting to get started on the rest of it, so I’m thinking I’ll abandon my plan of running Kaurinka and Kaelyla through it in parallel and just get going with Kaurinka. If I can get Kaurinka through the Night Fae campaign and get the other three up to level 60 before Patch 9.1 arrives, that’ll be good enough. I’ll still want to do the other three 9.0 Covenant campaigns before I get into the 9.1 campaign itself, though.

Read Full Post »


Clockwise from lower right: Kaelinda, Ianestin, Kaelyla and Ishaleron (newlyweds, but not completely insufferable about it). Tigerlily the cat is a library resident who has adopted this group of students; she was adopted in turn by Ianestin after the fall of Silvermoon.

My Void Elf Mage, Kaelyla, has been one of Kaelinda’s friends since their Academy days. After some initial tension, their friendship survived the disruptions of the expulsion of the group who would become the Ren’dorei from Silvermoon following the near-disaster of Alleria Windrunner’s visit to the Sunwell and the subsequent migration of the Ren’dorei into the Alliance.

Only Kaelinda’s clothing is meant to evoke an in-game item; it is a less skimpy version of the Light Silk Robe.

I drew this picture as an illustration for a story that I’m writing. I’m posting it on its own, though, so I can more easily link it on my “Drawings” page.

Read Full Post »

Kaelinda still hasn’t made it into Castle Nathria LFR, or back into Torghast to liberate Thrall. Oh well. There should still be plenty of time to do that before Patch 9.1 arrives. Spring Break is in a couple of weeks; maybe I can get myself into LFR then.

After completing “Replenishing the Reservoir” with both Kaelinda and Kaurinka, which I typically manage to do by Thursday or Friday night, I’ve been leveling Kaelyla. Kaelyla has finished Bastion and is halfway through level 54. After completing the campaign storyline, before returning to Oribos, she did the Agthia’s Rest sidequests. Kaelinda had given her a hint that there was an interesting story about a Void attack there, and as a scholar of the Void, of course she wanted to find out what it was. Although she knew quite well the story of the conflict between Light and Fel that played out on Argus — and the Void’s latecoming efforts to butt in on that conflict — somehow it was shocking to learn about a conflict between two cosmic forces happening in the home domain of one of those forces, rather than on a mortal world. Furthermore, participating in the recreation of the event through the Vesper of History caused the whispers of the Void to become roars. Although Kaelyla liked the Kyrian better than Kaelinda did, Bastion is no longer a place where she feels at ease.

In the 9.0.5 PTR Patch Notes are the lines “Once players reach 40 Renown with their Covenant, the weekly quest to gather 1000 Anima will now award you with 1500 gold.” (a nice reward, but will it go away when Patch 9.1 drops with 40 more Renown levels?) and “Once players have recruited the maximum amount of Souls for their Covenant, your weekly quest to rescue Souls from the Maw will now award you with 500 Anima.”
“Maximum amount of Souls for their Covenant?” I wondered, “What does that mean? Enough souls to fully upgrade all of the Sanctum features?”
Then I picked up “Return Lost Souls” for this week and saw that the reward icon was red, indicating that it would put me over the currency limit. I’d never noticed before that there was a limit on how many idle souls could be in the Sanctum at a time — it seems that there can only be 100. Because they hadn’t been doing any feature upgrades, Kaelinda had 88/100 souls and Kaurinka had 73/100 souls. So I got the second stage of the Travel Network for both of them, but that only puts 8 souls to work. Kaelinda is now effectively out of Anima. Kaurinka has enough Anima that she could get another Sanctum upgrade, but she’s saving up for the armor upgrades when she does her Covenant campaign. Thus, after this week, the souls I rescue from the Maw for the next several weeks will just get to be free!

Read Full Post »

Getting the Fel Out

“I want to have a baby,” Keija announced, “and I would rather not give birth to a Feltotem. I am not actively working with felslate anymore. Please remove these.” She swept her right hand down the length of her left arm, where bulges of scar tissue at the shoulder, elbow, and wrist encased small shards of felslate.

“What will you pay me to do this for you?” Felsmith Nal’ryssa asked.

“The remnants of one hundred demons killed on the Broken Shore, and all of my unused stock of felslate.” As she spoke, Keija opened a satchel and dumped the materials in a heap by the Felsmith’s forge.

“Very well,” Nal’ryssa responded, smiling slightly. “This will not be pleasant. Are you prepared?”

“I am prepared,” said Keija. “I have brought healers with me.”

The Felsmith looked around, and Keija knew that although she was blind, her spectral sight allowed her to perceive Keija’s sisters, Kaohana and Karaelia and Kamalia, and Kamalia’s husband, Haitou, standing nearby.

“Then let us begin.”

Keija turned and pressed her face into her husband’s chest, and Raharto wrapped his arms securely around her, leaving her left arm exposed.

With the same firm, gentle touch that Keija remembered from before, Nal’ryssa’s fingers probed around each of the lumps of scar tissue.

“Hold the wrist steady, please,” Nal’ryssa instructed. Raharto grasped her wrist firmly. With one swift, deft movement, using the very tip of her warglaive, the Felsmith sliced open the scar tissue and hooked up one end of the shard of felslate embedded within it. She took a pair of tongs that had been heating in the forge and pulled the shard out. The jagged edges of the shard tore at the tissue around it as it came out, but Keija had experienced worse arrow removals. She gritted her teeth and grunted.

In a moment, she felt the fizzing sensation of holy magic, and the pain dulled. She heard the thump of a totem dropping, and pulses of cool water began washing over the wound as Nal’ryssa carefully wrapped it.

Felsmith Nal’ryssa waited until Keija’s breathing and heartrate had steadied before continuing. Keija’s sisters continued to soothe her with small healing-over-time spells.

“Now the elbow,” said Nal’ryssa. “If you could hold it above and below?” Raharto held her upper arm, and Haitou grasped her lower arm, just below the elbow. Another swift slice, another yank with the burning hot tongs. This one hurt much more than the first one had, surprising her into growling out an “AARRRRGH!”

It took longer, this time, for the pain to subside as her sisters cast healing spells and Nalryssa bandaged the wound.

Once more, the Felsmith waited until Keija’s breathing and heartrate had steadied before she continued.

Nal’ryssa probed the shoulder scar tissue again. “This one will not be as easy as the others,” she said. “Secure the shoulder.” Raharto grasped her shoulder joint, and Haitou wrapped both hands around her arm, holding the already bandaged areas as gently as he could. This time, the slice exposed the felslate shard, but did not begin to pull it out. Nal’ryssa spread the edges of the wound with the fingers of one hand, then carefully dug with some kind of small blade until she was able to extract the shard. Blood poured down Keija’s arm. As she felt the shard tugging out, it seemed like it was trying to pull a portion of her soul with it, and she screamed, arching her back against the unyielding support of Raharto’s arm. Her head swam and spun.

Keija awoke lying on her back on the ground. Her head was pillowed on her empty satchel, a blanket had been wrapped around her, and her feet were propped up in Raharto’s lap. Her shoulder had been bandaged, and her sisters were pouring healing magic into her. Her arm throbbed from shoulder to wrist, and she felt weak all over — but her spirit felt somehow lighter and cleaner than it had since, well, since she had allowed the Felsmith to put the shards in. She struggled to sit up, and Raharto quickly shifted position to support her.

Keija looked around until she found the Felsmith. “Thank you,” she gasped.

Nal’ryssa just nodded and returned to her work.

Read Full Post »

I intended to work on the next chapter of the Venthyr campaign with Kaelinda. Then this plotbunny hopped up, and I spent last night writing a story instead of playing the game.

Some small spoilers, mostly for side quests, for the leveling story of Bastion. It’s been long enough, though, that I’m pretty certain that all of my regular readers have either already done Bastion or aren’t playing Retail WoW and won’t mind reading about a story that they may never actually play through themselves.

~*~*~

On the day the Scourge invaded Eversong Woods, Keliora had been one of the priestesses on duty at the Sanctum of the Moon. Her oldest daughter was training at the East Sanctum, her middle daughter was on an expedition to visit the Runestones with Runewarden Deryan, and her youngest daughter (who was comparable enough in age to the exotic half-Human twin sons of Vereesa Windrunner to have a fantastical crush on them) was with her tutor at the family dwelling in the down-the-hill neighborhood of Tranquillien. She was, at that time, already a widow; her husband had perished in Archimonde’s attack on Dalaran. She had barely survived the onslaught of the Scourge. Her children had all been overrun.

“Tell me,” Keliora demanded, “Where are the souls of my husband and my children?”

Caretaker Kah-Sar shook its head. “We record where all souls have gone, but we do not,” it said in its resonating, not-quite masculine countertenor, not-quite feminine contralto voice. “Forgive me for the cryptic nature of the reply. We record, but we may not recall. Only the Purpose may reveal whether the threads of a soul will rejoin the tapestry of an individual existence.”

The bright sunshine and the soft colors of the golden and white fields and periwinkle trees and flowers of Bastion were soothing.

Keliora was collecting materials for Forgelite Sophone and her assistant Sika, and also looking for some books that another of the Kyrian Aspirants had asked her to find and suggested that she read. She asked an Aspirant who was sitting by himself under a tree, reading, if he knew where she might find Bear Witness: The Watcher’s Code. The Aspirant said he did not. She thanked him for his time and was turning to go on with her search when he said, “Wait, mortal. Your face is familiar to me, somehow. I think… I think I know you… knew you — in my mortal life.”

Surprised, she turned back toward him.

“What is your name?” he asked.

“Keliora,” she told him.

His face, which had been wearing a puzzled expression, brightened, and he smiled at her. “Yes, yes! I do know you! I think — I think we might have been Soulbinds, in my mortal life.”

Keliora was startled. “Tael?” she asked. “Taelorien of the Dawnstrider clan?”

He nodded. “I have a new name, now that I am one of the Kyrian,” and he told her what it was, “but that is the name attached to the records of my mortal memories archived at the Mnemonic Locus. Your name is in those records, too. And I have not given up all of my mortal burdens… not yet.”

Keliora slowly sat down on the grass beside him. “Do you still remember this?” She pulled up from inside her robe, where it hung on a long, fine chain, a delicately crafted, glittering ring. He stretched out his hand, and she placed the ring in his palm.

His smile turned beaming. “Yes. I remember this, and I still remember the day I gave it to you.” He sighed. “The happiest memories are the hardest to let go.” Seeing her expression turn hesitant, he said, “May I tell you what I remember?”

She nodded. He told her, and it was as she remembered, too — or at least enough to convince her that this Kyrian Aspirant really was, or had been, her husband.

“Have… have you chosen a Soulbind here, yet?” She hardly dared ask it.

He shook his head. “No. I have not felt the need of that form of companionship… yet.”

They sat in silence for some span of timeless moments. At length, she gathered up her courage enough to ask, “If I manage to live the rest of my life so that the Arbiter sends my soul here, to Bastion, to the Kyrian, when my time on Azeroth is done, is there any possibility that you and I might be Soulbinds… again? Truly, forever?”

He pondered the question for several more timeless moments. “From what I still remember of you… from what is in my archived memories of you… I think you already live such a life of service as to come here.” He paused, then smiled at her, somewhat shyly. “I will not ask another to be my Soulbind. And if another asks me to be their Soulbind, I will only accept if they have given me a wreath of Rising Glory, with one Adrima’s Lily and two larion feathers, one golden and one argent.”

She smiled back at him. “I can remember that. But… will you be able to remember that, even when you have given up all of your other memories?”

“I think… I hope… that I will be able to keep that, because that promise will be part of my new Kyrian memories, not part of my old mortal memories.”

Keliora wanted then, so very very much, to draw him into an embrace and kiss him with all the pent up longing of the years since his death during Archimonde’s assault on Dalaran. But she had already seen enough of the Kyrian and their Path and Process, to suspect that to do so would severely set back his progress, and so she refrained.

Sighing, she stood. “I suppose I must return to my tasks, now. I… should probably try not to see too much of you again, while I am here as a mortal, lest I delay your Ascension.”

He nodded, expression somber. “You are right. You always were. Are. Until we meet again, go in service.”

~*~*~

I began thinking of the main concept of this story — that Keliora chooses the Kyrian because she serendipitously discovers that the soul of her husband has been assigned to Bastion — when I first created the character.

Some of the details of the story are inspired by the Reconstructed Family Locket and accompanying Handwritten Note found on a dead Kyrian at the House of Constructs in Maldraxxus. Others are inspired by the evidence that Aspiring Souls who have graduated to become Kyrian Aspirants have not yet let go of all their mortal memories; in the task to assist Disciple Helene at the Temple of Purity, we see that in mortal life, Acolyte Galistos was Tauren, of unknown gender, and possibly gay, as he tries unsucessfully to overcome some of his lingering mortal memories/burdens. One of the memories is of two adult Tauren kneeling by a baby basket; when Kaelinda did the quest, she saw them as two males, but when Kaurinka did the same quest she saw them as two females — do they also appear sometimes as a male and a female?

The Soulbind concept is only explained with quests and seen in the NPC population in Bastion. As I’ve thought about it, it seems to me that Soulbinding is a compensating measure for the gaping void of loneliness caused by discarding all of one’s mortal memories. A Kyrian soul abandons all knowledge of their mortal companionships… and so they forge a new companionship for their new existence and the new person who they have become. But how heart-and-soul-breaking it would be to discover that one’s beloved mate in life, with whom one had expected to be eternally in the afterlife, was Kyrian, and, with Kyrian deliberate amnesia, had chosen another to be their bosom companion for the eternities!

Read Full Post »

As I’ve been bopping around in the Shadowlands with Kaelinda and Kaurinka, I’ve discovered that I have specific mounts that I prefer for each zone. In Ardenweald, of course I’m using the Wildseed Cradle. In Bastion, since I’m not anywhere close to being Exalted with The Ascended and being able to get the Gilded Prowler, I’m using the Winged Guardian. In Maldraxxus, I like my Gilded Ravasaur because I think it expresses primal might and apex power while also being pleasing to look at. In Revendreth, Kaelinda prefers her Creeping Carpet, while Kaurinka has chosen the Crimson Direhorn*, and Keliora and Kalaneia will use the Swift Red Hawkstrider. Kaelyla has chosen the Fossilized Raptor for Maldraxxus and the Smoky Charger for Revendreth.

Have you chosen mounts to fit the ambiance of the Shadowlands zones, or are you just continuing to ride your old standbys?

~*~*~

Update, March 2021:
After Kaelinda reached Exalted with the Court of Harvesters and purchased the Court Sinrunner, she tried it out for awhile, then went back to her Creeping Carpet for riding around Revendreth. Keliora and Kalaneia still plan to use their Swift Red Hawkstriders, but Kaelyla and Kaurinka have switched to the Court Sinrunner for Revendreth. I’ve switched everyone to the Fossilized Raptor for Maldraxxus — it’s far and away the best fit for the place of the mounts I already have. And everyone is still using the Winged Guardian for Bastion and the Wildseed Cradle for Ardenweald. Someday I’ll get to Exalted with the Ascended and get the Gilded Prowler for Bastion; the Wildseed Cradle for Ardenweald isn’t likely to change, ever.
end of Update

~*~*~

A question in a recent Blizzard Watch Queue asked if the Queue writer of the day/Queue commenters were spending their Anima on Sanctum upgrades or Covenant Armor upgrades. The Queue writer answered that she’d been spending it on Covenant Armor upgrades, and hadn’t upgraded any of the Sanctum features to stage 2 yet. That sounds like a rather good idea, actually, since with my very slow, meandering playstyle, Covenant Armor upgrades will be the path of least resistance to improving my gear. Of course, that means I have to actually finish my Covenant campaigns and get all of my base Covenant Armor sets…. Kaelinda is still stalled out at the beginning of Chapter 4 of the Venthyr campaign. I finally managed to push Kaurinka through Chapter 2 of the Night Fae campaign, though. By now both of them have their Renown more or less high enough that they could get to Renown 22 and access the final chapter of their Covenant campaigns just by powering through all the other chapters — so perhaps I should prioritize/focus on that for the next couple of weeks.

I’ve noticed — as I’m sure everyone else has by now — that the Calling each day is the same the for all of the Covenants. Everybody gets “Fill the Bar in Ardenweald”, or “Do 3 World Quests in Maldraxxus”, or whatever. I’ve also noticed that Callings tend to “stack” — one day will be “Fill the Bar in Zone A” and the next day will be “Do 3 World Quests in Zone A”, or something similar. I’ll often do Callings in my Covenant zone — Revendreth for Kaelinda and Ardenweald for Kaurinka — immediately, but wait for Callings in other zones to stack before I go do them.

Kaelinda has been having an easier time of finishing the 1000 Anima weekly lately, it seems. She’s got her Anima Conductor channel to the special treasure permanently activated and has been doing the special enemy channel (SMASH BAD BAT!!) for about a week. Kaurinka just permanently activated her special treasure channel; I’m looking forward to activating the special enemy channel, since I’ve read that for Night Fae, it’s encore performances at the theatre.

Now that I’ve run the easymode version of a Torghast wing in which Baine is found for Chapter 2 of the Covenant campaign twice, I’m not worried about getting through it with any of the rest of my characters. I still think I’ll only pursue the full Torghast quest chain from Bolvar with one character, though. Kaelinda does want to rescue Jaina, at least — eventually. I think my difficulty with both Torghast and the Maw is that I find them to be… tedious.

Meanwhile, I’ve also gotten distracted by collecting the armor sets from World Quests not for their potential to improve my item level but rather for their appearances. Just as with the leveling gear, each zone has its own recolor of the World Quest/Dungeon gear. With Kaelinda, I’m trying to get all of them, but with Kaurinka, I’m only going to get the Ardenweald set.

~*~*~

* These are the mounts that Kaurinka uses when she’s not Prowling in Cat Form, that is. She tends to spend most of her ground travel time in Cat Form, unless she’s going a relatively long distance along a road.

Read Full Post »

In Bastion, Kaelinda had been dismayed that becoming Kyrian meant taking on a new form, even if that form was beautiful to look upon. The waiting Aspiring Souls, at least, had retained recognizable forms; well, the ones from Azeroth had been recognizable; souls from other worlds had appeared as blurry, generically humanoid shapes.

She recalled that she had observed the same phenomenon during her initial, relatively brief, sojourn in the Maw. When she and Jaina and Thrall had liberated souls from the Tremaculum, souls from Azeroth had appeared in their own shapes, whereas souls from other worlds had been featureless ghosts.

Kaelinda wondered if souls from other worlds saw their fellows from their own worlds as recognizable individuals and Azerothian souls as blurs.

In Maldraxxus, the forms of the inhabitants were horrific — how could any soul be satisfied to spend the eternities in such shapes? — and she saw no blur-shaped waiting souls. She wondered how the few individuals whom she recognized from Azeroth whom she had met in Maldraxxus had maintained their own forms. Would a soul from Baron Vyraz’s world see Baron Vyraz in his own form as she saw Baroness Draka in her own form, and see Baroness Draka in the generic female Chosen warrior form as she saw Baron Vyraz in the generic male Chosen warrior form?

In Ardenweald, ordinary souls — those who were not great nature spirits of their worlds, placed into wildseeds to be regenerated and returned — took on the forms of animals, apparently of their own choosing. Yet the Night Fae claimed to see so many races from so many worlds that they didn’t immediately recognize her race or her world origin. When she helped Choofa restore animal forms to his friends, Kaelinda saw their souls in the same blurry forms that she had observed in Bastion. It seemed, therefore, that when ordinary souls originally arrived in Ardenweald, they appeared in their own forms until they chose their animal shapes. If only she could see a newly-arrived soul from Azeroth! And then, somewhat to her surprise, she did. At Hibernal Hollow, she saw Night Elf souls, seemingly come from the burning of Teldrassil*, still in their own forms.

In Revendreth, Kaelinda saw many suffering souls in the same blurry form that she’d seen elsewhere. Occasionally, however, when confronted, some of them transformed into shapes she recognized — Orcs, Hozen, even Arakkoa — which she’d only seen on Outland or Draenor. Curious.

It seemed to be a general property of the Shadowlands that an individual could only see souls from their own world — or maybe worlds they had visited? — in their own shapes, and all other souls would appear in a shape governed by the particular sub-realm of the Shadowlands to which the Arbiter had assigned them.

~*~*~

From an OOC standpoint, of course this is what the developers are doing. It would be extremely labor-intensive to create hundreds of new character models and dialogue flavor text to explain a little about the dozens of worlds that they are from. It’s still fun, though, to think about an in-character rationalization for the phenomenon, and to ask some of the questions that might arise from trying to figure it out.

~*~*~

* But how did they get there, instead of being funneled into the Maw? Had they been rescued from the Maw somehow… by Tyrande, perhaps?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »