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Archive for the ‘Story/RP’ Category

“Good morning, Miz Kaumaleia!”

“Good morning, Andi.” Kaumaleia waited to hear which of the Tillers the boy thought she ought to appease today.

“You know,” said Andi, “I’ve been thinking. I’ve got it pretty good living here with Uncle Yoon and all these great folks here in the Heartland. But there’s a lot of orphans here in Pandaria who don’t. Even without you outsiders and your silly war, there’ve always been the mantid and the yaungol and the saurok and the hozen… There’s an orphanage in Dawn’s Blossom, and you’ve been so nice about helping out around here that I think you should go see if you can help them out, too.”

***

Orphan Matron Mai-Lin scowled up at Kaumaleia. “I guess you’re not a yaungol — your face is all wrong.”

“No,” Kaumaleia agreed, “I am not a yaungol. I am a taunka from Northrend, as far to the north of the world as Pandaria is to the south.”

“Hmph,” said the Matron. “Well, it’s about time one of you outsiders took some responsibility for the consequences of your actions. The massacres at Pearlfin Village and Grookin Hill and the battle at Serpent’s Heart left a lot of young jinyu and hozen family-less and homeless.” She looked over her shoulder at the youngsters peeping curiously around the door- and windowframes of the orphanage building, and though her face softened, they all ducked.

Orphan Matron Mai-Lin considered for a moment, then walked into the building, motioning for Kaumaleia to stay outside. Through the windows, Kaumaleia could see monkey-like hozen and fish-like jinyu tussling in a way that strongly reminded her of the wolvar and gorloc children at the Dalaran orphanage. She watched as the children settled down in the Matron’s wake. The Matron selected one of the older-looking hozen, briefly spoke with him (or her? Kaumaleia had difficulty distinguishing the males from the females), and then brought the child outside.

“Bonzo is almost old enough that soon it will be time for him to leave the orphanage and decide what he wants to be in the world. Perhaps you can help him with this choice.”

Bonzo gazed up at Kaumaleia with complete awe for a few moments. Then he grinned and asked, “Can I ride on your shoulders?”

“Of course you may,” said Kaumaleia, dropping to one knee and holding out a hand for him to climb up.

Orphan Matron Mai-Lin smiled. “I think you two will get along just fine. Oh, and don’t mind the gloves. He’s a bit… pugnacious, but they’re all he’s got to remember his family by.”

***

When Kaumaleia asked Bonzo where he wanted to go and what he would like to see, he thought for a minute or two before replying.

“Didja hear about how Ken-Ken the hozen monk cured Zhu’s Watch of the super-sads?” he said at last, “He trained at Tian Monastery, up on the next big mountain to the north of Dawn’s Blossom. They’ll teach anybody — pandaren, hozen, slimy jinyu, even strangers like you! Maybe I could be a monk, too… Let’s go check it out!”

“Wow, I didn’t think being a monk would be so much work! But I’ll do the work if it means I get to eat all that great food!”

***

“Some hozen don’t get along very well with anyone. Some hozen get along great with everyone… well, everyone that’s not jinyu.” Bonzo paused for a moment and made a face. “Anyhow, some hozen get along so well with pandaren that they work with them on their farms. I heard that there’s a hozen in the Heartland who has his own farm! His name is Chee Chee, and he raises sheep! I wanna visit him and find out how he did it. Um, does it, I guess?”

“Lookit all those frikfraks decorating Chee Chee’s house! Toldja he was important. Are you gonna help him save his sheep from those Kunzen hozen? They sound like they’re the kind that don’t get along with anyone.”

***

“I know, I know!” Bonzo exclaimed, “I wanna be a pirate! The Matron doesn’t let us have parties at the orphanage very often, but pirates have fun parties all the time! There’s some hozen pirates that hang out at a place called Unga Ingoo. It’s one of the islands that surrounds the Nayeli Lagoon off the coast of Krasarang Wilds. Can we go to a pirate party?”

“That would have been a more fun beach party if those pirates weren’t so mean… Can I keep the Golden Banana?”

***

Bonzo looked pensive as they returned to Kaumaleia’s lodgings at the Lazy Turnip.

“You know that hozen tribes have two chiefs, right?” he said. “A hunting-chief and a legend-chief. My Mam-mam was the best legend-chief Grookin Hill ever had! I miss her stories. The Matron tries, but she doesn’t tell a story nearly as good. You know who might, though? The pandaren have a great legend-chief, Lorewalker Cho, who lives in the library at Mogu’shan Palace. I wonder what kind of stories he tells about hozen?”

“Hahaha! That was a great story! I will have lots of good stories to tell the others at the orphanage now!”

As they left the Seat of Knowledge, Bonzo jumped around Kaumaleia excitedly, tugging at the edges of her armor.
“I was gonna ask if we could go visit Emperor Rikktik’s Tomb, but then I thought of something even better! The Timeless Isle has come back, and the Monkey King is there! The Monkey King! From the legends! Oh, can we go see him, please-please-please?”

“I bet the Monkey King always talks in riddles like that because he is so wise. Emperor Shaohao was lucky to have a hozen for his greatest friend!”

Kaumaleia asked Bonzo what he would like for a treat before he went back to Dawn’s Blossom. The young hozen looked around, then began vigorously sniffing the air.

“Noodles!” he cried, bounding off toward Noodle-Maker Monmon’s cart. Kaumalea bought them both a bowl of Crazy Snake Noodles, and they sat at one of the nearby tables to eat them. Bonzo slurped his noodles enthusiastically.

“Oh yeah, these are real hozen noodles!” he cheered at Noodle-Maker Monmon, who responded with a fist-pump. “Noodlemonger Chin at Dawn’s Blossom tells you he makes the only noodles worth eating. His noodles are the best in town, for sure… but these are better!” He sobered for a moment. “They remind me of the ones my Pap-pap used to make… That’s it! I should learn how to cook! I’ll be the best noodle cook and the best storyteller of all the hozen in Pandaria. Yeah!”

***


inspired by Noxychu’s “Bad Example” artwork on Wowhead

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After I’d been taking an alt to battle Stone Cold Trixxy every day for awhile, I decided to station a couple of other alts at the two other satchel-giving Grand Master trainers I’ve unlocked so far, Lydia Accoste and Blood Knight Antari. Flying back to Shadowmoon Village one evening after having given the smackdown to Antari, I was suddenly struck by the similarity between Shadowmoon Village on Outland and Lunarfall Garrison on Draenor.

The two settlements are in corresponding locations on their respective zone maps.


With no flying and all those trees in the lush, living Shadowmoon Valley of Draenor, it’s a little harder to get a good aerial view of Lunarfall Garrison than to get an aerial view of Shadowmoon Village in Outland, but both settlements have very similar terraced terrain.


The view from Overlord Or’barokh’s command tower, looking down the hill to the main gate of the village gives me an eerie sense of deja vu to the view from Lunarfall Town Hall, looking down the hill to the main gate of the garrison.

***

***


The Lunarfall Barracks is in the same place as the Shadowmoon Village Inn, and I have put my Lunarfall Barn in the same place as the Shadowmoon Village Stables!

***

The terrain isn’t exactly the same, in the way that nothing about Draenor is exactly the same as Outland — but it’s close enough. Lunarfall Garrison and Shadowmoon Village are the same place.

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This week being Spring Break, I decided it was time to buckle down and get the remainder of my One of Each Class set of characters into their Garrisons. On Saturday, I powered through Tanaan with the Hunter and the Warrior. Although I am so, so tired of Tanaan, I determined to grit my teeth and just get it over and done with the Rogue, the Warlock, and the Blood Elf Mage. I wished that there were some way to just skip the Tanaan intro sequence.

In a post that couldn’t have been more conveniently timed, Anne Stickney just shared her discovery of a hidden backdoor access to Draenor. It’s not exactly a “shortcut”, but it definitely doesn’t require running circles around the Dark Portal!

Personally, I think this must be how Kairoz got Garrosh to Draenor.

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Alas, no maintenance on Tuesday this week, so I wasn’t able to change my Gorgrond outpost and recruit Penny and Kaz. Maybe next week…

As Kamalia’s followers have begun to purple out, she’s accumulated four pairs who have the same combination of abilities. I’ve deactivated one follower from each of those pairs and reactivated some less-experienced followers, with the goal of eventually getting all of Kamalia’s followers up to purple and seeing how many different combinations I can get. There are 36 different combinations of two of the nine abilities (counting A,B and B,A as the same combination), but I’m not sure that all of them are “allowed” — is it even possible for the same follower to have both the “tank-like” Wild Aggression and the “healer-like” Group Damage?

Kamalia upgraded her Inn to level 3 yesterday. She has enough of a resources reserve that after my current batch of work orders at the Lumber Mill completes, I can tear down the Lumber Mill and re-build the Barn, at last. I’ll miss rambling across the landscape for timber, though. On my other characters, I find herbing and mining to be rather relaxing, and logging fills the same psychological niche.

I currently have five Garrisons — one at level 3, one at level 2, and three at level 1 — and another character halfway through Tanaan. My level 2 garrison has only the mine open (I haven’t yet quested enough with that alt to unlock the herb garden) and my level 3 garrison has the mine & herb garden at only level 1 (Kam’s professions are not primarily dependent upon those materials, and I don’t feel like upgrading them just for the achievement points). Even so, tending my five garrisons feels like it takes as much time as the nine farms I’m still running in Pandaria! When I get enough alts in Draenor, by the time I finish tending the last alt’s garrison, it’ll be time to start all over again by collecting the spoils from the short missions in the first character’s garrison!

At this point, it’s looking like my standard garrison layout, at least as far as the small plots are concerned, will be level 2 Crafting Profession Hut, level 3 Salvage Yard, and level 1 Storehouse. Most of my garrisons will probably have the Inn as one of their medium plots and keep the Barracks as one of their large plots because followers.

I used to think that I played for the story/lore, but if I play for the story, then why haven’t I finished playing through Stonetalon Mountains (among other 1-60 zones) to see the “new” (Cataclysm) story there? If I play for the story, then why is my Draenei not level 100 yet? If I play for the story, then why is my Dwarf Shaman not level 100 yet? I enjoy the stories, but they’re obviously not what drives my play.

I suppose one reason I haven’t gotten my Draenei to level 100 yet is that now that I have both my Draenei and Human Mages set up at Lunarfall, I can’t decide which one I’d rather play. Do I play the Draenei because it somehow feels more “right” to experience all this new Draenei lore first as a Draenei*? Or do I play the Human because I’d really rather be playing Alliance as a High Elf?

I knew that Khadgar — dear darling obnoxious interfering power-hungry Khadgar — was bound to send me into LFR for the legendary questline eventually… and now that I’ve gotten to that point, I’m not feeling very motivated to do it. More precisely, I’m not feeling very motivated to a) do the research on what talents, glyphs, gems, enchants, consumables, etc I ought to be using to be properly prepared for raiding and then b) go out and get all those things.

I still haven’t done the Molten Core LFR, either. Though I don’t care the slightest for the mount and pet, I would like to have the hat. I kept telling myself that I’d do it as a treat to myself after classes were over, and classes are over… but I’ve been on campus all week anyway prepping for next semester.

* Feeling like I ought to be a character of a given race to play through storylines that prominently feature that race is not a problem I have Horde-side because I’m so used to being Kam/Tauren when I’m Horde.

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a farewell to Sunsong Ranch

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, Mung-Mung, and Farmer Fung 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.

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

Kaohana will leave her garden filled with the songbells she’s been growing for months, 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.

And the rest of them will just leave the fields lying fallow, waiting for Farmer Yoon to reclaim.

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It had only been in the past few years that Tauren Druids had begun to feel Ysera — no, not Ysera, for the Great Dragons had spent their Aspect powers defeating Deathwing — the Emerald Dream itself calling them to walk its green shadows. Having no millennia-long tradition of Dreaming in specially-constructed Barrow Dens, as the Kaldorei Druids did, Tauren Druids who heard the call of the Dream tended to simply shift into bear form and find a snug den before entering the long slumber.

Standing at the mouth of the small cave in the mountains high above Mulgore’s golden plains, watching the gently-snoring gray bear curled into its furthest corner, Kamalia had never felt so lonely.

Kamalia and her closest-age cousin, Ronada, had been inseparable companions since childhood. They had traveled and explored the whole world — and the other world of Outland — together, growing in power and skill side-by-side. Karazhan, Zul’Aman, Serpentshrine Cavern, Naxxramas, Ulduar, the Trial of the Crusaders, the Bastion of Twilight, Blackwing Descent, the Throne of the Four Winds, the Firelands… all of these dangers to Azerzoth, they had faced together, with Ronada tanking and Kamalia healing.

That year in Northrend when the guild needed a moonkin more than another healer, so Kamalia’s sister Kerisa had raided Icecrown Citadel with Ronada instead, began the cousins’ slow drift apart. During the Cataclysm, Kamalia became so weary of the demands of constant raiding that she quit shortly after the defeat of Ultraxion and the reclamation of Wyrmrest Temple and the Dragonblight. Ronada, however, continued on to help bring down Deathwing. When Pandaria had been discovered, Kamalia and Ronada traveled together again to explore the new continent… at least until Ronada began raiding the Mogu and Mantid strongholds, and Kamalia declined to participate.

Though she no longer spent most of her time with Ronada, Kamalia hadn’t been alone. Her sisters, some Tauren friends, and her Sin’dorei friends had all eventually come to Pandaria, and they saw each other frequently. She’d also made many new friends among the Pandaren, especially in Halfhill and the surrounding farming communities.

After the Siege of Orgrimmar had dragged on for six months, Ronada, too, had wearied of raiding. The Emerald Dream was calling her. Kamalia had not felt sad or lonely when she had come to see Ronada safely off into the Dream half a year ago, but now…

When the Warchief’s Heralds had brought the news of the bizarre change in color of the Dark Portal and the invasion of a new, strangely-equipped sort of Orc, Kamalia had not gone immediately to the battlefront. She had come here, hoping to be able to rouse Ronada from the Dream, so that they could once more fight together. Kamalia had not begged or pleaded for Ronada to come back, merely told her cousin of her own excitement and anticipation. For a few moments, she had thought that Ronada might be waking. But then the bear settled back down into what seemed to be an even deeper sleep.

Sighing, Kamalia turned from the cave and began attuning her Astral Recall. Whatever strange new world now lay on the other side of the altered Dark Portal, she would be exploring it on her own.

~*~*~

In the spring, BTH decided to take a break from WoW. His guild had defeated Garrosh on normal mode a few times and was banging its head against the heroic modes — and after it had attritted enough people that even forming a 10s group became difficult, BTH decided he needed some time off from raiding, too. Plus, Elder Scrolls Online was coming out, and he’d really enjoyed Skyrim. He’s spent the past six months or so playing ESO and a variety of non-MMO games. Since D&D 5e came out a few weeks ago, he’s really been getting back into D&D.
Now, with Warlords just around the corner, BTH is not sure he even wants to come back to WoW. His guild hasn’t changed their raiding times, and the raiding times that worked well when we were in Atlantic Canada don’t work well now that we’re in the Mountain West. The guild has also decided to server transfer, and he doesn’t really want to server transfer his character. So he’d have to look for a new guild if he wanted to raid — and if he’s going to play WoW, he wants to do real (not-LFR) raiding. He’s not much interested in all the stuff that I still enjoy doing in Azeroth.
Which leaves me looking at playing through a new expansion entirely on my own for the first time… another indicator that Warlords has a fairly high probability of being my last expansion of playing WoW.

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Last autumn, Laeleiweyn of World of Lae hosted a series of Alt Appreciation weeks to “celebrate all the classes!” For Monk Week, I designed a set of Transmogrification outfits intended to display a Monk’s devotion to the Way of a particular August Celestial. Because my first Monk’s inventory was already overflowing, I set the Pet-Battling Monk the goal of collecting the necessary items to actually create all of those Transmogrification kits in-game.

Xuen’s Strength


Red Crane Crown (LFR), Mantle of the White Tiger, Polar Vest, Brown Belt of Humbling Gravity, Righteous Leggings, Ghostwalker Gloves, Replica Darkmantle Boots, Inscribed Tiger Staff
Of course I had to use the Mantle of the White Tiger in a set for Xuen. Then the Polar Vest was the only really good choice for the chestpiece — nothing else looks quite right with those shoulders. From there, the outfit could very easily have become all blue. I chose these pants and gloves to keep the overall appearance lighter and more evocative of Xuen’s coloration.

Chi-Ji’s Hope


Moonkin Headdress, Barbaric Shoulders, Plainshawk Vest, Red Belt of Gentle Persuasion, Cabalist Leggings, Fingers of the Loneliest Monk, Mosshide Boots/Griftah’s Authentic Troll Shoes, Inscribed Crane Staff
Cranes are celebrated for the elegance of their long legs, whether standing or in flight. This outfit celebrates the elegance of a Monk’s legs during a Spinning Crane Kick by leaving them beautifully bare. If you don’t have invisiboots, the tall black Prospector’s Boots are the next best option.

Yu’lon’s Wisdom


Serpentskin Helm, Contender’s Leather Shoulders, Jinxed Hoodoo Skin, Green Belt of Hushed Wisdom, Ferine Leggings, Jangdor’s Handcrafted Gloves, Swampwalker Boots, Liuyang’s Lovely Longstaff
These brilliantly-colored leather leggings are a common sight on low-level Rogues, Druids, and Monks because they drop from a dungeon and have great stats. Making a decent Transmogrification kit with them, however, requires much higher character levels. The matching boots can be worn at low levels, but are a rare drop. There are no matching gloves. The reddish tones in these crafted shoulders harmonize perfectly with the reddish tones of the leather straps on the pants.
The Inscribed Serpent Staff would also be a good weapon to use with this set.

Niuzao’s Fortitude


Netherstorm Eyepatch, Riplash Pauldrons, Wicked Leather Armor & Gauntlets, Supreme Sash, Bandit Pants, Coal Miner Boots, Beakless Polearm
I wanted to use only Pandarian staves and each of the four Monk class quest reward belts in this Transmogrification project, but the Niuzao outfit didn’t cooperate very well. None of the staves from Pandaria seemed quite right for the Black Ox, whereas Abracadaver from ICC was perfect. I ended up using the Beakless Polearm instead, though, because I didn’t feel like farming ICC and this polearm not only looks awesomely badass, it also matches the one carried by my favorite Shado-Pan companion, Chao the Voice. Once I’d chosen a weapon, none of the Monk class quest belts looked as good with the overall design of the kit as this old-world green belt.
This would be a great Biker kit to use with a choppa!

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