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This evening I took Kaelinda down to the Broken Shore and did just enough to get this to happen:

Because the Mage Tower buff was waterwalking, I was riding my Mystic Runesaber instead of my Azure Waterstrider, and it was so cool that the moment I completed the achievement, it sprouted wings and I could take off!

I had been feeling like I didn’t really mind puttering around on the ground — between Kamalia having the Derelict Skyhorn Kite, Kaelinda having Slow Fall, and Kiralaira having Glide, I’d had plenty of fun jumping off of cliffs or high buildings to get where I was going. Of course, flying would be nice to have as a convenience for leveling all those alts I’ve still got to bring up… I’d forgotten how much fun it is to explore by flying! Right away, I went and flew all around the Tomb of Sargeras to find the entrance to the Cathedral of Eternal Night — and then I flew across the broken causeway and explored around the exterior of the Nighthold.

I enjoyed seeing all the NPCs representing all the different Class Orders during the Return to the Broken Shore scenario, and the Class Order areas around the base. I felt quite uncomfortable, however, about using what are essentially the same weapons that destroyed Cenarion Thicket and Theramore against the Legion ship…

Meanwhile, it’s been long enough since Patch 7.2 launched that through diligently running Champion missions for Legionfall tokens and using Kirin Tor Emissaries for Legionfall tokens, Kamalia could accomplish this without ever having returned to the Broken Shore:

I’ve cropped this shot a little wider than I usually crop achievement pictures to show that she’s standing at her Order Hall mission map…

Now that Kaelinda has explored the Broken Shore and unlocked flying, I’ll take Kamalia and Kiralaira down there, too, sometime fairly soon, to get their final Order Hall champions. At some point in the future, I’ll probably do the Artifact-related questlines… but I think I’ll wait on that until I’ve got the rest of my alts leveled, and Suramar and Argus completed for the Allied Race unlocks.

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(for best effect, imagine the post title said in the tone of voice that Arcanist Valtrois uses when she says “I am restored!” when you give her Ancient Mana — because that is how I am imagining it in my head)

I’ve only satisfied the unlock criteria for the Highmountain Tauren — and I don’t have a level 110 on the realm where I want to create them.

I’m about three-quarters of the way through the unlock criteria for the Nightborne, but I don’t have a level 110 on the realm where I want to create one.

I haven’t been to Argus, to unlock the Void Elves and Lightforged Draenei, at all, let alone having a level 110 on the realm(s) where I might create one.

And I still have so, so much to do in Legion content, most significantly leveling nine more classes and experiencing their Order Hall campaigns.

So for me, at least, pre-purchasing Battle for Azeroth can wait. Besides, that’ll give me some time to decide if I want those Collector’s Edition mounts enough to pay the extra money.

Over the past few weekends, I set myself to completing the 7.0 half of the Suramar campaign. With both Kamalia and Kaelinda, the point I’d stopped at was just before Ly’leth Lunastre’s instructions to meet with Vanthir. When I finally went to meet with Vanthir, and did the Waning Crescent chapter of the campaign, then I began to understand why Anne Stickney has been praising the storytelling in Suramar all expansion long. I hadn’t really felt like I could relate to Thalyssra and Valtrois — or even Occuleth, though I liked him better than the other two. But when I started to meet common folk Nightborne like Vanthir and Deline, then I started to be able to think of what a Nightborne character that I might create could be like.

Meanwhile, BTH recently decided to re-sub up to WoW and has been busily plowing through the Broken Shore and Argus campaigns. After having spent a lot of time corpse-running in the Midnight Court area of Suramar yesterday evening while working on the Statecraft chapter of the Suramar campaign, this evening, I enlisted BTH to help me with the quests in the first part of the Change of Seasons chapter that required me to return to that neighborhood. That made it much easier!

Now that I’ve finally completed Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part One, I think it’s time to go to the Broken Shore and do Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part Two before I continue on to the 7.1 half of the Suramar campaign.

As for Koralythria, my future Nightborne Mage… Not all Nightborne are over 10,000 years old, like Elisande, Thalyssra, Valtrois, and Occuleth. We know this because Nightborne have children — I love that there are so many Nightborne children in Suramar City (and that there are child models for the Zandalari Trolls in the datamining from the first Battle for Azeroth build) — which means that there are Nightborne of all ages. So she is relatively young, probably about the same age as Kaelinda — who is a young adult, as Blood Elves go, at a little over 100 years old. She lived in the southwestern half of the city and recieved help from Vanthir at the Waning Crescent, then joined Thalyssra at Shal’Aran. As a commoner, she does not have any glowy tattoos. I observed that only the elitest of the elites have those — not even nobles such as Ly’leth Lunastre or her friend Lady Aurore have the glowy tattoos. She’s probably an artisan of some kind — perhaps an apprentice or assistant to one of the merchants in the Evermoon Bazaar, or maybe one of the horticulturalists who tended the Glitterpools along the Grand Promenade. She’s a Mage, so she’s done some scholarship of magic, but that won’t become her main career until after the Insurrection.

Kamalia barely had time to notice the ground heaving underneath her, throwing her off of her feet, before the pain overtook her. White-hot, blinding, like a blade had been shoved through her — worse, so much worse than when Garrosh had dumped the Heart of Y’Shaarj into the pools of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms — it consumed all her senses. Dimly, she heard herself screaming. Dimly, she felt herself rolling across the hard rock floor of the Heart of Azeroth as the ground continued to quake violently.

After some unknown interval, the quaking and the pain began to subside.

A hand was gently shaking her shoulder. A voice was calling, “Farseer? Farseer?”
A woman’s voice with a foreign inflection, repeating “Farseer, can you hear me?”
A Draenei’s voice… Earthcaller Yevaa.

Kamalia opened her eyes and looked up at Yevaa. Slowly, she uncurled herself from the fetal ball she had been lying in and, gratefully accepting Yevaa’s proffered hand, rose on trembling legs. She didn’t notice until she was fully standing that she had one hand pressed to her side as if covering a wound. Looking down, she half expected to see her hand and armor caked with blood, and fresh blood still oozing around her fingers. But she was only muddy and scraped and scratched from sliding across the floor, and no blood rushed forth as she tentatively pulled her hand away from her side.

“The Earthmother,” Kamalia gasped, “The Earthmother suffers. She is — ” the phantom wound in her side throbbed as the floor quivered with another small earthquake “– she is wounded.”

Yevaa was looking at her with complete incomprehension, and Kamalia realized that she had been speaking in Taurahe.

“The Earthmother is wounded,” Kamalia repeated, this time in Common.

Other members of the Earthen Ring were gathering around Kamalia and Yevaa. All were trembling and shaky from the earthquakes, but some, including Muln Earthfury, Stormcaller Mylra, and a few others, seemed weaker than the rest.

“You are the last to recover, young Farseer,” said Magatha Grimtotem. “For a while there, I wasn’t sure if you were going to wake up again. Your contact with those Artifacts seems to have given you a deeper attunement to the Earthmother than the rest of us.” Her tone held a slightly mocking note, as if she thought that what she had just said was what others might say about Kamalia’s collapse — but she herself merely thought Kamalia to be weak.

“Was I…?” Kamalia began.

“You were not the only one to be totally overcome,” grunted Muln. “I was also, and Mylra, and others. The Earthmother is wounded, certainly gravely. We must find where, and do all we can to save her. If we can save her?” There was a hint of a question in the senior Farseer’s voice, and he looked toward Nobundo and Aggra.

Nobundo shook his head. “I feel that this world is in distress and terror, but I do not think I felt what you felt, my friends. As for your question… I cannot answer that. We were just learning to become Shaman when Ner’zhul’s portals began to tear Draenor apart, and Draenor was not host to a world-soul. I did not know enough then to be able to compare what I felt from Draenor’s elements, then, to what I feel from Azeroth’s elements, now.”

“I was only a child, and had not yet begun my training, when my world broke,” said Aggra. “When my teacher told me about it, she said that she felt the elements’ distress and knew that the world was falling to pieces, but she didn’t describe being physically affected in the way that you were just now. And I… I can feel that this world is now in terrible pain. Greater pain, deeper pain than the surface burns and scars inflicted by the Legion on the Broken Isles. But I do not know if it will be fatal.” She nodded toward Muln. “We must find the place, and go there, and do all we can to prevent it from being fatal.”

There was a sudden clamor from the portal to Dalaran. The delegation of Earthen Ring Shaman whom Kamalia had sent to Argus, who had been out of contact for several weeks following their reports of the initial forays by the Army of the Light and the Legionfall Concordance into the seat of the Burning Legion — Antorus, the Burning Throne — burst through, running, shouting.

Seeing the toppled totems and other items, the rockslides, and the other members of the Earthen Ring crowded around the inner circle of Farseers who were all looking pale and some of whom were holding hands to their sides, the returning champions faltered to a halt and their shouts began to quiet even before Muln held up a hand.

“You already know,” one of them, a well-respected Troll man, said.

“Perhaps,” said Muln. “We know that Azeroth is gravely wounded, but we do not yet know where, or how, or why. It seems that you may know these things. Tell us what happened in Antorus.”

The champions began telling what they had seen and experienced in the Burning Throne. At first, they spoke in turns, but soon a Pandaren woman named Cinder became the main storyteller, with the others occasionally chiming in to provide additional details.

“…as the Pantheon’s power pulled Sargeras into their prison, he turned and plunged his sword into Azeroth! We weren’t able to see exactly where it struck, but we know it was somewhere in southern Kalimdor. If we take the portal to Ramkahen from the Earthshrines and fan out from there, we should be able to find it very quickly — that thing is immense!”

From Ramkahen, the location of the Sword of Sargeras* was instantly obvious: Silithus.

The Earthen Ring group landed on the ridge above the Oasis of Vir’sar and looked down on a horrifying sight.

The incomprehensibly large weapon appeared to have pierced Azeroth right at Cenarion Hold — all the valiant kaldorei warriors and Cenarion Circle druids who’d lived there, obliterated instantaneously. A new wave of pain and grief washed over Kamalia, bringing her to to her knees. She fought down a surge of nausea.

The sands of the whole Silithus valley had been turned to buckled slabs of slag. Around the edges of the weapon itself, white flames flickered and curled, looking eerily like Sha fumes. Elsewhere, the cracks glowed a strange color, neither the orange-red of lava nor the blue-violet of a ley line, but an unsettling golden yellow.

“This is not going to be as easy as blasting out the ‘thorn’ and throwing down some enchanted seeds, the way we healed Shen-zin Su,” Wavespeaker Adelee commented wryly from behind Kamalia. Adelee’s voice dropped to a despairing whisper. “Oh, Eonar, what do we do?”

~*~*~

* Of course, to actually see the Sword of Sargeras, I had to run through Antorus LFR with Kamalia. While I was there, of course I had to take a selfie with Argus, to get the filter — because I wasn’t sure if I’d ever come back there.

This story is still Kamalia’s canonical experience of the event, though — running the LFR was game mechanics.
Though reports from the PTR showed the Sword being visible from as far away as Thunder Bluff, I couldn’t see it from there. I could only see it from the edges of Mulgore, near or just over the borders with Feralas.

There are Highmountain Tauren in Thunder Bluff!

I’d heard that the thing in the place was visible from as far away as Thunder Bluff, so I went there with Kamalia to see if she could see it without having done any Antorus LFR.

The answer to that question was “no”; I could not discern any such ominous object on the horizon. As I was hovering near the central totem tower making sure that I really couldn’t see anything unusual in the distance, I spotted something much more interesting nearby.

Looking around the city, I found a couple more!

Then, of course, I had to investigate further. Would there be Nightborne in Silvermoon? Void Elves in Stormwind? Lightforged Draenei in the Exodar?

I looked around Silvermoon with Kaelinda — no tall, arrogant blue elves with upturned long ears. I looked around Stormwind with Kaylynda — no short, pouty blue elves with funny glowing hair. I looked around the Exodar with Kaprikka — no strange gray Draenei with golden markings.

I didn’t see any Void Elves or Lightforged Draenei around the Stormwind Embassy when I visited it with Kaylynda, but when I visited the Orgrimmar Embassy with Kamalia, I saw several Highmountain Tauren there, as well as a few in the Valley of Wisdom. I didn’t see any Nightborne around the Orgrimmar Embassy, however.

The Underpowered Death Knight can also see the Highmountain Tauren in Thunder Bluff and in Orgrimmar. So can level 60 Mama Kawneiha. So can a level 1 character on that realm.

But my level 33 Goblin Mage, who logged on to check out how the construction of the Embassy had affected the Bilgewater Cartel NPCs in the area, didn’t see any Highmountain Tauren.

From these data, my current hypothesis is that to see Allied Race NPCs around the Embassy and in the ethnically related capital city, one must have a) completed the requirements to unlock that Allied Race and b) a level 110 character on either that realm or its connected realm.

If this hypothesis is correct, then I should start seeing Nightborne at the Orgrimmar Embassy on Kamalia’s realm when Kaelinda finishes the Suramar Insurrection storyline. I should start seeing the Horde Allied Races on my Mage realm once Kaylynda reaches level 110. And I should start seeing the Alliance Allied Races on my Mage realm after a) I go do Argus with somebody, anybody, and b) Kaylynda reaches level 110.

Stuff I’d like to accomplish in Azeroth (and associated worlds) during the next year. Getting this stuff done before the launch of Battle for Azeroth would be nice, too.

* Level Hunter, Druid, Warrior, Death Knight, Paladin, Priest, Monk, Rogue, and Warlock to 110

* Complete 7.0 Order Hall Campaigns for Hunter, Druid, Warrior, Death Knight, Paladin, Priest, Monk, Rogue, and Warlock

* Do enough of Broken Shore with each character to obtain their 9th Champion

* Complete the Good Suramaritan and Suramar Insurrection storylines with Kaelinda

* Do the Xe’ra’s Revisionist History Of Illidan questline with Kiralaira

* Go to Argus with Kiralaira

* Do the Deaths of Chromie scenario with Karaelia to earn the bronze version of the plate dragon head shoulders

* LFR Emerald Nightmare with Kerisa

* Get the Feather of the Moonspirit (owlcat) appearance for the Fangs of Ashamane

* Do the Blacksmithing questchain with Keija at least until she can craft the Demonsteel set

* Work on other Profession questchains as time & interest allow

* Continue Paragoning Highmountain with Kamalia and Suramar with Kaelinda until moose and flying carpet mounts have been obtained

* Kerisa needs to be Exalted with Dreamweavers. Keija needs to be Exalted with Valarjar. Karaelia & Kaohana want to be Exalted with Valarjar because Valarjar tabard is pretty and has colors suitable for “I wanna be SHINY!” Mogs. All Tauren will want to be Exalted with Highmountain.

* Level Kaylynda to 110 so I can create Void Elf and Nightborne Mages on my Mage realm

* Level mini-Kam to 110 so I can create Highmountain Tauren on my Secondary Tauren realm

* Pre-order Battle for Azeroth so that if Allied Races are made available to pre-orders in 8.0 (the way Demon Hunters were made available to Legion pre-orders in 7.0), I can start leveling my Void Elf and my first Highmountain Tauren right away.

This To-Do List brought to you by Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge #30.

Lord of Icecrown and Princess of the Mists over at WoWable are starting up a series of Transmogrification & creative writing challenges that sound like they’ll be a lot of fun. I hope they will become wildly successful!

Their first challenge is:

If your character lived/worked on the Darkmoon Faire, what would be his/her occupation?

I’ve done a set of outfits featuring the Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire before, and any of them would fit this theme quite nicely. It would be both lazy and cheating to re-use my previous work, though, so let’s see what new ideas I can think up…

Out of all my characters, the ones who have the least sense of allegiance to their native racial faction are Kivrinne and Kermione.

If Kivrinne ran away to join the Faire, she’d be an Assistant Darkmoon Mixologist.

Fel-Proof Goggles, Pads of the Venom Spider, Spellbinder Vest, Nesingwary’s Sash, Fel-Infused Leggings, Cobalt-Threaded Gloves + Green Linen Bracers, Apprentice Boots, Tuxedo Shirt, Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire, Pot Stirrer, Flask of Forest Mojo*
She wouldn’t be the alchemical genius who invented the Inky Black Potion, of course, but she might make a batch now and then to help keep up with the demand. She might be the person who actually makes the draughts and tinctures sold by Faldar Willowshade, or perhaps the person who makes the flasks used by the Fire Eaters. She’d be one of the people who Chronos gives all those Darkblossoms to after herbalist visitors to the Faire collect them for him.
The only Florentine flask off-hand still available is the Tears of Heaven.

If Kermione ran away to join the Faire, she’d be a Wanderluster Mechanic. She’d be on the crew of Faire workers who keep all the mounts, obstacles, power-ups, and toll gates for the Darkmoon Races tuned up and functioning properly.

If she were high-level and had her Engineering skill leveled up too, she’d wear this outfit:

Electromagnetic Gigaflux Reactivator, Lunarglow Shoulderpads, Mechbuilder’s Overalls, Grievous Gladiator’s Cord of Cruelty, Phoenix Gloves, Gnomish Inventor Boots, Green Holiday Shirt, Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire, Ogre Pocket Knife, Spring Gadget
The shirt brings in that Faire green-and-purple, which the outfit is otherwise lacking, as it focuses more on the “engineer” theme.
I picked this Warlords shoulder armor because it made me think of a shop towel that she keeps with her to wipe off excessively greasy fingers, tools, and parts. This shoulder model clips rather badly into the bust of female characters of most races, but Goblins wear their shoulderpads far enough out that they don’t have that problem.

Working with her actual level and my current Wardrobe inventory, this is what I came up with:

Vital Headband, Willow Vest & Belt, Treetop Leggings*/Councillor’s Pants, Phoenix Gloves, Slippers of Unturned Loyalties, Cloak of the Darkmoon Faire, Noxious Shooter, Rod of Molten Fire
This outfit is largely an effort to mimic the clothing of the Darkmoon Carnies, with the cloak in lieu of the tabard worn by the NPCs.

I feel like these kits are a little on the bland side, so I’m looking forward to seeing what others put together for this prompt!