Transmogs: For the Alliance!

As well as seeing Hamilton (which was amazing oh my god!) over my pseudo-weekend in the middle of the week, I decided to double up on making a new transmog for my human paladin, who for all intents and purposes in RP is just a warrior (for now), but I prefer playing a paladin in PvE.

To give a little background, my “paladin” is part of the People’s Militia, or is it the Westfall Brigade since Wrath of the Lich King? It doesn’t matter. She’s a farm girl who joined the People’s Militia back when they were still a bunch of angry farmers fighting the Defias with pitchforks.

However, since getting tooled up by Stormwind and sent to Northrend to help out the NPCs have been given a visual overhaul and I was delighted to find that I could acquire the set in game for my character.

I won’t explain it. I will let pictures do the talking:

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That makes two that I have made in the past week, as those who read my last short story might have seen the other Alliance themed transmog I made on my hunter. Regardless, I will also link them here as this is a patriotic Alliance-based transmog post. Glory to our king!

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Personally, I am quite happy with both of them as while both sets are very Alliance themed and both gals wear the Stormwind tabard, neither set resorts to using the Stormwind Guard cosmetic armour set from Warlords of Draenor. They are more fitting this way as neither are part of the official Stormwind military; one is a farm girl turned People’s Militia fighter while the other is a bard and freelance scout.

I think this weekend I will start work on another piece of Warcraft fiction involving my human “paladin” and her half-sister (my human rogue). While they are not on opposite sides in terms of Alliance and Horde (as both are humans), they are diametrically opposed in their beliefs. Not a great relationship to have during the Feast of Winter Veil, when families should be spending time with each other and celebrating this happy, festive event.

Happy Feast of Winter Veil!

Just got back from Hamilton!

Seriously, that musical is amazing.

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Only photo I managed to get. Photography during the show was prohibited!

I took a trip up to London to meet up with a friend and go for some ramen, before heading off to the theatre to see Hamilton, the musical about the founding father of the USA, Alexander Hamilton.

I have just got out and suffered a surprisingly packed train (considering it was around 10:30pm when I got on the train and it’s a weekday) and got the bus home, showered and I am now sitting in the warm and preparing to head to bed.

However first I need to talk about the spectacle I just saw a few hours ago.

In short, it was AMAZING!

To break it down, act 1 follows Alexander Hamilton’s journey from nothing, through the American Revolution and becoming Geroge Washington’s right hand man, while act 2 focuses on his downfall and the political intrigue that surrounds him. While my preference is act 1, act 2 was also incredibly well performed!

So, I’ll start with what I liked:

The music. Of course I loved the music. It’s a musical. A musical that I love. I got the shivers multiple times through the performance because I loved it so much. It was amazing. I loved it. Act 1 got me pumped.

The emotional performance. This is an aspect that I loved about it as the sadder moments brought me to tears where just listening to them never did. I found myself crying when Phillip dies, when Eliza burns Alexander’s letters and the ending. Act 2 made me cry (in a good way, similar to how MGS makes me cry. I get emotional).

The cast. No, really, the cast were fantastic. I felt like the vast majority really filled their roles incredibly well. They were charismatic, silly when it suited the tone, serious when things got darker and their singing voices were great. I loved everyone, but I will, however, name favourites:

  • Lafayette/Jefferson: The actor who played these characters was probably my favourite, or at least top two with the next. For me, he really stole the show with his performances and had me chuckling at his relatively over-the-top reactions and dorky “happy dancing” at points like when Hamilton supports him over Aaron Burr.
  • King George: The King was incredible. He wasn’t kidding at the start when he told the audience to enjoy “his” show. I think everyone in the audience loved it when the King came on stage to sing his parts. He filled the roll perfectly and really made me smile every time he came out on stage.
  • The Schuyler Sisters: All three Schuyler sisters were great. Especially my main gal Peggy, the good girl amidst her two sisters who want to go out into the city to watch all the guys at work (work!).
  • Laurens/Phillip: Less so for his performance as Laurens, but more so for his performance as Phillip Hamilton, Alexander’s son. He made me chuckle when he rapped for his father, then ran up and gave him a hug, but simultaneously made me cry after he got shot in his duel and died in his parents’ arms. I was crying like a baby in that scene…

However, this leads me onto what I didn’t like about it. Believe me when I say that my only gripe is very minor, as I did really enjoy it, but nothing’s perfect: Hamilton was largely upstaged and out-shone by the rest of the cast. I felt like Alexander Hamilton, who is meant to be very charismatic, just lacked the charisma of the other big characters like Jefferson, Mulligan, Burr, King George or Washington. He could sing well and he had some stage presence, but next to some of the others I just felt like the focus was taken away from him, the protagonist, because the rest of the cast had more presence.

All in all I LOVED it. It was amazing and I’m so glad I went. I think in total it cost me about £100 including train fares and ticket prices, but not including the money I spent on merchandise. What can I say? I needed a shot glass that reads “I am not throwing away my shot!”

Totally worth the cost and I wholly recommend it.

Busy week! (and not because of work)

Well, this week was way more amazing than I originally expected. I honestly have been a bit out of the loop recently with new-ish job and searching for something better, so imagine my surprise when I realised that the Overwatch League pre-season has now started. I’ve been waiting for this for a while and now that it has launched I will be following it fervently. However, the majority of the matches are at times that I just cannot be awake for due to time difference, so I will be viewing the VODs the next day; 2am is not a time I can do on a work night!

So far, I was actually surprised with what I saw. Teams looked rusty by comparison to some of the matches I have seen before in tournaments such as APEX in South Korea, or even some of the matches from Contenders Season 1. With added context it makes a lot of sense for some teams, such as the Shanghai Dragons who didn’t have one of their primary dps players in the country until the day before their match against the titans in Seoul Dynasty. Also, I find myself in a difficult position of wanting to support London Spitfire, but I have been a long-time EnVyUs fan after they went to Korea won APEX season 1; my attentions are therefore split between the London Spitfire, as my local team, and Dallas Fuel as the team I have already supported all this time.

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But this week didn’t stop there. I also came to the realisation that Kobolds and Catacombs released this week for Hearthstone as well. Now, I’m not a huge Hearthstone player, mainly just using it as a game to play during the morning and evening commute, however I will say that I love this expansion. As a filthy casual who loves my PvE content, I have been loving the dungeon runs so far and somehow managed to succeed on my first try as paladin. I don’t even play paladin much in Hearthstone, but amusingly I main a paladin in World of Warcraft, so maybe that’s why I decided on impulse to make my first dungeon run as a paladin; either that or I just decided I really felt like having Liadrin as my hero. Always loved Liadrin as a character…

My hammer burns with holy fire!

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Bonds of Family, part 3

It doesn’t take long for someone else to join me in the tent. I turn, looking over my shoulder to see a male human in full armour, though without a helmet. His armour is slightly better decorated than the rank and file troopers, so I assume he is some sort of officer. I don’t even make eye contact, just facing forward in silence again.

“Stand up,” he says, his voice authoritative as he makes his way to my back, detaching the chains that bind me to the tent, but keeping my hands bound. I just sit there; I’m not about to let this human order me around. “I said stand!” he says again, walking over and dragging me to my feet. “With those ears, I would’ve thought you could hear me.”

“I heard you, human. I just didn’t care,” I answer, looking over my shoulder with a grin.

The human grabs the back of my neck and shoves me towards the entrance to the tent. “Just move it.”

The human shoves me out of the tent and back into the pouring rain. I was starting to dry off, but all hopes of that evaporated as I was met by the heavy rainfall of the Arathi Highlands. It was still late, the plains lit by nothing more than star light and the occasional lantern. The human pushes me out of the camp, up a small hill and over to another group of Alliance. My adoptive sister is among them, a longbow slung across her back. I find myself wondering if it was my mother who taught her how to fight. It’s a shame I won’t find out. It’s clear to me what this is; it’s an execution. I spot the stone they will use as a headsman’s block, there’s what looks like a priest and two other soldiers in attendance. If I was armed and armoured I could probably kill all of these pretenders; luck has surely smiled upon them today.

The human shoves me over to the large stone and the priest walks to the other side, his robes muddied at the bottom. He looks me straight in the eye as one soldier walks behind me while the officer and the last soldier flank me. Elise walks just behind the priest, looking at me with a stoic expression. I wonder if she is still conflicted and I cling to the hope that she will help me out of this situation. For all my confidence, I don’t want to die. Not like this at least; there is no honour in being chained and executed. However, I see that is just a fantasy. After all, we’re on opposite sides of this war. If I were in her position, I would likely be the executioner as well as the priest in this situation. She is my enemy as I am hers.

“You call yourself a paladin of the Holy Light, yet you slaughter men and women in their beds,” the priest says, his gaze never leaving my eyes.

“It’s a military target,” I answer, looking straight back into his eyes. “It was not a dishonourable strike. If anything, it was poorly executed. We four met your fourteen in open combat and yo-…”

The soldier to my right punches me across the face, sending me stumbling aside. The officer catches me and shoves me back into position. It’s at this moment I realise how weak I am in my current state. I lost a lot of blood not too long ago and I still ache from the injuries I suffered in the previous battle.

“That’s enough,” the priest says, a strong, assertive tone to his voice. “Now, elf, you have been charged with murder and abuse of the Holy Light. Do you deny these charges?”

“Of course I do. If I were abusing the Light, do you not think it would turn its back on me? Also it’s not murder if it’s a paramilitary operation in a war. That’s called warfare, priest.”

The priest frowns. “You will face judgement for the lives you have taken.”

“I will be judged for the crimes I have committed, but it won’t be by you and it won’t be for what transpired here.”

The priest looks at the guard behind me and nods. I feel an armoured gauntlet on the back of my neck, pushing me down and forcing me to my knees. This is it. They’ve decided to just get the execution over and done with. My main regret is that I feel that I have not yet managed to atone for my sins. Will the Holy Light take that into account when it comes to my judgement?

I feel an armoured boot on my back, forcing me onto the stone, my head hanging over the other edge. I look up to the officer who has pulled out his blade, then to Elise, then to the priest who is saying a typical prayer to the Holy Light. I know the Alliance’s protocol when it comes to executions like these; even for their enemies they recite a generic prayer. It has no meaning and I think they’re just doing it for show.

I close my eyes and face down. There’s nothing left for me. This is the end.

Suddenly, I feel a shift in the air. I open my eyes in time to see an arcane flash from behind the priest and two hulking figures come charging out of it.

“What? We’re under attack! Protect Father Astrior,” the officer yells, turning to face the charging figures. This is the only chance I will get. I spring to life, jumping into the officer and colliding with his armoured form. We both go sprawling to the ground, but I am unarmed, unarmoured and weakened from my previous injuries. We hit the dirt, but before I can react the officer is upon me. He raises his sword to finish the job, but before he can plunge the blade through my chest he brings it up to parry one of the charging figures. I look up to see Uruda slamming into the human, bashing aside his defences and slamming her axe into the human’s chest, piercing the armour and sending a trail of crimson spilling from his breastplate behind his tabard.

“Laralla, can you walk?” she asks, picking up the human’s sword. I nod as she runs over, getting to my feet. She runs behind me and brings her axe down on the bindings, smashing them and freeing my hands. She thrusts the officer’s sword into my hands. “Good. We’re getting you out of here,” she says before charging off to engage another target. I look over to see Elise standing between Argrok and the priest and in that moment I can see that she was trained by my mother. Her fighting style is reminiscent of how my mother fought the Scourge, dodging and ducking beneath blows. She dodges to the side of his overhead swing, moving to slash at Argrok, but he brings his mace back around, causing her to back off to avoid the powerful swing of the Orc warrior. This isn’t a fight she can reliably win.

Lara Ready

Another soldier charges Argrok and Elise immediately disengages, moving to his flank and ready to strike him from behind. I will give these Alliance credit where credit is due, they work in unison far better than our Orc duo. I charge at the Alliance soldier, coming to Argrok’s aid as they seek to outnumber him, bringing the officer’s two handed sword around in an arc. The blade digs into his armour deep, but I don’t have the strength to pierce the plates. He turns, bashing me away with his shield, but in doing so he turns his back on Argrok who shatters the human’s spine with a powerful backwards swing of his mace.

I turn to Elise and the priest, but see the priest’s body burning as Claude hurls fireballs him, his robes aflame as he stumbles about, screaming at the top of his lungs before eventually collapsing to the ground, dead.

“Come on Uruda. Back to Claude!” Argrok yells, starting to bound back to the mage who appears to be starting a teleportation spell to pull us out. I notice Elise out of the corner of my eye. She has taken out her bow, pulling an arrow from her quiver and taking aim at the mage. I get ready to charge. I can’t let her kill my only way out. I won’t be recaptured and put in chains by these human dogs. She may have been nice to me while I was in captivity, but that was her mistake.

Before I can charge, Uruda barrels into Elise, causing her to lose her shot and hop backwards to avoid the axe swing, though she doesn’t hop far enough and Uruda’s axe slams into her side, piercing the lightweight chain armour and carving deep into her body. Elise drops her bow and immediately buckles, gasping for breath as Uruda pulls her axe out and starts to run towards Claude as well. I watch as the broken human struggles to move, her blood mixing with the wet mud beneath her as she bleeds at an alarming rate. She has mere seconds to live.

I look to the others. Their focus is elsewhere, watching for enemy reinforcements as Claude continues to channel his spell. I look back to Elise as she starts to slow. Time seems to stand still as I come to a realisation; the Light is testing me. Testing my will, testing my resolve, testing my honour. This woman had, in truth, put her neck on the line to at least make what she believed were my final moments a bit more bearable. If the Alliance had known that her reports were a fabrication…

RIP Elise

I extend my hand to her, closing my eyes as I channel holy energy into the girl, closing the gaping axe wound in her side. She looks up, locking eyes with me. “Now we’re even,” I say in Thalassian as she collapses to the dirt as shock and blood loss take their toll. With the wound closed, she should live as long as she receives medical attention in the near future, but she will feel awful; worse than I felt as her wound was a lot nastier than mine.

I turn and run for the other three as I see reinforcements coming up the hill. It’s time for us to leave. “We’re all here. Let’s get out of this place!” I yell as I reach Claude, putting a hand up to conjure a barrier of holy energy around us. I won’t have a stray spell or arrow stop us now.

Claude finishes his incantation and we are pulled through the nether, appearing on the dusty planes of Durotar, just outside of Orgrimmar. I collapse to my knees, exhausted but happy to be back in safe lands.

“Can you walk to Orgrimmar, or are you elves so fragile that I need to carry you?” Argrok asks with a big, toothy grin.

“I will be fine to walk, Argrok,” I answer, grinning right back and climbing to my feet. I look at the Alliance officer’s sword before offering it to Uruda. “Hey, you want this as a trophy? I believe he was the commander of that camp.”

Uruda smiled and nodded. “He was my kill, after all. First we show it to our employer, then Argrok buys our drinks for losing my bet,” she says with a chuckle, looking straight to Argrok.

I start to laugh as we begin our short walk to Orgrimmar. Despite losing my weapons, armour and holy symbol, my first combat job in years was a success. I grab the necklace my mother gave to me, partially to ensure that it is still there. Mother is alive and working with the Alliance. She has taken on a human girl as her new daughter. I must find her. I have so many questions to ask her, but if it comes down to it could I really fight her now? Now that I know what kind of a monster Father is.

It seems the Holy Light has more trials for me in the years to come. I will not waver.

< Part 2

Bonds of Family, part 2

That’s why I’m leaving, sister,” Anatheia says as she turned to face me for what felt like the first time during the entire conversation. I can tell she’s upset, that she’s holding back the tears as she speaks.

Father won’t allow it, Ana. You’re the oldest child with a gift for the arcane, you know he has plans for you to take over as head of the house. Besides, what will you tell Vel?” I reply, a firm tone to my voice despite my little sister’s current state of mind. I don’t want her to leave and I always was the more assertive of us three girls.

I don’t care what father wants. His training is smothering me and I feel I can do more good in Stormwind, rather than sitting safe up here in Quel’Thalas. Our allies need us; are we going to just sit up here safe behind our forests?”

I sigh. “No, of course not. But equally you need to think of the immediate ramifications of you leaving. How do you think Father will react? You know what he’s like.”

He’s the main reason I’m leaving. It’s decided; I leave tomorrow and my bags are already packed.”

Please reconsider. You’re going to tear the family apart over this.”

Anatheia’s expression shifted to one of anger. She tensed up, storming up to me. Is she going to punch me? No, I’ve been here before…

You wouldn’t know, Lara! You don’t know the training he puts me through. You haven’t seen what I’ve seen; how dare you assume to know what drives this decision!” she says, shoving me back. I’m shocked, mouth agape at my little sister’s sudden outburst. I look back to her to see the tears streaming down her cheeks.

Then why don’t you tell me, Ana? I want to help, but I can’t if you’re going to act this way!” I answer, keeping my posture non-threatening. I may be the stronger and faster of the two of us, but in her current state of mind I would not want to push her buttons any more than I apparently already have. She’s either overreacting and she’s unstable, ready to start throwing spells at the drop of a hat, or she has seen something that has changed her life for the worse.

I-… I can’t,” she replies, stepping back again and looking at the ground. She appears to have regained some control over her emotions at least.

Why not? I’m not against you, I just want to find a resolution to this that keeps us together as a family.”

I just can’t, okay.” She looks up at me, sniffing and carefully wiping her eyes. “Good bye, Lara.”

I take a step forwards and reach out to pull her into a warm hug, but she disappears from where she stood, appearing outside the room before rushing off. I chase after her, but when I get to my bedroom door, she is gone.

I wake up to the feeling of raindrops on my skin. It has only just started, as I am still dry for the most part. I feel awful. There’s a sharp pain in my stomach and a dull headache pounds within my skull. I move to get up, but my hands are chained behind my back. I turn over slowly to see a chain connecting me with a hitching post and a couple of horses about five metres away; a fresh pile of horse excrement lies far too close for comfort and I roll away from it a little. There isn’t too much slack in my chains, but enough to get me away from the horse droppings. My armour is missing, as well as my weapon and holy symbol. My necklace remains tucked beneath my clothing, my mother’s family crest; her final gift to me after Anatheia and I renounced our heritage on our father’s side, gave up our titles and claim to land and decided to live with the surname of a traitor instead of a madman. I lie there on my back, wearing just my underwear, a thin tunic, thin trousers and a pair of socks, closing my eyes and asking the Holy Light to guide me. It’s cold and the rain isn’t doing me any favours, starting to get heavier and soak me through. I have no access to a mirror, but I imagine I must look like hell right now.

A few minutes pass before I hear footsteps approaching. They aren’t the heavy plated boots of an Alliance soldier and for a moment I assume the best. Perhaps it’s a fellow Horde soldier here to free me? Maybe I have concussion as I see a woman round the nearby tent and walk over. She’s human, with long blonde hair worn loose beneath a blue hood and blue, lightweight chain armour covered by the tabard of Stormwind. I lock eyes with her and refuse to look away. She walks past me and grabs the chains by the hitching post, crouching down and undoing the lock. She stands, holding the chains and wrapping them around her wrist, while pulling out a simple shortsword with her free hand. She makes her way over to me and places her chained hand on the back of my neck, pushing me forwards. I stumble a few steps, but come to a halt, staring at her over my shoulder.

“Move it,” she says calmly, poking me in the back with her shortsword. I oblige, curious where this will take me. Perhaps she is my executioner. Perhaps she is going to question me. Either way, I would like to get out of this downpour.

She takes me to the far tent and pushes me in, following shortly after.

“Sit,” she says, gesturing at the chair. I feign ignorance, turning to stare at her again and pretending I don’t understand Common.

She rolls her eyes, grabs me by the scruff of the neck and shoves me down onto the wooden chair in the centre of the tent. She then walks to the corner and affixes the chain to the piton keeping the tent in the ground. I wonder if I could pull hard enough and bring this tent down on us? It wouldn’t be especially dangerous, but it would probably get me killed so I hold off for now. I am still curious to see where this goes. Inside the tent, apart from the wooden chair I sit on, is what looks like a hastily set up makeshift desk and another chair. These Alliance soldiers probably weren’t expecting to keep prisoners, hence the very makeshift interrogation set up. Amateurs.

The woman sits opposite me. “So, you have a name, Elf?” she asks in Common.

I still pretend I do not understand.

“Don’t pretend. I know almost all of your kind understands Common, unless you’re a ten year old child which I am quite confident you aren’t.”

I still don’t respond.

The woman sighs, rolling her eyes. She stands up, picking up the chair and moving within spitting range. Wonderful; I can spit in this woman’s face as my final act of defiance if it goes that way. However, what happens next takes me by complete surprise. The woman lowers her voice.

“Fine. Let me extend you the courtesy of communicating in your own language,” she says quietly in perfect Thalassian; even her accent is on point with any well-spoken blood elf. I find myself staring in shock at the woman, as it’s a rarity to find a human who speaks our language.

“Where did you learn?” I ask, narrowing my eyes.

“No, no, that’s not how this works. I asked the first question, so I will be more than happy to answer once you have answered mine.”

I smirk. “Laralla.”

“And your family name?”

“That’s not how it works. I answered yours, so now you answer mine,” I respond with a grin. If this is going to lead to execution, I would rather just get it over with.

The woman cracks a smile, nodding. “Fair enough, Laralla. I learned from one of your kin who you cast out for refusing to resort to fel magics to feed their addictions. Now, surname?”

I nod. “Dawnsinger.”

The woman blinks at me, staring for a moment.

“What? Did I get dessert on my nose?” I ask, grinning.

“No. Now, what were you trying to achieve here? Four of you against a camp this close to Refuge Pointe?”

“I think it’s my turn to ask,” I say with a grin.

The woman shakes her head. “No. You asked if you had dessert on your nose. I happily answered that question, so now it’s back to me,” she answers with a smug grin on her face. I can’t help but smirk at her style.

“Bitch.”

“Guilty as charged. Now, my question please.”

“Simple. I was hired to kick your pampered baby squad back over the Thandol Span.”

“So you’re not official military?”

“Nope. Anyway, that’s two you owe me now, so firstly, what’s the name of the Quel’dorei who taught you our language? I’d like to know so I can pay them a visit later.”

The woman hesitated, before smirking again. “Arinella Dawnsinger. You look just like her.”

No. I refuse to accept it. Arinella Dawnsinger? That’s the same name as my mother. The mother who tried to kill my father and then fled. I thought she was dead; she had to flee through Scourge controlled lands shortly after they destroyed the Sunwell. “She’s alive?”

“From your reaction I would say my hunch was right. She is alive and well, yes. I take it you are related? The family resemblance is there.”

I narrow my eyes at the human woman. “She’s my mother. She tried to kill my father and then fled.”

“From what I’ve heard, your father is a bit of a nut-case,” the woman replied, her tone very to the point.

“You couldn’t possibly understand. Anyway, why are you asking me these questions? Aren’t you going to interrogate me for military intelligence and then take me out back and execute me?” I ask, spitting on the ground.

“Because normally I would relish in conducting an interrogation with a Sin’dorei. I hate your people.”

“But this time’s different because you know my mother, right?” I ask, rolling my eyes. “Please, spare me your f-…”

“This time’s different because this particular Sin’dorei is my sister by adoption. Arinella adopted me as a war orphan. I may hate your people, but family is important to me.”

“Then how about you let me go?” I ask, rustling the chains slightly.

“I can’t. You murdered Alliance soldiers and sister or not, you have to face justice for your actions.”

“So where do we go from here?”

“I-… I’m going to say I got everything I could from you. That you have no intel to give and the strike was orchestrated by independent agents. Your fate is in the hands of the Alliance military and that of the Holy Light.”

The woman turns away, her tough exterior melting away. I can tell she’s conflicted with the situation and not an official member of the Alliance military. A contractor? Perhaps something I can use to my advantage.

“Your name, human? I’d like to know the name of my new adoptive sister before I meet the Holy Light,” I ask, softening my voice. If I’m going to get out of here, she’s my way out, so I need her on side.

The human woman turns to look at me, the conflict clear on her face. She takes a deep breath and regains her composure. “Elise Dawnsinger.”

I open my mouth to speak, but Elise rushes out of the tent, leaving me alone, but still restrained.

At least it’s dry in here.

< Part 1 | Part 3 >

Bonds of Family, part 1

As a preface to this, I will say that I have written and rewritten this three times. I just couldn’t get it right! I still don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s by far the best attempt I’ve had at it. So, I present to you, the first piece of Warcraft based fiction I have written in probably around seven years; last time I wrote any Warcraft stuff I was visiting parents during my university holidays. All names are random and not meant to represent any other characters that aren’t mine. It may be the Warcraft universe, but I still prefer to create my own characters.


It had been a while since I had seen active duty for the Horde. I tried moving into the civilian workforce after the Sunwell was liberated, but I was hounded by ghosts of my past; thoughts of guilt ate at my mind every day for what we, the Blood Knights, did to that poor Naaru. We faltered in our faith and the Naaru paid for it. I tried to take to life as a priest, I tried to take up the blacksmithing trade. Neither were difficult, my previous experience with the Holy Light and my responsibility as a Blood Knight meant I had an affinity for both of them, but I didn’t feel like I was on a path where I could atone for what I did. I kept my body in shape with daily exercise and a training regimen I used to abide by when I was an active Blood Knight, so donning my armour and picking up my spear was no strange experience, even after all these years.

Now here I stand, the Arathi Highlands. Reports indicated that the Alliance has used the conflict with the Legion to push advanced scouting parties closer to our borders and we had been hired to attack one of their camps. We will be outnumbered, but we will have the element of surprise if we play our cards right. The team is comprised of myself, a paladin of the Light, Claude, a forsaken spellcaster, as well as Argrok and Uruda, a pair of Orc warriors. I haven’t known them for very long, but it’s clear there is history between Argrok and Uruda, perhaps even a romantic history with the way they interact, though I am not an expert on Orc culture. Perhaps that’s something to ask my little sister about; her position as a diplomat means she has spent far more time around them than I have.

Watching

I can see the target in the distance. Four tents, with no more than four soldiers in each, meaning at maximum we will be facing sixteen Alliance soldiers. However, I have only counted ten so far, though the others could be asleep. I hear footsteps behind me.

“Is that the camp?” Argrok asks, cresting the small mound I had placed myself on to observe the Alliance forces. Argrok takes a knee next to me, observing the soldiers’ movements.

“It is. We wait for their next patrol to leave and then we strike,” I answer, not taking my eyes off the troops.

“Why not just attack now? Those Alliance dogs can’t stand up to us. They’re cowards,” Argrok says with a grin.

I turn to lock eyes with him, a seriousness piercing the calmness of the Highlands ambience. “Do not underestimate them, Argrok. By my count they could outnumber us four to one, and while they are cowards, they aren’t necessarily poor fighters.”

“Maybe by your standards.”

“I won’t argue the point, Argrok. We attack when the next patrol leaves.”

I turn to watch the camp again, hearing a grunt from the Orc as he gets up and walks off to the rest of the group. I wasn’t used to dealing with Orcs, as when I was a Blood Knight I was surrounded by my own people. We are very different when compared to the rest of the Horde and I can see why my little sister feels like we don’t belong, however this is the hand fate has delivered us and unity with the Horde is what we need to survive after the Alliance stabbed us in the back. I find myself lost in thought, considering what could have been if the Alliance hadn’t betrayed us, if we were still a part of the Alliance. That could be me down there in that camp, about to be attacked by a group of Horde soldiers. Also, I had friends in the Alliance military when we were still a part of it, so those people down there could be former friends.

“Hey, shiny,” Claude says with his usual neutral tone, “what are you doing?”

“What do you mean? I’m watching,” I respond, turning to look at the forsaken.

“Then you’ve noticed Argrok and Uruda heading for the camp talking about, what was it? The one who kills less buys the drinks?” he answers with a dry, sarcastic tone. I immediately turn, looking down to see the two Orcs approaching the Alliance camp. We cannot let them attack by themselves as they will be overwhelmed by the Alliance forces.

“Oh for the love of all that’s holy… We need to get down there and help them or they’re going to die,” I say, turning and making my way off the small mound, brushing past Claude who simply chuckles.

“We could always leave them to their fate. It’s their own fault and if they really want to die, who are we to stop them?”

I turn to face Claude, anger burning in my eyes. They may be stubborn and of questionable intelligence, but they’re our allies. “No. We support them. If we are under threat of being overrun, you pull us out of there.”

“Fine, but we will need to move quickly. The Orcs will not wait for us.”

I rush down the side of the hill, keeping out of line of sight of the camp as I dash after the two Orcs, trying my best to catch up with them. Then I hear it.

“The Horde are here! All forces to the east!” I hear someone shout out, followed by the sounds of combat. The pair of Orcs had already attacked. I discard all thoughts of moving stealthily and charge straight for the camp, spear at the ready. I crest the edge of the steep incline leading down to the Alliance camp, almost sliding down the dirt. As I drop down, I see the two Orcs surrounded by Alliance soldiers. They’re fending them off, but they’re going to get cut to pieces at this rate. I grasp my symbol of the Holy Light, holding my spear with one hand and muttering a quiet prayer as I reach the ground and charge at the Alliance soldiers who have surrounded the two Orcs. As Uruda takes a heavy sword blow to her abdomen, her wound immediately glows with holy energy and seals itself. I will not let my comrades die while I still draw breath.

“Someone deal with the elf!” one of the humans shouts, noticing my contribution to the current fight before Uruda plants her axe through his helmet, crumpling the metal inwards. Claude has taken up position on the ridge and starts raining fire down on the Alliance camp. The hit was going okay, considering Argrok and Uruda has screwed up the planned alpha strike. Then I notice how badly outnumbered we are. Fourteen against four were not odds that I felt comfortable with. I grip my spear in both hands and charge the formation around the Orcs, thrusting my spear into the back of the nearest Alliance soldier. He arches his back and collapses to the floor as I withdraw my spear, turning to parry the sword of another soldier.

Another soldier stabs Argrok in his side, causing him to double over in pain. He brings his mace down on the head of the soldier who stabbed him, crushing the human’s head in a single hit, but he falls shortly after. Uruda rushes to his side, defending him as more of the Alliance soldiers encircle the two Orcs while a four of them keep me preoccupied.

“Claude! Get down to Argrok and Uruda and get ready to pull them out!” I yell as one of the Alliance soldiers slashes across my back. My armour takes the brunt of the hit, but I stumble forwards from the impact. If we stay here, we’re all going to die.

“I’d rather not get chopped to pieces!” Claude yells back. I barely hear him over the sounds of battle and my concentration in fending off four soldiers.

“Just do it. I’ve got you covered!” I call back, parrying two of the Alliance swords with my spear. However, one of the Alliance soldiers slips underneath my guard, driving his sword straight into my gut. I cough blood and grit my teeth, my vision wavers as I notice Claude appear in the midst of the melee. I extend my free hand in his direction, muttering another prayer to the Light and enveloping the three of them in a shield of holy energy. Perhaps this is what I was searching for. Perhaps I have been seeking redemption through my own death. It would be a fitting end, considering all I have done, the atrocities I committed.

My vision grows foggy as I see the golden glow of the shield disappear in a flash of arcane energy. Claude teleported them out. My job is complete. I smile through the intense pain in my gut as the Alliance soldier removes his blade. I keep hold of my spear, but drop to my knees as my legs lose all strength. I don’t have the energy to stand. I feel drained. Like hell am I about to let some Alliance filth kill me off without a fight. I press my free hand to my gut, feeling where the sword pierced through my armour. My blood pours from the wound and my hand shakes as I channel holy energies into the wound, sealing it up. I still feel fatigued, having lost a lot of blood and my head spins, but I am at least no longer at risk of bleeding out. I struggle to my feet, my legs barely able to keep me up. I ready my spear and look for the nearest target.

“Oh bloody hell, nobody finished the paladin?”

“Take her alive. She can barely stand and may be more useful to us alive.”

I swing at the nearest soldier, but he catches my spear on his shield and shoves me backwards. I stumble, barely able to keep my footing before I feel a pommel strike me in the face, sending me crashing to the ground. I lose grip on my spear as I hit the dirt, knocked flat on my back. The sky is blurred and spinning, darkness creeping into my vision. I’d rather die than be taken alive by these treacherous snakes. I roll onto my stomach and try to push myself up, but my arms have no power. I can’t push myself up. Then I feel a hand grab my hair, an armoured gauntlet pulling me to my knees and another pressing a dagger to my throat. I stare at a blurry form in front of me, a figure in blue armour.

“Wait, who the hell is this?” a female voice asks as I lose consciousness, the darkness finally overtaking my vision.

Part 2 >

Blast From The Past!

So, there I was, sitting at my desk and contemplating my life, asking myself the important questions like what am I doing with my life? Why does it have to be so damn cold in the UK right now?

But I had the most important question pop up during my musings and I could not ignore it any longer: What happened to my old World of Warcraft account?

So I opened up the battle.net website, went to the customer service section and opened a ticket concerning my old account and if it would be possible to get it consolidated under my current one. I ended up having to give what felt like my life story to a representative and trying my best to answer some security questions that haven’t been relevant in 11 years (seriously, what was my favourite movie back then? War of the Servers? Rambo? I even asked my mother if she knew these answers because I sure as hell didn’t!). In the end, I got access to my old account as it had been merged into my current one. What was the result of this?

Firstly, I am super pumped for vanilla servers. Just seeing my old characters reminded me of how much I used to enjoy the whole experience, before heirlooms, before dungeon finder. Seeing my old characters in their ramshackle gear, as well as my old level 19 twink, brought back that sense of achievement and the struggle that came with playing a holy paladin at lower levels.

Secondly, I realised that I hold a key to some extreme money making. I logged in to my level 16 blood elf mage and saw it. The incredible opportunity. A relic of the past, lost in the cataclysm…

Robes of Arcana

Did someone say… NO LONGER AVAILABLE?!

Mix this with some transmogs that I earned, including a tabard appearance from the olympics, and I am now in one of those nostalgic moments. There’s project60 that I know is going around, but I think I will just let this feeling stew and develop until vanilla servers are properly implemented. I will either play a night elf  or a human, and I will play a priest, hunter, mage or paladin. Sorry Horde, without blood elves you have nothing I wish to play; I was always an Alliance player back in vanilla and I don’t intend to change that.

I do wonder what chocolate flavoured World of Warcraft would taste like…

Feeling deflated (somewhat)

Well, that was unexpected. I was really looking forward to running my session this week; my maps were made, my encounters weren’t too deadly as my PCs are still fledgling adventurers that I don’t want to kill with my creative boss encounters. I planned for a bit of moral ambiguity, which amusingly took me to a conclusion I didn’t think my players would take, and was super pumped to run the session. Everything was in place. Everything was wonderful.

There were obviously good points. There was some good tension between the players when I faced them with a moral dilemma concerning some captive aliens. I was honestly not expecting one of the players to free the Nurian captive and give her a vacc suit so she could escape the facility and survive on the surface of the toxic planet. The player who decided to try and uncover the planet’s history from the primitive patterns on the wall was another fun aspect, as I got to explain some of the lore behind this specific planet they found themselves on.

However, if everything was great I wouldn’t be feeling so down.

My players are not ideally suited for sticking together. I don’t want to railroad, but by this point it is starting to look like I may need to step in and provide some looming threat to keep the group together. The out of character tension was unfortunately thick this session, with players getting in each other’s way, causing more conflicts to spark up. While some of these in character conflicts are great and I love the crew dynamic at times, some of them seem to bubble over a bit too far and get uncomfortable.

One of the players also hated the more dungeon crawly aspect of the job. There were a series of caves the players had to go through and the enemies continuously failed their morale checks (as they were really crappy, but numerous. They were meant to swarm the PCs, but kept failing morale checks and ran away). I can agree that this dragged on a little, which is why at the end I just stopped doing morale checks and just made them fight to the death. The sole reason I kept the NPCs as these small pack animals was because I don’t like killing off players, unless they deserve it, that is, and that meant their morale score was utter garbage. I will be upping the difficulty now that my players have mostly hit level 3 and will be catapulting my players into the conflicts plaguing the universe a bit more. I can appreciate feedback, in fact I love it. I need it. As a writer, I need good feedback and the same is said for GMing, however after the level of planning I put in this week it has left me a little bit deflated. Also, only one of the PCs actually examined the walls in any detail, though was let down half way through by poor rolls. I had a lot of planetary history planned and no one even tried to find more out about it, but still decided the adventure was boring.

I was going to have the PCs stalked on their way back from these caves and subsequent facility they had to go into to help this trainee psychic complete his trials, hounded by Eridak hunting parties who remained on the planet surface after the war with the primitive natives and the aliens who lived on the surface before it was turned into a toxic wasteland. However, by this point I just wanted it to end. The energy of the group was depleted and I had already grasped that there was both negativity and tension running high since mid-session. I didn’t want to continue by this stage; quite the opposite to the start of the session.

I’m going to keep soldiering on for now. I will take the feedback to heart, but I’m certainly not doing any planning tomorrow. I just don’t feel like it. Maybe I’ll play some World of Warcraft, or maybe I’ll write some fiction. It’s my 2nd day off of the week, so I’d better make it a good one!

Also, it’s 3am in the UK. I think I should go to sleep…

Planning, planning and… ooh, planning!

I was going to write some fiction, I really was. I had a little adventure to send my little Blood Elf on and everything was planned out. It was going to be amazing.

Then I remembered I run a Stars Without Number game every Wednesday.

Then I remembered I needed to make a map for said Stars Without Number game on Wednesday.

Then I realised I would need to make a whole two maps for said Stars Without Number game on Wednesday.

And I like dynamic lighting.

Then I had busy days at work so I couldn’t build maps or write fiction in between calls as they were just constantly coming in. Working customer service in an arguably understaffed department is really not fun on busy days…

Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of my free time planning for this week’s Wednesday game and it’s going to be amazing! I can’t wait to run it; it’s going to be fantastic. Now, I know my players are out there, so I won’t spoil anything just yet, but it’s going to be great. Probably a bit less RP than last session, as the job my players have taken on is going to involve combat and last session saw no combat at all. We’ve got all that to look forward to, plus some mysteries of a toxic planet to uncover, some caves to explore and some new people to meet! All to help a psychic nerd pass his finals… and 50k credits.

Also, the last “boss” of the job is both dangerous and utterly useless at the same time. I can’t wait to see how -that- pans out…

However, I would feel bad not giving at least a sneak preview of what I’ve been working on in terms of fiction. Here’s a snippet of the first piece of Warcraft-based fiction I have written in literally eight years! I feel so incredibly rusty since I haven’t really written in a universe or setting that isn’t my own design for quite a while.

Military life is a difficult one to leave. I thought I could do it, I thought I could leave that life behind and join the civilian workforce; maybe I could’ve become a priestess as I wanted to all those years ago, before my little sister left and Father pressured me into becoming a paladin. I honestly tried. I tried to pick up the smithing trade to earn a living. It wasn’t that it was difficult, I understood the basics of it pretty well, however I felt useless. I didn’t feel like this was a way for me to repent for what our order did after the Sunwell was destroyed by the Scourge; what we did to that Naaru.

Watching

Stay tuned to find out what’s going down in the Arathi Highlands and why I have an edgy screenshot of my Blood Elf kneeling on a rock. Also stay tuned to learn of the antics that will go down on Wednesday when my players get into the heart of this job they have taken!

Also still going to try and reorganise this website so it makes sense and maybe update some things (not the 40k tactics. I haven’t played in about a year or two).

I also need to think of a witty sign off… >.>

Oh yeah… This exists

It has been one of those times I guess. I went to university to study my journalism MA (which I smashed!) and I learned how to write all professional-like. However, this actually pushed me away from blogging, rather than embracing it. I really enjoy writing when there’s no pressure and I really enjoy just unloading my thoughts onto a page rather than obeying a proper news writing structure with all the bells and whistles.

Now, however, I am back into the real world. My supposed enjoyable time as a student was taken with other responsibilities, so I’m a little bummed I didn’t get that student experience one last time, but that’s neither here nor there. Now I am back in a customer service position (which is really boring, but I really needed the money!) like my previous job, which leaves me with a good expectation of my responsibilities and routines.

So first: I plan to get back into writing fiction. This applies to both extended universe stuff, as I have gotten back into World of Warcraft in the past few months, and my own original items. I have properly written the first chapter in my fantasy novel, so I am hoping to get that finished at some point… I’m awful with deadlines though.

Blood Elf.png

I main a paladin and Blood Elves have been my favourite race since Warcraft 3!

Second: I plan to lose weight. My workplace literally has a gym in the building, so my laziness won’t stop me, and starting on Monday I should be running home from work at least every weekday (I work weekends. It sucks).

Third: I plan… something. I just wanted three things in this list.

For now, this is all. As the title implies, I only just realised I am still paying for this domain and I feel like I should really get back into writing and blogging and all that stuff. Just coming to the end of my “weekend” and not looking forward to the joys of customer service for the next five days, but I’ve survived it so far. What’s another couple of months?

Save me…