Reactions to the Burning of Teldrassil: Alliance

I did this for my Horde characters as a bit of a writing exercise and figured that I’d do it for the Alliance (FORTHEALLIANCE!) as well.

So here they are. The immediate reactions of my Alliance characters to the burning tree:

Ceryne Moonwhisper: (Night Elf hunter)

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Another arrow found purchase through the Sentinel’s armour, the impact pushing her backwards. She caught herself, leaning forwards and putting her weight onto her front leg. She gripped her spear tighter, looking up to see the undead archer pulling another arrow to his bow.

She took a step forward, her footfalls heavy now, fatigue adding to the injuries she had suffered; two arrows protruded from her torso, one from her left arm and a nasty axe wound still bled from her midriff. Another arrow sunk into her chest, forcing her to a knee as the breath was knocked out of her. She crawled towards the edge of the bridge she had been holding, grabbing onto the side and pulling herself back up to her knees. She tried to stand as a hulking tauren closed in on her, clad in leathers and wielding a long staff, but her legs wouldn’t hold her weight any longer and she fell back to her knees.

“You’ve lost,” the tauren said quietly, raising his staff to finish her.

Suddenly, an explosion in the distance. Then another, followed by another, a staccato of explosions polluting the ambience of Darkshore. Ceryne’s eyes drifted past the tauren and onto Teldrassil, her home. Her eyes widened as she watched the great tree catch fire, tears starting to form at the corners of her eyes.

They wouldn’t. They can’t. It’s not a military target; there are only civilians and non-combatants in the tree!

Ceryne could not control the tears as they streaked down her face. The tauren turned, watching the blaze as the tree lit up the night sky.

“Where is your honour now, tauren?” Ceryne asked, her voice weak as she found it hard to breathe, coughing up blood as she spoke. “Would your Earth Mother approve of this atrocity?”

The tauren turned to look at her, surprising Ceryne as he looked upon her with something she could not quite make out. Regret? Concern?

Sorrow?

The tauren glanced back at the burning tree once more and Ceryne looked to the side. She could not see the civilians she had sent off with the other Sentinels, which means they must have cleared the battle.

At least they made it. My duty is fulfilled.

The tauren turned back to Ceryne once again, placing the tip of his staff on her chest.

“You ask where my honour is? It’s here,” the tauren replied quietly, shoving her hard with his staff. Ceryne fell from the bridge into the river below, the flow catching her and pulling her downstream as her limp body was carried away by the current.

Even as she drifted out of consciousness, she could not get that horrible sight from her mind. All she could see was Teldrassil burning and all she could think about was how its occupants, mostly civilians, would be burned alive, screaming their final breaths.

With tear-filled eyes, her reality faded to black as she allowed the river to carry her away.

Elise Dawnsinger: (Human rogue)

Elise had noticed a lot more night elves in the bar that day. She was used to the fairly cosmopolitan population of Stormwind, but this was an unusually high number for the average night. She hadn’t noticed this while playing, but now that she had finished her musical number and was taking a break she really started to see just how many of them were there.

She turned to a night elf who stood next to her at the bar. He was tall, with matted blue hair and he nursed a tankard of ale. He was clearly sad; they all were, now that Elise really started to look.

“Excuse me, but you look rather down. Got any song requests that’d cheer you up?” Elise asked, beaming a friendly smile to the saddened elf.

He turned to look at her, forcing a weak smile as he shook his head. “No, thank you.”

“If I may ask, what’s happened?” Elise answered, bringing her tone down to a quieter, more sombre one.

“They… they burned it,” the night elf said quietly, almost tearing up at the mere mention of whatever it was. “The Horde burned our home to the ground. I lost my entire family…”

Elise rested her hand on the elf’s shoulder, having to reach up a bit due to the height discrepancy. Elise found this difficult. Her mother had always bad-mouthed the night elves, calling them ‘pompous, self important hippies’, but at the same time, Elise knew all too well what it felt like to lose a home to a genocidal force.

She backed up, putting her own drink down on the surface of the bar and picking her violin back up. She had started to tear up a little, the memories of her own loss still stung as they bubbled to the surface. She gently and carefully wiped tears from the corner’s of her eyes, careful not to smudge her eyeliner, and took a deep breath, steeling her own emotions. With one quick, acrobatic movement, she hopped onto the counter, causing heads all through the tavern to turn in her direction. She prepared herself, violin resting between her chin and collarbone.

“This is a song about a tyrant…” she announced, as she started her musical performance once more.

Kaylin Moreau: (Human priest)

“Light be with you,” Kaylin uttered as her hand glowed with a golden aura, warm holy energies infusing with the wounded night elf’s forearm. As Kaylin retracted her hand, the burns that had previously scarred the night elf had disappeared.

“Thank you, priestess,” the elf replied back, her voice desperate and full of conflicting emotions as she grabbed onto Kaylin’s hand.

Kaylin smiled. “I’m no priestess, just a woman who’s happy to help,” she answered with a warm smile, placing her hand on top of the elf’s. The elf was shaking as Kaylin held her hand, calming her slightly as she let go.

Kaylin got back to her feet as she walked through the park district of Stormwind. It was full of refugees who had fled the burning of Teldrassil. All of them were injured, mentally if not physically, and families held each other tightly as they grieved the loss of their home and other loved ones.

She found her hand forming into a fist as she made her way past King Varian’s memorial, looking to the sea. She felt drained, having used her abilities to heal as many refugees as she could.

I left that all behind me. I said I would never use what they taught me again. I promised I would lock her away.

She turned, slamming her fist into the stonework of the back of the King’s memorial as tears streaked down her face. Anger and rage intertwined with sadness for those who lost everything. She breathed heavily as she leaned against the back of the memorial, staring at the stone floor where her tears started to drip into a puddle.

There’s always an exception to the rule. Calling upon the Light to heal was not the only thing they taught us in the Crusade.

Lyra Dawnsinger: (Human mage)

The young sorceress couldn’t bring herself to believe that the Horde was capable of what she heard they had done. Teldrassil. Burned to the ground. While Lyra held no love for the night elves, she was astonished to see what lengths the Horde would go to.

She quickly grabbed her bag and ran out of the house, running for the stockades. She had received a letter in secret from a relative of her mother’s. She was unsure who this Valendris was, but she shared the Dawnsinger surname and her mother seemed to trust her enough with the task of sending the letter telling Lyra that her mother had been captured by the alliance. She had been barred entry before, but this time she wouldn’t take no as an answer.

She needed to ask her mother why the Horde would do this.

However, as she cleared the mage district she noticed a group of guards surrounding a woman. She was bedraggled and looked like she hadn’t eaten in days. As the woman turned the corner at the end of the bridge on the other side of the canals, Lyra caught glimpse of the woman’s face.

These guards were escorting her mother, Anatheia Dawnstrider, towards Stormwind Keep.

Curious, Lyra found herself following. She needed to know why the Horde would do what they did and this was the easiest way she was going to find out.

Plus, she was concerned for the well-being of her mother. She looked half-dead.

Clarinne Wakefield: (Human warrior)

“Wait, so the Horde burned it down?” Clarinne asked, her eyes wide as she looked at her comrade across the table. The Westfall Brigade had been fairly inactive as of late, with the Defias mostly scattered and the fight with the Legion a little above Clarinne’s capability as a soldier.

“Completely. The night elves got beat bad and then the Horde burned Teldrassil, civilians, children and all,” the soldier replied, leaning back in his chair.

“Nah, you’re just trying to fool me. They wouldn’t do that,” Clarinne retorted, a smirk on her face.

“It’s true,” said one of the officers as he was cleaning his armour, “bunch of refugees in Stormwind. Can’t imagine it’ll make our situation any better.”

“Well, shit,” Clarinne uttered, sitting back in her chair, “we going to answer back? If the Horde are committing genocide, I feel like we should be doing something about that.”

“I imagine so, and I imagine they’ll be calling on us too, so make sure you’re ready,” the officer said as he stood up, walking over to their table.

“Oh don’t worry, I’m always ready to punch genocidal freaks in the kisser,” Clarinne replied with a grin.e

 

Reactions to the Burning of Teldrassil: Horde

I saw this as a forum topic and wrote… well… a decently sized post. Because it was decently sized, I decided to put it here as well, so here they are.

These are the immediate reactions of each of my Horde RP characters to the burning of Teldrassil.

Anatheia Dawnsinger: (Blood Elf mage)

The blood elf sits in her cell, head in hands as she contemplates what had happened. She had heard from the other prisoners in Stormwind’s stockades that the Horde had burned Teldrassil to the ground. She stop the tears from rolling down her cheek. The imagery brought back memories of Arthas and the Scourge and what they did to her people.

She stood up, making her way to the bars. She had resisted betraying the Horde, trying to wait out the Alliance’s efforts to partially starve and torment her. She was the shell of a woman by this point, malnourished and barely holding onto sanity with a lack of consistent magic to sate the addiction. It was fortunate she had been trying to condition herself these past few decades to at least need less, or she would’ve turned wretched long before now. She knocked on the bars, getting the attention of a nearby guard.

“I’m ready. I’ll tell you everything you want to know about the Horde,” she said in perfect Common, locking eyes with the guard, “I want to defect to the Alliance. Death to the Banshee Queen.”

(Yep, I race changed her to nightborne and she’s full NPC unless Blizz give us high elves on Alliance side. She’s had enough and is defecting)

Laralla, Valendris and Ilareth Dawnsinger: (Blood Elf paladin, priest and hunter respectively)

Unable to betray their loyalties to the Horde, the three blood elven women sit within the estate’s gardens, conversing about the atrocity that had been committed.

“I am totally not okay with this. Ana was right, we should’ve fled with mother all those years ago,” Ilareth says, her posture energetic, but wholly frustrated.

“Be that as it may, we cannot throw everything out the metaphorical window right now, not after everything that happened in the last year,” Valendris advises the two younger women.

“I also can’t fight in a war that is led by a genocidal corpse. I’ve taken vows since our mistreatment of the naaru,” Laralla responds, shifting her seating and clanking her plate armour slightly.

“Remember what happened to Garrosh. We don’t get involved and we wait. I cannot imagine the rest of the Horde will approve of our warchief’s actions. Keep your skills honed and see to Velurria’s recovery so that if an opportunity presents itself, we are in a position to help bring her down,” Valendris assured the other two.

Velurria Dawnsinger: (Blood Elf warlock)

Comatose. Can’t imagine she’d be too happy about it though, especially if it’s the above trio filling her in on what happened.

Cyressa Starsong: (Nightborne mage)

The nightborne waves as her latest customer departs her company, magic scroll in hand. As the blood elf left her sight, she sighed heavily.

“Thalyssra, what have you done? You’ve aligned us with genocide,” she shook her head before looking to the stars. It was a clear night in Quel’thalas and the stars were in full view. “I will not speak out against our new allies. I will continue to follow your wisdom, First Arcanist.”

She looked down to a pendant she wore. Her family crest. She remembered her parents who always pushed her to be better, she remembered her two brothers picking on her as they grew up together.

She remembered the Duskwatch cutting them down for aiding the insurrection.

“Please, forgive me for standing aside this time…”

Warcraft Character File: Elise Dawnsinger

Decided to do something a bit different. Since I haven’t been GMing last week or this week due to scheduling issues, I’ve actually been inspired by the pre-patch of World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth to write some Warcraft based items.

One thing I decided to do was write up character files for each of my major World of Warcraft characters. I originally was just going to keep them on my hard drive, but I figured that I may as well post them up here too. The main reason for doing this is because I never put my full background in my Total RP 3 profile (which is a fantastic RP addon for World of Warcraft) and so the finer details are often lost when I revisit the character or have something obscure come up in RP. Writing this all out will help me by having a point of reference for when this does come up and I can accurately track who knows what and how old each character is compared to the others.

The second thing I decided to do is… Well, just watch this space and you’ll find out. I will say that it’s heavily inspired by Battle for Azeroth and the pre-patch event…

Anyway, here is the character file for today. This is my primary RP character (and it’s fortunate that with the new War Mode system I have fallen in love with Outlaw Rogue, because I have never really been much of a melee dps fan).

It’s Elise Dawnsinger.


Elise Dawnsinger

<Wandering Musician and Freelance Scout for the Alliance>

Elise mog

Name: Elise Dawnsinger (previously Lisette Moreau)

Race: Human

Age: 23

Eye Colour: Blue

Height: 5’6”

Body Shape: Athletic

Languages Known: Common (native), Thalassian

Birthplace: Capital City, Kingdom of Lordaeron

Residence: Elwynn Forest

Family:

  • Charles Moreau (father, deceased)

  • Lilyne Moreau (mother, deceased)

  • Alexander Moreau (elder brother, deceased)

  • Kaylin Moreau (elder sister)

  • Jules Moreau (younger brother)

  • Arinella Dawnsinger (mother through adoption)

  • Valendris Dawnsinger (aunt through adoption)

  • Laralla Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Ilareth Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Anatheia Dawnsinger (elder half sister through adoption)

  • Lyra Dawnsinger (niece through adoption)

Notable Features / Items:

  • A small, intricately carved flute. The flute appears to have “for the fallen” and a decorative pattern of thorny vines wrapping around the length of the flute carved into the side.

  • A violin that simply features a short haiku carved into the side in Common:
    “Music is a light,
    A light to pierce the darkness,
    Bear your light to all.”

  • A pendant hangs on a delicate silver chain. The pendant features an arrow amidst intertwined, thorny vines that culminate into a flower near the head of the arrow. The flower is encrusted with small, green gems and the design is a flower native to Quel’Thalas.

Brief History:

Elise, born Lisette Moreau, was born into a fairly affluent family in Lordaeron. Her family made their money in high quality tailoring, creating fancy garments for the nobility of Lordaeron, which turned out to be a very lucrative market as the family prospered, enjoying a comfortable lifestyle and good education for the children. She grew up alongside two brothers and an older sister, being the younger of the two middle children. Elise found her affinity for music and the performing arts from a young age and so her parents put her through singing and violin lessons, as well as dance and theatre, which the thrived in.

However, when she was 10 years old, the Scourge came to Lordaeron. Her parents and eldest brother were massacred by the Scourge as they rampaged across Lordaeron, with Elise only surviving as her father hid her away before meeting his untimely demise. However, she was a 10 year old girl in a Scourge infested land. She hid until hunger and thirst forced her out to move. She managed to stay hidden for a time, moving and scavenging what she could to survive. It couldn’t last forever and she was eventually caught while foraging for food. She ran from the ghouls that chased her through the ruined streets of Capital City, unable to lose her pursuers for good as whenever she lost one, another would take its place.

She was fortunate. A high elven ranger was fleeing south from some political troubles in Quel’Thalas and happened upon the chase, taking down Elise’s pursuers and saving the young girl from a grisly fate. The elf, who introduced herself as Arinella Dawnsinger, took pity on the girl and took her in, promising to get her down to Stormwind. They travelled south, moving through Hillsbrad Foothills, Arathi Basin and down to the Wetlands. They kept off road, avoiding chokepoints where possible as Arinella advised that there were people after her and this was the best way to remain undetected.

However, Arinella’s pursuers caught up with her and a pair of elven assassins ambushed her and Elise. Arinella was able to fend the attackers off, but they left her terribly wounded. She disinfected and bound her wounds before pushing onwards. It was a harsh trek across the mountains to Ironforge, as they couldn’t use the roads through Loch Modan through fear of being jumped by more assassins, but the trek proved too much for Elise as she collapsed, the ten year old girl not built for treks across the frigid mountains of Dun Morogh. Arinella carried her, but combining the fatigue of the trip so far, the freezing temperatures and the wounds she sustained in her battle against the assassins, Arinella was unable to make it either, eventually falling unconscious among the peaks of Dun Morogh.

Elise woke up in Ironforge where she learned that some dwarven mountaineers had come across her and Arinella, who was still unconscious and being tended to by a dwarven priest. Aware of the dangers to Arinella, Elise took it upon herself to keep vigil over the elf who had saved her life back in Lordaeron. Fortunately, no attack came and Arinella woke up a few days later, her wounds healed by the dwarves. At this moment, it dawned on them that they would not make it through the Burning Steppes and would have to take the Deeprun Tram. They were surprised to find no one waiting to ambush them, as it would’ve been the perfect place for it. Thankful for it, they managed to make it to Stormwind.

Arinella adopted Elise officially in Stormwind, renaming her Elise Dawnsinger to deter any potential threats following her from Lordaeron; she also quickly took to training her in the skills of a ranger. She taught her survival skills first, so she would be able to live off the land, but also martial skills so she could defend herself. The pair were not rich and opted to live outside the city, taking refuge in the forests outside the city walls so these skills were key to Elise’s development as a young girl. In addition, Arinella insisted on teaching Thalassian, the language of the high elves, to Elise, knowing from her own experiences that being bilingual was a huge advantage in the world. The reasons for this training became apparent very quickly as Arinella was taken in to SI:7 and was quickly dispatched on missions away from home, leaving Elise to fend for herself.

Naturally, the pair spent a lot of time together whenever Arinella was home, with Arinella progressing Elise’s training every time she returned, however Elise started to develop her own skills during this time she was left by herself. She got in with a rough crowd in Old Town and developed into a competent young thief, learning to pick pockets and locks in addition to adapting parts of her mother’s training to urban environments. Thievery was not something she practised all the time, as Arinella quickly caught wind of this and scolded her for it. While she encouraged learning the skills, she kept Elise under control when it came to using these skills, keeping her from crossing the city guard and getting thrown in the stockades.

One way in which this thievery was kept under wraps was that Arinella taught Elise how to play a new instrument. She gave Elise a wooden, hand-crafted flute with the inscription “for the fallen” etched into the side in Thalassian. She never stopped practising her music and made something of a career from it, earning a decent living performing at taverns, considering she did not have the same level of expenses as most in the city due to her living arrangements being outside the city and totally self-sufficient; she sang, danced and played the flute until she saved enough money to commission a violin of her own design.

The real problem came as she got a bit older. When she was eighteen years old, a charming young pirate captain named Leif Stanton was spending some time in Stormwind. Elise was immediately charmed by the young pirate, who in turn was entranced by her music, and she ran off with the pirate, leaving her life in Elwynn behind. She entered a romantic relationship with the pirate and worked alongside her new lover, plundering both Alliance and Horde targets and performing music for the crew during down time. The pair, along with the pirate crew, made a large amount of money over the next two years.

This would not last, however, as the pirate ship was eventually taken down when Elise was twenty, when they attacked what looked like a trade ship, but turned out to be an Alliance naval vessel in disguise. Most of the crew were either killed by the naval troops and cannon fire or simply by execution, however Elise and her lover were spared as he was identified as the pirate captain and she was incorrectly identified as his first mate due to their relationship. The pair were put in chains and hauled back to Stormwind where they were thrown into the stockades and interrogated.

Elise fervently defended her lover and endured the Alliance’s interrogation tactics until Arinella caught wind of what was going on. Arinella got involved as a means of protecting her daughter, both from the Alliance judicial system as well as the pirate she had been involved with. Arinella walked into the interrogation and simply put a file down in front of Elise. The file showed that the pirate had already been released as while Elise was fervently defending him, he pinned everything on her and walked away a free man. When Elise asked why they were still interrogating her, Arinella simply explained that they couldn’t execute Elise without a confession. Heartbroken, Elise would have accepted the execution were it not for Arinella’s advice through the interrogations. Arinella advised that she should come clean, explain the nature of her relationship with the pirate and appeal for national service, as her skills were in high demand with the constant threat of the Horde.

Elise did just so, admitting to her relationship with the pirate and explaining that was the reason she defended him. Her plea for national service was accepted, which she suspected was due to her mother’s influence within SI:7, as she was kept on retainer for scouting jobs, espionage and military support for the Alliance. She worked for the Alliance for three years as repayment for her part in the pirate raids, earning no pay from the jobs the Alliance gave her and earning her money between jobs through performance again. During these jobs she met with one of her adoptive mother’s biological daughters, a paladin named Laralla Dawnsinger who was captured by Alliance troops and she was put in charge of interrogating due to her fluency in Thalassian. Despite the animosity the paladin showed towards their mother, Laralla still saved Elise’s life just before her escape, after an orc from the Horde rescue team almost cleaved her in two.

She suffered another heartbreak when a meeting was arranged between the Forsaken and the Alliance as an opportunity for families to see each other. Elise, who had never had much love for the undead after what they did to her family, only went to re-affirm to herself that her parents were dead. However, she met with her parents, who had become Forsaken. She was unable to chat too much, as Sylvanas ordered the massacre of every Forsaken in attendance and Elise had to watch her parents die for a second time right in front of her eyes.

These days she continues to perform at taverns in Stormwind, especially now that her national service is up and she can actually earn money from assignments she is dispatched out for.


Elise Dawnsinger features in:

 

New Expansion, New Mains – My Struggle Selecting a Main for Battle for Azeroth

With Battle for Azeroth fast approaching, I feel like I am not alone in my thoughts of what am I going to play come next expansion. Naturally a new expansion is the best time to change your main as all of your gear will soon be outdated and often there’s more than just a new level cap that could affect your decision, with class and gear changes aplenty often coming with a new expansion.

I was a paladin main this expansion, specifically a holy paladin for the extra thicc crit heals, but I find myself willing to try other classes and figure out what I want to play in Battle for Azeroth. I believe I will likely main a healer again, as healing is what I have mained in MMOs since vanilla WoW in 2004, but a few ranged dps classes have stealthed into the equation.

My current plans, as I have most classes I want to 110 (on the Alliance side), is to finish leveling my rogue to 110 as she sits at level 79 currently and hasn’t been played since the Legion pre-patch, as well as leveling a warrior from scratch to try to overcome my incapability to do melee dps. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about melee dps that I just don’t like. However, the real journey will begin once Battle for Azeroth launches, as I will likely seek to level all of my 110 characters to 120 and then choose to main the one I enjoyed the most.

However, this is only looking at things from a mechanical perspective and I would be lying if I said that was the only draw to a class that I have. There are two more aspects: class fantasy and roleplay affinity. There is a difference, though these aspects are fairly intertwined. Class fantasy is the whole “this is what I identify with and want to pretend to be” where roleplay affinity is “who do I want to pretend to be.” I will be looking at all of these when I finally decide what I want to main in Battle for Azeroth.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. The following are the classes and specs that are on the list:

  • Paladin – Holy / Retribution (for solo content)
  • Priest – Holy (might try learning Discipline)
  • Mage – Arcane / Fire / Frost
  • Hunter – Marksmanship
  • Shaman – Restoration / Elemental
  • Druid – Restoration / Balance
  • Rogue – Outlaw / Subtelty
  • Warrior – Arms

The last two are likely not going to make the cut unless I fall in love with melee dps as I level them, and even then they’ll struggle to compete with retribution paladin, as I prefer the utility that retribution can bring to the table. Also, the druid is likely a character I will level from 1 to 120 in Battle for Azeroth, or whatever level Blizzard decide to start Kul Tiran humans at as I really liked the whole wicker element to it and the animal forms look FANTASTIC! (even if I don’t plan on being Guardian or Feral… They’re still lovely) However the others are already level 110 and ready for Battle for Azeroth.

So first I will look at the class fantasy. This is actually where the biggest issue comes up: I love the rogue class fantasy. In D&D you will usually find me playing a rogue or a bard (or a combination of the two), so the sneaky rogue class fantasy is what I love. I will do my best to rank the above classes by class fantasy for an overall look at it:

  1. Rogue
  2. Mage
  3. Hunter
  4. Warrior
  5. Paladin
  6. Priest
  7. Druid
  8. Shaman

This is a problem. My top three are literally all pure dps classes, but I enjoy healing the most. Out of the top five there is a single class that can heal. Furthermore, the top class is melee dps! Oh the horror! I have a problem with melee dps at the moment that I am trying to overcome by leveling both a rogue and a warrior, but as it stands right now I still don’t seem to click with melee dps. Now that I’ve said this, let’s extend the issue by going to roleplay affinity. I’ll do my best to list them in order:

  1. Elise Dawnsinger – Musician and freelance agent from Lordaeron. Was adopted by a high elf fleeing south to avoid political intrigue in Silvermoon. (Hunter and Rogue)
  2. Lyra Dawnsinger – Apprentice mage and small business owner. Again, adopted by a high elf but this one was actually living in Stormwind. Was a homeless beggar girl in Stormwind and now owns a small tailoring business. (Mage)
  3. Wicker-medicine-lady – Not yet made because I need Kul-Tiran humans to release. The idea I’m going with is a natural healer and alchemist with some wicker vibes. More on this once I get my teeth into the Battle for Azeroth Alliance side campaign. (Druid)
  4. Clarinne Wakefield – Former farm girl and member of the Westfall Brigade. She’s… poorly educated, but has a heart of gold. Very simple and direct. Family was killed by Defias who burned down her family’s farm when she was a teenager. (Warrior)
  5. Kailyn Moore (not 100% set on surname) – Former Scarlet crusader. Was turned against the crusade in Lordaeron after a group of crusaders and the forces of the Alliance they were fighting were cornered by undead and had to work together. Saw the horrors of the crusade and turned her back on them. Now a scholar and a priest in Stormwind. (Priest)
  6. Meliaa – Shaman from Draenor. Bit of a spiritual guide to her people, but failed them when her people were killed by rampaging Orcs (after having learned shamanism from one of them). (Shaman)
  7. Tilaara – Lightforged vindicator and veteran of the Army of the Light. DEUS VULT. (Paladin)

Once again, the top two comprises of three pure dps classes and the bottom three are all classes who can heal. At this stage I feel like I’m painting a picture of who I would main in Battle for Azeroth. Clearly I should play either Rogue, Hunter, Mage or Druid. They are the top roleplay affinity characters as well as being the top for class fantasy. It feels like a no-brainer. However, it’s this last list that throws everything out the window… Let’s rank the classes in terms of mechanical enjoyment…

  1. Priest
  2. Paladin
  3. Shaman
  4. Hunter
  5. Mage
  6. Druid(?)
  7. Rogue
  8. Warrior

Yep. We’ve pretty much turned the previous tables on their head. Damn you, Blizzard. Making me love the mechanics of classes I have no class fantasy with or will to RP. I don’t really have time to dedicate to too many characters, so there have to be cuts. I’d love to be able to play all eight, honestly, but with work, tabletop and other responsibilities I won’t be able to pay attention to more than maybe three characters. Now, I’m a numbers nerd, so let’s put this into a table…

Character Mechanical Enjoyment Class Fantasy Roleplay Affinity Average Position Overall Position
Hunter 4 3 1 2.67 1
Rogue 7 1 1 3 2
Paladin 2 5 8 5 5
Priest 1 6 6 4.33 4
Mage 5 2 3 3.33 3
Warrior 8 4 5 5.67 7
Druid 4 7 4 5 5
Shaman 3 8 7 6 8

Which gives a final list of:

  1. Hunter
  2. Rogue
  3. Mage
  4. Priest
  5. Druid
  6. Paladin (5th equal, really)
  7. Warrior
  8. Shaman

Again, no healers in the top three when we look into it from a purely mechanical perspective. It would be an easy choice if I wasn’t interested in PvE and, given War Mode coming in Battle for Azeroth, trying my hand in PvP. Honestly, I think it’s going to take some time to decide when Battle for Azeroth comes out and I will seriously have to consider which character I get the feel for, because going through this has only told me that I have literally no idea what I want to do in Battle for Azeroth. It could be druid, as one of the limiting factors of druid was low mechanical enjoyment, but it has been a long, long time since I have played druid (we’re talking The Burning Crusade levels of a long time ago). At the end of the day, it’s all rather inconclusive.

And here I was hoping I’d find some answers… Well, what do you plan on having as your “main” in Battle for Azeroth? I hope you’ve had an easier time choosing than I have!

The Pain of Loss, The Agony of Reunion

It had been a while since Elise had visited the Arathi Highlands. She was working as a freelance scout for the Alliance military and both met her adoptive sister and was almost disemboweled by an Orc with a rather large axe in the same night. It wasn’t a pleasant memory and she didn’t feel ready to be back here, but the opportunity was too good to pass up; it was almost too good to be true. The Alliance had been in talks with the Horde and had organised a meeting for humans and members of the Forsaken who, in life, were previously related. Elise hated the undead. She saw them as abominations that needed to be put down and she needed the closure. The memories of when the Scourge swept across the Kingdom of Lordaeron were forever imprinted in her memories. She was hiding under her bed when she saw her parents massacred by the endless tide of undead. She needed closure. She needed to know her parents had been granted the peace of death. She needed to attend this meet up to confirm that her parents were truly dead.

When they reached the location of the meet up, Elise immediately flared her nostrils in disgust. The Forsaken had gathered near the wall and the Alliance had gathered up near Stromgarde, but Elise could smell the foul stench of undeath on the air. She would hold back her desires to destroy every last one of these abominations for the sake of her King and his orders, but should the Forsaken strike first she was ready to fight, having strapped a sheathed dagger to her belt, though she had left her armour behind. There was some hesitation, as many saw the undead in the same way as she did and it was likely that nobody present on the Alliance side trusted the leader of the Forsaken, Sylvanas Windrunner, to not pull something here. Slowly, but surely, the two sides met in the middle and started to mingle.

Elise wandered through the crowds, seeing humans and undead talking as people appeared to find long lost loved ones. She saw some speaking briefly before parting ways, unable to accept their differences; Elise thought they were the intelligent ones. It was clear that they could not coexist. It disgusted her to see some pairs and groups rekindling long forgotten relationships; these Forsaken were no different from the Scourge that had destroyed their homes in the first place. Nevertheless, she continued to make her way through the crowd, looking for her own parents and feeling rather content that she hadn’t found them.

That’s when she noticed it. It had been so long since she had adopted the Moreau name. She had fully taken on the Dawnsinger name since Arinella, a ranger fleeing from political strife in Quel’thalas, rescued her from the decaying Lordaeron and brought her south to Stormwind. She had almost forgotten what the family crest looked like, but seeing a ring with the crest clearly depicted caused a tirade of emotions to flood through Elise, primarily fear and anger. She took a deep breath, frowning heavily and making her way over to the Forsaken wearing the ring. She reached into her pack and pulled out her own ring that had been gifted to her minutes before the Scourge murdered her family as she stormed over to the pair of Forsaken.

“That ring. Where did you find it?” Elise demanded, pointing at the ring on the undead woman’s hand. The pair looked at her, a brief moment of silence as they looked into Elise’s rather angry eyes.

“Lisette?” the woman asked, her initial offense at the human’s approach melting away in an instant as she looked at the blonde young lady.

Elise’s eyes widened. She had hoped that they were simply grave robbers and that she was going to need to demand that the ring was returned to her. She had always feared this possibility and simply stood still, staring at the pair of Forsaken. She was at a total loss for words.

“Lisette? Is that you?” the male Forsaken asked as well as they both looked upon her. Even though they were dead, Elise could see the hope in their expressions. It tore at her; she hated all undead for what the Scourge did to her parents. She refused to believe that these monsters were her parents.

“It can’t be…” she muttered, taking a step back from the pair of Forsaken.

“You’ve grown so much since we last saw you,” the Forsaken woman said, taking a step towards Elise. “We always hoped you escaped. It was the spark of hope we clung to all these years.

“No, you’re not my parents,” Elise said, shaking her head and recoiling from the woman.

The woman visibly sunk. “I know it’s hard, but-…”

“No! It can’t be. I won’t believe it,” Elise said, looking away from the pair as tears started to flow from her eyes, streaking down her cheek and dropping onto the grass. She refused to believe that these two Forsaken were Charles and Lilyne Moreau, her biological parents.

“It’s us, Lisette,” the male Forsaken said, taking a step forwards and placing a hand on her shoulder. She recoiled from his touch initially, but then let his hand rest on her shoulder as the woman made her way to Elise’s other side.

“Why?” Elise asked, her head now in her hands.

“We didn’t have a choice. The Scourge raised us against our will, but we broke free when his power waned,” Lilyne explained.

“But you’re…” Elise muttered, raising her head to look at the pair of Forsaken through tear-filled eyes.

“Abhorrent crimes against nature? I know, Lisette, but I still believe the Light has a use for us in this world,” Lilyne answered, cutting Elise off.

“How did you escape?” Charles asked, a look of curiosity, but also concern on his face.

“A ranger fleeing south saved me. She took me in,” Elise answered, sniffing and wiping tears from her eyes as she tried to regain her composure, battling an ever rising tide of emotion that welled up inside her.

“That explains the dagger,” Lilyne said with a smile, “you’ve grown into such a beautiful, strong young woman. We’re both so proud of you.”

“This ranger that took you south, I’m guessing she was a high elf?” Charles asked, examining the necklace that Elise wore, an arrow wrapped in a vine, blooming in a flower native to Quel’thalas at the base of the arrowhead.

“Yes. She’s been good to me. Taught me what I needed to survive.”

“You mean elocution and singing lessons didn’t teach you how to defend yourself?”

Elise smiled, chuckling quietly and shaking her head. “No, I suppose they didn’t. Oh, and call me Elise; I dropped the name when I thought you were dead. No sense in getting caught up in politics when our lands and business was destroyed.”

“I agree. Our family had enemies who could still be out there. It’s safer this way,” Charles responded with a nod.

A loud horn interrupted the conversation, originating from the wall.

“Well, that’s our cue. Sorry we can’t stay longer, Elise,” Lilyne said with a smile, “but that’s the signal to return and we dare not disobey the Warchief.”

Elise looked at her parents, tears once again welling in her eyes, until she noticed some undead making a break for the Alliance lines. She turned back to her parents.

“Why not come back with me? You can’t trust Sylvanas, but we can be a family again in Stormwind,” Elise pleaded, holding her mother’s hand as she turned to walk away.

The pair of undead hesitated, looking back to Elise. “I don’t think we would be accepted back in the Alliance, much like you would not be accepted in Lordaeron any more,” Lilyne replied with a soft smile. “I’m sure we’ll see each other again.”

Elise let go of her mother’s hand and watched as the pair of undead started to walk away. However, she caught the sight of a one of the undead running for the Alliance lines collapse, an arrow through his frail form as he lay still in the dirt. Then another fell. More and more started to fall as she saw Sylvanas’s dark rangers open fire on the undead, indiscriminately firing on both the ones who were fleeing as well as those who were returning.

She turned to face her mother and father again and opened her mouth to yell at them to run, but she was too late. Her father took the first arrow straight through his head, the force of the impact knocking his head clean off his body as he tumbled to the ground. Her mother took an arrow to the torso shortly afterwards, crashing to the ground under the hail of fire from the dark rangers. Elise grabbed her dagger and unsheathed it, ready for one to attack her, but nothing came. In fact, no member of the Alliance was attacked at all. Sylvanas was simply slaughtering her own people.

By the time Elise came to realise this, the dark rangers had fallen back and the Forsaken were quitting the field. Dagger in hand, she started to make her way to the Forsaken lines. She wasn’t thinking rationally; unarmoured and barely armed she marched towards the wall, however she almost tripped on her way. Something had grabbed her ankle. She looked back to see Lilyne, barely moving, grabbing onto her ankle.

“Let go!” Elise screamed, wrenching her leg free, although instead of pulling her leg free of the hand, she ended up pulling Lilyne’s arm out of its socket. A look of horror spread across her face as she did and she immediately turned to kneel next to the body of her mother.

“Live,” Lilyne muttered, managing to shake her head in her final moments before she became still.

Elise burst into tears once more, kneeling between her fallen parents. She couldn’t look away from the sight of them.

“Why? They were returning. Why would she do this to her own people!” Elise screamed, stabbing her dagger into the earth in anger. She couldn’t contain the mix of emotions any longer as the mixture of sadness, rage and frustration came to the surface. She looked up to see the Forsaken one last time as they disappeared from sight, her eyes full of hatred. “If I ever get my hands on you, I’ll make you suffer for what you’ve done, Sylvanas,” Elise muttered as she watched them vanish, white-knuckled fists clenched tightly.

 

The Elf Problem – A World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth discussion

With Battle for Azeroth only around 3 months away, Blizzard have been slowly but surely releasing which allied races will be included in at least the early days of Battle for Azeroth. So far, we have immediate access (with a pre-purchase) to Void Elves and Lightforged Draenei on the Alliance, and Nightborne and Highmountain Tauren on the Horde side. However, we also have confirmed Kul Tiran Humans and Dark Iron Dwarves for the Alliance, as well as Zandalari Trolls and Mag’har Orcs for the Horde for when Battle for Azeroth launches, whether immediately or slightly later on.

However, there was a big debate surrounding these allied races, or more accurately surrounding the Void Elves and their place as an allied race. Now, just being a lore nerd for a moment I feel like I need to clarify a few things. The Quel’dorei, or High Elves as they were called by other races, were brought to the brink of extinction by Arthas when the Scourge invaded Quel’thalas and corrupted the Sunwell to resurrect Kel’thuzad. Around 90% of their race was wiped out by this invasion and then 90% of the survivors renamed themselves as Sin’dorei, or Blood Elves to others, to honour their fallen kin. After doing some very simple maths here, we can see that would leave only 1% of their original population continuing to call themselves High Elves. As you can probably see, this is not a large number of remaining High Elves and the argument to bring them in as a race can easily be countered by simply saying “there aren’t enough of them to justify them as a race,” however we then have to look at the Void Elves that were introduced. Again, being a lore nerd, the Void Elves were a small collection of Blood Elves who decided to dabble in the void and it almost consumed them. Saved by Alleria Windrunner, who was the first of her people to really learn to harness the power of the void without it consuming her, and the player character during the quest chain to obtain Void Elves as an allied race, there was a very, very small number of resulting Void Elves. Considering High Elves have played a relatively large part in the recent Legion expansion, headed by Vereesa Windrunner and the Silver Covenant, I think most people can turn the argument of “there aren’t enough High Elves left,” against the Void Elves.

We can combine this with the fact that Void Elves seem to be shoehorned into the story. The transition feels clunky and unnatural, like they came out of nowhere. Let’s compare the allied races we have right now:

Nightborne

  • Major rep-grind faction is the Nightfallen
  • Literally fight an insurrection alongside them
  • Established in the lore: were Night Elves who relied on the Nightwell when they closed Suramar off from the world
  • Establishes strong relationship with Blood Elves as they suffer similar addictions
  • Shunned by Tyrande (for no real reason, but that’s a whole other rant) so faction choice makes some sense.
  • Full of major NPCs from the Nightfallen quest line

Highmountain Tauren

  • Have an entire leveling zone in Legion
  • Help the player characters attain one of the Pillars of Creation
  • Deep background and lore revealed in Highmountain quests
  • Lots of familiar NPCs from the expansion
  • Share obvious culture and beliefs as vanilla Tauren
  • Independent people who have survived and thrived for generations

Lightforged Draenei

  • Fought alongside us on Argus as the Army of the Light
  • Has a link to the Alliance already as regular Draenei have fought alongside the Alliance for years
  • Natural link to the Light worshiping Humans
  • Turalyon was a champion of the Alliance
  • T’PAARTOS (seriously, T’Paartos is the greatest)

and then… Void Elves

  • Only really familiar character is Alleria Windrunner
  • Never see any other Void Elves until quest to obtain them
  • Try to harness a power that literally everyone else hates
  • There’s like… 20 of them? Maybe less?

All of the other allied races we receive have established links, rich histories and large enough populations that the concept of “players being the special ones” still holds true. Void Elves just seems like a concerted effort to never produce High Elves for Alliance players, without any other real meaning or purpose; it feels like “nope, this is your Blood Elf mesh on the Alliance side and that’s all you’re getting.”

This is all a shame, because I feel like, at least for female characters, the voice acting for the Void Elves is fantastic. I really liked the voice given to the female Void Elf characters for their various voiced emotes and I feel like their jokes are also great, on the same sort of level as the jokes the original Blood Elves and Draenei got in the expansion, The Burning Crusade. I just can’t bring myself to play one as I just feel like they aren’t as rich or varied or interesting at the other playable races of Azeroth. You could argue that they share the history of the Blood Elves, but in that case I’ll just… play a Blood Elf?

In combination with the Nightborne this leaves us with no less than four different types of elf that we can play as. With the recent rumours that San’layn may be another allied race for the Horde (San’layn are literally just vampire elves), that would bring us up to five and at this rate it’s going to become a bit of a meme. Considering the original Warcraft games were about Orcs and Humans, the fact that the number of Orcs and Human options added together will only equal the number of elves we have by the time Battle for Azeroth starts… Well, World of Elfcraft just doesn’t have the same ring to it, honestly.

War Mode – Why it is exactly what World of Warcraft needs

War Mode is the new PvP mode in World of Warcraft that is coming with Battle for Azeroth and now that a bit more is known about it I will say that I am actually looking forward to it.

When it was initially announced at Blizzcon 2017, the new PvP mode in Battle for Azeroth sounded pretty awful and came across a bit like “so, we’re removing PvP servers and only having servers where you can opt into PvP,” which sounded a lot like how normal PvE servers are today; the thought was that they were just getting rid of PvP servers and lumping everyone onto PvE servers. However, having seen War Mode in action, I have done a complete 180 degree turn from hating it to loving it.

The first reason is that War Mode isn’t server specific; if you opt into War Mode, you are matched with other people in War Mode in the same zone as you, regardless of server. This is a great idea as it brings the numbers that you need for world PvP to feel alive into the game. Zones will actually feel contested, rather than just having the tag of a contested zone, as walking around and doing quests will likely bring you into contact with enemy players, who will likely try and kill you for conquest points. Not only this, but due to the buff provided for player who quest with War Mode enabled there will be a large incentive for players to quest with War Mode toggled on (it’s not a small buff. 15% XP and damage is no joke. All associated buffs from War Mode work for the PvE content too!)

On the topic of conquest points, I also really like the bounty system. Essentially, a player who gets (I think) 10 kills on the enemy faction without dying will become an assassin, giving them a further buff, but also (I think) marking them for death for the enemy faction, giving players increased rewards for dropping an enemy player with this assassin buff. I think this is a fair way to both reward players for managing to get this PvP killstreak, however also makes it dangerous to do so. However, I believe the types of people who will get this buff are likely the kind of people who want the attention anyway and would like the idea of more PvP coming their way and rising to the challenge of the increased attention of other players.

I do think it incentivises PvP a lot; even I will be giving War Mode a try, but I feel like it might get traditional PvE players in a bit of a knot as the experienced PvPers will likely dominate the PvEers when it comes to clashes. I know that I am a great PvE player, but in PvP I am about as threatening as a squirrel. I think that War Mode is great, but I think it will be rough for PvEers who are toggling it on who may not be used to how PvP works, as it’s a very different beast to dungeons and raiding. I also think that some people will complain about getting killed with War Mode toggled on, as stupid as that sounds. People will toggle War Mode for the 15% XP buff and the ability to use PvP abilities on PvE mobs, but will then get upset when another player actually kills them. Don’t lie, you know this will happen; people will complain about anything these days!

Overall, I love the idea of War Mode and strongly support the implementation of it. After Warfronts were revealed to be PvE, I think PvP needed a bit of a boost, and this War Mode is just the boost I think it needed.

A Family Shattered – Part 1

Anatheia lay staring at the ceiling in her accommodations in Dalaran. She had not been able to sleep for the past few days and that night was no different; the sun had long since gone down yet still Anatheia found herself lost in thought. It was regarding her little sister, Velurria. She had received word that her father had brought Velurria to the Broken Isles, despite having heard that the Legion had been defeated and driven back. There was one question she could not answer in a positive light: why? What good reason could their father have for bringing Velurria out to this place? No good could come from it.

Regardless, she was meant to meet her two older sisters, Laralla and Ilareth, and her aunt, Valendris, before heading after them. If her father had brought Velurria here in some twisted hopes of teaching her more about fel magic it was entirely possible that they had both become stronger than they already were. Were Anatheia to meet them alone, she would not last long if it turned to violence. Still, she couldn’t help but think about what might have happened to her beloved Velurria. She had run from the problem for too long and felt like this may be the last chance she would have to make amends for her part in Velurria’s fall to darkness. It constantly plagued her mind what might have happened if she had stayed rather than running to Orgrimmar to take on her duties as a diplomat.

This line of thinking was getting her nowhere. She got out of bed and walked to where her robes were hanging. She had chosen her blue and black robes, as she did not want to stand out as a Horde official while here on personal business by wearing her usual red ensemble. She slipped back into her robes, put her boots and gloves on and walked out the door to her room, down the stairs of the inn and out into the city streets. It was chilly and the cold nipped at her ears and fingertips. She was aware she likely looked awful, but she needed to get some fresh air and try to clear her mind. She stared into the sky and took a deep breath as she reached the end of the road. It was a peaceful night, though she could not shake the unease surrounding her reasons for being there.

“Can’t sleep?” came a voice from behind her. She saw Laralla standing in full plate armour, glaive strapped across her back. Anatheia’s eyes lit up as she saw her eldest sister and she rushed over to give her a hug.

“I’m so happy to see you, sis,” Anatheia said as she embraced Laralla, squeezing her tightly before realising she was being rather improper. She released Laralla from the hug and took a step back, clearing her throat. “I know we haven’t always-…”

Laralla held up a hand. “No need. I’m happy to see you too, sister,” Laralla responded, cutting Anatheia off mid-sentence. “Have you seen Valendris?”

Anatheia shook her head. “I haven’t seen her or Ilareth. You’re the first I’ve seen.”

Laralla nodded. “I made my way here with Ilareth, so she’s here too. Haven’t seen Valendris yet, which is a tad annoying as I want to ask what she knows of the situation.”

“I only have the basics and I’m trying to piece it together myself.”

“I don’t think there’s anything that’s up for interpretation. It’s bad.”

Anatheia nodded. “I thought so.”

“However, I will ask that you do not hate our father for what he has done. As you ran away you have not seen the full picture; this was all born of a frustration and a desire to raise a worthy successor for the Flameweaver name,” Laralla said, eyes locked with Anatheia’s, her tone taking a far more serious turn.

“Not sure I know what you mean. He’s always been cold to me,” Anatheia said with a shrug, looking to the side to avoid eye contact with her older sister.

“It’s best you know the truth and I won’t mince around it.” Laralla stepped forward, placing an armoured hand on Anatheia’s chin, gently turning her head to make eye contact once more. Once the two made eye contact once more, Laralla’s hand returned to her side. “Father is a bit of a tragic tale that I have pieced together over the years. Did you know he originally wanted a son to carry on the family name? He finally got one with our little brother, but alas he had no talent for magic and then proceeded to fall at the hands of the Scourge. You were his hope to carry on the Flameweaver name, but you ran away and threw aside your heritage because you did not agree with his teachings; teachings that he was only giving you to make you stronger and give you a solid foundation when you eventually did take over the family titles.”

“Where are you going with this?” Anatheia snapped, folding her arms tight to her chest and looking away again.

“You need to accept responsibility!” Laralla snapped back, a deep frown on her face. “Our father dipped more and more into fel magic after you left. He grew desperate and only had one more chance to train a worthy successor. He set his sights on Velurria who lacked the strength of will you had. She felt sorry for him and was slowly drawn into the darkness that has now consumed him and I fear that darkness will also consume her.”

“We’re done here,” Anatheia replied, hastily walking past Laralla, though she felt Laralla’s armoured gauntlet grab onto her arm. She turned, locking eyes with her older sister once more.

“You think you’re the only one with scars in this family? How do you think this entire situation has weighed upon me? Our father despises the idea of a simple paladin such as myself taking over the family name. When I brought it up after you left, the way he looked at me…” Laralla said, her tone quietening as she released her grip on Anatheia’s arm. “He cares more about the family legacy than his own daughter. How do you think I feel about that? How do you think I feel about living with that every day of my life and still carrying out his will?”

Anatheia stared at her sister for a moment before sighing, her own expression softening. “I’m sorry, Lara. I try not to give the situation thought, but every time something like this happens all the old wounds open right up.”

“All I ask is that you accept responsibility for your part in all of this. Whether we like it or not, we are all tied to this and we all need to do our part to stop it from escalating any further.”

“Well, I’m here aren’t I?” Anatheia answered before turning back and making her way back down the road.

“Rest well, little Ana. You’re going to need it for what we will likely face tomorrow,” Laralla muttered quietly as Anatheia walked away.

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!

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