Sunday, December 29, 2013

Furtive Father Winter Gifts!

     I got back from my holiday trip to a bunch of wonderful surprises. First of all Tyl had mail! Stubborn had sent him some really awesome pets:
Tyl decided to name this one Stubborn. And now we just might have to have another go at taming the matching spirit beast. And it wasn't just this adorable porcupette, but a Pengu and a Snarly too (two of the cutest pets if you ask me :D)
      And then to make things even better in my email was this story guest post he'd written, which is just perfect!

Plenty of Paladins
By Stubborn of Sheep the Diamond

My day started as it always did, checking in with my boss, Lord Greyson Shadowbreaker.  I’ve always assumed that he got his job due to his name; if you’re born Lord Shadowbreaker, it’s not likely you grow up to be a trade supplies vendor.

He had a job for me.  He wanted me to secure lumber for the rebuilding of Stormwind after the cultists and Deathwing’s attacks.  It struck me that it had been a long time since those attacks, years, in fact, and I was curious as to why these repairs hadn’t yet been completed, but I understand the hierarchy of the church and kept my questions to myself.  He suggested I check around the vendors in town, but that was silly; if we had lumber in town, why weren’t the repairs done?  Besides, I knew a few places where I could get some and save the city a ton of money.  Frugality is a virtue of the Light. 

First, I went to check the site.  Why wasn’t it fixed yet?  It probably had to do with those lazy union workers, the same ones who rioted and killed the Queen.  However, no time to reminisce about the justice the Light served on the VanCleef family.  Time to move on.  To Portal Island!

I hopped into the Hyjal portal so I could fly south to a lumber harvesting company I remembered from my traveling days.  I remembered helping to secure the area for the Alliance, so I thought I’d drop in and see what kind of “hero discount” they could offer.  However, when I arrived, I was shocked to see the filthy horde at their land-grabbing again!

I jumped into the fray immediately to offer the Light’s assistance. 

This fellow thinks he can throw a saw blade at me!  One swift blow downed him for justice, and for lumber!

But, the place was mostly cleaned out, and besides, it was clear it would take forever for them to ship my order, since a seemingly endless wave of goblin harvesters kept appearing.  Oh well, I knew another place I could check.  It might not be kosher with the King, but if the horde were causing trouble here, I bet knew a place I could get a great deal on lumber.  To Warsong Lumber Mill!

Hmmm.  It seems the Orcs had lost control to the Night Elves.  I remembered some complaining about “ancient trees” or “ancestral land” or some elvish mumbo-jumbo.  Know what I mean?  I thought I might grab an axe and just harvest the wood myself, but then I saw this fellow watching over the place.

Some of these trees might be his cousin or something, and he doesn’t look like someone I’d want to tangle with.  Oh well, another bust.  But hey, I knew somewhere else where there was some really fancy wood that might really impress the King!  To Dalaran!

I remembered working in a forest just below Dalaran, and that was years ago, so I was sure the place would be cleared out of ruffians by now.  As I approached, I noticed some Blue Dragonkin guarding the area.  Good; we’re their buddies now since I removed Malygos from the throne.

I landed to see what the going rate was for lumber.

Good Light!  They attacked me!  These mad dragonkin must not have gotten Kalecgos’s memo or something.  I defended myself and left; I didn’t want to stir up any trouble with dragons.  Besides, I knew there were other parts of the forest I might be able to harvest.  I remembered picking up some enchanted wood years ago, so I flew around until I saw some ruins that struck me as familiar, and I landed.

What’s this?  Ghosts?  Here?  And no lumber! 
Then it struck me.  Everything fell into place.  The lumber shortage, Deathwing’s attack on Stormwind, Garrosh’s betrayal and his hoarding of lumber inside Orgrimmar - it all made sense.  The Lich King was behind it!  If he bought up all the lumber, we couldn’t build new fortifications or new battering rams to smash our way into his fortress.  Well, I’d whooped him before, and I could whoop him again.  Off to Icecrown Citadel I flew.

First, I scouted around to see if there was any lumber lying around the outside.  I noticed an abandoned battering ram at the front gate, the very sort of offensive siege weapon he’d remove from our arsenal if he stole all the lumber.

I checked for stockpiles around the side.

I also checked underneath, though I didn’t go into that pit again.  It was dark last time, and scary.
But no such luck.  I’d have to storm his tower, then, again.  I enlisted the help of another paladin, because, you know, why wouldn’t I?  We met up and attacked the fortress.

I tried asking this fellow about wood stores, but to no avail.  He just kept yellling about something called a “BOOOONNNNEEEESTTOOOOORRRRRMMMM!”  I wondered if this was a juvenile joke about my quest for wood.
Several more of the Lich King’s champions fell, but none of them knew anything.

I tried asking Sindragosa, to no avail.

I tried asking the Blood Princes, to no avail.

And I tried asking Putricide, to no avail.

I guess I was just going to have to see the big man himself.

Upon killing the Lich King, I was distressed to find no lumber hidden anywhere.  Even the throne was ice and steel, not wood!

Feeling like a failure, I returned to Stormwind and asked around in the traders if anyone knew where I could get wood.  After some more rather immature and churlish responses that I didn’t fully understand, someone suggested I check the Mage District for a vendor named Jessara.

By the Light!  She is beautiful!  I could barely remember why I stopped in, but after browsing her wares, I remembered I needed wood.  After all that travel and battle, this radiant woman was offering me planks for coppers!  It was a sign, surely, a sign that she and I were perfect for one another.  I asked her if she’d grace me with her presence for lunch by the lake’s shore.  She looked at her father, who had a slight frown on his face.  I knew this routine; dating heroes was dangerous; too often, they left and never came home.  But I silently prayed to the Light, and she responded with, “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
I understood; she was playing coy in front of her father.  I winked and said, “I understand.  I’ll be there at three, if you change your mind.”  I knew she would.

I checked my wood shipment and headed back to my boss to hand it over, riding my sweet new mount that the Lich King had donated to the cause.

Lord Shadowbreaker wanted to talk about what had taken me so long to fly to a vendor, buy wood, and come back, but I told him I didn’t have time; I had a date to get to!

I flew to the lakeside and laid out my picnic basket. 

I was a little early, but I didn’t mind waiting for that daughter of the Light.
So I waited.

And waited.  But, she never came.  There were plenty of paladins in Stormwind for her to choose from, I guess, and I wasn’t the one she chose.

Being a hero is lonely sometimes, but at least I know when the Stormwind construction is complete that I will have had an important part in it.  It may not have been slaying dragons or deposing tyrants, but those buildings will be there partly because of me.

Thank you so much, Stubborn! And thanks even more for all the trouble you took helping me get the screenshots so I could post this up in all its intended glory.
And thank you Akabeko for your Furtive Father Winter exchange!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Solstice Advent Challenge: Day 21

December 21
Tireless champion,
kneeling, alone. But darkness
only brightens light.

     I've missed most of this challenge. I'd half intended to do a gigantic catch up post until I realized just how far behind I was. But because I've enjoyed it so much and found so much help in thinking about light and looking for light when wandering around in game, I wanted to at least sneak in one last shot for the challenge, and a rather rusty attempt at haiku.
     There will be many many more posts at some point in the next few days now that I'm back from the trip out of town and back in the land of WoW and internet that is faster than a crawl. But for now there's this and a big thank you and cheer to Mataoka for thinking of this challenge. Because even if I didn't get to post as many of them as I wanted I've also really enjoyed looking at everybody else's. :D

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Firelands and some Light.

First my solstice advent shots because I've been terrible about posting them up.

December 6
Look to the sun.

December 7
Who knew how long they'd kept their tireless vigil, undying flames held high...

December 8
The sun was sinking over the fjord, turning the air to gold. In the sky above, the Northern Lights already danced. Rothorin took a slow sip of his beer, adjusted the fresh bandages on his weary body, and thought that even the crisp air felt just a bit warmer under that gilded light.

     The Old Ladies raided again last night. I missed the gathering again because groceries must be bought, but they were kind enough to wait for me on Rhyolith. I was so happy to get to pop in and join everybody. Instant fun. It's like being at a party full of a bunch of friends. We laugh our way through things and I think I probably completely flubbed the mechanics on Alysrazor because I had no idea what I was doing but we got her down anyhow, so it's all good. 
     Pretty axes dropped for people and lots of trinkets. Silly raid, we don't want your trinkets, we want shiny transmoggable goodies! But a few of those dropped too and Tome's Cat turned into a gorgeous fire kitty with the help of some seeds. Tyl really thinks those fire kitties should be tamable. But since they're druids and all he'll just have to live without. (Which is just as well because I think Snowthorn would get jealous and cranky)
     I was sad not to be able to stick around in hopes of doing an LFR afterwards. Luperci was going to tank and I think it would have loads of fun. We'd have been almost half the raid. :D But the household was threatening to mutiny if there wasn't dinner so off I went. Maybe next time (I hope.)
     This is some of the most fun I've ever had running around in raids. It's relaxing, everybody is friendly and there is lots of laughter over vent. I can't believe I forgot to get a single screenshot of everybody! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Transmog Contest Entry!

December 5
Across the sea is home and it is bathed in light...

     I think Mataoka is onto something here. My mood brightened up some after posting my screenshots yesterday. Maybe it was because I'd stopped procrastinating and felt good for that. Or maybe it was because I spent a while looking at screenshots of pretty things. 
     So I'm doing away with more of my procrastinating today and finally posting my entry for Sam's Transmog Contest. I saw some of the other entries and really couldn't resist making one of my own. I didn't even know this tabard existed! And I'm starting to think draenei are contagious. Because of course this set had to be built on a draenei, since it's their tabard. And of course it would have to be a paladin set. Because paladins. So I made myself a little draenei to model it for me, and I may have fallen a little bit in love with her while I was fiddling with it. 

Hand of Retribution
Head: None (couldn't find anything I liked)
Shoulders: Pauldrons of Winged Triumph (Raid Finder Variant)
Tabard: Tabard of the Hand (probably obvious)

And a little variation for the prot/holy paladins:
Hand of Protection (see what I did there?)

Not 100% happy with the gloves or weapons, but I'm surprisingly happy with the rest of it. I think it mirrors the tabard's downward fade to darkness pretty well. I had a lot of fun doing this.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More Light

     It's been one of those weeks so far. I'm having a mood I can't seem to get the better of. This seems like a particularly good time to push past the incredible lack of motivation that comes with it and post up some screenshots full of light.

December 2
Light can lead to adventures and ancient secrets, and decorate the sky with ribbons...

December 3
And it can lead you home again.

December 4
Shafts of light break through storms, and thorns, and broken places, and give wings to unlikely angels.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Spreading the Light

I couldn't resist taking part in Mataoka's Solstice Advent Blog Challenge I'll miss a few days here and there, but I love the idea and I fight the same fall and winter funk so I'm going to do as many days as I can.

Day 1
In dark places sometimes the brightest light is that which you bring yourself.

     And that's one of the things I love about playing paladins. They're warriors of the light, they bring light into dark places, cleanse evil and make things bright again. I love playing them in WoW especially, because there are different ways of bringing the Light. Seish brings it by wading into the midst of battle, sword flying and slaughtering evil right and left. Rim brings it by putting a shield in between his teammates and harm and standing up to the darkness until it falls. Laen brings it by pouring it into his injured comrades to keep them fighting. 
     Today was mostly about Seish. After the cooldowns Laen and Fal went to Darkmoon Faire to do their quests and turn in all the things cluttering up their bags, and then a bit later I queued Seish for Wing 1 of SoO in hopes of getting something before reset. As things turned out he came in right before Sha of Pride. No loot dropped but the last Secret of the Empire he needed -did-. Oh so much relief. After rezzing the last of the dead he went straight over to talk to Wrathion. Wrathion, as it turned out, had several more things he wanted Seish to do. So it was off to the Thunder Forges. That wasn't too bad, though took two tries because the first time I thought I was supposed to use the anvils for damage and wasted a couple before I understood what they were actually for. This is what sometimes happens when you're very careful not to spoil things for yourself. :D
     And then I had to go throw a spear at Nalak. Oh, but I was dreading this! How was Seish going to do this all by himself? Well, I thought maybe the Shado-pan guys would help if I were really creative. And maybe paladin bubble would save Seish long enough to get it done. Only when I arrived to look at Nalak there was somebody else standing there. A tauren paladin. I said hello and asked if he was on the quest. He didn't really answer at first, but then asked if I needed to do the spear. I said yes and he invited me to group. He ran down with me and he pulled Nalak. Seish threw his spear and bubbled and run. and at the top of the stairs turned around to finish off the add. The tauren apologized thinking he'd messed something up, but I told him 'no, it worked' as he ran back.
     Then I asked if he needed my help and he told me he was done. Legionless of Burning Blade you are a tauren among tauren and a true paladin. Something I expected to be awful and maybe next to impossible and to eventually involve begging for help in trade chat became something simple because he was nice enough to take the time (and the corpse run) to help me out. So after Seish had gone off to have his ego stroked some by Wrathion and get a new goodie (Seriously, Wrathion, don't tell him stuff like that! He'll believe you, and his sense of his own importance is already just a little inflated.) he went to the mailbox and mailed Legionless a thank you note and 500 gold to cover his repairs.
     Of course now it's on to collecting Runestones and more dealing with bad luck with RNG but hey, today was a good day. Seish got his legendary meta and a lot of things turned out better than I thought they would.
Two princes and a paladin.