It’s been a while again, and while I’ve had a dry spell here, there’s a lot that I’ve been keeping busy with. Well, not a lot, but enough to keep me satisfied. Vaelgan is bored all the time, and my pets are restless. They seem to find animals to fight with anywhere we go. Except for Rak’Shiri. He’s too wizened for that type of thing anymore. I’ve almost forgot the look of Stormwind, and my guildies are a pleasant memory more than current friends. I guess that’s what happens when you go on extended vacation. Lyranda doesn’t mind it, though. She’s enjoying every chance she can get to lounge in the sun and read or tan. it won’t be long before her baby blue skin turns as dark as Osephala’s. I’ve enjoyed the fishing. That’s probably why Lyranda is around so much. I’m always around a beach or lakeside. And, of course, Vaelgan loves to follow along because the beach usually means half-nude women in skimpy outfits. Anyway, just stopping in to let everyone know I’m still alive. One day I’ll pick back up on my history lessons.
Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been here. Normally I’d post something of my dark and brooding past and whatnot, but apparently I’ve been too busy hiding out and relaxing near the riverside with my pets.
Anyhow, I just wanted to peek in and announce the creation of a service that I believe anyone could benefit from. Go next door to Osephala’s site and check out her WoW Signature Creations!
I look like a dead fish with hooves. I don’t know how else to sum it up, except that I look like a sea-dwelling animal that had been washed up on shore and left to bake in the sun.
But I’m getting off course here. I have been collecting a fairly nice set of tier gear, and the majority of my unnoticed items are also of high quality, I only need a few more pieces to be considered “epic” in this new level of performance. Recently, I acquired my 4th piece of tier gear, completing the set. It’s a shame that the piece that comes at the highest cost and delivers the most profound sense of accomplishment is so Light-blessed ugly! Just the helm looks as if it belongs on the floor of Vashj’ir. I’m not exactly impressed with the look from this tier.
But that’s not the main reason I’m here today. Four days ago, Apotheosis reentered a devastated Blackwing Descent, where the corpses of dead drakes and dragon-kin was befouling the air. Our intent: Kill Nefarian. I forget the exact number of attempts, but all of our hard work was finally validated on Sunday. We were pressed against a wall with his reconstructed remains bearing down on us and with death in his eyes. Onyxia’s rotting corpse was freshly dropped. Our tanks were dropping like Orcs in a Stormwind raid. Sambas was off in the chaos somewhere, and I was pressed back as far as I could go, firing round after round, noise filling my ears and a haze filming my eyes.
And then, it was over. The silence that followed so much agonizing and wanton destruction was more profound than anything I’ve heard before. I was told it was the same silence that accompanied Illidan’s death, or the death of the Lich King. Then again, there was one silence that seemed to compare. The silence after the crash of the Exodar.
When all was said and done, the spoils were laid before us. Trinkets, baubles, and tokens. I didn’t notice anything besides the thud in my chest and the rock in my stomach until the tokens were called out. Two Protector tokens had dropped, and my EPGP rating was high enough that one of them went to me. And now I’m the proud owner of an over-sized fish head to put over my own.
Apotheosis is 11/12 now. Al’Akir is still out there, but for now we’re content.
The Barrens is a lost cause. I decided finally that the amount of Orcs and Trolls I had to deal with to get the simplest of chores handled just wasn’t worth it. I don’t think there was too much left for me in Kalimdor. Maybe I can come back some other time and deal with other places, but the desolate landscape and constant fear of the Horde descending upon me has compelled me to the Eastern Kingdoms.
Stormwind was my first real stop. I hadn’t had too many encounters with the Humans, but I had always wondered about their capital and their customs. The Dwarves were hospitable and roughly friendly, and the Night Elves, when distracted from their own grace and elegance, were just as companionable. I hear Humans can be standoffish if given the chance, but their loyalty – once earned – is unmatched. As a Draenei, finding friends is hard enough when you look like someone who tried to destroy their world years ago. There aren’t many who I would call “friend” after reaching Azeroth, but I have plenty of allies. Stormwind was impressive enough, in a blocky kind of way. It was a graceful city with spires and towers and enormous statues, but it was still a fortress. Darnassus was too woodsy, and Ironforge, while cozy, was a little too low to the ground for me. Ducking to get into a room every time I turn around gets old fast, and banging one’s head on a low door frame is even worse. Every now and again, I miss the crystalline grace and beauty of Exodar.
Stormwind was enjoyable enough that I stayed an extra few days. The people are friendly enough, and the scenery grows on you. I particularly enjoyed the park that adjoined the mage quarter. Eventually, however, my duty called me back and I had to see to a few other issues from abroad. This time, I was sent to Stranglethorn Vale, where – just as with the Night Elves – the Troll history reared up from every corner and crevice. Northern Stranglethorn is in chaos due to some kind of human revolt or other, not to mention the Venture Co. making more trouble.
I’m nearly in my 34th season. Not sure why they call it a season when I have only spent a few months adventuring. No one seems to have been able to give me a straight answer. Delforth is certainly enjoying the time in the wild. He wasn’t too comfortable in populated cities, but what else can you expect from a cat? I’m hunkering down in a human camp at the northern end of Stranglethorn, where glowing tales speak of a magnificent city built right into the jungle here. I’ve not seen it myself, but I don’t doubt it. Civilization can pop up in the most unlikely of places.
Just as I suspected. Too many problems, not enough solutions. Or rewards.
I hate the Barrens.
It has been some time since I last wrote. Stonetalon Peak was nothing like Ashenvale or Darkshore. There are a goodly number of the Horde running around there for one thing, and the Venture Company was everywhere for another. I also learned a great deal about blast ordinances. A fiery little gnome was willing to provide me with the explosives I needed to demolish the giant logging machine Venture Company was using to destroy the trees. And since the Venture Trading Company leader – Grezno, I think his name was – wasn’t willing to listen to reason, he needed to be killed. My rewards were fairly typical for being such a “magnificent hero”. Sacks of silver add up, and the trash they give me to replace my current equipment is laughable, but expensive. The only good thing I got out of the whole ordeal was a fairly nice crossbow.
After Stonetalon, I found myself almost racing through the rest of the quests I had been given in Astranar. Things were moving more quickly for me to keep up with. Until I hit the fields where the Burning Legions seemed to be bunkered down. I wasn’t quite ready to face them yet, so I trudged on to a small outpost near the fringes of Ashenvale. I enjoyed the almost distilled spring smell and color of Ashenvale, but as I neared that outpost, I couldn’t help but notice a dusty, almost autumnal fragrance on the air. It seems that just across a deep gorge to the east were the lands of Azshara. The place was saturated with Naga, and most of the Night Elf Highborne’s heritage was there. Of course, only being in nearly my 30th season, some of the creatures there would easily have killed me. And so, after yet another barrage of demands from desperate Night Elves, I went back out to attend to the hunkered down Burning Legions and anything else needing my attention. Most of it is a blur, but I remember quite clearly the disparaging wails of a foolish young Night Elf priestess who thought she was tougher than she really was. Her eyes met mine as the Legion surrounded her, and there was only terror written there. She screamed for only a short time, and I considered simply putting an arrow in her heart. It would have been kinder than what was about to happen to her, but I couldn’t get a clear shot. And so, hidden away in the nearby trees, I watched helplessly as a mere child was torn to pieces. Delforth knew better than to go dashing off into the fray, but his large liquid eyes held sympathy as he looked on at the carnage. When we went down into those open fields, however, he took out his anger and aggression on them as savagely as I did. Sometimes, my feline friend really surprises me.
An unfortunate result of the presence of the Burning Legion in Ashenvale is the maddening effect it had on the local populations; namely the Furbolg. Though savage and stupid, the Night Elves assured me that they had once been kindly and mild in temperament. Their shamans were benign and their warriors were more of gatherers and providers of food. Ever since the Second War, they were malevolent and cruel, and many Night Elves fell pray to them. Travel was dangerous, except by Griffin. But you can’t go everywhere on a griffin lately. They are rigidly controlled to only fly into other flight points, and you don’t just sit on them, you are strapped in like a child so there’s no way you can just jump off. I heard rumor of personal mounts that fly, but whether or not it’s true, it’ll be much later in life before I can afford something like that. I don’t even have a mount of my own for ground travel!
Where was I? Oh yes. The Furbolgs were getting to be too dangerous and too populous for the Night Elves’ comfort. The savagery of their breeding nearly matched the savagery of their fighting. And so, with heavy heart, the Night Elves sent me into the wild to kill as many as I could to shave off some of their numbers, and to kill their leader. This wasn’t going to be easy. Killing random Furbolgs in a backwoods wilderness as remote as northern Ahenvale isn’t what I’d normally call a major victory. But it helped the Night Elves feel safer in their own woods. Killing den mothers was my main priority, and that proved to be more difficult than anything else. As Den Mothers, they were the protectors and nurturers of the young, and the rest of the pack would defend them to the death, even from each other. Once, while I was keeping back in observation, I saw a belligerent bull furbolg threaten and corner a smaller child. I think it might have been rabid. As it started attacking the young furbolg, the rest of the clan took notice and came to the young’s defense. I’ve never seen such graphic violence before that, even from the Sin’Dorei. They literally pulled the old bull down and tore him to pieces, much like hunting cats. I’m sure Delforth would disagree based more on aesthetic principles, but no one’s perfect. As I said, killing den mothers and shamans wasn’t much of a victory, but as I was able to track their movements, I eventually came to their leader’s residence. He was larger than most furbolgs I’d seen to that point. He dwarfed the other bulls by at least two feet. And the guards surrounding the place! It took me almost an entire day to follow his path and get him alone. After that, it was over. He gave me a good fight, though.
Anyhow, I cleared out Ashenvale of most of its problems, and the rest I left to them. It was time for me to get out of there. The blues and greens and purples were soothing and quiet, but it was getting to be monotonous. One of the fellows in Astranar mentioned heading south into the Barrens. Obviously, Ashenvale was finished with me and I really had nothing better to do. So, here I am in Ratchet, tinkering with problems just like Ashenvale and Azuremyst Isle. Maybe some of the things will be a little more dignified. But I doubt it. I better get some better loot, though, or I’m quitting.
For a shaman, Osephala is rather stealthy. I’d almost say she was more suited to the title of rogue. She snuck out not long before dawn, and only Delforth’s low rumble outside let me know anything was amiss. I’m also surprised at her “lack of scruples” as my parents would have said, the Light rest their souls. I didn’t mind too much. She was warm, with skin like silk. And she welcomed me into the bed almost fiercely. It is a shame that she is leaving, but she has her own path to follow, and I mine. Perhaps one day we will meet again. I certainly hope for it.
I made sure to stock up my equipment and my arrow supply before I left. My bank account and supply dump isn’t impressive, but there were some items that were certainly important to me. After settling arrangements, I hearthed back to Astranar and to my awaiting chores.
Stonetalon Peak is my next destination, and I have an uneasy feeling that it won’t be easy, or pleasant. There is reputed to be a mining facility there that Venture Company owns, and they are destroying the forest at an alarming rate at the base of that mountain. I’m certain I’ll be a “big help in dealing with those menaces,” which really means I’ll be doing all the work. At least I get paid for it.
Also, there were trace remnants of the Burning Crusade’s Fel energies further along in Ashenvale. I suppose I’ll be handling that as well. Not to mention the Satyr that are plaguing an area near a Horde logging outpost. As closely as the Horde protects their stolen lumber, you’d think that they could handle it instead. Ah well. It seems that there will always be more to do, no matter how much I have done already. And every new place I enter, someone else is begging for help. Not long ago, I came across a Night Elf whose daughter was sick with some kind of strange illness no one could understand. For that one man, I nearly leveled the entire area of Southern Astranar. But I suppose a father would go to any lengths and pay any amount to see his child safe. A beautiful child as I recall.
Anyhow, back to Kalimdor.
I eventually found myself trudging along in knee-deep snow, my hooves freezing off all the while. I don’t know how these snow leopards or bears or boars handle this cold, but I certainly don’t like it. I was perhaps halfway through the place when I saw something I never thought to see again for quite some time. Someone was riding an elekk! The thing was probably green or purple, but now it was nearly blue from the cold. The rider was a young woman, wearing mail armor and jingling with every trotting step the mount took. I was sure she saw me, but it’s always a good idea to let someone riding an animal weighing a ton or more with ivory tusks as large as a man know you’re coming. I stood and walked out into the road, managing to look as peaceful as I could. I’m sure I looked terribly impressive as I huddled miserably in my cloak. She was a fine looking woman with deep eyes and a dark smile. It was almost like she knew me already, and she had interesting plans for me. Women have a way of doing that. She was a shaman, one of those rare people who mastered the elements and used them to do their bidding. Despite that – or maybe because of it – she had an exotic flair to her that was simply intoxicating. I had to know who she was!
“I see you have recovered well, yes?” she asked, her voice sounding like soft velvet rubbing gently against a silken caress. That question caught me off guard. How did she know me? I knew barely a handful of people on the Exodar, and they all died in the crash. She certainly wasn’t one of them. She explained that she was well on her way out of Ammen Vale when she saw me lying in the grass, broken and beyond mending. She used what abilities she had to heal me and had raced back to the crash site where she gathered the priests to collect me. I had to stop myself from laughing – or crying, whichever came first. This was the woman I had dreamt of. This was the woman who had saved me that fateful day.She was about to leave again, but seemed to think otherwise of it, instead offering me a ride to wherever I was heading. The saddle was meant for one person and it was uncomfortable, but I’d sit on one of the Elekk’s tusks to get my feet out of the snow!We arrived in Ironforge not an hour later, and I marveled at the amount of molten rock flowing through the tunnels and ducts while the snow was flying savagely outside. These small people lived in this mountain! They had mastered forging and blacksmithing and molding the earth into powerful weapons.I marveled at the place, but the shaman was apparently accustomed to it. She showed me around and took me to where a little gnome was anxiously working with bubbling compounds that looked ready to explode in his face. I gave the fellow the letter I was meant to show him, and he handed me a packet I didn’t entirely trust. At least I didn’t have far to travel now. There were griffins here as well as in the wetlands where I had docked. When I finished my business, I found the shaman again, and took her to one of the many taverns where we had a long talk and several drinks. I intended to find out as much about her as I could, and she seemed eager to find the same of me. It took us a while to exhaust our curiosity, and by then, we were ready to be poured into bed. I suggested separate rooms, but she laughed me off and offered to pay for half on a room if I coughed up the rest. It was slightly scandalous, but as I sit here writing now, she is but a foot away, sleeping in the bed beside me. I’m not too sure, but she seems to have left me a large space near her, and it would be nice to cuddle up to something that doesn’t growl and smell like wet fur all the time. She does, after all, have rather ravishing horns. Maybe I’ll see if I can sneak in with her. She doesn’t seem to mind the smell I’ve accrued. But I’ll probably end up on the floor. Ah well.
Dun Morogh is horrible. It’s cold and damp and covered in snow. I can’t see an end to it anywhere. I can feel it. Seriously, I can feel it in my hip. The one that stupid plainstrider nearly broke. This is not a place I should be. The ship from Auberdine was quiet and soothing with its gentle swaying and the creaking groan of ropes in their hawsers. I arrived in a place they called the Wetlands, where crocolisks and raptors abound, and where it’s worth a man’s life to venture out past the stone barricade. A clump of men and women of all different classes and races stood staring at the wetlands, too afraid to move. I didn’t blame them.Our race was still fairly new to these humans and night elves, but they seemed willing to at least entertain the idea of friendship. Our ties with the Eredar notwithstanding, there is an uneasy peace that grows every day. Soon, Draenei will be accepted everywhere the Alliance reigns. At any rate, I found myself grouping with another Draenei – a paladin, I believe – and we set out to work our way around the dangers of the wetlands and find our way into the mountains of Dun Morogh, where the Dwarves live. I hear tell that there’s a mechanical transport there that goes underground of all things, and finds its way into the human stronghold of Stormwind. One of the many wonders these people have to show me. The paladin and I parted ways in a small camp nestled on a lush plain next to a large loch. Loch Modan, they call it. He wanted to stay and help the people with any errands a young adventurer could assist with. I just hefted my gear and trudged on, Delforth leading the way before me, ending up in a tented mining community at the outskirts of Dun Morogh. Tomorrow should be interesting. And cold.
Bloodmyst Isle is doomed. No matter our efforts, there will never really be a way to heal it. At least the corruption had stopped. The furbolgs of Azuremyst and the denizens of this retched place called me a hero today – a Hand of the Naaru – but this hero is tainted. Already, my hands are soiled in blood. I do not regret the things I have fixed, but the lives I took were many.
I had a dream today. I believe it may be the images of the initial crash of Exodar. A young woman, not too much younger than I, stood over me, the blooming design of the Naaru’s Gift budding across her forehead. I believe it was she who had saved me, and I know only of her eyes. Her face is vague and blurry, but there is a warmth and comfort there that makes me feel safe. Even in the midst of my nightmares, those eyes banish all fear. I must find her.
Darkshore is not what I expected these Night Elves to consider home. The texts I gathered in Bloodmyst told of high spires and the Highborne and graceful, elegant creatures seen only in a dream. The elves themselves live up to their heritage – the women especially – but this place is not what I expected. I have been invited to see Darnassus. I’m not sure I want to go. The name sounds pretty enough – their very language is like music – but I don’t want to see more of the same dead snags and ruined ancient buildings. So I politely declined and continued on my way. I hope they are not offended, but perhaps if I keep doing the things they ask of me, it will cover any insult I may have delivered. Delforth likes it here, however. There’s plenty to kill, and the meat I gather from their carcasses make a fine meal for both him and myself. Maybe I can learn a few more recipes here. My skill at cooking leaves much to be desired.
Ah well. On to the tasks at hand.