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Month: September 2009

Excerpts: Jousting

While I admire the endeavors of the Argent Crusade, their quest to destroy the Scourge and protect Azeroth, I detest their training methods.

Admittedly, times occur when I am reduced to eradicating my foe with wand. On occasion, I’ve found reason to invoke the fine sharpened edge of my dagger.

But to require entrants learn the finer nuances of jousting, to mount with lance and shield those who are better trained to rain destruction via spell and gesture? Preposterous at the least, utterly insane at the most.

It has taught me new respect for some of my more heavily armed comrades. The defense offered in plate and mail do invoke a subtle twinge of jealousy. But when I consider the loss of firepower. The sheer reduction in my ability to eradicate, that jealousy evaporates like so much water in the Grim Guzzler.

Speaking of which. The Grim Guzzler is one of the finest drinking establishments around. Now if only they offered room and board.

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Encounters – Revelations

It was after some inebriation that a lovely blood elf managed to seduce me into betraying some dark secrets.

You see, once upon a time I was a Gnome. I served masters seeking information. In a time before the great journey North, into the cold wasteland. I was investigating the possibility of rejoining the alliance, us paler elves, our well of power destroyed. That was when Kael’thas journeyed unto the Outlands. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard, but the ties were there. I saw Alliance and Horde working towards the same goals, I saw man and orc fighting the same foes.

And at the same time, I saw renewed hatred. Competition and violent contact where handshakes and courteous nods could have been used. I’ve seen war from one end of this world to the other. And I had thought briefly I might see peace at last. Our two forces united.

And so it was, that after seeing the truth in the violence I spent some time alone. A year, if I recall the days properly. I watched the stars come and go, the suns rise and fall. I considered my place in the world.

Mind you, I’d likely still be there, trying to make sense of the chaos that was sewn into all our beings. But my Grand Illusion started to fail. The appearance, the physical changes and the mental blocks all designed to guard against discovery. For three years I was a Gnome. My face still itches where a beared once grew.

And in one moment it was all gone. The enchantment broken. Dispelled or worn out, I cannot say. And yet, I felt ashamed. To have been away from Silvermoon all those years. To have been away from family, from friends. It was crushing. It was so impossibly horrible to comprehend, the loneliness. That my first action was a recall home, to a familiar drinking establishment. And that’s where I awoke up, days later. I must have drank myself til I was gone and then some again.

The memories still plague me. Of time with Dwarves, of serving petty human taskmasters, of aspiring to the ideals of fickle druids and ignorant warriors.

And I still drink. Just in careful moderation. Lest I wake up in a fountain in Stormwind Castle.

But it should be known, I learned my lesson while travelling as a gnome. I learned the value of perspective. I came to understand the need for practice and the desire for power.

Now I carry with me a mild case of Claustrophobia and little else to remind me of my past time.

It is worth noting, as a side-consideration, that I am very grateful that lovely hunter didn’t fill me full of arrows that night. It would have ruined my favorite hat.

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On a Magic Carpet Ride

My skill at tailoring reached a new point when I was taught how to stitch up a roll of carpet that doubles as both a sleeping mat for those cold Northern nights and a mount upon which to ride the winds.

Amusingly, neither my Wyvern nor my carpet seem able to handle the extreme chill offered by the air in the north. I had thought this because Drogus was not only cowardly but also lazy. I’m finding now that it’s more of an environmental issue and will require some special arrangements.

That being said, the trainer I was talking to suggested I might be able to stitch up a faster carpet option when I’ve learned more. Something he call the ‘Magnificent Flying Carpet’. As though a flying carpet was rather mundane and everyone could have one and that only a faster option was truly remarkable.

I eagerly look for a way to get off the ground. More things have tried to kill me in the last three days than all of my time in the Outlands. I think even Kael’thas wasn’t that angry with me as those trolls I fought of yesterday were. And let it be known, I don’t mind trolls. They at least smell nicer than the occasional Forsaken I cross paths with.

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Shocking: Some Gold, a Mage and additional Training

My old master was nothing if not insightful. For instance, he always chided me on my devotion to Arcane. He said it would bite me one day. It did.

He also said that some day, I’d find need to burn foes that Arcane couldn’t subdue. I did.

And the last thing I ever heard him say, “Telinthos, you are a great student. Someday a powerful mage, perhaps even a member of the Kirin Tor. But the greatest of people learn flexibility, else they bend and snap like so much poorly forged steel.”

I realize now, after many years, that he was right. I am a great mage. But more to the point, that Fire and Frost offer subtle advantages I cannot find in the comforting tingle of Arcane.

That being said, I spent many hours with a trainer in the Undercity. Relearning that which I had forgotten about Fire and Frost. How to burn and freeze, how to deflect and absorb.

Amusingly, the price on training seems to go up when they think you’re made of gold.

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My old master used to chide me on my single-minded focus to Arcane Magic. He would often point out that every force had a counter-force. Every school of magic had opponents who were immune and that diversity would save my life someday.

Since we didn’t have a clear document regarding which forces I might encounter in the world that would be so resistant, I mocked him and called him a fool.

Flash forward some years. I’m skulking about in the Dragonblight, a region of snowy hell and unpleasant winds. Skulking, as I didn’t feel like blasting any of the renegade mages nearby. And in Dragonblight as this was where a representative of the Kirin’Tor told me to go. That’s where I encountered the manifestation of my Pride and Hubris.

With a great deal of ego, I sized up my opponent, mustered my energies and let him have it in the face. It blinked at me. Muttered something about my impending doom and proceeded to tear at my very being.

Yes. I panicked. But while I mocked my teachers, I never failed to study what was put in front of me and learn a thing or two. Let it be known that while I am a master at the Arcane, I can still throw a mean fireball.

I hope to never experience that ever again. But at least now I have a measure of understanding what those Fire Mages were blabbering about after a foray into Blackrock Spire.

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Memories -or- A Really Strong Brew

I woke early this morning, groggy and confused. Well, to be frank, it wasn’t this morning. But I was groggy.

For the record, when a lovely huntress offers you a pint of something she calls “Kungaloosh”, you should turn her down. You’re likely to wake up on a ship crossing the ocean to parts unknown.

That being said, I could have told you with a straight face that I used to be a Gnome. Indeed, the Taunka I told this to snorted in amusement before handing me another drink that threatened to sear the flesh from my lips before I passed out again.

A later recollection inspired me to visit my bank vault. I seem to remember stockpiling booze from a magic hat for rainy days. And my days are looking more and more dour as time moved on.

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Cut a Deal

I should warn my readers that while the wilderness is dangerous, the city can be equally hazardous. I speak of the Auction House.

The goblin masters have made it increasingly easy to connect buyers with sellers, to grease the economic wheels and rob you of your hard-earned gold faster than ever before.

I strongly suggest you cut a deal whenever possible. Find yourself a willing buyer, someone who’ll happily take your merchandise via mail. It saves both of you the agony of walking past vendors hawking wares you know you could use, in fact need.

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To Quest or not to Quest

I must commend that little goblin on his bravery. Under better circumstances I would have smote him where he stood. But as I’m in need of some coin and a hot meal I’m forced to run all manner of errands and deliveries.

And here’s where someone’s bound to ask “But you can conjure food right?”. Consider my position. I can conjure all the tasty, clean, fresh water I could care to ever drink. But hot meals are not in my repertoire. How many mages have you seen manifesting Roast Pork? None. Exactly zero. I’ve got the fanciest prison rations you’ll ever find. Sweetbread, pumpernickel, the occasional croiscant. But no meat. No pork, side of lamb, wolf haunch or kodo steak.

So I need some coin. And to that end, I’ll be putting my hands in places I’d rather keep them out of..

Mark my words. I’ll go back some day and give that goblin a piece of my mind.

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On the topic of the Scourge

I wasn’t five minutes inside Warsong Hold when some lowly orc shoved an axe into my hands and ordered me to the front lines to support the war effort.

Mind you, it’d been barely a day since I awoke in Silvermoon. I wasn’t aware there was still a war to fight, let alone that I was actually this close to the front line.

Seems my understanding of ‘war’ and ‘front line’ needed some adjustment. The cool crisp tundra air was joined by a rancid stench and the occasional clash of steel on carapace. Looking down the ramparts I spotted nothing less than a legion of Scourge locked in battle with Orcish defenders.

The front line was also the front door.

I won’t bore you with the sorded details of spellcraft, or the ways in which i obliterated my foes. It should only be said that the carnage was great, the bodies were many and that I still had ‘it’.

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Northrend – Frozen Hell

It should be known that I dislike the snow. It gets in your shoes, makes your feet cold and stiffens the fingers. To a swordsman, a stiff hand is death. To a mage, a stiff hand is a badly fumbled spell. If we’re lucky, it’s a quick death.

And I suddenly remember Zindel. Failed to grasp the subtle context in basic conjuration. We never found the rest of him.

That being said. I liked Tanaris. Dry, windy and desolate. I found myself at home with my thoughts while travelling through Tanaris. Not something you often get when you channel raw, unbridled energy.

When I stepped off the zepplin at Vengeance Landing I was certain of two things. One, that I rather disliked the Forsaken. I promise you they smell and it’s not just the plague vats they’re constantly brewing. Two, that I hate the snow and as a secondary consideration, the cold.

I hadn’t dressed warm enough for a journey to Northrend, let alone a lengthy stay.

It wasn’t long before I’d managed to convey my situation to the Innkeep and provided me with a woolen underlayer to help insulate me against the cold.

But it didn’t take long for me to find the zepplin again and book a flight west, to Honor Hold. I appreciate the company of a curageous and cunning people as the Orcs. At the very least, their food is better.

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