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Posts Tagged ‘Story’

Wild Speculation: Sylvanus

See, here’s the thing. Sylvanus is a rather clever woman, overall.

So I ask you this: how did she miss something as huge as the betrayal of a huge number of apothecaries that, ostensibly, worked for her directly? How did she miss an entire plot designed to oust or kill her? How did she miss her own right hand demon thing plotting to take over her position in order to carry out the will of the Burning Legion?

I propose that she didn’t miss any of that.

I propose that she was very well aware of all of it.

I propose that she planned all of it.

Consider first the direct consequences of the Undercity Battle.

Let’s say Sylvanus was in charge of the weaponized plague used at the Wrathgate from the start. Let’s say all those “rogue” apothecaries were working for her all along.

What’s the easiest way to prevent all those people from ever telling their story? Why, brand them traitors and kill them all of course.

What’s the easiest way to do that without casting any suspicion on yourself? Why, get someone else to brand them all traitors, and then get someone else to kill them all for you.

Bonus points: what is the best way to test how a given fortification would hold up in a siege?

The answer is, of course, to lay siege to it.

Sylvanus got to experience both what an internal infiltration and an external invasion would look like. Not a small scale, war games invasion either, but huge, full fledged armies battling it out. And she got to see all of that first hand.

Meaning, of course, she can now make modifications and adjustments to the city, having experienced first hand the city’s strengths and weaknesses against multiple forms of invasion.

Consider second that Sylvanus, like any good leader, looks beyond her own personal vendettas. Her primary stated goal is, of course, to see the end of the Lich King.

Explain, then, the massive, imperialistic expansions of the Forsaken these past few years if their only goal is to revengeance the Lich King. Sylvanus knows that the Lich King won’t last forever, that someday he will be extinguished, and then… what? What then?

Sylvanus is in a similar position as the scourge in my last wild speculation post.

Nobody likes the undead. Their enemies misunderstand them and will kill them on sight. Their allies are mistrusting, fair weather friends at absolute best. What happens when the proverbial excrement hits the proverbial fan? For the forsaken, it means they’ll be in a hostile world, surrounded by enemies with no friends.

Solution? Exactly the same thing as the Scourge – make yourself appear to be less of a threat than you really are.

Enter the Battle for the Undercity, stage left.

Sylvanus lost her city, “nearly died”, and then was in such a weak position she couldn’t take back what was hers on her own. She had to go to Orgrimmar and ask, nay, beg for help.

Do you see how incredibly weak that makes her look? Especially to the likes of Garrosh.

By allowing the Undercity to fall, Sylvanus simultaneously places more mistrust on her own people and makes them appear to be a significantly weaker friend/foe.

The reason why more mistrust is good for the forsaken is because it forces the horde to keep a much closer eye on them. All the abomination guards are gone from the Undercity, and replaced with orcs.

Obviously a good move on the part of the greater horde. Placing their own troops in the undercity rather than letting them guard themselves means the greater horde can keep much tighter control over the actions of the forsaken.

Unless, of course, that’s exactly what Sylvanus wants them to think they’re doing.

First major advantage, by allowing the horde to think they have greater control over the situation, they naturally become far less suspicious. If strange things were going on, the guards are right there and would have seen it, right?

Right, of course.

The relative threat level of the forsaken is simply lower. With legions of orc troops in the undercity, the greater horde can rest easy that the Undercity is firmly controlled.

Essentially, Sylvanus has proven to the greater horde that the forsaken aren’t a substantial military threat anymore. This is an unimaginably huge advantage.

It’s gone now, but there was a screenshot showing the forsaken invasion of London (or whatever that werewolf place is called). It showed the forsaken fleet and… the horde gunship?

Again, major win for the forsaken. The forsaken get to keep right on expanding their empire with their mighty military, but the rest of the horde is blinded to it. And lending their military to the forsaken to directly assist them to boot.

Classic strategy, really. The greater horde thinks they’re in control, never realizing just how thoroughly they’re being used, the entire time playing directly into the best interests of the forsaken.

GG, Sylvanus, GG.

/tinfoil hat

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Friday Fiction: A Thousand Things

This is a story. I wrote it. It is WoW fiction, read at your own risk.

I’m sure I have mentioned this before, but like many bloggers I have certain aspirations to, perhaps, write things in a more professional manner at some stage in my nebulous future. Thus I practice things, so here is some of my practice.

Any and all criticism is worthwhile. I also have a “writer’s commentary” at the end of the story, so you can hear my thoughts on my own work.

=========

Once upon a time, they had made a cute couple.

Two young things. The Man, perhaps having drank slightly too much dwarven ale, grinning like the love struck idiot He was. The Woman, Her cheeks so full of the vigor of life, coloured both by alcohol and the undeniable intoxicant of love.

He thought it was just for fun. Perhaps a little fling on the side, just a summer thing. He, a knight in the service of King Terenas on well deserved leave; She, the daughter of a baker from Stratholme. Brought together by sheer chance at the Darkmoon Faire, where Her father had hawked his “world-famous” cinnamon buns.

They were excellent cinnamon buns, that much was true. Probably the best He had ever tasted. Being a young single lad on vacation, however, He had a whole different set of buns in mind, and the baker’s daughter had enthusiastically complied.

When His leave ended, He didn’t want to leave. He tried to tell himself it was nothing, that He would get over it. The universe had other ideas in mind. He cried. She cried. But She, the baker’s daughter from Stratholme, returned home, and He, the brave knight from Lordaeron, could no more shirk His duty to the king than could a stone sprout a mouth and sing songs.

He wrote letters to Her. She wrote letters to Him. He cherished the only photo He had of Her, not once letting it leave His immediate person. He even bathed with it, pleased to discover the goblin wasn’t lying about the waterproof properties it had.

He and She would visit the other as much as possible. Every time the Darkmoon Faire was around, He made excuses, She made excuses, and then several hours later those excuses were repeated all over again, only with more rumpled clothing the second time.

And so it was that He had made numerous excuses, gracefully exited service of the king, and left for Stratholme. He wasn’t stupid, He had already purchased a nice home for Himself and His bride to be and had lined up a position as a journeyman blacksmith.

A thousand things He wanted to say. A thousand thousand days He had planned to be with Her.

The dreams of His dreams had been realized, but as with all tales that begin with once upon a time, the nightmares of His worst nightmares were soon to follow.

He later learned they were called the Scourge. Nightmarish creatures from across the sea, they swarmed across Lordaeron like… well, like a Scourge. He had died fighting on the road, alone, against an enemy He did not even begin to comprehend.

Many months later, He wandered a plagued and destroyed countryside, His right arm still holding His sword, His left arm clutching a faded photograph. A zombie with purpose, He searched with an unwavering will that only the undead can possess.

As fate would have it, He found Her.

There She stood, on a hilltop, the sickly sun silhouetting Her armor clad figure. There She stood, her red armor stained, Her white tabard spattered with blood and gore.

He tried to call to Her, but all that came out was “Aaawwwhh!”

When She sank to Her knees, wracking sobs ripping through Her body, He tried to comfort Her, but all that came out was “Hhhh”.

When She drew Her blade and attacked him, tears still flowing, He tried to stop Her, tried to tell Her it was Him, but all that came out was “Wwhrrruuu”.

When He defended himself out of instinct, when His sword ripped through Her body, when She bled to death on the road, He tried to say every one of the thousand things He wanted to say.

Will you marry me.

Stay with me forever.

I love you.

But all that came out was “Hh… hh… uuuuhhh!”

=========

The difficulty with writing short stories is that they are supposed to be short. Something light and sweet, something you can sit down and read in a couple minutes. There isn’t a lot of room for anything besides the core of the story.

Picture a scoop of ice cream. This is the story. You can add jujubes, sprinkles, chocolate sauce, change the flavour of the ice cream if you want. It’s still a scoop of ice cream, no matter how many details you add.

With a short story, you can’t add sprinkles. There just isn’t room. You need to cut out as much as possible and simply tell the tale you want to tell. Anything else is a waste of time and space. You’re trying to eat ice cream here, not a bunch of sprinkles and cookie crumbles with some ice cream buried underneath, and you are trying to eat this ice cream in one bite.

“A Thousand Things” was significantly longer in its original version. Instead of one continuous romantic tragedy, it was made up of multiple scenes and even had multiple characters. The core story you see above, for instance, was originally a flashback. The Man character had a name, was a Forsaken warrior, and was visiting a graveyard on the anniversary of the first time he met the Woman.

The story I wanted to tell had nothing to do with that graveyard or the forsaken Man. It was about the tragedy itself, and there was no point in using a flashback to tell the story when I could just tell the damn story straight up.

Eliminating names was a tough decision, but again I felt it detracted from the story, so they and all dialogue got the old backspace button. There was also originally an old forsaken man by the name of Ogie who acted as a sort of guide for the Man character when He regained consciousness. As much as I like Ogie, the story wasn’t about him, so heave ho! Ogie and his undead mule got cut.

I hope it was fairly clear that the Woman character was a member of the Scarlet Crusade. If it wasn’t, well, now it is. At least it was clear that She hadn’t been turned, had survived, at least long enough to die at the blade of Her true love. There was originally an explanation of how She survived, what She was doing when He found Her, there was a bunch of other crusaders present, etc.

Delete, delete, delete.

The dialog at the end (where He tries to talk to Her) was extremely difficult to get “right”. It needed to be sad, heartbreaking if possible. It needed to show that communication is quite literally impossible in this situation, which you’d think would be pretty easy with a starring character having no lower jaw.

The difficulty came in trying to make this dialog serious and sad rather than hilarious. I’m not writing a story about Galertruby. So, His dialog ended up matching phonetically the sounds one makes when they are about to cry. It seems to work from my perspective.

Overall I’m pretty happy with this one. Easily near 80% of what I had originally written was cut, and I think this little story is much, much better for losing the excess weight.

I’m also very proudĀ  of “sickly sun silhouetting”.

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I Cannot Use Apostrophe’s

“It’s” means “it is”, whereas “its” signifies ownership. The apostrophe only shows ownership when it’s used with any word that isn’t it. It’s confusing sometimes, but it should be taught to students from a young age, so it shouldn’t be a problem, should it?

I, for one, struggle greatly with getting it’s/its correctly, and I have been corrected for it many times by helpful commenters. Seriously, I mean it. I type these blog posts up so fast and only proofread them maybe once or twice, of course mistakes are going to get through. It’s inevitable. Posting a comment like “you spelled dysfunction wrong” isn’t going to hurt my feelings or anything.

Point out mistakes, I’ll correct them. Or ignore it and leave it in it’s original state for laughs (oh meta humor). And besides, let us be honest here, somebody who actually gets offended or hurt from having a spelling mistake pointed out to them likely has a whole host of issues beyond typing too fast sometimes.

In regards to it’s/its, well… I have an excuse as to why I make that mistake more often than anything else!

See, I was originally taught way back in grade school that “it’s” is only used to mean “it is”. “Its” being strictly for showing possession.

However, in grades four and five, I was taught that “it’s” shows possession AND means “it is”, the word “its” not appearing anywhere in the english language. Apparently. (more…)

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I will be discussing the overall arch of Wrath herein, including the end video of the Lich King encounter. If you have not seen it and do not wish to be spoiled, well, I’m not really going to be saying anything that would spoil it really. More than likely anything I mention you would have already guessed by now anyway.

Still.

Leaving some blank space so you don’t actually have to read anything if you don’t want to. (more…)

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A Sad Story for Monday

So here I was riding the bus home. There’s an African (as in born and raised in Africa, having immigrated to Canadia) woman at the front of the bus with her two kids, a young girl in a stroller and a young boy not in the stroller. Both are incredibly young, the older boy being kindergarten age at absolute maximum.

The two kids were yattering back and forth about I don’t know what, whatever the primitive minds of tiny children feel is important to their day to day activities. I paid them no heed, finding it more productive to stare out the window and mentally run over marksman PvP builds (YES I DO THIS SHUT UP).

Then the darndest thing happened! They got louder! Well, not so much louder as more intense and saying the same thing over and over again.

The little girl says: “Your are the daddy!”

The little boy says: “No I’m not!”

“Yes, your are the daddy!”

“No! No I’m not!”

“Yourrr arrre the daddy!”

“No, I’m not the daddy!”

“Yes, yourrrr arrrre the daddy!”

“NO! I’M! NOT! The daddy!”

This continued, each participant of this highly odd argument increasing in volume with every exchange. Other passengers on the boss were grinning, tittering, giving each other looks with smiles attached. Oh those darn kids!

Eventually the mother interrupts by asking “Why don’t you want to be the daddy?”

A good ten seconds go by. Finally, the boy turns to his mother, a mask of utter anguish and rage on his face, tears tracing paths down a face that shouldn’t even be capable of expressing sorrow yet.

“Because daddy leave and make mommy cry!” the boy finally spat back.

Dead silence was the only sound heard for the remainder of the bus trip.

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Lowbie LFG

So far, I have played three different characters through the Dungeon Finder tool. A destruction warlock, early twenties; a prot warrior, mid 40s; a discipline priest, early sixties.

Queue times, oddly enough, are basically exactly the same as they are for 80 heroics. The queue as a DPS warlock usually runs about ten to twenty minutes, the queue time as a healer is always under a minute, and the queue time for a tank is instant. Which is just bloody fantastic! Tanking is surprisingly fun, but I could be horribly misguided at the moment.

See, I’ve tanked Zul’Farrak twice now. That is the extent of my tanking experience. However, I ran Zul’Farrak with a holy priest specced into (and glyphed for!) Lightwell. I was a bit “wtf” at the start, but mr. priest kept pounding that “use the lightwell! USE IT!” drum pretty damn hard, so I figured what the hey. Thunder Clap keeps aggro pretty well by itself, I can afford to deselect my target for a second.

Turns out? That Lightwell we all mock churns out slightly over 500 health every two seconds, or basically 1500 health over six seconds. That’s pretty dang powerful for a lowbie instance, considering that’s half my hitpoints. (more…)

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Dutch Patriots

Just as I thought, I regret the last post. Bah. Normally I keep “RL” away from the blog, unless a particularly humorous anecdote presents itself and I deem it fit enough to be entertaining. Even that much is pretty close to a once a year phenomenon.

Generally, I always felt people were here under certain expectations, as I was. I’m here to write about WoW, PvP, mages, and so on, and I expect most people are here reading for that. Judging by the amount of e-mails requesting, you know, helpful information and tips (that I’ve been forced to ignore due to impending finals), my feelings have been largely correct.

Consider that whole “sexism in WoW” thing that took the blogosphere by storm back in February over that bunny maker achievement. Remember that? How it required a female toon over level 18? And all the shouting and stamping of feet that went on about objectification? I didn’t cover that here, as I think my own personal politics really have no place here. I don’t talk about religion, gays, women, abortion, or any hot button issues that everyone just loves to argue about.

I mean, I’ll touch on such subjects, but it’s always with tongue planted firmly in cheek. (By the way, the whole over 18 thing, I thought that was simply Blizzard forcing people to go out and find actual people, so achievement hunters couldn’t simply make alts or have a friend make an alt to quickly knock out the achievement. Oh how naive I am.)

Reeyul Lyef has no place here in a zone of fantasy.

Then again, a large number of you loyal readers seem to enjoy nearly anything I write. If I put up a post about how potatoes are actually a weapon designed to enslave the human race, it would probably become my most popular post ever. Last post was a pretty big departure for me, and more than likely it won’t ever happen again.

Still, leaving it up. I’d be more than happy to delete hundreds of posts from this blog, but then what’s the point of blogging in the first place if I’m just going to delete everything?

Besides, trying to hide something I’ve written would be like lying or reverse plagiarism or something. What would you call something that you wrote, but claim you didn’t?

I didn’t write it, I swear! It was the… internet gremlins!

Thanks for the kind words everyone. It was a shitty day and I less than three all of you. <3

I’d go into a whole bunch of extraneous explanations, philosophies, and other details, but meh… Honestly I’d rather try and forget it ever happened.

I say “try” because I made the mistake of telling my parents, and now they’re shouting for blood and lawsuits. My dad is seeing a lawyer today on my behalf, for instance, to see of suing the city would be a course of action. He wanted to throw flaming garbage at the houses of those who turned me away.

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Nobody Gives a Shit

As I type this Friday evening, I still can’t feel my feet. (more…)

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Defensive Play

Last week I was over at a friend’s house apartment, for parties and stuff I guess (WHO THE HELL BURNS POPCORN? COME ON!), and near the end of the evening ended up playing some WoWzors.

It being the AV holiday weekend, and my paladin still needing a few honor pieces, I queued up for that and away I went, smashing faces in and so forth, whilst me and a couple other WoWheads discussed PvP balance.

We were initially talking about arena matrixes, and discussed how well unholy DK/ret/disc would run in 3.3. After all, Unholy’s getting a few buffs and ret isn’t being nerfed for once, and I casually mentioned that poor retribution had been nerfed every single patch since LK shipped.

And you know what my friend said? He said “yeah, and you guys are STILL overpowered!” I mean it was meant as a joke, his main is a death knight after all, but ARGH ret pallies aren’t OP anymore!

So a long discussion was launched, in which I enumerated the many areas with which ret paladins are seriously lacking, about the lack of control, snares, gap closers, interrupts, and so forth, all the while kicking ass in AV.

At the end of my lengthy tirade, the same friend spoke up and said “That’s great and all, but I just watched you kill fifteen people in under three minutes, by yourself, without using major cooldowns, and you were fighting no less than three of them at a time.” (more…)

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Forgle Wargle Blurgle

Pilgrim Euripedes?

No thanks. I did every world event loyally, got the titles, the pets, went hunting for specific class/race combos, and then not one goddamn bag of candies dropped in February. Then I realized I just didn’t really care at all. Bah, whatever, and so forth.

Get the midsummer’s title, Flamekeeper, on the very off-chance I spec fire again, but other than that I don’t really bother with world events anymore.

What kind of title is reasonable for an arcane mage anyways? I switch between “of the Nightfall” and “the Undying” these days (by the way, the Black Drake is an amazingly handsome mount, highly recommended, you kinda feel like a Nazgul on that thing), but those are kinda “durr hurr look at me I raid and stuff”.

Buckle down, spam BGs until I get “of the Horde”? Grab Loremaster? Go titleless because it’s just a dorky vanity thing? Whip out “the Explorer” to make people underestimate me in battlegrounds?

Speaking of that, where are all the good male draenei mages? I can’t recall having seen even one since the launch of TBC. Literally every single male draenei mage I have come across has varied somewhere between “awful” and “not quite as awful”. (more…)

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