Solstice Challenge: Days 13 through 17

Twenty-One Days, starting today, December 1, of things in Azeroth of Light Screenshots, from now until December 21. This works for both sides of the equator, seeing how we’re getting darker days in the North, the South is getting lighter. The only hitch I will add is you have to add a caption or haiku to your screenshot.
The topic/theme is light, and all its incarnations.

Day 13

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In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,

earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;

snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,

in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Christina Rosetti

Day 14WoWScrnShot_121213_172404

It will not go out of my mind that if we pass this post and lantern, either we shall find strange adventures or else some great changes of our fortunes.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Day 15WoWScrnShot_121413_235659

I was grounded
while you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth
you cut through lies
I saw the rain-dirty valley
you saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent
you saw the whole of the moon!

The Waterboys, “The Whole of the Moon”.

This song is forever associated in my mind with the only occasion in my teenage years when my Father lost his temper with me. We were in Malta visiting family and I was roughly 14 or 15, determined to have fun and not be shackled to my Mother. Somewhere on the backstreets of Valletta I met a boy named Tamlyn and driven by a love of fairy stories promptly fell into his arms. We were in a darkened alley, him singing along to this song, playing on a stereo drifting down from an open window, when they found us. My Father has cold blue eyes at the best times and on this particular night, they were enough to make my “hero” take a step back, let go of my arm and then scurry off to let me “face the music” alone.

Day 16WoWScrnShot_121513_225511

THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

Alfred Noyes

(Ok, ok, it’s a wall not a road but…….)

Day 17

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My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Solstice Challenge – Days 5 through 7

Twenty-One Days, starting today, December 1, of things in Azeroth of Light Screenshots, from now until December 21. This works for both sides of the equator, seeing how we’re getting darker days in the North, the South is getting lighter. The only hitch I will add is you have to add a caption or haiku to your screenshot.
The topic/theme is light, and all its incarnations.

 

Day 5

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Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Personally this poem is one which always strikes a cord with me. My Mother’s eldest Brother died around 16 years ago and his descent into darkness was not an easy one. By the time he took his last breath, the disease had taken everything from him, his memories, his voice, his sight.. leaving nothing but agonizing pain barely dampened by medicines and prayers. As I was reading English Literature at the time, my Grandmother asked me to read this at the memorial service and now whenever I reread it, the years fall away and I’m back standing by a gaping void in the earth, wet with rain and tears, attempting to project my emotions into the words and not my voice.

Day 6

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The Temple was cool and dark, the only noise that of rippling water and yet every so often, sunbeams would dart in through painted glass, flickering across the stones and dancing across the pools, bringing life to the cloistered halls.

Day 7

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Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides;
And, broken ghosts with glowworms in their heads,
The things of light
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

Dylan Thomas

My love affair with Dylan Thomas started many moons ago when as a 13 year old, I discovered a battered copy of Under Milk Wood lurking underneath a bunch of magazines on a Charity Shop shelf. A few minutes and 10p later it was mine along with several dubious horror stories and an interesting romance. Curled up on the sofa, two or three pages in, I was hooked. Even now, whenever my Grandmama or Mother are bemoaning someone’s behaviour, a naughty little voice pops up in my head whispering “

Oh, what'll the neighbours say, what'll the neighbours...

If you haven’t read Under Milk Wood, I’d definitely recommend it and now, I’m off to see if I can make a character called Gossamer:

In Butcher Beynon's, Gossamer Beynon, daughter, schoolteacher,
dreaming deep, daintily ferrets under a fluttering hummock
of chicken's feathers in a slaughterhouse that has chintz
curtains and a three-pieced suite, and finds, with no surprise,
a small rough ready man with a bushy tail winking in a paper
carrier.

IntPiPoMo – With Pleasure Domes and Sunless Seas

So I’d almost decided that I wasn’t going to bother posting my last shots because December had all but snuck up on me but a chance remark in guild chat provided the inspiration I was lacking. On route to kill the Lich King someone started quoting Coleridge and in that moment, this post was born. So with apologies to the poet and thanks to a guild mate, I’d like to present the Azeroth version of Kubla Khan which takes me from picture number 40 all the way to 50.
 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
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A stately pleasure-dome decree:
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Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
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Through caverns measureless to man
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   Down to a sunless sea.
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So twice five miles of fertile ground
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With walls and towers were girdled round;
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And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
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Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
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And here were forests ancient as the hills,
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Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
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The Bridge at Dun Baldar

Every time I end up fighting at the Bridge to Dun Baldar, my mind wanders to a certain poem we had to read at school so with apologies to Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay and to brave Horatius, I’d like to present a snippet of my version.

Great Drek’Thar of Alterac, by the ancestors he swore
That the great house of Frostwolf should suffer wrong no more.
By the ancestors he swore it, and named a trysting day,
And bade his messengers ride forth,
East and West and South and North,
To summon his array.

East and West and South and North the messengers ride fast,
And tower and town and cottage have heard the trumpet’s blast.
Shame on the false Frostwolf who prefers to roam,
When Drek’thar of Alterac is on the march for home!

Many many verses later

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When the gnome mends his armour, and trims his helmet’s plume,
And the nightelf’s shuttle merrily goes flashing through the loom;
With weeping and with laughter still is the story told,
How well Wildberri kept the bridge in the brave days of old.

(albeit from 30 yards behind any real action but everyone knows healers win the game!)

As an aside, this is how everyone should pvp, less trying to avoid it and allowing people to cap flags rather than dying defending objectives to buy time for your team.

Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods,

It’s not a bad motto for life in general either.

“But war is a bitter bugle”

Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of the glowing globe of flame heading straight for the beachhead. Somehow the juxtaposition of the elegant ship, it’s sails furled sliding across the moon with the harsh bolts of the tower and the spiked defenses made me think of a few lines by Charles Causley.

But war is a bitter bugle
That all must learn to blow
And it didn’t take long to stop the song
In the dirty Italian snow..
O war is a casual mistress
And the world is her double bed
She has a few charms in her mechanised arms
But you wake up and find yourself dead.

from his poem “A Ballad for Katharine of Aragon

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Almost at the end of the quest line for the Operation: Shieldwall, I find myself wondering “What is worth fighting for?” Also I have to admit I preferred Anduin in the days of Lady Prestor when he just stood there as a small but quiet child to his current teenage brat behavior. Constantly running away from his protection detail… pff Jaina should turn him into a sheep for a bit.

 

Somehow from there, I ended up contemplating Sky Admiral Rogers, Sprout’s new role model (possibly because my wandering brain swapped her name for war in the previously mentioned lines). Not only did she tell Admiral Taylor to put his “big boy pants on” but her desire to weaponize everything and anything which might help turn the tide of war speaks volumes to a Gnome!

Plus she’s a bit genocidal, which probably means she’s going to die at some point in the not to distant future so we should revel in her whilst we can.

Those green dirtbags down there plagued your homes in Southshore, laid siege to your children in Redridge, and massacred every man, woman and child in Theramore.

It. Is. PAYBACK TIME! (from the quest text)

Although Thrall did something similar to unarmed Alliance in the Goblin start zone and he’s still alive and kicking so who knows.

What will survive of us is love

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I’ve had a love affair with Philip Larkin ever since I first read “This Be the Verse” aged around 14 and rebellious in my purple steel toe capped Doc Martens. His words twisted around in my head,  wrapping themselves secure so that even now, I can still recall whole verses.

The second I saw this dinosaur burial ground the lines from “An Arundel Tomb” rose unbidden to the surface, “what will survive of us is love”.

Time has transfigures them into 
Untruth. The stone fidelity 
They hardly meant has come to be 
Their final blazon, and to prove 
Our almost-instinct almost true: 
What will survive of us is love.

Philip Larkin.

Perhaps they hated each other and just happened to die on very fertile ground, maybe some prankster Goblin thought “let’s pop a rose in the hand of this skeleton” or possibly, just possibly, there is some real truth in that last line. Somehow, given that it’s Valentine’s Day on Thursday this seemed appropriate, if not a little maudlin.

A heartfelt Thankyou

I haven’t exactly been having the best day today. Work is pretty stressful at the moment due to a mix of policy changes by the Government (i.e. people who don’t actually have to implement them) and good old internal drama. Being yelled at, even when you sympathize with the person doing the yelling gets old fast. So I came home, slammed a few doors and checked my email, whereupon I found this gem:

Erinys

A cutesy little gnome is she

Who packs a massive punch

Don’t make her mad, because she spits

That wretch would steal your lunch!

Her blog is really interesting

I’m sure you have all heard.

Though shy at first, her warmth shines through

In every written word.

sent by Navimie of the Daily Frostwolf.

Now Sprout and I may have had the odd sentence written about us, mostly containing large quantities of swearwords but no one has ever written us a poem before. This cheered me up immensely, now I’m actually smiling and contemplating going and beating up some Horde,  so thank you Navi!!!

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