Spirit of the Seas: The WoW Festival I’d design

My eye was caught by this week’s WoW Insider Community Blog post in which we are asked to design our own WoW holiday.

So without further ado I would like to present The Spirit of the Seas, a festival in which the denizens of Azeroth give thanks to the Goddess of the Sea for her bounty of fishes and her kindness in sparing the lives of sailors. Azeroth after all has a lot of coast lines and boats a plenty so it surely makes sense that it’s people should pay their respects to the beautiful and fickle sea.

The main action would take place in four different beachfront locations.

For the Alliance:

  • Darkshore
  • Westfall

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For the Horde:

  • Echo Isles
  • Beach in Ghostlands

There would be faction appropriate lanterns hung on sticks pushed into sand, beach chairs and little stalls set up by the locals. Food in the shape of fish would be available through the festival as would cold beers or other suitably chilled beverages. All of the above would provide some sort of stat buff. Souvenirs could be purchased including a bucket and spade which for the duration of the festival would build a little sand castle on the ground in front of you. You can also purchase bubbles of stranglekelp as a sort of Festival long mini pet, a bit like the Green and Yellow balloons the Dark Moon Faire lets you buy and a blow up horse for paddling with because someone thought that inviting Goblins to set up a stall would be a good idea.

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There would also be increased activity on most beaches with little groups of revelers talking about how much they hope to see sea monsters and telling fantastical stories about giant whales and squid which eat ships for breakfast.

Events

The mainstay of the event would take place at 8pm server time every night. The relevant faction leader for each location would arrive by boat with much pomp and ceremony. They would then make a speech about how important the sea has been to the people who live along it’s coastlines. This segment would end with them dropping something personal into the water.

Next food and other offerings would be piled onto boats. These are then pushed out to sea and set alight as they drift as a tribute to the Goddess.

Watching the ceremony would award you the achievement “Burning Boats – There is no accounting for Tribute taste” – listen to a Faction Leader give thanks for the bounties of the sea.

There would also be another achievement for listening to all 4 Faction leaders within one Festival but this wouldn’t count towards the meta achievement.

As the distant flames flicker getting smaller and smaller as they sail towards the horizon, a wave of ghostly figures rises from the depths and wanders up onto the beach to mingle once against with the living. These are the souls of those lost at sea. Clicking on them brings up a dialogue box in which you can offer them drink and ask to hear their stories. Interacting with them has a chance to reward you with a broken shell which when used turns you into one of them for 10 minutes on a 30 minute cooldown, if you die with this effect up, your body breaks down into seaweed and shells just like the  Kvaldir in Northrend.

This awards you the achievement “Full Fathom Five” – talk to the drowned during the Spirit of the Seas Festival.

At around hourly intervals, Naga would attack the beaches trying to carry off festival goers. This would culminate in a giant shark attacking the boat races. “Maws II the revenge” seeks payback for the murder of his brother by eating as many sailors as possible. Killing him would net you currency and a chance to get your very own “Son of Maws 3D” mini pet, basically a really annoyed looking baby shark in a bubble.

You would also be awarded the achievement “We didn’t need a bigger boat after all” – Rid the world of Maws II albeit temporarily.

Other activities would include boat races. This would be mostly like ram racing but without the annoying fatigue component. Coming first in a race would reward you with a winner’s bag which would contain more pearls and possibly some random item. Taking part would give you an achievement naturally. The races would take place regardless of whether there were other players there or not, letting you compete against famous NPCs, generic locals or other players depending on who was ready for some hardcore sailing at the time. I’m sure for example Nat Pagle wouldn’t be able to resist showing up at such an event and I bet he’s a pretty mean rower. Rowing too hard would make you sea sick which would force the title <Sea Sick> on you for two hours. Whilst feeling slightly green you would be able to get optional achievements for things like killing 10 players in PvP and killing a raid boss.

For the duration of the Festival, all catches in salt water will yield a minimum of 2 fish per catch as the Goddess rewards her followers well. In fact sea life would be particularly bountiful at this time, increasing the drop rate of a certain turtle mount I haven’t got yet as well as increasing the numbers of turtles and fish swimming around.

Then as every Festival requires a bit where you have to run around the world picking stuff up, there would be secret watery shrines to the Goddess dotted around Azeroth. In order to make these hidden locations visible to all the clandestine clan who worship the Goddess every day rather than for two weeks a year have set a challenge. Are you willing to be ported up into the heavens and then to take a leap of faith into the turbulent waters below? On falling into the sea (all forms of slow fall are banned) you receive a vision of the Goddess in humanoid form (she appears as a Night Elf in Darkshore, a Bloodelf in Ghostlands etc) who thanks you for your tribute and blesses you. The blessing not only gives you 10 percent experience/rep buff but it also allows you to see what has been concealed. The Goddess returns you to the beach with a whispered memory lingering in your mind, visit her shrines and whisper a prayer there in return for pearls.

The location of said shrines would vary between being underwater, think Vashj’ir and nestled on the edge of beaches.  There would be achievements for visiting all those on the Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outlands, Northrend and Panderia as well one for completing the lot.

Items

The currency for the Festival would be pearls and these would be gained through daily quests for things such as boat racing, from visiting shrines and from participating in Maws kills.

(Some of the pearls can be opened and have a small chance to yield either the opposing faction’s boats or a giant crab mount which can travel on land, over water and on the sea floor and whilst you’re riding it, you can’t drown).

Mermaid tail – makes you swim faster and provides underwater breathing not to mention style by the bucket load (for Cymre).

Boats – These would come in four different flavours, one for each of the Festival locations but would go into your mount selection so a player assuming they play both sides could collect all four.

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Polymorph: Fish out of water. Pretty much as it says on the tin. Victims of polymorph turn into a rather miserable looking fish and flap around pathetically, perfect for adding insult to injury when you polymorph someone off their mount in PvP.

Drops

Mini Shark in a bubble pet (Maws 3D) Mr Harpy insists that it needs to have the proper old fashioned 3D glasses complete with red and green lens.

Broken Shell from the Souls lost at Sea. This turns you into a ghostly figure a bit like the Kvaldir in Northrend, with barnacles and sea weed for hair although you are still essentially recognizable as the race you were before the sea change started. Dying with the debuff up has the same effect as when the Kvaldir die, collapsing into shells and seaweed and particles of sand.

Examples of Achievement

  • “Burning Boats – There is no accounting for Tribute taste” – Listen to a Faction Leader praise the Goddess for the bounty of the sea
  • “Full Fathom Five” – talk to the drowned during the Spirit of the Sea Festival.
  • We didn’t need a bigger boat after all” – Rid the world of Maws II albeit temporarily.
  • “Castles in the Sand” – Build a Sand Castle on the following beaches during the Spirit of the Seas.

Title:

For completing the meta achievement there would be a title, <Pearl of the Goddess>.

I am what I am!

For her July Challenge, Ambermist over at Tastes like Battle Chicken wants to know something about us, the people behind the characters.

Now when I envisioned this post originally, it was going to be rather brief. I’m not great at talking about me, my Priests on the other hand, I can go on about forever and you should hear me on various literary periods I’m passionate about (oh, wait…you already have), but me… well that’s an area where I’m not 100 percent comfortable. I’ve tried in the past with a couple of blog posts and they were perhaps the hardest things I’ve ever written.

1# I like hats which is slightly strange because the vast majority of my characters never ever show helms.

Perhaps if I had awesome green Gnomish hair I’d like hats less outside Azeroth. Although you can’t tell in this picture, my  hair is a rather boring shade of very dark brown.

2# I find throwing things away a trifle hard. One day I might need those shocking orange buttons, my stress doll in the shape of a dairy cow or my giant cat mug with the chip in the rim, it might be unlikely but you never can tell.

3# Out of all the bits and bobs I’ve collected over the years there are a few things that I could never part with. These include Foxie, a rather battered toy fox who was presented to me when I was less than an hour old and my Grandfather’s books. I also have two coins, their patina is faded and you can barely make out their markings any more. To an outside observer they are worthless, just two more little objects to gather dust but to me they are irreplaceable. This is their story:

My great grandam–She was a witch.

Long though the shroud, it grows stitch by stitch
My great grandam — She was a witch.
Walter De La Mare

My Great Grandmother had a bit of a reputation in the village where she lived. People would go to her for love potions and when they were sick more often than not, it was her door they went to rather than going into town to see a Doctor. She used to laugh about she’d seen them all birth’d into the world and she’d see them wrapped in their shrouds too. In her eyes birth and death was women’s work, men were too weak to deal with all that blood.

She had this big glass jar in her sitting room and it used to fascinate us as children, packed as it was with coins. We’d never seen anyone put anything in but the number always seemed to be increasing. It was as if they were multiplying of their own accord. Now this particular summer, we (our happy band of wayward cousins) had been abandoned by our respective parents who were all off having a spa weekend at Baden Baden and left to fend for ourselves under the watchful eye of our Great Grandmother. The village children never wanted to play with us and would often stand at safe distance yelling things like “witch spawn” and “the devil’s gonna get you” whilst we climbed trees, fell in rivers and generally had a ball.

When we wandered back home, tired and hot that afternoon, my eldest cousin, our ringleader and chief decided that we all needed ice cream but there was one small snag. A quick rustle through our pockets didn’t produce anywhere close to enough money for us all to have one. His eyes then lit on the jar and it’s amazing replicating coins. Quashing our doubts as he was the eldest and clearly knew best, he opened the lid and poured a handful of money into his hand. As the light caught those coins, for a brief second they looked molten and I almost expected him to yelp in pain. Shaking my head, trying to suppress my fears, I followed them outside because even though I was scared, I still wanted an ice cream. One step, two steps and my eldest cousin tripped and fell, cutting his leg rather badly on the side of the path. As the blood poured down his leg we panicked. Now it might be coincidence, we were definitely clumsy children but to our superstitious minds back then it was definitely cause and effect. The jar was clearly cursed in some way and the village children were obviously right and our Great Grandmother was a witch.

We never got those ice creams. In fact we went as far as to block out that jar from our collective consciousnesses. We never told anyone what happened, we said he fell out of  a tree, something which happened so often as to be believable. We’d avoid being in the same room as the jar and if we had to, we’d fight over chairs which didn’t have a direct line of sight to it. Then one day, it was winter and there was snow everywhere, we were summoned. All of us, the whole bloodline ordered to my Great Grandmother’s house. We were outside building snow monsters and throwing snowballs with stones in them at the locals (I know, I know.. but they threw my second best doll on a garden bonfire and said that one day they’d burn me too) when my Mother popped her head around the door and said we had to come in. Fear flashed amongst us and with the self absorption of youth, we wondered if she knew we taken the coins, whether putting them back wasn’t enough. I thought my heart was going to explode when we saw that jar, not in it’s usual place but sitting on the table.

There was silence, which was unusual in any family gathering and then my Great Grandmother spoke. She talked of death, of dying and of the ferryman who carries the dead safely over the river. She talked of coins, of payment and debts that must be honoured. She told us that whatever we chose to believe as adults, that we should always remember where we came from. Then she told us to put our hand in the jar and pick two coins, two coins to keep safe so that when death comes as he always does, our fare is paid. I remember looking at my father, an engineer, a man who made his career in the military, thinking he’d be laughing, that I wouldn’t have to do it but his face was as a stone. I was so sure that something would grab me, that a broken mess of bone and sinew would reach for me as I grabbed the first two coins I could. It didn’t but I still have those coins and I’ll have them until the day I die.

I’m not sure what I believe these days, the rational side, the side I inherited from my father along with his eyes fights regularly with the other side, the part of me which sees things in shadows, which still trusts a little in her Great Grandmother’s Gods but I suppose that’s just a part of being human.

4# This is my favourite colour.

That beautiful sea green shade which always makes me think of margaritas, long hot days and the taste of salt on your lips.

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