Running Away – A Short Story

Running away is easy, it’s the coming back which is hard.

“Here”, the once Priestess took the bottle offered by the Undead. The liquid was cold with an acid tang, burning like shame as it slid down her throat. She shook her head slightly, unused to the alcohol, feeling colour rush to her cheeks as the miscreants of the Dark Moon Faire surveyed her with amusement.

“So”, this time the voice belonged to a fellow Night Elf, although this one clearly hadn’t been anywhere near Darnassus for a long time. “What are you running from? Oh don’t be shy dear, we’re all running from something. Me, it’s not my fault that he died from a dagger in the back. No one joins the Faire unless they’ve got a guilty secret, something dark and delicious hidden inside just waiting to be unwrapped like a square of shiny chocolate or a Winter Veil gift”.

“I’m not running from the Law”, her tone was more judgmental than intended or wise. Once a Priestess of Elune, perhaps always a Priestess.

“Poor you”, this time it was a Gnome that spoke. “Running from yourself is the worst kind of running. You think you’ve found space, a moment’s peace from the demons in your head so you collapse on the grass, take a deep breath and then you see them, tramping across the meadow all tendrils and tentacles. You can’t outrun you…not even with Gnomish engineering. We’re afraid of the hand on our shoulders, the handcuffs of iron, the noose, the brand. You…you’re afraid of you”.

Drawing herself to her full height, the Priestess wrapped the shadows around herself like a shroud, breathing in the darkness to steady her thudding heart. “Hit a nerve, huh?” The Undead and the alcohol were back, “I’m not great on advice but if you can’t escape the monsters in your head, maybe it’s time to confront them. Although if they’re real demons as opposed to metaphorical ones, you might want to go somewhere else before letting them out. Wouldn’t want collateral damage now would we”.

The bottle, still seeming full despite having made many circles of the fire lit crowd found it’s way back into her hand. Closing her eyes, she let her mind wander back to the days before. The taverns after battles, drinking to forget and at memorials, drinking to remember. Those she had saved and those she couldn’t. The losses like knives in her skin, branding her with failure. The lovers, gone but not forgotten. Pained, dust in Theramore, broken bodies everywhere, blood pouring through her fingers as she tried to channel the light. Then rage taking her unaware, catching in her throat, squatting on her tongue so the only notes spilling forth were birthed in tendrils of shadow, searing all before her.

She recalled asking those around her, how they dealt with so much death. Her sisters in blood and her sisters in arms had shrugged, smiled and carried on. Her sister, once a Sentinel, now a Death Knight had sighed not meeting her eyes, her never still fingers sliding up and down, down and up her rune blade. Her lover, a Sentinel still had laughed, kissed, pulled her down into the bed ignoring the blood smears on her armour, immune it seemed to the stench of death surrounding them. Returning to Darnassus in search of answers, the Priestesses there, safe in the Temple miles away from skin puckered with stab wounds, slashed by axes, burnt by fel flames told her the old lies. Discipline, focus, Elune’s work…watch words to live by, if you’re miles from the front line.

The final straw, it wasn’t so much a straw as a moment’s clarity. The enemy changed, Horde, Old Gods, Monsters of every stripe and colour but the injured and the dead did not. From soldiers who mostly knew what they signing up for to children caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, her magic had soothed, healed and given life. She had fought until she could barely stand, until her voice was hoarse with whispered prayers, she had given everything in service to her Goddess and in return had asked for nothing.

Until that day, having collapsed in bed exhausted and drained of magic, she awoke filled with rage and a shadowy emptiness. Had, dragging one foot in front of the other walked away from her responsibilities, from her lover and her friends, from her sister.

Running away is easy, it’s the coming back which is hard.

 

Yes, beneath the illusion there might be some grains of personal truth in this. Madness can and does sneak up upon all of us, it hides in the most innocent of places, twists things beyond recognition and makes monsters out of memories. Post-natal depression is to put it politely a Bitch. 

Merrily We roll along into the last days of Pandaria

The expansion is so close, we can almost reach out and touch it. Am I organised? Well I’ve been tasked with planning Garrisons for all mine and Mr Harpy’s alts which had led to lots of happy little lists and diagrams but I suspect I’ll still be changing things right up until Warlords is live. We won’t be starting leveling in any proper fashion until Friday night due to Mr Harpy’s work schedule so from the expansion going live til then, I’ll just be setting up Garrisons for all the alts and doing any final preparations like making sure we have enough easy to eat food.

I have gold, more I think than I have had at the start of any other expansion but probably still less than most people.

I also managed to get myself a bone white primal raptor because given that we can’t fly in Draenor clearly I needed a new ground mount:

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So that’s another thing off the list.

Finally and perhaps more importantly, I’ve actually got around to buying the expansion and using my free 90. Therefore I’d like to introduce Merrymaker Merrily, fire Mage and all around pest.

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She’s at her merriest when setting other sentient beings on fire, is looking forward to Ashran and hopes her Garrison comes with some sort of ceremonial fireplace for the immolating of invaders and cremating of critters. Some how I suspect she’s going to be disappointed. In fact the only thing I need to get done by the 13th is come up with a suitably fiery transmog for her, perhaps incorporating the blazing wings.

Dorrie and the Quest for Green Fire

As the next patch draws closer I’m ever so slightly in panic mode. There is one thing I’d love to do before every changes once again and that’s level my little Warlock to 90 and give the Green Fire quest a shot. So in the next month can I get a level 39 Gnome to 90 plus acquire enough gear and then learn to play her well enough to get shiny green flames? I suspect not but there is no harm in trying.

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Also if you didn’t read the Dorrie books whilst growing up, keep an eye out for them because they are wonderful. Thanks to them I spent my childhood wishing I could ride a broomstick and have my very own cauldron.

Green grow the rushes oh: May’s ROYGBiV entry

The colour for May is green, the colour of envy. We associate it with spring and new shoots sprouting but also with decay as it’s the colour of mould and drowned flesh.

I knew right from the start that I had to use the Jinxed Hoodoo skin because it’s a piece dear to my heart. Two of my Druids are currently sporting it as part of their transmogrifications and I’ve always intended farming it on my Monk. At first I thought about just creating something for my other Druid, the one I plan on getting to 90 and transferring from her old forgotten server before Warlords goes live but then I got side tracked by that sword and realised that my Monk was in danger of ending up envious of the Druids.

Despite my lack of love for yellow, I’ve always preferred these shoulders to the original and so it made sense to  use them to tie together those pale vanilla shades in the kilt and the detailing on the bodice.

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  • Crown of the Forest Lord
  • Mantle of Autumn
  • Jinxed Hoodoo Skin
  • Bracers of Rolling Fields
  • Duskwing Handwraps
  • Moss Cinch
  • Jinxed Hoodoo Kilt
  • Swampwalker Boots
  • Ethereum Phase Blade
  • Councilor’s Sceptor

I shall ride Midnight

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Apparently Attumen does drop a mount after all… After so many Karazhan runs I’ve lost count those fickle Gods of RNG decided that I should be rewarded for my persistence. Now I think I need a suitably “midnight” ensemble perhaps with flashes of red to match.

Dorrie the not so little Witch

I went through a brief phase of Warcraft burn-out but am slowly rediscovering my love of the game thanks to my little Warlock. I suspect I might have to redesign her face post Warlords but I’m having tremendous fun dotting things to death.

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My plan was to follow in the footsteps of my original character, also a Warlock, at least as much as I remember where I quested back in 2005. Darkshore has long been one of my favourite zones, one I’ve skirted through post Cataclysm but according to my achievements never completed and that journey is proving surprisingly tough.

The devastation wrought on my much beloved zone along with the corpses of favoured quest givers has left me growling at my screen, wishing I could slaughter those responsible over and over again.
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From those first few quests in which you find yourself hunting for survivors in the surf, finding your arrival is often only seconds too late, the zone sucks you in with it’s storytelling. Plus even now, in it’s broken, burnt and battered state, there is a beauty to it.
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Dorrie is now level 20, proud owner of a slightly singed Demonic horse and looking forward to her next challenge. I’m semi tempted to have a go at soloing Shadowfang Keep to get her first scythe from the Warlock quest. I imagine this is doable with the capable assistance of her faithful Voidwalker and should be fun to try. Ultimately, her aims are green fire, a proper witch hat and one of those scary Demons with lots of arms. It will be interesting to see if she gets there, especially as I don’t intend purchasing flying skills on her.

The Gnome and the Changeling

I know I’m terrible at dealing with change and no amount of expensive courses my employers send me on will alter that. Growing up I lacked stability, having to shift house and school far too often in the wake of my father’s job and it’s left me craving solid foundations with the bare minimum of surprises and spur of the moment changes.

On the back of this, I was always worried about my reaction to the remodeled WoW characters but now that I’ve seen my Gnomes as they might be courtesy of WoWhead, I’ve found myself desperately wishing that instead of a 90 boost, we were getting free character redesigns. I’m fine with my rarely ever played rogue (on the left hand side) because she has a decent mouth but the other two….

“It’s never my own little daughter,
It’s never my own,” she said;
“The witches have stolen my Anna,
And left me an imp instead.

    “Oh, fair and sweet was my baby,
Blue eyes, and hair of gold;
But this is ugly and wrinkled,
Cross, and cunning, and old.

From the Changeling by John Greenleaf Whittier

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I tended towards the serious Gnome face, adult, mature and sensible which is not what these new images convey. In fact I’m struggling so much with this because I hate being negative. I want to be excited, to be enthusiastic about the changes but the way my characters look is important to me, especially with the long established ones. Yes, things change. I definitely don’t look the same as I did when I was four or even fourteen anymore but looking back at those photos, you can still tell it’s me. The shape of my face, the curve of my lips, the blue of my eyes and the way in which I wrinkle my nose like a cat when I yawn. I could understand it more if I could recognize my evil little ganking Gnomes in these images but I can’t.

I’ve been trying to level Dorrie the little Warlock as a side project but now I’m struggling to motivate myself because I don’t want her to go from this:

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to this:

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Although I she’s only got to level 13 so I suppose I could start from again from scratch.

Sproutling might have to undergo a race change because my evil little Priest does not look this, although at least she has Shadowform to hide behind.

Sproutling

It’s the mouth that I struggle with, reminding me as it does of an unfortunate boyfriend whose lips were equally rubbery and wide. Her hair on the other hand is fabulous. Possibly I will get used to the look but it’s left me decidedly nervous for the rest of the unveilings. I know there are plenty of you who will think I’m being ridiculous and perhaps you’re right but I’m the sort of person who has a panic attack if anyone suggests the crazy idea of going to the milk aisle before the bread aisle in the supermarket.

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