A Nest of Harpys: The Race I’d like to Play

The Community Blog Topic this week posed a question near to my heart, Which Race would you like to see playable?

Harpies, naturally.

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Now, it’s not just bias on my part. I went and did some research on Wowwiki and what I discovered would suggest that Harpies could fit in perfectly as a player race.

Harpy legends claim that they are descend from a group of female night elves who betrayed Queen Azshara, and were cursed as punishment.

Given that Queen Azshara isn’t dead yet, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility that a tribe of Harpies, less savage than those currently found inhabiting Kalimdor and Northrend could be discovered. A tribe willing to put aside their differences long enough to attempt to thwart Azshara and seek revenge. Possibly more plausible than a bunch of worgen keeping their curse in check and deciding to play with the Night Elves. Given that Harpies are also 100 percent female it would present an interesting challenge to Blizzard. Add the first race which only has female models or attempt to find a way to present male harpies. Personally I would prefer the former but it would be an interesting decision if they went either way.

Back Story:

A small sisterhood of Night Elves who worshiped Aviana did something which Queen Azshara classed as a betrayal. Perhaps it was as small a crime as not seeing their Queen as a deity. In return she caused them all to take on the form that they all adored or perhaps Aviana allowed them to take on that shape temporarily but Azshara found a way of forcing them to stay like that for eternity.

Language:

Similar to that which the Night Elves speak with perhaps a few different words and inter-spaced with bird like noises.

/Flirts:

“If you’re really good, maybe I won’t eat you in the morning”.

Capital City:

If their ancestral home is the Mountains of Stonetalon, I would locate their capital up in the mountains towards the north. An area currently unreachable due to heavy storms.  In terms of visuals, it would be something a bit like the ruins of Ravenwind in Feralas. Night Elf architecture, slightly overgrown and decayed with nests hanging from the trees. It wouldn’t be the most beautiful city in Kalimdor but functional, if not slightly dirty. Harpies appear to be a bit like magpies so there would be lots of wind chimes, beads and bones hanging from the foliage.

Mounts:

Even though Harpies have wings and can flutter off the ground, they would still use mounts to cross long distances. For ground mounts, they ride feathery horses, their bright colours match their riders plumage. Flying mounts would be mutated Hippogriphs, possibly including those pretty pink and blue ones you find in Feralas but can’t ride at the moment.

Classes:

Given the variety of Harpies already in-game, casters seem the most likely candidates. Mage, Warlock (being turned into a flesh eating bird could potentially interest you in all sorts of dodgy stuff), Priest, Shaman. In addition to that, I’d go for rogues.

Racials:

As the mythological Harpies were spirits of sudden gusts of wind, their racials should reflect that.

  • Storm-winds: 2.5 min cooldown – The Harpy swoops upwards out of range of attacks for 10 seconds
  • Fleet-footed: 4 min cooldown which is shared with Storm-winds. The Harpy picks up a party member within 30 yards range, swooping upwards with them, protecting them from harm for 10 seconds.
  • Flickering Memory: Turn into the Night Elf you once were. Breaks in combat. Drains energy/mana the longer you keep it up.

They would also get a small bonus to haste being known for their speed and all.

Mini pets:

Tiny feathery foals with little wings which they flutter into the air with every so often. (Yes I was a My Little Pony girl once upon a time).

Visuals:

Now to get armour to fit, there would have to be a few changes. I imagine that their wings would be capable of folding up but that their tail feathers would just stick out through their clothing like all the other tailed races. Feather colour, hair and face features would all be customizable. I imagine they would be a bit like Female Night Elves only with lots of feathers. I would hope the hair styles would be fairly diverse, with decorations made from feathers and/or bones.

Quest chains:

As much as I dislike phased starting quests, that’s what I think I’d go for here. Given that Night Elves and thus probably Harpies do live a very long time, I’d begin at the beginning with a flashback to Queen Aszhara damning your character for daring to turn against her, quite possibly around the time she thought that getting into bed with demons was a good idea. You would begin as a Night Elf standing against the Queen and her madness and then a bit like the Worgen, you would wake up as a Harpy. Time would then shift forwards until your clan’s spies bring word of the chaos breaking beyond your stormy borders. There is dissent amongst the Harpies, some wish to keep out of the affairs of the Night Elves pointing out that they are no longer your  people. That no one else spoke up when Azshara unleashed her rage on you and your sisters but others feel enough is enough. You being both brave and quite possibly foolish decide to take matters into your own hands and explore the upheaval in the world below. You discover a world changed beyond all recognition, Azshara itself ruined by the Goblin incursion, Ashenvale scarred and burnt, Stonetalon twisted. Where you knew towns and temples, you find ruins and broken statues. It’s at that point you find a party of Night Elves struggling against unknown force and against your better judgement and with the words of your Elders ringing in your ears, you join the fight, helping turn the tide in the Sentinels favour. Naturally they aren’t best pleased to see you but give you the benefit of the doubt, binding you and taking you to Darnassus in chains rather than slaughtering you where you stand. It’s on being dragged into the Temple of the Moon, you discover your first ally. A Priestess who recognizes something in you, a reminder of the Night Elf you once were  and who speaks on your behalf, saving your life.

Tyrande and the Alliance are desperate for allies. You find yourself having to accompany a party of Night Elves led by Tyrande herself to your own hidden citadel. During the journey, you learn a bit more about the circumstances leading to both your transformation in the first place but also about some of those once Night Elves now Harpies your clan call Elders. A few assassinations, a couple of quests involving stealing artifacts and a small punch-up later, everyone who is still alive is now at least talking and the Harpies can start running around doing whatever quests/battlegrounds and dungeons they want.

The main purpose of the quest chain would be to fill in some of the in-game lore gaps and would be useful to both Night Elves and of course to the Harpies themselves.

You’re worth it: mark 2

Instead of helms, what if Blizzard added entire outfits to the store?

Would you pay 25 euros to wear this:

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Or this:

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Or this:
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or this:

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Or this:

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Imagine the possibilities.

I know I’d be swayed by the thought of wearing Queen Azshara’s wardrobe, especially if I could get it in a variety of colours. I might even role a male character if I could steal Lieutenant General Androrov’s outfit and run around with a dashing mustache.

Professor Teasel and the Highborne Soul Mirror

The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic is an interesting one this week.

For the title I thought we could use something along the lines of an Indiana Jones movie so:
Professor <insert name here> and the <insert your favourite Archaeology item or the one you’re still trying to get>

So I was wondering:

What’s so special about <?> (the item you used in the title)? Do you have an absolute favourite/s that you’ve gathered from the profession? Which ones, if any, are the bane of your existence? Show us pics illustrating those pieces, including an outfit if you use one.

Suggested by Cymre.

Now I fully admit Archaeology is up there with Fishing in terms of professions I dislike but wish I didn’t. That said, I do have a few favourite items.

Professor Teasel and the Highborne Soul Mirror

Mirrors and other such reflective surfaces have always fascinated me. The first film I ever watched in a cinema was Disney’s Snow White and despite being terrified of the wicked witch and refusing to eat apples for at least a fortnight in case they were poisoned it was the talking mirror that stuck with me. I remember being really disappointed that the one in my bedroom said nothing, wondering if I was doing it wrong.

Before the Great Sundering, the Highborne were known among the night elves for their arrogance, avarice and outlandish clothing. It was said that nothing was so pleasing to the gaze of the Highborne as themselves. These mirrors were created so that elven ladies could see their colorful garments in three full dimensions, yet the reflection often exaggerated the already depraved visage of the viewer.

I also love the idea of the mirror acting as a sort of portent of things to come, further twisting the features of the gazer. It’s the Picture of Dorian Gray for the Highborne. For Teasel it serves two purposes, firstly as a reminder of the destruction that arrogance, greed and vanity can bring and secondly as a handy PvP tool.

With the aid of this macro it can function a bit like the forthcoming Spectral Guise for Priests, although you need to be both a Druid and a Nightelf.

So lets say someone is beating up on you, you cyclone them and use the macro. It puts you into cat form, uses the mirror and then shadowmelds you. From shadowmeld you stealth and wander off, ideally behind a pillar, wall or other handily placed architectural feature. They’re left with a slightly shadowy cat trying to figure out what on earth happened to the Druid they were smacking around. It doesn’t work on everyone, but it works on enough in battlegrounds and world pvp to be worth it.

Professor Erinys and the Chest of Tiny Glass Animals

I realise this doesn’t sound like a particularly exciting movie but bear with me please. The favour text for this item reads as follows:

Remarkably, you managed to find an entire menagerie of these elven glass animals in their original storage container. While some of the animals have understandably suffered cracks and chips, it is clear that the head of the stag has been deliberately severed. The initial ‘T’ is carved on the bottom of the chest.

Now there are two reasons why I love this item. First of all, I had a glass menagerie of my own when I was small. My two favourites were a little glass pig and a beautifully delicate swan. 

My second reason is slightly more WoW related. (I noticed this morning that Navi has a completely different and more accurate take on this little chest so make sure you read hers too).

When I first dug up this battered chest and saw the initial carved on the bottom, I thought nothing of it. There must be hundreds of Night Elf names starting with a “T” but as I read the rest of the text a picture began to emerge in my head. I remembered what I’d read of the War of the Ancients. This passage in particular:

But before Krasus could answer, from the battlefield came a terrible cry. As they all turned toward its source, they witnessed Archimonde with one arm around the giant stag’s head, his other hand twisting his foe’s muzzle to the side. Already the stag’s head turned at an awful angle, hence the cry.

Krasus leapt to his feet. “No! He must not!”

It was already too late. The demon, his expression still indifferent, tightened his hold further.

A tremendous cracking sound echoed through the region, one that, for just a brief moment, caused all other noises to cease.

P637 of Richard A. Knaak’s book “War of the Ancients: The Sundering”.

I imagine that as Archimonde twisted Malorne’s neck, the head of that little glass stag cracked and broke even though it was many miles away still safe inside the box. As for who the chest belonged to, well that’s simple. Given that stories link both Elune and Ysera of the Dreaming with Malorne, I like to believe that the “T” stands for Tyrande, High Priestess of the Moon and mother of her people.

Now all I have to do is hunt down The Last Relic of Argus and that’s me and Archaeology at peace with each other until MoP is released.