Category Archives: stories

TreeStory: Contest Winner!

The winner of the “400,000 Site Views” contest was Bloedhoorn, a tauren resto/kitty druid. This sort of presented a unique challenge to me because it meant I could write a story where druids were the focus, which I hadn’t done before. Anyways, as the character was being described to me, I was informed that Bloedhoorn spent a lot of time in tree form jumping around, dancing, and waving, which “comes naturally to being a Tree.” I really liked that last comment so much that I tried to see if I could base a whole story off of it. I also tried to incorporate Bloedhoorn’s love of companion pets. Hopefully I pulled it all off:

Bloedhoorn was in the form of a chocoloate-colored dire raven, flying high, high above Hellfire Peninsula. He rarely went to the Outland these days, so it was an unusual excursion, but he had recently been informed that a young druid from his home village who was following in his hoofsteps was in the area, and as he knew her family he wanted to drop by and see if she needed any assistance.

He circled Thrallmar a few times and then saw what he was looking for: A tree. A treant, to be more specific. Practicing her spells; wooden hands glowing with energy. Bloedhoorn smiled to himself and flew down and alighted next to her. He nodded his avian head and squawked out “Songlark, I presume?”

The treant looked at him curiously. It was notoriously difficult for a druid to speak much while in the form of a tree, especially if said druid was newer to the art and unused to having, quite literally, a wooden mouth. So instead, Songlark made a sort of grunting noise and nodded.

Bloedhoorn chuckled and effortlessly shifted into his tauren form. “I am Bloedhoorn,” he said, and bowed. “You may not know me, but I know your family well. I heard you were here and came to see if you needed any advice from a more experienced druid.”

Songlark digested this information and and forced her stiff mouth to work, although she was sure the words came out sounding a little funny: “It is nice to meet you.” She bowed back, leaves atop her head quivering.

“I see you were practicing before I arrived,” said Bloedhoorn. “How is that going for you?”

Songlark shifted back into her tauren form, where she would have more freedom to speak naturally. “I’m not sure,” she then admitted. “I don’t feel like I am doing all I could be. I know my basic spells– the ones all druids know. But very few tricks beyond that. I worry I may be… a hindrance…”

Bloedhoorn nodded. “I remember feeling that way, when I was where you are at in your studies,” he said. “We have some things to practice, then. But first, we must get out of this wasteland and go somewhere more fitting. Come!” he shifted into his stormcrow form, but Songlark remained stationary, looking a bit sheepish. “I… have not learned to fly, yet.”

Without a word Bloedhoorn then turned into a sleek cheetah. “No worries,” he said, as the younger druid followed his lead. “Now, come!”

The two dashed out of Thrallmar, and not much later they were among the somewhat ethereal woods of Terokkar Forest, both in tree form. “It is easier for a druid healer to practice when among real trees, where we can pull on the inspiration of nature,” Bloedhoorn explained. “Now, Songlark, I will show you a trick. We specialize in healing someone’s wounds slowly, over time, however, in an emergency, we can draw these energies together to heal all at once.” He was about to demonstrate when suddenly he paused. He thought he’d seen something move, out of the corner of his eye…

But then it was gone again. Chalking it up to a bird flitting about, Bloedhoorn prepared to cast a spell. But then, wait! There it was again! Something was moving in the forest.

“What is it?” Songlark asked, but Bloedhoorn held up a branch to silence her. Slowly he scanned the area with his eyes. Nothing but trees.


One of them was moving.

A treant! Or more accurately…

“Another druid?” said Bloedhoorn quietly to himself.

It was! Another druid in tree form, watching them quietly. Songlark saw it as well, and the two tauren stared at it. It was downright unusual to see a druid in tree form out in the field, especially alone. And Bloedhoorn, being fairly well-traveled, immediately recognized it as not just any druid, but a Night Elf druid. He relayed this information to Songlark, who gasped. “Does she want to fight?”

“I would have a hard time believing that,” said Bloedhoorn. “One does not do much damage in the form of a treant, as I am sure you have learned already. No, let us take this slowly.”

He took a few steps toward the other tree, and waved. She waved back.

Bloedhoorn pointed to himself and Songlark, and then bowed. He was trying to get across the message that they were friendly, since he knew they would not be able to speak the same language. The other tree watched them intently, and seemed to understand what was being said because she nodded.

Bloedhoorn then pointed to the other tree and shrugged. It was his way of asking what she was doing there.

The other tree pointed to herself and said, “Tamaryn.” It must have been her name. Then, she began a series of wild gesticulations that absolutely baffled the two tauren. She scratched at her face with her leafy hands, then made a paddling motion, then pointed at the surrounding forest, and finally slumped over in a look of despair. When these gestures were met with a confused look on the faces of the other trees, she repeated them.

“What’s she trying to say?” asked Songlark.

“I don’t know, but I think maybe it has to do with it raining orange frogs?” Bloedhoorn guessed. “These night elf types are very unusual.”

“I can see that,” said Songlark.

Tamaryn appeared exasperated at this point, but then suddenly her face lit up, as though she had an idea. Suddenly she shifted into a sleek, dark bluegreen panther.

The two tauren jumped. Such an action was potentially threatening, afterall, since the form of a cat was frequently used to fight. But before they could react, the other druid turned back into a tree and pressed her hands very close together, as though trying to point out that something was being squeezed together… or perhaps…

“I KNOW!” Songlark said. “She is trying to say something is very small.”

“Hrmm…” said Bloedhoorn thoughtfully, his tree-face scrunched up in thought.

Tamaryn repeated this series of actions a few times: turning into a panther, then making the “small” gesture, and then pointing at the forest. And all of a sudden, it dawned on him.

“Small cat. She’s lost a small cat!” said Bloedhoorn. “And it is hiding in the forest somewhere. Perhaps she wants us to help look.”

Bloedhoorn held up a finger to the other druid, signaling her to wait. Then he turned to Songlark. “You use the swiftness of the cheetah to scout around this area. I’ll look from the sky.”

Songlark nodded and shifted into cheetah form. As she did so, Bloedhoorn became a stormcrow and flew high into the sky. As he hovered there and scanned the area with sharp eyes, he found several questions entering his head, the main one being why the other druid did not look through flight herself. He could sense that she was just as powerful and trained as he was. There must have been some reason why she was staying in treant form.

He flew a bit east; he saw Songlark searching every nook and cranny below him and Tamaryn also looking– still as a tree. Realizing this might take a while, Bloedhoorn took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to imagine that he was a pet cat that belonged to a treant. Where might he hide…

…in the branches of another tree, perhaps?

Swooping lower a bit, he flew between the trees of the Terokkar woods. He kept his eyes wide and his ears open, and it wasn’t long before he heard it. A quiet, barely perceptible “Mew…”

Immediately he stopped, wheeled around, and spotted a small white kitten perched atop a very tall tree. Its eyes were wide and it was staring rather nervously at the ground that was far below as it mewed helplessly. Smiling to himself, Bloedhoorn alighted on a branch next to it, gently took it by the scruff of its neck in his beak, and then fluttered down to the ground, where the night elf druid was waiting.

Tamaryn’s face lit up and she cheered as Bloedhoorn set the kitten down, which immediately ran up and hid in the branches atop Tamaryn’s head. A series of words tumbled out of her mouth, which Bloedhoorn didn’t understand, but which he assumed by her expression were words of gratitude, so he bowed at her.

Tamaryn bowed back, and then with a last wave, she walked away into the misty woods– still as a treant.

Bloedhoorn returned to tauren form and watched her go, rather mystified. At that moment, Songlark dashed up as a cheetah. “You found the cat?”

“Yes, it has been returned to its owner. I know why she was in tree form now; the cat appears to live on her head.” He scratched his scalp.

“Huh…” Songlark shifted into tauren form herself. “Well, that was an, uh… unexpected little diversion.”

Bloedhoorn chuckled. “What did I tell you, the Night Elves are a bit odd. You can’t blame them really; they’re purple, afterall. Now, where were we…”

I Would Walk 500 Miles and I Would Walk 500 More…

I’m pretty sure we’re all clear on the fact that I enjoy rolling hunters. I can’t help it. It’s relaxing. It’s nostalgic.

Alongside this, it means I have tamed a lot of pets in my WoW career. The level 10 pet is very important to me, because I consider it to be the pet that particular hunter will have their entire life– oh sure, they’ll tame others, and may even use others in raids or PvP, but all of my hunters keep their first pet.

And one of my little quirks is that I enjoy taming the… more challinging to obtain pets.

I’ve ran level ten Hordies to Teldrassil. Twice. Once for the owl and once for a cat.

I’ve ran a low level Hordie to Azuremyst for the moth.

I’ve ran a level 10 Hordie to Dun Morogh for the snow leopard.

I’ve ran a level 10 Alliance character to Durotar for a raptor.

A good chunk of those were on PvP servers.

I’ve also done safer but still lengthy trips on other characters: dragging a Tauren to Eversong Woods or Trolls and Blood Elves to Mulgore. (It has occurred to me that an unusually high percentage of my lowbie hunters are Horde. Hmm.)

This was all in my mind yesterday when I did something crazy and made a character on one of my non-“Home Servers”. Thus it was that I made a female tauren hunter (yes I have a billion of those, shuddup, Azeroth needs more, dangit! /shifty eyes) on Wyrmrest Accord, so I could say hello to Faeldray and Tzia, two people who have been a part of the Aspect of the Hare commenting community for a very, very long time and who both have awesome blogs of their own.

We hung out for a while and did some really nifty RP (which I may talk about later, in its own post), but always in the back of my mind as I did the tauren starter quests for the umpteenth time was what pet I should get. It had to be special, something that I could tie in to my developing character story, and preferably something I hadn’t ever tamed before.

Then I had an idea.

Snoeken (Dutch for “Pike”, albeit the fish and not the weapon =P) went on a little adventure.

First, the ride from Thunder Bluff to Orgrimmar.


Taking the zeppelin to Undercity…


And getting on a different zeppelin and going to a very scary place for a level 10:


Howling Fjord.

Then came the ceremonial removing of all the clothes (except the shirt and pants– I’m a decent tauren!) and a deep breath…


And then the corpse hop began.


So, rez timer, we meet again.


The run to Utgarde Keep wasn’t that bad though, and I soon found myself where I needed to be…


Well well well, what’ve we got here?



Brand New Birdie:


The fishertauren and her sea hawk:


My new druid-birdie has a few bugs, it would appear. He flies extremely low to the ground (as opposed to, say, an owl, who flies much higher), and when he flies after you, he remains leaned back in his “hovering” position. The way a druid would look if it was just flying in place. I’ve actually had this happen to me in my druid flight form, if I time myself carefully and jump right when I enter flight form. But it seems to be a perpetual problem for the Daggercap Hawk, and it looks kind of silly. In addition, he doesn’t “highlight” when you click on him, the way other things do.

Regardless of these issues, he is a gorgeous pet– and certainly unique, as well!

Now we just have to cross our fingers and hope Blizzard eventually fixes these issues, rather than conveniently deciding that a level 10 hunter shouldn’t have a bird from Northrend =P

What Happens When You Combine Two of My Favorite Things

The desert stretched far and wide under the young druid’s hooves and she found herself sighing at this wasteland that she had come to. The goblins had plenty of tasks for young entrepreneurs, but few would help to test and grow her skill with the healing arts, which was her focus– no, most of the goblins asked for bandits to be chased off and roving animal bands to be culled.

She shifted effortlessly into the form of a dust-colored lion and stretched, as she did so briefly inspecting her claws– they were not as sharp as they could be. Neither were her teeth. She hadn’t studied feral combat at all, and she knew that as time went on and she dealt with more and more dangerous foes, this form would no longer cut it. She sighed again, shifted back into her tauren form, and muttered a brief prayer to the Earthmother as she strode into Gadgetzan’s inn.

That was when she saw him; a blood elf with a red lion’s mane of hair and a large, beautiful cream-hued moth fluttering next to his head. There was something about this elf that shook the druid as unusual, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.

She thought for a bit, wondering if she should approach him; these blood elves were somewhat unpredictable in their actions and many of her comrades at home in Mulgore had muttered their quiet disapproval of having to work with them. Still, she figured it was worth a shot, since there was no one else around at this time except for the goblins, and so she sat down next to him on the bench.

He immediately glanced up at her with expressive bluegreen eyes as she attempted to word her request in Orcish, a language which she still did not have a strong command of. “Hello, sir… I am a healer… would you like my help?” Mentally she berated herself for not being able to word that as eloquently as her mind cwas able to, but her thoughts were soon interrupted by the blood elf chuckling and responding– in Taurahe, no less– “I certainly wouldn’t mind some company.”

The druid found herself taken aback at his use of her language. She blinked as he continued, “Did you have anything in particular that you aimed to do while here? I have spent a lot of time here myself; I’m sure the goblins are sick of me by now.” He laughed a bit again– a friendly, good-natured laugh.

The tauren studied the blood elf; here she noticed what it was about him that had flagged him as “unusual”. Namely, instead of wearing the bright, polished armor and colors preferred by most of his race, he was dressed in practical and somewhat bland mail and leather garb, and wore beads and feathers in his hair. His weapon was a gun of typical Tauren worksmanship, and to top it off, his Taurahe, albeit having a foreign (but not entirely unpleasant) lilt to it, sounded fluent.

It was as though he had come from Thunder Bluff instead of Silvermoon.

All at once the druid relaxed. It was a mystery to be sure, but there was a down-to-earth friendliness in the blood elf’s face, and it was reassuring.

“To tell the truth I just arrived not to long ago,” she replied, glad to be conversing in her native tongue. “I am training to be a healer, though, and it’s getting hard to find such work when there are so few about…”

The blood elf nodded. “That’s unfortunate, but sadly, understandable. You’re welcome to adventure with me, though… I could use the company. Not that Chakapas here isn’t good company…” he reached up and gently stroked the moth’s furry face, and it chattered back happily. The elf turned back to look at the druid. “We’ll start you with the basics; this is a rough land. I know a good place where we can practice working together.” He stood up and brushed off his trousers, then extended a gloved hand out to the tauren. “I’m Althalor,” he said. “And you…?”

“Songlark,” the druid smiled.

So for Recruit-a-Friend I transferred my Sapling Tree (as opposed to the Full-grown Tree I already possess) over to my new account, specifically so she and the third hunter in my repertoire could level together. The main catch is that for the lowbie to receive bonus XP, the group must not be killing anything that is “gray” to either character, and for both to receive bonus XP, they must be within a few levels of each other. And currently, Althalor has a head-start on Songlark of some ten-odd levels.

Still, I figured I could find something in the middle of their respective leveling ranges and at least get Songlark started on her way.

Enter Zul’Farrak.

The mobs are orange (or red) to Songlark and green to Althalor. Armed with Spirit Bond and a Glyph of Mending, I was able to successfully solo the vast majority of the trash in that place, with Songlark obediently following along and providing Mark of the Wild and the rare backup heal, whilst soaking up all the bonus experience.

I experimented with a couple different computer setups, including this one:


(Mega Man wallpaper is sexy and you can’t stop me from thinking so! *nods sagely*)

However, the windows were too small to do much work in, and since I was spending 95% of my time on Althalor the Hunter anyway, I eventually wound up making both windows larger and simply keeping one minimized. I didn’t full-screen either of them, to make it easier to swap between them, though.

Oh, and before you ask, it works flawlessly on Linux/Wine. /flex

By now I’ve toted Songlark through good portions of ZF, several quests in both Feralas and Tanaris, and also jumped onto Lunapike to run her through Scarlet Monastery a few times for Whitemane’s infamous hat (which failed to drop and then I got bored…) Suffice to say she was level 38 when we began this little adventure and she’s now a fraction of a bar away from level 43.

I like this Recruit-a-Friend thing. *cough* It feels super awesome to have both Hunter PewPew and Druid HoTs at my disposal– two of my favorite things!

It does feel odd, in another way, though. See, leveling is something I really enjoy doing. I even like leveling “the normal way”. So this would aaaaaallllmost feel like cheating, except that I already have a level 80 hunter (two actually) and a level 80 druid and I’ve leveled both Horde and Alliance characters to 80 at this point so it’s not like I’m missing out on anything new, ya know?

I don’t think I would actually ever use Recruit-a-Friend with someone who hadn’t played before, though… I’d level with them the old-fashioned way, I think. Personal preference, really.

By the way– I’ve gotten LOTS of comments about dual-boxing and programs to use and that sort of thing. I do appreciate all the advice, but at this point I have little interest in “serious” dual-boxing beyond sticking the druid on follow and having the hunter go demolish stuff. Not to mention, I have my doubts about how well various dual-boxing programs would work on Linux. Still, I will keep all the input in mind, just in case.


There they were, high in the hills of Crystalsong Forest. Tawyn and Perezvon. They’d flown there atop the broad, red wings of Spirakistrasz, Perezvon the wolf enjoying the ride as he always did, ears flapping.

Tawyn had grown attached to him since nursing him back to health some time ago, but she had since discovered that they were not the best fit for each other. He was loyal, and he fought as hard as he could, and his howl was inspiring to her. But he lacked the pure unbridled storm that Wash seemed to possess, and the cunning of Eltanin and Tux, and the stealthy movements of Locke. Perezvon was a good friend, a companion– but Tawyn needed a fighter.


They stood there and Perezvon wagged his tail a bit, as if to ask what they were doing out here. That tail, Tawyn thought. She was convinced by now that he was only half-wolf, and half-domestic dog. She was also convinced that he’d had an owner at some point, before her, which is why he had warmed up to her so fast– and it was time to return him to his home.

“Perezvon,” she said, in a gentle voice that none but her pets ever heard, “It’s time for you to go.”

The wolf looked up at her and blinked once or twice. He of course could not understand Common, but Tawyn’s training as a Beast Master had given her enough of a bond with her pets that she was able to get the gist across with little more than the tone of her voice. She looked down at him. “You were hurt, and you needed someone to fix you up. I think you are going to be okay now.” She looked back up at the horizon. “And I don’t know where your home is. But I know you know how to get there.”

Silence. The wind blew a bit, rustling some nearby leaves.

And then he was on her, licking her face, and Tawyn sprouted a lopsided grin and cackled, “Git outta here, boy… go home.”

And he did, running through the snow.

The last thing Tawyn heard was a furious howl.

The Meeting: A Story

This story is dedicated to all my lovely Horde readers (though I hope my Alliance friends like it too). Enjoy <3

“Throm’ka and at ease, soldier.”

“Throm’ka,” replied a young and snowy white tauren, dressed in mail and accompanied by a red lynx the color of a bonfire in the night. The cat’s yellow eyes glowed in the morning mists and the tauren’s breaths made puffs in the crisp air at Agmar’s Hammer. “Have you need of me today, sir?”

“We are always in need of meat from the elk to replenish our stocks,” replied Overlord Agmar gruffly. He must’ve noticed the ever-so-slight slump in the tauren’s shoulders, as hard as she tried to hide it, and it was this that caused Agmar to place a heavy, scarred green hand on her shoulder and say “Daughter of the Horde. You have done much with your diplomatic skills to help bring the Taunka into the fold. And you are a talented hunter who trains hard. This, anyone can see. But you are not yet ready to advance to our next outpost. Remember: all that you do here is in service of the Warchief and is as important as anything else in this war. Your time will come. Now be strong! Lok’tar Ogar!”

“Lok’tar Ogar!” replied the Tauren, feeling a bit revitalized and throwing a salute. Then she turned and headed out of the keep, her crimson cat right beside her.

Once out of the gates of Agmar’s Hammer she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, willing the power and warmth of the sunrise into her spirit and chilled body, and then pulled her prize Talbuk out of the nearby stables and headed southwest, where she knew by experience there were plenty of elk.

It wasn’t long before she spotted the plentiful herds of Snowfall Elk roving among the trees, trying to pick what forage they could from the snow and ice. As always, the tauren was a little disappointed by the lack of challenge they offered. Oh, the big ones put up enough of a fight sometimes, but with the help of her lynx who was growing ever stronger (much to his master’s great pride), this particular hunt wasn’t exactly something she could hone her skills on. As such, she was probably paying a little less attention than usual that day, slipping off of her Talbuk at a spot near a particularly large tree and deftly preparing her ammunition for the upcoming encounter. Her cat paced a little beside her, eager for action, and the tauren muttered “Patience, Alyosha… patience” to sooth him. He calmed down a little, and the hunter notched the arrow to her bow and aimed, ready to give Alyosha the command…

A flash beside her.

She whirled around to see a mass of feathers and fur: Alyosha tussling with a gray blur with a sharp blue beak. The tauren, who knew a good deal about the wildlife of Azeroth, only needed a second to register that whatever creature it was was not native to this region, which meant…

“Back, Tux,” a voice rang out. The elk scattered, and standing between the trees was a night elf, her skin a light, wintry blue, her hair a garish bluegreen, her armor well-crafted and intricately designed, albeit rather dirty, and her exquisite and deadly rifle pointed at the tauren’s heart. Her owl was perched beside her in a heartbeat, never once blinking or taking his eyes off of Alyosha’s, who, similarly, was standing by his master’s side, staring back unwaveringly. The tauren, though, was caught, like a small animal in one of her own traps. She had been reckless and now was paying the price. She could only hope for a swift death at the hands of her enemy, then, to avoid the dishonor of having made such a terrible, shameful mistake…

“Do you speak Common?” asked the night elf abruptly, in a voice that was clear but somewhat harsh in timbre, like the squawk of a crow.

The young tauren gulped, surprised at this twist. Best not to show fear, she decided at last. Perhaps she could trick her opponent into thinking that she had more with her. “Yes,” she replied as calmly as she could. “Some.”

The night elf seemed to nod slightly before letting out a chuckle and lowering her gun, though not her guard. “Relax kid… I’m not gonna kill ya. Out hunting, were you?”

The tauren blinked. Was it a trick? She briefly considered taking the opportunity to lift her own bow but then realized that the owl’s gaze was still boring into the back of Alyosha’s skull, and the night elf’s armor– no doubt granted to her from various generals and politicians for a variety of great feats and heroism– was a sign that this particular hunter’s skill far outmatched her own. No, she had no choice but to play along and see what happened.

“Elk,” she said simply.

The night elf nodded and spat a piece of bark gum into the snow. As she did so, her owl relaxed his gaze a little and stretched his wings, and the tauren marveled at the bond the two seemed to share and the synchronization of their movements and emotions. The elf was clearly of the school of beast mastery hunting, as was the tauren herself, and to truly become one with one’s companion was the goal of all beast masters everywhere– a goal that the owl and his master had clearly reached. “I’m Tawyn”, the elf said finally, kneeling down on the ground. “A hunter. And you…?”

The tauren was quiet. Should she trust this elf with her name? It was rare for her to come across one that wasn’t trying to kill her.

It was as if Tawyn could read her mind, and she snorted. “Look. It’s clear to me that we are both of the same mind. I can see that. And you’d have to be mighty ignorant not to see the same. Why would I want to harm you? There’s few of us in this world anymore to begin with.”

“You might be lying,” said the tauren.

“Perhaps. Everyone lies. And everyone jumps to conclusions.”

A brief moment of silence as the tauren chewed this over. Finally, she sat down herself and said “In my language I am called Mu’sha Nitawa; the Weapon of the Moon. In yours… Lunapike.”

“Big name.”

“It was given to me by a shaman at my birth. It had something to do with my… my colorings. You do not see many of us in my tribe that are pure white.”

“So they got big expectations for ya, don’t they?”

Lunapike was silent. She found herself judging the night elf’s expression. Her gaze was intense and somewhat stormy, but not unfriendly, and above all a sincerity seemed to lie therin. And so finally the Tauren continued. “I was supposed to be a mighty warrior, like my father and mother. But I chose to follow the path of the Great Hunt– and travel far away to befriend the creature I saw in my dreams, a cat the color of sunfire…” she broke off as she reached over to gently pat Alyosha. “My parents… thought I should do what I felt was right. The rest of my tribe was not so understanding. So I left. Now I travel and fight for the Horde.”

Tawyn nodded. “So that is why you are in Northrend?”


“Hrmm,” grunted the night elf, lazily scratching an arm. Lunapike couldn’t help but notice how distinctly… un-night-elf-like she was. Surely she must have an interesting story behind her, thought the tauren.

“Why are you here?” Lunapike ventured.



Tawyn chuckled. “I shoot things. Those things die. I get paid for it. And then I can buy ale for me and good quality meat for Tux here.” She ruffled her owl’s headfeathers and for the first time in their meeting thus far, Lunapike saw a lightness in the night elf’s eyes and an extreme tenderness in her touch.

“That is why you are here now, perhaps. There must be something that drew you here, initially, when the land was still raw…” hinted the tauren. “Something, or someone, or…”

“Sheddup! I’m a hunter, I walk alone, ya hear?” Tawyn barked, eyes flashing, and Lunapike, taken aback by the sudden outburst, dropped it.

Tawyn leaned her back against a tree trunk and closed her eyes, breathing deeply. She had regained her composure surprisingly quickly, it seemed. “Got tired of the politics. I live in Stormwind, ya see. I live among the humans, having long ago left my kind. But these days, y’see it everywhere, among every race. Hypocrisy. I wanted out. Northrend seemed like a good place to go. So here I am, and here I stay, for now.” She shrugged. Lunapike thought she saw something in the elf’s face that hinted at more, but she couldn’t be entirely sure, and she knew better than to suggest it again. So the tauren simply said “I see.”

And for a moment the two hunters sat quietly, their pets keeping watch, as the elk herds slowly started to move back in. At random Tawyn’s eyes flew open at some point and she leaned over toward Lunapike. “Listen. Do you wanna be a hunter? Really wanna be one?”

“Of course,” said Lunapike, a little bemused.

Tawyn paused for a moment and then continued. “I was once told that there were three things that matter to a hunter, and three alone: your pet, your gun, and your wits. To an extent, that is true. But never underestimate the value of a fellow hunter. We’re all we’ve got. We’re all we understand. We’re all we can trust. This supposed war between the Horde and the Alliance… between you and I… this is not as important as making sure the tradition of the hunt always continues.”

Lunapike nodded. “I understand.”

Tawyn stood up and brushed the snow off her legguards. Then she reached a gloved hand down to Lunapike, who took it and let herself be pulled up.

“Now,” said Tawyn, “let’s bag us up some elk.”

The Fable of the Worst Bank Ninja Ever

This story posted over at World of Matticus reminded me of an incident that happened to me about a year or so back and that miraculously I don’t think I ever posted about. Now because this did happen so long ago, I’m a little iffy on the details, but for the most part this is all true.

Let me set the stage… I’m in my guild (the big one, from back in the day, which I was an officer of and, for a very brief time, guild leader as well), a good many of us are online and I’m sitting around in Stormwind doing something or other. Suddenly I get a whisper from some random level 11 priest or something.

“can i join ur guild plz”

I whisper back the standard answer for requests like that. “Sorry, we aren’t recruiting right now.”

“prety plz i am a wow gm, wuldnt u like a wow gm in ur guild?”

*blink blink*

Guild chat time.  “Hahaha, hey guys, I’m getting a whisper from some guy who claims to be a GM and he  wants to join the guild.”

The response?  An overwhelming “omg omg let him join let him join!”

And so, grinning like an idiot, I invited him. And we as a guild smothered him with over-the-top adoration.

Wow a real GM! Joining our guild! Such an honor! This is the best thing that has ever happened to me in game!” and et cetera.

“ty ty”

We continued to make it a big deal but our newcomer was quiet for a bit. I found him in Stormwind and noticed he was standing in front of the guild bank.

“can i get promoted”


“can i just get promoted plz just for 2 secs”

“Sorry, you haven’t met the requirements for a promotion yet.”

“wut r the reqiuermants”

“Well… you have to be active in the guild, and you have to be reeeeeeeeally good at RP.” We exaggerated that last part out a lot.

“wut is rp”

“It’s when you make a story for your character and make your character act the way you think they would.”



“ya i have a rly gud rp”

“Oh? Why don’t you tell us a little about your character?”

More silence.


“Why not?”

“because I am a GM lol it has to be secret”

“Oh wow, Blizzard GMs have to have secret character backstories? That sounds hardcore.  Your character must be really awesome!”

“ya it is rly awesome.   so can i get promoted plz”

“Nope, sorry, we only do promotions once a week at our guild meetings.”

“prty plz just for 2 secs”


“but i am a gm dont u want a gm officer”

“You have to wait until the guild meeting just like everyone else.  As a GM, you should know all about rules.”

Finally the guy quit trying amidst most of us giggling up a storm in officer chat, and he logged out in front of the guild bank. We /gkicked him afterwards.

The moral of the story is… if any of you aspiring *cough* Blizz GMs out there want a guild promotion, you’d better not only have a RLY GUD RP, but be willing to wait until the guild meeting! =P

The End. /bow

Once Upon a Guild

Our server’s top raiding guild since forever recently disbanded, and while this doesn’t affect me personally at all, it did get me thinking a lot about my past guild. Now I’m sure the story is one I’ve told millions of times, and as such I don’t want to recount the specifics in much detail here. However, I find it interesting that months later, the emotions are still there.

My current guild is one that is made up mostly of the “closest” of us from that particular old guild. So, I still have my best friends with me. In a way, the guild still lives on. But it’s different now. It’s small, it’s “casual”; it’s more of a “hangout in guild chat” type of place. There are (well, were) guild raids, but we had to look outside the guild and invite our “honorary guildies” in. Not saying that is bad at all, by the way. It is just a different modus operandi. Lots of times I log on and I’ll be the only one online.

Back in my old guild, there were always people online. At least five or six, often ten or more, and usually a good chunk hanging out on Ventrilo as well. People were clamoring to get into our weekly Karazhan run; we usually wound up short some role or other (tanks or healers most of the time, natch) but the other roles would be overflowing and we’d have people “on standby”.

There were “cliques”. There were the people that wanted to roleplay and there were the people who wanted to raid, and for whatever reason we had very little overlap. The result was groups within our guild that would stick with each other and not branch out very much. But we were friendly and very welcoming and brought in people from everywhere; the tired, the poor, the huddled masses so to speak, which may have been the root of the problem, but we couldn’t help it. That’s just how we were.

There was drama, oh there was drama. Some of it coined a phrase which turned into a little inside joke: “It’s not just epics, it’s T4!” due to the issues that ensued more than once when somebody– usually a guild newbie– would throw a fit after not getting that coveted token from Curator or Prince. I can’t remember whether or not this was our fault on just not making loot rules clear enough, but I do remember the drama that ensued.

There was burnout. Officers who felt overwhelmed by their duties. Active guild members who disappeared or went on hiatus. One of these “active members” disappeared relatively early on in the guild’s youth; when he finally came back towards its twilight weeks he looked around for a day or two and realized the guild was no longer the same guild, and quietly left. He was right, though.

Because somewhere along the way we had in fact turned into something different. Like an Oscar seeing a Needlefish from behind and assuming it’s a minnow (I have seen this happen at work by the way; don’t laugh at my analogy! >.>), we had bitten off more than we could chew. Tossed a snowball down a hill and found ourselves unable to stop it.

And so it was that the guild turned into sort of a big mess and my friends started leaving one by one and then the boyfriend (and guild leader) gave leadership to me in an attempt to see if I could salvage it, but it was really too far gone by that point. Plus, I didn’t like logging into the guild anymore since it now just seemed to be full of unfamiliar faces, so I spent the bulk of my time hiding on alts on other servers. Eventually I realized that this was just acerbating the problem so I passed guild leadership to a friend, hoping things would be fixed. Again, it didn’t happen. Most of my friends had already /gquit and not long after this my boyfriend did too, and while I hung on for a while I finally, late one night, quietly left myself– one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Not long after that, the guild dissolved.


I spent a few weeks guildless as I pondered what to do before realizing that my friends were actually the main reason I enjoyed the game and so I joined most of my closer friends from that first guild in our new, small guild. I’m happy now. Guild chat is sparse, but friendly; we still have the same Ventrilo server, although it is quieter now; and the biggest job the officers have is to come up with the wittiest possible theme for guild ranks. Plus, I seem to have fallen into the aforementioned “honorary guildie” status with a few other guilds to allow me to get my raiding in. Life is good.

Still, there are times when I miss what we once were. Being a part of something huge and big and seemingly omnipresent. Feeling like I was helping to lead a well-oiled machine. The machine fell apart in those last months, which is why it all started to go downhill. But at our peak, we really were something.

It was a train wreck waiting to happen, but like your first love, you can never quite get over it anyway. So here’s to you, Entelechy, wherever you are in the nether of the past.



I don’t know if I will ever quite forget that first odd feeling, nor can I still really compare it to anything else.

Lemme explain what I’m talking about.

There I was, level ten, on the trial version of WoW. I had little clue what I was doing. I was merrily questing in Elwynn Forest since a friend dragged me there from Teldrassil at the tender level of six. I’d kept my hearthstone set to Teldrassil in case I ever needed to return there in an emergency, because I knew I’d never figure out how to get back otherwise. So there I was, questing away and picking flowers because I trained in herbalism specifically to give my boyfriend a Peacebloom. (Yes, that is the honest-to-gosh reason behind what is still one of my professions.)

So there I was going around Raptor Striking things and having a grand ol’ time when suddenly I hit level ten and was informed by the hunter trainer that I was to return to NightElfLand to get my pet.

I was scared to death that if I went back there, I’d never be able to find my way back, but I really wanted a pet, so I took a last look around at Elwynn Forest and then used my Hearthstone.

Several hours later, having spent hours doing the pet quests and scouring the archives of the first WoW site I ever visited– Petopia— before settling on taming an owl, Tux and I were ready to head back. There we went, taking the boat and schlogging through the Wetlands and finally ending up in Thelsamar where I (finally) remembered about this strange concept called “Flight Points” and proceeded to fly back to Stormwind.

That feeling of flying over the waterfall from Burning Steppes into Elwynn is what I haven’t forgotten. It was a feeling of relief, but more than that– it was homecoming. I was very struck by this odd feeling. No video game yet had given me a similar feeling, and I’d played hundreds of them. Some of them I had loved dearly and felt very immersed in. But none of them made me feel like I was coming home when I entered a zone. This one did.

That’s when I knew that I wouldn’t just be playing the free trial.

That’s also when Tawyn’s character really started to materialize and when I knew I’d be happy on my RP server, despite my initial misgivings. Tawyn who felt more at home among the humans than among her own people. Tawyn who was good friends with the inhabitants of the dwarven district, who prefers guns to bows and who has never in her life owned a saber mount because she has always ridden horses (or mechanostriders, or polar bears… but mostly horses, I promise) instead.

And as soon as my gryphon landed– that’s also when I set my hearthstone to Stormwind.



So this was a long time coming. Two years, in fact. Since long before the title even existed. My inner RP geek is satisfied.

A Furious Howl: A Story


It mingled with the dirt and the hair and the rough prints left in the crunchy dry snow, and Tawyn crouched over them, bits of leftover slush clinging stubbornly to her fingers as she ran them softly over the ridges made by this… creature.

For that’s what it was, something in the canine family probably, judging by the prints and the smell and the texture of the fur.

The night elf closed her eyes and breathed in the scent one more time before flicking her fingers behind her; one sharp motion that simultaneously shook some of the snow off and also beckoned a brilliantly hued magenta raptor to pad silently up behind her, his glittering eyes scanning the area and his breath coming in puffs in the crisp northern air. Tawyn never lifted her gaze from the tracks and finally she arose and slowly walked along them, followed closely by her raptor, Wash.

A faint rustle of leaves. She paused; the quarry was near. The blood pooled a bit at the base of a nearby bush, and a smell was on the wind– it was still alive. Tawyn bristled and instinctively reached for her rifle, and was comforted by its familiar touch, as behind her Wash stared unblinkingly at the bush, awaiting one command…

…that came in the form of his master loosening ever so slightly and breathing “easy,” the word itself a mere whisper, but enough for the raptor to relax his stance– just a touch– and return to his previous behavior of scanning the surroundings. The thing in the bush was no longer a threat.

Tawyn crouched down next to the bush; The Thing was cornered now and began making nervous growling and spitting noises– it was still willing to put up a fight, wounded as it was. The hunter peered in and saw a wolf of some sort staring back at her: bruised, beaten, bleeding. Its eyes flashing with anger and pain. Tawyn stared back, and the staring contest went on for quite some time before the wolf buckled, shutting its eyes and letting out a quiet whine of anguish. This was followed by a low and near imperceptible rumble. The wolf’s stomach was growling.


With movements that were slow and precise, as not to startle the creature in the bush, Tawyn pulled her backpack from off her shoulders, reached inside, and pulled out a piece of dried venison. She pushed it under the bush, a few feet from the wolf’s nose, and set it there. The wolf recoiled at first in fear, snarling, but Tawyn pulled her hand back quickly and simply waited.

For several long minutes, the wolf feigned disinterest in the meat and didn’t move. His eyes gave himself away, however, and then his nose, and finally he inched forward and chomped the meat down eagerly before returning to his original position. Tawyn pushed another strip of meat into the same place. The wolf only waited about half as long before eating, now, and the hunter noticed that his tail made a few weak thumps against the snowy earth– this was interesting in and of itself, as normal wolves did not wag their tails past their youth. A hybrid animal, perhaps? Or a young wolf? It was hard to say; the creature was slightly smaller than the average wolf but this could have spoken for either theory. Regardless, it was heartening to see the animal improving, if only a little.

One more strip of meat. This time, though, Tawyn held it out with her fingers, not letting go of it.

The wolf didn’t move, but he eyed the meat and Tawyn could tell from his eyes that he was considering it. The elf remained perfectly still, arm outstretched. Finally the wolf tenderly plucked the meat from her hand with his teeth and pulled back again to eat it.

Tawyn smiled thinly. It was a small victory, but a victory nonetheless, and a step in the right direction.

She next reached into her pack in pursuit of frostweave, and hissed a sharp Darnassian curse under her breath upon finding out she didn’t have any. She would have to go into town…

…she glanced back under the bush at the wolf. He was looking at her with a somewhat expectant expression now.

“I’ll be back,” said Tawyn softly. She stood up and motioned something to Wash, and he picked up on her cue and remained standing guard as she disappeared into the wood.


“Whadaya need today, Tawyn?” the pixielike gnome winked. “Here, sit down, let’s chat.” She seated herself by the fireplace and gestured for the night elf to follow.

“Frostweave,” Tawyn replied tersely, and if it was almost anyone else she would have refused to sit, but Trixy had rather grown on her so she pulled up a chair and sat down.

“Frostweave, hmmmm,” replied the gnome as she rummaged through a large sack. “I don’t know, I mean, I’ve got threads, dyes, and ooooh what’s this?” she pulled out some sort of shiny contraption.

“Trixy, I don’t mean to rush you, but we’ve… ah… I’ve got a bit of an emergency situation. D’ya know anyone who would have any, if you don’t?”

The gnome’s eyes glittered as she inspected the shiny thing, but she set it aside and stuck her tongue out in concentration and plunged her arm back into the bag and finally pulled out… some frostweave. “There ya go!”

Tawyn snatched it from her, ripped it in two, and began to nimbly shape the them into bandages. The gnome watched intently. After a minute or two she asked gingerly, “What are they for?”

Before Tawyn could reply, she heard a familiar noise from outside, mingled with the calls of the soldiers of the 7th Legion. She leapt to her feet, dashed to the door of the inn, and pushed it open– to see the wolf limping painfully but determinedly into town, followed by an exasperated Wash who looked like he wasn’t sure how he was supposed to handle this. Some of the soldiers nearby were gaping and pointing their guns at the spectacle, although most of them looked like they weren’t about to waste any bullets on this, what with a greater threat outside the walls of Wintergarde. Besides which, Wash was a familiar sight to most of them by now.

Tawyn stood in the doorway, wondering at the unusualness of it all. Again, she was struck by that brief zap in her mind that there was something distinctly un-wolflike about the creature’s behavior…

The wolf buckled and Tawyn was out in a flash; bandaging his wounds with the Frostweave bandages she had just crafted and quickly mixing up some sort of salve with the myriad flasks and herbs she carried around in her pack and massaging the creature’s legs with it. The wolf stood steadfastly through it all, although it was clear that he was still in pain.

Tawyn heard someone approach from behind them– Zybarus, the stable master. “Zybarus thinks he likes you,” he said in his curious manner of speech, a slightly squeaky voice that for whatever odd reason spoke in nothing but the third person.

Tawyn shrugged and continued working. “People do strange things when they’re in pain. Animals do too.” Of course, she wasn’t telling the whole story. She didn’t tell the part about how she thought there was something unusual about this wolf. How he seemed to be acting like this wasn’t the first time he had extended trust to a person. She didn’t talk about his uncharacteristic tail wag.

No, she didn’t talk about how there was something unusual about this creature that she was determined to pin down. And perhaps it would explain the cause of his injuries as well– Tawyn leaned back and looked at him. A young and strikingly handsome creature possibly just hours before, he was now a wretched sight of blood and scabs and missing patches of fur. It would heal up eventually, but there would be scars, and he would never quite look the same. But his eyes were bright and Tawyn found that she thought the creature was, in his own broken way, still strikingly handsome.

“Your pet now?” Zybarus asked.

“No,” said Tawyn bluntly. Zybarus and Tawyn had a sort of odd love-hate relationship, one that the latter tended to form with others of similarly strong personalities, and this is what caused the stable master to grin and goad her on with “Ohh? But you’ve got a name picked out, dontcha? Zybarus thinks you do!”

Tawyn shot him a brief glower and then busied herself with adjusting the wolf’s new bandages. Finally, she muttered one word under her breath: “Perezvon.”


It Was Raining In Teldrassil Today

I’m not going to get all long-winded. I’m not going to get all sappy. I’m not going to turn this into a eulogy because I don’t think there’s a reason for it to be one.

I’m not going to say BRK was the first hunter blog I found, because it wasn’t. That credit goes to Lassirra at The Hunter’s Mark and I will give credit where credit is due. I’m not going to sit here and talk about how I found BRK at level 24ish and grew up on BRK Brand Baby Food, cause I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before.

I am going to tell you a quick story.

Today I got into an already half cleared Naxx25 PuG. Normally I bring Wash to my raids, but today I brought Locke, my kitty. Because it seemed appropriate.

Four Horsemen was the first boss we did, which made me happy cause it’s basically my favorite fight in the entire raid, and then we headed over to Noth. The raid leader said he would give away a free flask to the top DPS on the fight.

I looked around. I was one of four hunters. Every one of the others was cookie cutter Survival. Every one of the others outgeared me.

I looked down at my kitty. Us against the world. As it should be.


The raid leader asked to see the overall damage done thus far in the entire raid, as well. Someone posted it.

I got a free Flask of Endless Rage.

I’m not trying to say that I did the best DPS in the world. But I am trying to say that this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t stumbled across BRK and the rest of the blogosphere as a young level 20something throwing random talent points around and dying all the time. It goes beyond just DPS and performance, too– it’s about “Look at this amazingly fun class! *skips around with glee*” That‘s what hunter is.

Of course, as I think many of us sort of feel, you eventually “graduate” from the Alma Mater that is BRK-U, (though you never truly leave, of course), and that’s where the person comes in. I remember him IM’ing me when he added me to his blogroll, complimenting me on my writing. I remember shyly whispering him in game on his server and being chucked a guild invite. I remember meeting up with him in WotLK Beta and him dropping everything he was doing so he could come see if we could two-man Molten Core in the name of a Core Hound. He wasn’t shy about whispering me the second I logged into Beta every time after that, informing me that it was about time I showed up!, and the two of would begin us cracking jokes like old friends.

“Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.” – Captain James Tiberius Kirk

In closing, I ask that you read my favorite BRK post of all time, ever, and then head over to the newest post and wish a friend good luck, if you would. We may not be able to read of his adventures and misadventures anymore… at least not for a while… but he is happy.


“Hey, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?”

“The same thing we do every night, BRK. Try to take over the world.”