Judgment.

If I ever lamented about not starting to play WoW back in Vanilla, or Burning Crusade, no more. In fact, ye experienced players may want to check your envy of moi. Take last night for example. Young Druid wants to go into Black Temple. The epic battle between Illidan is truly between him and his inner demons, but that is a story you are all familiar with, but I still have some research to do.
I love the Black Temple. It is darkly foreboding, rich, and subtly unnerving. And—please don’t laugh—the Reliquary of Souls—is masterful. I have yet to conquer Desire with less than four players. And these players are no slouches. But Desire has overcome us more than once. We need to wake up sleepyheads for a fourth every time. Last night we had five, so it was easy to overcome Desire (but not as challenging). She is the one, the ultimate villain in my estimation, spinning us around, making us silent, devastated, and helpless. Desire does that. Just ask Buddha. (And I don’t care what wowwiki says, “All spells used by EoD can be interrupted, reflected or spell stolen.” Desire is one mean sin.
Now, yesterday, these really intriguing shoulders dropped, and I regretted for a moment not bringing Miss Matty-Shaman-Mail-Pants. These shoulders have two big-googly eyeballs on them! Eyeballs! Googly eyeballs! That is so cool! But alas, Zeptepi Cloth-Butt was there, healing and trying to keep up, because there were so many shiny-pretty things everywhere. Young Druid is not interested in picking up loose change off of the ground.
During the Illidari Council portion, shoulder tokens dropped. I almost, almost didn’t pick them up. The passing glance, and full bags, considering that the chest piece was kind of plain, made me think that the shoulders would also be plain too, I guess.
But, I did turn back, and grab the token, and I am glad I did. Lady Fortuna and Justitia, my gratitude, for I believe this mantle is exquisitely designed:

The blind justice sees only the truth, weighted scales on her shoulders, Zeptepi’s insecurity waivered with heat. She was no judge, she was sent to heal all, indiscriminately, no matter their sins. But perhaps, if she could lighten the path, the burden, truth-seekers would find solace.

Perhaps I almost passed it up because when I acquired the chest piece, the other pieces seemed formal but plain. If only I had taken a closer look, but then…perhaps…I would have been filled with desire, and the token would have been snatched from my grasp, because as we all know, the Random Number Gods like to have their fun, too.
Desire seemed to be going around that run, too. A Death Knight, some sell-sword off the street, bragged that he could run all of Black Temple in Blood. He boasted of weapons owned, and status gained. But, he repeatedly needed on all gems, and weapons, until the Druid leader had had enough. “Give the mace to the paladin,” and he reluctantly obliged, but not without a litany of rationalizations. I missed this whole drama in raid chat, and only found out until later in the evening, long after the run was over, the Druid had to kick young errant Death Knight, citing, “Bad sportsmanship and lying.”  Misdeamors in most regions, but punishable by expulsion in transmog runs, and don’t you forget it.
Stupid me: I noticed he wasn’t there for the Illidan-smack-down, but didn’t ask, I just assumed he had to go. The moral of that story is don’t mess with righteous young Druids. You break the law, you will serve your time.
Now, the blue mace dropped, and I had wanted it to match the blue theme on Zep. Druid wanted it too, so I weighed out the cost-benefit analysis of giving the mace to the Druid, and determined this would be the better way to go, for my own reasons. Besides, he informed me that there was a similar one in Netherstorm from the Honor Point vendor. I had not idea this vendor was there (hearken back to I never played in Outlands that much and it’s like a whole new world). Sure enough, one quick battleground victory later, and the mace was mine. It’s black, not blue, but that’s all right. It goes with my outfit, too.
Back to the benefits of rediscovering Outlands: Zep is currently gathering her red hat, shoes, and goggles to go with her new red mace. She’s going for a whole Melisandre look:

I am sure Matty did most of these, helping out the space goblins in Netherstorm, because one does not forget easily the smell memory of cold electric crystals and burnt mana. Cen recently obtained those funky shoes, but will continue for a few more things, too. I feel like I’m a little girl again, playing with my mom’s old prom dresses and ball gowns. You just never know what treasures you’ll find!



Numbers Game.

Shush, you. Yes, I am going to weigh-in on this one. Filtering and self-censorship are difficult for me. My motto, “To know me is to know I can’t shut my pie-hole.”

I really like this blog, and look forward to reading it:
http://thestoriesofo.net/2012/02/27/shameless/

But I am not sure I agree with that particular post.

I am in a position to encourage writers, of all ages. I have never had a book published (yet–dream #28), and to those of you who look at any reason not to write, all I can tell you is get over yourself. So, because of someone’s readership numbers, are you telling me because Neil Gaiman has sold more books than I have, I shouldn’t write? Because Stephen King hacks out an awesome novel that still gives me chills to think about (The Shining), I shouldn’t think of my own scary stories? If you have something to say, say it, dammit, let the critics be damned. What I suspect is that most creative souls are their own worst critics. If I seriously stopped for one second and let someone like a Stephanie Myers get me down, then all would be lost. If anything, I am going to write those novels as an antidote to the Twilight series. Haters be hating, and I hate those books. Okay. Except for Team Jacob. Okay. Okay. I submit. And she did capture virgin-lust-painful-teenage-longing well. Okay. Whatever.

The Internet has brought me a place to freely express myself. I can make mistakes, write, whine, laugh, and imagine all I want. It is my sandbox, and though once in a while there is some neighborhood cat poop, for the most part, it is damn fun.

I may never publish anything. I may never create a masterpiece like To Kill A Mockingbird, or East of Eden. But I write, and it saves my sanity. It’s my sanity, and I’m sticking to it. My numbers? Currently over 17,000. Many of those were looking for Beavis and Butthead, and some Big Bird, but some were looking for me, and my stories. If it were 1,000 or just 1, it doesn’t matter. We found each other, and that’s what counts.

Postscript: I need a Bear hug.

Know Your Archetype: The Wolf

For some time now, this series on ‘archetypes’ has been rumbling around my brain. Anything, dear readers, you would like to contribute or mention, please do so. Most of this is based on sheer, uneducated opinion. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, indeed.

Archetype: 

Archetype: A symbol, usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one’s literary experience as a whole. Carl Jung used the term “archetype” to refer to the generalized patterns of images that form the world of human representations in recurrent motifs, passing through the history of all culture. Since archetypes are rooted in the collective unconscious, they may be conceived through the psychic activity of any individual, be it in the form of dreams, art works, the ancient monuments of religious activity, or the contemporary images of commercial advertising. Such archetypes as the “innocent babe,” the “unheeded prophet,” the “philosopher’s stone,” and many others which also have their source in the primitive darkness of the unconscious, are repeated in numerous works of cultural creation.


The Wolf

For those of you who were drawn to create a Worgen, you may be disappointed to know that is only one aspect of the archetypal wolf. The worgen/werewolf has its own rich lore, chock full of conflicted, deep emotions between our higher-reaching goals toward spiritual goodness and our baser feelings closer to nature. 
But the Wolf, no, not a lot of internal conflict there.
Consider the Tex Avery cartoon, Wolves are all libido and “haaa-ruuuuug’gaaa!”
When you’re around a wolf, you may feel both drawn (“I can change this bad boy”) and repelled or afraid (“Nothing in this basket, no sir, Mr. What-Big-Eyes-You-Have”).
The Wolf represents the id, the dark side of our natures, the beast within, but contrasting to a werewolf/worgen, there is little available redemption to the true Wolf. In nature, it is well-known that wolves are loyal pack animals, mate for life, but we humans have anthropomorphically destroyed this positive image with our own fears. We do that a lot, we humans. But, knowing the pack mentality can also guard one against some human foibles. Consider the alpha/guildmaster. If he or she is leading a guild as a team, aka Alpha 1 and Alpha 2, sometimes the rest of the pack may be confused about who to submit to and show their metaphorical bellies. Good leadership is just that: fair, transparent, and strong. Everyone needs to know they’ll get their share of the downed elk in good time. 
But this isn’t about the pack: it is about the lone wolf, the wolf in sheep’s clothing, the huff-puff-blow-your-house-down-and-eat-your-grandmas-wolf. This wolf looks at Little Red like she’s a breakfast buffet.
Beware of the wolves, little girls. There are a few out there. If you show them what’s in your goody basket blindly, without knowledge, in all likelihood you will get eaten up.
As mentioned, I had this series in mind for some time, and probably would have started with the Queen, but chose to begin with Wolf, especially after Bubbles posted this: http://forthebubbles.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/if-your-rp-creeps-out-half-the-server/

Potion of Illusion Files: Movie Magic

Something is in the air, because in keeping with the hocus-pocus theme I seem to be conjuring lately, Zep downed some POI and changed into this:

“Bill, strange things are afoot at the Circle K…”

Is this a Worgen transformation I’m sensing? A trick of fuzzy meaning and duplicity? In any case, I am entranced. Modifying this to riding togs, complete with a lady’s English side-saddle and hoop skirt would be amazing. Would that only the Worgen mounts were more interesting…

Coincidentally, I had been thinking of re-watching several “magician” themed movies:

The Prestige, if you like your tricks all Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman-y

or

The Illusionist, if you prefer a charming slice of Ed Norton and Jessica Biel.

Tiny Story Time: The Mage

Based on actual events.
Zep packed up a few things before her move, just down the lane, and saw to it that she left Ceniza in charge of the guild. This was a big responsibility, but she knew Cen would return the reign of the realm to Zep when the time came.
A dear friend, another mage, all blue and periwinkle in tricks, gave her a fortune card before she left. He flicked it, appearing one second and conjuring out of magical air the next, tossing it near her bags. He never missed, but today his aim was slightly off, and it nicked her hand. “Ouch,” she said as she picked it up, reading: “The Truth is in the Trick.” Odd fortune, but that was the way of double-speak silliness and mojo. The mage just laughed, kissed her hand, and vanished, porting away in a blink.
After he left, and was gods-knew-where, she checked the guild bank.
It was nearly emptied out, save for a few robes and maelstrom crystals.
Zep closed the vault door, took a deep breath, and opened it again. Still nothing. Wondering, was he planning a surprise for her? Did he clean it out as a favor? It was getting incredibly messy and unorganized. She was so sure of him, so trusting, that even though her eyes told her that all was gone, she did not, could not accuse him. But the most upsetting of all was the Dark Moon Faire trinkets were kept there, waiting impatiently for the next full moon, just around the corner of hills of bones and brew, and those were all gone. Zep wasn’t sure he knew the value of those items, and if he had vended them, it would be a terrible setback. (Though agreeably they were overvalued.)
What did he do with all those things?
He was a tricky mage, full of one-there-yes and one-minute-no, but never in all the years had any of his surprises or jests hurt her; they were delightful, and made her laugh.
But, what…where…
Maybe…
…there was some fur stuck in the lock.
The timing of his deed, this suspicion, whether a prank or pawn, was either very well played or an unintended coincidence. At this hour, she could only send him a letter, and wait a full day before possibly even seeing him again to find out what had happened. She would have to be patient: she had no control over the time when all of Azeroth slept, swathed in a dragon’s blanket, while possibly the gnomes and goblins tinkered and tampered, cleaned and greased the jiggling cogs and sputtering sprockets, for a new afternoon sun.
Again, growing more anxious, she wondered, “Where could everything be?”

Nothing in the auction house, nothing in the bank, nothing in the mail: almost everything was gone. Spider webs, fabrics, bolts of it, herbs, potions, dust and crystals, gems, and the Dark Moon Faire fair, nothing left but a copy of the Wildhammer Book of Verse: “A collection of the filthiest limericks you’ve ever laid eyes on,” and a robe or two.
But more importantly, where was he?
As soon as the magical hour shone, the veil was lifted, and nothing but a whiff of goblin elbow grease and pit-stains hung in the air, and all the working and machinations of Azeroth were running on smooth rails again, like the perfect schedule of a well-tuned Ironforge tram, could she run back to see if anything had changed.
The bank was full again, just as she had left it. Not a thread, nor a petal out of place. Everything was back, from the graveyard moss to the rhino meat, every last thing.
But it all smelled faintly of fish and rats.
His cat.

His damn cat.

And there was a smell of sulfur, too. She would have to have a chat with Cen.

Theme song (only because it started playing on Pandora when I hit the post button):
Wolfmother/The Joker and the Thief

Potion of Illusion Files: Night Elf Priestess

I am sincerely, thoroughly spooked.

Long story short: my mage friend has been playing tricks on me. “Zep” recently wrote him a letter, and dashed into Dalaran during a break today to check on some things. Drinking some of the Potion of Illusion he made for “her,” she changed into this:

Zep tries on this glamor for a bit…

Now, what is spooky is I have been thinking about going back to Night Elf priest on Zep for some time, and changing Ceniza back to a Draenei. I have this dress, and now I know how beautiful it looks on an Elf. It is like that potion read my mind.

Now, as far as the tricks and pranks go–that is a story for another day.