Tiny Story Time: Mataoka’s & Navimie’s Friday Fished-Up Fables: Vareesa

“Please stamp on the coin, sir, just as I have written it here: Asto’re da shan’re. Turus Fulo II’amare, A’Talah Adore. Isera’duna…” Vereesa used both her hands as paperweights on the scroll, to show the goblin coin-maker the words. He nodded. “I see,” he grumbled. Vereesa paid the engraver a large sack of gold she took from Rhonin’s coffers. This wish came with a heavy cost. Goblins like their money a little dirty, and dried blood remained on many of the coins. Turning a sack of gold into one copper coin was not a fair trade, but she was told his magic was guaranteed. As for her lost sisters: there was nothing she could do. She resorted to the blood magic, thinking that if she wished for honor, for peace, surely the gods would grant these wishes. They were selfless desires, not vain. But she had forgotten to scrub out the last line, the one about the green ones…to wish death brought bad luck. The goblin saw the words, and believed she was wishing death on goblins. He miscast her name intentionally, for if the gods can’t find the right soul, the wish will not come true. Vereesa lost her way, too, and the gods never found her wish.




The mysteries of misspellings.

Navimie’s Ansirem

Tiny Story Time: The Minions’ Ball

Ah, of course…from my favorite site…

Inspired by Christina Rosetti’s poem, The Goblin Market (but nothing like it whatsoever)

The Minions’ Ball

not quite after midnight
the robes dusted and preened
ruby-red lips drooling blood-stained juices
for kissing of the queen

the minions gather round the warren
beneath the Slaughtered Lamb
to dance against the sideboards
on rough beaten wood, with a sleight of hand

she will meet them in the market
she will meet them in the stalls
she will meet them on the gallows’ drop
and meet them in kings’ halls

they dance with her as she pleases,
and waltz while the cello moans
she calls the tune, they bow to her
resentful love grumbles, and groans

the imp skips a sprightly jig
the succubus feigns mild interest
the felguard acts the wallflower
the arabesque voidwalker, dishonest

the doomguard has a cameo
his appearance is short lived
but while he pirouettes
he’s chopped off a few heads

she will meet them in the market
she will meet them in the stalls
she will meet them on the gallow’s drop
and meet them in kings’ halls

if you listen closely
you can hear squeals of pleasure
so many partners to choose from
and they serve her at her leisure

but none of them stay till dawn
they can’t pay the piper’s fee
they won’t meet her in sunlight
and leave so quietly

the only place, and caution
of which you must beware
is the minions’ ball round midnight
take heed, and take care

don’t go to the dance if asked
for surely you won’t want to leave
feet will bleed and backs will break
leeched souls are cleaved

she will meet them in the market
she will meet them in the stalls
she will meet them on the gallows’ drop
and meet them in kings’ halls

she’s going to the dance tonight
dancing at the minions’ ball

Day 30: Cluttered

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Got asked a tough question today: What are my dreams? No, not the sleeping, snoring, drooling kind, but the aspirations, the hopes, the “if I could do or be anything right now what would it be?” question. Since my colleagues have dubbed me as the “Metaphor Queen,” I shall endeavor to describe, figuratively, how my life may be right now: I am stuck in a mire, hip-deep in Wellingtons that would go schhlock-ke when pulling them out, but over on the shore I see maybe a novel or two, or a woman who is really good at her job, or perhaps….and that is the thing. The Wellingtons and I only waded in this muck because the things on shore were not that interesting, and there were shiny, bioluminescent things in the water…just there, see? Just when after this, or that…just over the next wave: we were only going to stay a little while. But we keep getting sucked back in. Oh, the muck? Azeroth. But it is pretty.

So: not sure. I do know something needs to change (i.e. someone, that someone being me) and staying in Azeroth has blurred the lines too much, and the Wellies are indeed stuck. I am not prepared to go in my metaphorical stocking feet back to shore: sharp objects and such, you see, but I am willing to start to clean out the mental clutter that Azeroth can ascerbate. It’ll get cleaned up.

Two contrasts of “clutter:”

Chaos from order:

Chaos produced from order: lights, bells, whistles all thrown together by strict and concise mathematical language

 Order from chaos:

The order and cosmic rhythm of Blood Elf architecture: breathtaking in its simplicity to express complex concepts

No Scrubs/TLC

Day 29: Lucky

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This is by far the most difficult one, and yet, the simplest. The other day my friend Señor and I were counting the blessings we have in our lives, and this week I have steered negative forces not away from me, but leaned into them, and then get them to leave apologetically.  Luck? I have no real idea what that is. Lucky is where opportunity meets preparation I guess, with the third element of the gods cutting us a break.

This is a hunter, who is terrible, but people love her anyway – and a bear or three. Can’t see them all, but they’re there.
Luck may be in its essence a study in contrasts. This summer, I would find my head bobbing more than once in beat with Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. When thinking of this post, I considered this song Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and came across this very sad and touching video made by a daughter to her father who had passed. Lucky? All in perspective.
But perhaps, it’s this: we make luck out of our failures, out of our disappointments, and then repackage them as pure joy. 
That works.

RTMT: Long Way To Go and Day 28: Corridor

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Stay the course, Dornaa…

I woke up this morning still tumbling a negative thought in my head, of whether or not to confront someone about a ‘thing.’ The reason this person did this thing, (and this is the second time), is because they don’t know me. They made an assumption. Now I’m old enough to have been around this block once or twice: do people change? Or, by being honest with “how you made me feel” trope can you make them see your point of view? /shrug I don’t know. I was thinking if it happens three times then I’ll say something, but that is officially going into festering territory. What I do know about people are the things that are important to them do not translate into what’s important to us. The problem is when I confront someone emotionally I tend to tear up. I can’t do this, namely because this person tends toward bully territory, and will misconstrue tears as weakness, not anger. (Yes, this person is a female: gender makes no difference when it comes to bully acuity.)

Maybe I’ll keep this image that Cynwise posted today, and just set the whole thing on mental fire:

Cynwise: On Golden Lotus Dailies

Time to toughen up. Know I am strong. Show I mean business. And I do. I’ve been down this road before.

Day 27: Ten minutes from home

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Ten minutes from home–yes, I know technically these are not screenshots from Azeroth, but they are proof of sorts of time spent in the real world. This is from Sunday morning, starting at 9:37AM on my way to meet my friend for our semi-monthly breakfast. This particular Sunday I can proudly say I did NOT CRY: that has been my typical, and I’m not proud of it, thing. I don’t know what it is. This friend is truly a safe place to fall, to share what stuff, ideas, etc. and she always gives patient, sage advice. I used to give people patient, sage advice, but it seems now all my advice is parsed out to gnomes and elves. I’ve lost my street cred. Now, now, don’t worry: I am really a happy person. Sometimes things get a little wonky, and sometimes things hurt, but nothing like a real friend, cooling coffee in big thick mugs and Eggs Benedict to set things right. Yes, and I ate the orange garnish too. With bacon.

The tiny clock does say “9:47”

As the Southern Hemisphere moves to spring and summer, so we Northerners move to fall and winter. Time flies when you’re having fun. It even flies when you’re not.

Day 26: Entrance

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I had a traditional, ‘crossing the threshold’ kind of entrance shot, but then, I realized the “entrance” into the Brawlers’ Guild has been one of the most engaging activities for me in Azeroth:

There were many players who had the 10K gold handy when it was introduced, but my budget meant patience, and then the kindness of a friend. It is a great way for me to realize 1. I am a terrible player and 2. Have a blast doing so.

More, please, Blizzard: this is kick-ass!

Sometimes…you get the bear!

CD Rogue wanted to watch The Golden Compass again tonight, because it reminded him of how much he loves his polar bear mount in game. He had mentioned it about a week or so ago, and I decided to venture back to Brunnhildar Village to try my luck, too. I absolutely love turning into a Vykrul there, but never once did the dailies. While he was watching it, even though I am sleepy, and ready to relax, I thought I would try my luck again….call it serendipity, call it pure, dumb luck, but there was a big “squeeee!” in the Matty-shack tonight:

Beautiful….

The Golden Compass series is one on my list of books….as soon as I’m done with this one and that one; in the meantime, I absolutely love this mount. That is how we feel, isn’t it? We are as powerful and brave as Lyra, as fierce as a flying witch…
Thanks, Gretta. I shall return, because we are sisters of the north…

The Most Epic Pet Battle Post EVER

Editor’s Note: Squee! Got my wish! Krash sent this to me this morning, but I didn’t check my email until after I had gone to work, and we know I can’t do any fun Azeroth stuff at work. So finally, without further ado:

The Celestial Tournament, by Turkic/Krasher

My good friend Matty is like a bloodhound, relentlessly on my trail, trying to get me to write a “guest” column.  I admit that I read her blog regularly, and through it, those of some of her friends.  I am impressed by the quality of the work, and am not sure that my skills as a writer are up to par.  With that said, I did have a topic of interest that I don’t know has been covered in any detail.

For those who know me, I try to be efficient in everything I do, in WoW and out.  I play within the rules, but I try to see the game as a wider zone of possibility than others might.  As an example. I haven’t done a daily quest since patch 5.1, and yet I have three level 90 characters exalted with every Pandaria faction, and all with cloud serpent riding capability.  I get all my raid bonus roll tokens from pet battles, and pet battles are what I wanted to talk about today.

The pet battle system is one of the best features in the Mists of Pandaria expansion.  Despite its flaws, it has overall been a huge success.  Players like collecting, leveling, and battling their pet collections.  In 5.1 they added Battle Stones; 5.2 yielded the Beasts of Fable and Raiding with Leashes.  In 5.3 they did some major balancing, added some powerful new pets, and made pet battles award leveling experience.  On September 10th, patch 5.4 will come out, and as Illidan Stormrage would say, “You are not prepared!”

Besides the Siege of Orgrimmar, patch 5.4 brings the Timeless Isle, replete with solo content, group content, lots of cool loot, and a plethora of new pets.  The real story though, is the Celestial Tournament.  This is an opportunity to earn 1000 Timeless coins per week in a grand pet battling tournament.  You face 7 tough fights, and you have to beat them all.  It sounds fun, and it is, but there is a catch.  During the 7 fights (3 trainers plus 4 Celestial Beasts of Fable), you cannot heal your pets, at all.  Once you zone in, you have to beat all 13 pets with what you have with you.  It sounds challenging, and it is supposed to be.

Before I go into detail about the fights, I wanted to mention about hard counters.  Every pet type is either strong or weak in attack and defense versus other pets.  As an example, dragon pets take less damage from flying pets, and flying pets take increased damage from Magic attacks, so a dragon that does magic attacks would be a hard counter to a flying pet.  A good specific example is Lil’ Terecgosa.  As you face these opponents, try to use a hard counter for every one of their pets if possible.  You can start the fight and leave without taking a turn, just to scout out their team.

I’ve completed this on the Public Test Realm (PTR) a couple of times now, and I wanted to share some pets that I feel are critical to success in the tournament.  The three trainers vary week to week, but the celestials are always the same.  One point — I have about 140 level 25 pets, but on the PTR I had about 30, so my choices were more limited.  Realistically, you will need 40 or more pets to be able to beat this.  Here are the fights I saw this week, and the pets I used to beat them:

Sully:
Mojo
Zandalari Kneebiter
Turkey

Dr Jon Goldbloom:
Dark Whelpling (I would recommend a better dragon here, but this was what I had on the PTR)
Menagerie Custodian
Sunreaver Microsentry

Lorewalker Cho:
Onyxia Whelpling (nearly killed 2 pets)
Stitched Pup
(didn’t need a third pet)

Yu-la:
Bonkers (killed him solo) 

This is the easiest of the celestials.  Any humanoid with an avoidance move like dodge or reflect and 287+ speed is good here.  If I were on live I’d probably use a Flayer Youngling, Hopling, and a Lil Bad Wolf with 287+ speed until I could catch Bonkers.

Xu-Fu:
Tranquil Mechanical Yeti
Clockwork Gnome or Darkmoon Zeppelin
Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling

This guy hits like a ton of bricks and heals for a lot.  Be sure to use avoidance when his heal is on cool down.  I found the Decoy especially effective here.

Chi Chi:
Water Spirit
Chrominus
Unborn Val’kyr (optional)

This combination is deadly, so much so that I may level a second of these two pets before the patch.  I will explain this specific team strategy below.

Zao:
Water Spirit
Chrominus
Unborn Val’kyr (optional)

I used the same Water Spirit and Chrominus here as well.  While the Valk’yr isn’t necessary, it makes it a sure thing.  Here’s the basic attack sequence.  Note that this can destroy all the Beasts of Fable as well, except for Dos Ryo.

Open with Unborn Val’kyr:
Round 1: Unholy Ascension (Val’kyr will die and resurrect for one round)
Round 2: Curse of Doom
Round 3: Bring out Pandaren Water Spirit; use Geyser
Round 4: Use Whirlpool
Round 5: Swap to Chrominius
Round 6: Use Howl, which doubles their damage taken.  After this turn Doom, Geyser, and Whirlpool will detonate for massive damage, killing them.  If they somehow manage to live:
Round 7: Surge of Power.

I hope this has been helpful and not too boring.  Matty is a good friend, and I wanted her to have some scoop to go with her dish in 5.4.  May your battles be the stuff of legends!



Postscript: We will be back to our regulary scheduled Friday Fished-Up Wish soon!