Category Archives: Navimie

My friend Navi…

Mr. Snergulllssss here: It is not Navi’s birthday. That is all.

Today is a milestone birthday for one of my best friends, a woman I’ve known since before we were teenagers. We took each other through first loves, broken hearts, bad jobs, bad boyfriends, and all the other milestones hence. But one thing my friend has not done for me, nor do I expect her to, was to support any creative endeavor I’m put a mind to. I’ve never shared anything more than a letter or email as far as writing, and most of our conversations happen over the phone. She doesn’t know I consider myself a half-assed gamer now, nor does she know about my recent pilgrimmage to a land far, far away to see other like-minded people. As CD Rogue truly meant, I look pretty (to myself anyway) in those photos cause I’m happy.

And I have to give a big, Matty-style hug to my friend Navimie because of this. If not for her and Tome, I would not be challenged or supported or loved as a fellow Azerothian, made not only to feel welcome, but cherished, in this multi-layered world. If I have done nothing else, I hope I have made it clear that the writing and creative connections that have been forged with Navimie are my pride and joy.

Navimie, we didn’t get to spend nearly enough time talking in California. This photo of me (the monstrous Yank in the black T-shirt) is about all the time we got to spend.

CD Rogue kept asking, “Don’t you want to try to find Navi again, won’t she be mad?” and I said I didn’t think so – she’s here with so many of her guildmates, and wanted to meet so many people, and I was,and am confident enough in our friendship to know that as two folks who love to write together, respect each other’s thoughts, and value how amazing we each are (pats self on back), she would be fine. We’d catch up when we can. (Besides, I need a good excuse to go to Australia.)

Navi: I adore you. Thank you for being my friend in this phase of my life, because I know some others would not understand. It’s an awesome gift to have someone who gets me in my dorky Draenei self. Cheers, mate – you’re the best!

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

We’re up to our usual mischief once again! These may not be true ‘fables’ but all is fair in love and alliteration. Fridays will find our blog filled with the stories behind the coins fished from the fountains, and sewers, of Dalaran. Be careful what you wish for, dear readers! (I’ll link Navi’s as soon as it’s posted. It is amazing!) These are the stories behind the wishes…

Squire Rowe

“A woman can keep many promises, but a man only one,” the witch mused to herself. Dopey, moony sheep-faced – that is how they all looked after she cast her spell.  So predictable. Rowe was no different, no different at all. Cersei poorly suppressed a giggle, and the goblin merchant overheard her, rolling his eyes in contempt. “Those warlocks…always doing shady deals which never pay out, not like my smarts, no sirree.”  Noticing the goblin looking smug in her direction, she shrugged her thin shoulders, twisting her narrow frame away from him. They carried on ignoring one another. Gods, it was deathly dull in this moldy swamp; couldn’t a girl find small things to amuse herself?
Returning to her own thoughts: the squire. Oh, those ridiculous glasses! All she had to do was get a little too close, and those silly things steamed up! “It was too easy, she’s smirked, “he was already at a disadvantage, not seeing things clearly.” His gullibility began as charming, and then it turned irritating. But…he did have that thick, black hair…and those deep blue eyes behind those glasses…even though she wasn’t sure he was too bright. Not like his captain, who saw her for what she was: a sorceress, and a bored one at that, potentially a greater threat than the enemy. The captain would send a few men on patrol, and the next morning there would be two sheep wondering around dazed. Or, a soldier would be playing cards, drinking and laughing one night, and the next staring at the moon, crying like a baby. Cersei believed the men existed for her entertainment: a few soldiers-turned-swine, drunk on jungle-vine wine; tawdry tricks, a quick seduction, whispers of undying love, and the fell onto their own swords of lust. There was nothing better to do, because gods know nothing ever happens in this place…

When the captain ascertained his men were turning into mindless, rutting rams, he decided to leave the Sorrows patrol, and replace the ranks with a squad of predominately female soldiers. Back to Stormwind, the deadest place in Azeroth. Cleaning a latrine or two would clear these gentlemen’s heads. Give them a few copper for spending money at the inns, and see that they get a good night sleep – that’ll set ‘em straight.
On the morning the troops headed back to Stormwind, Cersei watched from the mossy tower, trying to remain unseen. Her thin ribcage felt hollowed out. Of all the men she had tricked, transformed, and taken, only Squire Rowe turned around to look for her in the morning haze, until another soldier pushed him forward. He was the only one who looked back, and none other.

Navimie’s: Stalvan’s Copper Coin

Kubla Matty

HOT-Fab, Limerick style:
There once was a shaman named Matty
Who believed herself to look quite knatty
Though the HOTFB some may mock
She thought she was kind of a jock
Even if the reality was damn tatty
In Azeroth did Mataoka
A Helm of Fierce Bison decree
Where Yan-Zhe the sacred river ran
Though dailies measureless to man
Down to a fatiguing sea
So twice five flight paths of dark soil ground
With dungeons and towers were girdled round:
And here were the gardens filled with herbs and rills*
Where humming violet light of Crystalsong’s tree
And here were forests ancient as the Grizzly Hills,
Enfolding treasures of gear of greenery
But oh! That deep romantic knitted cap which slanted
Down the long brown hair athwart a noggin cover!
A savage place! As holy and enchanted
A e’er beneath a waning moon was daunted
By a woman wailing for her stolen golden clover!
And from this noggin, with ceaseless hubris seething
As if this earth in Borean leather pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain of Sha was forced:
Amid whose swift windshear’d burst
Huge fragments vaulted like dismounted hail
Or chaffy plagued grains in dungeon’s flail;
And ‘mid these dancing elfs at once and ever
It nerfed the hunter’s once-useful quiver.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through pixels and bytes the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to ogre-man
And sank in tumult, without any breathing potion
And all who hear should see her there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
Her flashing eyes and messed-up hair
Weave a circle ‘round her like Mike Tyson
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For she on bosses’ hides hath fed,
And herald the Helm of the Fierce Bison!

Magical thinking…

I’m off again to Seattle for most of the day, finding solo activites to pass my time, and am bringing my rusty, sake-spit laptop (that’s sock-kay, yes the one I choked on a shot of sake one night and messed up the keyboard).

Seriously – this waking up at 430 or 445 has got to STOP. I know it’s a combination of stress, genetics, and well, not sure what else, but it’s starting to make me a little bonkers. I mean, damn, I have often joked that in a past life I was a milkmaid, some kind of lowly peasant, but this carry-over is getting on my last nerve. Oh well.

But what cheers me is Navimie wrote a poem about my epic Helm of the Fierce Bison, or my and Tome’s HOT-FAB.

The Helm of Fierce Bison’s misleading
Won’t give me protection I’m needing
It looks cute on my head
But no use if I’m dead
Or lying there crippled and bleeding.

I think there’s is a rebuttal in me; hopefully I won’t be too sleepy to get it out! I’ll sit on a street corner in Seattle, wearing the helm, and see if anything comes to mind!

Whoop-de-doo, mate!

Okay – promise – not a political post–this is a post about my friend Navimie. Navi is an Aussie. Navi worries about us Yanks sometimes, as she’s told me so. I’m sure she’s worried about our education system, our obesity rates, and the lack of good surfing locations. I share her concerns. While watching The Daily Show last night, I was squarely thinking of her. I look to the Southern Hemisphere to possibly give us Yanks some sanity. You just never know. If anything, at least you can watch this video– fast forward to the end, and you’ll be treated with some Australian beach beauties shouting, “Whoop-de-doo!” That made CDR rewind it a few times, that’s for sure. 

Anyway — what little things about your day remind you of a player friend? I have more than I can count, and wish I was sitting in a pub right now having handsome Aussies cheer me on with a hearty ‘whoop-de-doo,’ whatever that means, mate.

Mataoka’s and Navimie’s Beasts of Pandaria: Gorespine

When Dornaa was very small, the matron of the orphanage would read her tales and fables. Many of them were about thick-skulled Orcs and clever Draenei, but one storybook, found among the crates and debris, had wild fables of unimaginable creatures. The landscapes were beautiful, and unlike any description of Draenor or of the sulfurous, desolate, and sharp lands she lived in now. Dornaa loved the illustrations and the stories, even if they were completely unreal; there were talking brown and white, or black and white, bears in them, for Velen’s sake!
One story, in particular, stuck with her. It reminded her of Norbundo…
The Tale of Gorespine
Once upon a time, when the Gods of Beasts and Critters were making the animals of the world, one god, Cuowu, who was trying to make a name for himself, created the rodents. He made a basic shape out of mud, the rubbish tins, and odds and ends off of a dark forest floors. First he made the rat, clever and cunning; next came the raccoon, full of shady dealings and good manners. He made a few mistakes with the platypus when a duck fell in love with a beaver, but that’s a story for another time. His masterpiece was the hedgehog. This hedgehog was superfluously cute. It was so cute, so adorable, that whenever anyone saw it, they wanted to squeeze the very life out of it. In order to protect his most cherished creation, Cuowu gave the little darling hundreds, maybe thousands, of stiff little quills, (he got the idea from looking at a hairbrush, the one his mother used to spank him with when he was a tiny god: that thing hurt!) and off the hedgehog went about his happy, adorable life.

The first time Dornaa heard this story, she stopped and asked the matron,“I thought this was about Gorespine?! The drawing is of a big, ugly creature, matron, not something sweet and cute!” The matron would say, “Be patient, wait, I’m not done yet…”

While working passionately, lovingly on the adorable hedgehog, Cuowu put the leftover, ugly, extra sharp, and too-long quills in the back of a mud lump that he didn’t know what to do with. He had already created the rat, the raccoon, and the hedgehog. It seemed enough. This lump of mud and forest floor droppings was the collection of all the leftover bits from his portfolio of critters. What Cuowu didn’t know was that the lump was alive, and every time he put another quill in its back, like it was just a pincushion for a cruel seamstress, it felt a sharp pain. The creature finally shouted, “ENOUGH!” which startled Cuowu so, that he jabbed the rest of the quills in the back of the mud creature and yelled at him to leave his sight, and never enter the realm of the Gods of Beasts and Critters again. With a kiss and a blessing, he sent the hedgehog off into the world, full of grubs and bugs, and other delicious morsels. For the creature, which Cuowu called a ‘porcupine,’ because it was like a pig made of pine cones, he gave him bark and other nasty, bitter food. The porcupine left cursed.

The quills punctured his back, with drops of blood welling in the wounds: he took the name Gorespine.

Gorespine wandered the world, but not in an adventurous way, like the braver lions or the soaring eagles, but in a desperate need to find the next hole, the next tree limb, or the hidden places. If he encountered another of the gods’ creations, they mocked him for his ugliness and, well, for his rudeness. They knew the gods blessed each of them with either strength, or flight, or even webbed feet for faster swimming, but this thing—what was it, anyway? All they knew it wasn’t nearly as cute as a hedgehog. Mostly, they just left it alone. Taunting it only produced the same result: Gorespine insulted them with barbed retorts, and was just the same old, cantankerous creature.

But Gorespine was desperately lonely. He was miserable. It wasn’t his fault Cuowu screwed up, was it? It was all Cuowu’s fault. It was the other animals’ entire fault. He chewed some bitter bark, thinking about how wrong everyone else was, how much everyone else was the cause of his pain and problems. He didn’t see that the hedgehog had quills, too, and was being his cute self. He didn’t see that the raccoon was getting a bad reputation all on his own for thievery (and obsessive hand-washing), and the rat was chased by brooms by the big, booming animals every time he showed a whisker.

Meanwhile, Cuowu felt regret. Well, he wouldn’t have, except that the Gods of Beautiful Birds found out about the banishment, and openly chastised him for not taking more care in his creations. Every animal, beast, bird or fish has a place: from the plain brown wren to the showy peacock, they told him, and he had better set things right, or this outcast would cause great harm.

In his misery, Gorespine thought he would hatch a plan of revenge. Every scenario he would throw his quills like arrows to all of those who hurt him, and blind Cuowu. One day, while shuffling through the forest, he came across a little dung beetle, happily rolling some scat. Gorespine asked him, “What do you have to be so happy about? What did you do to make the gods mad that this is your task?” The dung beetle laughed and said, “Are you joking? Mad? No! The gods blessed me! I have one of the most important jobs of all! I make sure things are kept clean for all of you other creatures…oh, and I’d do it for free! But I’ll say this anyway: You’re welcome.”

Gorespine did not expect that response. He was certain all animals were better off than he was, and if not, then they would certainly be just as miserable or cursed.

He then came upon an ant, toiling with a leaf ten times his size. He also asked the ant if the gods had cursed him, and the ant laughed and said, “Oh no! I am blessed! I get to help my entire family, all 10,988 of them, in our colony, and I live to serve the Queen (whom he thought was the kindest, most intelligent Queen he had ever known in his short ant life), and I am so strong! Just look at me! Now, I am busy, but you have a lovely day! Oh, and your quills are magnificent by the way.”

Gorespine felt his mood lifting. It was uncomfortable, like being un-tethered from the only anchor he had. But he did feel something happening.
Finally he came upon a snake warming itself on a rock in the sun. Gorespine felt the most sympathy for this snake. He asked him, “Snake, are you not afraid an eagle will snatch you up and eat you, and you without feet to run away, or wings to fly?” The snake hissed a laugh and said, “Oh noooo, noooo, not me, ssssseeee! I am fast as a lightning bolt and have all I need in my sssspine to move me and my mouth to eat. You’re lucky you have those quillsssss to protect you though. Sstay with me a while: the ssssun feelssss sssso warm, and it’ssss good to be alive, even for a few momentsss….” And sure enough, an owl swooped down and grabbed the snake for its evening snack. But Gorespine could swear he heard the snake say, “I have no regretssssss!”

The gods were watching Gorespine, waiting to hear his thoughts, and see if he was ready for his gift. Gorespine thought to himself that indeed he could go on as he had, feeling anger toward those he felt to blame, but now he knew he had a terrible thing, worse than quills, worse than ugliness: he had a choice.
Now, he could never completely give up being cantankerous. That was also a gift from the gods. If he did want to be alone, and think his own thoughts, he could. But if he wanted to enjoy others, and enjoy the day, or the night, or the crook of a tree limb, or the big, sharp, quills (the hedgehogs only had puny ones: like pooping hairbrushes! Silly things, thought Gorespine) he had his strength and size.

And no one would mess with him, unless he wanted to be messed with. The gods witnessed his transformation, and Cuowu created a beautiful porcupine mate for him, with the sweetest little pink nose and the sharpest of quills. To this day, you can see descendants of Gorespine rolling, grumbling, and sometimes laughing, on top of the hill far away.
The moral of the story is: sometimes the gods put blessings in the wrappings of curses.

Click for Navi’s tale of the week: Lucky-Yi