Category Archives: Tome of the Ancient


monkeys evil






Et tu, Tome? Oh no – it’s happening. Betas going out, folks posting about WoD, and I am having to avoid reading my favorite blogs because I don’t want to know anything. See anything. Think about anything. I am in blissful ignorance. Actually, I don’t blame Tome one bit. She is my sister of the Helm of the Fierce Bison clan, after all, and those bonds run deeper than garrison posts or Khadgar fashion. Way deeper. No one gets between me and my Tome.

Helm of the Fierce Bison
Helm of the Fierce Bison Sisterhood

But let me tell you something about ignorance: it is expensive. Take for example how many times I was taking items in and out of the void bank, paying high interest rates, when young leet druid told me that that had been fixed long ago, that you can just tab on a button while in the dressing room of mog and see all of your gear/fashion. /stupidme And there was something else that happened recently where I did something so stupid, simply because I wasn’t keeping up with WoW Insider news recently. I cannot keep up with it all, and monitor social feeds and other news. I just can’t. Yesterday I started my writing workshop at a location far, far away from home, and I thanked the gods that I had a place away, yet, when it was over and I was waiting for CD Rogue to pick me up, I found that I could play Hearthstone. Oh. No. No. No. No.

Let me confess right here and now what I love about Hearthstone the very most, and when I told Dahahka he said something about me truly being an evil nerd:

If only I had this in real life...
If only I had this in real life…


When I play a Warlock, and the other side places all their goodies on their table, buffed up, doubled up, exponentially awesome, and whether I am about to win or lose (cause you never know in Hearthstone: you could be at 1 health, and still rally), but it’s probably certain I am going to lose, I play this amazing card, and BOOOOOOOOOOM – but here is the nerd part: I will laugh maniacally out loud. Like a cute baby in a video. Like a witch with a freshly waxed broom. Like a crazy woman off her meds. (No one I know, that’s for sure.) It is the most cathartic, deeply satisfying moment in almost any game I’ve played.

I win! (Even if I lose.)
I win! (Even if I lose.)


Water, water everywhere, but Evermaw moves too fast…

The Albatross: Mervyn Peake

Mr. Snerguls edited the content, and has now made it safe for public consumption:

We may not like the RNGs and how Blizzard structures things on occasion, but no one can accuse them of not using a wealth of literary allusions. Get out your SparkNotes, kids, or for us older folks, Cliff Notes.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge


It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?

The Bridegroom’s doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May’st hear the merry din.’

He holds him with his skinny hand,
‘There was a ship,’ quoth he.
‘Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!’
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye—
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years’ child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

‘The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon—’
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.

The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.

The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o’ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.

And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—
The ice was all between.

The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name.

It ate the food it ne’er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner’s hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine.’

‘God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—
Why look’st thou so?’—With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.

Tome mentions in her post today that killing an albatross is bad luck; I had forgotten that particular detail of the poem, but just remembered an albatross is a symbol of a great burden to bear. 

It is a work that has stood the test of time, and those Blizzard writers are getting their money’s worth out of those English majors, that’s for sure. Which reminds me: this story on NPR the other day depressed and enlightened me: Why Women Choose Lower Paying Jobs. I have my own albatross to bear, and it’s called Student Loans.

Weepy writing warlocks…

Eating my own head: typical

I can’t find my black writer’s journal. I searched for it yesterday afternoon in my stacks of things, and it’s gone. I’ve had it for weeks, staring at me with the potential of my scribblings and notes, false starts and story seeds, and now…there are rumors of dishes, spoons, and fiddling cats perhaps pilfering it in the night, but unsubstantiated. This, among some other things, made me a little weepy yesterday. I have tried so hard this summer to organize things, set things right, and have something to show for my efforts, and yesterday, well yesterday felt like the Sunday night of this season. I hate Sunday nights. Sunday nights are the sniveling, broken-promise-of-was-going-to-bake-you-cookies-but-I-didn’t of the days. That was my mood yesterday afternoon.

Perhaps it was brought on, in part, by my personal in-game promises, or goals (I mix the two concepts up):

1. Finish Wrathion’s challenge
2. Finish the Green Fire quest
3. Adopt a Spirit Bear
4. Find an Unborn Valk’yr.

This would appear, if my data are correct, as a 25% success rate. Not great.

However, flying under the banner of “What I Can Control” guise, I can, and will, get to know this warlock better. Tome, too, has been playing with another specialty in her warlock repertoire. To better my own lock-skills, there are two warlocks I admire. In true professional journalistic integrity, I sought permission from Purpleice beforehand to show and discuss his elite warlock:
The second one lives in anonymity at all costs, so he shall remain, respectfully, to himself.

Some of his glyphs/talents surprised me, and yes, we must concede that he his an epic raider and has obtained wonderful gear. But he is a humble little gnome, head and shoulders above the rest, or at least hoof and ankles, and the human behind the lock is very funny and kind.

This one surprised me because I thought this was more for Demonology – now I am going to try it out for my Destro spec, too.

Oh, that’s what that does!

Again, surprised. Demons just aren’t for Demonology…

As far as stat priorities go, it would seem that Destruction and Demonolgy are basically the same:

Hit – 15%
then Crit for Destro

Okay. Simple enough. One thing that caught my eye was that Icy Veins highly recommend Elvui. I did like it, but….


Anyway. Tome and I share a love of learning, and trying new things. This post in no way, shape or form is to insinuate that I am an expert in warlockery – not even close. I just know that if I post it here it won’t get lost, like some black writer’s journal I know. Perhaps it ran off with my Grimoire of Awesomesauce. That seems to be missing, too.

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!

On the level…

Purse dump post trip: this is going to be one of “those” posts
(this did get cleaned up, by the way)

Levels….so many levels…

While I was busy cavorting with caverns, many in-depth bloggers weighed in on the leveling question. I’ll get to that in a minute, but here is Bear’s first one, and follow-up, and Tome’s, and Matticus’. I thought the question may have been misplaced, or perhaps there is another consideration about leveling: it’s not the pace, it’s the “birth order” if you will. Each character has begun, or been deleted, changed, moved, etc. for unique reasons. So perhaps the better question is, “why did you start this character in the first place?”

Who are you?

Smoke and mirrors, baby…smoke and mirrors…

Matticus started a series of “Behind the Scenes” about bloggers he admires, sort of a ‘who’s who’ behind the keyboard when the keys aren’t being used to lightning bolt lightning bolt. This made me think of a few things, one is — what the hell am I doing, and why does anyone even stop by this blog? No, don’t get me wrong – I’m not challenging you to stay away, I love you guys. I’m sure Navi has long decided I’m TL:DR (I am) and I may have annoyed a few folks, too. I don’t have any good advice on WoW, I don’t know how to level pets, or find fish, or down heroic raid bosses, or heck, I don’t even know how to function in a guild with more than three people! I am going to have to slash-and-burn my computer over the next week, and start all over again, wiping everything clean, my game mouse was handed over years ago to young leet druid, more often than not there is a stack of bills staring at me while I ignore them and stare at Azuremyst, and I’m not all that friendly. During our trip, my sister-in-law, who is an extremophile introvert, was shocked, and not in any way kidding, when I told her I needed to be by myself at times. She assumed, and blatantly told me, that she thought with my job, personality, etc. that I “feed” off of other people.


No. If anything, at times I’m the one who’s scraping off the barnacles and swimming for that rock to hide under. That’s how I give energy and time back, when I can recharge. Did she imagine my big personality standing in the center of the three-ring circus 24/7, just waiting for each new audience, never once taking a bathroom break or plucking my eyebrows? Guess not. Interesting: there have been many times this past year or two I’ve described my life as “fish bowl,” floating poop and all.

This made me wonder about all the misconceptions between introverts/extroverts, but I’ll ponder that another time. My brother-in-law brought up an interesting personality test, the DISC. He uses this to make necessary snap judgments. He immediately said I am a strong “D” – dominance and “I” – influence. Rarely am I conscientious about things (this is where CD Rogue and I differ, and yes, it does cause some friction, but the C’s are vital to getting things done right; the “Ds” such as myself are vital to getting them done at all). The thing my bro-in-law said about “Ds” that really struck home was “they are comfortable with anger.”


Wonder how this applies to guild management? If a raid team has a house of “Ds” but needs some “Ss” – that would be an interesting guild recruitment ad:

“The Freudians” seeking talented raiders, IL 566+, experienced 12/12, only C (conscientious/compliance) players who follow rules and plan everything, RL is a “D” and will make all decisions, no “I” players wanted (no drama) and one shammy/druid healer “S” to keep things stable.

The thing is–I create most of my own obstacles. Pathologically I create things that seem like they’re stopping me from doing whatever it is supposedly I proclaim is important to me. For example, CD Rogue and I had a disagreement over space: he has it, I don’t. Well, I do, but it’s more public, and I always have to “just ask” if I want privacy, quiet, or time to collect my thoughts, or even just play WoW has loudly as I want. He’ll say, “You were just playing your game, so I didn’t think blasting David Letterman from the next room was a big deal.” And then when I tell him he never has to make that choice, I am the petty one, but he does emphasize that he’ll do whatever I ask. I just don’t want to have to ask, because asking leads to demanding, and demanding leads to bad publicity. So, up early in the morning am I, said in my Yoda voice. Where’s Mrs. Yoda, I wonder? Did she take the tadpoles and move to Wisconsin to work as a university professor of early Tatooine literature? Point: I should just shut up and write, move, go to the library, whatever. Maybe Mrs. Yoda can meet me for tea.

What were you talking about?

So, back to the question: Do I think leveling is too easy?

Answer: Yes and no. The leveling is dependent upon the motivations for the game character.

Sometimes I use the Remote App for WoW. I say sometimes because it is damn distracting. Its greatest features are the screenshots it takes of characters, and the remote auction house. I can blindly post things to the AH without all that nagging, “I might need this someday” angst.

And I counted my characters:
Priests: 9
Shamans: 7
Warriors: 6
Warlocks: 5
Monks: 5
Hunters: 4
Mages: 4
Rogue: 3
Death Knights: 2
Druids: 2

and one paladin:


Luperci the Brave, the Beautiful, the Broken. I worked so very, very hard on her in Cataclysm. Tanking through every nerd-raging, angry, bored player, learning every nuance of every dungeon. Too afraid and intimidated to learn to tank through raids, somehow I never found the guild/group who was going to be patient with me while I learned. I remember making a mistake once and being told “YOU WIPED THE RAID!” but with the male tanks, the patience levels were much higher: “That’s okay, try again, you do this, okay?” Forget the scantily-clad gear: the real sexism is far more subtle than size 40-DD breastplates. Somehow, knowing what I am doing when I am in charge of children, car repairs, bill paying, yard and house maintenance is fine, but God help me if I don’t turn a boss the right way once. Suffice it to say, Lupe has been on the shelf this expansion. She is a lost soul. Of all the ways to level, raising a tank is probably the hardest. I would say that I don’t have the time, but like eating right and exercise, if I really WANTED to find the time, I would for her. The only person who had patience with me was my friend Turk, and for that I want to thank him. He helped me get through the Zuls, and understand more of the intricacies of tanking, though he himself doesn’t have a paladin – he does however know his stuff, and this game, very well.

I have always felt though, that it doesn’t have to be “hard.” At least not emotionally. I have wished for simulations of raids, etc. where I can get my hands on a character and test things out. Not training dummies, and not by watching other videos, but a proving ground of sorts. What? What did you say?! Maybe my wish came true?!

Identification, please

So who am I? Will a Matticus ever be interested in interviewing someone like me? Probably not, and that’s a good thing. I get to spill my inner purse contents all over the floor on this blog, sort through it, and have some time to think. It’s my Play-Doh. I wish I could offer more game advice, but alas, that is not my area of expertise. I am the Queen of Half-Done Projects and Wishful Thinking. Fact is, I love playing WoW, and I have a great life, real and imaginary. Welcome to my mushroom: take a tiny bite and enjoy the trip.*

*No, you dorks, I am not condoning drug use — it’s a metaphor.

Postscript: I considered putting a picture of myself that CD Rogue took on our trip. But real photos are deceiving. Many of my friends and family on Facebook made fun of me, cause I’m wearing CD Rogue’s hat that could be mistaken for a park ranger hat; my nose is its Scottish-German lumpiness, my eyes a little squinty, and I look kind of tough. My dad said I looked beautiful but with my inner determination. My husband thinks I’m beautiful (unless I’m asking for something), so I guess beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and situational. We can’t control how others see us; we can barely manage our own inner mirrors.

Theme song: Inspired by Arvash:

Green Day/Basket Case

And courtesy of Dahakha:

The Avalanches – Frontier Psychologist

Expulsion is the only answer…haha!

Out of the bottle…

I can’t even type yet. Well, I’m freezing. CD Rogue is part polar bear, and the Matty-shack is a friggin’ igloo, but that’s not the only reason. I wish I could write this tale like Navi does – swashbuckling, daring-doos and don’ts, and all kinds of Azerothian yumminess! Here’s the short version:

1. If you have two accounts, and you’re camping a pet on one, guess what? All your pets are locked up. This is why when you see Qiraji spawn repeatedly at 3:30AM Australian time and you can’t engage it….yes. I did that.

2. If you know someone like Tome you have all you need. She will take you to her PvP server, defend your lame level 70 ass, engage in a spawn, forfeit, and pave the way to an amazing new pet!!!

3. If you know a lucky mage who sends good luck your way, you also have a buff.

Not only do I now have the title and the achievement, the luck and love, but a damn cool pet!! I think this pet is really fun – kind of like a 70-something Barbara Eden who can still rock the genie bra:

No way I’m getting that genie back in the bottle!

Tome: again, you have come to my rescue. I cannot thank you enough – but will try to find a way!

Tiny Story Time: A dragon on the doorstep…

“Pussycat, what are you up to?” the priestess inquired. Usually the snooty soot-black cat kept her own council. The cat never complained, unless the hearth cooled or the back-door latch kept the night locked away, so the girl made sure to keep her content, for the cat had the most disagreeable howl. But the cat did not answer her question, nor did she howl, so the girl ignored her.
Since the cat wasn’t talking, the girl returned to the sewing and mending hours, but the cat did not acquiesce. She persisted to be notorious. The girl saw her like a small shadow in the corner of her eye.
Then the pussycat sauntered under the kitchen table.
The girl did not look up from her sewing until the kettle whistled, and her foot crunched a cache of bones. The cat dashed under the larder, looking left, and right, as if to fool the mistress into thinking she was there the whole time. The girl picked up a small bone: it was freezing to the touch, and burned with cold. 
The cat positioned herself just under skirts and the spoon to the honey jar, not subtle in her bid for attention and anonymity. A quick performance of an infinite figure eight through the girl’s queer legs should suffice. The girl, to thaw her freezer-burned fingers, wrapped them around the warm tea cup. The pain become unfocused, as she saw a small pestilent mist roll from under the larder. Investigating, (and spilling tea) there were two diamond frozen hollow eyes, and she heard a small squelp. The cat, tail up, went behind the back leg of the larder and dragged the small, nearly dead dragon out, and lay it at the queer legs of the girl: a gift. 
With a sweep of her tail, pussycat nonchalantly moved the pile of bones closer. This big stupid girl needed to be hit over the horns with mace and mallet before she would get the clue. She bent down and puzzled over one other odd component: some horse hair, silver and golden at once. 
The source of these gifts… well, the girl knew better than to question.
Editor’s Note: Tome helped me track down that Scourged Whelping today. Finally, right place right time. And well, more things than rare undead dragons showed up today. Happy to have friends back, and whelpings rescued from potential harm!