Tag Archives: draenei

Story Time: Allegiance

Warning: If you haven’t gotten a character to Level 100 in Warlords of Draenor, stop reading. 



By Mataoka the Shaman

-For a paladin-

The Light, and truth, equally burns.

Mataoka’s brother mused, “Ah, women – they never get along,” but she had known plenty of men who engaged in turf wars. This was not a case of simple female pride—something was very off about Yrel. Jealousies tamped down her instincts, however, dismissing simple signs and easy actions. She should have seen all coming, but her vision turned greasy and foul. She kept any further complaints about the new paladin “savior” to herself after his dismissal.

Jealousy—there is the strangest of emotions. It serves no purpose, and causes only damage. It is not the hate that burns villages, nor the love that creates life: jealousy eats and is never satisfied, destroys and leaves facades, loves fiercely but cannot create more.

In the distant past, an ancestry, Yrel’s branch grew on the family tree, a broken line, perhaps a cousin. Mataoka’s mother told tales of a great heroine who fought side by side with the bravest of leaders of Draenor: Velen, Nobundo, and Maraad. Mataoka imagined herself fighting by Maraad’s side, saving the Draenei, changing the course of loss and blood. She had personally met the Prophet many times, and felt his blessing upon her brow, though her heart and shamanistic rituals stood loyal to Nobundo most of all. Mataoka tolerated the Light because it was her people’s way, just as they tolerated her bonds with the elements.

To have a chance to save Draenor, to show herself worthy, to honor her mentor Nobundo—the redemption and glory! And just as in her dreams, here she was as an equal to Maraad, helping him find his way anew.

And when it began, Mataoka was ready.

The smell of burnt oil and sick permeated the air. The ground flowed with fel vomit, waste products, toxic and slow burning.

She attacked with Khadgar, Maraad, and Thrall before dawn, her spirit wolves at her side, more ferocious than ever, as if some ancient prey taunted them – they sought revenge like one and all – the time’s heat melted all boundaries between past and present, and in the razor’s edge of now, reclamation was theirs for the taking.

Everyone sought a second chance, it seemed.

And there in rags, in a cave, standing suspiciously over a dead orc warlock, whimpered Yrel. Her horns were unlike any set Mataoka had ever seen—thick, large, curved around her ears and chin. Through the generations why had no other Draenei received these horns? The singularity, the otherness made her suspicious. Mataoka defiled her true nature, before the past became the now, by changing her skin from lavender to blue to please her mother, to be more of a proper “Draenei.” To show the Prophet her birthright and allegiance. And here was Yrel with skin the color of an Azuremystian field, just as Mataoka once had.

Yrel’s manner seemed coy: “Oh, someone else is here!” Mataoka wondered why she was hovering over the dead orc…was she waiting a rescue? And then to say she was fine on her own, and sent Mataoka on her next mission. She didn’t even recognize a fellow Draenei! Yrel took charge immediately: ordered Mataoka to go with her to find her sister Samaara– including no recognition by any of the Draenei. Yrel kept off-handedly referring to her as “hero,” or “champion.” Yrel’s lack of acknowledgment gnawed on Mataoka. And the bones snapped, and splintered. And stuck.

Trapped in this new time, Mataoka couldn’t easily go back to Stormwind, or Azuremyst, though the songs in the trees and on the wind sounded just like home, it played false. She wondered if others heard the songs too, or did only she hear the songs of the past, clear as cathedral bells?

And the drumbeat of more orcs.

More orcs.

Relentless. Orcs.

Mataoka’s blades dulled, and her eyes faded. Her heart heavy with envy, and she grew fatigued. But though the world seemed a dream, and its inhabitants all ghosts, they would kill her if she let down her guard. The monsters proved satisfyingly easy to slaughter, but the real monster grew inside.

Every third step, she would see Yrel again: her armor improved, her status growing. She stood next to Maraad and the Prophet as a peer, taller than the others, again, in a swamp acting shy around the Prophet, “Oh, I am not ready to lead soldiers!” and the next moment ordering battle-hardened warriors as if she was born to it.

And those horns.

Yrel never called her by name, though Khadgar did, and sometimes even the Prophet. To Yrel, she was just another ‘hero,’ said with the commonality of Mataoka’s origins: low and common. Or at least that’s how Mataoka heard her.

“Many depend on you,” the Prophet said.

“Many have always depended on me,” she thought, “and I have never let them down. Where was this ‘savior’ at those times?”

Yrel’s accent was Draenei, but off somewhat. Mataoka couldn’t place it. It had a particular pitch that seemed sweet, but the stinger was still in the honey.

She said, “Prophet Velen is a great teacher, but he’s too serious sometimes! I would much rather live out the holy principles than read about them in a book, don’t you agree?”[1]

“No, I don’t agree,” thought Mataoka.

Yrel gossiped about Maraad, too; subtle things, little criticisms, and Mataoka knew no purpose for this ingratiating babble. She was not impressed, it did nothing to placate the hate, nor did it make her feel closer to Yrel. Who the Sargerei did this woman think she was?

And those Sargerei; oh how Mataoka envied them most of all, and felt the most shame for this. The magic and power the netherbinders wielded, consuming all with no mercy. Gul’dan’s black grip held all the power. They were Draenei with the powers of warlocks, the powers of Gul’dan, who surely was their destruction in this world, as he had been in all worlds. Power never lets go, and if the world has shown anything, those with the most get more. And those without simply die faster.

But she kept on.


Ner’zhul took Yrel’s sister, and on an alter of blood and bone, stole her life, her soul, and brought Yrel to her knees. If one of her sisters was on the slab, she knows she could have saved them, of this Mataoka was sure. Prophet, her sisters would never have gotten in that place to begin with! Her sister the priest, or the paladin! Ha! Mataoka would have like to seen Ner’zhul try to tie Luperci to a slab!

But her sisters followed the Light. No one ever spoke of rock and water, or fire and air. Being a shaman she was already behind the shadows, in the dusk of energy.

But the hate sank deep in the final moments, during the Prophet’s final apotheosis, he chose Yrel over her. Chose Yrel without hesitation. He placed the blessing of Light on her forehead, and her screams of protest scratched Mataoka’s scarred heart with their pitchy, fake notes.

She couldn’t respect Yrel, and she hated her, and she must know follow her. This was the only impossible thing she had ever been asked to do.

Nobundo – she would pray to Nobundo! Her father, her mentor, her guide—the one who owned all true wisdom and solace. Nobundo would guide her.

In this new land, she sought the elementals. Like her Dwarf friends in an ale house, there they were, right where they should be in Nagrand. Some things are dependable as the sun. She fought for the elementals, single-focused, determined, and felt powerful again. When Yrel couldn’t save Maraad, but seemed resigned to his fate, Mataoka hate increased. She carried with her the mark of sin from her hatred of Yrel, but she didn’t reflect, she didn’t consider, and she tried to move forward. The mark manifested itself as a dull blessing of Light on her forehead, dimmed and sick. As soon as she was finished settling the elementals, she would find a way back to the Exodar and speak with Nobundo.

In the center of the elemental circle, a young, handsome paladin Draenei stood.

And Mataoka sank.

There stood Nobundo, from the past.

Why hadn’t she considered this? All were ghosts, all were here…all were gone.

She spoke to him.

He answered he felt he was in a dream, and seem befuddled and a little scared.

There was no one now.

She wanted more than anything to go home, but there was no home.

I will tell you, dear readers and players, and all manner of man and woman, I wish I could tell you how Mataoka found her way back. I know she did, however, but as many things in life, there is no one moment where we are over our grief, unburdened by our regrets, or unchanged by love or hate. We never lose those things, hard as we try. Mataoka simply kept doing what was right, even though it was hard. Many times she faltered, and desired to join the Sargerei, or show Yrel for the fraud she may be. But then…

The moment. The moment, inauspicious and embarrassing: Mataoka realized Yrel could no more change her destiny than any mortal. Yrel didn’t see Mataoka because Mataoka was nothing to her, a shadow: the ghost was not Mataoka; the ghost was Yrel. She spoke to one and all like talking in a dream: it held no weight. Like looking at modern day Auchindoun, with the souls wandering, she was witnessing the future souls past.

Then Mataoka felt nothing but pity.

Yrel was beautiful, brave, and a holy warrior: Velen chose her, yes, but without the flesh and blood, the pumping hearts, and the unctuous, nasty part of living, there would be no redemption for any soul, living or dead. The Prophet knew this. Yrel, once and future savior would know no other path.

Mataoka went wolf form and lumbered quietly to the room of the garrison with the floor pillows, off to the side, away from the followers, workers, knights and lieutenants. No one was there. The pillows were made of the finest flaxseed linen, filled with downy feathers, washed in the clearest part of the warm oceans, smelling of salt, air, and water. Mataoka slept well and deep for the first night in weeks, and dreamed of running in the fields of Azuremyst.

matty sleeping by fire

[1] This is actual questing text during Shadow Awakens.

RTMT: Monsters and Demons

Eredar Warlock
Eredar Warlock

Today’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you courtesy of the Burning Legion: “Because When You Need Your World Destroyed, We Do-om It Better!”

Are Draenei demons? Well, perhaps. 

The Eredar are a species of supremely talented magic-wielders who arose on the planet Argus countless millennia ago. They built a vast civilization of wondrous cities and upheld a peaceful way of life. Twenty-five thousand years ago, however, the tranquility of Argus was shattered, and the Eredar separated into two groups: the Draenei and the Man’ari.

The Man’ari are the demon-corrupted Eredar who now lead the Burning Legion, but they are commonly referred to as the Eredar regardless. This could be due to the fact that, other than the Draenei and Man’ari, there is no evidence of other species of Eredar left in existence. These Eredar are the first among the demons of the Burning Legion.

But I am still trying to figure out how some races get to be warlocks, and others don’t. And, the issue of skin tone comes up too:

The simple answer is no.

When the Draenei broke away from mainstream Eredar society, it was just before Sergeras transformed them into demons. As a result, modern Draenei never were demons.

As for the Draenei’s proper skin color, it’s assumed to be blue since the they are biologically closer to the original Eredar then modern Eredar are. I’d have to go over the Prologue to Rise of the Horde (which takes place on Argus when Sergeras contacts the Eredar) again to see if it’s ever mentioned as such.

So just what is the deal with skin tone? And why does it even matter? Perhaps racial features defined ancestral lines. This reminded me of Irish dialects, how one little country can produce so many nuances to “one” language. How one speaks is indicative of region. I’m still feeling guilty about changing Mataoka’s skin from husky brown to blue. Reminded me of a Drunk History episode (San Francisco) about Mary Ellen Pleasant who “passed” for white, and this freed her to run in the highest echelons of society and wealth. This worries me: do Draenei support or conform to a caste system? Hmmm….if I open that ancestral vault for Mataoka, what skeletons with horns will I find?

I'll do some further investigation...
I’ll do some further investigation…to the reference desk! Away!

In any event, the electric company wrote me and said revenues were down, so I thought I would help them out:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/100371988″>Brent Sims’ Grave Shivers</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/simsfilms”>Sims Films</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/82920243″>Lights Out – Who’s There Film Challenge (2013)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/dauid”>David F. Sandberg</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Minority Report: Orcs

Orc and Draenei
Orc and Gnome

It’s too damn early in the morning and I haven’t made coffee yet, so this will be incoherent gibberish. What else is new? Everyone is loving the new and improved Orcs. The Horde has the new mount, Orcs won the new model redesign, possibly even out-distancing Dwarfs’, and they are the feature of Warlords of Draenor.

They even – yes – even get a second chance.

A second chance to be good? To behave? No, smash kill smash without the fel-blood hangover.

Everyone is excited. Everyone is happy. Everyone–and here comes Negative Nancy...but…


I can’t help but ask, where are the Draenei and Night Elf races journeys for healing and redemption? Where will their stories lead them? Will they be offered the Green Goo of Deals-with-Demons Kool-aid and get to make a choice? Will this bring back their loved ones, or will they just have to watch the scenes play out again? Are they just background noise for the Orcs now? Is everyone background noise for the Orcs now? 

You may be thinking I don’t like Orcs now – not true. I really like all races – each one has both redemptive and unique flaws that potentially create well-rounded narratives. (And thank goodness I don’t depend all my narrative fantasies on Blizzard: I would never play. Mattel didn’t give me stories for my Barbie dolls – I made them up, and elaborate ones they were indeed.)

As I have mentioned, I sometimes envy those who not only understand the intricacies of lore, but also have a vested interest in sides/allegiances. I don’t dislike Horde anymore than I prefer Alliance. I responded to characters, not politics. And I still feel the same. But perhaps we humans are a bloodthirsty species after all: just read the chatter and comments whenever Jaina is doing whatever it is she does; she’s the ‘worst mage’ is one of the kinder comments. And when the peace-loving family man Thrall is confronting Garrosh, well he’s called a wuss among other things. Peace? Peace is for chumps. What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding? Everything.

Last relic of Draenei lore...
Where they buried your lore, princess…

Mataoka wandered around Auchidoun yesterday, and purposeful Draenei spirits walked to their own destinations. And this is where you will realize what an idiot I am: until young cub pointed out it is a maseoleum, a graveyard.  One Blizzard player asked, where is the Draenei lore? There is no Draenei lore anymore. This relic took Mataoka to, of all places, Fray Island: she found herself in a tower watching an Orc and Troll fight.

landed me

fray island

The expansion looks incredible, and I am going to enjoy it: I just had to get this off my breastplate. I have valued From Draenor With Love’s series, especially their slant on friendships between Orcs and Draenei. Both races were abused by unmitigated power, as all the world’s inhabitants are. Here’s a cup of cheer to wish them both a better future. But I have my doubts: I’ll speak softly and carry a big pole arm. Better yet: a big pencil, and write my own stories.

You BETA Believe It! (Somewhat Soggy Spoilers)

Something's Missing
Something’s Missing

Puns somehow soothe my passive-aggressive side. Not sure why. A sweet little bird took pity on my beta-less soul and helped me out. Turns out CD Rogue has had the Beta all along, but told me he never, ever plays betas for some pretty solid reasons: primarily it can only end in tears. Things you like will not make the final cut, and things you don’t will. I know I made such a stink about not playing the Beta; I make big stinks about a lot of things. I get my panties in a knot and put hissy fits on full throttle. Not to mention mixing metaphors. But – please Blizzard, please — I won’t mess with Garrisons yet, and I won’t do anything else. I might ride around on Invincible because like a garage parking attendant, you gave me the keys and while you’re having dinner at your fancy restaurant I’m just going to take it around the block a few times, okay? You’ll never know. Won’t get a scratch on it.

But here’s what my vain self did focus on– outward appearances. All surface, no substance. So here is my quick snap judgment on some of my favorite ladies:

The Night Elf female hands are larger, the ears more rubbery, and feathery unibrow in need of a waxing more than ever before:

Hands the size of thighs.
Hands the size of thighs.

Bitchy resting face in full swing:

Smile, Matty, it's not so bad!
Smile, Matty, it’s not so bad!

Kellda forgot her meds:

Better get that thyroid checked out...
Better get that thyroid checked out…

Please tell me my warlock has not turned into Patricia Heaton (who is batshit crazy):

Crazy...just a little bit
Everybody Loves Crazy














And Hair, Now!

See hair!
See hair! (Uh oh)











And in all seriousness, this Dwarf shaman is beautiful:

Those hazel eyes....ahhhh
Those hazel eyes….ahhhh

But my poor little warlock has a bad case of  Scythenititis:

Um...anyone call a doctor?
Um…anyone call a doctor?

I’m sure there are many more surprises in store. I know you’re all thinking I’m a big fat hypocrite right now, and I am. Let me go find a pipe wrench to get these panties untwisted, and I’ll go gaze upon my pretty Draenei faces a bit longer.

RTMT*:Gentlemen’s Club








We try to play nice…really…

I’m getting there, I really am. But just where “there” is I’m not too sure. It seems I get too distracted by all the other ‘tourist attractions’ along the way. One thing I have realized that without a certain amount of righteous indignation I run out of gas. In other words, I feed on mild irritation. It’s a terrible mind habit, and one I am working on ending. Just not give a damn anymore, Scarlet, you know? But something kept kind of nagging me, it hit me the other day when I was hanging with the OLRG–it really is kind of bullshit when they said WoD was an ‘old boys’ trip. You know – it really was. I’m just fatigued, my friends. Tired of paying the bills, tired of making the economy grow and paying taxes, and then come to find out that my money that goes in the pockets of so many [male] game designers doesn’t seem to count in the coffers. It must not, because this trip was designed to be an old boys trip, and I am not an old boy. Why is this pissing me off now, something that’s over a year old? Old news? Because it needs to be old news, like 1800s old. Like 800s old. Not 2013-+ old. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to tell young women and men you can spend time in both a real and virtual world feeling empowered, sexy, funny, and skilled? Are some men, such a small minority I believe, still so threatened? Why would anyone potentially alienate half of their customer base? I need some back-peddling on this one, fellows.

And – remember Bitchy Resting Face? Do we now have its counterpart, Asshole Face?

Get that elekk out of your shorts!


*Yes, it’s Monday night. I’m getting my hair done tomorrow so maybe that’ll help this funk.