Where in the World....

Well, Christmas was awesome. I got two different Lilith Saintcrow books, and Torr got me a Black Hills Gold heart pendant. I did not expect jewelery, the books were my favorite, but the necklace is pretty. I like glittery things as much as the next girl.

My DvD Drive died on Christmas Day. Torr got Spore... which i might add is addicting as all bleep! :) I found out that my DvD Drive died then when it wouldn't read the DvD. We were under a blizzard warning, and the stores were already all closed, but my brother-in-law had an extra DvD drive lying around, so we swapped that in, and then found out something nasty. My Hard Drive was dead.The hard drive in my computer was older than this blog. It finally coughed, wheezed and died on me.

Remember that blizzard warning? Well, it dumped almost three feet of snow on us. That kinda limits my options to staying in doors for a day or two. It the second day after the blizzard that we managed to dig ourselves out. Snow drifts are still high here. When we were able to get the car out, Walmart, as usual for the bane of my existence (yet still at times being the only place in town open to acquire things) didn't have internal hardrives in stock anywhere. So, I ended up waiting another day. Got a new 160 Gig Hard Drive yesterday.

As I type this World of Warcraft is downloading in the background. I still have to go back and grab any of the Mods I normally use. But I should be modded up and in game tomorrow. I've been missing my fix and staying up very late, and then sleeping in until well past noon.

That's been my week. How was yours?

Ding! 2 Years of Have Bow

Well, its a nice moment for me. I was flicking back through my blog posts of the past two years, and realized suddenly that this is my two year anniversary of Have Bow being in existence. Yep, two years of listening to me ramble. And a year of being with Bloodriver as a guild, I might also add. Grats to me I guess? The fact that this blog even made it a year still surprises me. Now if I can only find something to post regularly... that would be nice.

I guess I won't go into resolutions, since I can never manage to keep them to myself for more than three months, but if its possible, and with Cataclysm coming up here eventually, I will have things to post about. And if I dip back into the Blog Azeroth Community that will at least try and give me a topic to post every week, which would give me 52 blog posts at one a week. That would be an improvement from this last year.

Well, I guess its Ding 2 years and now off for some pie and sparkling cider. See ya!


Evil Walks

I find it rather amusing at times how well my Pandora Station will kick out just the right song when I'm questing around on a lowbie in contested territory on a PvP server. I'm carefully working through Redridge at the moment, almost to 25 and avoiding the roads whenever possible.

Old habits stand me in very good stead - I'd still rather go cross country overland on a lower level character than take a road in WoW. Roads on a PvP server = kill zone. They may be an "easier trip" for avoiding mobs, but I realized long ago that if you are on a hunter, you can handle anything up to 5 levels above your level. That is as a one on one encounter with an even level pet post level 20. Because I know I can handle most mobs in the zone I'm finishing up, I avoid the road and the indefinate stream of level ?? players that are trying to murder my baby night elf hunter* if I'm on a road.

Anyways, I was briefly following a deer trail up to an area (which qualifies as a road) and Pandora kicks out "Evil Walks" by AC/DC. The very next second after I hear :

"Black shadow hangin' over your shoulder
Black mark up against your name
Your green eyes couldn't get any colder
There's bad poison runnin' thru your veins
Evil walks behind you"

I die to a blood elf rogue. Came up from behind. One second I'm fine, running along on my little frost saber (see I can remember I have a mount button, dang it) and the next I'm a twisted mess of limbs and white hair on the ground and I've got a prompt for release to the graveyard.

I have to wonder, does that qualify as irony? I think it does. That or Pandora is capable of premonition... never heard that as one of her traits... but then again, Pandora did release every evil possible into the world, trapping only hope.

And dang it, now I have to go listen to "Only Hope", which I believe is a Mandy Moore song. Ah well, good music, always a reason to listen.

And I might as well add... this entire section of dying was prefaced by "Sign of the Gypsy Queen" which is one of my all time favorite April Wine songs. I should have known something was coming.

* Yes, I do know the sterotype about Night Elf Hunters, especially on a PvP realm. But, combine kitty's prowl + NE shadowmeld and you have a pretty safe way to go AFK for a little bit.


Deadmines From Hell

Who needs to wait for them to make it a Heroic? The run I had tonight qualified a few times over. The group makeup was me on a level 22 night elf hunter with a ghost saber pet. Another night elf hunter at 24 with a white spotted leopard, a 20 druid for healer, a 21 warrior and a 14 druid.

We get into the instance and the warrior is moving fast. It becomes pretty apparent that the hunter has never really played her class before... pet is on either defensive or aggressive... I really couldn't tell very well, going off in all directions, she is meleeing things to death... and can't figure out how to turn off growl or how to heal her pet. I explained how to do both repeatedly. I'm compensating as much as I can, because I really, really want to get this instance DONE, and get the Tunic of Westfall.

We get to the goblin forge area (the workshop I think?) and the 20 druid suddenly bails on us. The 14 steps in to heal, and I fall into keep everything off the healer mode. Other hunter's pet pulls half the room, she panics, I just drop a trap between me and the healer and then start focus fire on the tank's target. I ended up twisting the pet around to pick up stray mobs and throw a heal at him on occasion. We down the boss, blue leather + Stam pants drop. I pass, since I'm wearing a green of the monkey at level 19.

Warrior charges ahead, while druid is drinking. I stay with the druid. Hunter's pet goes tearing off after something. Pull three things on top of what the warrior picked up. We deal, healer starts getting snippy, snappy with the hunter about everything from how she can't control her pet and to bleeping heal your own bleeping pet. I tell him to just ignore the healing on mine, I can keep my pet up. He retorts that I'm not the one he has to worry about. I tell him to chill a bit (we aren't to VC yet).

We get to the boat, fly through Smite. My pet gets glitched right at the point where the dock meets the land before the boat, so I click stay on and move forward. I would have dismissed and resummoned, but didn't because the warrior is already half way up the ramp and engaged. Hunter's pet goes in the opposite direction of what it was suposed to. Three things land on the hunter, healer uses Shadowmeld, I watch her die, realizing I can't do anything with that kind of numbers, warrior dies, healer dies, I smack Shadowmeld and everything goes away.

Hunter, I believe was getting tired of being told how to play her class, even though I was being as nice to her about it as is possible - we've all been there at some point. If a person doesn't know what the heck they are doing, gentle correction and explanation is needed. The other two were swearing and screaming... not a good environment. She hearths out at the beginning of the instance after rezzing.

The three of us decide to press on - we've all seen we can handle our roles. 15 Druid by this point rezzes and walks into an elite patrol, dies. I start heading in the opposite direction, towards the entrance, knowing we might have to handle a patrol or two. I run into a group of 3. Kills my pet, run into the other two making their way to me, we kill the three, I rez pet, druid drinks.

We move back to the boat, kill our way through the scaffolding ramp, then suddenly the warrior has two + the Captain + his adds. We all die. Run back... I get lost in Deadmines as usual, healer laughs at me, and resurrects me inside the instance. We kill the two then pull the Captain down, kill him no problem. Then we kill Van Cleef... again very little problem. Druid stops to drink... he blew his mana keeping the pet and the warrior alive. Warrior goes jumping down after Cookie. I just sigh, pop eyes of the beast after checking the druid... jump cat down, follow.

Druid runs away from Cookie... right out of the instance... he grabbed Heal Aggro by healing a bit too early. Warrior grabs it as Cookie comes back at him, and then dies to Cookie + adds. He's swearing, I'm left with 1 Add + Cookie. I drop my trap and flick on Growl, throw the cat at Cookie.

My level 21 ghost saber tanked Cookie, I danced around with the add, used a health potion,and grinned as he died. Then the cat and I drop the add and I look at my chat log to see that the warrior left the group as did the druid....

I tanked Cookie and an Add on my own, at level 22 with a 21 pet. I got Cookie's loot, which was the wand and the Siamese cat that was waiting for me.

I do not ever want to do that again, but it was definitely an interesting time. Ugh, Pugs.


Sorry Guys

I just want to start out by saying I'm sorry for posting even less than I usually do. But the last few weeks here in the real world have been a bit of an upheaval. I've been working either every single day or not at all, juggling three college classes all demanding various things of me (two of which are just paper after paper after paper). Some days the only thing I end up doing is getting up in the morning write half a paper, go to school, come home, continue writing, eat, save what I've written and then fall into bed. Other days its add work for the evening into there. Basically, school and work have been making so many demands on me of late that i have not had time to play Wow, or when I do, I just do it to try and destress between Math tests and papers coming up due.

On the math testing though, I'm highly pleased to report a B on the last test. Now I just have one more section of this class to get through and then I shouldn't have to deal with Algebra again for a little bit of time!

For Thanksgiving I will again be going to my parents house. Now here's to hoping I can just survive this semester and the next one isn't as scary... of course, if I can manage to pass this math course and the next one lined up, that will clear the last gen ed hanging over my head.


Raiding Elsewhere

Note: This is a Spark Post from World of Matticus.

As an officer in a very casual guild, we see a higher turn over rate than a lot of guilds out there, but we also raid on occasion when we can fit in enough people (and this is at the 10 man level -- I know, I know) but we do it because we like to have fun.

Occasionally we will have people leave us for "harder" raiding guilds. Almost everyone that has left us has done the "Wait til the end of the week, talk to the officers and GM about their decision" route.

Those people for our guild? Always have the option of poking one of the officers or GM and getting an invite back to us. We leave the door open, because we understand that a harder raider oriented guild might just not be what they want. Or one of the officers might end up being the one that the new guild contacts to see just what kind of a person the ex-member was.

I've answered questions in the past ranging from (but not limited to):
1. Can they take instructions?
2. Are they prompt at raid times?
3. Do they come prepared to raid? Do they research the fights?
4. Do they die in circles on the floor -- repeatedly?
5. Do they adjust to rapid changes in pace well?
6. Do they know what proper raid attire is on Tuesdays? (The answer is always a pink tutu, but only in September)*.

Basically our members and many ex-members that are now happy raiders in other guilds are polite to everyone, which goes a very long way in my guild. If something comes up, we are told as soon as possible about it, especially if it will affect plans that the guild has made (such as some one not being able to make it to a raid). We rarely have discipline problems in Bloodriver, which says a lot to how we recruit and treat our people. We have a high expectation of respect given and it shows in everything we do.

We miss guildies that have gone on to other guilds, but they always know they have the option of dropping in and saying hi with an Alt, or dragging one of us along on a run of theirs or vice versa if they or we need people.

To all the guild mates that have come before, I salute you.

* this was a question on an old raiding guild application, to which the answer was buried in the guild's charter. It was a definite "did you read the charter" follow up question.


Brief /AFK

Well, even though most people that read my blog wouldn't even notice- since I seem to be running about a week between posts- I'll be away from the keyboard and the Internet for a few days while I'm packing and moving half-way across town. I might pop in and post something brief after the 'Net comes back up on Saturday Afternoon.

And, because the people that really need to know this kinda stuff are either at work at the moment or are more than likely asleep this will also serve as notice to the guild mates that need to see it most.

Well, gotta get a lot of packing done tonight. See everyone in a few days! And feel free to read anything else that you keep putting off in my blog.


And a reminder to all my guild mates: We are the weavers, we are the web, we are the spiders, we are the thread. We are what makes Bloodriver a great place to be. I doubt the meeting will be anything earth-shattering, but I'll be reading a transcript come Sunday Afternoon.


Casavel & The Culling

The hand that brought the blade through its cleaning stroke was strange, pale gold kissed flesh with short stubby fingers, unlike her normal ones. She frowned briefly, then her head jerked up as the next wave of undead converged onto her small band of adventurers. The illusion that wrapped around her was forgotten as she once again faced a thing she knew how to kill.

Her lips peeled back in disgust and she looked to the right, dropped her shoulder and pulled her shield arm in close, half ducking behind the wall as ghoul claws clanged off the titansteel shield. She shoved back, a low sound slipping from between her teeth as she struggled to open enough space between the press of undead and the shield to bring her sword back to bear.

Another ghoul slammed against the shield, a full body contact that caused the vile corpse to begin smoking as the holy blessing in the metal reacted and flared gold. She snarled this time, her voice lost to the squeals and thrumming power of undead locked in combat with her group. Her lips shaped the one word she needed to gain herself space and the sound of a bell tolled, holy flame blooming from beneath her booted feet and pushing the undead away.

Her blade flicked around the shield, shearing off a clawed hand as the undead threw itself forward, probably thinking to kill her. She whirled as a chopped yell reached her ears, sword flashing a deadly arc and gutting a zombie that was in the inevitable path of the blade, she leapt back towards her companions and the throb of an old church bell once more filled the air as flame rolled from where she stood.

Lightning leapt from the shaman's hands tracing a potential path in the air as it ripped through three of the zombies. Casavel saw the brown eyes of the human before her widen and she turned, shield upthrust as the next wave of abominations and spider lords blocked them at the corner.

"Come, we must press on. Mal'Ganis will not wait."

Casavel flinched as the voice rolled over her. She had heard that voice much colder and deeper when she stood at the Wrath Gate. Only her loyalty to the Dragonflights kept her from running her blade through Arthas and doing the Infinite Flight's work for them. Arthas had to survive for the good of Azeroth. Chromie had stressed that before she wove her illusion over the group. Arthas could not die in Stratholme. And with the Infinite Flight again interfering in the time stream, Cas had agreed along with a group of other adventurers to keep history on course and cull the city along side Arthas.

For, without this culling, she would not exist. Chromie had been very blunt. Her race would not exist. She would not have been born. To keep the stream stable, she had to do this. She had also said something strange, that her own life wouldn't be the only one affected in a negative way, but that her decision would affect the entire Bronze Flight.

The jarring of her sword arm returned her thoughts once more to the fight at hand. She realized suddenly that she had been going through the motions, letting muscle memory do much of the work for her as Chromie's words had rolled through her head... her group thankfully had picked up any slowness on her part and the last shambling corpse had impaled himself onto her blade... apparently in an attempt to get at her, as she realized her blood was tracing a path over her breastplate.

"Look, up ahead. One of the dragons." She heard the murmur from one of the death knights in her party, and lifted her head. He was right. A bronze drake and an infinite were entangled in combat, the bronze drake being used to fuel the alternate portal. This she would not allow. She stepped forward, ignoring Arthas who could not see what she saw, and would not even realize she and her small group had slipped away from his side to help the bronze dragonflight.

Her lips shaped a word, and an ethereal copy of her shield, formed of holy power arrowed towards the head of the infinite drake. It snarled and roared, partially blinded and definitely angered by her interference. She braced herself for an impact and sucked in a breath as the drake slammed into the holy shield that had been woven into her armor. It blunted the impact of foul body and breath. Fire rolled from beneath her feet, and she heard the distant roar of her companions as they launched themselves at the drake.

When the carcass of the Infinite Drake lay cooling at her feet, she turned as a humming groan pricked along her shields. The bronze drake lay crumpled, wing snapped oddly and smoke rising from its gilded flesh. She stepped forward, knowing a gout of blackening dragon blood could burn through her armor and flesh instantly; yet she was honor bound to assist the drake in any way she could. Even if it was only a swift and merciful death.

The drake rasped in a breath, and lifted its head, and her eyes flared for a brief second, and the drake inclined its head.

< Young One, you honor me. May I assist you? >

"No, Wise One. My only wish is to help you." Casavel said softly, gauntletted hand resting lightly on her blade.

< A noble wish, Young Daystar. Our meeting was foretold. I have been waiting for a rider. You are she. Greetings to you, I am Aois. >

Cas stepped back as the wings suddenly became whole and the drake stood before her, one wing extended for ease of mounting. She inclined her head, palms pressed together. "It would be my honor, Aois."

< We will speak later, Young Daystar of the Blood Elves. Finish what Lord Nozdormu expects you to. I will be waiting. >

The drake shimmered from view, and Casavel turned back to her companions and nodded towards the trailing tail of Arthas' army. They hurriedly moved through the men and women, returning to Arthas' side at the head of the battle as the demon stepped into view.

Casavel leapt for the demon, even knowing exactly how this would end and her companions sprang with her. Some good had already come of her time in this wretched place, even if more evil would follow Arthas, and she would be returned to her own time and freed of the human illusion that hung over her entire group. That thought would carry her through this battle, and a gilded drake would carry her into the ones that came after.


/Guild Love

Something Mysthowl said last night in officer chat really got me thinking and agreeing. Bloodriver is a great place to hang out, have fun, and destroy things with good friends while laughing at or groaning over the random comments that fly off vent. Bloodriver is a guild that will drag a fresh level 80 into Naxx as a DPS, laughing at the gearing standards, and then chucking gear at the fresh 80 if it drops faster than that person can go "ooh, pretty! Ma-" [piece of incredibly awesome gear awarded to new 80]. Heck, the guild's official motto (imho) is "Shut up, and let us dress you!" We love our tanks, our healers, and our dpsers too. We're batty enough to try anything at least twice over before changing out a group -grudgingly at that- and trying the insanity again. The concept of NOT doing the insane thing never enters our brains... its "hey let's try doing x, worst that can happen is we wipe."

Bloodriver is also an online support group. A place where you can rant about how your day went, and try and figure out just why it went so badly. Or a place where half the guild at a minimum gets it when an eviction notice shows up at the door, or somebody in the family is really, really sick and that member rushes from where they live now, back to their home state to be with the person that is so ill. This guild steps in and steps up to take over responsibilities when one of the officers has to go on hiatus for one of the above listed reasons, with all guild mates wishing luck, offering advice, or just a shoulder to cry on when things seem overwhelming.

Bloodriver is also the place where you can log into a level 80 epic'd paladin tank and just fly around in circles looking for yellow dots for hours, talking to a friend about everthing under the stars, and nobody in the guild will bother you for a tank... they will just leave you alone circling Nagrand, and never wonder or at least ask what the 80 is doing there. Yet all it will take to draw a person back into the group is the offer of running something, if they want to, and only if they actually do.

Bloodriver is a place to BE. Its a physical place of friends and laughter, its a support group, and its a place of thoughtful conversations and sometimes counseling sessions just one on one, in the middle of the night on any topic imaginable over whispers if you really don't want to give voice over vent about what you are actually thinking or feeling.

And honestly? I wouldn't have this guild any other way. I'm proud to be an officer in Bloodriver. I wear the guild tabard and guild tag with pride. I'd be just as proud if I were nothing more than a lowly Tenderfoot or Kinsman in the guild with no other responsibility other than to have fun and be polite in world chatter. This guild doesn't demand much of its officers - aside from being able to think rationally and vote on occasional things that come up as affecting the entire guild, + the base responsibilities of any member. We hope it demands about the same of the membership. I had leadership of Bloodriver for a bit, barely had to do anything at all.. the guild practically runs itself, with only the occasional hiccup.

I think what I'm trying to say is simple enough : I love my guild, and my guild mates. Awesome people make for an awesome place. Thank you, as always guys. Though, I'm still wondering... how did I become an officer again? ^_^


For the Love of Character

Obligatory notice: This is a spark post off an article and comments at Aspect of the Hare. Thanks as always Pike!

I know the back stories of both my major characters (hunter and paladin) and am still learning aspects here and there. I also have some idea of lower level characters stories. I mean, my DK is a self-absorbed blonde dimwit that got tricked into or willingly gave allegiance to the Lich King in return for power at the cost of her honor. Not dead, but she's certainly not welcome in Silvermoon and tends to instead spend time with the Undead and Sylvanas in Undercity.

I'm on an RP server just because I wanted to say hi to Faeldray (Niqora) from Petoholics Anon at one point. I ended up getting sucked into her guild and staying. I'm not one to RP much either. Yet I find it interesting watching those that do, and have learned more about WoW Lore from RPers than I ever have from places like WoW Wiki and the like.

Faction Change? Never. I couldn't move Casavel or Tzia over to the alliance. Even though I know exactly how Cas would look as a human thanks to CoS, and I have an idea of what Tzia would look like as a Night Elf, I couldn't leave great guild mates behind. And so much of their stories are bound into being Horde. Tzia's battle cry is Lok'tar Ogar! Nothing else ever suits. Casavel draws steel to defend her home, her kin, and her clan. She only swears obedience to two sources: Lady Liadrin, and the Chieftain of the Bloodriver Clan. Anyone else can cheerfully go rot in a back alley of Silvermoon City as far as she is concerned.

When it comes to a racial change? There is no way I could alter Tzia from being a Troll. Her back story dictates Troll, her favorite pet (and mine) is a lavender tiger, chosen long before I knew about the book "The Greatest Race of Hunters" but it still makes me smile. I/she - because there are times when it is hard for me to tell the difference- have made choices that dictate who she is, and how far she will go for something. Tzia's full name is Huntress Tzia Bloodspeaker, Elder of the Bloodriver Clan. However, lately the last part could be changed to Head of the Council Fires, since she is taking over for Mysthowl for a bit.

Casavel carries the Blood Knight Tabard. She is a Blood Knight sworn to Lady Liadrin. Her personality started out being anti-paladin as far as I could get her... long black hair, earrings, and disregard for any form of authority. She also cold bloodedly hunts trolls for sport in her off-time, that being a bitter hold over from when the Amani hunted her people. Over time she has mellowed, she has gone from recognizing no authority to rarely giving allegiance, but committing completely when she does so. Her hair has changed from black to red, but still long, loose, and the earrings still glint from beneath the hair. She is Lady Templar Casavel Daystar, Master Knight of the Bloodriver Clan.


And They Did it all in One Night

Naxx cleared. We started about 4 pm server and I still got to bed before 2 AM my time. Nicely done Bloodriver! I managed to off tank most of the bosses, only had one issue when I tried to take Dead Side during Gothik. We wiped... sorry. But, I also noticed that my biggest issue was in heals versus mana gained.

I wasn't taking enough damage for a healer to consider healing me as the off tank, so I didn't have mana to do anything more than hack at something with my turkey carver, as Vel calls it. Seriously, I was sitting on less than 100 mana much of the time, which grays out all of my tanking abilities. Nechi was a sweetie by innervating me instead of the healers... who apparently didn't need it. But with Innervate rolling my way, I had enough mana to pick up patrols that almost killed us... still can't believe we did die to that one trash pull... overconfident much? Or just blind to the pat?

And the greatest achievement I can think of?

Yes... Casavel survived the freaking dance!! Along with the rest of the raid. How we did that... I do not know but yay! Now I just need to get Tzia through it once. We also picked up a number of other achievements, including Momma Said Knock You Out and Arachnophobia. We might have had the Thadius one, but I know I took damage at one point due to polarity. They tried to talk me into switching out of Frost Resist Aura on Sarth, but I knew better, we were taking too much damage not to have it up. I mean, we swapped out a rogue for a healer that fight.


Ragmuffins vs H ToC

Spark post off of one over at Kestrel's Aerie.

Let me just start out by saying that Bloodriver is made up of crazy people. We will dang well try anything at least once or twice. A few days ago the crazy bug bit when a group of us were solidly running regular Trial of the Champion. I was tanking on Casavel, and our new level 80 druid duo was Dps and Heals for this, along with my husband on his shaman also recently 80, and our lovely other hunter, Niqora was running along for potential upgrades.

We ran ToC for much of the day, then our guild leader's wife, on her Dps rawr kitty said, "Hey, why don't we try Heroic of this?" Her husband flat out said "I don't think I can heal that, babe." Yet the tree / bear druid had been rocking along in regular, and they had both gotten various upgrades from running or had crafted upgrades when I threw leather at them from Tzia. We decided to run a Heroic Halls of Stone first. We figured, if we can handle that, and Towa (aka Mysthowl) can handle that? We can handle H ToC, or at least go down trying.

We breeze through Halls of Stone - even with the shaman in a mix of greens/blues/ and the Naxx 10 shoulder token piece. Then we fly back to ToC, make certain we are repaired and walk in.

The gods loathed us. We got the shaman, hunter, rogue to start off, we all cringed but stepped forward to potentially take a beating. We dropped all three, then ran the hell out of the instance. Came back with them on the far side of the room, buffed up, swapped out weapons (because unlike earlier we were pretty darn sure Towa couldn't heal through the Black Knight using his lance), and then destroyed healer, hunter, rogue.

And then for the first time of the day and the only time I encountered her - I kid you not - we get Pale Girl. I just stand there for a second, and over vent go "Okay, explain her really quickly, cause I've not seen her before - ever guys." Fight is explained, along with her quirks, and the Dps Kitty goes "Dang it, I think she only drops what I want on Regular." We also found out that the set of nine adds are much harder than on Regular (no duh hun?). Didn't realize that the priestess' mind controled, almost wiped my group as the tank when I got MC'd. We figure out what's happening and burn the heck out of the priestess', then the lightwarders, then the monks. Rinse repeat x2.

Pale drove us batty. She wiped us once because we couldn't burn down the Shade she summoned quickly enough the first go round. We rez, run out, repair, and come back in. We then proceed to go after her under the paladin Shadow Aura - 130 shadow resist ftw! She drops and gives Cas a new helm that I need to get socketed still. Then its time for the Black Knight.

He proved to be a cake walk after Pale. We knew that his third phase was always the hardest for us, just because we ALL take damage, and Towa the Tree always ends up as firewood right before the Knight dies. ALWAYS. So, we worked through phases 1 and 2, then he popped up for phase 3. We went to town, blowing everything we had. And I do mean everything - I chucked out any nasty to Undead ability I had (except turn undead - that might have killed us)and he dropped like a stone. I don't remember what he dropped, but we giggled for a bit, shakey from the adrenaline rush.

If a group of ragmuffins from Bloodriver with a part time tank tanking, and a part time off spec is Heals Tree can pull it off? I think the people saying OS 25 gear is a must are completely blipping batty and need to realize skill can overcome some gear barriers, or they are sure as **** making things harder than they actually are.

Basically? As long as one of the DPS is full epics from VoA/Naxx 10 and has the DPS numbers + a Def capped tank with 24k+ starting health minimum ... and a healer in crafted blues / epics + Normal ToC drops? Its been done. We did it, and the most the guild is doing at the moment is Naxx 10.

Now if you'll excuse me, the MC variety of the Crazy Bug has bitten... I'm off to see how many people I'm going to need in MC to actually GET to my leaf so I can go do that cool hunter level 60 EPIC to Hades and back quest.


Casavel : Story

Note: This story was written sometime last year for a writing course, which is why the WoW elements are very toned down. Just consider this the first installment... there is a second story brewing on the horizon.

“I believe in my Prince. He is just! If we do not act now, our homes and families will be destroyed! So ride this day. Ride for our prince, our families. All depend on us.” The voice rang out over the surrounding knights, as horses shifted and whickered, those that sat in the saddles easily moving with their mounts. The waiting tension was getting into the men and into the horses. A hand gently moved down the arch of a silken neck, soothing a restless animal so that it would stand quiet, waiting, like its rider for the word that would set the mass loose upon the swarming army below them.

Casavel shifted in the saddle, peering out through the visor, watching the scuffling skitter of some of the individuals on the hillside across from them. Her lip twisted back, in a grimace of loathing. It had been breathed during the night, while she stood with the icy wind, keeping watch, that the men they faced today were not men, that the leader was more than man. It had been whispered for weeks. She snarled silently.

“I believe in my Prince. Gods protect you with my own blade.” She breathed, repeating part of her oath to her liege, what had set her feet on the path to this dawn. She had been honored that the Prince had even noticed her, but he had, and she was now on a horse, a Blood Knight for her people.

Shaking her head slightly to clear the memory from her mind, her eyes swung back to the red and gold standard that dipped towards the ground once, twice, thrice, then snapped upright again. Horses moved forward at a walk, in an easy line. Horses picking up pace, hooves drumming the ground and down the sides of the hill like an arrow loosed from a bow. The other army swarmed forward to meet them, swords oddly glint less in the morning sun, while armor winked and flashed from the charging knights.

Fingers curling, waiting for the down stride, so that the horses own motion helped to lift free the long blade, she drew breath with it, and was engulfed by the cloying mass. Sound sharp in her ears, a strange buzzing scream as a horse went down, and the clash of shield on shield. Men yelled and others screamed. Her own mount gathered, muscles bunched, and sailed clean over the downed knight, into the up thrust, thirsty, red marred spears.

Casavel hacked down, using the weight and momentum of the horse to add power to the swing, so that instead of just bouncing off the armor, it cleaved through it, splitting thin metal and opening up the throat beneath the guard to the seeking gleam of silver. Blood sprayed and misted, coating the blade and her gauntleted hand, as motion flowed out, her mount rearing, lashing forward with a hoof and backing three steps on its haunches, before crashing down on shield and spear, turning to the side. The sound of her screaming was lost in the clamor of men, horses, armor.

The stagger alerted her, and she threw herself free, as the horse crumpled, legs no longer supports, caving under its own weight. Her fall tucked the blade against her shoulder, rolling to the side, her helm coming free as she gained her feet, without shield, but still in possession of the long sword. She planted her feet, as her dark hair spilled free, showing the hordes in front of her that they faced a woman. Her eyes gleamed cold, clear green as she waited for the overwhelming rush. Three moved forward, all holding blood-caked blades, eyes glittering oddly blue flamed in the dawn. She had an instant to take her guard, and they closed in, blades hacking at her, forcing movement, which she took by throwing herself forward, knowing she was cut off.

One hand held the sword as she threw a handful of dust into the eyes of one with an axe, slowing and confusing him, so that when he swung, the axe buried itself into the thin leather armor of his companion to her left, instead of her own guts. She lashed out with a foot, knocking the blinded one off balance as he tried to yank his blade free and clear his eyes at the same time. Swift flash of bloodied silver ended the attempt as she turned to face the third of the trio, a shield coming to hand as she ducked and side-stepped the heavier claymore that the man bore.

The claymore gashed a furrow in the blood soaked land, and she lifted the shield in defense as he yanked his blade free and swung at her. She caught the weight on her shield arm, and slid left, deflecting much of the blow. She recognized the fighting style in that flash of the blade and stepped into it, ramming her shield arm into the down coming blade, sliding her own underneath, slicing open the leather and spilling entrails and copper blood onto the ground. Opening the sickening stench of death for her, she breathed in harshly, taking the smell with her forward steps.

She jerked back as two figures leaped towards her, teeth bared and short blades held in hand, wearing the same thin armor as their downed companions. An arrow took the one to her right, through the eye, sending a form tumbling like a starfish awash on the cresting blood red wave. The tip of her blade found the left, as his buried itself in her shield arm, just below the shoulder, slicing through chain mail and flesh, slicking the metal.

Then, between her ribs, from behind came the icy caress of a blade. She gasped, her eyes widening, and it slammed into her again, having found a chink in the mail. She gasped again as the blade withdrew and then slashed across her exposed throat, spraying blood into an arc in the air.

Her legs crumpled, the sword fell nerveless from her hand, and she heard again the words of her oath. “I believe…”

Casavel gasped as her lungs slowly flooded, breath whistling from her throat as her heart pumped out her life-blood onto crushed grass, escaping through the tears in her body, where a blade from behind had brought her down. She forced her mouth to shape the words again, “Gods protect you.”


Tzia's UI

Obligatory note: This is a Spark Post off one over at Kestrel's Aerie.

After looking over Kestrel's UI, I decided to post a pic of mine. Now mind you... mine looks a total mess at times, but I know where everything IS. That is usually the major thing. If it works... don't break it, right?

My UI has remained the same for largely two expansions. I use every button that is on there, at least at some point, with a few buttons rotating out when its required, such as working with another hunter and alternating stings.

I know guildmates have asked about my UI from time to time, with me rarely posting it.

Heck... I think I have an old UI shot from back from TBC days around in the folders. Let me see if I can find it...

Found one.

Yes, this is over a year old. And notice most of the set up remains the same. Yes, it was a Screen Shot of the first time the old guild I ran with downed Prince from Kara. You can tell I was a bit excited, since I chirped into my guild chat about it.

And... yes, I was even on a different server when the old UI shot was taken.

Old Frames were Titan. Bars were Trinity, if I recall correctly. But a number of things do not change. When I find something that works... I stick with it.

And wow, just noticing... the button that has Scra... on it, under Mounts & Misc section is my /e scratches %t behind the ears macro, that tells me I've had that thing a while too. One of the few custom macros I use, by the way.


Rawr I has Druid?

I know, I know, it might look like I jumped on the Druid bandwagon... but I think I've had my baby druidess for at least a month and a half now? My husband and I are playing together, I had the choice of a squishable bored-to-death priesty or something that could be-the-pet druid. I started the priest got her to about 10, got annoyed with the heal and do nothing elseness of grouped leveling, so I brought in my level 10 druid.

Now I only heal when the little warrior decides to go batty and yank in five or eight things at a time. Otherwise its druid in kitty form turning mobs into red ribbons of goo. And we've actually been able to handle more mobs as a DPS duo than as a tank-healer combo. Its fun, and since we are basically perma-grouped our xp is staying relatively level with one another... and aside from occasionally making gear for the druid on Tzia or gear for the warrior on Cas, its been largely Tes and Mato running around in Azeroth.

I think this week my guild is putting few to no demands on my time as a potential tank because they understand I do have limited time to play this week with odd work hours for both my husband and I.

So far? Matoska (White Bear in Lakota) is happily running around Azeroth alongside a pet "turtle" of a warrior. Hey, he has kitty treats... why not follow him? Even if all the treats have turned her fur red... I think its the red 40 dye rubbing off. Eventually she'll be back to white bear/white cat... but treats... soo addictive!

Well, off to play for a brief snatch of time before getting dressed and heading off to work.


Rally Inc!

Mind you, I normally don't mention real life things, however; when I'm living on a main artery for the town and can thankfully walk to work, and something that's happening a few cities over actually has an impact on my city, and region, and spikes my state's economy... I'm posting on it.

Sturgis Bike Week. August 3-9 according to all official leaflets, but anyone that's lived and worked through one in the past knows better than to trust an official leaflet. It basically starts tonight, and goes until next Sunday. Motorcycles roaring all hours of the day and night. Its going to be so loud, that I'd warned guildmates ahead of time not to expect me on vent.

We've been seeing more and more bikes since at least last Monday. And since I'm living in an outlying city in the Northern Hills, the main point of origin must already be reeling from all the bikes in town.

I do enjoy looking at the various bikes, its just the level of noise at times gets to a person, the vibration settles somewhere around the back teeth, like a constant buzz that doesn't let up until a week after it should.

All I can say? Hope I survive yet another... next year is going to be completely insane. Its 70 years next year. Well, gotta get dressed for work... we are wearing Rally apparel this week... obviously! Wish me luck... I just might need it.


First All Bloodriver Naxx 10

Well, I brought Casavel along and off tanked, with Vel as main tank. We cleared Spider Wing. Then did Plague Wing. Got to Heigan, died, died, died... oh did I mention... died? Repeatedly? Group decided to call Heigan, so we went on to deal with Patchwerk instead. Cas got a lovely new epic necklace out of a trash kill - yay upgrades, as Lin would say.

I main tanked Patchwerk... and died in about 3 seconds flat. That was an Oops. We tried again, I kept Patches focused on me, Vel ate the Hateful Strikes, we dropped him before he enraged. Guild was estatic. I was sitting there giggling, and dropped dead right after Patches did... not sure why, but I went splat.

Mage (Lin) didn't die on Frogger... Sol, our priest did. Vel deliberately killed himself... but what can you expect from a former paladin healer who would randomly DI people? Hehe.

Got to Grobbulus... and kept making mistakes. We had people that had to leave, so we called the run.

But boy did I ever have fun. I think its the most fun I've had in a run since the days of first starting out in Kara and being a healer short and ALMOST downing the Horseman on the first attempt. I've got to hand it to my guildmates, very little annoyed us... except the Safety Dance.

And, just because its stuck in my head... The Safety Dance


On Groups

In the past I've mentioned a few grouping situations where things have either amused or annoyed me, often in the same post. I don't think there will be much to amuse in this particular post, however.

On Saturday night, I accepted an offer to run Naxx 10 on my hunter. We cleared two quarters, then one of the tanks said she was a bit too tired to perform correctly any farther and asked for a readycheck to see how many would be available to run the next night (Sunday) at 6:30 server. The readycheck came back with sufficient numbers to confirm a run for Sunday.

I was on Tzia at 4:30 server, and confirmed the run with one of the tanks, who later logged off. 5:30 server came around, neither tank was on, and at 6:00, 6:30 all the way up to 7:30. No run showed up, neither tank was on. The run never materialized. I obviously became annoyed... I'm one that will show up ready to run a half hour minimum before a raid. If I'm 10 minutes early? I'm late.

This isn't the first time that this particular tank has dropped out and left myself and a guildie putting a run together... hell we did an OS 25 a week or two back, where the tank disappeared from organizing leaving guildmate and I in charge... the tank never came back, so we kicked her and ran the entire show with out her. And we cleared OS 25 just fine.

I said a few things in Bloodriver's Vent about the entire experience, and have come to the conclusion that I will not be running with anything that particular tank puts together. If she can't be expected to commit, why the hell should I waste a raid ID marker that locks me down for a week in a wasted run?

If I say I'm going to be somewhere... I'm there. I expect that from anyone I work with, in game or out. If unforeseen circumstances pop up that prevent it? Well, stuff happens, and that's excusable. But, when you flake twice? That's a pattern. And if I don't recognize a pattern when it presents, then I'm the dumb one.

I guess anyone reading can take away from this entire rant a simple fact: if you say you are going to be there to me, BE THERE. I expect nothing more, nothing less.


Ding 80 Paladin

Yep, you read correctly. Casavel is a level 80 paladin with 539 Def. She's just a point shy of being able to go directly into raiding. I'm not looking to raid with her just quiet yet, to be honest. All I want to be able to do right now is learn the heroic fights. Heroics will give me better gear... still wearing mostly Tempered Saronite.

I've been looking forward to 80 on Cas ever since Ticalos stopped playing. I had said, when he started appearing less and less in game that I would try and step up Cas' leveling and become the tank for the guild. In that time we've gotten another DK 80 that is willing to tank, and Vel is a Prot/Healy(Holy) dual spec. We have the tanks, and now Cas can be added as one more. I am willing to stand as a tank for Bloodriver, when we need it, or when Carpe Jugulum or The Unsung need a tank, and Shava isn't around on her 80 Paladin.

And, I have found out under a priest and a paladin healer (haven't worked under a shaman or druid extensively enough yet) to know I can handle anything that comes my way. If my healer is good? I'm good to go. I can handle moronic DKs, idiot hunters who don't know what threat is, and just about anything else.

I like this tanking gig I do believe. Have Shield, Will Travel too, I guess :)


76 Glitched Pally

Well, Cas hit level 76... and I helped out with Ahune the other night, then found out while trying to drink that she won't remain sitting for more than 3-5 seconds... even if sitting is initiated by drinking, eating, or hitting x on the keyboard. Without being able to drink... I really can't play her. I want to, don't get me wrong... I want to get her to 80... but until I can sit, stay sitting, and get her to finish her tea... that won't be happening.

I put in a ticket last night to Blizzard... no response... what a big surprise there, eh? And I put in the ticket around 9:30pm my time, logged off at 3:30 this morning. They had time, never saw it come down beyond "We are experiencing a high volume of tickets....". Blech.

Well, I guess, back to playing Tzia and putting the cash together for the Paladin's Regular Flying, Epic Flying, Cold Weather Flying, and Epic Flying Mount. 7k Gold... here I come. Bleh.



Well guys, I'm just posting to let anyone that reads know that I will be out of the country for two weeks. Heading to New Zealand.

Casavel sits at 75 and can gain rested xp while I'm away. It will help me make that jump from 75-80 easier.

If a post does pop up here? Well, I am taking a laptop with me, and as long as we have the correct converter, I shouldn't blow anything up. But, Have Bow should be quiet while I'm off wandering an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Happy Hunting!


Count of Viana

Well, Fae (aka Niqo) tagged me in a meme. Its the album cover one that I've seen going around. Finally settled down to do it.

And here is my album cover

1 - Go to “wikipedia.” Hit “random… Read More” or click here.
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 - Go to “Random quotations” or click here.
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click here.
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

Credits: kani_ik for the picture.

Tagging: Kestrel and Dae.


72 Paladin in Sholazar Basin - Yeah, about that . . .

Well, not much to report over on Wyrmrest Accord. Tzia is 80, has done heroics and seen Naxx 10 Man 2x and Maly 10 1x. She watched most of the Maly fight prior to the wipe from the floor... (note to self: do not follow Niqo anywhere!). Aside from that not much has been going on with the hunter.

No, I've been playing Casavel pretty extensively. She's sitting at 72, 2/3 of the way through to 73... but I've been working on her mining and blacksmithing. She's been running around Sholazar Basin quiet easily, 75-77 mobs are not bothering her a bit- she's an AoE Tankadin after all!

Just means I can manage to pull down groups of anywhere between 3-9 mobs at a time... though I have died at least 3 times when pulls went wrong and I missed a button in the rotation. Yes, these are levels 75 through 77, which is orange, orange, and RED! mobs. They hit hard, but being able to heal over some of the damage really helps... and if things get really desperate I can drop a mana potion.

I haven't seen Loque in all my mining runs though, and aside from the spot by the pillar and the one closer in to Nessingwary's I do run by all the others quiet regularly. The MapNote markers are still there, so I keep my eyes peeled. I know a few hunters that would probably like the location of the cat, and if I can make a bit of cash... well, I will need the epic flying, regular flying, epic mount, and cold weather flying all at the same time. 7k gold... ouch. She's sitting at about 2.4k though, so things could be worse.

Mining is maxed out at 450. The blacksmithing is stuck at 437. Yes, because I'm in yellow territory and need a ton of saronite to do anything what-so-ever. Its just mildly annoying. But I do have any and all gear I could want personally crafted from levels 73-78.

Remember how earlier I said if things got desperate I'd drop a mana potion... who had the brillant idea of making the potion cool downs only kick in once you were out of combat?! That kinda ends up killing me on longer fights... very, very, very quickly. Now, mind you, if Tzia had to drop a potion under the old system, either the mob died in under two minutes, or she did.

Cas would be entirely possible to last through a two minute cool down, but with the potions no longer on cool down, the effectiveness of potions has been diminished by about... oh, I'd say 90%? I'll only ever NEED five of either kind on the paladin or the hunter, because either I'm going to be dead or... dead by the time I need another potion.

No, I'm not pleased by this change. Could we just make potions only usable out of combat? I mean really... what's the point of having them anymore? Health and mana potions have largely been removed from the game... take one for each of the boss fights in an instance, and you should be peachy. Raid supply only, the same way flasks are.

Sorry about the rant... I'm just disgusted by the mechanics change. Never noticed it on Tzia because she really didn't use potions, while Cas at times was defined by that now non-existant cool down.


Casavel, my paladin tank

"My comrades are my weapons, and I am their shield.
While I draw breath, they shall not perish.
So long as they live, our enemies will fall.
I am defender, protector, guardian.
I am a Paladin.
" - Cathela the Seeker

This sums up so well what I feel when I pull on the plate and pick up a shield. I may only be a lowly level 70 tankadin at the moment, but she's coming along, slowly, but sure in her path.

So far I've only done a few guilded runs, the first of which was tanking for a 65, 70, 72 group. Yes, we four manned a few things like Underbog and Mana Tombs with only four people. I must say my level 65 healer rocked. I only freaked out once... and that was because I was tanking a nexus terror right next to a four pull. We somehow didn't pick up the four pull and the fear sent me in the opposite direction, Anti-Shadow buffs non-withstanding. Cleared both = happy, bit more confidant paladin tank.

Yes, those were my first attempts tanking. And the 65 priesty (welcome back Sol!!) was 66 by the time we were done, and rocked my socks off. The group was willing to risk getting severely mauled by a complete and utter rookie tank. I'd never actually tanked an instance prior to attempting those two.

Then last night? We did Nexus and Azjol-Nerub (AN). I did die twice, through no fault of our tree druid. The first time? I wasn't familiar with the patrols, and had a second patrol right into me. Single group pull turned into a massive two group pull, and I went down HARD. It basically was 60%, 40%, Dead.

Zharve (the Tree): "Wtf Cas' health? OMG MOBS!" :Dead Tree:

The second time? First time handling Keri in Nexus. Forgot about the tail swipe thingie, turned her just wrong, dead plant life, so dead paladin, and the 80 hunter kills her after everyone else is dead... go go Niqo!

AN went flawless as far as I'm concerned. Though, The paladin retadin/holyadin (Vel)and our Tree did comment at one point that it got close... I didn't notice, was too busy trying to keep all the mobs in ONE SPOT. I didn't have time to glance up at health bars, my eyes were trained on the mobs being hit by consecrate. They stayed put. ^_^

As I said to them, "If nobody died, it was a good pull." I admit as a tank, I put my trust in the healer and just dive in. I'll do my job to the best of my ability, just keep me alive. That's all I ask. Especially while learning the ropes of how to be a paladin tank.

Thank You Bloodriver. Thank you for being willing to let me practice on guild mates before attempting a PuG of any instance. Being able to survive two healers tells me I might actually be able to carry off this crazy idea of being a tankadin for our guild at 80. I'm also humbled by the fact you are even willing to let me try, when everyone knows I'm a hunter first. Thank you.


Spec 'Splosion

Well, I've got an annoying visual glitch on Casavel, my paladin over on WRA. Or more specifically, on her talents. Armory, and the game itself, both claim that for all intents and purposes I have a level 19 paladin, when in fact she's a 68. Armory shows I have a 0/10/8 build when I know its actually 0/51/8, with a planned 0/51/20. The game can't display anything past my first 10 points in protection. She does not have a dual spec, or even glyphs at this point. And she's the only character I've leveled since 3.1 came out... boy am I glad I don't need to put any points in the Prot Tree.

From reading a few forum posts, and talking to a friend over xfire, it sounds as though the glitch may be linked to dual specs. Or the new preview thing that Blizzard introduced. Jury's still out on that one, and I could see it being either.

I'm just worried that if she hits 69 the Ret tree will gray out like Prot did and I'll be stuck unable to spend points. I really do want to play my paladin, but with issues seemingly plaguing WoW, perhaps its time to test run War? I know, Tzia wondering about Warhammer... feel free to cringe. I know I am.


Does Your Character Have A Soul?

The question seems simple enough. Some people would argue no it does not. Its just colored pixels, the way a warlock's pet is just colored bits of light and data. Nothing more.

I say differently. Each character I play and interact with is different, even if it shares a name with another character. Tzia is my primary moniker in WoW, everyone knows me as Tzia, the hunter. I've had my main hunter, the troll, Tzia since at least mid July 2005. I've also had a few Night Elf, Draenei, Orc, and even a Tauren Tzia.

Yet, each one, weither played on a RP Realm or not, feels different; and not just from racials. My main has Ruka, her Pridewatcher. The others have various pets with other names scattered over the known WoW-verse. My Night Elves are always a touch timid, the tauren charged into everything, bull-like to the core, my draenei were always drawn to water. The orc? Just a bit stubborn, but drawn, if I remember correctly, to the wolves of Mulgore.

I always feel most at home playing my main hunter with Ruka next to her. The pet in part makes it home, and any time I play a Tzia, it feels weird to look down and not see Ruka next to her. Yet I wouldn't dream of taming just any old cat and naming it Ruka. Ruka is unique, different, and is only the troll's companion.

The other Tzia's, scattered from 12-55, are almost empty shells, without their stories or personalities told. I haven't played them enough to decide who they are individually. They do share a name, but that is all they share. Each will develop their own personality. I don't believe in cookie cutter of much of anything (even spec). The slightly sarcastic, raised by orcs, fiercely proud of Orgrimmar and the Horde doesn't come through on anyone except the troll. That IS her in-game persona. And even though I am Horde First, and the character gets that from me I can be comfortable enough in an alliance skin to play.

So does this mean that my troll has a soul? I think it does. She is my favorite character after all. The one I've put the most time into. So, it would stand to reason that she is unique, her personality fully developed, and a glimmer of a spark that could be called a soul exists somewhere inside.


Word of a woman that knows...

The Hunter's Mark today asked what music do you listen to while playing WoW, if any? I've been asking guildies this for a while now, some to the point they want to kill me, I think (Hey, that has to be the reason they drag my undergeared butt into Heroics).

Anyways, as my guild mates know, I'm largely into older music, most of which is older than I am. Fleetwood Mac, I have too many favorites to name. Queen, John Mellencamp (or John Cougar or John Cougar Mellencamp), Madonna, GNR, Def Leppard, Journey, and April Wine.

I also prefer some more modern music, heck, my hunter theme song is an Inkubus Sukkubus song! And I will go into listening kicks, listen to one band back to back until I tire of it, then swap out to another one. I recently went and bought a Journey album because that was what I was craving. If they'd had the right John Mellencamp in stock, I would have gotten that too, but they didn't.

Music for Raids and Instances? Easy for me, since my guild is not using Vent at this time. It would be a mix of GNR, Def Leppard, Inkubus Sukkubus, and April Wine, if I had the brains to mix a cd. My favorite 3 songs, one from each of the older bands... GNR - Sweet Child O' Mine. Def Lepard - Love Bites. April Wine - Sign of the Gypsy Queen. All three can be found easily on youtube.

Sweet Child
Love Bites
Gypsy Queen

And I was kind enough to track down the studio made video from Youtube. Some of the live versions just aren't as good. If you want to try and prove me wrong, feel free, but I've listened to most the live stuff too.

For just general running around doing dailies and chatting with guildies? Madonna, FWM, Savage Garden, Jewel. More mellow things. I don't need my blood pounding while I'm doing dailies, but it does keep my mind occupied. And my guy will stare over at me if I start singing to whatever I'm listening to. I don't even realize I do it until he's staring at me. And listening to the game and music through headphones... well.. hehe.

I know my play-list is largely inspired by my mother and what she listened to while I was growing up. I grew up with Fleetwood Mac, April Wine, REO Speedwagon, and Mellencamp as part of my daily life, which means its part of my memories.

Well, that's my music, what's yours?


Omg Its Pink!

Now, usually I have no problem with guild tabards, but I just about broke something laughing last night after I logged out of Tzia and flipped though the rest of my guilded characters on Wyrmrest Accord. My guild leader had switched out our tabard from its normal earthen and muted gold to Pink, Purple and Glaring Gold. It looked odd on Tzia, but since I have her cloak showing, I don't have to see it much.

Flipping through my roster, it looked fine on my blood elves. And that's just odd. Then I got to this:

And almost died from laughing so hard. Orc + Pink and Purple? Does not go together. God, I can't wait to see what Ticalos looks like.

Happy April Fools everyone!


Tagged... I'm It.

Well, Niqo over at Petoholics Annon. tagged me for a double meme. I've selected my 80 hunter main, Tzia; and my 66 paladin Casavel for both sets of questions.

What's your time /played?
Do you really wanna know? Do I even want to know? >.< Its not gonna be pretty, certainly not on my main. Tzia's /played is :
Yes, that is 73 days /played. I know, I know. I said it wasn't gonna be pretty.

Casavel's /played is :
That's not so bad. Only 25 days /played. She's been a character I haven't played very often, but did when I first started out on Quel'dorei. She was my "main" until I moved Tzia over.

The Seven Questions
I happened to catch up with Tzia and Casavel in Nagrand, both were willing to take a bit of time to answer this journalist's questions.

1. What is your name, and where did it come from?
Tzia : *stares coldly at the interviewer, apparently offended* I am Tzia Bloodspeaker, of the Frostwolf Clan. Yes, I am a troll. Anyone have a problem with that?

Casavel : *glances at Tzia and shakes her head slightly* My name is Casavel Dawnshadow. My family name is Dawnshadow, my mother and father named me Casavel, for I am the sword of the herald.

2. How old are you, and when is your birthday?

Tzia: I am 26 winters.*she looks away for a moment then gently scratches the giant feline lying next to her behind the ears*

Casavel: I am 121 summers. Next question, please?

3.Are you in love, and with whom?

Tzia: *Chuckles* There is a war going on, in case you haven't noticed.

Casavel: I must agree with my troll comrade here. We are in the middle of dealing with the Lich King. Love is a secondary concern, if one at all. *Checks her sword carefully then returns it to its sheath*

4. What's your favorite mount, and why?

Tzia: My favorite. That is a tricky question, whichever I don't name will be angry with me for at least a month. *leans forward slightly and whispers* Moka, my frostwolf, is my favorite though. She was given to me when I became a member of my Mother's Clan.

Casavel: My Charger, of course. No proper paladin would be on anything else. *sqirms slightly as a wolf howls in the distance.* Well... I do also have this lovely wolf mount... *sheepish look*

5.Do you prefer a certain type of Azerothian Meal, and where do you get it from?

Tzia: Hmm. An Azerothian Meal? No, can't think of anything special. Though, those Savory Snow Plums are absolutely amazing. Mmm. My companion, Ruka, loves seared Rhino Steaks though.

Casavel: Azerothian food. Hmm. Oh, I know, the bread that my mother used to make and send with me. Nothing was quite as good as her honey bread. Mmm.

6. You know those giant mushrooms in Zangarmarsh? What is your theory on how they came to be, and why they are so huge?

Tzia: Prey has to have something to hide behind. There its mushrooms, here its trees. *Tzia shrugs a shoulder*

Casavel:The Naga. Has to be the Naga. Have you seen what Naga look like?! Slimey, creepy, hissy things.

7. If you saw the Lich King walking towards you, what would you do?

Tzia: *A growl comes from the feline companion next to the hunter. Tzia smiles coldly, her hand falling to and patting the bow that rests against her seat * Well, Miss. The Lich King would meet Ruka, and then meet the business end of a hail of arrows. I also have a pole-arm that can cleave a head from shoulders nicely.

Casavel: *A cold light slips into the paladin's eyes* I'd do my best to kill him. I have a sword and a shield, and the blessing of the Naru. What more do I need?


Searching for Answers

A gust of cold air blew in with the next arriving zeplin from Kalimdor, causing the troll kneeling near the fire to shiver slightly and wrap her cloak tightly around her frame. She watched this group of adventurers pile off the zeplin and shook her head at their unbridled eagerness to get out there and kill things. They’d soon learn that it would take a little time to get used to the extreme cold of the region, and to take some precautions before they could rush out into it. Tzia had been helping the troll priests tend to some of the more severe frostbite victims earlier in the day. She knew some would be lucky to keep their tails, or even their legs.

Her mood brightened when a large yellow spotted cat wandered over to sniff at her. She smiled and gently patted the well fanged head of the leopard, a friendly exchange of one large predator to another. It rumbled a greeting to her, and she smiled while the cat’s companion, a female blood elf glared and stalked away.

Tzia sighed. Sometimes being a troll and working with blood elves proved to be more trouble than it was worth. She watched the woman lean back against the forge warmed wall, and nodded. Maybe that one would learn quicker than the others she’d seen. The woman was obviously chilled already, her garments not suited to a colder clime, which the Tundra certainly was. A rumbling yawn turned her attention back to her own companion as the large cat stretched, and shook itself to its feet.

The cat rubbed its head against her shoulder, careful of her large fangs; Tzia smiled and murmured a greeting to her companion. The large lavender cat rumbled a greeting in return, and settled down closer to the fire as the zeplin took off again. The cat’s tail tapped against one of the troll’s boots, signaling that she was bored of waiting and agitated.

“Easy Ruka. Just a bit longer.” Tzia murmured, scratching the large beast behind an ear. The cat leaned into the attention, nearly overbalancing the hunter. Its glowing eyes remained fixed on the empty space where the great air ship had been. The cat was better suited to this land than she was, but then what could she expect of a cat that the goblins called a Frostsaber Pridewatcher? The cat nudged her again, this time over-balancing her and knocking her to the floor to nuzzle into her hair.

Glancing around as the sound of hammer blows on wood reached her ears, she smiled. A large section of boards were being nailed up. She noted the Orcish script over the top, and chuckled. They’d finally gotten around to her suggestion of a message board. It had taken them long enough.

Riffling into her pack, she pulled out a flat piece of Silverpine evergreen that was no larger than her thumb and a carving knife. With a few deft strokes she cut her message into the wood and slipped a leather thong through the hole at the top. Adding a touch of the blue paint she kept in a small kodo bone vial, the message became readable. She tossed that vial back into her pack, and her fingers brushed against a black choker, with a strange white-black feather and a stone troll carving that was diffrent from any that she'd seen before in Azeroth or in the Outlands.

Her attention was fixed on the piece. She touched it gently again and remembered what the orc woman that had raised her had said. It had been wrapped in the blanket she'd been found in.

Her orc mother had raised her as one of her own. There had never been any question amongst her siblings, she had been Tzia Bloodspeaker, and anyone stupid enough to question it had had her brother's large fists to answer for it. Her brothers had taught her to be a fighter. Yet her heart had led her to the life of a hunter, and she had even studied briefly under a hunter taught by the mighty Vol'Jin himself.

Ruka rumbled and nudged her again. The message stick rolled from her hand and into the flames. She didn't bother leaping for it, it was beyond saving already. She shook her head and re-wrapped the choker. Nobody here at the base in the Tundra had recognized anything about the carving or the feather. She'd have to look elsewhere for answers.

Shouldering her pack, she nodded to her companion and they made their way though throngs of new adventures and those that were heading back towards the fire coming in from outside, spattered with freezing blood.

“Tzia!” A voice called from behind her, and she turned and greeted the troll shaman with a smile.

“Good to see you, old friend. Ruka is getting impatient. I thought we’d go out for a bit, help clear up a few Nerubians from the gates.” Tzia said as the lavender cat nudged against her legs, obviously trying to hurry the hunter closer to the sounds of battle.

“A good idea, for both of you. I have a request from our stable master, Wolfbrother. He’s wondering if you would mind venturing far enough out to bring down a rhino calf. The meat supplies are getting short right now.” Sam’na said, her expression darkening, as yet another load of explorers and adventures rushed by, jostling the shaman, and narrowly missing stepping on Ruka’s tail.

“The Warchief and others have more things to worry about, like Arthas, than if the mounts or our companions are getting meat in their bellies. And with the Nerubians at the gates, it’s a bit harder for hunting parties to get in and out.” Tzia reminded, accepting the task with a nod, and placing a soothing hand on Ruka’s head as the large predator snarled after the group of adventures. The shaman sighed and smiled gratefully.

“ I have to get back to helping with frostbite. Idiot explorers. Come here unprepared for the weather.” The shaman grumbled, and Tzia smiled again, this time wryly. They were into a summer period right now, but the temperatures still would dip well below freezing during the day, the grasses here were hardy, and could tolerate colder temperatures better than almost anything she’d seen before. That gave many of the newcomers a false sense of safety. They figured if the grass was around, it couldn’t be that cold out. Only her time in Winterspring with Ruka had given her some idea of what to expect in colder climates, and she had come prepared.

She gave Sam’na a parting wave and altered her course to instead take her out through the stables, just so she could confirm with the stable master how much meat he needed, and to see if one of his wolves wouldn’t mind a hunting expedition.

“Huntress, I see Sam’na caught up with you?” the burly orc asked, and Tzia nodded, having learned early to let him speak without interruption.

“Good, good. I need meat for our brothers and sisters. A bull rhino would be too much meat, as would a mother. But a calf has enough meat for two to three days without it freezing solid. These wolves will not eat cooked fare, unlike some of their more spoiled cousins.” He said, shooting a glare at Ruka, who snarled, clearly reading the insult by tone of voice.

“Will your wolves be willing to help with the hunt, and transport? There are enough Nerubian legs and sinew to fashion travois for the wolves to help haul the kill back to a more retrievable location.” Tzia said, glancing at the mounds of frozen bug like corpses that piled beyond the door.

Wolfbrother grunted and shook his head. Tzia restrained a sigh, and motioned instead to Ruka. The cat sat down in front of the orc, willing to wait, while her hunter walked out into the cold and unsheathed her axe. She selected her corpses with care, hacking off the limbs and skinning some of the fresher kills until she had enough limbs and skin to form what she wanted. She then returned inside and nodded to the cat, who got to its feet and followed her to the forge area.

In the heat of the forges, Tzia found a small un-occupied corner in which to thaw the leather and sinew so that she could work with it. Once it was flexible enough to work, Tzia braided together strips of sinew into several long ropes, and set them aside. She then pulled out an awl and a bone needle. She took already tallowed sinew, and pieced together the bits of nerubian hide she’d managed to aquire, fashioning three long open ended sheathes for the mess of legs she’d hacked off the corpses.

She then took the sinew rope and the pole sheathes back outside and looped the rope to her belt. Tying the legs together with strips of sinew so that the ends overlapped, she stuffed the make-shift poles into the sheathes and quickly sewed the ends shut, binding the legs into the hides. She then crossed the three poles into a triangle and tied it off with the rope.

Stalking back inside, she took a bucket of water from the nearby well, and sluiced the bottoms of the runner poles, which immediately slicked them over with ice. She then untied the rope and settled it into a harness. She sighed and whistled for Ruka, who came with a bound. She looked over and sighed.

“Sorry about this, baby girl. I was hoping for more than just us. But, as usual, its us against a rhino.” She said to the large predator, who curled its lip up to show more fang and rumbled in disgust, clearly understanding the hunter.

Tzia offered a chunk of mammoth to the lavender eyed feline, who quickly took the piece and bolted it down; reverting to old habit, for the cat had been birthed and raised in the cold clime of Winterspring. Tzia shivered slightly in the wind, then turned as the cat’s gaze went past her and fixed on something else. She turned, as Wolfbrother appeared leading a large beast. Her lips creased in a brief smile. He held the reins to her Brewfest Ram, Kartok.

“I figured this beast would be best suited.” He grunted and Tzia nodded, before glancing down at the beast’s giant hooves, which she knew would handle well on the ice and snow. She’d used Kartok before for moving large kills. He had the stamina and the strength to handle it.. She made a few quick adjustments to the rope, and fastened the travois to the back of the ram's saddle.

As the orc stepped back, grimacing at the beast, which was normally an alliance mount, Tzia swung up, and looked to her companion. Ruka set off at an easy trot, already moving comfortably through the chilled air. Kartok bleated once, then with her heels nudging into the beasts' sides, he ambled off after the cat.

Tzia slid from the back of her mount when the large feline crouched in the grass, tail lashing back and forth. She let the reins fall as she picked her bow from its compartment on the saddle and easily strung it. Approaching with caution, she peered through the grass, spotting the rhino calf that Ruka's attention was riveted to. She ran a hand through the cat's soft fur, then knocked an arrow.

At a sharp nod from her hunter, Ruka stalked off, slipping through the grass, blending in enough not to be spotted by the grazing rhinos or the calf. Tzia remained kneeling in the grass as she watched the large predator circle around, to get between the rest of the herd and the calf, so that Tzia would have a better shot. She supressed a rueful grin as Ruka leapt with a roar. The calf bolted, the herd scattered. Ruka chased, leaping for the throat of the large animal, yet not going for the kill, her claws raked the throat as her hunter's bow sang.

When the calf crashed to the ground, Tzia sighed, whistled Ruka off, and unsheathed her axe. She mentally judged the animal, remembering her time hunting Talbuk and Clefthoof, and brought the axe down along the flank, parting hair and flesh easily, and slicing through the fat layer to get at the good meat beneath. The hide was largely worthless, ripped and gouged from the fight, better for little more than scrap. She excised a sizeable portion and tossed it to her pet, who licked at it when it landed in the grass, then bolted chunks down raw.

"Those wolves are pampered and spoiled. Anything that can hunt this is not spoiled, eh my girl?" Tzia asked, and the cat rumbled its agreement.Tzia chuckled and turned to the task at hand.

She carefully cleaned her axe before returning it to its place, and laid the flap of skin and fat back into position before pulling the extra length of rope from her belt. She looped a portion of the rope around one limb, and then tied another around a second limb and fastened a simple harness. She glanced at Ruka who was meticulously cleaning her paws and motioned the cat forward.

Ruka willingly stepped into the harness, and waited while Tzia made a second harness and off set it enough so that the ram wouldn't trample herself or the cat while they pulled the kill onto the travois. She then clucked to Kartok, her hands guiding the reins and they lunged together repeatedly to get the calf moving along the cold ground and onto the bug leather contraption that had served the Tauren for centuries.

Once the calf was on the sled, Tzia freed Ruka from her harness and used the rope to lash the kill down, before reattatching the travois to Kartok and taking the reins. She nodded to Ruka, who fell to Kartok's heels as she led the way back to base, letting the ram plod along.


"Here, eat, eat. You earned it." Sam'na said, shoving a mamoth bone plate of rhino steak infront of the huntress. Tzia sighed, and took it, sipping carefully from a wooden bowl of sweet plum wine. Ruka snuggled closer to her hunter, almost lying on her feet, offering furry warmth against the chill. Tzia smiled. She glanced over her shoulder when she heard a yip and a snarl, and had to smother a chuckle when she realized her own wolf, Helki had just stolen a rhino rib bone from her frost wolf mount, Moka.

With Ruka at her feet, and her other companions settling in well enough, she wondered if this frozen land could actually be home for a while. After all, that was part of what she had come looking for, a home, and some answers to her past.


Spark - What does your pet(s) mean to you?

This is a Spark Post off Petoholics Anonn's post by the same title. I've had a number of memorable pets through a number of hunters. Each hunter ended up developing and maintaining unique pets.

Tzia of Wyrmrest Accord - Ruka, the Frostsaber Pridewatcher, Lysera, the Fjord Hawk Matriarch, Helki, the Ghostpaw Alpha, Armatu, the Rotting Agam'ar boar, Truffles, the Ashmane Boar; and lastly my Spirit Beast.

I wanted a Pridewatcher when I first saw it on Petopia. I was level 9 at the time, and saddened to find out the pet was level 59. That was forever away. But I told my husband I would have one. I did eventually get my baby girl and main pet, Ruka at 59. Ruka was my companion from 59-70 and is my current leveling partner on the trek to 80. She is my "main" pet. I will be leveling others, I know it, but Ruka will be first to 80.

Lysera will probably be the last pet I get to 80. I grabbed a cunning pet because I figured I'd be venturing back into battlegrounds or into PvP eventually. And I took something I didn't mind looking at. She doesn't even have the annoying wing flap sound that drove me bonkers when I tried an owl ages ago. If she doesn't stick around, don't be surprised. I don't have all that big of an attachment to her.

Helki, Armatu, and Truffles. I list all three of these together because they were major pets in their times. Helki I got as a level 28 hunter back before they made the Attack Speed changes to the pets, normalizing them all at a flat 2.0 AS. Helki was my happy white wolf, who braved Scarlet Monastery with me, and ventured into ZF with me for the first time. I eventually released her into the wilds of her homeland in Ashenvale when I switched to a boar, Armatu.

I leveled Armatu as a level 28 pig to 40 in Swamp of Sorrows. I swapped him out with another pet and ran ZF, then brought him along and ran ZF a few times with the boar. He was a great little pet, loyal to the core, but I didn't have as many stable slots as I would have liked and was forced to decide who to get rid of. I dropped the boar for an owl. The owl lasted for a few levels, then about 55 I switched to a red worg (I was missing Helki) the wolf ran Strath both live and dead a number of times on farming expeditions with a pair of 70s who were wanting to get their flying mounts. Once I hit Outlands level, I tested the wolf. She didn't hold too well, and the red fur kinda blended into the wastes of Hellfire. So I got rid of her and went back to Winterspring to stare at my dream pet, who was just a level away from me and my goal.

While on the ride to Swamp of Sorrows, I ran across an Ashmane boar and decided to pick it up on a whim, this boar latter became Truffles the Wonderpig. I stuffed the pig into the stables and nabbed a temporary owl when I landed in Winterspring.

I went up to the rock and stared at the kitties that were just too far away for me to tame... and ran into a level 57 rare. Yes, I ran into Rak'shiri. I tamed Rak, and then high tailed it back to Outlands to test the kitty once his loyalty was up high enough. He worked like a charm. And while I was out working with the cat, I dinged 59, and raced back to Winterspring to get my heart's desire. I released Rak and pounced on the first Pridewatcher I saw, after clearing out stealthed tigers and cubs. When the cubs called for help, the Pridewatcher didn't respond. I was able to kill both cubs, THEN tame her.

Ruka was acting oddly, I know that now. I've gone back there on other hunters, and every time the Pridewatchers have responded to the cubs cries for help. I can't imagine running with anything other than Ruka, unless I need a specific type of pet, or just want to play with something fun (like the Spirit Beast).

Its Tzia and Ruka, and it has been for a long, long time now. I call her my baby, Baby Girl, Kitten. All these are special nicknames that have come about through hours of working in sync together.

I took Truffles because I knew I'd heard that I'd need a boar for farming later, that and my guy was RAVING about boars, so I grabbed one. I'll end up picking up a boar again when they make the Thunderstomp changes. So my stable will go:
1. Ruka
2. Spirit Beast
3. Lysera
4. Armatu (in his original black armored boar form)
5. Helki

I've decided I can have three Ferocity pets in the stable. Cunning will be ONLY for PvP encounters. And Ruka eventually will want to actually take that nap she keeps threatening me about, so I might as well have a pet that won't draw envy from every hunter out there, and still has a place in my heart. I'm going to go and grab Helki from Ashenvale. Can't think of anyone else I'd rather have filling that last slot.


New Bow, Boots & Loque'nahak

Yep, you read that right. I got a new bow. And a pair of boots. I also picked up a few greens, replaced a BoE World Drop Epic with a green. And found this weird cat-like creature called Spirit Beast.

Caught sight of it in a fly over by the northern spawn point(58,22), landed and had adrenaline hit me 200% while freeing my search pet and dropping the trap. I stepped onto the trap, then shot at the creature with a concussive shot, and hit the Windows Key. Down went my game. I think my guy was secretly laughing at me while I was frantic in getting my game back up. I heard the trap go off, so I knew that Mr. Beast was frozen solid, just had to get back in and actually tame it. The window came back up, loaded cleanly, and I clicked tame beast. Then with a woosh, Loque'nahak became Spirit Beast < Tzia's Pet >

I think I'm finally calming down. I got what I said I was going to do when Wrath launched. Oh, and here is Tzia with her new creature.


Back in the Instance Swing

Well, I'm back running instances again. My guild was helpful enough to drag me through Nexus and Drak'Tharon Keep. It got my instancing feet under me. Ran Old Kingdom last night with a pick up group. Had a brand new to tanking paladin. She did pretty well... only died, I think a total of five times? That and I don't think anyone in that group at 2 AM was familiar with the instance, so none of us even blinked when the paladin died for the second time. But when she did, I took Ruka off passive.

I know I wanted to snarl at the other hunter at least twice. Ruka is a large lavander powerhouse when it comes to damage. I know this, and with a tank that is new to tanking, even with growl off and cower ON she was consistantly # 2 on the threat list. He told me to turn growl off... I only flipped it back on when the tank hit the ground or picked up a few too many mobs. So, growl was off except when I needed it to either attempt to redirect an elite to her instead of the tree, or to try and tank with purple fluff.

The other thing that made me want to smack that hunter was he snarled at me at one point to put the pet on passive. While in the middle of a boss fight, where I was reacting on instinct, since nobody knew what they were doing. I left her on defensive for a reason - new tank. The pet running back to me also wastes time when the tank seems to have issues switching from one mob to the next.

I probably have better pet control than a lot of hunters out there... you don't go from two mobs to eight on a pet overnight. Especially when its a pet that cannot do multi-threat without dancing it at every mob for a few seconds. I also was running Kara when Blizzard changed pets to attack from behind. You either learned how to control a pet in there, or it wiped your raid. Pets will still try and run down the wrong ramp to get behind a mob. That wouldn't have mattered for passive or defensive, once sent, you have to read and react. I did that for a good solid 6 months.

This was an instance I was unfamilar with, at 2AM, with people whom I did not know, I'm going to run in a way that I'm most comfortable. I know that I did not wipe us with a defensive pet. When I'm more familiar with these instances, maybe then I'll fall back into passive pet mode.

I did have a lot of fun with the instance though. Even if the paladin became a rug a number of times, we did manage to clear the instance, wiping twice. Heck, it was so chaotic both times I didn't get the chance to hit FD. A good run over all, with only a few minor thorns. I'd run again with any of them.


Just Five More to Go

Yep, you heard me. Tzia has five more levels to go. And yet, I'm looking forward more to cold weather flying, the chance to hunt down Loque'nahak, a level 77 bow, and hopefully having enough scales to make myself some Dragonstompers.

For me its the journey to the end that I find more appealing than a mad-cap dash to a level, just to say "I'm HERE... now who ate my cake?!" Since that seems to be what I hear from some of the other bloggers out there. I'm at 75, with cold weather flying, a ton of leather working, and some icy dragon scale on horizon. I'd better get back to it, I guess. After all, only five more levels to go!

I also brought over my level 66 paladin, so now all my high level horde characters are in one place. I'm happy, I'm enjoying my guild mates, and we ran Nexxus tonight. I had a blast, didn't trip over my feet, and Niqo even let me skin what I could. I think she understood I need the leather to try and keep my leather working on par and not have to play massive catch up, as I did when TBC came out.

Now? Back to my kitty, shooting large dragon-like creatures and getting scales. See ya!


What is YOUR 6th Screen Shot?

Well, since Cait feels like she's all alone, I'll say she tagged me, since she kinda did since I read and looked at hers, then went and counted screenshots. :)

This one is of Yazmin in Ungoro, nice shot if I do say so myself!

And just for a bit of fun, I decided to go to the very back of my screen shot gallery and count from the bottom up, til I got to 6. This is what I found.

A Death Knight I no longer have, but was playing around with Screenshots anyways.

Well, those are the two screen shots I found. What about the rest of you? If you haven't done it yet, feel free!