24 March 2012

A Steamy Romance Novel: The Annotated Collection

My affection of romance novels begins sometime in high school when, on vacation with my family, we were picking up some things for the grocery store. Wandering down the aisles behind my mother, I stopped to peruse the shiny paperbacks on display. 
"Hey, can I get one of these?" 
She glanced back at me. "This is the same stuff they sell at the airport. Do you even know any of these authors?" 
I held up a book featuring a shirtless, heavily muscled man being fawned over by a woman with amazingly thick blonde hair. "But I need to expand my horizons by reading this trashy romance novel!" 
My mother frowned at the cover. "Do you actually want to read that?" 
"Mooooooom it's my birthday and what am I going to read on the beeeaaaach? I neeeeeed iiiit!" I whined in response. 
She rolled her eyes, probably asking the heavens how she had ended up with such weird kids. Then again, she and Dad are pretty weird so it's not really a mystery. The book ended up not scanning properly and we had to call in a price check, complete with the clerk reading the title over the loudspeaker. It was priceless. I remember my mother telling me that she was "only feeding my bodice-ripper habit because it was my birthday." 
The genre was "time-travel romance" which alone made it worth its weight in gold.
I told you that story because, according to my 9th grade AP English teacher, one of the methods you can use to lead into an essay is by telling an anecdote. (He referred to these methods as "hookers" and cackled to himself every time he said it.) Also I just wanted to tell you about it because it makes me laugh and shows how cool my mom is.

You hopefully read my previous post in which I invented the next book in the Steamy Romance Novel series entitled Shatter My Heart. I really should have gone with something pandaren-related for relevance! but since technically the author wouldn't know anything about Mists I decided against it. 

What are these steamy romance novels I speak of? Why, they are only some of the greatest gray items to appear in game! They can be obtained by drops from chests or mobs, but are most commonly pickpocketed. 

Currently, there are five volumes available in the game. They stack up to 20 (so you can have a real library!) and follow the sexual adventures of a man named Marcus as he samples all the physical delights that Azerothian womankind has to offer. Each book makes specific references to current events in the expansion it comes out in, beginning with Burning Crusade. The most exciting parts are always conveniently destroyed by "the elements" or "repeated readings," or "require level 99" or "a secret goblin decoder ring." What a tease!

(There is one more romance novel accessible in game. It's not a lootable item, but rather an interactive book that exists in the Plaguelands. Prince Keleseth is standing right in front of it, which is unfortunate because "the next few pages seem to be stuck together." It's called Touch of the Banshee, and it's about the rotting undead Skor'zad and his night of ichor-infused passion with the banshee Madame Sidnari. Read at your own risk!)

A Steamy Romance Novel features Nahni as the love interest. She is a mage, and I would assume a human, although it's not stated. The heat of their impassioned kiss melts her frost armor, resulting in "a torrent of sweltering vapor" and making a pun of the book's title. In this book, Marcus is referred to as a warrior. It can be obtained by pickpocketing 169 different types of mobs, most of them level 60+ denizens of BC dungeons. Perhaps my favorite part is that it can also be obtained from rares in the plaguelands, and two of them are Scarlet Crusaders.

Forbidden Love is all kinds of kinky. The femme fatale is Ah'tusa...an undead rogue. In this installment, Marcus is specifically referred to as a paladin, as evidenced by my favorite quote of all time: "Twelve seconds? I know you have abilities that last longer than that." Even better, the action takes place in the Underground Tram. Hey dwarves and gnomes, I'm in ur tram, soiling it with my necrotic cross-faction love! You can pickpocket this book from 151 different kinds of level 70+ mobs in Northrend. 

Northern Exposure takes place in Dalaran, specifically at A Hero's Welcome. That's the inn in the Alliance-only section, by the way. I wonder if he felt weird after enthusiastically getting it on with a dead lady? It doesn't stop him from expanding his palette with a diminutive gnome named Tavi. She's an affliction warlock, and accidentally summons a felhound into the bedroom. Yikes! Then, because she's into pain, she puts a dot on Marcus. He heals himself and mentions that his specialization is retribution. Aww yeah, still kinky. This book has a chance to drop from Bag of Fishing Treasures, the reward for the Dalaran fishing dailies.

Blue Moon introduces the draenei Soola and my guess is that it takes place in Azuremyst. Soola is a shaman, as she "walks purposefully across the lake." She hurts Marcus' feelings when she mentions she could craft a piece of jewelry better than his gift by accident. Zing! During the course of their passionate lovemaking, lightning strikes a nearby lake and bathes them both in - wait for it - steam. This can be obtained by pickpocketing one mob and one mob only: Argent Confessor Paletress. Fist bump, sister!

Big Brass Bombs is the longest of the  books so far with a whopping five whole pages! Interestingly enough, the available scene only mentions Marcus in passing - the goblin Revi has a blind date with him and is going shopping for...supplies. Even better, Revi Ramrod is an actual NPC - the riding trainer in the Goblin Slums of Orgrimmar! The "Jack" she buys "The Bigger One," hardened adamantite tubes, and jumper cables from is the engineering trainer "Jack" Pisarek Slamfix. This book has a chance to drop from Twilight Abductors or can be pickpocketed from 150 level 80+ mobs in Cataclysm zones and dungeons. 

But the best part, sweet Earthmother, the best part: who is Marcus? We know that Revi is a real character in the game, implying that these aren't saucy fictions designed to titillate, but actual records of sexual liaisons! Wowhead lists seven disctinct NPCs named Marcus. One is a female human in Northrend, one is a male undead, one is a former patrolling rarespawn with a penchant for pink, one is a creepy draenei ghost, one only appears in Gilneas, one is an Argent Tournament questgiver, and one is a Tol Barad questgiver. But it's not any of those characters. They don't fit the profile, or haven't been around long enough to match the facts. No, it's even better than any of those NPCs.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you General Marcus Jonathan, the High Commander of Stormwind Defense and Azeroth's International Man of Mystery. Back when he was just a Private, he wished for "a glorious, bushy mustache." Not only did he get that, he also got the porn star moves to match! His abilities on wowhead are distinctly warrior-like. Looking at the progression in the novels, it seems like he went from warrior to paladin to warrior again? Or maybe he's taking liberties for a more interesting tale. The comments on his wowhead page assure me that if you /wave or /salute him, he will respond not only with an immediate action, but will also say "Greetings, citizen." This guy sure is friendly! That must be how he meets ~the ladies~, amirite?

Where will he travel next? Who will he sweep off her feet? Will he use Blessing of Protection? I'm hoping for some tauren action, personally. Did you know he shows up to arrest Hogger when you defeat him nowadays? Marcus/gnoll OTP?? This guy takes all comers regardless of race or class (or gender? HIT IT!).

I'll leave you with my favorite comment from his page:
- So if you /salute him he compliments you, and if you /rude him he threatens you. What happens if I /flirt on a hot female character?
- He writes a book.


  1. I am pretty sure this is my favorite post of all time. New York Time's Bestseller list? Bah! This-- this is it.

    1. Woohoo! High praise indeed :)

    2. I will never, ever stop giving Navi a hard time about her Goldshire post.

      And thank you for the inspiration: http://wowsugar.blogspot.com/2012/03/under-covers.html

  2. I love it Aka! Who would have known you love romance novels? Maybe we have more than druids, blogging, Japanese and star trek in common :)

  3. My rogue is rather addicted to pickpocketing so I've got a rather large collection of these excellent examples of Azerothian literature kicking about.

    I got most of my copies of "Forbidden Love" off the various Scarlet Mobs in Dragonblight, including one off the girl sitting on the bed of High General Abbendis. Clearly the NPCs have a lot of fun when the servers are down or the zones are empty.

    1. Oh god lol XD When I first heard about these books I was beyond pleased. So glad weird little things like this exist in the game!!

  4. I can't believe we forgot the Wildhammer's Book of Limericks (something about being the filthiest collection ever) - will have to make a correction!

  5. Oh my! Haha, every time I pickpocket one of the steamy novels, I post it to a guildie. Love the timing of this post and what I posted on the same day :D Moooooooo. xx

    1. Lol yes!! I saw your post and laughed SO loudly. These books are the best.

  6. I would feel very, very sorry for any male character attempting to "hit up" Hogger. It would not appear, on surface, to be the wisest of possible actions.

    Then again, mayhap ole Hoggie (Hoggurrl?) was just "acting for the cameras." *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

    Regardless, this post was the funniest thing I have read WoW related in literally months. I have 3 rogues leveling on different servers, and am definitely going to look for these books on my main's auction houses.

    BTW I found this blog, and this post specifically, through a tweet by @Shadesogrey. I am going to follow you if you do not mind. Good writing here. ;-9

    1. Only male characters? Frankly I fear for anyone interested in gnolls as dates >_>

      Very glad that I made you laugh! Hope you like what's to come as well :)