20 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 20 Stairs

This is how I've gotten through life so far
Do you wanna count them, Fu? ...Me neither.
WoW Screenshot a Day
19 Lost
21 Slow

19 August 2013

Catching Up [guest post!!]

Previously: The Despair

Padding through the Temple gates, with the salty sea breeze at his back, Hadakha paused as a high-pitched voice called out from the bridge.

He veered towards the cub sitting on the wide ledge, and his eyes narrowed as he approached. This child looked familiar. She stared at him solemnly as he sat in front of her and shifted into his natural form.

"We thank you for your actions, tauren. It is good to learn that not all those from beyond the mists are bent on destruction." He dipped his head in acknowledgment, but the cub frowned sternly.

"However, the Sha have been released, and not just here in the Jade Forest. My rebirth has been delayed, and I must conserve my energy. The days ahead are full of turmoil and struggle. We cannot afford to waste our strength on fighting each other."

"I understand, Ancient One. The druids of the Cenarion Circle have long been above the factional warfare that brought your statue to ruin. Unfortunately, we only have a limited amount of influence over the leaders of the Alliance and the Horde."

"Then, if you wish to help us save our homes, our families, our very lives, you must act with courage and wisdom, tauren."

"My reports will urge my superiors to increase their efforts to rein in the hostilities that are plaguing our peoples. Other than that, until I learn more about the Sha and how to fight them, I am afraid that I can do little to prevent more outbreaks of war here."

"You underestimate yourself. There are few survivors of this battle, and those who did have been sent far away. The fate of Pandaria lies elsewhere now."

"I agree. I believe the Shado-Pan hold at least some of the answers I need, and I intend to find them.  For the moment, though, I think my friends need me. You sent Akabeko and Weipon on a mission, I heard. Might I know what that was?"

"Indeed. They are making their way into the Krasarang Wilds to the south, to visit the Temple of the Red Crane. They will stop at Zhu. It will test their characters in ways that could change them forever."

Hadakha frowned. "You sent them into danger?"

"There is danger everywhere now, tauren. You have seen this."

"That is true, but...when I slept, yesterday after the battle...I dreamt of Akabeko. There was something wrong with her. And today I learned that her wounds would not heal. She is a powerful healer! Something bad is happening to her, I know it is. Why would you not help her?"

"What Akabeko suffers is nothing I can help with, tauren. She must face this herself. Her friends can give her support, nothing else. Until she comes to terms with her inner darkness, she will remain -"


The cub stared at him for a long moment before answering. "Troubled."

He pondered that for a while. Finally he said "Then I will have to give her as much help as I can. I should catch up with them by nightfall if I leave now..."

"The best way you can help is to understand her troubles. To do that you need to observe. Her pain runs deep, and only careful attention will allow you to discover it."

"My thanks, Ancient One. I hope that your encounters with the Horde will fare better in the future." He stood as the cub nodded.

"Your people will play a central part in the future of this land, for good or for ill. And as you affect the land, the land shall also affect you. Be aware of this, always."

He shifted into lionform, dipped his horns to the cub, then turned and loped across the bridge into the valley.

* * *

It took longer than he'd expected to catch up to Akabeko and Weipon. He finally found them thanks to the fire they'd made...and Weipon's unusual stringed instrument sending sharp, clear notes into the darkness.

Mindful of the cub's warning, he settled in where he could observe the camp, and studied the two companions intently. Weipon sat tall, composed, her eyes closed as she lost herself in her music. Opposite her, Akabeko slouched on a log and stared into the flames listlessly. The contrast was shockingly different from what he remembered of their time in Orgrimmar. Eventually, Weipon finished her playing and packed away her instrument, said something to Akabeko – probably a good night – and lay down to sleep. As soon as she did so, Akabeko automatically reached for her pack and produced a bottle. He watched as his friend spent the next few hours drinking herself into unconsciousness.

The pattern continued over the following days. At first the two women seemed to get along like he'd always known, except for the covert drinking while Weipon slept. But as the days passed he noticed less and less conversation between them, and while Weipon looked more worried, Akabeko just looked...worn out. She spent most of the time silent, staring into the distance, and moved slowly and carefully, as if in pain. Yet he did not once see her cast any healing spells on herself. It baffled him. Perhaps the Red Crane could help her? If what the cub had said was true, then maybe Chi-Ji was her best hope. They just had to get past this Zhu place quickly.

As they approached the village near the border of the jungle, the weather turned nasty and wet. But something about the area felt strange to him. His hackles seemed to be permanently raised, but he couldn't detect any reason why. Was it something to do with the village? He decided to scout ahead to check it out.

He spent an hour creeping around the outskirts, observing the activity within and trying to pinpoint the source of his unease. The village was very subdued for this time of day – people should be returning to their homes to eat. The clouds had not broken at all, but he was confident in his sense of time, despite the early darkness. Yet there were only a couple of lonely pandaren trudging wearily through the mud between houses. Hardly any lights were shining in windows...were the villagers somewhere else?

Deeply unsatisfied, he made one last circuit of the village to get to the main road back towards Weipon and Akabeko. Halfway round and he spied a figure in the mud. It looked like a pandaren man, just...sitting there in the rain. The dark fur had hidden him before, Hadakha had only spotted him because he was now silhouetted against the lights in the inn. How long had he been there? What was wrong with this place?

He froze as a squelch sounded behind him. The rain eased a little, bringing the scent of hozen to his nostrils. Instantly he dodged right, then spun around and launched himself in the direction of the sound. He heard a yip of surprise as he burst through the foliage, but the hozen threw itself onto its back and pushed up with its legs, helping him sail over the creature harmlessly. He slid around, ready to charge back in, and the hozen was back on its feet, ready to meet him. The way it stood gave him pause...then, to his amazement, its eyes widened and it snapped to attention, bowing quickly. “Senpai! Please forgive me, I did not recognise you!”

He studied it for several seconds before recognition dawned. Then he shifted out of lionform to greet the newcomer.


Next: The Emptiness

#WoWscreenshotaday 19 Lost

Please send help
Lost doesn't just refer to physical location.
Too soon? :B
WoW Screenshot a Day
18 Someone you spoke to today
20 Stairs

18 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 18 Someone you spoke to today

I have spoken to my computer. Later, I will probably exchange pleasantries with the receptionist at the gym.
Thanks to a kick in the pants from Ris, I finally did "The Barrens quests". When this guy showed up I screamed "HOLY SHIT IT'S SHAO HAO". I hope my neighbors weren't home.
WoW Screenshot a Day
17 Exercise
19 Lost

17 August 2013

#WoWScreenshotaday 17 Exercise

Just takin the cat out for a drag
Farming is an exercise in patience. It's only a day's wait but...I need the cabbages now.
WoW Screenshot a Day
16 Cooking
18 Someone you spoke to today

16 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 16 Cooking

On occasion I have been known to cook. I even made a gif of it once :D
I still haven't gotten 600 in all the stupid new cooking divisions, so I'm spending some time in V4W trying to farm up the buttloads of mats necessary for the final push. I think a lot about stir fry.
WoW Screenshot a Day
15 The best
17 Exercise

15 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 15 The best

This isn't even a fandom gif...I just can't get over his expression, and the moment when he matter-of-factly adds his feet to the mix never fails to crack me up.
If I may continue to belabor the point, the Jade Serpent questline was the BEST (Jerry, the best) and basically got the ball rolling on most of the writing I wanted to do in Pandaria. I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH.
WoW Screenshot a Day
14 Trash
16 Cooking

14 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 14 Trash

One man's trash is another man's treasure
Every day, same trash, same grind, same boring loot. I'LL GET YOU ONE DAY, ANZU!!
WoW Screenshot a Day
13 Fast
15 The best

13 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 13 Fast

I'm not really built for speed
To be honest the only time I really felt like I was going fast was right after getting my super flight form. I flew awkward little circles around the questgiver, cursing at the screen because the flight speed was too fast and I kept running into things.
WoW Screenshot a Day
12 Macro
14 Trash

12 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 12 Macro

It's not a gif. Does it count as a macro? Details from one of the yama in Gion Matsuri.
Knives in a painting in pirate Booty Bay
WoW Screenshot a Day
11 I love doing this!
13 Fast

11 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 11 I love doing this!

i am not a good dancer
Don't laugh but I like to play house. I like empty buildings where I can pretend my characters live.
Aww yeah these are some sweet digs.
WoW Screenshot a Day
10 Beverage
12 Macro

10 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 10 Beverage

I made this myself :3 I call it "Geordi's day off"
Do y'all need a drink?
It's a, ah, unique blend.
I even garnished your novelty pineapple cups!
WoW Screenshot a Day
9 2 o'clock
11 I love doing this!

09 August 2013

The Despair

Previously: Investigations

"I'm really sorry, Wei," Akabeko croaked, plucking at the blanket haphazardly arranged across her legs. "Whatever this is, it's not getting better very fast."

Weipon sighed in sympathy. The tauren looked terrible: her typically thin face was even more gaunt, and her fur looked dry and brittle. The wounds she had sustained at the Jade Temple were still unusually fresh, marring her face further with shiny pink skin and white scars. "Don't worry about it, really," the pandaren repeated, reaching for the doorknob. "I'll just add asking around for useful medicines to my list of things to do today." She grinned, hoping to elicit a response, but received little more than a weak twitch in return.

Akabeko was awkwardly burrowing into the pandaren-shaped bed when Weipon shut the door to their room and headed towards the inn's common room. She hesitated on the stairs, replaying the days on the road that had brought them to this point.

Initially, the pair had been in good spirits and had whiled away the time working on Akabeko's Pandaren, an endeavor so hilarious that even Fu had eventually come around. The farther they traveled, however, the more Akabeko complained of inexplicable weakness, fatigue, and pain unrelated to so many hours spent in the saddle. When they had finally reached the small village on the edge of Zhu Province, the tauren had barely enough energy to drag herself into a bed at the inn. Initially, she had tried to accompany Weipon in investigating the sha-stricken town, but after mere hours she had retired, complaining of aches, chills, and exhaustion. Since being seen back to bed, Akabeko had remained there, drifting in and out of consciousness, Fu tucked protectively against her side.

Having lost the first day to taking care of Akabeko, Weipon was now more determined to get her investigation underway. She noted that the innkeeper was up and about this morning, but given his brusque, unpleasant attitude the day before, Weipon opted to simply nod at him on her way out.

On the inn's porch, a slight pandaren woman peered disdainfully at Weipon as she closed the door. She seemed surprised by what she saw, however, and her expression cleared into one of curiosity.

"Don't tell me you're still feeling chipper enough to be up and about?" she asked, more hopeful than incredulous.

Weipon blinked, already suspecting that a lot of questions were about to be answered. "I feel perfectly fine, but my friend has been complaining of a strange sickness. She's too weak to get out of bed."

The pandaren nodded, then stood in order to scrutinize Weipon more closely. "Most everyone in the town's come down with something, although some cases are worse than others." She leaned forward conspiratorially, nodding in the direction of the inn's common room. "I don't think Rude Sho's got it, though; he's always grumpy."

"When you say 'something'..." Weipon prompted.

The pandaren shrugged in frustration. "They say they're too tired, or sad, or fed up. They say everything is pointless and there's no reason to get out of bed. No one wants to go to work, let alone take care of themselves."

Weipon hummed. That didn't seem quite like what was affecting Akabeko, and besides, she had become ill well before coming to the village. And yet...she tucked the thought away for the moment. "As one of the only other active folks up and about, I should introduce myself. My name is Weipon Silkbrush."

"Mei Barrelbottom." They exchanged bows.

"So how long has this been going on?" Weipon asked, taking the seat across from Mei on the inn's porch.

Mei sighed loudly. "At first it wasn't this depression at all. A few weeks ago, the lakes outside of town abruptly dried up and left behind horrible monsters in their wake. Then, one by one, people stopped going out, going to work, making plans..." She shook her head. "There were even a few people who, who..." Mei made an aborted gesture with her hands, her face twisted in a grimace.

"I see," Weipon interrupted gently. "And since then? It's just continued like this?"

"There're only a few of us who are still able to take care of the town. We've thought a lot about what could have caused it and what we should do about it, but the truth is we're busy enough taking care of the town as it is. Some of those affected feel well enough to help out once in a while, but they don't do much."

Weipon gazed out over the porch railing, taking in the lifeless town. It appeared even the sun had forsaken it, hidden away behind dark, pendulous clouds. She considered Mei's words. "So, the pandaren affected do sometimes feel well enough to go about their normal lives? Do you suppose your healer might be able to help me find some medicine for my friend?"

Mei stood. "It's worth a try. Let's go and see if she's there now."

The walk through the town was made no more cheerful by the presence of a companion. Here and there they passed guards, some wearing only half of their armor, and all sporting deep scowls. The healer's home was painted with welcoming orange, yellow, and green, but even that had been leeched into dullness by the oppressive atmosphere choking the village.

The door was carelessly left ajar, so Mei knocked politely and nudged it open, calling out, "Excuse us," as they entered. Weipon glanced around the room, jumping when what had appeared to be a pile of rags on the counter moved as the healer raised her head from where it was pillowed on her arms.

"Pardon me," Weipon began, taking in the healer's haggard features. Her graying fur was dry, matted unpleasantly around her eyes, and her ears drooped lifelessly. "We're just looking for some medicine for my friend; she's coughing and feverish."

There was an uncomfortable silence while the healer stared through them. Then, slowly, her eyes slid to one of the shelves, head tilted slightly as she took in the row of jars neatly arranged on the shelf.

The two women exchanged a glance, Mei looking more irritated than worried. She crossed to the shelf. "It's one of these, right?" she said brightly, running her finger along the labels. "Here we go, fever reducer. Cough suppressant." She grabbed two jars from the shelf and brought them to the counter, plunking them down in front of the healer.

For several long moments, the three pandaren quietly regarded the jars, until finally the healer slowly pushed herself back from the counter. Weipon opened her mouth to protest, but the healer simply produced a mortar and pestle from behind her desk and painstakingly began to add ingredients from the jars to be ground into powder. Despite her apparent frailty, she made quick work of concocting the powder before methodically pouring it into a pouch and placing it on the counter. Weipon produced her purse, ready to pay, but the healer simply returned her head to her forearms, ignoring them entirely now that her task was finished.

"I'll just...leave this here," Weipon said unnecessarily, placing several silver coins in reach of the healer's bony fingers. "Thank you."

Although no less gloomy than the healer's shop had been, Weipon was glad to be outside and away from the hopelessness she had seen in the elder pandaren's face. She chanced a look at the sky, still unbroken by the seamless mantle of gray clouds.

"Well, now I know she's still...active," Mei murmured. "I'd better make the rounds, check on the others."

They went together, and Weipon was shocked to see the way the pandaren in the town had wasted away. Most of them they found in their homes, curled up in bed, slumped in chairs, or even collapsed pathetically on the floor. Some of the houses they passed had been marked with prayer beads on the door handles. When Weipon pointed one out, Mei swallowed thickly.

"There's...nobody in that house. He, um. Two days ago we went to check on him and he had. Hurt himself. It was...too bad, too late. We were too late to do anything." Mei's eyes moved past the house, looking vainly into the grasslands that quickly gave way to the tangled forests of the Krasarang Wilds. "Some of the other pandaren just wander into the wilds. If we can stop them before they get away, we bring them back, but we can't catch everybody. Since our guards aren't much help, we don't have any way to go in search of them. It's possible that they'll come back, once we figure out what's wrong but..." She shook herself, tearing her eyes away from the woods. "Well, there are panthers and worse in the wilds. And no one who goes out there is in any shape to defend themselves."

Before Weipon could think of something comforting to say, large raindrops began to patter down around them, rapidly increasing into a steady downpour. "Well, this is great," Weipon muttered darkly, tugging her back under her cloak to protect the medicine pouch tucked inside.

"It rains like this every day, sometimes all day," Mei replied, shouting to be heard over the rain. "I've got to check on my nephew. Why don't I meet you at the inn tomorrow morning?"

Weipon nodded. "Let's do that. Thank you for your help today!"

Cutting their pleasantries short, the two parted to race for their respective shelters. Weipon reached the inn completely soaked, and ignored the innkeeper's scowl as she stood in the entryway removing her waterlogged cloak and boots. She dripped her way up to her quarters, toweling herself off before checking on Akabeko.

As soon as she turned her attention to the tauren, Fu was up and whining, kneading at Akabeko's forearm and yipping plaintively at Weipon.

"Relax, Fu. I've brought some medicine for her," Weipon soothed, stirring the powder into tea and nudging Akabeko to wake her. When the tauren turned over, blinking blearily at the interruption of her sleep, Weipon held out the tea. "I brought something for your cold. How are you feeling?"

Akabeko pushed herself laboriously into a sitting position and accepted the tea gratefully. She drank deeply, finishing the powdered tea and then downing two more glasses of plain water. "Not worse, but not better," she rasped. "Everything hurts."

"Well, hopefully this will help," Weipon said, forcing optimism. "Just keep resting. You'll be fine soon." When Akabeko finally succumbed to sleep, Weipon sat watching the rain. Only the diminishing height of the room's single candle gave any indication when dark afternoon had slipped into darker night.

Next: Catching Up

#WoWscreenshotaday 9 2 o'clock

2PM is usually my second coffee break
2AM means it is time for sleeping!
WoW Screenshot a Day
8 Peek a boo
10 Beverage

07 August 2013

#WoWScreenshotaday 8 Peek a boo

Whenever I use the expression *pops up* just imagine that I'm appearing out of the depths of your book/games library with a helpful comment. It wouldn't hurt to imagine me as a movie star, either.
TO THIS DAY this picture makes me laugh. H-hhheeeyyy can you see me? Here, behind the Lich King! *muffled giggling*
WoW Screenshot a Day
7 A sign
9 2 o'clock

#WoWScreenshotaday 7 A sign

Still searching for signs of jobs

Just kidding no one wants to hire me unless I want to teach English.

This is an actual sign that has always intrigued and amused me. Are any of these actual hairstyles male goblins can have? They'd be better off posting Kamalia's Manual of Feminine Style.
WoW Screenshot a Day
6 This means a lot to me!
8 Peek a boo

06 August 2013

#WoWScreenshotaday 6 This means a lot to me!

I made this gif myself! It even got some notes on tumblr :3
I sure hope you guys are ready to get sappy. (WAS THAT A TREE PUN? YOU DECIDE.)


What's this here? This is Aka and Dah hanging out in Firelands as fire kitties, shortly after the lootable fire seeds hit the game. As this year consistently kicked my butt, I had less and less time to play, but Dah was always there to keep me up to date on in-game fun and make sure I enjoyed at least a LITTLE bit of what was going on. Add that to our invaluable friendship and ever-entertaining writing process, and just *sniffle* this is really important.
WoW Screenshot a Day
5 Early
7 A sign

05 August 2013

#WowScreenshotaday 5 Early

This is how I get in the early hours.
What better way to represent "early" than with a day-late post? Ahh, Aka you're just full of contradictions. Yeah I'm backdating it FIGHT ME.

Trivia! When I first moved to Japan, Aka was still on a US server. As such, when I wanted to play after work, it was always the wee hours of the morning on my server. I used to get up at 7am on Saturday to attend Friday night's raid :)
WoW Screenshot a Day
4 Fresh
6 This means a lot to me!

04 August 2013

#WoWScreenshotaday 4 Fresh

Ok for the game shots I'm giving you a couple. They're from when Weipon was new to the Mists content, which meant I had already played her for 85 levels but since I can't find any of her baby pictures let's enjoy this later version of fresh. ~Pandaria fresh~!

I sure hope my only friend in Pandaria doesn't get Sha-possessed
Do you guys have a fan club and/or Tshirts for the Jade Serpent?
WoW Screenshot a Day
3 Skyline
5 Early

03 August 2013

#WoWScreenshotaday 3 Skyline

I realize this isn't a skyline but since I never report  real world news on this blog I never get to use it! (UGH FLORIDA GET IT TOGETHER)
It's old news, but Dalaran at night is still breathtaking.
WoW Screenshot a Day
2 Incomplete
4 Fresh

02 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 2 Incomplete

This gif is incomplete because it doesn't show the the AC blasting cool air directly into the fan.
Once upon a time I wandered around capital cities taking loads of screenshots. I only got through Darnassus and Silvermoon before I stopped. I'd like to continue that project again, though!
WoW Screenshot a Day
1 Begins with N
3 Skyline

01 August 2013

#WoWscreenshotaday 1 Something beginning with N

It is me I have returned! With my final paper due tomorrow and my first ever paid translation-check waiting for review, all that remains is to hear the results of a job interview next week. All in all, things are looking up.

Which is great timing, because Tycertank of Toonacious has cordially invited others to participate in the WoW Screenshot a Day challenge. What better way to ease back into regular blogging than with something photographically creative? Not to mention I'm sure I can find a way to incorporate my beloved gifs into it...ah yes. There we go.

So today, the theme is "something beginning with N." As you can see above, I'm back, Nerdmigos!

For actual WoW screenshots, I present you with Nesingwary's camp in the Valley of the Four Winds, where Dah and I worked out some new ideas for the writing.

Just think of this as an alternate universe where everyone is happy.
2 Incomplete