[Story] The Ghostclaw – Sath’alor’s Journal

We had the spider hunt this week. No one really likes doing it, but I guess it’s an initiation of sorts for the new rangers. It’s at least a chance for them to do something besides practice, I’ll probably put Salenicus and Anorelle on a patrol soon. Well, they can’t be together, people in the countryside are still unhappy about seeing death knights out and around, even if there are Forsaken in town. We can split the night patrol into two shorter ones, or just split the area. I think that’ll be more likely, but I can ask what they prefer. I’m sure Sunashe will be a little unhappy that I’m letting them go without mastering the bow, but I’d rather get them out on a route than fight about it. Besides, Anorelle isn’t too bad. Salenicus, well, I think he can handle himself just fine without one. That is, if they don’t decide to leave after crawling around in the dark covered with spider guts. No one has yet, though. I could sure go for some spider legs right now. It’s too early in the year, they aren’t big enough yet. Toward the end of the summer we’ll have a lot, and we could do a whole pile of them. People are always squeamish about them until they try them — I was too, but they taste really good.

I also went with Arancon to talk to Aeramin’s boyfriend. He said he wanted me with him so he didn’t get tempted to drink, which I guess sounds like a real reason. Maybe he just wanted someone there with him so he didn’t get punched. Either way, it was a nice afternoon in general; I was going for supplies and I took Rylad as I like to do, we always get lunch and look at some of the shops. I think he makes Arancon a little sad though, maybe more wistful. I know he’s upset about what happened with Aeramin, and I know he wishes he could see Lyorri more. That’s what he wanted to talk to Im about, to keep Aeramin from signing her over. I’m doing my best to stay out of it. I know Arancon is doing well and he’d take good care of Lyorri, but I also know that Kes has wanted a baby forever and no one could be doing better than she could. Arancon is worried that they’ll just move and not tell him, or keep him from visiting her. I know she wouldn’t do that, but of course Arancon doesn’t know her that well. Hopefully talking to Im reassured him, he was surprised when he said that Im doesn’t want Aeramin to give her up either. Not sure how well Aeramin listens to him though. Or anyone.

I still worry about what Arancon said though, about how things were fine with Aeramin until they weren’t. What if something happens and we have to move, or something else that I can’t predict, because that’s how life is? I don’t want Rylad to hate me, or Zeran. Rylad would have more cause, he could say that I’m not his real father or something like that. On one hand I know I’m not and I want him to remember  Vessen, but on the other I have thought of him as my son ever since Nessna and I got together. It’s something I worry about. Maybe it’ll never happen, I hope not.

It’s going to be building season soon. I’m wondering if I ought to get a couple more made, just to have them ready. Also, I’m getting tired of finding things from the closet strewn onto the floor. Ty thought I didn’t notice when they did it, either. I promised I’d put up posters again, though, the sleeping quarters are pretty empty on both sides.

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[Art] Custom Jorgan POP WiP

Weekends are really not good for writing… I’ll try as always, but usually it just doesn’t happen. I did get my custom Funko POP primed though. I guess I didn’t shake it enough because it got a lot of little gravely bits on it; though this might actually help the paint adhere. I might try sanding him tomorrow to see if that helps.

Either way, I need to get him some paint soon, I’d like to have him finished by the 8th but we’ll see! He is based on a GI:Joe Roadblock figure with a little bit of armor added, and of course the ears, brows, sideburns and muzzle.

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[OOC] Timewalking Time

I finally reached 5000 badges on my main, so I could buy the dragonhawk mount if I want to. I’m just not sure if want that one now, or wait a month so I can get the Wrath one. I do really like pink and purple, but the horse is like a cheap knock-off version of Invincible (which I’m sure will never drop) and I could pretend!

I’m thinking about grinding out the other 5000 on my Horde hunter. He has Thori’dal and a cloak, so he should do reasonably well. As I learned last night, it’s much less stressful going as a DPS. As a healer, if you get a bad tank you are absolutely going to have a bad time, and the mechanics haven’t been adjusted, for example you cannot dispel multiple people at once (unless you are a priest, of course) due to the cooldown which wasn’t in place when those dungeons were current. The worst thing I have to worry about is accidentally pulling the wrong group or, as happened last night, my Dire Beast getting feared into another pack. Hey, I have an idea, let’s make the whole spec centered around those pets you have no control over in the next expansion, doesn’t that sound great???

I still don’t really enjoy Timewalking. Like many things in WoD, they are a good idea in theory but badly executed. They are a good idea because they could revitalize old content and make it relevant. Final Fantasy does the best job of this, though SWTOR has level scaling with scaled rewards for both flashpoints (dungeons) and heroic quests. WoW would benefit greatly from making old content really relevant again, so it’s not all just abandoned the second a new expansion comes out. The problem is, it’s not especially well tuned, interesting, or fun. The rewards could be better — they’re okay for alts, but there’s really nothing for mains outside of the mounts. And, of course, they should not only be restricted to a specific week. I feel like they would be much more popular than current heroics if they were available all the time, though maybe I’m wrong.

 

[Story] A Story a Week 8

[[ Prompt: A story set during a war

Kazta has lots of war stories, but this was the event that made her decide to enlist in the Republic army. Turned out a bit different than I’d planned, but that’s writing  isn’t it?  Also my lore/timeline stuff is probably all wrong, I know. ]]

“Hey, Kazta!” Xerok waved enthusiastically from the street below. While Kazta was not the oldest nor the biggest of the kids in their quarter, they all looked to her as their leader. Kazta lowered her binoculars and waved the other zabrak up to her perch atop the building. There were a lot of zabraks among them, Xerok often talked about how his parents thought he should have a traditional upbringing, and complained about the other species in the quarter. Kazta didn’t exactly know what a traditional upbringing meant, but she did know that Xerok’s mother made some very tasty snacks, and she’d often follow him home to get some.

“Don’t be so loud,” Kazta scolded him, once he’d made his way to the roof and sat on the crate next to hers. “They’ll hear you.” She pointed across the way toward one of the camps, where several figures appeared to be unpacking supplies. Those were Imperials. Kazta’s parents had warned her about them, as had every other kid’s parents. So far, Kazta hadn’t seen them do anything bad, but she heard all kinds of stories, all of them supposedly true. Like that they ate people. It was impossible to tell at this distance, and the strange armor obscured their forms, but Kazta thought they were probably humans. There were a handful of humans in their quarter, and they’d always seemed nice enough. Kazta had definitely never seen them eat anyone. And thus far, neither had the Imperials, though their transport had lingered overhead for the past several days, and they’d been seen by just about everyone in the streets. They claimed to be gathering information, but no one knew just what kind of information, or for what reason. Still, parents everywhere warned their children to avoid them — which of course, had only made them all the more determined not to. Xerok had just returned from a spying outing, and it was obvious from his excitement that he had news.

“Kazta, there’s some at our building.”

She blinked at him, her eyes widening. “At our building? What for?”

“Dunno,” Xerok shrugged. “But I saw them. Want me to show you?”

Fear gnawed at Kazta’s mind, but she didn’t want to show it. And curiosity demanded to know just what those strange humans would want with their building, anyway. They were family apartments, nothing unusual or fancy about them. Maybe Xerok was just mistaken, and they were taking measurements or something innocent, and they’d all laugh about it and tease him later. Kazta assured herself that was all that was happening.

They scrambled back down to the street, climbing down the stacked crates they’d pushed against the side of the old storage building. By this time, a few more kids had gathered, curious about the commotion. She wanted to tell them not to follow, just in case it really was dangerous, but she didn’t have the heart to. Besides, the Imperials wouldn’t bother a bunch of kids, especially if there were little kids. She just hoped no grown-ups saw them; if they did, they’d certainly be in trouble for going to look at the Imperials.

By the time they could see their building, there were no Imperials in sight. Xerok insisted that they’d been there, that they’d just left while he was fetching Kazta. Maybe it was true. It didn’t make Kazta feel very reassured either way; if she could see them, maybe she could convince herself it was nothing big. She agreed to help Xerok look for them, if they had just been there, they couldn’t have gone too far. Neither of them had seen or heard any shuttles.

“Kazta,” he whispered, and she could see from his eyes that he was afraid, too. It made her feel worse, because if he was afraid, maybe it really was bad after all. “What’dyou think they–”

An enormous sound seemed to tear the world in two; Kazta had one moment to look down and see the very street underneath them had cracked, but she could see little else, the air had become solid with dust and debris. An explosion! What else could it have been? Kazta grabbed the hands of the two nearest little kids, tugging them away from the tangle of metal and stone. They still wore expressions of stunned surprise, too scared to even cry. Xerok nudged the others after them. “Come on,” Kazta said. “We’ll go in the pipes. They won’t look there.”

Underground, the system of ducts and tunnels was mostly intact, though they had bent in some places, and others had filled up with rubble. Their parents always told them not to go down into the tunnels, but now Kazta was glad that they had; both she and Xerok knew the quickest route away from the smoldering ruins of the building. The trouble was just where they were going. Xerok asked, in a whisper so the little kids wouldn’t hear, but Kazta wasn’t sure of that just yet. Maybe the storage building would be safe. It hadn’t been used in some time, but it was spacious and well insulated.

Kazta peered out through the vents first. She couldn’t see anyone, but that didn’t mean they weren’t still watching. Sirens screamed, back in the direction they’d come from. What if there were more explosions? She tried not to think about that as she pried the vent loose and ran over to the storage building. The main door was locked, but there was an access panel on the outside that she was just small enough to wiggle through. Once inside, she opened the main door and Xerok herded the other kids in. The gravity of what had happened now seemed to reach them, and they huddled together, their eyes wide. “I’m scared,” said one, his black eyes moist with tears. “I want to see my mama,” said another.

“We will,” Kazta said, hoping she sounded reassuring. “Soon.” The truth was she didn’t know if her parents were okay or not — if any of them were. How would they get by all on their own? She shook her head. It would do no good to worry about that right now. They had more pressing things to think about. One at a time, then it would all fall into place. At least, that’s what her father always said. She tried again to push the worry out of her mind. She started opening crates, looking for anything that could be useful: food, tools, something soft to sleep on. Judging from the layer of dust on top of the crates, she wouldn’t find much. They would need food first, then maybe a weapon. Kazta had never used a real weapon before, of course they’d played pretend but that wasn’t the same thing. Especially if the other person was trying to shoot you for real.

In the bottom of a barrel she discovered some kind of dried fish; it smelled a little weird but she wasn’t sure if it was supposed to or not. She handed them out to the others anyway. It was better than nothing. Kazta planned out where she might look for more, later under the cover of darkness. There was a shop directly across from the storage building, if the owner had run they could take anything they needed. Kazta promised she’d find a way to pay him back later. He was always kind to them whenever they came in, and the idea of stealing from him made her feel ill, but this was an emergency after all. She was sure he’d understand.

Kazta dragged a rough cloth out from behind a stack of crates. It was scratchy and dusty but at least it was something to keep them warm. Where would they get blankets? And for that matter, how long would they have to stay here, hiding? She pushed a crate over to the window and stood on it to look out. She couldn’t see any people, but thick black smoke poured into the sky from several spots. That probably meant more explosions. She frowned, stepping down again.

She didn’t sleep that night, nor did Xerok. They took turns sitting with the smaller kids for warmth and comfort. They cried off and on, but most of them eventually fell asleep under the rough blanket. Kazta listened; the sirens had not ceased, and every so often a rumble shook the building and they knew it was another explosion. A couple of times, she heard blaster fire, and carefully peeked out the window to see what was going on. Her heart caught in her throat when she looked out and saw four Imperials, right beneath the window. They were talking, but she couldn’t hear what they were saying. She didn’t dare go out to look for food after that, she didn’t even dare to whisper to Xerok.

Dawn rose a vivid pink on the horizon, the air still heavy with dust and smoke. Kazta stretched, groggy. The others were all sleeping still, even Xerok. Now would be a good time to try to get food, if she was quick they wouldn’t even notice that she had gone. She first checked the window, but the streets were silent. Even the sirens had finally stopped. The silence was almost worse, Kazta thought. She slipped out the main door and crouched down on the cracked street. All clear. She dashed across the street and into the shop. As she’d guessed, the owner wasn’t there, and a large chunk of stone had fallen onto the roof, crushing a portion of it along with some of the shelves. Kazta hoped that he wasn’t under there. She grabbed as much as she could carry, wishing she had a pack of some kind. At least it wasn’t far to their hiding place. She imagined the look on their faces once they saw that she’d brought back breakfast.

Kazta ducked out of the shop and began to run, and she almost ran right into the armored man. She uttered a cry of surprise, and one of the jars fell to the street with a crash. There were two of them, covered from head to foot in heavy armor. She couldn’t see their faces through the dark visors of their helmets. They had blasters, too, really big ones. Maybe they’d go easy on her, Kazta thought. Maybe they’d sell her or make her work in a pit, she’d heard that Imperials did that. Or maybe they’d just shoot her right there in the street.

“Hey, kid, you okay?”

His voice was muffled from the helmet, so she wasn’t quite sure she heard him right. “Y-yeah,” Kazta said, then realized what he was asking. The man said something to the other, and the second man called someone on his wristcom. They were probably calling to have them pick her up. At least Xerok and the others were safe, though they wouldn’t have any food. Hopefully they’d just leave it here, and Xerok could come get it later. They were still talking. Neither of them had shot her yet.

“Are you Imperials?” Kazta asked. She didn’t dare ask what they planned to do with her.

She thought one of them laughed. That’s what that sound was, she was sure of it. “Us? No, we’re the ones who just chased them off.” Kazta stared, not understanding. “We’re from the Republic.”

It made a little more sense now. Kazta had heard of them too, though not as much. She remembered some debate between her parents about whether their planet should join or not, and there would be a vote to decide, but it wasn’t them who got to vote. Had they joined? Maybe, else why would they be here? “Wait!” Kazta said. “There’s others, in there. Other kids. We were–” she didn’t want to say they were hiding. It made them sound like babies. “I was helping them.”

The two men looked at each other again. “Where?” Kazta stepped around the broken jar, and led them to the door of the storehouse.

“Xerok, it’s okay,” Kazta called. “Open the door.”

The air above them hummed to life; a shuttle was descending. “There’s your ride,” said the armored man. “They’ll take you somewhere safe and get you some food.” The man looked to Kazta and nodded. “You did a real good job, kid.”

 

[OOC] Factions are Outdated

I wanted to have a progress photo of my first clay head today, but unfortunately it’s been really humid (rainy/foggy) so the clay is taking ages to dry and he’s still just a homely lump. Still, I’m hoping to have a few head/paw sets ready for June. Currently I’m working on a Kath Hound, I also have plans for another Tundra dragon from Flight Rising, and perhaps a werewolf, I  haven’t fully decided yet. We’ll see where I go from there if I still have any time left.

Anyway, I read over the datamined info for the 4.3 patch for SWTOR. What’s really interesting is that it seems they are moving to PVP instances rather than PVP servers. Mr Hare and I have had a lot of discussion about how it would make sense to merge the factions in SWTOR from a gameplay point of view. You could still belong to the Republic or Empire, but you could communicate across factions (this exists — sort of. You can /say cross faction but not use custom emotes), merge the economies (this exists), and you could group up with members of the opposite faction for parties/flashpoints/operations, so long as you are not PVP-flagged. This does not exist yet, but I think it’s a step that should be taken. It provides double the population to play with, and story-wise (spoilers!!) the Empire and Republic no longer really exist as entities in KotFE. I was kind of surprised that the factions weren’t merged at KotFE launch, but it seems they are perhaps inching toward it.

I also think it should be done in WoW. While WoW’s economies are merged, there’s still a language barrier in place. While there are still a lot of people playing compared to some other games, most are concentrated on a handful of servers. Most servers are pretty darn dead. And, again, if the Alliance and Horde are focused on uniting to fight a common foe, it makes no sense for them to be at war outside of battlegrounds. Arena already allows intra-faction combat, so the technology exists.

There’s also been some rumbling about megaservers for SWTOR. I’m fine with them, so long as I get to keep my names. That’s the only concern I have, but I don’t know if this is officially happening or it’s just people freaking out prematurely. Especially as my main’s name is only 5 letters long; it’s unique but short names are always taken first. I’ll admit I’m kind of attached to my server name too!

[Screenshots] No Way, Sir

nowaysir

This is the Luxury Spa, which came in the last pack. I wasn’t lucky enough to get one so I’d been watching the GTN (auction house) for the price to come down. Today it did, so I bought one for my house. I don’t think I’m going to coax my cat into trying it, though.

And then I went to buy one for Mr Hare while he’s stuck on ship, and still groggy from my nap I sorted high to low … and bought the most expensive one. At least it’s only fake money, but I was still really bummed. Learn from my mistakes, and don’t shop the AH while you’re tired!

 

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Vellira’s Thoughts

I’d like to say things are pretty quiet here, and for the most part it’s true. At least when it comes to our patrols. The captain says we’ll have to do the annual spider hunt soon, he makes it sound like it’s some kind of tradition or something. I was kind of excited about it until Ty told me what actually happens. I don’t like caves, and I don’t like being covered in spider guts. Still, it’s part of our job so I’ll do it without complaining. At least it’s something new. And spider guts aren’t as bad as fish guts, and the smell doesn’t stay in your clothes for weeks, or so Ty tells me. The days are getting a little bit warmer so the builders might be starting soon. They aren’t building any new cabins here (yet) but Pero is excited because they’re going to be fixing up his house. I’m not sure how he’s going to get here for his patrols, but since his girlfriend is a mage I suppose she’ll just make him a portal every day. It’ll be weird not seeing him in the common room though.

There’s a new death knight guy who has been practicing, except he doesn’t want to use a bow and I can tell it’s making Grumpyfoot even grumpier. I don’t really get why he insists that everyone learn it — well I guess I do, it’s always better to have more weapons available. The death knight could just learn it and then never use it on patrol, that’s what a lot of us do anyway. I don’t think any of us have ever had to use our weapons on patrol at all, in fact. But if I ever do, I have my daggers and I can shoot a bow if I have to. Maybe I’m not the best at it, but I could probably at least hit the thing I am shooting at. The other big thing is that Arancon is mad about his son again. That’s not really news either, since he talks about him a lot. I guess he’s going to give Arancon’s grandbaby away to some other people, except I thought he already did that because she lives with them. Arancon goes to see her all the time already, so I don’t really see what would change about it. He says he doesn’t want her being raised by strangers, except they’ve had her for a year so they aren’t really strangers. Plus I really doubt they’re just going to give her back after that long. Arancon says he wants to go to Silvermoon and try to get her, so she could live at the ranger buildings. It’s not that impossible, I mean the captain has Rylad and a brand new baby, so there’s places that she could play and sleep and stuff. But who would take care of her while he’s on patrol? I understand why he’d want to keep her but I feel like her staying where she is might be better. But what do I know, I’ve never had any kids. And I don’t want to hurt his feelings either, because he seems like a nice guy. He feels really guilty about not being a good father to his son, but I don’t think he did a bad job. At least he was there for him. A lot of fathers just run off and disappear, a lot of mothers too. Having a father is really important, that much I do know. I guess we’ll see what happens. Arancon is going to go with the captain into the city next time he gets supplies, and talk to the Spire or the people watching the baby or something. I don’t know.

I keep thinking about the trip I want to take with Ty. I don’t know where we’d get a boat though. I mean I know they have little ones you can take for the day on the island, but that’s not the same. I want one with sails, it would have to be a small one because it’d just be me doing them, but there are small boats with sails. I wonder if I could build one. Maybe if I looked at pictures, I mean I’ve helped repair them before which is kind of the same, right? I wonder if Gael knows anything about boats, he did live on the island. I should ask him.