[Story] Story a Week 35 – Grey

The Gilnean countryside in winter was a study in grey, as if the driving rain and ceaseless winds had washed all trace of color away. But it seemed even more dreary than usual, as Marjolaine stood barefoot and shivering in the mud. How had she come to be here, in the middle of the bleak woods, her shoes gone and her hems torn? She couldn’t quite remember. Looking down, she saw her nails were dirty, traces of mud and blood beneath them. Had she fought with someone? Her body ached all over, with every step she could feel the complaining of her muscles. There were some bruises, she thought, but for the most part it was the ache of exertion rather than injury. Had they gone for a ride? She could not see any of the horses in the fields, though they could have gone to seek shelter from the freezing rain. She wanted to herself, but she could see no buildings closeby. If they were here, they had no lamps burning to light the way through the grey.

She had ridden the trails in the forest hundreds of times, so it should have been familiar to her, but there was a strangeness to the way everything looked. More than that, she could smell everything — not only the ordinary things like mud and the smell of rain on the plants, but the distant smell of smoke, and the smell of a deer. How did she know it was a deer? She wasn’t sure, but somehow she did. There was another smell too, something feral and musky — and there were several of them. It reminded her a bit of the stable after the horses had returned, but somehow more menacing. She didn’t smell any horses.

What had happened? She tried very hard to remember. Her head ached vaguely, but she didn’t think she had struck it. There had been a storm, she remembered that. She had gone around and secured all of the shutters of the house, and the stables as well. She remembered the icy wind tearing and rattling, howling around the corners and hollows. But there had to be something else. Where was everyone? All of the servants, the stablekeepers and cooks? All of the  other people in town? It was as if the dreary grey had yawned and swallowed all of them up.

Marjolaine followed the banks of the stream, knowing that it would lead to something eventually. Dirty snow, half-melted by the movement of the water, was piled along either side. The mid-morning sun shone weakly through the clouds, doing little to warm her. She thought she was near the mill, but she wasn’t certain. Would anyone be there? It was unlikely, but she had to hope. At the very least, she could get dry and perhaps find something to eat. Her stomach felt like a twisting void inside her, as if she hadn’t eaten for weeks. She knew she had, they’d eaten roasted quails right before the storm blew into town. Or had they? Was it possible that she’d been sleeping for days, like that story she used to listen to as a girl? She supposed it was.

A branch snapped, impossibly loud in the still forest. She turned to see a shaggy grey figure emerging from behind the trees, followed by others. Two, or three — so four of them in all. That wild, musky smell surrounded them and their eyes burned like embers in their long faces. But she wasn’t afraid. They had come to find her. She knew, all at once, that she was one of them.

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[Screenshots] Prestigious Ivory Courser

I reached Prestige 9 last night which is apparently another horse! This one is blue and white though, so it goes nicely with priests and things like that. I think Prestige 10 is another title, but I’m not too sure. I kind of avoid looking ahead too much to make the grind more tolerable. Besides RP, it’s really the only thing I’m doing these days.

Incidentally, the IoC match where I hit 9 turned out to be the longest ever, we ended up turtling and whittling down their lead gradually but it took foreverrrrr.

99horse

[Story] The Ghostclaw – Leinath’s Journal

Orledin was saying the school’s mask party will be held soon. It’s hard to believe it has been almost a year since I came out here. This will be my first one at the school, not my first one ever, of course. I was sometimes able to sneak into them before, by their very nature, and enjoy the food and wine. I always liked all the autumn foods and the changing leaves, as if even the forest wanted to dress up for the occasion. Based on the other parties I’ve been to, I’m sure the school’s will be amazing. We probably can’t have a party here with the rangers, but I thought it might be nice to bake some special things anyway. We could make pumpkin spiced muffins or cookies shaped like bats. Orledin said there’s a way to put the shape in the middle and then just slice a lot of them at once.

He also said they usually made their own masks at the ranger building. I know the shops always sell them, but I think it’s more fun to make it yourself. And I don’t think a fox would be too terribly difficult, I just need something like feathers that would look like fur. I think I should wear an orange shirt, that would be easy to get, and Orledin said I should get black boots and gloves. And a tail. I’m not too sure about that, where would I even get a fox tail? It might look a bit silly. But the rest I can do. I went into town to buy the shirt and gloves, I already have boots of course. I also needed to get a black robe for Orledin, he wants to be a hooded skeleton. Part of me was hoping he’d want to be a fox too, or at least maybe a wolf or something, but a skeleton is a good costume too. It’s good for there to be some spooky masks at a mask party. I thought maybe Sorrowmoss might want to go, as far as I know she’s never been to any of the parties. A mask party would be good because she could stay hidden if she wanted to. And there are plenty of people to dance with if she’s interested in that. Orledin didn’t think she would, but there must be something she likes, right? I also asked about Salenicus. He is excited to go and wanted Orledin to show him how to dance. Hopefully someone is willing to show him. I still think it would be really weird to be with a human, but I guess it doesn’t bother him. I think a mage would be strange too, but Orledin was saying all kinds of strange things about them doing magic while, you know. I’m not sure I’d be interested in that, it sounds kind of dangerous.

I wasn’t sure what size robe to get, but he said it was okay if it was loose. He’s about the same size as me so I got one that fit loosely, he can hem the edges if he needs to. I got an orange silk shirt with black ties, and found a pair of gloves that are perfect. They’re very long and come almost up to my elbows, and the softest leather. They’re actually for ladies, but since it’s for a costume that doesn’t matter. They already had some of the candies out for sale, though the holiday is still at least a month away. I know he can’t eat it, and I think I’d be sick if I ate them all myself, but I got a small bag because I figure we can mix them into cookies or put them on top, or something. I also wanted to get a few things for Lucky. I got him two porcelain bowls, one for food and one for water. He’d just been using an old wooden one and it wasn’t very nice. I also got him a leather collar with a buckle and a little brass tag and they put his name on it. I got one for Pancat as well. He already has a collar, but I think this one is nicer. Hopefully they both like it.

[Story] Morthorn’s Notes

The clinic has been so busy that I hardly realized how little time I’ve had to write any personal observations. Ordinarily, this would be only in a patient file, but considering the identity of the patient… Lani certainly has the same stubborn-ness that runs in her family. I’ve been seeing Hethurin fairly regularly, as well as some of the students. Lani likes to nudge some of them in the direction of my office after their physical check-ups. Particularly, I think some of the scholarship students are having a bit more difficulty fitting in. The school is an entirely different world than what they are used to, in addition to the burden of keeping their true past and identity a secret. It was wise of Hethurin to choose two of them to receive scholarships, so at least they have each other to confide in. And myself, of course, though I’m not sure either of them trusts me entirely yet. It’s understandable, but I hope in time I can prove myself trustworthy to them.

I had a late walk-in last night as Lani was straightening up the exam room. She saw him as he came in, so there was no point in trying to deny who it was — her father. We’ve spoken before, of course, but never in a patient setting. I thought there might be some problem that had brought him to me, but he told me that everything was going well at the school, he was becoming accustomed to staying on the grounds there with his children and grandchildren. He’s considered retirement, but still wishes to help out with Lani’s clinic here and there. Hethurin is urging him to stay on the grounds, repairing one of the abandoned houses. All of this sounds encouraging to me, so I was uncertain why he’d sought me out. It could just be for the sake of conversation, but that’s not usually the case. Most people only come to me when they feel they have no one else to turn to.

He’d been seeing someone, he said, and was uncertain whether it should continue. He worried that his children might be upset by it. I advised him that his own opinion should be the priority here, that he didn’t need their approval in his personal life. Of course, he shouldn’t aim to upset them, but it can always be difficult for children to see their parents in a romantic relationship, especially if there has been a split previously. Many wish for their parents to get back together, even when that’s flatly impossible, as is the case here. Isturon’s children are grown, however, and should be more accepting of him moving on, and I told him that it was a positive change. The woman in question is Terellion’s mother. I can see how that could complicate things. While I haven’t spoken to her myself, I know through Hethurin that her husband died not terribly long ago. Even aside from Terellion and Hethurin’s possible opposition, she might not be to the point where she can consider another relationship. I thought it best that he proceed very slowly, allowing a friendship to build naturally before suggesting anything else. If she’s interested, she will probably make that fact known.

It’s a bit odd to be giving advice in romantic matters, as I’m really terrible at it. In both cases, it was the lady who initiated things, with me finally figuring out their intentions much later. Of course I thought about it, imagined what it might be like, but never actually acted until I was absolutely sure, and sometimes not even then. I suppose I overthink things, or worry too much about making a mistake. Were I my own patient, I would tell me that mistakes are important for growth, and sometimes we have pleasant surprises that happen as well as mistakes. But I’m not, and I continue along in the same manner even while I know it’s not the best. Isturon made a remark about Lani running off with a pool boy as her mother had, and while it was just to illustrate a point, I could imagine it all too well in dreadful detail. I’ve worried about being too boring or too old or too stuffy, many times before. He also implied that she was only interested in because I would fill out her paperwork for her. I assume that was also meant to be a joke, but it elicited the same panic in me. Was it true? What if she found someone younger, with better penmanship, who also enjoyed filling out forms?

Regardless, the moment he left, Lani insisted to know what we had discussed. And she was prepared for my reply. “He’s my father,” she said. “I have a right to know.” She didn’t, really, but I wasn’t about to try to force the point with her, I know better. I reminded her that what I told her was strictly to stay within our office, but I suspect she’ll go straight to him and give him her opinion. Then again, he probably expected that too.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Diary

Dear Diary,

Xarola and I went to visit the rangers. She had Terellion bake some cupcakes, I don’t really think they needed them because Orledin always makes them cookies, but she insisted. I guess it’s different enough that they won’t be too bored to eat them. Now that I think of it, though, I think it was just so she had an excuse to go talk to the alive rangers. We brought the soaps and perfumes too. I was worried that Salenicus might think it’s because he smells bad, I mean why else would you give someone soap for a gift? And he did say that. But I told him that it was because Xarola makes perfumes with Vynlorin, and she wanted to give me something in exchange for making the dresses. She said it wouldn’t be fair to take them for free. I like my perfume, I told her to try to make it kind of strong because I can’t smell things very well. It’s still kind of faint, like they were stored away in an attic for a long time or something, but it’s still nice. It’s like just a little hint of them as you walk past. Of course, other people can probably smell it a lot more, so I’m careful to just use a tiny bit. I don’t want anyone to complain or get a headache because of my perfume. And I won’t wear it in class, only for dances and things like that. The one they made for Salenicus smells a bit like trees, and a bit like leather. I don’t know how you can make a perfume smell like leather, but they did. I hope he likes it. There are some soaps too, and she cut them in the shape of leaves, I thought that was cute.

The ranger building is nice. I guess I expected it to be dirty or just a bunch of tents, but it’s not. The building is new, and they take good care of it. There’s a stable for animals and some smaller cabins along one side,  that’s where some of the rangers live. Most of them still come inside to eat in the main building though, and that’s also where they visit and talk. There were some around when we arrived, because it was close to dinner time. Orledin and the alive ranger were working in the kitchen making the bread. I am not even sure that he noticed I was there at all, but then he told me I should look outside for Salenicus. That’s all though. Xarola stayed inside and gave the alive rangers the cupcakes.

I didn’t see Hernester. I’m not sure if he was hiding or maybe they let him leave. I hope he’s doing okay though. I had to walk out a little ways into the trees, to some troll ruins. It’s easy to forget with all the new buildings, but there used to be trolls living here in the forest. I’m glad they aren’t here anymore, but the ruins are still here. I’m not sure why Salenicus likes to go there, he said it was because he could be alone, but there are other places to be alone. He was working on carving and I was afraid to say anything because I didn’t want to startle him, after all he wasn’t expecting me to be there. It was supposed to be a rabbit, but he said the ear was messed up. I don’t know, it looked okay to me. I said it could still be a bear or something like that. He’s getting better at carving, I think.

He wanted to know about my classes, and I said they start next week. Also he asked if we should meet inside since it’ll get colder soon. I don’t really mind the cold until it starts to freeze, but I said we could use the greenhouse if he wanted to see the plants. It’s warmer in there, and it’s not busy at night. During the daytime, a lot of people want to use it. I’m always worried they won’t want me in there with them, like the heat causes me to smell more or something. Or they’ll bump into me and think it’s gross. So I just try to work on my plants at night. Salenicus said the rangers are more accepting. I’m not sure, but he might be right. I don’t think I could be a ranger though, could you imagine? Running around in the woods with a bow. Maybe it’s because they can’t see each other as well in the dark, so it doesn’t matter so much what you look like.

I mentioned the dances, and he said he wanted to go. And he wants to dance. I hadn’t even really planned to go — it’s not very much fun if you can’t eat anything and no one talks to you. So I don’t have any ideas for a mask at all, and now I have to think of one. Or two. He asked if we should match. I don’t know, should we? Are we even a thing? Would that be too much? I should ask Xarola. A lot of people do birds or animals, but it could also just be a color with lots of feathers and decorations. As long as it looks nice. It’s been ages since I went to a mask party. I don’t know if I even remember how to dance. I should practice, but I don’t know who would agree to help me with that. I guess one good thing about being dead is that my hands won’t get too sweaty.

[Screenshots] SWTOR – Crisis on Umbara

So this post is a day late because I messed up and didn’t get any screenshots from my main (Kazta) playthrough, and you’re unable to re-play the cutscenes as this isn’t actually a chapter. So my Sith Marauder is standing in for her, and made all the same choices which — really, probably isn’t in-character but she’s not my canon Outlander anyway so it doesn’t matter.

This was a small update, pretty much just the new flashpoint and the new stronghold. It requires 60 of the currency, so no one will be able to get it until next week. I’m not sure if I want to buy it or not yet, I want to visit one first, but there are other things on the vendor that I want so I’ll start saving up. The flashpoint kind of gave me flashbacks to the train dungeon in WoD which believe me is not a good thing. There were fewer crate obstacles, crap on the ground, and LoS issues in here, at least.

Behind a cut for major story spoilers, and my thoughts on that are below too.

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[OOC/Screenshots] Ratstallion

I’m finally done scurrying around in the sewer! Finished my Ratstallion mount today. The letter they send you is pretty funny.

ratletterratty

One of my chief complaints about Legion is all the RNG, that is, grinding endlessly just for the chance to (maybe) get something. The Ratstallion is a grind, yes, but at least it’s a guarantee that you’ll eventually get it, so I don’t mind so much.

It did take quite a long time, but here are my tips if you want to go for one too:

  • Group if you can. Earlier in the expansion there were groups in the group finder for it, but I never saw any so this may not be the case now. You can still group with friends or guildies, or just ask people who are down there of your faction if they’re willing to group up.
  • Go at off-hours. Though it’s not as busy as it once was, there are still a lot of people during peak hours, at least on my server. You have a better chance of tagging stuff (and not getting killed) with fewer people around.
  • Buy a guard. It costs 5 gold and the guard lasts for 5 minutes, so this can get expensive. But buying a guard prevents you from being attacked by other players while the zone-wide guards are off duty. Please note that you cannot loot the chests with a guard, however you can still kill NPCs and rares, such as the Widowsisters.
  • Check for the quest. Sometimes a quest is up which gives you 150 eyes for free. I’m not sure if it’s random or what, because sometimes it’s there and sometimes it’s not.