[Story] Character of the Week – Hraavik (LoTRO)

[[ In LoTRO for PVP you can play a monster character. There are several “classes” to choose from, including wargs who attack from stealth similar to a rogue. It’s pretty fun! This is a story about my warg, Hraavik (who is named after the main character from my 2008 NaNo). ]]

Smoke stung Hraavik’s eyes and nose, yet he kept moving toward it. He was flanked on either side by his pack-mates, scars written across their hides. The smoke was made by the tall ones, and the pack had learned that it was better to go along with their plans. For generations they had hunted alone, sought out their prey among the forest, anyone who was foolish enough to venture too far from their settlements. But now the tall ones came among them, calling the pack with their horns that echoed through the valleys. There were others gathered too, the many-legged ones and their strange hissing ways, but the tall ones were in charge. At first Hraavik resisted this, for he was the leader of his pack and was not accustomed to bowing to anyone’s word. But the tall ones had sharp metal, axes and whips and had no fear of him. And, as he soon learned, the tall ones had little interest in the meat of man or hobbit. All of the spoils went to Hraavik and his pack, they could eat until their bellies were full and taut. Thus did he and his brothers begin to associate the tall ones and their horns and smoke with hunting, and the sweet taste of easy meat.

They lay on the black dirt that surrounded the fire, their eyes bright with greed. The tall ones spoke of their plan, but it mattered very little to Hraavik. He knew already what to do; he simply needed to be told where their prey was hiding. Did they tremble already in their burrows, frightened by the war horns? Or did they carry on with their business, blithely unaware of the danger that rested only a short distance away on tense paws. Hraavik liked it better when they ran away — it made the game more exciting.

The tall one’s leader wore a skull atop his head, the antler tines broken and intertwined like the branches of a lightning-struck tree. His gaze rested upon Hraavik for a moment, appraising him and his pack. Hraavik was not concerned. He had chosen his best hunters to accompany him today, the rest could squabble over the scraps if there were any left. The more prey they brought down, the more the tall ones would be pleased, and they would call for him again. The tall one chief said something to another, but Hraavik did not know what it was. They waited with restless energy, their jaws slavering with anticipation.

They did not have to wait long. The war horn reverberated through the camp, stirring all who had gathered. Like a black wave they poured from the valley and toward the settlement. Hraavik and his pack broke off from the main group, disappearing into the shadows of the grass. Ambush was the key to a successful hunt, prey caught off guard was as good as dead already. They could run at an even pace across many miles, and their bodies were taut with muscle, but they were not especially fast. Hraavik would strike swiftly from the shadows while the rest of the army attacked another point. He could already taste the warm blood upon his tongue, it was so near now.

It was a hobbit-den, built into the sides of the surrounding hills. Some worked outside, tending to plants or washing clothing. Chickens and goats wandered the pathways, and young hobbits played games on the sod roofs. The jumble of smells and sounds was jarring to a younger warg, but not Hraavik and his hunters. They moved into position, Hraavik licking his jaws in anticipation. There might be weapons, but in Hraavik’s experience, it was rare. He hated the stinging things the most – they could reach from a very far distance and stuck into your hide. The last time he’d had to chew them out and one had become infected. Better to kill any before they were able to sting them. At the edge of the field they waited, concealed among the crops, until the tall ones’ signal.

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[Screenshots] LOTRO Yule Festival

It’s the time of year when all my games are doing holiday events! I logged in to check LotRO, and the Yule Festival has started. This year’s mount is a beautiful elk! Naturally, I have to get it for all of my characters. (I usually get everyone the Yule mount anyway, but I was extra motivated to get an elk.)

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[OOC] Not-WoW Update

Since Warlords launch, it’s been a while since I posted about any not-Wow games!

SWTOR
SWTOR’s Shadow of Revan expansion is out, I bought it (because it was cheap, only $20) but haven’t had a chance to play it yet. I need to figure out the new combat proficiency system. It appears to replace the old talent trees, but I’m not sure just yet. Admittedly, I am pretty bored in WoW outside of RP and raid nights, so I may start taking Kazta through the new content. There’s a new planet and, hopefully, some good storylines there. I was a little disappointed in Makeb in that there weren’t really any class-specific quests, but it still wasn’t bad. I still have tons of fun playing her and I do really enjoy  SWTOR when I get the chance to play it. That and RIFT would be the games I’d play if WoW closed or my friends all stopped playing. Update: Just read on the developer blog that one of my favorite races is becoming playable! That definitely gets me excited to play again.

LoTRO
I think there’s a new expansion out, but I am not sure. My highest character is level 54, and I believe the max is 100 now, so I’m so far away from current content that I have no clue. I’m one of those super noobs who never even gets to max level, and they keep raising it! It doesn’t help that I’m in Moria, which is a zone I really disliked the last time I tried it. It’s very difficult to navigate (there are a lot of elevation changes) and also incredibly dark. I had to adjust my screen to be able to see anything at all. They might have changed it since then though, it was several years ago. This is another one that I wish I had more time to play, for a time I played it a lot but I never was able to find a guild (despite a lot of trying) so my interest kind of waned. Unfortunately, my house got locked due to lack of payment, but I was able to unlock it again, for much less than last time. That’s a relief! So my “rent” is paid up through April again. I’d like to play again sometime, I just don’t have enough free time!

Dragon Age: Inquisition
I’m stalled out on my second playthrough, right after the Orlesian ball quest. It’s really hard to find the motivation to play at all, especially to do all the pointless side quests. Part of this is because I know how boring and grindy it is, and there’s no mystery about the storyline so it’s less urgent that I level up to see it. I’m pretty much just playing to see the result of the romance arc at this point. But even that’s not especially compelling, as I think I’ve pretty much got all the scenes I am going to get with that character. It kind of baffles me to see people rave about how much they like it, when my experience has been so different. Maybe I’m just jaded or something, but I honestly would rather play the entirety of Origins (yes, even the Fade and the Deep Roads) than finish this second play through of Inquisition. I wanted to like this game, but it’s honestly just not very fun at all.

 

 

[Screenshots] LOTRO Teal Firework Pony

This morning’s update put in a new horse, a recolor of the Fireworks-Laden steed. I was able to buy it on my Hobbit, not sure if the others will get enough in time (it ends tomorrow). Best part is that her name is Sparkle!

sparklepony

[Screenshots] LOTRO 6th Anniversary

The LOTRO Anniversary event is going on right now, I have most of the stuff I want from this event so I’ve just been doing the “envelope” daily on all my characters. These can contain items such as emotes, the anniversary coins, or even mounts. At least, they did last year. As far as I can tell there is only the festival barding set this year. I’ve found it on one of my characters, but since you need level 75 for a war-steed, I can’t use it yet. That’s incentive to level, I guess!

I was able to buy the Anniversary mount for everyone, though. I really like that they’ve made festival horses much easier (cheaper) to get. It cost me nothing but the anniversary coins. Since it’s free, I really can’t complain about its looks but… yeah, definitely not my favorite mount. Most of the time, LOTRO mounts do a great job of striking a balance between realistic and interesting, but this one’s just plain silly.

Those tail ribbons... really?

Those tail ribbons… really?

And I’m sad my Warg didn’t get any presents 😦

[Screenshots] LOTRO: Wintry Yule Steed

Okay, well that wasn’t too long. Though all of my characters did some quests last year, so they might count toward it? I dunno. Here’s Andarthir with the Wintry Yule Steed! He’s also wearing a Yule hat that he won from one of his bags!

wintry_yule
Errybody getting horsies today!

wintry_pony
And this one, which I think is from last year? I dunno, Morthorn had enough tokens for all three. And he’s wearing the title you get from building all the different snowmen!

frostyhorse

[Screenshots] LOTRO Winter Festival

I know, I got a late start on this! Normally you’re able to earn the horse in a day or two, but this year they’ve changed it so you need to complete a deed (like an achievement) in order to buy it. So I may not have time to get it, which is okay — there’s still another horse I can get, along with lots of cosmetic stuff. In addition, there’s a gift bag that you can get once a day with items or additional tokens in it. So I’m doing the quests on all of my characters, and I’ll see what I am able to buy at the end.

A quest to clean up spills and dirty dishes? This isn't a game, it's a life simulator!

A quest to clean up spills and dirty dishes? This isn’t a game, it’s a life simulator!