[Screenshots] Class Mounts

I’ve been keeping up with my weekly chores on the alts, so I was able to start working on getting class mounts Tuesday. I haven’t finished them all yet (more about that in a second), but I thought I’d post the ones I have so far. I do like the little cut-scenes you get at the end where you actually get the mount, some of them are pretty cool.

Like the class campaigns, though, they vary widely in difficulty. Most of my alts are around 850 ilevel, so they’re not especially well geared. Monk was really easy, and didn’t even have an elite to kill. The only one that’s really given me trouble so far is Warrior, even at 862 in Prot spec I’ve been unable to kill even the first challenger. I need to wait for a nerf or for him to get more gear, I guess. Warlock had to get an item from a Legion invasion, so I had to wait 7 hours for that. He also had to buy expensive crafted things from the Auction House. But hands down the worst is Rogue. They have to assassinate a target in each of the enemy faction cities. Which would be okay if they were scenarios, but nope, they’re on live. From what I’ve read, the Silvermoon target (the first one for Alliance rogues) also has a super long respawn time. I’m hoping for a nerf, otherwise it’s going to be a very long time before I get the rogue mount, which is disappointing because it’s one of the ones I actually liked.

Druid is very underwhelming, too. Not only do I find it incredibly ugly, it’s not actually a proper mount, it’s just a change to flight form. If you bought the very expensive Glyph of the Sentinel, you have to pay to switch back and forth between them. It also lacks an idle pose, a perch pose, a walking/ground pose, uses the old form sounds, and cannot be used in no-fly areas.

All the mounts (that are proper mounts, not druid form) can be used by other alts of the same class, however. I’ve read that druids can use the new owl if they have flying learned, in Moonglade. I haven’t gone to test it though, because in all honesty I don’t want to use it.

Visually, I think I like the Death Knight one best so far. Their movie was really cool too. (Though the actual quest I didn’t like! You’ll see why if you do it. I corpse ran rather than follow orders.) I also really like the Monk cat because he talks to you!

[Story] Xanaroth’s Journal

I brought Vallindra into the healers’ office, I was worried that something might be wrong and I thought it best that they see her. Everything seemed normal to be, but of course I’m not a healer, and she was well past her due date. I suppose the little one was warm and comfortable and wasn’t in any hurry to be disturbed! They decided to give Vallindra something that they said would hurry things along, she said it tasted really terrible. We waited there for quite a while, but nothing had happened yet. Esladra went home for the night, though Lani was still there, seeing to her father in the next room. Vallindra was worried because Lani doesn’t have much training in the area of babies — though she does have one herself so she must have some idea. Still, I had a hawkstrider outside ready to go and fetch Esladra at a moment’s notice. Vallindra slept, I had meant to stay awake but I fell asleep in the chair, until she woke me later that night. I wasn’t sure of the hour, but it was certainly late. Or early. I felt a little guilty waking Esladra at that hour, but then it was her job, wasn’t it? She was dressed and had her little bag ready much more quickly than I expected.

Once things started to happen, it went quickly. Lani came to assist so I did my best simply to stay out of the way. I wasn’t especially eager to see Vallindra in pain either — not to mention that she might rightfully blame me for being in this situation. I’m not the one who had to go through all of the discomfort, hopefully I can make it up to her later on. The baby is a girl. Vallindra said I could choose her name, and though I had a whole list ready it still wasn’t easy. Their name is something they have for life, it has to be nice and should fit them. I chose Elara, it’s short and pretty and it goes nicely with Embersun. I got to hold her, she’s so tiny that I was afraid I might drop her. Everything about her is tiny — her little fingers and her little ears and nose. And she’s cute. Of course I’m biased, but I think she’s one of the cutest babies I ever saw. No doubt she’ll grow up to be just as beautiful as her mother. She mostly sleeps now, and eats. I bring her to Vallindra for that, though sometimes I make a bottle if I want to let her get some rest. Esladra said that’s all she will do for a couple of weeks. I wonder about what she’ll be like, what her interests will be, what she’ll like in school, whether she’ll want to study summoning or not. I wouldn’t deter her of course, but I admit that it would worry me.

I had to skip Felarius’s lesson that week, because there was just too much to do. I felt bad about it, so we had an extra the next. He’s a good student, he has been keeping up on his reading and did all of the practice circles that I asked him to do. He asks questions but he doesn’t challenge me. I think he’ll do well. It’s been nice having a student again. I tried to explain it to Vallindra but I’m not sure she really understood. There’s nothing quite like seeing the student that you taught succeed and grow. Though I expect it must be similar to be a parent.

[Story] Xanaroth’s Journal

I stopped by Magister Firewind’s house to meet his new student. He’d been caught with certain books, and Hethurin agreed to allow Aeramin to instruct him safely, rather than expel him altogether. Many people aren’t so understanding, so I’m grateful that he allows his students to explore subjects that he may not agree with. However, he’s not to study or practice on the school grounds, which is where Aeramin came in. It’s far safer this way, he can learn the foundations required to summon safely and without putting others in danger. But then Aeramin said he thought I should take over his lessons, for what reason I do not know. I was surprised by the suggestion, but quickly agreed. It’s been far too long since I’ve had a student, and I look forward to watching him learn and progress. He’s studying fire magic currently, which is a good starting place. I intend to begin with the classification and attributes of various types of demons. He has a few books, but I can loan him more. It’s difficult not to give them all at once, I have to remember that he’ll be easily overwhelmed by too much information too fast. I can hardly believe I was once that naive and eager.

I intend to organize my work-room and give him his own corner to use for study and practice. Most of what’s down there are my notes for the book, but it’s been overdue for organizing anyway. I am a little concerned that Vallindra might not be pleased, but she shouldn’t see or hear him at all aside from when he arrives and leaves. That, and the baby will be here any day now. I know Hethurin teaches his classes with one (or two, sometimes) in a sling, and I expect that would work well for me. But later on, once Felarius actually begins summoning, we will have to find another arrangement. There’s no way I would expose my child to even an innocent looking imp; too much can go wrong. But I suspect that is quite some time off, I suppose how quickly Felarius learns and where his individual strengths lie.

I’m uncertain of Aeramin’s reasons for giving me his student. I’m not complaining, of course. On the contrary, it was a pleasant surprise. He did make a remark about not wishing to make Imralion jealous, which I found rather strange. Would he really be jealous of Aeramin spending time with a student? He did say there had been issues in the past, not necessarily with Imralion, but others. I suppose if Vallindra had a very handsome young blood knight wishing to visit her often, I might not like it very much. Whatever the reason, I look forward to it. And to finally meeting my son or daughter as well.

[Story] Xanaroth’s Journal

Work proceeds on the manuscript, though not as quickly as perhaps it could. I admit I have been distracted enough with Vallindra’s discovery. She went to her sisters’ clinic to be certain. Though it’s still yet a long way off, there’s a lot that must be done to prepare, and I am the one who fulfills any requests she might have. Normally, there are quite a few, and it can be difficult to get work done, but I don’t mind. The manuscript can wait, if it has to. I know I’ll have even less time once the child actually arrives, but I won’t mind that either. I promised Vallindra that I would see to as much care as possible. We’ll likely have to hire someone to help though, which will further complicate our research, unless it’s another student of the fel arts. I doubt there are many nannies who study demons, however. I should have a very rough version for Aeramin to look over soon, I need to meet with him and Kestrae to discuss the book in more detail. Until this point it has primarily been organizing our notes and research, but it must be laid out in an organized fashion in order to be useful to others. I know Kestrae has been busy with their little one, and Aeramin is teaching at the school which must consume a great deal of his time.

I do stop by from time to time to visit, primarily to bring dinner back but also sometimes to visit with Hethurin. I know he has no particular affection for Vallindra, but he has always been polite to me, so I make an effort to keep in touch. The students should have their spring holiday soon, and it should afford both of them more time to meet. The cook is also preoccupied, so the meals aren’t perhaps quite up to their usual standard, but still quite tasty and certainly better than my own cooking. I do what I can when she requests something late at night, I am considering asking Hethurin to help me learn conjuring so I can at least do that. It seems it would be perfect for fulfilling odd late-night snack requests, but I was never very good at it.

I wonder as well if there are any students there interested in summoning. I’m certain it’s not permitted, but we all did it anyway. Students are curious, they want to know more – especially things they’re told they can’t know. It all ties in so well — fel magic can amplify and empower your ordinary fire spells, it’s a natural progression. When I speak to Aeramin, I’ll ask if there are any who might show potential for it. Of course it would have to be after they graduate; I don’t want to bring any trouble to Hethurin’s school, but just to sow the seeds.

Keeping busy helps with the worry. If I’m painting the room or fetching something for Vallindra, I don’t have time to be afraid of what might happen. At least, not as much. It’s still there, I can’t banish it completely. I’m a great deal older now and I am more careful, but I was careful then too. I hate being afraid and vulnerable, it’s an unpleasant and unsettling feeling. I’ve strengthened all of the wards again, just to be certain. I’ll ask Hethurin if he has any suggestions for them, as well.

[Story] Story a Week 10

[[ Prompt: Obsession ]]

Uldred removed his spectacles and rubbed his eyes. They ached, and the pages in front of him were swimming. Perhaps it was time to turn in for the night. Only a little oil was left in the lamp, and by its struggling light he could see that the hour was well past three. Sighing, he gathered the papers up into a stack on the desk and placed a book on top so they wouldn’t blow away if he opened the window later in the morning. He’d just have to continue then, once he’d slept and had something to eat. The most frustrating thing was that he knew he was close — he had to be — it was only a matter of untangling the complicated web of spells before him. If a spell could be cast, its reverse could also be cast. It was a fundamental principle of magic.

That boy is obsessed, he recalled his father saying, when he first got his hands on magical theory books. Uldred used to read them by a lamp very similar to this one, sitting before the grey window-panes streaked with rain, a warm blanket all around him. He remembered the awe and wonder those books brought to him, the eagerness to learn and experiment for himself. Maybe he had been, Uldred conceded, because he couldn’t go to proper lessons. The books were all he had then, and proved a valuable resource now. Though of course he’d graduated to much more advanced subjects than magical theory.

The Stormwind streets were empty and quiet at this hour, but Uldred knew things still moved there, out of sight. Rats and stray dogs, thieves and cut-purses stalked the shadows, hunting. In Shattrath, Uldred hadn’t had to worry about such things, at least as long as he stayed on the upper tiers, but Stormwind was a much different place. It had taken some time to get accustomed to a city again. His room was on an upper floor, so he could leave the window open for air most of the time, though a truly dedicated thief could get in — if he’d had anything worth stealing. Rumors of elves infused with demonic magic had brought him back here, but thus far he’d been able to learn very little about them. He’d not seen one himself, nor found any books on the subject. Even if he did find one in the flesh, Uldred rather doubted he’d be allowed to conduct the sort of experiments necessary to learn what he needed to know. As they were elves, he might have more luck in one of their cities, but it was more likely they were driven into hiding, as he and his fellow summoners had been. Walking about the city stinking of fel energy was not a wise plan. But he had to find one. All of his years of study had moved him forward, but not far enough. There was a piece of the puzzle still missing, only Uldred wasn’t exactly sure what shape it was, or what it looked like. At this point, he wasn’t entirely sure what the end result was even supposed to look like.

He changed into his sleeping robes, and blew out the lamp. Even if he was able to finish his work, what was it going to accomplish? Would he not be the same person he was now? Would he be hailed as a great scholar and recognized for his achievements? Likely not. Would it bring his homeland and his mother back? Certainly it wouldn’t. But he persisted because he had to, because he had seen it this far and had worked too long to stop now. And partly out of habit. Without his work, what else did he have? On another night, this question might have kept him awake. But Uldred was asleep nearly as soon as he pulled the blankets up over himself.

[Story] Xanaroth’s Journal

I had a visit the other evening, from Vallindra’s brother. We don’t often get visitors, and we hardly ever see him, so it was doubly unusual. She wasn’t home at the time; she was in the city shopping for winter gifts with her mother (and that boy).  I suspect Hethurin might have known somehow — maybe he’d been watching — and that’s why he chose that evening. He wanted to tell me that the wards at the school had been working well, though Firewind was the one who made them. I’ve never been very good with wards — bindings are another matter, but of course that isn’t what they needed. The research from the new Tanaris species has been helpful, he said. I wish I could have had more time with them. I’m still sorting and compiling notes, and doing tests on Firewind’s over-sized imp when I can, which isn’t as often as I would like. While we know some things about them, there’s a great deal we don’t know, such as resistances or weaknesses to specific spells, their reactions to various herbs and magical compounds, things like that. All the sorts of things you would expect in a demonic compendium. Vallindra did the wards here, though in truth they’re more to keep ours in than to keep anything out. Any wild demon who stumbled through our roof might be unpleasantly surprised.

He had a great many questions about the demons here, primarily how they might be getting here. I explained that they could not come on their own, they would require a portal to be opened into the Ghostlands. I thought it best not to mention the flying structures — if one of those was here, it would surely have been noticed and I thought it best not to scare him. There aren’t any here, nor have there been. We would have seen them. I explained that portals of that size and power would require an immense amount of energy to maintain, the ones that we observed in Tanaris were set on leyline crossings. That would amplify the power of whoever — or whatever — is keeping the portal open. Hethurin wanted to see Vallindra’s maps, which I showed to him. There are only a few ley crossings that I believe would be large enough, and I pointed them out. He seemed thankful for the knowledge, but I can’t help but wonder what he plans to do with it. Does he intend to try to close them? Doing so would be both difficult and dangerous, especially for a mage untrained in demonic magic. Perhaps ward the boundaries, so the demons are trapped within? It might work, though it would likewise require an immense amount of energy and it would be impossible for him to maintain them alone. Perhaps he could place a second portal directly at the exit, so that the demons step from the Nether into the bottom of the ocean, or something like that. It’s an amusing thought, but again, would require a power source.

Hethurin said that the school is doing well, and that I ought to visit for the winter ball. I’d very much like to, but I know he still mistrusts Vallindra, and I’d rather not leave her home alone. Unless she has plans already that night, I suppose. I just hope she doesn’t gain any ideas from her mother about leaving me for a boy who works at the pool. I don’t think I’m that old just yet.

[Story] Xanaroth’s Journal

This place is awful. It’s my own fault for suggesting it, I know. Vallindra wanted somewhere warm, well it’s certainly that. “Warm” is misleading. It’s so hot that I can feel every part of me sweating in my robes. Sand gets into every conceivable crack, whether you want it to or not. At Hethurin’s suggestion, I bought a hat to protect from the sun, while it looks ridiculous I am glad I did. Magister Firewind’s doesn’t cover his ears, and already by the first night they were painfully burned. There are snakes, scorpions, and massive spiders. I’m told they seek shelter in shoes at night. In sharp contrast to the heat of the day, at night it’s quite cold and we need heavy blankets. The only food we have to eat are dried fish, which is tough and salty and terrible. Vallindra thought to bring some fruit, but it won’t last long. Hopefully some traders will pass by the outpost soon. It is my hope that all of this discomfort will be worth it in the end, and so far it seems promising.

We sleep during the hottest hours of the day, and venture out in the cool of night. It’s a bit more dangerous, due to the sand worms, but they haven’t given us much trouble yet. Magister Firewind suggested that we butcher and eat one if it should attack us. I can’t even imagine what worm meat must taste like.

While we couldn’t see any demons from the Reliquary camp, it did not take us long to find some. More interesting are the structures, because they are large enough that they appear to have been present for some time, but I don’t see how that is possible. Do they have some means to move them via portals? It’s something I’ve never seen before. I made sketches of the structures; there are also large flying air-ships overhead. It’s difficult to see them well in the night sky, but I have done my best to sketch them.

And there are new species, as I had hoped. There are slender, robed demons that are skilled casters and appear to keep lesser demons enslaved. I suggested that these ones be named after Vallindra, but I can’t tell if she was amused or not. We observed a larger species of imp, apparently similar in all ways to its smaller cousins, aside from size. Though slighter of build, they stand as tall as an elf, which is unsettling to say the least. After a few failed attempts, we aided Magister Firewind in binding one. Its name is Grembahl. I do not know if he intends to bring it home with him or not; if so I suspect that his present imps will not like the arrangement very much. I have selected some larger species that I would like to study more in-depth, in addition to the Vallindra demons of course.

I dislike having the blood knight here, aside from possibly exposing our studies, there is the very real danger that he will carelessly kill something I’m in the middle of studying. That’s the reason they agreed to send him here, so he can learn how to kill them and report back to the others. I don’t see what’s so complicated about it, but that’s blood knights for you. Binding and guiding them is much more rewarding, and delicate. Our knowledge will also help strengthen the wards back in the Ghostlands, to keep the school and rangers safe. As much as I enjoy studying them, I’d prefer demons weren’t roaming loose all over the Ghostlands.