February 22, 2010 – 9:27 am
An unseasonably warm day in Hillsbrad provided Aely and Arrens yet another afternoon sitting on the bluffs above the coast. The sun shone brightly, and they’d brought a picnic with them, sitting and talking and enjoying the warm air. As the sun started to set, however, thick grey clouds rolled in and the wind picked up. The air took on a vaguely oppressive feel, and though the sunset colored the clouds with gorgeous streaks of amber and pink, rain was definitely on the way.
Neither Aely nor Arrens moved from their spot on the bluffs. Arrens’ proposal the night before – at that very spot, in fact – kept Aely’s mind busy, and their discussion rarely wandered far from the topic at hand.
“Can I admit t’ ye sommat no’ particularly grown up, nor much like me?”
Arrens raised an eyebrow. “You can tell me anything, my love, you know that. What bothers you?”
She sighed. “‘m worrit wha’ folk will say ’bout all this. ‘s too quick. ‘s too soon after yir injuries. ‘s impulsive an’ no’ thought through.”
Arrens nodded seriously; he paused for a moment in thought before responding. “Perhaps it is. Perhaps we’ll realize at some point that this was all a great big mistake and we were two fools that rushed headlong into something we weren’t ready for.” He paused a moment before continuing. “Or perhaps we’ll one day realize we were two lonely people looking for love and we got lucky…with each other, when we both needed it most.” He brought her hand to his lips and kissed her fingertips gently. “I may not know the outcome, my love, but I do know this: If we /do/ find out we’re wrong, I’m uncertain I’d ever care to be right again.”
Aely listened, thinking. “If… ” She trailed off. After a moment Arrens leaned over, kissing her gently on the cheek. “You’re overthinking it again, my love.”
She nodded. “I… yeh. I am. An’ I shouldn’t. ‘m overthinkin’ th’ best thing’s e’er happened t’ me.”
Canna ye trust ‘im? Canna ye trust yirself?
Aely sighed, leaning against his shoulder. “Love, I dinna ken wha’s like t’ happen. I’ve…” A bright, searing crack of lightning, followed almost immediately by heavy thunder interrupted her. Before either of them could react, the rains came – fat, heavy drops splattering all around them. Arrens laughed, shaking his head as the rain dripped into his eyes. She ducked out of the way of his ponytail, taking the opportunity to grab their makeshift tablecloth and pull it around their shoulders.
“Shall we take this as a sign that the Gods want us to head back?”
“I… no’ jus’ yet. I’ve go’ th’ courage up t’ talk t’ ye now, an’ I dinna wan’ t’ interrupt.”
Ye ken he’ll wait oan ye, as long as ye need.
Aye, an’ I dinna wan’ t’ wait oan it. I’m tired ay lettin’ one fuckin’ idiot ruin my ability t’ be in love an’ make decisions.
He wrapped his arm around her, pulling her tightly in next to him. The rain slowly picked up, punctuated by occasional thunder.
Jus’ tell ‘im. Give ‘im th’ answer ye’ve wanted t’ give since yesterday. Th’ answer e’en Bricu can see ye wan’ t’ give.
With a deep breath, Aely pushed herself back slightly, looking straight at him. “I canna tell th’ future. Canna e’en tell it’s going t’ open up an’ rain.”
Arrens simply looked up towards the heavens and grinned.
“Love, I… when th’ fear ay bein’ wrong is so o’ershadowed by th’ fear ay bein’ wi’out ye? When there’s no’ anythin’ I’d like more than t’ sit in th’ rain outside wi’ ye?” She paused, tears welling up behind fair red eyelashes. “I… yes.”
Arrens blinked. “… yes?!”
Arrens’ eyes went wide and his jaw dropped. The stunned look remained a moment more before his lips parted into the biggest grin Aely had ever seen on him. He stood and shouted, “YES!” hoping his words…her words…would carry far south, all the way to Stormwind, to be shared with their adopted family and friends. Aely laughed at the obvious joy he openly showed, a look much different than a mere two days prior from the hurt man she cared so much for.
Arrens reached down into his bag and pulled out his buzzbox, the soft static indicating it was yet on and operable even in the downpour around them. Pressing the button to transmit on the open communication channel, he shouted once more. “Yes!” Turning the buzzbox off and setting it into his bag, he laughed and danced around as Aely’s warm laughter egged him on.
At last, Arrens sat down behind her, pulling her back against him, kissing her deeply. Raindrops fell against her face, disguising the tears, and she kissed him back, fear and worry melting into warm nothingness. He whispered against her lips, “I love you.”
Another peal of thunder and the rain began in earnest, interrupting the string of kisses. Arrens grinned. “Shall we head back then? I believe I’ve a promise to keep about this evening.”
She laughed. “I’d like tha’. ‘sides, wir both gonna need t’ change clothes anyway.” Water finally soaked through his shirt, and she could see the bandages on his arm. “Ligh’ – yeh, we need t’ get ye inside. Tha’ wound needs t’ stay dry, so it dinna get infected.”
Taking Aely’s hands in his, Arrens pulled her to standing, wrapping his arms around her waist and spinning her around. “I’m sorry, my love.”
Aely laughed. “Why’re ye sorry?”
“For acting a fool in light of what you’ve just told me.”
“Why’d ye be sorry f’r tha’?!”
“Because I love you. Because I don’t want to be without you again. Because you’ve made me the happiest fool in all of Azeroth.” He rattled off a long list of reasons, stopping only occasionally to take a breath.
She interrupted him, kissing him soundly. “Shush. It dinna matter. Any of it. This ‘s all wha’ matters. I love ye.”
February 19, 2010 – 10:01 am
I occasionally indulge in being a ret paladin.
It’s fun, a different sort of game from what I’m used to, and (if I’m honest with myself) a lot less thought. Icecrown is more ranged friendly, and I’m a tank-healer, so I rarely get to do deeps in raids, but it /is/ fun. So I have a decent set of ret gear, and it’s gemmed and (mostly) enchanted. And I’ve got a really substantial weapon out of ICC-10, so I’m pretty happy with my ability to not be a waste of a raid spot if I go DPS.
Of course, occasionally very strange things happen.
Strange things like “All the melee DPS in the raid already have their Shadows’ Edge materials” and “We just killed Festergut, who wants the Acidic Blood?”
Which prompts the following discussion between my husband and I in vent.
“…Whoa. So I think that means one of us is up for these blood drops.”
“Yeah, but it’s a lot less likely that I’ll get to go ret for any of this content. You already get to smack stuff around sometimes.”
At which point a few other people in vent chimed in:
“Yeah it really sucks to tank ICC and get 0 souls over a night because you didn’t actually have the weapon equipped!”
“… you know, it’d be pretty hilarious to see Anna running around looking for more souls.”
Which was, of course followed by the message in my chat log: “You have received [Festergut’s Acidic Blood].” And shortly thereafter by: “You have received [Rotface’s Acidic Blood].”
So…uhhh… Anyone got any saronite?
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February 18, 2010 – 10:17 am
It’s that time – the last installment of Dark Summonings. If you’ve not been reading thus far, the story progresses as follows (mixed between this blog and Arrens’ blog):
Since Arrens can’t currently access his blog at work, I posted the last one for him. You can find it here (same as the Out of the Nether Again link above). And, since I’ve got the ability to temporarily hijack his blog, I took the opportunity to thank him publicly there – and I’m going to do the same thing here. (Are you suitably embarrassed yet, Arrens?)
This has been an unbelievable thing to write – both from the first nudges of the idea back in November (yes, it really was that long ago), to filling in the holes in the story, to figuring out just how much trouble we could get Arrens into. It’s been fun, but also challenging, and I’m really pretty darn proud of this. Which is funny, since I’ve only done about 30% of the actual writing – most of this is Arrens in all his writerly awesomeness.
So thanks – for the late night conversations, the multiple google documents, the emailing back and forth to sort through plot while one or the other of us couldn’t actually be working on it at the same time. I can’t wait to see where things go from here.
And, just on a hunch? After the last week in game? It’s only going to be awesome.
February 17, 2010 – 2:29 pm
So Bubbles and I were talking today (since we are both the healery siginficant others of main tanks in raid groups), and the subject of various kinds of tanks came up. We discovered, through a lot of laughter, that there are a few distinct species of tanks in WoW – and I’m not talking about classes.
These Tankish species transcend class, and are therefore something like “Tank Archetypes.”
- Mr. Nice Tank – Average Jane, Mr. Nice Guy sort of tank. Probably relatively new either to your raid or to raiding in general. Good attitude, may not say much in vent.
- Cranky Tank – What happens to Mr. Nice Tank after two expansions of putting up with the same old bullshit every week from the same people. Probably either very vocal about it (in channels or in vent) … or very vocal about it to whoever happens to be within earshot, sparing the raid her ire.
- Timid Tank – This is the tank that’s still unsure about this whole tanking thing. He doesn’t really take much initiative, and she’s not really fond of taking risks. A timid tank will be slower, but not necessarily worse, than other tanks.
- Seasoned Pro Tank: Tanks. Likes tanking. Does it to relax. Doesn’t really understand why other people seem to find tanking so stressful – even after a four-hour wipefest or an accidental four-group pull. In real life, is probably an adrenaline junkie. Tried playing a DPS class once, but found it so boring he fell asleep at the keyboard.
- Drunk Tank – You’re not entirely sure why, but you start to notice that he’s slurring on vent. And that the nights where he’s not slurring, he doesn’t tank well. The Drunk Tank not only is used to imbibing large quantities of alcohol, but seems to actually do better having done so. Just don’t ask about his liver.
- Flail Tank – Possibly a newer tank, or possibly just had WAY too much caffeine today, the Flail Tank is constantly running around, mashing buttons wildly (and sometimes not even the right ones). Having a Flail Tank means there’s hardly a dull moment.
- Huge Ego Tank – Always tanking, always talking about how great they are at tanking, gets offended when you ask someone else to tank. Must be the main tank, refuses to offtank. Often doesn’t get along with other tanks at all, even when not directly competing with them. May cause loot drama.
- Know-it-all Tank – How dare you question her abilities and knowledge of this game! The Know-it-all Tank refuses to listen to any strategy that competes with how THEY think the boss should be fought (even if they’ve never actually done it before). Regardless of class, will tell other tanks how to play.
- Lost Tank – Couldn’t find his way around Trial of the Crusader. Don’t even /ask/ about Ahn’Kahet, Sunken Temple or Blackrock Depths. Needs a map to find his own shield. May cause slowdowns in instances after a wipe, may also cause hilarity.
- Reluctant Tank – This isn’t really a tank. It’s a DPS or Healer in a Tank Suit. Skills and bar-layout are probably both a little rusty, but the Reluctant Tank will probably at least give it her best shot. Unless, of course, you’ve been asking her to tank for the last three months straight, and she hates it and would rather be DPSing. (See: Cranky Tank)
- AFK Tank – Lights are on, nobody’s home. Possibly not at the keyboard, possibly just pretending not to be there. Subsets of the AFK Tank are the Disconnected Tank and the Alt-Tabbed Tank. Frequently a stress-relieving mechanism for the Cranky Tank. Particularly skilled AFK Tanks can continue to tank successfully while not paying attention.
- Not-A-Tank: This is either a plate DPS, a rogue (evasion tank go!), a druid, or very occasionally a hunter, immediately after the death of a raid tank. It generally involves changing shape/aura/stance/presence, followed shortly by a quick, messy death. Occasionally will result in a boss kill, if executed at that last, unbelievably long 1%.
- All-Star Tank – You’re not sure what this guy ate for breakfast, where he got his gear, or how he managed to get Chuck Norris to autograph his shield/sword/favorite bangly bear necklace, but this is the tank that can tank anything. Three extra packs, with casters, around a bad LOS on the stairs, with the other tank dead and most of the DPS taken out by a rampaging Yeti and he’ll tank the whole mob down. Also, the tank that manages to survive the odds, beating back Angry Boss RNG time and time again. Class is irrelevant, she can tank it. And she will.
Of course, through all of this, we came to realize that there’s one last kind of tank. The saddest kind, and the kind that we (as mostly-full-time healers) never want to see.
The Former Tank
All joking aside, though, tanking isn’t easy. Like healing, it requires a specific sort of situational awareness, a lot of mental attention, and occasionally a shot of something stiff to keep you willing to put up with the crap. I’ve run with just about every kind of tank, and while they might annoy me sometimes, I couldn’t be a healer without them.
PS. Now Accepting Ideas for Part2 (Differing Species of Healers) and Part3 (Differing Species of DPS)
PPS – To all those of you visiting from WoW Insider – Hi! Welcome to my blog!
Yes, this is humor. I run with excellent tanks, and this is entirely tongue in cheek. The posts about Healers and DPS will be in the same, lighthearted manner. I’m /not/ QQing about my tanks. Merely pointing out that there can be some funny ones out there!