Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

Dark Summonings – Return
comment 10 Written by on February 15, 2010 – 10:19 am

This post is a continuation of an ongoing story between Aely and Arrens called Dark Summonings.  You should read Dark Summonings, Into the Nether, and Into the Nether part 2, Hillsbrad, and Into the Nether part 3 (many of which are hosted over at Arrens’ blog) before you read this!

As the summoning’s visual disruptions faded, Arrens found himself standing in the middle of his study in Stormwind, a huge summoning circle burned into the carpet. Peering back at him, two faces: Yva Darrows, wearing an expression of clinical curiosity mixed with smug, feline satisfaction and … Aely?  She cracked half a trembling smile at him, her hands white-knuckled from gripping the back of a chair.

He felt the blood drain from his face. I’m having visions. This is another vision. What is Yva doing here? How can Aely be…  Arrens’ knees sagged, and he found himself supported by very familiar arms.

“‘S a’right, Love, ‘s a’right. I’ve got ye.”

Arrens looked over his shoulder and into her eyes. Her red braid swung around her shoulder.

He smiled softly and lapsed out of consciousness.


Aely let Light flow through her hands, running them carefully over the unconscious warlock.

“He’ll be all right, I suppose.” Yva sat slumped on the couch, half wrapped in one of the blankets from Aely’s makeshift bed.

“Yeh. He’s go’ a handful ay burns – one’s bad – all ‘is ribs oan one side are brused, an’… mayhap a cracked cheekbone. ‘m nervy t’ heal him too much, I dinna wan’ t’ cause some kind ay backlash.” She let some Light flow into him, slowly at first, and some of the color came back into his skin.

Satisfied that he was not about to keel over dead, she stood up and began quickly packing up her things.

“Should you travel?  He’s all . . . broken.” Yva flitted her fingers in Arrens’ direction, a frown pinching at the corners of her mouth.  “I didn’t summon him out so he can go and die on you NOW.  I’d be rather put out.”

Aely stopped stuffing blankets in a bag long enough to shoot Yva a look, incredulity plastered all over her face.

Yva just stared back.  “All right, all right.  You’d be put out too.”

“If I thought he’d die oan th’ trip, I’d no’ be makin’ it. ‘m pretty sure he’ll do alright – likely t’ sleep th’ whole way. Figure I’ll take him to th’ farm in Hillsbrad. With th’ riots an’ all th’ mess wi’ Sevens, I dinna trust th’ city, an’ I dinna want th’ University disturbin’ him f’r a few days. Folk willna look f’r either ay us there. It’s a short trip by ship. I’ve got th’ barn set up t’ live in, an’ it’s warm an’ dry. An’ quiet.” She folded up another quilt and stacked it next to her bags.

“Ah.  Well, I suppose you have it under control. Though how you plan to get him from the harbor in Southshore up to that farm, I’ll never know.  If you’d like I could head up there with Jak and summon you both wi . . . ”  Yva stopped herself, eyes skimming over Arrens’ form.  “Nevermind.  Summoning might be a bit of a sore subject for the nonce.”

Aely snickered involuntarily, stuffing a couple of shirts and a warm cloak into another pack. “Yeh… prob’ly no’ a wise idea. ‘sides – that very well might do ‘im in. My charger c’n carry two easily enough, an’ I’ve ridden farther wi’ folk in worse shape before. He’s no’ bleedin’, an’ no fever yet. Jus’ hope th’ weather holds.” She looked down at the small pile of belongings, and then at Arrens, lying prone on the floor.

“Yva … I…” Rather without warning she scooped the smaller woman up into a hug. “Thank ye. I dinna ken how t’ repay ye this, but I will.”

“Mmmf.  You’re bloody well crushing me, woman!”  Yva pulled back to smile up at her, awkwardly patting her shoulder.  “You don’t owe me a damned thing.  Caltrains might, though.  Whatever I come up with won’t be too awful, I promise.”  Her grin was enormous.


Aely booked a passage on a ship bound for Southshore without much trouble. The weather had been strangely clear for February, and with the Love Fool festival around, even the ship captains were in unusually good spirits. The Sister Evelyn wasn’t a particularly large vessel, but she was equipped to carry passengers, and made the run between Stormwind and Southshore frequently. Captain Robert Sealy happily welcomed a paladin on board, particularly since Aely promised to take a look at any injuries or illnesses sustained by the crew on their short voyage.

Josef, Captain Sealy’s son and cabin boy, helped her carry Arrens down to their leased room.

Nestled just below deck, two tiny portholes offered both light and fresh air in what would otherwise have been a dark cave of a room. Aely made up a bed on the floor, shoving a few of the thin bunk-mattresses together and covering them in the quilts she’d brought. With Josef’s help she settled Arrens down gently; he barely stirred, but his skin was warm and he didn’t seem feverish or pale.

“Thank ye, lad. I’ll need yir help likely t’ get him abovedeck when we arrive. An’ I’ll pay ye fir yir time, dinna ye fash. If ye wouldna mind, take a look in fir my charger, Maera?”

“As you will, ma’am.” Josef nodded and shut the door as he left.

Aely opened up both of the little round windows, letting the breeze and the late afternoon sunshine stream in. After a few moments she pulled one of her bags open, found a strip of woven bandages, and started to tend to the burns on Arrens’ hands and arm, humming softly to herself and speaking to him.

“Ligh’ but I hope ye dinna get seasick, Love, air this’ll be a long night.”

He mumbled softly, wincing a little as she cleaned the deep burn on his arm.

“I ken. This’s bad enough it’s like t’ hurt worse ‘fore its better too. I canna do anythin’ f’r th’ pain either, no’ with ye still asleep.” She packed the wound with a clear salve to help with healing and wrapped it with clean bandages. “That’ll need changin’ too. ‘Specially once ye start t’ get blood workin’ proper there again.” She fretted over him for awhile, still attempting to cast healing spells and being met with only mediocre success. Arrens seemed discomfited by them as well, murmuring and shrinking away in his sleep.

“I’m sorry, love. Jus’ tryin’ t’ help ye heal. Dinna ye spike a fever oan me, yeh? No’ allowed. Need t’ get ye sommat quiet, so ye c’n rest. An’ wake up. ‘specially th’ wakin’ up part.” He didn’t move. “Love? Can ye e’en hear me, where’er ye are? Hear me an’ wake up?”

Arrens grimaced.


Left alone in the quiet of the room, with only his pained breathing and the sound of the water on the side of the ship to fill the void of her thoughts, Aely’s resolve finally crumbled, and she wept.


The Sister Evelyn made port in Southshore Harbor around noon without event. Aely splinted a sailors’ broken fingers, healed a few minor cuts and scrapes, and gave the ship’s doctor a large bundle of herbs to make into tea for hangovers, but she had no major work other than one heavily sleeping warlock. Josef had quickly become a friend of sorts, showing her around the ship and introducing her to the crew. He poked his head in through the door, black curls sproinging out around the hat he’d crammed on his head.

“You’ll be needing help getting to town, ma’am?”

Aely smiled. “Yeh. I’ll need ye t’ bring up Maera, an’ – if ye wouldna mind – th’ two bags here tha’ I canna carry oan my back.”

“Yes’m, do you want her saddled too?”

“Please, and make sure th’ saddle sits forward enough. I’ve need t’ sit behind it, ’cause I dinna wan’ t’ dump my friend off in th’ ditch. I’ll meet ye oan th’ docks in a handful ay minutes?”

Josef nodded, picking up the two bags and trotting off down the corridor. Packing up the rest of the room took only a few minutes – Aely packed all but one of the quilts, wrapping Arrens in it instead. As they stepped out into the brisk wind on the docks, he stirred slightly, murmuring, but did not wake. Josef was there with Maera, and between the two of them they settled Arrens in for the ride.

Josef peered at the sky. “You’ve luck, ma’am. The weather’s holding. Pops says it’s like to snow tonight though. Sure you can make it?”

Aely nodded. “It’s no’ far, e’en at a walk. An’ we’ll be warm enough.” She passed him down a small handful of coins. “Thank ye fir all th’ help, lad. Tell th’ Captain I send my regards.” She turned and headed towards the road that would take them out of town.  Turning at the end of the dock, she waved to Josef. He waved back, “Light go with you!”


Arrens woke with his face buried in the coarse mane of a horse. He had neither the strength nor the energy to lift his head, but he could feel it moving at a brisk walk. Settled firmly in the saddle, someone rode behind him, strong hands gently ensuring he didn’t fall off, guiding them to smooth paths and avoiding any jarring terrain. His eyes strained to open. Below the horse’s hooves dry fields passed by, with occasional patches of snow that glinted bright white and golden in the late afternoon sun. Someone behind him sang softly, and he instantly recognized Aely’s voice.

Fly we on o’er hill and dale
Spruces guard our fairytale
Hemlock branches bless and sway
Ebb and flow while ravens play

He breathed a shallow sigh of relief and lost consciousness once more.


Darkness settled in as Maera walked them through the empty fields and past what was left of Jol’s old home. The last hour’s worth of flurries finally found purchase on the cold ground, and Aely silently prayed her thanks that they had a solid shelter with a stove. The wind had died down, and the falling snow deadened the sound of Maera’s hooves. Everything was utterly still; the whole world seemed to slumber.

Snow is falling on Douglas Mountain
Putting all the bears to sleep

She smiled to herself; the childhood song seemed to fit the situation, even if Arrens was likely too far asleep to hear.

Jolly’s barn – her barn – looked just as she’d left it, windows shuttered tightly, a thick layer of snow blanketing the roof. Inside, the air was less cold and very still as she lit two lamps and fired up the heavy stove. Arrens slept, though fitfully, and Aely left him wrapped in his cloak and her quilt while she made sure Maera was settled, warm, and well fed.

Returning to Arrens, she found him stirring in his sleep, perspiration forming on his brow even in the chilled barn. Words escaped his lips, words Aely had never heard before. They didn’t sound to her like the demonic he occasionally spoke, yet the dialect had a similarity to that fel-damned language that was unsettling. Her hand on his forehead confirmed the raging fever she’d feared was coming. She quickly set water on the stove to boil, then sat herself down next to him, dampening his lips with a moist cloth and murmuring softly. “Dinna fash, love. Ye’ve taken a rough trip, but it’s a’right.” As soon as she had spoken, he appeared to settle down, though the perspiration and the occasional bouts of restlessness remained.

She checked, then rechecked the bandages on his hands and arm, again channeling small amounts of Light into the wounds with some success. The water boiled, and she made tea. Still he didn’t wake. Eventually she too fell asleep, curled next to him for the first time in weeks, hoping that, come morning, he’d have fought off the fever and the restless dream that still held him, at least mentally, in the Nether.

Arrens is still in the Twisted Nether…
comment Comments Off on Arrens is still in the Twisted Nether… Written by on February 12, 2010 – 12:32 pm

… so you should go read about it!

Today’s post is over at Through the Eyes of Death. (Expect more of this story soon, we’re working on it!)

How to be successful in a PUG
comment 25 Written by on February 10, 2010 – 12:44 pm

After a lot of hullabaloo around the internet (in several places) I’ve decided to weigh in on the topic of pugging. (I’ve actually got TWO things to weigh in on the pugging about, but this is the one that’s irking me most today.) This post is along the same lines as my post about being ready to heal Naxx.

This post is not directed at DPS, Healers, or Tanks. It is directed at players of WoW, regardless of class or role (or even level!).

Oh – and be warned? It’s a bit of a rant.

Anna’s surefire guide to being successful in LFD/LFG/PUGs.

You ready for it?  Taking notes?

Don’t be a dick.

That’s it.


DBAD means not being a meter monkey (of any kind). It means showing up with the proper gear and having a proper spec. It means being courteous enough to say “Hey guys, I’m new at this role, can you be a little patient” and being patient with people who say that. It means having food, water, reagents, and potions. It means fixing your shit so your dagger/shield/hat doesn’t break halfway through the dungeon.

It means watching your aggro – EVERYONE, even the tanks.

It means not afking for 20 minutes because you got bored, or trying to tank in your DPS spec because you feel like it. It means rolling on gear appropriate for your class, and understanding the plate DPSer might be trying to build a tank spec. It means not spamming the meters to the group to show off how amazing your healing or DPS might be.

Don’t be a dick.

DBAD means not assuming all DPS are brain-dead assmonkeys. It means not assuming every tank is a great leader with great gear automatically for just being a tank. It means not assuming all healers are innately good happy wonderful fuzzy bunny lovey people who can save you no matter what you do. DBAD means taking your group for what it is and running with it, and being willing to give it at least one pull to figure out if it might work.

It means a group is more than the sum of its gearscores.

It means not being an arrogant jerk to someone who admits they’re new or makes a mistake. There are new players in WoW. There are old players picking up new group roles. Nobody starts off good at it, and nobody magically turns 80 with gear, and if you can’t handle helping the occasional new person and can’t deal with a run taking more than 10 minutes, group with friends.

It means owning up to your mistakes and not being an assmonkey if someone points out that you’ve goofed up.

It means communicating, being courteous, and remembering the other characters in the group are people, not just pixels – just like every other thing in this game.

Don’t be a dick.


None of this means you have to put up with jerks or other abusive people. /Votekick exists for a reason – and people repeatedly violating the DBAD rule are a pretty good reason to /votekick.

Oh, and PS:

DPS are not replaceable, dime-a-dozen losers. Good DPS are just as vital to a group as good tanks and good healers. Let’s get over ourselves a bit and realize that in a group, everyone is responsible for success, even if single point failure is (sometimes) more likely in the tank/healing roles.

Random thoughts on a Tuesday morning
comment 2 Written by on February 9, 2010 – 12:39 pm

It’s Tuesday, and I can’t seem to get my thoughts together enough to craft an actual, coherent blog post. So instead, you get random snippets!

  • I’m not sure what the deal is, but our towns have had a huge influx of OOC/stupid yelling in the last week, usually of the “OMG I WUV U SO MUCHES WUBBIES!” type (or similar dreck). I’m ignoring 5-10 characters per day on average. It’s worst in Stormwind.

Yesterday saw Annie with 5 new pieces of gear (crafted and dropped), Aely!priest with two, and Aely with 3 (all for DPS). Purchasing gems for 10 pieces of gear, BoA enchants for 3 characters, and regular enchants too, plus some of the odd crafting mats I needed for Annie’s new stuff?  Gets expensive. Fast.  Good grief.

  • On the other hand, Annie now has 548 Defense and 24K Health. Which means I need to Learn2Tank, Nub.

Plan for learning tanking: Clear out quest log of level 76-78 instances – Draktharon Keep, Violet Hold, and Gun’drak all have quests in my logs, and I can pug those and worry less about a n0obgroup. If possible, bring a healer I know.

  • Tanking appropriate gear she may have, but DPS appropriate gear she does not. Though she has a fury dual-spec, I found out yesterday that her highest 2H weapon skill… is about 30. Apparently I need to go find some ogres somewhere and level weapon skill. A LOT of weapon skill. (Also, need to find an offhand weapon. Currently only possess one 2H weapon.)

I still hate holidays. Even though I hate holidays, I did the stupid SFK boss with Annie, so she now owns a really NICE tanking necklace. The Wonderful Holiday Lag, however, can die in a fire.

  • The RP, it is a-happenin’. There will be stories incoming with Aely and Arrens – probably later this week – plus related in-game RP. And there are some Angoleth ideas rattling around as well, particularly pertaining to Russ.

However, I’m still looking for more RP. I’d like to get Annie Mae more involved.  As such, I’m going to try having her show up for things, but Aely is kind of overshadowing that in-game recently. Ideally, I need people to know who Annie /is/, so that she can get more response from other characters. (You thought getting involved in an RP group ended as soon as your main was accepted? Guess again! It’s certainly easier the second time, but it’s a total character reboot, and does involve starting over!)

  • ICC “limited edition” end bosses are over, and normal attempts no longer have a capped number of tries before the bosses despawn. I am glad for this, as it’s quite annoying to wipe 15 times over two days on a boss, and then run out of attempts when you’re consistently getting to the last bit and think you might be getting close to downing him/her/it/them.

TRI is doing another round of performance reviews – something we do a couple of times a year. Evaluating your gear, performance, morale, and all that stuff is really useful, especially as a part of a healing team where we really need to be communicating with each other.  If you haven’t done so recently, I highly recommend it.

Descent and Ascent

September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – …

The Stink Eye, Part II: You remind me of the babe

August 4, 2015 – 12:22 pm

An old story, reposted here as I’m shaking the mothballs off Ankona and needed an easy way to show people a little bit about the (batshit) things she gets up to. Enjoy, and don’t be too creeped out!

It really …

Very First Impressions

November 14, 2014 – 7:32 am

So I haven’t finished the intro quests yet (the server queues from the reduced server capacity due to the DDOS attacks meant I only got about an hour to play yesterday), but I’m finding that Draenor is pretty cool so …

A Girl and her Dog

November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm

The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger …

Counting down to Warlords

November 11, 2014 – 3:09 pm

What a long strange trip it’s been. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure Pandaria was going to be for me. I’ve made clear my dislike of daily quests, and that seemed to be …


October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

Introducing the Newest Anna

June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm

So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …


November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …

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