Written by | Posted November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm Deconstruction

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 …

Character Independence
comment 10 Written by on October 15, 2009 – 12:27 pm

So one of the things I talk about every now and again is character creation. How to make a new character, things to think about, ways to make them balanced and interesting, and even lists of questions to consider about them.

But at some point, at least in my experience, you get a character built up and start RPing with them… and then all hell breaks loose.


Because that character takes on a life of his or her own.

And every once in awhile, you turn around in the middle of an RP conversation, look at your character, and say “WAIT WUT? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?!”

Maybe this is a product of my very free and unconcerned attitude towards backstory.

None of my characters have a document where I tell you exactly what happened to them, and when, and how, and why. Aely’s childhood story is the closest thing to that – and she was a fully developed character before any of that came to be. When I start RPing with a character, they do have a loose history, but I’m more interested in seeing where they go from here – seeing how interaction brings them to life and how they take shape.

Without a backstory that’s set in stone, their history is (mostly) their own. I don’t decide when I roll a new character exactly what their opinions are on everything – those opinions are shaped by their interactions in game… and sometimes they come out of left field and reveal something new, and I’m left stammering, wondering when or where they got that from.

The character basically becomes independent from my conscious development process – and I’m free to set them up for things without knowing exactly how they might respond.

Does this happen to anyone else? Do you guys encourage this kind of independence for your characters or do you prefer to keep more control over where things go and how they react?


*This post is inspired by Aely, who threw me a curveball last night. I’m still trying to process exactly what the implications are, but what happened, and what she said, puts a lot of things about her character into very stark relief.

Two Peeves (Rant Warning)
comment 19 Written by on October 14, 2009 – 6:17 am

Peeve The First: It’s not a tip if you require someone to pay it.

That’s called a fee.

It’s especially not a tip if someone gives you their materials for an enchant and you refuse to do the enchant until they give you some amount of gold that you have determined.

A tip is something you give someone because you appreciate what they’ve done, because you find their service to be exemplary, because they went out of their way to find you, because you brought your own mats and want them to have a little reward for helping you, or because you want to chip in to a crafter who has cranked through leveling.

A tip is in the hands of the person who is paying, not in the hands of the person who is doing the work.

If someone asks, “What should I tip you for that enchant?” you’re free to make a suggestion. But “I don’t work until you give me a tip of Xgold” is a fee. Which is fine. You’re well within your rights to charge a fee for your services.

But you darn well better tell people in advance that you charge that fee.

Springing that fee on someone after they give you their materials – and then refusing to give them the materials back OR the enchant they wanted until they pay you your “tip” (FEE) is not only scummy and asshattish, it’s scamming people, and against the ToS.

Peeve The Second: Griefers Suck, and the Report system isn’t much better.

Ok, so griefers exist. And yeah, I’ve run into more this week than I have in the last month. In fact, I’ve run into griefers every night I’ve done roleplay since Sunday. But whatever, I’ll blame the phase of the moon or something.

(Wait, that doesn’t work… my calendar says the new moon is coming up. Meh.)

So far I’ve run into people who have: postured sexually – repeatedly, even after being told to stop, emoted inappropriately, spewed racist bullshit in /say, danced naked on the table with their pet out while spamming Piccolo’s of Dance Like An Idiot, got on their mounts and spammed the spacebar while standing on top of people (to create the /whinny or /roar noise constantly), spammed conversation with emotes and/or inappropriate chat, god-modded that their pet was eating people without allowing us to god-mod shooting holes in their pet for eating our friends, were otherwise idiots when a group of people all having a conversation didn’t bend to the whim of some asshat who walked up and tried to direct what was going on, got frustrated, and decided it was time to ruin the night of everyone else there.  Or better yet, a group of people who all rolled level 1 alts specifically to be jerks.

And so, after dealing with that, attempting to handle it in character (“Hey, you mind getting off the table? You might like it, but I don’t really like night elf boxers.”), attempting to handle it out of character – ((Hey do you mind not doing that?)), and attempting to leave and go somewhere else only to be followed… they got reported.

“We are experiencing a high volume of petitions.”

Three hours after the absurd asshattery started, my ticket was still “experiencing a high volume of petitions” and I went to bed.

What frustrates me is that there is absolutely nothing I can do. I want to RP with my friends. We are in a relatively out of the way place, and we are not bothering anyone. Why that invites someone (or a whole group of someones, in two cases so far this week) to show up or roll level 1 alts with obscene names and purposefully be jerks I don’t know.

But the /ignore function? Only works for chat.

It doesn’t remove the ass of the naked male night elves dancing on the table. It doesn’t remove their pet from my lap. It doesn’t stop their mount from going ROAR or WHINNY constantly for five minutes.  It doesn’t make them go away when they realize that nobody is paying any attention to them.

Ignoring griefers /does not help/.

And guess what! Then they follow you around. I almost wonder if having them on ignore didn’t make it worse.. Which means we can’t play the game the way we want to play it because we have a tagalong who has decided his entire purpose in life is to ruin everyone else’s fun.

And the GM? “We are experiencing a high volume of petitions.”

It’s no wonder RPers are so hard to find, and why they do so much RP in quiet, out of the way places with only people they already know.

This is a rant. It’s not meant to express any sort of solution. It’s not meant to think that I never go out of my comfort zone and only RP with my friends. It’s a rant, because I’m annoyed.


Transformation (part 3)
comment 3 Written by on October 13, 2009 – 10:19 am

The cards are set, the armies in motion… we’ll see what happens when reality strikes!  This is part 3 of Aely’s “transformation” story – you can see part 1 and part 2 at these links. As with the previous parts, this is written with Yva from WTT:RP. We’ll be back to the usually-less-frivolous Anna posts for the rest of the week!

Aely lay back, each hand in a little bowl of steaming, fragrant water, her feet soaking nearly to the knees in a basin of the same.  Emma smiled down at her, and she attempted a nervous smile back.

“Right, so Rain said to leave your hair loose, mmm… yes. I can see that – we just need a little something to bring up the curl, mmm.  And tone down the frizzies a little.  This won’t take but a few moments.”

She reached into the cabinet for a little tub of something, opened it, took some out with her fingers, and rubbed it between her hands.  It smelled lovely, of coconuts and some kind of warm, earthy herb.  Emma leaned down, noticing the tension in her shoulders.

“Relax, missy, this isn’t going to hurt!”

And slowly she began working the balm into Aely’s hair, forming the haphazard waves into spirals and massaging it into her scalp.

If it was possible to melt, Aely would, most definitely, have melted.

Fifteen minutes or so later, her hair fell in shiny, slightly sticky ringlets, and all the stress had left her face. She was very nearly asleep when Emma washed her hands in a nearby sink, looked over to her, and said “Alright, now let’s see about those feet, mmm?”

The next hour or so was less relaxing.  Emma and her assistant trimmed and filed her toenails, and then, in an act totally out of proportion to the profession of the woman being “pampered,” proceeded to “soften up her feet”. Callouses from years of heavy boots and hard work, rasped away with a heavy file under the cheerful chatter of two women used to being ignored by their clients.

Aely would later liken the experience to what wood must feel like when a master carpenter decides to change it from a sturdy plank into a delicately carved filgree.

Rain poked her head into the room and made a shrill “Squee”.

“Look!  You don’t have nubs anymore.  I TOLD you Emma was good.”

“She’s so flattering,” Emma murmured, patting Aely’s toes with a towel.  “Such a sweet girl you are, Rain.”

“I know.”

Rain flounced in, her hair clipped on top of her head, body wrapped in a big plushy bathrobe.  She had one in hand for Aely as well, but as the paladin tried to stand up, there was a collective shriek of angry salon workers.

“Wha’s wrong?” Aely’s hands went instinctively for her waist, for a weapon she didn’t have on her.  They’d robbed her of her gear the moment she’d stepped inside, tucking everything into a pink and purple coat room.

“You can’t WALK on them now.  Slippers!”

” . . . oi.  Right.”  Her posture relaxed as they slid silk and leather sandals onto her feet.  They had little segments of string between the toes to keep them separated so the lacquer could dry.  She waggled her toes, marveling at the lack of cracks, callouses, and or anything else ungainly.

“So it’s time for your facial.  Umm, don’t mind the mud.”


“Yeah, it makes your skin soft, but it smells a little weird.  It’s Un’goro, so there’s this ash thing to it.  The cucumbers help, though.”

“Cucumbers f’r salad?”

“Oh, no, you put them on your eyes.”

Rain held the robe up and helped Aely shoulder into it, giggling a little as she peered at the long expanse of legs revealed below.  “I owt nae ask anymore, ayeh?”

“Probably not.”

And she didn’t, and found out that was the smart thing to do, because within the hour, she was smeared in mud and had fruits and vegetables all over her face.  Rain’d been right about the smell – it was odd, charry and fresh at the same time – and she had no idea what the horrible concoction was doing, but sooner rather than later they were scrubbing her clean and . . . soaking her in milk.

She was long past the point of asking questions, just going through with this alien regime and biting her sardonic wit back.  Rain blabbed about tea and society balls and the difficulty of maintaining her duties along with a socialite’s burden.  Aely tried to answer, but every time she started to talk, they were putting some strange paste near her mouth that threatened to seep inside.  After a while, she just kept her lips pursed together to avoid swallowing salon gunk.

It took another hour for them to announce that she was “done”.  If she’d had to explain the process to someone, if she had to even tell them why she’d sat there while they’d smeared her with strange textured goop, she couldn’t say, but when it came time to touching her skin, to looking at it in the mirror, whatever they’d done made her glow.  She shined like a polished pearl, and everything was so soft to the touch, she just kept gliding her fingertip down her cheek.

“That’s amazin’.”

“Isn’t it though?  You look good.  The redness will go down.  Around your nose I mean.”

She hadn’t noticed it at first, but Rain was right – the skin around her nose was a little too pink, like they may have scrubbed a layer or three of skin off.

Strangely, that didn’t seem to bother her at the moment.

Aely rubbed her hands together, noticing that they too were free from callouses. Which, if she’d thought about it, probably meant handfuls of blisters, like a new recruit, the next time she was on the field… but for now the novelty of it was enough.

Emma tapped her on the shoulder, breaking her out of small wonderment.

“Miss? If you could sit for a moment, we’ll do your eyebrows and get your face finished.”

“… I thowt ye said I wis done? Ayeh?”

“Well, with the mud and things, yes, but we’ve still to get you properly made up!” Emma looked as though her patience was slightly fraying on the corners. Still, she made a good sport of it, and Aely dutifully sat back down and tried not to make unsightly noises as the woman carefully “slimmed out” her eyebrows.

When she reached for a pot of colored powder, however, Aely finally did object. “Emma… I ken tha’ folks usually go f’r this kin’ ay business? Jus… dinna make me look owt… unnatural?”

“Oh sure!  We’ll do something really light, don’t you worry. It’ll be fine”

Emma’s assistant was currently dusting Rain’s face with some kind of light copper colored dust to “bring out the color in her cheeks.” Aely was quite sure she’d never heard so much fluff about appearances all in one setting in her life. In fact, in one day, she’d probably outdone everything she’d ever heard in the past.

“Alright now, I need you to look up at the ceiling, and try not to blink.” Emma had a menacing looking fuzzy blackish brush about the size of a pencil in her hand.

“…oi. wha’s ‘at?”

“Mascara!  It’s for your eyelashes. You have gorgeous ones, you know – but they’re so light! This will make them stand out.”  Aely squirmed.  “Be still, Miss, or you’ll have this all over your eyelids.” Thirty agonizing, will-power-stilled seconds later, Aely blinked into the mirror. By some trick of magic or sleight of hand, her eyes sparkled back, their usual hazel flecked with an unusually bright green. Her skin was luminous, the usual pale cream given a shimmer she was completely unprepared for.

“…Ligh’… ‘f I w’s nae sure tha’ my own hands w’re there in ‘at mirror, I’d nae b’lieve tha’s e’en me. Dinna recognize myself.”

Emma smiled, her professional demeanor just about covering up the smug “I told you so” in her eyes.

Rain squealed when she saw Aely. “See!  See I told you you’d look good! Your eyes! And you have such beautiful skin!  Wait until we get you all dressed!”

Transformation (part 2)
comment 1 Written by on October 12, 2009 – 9:00 am

Part two of the insanity, written with Yva. You can read part 1 here.

Friday morning, just before 9, and not entirely sure what she was doing or why she was even there in the first place, Aelflaed Larsdottir, Crusader of the Argent Dawn, stood in front of a noble house of Stormwind and was, with great politeness, shown in.

Escorted by an older man who pretended not to notice her accent, she found herself once again in what she could only assume was Rain’s room, for the moment unsupervised.

She snooped.

The huge array of dresses was gone, leaving only the purple and cream silk gown Rain had “selected” for her the previous evening, with it’s gold embroidery. Her new lavender “slippers” were there as well.

Laigh’ – I’m apt t’ look like a pig inna dress…

On the table, instead of finery, there was, well, more finery. This time in raw form. Silk, lace, some heavy canvas, pieces of thin boning, and some soft cotton batting. And three measuring tapes. In a small box, Aely found an assortment of thin stockings and some other items she was entirely unsure of.

A tray rattled in the hallway and she dropped the box back on a neighboring chair in time to see Rain’s serving woman – Esme? – pushing a cart full of breakfast and followed by a plump, pleasant looking woman with yet another measuring tape draped around her neck.  The latter stopped to eye her up and down, tutting quietly as she circled, every once in a while making a “harrumph” noise.

Then the poking began.  Plump fingers began worming their way into places they shouldn’t have been worming.

“Oh look at you,” the woman said.  “Beautiful skin.  I bet you have LOVELY breasts.  Take your clothes off, dear?  I need to get a look at you.  And look at these LEGS.  They go for miles.”

“I . . . oi!  ‘at hurts.”

“So sorry.”

“Let her have breakfast first, Lucia. Honestly,” Esme said beneath her voice.  “And do keep it down?  Her ladyship is about today.  Rain’s trying to keep her busy in the library.”

“Aye, aye.  A biscuit, but she can eat that WHILE she stands on the pedestal.  Not that I think she’ll need to.  You must be six feet, girl.  What’s your name, again?”

“Aelflaed.  Aely.”

How’sit ‘at twa wee biddies c’n be so intimidatin’?

“Well Aely, northern lass, aye?”

Aely nodded as Esme stuffed a blueberry biscuit into her hand.  Lucia walked around her and started unlacing her shirt, chattering all the while, like undressing a stranger was the most normal thing in the world.  For a seamstress, it likely was, but Aely still found it odd.  During the idle banter, Lucia kept commenting on Lordaeron noblewomen she’d outfitted, namedropping northern blood like it would mean something to the paladin, and Aely nodded enthusiastically, eating the biscuit slowly so she didn’t actually have to talk.  That didn’t seem to phase anyone, though, as they just kept stripping until she was standing around in the plain cotton unders she’d put on that morning.

“Oh my light, you need this,” Lucia said, hooking her finger beneath the fabric.  “Is that COTTON?  Lovely in the summer, but it’s near fall and . . . oh you are getting the works, young lady.  TAKE THOSE WOOL SOCKS OFF RIGHT NOW.”  Lucia jabbed a finger into her face, her expression a study in matronly fury.  “I will not . . . you . . . you’re a paladin, yes?”


“Well you’re not in armor now and you . . . you’re a girl, damn it.  Wool socks are for boys.  Young boys at that!”

“I ken!  Bu’ they’re /warm/.”

“Mmm.  I’m sure you ‘ken’.  Horrible . . . oh your poor feet.”  Lucia was tugging the second sock off now, tutting and grunting as she stooped.  Sometimes Aely thought the noises were concerned ones.  The rest of the time, though, she was pretty it was maniacal rage.

“Emma’s going to have a day with you.  I hope Rain booked for at least three hours.  They’re going to need bloody saws.”

“Four, actually.”  Esme said, folding Aely’s clothes and putting them onto the table.  “Four for the tall miss, one for herself.”

“Good.  She’s got a brain, for all that you wouldn’t know it.  Up!  Up on the pedestal with you!”  She ushered Aely over to the step-up near the windows, facing her towards the drapes, her hands settling on her hips.  The tape measure started whipping about with purpose.  Esme shoved another biscuit into Aely’s hand and insisted she eat, patting her on the back as she passed by.

“Thank ye.”

“You’re welcome, dear,” Lucia said, not realizing the comment wasn’t directed at her.  Esme didn’t seem to mind, though, instead smiling shyly into her shoulder and winking.  Aely winked back and bit into the second biscuit – something fruity and buttery and far too sweet to be good for her.

“Now we need good posture or I’ll get you with my pins.  Oh!  Yes, just like that.  The military taught you something that would . . . suck your tummy in.  That’s a good girl.  A nice narrow waist, there.  I think I can peel it down to . . . twenty four inches?  With good boning maybe twenty three. I’d recommend against long period’s of sitting though.  Faint headed and what have you.  Arms up!”

Aely did as she was told, still using her breakfast as an excuse to not voice her concerns over losing five inches off of her waistline.  She was fairly sure the complaints would be ignored anyway.

“Oh, this is going to take quite a bit of silk and . . . stockings.  You need stockings.  And we’ll need something that won’t interupt the lines of the silk gown.  Something with a t-back to it.”

“A t-back?” Aely said thruogh a mouthful of food before she could really think better of it.

“Yes.  It’s like a string?  More comfortable than it looks, dear.  Turn to the left please.”

“Air y’talkin’ a thong?!” Aely shuffled leftish, stopping halfway to gape at the seamstress.

“I think that’s what the kids are calling it today, yes.”

“Oi.  Y’r shittin’ meh.”

Lucia’s glower beneath her dark eyebrows was less than friendly.

“Oh no, no I’m not.  And you will wear it young lady. Oh yes, you will.”


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 …


November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

Riders of Lordaeron – Logistics

September 13, 2013 – 7:11 pm

(With Tarquin and Annalea)

Once more, four people made their way through the thickets and hills of Lordaeron, this time in the crisp chill of late morning, seeking after the Rider. Aelflaed had snatched what sleep she could while Chryste …

Riders of Lordaeron – Problematic

September 11, 2013 – 9:47 am

(With Tarquin)

She hadn’t wanted to leave Jolly – not so soon after finding him again – but once away, it took about five minutes for Aely to figure out she had a problem.

That problem had just announced that …

Riders of Lordaeron: Arrangements

September 9, 2013 – 10:05 am

It was an uneasy goodbye for him, but it was agreed by both he and Aely that a stroll back to Hearthglen would not be very easy to explain, nor would the explanation needed for the three Argent soldiers once …

Riders of Lordaeron

September 7, 2013 – 9:02 am

“Light sent me ye when I needed ye afore – an’ now again when I need ye. I canna ask fir more than tha’.” She sighed and slung the shield back across her shoulders. “It’s… Light. Been awhile hasna it? …

Dark Rider of Lordaeron (Part 4)

September 6, 2013 – 2:02 pm

She blinked, but did not drop either of her shields. “Aye, though I’ve been Caltrains fir th’ last near three years. Canna say I’ve any memory ay ye.”

“Yeh’ve far moar’n yeh realize,” he replied evenly, his grip tightening on …

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