July 23, 2013 – 9:42 am
Alonzo Higgins hadn’t had it. While he wasn’t always the best supplied when it came to magical tomes, Arrens had held some hope that he – the last of the rare book dealers he knew of in Stormwind – would be able to help him track down this book that was turning out to be little more than smoke and rumors.
Still, if it was rumor enough that the demons were talking about it, he’d take the chance and keep an eye out. Something that powerful didn’t come along but every once in a great while, and even if it didn’t turn out to be all that it was cracked up to be, the school’s rare book collection could always use a new tome or three, and his advanced languages students could use it for translation practice. There just weren’t that many good grammar books for Abyssal these days, and most of the Demonic ones were either too basic for advanced students, or contained little more than various kinds of creative swearing.
What Alonzo Higgins did have, though, was a lead. It was a bit of a long shot – something called the Magical Rogue, or so he thought. He wasn’t really sure, and he couldn’t give an exact location except “in one of those alleys in the Dwarven District”.
Arrens put the time at around 3:30 – plenty of early June daylight left before he had to worry too much about what else might be skulking about in the alleys behind the various shops in the Dwarven District – and headed towards the smog that perpetually occupied the northern corner of town. /Someone/ in Stormwind had that book, or his demons were all in a tizzy about nothing.
Two hours later and he was sure his robes were going to need a thorough airing out before they didn’t smell of old motor oil. And nobody had ever heard of a shop called The Magical Rogue. He turned down a final alley, hoping that this might contain the shop he was looking for, and came to a typical dead end. Arrens leaned against the wall… and promptly fell headfirst through a false doorway.
“Afternoon, Mister…. er…”
A wiry blonde man with a shambling grin peered down at him.
“I… erm… yes. Well. I’m Arrens Caltrains. I’m looking for The Magical Rogue.” Arrens peered back, attempting to fix his skewed robes.
“THE Arrens Caltrains? I had no idea I’d made the ranks to be sought after by one such as you, your esteemed professorship. As for the Magical Rogue, you’ve found him.”
“Hmm? You mean you can show me where the shop is? I’m looking for a rare book.”
“Ain’t no shop, sir. Just me. Call me Zable. I’m the magical rogue.”
“I wasn’t under the impression that rogues were particularly magical. I thought most of your work was done in the fairly concrete domain of knives and poisons.”
“Any sufficiently skillful bit of thievery is essentially indistinguishable from magic, as I figure most folks who get their pockets picked have figured out. Anyway, they call me that because I find things. You’re looking for a book?”
“Yes. A fairly rare book, probably in Demonic, though possibly Abyssal. I’m not particularly sure even of its title, only that it exists, and there is supposedly a copy floating around Stormwind.”
Zable peered at the professor in front of him, as if sizing him up.
“Don’t strike me much as the Demonic sort, if you don’t mind me sayin’ so, sir.”
“I am a trained warlock, if that’s what you mean.”
Zable shrugged. “Don’t much matter to me, if you’re willing to pay the right price for it, I guess. It is pretty rare.” He carefully unlocked a crate that had several padlocks and key-mechanisms on it. Arrens watched intently as he produced first two bottles of wine, then a small cask, then two scrolls, and finally a very old, fairly large book.
Arrens cleared a spot on his desk and set the book down in front of him. It wasn’t much to look at, and after the price he’d paid, part of him said he’d probably just been thoroughly fleeced. Still, if this book was all it was cracked up to be, it would be worth whatever price some eel of a rogue had managed to wheedle out of him.
He poured himself a glass of wine, grabbed a pencil and a notebook, opened the book, and began to read.
A little while later, he scrubbed at his eyes with the back of his hand, wondering what time it was, and why he felt so hungry. A quick trip to the kitchen revealed that all the bread he’d bought earlier that day had gone moldy – he’d have to have a talk with the Millers about that – and opted to head down toward the cafeteria and see what he could scrounge up for dinner.
Odd that they were serving pastries and oatmeal.
He shrugged, decided it was better not to ask, heaped a plate with pastry, and headed back to his study. There was something about that book that he just couldn’t put his finger on.
**Story Title is an allusion to the direct translation from the Egyptian for what we now call “The Book of the Dead”. I found it fitting.
May 26, 2013 – 11:46 pm
Huge thanks to the Twisted Nether Blogcast for having me on as a guest for their episode 200. I think it’s amazing that they’ve made it this far, and a testament to their commitment to the blogging community of Warcraft. I was originally a guest on episode 10, and then did several roundtable posts, and it was always a ton of fun. Getting back on skype with them was a blast from the past, and was really a good time.
For anyone coming here for the first time via the show notes, there aren’t a ton of NEW posts, but if you’re interested in RP or in story writing, there are a ton of links in the sidebar and in the Story Archive (link at the top of the page). I still post occasionally (in spurts really), but I can’t promise anything like I used to do. Still, this place is a part of my heart, and you guys are a ton of fun to write with and write for.
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February 25, 2013 – 9:13 am
I’ve decided, after no small amount of back-and-forth, to put my energy behind Annie Mae to be my second max character this expansion (with Angoleth likely to be third). I can’t really get into Shaman gameplay, so Annorah is going to take a back seat.
This is as much an RP decision as anything, since from a logistics standpoint I’m essentially leveling a second plate DPS character, so my farming for flasks and potions is going to overlap. Still, Annie is the character I have been feeling most attached to, of the alts, and I miss having her around for RP.
Of course, you can participate in RP at any level, but it’s easier to hang out with other max level characters if you’re also max level. It also helps with the lore problem (that being that as it currently stands, Annie has a lot of lore knowledge that she hasn’t experienced in game, since that’s the only way to have conversations that touch on lore with other Pandaria level players).
Fortunately I’ll be leveling with rested XP, so she’s already 86 and getting ready to start in the Valley of the Four Winds.
As a side goal, Aely is working her way up in reputation with all the other factions, so that Annie and Angoleth will get the benefit of the commendations. She’s finished Golden Lotus and is a few days from revered with the Shado-Pan. Then probably Operation Shieldwall, and then Klaxxi will be next. I’m doing them one at a time, because I hate dailies. I’ve done my share of them slowly, for gear pieces and such, but it’s still something I look at as a thing to “get out of the way” do I can get on with playing the game I like. LFR fits into that same bin. Maybe it will feel different when I get to doing it as a warrior?
Oh also, I’ve swapped to leveling Annie Mae as Arms instead of Prot, since I wanted to do LFD, and learning to tank in LFD is not something I’m interested in. My DPS is terrible, but so is her gear, so with some well placed upgrades I’ll hopefully not embarrass myself. I may yet switch to Fury, but I’m worried that it will be even more gear dependent than Arms.
January 9, 2013 – 6:33 pm
I no longer enjoy WoW’s endgame content.
I like raiding, and the raids in Pandaria so far have been interesting. But I am no longer all that interested in the rest of the endgame.
This is OK, because Pandaria is, in a lot of ways, a totally different endgame than has existed before in WoW. It’s been hinting that direction since Wrath, but there’s a new paradigm in place. And I don’t really like it.
I like being able to be done with a character. I like being able to do my farming for mats, do a heroic or two for valor points, and be ready to raid each week. Now, if I want gear that doesn’t drop from a raid, I don’t need valor points, I need valor points and rep. A lot of rep. With one of a great variety of factions.
If I want to do all of my dailies, it takes me 2 hours. I have just about 2 hours of time most nights to do things that aren’t work or housework.
If I were to do all my dailies, I would do nothing, every day, but what I need to get done IRL, and dailies.
World of Dailycraft just isn’t going to be my game if I want to read books, play alts, have hobbies, write blog posts, roleplay, write fic, do pet battles, or do anything else. I like doing all of those things. I don’t like doing the same quests every day. It’s not fun. Give me a tabard, let me run my heroic dungeon for rep, and let me go on to something fun.
I just don’t like dailies. I’ve not liked dailies since I finished my Crusader title. And THAT was optional!
The game has become very high maintenance. I am lucky my raid is casual enough to not care that I haven’t maxed out all my reps so that I have replaced all my heroic gear, because the other option, I’m afraid, is don’t raid. I will not give my life to a video game, and that’s unfortunately what WoW is about right now. As well, it’s expected that I’ll run LFR every week too, since I need those gear upgrades. That’s five hours (at least) of time on top of having enough materials or gold for flasks and food. (LFR, at least, is done with friends, so it’s less of a chore.)
Now, don’t get me wrong, a lot of people love it. There are people who are thrilled that there is just SO MUCH TO DO.
I fell in love with, and have played since 2005, a very different game. I’m pretty good at making my own fun, via RP, and I like not feeling like the game is my job. I like finishing a character, being raid ready, moving on to other characters. I’d really hoped to have my hunter at max level, but if this is what I have to look forward to, I’m not sure I care. I can’t be arsed to do 2 hours of dailies on one character, let alone try to juggle two.
If this is the new paradigm of WoW, I’m afraid it’s probably the beginning of the end for me. Especially as more and more of my friends find other games and other things to do. For now, I’m playing alts, leaving my one endgame character to raid when I can. Maybe that’s where I’ll find my fun, not in doing cool things with my friends at 90, but in leveling up different types of characters. I figure if I don’t like something, I’m not going to force myself to do it.
That, unfortunately, means I’m missing out on a lot of lore. Which is why it’s probably the beginning of the end. If lore is now going to be gated behind weeks of repeated quests, I’m just going to read it off a website. Which makes me sad. I like being part of lore content, having my characters be part of what’s going on. Casual raiding, dungeons, and quests have previously been enough to get that, but Pandaria is different.
The game is changing, and my tastes aren’t changing with it.
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