August 4, 2009 – 10:30 am
Winners’ Week continues at WTT: [RP], Too Many Annas, and Lorecrafted! We know you’ve all been bouncing on the edges of your seats like excited Kaldorei waiting for the next winner in the Midsummer Night’s RP Writing Contest, and we’d hate to disappoint. So, go get yourself a cold glass of Moonberry Juice or some Tasty Cupcakes and settle down to read today’s winner!
Let’s have a round of /applause for our Honorable Mention, “Missing Friends,” submitted by Illithias of Feathermoon and based on the quest of the same name in Terokkar Forest.
Every leaf glistened in the low, pre-dawn light; drooping with the night’s dew. Not quite yet time for the dawn chorus, the sun approached the shattered world’s irregular horizon, and the forest began to lighten. Insects chirped and whirred in the undergrowth; the filigree wings of the giant moths of Terokkar beat a rhythm in the space between the bushes and the boughs. Illithias crept through the undergrowth, hunched almost double. Despite her size and the bulk of her armour, only the whispering swings of disturbed branches or the soft crack of the bracken underfoot marked her passage. The leather hood hanging over her face collected the droplets as the leaves brushed by – fat drops of water falling from the brim, in front of the soft silver glow of the kal’dorei’s eyes.
It had taken a few hours painstaking, early morning travel – half running, half crawling through the brush. But eventually Illithias made it to her goal – a clearing of a few tall, older trees in the far eastern reaches of the forest, abutting the foothills and mountains dividing the forests from the rolling grasslands and floating land islands of Nagrand. There was the first stirrings of activity in the clearing, central fires were lit, and sporadic movement through the branches and between the trees was visible. The stench of roasting meat wafted across to the elf from the middle of the clearing tree-village – she had deliberately approached from downwind. Ensuring that the wickedly curved forearm blade was still affixed securely, Illithias drew her jagged longsword from it’s scabbard, and rose to her feet. The sibilant hiss of the sword was the only announcement of Illithias’ entry into Veil Skith.
Vekrik stood over his small campfire, the butt of his spear propped into the curve of a root for support – he leaned on it heavily. His beady eyes scanned the edge of the woods, looking for any signs or hints of the wolves or stalkers that prowled the area. Or, better still, another lost or misguided traveler or refugee. His beak clacked open and closed a few times as he worked his tongue over the edge of it. His shoulders rose and fell with a slight avian sigh. And he let out a yelping squawk and jerked up as an unexpected jolt tore into his lower back. Pain flooded him. Scrabbling to pull his spear right and failing – his fingers frantic with shock – Vekrik felt a heavy form press against his back, hot breath in his ear.
“Dorados’no.” it’s voice snarled. He didn’t have time to respond; a white hot slash along the heavy bob of his throat prevented that.
Subtlety was out of the question by now. Disturbances could be heard all throughout the Veil – corpses were being found. Illi dropped the pretext of her covert approach, running full tilt through the clearings. Any arakkoa that found itself in her way was quickly dealt with – more often than not without and change to Illithias’ stride. Broken birdmen left in her wake, she tore towards one of the main trees in the clearing – larger and older than it’s brethren, and heavy with buildings and platforms. Illi run, leapt, and began scrabbling up a rope ladder as quickly was her adrenaline fueled muscles would pull her.
She dragged herself over the lip of the platform, breath whistling between her teeth clenched from the exertion. The kal’dorei pulled herself to her knees, then to her feet, straightening herself – and coming face to face with another of the skettis. It opened it’s beak wide and screeched in Illithias’s face – she stumbled back, momentarily, and almost lost herself over the side of the wooden platform. It advanced on her in it’s race’s typical bobbing gait, swinging it’s blade low and lazily. Dropping down into a combat stance, Illithias brought her weapons up ready – not a moment too quickly. The arakkoa swung out with savage grace, air keening as the sword cut the air. Ducking behind her left arm, the elf caught the sword between the guards and edges of her forearm blade, twisting her wrist to pin the birdman’s weapon. Lunging forward, Illi lashed out with her head – butting the arakkoa once, twice in the head. It screamed as an ugly crack shot through it’s beak. Illithias cursed as more teeth were jolted loose. Maintaining the momentum, Illithias pushed forward, sending her adversary falling backwards, striking out – and slashing through the arakkoa’s head. It was dead as it hit the platform flooring. Panting and wiping the blood from her chin, Illithias leant down and pulled the keyring from the slain birdman’s belt.
“Are you here to rescue us?”
Illithias worked quickly through the keys on the heavy iron ring in turn, trying each in the padlocks holding the cage closed. The refugee children within crowded the door as she frantically tried each in turn, cursing in Darnassian all the while.
“I think they were going to eat us!”
“Are you a night elf?”
“I miss my family!”
“I like Goretusk Liver Pie!”
With a final click, the last padlock sprung open and clattered to the floorboards. Illi rose back to her feet and swung the cage door open. “Right – everyone out!”
The assorted children surged out from their confines, milling about Illithias’ legs. Most of them came up to her knees. There were a lot of them. How was she going to get them out? “Right. All of you.” the elf kneeled back down again. “I want you to all get on my…” llithias’ voice trailed off as she looked at her shoulders – both of the dark kal’dorei forged pauldrons covered in crescent blade designs. She looked back down at the various children, all looking back up at the strange, ugly elf. She sighed. She reached up and unfastened each in turn, taking off each shoulderpiece and throwing them into the canopy. “Okay, now. Everyone up on my back and shoulders.”
The children scrabbled up onto Illithias, grabbing purchase on her back, shoulders, clothing, necklace, straps, hair, ears. She stood, a little unsteadily. Hoots and screams echoed through the treetops – the avian screeching of the arakkoa of Veil Skith got louder as the birdmen warriors got closer.
“Now, hold on…” Illithias took three running paces to the edge of the platform and leapt off – hands grabbing wildly for a vine or a branch as childrens’ screams rang in her ears.
“Thankkk you very much, kkkal’dorei, for all that you’ve done…” Kirrik the Awakened croaked out.
Ankle deep in the grey ash of the Bone Wastes, Illithias was back at the temporarily halted refugee caravan. The arakkoa “leader” of the motley ensemble was thanking the berserker profusely – Illithias was trying to calm the birdman’s exultations and extract herself from the situation. Illi just wanted to return to the road, onwards towards Shadowmoon. A small tug on her belt grabbed her attention, she turned and looked down. A small human boy stood there looking up at her, eyes white against the smudgy, ashy face.
“Um, ma’am… thank you for… bringing my friends back. I wanted you to… have this…”
An old and battered device or toy of gnomish design sat in the boy’s hands. He gestured up at Illithias. She took the clockwork creation gingerly from his hands. She opened her mouth to say something, before pausing, and closing it again. She patted the child on the head instead. Turning, she headed back out of the caravan-camp hybrid, to where her sabre was stabled. No-one saw her wipe at her eyes as she brought her hood back up and over her head.
Congratulations Illi! You have looted a chest that contains a TCG Loot Card – Please email the loot master at midsummerwriting at gmail dot com to receive your prize!
Please check back tomorrow to see the third place winner in our Midsummer Night’s RP Writing Contest!
August 3, 2009 – 9:04 am
The time has come! You’ve all been waiting patiently (or not so patiently in some cases), wondering whose RP entries will be featured, who will win the snazzy prizes, whose bribes were the best, and the general results of the Midsummer Night’s RP writing contest!
Judging was based on criteria you can see here, and each entry was read by all of the bloggers involved – Falconesse, LazyJade, and Bricu from WTT:RP, Greyseer from Lorecrafted, and myself. We pored over your entries (and they are some pretty awesome entries) and finally managed to select four of them as winners.
You will see those four, starting with our Honorable Mention, tomorrow. (Yes, that means you have to wait until Friday to see who won 1st place!) If your entry is selected as one of the prize-winning submissions (1st through 3rd place), please email us at midsummerwriting at gmail dot com with your regular postal address so that we can distribute the loot!
Today, however, is something a little different.
The story featured today is here because we really wanted to recognize this player for what they’ve done. This is a little bit of the email we received along with the story:
This is my first try at any kind of writing. It’s something I’ve always thought about doing. I used to read any science fiction or fantasy book that I could get my hands on. Since the internet came along I find myself reading books less and less. I’ve recently started following a bunch of blogs and have found the desire to read start building again. I have also found myself wanting to write as well. I may start writing short fiction after having enjoyed creating this story so much.
So huge congratulations to Talifalana from the Alterac Mountains server (and Mauly, his bear). You impressed us all with your first work of RP, and we hope you continue to work and grow as a writer!
Defending the Flame
Talifalana, Alterac Mountains
(editors’ note: line breaks were added to clarify changes in scene/point-of-view)
Hartin had felt proud when he was chosen to be one of the Flamekeepers for Darkshire, though at the moment he was feeling miserable. Sweat was running down his back from the heat of the bonfire built in the middle of town. He and his men stayed close so that no one could steal, or even worst, dowse the town’s flame. If either of these things occurred, the town would be disgraced and he (even worse) would be demoted.
Larona had been looking for the orangish-yellow fire blossom that was native to Stanglethorn Vale for the goblins (they exported the flower to all the kingdoms this time of year) when she was came upon the small clutch of huts. She had decided it best to skirt the little village when both her arms where grasp by two bluish-green trolls.
Sul’abar was deep in thought on how he could use this time of frivolity by the humans to the north to his advantage. The beads that hung from the entrance to his hut parted and his shaman Shakti’la entered. “The one that not be a-livin’ could be helpin’ us to take dat town’s flame you beena wantin’ so bad” Shakti’la informed him. “You go an git her mojo and bring it ta me. We see how good a sneaker she be.” he said as a plan began to form.
Did the Forsaken have mojo? Larona didn’t know. What she did know was when that big troll pushed that pin into the little doll’s stomach her midsection burned like the fires that were being kept stoked all over Azeroth. What they were asking didn’t seem too hard. Distract the guards long enough for the trolls to walk into the town square and dowse the flame. No problem.
“More wood!” Hartin yelled. They had done more wood cutting than flame guarding these last four days. “Would you and your men like a fire blossom?” an old lady asked. Hartin didn’t recognize the old lady. She was pale and her eyes were sunk back into her head under her cloak. “Thank you.” Hartin said. He and his men took a flower each and put them in the joint between their shoulder pads and chest plate. The old lady smiled a toothy grin and continued to roam the town.
“What she be a doin’ handin’ out flors to da idot’s?” Sul’abar hissed over his shoulder. “Just be quite ya sack o bones an watch.” Shakti’la whispered back.
“She’s not going to eat anyone.” Talifalana assured the innkeeper. Smitts had given the the night elf a wary look when he entered the common room but he became downright distraught when the bear came in behind him. The night elf had assured him that she wouldn’t be any trouble and also persuaded him with a few pieces of gold. Tali ordered some stew and ale for himself and three steaks (raw of course) for Mauly, his closest friend since he had left Auberdine.
Larona wandered around town handing out fire blossoms to all the people she saw. It would take close to an hour for the dust she had sprinkled on the flowers to fully take effect. When that hour was up, everyone she had given a flower to would be asleep and the trolls could come in and desecrate the flame. Then, if they were good to their word, they would give her mojo back so that she could be on her way.
As the people of Darkshire started to slump down and fall asleep where they fell, Sul’abar couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “Maybe I be keepin’ that dead ting ’round. She turn out to be real fine sneaker.” The troll stroked the small doll around his neck as he motioned the band of trolls to follow him into Darkshire and toward the flame that was now unguarded.
Tali decided to stretch his legs after his meal and get a bit of fresh air. Mauly snorted at the idea and curled up for a nap (as much as a large brown bear can curl up). Tali had been through Darkshire before and knew only the guards would be out at this hour so you can imagine his surprise when he emerged from the inn to see a group of trolls strolling toward him and all the guards laying on the ground like sacks of corn.
“Crap” thought Larona as she shrugged off the old lady disguise. “This night elf looks like the kind who can handle himself.”
“Ha ha ha. We be cookin’ up some not-elf tonite!” Sul’abar cackled as he motioned for his group to attack.
“MAULY” Tali yelled as he drew his shotgun from the holster strapped to his back. He was worried by something he saw out of the corner of his eye. If the trolls had a rogue among their numbers, he had to get his back against a wall. The combination of several rounds from the shotgun and an angry brown bear storming out of the inn brought the trolls to an abrupt halt.
The troll who had led the charge had dropped to the ground when the shotgun was aimed at him. This left the poor troll behind Sul’abar to take the first shell in the chest and crumple to the ground. The second and third shots proved to be just as deadly as the first. Then Mauly hit them head on. Two more trolls fell under Mauly’s huge claws and the rest where routed.
Tali and Mauly chased the remainder of the trolls back into the woods then turned to come back to Darkshire. When they came around the corner to the square, Tali saw a petite, very pale woman straddling the troll who had dove for cover. She apparently had settled some grudge with the troll since her dagger was covered with his blood. In her other hand she appeared to be holding a small doll.
Larona wasn’t sure what to do. She had no doubt this night elf and his bear could pick her off with ease. She was surprised when the night elf bowed his head to her and went back into the inn followed by the bear. The bear stopped at the door to the inn, looked back at her, and snorted. Larona took this opportunity to move quickly in the opposite direction not stopping to question her good fortune.
As Talifalana got ready for bed, he pulled a small doll from his backpack. It had been made from sticks, leaves, string, pebbles, and small animal bones. His brow furrowed as he remembered the troll he had had to kill to get his mojo back.
Be sure to check back over the rest of this week to read the other winning entries in the Midsummer Night’s RP Writing Contest!
August 2, 2009 – 6:32 pm
It turns out Rilgon’s Security post is quite well timed.
There’s a weakness in the Adobe Flash player that’s been recently exploited (possibly through the virus attack on World of Raids). Through it several people in major raiding guilds, including some from Feathermoon, have had their accounts compromised, leading to entire guild banks being cleaned out, gear sold, and characters also transferred and sold.
In short, NASTY BUSINESS.
Please go update your flash now:
Some have reported that this particular person/group of people has been conversational, to the point of threatening guild members to give them gold “or I’ll delete/sell this guy’s stuff”. It goes without saying not to give in to this kind of bullshit – whether the character is deleted or not, it can be restored, and if you willingly give your stuff, you definitely /won’t/ see it back. And it’s likely that the character will get deleted/sold anyway.
July 31, 2009 – 7:43 am
This is a slightly different Friday Five than the usual fare – but I liked it, and I think it’s an interesting thing to think about. If your character is one that wasn’t actually /there/ for the First War, treat this from the perspective of what they’ve heard about it. These were major events, and much like major events in the real world, people talk and learn about them. (If your Forsaken character doesn’t remember anything from before being undead, they STILL will have heard about this most likely.) And there’s no rule saying you’ve got to pick any one specific character to answer these!
Either way, I’ll hand the reins over to Gryph for this!
Hey there. I’m Gryphonheart from The Lion Guard. Since Anna seems to be fighting Writer’s Blah, I figured I’d offer to help out with this week’s Friday Five. Now, just to give you some forewarning, I’m not the kind of person who’s going to limit himself to five questions when I find something interesting. So, rather than five questions, what follows are five prompts that will hopefully get you thinking about your character’s perspective on past events.
Today, these questions are all about the events of the First War, which was the original conflict between the Human Kingdom of Stormwind and the Orcish Horde portrayed in the first WarCraft game WarCraft: Orcs & Humans. If you’re rusty on these events, feel free to check out the in-WoW book The Dark Portal and the Fall of Stormwind, the First War page on WoWWiki, WarCraft: The Last Guardian by Jeff Grub, or the aforementioned WarCraft: Orcs & Humans game. With that out of the way, on with the fivery!
- How much do your characters know about the events of the First War? If they’ve only learned of them relatively recently (such as may be the case with Night Elves, Tauren, Draenei, Darkspear Trolls, etc.), what do they think or understand of their significance?
- Where were your characters or characters’ families during these events? Do they remember any of them personally? Do they remember hearing of them in the aftermath of the war?
- How do your characters see the actions of their preceding factions (the Human Kingdom of Stormwind before the founding of the Alliance, or the original Orcish Horde prior to Thrall’s new Horde)?
- Do your characters share the same ideals that their preceding faction did? (For Alliance, this could be the resolute determination to safeguard their homeland from a terrifying new threat. For the Horde, this could be the desire for the glory of conquest and the need to sate their ever-increasing bloodthirst.)
- What do your characters think of the actions of Medivh and/or Orgrim Doomhammer? Do their betrayals make their legends all the more impressive to your characters, or do they cast them in a less endearing light? Have they earned redemption in the eyes of your characters or will they now and forevermore be considered traitors to their kind?