General · Roleplay

Lost Flame [Nanowrimo Excerpt]

Just a note – this is technically part of my Nano, but won’t be happening until towards the end of the story, and the letter itself may or may not be in it. If you’re confused, read this and then this from Rades over at Orcish Army Knife. Lis is much less prolific than Gerk was, heh.


I realise it’s been a long time since we’ve spoken. With how often I write letters to Sara, you’d think I’d remember to write to other people in my life as well. Unfortunately, I’m not writing out of missing you, but because the thought of leaving damned self-righteous naive MacKellar to deal with this (as if he’d even remember) makes me sick to my stomach.

Gerk is dead. Burr, too. I couldn’t

They sent me looking for them. Burr was already dead, and Gerk… I sat with him, Gwenna. I did everything I could, but even healers can’t fix everything. But I did stay with him, until the very end. And I killed as many of those Scourge bastards as I could. Wasn’t many. Wasn’t nearly enough.

I will always remember Gerk as the first person who really helped me come to terms with… well, being a Dwarf. Both of you were so good to me when I was struggling, and I’m glad that my commander sent me to Ironforge instead of home to Stormwind. With the help of both of you, I learned to feel like myself, and also like a Dwarf. The time I spent with him and Burr in Northrend was generally pretty good – they were so cheerful, even in the face of everything happening. They had hope – more than I had, most days. It was a wrench to get stationed away from them when I was sent to look for Brann up in the storm peaks.

You know I’m not much for stuff like this. Emotional, complicated… I’d much rather have something to hit, or someone to heal. This kind of healing is beyond my ken. I don’t have any words that’ll make this better for you, and I don’t know how much this must hurt for you. But I can swear one thing to you, Gwenna, with all my heart.

Arthas will pay for this. I will find a way to be there, when he’s finally confronted, and when we take him down, for me, it will be for Gerk, and Burr.

I’m sorry for your loss.

-Lisan Carpenter


A bit more nostalgia

So while my last post was sufficient, I thought I’d give our newer readers a quick rundown of, y’know, the history with the cute dorf who dinged 80 in the wee hours of this morning.

On April 7th, 2010, I rolled a human Paladin and named her Lizzy. She was all set to be a ret pally like every single pally I’ve ever rolled (and never gotten past level 35) have been. A couple days later, she hit 15 and I decided to respec her into Holy and try my hand at healing dungeons.

I got bit by the healing bug.

I ran a bunch of them in my crappy dpsing quest gear, went up four levels, and was finally gifted my very first set of healing gear (a mishmash of leather and cloth) at level 19. The difference (aka – all that int) was palpable, and I officially fell in love.

At the suggestion of one of her then-guildies, I put her in cloth heirlooms (since I was poor, emblem-wise, and cloth would do me for my caster druid and the warlock I was planning to roll as well) and set out to heal. And heal we did. We discovered VuhDo and loved it, we played with FoL spamming, and when I really wanted to roll a “proper” healing spec, I looked up the only Holy Paladin I had any real knowledge of: Kurn. I copied her spec, read her posts, and tried valiantly to understand them. I didn’t, always. I changed her name to Lisan, since I liked that better.

We hated Maraudon. I began talking to Kurn on twitter, and actually leaving comments on her blog. She talked about maybe starting her old guild back up – I jokingly said I’d heal for her if she did. I went with a then-guildie and one of Oreo’s lowbies into Scholo so he could farm for his The Insane title, and we could get mad XP. I got the mage dungeon set helm, and had to cut Lis’ hair so it wouldn’t stick out the back of it. Kurn started really seriously talking about starting her guild up again, and I tentatively offered my healing services in a more serious way. She accepted. Outlands came, and somewhere in the grind of the Hellfire Peninsula dungeons, I race changed her on a whim – Lis ran afoul of some glitchy gnomish technology and ended up a Dwarf.

At some point in the mid-60s, after talking with Oreo, I went ahead and transferred Lis to Eldre’Thalas, where Apotheosis would be making its home. It was a pretty tiny little guild at the time, since most everyone was still in old guilds or on old servers. Kurn suggested a rotation to use for me to go out and actually kill stuff, and while it’s never been light on the mana, it’s let me do a lot more than just dungeons, for which I’m eternally grateful. Northrend came. I started running dungeons with guildies now and then, which was fun. I got my friend Megs to join Apotheosis, with more than a little glee. Levelling was slow but steady. I did the Wrathgate questline in Dragonblight, and little else, quest-wise.

4.0.1 hit. This is recent history. The new changes just didn’t mesh with Lis as a character (they still really don’t, but we’re getting used to that) and I decided to “retire” her and race change to a Draenei, the brief visitor to my gaming, Sveta. We began questing in Sholazar, and then Storm Peaks. The Cata cinematic came out, and I realised what Deathwing would be doing to Lis’ home. It got personal – she’d be back for the expansion, I realised in my glee.

And then, last night, just after I hit 79, I realised that I didn’t want to hit 80 with Sveta. She was sweet and dependable, but she wasn’t Lisan. So I abruptly logged off as a Draenei, impatiently waited 20 minutes, and then logged back in as a Dorf. I actually got a couple cheers from my guildies. XD And, sure that was $50 down the drain for about four days’ worth of being Sveta, but…

It reminded me how much I love Lis. And that’s worth it, to me. We’re 80 now – no longer wearing those “damn mage robes”, all in plate with int gems (courtesy of Oreo and Hano, respectively – and a pair of crappy plate shoulders from the AH). Our gear isn’t the best ever, but it’s GOOD, and we’re ready to dip our toes into Heroics tonight, methinks.

It’s been a crazy six months. There’ve been a lot of changes, in her looks, her playstyle, her goals, her guild. We’re going to be raiders. And damn if I’m not proud of us.


My hatred burns through the cavernous deeps…

So… if you haven’t seen this, you SHOULD. The Cataclysm cinematic. HOLY. FUCKING. CRAP.

On the one hand, the ever-constant CG geek in me is going “OMG THAT IS SO AMAZING AND SEXY AND IS THAT NOT JUST BEAUTIFUL???” and the Tolkien geek in me is going “OMG THAT IS SO TOLKIENESQUE I’M IN LOVE”

On the other hand, Lisan is SEETHING. Guys. It had not really sunk in exactly what Deathwing would be doing to my world. And Lisan is a child of Stormwind… She’s going to be losing a lot of people she cares about in the Cataclysm.

Guys. Once the expansion hits? I GET TO HAVE MY GRUMPY PALLY BACK. There ain’t no way in hell she wouldn’t suck up and DEAL with the new healing, not with something like this going on. And it only JUST hit me.

While I’m going “D:!” at the destruction of so much of this world I love, most of me is busy squeeing, because, I DID NOT WANT TO LOSE MY GRUMPY PALADIN. And now, I DON’T HAVE TO.

Now excuse me, I have to go buy batteries for my mouse.

PvE · Roleplay

…One is silver and the other gold.

Today marked a pretty big change in how I play and look at the game. No, it’s not the changes to Paladin healing, though there are quite a few, and they did spark this change. The change I’m speaking of is a much more important (and yet unimportant) one.

I race changed Lisan.

Now, I know I did it before. You remember the little-heralded change from gawky blonde human to curvy blonde dwarf, I’m sure, if you’ve hung out here much at all. But she was still Lisan, just with a bit of a… change of face. She was still the same grumpy Paladin she’d always been, and in the end, she felt even more herself.

But as I said yesterday, the New Paladin is not the same. It’s as if Lisan has become the out-of-date, behind-on-the-times veteran. They don’t need her anymore. The world has moved beyond her sort of healing. In a way, I think she deserves it – it’s been many years (for HER, from a story standpoint) since she began her training, and there’s been precious little peace for her in those years. But she’s not done yet. I know she’s not. I’m not ready to move past her. We’re supposed to have so many adventures.

Unfortunately, the world has declared her old news, and this newfangled thing just… doesn’t work for her. She doesn’t like it. She can’t get the hang of it. She doesn’t MIND that things have changed, but if she can’t get the hang of it… well, she won’t give up. But Stormwind always needs defenders, and it would be wonderful to see Sara again, even if she’s now shorter. Who knows, maybe she’ll be able to find a gnome who knows how to put her back in her human form, not that she doesn’t like being a dwarf.

That doesn’t mean she’s not heartbroken about it, though. And so am I. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to handle the loss of her, in the long run. It’s possible that practise back in Stormwind will help her a lot, and that before too long she’ll be able to find her way into this “healing of the future” or whatever they’re calling it these days.

Until then, however, I’ve decided to make the acquaintance of someone a little more familiar with this “healing of the future”, seeing as how it’s based very much on the teachings of her people.

Go on, say hello.

Now, then, don’t be shy. You’re not the shy type, and you know it.

This is just silly. Say hello to all the nice readers of the blog!

This is Sveta. She’s distinctly less grumpy that Lis, more prone to quiet sighs of exasperation than expletive-filled grumbling. She’s generally calm, though you couldn’t say she’s demure by any stretch, and she’s certainly already a veteran in her own right, in a long-term way that Lisan won’t reach for a decade or two.

Don’t let that baby face fool you – she’s seen her fair share of war. We’re getting on pretty well so far – she’s not Lisan, but she’s a dear, and I think we’ll manage pretty well, for now, at any rate. I’m still hoping for Lis to pull through, but since I’m still getting used to the new way of things, I need someone who’s not going to be as flummoxed and lost as I am.

(all this to say… I race changed Lis. And I cried when I put the changes through, I’ll admit it. But it just feels less… broken when I’m not trying to do it on Lis. I can’t explain it if you’re not a writer or RPer, I’m afraid – just don’t have the proper words. Just suffice to say that unless I can get Lis comfortable with the changes… it’ll be me and Sveta taking on Deathwing. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I’m still having fun being a Paladin! I’m just… not being LIS. Sadface, but I’ll soldier on. She would, after all.)


To be or not to be…

I’m worried about the state of my characters.

Now, let me say that I only logged in briefly about an hour ago since the servers went back up, because the patch installer would completely freeze up my entire computer about 2% in and I had to wait for the Mac 4.0 client to go live this morning before I could properly start instal. I’ve still got 10.5GB left to download (edit: well, by the time I post this, it’s only 8.3GB…), and while the almost 1MB/s download speed is pretty damn good for me, it’s still not going to be happening within the next hour or so.

So given all that, I haven’t had a chance to really try any of my characters out. I haven’t assigned Lisan’s talent points, I haven’t fiddled around on any of my random alts. And while the Warlocks are (quite understandably, and I’m right there with them despite hardly ever playing Mellie these days) pissed off about their pets being renamed, I haven’t heard BAD things about pallies – just that they’re quite different.

And there’s the problem that I’m worried about: with all the changes, all the differences, will my characters – Lisan specifically – still be the same characters when I go to play them?

Now, obviously this isn’t as huge a worry as it would be if I RP’d Lis at all. But she is a CHARACTER in my head. She has a story, she has a personality, she has a life, of sorts. But a lot of that was influenced by how Holy Paladins played. And sure, maybe it’s silly, but healing differently… well, I’m afraid it’ll mean that Lis won’t exist anymore. It’ll be this other Dwarf who looks like her, but isn’t her. And that would break my heart, because Lis and I have been through a lot. We went through a brief period of confusion and disorientation when she had that run-in with malfunctioning Gnomish technology (aka – I got sick of the Human model and race changed her), but she was still doing the same things, and before long she (and I) grew accustomed to her new stature and curves, and she even became more herself, if that makes any sense. That character who sometimes slipped out of my grasp and felt too mutable around the edges solidified and became someone I never lost sight of. I knew who she was, really knew.

I’m worried, when I finally log in, set up my bars, re-bind my clique bindings, and get to healing, that I won’t know who that dwarf with the blonde braid is. And it won’t be the end of the world, and it won’t be enough to make me say “I don’t want to heal as a Paladin in Cata” or anything, but it won’t be… Lisan. It won’t be the character I watched struggle and fight her way to Westfall, the girl who set out to heal in melee gear, the girl who has, for the longest time, looked like a mage because I needed heirlooms I could use on more than one of my lowbies, and the others were clothies, and the int (and XP bonus) was good enough to offset the fact that it was, y’know, CLOTH. It won’t be the oft-grumbling little spitfire who always acts like she’ll leave you to die if you’re dumb enough, despite the fact that she couldn’t bring herself to do that.

If she’s not Lisan anymore, I’ll probably have myself a good cry. No, I’m not kidding – these past months, dragging Lis up by her bootstraps, learning how to make her at least somewhat better than average at healing, has made her very special to me, moreso, I think, than any other toon I’ve played. But after I have my cry, I’ll simply take a look at her and figure out who she is. She’ll probably get a makeover and a name change, if not a race change, and she’ll be someone different. I’ll mourn the death of my stubborn, sweet girl, but I’ll turn that memory into something new. Something similar, but unique. And then with that new partner in healing, I will go on to 80 and beyond. With that new partner, I’ll finally get “Starcaller”, and I’ll venture into the new worlds of Cata, and I’ll get my first (and hopefully, if luck is with me, my guild’s first) Deathwing kill. It won’t be the same, because she and I won’t have that history that Lisan and I have, but it will still be good, and while I will quietly wish Lis could be there for it, I won’t let it ruin the joy and excitement and accomplishment of it all.

But honestly, I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that. Because I love my little Dwarf girl. Sure, Speedy the ram isn’t Drika, but she still has Bastian, and Speedyram is a great (newly-discovered) source of joy in my life. The simple whipping of her braid as she casts makes me happy inside, and is the reason why I don’t display any helms, even if they look wicked cool. She’s a little version of me, stuck in Azeroth, in a way that none of my other characters have ever been, even while she’s her own character. It’s so easy for me to slip her on, as it were, because she fits me like a glove. I want to see her journey through Ulduar, I want to see her reach level 85, I want to see her take on Deathwing with 24 of her closest friends and most trusted teammates. I want to continue making jokes about her constant flirting with female Draenei (*coughLizbetSpookygoatAnderiaRaisaOsephalacough*).

So this is my hope, my wish-upon-a-star, my heart’s desire as I wait for this patch to finish installing – that Lisan will still be Lisan. Change everything else, make me go crazy from lack of mana or new stats or new talents… but let Lisan stay herself.

PvE · PvP · Roleplay

One day, Ulduar! (and other updates)

So I’ve been a bit lax in updating this in a regular manner. I should see to that. Also, this entry has SCREENCAAAAPS. I should do those more often, yes/no?

I have definitively made friends with Lara and Vidyala. I rolled a Draenei pally on their server and was planning to just stalk her a bit and jump on to chat once in a while. And then I thought “Well, y’know, a server where other people have low-level characters (the two of them, Redbeard, and Rades, all have them) would be good for learning to tank, right? And then there was levelling with Lar, and more livestream chat, and a guild, and the two of them sent me a little “tank starter pack” with gear and a couple glyphs and it was beautiful.

Even if Lar did get me hooker pants. No, I’m not screencapping them.

And I know that they won’t tell anyone about when I alt+tabbed while levelling underwater, forgot to go back, and drowned.

To date, my only death

Another race change! Lisan had a run-in with some Gnomish technology, and now she seems to be stuck as a Dwarf. Oops? That’s okay, I’m sure it’ll wear off… eventually

On the topic of Lis, however, I have started up what I hope will be a relatively regular little writing project for her – Letters to Sara, wherein Lisan writes letters to the girl from Stormwind orphanage that she was closest to, as she trains to become (and does become) a paladin. Currently she’s only in Goldshire, which means about the equivalent to level 5. XD But I’m gonna get there, and eventually I’ll catch up with the “present”, hopefully.

Since I do not have a picture of Lis with her new curves, you get one of me and Oreo having
cuddletimes after Anub while badge farming.

SPEAKING OF OREO, she continues to be pretty much my favourite person in WoW EVAR. I mean, she does things like send me INT gems to replace the SP ones Hano sent me when I hit 60 (because he had no int gems to cut for me), and run me through instances until she’s sick of them and runs me again anyway (try saying no to her. It doesn’t work.). And she ran my little Draenei hunter up from Stormwind to Eversong Woods on her mammoth so Dawnie could tame a dragonhawk.

This was captioned "My dick has WIIIIIINGS!" I am not always very mature.

And then there was… last week, I think it was. My guild was going to do an Ulduar run, and I was tentatively invited! Which, yay, because you have no idea how badly I’ve wanted to do Ulduar. But then it was revealed that they were doing One Light, and Hano apologetically said that I’d get them all killed, which is probably true, given how vent was going after they went in. So instead, I just made due with an MC run.

This is the closest to a kill shot I've ever gotten or been in.

However, it could’ve been worse! I took Lis into Alterac Valley for no real reason (which is odd, if you know me – I’m not much of a PvPer, and my computer hates BGs), and I healed. The Alliance on my battlegroup is sort of notorious for sucking at PvP, but we won! With ten resources left. And I wasn’t too bad on the healing charts, either. ^_^ It was somewhat gratifying.

All in all, it’s been a good week. However, to those of you who see me around, I will be pretty scarce this weekend – my parents are coming to town. :/ Which means the time I do have online will be desperately clinging, especially since AJ’s off visiting her dad, and I will probably not be on much at all.

I mean, I hope I’ll be on a fair amount, but it’ll be less than usual.

And I leave you all with my vow to enter Ulduar one day… one day

One day... *fistshake*

Blog Azeroth: Meeting Bastian

[This is in response to this week’s Shared Topic over at Blog Azeroth – RP meeting your mount.]

Lisan looked dubiously at the white destrier in front of her as Thomas tried to convince her to take the beast.

“You’ll need a more battle-ready mount now that you’re going into more dangerous territories,” he insisted. “He’s trained for battle, to trample your enemies, use his hooves as weapons. He is as necessary as your mace, or your connection to the Light!”

“Drika is a good courser, and has seen me through plenty of battles,” Lisan said firmly, as the destrier pranced a bit, clearly (to Lisan’s mind) wishing to run or kick something. Lisan could understand the use of larger stallions, and why it was common among warriors and paladins alike, for their aggressive nature and their strength in carrying warriors in heavy plate armour, but she’d much rather have her good-tempered and just as combat-ready mare than this brute. “I have no need for another. Do you remember what happened last time the Church tried to give me a mount?”

Thomas sighed. “You walked, as slowly as possible, to the border of the Redridge region, and you bought a pony.”

“That pony served me well,” Lisan said stoutly. “But then I met Shalan and he agreed to lower the price on one of his mares if I traded him the pony. And Drika is perfect for me.”

“Some take more than one mount, you know,” Thomas pointed out.

“Yes, and some can afford to feed and stable more than one mount when they’re not in the bounds of the Church’s hospitality,” Lisan countered. “Give him to some poor sod who doesn’t know any better than to take an ill-tempered nag–”

Lisan cut off with a start as the destrier stepped forward to bump his nose good-naturedly against her shoulder, lipping the edges of her tunic. All his pent-up energy seemed to have siphoned away, and it occurred to her that perhaps he just had very much wanted to smell this new person that Thomas had been presenting him to.

She cautiously placed a hand on his nose, and then slowly moved to run her hands down his neck and flanks, examining him. He watched her as she inspected him, but made no move to kick or bite or even shy away. He was a rather handsome animal, when it came down to it, and she could think of a few situations where having a heavier-built mount than Drika would be beneficial…

“His name is Bastian,” Thomas said, a smug note in his voice. “He’s really the best I’ve seen in a while, I was saving him for you.”

“And he is altogether too pleased with himself,” Lisan muttered to Bastian under her breath. “Don’t suppose you could nip a little humility into him…”

To her surprise, Bastian immediately turned and gently nipped at the other paladin’s hand, giving him a reproachful-sounding whinny and putting one ear back. The startled and confused look on Thomas’ face was enough to make Lisan burst out laughing, and she rested her cheek against Bastian’s neck.

“I think I might keep him after all,” she told Thomas. “He seems to have good taste.”