This is the second in a 10-part series. Hero is the first part.
The Light teaches a great deal about honor. Dwarves as a whole consider themselves honorable. But honor is more than respect. It’s doing the right thing. It’s how you know you’re doing the right thing. In times like these, there is so much shadow it’s hard to see the Light, and we must look closely to find the honorable.
Honor is defined more by what you will not do, than what you will. At Stonard, not killing those who do not bear arms against us. At the Wrathgate, standing beside the Horde rather than fighting them. Letting Maev take the final blow against Illidan. And at Orgrimar, discerning between those who follow Garrosh, and those who would stop him – regardless of previous alliances.
I spend much of my time in quiet contemplation, speaking with Lorewalkers and Shado-Pan to understand what the Sha are and how best to heal the Vale. But my heart seethes at the wonton destruction caused by one man whose sense of honor has abandoned him.
It all started out innocently enough, as these things often do. A new expansion. New mounts to be had. And then, I saw them. Panthers. Glistening panthers made of jewels. Shoryl had to have these for her collection. Not just one, oh no, but all five! And so our story begins. Shoryl reached level 90 a bit later than I had anticipated, after both Gurdrid and Breige.
She set out immediately upon reaching that height to acquire the favor of the Cloud Serpent trainers, even though the Serpents themselves were old news, as it were. After a few days of toiling for them, she had the patterns in hand. She knew the key – the Orb of Mystery. She also knew the other things that would create the structure. The gems she would need to acquire, the ore that would need to be smelted and transformed. She called a meeting of key members of the guild: Gurdrid, who could collect and smelt the ores. Sveala, who could perform the transmutations required. Breige, who would lead the active acquisition of funds, and Oquae, who had a goldmine in her ability to make adventuring packs. Even Muirri, who had stayed in Ironforge to do the Guild’s business, was asked to assist, selling those things of interest that were acquired.
Gurdrid set out at once, gathering a great deal of ore. When it wasn’t in need of smelting for Sveala, all of the ore went to Shoryl to be prospected for gems. So much raw material came in, it was impossible to count it all. She toiled relentlessly. Hundreds of crates of ore were sent to Shoryl, until she had acquired 40 of each type of gem: Wild Jade, Sun’s Radiance, Primordial Ruby, and River’s Heart.
All the while, Gurdrid smelted trillium when she could, and ghost iron whenever there wasn’t enough trillium. Sveala took these bars and transformed them into living steel. Had it all been created from ghost iron, the steel alone would have required 3,840 chunks of ore. Even when the steel needed for the panthers was completed, bars were still sent her way to be transformed and sold. Orbs of Mystery are quite difficult to acquire, and thus are exceptionally expensive.
During this time, Breige showed great initiative in going out into the world to find rare things to sell and performing tasks for the peaceloving Pandaren as an adventurer for hire.
In doing so, she brought in necessary resources – especially by befriending the farming community of Halfhill, and in particular Farmer Yoon. He allowed her to grow amazing plants that could pull ore right from the ground, or catch the slightest tuft of wool from the air. With the sheep she acquired from befriending Chee Chee, there was always plenty of wool to be gathered.
Ore, of course, went to either Gurdrid to be smelted, or directly to Shoryl for prospecting.
The wool went directly to Oquae, who also toiled for Farmer Yoon, planting the enchanting Songbells, and harvesting from them the curious motes of harmony. With these, and the wool, she created Imperial Silk at the nearby fields, and in turn, she made Royal Satchels, which fetch a high price at auction. The bags, and the occasional silkworm or moth, were sent to Muirri, who had an excellent working relationship with several auctioneers throughout Alliance territories.
Muirri, of course, sold the extra steel, the satchels, and any other interesting things the others could find. She kept careful watch over the funds acquired, and when there was enough, would send it to Shoryl.
Shoryl had found a goblin with a ready supply of the orbs of mystery, but he wouldn’t let them go lightly. She was pleased, however, that he wasn’t aligned with the Horde, and was willing to do business with her, regardless of the high price he charged. Still, in a demand market, the sole supplier of an item is sure to have excellent profits. So she was stuck.
The trick to the Jeweled Onyx Panther, of course, wasn’t as simple as the others. It required that the jewelcrafter first create one of each of the previously crafted panthers, and then fuse them together artfully. The resulting mount, however, is definitely a sight to see!
When all was said and done, Shoryl once again called together her team. She congratulated them all on the hard work they had done, and how selflessly they had given of their time and skill. Muirri provided the record of funds earned for the incredible number of 8 orbs required to get all five panthers, a total of 144,000 gold. In addition, Sveala created 32 bars of Living Steel, all of which came from ore smelted by Gurdrid. Shoryl herself provided the gems, though mostly through ore mined by Gurdrid or farmed by Breige.
After all that, the Grand Expedition Yak doesn’t seem so expensive, does it?
I’ve made it to two of the three OLRG events, and they have been a blast. I find it entertaining that we mostly talk about how pretty the raids are, and only bother with strategy when we die. Might sound familliar? I will admit that these seem a little less frenetic than other raids that have been done, and I do appreciate the slower pace. Breige has been the one to lend her archery skills to these events, which has been just dandy. She’s certainly the best geared (of my toons, not necessarily of OLRG participants. I only look at how nice everyone looks, not ilvls!)
At the end of the night, we discussed the possibility of hitting Firelands next week. And I… offered to tank. Um. So, about that. Hopefully, my dwarf will forgive me if she has to take an igneous rock nap or two. Hopefully so will the guild coffers. But, to try and mitigate the trouble, Gurdrid is going to valiantly head out to Timeless Isle and try to complete her set. Since I refuse to tank in LFR (I do not need that abuse, thanks) this will be the first time I’ve tanked since… early in Pandaria, when I embarrassed myself in the Stormstout Brewery. Hopefully killing a few rares (probably not elites, thanks) will assist in my relearning my buttons. And other important things like looking up my rotations and fixing my bars.
So, while I hope Matty remembers that I volunteered if she couldn’t find another tank, I’m still going to prepare. It would be rude of me to not prepare. Breige is always happy to shoot at things, but Gurdrid will put that giant shield to use if she will be more helpful.
I’m a bit of a list maker. I like to know what I need or want to do. This has become a bit more of a habit since I have started to have a bad memory for these things. Getting older sucks. But sometimes… lists, they are scary. Sometimes having it all written down makes it hard to see what to do next. Sometimes it’s too much.
Case in point. I just made a list of everything I would do in WoW every day if I had no other responsibilities. It looks like this:
- Inscription Research x2
- Living Steel Cooldown
- Silk Cooldown
- DE collected greens
- JC Research
- Argent Tournament Dailies
- Magnificence Cooldown
- Klaxxi Dailies
- August Celestial Dailies
- Farm Leather as needed
- Farm Herbs/Ore as needed for cooldowns
And none of that includes Wednesday night Guild Randomness, or Thursday night Dwarven Dungeon Crawls. To be fair, I raid on most Tuesdays and frequently on weekends, and I can usually get more than one in on those days. Since Blizz has not implemented bonus Valor for raids at this point, it doesn’t matter so much when I do them at all. For Scenarios and Dungeons, though, getting bonus Valor definitely has its advantages. So if I could, I’d do at least one of those each day.
But a whole lot of those things, you say, take only a few minutes. (And really, all those profession things – most people don’t have all those professions). And that’s very true, the list in and of itself isn’t that bad. But the length of the list is what is daunting.
And here’s another thing that intrigues me. How many other games that people play do they make lists for? Really, playing a game is about fun. So, to make myself feel better about my list, which looks a vaguely like work, I thought I’d talk a little bit about why I do these things:
Inscription and JC Research: I don’t like paying for my glyphs and gems off the AH. Auction House purchases can keep you in the poor house, and I have things I’d like to purchase with my gold, like mounts! Also, the random process adds something to it: What will I learn today?
Silk and Magnificence Cooldowns: I find it fascinating to learn what I’ll discover, and also whether I get a silkworm. The items from the patterns have also been selling well.
Living Steel Cooldown: This is mostly for money, or, at the moment, for guildies. It’s also fun to see if I’m going to proc a second bar, though I have terrible luck with that when I’m trying to make it to do something with.
Farms: Gurdrid is currently farming motes, but will go back to farming for rep when she’s done making a couple of pieces of gear. Breige is strictly farming for rep right now. I find farming amusing and relaxing to do, so as an added method of getting things I want, it’s quite worthwhile.
Argent Tournament Dailies: This is literally a means to an end for me. I want the mounts from the Argent Tournament – some for the mounts themselves, but mostly because they’re an easy way for me to get to the next mount achievement, and the KITE!
The rest of Breige’s activities: Breige doesn’t strictly have to do the dailies. She could head over to the Isle of Thunder and jump in there. She’s got good enough gear to get into the next raid I haven’t seen yet, and really, the point of the gear is to get to the next raid for me, not the gear itself. But, I want the achievements that go with the dailies, so I’m doing the dailies.
Scenarios and dungeons are another thing that are a mix between fun and profit. I like doing them, and bonus valor and rep are always a plus. So I try to get them in on days that I want to do group content. I will always opt to do these with guildies first, given the choice. (And will often do many scenarios in a row with guildies, but only one or two with strangers)
Raiding is something I’ve missed for a long time. I haven’t raided since vanilla, and I wasn’t going to raid on a tank, so Gurdrid was out of the question. I decided on Breige to try and see if I’d like playing her because of Bear’s comments about his hunter, mostly. And I’m finding that I like ranged DPS more than I ever expected. Even more surprising is that having a pet doesn’t completely suck all the time. I have no idea whether I’m a good hunter or not, but I try, and I try to get better. And I like doing it.
Farming Leather, Ore, and Herbs as needed: This is really a support clause. If I want to do other things, I need these resources, and it’s generally cheaper to farm than it is to buy. So I opt for farming, mostly.
Auctions: I think this goes without saying. You make more money selling things on the AH than vendoring them, so Auctions it is.
Muirri: My little monk is closing in on 85 quickly. The monk playstyle isn’t one I would want to use as a main, but I am enjoying it. She’ll likely become my bank toon and hang out in Stormwind doing fishing and cooking dailies once she reaches 85 and nets the guild their achievement. But I almost always have one toon I’m actively questing on, for when endgame gets boring. It’s a great breakup of activities.
The nice thing that this list does, though, is reminds me why I do what I do. Why is important, particularly for the things that I don’t like doing in and of themselves (mostly, that’s the Argent Tournament dailies.)
After two weeks of running my Wednesday night “event” as a guild night, we’ve had a group of four both nights. It’s about the most difficult group to go, too. We’re not too keen on PuGGing Mists dungeons, since none of us really know the fights (I know, research time for me.) 3 would be Scenarios, 5 would be, well, a 5-man, and 6 would break up into two scenario groups, which would make Skype highly entertaining, I’m sure. More than six and we start looking at raids with a serious eye.
But, we had four. Our first night, we tried to do Cata heroics with a Ret Paladin turned healer more or less for the evening. That didn’t turn out too well, though that might have been because we were trying to do Blackrock Caverns.
Last night, I asked the innocent question, “Do you guys want to try and do 10-man Obsidian Sanctum, I don’t have the Black Drake yet.” I didn’t know if we could, to be honest. I only know that four mediocrely geared level 85s struggled with 25-man. There was discussion about whether anyone else could roll on the mount, to which I said, “of course! And we can come back next week, to get more.” So off we went. And boom. Dead dragon. Mount reins to be rolled on. Jackoby passed, but Yawondergirl and Phink both rolled as well as, you know, me. The one with 128 mounts. And I won! Woohoo. We took a picture of our first little success, with everyone on their “spiffyest” mount.
Once we’d done that, I asked the others if they had their Red Protodrakes yet. Jackoby and Yawondergirl haven’t even started the acheivement, and Phink still had several to get, so… off we went to Coldarra to start putting a dent in those acheivements. We came out of the Nexus with a full round of completes, except Chaos Theory, which we stuffed up by killing Anomalus before he opened a chaos rift. Oops! At 90, getting Intense Cold is actually pretty easy – at least with four people. Up to The Oculus to start in on those achievements. We opted against taking Green drakes for our first run through, and we even picked up Make it Count on our first run through even though we weren’t even trying. Phink did fall off his Bronze Drake, so he’ll have to do that one again, but Jack and Yaw both picked up the tick-marks for their red drake riding skillz.
Once we were done there, it was back to Dragonblight to do Azjol Nerub, netting us a full clear of achievements there, and Anh’kahet: The Old Kingdom. I stuffed up remembering Volunteer Work until after one volunteer had been killed, but otherwise, we got another complete set.
Since it was getting late, we finished off the night with a run to Violet Hold – the first of what I’m sure are many, and ticked off Defenseless as well as Xevozz and Moragg tick marks for Lockdown!
Of course, with all those frozen orbs piling up at my feet, I collected enough to get mount # 130, as well…
I’ve taken a couple of days of vacation – originally not for moving, though today has been lots of things toward that end.
However, I hopped online and saw a few of my favorite laid back folks on; and decided I might like a go at one of the old raids. I put the call out, and Tumunzahar answered it without hesitation, requesting Blackwing Lair. With a little coaxing, we also got Flagsworth (on his rogue Duenan) and my long time friend from my vanilla days of raiding, Farron.
Sadly, the rogue wasn’t attuned, so he went and burned through UBRS while the rest of us tackled Razorgore. Talk about easy-peezy with the nerfs to the mechanics. We also got the Unscathed Egg from Razorgore, which I won! There was also an ingot that dropped, so Gurdrid is a tiny bit further on her way toward making the Hand of Ragnaros for Shoryl.
Unfortunately, Tum had to depart right after we defeated Vaelestrasz; but Farron, Duenan and I finished with relative ease. No more pets dropped; and Duenan complained about the utter lack of rogue gear.
Fun was certainly had; and Tum reminded me to poke Farron to come along on Laid Back Raids in the future, which I will most certainly do!
Laid Back Dungeons ended up being a laid back raid instead last week. I wasn’t in the mood for current content; and am looking for only a few more pieces for my sword set for Gurdrid. Since she’s carrying a sword right now, it seems to be a good one to work on.
So Tyledres and Gurdrid stormed Serpentshrine Cavern. Hydross went down with almost no sploosh. The Lurker Below was dead fish pretty easily. Leotheras the Blind became Leotheras the dead. And then there was Fathom-Lord Karathas. Who killed Gurdrid, but not Tyledres. Much like the last time I was in SSC, where the raid killed him, but the tank died. After the Fathom-Lord, Morogrim Tidewalker was a walk in the pond. I don’t think we really needed to clear out his murloc minions first.
We were then at Lady Vashj, who has an annoying mechanic in phase two, where you have to pick things up off of mobs that have to be killed really fast. But we were one-shotting mobs, shouldn’t be a problem, right? Until the fear-masters (Coilfang Striders) came along and feared us all over the place. We attempted twice, the second time trying to ignore one side of the room so that we could get to the tainted cores faster; to no avail. Lady Vashj may have won, but next time I’m bringing a shadow priest with me.
I think the site update is pretty well completed. Widgets are in, and I’m pretty happy. I have a page to write for the guild; but otherwise, I’m pretty satisfied with my new look. The blog name got shortened because of spacing issues. Now that little grey bar makes so much more sense. Also, the subtitle is more readable.
I know I haven’t been the best at blogging recently; this is due in varying degrees to the site redesign; being at once too busy and not busy enough at work (it’s odd, I know); and an utter and complete adoration of Mists of Pandaria – so much so that I want to be playing, not writing. Also, there’s laziness and procrastination.
This past weekend, Gurdrid finished her headlong run to 90. It was as enjoyable as were the high points of her headlong run to 85. It took me around 12 days to do. Clearly, she did not spend a whole lot of time smelling apple blossoms, though she did quite a bit of removing the iron problem from the farmland in the Valley of Four Winds. I’m sure the farmers are quite pleased by that, though the iron does seem to crop up again and again, just like the particularly bad weeds.
At launch, however, I wasn’t on Gurdrid. I was on Shoryl. And by her side was her dearest Sonaira. We went through the trouble that was figuring out the stupidity of not being able to see to aim to destroy boats, and in each little hamlet of safety we came to, we stopped. We talked to everyone. We explored every nook and cranny. We probably drank quite a lot of beer with the locals. We looked out across the land over the bridges, from the verandas of buildings, from atop cliffs.
We did some more of that yesterday. We might have gotten a grand total of 10 quests done in our hour or so of play. But that’s because we stopped and looked at art in the arboretum, and played with baby cloud serpents, and visited the mining community of Green…someplace; who seem to have an infestation of tricksters. I’m sure at some point they’ll ask us to help with that problem, but maybe they don’t yet trust these very skinny (though very strong) women, who still ride on the roads and aren’t as boisterous as those who came before.
We made it up to Tian Monestary, but are currently sort of lost. I’m sure we’ll sort it out. In the meantime we’ve visited several trainers, and discovered a lovely inn that has a bath! Can you believe it? We had to go to an entirely new continent to be able to clean up in something other than a lake on the outskirts of town?
Shoryl is totally retiring here. Seriously.
Kerridwen has been leveling via a combination of mining, herbalism and archaeology. She got the Spear of Xuen as her second or third artifact; which significantly changed her chances against the beasties she’s run across in the Jade Forest. She also heard about the Tillers from Gurdrid, and headed right over there to start up her farm. She happens to be quite the cook, and is enjoying learning all the nifty things from the various masters in the market there; as well as saving up to feed people!