Monday, November 30, 2009

Writer's Block Sucks

On 12/5/09, I will run out of scheduled story posts. At that point, this blog will cease to be updated every three days and will instead be updated only as often as I end up writing something. The concern I have with this is that I have not written anything worth posting since 11/10/09. Sure, that's only twenty days without writing, but I suppose I'm a little afraid that I've already lost my muse again.

I know I haven't - the holidays are upon me, finals for the semester, actual work at work, some hefty guild RP stuffs, and so forth. I've got another Hadeon story beginning to percolate in my brain, plans for another Diyos one as well... It'll come back. But in the meanwhile, posting around here will probably slow down considerably.

Much love to all four or five people who read the blog.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good Deeds Never Go Unpunished

 Written while listening to Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

. . . . . Diyos had been feeling the subtle prickling of the hairs on the back of his neck for a good three minutes now. The weight of the stare he was getting pushed his shoulders into a hunch and his hand tighter around his mug of ale. He finally could take no more. Shoulders straightening, he spun in his seat; his blue robes twisted around his hips. “Yes, it’s in a bun!” he yelled at the human girl at the table behind him. “My masculinity is not threatened by this!” His bellow did not cow the girl so much as the gleam of pointy white teeth in his indigo face. The girl turned bright pink and turned around in her chair to face her companion and pretend she had not been staring.
. . . . . “Bloody gawkers,” he grumbled with some of the slang he’d picked up and turned back to his mug at his own table. “If it’s not the beard it’s the hair.” He lifted a platter-sized hand and stroked his facial tentacles self-consciously, then took another swig from his mug. The prickly feeling was back already.
. . . . . With an impatient snort, the draenei shoved his chair back and stood up, slamming his empty mug down on the wooden table. He dropped a handful of coins next to it, tugged his robe straight, and stalked out of the tavern. Outside the Blue Recluse, dusk had fallen on the city. The guards were already patrolling in incompetent, inefficient squads. Three of them ran by towards the warlocks’ section, their plate armor jouncing and clinking comically. You know, the warlocks’ district wasn’t such a bad idea; they had a tavern too. A single mug of ale really just wasn’t enough for as big a fellow as Diyos. He set his hooves towards the Slaughtered Lamb to get another drink – or five.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If the Sky Can Crack

Written while listening to Electrical Storm (William Orbit mix) by U2.
((There is little precedent for draenei drinking alcohol, but there is some. I figure the tavern was built and staffed by another sentient race on the planet. My draenei are degenerates it seems.))

. . . . . A bright peal of laughter and the rapid clatter of hooves on the tile floors of the ship’s corridors were all the warning Shield Crusos got before the little girl came barreling around the curve in the corridor and straight into him. Luckily, that was enough warning for him to jump nimbly out of the way, despite the heavy plate armor he wore. “Sorry!” the girl shouted as she gained speed down the straight part of the corridor, waving a piece of paper over her head with one ebon-gray hand. Crusos shook his head and smiled, turning to go on his way and report for the day’s duty guarding the Prophet. A large boy on the far edge of adolescence rounded the corner at a full gallop and crashed into Shield Crusos, sending them both sprawling to the floor with a deafening clang of plate.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Little Cat's Sixth (and Final) Lesson

Written while listening to Lions! by Lights.
((If nothing else, listen to the song at least. It's totally sugar pop adorable and a very good fit for this character as a whole. Anyway, the title up there says "(and Final) Lesson" not because I am done with Xere, but because she is changing and so the titling, frequency, tone, et cetera of her stories will be changing with her. The first scene with the death knight is from in-game RP with Celuur of Moon Guard, and the scene with the Farseer is greatly abridged from in-game RP with Umbraan of Moon Guard, with a paragraph added at the end with creative license. (More than half the credit - I insist - goes to him instead of me.) I also wanted to include another bit where Xere meets Toxis and her death bear and apprentice shaman Daoloth, but I forgot to screencap those AND thought this was getting awfully long. This story finally brings Xeremuriis's timeline concurrent with Valdiis's. Where things go from here, we'll see.))

. . . . . As the Little Cat swept the air shrine’s terrace where Farseer Nobundo and Farseer Umbraan did their meditations, she practiced asking the dirt to kindly move itself along for her. Sometimes it worked. Today, though, the dirt was being stubborn. She was too busy fussing at the dirt on the rugs to notice the large armor-plated draenei man come up the ramp until she heard him mutter, “Damn you, Umbraan.”
. . . . . She turned quickly, her broom stilling at the unexpected voice. “Farseer Umbraan?” she asked the plated man.
. . . . . “Yes.”
. . . . . “He is away right now.”
. . . . . The plated man shifted his weight, but the Little Cat couldn’t even tell so much as the direction of his gaze. However, the dryness to his voice did not escape her. “Well evidently. You do not look like him.”
. . . . . She leaned the end of her broom on the floor. “I should hope not! He’s old.” She wrinkled her nose, and then smiled at her own joke. “I can take a message for him, though.”
. . . . . “I beg your pardon. He is old? I am the same age as Umbraan. Older, perhaps. Are you saying I look old?” The draenei’s voice echoed strangely inside his helmet.
. . . . . The Little Cat looked down at her hooves, her cheeks going purple with embarrassment. “Sorry! I didn’t mean… It’s just that… Well, he says so himself that he’s an old man!”
. . . . . “Hmph. If he wishes to feel like an old man, that is his business. Tell him that Celuur has arrived and is looking for him.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Little Cat's Fifth Lesson

Written while listening to Siúil a Rún by Celtic Woman.
((98% of the text for this fifth installment comes from in-game RP with Umbraan of Moon Guard. In fact, all credit for the creation of Xeremuriis as a character goes to Umbraan's player, since I came up with the idea for her while RPing as Valdiis with Umbraan.))

. . . . . For six months, the Little Cat studied writing, reading, and speaking Common. From time to time, her friend Seung would stop by for several days and stay with her at her room in the Crystal Hall. Seung was intent on finding the strange man who had rescued her after the crash, so she roamed the islands for much of the time. The Little Cat was intent on learning as much as she could before she set out to find a ship. It was her plan to find Zunaadrin and his Argent Dawn.
. . . . . The earth elemental in the glade at the Vale stayed in her memory, along with the Farseer’s advice to find a mentor. Augmenting her study time with more meaningful work, the Little Cat picked up her broom again and resumed the duties of sweeping out the Crystal Hall. She tried to listen to Chakaa’s lessons again, but he shook his head at her and shooed her away with a stubby hand. She asked Seer Skaltesh if he had time for an apprentice and he rebuffed her gently. Sulaa, too, turned her away with a gentle smile.
. . . . . The Little Cat sat on her bed and considered her situation, her wooden hammer lying on the bed in front of her. “I can feel them,” she muttered grumpily. “I know that I can do this… Why won’t anyone give me a chance?” Sparks jumped between her fingers as she concentrated on practicing calling down the bolts of lightning from the sky. A spark now, maybe one day a full bolt… She watched the sparks moodily, thinking of who else to ask, what else to do about her desire to learn more about the shaman’s path.
. . . . . “Farseer Nobundo,” she said quietly. “I’ll ask him. Tomorrow.”

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Little Cat's Fourth Lesson

Written while listening to Veni Redemptor Gentium by Paul Schwartz.
((The first scene comes from in-game RP with Seung of Moon Guard. All credit goes to Seung's player for being a good sport and letting me filch her character into the story.))

. . . . . The evening after Farseer Firmanvaar left, the Little Cat settled herself once more on a bench beneath the draenethyst crystal in the middle of Azure Watch. As the night’s business of cooking dinner, shutting down the settlement for the night, and the joyous social bonding the draenei were known for swirled around her, she set her mind to completing the map up to Azure Watch. Intent on her work, it was not until the brown furry head settled next to her on the bench with a soft whuff sound that the Little Cat noticed the bear.
. . . . . With a gasp of surprise, she scrambled backwards off the bench. A soft, melodic giggle rang out as a small draenei girl with her hair pulled into pigtails approached into the circle of draenethyst light. “It’s alright,” she said softly, “he’s harmless.”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Little Cat's Third Lesson

Written while listening to Welcome Home by Yusuf Islam (f.k.a. Cat Stevens).

. . . . . One of the seven survivors the Little Cat and Sennar had found would not wake up. His left horn was almost entirely broken off, and the skull behind where it would have been was dented. Yet, the draenei man clung stubbornly to life, so there was still a very good chance that – with enough healers – he could recover.
. . . . . The Vale didn’t have enough healers, however. Anchorite Zalduun had recovered and taken over the infirmary duties, so the de facto leaders of the Vale decided to send the Farseer with the badly injured survivor to the Exodar’s main crash site to seek out more healers. A stretcher was fashioned from a mage’s staff found in the wreckage, the Little Cat’s broom, and a cloak. Anchorite Zalduun put a levitation spell on the stretcher so that the injured survivor’s escort need only carefully guide it.
. . . . . Technician Zhanaa sent word ahead through the holo-emitter so that the next nearest post-crash settlement, Azure Watch, would expect them. The Little Cat, the Farseer, and four other draenei were to accompany the survivor to the healers, if there were any at the Exodar.
. . . . . The night before they were to set out, everyone who was able to do so gathered in the infirmary. Under the anchorite’s direction, nearly thirty draenei sought out the Light within, called upon the Naaru’s blessing, and lent their healing gifts to the injured survivor. The draenei fair glowed from the infusion of healing. As the pale blue marks of their gifts faded from the foreheads of those gathered, the Little Cat caught a glimpse of the Farseer through a break in the infirmary’s makeshift walls. His back was to them, and the set of his sloped shoulders as he looked up at the sky nearly broke the Little Cat’s heart.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hungry Ghosts

Written while listening to Wandering Star by Portishead.

. . . . . With a clank of armor and a whuff of compressed feathers, Valdiis sank down onto the end of the bed in her rented room in the Legerdemain Lounge in Dalaran. She looked left and right out of habit, even though she had paid a premium to have the room spelled against prying eyes. Confident that she was alone, she pulled off her gloves, setting the gold tinted armor next to her on the bed. Gold armor was horribly impractical, mostly just a bit of ceremonial flash, but she had gotten it made for herself anyway, wanting something pretty and impractical for herself. It had always been one of her few concessions to feminine vanity – she liked her clothes. But having several sets of armor stashed in safe-houses around the world served a practical purpose too. Still, the gold was mostly flash, a way to dazzle her people into overlooking the subtle signs of Brokenness.