Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm a bubble boy, do you love me?

The crowd roared. The gawkers were there, as they always were when something different was happening. There was something different happening every day in Stormwind - I wondered how the professional gawkers managed to farm a crust. Maybe the Defias brotherhood succeeded in poisoning the water supply of Stormwind, however they got the formula wrong and it just upped the level of crazy. Or perhaps it is just the boiling pot of such diverse cultures coming to the focal point of power in the Alliance.

Today's object of gawking was a priest sitting in a bubble. He was preaching on the merits of living in a bubble.

The bubble priest at work in his secure environment.


"Look around you. Who can you trust? Who is that standing next to you corrupting you with their filth? My bubble protects me from all kind of nastiness, keeping me pure."

On cue someone through a shoe at him. It bounced harmless of the shield. What was with throwing shoes these days, it seemed everyone was doing it.

"Only from purity can you bring a positive influence upon the world..."

His words faded away as I moved on. There wasn't anything new here and I highly doubt that being undead would qualify me for the purity stakes. There was still a way to in for the League of Undead Rights to go before that prejudice was abolished.

***

I was making my way down to the Stormwind docks to catch a boat back to Teldrassil when I noticed the bubbled priest in front of me. He was walking along radiating disdain, when I heard a cry from behind a crate. A young boy was lying there in his own filth oozing blood from a beating he had taken. Life could be brutal in the shadier side of Stormwind.

The bubble priest stopped and looked at the boy before turning away and shuffling on. I couldn't believe it.

"Stop!" I yelled. He glanced at me and continued walking off.

"Stop damn it!" I repeated. "You preach about doing good, about making difference. How can you just walk away from someone in dire need?"

"How can I help? The taint is too strong. If I help him I will become like him. Look at him writhing in his own filth." he paused as his revulsion overwhelmed him. He turned and ran away.

"Your shield is nothing but a whitewash covering your decaying core!" I yelled to his fleeing back.

"Purity means nothing if it isn't accompanied with compassion, with an ability to act." I said to myself.

Bending to help the now unconscious street urchin. "Purity is an internal thing not influenced by the physical. The only bubble that could keep him safe is one that lets in neither sight nor sound. And even then he'd have to contend with his own thoughts and self righteousness." I whispered to the wind.

I lifted the boy of the ground, no easy feat for someone of my stature even though he was mostly skin and bones. Hopefully at the cathedral I would find someone with the compassion and arts to save this boy, I knew my bandages would not suffice.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cause and Effect

SPOILER WARNING: There are screenshots from Cataclysm in this post – if you want to avoid anything visual relating to Cataclysm don't look at the images (the written stuff is fine – I just made use of a screenshot from the beta)

A crowd was gathering on the shores of the lake in Darnassus. Standing in a boat slightly out from the shore was green haired elf talking expansively.

"Changes of cataclysmic proportions are coming. This is an evil of our own creation. We must repent. We must change our ways."

I knew the rhetoric, but the context was strange. This was clearly a druid, not a priest.

His doomsday message continued taking a different path to what I expected. "What can be done, you ask? I tell you now everyone can do their share. The sum of many parts is revolutionary change. Small, practical steps will renew the earth, bring healing. When you go home tonight and cook your dinner, put out the fire once you have finished. Get under a blanket instead of huddling in front of the fire." He paused taking a big breath. "Those fires are killing this world slowly. They release evil vapours into the air that encourage the sun to burn brighter, to unleash potent energy to warm the world."

The druid spins his rhetoric


"What about the forges. Look at the centre of Ironforge it is one huge fire?" someone called out from the crowd.

"You are right. Industry has a big role to play. But they must be led, it is a rare gem in this day and age that a company will put others or indeed this world before profits." he gestured to the crowd. "But if the people lead, they will follow."

"Where is your proof! You can't fool us! You've spent to much time in tree form!" This brought a laugh from the crowd as the heckling started. Heckling invariantly occurred when a druid tried to speak publicly, even here in Darnassus. But the speaker was not phased.

"Have you been to Desolace recently? It used to be a verdant land, lush with vegetation and home to an abundance of wildlife. Now? It is a barren land." He shook his head and pointed south. "The desert in Tanaris is expanding."

As the world warms the seas will rise. Those low lying areas will be flooded with the salty water of the oceans.

"Warmer temperatures will result in flooding?" someone scoffed.

"But of course. Can you imagine what the increased power of the sun is going to do to the snow and ice in Northrend? Where will it go? The effects will be widespread."

A vision of the devastating changes.


He spread his hands before him "Even here you can feel the effects. The ground has been trembling. It is getting warmer - can you remember the last time it really rained." He held up his hands and shrugged a little. "It is hard to quantify. Each change is insignificant individually, but as a whole they speak of drastic changes to come. As a druid I am highly attuned to these subtle changes. The animals are nervous. The trees have become quiet."

He dropped his arms and slumped. "Think about it. Is not a few small changes now worth the preservation of the world as we know it?"

With that closing statement he leapt into the water shapeshifting into a seal and swam away.
Reflecting on what had been said, I could see his point. Even if his prediction proved false the changes he outlined didn't seem that drastic and would save precious gold any way. I decided I would make a change and see how well I can keep it up.

"Crazy druids" I heard someone mutter as they walked away. This made me wonder - would this message have been more effective if it wasn't a druid delivering it. They were known for their nature preserving ways, holding the value of bark higher than skin. Imagine if this was Wrynn pronouncing the doom and gloom. Would anyone be more willing to listen, or would his inaction diminish the "greatest moral dilemma of our generation"?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Offense

Having a quiet drink in Kharanos



"Ho, goblin!"

I spun around with my hackles up. Who called me that!

The rage subsided as I realised I wasn't the target of the derogatory slur. To my surprise it was a young dwarf's greeting to his friend. No affront was made and they were laughing jovially as they ordered their first round of Barleybrew's finest ale.

Incredulous at their casual use of the term I silently fumed, turning my beer sour. The dwarves were young enough that they would have grown up with the gnomish refugees in Ironforge. They should know how much offence it was to call someone a goblin. Was this casual, if backhanded, acceptance of goblins the first step on a slippery slope. What will be next, will they start using goblin engineering?

The sour beer sobered my thoughts. Was this just the natural evolution of language? I had noticed other changes in my life time. Things my mother was offended by were part of the common vernacular now - their ability to offend disarmed by time. So much so that even the town crier would use it.

I took another swig of ale and grimaced.

Time didn't diminish the original intent. I doubt the two young dwarves would be laughing if I went over there and addressed them as "darkies" - a reference to dark iron dwarves. I should do something about it. I wondered if I had drunk enough alcohol to give me the fortitude to confront them. I sculled the rest of my beer to instil a bit more confidence.

I approached the pair realising how much smaller I was than them - they've been growing them big these days!

I lead with, "Do you know how offensive it is to call someone a goblin?", deciding the direct approach was best - before I lost my nerve. One of the pair glanced at me and continued on recounting some wild and highly unbelievable story.

I tried again.

"Excuse me. Do you realise how offensive it is to call someone a goblin?"

I finally had their attention. They looked at each other confused.

"We didn't call you a goblin!"

"No you didn't call me one, but you greeted each other goblins."

They laughed and gave each other a bemused look.

"Then what is it to you?"

"I, and any gnome, find it highly offensive!"

"Our gnomish friends call each other goblins all the time!"

"Would you call one of them a goblin?" I countered.

"Well, no”, he paused, “but we're not gnomes."

"And that makes it ok? What if I started calling my friends darkies?"

I watched them visibly recoil as I used the term. The dark haired one, who was their spokesperson it the debate, swallowed forcibly and then tried to shrug nonchalantly before mumbling "whatever,it's only a bit of fun"

"It's not fun to me. It's definitely not fun to my ancestors. Think about it."

I paused waiting for some response and decided they might have learnt their lesson.

"Have a good evening!", I said as I turned and made my way to the door.

I heard them making some sly comment about the undead but figured I'd leave it be. They just needed to regain some stature in each other's eyes. I hoped I'd actually made a difference. Only time will tell.  

This was inspired by a post by Keeva of Tree Bark Jacket well worth the read!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reclamation

My High Tinker sent out the call. It was time to reclaim my home Gnomeregan and I was required to join him on the offensive.

Home.

That is a strange word for me now. Gnomeregan is the place of my birth, where I was forged into and adult, the land of my ancestors. But I hadn't lived there for almost a decade. I had recreated my life in Darnassus. I had recreated my unlife in Darnassus!

One gnome at the ready!


But I couldn't leave Mekkatorque in the lurch. Even if my ties were waning Gnomeregan had a special place in my heart. I would see it restored.

It wouldn't be easy, but I would carry the banner and offer my sword to once and for all rid the world of Mekkatorque.

I could feel the zeal and furore building. It was contagious. I summoned my deathcharger, Binky, and raced away to Ironforge to answer the call.

After assisting in the recruitment process I was sent for training at the muster point at Steelgrill's Depot.

I realised how far I'd come from my gnomish roots during the training. The master drill sergeant was getting the recruits to do inane drills that held no military value. At least we got to test out the new toys, which performed up to gnomish standards, that is to say - better than anything goblin made!

The army!


In true gnomish form, after a motivational speech, we were thrown into the fray - forcing our way into Gnomeregan with the help of our allies and our technology.

Mekkatorque was in the lead, bravely confronting Mekgineer Thermaplugg. My heart swelled with pride as Mekkatorque's responded to the cry "IT'S A TRAP. That's a fully functioning irradiator" by calmly ask for an arclight spanner.

The final confrontation!


It was a good day to be a gnome.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Revulsion

The whispering started again. I gritted my teeth and tried to ignore it. I may have been freed from the clutches of the Lich King but he was a persistent bugger. So much of Arthas' domination was based on the continual feeding of hate. Hate. Loathing for the living, for anything good.

Before my demise I was a typical gnome - I lived in the world but I didn't pay any particular attention to the world around me - with the cogs and controlled explosions of my engineering what else did I need. Once the scales of were removed from my undead eyes I looked at the world in a whole new light. The amazing beauty. I returned to my home in Darnassus and spent time just wandering through the forests, drinking in everything I could see. The quiet whispering of the wind through the trees was a soothing balm to the fountain of hate that welled within.

However, I was not in Teldrassil presently, but in the Western Plaguelands, where the taint of the Lich King still hung thickly. I was trying to recover attack plans from Hearthglen for the Argent Dawn. I didn't like being a mercenary for hire but I had to earn gold somehow and I had much to be thankful to the Argent Dawn for, particularly now they had their alliance with the Knights of the Ebon Blade.

I had muffled my platemail with some rags and was trying to sneak past the guards, using my slight stature to my advantage. It had been working well and I hadn't raised the alarm yet.

I snuck around the back of a building - a forge from what I could see and hear - the din of the hammer on the anvil covering any slight noise I was making. Nearing the corner of the building I crouched behind some barrels and attempted to get a look at my destination. The keep was across the square which was only occupied by guards - so marked in contrast to the bustle of a Dwarven village. It seemed that being a nation bent on religious zeal meant there was no time for the frivolous.

I determined the best approach would be to skirt around the square behind the buildings. Watching the guards on the opposite side of the square I capitalised on a moment's distraction to bolt across the gap between the buildings. My heart was pounding as I listened out for any shout of alarm. After an anxious moment I released my breath and relaxed a little. I went to move around the back of the building when I saw some movement ahead of me. I paused to examine what it was. My eyes widened as I took in the scene before me. It was two sandy haired children playing with a washing basket - blissfully unaware of the danger that I posed to them. Just then I heard the rattle of a door and their mother came outside with another load of washing. She came out of the house smiling at her children.

Unlike the guards around the town she was wearing a simple dress obviously designed for everyday use. In a moment of recall, my past was overlaid across my vision as I saw again the atrocities rendered by my own hand - in this case the slaughter the defenceless citizens of New Avalon.

We are fed lies. We demonise our enemies so that we can kill them. But are they really so different from us? They have wives. They have children. What will the mothers say when the fathers cannot return home.

They are the victims here as well. Victims of enslavement by a demon. Fanatically trying to make the world a better place. But yet they are still the victims.

Sickened to my core, I open my death gate and returned to Ebon Hold. That job would remain unfinished.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Consequences of Drinking

"I'm Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate..."

Egads - what the hell was I thinking. I'm not Guybrush.

Let me just say something - if a woman in a pointy hat offers you a pint of S.C.U.M. say no! Those land lubbing scurvey dogs. You thought it was bad when your cousin got his eyebrow shaved off on his bucks night. They dressed me in a ruffled shirt! But that wasn't the worst of it, the sons of motherless goats ... they shaved off my lamb chops. I've been growing it since I was a scrubbing deckhand! And they left me looking like a smegging member of the Scarlet Inquisition.



How can I show my face in Ironforge now?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Results?

Guzzard managed to form a new government... with a little 'help'

I'm a little late to the party on this one - but after much tooing and froing Guzzard managed to establish some form of government as long as she keeps the monkeys happy! We'll see how Darnassus holds up under such strange strange systems... democracy huh?



Thanks to wowhead for the background image - my wildcard (beta) - failed me when I needed to do a last minute screenshot. Mind you... there is much to be thankful for beta for... perhaps the thing that has got me most excited - MONKEYS!!!!