Wednesday, November 27, 2013

[Lore] XXIII: Thedeor

     This is the second entry in my Vigil lore pages. I've done Tavril and now I'll move on to Thedeor, god of the sword. Thedeor is the god of righteous war and honorable warriors. He values courage and an adventurer's spirit. If you bring victory, honorably gained, he will give you glory in this world and the next. If you run from a challenge like a coward, or fight dishonorably, you will anger him and woe to anyone who earns great Thedeor's wrath. Before the Vigil was formed to keep Telara safe, Thedeor was the patron god of the Mathosians. He saw in them everything he hoped to find in the mortal realm.

     The Mathosians were courageous, honorable, and proud. They lived by the warrior's code and followed Thedeor's ways. He taught them courage and the arts of war. Through his teachings, the Mathosians were able to survive as a people during the Age of Dragons and successfully make a home for themselves in the far north of Telara. In Thedeor's name they forged an empire and ruled it justly for an age. Thedeor carved the mighty mountains, sent the snows and etched valor upon the hearts of every man and woman to help them brave and survive the many dangers and harsh climates of Telara. Thedeor is also known as the god of storms.

     Thedeor teaches his followers that the strong must shield the weak until the weak themselves grow strong. He oversees all those that march to combat the threats to our world; the dragons, the elemental invaders, and the heathen Defiant. He bids the Guardians strike down tyrants and heed the counsel of gentler hearts in times of both plenty and strife. The famous and powerful Icewatch of Iron Pine Peaks dedicated their grand library to the god Thedeor, who loves wisdom and knowledge nearly as much as he loves war and combat. Thedeor b
lesses those who follow comrades into danger, who bravely protect those in danger, and those who can have a friendly sparring match before battle. In Sanctum, the Guardians have created just such a ground for sparring, called Thedeor's Circle. There, strong warriors clash, and steel against steel echoes with Thedeor's roaring laughter and every thrum of a bowstring rings in his hears like heavenly music.

    Within the Vigil itself, Thedeor makes a perfect balance against the cautious nature of Thontic and the kind and loving heart of Mariel-Taun. He serves as a fine focus and sharp edge to Tavril's unbridled and wild ferocity. Thedeor can be found in the hearts of those who brave the arcane winds of magic, those whose songs banish despair and bolster allies, and those who demand justice and peace among needless conflict and war. Without Thedeor, the Vigil would be honorable and true, but would be unable to find the right path, to be steadfast in the face of horror, to be able to fairly judge those in the wrong and face battle with bravery and courage. The Guardians would lose their righteousness and their unfailing courage. He shares with all the Guardians the glorious and terrifying certainty that their cause is just.

    "Thedeor is the sword; combat, warfare and the battlefield. He is struggle, duty, and the glory of triumph over adversity. All who go into battle venerate him for glorious, honorable victory. Stand forth and meet your enemy openly and honorably and he will bless you with righteous victory. Patron deity of the Mathosians, in them he placed his strength and resolve. But all people who fight for a just cause can call on him for guidance and courage. This covenant was broken by Aedraxis the Tyrant who turned from the gods and brought the Rifts to Telara with the heretical machines of the Defiant cowards."
                         ~~Light of Thedeor, Sanctuary

     "Be courageous! The faithful need your protection, the enemies of the Vigil deserve your wrath. You are Thedeor's sword."
                       ~~Messenger of Thedeor

     "...A letter from Cyril to the Chancel:
Your faith in great Thedeor is well placed, he is the sword of righteousness and the defender of truth. I do not ask you to abandon your faith to the most valiant of gods. I ask that you strengthen it. Those who draw strength from the Sword know the truth of this but dare not speak it: their communion with Thedeor has changed; he is distant, muted. Expand your faith to include the other gods of the Vigil and you will understand. Many have worshipped the gods together as a group throughout history. While different cultures and races would take a single deity as their patron, there was always the veneration of the other gods. A Mathosian Paladin, battle hardened, Chancel trained, would live his life by the code of Thedeor. But making an offering to Bahralt before entering a city or to Thontic before a long journey was commonplace. The five gods are themselves and they are one as the Vigil. As Thedeor as joined the Vigil, so too should your order join the Guardians."
                   ~~"Theology of the Vigil" Book (Artifact reward)

References: By talking to the people in the Sanctuary of Rebirth and the abbots in Sanctum, you can learn a lot about the individual gods of the Vigil. Also, there's interesting little tidbits scattered here and there within the artifact sets and with dimension items. It's pretty scarce though, so I just elaborated on the small points that I found. As always, this information and anything related to Rift belongs to Trion, not me!

Friday, November 22, 2013

[Raeslyn's Story] 3.4: The Broodmother's Lair

     Covered in thin white webbing, spider guts, and dirt, I determinedly made my way through the thick foliage. There had to be a clue around here somewhere as to why the spiders were acting this way, and how to stop them. I wasn't concerned with getting lost, thankfully. My Elven heritage assured that I could find my way out of any natural place in the world, and if that failed, I just had to use common sense to find the path again and then follow it back to Gloamwood Pines. I viciously slashed through another shroud of webbing that covered two trees in front of me, giving the dagger a swift flick to remove the stuff. Despite how dark and oppressive it was here, my Ascended eyes had no trouble seeing through the gloom and darkness. The spiders were more wary of me now, keeping back and merely watching. I could feel their multiple beady eyes staring as I moved. Not a comforting thought, that's for sure.

     One of the spiders darted forward, braver then the rest, and I quickly sliced it up into mincemeat. No way was I some easy target for the fiends of this forest. I considered my options as I hesitantly backed away from the mass of spiders converging in front of me. It was almost like they were herding me. But to where? Maybe the "leader" for lack of a better word. The head spider...what do you call that anyway? Mother! Ya the mother of the spiders. Because obviously these things had to come from somewhere. Although the fact that these were just the young wasn't very assuring. As I swiftly made my way through the tangle of branches and webs, I looked for any hint that would lead me to the spider mother. She'd no doubt have a large, well hidden lair to lay her brood, where she could be easily protected by both her young and the natural formations around her. I caught sight of a darkness near the roots of an extremely large tree. Aha. I didn't believe in coincidences and seeing the opening to what was no doubt some kind of underground cavern led me to quite firmly believe that this was the broodmother's lair. Got you now, I thought vindictively, sprinting the rest of the way to the spot. The spiders around me rustled and hissed, agitated at my actions, but I ignored them. They were no match for my skills, just pathetic creatures. Even though they were spiders. I really hate spiders. A lot. I shuddered when I saw that the entire opening into the underground lair was filmed over with yet more webs, this time tightly woven into a sort of twisting tunnel of white silk. I shuddered. Holy light of the gods. I was so demanding a king's ransom in gold from the town mayor for this!

     After I'd squirmed my way into the broodmother's lair (and I so didn't want to think about it), it took a few moments to orient myself in the underground cavern. The air was damp and musty and heavy. It smelled horrid, like a cross between a dried up corpse and the smell of a shed snakeskin. Not something I'd prefer to keep breathing in for long. So, kill the broodmother, then get out of here. Sounded like a good plan! I was relieved to see that there weren't any overgrown spiders in the cave, but unfortunately, there were plenty of tiny little spiders. They hung from webbing covering the ceiling and skittered underfoot and I tried my hardest to avoid letting them climb on me. If I wasn't a big tough Ascended I may have screamed like a girl when I felt prickly legs on my leg, under my leathers. I was so going to have serious psychological trauma after this...

     I ducked a twisted tree root that punched through the ceiling of dirt overhead and tried not to think too much on how many dozens of baby spiders I saw clinging to it. I took in a sharp breath as I saw a long, wrapped bundle laying on the ground against the cave wall. It looked....exactly the shape of a humanoid creature. Taking a deep breath, I silently walked up to the cocoon, and knelt down. There didn't seem to be any movement or signs of life, but I wasn't sure if the spiders paralyzed their victims first or did who knows what kinds of horrors to them before wrapping them up as a midnight snack. Cautiously, keeping my eye out for any spider threats, I reached out and used my dagger to part the cocoon. I really hoped it was actually a victim and not some horrendous spider mutant just waiting to chomp on my face. I was careful not to cut too deeply because I didn't want to injure whatever or whoever was inside, which made it slower then I would have liked. Eventually, I parted the last bit of silk webbing and saw a tall man wrapped inside. His face was pinched as if in pain and his eyes were closed. There wasn't any movement, but I slowly reached out and tapped the guy the on the forehead with my dagger.

     "Hello? Anyone home?" I asked softly, cringing at my words. I could of at least pretended to feel for the guy I suppose. To my complete astonishment, the man gave a great gasp and his eyes flew open. I yelped in undignified surprise and fell back on my butt. I actually wasn't expecting any of the spider victims to be still alive. "Uh, ha. Um, here hold still and I'll get you out." I said awkwardly as the man began to panic. Not that I'd blame him. I'd panic too if I woke up inside a dark cave wrapped in a cocoon like lunch and being stared down by a strange girl with daggers. Quickly I used my daggers to part the rest of the webbing and the man immediately stood up, wobbling slightly.

    "Thank you!" He exclaimed, searching my face as if looking for recognition. "I can never repay you, miss...?" He trailed off and frowned at me. "Oh. Raeslyn. You can call me Raeslyn. I'm new here. New to Gloamwood. Was sent by the Guardians to do some investigating. Looks like I came just in time eh?" I slapped the guy on the back, nearly sending him face first into the ground, and he sulked. "How do I...?" He gestured around him and I blinked. Oh, he wanted out of here. Of course, I would too if I was him. I pointed out the exit that I'd used to get down here and idly wondered if I should warn him about the dozens of pony sized spiders milling around in the forest outside. Nah, wouldn't want to scare the poor guy even more, would I?

     To my chagrin, I did find several other spider victims that I then rescued and sent on their way. I wonder how many of Gloamwood Pines's citizens were experiencing the thrill of spider cocoons. It seemed an awful lot. You'd think they'd have done something. Anything. Even taking torches to this part of the wood and burning the spiders to death seemed like a viable option, although I cringed at the thought of destroying such ancient wood. But I think that there is a darkness in this wood that won't be easily removed and maybe fire would be the only option. But alas, there's just me. Time to kill that momma spider.

     Up ahead, the cavern opened up into a kind of large "room" for lack of a better word. The ground dipped down into a pit, and the webbing and the smell became even more pervasive. Aha, found her.

     The broodmother spider was enormous. Like war horse sized. And fat. Incredibly bloated. Her eight legs, which I could barely see, were short and spindly, obviously not something she used often. Better for me. The large bloated spider swiveled to stare at me as I came closer, but made no threatening moves. Just stared at me with its tiny, creepy little eyes. I was going to have nightmares. I knew it. Cautiously, I approached the beast, alert to the smallest movement. She tried to shift to keep me in sight as I circled and ended up squashing a few dozen of her baby spiders. Actually killing the broodmother seemed to be quite easy, since she couldn't move and had no other means of defense other then her overlarge pinchers, but as long as I stayed out of reach, I just had to make mincemeat out of the creature's back and voila, dead spider queen. I put thought to action and leaped onto the spider's grotesque back from the edge of the pit. The spider mother heaved upward valiantly, making a creepy, grunting noise. But it takes more then that to deter an Ascended and I quickly began ripping chunks of ichor out of her hairy back. Disgusting. I held my breath as strange green stuff began oozing out and the spider queen let out an unearthly sounding wail. Hmmm, that was probably her version of a scream for help. It was so loud I'm sure the young spiders on the surface could hear it. No doubt they'll be down here in moments to defend their mother, so I needed to be done and gone before that happened. No way did I want to die in a spider cave.

     After I'd literally ripped into the broodmother's back and sides with my longest daggers, I used my fire-encased dagger to set the green ichor alight. Before long, the spider was burning merrily. Her squels became less and the baby spiders all scattered in wild panic as the ichor dripped onto them, setting them alight as well. When they ran, they left behind flaming paths of ooze that also caught other baby spiders on fire. I grinned wickedly, lips widening in feral satisfaction. Ha, take that spiders! I quickly climbed out of the pit and cloaked shadows around my form so I was invisible to their eyes. And just in time too as the older surface spiders came pouring into the cave, running up to the pit and making strange chittering noises as they helplessly circled it. Those that ventured closer caught on fire and spread the flames to their brethren. The air was filling up with acrid smoke and it was becoming harder to concentrate on my ability to stay stealthed, let alone breath. I made for the exit, squirming my way back up the hole and into the wood. Never was I so glad to breath fresh air, even the heavy, sinister air of Gloamwood. I bent over, hands on knees, coughing and hacking.

     After I could breath without gagging, I sheathed all my daggers and headed back to the road that meandered through the pass. Up ahead, I saw a bouncing ball of fire at around shoulder level and for half a second I was afraid that a spider had come after me. But as I got closer I realized it was a Waykeeper. He held the torch high in one hand and a long slim sword in the other and was scanning the nearby trees with cautious distaste. When I dropped down onto the path in front of him, he gasped and nearly dropped his torch.

     "What?! Who are you? Where did you come from? What are you doing here?" He demanded sharply once he'd seen that I was merely an elf and not an eight legged monster. I held out my hands in a sign of peace and grinned.

     "Raeslyn. The woods. Killing spiders." I said, literally answering his questions. The man frowned, looking bewildered, and I chuckled. "What are you doing here yourself? I heard in the town that everyone is too afraid to come out here. Even the Waykeepers." I gestured around me. "It's not exactly the most ideal of vacationing spots."

     The man glanced around him and shuddered. "That's for sure. Well, Raeslyn, you're welcome to come back to the outpost with me. We could use a brave adventurer against the spiders in the wood." He began walking again. I cocked my head, considering. Outpost? Did the Waykeepers have an outpost out here? No one had mentioned it to me. Interesting. I fell into step with the man and listened to him tell stories of Silkweb Pass as we walked. Soon, we took a small, barely visible path from the main road and I noticed other blobs of fire through the trees. Rounding some thick webbing and underbrush, I was surprised to see a fairly large camp situated in a clearing in the wood. A perimeter of burning torches kept the spiders and webs at bay, and there were small tents set up for living in. A large bonfire roared in the center of the camp. Sentries eyed me curiously as we entered the camp. I was surprised to see a Sanctuary guard here as well, a stern looking man named Captain Trebian who asked me the same questions as the Waykeeper. For some reason he didn't believe that I had come out here to kill spiders. Huh, fancy that.

     "You came looking to end the spider threat?" said a soft voice to the side after I'd been dismissed by the captain finally. I turned and saw a young Mathosian man in long dark robes. He was standing beside a crude makeshift table that was overfilling with parchments and glass vials and random strange items. I raised an eyebrow and wandered over. "Ya, it's my duty. I am part of the Guardians and we needed to secure Gloamwood against the evils threatening Telara. Gloamwood never used to be this way and I'll do whatever it takes to make sure it becomes a pure, healthy forest again. The man smiled gently at me, as if he thought my words were nothing but grand words.

    "Others have tried, you know." he said softly. I shrugged and pointed to the table. "So, what are you up to here then?" I asked, more to dispel the awkward atmosphere then out of any real curiosity. The man's face lit up like I'd just told him Fae Yule was coming early.

     "Oh this? Well, my name is Caleb Matson, and I'm an apprentice apothecary. I came out here to try to find something that can dissolve the spider webbing without harming anything else. It's quite the challenge though. And unfortunately, I need the expertise of my master on whether this is a successful batch or not. But I can't just leave this outpost. The poor men and women here need me in case of spider attacks or if we find spider victims. I'm their only healer. Of course I don't know any healing magic, but I have plenty of poultices and potions I can use." He gave me a cunning look and I frowned. Obviously if he's an apprentice, his master must be that elf Duskenleaf in town. And I think I can suspect what he's going to ask next.
     "If you wouldn't mind, Raeslyn, I would greatly appreciate it if you could take this potion into town to my master so he can validate my research as an actual cure. I really hope I found it, we need some hope now more than ever!" He blinked at me, looking so earnest, that I sighed gustily.

     "Fine, fine. I'll take this to your grumpy master." He frowned at me. I waved a hand grandly as I tucked the vial of potion into my belt. "Oh, we've met before, Duskenleaf and I. I'll tell him what you said and give him the potion." The apprentice thanked me profusely and I left him to his baubles after his words started to annoy me. As I stood by the fire warming my hands, I listened as one of the older Waykeepers told a story to one of the rookies.

    "Legends say that all the spiders in the pass are children of the br
oodmother, and that she grows fat on the travelers that they drag, kicking and screaming into her lair. Only by slaying her will we retake this pass!" He waved his fingers in the air dramatically. I glanced over.

     "Well, that's true." I said glibly, and they both looked at me. "She was indeed quite fat. And there were travelers in cocoons waiting to be eaten." I added. The onlookers all looked horrified while the older Waykeeper looked awed at me.
      " saw her? Wait...was? You killed her!?" He sputtered, looking even more awed and shocked, as if he couldn't be sure whether to believe me or not.
     "Well, I'd best be off. Got some errands to run for the lad over there." I pointed to Caleb, before waving at everyone in general and sauntering off down the slight path that led back to Gloamwood Pines. I could hear shocked voices behind me and I chuckled.

    While searching in my bags for some jerky to eat on the steps of the Inn, I saw the beautiful jewelry I'd found in the pass and remembered that I was going to return it for some coin. So I searched out John Tintan and explained to him where and how I'd found his precious shipment.

     "My shipment! You're a lifesaver, rogue! These necklaces will be perfect in warding off all manner of ill intent in the Pines. Here's a generous reward for finding them." He plopped a large bag of coin into my eager hands and I grinned, thanked him, and walked off. Now that's what I'm talking about. Gratitude in the form of currency. Things weren't exactly cheap after all, and I needed to keep up maintainance on my daggers and my clothing, as well as keep paying for my mare to be stabled.

     Unfortunately, after that I had to see Gwyddon Duskenleaf. He was right where I found him last time, exclaiming over the animal parts I'd brought him before. When I walked in, he frowned at me, as if trying to figure out what I was. You and me both, I thought to myself.

     "People are already talking about your heroics at Silkweb Pass, you know. Although mostly it's how you were able to survive the journey there and back again that has them intrigued. You've got the makings of a great hero, Raeslyn, and if you survive Gloamwood, the rest of the world will get to see just how high you can go." His soft voice made the words more mocking than sincere.
     "Uh...thanks. I think?" I muttered, glancing to the side awkwardly. "Soooo...."
    Gwyddon waved me closer and I gave him the vial, explaining what I'd done and seen in the pass. As he performed whatever test he did on the vial, he continued talking. "My ancestors were defenders of this forest, and I returned to Gloamwood to find out how they died upholding their duty. I want you to travel to a forest alter they used to draw upon the magic of the woods. If we can get a hint of what happened here long ago, we may be able to lift the curse on the wood." I gaped at him. There actually was a curse on the wood? That wasn't just superstition. And his ancestors lived here and died here? Wow. This was a lot to take in. Despite myself, curiosity was thrumming through me and I wanted to solve the mystery of Gloamwood now more than ever. So I nodded in agreement and Duskenleaf explained to me what to do.

     Ass I passed the Inn on my way to Gnarlwood Post, where the altar was located, a woman that looked vaguely familiar darted out of its shadows and approached me. As she came closer I realized she was the woman who took my name down in the guest roster when I stayed there the other night. I wonder what she wanted.
     "Please, Raeslyn, you have to help me!" She implored, wringing her hands in desperation. "I heard that you were an Ascended, and I've been told stories about the Ascended being prophesied saviors and champions of good! I need your help! Only you have the strength to destroy the curse on my brother." I felt my eyes widen in startlement despite my efforts. Another curse? By the Vigil, what is it with Gloamwood and curses? Still, I nodded for her to go on.
     "My family lived on Solemn Outlook for generations. We were cursed long ago, but no one knows how or why. I am Janina Solemn and my brother was the latest to succumb to the curse. After we die, we become ghosts and lose our sanity. We become evil, crazed spirits that hunt down the rest of our family. I need you to find a way to save my brother from this fate!" I placed my hands gently on her shoulders to calm her down and stared into her tear stained eyes.

     "Ok. I'll help you. Chin up, you're a strong woman Janina. Don't give in to despair. When I come back to town I'll let know you know what happened, ok?" She was so grateful, offering up so many words of thanks, and even offered me a bouquet of flowers. As if I needed flowers.

    As I once again headed out of town, I pondered on what all I'd learned so far. Apparently Gloamwood was in dire trouble indeed. Curses and mutated animals and the strange darkness that always hung over the forest. It seemed that when I fixed one problem, two more sprang up in its stead.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

[Mage Soul] II: Chloromancer

The Soul of a Chloromancer
The Chloromancer Soul plays a part in these purposes:
  • Leafblade (Melee DPS/Support)-18pts.
  • Quintessential Harbinger (Melee DPS/Support)-8pts.
  • Sage (Healer)-61pts.
  • Archlich (DPS)-8pts. *retired* *Req. lvl 40*
External Sites:
*Bonus Mastery: Each point spent in the Chloro tree increases healing by 1.25%.
Type of Soul

A healing specialist who draws on the vital energies of plants and nature to find a balance between life and death. This allows them to harness energies into devastating force or recycle destructive magic to heal their allies.
40 pt Talent
Healing Torrent     Heal Spell     +22 charge
Cast time: 2s.   Cooldown: 15s.   Range: 35m
Restores X Health to target and yourself. Restores additional X Health over 6sec. to your target.
61 pt Root Ability
Living Aegis    Heal Spell         +22 charge
Self Buff         Instant Cast
Increases the Mage's Max Health by 10%, their Life dmg by 10%, Healing by 10%, and heals the Mage for X health when dmged. Casting a Heal Spell has a 20% chance to trigger Explosion of Life, making your next Natural Healing or Vital Spores casts instant. Counts as a Mage Armor.
Main Weapons
Staff, Wand, 1H Sword, Totem
Kamuzu Sagta rode with the rest of the refugees as the fled Eboni, the charmed city, where the great golden dragon Laethys and her ogre minions had enslaved the population. Kamuzu was a Mage of considerable power and standing. He had been told by the Golden Maw that mortals who knew their place would be allowed to keep their positions of power if they but worshiped the dragon. Knew his place! Kamuzu had plotted equations of planar convergence when he was a mere child. He bowed to no mortal, dragon, or god. The same could not be said of his countrymen. Kamuzu looked at the shaman who rode next to him, draped in reeking furs, his wild beard dipped in some kind of horrid animal emulsion. The uncouth holy man wiped off the grease from a shank of yarnosaur he chewed on his bare chest. Kamuzu had thought him a vagrant until townsfolk came and prostrated at his feet, begging him for assistance. "To think that we escaped domination of one otherworldly being only to willingly chain ourselves to another," thought Kamuzu. "Though I suppose if my daughter lay dying from an ogre spear, I might consider supplication as well." This realization haunted Kamuzu. His eldritch equations had unlocked every mystery in Telara other than how to improve the mortal condition. Settling on the southern shore of the Lake of Solace, he turned his full attention to the problem of arcane healing. He gathered every sample he could from the Plane of Life and his lab began to resemble a faetouched alien jungle. Kamuzu's peers thought his quest mad, and in their learned circles they even held a game to choose the right name for a Mage with his outlandish ideas, finally deciding upon "Chloromancer". Nonetheless, Kamuzu could dream in the eldritch script of magic, and eventually he unlocked the pathways to power over Life. But there was a catch.
The energies of Life could not be created, only transferred. When a cleric healed wounds they were not channeling raw Life energy, but the essence of the god or spirit to whom they prayed. If Kamuzu were to heal a man on the brink of death, he would find his own life in peril-a sacrifice he was not willing to make. Disappointed, Kamuzu turned his attention to an uprising to take back his beloved city of Eboni. Kamuzu arrived at Eboni after the battle began, but watched events carefully as he approached. Witnessing the ebb and flow of combat, hw one side grew strong as the other weakened, the Mage found inspiration. Arriving on the battlefield, Kamuzu siphoned life force from the ogres, easily dispatching them. Overflowing with more energy than he could control for long, he carefully radiated it out at the warriors guarding his position. The wounded healed, while the freshly dead revived and rejoined the fray. Kamuzu was struck by the elegance of it all. All he needed to give Life was more Life, and in his enemies he had endless unwilling volunteers. The rebels, bolstered by healing that destroyed their foes, charged forward and drove the Golden Maw from Eboni. Kamuzu Sagta was venerated, not as a priest, but as one of the first great Eth Mages. He taught his art and philosophy of mortal empowerment to the students who flocked to the charged city. And when the great golden dragon was brought low, it was his equations and thaumaturgy that bound her in place.
Their destructive and damaging abilities also heal, so Chloromancers can survive what would kill most Mages. Can be extremely effective as a single target healer or as a back up raid healer.
A Chloro is dependent on the amount of dmg that is dealt in order to be an effective healer, and must be able to divide time evenly between healing and dealing out dmg. They are a weaker healer than say a Cleric, who has a true healing spec that can handle any situation. It is also a challenge for them to heal multiple allies at once.
References: This is taken directly from Trion's lore page on Chloromancers and is not my work! The links for the external sites belong to their respective authors and I had no hand in their creation!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Karazhan's Story] 2.7: A Change of Calling

     "So, these controlling stones somehow give the Endless Court power over the dead Defiants? That is grim news indeed. I'll send them to Meridian so the mages there can investigate this magic at length. It's wrong of our enemies to control the husks of our former allies. That is our right." I shifted uncomfortably as Dame Sigga spoke, not liking where that last thought was leading us. Of course it was true, I couldn't exactly protest against that kind of experimenting. After all, my resurrection had come about because of the Defiants' meddling in soul magic. Still. When do we say to stop? At what point have we crossed the line and turned into that which we fought against. Not something I wanted to consider, and not something I'd ever thought myself considering. As boring and unenlightening as my past life had been, at least I had that na├»ve sheltered state that protected me from this kind of moral dilemma. Not to mention I wasn't having to fight off crazed husks of men and strange twisted planar creatures every time I turned around either.

     As Dame Sigga handed off the stone to a waiting page that she gestured over, I watched the youth bow and eagerly scurry away to the north and felt a pang of envy. I wonder what it would be like if I was one of those mages up in...Meridian was it? Studying the unique magic imbued in the stone, as well as who knows what other exciting things, learning different magic techniques and even learning more about technomancy. It sounded so thrilling. Of course, most would say what I was doing here was thrilling. Maybe I can do both. After I go visit my Kelari brethren at their little seaside refuge, I think I'll take a trip to Meridian and do some reading up on what all has befallen Telara in the past twenty odd years.

     "As much as I can offer aid to your people at King's Retreat, ma'am, I have somewhere pressing I'd like to be. If you don't mind?" I trailed off, gesturing rather hesitantly in the direction that I'd been told the refuge was located. Dame Sigga gave me a thoughtful frown, looking like she wanted to protest. Then her shoulders slumped and she nodded reluctantly, instantly making me feel guilty. I was a powerful magical entity now and would have no problem cutting large dents into the enemy army. But...I wanted to see my people. I needed to see them! I'd felt so cut off. I've not been around so many strangers, especially those of different races, in years. Not since I'd first been screened for magical potential and been moved to Atia for mage training.

     "Yes of course, Ascended. I'm sure you have a busy time of it, having to keep us Defiant out of trouble." Dame Sigga said with a wry smirk, seeming to recover herself. She cocked her head at me. "You know, I don't envy your position." She said softly after a moment. "Everyone expects so much from you Ascended. All of you. Even those Guardian Ascended that are rumored to be personally blessed by the gods. The whole of Telara is focused on what you'll do next, so sure you'll save them from whatever threatens them. Even the cultists have taken a personal interest, I've heard. We take you for granted, but deep inside, you're just as human as the rest of us, aren't you?" She stared right into my eyes and I flinched, averting my eyes to the side. Ever since I was young I've found it uncomfortable to discuss emotions and feelings. That's not to say I don't have any. Far from it. If asked what my weakness was, I'd no doubt say one of them was my emotions. I'd just had it drilled into me by my family that emotions led to vulnerability, which would then be exploited without remorse. You learn to display a blank mask whenever possible. The problem was that with all my newfound senses and powers, it seemed that everything was heightened, and that went doubly so for my emotions. Rather inconvenient. A prickle at the corner of my eye had me feeling mortified. Oh Spirits, don't let me start bawling like a baby now! Just because this woman had shown me the first bit of kindness I'd had in a long time!

     I cleared my throat and gave the blonde haired woman a sad smile. "In times of war, we don't have time to think about such things." I didn't say anything else and Dame Sigga sighed. "That's true, Ascended. If we require further aid I can send a courier to one of the nearby outposts for more men, or even for the aid of a nearby Ascended. We've survived here this long, I'm sure we can survive without you." She chuckled suddenly and I let a low laugh escape me as well. I rather liked her. She was tough and brave, and had to have a good head on her shoulders to become leader of this outpost. I hope she survives whatever darkness I know is coming.

    "You know, it's kind of funny." I said suddenly, finding myself somewhat hesitant to leave. "Before I'd come to this land, I'd never been so scared in my life. The not a pretty place. I'd gotten the impression that, no matter if I wanted it or not, I was the only thing standing between Telara and certain destruction. It was my most important mission; go back in time and prevent that future from ever coming to pass. Only I arrive here to find that multiple timelines had resulted in the same situation. Now, not only has my purpose been diverted by the aid of dozens of other machineborn....people, but I'm not a unique phenomena anymore. I'm not sure what to think about that." I stared off into the distance thoughtfully. A beautiful pond glistened to the north of the Retreat's walls, the sun reflecting off its surface like corroded glass. Dame Sigga shook her head at me, sobering.
     "No. No matter what it seems to you, know this. We need you. Each and every one of you marvelous creations that Sylver made are needed. I know it in my bones. The prisons won't last forever. And once the dragons are freed, it will be hell on Telara unless they are stopped. With the gods mysteriously absent and the citizens complacent from thousands of years of near peace, the Ascended are our only hope of preventing evil from destroying the world. The dragon cults are bigger and stronger then ever. The planes are more destructive and chaotic then even history mentions. Whatever our future holds, only the Ascended can see to our ultimate survival." I blinked, nodding slowly.

     "Thank you. I needed that." I grinned at her brightly, showing teeth and she looked slightly alarmed. Sheepishly, I let my smile fall some, until it was just a grin. I'd forgotten that the Bahmi were a rather fierce race. I'd imagine my version of a beaming smile looked rather violent. I waved to Dame Sigga and took off down the road toward the Kelari refuge, humming a song I'd learned during my apprenticeship in Atia.

     The pond I'd seen from within the Retreat's barricades was rather large, coming up almost to the highway, and I paused, staring at it wistfully. I remember quite a few times slipping out of the dormitories to go swimming in the one of the many beautiful rivers and ponds that dotted the surroundings. The advantage of living on an island, I suppose. As I stepped closer to the pond, something shining caught my eye. There was something embedded in the turf just a feet offshore. Curious, I ventured as close to the water's edge as I could to catch a glimpse of it. It looked like...some kind of jewelry? Interesting. What was jewelry doing in a pond in the middle of Freemarch? Glancing around, I shrugged. It wouldn't hurt to find out. The Kelari had been there all this time, I'm sure they wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon. Quickly, I took off the beautifully tooled boots and stockings that I'd been reborn in and set them to the side, along with my rucksack, my staff, and the shining strange looking disks that had been strapped to outside of my calves. For protection from physical attack, maybe? I really had no idea of actual battle armor or strategies outside of what I'd learned on the fly as I'd journeyed from the future to Freemarch. Rolling up my trouser cuffs, I ventured into the pond. The water was sharp and cold, but not to an unbearable degree. In fact, it felt kind of nice to feel something so sharply. I was kind of fearing that my magical flesh wouldn't feel water the same way that I'd remembered it.

     I reached an arm in, bending sideways to prevent my entire front from being soaked. The tips of my ponytail dipped into the water as I reached for the shiny object. It took a few minutes, but I managed to grab it as well as a handful of dirt and bring it out of the water. There was actually quite a lot of jewelry. It was all caked in mud and was nestled in the remains of a wooden chest which had no doubt rotted in its watery grave, allowing the jewelry to peek through. That little glint is what had caught my eye. Along with the jewelry was a tiny glass vial. The kind that usually contained poison or endurance potions. Inside was a rolled up piece of parchment. There was a cork firmly set in the top so no water could damage the note. I waded back to shore and sat down beside my things, letting the sun dry my wet legs as I pried the cork out of the vial and tipped the parchment out. To be honest, this obviously wasn't my business and I should probably just take it to someone. Although who I have no idea. The note was no doubt something private and not meant for me, but hopefully I could find a clue while reading it that could lead me to the jewelry's owner. I eyed the items in question askance as I fiddled with the glass bottle. Yes, it was very expensive and beautifully wrought silverwork. No tarnish or rust on anything, which meant it was highly valuable. Very good quality. Not something I could ever dream of affording. My family had kept a few items like this on the estate, even after we'd fallen on hard times. My mother had always wanted to keep up appearances. Finally, the note fell into my hands, curled up tight. I set the bottle aside, wiped my hands on my vest to make sure no moisture could ruin the letter, and unfurled it.

"The invaders are here! I'm a servant of the
Nicols family and with death upon us, I must confess
my crimes or fear retribution in the afterlife.
I've stolen several items from the Nicols family household.
I thought to escape with them it it's too late so I buried them here instead.
I'm sorry.
signed, Adrianna Weaver
    I stared, unblinking, at the short message written in shaky handwriting. It was clear from the content of the message and the writing itself that whoever had written this was guilt ridden and terrified. The poor girl. I wonder what became of her. I studied the writing more, as if I could divine the fate of Adrianna from the words alone. Wait a minute...Nicols! I knew a Nicols. The old man in King's Retreat said his name was Nicols. Hells spells! I can take this to him and all this beautiful jewelry too. Feeling a lot more relieved then the situation warranted, I quickly struggled back into my clothing and gathered up my staff and bag. I shoved all the things I'd taken from the pond into my bag, uncaring of the mud and grime attached.
     At last I could do some good that didn't involve killing anyone. A burden seemed to lift off my soul and I veritably skipped back to King's Retreat. The sentries at the gate (which I noted that the poor man who's friend had died wasn't there) both gave me odd looks as I walked up grinning like a fool. They seemed hesitant to let me past, even though they must have recognized me from before. I ignored them and walked past before they could form some kind of protest. No way would I let anyone ruin my sudden good mood. I was so happy to do something, no matter how mundane, that was actually good. I mean sure, it was only delivering a message and some shiny metal and gems, but to me it was more significant. I could make someone feel better, or so I hoped. I mean, the letter did say she'd stolen from Nicols. But she obviously felt guilty about it, and wanted to make amends. And I could do more for Telara then just slaughter the bad guys.
     That's what I really wanted, I realized suddenly. I wanted to make a difference by doing good. By helping those in need find the right path again. By finding a cure for some deadly disease. By healing those who were injured and sick. By helping rebuild what had been destroyed by the cults. My stride lessened as I gave it serious thought. Should I? When I'd first been told that I had such magical potential as hadn't been seen in quite some time, my parents had eagerly enrolled me in magical training, happy to have someone who could protect the family interests and who would be strong enough to deter any and all threats. I hadn't really had a say in anything. I'd had a choice between death magic and elemental magic. Instinctively, I'd known that death magic would lead me to trouble, and I'd always had a certain fondness for water and the feel of the wind on my skin, so I'd chosen weather magic. To be a Stormcaller, to be specific. I'd never had a chance to even think of any other option, even though I knew there was dozens of different paths one can follow with their magic. Usually, once you'd chosen your path, that was what you became. You put your whole life into learning that field of magic, building your magical strength, honing your spells and abilities, and gaining in strength and knowledge in your chosen field.
     But...I am Ascended now. I have the souls of many mages inside. And I knew as clear as day, that every single one of them was something different. There were souls of firecasters, death callers, summoners, and yes, even healers. I had all that knowledge, just simmering below the surface of my mind. Of course, realistically, I really could only dedicate myself to one calling and be truly good at it, but...maybe it was high time I changed that calling to something that had more meaning to me. Something I could make a real difference with. Any idiot can wield a sword or cast a spell and kill an enemy. But to have compassion, to mend damage instead of cause it. That was something I'd always wanted, even when I'd been schooled against "thinking so selfishly" by my family.
     With all these thoughts whirling in my mind, as well as the clamoring thoughts of the other souls, I burst into Nicols' tent. The old man turned, hand on his chest, and I took a breath to calm myself.
     "Sorry!" I blurted out. Poor guy looked like he was going to keel over from the shock of my sudden appearance. Oops. "I found something that you might be interested in though. I was on my way to see my kin at the Kelari refuge when I stopped by a pond that was nearby. It reminded me of all the times in my younger days when I'd snuck out to go swimming with the other mage girls and we had such wonderful times..." I trailed off at Nicols' pointed look and cleared my throat, feeling my face turning red. I wondered if it was visible, what with my skin being so dark. "Er...anyway. Here." I reached into my bag, grabbed the jewelry and the note, and spread it out on the table, making sure to move his scrolls and maps out of the way so they wouldn't be damaged by the guck still on the necklaces and things. Lord Nicols blinked, coming around the counter to eye the items with intense curiosity. His eyes widened as he recognized the jewelry and his hand hovered reverently over an especially beautiful necklace set with bright blue gems. A tear gathered at the corner of his eye and trailed down his wrinkled cheek. I must have looked alarmed, for he smiled gently at me.

     "My wife's." He said, by way of explanation, hand settling over the wet chain. I kept silent, just watching. Eventually, Nicols reached out and took ahold of the note. His expression went through several changes as he read it, then reread it. His throat worked as he swallowed, and he looked sad as he set the note down in the center of the table, shaking his head. Nearly brimming with curiosity, I made a noncommittal noise to let him know I was still here. I wouldn't be so disrespectful as to actually ask, but I really wanted to know what this was about.
     "These are my family's things. We had a household not far from here, actually. We weren't rich, per se, but we were well off for folks of Freemarch. Did well for ourselves. Even hired a few servants and workers for the farm....until the Rifts came and ruined everything. The undead swarmed over the land, and we barely got the warning in time. Now they are all gone. All but myself. I'd always suspected Adrianna was stealing from us, but I was never certain. I tried to do right by her, but she seemed so afraid all the time. So withdrawn. Despite her crimes, I hope she made it safety. I lost track of her during the chaos." He sighed, and shook his head. I made a mental note to ask around after Adrianna's fate. It was something I could do to help Lord Nicols.
     Nicols gave me a considering glance, and I quirked an eyebrow. Then he startled me by picking up the jewelry and giving it to me. I held out my hands automatically when he pressed the items at me, and gave him a puzzled look. "For your aid. I thank you for bringing them to me. And for listening to an old man's troubles. Both now and before. In return, you can keep these. Sell them and get yourself some proper battle armor. That doesn't suit you. You're too independant to just blindly follow the edicts of the Defiant." He gruffly waved his hand at me, an unidentifiable look in his eyes and suddenly I felt that prickle in my eyes again. Damn. Apparently being Ascended has turned me into an emotional wet blanket. Let's pray to any gods that will still listen to me that I don't burst out crying the next time someone shows me kindness. I don't think I'd be able to show myself in public again if that happened.
     I hugged Nicols goodbye and once again set off for the Kelari refuge, feeling like my spirit was light as a feather. Oh yes, I was going to make a difference in the world this time around. A difference for the better. And not because I was a stronger fighter. But because I was a stronger person.

Friday, November 15, 2013

[Off Topic]: BlizzCon 2013!

     BlizzCon was such a monumental experience for me. I can't even properly put into words how much fun I had. It was my second time ever going to a convention (the first being the Edmonton Expo in September that was just a mix of culture stuff) so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was too chicken to participate in the costume contest, or any of the other contests offered by Blizzard, but I did end up in a contest as a spur of the moment thing. I wore my Druid T11 outfit, which I worked very hard on and was very proud of when finished. I won first place in that contest and received a free gaming laptop, which I now have hooked up to the 47" tv I got for Christmas from a good friend. My sister dressed up as a battle pet for the second day and I did as well. On the first day she just said she was my mini pet. It was such a chaos of rushing around seeing things and meeting people that the time passed far too quickly!

     On the first day there, my sister, my boyfriend and I went to a cosplay dinner that was specifically for cosplayers. We met a lot of awesome and familiar faces from the BlizzCon facebook page. I regret not making a card with my facebook page and tag on it so people I met could remember me, but next time! And there will most assuredly be a next time! I wore my Druid T11 costume for the entire first day and was aching by the time I took it off though. Also, I wore contacts for like the first time ever, and it was very hard on my eyes. I wanted to claw them out after wearing them all day lol. But I got many admiring looks and soooo many offers of "may I take your picture??" that it wasn't even funny. In fact, I barely saw any of the con the first day because I kept getting stopped by people wanting to take my picture! I never got to do much of the demos, or any of the other fun stuff cause I was too busy posing all day! Next year I'm not going to put up with that either, darn it! Although it certainly helped my ego lol.

     We drove, the 3 of us, down to LA from Alberta, through Montana, Utah, and Iowa. There might have been one more...Arizona maybe? But I can't remember. It was quite the interesting trip to make in November, which is winter time for the northern states and the part of Canada we were from. We had to go very slow for the first 1k miles. And in case anyone was curious, the entire trip was approx. 3.2k miles, a total of 30+ hours. We drove straight across and made it hours? We didn't stop except to refuel, grab snacks, or rest our legs. A lot of people called us crazy, and it was a bit rough, but hey it was cheap lol! And we didn't have to worry about security either! At least that was nice. Although I did get hassled on the way back into Canada because I didn't have a Canadian passport. I was the only one in the vehicle who was born in the US and they didn't like that lol. Oh well, too bad for them! I'm duel citizen so there!

     At the Blizzard shop, I got lots of epic loots. I bought a blue and gold Alliance bath towel that was very nice and big and fluffy. I'll never use it though lol! I'm going to hang it in the living room next to my computer and my other WoW stuff. I bought a PoP! Games mini Illidan. He was so darn cute, I just HAD to!!!! I bought a Chen Stormstout plushie. So cute and soft! We each got a mini collector's set of Blizzard game villains. 1 Kerrigan, 1 Diablo, and 1 Arthas. I wish it would have been Deathwing personally. I'm a huge fan of dragons and I think people obsess over Arthas a bit too much. WOTLK expac wasn't even that fun. I bought a set of 4 Warcraft drinking cups, all with different scenes depicted on them. I bought a Heroes of the Storm t-shirt, which somehow ended up going missing later...still really depressed about that. My sister bought the Warcraft Trivial Pursuit. She wanted the murloc plushie but he was all sold out sadly. She really likes them murlocs. I also bought a BlizzCon 2013 fridge magnet and an Alliance pin for my backpack. I collect pins as of last year lol....well to be technical, as of the Edmonton Expo I collect pins...

     Also while there, we went to Disneyland for the day and than to Medieval Times. Both were so much fun, but alas we couldn't stay longer as that was our last day in LA. We were pretty sad to leave. The weather was soooooo nice and wonderful compared to our snow-covered home. We were wandering around outside in t-shirts and shorts while back home my coworkers were bundled up to the neck including hat, scarves, mittens. And it was so sunny and pretty every day! During the day the sun was so hot we couldn't stand to be in the direct sun for more than 5 minutes before melting into a puddle.

     That's my BlizzCon experience in a nutshell! Things I'm going to do differently next year:
  1. Get a "business" card made up to hand out with my info on it so I can keep track of peeps
  2. Plan out what demo games I want to play before hand.
  3. Make sure I get up early enough to actually get in the doors on time and get my costume together on time.
  4. Go to more parties, check out more places, be more daring!
  5. Less time standing while picture is taken and more time exploring and experiencing.
  6. Plan more time for getting souvineers for people back home.
  7. Pack and organize my bags better so the car isn't stuffed full and a big disorganized pile the whole ride.
  8. Put more effort into my costume and sign up for the contest darn it!
  9. Be more open and friendly. Talk to more people!
  10. Budget better so I know my spending limits. Also save better over the year!
     I sincerely enjoyed BlizzCon and recommend it to anyone who is a fan of cons, blizzard related or not. Although it is a bit pricey if you're not at least semi interested in a blizzard game! The funny thing is, I'm now rabidly into cosplay because of this and already have a ton of costume ideas running through my head based on my wow characters! I can't wait to get started on the next costume! See you next time!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

[Off Topic] Patch 2.5: Song of Dreams

     For once I can get ahead of something! Patch 2.5 doesn't hit until Nov 6, but I'm posting it now because I've been insanely busy with BlizzCon and travelling there and getting ready that I won't have time to even play Rift, let alone give updates on here! So here it is:

  • Mini-Saga: Song of Dreams: Return to Ember Isle, where expeditions are mysteriously disappearing undersea. Brave madness (and drowning) to discover a new menace to Telara and the Song of Dreams. Once you hear it, there's no going back!
  • Gifts of the Fae: Starting Nov 13, Grandfather Frost unveils a new lvl 60 version of a favorite old world instance every week, including Deepstrike, a community voted choice, where you will face a completely new adventure in the heart of Stonefield.
  • Infinity Gate Dimension: Lay claim to the ancient Brevanic gateway that started it all and show off new dimension items available only from Expert mode dungeons.
  • Planar Attunement Nexus, PvP Tier 3: Finally! At least, that's what the pvpers would say as they've been whining about this particular thing for ages. I hope it turns out good for their sake. The new Tier includes Nature, Cinder, and Storm nexuses to put your new points and build to combine the best of the Planes. Plus the introduction of PvP armor Tier 3.
  • House Fluffington Returns!: Between Nov 15 and 18 the House Fluffington Rifts will appear at random times in random locations for your chance at getting the title and achievements.
  • Along with various fixes to player abilities, nerfs, buffs, UI changes, play changes, performance changes, the usual stuff that comes with patches.