Finding Karash

She found him, first.  Minona almost tripped over him in fact, her eyes downcast in the blustery snow and her face hidden deep in a fur-lined cowl.   She’d been trying to work her way across the Cracking Plains before the storm got any worse, hoping to persuade the surly Brenna Skymoor to arrange a flight south before the weather closed in completely.   He was lying, face-down, partly sheltered from the snow by the large bones of some long-dead creature.  Even so, snow had started to pile up along his still limbs, with the winds whipping flurries of flakes across the ground.  A long staff still clutched in a hand, but with thick clothing torn and bloodied.  An orc – alone – and dead.

Minona stopped, lifting her head to peer around her.  Was whatever had attacked the lone orc traveler still here?  Frostfire Risge was not an accommodating place, and the current snowstorm made seeing anything beyond a few steps all but impossible.  She glanced sideways to her wolf, Lychee, and he met her gaze before turning to scout their surroundings.  If something was lurking in the gloom, he’d find it.  That left the orc.  Minona knelt next to the body, looking for some indication of clan or kin.  The tears in his clothing revealed brown skin – a Draenor native then.  A torn pack lay to the side, small mounds in the snow marking where the remaining contents lay.

She took a deep breath, steeling herself, and moved to roll the body over.  The extreme cold made determining how long he’d lain there impossible, preserving his remains almost perfectly, and ice crackled along the fabric and furs as Minona moved him.  His face was young and unlined, showing none of the panic and chaos that had likely marked his final moments.  He was outfitted for a long journey in poor conditions, with his clothing thick and coloured so as to blend into the bleak landscape.  The front of his body showed several deep wounds – probably from teeth and claw – and the snow directly below him gleamed a deep red.  He hadn’t turned his back on his attackers, and it seems he’d managed to drive them off below collapsing into the snow.

Minona rested her hands on his chest, willing the Light to shelter him.  As she did so, she noticed his robe gaped slightly across his chest, with a corner of parchment just visible.  Carefully, slowly, Minona eased the scroll out into the open and brushed off the snow.  There was a furry trinket dangling from one end – an old rabbit foot by the looks of it.  The paper itself was heavily creased, with the look of having been rolled and unrolled repeatedly to be read.  Wet snow had caused some of the lettering to feather, and blood had seeped onto the bottom half of the note, but it was still legible.  Tripping over some of the words, she read:

Karash, my wolf.

I was so happy to find your note, I had to bite my knuckle from yelling and waking up the other trappers.

Of course I remember that day! You and Longhowl prowling the flats, looking so fierce. My unsteady aim, that pitiful throw. Can you believe we almost killed each other? Now I want nothing more than to live beside you for all my days.

I know a place. North across the flats, behind the volcano overlooking Colossal’s Fall. I will leave bones to mark the way. Come find me, and we can be free together.

Yours forever,


P.S. I will keep Longhowl’s fang safe. Attached is my own good luck charm – the foot from my first successful snare. Bring it safely to me, or I will gut you like a hare!


Karash.  The orc’s name was Karash.  Lychee chose that moment to bound back into view, his big paws throwing up sprays of snow as he moved.  He’d not found anything worth noting, else his entrance would have been far less dramatic, and Minona gestured for him to be calm.  He did a slow circuit of Karash’s body, nose almost to the ground, and then came to sit by Minona’s side (using her as a wind-break, of course).  They’d both been looking forward to leaving this ridiculous part of Draenor, where freezing cold gave way to molten stone and back again in a blink of an eye.  A distinct lack of Alliance-friendly outposts meant that Minona and Lychee had been travelling overland for several days, skirting hostile forces wherever possible, and the slow pace had exhausted and rankled.

Minona looked up, north, the direction Karash had been facing when he fell.  Magra – whoever she was – was waiting for him.  Could Minona really walk away without letting Magra know Karash’s fate?  Karash had been a hunter too, the letter made that clear, and the image of an orc waiting patiently in the cold flamed into Minona’s mind’s eye.  There really wasn’t a choice.  Minona sighed, “I suppose the storm will do us one favour – Magra won’t get the chance to try and kill us until we’re almost on top of her.  Although finding her in this isn’t going to be easy.”

North, across the flats.  Behind the volcano overlooking Colossal’s Fall.  Their path was set.

And breathe…

Guys, I live. 

Better yet, I Warcraft. 

Fourteen weeks of frantic studying culminated in an overly long multiple choice exam last Saturday, and I now have eight glorious weeks to rediscover my humanity.  And draeneity.  And worgenity.  And, well, you get the idea. 

I need to tear down my UI, sort through my add-ons, and wander around Panderia.  Yessssssssssssss.

Patch 5.0.4 thoughts

I have two.

1.  I have a water strider as a pet! So pretty!

I wonder if it does the same gloriously melodramic death dance as the ones roaming the wild?  I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be wondering that about a beloved pet that puts its wing/fins/leg/things on the line for me.  Bad hunter, bad.


2.   The melee hunter dream is not dead.  Rejoice!

Blizzard loves melee hunters.  How do I know?  Easy.  The Mystery of Infinite sees a Future!Me summoned to help defend the Hourglass of Eternity.  Future!Minona is a melee hunter through and through, and the only logical conclusion I can draw from that is that Blizzard will slowly move hunters entirely melee over the next few expansions. 

The Royal Apothecary has a cunning plan

Please don’t ask me to explain my previous post.  I have no idea.  I blame the rogue.  The rogue that came about a few months back when I realised that I was heading into Mists of Pandaria without having played through all of the Cataclysm starting zones!  Cue an afternoon of furious character creation, and the firm intention of remedying this glaring oversight.  I then, of course, got hopelessly distracted by the rogue.  I found the Undead starting zones incredible – significantly more enjoyable than the Worgen or Goblin zones – and my desire for a Pandarian rogue has now blazed fully into life.  And yes, every time I say “rogue panda” I do snicker to myself.    But today it’s all about Evelaine.  The Undead rogue.  And a cunning, cunning plan thought up by Junior Apothecary Holland of the Royal Apothecary Society:

In the deepening gloom it could almost have passed for an ordinary town.  Well-worn paths wound between the houses, lit by the lamps that dotted the main thoroughfare.  Smoke curled from chimneys and figures moved through the town intent on their tasks, less sluggish now that the heat of the day had passed.  It was only upon closer inspection – of the rooftops in particular – that a seasoned traveller might notice something jarring about the angles.  The buildings were built taller and pointier than seemed strictly necessary or proportionally pleasing, a smidgen prideful, revealing more about the builders than the builders perhaps realised.  The whole town seemed designed to proclaim its continued existence to any and all that looked in its direction, although whether this was by conscious or unconscious design Evelaine couldn’t say.

She briefly toyed with asking the pacing figure in front of her if he had any insights into the topic – being a local and all – but oft-heard stories about  the Royal Apothecary Society’s aggressive lack of a sense of humour made her hold her tongue.  Junior Apothecary Holland seemed even more dour and irritable than the rest of his ilk, stomping in angry circles and muttering under his breath.  Evelaine shifted her weight slightly and wondered how long he was going to make her stand here before setting her a quest and letting her get on with it.  The room was dark and close, air heavy with the fumes from the cauldrons and beakers that littered most of the flat surfaces.  There were also cages scattered throughout, with the largest lost in the gloom of the furthest corner of the room.  Muffled sounds suggested that at least some of the cages were occupied, although the dim light made identifying the inhabitants all but impossible.  Finally, Holland having made his point to his satisfaction, he turned to face her.

“You’re aware, of course, of the Murloc Menace infesting Tirisfal Glade’s northern shoreline?”

Evelaine arched a partly-bald brow, “I’ve seen the creatures, but labelling them an actual menace seems a little strong.  An inconvenience perhaps, but nothing more.”

“Aaah how typical.  Newly raised and already reaching all the wrong conclusions.  Think, rogue, think.  A murloc on its own might be an inconvenience, but what if all those small, tiny, insignificant inconveniences balled together?  Can you even begin to imagine how far beyond”, and here Holland put all the sneer he could into his voice, “inconvenience we would be?”

Evelaine managed, through sheer force of will, to stop herself from rolling her eyes.  “If you want them thinned out, I’ll get on it.  The usual ten?  Or are we up to twelve these days?”

Holland’s face made his disappoint in Evelaine’s answer clear.  “Oh, how wonderful.  You plan to kill just enough of the things to anger the rest, leaving the survivors even more determined to breed and grow and come after us.  Useless.  It’s probably never occurred to you, Evelaine, just what can be accomplished without resorting to stabbing things in the face.  Luckily for the Undead I am not so short-sighted.  I have devised a plan that will not only decrease the murloc numbers – permanently – but will win us back the awe and adoration of the rest of the Horde.”

Holland had turned towards one of the darker corners of the room over the course of his speech, and was now staring fixedly at whatever was in one of the large cages.  It looked a large figure, standing on two legs, but the poor lighting made it impossible to say more than that.  Evalaine felt an itch between her shoulder blades.  She was the one meant to be cloaked in shadows, observing.  And just what, by the Dark Lady herself, had Holland been experimenting with?  And was she seriously not going to get to stab anything?!

Holland went one, his tone modulating.  “The idea came to me in the dead of night, as all the best ideas do.  At first I thought it simply some remnant of my… previous… life working through into my conscious mind, but I came to realise it was much more than that.  This idea takes the feeble efforts of generations of the living and realises its full potential.  Think of the time humans have spent slowly, achingly slowly, tweaking their precious domesticated animals and plants.  The selecting, the grafting, the watering, the hoarding, the planting and re-potting, the breeding and the copious notes on bloodlines.  All to eke out a few pathetic kernels of grain more, or to breed a cow even stupider and more docile than the last.  Typical humans.  They dabble their toes in the waters of greatness, too frightened to move deeper and desperately hiding that fear behind words like ‘tradition’ and ‘natural order’.”

Holland took up a small lantern and took a few steps towards the cage.  The figure behind the bars started to shuffle excitedly at his approach, with its feet making oddly pitched slapping noises on the cage’s metal floor.  Evelaine leaned forward slightly as the soft glow from the lantern gradually brought the cage’s inhabitant into focus.  It was a murloc.  There was no mistaking that.  The arms were gangly, the eyes bulging, and its hunched back was covered in gently waving spines.  It wasn’t, however, a normal murloc.  This creature was a riot of primary colours, and its skin gleamed in the wan light.  In places its flesh seemed almost translucent, with vague shadows hinting at the bars behind it.  The hands that rhythmically clenched and unclenched the bars in front of it seemed to stick very slightly to the steel, as did the creature’s feet as it danced from one foot to the other.  Holland proffered something to the murloc, and stood murmuring to the beast as it grabbed the item and stuffed it greedily into its mouth.

Evelaine cocked her head to the side, “You haven’t plagued the murloc have you?  I may be fairly new to this, but plaguing things really seems to get the orcs’ blood up.”

“Of course I haven’t!  Foolish rogue.  Did you not hear me say that this was an endeavour also aimed at softening up those green-skinned buffoons?”  Holland muttered a few words under his breath before fixing Evelaine with an angry-eyed stare. “Attend.  I need you to escort this precious creature to its murloc brethren on the northern shore.  It is imperative that the beast arrives there entirely unharmed and unmarked – sacrifice whatever you have to in order to get this done.  Once there, his obvious superiority will cause a storm amongst the murloc females, and I expect all will be clamouring for his sticky-fingered embrace by the end of the week.”

“Uh… I may be only a simple minion of the Undead”, Evelaine ventured, “but how will breeding a superior murloc – and then releasing him to propagate – help in bringing down the numbers of murlocs?   And where, by the Dark Lady, do the orcs fit in to all of this?”

Holland treated Evelaine to a withering stare.  “You can’t see it? I’ve given you all the hints you need.”

“No”, Evelaine began slowly, “No I don’t…”

“What I have done, rogue, is quite simply astounding.  The creature you see before you is a fully functioning murloc – in every and all ways imaginable – and a particularly virile specimen.  His very glory, however, assures his race’s destruction.  For you see, as the spawn of his seed grow and reproduce, the race will leave flesh-and-blood ever further behind.”

Evelaine frowned, “But then what are they, if not bone and sinew?”

Holland smiled – a truly horrific sight.  “Confectionary.  This creature is the first of murlocs made of delectable sugary gum.  Gummurlocs!”

Evelaine blinked, with the first thought through her mind that Holland was playing an extraordinarily elaborate trick on her.  As a member of the Apothecary though?!  All knew the society placed no value on merriment.  Besides, the fire in his eyes suggested that any laughter would earn Evelaine a swift rebuke, and as she lifted her gaze to the murlocs gangly limbs once more Evelaine realised Holland was entirely serious.  How? How was this even possible?!

 “Does it finally become clear, rogue?  This is my great genius – ridding us of those aaaaaughibbrgubugbugrguburgle creatures and softening up our allies at the same time.  How can the orcs possibly stay angry whilst gorging on sweet, chewy, gummurlocs?!  And any the orcs don’t devour will simply dissolve into the very salt water they think keeps them safe.”

Holland chuckled darkly, the edge of madness in the sound almost enough to make Evelaine flinch.

“And thus, Evelaine, my grand plan is almost complete.  Walk this creature down to the shoreline, douse him with love potion, and report back.”

Anduin Wrynn got Minona into the MoP beta

It’s true.

Of course, the offer came with conditions:

1. Anduin gets to come along on Minona’s exploration of Pandaria

2.  She has to let him “immerse himself in local culture” (i.e. the kid wants to get hooned on beer while daddy isn’t watching)

3.  And Minona is to paint only the blandest, most respectable picture of the trip to any and all from Stormwind (happily Anduin did forget to forbid telling the stories on this blog though)

The fact that Anduin’s very presence seems to preclude using the Panda!Portals of Power  at the moment is complicating matters somewhat… hopefully Minona can find a solution soon.  A trip somewhere pleasant and green?  Just what’s needed after the fire and desolation that was Deathwing.

This couldn’t possibly end badly!

Wait.  Do you hear that?  Is that… ominous music?