Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stormrage: How Malfurion Woke Up

Recently I decided to starting reading the novels about World of Warcraft.  Part of the decision came from enjoying the comic about King of Stormwind's return to the throne.  The bigger deciding factor was that hubby recently bought a bunch of the books.  While I haven't finished Stormrage, I only have a few chapters (if not just one) left and I know the ending.  Before I discuss the book, though, I need to lay down some back story.

The Green Dragons of Azeroth are the guardians of the Emerald Dream.  The Queen of the Green Dragon Flight is Ysera, sister of Alexstrasza.  Remember Queen Alexstrasza?  The Emerald Dream is a spirit world that resembles what Azeroth should look like if it had been untouched by "higher" life forms.  The Druids also have the ability to enter the Emerald Dream and assist the Green Dragons.  I like to equate Druids with environmental hippies, even though Druids are nowhere near as peaceful.

Before Cataclysm stirred things up, the Emerald Dream had become corrupt.  Queen Ysera had fallen silent.  You can actually see her sleeping in Northrend.  Many of the Druids who had entered to Emerald Dream during the corruption had become lost from there bodies, and some even died.  This was all a huge part of Vanilla.  There were many quests through the Night Elves about those lost in the Emerald Nightmare and there is even a dungeon, Wailing Caverns.  One of the biggest points of interest is that Malfurion Stormrage, Archdruid and leader of the Night Elves,  was lost in the Emerald Nightmare.  Up until Cataclysm Tyrande Whisperwind, mate of Malfurion, was leader of the Night Elves in his absence.  Fandral Staghelm took over the Druids because Tyrande is a Priest, and often fought her over how she should be leading their people.  Since Moblin was my first character, I always had a soft spot for Tyrande and hated how Fandral would bad mouth her.

Now I say "up to Cataclysm" because since the newest expansion Malfurion has woken and Fandral was carted off to jail.  More recently, Fandral broke out of imprisonment and is leading the corrupt Druids of the Firelands.  I'll be honest, I always knew he was a bit of a baddie.  The hubby used to try and explain away the evil vibes I got, mostly because he plays a Night Elf Druid.  I think he didn't want to admit his leader was an evil jerk.

The novel Stormrage is the story of how Malfurion finally escapes the Emerald Nightmare.  The book skips around to a few different point of views besides that of Malfurion, who is pretty stationary for most of the book.  Tyrande is a major player, as well as Broll Bearmantle.  Some new characters are introduced, many of whom have ties to people from earlier in the lore.  What makes this book a fascinating read is how it really lets you inside the heads of some rather important people.

The Emerald Nightmare is starting to effect more than just the Druids who willingly entered.  The whole of Azeroth is starting to experience the terror.  All the while a strange mist is covering the land.  No place is out of its dark reach.  Meanwhile, the Night Elves are oblivious to the woes of the outside world.  The Druids are busy trying to save the World Tree, home of their people.  Hamuul Runetotem, the only Tauren Archdruid and dear friend of Broll, is among them and unaware of just how bad things have become back home.  Broll seems to be the only one among the Druids who notices things aren't quite right and that Fandral is hiding something.  Tyrande receives a vision from Elune that despite her efforts to preserve her beloveds body, it is started die.  Malfurion, stuck in the Emerald Nightmare, is being tortured by the mysterious Nightmare Lord.  This unknown evil constantly tortures him with some of his deepest fears and failures.  This is all easy for the Nightmare Lord, for he has complete access to Malfurion's mind and thoughts. . . or does he?  Malfurion has a plan, that is if his captor doesn't figure it out first.

Because the theme of the book is a corrupted Emerald Dream, you discover many of the characters' deepest fears.  There is a bit where Malfurion is tortured over Illidan, his brother, and his fall to the dark side.  (Illidan is the big baddie in Burning Crusade.)  The Nightmare Lord mixes in Tyrande preferring the demon that Illidan has become over Malfurion, who is never there.  There is also a wonderful bit about Sylvanas, leader of the Forsaken.  I don't want to go into too much, but I love when she is freaking out over the fact that her people are suddenly able to sleep/dream.

Over all the book is a good read.  The story is actually interesting, even though you know what the eventual outcome will be.  I also love the chemistry between Broll and Tyrande.  Honestly, I found myself wishing she'd ditch the guy who is never around.  Then again, Broll not only has no feelings for Tyrande, he also has a great amount of respect for Malfurion.  My only real issue is where I am stuck at the end.  There have been some pretty great battles, yet I am suppose to get excited Malfurion is pulling a Professor Xavier?  I kid you not, he is using telepathy of sorts to locate people in Azeroth and the Emerald Dream and then converse with them.  It makes since when in the Emerald Dream because you are connected to people's dreams, but just out in the real world?

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fantasy novel.  I do insist that you familiarize yourself with the War of the Ancients before reading Stormrage, though.  Many of the various Night Elves' fears, including Tyrande and Malfurion, as well as the importance of certain characters will be a bit lost on you otherwise.  If you don't play WoW, then there is a trilogy about the War of the Ancients.  It is next on my reading list, actually. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Doing Well

I survived Hurricane Irene.  We lost power most of Saturday, but we kept ourselves busy.  The hubby and I played some Mariokart on our DS Lites, read our Warcraft books, and listened to the radio.  Not a lot of damage around our apartment.  There was a downed tree out front, but it didn't land anywhere of consequence.  This wasn't my first hurricane, though.  I've been through a few while in Florida.  My most memorable experience was riding in a car in the middle of one while on my way home from Anime Weekend Atlanta.  That was an interesting time. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Hosted by The Little Things We Do
1.   One of life's most simple pleasures is   walking my dog when the weather is perfect  .

2.   Bullying     makes me want to punch someone.

3.  I like  yellow cake with chocolate icing    because,    no idea.  I just have a huge craving right now  .

4.   zazzle   is a funny word.

5.  If I had to choose one beauty product to use for the rest of eternity it would be   lip gloss.  I just love the stuff .

6.  I'm happy that   I will get to see so many of my friends at Dragon Con next weekend     .

7.  I would never     kick a baby    .

Sensory Overload

I know I haven't been around much, but a LOT has been going on.  There was the earthquake a few days ago, the hurricane this weekend, and Dragon Con is in 6 days.  Luckily, most of my pre-Dragon Con errands are done, so the hurricane isn't interfering in that way.  Growing up in Florida has made me rather indifferent to hurricanes.  They are more of an excuse to stay in doors and party.  Earthquakes are a whole different story, though.  I know a lot of west coasters scoff at the earthquake in Virginia, but keep in mind that this area rarely ever sees one.  That means the buildings and other structures were not built with such an event in mind.  I have to admit, nothing is freakier than the walls of your third floor apartment shaking like jello.  I was rather surprised that the pets didn't react at all before, during, or after.  I have some pretty chill animals.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sgt. Frog

I've seen enough hentai to know where this is going. . . .

Nailed it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Planning Ahead for Dragon Con

There was a complaint yesterday by my friend, Scott, that I didn't write enough about Dragon Con.  I didn't think anyone would really want to hear what is going on so far since the convention hasn't happened yet.  Then I figured, why not? 

Travel plans for the hubby and I are to leave for Atlanta on Thursday and arrive back home on Tuesday, that way we don't miss anything.  Most conventions I have attended are just Friday through Sunday, but this one actually goes through Monday.  I guess that is why the hold it Labor Day Weekend every year.  There are even some pre-events on Thursday.  Right now, the plan is to pick up our badges as soon as we arrive in town.  For those who have never attended Dragon Con before, like me, I hear the lines are super long.  I would rather wait a couple hours the day before the con, than the day of.  Plus, checking into the hotel on Friday is already going to take some time.

There is already too much scheduled at once, and the con hasn't even started yet.  There are three big events happening Thursday night and I can't decide between two of them (Doctor Who Dinner at Trader Vic’s and CON*tourage MEET & GREET).  Although, some of the crowd I will be with Thursday aren't Doctor Who fans (pauses for your gasps of horror), so I will try to get everyone into the idea of the Con*tourage.  Friday doesn't seem to have many official parties going on, but Saturday is packed.  The Reddit Meetup is something I will want to attend.  There is also an MMO party which I am interested in.  The MMO track is actually having a World of Warcraft costume contest and their own Darkmoon Faire!  On a side note, I find Gnome Punting to be racist.  The costume contest starts at 4, so I might be attended as Pinkie Pie, but I will make sure I have time to change into one of my WoW shirts by the time the Darkmoon Faire starts.  McKayla mentioned wanting to go to the Time Travelers Ball, so I figure I will check that out with her.  Sunday has a Reddit Brony Meetup and a Browncoat party that I hope to attend.

The guest list is pretty huge for the con, yet people are still being added.  I am pretty excited Felicia Day is set to be there.  I think she is a great role model for all the geek girls out there.  Jefferson Starship is going to be preforming.  I find it a bit funny.  I mean, I had no idea they had ANY sci-fi ties until I read their bio on the Dragon Con site.  It has become a bit of a running joke between a coworker and I.  Any time I bring up the con, he mentions that he wants me to take plenty of pictures to share when I get back.  Then he tries to mention seeing Jefferson Starship while there, but usually bursts into laughter before he can finish.

I do plan on taking a plethora of pictures, that I will share with everyone when I get back.  I may even try to update this thing once or twice while at the con, but I am not thrill with Blogger's phone app.  I will also try to update my Twitter semi-regularly for everyone who cannot attend.  I know I don't tweet often, but I will try my best while at Dragon Con.  Mo make sure to follow me on Twitter so you can enjoy the con vicariously though me. :-)

This is for anyone who doesn't know why the Jefferson Starship bit is so funny:
Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship, which then became Starship. . . and is now Jefferson Starship again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is it Dragon Con Yet?

The leaders of the Eastern Kingdoms.

I've been pretty busy without being busy at all, lately.  The last week was filled with work and car shopping.  The husband and I were hoping to put it off until after Dragon Con, but our current car disagrees.  Add getting what we need to done for Dragon Con in time and everything feels a little rushed.  Nothing major still needs attention, but the little things are starting to pile.  And I still need to buy a gator to be my Gummy.

As usual, what down time I have has been spent on Warcraft.  I have been reading Stormrage, a book about Malfurion in the Emerald Dream.  Spoiler alert, Broll from the comics is important.  I'll tell you more about it when I am finished, though.  Moblin hit level 85 last week, and on the last boss of a dungeon too.  I was screaming happy profanities at my computer screen when it happened.  Today Tulips got a big Firelands achievement, The Molten Front Offensive, that got her a Flameward Hippogryph.  She also have both Firelands vanity pets now.  I'll be honest, I am not sure what she is suppose to do next.  Marinda has been leveling nicely, she is up to 63 now.  I find I still hate leveling in Hellfire Peninsula.  Worst zone in my opinion.  I just find myself waiting to get her to Northrend.

Because I don't have much to say, past more WoW babble, I have some pretty screenshots to share.
The leaders of the kingdoms of Kalimdor.

I love when books in the game are actually readable.

Female Alliance Death Knights.
I find myself experiencing Altitis again and Marinda isn't even capped yet.  IF I DID make a new toon, and I am not saying I will or won't, these are what I have been thinking of:

Draenei Mage

Human Mage

Night Elf Druid
Do you think I should try leveling another character?  Maybe wait until Marinda is 85? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Saved by the Bell is an Old Romance

Thanks to Memebase, I discovered this video.  Miles Fisher is in Final Destination 5 and some of his costars make appearances in the video.  That is fine and dandy, but I haven't seen any of the movies since the first.  I am interested in it for the Saved by the Bell part.  (The song is pretty catchy, too.)  I have always been a big fan of Save by the Bell, even though I was pretty young when it first aired.  Once it became syndicated I got to catch of on some of the really old stuff (Good Morning, Miss Bliss.)  I don't think I could ever hate that show.

And here is something really. . . . odd.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Day Deathwing Flew By

I've been trying to play on my worgen hunter, Marinda, more lately. I don't want her to become neglected.  It has been nice because it gives me a chance to see how the vanilla zones and their quests have been changed since Cataclysm.  One quest chain in particular caught my fancy.  These three guys (orc, dwarf, and gnome) are just standing around a fire in the Badlands, telling you about when Deathwing flew by.

First the dwarf's story:

That is Deathwing's "human" form.

But the gnome disagrees:

And that is why I love gnomes.  He isn't growing, the world is shrinking.

Finally the orc weighs in:

The ending to the orc's story is the funniest.  The motorcycle doesn't fly until he gets stuck and remembers it can fly.  I didn't get a screenshot of his confrontation, and I really wish I did.  The orc never gets to fight Deathwing because the dwarf highjacks the story.  He (the dwarf) runs up and punches Deathwing in the face.  Then I noticed the giant gnome wandering aimlessly in the background.  I was way too busy just laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Holy Chocolate Éclair, Batman!

My new Batman apron arrived in the mail today!  I ordered it from the Power Up Rewards catalog.  Originally, I wanted the Atari shot glasses, but they were sold out.  Then I saw this beauty and just knew I had to have it. I am tempted to take it to Dragon Con and wear it while I pass out cupcakes.

My Birthday was a Work of Art

I know the pictures are fuzzy, but I was more focused on trying to keep the flash from going off.  I had this past weekend off work, which is rare.  The hubby and I decided to take the opportunity to go see Cowboys and Aliens (great movie) and buy frames for the posters.  These were the birthday gifts he had me open early.  I love the frame I picked out for the bottom one.  I find it makes it look more like "real" art.  I also want to thank r/doctorwho for giving my husband the idea.  Side note: You can't really tell by the picture, but the frame for the Dalek poster matches the Dalek.  Awesome, right?

Originally, the hubby wanted the Dalek one in the bedroom.  You see, we plan to eventually have a very retro sci-fi theme for the bedroom.  We are slowly collecting pieces in preparation.  I want the very bright 50's/60's drive-in movie sci-fi.  Because of this, I felt the Dalek was too dark for the bedroom.  That and it is just way too cool to hide from company.