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  1. MONTHLY ROUNDUP - Jan. 2020 MONTHLY WRITING RAFFLE Once a month we host a small writing raffle, just to keep the creative juices flowing! One lucky person each month who submitted a story will be randomly selected to win 5000 gold ingame and be featured here on the front page! To participate, read the prompt below, head over to the Nether Legends part of the forum and start a new topic with ((WR-Month)) before your title and get writing! Please make sure to include at the bottom of your entry the full name (including server!) of the character you would like to have the gold sent to, as well as which faction they belong to. Entries must follow the prompt in some way, be longer than five sentences and follow all the usual rules of the forums. PROMPT FOR January 2021: Write a story that tells why your character ended up in the Shadowlands covenant that they did! If your character didn't go to the Shadowlands, write a story of them reacting to the news about people going to the Shadowlands. Head over here to get started: https://wow-tng.org/forums/forum/7-nether-legends/ WINNER! Nov. 2020: Dinner with the family by Tahzani! Tahz won this month's raffle with a story told from the perspective of his character's parents. I really enjoyed getting into Selris's headspace, and while I won't spoil it, the ending made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. A few excerpts I enjoyed: " What was a feast to a man who barely ate? What was snow to a man who hardly felt the cold? In these times he rarely felt the spirit that everyone else was infused with." "For his own sanity and hers, he had thrown himself into a new task of preparing the small feast for the two, hopefully three, of them. If nothing else the chopping blade demanded your focus. Vegetables were diced, almonds slivered, potatoes chopped, steamed and mashed and mixed with an unhealthy amount of butter." ""He's not coming." Selris finally murmured, setting the bowl down with a resolute thunk. His wife would look up and narrow her eyes, silently demanding an explanation." Check out Dinner with the family here: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24866-wr-november-dinner-with-the-family/ CHARACTER OF THE MONTH Once a month, a character is randomly selected from the Character Bios section of the forums, and featured here. Characters that have not been updated in a very long time will not be included, so be sure to edit and update your characters every once in awhile! Jan. 2020: RAELANA DEBERGERAC Some fun bits about Sorel: "Race: Blood Elf Gender: Female Hair: Auburn Skin: pretty pale, but slightly tanned from working on the farm Eyes: Green" "Likes: teaching various skills to her two squires, Elanor and Galaban; food; exploring Favorite Foods: A total foodie, she likes pretty much everything. But prefers surf and turf Favorite Drinks: Any champagne" "Raelana was found on the side of the road in Eversong Woods, left for dead. Barely breathing, she was carried to the infirmary in Silvermoon City by some local traders. When she awoke, she had no memory of who she was, where she was from, or what her name was. " Check out more about Raelana here: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23825-raelana-de-bergerac/
  2. MONTHLY ROUNDUP - Nov. 2020 MONTHLY WRITING RAFFLE Once a month we host a small writing raffle, just to keep the creative juices flowing! One lucky person each month who submitted a story will be randomly selected to win 5000 gold ingame and be featured here on the front page! To participate, read the prompt below, head over to the Nether Legends part of the forum and start a new topic with ((WR-Month)) before your title and get writing! Please make sure to include at the bottom of your entry the full name (including server!) of the character you would like to have the gold sent to, as well as which faction they belong to. Entries must follow the prompt in some way, be longer than five sentences and follow all the usual rules of the forums. PROMPT FOR OCTOBER 2020: Due to the prepatch events coming out halfway through the month, we are offering TWO possible prompts to respond to. Even if you submit two stories however, you will only be eligible once. First prompt: Write a story showing your character's reaction to the news or directly to the events that happen in the pre-patch! (In the interest of people avoiding spoilers, I will not be listing what those events are) Second Prompt: Often this time of year means family events. Write a story from the perspective of one of your character's relatives! Head over here to get started: https://wow-tng.org/forums/forum/7-nether-legends/ WINNER! Oct. 2020: When The Lights Go Out by Draquesha! Draq won this month's writing raffle with a piece that really made me feel like I was in a nightmare, with it's uncanny anxiety--mixing the familiar and the strange. It really sucks you in on what should be a simple, ordinary day and fills you with dread and sadness. A few excerpts I enjoyed: " The shadows grow longer, the city lights slowly (dimly) coming to life. Soleil feels her breath grow shorter as she waited… and waited… and waited a little bit more. Eventually, none are left but Soleil, the moon, and the many stars watching over her in the darkened courtyard (as they always had since she was young). Soleil’s glowing green eyes nervously scan the empty courtyard, her armor providing most of the little light visible. She holds her hands together, trying to pretend she was still confident as she steeples her fingers, but it’s clear that her hands are shaking. Whatever confidence she hoped to show was easily seen as the ruse it was." "After what felt like an eternity of shuffling along the road, Soleil finds a branching in the road. Left to Mrs. Starstrider’s, right to her father’s home. She doesn’t hesitate and quickly turns to the right with a sudden burst of energy. Relief. Home, warmth, light. Safety." "As she rounds the corner, she feels her stomach drop like she was falling out of the air, like it was about to spill out onto the ground in front of her. Cold and imposing, she walked towards her family’s darkened home. She takes a few shaky breaths. She taps her fingers her fingers against her temples. She taps against her cheeks. She taps against her shoulders. Calm. She was calm." "Plated fingers turn over the dirt, uprooting flowers and herbs, until finally she finds the key in question. Good, not everything had changed. It was merely an oversight! They’d forgotten to tell her that they were getting new keys. The key fits into the lock, of course, granting her access. Everything seems normal. Everything seems fine. Everything is… no, everything is not fine. Everything is not normal." Check out When The Lights Go Out here: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24802-wr-october-when-the-lights-go-out/ CHARACTER OF THE MONTH Once a month, a character is randomly selected from the Character Bios section of the forums, and featured here. Characters that have not been updated in a very long time will not be included, so be sure to edit and update your characters every once in awhile! Oct. 2020: SOREL CRESCENTSONG Some fun bits about Sorel: "Race: Night Elf Gender: Male Hair: Dark Blue Skin color: Light blue" "Positive Personality Traits: Determined, always honest. Negative Personality Traits: Reckless, racist, emotionally stunted Hobbies: Studying new fighting styles, practicing rune calligraphy Weapon of Choice: Pandaren-forged pair of two-handed katanas he dual wields." "When the final Legion invasion began, Sorel joined an order of Lordaeronian survivors with his long-time human friend, Margoz Anterius. Their eviction galvanized him to reject all forms of extremist thinking, and form a new order that would protect the Alliance, take in all its races, and weed out the extremist elements: The Night Vanguard." Check out more about Sorel here: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23815-sorel-crescentsong-a/
  3. I am not an old-timer but I can confirm that there are a smattering of them on the discord, which you can find here: https://discord.gg/z6Awn8q
  4. MONTHLY ROUNDUP - Oct. 2020 MONTHLY WRITING RAFFLE Once a month we host a small writing raffle, just to keep the creative juices flowing! One lucky person each month who submitted a story will be randomly selected to win 5000 gold ingame and be featured here on the front page! To participate, read the prompt below, head over to the Nether Legends part of the forum and start a new topic with ((WR-Month)) before your title and get writing! Please make sure to include at the bottom of your entry the full name (including server!) of the character you would like to have the gold sent to, as well as which faction they belong to. Entries must follow the prompt in some way, be longer than five sentences and follow all the usual rules of the forums. PROMPT FOR OCTOBER 2020: This month, things got a little wonky with the pre-patch for Shadowlands coming out. The original prompt was written with the assumption that the pre-patch content would be sooner, so people would have time to play through it and then react. Since it didn't come out when we thought, we're adding a second prompt for this month, and the prompts will continue into next month, but you will only be eligible for the prize this month if you respond this month! Original prompt: Write a story showing your character's reaction to the news or directly to the events that happen in the pre-patch! (In the interest of people avoiding spoilers, I will not be listing what those events are) New Prompt: For this spoooky month, write a nightmare your character has! Is it a reflection of a memory? Forget their pants on the first day of school? A deep seeded fear? Head over here to get started: https://wow-tng.org/forums/forum/7-nether-legends/ WINNER! SEPT. 2020: The Guardsman by Chestius! Chestius won this month's raffle with an exciting tale of mystery, intrigue and action as a number of slavers meet an untimely end upon a vessel docked in the Stormwind harbor! A few excerpts I enjoyed: ""Well what was it?! Captain, this dastard's not making any sense! I say we throw um into the stockades and properly interro--" the Lieutenant began before he found himself grappled and thrown into the bulkhead, held tightly by the throat. The Captain's eyes glared into his, silence overtaking the moment before he spoke. "Stand. Down. Lieutenant. One more outburst, and the only one getting softened up in the stockades will be you... Understand?" The Captain growled. A subtle nod was all he received as confirmation, but it was enough to release the foolish guard, who quickly fell back into ranks." ""His fear. It's unnatural. We need someone capable of detecting magic, and I'll bet fifty gold we're dealing with one type in particular.." the Captain answered. The years in service granted him no glorious exploits, or powers to behold, however it did grant knowledge of what magic was often used for. Each element had their signs. The elements were the most obvious, however some were more subtle... And atop the list of magics he disliked dealing with sat Shadow. Fear, doubt, confusion, it all fit. The man had been cursed with panic, but not killed outright..." "Fel magic... That one was second on the list of awful magic to deal with.. the guard Captain's strength was sapped, and he was unable to even raise a hand against the revealed crook before him. All he could do was shoot an aged glare. The remaining guards hesitated, however released their weapons and backed away. The room was cleared for now... Aside from the cowering brewer, hostage guard Captain, and the Tracker, who by this time was also down to a knee." Check out The Guardsmen here: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24760-wr-september-the-guardsmen/ CHARACTER OF THE MONTH Once a month, a character is randomly selected from the Character Bios section of the forums, and featured here. Characters that have not been updated in a very long time will not be included, so be sure to edit and update your characters every once in awhile! SEPT. 2020: RENKA GLITTERSNAP Some fun bits about Renka: "Age: 26 Race: Goblin Gender: Female" "Place of residence: Travels a lot for business, recently acquired a beachfront property in Gadgetzan. Place of Birth: Booty Bay Known Relatives: Sold by bio-parents to her "Auntie" around age 5. Parents identities unknown." "Likes: Travelling, gold, bling, acquiring assets, making new business partners Dislikes: Losing, Manual labour, indecisiveness, fake jewellery/furs/luxuries Favourite Foods: Rare steak (any), never turns down a good barbecue Favourite Drinks: Darkmoon Special Reserve, Steamwheedle Fizzy Spirits, Anything Elven" Check out more about Renka here: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23940-renka-glittersnap/
  5. It has been requested that I start saving past writing raffle information/winners, so if you want to reference what prompt people's stories are coming off of, or using any of the old prompts to jumpstart yourself, I'll be posting them in this thread. I don't have as much information from the earlier ones, but the later ones will get their own posts. June, 2018 (winner, Qabian) WINNER: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23848-ww-june2018-symposium/ July, 2018 (winner: Brinnea): Everyone has their own 'voice' when writing and a good idea of their character's headspace, but what would it look like if someone else tried to write one of your characters? Do you think you could write someone else's character? For this month, you have two weeks (until the 15th) to submit one of your characters for this exercise, at which point everyone will be randomly assigned a character that is not their own. Everyone will then have to write a short (non-canon) story through the perspective of that character. WINNER: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23866-a-chance-for-peace/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23867-wr-minor-justice/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23859-they-were-in-the-trees/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23871-wr-july-constructs/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23873-july-contest-dead-heroes/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23868-last-call/ August, 2018 (winner: Tahzani): This month, Battle for Azeroth is being released. For this month's raffle, please tell us a story about your character's journey/first experiences in one of the new zones. WINNER: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23888-wr-august-its-a-small-world/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/23884-wr-august-foreboding/ July 2020: The armistice has been signed, the war between the Horde and the Alliance is over--for now. Show us a scene of one of your characters reacting to the news; whether they have a party to celebrate, double down on their quest for vengeance against their enemies, or just breathe a sigh of relief! Congratulations to Amalyn for winning the July Writing Raffle with their story A Bygone Lullaby! It's a beautiful, moody, introspective piece that really shows you where their Priestess Amalyn's head is at. Head over to the website to read it for yourself! And also congratulations to Anterius for getting character of the month for Mardalius Anterius, Battlemage Extrodinaire! I found out Mardalius's favorite colors are purple and silver! WINNER: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24646-wr-july-a-bygone-lullaby/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24661-tides-before-the-storm/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24648-a-lesser-chieftain/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24649-in-service-of-the-horde/ August 2020: Often times characters are formed in tragedy, and we focus on those events which bend or break characters in new ways; but this month, I want to do something a little different. Give us a story from your character's backstory/history that was something positive that shaped them. A kindness they were paid, an opportunity they found, a friend they made as a few examples (it can be sad, or bittersweet, or any emotion). Congratulations to Draquesha for winning the August Writing Raffle with her adorable baby troll story A Dino-Mite Birthday! Head on over to the website and check it out! Also congratulations to Myaka who has this month's character of the month for Myaka Winterborne! I found out a lot about Myaka's history, and the fact that she's allergic to coconuts! WINNER: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24710-wr-august-a-dino-mite-birthday/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24711-wr-august-responsibility/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24670-wr-aug-the-cleverest-thieves-in-gilneas/ September 2020: We all love getting into the headspace of our beloved characters, but what do they look like from an outside view? Write a story where your character is a side or supporting character. This can be a theoretical story, in the far flung future, where they are a mentor or an opposition to the next generation of hero (a boruto story to your naruto, if you will), or a story of them now told from an npc/side character's perspective! Congratulations to Banjin for winning the September Writing Raffle with his exciting and mysterious The Guardsmen! Be sure to check it out along with our Character of the Month, Renka Glittersnap! Renka is a very cool goblin with a great piece of art on her character bio that's just amazing. WINNER: https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24760-wr-september-the-guardsmen/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24765-wr-september-nobility-for-dummies-a-crash-course-in-manners/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24758-wr-september-the-elder/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24752-wr-september-the-unanticipated-adventure/ https://wow-tng.org/forums/topic/24749-wr-september-rescuers/
  6. Hey guys! In celebration of the armistice IC and our new server merge between TNRH and Maelhoof Co. OOC, the Horde RP guild Sanctuary (with the Alliance RP guild The Honorborn) will be hosting a cross-faction in-game RP tavern night at World’s End Tavern led by Cerryan-TwistingNether, horde side; and myself Delphinia-TwistingNether (send a whisper for a group invite)! This will be a public event, and we will be trying to encourage people from our new cluster to attend, so anyone can come! This will take place at: World’s End Tavern, Shattrath on Friday, Aug. 7th at 6PM PST | 7PM MST | 8PM CST | 9PM EST
  7. Hi guys, and welcome to roleplay! This guide is designed to give you a basic understanding of where to begin, terms and basic etiquette so you can feel comfortable when just starting out, as well as some suggested addons and additional resources. Please note that some of the terms and concepts I mention you may have heard of before: this is because this guide is meant to cover as much as possible from the ground up! GLOSSARY OF TERMS/ABBREVIATIONS RP - RolePlay, in context usually referring to a group of people creating a story within the bounds of the lore of the game IC - In Character, this refers to any speech, thoughts, actions or anything else that is created from a character's perspective. If you someone says they are "IC" it means that they are currently playing the character and any actions or things they say are interpreted as coming from the character OOC - Out Of Character, essentially the opposite of IC, its anything that’s just coming from the player themselves and not the character, if someone says they're doing something "OOC" it means that whatever they're doing isn't the actions of the character Canon - This refers to anything that is accepted by the RP community as being fact, or existing, this can refer to lore that exists in the game itself or it can be used to talk about events that have happened in RP. Example: "Is it actually canon that your character plays the saxophone?" If you said that as a joke OOC, the answer would be no, if it’s actually in character that your character plays the sax, the answer is yes PM/DM/Whisper - sending someone a private message Powerlevel - refers to how powerful characters within a community are, different guilds and RP communities operate on different powerlevels. Some guilds might be playing their characters as able to take down a wild god and others might play their characters as common footsoldiers who can only really go toe to toe with a gnoll PC/OC - Player Character or Original Character, this refers to the characters people play generally for an extended period of time. Usually this is reflected by an actual character that they have ingame. NPC - Non Player Character, this can either refer to a character written by Blizzard who exists in the game and is not played by any player or characters invented for short term usage by players that are played within roleplay to further a story. Example: I once briefly played a judge for a scene where some PCs were in trouble with the law ERP - Erotic Roleplay, roleplay with a sexual/erotic context Post - Used more commonly to describe out of game rp (discord/forum/tumblr), a post contains all the actions and dialog a character of a certain moment, generally rotating players post by post as the rp progresses Scene - this usually refers to one session of rp in a single setting, if you have a conversation in a bar with someone, and then later meet up with them to kill skeletons, those are two different scenes Storyline/Campaign - an overarching story that takes up multiple scenes, usually with several characters DM/GM - Dungeon Master/Game Master, a term taken from DnD, this is the person who guides a storyline and is ultimately in control of where it goes and what opposition the players face Metagaming - Using OOC knowledge to give a character an advantage IC OP/Powergaming - (OverPowered) Someone who uses a powerlevel much higher than the people they are RPing with PvP - Player versus Player, anything that pits one player or PC against one another PvE - Player versus Environment, pitting player or players against NPCs RP Dissonance - a descriptor for when two characters/stories are incompatible because of conflicting lore/character interactions with the world/power level/etc. Example: two characters that both have and always carry The Ashbringer IC trying to interact Tavern/Campfire RP - RP that is generally relatively unattached to a storyline and is simply a social venture Godmodding - taking control of another player's character in a roleplay (very bad) OOC vs IC The first and most basic thing to understand when starting out in roleplay is that IC and OOC are separate things and should be kept separate. Your character can hate my character and we can still be friends as players! It's extremely important to keep communication OOC open to prevent any hard feelings. If someone says something mean to you in character; understand that it does not mean that they don't like you OOC. Generally though, if you are saying something mean or hurtful to someone IC it’s a good idea to reassure them OOC. Usually when RPing in game you'll have a channel that's dedicated to talking OOCly: sometimes this is an actual chat channel in game that you can /join <channel name>, many guilds will have these and TNRH also has community and /join RP for the whole server, but sometimes it's just party or raidchat. Whatever channel you use will likely be labeled or agreed on beforehand, but if you ever have to say something OOC in an IC channel you can denote that by putting a double parenthesis on either side: ((like this! Anything written in here will be understood to be OOC)) Sometimes people will just tack them on the end of a single line or post and it will mean the same thing.)) In game, /say and /emote (or /me) are pretty much always considered to be IC when RPing. Generally, if you're not sure if a channel in game is IC or OOC (/guild might vary by guild for example) just ask with the ((double parenthesis.)) In forums, they are usually labeled by section as to whether they're IC or OOC. In discord RP, usually IC channels and OOC channels are specified by either channel name or category. SPELLING, GRAMMAR and ACCENTS Generally speaking in roleplay you're going to want to write with proper grammar and spelling to the best of your ability. If you have some difficulty that causes more than average errors, such as dyslexia or if you're RPing in a language that isn't your first, it might be a good idea to let your partner know OOCly that you care about the RP but might have a bit of trouble with spelling or grammar. In my experience everyone is extremely understanding of someone who's having trouble as long as they know it's not a reflection on how the person feels about the RP (like if you’re just being sloppy because you don’t care). It's worth noting that usually nobody minds a few typos or bungled sentences, it's only when things get genuinely difficult to read that it usually really becomes an issue. If someone has a hard time reading what you write, they may be less inclined to RP with you. With legibility in mind, let's talk accents. If you want to play a character with an accent, you'll want to adjust your dialog to match the appropriate phonetics of that accent. For example, dwarves generally speak with something akin to a scottish accent, so if you're playing a dwarf, you'll likely want to change the dialog to match that. Keep in mind you should only change the dialog, there's no reason to carry your accents into any emotes or actions you might perform. Furthermore, when you do an accent try to keep a certain level of readability, your accent might be spot on with more letter substitutions and clipped gerunds but there's a certain point where everyone around you is scratching their heads on what you could possibly be saying. It's hard to RP with someone if you can't understand anything they're saying! To use an example, in the movie Brave the main character says: "Mom, it's just my bow" which would be totally acceptable, but perhaps feels a little bland to you, so you could write "Maaaaauhm, eet's joos' meh boooo" which is still technically the same sentence, if a bit hard to parse, so maybe something closer to "Mum, it's jus' me bow" which more or less gets across that the character is speaking with this accent without making it overtly hard to read, about average between the two earlier ones Where you want to fall on the scale of no accent to heavy accent in your writing is entirely on you and your preferences there's no 'correct' way to write accents, but do try and keep in mind that someone else has to read that accent and hopefully understand it. Again, OOC vs IC, its possible for a character to not understand an accent, but in general you want the player to be able to understand it. ROLEPLAY “RULES” - BASIC RP ETIQUETTE Before I get into the “rules” of RP, I want to sort of put forth a disclaimer - people don’t always follow these, and some of these aren’t things I would personally necessarily call “bad” in an RP; this isn’t any kind of callout and if you do these things I’m not looking to make you feel bad about it. This is mostly “people may find this rude, so don’t be surprised if doing these things ruffles someone’s feathers or gets you in trouble with your guild.” Most of these rules exist to prevent RP dissonance, because causing too much of it may make people hesitant to RP with you. Different RP for Different Groups A very important thing keep in mind is to be aware of the group you find yourself RPing in; this could be a guild, a server community, a massive cross-realm WoW group or just a handful of friends. What your RP looks like in the context of these different spaces can be wildly disparate. The power-level of characters can swing pretty heavily from group to group, how fast and loose with the lore you are, character interactions with major lore figures, etc. Generally speaking, the more people in the group you’re RPing with, the more restrictive and close to the etiquette rules listed here you’re going to be expected to play. When you’re just writing a RP with one friend that isn’t considered canon in a larger RP sphere, anything you agree on goes; but if you’re in a guild with a bunch of people whose stories and characters are affected by your RP they’re going to frown pretty heavily on you bringing in that much RP dissonance. If you’re ever not sure what your groups feelings on something are, just ask OOC first! Interacting Directly with Major Lore Objects/Characters and Why You Shouldn’t Most of the time, interacting with major lore characters/objects/events in the game in a large and personal way is discouraged. This is to avoid the RP dissonance of say, you walking up to me in an RP and telling me how you slew Gul’dan with your own two hands and I’m like “but I slew Gul’dan with my own two hands!” Obviously, that would be a pretty big problem to try and RP around (we can’t both have strangled Gul’dan to death without having at least met doing it). It would usually be considered acceptable to say that you were part of a large team that assisted in the efforts to defeat him--but the actual kill is generally attributed to some nameless generic hero possessed by no PC. This goes for slaying major lore characters, dating major lore characters, possessing important one of a kind artifacts, even in some circles interacting with major lore characters in any way. Obviously this means that what you play through the game is not a direct translation of what your character does. When you play through the quests in game, you’re treated as the one true hero of azeroth--but in an RP setting, you need more room for the other players to be just as important as you are. Additionally, often just saying your character is in direct contact with a major lore character can cause RP dissonance. If I walk into an RP and say “King Anduin directly ordered me to burn down this Horde orphanage and kill a bunch of orphans because he just hates orphans so much” I’m sort of putting a bunch of lore and words in Anduin’s mouth that I have no right to. Most people would probably be furious at the idea that I’m establishing a canon where Anduin hates orphans and wants them dead. Anduin hating orphans is an extreme example, but any time you as a player are putting words into a game character’s mouth, it’s likely that you’ll encounter resistance. This is avoided by just never having PCs interact directly with any sort of major lore characters. Again, how acceptable this is and what is acceptable varies by your RP group, but usually minor NPCs in the WoW are considered fair game (having heard something from a barkeep in a small town, for example). A word of caution however: Blizzard may decide to do things you don’t expect with the NPCs you tie your characters to, and dealing with that can be difficult and radically change your character. Take it from someone who made their character from the Cliffwalker tribe before playing through the Cataclysm Stonetalon storyline: your entire family may wind up dead. Lore Nobody expects you to know everything, especially right away, but you should try to stay as within the lore of the game as much as you can. Lore is primarily important because it sort of greases the wheels of RP. If you and the person you’re RPing with aren’t operating with the same rules of how the world works in mind, it’s going to cause RP dissonance. Most people won’t mind if you don’t know things, but what’s important is that you try and that you’re open to people politely correcting you. I’m never going to be upset with someone who doesn’t know everything (goodness knows I don’t, despite how many years I’ve been playing) but I will be hesitant to RP with someone who gets angry or upset when they’re told the lore is different from what they thought, or can’t at least have rational discussion about it. Powerlevel Powerlevel is definitely something you should try and be very aware of from group to group. Every established RP group is likely also going to have a sort of understood powerlevel, sometimes your characters are expected to only be as powerful as the local city guard, other times they’re powerful saviors of the universe, and getting to know which one you are in is very important. As much fun as it might seem, generally being more powerful than all the PCs you’re interacting with (powergaming) is going to turn people off from RPing with you. As an example, in my guild we have a decently high power-level, where together a number of the PCs took down a corrupted wild god at one point. But, a smaller facet of the guild was a tribe of Tauren I was a part of--and for a bit we avoided bringing any of our more powerful magical friends to our village because we wanted to explore some stories at a lower power-level. It’s hard to play out the struggles of getting fresh water to irrigate crops if a shaman or a mage can just snap their fingers and fix the problems, rendering the story over. In the same vein, choosing what race your character is can be dependant on powerlevel. All playable races are of course, fair game. But, if you want to play something that isn’t a playable race, you’re generally going to need to make sure they’re on the same powerlevel as the playable races. If someone walks up in RP as a Taunka very few people will balk at that, and even very few would have a problem with something a little more off-brand like an Arrakoa or a Jinyu. The problem generally arises when someone is playing a race that’s implied to be much more powerful than the others. For example, if you’re a Naaru in disguise, people might not be keen on RPing with you. One of the most common examples of this is people playing dragons: some communities take huge issue with people playing dragons but others are ok with it--if you are thinking about playing one make sure you ask around your RP community first to see how they view these things. Godmodding As defined in the glossary, godmodding is the act of controlling a character that belongs to another player and is heavily frowned on. The easiest to understand and most common place this comes up is in combat situations. For example, if my character is Arahe and the person I’m RPing with has a character named Gahnder, it would be godmodding if I wrote a post that was “Arahe cuts off Gahnder’s arm with her glaive,” instead, I would want to write a post that only involves my own character’s actions and reactions. “Arahe swings her glaive at Gahnder’s arm” would be the proper way to phrase the post, because Gahnder can decide how much damage, if any, his arm receives. MetaGaming Another thing I want to cover is meta-gaming, which is keeping IC and OOC knowledge separate. I already went into OOC vs IC a bit earlier, but I want to run through it in the context of meta-gaming. It’s important to limit your character’s knowledge to just what they would actually know, even if you as a player know more than them. For example, you as a player might know that your sneaky rogue friend is creeping up behind your character unseen, but your character might not be aware and get surprised! Or, you might know from an OOC perspective that another character is alive after an attack, but your character is still in the dark. This is most frustrating when used directly against another PC; it can make it hard to react to things, but also break down trust between players and cause hesitance in revealing ‘too much’ of things that should be discussed ahead of time because the meta-gamer might ruin them. It is also generally frowned upon when it comes to lore from the game. If in a cutscene/book/etc Genn Greymane whispers in Anduin’s ear some sort of secret and nobody else is around to hear it, your character probably doesn’t know that secret and it would be strange to go around telling other people about it--or worse, expecting them to know about it. Post Etiquette and Turn Order When RPing, always try to communicate one post at a time that contains a full action/piece of dialong without constantly adding additional lines and wait for the person/people you’re RPing with to respond before adding more. This is especially important ingame or in places where you can’t see if the other person is typing. If you’re writing a longer post and you don’t have an addon which allows you to type it out at once, include an ellipsis at the end (...) to let the other person know that you’re not done with your post yet. It can be extremely difficult to respond to someone who is constantly adding more to their post in seperate lines because you might start typing out a response and then have to change it with each following line, or you might not know when they’re finished and you should post. Always try to let everyone else respond to each piece of information before continuing, unless they’ve said it’s ok to skip them OOC. For example: Don’t: Player A: “Hello!” Player A: “How are you?” Player A: “I just got back from the front.” Player A: Character A reaches out to pat Character B’s pet on the head. Player A: “Our mutual friend got injured in last week’s attack.” Player B: “Hello. I’m well, how are you? Are they ok?” In this instance, Player B probably has to rewrite their post several times to react to each new input, taking them even longer to post and likely getting frustrated in the process, and may just sit and wait after the last line, wondering if Player A is ready for a response yet. Do: Player A: “Hello! How are you?” Player B: “Hello. I’m well, how are you?” Player A: “I just got back from the front.” Character A reaches out to pat Character B’s pet on the head. “Our mutual friend got injured in last week’s attack. I went to go visit them and spoke with them at some length. We discussed…” Player A: “some plans that I think would interest you.” Player B: Character B’s pet makes a happy noise at the head pats. “Oh? Are they alright? What sort of plans?” Here, Player A gives Player B a chance to respond to more reasonable chunks of information and the flow of conversation feels a bit better. It might even stand to be a little more broken up. Player A is also keeping it clear where the posts end, so Player B knows when to respond. Entering a Scene in Progress If you see a pair of people already engaged in an RP, it's totally possible to join in! If it's ingame in a public space like a tavern or at an RP event, usually you're good to just walk up and join them. The same is true for forum or discord RP which has been denoted as "open rp." The rest of the time, however, it's polite to whisper or ask in an OOC chat if it's ok to join the scene. It can throw people off if they're engaged in a serious story-line conversation if you just jump right in, but most of the time people will be open and happy to include you if you ask! Basic Ingame Manners Generally, when you're RPing ingame, you'll want to toggle on walk instead of run (the default keybind is / on the numpad). Often people will identify that you're IC and entering a scene when you're walking. If you don't have a RP Profile Addon, this is an easy way for people to know that you're an RPer! Avoid excessive use of moves/running around in circles/toys just because you're bored between posts. If your character is jumping up and down on the table IC that's fine, but keep in mind that your character's movements and actions while in an RP scene are considered IC and people will react to that, and may find too much activity annoying or distracting in both an OOC and IC sense. To Quickly Summarize RP Etiquette: You only control your character, never control or directly affect someone else’s PC without their explicit OOC permission. Your character does not experience everything you play through in the game, and you should avoid direct contact with important lore figures and objects. Try to keep lore in mind and be open to discussions about lore and how it pertains to your characters. Keep your character’s power level roughly on par with whoever you’re RPing with. OOC knowledge should be kept separate from your character’s IC knowledge. Construct your posts in a way that makes them clear and easy for your RP partner to respond to. And again, all of these guidelines are just that, they are not necessarily a direct reflection on my own personal RP views, and they are subject to change a bit from RP community to RP community. They are just to let you know what may be frowned upon in whatever community you may find yourself in. Make sure you keep clear and open OOC communication with your community to find out what’s acceptable! Combat In RP, combat can be handled in a few different ways. The most common are dice rolls, duels and RP combat. Dice Combat: Usually used if you don’t really know/trust your opponent and you want to guarantee a fair fight. Usually it’s as simple as both players rolling a die and whoever rolls higher succeeds. This can either be a single roll that determines the winner of the fight, or multiple rolls that determine each move and how successful they are. Sometimes people will just roll a die on their own and sort of arbitrarily determine how successful they are at moves/attacks/avoidances/etc by how high or low they roll. Duel Combat: this combat is simply fighting someone PvP ingame in a duel to determine who canonically wins a fight ICly RP Combat: Here, you just write out your moves/reactions to your opponents moves at eachother, my earlier example of godmodding is an example of a possible RP combat post. If you do this form of combat, it's polite to at least take minor hits sometimes. It can be very boring if two characters are just dodging every single move the other throws out, and frustrating if players are taking down a difficult NPC monster a GM is running without taking any hits. The GM won’t godmod you into being injured, but they might be less inclined to run things for you if you breeze through their final boss without a scratch. WoW ADDONS Most addons for WoW can be downloaded and managed very easily through the twitch app (what was once the curse app). Generally just search the names in the twitch app to find them. I will try to update these as needed. If you have suggestions for other RP addons, please leave a comment and I’ll add them. I highly recommend picking up at least one of the profile addons, just because it makes it immediately apparent to others that you’re also an RPer. Total Roleplay 3 (By EllypseCelweBelore) - A profile RP addon (will not work with XRP or MyRoleplay also installed, but will communicate with them so you’ll see profiles from them as well. Basically you have to pick one of the three of these.) that lets you make custom profiles for your characters/pets/mounts/etc, find other RPers on the map, spot other RPers at a glance, and make chat customizations. You can also change your character’s name and give yourself a last name. The extended version also includes the ability to make documents, quests and a whole bunch of other complicated and fun stuff. It’s worth noting that all RP profile addons can be reported to and moderated by blizzard, so don’t put anything in them that would get you in trouble if you said it in /say! MyRoleplay (by Etarna, KatorieHooves, TheGildedFox and EllypseCelweBelore) - A profile RP addon (will not work with XRP or TRP also installed, but will communicate with them so you’ll see profiles from them as well. Basically you have to pick one of the three of these.) that lets you make custom profiles for your characters, spot other RPers at a glance, change your character’s name and give yourself a last name and give people other information. It’s a bit more lightweight and easy to use than the other ones. It’s worth noting that all RP profile addons can be reported to and moderated by blizzard, so don’t put anything in them that would get you in trouble if you said it in /say! XRP (by BorBlasthammer) - A profile RP addon (will not work with MyRoleplay or TRP also installed, but will communicate with them so you’ll see profiles from them as well. Basically you have to pick one of the three of these.) that lets you make custom profiles for your characters, spot other RPers at a glance, change your character’s name and give yourself a last name and give people other information. Supports more cross-faction and cross-server functionality than the others (and is a little more experimental in that sense). It’s worth noting that all RP profile addons can be reported to and moderated by blizzard, so don’t put anything in them that would get you in trouble if you said it in /say! Listener - A chat filter addon, extremely useful in RP events with many people talking at once. It allows you to create a window with just the people you're talking to, and has a 'snooper' window which brings up all the /s and emotes from whoever your cursor is hovering over--something very useful to check and see if you missed something! It also makes a little noise when someone mentions your character by name. Elephant (by pb_ee1) - A super handy little addon that’s useful in many situations, but is particularly good for RPers. Simply logs the chat so that you can go back and read/copy/keep it for later. Can be filtered by chat. After you finish a scene you can easily go back into this addon and keep it for later, or look back to reference something that happened earlier in a scene that wouldn’t still be tracked by WoW’s normal chatlog UnlimitedChatMessage (by Cyprias) - If you find yourself hitting the 255 character limit in WoW’s chatbox often and are annoyed by putting ellipsis on the ends of your posts to continue typing, I highly recommend this little addon. All it does is let you type endlessly and then breaks it up into the acceptable 255 blocks for you and posts them all at once when you hit enter. HandyNotes (by Xinhuan) - probably less vital than the other addons, this is still one of my favorite addons. Lets you mark custom locations on the map. I use it constantly when I find neat little RP spots that I want to come back to so I can find them again. TinyPad (by Gello) - a helpful little addon that gives you an ingame notepad to make notes for yourself on ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Discord - is a free voice and text chat for gamers, a great deal of RPers use it pretty extensively. Below, I’ll list a few servers for RPers on Discord, please let me know if you know of more to add! TNRH Community Hub - The discord server for the TNRH RP Community Roleplayers Connect - A cross realm RP community Nobbel - Warcraft Lore server - discord for hardcore lore discussions Lore of Warcraft - WoW - another lore discussion discord for WoW Blood and Iron - Orc RP/Lore centric discord The Shal'dorei - Nightborne RP/Lore centric discord Silvermoon City - Bloodelf RP/Lore centric discord The Goblin Coliseum - Goblin RP/Lore centric discord The Bluffs - Tauren RP/Lore centric discord The Ebon Hold - Deathknight RP/Lore centric discord Official TNRH RP Ingame communities: Horde: https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/invite/D2lm9DnuOwz?region=US&faction=Horde Alliance: https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/invite/owrxLOVseKr?region=US&amp;faction=Alliance Other: https://rpfind.me/ - an RP website with some great features for finding friends and connections If you have any questions/need additional help please feel free to contact me (add me to your friends list/shoot me a mail or whisper), Arahe-Ravenholdt. My discord is Arahe#6448, feel free to add me! Or just add a comment on this post.
  8. CHARACTER SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED, YOU HAVE BEEN RANDOMLY ASSIGNED AS FOLLOWS: Brinnea, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Qabian, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Vilmah, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Tahzani, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Syreena, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Catalinetta, you will be writing a story from the perspective of:
  9. Please reply and comment on this post to submit your characters for the July writing raffle challenge! This will be pinned until submissions are closed. Don't forget a link to your bio!
  10. Hey again guys! For the [H] Winter Veil in Winterspring event we've decided to make a discord for the event you can join here: https://discord.gg/f7unUyM You are in no way required to join the discord to attend the event as it is ingame. The main idea behind it is that discord lets you PM anyone who you share a discord server with, so if you meet someone cool at the event hopefully it'll provide an easy way to connect with them again (encase you forget their server name or anything like that). We will also be using it as a place to share screenshots during/after the event, make updates/announcements, and possibly play mood music via the voice channels. You can also access all of the signups from in there.
  11. [H] WINTER VEIL IN WINTERSPRING((A Cross Realm Horde Holiday RP Party Spectacular))December 16th, the first Day of Winter Veil, at 5pm PST | 6 MT | 7 CST | 8 ESTCome and join us in celebrating the feast of Winter Veil in snowy Winterspring! Meet people you've never met, hailing from across Azeroth! In addition to good food, booze and company, we will be hosting a number of exciting activities throughout the night! Sign up now to participate! ((This event will have people and groups from at least 3 different servers in attendance!))Blind Date Auction - Polar Bear Brawl - Group PerformancesBlind Date Auction: Sign up with one of the sheets in the envelope below between now and the party to be an auctionee! Auctionees will be given anonymous descriptions and bid on by partygoers, agreeing to spend some time with the winner (although they are neither expected or required to do more than that)! Buyers are limited to spending only 5000gp overall (you cannot just buy every auction if you're rich). All proceeds will be used as prize money for future events. ((If you are interested in being bid on, please fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/byYMUe8bQVl4sLmZ2 ))Polar Bear Brawl: They say nothing warms the soul like a fight in the frigid cold! A seasonal tradition, this dueling tournament involves stripping down to the bear minimums and duking it out in the frigid snow! While weapons are allowed, nothing else is. Contestents will be inspected before matches to ensure they aren't carrying any jewlery or other items which might afford them an advantage. Bystanders are encouraged to throw snowballs, to add an extra element of chilly fun! Winner gets a special mystery gift! ((If you wish to participate in the Polar Bear Brawl please submit this form: https://goo.gl/forms/lEzh80OhTMwCmDXk2 ))Group Performances: Everyone has a different way of celebrating the season, and we want to give you a platform to show everyone yours! We want to encourage different organizations to sign up and show off. Have a few people recite a story, or sing a song or something entirely different! ((Limit one performance per Guild. We will coordinate with you about the performance itself. Performances should be roughly Winter Veil themed in nature, no longer than 15 minutes and be relatively non-offensive, sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/q42lTedg1nsgs3553 ))((As this is a cross realm event, we will need to group everyone. You must whisper Ohee-Ravenholdt, Kejala-Ravenholdt, or Raelanaa-Twisting Nether for a group invite at the time of the event. If you are planning on attending please comment on this thread so we can get a rough tally of who's coming.))
  12. ((This story originally written by the player Baern on the Sanctuary discord)) Zhanhao carried a fat sack of bok choy down the streets of Dalaran, winding slowly away from the wide streets of the Magus Commerce exchange and into the small residential streets that hugged the walls of the flying city. He'd picked up the vegetables at a premium, though one he happily paid, from a pandaren farmer who shipped his wares from the Valley of the Four Winds to Dalaran through expensive, powerful portals. He had more to offer, massive soy and humongous radishes and squat squash, but the bok choy would make for the perfect base tonight in Zhanhao's steaming ramen. He found his way to the Arcanist's Abode, a poorly named tower that contained barely any mages at all. Rebuilt after the Third War to an unexpected staggering height, it served chiefly as an inexpensive residence for merchants and traders that worked the exchange, and of course, enterprising old gardeners who managed shrubbery and flowers and herbs all across the city. Having spent most of his life a travelling trader and alchemist, Zhanhao's small caravan took on grand heights when Pandaria became the focus of the Horde and the Alliance. Travelers who could get from Krasrang to the Jade Forest to Four Winds to Kun'Lai, alchemists who could teach recipes using the unique fauna found in Pandaria, merchants who could introduce outlanders to the Cloud Serpent Riders, Tian monks, Shado-Pan wall watchers, and the fishermen of the Anglers they were all in very low supply and now in very high demand. Zhanhao had little trouble translating his skills into a hefty payday, but he saw almost none of it. His wife of many years had died only a few months prior to the commotion, and they had never started a family together. Pushing it off endlessly because they had so much life yet to live, and so much love for their days on the back of a mushan pulled wagon. But Zhanhao did have a family. He had doting parents, a brother with a bundle of kids all his own, a sister who had answered the call and was still an ascetic in the Tian Monastery. It was them he gave most of his newfound gold to, so that they could have the lives they'd always wanted without worry. But he didn't leave Pandaria empty handed. Most of the world was gripped with the new continent, but for a pandaren there was still most of the world to explore. Cities across Azeroth swung into lifelessness as the focus of their denizens swept south, and so finding a cheap apartment in Dalaran and buying outright with the remainder of his gold sounded a good idea for Zhanhao. It was also easy to find employment, as an alchemist and herbalist teaching those that remained behind in the floating city precisely what to do and how to grow herbs like Green Tea Leaf and Rain Poppy. Most pandaren plants were found to be quite robust, all told, and bringing them into the city was a lucrative way for the shaman to find employment. But seeding the various alchemists' gardens with them wasn't something that he wanted to spend all his time doing. Slowly, he started picking up employment as a gardener for the wealthy all across the city who wanted beautiful flowers rather than utilitarian herbal beds. But even as the world equalized again and the secrets of pandaria were no longer in short supply, there was still one trait that Zhanhao possessed, one skill that made an unassuming gardener in Dalaran unique. The magical elevator that took him to the forty-seventh floor was one of things he loved about this city in the clouds. Unlike in many other metropolii across Azeroth, a tall tower was not in high demand. The lifts had a frequent habit of failing and being unable to transport anyone until a special arcane mage arrived to fix the enchantments governing the structure. It was on these days that Zhanhao did not love them. But when they worked, being whisked up to his apartment was a comfort to be cherished. The shaman was greeted by half a dozen elementals, two earth, two water, two air, who jumped and frolicked at his shins. They were small, no more than a few inches high, but something about their energy always put a smile on his face. He handed the earth elementals the sack while the water dove into his feet, making them sopping wet, in the hopes to clean off a few flecks of dirt and mud. As the earth pair started hefting the sack to the counter to Zhanhao's right, the wind pair flew up and pulled out one bok choy each, floating it slowly over and plopping them on a bare section of counter, impatiently. Luckily, the lightened load was easier for their brethren to carry, and they stopped up a rickety wooden ramp to get the sack on the counter as well. Unfortunately, none of the elementals could be called "thoughtful" and as they threw the emptying back on top of the small pile of vegetables already removed, it just rolled off them and back onto the floor, spilling out the entirety of their contents for good measure. One of the earthen climbed the pile and began to wave its arms frantically at the pair of air elementals, but neither seemed very willing to accept responsibility. Their competitive nature, however, kicked in when the second of the earthen dropped back to the floor and began picking up bok choy and running it up the ramp. Not to be outdone, the hovering elementals swooped in and began carrying their own, adding it to the pile they'd already started. When they were finished, all four elementals fought over the sack, trying to claim the honor of clearing the final piece of things, but the shaman plucked it from them and placed it on top of the hapless mound of vegetables he'd had. Dutifully, the water elementals slid up the ramp and began washing the food, depositing it finally into the basin on the far side of the counter. Zhanhao's apartment was narrow, but long, ending in one great, wide window that stretched from floor to ceiling, wall to wall. Its curtains were drawn, though the dark green glow of fel peaked out at every available opportunity. Before Dalaran's teleportation, he'd had a beautiful view of the ocean. Now, he had a view of the fel beam above the Tomb of Sargeras. His plump pandaren bed filled the space just under the curtain, stretching from the wall on the left to the kitchen counter on the right, itself full of all kinds of vegetables, fruit and grain that made for large meals. That counter ran the length of the room with a basin for water dividing it in half. On one side, Zhanhao seemed to keep things neat, orderly, organized, a storage space for the fresh food he brought in but wasn't prepared to eat or cook immediately. On the other, chaos rained, as the ramp that allowed his elementals to access the counter denoted that side to be their mischievous domain. In fairness, the floors were also a mess. One corner seemed dedicated just to gardening supplies, including a wet smock to work in, wet trowels and shovels and tools, and two and a half bags of soil lazily propped up on one wall. It was an odd layout for an apartment, and on the wall across from the counter, two clear doors stood as well. Most of the room was dominated by the bed at the end, but it didn't seem to belong, as if cramped in there rather than in a space all its own. After he'd cleaned himself off and cleared himself of his traveling clothes, Zhanhao stepped into the back room, careful to close the door off to any six inch intruders. What was clearly meant to be a bedroom had no bed in sight, almost no furniture at all, in fact. A single cylindrical block of jade with a fluffy pillow atop it was the only thing coming close, right in the center. To the right, another curtained window, to the left a wall with a few decorative scrolls hanging. But the main feature was across from the door as one entered. Three shelves, as wide as the wall, with tall glass boxes end to end standing on all three. They seemed to be made of discrete panels, glass framed with wood, that were nestled together into containers, maybe a foot and a half tall each. But the containers weren't the important part. Twenty three out of thirty six had a plant inside, a small flower with golden petals lilting softly to one side. Some of the rest had seedlings or buds yet to flower, though others were empty. Uniquely, one container held snow covered soil with soft, yellow grass shooting forth, so tall as to bend at the top of the container. Four totems glowing with energy lay on the floor under the shelves, one for each element. As Zhanhao takes his place atop the Jade block, folding his legs and closing his eyes, he connects to the flagging totems, slowly opening the flow of power between himself and them. It's the totems that govern the plants inside the containers, fire dictating the artificial sunlight hitting their leaves, water keeping them hydrated, earth making sure they have the proper nutrients, and air managing the atmosphere inside each of them. Zhanhao had always thought of himself as a strong shaman, able to conjure spells at their most powerful, the hottest fire, heaviest earth, quickest lightning. But the magic that he was using now wasn't about monumental exertions. It was about precision. The importance of totems in shamanistic magic was an interesting phenomanon, as Zhanhao learned that orcs, trolls, tauren and pandaren all seemed to learn the same process for decentralizing their power into totems. And while certain cultures had focused on certain uses of totems, Zhanhao had stubbornly refused to learn from them for months after moving to Dalaran. He knew his goal was to cultivate Golden Lotus plants outside of Pandaren soil, but however he tried to make the magic work, the plants withered and died before he was able to reach them. It was only after consulting with tauren shaman on the kind of magic that allowed their farmers to irrigate so effectively that the final piece of the puzzle fell into place and he was able to grow the plants in his home. By pumping huge amounts of energy into his totems, but restrict the way it flowed to a slow trickle, he was able to charge totems that lasted for hours, even days, maintaining the conditions needed for the flower to bloom. Now, the spell was routine, and by combining it with the techniques he'd learned in his training as a monk, almost a subconscious effort. Four hours blinked by effortlessly for the old shaman, only roused by his rumbling stomach. Rising from his position and sore to have remained still for so long, he fixed the pillow to make it center on the block again. His stomach rumbled a second time, but he ignored it, choosing instead to regard the lotus containers with sad eyes. He'd worked so hard, spent so long waiting for one them to bloom, that picking the petals from the flower and grinding them into alchemical powder or dropping them into boiling concoctions almost felt like slaying his own children. It took months for a lotus to bloom, daily adjustments in temperature, lighting, soil, and water. Selling one brought in thousands of gold, paid for his food, and his home, and his trips to his brother's, and medicine for his parents, but somehow the cost never seemed high enough. He broke a rule of his, placing three fingers on the glass, caressing it. The slightest changes could cause a flower to wilt overnight if he wasn't careful, a problem that he'd discovered early. This particular plant would be sold in less than a week, anyway. He'd hug it, if he could. Tell it that some child somewhere needs the magic it carried to cure them of a deathly ill. But he removed his fingers, nonetheless, hoping that he hadn't ruined it with his few moments of tender sadness. It was always so strangely painful giving up one of his flowers. Still, there was no better task that took his mind off it than cooking, and his stomach rumbled a third time just to remind him of that. Bok choy and onions and garlic and ginger and ramen awaited him, so he let out a soft sigh, shook the thought from his head and returned to a kitchen he'd hoped wasn't a mess thanks to rambunctious elementals.
  13. “I wasn’t expecting company.” Arahe startled awake at the voice, immediately sliding her arm and spear out of her bedroll and propping herself up with her other hand. She had slept with it at the ready and in her armor, as she usually did in dangerous areas. Her eyes flashed around before stopping on Baern standing nearby, facing away and shaking off the stiffness of his sleep with a roll of his shoulders. She sighed out the tension of waking up suddenly with a small smile at the familiar sight. “I figured as much. You were pretty out when I got here.” She replied, taking a moment to look around the campsite. Frost blanketed everything, sparkling in the pale light of dawn that was filtering through the pines. Even the furred bedroll Arahe was tucked into glittered in the cold. She had traded off guard duty with An’mani a few hours before, and she knew that in the woods nearby the windrider would be pacing around the perimeter of the camp. “We had a rough day.” Baern said as he clanked his armor back on piece by piece, starting at his hooves. “Did you see the bodies?” “Yes.” Arahe clambered out of the bedroll, the stiffness of her body shooting pain from her broken rib. The ride to the campsite hadn’t done the injury any favors. “I actually came here to warn you to stay away from the Bloodtotem, but I suppose I didn’t get here fast enough.” She grimaced against the thought and the pain. “The fel blood was a surprise.” A soft silence hung in the air for a moment as Arahe watched the Grimtotem re-armor himself, his right arm remaining bare, the dried blood from a few scratches still visible. “I wish it were more of a surprise. Even after they attacked me, I tested them to make sure.” Baern finally answered bitterly. “The drogbar told me the whole tribe drank the felblood and are running amok on the far side of the ridge.” Whistling for An’mani, Arahe began packing up the campsite as she considered his words. “Mu’sha’s light… the whole tribe?” “As far as I know. I didn’t ask the question, really.” Baern was looking toward the drogbar and Arahe followed his gaze. “I had been meaning to ask why you were camping with a drogbar.” She spoke with a small amount of distrust, rubbing a hand against her aching side. The pain had subsided as she stretched out, but was very much still there. “He was their prisoner, told me what was happening. The Stonedark Drogbar are apparently being forced out, especially after they rejected the Underking.” Any relief Arahe felt at the news that the drogbar wasn’t associated with the Underking was crushed under the news that there were more captives. She frowned. “They’re keeping prisoners? Do we know where?” “Ask him.” Baern replies, almost dismissively. “I came out here for Bloodtotem, not Drogbar.” Qianghan sensed his frustration, nudging the warrior’s hand with his nose. The huntress forced down a smile at the sight of Baern reluctantly scratching right under the edges of Qianghan’s Shado-Pan armor in response to the tiger’s attention. Arahe made her way around the fire pit, stopping before the drogbar and gently prodding him with the butt of her spear. “Time to wake up. It’s a fairly long ride to Thunder Totem from here and I have some questions for you first.” The drogbar awoke with a start, immediately quaking in fear. “There are more! Black Bull do not let her kill me!” “I am not going to hurt you.” She glanced sideways at Baern with a small smile and a raised eyebrow, trying to gently affirm their familiarity. “Right Black Bull?” Baern apparently didn’t understand her attempt to establish their friendship to the drogbar, and Arahe worries for a moment that she may have offended him a bit with the nickname. Baern’s look is deadpan. The drogbar glances between them, still quaking and whimpering slightly. Arahe let out a small sigh before crouching down in front of the him. The motion sends a fresh wave of pain from her ribcage, and she winces, laying her polearm across her knees, letting her hands dangle overtop. “Please do not be afraid. I am not Bloodtotem, I’m not even from Highmountain, see?” Arahe says as she taps one of her short, sharp horns. “The black furred one’s name is Baern, and we’ve known eachother for some time now. I am here to help.” “...How can you help?” The drogbar asked warily. Arahe considers the question for a moment, staring down at the backs of her hands. “I think I’m going to try and sneak some of the surviving prisoners out of the Bloodtotem camp, but I need as much information as you can give me about where they’re being held first.” Baern speaks suddenly and forcefully from behind her. “Drogbar. Where are the prisoners being held?” “In one of the grottos under the ridge! I was only able to escape because I can shape stone, but most of my people are trapped with the rebel Bloodtotem.” The drogbar squeaked out immediately. Baern narrowed his eyes. “Rebel Bloodtotem? Who are they rebelling against?” “The demonblood drinkers.” The drogbar answered. “And they’re being held in the same grotto?” Baern asked. The drogbar nodded and he turned his attention back to Arahe. “We need to free those prisoners.” The huntress cocks an eyebrow at Baern. “I was already planning to. You should take this drogbar back to Thunder Totem, and try to get reinforcements if you can.” She turned back to the Drogbar in front of her. “Can you tell me how well guarded the grotto is?” “He can tell us on the way,” Baern says, cutting off any response from the drogbar and turning to begin wrapping up the camp. “He’s coming with us.” Arahe took a deep breath of the cold mountain air, trying to force down her rising frustration. “Are you not listening to me?” She stood, turning toward Baern. “He needs to tell me now, I’m not coming back to Thunder Totem with you two.” “He’s coming with us because I’m going to get these prisoners out with you. I may be missing some armor, but if you can fight with those bandages, I can fight with a bare right arm,” he says, gesturing to the black furred limb he was referring to. Arahe looked down at her own torso, thumbing where the small tear in her scalemail which remained unrepaired and hung loose, revealing the bandages beneath. “But he needs to come with us, because he knows where the grotto is. And, he’s going to burrow us a nice backdoor into it, aren’t you, Drogbar?” “If the prisoners could escape by tunneling out, he could have taken them with him when he left the first time.” She responded flatly, looking back up. “Which makes me think that we’ll have to take them up over the mountains. Can you climb a mountain in that?” Arahe gestured at Baern in his full-plate. “I could not take them!” The drogbar suddenly interjects fearfully. “I needed to find help, someone to stop Zudjgaz! If you don’t stop Zudjgaz, there is no escaping! Forming tunnel takes time. If I was not sneaky, if I was not alone, Zudjgaz would have killed me in one strike!” Arahe glanced at Baern with a raised eyebrow before settling a concerned gaze on the drogbar. “Who is Zudjgaz?” She asked. “The Fel Lord. He protects the cave from intruders. Kills any who attempt escape! I was the only to get free!” “A Fel Lord…” Arahe frowned at the news for a long moment before turning back to Baern. “Take An’mani and the drogbar back to Thunder Totem. Trying to defeat a Fel Lord alone would be suicide, so sneaking them out is the best option if we want to save anyone right now. Hopefully you can get reinforcements to help deal with the demon.” “I don’t doubt that you’re stealthy enough, but if things go south, you’re going to need backup. And in either case, you’re going to need the drogbar to tunnel in the back of the cave,” he said, not breaking eye contact with her. “I’m not going to let them turn more Tauren into fel slaves. If you want to take An’mani back to Thunder Totem, be my guest. But you will not convince me to walk away.” Arahe held his gaze for a long silent moment, only the sound of the cold wind of the mountains passing between them. Finally, she broke eye contact with him to glance over at An’mani. She considered their options, the dangers, the risks at Baern’s life and the tragedy his loss would bring to his village, and promises she had made in the past. Her face softened a bit and her eyes drifted back to Baern’s. “You’ll stay in the tunnel then.” She folded her arms across her chest, regaining some of her audacity. “Your people need you safe.” She turned her attention to the drogbar. “I’m sorry, but we need you to take us to the prisoners.” “I know how to keep my head down and my hoofsteps quiet.” Baern replies with a bit of indignity. Justifying it no further, he pulls out his hammer and gets ready to leave. “We need to convince them to return to the village with us. If we can free them from whatever fate awaits them, they can keep my people safe in Ashtotem.” Arahe can’t help but crack a small smile at the warrior’s mild defense of his abilities. She nods as he outlines his plans. “It will be good for them to have a place to stay away from the fel corruption, and Ashtotem could use the braves. Let’s just hope they’re able and willing to bring protection back to Ashtotem.” The Grimtotem warrior mounted a small hill to survey the back of the ridge they need to tunnel through, before looking back down at the drogbar, Qianghan, An’mani and Arahe. The sun glinted off his armor and short black fur, and the hammer clenched in his fist; the mountains spreading out behind his large, imposing form as he plotted a course to save both the Bloodtotem prisoners and by extension, his own people. “The Grimtotem Tribe has no braves.” He said bitterly.
  14. Baern was perhaps the easiest quarry the Tauren huntress had ever tracked. Arahe’s windrider, An’mani, knew his and his mount’s scents well, and the trail of a fully armored Pandaren tiger and his slightly oversized rider was clear to her even in the darkness. Which was almost a pity, since not having to focus meant that fearful thoughts wormed their way into her mind about the fate of her warrior friend. She rode hard across the cold landscape, heart heavy with worry. Arahe’s breath caught in her throat for a moment when she first saw the lifeless body of one of the Bloodtotem in her path before immediately recognizing it wasn’t Baern. She had dismounted by that point, the proximity to Bloodtotem territory putting her on edge, choosing to pick her way quickly and quietly through the underbrush; An’mani a silent shadow at her heels. A few minutes pacing around the small clearing gave her a good idea of everything that happened there a few hours before. It wasn’t long after leaving the grisly scene Baern had left that the huntress smelled the dying campfire, and cautiously approached the source. A massive wave of relief crashed over her as she spotted the Grimtotem warrior snoozing peacefully against Qianghan’s side. The drogbar in the camp caused her some amount of apprehension, placing a hand gently against her healing ribcage, but Arahe dismissed it, noting that Baern and his tiger didn’t show signs of distrust. Arahe didn’t immediately enter the campsite. Signaling with a flick of her hand, she sent An’mani to guard the sleeping group while she scouted the surrounding woods for danger. Satisfied, after an hour or so, she circled back to the encampment. It was the wee hours of the night at that point, and Arahe was cold and exhausted. Still, she decided her mount deserved to sleep first, and she would guard the camp for a time. She unsaddled the windrider as quietly as possible, pulling a few soft pieces of thickly furred runehorn hide she had collected weeks before out of one of the saddle bags. She wrapped one around her shoulders to guard against the cold. Frowning, she glanced over at Baern, before carrying another, larger piece over to the sleeping warrior. Qianghan stirred slightly but quickly recognized the huntress. Arahe laid it over the large Tauren as delicately as she could, attempting to not wake him before turning to watch over the camp.
  15. The red rocks of the Stonetalon mountains glowed fiercely in the light of the setting sun. The warm wind whipped Arahe’s mane about her face as the windrider beneath her galloped along familiar ground. She laughed as they leapt a small gully, wings spread wide to easily clear the gap in the rocks. The Tauren reigned her mount in, sliding off before she came to a full stop and running over to a small bush covered in bright yellow flowers. Plucking the largest flowers from the bush and adding them to a small bouquet forming in her hand, she presented them to the windrider. “What do you think An’mani? That enough?” The windrider leaned forward and sniffed the flowers, letting out a small sneeze to the delight of the Tauren. “You’re right, as always.” She swung easily into the saddle. “Let’s go home.” The huntress and her mount soon found themselves in Cliffwalker Post, though it was somehow different than she remembered it, although she couldn’t put her finger on how. Several spires of rock, connected by bridges attached to the main peak of the village, and familiar brown and black furred faces milled about happily. Arahe tried to shake off the feeling of unease and urged An’mani towards her family’s home. She grinned broadly as she approached. “ARE YOU SO WILLING TO LET THEM DIE?” The voice was equally a whisper and a shout as everything around her burst into fel flame. The smoke of burning flesh choked her, making it hard to breathe, despite the fact that everyone around her seemed to have disappeared. Arahe ran to her family’s tent, flaming and empty. “No. NO!” She screamed, sitting up from the hard wooden boards of Thunder Totem. Her heart pounded in her chest as she took a moment to orient herself to where she was. An’mani laid curled up against her side, head and ears perked up on high alert. A nearby shaman gave her a concerned glance, but continued tending to the injured Tauren around her. She looked out at the sprawling valleys of Highmountain far below letting her breathing settle in her pained chest. She patted the still alert windrider gently. “Just a bad dream An’mani, relax.” She said softly, lowering herself slowly back down. Arahe noticed quickly that the windrider made no move to relax despite her reassurances, and sat back up, studying her mount. An’mani leaned her head forward, ears straining, nostrils flaring as if to catch a scent on the wind, but her body language read more to the hunter as excited than concerned. Arahe frowned, uncertainly looking across the totem to the north. “What is it?” Sighing, she struggled to her feet, body aching. Arahe guessed that she had spent over a week in Thunder Totem under the care of their shamans, but her broken rib still hadn’t fully healed. An’mani stood up as she did, and began making her way over towards her fascination. The Tauren leaned hard on her mount as they walked slowly away from the makeshift infirmary. “Where are you going now?” A sharp warning tone from the shaman currently in charge. “Not far,” Arahe didn’t turn around as she answered. “Just need to stretch my legs.” Arahe ignored the shaman’s harumph and made her way to lean on a thick rope further down the totem where she could look to the cliffs to the north. An’mani’s interested seemed to increase as they came in view of one of Thunder Totems bluffs. The huntress shielded her eyes and squinted in the direction of the windrider’s fascination. She could only make out the tents and longhouses and the vague shapes of a few tauren in the distance. A few seemed to be grouped looking at two large Tauren in the middle of the bluff. One of them turned to leave and Arahe’s eyes were drawn to the glinting of the sun off of his plate. She blinked. Black fur? Couldn’t be… Suddenly her dream came rushing back to her, and the voice in it. Could Baern be here? She thought to her hearthstone, left in the bottom of some bag back at her basecamp somewhere out in Rivermane lands. Having only recently acquired it she had a nasty habit of forgetting it places, but this was probably the worst instance yet. She watched the armored Tauren closely, as he disappeared behind the tents and longhouses. When the Tauren down on the bluffs re-emerged he was mounted. Arahe gave a wan smile, Qianghan, Baern’s great armored tiger, was unmistakeable from any distance. She watched Baern ride off to the north and idly wondered where he was going. “Sorry An’mani, looks like he’s not coming our way.” The windrider squeaked out a somewhat upset noise as a response. “Come on, maybe we can find out where he went.” Arahe made her way slowly to the bridge and down along it with her mount trailing behind her. A large, mildly frustrated looking Highmountain warbrave was making his way across the bridge in the other direction. She apologized, shuffling herself and her mount to one side to let him pass. He paused, glancing at her horns. “Are you looking for the inn? It’s back on the main totem.” She looked past him at the northern mesa. “No, I’m looking for someone, did you hear where that Tauren warrior that just left went to?” Otho frowned at her. “The Grimtotem?” He sighed at scratched at his mane as Arahe nodded. “I suggested he go speak with the Bloodtotem to the north, I assume he’s heading there.” Nodding slightly she thanked the Warbrave and turned to head back to the infirmary, awkwardly following him until the end of the bridge. That night Arahe sat in the healing magic of the shaman’s totem, struggling with a pair of pliers to repair a few loose rings on her scale mail shirt. She wondered about how Baern was doing and what his mission was with the Bloodtotem. Her hand slipped, sending small rings bouncing across the floor, she raised her eyes to the sky, muttering a few curses. An’mani pounced on a bouncing ring, and proceeded to bat it around. The huntress hated this sort of work, but she supposed it was better than just sitting bored around the other groaning injured Tauren. She sat back and watched her windrider bat the ring from her shirt around. There was a small commotion behind her and she inclined her head to listen. A voice pleading for help in Taur-ahe with a thick Pandaren accent. A pair of Tauren, including one of the shaman speaking in low comforting tones. Curiosity got the better of Arahe and she turned around to see two pandaren in the dim light, one trying to argue with the shaman and one of the braves while clutching the other. Arahe stood, motioning for An’mani to stay while she moved over to investigate. “Please… help…peaceful…” The pandaren was sobbing, struggling with the foreign tongue. A wave of the stench of rotting flesh washed over Arahe as she approached. “Please... we…” As she crouched beside them, she could see that the one Pandaren was dead, probably by several hours. She stared at them piteously. “Do you speak Orcish or Common?” She offered, slowly, in orcish. The living Pandaren’s eyes widened, switching into orcish, a language clearly more familiar to him. “Please you have to tell them to help us.” “What help do you need?” She asked quietly, fairly certain she already knew the answer. “It’s my friend, my friend is hurt. She’s hurt and the shaman isn’t helping her.” The Pandaren said, panicked, jostling the corpse cradled in his arms. “Please I have money if that’s what they want, we just need healing.” The Tauren shaman turned towards her and addressed her in Taur-ahe “We’ve been trying to explain to him that we can’t save his friend, because she’s already passed on.” Arahe took a deep breath, steeling herself. She struggled with talking to people normally, let alone like this. “May I take a look at her?” The Pandaren loosed his grip slightly, letting her get a closer look. Arahe gently ran her fingers along the bloodied bandages. The Pandaren had likely bled out, an animal mauling perhaps? The wounds seemed extensive and brutal. She rested her fingers along the neck, feeling for a pulse before placing her hand in front of the body’s mouth, testing for breath. “What happened?” She asked gently as she examined the Pandaren. “We… we were on a peaceful mission. We wanted to spread the teachings of Emperor Shaohao around the world. I thought… we just…” The Pandaren started sobbing again. “We went to speak with the Bloodtotem tribe, they told us… they told us no outsiders and they.... We were peaceful… but they…” Arahe felt her heart drop out of her chest and she spoke without thinking. “They killed her.” The Pandaren stared up at her in horror. “No, no! She’s not dead! She’s not! She can’t be.” “I’m sorry. The Bloodtotem killed your friend.” Her own words echoed back in her head as she staggered away, heart pounding. “I have to go.” She turned to the Highmountain Brave standing nearby and switched back into Taur-ahe. “The Bloodtotem did this, spread the word that they’ve banned outsiders from their lands with this as a warning. No one is to go to Bloodtotem lands.” She gestured at the Pandaren as she backed away. “Wait, what?” The brave demanded as Arahe yanked her armor on over her bandages. “I have to go, find someone who speaks orcish and have them stay with the Pandaren to explain. He’ll come to terms with his friend’s death eventually.” She was already saddling An’mani. The shaman scurried over to her. “Where the fel are you going? You’re not fully healed!” Arahe didn’t respond, she scooped up her spear and swung into the saddle, spurring her mount forward in one smooth motion towards the north.