Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge: Which Zone Reminds You of Your Home?

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So, which zone or area in WoW reminds you of your home?

For me it would be several places.

First, it’s my native city of Kirov (Vyatka) where I’ve spent the first 17 years of my life. Kirov is located in the middle of European part of Russia. It’s surrounded by thick woodland, and it’s also characterized by hills. When you walk in the city or in the nature, there seems to be no flat surfaces: either you go up or down.

We have continental mild climate there, mostly comfortable weather varying from +23 Celcius in Summer to -10 in Winter (sometimes there are peaks of +30 / -30, but it’s kinda extreme and doesn’t last long).

One of my best moments from childhood could be winter walks and forest skiing with my parents and brother. The snows are abundant, and the fluffy white boughs are an eye candy. It’s a sunny weekend, our cheeks are red from little frost and winter fun, you’ve just skiied few kilometers, it’s quiet, and the sounds are muffled by the snow. You’ve stopped in the woods for a break to drink some hot tea from a thermos flask you have on you, and feed a wild titmouse with crumbs and seeds from your hand. Happiness!

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You know where I’m leading here, don’t you?

But of course it’s Dun Morogh!

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If not for mountains, but forests, hills, and snow paths among the trees covered in fluffy snow.

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Micromantica knows how this dry grass feels when you touch it :)

In Summer, nature activity was concentrated on the banks of the river Vyatka, natural lakes and sand quarry lakes.

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Vyatka

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It does remind me of the river between Elwynn Forest and Duskwood.

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After I finished my high school, I’ve moved to Saint-Petersburg where I live ever since, first studied in a university and then working. Wow, this year it will be 17 years since I moved, so it will be exactly half of my life when I consider Saint-Petersburg my home.

Most of all I like Saint-Petersburg itself for its granite clad embankments – which are a trademark of the city:

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Of course I like Stormwind for the same reason! I think I could never live in a city which is not attached to some great amounts of water – lakes or rivers.

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And if we speak about nature around Saint-Petersburg, we must remember that we are just a two-hour drive from Finland. So, the nature here is also famous for its vast forest lakes:

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I’ve played WoW first in WotLK expansion, and I played it until I reached level 76 or so. Then I quit for no particular reason. You know what made me return to the game?

The Cataclysm video where Deathwing destroyed Loch Modan. I came back with a very particular purpose: kick his ass for destroying the lake, my most favorite spot.

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I wonder if the dwarves could finally fix the dam :) It’s been a while.

P.S. When I read this post, its no wonder I’m more of a For the Alliance person :)

All the Alts: Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge

As a devoted altoholic, I couldn’t pass by the Topic 11: Show off your Alts of Z and Cinder’s Blog challenge.

Do you have alts? It’s time to show them off.

Despite that I’m frequently posting something about my alts, it’s always cool to review them again – and discover something new about them. My previous recent alt post was mostly about specs, but now I’m gonna focus more on their backgrounds. Some of these stories would be new even for me!

Micromantica

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When Cataclysm shook the world, Micromantica left the snowy valleys of Dun Morogh and set sail from Menethil Harbor to Theramore. She quickly made friends with Jaina Proudmoore – and for a reason. She became her apprentice, and then an expert in ice magic and one of her best pupils. And she sees the leader of Theramore as her friend now more than a sensei. Whatever happens to Lady Proudmoore, Micromantica would always support her.

Needless to say, Theramore’s destruction had the heaviest impact on the young mage. Once a safe haven, now a hole in a rocky island – and a teleport spell which reminds about it. She was glad to end Garrosh’s reign with her very own hands and chase him up to the Warsong camp in alternate timeline.

Remember Theramore.

Micromantica is not an easy-going personality. Her main goals in Azeroth are exploration and lore which often go hand by hand. She’s on very good terms with Ironforge Exploration League – and she likes to return to Ironforge and slam an enormous tome of her new discoveries to add up to the library. But she doesn’t need any companions and tends to travel solo. She doesn’t like noisy parties and prefers quiet evenings one-on-one with a very selected circle of friends. Among her friends are Yrel who helped to put an end to Garrosh, Valtrois, and of course, Lady Jaina Proudmoore – Micromantica is one of the very few aware where this capable but troubled Alliance leader is now.

Microfury

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Gnomes are probably one of the best races to follow a Warlock path. Not easily bound to evil, they see the whole business of dealing with demons as a field for investigation of these very interesting green and purple energies.

Once a capable jeweler apprentice in Stormwind, Microfury was approached by a mysterious stranger in a cloak when she sat in a tavern after a long but enjoyable work day. The whole talk about super powers didn’t invoke any interest in her, but research? She couldn’t say no to that.

Her long journey finally led her to Broken Isles where she saw the demons at the full of their might and action. She didn’t succumb to evil or madness, but the whole demon business is much less fun now, and she’s finds herself on a brink of depression nowadays. Due to the lack of jeweler practice too (the Broken Isles seem very poor on gems), she’s going to call it a night soon and retire back to her workshop in Stormwind to craft simple rings and necklaces for Stormwind citizens and be happy again.

Note: this is actually true. The race change for Microfury is already set and decided, and a new mysterious and glorious lady warlock of Goblin race will soon rise in power in the coming days. 

Aurinko

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Aurinko has a meaningful name (“Sun” in Finnish), but whatever her calm priest parents wanted of her went the wrong way. Despite all the tourist trips to the Cathedral of Light and examples of acknowledged priesthood she got acquainted with as a child – including her parents – she went rogue when the teenage years hit her.

During a stupid teenage tantrum and the following fight with her parents she stormed out of the house and decided to devote herself to the darker shades of her abilities. If not for a pair of Dark Iron priests who found her in an Ironforge tavern when she nearly got in a big trouble, her life would be gruesome (and short). These dwarves smashed their tin tankards on the head of a human, the Twilight Council recruiter, and chased him out, then returned for the drunk, uneasy teenage girl.

They brought her to their home, put a flask of of water beside her bed, and had a talk with her in the morning when she was awaken full of shame and hangover. They decided to look after her and to teach her in the ways of Shadow. Despite the teenage nihilism, Shadow really appeared to be her true path. This uneasy soul was never meant to the calm ways of Light. Maximizing this potential and learning to control her emotions is what the girl needed.

Aurinko still has troubles with the latter, and she truly enjoys falling into temporal madness during the battle ecstasy – she says it’s better than any drug. As a teenager, she would also occasionally wear some symbols of Twilight Council or other provocative jewelry and clothes in public areas just to stir “this quiet swamp of philistines”. Someday this will get her into trouble, but at least today’s agenda is Legion, not the Old Gods.

Bons

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Bons is a true warrior type. Little is known about her past – because no one could fish it out of her.

In peaceful times this hardened middle-aged warrior is normally found in a Stormwind tavern in the Old City where she sits alone in the darkest corner surrounded by empty bottles of the hardest booze they’ve got. She barely speaks a word during the evening.

No, you can’t make friends with her. She probably won’t mind if you sit at her table as long as you don’t bother her. If you do, first she would stare at you with her heavy eyes, and once her patience is over and you keep talking, your ears will be grabbed by a pair of strong callous hands, and your face will be repeatedly smashed at the table until you get the message. You’re quite lucky if there are no plates, knifes and forks on the said table at the moment.

Strange enough, Bons is welcome at every Alliance fuss there is. If the faction needs to gather a force for whatever expedition, they send for Bons – she’ll be there to part with the first ship or the first portal. She proudly wears Alliance colors, and she’s always there in the first row. She’s an experienced tactics leader. If there is a mess in the battlefield and the party is almost overrun, an Alliance general would often find a regrouped squad amidst chaos which is masterfully performing an organized retreat or even turning the tide. The core of the squad is Bons – no doubt.

Paitsu

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New Gnomeregan, like every race village, has welcomed Pandaren after the mists faded. The view of a big, round and agile black-and-white creatures mesmerized a young Gnome girl. And once she put her finger in a soft drum-like belly of a sensei, her fate was determined. The Gnome was not allowed in training with the older ones, but she crafted her own dummy and brought it with her, panting, to the side of training grounds. She repeated the roundhouse kicks and punches with childish clumsiness, but persistence, and practice makes perfect.

When adventurers defeated the Garrrosh Horde, mantid and Thunder King, and Pandaria became a relatively safe place, her parents finally allowed the young girl to board a ship and learn the mysterious Pandaren culture first hand. Through meditation, farming and martial arts training Paitsu (“pie cub” in Pandaren language) became a keen adept of oriental culture and quite a cheerful one too. She would travel the green valleys and snowy peaks of the continent for the rest of her life, but Legion spoilt her plans.

Even far from her land of dreams, Paitsu doesn’t travel without lots of small items which allow her to turn every inn room into a cosy Pandaren habitat, and every meal – into a proper cuisine feast.

Mindebad

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Mindebad. Death knights has risen her from her coffin in Acherus when Alliance pleaded for help in alternate Draenor – any extra hands would do.

The death knight masterminds never expected much from this sleeping beauty – a slender tiny figure was best left alone, but they were ordered to bring “every corpse able to hold a weapon”. And the coffin was opened, her burial gowns removed, and her body brought to unlife.

Whilst the first feeling of a death knight is grief and misunderstanding, learning how to live with this now, Mindebad – apparently a sharp mind in her life – grasped the idea at once and in the very first minute turned into a ball of rage. Once she beheaded several ghouls and ripped limbs off an abomination present (and with bare hands), she was put in chains on the wall for the moment. She never stopped kicking the stone with her bare heel until there was a hole in the wall, and she growled at every death knight who came to try and calm her down.

One wise lich solved the problem. His icy soul had enough patience to hover by the chained Gnome for hours and talk, and talk, and talk. In two months he finally snapped his bony fingers and let her go, ready to encase her in ice if she thrust herself upon him. She didn’t.

Mindebad was a priceless ally during Hellfire Citadel siege. A storm, a hurricane of ptomaine and icy wind, she ravaged through the corridors of the citadel. Whenever they put her in a left or right flank, this enemy flank started to wrap like a carpet there. She minced one of Mannoroth’ legs like a kebab, and it was a horrible sight, this display of frozen scabs and pustules.

Mindebad walks slowly and proudly through the streets of Acherus or Dalaran, and people tend to step out of the way. She feels joy only in battle, and with her arms covered in dripping blood, she feels alive. She has never acknowledged any authorities. The princess of death will leniently allow to show her the next target on the map.

Mindebad is bad news.

Anibell

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Anibell grew on the shores in Lakeshire. The girl vaguely remembers the horrible gnoll attacks on the city, and how some of her playmates went for a walk and didn’t return. But she remembers very well how her father stood up in the middle of the night, took his rusty axe, kissed his daughter and went out for the township rallies against the gnolls – the beasts attacked when darkness came.

The gold-haired girl made up her mind to become a defender of the weak very early in her childhood. As soon as she came of age, she took a dangerous journey to Stormwind with a small amount of money and headed straight to the Temple of Light to become a paladin.

Not a zealous type, Anibell is open-minded and outgoing person. She makes friends easily, especially among commoners, and is always eager to stop and chat for a while. It seems that she doesn’t need any special friends – when all the world is already your friend.

It’s hard to make enemies with her too. If a bully would push her in the back in the street or a tavern, he would suddenly meet a friendly gaze of radiant blue eyes and – ‘Please, be careful! Are you hurt?’ It’s hard to escalate a quarrel after this attitude – and even more, you suddenly don’t want to escalate it.

A skilled fighter, she would follow the righteous cause wherever the duty calls her.

Mayluna

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Watch her slowly walk without a sound through the forest paths, her hand resting on a sabertooth mane which strides beside her. She breathes the lush air, and the wind rustles in the boughs above.

Not always she can devote herself to this pastime. Mayluna loves every small animal – and is deeply hurt when she observes any ruthless attitude to the nature. A child of stars, she would call to the goddess to destroy the barbaric intruders with skyfire. A shape-shifter, like all druids, she truly mastered only cat form – which is quite essential and enough to rip the foes who dare to come too close.

Any fire or smell of smoke disturbs her – too often she witnessed how these were just signs of further nature destruction. She would prefer sitting on a bank of river or lake and share a raw fish meal with her mount while helping herself with fruit and berries.

Melaris

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Melaris, although a demon hunter, openly despises Illidan for his complete failures in everything he’s tried to accomplish, his questionable moral and his methods. Not his fan girl, she took the first opportunity to find her own ways on the Broken Isles after she’s been released from the cell.

Melaris is a strong, independent personality who doesn’t see her life purpose in fighting Legion. It is result that matters: when there’s peace, no the process of fighting them.

Not to think about the atrocities she had to go through during training, she won’t rest and rather wander the paths, known or unknown. When she’s tired alright, the inner demon doesn’t bother her too much, and she may take a deep sleep.

Lizgun

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Here comes the story of the three Goblin sisters.

Like many Goblins of the Horde, Lizgun and her two sisters, Hexen and Schlitzchen, had a narrow escape during Cataclysm from destroyed Kezan.

Having arrived in Azshara haven, they all went to the capital, Orgrimmar, which lured them with its opportunities. Schlitzchen parted her ways with them, but Lizgun and Hexen have quickly formed a party to provide a merry and happy life for themselves.

They participate in every sort of adventure activity which smells of money. Elaborate plans and cunning schemes are brought to life all over the continents and even planets (well… Draenor is yet another planet). Although different in character, they work in unison and use their strong sides to provide success. Wildlife, treasure hunting, bounty hunting, high society frauds or warfare business – there’s always some option to make money.

An ideal scheme would involve a big prize, a clever plan, a careful preparation and a perfect execution. The best plans are based on psychology, tricking and disguises – both are experts in this. They try to avoid killing as they can (a “clean plan” is the one without blood), but are perfectly capable to defend themselves if needed.

Lizgun is more of an enforcer type. She’s an expert with crossbows and steamguns, and normally covers Hexen during city operations while Hexen does the main job. In the wilderness Lizgun is in charge without any extra words, and she would care of them two – providing food, putting up tents and all.

She has a secret crush in Orgrimmar – a Goblin who sells cold drinks. She stayed at him several times without revealing her real identity – and sometimes she secretly thinks about settling there.

Hexen

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Nicknamed “Lady”, Hexen is an “elite” part of the group. She’s a laugher, a cheerful and talkative person who would easily play a lady if needed, and she can wear a ball dress with grace. Though she feels herself at home wearing her patched leather pants as well.

She’s also a master of poison and dagger, but like we said, it’s the last resort if the major plan went seriously wrong. Perfect victims are fooled, but alive.

Always surrounded by many admirers, she doesn’t choose anyone. She hopes to die the same way: rich, lying on top of the mountain of silk pillows and with many admirers gathered around, offering her sweets and champagne.

Nowadays the girl duo is actively exploring the Broken Isles – every new area and fuss in it is a pool to catch a golden fish in.

Schlitzchen

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The third of the sisters, Schlitzchen, never knows about the other two’s adventures and schemes. Upon arrival in Orgrimmar, she immediately went to the Spirit Alley. Thrall – who the goblins met and saved during Kezan destruction – was a big influence on her, and while talking to him on their way to Azshara she decided to follow a shaman path. Her sisters understood this decision and try not to meet her too often or inform her about their deeds. Some angry ‘client’ could go for Schlitzchen if people knew she was their sister – and neither of them greets this idea.

Sturdy and spiritual, Schlitzchen deeply understands the elements and would join the Earthen Ring in their cause of defending the world of Azeroth from cataclysms and destruction. She is deeply bound with air spirits, and is equally skillful in charging her battle hammers with storm powers or invoking lightning at enemy heads.

The three sisters crossed their paths in Broken Isles, yet they are running parallel ways now: L and H looking for treasures of the new land, Schlitzchen is all about her Earthen Ring community.

What they all do not know is that a mysterious and glorious goblin warlock lady knows who they are and what they do… And she thinks it is time for them to stop being chaotic and carry out their own petty plans… they need a leader, yes, a leader for something grand… both of them and their shaman sister too.

Wowzers. Let’s call it a night :) Thank you all for reading this till the end :)

Gear Up: Challenge Accepted!

Few weeks before Draenor, I accepted a challenge of Tillers reputation for all toons and made a table of progress. It was so much fun to add up reputation progress every day that I missed this activity ever since it ended.

So now, as my toons all reached 100, I’m glad to announce my new challenge. And it will concern my new focus:

GEAR UP

Gear January

I made up this new chart of progress as of January 20. Convenient to check out which toon lacks Draenor crafted items and which toon needs an immediate login to ilvl up. So:

Challenge Accepted!