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The Beginning: Part one of four posts on the World of Warcraft

The following is my personal thoughts and knowledge of this thing called Warcraft. Most of the pictures and info I got about the beginning of the game I learned from Wikipedia and if I got anything wrong – oh well, we know what a wonderful source that is.

I think it was four years ago when I finally gave into the friends begging me to try World of Warcraft, including my stepdaughter. I played it carefully at first, only taking the ten day free trial, before digging in full force. I was drawn into it like a hypnotic dream; traveling to the world of Azeroth was all I thought of.

I found the game slightly difficult and if you never heard of it before here is a little information I gathered just from playing. Azeroth is a world created by the fantastic minds at Blizzard Entertainment . Lush with history that goes back thousands of years this place is inhabited by Humans, Drawfs, Orcs, Night Elves, Blood Elves, Goblins, Trolls, Gnomes and creatures you can only think of in your wildest nightmares, and in some of your most disgusting. There are two separate fractions fighting for control of this world, the Alliance and the Horde. Of course the good looking races belong to the Alliance and the ugly ones are on the other side….Okay, I’m sorry – that wasn’t politically correct. Humans, Dwarfs and Night Elves gathered to form the Alliance and the Orcs, Trolls and Blood Elves formed the Horde. They would constantly battle for a grasp on the two continents- each progressing a little at a time.

Playing field of Orcs and HumansBlizzard first introduced the world to the universe of Warcraft with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in November of 1994 as a real-time strategy game (RTS) where you could play either single or multiplayer. The game play was simple yet hard, two players (or one and an AI) trying to build an army to conguer the world – one Orc, one Human.

The sequel, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, came out in 1995 for the desk top computers and won enough awards that they decided to do an expansion pack, Beyond the Dark Portal. It was still a RTS game, same as above and sold over 2 million copies.

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was released in 2002 – this version was still RTS and sold over 4.5 million games (one million in the first month). I Tides of Darknessthink they made versions for all the game consoles at this time too. It also won Game of the Year from six different sources. As an idea of how far we have come in shrinking things, and a lot of you are very aware of this, the recommended system requirements on a PC to play this game was a 400 MHz processor and 256 megabytes of Ram. My cell phone has 14.8 gigabytes, that’s a lot of bytes. There was also an expansion pack on this one too – The Frozen Throne. These also introduced the Undead and the Draenei as well as the Naga.

On November 23rd, 2004 – ten years after the release of the first game – Blizzard released World of Warcraft, a Massive Multi-player On-line Role Playing Game, MMORPG. This was not your run of the mill computer game – and I know it wasn’t the first – but it was the first I ever played. Here, you didn’t have just one little section of the world to explore, you had all of Azeroth – and you were not alone. You didn’t compete against just one player or an AI – you competed against other player controlled characters, toons, and non-player characters, NPC’s. Since then, three expansion packs have been added to the game, The Burning Crusade in 2007 (which is where I think I came in) that took you past level 60 and to a different world to get to level 70. The Wrath of the Lich King in 2008 took you up to level 80 and the latest is Cataclysm, which lets you climb all the way to level 85, and fly everywhere – for a price.

One of my level 85's.

I was drawn into this game like a spaceship circling a black hole. I would play it from the time I woke up, never admitting that I woke up three hours before I had to work just to play a game, and continued playing once I came home until I went to bed. I would play in my office until the wife got home and stop, at first. Then I would sit down in the living room with my laptop and play as we watched TV. I would cease and do a few things, like fix dinner, let out the dogs, use the rest room – but that was it. The questing is what I loved the most, having to go kill bad NPC’s for the good guys – I started on the side of the Alliance and spent most of my time there.  Tried the Horde every once in a while and found all the story lines as enticing and almost as original as the alliance story lines. I even went so far as to try pvp, player versus player, but it was very hard to level when every one you met was trying to kill you.

Please come back tomorrow for part two. I know I don’t like reading long posts either.


Inner Peace

Let’s see how quick I can do this before my human comes back. Hi, I’m @Razzziee and I am a whippet, no I am not starving and not a baby greyhound, so don’t ask. My human left his computer on this morning so I thought I would check some things out. Luck for me, I found his blog open.

I was sent this email the other day called “Inner Peace” that I would like to share with you:

If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when the ones you love are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, 

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs

You must be a dog…

…Oh, a bunny….

Oh boy, I’m away for two seconds and that damn dog is at it again, never should have given him that phone. But I’ll fix him. There are two sides to every story.

If you can start the day without caffeine, (Not on your life)!

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, (I am fairly cheerful and have to ignore my aches and pains every day.)

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, (If it deals with me it isn’t complaining or boring to others.)

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, (I am fine with eating the same thing – especially if peanut butter and chocolate are involved.)

If you can understand when the ones you love are too busy to give you any time, (happens every damn day!)

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, (I am perfect and there is no criticism – and the blame is with others.)

If you can conquer tension without medical help, (Why – drugs are so much easier.)

If you can relax without alcohol, (What is the fun in that – alcohol is a great relaxer.

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs, (I am so important and busy that I can’t turn off my brain unless I use drugs; it’s just the nature of the beast!)

You must be a dog human.

The Bracelets of Enaid

I don’t remember how I found this, I am sure I was surfing the net one day in a fit of uncontrollable boredom, but it caught my attention  The Fantasy Novelist’s Exam . It is basically what this person thinks should not go into a Fantasy novel. To be honest, I at first found this confusing because I thought all these or at least a few were great ideas for a novel. Then I realized the guy that wrote this just plain does not like Fantasy. (He is about like someone I know that hates Sci-fi because it is fiction, duh!)

Well I set out on a mission and created the following, a rather humorous look at what not to put in a Fantasy. I wrote this about five years ago and it isn’t my best. I was going to change a few things around and pass it off to The Splintered Lands but I didn’t think it would work – have to do something else for that one.

Onward as they say, introducing The Bracelets of Enaid (formerly known as The History of the Bracelets) Book One, Chapter One.

             The wings seemed to be getting heavier, and his shoulders have been aching for over five hours. For one day, he flew across the Dragon Drop Sea before he spied the large landmass. Three miles from the beach, he spotted an outcropping of rock rising above the waves. Here he rested until nightfall; he had no wish to become target practice for these strange Humans. As darkness fell, he could make out the lights of the tall city as they reflected off the choppy waters of the harbor. 

                He avoided the city of the Humans and flew south, over one of the man made roads. He considered himself lucky that no Human had spotted him, as far as he knew. Nevertheless, he did not really know what a Human looked like. All he knew was that they were bipedal and big, some as tall as seven feet.

                This land was much more flat than the rocky island he called home. The Humans even kept their food in little fenced in areas. Brallinoth thought that was a good idea, at least it helped save energy – but it was not fair for the animals they used as food. The animals enjoyed the hunting part as much as the Humans did; after all, it is survival of the fittest.

                As the moon rose in the west, he reached the edge of a dark forest. He got a feeling from this place, a cold – dark repressed and eerie sensation. As he decided to avoid the forest entirely, he spotted a figure he did not recognize walking through a clearing.

                ‘Could this be a one of those Human things everyone had warned me about?’ he thought. He had seen a few Orcs before when they tried to invade his home. They did not succeed and disappeared as fast as they could. A few Orcs caught on fire during the process. However, this person seemed too small to be a Human. It looked more like a child. ‘And why is a child traveling in the dark?’  It was not any of his business why this child was walking along a stone path in the middle of the night. However, Brallinoth had a curiosity for all things. He glanced ahead and saw the air current he wanted. ‘This would be perfect for observation,’ he thought. Spreading his wings, he let the current carry him off, circling this odd creature for twenty minutes. It seemed to be walking with a purpose, although he could not figure out why it would be walking without one.

                The child suddenly stopped in half step and slowly turned her head. Brallinoth quickly spotted the creature hunting her. It was ten feet from its prey and moving very quietly. He recognized the long toothed cat that was his favorite meal, and knew it was about to attack this Human, if that is what it was. He just did not think that was right. The only defense this child had was an arched piece of wood with a string attached to it. ‘Is it going to play it a song?’  He wondered.

                He could not let that happen. The song, he could handle, but to attack a defenseless child! He readied himself for a dive and headed to the ground. He could already feel the fire burning within him. By instinct alone, it erupted from his nostrils and he scorched the land.

                As the cat was screaming in pain, the child screamed and ran into the darkness of the surrounding forest. After a few minutes, the cat stopped screaming and lay still. Brallinoth made one more pass over the scorched clearing and breathed a soft cool breath on it.

                ‘Well’, he thought, ‘it has been a few days since I ate anything. No better time than now.’  The only thing he was missing, as he sat down to his midnight snack, was his special sauce.

                Just as he hunched down over his fresh cooked cat, something poked him in the tail. Turning around, he saw the little child thing that had run away into the woods.

                It was holding that arch shaped piece of wood and it had a sharp needle in it, aimed right at him.

                “If you make one move toward me I will send this into your head,” she said.

                “Ha! That little thing won’t harm me,” Brallinoth replied. “Plus I have had my fill with this cat. I am in no mood to eat a Human tonight.”

                The child looked at this twenty-foot tall bronze Dragon. She really hated it when she was mistaken for a Human. Her grip on the bow tightened as she glared at the huge thing crouched over its food.

                “Human! Who are you calling a Human you…flying lizard?” she said.

                “You’re not a Human? I…I’m sorry. I just assumed you were. I never really met one before…” Brallinoth said as he dropped the hot leg he was about to munch on.

                “What kind of excuse is that? I’ve never met a Dragon before, but I didn’t call you a Troll. For future information, I am a Wood-Elf! A female Elf! You can usually tell by the pointy ears and the smaller body.” The Elf spoke loudly, placing her hands on her hips and puffing up her chest proudly.

                “Well, in that case, I am a Dragon.” Brallinoth mimicked her stance, with his wings spread out beside him. “Not a flying lizard or a Troll. In fact, I really don’t think we Dragons are even related to Trolls, maybe not even lizards.” Brallinoth bowed his head toward the Elf and introduced himself properly, “My name is Brallinoth.”

                The Elf looked at this Dragon bowing before her, thinking, ‘He’s going to eat me before I wake up in the morning.’

                “No! I will not eat you. Dragons only eat unintelligent species.”

                “You heard that?” she stumbled backwards, almost tripping over a tangle of burnt grass. “I didn’t say that, I thought it.”

                “You thought it was what?”

                “Never mind,  my name is Lytai.” She walked closer to the enormous Dragon before her. He seemed friendly enough. ‘I wonder if he will share his dinner with me.’

                “Yes I will. Please sit, and join me. I hope you like your meat rare; it’s actually a little stringy. It’s still good.”

                “You can hear my thoughts!”

                “No. You were talking.”

                Lytai looked up to the heavens and shook her head. Careful not to think anything the Dragon would find offensive.

                “Don’t worry, I have a tough hide, it’s not easy to offend a Dragon.”

                The two sat until the sun climbed over the mountains ahead. During the early morning hours, Lytai asked her new Dragon friend a question, “Brall, why did you fly out here across the sea?”

                Brallinoth looked at the small Elf by his side, she seemed harmless enough – although a little scatter brained. He had a feeling he could even trust her a little. “I have been having strange dreams for the past fifty years. I have seen visions of castles, lakes with huge flying birds, armies of Orcs burning everything in sight. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I am on a quest to discover why these thoughts and visions come to me. Why are you away from your homeland?”

                Lytai was quiet, if only for a moment, before she answered, “Last year, while I was walking through a marsh near my home, I saw a strange old man sitting on a boulder in the middle of the swamp. He was dressed in a long white robe and carrying a tall staff, it had to be taller then he was. He didn’t see me at first; I actually scared him when I said, ‘Hi!’

                “‘Oh little girl! Don’t sneak up on your elders like that; you could cause a heart to stop beating.’ He said as he placed a hand over his chest.

                ‘“I’m sorry. I’m not a little girl. My name is Lytai. I’m an Elf. A Wood-Elf!’

                ‘“And what is the difference between a Wood-Elf and any other kind?’ the little old man said.

                “To be honest with you, Brallinoth, I wasn’t really sure. But, I told him the first thing that came to my mind, ‘We’re better looking.’

                “He really just looked at me and smiled. Then he said, ‘Do you know where I can find a Marsh-Elf? I seem to have lost my way in this bog soup. I think a Marsh-Elf would be much more handy right now than a Wood-Elf.’

                “That’s when I noticed the bottom of his robe, it was covered in mud and swamp grass. ‘I can show you the way out. Follow me.’

                “I started walking through the secret path that my Grandmother taught me long ago. He followed along pretty good. It only took an hour to get him back on solid ground. The old man didn’t say much the entire way. Actually, he was a little funny looking, the way he walked hunched over, holding his staff.

                “When we reached the hillside, leading out of the marsh, I turned around and, for a minute, I thought someone had taken his place. He was much more taller now, at least ten-feet. There was even a bright light surrounding him.

                ‘“Wow,’ I said. ‘You changed.’

                ‘“Lytai of the Wood-Elf. My name is Gadorn. Thank you for guiding me out. I sense you have a kind heart, for that I will make you a Chosen One.’

                ‘“What is that?’ I asked him. ‘Some kind of cult?’ He just laughed with a real deep loud voice.

                ‘“I have a mission for you little Wood-Elf. This world needs some leadership. There are, located on the smoke enshrouded Isle of Flame, six silver bracelets. One for each race on Enaid. I offer you this quest. Search out one person from each race who is as worthy as yourself.’ He grinned a lopsided smile as he said that, as if he was teasing me or something.

                ‘“Now how am I supposed to tell if they are worthy?’ I asked him as he stood there.

                ‘“Your heart will tell you. It is your destiny. Meet me in Kroy-Wen one year from today and I will give you the ship that will take you to the Isle of Flame. Good luck!’

                “Then he disappeared in a cloud of smoke that made me cough for about an hour. Once it cleared, he was nowhere around. The year is up next week. I’ve been walking up and down this road for the longest time; you’re the first Dragon I have ever seen. But, I can’t seem to find any Dwarfs or Orcs. There are plenty of humans around, but when they see me, all they want to do is capture me. All the Trolls I have found lack the brainpower to know the difference between a rock and a clump of dirt. And, I didn’t even know I had a destiny, this is all so confusing”

                To Brallinoth, this seemed odd. ‘Why would someone hide bracelets and then, give them away like that?’ However, he was a little curious. “Have you tried searching the mountains? I think that’s where the Dwarfs and Orcs live.” He inquired as he scratched an ear with his long toe.

                “The last time I was in the mountains, I was attacked by about five of the ugliest creatures I have ever seen. They stood about as tall as a Human stand, but had an ugly green tint to their skin. They barely wore any clothes at all and their eyes were an evil looking white.”

                “Uhm…Lytai, those were Orcs.”

                “You’re kidding! The way they were drooling all over the place I didn’t think they were intelligent.” She thought back to that day, remembering the way she had left them; all dead with an arrow through the head. A few of them needed more than one to stop them. “I know they have thick skulls.”

                “The words ‘intelligent’ and ‘Orcs’ really don’t go well together.”

                Brallinoth was in deep thought; steam seeped out of his ears making little hissing noises as he sat there on his haunches, listening to her story. He knew where the Isle of Flame was. When he was younger, he played there often. He remembered it fondly, relaxing in the pools of water scattered across the island, heated by the lava that flowed underneath.

                He also remembered other things, legends, tales told of riches, vast caverns beneath the volcano filled with silver and gold. His great great grandfather even told him of witnessing a strange parade of Dwarfs that showed up there long ago. They snuck in quietly and left one year later. No one really knew why they were there, but that was how the legends sprang up.

                However, this Elf woman would need help on this journey. He had his doubts about a wizard though. After much deliberation and the headaches that always followed, he decided to sleep on it for a few days. After all, Dragons have a lot of time on their hands and do not rush into anything without thinking it through.

                The two companions moved off into the forest, where they could sit and Brallinoth could continue his thinking without interruption.

                Two days later, they were still sitting in the forest, only a few hundred feet from the road when Brallinoth’s head went up and he sniffed the air.

                “Something is coming. And they need a bath,” he said as he rose on all fours and looked to the road. Lytai stood right below his mouth, wishing for a large leaf she could put over her head as she tried to dodge the drops of saliva.

                Now, she heard them, there seemed to be a lot of them. After a few minutes, the noisemakers came into view. Twenty-one men, marching in tows, side by side, except for one. If they were trying to surprise anyone, they were doing a bad job of it. They sang aloud, none in the correct tempo or key. Lytai shook her head in disbelief. ‘How could anyone sing that badly?’ All wore dirty blood stained cheap armor, hanging from each belt was a long broad sword, and a few of them had bows strapped to their backs.

                Only one was not wearing any armor. He was bringing up the rear, dressed in simple leather skin pants and a dirty stained white linen shirt. Chains shackled his ankles together that wrapped around one of the forelegs of a black stallion, which pulled a wagon loaded covered with a canvas tarp.

                They watched from the cover of the forest as the group walked along the road.

                ‘Those are men.’ Lytai thought, since she knew her Dragon friend could read her mind, it was the best way to communicate. However, they still had a small problem. She could not hear Brallinoth’s thoughts, unless he let her.

                In addition, Dragons were never very good whisperers. “Oh! Those are Humans!” His voice carried all the way to the road and the soldiers froze in their tracks.

                Yeah, chapter one, there is more coming if you feel like being tortured anymore, let me know. (Don’t worry, it is only 27,532 words)