What have I added to the WoW Universe?

There’s this trend in FanFiction that you have to be completely faithful to the original setting, and not put in anything that the Creator would not. This is no doubt inspired by the many fics that include new gods, dragons where no dragons should be and the offspring of creatures that would at best be different species, and at the worst have a distinct predator and prey animal relationship.

I’m not in much danger of doing that, actually. My stories are mostly about people. I tend to stay away from the big events. The Blizzard characters in my fic tend to be innkeepers (Saelienne), trainers (Mathrengyl Bearwalker, Grif Wildheart), medical staff (The ladies at “First to your aid” in Dalaran) and the like. The main reason for that is that I like to be free. If I write a story about Varian Wrynn as an old man, and Blizz kill him off, then where would you be?

Still, I do have a few things that I have put into the hands of my characters that don’t exist in the game. Here, based on nothing but my hazy memory after a hard weekend’s work, is an incomplete list.

Qrovna: In my stories, Qrovna is a drink enjoyed mostly by the engineers of Exodar. The active ingredients are Skethyl-berries, amazingly 110% alcohol by volume, and a big dash of cynicism. It is basically a cure for Life. The name comes from a Usenet thread where people were applying ROT-13 to the names of various Linux distributions, and speculating on what those words might mean. Qrovna is the ROT-13 for Debian, and one of the respondents thought it sounded like something vaguely Scandinavian distilled from potatoes and Diesel oil. I adopted it more or less as such. You do not delicately sip Qrovna. You toss it back in one go, trying to avoid any of it touching your taste buds.

The Belltower and Rifle inn: English pubs have a tradition of being named “The Thing and Other Thing” – “The Fox and Hound”, for instance. Draenei engineers are perennially grumpy people, having to deal with industrial grade stupidity day in, day out. The sentiment is often expressed after a particularly fine example that the engineer wishes to climb up a bell tower with a rifle, and permanently fix a few people’s problems for them. This is expressed in the name of this well-hidden secret inn on Exodar. You need to be a fully-maxed-out engineer to enter it. It is the only place Mareva calls home.

Yeti fur sleeping bags: In-game, people just curl up on the cold hard ground. Ariciel makes sleeping furs lined with the fur of Hillsbrad mountain yetis. They are marvellously warm, incredibly soft and almost large enough for two people.

The rooms in the Stonefire Tavern in Ironforge: In my stories, the Stonefire Tavern is rather more up-class than it is in-game. It’s got several dozen rooms, most of them strikingly similar to hotel rooms you may find on Earth. They have showers, designed and built by the Ironforge Gnomish Network for the Implementation of Thermal Energy, IGNITE. In the Crown Room at the very top is a ten-foot-wide round bath made of gold that due to the efforts of Mr. Griggin Steambender will fill up with bubbling hot water in under a minute. One of the receptionists, a Mr. Smolt, bears a striking resemblance to the host of QI.

Stetson’s assassin’s crossbow: For plot reasons, I needed to have Stetson shoot someone from a great distance. I settled on a range of 250 yards, which is actually more or less what an Earth crossbow can do. Treating it more or less as a sniper rifle.

Steambender’s Relaxing Steam Bath: O dear… Griggin’s re-invention of Loyly – better known as the Sauna or maybe a Turkish steam bath. It has two settings – one nice and warm, with a nice bracing cold shower afterwards. The other setting is “STERILISE”, which is to be used to get rid of the buildup of skin flakes, and whatever else may drop off a Dwarf when cleaning. Quite capable of boiling a Dwarf alive, and for that reason the control is outside under a lid. It is not to be used when people are in the bath. Guess what happened. Interestingly, the machinery was re-purposed when Griggin moved to his present home in Stormwind. Its fearsome nozzles are pointed at his front door, and during the zombie plague, he was able to use it to great effect against unwelcome undead callers. He has never yet used it against double glazing salesmen, but logic suggests it would work quite well.

The castle of Caer Bannog: The Redridge home of the main character of these stories – Bannog of Caer Bannog. The castle is not named after him, he (and his great-uncle, and his great-grandfather) are named after the castle. Bannog’s job as the second son is to go out into the world and win renown for his home. The name is, of course, taken from a certain movie. Caer Bannog is small, home-like, but still built as a fighting castle, not as a mansion for some lord or other. The men and women of Caer Bannog are generally friendly, level-headed, and practical people. Gerrig the Ancient, son of Garth, built it with a good eye to the difference between Inside and Outside, and ease of maintenance. It has a secret tunnel under the moat to a nearby small cave, that leads to an inconspicuous room inside. That room can be turned into a tiny little hell of fire if anyone unwanted finds the tunnel and gets through it. The tunnel can also be flooded in an instance. A later addition to that tunnel is a modified Steambender’s Doorstep Sanitiser. Griggin has also installed a hugely over-powered Optimal Prime OP-5000 steam and water pump, and a beautiful bathroom.

The Optimal Prime line of water heaters and steam pumps: Today’s yoof may think that I have named this after Optimus Prime, of Transformers fame. I have not. In fact, both Optimus and my heaters are named after the Optimus kerosene stoves, the favourite of many a camping trip. You light the things by putting a flammable paste into a little cup, setting that on fire to heat up the element. Then you pump like mad to pressurise the fuel container, turn on the tap, and an evil jet of yellow flame shoots out to set your tent on fire along with its occupants who then run round screaming in the authentic camping experience. Griggin’s OP range of heaters were invented by him and Marvin Sprocket, who by accident found out that you can use the crystals un Un’goro Crater to heat water, more or less forever. The current top model, the OP-6000X (Experimental upgrade from the OP-5000), can supply a small town with hot and cold running water.

Steambender’s Kill-and-obscure smoke bombs: These are very useful if you are a rogue in need of a quick getaway. A metal ball with a Big Red Switch, they will explode with a fierce bang that may or may not be fatal to anyone near. Then, they cover the area in a blanket of smoke that you can only see through with a matching pair of goggles. The first model of these was made with a ten-second fuse, which caused some confusion. You see, gnomes, having only eight fingers, make all their calculations in octal. Given that the numbers eight and nine do not exist in the Gnomish numbering system, this led to customer dissatisfaction when used by those who expect those numbers to be there. So now, they have four second fuses.

The Darnassus Temple Choir: Is there any religion in the multiverse that does not at least produce music? I think of music as one of any church’s redeeming features. So there’s a choir in the Darnassus Temple of the Moon. They are amazingly good, able to sing the most complex pieces, with a beauty that freezes the heart, and drops it to the floor in shimmering crystals. They are routinely sent out into the world as goodwill ambassadors. They have a more than casual relationship with the Stormwind Male Choir, who live in Stormwind Cathedral, and are in the same league for quality. Lirael, one of my characters, is one of the star sopranos in the Darnassus Temple Choir.

So. There you have it. My additions to World of Warcraft fanon.

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