Tag Archives: WoWfic

A sunny day in Redridge

A sunny day in Redridge


 

“So. Which of the soldiers do you think is cutest?”

Nægling looked at Ariciel with a strange frown on her face.

Cutest?”

“Yeah.”


Honestly, if you didn’t know her better, you’d think Ariciel’s eyes light up because someone is shining a torch in her ears. Also, she loves winding people up. Especially a rewarding paladin such as Nægling.

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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.

Thunderpetal part 17: Meditation

Part 17: Meditation

Master Shang Xi took Thunderpetal and Huang to a cave at the end of a shallow pond. They entered, and the Master sat down on a stone. He made himself comfortable, and looked at Huang.

“Thunderpetal has named you his most trusted friend,” said the Master. “What will you do for him?”

Huang looked at the Master. “I will do what must be done to bring peace into his Self.”

Shang Xi’s eyes wrinkled. “That is good to know. Léi-shēng Huā-bàn?”

“Yes, Master?”

Shang Xi pointed at Huang. “Kill him.”

Clearly, drastic methods are called for here. Honestly, it looks a bit like throwing the child away with the bath water, but then again, I am not a mystic Master like Shang Xi.

Well folks, it’s the last chapter. Hope you enjoyed the ride. Special thanks go to Jaelynn Evershade, who never failed to hit the “Like” button on my posts, and to Lindsey Batdorf, who made the beautiful title picture. Which means that I’ll be hiding away for a while while I produce the next story.

Until we meet again,

Menno “Bannog” Willemse

Thunderpetal part 15: The hut on fowl’s legs

Part 15: The hut on fowl’s legs

Bieslook’s little voice spoke up. “There’s a witch in our house. Like Baba Yaga. Her house didn’t have any doors or windows. She flew around in a great big cooking pot.”

“Yes dear,” said Lenna. “Be quiet now. We’re trying to think.”

“She could only get in or out through the chimney,” said Bieslook.

You know what it’s like when you’ve locked yourself out of the house. You just need to imagine you’re a burglar. Or ask a handy ten tear old.

Thunderpetal part 14: Cum mortuis in lingua morta

Part 14: Cum mortuis in lingua morta

Thunderpetal’s face fell. Master Windstrong laughed and slapped his back.

“There are two kinds of people who come to talk to me about kites,” he said. “The first kind are interested in flying, and they will ask all kinds of questions on what bambu to use, where to get the rockets, how to shape the wings. Then they go away, and come back, freshly healed of broken bones, and then they ask me how to build proper kites.” Master Windstrong chuckled to himself. “I do not see many of them, but they give me great joy. I recognise myself in them, broken bones and all. The other kind, they simply want to go somewhere.”

No matter what else Google comes up with when you stick this title in, it means “With the dead in a dead language”. Things are about to get slightly disturbing. Oh. And Thunderpetal is finding out about a novel and interesting way to break his neck.

Thunderpetal part 13: Catacombs

Part 13: Catacombs

“Why does one want to kill anyone?”

Raven grinned. “To strike fear into the survivors, to silence their voice, to make sure they can’t hurt you anymore. Or simply because you don’t like them very much. Or because you’re a sodding psychopath and can’t sleep of nights until you kill a Gnome.”

“And which of those do you think applies to you?”

“I’m not a Gnome.”

“You will simply have to live with that fact, Miss Raven.”

Today we visit the deep dark places of the soul, the things that you don’t want to get out in the sunlight. Like, for instance, underwear.

 

Thunderpetal part 12: The market at Ironforge

Part 12: The market at Ironforge

Interalia lay back, wide awake, in a canopied double bed large enough to lose her husband in.

“She’s hungry,” she said.

“Mwh?” said Nix.

“Aubrey. She’s hungry. I can feel it.”

Nix pulled interalia a bit closer and put his face in her neck.

“You know, when me or Trix got hungry, Mum used to just put us out in the forest to hunt up our own dinner. None of that sissy breast or bottle feeding stuff.”

“Sod you,” said Interalia. She turned round, facing Nix. “Damn it, Nix, I’m a butt-kicking terror of the night, and I’m feeling maternal!”

“Look, my mum is a butt-kicking fire mage. Don’t sweat it. Your cred is safe.”

Look, I know that Mussorgski’s title is “Limoges Marketplace”, but Limoges doesn’t exist in Azeroth, so you get Ironforge, OK?

Thunderpetal part 9: Ballet of the unhatched chicks

Part 9: Ballet of the unhatched chicks

“Ow!”

“Lie down.”

“I can’t lie down! The house is full of dead Humans!”

“Never you mind. You’ve got stuff to do!”

“I don’t want the first thing that my child sees to be a heap of dead bodies!”

“Look. Infants can’t see further than maybe one foot. It won’t see a thing of all this.”

Interalia glared at Raven. “You are not getting the point.”

“No, you aren’t getting the point. Are you going to drag dead bodies all over the place when your water’s already broken? Leave that to Griggin. Get in bed.”

Interalia opened her mouth to argue, then accepted the inevitable and gently lowered herself onto the bed.

I didn’t post this yesterday because unfortunately, I had to attend the funeral of a colleague. I dedicate this post to his memory. But life goes on, and indeed, life is about to begin for Spud.

Incidentally, has anyone spotted yet what I’m getting these titles from?

Thunderpetal part 8: Promenade IV

Part 8: Promenade IV

Griggin went below. Raven dropped tea-bags in the pot and lit a tea-light. She asked Interalia where the mugs were, and added them to the tray. She got some milk from the cool-box, added the sugar pot.

“Fancy a cuppa, Interalia?”

Without waiting for an answer, Raven picked up the tray and turned round. She threw the tea tray on the floor and went for her daggers.

Look, they didn’t say they were coming, but is that any reason to draw steel on them? On reflection, probably,  yes it is.

Part 23: From each according to their ability

Part 23: From each according to their ability

It’s the final chapter, and what better way to finish a story than with the sound of wedding bells? Well… A bit of violence, perhaps?

Mareva did look beautiful in her white dress. It had taken the combined effort of Ariciel, Lirael and Ellandriel to get her to have the dress fitted properly, and to have her hair done. Stetson could not take his eyes off her, so they were counting it as a success. Lirael was doing the ritual. Ellandriel had asked Mordent Evenshade to be a witness. Feanor had emerged from his library for a few hours to be present. Arador had volunteered a few of his fellow choir members to sing a hymn or two for Stetson and Mareva. Ariciel grinned to herself. Part of Draenei wedding ceremony was for the groom to come and fetch the bride, and having to pay a ‘ransom’ for her. Lirael had stood in the doorway, stone-faced, arms crossed, claiming that she knew no such person as a Draenei Shaman. Meanwhile, Mareva had been inside, screaming piteously about the perverted depravities these wild Night-elves were inflicting on her, and asking him to come back later. Stetson had forced his way in, and come out a few moments later, carrying Mareva in his arms. Lirael, Ariciel and Ellandriel had trailed him, complaining bitterly about how little ransom Setson had paid. They had only escaped by getting into one of the small floats in the waterways of Darnassus, which took them to a beautiful spot in the Temple gardens.

Ariciel watched as Lirael took both their hands, tied them together with a piece of rope and had them pronounce their vows. All the witnesses signed their name on the deed. Mareva and Stetson stood still in each other’s arms, looking deep into each other’s eyes, until Lirael coughed politely.

“Now get me out of this dress,” said Mareva. “I look like a fairy cake.”

At the end of this story, I would like to thank all of you, who have followed Ariciel, Mareva, Stetson and Ellandriel. Especially Pyrelle, who never failed to hit the “Like” button on any of my posts, and Bravetank, who kindly lent Seashell out to me to transport the adventurers to Dalaran.

I’m not sure when the next part of these stories will come out, and perhaps I’ll change the format a bit so that I have more posts, but shorter ones. I have one more large story to tell before the Pandas arrive – the adventures of Bannog in Northrend. So this is not farewell, but “Until we meet again”.