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Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Infinite Paths and the rise of Murozond {WoW}

Nov 16th 2011 3:34PM So far the Titans' record with the Dragon Aspects is not spectacular.

One went insane and almost wiped out the entire flight of another, as well as nearly killing everything in the world a few times, and has gone on to appear on box covers.

One went insane after his insane friend almost destroyed him, and almost seized control of the world's magic in a way that would have killed everything in the world, and has since gone on to be replaced by that one guy from the Sunwell manga (who will no doubt go insane soon).

One will be .... is to have been .... will have would been going ... one is Nozdormu, and he is evidently going insane in the future pluperfect tense and in so doing will kill everyone in the world and all possible future and past worlds.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that Ysera will also turn out to be insane after being corrupted by the Old God behind the Emerald Nightmare, leaving Alexstrasza to soldier on alone until she inevitably goes insane to serve as a boss for the last raid before Sargeras.

The Queue: Image is relevant {WoW}

Nov 15th 2011 1:13PM http://www.wowpedia.org/Varok_Saurfang

His name's Varok. His brother's name is Broxigar.

This isn't rocket surgery, people.

Two Bosses Enter: Lord Godfrey vs. Setesh {WoW}

Sep 23rd 2011 9:03PM I wasn't going to add anything to this one necessarily, since Godfrey seemed destined to win in a walk, but the comments seem to imply that people don't understand how this could happen. What you have to remember from the fight against Setesh is that he BREEDS chaos - he IS destruction. He'd be drawn to Godfrey like a moth to flame, even it meant his end ...

---
Lord Vincent Godfrey waited, patient as the grave, with his withered hands resting on the familiar grips of his pistols, holstered at his sides. A wind blew over Crusaders’ Coliseum, and it was an ill one that blew no one any good. The undead scion of Gilneas tilted his head down, his broad-brimmed hat hiding the glow of his eyes as the mask he wore hid the ruin of his face. He did not bother to look up into the stands, where the great unwashed masses gathered to watch him fight for their amusement. The few ghouls Tirion Fordring had so kindly allowed him to have at his side (a few vintage reanimated carcasses imported from Silverpine’s blighted forest, since the High Crusader seemed unwilling to move a few of the hallowed corpses of the Argent Cruade’s knights here to the Coliseum that Godfrey might have appropriate materials at hand) made meaningless gibbering noises, tilting their rotting heads this way and that, their glassy eyes peering around the arena. He didn’t bother to shush them. Frankly, it was better to listen to their tongueless blathering than to the arguments ringing over the arena about whether or not he’d be able to shoot apart a Titan construct.

Godfrey was not like that pompous tart Azil, who had kept her chin high and her feet off the ground and stayed loyal to Deathwing, holding herself superior to the battle she was in right up until she had been ripped apart by a robot designed for harvesting okra. Godfrey was INTERESTED in the tournament. He paid good coin to have the studied results of each battle brought to him, and he read the oddsmakers’ sheets with avid interest. He had not yet worked out what Fordring was about, hosting this freakshow here in the wastes of Northrend, expending vast amounts of resources and energy to bring all the worst Azeroth had to offer in one place and pitting them against each other … nor did it particularly matter, ultimately. Vincent Godfrey was an exquisitely patient man, now that he had all the time in the world to rot in, and he would find out what the game was about in due time. All he had to do meanwhile was win.

At last the horns sounded, and that great ham Fordring raised his fist, to a cheer from the crowd.

“CHAMPIONS - BEGIN!”

The great doors drew wide, and Setesh moved in like night falling over the desert.

He was toweringly tall, this construct. Carved from some dark stone and hung with ornaments of white and gold accented with the strange glyphs of Uldum, the thing was even - magnificent, in its way. Godfrey cocked his head, admiring it, even as his avid glowing eyes caught the glows of purple in its eyes. Brann Bronzebeard had written extensively of Setesh, a Titanic watcher set to guard some sort of engine Brann had ranted about. Brann wrote of him as “the Construct of Destruction”. Godfrey sighed elaborately and drew his pistols, letting them rest in his idle hands as his ghouls began to caper back and forth, watching the thing lumber slowly to the center of the arena.

“The Construct of Destruction. Only a dwarf could’ve come up with that bit of imbecility,”

The watcher stopped, still as stone, and stared placidly at him, its eyes lit with strange violet radiance. Godfrey racked his pistols with a smooth twirling gesture, loading a cursed bullet he had forged and enchanted himself into each chamber, and watched in return. He’d be damned if he was going to blink before the statue did.

“You fear that which you cannot control.”

Well, he’d been wrong. He did blink. The Titan watcher peered through his rotting skin to the dark heart inside of him and named his fear. This did not please Godfrey. He drew twin beads on the construct’s glowing purple eyes.

“Say that again.”

The watcher turned, as if disregarding him, and moved towards one of the high Coliseum walls. Godfrey’s teeth bared in a snarl of irritation, and he fired, a cracking volley of cursed bullets thudding into the thing’s black stone form, sending puffs of black dust into the night wind. Setesh did not appear to notice, merely bringing its hands together and spreading them slowly, ignoring the bullets thudding into its broad back as it opened a hole in reality, a screaming black void. Godfrey let his guns drop for a moment, impressed.

“But can you control your fear?”

Setesh did not move its mouth when it spoke. Its deep, hollow voice simply came out of the darkness all around. Godfrey’s glowing yellow eyes narrowed. If there was one thing he had learned, surviving the Gilnean overrun by those filthy furred abominations and his subsequent unwilling revival by that bitch Sylvanas, it was to control his fear. He lifted his guns as twisted shadows started to spill from the portal, hissing words of dark magick he had learned at some pains, and sent twin streams of mystic bullets roaring into the portal. The shades that had coalesced gave long, wavering moans and dispersed, fading back into nothing, and the portal itself rippled like a pond struck with a stone, and twisted away. Godfrey lowered his smoking pistols, grinning, and turned to Setesh, who had placidly walked away from the portal he had created.

“Murder never gets old. Even when it’s more like AAAAGH!”

He gave a sharp cry of pain as Setesh, without even deigning to turn and look at him, held up one hand and sent a bolt of seething nether energy roiling with chaotic fire slamming into him as it walked past. It struck Godfrey’s chest and sent him tumbling back across the Coliseum, his robes smoldering. He stopped, patting at his scorched chest, and rubbed at the frayed, burned cloth as he gave a disdainful sneer. “These robes were quite expensive. GET HIM!”

His ghouls, obedient to the end, went pouncing after Setesh, gibbering cheerfully. They leaped on the watcher, clawing at his back, gnawing at his stone legs. Scraps of Titan cloth fell away and there were cracks and chinks as the ghouls broke their teeth and snapped their undead fingers on the watcher, even as the unholy magic that animated them took its toll, chips of basalt falling to the Coliseum floor as the ghouls raked their claws across the construct. Setesh did not appear to notice, even as the tip of one jackal ear broke away in a ghoul’s mouth, and clapped its dark clawed hands heavily, knocking some of the ghouls to the sand. Again its hands drew apart, and again a twisted nether portal ripped open. In the stands, the Crusaders shifted uncomfortably, and Tirion growled, remembering the grave mistake of Wilfred Fizzlebang and the summoning of the eredar Lord Jaraxxus, who had opened similar portals to his hateful realm.

This time, no voidwalkers (or underclad demonesses, Tirion noted with a tinge of regret) emerged, but rather a pair of serpents … worms, really, roughly shaped from the shadow of the Void itself. They lashed out among the ghouls as Setesh, pausing only long enough to run its purple gaze across the turmoil, walked across the sands again, this time towards Lord Godfrey, just now rising to his bony feet.

“Do you understand now?”

The voice spoke out of nothing again, and Godfrey pulled his hat over his eyes, standing his ground as the watcher of Chaos approached. His pistols rested in his bony grip, and his eyes gleamed hatefully.

“Of course I understand. Some people want to watch this world burn.”

He grinned, cold in the night.

“Others want to be the ones responsible for burning it.”

Setesh paused, as if considering the undead man’s words, and then raised a stone hand. Purple energy crackled around it. A purple sphere, swirling with unknowable energies, rose above its palm, and with a gesture, Setesh tossed it to Godfrey’s feet. Vincent Godfrey watched it come, and embraced the end as the energy burst all around him, seething, wrapping him in agonizing flares of purple fire. He did not cry out again. He would not give the construct the satisfaction. Across the arena, his ghouls died all over again at the teeth of the void worms even as they managed to claw them back into nothingness, and one bold ghoul gibbered and leaped into the portal, which closed around it as it clawed at infinite nothingness.

Chaos raged around Godfrey, his long coat whipping into dark flames, the edges of his wide-brimmed hat starting to burn. He craned his head up and stared at unmoving Setesh, who watched him as if waiting for something. Godfrey snarled with the same demonic stubbornness that had driven him all his life and unlife and moved forward, walking through the flames that wreathed him until he emerged, and lifted his smoldering guns. They burned with the same purple flame that had wrapped him, as if each had been planted with a seed of Setesh’s chaos.

“I understand PERFECTLY.”

He hissed his dark spell, and his pistols leaped to blazing life, a barrage of magical bullets now infused with the chaotic energy of Setesh himself ripping into the Titan watcher. Its body began to crack apart, a hand coming free, one glowing eye bursting in a shower of crystal older than the world, and its legs shuddering apart in patters of dark stone. The pistols stopped their roar, and Godfrey looked at Setesh through the drifting smoke as the Titan construct slowly toppled backwards, gracefully falling back to the sand and staring up at the Northrend stars with its one glowing eye, even now beginning to fade. Its deep dusk voice spoke from the night.

“Yes. Harness … your … hatred.”

The voice blew away on the night wind, and Setesh crumbled, its long watch over. Godfrey stood for a long moment and let the wind blow around him and then looked up at Tirion, his yellow eyes blazing. He lifted one pistol in salute, still cracking with purple fire, and smiled - or at least bared his teeth.

“Thank you for your hospitality, Highlord.”

Godfrey chuckled as he turned and limped out of the Coliseum, still smoldering and cracking, and walked back down to the cells he had been given. His books awaited, and he had reading to do - on the nature of Chaos.

Two Bosses Enter: High Priestess Azil vs. Foe Reaper 5000 {WoW}

Sep 12th 2011 4:54PM Azil wore an arrogant grin as she floated serenely in a sphere of crackling purple force - just one of the many amazing powers bestowed upon her by Deathwing. Tirion Fordring, his arms folded as well as one can fold his arms in plate mail, glared righteously down at the Twilight priestess levitating above the coliseum floor.

"Your opponent will arrive shortly. I am told he is undergoing final adjustments."

Azil raised a delicate eyebrow. She had anticipated having to face one of the many filthy trolls who littered this farcical tournament, but one did not generally have to adjust trolls. Perhaps this one had a bad back. Her head snapped around as she heard the great doors of the coliseum rumble open to a cheer from the gathered Crusaders, adventurers, famous personages, goblin cartel oddsmakers and itinerant gamblers. There was a faint whirring sound from the shadowed doorway, and two eyes flared. A voice - or at least the echo of one - spoke in eerily placid tones.

"Foe Reaper 5000 on-line. All systems nominal."

An assemblage of mechanisms roughly screwed together into humanoid shape clanked into the coliseum, and Azil spent a few long moments staring, then threw her head back and laughed.

"This is what you put before me, Fordring? First the murloc in his little cookpot and now THIS?" She sneered up at the High Crusader. "I'm beginning to think you do not respect my power."

"To the contrary, dark priestess - I think it is you who do not respect those you face." Tirion said, raising an armored fist high. "Champions - BEGIN!"

The robot spun around once, its gleaming claws extended. The glowing eyes lit with the fires of the strange forges of the Deepmines swept the coliseum and settled upon the priestess, still floating in her shimmering sphere of dark energy.

"Acquiring target."

Azil waited a moment, her hands at her side, curious as to what the contraption was capable of. An unusual mechanism, as little as she understood these things - it appeared to be based on the designs of the harvest reapers she remembered in Westfall from when she had been a little girl - but the ominous bladed claws and the fiery eyes and the grinding engines spoke of a device put to a whole new purpose. Well, it mattered not. The thing looked like it was still "acquiring" her, and she had grown bored. Some goblin tinker might have hammered a plowshare into a clanking sword with an annoying voice, but it looked like it could still be crushed with boulders. She raised her hands suddenly, causing the sphere of energy around her to brighten and crackle, and the coliseum rumbled.

"Let me show you what I respect, Fordring …" she grinned malefically, and clenched her fists as the ground behind her cracked in magical agony and spat gouts of lava, drawing shouts of alarm from the crowd. "This world will be reborn - in FLAMES."

Three huge chunks of the earth, dripping with the seething lava that had boiled forth at her command, floated into the air majestically behind her. Azil smiled, wishing only that she could throw them into the crowd and bury this whole mockery under the earth, but the Crusader's magics prevented such fun. Instead, she simply clapped her hands, sending one of the rocks spiraling at the robot.

The Foe Reaper did not move, as it had no need to, its eyes gleam flickering as the shape of the boulder was detected. Clockwork spun in its barrel, calculating speed and mass and the terminus of impact. An optimal punchcard slid into the correct slot, and an engine whirred into life.

"Overdrive engine activated."

The robot's arms extended, claws gleaming as the upper body began to rotate, faster and faster, blurring into a vortex as its heavy legs cycled into a thumping sprint, rushing past the crashing boulder with barely an inch to spare. Azil's mocking laugh faded, and she raised an eyebrow. "Luck." She hurled another boulder, her fingers crackling with eldritch energies as she arced this one hard, pulling upon the energies of the earth. The robot continued spinning, in an erratic whirling dance, and somehow managed to avoid this shard of the earth as well, its claws grazing sparks off this boulder before it spun clear of the shattering impact. Sweat began to trickle down Azil's forehead, her mocking smile fading to a snarl of fury, as she bore her concentration down ferociously, refusing to be bested by a machine. The last dripping crumbling fist of earth launched in a sharp vicious arc as the robot's heavy overdrive spring finally began to wound down. Clockwork clicked and the Foe Reaper came to a dead stop suddenly, just a few feet from where the rock crashed to the earth in front of it. Azil gasped, her shield flickering as the magic she had expended in the attack caught up with her, and sank to the floor. Behind her, lava seethed and cooled into obsidian from where she had ripped the living earth free. Before her, the Foe Reaper swung its claws in a vicious arc, shattering the cracking boulder half-buried in the earth in front of it, and moved through with an eerie jittering mechanical grace.

"Target acquired."

The fiery eyes blazed, and Azil gasped, beginning to backpedal. Her slippered feet slid on the rough floor of the coliseum, and she could feel the heat of the lava she had called behind her, as hot as the breath of Deathwing. Sweat ran down her face freely as the robot moved forward, its claws gleaming.

"NO!" She cried, and brought her hands up, twisted into a grasp beseeching at the sky. Radiant violet energy, as dark as the night, seeped through the earth at the robot's feet. Foe Reaper 5000 did not look down. Robots can't look down. It did, however, stop in its tracks, caught by the gravitic pull of the earth magic. Azil panted, making sure the robot was snared, and then laughed. "Here is what I think of your toy, Fordring!" She cried out, defiance and arrogance returning to her voice as the Foe Reaper spun, its claws sparking and screws beginning to loosen as its local gravity increased a hundredfold, the groan of metal accompanying its slowing turns.

"Master, a sacrifice for you!" She cried, exalted with the dark fury of Deathwing as she thrust her fist out, catching the robot in a fist of that same dark energy. The iron grip of gravity itself wrapped around the Foe Reaper, lifting it up. Screws and bolts popped free and it sparked, the iron oak barrel of its body giving a groaning crunch as it started to stave inwards. One of its fiery eyes flickered. Under the groaning collapse of its heavy chassis and the mocking laughter of the priestess was the sound of soft frantically ticking gears. A gauge spun and a dial inside sprung free. Certain latches were released, and a chemical held in reserve rushed into the engine at the heart of the Foe Reaper. Its eyes blazed a searing crimson, though its voice did not change.

"Safety restrictions offline. Catastrophic system failure imminent."

"It's more than imminent, you clinking, clanking, clattering collection of collagenous junk!" Azil screamed, bearing her will down upon the grip of gravity's force.

The red eyes flashed in binary patterns.

"Cyclonic counterforce calculated."

The robot began to spin, its metals groaning and wood splintering, sparks flying as its overclocked engine forced itself to rotate, claws extending and slashing at the tendrils of violet energy as it spun faster and faster, Azil grinding her teeth as she struggled to hold on.

"You cannot resist he power … given to me … by DEATHWING!"

The robot's spinning hit a peak speed that dropped it free of Azil's manipulation of gravity. The heavy feet landed, and Azil's pool of dark energy dissipated as she gasped for breath, sinking to her knees.

"No …" she moaned, clasping her throbbing head and peering at the steaming, sparking robot, springs boinging with comical sounds inside its battered frame.

"Harvesting servos engaged," Foe Reaper 5000 replied with its traditional wit and verve.

There was a rush of springs and a tortured groan of metal pushed to its limits. Heavy curving claws whirled in a blur and there was a last lingering scream from Azil that faded into some very wet sounds that weren't at all like the threshing of Westfall wheat.

"Target destroyed. Foe Reaper 5000 - shutting down."

Terminal gears clanked into place, and the arms sank, the harvester settling onto its great steaming joints with a hiss of released pressure, until the only sound in the Coliseum was the soft scarlet drip from its quiet claws.

Breakfast Topic: What are your rules of engagement for world PVP? {WoW}

Sep 11th 2011 11:37AM Pirate's Rules of Engagement:

• I only attack when I am within attack range of my prey.
• If they are fighting a mob, I think "Man, that's convenient."
• I will make sure to attack someone if they are less than 90% health/mana. The closer to 10%, the better.
• I refuse to camp someone until I've got additional personnel in the area to make sure they don't get away.

By God, I'm roleplaying a pirate and I'm a rogue. What in that combination makes you'd think I'd fight fair?

The Queue: I finally got red hair on my Night Elf {WoW}

Sep 10th 2011 7:20PM If they're going to use the Old Gods as a reference point, General Vezax is the most detailed humanoid model available among the Faceless servants of the Old Gods. I interpreted the comment as a statement of aesthetics, not of lore.

It's the design principles of facial tentacles and bulgy bits and glistening hides and strange runes they were looking at - not the actual General himself. He just happened to be the graphical file they referenced.

The Classifieds: Understanding the schedule {WoW}

Sep 7th 2011 9:32PM Okay, I kind of see what they were going for, but I had to stare at it for while at max zoom, which was no pleasant prospect.

I'd guess that's six turkey legs for the crocolisk's six legs, a frenched pair of chops for the head - possibly lamb? Cucumber slices for what I suppose are eyes ... and the splayed guts are represented by what looks to be a big split sausage topped by a pile of bacon and ... either ravioli or some sort of fried dough snack such as the aforementioned pizza rolls.

A neat little idea for a hearty meal, actually - food presented in the shape of other food is an old feasting tradition. The problem lies not in the idea, nor even the presentation so much as the picture and the framing.

A square black plate on a black cloth field does no one any favors - I'd have used a long oblate serving dish, such as the one used for turkey at Thanksgiving, ideally in nice radiant white. I'd do away with the bed of useless iceberg lettuce, the packing foam pellets of the culinary world, and use a crisp vinegary slaw of red cabbage brightened by some peppers. And as stated above, I would shoot it in balanced light with a better camera, and maybe drizzle some sauce over it so it looks more luscious and less horrifyingly surgical.

WoW Moviewatch: The Pretender {WoW}

Aug 12th 2011 3:38PM I quite enjoyed the little tribute to "Blind" with the run-by sword clash. The rest was very well done, although the use of the security-camera filter got a bit disorienting by the end.

And Lord knows you can't go wrong with the Foo Fighters.

Spiritual Guidance: A shadow priest's guide to Alysrazor {WoW}

Aug 10th 2011 7:43PM The biggest challenge I face on Alysrazor is my suicidal desire to keep my Blazing Power/Alysra's Razor buffs rolling up to the last possible second during the whirlwind phase. That's where I really find Dispersion helpful - when I have to pop my Nitro Boosts and suicidally barrel through three flaming whirlwinds to get to the last Blazing Power hoop before it disappears.

That, and trying to stop the amazing addictive rush of chaining infinite half-second Mind Flays long enough to drop a MB and throw the next shadowfiend.

One thing I keep meaning to check and have neglected to, since the fight is hectic enough as it is - when you get another shadowfiend cooled down while one is still out, do you have two out for a few seconds or does the new one just replace the old?

The Queue: And from darkness, a hero arises {WoW}

Jul 30th 2011 1:44PM Use whatever hits hardest.

No, really. Theoretically, the best non-heroic set-up is the Goblet of Anger off Shannox and the mace off Rags, but if you can't get those to drop and you end up with the Spire of Scarlet Pain, feel free to roll with it.

Right now staves are a bit disadvantaged because there's no specialized staff enchants like there were in LK, and with a MH/OH you get Power Torrent AND the OH intellect enchant.