December 7, 2006

Let's talk about felguards.

Up until now warlocks have relied on eight different types of summoned minions to aid them in combat, crush insubordinates, do their bidding etc. Now, now, I know what you're thinking: "But Lady Crys! I can only think of seven kinds of summoned minions, and one of them is just a horse!" To that nonsensical blather, I respond with these two points:

  1. You aren't a warlock, so who cares what you think.
  2. We warlocks don't share all our secrets, and we laugh at you behind your back.
That said, we're on the cusp of a new demonic slave to handle such menial day-to-day tasks as cooking, hauling garbage, crushing opponents, and laundry. Behold, the felguard:

Now, he's certainly big and mean looking, and I can absolutely respect the fact that he's weilding an axe that I could lay on its side and comfortably use as a bed. But I do have some issues with the ol' gent, and I think a lot of warlocks are going about this the wrong way.

See, you see a warlock coming down the road with a voidwalker out, and you think, "Hey look! It's a large and pretty silly looking monster." Or, if they have a succubus, you think, "Woo hoo! Break me off a piece of that!" Unless you happen to be female, in which case you think "Pfft, no way are those real."

(By the way, ladies: they're not. The unholy triumvirate of the damned: fire, brimstone, silicone.)

Point is, it's not the demon you fear. It's the warlock. And this is how it should be. Warlocks instill fear in the unwashed masses. This is the proud tradition of generations upon generations of warlocks.

Now, you see that same warlock coming down the road with a felguard and you think, "Oh sweet mercy! A giant monster with an axe the size of Goldshire! Flee!" The effect is the same: you run away because you don't want to be annihilated by a power so obviously stronger than your own. But the fear you feel is on account of the servant and not the master.

I've spoken with several fellow warlocks on this issue, and there is no consensus. The lesser warlocks think that bigger and badder is, of course, better. These are warlocks who do not deserve what little power they weild. Warlocks of my own calibur or higher (and the latter are few and far between, I assure you) agree that it is a problem that it will be our demons commanding respect and terror, not us.

This isn't to say that I will be boycotting the felguard on some sissy principle. Heavens no. Again, did you see the size of that axe!? I can recognize power for what it is, and I crave it as much as warlock worth her salt. However, I will be dressing my felguard up in a tutu with big pink bow in order to lessen the initial shock of its overpowering menace. That way, it will still be me who is feared, and not my slave.

That is the way it should be.

October 23, 2006

A recipe.

A couple of jerkwads have pulled me aside recently and in no uncertain terms made it known to me that they were not pleased about the lack of updates. Every time that happens I kind of want to pull out my big ol' cauldron and boil me up a pot of Jerkwad Stew. In fact...

Recipe for Jerkwad Stew


  • 1 jerkwad, freshly skinned
  • 3 tablespoons butter, margarine, or murloc lard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 flask of big mojo
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves, minced
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 1/2 cups junglevine wine
  • 1 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 2/3 cup flour
Peel and chop the onion and mix with minced cloves. Using a cheesecloth pouch, tie together the peppercorns, parsley, thyme and bayleaf. Stoke oven fire until approx. 350°. Using a SHARP knife (at least 38.6 dps) cut the jerkwad into thin, bite-sized strips and season with salt and pepper. Sauté jerkwad in butter until brown all the way through*. Place in a 3-quart casserole dish. Add the onion, cheesecloth pouch and lemon juice. Stir in beef stock, mojo and wine. Cover dish and back for 90 minutes. Ten minutes before finishing, remove the cheesecloth bag. Add a small amount of flour to the juices to thicken into a fine gravy. Serves five.

* Warning: consuming raw or undercooked night elf may result in illness.

But for real, I can't be sitting here blogging all the time, because then I'd never get any adventuring done. And I can't go out and adventure all the time either, because then I wouldn't have any time for blogging.

Besides, it's not like your feeble minds could understand a lot of what I'd have to relate, anyway. When you're life is as awesome as mine, sometimes you have to hold back just a little, right?

August 28, 2006

Crystalis's book club: Mount Hyjal and Illidan's Gift.

The major problem with night elves is that, up until recently, they were immortal. Not that there's anything wrong with immortality, per se, it just doesn't make for great literature. When you're going to live for an infinity kabillion years, you don't mind setting aside a decade or two to read a book. Night elf authors were happy to oblige. What might show up as a racy cartoon in a dwarven magazine would be a 9,000-page monologue in a night elf comic book. Now the night elves don't have that kind of time anymore, so they've had to try to adapt to what we mere mortals might actually consider reading. The result: dry and uninteresting prose. Everything the night elves write ends up sounding like a history book, whether or not it's actually history.

Today's selection is Mount Hyjal and Illdan's Gift, which I found laying around in the Auberdine inn while waiting for a boat. Problem is the damn thing put me to sleep and I ended up missing the boat anyway.

Note that the night elves refer to the group of folks who destroyed the Well of Eternity and blew up the world as "weary heroes". Among other things, that cataclysm allegedly created the continents we know and love today, kick-started the Maelstrom (and thus adding a few hours to our trans-continental travel time as we sail around the magically destructive vortex) and, oh yeah, as an added bonus created the entire race of naga. I guess if you destroy the world and there's nobody left but you and your buddies, you become heroes by default.

Not so long ago the entire noble race of gnomes exploded themselves by trying to fight off a horde of troggs without any aid. After the dust settled they all decided to just go find new, interesting ways to explode themselves and others. Which isn't a credit to my race to be sure, but at least we didn't get mired down in the same kind of emo hornswaggle these pansy night elves are accustomed to.

It's tragedy enough that any elves survived the cataclysm unscathed, Highborne or otherwise. Just goes to prove that the only things left after a magical catastrophe of epic proportions will be elves and roaches.

The elves are complaining that their holy mountain is "fouled by magic"? Sheesh. The mountain where I used to live had been fouled by dwarves for generations. And, more recently, troggs... but that's only a minor improvement.

All night elf texts basically amount to "Magic bad! Grrr!" This Illidan chap is my hero. Man, could you imagine a world without magic? How droll. Oh, and while I'm on the subject, you night elf priests use magic, too. Don't give me that "Elune" baloney either; you guys are a bunch of haughty magic-using hypocrites and everyone knows it. The only reason nobody has pointed out your atrocious double-standard until now is because they all want you to heal them.

Go Illidan! Someone should have told this Malfurion guy a long time ago that the world needs chaos. Order is the bane of existence. If there were no magic to keep everyone on their toes, the whole world would be a terrible beurocratic mess. Try and imagine Stormwind's red tape everywhere you go. With nobody to periodically light the politicians on fire, they might get out of line, yeah?

Wait a minute. Isn't Cenarius supposed to be some kind of druidic demigod? So making a magic pool and stirring up a little bit of chaos is bad, but calling in a favor from your centaur-god buddy to slap your brother in prison for eternity is perfectly okay!? What kind of twisted logic is that?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that the night elf forests are nice places. They've managed to diligently maintain some of the prettiest vacation spots in all of Kalimdor. In fact, if having to put up with this kind of self-glorifying kodo dung is the price I must pay to have purples trees and fresh air, so be it.

As far as being a literary work, I'd say/ Mount Hyjal and Illidan's Gift is about on par with what you'd find in the men's room of a dwarven tavern. Which is to say it's useful for wiping yourself with, but not much else.

August 16, 2006

Gandalf was a lovable mage. So was Vivi...

...but Crystalis? She's a lovable warlock.

Seriously, what is wrong with you people?

I can see how you people might get a hunter and a druid confused. After all, slightly over 100% of all hunters and druids in the Alliance are night elves, and they both kind of smell like dirty animals. This is because druids spend half their time doing what bears do in the woods, as bears, and hunters never bathe. Also, they each suffer their own adorable kind of identity crisis anyway.

I guess I should be careful or this will just turn into a rant displaying my undying contempt for druids, hunters and night elves. Suffice it to say that I can see why people have trouble telling them apart. The point is, I'm not a mage, you jackass.

Mages are decent enough folks, I guess. They throw fireballs and frostbolts and that's pretty cool, and they can do that nifty thing where they make magic bread. Also I think they can pull rabbits out of hats and turn water into wine or somesuch. There are three basic kinds of mages: fire, frost and purple. The purple ones are my favorite because as I'm sucking all their mana away and Cattnys is whipping the tar out of them, they run around like headless chickens trying to explode me with cute violet-hued fireworks. No mages consort with demons. No mages specialize in shadow magic. (There are shadow priests but now you're just confusing the issue. Shut up.) No mage will ever hand you a healthstone. (No self-respecting warlock would either, but that's neither here nor there.)

Look, I know you guys who come to Darnassus for the one time in your life are eager to get back to the sweltering hell of Ironforge. Hyjal only knows why you're so eager, but there you go. But coming up to me while I'm rearranging all my auctions or dangling some guy off of a Teldrassil branch and asking me for a portal home is insulting. Get it through your skulls: mages port, warlocks summon. Which isn't to say I'd summon your waste of flesh even if I were in Ironforge. I'd just appreciate it if you would at least identify my talents correctly.

I'm out fishing in Azshara the other day, and some unfortunate human lowlife steps up behind me and asks for bread.

"Get lost," I tell him. "You're standing in my oxygen."

"I need bread," he repeats, without so much as a "please" or an offer of payment.

It's at the point where I'm trying to think of a clever way to through this schlub to the nearby nagas without violating my Alliance contract that I realize he thinks I can summon bread for him.

"I'm not a mage, you dingus. Beat it."

"What do you mean you're not a mage? You're a gnome. You're wearing robes. You have a wand. Cut out this nonsense and give me some bread."

"Then how do you explain the imp, genius?" I command Jubjub to come out of his phase shifted state and stand before this unworthy mortal in all his beautiful impish glory. He mutters something in Demonic about the size and condition of the guy's genitalia that makes me snicker.

"That thing looks like a murloc," he says. "They give those out in Ironforge to anyone who a secret password."

Jubjub mutters something that translates roughly into "Oh yeah? Your mom's a murloc!" Let it be known that Jubjub is not well-regarded for his wit, although in this case I believe he is right. No amount of good old fashioned human inbreeding causes the mental deformities this troglodyte must have.

I look him over. He's wearing leather armor and has a sword hanging at his side, but no shield. He's got a little pouch which looks like it's filled with dust of some kind. There's a bow strung up on his back and yet he's not carrying a single arrow. I can see a dagger tucked into his belt.

"Sorry," I tell him, "I don't feed warriors."

"I'm not a warrior, idiot. I'm a rogue."

"You look like a warrior to me."

"Warriors wear mail and plate, you stupid little gnome. I've only got on leather."

"You're not a very good warrior, then. That isn't my problem."

"But I dual weild!" he shrieks.

"Lots of warriors like to switch weapons. Dagger's kind of a weird choice, though. You should invest in something heavier."

"Look," he growls, grabbing the pouch from his belt loop, "these are my poisons. Rogues use poisons. Therefore I am a rogue."

I jangle my own little pouch of magical powders and dusts. "Yeah, I'm an enchanter too. I've got all sorts of glowing sand. What's your point?"

"You mages are all the same!" he shouts, exasperated. "If you cowards had enough guts to get anywhere near a monster, maybe you'd be able to tell the difference between a warrior and a rogue!"

"My, you're certainly getting very angry," I say coolly as I finish packing away my tackle box and mount up on my clockwork rooster. "Rage, to me, suggests warrior."

He shakes his fist at me as I ride off. He shouts after me, "I'm going to tell everyone in my guild how retarded you mages are!"

So, if you're a mage and you're reading this, I apologize. The world-renowned <LeGeOn of DiStRuCtOn> all now believe you are retarded.

This story, of course, is dedicated to every warlock who has had some webbed-toed yokel ask for a buff, and been clever enough to cast Unending Breath. Oh, and while I've got you, stop turning down the magic fairy water mages try to give you by saying "No thanks, I can Life Tap." Just accept it and dump it out when they aren't looking. It makes them feel more useful, and less like they should have been a warlock.

August 8, 2006

Can you believe what weaklings the Horde are?

I know, I know... I'm a gnome and therefore I'm in the Alliance and I should hate the Horde and blah blah blah. Look. Call it racism, call it patriotism, I have no use for it. As far as I'm concerned, both the Horde and the Alliance are equally useless to me. I doubt my life would have been considerably different had I been born an orc, except I wouldn't have so many conversations with the knees of other people. I guess I wouldn't be on Uncle Sideburns's Winter Festival list either, but that's no big loss.

Point is, I only pay lip service to the Alliance because I know that if I don't I'll be branded an outcast and life would be pretty unbearable for me. Likewise, as an orc I would have to at least behave while the Horde high-ups were watching, or suffer the same fate. Whichever side of the divide you're on, you only have to look at the sad lot of a Skullsplitter Troll or a Defias Human to know what happens to those who shun their race's faction. You probably never noticed because you were too busy murdering them for sweat or bandanas or whatever, but there you have it.

So believe me when I tell you that I have a great deal of contempt for the Alliance and its practices, while at the same time having a great deal of respect for the Horde and their struggle. Politics isn't my game, but I can sit back and look objectively at what's going on.

That said, I'm consistantly amazed at what unbelievable weaklings the Horde are. An entire coalition of races declares war on them and what do they do? They sit back and take it. Need proof? Here you go:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Barrens. The Barrens is a big empty savanna in central Kalimdor with zebras and giraffes and kodos and stuff, but not a lot else. Oh, unless you count an Alliance flight path.

Seriously, there's this goblin town called Ratchet there, and recently they've opened up a flight path that caters to both Alliance and Horde. This is a double whammy -- not only is the Cartel profiting from an entirely new Alliance service in Horde territory, but they're also skimming profits away from the Horde that once went to the wind rider guys in Camp Taurajo and Crossroads. Why in the world are the Horde allowing this!?

Take a good look: Ratchet is a short march away from Crossroads, one of the most important Horde outposts in Kalimdor. Likewise, it's sandwiched in between Durotar and Mulgore, the two most prominent Horde seats on the continent. In no short terms, these Alliance scumbags are trompin' all over Horde territory right under their noses and nobody is stopping them!

Now I know what you're thinking... Ratchet is neutral ground run by the Steamwheedle Cartel. Gods know once those goblins get their claws (and their gold) into something, it's hard to get rid of them. All I'm saying is, do you think the dwarves would put up with it if some uppity goblins set up a wind rider outpost on the shores of Loch Modan? Of course not, and the dwarves don't even have flying ships to carpet bomb the place if need be.

I doubt Warchief Thrall reads my blog, but in the off chance he does, look big guy, I've got a suggestion for you. Collect about two hundred of your biggest, ugliest orc warriors and send them into Ratchet and tell those gobs to cool it. Slap a cease and desist on them, with an axe or a trebuchet if need be. You've got pasty-skinned Stormwind white boys flying in from who-knows-where, slaughtering your animals, tromping around in your dungeons, and laying siege to your Crossroads. Isn't it bad enough you're already embroiled in a neverending war with a tribe of elves who want to keep you from cutting down trees? The Alliance already thinks you're a joke. Do something about it.

July 29, 2006

My new digs.

Recently I invested in some land out in Silverpine Forest. I went out to survey the property and all in all I was pretty pleased. Check it out!

Here's the mountain path leading up to my new abode. As you can see, I'm canny enough to realize that going into uncharted territory alone isn't a smart idea. So I brought Roger, my trusty dark whelpling pal, for moral support. Cattnys's job is to eat and/or seduce any creatures we may come across... not necessarily in that order. If you look off to my left you can see a small village at the base of my new mountain. This is Crystalisville, the denizens of which will serve me as vassals. One can never have too many witless nobodies to do one's bidding.

A gated courtyard. How classy! A little drab, perhaps, but I can hire a team of migrant worker dwarves to spit-shine it up for me. Note also that I have my very own team of security dogs. Once a year I'll let them all loose in Crystalisville just so there is no question as to who is boss.

There is, of course, always the question of what to do with the current tenants. I suppose I could allow him to live in the dank squalor of my castle and charge him some outrageous rent...

...but that would make me a slumlord, which is an insufferable blemish on my spotless image. I want to be feared, after all, not despised.

I met up with my realtor, who brandished a set of keys and agreed to show me around. Unfortunately, as soon as he opened the door he was ravaged and/or eaten by wolves. Not necessarily in that order.

There's also always the problem of what to do with the junk the old tenants leave behind. I guess they had to move in a hurry. There wasn't anything useful in this box, but the barrels were full of foul-smelling liquor, which will be useful when it comes time to pay my migrant worker dwarves.

I figure I can sit Jubjub on one of these horses and enter him in the Khaz Modan Derby. A jockey that small and a horse that evil are a lock to bring home first prize, no doubt about it. None of these beasts measure up to my own awesome felsteed, of course, but I would never deign to enter such a magnificent mare in so base a competition.

My new kitchen, fully stocked and fully staffed. I even have my very own butcher. I wonder how much those Defias cats are paying Cookie. I know it would probably be frowned upon by Big Brother Alliance to have a murloc chef in my employ, but by the time any government officials get out my way to complain about it they will have long been eaten by my pack of rabid security dogs.

I don't know who this joker is. I bet he's my butler or something.

This looks like it might have been used as a chapel. I plan to convert it into my master bedroom. First I'm going to have to write to my neighbors over in Tirisfal Glades to see if I can get an exorcist on the cheap, though... it'd be tough trying to grab some sleep with all that wailing and haunting.

The view from the balcony outside my bedroom is just breathtaking. I bet you could drop an orc off the side and the sound of his screaming would fade out long before he hit the bottom. This is important because, like I said, I'll be trying to sleep just on the other side of that wall, and that'd be pretty hard to do when all I can hear is the pitiful moans of a half-dead orc splattered against the rocks below my balcony.

You know, I envy the undead who get to fly all over Azeroth on the backs of oversized bats. Giant bats are about ten times cooler than hippogryphs, which makes them roughly one hundred times cooler than gryphons. Once I've tamed this bad boy I'll be soaring across the skies in style.

Ugh. These clowns weren't nearly this tormented before they picked a fight with me. I imagine they should have probably checked themselves, before they went and wrecked themselves.

This hayloft would make a great place to put any dwarven guests I might have -- they're certainly used to such rancid living conditions, what with living in Ironforge and all. And if you're asking what lodgings I have in store for my night elf guests, please refer to the balcony photograph a few paragraphs up.

The granddaddy of all rabid security dogs! I'll sleep soundly with this gentleman stationed at my courtyard gates, that's for sure.

I don't know what I'll do with all these voidwalkers. Maybe I'll trap them all in a huge glass pipe and charge druids and other assorted hippies two gold per hour to smoke them. Or maybe I'll make Kal'rath captain of the first ever demonic football team. Wait, no, that wouldn't work. Football is a full-contact sport and voidwalkers are utter cowards. A giant blueberry-themed hooka bar it is!

Uh oh... looks like the previous owner hasn't cleared out yet...

...I'll help him pack his things and be on his way. I wouldn't want to seem ungrateful or anything, now would I?

So yeah, the place is definately a fixer-upper, a little drafty, and overrun with untamed wolves and rats. But I think with a few new tapestries, a little bit of elbow grease, and a direct conduit to the Infinite Plane of a Wailing Damned it might actually be quite cozy. On the other hand, it isn't exactly centrally located... it might end up just being my summer home. Not as pretty as Darnassus, I'll grant you, but I'll take feral dogs and murmuring ghosts over those pompous night elves any day of the year.

July 12, 2006

My personal life is none of your damn business.

It would not be prudent to disclose the reasons for my absence. You, dear reader, as someone who is (presumably) not a warlock, could not hope to fathom the trials and tribulations I have endured these past few arduous months. And I, a humble girl of simple beauty and considerable dark skill, possess far too much modesty to gloat about the achievements I've amassed and the personal victories I've won in that time. I don't kiss and tell. So we will leave that topic aside, and begin a new one.

Unless you're a dwarf, you've probably noticed by now that I don't share much practical information about myself. Some people think I'm an egoist; they're wrong, of course, and people who confuse majesty for mere ego are well beneath my notice (and the notice of all but the dirtiest, most gutter-splashed denizens of the Steamwheedle Cartel). No, I'm no egoist; a true egoist would leap at every opportunity to list, in great detail, everything they consider an accomplishment, no matter how miniscule.

You'll notice, for example, that you do not know my level. "Level", of course, is a worthless badge of false respect worn by adventurers in Azeroth which basically amounts to how many monsters they've killed. One's level ranges from one to sixty; presumably the level one adventurers are the least experienced and the level sixty adventurers are the most prominent. However, only the daft put stock in such things. We have all met far too many exceptions to these rules. We have all seen the truly braindead level sixties who barely know which end of the sword to use, while at the same time we have all met the level ones who mow through creatures with such talent and finesse that we can't help but stand for a moment in awe. Well, you stand for a moment in awe. I don't stand in awe of mere mortals. You get my point.

Equally troubling are the adventurers who are so quick to list each individual item in their considerably vast warddrobe, as though fishing the half-shredded blood-soaked remains of a magical cloak out of the husk of an ex-dragon is worth having a party for. They give these fabulous adornments elaborate names like "Netherwind" and "Lawbringer" and "Dreadmist", and label them with extravagent blue or purple letters. This practice, too, does not interest me. Such items are useful, no doubt, and in some cases even worth the extraordinary trouble they take to acquire, but they are not symbols of one's skill, power or honor.

Let's try a thought experiment. Pretend, for a moment, that I'm not a fantasticly powerful warlock. Pretend for a moment that I don't command the forces of evil to do my bidding, that I don't commune with demons and that I can't do incredible things with magicks black and ancient. How would you know? You wouldn't. It's possible (only in this thought experiment, though) that all these stories are merely stories. I could be a wage-slave broom-pusher in some human monastery, writing my dark fantasies about demons and spells during the long, sleepless nights. I might be an undead bookseller, sparse memories of my former life intermingling with the literature I peddle, causing the two to fuse into one. For all you know I'm just a very, very articulate troll.

I'm not any of those things, of course. My only point is I could be, and you'd never know. Well, except for the photographic evidence in the sidebar. But whatever.

These words are about Azeroth and the people around me, not about me, myself. Anything you think your feeble mind has inferred about me from these writings is almosst undoubtedly wrong. It isn't your business what level I am, what I choose to wear and for what stat bonuses (or, more likely, for what fashion trends I choose to start), what dungeons I visit, and whom I consort with when Big Brother of the Alliance isn't looking.

I might be level sixty. I might not be. I might rank within the top hundred in Warsong Gulch. I might not. I might have a full set of Shadowweave gear. I might not. None of that is relevant to my mission here.

I guess what I'm saying is (and understand this is a considerable moment of weakness I will probably regret later) Azeroth is an interesting enough place without having to list all one's own winnings and losings to make it so. After all, my ultimate goal is to rule the place. The only way to do that is to, at first, step back and observe.

True power... that will come later.

April 17, 2006

"Adventuring" in Vana'diel.

As a warlock I have the ability to open a gap in the void of madness that separates our world of Azeroth from the worlds of others. This practice would render most mortal beings incurably insane, their minds unable to comprehend the intricacies of alien worlds and their inhabitants, especially those which are (at first glance) so similar to our own. But I eat demons for breakfast and am made of hardier stock than most, plus I'm cursed with a natural gnomish curiosity, and so I take a peek into the goings-on of other realms from time to time.

Vana'diel is a world much like our own, with its silly factions and its humdrum wars. It's got humans and elves and goblins, although in different shapes and sizes than what we're used to.

And it's got adventurers. A veritable plague of adventurers.

If one were to sit down and classify all the different adventuring types in Azeroth into neat little piles, one would arrive at a count of nine, of which the humble ranks of warlocks are but one. Even nine is too many, some say, considering hunters are just warlocks with soft hearts (and softer heads), paladins are just priests in tin cans and druids are just indecisive hippies (mana, energy or rage, people, pick one and stick with it!). So I was shocked and abhored when I learned that the pitiful denizens of Vana'diel must cope with fifteen classes of adventurer, with the further complication of each individual being dual-classed.

I mean, being a warlock is a full-time job. I'm not saying I wouldn't like to do a little rogue action on the side, I'm just wondering who has the time.

Anyway, our nine classes in Azeroth get to bickering now and again about who has it sweet and who has it rough. After studying Vana'diel for a time, though, I'm here to tell you that none of us have it so bad. Even the lamest hunter or the biggest crybaby paladin can find work in Azeroth; even the weakest warrior or pansiest druid can make himself useful.

I offer as a public service this list of the fifteen Vana'diel classes, and why they are each of them inferior to our own.

01: Warrior - They wear furry underwear and hit things with swords. Warrior is the class of choice for adventurers who lack imagination and ambition. "Hmm, I want a career in killing monsters but I don't want to put any thought into it. Guess I'll just buy a hammer or a spear or whatever and get movin'!" I mean, it's the same way in Azeroth, but at least our warriors ramp up the killing as they get madder and madder.

02: Black Mage - Aww... they color-code their mages. Isn't that handy? In Azeroth these guys would just be regular mages. Except they can't make bread and water. Since a free meal is about the only thing a mage can do that a warlock can't, I think I'll pass on the "black" sort. (Does that make me a racist?)

03: White Mage - We just call them "priests". They heal you. And then they heal you. And then they heal you again. Man, I'm so sick of priests. Anyway, unlike a real priest a white mage can't even hold her own in a fight, so unless she's got a strong friend or five handy, she might as well just jump off a roof somewhere and be done with it.

04: Red Mage - They wear funny hats and can use all sorts of different kinds of magic. In addition they also can use weaponry stronger than "butter knife". Imagine if you could be a mage and a priest at the same time, and carry something better than a boxcutter to boot? Oh, right, you'd be called a shaman. My bad.

05: Thief - We call them "rogues"; hey, at least they're honest about it. Now I honestly can't complain about rogues, what with all the backstabbery and all, but I don't think I'd want to run around being called a thief. It's an image thing... "warlock" after all is just a euphamism for "murderous demon-summoner". I think these guys are in sore need of a good PR team.

06: Monk - So let me get this straight. You cats run into battle, next to naked, armed with nothing but your fists and a passion for violence? There's a reason there are no "monks" in Azeroth -- they get murdered by murlocs before they have a chance to leave Elwynn Forest.

07: Bard - How many times have you been standing at the maw of some dungeon or another, or sitting on the brink of a battleground, putting together a strategy with your teammates, and thought, "Man, I really wish I had someone who would follow me around singing ballads and plucking a harp!" Hmm? Never? No, me neither.

08: Paladin - Just like in Azeroth, they can't decide whether they want to heal or fight. Pick a sword or a spellbook guys, leave the other at home. I didn't think it was possible, but the Vana'diel variety are even bigger crybabies than what we're used to.

09: Dark Knight - Supposedly the opposite of the paladin. Problem is, they're all emo crybabies too, so who can tell the difference?

10: Samurai - Warriors with funny-looking swords and funnier-looking hats.

11: Ninja - Thieves that don't suck. We call these guys "rogues" too, but we usually curse their names or spit soon after doing so.

12: Beastmaster - Vana'diel actually managed to take the already useless "hunter" class and split it in half. This is the half that gets followed around by critters. I guess if standing perfectly still watching your fiddler crab or whatever get mauled by monsters is your thing, you just can't go wrong with this class.

13: Ranger - The other half of beastmaster, which means they can track things and shoot cute little arrows. Let me tell you something, if handling a bow is your best attribute as an "adventurer"... dude, you need to get a clue. A warrior with a huge axe at least looks menacing. At least there are no night elves in Vana'diel.

14: Dragoon - With their adorable dragon mascots and their fantastic jumping abilities, they're qualified to play on their respective faction's basketball team but not much else. Pass.

15: Summoner - The absolute closest thing that poor world has to a warlock. Depressing. Fun fact, summoners: in Azeroth we take mana from our demons, not the other way around. Oh wait, you call them "elementals". How cute.

As you can see, our only course of action is to get the Horde and Alliance to call off their silly war, and raid Vana'diel in full force. I guarantee that if this is the best they can offer, nobody will put up a fight. Who's with me?

April 15, 2006

Going out with a bang.

You'll have to excuse me when I giggle with unbridled delight at scenes like this one.

Basically what's happening in that video (besides some seriously kickin' tunes and an epic melee the size of Blackrock Mountain) is you have a large Horde guild mourning the recent loss of a good friend, when suddenly a large Alliance guild comes along and rocks their faces totally off.

Not that there's anything wrong with mourning a loved one. I personally am not chained by the emotional baggage that comes with illogical attachments to people, but I understand that many lesser mortals don't possess the dark iron will of a warlock. I might even show up and mourn myself, if it was a person I particularly respected... or feared.

What strikes me as funny to begin with is that it's the Horde doing the mourning. I, like every other brainwashed budding Alliance lackey, was raised with the firm belief that orcs and trolls and tauren were barbarians incapable of honor or respect. Of course that's a bunch of hogwash (isn't there a "Valley of Honor" in Orgrimmar, for crying out loud?), but that still doesn't explain the many undead in the funeral procession. Leave aside for the second that the forsaken as a race only pay lip service to the Horde -- why do they revere death with anything but a withdrawn smugness? One of the forsaken mourning (or celebrating, whatever) someone's death is kind of like a night elf listening excitedly to a dwarf's description of his vacation to Darnassus. The phrase "been there, done that" comes to mind.

And let me point out, that infernal you see running around is targetting Allies. That means that not only was there a warlock in that funeral procession to begin with, but she cared enough about the departed to summon an infernal to put a stop to the desecration. For shame.

Equally surprising is the fact that it's the Allies that are doing all the slaughtering. The same Alliance propoganda that teaches us that the Horde are evil teaches us that the Alliance is righteous, honorable and good. So... it's dishonorable to sneak into Grom'gol and slit the bread merchant's throat, but not to crash into a funeral procession and lay waste to the festivities? Does anyone else seriously not find that as amusing as I do?

Above all else, why on earth is the funeral being held in Winterspring, of all places? I mean, at least do the thing in Mulgore, where you won't shiver your knickers off, and there's no chance of a small army of Allies dropping some carnage on you.

For good or ill, the departed (with whom I was not acquainted) will be etched in the memories of all those present, Alliance or Horde, for probably as long as this stupid war lasts. What a send-off. The rest of us can only dream of such a wonderfully ironic and memorable eulogy.

Well, the rest of you anyway. I have other plans for myself...

April 7, 2006

Warlocks unite!

So have any of you cats been to Moonglade? It's this silvery, sparkly forest in northern Kalimdor where a whole gaggle of druids have gotten together to form a little society away from both Alliance and Horde concerns. You've got night elves and tauren living happily side by side, united in their unending quest to burn insence and wear tie-dye.

For some reason, druids alone get a free pass from the faction war the rest of us are tirelessly embroiled in. And the odd druid who doesn't want to be a tree-hugging hippy? I'm not really sure if such a creature exists, but theoretically they would be welcomed with open arms anywhere inside their faction, just as the rest of night elves and tauren are, no questions asked.

This, my friends, is intolerable.

Basically what I'm getting at here is that warlocks, not druids, are in dire need of a place like Moonglade. I mean, hell, we're already ostracized from polite Alliance life as it is. I can't walk down the streets of Stormwind without getting haughty looks from self-righteous paladins, or without mothers clasping their children closer to them. Not that I have any inclination to walk down the grimy, awful streets of Stormwind to begin with, just that it would be nice to have the option to do so without all the social stigma attached. I hear warlocks of the human and orc persuasions have it just as bad. Undead warlocks are pretty generally accepted within the Horde, so I've heard... but only inasmuch as undead are accepted at all. I guess it's hard to carry a conversation with someone who smells like an unwashed trogg's dirty laundry.

There are already precious few of us warlocks to begin with, so demanding is our path and so powerful our wills. That I'm automatically cut off from chilling with more than half of my bretheren thanks to some artificially mandated "war" between Horde and Alliance is insufferable.

I mean, what kind of "war" is based around capturing flags? Honestly.

So here's what I propose: warlocks should band together and take over Moonglade. Kick the hippies out, they already have it made. Everyone loves the happy-go-lucky back-to-nature pot-smoking druid. No love for the demon-summoning dark-force-controlling speaking-in-tongues warlock. We're the ones who need a place away from the war. That we'll be communing with dark, evil spirits rather than the "voices of nature" is irrelevant.

First of all, no flight path. Right now the druids allow other people into Moonglade, as long as they make friends with the Timbermaw faction of Felwood first. You know what? Screw you guys. We'll pay off those corrupt Timbermaw jerks and have a big ol' hippogryph feast at our grand opening. Then we'll hire a team of lazy, unambitious warlocks to work as full-time summoners. The only way into or out of Moonglade will be to be via Ritual of Summoning.

And while we're at it, we're changing the name from Moonglade to something more awesome. Just off the top of my head, I suggest Crystalis Glades. Yeah. That has a nice ring to it.

Just to make sure those sneaky, backstabbing druids don't try to fight their way back in, I'll have a secret cabal of talented warlocks whip up a spell to bind the souls of a few of those awesome Darnassus tree monsters. Oh man, just the thought of forcing one of those giant tree guys to squish a pansy druid between the roots of his toes makes my heart go all aflutter.

Best of all, though, it'll be a place for warlocks to finally go where they won't have to worry about people coming at them with torches and pitchforks. Be you human or gnome, orc or forsaken... at long as you bind the immortal souls of the damned to do your bidding, you're good to go in Crystalis Glades.

Hmm. Looks like I have my work cut out for me. First step, I guess, is to travel to Moonbrook via the ill-conceived public flight path, and scout the place out. Then I'll need a contact in the Horde to coordinate my efforts. I'm getting really excited about this. Maybe if we're really lucky all those druids will be so disheartened that they'll quit turning into cats and birds and whatever and get real jobs for a change.

April 3, 2006

Old Uncle Sideburns.

As a warlock I have virtually no use for family, extended or otherwise, and I do my level best to avoid such frivolous concerns where I can. However, as a gnome this task can sometimes prove impossible for even someone of my considerable skill. If there's one thing gnomes are good at (besides riding mechanical chickens and blowing themselves up) it's keeping track of every insignificant root, branch, leaf and petiolule in their family tree. It's a sure bet that any given gnome in Stormwind knows exactly how he's related to any other given gnome in Stormwind.

Thankfully, now that Gnomeregan is basically just a big tub of green goo it's become a little easier to dodge the endless waves of relatives that used to pester me -- mainly because they are most of them turned into green goo themselves. I recently received a letter, however, that may prove to be an interesting development. Observe...

Letter from Sideburns

Only time will tell if I will be able to turn my uncle's newfound wanderlust to my advantage. It's never been difficult to get Uncle Sideburns to do my bidding (I am his favorite, after all), but now that he can do a little magic he might actually prove useful for a change.

For the record, his shop in Ironforge used to sell novelty items such as ice cubes with fake silithid wings inside, dolls of ogres and orcs that made fart noises when you pulled their strings, and little bobble-headed troggs. Something tells me Azeroth is a richer place now that he's changed careers.

March 23, 2006

Fun things to do with soul shards.

It's come to my attention that some of my warlock peers (as though any of them were worthy of being my peers) have been complaining about their soul shards. They complain that soul shards take up too much bag space. They complain that they're too hard to get. They complain that... I don't know... they're too purple.

Now make no mistake, these crybabies are giving warlocks a bad name with their blubbering, and they all deserve to be sold into the Steamwheedle slave trade as far as I'm concerned. And before you start to protest that the Cartel doesn't have a slave trade, let me point this out: the goblins are richer than you, smarter than you, and probably better looking. Of course they have a slave trade. As a slaver myself I salute them for it, but now I'm getting off topic.

Anyway, I am going to bestow upon my demon-lashing bretheren a fraction of my infinite generosity, and offer a short list of fun things one can do with one's soul shards:

  • Make jewelery. This one sounds pretty unimaginative, but I guess I just have a soft spot for pretty things. Stringing together a family of murlocs into a handsome necklace is much cheaper than buying up a bunch of golden pearls for the same purpose.
  • Convince humans they're magic beans. Humans are naturally stupid, and a lot of the new adventurer types you run across have worked on some gods-forsaken farm in Westfall all their lives. The world of magic and enchantment is new to them, so they're easily fooled. You haven't lived until you've seen Random Warrior #429 try to take a big bite out of what used to be a Defias Knuckleduster.
  • Skip them across a lake. This works especially well with things like fire elementals, since the trapped soul now has to live the rest of its torturous eternity submerged in water.
  • Summon random people. You'd be surprised how easy it can be to invite some random guy to join your group and then summon him into a firbog camp or off the side of a cliff. If that isn't the very definition of fun, I have no idea what is.
  • Hide them under the mattress at the inn. Little known fact about soul shards is that they give off very faint noises, just on the edge of mortal perception. This will either manifest as humming, wailing, sobbing... it depends on what kind of lame creature you've got trapped inside. Anyway, this can be used to seriously creep people out because they're never quite sure they've heard anything, but at the same time they haven't been able to get a wink of sleep. Bonus points if you manage to drive someone mad!
  • Beat your demons into submission. Demon-slaves are already pretty submissive, but if you ever catch them acting up, keep in mind that your 24-slot Felcloth Bag has some bulk to it when it's completely full... perfectly suited to cracking an uncooperative imp upside the head a few times. That'll learn 'em.
  • Convince humans they're suppositories. This works like the magic bean suggestion above, but with far more hilarious results.
  • Use them as caltrops. You know those irritating naked night elf girls that like to dance en masse in front of the mailbox while you're trying to send out this week's extortion letters? Throw a handful of soul shards at their bare feet. You need more than tweezers to pull a sliver of demonic glass out of your heel.
And on the subject of Drain Soul: keep in mind it's a really humiliating way to die. The other day I killed some idiot rogue with Drain Soul, and his friends laughed at him so hard they didn't even notice when my imp and I proceeded to murder them one by one with fireballs. Then I planted the soul shard in Teldrassil; I'm hoping it grows into a rogue tree that I can harvest for my personal use.

March 17, 2006

Quit whining and get a job.

I kid you not, I used to pick flowers for a living. Being a beautiful and talented warlock can put quite a damper on the pockets some days, and being low on funds is a situation no gnome worth her salt can withstand. So I would run circles around Redridge Mountains or Stranglethorn Vale hunting herbs and weeds and vines, happily collecting them in bags while my demon-slaves and/or teammates covered my back by allowing themselves to be mauled by tigers. Then I would sell everything off to lazy alchemists and spend the profts on a new pet or a pretty robe or something.

That's a pretty good way to sustain yourself, I guess, but I simply couldn't accept being average like everyone else. I had to be better. Well, I mean, I already am better than most people, because they're not warlock-y enough. In this case, what I mean is, I wanted to be way, way richer than the poor schlubs who pick flowers or break up rocks or skin donkeys for a living. I had to find a way to stop working for money, and start making my money work for me.

I am happy to say that now, not only am I filthy rich, but people are starting to take notice of my fabulous business sense. Like the scam I pulled the other day, where some slob wasn't paying attention to his stupid self, and listed like eight pounds of core leather for just over 16 gold. Now, of course a pretty young lady like myself with perfect fashion sense is used to seeing knock-offs in store windows, so my natural response was that this was some kind of cheap, mass-produced product and not genuine core leather. So I asked the auction-elf about it, and he confirmed that it was the genuine article. I know he wasn't lying to me because I had Kal'rath dangle him by his ankle off the roof of the auction house before I asked.

So I snap up this stack of nasty animal skin and re-list each pound at its actual market price. An expected return on this investment was over ten times what I had paid, so I was sitting pretty to be a happy warlock indeed. And holy baloney did it ever sell fast; so fast, in fact, that some boner actually asked me to cancel the auctions and sell him the stuff under the table, because he was afraid they'd all be gone before he could raise funds to bid on them himself.

And then the angry letter! Oh man, this is my favorite part. The schmuck who originally listed the auction sent me a nasty note, blubbering about how he accidentially set the price of his leather too low, that he meant 160 gold, not 16, and that I owed him the difference. I tell you, if I weren't a registered card-carrying member of the Alliance (for tax purposes only I assure you) I would have hunted the dolt down and cut his knees off. I sent him one silver, enough for him to go out and get a clue, and laughed my way to the bank.

In the end, I guess it's not enough to just be rich, after all; only by making my gold by preying on the idiocy and gullibility of others can I be truly secure in my business practices. Scamming people out of their mispriced auctions or just blatant lack of market knowledge is just one of the many, many ways I twist the denizens of Azeroth to do my bidding.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pay some dwarf 50 gold to shave off his beard and make me a pair of slippers with it, for no reason other than I have the money to blow.

March 10, 2006

A visual tour of Darnassus.

As an entire race of purple floppy-eared elves have known for years, there's only one city in Alliance territory worth kicking up your feet, and that's Darnassus. The great tree beats the sweltering depths of Ironforge or the plague-ridden streets of Stormwind any-dang-day. Of course, until they opened up the auction house there recently most folks stayed far away from Darnassus, complaining it's too far away or somesuch rubbish. But, since more and more of you people are starting to pop in, confused that the "streets" aren't criss-crossed with inexplicable netted pits or oily sewage lines, I will take it upon my gracious self to offer this tour of the greatest city in Azeroth.

This is the portal leading to Darnassus, located in Rut'theran Village. Since there are no instances, epic loot or battlegrounds in Teldrassil, I'm going to go ahead and assume you have no idea how to get here. What you want to do is fly to Menethil Harbor, catch the boat to Auberdine, and from there catch the connecting boat to Rut'theran. Now, walking through that glowing pillar of light is like being momentarily engulfed in warm gelatin, which is to say unbelievably awesome. One day someone is going to figure out a way to make sensual underwear out of the same material as that portal, and that person will have found his fortune.

After coming through the portal you'll arrive at this bear-shaped tree. Since this is where the bank and the mailbox are, this is unfortunately all of Darnassus most people care to see. The great thing about the Darnassus bank as opposed to Stormwind or Ironforge is that you can jump the counter and just wallow around in the piles and piles of gold if you want. I'm pretty sure the banker-elves would get mad if you tried to keep any, though, so don't get any bright ideas. I wonder how they know whose items are whose, the way they just keep them all piled up like that. Oh man, one time I paid this silly human a gold to get a running start and dive headlong into the piles, and he impaled his forehead on someone's spear. You just don't get that kind of entertainment in that stuffy Ironforge vault.

Once you guys get it through your thick heads how awesome Darnassus is and finally decide to bind your Hearthstones here, this is where you'll be popping up into town. The inn has only a single bed, but if you want to curl up in bed locked up in a house somewhere you're kind of missing the whole point of Darnassus. And don't worry, even if you Hearthstone in you still get to go through that warm, squishy, pink portal since the hippogryph master is out in Rut'theran.

This is a statue of some night elf broad in the Temple of the Moon. In my opinion they should replace it with a statue of me, but I guess then it wouldn't be tall enough to look impressive. Anyway the temple is a cool place to hang out and just enjoy life for a while, but the elves get a little pissy if you try to fish in the pool here.

This chick Jaeana just wanders around the joint selling meat... which is weird because I figured night elves were vegetarians. Then again, they do live in a big ol' tree, so maybe they view plant-eating as a form of cannibalism. If that's the case, it means night elves are strict carnivores, which makes them pretty awesome I guess. Anyway, Jaeana will deep fry anything on her menu for an extra six silver, so you should definately check her out.

I know, I know. A dwarf in Darnassus is as out of place as a cockroach on a wedding cake (which is how wedding cakes in the Undercity are prepared, I understand). Still, this guy's pretty helpful because he lets me restock my missing soul shards without ever having to leave Darnassus. Just sign up to bust some Horde chops, suck a few souls into my bag, and I'm good to go. Kind of a warlock drive-thru, really. Saves me a trip to Felwood or Winterspring in any case, which is cool, because Everlook totally sucks compared to Darnassus.

Darnassus is full of fun critters to play with: squirrels, frogs, and the occassional deer. Nothing cute or fluffy would ever go near Ironforge, and I'm pretty sure there's a lousy kid in Stormwind who's been caging them, spray-painting them and passing them off as white kittens. Anyway, don't think I'm getting all worked up over some animals like some kind of pansy druid -- everyone knows these little guys are just for target practice. Or Rain of Fire practice. Whatever floats your boat.

I don't want to hear about the strength of Ironforge guards or the valor of Stormwind knights -- the night elves have giant walking trees that will stomp you into the ground. This has got to be the absolute best security measure in Azeroth. This one time some troll clown thought it would be fun to sneak into Darnassus, but the giant tree monster wasn't having any of that. Stomped the troll squishy-flat, and then scraped him off against a bannister just the way you'd do if you stepped in a wad of gum. It was pretty much the most awesome thing I've ever seen, and the troll was still not-quite-dead enough for me to Immolate him and get an honorable kill. I think I'll start a giant tree monster fanclub.

...and just when you thought Darnassus couldn't get any greater, WHAM! Two-story auction house. Wheeling and dealing with a view. You just don't get service like that anywhere else! Except maybe Booty Bay, but the only thing you can ever find there are torn pages from the Green Hills of Stranglethorn, which quite frankly is so riddled with plot holes I'm surprised it's so popular.

This is my favorite spot in the entire city: a branch of the world tree overlooking the Veiled Sea, about a mile up. I bet this is the quietest spot in all of Kalimdor... unless I decide to summon my imp and kick him off the side, in which case the air fills up with his screams of demonic gibberish.

An oft-overlooked class, in my opinion, is that of the noble ditch digger. I think most night elves can aspire to no greater, personally. Ditch diggers don't have to worry about raids or talent trees or mana or anything, they just dig holes. There's a metaphor for life in there somewhere, and I'm sure the ditch digger could find it with his hours of solitary contemplation. I've got more important things to do, like wand squirrels to death, so I'm not going to worry about it anymore.

Our tour concludes with this beautiful shot of the Teldrassil waterfall. You just know that if such natural beauty were found in Stormwind they'd put a barricade around it for the "safety" of the idiot tourists who don't know enough to not fall to their hideous splattery deaths. And you'd have pudgy human children tossing copper coins over it making wishes. I'd recommend tossing pudgy human children over the waterfall to make wishes instead, but if someone's flinging kids over the falls that means my wishes have already come true.

March 7, 2006

Application for Ritual of Summoning.

Submitted for your approval: a contract to be filled out before I will agree to cast Ritual of Summoning for you. Hopefully you'll find it so obtuse and complicated that you people will stop bothering me for summons.

Application for Ritual of Summoning

For purposes of this document I, Crystalis the warlock, shall be referred to as the "summoner" and you, the lazy slob who is afraid of gryphons, shall be referred to as the "summonee".

I. Obligations of the Summoner

It is to be understood that the summoner has no obligation whatsoever to cast Ritual of Summoning for the summonee's benefit, and may decline the request for any reason or no reason at all, as she deems necessary. A heightened sense of obligation may be enacted for special persons such as guild subordinates, personal friends or newly acquired party members who are a long distance from the team, however this is in no way guaranteed. The summoner reserves the right to ignore the request of the summonee, mock it, or accept it as she deems fit.

II. Requirements of Ritual of Summoning

Included for the benefit of the summonee are the following requirements, in ascending order of expense, all of which must be met before the spell can be successful. If the summoner is unable or unwilling to meet any of these requirements for any reason the spell cannot be cast.

A. Mana Expenditure

The spell requires three hundred (300) mana to be paid from the summoner's personal mana pool, a cost which may or may not be negligable given various circumstances including how much mana the summoner has left, how much health she has left (for purposes of Life Tap), how much mana her demon has left (for purposes of Dark Pact), and whether or not more important spells (such as Demon Armor) need to be cast. If the summoner must partake of consumable items such as Greater Mana Potions or Morning Glory Dew in order to meet the mana requirement of the spell, the material cost of such items becomes the responsibility of the summonee, and will be added to the total cost of the summoning.

B. Casting Time

The spell requires five (5) seconds of uninterrupted concentration, a condition that may or may not be possible at any given moment, subjected to variables such as (but not limited to) the summoner's current location, whether or not she is traveling and whether or not she is in combat.

C. Soul Shard Expenditure

The spell requires the use of one (1) Soul Shard from the summoner's personal supply. This item is absolutely non-refundable and it may or may not be practical at any given time to consume one for this purpose, subject to variables such as the summoner's current supply, her proximity to creatures which may or may not yeild Soul Shards when killed, the difficulty of slaying said creatures, and whether or not more pressing uses for her Soul Shards are at hand (including but not limited to summoning demons, Healthstones and Soulstones).

D. Party Assistance

The spell requires two (2) additional assistants, who must be in the summoner's current party and must be in her immediate proximity to aid in channeling the spell. If the summoner is alone or with only one other person she may or may not be willing to locate the required number of people to successfully complete the spell.

III. Obligations of the Summonee

The summonee is subject to the following non-negotiable obligations, which may or may not be waived by the summoner and only by the summoner, at her whim.

A. Prerequisite Travel

As the summoner cannot use Ritual of Summoning in all locations and for all purposes, it is the responsibility of the summonee to travel to a location from which he can be successfully summoned. For example, if the summoner is currently inside an instance, it is the responsibility of the summonee to travel inside the instance in order to be summoned.

B. Acceptance of Party Invitation

The summonee agrees to temporarily become a member of the summoners party, even if this means the summonee must first disband his own group. This is not to be seen as an invitation on behalf of the summoner or her party for the summonee to remain with said party, or an offer of any kind to help the summonee to accomplish his tasks in the area to which he is summoned. The summoner's party leader (or the summoner herself, if she happens to be party leader) reserves the right to eject the summonee from the party for any reason or no reason at all. If this happens before payment is received, it is the responsiblity of the summonee to remit payment immediately.

C. Payment

At the point during casting where the summoner's Soul Shard is consumed by the spell, it becomes the responsibility of the summonee to remit upon arrival three (3) pieces of gold to the summoner as payment for her services. The summoner will negotiate with her assistants beforehand to determine what payment, if any, they will require for their part in the spell. If the spell is unsuccessful for any reason, but the summonee still wishes to be summoned, subsequent attempts may be made at the cost of one (1) piece of gold per attempt.

D. Acceptance of Summoning

Upon successful completion of the spell, the summonee will be prompted one final time to accept the spell and be summoned to the summoner's location. Please note that by this time the summoner has already cast the spell and consumed one (1) Soul Shard, so if the summonee chooses at this point not to accept the one-way summon, payment as agreed above must still be remitted immediately. In these cases it is the summonee's responsibility to find a mailbox as swiftly as possible and send the payment required to the summoner, along with a written apology for wasting the summoner's valuable time.

IV. Associated Dangers

The summonee should be warned that there exist certain dangers in being summoned. Any and all items, articles of clothing, body parts, or any other objects lost due to the nature of the summoning are considered lost and are not the fault of the summoner. Such articles that are located at a later date become the sole property of the summoner.

In exceptional circumstances the summoner may choose to play practical jokes on the unsuspecting summonee, as she deems necessary. This includes but is not limited to enacting the spell while surrounded by creatures of much higher level than the summonee, targeting the summoning in such a way that the summonee plunges off of a cliff, or placing the summonee in full view of hostile Horde. If the joke is sufficiently entertaining for the summoner she may or may not choose to waive payment above, subject to whether or not she believes the summonee has suffered sufficiently.

V. Closing

I, the summonee, agree to the above terms and conditions, and that those terms and conditions are subject to change on short notice or without any notice at all. I hereby waive any responsibility on part of the summoner should the spell cause me any harm, physical or mental, in any way. I understand that should I choose to bilk on the payment after receiving my summoning that the summoner has every right to have me hunted down and brutally assaulted by crowbar-weilding dwarves and/or tauren.

(sign here)

There. I think that ought to do it. I'm going to make copies of this application and start handing them out to every warlock I come across. Maybe if we unionize we'll be able to cross Desolace or Tanaris in peace without being flagged down by some warrior who is too lazy to catch a boat.

March 6, 2006

Gnomeregan - let the troggs have it.

Like all good litle gnomes, I was supposed to grow up to be a rocket scientist or a clockmaker or something. Apparently a lifetime of inhaling black smoke and forever smelling like grease is some kind of gnome legacy I was supposed to live up to. Well forget that. In the end it boils down like this: machines break, magic doesn't. Tools are heavy, soul shards weigh about three ounces each. And while magic has played an up-front and important part in just about every world-changing event in the history of Azeroth, nobody's ever managed to do anything super-cool with machines. I mean, check out he Maelstrom next time pass by on your way to Booty Bay. I guarantee you that wasn't caused by a stick of EZ-Thro Dynamite.

A lot of you guys have probably been through Gnomeregan by now. It's basically a big underground maze full of haywire gizmos and, of course, lots and lots of troggs. It's foul. And it's noisy. And it's dark. There's a reason gnomes keep mechanical squirrels for pets and ride around on those clockwork chickens; nothing living would willingly stay in Gnomeregan for any length of time. Even before the place was ransacked by monsters, there was nothing there with any beauty or value.

I was in Darnassus when the place was overrun, pricing apartments. Night elves are creepy, but at least they know how to live. Color, fresh air, silence... these things are in short supply back in the mountain. It was nice to live in a place that wouldn't randomly explode every couple of weeks.

I didn't go back to Dun Morogh until I was ready for my first few levels of formal warlock training. While I was running around getting accustomed to my new imp (by repeatedly sending him off to be butchered by wolves and yeti) I ran into a bunch of gnomes who had since taken up residence in Ironforge. "It's a shame," they'd say, looking towards Gnomeregan with a sigh, "what with the troggs running the place now."

"Yeah," I'd reply, "but at least now it doesn't smell like industrial waste and battery acid."

My greatest fantasy is that those troggs will find some way into Ironforge too. They can have that whole hellish mountain as far as I'm concerned. Anyone who would willingly live in a lava-filled rock deserves to be eaten by mutants.

March 2, 2006

My voidwalker is a wuss.

I'm told that lesser mortals need to form teams in order to get anything done. Like someone will get a quest to run up into Redridge Mountains and murder a flock of gnolls, and instead of just getting their act together and taking care of it, they enlist the aid of three or four other nobodies to help out. It's just a big fat unnecessary circlejerk as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, it's the job of someone on this so-called team to tank. Now, what the tank does is stands in one place getting molested by monsters while more productive members of the team stand back launching arrows and fireballs. And as it turns out, we warlocks eventually get our very own personal tank: the voidwalker.

So there I was, a young, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed warlock, and the guy in Stormwind is like "So how would you like to learn to summon a new demon?", and of course I'm all like "Schway," so one thing leads to another and now I'm stuck with Kal'rath.

Kal'rath is a big gassy blue guy who complains all the time. Like, "Lady Crys, the elite Stranglethorn tiger bit me!" Or, "Lady Crys, I got chased across the Barrens by an axe-weilding tauren when you threw those meteors down into the Crossroads!" Or, "Lady Crys, can I please have Unending Breath too? I could really use some oxygen!"

The worst part is, though, he doesn't even do his job. After getting hit a few times Kal'rath wusses out and runs and hides behind me. I end up tanking for him.
It's the most pathetic thing you've ever seen. He's just not good for anything... except when I bottle up pieces of him and sell them off to junkies who get high huffing his fumes.

But all's well that ends well. A few levels later I finally got a hold of my very own succubus, Cattnys, who is more awesome than Kal'rath any day of the week. For one thing she actually kills things... and between you and me, I think she secretly enjoys the whole fem-dom thing. For another, I can rent her out to drunken sailors in Menethil Harbor on weekends. You ever try to collect payment after an angry dwarf learns he's spent his shore leave with an amorphous purple blob? It's not pretty.

February 22, 2006

Hunters are such saps.

Let me let you guys in on a secret. Hunters? Yeah. They're just saps who flunked out of warlock school. I don't mean that literally of course. There isn't really a warlock school. I'm just saying, if there was one, the people who couldn't cut it would become hunters.

I'm kicking around with this hunter the other night, and we're doing alright. It's pretty cool because we both send our minions in to do our work for us. I've got my succubus and she's got some kind of big black cat. I notice that as time goes on the cat is carrying less and less of the burden, and I point that out to the hunter.

"Oh, she must just be hungry. Wait a minute while I feed her."

That's when I realized what saps hunters were. I mean, look at this:

See that cute orange bar? Apparently that's the pet's happiness meter. Happiness! Can you believe it!? Not only do hunters have to spend gods-only-know how much gold on endless supplies of arrows and bullets, but they have to keep their pets happy! How quaint!

I was laughing so hard that I must have hurt her feelings, because she started getting on my case about how I have a pet too so I should understand how she feels.

"Honey," I told her, "I don't have pets. I have minions. I have demonic slaves. They serve me because their souls are bound to me by incantations black and ancient. If I were concerned with their happiness I would release them from the anguish and torment that is servitude."

Then, $just to prove my point, I Dark Pacted all my succubus's mana away and sent her off to be murdered by some elite dragon. Then I resummoned her and did it again. "Sometimes," I told the hunter, "I make her sit and whip herself with her tail until she's bruised and bloody, for no reason other than my own amusement. I charge kids in Stormwind five silver a piece to watch."

At that point she was pretty fed up with me, so she took her lame panther and went somewhere else. Oh well, good riddance. It's not my fault hunters are such saps.

February 19, 2006

Beards are gross.

The thing that bothers me most about Azeroth is that every guy has a beard. Let me tell you guys something, beards are totally disgusting. Not one single dude in all the Alliance has a beard that is even remotely attractive. Especially you night elves. Seriously, what's your problem? You guys look like some kind of crazed feral wolf-men. Every time I'm riding the Deeprun Tram, and there's like some night elf dude hanging out there with me, I'm afraid his beard is going to jump off his face and try to crawl up inside my robes.

This one time I was hanging out at the inn in Goldshire with Rhaego, my dwarfling minion, and an entire grilled cheese sandwich fell out of his beard. I thought it was the most disgusting thing I'd ever seen in my life, until he picked up the sandwich and started eating it. I was so grossed out I felt like I was going to throw up, only I didn't because I'm a classy lady.

Gnomes, though. Ugh. Gnomes have the worst beards of all. It's completely impossible to be attracted to guys of my own species, because their beards are the most horrible things imaginable. Every male gnome in the world has this scraggly, horrible beard. It looks like face fungus.

And then you have the Horde, and they have awful beards too. To be honest though, I don't think they're quite as awful as Alliance beards. It's like, when you meet an orc, you have this expectation that he's going to be dirty and unclean, so having a scraggly patch of nappy face-fur isn't quite so far off base. Then you have these tauren, and they're pretty much just all beard. Whenever I see a tauren I set him on fire.

I think I figured it out though: the reason these guys are all walking around with atrocious beards is because there are no epic-level razors that drop off the bosses of enormous raid instances. I'm sure if a bottle of shaving cream were to pop up as a rare drop in Molten Core, they'd be killing themselves over it. I actually tried to make some shaving cream once using alchemy, and paid some guy 50 silver to try it out for me, but it turns out what I had made was actual face-fungus, and it ate his face. I took my 50 silver back from his corpse. I took his nice leather boots too. We were high up in the Alterac Mountains at the time, and my succubus was complaining that her hooves were cold.

February 18, 2006

The internet is pretty fantastic.

I'm pretty impressed with this whole internet thing. It's full of bored, lonely people; exactly the kind of people I need to do my bidding. But we'll get to that later.

My name is Crystalis, and this is my first entry on this Blogger gig. I had to fill out all these weird forms to get this far, which I guess is alright. I mean the Blogger cats obviously don't want a lot of uncool people trashing up their reputation. The forms are probably like a screening process to ensure only awesome people are allowed in.

A lot of gnomes have really stupid last names like "Tinklebottom" or "Greaseshaft" or whatnot. I only have one name: Crystalis. It's a gorgeous name that matches my gorgeous eyes. Why have another one? I let people call me Crys, too, because it's easier to say. Besides, in the time it takes you to say "Crystalis" you could say, like, "Lady Crys" or "Mistress Crys" or even "Emperess Crys", and that's cool with me.

As a warlock who is as talented as she is beautiful, I summon demons to do my bidding all the time. I would have to say that forcing dumb creatures into doing my bidding is the greatest joy in my life. I run this guild called "Winter is Coming" and make them do my bidding all the time. Sometimes they think they're off doing their own thing, but really it's just a ruse on my part to get them to believe they don't always have to do what I say. It's pretty clever, really. In return for the privelage of being able to do my bidding, I grace them with my divine presence on occassion. I know, I'm totally generous.

Anyway, there will be a lot of time to post all kinds of stuff here later. If you're looking to do someone's bidding, drop me a line because I have a lot of bidding to be done. I mean, if you're going to be doing some bidding anyway, it might as well be mine.