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I don’t know how Blizzard will play out the events following the story as it is. But I am one of those people that secretly suspect that Sylvanas Windrunner had everything to do with the assault on the Wrathgate which, in turn, led to the deaths of Putress and, more importantly, Varimathras.

I think Sylvanas had/has it all planned out. While she was probably more than certain that Arthas would survive the assault, she would succeed in a real life test of her plague against the Scourge and against the living. But, more importantly, she would be rid of Varimathras, whom she has likely not trusted since day one. Likely she was aware of some conspiratorial activities by Varimathras and allowed these activities to continue.

Allowing the attack on Undercity would suit her purposes and would give her credibility when she went before Thrall to present herself as completely uninvolved with Putress and Varimathras.

I am of the opinion that her vengeance goes far beyond Arthas at this point. I believe that she sees her people, the Forsaken, as her own personal Scourge army which she can use for total domination once her forces are powerful enough. But since they aren’t, separating from the Horde at this point would be suicide.

I am also fairly sure that her deceptive ways aren’t ignored by Vol’jin, Thrall, Cairne, or even Lor’themar (though Lor’themar would be the least likely to call her on it due to the weakened blood elf dependence on the Horde at this time). Given the troll superstitions about the undead in general, I’d say that Vol’jin would be the most wary and watchful of Sylvanas’ doings. You could argue, I suppose, that Lor’themar – who has the longer history with her as her former second-in-command in Silvermoon – might see the greater threat due to knowledge of her diligence and desire.

Sylvanas’ complete lack of emotion and concern for the humans or other living beings that she captures as test experiments (which is more than evident in the Arthas: Rise of the Lich King novel) makes her almost as bad – if not worse – than Arthas. Whereas Arthas’ path started with at least a desire to make things better at the moment of his turning down the dark path, Sylvanas has been driven by black revenge from the very beginning. Nothing good can come from that. She’s definitely more evil-aligned than Illidan Stormrage ever was.

The problem I am having is that, if she turns out to be a little evil and thus a killable boss at some point, who would lead the Forsaken after she is gone? The blood elves replaced Kael’thas Sunstrider with Lor’themar Theron pretty easily, but I don’t know who Blizzard could pop down to the Undercity to take control of the Forsaken. Assuming that, even after Arthas’ or Sylvanas’ demise, the undead state could not be cured (for game mechanic reasons), they would still need a leader.

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I spent a good bit of time this weekend reading World of Warcraft lore and also visiting the blogs and websites of other role-players to see what their characters were all about.

Many of these characters had some lofty goals and aspirations, in most cases based solely on an incident that occurred to the character in some time past. One common “purpose in life” that I run across is: vengeance against the Scourge in general or Arthas in particular. The character’s life was destroyed by the Scourge, and likely a large or meaningful part of their family was destroyed as well. This gives them the drive to press on until one day Arthas is destroyed.

I have run across other characters who want to live out some general purpose – perhaps serving the Dark Lady or Tyrande Whisperwind without question because in some way their character owes Sylvanas or the night elf high priestess their lives. Still more characters are crusaders of some kind, perhaps keeping their homelands free of demon taint or wandering elementals.

Elsinne, my character, doesn’t have a purpose at all. I don’t know if that’s good or bad in terms of role-play. As I have indicated in days past, she is an admirer of Sylvanas Windrunner but she does not share her goals and ideals. Elsinne is from Quel’thalas but she has no deep loyalty to Silvermoon. She wishes that she could have left it under better circumstances, but she is glad that she left. She is a member of the Horde mostly in name only. The Scourge invasion has left her largely emotionless when it comes to anything political. She sees little point in drawn lines and boundaries. They seem to create more problems than they solve. Elsinne isn’t interested in being ruled by anybody.

This is why she gets along so well with the tauren in Thunder Bluff and can usually be found among them. They just want to survive, not scheme and conquest. But that doesn’t necessarily mean she stays out of trouble. She often leaves Mulgore for months at a time, adventuring and making her way the best way she can. On occasion she has been known to get involved in local problems, whether it be for coin or genuine interest.

The bottom line here, I guess, is that Elsinne isn’t “epic” and she’s okay with that. She’s never been on any adventures thus far with any major players. In fact, she’s only ever met less than a handful of people who could have been said to have any real influence at all. Elsinne doesn’t want to change the world, though she does recognize that there is plenty wrong with it.

sylvanas

I mentioned on a previous occasion that Elsinne Starsong deeply admires Sylvanas Windrunner. She always did, even when Sylvanas was ranger-general of Silvermoon. Elsinne always desired to have leadership and tactical skills that were even half that of Sylvanas. Sure, she was pretty quick with a dagger, but Elsinne was a klutz when it came to leading people. Being forced to lead, she turns into a stammering idiot. She met Sylvanas once some time ago, shortly after she left Silvermoon. The queen of the Forsaken barely paid Elsinne any attention at all, but Elsinne will never forget standing face to face with one of the most amazing people in Azeroth.

It’s taken me a little while to put together a little back story for Elsinne. Thanks to alot of help from my buddy Arrens, over at Through the Eyes of Death, I was able to put this little bit of info together.

Even though she couldn’t make a fireball out of thin air to save her life, Elsinne Starsong was unimaginably agile. During her younger years she was constantly scolded for balancing on furniture and jumping around on rooftops. These artful displays went completely unappreciated by anyone until one day she met Elara. Elsinne was on her way home from the futility of arcane school one evening, walking carefully but effortlessly along the top rail of an iron fence. Elsinne gave little thought to this; it was a mindless activity. Elara, a petty thief who lived in Murder Row, was impressed by Elsinne’s almost musical motion.

Elara was a good twenty years older than Elsinne, but they became friends. Elsinne always had a bit of a rebellious streak and this played right into Elara’s hands. For some years, they would get themselves involved in mischief and petty crime. They’d never be discovered. Elara would eventually become part of a rogue society that operated out of Murder Row. Elsinne couldn’t join—her family would disown her in a heartbeat—but often Elara would meet with Elsinne in secret and give her private lessons. Elsinne always trained fast and often ended up performing even better than her teacher who had official training. The main lesson that Elsinne took from Elara was that of efficiency. Do what needed to be done. No more, no less. Nothing fancy. No showboating. Showing off is what gets people thrown in prison or killed.

As with most other surviving blood elves, Elsinne’s family was destroyed during the Scourge invasion. Her brother’s body, though, was never found. She searched for it for weeks after the Scourge had been driven back, but there was no sign of him. If it can be said that there was an upside to any of this, though, there was now nobody left to continue to push her towards arcane arts that she never had the aptitude for. She was free to leave the oppressive, authoritarian Silvermoon City without feeling that she was disappointing anyone. She left Silvermoon directed only by the winds and largely motivated by the desire to stay alive.

Other Interesting facts about Elsinne Starsong
Age: 72

Favorite color: White

Favorite activity: Swimming/Bathing

Favorite place: Mulgore (for meditation and Lake Stonebull)

Favorite race to deal with: Tauren—they appreciate peace and living simply, efficiently

Fears: Bears (also has a logical distrust of druids by extension)

Dislikes: orcs for their perceived savagery, humans for their recklessness, authoritarian societies (blood elf in particular), cold weather

Admires: Sylvanas Windrunner for her ability to inspire, lead, and command (Elsinne desires these abilities herself)

Friends: Elara

Family: None

When you find yourself in danger,
When you’re threatened by a stranger,
When it looks like you will take a lickin’,
There is someone waiting,
Who will hurry up and rescue you,
Just Call for Super Chicken!

chicken

The day finally came. Elsinne finished up another assignment last night in Thousand Needles and immediately headed back home to Silvermoon. She visited her rogue trainer, Elara. Elara wasn’t very excited to see Elsinne. She seemed to be in a bit of a funk. Elsinne wondered out loud if Elara hadn’t done her morning meditations. Elara didn’t respond. She’d talk when she was ready, but Elsinne would not likely return to Murder Row for some time. After completing her training, Elsinne checked out of Silvermoon and sprinted outside to get her Hawkstrider. As much as she dreaded riding around on it, she was happy to receive it. Her feet were calloused and even bruised from all of the rocks in Thousand Needles.

I’ve been severely limiting my time in the game lately, and I’ve noticed that I am actually getting more accomplished, not less.

In the past, when I’ve logged on with no official “quitting time”, I would get some things done but it was easy to lose focus. I might go off in this direction to skill up this profession or walk down in that direction for no good reason in particular.

Elsinne has been moving right along with just playing for minutes at a time, generally 20-30 minute chunks. I am cheating, however, since I am using the Jame’s Horde Leveling Guide add-on, which helps tremendously. She’s already very near to dinging level 17.

Not having professions to level has removed a good bit of distraction. And so has ignoring achievements entirely. I am finding that I am able to make a steady enough income just off of green drops and profession materials that I can sell at the auction house.

I did break from this playstyle a bit this weekend, however, when I decided to enjoy my first official bit of role-playing on Earthen Ring.

Elsinne was strolling into Silvermoon for important rogue business when she was approached by a very large orc.

Orc: You there! Elf!

Elsinne: Can I help you, orc?

Orc: Yes! I was looking for someone to be my servant. You’ll fit nicely.

Elsinne: A blood elf servant to an orc? Have you been eating bad Dalaran cheese?

Orc: What I ask of you is no different than these meaningless errands you’ve been running up until now.

Elsinne: What I have done has been with selfish purposes. I owe them nothing nor am I bound to them. I have a plan.

Orc: Oh, really? What is your plan?

Elsinne: My plans are my own. You’re a long way from home, orc. Why are you in Silvermoon?

Orc: I was exiled.

Elsinne: /laugh

Orc: I am earning my way back to my people.

Elsinne: Good luck with that. I need to speak with my trainer urgently. I bid you good day, orc.

Orc: Very well. I will find someone else to earn my gold.

I would later run into a blood elf mage whose character apparently was touched in the head. He would scream crazy nonsensical things about the scourge randomly throughout the city. Supposedly he was driven insane by his magic addiction. He was definitely into his character, that’s for sure.

So I lost focus for a bit there, but it was well worth it and I wouldn’t mind doing a bit more RP when I get the chance.

orc-female

My last post got me thinking.

Well, specifically, it wasn’t my last post that got me thinking. It was my visit to Silvermoon last night combined with my last post.

I was hanging out in Silvermoon last night. It’s not a heavily populated city, as you know. But there was a little bit of traffic.

Where are all the female horde characters? I saw a couple of forsaken females hunched over, doing their business–maybe consuming one of their friends. Of course, lady sindorei are everywhere. But I don’t recall seeing a single female troll, tauren, or orc the whole time I was there.

Are they no longer allowed in the world? Is there some sexist action being taken against them in public?

At first I thought, well, maybe people don’t like lady trolls with their strange feet or girlie orcs because they feel sexually intimidated by them. But forsaken with their bones sticking through their sleeves and their bottom jaw missing completely from their heads, that’s not so bad?

I’ve been Alliance for years so I’m used to tons of female humans and night elves and gnomes. Though, come to think about it, there weren’t very many female dwarves running around either, except for the annoying NPCs selling their goodies in Ironforge.

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