Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hogger Slain

Hogger has been vanquished! While Deputy Rainer may have doubted my abilities, I was confident all along. However, I am afraid that I must admit that it was a difficult challenge. Hogger proved to be a strong and hideous beast whose ferocity caused a fleeting shadow of doubt to fall on my heart. When I found Hogger wandering along the banks of the River in Southern Elwynn Province, I called upon the blessings of the Light to assist me in my keeping my Holy vow to rid the land of evil wherever I found it! Perhaps the cool breezes from the river helped calm my spirit in the face of such a strong enemy. When the foul beast finally lay still before me, I took his paw as proof of my victory.

Hogger Slain!

It was long day among the gnolls. In addition to slaying Hogger, I had also promised the Deputy that I would bring him eight gnoll armbands as proof of my work in making Elwynn Forest as peaceful as possible and help turn the encroaching gnolls back where the came. As gnoll after gnoll fell under my mace, the sun slowly sank closer and closer towards the horizon. It was approaching the early evening when I returned to the garrison. Deputy Rainer expressed no small amount of shock that I had slain Hogger--by Myself no less! And yet, once his shock settled into certainty, I could tell that he was also relieved and grateful. As I was turning the arm-bands over to him, he asked if I could return to Goldshire and show Marshal Dughan proof of Hogger's demise. Marshal Dughan, being an old soldier, was not as surprised as Rainer had been, but he was no less grateful. He gave me a sturdy pair of Stormwind Guard Leggings saying that he knew I would put them to excellent use. I told him that I would be visiting Westbrook Garrison soon and lending them my support just as he had asked.

The Setting Sun

While in Goldshire, a strange thing occurred. A fellow knight, stationed near the town forge, told me that news of my various exploits had reached the Bishop in Stormwind's Cathedral. Furthermore, I had been summoned to an audience with him! Alas, Westbrook Garrison must wait in view of this more pressing mission in service to the Light. I left Goldshire at once, just as the sun was beginning to set along the wide path out of that town.

The setting sun put me in mind of the changing of the seasons. Winter Veil is now upon us, and I suspect that Greatfather Winter is visting Ironforge at the moment. Rumors are strong that this is so. In any case, the goblins of Smokeywood Pastures are visiting Stormwind at the moment selling their holiday wares. And, many of the residents of Stormwind have been engaging of snowball fights in the central square. I had to wend my way through such mayhem in order to get to the Cathedral Square, but it was nice to note the festive lights of the season on the goblin's wagon.

Winter Veil and the Goblins of Smokeywood Pastures

As it was rather late, and I was very nearly exhausted, I determined to visit Stormwind Cathedral in the morning. The City Orphanage would serve as my lodgings once again. The orphan children were yet running around and giving the matrons no end of trouble as I climbed into a spare bunk, but I was much too tired to notice. My eyes were leaden as was my mace-arm too. I was asleep before I knew it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fishing and Westbrook Garrison

This morning, I awoke in the Stormwind Orphanage just to hear Shellene, one of the Orphanage matrons, tell the group of scampering children, "All will be well...the Light shall see to that!" How true! It is both heart warming to see the orphan children being so well taken care of and sad to think about the loss of their parents. I wish I could do more for them, but then I think that sometimes a kind word, a little attention, and a gentle pat on the head can be as nourishing to the heart of young child as a loaf of bread is as nourishing to their little bellies. After scrambling out of bed and outdoors, I decided to fish for a bit in the city canals.

Fishing in Stormwind Canals

It was a lovely morning for fishing, an activity that inspires a lot of reflection. I had opportunity to observe the city's birds fluttering around the ramparts while simultaneously thinking about my mission to serve the Light as a paladin. While I was fishing, Miss Danna, the school mistress, walked by with a group of children. I waved hello to them and thought about how it is for their safety and protection that I defend the city and promulgate the Light's influence throughout the land. That made me smile. But as the sun became hot and the fish were biting less, I decided that it was time to return to Goldshire and speak with Marshal Dughan.

But, just as I was leaving the city, Renato Gallina, stopped me. He was standing in front of the alchemy shop with a questioning look on his face. I sensed he needed my help, which of course, he did. He asked me if I would help advertise his sister's wineshop. "Of course," I told him. After spreading the word around Stormwind's Trade District, I eventually made my way to Renato's sister, Suzetta, with the wine ticket Renato gave me. She was so grateful for my exertions on her behalf, she gave me a complimentary bottle of pinot noir! I didn't have the heart to tell her that I took a vow of temperance when I became a paladin. I kindly accepted the bottle in silence and left the city for Goldshire.

Once there, I found Marshal Dugan and asked if he had any tasks for me. He explained that Deputy Rainer might need my help at the Westbrook Garrison on the edge of Elwynn forest far to the west. I had never been so far west before, but with the defense of the Stormwind orphans in my mind, I readily agreed to help out in any way I could. I decided, in the interests of exploration, that I would not follow the road to Westbrook directly, but make my west over land through the forest. My thought was if I encountered any evil encroaching towards the city's peaceful walls, I would repel them as best I could.

And encounter evil I did! Near Mirror lake, I found a small cottage which apparently was the hideout for Morgaine the Spy! She had surrounded herself with her Defias compatriots for protection, but it was no use--I made quick work of both her and her gang. I managed to take her Jeweled Dagger as reward for my accomplishment, a fine blade, but alas a blade that I could not use myself. About this time, I explored the region behind Mirror Lake and discovered Thunder Falls, yet another Defias hideout. But instead of the usual rogues I encounter, I found that the Defias had enlisted the help of Evil Wizards! Nevertheless, I overcame them as handily as I do the rogues, and I finally wended my way further west.

Deputy Rainer and Westbrook Garrison.

I found Deputy Rainer out front of the Garrison. He looked a little haggard and spoke of the trouble with a large band of "brutish" gnolls which had been encroaching deeper and deeper into peaceful Elwynn, a place they definitely do not belong! He said one gnoll in particular, a gnoll that goes by the name of Hogger, was giving him and the soldiers in his command more than a little grief. "Hogger has overpowered all our efforts to defeat him," he explained. At that moment, I instantly vowed to him that I would do everything to clear this band of gnolls out of the forest and bring him Hogger's head myself! He smiled weakly as if I had merely offered him a kind thought rather than make a solemn vow. I took silent note of his apparent disbelief in my abilities but said nothing, asking instead if I could bunk with his soldiers to rest up from my journey before embarking on this new task. He graciously assented. After taking my place in the soldier's quarters, I fell asleep thinking how I might defeat Hogger and thereby prove how "my word is my honor" to Deputy Rainer.

Elwynn Forest and Beyond

I knew Kobolds to be nasty creatures from my early days at Northshire Abbey, but I hadn't yet met a murloc until I searched the small lake east of Goldshire. They're as nasty as Kobolds when fighting them but, thankfully, they do not smell near as bad. Instead, they gurgle madly when they rush at you, often in groups of two or more. It was quite the shock the first time murlocs attacked me, but by the Light's grace, I endured.

Further east of the lake, I found the Eastvale Logging Camp. It was oddly quiet for a lumber mill. For one thing, the saw was not spinning loudly or tearing in to the meaty heart of an old Elywnn oak as I have often seen at other mills. The noise from a working saw can be nearly unbearable. In any event, my services were needed at the mill. I collected some wood for the logging supervisor and cleared out wolf prowlers and young forest bears from the surrounding area.

Directly south of the logging camp, I once again encountered the Defias gang. They were a much stronger bunch than those near the Abbey, but I was able to overcome their attacks with a little effort and great facility.

It was while near the Defias Gang that I spotted the bridge to Darkshire in the far distance. Let me tell you that Duskwood, the misty forest that is home to the town of Darkshire, is a dangerous place filled with giant wolves and poisonous spiders. I have also heard it mentioned that Duskwood is home to many Undead! Those monstrous abominations to the Light know no mercy whatsoever. Fortunately, I did not encounter any, but I did find a Goblin merchant along the Darkshire path! I believe his name was Fizzik. I greeted him kindly and asked what he had for sale. Unfortunately, I did not have enough silver for any of his potions or other saleable items and he was not interested in haggling. (He had many desirable items for sale including an orb of fire protection for at least 80 pieces of silver!) I made a note of his presence on the map and I promised him I would return when I was stronger and better able to handle the particular breed of wolves that haunt the black forest of Duskwood. After politely taking leave of the goblin, I made haste back to the relative safety of Elwynn Forest.

Fizzik in Darkshire

Later that night, I journeyed to Stormwind, the human capitol, and visited the Cathedral to see if I could learn any new spells. I spoke with the Paladin trainer there and then made my way to the nearby orphanage. Although the children were a bit unruly according to the orphanage matron, I chose a bed and decided to sleep there for the night. There were plenty of bunks and the children did not look like they were ever going to go to sleep, so I'm nearly certain no-one minded.

Odd People in Goldshire

The people of Goldshire can be a strange bunch indeed. They talk and act so strangely that sometimes I find them absolutely incomprehensible. In fairness, I suppose I have to admit that many people across these lands act the same way. Perhaps it is a disease of some sort, or a wizard's curse?

Dancing with a Warrior

I mostly avoid such people for fear of coming under their odd enchantment. However, the other day, whilst I was fishing for brilliant smallfish to cook, a warrior approached me and asked if I would dance with him! It was such a bizarre request at an equally bizarre moment, it took me a moment to respond. But, I must have felt quite a bit silly because I said "yes!" He seemed like a nice sort of gentleman. Yet, he also had a few odd compulsions that I certainly did NOT want to help him indulge. After a few moments of dancing and polite chat, he excused himself and left to find a night elf woman to dance with, and I, thankfully, was able to return to my fishing.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Journey Begins

Kobolds are nasty creatures. They and their sickly stench are definitely to be avoided if at all possible. And yet, after devoting myself to the Light and becoming a Paladin at Northshire Abbey, I found myself tasked with the job of clearing out the evil creatures from the depths of a dank cave. Verily, it was a task quickly accomplished. My skills with the mace, combined with the powers granted to me by the light, made this a burden easily borne.

Similar tasks, tasks such as fighting the ever-encroaching Defias Gang or clearing out dangerous wolves surrounding Northshire Abbey, helped me gain mastery of my newly learned skills and firmly placed me on my Paladin's Journey. Soon, I found that I had learned enough skills to face the larger world and bring the Light's Grace to the many other denizens of Azeroth. Feeling competently prepared, I left the comforts of the Abbey.

Traveling south, I discovered the tiny hamlet of Goldshire and made it the home for my next series of small adventures. It turns out that my recent experience with the Kobolds near the Abbey would again come in handy. A larger clutch of the evil creatures were infesting Fargodeep mines, and as I was determined to search those caves for anything to benefit my further travels, I made it my mission to again smite the foul creatures with the Power of the Light. Fortunately, I made quick work of the candle-loving monsters, especially a nasty little one who called itself Goldtooth. I even discovered a nicely balanced shovel that works as excellent two-handed mace!

It was a long day of fighting Kobolds in the Fargodeep mines, but I also found time to help out the Maclure's and the Stonefield's with various tasks, including helping Maybelle Maclure turn herself invisible to meet with her true love. Perhaps the love between those two will finally bring and end to the feud between their families? At day's end, I returned to Goldshire Inn to get some much needed rest.