Monday, December 31, 2012

Rheugan: Lost

Pitch was worried, he could tell. Rheugan might have been worried too, if he could just spare the energy to care. Everything he had, however, was currently going towards fending off the attacks from the Thing, which he now knew was a Sha.

Every time he set foot in Kun-Lai - hells, every time he went near the gates - he could feel it waiting for him. And each time it prodded at him, filling his mind with suggestions and urges that he had to fight back, before he lost control of himself. It was exhausting him.

He was able to avoid it by either staying in the Vale or taking a kite back to Halfhill, but Pitch seemed oblivious to his problem and often suggested they go hunting, usually in Kun-Lai. Not wanting his friend and mentor to worry, Rheugan invariably agreed.

Their hunting trips had become an ordeal, one that could only be eased by tracking down and eliminating every Sha-spawn he could find, with a single-mindedness that bordered on obsession. He kept hoping if he killed enough of them, the Sha would weaken or tire, and he would be left in peace. That plan hadn’t worked yet.

Rheugan found himself withdrawing, much like he had when he’d been brought back from the wild in Gilneas. His sleep was full of nightmares, and he began losing weight - not that he had much to spare to begin with. Pitch fussed over him, but Rheugan managed to put him off with half-hearted assurances that even he didn’t believe. It was enough to get Pitch to leave him alone, at least.

The cat was on edge. It wanted to help him, but this was beyond its experience, and all it could do was fret along with him.

It all finally got to be too much for him. He was only dimly aware of leaving the Summit behind, crossing back into blissfully familiar rain forest. When he came back to himself, he was standing before the Tian Monastery’s gates.

He had to ask one of the students for help, though fortunately the young pandaren was happy to comply. Laoden was overseeing a training session, but he left it immediately when he saw Rheugan. He came over and studied the druid, then reached toward him. Rheugan tried not to flinch as Laoden put a finger under his chin and tilted his face up. The pandaren stared into his eyes for a long moment, then released him with a sigh. Without a word, he turned and started off, gesturing for the Gilnean to follow.

Rheugan was only too happy to see his old quarters near the library. He fell onto the bed without bothering to undress. His sleep was still restless, but if he had any dreams they were forgotten by the time he awoke.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rheugan: Road to the Vale

Halfhill was bustling long before the sun came up. Rheugan sat and watched the Pandaren move about, preparing to open shops or head out to their own farms.

Pitch had said he would be there to escort Rheugan to the Vale, but he hadn’t specified a time. Rheugan had thought he would simply wait for the druid to show up, but as the approaching dawn began to pink the sky, he and the cat both began feeling a bit of wanderlust. The first farmer he approached was able to give him directions, and soon Rheugan was loping up the incline toward the path cut into the mountainside.

He ignored the small voice that told him he’d be better off waiting for Pitch. He’d been wandering alone out here for days and nothing bad had happened. What could go wrong?

* * * * *

The tunnels gave him pause, but not for long. The saurok were everywhere, yes, but there were plenty of shadows along the cavern walls, and with the cat’s guidance Rheugan had no trouble slipping by unseen. The lizardmen never even knew he was there.

* * * * *

Kun-Lai was impressive - Rheugan thought it would have been even without the giant mountain peaks in the distance. It was quiet, as well, but Rheugan wasn’t fooled; here and there he could see smoke rising from what he assumed were the yaungol’s war camps. He skirted the mountains separating the plains from the Vale, giving any possible combat zones a wide berth. He judged he was nearly halfway to the gates when he felt the disturbance.

The corruption was still fairly new; to his druidic senses it felt like a hole in the earth. Despite his own misgivings and the cat’s reluctance, he found himself changing his route to pass near enough for a look.

He’d never seen anything like this. Rheugan had been careful to avoid Serpent’s Heart, but this looked the same as Pitch’s descriptions. Blackness boiled up out of the ground, while strange creatures idled about inside. It repulsed him, even as it resonated with something inside him that he’d thought long-buried. He stood frozen, suddenly unable to decide what to do next, until one of the creatures noticed him and headed toward him with a snarl.

Rheugan felt a flash of alarm from the cat, quickly followed by revulsion, and he found himself lunging to meet it with an answering snarl. The cat danced around the Sha-spawn, unwilling to get close enough to use its fangs. Claws worked well enough, however, and before too long the creature collapsed in on itself, becoming a shapeless blob on the grass. The cat watched it long enough to ensure it was dead, then lifted its head to stare out over the plain.

The other creatures were still oblivious to his presence, squabbling amongst themselves. Farther off, too distant to pinpoint a location, Something seemed to awaken, as though just becoming aware of him. It... called to him; Rheugan could feel it stirring up the anger he’d buried within, before he stamped it back down firmly. The cat suddenly shuddered, then abruptly it released control, and Rheugan found himself back in charge of his own body.

The distant thing called to him again. Rheugan turned and fled.

The gates were a more than welcome sight. Rheugan paused to study them for a moment, then passed through at a trot.

* * * * *

The Vale was singing. That was his first thought. His second was that the “singing” wasn’t something he heard, but sensed. Rheugan fell in with a grummle caravan, pacing alongside a wagon while he tried to make sense of it.

It felt... familiar somehow, although he couldn’t place where he’d felt it before. He found it hard to care at the moment - it was doing a wonderful job of soothing the jagged nerves left from his encounter with the Thing in Kun-Lai. A shadow passed over him suddenly, and he looked up to see an immense dragon- wait, no, they call them cloud serpents -flying past overhead.

He paused to look around one more time. Even here he could see the signs of battle, but they were distant enough that he felt safe. Here, maybe, he could find some peace. He padded on, heading further into the Vale and toward the Shrine of Seven Stars.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Rheugan: Road to the Vale- In Pictures

I am in the process of writing this, but between the head cold I caught a couple weeks ago, the holiday stress, and now a case of writer's block, it's taking longer then I thought. A LOT longer. So, here's something to keep everyone occupied while I keep poking at my brain. Enjoy!

The saurok caves


Attracting attention...

The Vale at last

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rheugan: Scars

Ever notice that Rheugan always wears long-sleeved shirts, even when the weather is warm? Well, this is why.

The pale one on his left forearm is from the bite that originally cursed him. The long one on his other arm is from his tangle with a frostwyrm in Storm Peaks. The rest probably all have stories too, but few of them are ones Rheugan is proud of.

His missing ear is on the other side (left), plus is usually hidden by his hair anyway. And for anyone curious, there are 14 different scars visible on this side, with a few more you can't see from this angle.

Artist notes: I did find a picture for a ref for this, though I changed a couple things to make it more "Rheugan." I thought I had a scar tutorial somewhere, but I couldn't find it, so I had to wing it. I think they turned out all right, but I am open to suggestions for improvement.

This was kind of "vent art" since playing him and writing about him have put me in a mood. I'm still working on his next story, though hopefully I'll be able to polish it up and post it soon. Rheugan just isn't very happy right now, plus he's **spoilers!** going to run into Sha trouble, so the writing and playing bits haven't really been happy times. Hopefully that will change with time.

Have a couple more pictures I've been working on, which I ought to be done with soon. Wheee, arts!

Monday, December 10, 2012

And Then the World Was Right Again...

Some of the new tameable beasts introduced in 5.1 inspired me to reroll Toorambar...AGAIN... on Wyrmrest Accord. I played him with my babydruid Ranuuk to level 10 (and will probably wind up Rping them together a lot XD), then Tooram went out to find some new buddies.

Toorambar and Ranuuk with Jiminy the tallstrider.

First one I wanted was Nighthowl the ghostly worg. Ranuuk tagged along with Tooram up to his spawn point, and as luck would have it, he was up!

Next up was Plague, the ghostly blue demon dog. He was in the barn where he spawns, but dead, so I wound up logging them there for the night. Next morning I went to check, and he was there waiting.

I'm not totally sure if Toorambar will keep him, but for now I can squee about how tiny he is. XD

The new guys were fun, but Tooram was definitely missing something. Ranuuk headed off back to Thunder Bluff, while Tooram went out to the Barrens.He still needed a few levels, but with a few heirlooms mailed over, he got those quickly. Then it was off to the south to look for the Kolkar packrunners.

There were 2 right next to each other when I got there, but one decided to start running all over the place and I didn't feel like chasing. The other packrunner was just standing there, and as Toorambar watched the packhound sitting there scratching at fleas, I started getting a feeling...

The packrunner went down like nothing, then I had Tooram release the temp cat he'd grabbed and start taming the packhound. Once he was tamed, there was an immediate feeling of "right", and I had no doubts that this was his Ahanu.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Toorambar isn't the only one that's been getting attention. Lark and Rheugan have each gotten another level, and I'm still on Pitch a lot, just doing random things. I'm up to 430 mini-pets, too. O_o

Laoden is up to 52, though I've slowed down on him now. My plan right now is to get him to 55, then have Pitch run him and sis's monk Sunre through Blackrock Depths and avoid the dungeon-finder drama.

Lark's picked up a couple more buddies, too. This guy took awhile to name, but I finally settled on Ezro, and he's becoming one of my favorites.

This guy was a hoot when she first tamed him. Seems these mobs are bugged when first tamed, and they insist on sitting when not in motion. Sad thing is that it stops once you log, zone out anywhere, or dismiss him for any reason. But it was fun while it lasted.


Naturally Fraps wasn't working for this. /grr

He's cute normal, too.
I think that was about it. Sis and I have mostly been doing old-school raids for the pets that drop there. I am 1 pet away from my Mr. Bigglesworth (if darn Chromaggus would just drop his pup *grumble*), and sis has a couple more for hers. Pitch and Kel tearing apart Naxx is a barrel of fun, seriously. I'll put up screenies of some of the new pets, but that'll wait til another post, I think.

Til next time, Happy Hunting!