Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Very Yeti Christmas

in which an embittered Orc maiden ponders the true meaning of Winter's Veil

            The hard-packed snow crunched loudly beneath Ghakuu’s feet as she jogged up yet another blinding white slope. When she reached the top of the ridge, her breaths were labored. Large gulps of icy air rasped her throat and came panting out in thick clouds of vapor. She scanned the valley below, her yellow eyes narrowing.
            Leeshivazul, her husky yet pea-headed minion (and consort) trudged up the slope behind her, his heavy axe clanging against his plate armor leggings. “As usual, you waste my time, pathetic creature,” he grunted in his gravelly voice.
            Ghakuu did not acknowledge Lee’s insolent comment; she had grown accustomed to the demon’s constant show of insubordination. Too bad for him that he was enslaved to her, subject to her will and desire. On any other occasion, she might tease him about this fact, maybe even engage him in an impromptu wrestling match. With her, of course, ending up on top.
            Today she was not in the mood.
            Today, she was a continent away from where she wanted to be, answering to the Warchief’s command. “Report to Winterspring,” the message had stated, “your services are required.” (Whoever was doing the writing for the new Warchief certainly had a way with words, or lack thereof. Blunt and uninformative seemed to be the new style, along with the unspoken assumption that orders will be followed.) Ghakuu would much rather have stayed in the Blasted Lands, basking in the fel energies which, in the shadow of the Dark Portal, seemed to emanate from every garishly colored rock and crevice. Instead, she was in a world of white: Winterspring Grove. Near the top of the world. Far from everywhere else.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Return to Danger Island

My Most Anticipated Feature of Warlords of Draenor
(WoW Insider Community Blog Topic)

In the upcoming expansion, players will do constant battle with each other beneath the shadow of the Dark Portal. 
   PvP (player versus player, for the uninitiated) is a strange beast within the World of Warcraft (WoW, for those in the know). I don't believe there are any available statistics on how many people choose to PvP (whether in arenas, in battlegrounds, or on full-fledged PvP servers), but most of the players I know avoid it like the plague.
   I can understand why many tend to shy away from the PvP servers, as the constant threat of being interrupted by other players while you're just minding your own business questing or gathering is likely an extreme annoyance. Plus, there are the persistent threats of ganking (being mercilessly killed by players who thoroughly outlevel or outgear you) and corpse camping (wherein those same sadistic bullies who ganked you lie in wait by your body so that when you resurrect they can experience the ?glory? of one-shotting you once again).

   Still, to me, even though I am a relatively amateur PvPer, the most challenging and gratifying moments in the game are those involving doing battle with other players. Nothing quite sets the dopamine and adrenaline coursing through my brain the way a well-fought victory in Arathi Basin does. I could cast Chaos Bolts all day long into the slathering jaws of some leviathan raid boss, rotating through my core spells with clockwork precision, but nothing can beat that one perfectly timed Shadowburn that blasts my opponent right into the throes of death.
   I play primarily on non-PvP servers, mostly because my friends do, and I am thankful for the peacefulness and the convenience. But many times my heart has yearned to taste the thrill of player versus player combat on a regular basis.

Monday, November 18, 2013

6 Things I Learned in a Room Full of Magic-Users

Blizzcon 2013 Photo Essay Part I


   Ohmigod! I felt like there was so much to see and do and that I only scratched the surface of what Blizzcon could be. Everything was so big and exciting, and the production values were like those of a mega rock concert. The energy was intense. My words flail about wildly in an attempt to capture the uncapturable. Perhaps my blurry cell phone photos can provide me the structure I need, just as they offer proof that I was actually there.
   Overall, I just can't wait to do it again.
   One thought I had late night at the Hilton bar after Saturday's closing ceremonies became a sudden realization that summed up for me this ineffable thing we call the Blizzcon experience. Moving through the seething energies of the Hilton crowd, the lubricated heat of booze rising from the clusters and eddies of attendees, I sensed an intensity of mind. Everyone's mental activity was keen and focused. I could see it in the almost imperceptibly darting and searching eyes of whomever I passed by. Intelligence. Awareness.
   Ohmigod! I said to myself. I'm in a room full of magic-users!
   What I mean by that -- my contention -- is that not only are gamers perhaps more intelligent and mentally savvy than the average bear, but that as purveyors of fantasy worlds of thought and imagination and as participants in (or creators of) Blizzard's worlds, we possess a certain clarity of mind and action such that when we are gathered together for an event like Blizzcon, there exists the potential for true magic.
   I felt it all weekend.
   I feel it whenever I log in to the game or participate in the community.
   Saturday night, in that sultry room rumbling with conversation, I felt it as a physical presence.
   And we are all of us magic-users.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bigfoot Theoried #4: Teleportation Theory Examined

Beam Me Up, Bigfoot!

   There is a mystery in the woods. There is a mystery in my backyard. There are mysteries throughout the universe. How do mysteries travel?
   There are a lot of Bigfeet in the Pacific Northwest -- of that, there is no doubt. But why do these creatures also appear in every state, in every country, and -- if the trend continues -- in every nook and cranny. Why? More importantly, How? 
   No one has ever seen a Bigfoot migration. It just doesn't happen. It's just not possible when you consider the scarcity of physical evidence. It's just not probable, more to the point, when you stop and wonder, dumbfounded by the awe-inspiring majesty of the Anomalous, at the true nature of The Bigfoot. What IS he? A monster menace? A misunderstood primitive man? A myth, a legend? A diseased harbinger of the Apocalypse? A celestial Being, an Angel? A government plot? 
   Let's examine the case of the Colorado Bigfoot, sighted by Dan Masias in 1987 outside his home in Green Mountain Falls.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Walking Dead 04:03 - Isolation

Losing Control

Tyresse rears back with his hammer, ready to bash someone's brains.

   In this week's installment of AMC's The Walking Dead, we see some classic moments of Tyresse from the original comic series reinterpreted. They are shining moments, though not without a little tarnish, and unfortunately about the only memorable highlights from the newest episode, "Isolated."

   The first moment occurs in the opening teaser, when Tyresse, upset about the recent murder and immolation of his romantic interest Karen, demands that Rick investigate. The discussion gets heated and soon becomes a shoving match between Rick, Tyresse, and Daryl. Tyresse takes a few swings at Rick, then Rick nails him to the ground and start pummeling him mercilessly. As wise man Hershel points out later as he's bandaging Rick's bleeding and sprained hand, anyone can fall off the wagon; it's how one deals with it afterwards that is important. For Hershel, this is a reference to his back story struggles with alcoholism. For Rick, it is his battle with his own violently raging nature and his attempt to put behind him The Things He Has Had To Do.

   Overall, the episode attempts to deal with this issue of self control as well as the notion that there are certain jobs which must be done, even if they are difficult or unpleasant. However, most of the scenes contribute little to the overall story, present no in-depth character development, and seem to serve no other purpose than to set us up for the next few episodes. Though I've been hopeful that this fourth season may represent a turning point in the quality of the show, this episode hearkens back to the pacing issues which have plagued The Walking Dead

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bigfoot Theoried #3: Bigfoot and Water -- Precipitation Theory

as originally examined by K.C. "Chick" Colt

K.C. stares at the reader through his dark wayfarers, Bible in hand, be-crossed and leather-jacketed. The diagram to his left shows the process of participation and its connection to Yeti and Sasquatch.

   Man, I've been wondering what the connection is. I saw on TV the other day this guy that was possessed and everywhere he went, it rained. Like indoors and everything. He was in jail and it rained in his cell. Did you know that Bigfeet occur more often in areas where there is over 20% precipitation? I think that's the right figure. Maybe it's 80%. But it's places like Oregon. Or if there's a lot of snow. Like in the Himalayas. Also, Bigfeet are almost always (maybe it's 80% of the time) seen near or in water. It's true! Awwwwww, it'll set your head on fire and make your kidneys stream! There has never been a report of a Bigfoot driving an 18-wheeler, surprisingly. But I'm not sure what the connection is. But also ghosts occur most often in places where there's a lot of rain. England has the highest number of ghosts per capita in the world. Virginia has the highest in the U.S. of A. Maybe water is a good conductor of paranormal things. There have been many recent sightings of underwater Bigfeet. In ancient times, many magical creatures lived in or near water. Maybe they still do. Ain't that right, Bigfoot? I said, ain't that right, Bigfoot? Aw, hell, he can't hear. Not on this side anyway. He ain't got no. . .

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

EXCLUSIVE Bigfoot Testimonials!

Confession of Love: "Sparky" Tells All

+ My Pets Are Possessed by Bigfoot

If you had to choose... between your man and Bigfoot! Ask yourself HONESTLY -- Would you have done what I did?

Buhl Woman Who Bedded Bigfoot Professes Her Love

   It's not all right, baby. I can't tell you how not all right it is. Oh, sugar, I can't believe you're gone. I cry out to you and to all the people who follow your work. Baby, they said you were a monster. They wanted to kill you. I just wanted to hold you near my heart, rest your fur on my bosom. Oh, baby, they have killed you. I can't believe it. My mind doesn't want to think. They've murdered you, baby. They said you were a monster. They're the real monsters, baby. You know it's true. You were always a friend to me. Oh, sugar, I feel so empty. So cold without you. Your fur. So warm. So close. Oh, baby, I feel I'm gonna die. I wanna be with you, baby, I wanna be with you.

   Maybe through the incredible and diligent efforts of Lord Chanten Serendipdous and his miraculous crew at Bigfoot Headquarters who sweat and grind every month to bring your story to the public in their truth-exposing and mind-expanding articles from The Bigfoot News, you will rest in peace, baby. You and the others of your kind, baby. Gentle as a newborn. Oh, sugar, I will miss you. The doctors and scientists and military men all tell me the same. They tell me to forget, baby. But I won't. You know I never will, baby. They say you were a monster, baby. But, I know the truth, baby. I know you were more than human. I know you were (and still are) Purest Love. And fur.

   I'll miss you, baby. I'll miss you more than life. Love always. Yours. Sparky.