Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodnight, Meat.

I posted a veggie confessional over at Seven Deadly Divas yesterday, complete with doodles. You can see it here. Have a totally rad New Year, and don't forget to update your feeds!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

[RP] ALL the Drinks.

I'm really happy with the switch to Wordpress so far. Everything feels more neat, tidy and under my control (MUST HAVE CONTROL /twitch). Hop on over and take a peek at the new Hammar & Veldarin post if you haven't already. Let us know what you think of the RP and the new site format. I love comments!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

[RP] Little Boy Blue

Hey folks! I've been busy with the holidays lately but I finally got a fic post up on my new blog over at You can see it here:

There's still a challenge sitting on the shelf waiting for me to haul it out and pretty it up. You've been warned.

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Post: Hello Cataclysm!

Hey y'all, just posting a link to the latest Bika post here in case you haven't made the swap yet. You'll find some sweet screenshots to make up for the lame-ass content, and the threat of a challenge. You know you want to go look.

Friday, December 3, 2010

[RP] Help

Have another fluffy post before The Tree conclusion! Hammaryn has been talking to Veldarin, a character of mine, and he recommended talking to a priest he knows ‘cause, well, Hammaryn’s got more issues than National Geographic.

Now I really want to know what’s between the covers of that little blue book...

[EDIT: Look. Blogger. You've been good to me at times, and I certainly appreciate you letting me learn how to blog here (for free, even!) but after all this formatting sadness I'm afraid I'm going to have to leave you for WordPress. I'd love to say it's not you, it's me... but it's you. Sorry. Readers, you'll want to check out from now on for updated content. Thanks for hanging with me!]

Authors: Me & Hammaryn


Hammaryn was sure that there were worse things than asking someone for help. The only problem was at that moment, she couldn’t think of a single one. Her left hand shook on the doorknob to the priest’s study. She put her other hand over the delinquent wrist, attempting to still it, and when that didn’t work she pulled both away in disgust. She folded her arms over her chest, sucked in a sharp breath of air, and started pacing in circles.

After all, it wasn’t too late to go home. Thinking back on it, she didn’t know what had even gotten into her the other day. Of course she didn’t need re-education; aside from her numerous reprimands and suspensions, she’d always done well at work. She was often complimented on her skills in combat, and she was one of the few Argents that had fought in Icecrown. She decided that really, she was an exemplary soldier. There was nothing to worry about.

Except for the nagging feeling in the back of her mind that she hadn’t been happy in years. She stopped in the middle of her pacing, and stared at the door again. Veldarin had told her the priest would have a code of privacy, and he was sworn not to repeat the things she said. That didn’t mean she needed to see him. Lots of people were unhappy, why should she be any different?

“Excuse me miss, I wonder if you might be able to help me,” came a voice from behind her. She whirled around, startled to find a somewhat pale elf in priestly garb standing in the doorway of the study. He smiled gently. “You see, I’ve made all this tea and I can’t possibly drink it by myself. Come to think of it, I have far too many biscuits as well. Won’t you come in?”

“I...” Hammaryn stammered. “What? I mean, I was just about to go. I wasn’t waiting here, or anything.”

A fat, fluffy cat appeared in the doorway, wound itself about the priest’s legs, and stared expectantly at the visitor. “That’s quite a pity. You see, Frances here was expecting company and she’ll be quite put out if I don’t find someone. She gets very tired of having only me for company, for I am old and rather dull.” He opened the door even wider and stepped aside slightly.

The cat meowed.

Hammaryn frowned, talking to no one in particular. “I think I might be hallucinating. This feels like the mushrooms.”

“My dear, this room is a magnet for wandering souls. Would it surprise you to know that you are not the first, nor the second or third visitor I have found pacing this floor today?” His small bemused smile grew to a big merry one, as though he might laugh at any moment. He took a step toward her, but no more. The cat followed and plopped its fat behind on the tiles. Meow.

Hammaryn took a slow and deep breath, letting it out in one big sigh. “Fine. I’ll come in. But you should know before I do, that I am a trained member of the military, and if your intent is to try anything unscrupulous it’ll go badly for you.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt it for an instant. I believe you could rip my arms right off without hardly trying. Now, let’s not dawdle, the tea is getting cold. Come in!” He ushered her over the threshold into a cozy, extremely tidy little room. It was circular and every wall was completely lined with shelves, all of which were filled with scrupulously dusted books and assorted knickknacks. A fire burned in the stone fireplace across from the front door, a modest table set before it flanked by two simple chairs with worn cushions on the seats.

Hammaryn sat down, sitting stiffly upright in the chair. Her eyes wandered over to the shelves of books, scanning the titles.

“Do you see something you’d like to read? Come to think of it, I believe I’ve seen you at the library. With Veldarin, is that right? He’s a good lad, if a bit on the mischievous side.” Two teacups nested near the steaming pot, beside a plate of chocolate-dipped biscuits. He set one on Hammaryn’s side of the table and filled it with tea, then filled his own before sitting down, adjusting his robes beneath him.

She took a sip of tea, blowing on it to cool it off. “How do you know Veldarin? From the library?”

“He is my cousin, though I suppose it’s so many times removed it may as well be nothing. His father and mine were dear friends, though. I’ve known the lad since he was yea high to a grasshopper.” He held his thumb and forefinger an inch apart, then took a cookie from the plate and pushed it over to her.

She helped herself and took a large bite. “He doesn’t talk much about his family.”

“And why doesn’t that come as a surprise,” he said, chewing a fastidious bite of the chocolate half of his biscuit. “He never has gotten on with his mother. Our fathers, well. They fell to the scourge years ago. It was quite a blow. I don’t know that he’s over it yet, he certainly doesn’t discuss it with me! Not anymore, that is.”

“That’s odd.” Hammaryn frowned, still chewing on the cookie. “He never said anything about his father.”

“His father was a nobleman, quite the magister in his time. Veldarin took his love of reading from him, you could hardly find either of them anywhere without his nose stuck in a book.” Frances hopped with surprising grace into the priest’s lap and curled up there, regarding Hammaryn with her bright green eyes.

“He’s training to be a soldier now.”

“So I hear! He came to me not long ago asking about the priesthood. I was sorry to turn him away, but I do believe a priest’s life would never satisfy his nature. He is an adventurer at heart, and lacks certain qualities one desires in a priest. For example, a priest ought to be meek. Do you know what that entails, miss--?”

“Hammaryn Dawnsorrow.”

“Miss Hammaryn. Do you know Veldarin well enough to say whether he is meek?”

She snorted at this. “I don’t believe that he is, no.”

He smiled at her. “So you see how I could not in good conscience advise him to follow his aspirations to priesthood. It’s been a while since I heard any news of him stirring up trouble, so I can only assume that his new aspirations are challenging enough to keep him occupied.” The cat meowed at him, and he broke off a piece of biscuit to feed her. “Now tell me, my dear, what brings you to my humble home?”

“I think - “ she set the cookie down on the table. “Let me start that again. I’ve been a member of the military since I was old enough to swing a sword. I don’t have a problem with my job. I think I like it actually.” She swept a few crumbs off of the table onto the floor. The cat hopped down to eat them off the threadbare rug, leaving it clean. “Several members of my order claim it’s all that I do, but it’s not. I also read, and train, and get drunk every night.” She leaned back in her chair, relaxing her posture. Her hands dropped into her lap. “The problem is...I don’t know if it’s normal to be unhappy.”

“That is a weighty thought to have on one’s mind, Hammaryn. It’s the sort of thought, I think, that leads to sleepless nights and to pacing in front of odd priest’s doorways. Let me ask you a question. Do we speak of active unhappiness? Or simple contentment without particular joy?”

“I guess the latter.” She shrugged.

“In my experience, contentment is often quite enough, and readily attainable if one knows where to find it. Is there anything that makes you feel more than content?”

“I’m not saying that I dislike everything. But I am different from my peers.” She shook her head. “I don’t know what they expect of me. I don’t know what it is that I’m supposed to do aside from my work.”

“Hammaryn. Are you saying, then, that there is nothing which makes you happy?”

“Is that wrong?”

He looked somewhat taken aback. “Oh, heavens no. There is no right or wrong associated with happiness, my dear.” Filling her cup from the still-steaming pot, he continued. “I would like to pose a question to you, Hammaryn. Do you know anything of small children, babies even?”

“Yes. I lived in the orphanage after the destruction of Silvermoon.”

“Can infants be happy, Hammaryn?”

“Of course they can. They start smiling within a matter of months.”

“Do you suppose they learn how to be happy? Or does it just happen?”

She picked up the cookie again. “People smile at babies all the time.”

“What makes a baby unhappy?”

“A lot of things. Being tired, being hungry, taking a piss.”

Unperturbed by her crude language, the priest forged ahead. “So it seems that any person, at his or her basic level, must have their basic needs met first before they can be happy. Beyond that, it is a matter of something that can be as simple as receiving a smile. Do you agree?”

She frowned at this. “I guess so.”

He pushed another cookie across the table at her with a solemn half-smile. “In this world, Hammaryn, being happy can be as simple as choosing to be happy with what one is given beyond the mere necessities of life.”

She picked up the cookie. “So you’re saying that everything is fine? There’s nothing wrong with just having my work.”

“There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, my dear. But I suspect that you will find yourself in the unpleasant position of wondering whether there’s any point to living.”

She set down the cookie, nodding thoughtfully. “I...I told Veldarin I thought I’d rather be re-educated than be myself. That’s why he sent me here.”

“So it has already crossed your mind.” The priest set down his cup and folded his hands in his lap, staring thoughtfully into the fire. “I must ask--and please be assured, nothing you say in my confidence will ever leave this room, or be shared with anyone--what has happened to make you feel as though you are undeserving of life?”

“I don’t feel undeserving. I just don’t see the point to all the stupid things that everyone else does. They lose sight of what’s important.”

“What is important, my dear?”

She stared at the priest as if he’d lost his mind. “Having a goal.”

“Has it occurred to you that perhaps happiness in itself can be a goal? Perhaps you mean something very specific.”

“I’d like to see the elimination of the scourge, within my lifetime.”

“Is that the only worthy goal in life? For that matter, what happens when the scourge is gone, and your goal attained?”

Hammaryn’s hands fidgeted in her lap. “I don’t know. I guess I’ll just...go fight for someone else.”

“And assume someone else’s goals? Can it be acceptable to set a goal of your very own, to aim for something you want for yourself?”

“I do have a goal for myself.” She cleared her throat.

“After the scourge is gone, what will you do?”

She scowled at the kindly priest. “I just told you, I’ll enlist with someone else.”

“Your goal is to serve? Or to gain military rank and prowess?”

She shook her head. “I just want to fight.”

“Does fighting make you happy?”

“I wouldn’t say it’s a feeling of happy, it’s more like...” Her forehead wrinkled in thought. “Forgetting.”

“And getting drunk every night; would you say it’s for the same reason?” He broke the chocolate part off of a cookie and dropped the rest on the floor for Frances.

She nodded. “Probably.”

The priest set down his half of the cookie and stared into the fire for several minutes, thinking. “And Veldarin, do you enjoy his company?”

She shrugged. “He’s not too bad.”

“I’m quite glad to hear it. Tell me, do you have any plans next week at this time? I have a lot of tea and never enough visitors to help me drink it.”

“I’m not working right now.”

“Wonderful! You should be sure to drop by, then. Would you care to borrow a book? You can bring it back next week when you come.” He got to his feet, stepping around the fat white cat, and went to one of the many bookshelves as though he knew precisely what to choose. The book he showed her was worn and bound in faded blue leather, not very thick but with a very fine print on the yellowed pages inside.

“This one is called Through the Portal. It’s a very old, but very fine story about an adventurous young elf in the time of Azshara,” he said, putting it firmly into her hands and settling back into his chair. Frances leaped onto his knee. He patted the scruff of her neck.

She turned the book over in her hands. “When should I have it finished by?”

“That depends entirely on how easily it reads to you, my dear. If you are finished in a day, or a month, it matters not to me. Only read it, and bring it to me once a week to tell me what you think of what you’ve read.”

She stood up, tucking the book under her arm. “Fine. I’ll see you next week.”

“Do take another biscuit with you. And tell Veldarin he ought to come visit soon.” He followed her to the door and waved as she went. “It was lovely meeting you, Hammaryn.”

She nodded. “You as well.”

Frances yowled loudly after her as she walked away.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

[RP] A Crisis of Insulin

I’m surprised at how much blogging got done last month, all things considered. Special thanks goes out to all my flash fic subbers, who were so kind as to provide me with guest post material in the name of fun writing challenges. It makes me want to open up another challenge soon! Feel free to post comments with ideas or oh-god-please-no-mores.

My first day post-NaNo saw me back to no good on It’s nice to do a little stream-of consciousness writing as a change of pace. I also have some ongoing projects that need work. Like what, you might ask? Let’s see: Odd blood elf priest counsels a troubled paladin; Ambika completes her penance with Zana’zua’s help; Veldarin the mage eats his Wheaties and becomes The Predicament, a might warrior. Yonah completes Brooms, primer one, and her jelly jar sees Frederick #2391. Thiyenn elopes with a turnip farmer only to return to Stormwind after the Sundering with the horrible certainty that she is Bad Luck to any man she touches.

There are more, I’m sure--let’s not even talk about Ysani, because that whole situation is a can of worms I don’t know if I’m ready to deal with yet--but you get the idea. I have a lot of writing to do.

I have an awesome surprise for the culminating post of The Tree, but it will take a wee bit longer to finish. Please enjoy this little fluffy filler-post in the meantime.

Authors: Me & Hammy(Fenn)

With the huge linen sack slung over her shoulder and her cheeks red as roses, Ysani looked like the world’s most giddy Greatfather Winter. She smelled like it, too; the scent of cinnamon and cloves wafted off of her like a bakery in full holiday swing.

“You’re not gonna believe this,” she said when he opened the door, not wasting her breath on silly things like ‘hello’ or ‘how are you’. Plop went the sack onto the floor.

“He was going to throw them out! I don’t even.” Her pale fingers rapidly untied the cord that held the bag shut as she talked a mile a minute. “I’ve been hoarding them all rather than chuck them out and he’s still baking but they’re so good Fenn you just don’t know.”

She yanked open the bag. A heap of golden muffins dotted with the red marks of crushed hot cinnamon candy and covered in veritable drifts of cinnamon-sugar threatened to tumble out onto the rug. She rescued one from toppling over the edge and practically shoved it in Fenniel’s face. “Eat!”

Fenn sniffed the muffin for a moment before tenderly taking it from Ysani’s hand, shoving about half of it into his mouth. A blissful expression spread over his face as he chewed. “Thff if amayhin.”

“I KNOW.” She crammed one in her mouth and chewed, savoring the crunch of undissolved and buttery sugar. “Let’sh go get shider,” she said around a mouthful of crumbs, and closed the bag up once more, hoisting it up over her shoulder.

Fenn shoved the other half of the muffin into his mouth, a few crumbs spilling out as his cheeks filled up like a chipmunk. “Mmhmm.”

In the Legerdemain, they ate one delicious baked good after another, washing down every other bite with spicy mulled cider that was just making its seasonal debut. Waitstaff and barkeep alike watched with growing amusement, then alarm as the bag of muffins deflated and the pair just kept on shoveling it in.

At some point, Ysani’s enthusiasm for crumbly, cinnamon-candied sweets began to wane.

“Urmph,” she said to no one in particular, as she waved away the server who’d come to refill their cider mugs for the umpteenth time. “I think imma be... imma be sick.”

Fenn stopped mid-bite to look at Ysani. “Are you okay?”

An enormous belch was her only answer, and it appeared to make her feel slightly better. If nothing else, she was less green.

“Uh. I’ll be fine.”

She pushed away the unconquerable half-eaten muffin and Fenniel eyed it. “Are you gonna eat that..?”

“Go for it.”

She ordered a glass of cold water and sipped at it while he worked his way through the last half-dozen candy-studded confections. He didn’t even appear to be slowing down, and that was pretty fascinating to the redheaded girl. Such fortitude! Surely she should strive for such staggering stamina. When the last crumb was gone and he licked his fingers for the last glittering bits of crystalline sweetness, she smiled.

“Let’s go outside, I could use some fresh air.”

Fenniel nodded in agreement. “I’m kind of full.”

They sprawled out on the grass under the enormous statue of Antonidas and watched the stars slowly appear in the evening sky, eyes glazed, groaning periodically as their distended bellies gurgled various complaints against the evils of excess.

“Fenn,” slurred Ysani.


“I just realized I’m gonna have to taste-test more muffins when I get home.”

They both stared up at the sky. It was impossible for a casual observer to tell whether they lay there in companionable silence or in a state of metabolic shock. Regardless, no one fetched a medic and they were allowed to rest undisturbed.

Back at the chapter house, Keilos baked.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

[RP] The Tree, Part III [PG-13, Scary]

Today I finish NaNo. Life will go back to normal. Sort of. Hammy will spend some time buffing out the marks left by the friendship tug o’ war and there will no doubt be some sort of post-event letdown as I flail at my to-do list: jumping back into The Game, slowly tying up the loose ends left in The (as yet unnamed) Book, finding a realtor (again) and preparing for the holidays.

Did I mention more RP writings?

Speaking of which, this is the one where it starts getting kinda freaky. You might wanna skip it if you’re really squicked out by disturbing imagery.


Rarely are our minds so vulnerable as when we sleep; we become unqualified to distinguish desire from reality and the task of untangling the two is rarely possible until one wakes.

Libby began to see the fox in her sleep. It invariably darted into the bushes as before, and Libby invariably took off after it, assuming a sleek feline form as she chased it over the hills of Feralas into the misty northern forests. Every dream was identical to the last and realistic down to the feeling of cold, damp grit under her paws as she ran.

Wait for me, she called out in the chilly air, and always the response came singing back to her flattened ears.

Come, there is much to be done. Come, the Mother is calling.

Morning would find the druid scrubbing frantically at the pots, the floors, what meager rugs they’d brought out to their home in the wilds. The beat of her heart mimicked the rhythm of her frantic plea.

Mother, hear me.
Are you there?

More than once she caught herself staring blankly north. Always north; this began to feel of supreme significance to her, that if only she could find a proper northern path she would emerge in some hallowed ring of earth, to be greeted by the Mother Herself. Her daily forages took her on paths that drifted inexorably toward the great cliffs that divided Feralas from her northern sister, Desolace.

In a breathtakingly brief span of time she’d convinced herself that it was only right that Desolace held the key to her restoration. It was, after all, her homeland. Where better to connect to the spirits than to the very soil which saw her greeted into this world?

So, when one day the fox appeared on her path, looking expectantly at her with those gold-rimmed yellow eyes, she twitched and fell into the well-worn course of her daily dream.

Over the hills, cross the road, under the canopy of enormous trees they ran, sleek black cat tailing bushy red fox, neither winded even at the point they reached the forbidding pillars of the desolate gate.

The lush greenery of Feralas quickly gave way to ruined, ash-like soil as they crossed the border into demon’s territory. They kicked up tiny plumes of gray dust, they bounded over stones and dodged roving guards, they skirted pools of viscous purple fluid that were once ponds teeming with life.

Libby began to slow. The fox took note of this and paused to watch her trot along until she got close, then bounded ahead. They continued in that fashion for an hour before they came upon a deep ravine lined with stunted trees and the corpses of lesser vegetation. Another pool of burbling demonic fluid lurked below. It was there on the shore of that sluggish puddle that the fox came to a final stop and waited patiently for the druid to catch up.

When at last the sleek, panting black cat reached the creature, she had to fight the urge to lie down and rest. Instead she circled the yellow-eyed beast and sniffed tentatively at its fur. She could smell nothing but the overwhelming odor of fel taint from the scummy pond and the sour ashy dust that seemed to lie over everything here.

You have come.

At the sound of that voice, a new and powerful hope sprang up within Libby’s heart. She lay down on the filthy earth and whined with her tail lowered.

You are needed, my daughter.

An unseen hand shoved her forcibly out of shifted form; the cat was now a groveling black tauren with her waist-length braids trailing in the dirt. Her hair and short black fur, matted and wet with sweat, were painted with powdery gray streaks of dust and dirt. It filled her nose and left gritty poison on her tongue.

“Please, Earthmother, tell me how to serve you. I humble myself before you, instruct me!”

You will serve me here, little one. The dead foliage began to groan and rustle, whipping about as though caught in some tumultuous wind.

This place was once a beautiful grove, my daughter. You will purify and restore it.

“Every day of my life, Oh Earthmother, I swear it! Only grant me the means to do so and I will be your humble servant for the rest of my days!”

So be it, said the magnificent voice, and there came a crackling sound from the earth. The sky dumped a torrent of rain on her head and soaked her to the bone in an instant; the little fox fled to a boulder nearby and observed as the terrifying scene unfolded with its watchful yellow eyes.

Clumps of blackened, twisted briers uprooted themselves and limped along on their stumps; a hollow sapling dripping with violet ooze creaked and groaned as it lifted itself from the earth and set its witchy dead branches toward the prone druid, inching forward one root at a time.

Libby felt fear welling up inside her and cried out for the spirits of the earth to keep her safe. If any heard or answered, she could not tell. Her hooves began to itch. Rising up to her knees, she tried to stand and was unable; a frantic glance revealed gnarled roots growing out of her feet, her legs gone hard and dry up past the ankle. It spread. All at once her entire body itched with searing intensity. She scratched at her skin only to find that it cracked under her fingers, splintering as it slowly petrified from the ground up.

She began to scream.

The foul rain streaming down in buckets filled her screaming mouth and threatened to drown her. It turned the powdered earth into a sinking, stinking cesspool of sticky mud. Her calves and knees began to sink into it. Roots burst out of her legs with painful force and buried themselves in the quickening mud, planting her solidly into the earth from the knees down.

Leaning forward to brace her hands on the earth, she used her last ration of coherence to try pulling her legs out of the sucking mud. She could get no purchase. The ground was too soft and her hands sunk in to the wrists. Meanwhile the brambles had finishing their lurching trek across the stormy ravine; they coiled themselves around her thighs and arms, yanked her hands up out of the mud and twined between her fingers. In spite of her vigorous struggle, they pulled her arms up over her head, curling about her face and throat as they did so. When her spine finally snapped erect she was solid from the neck down and could no longer move anything but her eyes.

The animated sapling reached her and sank into the dead mire before her. As the brambles lashed the pair together, the druid’s frozen face and body fused to the dead bark of the tree with thousands of mind-breaking crackling sounds. She was still screaming silently when her braids turned into vines that lashed about in the storm.

She woke screaming, flailing wildly on a patch of dry, dusty earth many miles from her bed.

Thank the Mother, it was only a dream, thank you thank you--

Cersei stepped on her throat. “Welcome to hell.”