Monday, June 18, 2018

[Drama Llama] [WoW] Why I'm no longer in ARD but still support #FriendshipBirb

Warning -- this is gonna be freaking LONG.

This is a two fold story.

ARD (  <A Reddit Dystopia> ) is a very large World of Warcraft community. They have (last I heard) 14 raid teams. (Some are on hiatus)  I was on one of the mythic raiding team  It was a little bit frat boy at times, but nothing a girl who has gone through high school isn't used to ignoring. Microaggressions not Big Huge Honking Deals. In a community that is probably 50% female, there's a couple of teams that have a very low female population or no females at all.. and some that are over 75% female. This was the former.  For a month or two everything was good enough, but then we inherited some players from another team in the community. The players came from a team that had zero females on it and it quickly became apparent why.

One of the individuals was a misogynist who went way out of his way to piss off the females of the group. When one of us finally just snapped and yelled at him he went even further out of his way and made her the butt of every single "joke" he was making. We bitched to the team leader, team leader eventually yelled at Jerk, Jerk didn't stop he just became more sly.  This went on for WEEKS. The sticking point for me was at one point he said there's all these high school teenager cheerleaders in town and they're hot. To which I, and Lady #3 both said "EWW! They're kids!!" to and then he said "It's their fault for being sexy." Comments like "old enough to bleed, old enough to breed" went under the raider of the men on the team, apparently 15 year old girls are hotties and it's their fault did too.

So Jerk was targeting Lady #2 and I finally had enough and snarled at him. He snarled back with yet another shot at Lady #2. Officer or Team Leader (I don't remember which) said "Take it to DMs"  I really should have just tossed in the towel at this point and walked from the team and told the lone female officer in ARD as to why. (I didn't mostly because I find her intimidating as *&@#.) If I'd remember the world's nicest person was also an officer, I probably would have gone to him. Anyway, I didn't quit, which was my first mistake.  Jerk sent me a DM calling me names and I (stupidly) replied back that I don't really give a crap what pedophiles have to say/think and promptly blocked him. He then copy/pasted that to our Team (non-ARD) Discord publicly, which as you can imagine caused Even More Drama.

I got asked by two people "WTF??" and so I explained the above. Unfortunately, one of those is a RL friend of Jerk. (Mistake #2.) I'd already sent all of the story (in three point harmony) to my Team Leader.  Four days of silence. Then one hour before raid the Team Leader kicks me for causing drama. Eh, he wasn't wrong, but him actually Doing Shit would have been nice. I get invited immediately back to the team I was on before I took a vacation.  I figured that was the end of it.

No such luck!

Jerk decided that since he also got kicked from the team, he would make my life as much of a living hell as he could. So I get contacted by an ARD officer and asked "WTF Rhas??" and so I yet again explained all of the above.

Again, silence for days. Then I come back to my computer after a day out to have two messages back to back from an officer. The first reads :

Rhasody - This week we were made aware of an ongoing issue in [Your Mythic Team] involving you and [Jerk].  We spent much of Thursday interviewing members of the team about your accusations and about what happened prior to your removal from their team - yourself included. I honestly am horrified to hear that you accused [Jerk] of being a pedophile - an extremely serious accusation with real-life implications - and did not take up your issues with him to any higher power but instead went to his teammates to tell them what you thought, and posted it in your team discord, all based on a conversation no one can corroborate and that we cannot locate in raid streams. 
However - the issue is not about that conversation. It is about how you handled what you felt to be an issue with another ARD member. We have never wanted to be word police to the community and have been able to entrust raid leaders to handle issues within their own team; however, you did not take advantage appropriately of the systems that we have in place for dealing with something you considered to be misbehavior. Based on this, we are removing you from Raid Leader rank as I don't believe you show the judgement required to have that rank in ARD.

Now -- there's already some problems with this.

1) I DID take it to my team leader who should have done something and left me hanging for DAYS.  By the time it came around he wasn't going to do shit it was a bit late for me to go to the ARD officers.

2) I DID NOT post it to our team Discord. Jerk did.

3) I do not know Jerk in real life. I have no idea how it would have real life problems.  Community problems, yes, and I shouldn't have talked behind his back, that WAS my mistake and why I would not have protested losing my rank/guild position and being busted down to simple community member.

4) System in place? Hell, I didn't even know one of the officers was an officer until three months after we had a headbutt.  Near as I can tell, the system is 'If you're having problems with a team, leave.'

5) The one person who could easily collaborate the conversation was away on a cruise but they couldn't just leave me demoted and wait for her to come back, nope, because  immediately following that message I got this one from the same officer :

 I understand being a woman on a raid team full of men, trust me. There are ways to let your raid leader know when something crosses a line that maybe he doesn't understand. I don't think that is the real issue here, however. If you were uncomfortable with an atmosphere on a team, you should have left. But you stayed and generated a negative and hostile environment instead of taking your concerns to an officer and leaving the team previously. 
That's not all, though. This is not the first time we have had issues with your behavior. You have been spoken to in the past about being mean to new members of ARD. You have been spoken to about being mean to LEADERSHIP during team and community raids. 
Due to prior issues with your behavior, and this most recent occurrence which is absolutely inappropriate, you are being removed from the ARD discord and guild on Bleeding Hollow. We discussed at length whether your removal was warranted, and I believe it is. I am open to discussion which is why I sent you a friend request, but this was a decision made by ARD leadership.

So, they demote me, make a point of telling me I lose my raid and leadership and then kick me out of the community. Classy, huh?

But again -- a few mistakes here.

1) I didn't know my leader didn't "get it" until I was booted and there didn't seem to be much point in making a fuss at that point. I'm sorry my having a problem with extreme misogyny towards myself and other women from ONE MEMBER was considered a hostile environment. This seems awfully close to victim blaming. ("Yes, but if those cheerleaders hadn't been wearing those short skirts he wouldn't have found them sexy and commented!")

2) Their idea of having 'spoken to me' consists of ..

- I made a joke about "And hey, if the healers like you, you'll get healed." and lone female officer said "Hey be nice to the new people" .. I grovelled, new guy laughed and said no worries, he got the joke.  I never, ever, even joked with new people again. In any form.

- The raid leader of Afternoon Delight was away and I joked to the other leader of the raid of who would I be mean to now? The leader who was present laughed, lone female officer said in raid say "Maybe don't be mean to the leaders?" and when I told the absent leader he laughed his ass off. (They didn't ask him at any point if it was a problem. Considering he insisted I keep raiding with his team even after being kicked out of ARD, I'd say it wasn't.)

That's it. There was never a whisper, just random raid say comments. If it was an officer sending a message, it should have least been a whisper with explanation. (Even if it seemed bloody obvious.)  "Hey, maybe don't sing 'I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General' off-key at the top of your lungs during AOTC, it gives the wrong impression!")   I'm pretty simple to deal with, just say "Don't do X" and I'll stop doing X. If you leave me to be psychic or make it indirect, I won't get the message.

But overlooking even that .. The discussion excluded me. I was never brought into voice chat. I did not receive any chat messages or DMs beyond the original "WTF?" so I didn't even know directly what the problem WAS. I still don't know who sent them screenshots. (Well, I know one, but unless they're including my team leader I'm not sure how they're claiming more than that.) I don't think they get to claim "You're ruining our image!" while busy being quite negligent on their own.

So basically, instead of doing what I feel would be fair, and several others thought would be fair, which would be bust me to community rank and kick me from the guild, they went way overboard.  I fucked up, I deserved punishment but I, and plenty of others, think a certain two officers pushed it way too far.

What I find "funny" is when raid leaders asked if they could keep inviting me anyway, they were told that they could invite me to raid, I just couldn't be on the Discord. Now, this makes zero sense to me. If they're worried about my rabble-rousing and causing drama and problems, why the heck would I still be allowed to raid with community members? I still have half of the community on my BNet list and my Discord so maybe they thought I could still cause problems if I wanted. (I did not want.) I am, however, still bitter I wasn't allowed to say goodbye to the raid team I led and the officer that promised to post a message for me didn't.

So all that aside, why would I still support the heck out of the #friendshipbirb and ARD's Saturday's run? Because it's good people doing good things. I still love 65% of ARD, still like another 30% and ignore the remaining 5%. A few really shitty people doesn't ruin a community.. and they help A LOT of people. Hell, I ran 99 H Argus kills with them. I totally believed, and still do, in the carries to help people get their mount before BfA launches!

I know a lot of the fun got sucked out by the new assembly line/stream line rules that aren't getting unilaterally enforced due to cliques, but think of the happy people and bring the fun with you. Create a private text chat channel in game, invite the maniacs to it, have chaos and mayhem that isn't interfering with the Serious Business.

If for no other reason, sign up to help because it makes people happy. There's not enough nice in the world, so you should try and be nice as often as you can. An hour and a half (or even three hours!) a week can be a lot of time commitment in a busy life, I know, but totally worth it to see the thank you's in general chat and screenshots on Twitter.

And if you're as super unhappy with ARD as some seem to be, stick it out till BfA and then find a new home. It's only a few weeks and you can help get HUNDREDS of people their birbs.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

[WoW Fanfiction] Lareasha, Lord Hubba Hubba and a bunch of demons.

"Hey Lord Hubba Hubba, how'd you not end up Warchief of this them Horde then?" Lareasha asked, gnawing on a caramel apple she'd swiped from the Faire before being dragged into this whole legion is trying to steal our demons nonsense.

The Blood Elf looked down at the goblin with disdain. "It is perhaps not appropriate to comment upon the physical form of a stranger and question matters that are none of your business."

"Blood Elves still bein' treated like poop, huh? That's okay; Goblins get kinda hind-teat too. Not that we don't be deservin' it sometimes." Lareasha watched the new Warchief take the stage. "Tho I am totally jealous of Lady S's wardrobe. Think she'd share her tailor?"

Lord Theron closed his eyes for a moment and mumbled in Thalassian. Lareasha was fluent in several languages, but that wasn't one of them. Well, she did know "Take this dishwater and give me some ale, " but she didn't think that would help her much since she wasn't in the underground of Dalaran.

The warlock stood in the Blood Elf's shadow as the new Warchief made a shpiel about uniting the Horde and recognized one of the Horde's many mighty warriors. All Lareasha really knew was her view from down here sucked.

Looking about at all the muckety mucks, she was thinking 'Prime Proudmoore target area.' when the hero of the Horde suddenly was chatting up some elf chick with funky tattoos. Lord Theron was not-quite-snarling at the chick. Or at least, Lare was pretty sure it was the chick he was snarling at. This was the sort of thing she'd normally ask Gartbug her imp about, but having a demon bouncing around (and he never stopped bouncing) when one was supposed to be all boohoo over a dead Troll killed by demons seemed like a bad idea.

She'd never met Vol'Jin; she'd never seen him speech it up like Garrosh or Thrall or pretty much any Orc. They all seemed happy to make big speeches and .. oh, hey now, that was interesting. The elf chick who no one seemed to like had made some sort of swooping gesture and bam, a whole bunch of dreadlord's appeared. Okay, that was not cool. Lareasha didn't feel like being stomped on by an infernal anytime soon.

The warlock ripped open a portal between realms, called the first voidwalker who didn't move away fast enough from her hand and dragged him through onto the steps of Orgrimmar. Fortunately, no one seemed to be paying a whole heck of a lot of attention to her. "Hey, Blue! I'll make you more powerful if you agree to smite a whole lot of those demons! I'll even give you a home outside of the legion where you can do stuff that isn't being ordered around by anyone but me.. and my orders mostly consist of 'get me the hell outta here!'"

The glowing blue demon hummed and then turned to the nearest demon that didn't seem to have a warlock attached to it. It grew two sizes bigger and let out a laugh as it brought its hands together and then smashed into the infernal.

Oh yeah, Lareasha had to say she liked her new friend. I mean, Gartbug was entertaining if a pain in the ass, but he didn't quite go on demon destruction sprees like this.

"Ten thousand years in the pitt." hummed the voidwalker. "Were you entertained? I was not entertained." It happily used the power that Lareasha fed it to blow up a Dreadlord. "I am now entertained. I hope you are entertained on your trip back to the nether." Running out of demons to pick fights with in the immediate area, it turned to her. "Now what master?"

"Just call me Lare. We're pals, partners, confidants, none of that weirdo master-servant crap. Leave that to Silvermoan and Goldshire, I say." The warlock hopped up to the voidwalker and used her rocket boots to get some height to look around. "Shit, looks like Lady S could use some help. Can you clear a path thatta way?" Lareasha gestured towards the podium.

The voidwalker hummed happily and started blowing up even more demons.

The Horde dignitaries, heroes, and leaders seemed to quickly regroup and push the legion's demons back. It seemed to take them a bit to notice the warlocks in their number who were on their side. Lord Hubba Hubba looked at Lareasha and sighed. "Thank you for your assistance, Warlock," he said, sounding pained.

"No probs, Your Lordship! Me'n'Blue are always happy to splatter the bad guys, right Blue?" She patted the fel armour on the voidwalker's shoulder.

"Blue" hummed its happiness to be anywhere other than where it has been

"Ah .. yes." Lord Theron turned over his shoulder as Lady Sylvanas called his attention.

"Lareasha!" a rock in her pocket called. "Huh, what?" She dug it out and found the thingy that Khadgar had given her. Oh yeah, this doo-dad. She'd been planning on pawning it. Her cousin Greelo would probably give her a pretty sweet deal.

"Dalaran is under seige! The legion intends to knock us out of the sky!"

"Whatdya expect building a flying city??" She asked the rock.

Apparently, it was only a one-way device because the Archmage ignored her. "Meet me in Dalaran over Deadwind Pass. I have a plan. A horribly dangerous plan.. but a plan nonetheless!"

Sheesh, the stupid human only ever had two types of plans.. and both seemed to involve her running around and doing his work for him. "What did yer last servant die of?" she muttered at the rock as she shoved it back in her pocket.

Her voidwalker was starting to earn looks. She was starting to earn worse ones. On the other hand, not being in Orgrimmar for a while might be a good idea..

Thursday, October 5, 2017

[WoW Fanfiction] Orcs, Tauren, Pandaren and cookies.

It had started off as such a nice day, too. Raska had been sitting and teaching her daughter Laeka how to speak to elementals while her son had been beating the training dummies with a mace. The sun was in the sky, the elementals weren't fighting, and there hadn't been any major fel incursions since Kil'jaedan's defeat.

The nice day turned a bit rough when Maurata came through the portal from Dalaran in a huff. "THOSE MEN ARE IMPOSSIBLE!" she not-quite-yelled back over her shoulder before turning to look at Raska. "They don't want to pack food; they don't have enough bandages, they're taking no allowances for the elements being fel corrupted, all they're about is 'we must go crush the forces of the legion!' well, duh, of course, we do, but we need to eat and prepare for the sick and injured too!" She threw her hands out like Raska had a magic wand to fix it with.

"Uhm." Raska managed.

"I bet they don't even eat breakfast!" Maurata fumed before throwing herself down on the ground beside Laeka. "Hey kiddo, how goes the lessons?"

The orcling blinked up at the pandarian, "Okay I guess?" she offered shyly.

"Good to hear," Maurata answered with a firm nod before turning to Raska. "You should go make those men see reason."

Raska sighed. Khadgar she had no problems arguing with, but Velen was just all creepy with the face tentacles and his insistence that the weird glowy aliens knew the answers to everything. The less said about Illidan, the better. She really didn't want to go have to deal with any of them. Maybe she could just beat all three about the head with Ashean's mace. Not that she thought her son would part with it.

The orc got to her feet; she supposed someone better explain logic to the supposed leaders of the expedition. Jaina Proudmoore would have been a better choice, even if she did blame the actions of one of the many. Humans could be so pigheaded. "Fine. Will you keep an eye on the kids?"

"SURE!" Maurata said with just a bit too much enthusiasm. Raska really hoped that meant the woman was just happy she was getting her way, not that she was planning on teaching a pair of orclings some very bad habits. At least they'd stopped belching the human's anthem every time they saw a member of the Kirin Tor. Raska wasn't quite sure who to blame that on, but she strongly suspected "Uncie Chewie."


She came back through the portal muttering about shoving humans, draenei, and elves into a big bucket and kicking them into the maelstrom. Normally she though Maurata tended to overreact, but in this case, she decided the Pandaren was under-reacting. Where was the warchief and why wasn't SHE dealing with this mess? Raska was more than ready to just pack up the kids and head up into the Alterac Mountains and go back to losing hearthstone to Drek'thar. One day she would figure out how an Orc who was blind, possibly senile, and in theory in the last days of his life, could soundly beat anyone who dared sit down across from him.

She was rubbing one temple in hopes of banishing the lurking headache when a wolf went dashing past with her son on it's back. Said wolf was bucking and bouncing like a human's horse after bean day. Ashean was giggling and holding on with a tight grip around the wolf's chest.

The wolf made an "Errrp!" noise as he spotted the irritated looking mother and came to a scrambling halt. Said wolf coughed as the giggling orcling slid off his back and onto the ground.

"CHEWIE!" Raska bellowed. The resulting look from the wolf-formed shaman made her snort and regain her sense of humour. She'd seen more convincing innocent looks from the wolf packs after they broke into the butcher's shop.

"Mamma! Mamma!" Ashean said, bouncing to his feet and clambering up his mother to be held one-handed. "Uncie Chewie was telling me Tauren can eat so much meat they sweat!"

The shaman in question had been turning on his hind paw in an effort to escape.

Raska sighed and asked her son, "Where's your sister?"

"Bakin' cookies with Maura'a." Ashean said. "Cooking is BORING."

"Don't let your Auntie Maurata hear you say that or you'll get a twelve-hour lecture on how the proper spices saved the Pandaren Empire."

"Pandas have an empire?" Ashean looked confused.

"I have no idea." Raska replied honestly before putting her son down, "Now go pester your sister." Her son looked quite happy to accept this mission and ran off towards the ramp up towards the stone circle.

"Chewie." Raska said, turning her attention back to the Tauren shaman who had been attempted to sneak off again.

The Tauren shaman in question let out a low whine.

"Oh for hell's sake, I'm not going to bite you because you were being silly with my son. I trust you to keep him out of most trouble, and even if he'd gotten injured in some silly stunt, that's what Orc children do."

He eyed her warily.

"How long are you going to hide out in the Maelstrom? This is getting just ridiculous."

He humphed.

"Chewie, don't make me come over there and kick your butt. Go back to being a Tauren and talk to me!" Sometimes she felt like a mother to half of Azeroth. Things were easier when Thrall lead the Earthen Ring. Then these things would be his problem. He seemed to have thrived on arguing with idiot humans and their pet elves. But no, he got a guilty conscience over the stupidest things and flounced off leaving the rest of them to sort it out.

Chewie sighed and reformed into the Tauren warrior who was only twice her size.

"Well?" Raska asked, tapping her foot.

"Well what?" He asked.

"How long do you plan on spending hiding out here?"

"SHE KISSED ME!" Chewie spluttered as if that explained everything.

"You were an elf; she was an elf --"

"I WAS NOT AN ELF!" Chewie protested, drawing himself up to his full height and looking quite offended.

"Oh, I'm sorry, blue skin, pointy ears, half your usual height, no fur or tail.. what exactly were you then?"

"I may have LOOKED like an elf," he sniffed, "but I was NOT an elf."

Raska looked at him with a one-eyed closed cynical look. "Okay. You, for those of us who do not understand the finer nuances of Tauren culture and ways, seemed to be an elf, she IS an elf even if she was being a different sort of elf, murder mayhem all around, hiding in a small alcove while finding spies.. these things happen!"

Chewie managed to look even more offended, "They do not!"

"Do too!"

"Do not!"

"Do too!"

"Do not!"

Raska kicked him in the shin, metal toed boots ringing nicely on his shin plates.

"OW! What was that for?"

"Quit acting like a baby and just go talk to your best friends already. Sheesh." Raska turned on her heel and stalked off to find her children.

She ignored the muttered 'Do not.' which was followed by a grumbled 'I'm going fishing.'

Really. Grown ass shaman. So he got kissed by an Elf, it could be worse. He could have married a mage who turned out to be a warlock, wouldn't that have been fun? Idiot.

Maurata was happily pointing at a box of bricks being held by a fire elemental. "So, this is how your people probably cooked things without ovens when they were all locked up."

Laeka's brow furrowed, "Did not. We didn't have the elementals then, did we, Momma?"

Raska shrugged, "I wasn't there." She'd been a child hiding up in the mountains with a few of her other clanmates who had escaped the roundup. She highly doubted that the orcs in the pens had cared enough to summon elementals even if they could have.

"Okay, this was how *I* cooked when I was stuck camping out in the middle of nowhere because my mother thought it was some sort of learning experience when all I really learned was how to pick bugs out of my fur."

"Ewwww," Laeka said.

"Exactly." Maurata agreed, opening the brick oven and pulling out a tray of cookies. Raska was pleasantly surprised they looked edible, but then, Maurata could probably turn mud into chocolate if she put her mind to it. The healer handed a cookie to each orcling before holding one out to Raska. "How'd it go?"

"They're idiots."

"Yup!" Maurata agreed happily as she bit into her cookie.

"So we all agreed Lady Liadrin would go with them."

"Did Lady Liadrin agree to this?" Maurata asked with mild curiosity.

"Not. My. Problem." Raska said firmly and bit into the cookie. It was a very delicious cookie.

Suddenly the day was looking better again.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

[WoW Fanfiction] The morning of war.

Maurata had fallen into bed at some point in the night, damp and flumped into her pillow.

"He still a sea cow?" Rhasody asked sleepily.

"I don't want to talk about it." came the healer's muffled reply.

* * *

Morning revealed why the two had separate covers, and even still the colourful pile of blankets and comforters on the massive bed contained some of Rhasody's. It was the compromise on Rhasody liking to sleep with the windows open, Rhasody got the window to be open, Maurata got ridiculous amounts of bedding. Rhasody was willing to agree that when one lived in an upper tower in Dalaran, the nights could get a little chilly. Still, Rhas thought Maurata was being a bit of a drama queen about it.

The hunter stuck a hand in the pile of blankets until she found fur. "C'mon, you gotta get up. You have a meeting with Velen and Illidan." The sun wasn't yet over the lip of the edge of the flying city, but it would be soon enough.

"Nrrrr." came the muffled and grumpy reply. "Fuck Illidan."

"You can if you want, but I hear he's in love with a whiny elf.. and he desperately needs dental work."

A yawn and then a whine interrupted the replying profanity.

"C'mon, I'll make you pancakes." Rhasody offered, clambering off the bed.

"With syrup?" was the hopeful response.

"AND jam." The hunter offered as a bribe.

There was a thoughtful pause. "No, I'm gonna sleep."

Rhasody rolled her eyes and left Maurata to it. The shaman wouldn't manage to fall back asleep anyway now that she was awake. Rhasody had complete faith in the evil of bladders.

* * *

Soon enough the plate of pancakes was empty, the mug of tea was half-empty, and Maurata had progressed to lying with her head on the table, muttering things like "Just kill me," while she snuck Flit, Rhasody's pet nether ray, scraps of food. To say the shaman was not a morning person was an understatement.

Rhasody stood behind Maurata and rubbed the other woman's shoulders, "I know, you're not a morning person, but there's an invasion to stop, a war to be won, mana buns to be eaten."

"Mana buns are dry and bland. Mages need to learn how to cook." Maurata grumbled before sitting up with a martyred look. "Would a little filling or sauce kill them?"

"Personally, I don't think they can be very nutritional anyway. I know mana is just some form of energy, but .. blech." Rhasody stole a cuddle from behind, nuzzling the spot between neck and shoulder.

"Do I really really have to go meet with the stupid Illidari and the stupid space priest?" Maurata asked, hugging Rhasody's hands. "Can't I just throw them off Dalaran and let the fishies sort it out?"

"Illidan can fly." Rhasody pointed out, "And we need the space priest for his space ship. Although, why the stupid mages can't just open a portal between here and there is beyond me. What use is Khadgar anyway?"

Maurata took on a haughty look and did her best human accent, "Mages, while beings of great power, can not teleport to places they have never been.. and while warlocks can open portals between the realms, Argus is well defended from such magics from unauthorized sources."

"Not to mention fel magic gives anyone with sense the heebie jeebies," Rhasody grumbled.

Maurata shrugged slightly, "At least they're our creepy fel worshipping mad men and women.. and their cookies are tasty and surprisingly fel free."

Rhasody shuddered, fur spiking. "Bleeeeh."

Maurata chuckled, getting to her feet, turning to give Rhasody a quick kiss, "Thank you for breakfast."

"You're welcome, grumpy puss."

"What are your plans for the day?" Maurata asked as she pat Flit.

"I'm going to Undercity to see what the hell our Warchief is doing and why she isn't involved in anything. The human leader has been awfully absent too. They loan out their mercenaries and champions to the cause, but where are the armies? And what the hell is Proudmoore up to? Too many leaders are absent, and I want to know why."

Maurata booped Rhasody's nose, "My sneaky little curious bug. Good luck in your hunt."

"You too," Rhasody said as she watched the shaman pick up a pack and throw the strap over her shoulder. "Try to resist throwing Illidan off the city."

"No promises," Maurata said entirely too cheerfully, walking out the door.

It was about then Rhasody noticed Maurata had stolen the stack of sea-feather buns she'd been saving for dinner.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

[WoW FanFiction] Just a couple of pandas.

Rhasody sat against the tree, carefully placing the feather into arrow shaft preparing to wrap it when a hyperactive bundle of fur pounced on her, scattering fletching materials and sending fletcher head over tail into the bushes.

 “GAH! Maurata!” Rhasody said, looking up at the ever smiling face of one of Azeroth’s most powerful shaman. 

 “Hi!” Maurata replied cheerfully, happy that Rhas wasn’t in armour. She had to untwine her fur from chain mail the last time she’d pounced. She supposed she could just not pounce, but Rhasody was just so pounceable and had the best reactions.

 “You’re wet!” Rhas complained squirming to get out from underneath the soggy pandaren. 

 “I was trying to help the water formed druid and then I went to the fish market,” Maurata replied enthusiastically and then shook herself, damp fur fortunately not sending water every which way. “I wanted to make some mist soup for the potluck feast!”

 Rhasody shoved Maurata off, sitting up, She had arrow heads poking into her tail and it was most uncomfortable. “Most people don't jump into the tub WITH the druid.”

Maurata wasn’t deterred, rolling to crouch in front of Rhasody and rubbing cheek to cheek. “I'm a shaman! We heal with the water spirits”

 “You don't have to take a shower every time!” Rhasody complained again after rubbing back against Maurata. 

 “But I do! That’s what makes it fun, see, if I just stand aside I don't become one with the healing and can't direct the water in fun shapes to relax my patient.” Maurata turned and started to help the hunter pick up her various supplies. 

 “That’s a leaf from the tree.” Rhasody said with a sigh.

 “Really?” Maurata sniffed it and then bit into it. “Ooo, spicy minty.”

 “You’re impossible.” The older Pandarian said with an eyeroll. 

 “Am not! I’m just improbable.” The shaman pushed Rhasody into a sitting position before planting her head in the hunter’s lap. “You are coming to the feast, right? There’s going to be so many nummy foods!”

 “What’re we celebrating? We killed Gul’dan *again* and we’re going to go eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may die?” Rhasody asked, wrinkling her nose.

 “Exactly! Life’s too short to mope. Get out there, explore life, see the worlds, taste all the foods, swim in all the rivers, talk to all the spirits, have good tea!” She hand waved, a bunch, then sighed, “You need to lighten up. You’re too tense.”

 “I do like a good tea.” Rhasody replied thoughtfully.

 “That’s the spirit. It’s a good start. Maybe we can get one of the humans to set up the bucket of apples thing and dunk Khadgar in it!”

 “Maybe we can drown him.” muttered Rhasody, she still hadn’t forgotten the “joke” with the nethershards. And the puns, oh ancestors, all the puns.

 “Pffft, then how would we get our flying city anywhere?” Maurata reached up to scritch Rhasody under the chin. “C’mon, have a little fun. Forget that there’s a huge demon army out there wanting to fry our livers in onions!”

 “I don’t think the demons cook their food.” Rhasody said, giving Maurata’s fingers a nibble.

 Maurata gave a melodramatic gasp, clutching her free hand to her chest. “Even more reason for them to all die! Not cook your food?! Probably don’t use spices either!”

 Rhasody rolled her eyes, “You’re hopeless. And making my lap wet.”

 Maurata gave a wicked grin, “Doesn’t my mere presence do that?”

 Rhasody opened her mouth and closed again.

 “Tee hee.” Maurata said, squirming around to stand in front of Rhasody once more, holding her paw out. “C’mon, let’s go get lunch. You’ll be less cranky after lunch!”

 “Now you’re just being extra silly. I’m always cranky!”

 “Need more fibre. How about some sticky buns?”

 Rhasody just sighed and let Maurata pull her to her feet. “And some of Chen's hoisin sauce?”

 “Now you’re talking!” 

Friday, March 17, 2017

[WoW Fanfiction] Once more into Suramar.

Chewie was happily sitting in the bar, hooves up on the table, cold ale beside them. He had a rabbit sleeping on one leg, a blood elf on the other. The rabbit at least didn't drool. He moved Rae's cloak so she drooled on it instead of him.

He'd awoken with a vague headache and a lot of bad orc pottery in his pack. One could only wonder where Leensa had dragged him off to, apparently it had been fun though and he'd gained enough gold in his pockets to buy armour cleaning and ale while he waited.

A tugging at his leg for him to look down to find a second rabbit looking at him expectantly. "Looking for Miss Lola, Speedy?"

"Not yet!" Came the cheerful reply. "Highlord Raelanaa is requested in Suramar by the Lady Liadrin."

Chewie dutifully gave the rabbit messenger craisins and watched him hop off. Miss Lola, who wasn't as asleep as she seemed rolled off Chewie and made herself scarce before she could be put to work. Then, with glee, he grabbed the edge of Rae's cloak and sent her crashing to the floor.

Rae woke up mean. She rolled to her feet, a dagger that had been on her belt suddenly in her hand as she looked around for the danger.

"Morning sleepy!" Chewie said happily.

Rae's eyes narrowed as she glared at the Tauren. Chewie moved his tail out of biting reach. One could never tell with the paladin sisters.

"You've been summoned to Suramar!"

The very eloquent reply was "Blurgh. Coffee."

Chewie looked around and down at his tankard. "Nope, none here. You'll have to go to the bar."

Raelanna just looked at him. It was a very scary look.

"Er, maybe I'll just go to the bar and fetch you that coffee."

Chewie came back with a large mug of coffee, looked at her legs where he'd previously been sitting, considered her smirk, handed her her coffee and promptly sat down on her legs.

* * *

Landing near the camp of blood elves, Chewie looked around with some amusement. Apparently, elves COULD move quickly if they really wanted to.

Lady Liadrin was busy waving papers in the air at some mage. Or at least, Chewie assumed they were a mage since they were completely impractical clothing and looked like they'd swallowed a frog.

She turned to Raelanna and then looked up at Chewie with some surprise. "You brought a Tauren."

"He's housebroken and mostly useful," Rae said dryly.

"He's also standing right here and can go home to bed," Chewie interjected.

Lady Liadrin just rolled her eyes, though it was kind of hard to tell with Blood Elves and their freaky green eyes. The glow just kind of swirled.

"I need you to contact the scouts I sent into the city and collect their reports. The fighting has spread, and I suspect they're trapped behind lines." The leader of the Blood Knights turned to eye Chewie again, "I suppose a Tauren could be useful."

"He's a shaman. He can do more than just rain frogs, y'know." Rae actually defended him. Maybe he'd not summon frogs into her soup .. a second time.

"Yes, yes, I'm sure." Lady Liadrin turned back to the mage to return to whatever argument they were having that involved chrono somethings and power whatsits. Chewie was more of summon a lightning elemental and send it up the skirts of your enemy problem-solving system.

"I haven't actually agreed to this," Chewie pointed out as Raelanna turned and walked away. He followed her quickly enough; she had to take three steps to his every one. Every so often he'd mince his steps and take the same tiny ones she did. It generally ended with him being elbowed in the gut and Rae swearing a lot about hurting her elbow on his armour. Silly Elf, if she'd wear more armour, she wouldn't hurt herself so often.

"Excuse me," a quiet voice interrupted. The intrepid duo turned to a near-withered who looked familiar to Chewie.

It didn't take him long to place the man, "Absolon, my friend! How's it going?"

Rae did a double take, "You know him? I know him!"

"I am blessed by such friends amongst the outlanders, it is true. The Lady Raelanaa gave me mana when I would have withered, and Lord Chewie took my letter to my wife." He wrung his hands, "It is my wife I worry for. With the war moving into Suramar, and I hesitate to call it anything but war, I fear my dear Norissa is trapped. I do not wish to lean any further on your kindness but.."

Chewie put his hand on the Nightborne's shoulder and patted softly. "It's okay, bro, I got you."

Rae nodded, "We'll get her and every other civ out safely.. we'll just start with her."

She turned and continued the walk to the failing shimmer of the protective dome over Suramar city.

Chewie looked back at Lady Liadrin then forward to Raelanna before turning to glance at Absolon and sighed. He hated Suramar. Why did he always have to go into Suramar? The sewers were starting to look good.. maybe if he was lucky a giant meteor would fall from the sky and turn the whole place into a giant crater. Well, after they got the good people out. The demons and collaborators could be smoking meter dust for all he cared.

"Cheer up," Rae said as he caught up. "You get to hit things with your hammer. That always makes you happy."

The noise Chewie made back sounded suspiciously like he stuck his tongue out at her and blew a raspberry. But of course, being the mature, wise, leader of the shaman of Azeroth, he'd never do any such thing. Not while Rae was looking, anyway.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

[Pirates of the Caribbean Fanfiction] Meanwhile, on the good ship Rumrabbit..

Handsome Jack sat on the gunwale and ignored the world with only the grace and ability that a cat could produce. His long, luscious, perfect, tail, curled around his feet as he sat up, making sure he faced the wind correctly to make the light fur ruffling breeze got it's action right. It was hard to be the best looking being in port, but someone had to do it.

A shadow fell across him, and he let out a sniff before turning to stare at the source of the rum stench. It also smelled more human than most humans did it.

"That's a cat." The human said, peering down at him.

Handsome Jack yawned.

"You don't do cats. You do rabbits." The human said, frowning.

Captain Ren appeared out of the human's shadow. She barely came up to his shoulder but was a fierce hunter and provider of chicken puffs. Handsome Jack decided he'd let her scritch him along the jaw and even let out a rumbling purr to let her know she was doing a good job. It was important to let your lackeys know they were successful in their tasks.

He tuned out what Captain Ren was saying; it probably wasn't important anyway since she wasn't talking to him. Something about the human being the master of the obvious and she worshipped all creatures as glorious as himself, probably.

"The cat's name is Jack?!" spluttered the human.

Handsome Jack narrowed his eyes and glared at the human.

"*Handsome* Jack." Captain Ren corrected.

Handsome Jack gave a little cat sniff while he considered being mollified . The decision was made for him when Captain Ren started rubbing behind his ear. Well, that was just cheating.

"Well, he is better lookin' than the monkey."

Jack sat up, full out glaring at the human with a little hiss, tail lashing against the wood and his front paws.

Captain Ren reached up and smacked the human on the back of the head. "He was named Jack before you were named Jack."

"I'm not sure time be workin' that way. I'm older than the cat."

Jack let out a warning low rumbling growl that this human better be more respectful to himself and his provider of toys, treats and scritches. Well, his secondary provider, his humom was better at it still, but one made do when one was on vacation.

"He's not named after you.. and the monkey smells better."

"Than the cat?" The human asked archly, "I can agree with that!" He said smugly.

Or at least, he was smug, until Handsome Jack had had enough and launched off the gunwale to land rear paws on the human's chest, his front on the human's eyes. His hind claws dug in for purchase, while he flexed his forepaws meaningfully.

"Right. This is why we don't insult cats. I forgot that. Never leave your hat around a rabbit and don't insult a cat." The human paused. "Ahem." Handsome Jack considered adding a little more flex. "I sincerely apologise for the insults you have taken of Handsomest of Jack Cats."

Handsome Jack couldn't quite decide if he'd been further insulted or it was a genuine apology but the human smelled terrible, and it would take an hour to get even worse stenches out of his claws if he gutted the human. He allowed Captain Ren to disentangle him from the pirate's hair, bandana and necklaces. He curled up in her arms, using ample bosom for a pillow. He then stuck his tongue out at the human who, if he had any sense at all, would be appropriately jealous of the Handsome Jack curled up in warm snuggles.

The human's response to stick his tongue back out at Handsome Jack.

"Really? What are you? Twelve?" Captain Ren muttered in disbelief as she gave Handsome Jack some pets and put him down on the deck to saunter off in search of an elusive dish of chicken.

"Now, about your hat stealing rabbit.." He heard the human start up.

Handsome Jack sniffed and flicked his tail in the human's general direction. Really, if he thought he was getting that hat back from Cindy, he was an even bigger idiot than Handsome Jack had taken him for.