Hi there! The name's Nenicirene, and I'm a fictional character in the World of Warcraft on the Argent Dawn server. I talk a lot, and since, like most warlocks, I'm an egomaniac, I operate under the delusion that the public at large is interested in my mad babbling. To that extent, I have collected it here in the form of several essays-by-accretion. Enjoy!

New entries are listed below by date, while the complete contents are organized by topic in the sidebar.

What's that on your face?

As I've come to know night elves in general and a certain priestess in particular, I've noticed that many of them have curious markings on their faces in a variety of shapes, but this is strictly limited to the women, though not universal among them.

Given how they never seem to change, that would rule out makeup, and it seems very odd for a naturally-occuring coloration, so the night elf facial markings must be tattoos. Given their gender distribution and the lopsided gender roles night elves traditionally occupied, I suspect the tattoo's presence and meaning might break down along former societal roles. Perhaps those who were soldiers and huntresses generally didn't have them, while those with more religious roles tied to Elune did. Given that Elune-worship appears to have been an exclusively female role during historical night elf periods, that would explain why the tattoos are only found on women and not men, as, while they might like Elune, they were expected to engage in the manly worship of Cenarius as their primary duty.

This, of course, brings up the question of how night elf society has coped with the dissolving divide in gender roles the modern era has brought about. Are female druids and male priests looked at as freaks by more traditionalist elves? Even if they are, I doubt it's due to conflation with homosexuality. Given how the elvish men were locked in the Emerald Dream for millennia with only occasional visitation rights, and given how horny real-life humans are, we can only assume there was extensive same-sex sex going during that time (gives new meaning to "bears"). This was probably considered tacitly acceptable, though not necessarily something you should be talking about in public.

You could just ask, you know? Yes, they're tattoos. They represent different degrees and modes of service to Elune, I got them upon being inducted into the priesthood, and it hurt like a bitch for days, the eyelids especially. As to sex while we were separated, hell yes! Elune requires it, you know? Plus, it's fun!

Orcish Castes

In my travels around Outland, I've had the misfortune of encountering far too many fel orcs, whose flame-red skin, enormous tusks, and featureless eyes immediately distinguish them from the orcs to whom I have grown accustomed back home on Azeroth. (Strange that I now consider two whole continents to be "home"; how my world has grown.) In our repeated mutual murderings, it's come to my attention that I can't recall a single one of them being female. During my assault on Hellfire Citadel, I discovered that most of them seem to be cloned in tanks instead of natural births, so perhaps they really are nearly-all male.

However, this would not be the first case of orcs displaying something other than the two-gender biology to which we are accustomed. There is the outstanding issue of peons—I guess they could be a form of pre-pubescent orc, with the biological change into adulthood leading to increased body mass, assertiveness, and intelligence, but that doesn't seem to mesh with orcish cultural attitudes towards peons. Cultures tend to treat their young more protectively than the orcish warrior caste (in the generic sense, not the WoW class) treats the peons. Further discrediting this theory, peons seem to be fairly neuter in terms of gender. While it might be interesting to have a species that sexually differentiates late in life upon entering the warrior caste, the presence of gender-differentiated orcish children in Orgrimmar rules this out.

Thus, I think being a peon is for life. The question, then, is are they a caste or a morph. By this I mean, does peonism breed true? Are there effectively two orc subspecies that live together but don't interbreed, or can peons be born to warrior caste parents? I personally think the latter is more likely, given how peons seem to be neuter. I suspect they are incapable of reproducing and are effectively a third gender of orc adapted for manual labor. Their decreased intelligence is actually beneficial to them, as it keeps them from getting bored while doing work that is necessary for the tribe. In this case, I don't think there would be any stigma attached to a pair of orcish parents who give birth to a peon, as it would be recognized that they are a vital part of society. Further speculating, perhaps orcs are always born as twins, with one being warrior caste and the other a peon, the product of a single zygote that splits asymmetrically (not unlike the movie Twins with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito).

To your scattered bodies go

My characters are all fragments of me, drawn out, purified and magnified. Caricatures that expose a greater truth through exaggeration. Each is shallower than the one before, as more of me was spent by the time it came for her creation.

Nenicirene, of course, is most like me, turned to eleven. She is my sense of humor, my wit, my sarcasm, my hyperactivity, and my glee at wanton destruction. She is my inventiveness and my mathematical mind. She is also the part of me who has lost something that can never be regained, but it doesn't overshadow her life. She is my determination and my sheer will to not give up.

Arochi is my flirtatious side, the more cerebral aspects of sex. She is my desire to drink and to enjoy the fine epicurean pleasures of life. She is also my pride and self-righteousness. She is faith, but not faith in the unknown. Rather, she has faith in that the world she sees is the world that is and that her interpretation of it is the one true right one. She's also my ditziness and my forgetfulness, the "oops" of "I forgot" to Neni's "oops" of "I really shouldn't have done that, should I?"

Zulneni is my primal animal side. She is the carnal side of sex and knows no shame. She is the raw visceral pleasure of eating flesh and knowing it came from a living, breathing thing whose life you have devoured. She is my appreciation for nature and the outdoors, the one who drinks in the glory of breakers crashing over you, howling winds, towering stones, and raging fires. She is my instinct, but also my antisocial side. She is who I am when I don't want to talk to people. She fancies herself an exiled would-be queen, but is really just alone.

Ardalohara is my callousness and greed. She is the part that doesn't look back. She cares about what's in it for her, and little else. Some part of her is lost, and she doesn't want it back. She's too distant from the world, and only interacts with it at the end of a blade. She cuts things open just to see what they look like on the inside. She's my inner sociopath.

Shandala is really just a shell. All she cares about are numbers and how they juggle together. She's abstract fascination with elegant mechanics and how equations fit together. She's the part of me that likes rules only because they're secretly a prescription for how to be broken, a secret some of us know how to read, and it makes us feel special. She likes making numbers scream and living in the corner cases of problem space. She's my raw number-crunching optimization.

Narayana is my sense of wonder. Everything is new to her, and she loves it all. Everyone is friendly. Nothing is bad. Her suffering is something to be smiled at until it goes away, and even the people trying to kill her can't really mean it. She's my unbridled optimism, but she's also my foreigner. She's the part people don't really understand and just smile and nod at in the hopes she'll soon go on her merry way and stop disturbing their lives.

Lastly, Rashad is my addiction. She's self-loathing and loneliness, but she's also hope that there's something greater out there and that she can make a difference. She is proof that though the tunnel may be endless, there can still be light inside it.

And there you have most of me. There's other characters too, but they've never developed into their own selves. They're just other ways to play a game, not people I can put on like a costume for my mind. Not surprisingly, I've never bothered leveling any of the others past the early teens.

Lost and Found

The world thinks we have enslaved a Naaru, and the world is wrong. We are not devouring Him; rather, He is devouring us. I know, because I am being slowly eaten, but I don't want it to stop.

When the Scourge came, we fought bravely, and like all families, we did not come out without scars. Ordron fell that day. Though he was our brother, he was over a hundred years the senior of even Eissa, and he'd always been more like a second father to his three little sisters, especially after the death of our actual father. That seems like so many lifetimes ago.

I think I'm supposed to care if he died nobly or not, gave his life defending the helpless, if there's someone out there who's alive because he's dead. I don't. I only care that he's dead. I miss him terribly, and hate him for not being with us during the dark times afterward, and hate myself for that, because he was never anything but kindness to us. I don't even know how he died, only that there was fighting and many were lost and he didn't make the retreat that day. I pretended to hold out hope for as long as I could, for my sisters if nothing else, but in my heart I knew that he was dead, and when they found his body three days later, I did not even cry.

After that, we lost the Sunwell, and it was bad. Very bad. People describe addiction as a hunger. Those people don't know addiction. It's like not being able to breathe, like drowning. Every moment of every day, I was suffocating. Every movement was agonizing. I had headaches, my hands shook, I couldn't think. It was like the world had gone grey and blurry and I know that somewhere just around the corner was where a thief had taken all the color but I was too confused to know which corner it was.

I thought of killing myself. It seems stupid—after how hard we'd fought to keep the Scourge from doing so, to do it to yourself. I was pretty stupid. Then again, I think I'm pretty stupid now, but I'm getting ahead of myself. The thought flicked across my mind from time to time, when I could focus on a thought for more than a moment. Once, I thought very hard about how to do it. The second time, I decided how—poison, painless, eternal sleep, but didn't have the nerve to so much as get the stuff. And then Faliyah killed herself.

I think she knew I'd been thinking about it. She'd always been flighty, but had keen insight into people. The day before, she'd given me a hug and tried to cheer me up. I didn't even suspect it was that bad for her, but like I said, I can be pretty stupid. She hadn't been on the front lines, hadn't fought tooth and nail for the wretched scraps of a life we still had left. That crushes your soul, but it does make you appreciate what you have. She'd only seen her whole world crumble down around her. She'd lost a lover, too. With all that's happened, I can't even remember his name, but she'd been seeing him for a few years, and I think it was getting serious. She never talked much about love, though. I loved her like the sister she was, but I don't think she was a very deep person.

In any case, that night she went up to the top of the spire and jumped off. She knew what she was doing. No one found her until dawn, hours later and smeared across half the square, too far gone for any spell to bring back. Eissa said it must have been an accident, but I knew otherwise, and didn't want to argue with the only family I had left. Faliyah knew how to feather fall, and there in the pocket of her robe they found a feather. She wanted us to know that's what she wanted. After all we'd been through, I couldn't even find a way to be mad at her, but I've never thought about killing myself since. I decided I was too angry at the world to die any time soon, by my hand or any other, until I'd had some revenge.

It wasn't long after that the Prince revealed to us how to take magic from a world that would no longer give. It made the shakes and the nausea and agony go away, but it felt awful. It was dirty and horrible, like butchering a calf or whoring yourself out in dark alleys. I did it, because I needed it, but hated myself for needing it and being too weak to resist.

Eissa, on the other hand, relished it. She talked about this being the way things should have always been. About how it was the right of our people to take from the world, that it should bow down before us. She'd always been gung-ho about things, but this zeal surpassed anything she'd shown before. I think it was her way of coping with the war, with Ordron, with Faliyah, with me and my self-loathing, with everything, but it went too far. She came to worship the Prince, and talked of him constantly. I was less enthusiastic, and we began to argue about it. Frequently. In the end, she signed up for one of the expeditions to Outland, which I've come to realize are a monomaniacal crusade. That was the last time I saw her. I hope I don't see her again, because I'm sure she's still under Kael'thas's banner, and if I do see her, I'm going to have to kill her. Though, if someone does kill her, I think it should be me, quickly and cleanly, with just one look between us to let her know the truth; I owe her that much, for all we've been through. He has granted me the vision that if we meet, that is what will come to pass, but mercy keeps him from showing me if I have lost her for all time or if I am to be her murderer.

Which brings things back to me. I stayed in Silvermoon, helping to piece back together the ruins of the city and of our lives. Into those ruins, they brought M'uru. They brought Him as a prize, with tales of conquest, of fighting the invading Naaru from beyond and claiming their fortress as our seat of power in Outland, of glory and tribute and spoils, but what they brought back was no prize. He was not subdued, but rather quiescent. Only the foolish who could not see past their own inflated self-image could not see that, but it seems we have many of those around here. This was no slave broken in mind, but an intelligence unfathomable, scheming and twisting, biding its time.

They claimed their spells could hold Him, and hold Him they do, but only because he does not break them. It is a concession to our pride. A negotiation of sorts. I know this because like the others, I turned to Him to partake of His essence, to breathe in the magic which flowed off Him in generous torrents, bubbling forth from a seemingly inexhaustible core.

It was not like ripping it from the world at all. It poured forth, but more importantly, it came willingly. It was not cheap and dirty and low but grand and glorious and gifted, filling me and satisfying me more than any food or any man ever had or could. Even the Sunwell had been a lifeless thing, a fire to warm oneself by, while this was a willing partner in the exchange, a lover that cuddled you to sleep and shared his warmth.

At first, I just took in the magic, feeling it flow into my dusty dry corners long forgotten, unfolding like a flower in the spring, but soon, with the magic came more. Sudden opinions, emotions, complete thoughts, visions of things long past and things yet to come bounded into my head. At first, I feared I was going mad, a reaction to my long withdrawal, but soon a definite pattern emerged. I was being persuaded, converted. These were no random memories, but carefully chosen fragments, designed to lodge in my soul rather than pass through me. Perhaps it is them speaking, but I did not mind. I had been so empty for so long that anything to fill the void was welcome. Bit by bit, the Naaru worked its way into me, and I found myself liking the new me more than the old.

He has revealed things to me, such as that He speaks differently to all his children. To some, He speaks to their pride, leaving intact the delusion that they are using Him. To others like me, who have lost so much, He fills the void with hope. All of us He is shaping into a weapon. A secret army to fight the Burning Legion, a flanking maneuver in Their ancient conflict, and I do not mind. I see that it is the right thing, and it has given me purpose, even if it is at the cost of being me. I no longer know which thoughts are mine and which are His, and do not care. I give of myself willingly, as He has done.

Just like a breeder reactor…

Hell I would support a resetting hardcore server which of course is more than the low-pop whiners could stomach.

I think it might be a good idea to have "seed" servers. Say, three servers each of which resets every three months, staggered so there's a fresh one monthly. The key, though, is that when the reset happens, existing characters get to transfer to permanent servers. This is basically how the ladder seasons in Diablo II worked. It gives the reroll locusts somewhere to go and stop pestering the rest of us, and, in the PvP case, caters to people who want to level without waves of high-level gankers with nothing better to do. Additionally, it doesn't require continuously adding more and more hardware, and hopefully injects more people into current ghost-town servers.

Who would win in a fight?

Rylle asks:

Who would win in a fistfight: a dwarf or an orc?

Assume the dwarf is drunk and the orc is angry. Also assume that neither is particularly heroic. No Mountain Kings or Grom Jrs. here. Just a normal, tipsy dwarf, and a normal, angry orc, and four flying fists of fury between them.

Please provide a reason for your declared winner. Diagrams and other visual aids are helpful but not necessary.

I believe this will make the issue clear:

Bar Fight Graph

Velocity = Sentience x Keypress

I've previously wondered about the physics of things. For instance, gravity pulls you down at a constant rate. There's no acceleration, so it's clearly not a conventional force. In fact, there seems to be no acceleration at all in the game. Things go from zero speed to constant speed and back in the blink of an eye. Momentum does not exist.

However, all player races travel at the same speed, whether they be short little gnomes or tall old tauren. Thus, I hypothesize that there is a "speed of sentience", which is how fast an intelligent being can move. In fact, there's three speeds at which you can move: stopped, walking, and running. There is no in-between; it's analogous to electron orbitals. Monsters are clearly less intelligent than us, hence they can move faster. Mounts, being even dumber, let us outrun them. This clearly means that epic flying mounts rival the IQ of a brick.

Crisis and Catharsis

A ways back, I experienced a crisis of faith, which I've never truly discussed with anyone (anyone less than Divine, of course). It was at the time that I and my companions had been probing the depths of the ancient ruined city of Zul'Gurub, recently come to be inhabited again by the blood god Hakkar and his minions.

The crux of my problem can be stated quite simply: I am a priest of Elune, and in Zul'Gurub, I met priests of Hakkar. While I am by no means weak, it took the concerted effort of nearly two dozen seasoned veterans working with me to defeat even a single one of his high priests. Even the lesser of his worshippers were more than a match for four or five of our band. How could they be so much mightier than us?

To that question, I had an obvious answer. Hakkar himself, a god made flesh, stood atop his temple, overseeing all. Strength flowed from him to his lieutenants. Theological questions are moot when in sight of a god whose followers call down pillars of fire from the sky and command armies of beasts and transform their flesh into avatars of old loas.

I, by contrast, could twiddle my fingers to heal a mortal wound and even bring the dead back across the veil of existence, but it seemed that my skills paled in comparison to these clerical titans. Hakkar was right there. There was no room for doubt. I, on the other hand, suddenly found it hard to recall when I had last had a clear signal from Elune. Of course, I see her every night as she walks the sky, but was she paying any attention to me? I had powers which she had granted me, but did she care? Had she just handed me the magical equivalent of trinkets and beads to buy off my foolish interest, then cast me free and forgotten me? Had I displeased her? If so, she hadn't even bothered to dispense with some divine wrath in my direction! In short, I began to feel that I had bet on the wrong side.

In between our attacks on the Hakkari stronghold, I began to research the history of Hakkar and his power in greater detail. When the trolls had been torn by strife, he appeared to subjugate them and remake them into a mighty empire once again. A jealous god, a god of war and blood, he demanded sacrifices but rewarded success. Perhaps I could join his ranks and swell my powers by proving myself worthy. If I was so little to Elune, what was she to me?

My dark fascination with the Soulflayer grew, and I came to believe that I could prove my worth by defeating his high priests. If I showed myself to be stronger than them, then he would have to accept me and grant me even greater power. One by one, his minions fell before us. As each one dropped lifeless, my pride grew, and when the last was down, I no longer wanted to approach Hakkar as a supplicant, but as a conqueror. Why settle for servant to a god when you can be his master? My aim was now to subjugate him, and to chain his power to my ends.

On the fateful day, we approached him and made numerous sallies against his temple. Each time we were rebuffed, but we learned, probing his defenses and honing our skills, until at last we slew him, turning his own blood magics against him. As the dust settled and silence filled the jungle, Hakkar was just another corpse at my feet. His empire was ruin, and I had played a key part in its destruction. It is not hubris to challenge gods when you win.

That night, Elune came to me in the clearest vision I have had in a long time, and smiled at me. I understood that she taught her children to stand on their own, and wield what the foolish think to be flaws as weapons—doubt to seek out the truth of matters, pride to refuse to give up, and wrath to smite down the enemies of the Moon. All these things have their counterparts, and without either, the whole falls apart. Extremes are but two sides of the slowly spinning moon, and each shall have their time in the sky.

In time, I was told, I too would spin. That time is now. Elune has visited me again, and told me that the gates to Outland shall reopen within another turning of herself. Now is not the time for gentleness and nurturing. I am to turn from the path of the Full Moon to the path of the New Moon, to wield the darkness to fight the darkness. As her agent, I am to battle forth into a broken world of demons so that her light may follow. As such, I lay forth this confession to unburden my soul, for I do not wish to take too much darkness with me as I venture into it, lest I be consumed and fall.

The Truth Comes Out

How can you PVErs not want to kill someone if you see them ingame, i mean like a 60 guy and an even match, isnt it infuriating? I have played on a pvp realm since release, and like i have been ganked while questing and i know it sometimes sucks, but i feel like i am cheating when playing on a pve server. I mean this is WAR craft!

how do you PVE players live with your carebear self!?

The truth of the matter is that most of us on PVE servers have day jobs as assassins, mass murderers, or butchers at cannibal supermarkets, and after a long day of slaughtering our fellow humans, we just want to come home and unwind in a peaceful, relaxing environment. I'm sure if we were nuns or something, after finishing up at the convent, we couldn't wait to get back to the cloister and start pwning some noobs.

Warlocks and their mounts

And anyone who rides around on a tortured, enslaved horse who is constantly being tormented by being on fire cannot be all good.

It's not torment! The poor things get cold otherwise. They have a very different metabolism from things of this world. And you don't see me putting saddles and reins and other implements of horse bondage on my mount, like you armor-crazy paladins. I have a good working relationship with my animal based on mutual respect and trust.

I rolled a gnome warlock (but only level 10). Their early quests all seemed to be "our city is trashed so we have to do whatever we can to get back what's ours, no matter what that means in terms of right and wrong". I suppose this may vary.

Precisely. We've been burned once before. It's not going to happen again. Security first, at all costs.