Sunday, June 16, 2013

Epilogue


I spent much of the return trip poring over the snapshots Daj’yah had taken of Zul’gurub, wishing very keenly that I’d been there to see.  She was in a much better mood on the return trip; receiving tribal sanction for her position in Booty Bay came as an immense relief to her.

“Mala’ha is still wanting me to start a family there or something.  At least the city gives me more choices than the tribe.  Not sure if that will help, but it’s something.  Besides, she said I had to try; I don’t have to succeed.”

“Do you want to succeed?”

“Not so sure.  Maybe I’m needing to figure that out before anything else.”

Lines of mold greeted us when we opened the door to our apartment, green thickets of the stuff cascading down around a window open to the tropical air.

“Who left the window open?” demanded Daj’yah.

Neither of us could remember who was last in the room, so we satisfied ourselves by blaming the warchief. 

The Bay Dispatch had not been entirely pleased with my request for time off so I volunteered for a week without pay to make up for it.  I had enough money stored up to pay for the rent, and satisfied myself with conjuring my own food and drink.  Given Daj'yah's status and ability, the Steamwheedle Cartel had been more willing to give her the free time (the information and opportunities she brought back with her served to sweeten the deal).

Life resumed as it had before our countryside sojourn, time seeming to pause in a contented blur of work followed by relaxation.  Many nights saw Daj’yah and I simply reading in the apartment, occasionally reciting a particularly choice passage but largely enjoying the quiet.  We weren’t total recluses; the city still beckoned with its lights and excitement, occasionally pulling us out from the Portview Arms to wander its streets, unburdened by any urgency or destination. 

Others drifted in to this pleasant milieu from time to time, Felya being the most frequent visitor.  She often came by unannounced, telling us the latest about the city’s life, the endless ups and downs, the novel cabarets that popped into existence only to vanish the next night.

Felya always tried to wheedle us out of the apartment and succeeded on occasion.  Daj’yah and I made an arrangement for these situations—as someone still alive, she could plead exhaustion, giving us a quick exit in case Felya’s adventure of the night turned out to be more involved than expected. 

I kept up on news regarding the world, both on and off the job.  The Horde stiffened its resolve in Kalimdor, setting up formidable bulwarks across Ashenvale and the Southern Barrens.  The Horde’s depleted forces made further advances impossible, but the surviving warriors vowed to consolidate that which they still held.

However, fresh troops and big guns have a way of dislodging even the most honorable of fighters.  Stormwind’s vanguard had already made landfall in Dustwallow Marsh, uprooting the few pockets of Horde resistance still in the wilderness. 

Ugliness emerged from within the Alliance as it inched towards victory.  Though distrustful of the Horde, the Dispatch did not hesitate to cover stories of Alliance privateers setting alight the coast of Durotar, the partisan crews seeing all orcs as fair game.  The overstretched Horde navy rarely reacted in time, their slow ships finding only the bloody aftermath of such attacks.

The Lordaeronian front remained curiously quiet after the Stromgarders repelled the last Forsaken advance.  Though some hailed their gallantry as a turning point, cooler heads pointed out that they’d be unlikely to survive a second full-on assault.

Some of the delay came from the Alliance’s understandable (if perhaps overcautious) insistence on securing the shipping lines to Lordaeron’s southern coast.   The Alliance probably wishes to secure Tol Barad and the Twilight Highlands before launching a full-scale assault.  The former gives its owner a great deal of air coverage over Gilneas, while the latter still hosts a large Horde fleet.

It is a peculiar situation that Warchief Hellscream would choose to invest so heavily in the Twilight Highlands.  He is, in effect, acting as a bulwark for the Forsaken even as his own defenses crumble.  His forces in the east have been effective, but they are unlikely to make any significant inroads, and will eventually be worn down by Alliance pressure.  

I will admit a certain relief at being so distant from such events.  Perhaps I should not be so hasty; distance no longer means as much as it did in the past.  Nonetheless, I have found a wondrous respite from the Horde's exhausting and self-destructive conflict.  I truly do not know if I am still considered a part of that faction.  

If I am no longer able to travel the world, Booty Bay at least offers a place where the world might travel to me.  Nowhere else in Azeroth can one find such a teeming and cosmopolitan multitude, free to talk and to trade as they see fit.  One needs only to walk down the street to see visitors from a hundred different lands both on and beyond our world.  No one here cares that there are no eyes in my face.

There is no such thing as a perfect place, and Booty Bay is still rife with the sin, callousness, and vice of Steamwheedle society.  For now, in the company of friends, I am content with its imperfections.

*********

((Thank you again for sticking with me through these entries. It's been a great deal of fun, but I simply have to prioritize other matters.

Again, for those who would like to read the unpublished Eastern Kingdoms material, please email me at destron@live.com. The content will cover the Tainted Scar and most of Stormwind, though it does end quite abruptly.

I will continue to write, but will focus on stories that I can publish. In case you missed the earlier update, you can find my first published work here, at Bewildering Stories.))

10 comments:

  1. I've been reading stories of Destron's travels for the last several weeks. From the very first entry to the epilogue, I was absolutely fascinated by the amount of thoughts and details you have put into your writing.

    All the people and their personal stories, cultures, countries, economics, politics, legends, everything that doesn't fit into MMO narrative... They blend together and create an unforgettable living world. I couldn't tell where official canon ended and your own ideas began, though I suspect that if I subscribed to WoW again, I would find it incredibly bland.

    Thank you for writing this travelogue! This is without a doubt one of the best stories I've ever read!

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  2. Why, oh why did you have to leave? Your stories were so awesome, and without new ones comming in I just cant enjoy WoW any more. Can you pleaseeeeeeeeeee do a few more? at least finish of Cataclysm for the love of cookies?

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  3. Send me an email at destron@live.com, and I can give you the unpublished material (it goes up to the islands above Vashj'ir, though it ends very abruptly). I also have some notes on what would have come after that, if you're curious.

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  4. ivanradisic@hotmail.com Please send me everything Destron related and I hope to see your work on the bookshelves one day. To bad you did not write the upcoming Warcraft movie

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  5. Hey, Ivan, I sent you an email but it was sent back to me with a delivery failure notification. Could you just email destron@live.com directly? I'll send the unpublished materials in my response.

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  6. A brilliant end to a brilliant story, thank you for putting in so much work into this travelogue over the years it's truly a sight to behold! I also found Age of Reception to be a fascinating read, filled with the incredible world building and excellent descriptions that first drew me to this series.

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  7. So sad... Now I have to go back to playing WoW. So much more effort than just seeing someone else's made up experience in the game. I will ALWAYS remember the way you depicted the Draenei. One of the in Azure Watch is an exception, swearing about the awful state of the buildings. 'By the foul teat of Kil'Jaeden's rotted torso! The entire backside is blown out! How can people be expected to live in this thing?' is my favorite. It is so different than EVERY way I have ever seen Draenei portrayed before or after. All my characters have a short temper, especially the pandaren, who hates my little brother's character bor being so annoying. My other characters are a little more forgiving.

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  8. Destron, I just wanted you to know that what you did here with this travelogue, is by far the most EPIC thing I've experienced on the interwebz! :) I've spent months reading tru all your posts during this years winter, feeling like I am 12 again, reading LoTR or some other epic fantasy themed mega-book for the first time. :)

    Thank you for all your work and efforts and I wish you all the best in the future mate!

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  9. I've been reading most of the articles and I find them to be nothing short of marvelous, the characters, the way you describe the atmosphere and blend it with the actual gameplay transported me to my old gaming days with a fresh and very interesting view.

    I'm sad to know that you will no longer be publishing the travels of Destron so I can only wish you the best of lucks! And thanks for bringing back the joy of discovery into an already explored universe!

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