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Carmtan
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re: The Ashen Wake.

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Surprise surprise I changed my mind again. It's like I have taken a break or something? Anyway image

 

The Ashen Wake

What is The Ashen Wake about? What story does it tell?

The story told is for a large part central around the Wardens, their reactions, their feelings and views. While all of our stories work to challenge our members emotionally and to stir up inner conflicts of view I am literally relying on it to tell a chunk of the story behind The Ashen Wake. 

The Fel Iron Cells achieved a late victory at the hands of Godaelle as she met the current quota for souls and objects of magical power being used for a portion of the Legion's portals. Since then they have downsized the facility and have focused on a different goal until once more the Legion demands more soul gathering by it's many sects designed to do so. 

A group hailing from the Fel Iron Cells have been stockpiling a serum made from a potent and dangerous tainted herb. Their aim? To cripple Azeroth's inhabitant's will, a barrier that has allowed the planet to stand against the demonic invasions in the past. Turn friend on friend through a varied arsenal of psychological and biological means.

There will be new bad guys, a dramatic decrease in possible allies, new threats and new locations used. 

Are there any old features we will see re-surfacing for the story?

The Deathlist is one that will definitely be returning and instead of plastering you with soundtracks and other editions I thought up over the six years we have been doing this - to just put a greater degree of main focus on this one thing that worked well. 

The other thing is of course linked to The Deathlist and that's the consequence system similar but not entirely picturesque of the Spinning a Web story. Less nicey nice ones and more bad ones.

Style

So I have been asking people what zones they would like to see roleplayed in and I have collected a decent amount of results. Each zone is going to have a similar story linking to the final event of The Ashen Wake. There are a series of kidnappings occurring and you need to make sense of the situation to get one step ahead of the Fel Iron Cells. Each zone while having a similar story will be separate to the next, think of them as strands of story all leading to the same place. 

You will earn leads by thinking outside the box, by out-thinking the Fel Iron Cells and by actively progressing in the story (a given right?). 

So what will be pre-organised out of event RP and what will be event based?

So each zone will have two planned events and then I may add events inbetween those two depending on what you guys and gals do inside of that zone, inside of that story. These two events are the intro and the finisher. Out of event efforts are encouraged and I will set some time aside to be there to RP it out with you ingame. 

However, it has also been brought to my attention that random RP as a whole has been dwindling again, and of course this is pretty understandable and is happening everywhere. Each zone will offer you a basis to take upon yourself. It will be a Warden like basis such as charitable acts, a particular project etc but won't face dire circumstances if not completed quickly. I create the basis, it could be pretty vague, and you guys then have the relaxed choice of taking it upon yourselves to partake in RP related to that outside of event and storyline time. 

This idea has been run into the ground in the past so I will be looking to you guys and your characters to voice causes that are important to you and your character and showcase your ideas to make them a part of our randomised RP scene you can all just roll with. These goals won't directly effect the story but will leave behind a legacy of the Wardens time spent in the zone completing that strand of the story. 

I won't be forcing anyone or chasing anyone up on not taking part in these projects. I won't have much if any say in them - it's all about choice. My job isn't to worry about that but to create the opportunities for you guys to roll with. The main job of myself is to produce a kick-ass story like none other you have seen. 

 

To finish up this post nicely lets take a look at some of the artwork I have chosen to announce a handful (not all) of the zones I intend to use created and inspired by your feedback. 

I will take you from your comfortable seats at home to the furthest reaches of Azeroth, it's beautiful landscapes and awe-rendering detail. It will be most enjoyable. 

Carm xox

 



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Azeroth is but one small world in a vast universe, a realm filled with potent magics and mighty beings. Since the dawn of time, these forces have influenced Azeroth and the surrounding cosmos, setting the stars in motion and shaping the destiny of countless worlds and mortal civilizations. - Chronicle Volume 1: Cosmology
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re: Introducing the Story.

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I have always found a great way to have fun and connect with your attendees (although to me you guys knows you are all like family to me) is to let them into your mind, your thought process behind the story you are trying to tell. The Ashen Wake is an important story to me because it's a kick-start for me to get back into Warcraft after a shaky patch at the start of the year, which I have come out in a much better place from. For me it was and is that umph kind of feeling, that while I always wanted to come back and play the game with you guys I needed something to trigger an interest in the game as-well - one thing I had lost. 

So today I am going to share with those of you that are interested in this sort of thing the ideas I had to bring everyone into the story, finishing with what I have decided on. 

1. An invitation from hell - In this idea I was going to have the Wardens alerted to an abandoned demon workshop on the Outland's after their name was shown up on a list left behind by it's previous owners. From there the Wardens would learn what the workshop was being used for and by keeping an ear out for odd happenings of such a kind would find their first lead. 

2. Carmtan's Dream - This idea I ditched very quickly but I am still keeping it as something that legitimately happened. In this plan I was going to have Carmtan return from being in the Emerald Dream distressed at an image he saw echoing through the dreamway. That a life form, a primordial one that had a presence both inside and outside the Dream, was being tortured and twisted. The sight made Carmtan awake from the Dream and he would rush to the Wardens to tell them. I didn't go with this as it's a bit too attention seeking on Carm's part so I kept it as having happened but Carmtan's memory of it is hazy at best - not providing any link to The Ashen Wake.  

3. Echoes of Deadwind - In this I was going to allow people to have their own solid and approved stories of what they did with the Doom Over Deadwind story while I was gone and then piece all of them together to form a lead everyone could have received and followed. I didn't go with this as I felt that effort could be spent creating more bases for random RP and after the effort you would put into this it may seem anti-climactic? A nice idea but one that would have fallen short in terms of both interest and delivery. 

So now for the one I went with. 

4. Taylor's Penpal - A nice last goodbye and thank you from Taylor for all the help the Wardens gave Darkshire as doom rained over Deadwind Pass. There will be a small ceremony in honour of those lost, of the help the townsfolk received and to make a point for all the unsung heroes and protectors of Azeroth - a thank you. Taylor will tell us of a penpal he had from his time serving on Draenor and a letter of concern. This will be our entry into The Ashen Wake. At the roll of a dice our first region will be decided from the bank of regions you guys told me you wanted to RP in. 

Welcome to The Ashen Wake, I hope you will stick around to admire the flames, smoke and the charred remains of the innocent you swore to protect image.



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Azeroth is but one small world in a vast universe, a realm filled with potent magics and mighty beings. Since the dawn of time, these forces have influenced Azeroth and the surrounding cosmos, setting the stars in motion and shaping the destiny of countless worlds and mortal civilizations. - Chronicle Volume 1: Cosmology
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Planning is going well! We will be seeing both familiar and rather unfamiliar sights as we progress through this story :)



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Writing more into the risks of each demon archtype and how to make them even more of a threat IC



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Felhound vs Felstalker vs Void-Hound

It's our job as DMs and story-writers to keep things fresh and new while chipping away at complicated mechanics, re-using popular additions to stories (like soundtracks and deathlists) and then keeping threat levels at a appropriate stance depending on the story or situation. 

So what is this tiny post about? Well I am going to take you through a very small snippet of what I meant in the last post as making the demons we face more threatening in both an old, a new and then an advanced challenge manner. 

All of those listed above are magic eaters, it's always been a rule to take these fuckers out first as they will ravage your sorcerers be they backline or battle ready. As Skaraa put it - they look at a magic user as if they were a chocolate cake, they crave magic and will ignore everyone else and then drain you to get it. So with that in mind last year I made an adaptation to the Felhound which is near enough our base level mana-eater and threat to mages. Below you will find a picture of one. 

So the old or re-used 'buff' to Felhounds will be my blink idea. The old old old way was you wanted to get your non-magic users between the Felhound and your mage and it was simply a case of target priority. I changed that last year with Felhounds being able to blink straight onto the mage and wreak havoc. So thats coming back to give a more immediate threat, to shine some spotlight on mages who quake in fear at these demons (they are the thing of nightmares for you) and of course to give the Felhounds some use before getting pummelled by six others members of the group as they are a target priority. 

So how about the new? Well Legion saw the introduction of Felstalkers, now these bastards can still drain magic - but they are more pack hunters that need time to focus on a mage before doing so. In the heat of combat having them sit out for a turn while they focus? Not going to happen. These are going to be for the melee what the Felhounds are for the mages. These will hunt in packs, will be co-ordinated and communicate with each-other in order to use their disease and infection provoking bites to dice into our melee defenders. 

So now the challenge, again it's new but an advancement on from both of these demons. We have the Felhounds who are an immediate threat to mages, we have the stalkers to overwhelm and focus down our more armoured friends but what we have never really had is a boss-like demon-hound. Something big, bulky, can take a lot of hits and dish out some hard attacks on us too without being the immediate threat that it's underlings the Felhound and Felstalker are. 

So the one I chose for this is the Void-Hound, you may know them as Void-Terrors. Now these are hounds with a near unlimited magical potential - they are pretty powerful and big with many heads and eyes making it ideal for my boss-like hound. However, as I like following the Lore and using it's restrictions to give a nice fruity flavouring to my stories their uncommon/rare appearances will play a large part in their encounters with you. 

You won't be facing these every event - there are three categories that only I really need to know but I will give you a brief look into them. 1 - They aren't where you are, and don't know you're there. Fair enough, yeah? 2 - They know you are there and will passively provide an endless stream of hound-based backup in the form of felhounds, felstalkers, darkhounds, phase hounds, infernal hounds, skeletal felhounds etc. These guys are the Legion - it's about time you started experiencing them as being almost endless more often. 3 - It's where you are and will bring a greater sense of command and co-ordination to it's allies making not only him a threat but inspiring and empowering other demon hound units. 

Summary

Felhound buff is being re-used so they can immediately blink ontop of mages and see more use in combat. 

Felstalkers will pack hunt our less-magic reliant Wardens spreading infection and disease with a brutal -BRUTAL- sense of co-ordination. 

Void-Hounds will provide flavour to what may seem like the same old encounters over and over so that you either face this boss-like demon hound unit and that you see new hound units you don't usually see being used - used. 

And last but not least you, everything you love and hold dear will be eradicated from the face of Azeroth image. Happy hunting brave Wardens. 

xoxoxoxoxox

 

 

 

 



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Azeroth is but one small world in a vast universe, a realm filled with potent magics and mighty beings. Since the dawn of time, these forces have influenced Azeroth and the surrounding cosmos, setting the stars in motion and shaping the destiny of countless worlds and mortal civilizations. - Chronicle Volume 1: Cosmology
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With talons clasped upon wine coloured orb, points tinkling against tempered glass. Patience, this is what he had been an example of. Tactical, this is what he had been a thousand times and more. Flames of orange not green, this is what he had seen for this world, this is what was to come. The throne mocked this idea, mocked the idea of flames of orange not green delivering the stalwart world to the list of those conquered before it. Ash it would be. Ash is all that would remain. No speck-cinders of hope left in The Ashen Wake. It was time. 

"Targets chosen, my lord." The Mo'arg turned from the gargantuan stone stable to face the Jailer of the Cells, the orange glow radiating from the surroundings speaking measures upon the horrific scar where eyes should socket. 

"That did not take long, you are certain of your choices?" He replied, talons ceased tinkling the tempered glass orb. He glanced at the floating eyes chained to the Mo'arg that continued to scan the table and various intelligence strewn about it. 

"The team assembled are best suited to these locations, old fortifications in the areas are ready to be facilitated and the supply of the serum has doubled since last monitored." He has answered his lords question to a degree in-which he was happy with. 

"It was last monitored two days ago. How has the supply increased twofold in forty-eight hours?" The talons left the orb and he sat up straight in the high seat. He would find his answer, but not from the lips of his blind fel-lord. 

"Forty-six hours, my lord. Talrax found a method that increased productivity while inside of the hit points - saving us time." The succubus toyed with her coiled whip playfully. Their lord looked to the Mo'arg. 

"Rostilde, one of the tricksters I headhunted, my lord." He smirked. 

"And this Talrax?" The lord sighed musingly, realising his disconnection to the teams headhunting process but all the same expecting to be pleased with his tacticians choosing. 

"Satyr, lord." The one the croaking voice belonged to emerged from the corner of the chamber.

"A brief description at best." The lord huffed. 

"I save time." Talrax shrugged - not even so much as looking up from the console he was holding. 

"Who else have you chosen?" Turning back to the tactician. 

"Berghire, Ingdur, Aume, Svanssa, Frealia, Abetra, Ingoen, Laill and Vorila will join Rostilde."

"You chose many of those, do you have an eye for Succubi?" Grinningly he spoke. 

"We are twisting the way entire communities perceive and believe, my lord. Even more will be recruited before the end."

"Moving on.." Talrax hissed, claws tapping against the console. The lord nodded, the grin turning to smirk. 

"Talrax will be joined by Sabnihr, a felbat handler with experience on the Broken Shore-"

"Zaezhor is an assassin. Streuzar, Iquazha and Cimluhn are potion-masters. Aelix, Slaimun and Uifaorus are spies." Talrax interjected. 

"Yes.. Then we have Voidal and the hounds."

"The void terror?" The lord was intrigued. 

"Yes, my lord. That is our team as it stands." His eyes all peered up at the master of the cells. 

"Our teams will run alongside eachother." 

"Our? My lord?"

"We have further orders, each facility is to house other means of Legion works to keep productivity at high. They have sent their own squads in for this - and shouldn't get in the way of the rest of our plans."

"Not entirely unexpected." The Mo'arg nodded, an eye floating up, gazing at Talrax and Rosthilde who were now beside the table. Talrax removed a claw from the console and pressed it against a point on the map. The fel-lord nodded. 

"Yes, go." 

The two left the chamber, a large mostly bionic Mo'arg opening and closing the huge door for them. 

"The Wardens of Azeroth will play a great role in this also, my lord." 

"Excellent, I would have been disappointed if you didn't take them into account. Perhaps it is time we met again, this time the outcome will be far different. I long to see them crumble under the weight of their inner conflicts." Horgrash, Lord of the Cells, grinned and returned his talons to the tempered glass orb. 



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Azeroth is but one small world in a vast universe, a realm filled with potent magics and mighty beings. Since the dawn of time, these forces have influenced Azeroth and the surrounding cosmos, setting the stars in motion and shaping the destiny of countless worlds and mortal civilizations. - Chronicle Volume 1: Cosmology
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Last edited by Carmtan on Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:19; edited 1 time in total


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Last edited by Carmtan on Tue Apr 11, 2017 17:12; edited 2 times in total


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re: And the Satyrs and Voidal!

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image

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Last edited by Carmtan on Tue Apr 11, 2017 17:03; edited 1 time in total


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Personally I find the advantages of displaying my demons as hearthstone cards and not say.. On a death-list are as follows:

1. You get an image showing you how the DM perceives the enemy. 

2. Their abilities/card use are reflective of their role/personalities so you get an insight into the character without giving away their entire story in a post. I used to do this but isn't it so much better to find out their stories in RP if the opportunity provides itself? Less forced, small snippet of information - fun times. 

3. You don't have to read small text on a website - you have this vibrant means of glancing over the character in a way we are familiar with and in a fashion we enjoy ourselves as Warden site users. 

Disadvantages:

1. It can potentially take a lot more time, but you get faster at doing it. 

2. You don't have this paragraph of story per enemy, but you stand a chance at your character finding it out in game. 

So even the disadvantages have buts. I like this form of deathlist. Oh also - check out this -possible- way of giving an image to the detailed description of a fight between one of our Wardens and an enemy!

This is just a thought anyway. The description is really where the time should be spent. Such as...

Cyledriel took an interest in turning Streuzar into a pin cushion from early on in the battle. While Mordoth was taking the chemical and claw-frenzied attacks Miss Ravenforest first shattered Streuzar's shoulder blade with an off-centre arrow and finished off the Satyr Alchemist with a heart puncturing frost arrow to the chest. 

And that is where I feel the time should be spent outside the event, not telling the stories for you guys (you will be part of it all in-game) but for giving credit and memory to the actions your characters make. I think if it's a particularly awesome battle or kill/capture I may be more inclined to make an image like above - as I said though the time should be better spent elsewhere.

Maybe enlist a fun vote system where attendees of the event (the ones left at the end) get to vote on the best kill/capture/action and that is what I turn into an image like above to further spotlight it? Everyone will get their deathlist details anyway, you act against an enemy - it's going here just trying to reward but make sure time is spent in the right places. Make sure you let me know in comments if you like that idea and I can run it. 

Lastly... 

The demonic commands reaction. This won't tell any of the story but will give further credit to the Wardens efforts as a whole in an event. A hat tip in your direction from the trouble or lack there of you cause inside this RP. A single paragraph to a few paragraphs strung together detailing how it's reacted to behind the scenes. Could even have a few of the survivors return to the battlefield and gaze over the now empty scene scene where their fallen demonic comrades may still lay or have been burnt. 

With the flames over Streuzar's body roaring in Sabnihr's eyes he stands, arms folded over the bloodied scene. With a single gesture he beckons down one of his pets - with webbed gargantuan wings the flames are snuffed. A few graceful strides and he kneels before the body, plucks one of the fallen Satyr's horns before fastening it to his vine-like sash of blades. He departs the ashen wake of his fallen ally. 

Bit of character insight and then next time you face Sabnihr you may find Streuzar's horn used in some fashion. It's taking what happens in events and inside the story and reusing elements of it here and there to make a more wholesome story.

In many forms of story-telling a popular scene to re-produce is the picking of a flower or a petal that symbolises home for the character and should that character die you may well see or read about how the character's grip slowly loosens and hidden inside is that very same petal they plucked at the beginning. While there are so many things that go into writing a good story, some of them working well in partnership to others and some even conflicting with eachother - I find the inclusion of these small details returning later on deliver a more wholesome story. Like a petal falling from the hand of a deceased traveller who missed home, or the use of a fallen allies horn in later conflict. 



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Voiceline as Emily Heartwood summons a Mr. Floppy: "Look Daddy! Mr. Floppy is actually a Mrs. Floppy!"

 

 

 

 



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22 days since the last post so I thought I would give an update. Planning is still going well, I can give you some of the names of the stories we may encounter as we progress through the story as most of the story has been semi-written (not too much as I want you guys to trigger certain things as always, but enough to start running them). Alas I have a brief holiday in Spain and some things to sort out at the same time, I am also enjoying playing Destiny with about 5-6 friends from work so we will see how soon I get the storyline into swing. I am also trying to give this story a hefty finale so bear with me while I I figure out how exactly I go about implicating and creating a new zone in the game without having too much effect on the entirety of Azeroth. 

So lets sell this story to you. I have always found it difficult from a story-writer/DM's point of reference to play the Burning Legion. As writers we tend to opt for having effects on the characters involved in our story and not so much on Azeroth as a whole so we don't run too much risk of writing our own lore which will effect the way things are in Blizzard's own story (the World of Warcraft).

Now I don't feel so far that this all feels like a Burning Legion invasion, I just don't think there has been enough in the terms of overwhelming odds for us personally. Sure we have been scuttling around on our tip toes instead of running headlong into packs of demons to solo them all ourselves, but even then I just don't get the feeling of risk at all (maybe it's because I have played for 11 years and just find the writing predictable? I don't know). Conclusively I don't feel like this is a Burning Legion invasion but I myself find it hard to write the Burning Legion in my own story to be significant and well.. a Legion! Without effecting Azeroth too much and treading on Blizzard's written story. 

The benefit of writing for the Wardens however is overwhelming odds for them can potentially be a pack of ten strong demons that summon eachother into the battle as the Legion would, and to have numbers replace themselves as again - a Legion would. Overwhelming odds for the armies of Azeroth? Well I think we can agree those ten strong demons becomes thousands or tens of thousands. So the question I had to ask myself was how can I make a small bank of demons which could give the sensation of overwhelming odds for the Wardens while also giving this group of demons a genuine purpose within the Burning Legion? 

These demons that we will be encountering are on Azeroth to break the will of it's defenders that have stood against the Burning Legion for ten thousand years. Focusing more on their wickedness than on the shear size of their demonic army and using the summoning of other demons to replace those you may cut down to not so much bring an army to fight the Wardens, but to create the feeling that they are the Legion because they are endless. Not large, endless.

Demons will be harder to fight, and when you cut them down if you don't watch yourself more or less every step of the way that succubus you just managed to stop shadowstepping you and slice the head off of, may just get replaced within a single turn. Whats really fun for me is even if you roll high you may only suceed in glancing damage simply because the action you tried to take on that demon would simply be avoidable due to their nature, other times to mix things up though I may just have them make a mistake and that leading to your hit still dealing some damage. You know when we get those conversations in the raid chat that tend to end in the DM cutting you some slack in the sense of 'yeah I can see your point there your character would have positioned himself in that manner so instead of what I was going to do I will do this instead' etc etc, thats still going to happen but I am cutting the same slack on the enemy. 

So potentially depending on character personalities and plans you all make - the battles could be lengthy. Or they could be short if what you are trying to avoid is a full out conflict after the last event you having a long fight. The battles we face will have meaning, they could be over a structure or to cease control of a weapon and all of them will be story related. You won't battle for the sake of battling.

I want you all to take a look around at a battle scene and say 'We took a beating but this looks like a victory' because what you are looking at is more so what you have saved from winning the fight and not just gaze upon a load of demon bodies which mean a lot less than the former. The demons deaths and what you do to them will have meaning in the Death List, but inside the game inside that moment I want you to be feeling personal gain for how you conducted your characters inside the RP and to see the true effects of your loss or victory that day - in the moment. What I will be doing is reviewing the battle before it occurs and really figuring out what exactly I want you to feel at the end of the battle, sometimes despite the outcome but mostly due to your actions and or the determined victory or loss.

These demons are wicked, tough, good at replacing their ranks if you aren't careful and are using an arsenal of methods to break the will of Azeroth's stalwart inhabitants. We are kind of the victims in this story as well. We just want them to stop targeting others like innocents and defenders while being in the cross-hairs ourselves. There will be one main way they are breaking that will, but I don't want to restrict it only to that as I like having some variation. 

I have kept you waiting a little longer than first anticipated so I am going to tell you the names and the regions involved in FIC: The Ashen Wake. To me everything had to sound awesome, if you visit a place that I named myself or venture into one of my stories I wanted it to sound kickass while embodying simply what the story is circulating around. 

The Ashen Wake - Angry Arcane (Feralas).

The Ashen Wake - Vengeance Valley (Borean Tundra). 

The Ashen Wake - Winter's Ward (Winterspring).

The Ashen Wake - Lawless Lane (Alterac Mountains/Arathi Highlands).

The Ashen Wake - Smouldering Silk (Grizzly Hills). 

The Ashen Wake - Dreadwake (The Burning Isle, a small region of my own creation). 

Have a good few weeks, we should see the first of these surface soon. image



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Carmtan
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re: The Ashen Wake.

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The Ashen Wake should be hitting the calendar next week, I can hand out a date as soon as my work hours go up tonight. Alas I am making use of this final stretch of planning. The stories are written now the scene has to be set. I am currently looking into real life places that best capture the image of the places we will be visiting as we follow the Ashen Wake. 

The example I can give currently is my visioning of Feralas to be a temperate rain-forest closest to that of the Otway National Park in Australia. I first tried looking into the many temperate rain-forests of Asia but many of the foliage and flora that grew there were much more akin to Jungle rain-forests over temperate. 



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Azeroth is but one small world in a vast universe, a realm filled with potent magics and mighty beings. Since the dawn of time, these forces have influenced Azeroth and the surrounding cosmos, setting the stars in motion and shaping the destiny of countless worlds and mortal civilizations. - Chronicle Volume 1: Cosmology
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