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Old RP Stories: Re-post [Archive]

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Crimson Stars
Part One


The liquid burned her mouth and tasted of putrid acid, for all she knew, it was. Wincing hard she inclined her neck to force a swallow and then a deep intake of air. Recovering from the intolerable taste, the girl opened one eye, then the other and glanced up to meet her fathers rather dissapproving stare. His face softened and then he took the cup from her outstretched arm that she seemed so unwilling to hold, as if the pewter itself was made from stinging foliage.

"Honestly Ceinwen, if you persist with this stubbornness your health will never improve and you will be locked away indoors!". Shaking his head with the smallest of smirks upon his face he made his way out of the room gently swirling whatever liquid was left within the glass. Once she was sure he was out of sight, Ceinwen folded her arms churlishly and collapsed back on to the bed staring hard at the ceiling. The room was small yet pleasantly furnished with well crafted pieces shipped in from the city merchants. The dim light filtered through the window and in the distance, faint guests of wind could be heard. The last days of winter seemed to last forever and rain began to gently pat against the window, the cold emanating from the stone floor. From the other room Ceinwen could just about hear her parents discussion and she closed her eyes tight hoping that this would improve her hearing somewhat.

"Honestly, what is this stuff you make her drink Roayla? Is it really necessary, you know how much disdain she has for it?" Her father spoke in a plain but kind manner while staring into the cup, chuckling to himself quietly. "Has there been any improvement?"

"There have been signs.. Some days she seems brighter, you know that. There is no need to worry dear, this is only a minor set back, many of the children suffer with all sorts of ailments. Cein is no different. Besides, I was given assurance from a Stormwind medic that this treatment was as effective as any other, natural is always the better alternative to.. other.. procedures. I will not have the Clerics treat her as a lab rat for something that will be over in a matter of days, at the worst, weeks." Roayla leaned closer to her husband taking the cup away, turning and placing it on the cill.

"Someone may notice eventually, Roa." His voice suddenly sounded weary and strained.

"Come dear, sit and rest a while." She leaned in and kissed him softly on the cheek then tilted her head to the side, staring at him intently. "You've barely had a moments rest and you needn't worry over this for now. Has there been any word from Lordaeron?. She then heard her mother quietly request some wine and bread from one of the housemaids.

"There has been word from the North, the men are returning, and with them the Prince. The reports have been of victory." Jedram lifted his hand to accept a goblet from one of the maids. He sipped it slowly.

At this Ceinwen's ears pricked up and she slipped out of bed silently and stepped carefully across the cold stone floor. She moved closer to the door and pressed her ear upon the wood close to a small crack, but in doing so the door creaked ever so slightly and the conversation ceased immediately. She tried to skip back to her bed in time but her small legs could not carry her fast enough as the door swung open and both her parents stood in the doorway.

"Darling, what are you doing out of bed? It's late and you know you should be... resting." Her mothers words trailed off as her stern gaze broke and fell. A single, thick line of crimson was trailing down Ceinwen's arm, however Ceinwen had failed to notice until she followed her own mothers eyes, her face shadowed with sadness. A moment later her father strode past his wife and gently picked Ceinwen up in his arms.

"I will take care of this. I will settle Ceinwen and return for supper." Jedram nodded to his wife and then carried his daughter from the room.

Moments later they were in her fathers secondary quarters where he often spent time deep in prayer or in some form of study. He lowered himself down to sit on one of the many wooden stools that seemed to litter the room. Gazing up the walls she could see hundreds of large, dusty, leather bound books neatly organised. There was a gently warm feeling within the room. With Ceinwen perched on one of his large thighs he gently pulled back the linen sleeve of her nightgown. He placed the palm of his hand to her forehead and gazed deeply and lovingly into his child's eyes. "Trust in the Light, child. Always trust in the Light". His gaze then fell to her frail forearm and he began unravelling the seemingly failing linen bandaging applied earlier in the day by one of the house staff. The bandage was now mostly crimson and the blood was beginning to seep through. His eyebrows drew together as he carefully began to study the patches of skin affected. There were similar markings over her skin however to the naked eye these just looked to be a malformed rash, purple or red in colour. Most could be covered but this one was as stubborn as the child and seemed to be reacting in a new way. Her father had prayed that all the markings would not evolve into such things, for then he was sure he would lose his most precious possession to this obnoxious condition. Ceinwen continued to observe the room intently. It was not often she would be allowed admittance into her fathers quarters. He believed it a dangerous and unnecessary place for a child, however Ceinwen just thought that this was an excuse as she could see little danger within the room. Leaning back ever so slightly her eyes fell upon her fathers armour. Even in the dim light it seemed to illuminate the room. It was beautiful not only to a child's eyes, but to anyone who's gaze fell upon it. The intricacy and craftsmanship was unfathomable. Almost lost in its beauty her eyes then fell upon something she had never seen before. A sword. It was resting on a deep emerald velvet cushion, long, slender and shining brightly from the corner of the room. She squinted her eyes to try and make out the delicate inscription which ran along the blade. Suddenly Ceinwen's attention was jolted back to the present. Her father closed his eyes and placed a hand gently upon her upper arm. She glanced down and saw what she could only describe as golden light swirling about his hand. Then suddenly but surely the warmth surrounded it, penetrated her skin and she felt the warmth radiate her entire body. The warmth left her as swiftly as it had some and solemness filled her heart. Her father removed her hand yet she didn't even need to look to know the results. The skin had healed, but only enough not to bleed. Beneath her, she felt her fathers body sag a little, maybe in disappointment, maybe in despair. "Does it hurt Cein?" Jedram stared sadly into her eyes. Ceinwen shook her head slowly, showing only slight signs of anticipation. The small child had a high tolerance for any pain yet this, somehow, just made her feel numb. She regarded the dark markings on her arm, sighed, then smiled up at her father.

Jedram embraced her and whispered "You must endure this child, you must. I have something special arranged for your birthday..But shhhh.. Do not let your mother know I mentioned anything at all.. She will have my head and feed my body to the boars!". Ceinwen let out a quiet childish giggle and embraced her father as tightly as she could.

A few minutes later she lay once again, staring at the ceiling, this time with a hopeful smile and thought deeply about hundreds of impossibilities that that surprise could entail. It could have been her imagination but for a moment she believed she felt the comforting swell of warmth within her once again, but for only a moment.

Part Two

Her legs hurtled, one foot after another, hitting the ground hard although making little noise aside from the light padding noise of her small feet hitting the soft dewy grass. A slight morning mist still hung in the spring morning air. She focussed on her fathers instructions only. The air rushed past her, cold against her skin and her heart was thumping hard and the stinging in her chest was almost crippling as her lungs heaved for more air. Ceinwen was small and light, but easily exhausted due to her seclusion from the outside world and all the activities that would have gone with it as a child. She had not yet learned the art of vigilance. Thoughts raced through her mind. How had it come to this?! Closing her eyes momentarily, Ceinwen tried to shake these intruding thoughts out of her head. Upon opening her eyes she focussed only on what lay ahead of her, not behind.

"..Mother.. Must get to..Mother"

She repeated it again and again. A silent tear running down her cheek and for a moment she believed her body would just cease to function over the extreme agony that was writhing though her whole body.

She did not know the area well at all but recognised the cut through to the out laying village almost instantly from her fathers brief but accurate description. The terrain had become harder, and rougher. Her small, fragile, bare feet taking brunt of the grounds attack. In the distance she could see the small tower of a village hall. That very same moment her food collided even more painfully with something hard and cold. Ceinwen's body flew towards the ground at great speed, hitting the ground hard. It felt like all the air from her lungs had suddenly been sucked out of her and for a moment everything went dark. With the pain and frustration overwhelming her, she forced her face away from the ground and extended both her arms to push herself into a rather awkward seated position. The thick lining of trees cast shadows over the long grass and for a moment it was a struggle to make out anything in particular. Once she had steadied herself a little more and regained some focus it appeared that there was some form of figure that could only just be made out within the shadows. Then came a sound that anyone would not fail to recognise. A quiet spluttering followed by strained breathing. The thing she had stumbled over was human and barely alive. Quickly she crawled clumsily closer to what appeared to be a man and apparently some high-ranking official of some sorts. The man's armour was of fine quality yet was covered in deep crimson blood. He coughed and a curdling noise came from his throat, a light splattering of blood suddenly came out of his mouth which showered over Ceinwen's face.

"You..No time.. Listen." Said the man in a rasping voice.

Ceinwens heart was bounding so hard in her chest she thought it might burst. The man was in dire need of aid yet the blood was trickling out of the wound to his neck so fast that she could tell that he didn't have a great deal of time left. The man reached up his pale bloody hand to her face. She remained as still as possible, suppressing the urge to cry or scream or run as fast as she could to some form of normality. The man tried to hold her face feebly.

The voice came through gurgles of blood. "Girl.. take horse.. Escape!"

His hand lifted from her face, made a gesture to a patch of trees about 200 yards away and then dropped limply to the floor. The man lay still and no sound, not even breath issued from his body. Mortified, she placed her hand gently over his face and closed his vacant, glassy eyes in hope that he could now find peace. Ceinwen stood up slowly, shaking head to foot. She glanced sadly from the man then towards the trees and back to again. Unsure determination set upon her face, she backed away from the man slowly at first and then turned and started into a run. She stopped suddenly, swearing she heard movement from behind her. Ceinwen's head swung round quickly but she could see nothing. Narrowing her gaze, she once again focussed back to her destination and ran. Some of the branches hit against her face as she ran through the trees and jumped over a few bushes. There it was. She stopped.. There in between two great trees stood a magnificent black steed fully armoured in beautifully crafted plate. Its reigns dangled from the nuzzle to the grass and dragged along as the creature turned its head towards Ceinwen. The horse swept its tail calmly as if to acknowledge her presence with its great towering body remaining still, both Ceinwen and the horse stood there, staring at each other.

Part Three

A pale, eerie mist had descended upon the forest and Ceinwen felt a new chill rush against her skin that was not caused by the fast galloping of the horse. The steed was young and obident. The moment she had clambered clumsily upon him, he seemed to know instinctively the direction in which she wanted to pursue. Ceinwen clung on desperately, clamping her legs tightly against the saddle. Her experience in riding was minimal at best.

Even though she was convinced it must be late afternoon, she could see no sign of the glorious sun that had graced the land with its presence earlier in the day. The sky had darkened over the thickening forest and the air was dank. A greater fear rose up inside her chest. She saw dark shapes moving in the trees, of which she could make no forms which resembled any creature she was aware of. She was weak and her body felt as though it might shatter from pain, hunger or fatigue at any given moment. Ceinwen wound the reigns even more tightly around her tiny arms and closed her eyes, her head lolling in tandem with the horses strides.

The horse stopped abruptly and its passenger jolted upright, fully awake now. They had arrived in a clearing at the end of the forest. It was dusk now and Ceinwen's ceremonial robes were doing little to keep her warm as the drop in temperature seemed to penetrate right to her bones. The land was hilly and pale lights could be seen from a few farmsteads in the distance. Looking for location markers used by her father, she tugged at the reigns and urged the steed to continue west.

After a few hours they arrived at a grand, stone manor house. Ceinwen let out a deep sigh of happiness and slid down from the horse. She noticed briefly that none of the house candles had been lit but this thought was extinguished immediately as she was suddenly aware of the pain in her legs and feet again. Doing her best to ignore this, she ran to the huge wooden door, which for some reason was already ajar. Pushing it open slowly she called for the house staff.

“Ailane..? Maela.? Venthar..?”

As she went from room to room she repeated their names. Why weren't they responding? Opening the doors one by one. But all was quiet and still. Ceinwen knew this was not normal and began to race faster through each of the rooms until she came to her mothers study. She flung open the door.

The moonlight now shone through the window, a bright beam casting right over the table of which Ceinwen's mother lay slumped and motionless.


Surely her mother had just been tired and fallen asleep in the afternoon. But where were the house staff? They should have roused her and taken her to her bed chamber. Narrowing her eye's with frustration, Ceinwen darted forwards to shake her mother. She was cold and her skin was white snow. Perhaps this was a trick of the light, she thought. Something wasn't right. There was nothing that she wanted more in the would than the warm, loving affection and protection from her mother, but she would not respond. She began to sob hopelessly. Suddenly, to her delight, the body began to stir.

Her mother raised her head slowly from the table only.. half of her face seemed deformed. The jaw was dislocated and hanging loosely form one side of her face. As the head of her mother moved further upright the rays of moonlight fell upon the grotesque mutation of her face, cracking and dripping noises issuing from her as she moved. Ceinwen gasped and jumped back in horror, the tears falling silently down her cheeks. Her throat contracted and before she knew it, she was slumped over on her knees vomiting violently onto the floor in front of her. Weakly, she looked back up to the sickening animated corpse. Nothing in the world could have prepared her for what was before of her eyes. Where the jaw was broken from the left cheek there hung torn pieces of flesh revealing the white bone of her skull. The entirety of her mothers left cheek and jaw had been ripped from her face, a dark empty socket where her eye should have been. Her dark, long hair had been ripped from the remaining flesh on that part of her head and any patches that remained were wild and scraggly. However in gruesome contrast, the right side of her face was as perfect and beautiful as it had ever been with sleek black hair trailing over her shoulder. The remaining eye stared straight at Ceinwen as if attempting to bore into her soul. She could now see her mother's once lavish robes were now torn and covered in deep crimson blood. The corpses arms raised from its sides and those too were drenched in patchy stains of blood. Cloth and flesh alike were ripped from the bones.

Trembling, Ceinwen rose to her feet and edged back slowly away from this abomination. This seemed to register with the corpse as well as it began to quicken its movements, as if waking up from a long sleep and regaining awareness of your surroundings. The jaw swung down and blood poured down the chin and chest and a loud, gurgled moaning noise issued from the mouth of the creature. The chair made a harsh scraping noise against the floor as it was pushed away from the table. The corpse of her mother rose to full height although hunched forward somewhat. It swayed on the spot. Ceinwen's eyes widened as she glanced down to see that, where a foot would have once been, was now just a bloodied stump of a bone standing in a pool of its own secreted blood. The corpse started slowly towards her and the bone clunked horribly on the floor like an old man's walking stick.

“!”, Ceinwen wailed through the uncontrollable sobs, repeating it over and over.

She was having a nightmare. None of this was real. Soon her father would come in to wake her and once again she would hear the songbirds singing serenely in the trees of the orchard. She closed her eyes tight and opened them once more. The animated corpse still stood there in all of its grotesque glory. Another moan issued from it's mouth and it made a sudden swiping movement in the the direction of where Ceinwen stood shaking. She screamed and darted from the room as fast as she could.

As she ran through the rooms panting and thumping across the stone floor, the horrible noises still issuing from the passages behind her. She threw herself into a door to the left of a hallway. Silence had fallen. The room was lit by the pale moonlight she could see belongings strewn across the floor, her belongings. Coming to her senses almost at once, she eyed the floor with strained eyes and moved slowly and very carefully to where a woollen cloak lay. A loud, slow clanking noise came from the hallway and she stood stock still, holding her breath in terror. Ceinwen froze, listening intently. Slow footsteps were closing in on her location. Not normal footsteps though. The corpse was dragging along the hallway, its flesh of one foot squelching on the floor then the sound of the bone of the deformed leg thudding on the stone and then grinding a little. This grotesque noise echoed down the hallway and came to a sudden halt by the door to the bedroom. Ceinwen's body shook violently with fear and she felt the urge to vomit again, but this time tried in desperation to keep it in. Tears streamed silently down her face and she absent-mindedly drew her hand up and placed it tightly over the failing bandages as she felt the warm blood starting to trickle down her arm. These minutes felt like an eternity. She closed her eyes tightly and prepared herself, this was it. To her utter amazement the horrid movement of the creature had decided that this area was clear and continued to drag itself down the hall. As quietly as she could, Ceinwen reached for the cloak and wrapped it round her cold body, binding it tightly at the neck. This was the first tiny comfort she had felt in hours. Squinting, she attempted to make out some of the other objects thrown around the room. Pulling a leather satchel towards her, she filled it with a few items of clothes, a tiny linen doll and a few spare bandages that had seemed to have landed in various places across the floor. Trying to remain quiet, she felt about for her leather boots. Pulling some socks painfully over her muddy and injured feet, she tried to ram one foot quickly into the left boot. Pulling it off quickly, she fished inside to pull out the object that was stuck inside. Ceinwen's heart sank heavily and burst with sadness and she picked out her mothers silver locket, which she had given her just yesterday for a birthday gift. She let out a quiet sob and slowly placed the chain round her neck. Once the shoes were laced, she swung the satchel strap across her body. She noticed a small jar glinting in the moonlight and proceeded to pick it up and place it in the satchel.

The house seemed still and silent now. The only sound seemed to be the soft hooting of an owl somewhere in the treetops. The corpse was apparently motionless in its resting place. Ceinwen took this chance to clamber atop her bed and reach for the latch of the window. There followed a loud creaking and no matter how slowly she proceeded to open the window to full, the damage was done. Once again loud moans and clunking came from the corridor behind, this time at a faster pace. Ceinwen's heart beat painfully in her chest and the door to the room swung open with a horrendous bang as it hit the large oak dresser by the doorway. She only took a moment to glance behind her and see the ghoulish figure silhouetted by moonlight in the doorway. Using all her strength she pulled herself up to the window ledge and threw herself out. The creature lunged and a mangled, bony hand had caught her ankle. Screaming, Ceinwen writhed in pain and anguish, attempting to beat the creature off her. She swung stupidly and once again screamed, but this time a surge of warmth seemed to fill her body. There was a sudden burst of bright golden light. The creature let out a howl of pain and let go of Ceinwen's ankle instantly and recoiled. She dropped head first onto the cold, hard floor and upon hitting it let out a cry of pain. Clawing at the ground, she pulled herself up from the mud and staggered quickly to the shadow of the large magnificent horse who was still standing exactly where she had left him. The horse, seemingly aware of her condition, dropped slowly to its knees and let out a soft neighing noise. On reaching the horse, Ceinwen collapsed onto the saddle. She lay sprawled and almost motionless across horse's back and would have looked dead had it not been for the rise and fall of her back and the soft sobbing noise coming from within the steeds mane. The horse rose to its full height carefully and began to trot eastward, back towards the forest.

Behind them all that could be seen was dark moving figures from the upstairs windows of the manor house, silhouetted in the moonlight.

The end, for now..


Beyond the Wall

The rain tapped gently against the window as the diamond shaped leadlite framed glass rattled against the gusts of wind in their frames. She traced her finger down the glass following one of the droplets as it trickled slowly downwards. In the distance, the moon hung full and bright in the ink black sky and reflected across the turbulent waves below. Her breath began to mist the panes of glass as she stepped closer to the window ledge. The wind blew more strongly and it rushed through the leaves on the trees so fast that hundreds of leaves were swept from the branches in the gale.

Her eyes travelled down onto an opposing window which illuminated those within with the pale warm glow of the candle light. From within she could see a stout, middle age woman mouthing silently to a child across the room. The child turned on its heels to attempt escape but it was too late. The woman had latched onto the child by the hair, pulled it over her knee and spanked it hard. The screams could be heard faintly just above the noise of the unrelenting storm. Talaith began to fiddle unconsciously with a few strands of hair which had fallen forward from her long brunette pony tail.

Suddenly came the noise of china smashing and a long, shuddering, moan of pain. Talaith’s attention shot away from the window at once and she sped down the stairs two steps at a time to the source of the noise. Her mother stood there, one arm propping herself up against the sideboard and the other clutched tightly about the bump protruding from her belly. Her face was screwed up in agony as Talaith ran to her, pulling her arm away from the sideboard to around her neck. Talaith’s mother, Eydrana, was not a small woman by any means.

“No, not now! It can’t be now!” her mother cried as she grasped so tightly onto Talaith’s shoulder she nearly stumbled.

Talaith bit her lip and continued to support her mother until they reached one of the bed chambers. The lamps had already been lit and the small fire was hissing and crackling. At least it was warm in here, she thought.

‘Jarah!” Talaith yelled as loud as she could as she helped her mother onto the bed.

The sound of feet scuttling along the wooden floorboards came from above and moments later a small boy entered the room panting.

“Tala, whaa..?” the boy blurted before he looked round the room,horror struck. His dark brown eyes growing wide in the candle light. His mother lay there groaning and screming in agony on the bed.

“Get Merayna, quickly, go!” Talaith barked at her little brother and her eyes followed him as he ran from the room. The door slammed open and shut in the gale and moment’s later little footsteps could be hears squelching at great speed through the puddles.


It felt as if whole days had gone past yet the sun risen only once and set only mere hours ago.
Talaith pushed her hands into the scorching water. It seemed to take all her energy to scrub the blood from the linen and towels. Footsteps echoed down the corridor and Talaith turned to see Merayna. She was tall, with a head of thick black hair pulled tight back into a bun. Dressed in robes of dark linen she stood in the doorway silhouetted by the candle light. Merayna’s expression of severity seemed to be etched on her face at all times. Placing more sheets on the wooden table to the right she peeled off a pair of gloves and added them to the pile.

“A boy”, she said severely. “Healthy and nursing. You will send the gold by the end of the week girl.” Merayna gave Talaith a stern look, turned on the spot to retrieve her travelling cloak and made the way to the door.

“Oh and, the father is prominent.” she flicked the latch off the latch, stepped stiffly through the doorway and closed the door hard behind her.

Pulling her hands out of the blood tinged water, Talaith pulled a clean towel to her to wipe her head then her forehead. She made her way down the corridor, knocking softly on the door. The wooden door creaked as she pushed the door open. She could see her mother laying there, exhausted and pale, sweat still present on her brow. Jarah was sitting huddled in the corner of the room, playing with a small toy. The warmth from the fire was welcoming and her mother looked on her with a smile.

“Come here child”, she said, “Tala, isn’t he perfect?”

Talaith looked down on the infant writhing it his mothers arms, then back to her mother and kissed her softly on the head.

“Merayna was right”, Talaith said, staring at the child, “He has so much of father in him.”

“Will you go to him and tell him? For me, please?” Eydrana pleaded to her daughter.

Talaith nodded in response, “Of course mother.”

“Oh and there is one more thing,” Eydrana reached for a letter that had already been opened on the side cabinet next to a diminishing candle. Jarah darted round the side of the bed clutching a fresh candle in his small hands, lit the wick and replaced it into it’s holder. In an attempt to help his mother he quickly grabbed the letter and threw it up at his sister.

Her eyes darted from side to side trying to take in the words scrawled in tiny, messy writing across the parchment. She looked up with a mixed expression of uncertainty and trepidation and gazed over to her mother.

“How long have you had this?” Talaith asked quietly, turning away from her mother to stare at the hearth, holding the letter loosely in her hands.

“It was delivered 3 days ago but I fear it has been weeks since it was sent. It asks much of us all.” Eydrana said slowly, adjusting herself slightly, wincing in pain. “It is dangerous Tala, but I spoke with Georran, he owes a dept to us. He has trade dealings with some supply ships and can take..”

“He can take me, and me only,” Talaith cut across her mother. “It is too dangerous and there is less chance it will be noticed should I go alone,” her eyes flicked momentarily to Jarah.

“Mother I can wield a dagger, send me too! I am brave and strong as any, I swear I will protect Tala, I will, I promise!” Jarah’s eyes were like glinting hazel orbs to match his beautiful dark brown hair. He stood rigid as as a soldier might.

Talaith turned, smiling warmly to Jarah letting out a small chuckle. She knelt down in front of him, rubbing the side of his arms with both hands affectionately.

“One day Jarah, you will make a fine Gilnean warrior, but that day is not today. You must be strong and help mother in any way she requires you to. I will summon Lira back to assist you but you are the man of the house now and you must ensure the health of your new little brother and our dear mother. See that all is done as it should be and no suspension is aroused. When I return, we will celebrate with every treat you can think of, dear brother,” she kissed him gently on the nose and smiled. Straightening up, she made a salute to her brother, to which he made the best effort in returning it.

“I trust in you little Lord Wintershore,” Talaith beamed down to him then averted her gaze back to her mother. “I shall prepare and depart tomorrow evening.”

“Your father and your uncle would be so proud to see you go in their stead. Ceinwen is the last that remains a Wintershore save us, you must ensure her safe return to Gilneas,” Eydrana said as she shifted her position in the bed and began to fiddle with the cloth around the infant, cradling him protecively.

It was a cruel world, she thought. The pain of her fathers passing had not subsided and the emotions were still raw. She wanted to away from the world that passed beyond the gates.


Pulling her quiver over her back, Talaith gathered up her travelling cloak, trowing it over her and tying it tight at the neck. She had packed light, taking only what was necessary but she had donned her finest armour of dark dyed green leather and chain mail with ornate gilded markings tracing the edges of the leather. Her father had been strict and ensured she know how survive with only her instinct, whit and a bow. She would never match his skill, but it was something he had given her that she could ever forget. The happiest years of her life had been spent if the forests with her father; hunting for game and collecting useful herbs. She would have given anything to have just one of those days back. Taking up the bow, she traced her fingers over the beautiful engraved wood and lost herself for some moments. A soft sigh came forth from her and she smiled sadly. She had said her goodbyes to her beloved mother, her little brothers Jarah and Walren earlier. She would miss them so very much. Never before had she been further from them than the outsirts of the forest. If all went well then it would only be a matter weeks before she would see them again. As Talaith had kissed her baby brother Walren goodbye she felt a strange pang of dread in her stomach. An unexplainable feeling that she could not explain. Her father had gone beyond the wall, yet he had never returned. Gathering up a lamp and the remainder of her belongings, Talaith straightened herself up, quietly flipped the latch off the door and gently pulled gently shut behind her.

Tonight was a calmer, quiet night. The moon shone peacefully over the sea. The flame flickered as the lantern swung in her grasp. The night air was cool and no doubt there would be a light frost over the land come the morrow. Talaith made her way along the path, gravel crunching under her feet as she went. Holding the lamp out in front of her, she turned left, away from the village. She followed a small meandering dirt path up the hill until she reached the gates of the graveyard. The head stones varied in size and shape. Some were grand and adorned in all manner of things. Yet some were just simple monuments made from the wood of the forest. She stepped carefully between the graves until she reached the ebony stone decorated with flowers and wreathes that had long since died. Placing the lamp next to the grave, she noticed a small linen hound shaped toy that had been half buried into the mound to hold it in place. Kneeling down, she placed a hand onto the head of Jarah’s doll and the tears began to well in her eyes. Talaith then stared back at the stone, illuminated in the lamp light.

Walder Wintershore - Beloved husband - Beloved father to Talaith, Jarah and a child whose face he will never see. Forever loved, forever missed. Rest well my love.

She took a deep breath in and looked around her to ensure she was alone.

“I...” she began uncertainly, “Father.. you have a son. A beautiful son, he has your eyes and your dark hair and..” she paused for some moments, tears welling in her eyes, “He is strong. Mother still rests and is weak, but.. Jarah and Lira will look after her and she will be strong once again. I am to leave father. I... wish you were still here, you would know what to do, what to say.”

Talaith blinked the tears away. Wiping her face quickly she then made to pull the letter from her cloak and unfold it in the lamplight.

“A letter came. I can’t even be sure whether it is Ceinwen’s hand,” she said quietly as she glanced over the writing once again, “Its erratic and messy in comparison to her previous letters. She always sent news of excitement and all the happenings of the lands. But now father, I am called to leave to go to her and I feel only longing to stay. She asks for help, yet I don’t know that I am ready. Help me find my courage, father. I was never as strong as you.” She pulled a small, white rose from her pack and placed it carefully along the grave mound.

“But my promise to you father, I will return to you, mother and my brothers. I will try to make you proud father.” She leant forward placing her hand to the stone as tears trickled down her cheeks. She remained there, alone in the dark several long moments.

Straightening up, Talaith pulled her hood over her head securely, she made her way from the graveyard in the direction of the small fishing port that lay to the west.

The end, for now.. ========================================================================


A gentle breeze fell upon her skin as she pulled her hair round her neck to drape down over her chest. As she sat, her toes playing unconciously with the cool grass, there was a slight disturbance in the silent air. The sun was low in the sky and it glittered through her hair creating beautiful patterns upon her skin. Leaning back slightly, she placed her hand down on the ground to support her but quickly recoiled it sitting bolt upright. Grasping the injured hand she turned it over to see crimson blood seeping from the tiny wound. A feeling of annoyance rose within her as she picked up the small shard of concrete and inspected, carefully running her fingers over the gritty surface. Her eyes focussed carefully on the shard and then as she leaned her head to the side she once again gazed over the incomprehendable devestaion that had passed into her homelands. What was once part of a beatiful shining city had succome to the grey destruction of the scourge. As she stared, expresionless, she clutched her necklace tightly and then took a sharp breath in as she felt a hand upon her shoulder.

"Delaniel said I would find you here.." said the quiet and soft voice from behind her. "She..also said you have been coming here everyday for a while now".

Exhaling the breath in recognition of the familiar voice, she remained silent, continuing to fiddle with the small shard in her hand.

Adjusting the grip on her shoulder, the person stepped around her to crouch down to look at her directly in the eyes. At that moment Luaria averted her eyes from her sisters gaze and looked upon her elegant robes and finely crafted armor feeling rather inferior and plain. Shifting awkwardly for a moment she raised her eyes back up to meet those of her sisters. Her sister looked at her and then smiled sofly.

"You know it's time, don't you?"

Luaria replied with a determined nod. She had so many questions, there was so much confusion, but now was not the time.

As her sister raised elegantly from her crouching position. Luaria pushed at the ground in a rather unrefined manner to assist her rising. Standing up straight she brushed down her robes, which were, to say the least, unkempt. Ash and mud stains covered some of the lower part of the purple robes and the remaining material looked old and worn.

(Sadly now if you see Luaria on DB - it's not me! Some pleb nabbed my name before I name saved it after a name change. Luaria became Lurini in Cataclysm and will possible morph into a panda soon..ish.. maybe!)


Dust & Darkness

There was a loud thud, followed by the sounds of heavy footsteps thumping across the floorboards, which bowed and creaked under the weight of whatever had entered the room. One tiny crack in the wall allowed a small ray of light to enter the room and through its pale, almost insignificant light the dust floated about heavily.

On the floor, curled up in a tight ball was a small creature. She kept her eyes firmly shut, finding meagre comfort in the darkness, but then it came. Another heavy thud, this time hitting her in the backside like a brick hitting a sandbag. This time her eyes were forced to clench even more tightly shut which the rest of her body writhed and fought against the pain pulsing from her rear. She dares to open one eye just a fraction in an attempt to get a glimpse of her attacker. However before she knew it a fist thundered down upon the top of her head, grabbed a clump full of her hair and dragged her out of the the room, her torso scraping across the wooden floor. Suddenly she had been tossed out of the room and landed face first in what appeared to be very hot sand, some of which had unexpectedly entered her mouth. Coughing and spluttering she spat out as much sand as she could and then tried to open her eyes. The sun was bright and white hot, beating down on her relentlessly. It took several moments for her eyes to adjust to the light. Her body was aching in so many areas now. No idea as to where she was, her head swam and her body swayed, trying to take in her surroundings. Water, strange looking buildings with twinkling lights, sand, tress, boats and many small green figures carting heavy looking boxes from place to place.

“Oi!”, shouted a deep stern sounding voice. This was followed by a hard slap to the head.

Her head snapped back and she focused very quickly on the two rather ugly beings looming over her. She scurried into a seated position and began to tug nervously at her hair as she gazed up helplessly. The figure on the left was a very fat, ugly, green skinned male with bat like ears. He had several golden rings and chains round his neck and had a sardonic grin plastered across his face. The other, female in appearance yet not that dissimilar to the male. She was wearing an ugly, poorly fitting robe with bulges of fat splitting the seams. Various sparkling items dangled from her fat neck and her orb like eyes glared down to the figure on the floor, her arms were crossed angrily across her rather large chest.

“Eh-heh-heh-heh! Look what I found all washed up. A filthy little runt!” The male cackled in a horrible low rasping voice.

The female raised her eyebrow then nodded. “You've outdone yourself this time, Dracip”.

Dracip rubbed his pudgy hands together in glee. “Thank you Rekir. I take it I will be getting a bonus then?” His eyes narrowed greedily.

“We will see. All depends on how productive she is. Where is she to be placed?” Recir scoffed in a high pitched, wheezing voice.

Dracip raised his had to his mouth and considered for a moment.
“The Smokeywood Pastures crates are already being shifted in preparation. The season is just about here and they need everything we can spare. I don't see this runt being of use in anything more important. Besides, customers may see that pathetic face of hers, take pity and buy more!”

“So you do have a brain after all.” Rekir laughed while glaring at him in surprise. Her evil gaze then returned to the dishevelled, confused looking figure still huddled up in the sand.

The creature fiddled with her dark, knotty hair at greater and greater speed as she looked between to two horrible captors. Dracip took a step forward and bent low, his nose almost touching hers.

In a loud voice that made her jump he bellowed “What is your name?”.

Her eyes widened and her head filled with panic. She looked about quickly, from one building to another, at the other creatures and at the crates. Name, she thought, name..?!

Rekir snorted and kicked sand into her face. She spat angrily “Answer him, little runt, or Runt will be your name! Or is all the sand getting into those big ears of yours and clogging your brain'.

She wiped her eyes fast to try again get the painful stinging sand out of them. Horror struck her once again and she glanced at her hands and they too were green. She pulled at her head and felt two large ears protruding from her head. She tried to smack them down in some vain attempt that she couldn't possibly mirror their appearance. She then began to paw at her own face and her heart felt heavy with dread. Rekir was tapping her foot and suddenly Dracip's hand was raised again. In a panic she quickly pointed to one of the crates nearest to her. It was stamped with a large label 'TINSEL'. Dracip looked from her outstretched bony finger to the crate and then back to her. He let out a roar of laughter and she began to shake.

“Tinsel?! Your name.. is.. Tinsel?! Bwahaha!” Dracip could barely control himself.

She nodded avidly and shrank back again preparing herself for another blow to the head, but this time it didn't come. Glancing carefully at them both she could see they were both laughing.

“Very well. Take your precious crate and go over to that building” Recir, trying to retain some form of composure snorted and pointed to one of the buildings in the distance. “They will send you off to one of the cities should you actually prove to be of any worth. And you can sleep in that filthy hovel for the time being”.

Shaking, Tinsel got to her feet, staggered a little then snatched up the box. She scurried over to the building.

-Later that night-

The moon was shining brightly and its beautiful reflection shone off of the lapping water. In moonlight, Tinsel staggered back to the small dusty shed. She was utterly exhausted and still limped feebly from the days rough treatment, however a shadow of a smile was etched on her face. Her filthy top was slightly protruding strangely around the stomach area. Yanking the hatch open Tinsel settled herself on the dusty floor once again. From under her shirt she pulled out a long string of something strange. She angled it at the small crack of light coming in and watched it glitter and glint in the moonlight. She bounced a little and let out a little quiet squeel of excitement and remained watching it sparkle for some hours before eventually falling to sleep with it cuddled tightly in her arms.

The end!

Not by me.. but something to be kept.

"She bit her lip, too hard. A droplet of blood ran into her mouth. She hardly even noticed it, eyes focussed intently on the small thorn bush across the swampy lake. Darn sure that's where the sound came from.

Even the trained scouts of Stonard wouldn't have noticed her there, lying face-down in the mushy earth. It would all be worth it, she told herself.

A leaf rustled. Literally in a blink, the elf moved forward ten paces, leaping at the tiny winged creature. Before it knew what happened, the leash tightened.

Tired, the elf licked the blood off her lip. Indeed it had been worth it. The elusive whelp imediately succumbed to her, seeing there was no way out. The emerald scales glinted in the moonlight. It was time to go home. She deserved a wash."

[FFXIV] Christmas Giveaway: Winners!

First Prize: @SqueakyArmChair
ONE OF: Starlight Attire, Reindeer Suit OR Snowman Suit
PLUS Hoary the Snowman

Second Prize: @Cornilius
ONE OF: Starlight Attire, Reindeer Suit, Snowman Suit OR Hoary the Snowman.

Bonus: @Wokzombie Little cute Panda pet!

Please note:
I will contact the winners by private message to arrange their prizes. If I do not get a response within one month the prizes will be re-rolled.

Thank you so much to all of you for taking part! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2017 full of many shiny nerdy things and games!!
-Novi Rae (Odin EU)/Aeyvi

[FFXIV] Christmas Giveaway!

Items up for grabs:
First Prize
ONE OF: Starlight Attire, Reindeer Suit OR Snowman Suit
PLUS Hoary the Snowman

Second Prize
ONE OF: Starlight Attire, Reindeer Suit, Snowman Suit OR Hoary the Snowman.

Bonus: Little cute Panda pet!

How to enter:
Comment something Christmas related below on THIS POST. IMPORTANT: Please comment by >>22nd December 2016<<.

What is Anook?
In short, Facebook for gamers. Games and users have their own pages and you can pick who to follow and keep up to date with various game news and participate in the game related community. Guild forums also function through the Anook platform along with personal blogs and events systems. Support the Anook community by following your favourite games and visiting us at the Whitestar community site!

You must have a European FFXIV account (no trial accounts).
These are EUROPEAN CODES ONLY. Please do not enter if you have a US account.
Your code will be sent to you by private message on Anook.
The item code shall not be used for any sales or commercial use or in any activity relating to the trade of real-world money, in-game currency or in-game virtual items. If lost or if the redemption period has passed, SE shall not re-issue a replacement code.
Please also make sure you are following either me, the FFXIV page or this blog for further updates.

Thank you for entering! Merry Christmas and good luck!!
-Novi Rae (Odin EU)/Aeyvi


The part of my soul I allowed you to share is shattered. All memories of happiness and joy now replaced it with your cruel words, lies and resentment. It didn't have to be this way, so easily can happiness be turned to dust. Forever not living up to the standards you so badly wished for after trying so hard.

Being aware of extensive pain you knew pre-existing in others, yet valuing your own ambitions high above everything else. All meaning nothing to you. You see only yourself and I was blind.

Those that seek to find something so badly will find it, justifications of imagined thoughts. You brand others with duality, as hypocrite and harlot yet you forget to look into the mirror, blinded of your own actions and part played. Taking the fragile gift of trust and grinding it to dust. You fooled those closest to you, believing your kindness and intentions of friendship were true, false words for only your benefit. All to dissolve into resentment and bitterness.

We are not perfect, all have light and dark. Some more light than others, some more dark. I am well aware of my own imperfections and darkness, I battle with this everyday. Believing all the words you wished me to, all the brands and accusations.. I would have no friend in the world, yet I am blessed with few who know me for my exact true self and never falter.

Celebrate that you have caused the pain you intended. Enjoy your victory because it is the last one I will allow you to have. The joy is burned to ashes, never to recover. You chose this, not I.

Be content in the pain you continue to spread to others through your bitterness. You are lost to me. You cannot cause more pain than you already have.

I work to fully erase every memory and this is the end. Pity can now only exist for your efforts.

You can snap the branches all you wish but the tree will still grow.

Maid & Butler Competition Winners!

The time has come to announce our winners! Eep!
All names were compiled into a text document, one list for maid and one for butler. I then had a friend double check the list with me so as to make sure I wasn't being blind. This generator at was then used (even though the spinny wheel one looked far more fun!) to select the winners. For the bonus prize I just compiled both lists into one and let it select from there. This is my first ever time doing a competition like this so I hope I got everything right (please codes work, I will have kittens if they don't)!

The Maid outfit winner is:

The Butler outfit winners are:

Bonus mini-prize:

Congratulations all, your codes will be in the mail shortly! Thank you all so much for entering. I'm so sorry for those of you who weren't lucky, I wish i could give you ALL maid and butler outfits, I really do!! I might be running another giveaway at Christmas so keep an eye on Anook and Instagram.

Many hugs, Aeyvi!

FFXIV Giveaway: Maid & Butler Attire

Items up for grabs:
1x Maid Attire
2x Butler Attire

Bonus: Two people who do not win will be chosen at random to receive some sparkly wings!

How to enter:
Comment on THIS POST. IMPORTANT: Specify "Maid" OR "Butler" in your comment.
Winners will be chosen at random on the >>1st November 2016<<.

What is Anook?
In short, Facebook for gamers. Games and users have their own pages and you can pick who to follow and keep up to date with various game news and participate in the game related community. Guild forums also function through the Anook platform along with personal blogs and events systems. Support the Anook community by following your favourite games and visiting us at the Whitestar community site!

You must have a European FFXIV account (no trial accounts).
One entry per person on one item "Maid" or "Butler".
These are EUROPEAN CODES ONLY. Please do not enter if you have a US account.
Item code MUST be redeemed by >>31 December 2016<< through the mogstation.
Your code will be sent to you by private message on Anook.
The item code shall not be used for any sales or commercial use or in any activity relating to the trade of real-world money, in-game currency or in-game virtual items. If lost or if the redemption period has passed, SE shall not re-issue a replacement code.
Please also make sure you are following either me, the FFXIV page or this blog for further updates.

Thank you for entering and Good Luck!!
-Novi Rae (Odin EU)/Aeyvi

FFXIV: Constellation Linkshell

This is a tiny something I've been meaning to get sorted for a little while and for some reason or another I didn't get round to it. However, here it is!

Lets be honest, guild activity in FFXIV has been inconsistent lately, what with all the shiny new things coming out and people wanting to try other games or coming to a close with content. I thought it would be nice for the players who are either newer to the guild/game or old time players who are still playing, to have connections to other players from other guilds who are nice, friendly and helpful. Originally @mazza set up a linkshell to gather friendly people together so that we could all help each other and meet new people. I've ever so slightly hijacked this (sorry!) and expanded a bit to people who I have also come across in my travels who have always been lovely FF community members and really nice to us here in Whitestar.

In short, it's not an official guild authorised thing.. its just a nice network of people that is there if YOU would like to take part. It also means that regardless of whether the guild is busy or not, there are always nice people around if you want to do things and stuff, even if it's just sitting around watching the sun set!

What is a Linkshell?
Literally just a chat channel, similar to those in WoW, though you need an invite to it. Shortcut to type is Alt+L (then repeat if you already have multiple).

How do I join?
Poke me or use the player search function to look for Mazza Chronos.

Any questions feel free to PM, comment below or poke in game!
Remember this is only optional and there for you if you would want to be part of it, there is also no harm to leave whenever you like.

-Novi Rae Odin EU


Recently @Elloa made a post on Anook regarding moderation of the FFXIV page. Some of my happiest gaming memories have taken place in this game and still care very much, so with this in mind I put myself forward to help out. So, tada! I'm your new moderator of the Final Fantasy XIV page! Thank you for trusting me with this @Lonrem!

I'll try to do my best to keep an eye on all related things and highlight the shiniest of content. I'm thinking of having some monthly themes/competition for screenshots but I'm not sure if this would work yet. What do you think? I'll also be making a video soon on how and what I use to edit, so if anyone is interested in that it will appear soon(tm).

How can you help?
By just doing what you're already doing. Submitting awesome content related to Final Fantasy in the form of screenshots, blog posts or videos. This is the lifeblood of the page so please keep it coming. It's lovely to be able to see everyone's activities within the game.

Recommending Anook to your friends is also a HUGE help to both this page and the wider community. Bring them all here so they can share in the community and be tagged too!!

Liking, commenting and tagging your friends on posts is also a great help.

How do you make sure your content is seen?
For each post there is the option to add a game. The content will only appear on the game page if that game has been added to the post.

If you have any questions please ask below or drop me a PM.

Please please keep submitting your wonderful content and help our little segment grow! Thank you so much!



Hello all! I'm back!

MOST IMPORTANT: I have missed you!

What a wonderful, shiny day to return to the community!..No? Okay fine, most of you are probably still a bit riled up, annoyed stressed or such. Obviously by taking a 'break' I meant that I wouldn't check anook *cough*.. So yes, as much as I'd like to say I'm oblivious to what's been going on, I'm not. It's caused much stress, sadness and feelings of much urghyness. There are a couple of things that I feel relatively important to just blurt out, hopefully in some mildly sensible and calm manner. But before I go on, the things I write about, I have been directly involved in, I'm not swooping down and just adding my 2 cents. I've been there, seen it and directly had the impact from the rambling tangents.

So lets start with something that makes all people happy.. GLITTER.

That's totally not an image copyrighted by Getty.. Nope!

DISCLAIMER (do I really have to?!): If you don't want to see some text that's slightly controversial to your own view, or you can't read it without having to comment 'shouting' my views down, please just stare at the glitter and move along. Obviously you can still comment because..y'know.. it's public. I'll do my best to answer anything I can. I'll try to keep, short, but I think I've already hyped it up in the title... which.. uhoh, the last time I hyped something up was @Neny on the stream and I got smacked in the face by a canonball *ducks*.

Now lately.. drama. I've been involved in it and I've been in talks with the council and went through all the normal processes, because.. that's what you do if you have a problem with something. That's the policy and the process.

Yes I have had some issues with people that have made me sad, no I will not be explaining every bit in detail because there is no way anyone could understand months of this stuff based on one side of a story, out of context and out of time.

Some situations just don't always have a solution are inevitable so, rather than letting it make me bitter and that bitterness feeding through to a community I care about, I 'left' those things that were highlighting or making the issue worse for me (anook/disco). Should that happen again, I will do this again, because I don't want the yuck to spread and I believe it's the most healthy thing for me to do both for myself and the community.

What's baffling is, drama about a no-drama policy. Perhaps how it was written, perhaps certain points mentioned hit nerves, perhaps the timing. But lets look at it in black and white. Either you support the council trying to protect members from drama, or you don't. Through past months the policy was preventing 'protection' (eh!) of members perhaps, and so it's acted upon. Assuming it is only about one matter in particular needs to be taken up elsewhere. Though if policy changes are set in stone and completely agreed by the council perhaps it's better that they remain in a locked thread under the community guidelines?

Now what I've realised is, well, odd because I'm not sure what to do unless someone offers me some rationalisation on it. I've found that I no longer agree with one of the pillars of our guild (strange, I know!), so does this mean I have to leave? I assume not, but here's my reasoning. The pillar I speak of is TRUTH. Being truthful and honest is a good quality when used in the right sense at the right time. But it can be dangerous and hurtful depending on how you use it.

Useful truth-
Friend 1: Do you like me?
Friend 2: Yes!

Not-so useful truth-
Friend 1: Yey, that's awesome!
Friend 2: But your hair is ugly, you clearly didn't brush your teeth today and you have the most ugly voice I ever heard.
Friend 1: *cries* ..*friendship destroyed*

This is an extreme and rather silly version but, do you get where I'm going? There's being honest, and being too honest. There's being honest to be helpful, and honest to cause pain. Where is the line? For each person it differs, so to have a solid 'pillar' for something that is 'flexible' or debatable within a situation, slightly confuses me and I think this causes the most conflict. Sometimes people do not know and the 'line' is different with each person. Can we just pick and choose when to use it? For this it.. is like a pillar we just put up sometimes, then take away again to protect others feelings. If it is there all the time does it mean I have to truthfully explain and call out people and all of everything going on in the background for me because it's 'fair'! I don't want to have to explain myself and situation to everyone, but for them to understand a council decision with the perspective achieved through TRUTH, this would have to be done. Which, in the process causes even more stress and pain for all involved. Logically we cannot just apply truth to everything.

Instead, I don't know.. but perhaps a focus on tolerance, understanding, amity? But you can only tolerate something to a point, abuse of that tolerance is beyond unacceptable in any community.

Because we are such a kind and considerate, warm and caring community I think its easy for situations to become distorted. Things that are 'normal' become 'bad', things that are 'bad' become 'intolerable'.

Having things your way, being dominant in a community but not taking the responsibility of leadership or general feeling of exclusion is .. not going to to well. So what do you do? When you sign up to the guild are you automatically meant to 'trust' that the leadership is taking the right direction? In all cases trust is earned, so, then we move to 'hope' and I think that's the most important. If you don't trust instantly, HOPE that people are taking the guild's best interests at heart.

Finding leadership in a warm fluffy community is going to be hard because they need to make hard choices that others MAY not have the perspective to see and yet treat members with a kind heart. A warm fluffy person with the balls to make hard choices and take whatever backlash is hard to find in any community. Which I guess which is why we have such a variety on the council.

Stop it Getty! Your images are so awesome but I claim them as MINE!

We are a big community, we need leadership that people know and see if we are to trust issues to them that emotionally impact on our gaming 'life' and we are expected to trust that the situation is dealt with compassionately. Our leadership does reach out and offer comfort like very very few other communities would, in that sense we're really very lucky. However, this is foremost a gaming community and sometimes for those not wishing to participate in Anook (because of it's similarities to Facebook) or the constant stream in discord may feel disjointed from leadership as you might never see them in your game or know who they are, let alone having a heart to heart. As I see it the majority looking for pastoral care will go to two people. For such a large community I personally don't think it's fair that all of it falls to them. Having a go-between system in place may be an option to make some feel more comfortable or widen the options between players, but I don't know if this would work well in practice. I have a the topic may be raised that 'we shouldn't need it' but seeing the posts from the last while .. I think we do need *something*.

I'm not trying to snipe at the council here, please don't take it as that. It's merely offering a perspective as to why some may not feel comfortable trusting some issue or another.

As I'm just a normal member I see it from that perspective but I can also sympathise from a leadership perspective, having spent 5 years already giving my soul to the running of a similar guild (I may have mentioned this 1million times already but if you forgot ..5 YEARS...*cough*). I've seen and dealt with this before.

Just because you have not lead a guild does not mean your views are invalidated at all in any situation thought. Perhaps more of us, me included, should take a second and play out the scenario from BOTH sides in your head, how you would act, what possible outcomes you would hope to achieve. This is why when it comes to any kind of conflict or text situation I ask someone else to read the stuff that's totally removed from the situation, community and our games. This way it will show me if I'm stamping something with too much of my own emotion and being blind. Blindly doing things is bad.. blindly agreeing, blindly trusting. This all leads to potential situational manipulation. Moving on!

SO MANY Screenshots

Yes, I know I post a lot but it's my thing. I don't post to Whitestar for two reasons:
1. I don't want to spam the Whitestar community page stream. When taking up FF I found so much enjoyment in the visual aspect of the game. I used to take my RL photography very seriously but after I got sicker I lost that passion. I sorta found an element within it in FF and just went with it. I wanted to create pretty pictures and images and show people how much joy the game was giving me. I'm sorry if it is overkill for some of you and I say this truthfully (as I'm not sure if this will continue or not)... IF you don't like it I am not going to be offended in the least if you block me. Perhaps it is too much to some. I'd rather be blocked than cause someone stress each day in seeing images liked by others coming from my page. 2. If I ever throw a massive emo wobbly and quit in the most dramatic style ever, all my images are on my account in my album.. all safe in one place.


I regret having to post this but now I've been encouraged to for a second time, to help with the understanding of certain things.

A few already know this in WS but it seems it's time to be more open with it in the community to hopefully save more sadness and complications in the future. I will be as brief as possible and please don't feel the need to reply to this segment, it's just advisory.

I have a couple of serious illnesses. In short, regular attacks that bring on neurological and mobility issues. As well as occurring randomly, these can be triggered by light, stress, temperature, fatigue. In winter the attacks increase significantly. Gaming is my escape as such, yet even this effects it. Depending on the severity of the poorliness I may have no choice but to leave the pc immediately regardless of content. It makes me feel rubbish to do this but pressuring myself or feeling pressure to stay tends to only make things worse. I wouldn't want people thinking I'm being rude, lazy or ignoring them. I don't like letting anyone down. Sometimes I zonk out completely, partially or I just cannot keep up with everything or process things properly.

I hate this to be sounding dramatic but it's going to be easier in the long run if more people understand when random things happen. Thank you.

So.. That was a big ramble huh!

What this boils down is last night I was enraged by what I saw happening. It brought me to tears (YES TEARS.. FOR A GAME!) to be told I had failed, we had failed by someone not active or participating in the vast myriad of issues we had been facing recently as a guild, after spending my energy.. hours, days, months trying to help resolve things in some sort of positive manner as a general bod member. It's not just me, many do this. And so many are there for ME when I'm a wreck, when I'm having trouble with life or gaming or whatever.. they've been there to help scrape me up off the floor. Why do we do this? Because we care. Because we want to preserve some 'way of life' for gamers and think above ourselves and our own comfort. This doesn't mean that people can just turn a blind eye to stuff because we are nice. Taking advantage of a kind community is not cool (yes, I said the word cool, I feel so old!).

NO WE HAVE NOT FAILED. And IF we have made a mistake, that is not failing. Nor should @Elloa take full responsibility as she says in the post yesterday, that is deeply unfair because that is the reason we have a council. You can't just blanket blame one person for a mistake or misunderstanding, regardless of if there is one or not.

If I have a complaint about someone it goes through the process. If I feel something that I disagree with then I will voice it to the council as, after all, this guild is there vision. I accept that if it's not for me and I've exhausted all avenues, I will have to go. There is always room to work on things.

Anyway. From now on I might take the llama approach because it hurts less and because.. like.. who managed to get that scarf on him!?!?

People may decide to leave, that is up to them if there is no middle ground or they feel this is not the right place for them any more. Moving forward we will be stronger and more united *plays some trumpet theme tune and makes a cape out of my used shopping bag from this morning.

I leave you with this most amazing, incredible image! Goodness that was long, if you managed to read it, 10 POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR. (pls don't hate me!)
Many hugs.

(Disclaimer 2: Some, just some of the images in this post MAY not have been mine.)
..also apologies if none of this makes sense or typo's.. much brain blurgh trying to come out at once. That's what blogs are for right?

Black Desert Online - Adventures with Hair Colour

It's been a long while in between blog posts, mostly because I've been consumed with many things and not felt that urge to write. The following post is something I wrote and posted to my other blog but I thought it might be handy to have on here, I have however re-written it in parts and moved bits around.

Recently I've been able to have a play with Black Desert Online and it has some very beautiful graphics and in-depth character creation. For someone that used to love to build things in the Sims it’s always fun to try and create a little person you’re happy with.

This post originally came about because I was spending many painful hours trying to come up with one of the most 'simple' hair colours and struggling. Firstly I tried a blonde gradient hairstyle I ended up with this character below. Looked fine to me!

But when I logged into the game it was a mess of bright orange/green-blonde and mud. Eek. So much fail! I very quickly logged out again and went to delete the character to re-use the name but was hit by a 24hr delete cycle, whoops.

How can making colours be so hard?! I looked up how other people made the colours, but I couldn't find a tutorial on anything close to what I was after to back to playing with all the sliders. It seemed I could either have green-brown or reddy brown with green ends. It was frustrating because why should it take so much effort for something so simple? It doesn’t help that the palette colours don’t match how they look on the hair then the slightest variant in lighting change the whole thing. I thought of going with bubblegum pink or something ‘wild’ because that is so easy to create. Speaking of colours, I think my screen must be way off or something because the option I have for skin is actually blue on the palette. Very strange!

After a few disaster attempts I’ve finally got something I’m happy with that doesn’t turn horrific colours in various lighting conditions. I really wanted something neutral without it ending up green or red based. I decided to make this post for anyone that’s having the same struggle that I did and wants something a little different to the black/red/rainbowsplurge (nothing wrong with rainbows!).

Version 1

Here's the sliders:

Although in game things weren't looking too great. My hair was described by a guildie as 'magical hair' as it was pretty much every colour in all the different lighting.

Which leads me on to..

Version 2


In game:

Much happier so this will be the one I stay with for now!

It’s absolutely amazing to have so many options in creation but you have to be able to foresee what you would like your character to look like (I'm terrible with this) to get the best out of it. I’ve seen some amazing attempts at making copies of famous people, which are scarily similar, but still a copy! I've been scared to even move certain features because there is no undo button that I can see, just one that resets the entire part and you end up working on suck a detailed scale that when it resets you've lost track what’s what and return to the previous save to be safe. For me, this route of creation, although an amazing step forward in customization and graphics, is the most stressful I’ve used so far. However, in time, and with practice and a few more undo buttons, it might be a pleasure. For many though, I can imagine that such a vast array of options will lead to prematurely giving up and sticking closer to the default face/hair templates.

Had not intended to go off on such a rant. Time to actually try the gameplay!

If I could be..

Recently I've been seeing so many people changing their characters about, creating fun new little people. Although I don't yet feel the urge to alter Novi yet (okay, I'll have to admit the slight inclination to change the hair.. thus far resisted), it leaves me wondering what I would change her to if I had decided on another race or gender.

After spending some quality time with the character creation screen I've tried to create if things had been different. What this has highlighted is that I'm horribly indecisive! I went for creating one of each race for the females, including their sub-races though when it came to the males I only created one for each race as I'm absolutely terrible with male character creation!

Midlander Male

Wildwood Male

Plainsfolk Alternate
Plainsfolk Male

Suncat Male
Alternate Mooncat

Sea Wolves
Sea Wolves Male

Au Ra
Raen Male - Mister spooky eyes!

Ta-da! So there they are! I hope I got them all in the right order.. and yes I did notice my male Hyur is a rather poor imitation of Jaime Lannister :D. So now that I have all that creation out of my bloodstream, I'm quite happy not to have to worry about changing things on Novi!

Final Fantasy XIV: Much more..

Well my subscription just marked month two of my journey into the land of Eorzea and to be honest I thought I'd be done by now. Bored? Nope! Even though I still have so much to learn, I feel that things are beginning to make sense and fall into place. Questing is still immersive and content is still challenging (be thankful you didn't hear my language during one of my solo duties recently). Yes, the combat is still a little sluggish and some diverting quests in the main line don't strike me as logical (oh world emergency, go kill 3 basilisks to feed the soldiers!! *cough*).. but it can't all be perfect! I still feel little reason to rush with the exception of just wanting to see more beautiful zones. Did I ever mention the music? If not, it's just incredible..adding the OST to my wishlist!

Screenshots galore..
You can generally tell how much I enjoy the beauty of a game by how many screenshots I take. I've been an amateur photographer since the age of 16 when I hand developed my first roll of film. Over the last year or so I lost that passion, I don't know where it went but it was gone. I see the composition and processing of a photograph in my brain before I even angle the camera, yet everything I started to produce was utter rubbish. The closest I've come to feeling that enjoyment in creativity again has come from this game. My screenshot folder far outweighs all the other games to such an extent that I had to clear the drive, eek! I try to make the shots as good as they can be but I know some fall a little flat. It takes time to process them, both in my brain and on the pc, to make them how I want. This enthusiasm lead me to open a second instagram account this week, to help lessen the spamming of anook and also open a wider range of editing options through mobile apps (mostly pixlr). So now I have two filtering lines of shots, some that are suitable for anook, and some that will be better for instagram. How confusing!

In the pipeline!
Even though we pretty have accidental social events most days, within our forums we have a social thread for all to contribute their ideas for forthcoming events. Together with @Lessa and @LunaDra we're trying to put these together starting with the beach party on the 22nd November. When I get myself sorted I'll be hoping to have a Christmas party event up for the 13th December along with a 'Screenshot of the Month' event running..well, monthly! This will commence in December with it's own theme.. I wonder what that could be? I've just been slow putting the graphics together for them..Soon^^.

More than I could have hoped for..
Not only do we hold pre-existing Whitestar players from Final Fantasy but also we bring together those from WoW, WoW-Friend guild, ESO and new members in their own right. We've already achieved so much together, not only on a social level but within the content of raids, dungeons, funding and furnishing our house, the workshop and airship..even chocobo racing!

Sadly I tend to lack screenshots in this area as it's a little harder to angle a camera when you're being mauled by a big stompy rock man or trying desperately to beat people on the race course! The shot below was my 0% stamina, bucking chocobo win, yey!

Even though we all come from different games, the community works together so far in harmony, all enjoying our respective elements within the game but coming together to help others or to partake in social activities.

There was a line in my quest earlier which I found very fitting, for many reasons but, well..

"There exist myriad barriers that divide us: those of race and nation, language and creed, to name but a few. Such barriers serve to isolate us from our neighbours, yet they also serve to define who we are. Shorn of them, there would be little to distinguish one from another and the rich variety of our lives would give way to sterile orthodoxy. These barriers can never truly be broken down, of course. Not so long as there is liberty in the world. But they can be transcended. Verily, we do so now in coming together for this grand endeavour, to fight side by side in defence of our shared home!"

I feel that within this game, not only we as Whitestarians work together to build a nice community, but the FFVIX community as a whole. This is what makes it special.

One such player we already know of as 'wedding dude', or as I've been 'trying' to call him, Drac (he has a name, oh my!?). I mentioned him in my previous post: " I got a whisper from a guy sitting by the display 'would you like us to move?'.. I mean, how nice is that? So polite." Since then he has done nothing but try and build bridges between our guild and his, encouraging social activities, dungeon/raid runs and introducing players... and yes, wedding invites. I'm possibly not the best conduit between the guilds as I'm relatively reserved in some matters and clueless about high end content, but I'll leave that to @torhagen! Even so, he's always willing to help or find people that can. This doesn't only count for our guild either. I have no idea where this energy comes from but.. for me, my brain would explode. This is just one player, I've met many more of such calibre which continues to surprise me, hat lady Jo for example, who is always there if I need some fashion advice or a friendly chat!

@itslifejim meeting Drac and Jo..

A little quiet..
During the winter time things become a little more difficult for me as some of you will already know. This combined with other things can leave me very stressed/unhappy and as a result I need a bit more quiet time and a bit more space. This does not in any way lessen my enthusiasm for our little community, but it does result in me feeling like I am letting it down in a way. I apologise in advance for this.

What I have noticed though over my time here is for this to all work, people need to give.. Big or small, each tiny gesture contributes not only to the guild, but the sea that is the community. From a simple wave to spending your evening in a dungeon or keeping someone company that's had a rubbish day. It all matters.

Thank you once again to @LunaDra and @Cornilius for all that you give to make this guild work and to @Vordt.Ororyu @Hultay @JayTheBee @itslifejim @Xera @Acharial @Lessa @Baggie @SabreWulf @Amy-Higgins @YuukiM @torhagen @Neny Naul, Simon & @Firkan ofcourse (and anyone I forgot to tag, sorry, I know there are many more!!) for continuing to give me a lovely home in Eorzea.

A very kind gift from @JayTheBee! <3

Final Fantasy XIV: Eorzea so far..

It's very rare nowadays that I feel the need to write much game related content. Back in the early days of WoW I used to keep a blog and write RP stories for my characters yet more recently that has diminished. It's just over a month since I began my journey in Eorzea and I suddenly feel the urge to write about it and share my experiences in the game so far. Please feel no obligation to read what I am sure will be a massive wall of rather poorly written text, but once it's done at least I will know I tried to convey something, rather than think 'oh I could have done that but ... too lazy!'. Also, sadly I couldn't directly embed the short video's I made to illustrate points into the post so I've linked them under where they would have been.

Before I get started, I want to ensure that no one thinks that I'm writing this to slate games like WoW or such. I have and still do hold many fond memories of other games, I just feel compelled to write up my positive experiences with this game, having had such a negative impression with it during my free trial about a year ago. Maybe I will be bored in two months, maybe not, but so far it's going well.

Eek, slow down!
I think my biggest mistake when starting this game for the first time was expecting things to be like every other MMO I've tried and in doing that, blinded myself to what the game was actually trying to show me. With other game start points you are thrown right into your class and told to kill 8 of these, 10 of those. What we have here are directional introduction based quests and at first I didn't really see them as that, I thought the game was needlessly spamming me with courier quests and I just wanted to get out there and use my class spells and kill stuff! It wasn't until later on I realised that there is no rush at all and all it was trying to do is introduce me to the various guilds and vendors throughout the city, which I will be sure to need on several occasions.

Dedication to One
For the very first time in any MMO I've ever played I feel true dedication to one character. It's a rare thing for me as I am always changing my appearances in every other game, never settling. I was really excited to unlock the hairdresser within FF14 as I'd totally missed the highlights section (doh!).

One rather bizarre questline later and I had this option! However, I haven't changed a thing, because it wouldn't be her anymore. Even some of her questionable looking gear has only added to her storyline. This game allows you to build everything into one character, all classes, all professions..everything. If you want alts they are there but I, for once, do not feel any need. Changing your class/job is just as easy as changing your weapon. While on the subject of gear change, I really like the built-in gear management option. It's super easy to use and you can even drag each gear set onto your bar for an even faster wardrobe change.. just incase you need to hop into a bath quickly!

>>Outfit Change Video<<

Hours of Nothing
Never before in a game have I been as content to do 'nothing' as I am here, most of the time I've been the least productive have been the most fun times in game for me.. Watching @Hultay creeping people out with his male Lala in the inn while @Vordt.Ororyu tries to push me off my chair, gatecrashing official weddings with @Lessa, @LunaDra and @torhagen or keeping people company/stalking them while they level.

Sure, idling in your garrison or Stormwind is one thing but here, when I've ended up in a main city between quests and dungeons I've usually run into another Whitestarian and things just tend to go on from there. Even sitting, watching the sunset is beautiful.

>>Limsa Sunset Video<<

The emotes system is quite something too, they've really put some effort into it. Not only can you change your standing pose but also your sitting pose, facial expressions and even make your own custom macros that can chain different emotes in a row.

>>Chain Emotes & Expression Video<<

Each emote feels so much more interactive than any I've experienced in a game so far.

I am slow. Horribly slow. Does this matter? Seemingly not. I've been honest with my fellow guild-mates about wanting to make sure I take the time to read things and absorb the story as it comes. I was out questing in Gridania and while I was doing a quest I actually got this really weird game atmosphere feeling (so hard to describe!).. maybe nostalgia of some sort or the feeling of being immersed in a single player rpg when not being in one.. it felt like an Ocarina of Time moment... random I know. It was so nice though. I even found myself feeling a little guilty after one of the quests I did.. I've heard from others that the storyline is awesome in this game so I'm looking forward to the future quests.

When I'm on my main story line I prefer to be levelling alone because I feel that would be a totally different experience, even though random visitors have popped up a few times to come visit and watch me while I noob around^^. Not that it wouldn't be nice to have company but I think I'd be far too panicked and it would mean I'd be chatting away with them, worrying about being too slow, trying to read quests too quickly and not being able to immerse myself. I've already been honest with those kind enough to ask me about levelling :) still, that's what other classes are for! My personal story quest is giving me the best XP so I save it for my archer. If I level with anyone else it's far better for me to level my other classes via Fates and the hunting log. It's really nice to have these options! I've had no pressure at all all from anyone and there's still plenty of stuff I can do with guildies whether they level sync or not.

I've only seen one seasonal event so far and it's my absolute almost favourite.. Halloween!! A short set of quests, firstly rewarding an entire outfit set, then a mini-pet followed by a broom mount. There are also some really nice additional items available on the mogstation (store) which are surprisingly inexpensive. I'm in love with the ghost costume, it's so silly and makes me laugh every time I see it.

>>Halloween Outfits Video<<

Gold Saucer
Oh my goodness... SO PRETTY!

I was squeeling lots when i went here for the first time. There's a moogle claw game!!! Wah! Triple Triad, random events pinging up and.. Chocobo racing!! *squee*.

Finally we come on to something that I have whined on and on about.. MAPS! Good lord these were the bane of my levelling career so far. I'm very, very slowly getting used to them but my main annoyance was that the little Aethernet portals weren't named and you can't click on them via the map to port to them. Grr!

Communications & UI
Another for the 'not accustomed to yet' list. I'm used to the chat system in WoW and this one feels clunky, however, that's most likely down to me! Once I have more time I will have to look into it and see if there is a way I can set this up to make it more intuitive.
Hm, what can I say for the UI... Cluttered but functional! I've seen others rearrange theirs into something cleaner so... I should add this to the list!

You can move pretty much everything it seems!

In The Details
One of the things that makes me appreciate this game more and more are the tiny details, some people may not even notice them but each time I find a new one I'm super happy. For example, when you are in a building and it switches from night to day, the windows glow with the sunlight, when you run over wood then metal detail on the floor the sound effects change, and when you step out of water you leave wet footprints on the floor! My favourite though, has to be the wind. If you are in an area where it's windy the gust will actually blow your hair and robe in the appropriate direction and when you turn your character, it blows the robe against you rather than away.

>>La Noscea Gales Video<<

Oh and the mini pets interacting with you is another really cute feature! Shooting stars and twinkling stars in the night sky.. There are so many more things!

Can't really comment on this yet, all I know is that the carpentering dude leader tricked me into nudity! Since then I haven't gone back!! :D

Don't trust this man!

As much as some of the gear in Final Fantasy might be deemed as questionable *cough* .. There really are some lovely, detailed gear sets. It seems that they stagger the good looking items between dungeon levels so for example you are new and see the Foestriker set which belongs to the first set of dungeons so you work towards levelling enough to get there. The next level is not so good looking with the Toadskin or something..goodness now I can't remember the name, I've been wearing it long enough! I don't mind it all that much but there are certain *cough* guildies who find it horrid! Then then following on from that there is the Infantry set, which I'm collecting at the moment and looks really pretty! Even comes with a free giant purple ribbon, hooray.

Here's my Amu crafted starter gear (bottom left, along with various other outfits I've had along the way so far.. couldn't fit them all in though!

A few more from the guildies..

Class & Playstyle
At first I wanted to go with what was the most straight forward.. Archer it is then! Then I found out that at level 30 you had to level a Pugilist to level 15 so that you could become a Bard (one of the Jobs) as levelling Archer all the way up would put you at a significant disadvantage.

I got a bit confused and frustrated. Why can't I just play the class I picked at the start? At this point (level 26) I thought that Bard would be very different and so I went to look for a spell caster class. Seeing as the Archanist gets a very awesome little blue Picachu (Blupachu hereafter!) pet, I was sold!

Levelling felt a little slow as I didn't have the xp bonus from having a lv50 character and my main story quests were being saved for my Archer (these would have only commenced at level 26 anyway), so I used the hunting log and fates to get her to 26 along with daily roulette. In dungeons I literally felt all I was doing was dotting things and seemed rather slow so I went to reassess the Bard play, watched some videos, read some posts and went back to finish the Archer..sacrificing beautiful Blupachu for a little while. I'll be sure to go back to the Archanist and convert over to try Summoner once I've progressed a little more on the Bard. Decisions are clearly not my strong point. Combat still feels a little slow because of such a different GCD than WoW but I've heard this gets shorter based on gear and level. I'm still just a newbie really so again, I can't judge too much yet!

Even though I found it frustrating at the time, I like that running into a camp of mobs kills me (unlike WoW where I can just AoE them down) or that I can still die in my personal story instance because I'm not doing it as it should be done.

Community Matters
The community in this game has been such a shock. So-many-nice-people!

When I was maybe a week old in the game a player randomly ran past me and gave me my very first fawn mini-pet..too cute! People randomly hug me or wave while I'm questing.

The other day I was looking at the Halloween decorations in Gridania for screenshots and I got a whisper from a guy sitting by the display 'would you like us to move?'.. I mean, how nice is that? So polite. Later that day he invited me and my group along to one of the Ceremony of Eternal Bonding (which is an official wedding thing with proper cutscenes and everything!) it was just.. mad!

The dungeons have also been really nice with everyone bar ONE person being super nice, and this one person may have just been expressing 'help' in an odd way so it wasn't that bad. No swearing or yelling or berating! There's also a nice player commendations system within the dungeons and I think when you get so many you are rewarded with a mount (or something!), such a great initiative.

And of course, the best part of the community is my guildies. Even through the rain and the poop, they've been there.

Oh and I almost forgot the guild house! So pretty.. had a very fun night pretty much playing the Sims or some odd version of the chuckle brothers with @Xera, @Hultay and @torhagen.

>>FFXIV: Whitestar Guild House Exterior & Interior Video<<
>>FFXIV: Whitestar Guild House Interior Decorating<<

I've written way too much already so I'll stop babbling now! There is so much more I would want to mention but for now I will leave it! Just want to say a big thank you to @Vordt.Ororyu, @LunaDra @Hultay @Xera @Acharial @torhagen @Lessa @Cornilius @Baggie and all other Whitestarians for making my time in game so great and for all the help so far! Also a super big thank you to @Firkan who generously offered this game up as a prize and I feel so lucky to have won it!

Please ignore all the mistakes and typo's in this post, it got too long and I've read it too many times to know what's what! Sorry!