Friday, 12 June 2009

Ærynn's Companions, part 2 of 2

It is not an understatement to say that without my fine feathered, furred or hirsuite friends, I would not be so effective. They have come to me, or I sought them out; some have stayed, most have moved on.

Here is my current stable of companions.

Trim was the first beast that stayed with me and did not run away. I sought her out amongst the feral nightsabers of Teldrassil. Part of the reason was that I had just learned to fish, and Trim loved fish. She is still with me to this day as one of my most powerful companions. There used to be a time when she accompanied me everywhere, but since I adopted Myrrh, she has been keeping guard at home.

Nevertheless, she has a bitter grudge against the Horde and whenever she knows I am going on an offensive against them, she rushes to join my side.

I met and befriended Chilli in Terrokar Forest, but she actually hails from Northrend in Azeroth. She said that she was born in Naxxramas but ran away while she was still very little. She has since gone back there, accompanying me on her mission of revenge against the Scourge who had enslaved her mother... but also to feast on the bodies of her dead kin (which, in spider culture, is considered the only way to "bury" their dead with honor).

She is a terrific fighter, using the same Wolverine's Bite technique to horrible effect against the most powerful of adversaries. But she is a horrible dancer (having four left feet) and she shudders everytime somebody mentions Heigan the Unclean.

I found Pillow in the area of Hillsbrad. He is a very cheerful bear, and was looking for employment and lodging for him and his young son Cushion. After a bit of discussion and a brief demonstration, he joined our merry band.

He is a skillful professional, strong and powerful, and knows his job well. He is also a model father, and his son would often accompany us during our daily missions (doubtless, taking notes).

Another father and son pair, except that I met the son first during the charity function for the Stormwind orphans. Speedy is the fastest tortoise I have ever met, and he assured me that his father—who was, at the time, working as a bodyguard in Blackfathom Deeps—is not only just as swift, but strong and powerful.

After a trip down to the old temple, Amorsolo became my other tanking companion. While he is not as powerful as Pillow, he is more durable and tenacious. His son claimed that this was because he was once trained as a rogue by a giant rat. Amorsolo has neither confirmed or denied it, but I sometimes think it could be true. He is my companion of choice for when I go on solo missions in old Azeroth.

I had always been tempted to find a wolf someday for a companion but it was only recently that I found the impetus to do so. I found Navarre in Horde territory—there was no other place, as the Horde have the best wolves. It took a while to persuade him to come along; while he bore no grudge against the Nightelves and the Alliance, he would prefer not to war against the Horde, despite their current activities. In fact, I felt that the only reason why I stood a chance at convincing him was because he seemed disappointed with the events at the Wrath Gate.

He quickly proved himself in battle. After a few weeks of training together, we now work together really well. He is the one that accompanies me into the frontlines.

Myrrh, however, insists that I keep Navarre away from her "sheep". I keep telling her that it is just a stereotype; nevertheless, he has been eyeing my Elwynn lamb rather often.
Continue reading "Ærynn's Companions, part 2 of 2"...

Monday, 8 June 2009

Ærynn's Companions, part 1 of 2

It is not an understatement to say that without my fine feathered, furred or hirsuite friends, I would not be so effective. They have come to me, or I sought them out; some have stayed, most have moved on.

Here is the hall of remembrance for those who are no longer with me.

The first beastly companions I attempted to befriend was a Webwood Spider called Peter and Strigid Owl called Swoop. After several awkward days of them looking at me expectantly while I tried to engage them in conversation, they moved on to be the companions of other hunters. Later on, I was told it was because I did not take the time to give them something to eat.

Kit was a cat I found while adventuring in Darkshore. While he accompanied me on several adventures, he finally admitted that he was not really alive and that he was more comfortable haunting the Ruins of Mathystra than going around travelling on ships that float on water.

We parted ways but we still see each other once in a while when I pass by.

I met Glimfeather while I was adventuring in Winterspring. She had a very piercing shriek that echoed in the mountains, but she was so white that I was only inches away from her before I actually saw her.

Second only to Trim in length of companionship, she saw me through numerous adventures and battles, first in the Plaguelands then later in Outland. She eventually went back home to raise a family after a lengthy tour of duty fighting in the dread mage tower of Karazhan. She does not write, but she sends me some owls very regularly.

When I met Lechon Kawali, he had been dead for years. Death was not a handicap for such a jolly pig, but his secret sorrow was seeing his entire family butchered and served on plates by a man named Moroes. For some reason he, after being butchered, was able to become undead and run away.

He accompanied me to Karazhan numerous times, partly for vengeance... but I think mostly because going around adventuring with the living made him forget his grief.

After a stint in Outlands, he left to join a colony of undead pigs in the Eastern Plaguelands. I visit him sometimes whenever I go to Stratholme.

Tinik was an alien beast I met while adventuring in the Hellfire Peninsula. I must admit that our first meeting was not entirely cordial—he thought I was a tasty morsel (actually, he still thinks I am a tasty morsel) but found that friendship with me got him to go places where there were even tastier morsel to partake of.

He and Trim were great friends, frequently subbing for each other on adventures and trips to dangerous dungeons. His secret desire is to learn how to cook—he developed a fondness for cooked meat (some of which I had cooked, but mostly from some animals in Shadowmoon who are "pre-cooked"). He, of course, does not have any hands for this task, so I left him in Shadowmoon, where he can catch his prey and "cook" it by dipping it into the lava pools all around.

I have not seen him and do not know where he is.

I met Kamandag shortly after I left Tinik, but our partnership did not last very long. He was addicted to arena fighting and, for a while, we helped each other win a few matches. Eventually, he felt I was not committed enough to the gladiator lifestyle and he left me for another hunter.

We still talk once in a while.

I encountered Janice during my tour-of-duty in the Bone Wastes. She was a fine specimen of her species, being very durable and robust, able to take blows well and had a screech that weakens foes.

However, her true passion was hunting, not fighting. So while she became a constant companion in my long hunts for talbuk on the plains of Nagrand, she eventually settled down away from the noise of battle.

I can still remember her having long conversations into the night about a good day of hunting... with her other head. The only one who could tolerate her when she became like that was Glimfeather. Trim would skulk out and find some other place to sleep. She is still a good friend, but I am glad she no longer disturbs our sleep.

I met Mórrígan while adventuring in the northern parts of Outland. She became my most treasured companion, powerful in battle, proficient in the hunt, and very intelligent. Trim became a bit jealous of her for a while because I preferred her companionship for the longest time.

Eventually, they became friends, too; she was that likeable. I never once asked further about where she came from: she said that she had always remembered being there in Draenor, but that those memories were short. She could not remember when Draenor had not been fragmented into floating bits of land in the nether.

It was only later that I found out (through an event brought about by my own folly) that she was actually a druid who somehow lost all memories of her being a night elf. I still do not know how she got there... and I will never know. She has been taken from me.

My entire household misses her terribly.

Apoy was introduced to me during the Spirit of Competition military exercises. At the time, her kind was touted as the most powerful raiding companion.

Instead, she introduced me to several different epicure experiences that still makes my mouth water. She went back to her homeland after a while and I have not seen her since.

I met Kodachi in Gundrak, and she came very highly recommended. I had always shied away from raptors because of their association with trolls, but this one... she had the sweetest nature.

She belonged to one of those tribes of raptors that like wearing jewelry. She was totally ga-ga over gems. She was easily one of the most powerful of my companions and she made friends with the other raptor companions of the Dragoon hunters. Just like Glimfeather, she has taken leave to raise a family. The last I saw of her, she was caring for a very large clutch of eggs.

I met Icebearg in Howling Fjord. I had been hearing that bears were going to become some of the best tanks in Northrend, so I entered into negotiations with him to be a companion. However, he was lazy and a coward. Yes, he was strong and powerful, but he kept on going "Oh, my back! My back!" or "You're not sending me in there, are you?" and "It's too early!".

Also kept on eating up the my food stores. He would not even attack any member of the Horde. What's up with that? I fired him after just two weeks. I found out later that Horde hunters trying to give him employment had the same problems. Lazy bum.

I met this troublesome bunch in Sholazar Basin. Moe, Larry and Curly were always bickering and fighting amongst each other. I was always ashamed of bringing them around town or into sorties with the guild.

But were they good at their job. They had a high tolerance for pain, very good at engaging enemies and very good at defending me from attacks. Their growls and taunts, perfected because of constant practice, were very highly effective in fights.

In the end, they had to leave to pursue another career. I still see them around once in a while, but only very rarely. From what I hear they no longer want to work with hunters. Pity... they were good. And they always made me laugh.

Paprika became my companion shortly after the Three Stooges left for another job. Her first job was for the Sunreaver Command Taxi Service—Horde public transport. I talked her out of it and persuaded her to become one of my raiding companions. Cunning beasts like her are generally overlooked for raiding because they supposedly do not have as many attacks as their more ferocious colleagues.

But she, like all her cunning clan, had a special technique that will always hit every time an adversary dodges an initial attack. Always. In the end, she was doing as much damage as Trim and Kodachi... sometimes, even more, especially with more powerful adversaries.

Nevertheless, she was a peaceful creature and eventually went back to her old job at the taxi service.

I was despondent after Mórrígan was taken away from me. But I also needed a tanking companion to replace, so I quickly set up an ad for one. It had to be done.

It was then that this portly ape entered my service. For a while other hunters had been extolling the exploits of apes trained in Paladin tanking tactics, and I had been anxious to find an ape. When he came along, I knew he was a bit different. He asked for salary in money. He would carry his coins in a pouch hidden on his person and would ask for beer and a plate of nuts in an inn. Pay for it too.

And he would read books. Myrrh took one good look at him and declared that he, too, was actually a transformed human. She claimed he was actually a mage or something. He never told me his name, but because he was very good at organising our collection of books, we came to call him The Librarian. But he literally went ape when someone would call him the "m" word. I do not think I can afford another incident. 

He disappeared one day and I have not seen him since... but he left a note saying he was taking a short trip through L-space.
Continue reading "Ærynn's Companions, part 1 of 2"...