01
Sep
11

Letters from the Front

Dear Areen

I hope this letter finds you, and finds you in good health – recent events being what they have been, I’ve worried. It has been some time since we last saw each other, and I felt it would be appropriate to write.

How are affairs within your order – are you still championing for a chapel of light to be added to Gnomeregan, following its reclaimation? I recall you mentioning there was some resistance to the idea, last I heard from you. Either way, I wish you luck with that and anything else you may endeavour.

As for myself, I’ve been drafted into the Cenarion offensive; past Mount Hyjal and into the Firelands – an oppressive and barren wasteland the likes of which I’ve never seen before. The air is aggressively hot and stinks of brimstone, and the only liquid I’ve come across is molten rock. However, there is native life here of a sort – strange, twisted and alien life, but life nonetheless.

I’ve been trying to understand it further in the hopes that it might agree to help protect us, but progress has been slow – especially since I’ve found myself spending more time supporting the troops than doing actual research. Perhaps I should be more concerned with the task I was given, but I cannot sit by when the cries of the wounded fill the air only a short distance away.

Hani and Rei came by to visit me. You will be glad to hear that they are both well. Of course, they had perfectly official reasons for being here, but I suspect part of the reason was simply to stop by and see if I was alright. They haven’t really changed much since we all went our separate ways and, even with everything that’s happened lately, they haven’t broken stride.

It makes me miss the times when we were all traveling together – not the danger, mind you. I’m perfectly fine without that aspect. But the soldiers here have this grim, somber understanding of just what the stakes are should we fail, and there is a permeating severity everywhere. Hani and Rei, in contrast, seem barely fazed by either the stakes or the dangers. Rei typically suggested she should just “go over” and use that oversized rifle of hers on whoever was in charge of the Firelands, so we could all go home! I don’t imagine even she believes it’d be quite that simple, but it was refreshing to hear nonetheless!

But I am running out of page, and there are troubles that need tending to – Rei talked me into accompanying her and Hani on a short patrol of the frontline. I’m not certain what possessed me to agree, but even here, I feel safe with those two.

Be safe Areen, and be well. Cenarius guide you.
– Your friend, Te’len

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34 Responses to “Letters from the Front”


  1. 1 Fokker
    September 1, 2011 at 09:06

    Whoa. I did NOT see this coming. I’m amazed.

  2. 2 Moltrazahn
    September 1, 2011 at 13:15

    <3<3<3<3<3 not a flashback, but a forwardflash! … nice to see tho ^^, and a normalsized Rei`O.o…my facinating! ^^.. you fotgot to leave out Hani's thunderfury that she gained during the chapter following the one your making now! 😀

  3. 3 Illidan
    September 1, 2011 at 13:23

    YOU ARE EPIC!!!

  4. 4 JSStryker
    September 1, 2011 at 15:05

    WOW just WOW!

  5. 5 Fyr
    September 1, 2011 at 16:23

    Luverly. A bit of a spoiler on Tiny’s side, but still!

  6. 9 Zazkya
    September 1, 2011 at 17:45

    Seemingly Rei’s gone into engineering.
    Wonder if Areen tought her.

    • 10 JSStryker
      September 1, 2011 at 18:08

      Actually I believe Rei has always been an engineer given her love of gizmo’s in earlier pages of BtT, the real question is Rei a hunter (lack of a pet says to me No) or a rogue 9sniper specced)? 🙂

      Nhani love your work!

    • 11 trrrr
      September 2, 2011 at 15:50

      She did show to have a interest in machines. I think that Rey becoming a engineer is predictable. Cool, but predictable.

      • 12 Nhani
        September 2, 2011 at 22:19

        She always did indeed.

        I actually find it interesting how many people seem to expect Areen to be a capable engineer – while she shows a clear knowledge that machinery exists and some general knowledge of the underlaying principles, I’ve always felt it’s akin to how regular people know about the existence and general function of automobiles.

        I mean sure, I know the general principles which a combustion engine operate on, I know what makes it work, roughly what sort of components are involved and can sort of extrapolate how one might control it and what sort of weak spots it might have. That doesn’t mean I actually have enough know-how to design and build an actual working car from scratch.

        Rei, on the other hand, has had a very strong and clear fascination with both machinery and explosives, and has on multiple times proven perfectly capable of utilizing both.

        • 13 IS_Wolf
          September 10, 2011 at 18:01

          Has to do with the whole Gnome thing and how their society is built/set up, and possibly a racial memory to when they were still [url=http://www.wowwiki.com/Mechagnomes]Mechagnomes[/url]. It’s kinda handy to know how to repair yourself or your fellows. 😉

          Invention/tinkering is a way of life to them.

          • 14 Nhani
            September 11, 2011 at 19:26

            Not all Gnomes are tinkerers and engineers though – there are several examples who follow other sciences (such as Alchemy) or puts science aside altogether for other approaches.

            The most interesting thing though is that it actually reinforces part of what Areen’s “problem”, as such, is – most people she meets have a difficult time seeing her as anything but a Gnome first and foremost.

  7. 15 Ripwarrior
    September 1, 2011 at 19:57

    *sniff* this was really close to putting a tear in my eye! AWESOME ❤ just simply epiq

  8. 16 zulie
    September 1, 2011 at 19:59

    Is beyond the tree ending? 😦

  9. 17 CN
    September 1, 2011 at 20:06

    A nice way of introducing a model update.. Good work there 😀

  10. 18 Synchronizor
    September 1, 2011 at 23:10

    This is absolutely amazing, Nhani. It’s great to see where everyone is heading and the shiny new gear they’ll get there.

    Any chance of seeing a good high-rez group shot of these three in the Firelands as a voter pic, or better yet, a desktop-sized image?

    • 19 Nhani
      September 2, 2011 at 22:10

      Well I’m plotting on giving Rei’s updated model a random render post along with actually explaining my reasoning for the various choices and elements of her design either this weekend or next week – wanted to give people some time to digest this particular update and let them spot the various details on their own before I provide my reasoning.

      Besides, as the Characters in one Word post kind of proves, posting two Thoughts for Food updates too close together tends to mean people only see the latest one.

  11. 20 Kayeri
    September 2, 2011 at 02:33

    Absolutely, absolutely awesome.. I love it!

  12. 21 Raukangren
    September 2, 2011 at 12:58

    You.
    Should.
    Design.
    Armor.
    For Wow.
    Definately.
    Should.

    NAO!!!

  13. 22 Germ
    September 2, 2011 at 14:53

    Why wasn’t Te’len’s armor upgraded?

    • 23 Nhani
      September 2, 2011 at 22:08

      Two reasons really: first of all, there wasn’t any specific outfit or look I had in mind that I felt would represent her better, and secondly… I didn’t feel there was that large a reason why she would have to change.

      Rei obviously had to, and significantly so – in the years since the events in story arcs one and two, she has grown up – both literally and figuratively. While I wanted her to be recognizable, I also wanted to show how she’s essentially had to reinvent herself and find out who she really was now when she actually has to stand on her own. So I really wanted to emphasize how while she’s still Rei, she’s also had to change a fair bit since last we saw her.

      Hani I wasn’t entirely decided on whether I would do that many changes or not. The new sword obviously had to be there – she’s had time to obtain it by now. The change in armor was mostly up about whether I could find a new chest armor that I felt maintained roughly the same colour balance but at the same time suggested that at this point in time, she’s not only up against somewhat bigger enemies (thus sturdier armor), but also has finally obtained the amount of trust and respect that she’s actually given better gear.

      But Te’len… while she’s definitely gained a whole lot of confidence in herself and her abilities, and it’s implied that she’s become something of a respected scholar within the Cenarion Circle… she’s still a scholar. She’s much more capable of defending herself, and much more willing to defend herself, but she still would rather there was another way, and would still preferably focus on her studies when able. So I didn’t want to deck her out in armor, I wasn’t really interested in any of the druid tier sets (because, let’s face it, most of them are outright hideous) and there wasn’t any outfit that felt more “Te’len” than her current one.

      Besides, as Te’len leaves implied… sometimes it’s comforting to know that some things tend to stay the same.

      • 24 Kayeri
        September 3, 2011 at 02:46

        Hani’s new chest armor and sword look great, but I see she still likes those pants… =) Like you said, some things tend to stay the same. I do like Rei’s gear, she looks fantastic, although I am trying to make out the details on what you did with her hair, I’d love a close look at that! Even back to normal size, though, she’s still not a tall one. I love that you can put height variation in, wish we could do that in-game!

        • 25 Germ
          September 5, 2011 at 09:26

          Did Hani get her sword from Linken?

          And if you could put in height variation the annoying players would have the short chubby toons, like in Phantasy Star Online.

      • 26 Kayeri
        September 3, 2011 at 02:48

        Oh, and the Tentacle’d fire druid is awesome, too! ::chuckle::

  14. 27 LolDrood
    September 3, 2011 at 07:57

    Did anyone else noticed that Rei looks… bigger, then she did last time we saw her?
    Feh. Druids of the Flame are just flamboyant fire mages. And little more then playthings for my Arc mage.

    If BtT ended right now with this, I’d feel satisfied. The characters go on, with their own motivations. Normally I could verbalize it better, but I just watched The End of Time, so I’m pretty emotionally drained.

    Also, Rei totally rockin’ the sleeveless tac harness and goggles. ❤

  15. 28 Frostsaben
    September 5, 2011 at 12:58

    Wow, nice view into the future. Speaking of which, seeing Rei and Hani together they kind of make me think of WW2 soldiers on how they’re dressed and the weaponry. You know those soldiers from the movies who take out a cigar and start like chewing it on one side of their mouth while shooting … ok, my imagination runs adrift, but still I love Rei’s armor.

  16. October 30, 2011 at 16:57

    Reason Te looks the same? Transmogrification 🙂 She obviously, by now, has the best Firelands gears (our girl needs protection and who’s turning down the +int) but she loves the classic and timeless style of her old gear 🙂
    Problem solved.

  17. September 2, 2014 at 09:46

    Heya just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you
    know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its
    a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and
    both show the same outcome.

  18. September 15, 2014 at 17:27

    I think that everything said made a ton of sense.
    But, think about this, what if you were to write a killer title?
    I am not suggesting your content isn’t solid, but what if you added a title to possibly get a person’s
    attention? I mean Letters from the Front |
    Thoughts for Food is kinda boring. You could glance at Yahoo’s
    front page and see how they create article titles to get people interested.
    You might add a video or a pic or two to get readers interested about everything’ve got to say.
    In my opinion, it might bring your posts a little bit more
    interesting.


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