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Rylithe was born into a harsh existence on Hutta.  As a Cathar she was considered an exotic pet-slave and sold to a relatively unknown Hutt while still a baby.  As a teenager she was part of a bargain this ambitious Hutt made with an Exchange boss on the Outer Rim.  It was during this time that she met the one she still considers her only true friend to this day – a Chiss girl named Liss’cha.  The stories they told each other and the small, deviant ways they devised to rebel against their masters without being caught – those were the happiest times of Rylithe’s life.


Those times ended suddenly when their owner set up a meeting with a Sith Lord.  Rylithe and Liss’cha were both forced to attend in dancer uniforms as tokens of their master’s wealth.  Accompanied by his apprentice, the Sith Lord expressed great interest in the slave girls, speaking more with them than with the boss throughout the meeting.  Rylithe was terrified that she and her dear friend would be sold to these cruel and evil creatures, but before any transaction could be concluded the meeting was rudely interrupted.

A Jedi Knight seemed to leap from nowhere to battle the Sith Lord.  As the apprentice moved to help his master, Rylithe saw her friend Liss’cha reach her arms out in desperation.  To the Cathar’s amazement the Sith apprentice was lifted off his feet and flung several yards away.  Whatever Liss’cha had done gave the Jedi Knight enough time to defeat the Sith, and Rylithe had never loved her friend more than at that moment.  Not having dared to move during the fight, Rylithe saw the Jedi turn to speak to Liss’cha.  Delighted at their good fortune, she rose to run toward them and congratulate her friend, but was struck by a blow to her head.  She fought to stay conscious, but only succeeded long enough to hear a deep voice tell her that he had felt the power she and her friend possessed.

When she woke, she was held prisoner in the familiar shackles of a slave-trading hold of a small starship.  Unlike other times in her life, she was alone as a prisoner.  When her captor finally showed himself, she was surprised to recognize the Sith apprentice from the meeting.  He patiently answered all of her questions: his name was Juntak, he was taking her to Korriban, he did not intend to keep her as a personal slave.  Once she hesitated with a question, however, he began to brutally torture her.  When she would scream at him to stop, he would answer cryptically, sometimes encouraging her to embrace the pain and fear, other times seeming to marvel at some strength he claimed to feel in her.

Several times he visited with no further words or explanation for his continued sessions, inflicting pain such as Rylithe had never imagined before.  As they docked at Korriban, Juntak came into the holding cell for one last horrific torture session, and Rylithe found the clarity to ask him why he kept doing this to her.  The Sith Pureblood stated flatly that the sessions gave him no pleasure, but they would give her an edge, a head start, when she arrived at her destination.  He offered nothing more, and Rylithe endured the final moments of his abuse in gritted silence.  As Juntak finally left her for others to collect, he had an odd request: to remember what he had done on their trip.

She soon found out that he had taken her to a Sith academy, to learn their brutal ways or be crushed underfoot.  She quickly but grudgingly realized the apprentice had been right – his harsh treatment had been the perfect preparation for her new life.  As she studied her rival students, she silently made herself three promises:

To remember the apprentice as requested and track him down

To take revenge by mastering the evil powers before her and turning them against her new teachers


And to search the galaxy until she was reunited with her friend.


Liss’cha was born to a well-connected family in the Chiss Ascendancy.  Her father was a successful politician and her mother Sritt’cha was an ideal political spouse, causing just enough trouble and scandal to keep her husband in the public eye.  Despite their success, they rarely spent any significant time with their daughter and to this day Liss’cha has very few memories of either parent.

One day just before her eleventh birthday, her father and caretaker were killed by assassins.  Though a body was not recovered, her mother was presumed dead as well.  Liss’cha was spared, however, thanks to the Ascendancy’s recent contact with an alien Empire that practiced slavery.

slave3  Slave traders from the Sith Empire took Liss’cha into custody and soon had her sold to a prominent Exchange member operating on the Outer Rim.  While serving the Exhange boss, she met many other slaves, but one in particular stood out to her though she had no idea why at the time.  A Cathar girl with strikingly dark blue eyes named Rylithe soon became her best friend, and they often spent nights together talking and telling each other fanciful stories.  Their stories always involved a heroic privateer, soldier, law enforcer, or sometimes even Jedi Knight who would fight injustice, kill their owner and whisk the two of them away to join his gallant crusade to rid the galaxy of evil.

One day their owner tried to make a deal with a Sith Lord and his apprentice Juntak that turned sour.  As the Exchange boss was threatened by the sith, his apprentice was ordered to kill Rylithe to make an example.  Something came over Liss’cha as she tried to stop her friend’s murder, and before she knew what was happening the apprentice was thrown several yards away and the Sith Lord had his lightsaber raised to strike her down.  But in that moment, the slave freinds’ fanciful stories came more true than they had ever dared to believe.  A Jedi Knight intervened and saved Liss’cha’s life, defeating the Sith Lord and arresting the Exchange boss who had held her in bondage for years.

Unfortunately the Jedi was unable to find her friend Rylithe, or the Sith apprentice Juntak.  Promising to help her find her friend, the Jedi told her she first must learn the ways of the Force.  He explained that he had a few stops to make on his way to the place she would be trained and set her on a few basic training exercises aboard his cramped spacecraft.

Liss'cha  Just when she began to get comfortable with her new reality, her Jedi friend was sent on a detour to Balmorra.  The Sith Empire was attacking there, and he was tasked with trying to stop the invasion before it gained more than a foothold.  After landing on the planet, he set his ship’s coordinates for Tython and ordered Liss’cha to go on without him.  She obeyed with bizarre immediacy, only later realizing her years of slavery had conditioned her to obey orders and only consider how she felt about them afterwards.

Her arrival on Tython was met with many questions.  She might have been imprisoned if she hadn’t insisted she could help defend against a flesh raider attack.  Although she has a daily struggle to fit in with her Republic-raised comrades, the pragmatic nature of her people has served her well.  She firmly believes that only devotion to the Jedi teachings and the light side of the Force will help her achieve her goals.



Senguu was born on Coruscant to a poor Twi’lek couple whose shouting matches were legendary in their apartment complex.  Often an afterthought, it was not long before Senguu was exploring the lower levels of the Republic capital on his own, befriending gangsters and hustling offworlders at every opportunity.

His first brush with mortality came at the age of twelve when a high-ranking gangster caught Senguu sweet-talking his girlfriend and beat him nearly to death.  Taking the lesson in caution to heart, Senguu began hanging around the few physicians that populated the lower levels and the sawbones who would treat wounded gangsters.  Dissatisfied with what he was able to learn, he started risking more and more time on the upper levels of Coruscant, where he not only found more and better doctors but also many more credits to con, swindle and hustle offworlders out of.  He found it easy to frame others for his exploits when the authorities looked at him too closely, and he prided himself on keeping a cool head no matter what odd circumstances his constant lying would create.

At sixteen, lying about his age and flying experience got him in the cockpit of a merchant freighter with the merchant’s wife.  Eager to show off, he promptly crashed the freighter into a control tower, causing an explosion he barely escaped from.   Everyone in the tower, as well as the merchant’s wife, died in the crash.  Although his miraculous survival convinced Senguu that luck was on his side and charming his life, it also produced a massive but well-hidden guilty conscience in the young Twi’lek.  One last effect the crash had was inspiring a dogged determination in Senguu to master the one thing in his life he had utterly failed in.

Brazenly attending a merchant fleet academy under a false identity, Senguu was soon acing every flight class he could find.  Uncomfortable with the attention his flashy successes were attracting, he quickly learned to downplay his expertise as he continued to seek out more and harder flight training.  Once there were no specialized piloting courses left on Coruscant to take without blowing his latest false name, he planned his departure from his home planet.  Senguu found a young woman from a wealthy family with just the right combination of romantic ideals and thirst for adventure to help him steal a freighter from Czerka Corporation.  Once among the stars, he quickly ditched his naïve accomplice on a fancy resort planet and set out to make a name for himself.


Sritt’cha was born to a wealthy family who arranged for her to be married at a young age to a high-ranking local politician in the Chiss Ascendancy.  Despite having no choice in the matter, she quickly grew to love married life, reveling in the notoriety and attention her husband’s position brought her.  Not even the arrival of her baby girl, Liss’cha, barely a year into the union could stop Sritt’cha from taking every opportunity to publicize her extravagant lifestyle.  The couple’s secret arrangement was not unusual for the Chiss political scene: she handled his publicity and he handled their security.

She was celebrating her eleventh anniversary in style, going out alone on a scandalous black-market shopping spree, when everything changed.  Her husband’s political enemies became powerful enough to send assassins, and while she was out he was killed and her daughter taken by slavers.  The only thing that saved Sritt’cha’s life was unknowingly dealing with a Republic Twi’lek smuggler named Senguu at the moment of the attack.  Although she was shot by the assassins and presumed dead, Senguu managed to sneak her off-planet and treat her near-fatal wounds on his ship.

Her recovery was long and painful, but as soon as she was able she and the smuggler parted ways amicably.  Quickly realizing her anonymity due to presumed death was her best protection, she reached out to her brother Firoth in Imperial Intelligence for a new identity as well as information on the assassins who took Liss’cha.  Unfortunately her daughter’s trail had grown cold, but she and her brother did manage to track the criminal syndicate that had been hired for the job.  Together they significantly diminished the syndicate’s power while they learned the name of the rival politician who had hired them.

Despite her brother’s protests that he should do the deed, she paid the politician a visit and killed him in cold blood.  Her satisfaction was bittersweet, but she knew the thrill of that hunt was the only thing that made her feel alive after all that she’d lost.  Even though she had been careful thanks to Firoth’s expert help, word of her accomplishment seemed to have spread among the right circles when she received an invitation from a bounty hunter to place called Hutta…

I was going to simply write a reply to @AlternativeChat’s thought-provoking post here, but I decided it might be lengthy enough to actually post something of my own for a change.  On the most basic level, I agree with her premise that the time travel theme in WoD makes it very convenient for Blizzard to make massive changes back home on Azeroth.  I’ve actually been thinking similar things ever since I first read the blurbs talking about the expansion’s storyline, way before the cinematic came out.  So here I will point out the details where my tin foil hat’s signals differed from hers.  In some ways I do not go as far as she did, and in others I guess I go WAY farther.

1) Let’s start with the biggest difference: there is no way Blizzard is trashing all that old content until sub numbers are at least south of 1 million – probably not until they match other non-successful MMO types, which means sub numbers south of, what, 300K?  100K?  Despite what many headlines might try to suggest, that day is still quite distant.  Let’s face it, 100 is a nice round level number for Blizzard to come around sometime in the near future and say “hey, like the Warcraft movie out in theaters?  How about some WOW 2?”  Players with WOW accounts, especially toons at 100, will of course be offered legacy perks in the new game.

2)  Azeroth will not disappear.  But, I agree we will not be able to go back to the one we left.  I can see the mage/warlock portal scenario she described, but I expect the only recourse at that point will be to rebuild the Dark Portal yet again and jump back across, hoping for the best.  Hah, the best???  This is Warcraft!  Remember, Khadgar’s original stated goal is to fix what Garrosh was doing and restore our pasts so our present remains intact.  Obviously plans change once on Draenor.  Honestly, if that plan were to succeed and Blizzard tells me “nope, Yrel perished after all, here’s Velen back.  Happy Ending!” there will be hell to pay (and on the Horde side, since I play both, feel free to substitute the name of any significant Frostwolf or Laughing Skull orc for Yrel’s) 😉  Here is where Chromie and the Bronze Dragonflight would make an appearance, claiming that our actions in Draenor have made our previous timeline so broken that they can’t find a way back, or somesuch.

3) Once we get back to Azeroth (and into WOW2) we will find ourselves in a different time.  Probably the time of Medivh, since he was a major player in the time Garrosh led us to, being the one who opened the original Dark Portal the orcs were constructing in the WoD opening cinematic. Remember, Medivh is still at large in Azeroth in this timeline with Sargeras’s soul guiding his immense powers and no orc invasion to be killed for allowing.  But perhaps we arrive during the time of Tides of Darkness or the Scourge of Lordaeron.  Regardless, we will return to find the Burning Legion invading Azeroth in some new creative way now that the Iron Horde foiled their brilliant orc plan.  Perhaps an Undead Scourge with neither Ner’zhul nor Arthas as the Lich King (Medivh or Azshara, or both like Ner’zhul/Arthas, anyone?).

4) The Bronze Dragonflight can’t be taken by surprise.  It was one of their own gone rogue who started this in the first place.  There will be Ultimate Sacrifices made, but those who make them will be more linked to the Alliance & Horde – probably Khadgar and perhaps Thrall.

I guess that’s it for now – clearly these things have been in the back of my mind for some time 😉  Thanks again to Alternative Chat for the inspiring post!

Here it is, the end of August, almost 2 months since my last post. While I’ve seriously considered deliberately waiting till September 1st to post anything, I believe that would seem too much like a slam against my friend Belghast and his inspiring (though emphatically not for me) Blaugust initiative at Mostly it is not for me because I know I am just not mentally disciplined enough for that kind of dedication. That may seem like a character flaw, and I suppose in plenty of situations it is exactly that. But discipline generally comes at the expense of flexibility and sometimes even originality and open-mindedness. I am just too independant a personality to be comfortable with Absolute Dedication. This is probably why I have never raided. It is another facet of personality that I consider to be more of a spectrum than an either/or scenario. That said I am probably close to the extreme end away from the Discipline side, so I could use a little balancing at some point, I’m sure.

Since this technically is still August, you can say I am late to the Blaugust party as well. Am I not consistent??? This is a perfect lead-in to answer Rowan-Blaze’s questions about the name of my blog. I suppose I just anwered the second one, “do you still believe the name fits?” with a resounding “yes”! So why did I name my blog what I did? I made an attempt or two at explaining it in my first post, (waaaay back in April), but I might just have even more to say about it now. Certainly how it relates to my MMO leveling pace still applies, but it also applies to my blogging in general. I am also usually the last person to find things out among friends and family. Whether this is because I keep my head in the sand or I am just the last person anyone thinks about I’m not sure – probably a combination of the two. I do usually fit the “wallflower” type, I must admit. My body also loves to remind me that I came to the parenting party rather late – I was 34 when my daughter was born 2 years ago. Am I a late bloomer or just late? I guess we’ll find out when/if I make something of myself!

Things have slowed down for me in WOW and SWTOR, and while I’ve enjoyed my dabbling in GW2 I am pretty much soloing there as well.  TSW Mondays are still going strong.  At this point I think they would survive an Apocolypse, which only makes sense really.  But with no intentions yet to jump into the new MMOs all the cool kids are playing, I decided to check out some games truly designed for me to “solo”.

After picking up Mass Effect 3 on a massive sale, my interest in playing through that series is reinvigorated and I’ve been plowing through the first one with regularity.

One game that has caught my interest in the last year or two is XCOM: UFO defense.  I previously mentioned that Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness was basically my introduction to PC games in college.  2 other classic titles deserve credit for making me waste vast amounts of time in college and securing my future in this community: Master of Orion and Microprose’s original XCOM: UFO defense.  So it was more than curiosity that drew me to this remake.

I must say, nostalgia-induced rose tinted glasses and all, the remake compares very favorably from what I’ve seeen so far.  Naturally graphics are improved, but I like how you interact with the heads of research & engineering.  Little moments, like the whole comm center breaking out in cheers the first time your interceptors shoot down a UFO, really add life and immersion to the game’s atmosphere for me.

Of course, XCOM is ultimately about tactics, and this is where I worried a remake would fall short.  Thankfully that is not the case.  The new game manages to be different, and yet every bit as deep and engaging as the old one.  The early game feeling of being outmatched every time you face the aliens is intact, as are the moments of panic when you realize the enemies are not where you thought they were when you so cleverly positioned your squad behind cover.  The fact that you share most “oh, ****” moments with other characters is more enjoyable than I would have expected.  The vocal feedback from the squad members is nice, although the interactions with other characters have me wishing the soldiers had more personality back at base.  Overall though, I am very glad I picked XCOM up, even though it is a remake of a beloved classic.

After weeks of swearing I would be good and had way too many games to try to play anyway, I gave in and had a look at the steam sale.  I promptly found 4 games I’ve been wanting to play for 5 bucks each: Skyrim, Tomb Raider, Batman:Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.  Yeah, I’m in trouble.

For some reason, many people seem to take sentiments like the title of this post as a slam, as belittling somehow.  I’ve always seen it as more of a lament, an acknowledgement that something could have been done better.  The feeling that I haven’t bothered to get to know you as well as I’d like indicates a failing on my part, not yours.  The fact of the matter is I’m the kind of person who has many acquaintances I’m friendly with, and very few close friends.  That has little to do with the situation I’m posting about now, however. 


No, I hadn’t had a ton of interactions with River, at most I followed his blog and twitter for a few months.  But I’ll always have definite memories, from the stunning post about #yesallwomen to something more personal.  You see, the first feedback I ever got on this blog was a follow and a comment on Twitter from none other than River.  How grateful and excited I felt that a near-stranger was so encouraging and enthusiastic are vivid memories I relive every time I tinker with this blog.  I only wish I had more memories of the guy to smile about.



So far I have been able to bend but not break to the “wild” reports friends and aquaintances are giving about enjoying a certain newly released MMO.  While I am willing to admit I probably would enjoy the full version myself, I still don’t know that I’d be able to give it the kind of time that would justify purchasing it in my mind.


Likewise I have been paying attention to reports from the ESO front.  Really, one of two things need to happen for me to even consider diving into this one.  1)  Overhaul of how grouping works,  2) going FTP.  Honestly FTP alone might not convince me, since my 250GB “games” drive holds fewer and fewer games each year.  The irony is not lost on me: due to level disparities I spend the vast majority of my time soloing MMOs anyway.  But apparently the potential of experiencing content with hypothetical group members is very important to me.


That does not mean I’ve been idle.  Still plugging away in WOW SWTOR and GW2.  I was also excited to finally grab the Starcraft II expansion, Heart of the Swarm.  I played this at an interesting time, with all the controversy surrounding Blizzard’s attitude toward women springing up. Personally I love Sarah Kerrigan as a character.  I think she’s much deeper and more believable than most video game characters, and I had the same opinion of her in the original Starcraft as well.  In fact, I remember being offended at Arthas’ fall in Warcraft III because it seemed like a weaksauce version of Kerrigan’s story.


There’s one other thing I’ve done, and that is roam around in The Secret World again.  I just love this MMO, but my laptop has real problems with it when other players are around.  During the Halloween event last year, I joined literally hundreds of players fighting a world boss.  My framerate dropped to about 1 every 30 seconds.  About half an hour after I heard guildies say the fight was over, I saw myself die and found out I would get no loot from the encounter.


I only forgave The Secret World for that about a week ago.  Currently the excitement is about the new Tokyo zones.  I am just starting the second zone in the game – Savage Coast.  Solo content has not resulted in 30+ minute lag… so far.  I even managed to group up with 1 or 2 strangers briefly, with no discernable trouble.  I might even bother my guildies for an instance run if they get tired of Tokyo for some reason.  Just gotta remind myself to STAY AWAY from world bosses/events for now.

About a month ago, maybe more, I saw an ad on some gaming news site for Guild Wars 2 being 50% off for about a week.  I passed, and spent the next several weeks REALLY wishing I hadn’t.  And then, the sale happened again!  Obviously I wasn’t in any kind of shape to resist the second time ’round.


For 3 days, I thought I was going to regret buying the game even more.  Download after download ended in an error message; some after less than ten seconds, some after more than an hour.  Don’t ask me what I did to finally make it work, because I’d swear I hadn’t tweaked, turned off or uninstalled a thing that time or the previous 10 tries that night.  But, eventually, I managed to get the patching done.   I have a friend from some fan fiction sites who wrote a story based on the human street gang origin, so naturally my female warrior had to have the same background.  I also made a Nord defender and a Sylvari engineer because Altoholic.  Those 5 measly character slots are at once frustration and relief for one such as me.


Once I actually started playing, I realized I didn’t know what to expect as well as I thought I did.  What surprised me, though, was just how much I liked it.  I found myself enjoying the free-form style to completing hearts.  While I am not one to bash questing, I am also quickly becoming a fan of GW2’s heart system.  The frequency of the orange special events popping up was also nice, though I could see myself becoming annoyed with them, especially since I always run toward them when I see them.  I only have 13 levels between the 3 chars I made so far, but I have to say I’m finding GW2 fun in a way that I only find the MMOs I’ve stuck with for a long time (WOW, SWTOR, LOTRO, TSW).


After being all “meh” in the ESO and Wildstar betas, I had been afraid I was becoming jaded about the whole MMO scene.  Or even worse, just bored by everything.  But GW2 has restored that optimistic side of me I try to deny most of the time.  For now, at least.