Jan 1, 2009

Welcome to 2009: Beneath Two Skies!

January first is a day for new beginnings. Whether it's the hot start to your shiny new resolution or just a chance to reset, refresh, and maybe look forward to the next year with an extra ounce of optimism, the first day on the Western calendar is the right time to make a change.

So, I shall.

As of today, Points of Convergence is no more.

This blog has moved to become Beneath Two Skies, a self-hosted and much more polished version of the Blogger site that you've come to know over the past 11 months.

Everything from this site has been transferred to the new location, where it is fully indexed, searchable and available to future visitors. Subsequent posts, contact updates, comments and everything else will now be handled exclusively in the new location.

Thanks to the moderately comprehensible folks at Feedburner.com, you should find that your RSS feeds automatically update to the new site*, however you will need to update your bookmarks if you visit me manually.

So, goodbye to PoC. Hello to B2S. I'm ready and excited to begin a shiny year in a great new location with all kinds of sleek content on the way. I hope you'll join me there!

Best wishes,

*Cough. I think. I hope.

Dec 29, 2008

What's Wrong with This Picture?

Something Wrong

I just... can't quite put my finger paw on it. Hrmm....

Dec 22, 2008

Of Titans and Demiurges 06: Arist Sandara

In this season, I always find myself drawn even more than usual* to beautiful and sparkly things. With no ulterior motive whatsoever**, I'll wander through the jewelry stores for an extra dose of glimmer and tune the old Pandora to my Opera station for a few precious weeks. Why? Because it's all so pretty! For whatever insane reason my brain comes up with, during the holidays I want to soak up ambiance and emotionalism and gorgeousness like an hungry little human sponge - Achem. I mean... nightelf sponge, of course. o:}

In that same vein, I've been returning over and over again to one particular page that I've recently discovered. Sandara of DeviantArt sure seems to have 'beautiful' and 'emotional' in spades in her rich, painterly art. Check it out:

Drain_Soul_by_sandara going_home_for_the_holidays_by_sandara roughwork_by_sandara

Ahh.... Sigh. :) These are only a few examples from a very lovely and diverse gallery; Sandara has many more paintings of WoW characters as well as a wonderful selection of non-WoW-related art that still gets high points for style and execution. She's got the dynamic lines, the graceful forms and figures, and the evocative lighting that makes me just want to stare and stare (and maybe drool) and stare some more!

I highly encourage everyone to follow the links to the full-sized images*** and take a few moments to really look them over - admire the quiet detail and softly gritty flow of her brush strokes. Follow a line and watch how it becomes much more than just a line of paint in the way it interacts with the shapes and colors around it. This is the 'painterly' style, and I think she's a perfect example of how and why it works so very well. The paintings manage to look rough and finished at the same time, controlled and somehow still loose enough to make you wonder how every pixel can seem to be in the right place and a random place all at the same time. Mmm... yep, she gives me my holiday artsy glow every single time.

* Yes, it's possible. Tough to believe, I know. But possible!
** I promise, Mr. Rhoelyn. I wasn't hinting at anything more. Really!
*** If you're not familiar with DeviantArt, please follow my link and then click the image itself on her DevArt gallery page one more time to see the full sized version. We intarwebtubes are thumbnail-happy, nowadays. :P

Dec 17, 2008

A Look Back: First Responses

Not too far on the other side of the horizon, a pleasing and arguably important date for the blog approaches. The end of January, 2009 will mark the first anniversary of Points of Convergence, and watching and planning for that approaching event has gotten me feeling nostalgic. I wasn't quite sure what to do with that feeling until fellow blogger, OneAmongMany, tagged me via Tweet.

Mad Props

After what may very well be the most boring first post in the history of blogdom, PoC got a real start with a quick introduction to yours truly. I was lucky enough to be greeted and welcomed to the blogging world by a few really top notch people. It's those first-supporters of my work that I want to slap with some mad props and thank, today. You are the ones who gave me my first push and helped me to keep going through a busy and stressful year.
  1. Sweetflag - My very first commenter, Sweetflag was a visitor from the UK who has since branched out from WoW-blogging to general game and culture blogging, as you can see in his (I'm guessing gender) new blogging location, Construed.

  2. Asaradragoness - A frequent return visitor to the site, Asara's always been a supportive voice and an uplifting commenter around PoC. She has a personal / WoW blog that is currently hosting a bunch of pictures of just about the cutest young family in the whole known world. Best wishes to you and yours, Asara!

  3. MamaDruid - Here's another friendly face that got her start on my blog early. MamaDruid, beyond being an enthusiastic and friendly supporter of PoC, has one of those blogs that are just the way I like them: covering a great breadth of WoW-related topics with an emphasis on fun things to do and see, interesting experiences, and little in-game adventures and discoveries.

    MamaDruid is currently MIA in the blogging world (as you'll see if you click her blog link), but myself and all the Twitteratti are hoping she'll reappear soon and that everything is going well in the mean time. Come back to us, MamaDruid!

Honorable Mention

  1. Siha - Although she didn't comment on the first commented post in PoC, I wanted to give an honorable mention shout-out to a great blogger and fellow Proudmoore Alliance player, Siha of Banana Shoulders. She introduced herself on my second post, the introduction to my namesake toon, Rhoelyn, and has held a special place in my heart (and my feed reader) because of her great writing, her wonderful guides, and the remote possibility that I might actually run into her in-game.

    Somehow, despite a few /who attempts, that has still not actually managed to happen in the past near-year. Of course, she keeps crazy Aussie hours and I keep crazy American hours. We're probably passing on the login screen, each night.


That's right! It's my turn to pass on the nostalgic feeling to others. You are tagged:

Phaelia <<>> Kestrel <<>> Khol Drake <<>> Hana <<>> Faradhim

Dec 11, 2008

Insidious Voice

You don't know me, and I have no intention of telling you my name. I just want you to know something that I didn't, be prepared for a danger that no one acknowledges...


It began with a whisper. A threat.

Pre-Wrath Frozen Shade 1

I'm a soldier of Stormwind, a fighter by caste and by calling. Sure, I may be relatively young, but if I had a silver for every doom-and-gloom, end-of-your-world promise from an overly dramatic enemy, I wouldn't be the only adventurer in Shadowmoon who's still riding a damn horse. So, like I have with every other insidious voice I've ever met, I scoffed and ignored my mysterious new chatterbox friend.

Thus, I entered the fray with my blade sheathed and my back exposed. Maybe not the brightest strategy, in retrospect.

The voice haunted me for days and days. Like a rude neighbor or an extra murloc, it would pop up at all the worst times:

As I fought...

Pre-Wrath Frozen Shade 5

As I traveled...

Pre-Wrath Frozen Shade 4

As I ate...

Pre-Wrath Frozen Shade 7

Someone .... something... always at my side. Whispering. Threatening. Promising.


Oh, I was pissed for the first fortnight - pissed and tired and frustrated because I couldn't make the voice in my ear shut the hell up.  I tried every trick I knew to find the whisperer; I can't convey in intelligible words how badly I wanted to shut him up with a conveniently sharp object through the gullet. Whoever or whatever he was, though, he always stayed well out of sight and all of my most deadly ranges, much to my bush-kicking and stool-shattering dismay.

But then, after another week or two... something shifted, something too subtle for my brute-force brain to catch. The voice was ... maybe not so bad. Maybe a little bit of welcome company on the trail. Maybe a little bit of an amusing distraction from the rote of killing clefthoof number five hundred and seventy-six.  Maybe a friend.

I need you to understand. I'm a loyal citizen, a devoted servant of the Wrynn Dynasty, and not at all interested in the wholesale slaughter of every living being on Azeroth. Like every good human, I hate the Scourge, mistrust the Forsaken, and spend my leisure hours beating down uppity Hordies.

But that voice... it started to confuse me. As if, somehow, I could still be a good person - maybe a better person! - if I gave myself over to its side. Just a loaner, let's say. My sword arm and my tough shield for a bit of cold glory, simple death, blessed silence. It made it all sound so ... peaceful.

I hear the insanity in that concept, now.  A few days ago, though... Well, let's just say that I was finding it a lot more comfortable wielding the pointy end of a big, metal stick than the grey matter between my ears. I stopped looking for a pest to slaughter and started looking for a potential friend.

That's when, in the wee hours of the morning in a quiet inn in Telaar, I finally found him.

Pre-Wrath Frozen Shade

A Shade. An Icecrown ghost no more substantial than my battle shout, but equally as deadly. I stared into the empty place where his eyes should have been, and I felt my knees bending, felt hand falling away from its comfortable place on the pommel of my axe.

And then it spoke... one last taunt. One first command.

Pre-Wrath Frozen Shade 6

Even now, I don't know why those simple words woke me. Perhaps the power of the Light was so much greater, so much stronger, that even the merest thought of it was enough to shatter whatever spell the Frozen Shade had woven. Perhaps I was only barely in its clutches, staring down the cliff's face of insanity but not yet fallen. I don't know. And, at the end of the day, I don't care. I'm no mage to worry about why things are the way they are. I only care about results. 

With a growl and a move that I like to think is about twice as fast as mana forge lightning , I drew my axe and threw it through the fiend's throat.

... the innkeeper had a few things to say to me about that when she saw the damage to her wall, by the way.

Pre-Wrath Frozen Shade 3

The Shade braved one more whisper as I made my way to Stormwind, one last silly little threat. For the first time, I laughed at it. I probably should've done that from the start, whistling my way home to deliver what was apparently a far more precious treasure than I'd ever realized.