Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adventures in (and out) of Azeroth: Fan Fiction Part 2

I dared to go were no gnome (at least this gnome) has gone before; into the realm of World of Warcraft fanfiction. I emerged mostly unscathed and am ready to report the results of my first adventure. I previously posted that I would be reading a story in each of three categories; 1) A story where the main characters are lore figures 2) a story where the main characters are player characters 3) NC-17 Thrall/Jaina fanfiction (don't judge me!). Now without further ado...

Hail
This is a short vignette about Med'an being welcomed into the ranks of the Alliance by King Varian Wrynn. Now I admit that I had no idea who Med'an was so I looked him up. The brief version is that Med'an is the Gaurdian of Tirisfal and is one quarter orc, one quarter draenei, and one half human. WoWWiki suggests that his father is Medhiv, but in the story it is Varian's father, King Llane Wrynn, making Varian and Med'an half brothers. The story is short and just depicts the solemn ceremony of Varian bringing Med'an into the alliance forces with a whisper reserved just for the two of them, acknowledging their shared heritage. I actually found this story moderately interesting, but mostly because it prompted me to look into a lore figure that I didn't know about before.

The Beginning
This is a three chapter story that is the background story for the author's female Forsaken warlock character. I actually really enjoyed this story. It begins with her character as a human child who finds an abandoned troll baby whom here family adopts. It follows her conversion into a Forsaken even as she manages to save her troll sister the same fate. The last chapter is her as a Forsaken, traveling Azeroth in search of her lost sister. If you want to know the ending I won't spoil it for you, you can go read it yourself. Not only is the story well written, but it seems strangely believable. The character is heroic, but not the savior of all of Azeroth. She has strengths, flaws, fears, and motivations. This has actually inspired me to think of a more concrete background for my characters even though I do not role play.

Strength (not for kiddies!)
Here we come to the stereotypical Thrall/Jaina explicit story that us non-fanfiction readers use to mock those who write fanfiction. Ultimately, when I finished reading it I was much less emotionally scarred that I thought I would be. The writing is actually quite good and the actual intercourse was handled well, without needlessly gratuitous details, since I really am not interested in the mechanics of orc/human sex I was grateful for the tact used. The most interesting part comes after they do the proverbial deed and life and politics intrude. The moment that made me laugh out loud was when Jaina used a polymorph spell to turn would be attackers into a sheep. Now mages turning people into sheep in game I don't have a problem with, but in a story it just struck me as odd. It does seem perfectly legitimate to use a spell in game in a story based on said game, but for me it was just a bit too weird. While I don't think I'll be reading anymore inter-species sex scenes in the future, I must say that this story makes the idea, and the entire genre, feel less creepy.

The stories I read were more enjoyable than I expected them to be. Ultimately, I still find it difficult to take a story seriously when it is based in game world where trade chat trolls, and naked Night Elf mail box dancers abound, but it has stimulated my interest in lore and the story of my own characters.

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