massive pauldrons

Let’s address these weird shoulder holes in people’s capes

I am terribly sorry it’s so long, I got a bit lost

First off, the king has them along with a set of massive pauldrons (the shoulder armor he’s wearing)

But his soldiers (including Ellira), even though they’re elite bodyguards/whatever you call his private troops, don’t have the shoulder holes (just regular capes for you guys, sorry). Although they do have the matching armor. So the type of cape may have to do with political status.

The xerian guards don’t have capes at all, but have pauldrons of the same design. But, see where the horizontal line is on all the other ones? That’s where the Xerian ones stop and theirs appear to be only the upper part, whereas everyone else who has these things has complete ones. Both sets of guards have close proximity to the royal families so their armor composition is most likely not to do with their status in regards to the royals. So is it regional differences? With complete top+bottom ones reserved for Ephedians to differentiate troops (despite already having huge color palette differences)?

regular civilians=no capes/armor of any kind. Well, Ellira has a short regular cape but who knows her rank.

except for this guy, who exists to punch holes in my shaky theory. Unless he’s simply a guard of lower rank/from another realm. Though he has the same color armor as the Ephedian guards, the symbol at his collar isn’t a heart. It’s a kite?

Gramorr has holes in his weird smoke cape, and he too has matching complete pauldrons

Both of the twins have capes with holes, as if in preparation to eventually receive the armor pieces

And Praxina actually got them, along with another cape that fits the same trend

What does it mean?

Since those with connections to the Ephedian royals are apparently the only ones with complete pauldrons (top+bottom halves), we can deduce that the twins (or at least Prax) must have had some type of connection to them at some point. We of course know Gramorr’s connection to the king and queen (though not in much detail).

The fact that only 4 characters in this show have the weird capes leads one to believe them to be granted only to a chosen few. Did Gramorr wear one just to mimic the King and further humiliate him when he took the throne? Just for another kick at the reverence surrounding the capes did he then also give almost identical ones to his two underlings?

Or, since Gramorr was part of the royal court before the takeover was the cape part of his regular uniform? If it was, then were the twins connected to the court? Their grandfather was the jester, but they’re usually considered servants so I doubt the family somehow achieved such a high position as to actually sit on the court. They may have instead worked in service in close proximity to important people. But then why would they have the capes??

Or they could just look cool. The world may never know.

I think some of these theories are contradicting each other, but at this point I’m just throwing out any possible explanation i can think of and confusing myself

gonna be honest with you though, the entire appeal of vanilla WoW was its double edge. shit took forever, things never dropped, getting anywhere was a journey, you were a couple of deaths away from being broke at all times, riding was a luxury, all of that. but i remember fondly the harshness of some zones because it made the world more real; you knew anywhere in stranglethorn was a a threat, and if you weren’t properly geared or aware, the endgame zones would tear you to pieces. empty-ass unforgiving zones like silithus were incorrigible but with it came a reality of respect. 

people who played post-vanilla really only get that kind of feeling from patrol mobs like fel reavers. vanilla was just all fel reavers all the time, with some modern-day equivalents spread throughout all sorts of zones. if you’re a lowly little forsaken wandering into silverpine at, say, level 12, you could aggro a son of arugal [leve 21-ish] from halfway across the map and see this black as night “LEVEL: SKULL” beast bounding toward you from the darkness at a speed unlike anything you’ve seen yet in the game, save for a warrior’s charge. stitches in duskwood is a fair comparison, but there was only one stitches; there were at least three sons of arugal. 

then you take a zone like silithus where aggroing one silithid meant you pulled ten of them, and if you didnt have some kind of AoE or a party with you or the chops to take them down, you were thoroughly fucked. so there was a special kind of reverence for those who actually COULD make it into ahn’qiraj and face off against what terrorized the majority of players. one of my earliest wow memories was when the gates of ahn’qiraj were being opened on my server: i was in the barrens, and just outside the crossroads (a dangerous, volatile contested territory) spawned a mass of aqir and anubisaths. i clicked one and saw its level was just the picture of a skull. then, seemingly out of the woodwork, a stampede of level 60s, both horde and alliance, rode up on their steeds and set to work bringing them down. i watched from quite a distance to avoid catching aggro. they were HUGE mobs, in size and strength, and some of the horde and alliance actually ended up attacking each other in the fray in addition to the mobs. it was a bloodbath. and there was a sense of admiration and prestige i felt; hell, i’m pretty sure arete’s weapon was the white Farmer’s Broom that dropped somewhere in agamand hills. i was fighting with a literal broom and wearing a “neophyte’s shirt” watching these players with glimmering swords and massive sawtooth-spiked pauldrons take down these thirty foot anubis-headed living statues that came out of nowhere.

but the double-edge, of course, is that these people had invested countless hours, more than a full-time job, into the game. i remember my sister breaking up with her boyfriend because his raiding schedule was as demanding as his extracurricular wrestling. so the sense of accomplishment and reward was arguably higher in vanilla, of course, but it demanded a truthfully unfair amount of time and dedication for what was intended to be a game, something to do in one’s “spare” time, not as an occupation. 

so i certainly don’t mind the more streamlined approach to wow now, as people who dont have 50 hours a week to dedicate to wow and 39 other people to coordinate with to have a chance of having a chance at getting ONE piece of gear (you have to be able to down the boss, then the item has to drop, then you have to be among the people allowed to roll for it, then you have to win the roll) still get to see current content. but, as numerous people have said, wow’s vanilla form could only exist in that exact time period before widespread social networks or broadband internet or what have you; a game like wow’s vanilla could only exist now in terms of nostalgia. it wasnt hard for the sake of being hard, as some people think of dark souls, etc.; it was being created as it went along, roughly by trial and error, and set an example for all other MMOs at the time. 

wow’s vanilla atmosphere is what got me into roleplay. i spent so many hours in stranglethorn sweating in real life over pulling a whole camp of trolls or getting ganked by the same fucking night elf over and over and over outside nesingwary’s base camp that i began to feel like i really was in that humid jungle. i looked at my character wearing all cloth and ten pieces of armor and thought, “good thing she’s dead or she’d be sweating like crazy”. that’s how i knew i really was IN this world, i was part of it now, and i aimed to immerse myself as much as possible. world of warcraft also, as it did for many others, arrived at a very troubled time in my life, and it was (as it is now) one of the very few things grounding me and keeping me going. it’s rife with problems and insensitivities and blatant, grisly growing pains but goddamn do i love this game, and as it becomes more accessible to others—in its content, its characters, its world, its subject matter—i love it even more and more.

Towards Another Day (DA:I, Cullen character piece, ~3400 words)

Thanks to this discussion from tarysande, trekkiemage, and trulycertain about Cullen choosing his own uniform for the Inquisition.  I loved the idea and ran with it.

Summary: The man who leaves Kirkwall and the man who arrives in Haven are two very different people.  (Some angst, some lyrium, a lot of promise, Cullen’s hair.)

Cullen doffs his armor slowly, aware of the clank of every buckle, the movement of each joint.  The plate is cold and heavy beneath his hands, as familiar as his own skin and as foreign as it, too.  He lays the chestpiece down on the foot of his bunk, gets to work on the belt and skirt armor, slides them down past his hips and folds them carefully beside the chestpiece.  He removes the boots last, hands playing over the snaps with practiced ease, and stands them neatly beside the bed.

He stands there in his smallclothes, looking down at the flaming sword etched into the chestplate.  He’s known that sword such a long time, seen it in his dreams, in his nightmares.  He reaches out and traces the dips in the metal with his fingertips, remembering shadow and flame, the smell of blood, the sound of screams.  Champion of the just.  

He smiles grimly, shaking his head.  He leaves the armor where it sits, pulls on simple woolen trousers and linen overshirt, a coarse woven cloak, stiff, short leather boots that have barely been worn.  The clothing’s strange against his skin.  He slides the straps of a canvas rucksack over his shoulders, adjusts the sword at his side, and he leaves the Gallows for the last time.


The journey from Kirkwall to Haven is not a brief one.  Cassandra has already left, searching for additional aid for her Inquisition.  Cullen travels alone.  

The ship from Kirkwall is a nightmare of tossing waves and the constant stench of brine.  He’s sick more than once, huddled in the hold out of the rain and the salt spray.  Everything is close and tight and crowded, human voices constantly muttering in his ears.  There are only a few lanterns feebly bringing light into the cold gloom.  

He murmurs bits of the Chant as the ship rocks beneath him, but he still feels an old forgotten panic clawing at the back of his mind.  When he closes his eyes he sees that little corner off the stairs from the Harrowing Chamber, the floor stones that he had memorized by the end, viscera and rotten bloom climbing the walls.  He sinks into himself, holding back bile, reminding himself he is not there, he is not there, this is temporary.

Keep reading

What If, Part 6

Author’s notes: This part is a little rough, forgive me if there are any mistakes. Definitely send me an ask or something letting me know if there’s anything glaringly wrong. I do not own any part of Blizzard or its many franchises or characters.

A crack of thunder rang out causing Tracer to flinch and Amélie to duck. Swiveling her head around, Amélie immediately spotted the enemy sniper and dove to her rifle. Aiming quickly, she managed to eliminate the threat just as a helicopter was heard in the distance. She caught a sea of black flooding the streets as Talon agents took formation below the building. Amélie rolled to her back, taking cover behind the small ledge.

“I need back up at my location immediately!” Amélie yelled into her communicator. She released the device to focus on Tracer’s limp form on the concrete before her. “I have wounded!” She screamed over the radio. She crawled over to Tracer in a panicked search for an entrance wound. She peeled off a stained t-shirt seeing her normal dark uniform below even darker from her blood. The young woman took short shallow breaths, a line of blood trickling from her mouth. Amélie’s hands pressed hard on a ragged hole just an inch from the glowing red ring on her chest, now flickering like the breaths she took.

“Stay with me, ma chérie, stay with me.” She shifted her body weight into keeping the wound compressed. A helicopter descended close to the roof top and Amélie struggled to decide between maintaining pressure on the wound, or reaching for her rifle. Before she had to make a decision, the side door flew open. A primal roar filled the air, drowning out the rotors of the chopper for a brief moment. Winston flew from the craft and disappeared over the edge of the building.

“Our furry friend has got the right idea!” Reinhardt shouted over the communicator, a boisterous laugh resonating in his words. McCree peeked over one of the massive man’s pauldrons and pointed a finger gun at Amélie.

“We’ve got your back.” His slow drawl was heard easily over the radio as he shifted, grabbing his hat with one hand and holding tight to Reinhardt’s armor. The two sailed off the craft together, McCree giving a “Yeehaw!” as they disappeared into the fight.

Mercy glided across from Amélie, brushing her hands close to the convulsing form between them. She looked up at the sorry filled eyes that would not lock with hers.

“Amélie.” Angela demanded her attention with her serious voice, generally reserved for grim diagnoses or delivery of bad news.

Amélie snapped her head up to meet eyes with the medic.

“Do you want me to save her?” Mercy asked. Amélie sputtered incredulously for a moment before answering.

“Yes! Please amie, please save her.” That was all the answer she needed as she waved a hand above her head. Amélie removed her hands as the convulsing stopped. There was silence for a moment, only interrupted by the slam of a hammer against metal. She swiveled her head around to see the stout Torbjörn setting up a turret at the edge of the building. She turned back to the limp form before her and whispered in French.

“Please. Please don’t do this to me. I can’t lose you both…” Angela watched silently, not knowing the language, but understanding the meaning of her words.

Grappling hooks dug into the side of the building next to the turret. The Swedish man growled and kicked one loose, a sickening scream was heard floors below.

“We’re going to have to move soon!” The engineer announced as he poured molten metal down the next hook. “Ha! Try that on for size!” He yelled in response to the following yelps of pain. A flash of fire passed close by the short man, knocking three more ropes loose and causing him to stumble backwards to avoid singeing his beard. “Watch where you’re firing that thing, you old coot!” The insult echoed across the communicators.

“Who are you calling old?” Reinhardt fired back with a laugh.

A cough snapped Amélie’s attention back to the young woman before her. She rolled to one side, retching a puddle of blood. She spit a tiny metallic shard that skipped across the concrete and rolled to her back. She gasped for air, large panicked breaths before she began digging at her chest with her fingers.

“Restrain her arms.” Mercy’s orders were followed instantly as she hovered her golden hands over Tracer’s chest. Her breathing evened as she blinked taking in her surroundings.

“Think you ought to buy me a drink first.” She choked out a raspy laugh, her smirk extended by the line of dark dry blood trailing from the corner of her mouth. The women all let loose a relieved chuckle.

“I think you owe Angela one for saving your smartass.” Amélie’s eyes glowed.

“Yeah, yeah, round of drinks for everyone if we make it out of this alive.” Torbjörn shouted over the gunfire. “The turret will cover our exit, can we move?”

“Carry her.” Mercy instructed Amélie. Scooping the smaller woman effortlessly, they trotted to the helicopter.

“Medical evac is a go.” The pilot’s voice rang on her the communicators as Amélie watched the battle from above. Torbjörn stayed with his turret, not missing the opportunity to lay fire into the soldiers below him. She saw black forms flying through the air as Winston pummeled the crowd. Reinhardt charged forward to meet the ape, swinging his hammer and threatening to crush just as many men. McCree hung back, picking off any stragglers that managed to escape the two massive men.

“Your exfil is two clicks out, gentlemen.” Another pilot’s voice rang over the comms.

“Take your time, we’re havin’ fun. First boys night out in a long while.” McCree’s drawl answered, assuring their safety.

spookymurdocks  asked:

When I look at fantasy armor they all seem to add one ornate pauldron while leaving the other plain. Was this an actual feature or are fantasy armorers having me on again?

I’m not sure. Asymmetrical armor was an actual thing, and I’ve seen that reflected in some fantasy armor.

The idea was, if you’re opponent is primarily striking with their right hand, they’ll be connecting with your left arm, so we’ll just slap a lot more armor on there for when a blow gets in.

This is why you’ll sometimes see massive left pauldrons, sometimes even including partial neck guards on that side. While the right pauldron is smaller, lighter, and designed to give the combatant more mobility in that arm.

You also see some implications for this in castle designs in Europe, where the person coming up the stairs would have their right arm against the wall, while the person coming down would have their right hand in open space, or the twist of a staircase would be designed so the central spire would get in the way of someone trying to fight their way up if they were right handed (which was a safe bet.)

You might see ornate elements specifically on the right pauldron because it would be somewhat safer from constant assault, and it wouldn’t be a terrible place to put some kind of status indicator or insignia. You might also be thinking of the heavier pauldron as being ornate, which in some cases I’m sure they were.

It could also just be fantasy armor messing with you. Sort of like how full plate that was designed to counter early firearms will sometimes show up in fantasy settings that don’t even have crossbows.