Today, twitter treated me to a lovely, calm response to the post-Blizzcon push for some female representation, courtesy of Bigbearbutt: http://thebigbearbutt.com/2013/11/14/massive-offensive-rant-the-story-belongs-to-blizzard/ .
… Yeah. If you haven’t read that already, I’d recommend that you go do so.
I’m not going to get into tearing apart of posts or ranting, since I’m fairly certain that’s been done already. What I will say, is that anyone who hasn’t should also go look at the extended conversation several of us had with US Community Manager Nethaera on twitter (@Nethaera) about the representation of women within the upcoming expansion. While there were obviously no details, it is good to know that we can open dialogue if we need reassurance, and while the verdict will be out until the beta, it’s clear that Blizzard is willing to discuss things.
Now, I do have one thing to say about the post from Big Bear Butt. And it was this quote specifically:
‘You want more awesome stories with these characters? You think there is a way it SHOULD have been written, characters that SHOULD have been created?
WRITE THEM YOURSELF, IF YOU KNOW SO DAMN MUCH.
Fanfic goes anywhere and everywhere. Post links to it on all those social media sites you’ve used to rant about how much Blizzard sucks, okay?
Please do, I’d love to see it and tell YOU what YOU need to change to satisfy MY prejudices.’
My response to this is as follows:
‘Take our child into a warzone? Are you mad?’
‘Mad enough to follow you into hell. You are not a footsoldier, Go’el. You have the right to go to Draenor. As do I. As does our child. As do all of our people. All I ask is that for once you stop and think before charging in and trying to play the hero.’
‘Who else will, Aggra? Do you see anyone else volunteering to go and save our people?’
‘Go’el, listen to me. We are orcs. We do not need heroes. We have ourselves. We have always had ourselves. If you go alone, then you are surely outnumbered. What if you are captured? Who would return to let us know? Where would we look? How many would we be up against?’
‘I will not risk you, Aggra-
‘And I shall not lose you either! I have almost lost you once already to your heroism, or have you forgotten?’
Silence fell, the deep auburn sunset filling the room separating the two orcs.
‘I…’ The shaman fell silent, looking to the floor.
‘Go’el.’ The woman moved towards her mate, intertwining her fingers with his. ‘They are your people. They are my people. And together, we are stronger. Garrosh may be on Draenor, but there is no Fel Horde. And I think that for all the war in our lives, both of us turned out alright. I would rather our child had both parents for as long as possible, whatever happens.’
Aggra could feel the arrow pointed at her back, even if the ranger was invisible in the thick snow.
‘Who goes there? State your clan, interlopers.’
Standing at full height, she declared: ‘Frostwolf.’
The voice gave a snort. ‘Nice try. The entire clan’s been six leagues north of here for the last year. Keep moving. Chieftain Durotan will see that you are punished for impersonating the honourable wolves of the north. And you, Stormreaver – I’m sure he’ll come up with a special punishment for a beast such as you.’
Thrall tensed next to her.
‘Don’t. If you kill him you will only make it worse. Gul’dan’s clan are the only ones who drank the blood. We are not from this time. They know nothing of us.’ Aggra wrapped the baby tighter as they trudged through the snow.
‘So long as we are together, it does not matter.’
‘My son a shaman and a fel-beast? Preposterous!’ The hulking chieftain stalked around the hut, pausing every so often to glare at Thrall. ‘I thought it too good to be true when that prophet came to us. Still, I saw that not one of my clan drank that demon-broth. You are a liar, no doubt, but we Frostwolves alone resist the ‘Iron Horde’. If you are here to help, then I will-’
‘By the Broken Fang of Lo’Gosh, Durotan, you shall open this door or I shall conjure such a rage that Drek’thar himself will see it.’ Durotan was cut off by a threat from outside. The voice varied between anger and concern. Durotan glanced briefly backwards. ‘This does not concern you, Dra-’
The door burst open, and Durotan’s mate stalked in. ‘A stranger arrived claiming to be OUR CHILD, and you see fit not to consult me, but to let me overhear the grunts gossiping of it? We agreed to lead this clan together!’
‘You said you wished to spend your evening with Go’el. I was not going to disturb you.’
‘Oh, I will deal with you later.’ Laying her hand briefly on her mate’s, Draka turned towards Thrall and Aggra.
‘By the eyes of the raven-lord…’ Draka rushed forth, cupping Thrall’s face in her own. ‘I defy you, Durotan, tell me that this is not the face of Chieftain Garad looking at me.’
From where she stood, Aggra could see the Frostwolf Chieftain’s shoulders drop. ‘My own Skysong, I dared not believe it. How is it possible?’
Draka embraced her son tightly, and from there, her eyes glanced over the bundle held in Aggra’s arms, and widened.
‘I was left in Garadar with only the names of my parents. Most mag’har knew only the legacy of the Horde and the orphans around them as their clan.’
‘I won’t stand for such a thing.’ Draka passed Aggra a terocone.
‘Where did you get these?’ Aggra mused, considering the distance between Frostfire Ridge and Talador.
‘Draenei traders gave us them months ago. Ordinarily we save them for feast-days in Oshu’gun, but we will not be attending one soon. Here we are.’ Draka pulled a thin scrap of cloth from a knapsack, deftly maneuvering it onto the blanket and attaching it before showing it to Aggra. It was the emblem of the clan, a wolf caught in mid-howl.
‘The sigil of the Frostwolf chief. Garad gave it to us on our mating day, but… you need it more than we. I am proud of my son’s future. Now, come whatever storm, both of you are Frostwolves. Both of you have family.’
I hope that was not intensely boring. Shockingly, constructive criticism is welcome.