"This has never happened to me before. I'm a good pilot, dammit! Ugh, I know I'm going to be charged for it too. Serves me right for renting out a Cartel Zeppelin, dammit!"
It was a dark, steaming jungle night in northern Stranglethorn. The ambient noise of the forest is astonishing. An endless natural orchestra of birds, insects, and mammals play in the lush canopies and dank undergrowth. Much like the Swamp of Sorrows, rain is a daily occurrence in Stranglethorn Vale.
After Spirra crossed over the mountains it looked as if we would soon reach the goblin metropolis of Booty Bay. Then an unexpected storm blew us badly off-course. Spirra took this in stride, saying that it would just take a little longer, and that she could stop by Grom'gol if I wanted. Then, drifting low over the verdant jungle ceiling we heard a staccato of gunfire rise from the tangled landscape. Bullets shattered the propeller and pierced the balloon, and we streaked to the ground. It ended suddenly when Spirra's zeppelin impaled itself on a tree. Fortunately, neither of us was badly hurt. We climbed down the tree, carrying what supplies we could. Of our attackers we found no sign. ("Stranglethorn Vale," Travels Through Azeroth and Outland)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to actually be in Azeroth? To travel from place to place, staying in inns or with friends and acquaintances, taking in the sights and logging it all down in your journal? Find yourself transported as you see Azeroth and Outland through the eyes of itinerant traveller Destron the mage, as documented in the fan fiction Travels Through Azeroth and Outland. This ongoing, lore-based tale is deep -- deep enough in quantity to have accumulated years' worth of entries, and deep enough in content to be recommended by TVTropes.com.
ATTENTION, ARTISTS: Submit your own illustration of Travels Through Azeroth's main character, Destron, for a chance to have your art featured here at WoW.com and on the main page of Travels Through Azeroth. Join us after the break for more details.
World of WarCrafts visited with Travels Through Azeroth author Destron to find out more about the creator behind this extensive (and still growing) body of fan fiction.
World of WarCrafts: While Destron has extensively crisscrossed Azeroth and Outland, we see he hasn't made very many excursions into territory technically found within instances. As a WoW player yourself, we understand you're not fond of instances. What's that all about?
Destron: I've lately been overcoming my reluctance to perform instances, thanks to the Dungeon Finder that Blizzard implemented late last year. Before that, I was always put off by the amount of time it took to get a group together and (at least in the case of vanilla WoW) how long it took to actually complete an instance. While I am in a guild, there are rarely more than a few members on at any given time, making it difficult to arrange big events.
From a writing standpoint, instances are a bit tricky. They're generally controlled by very hostile factions, which would make it difficult for the narrator to go inside. I could have him fight his way through, but I honestly don't think that'd be very interesting to write or read about. The travelogue's really more about the kinds of societies that would form in such places, and it's just hard to explore that in a believable manner.
The only instance I've written about in detail is Zul'Farrak. However, I am planning to give Azjol-Nerub its own section. There are just too many cool details and theories that I want to write about to pass that up. Of course, there's always the possibility that Blizzard will add a new zone featuring an unexplored portion of Azjol-Nerub in one of the upcoming patches, in which case I'll probably cover that instead.
I don't actually spend all that much time playing WoW. While I'm sure I'll be logging in a substantial amount of time when Cataclysm comes out, at the moment I'm generally content to spend a few hours a week familiarizing myself with whatever section I plan to write about. I used to really enjoy in-game RP, but I haven't done much of that in recent years.
I guess you could say that I'm paying Blizzard in order to write about their setting, which might seem pretty odd. Then again, I'm having an insane amount of fun doing it, so I have no regrets.
My main character is Felya, an undead priestess on Feathermoon. She actually appears in the travelogue's Stranglethorn Vale chapter. I also have a male human warlock named Aurelan, on the same server, who has a cameo in Elwynn Forest.
What areas of Azeroth and Outland that you've not yet written about are you most looking forward to covering?
I think I'm as enthused as anyone else about some of the new zones being revealed in Cataclysm. Mt. Hyjal and Gilneas are definitely places I'm eager to cover. I'm also interested in the upcoming makeover for some of the old zones. Now, I'm certainly not going to write about all or even most of the rearranged zones, but the travelogue may explore some of those with the most dramatic changes.
In addition to that, I'd really love to see Kul Tiras, though that apparently won't be there. I also wanted to cover Kezan and Undermine. My understanding is that goblin players in Cataclysm actually start in Undermine, prior to its destruction, so who knows? I might be able to do something with that.
We're not sure we've seen such a steady, reliable blogging effort in recent history. You're so consistent! Do you foresee an end to the project?
Thanks. I'm the sort of person who feels that the day's been wasted unless I spent at least some time writing. Generally I only write for an hour or two a day, but that does add up over the years. Plus, I can type very quickly.
The project will end when I feel like I've said everything I wanted to say. However, starting this month, I'm going to slow my pace and work on some original fiction. The travelogue has been an immeasurably positive experience for me, and it's certainly improved my writing ability. However, I need to explore new frontiers if I want to improve further.
I'll still be updating the travelogue at least once a month, possibly even twice if I have the time. My first priority, though, will be to write a short piece of original fiction once a month.
What's your writing background?
Professionally, I've worked as both an editor and a writer for several years. I did quite a lot of writing back in college, since I started out as an English major before switching to history. As any history major knows, that field also demands a great deal of writing. At the moment, I'm working as a freelance web content writer while I apply to and prepare for grad school, which will involve even more writing!
Send us your original illustration of Destron, the protagonist of Travels Through Azeroth, for a chance to be featured here on WoW.com and on the About page of Travels Through Azeroth! Find out more about Destron by reading about him on Travels; your illustration should show Destron, the narrator, not Felya (pictured immediately above). You may use any art medium you like. Send your entries (.jpg format, please) to email@example.com, with the subject line TRAVELS THROUGH AZEROTH ART. We'll accept entries through midnight EST Thursday, April 15.
Travels Through Azeroth and Outland is designed so that readers do not have to read the entire work in order from start to finish. Visit the introductory page for an orientation and overview of the entire series.
World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music and fan fiction. Show us how you express yourself by e-mailing lisa (at) wow (dot) com with your not-for-profit WoW-inspired creations.