The Tattered Notebook: If you think wings are weird...

Skull head
Last week, EverQuest II rolled out two new Marketplace items: the nightmare flight wings and the Pegasus feather flight wings. At first, I didn't think much of it because it was just another flying mount, but as I watched the promotional video, it seemed strangely out of place for characters of all races to be sprouting wings and flying around of their own power.

While many players are excited about the new flight wings, others question whether they fit into the lore and the world of EQII. And this isn't the first time an item has left players with tilted heads and confused expressions. Read on for a collection of oddities from the world of Norrath!

Burynai seeker

On the surface, he seems like just another typical house pet, although he's probably even more popular because he takes your bones, water, and fertilizer and turns them into shinies. But look closer and you'll realize he's actually pretty disturbing. Any time he's sitting down, he'll take his grubby little claws and dig out a snack from his bellybutton. Disgusting! That's right, Burynai seeker eats anything you give him, and when he's done with that, he'll even eat the gunk out of his bellybutton. Burynai seekers don't give a poop!

Burynai Seeker
Monk hats for all

People refer to the new wings as EQII's "jump the shark" moment, but for me, that happened years ago when players were able to equip armor that wasn't traditional to their particular class. When I played my Monk, I enjoyed the fact that she had a cool conical hat and a variety of colorful gis, and when a certain Fury in my guild strutted by one day sporting the same hat as I had, I was angry! (He, of course, got the biggest kick out of it.)

Over time, I got used to the fact that class hats were no longer class-specific and casters could sport plate armor. The appearance tab is worth the unusual clothing and weapon selections that players have made. I even decided that if you can't beat them, join them, and so I got a katana for my Monk from one of the live events. Even though a katana might seem to go well with a martial arts class, Monks can't normally equip swords, so it was my quiet rebellion.

Squirrels

Don't get me wrong -- I like the squirrel mounts that are in game, and I get a kick out of watching them glance around furtively as they shove acorns into their mouths. But it's a little weird as well. Why are we riding squirrels again?

Freebloods

There's plenty of good storyline regarding vampires in EQII, but to me, the Freebloods were a strange addition to the Marketplace not because of lore but because their appeal (and selling point) was their lifetap racial trait and their ability to turn into a swarm of bats. It felt a little too forced, and it didn't mesh well with the vampire lore already in game.

Candy cane weapons and buckler

You can almost justify being able to wield candy canes, although it's hard to explain why they're effective in combat against raid bosses. But the candy-cane striped buckler is just too much. Why am I marching off to combat with a giant breath mint strapped to my arm?

Good Gear Man
The Good Gear Man's hat

There are a few odd housing and clothing items on the Marketplace, but one of the strangest is the Good Gear Man's hat. It's modeled after the hat worn by the ice-cream-selling robot from Legends of Norrath, which makes me wonder, "Why is a tinkered robot selling me ice cream in the first place?" I never understood how that hat fit in with the world of Norrath, unless Norrath has the Love Boat or The Captain and Tenille. A guildmate bought one and found a cloth shirt with a red ascot to go with it, and every time he ran past, I half-expected him to start singing, "Do that to me one more time."

The skull spiked pauldrons

I never really understood the deal with the enormous shoulderpads in World of Warcraft. It left me wondering whether the common phrase is, "You know what they say about the size of a man's pauldrons." EQII's armor is usually not cumbersome-looking, but the skull spiked pauldrons from the Hedge Maze are over the top. The spiky armor isn't bad by itself, but the huge spikes on top with the impaled skulls left me suspicious of how on earth someone could tank in that without giving himself a concussion every time he lifted his sword. Pair it up with the skeleton mask, or even go one better and do it on a Froglok or Ratonga, and the result is beyond explanation.

Wings!

Those who question the lore behind the new flight wings probably should have asked that years ago. Legends of Norrath has had a wing-illusion loot card for a while now, and tons of players have farmed the Shard of Love in the hopes of getting the wing-illusion cloak to drop. Players have been sporting wings for a long time, and there's never really been an explanation why. It probably wasn't as much of an issue because they were just illusions, but when you think about it, it never really made much sense.

Yes, EQII fans, when you look at all of the items that have appeared in game over the years, some of them are a little out there. But that's also why I love the game so much: One person's idea of strange is another's dream item. Even though certain items seem a little odd, they provide ample opportunities for players to express themselves through their characters. The candy-striped buckler might be the finishing touch on someone's carefully constructed "Frostfell warrior" look. Someone else might have been thrilled to go with an all-rodent theme by purchasing a squirrel mount for his Ratonga. Somewhere in my bags, I have a Legends of Norrath cloak that gives me a halo effect over my head, which could very well fit on the list above and will pair up nicely with the new Pegasus flight wings. Sometimes creativity is worth a little weirdness here and there. And Norrath could sure use a few good angels!

From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. You can send feedback or elven spirits to karen@massively.com.
This article was originally published on Massively.