The War in Gielinor

In a strange turn of events, and being impecunious as I am, I have agreed to attend a war in the fictional world of Gielinor. After a bad few years with more stress and tears than happiness and joy, I’ve been put off playing MMORPG’s. But now the Wilderness Guardians, the clan my brother and I founded, faces what may be its last battle. The reputation of the Guardians has been ravaged by a stream of losses and its numbers have fallen critically. Once amongst the strongest clans in Runescape (the third, I think, at one point), the member count has fallen to 55. In a final effort, a war has been organised to boost morale and if nothing comes of it, the Guardians may disband forever. A welcome release for my brother I think, but a sad end to a grand legacy.

In this desperate strike for redemption my brother cannot partake. He will be on a plane within five minutes of the war starting, and try as he might he cannot negotiate for it to begin earlier or later, nor is he willing to fork out the cash to reschedule his flight. So instead he invests his money in me, a cheaper alternative. For $60 (originally $50, but pushed higher with my reluctance) I will take his place among the Guardians, controlling his character (whose prowess in combat far exceeds my own which I abandoned some years ago). It seems I am called upon to once again adopt the mantle of leader of the Wilderness Guardians, not as Lord Xin, but as His Lordship. And I must confess, it is a good feeling. I once commanded the force of raiders with which we purged the Wilderness of the hunters known as Player Killers, shield of the innocent and beacon of hope. A little overdramatic, but in ideal it was pure. I will return to fight among strangers to defend once and for all that which I once stood for.

I do not expect to live long- my inexperience with the ever-evolving systems of battle and tactics, weapons and armour, specials and spells will no doubt leave me an easy target. Gone are the days when one takes an R2H in hand, dons rune full plate and tries to three-hit one’s enemy. But I will fight all the same. And should it end my virtual life, I will have died in the name of the innocent.

Wai-con 2010

So! After two and a bit years I finally return to Wai-con and all the goodness of anime and cosplaying. It wasn’t as big a deal as it’s always been- I guess I’m getting tired of it. The hype wasn’t nearly as huge because I wasn’t psyched up about all the merchandise ready for purchasing- I’ve been more or less extremely poor since I (almost regretfully- ALMOST) left my job at Coles last month. I can’t believe it’s only been like, six weeks, but I’ve been spending far too much money I don’t have. I’m holding out for the 4th of March, which is when I first get paid for working at Curtin’s library. Anyway, with no money to spend and not much interest in the stalls (I’ve seen most of the merchandise online), all that really left was cosplay, anime, panels and gaming. I had no huge interest in watching the cosplay, and I completely forgot that anime was screening. The few panels I was interested in I forgot to go to (though Bethi and I did have the pleasure of watching an iaido/kenjutsu/aikido demonstration, with a hilarious and awesome instructor cutting a banana in half without breaking the peel and trying to use a masamune for quickdraws). The Smash Bros. tournament was interesting- hundreds of people participated so it took a FREAKING LONG time to finish, but fortunately for me I only had to wait two hours or so before getting knocked out in the second round. I played against Beth’s friend Andre twice. It turns out he’s a member of Perth’s Smash Bros. team, and proved insanely good. How much better than me I can’t say, but he beat me fair and square. I hope to track him down and challenge him again some day.

On Sunday I chose to cosplay for the first time as Himura Kenshin, from the series Rurouni Kenshin (or SamuraiX). Here I must extend my gracious thanks to Bethwyn for all the work and help she put in getting the costume and wig and the long process of styling it. I truly would have sucked without you. Overall though, I think it worked out to be quite awesome! After I got the feeling in my ears back, anyway. I wonder what I would look like with long hair? Anyway, there are a few photos (more to come) in the photo section of my blog, with Bethi cosplaying as Kikyo.

Overall, I kinda wish I had taken a more active role in pursuing the things I wanted to see- the panels I missed, the screenings I wanted to watch. But I was exhausted and sick after wearing the costume, and I now realise that Bethi was feeling the same so it’s unfair to complain about missing out when I would rather have been home anyway. For the first time, I’m not sure if I want to go back next year. It’s getting busier than ever and the stalls are much the same. The gaming always interests me, but the convention is usually expensive and not always exciting. The hype is dying on me, though we’ll see what next year has to offer! I wish I could have spent more time with certain people, but we’ll have to catch up another time. Ja everybody!

Oh! And there was one hidden gem I did purchase which I’m quite pleased with (even though it totally overblew my budget)…

Things I am grateful for

This is an exercise that isn’t done nearly enough. It’s advised to be done every day before one sleeps- to think of the good things one has done or that have happened to one, what one has learned and what one is grateful for. It’s said to bring good dreams. Now that I have a few minutes and I’m in an energetic mood, I thought I’d actively list the things that are making me happy.

  • 26 (almost entirely) happy months of being with Bethwyn. Especially the parts where I get to wake up beside her <3
  • Being the Sleep Ninja. Anytime, anywhere, for 10 hours. Usually. A good soldier, after all, sleeps whenever he gets the chance.
  • Juggling! One of the gifts Eugene brough back to me from America are world-class juggling beanbags/pins which belonged to an ex-performer.
  • The New Super Mario Brothers Wii. I didn’t expect it, but it’s actually a fantastic game (when the players get along).
  • Left 4 Dead. Also a surprising winner, there’s something amazingly satisfying about a mouse-and-keyboard first person shooter.
  • Discovering Hyper, Australia’s most awesome gaming magazine.
  • Health! My back (after injuring it after Rotness in November) is finally healing, thanks to the talented (and indeed miraculous) hands of Danny Divine. And I’m grateful I can eat anything I want and breathe properly/don’t need to struggle for my life. I’m especially grateful for being able to study the warrior arts.
  • Speaking of warrior arts, I am so grateful for the opportunity to see the Warriors of Brazil. If you think you could appreciate capoeira, Brazillian singing, dancing and some hardcore tambourinists/jazz flautists/saxophonists, go see it. Now.
  • Avatar. Still one of the most beautiful things ever created in my mind. I yearn to learn more about the Omaticaya, and indeed, the Na’vi. I’ll have to get my hands on James Cameron’s Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide.
  • Buddhism, and the teachings of the Buddha.
  • All the people I love and all the things I love doing. Thank you everyone.