In days long ago, when the shadows of an old god crept across the snowy peaks of Northrend, I played with a horde guild founded with some friends that I had known since my blood elf warlock was just learning to fly in Outland. Then one day I logged in and was informed that I should grab what I want from the guild bank, because the whole thing was going kaputz. This was one of the many times that I was completely oblivious to any and all turmoil and drama going on in a guild. It was not the last. But this did give me ample cause to break away and try something different. Thus my pint-sized powerhouse was born: DEATHPUFF THE GNOME DEATH KNIGHT!
Driven by bloodlust and powered by adorableness, she quickly became my favorite character ever. From the way she would hop up into the air to death strike a monster quadruple her size, to the silly pink hair tied into pom poms on her head. Deathpuff is my second longest running character in WoW. She and my warlock have outlasted every single alt that has been deleted and fallen by the wayside over my 5 or so years playing the game. I thought my little gnomey and I would be best buds forever.
However, that all changed recently. During a short two month return to WoW to see my old friends and settle some unfinished business before Mists of Pandaria came out, the announcement of account wide achievements and mounts shot through the internet, leaving rejoicing and lament in its momentous wake. The revelation and clarification of how these functions would work left me with a startling realization. While most of my achievements and mounts that I really cared about would carry over from my old mains’ past adventures to my current main, the two I had next to no interest in were considered faction specific and would not translate between Deathpuff and my paladin, Vrykerion. That being the Black War Battle from ‘For the Alliance/For the Horde’ and the engineering crafted motorcycle.
These two things were a particularly big deal for me because they were two things I NEVER WANTED TO DEAL WITH AGAIN. I’m sorry, but crafting the chopper and running around the globe and trying to break into the faction leaders homes to kill them are a pain. I did them once. Back in Wrath of the Lich King mind you and on the Alliance side, on a different server. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Moon Guard, but one does not simply assault Stormwind. That place is packed 24/7 with a great community that will not hesitate to drop everything and put the hordies down. Trust me, I’ve tried to do For The Horde several times. Stormwind is the Achilles heel and is paramount that you do it first. Because if you don’t, word will get around that there’s a horde party assaulting the faction leaders and you will face even MORE resistant at Wrynn’s throne.
Faced with this, I did the unthinkable. I faction swapped Deathpuff. Believe me, I can hear your screams of ‘NOOOOOO’ from here. But it was for the greater good of my completionist mentality. I did the best I could to preserve her adorableness though. She became a spunky little goblin. And since I’m on a RP server, and some of my guildees were aware of my attachment for the little gnome, it has somehow become in character that Deathpuff II (to use comic book naming conventions) is actually a gnome disguised as a goblin. This is now in my head canon.
Of course, this was decided right around the time of me reading about Gnomeregan Forever over Wyrmrest Accord. Another RP server with a fantastic community and apparently a rival to Moon Guard? Honestly, I haven’t a clue. This is just what people tell me as I am oblivious to drama (as we have established.) So I decided the fate of my two remaining high level gnomes. Puff the Warrior would be faction changed in Mists of Pandaria to a horde female pandaren (the name fits), and Exíle – my dear warlock who began as a blood elf years ago and my oldest toon – would be the first to grab a bunch of herbs & ores, and a handful of gold to her name, and make the leap to begin a new legacy of gnomes on Wyrmrest Accord, where Azeroth-2 Deathpuff (to borrow yet another comic book naming convention) was born!
Now I have spent nearly the cost of Diablo III to preserve not only my habitual collecting and completionism but also my proud gnome heritage. Let this be a word to you gnome kickers, taunters, and insulters! This is the devotion of a man who enjoys his gnomes. THIS IS OUR MIGHT GIVEN FORM! Do not cross us! Who the hell do you think we are?!
(Oh geeze, sorry about that. Got all Kamina there at the end!)