The fine folks from the Twisted Nether often emphasise the importance of having an “about” page on a blog, some meta page that tells the reader who the author is, and why they are writing.

Because this is the Web, I won’t repeat myself and tell you who is behind the keyboard – you can read all about me, or mostly about me, or partially about me, at the root of this website. Still, that’s not quite what a reader interested in WoW might want to know. So I’ll expand a little here, and talk about my history with the game.

I began playing in mid 2006, in the days of Vanilla WoW, having been given a trial disk at Supanova. Like a lot of people, I rolled a Night Elf Rogue called Giladris on Amun’Thul. I really had no idea what I was doing, and just bumbled along without a huge amount of success. Somewhere around level 40, on 15th September 2006 the Gates of Anh’Qirai opened… and half the server promptly fell over under the load. Weirdly, one continent continued working, so for fun I rolled a dwarf priest. As usual I let the names generate randomly, and cycle through until I find one I like. The third name to come up was Belmann – a wild coincidence, since my usual on-line nom de guerre is “The Bellman” or some variation. He had to stay.

When Burning Crusade was launched, I decided that I needed a mage, and created the Draenei mage of fire-balling ferocity, Morkhaeus. Initially that was on Amun’Thul, but as server queues became ridiculous I jumped all my characters to Caelestrasz, and there they have stayed. Through BC, I cycled between these three characters, getting Giladris to 70, and Morkhaeus to 60 – but increasingly I was spending the time with Belmann. Initially he was pure shadow, for solo questing, but it became apparent that what every one wanted – and what every guild wanted – was a healer. So he became deep holy.

By the time Wrath of the Lich King was released, it was clear that Belmann was my main, and the other two guys were much neglected alts (one day I will level them… or kill them off). I followed the lemmings and made a dwarf Death Knight, Macmorris, primarily out of curiosity, and partially to have a character that just ran up to mobs and smacked them hard with an axe. Because you have to say this about solo questing with a Holy priest: it’s like trying to kill things by hitting them with a feather. It was also around this time that I made the slightly mad decision to try to have nothing but dwarf toons. Because you can never have enough dwarves.

I’ve been playing computer games for a (very) long time, and I’ve always been drawn to RPGs, particularly fantasy themed ones. Remember Wizardry? Bard’s Tale? Baldur’s Gate? And any time I played, I tended to roll dwarf characters, usually some sort of cleric or magic user. It must be in my blood.

Through 2009 I’ve rolled a few more characters to play with, and to further my goal of All Dwarves, All The Time. So far I’ve built a hunter, Glymly, and a female warrior, Maarisuu. And there’s a few other baby alts out there that have never progressed.

So! Why am I writing, and what do I intend to do with this blog? The two questions are related. Mainly I am writing because I have very little opportunity to write freely and creatively in my work, and I want to hone my writing skills. And mainly because there are all sorts of very cool things in the game that seldom get mentioned.

Hence my mission statement: to write about my reactions to the game, my experience with the game. No theory craft, no how-to guides, no dull recitation of achievements or activity. Rather, I want to celebrate the cool and interesting things. Blizzard have a lot of designers working on the game, and they put a lot of seriously cool and fun things in there. My self-appointed role is to be a tourist, and report back on the Cool Stuff.

Oh. And by the way… this has nothing to do with the guild over on Staghelm