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As per the label, the story is meant as the counterpart to the bleak, depressing, Koltira-crushing Comfort, and is intended to be that story's inverse in as many ways as possible.

::|:: on FFnet    ::|::    On Ao3::|::

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Origin

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As I freely admitted elsewhere I was shamed into writing this by my SO, a WoW player who, while not a shipper, knows that I write fanfic for fun. ~ I didn't need a huge push, however as I usually can't bear to do horrible things to characters and then just LEAVE them there.

Anyhow, the story idea has been percolating for 5 or 6 weeks. I had the shackle thing ( originally I was going to have them stand out front and shackle ALL of UC - thank goodness

[personal profile] jack_of_none  talked me out of that!) and the cross-faction DK couple taking over the shackle so that T and K could hightail it out, but I was missing an ending ... and a beginning. And most of the middle.

Once my old Tier 6 gear gave me the idea of Anduin, and the idea of Thassarian receiving absolution came into it ... well, it kinda went from there.

I did get quite tangled up for almost a day on exactly WHO ought be be on the rescue team, but ultimately I went with a few as possible. ~ Obviously there needed to be a priest ( though I've gone back and forth about hinting that it was Ishanah)

For the rest I fell back on my experience of playing a healy priest ( which I've done since vanilla, though it's been so long since I used the chained Mind Vision trick I don't even know if it works anymore .. I hope so :p)

Title
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Meant to invoke the "Koltira as perpetual damsel in distress"  BS that gets bandied on the forums. ~ Also continues the "inverse" theme, with distress being an antonym of comfort ... and also to underscore that "Comfort" title was meant ironically.


Is There a Grand Plan?

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I of course skirted the entire issue of why the Light* would allow T and K to be brought back to life, and whether or not the "crystal' was some handy naaru deus ex machina artifact.

If I expand the story later (which is a possibility) I'll likely address some of this.

Sylvanas
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Thassarian's reaction to Sylvanas is a very subtle allusion to an amazing theory posited by Ivorytower to explain Sylvanas' personality change in Cataclysm.

This is another hastily-sketched aspect of the story that might get a bit of reworking in future as well.


And where exactly are we anyhow?
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Attempting to identify the above-ground location of Sylvanas and the Royal Quarter was a bit tricky.

The in-game map coordinates were  ... not as useful as I'd hoped. (Geeky details follow) After math failed me I took a more concrete approach. This animated GIF represents my best guess for the general location of Sylvanas' chamber in the Royal Quarter:
(If I'd sized the UC map overlap up a bit more I might even have made a case that she's right under that north-most little island.)

 

(Geek details: There are a few places where the coordinates switch over from Undercity coordinates to Tirisfal Glade coordinates. (The sewer exit (15,30 UC; 51,71 TG) and the walkway over the moat (65,33 UC; 61,72 TG). Unfortunately, translating this to above-ground coordinates (I won't show my work here, but trust me I did it) would have put Sylvanas' chamber (57, 91 UC) almost under Ambermill, which was just .. yeah, it's ridiculous.)
 

Musical Serendipity
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I usually listen to recordings of surf, rain, and wind when I write, but as I was working on this story I happened to have my classical playlist going, and the following three songs came up:

"Kyrie" from Mozart's Mass in C Minor, (K. 427)

"E lucevan le stelle" from Puccini's Tosca, sung by Jussi Bjoerling 
(guy waiting for his execution singing of the love he will never see again)

"Frateres" by Arvo Pärt, 12-cello version performed by Gidon Kremer and the Berlin Philharmonic
(one of Pärt's more famous pieces, though personally I prefer "Tabala Rasa" and "Cantus")

(BTW, if I was going to assign a piece of music to "Comfort" it would probably be Barber's "Adagio for Strings," which to me has always seemed like crystallized angst.)

Final Twist
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The last lines - which deliberately echo Koltira's unattainable "happy dream" of Comfort - were put out there as a potential hook for those who would rather see this as just another piece of angsty mind-game. ~ Evil, I know.

Overall Assessment
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Not as good as I wish it was. The middle and end are rushed. It picks up too many threads, tries to do too many things, and doesn't really deliver on any. ~ Since I've not been in a fluffy place lately, the story feels sappy and overly mushy to me, but perhaps it'll strike readers differently and not give them a sugar OD.

On the plus side - it's done. It gets Koltira out of Undercity. And all in all, it's better as my final T/K story than Comfort.

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* (and by implication Velen, since this is supposed to take place in some vague timeframe after Anduin's return from training at the Exodar)

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