I had a growing idea about the story of Daylen Amell in the Firestar of Thedas
storyline, but I left it for a few hours and promptly forgot what I though was so interesting. Oh, except of the alt-verse plot about the version of events where Elenaria did go to the Conclave and ends up staying around to be an advisor to Shangraile - one of the mages in Fiona's group is Solona, Daylen's living sister. There may or may not be drama because someone let slip that Daylen's boyfriend once practiced blood magic. Poor Levyn, he's done his best to escape that (with Elenaria's help) but somehow it comes up at the worst of times. (And just to add extra trouble, and a huge argument with Elenaria that may or may not have swords drawn, I want to blame it on Cullen, because there are lingering difficult feelings between him and the girl he once had a crush on - mind you, he also had a crush on the other Amell girl too, but it was Elenaria the demons tormented him with.)
Kélan is welcome to facepalm at all this. So is Shangraile.
In other things, I went to New Zealand. I had fun, though I would forgive anyone observing my general behaviour for thinking I didn't show it - that's just me though, I don't show great enthusiasm about almost anything. But I went to Hobbiton and bought a fake stone and a book, then saw a whole stack of hobbit holes (Bilbo left his door open), a fake tree (the one on top of Bag End) and quite a few real ones, a very real vegetable garden which I did hear the staff who maintain everything take home the produce (good to know that someone is eating it), and I drank a mug of ginger beer, which wasn't all that bad, but I'm not a fan of ginger beer (it was the only non-alcoholic option on the free drinks at the Green Dragon). Same day we also went to Rotarua (mudpools and geysers) and Waitomo (glow worms). I also picked up Squeakers, a kiwi plushie with a sound-maker inside, and a packet of table seasoning at Rotarua. The seaoning contains salt, seaweed, wild basil, parsley, chilli, pepper and lemon pepper. I still have some of it sitting on the bookshelf next to me.
While in Auckland we also did such things as visit the zoo (there was a TV show made about Auckland Zoo that Mum and I watched, so we had to go there), a harbour cruise (Mum picked up a volcanic rock from Rangitoto) and general touristy things like the hop-on, hop-off bus. Nice city, Auckland, though busy.
We stayed a week there before taking a scenic train ride to Wellington. Lots of sheep along the way, though as our guide on the Hobbiton tour told us, NZ no longer has the amount of sheep that gave it it's sheep-loving reputation - it once had something like 12 sheep to each person but is now down to only 6 per person. Also? You know sheep country by the hills having lots of little terraces on them. Sheep tramp them out as they go around, playing follow-the-leader as they eat grass.
Wellington was windy, rainy and very, very steep. I can't really say I liked it as much and it felt like I spent more time at the hotel than I did in Auckland. Still, Wellington did have one big advantage, it has Weta. Mum tracked down a good tour provider that takes people around various film locations as well as the Weta Cave (the shop and workshop they take tourists to). While on that tour, at the Weta Cave, I bought a black dwarven-patterned leather wristband. Also Peter Lyon, the sword maker, was in working on a sword that day. Not just pottering around doing maintenance on the machines he works on, but had in hand a copy of Orcrist that he was grinding into shape. Lucky day for us to visit! Other places we stopped in were the parks where things like the departure from the Shire was filmed, Rivendell, Isengard, a river that they did bits of the Anduin on where they could have the actors in the boats, because that river was a calm one, and we stopped outside the quarry where Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith were set up too. The place has grown over since then.
The next day we got a hop-on, hop-off bus and our driver-guide was the Haradrim mumakil driver - he's a bit-part actor but does tour drives in between acting jobs. Between Mum wanting to go back to buy a copper wire weta (the NZ bug) and that my leather cuff broke, we stopped off at the Weta Cave again and ended up spending over $500, a good proportion of which was because I wanted to get an Evenstar pendant. You know, Arwen's sparkly flower/star necklace? It didn't come with a chain though, that is extra. We also got off at Te Papa, Wellington's biggest museum, but I flunked out of going through the ANZAC exhibit because I was tired and sore. Te Papa's souvenir shop has a LotR section, though I bought a little treasure chest filled with Paua shell bits instead. I did almost consider buying a tea ball though - you know, the little metal mesh balls you put tea leaves in when making tea with loose leaves? Yeah. I am still considering it, but it will wait until I visit T2 - a tea shop, which a day or two later we found the downtown Wellington one of. Honestly I didn't do much else while we were in Wellington, but I will say the airport's LotR features (Smaug's head just inside the foyer, with an eye that opens and closes and looks around, Sméagol
trying to grab a fish and Gandalf on a Great Eagle) were interesting. As one final souvenir grab, I managed to get an Erebor Key at the New Zealand shop too, and a book about cats who survived the Christchurch earthquake a few years ago at the news agent inside the waiting lounge (i.e. after going through customs and such).
Because we came back with some money left on the travel Visa card and Mum found out it's not that easy to convert it back into AUD, she let me order the necklace to go with the Evenstar online. I do have a temp chain (cheap little thing - $10 with a heart-shaped locket) but I still want the chain from Weta, which is $130 (or $160 at Te Papa) - $155 with postage with tracking. Also? I bought a Biting Pear of Salamanca too. Just because I have been wanting one for a while. LOL WUT.
<-- That guy.
But one lingering problem is that the trip exacerbated some minor knee problems I have, making them a lot worse. Sometimes when it's bad I have trouble walking. Even so, that nothing to what Mum came back with - she tripped on a bit of broken paving at the zoo and fell, hurting her left hand. Only a couple of days ago she final got it confirmed that she did break something in her wrist. It's currently in plaster, which she finds irritating.
Kizár is currently feeling a bit down (probably a symptom of me being a bit down too) which isn't helped that I'm not waking up until after Valandhir
has likely come and gone in her mornings. I know she's busy though, but there always a bit of one's head that doesn't want to pay attention to logic. In this case that's the part I label Elenaria (since she has come to represent, for me, Kizár's unreasonable firestorm-throwing side who wants to stab Solas in the face).
Nope, not sorry about my dislike of Solas' face. Not one bit. Oh, and in the Firestar
alt-verse? Elenaria would find him highly suspect and very irritating. She doesn't give a shit about the Dalish or how they have their religion wrong, or how Solas is otherwise prejudiced against everyone else, and no, her facial tattoos are not vallaslin nor are they any representation of any form of slavery to the Chantry either so get out of her face egghead! Oh, and you get out of her face too you power-hungry stuck-up twit Vivienne.
Sorry, didn't mean to let Elenaria take over.
I should go to bed.