Heroes of the Storm Global Championship Week 2

HGC Week 2

This weeks Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC) matches concluded Sunday evening, and will resume again Friday morning. This weeks set of matches were full of surprises, upsets, and awesome gameplay!! I would definitely recommend watching these games. Here are the current standings:

Right now, I am actually cheering for Team Misfits, and I love watching Europe play, even more than North America. They usually have more unique drafts, and I feel like their skill level is also higher than in North America. I still enjoy watching NA, but I just really enjoy watching Europe.

Here is a link to all the HGC games so far

I would also highly recommend watching Misfits vs Fnatic for some awesome gameplay from two of the best teams, not only in Europe, but in the World!

Misfits vs Fnatic Game 1

Misfits vs Fnatic Game 2

Misfits vs Fnatic Game 3

Misfits vs Fnatic Game 4

Misfits vs Fnatic Game 5

You can let me know what you think about these matches, or any other matches in the comments below.

Character Spotlight – Aragorn

Aragorn II

Aragorn

Who is Aragorn?

Aragorn II is the Cheiftan of the Dúnedain of the North, crowned king of Gondor and Arnor, first High King since King Isildur himself, wielder of Narsil, reforged into Andúril, the blade that severed the ring from Sauron’s hand, King of the West and Lord of the House of Telcontar, and leader of the Fellowship of the Ring after the fall of Gandalf.

“I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadain, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the sword that was broken and is forged again! “

Aragorn was descended from both Isildur, King of Arnor, and Anárion, King of Gondor, making him the rightful king of both Arnor and Gondor. He would be crowned as the 26th King of Arnor and 35th King of Gondor, and also the first High King of Gondor and Arnor, since his ancestor Isildur reigned almost 3000 years before. 

King Aragorn

He is the Chieftan of the Dúnedain of the North (known as Rangers), protectors of the west, friend of Gandalf, raised by Elrond, half-elven in Rivendel, wedded to Elrond’s daughter Arwen, father of Eldarion, the second High King of Gondor and Arnor. Fought alongside King Thengel of Rohan (Theoden’s father) and Steward Ecthelion II of Gondor (father of Denethor). 

Aragorn’s Personality

Aragorn is the rightful king of both Gondor and Arnor, but he is also a Ranger. He is heir to a kingdom of power and glory, yet he is an adventurer and wanderer. He is destined to live in castles and halls, yet lives under the stars and in the wilds. He is both Strider, the Ranger, and Aragorn, the High King; each different, yet exist at the same time.

Aragorn two towers

 

 “‘Fear not!’ said a strange voice behind him. Frodo turned and saw Strider, and yet not Strider; for the weatherworn Ranger was no longer there. In the stern sat Aragorn son of Arathorn, proud and erect… a light was in his eyes: a king returning from exile to his own land.”

As a Ranger, Aragorn has learned many skills of survival and tracking, which are displayed while tracking Merry and Pippin. While chasing the Uruk-kai, Aragorn listens to the ground, to help track them and also the Riders of Rohan, and he also uses his Ranger’s skill to determine what happened to Merry and Pippin after the Riders of Rohan killed the Uruk-kai. He is also well learned in healing, especially the use of Athelas (also called Kingsfoil) and uses it for Frodo while on their way to Rivendell, and in the Houses of Healings, after the Battle of the Pelennor.

As the rightful king, Aragorn displays power and confidence, even more than he usually does. As a descendant of Númenor, Aragorn is gifted with long life (not immortal life like elves), when he meets Frodo Baggins, Aragorn is already 87 years old. 

In Appendix A describes Aragorn as the following…

“Thus he became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they; for he was elven-wise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stern because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, form which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock.”

He was also a fierce and skilled warrior. Escaping unscathed from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and fighting off Ringwraiths from Weathertop, during the War of the Ring. Before the War of the Ring, he personally killed the Lord of Umbar, and burned many of the Corsairs’ ships, fought alongside Gondor and Rohan, and raised morale against Sauron.  He’s also traveled to Harad, and into Moria. 

Examples from the Book

While on the Great River, entering Arnor…

“‘Fear not!’ [Aragorn] said. ‘Long have I desired to look upon the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion, my sires of old. Under their shadow Elessar, the Elfstone son of Arathorn of the House of Valandil Isildur’s son, heir of Elendil, has nought to dread!'”

At the Battle of Helm’s Deep…

“So great a power and royalty was revealed in Aragorn, as he stood there alone above the ruined gates before the host of his enemies, that many of the wild men paused, and looked back over their shoulders to the valley, and some looked up doubtfully at the sky.” 

While first meeting the Riders of Rohan…

“Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Andúril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. ‘Elendil!’ he cried. ‘I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!’

“Gimli and Legolas looked at their companion in amazement, for they had not seen him in this mood before. He seemed to have grown in stature while Éomer had shrunk; and in his living face they caught a brief vision of the power and majesty of the kings of stone. For a moment it seemed to the eyes of Legolas that a white flame flickered on the brows of Aragorn like a shining crown.

“Éomer stepped back and a look of awe was in his face. He cast down his proud eyes.”

A Brief History

Early Life

At the age of two, Aragorn was sent to Rivendell to be fostered by Elrond, after his father, Arathorn, was killed by orcs. His mother, Gilraen, asked Elrond to keep who Aragorn was a secret. Elrond kept this secret, and called Aragorn Estel and didn’t tell Aragorn who he was until he was 20 years old, when he told Aragorn his true name, gave him the Shards of Narsil and the Ring of Barahir, an heirloom of his house, but he did keep the Sceptre of Annúminas, the symbol of the ruler of Arnor, until Aragorn proved himself. 

Close to this time, Aragorn met Arwen, and fell in love with her, took up the mantel of Chieftain of the Dúnedain and the Rangers of the North. Aragorn also met and befriended Gandalf the Grey, who advised Aragorn and his Rangers to guard the Shire, where he became known as Strider

Aragorn went on many adventures before the War of the Ring. He served in the Rohan and Gondor armies in disguise as Thorongil, led a group to the rebel province of Umbar, where he killed their Lord, and burned many ships. He traveled east to Harad, where “the stars are strange”, to Moria and also to Lórien where he met Arwen again. During this visit, he gave her the Ring of Barahir, and Arwen renounced her elvish lineage in order to pledge her hand in marriage to Aragorn. 

The War of the Ring

Aragorn met Frodo Baggins and his group, at the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Bree, where he earned their trust, and became their guide and protector. With Aragorn’s help, the group was able to escape Bree, and the Ringwraiths (with a little help from an elf named Glorfindel) and make it to Rivendell. At Rivendell, Aragorn chose to join the Fellowship of the Ring, to help destroy the One Ring, and to travel to Gondor with Boromir in order help the fight against Sauron.  The Shards of Narsil were also reforged and renamed Andúril. 

While part of the Fellowship, Aragorn fought against wolves and orcs, aided the party at the pass of Caradhras, and through the Mines of Moria. After Gandalf the Grey fell to the Balrog, Aragorn became the leader of the Fellowship. He led the group to Lórien, to rest and recover. 

After leaving Lórien, the Fellowship traveled down the Great River, Anduin. At Amon Hen, the Fellowship broke. Frodo and Sam headed towards Mordor to destroy the Ring by themselves, after Boromir tried to take the Ring from Frodo, Boromir died trying to redeem himself by saving Merry and Pippin, who were taken by Uruk-hai, and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, tracked and chased down the Uruk-hai who had taken Merry and Pippin. 

The three hunters chased the Uruk-hai through Rohan, where the Uruk-hai were killed by the Riders of Rohan, on the eaves of Fangorn Forest. The group, entered the forest in search of Merry and Pippin, where they met Gandalf the White, who comforted them with the knowledge that the Hobbits were safe.

With Gandalf, the group traveled to Edoras, the seat of power of Rohan, where Gandalf freed King Théoden from Saruman’s influence, and rallied the Rohirrim. The group and the Rohirrim headed to Isengard, but were redirected to Helm’s Deep, when they heard that an army was headed that way. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli fought in the Battle of Helm’s Deep, until Gandalf arrived in the morning with reinforcements, and they were able to defeat the invading army. 

In order to protect Minas Tirith from Sauron’s army, Aragorn traveled the Paths of the Dead, to summon the Oathbreakers, Dead Men of Dunharrow, who owed allegiance to the King of Gondor. With the help of the Oathbreakers, Aragorn and company were able to defeat the Corsairs of Umbar, who were on their way to fight against Minas Tirith. 

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, along with Elrond’s sons, Elladan and Elrohir, Dúnedain, Rangers of the North and a host from Lebennin and Lamedon boarded the Corsairs’ ships, and sailed to Minas Tirith. There they, with the Rohirrim and armies of Gondor, were able to defeat Sauron’s army.

After Sauron was ultimately defeated, Aragorn was crowned King Elessar, a name given him by Galadriel, and thus became the twenty-sixth King of Arnor, thirty-fifth King of Gondor, and the first High King of the Reunited Kingdom (Gondor and Arnor). His house was called the House of Telcontar (Tecontar is Quenya for “Strider”). This marked the first year of the Fourth Age.

Reign and Death

Aragorn’s reign was filled with harmony and prosperity for Gondor and Arnor. There was also a strengthening of allegiance between the races of Men, Elves and Dwarves, brought about because of his campaign to rebuild after Sauron’s defeat.  The armies of the Reunited Kingdom were led on many campaigns against the Haradrim and Easterlings, in order to reestablish rule over lands that had been lost over the previous centuries. The Reunited Kingdom regained much of its old glory and power under the reign of Aragorn, King Elessar.

At the age of 210 years old, Aragorn gave Eldarion, his son, his crown and the Sceptre of Annúminas, and said farewell. Aragorn died with Arwen by his side, Arwen would then die a year later from a broken heart. Eldarion became the Second King of the Reunited Kingdom. 

Quotes

“A time may come soon when none will return. Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defence of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.”

“If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. ”

“There is still hope.”

“For my part I forgive your doubt. Little do I resemble the figures of Elendil and Isildur as they stand carven in thier majesty in the halls of Denethor. I am but a heir of Isildur, not Isildur himself. I have had a hard life and and a long; and the leagues that lie between here and Gondor are a small part in the count of my journeys.”

“Lonely men are we, Rangers of the wild, hunters – but hunters ever of the servants of the Enemy; for they are found in many places, not in Mordor only. ”Strider” am I to one fat man who lives within a day´s march of foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the task of my kindred, while the years have lengthened and the grass has grown.”

Kingdom Hearts 2.8!!

Kingdom Hearts 2.8!!

Kingdom Hearts 2.8

First of all I would like to apologize for the lapse in posting. I’ve been busy lately working, moving into an apartment, and playing Kingdom Hearts 2.8.

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 came on Tuesday!!

And I am stoked!! I’m super excited to play this game. I never played Dream Drop Distance before, so this will be a new game for me, along with Kingdom Hearts 0.2 and Chi Back Cover. 

My plan is to play through Dream Drop Distance, beat it and then move on to 0.2. I will be posting some of my favorite moments from these games, as well as maybe some gameplay, like boss fights or cool things I find. 

To hold you over until my next post, here is the new introduction to Kingdom Hearts 2.8 HD

 

I will also be posting about the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship soon, and linking some of my favorite matches as well.

 

Character Spotlight – Tyrande Whisperwind

Tyrande Whisperwind

Tyrande Whisperwind

Who Is Tyrande Whisperwind?

Tyrande Whisperwind is one of the main protagonists in the Warcraft Universe.  She is a nearly 14,000 year old Night Elf (Kaldorei), who first appeared in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, in the first Night Elf mission in the campaign (If you haven’t played Warcraft III, it is worth playing and you can buy it here).

Tyrande Whisperwind, along with her husband Malfurion Stormrage, is the leader of the Night Elf race, and has been for the last 10,000 years, since the fall of Queen Azshara. She is also the High Priestess of Elune (the Moon Goddess in Warcraft), to whom Tyrande is highly favored and touched with the Goddess’s power.  She is the former general of the Night Elf Sentinels (the primary military arm of the Night Elf race) and the current head of the Sisterhood of Elune (an order of priestesses dedicated to the worship of Elune), the oldest and primary religious and magical order of the Night Elves. 

Tyrande, Malfurion and the World Tree
Tyrande and Malfurion looking upon the World Tree and the Night Elf’s city

Since her husband, Malfurion, is the Archdruid, he often has to enter what is called the Emerald Dream, in order to fulfill his duties as a druid. This leaves Tyrande alone to lead the Night Elf people, a task she often feels inadequate to fulfill by herself. Malfurion, even when in the Emerald Dream, gives her strength and the ability to keep going, and to keep fighting. 

Tyrande’s Personality

As Elune’s High Priestess, Tyrande embodies many of the characteristics as the Goddess. Tyrande is kind and caring, compassionate and loving. She cares for those close to her, and for her people as a whole. But, she is also not afraid to act! She will do anything to save and protect her home those she loves, which now includes all of her people, even if others disagree with her actions. 

Tyrande is a fearsome warrior and enemies are smart to fear her. She attacks from the back of her mighty Frostsaber, Ash’alah, with her owl companion, Dori’thur. Tyrande fights with a bow, using stealth and cunning, but she also has great power that she can call upon when she needs, by channeling the power of Elune. 

Tyrande is naturally suspicious of outsiders, but in recent years has developed more of an open-mind and willingness to work with other, most likely resulting from the recent interaction and alliance with the Alliance. She also grows to respect those who fight alongside her, even if she doesn’t always show it. 

Tyrande is not to be underestimated, or messed with, and whoever threatens her people will feel her power!

 

A Brief History

Early Years

Tyrande Whisperwind grew up in the Keldorei city of Suramar, with the Stormrage twins, Malfurion (her future husband) and Illidan, who both loved Tyrande dearly. The three of them spent all their time together, playing and hunting, and encouraging each other to seek their destinies. While Malfurion joined the druids, and Illidan dabbled in the arcane, Tyrande found peace in the Temple of Elune, and decided to join the Sisterhood of Elune.

War of the Ancients

When Queen Azshara (the queen of the Night Elves) and her followers, the Highborne, summoned the Burning Legion (An army of demons) Malfurion and Tyrande fought against them to save the world. It was at this time that the current High Priestess,  Dejahna, died, and named Tyrande as her successor, and Illidan betrayed the Night Elves. Tyrande, Malfurion and the Night Elf army infiltrated Azshara’s palace, and after a long and bloody battle were able to destroy the portal the demons were using to invade. The portal, contained within the Well of Eternity (the source of the Night Elves power and immortality), collapsed with such force that the world was torn and sundered. 

 

Post-War of the Ancients 

After The Sundering, Illidan created a new Well of Eternity, and was imprisoned, Malfurion entered the Emerald Dream, and Tyrande was left to lead the Night Elves. She reformed the Sentinels, and maintained peace throughout her land. 

The Invasion of Ashenvale

(The following takes place in Warcraft III)

Ten-thousand years after the War of the Ancients, the Burning Legion returned, and invaded the Night Elves homeland once again. In order to fight back, Tyrande awakened the druids from the Emerald dream, freed Illidan (who again betrayed Tyrande and Malfurion’s trust and was then subsequently banished) and allied with the Orcs and Humans in order to fight back the demons and their leader, Archimonde. Malfurion called upon the Ancestral Guardians, and was able to destroy Archimonde, but the World Tree was sundered in the process, making the Night Elves weaker and mortal. 

World of Warcraft

Before the coming of Deathwing, Tyrande lead alone while Malfurion was in the Emerald Dream once again. With the coming of Deathwing, Tyrande aided the inhabitants of Gilneas and gave them protection from Undead. Malfurion also returned from the Emerald Dream. They now lead the Night Elves together.

With the coming of the Legion, Tyrande rushed to Val’sharah to rescue Malfurion and stop Xavius, who had kidnapped Malfurion.  Xavius makes Tyrande choose between saving Malfurion or the Temple of Elune, which was being attacked by a corrupted Ysera (the green Dragon Aspect, charged with the protection of the Emerald Dream and the world as well). Tyrande chooses her duty and with the help of friends and a champion, was forced to kill Ysera in order to protect the temple.  Tyrande goes on to say that day will be known as one of the darkest days. Malfurion is later saved by champions. 

Quotes

“Raw power is no substitute for true strength, Illidan. That is why I chose your brother over you.” 

“Long ago, I swore to protect this land, Malfurion. I never had the luxury of sleeping through times of great peril.”

“No words could do justice to those who would so unselfishly lay down their lives for the good of all. Suffice it to say that I am honored to have fought beside each and every one of you.”

“Goddess, make me fast and accurate. Let my aim be true, and if today is truly the day you call me home, let me die with an empty quiver.”

 

New Kingdom Hearts 3 Info

The director of Kingdom Hearts, Tetsuya Nomura, had an interview recently, and in it he shared some development updates for both Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy 7 remake.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3 Info

The site Gematsu translated the interview. The parts relevant to Kingdom Hearts 3 are as follows:

Will you release a complete package including Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue?

“Because the timing is delicate, we won’t be releasing anything like a complete pack this time, but we’re preparing a box that can hold both games, as is often the case with DVDs. Perhaps we can offer it as an e-Store bonus.”

What’s the state of Kingdom Hearts III‘s development?

“While I can’t make a sweeping statement because the development process is different from what we’ve done so far, there are still worlds untouched. Production is progressing on unannounced worlds, in a state that we cannot show them off. In terms of the state of development, there is still some way to go.”

My Interpretation

So, first of all, there won’t be any every-Kingdom-Hearts-game-except-the-third-one-on-one-disc game being released. Which I personally am okay with. I am already going to buy 2.8 and the remakes, so I don’t see a need to have a complete package when they are all available for PS4 on only two discs anyway.

Kingdom Hearts 2.8

Now, the second part is a lot more relevant, important, and in my opinion a lot worse news.  I was really hoping that Kingdom Hearts 3 would be released this year, however this new information is kind of pointing towards a later release date. Still no official release date, but the fact that “there are still worlds untouched” and “there is still some way to go” says to me that there we are still a long ways from the Kingdom Hearts 3 release.

With this new information I would guess that Kingdom Hearts 3 is most likely going to be released next year (2018). I honestly hope that I am wrong, and that it is released last quarter 2017, but we will see.

In the mean time we have Kingdom Hearts 2.8 and 1.5+2.5 to look forward to. And to keep you excited for KH3 here is one of the trailers.

Have a great day!

Thanks!!

Thanks so much for reading my blog. I’m really glad you are.  Here are just a few things about my blog…

Why Am I Writing a Blog?

I am writing a blog, because I love a lot of nerdy things, and although people around me are willing to listen, I really like talking about these things, so a blog is a great opportunity for me to talk about everything I like endlessly without anyone getting annoyed by me.

I also feel like I know a lot about everything I have on this blog so far, and I love sharing what I know. So, this blog is a way for me to consolidate a lot of what I know about various subjects all into one place, and to be able to share it with others, in the hope that they will come to love what I do as well.

What Will I Be Posting?

I will be posting about my thoughts and experiences of things I am currently doing. For example: I just started playing Final Fantasy XV, so I will post about my thoughts of the game in general, or how far along in the game I am.

I will also be posting cool things I find, such as pictures, stories, interesting facts and things like that that are relevant to my subjects (or maybe not so relevant)

I will also be posting things that I learn about each subject. If I found a cool article about Isildur I will post it here. If I watched a really interesting video about Thrall on YouTube, I’ll post or link it here.

How Often Will I Post?

I would like to post at least once a week. I feel like in these first few weeks/months I might post a lot, but I feel like it will decline over the next little while. It is also dependent upon my work schedule as to when I will post, one week it might be on Saturday, the next on Tuesday, if those are my days off.

Would I Take New Suggestions?

ABSOLUTELY!! If you feel like there is something Nerdy that you want an opinion about, or just want me to try out, just let me know. I can’t guarantee I’ll get it right away, but I will definitely consider it. If you do have suggestions you can email me at branton@brantonsnerdblog.com

Branton's place to Nerd out