#153 – “Acquired Taste”

One of the things that always appealed to me with portraying night elves is the space for culture clash – excluding Draenei (and perhaps even while still counting them), night elves are likely the most strange and alien of the races in the Alliance. Different values, different habits, different perspectives.. it’s all something I like playing on every so often – especially with a group as oddly composed as this one.

On a completely different note – this is the first time I can recall trying to actively portray disgust. Guess that tongue is good for something after all!


57 Responses to “#153 – “Acquired Taste””

  1. 1 Alverian
    November 5, 2009 at 20:45

    Yep, Yummy Duskwood crab cakes, Jitters loves them! But that’s not crab in them…always was a leg man.

  2. 2 Synchronizor
    November 5, 2009 at 21:12

    I think it’s a refrence to the Kaldorei Spider Kabobs. The first cooking trainer most Night Elf players come across starts a quest to collect spider legs for the recepie. The quest rewards a number of kabobs, and the recepie to make more.

  3. 3 Moltrazahn
    November 5, 2009 at 21:24

    … *reads*

    Ohhh its her tongue sticking out!

    A tad dark at the tip :P.. was starting to think of zombies before i got to reading the tongue part. Anywho, yes! culture clashes are fun ^^, I wonder if the dear elven ladies would cook and eat them if they were given the chance *ponders*

    Nevertheless! fun page ^^ love their mid-way talks and what they tend to lead to.

  4. 4 Frostsaben
    November 5, 2009 at 22:42

    Mmmm… spider legs kabobs, now I’m hungry!

  5. 5 Udûn-Khadgar
    November 5, 2009 at 22:54

    Ah, just lovely, a swift look into the delicious cuisine of the night elves. Lot of overgrown spiders, why not try to eat them =P. This page does however make me wonder one thing: How would Areen have reacted if she understood all of it? Would she be brave enough to try a freshly prepared spider kabob made out of a Green Recluse or Venom Lurker?

    Never meddle with dining night elves, paladin Lightspark, you might just loose your apetite.

    P.S. Great work, as always!

  6. November 5, 2009 at 23:11

    nice page Nhani,.. like always,..

    i guess Rei isn`t a big fan of ‘Legg `O Spider’ then? :P
    and i tend to agree with her ;)

  7. 7 Gordrake Thunderhoof
    November 5, 2009 at 23:22

    LMFAO! Oh, that is pure win right there! XD Gotta love Tiny and her outbursts. And poor Areen! She doesn’t even have a clue they’re probably planning to intoxicate her later with Night Elven cooking techniques! That is…unless they avoid going that way anyway. XD

    Also…minor nitpick, but it’s “Acquired” Taste. ^^;

    • 8 Nhani
      November 6, 2009 at 10:21

      Gah, and here I thought I’d been preemptive and made sure I’d spell preferred right, and I end up failing on another word instead D;

      • 9 Gordrake Thunderhoof
        November 6, 2009 at 11:31

        *comfort hugs* Don’t worry. We all do it at some point or another. It’s the curse all writers have, from secretaries to roleplayers: The Curse of the Typo.

        All you can do about them is erase and replace.

  8. November 5, 2009 at 23:22

    Charred Spider Kabobs
    Binds when used
    Race: Night Elf
    Use: Restores 22500 health over 30 sec. If you spend at least 10 seconds eating you will become well fed and can track humanoids for 1 hour.
    “The way Hani likes it.. leggy!”

    Just got that idea^^

  9. 11 Ninta
    November 6, 2009 at 01:02

    Well Cooked Spider Meat
    Binds when used
    race: Night Elf
    Use: Restores 22500 health over 30. if you spend at least 10 seconds eating you will become well fed and can track beasts for 1 hour.
    “Te’len preferes the white meat.”

    • 12 Ragefury
      November 8, 2009 at 16:44

      Roasted Spider Tongue
      Binds when used
      Race: Night Elf
      Use: Restores 22500 health over 30 sec. If you spend at least 10 seconds eating you will become well fed and can track critters for 1 hour.
      “Because everything else is disgusting! – Rei Tiny”

      Pun intended, of course ;P

  10. 13 Synchronizor
    November 6, 2009 at 01:24

    Kaldorei Spider Kabob is the item.

    Also, I don’t think those Duskwood spiders with their skinny legs would make for very good spider kabobs. In fact, none of the spiders in Duskwood drop legs suitable for the recepie. There are some spiders that work for the recepie in Elwynn, though.

    Oh well, the spiders in Duskwood are suitable for making Gooey Spider Cakes, so I guess they’re not completly useless to Kaldorei gourmets. :)

  11. 14 Germ
    November 6, 2009 at 02:36

    1) That’s what she said!

    2) Reminds me of how the B.Elves revolutionized the Horde…

  12. November 6, 2009 at 12:23

    According to WoWWiki:

    Kaldorei Spider Kabobs
    Crunchy Spider Surprise
    Gooey Spider Cake
    Spider Sausage

    A very fun page, Nhani. Thank you.

  13. 16 Ilyara
    November 6, 2009 at 15:32

    Spiders are like Marmite *nods*

    Personally, I could eat it with a spoon.

  14. 17 Avaric
    November 6, 2009 at 16:25

    I love Areen. I’d give my right arm to play a gnome paladin.

  15. 18 Iasion
    November 6, 2009 at 19:07

    I felt Tee’s fear when Hani mentioned that the spiders eat well in Duskwood. Ever since I was a little kid I always thought being devoured by a spider would be a terrible way to die. Some spiders wrap you up and pump your body full of venom that liquefies your innards, making you drinkable. :(

    Trap door spiders would be the worst I think. You can google search those little monsters. ‘;..;’

    • 19 Synchronizor
      November 6, 2009 at 19:23

      I think what Hani was saying there is more along the lines of “Sounds like they’re good eating,” not “the spiders [themselves] eat well.”

      • 20 Nhani
        November 6, 2009 at 19:33

        This, very much. It’s all an association disconnect, really; Tiny in this case – unusually enough – gets to play the role of us, the audience, and says “Huge Spiders” in the context of icky, dog-size creepy-crawlies that are as unpleasant as they are disgusting.

        Hani, on the other hand, has a very different association to the term – one Te’len even seems to share.

    • 21 Synchronizor
      November 6, 2009 at 19:41

      Hani was conveying that the spiders would be good to eat, not that the spiders themselves eat well.

      “Sounds like they’re good eating” would be the American expression.

      As for spider dining mechanisms, I agree. Spiders have quite a range of nasty methods for capturing and consuming prey.

  16. 23 WoWplayer
    November 6, 2009 at 23:30

    “sounds like they eat well” being people who live there eating spiders

  17. 24 Udûn-Khadgar
    November 6, 2009 at 23:35

    I even dare to throw in another option, which doesn’t mean mixing words arround.
    What if Hani meant the population of Duskwood with ‘they’, than the sentence ‘Sounds like they eat well’ refers to the Duskwood folk and their cuisine. Take a look at it from my side, and you’ll find out that Hani is just assuming that the Darkshire residents have the same taste as she has herself. Good food, with food meaning spiders.

    I don’t know how Nhani wanted us to see this, but this is my vision on it =P.
    Care to enlighten us with your intentions Nhani?

    Keep it up!

    • 25 Synchronizor
      November 7, 2009 at 01:13

      Didn’t think of that, but looking at the dialouge again, that interpretation fits quite well.

      Although if Hani did mean that, it would have been an assumption on her part that people actually lived there. The short descriptions of Duskwood that Tiny and Areen provided do not establish that the forest is populated. (Apart from the spiders, of course…)

      • 26 Nhani
        November 7, 2009 at 01:47

        While it’s true that Hani doesn’t explicitly know that Duskwood is populated, both the signpost as well as the presence of road rather strongly implies it. Of course, if the road had, in fact, led to nowhere, Areen probably would’ve corrected her (and we’d instead have a “..why build a road that leads nowhere?” joke instead).

        I think we can fairly clearly establish that Hani looks on giant spiders less as huge creepy crawlies and more like you would any potentially dangerous animal that can be hunted for food – notably ones that can be considered a delicacy. She makes an association (as does Te’len, for that matter) and constructs an assumption based on it. She isn’t necessarily correct ;)

  18. 27 Colby
    November 7, 2009 at 07:28

    Ah.. spiders… the chicken of Azeroth!

  19. 28 saila aka wester
    November 7, 2009 at 12:53

    spider the thing an hunter never tame cos one day it ends up in some ones lunch box if they aren’t alert.
    relly thats why no one tames an horse, chicken or… …. *thinks* blast it some one fill out for me.
    btw Nhaini will we ever see an referent to Flintlocke’s and company?
    or any other player made hero? ((you get the point))
    i men we have seen corporal [name here] already.

    • 29 Nhani
      November 7, 2009 at 13:40

      Pretty much all cameos I’ve had in so far are Earthen Ring EU; not all have speaking roles, but then we also have cases where I’ve outright adapted characters to the setting (such as Dhappy Sheephaven and Duos of the Three Flashes – I find them hilarious to use because I know the characters they’re based on and the people behind them)

      I’d consider other webcomic characters but quite frankly, none of them have really had that much an effect on me; all I really remember with fondness from Flintlocke is that joke about elves hugging trees (and the following dialogue between two trees), LFG has evolved its setting far too much for me to be able to relate to it and none of the rest out there have really managed to come out and grab my interest. Some offer the odd laugh every so often, but there’s not really any of them that I actually follow.

      The one World of Warcraft webcomic I remember most fondly would likely be World of Zach..

  20. November 7, 2009 at 13:27

    Nhani, your comics are amazing !

    I were wondering, it seems like you know a fairly bunch of lore about the night elves, does it come from endless trolling of Wowwiki, read the books or quest texts.. or all?

    oh yeah, incase you have read WoTA(War of the ancients) Would you say Hani(A great night elf warrior) is a aftercomer of Ravencrest?

    • 31 Nhani
      November 7, 2009 at 13:59

      It comes from when I started playing World of Warcraft, actually – having decided I was going to try playing on a roleplaying server, I formulated a list of character concepts I thought might be interesting to try; at the top of that list was a ten thousand year old Sentinel veteran named Nhani Moonfall. Deciding that if I was going to portray a character who was that old I’d need to hoard as much information, insight and perspective into night elven society and history as possible, I went and scrounged up as many sourcebooks and novels as I could find that seemed to relate to the subject.

      Since I’ve basically just gone through quests and tried to absorb what I could. There’s always a danger of analyzing things too far (after all, Blizzard has made a game, not a groundbreaking, in-depth analysis of the potential structure of alternate societies), but there’s still a fair bit that is inferred or implied.

      I’ve read War of the Ancients though, yes – I’ll spare you my opinion on it as that would likely be both lengthy and off topic, so instead to the matter at hand.. I think it’d be a stretch to associate them directly – Hani comes from a rather humble family of crafters, a far cry from some ancient noble house warrior family. That said, if she ever learns enough responsibility and the art of command, she might one day rise to become something of a current age equivalent. Sans the whole noble house and personal army bit, of course.

      • November 7, 2009 at 21:11

        Would love to hear your opinion in it to be honest!

        Its thanks to that(and you) i turned my fatass tauren to a elf and not some human, afterall ^^

        • 33 Nhani
          November 7, 2009 at 22:29


          Well, first thing off – Knaak and I have pretty much completely opposite ways of approaching narrative: he writes larger-spanning epics while I prefer character journeys. (This is generally where I add that I actually couldn’t finish reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy because I simply found it boring); I tend to find his narratives rather devoid of interesting or in-depth characterization and I’m sure if he ever bothered with my degree of small-time, he’d probably find mine too much convoluted drama and not enough large-scale action.

          Also, I don’t share this belief he seems to have that everything is better with dragons – quite the opposite, making a narrative Dragons Dragons Dragons actually makes it less interesting for me, so you can imagine how that affects my opinion on just about everything he writes.

          Past that.. I’ll admit, the War of the Ancients triology is passable – I’ve read through all three books and I never threw them against a wall shouting how they were unreadable, so it’s not like they’re some kind of Worst Ever that makes kittens cry or anything silly like that. I just found them.. bland. The only thing that I could really hook into was a very limited set of the characters he had there – very few of them struck me as interesting, his own creations least of all.

          And then there’s what he did to some of the characters. I mean sure, I can buy some of it; I thought he portrayed Malfurion reasonably well, and I actually like how he wrote Illidan – arrogant, proud and so reassured that he is some divine gift to the world – to me it was spot on. On the other hand.. I’ve gotten this overhanging feeling that the man simply can not write women well. Tyrande becomes a damsel in distress to further Malfurion, Shandris gets paired with this small-time commander turned large scale general who then disappears never to be mentioned in her context ever again, Maiev goes from being about a fanatical devotion to duty to being just about envy and vengeance, and Azshara pretty much just sits around while her chief advisor does pretty much everything.

          There’s no mention at all about the Sentinels, or how they phased out the Moon guard, the clergy of the moon – though at least held in a favorable light – are given a very reduced role while the whole narrative is largely about dragons, dragons and more dragons.

          I’m not going to go out and say that Knaak is a terrible writer because I realize that on many points it’s simply that his way of looking at writing and characters simply just differs from my own, and that neither is “right” per se. That said, I don’t share his apparent idea that what the Warcraft universe really needs is more Dragons, and like said.. I don’t think he’s all that good at writing female characters – especially not major, influential ones.

          On one hand, I feel a little as if his hand is sometimes poised to do more harm than good; on the other.. he’s the one writing official Warcraft novels with Metzen’s blessing.. and I’m not ;)

          • 34 Ilyara
            November 8, 2009 at 00:27

            I agree pretty much: especially about his treatment of female characters: it was bad imho. Still, if people found things that spoke to them, then that’s great :)

          • 35 Synchronizor
            November 8, 2009 at 01:39

            Some authors, when writing in larger, collabrative universes, seem to latch on to a partictular aspect of that universe almost obsessivly.

            Karen Traviss is an author well known to the Star Wars community for including Mandalorians in everything she’s ever written in that universe, no matter the time period. Her writing style tends toward hard military sci-fi, so it works for her, though I feel like she’s limiting herself sometimes.

            With Knaak though, his “pet” aspect of the Warcraft universe is a subject that, to me at least, feels cheapened by the overexposure. The dragonflights are supposed to be an ancient, mysterious race not well understood by Azeroth’s mortal population. While I think Knaak writes them well, and he has contributed a lot to their lore, It seems like he’s losing some of that feel that the dragonflights should inspire by using them so much.

            Overall though, I rather enjoyed the WotA trilogy. Although though it featured Knaak’s standard overly drawn-out climax, Broxigar’s stand made up for it for me.

          • 36 Frostsaben
            November 8, 2009 at 22:32

            I always felt that Knaak put too much attention on his most special char, and from this I mean Rhonin. I mean no offense, I understood how Rhonin got caught at Grim Batol and it was only a matter of luck mostly, he got sent there and did what he could when he saw what was happening, but wabout War of the Ancients….

            After how the story of the Sundering was known, comes Knaak and sais “no, Rhonin has gone back to the past and almost single-handedly changed the entire timeline!” is a little too much and has made me regard Rhonin as a “Mary Sue” of the warcraft books, similar to the vampires in Goldshire.

            I know I may sound a little direct, but one thing is to write good stories and another is to make your creation char an invincible guy who helped shape the past, the present and the future with incomprehensible powers just because you want to.
            If he’d have told me that Rhonin wanted to document on the Sundering and he used a globe or something to look into the past and make it seem like Rhonin is actually narrating the War of the Ancients, then it would have been a great story, and a good way to put his favourite char in there too, through a procedure called “story in story” or “frame in frame”, where Rhonin narrates us the Sundering while something happens in the present too, relating to why he’s doing that.

            Well, just my opinion.

  21. 37 Udûn-Khadgar
    November 7, 2009 at 14:02

    Hmm…Just thought of this, if they are really going to face the Defias, I am wondering how they will react on the demon invokers and magicians down there. If I remember well, after the Highborne dissapeared in exile, Night Elves aren’t very fond of magic and a great part of them will therefor probably not understand it.
    Wonder how a pure warrior like Hani would deal with them, as she already know’s the twilight’s hammer cultists, she might know a bit about magic after all… Not to mention, how would Te’len react? What kind of reactions would Tiny make up at the moment supreme?
    I’m anxious to know.

    Keep up the good work!!!

    • November 7, 2009 at 21:10

      They are anxious to arcane magic and demonic magic

      They still worship elune and use holy magic, aswell as (thanks to Malfurion) nature magic, they arent “savages” and thus havent learned the way of the shaman from the taurens nor the furbolgs

  22. 39 Zednotzee
    November 8, 2009 at 00:04

    How will they react? Violently, I assume….

  23. 40 Udûn-Khadgar
    November 8, 2009 at 10:47

    Probably, explaining my way of seeing magic… Strange energies and powers from old religions or from a source of nature itself are not included when I mean magic =P. My magic concentrates on Arcana, Fiery and Icy spells, since the Light, Elune’s old magic and even Shadow can be seen as a religious power, coming forth out of a strong belief in those things. Nature is something on it’s own, so in my opinion, being able to persuade Nature to unleash it’s great power on your command, is more a matter of mutual affection between the druid and nature, than a control of magic. The druid’s afinity with Nature allows them to unleash the power.

    This is however only my strange look at things =P. Maybe if I had read more books about it, I might have an other opinion… One never knows…

    • 41 Nhani
      November 8, 2009 at 11:18

      In typical Pen and paper RPG sense, the sourcebooks go along with the standardized arcane magic versus divine magic divide there; World of Warcraft itself does not offer that kind of split (instead it categorizes more on damage types, which makes sense for game mechanics), but the difference is still very much implied. So I’d say you’re pretty much straight on.

      As for how they would react, well.. none of them are anywhere near being old enough to have experienced the sundering first hand – they’ve likely all grown up getting the “Magic is BAD!” speech in some form or another, though how much focus they put on it largely depends on their individual natures.

      Of course, seeing the nature of both the burning legion, Satyrs and one of the worst crimes a night elf could traditionally commit, I think it’s fair to say that the Sentinels were expected to be able to take down magelings and fel wielders both.

      • November 8, 2009 at 15:07

        Strictly speaking, I’d say that druidic magic, originating as it does with Cenarius, would fit pretty well into divine magic. I’ve always thought that arcane magic is nothing other than the physics of a high-mana universe. Shamans work most like warlocks, in that they both gain their powers by making pacts with non-divine spirits. Of course, the difference is that warlocks deal exclusively with spirits that are entirely malign, while shamans deal with spirits that are not.

        Magic does exist in the real world. But until Tolkien published Lord of the Rings, everyone has understood that it works as it does for warlocks: the magician makes bargains with supernatural beings that provide him with his powers. Holy Mother Church holds that all beings willing to make such pacts are demonic and entirely malign, which is why she forbids magic. World of Warcraft is a game, and the characters therein are make believe. The character’s use of magic is not the player’s use of magic.

        God does not make bargains. He makes covenants. They remain binding even when we violate them. He grants grace of supernatural action when it suits His purposes, which are always to our good. That, and his benevolence, are the difference between magic and miracles.

      • 43 Ragefury
        November 8, 2009 at 18:40

        The nature of all magical aspects of the game has something in common with something I’ve read on WoWWiki.

        Basically, the core of all magical aspects lies within the Ley-Lines – these Lay-Lines stretch out all over Azeroth, and is formed as special patterns, resembling letters in a strange alphabet, which we would call runes. Each Ley-Line pattern serves it’s own unique purpose, and each culture draw power from these Ley-Lines to use as magical energy, much like mages, druids and shamans. Even warlocks and necromancers, whose magic wouldn’t be considered natural, also draw power from their own Ley-Lines.

        It is, however, catastrophic to draw too much energy from these Ley-Lines, as it could shatter the very foundation of the earth. This can be seen in Outland as Gul’dan opened the Dark Portal for the first time, when the highborne sought to summon Sargeras into Azeroth using the Well of Eternity’s massive power, or Malygos’ plot to suck out all Ley-Line energies of Azeroth. The Blood Elves also abused much of these Ley-Line energies, which they tapped into through the Sunwell. But instead of causing the world to shatter, the elves became addicted to these energies. This could very well depend on the energies of the Sunwell not being drawn from too repidly.

        Many of Azeroth’s races struggle to keep a good balance in nature, like the Night Elf druids and all Paladins serving the Light, while many others have saught or will seek to undo this balance, like the Burning Legion, the Scourge, and even Malygos and Neltharion.

        Sorry if I’m going a little off-topic with all this lore talk, but all I’m saying is the source behind all magic is not solely about some greater aspect, like spirits or any god-like being, but that the magic itself is made part from the religious beliefs of each culture, part from the Ley-Line energies. You are right one point though: all magic does share a common source.

  24. November 8, 2009 at 19:31

    I hatemyself for asking.. buuuut

    Will there be a update today?

    • 45 Nhani
      November 8, 2009 at 19:42

      NO! Because you asked it will be suspended indefinitely >;((((((((

      Working on it :p
      Got started late, I’ll see if I have time to finish it or not today.

      • November 8, 2009 at 19:55

        Ok! looking forward to see it, no matter when it comes^^ Beyond the tree is like the shiny beacon that makes up for my sunday wipe feast in pugs of ulduar, repair billing for over 1k gold, getting ignored some times, my friends not coming to visit me, paying homeage to my dead pets, the armageddon thats school tomorrow and my drinking stinking family :/

        • November 8, 2009 at 20:22

          Well.. BTT and DlC.. but still, its the only peace i get in my hearth, other than when my dads not hitting me :((

          • 48 Frostsaben
            November 8, 2009 at 23:35

            First, I have no ideea what BTT and DIC mean.

            Ok, I’m a really direct person, so I’ll say this straight to you: there are 2 things now regarding your post, you could be telling the truth or lieing. Now I can’t know which one is true, you can say whatever you want, this is the internet and if I stay to try belive everything I see here… well, actually I don’t want to belive how I’d be if I belived everything I read on the net.

            Still, if it is true and your dad is beating you, it’s not good and you should talk to your other relatives about it or friends because their parents might do something for you and help you somehow. Unfortunately I can’t help you more except this advice which I hope you’ll follow.

            If you merely said that as an effort to convince Nhani to post the next page and it’s NOT true that your dad is beating you, then you are just pathetic and I simply still am amazed of what some people would say just to get what they want, lower themselves so much as to take in joke something that for some is every day’s lives since there are countless families where children are beaten till they get to hospital.

            Like I said, I can’t know if you’re telling the truth or not and if you’ll respond unless you can provide some proof to your claims I won’t stay to belive anything and will take both situations into account. Once again, if you are beaten please follow my advice, if you are not… well I don’t want to say bad things here.

            Also I want to appolagise for Nhani if I was a little rude or too direct and that I went really off-topic to the comic, but what Draxoth said is serious, wether if it’s true or not

            • November 9, 2009 at 13:37

              Its a joke^^ tried to place some forced guilt on her/him, sadly my internet blacked out because i could say “i was really joking btw” (was gonna write that just after the last one)

            • November 9, 2009 at 13:41

              But to add.. the “Ok! looking forward to see it, no matter when it comes^^ Beyond the tree is like the shiny beacon that makes up for my sunday wipe feast in pugs of ulduar, repair billing for over 1k gold, getting ignored some times,” is true though

  25. 51 cwmarshall99
    November 9, 2009 at 01:37

    Best served with a side of Delicious Cave Mold

    World of Weirdcraft.net your source or all things WOW

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Essential box of legalities

Beyond the Tree is based on (when not directly using) the art resources and story setting of World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.

That and all related and/or registered trademarks are the property of Blizzard Entertainment and Beyond the Tree claims no ownership of these or any affiliation with Blizzard Entertainment but hopes they'll have a sense of humour and appreciate it all the same ;)


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