Reprise – a guest post of sorts

Remember a million years ago when I hatched a notion to hold a contest for other people to rewrite chapters of that P&P+WoW abomination so many people are so fond of?

Yeah, well, I knew that all my entries came in around the Hunsford period of the book but I didn’t go and check which chapters I got until today. Because I’m organized. And it turns out that Chapter 29, which I butchered myself a few weeks ago, was also a submission from the lovely and talented Angelya of Revive and Rejuvenate.

I think she did a far superior job so I’m going to post it here. In a few chapters, I’ll be able to double-post another entry as my last two competitors submitted the same chapter (though I may not due to various reasons, come to think of it).

Without further ado, enjoy:

Chapter 29

Mr. Collins’s triumph, in consequence of this invitation, was complete. The power of displaying the grandeur of his GM to his wondering visitors, and of letting them see her civility towards himself and his wife, was exactly what he had wished for; and that an opportunity of doing it should be given so soon, was such an instance of Lady Catherine’s condescension, as he knew not how to admire enough.

“I confess,” said he, “that I should not have been at all surprised by her ladyship’s asking us on Sunday to spend in the evening doing a few heroics with members of <Rosings>. I rather expected, from my knowledge of her affability, that it would happen. But who could have foreseen such an attention as this? Who could have imagined that we should receive an invitation to join <Rosings> in their 25-man raid on ICC (an invitation, moreover, including the whole party) so immediately after your arrival!”

“I am the less surprised at what has happened,” replied Sir William, “from that knowledge of what the manners of the great really are, which my situation in life has allowed me to acquire. About the server, such instances of elegant breeding are not uncommon.”

Scarcely anything was talked of the whole day or next morning but their visit to ICC. Mr. Collins was carefully instructing them in what they were to expect, that the sight of such bosses, so much trash, and so splendid the loot, might not wholly overpower them.

When the ladies were about to log off for the night, he said to Elizabeth—

“Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel. Lady Catherine is far from requiring the gearscore in us which becomes herself and her daughter. I would advise you merely to put on whatever of your gear is superior to the rest—there is no occasion for anything more. Lady Catherine will not think the worse of you for being simply dressed. She likes to have the distinction of rank preserved.”

While they were waiting for invites to the raid group, he whispered them two or three times, to recommend their being prepared and to get themselves to the instance, as Lady Catherine very much objected to be kept waiting for her raids. Such formidable accounts of her ladyship, and her manner of raid leading, quite frightened Maria Lucas who had been little used to raiding in a group larger than 10, and she looked forward to her introduction to ICC-25 with as much apprehension as Sir William had done to his presentation to Sunwell Plateau back in the day.

As the raid group formed, they had a pleasant flight of about two minutes across from Dalaran. Every raid instance has its beauty and its prospects; and Elizabeth saw much to be pleased with, though she could not be in such raptures as Mr. Collins expected the scene to inspire, and was but slightly affected by his enumeration of the dark spires at the top of the Citadel, and his relation of what the repair bills had been like before the 10% buff had been introduced.

When they zoned into the instance, Maria’s alarm was every moment increasing, and even Sir William did not sound perfectly calm on vent. Elizabeth’s courage did not fail her. She had heard nothing of Lady Catherine that spoke her awful from any extraordinary tanking talents or miraculous dps numbers, and the mere stateliness of gold or gearscore she thought she could witness without trepidation.

From the entrance-hall, of which Mr. Collins pointed out, with a rapturous air, the fine proportion and the hanging icicles, they followed the rest of the raid through an ante-chamber, to where Lady Catherine, her daughter, and Mrs. Jenkinson were waiting. Her ladyship, with great condescension, told them the guild’s vent details; and as Mrs. Collins had settled it with her husband that the office of introduction should be hers, once they were all connected to vent introductions were performed in a proper manner, without any of those apologies and thanks which he would have thought necessary.

In spite of having been to Sunwell Plateau Sir William was so completely awed by the grandeur surrounding him, that he had but just courage enough to make a very low /bow, and take his place without saying a word; and his daughter, frightened almost out of her senses, stood behind him, not knowing which way to look. Elizabeth found herself quite equal to the scene, and could observe the three toons before her composedly. Lady Catherine was a tall, large Tauren Warrior, with strongly-marked fur, carrying a large axe that might be thought as handsome. Her air was not conciliating, nor was her manner of receiving them such as to make her visitors forget their inferior rank. She was not rendered formidable by silence; but whatever she said was spoken in so authoritative a tone, as marked her self-importance, and brought Mr. Wickham immediately to Elizabeth’s mind; and from the observation of the day altogether, she believed Lady Catherine to be exactly what he represented.

When, after inspecting Lady Catherine, in whose gear and enchants she soon found to be the most expensive available, she turned her eyes on the blood elf mage played by her daughter, she could almost have joined in Maria’s astonishment at her being so undergeared. There was neither in voice nor in gear any likeness between the ladies. Miss de Bourgh’s spec was PvP-centric; her gear, though epic, was from 5-mans; and she spoke very little, except in whispers, to Mrs. Jenkinson, in whose gear there was nothing remarkable, and who was entirely engaged in listening to what she said.

After waiting a few minutes, they were all sent to Tankspot to watch the video of the first boss, Mr. Collins attending them to point out its tricky parts, and Lady Catherine kindly informing them that it was much easier since the buff had gone up to 10%.

The raid was exceedingly handsome, and there were all the bosses and all the articles of loot which Mr. Collins had promised; and, as he had likewise foretold, he took his place at the front of the raid, by her ladyship’s side, and looked as if he felt that life could furnish nothing greater. Lady Catherine tanked, and kept the mobs under control with delighted alacrity; and every pull was commended, first by Mr. Collins and then by Sir William, who was now enough recovered to echo whatever his son-in-law said, in a manner which Elizabeth wondered Lady Catherine could bear. But Lady Catherine seemed gratified by their excessive admiration, and gave most gracious thanks, especially when any mob broke free and she wrested it back under control, thereby saving the healers. The party did not supply much conversation. Elizabeth was ready to speak whenever there was an opening, but the vent conversation was dominated by Lady Catherine’s instructions. Miss de Bourgh said not a word all raid. Mrs. Jenkinson was chiefly employed in watching how little dps Miss de Bourgh did, pressing her to try some other spell rotation, and fearing she was suffering from bad latency. Maria thought speaking out of the question, and the gentlemen did nothing but fight and admire.

When the raiders returned to Dalaran, the gentlemen went off to do a random heroic, so for the ladies there was little to be done but to hear Lady Catherine talk, which she did without any intermission, delivering her opinion on every subject in so decisive a manner, as proved that she was not used to have her judgement controverted. She inquired into Charlotte’s use of addons familiarly and minutely, gave her a great deal of advice as to the management of them all; told her how everything ought to be arranged on so small a screen as hers, and instructed her as to the setup and use of Power Auras. Elizabeth found that nothing was beneath this great lady’s attention, which could furnish her with an occasion of dictating to others. In the intervals of her discourse with Mrs. Collins, she addressed a variety of questions to Maria and Elizabeth, but especially to the latter, of whose playing ability she knew the least, and who she observed to Mrs. Collins was a very focused, attentive kind of raider. She asked her, at different times, how many were in her guild, whether they had higher or lower gearscore than herself, whether any of them were likely to move to a hardcore guild, whether they were blood elves, had any of their accounts been hacked before, how many mounts her GM kept, and whether she had played during the Burning Crusade? Elizabeth felt all the impertinence of her questions but answered them very composedly. Lady Catherine then observed,

“Your guild bank is managed by Mr. Collins, is it not? For your sake,” turning to Charlotte, “I am glad of it; but otherwise I see no occasion for allowing bank management by the female guild members. It was not thought necessary in Sir Lewis de Bourgh’s guild. Do you also heal, Miss Bennet?”

“A little.”

“Oh! then—some time or other we shall be happy to have you heal for us. Our healing team is a capital one, probably superior to——You shall try it some day. Do many of your guildies also heal?”

“One of them does.”

“Why did not you all learn? You ought all to have learned. The Miss Webbs all heal, and their guild has not advanced so far in ICC as yours. Do you do jewelcrafting?”

“No, not at all.”

“What, none of you?”

“Not one.”

“That is very strange. But I suppose you had no opportunity. Your GM should have made you to do the daily every day for the benefit of practice.”

“My officers would have had no objection, but my GM hates dailies.”

“Who are your class officers?”

“We never had any class officers.”

“No class officers! How is that possible? 5/12 in ICC-10 and raiding without a class officer! I never heard of such a thing. Your other officers must have been quite slaves to your questions.”

Elizabeth could hardly help smiling as she assured her that had not been the case.

“Then, who paid for your gems? Who boosted you? Without a wealthy high-level benefactor, you must have been neglected.”

“Compared with some guilds, I believe we were; but such of us as wished to learn never wanted the means. We were always encouraged to sell things on the auction house, and had all the professions that were necessary. Those who chose to be idle, certainly might.”

“Aye, no doubt; but that is what a class officer will prevent, and if I had known your GM, I should have advised him most strenuously to engage one. I always say that damage meters cannot be topped without steady and regular instruction, and nobody but a class officer can give it. It is wonderful how many players I have helped by referring to my class officers. I am always glad to get a freshly dinged 80 well geared out. Four guildies of Mrs. Jenkinson are most delightfully situated through my means; and it was but the other day that I recommended another young person, who was merely accidentally mentioned to me, and the guild are quite delighted with her. Mrs. Collins, did I tell you of Lady Metcalf’s sending me a tell yesterday to thank me? She finds Miss Pope a treasure. ‘Lady Catherine,’ said she, ‘you have given me a treasure.’ Are any of your other guildies raiders, Miss Bennet?”

“Yes, ma’am, all.”

“All! What, all raiders at once? Very odd! And you only badge geared. The less geared ones raiding before the elder ones are geared up! Your other raiding guildies must have only just dinged 80?”

“Yes, our latest one dinged just last week. Perhaps she is full young to be much in a raid. But really, ma’am, I think it would be very hard upon new players, that they should not have their share of raiding and loot, because the elder may not have the means or inclination to raid early. The last-dinged has as good a right to a raid spot as the first. And to be kept benched on such a motive! I think it would not be very likely to promote a harmonious guild or delicacy of mind in its members.”

“Upon my word,” said her ladyship, “you give your opinion very decidedly for so green a raider. Pray, what is your gearscore?”

“With the number of times I have been to ICC now,” replied Elizabeth, smiling, “your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it.”

Lady Catherine seemed quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer; and Elizabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence.

“You cannot have been there on 10-man more than three times, I am sure, therefore you need not conceal your gearscore.”

“I have barely five thousand.”

When the gentlemen had finished in Oculus and rejoined them, they all decided to form a group for VoA. Lady Catherine, Sir William, and Mr. and Mrs. Collins went through the portal; and as Miss de Bourgh also chose to join them in Wintergrasp, the two girls had the honour of assisting Mrs. Jenkinson to make up the party by asking in Trade. Their PUG ret pally was superlatively stupid. Scarcely a syllable was uttered that did not relate to the damage meters, except when Mrs. Jenkinson expressed her fears of Miss de Bourgh’s lacking a Kings buff. Lady Catherine was generally speaking—stating the mistakes of the three healers, or relating some anecdote of herself. Mr. Collins was employed in agreeing to everything her ladyship said, thanking her for every pull, and apologising if he pulled aggro. Sir William did not say much. He was storing his memory with how the noble raided.

When Lady Catherine and her daughter had played as long as they chose, the group was broken up, but not before the warrior loot was offered to Mrs. Collins, gratefully accepted and immediately enchanted. The party then gathered round in the north bank to hear Lady Catherine determine what raid the guild was to have on the morrow. Following these instructions they noticed the lateness of the hour; and with many speeches of thankfulness on Mr. Collins’s side and as many /bows on Sir William’s they logged off. As soon as she had shut down WoW, Elizabeth was called on skype by Maria Lucas to give her opinion of all that she had seen raiding with <Rosings>, which, for Charlotte’s sake, she made more favourable than it really was. But her commendation, though costing her some trouble, she knew could by no means satisfy Mr. Collins, and she was not looking forward to hearing him take her ladyship’s praise into his own hands tomorrow.

Comments

Reprise – a guest post of sorts — 2 Comments

  1. Good lord that was a long time ago! Thanks for posting it… Rather long chapter, wasn’t it? :-/

    • Thanks again for writing it up! I only wish I’d been more on the ball, sooner. :D

      It was somewhat lengthy, but I think we know we have only Jane Austen to blame for that one.