Boost To 90: A Beginner’s Guide to Discipline Priest Healing in Warcraft

It’s finally happened. You upgraded to Warlords of Draenor or purchased a level 90 character upgrade and have made the best choice of your life: you’ve boosted a priest.

Congratulations on your decision-making skills!

But now that you’ve transmogged your gear and picked out that perfect matching mount and pet twinset, you are, as the British say, for it. You’ll have to learn how to play your new priest. Not to worry! Your favorite* disc priest is here to take your grimy little paw and lead you to the promised land. You’ll be smiting like a pro** in no time at all.

* I assume.

** This guide is a basic introduction to the rotation of a Discipline Priest. It is in no way, shape, or form intended to include all of the nuances of the class or spec. My aim is to give you the basic tools you’ll need to become a solid, middle-of-the-pack healer †. With any luck, you’ll enjoy the basics so much that you’ll seek out advanced enlightenment in the ways of the Discipline Priest.

† If I see any theorycrafting/not-the-way-I-do-it-as-a-Heroic-raider/wiener-waggling nonsense in the comments, I will reach through the internet and slap the glasses right off your face.

Basic Information for Healing as a Discipline Priest

Discipline Priests heal using a combination of direct healing on a friendly target- i.e. Shield, Prayer of Mending, Prayer of Healing- and indirect healing generated by damaging an unfriendly target- i.e. Penance, Holy Fire, and Smite.

Your first challenge will be becoming comfortable switching targets between a tank and an unfriendly target. If you are not using addons- I’ve used none for the purposes of this tutorial- you may find it is helpful to right-click on the main tank and choose ‘Set Focus’. You can then easily find your tank in the hurly-burly of a raid setting and switch quickly between her and her target (her target will appear directly under her portrait).

Setting Up Your Quick Bar

As Marlo Thomas reminds us, we are free to be you and me- so don’t hesitate to experiment with your own setup once you feel comfortable with the basic Disc Priest healing rotation.

Here is my quickbar, without any addons or fancy keybinds:

Discipline Priest Healing Quick Bar | Disciplinary Action

Basic Rotation

Buff yourself using Inner Will (it is not timed but will fall off if you die or change specs).

Buff your party using Power Word: Fortitude.

Primary Rotation for Discipline Priest Healing Quick Bar | Disciplinary Action

Most of the time, your spell rotation will be fired off at a hostile unit. Weird, right?

  1. Target an unfriendly unit
  2. Cast Penance > Holy Fire > Smite
  3. Use Penance and Holy Fire when they come off of cooldown; use Smite as filler
  4. Whenever Archangel procs, use it

Your secondary rotation requires targeting a friendly unit. I generally wait until Penance is off cooldown and if I’m lucky, when Power Word: Shield or Flash Heal- or both- have procced.

  1. Target a friendly unit
  2. Cast Penance, a raid-wide heal
  3. Cast Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Mending
  4. Cast Flash Heal only if it has procced (can proc twice in a row)
  5. Target an unfriendly unit and go back to your Penance> Holy Fire> Smite rotation

Advanced Maneuvers

You can run a decent healing game by just using the rotation above. You can. I often do, too, when I’m healing a raid but also simultaneously watching Downton Abbey, getting coffee, or doodling.

Discipline Priest Rotation - Quick Bar Spells and Mana Return | Disciplinary Action

Mana Control

After you feel somewhat comfortable with your primary rotation, you’ll most likely be going out of mana regularly and will need to learn your Mana Control spells. Your options are:

  1. Inner Focus: Reduces the cost of your next Flash Heal, Greater Heal or Prayer of Healing to 0 mana. I personally like to use Inner Focus in conjunction with Prayer of Healing, a spell that heals and creates little bubbles for five people in a party. Useful if you’ve remembered to target the tank, and even more useful if both of the tanks are in the same party. Don’t bother using it with Flash Heal, since Flash Heal will proc one or two free casts regularly.
  2. Shadow Fiend: Spawns a fiend that attacks your current target and returns mana to you. Use this during your attacking phase, since if you don’t have a target he’ll just stand there and look at you.
  3. Hymn of Hope: You stand in one place and channel mana back to yourself. Any movement or damage interrupts it, so wait until you can find a safe-ish spot before casting.
  4. Mana Potions: Use them.

An advanced Disc Priest rotation takes into account your three major cooldown abilities: Pain Suppression, Spirit Shell, and Power Word: Barrier.

  1. Pain Suppression is a pain in the ass. You cast it on a friendly target to dramatically reduce the damage they’re taking, BUT it also reduces their threat level dramatically. Since tanks who are taking a ton of damage are almost always trying to maintain threat, you can really screw up two tanks’ taunt/stack situation if you’re not paying very close attention. Use with extreme caution.
  2. Spirit Shell creates absorption bubbles instead of direct healing when you cast Heal, Flash Heal, Greater Heal, or Prayer of Healing. Your main problem here will be that you’ll forget to use it, though if you think of it try to cast Inner Focus > Spirit Shell > Prayer of Healing for a nice, big, free bubble fest.
  3. Power Word: Barrier is your only positional spell. It increases the healing that you do for everyone standing in your little bubble, which is useful when the raid stacks in one place, like on the Calamity phase of the Fallen Protectors fight.
  4. Desperate Prayer: A free 30% self heal. No more, no less.

Dispel is your… um, dispelling spell, which you’ll need in fights such as the Sha of Pride. You also have Mass Dispel, but it has limited uses as many debuffs are currently immune to it. I accidentally dragged it off my quick bar a few months ago and haven’t even bothered to put it back.

Leap of Faith drags any friendly player from where they are standing to where you are standing, which is excellent for expressing your well-founded irritation in LFR.

Levitate is a slow fall spell.

Fade drops your threat temporarily. It won’t save you from certain death like the night elf racial Shadowmeld, but if your tank is alive and you need to get an add or two off of you, casting Fade can give your tank a moment to pick them back up again.

I have Renew on my bars almost as a utility spell; I only use it when people are running back from a wipe and I want to top them or myself off.


Take these talents:

Discipline Priest Level 90 Talents | Disciplinary Action


Take these glyphs:

Discipline Priest Level 90 Glyphs | Disciplinary Action

Major Glyphs: Glyph of Power Word: Shield, Glyph of Holy Fire, Glyph of Smite
Minor Glyphs: Whatever the hell you want. Glyph of Confession is pretty funny.

Advanced Information

As you get more familiar with your priest and- with any luck- want to pursue your disciplinary adventures, check out these resources for a more nuanced look at the Discipline Priest rotation:

Icy Veins Disc Priest Site

Ten Ton Hammer Guide

A forum thread I just happened to like on WoW Reddit where people start having romantic feelings for Spirit Shell

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Wildstar Avatars

I’ve really been enjoying Wildstar lately, and in particular the art style of Sci-Fi-Meets-Old-West (yes, I miss Firefly, too). I’ve started playing around with avatar creation, and wanted to post the high-resolution results of those endeavors here.

I’ll update this post with new additions; if you’re looking for a specific avatar, feel free to request it by email or on Twitter. I’m afraid I ca’t guarantee that I’ll get to any or all requests, but if you’d like to order a specific avatar I do take commissions.

As ever, free for personal, non-profit, credited use. Don’t use these to create a YouTube series about ‘How I Created These Avatars’ (that happened). Don’t submit my work to game studios and ask for money (that happened). Don’t use them to advertise your custom character avatar creation (that happened).


Wildstar - Cassian Female Avatar - ©DiscoPriest

Wildstar – Cassian Female Avatar

Wildstar - Chua Avatar - ©DiscoPriest

Wildstar – Chua Avatar


Wildstar - Human Male Scientist Avatar - ©DiscoPriest

Wildstar – Human Male Scientist Avatar

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Boosting a Warcraft Character from Level 60 to Level 90: An Illustrated Guide

Pre-ordering the Warlords of Draenor expansion gives your account the ability to boost any character on your account to level 90. You can boost a level 1 character all the way to the top, or you can level them up to 60 and then apply the boost. Additional boosts may be purchased for $90.

Why bother leveling a character all the way to 60 when you could just apply it right away? One word: professions. If you choose to boost a level 60 character who has already learned two professions- even if they’re sitting at 1/600 skill points- those will immediately max out to 600. Professions can be very lucrative, but leveling them can cost you thousands and wipe out the tidy profits associated with them at end game.

I pre-purchased the Warlords of Draenor expansion as soon as it became available, and after an awful lot of hemming and hawing, decided to use my free level 90 boost on my Paladin, Acima, who had stalled out while leveling in the 40’s and never really recovered. I already had all the professions leveled on other characters, so I wanted to choose the best ‘overlap’ profession for money-making cooldowns. After asking around on Twitter and doing a bit of research, I decided to make her an alchemist/herbalist. I already had a Transmutation-specialized Alchemist on my Shaman, and many Twitter friends suggested Acima should pick up the Flasks specialization.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Level 60 to Level 90 Character Boost: An Illustrated Case Study

Character: Acima
Class: Paladin
Spec: Protection


Note the changes to the spell bar; everything has been moved around.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to UI

Character Pane view at 60 (left) and after boosting to 90 (right)

Class Specialization: The primary specialization is chosen at the loading screen; secondary class specialization (dual spec) was reset.
: No reputations change. No Pandaria reputations are learned if you did not already know them.
Talents: All Talents reset and all were opened to level 90
Glyphs: All glyph slots were opened and all glyphs reset. No new glyphs are learned.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to Talent Pane

Talents are reset and opened to 90

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to Glyphs

All glyph slots are now open; no new glyphs are learned.

Professions: I chose Alchemy and Herbalism; no new recipes are learned.
Profession Specialization: If you choose Engineering or Alchemy, you will not learn a specialization.
Secondary Professions: Cooking, First Aid, and Fishing
Secondary Boosts: Only First Aid was boosted to 600. Cooking and Fishing remained at 1/600.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to Professions - Alchemy and Herbalism

Your primary professions are boosted to 600, but no recipes or specializations are learned.

Quests: Your account-wide quests remain active, and the quest A Flash of Bronze, which gives your character access to the Timeless Isle, is added to your log book.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Quest Log pane

The Timeless Isle quest ‘A Flash of Bronze’ is added to your quest log.

Gear: All gear replaced with 483 iLevel items; item ‘look’ is the same as the Mists of Pandaria items purchasable from ‘Adventuring Supplies’ vendors throughout Pandaria.
Bags: All existing bags are replaced with Embersilk Bags. Everything is emptied out of your bags, and then mailed back to your character (from you to you).
Flying: Character learned Flight Master’s License, Cold Weather Flying, Expert Riding (level 60), and Artisan Riding (level 70), but NOT Master Riding or Cloud Serpent Riding

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Changes to Bags

Bag contents are removed and mailed to your character; bags are replaced with 22-slot Embersilk.

The Boost Process: Once your character is level 60, if you’re choosing to get her there for the profession boost, you may click on the gold shield to the left of your character list in the WoW character login page. From there, the level boost process moves forward. Your character is deposited in the Eternal Vale at either the Shrine of Seven Moons or the Shrine of Seven Stars, depending on your faction.

Disciplinary Action | Warcraft Guide Boost to 90 from 60: Boost Leveling Process Screenshots

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LFD Explains Lore | The Black Morass

Sometimes you just get a great LFD. You can’t make it happen, but when it does, it’s fantastic. In the first installment of a new series, LFD Explains Lore, a great group comes together to explain the opening of the Dark Portal, Ner’zhul, and the role of Medivh in bringing the orcs to Azeroth:

[Click To Enlarge]

LFD Explains Lore | Black Morass | @DiscoPriest

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World of Warcraft Halloween Music Playlist

Warcraft has an amazing soundtrack- five amazing soundtracks, really, if you count each expansion and the original- and lots of those songs are absolutely perfect for Halloween. Karazhan alone could provide a creeptacular aural backdrop to your Halloween festivities, but I took a little time to put together a full playlist of Warcraft Halloween songs. My friend Rades at Orcish Army Knife recommends adding the music of Vash’jir track, and I completely agree.

If you already own all the soundtracks, it’s just a matter of setting up a playlist on your iPod (or musical earphonic device of your choosing) and rounding up the Undead for an All Hallow’s Eve party:

Halloween music playlist using the World of Warcraft soundtrack music

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A List of Portals and Quick Travel Transits in Warcraft




One Way?



Portal; north of city in SW, on tall rise in center of city in Org



Mount Hyjal

Portal; north of city in SW, on tall rise in center of city in Org



Twilight Highlands

Portal; north of city in SW, on tall rise in center of city in Org




Portal; north of city in SW, on tall rise in center of city in Org




Portal; north of city in SW, on tall rise in center of city in Org




Portal; north of city in SW, on tall rise in center of city in Org




Portal; city centers



Menethil Harbor

Boat; Alliance NPCs on boats


Booty Bay





Thunder Bluff

Zeppelin; Horde NPCs on zep



Warsong Hold, Northrend

Zeppelin; Horde NPCs on zep



Warsong Hold, Northrend

Zeppelin; Horde NPCs on zep



Valiance Keep, Northrend

Boat; Alliance NPCs on boat


Menethil Harbor

Valguard, Northrend

Boat; Alliance NPCs on boat


Sholozar Basin

Un’Goro Crater

Large pillared portal; requires flying on Un’Goro end


Blasted Lands

[All major cities]

Portal located in same room where one ports into the city



Isle of Quel’Danas

Portal; center of Shattarath


Deepholm Center

Temple of Earth



Golden Lantern/Shrine of Two Moons


Portal cluster in inn


Golden Lantern/Shrine of Two Moons


Portal cluster in inn


Golden Lantern/Shrine of Two Moons


Portal cluster in inn


Golden Lantern/Shrine of Two Moons

Ironforge/Thunder Bluff

Portal cluster in inn


Golden Lantern/Shrine of Two Moons


Portal cluster in inn


Golden Lantern/Shrine of Two Moons


Portal cluster in inn


Use: Kirin Tor Rings


Purchased in Dalaran


Use: Wrap of Unity


Purchased from Guild Vendor upon guild achievement


Use: Cloak of Coordination


Purchased from Guild Vendor upon guild achievement


Use: Hearthstone

[Destination set by user]

Available to all players. Replaceable by Innkeeper’s Daughter


Use: Blessed Medallion of Karabor

Black Temple, Shadowmoon Valley

Reward from long quest chain


Dark Portal, Outlands side




Yes (the return portals are in a slightly different location)

Please let me know if anything is missing from this list, and I’ll continue to update it. Special thanks to dlanod for much of the information.

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Warcraft Game Time Card Giveaway

As a thank-you to all the Disciplinary Action readers, and just for fun, I’m giving away a 60-day Warcraft game time card on Twitter. To enter, just follow and RT the original tweet from my Twitter account, @discopriest. I’ll choose the winner randomly at 10am CST on Monday, April 22nd.

Good luck, and happy gaming!

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A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Quick Pet Battle Achievements

Pet battles, Warcraft’s new game-within-a-game, is not only fun but a great way to get a lot of achievement points for the Achievement Hunter within your soul. I wanted to figure out how to quickly get to the Pandaria pet battle dailies while getting as many achievement points as possible.

Pet Battle Achievements, World of Warcraft

You’re the best! The be-hest! Nothin’s ever gonna get ya down!

There are plenty of ways to get your pets to 25, but here’s the way I ended up doing it quickly while knocking out a ton of achievements. It took me two days starting with three level one pets (and two level 20 pets in my roster), and my priorities were:

  • Level three pets to 25
  • Capture a pet in every area ([Continental Tamer] and sub-achievement)
  • Beat the battle masters in every area ([Taming Azeroth] and sub-achievements)
  • Knock out as many of the pets as possible for the [World Safari] achievements

My Team

One of the great things about pet battles is that you truly can build whatever team you want. Three mechanical dragons? Fine. A ghost, a broom, and a sentient turnip? Knock yourself out. There are plenty of places to go to debate what the ideal 3-pet rotation is, but this is not that place. We do so much min-maxing for raids and even just dungeons that I personally relished the chance to simply go with my favorite pets and leave it at that. I even ended up leveling an [Enchanted Broom], just because it has the finest attack illustrations in the game.

Mechanical Squirrel: Jakhini
Core Hound Pup: Tank
Snake: Cenarihiss

Leveling To 25

First, I purchased two level-20 battle pets on the Drenden auction house and went in search of a level 15-16 pet area (Note: You’ll need to have leveled at least one pet to level 20 the hard way before you can purchase a level 20 pet on the AH). Un’Goro Crater is a good choice, but I went with Burning Steppes because flying through treetops makes me insane.

  1. Equip your pet-to-be-leveled in the first slot of your pet journal
  2. Equip your two purchased level-20 pets in the next two slots
  3. Challenge a level 15-16 world pet to a battle
  4. Hit the world pet once with your level 1 pet, then swap it out with one of your bigger pets
  5. Kill the challenger.
  6. Repeat (4 to 5 battles, in my experience) until your desired pet is level 7, then do the same with any other level 1 pets you want to bring onto your team before you…
  7. Move to a level 20-21 pet area and repeat the above process until your desired pet(s) are level 15. It only took me about an hour to level all three of my desired pets to level 15.

Continental Tamer Achievement & Taming Azeroth Achievement

Once I had my desired team of level 15 pets, I went back to Orgrimmar (Stormwind for Alliance) and picked up the quest series to defeat Kalimdor Trainers and Eastern Kingdoms Trainers.

I chose at random to start in Kalimdor, and worked my way from north to south. I went to each zone and flew around until I saw a pet that was unique to that zone – I personally used the simple and useful to find unique pets, though there are lots of resources, including the profoundly weighty WoWhead Pet Map- then flew down to battle it.

If the creature I was fighting was green or blue, I captured it. If not, I killed it quickly and moved on. This was just my own personal desire not to fill up my pet journal with grey or white creatures, or with more than one of the same creature. However, my OCDness tripped me up a few times; for example, I fought a white Tiny Bog Monster in the Wetlands and killed it, thinking I could do better- then, of course, spent an hour looking in vain for another spawn.

When I came to a zone with a Master Pet Battler, I fought them until I won. In Winterspring, I wasn’t able to defeat the Master Pet Battler and so walked around close to the battler picking fights with world pets until all of my team was level 17. I had to do the same thing in Terrokar with the Shattarath pet battler (curse you, aquatic pet team!), and then again in Dragonblight. However, it only took about 20 minutes to level my whole team each time, and was fun, to boot!

After moving through all of Kalimdor, I went through Eastern Kingdoms- north to south again- and then flew back to Orgrimmar to pick up the Outlands Tamer quests. Capturing a pet and winning a pet battle was much faster in Outlands and Northrend, though by Northrend you’re really starting to feel the complexity of your team choices. In Northrend, I actually leveled a fourth pet (my boss broom, yo) to make the battles a little easier.

World Safari Achievement

Certain pets, like the Snowy Owl (Winterspring) and Qiraj Guardians (Silithus), only spawn at different times of year (the owl in the winter and guardians in the summer), so I knew I wasn’t going to get all of my World Safari achievement accomplished in a few days.

However, if you use, or whatever resource you like the best, to pick up rare pets as you move through each zone for the Continental Tamer meta-achievement, you’ll make a huge dent in your Safari achievement list (and we all know filling in the blanks of an achievement is a lot less daunting than starting from step one)!

Happy hunting, battlers!

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Warcraft Chibi Icons for Every Class

These little Kirby/Big-Boo-esque icons came about one night as I was working on something completely different. I love representing each class using different art styles- in stained glass, as variations on the iconic Twitter bird icon- and they are, as ever, free for your non-profit, credited use as avatars or blog illustrations. There were even a few variations, but those were posted exclusively on Twitter.


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Warcraft Secret Santa

This holiday season, Warcraft friends on Twitter got together and decided to have a Secret Santa gift exchange. The swap ended up as four physical swaps- America, Canada, Europe, and Australia- and a digital swap. Each participant filled out a simple questionnaire designed to give their send-ee a little direction. I read each one and tried to ensure each person either sent to or received from someone they had a little something in common with- a love of the Horde, knitting, or Walking Dead, for example- and then the questionnaires were emailed out to each gift giver. Anyone could secretly request a particular recipient, but for the most part, the pairings were between random participants- friend who hadn’t met yet, if you’ll excuse the extreme dorkitude of the sentiment.

We had a fantastic turnout, with each swapper sending a gift to their secret recipient by (or thereabouts) December 15th. Some of the swappers revealed themselves with the sent gifts, and some recipients are finding out now in this post just who is their very secretive Secret Santa.

You can browse the many tweets about the swap by checking out the #WoWSecretSanta tag on Twitter, and see pictures from some of our happy recipients below.

Thank you all for your wonderful enthusiasm and participation, and very happy holidays to the whole community!


[Sender] > [Recipient]

@aerix88 > @somnar
@anafielle > @srsbusiness_et
@_anea > @ggelaina
@arioch_arcanist > @revngeek
@asherrylie > @storminights
@battlechicken > @arioch_arcanist
@discopriest  > @rezznul
@draccusdruid > @medros
@dragoska70 > @_elfindale
@druidis4fite > @_anea
@duskhawk > @niquisition
@_elfindale > @kissmyalas
@emberdione > @grimmtooth
@ggelaina > @itslilpeanut
@grimmtooth > @walkstweets
@hasteur > @screwslewsewow
@itanyablade > @justanna
@itslilpeanut > @zerena_hoofs
@justanna > @ravnsdaughter
@kissmyalas > @mominatrix75
@laurenmrathbone > @draccusdruid
@lodurzj > @probablyaero
@mainfloortank > @druidis4fite
@medros > @hasteur
@mominatrix75 > @nymphymage
@niquisition > @verdthandi
@nymphymage > @mainfloortank
@nyxy > @quorrra
@obsidian_dragon > @emberdione
@orkchop > @supapriest
@pickbulbasaur > @anafielle
@piratenami > @duskhawk
@probablyaero > @nyxy
@quorrra > @zindiyaa
@relysh > @stoppableforce
@revngeek > @pickbulbasaur
@rezznul > @discopriest
@screwlewsewow > @orkchop
@soetzufit > @laurenmrathbone
@somnar > @obsidian_dragon
@srsbusiness_et > @vitaemachina
@stoppableforce > @lodurzj
@storminights > @asherrylie
@supapriest > @trocarrogue
@tartdarling > @soetzufit
@trocarrogue > @battlechicken
@verdthandi > @piratenami
@vitaemachina > @aerix88
@walkstweets > @dragoska70
@zerena_hoofs > @relysh
@zindiyaa > @itanyablade

[Sender] > [Recipient]

@arlymedia > @elyrayldin
@curlywench > @_vidyala
@frosted_miika > @curlywench
@elyrayldin > @mythraidates
@_luthvian > @arlymedia
@mythraidates > @frosted_miika
@ravnsdaughter > @tartdarling
@_vidyala > @_luthvian

[Sender] > [Recipient]

@alternativechat > @dwisms
@dwisms > @wabbage
@wabbage > @alternativechat

[Sender] > [Recipient]

@_angelya > @cymre
@cymre > @glowbie
@glowbie > @nerisanda
@nerisanda > @noadikins
@noadikins > @_angelya

[Sender] > [Recipient]

@_anea > @kateplayswow
@applecidermage > @_anea
@dsatt57 / @wowinthedetails > @ohitsquel
@kateplayswow > @dsatt57
@mursejames > @traewick
@mspecht > @msherretz
@nonsquishy > @nyxy
@nyxy > @probablyaero
@ohitsquel > @applecidermage
@probablyaero > @nonsquishy
@screwslewsewow > @mspecht
@storminights > @vikirnoff
@spiderkav > @storminights
@traewick > @mursejames
@vikirnoff > @spiderkav
@msherretz > @screwslewsewow

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