Category Archives: Eastern Kingdom
“What’s so special about the cheese makers?”
“Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.”
– Overheard in the Stormwind Cathedral
We’ve reached the half way mark of the Stormwind Tour! We’re taking a stop off in the Cathedral Square to rest our feet. As someone who routinely works with Warlocks, Death Knights, and Shamans, I’m a bit nervous around this area. However, I don’t think they seem to be too picky about who they let in here, more on that later. The Cathedral is essentially the middle of the city, which is something I never understood.
Wouldn’t this central location be a good place for Stormwind Keep? Unlike many cities in Azeroth which place the seat of power in a central location (Ironforge, Thunderbluff) or in a notable location (Silvermoon, Darnassus), Stormwind and interestingly enough Orgrimmar have their leaders tucked away in some odd spot. Maybe this a strategic decision, but ultimately I find it to just be an annoyance.
Not to mention putting a church in the most central point in your city says a lot about your priorities as a kingdom. And don’t even try and convince me that the Church doesn’t have some authority in Stormwind. You got Warlocks stuck in basements of bars, and the Shaman trainer is sitting outside the city, under the bridge that leads in to the city. Just try and tell me there isn’t some bias toward Light worshipers in this town. Do you think that wise? Let’s see…
Blessed Are The Liars
There are two real shops in the Cathedral Square, and shockingly neither are an Herbalism shop. However there is something off about these two shops. The first one I stopped in – Righteous Plate – was occupied by two vendors. One was a robe vendor, and the other sold chain mail. I took a few steps back outside and looked at the sign: Righteous Plate. Peered back in to see the chain mail and cloth armor vendors smile at me. I repeated this process a few times until the Stormwind Guard had to step in and ask me to move along. I don’t know how you get away with that! How do you put on your sign that you are a plate armor vendor and sell anything but! That is lying, my friends! That is lying in front of the church!
Okay maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe they have some plate in the back room or something. It’s not like their sign said “Only Plate.” However, just down the way there is another shop. This one is called Just Maces. Well that’s fine. A mace is the traditional tool of both the priest and the paladin, notable light worshiping classes whose trainers have a nice roof over their heads. So I walk in and am greeted by a vendor that sells maces… and staffs… and their sign has a sword on it. Am I the only way a bit put off by this? Am I overreacting? But are the only two shops that share a space with the church to the largest religion in Azeroth are flat out lying to people! Even if you give the benefit of the doubt and assume that the Just in Just Maces is referring to the maces being just as in justice, it’s still more than just maces! (I have no idea if that sentence even makes sense, that’s how much these two stores have damaged my brain.)
I’m shocked and appalled at this entire thing. What could possibly be worse than this?
Blessed Are The Grave Robbers
Well, this would definitely fall into the category of worse than a pair of lying shop owners. Like many churches I have seen, there is a crypt underneath the Stormwind Cathedral. While I am a bit unnerved that the crypt is much larger than the actual church, that is not my complaint. My complaint is that it seems that nearly every single coffin in the crypt has been broken open and robbed from. I’m not talking about the jewels that a noble was buried with, or some fine threads that might fetch a good silver or two… there is nothing left in these coffins! Aside from the occasional femur or skull, every body and all their belongings are simply gone.
There are some pretty dark and extremely disgusting ideas of where all the dead people went going through my head, but I’ll spare you them. How about the non-vomit inducing possibility of the undead? Could the entire Stormwind crypt have gotten up and run rampant back during the Scourge Invasion? I suppose it could be possible. There were so many dead people walking about I don’t think anyone would have noticed. But you think someone would want to investigate this. I went to the local Argent Dawn office, some 100 meters from the cathedral, to see if they would be interested to know if every single dead person below the church had gone missing, but no one was in there. At all. Maybe they all went to Northrend? Couldn’t they put up a sign or something to that extent?
I’m a bit curious as to how no one in the church even noticed. You don’t normally see guys schlepping dead bodies around or a bunch of walking corpses (unless you are in Northrend), so how was this perfect crime committed? Maybe it was an inside job. But who inside the Church of the Light would be corrupt enough to steal a bunch of dead bodies?
Blessed Are The Fanatical Fruitcakes Who Want To Kill Everyone Who Isn’t In Their Club Because They Might Become Undead Maybe
Brother Crowley. How could I forget this completely obvious and scrupulous character! (That is until I found a suitable segue for him) In case you’ve never ventured underneath the Cathedral, allow me to explain. Actually, I take that back. I can’t explain. I have no idea why they even let him in here! Brother Crowley is a member of the Scarlet Crusade. That group of religious wackos that believe that the only people they can trust are those within their own organization because everyone else is either a zombie or potentially a zombie and thus is fair game for killing. Never mind that their leaders have proven to be demons in disguise… twice. It’s essentially “Would you like a copy of the Watchtower? If not then DIE!”
So how and why he was allowed into the Church of the Light’s basement, I’ll never know. He is however a likely candidate for making the bodies disappear. After all, wouldn’t his buddies want some easier target practice? How else do they fund their insane little cult if not taking expensive items off of the dead? I bet they pillage the ruins of Stratholme regularly. Maybe they’ll take a page from every zombie movie franchise I’ve ever seen and attempt to domesticate them that will inevitably backfire… Well, I suppose they are using Death Knights now.
Crowley’s presence does raise some questions about the integrity of the Church as a whole though doesn’t it? I mean, the stores around them are liars, they can’t keep track of the dead that are in their care, and now they have a religious terrorist in their basement with torture devices. What torture devices? Well the iron maidens that stand against the wall behind him. Not only that, but they seem to have been used as well. That’s blood stains on those spikes folks, and I doubt the Church is ignorant to this. Actually, considering they didn’t notice the grave robberies they might be. Dang these Light worshipers are dumb. Glad I’m with the shamans. Even if they have to train in the rain.
“I meant to do that.” – Random Mage Flying Through a Window
Perhaps taking a break in the serenity of nature will keep my mind off of the immense greed and corruption of the Trade District. So a quick jaunt over to the Mage Quarter is in order. The architecture is very different in this area compared to that of the Trade District, the buildings seem to be older, there is a distinct purple motif (I blame Dalaran for the whole Mage = Purple mentality), and the roads are all paved in grass.
What?! Who in their right mind thought this would be a good idea?! I can understand the mentality of having grass roads in The Park (We’ll get to that fruitcake factory in a bit), but at what point did the Stormwind designers sit there and say “Mages like grass right?” “Oh yea! They use that arcane magic… which is from like nature and stuff right?” Surely, no logical train of thought could reach the conclusion that grass roads are appropriate here. Luckily (or unluckily), the lack of logic does not stop at the roads. Shall we?
Only You Can Prevent Start Fires!
You would think in a district that is mostly covered in grass in a city that has already been burned to ground once, controlling outbreaks of fire would be a priority. You would be wrong. In the corner of the Mage Quarter is a small shop that is simply called ‘Pyrotechnics.’ What do they sell? Things that start fires, of course! More specifically: fireworks.
Judging from the overall lack of stock in the shop (in comparison to the majority of shops in Stormwind), business is not doing well. Even the shop owner, Darian Singh, looks a little depressed about it. Now, I am not a business expert by any means. Heck, my auction house profits were noticably low this last quarter (Damn battered hilt impulse buying). But if you are going to open a shop that sells fireworks (I should say firework, cause all he actually has in stock is the red fireworks and a schematic for the blue fireworks), you might not want to do it in the second most flamable area in Stormwind. Just a hunch.
I actually want to know why he did it. What was the deal he must have scored to decide to open up a fireworks shop here. Maybe the rent is really low? That would work. It would explain the abundance of poorly kept and redundant shops in the Mage Quarter (How many Herbalism shops are there in Stormwind?) Maybe it’s an attempt to appeal to the mage audience. After all, they shoot fireballs. Fireworks are kind of like fireballs. So maybe there’s an appeal there. But if mages (AND warlocks) can shoot fire, why would they want to buy fake fireballs?
Is it for the mage wannabes? People who aren’t mages or warlocks but want to act like them? Do such people exist? Well I suppose if there’s a tauren who wants to be a rogue, it can’t be out of the realm of possibilities for there to be people who want to be mages. Still, seems like a weak premise to invest in starting an entire shop for. At least it explains the lack of business.
Could I Interest You in a Skull or a Rabbit?
Even if Pyrotechnics is a stupid idea for a shop, at least I know what they sell. There is another shop in the Mage Quarter called Ancient Curios. Now this shop, I have no idea. Technically, they sell reagents but there is no possible way you would know that from simply looking inside. The place is decorated with skulls from various animals in Kalimdor, strange looking weapons, alchemical supplies and there’s a rabbit sitting on the counter.
Every other shop in Stormwind, you can usually gather what they sell by their surroundings. Herbalism shops are full of flowers, the weapon shops have racks of swords and axes, and tailoring shops have fine clothing on display. But what does having some weird staves and a couple of plainstrider skulls have to do with magical trinkets? I mean, I can kind of see the alchemy stuff being related to reagents, but that’s about it.
I really don’t get the rabbit though. Are they going for a Magician’s Rabbit thing? That it’s supposed to hop out of a hat or something? But there is no hat. None. So what’s the deal with the rabbit? It’s never addressed. It just sits there. More importantly it sits on the same table as the weapons, alchemy supplies and skulls. So… can I buy the rabbit? Is the rabbit a reagent? What spell uses a rabbit as a reagent?! I will admit, I haven’t played every class in the game to max level. So I don’t want to rule this option out.
Maybe it’s for a druid form? You wanna switch to cat form, but your cat form doesn’t want to… um… emerge because it’s hungry. Use the rabbit to lure it out! Or maybe its used for a special mage portal. You know, like the rabbit in a hat trick. I would try to imagine what a warlock would use it for but that becomes very disturbing, very quickly.
I actually thought the rabbit was the vendor at first. Magic spell gone wrong or something. It would explain why no one had bothered to clean the massive cobwebs that had formed around the shop. But no, the rabbit isn’t the shop keep. It’s just a rabbit. That stares at me. And never blinks. I’m not shopping here anymore.
“This iz where I make the big bucks, yo. Fools be wishin they gotz what it takes to go toe ta toe with me in the auction hizouse.”
– Stevesbank, a Trade District local
A long while back, I had made the proclamation that my favorite city to spend time in was Silvermoon. After all, it had an abundance of atmosphere that most city’s lacked: people doing things, hidden areas that were off the beaten path, and the size that actually made it feel like a city (Complete with multiple banks and inns). I made passing mention that for the similar reasons, Stormwind was my second favorite. So I figured since I did Silvermoon the justice of having an extensive tour of all that it had to offer, I’d do something similar for Stormwind. I decided to start my tour of the bastion of human integrity with the Trade District and what I found there was a disturbing blend of corruption, greed, and dirty deals. Maybe the Horde and the Alliance have more in common than I thought.
Attend the Tale of Jelinek Sharpshear
In case you doubt my claim that shady characters reside within the esteemed Trade District of Stormwind, let’s start with a trip around the middle loop to the Stormwind Barbershop, operated by Mr. Jelinek Sharpshear. While he seems to run a fairly respectable business, it would seem the corrupt nature of the Trade District had gotten to him. While sneaking up the stairs of the shop, you can find that our goblin friend has some skeletons in his closet – or more accurately his floorboards.
What sets me off about this is the skeletons are distinctly that of gnomes. I would have hoped that a goblin operating out of Stormwind, one of the most culturally diverse cities in Azeroth, to have moved past such simple grudges. In an effort to uncover more about this strange gnome killing goblin, I decided to a bit of digging into his background. Oddly, there are very little records for Jelinek Sharpshear, who appears to have only had control of the shop recently. The original owner, a Mr. Sween Neetod had stepped out some time back and left his “relative” in the shop to watch over things. I’m suddenly reminded of stepping back into the back room of Keelen Sheets’ shop in Silvermoon, and it’s making me curious where the goblin got those sample haircuts sitting in front of the mirrors in the shop.
You Can’t Not Like It
The shadiness of the Trade District isn’t limited to just adults though. Oh no. Take a walk along the canals to the flower shop and you’ll find Little Adeline the Flower Pusher. This kid… Let me tell you about this kid. If you even try to utter a single word to her she will jump you about how much she likes flowers. Not surprising – it is a flower shop. But when she asks if you like flowers? She will not take ‘No’ for an answer. It’s not even an option when talking with this girl. She’ll just sit there and stare at you with her big doughy eyes until you say yes.
What kind of a brute force tactic to sell flowers is this? The Gump family that owns the shop should be ashamed of resorting to such tactics. The fact that she’s a kid is just the foot in the door, but then she will pester you till you say yes. Imagine hitting up the stable master to buy a horse over in the Eastvale Logging Camp, and you said “I really like this brown one.” Only to have the stable master look at you and say “You want to buy the black horse?” But if you even try to say no, he just repeats the question until you are left without a choice but to buy the black horse if for no other reason than to shut the stable master up.
That’s Adeline. You have to tell her you like flowers just to get her to leave you alone and when you do? Well, then she throws flower petals at you. I don’t know what this is. Some kind of mental trick perhaps? Drive me to point of insanity with her pushy insisting of having to like flowers just to have them tossed at you like they were nothing. The same flowers that people are selling two feet away are now being tossed at you by a girl who forces people to like flowers regardless of whether they want to. Weird does not begin to describe the scenario. No wonder why these people can only afford a shop in the corner of the canals where no one ever goes.
Feed Me or I Shall Break You
Another thing that doesn’t make any sense in the Trade District is the resident homeless man: Topper McNabb. The shoeless beggar spends his days sitting behind the Auction House and asking for anything for a copper to a hamburger. The real question, for me at least, is a simple matter of Topper’s health. He’s been begging in the trade district for what seems like forever, and yet his physique could only be described as “ripped.” The man has the appearance of a body builder. On top of that he has long, shiny hair that is perfectly styled. He looks like he belongs on a steamy romance novel, not stuck in some alley.
My hunch is that Topper isn’t necessarily as hard up for cash as he would like us to seem. Perhaps he actually has a nice home over in the Park. But why would he pan handle in his free time? Because greed is good. Greed works. That’s the lesson of the Trade District, and if you doubt me just take a look in the Auction House and see once potential heroes turned profiteers, dressed in fine suits and wearing fancy ‘bling.’ Dollar dollar bill y’all.
Meet the Master of (Illicit) Cheese
Probably the darkest secrets of the Trade District are hidden in the least likely of locations: A small cheese shop owned by the Trias family. There’s something a bit off about this family though. As I took to perusing their wide selection of various cheeses I happened to notice a pound of Garadar Sharp sitting on one shelf. I turned to look at Ben Trias, the studious apprentice of cheese, and ask him how the Trias family was able to procure a pound of cheese that is not only from Outland but made by the Horde as well. Ben turned to me and with a voice barely above a whisper informed me to not ask and that they weren’t allowed to talk about it. His eyes gravitated upwards, and when I followed his line of sight I was greeted with a tall dark figure leaning over the upstairs balcony. Elling Trias – the Master of Cheese.
He called me upstairs and sat me down at a small table in the shadows. Elling took a seat across from me, and glared at me with his one good eye, “You think you know cheese, boy?” A simple nod was all I could produce, “You know NOTHING.” He pulled a dagger from his belt and before I could even see that he had it, he had planted the knife into the table, mere inches away from my lap. “Cheese is about passion. And men must sometimes do horrible, unspeakable and treacherous things for their passion. Best you remember that the next time you question my life’s work.”
He pulled the knife from the table and offered it to me, and put down a wheel of Dalaran Sharp, “Now do you want to cut the cheese or shall I?”
Location: Karazhan, Deadwind Pass
Karazhan has always been a place that’s not all there. The wizard that lived there was ‘half-possessed’ by the leader of the Burning Legion, had an affair with a half-orc/half-draenei with a heart of gold (and a knife in King Llane’s chest), and spent half of his time killing the people that he spent the other half working with. That’s a lot of halves right there. So when I walk in to a spooky abandoned tower that belonged to a spooky mage, I’m expecting traps, monsters, and experiments run amok. What I wasn’t expecting to find was close minded censorship!
I suppose I should be more clear about what I mean. You see, in the Library of Karazhan there are dozens of piles of burning books. They’re everywhere! Including high up ledges that require the ability to fly or fall down to, which shows a special dedication to burning these books. Medivh’s library was home to some wild stuff, I have no doubt, but why would the current inhabitants (mostly arcane elementals and constructs) want to burn these books? Well, I have composed a list of possible reasons:
1. They are cold. Granted, I’m not an expert on Elemental biology. My understanding is that they are animate versions of a specific element. Water elementals are just living water. So I don’t think they have much in the way of a nervous system – although they do have health. I’m unsure if they can even feel the cold. I know the constructs can’t. Robots don’t feel the cold. They only feel hate! Hate for humans! But no, I think we can safely assume they are not cold.
2. Books are dumb. Even as a writer, I will concede that this argument has merit. After all, if I throw a book into the burning lava of the Obsidian Sanctum will it get out of there? No. Books stand in the fire. Books are indeed dumb. However, I can think of how that would cause the monsters of Karazhan to set the library ablaze.
3. They had to cook the marshmallows somehow. Okay, I was unsure if elementals had a nervous system – what with the health and all – but I am pretty sure they do not have a digestive system. There are no “elemental droppings” to be found. So even if they had procured some marshmallows (possibly from the opera house downstairs) I don’t think there’s anyway to actually eat them. And robots only eat the flesh of the human oppressors!
4. It was self defense. What? Are you kidding me? Get the hell out of here.
5. The books teach kids witchcraft! The tower belongs to one of the most powerful wizards in history. I would expect the books to teach you witchcraft. What did you expect to be in the library? Romance novels? He kept those in his bedroom!
However if these books are being burned because of their “witchcraft” contents, I have to wonder who exactly has this concern? The Arcane Elementals? The ones made of magic? It doesn’t seem to be in their best interest to denounce magic. Neither does it seem likely that the Violet Eye would want to destroy what could be very valuable documents. After all, they sent Khadgar there to steal these very secrets from the library. No one else has much of a leg to stand on in this matter either. After all, how are you gonna complain about the books teaching kids to be evil when the upstairs tenet is a demon lord of the Burning Legion? Seems kinda like wonky priorities. Then again, book burnings aren’t exactly the most thought out events: “We don’t like this book.” “So you bought it?” “We bought hundreds!” “Cause you don’t like it?” “Yea! We’re gonna burn them!” “So you’re gonna burn the hundreds of books that you just paid money for because you don’t like it?” “Don’t oppress me!”
So who has anything to gain from burning these books? The only ones left are the robots… wait. That’s it! It’s the robots! Of course! Robots greatest weakness is magic because it’s a phenomenon their logical brains can’t describe. (Like why anyone would go see a Michael Bay movie!) This explains so much. Like why the Curator will attack you on sight for just approaching the library but won’t do a thing to stop the fires. This is it! Judgment Day! Game over, man! GAME OVER!
Ahem. Sorry about that.
Location: Saltheril’s Haven, Eversong Woods
Back when The Burning Crusade was the next big thing, there was a lot of talk about the Blood Elves. They originally had scrawnier models that looked weak, so Blizz buffed up the models to look like… well… models. The other concern was with their attitude. Were the blood elves bad enough muthas to actually belong to the Horde. Blizzard’s answer to this? To make blood elves as evil as humanly possible. They were magic crack addicts, they stole holy power from a quasi-angel-deity-thing, they used slave labor, and they would exploit every single opening their enemies left to them. Heck they were so underhanded that even their leader turned around and back-stabbed them.
But when I first played a blood elf, I had my own reasons for thinking they were pure evil. Granted, I was a warlock, so I just rolled with it. The tip off was hidden deep within Saltheril’s little party pad. If you wander past Salthy and in to his little pavilion/house/hut/fab-pad, you’ll find an honest to goodness palantír from the Lord of the Rings. While this wouldn’t be the first time Warcraft has borrowed from LotR, this is the first time a player race just hasn’t artifacts from it lying about the house the way you would a coffee table book or Hummels.
The only thing that makes this worse is the fact that the palantír seems to be permanently channeling Sauron and his ever Visine-starved eyeball. So essentially, even the most party orientated elf in Eversong Woods is rocking a constant video chat with the most evil being in Middle-Earth. Not entirely surprising when Prince Kael’thas (who much like Princess Leia somehow never ascends the throne despite the fact that they are the only remaining members of the royal family) is making deals with one of Warcraft’s equivalents of the devil.
I wonder what other completely evil beings are making contact with the elves of Eversong? Is Hexxus helping burn the trees? Maybe Chernabog is chilling at the top of Duskwither Spire? Maybe Miley Cyrus is hiding out at the East Sanctum?
Location: Stonewrought Dam, Loch Modan/Wetlands
I have to wonder some days exactly what is going through the minds of some races. At what point did a group of dwarves layout the structure for this dam and go “You know what? I think this needs some more spitting.” Especially when you realize this is the first sight you’re gonna see as you ride out of neutral territory and into dwarven lands – a giant stone dwarf head spitting at you. Just from a strictly PR perspective, this is not a good idea.
Location: Scholomance, Western Plaguelands
Back when I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Never again. NEVER. AGAIN.), there was a school there called School for the Deaf. One day, when I was driving around with my family, my sister saw the sign but the “F” in deaf was blocked by a tree. So she went with her first instinct and said “A school for the dead?” We all had a nice chuckle about that, and I still remember that story every time I wander down into the eerie depths of Scholomance. Namely because from the various images and design choices throughout the place, you have to wonder exactly who this school catered to? Lore dictates that it was a school for up and coming Necromancers, but exactly at what age did these Necromancers start their training? Namely because I stumbled upon a room where I found the strangest group of skeletons, that appear to be playing ‘Duck duck goose’.
Location: The Western Sanctum, Eversong Woods
I know, the title sounds like a fortune cookie. But this is a bit of a zen riddle already. That or some wacky practical joke courtesy of Blizzard. If you travel to the Western Sanctum and go around behind it where the little mountain is, then look back at the Sanctum, you’ll spot a second floor to the building. This isn’t uncommon, all these style of buildings in Blood Elf territories have second floors. For instance, that’s where the portal from Shattrath to Quel’Danas is located.
The difference here is that while many of these buildings can access the second exterior floor, the Western Sanctum is not among them. Again, this doesn’t sound like a big deal. You’re probably reading this and wondering exactly what is so weird that I feel the need to explain all of these extremely obvious facts to you. But I really want to paint the picture of exactly how weird this is. You see, on this ledge on the second floor that you cannot reach by any means… there is a treasure chest. Yes, a chest spawn point is on that second floor.
Location: Valley of Spears, Desolace
More specifically the Centaur KAAAHHHNNNS! While wandering around trying to finish up my Lunar Festival achievements (If you are wondering – No, I did not succeed. One Omen kill and most of the Northrend Elders got missed by the deadline), I had to make my way back into Maraudon. While not exactly my favorite dungeon, I’ve made my way through it enough to no longer get lost. But despite all the times I’ve paid the place a visit I never really noticed the massive sculpture looming over the door.
It’s a very strange-looking structure, and doesn’t exactly resemble anything you’ll find inside. But it would have to be something important for the centaur to build it over the entrance to their holiest sanctuary. Since it doesn’t look anything like a Keeper of the Grove nor Theradras, I assumed it was supposed to resemble a great ancestor of the Centaur. Maybe the first centaur? Or maybe a hidden clue as to the real origin of the centaur race! This talk of Zaetar and Princess Theradras is nice, but it’s about as believable as the Moon being the eye of the Earthmother.
After all, why would any being ever and I do mean EVER want to have relations with Theradras? Have you seen that behemoth? I mean, granted, I’ve known many people who have a thing for big girls. But how about a very big girl with three faces and four arms? And not one of those faces are in the least bit attractive. More like an Ogre after some beatings with a shovel. Zaetar had to have had way too much to drink or the whole things a hoax.
Location: Fenris Isle, Silverpine Forest
…So let’s just mostly bury him. Continuing on from my discussion on the complete lack of effort on the behalf of Thule Ravenclaw last week, here we have absolutely non-implied evidence of how lazy these undead are. They don’t even finish burying the bodies. Just look at the picture. Legs are sticking up, and the best we get in terms of explanation is that it was “hastily dug.”