Category Archives: Kalimdor
WARNING: Today’s post contains SFW material viewed with a NSFW mind. You have been warned.
If you compare the Night Elf society with the rest of the world of Azeroth, they are a radical departure from the societal norms that the other races and kingdoms hold. A society divided by gender lines – the women are the warriors, the men are the druidic spiritualists. Granted, this tradition has been mostly smudged and ignored for the sake of gameplay in WoW. Probably piece of mind. You think people got mad when Garrosh called Sylvanas a b*%$& or when Jaina cries? Imagine if Blizz had said that women can’t be druids. Ooooh, there would be hell to pay.
But in a society that is such a radical departure from what most are used to, what exactly would they could consider beautiful? Would they even have the same aesthetic values as, let’s say, Stormwind? Well, dating as far back as before the War of the Ancients, we know that the Kal’dorei have a love of giant statues. Heck, they’re all over Kalimdor in “little” bits and pieces. So we know they have that in common with Mr. I-Need-A-Statue Varian Wrynn. But I stumbled upon a statue in Ashenvale that had me scratching my head, rubbing my eyes, and re-thinking my stance on my sanity. Which is odd to begin with because I was never sane.
Okay, I swear I’m not the type of person who sees this kinda stuff in other places (abstract art, modern art, Disney movies) but I can’t be the only who has ever noticed this. I don’t think it was intentional Blizzard’s part, but let’s delve into this with the eyes of a nutjo… I mean ‘Freudian Psychologist’ and analyze what this means. This statue probably dates back to the Highborne, I mean you see the same statue in a couple of Highborne ruins at least, so you have a matriarchal society. Which begs the question of if women are often sexualized due to a patriarchical society, is the reverse true? Would the men of the Quel’dorei be as sexualized as women are in our society?
Well, seeing how I studied film/computers/writing in college, I can say with the utmost certainty that I don’t the slightest clue. In fact, I have no idea where I was going with this. I’m not a psychologist. Heck, my own brain has so many crossed wires, MacGyver would be stumped trying to hot wire it. So maybe this whole thing is just in my had. Maybe the night elves aren’t totally perverted when it comes to their art and…
HA! I was right! Look at that! Total pervs. You night elves are demented little knife eared pervs aren’t you? Yea, that whole dancing half nude on a mailbox thing isn’t to “pay your way through priestess school” is it? I knew it. Heck, I probably should have seen the signs when the Blood Elves decided that their racial architecture was giant towers everywhere. Yea, they’re not compensating for anything. You elves make me sick. Trying to sneak this trash into a decent Light-fearing game like WoW. You should all be ashamed!
…And, uh, can you sign this copy of PlayElf?
Atop the plateau that lines the outer ring of Thousand Needles, just past the the Twilight’s Hammer camp where they are forging some multi-faceted monstrosity called Animus, there is a giant stone green head. This tells me two things: First, no one apparently likes kal’dorei sculpture as I’m fairly certain not a one of these massive statues lies in tact anywhere on Kalimdor. And two, that Thousand Needles is the Forbidden Zone. Oh yes, the goblins and gnomes were warned by the night elf sage, Daktor Zayas, to not venture to the Forbidden Zone. They wanted to keep their secret safe! But now I will tell the tale and reveal the history kept secret in the ancient halls of Darnasus, of how this world came to be.
Way before there were night elves (June of 2002) there was a powerful race of bug people. And the bug people often fought with the non-bug-people (Trolls and… other… trolls?) and they had all these big wars (Infinite Bug Crisis, Final Bug Crisis, Blackest Bug, Brightest Troll) until the night elves finally got fed up with it, asked some dragons for help, and locked the bugs in Ahn’Qiraj (Which is bug people talk for “Giant Roach Motel”) so they could finally get a good night’s sleep.
What? You were expected some startling revelation? Well how about a giant statue of Queen Azshara… BUT WITH A BUG HEAD?! No? Doesn’t work for ya? Yea. That ending is lame. But seriously, where the heck did this head come from? The only legitimate idea I could come up with is that it’s kind of like when you find dinosaur bones form a similar region half way across the globe because of tectonic plates shifting (That’s a real thing right? Cause my science-fu sucks. Until last month, I didn’t think Pluto had any moons because that’s what I remember some book in elementary school saying.) So maybe Pre-Sundering it was actually pretty close to night elf territory.
Other than that it is entirely possible that 1K Needles and Tanaris were once a thriving night elf forest. Until the bugs came. That’s the real reason the War of Shifting Sands happened. No old gods. No global threat. The elves were ticked off because a bunch of giant termites ate all their trees. You hurt a tree, you can bet a night elf will be there to stab you in a drop of a hat. How much you want to bet that every major war in the history of the night elves is based around trees. Burning Legion? Burnt the trees. Bug people? Ate the trees. Orcs? Cut the trees.
So that what have we learned today? That elves suck at making statues and do NOT mess with their trees. They loooove their trees.
Location: Orgrimmar Docks, Durotar
You know what I hate? Murlocs. They hunt in swarms, blitzing toward their targets like a group of gigantic amphibious hornets having a bad day, and then tackle, maim and devour you without a second thought. There are few exceptions to this MO, like the Winterfin tribe of the Borean Tundra, who I am sure are only stayed by the utter confusion by one of the big people being able to communicate with them. Murlocs are evil because not only are they everywhere and brutishly prone to beating your face in with a pointy stick, but unlike the majority of the ogre population – they are frightfully intelligent as well. There’s one in the Blasted Lands that has learned to communicate in Orcish (and I assume Common as well)! They are foul nasty things and I do not like them. At all.
You know what I love? BABY MURLOCS! They are the cutest little things that make the most adorable noises and I want nothing more to hug them all day! The biggest issue in this entire game is that the only way to get one of these adorable little things to follow you around is to shell out big bucks for one of the very rare murloc eggs that were given away at the 2005 Blizzcon (Current Price: $1500-$2500.) That’s a wee bit out of my price range, but it is still so very tempting to have one of these adorable little things 24/7. Hm? Hold on a moment. Someone’s at the door. Be right back.
…Well, that was the man police. They said I could watch cartoons all day OR fawn over baby murlocs but not both apparently, so they revoked my Man Card. I should have seen this coming when I started collecting plushies. *shrug* Anyway, given my aforementioned affinity for infantile murlocs, you can imagine my surprise when I was doing the Orgrimmar cooking daily quest, ‘Clammy Hands’, and when I opened one of these massive clams to pry out its tasty meats, a baby Bluegill murloc appears. Wait… what?
In all my years of playing this game and finding weird things in it, I’ve never been so confused as finding a baby murloc in a giant clam off the coast of Durotar. At first I thought it may have something to do with a rare pet that you could find, but I’m sure this would have been found already through data mining or someone accidentally stumbling upon it. They don’t even stick around long, so it’s easy to miss them appearing and it’s not like they are in every clam either. In fact it took me ten minutes of opening clams to get another one to pop out so I could snap the photo for this post.
Well how about this on top of everything – there are no murlocs to be found anywhere in Durotar! Where the heck did this thing come from? From its name it seems to be from the Bluegill tribe… in the Wetlands?! So apparently, not only do these massive clams sitting on the easterm shore of Kalimdor originate from the western shore of the Eastern Kingdoms, but murlocs lay eggs in them too. I think. Does that mean I’ve used murloc eggs to make my enchanting rods? Oh geeze. Now I feel all bad. But I’ve spent way WAY too much time leveling enchanting to just drop it. Decisions, decisions, decisions…
But actually this does make some sense. For one, it explains why you can usually find a good deal of clams near murloc villages. Two, it explains why you never see murloc nests. And three, it could potentially explain why murloc eggs are so darn rare ($2500?! Are you serious!?). But the question remains, how did eggs from a tribe of murlocs in the Wetlands end up in Durotar? Well that’s actually more of a clam question than a murloc question. See a clam can mean different things depending on where you’re asking. It some places, clam can refer to a number of bivalve mollusks and in others it can refer to a specific kind that burrows into the sediment. Included in the number of mollusks that the term “Clam” can refer to are oysters, mussels, and scallops. (Yes, believe it or not I do perform some manner of research while writing these. Even if it is just going to WoWpedia and Wikipedia.)
Now here’s where this gets interesting, while oysters, mussels, and most traditional burrowing clams do not migrate – scallops do. And while there are no oyster or mussel related items in World of Warcraft, you pickpocket scallop shells from – you guessed it – murlocs. See how all this is starting to come together? So if these giant clams are actually scallops, then they could have migrated to Durotar after the murlocs laid their eggs in them. It would go a great length into explaining how murlocs appear in so many spots across three continents.
So the question remains, how far-fetched is all of this? Who the heck would think up this entire ridiculous scheme of migrating scallop/clams that traverse oceans as migratory ships for murloc proliferation? I dunno… How about a former marine biologist?
If there is one thing I’ve noticed while going through the new Cataclysm 1 to 60 “experience” (because that’s the only marketing buzz word I can dig out of my brain that can accurately match the amazingly well done revision to the game in my opinion) is that someone at Blizzard – or all of Blizzard – really, REALLY likes pirates. People like to bicker constantly over who Blizzard favors more: Horde or the Alliance – but really the question should be focused on the age-old battle of pirates and ninjas. The fact that there are no less than 3 zones that feature pirates heavily, and several subzones that have pirate related quest chains, and as far as I’ve seen there are NO ninja related storylines thus far indicates a huge imbalance on the Pirate/Ninja front. From a company that likes to tote their supposed focus on “balance,” this is – dare I say it? A slap in the face!
I will admit, even as a staunch ninja supporter, I am willingly to indulge in a bit of piratey fun, but come on Blizz! Would it kill you to put a bit more ninja in the World of Warcraft? The best we get is a Halloween disguise, the Deviate Delight disguise and a frickin’ sword. That’s it. Need I remind the jury that ninja movies out number pirate movies by a fair amount? It’s not like there’s a lack of stuff to draw from. Especially when you essentially have a NINJA CLASS in the form of the subtlety and assassin rogues. But no, instead we get tons of trendy pirate movie references on top of pirate quest chains, pirate cities and pirate zones!
That’s right, Cataclysm added a bunch of references to movies. Probably the most blatant being following around Harrison Jones around and doing his grunt work for entire zone (I preferred helping the cat people). But I’m shocked at how many Pirates of the Caribbean references have been snuck into the game. Most of them fairly easy to miss. Today I’m only going to talk about the big three I found, but if you’ve spotted more feel free to put them in the comments section, I’m kind of curious to how many I may have overlooked.
The most obvious allusion the Pirates of the Caribbean movies comes from the Kelp’thar Forest of Vashj’ir. Poor Budd Nedreck, the guy can’t catch a break in his money-making schemes. He wants you to help reclaim some new “shinies” (which every time he says that word I’m reminded of a particular wild child in the Veldt) but sadly, the shinies make anyone who touches them turn into a skeleton. Sounds familiar. The best pay off for the quest is what you bring him back to “cure” the curse. It’s a hammer. Just a hammer to break the shiny. That has nothing to do with Pirates of the Caribbean, but I must admit, I was in stitches laughing at that.
The Off the Beaten Path
Now these references become a bit more interesting. This one can be somewhat easy to miss if you just rush by and miss some of the emotes that would draw your attention to it, especially since there’s no quest associated with it, although there is one near it. Just south of Ratchet, along the coast line there is an area where the Northwatch guard has taken control of the former pirate dock. The Horde will receive a couple of quests here including one that sends you to speak with Baron Longshore, who is comfortably sitting in a locked cage. However, sitting near the Baron is another group of Southsea Freebooters that will eventually speak to a nearby dog named Charlie. If you look closely, you’ll see that Charlie is holding what appears to be a key in his mouth.
Anyone who is familiar with either the Pirates of the Caribbean movies or ride will instantly recognize this famous scene of pirates attempting to lure a dog with keys with a bone, but it’s easy to miss if you don’t catch one of the occasional pirate emotes or saying something to try to lure Charlie in. However, I question the logic of leaving the key with this dog. This isn’t a jail. It’s an open area on the coast of a highly contested area between the Horde and the Alliance, not to mention the goblins of Ratchet and the Southsea Freebooters.
Having a random animal carry your key seems like a terrible idea. Even if you train it well enough to not run off into the Barrens sunset, you’ve stuck the poor animal in an area where there’s massive amounts of bloodshed in a zone known for its copious number of hunting quests. Honestly, it’s not like it would hurt to put the keys on a peg on the wall. It would actually be better. 1) It would sit further away from the cage. 2) IT WON’T RUN AWAY AT THE FIRST WHIFF OF STEAK.
The One and Only Chance
This last one is named as such because there’s only a small opening to see this pirate reference before its gone forever. Namely because it only shows up during a phased event during the Booty Bay quest line to infiltrate the Bloodsail Buccaneers (I am just now noticing how fond pirates seem to be of alliteration). At the end of the chain, the Bloodsail will wage an all out attack on Booty Bay in trying to claim the town for their own once and for all, during this time the Bloodsail and their allies will be running amok all along the streets.
However, a trio of musical worgen will be sitting on the roof of the first large building in Booty Bay (The one they sell parrots and weapons in. Cause you know, those go well together.) These worgen will sit on the roof and sing their own wolfy rendition of ‘A Pirate’s Life for Me.’ It’s actually pretty funny and got me to sit there and listen as the pirates ransack the city. Perhaps that was their plan all along. A musical distraction so they can plunder freely…
You know when I say that out loud it seems rather silly. But how I can possibly argue against it when it worked! I sat through the entire thing! I waited to see if the next time was really just a repeat or a second verse! All the while Bloodsail pirates are running around me, attacking semi-innocent goblins, and creating mayhem. So there you go. Next time you’re in a raid, you don’t need an off tank, just a drunk bard belting out some garbled incantation to the approximate tune of ‘It’s a Small World After All.’
So there are three quick references to the ever-expanding-and-me-growing-less-and-less-interested-in Pirates of the Caribbean movies (I still like the ride). Maybe once we find them all, Blizzard will finally dig up some ninja and kung fu references to splice into their game world. Master Betty Pain, anyone?
Where? The Crossroads, Northern Barrens
Who in Azeroth steals a wagon? No, I’m serious. We’re talking about a fantasy world where zeppelins and helicopters exist, everyone rides around on wolves, dinosaurs, big goats or something, and you can instantaneously receive a full-sized war bear from a mailbox (Behold the power of SCIENCE!). Why would anyone in their right mind actually bother to steal a wagon? I mean, sure I can see the merits in having a wagon. You get to ride one a couple of times in the early horde quests in Kalimdor. But I don’t think the benefits of having a wagon justify the effort to attack a settlement to steal them. So why I ask you would anyone at the Crossroads bother to chain the wagons to the ground? Well, let’s explore this one a bit shall we?
The Alliance Might Take Them
It’s no secret that there is a long-standing tradition of the Alliance playing footsie with the Horde at the Crossroads. They show up, kill the quest givers and any lowbie they cross paths with, and then either a) get bored and leave or b) get their butts handed to them by high level horde. But I’ve never seen them take a wagon. Hell, they don’t even bother with the copious amounts of hookahs lying all over the Crossroads. I would think if anything the hookahs would be a higher priority item since they are smaller and I imagine a whole of a lot more useful on those dull Kalimdor nights (Ask the Night Elves. They know what I’m talking about.)
Not to mention there’s the simple matter that taking a wagon, especially without a kodo or something of roughly equivalent strength to pull it (This ain’t no sissy Gilnean stage-coach! This is a Horde wagon, boy!) it would simply slow down the Alliance and impede their attempts to run away. It’s just not practical, especially since I never see a wagon leave the Crossroads. Oh I’ve seen them arrive, but never leave. So it’s not like it’d be some strategic victory for the Alliance to steal the never-moved-a-day-in-their-lives wagons.
The Raptors Might Take Them
Raptors are smart, I’ll give you that. Smarter than most people tend to give them credit for. But I already discussed the matters of Raptor intelligence in my post about Subject Nine. The simple fact here is that raptors don’t need wagons. At all. They are quick and agile on their own clawed feet. Heck, they could have taken a wagon already, but they just destroyed it in order to get to the silver in the wagon to fund their nefarious doomsday machines. While there may come a day when the raptors find a need for a wagon (Earth mother help us all), it surely isn’t now and rest assured that no manner of iron chain on a peg will be stopping them from taking the wagons. There won’t be a force on Azeroth prepared for what those raptors will unleash on that day.
They Might Just Up and Leave
This idea may be the most nonsensical or the most sensible one depending on how you look at it. On one hand, this may be suggesting that the wagons are somehow possessed, driven by forces beyond the nether to become some kind of twisted wooden Azerothian incarnation of Christine. Shackled to the earth for fear that the wagons’ blood lust would be let loose amongst the innocent souls that dwell within the walls of the Crossroads (and that forsaken that hangs out there too). Woe be to those who think of breaking the chains of bondage that keep these demonic wagons at bay! For the guilt of the HK’s that these wagons bring forth shall be laid at YOUR feet and weigh on your conscience for all time!
The other possibility is that they just might roll away. Because the Barrens is kinda hill-y in spots. However, that seems to be unlikely as the furthest a wagon will roll either forward and stop when they bump into the inn or backwards and bump into the wall. There’s not enough room for the wagons to gain enough velocity from a fully stopped position to do any serious damage to either the wall or the inn, so maybe just a rock underneath the wheel should be sufficient to make sure they don’t roll into the road at some point, but a chain seems unnecessary.
I would consider the demonic possessed wagon to be a stupid suggestion and no reason to chain them down, but that was before I had to help out with a certain possessed bulldozer in Azshara.
What About Marsupials With a Wagon Fetish?
Well, of course not. There’s not really an abundant marsupial population in the Barrens, at least not the type of militants that would be willing to attack the Crossroads in order to haul off one of the wagons. That’d probably take a good size group to do and certainly there can’t be THAT many marsupials in the Barrens that have a wagon fetish. Unless the centaur are marsupials. There might be centaur with wagon fetishes though. Actually that might explain a good deal about the centaur. Or not at all. Wait… what the heck is a marsupial?
I think we can safely say there’s only one real reason to tie these wagons down. The Crossroads is actually a prison for demonically possessed wagons. It’s the only logical explanation. So keep that in mind Alliance the next time you decide to start killing off the only people who are risking their lives to protect all of Azeroth from the evil wagon threat. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Location: The Secret Lab, Azshara
Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown… the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day in Azshara and the creature only known as… Subject Nine.
For those who are not familiar with Subject Nine, here’s the low down. Subject Nine is a raptor that was given a hat and made into a super genius by the goblin scientist Hobart Grapplehammer (Who belongs to the ‘Oh Why the Hell Not’ school of scientific thinking). You encounter her in the secret lab and assist her in rounding up some of her younglings and shooting them off into space on Nine’s spaceship that she designed: The Velocistar. It’s a quick chain of quests that gives its share of nods, in the usual tone of goblin quirkiness, to pop culture references (Nine’s Plan to Outer Space.)
So what exactly is so odd about this? Well, first of all, I’m fairly curious where the heck Subject Nine came from originally. There’s one point in Kezan where we see her, which means she originally comes from the South Seas. Were raptors a normal thing on pre-volcano’d Kezan? Did they roam the alleys of the Undermine? I know we get to see raptors on the Lost Isles, but there’s no way of telling how close or far the Lost Isles are to Kezan (Okay, there is an in game map that shows them being fairly close together, but that map also puts them within spitting distance of the Maelstrom, so I’m not exactly inclined to believe that it’s a very realistic map). Further more the raptors on the Lost Isles look like Outland Raptors (Well… that kills any theory of them being two species that developed on separate worlds. Now Blizz, explain to me why there FRICKIN’ RAPTORS IN OUTLAND?! Cause you’ve killed my last theory now.) and Subject Nine has the appearance of a Barrens raptor (More notable, a Sunscale raptor).
I’m not opposed to thinking that goblins, the top dogs when it comes to intercontinental travel in Azeroth, would have shipped in some raptors for experimentation. In fact they mention it in one of the quests at the Secret Lab that they DID get them from the Barrens (Her mate – Subject Four – appears to be a Bloodtalon raptor from Durotar). So apparently they got a bunch of raptor eggs and dragged them all the way back to Kezan and then amidst their island being blown up, being sold off to slavery and then crash landing on another island before coming to Kalimdor, Hobart Grapplehammer dragged around a baby raptor (That we NEVER see on the Lost Isles). I’m sorry but this whole thing just reeks of ‘plot hole’. Maybe I shouldn’t be taking anything the goblins do this seriously, but Subject Nine creates some of the most blaring plot holes while leveling from 1-20 as a goblin than any other sole character in Warcraft (with the possible exception of Ronin).
The other issue I had with this whole thing is why choose a raptor to make into a super genius? Raptors are the smartest beasts in WoW already! Don’t believe me? Do some questing in the Northern Barrens – They systematically attack and rob a caravan! They steal the silver from it and run off into the wild. So not only can they outwit and tactically best an armed horde wagon, but also know that silver is apparently worth something as it’s the only thing they took, and then hauled it back off to their encampment. Yes, I said encampment. The raptors in the barrens have set up their own little camps and have started to forge their own little societies. Why are we now deciding to give them the means to build and construct super weapons and send themselves to other worlds? This is just so unethical… so terrifying… and as sad as I am to say it, so very, very goblin.
Still wouldn’t scientific curiosity insist on more of a challenge of taking something smart and making it smarter? How about more of a challenge? Like maybe a crab or a tauren? When you give a species that prides itself of cunning, tactical murder and then give it the means to out think its creator (As Subject Nine actually fixes several errors with the original goblin design for the space craft), one can only hope that it sees us as worthy to be kept as pet. Just perhaps, on your way to the Crossroads, something will pass you in the dark, and you will never know it… for it may be a raptor from outer space.
Down in a gorge, I found the strangest thing.
Back in a corner, trying not to freeze,
I found the Lorax! He who speaks for the trees!
He is a bit taller than in that book that I read,
But despite his demonic appearance he did not want me dead.
He simply stood around glaring while his imp friend sold treats,
I felt sorry for him getting covered in sleet.
Thus I picked up my bow and fought through waves of elementals,
who respawned quite fast and it began to drive me mental.
But I finally reached the old Lorax and his little imp friend,
And paused but for a moment to think of how this conversation should begin.
I decided to ask how he came to be here,
and he just looked at me with a satyrical sneer.
He opened his mouth, out came fearful words of doom:
“Amir gul xi azrathud, karkun.”
After that I simply nodded and left the gorge,
Swearing not to come back, even if I was bored.
But on the way back to town, a quest giver gave me a goal,
To kill some named elemental back in that damned hole!
Do you ever get the feeling that Blizzard reads your blog and has decided to respond to it?
I’m starting to…
Where? Valley of Bones, Desolace
I have a bone to pick with Cataclysm. It’s a punch to the rib cage with all the changes it’s making to the Old World and I’m rattling my skull trying to think of all of the weird ones I need to cover before the big patch comes and leaves me picking what’s left off the bones of these ideas. That being said, I’ve always been captivated with the large skeletons embedded in the walls of southern Desolace. I mean, there are a lot of stray bones in Azeroth, mostly of creatures you’ll never be able to figure out who or what they were. Heck, just take a trot further south to Silithus. It’s bone central! But these two skeletons are interesting because they seem to help tie an idea together that is deeply embedded in WoW lore, and kind have gotten concistently swept underneath the rug in favor of less subtle lore, like the God of Death hanging out in a Titan basement and Arthas’ not shutting the hell up about his crappy plan that is doomed to fail. So today we explore the mystery that is… The Dead Goliaths.
The Dead Goliaths, sometimes called the Twin Goliath (Not to be confused with the slightly less mysterious, more natural phenomon known as the Twin Colossus, which is further south in Feralas) have actually been a subject of some discussion. The general idea is that they were giant naga that fell in battle, either to each other or to dozens of centaur soldiers (as demonstrated by the arrows in their armor). Though it could be that the large targets proved to be useful as target practice for the Centaur and they had nothing to do with the destruction of the Dead Goliaths. But that’s the exact problem here, we know NOTHING about these things. We have nothing to go off of except for the remains. There’s no text that references them directly, in fact the only time they are mentioned in a quest is as a visual landmark, a simple sign for players to tell them “KILL TEH SKELETONS HERE GUYZ LOL!” However, they are mentioned in the Warcraft RPG books as an entry made by one Brann Bronzebeard in his explorations of Kalimdor, where he notes that they are: “bones of Old Gods.” There’s that name again – Old Gods. It seems to turn up as often as Twisting Nether only it carries much more weight because it tends to refer to a very specific thing, instead of an easy deus ex machina.
As I said before, most people have assumed that these two creatures are massive naga. While the connection between the Old Gods and the naga is well known, as well as the naga’s presence across the ocean shore of Desolace, I’m not entirely convinced that they are the same creature. My case for this stems mostly from the most overused plot device in any crime mystery: forensics. More importantly, the teeth on these things. Naga do not have fangs like these two goliaths do. They tend to have rows of sharp teeth of approximately the same size in their mouths, similar to that of a moray eel, where these creatures clearly have the teeth similar to that of a snake, with two large fangs. Not only that, but we’ve never seen a naga this big. Ever. Not even hints of one. Surely if naga grew this big, they would have used them before this point somewhere ( …Okay, there is Naj’entus. He’s pretty big. Maybe. MAYBE. But then there’s the whole teeth thing.)
However, there is another creature with teeth like that and while it’s a little smaller, it’s size does not extend beyond the possibilities of slightly larger variations. Another creature that Brann Bronzebeard had also described once as an ‘Old God.’ An ancient and powerful creature of unknown origin and unknown species. Oh come on, you must have thought of it by now. Heck I know half of you thought of it as soon as you saw the picture for these things. Hakkar! Hakkar the Soulflayer from Zul’Gurub. You can’t tell me the dead goliaths aren’t a dead ringer for the blood god. Which raises so many fun questions about Hakkar. Was he truly an Old God, or a servant of the Old Gods similar to that of the Faceless Ones or the Qiraji? If there were more than one, are there even more out there? Is that whats sitting underneath the basement of Gundrak?! So many questions! But I’m only going to discuss one today. How these two things got here.
Regardless of how they died, be it centaur, boredom or chilling in a valley having a cup of joe the moment the Sundering occurred, I want to know exactly what two giant snake people wanted in Desolace. It sure as hell wasn’t to take in the scenery. When you boil it down, there are the only 3 major features in Desolace: The Burning Legion area, the centaur area, and the satyr area. All of which are scattered with a combination of Highbourne and Titan ruins. So which of these things would two giant snake monsters want? Well, they could want to sign on with the Burning Legion. It’s a futile pointless effort, since Burning Legion is not an equal opportunity employer and they probably don’t provide dental since I don’t think any of their forces actually have teeth (Felhunters have beaks… Maybe? I don’t know) and that’s a huge downside for giant snake people.
If the giant snake people do turn out to be naga, it would give them a reason to talk to the satyr. They have similar origins, both being corrupted people. Maybe they were on their way to a weekly meeting of Corrupted Elves Anonymous. “Hi, I’m a gigantic horrible snake beast, and I’m a corrupted elf.” “Hi gigantic horrible snake beast.” While I’m not sure how canonical that is, but it does create some awesome mental images of a bunch of monsters sitting around a fire and one crying as it has a ‘moment’. The only other group is the centaur and the only thing I could possibly think that the snake people would want with the centaur is food. Seriously. There really isn’t a lot of advantages to dealing with those things. They’re a bunch of cannibalistic half-elemental fruit loops that have nothing better to do than to run around and fight anything they run into, even each other. Is there anything to be gained here for a giant snake monster? I mean, besides a quick snack. By which I mean eat them. Hey, it would explain why they would shoot arrows at you at least.
The Barrens. Even the name doesn’t bring pleasant images to mind. Across these dusty plains lies a couple of trees and maybe an oasis here or there. The appearance just sets a somber tone for the many young Horde adventurers who will be spending a good deal of time here. The lack of traffic has been noticeable to those who try to make a living in their harsh landscape. Sergra Darkthorn, a well known figure at the Horde settlement of the Crossroads, was quick to air her thoughts on the problem: “Too many young ones are walking across the bridge from Durotar and seeing this wide flat mess of dirt and weeds that contains a couple of animals, and little to look it. So they say why bother with the Barrens, spending hours killing quillboar to help the Horde and dealing with the cowardly Alliance attacks, we could just go hang out in the Ghostlands instead – it’s pretty there and they give nicer rewards too! …By the spirits, I hate the Ghostlands.”
Sergra isn’t the only one to notice the lack of adventurers coming through the area. Local legend Mankrik has been extremely distressed about the lack of aid, “I’ve written letters to the Warchief, I’ve asked every one of the vendors for help, and I get nothing. Without the help of some of these traveling adventurers, I don’t think I’ll ever find my dear wife.” Mankrik’s wife went missing five years ago, and so far no one has been able to give him directions to her current whereabouts. “Oh I’ve seen some experienced soldiers coming in from Northrend. Gussied up in their armor pulled off the dead of Icecrown. Seeking me out for some story to tell. They don’t care about my problems. They drop in, say she’s down south somewhere, dead – They THINK. Then they put a notch on their sheet and off they go, trying to prove something I guess.”
The people of the Crossroads are not taking this lying down though. They’ve begun what they’re calling the Big Barrens Beautification Project, or the 3B Project for short. Working on creating a more presentable appearance across the Barrens. “We’ve gone all out with some of these new ‘sight stations’ as we’re calling them.” says Boorand Plainswind, the innkeeper at the Crossroads, “We’ve flown in baskets from Thunderbluff, some fine rugs from Orgrimmar, and even the trolls donated some things. We’re trying to make them as eye catching as possible.”
The technique has proven to be quite successful, as both the Alliance and Horde are taking notice of the new Sight Stations. We caught up with Orïgnalgnkstä, a night elf rogue, who had this to say about the changes: “I wuz all like time to go killz some lowbie hordiez, but den I saw this thing off the side of the road and I was like… whoa… they gotz gongs and s*** out here now.” Even some fresh young faces just heading out from Durotar commented on how eye catching they were. Chainheelzftw, a troll shaman, shared her feelings with us: “I just saw this weird set up sitting over by the mountain. It didn’t look like the Centaur made it so I like checked it out. I mean it was like just a bunch of tarps and stuff, but it was like so random. I just stood there wondering like… Why?” One of Chainheelzftw’s friend, a Tauren by the name of Manox, mentioned that he found the stations to be “neat” and a “cool little detail”
So there you have it, some dedicated souls out here in the Barrens, trying to make things a little “cool”-er for all the world weary travelers out here.