Category Archives: Northrend
A little over a year and a half ago, I wrote about something that had my imagination all abuzz with the number of possibilities it presented. I compared maps, I crafted theories – Heck, I was a regular Pseudo-Rades.
And since even before I wrote that post, I was trying to figure out what the story behind the Giant Snake Tail of Gundrak was. Because you know, stuff like that is what I write about. Actually now that I think about it, there are a lot of giant animals with no explanation. The snake tail in Gundrak, the giant dragon skeleton south of the Dragonblight, and the giant bunny skeleton in Tirisfal Glades (I’m getting to that one, don’t worry).
Every Blizzard Q&A I would ask – regardless if the Q&A was about lore or why we shouldn’t buff paladins – and every Blizzcon I would plead with people to try and ask to get an answer about that damn tail. It has driven me mad with curiosity. If I were a cat I would be dead from it by now.
Well, this year I got my wish. This year, Jesse Cox (Jessecox.com Twitter: @JesseCox, thanks to the always lovely Robin Torres for the tip) went before the might and fury of Chris Metzen to ask the question about what that giant tail was, not only that but he also brought a screen shot. Now my friends, thanks to this courageous soul, we shall have our answer to the question that has bothered me so:
“That is not the thing that is driving the trolls. Its a super secret WoW storyline. Thrall is going to leave Aggra and start dating Jaina.. in all seriousness I have no idea what it is but its really awesome! Sometimes really awesome stuff shows up ingame and we scramble to explain what it is. Welcome to developing video games. We put the WHAT in WHAT.”
[Sorry, folks! We’re having some technical difficulties. Apparently Vrykerion tried to drive a butter knife through his monitor. He’s currently being rushed to the hospital for 3rd degree burns and a mild case of utter insanity. We should be back to our normal posting schedule soon, but while you wait try some Johnny Awesome’s Apple Sauce, official sponsor of the Land of Odd! You can’t wait to get some of Johnny’s sauce in you.]
One Hundred Oddities ago I started a little blog for me to tell my silly stories and post my strange little theories so some jolly ‘net wanderer might get a few chuckles from it. 100 Oddities later, I have my own web site, I have regular readers, and I have a twitter! So for 100 oddities of sheer wacky, demented fun, I say thank you to everyone who has every come across my site, to my regular readers an especially big thank you. That being said, let’s proceed to my 100th Oddity…
Back when I first started this site, there was one weird thing that I had seen while traversing Northrend that I was determined to save for something special. It was one unexplained thing that started all of these thoughts and desires to explore all the other unexplained things in Azeroth. Just off the southern coast of the Dragonblight, along where the Path of the Titans shatters and sinks deep into the ocean floor, there is a massive dragon skeleton. So big, that you can actually see it on the mini map. This colossal dragon of unknown origin was the progenitor for all of Oddcraft, so with that said, I’d like to give you my very special 100th Oddity… video:
Thank you all for 100 great fun posts! Here’s looking forward to the end of the Warchief Election next month, and the next 100 weird things we dig up together! (Speaking of digging up… Archeology Oddities… Oh yes…)
I know probably the most futile thing I keep hoping for in World of Warcraft is continuity. I can get behind lore that changes as time moves on (What do you mean the World isn’t flat? Retcon, I say! RETCON!), I can understand discovering something that vastly changes how we previously understood things (Vrykul is human! Human is vrykul!) and I will even support a radical change in character if it seems legitimately within reason (Screw you, my people. With the demons now. Luvz, Kael’Thas). What I can’t understand is when something pops up for no reason and with no explanation, and we’re all supposed to run with it simply because it is a neat idea. Case in point? King Dred.
Most people I’ve pointed this out simply respond with “So? There’s raptors everywhere.” True. There are raptors everywhere. Stranglethorn, Durotar, Blade’s Edge, Zul’Drak. There isn’t a piece of land that we’ve visited that doesn’t have raptors. But what about Pterrodaxes? Where are they found? What about the Stegodons? Hmmm? That’s right. Only in the Un’Goro Crater. What else is in the Un’Goro Crater? Devilsaurs. Do they have any business being somewhere else? Well, that depends actually.
We know that there is a direct connection between Sholazar and Un’Goro, we’ve all been through the Waygate (totally different than a Stargate or Fargate) and I don’t find it that unreasonable that the occasional devilsaur could wander through and end up in Sholazar. However, Zul’Drak is on the opposite side of Northrend. How did a bunch of trolls drag one all the way there? Why are they keeping it in a not-really-fenced off area of Drak’Tharon Keep? There is no Devilsaur in ANY incarnation of the Troll pantheon that we’ve seen thus far. Maybe they think it’s just a big raptor and wanted to ride it.
However, devilsaurs seem to have a weird way of showing up in places that they have no place being – like in Netherstorm – but I’m still able to concoct a better B.S. reasoning for it than King Drek. Why? Because I can blame the whole thing on the Twisting Nether! It has the power to instantly fill plot holes! There’s tons of stuff in those domes that have no business being there. Like lynxes, moths, or crocolisks (there’s also more raptors, but they are the Outland species of Raptor). Actually my assumption was that they were brought there by either the Blood Elves, or the Ethereals for some unknown purpose (Zoo? But there’s only one devilsaur in Outland, how is it going to breed?) but even if that’s still stretching it… Twisting! Nether! (Blizz gets to do it, so do I)
The amazingly simplistic reason that Blizz themselves have given for King Drek being stuck in a place that has no explanation for it: “T-Rex’s are Cool” Yes, sure, whatever, wonderful. Meanwhile, you explain the origin of the gnomes, the secret revelation that humans are descended from vrykul, and overwhelming amounts of history about another world tree, bear gods, furbolgs, the Titans, and the Old Gods, but you drop a dinosaur in the middle of a dungeon for no other reason than you wanted to put a dinosaur in a dungeon. YEEEEEAAAARRRGGGHHHHWAAAWAWAAAAAAYYYAAYAA (<– This is the sound of a man tearing his own hair out at the sheer WTF-ness of this situation. Thank you.)
Give me SOMETHING to work with here, Blizz. The infinite dragonflight messing with the time stream drops a devilsaur in Northrend, Goblin scientists from Venture Bay have successfully cloned an ancient devilsaur but it got loose and trapped in Drak’Tharon Keep, you are working within the fantasy/sci-fi genres! You can just say whatever and we will find a way to work it in the continuity! Hell, Star Wars has been filling in plot holes for years with the thick paste that is the Expanded Universe and the fans buy it. Don’t just tell us it was NEAT. That’s Michael Bay territory.
Man, now I’m all depressed. I need to go write some fan fiction exploring the burning man-crush hidden behind the hate between Garrosh and Varian.
Where? The Carrion Fields, Dragonblight
There’s something to be said for the Lich King. Granted, I’ve already said it, but it bears repeating. The guy has massive power at his fingertips and has little to no strategy. You let the greatest heroes of Azeroth get to your throne and then try to convert them into powerful servants and just assume that it’ll all work out in your favor. Wonderful, brilliant, a stroke of genius. I’m sure not one of your generals would have pointed out the number of logical missteps and oversight that plan had, namely because the Lich King comes off as the type of evil overlord who kills people who disagree with him.
But what does this have to do with what I’m talking about today? Well, I was flying about my business in the Dragonblight the other day when a strange thought hit me as I passed over Wintergarde Keep. Why the heck is Naxxramas positioned over the Carrion Fields? I mean, the position of Naxxramas in the Eastern Plaguelands always seemed to make some sense, it was positioned over Stratholme, a fortified city that was controlled almost entirely by the Scourge (The Loonies held one building and the western square, but they hardly were much of a threat to the Scourge.) So it made sense to establish your floating citadel of death and doom above it. Kind of. Not really.
The necropoli were designed to be mobile fortresses for massive deployment of Scourge forces directly in enemy territory. The shining example of this was the use of Acherus the Ebon Hold to lay siege to the Loonies’ city and take control of New Avalon before the Scarlet Nutballs had a chance to react. No sooner than the capture of Havenshire, the Ebon Blade had already captured the chapel and the house out by the Orchard and began to assault the city proper. This is how the Necropoli should have been utilized.
Instead what do we have? Well, during both Scourge Invasions, the necropoli were positioned outside of the major cities of both factions and also some really strange locations. I mean, I can see sending a necropolis to the Blasted Lands, as it would actually be quite advantageous to seize control of the Dark Portal. However, sending one to the south end of the Eastern Plagueland, and desolate pointless places like Azshara or Winterspring never quite made sense to me. Also, why not position your forces directly over the enemy cities? Dropping your forces in mass right in the middle of the city streets. Can you imagine dropping a cauldron of the plague of undeath directly into the middle of Stormwind? Certainly this can’t be accomplished with every city, Ironforge and the Undercity both lie buried under the earth, and the Exodar has a roof over the entire place. The strategy however works more than it doesn’t, and shouldn’t be disregarded so quickly.
This brings me back to Naxxramas and the Carrion Fields. My understanding is that the Carrion Fields are where the lowest tier of the town of Wintergarde stood. It fell to the Scourge, and thus it became the Carrion Fields. Not bad, direct deployment to take control and everything. But why the heck start at the bottom of the hill? Wouldn’t it have been a smidge better if you had started your attack at, oh you know, the center of the fortress on the hill instead of the town below it? You know, leave a less fortified area for the 7th Legion to hole up in? I mean it’s the 7th Legion for Pete’s sake. Do you know what they are capable of? (For those not aware of what the 7th Legion is capable of I suggest you read up on them here. They are AWESOME.)
This is sadly just another example of the Lich King’s complete and utter lack of strategic ability. It’s not surprising considering he is the fusion of a stubborn prince who burned his own boats on purpose and an orc whose great idea for getting the hell out of Draenor was to open more and more portals till the planet was shredded. Still, I have to wonder how then, did the Lich King manage to so eloquently recruit the Cult of the Damned and spread the plague grain across Lordaeron without being noticed for so long. Did merging with Arthas drag him down? Did the scheming foursome of color coded dreadlords come up with it? Was it actually Kel’Thuzad or something?
It’d be pretty sad if it was Kel’Thuzad. Sitting on his chair in Naxxramas with his skull in his hands repeating over and over, “We’re doing this all wrong. Why didn’t we just go with my idea and start at the top of the hill? Why do we always listen to HIS ideas?” Probably cause he’d kill you if you didn’t, Kel. He’s just that kind of evil overlord.
Location: The Eventide, Dalaran
This thing has been bugging me since the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King, but I wasn’t able to put my finger on it till recently. In the Eventide, there is the most infamous fountain in all of WoW. Why? Because you fish coins out of it! I’m not going to go into the possible ramifications of stealing coins from a wishing well in a world where magic actually exists (from a fountain in a city of wizards no less). I’m sure those kind of actions will have their own ramifications that will make for excellent fodder for a horror flick or a romantic comedy. No, I am talking about the sculpture sitting over the pond o’ goldfish (and occasionally coins, but never that last one you need and have been sitting there and waiting for until 4am and you have work the next day.)
It’s one of those funky looking walrus things from the Howling Fjord! Technically, it’s a Reef Cow. It’s still an ugly as sin animal that has no place being sculpted, but that’s just my opinion. That’s not even the real issue here. Let me explain my real problem with this statue. Dalaran is a city-state that once rested at the base of the Alterac Mountains along the shores of Lordamere Lake. In a predominantly human (now also forsaken) region. The story goes, or so we’re told, that after its destruction at the hands of Archimonde, Dalaran popped inside a pink bubble and starting to rebuild. In my head, I always pictured it like in the Harry Potter movies, where the destruction goes in reverse until everything is back to normal – but they probably rebuilt it the normal way.
My understanding though was that after the reconstruction was complete, they moved the city to Northrend. Am I alone on this? Because I am very curious about why there is a sculpture of an animal that is native only to Northrend in the reconstructed Dalaran. Did they get some wild eyed sculptor from the Howling Fjord to travel all the way back down the Alterac just to do this statue? Were they just so captivated by this creature that they just had to immortalize in stone for all mages to see? I can’t imagine anything else! Either someone who had studied reef cows made this monstrosity of stone before the city was moved, or the mages of Dalaran got to Northrend, decided the fountain needed some pizazz and saw a reef cow and thought that thing best represented the beauty of the floating magical city.
While we’re on the note of this weird sculpture, why is the reef cow eating frenzies? There are no frenzies in the Howling Fjord! The only place in Northrend where frenzies can be found is in the Sholazar Basin (which would lead me to take a guess that maybe the titans had a hand in creating these psychotic killer fish… still no clue how they ended up in the Serpentshrine Cavern though.) But there are no reef cows in the Basin. There are no reason these two species to even have come into contact, and based on my past experience with frenzy fish – the damn walrus should be DEAD. Just a skeleton, not even a speck of meat left on those bones.
If anything this just further solidifies the idea that the mages of Dalaran are all completely insane. They’re friend their brains on sucking up arcane energy and this is what we get. When the next generation of mages arrive to study the craft, they’ll be looking at this statue like we look at what our people considered art in the 1960’s. The ugly walrus statue will be the tie dye of the wizard society.
Father’s Day is always an interesting holiday in Azeroth, after three wars in the past twenty-five years the holiday has taken a very somber tone for many. Reports of the Horde’s warchief is spending the day in the isolation of a cliff side in the hills of Alterac in quiet meditation. Drek’Thar, one of the warchief’s generals and spiritual advisers has mentioned that the holiday is a rough time for the already troubled warchief, “Thrall never knew his parents, killed his former master in the battle of Durnholde, and lost a father figures in Orgrim Doomhammer. Yes, I think the holiday is a bit of a sore subject with the Warchief.” Thrall is not alone in his desire for solitude this Father’s Day, as Varok Saurfang, the commander of the Kor’kron Guard in Northrend, took leave to go to Outland and visit the Ancestral Grounds in Nagrand for the weekend to “celebrate his pride as a father in his own way.”
Also celebrating in his own is Garrosh Hellscream, who is reported to be spending Father’s Day in a tavern yelling at other orcs about how his father is “the greatesht hero the Horde has ever known” and how they were lucky that his bloodline continues in their “future bestest warchief evers.” The King of Stormwind took some time to take his son off to Lordamere Lake, just off the coast of Hillsbrad, where they fished and King Varian told young Anduin stories of King Llane and King Terenas. Meanwhile, on the shores of Kalimdor, Lady Jaina Proudmoore held a solemn procession in remembrance of the many father’s that were lost in the first, second and third wars. The entire population of Theramore turned up as Jaina led a mock navy funeral for those who had passed, including her own father, Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore.
However the most interesting tale of Father’s Day is coming from the freezing halls of Icecrown Citadel, as many members of both the Argent Crusade and the Ebon Blade awoke to find a good deal of their alcohol had gone missing, coupled with the sounds of the loud shouting of obscenities and slightly disturbing echoes of sobs reverberating through the Citadel from the Frozen Throne at its peak. The majority of the invading forces have decided to not attempt to press the attack into the fortress of the Lich King today. “The men are saying it’s out of respect,” says Crok Scourgebane, a champion of the Ebon Blade, “but it’s really cause the sound alone is making these whelps wet themselves.”
Highlord Tirion Fordring however saw a silver lining to the presence of a drunk and depressed Lich King, “Maybe I was wrong – and perhaps Jaina was right and there is something left of Arthas in there after all.” but the Highlord’s somewhat lifted tone was quickly soured, “But I wouldn’t want to face him today. There’s not a force on Azeroth that could make me do something that stupid.”
Location: Warsong Hold, Borean Tundra – Vengeance Landing, Howling Fjord – Grol’dom Farm, the Barrens
This oddity comes in via email from Umjin who simply asks “What’s the deal with the bees?” Included were several pictures of what you see here, drawings of bees on the sandbags of the Horde airships that transport people to and from Northrend. I must admit, this one did stump me at first until I remembered a trip I had made a while back through the Barrens. That trip is where I learned the darkest secret of the Horde and I hesitated quite a bit about even posting about it in fear of what the Alliance might do with this knowledge. But Umjin wants to know, and I’m sure you all do too. So here it is.
The Horde is afraid of Bees.
It’s true. While making my way towards the Crossroads I found Trok, a young orc who was running day and night from this malicious insects. I tried to talk to the little orc but he wouldn’t stay still for a single second. He would just keep running from the bees who endlessly chased him around the plains. I was admittedly concerned for Trok, especially after he continued to call for help from his sister Karu, who didn’t even lift a finger to aid him. I would soon learn that this girl was not a coward but as sagely as the shaman Kranal Fiss (who I can only assume is their father.) You see, I tried to help Trok with his bee problem.
I tried every attack and every spell I could muster attempting to stop the assault of the tiny winged fiends but it was no good. They were too small, too quick and too agile to be stopped by brute force. That is their greatest strength. An orc specializes in smashing and slashing, a tauren could stomp you into submission, and a troll could throw a thousand knives at you in the blink of an eye – but what are these strengths against the masterful dodge and sting attacks of the bee? This is why the wise Karu doesn’t aid her brother. She knows that to fight the bee is to lose to the bee. She understands the bees’ strengths, and she knows that a lowly orc has no chance to take down this cunning beast.
Everyone in the Horde knows and fears the strength of the bee. There is no armor infiltration proof enough to stop them, there is no weapon quick or accurate enough to kill them and there is no spell that they are not able to avoid. Truly the bee is a force to be reckoned with. The Alliance only wishes they could possess the power of the bee, I know the goblins do. Why else would they design many of their zeppelins to look like bees if they weren’t attempting to harness this power? To decorate your vessel with the bee is to will your vessel to fly with the power of the bee! After all, there’s no way a bee can actually fly, yet it does. Wouldn’t you wish to infuse your flying ship with the power to defy physics itself? I know I would.
So perhaps that is why they paint them on the sandbags, as a way to show that the horde and their zeppelins will defy logic and the world to do what they do. A truly powerful sentiment that shall ever endure as a testament to the strength of the Horde’s aerial prowess.
That or it is the absolutely dumbest form of camouflage I have ever seen. No no no, we’re not a horde war zeppelin. Nope. Just a bunch of bees. Bzz bzz bzz. /sigh
This is one I stumbled upon on my tedious waiting for Higher Learning. It’s essentially a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions for those who are pondering the acronym and don’t often peruse for free game guides on the internet). My favorite is the one from the picture: if you having trouble casting, you may be dehydrated and need some water. Ha! Self referential humor is classic! Good show Blizzard, good show…
But this also raises some questions. Why the heck is this book in Dalaran? The MAGE city. Every single citizen of this town is a wizard in some respect, why the heck have a Wizarding for Dummies book sitting around in a city of people who don’t need it? Wouldn’t this be better in places like Stormwind’s library, or the Undercity? Or shall we toss some Cataclysm speculation in and have it turn up in Darnassus!
Oh I weep for the unfortunate Night Elf to get caught with a copy of Mages 101 under his mattress. Blushing in shame as they mumble and try to explain to his or her parents about they sometimes they just get these urges to cast an arcane missile, and how all their friends are trying it. Maybe they’ll try and turn the tables and say that when their parents were younger (a few thousand years ago) they were doing it too. Then the parents will go on the defensive, saying how young and naive they were… and how it almost destroyed their entire world. I’d pay to watch that conversation.
The point is, while the humor is fun, I don’t get why a city known for their wizardry would need such a basic book. Does Dalaran have some kind of remedial wizarding classes? I figured that’s the class that Windle Sparkshine is in. How low do you have to sink to be put on candle lighter duty? He’s got to have some bad grades to land that job. My impression was that Dalaran was the city where the magic university was, not the magic grade school. Which honestly is more along the lines of the trainers in Kharanos or Goldshire would be. This book doesn’t belong in Dalaran. At all. Ever.
Oddly, it spawns in place of a book required to get the Mastery book sometimes. So this actually might be a subtle hint that you’re not ready for “master” level wizardry yet. It’s like when you leave the Christmas Sears catalog – toys circled – in your parents room to entice them to take notice of what you want from them. What? I can’t be the only one who did that. Seriously? Whatever. Anyway, this book is spawning to tell you that you are a dumb mage that needs more schooling. Are you gonna take that from some snooty wizards?
I would tell them to meet you down in the Underbelly for a magic duel to settle this. And when they’re distracted with casting some of their fancy better-than-you magic… SWEEP THE LEG!*
*Oddcraft does not support despicable acts that make Mr. Miyagi sad. We do however support the utter beat down of mages. Because vending machines should not talk back.**
**Despite being the only writer on this site, the views expressed on this site are not those shared by Vrykerion. He likes mages. Port to Dal plz?
Location: Arsenal Absolute, Dalaran
You gotta give a hand to these guys. I don’t know if they got it off someone they caught stealing red-handed but just seeing it displayed so prominently gives me a shake. I’m surprised that the no authorities have asked them to hand it over just to check it for fingerprints. Though considering they are weapons dealers, I wouldn’t be surprised if it came to fisticuffs over anyone laying a hand on their prized possession here.
Okay, okay, okay. I’ll stop with the terrible hand jokes, but this thing did make me do a double-take when I first saw it. Just goes to show you that you haven’t seen everything yet. Sitting on the counter is a prosthetic arm in an elaborate jar. Do I even need to repeat that? I don’t even know where it came from. All of the employees seem to have all of their limbs firmly attached, and it doesn’t seem to be any kind of fist weapon. If it is, I severely doubt it’s usefulness. The best part is that every now and then it twitches! Now I have to know where this thing came from.
I imagine there’s probably a great story behind it too. Wouldn’t you think? Granted, my mind jumps to thoughts of Reservoir Dogs, but I’m sure everyone has met a relative or someone missing a body part. There’s always a story to go along with that. And this thing is in a jar! A jar for pete’s sake! There are lots of things in the game that come in jars, but none of them get me as fascinated as this thing. It could be Tyr’s missing hand, or maybe Vezax’s other hand, or maybe both!
The most likely story is that it belonged to some unfortunate soul you questioned the quality of the store’s primary product: Big sharp things. The store probably held on to it as an example of exactly how top notch their blades are. Is that something people are really proud of? “Our weapons are so sharp, they severed someone’s arm off while they were window shopping!” While I will admit that is a great endorsement for how sharp your big sharp things are, I don’t think that it’s a successful way to drum in new business. I don’t know too many people who go out shopping thinking that the place that someone got crushed by giant television is the best place to peruse. Maybe they’ll just stick with Amazon, or a store that doesn’t stack their TVs so hazardously.
Personally, I would have just went with a sign that says “Do Not Touch.”
Location: Halls of Lightning, Storm Peaks
There is a lot of weird stuff in the Storm Peaks, but this one I stumbled on when running Halls of Lightning and while waiting for a new tank via LFG (the first tank bailed after downing the first boss. We presumed he only needed one Emblem for something.) I decided to wander around the Unyielding Garrison (First big room) and take a look around. Below the small platforms extended in mid-air, I found a legion of massive Iron Vrykul standing around.
They certainly didn’t seem animated, or at least I don’t recall seeing them move any. They just stand there in formation. The other thing that caught me was the size of them. I mean, we’ve seen Iron Vrykul in different places before, but they tended to be about normal Vrykul height if not a little bigger (Runemaster Molgeim in the Antechamber of Ulduar is the biggest I believe) but these things look big enough to dwarf the elemental giants in the Vault of Archevon. So I’m wondering why the heck were these massive metal behemoths ever used? They might have come in handy in defending Loken, and certainly Ulduar.