Note: This post was originally made on my Tumblr, but I figured I’d share it here as well.
I’ve seen this question bounce around a few times since the announcement of Battle For Azeroth. So I figured I’d do my share of clearing up a misconception.
The Horde and Alliance didn’t team up to fight the Burning Legion.
They tried. Namely the Assault on the Broken Shore.
It ended with the Horde retreating after their Warchief was fatally injured and the Alliance losing another King of Stormwind. After that, the joint efforts collapsed since the Alliance blamed the Horde for the death of Varian, and the Horde has pretty much run out of fucks to give about reaching out to an Alliance that constantly blames them for crap going wrong.
Without the Horde and Alliance willing to work together to fight the Burning Legion, the duty fell instead to the Class Orders to rally their ranks and push back the Legion. Hence why the Armies of Legionfall banner has the symbols of each of the class orders represented on it.
In short, the Alliance and Horde failed at teaming up and fell into their old hatreds while the Class Orders stepped up and joined forces under Khadgar and Illidan to stop the Legion’s invasion and ultimately assault Argus. Hence why the only faction leader present on Argus is Velen – who has a vested non-political interest in reclaiming his homeworld.
I might be wrong in this, but while the heroes of Azeroth who are aligned with the Horde or Alliance have often worked side by side I don’t think there are many times that the Alliance and Horde as factions have been politically united on something. In the Burning Cruside, it was much more of an effort driven by the Scryers and Aldor united as the Shattered Sun Offensive. In Wrath of the Lich King, the Horde and Alliance were still duking it out over Icecrown while the Ebon Blade and the Argent Crusade made headway into infiltrating the Citadel. In Catalcysm, Faction animosity actually grew in the wake of the struggle for resources after the near apocalypse which ultimately came to a head in the Mists of Pandaria. In Warlords of Draenor, the conflict and alliances between groups was much more centered on the native factions of Alternate Draenor with the Horde and Alliance not openly in conflict but just kind of helping things along for the locals, which gave way to the potential team up at the Broken Shore – where it hit the fan and set the stage for the faction war coming in Battle for Azeroth.
Update: Since originally posting this on Tumblr, I was able to think of a few occasions that the Horde and Alliance worked together for one reason or another. The first is the Battle of the Wrathgate where both the Alliance and the Horde fought against the Scourge as an attack on the Lich King’s back door. However, it’s debatable whether this constituted a formal action by the Horde since it was really only Saurfang the Younger’s forces that joined the assault and that the forces of Overlord Agmar where more aligned with the radical tactics of Garrosh Hellscream and likely would have no desire to join an Alliance assault, and the Forsaken of Venomspite… well… they had OTHER plans.
The one event I could think of that was a 100% combined Horde-Alliance effort was the Might of Kalimdor, a unified army made up of the Alliance’s legendary 7th Legion and the Horde’s mighty Kor’kron Guard that fought during the ten-hour Ahn’Qiraj War after the Scarab Wall was opened. This along with the War Effort that bolstered the Might of Kalimdor is probably the most clear cut example of the Horde and Alliance joining forces to confront a potentially world-ending threat (The return of the Qiraji after the War of the Shifting Sands nearly 1000 years before the first arrival of the Orcs).
Considering both times were led by a member of the Saurfang family, and even Varian was able to put his old grudges aside to let the elder Saurfang mourn the loss of his son at Icecrown Citadel, the High Overlord might be a good choice for an ambassadorship.
Location: Amberstill Ranch, Dun Morogh
Okay, how come every single time I end up talking about Dun Morogh, it also ends up being some kind of kinky innuendo laced sex joke? What is it with dwarves anyway? They like putting some boom in the bedroom, dirty old priests hide out in their backyard, and now I find a mild mannered dwarven hovel that has a basement ripped straight from a trashy harlequin novel!
Imagine it, you come home from the frozen and icy hills of Dun Morogh, just getting off patrol and stopping some random Horde warlock punk from blitzing Kharanos with a rain of fire from atop the roof of the tavern, and the first thing that hits you is the immense warmth of a roaring fireplace. You follow the stairs down around the edge of the interior to find rose petals strewn across the bear skin rug. Following the fragrant path of rose petals, you find they lead you right into a warm cozy bed full of hairy dwarf manliness! Strikes quite a picture right?
Speaking of pictures, there’s a downright creepy one right at the bottom of the stairs with big googley eyes. It almost looks like one of those pictures from Scooby Doo where the moment Shaggy and Scoob wander off, the eyes start following them because they’re actually just the bad guy hiding behind… the… portrait… HEY WAIT! You don’t think that’s what is going on here, do you? Some decked out trashy romance scene set to lure in unsuspecting dwarves into a moment of sweaty dwarf banging while whoever is secretly behind this painting is watching?! Oh god! I knew there were some messed up people in Azeroth, but they usually are fairly identifiable by wearing dark colors or overly dramatic monologues. This is… this is just disturbing. Who do you think is hiding behind that picture? Has to be a dwarf. A gnome would rig up a more elaborate system of self-editing video cameras, and humans… well, they have Goldshire now don’t they?
I can only imagine that this elaborate set up was put together by a fairly lonely dwarf. I mean, in a society that is built on a total of two principles: Studying the past and getting #$%&-faced, you can only imagine that dwarves would be going at it like bunnies whenever they found the chance (Perhaps that explains all the actual bunnies as well.) So what kind of dwarf would want to build this love bungalow just for the purpose of spying on OTHER dwarves getting lucky? Must lead a sad, sad life. I can only imagine this degree of voyeurism is probably illegal too. Which would explain the four guards standing outside to guard this little house. They’re waiting to catch this depraved and disgusting dwarf! That or their taking turns using the umm… “facilities.”
Where? The Blue Recluse, Stormwind Mage Quarter
His name is Steven Lohan. He works and operates a small tavern in the mage district of Stormwind. He has a brother, he has employees, and he seems to have a good life. But Steven Lohan is a lie. Because in the chaos and panic of the Shattering, as Deathwing destroyed the Park for the sake of plot convenience for when Chris Metzen had no real answer as to why the worgen had go to Darnassus, the man who was once named Steven Lohan was silenced, and without a single soul noticing, vanished from the world in a flash of claws and a small splash of blood on cloth.
Why do I say this? What right do I have to claim that this “man” is not Steven Lohan? Because during Patch 4.0.3a, something happened to good old Steve. He started saying funny things. With an accent he previously never had before. He began barking, “Get gabbin’ or get goin’!” at patrons. No one knew what to make of it – it was such an odd thing for him to say. However, if you asked a night elf about it, they’d know instantly that this new Steven Lohan is not a Stormwind resident at all… BUT A GILNEAN INFILTRATOR! (Dun dun Duuuuun)
No joke, for some reason when Cataclysm hit the live servers, this random guy who no one really had any reason to interact with in the game (I don’t think he even had any dialogue besides the normal click-on-them responses) just suddenly and without reasoning decided to become a Gilnean. This is an excellent argument for the people who want to claim that there are worgen in Stormwind just hiding out in human guise, because well… here’s one.
Granted, there’s the chance that Stevie was a defected Gilnean that struggled against the odds to climb past the Greymane Wall, survived the harsh trek across the haunted vales of Silverpine, the warzones of Hillsbrad, the beastie infested swamps of the Wetlands, and the Dwarf riddled lands of Dun Morogh until he eventually made it to Stormwind where he learned to suppress his accent and worked as a shoe shiner until he had enough money to open up his own tavern. However, things turned for the worse and a warlock bar opened up just up the street, and thus began a life long rivalry as Steven fought and struggled with his family, his alcoholism, his stressful marriage to a Kirin Tor woman (they are very strict) in the Lifetime Original Movie… Howling for Home: The Steven Lohan Story.
That or he was a worgen that showed up and killed the original Steven and took his place. You tell me which sounds more likely.
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.
Where? The Burning Steppes
You ever notice that there’s always been a strong association with fighting and dogs? And I don’t mean in the abusive illegal Michael Vick kind of way (See that? That’s topical humor right there. Well, for me at least). But on an Alliance quest in the heart of the Burning Steppes, you are given the task of collecting 50 (Yup. Fifty.) Blackrock Medallions from the orcs of the Blackrock clan around the area. Sounded pretty simple, so I head off and start whacking orcs left and right. But then there’s also these worgs that the orcs have around, and you won’t believe it, they drop the medals too. The hell?
So are the worgs part of the Blackrock forces? I mean, I know that they are the pets of the Blackrock clan and are used as guard dogs or sentries and often follow around the orcs to assist in battle much as a hunter’s pet would, but are these medals to indicate that the beasts actual hold some manner of rank? Is there a separate chain of command for the worgs? Do the newbie orcs and wolves start out in the same place? I can imagine the boot camp must have been pretty dog eat dog (/rimshot). It kind of makes me wonder about promotions. Do you think a worg could ever become an officer? I can only imagine there’s a pretty harsh concrete ceiling to military ranks for canines. However, seeing General Spuds MacKenzie delivering a speech to a mountain full of orcs is an awesome mental image.
I suppose the other possibility would be that the worgs actually started eating the orcs and thus would have the medals, but I really can’t see the orcs continuing to use animals that would routinely just eat them. Seems slightly counter productive in my opinion. I mean, orcs aren’t stupid. Ogres maybe, but certainly not orcs. So the medals have to be for the worgs (granted, that idea doesn’t help my previously stated case that orcs aren’t stupid) but what were they for? Did the worgs see some action and earn the medals? Maybe there was an all wolf platoon during the Second War. A down and dirty group of dogs of war that fought in the trenches with their orc allies to end the Alliance’s tyranny of… um… giving the table scraps to the cats? Humans do seem to have a pretty strong cat theme going, whether it’s Stormwind or Dalaran, there are cats to be found. So maybe that’s why the worgs signed on with the Blackrock orcs?
Okay, but how long does a worg live? The Second War (the last time the Blackrock’s actually participated in a war) was years ago, these have got to be some pretty old dogs. You think they all sit around, play cards, and drink toilet water, while swapping old war stories around a fold up card table on Thursday nights? Maybe they sit on park benches around the desolate and flaming landscape under the shadow of Blackrock Mountain talking about how their generation had real discipline and knew the value of hard work and these young pups just sit around in their Spire, listening to their hip hop and walking around in circles doing nothing.
Ultimately, I think this about treating the dogs as equal to the other orcs. Something that Genn Greymane probably would have approved of, before he kind of became part doggy himself. Hey! There ya go, Genn! Forget the Alliance that you /gquit all those years ago and join up with the Blackrock Orcs! They hate the Horde (The New Horde at least, beggars can’t be choosers) and I hear their boss is coming back soon. It’s the perfect opportunity for you! They like to be mean and nasty to things they don’t like too! So then we’ll have a worg platoon, and the worgen platoon, and they can all chase the cats up trees together! It might even prevent the worgen from becoming the most overplayed race since Blood Elves!
…ah, who am I kidding? /rolls worgen.
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.
Last post I discussed some of the reasons I felt there were to actually be proud to play an Alliance character. They stood against those who would see them dead, they sacrificed their lives in an unknown world for safety back home, and they managed to get Gilneas, Dalaran and Alterac to play nice (a historically difficult task). The Alliance have just as much right to beat their chests just as hard as the Horde. But that only answers half of the question. There is another issue that we must address before I can call this rant about the Alliance done. What happened to Alliance pride? Why don’t we beat our chests like the Horde and scream out a battlecry in the face of an enemy?
Well, there was a little something that happened between the Second War and World of Warcraft. Something that I personally believe to be the downfall of the Alliance sense of pride in itself and only reinforced the pride of the Horde. A little something called The Third War.
Kiddo over at Journal of a WoW Kiddie posted an interesting thought about the lack of pride amongst the Alliance forces. It got me thinking about the topic too. Kiddo raises a lot of good points on the matter, namely the surge of spite at a number of King Wrynn’s recent actions as well as the lack of a real battle cry that simply isn’t piggybacking on the Horde’s (I wholeheartedly support the use of “For Bolvar”). However, my personal thoughts on this matter run deeper, and much older, than the return of our good king. (No, that’s not sarcasm. I like King Wrynn. Especially after playing Horde for two years and dealing with Thrall’s “Lets pretend to be friends with the Alliance” while Horde and Alliance blood is still being spilled on the soil daily.)
When I first started playing World of Warcraft, and as I understand this is still true, the Alliance are viewed as the good ‘clean’ races. The humans and their allies – a stockpile of stereotypical fantasy fare – who think they are the last bastions of good in an otherwise darkening world. The Horde on the other hand are a ragtag band of fantasy underdogs and ‘bad asses’, and are hardened because of their tough lot of not being the “good ones.” People love their underdogs and anti-heroes. After all, people like Batman more than Superman and Wolverine more than Cyclops for a reason. But it wasn’t always that way with the Alliance and the Horde.
Location: The Filthy Animal, Dalaran, Crystalsong Forest
While I’m sure that Horde/Alliance relations haven’t exactly been strong in the past, some of these rough translations of the Alliance used ‘Common’ tongue seem to be a bit off. The only one that is actually accurate (to a point of astonishment) is the translation for “What Can I Do Fer Ye?”
This actually holds an amazing bit of wisdom that only the Goblins seem to have had the mind to cash in on. Which is the only thing to break through three wars of bitter hatred between these two factions is the desire to get completely hammered and party hearty with any form of alcoholic beverage they can get there hands on. Brewfest, as Blizzard pointed out in their own trailer for the event, is the only thing to get these two warring factions to lay down arms against each other.
Beer truly is the source and solution to all of life’s problems…
Location: Misty Pine Refuge, Dun Morogh
Just off the road to Loch Modan you will find this strange little house on the side of the hill, it’s only occupant? A priest of the Argent Dawn, Father Gavin. Now unless the Scourge Invasion is on, I haven’t seen an abundance of Argent Dawn agents outside of the Plaguelands. Cause, ya know, that’s where the scourge is. Yet as far back as I can recall, Father Gavin has been sitting around in Dun Morogh doing absolutely nothing. No quests, no dialogue, he just stands there in the refuge. One must wonder why, and that just so happens to be my speciality.
I think he may be a quasi-banished member of the Argent Dawn. Sent to serve at the most pointless outpost in the Eastern Kingdoms. Honestly, I’ve never seen an abundance of Scourge in Dun Morogh. Unless the Troggs count as Scourge… or Gnomes. Maybe Gnomes nuked their own city so they could get closer to the dwarves in service to the Lich King! But I suppose it wouldn’t make sense why they’re trying to reclaim it then.