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.
“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.