Archive for March, 2010
So, the third reason to go to Gadgetzan, on the edge of the waste, is the Arena.
You know, if you want to fight some humans or… short humans… or whatever the Draenei are… you don’t have to go through all the trouble to come here. We always need spirited volunteers in Warsong or any of a dozen other trouble spots.
Some people, however, prefer to kill and die for less geopolitically-significant reasons, and in a place where others can picnic while watching the blood fly.
And some people want to make money off of it. Generally the arena gladiators these days are such types, basically another kind of tourist. Some collect vistas, others recipes, some collect dwarf beards, some people collect arena kills.
The Gadgetzan arena, however, was originally an artifact of the lack of any powerful authority in the wilds of Southern Kalimdor.
Bluntly, it was a prison with very short sentences and very stringent release conditions.
The goblins realized that an ingenious way to resolve disputes between visitors much larger than themselves was to throw them into a pit and make money off the resulting spectacle.
They also like to throw people in there who have been less than honest in their business dealings.
That would be me.
“Alright, tell me about the ‘kittens’.”
“Stop making air-quotes with your fingers,” said Tankspin. The goblin was looking nervously around the bar, where the three of us sat in cool shadow, out of the blast furnace of Gadgetzan’s central ring road. He’d ordered for the three of us, sizzling turtle-steaks cooked troll-style in fireweed curry. Desert goblins first tried to import familiar food from the east, but soon turned their genius for jury-rigging to the possibilities of desert cuisine. The hot, greasy food helps cool you off, while also increasing thirst, thus ensuring nicely-padded bar bills for the establishment. The local trick is to soak up the spicy sludge with hunks of Narisloaf, a kind of local bread that uses a ton of olive oil to thin out the millet flour - no grains in the desert, see, but the olives will grow near the salty flats by the ocean.
“Sorry, the kittens. What’s the deal?” I asked. Next to me, Crosseye the Tauren was picking miserably at his food. He was another brother with an unfortunate name; apparently when he was being born the lads had seen some poor dumb wolf, caught up in the chase, plough straight into a tree. This was the funniest thing that had happened all year in his village (Mulgore is close to heaven but there isn’t much going on), so he got saddled with the memorable moniker of “Crosseyed Wolf Ironhoof”. Not terribly bright and (unsurprisingly) given to melancholy, Crosseye seemed to be on a perpetual, self-imposed wandering exile, and was following Tankspin around for lack of any other destination.
“People come to Gadgetzan - all kinds of people - to escape the restrictions placed upon business by irrational nationalism, friend,” he explained. “Horde, Alliance - that doesn’t matter here. Only the colour of your coin. Tanaris is a gold-coloured land, and we are its priests! Gadgetzan is its temple!” He was waving his arms around expansively, while somehow ingesting, at the same time, a continuous stream of turtle curry and narisloaf.
Old Tauren joke:
“How can you tell if a goblin is trying to rip you off?”
“His lips are moving.”
If you’re following the same route south that I did, you might be feeling a little worried about the contents of your waterskin and ration pack at this point. Shimmering Flats and the Mirage raceway are a good place to let go of your worldly goods, intentionally or otherwise, and a bad place to acquire new ones. The Elders teach that each part of the Earth Mother’s body teaches us something about her; in Southern Kalimdor, you see her discpline. Mother made the desert, they say, to test the people’s devotion to the old ways.
But screw that, the goblins built a great big town on it and stuffed it full of goodies, so let’s get a room at the inn and sleep inside for a change.
Shots of yours truly, on stage at the Spruce Winterspringsteen protest concert, in Freewind Post!
We were chiefs of the valley, out in Alterac
The dwarves come chargin’ up the hill, and we roared and sent them back.
Now there’s so much that grind and pick-up dungeons fade away
We got our own epic mounts to ride, and not so much time to play.
We stood side by side each one fightin’ for the other
We said until we unsubscribed we’d always be Horde brothers.
Hallo, fellow travellers,
I have a stack of spasmographs and notes waiting for publication, but they will not be seeing the light of day for about another week, as my publisher has gone mad about finishing a chaper of his dissertation at the University of Silvermoon on the varying nutritional qualities of different types of dandelion or some elvish bullshit like that.
We will speak again soon!