So I turned south. There was still a lot of Durotar I hadn’t yet seen, and this is the perfect time of year for it. Most of Kalimdor is insufferably hot right now, and Durotar is no exception, but it’s a dry heat and more importantly you are encouraged to suffer with everyone else. It’s part of the national character. Water tastes better because you’ve earned it. And in a few entries we’ll have hit the Echo Coast and we can cool off with a nice swim.
First though, the main-trunk road south from Orgrimmar connects us to Razor Hill, through a very tactically-dubious route along the bottom of a ravine. I suggest you actually stick to the edges because it’s hella easy for people to drop rocks on your head from the overhangs. Particularly if you, say, drove your Mekanohog into their workshop during a soaked Dursday evening out on the town.
Razor Hill. I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but I am compelled to give a call-back to my words about orcish naming practices. Razor Hill is not on a hill, and you cannot shave with it. There, okay. It’s out of my system. phew.
In fact, there isn’t much more to say about Razor Hill — it has one virtue: it exists precisely where you would expect a town should exist, geographically. Halfway between Sen’jin and Orgrimmar, it serves little purpose other than as a kind of speed-bump for enthusiastic up-and-comers inbound from the Valley of Trials, each of them with a heap of bloodthirst and little common sense. They come into Razor Hill, say to themselves “oh, a town!” and wander around for a bit pestering people for quests. Thus the burghers of Orgrimmar are spared their chattering influx into the bars and auction houses for another few weeks.
But this raises another problem, for the supply of young questants is never-ending, and one must continually find things for them to do. No one can remember who hit on the idea of practice humans.
“So, what the hell is there to do around here?” I asked Kira, one of the Razor Hill grunts, after an exasperated morning. She pointed me south-east across the open hardpan.
“Main tourist attraction is Tiragarde Keep,” she replied. “Just don’t get in the way of the new grunts. You show up, start flashing your stuff, they think maybe they not so tough. Be good.”
And thus I was introduced to the Practice Humans of Tiragarde. Most of them seem to be a remnant of some botched invasion from the east, now cut off from home and living amongst the unmaintained detritus of their former castle. They trudge here and there with their sad eyes, reenacting human arts and crafts and trying to put up a show of how things were back home. If you get too close they’ll try to stab you, but it’s clear their heart isn’t in it.
I held one out at arm’s length with my palm against his forehead as he slashed fruitlessly at the intervening air. Eventually he got tired out and I could ask him some questions, offering him a bit of soft flourcake for his trouble, which he devoured messily.
“Listen, why are you guys even here?” I asked.
“Yar, we be the sailors of Kul Tiras, and we be here to invade your land, filthy greenskin!”
“Look, I really want to know.”
“Yeah, okay,” he slumped, letting his reenactor’s piece drop. “Look we’re just a bunch of daytimers, alright? We get paid a few coppers a day to run around and act like we’re invaders from Stormwind. Stormwind doesn’t give a shit about us; they don’t even know we’re here. I think it’s a goblin that runs the company.”
“Don’t people, like, kill you and stuff?”
“Well, yeah. That’s part of the attraction — the cultural reenactment where you can stab the employees. Every few hours a priest comes up from Sen’jin I think and ressurects all of us.” He stared at me with a haggard expression, bags under his eyes.
“Damn, dude, that’s pretty much the worst job I have ever heard of.”
The human shrugs. “I’ve had worse. I used to be the flight master at Southshore.” He shuddered at the memory.
After that they seem to decide I’m alright, and I spend a while looking around before I get too depressed and have to head back. I discover that some of the “humans” aren’t even human, there are a few elves in the mix and even an unfortunate orc, smeared with paint and wearing a paper mask, trying to pay off his gambling debts.
It got a bit embarrassing when they tried to press their finely hand-crafted human eyepatches and bandannas on me. I agreed to take a few but only if I could pay for them — I picked up the paper human mask too. I figure if it’s good enough for Tiragarde, I might go try it out on an Alliance settlement. After all, the wars can’t last forever, and when they’re over, people will need quality travel advice. Stormwind, here I come!The Great Echo Isles Jam Session »