Last Call at the Chop House

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*boom* *BOOM* *boom*

The rafters shake in the Chop House, possibly the most unfortunately-placed business in Orgrimmar. Olvia, the cook and tablematron, runs to the door for the dozenth time this evening.

“YOU WEAK-LIVERED CURS! USE THE ROAD, GROM TAKE YOU! I WILL CUT ALL THE LIMBS OFF OF YOUR PRETTY TALBUK AND SERVE THEM TO MY GUESTS!” Then, the side of her brain that runs a business catches up with her orcish warrior blood, taps it on the shoulder, whispers a suggestion in its ear. “TRY OUR LUNCH SPECIAL, ONLY FIFTEEN BRONZE!” she adds, before letting the dirty fur door-flap fall back into place.

“You have some mixed messages happening there,” I comment politely. Olvia grunts on her way past my table. I’m dining alone, picking at the dismembered creature that has been served to me — mainly chewing on the grassy garnish around the edges, really. There’s been a feeling growing on me ever since my Brewfest hangover receded.

I could live here, I realized. Mother is a zeppelin-ride away, the desert sunrises are glorious. Non-orcs stick out like a green thumb here; it’s easy to secure an invitation to parties, raiding- and otherwise. Orgrimmar is the most bustling place in Kalimdor, crossroads for a dozen cultures. Heartland of the Horde. It almost makes one lose the appetite for travelling.

*boom* *BOOM* *boom*

I mentioned the Chop House having an unfortunate placement. It’s a great little restaurent, very unpretentious. It just happens to be in a direct-line path from the Trollish portal (by which travellers enter the city from Dalaran) to the Bank and Auction House downtown. There is, of course, a road from the portal to the heart of the city, but — following the contours of the canyon — it winds through several switchbacks to get there. Adventurers aren’t known for their patience or their regard for traffic laws. So most of them just ride straight down over the rooftops on the western side of the Valley of Strength. This isn’t such a big deal when they’re riding wolves or hawkstriders, but kodos and Mekanohogs pose something of a threat to the architecture.

“What’s there to see,” I venture cautiously to Olvia, the only other person in the Chop House at this hour, “in Undercity?”

“That’s not in Kalimdor,” she barks at me. “Your gibberish for weaklings too cowardly to explore without a guide — it is called ‘Kalimdor on Five Silver a Day’.”

I shrug, pick up something charred and chew on it thoughtfully.

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Just then, everything starts to shake. Neither of us notice at first, because we assume that it’s only another roof-jumper. This shaking keeps getting stronger, and suddenly my table is at a thirty degree angle to the ground. I’m grabbing for the beer to save it from falling, and Olvia is wisely dousing the cooking fires before they set the whole building ablaze. Then, somewhat less-helpfully, she starts shouting at the ground to stop moving.

I wonder, as my beer and I tip sideways into the wall, if she’s going to offer it the lunch special, too.

I start to get this weird … feeling, in my stomach. Well, first there’s the motion sickness — I’m actually really awful with it. Big confession time — riding anything other than a kodo, whose massive bulk keeps it absolutely level even on basically vertical surfaces, gives me a hella noisy tummy. You can imagine what an earthquake does to my innards.

This is different. It’s like being on a low dose of sapta, there’s a kind of all-over itching, and then you feel like you’re going to cough up a fireball. What I do is I make it to the corner, down the rest of my beer, and brace myself against the supports until it stops. Finally, that weird feeling — like a keening wail in the form of a bodily sensation, fades away as well.

“What was that?!” says Olvia, demanding an explanation of me since I’m closest.

“Passed a bit of gas; my compliments,” I mumble, moving back to my table. I find a plume of sawdust and woodchips has descended on my food. Looking up, I discover, well:

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Olvia follows my gaze. For once she seems too tired to muster any outburst stronger than indoor volume.

“Motherfucker,” she mutters, and goes to find a broom. For my part, I pay for my meal and head outside. There’s a certain amount of chaos in the streets, but you have to be cautious about drawing any inferences about earthquake damage from that. It’s Orgrimmar, a certain amount of chaos in the streets is a sign of good order.

Still, it’s as if the spell the city has over me is broken. That strange feeling of spiritual rage, unwelcome intrusion of the other world.

Not my business. Look out if you’re travelling. I’ve been hearing reports of these upheavals elsewhere. Stay out from under rocky slopes — in fact, consider moving to the middle of a prairie. If you’ve ready my pieces on Mulgore and the Barrens but haven’t gone yet, this is a good time to get out of the house.

Me? well, maybe it’s time to say good-bye to Kalimdor for a while.

It’ll be there when I get back, right?

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Next: A Place in the Sun »

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 31st, 2010 at 5:10 pm and is filed under Kalimdor, Travels. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Last Call at the Chop House”

  1. Orduin Says:

    You’d think Dalaran, floating up in the sky, would be safe. This was a mistake. I was innocently working with titanium and old golem parts in the engineering shop, when the entire place began to shake.

    Now, as a place with both Gnomish and Goblin Engineering specialists on hand all day, the engineering shop and the surrounding district shake normally. You just grab your project, duck, and cover. Unless you’re a Goblin follower of the discipline, in which case you run like hell from your project.

    But this wasn’t a random explosion. The entire city had shaken.. As had the ground below. Debris had fallen from the tall towers of the city.

    This is insane. I’m heading for Tanaris to wait this out.

  2. Tenthunders Says:

    Are you kidding me? That’s completely insane. And they call themselves wizards, honestly. I would have written to the Kirin Tor and demanded a 10% increase in the output of goddamn miracles.

    This makes me wonder if anything’s better in the Eastern Kingdoms — a little too late, since I’ve already booked my flight.

  3. Orduin Says:

    Archerus is relatively stable, but perhaps that is from it being powered by the horrific energies of undeath and being built of Saronite.

    Stay out of Undercity. If the quakes do start up, you don’t want that gloop on you.

  4. Jindar Says:

    I t’ink de reason Dalaran be shakin’, it be kinda simple.

    Sometin’ dat big, it hard ta keep it standin’ still while it be floatin’, kinda like a big boat on da watah. So dey anchor it to da ground. Only t’ing bein’, dey usin’ magic invisible chains instead o’ big iron ones.

    But, de unavoidable result o’ dat bein’, when de ground shakes, de magic chains shake, an’ so does da city.

  5. Tenthunders Says:

    INSUFFICIENTLY MIRACULOUS

  6. Machar Says:

    Don’t underestimate the spirits. I recall one time, a ship fill of adventurers were bound for southern Kalimdor. Their ship was lifted from the great sea and dropped into the Stonetalon Mountains.

  7. Fordrus Says:

    By The Light!

    This last earthquake was the first time since the Wrathgate where my charger had to calm ME!

    In other news, much as I enjoy religious diversity, the cultists that have taken up in Stormwind are a bother. I know I’m supposed to hate you, Tenthunders, I hope you’ll forgive me following your guide- Varian would kill me, but Tirion doesn’t mind, and it’s his opinion I really care about.

    A lot of us from the Cathedral have been having a bit of fun with the cultists- they’re not a deeply discerning lot, I’m afraid, when a paladin of the Silver Hand says he wants to join a Doomsday Cult, why, I have to imagine that SOMEBODY ought to stand up and call schmoo on him! I know Archibishop Benedictus doesn’t approve, and it makes me sad- can’t the man loosen up a bit? I mean, they are cultists. It’s not as if they’re trying to protect their moderate image here! He gives me a dark look every time I go into the Cathedral these days- I think it may be time to head back up to Andorhal. I hear they could use a hand.

  8. Tenthunders Says:

    Man, I don’t hate on nobody. Well, that’s not true, I enjoy punting dwarves.

    Cultists in Stormwind, too, huh? You know, I’ve always wanted to visit, but for some reason the guards are a bit discouraging. They are oddly enough not fooled by a paper human mask — humans are obviously a bit more intelligent that I have been given to understand.

    Yeah, that Varian guy, he’s got — like, neck veins, man. 24/7 neck veins.

    As for the cultists — you’ll be hearing about me and the cultists soon enough. Because I LOVE THE LEADER.

  9. Orduin Says:

    Hey, say hello to Tirion for me. Haven’t seen him since we hit IceCrown.

    On this situation, it’s nothing but Raptor poo, and that’s no mistake. Rifts! Rifts in goddamn time-space, and elementals pouring out!

  10. Arnius Says:

    As a mage, I think Jindar has a point about Dalaran, although I can’t be completely sure. (The Kirin Tor tend to keep such knowledge close to their chests.)

    Also, I’ve felt the earthquakes a bit on flight paths, and goblins have told me the shaking even affects the zeppelins. Apparently, significant ground movement can shake the air above it, too, like a giant piston.

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