*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.
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:
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?A Place in the Sun »