It’s nice that, when we meet under a flag of truce, Alliance and Horde can now freely compare notes about the dangers of living next to very intelligent, small people. For a while the Alliance was miles ahead of us in the business of employing terrifying midgets with enormous brains. They chuckled at our rustic, backwards lack of mad, world-ending science. Well not no more.
I’m given to understand that gnomes are, if anything, more dangerous than goblins, and that at one point they lived as hobos along the Dwarven tramways, carrying their adorable little bindle-sticks and playing adorable little steam-powered harmonicas, because they’d blown up their own city and turned half their own species into flesh-craving zombies. Which is one way to make an impression on your erstwhile allies, I suppose; if I were a human monarch I would certainly be enthusiastically loading gnomes into very fast sailing ships and throwing them at the Horde in as great a number as possible, both in the hopes that they would somehow demolish my enemy’s civilization, and so they would be as far away from me as fucking possible.
The big difference, I conclude from my note-comparing, is that gnomes are chiefly dangerous by accident and because they are not paying attention, and goblins are chiefly dangerous because they think it’s funny. Yes, they do think that making super-intelligent raptors will somehow (???) lead to profit, but I suspect that’s just a rationalization they use to get funding for things they think are going to be a good time.
If you want to experience this goblin propensity for scientific tragicomedy I cannot recommend highly enough a diverting tour of the (world-famous) Secret Lab, located in Southern Azshara.
The southern branch of the Azshara rocketway winds through a wide swathe of relatively untouched wilderness, giving a glimpse of how remote and untrammelled the twin peninsulas were before Orgrimmar broke through the hills known as Durotan’s Guard (because it protected the northern flank of Durotar and served as part of Orgrimmar’s fearsome natural defenses). The still-standing forest of birch and pine now serve as the Horde National Ghost Repository, containing our abundant reserves of dead Highborne. One day we shall find a good use for them.
In the meantime it also serves as a flimsy camoflage for the (world-famous) Secret Lab, which can be seen as far away as Theramore Isle due to its constant burning. In this crucible of machinery slightly less well-thought-out than the Kodo Urinal or the Scourge-based Landfill System, young goblins pit themselves against the treachery of their own imaginations, all under the fretting, prematurely-aging eye of Ms. Greely, M.Sc., who is probably too sensible for her world or who has not yet discovered that enough booze can make the worst job a tolerable haze. While she flits from one crisis to the next, it is generally pretty easy to get yourself a visitor’s pass and have a look around at the future of Horde-gineering.
While you’re there, be sure to get yourself stalked by the latest super-intelligent top predator to come out of the Brain Vats; it’s sure to be a thrill! Mine went down a little easily, to my disappointment, but I kept the thinking cap anyway. I’m going to slip it on the Warchief and we’ll see where we go from there.
Since the cafeteria burned down there’s not much to eat on the premises, so you should pack a picnic to eat from the nearby clifftop, whence you can observe exploding tanks of volatile gases at a safe distance. The alternative is hunting and foraging, and this can have unpleasant consequences in an area as polluted by goblin technology as southern Azshara. For example, I tried butchering a wild hippogryph – with a metal knife – that turned out to be heavily, deeply electrified. As a result I can no longer control the muscles in my tail, and it sticks rigidly out at embarrassing moments, sometimes tripping up well-armed passers-by who then belief I wish to “have business” with them.
One of the hyperintelligent raptors suggested to me over tea that it might be getting on time to move along out of Azshara and I think they may be right.The Bull Went over the Mountain »