After shopping and sight-seeing in Everlook (try the snow peas!), if you’re anything like me you desperately need a break from goblins and goblinkind. Fortunately, unlike Azshara, Winterspring is still largely wild and offers a great supply of silence and peacefulness away from the bustle of the town.
Relative peacefulness – we’re still in Kalimdor, after all, where even the sunniest pasture is mandated by divine law to contain at least four rabid, territorial top-predators. Does everything want to eat you over in the Eastern Kingdoms? Perhaps I shall find out one day.
A cobbled road goes west from Everlook towards the famous hot springs, but on the way I take a detour north to Starfall, having been advised by a reader that I will not be spitted by the resident elves. Along the way I impulsively plunge off the track into a broad, gently-inclined basin covered in deep, ancient-seeming snowfall and dotted with ferocious bears. I inform the bears that I have decided to refer to these deep gullies as “snowrroyos” because even though “arroysnows” rhymes better it is not euphonious. But then I begin to suspect that some of them might recognize my outfit as having previously belonged to their Uncle Gladpaws. I would ask them, but despite public confusion regarding our mutual trades, shamans – unlike druids – cannot talk to bears. Or date them, hurr hurr.
Starfall lodge turns out to be lovely – bizarrely, the whole thing is exposed to the cold and wind from three sides, but you really can’t compromise on that airy elven architecture. It is hard to argue that fully-enclosed, traditional lodges with working firepits have the same elan and subtle accents that mark the classical night-elven retreat, and having to wear your furs indoors and constantly fidget to keep from freezing to death is worth the intercultural experience.
Even the cabins that you can let in the village – though they do have four walls at least – have no doors in the doorways, which is very comfortable in Teldrassil I’m sure but could use some winter adaptation. I ended up asking Barry the kodo to just sort of… plug the hole with his body. Then I climbed out the window and draped some blankets over his ass so it wouldn’t look so deliciously like a ham to passing tigers, of which there naturally are many.
The tigers, or wintersabres, are the wards and companions of the night elves who live near Starfall, and they are extraordinarily fond of them. They sell these woollen sweaters at the lodge that have embroidered images of wintersabres cuddling and coyly showing you their bumholes, all in loving pastel shades with some kind of magical sparkle woven into the fabric. Although I previously described Starfall as a hunting lodge – and everyone carries bows around with them in traditional Kaldoril manner – they’re really investing heavily into something called “Ekotourism” whereby rather than killing the various slavering predators you come across in the wilds, you run away from them and hope they don’t kill you. Ekotourism was not very popular before the advent of cheap, off-taxi flight in Kalimdor, but it has gotten on in a big way now that you can hover over the heads of vicious, snarling beasties and take spasmographs of them in the lovely purple twilight.
They even tame them. The elves do the wintersabres, I mean. You can get directions from Starfall to a lonely outcropping of snowy rock where live the wintersabre trainers, but these guys hadn’t gotten the memo about Tauren tourist-dollars being welcome I guess, because the reception I got on arrival was decidedly frosty. Offers to conduct business from outside stabbing range met with grim silence. Maybe they were afraid if they let me ride the wintersabres I’d weigh them down, or something, so perhaps some of our Alliance correspondents can fill us in on the appeal here. It didn’t even seem like the sabres were moving around much while I was there. It was late afternoon and apparently siesta time, so it took quite a bit of poking to get one of the things off its behindus. Whereupon things went about as well as you could expect.
Maybe he was fond of Uncle Gladpaws as well.Happy Trails to you my friend »