“I meant to do that.” – Random Mage Flying Through a Window
Perhaps taking a break in the serenity of nature will keep my mind off of the immense greed and corruption of the Trade District. So a quick jaunt over to the Mage Quarter is in order. The architecture is very different in this area compared to that of the Trade District, the buildings seem to be older, there is a distinct purple motif (I blame Dalaran for the whole Mage = Purple mentality), and the roads are all paved in grass.
What?! Who in their right mind thought this would be a good idea?! I can understand the mentality of having grass roads in The Park (We’ll get to that fruitcake factory in a bit), but at what point did the Stormwind designers sit there and say “Mages like grass right?” “Oh yea! They use that arcane magic… which is from like nature and stuff right?” Surely, no logical train of thought could reach the conclusion that grass roads are appropriate here. Luckily (or unluckily), the lack of logic does not stop at the roads. Shall we?
Only You Can Prevent Start Fires!
You would think in a district that is mostly covered in grass in a city that has already been burned to ground once, controlling outbreaks of fire would be a priority. You would be wrong. In the corner of the Mage Quarter is a small shop that is simply called ‘Pyrotechnics.’ What do they sell? Things that start fires, of course! More specifically: fireworks.
Judging from the overall lack of stock in the shop (in comparison to the majority of shops in Stormwind), business is not doing well. Even the shop owner, Darian Singh, looks a little depressed about it. Now, I am not a business expert by any means. Heck, my auction house profits were noticably low this last quarter (Damn battered hilt impulse buying). But if you are going to open a shop that sells fireworks (I should say firework, cause all he actually has in stock is the red fireworks and a schematic for the blue fireworks), you might not want to do it in the second most flamable area in Stormwind. Just a hunch.
I actually want to know why he did it. What was the deal he must have scored to decide to open up a fireworks shop here. Maybe the rent is really low? That would work. It would explain the abundance of poorly kept and redundant shops in the Mage Quarter (How many Herbalism shops are there in Stormwind?) Maybe it’s an attempt to appeal to the mage audience. After all, they shoot fireballs. Fireworks are kind of like fireballs. So maybe there’s an appeal there. But if mages (AND warlocks) can shoot fire, why would they want to buy fake fireballs?
Is it for the mage wannabes? People who aren’t mages or warlocks but want to act like them? Do such people exist? Well I suppose if there’s a tauren who wants to be a rogue, it can’t be out of the realm of possibilities for there to be people who want to be mages. Still, seems like a weak premise to invest in starting an entire shop for. At least it explains the lack of business.
Could I Interest You in a Skull or a Rabbit?
Even if Pyrotechnics is a stupid idea for a shop, at least I know what they sell. There is another shop in the Mage Quarter called Ancient Curios. Now this shop, I have no idea. Technically, they sell reagents but there is no possible way you would know that from simply looking inside. The place is decorated with skulls from various animals in Kalimdor, strange looking weapons, alchemical supplies and there’s a rabbit sitting on the counter.
Every other shop in Stormwind, you can usually gather what they sell by their surroundings. Herbalism shops are full of flowers, the weapon shops have racks of swords and axes, and tailoring shops have fine clothing on display. But what does having some weird staves and a couple of plainstrider skulls have to do with magical trinkets? I mean, I can kind of see the alchemy stuff being related to reagents, but that’s about it.
I really don’t get the rabbit though. Are they going for a Magician’s Rabbit thing? That it’s supposed to hop out of a hat or something? But there is no hat. None. So what’s the deal with the rabbit? It’s never addressed. It just sits there. More importantly it sits on the same table as the weapons, alchemy supplies and skulls. So… can I buy the rabbit? Is the rabbit a reagent? What spell uses a rabbit as a reagent?! I will admit, I haven’t played every class in the game to max level. So I don’t want to rule this option out.
Maybe it’s for a druid form? You wanna switch to cat form, but your cat form doesn’t want to… um… emerge because it’s hungry. Use the rabbit to lure it out! Or maybe its used for a special mage portal. You know, like the rabbit in a hat trick. I would try to imagine what a warlock would use it for but that becomes very disturbing, very quickly.
I actually thought the rabbit was the vendor at first. Magic spell gone wrong or something. It would explain why no one had bothered to clean the massive cobwebs that had formed around the shop. But no, the rabbit isn’t the shop keep. It’s just a rabbit. That stares at me. And never blinks. I’m not shopping here anymore.
Reading For the Proletariat
In the canal side of the Mage Quarter, you’ll find the library. More specifically: A library. See, there already is a library. A big one. The one all the book related quests take you to. The one in Stormwind Keep. For clarity, we’ll call that ‘The Man’s Library’. This little library along the canals is an unregulated library, free from the hands of ‘The Man.’ Every secret ‘The Man’ doesn’t want you to know, it’s in here. Every word that ‘The Man’ has censored, they’re all here. Every book that ‘The Man’ would have burned, you got it. Those scrolls with nudie pictures of the ‘The Man’s’ wife? Uh huh. Those joke books that call ‘The Man’ a snot faced doodie head? Sure. Copies of Play Elf that you can check out for free? Brother, welcome to the promised land.
Okay, I’m lying. It’s just a dinky old library run by the somewhat contradictory ‘Academy of Arcane Arts and Sciences’ which apparently just has one member: Mazen. The guy who runs the library. So I think it’s probably akin to calling yourself Supreme President of the nation of Basementia. This deranged mage has taken control of a building, filled with who knows what books, and declared himself a member (if not head) of some fictional organization. I’m surprised the Stormwind guards haven’t raided the building and set it on fire. If they lack the provisions, I’m sure Pyrotechnics around the corner would be happy to have at least one customer this fiscal year.
Mage v. Warlock: The Drinking Contest
You can’t visit the Mage Quarter without noticing that like many districts in Stormwind, there is a tavern. Interestingly enough, there are two taverns in the Mage Quarter: The Blue Recluse and The Slaughtered Lamb. Now the naming of these two alone is enough to draw your eye. While I could actually see the Blue Recluse, naming your establishment that serves food and drink The Slaughtered Lamb leaves me questioning your sanity as a business owner. However, the gross imagery provoked by the name might have been an intentional choice, as I don’t think this bar wants non-usuals paying a visit.
You see, beneath the cover of ‘food and drink’ there is something more to these two bars. The Blue Recluse is a mage bar, and the Slaughtered Lamb is a warlock bar. How do I know? Well, when mages reach a certain level they have to embark on a quest to aid the Blue Recluse. The Slaughtered Lamb has a coven of warlocks living in the basement. The Slaughtered Lamb is shockingly not known for their subtlety.
However, the old mentality of mage versus warlock extends to even drinking establishments as they continue to try and one up each other. The Lamb has booze, well the Recluse has booze and food. The Recluse has a basement, the Lamb has two. The Lamb has more tables, the Recluse has two floors. The Recluse has three bartenders and no trainers, the Lamb has one bartender and three trainers. But honestly, some of this is being taken a bit far I think. For instance, the Lamb was built on top of a tomb, the Recluse is actually haunted! Really? This is starting to push itself into a bit in to the customer-is-no-longer-benefiting-from-this territory.
In the end, I ask you: as someone who plays both a mage and a warlock. Can’t we put aside our differences, and get sloshed together? After all, what is alcohol but the great equalizer. Regardless of whether you’re a drunk mage or a drunk warlock, you always end up in the same spot: The floor.
Night Elves Are All Homeless People
The last place I visited on this leg of the tour was the Park. While it is sort of it’s own seperate district, it has the same design as the Mage Quarter, and I have a feeling that they used to be the same district before the night elves moved in. The Park also has a distinct purple look to the buildings, and roads made entirely of grass, but unlike the Mage Quarter and it’s abundance of magic talk and strange happenings, the Park is populated almost entirely by night elves.
I say almost entirely because there are three human women that also wander about in the Park. The first woman, Imelda, just stands about and stares absent mindedly at the Moonwell. I tried to inform the young lady that I didn’t think the large pool was going to move at any point, but it didn’t do any good. She simply stood there and stared at the sparkling pool like a vampire or a pony was going to pop out.
The other two however are two of the Grant sisters: Kelly and Kimberly. If you are not familiar with the Grant’s, allow me to enlighten you. They are night elf fetishists. No two ways around it. Kelly and Kimberly spend all day following around night elves in the Park, and their sister Kristy is the only human at a night elf camp in Feralas. These three revel in night elves, the way a bunch of Americans would spend an entire weekend getting off on Japanese junk food and overpriced model kits while gorging themselves on debates about whether the English redub was more faithful than the subtitled version of a cartoon… What? Did I hit a bit too close to home?
The other thing about the Park is that there are shops. There’s a tailoring shop, and a bow shop and yet another tavern… but no one is inside them. Not a single shopkeeper or barmaid. At first I thought the Horde may have just made a sweep through the area and the shop owners just hadn’t made it back from the graveyard yet, but this was not the case. These shops are never occupied. Even the raw meat in the kitchen of the tavern is left to rot on the table, which destroys an impression that night elves use all the parts of the kodo. The only one that has anyone in it is the flower shop that has an Herbalism trainer (Stormwind Herbalism Trainer Count: 3).
The only reason I could come up with that these night elves don’t want to stay inside the shops is because they don’t actually own the shops. The night elves are a bunch of homeless bums sitting around a city park with nowhere else to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if they curled up under some copies of the Stormwind Herald at the edge of the moonwell to sleep at night. The shops are probably abandoned because these night elves were driving the property value down. However, these places look like they were ditched pretty quick. The inventory is still there, and the lamps are still lit. Maybe the night elves are part of some gang that drove them out for control of the area. Like Scryers and Aldor, only dumber and with less of a reason. The only drawback is that I can’t really picture night elves being part of a gang that doesn’t require four years of dance classes and a degree in drama. Like the Jets.
So thus ends my little jaunt around the Mage Quarter and the Park. Weirder than the Trade District, but less scummy. I’m slowly making my way around the city clockwise it seems, so Cathedral Square and the Harbor is up next. See you then!