Northrend

The Answer to Snakes, Bigger Snakes and Everything!


A little over a year and a half ago, I wrote about something that had my imagination all abuzz with the number of possibilities it presented.  I compared maps, I crafted theories – Heck, I was a regular Pseudo-Rades.

And since even before I wrote that post, I was trying to figure out what the story behind the Giant Snake Tail of Gundrak was.  Because you know, stuff like that is what I write about.  Actually now that I think about it, there are a lot of giant animals with no explanation.  The snake tail in Gundrak, the giant dragon skeleton south of the Dragonblight, and the giant bunny skeleton in Tirisfal Glades (I’m getting to that one, don’t worry).

Every Blizzard Q&A I would ask – regardless if the Q&A was about lore or why we shouldn’t buff paladins – and every Blizzcon I would plead with people to try and ask to get an answer about that damn tail.  It has driven me mad with curiosity.  If I were a cat I would be dead from it by now.

Well, this year I got my wish.  This year, Jesse Cox (Jessecox.com Twitter: @JesseCox, thanks to the always  lovely Robin Torres for the tip) went before the might and fury of Chris Metzen to ask the question about what that giant tail was, not only that but he also brought a screen shot.  Now my friends, thanks to this courageous soul, we shall have our answer to the question that has bothered me so:

“That is not the thing that is driving the trolls. Its a super secret WoW storyline. Thrall is going to leave Aggra and start dating Jaina.. in all seriousness I have no idea what it is but its really awesome! Sometimes really awesome stuff shows up ingame and we scramble to explain what it is. Welcome to developing video games. We put the WHAT in WHAT.”

…O.O

FFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

[Sorry, folks! We’re having some technical difficulties.  Apparently Vrykerion tried to drive a butter knife through his monitor.  He’s currently being rushed to the hospital for 3rd degree burns and a mild case of utter insanity.  We should be back to our normal posting schedule soon, but while you wait try some Johnny Awesome’s Apple Sauce, official sponsor of the Land of Odd! You can’t wait to get some of Johnny’s sauce in you.]

Categories: Northrend, Oddities | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Mystery of the Giant Dragonblight Skeleton


One Hundred Oddities ago I started a little blog for me to tell my silly stories and post my strange little theories so some jolly ‘net wanderer might get a few chuckles from it.  100 Oddities later, I have my own web site, I have regular readers, and I have a twitter!  So for 100 oddities of sheer wacky, demented fun, I say thank you to everyone who has every come across my site, to my regular readers an especially big thank you.  That being said, let’s proceed to my 100th Oddity…

Back when I first started this site, there was one weird thing that I had seen while traversing Northrend that I was determined to save for something special.  It was one unexplained thing that started all of these thoughts and desires to explore all the other unexplained things in Azeroth.  Just off the southern coast of the Dragonblight, along where the Path of the Titans shatters and sinks deep into the ocean floor, there is a massive dragon skeleton.  So big, that you can actually see it on the mini map.  This colossal dragon of unknown origin was the progenitor for all of Oddcraft, so with that said, I’d like to give you my very special 100th Oddity…  video:

Thank you all for 100 great fun posts! Here’s looking forward to the end of the Warchief Election next month, and the next 100 weird things we dig up together! (Speaking of digging up…  Archeology Oddities…  Oh yes…)

Categories: Northrend, Oddities, Other Stuff, Videos | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome to Drak’Tharon Park


Where? Drak’Tharon Keep, Grizzly Hills

I know probably the most futile thing I keep hoping for in World of Warcraft is continuity.  I can get behind lore that changes as time moves on (What do you mean the World isn’t flat?  Retcon, I say! RETCON!), I can understand discovering something that vastly changes how we previously understood things (Vrykul is human!  Human is vrykul!) and I will even support a radical change in character if it seems legitimately within reason (Screw you, my people. With the demons now. Luvz, Kael’Thas).  What I can’t understand is when something pops up for no reason and with no explanation, and we’re all supposed to run with it simply because it is a neat idea.  Case in point? King Dred.

Most people I’ve pointed this out simply respond with “So? There’s raptors everywhere.”  True.  There are raptors everywhere.  Stranglethorn, Durotar, Blade’s Edge, Zul’Drak.  There isn’t a piece of land that we’ve visited that doesn’t have raptors.  But what about Pterrodaxes?  Where are they found?  What about the Stegodons?  Hmmm?  That’s right.  Only in the Un’Goro Crater.  What else is in the Un’Goro Crater?  Devilsaurs.  Do they have any business being somewhere else?  Well, that depends actually.

We know that there is a direct connection between Sholazar and Un’Goro, we’ve all been through the Waygate (totally different than a Stargate or Fargate) and I don’t find it that unreasonable that the occasional devilsaur could wander through and end up in Sholazar.  However,  Zul’Drak is on the opposite side of Northrend.  How did a bunch of trolls drag one all the way there?  Why are they keeping it in a not-really-fenced off area of Drak’Tharon Keep?  There is no Devilsaur in ANY incarnation of the Troll pantheon that we’ve seen thus far.  Maybe they think it’s just a big raptor and wanted to ride it.

However, devilsaurs seem to have a weird way of showing up in places that they have no place being – like in Netherstorm –  but I’m still able to concoct a better B.S. reasoning for it than King Drek. Why?  Because I can blame the whole thing on the Twisting Nether! It has the power to instantly fill plot holes!  There’s tons of stuff in those domes that have no business being there.  Like lynxes, moths, or crocolisks (there’s also more raptors, but they are the Outland species of Raptor).  Actually my assumption was that they were brought there by either the Blood Elves, or the Ethereals for some unknown purpose (Zoo? But there’s only one devilsaur in Outland, how is it going to breed?) but even if that’s still stretching it…  Twisting! Nether! (Blizz gets to do it, so do I)

The amazingly simplistic reason that Blizz themselves have given for King Drek being stuck in a place that has no explanation for it: “T-Rex’s are Cool”  Yes, sure, whatever, wonderful.  Meanwhile, you explain the origin of the gnomes, the secret revelation that humans are descended from vrykul, and overwhelming amounts of history about another world tree, bear gods, furbolgs, the Titans, and the Old Gods, but you drop a dinosaur in the middle of a dungeon for no other reason than you wanted to put a dinosaur in a dungeon.  YEEEEEAAAARRRGGGHHHHWAAAWAWAAAAAAYYYAAYAA (<– This is the sound of a man tearing his own hair out at the sheer WTF-ness of this situation.  Thank you.)

Give me SOMETHING to work with here, Blizz.  The infinite dragonflight messing with the time stream drops a devilsaur in Northrend, Goblin scientists from Venture Bay have successfully cloned an ancient devilsaur but it got loose and trapped in Drak’Tharon Keep, you are working within the fantasy/sci-fi genres!  You can just say whatever and we will find a way to work it in the continuity!  Hell, Star Wars has been filling in plot holes for years with the thick paste that is the Expanded Universe and the fans buy it.  Don’t just tell us it was NEAT.  That’s Michael Bay territory.

Man, now I’m all depressed.  I need to go write some fan fiction exploring the burning man-crush hidden behind the hate between Garrosh and Varian.

Categories: Northrend, Oddities | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Me Naxxramas Need New Strategy


Where? The Carrion Fields, Dragonblight

There’s something to be said for the Lich King.  Granted, I’ve already said it, but it bears repeating.  The guy has massive power at his fingertips and has little to no strategy.  You let the greatest heroes of Azeroth get to your throne and then try to convert them into powerful servants and just assume that it’ll all work out in your favor.  Wonderful, brilliant, a stroke of genius.  I’m sure not one of your generals would have pointed out the number of logical missteps and oversight that plan had, namely because the Lich King comes off as the type of evil overlord who kills people who disagree with him.

But what does this have to do with what I’m talking about today?  Well, I was flying about my business in the Dragonblight the other day when a strange thought hit me as I passed over Wintergarde Keep.  Why the heck is Naxxramas positioned over the Carrion Fields?  I mean, the position of Naxxramas in the Eastern Plaguelands always seemed to make some sense, it was positioned over Stratholme, a fortified city that was controlled almost entirely by the Scourge (The Loonies held one building and the western square, but they hardly were much of a threat to the Scourge.)  So it made sense to establish your floating citadel of death and doom above it.  Kind of. Not really.

The necropoli were designed to be mobile fortresses for massive deployment of Scourge forces directly in enemy territory.  The shining example of this was the use of Acherus the Ebon Hold to lay siege to the Loonies’ city and take control of New Avalon before the Scarlet Nutballs had a chance to react.  No sooner than the capture of Havenshire, the Ebon Blade had already captured the chapel and the house out by the Orchard and began to assault the city proper.  This is how the Necropoli should have been utilized.

Instead what do we have?  Well, during both Scourge Invasions, the necropoli were positioned outside of the major cities of both factions and also some really strange locations.  I mean, I can see sending a necropolis to the Blasted Lands, as it would actually be quite advantageous to seize control of the Dark Portal.  However, sending one to the south end of the Eastern Plagueland, and desolate pointless places like Azshara or Winterspring never quite made sense to me.  Also, why not position your forces directly over the enemy cities? Dropping your forces in mass right in the middle of the city streets.  Can you imagine dropping a cauldron of the plague of undeath directly into the middle of Stormwind?  Certainly this can’t be accomplished with every city, Ironforge and the Undercity both lie buried under the earth, and the Exodar has a roof over the entire place.  The strategy however works more than it doesn’t, and shouldn’t be disregarded so quickly.

This brings me back to Naxxramas and the Carrion Fields.  My understanding is that the Carrion Fields are where the lowest tier of the town of Wintergarde stood.  It fell to the Scourge, and thus it became the Carrion Fields.  Not bad, direct deployment to take control and everything.  But why the heck start at the bottom of the hill?  Wouldn’t it have been a smidge better if you had started your attack at, oh you know, the center of the fortress on the hill instead of the town below it?  You know, leave a less fortified area for the 7th Legion to hole up in?  I mean it’s the 7th Legion for Pete’s sake.  Do you know what they are capable of? (For those not aware of what the 7th Legion is capable of I suggest you read up on them here.  They are AWESOME.)

This is sadly just another example of the Lich King’s complete and utter lack of strategic ability.  It’s not surprising considering he is the fusion of a stubborn prince who burned his own boats on purpose and an orc whose great idea for getting the hell out of Draenor was to open more and more portals till the planet was shredded.  Still, I have to wonder how then, did the Lich King manage to so eloquently recruit the Cult of the Damned and spread the plague grain across Lordaeron without being noticed for so long.  Did merging with Arthas drag him down?  Did the scheming foursome of color coded dreadlords come up with it?  Was it actually Kel’Thuzad or something?

It’d be pretty sad if it was Kel’Thuzad.  Sitting on his chair in Naxxramas with his skull in his hands repeating over and over, “We’re doing this all wrong.  Why didn’t we just go with my idea and start at the top of the hill?  Why do we always listen to HIS ideas?”  Probably cause he’d kill you if you didn’t, Kel.  He’s just that kind of evil overlord.

Categories: Northrend, Oddities | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Of Cabbages and Kings and Statues


And why the sea is freezing cold and whether frenzy fish have wings...

Location: The Eventide, Dalaran

This thing has been bugging me since the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King, but I wasn’t able to put my finger on it till recently.  In the Eventide, there is the most infamous fountain in all of WoW.  Why? Because you fish coins out of it!  I’m not going to go into the possible ramifications of stealing coins from a wishing well in a world where magic actually exists (from a fountain in a city of wizards no less).  I’m sure those kind of actions will have their own ramifications that will make for excellent fodder for a horror flick or a romantic comedy.  No, I am talking about the sculpture sitting over the pond o’ goldfish (and occasionally coins, but never that last one you need and have been sitting there and waiting for until 4am and you have work the next day.)

It’s one of those funky looking walrus things from the Howling Fjord! Technically, it’s a Reef Cow.  It’s still an ugly as sin animal that has no place being sculpted, but that’s just my opinion.  That’s not even the real issue here. Let me explain my real problem with this statue.  Dalaran is a city-state that once rested at the base of the Alterac Mountains along the shores of Lordamere Lake.  In a predominantly human (now also forsaken) region.  The story goes, or so we’re told, that after its destruction at the hands of Archimonde, Dalaran popped inside a pink bubble and starting to rebuild.  In my head, I always pictured it like in the Harry Potter movies, where the destruction goes in reverse until everything is back to normal – but they probably rebuilt it the normal way.

My understanding though was that after the reconstruction was complete, they moved the city to Northrend.  Am I alone on this?  Because I am very curious about why there is a sculpture of an animal that is native only to Northrend in the reconstructed Dalaran.  Did they get some wild eyed sculptor from the Howling Fjord to travel all the way back down the Alterac just to do this statue?  Were they just so captivated by this creature that they just had to immortalize in stone for all mages to see?  I can’t imagine anything else!  Either someone who had studied reef cows made this monstrosity of stone before the city was moved, or the mages of Dalaran got to Northrend, decided the fountain needed some pizazz and saw a reef cow and thought that thing best represented the beauty of the floating magical city.

While we’re on the note of this weird sculpture, why is the reef cow eating frenzies?  There are no frenzies in the Howling Fjord!  The only place in Northrend where frenzies can be found is in the Sholazar Basin (which would lead me to take a guess that maybe the titans had a hand in creating these psychotic killer fish…  still no clue how they ended up in the Serpentshrine Cavern though.)  But there are no reef cows in the Basin.  There are no reason these two species to even have come into contact, and based on my past experience with frenzy fish – the damn walrus should be DEAD.  Just a skeleton, not even a speck of meat left on those bones.

If anything this just further solidifies the idea that the mages of Dalaran are all completely insane.  They’re friend their brains on sucking up arcane energy and this is what we get.  When the next generation of mages arrive to study the craft, they’ll be looking at this statue like we look at what our people considered art in the 1960’s. The ugly walrus statue will be the tie dye of the wizard society.

Categories: Northrend, Oddities | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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