Most of the people who are familiar with me in WoW think of me as a dwarf person. No one is surprised when I roll up another dwarf, but I can start a character that’s anything other than a dwarf, whisper someone I know and identify myself, and their mind just won’t wrap properly around the idea that this human/worgen/gnome/draenei/murloc/elf has the same person behind them. The truth is that I haven’t even always been an Alliance player. I started the game Horde. I’ve played Alliance while wearing a Horde T-shirt. I think “For the Alliance!” just sounds weak and pathetic, but I could probably scare people three streets over if I shouted “FOR THE HORDE!!!” (Admittedly, my “FOR KHAZ MODAN!!!” is filled with equal passion.)
I ran away from the Horde once it was pretty much *known* that Cairne would die and the speculation was all about how he would die. (I think the rumor at the time was still that Garrosh was going to frame Cairne for treason and have him executed. I never bought that one. I could see Garrosh taking disagreement as treason, but I couldn’t see him actually getting away with executing Cairne for it.) I hadn’t started as a Tauren, but Children’s Week came around and my little orphan wanted Cairne Bloodhoof’s hoofprint, and… well, it’s all that little orc kid’s fault that I ended up a dwarf. See, that was my first exposure to who Cairne Bloodhoof really was. Not as “leader of the Tauren”, but who he was as a person. After taking that orphan to see him I wanted to play a Tauren! I wanted my time in the game to be spent not just as a hero of the Horde, but as a TAUREN hero of the Horde! I was going to walk with the Earthmother all over Azeroth! And I just couldn’t stand the thought of being a Tauren without Cairne Bloodhoof, so I ran away. The only Alliance race I could stand the thought of was the dwarves. And then I just fell so in love with the dwarven people.
Yeah… I kinda got screwed.
I’ve been wanting to see things from the Horde side of the story again. Seeing both sides has always been a good idea… you really are missing a lot if you only get one side’s view of things… but there are places in the game now where it’s the only way you’ll find out everything that happened. I mean the story will just cut off and you’ll be missing chunks of the actual events unless you see both sides. Gilneas is one of these places, and I got the itch to see it from the Forsaken side again after getting my worgen druid through her starting experience. Forsaken hunter, here I come! I’ve got my spider and I’m good to— Why am I playing a goblin mage? WHY AM I PLAYING A MAGE??? Why am I setting Night Elves on fire? Nevermind… I know the answer to that. Why am I setting dwarves on fire?
I think my experience with going back to playing Horde after so long can best be represented by a picture Rades took after redecorating Scholomance.
Sometimes I still expect Orgrimmar to be Ironforge.
Then I got that healing itch again. I really needed to heal something! Crafting dead bodies is all well and good, but I REALLY need to HEAL something!
This is Muchao (“moo cow”). She’s a Sunwalker. She enjoys picnics by Stonebull Lake, knocking quilboar skulls together, and running through Orgrimmar with a prairie dog. She’s not much of a healer yet. At level 14 she is specced Holy, but I haven’t had the opportunity to do much more than Word of Glory myself after combat. I was going to heal one of those quilboars… no lie!… but would you believe Holy Shock doesn’t actually heal an enemy?
I haven’t given up on my Alliance characters. In fact, much to my own shame, I rolled up a Night Elf mage the other day. But I’m enjoying catching up on what I’ve missed, and now I can heal for either side.
I’ve also come full circle, in a way. I’m running around as a Tauren again. Ready to walk with the Earthmother all over Azeroth. The first time, I took water to Greatmother Hawkwind. I loved that the Tauren were sent to do something as simple as take water to an old woman. It made me love them a little more. This time, I placed her water pitcher next to her funeral pyre. Her son’s words made me think how such huge bovine people die with such grace and beauty. It reminded me why I love them.
“May her spirit fly to you swiftly; may the winds carry her gently, and the grass whisper her name. Watch over her as she has watched over us; let her look down on us with joy, through the eternal gaze of An’she and Mu’sha, until we too join her in death. For we are all born of you, and shall all return to you.”
– Chief Hawkwind – Last Rites, First Rites