Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From Northrend with love

Rage of the winter mold the horizon,
cover the mountains, forests and lakes.
Rage of the winter, magical wonder,
enchanted fury, majestic force.
(Rhapsody - Rage of the Winter)

There is one I can call my favorite zone in all of Azeroth if I am asked that, but I'd rather mention the whole continent, for it is full of things that really make me feel at home. In addition to that it's extremely beautiful. Therefore, this post is fully dedicated to Northrend, my memories and my feelings towards it. I know it'll most likely sound a bit messed up, but hey, that's how things are inside my mind. Warning: Might be boring.

One of my first memories of Northrend was this spot in Dragonblight.
The funny thing is that the place/country I live in in real life is, with its surroundings, what Northrend is based on. The architecture, names and tales are inspired by that area's mythology. For years and years I didn't like or appreciate living here, but as I found myself loving Northrend, I realised what an amazing place I come from.
When I'm in a dungeon that's located in Northrend, I like to open a window and if the season allows, I can feel like it would actually feel in-game. I love the breeze and chills in the Halls of Reflection. In Utgarde Keep the fire glows with heat. In the Halls of Lightning I step on cold steel barefoot.

If I had to go on a holiday anywhere in Azeroth, I'd go to Grizzly Hills. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't find anything more homey in Azeroth than a logging camp in Grizzly Hills. There's just something about those that makes me want to become a lumberjack. Altogether it's probably the most beautiful area in the whole game. Strangely enough it's also the zone that looks like my homeland the most. Again; it was WoW that really made me see the beauty of this country. I think to most people 'holiday' means going somewhere warm, but I'm not a big fan of warmth, sweat and endless sun, so I'd be most happy in a place such as Amberpine Lodge.

I didn't really choose my favorite zone. It chose me. Not only is it my lucky zone and the location of my favorite raid, but also home to my favorite quests. I'm talking about the Storm Peaks.

Back when I was digging for my vrykul drinking horn, I had just finished a digsite in Valkyrion and was making my way to Frosthold to take a flight to another site. When I was very close to the frost dwarf village, my NPCscan went off, saying "Time-Lost Proto..." I thought it was a bloody joke. I flew around a bit, trying to target it and found it pretty fast. I aggroed it and killed it on a cliff. Within a minute, there were three people slapping me across the face and crying on the drake's shoulder. I spent a whole of about five minutes in the zone that time. Like a very dear friend of mine said: "All you wanted was a drinking horn, but you got the time-lost proto-drake."
Secondly, the polar bear mount dropped from the satchel the first time I did the daily.

My favorite quests are those where you gank and spank vrykul men in a mine. That always makes me feel good. No further explanations or reasons provided. When it comes to northern lights, there's no better place in Azeroth than the Storm Peaks if you wish to watch those. I just love how the silence expresses how cold and frozen the place is - also something I have experienced in real life.

To tell you the truth, I'm very cautious when it comes to good memories. I don't take them lightly at all. I treasure them to the point where it sometimes makes things a bit complicated. It's just because I know what the worst case scenario could be like.
I don't want to associate my good memories of places, such as Northrend, with people that mean something to me. Not in any way. Because if those relationships get wrecked one day, my good memories of those places will be ruined. They will forever remind me of that person; how I felt when things went wrong. It's already happened a little bit, and the possibility of it happening again scares me. I know I am overly sensitive about this, and I hope people don't misunderstand this matter. I also hope they'll respect it. It is not to express something negative towards those people, but to protect myself. I think it also has to do with independence; not everything should have something to do with someone. I don't claim to own Northrend, but I'd like to be the master of my memories.

Despite all my love for the roof of the world, there's one place there that I don't quite feel at home. Sholazar Basin. Perhaps it's not snowy and cold enough, but it's just not a place I feel a connection to. I never have. The memories I have from there are just as memorable as the others, anyway, and I think no lesser of it. I am just simply a guest there, not a resident.
Some time before I got the Time-Lost Proto-Drake, I had two dreams of it. In the other one, I was looking for it in Sholazar Basin, flying over the trees. Of course that's not where it spawns in - I was going to say 'real life' - game, but I remember that dream like it was last night that I had it.

And so we come to the end of the post about my feelings and memories of this icy continent. It was during Wrath of the Lich King that I was introduced to WoW, all thanks to a good friend. A lot has followed, and it's been a chain of incredible events. Somehow it all lead to what things are now; I'm a guild master and I can see how effort pays off. When our guild hit level twenty-five, I felt that I could finally breathe a little, after all that hard work. My guild was now a real guild.
I want to make a difference in how people are treated, how they are appreciated. I learn leadership as I do it, I notice myself change as a person, and I'm not quite sure how I ended up in this place... I like to think it was meant to happen. But the fact that I can make a difference, I can shape new values, I can do things in a different way, is amazing.

The world is closing in, and did you ever think
that we could be so close, like brothers?
(Scorpions - Wind of Change)


  1. Hey, where do you live? I love Northrend and would love to see a real life version of it haha

    1. Another commenter that I didn't pressure to comment!! :D Sorry, I just get so excited about those haha. :)

      I live in Finland - in the southern part of it but in the winter it gets very Northrendish too. Up north it looks a lot like Grizzly Hills in the summer, then as the seasons change it gets more Howling Fjordish and finally like the Storm Peaks. Without all the iron dwarf activity though, but I have seen some vrykul around... Some places look like Borean Tundra, too.

      We're getting closer to the winter so I could probably try and post some screenshot / real world lookalikes in 2-4 months. :D

  2. Interesting, please do so =D