Imagine a fight with cannons

16th September 2008 – 7.43 am

There are quite a few places in Azeroth, the world of World of Warcraft, that look similar, which shouldn't be surprising as many of the towns and cities were probably designed by the same architects. Within the occasionally familiar-looking walls there are usually many discriminating and often unique features that stimulate the mind in to forming distinct memories of each place. Whether it is the docked ship of the Deadmines, leper gnomes now inhabiting Gnomeregan, or the humid labyrinthine corridors of the Temple of Atal'Hakkar the sights are either suitably vivid or I have experienced or got lost in them enough times for me to have complied internally an extensive knowledge of sites of interests and accompanying hazards of Azeroth.

It is with a queer sensation that I have been occasionally reminded of a certain fight, either through idle thoughts or specific words conjuring up hazy-yet-remembered images, in which characters man cannons and shoot waves of pirates whilst battling their commander. Queer, because I have not been able to remember where the fight is staged. I know it is indoors, despite the presence of cannons, as I can picture the brickwork, and I am fairly sure you need to go downstairs to find the cannon master. The fight involves humans and is of sufficient difficulty as to require a handful of skilled participants in order to succeed, or even to get there. Yet I cannot place it.

Despite the presence of pirates it clearly isn't in the Deadmines, as that challenge is undertaken far too early on in an adventurer's career, and I have been through that recently enough to remember it. Images of the battle recall the architecture of the Scarlet Monastery, and even though it was a long time before I even knew where the Monastery was I have now been through each wing enough times to know it certainly isn't in there, or at least it is well-hidden. The fight couldn't be in Blackrock Spire, because of the lack of humans in the spire, and although Blackrock Depths has stonework and it doesn't seem the kind of place to hide a cannoneer, not that I have the time nor inclination to explore that place fully any more.

Having recently had the same memory of a cannon fight pop in to my head I decided to confirm either the memory or my lack of sanity by asking Google about cannon fights in World of Warcraft. Lo, I have not been dreaming up bizarre boss fights in games I've played too much, as I find Cannon Master Willey being located within the walls of Stratholme. I can now understand my confusion. First, it has been years since I have entered Stratholme, so my memory is bound to be a little hazy in places, even if my many visits have etched their mark on my mind. Second, Stratholme has two paths to follow, one being populated fully by undead, and the other leading to a human stronghold only after you pass some undead, with the concentration of abominations leading me to associate the city only with undead. And as the human population of Stratholme consists of members of the Scarlet Crusade, who also inhabit the Scarlet Monastery, it is not surprising that I made the connection between the remembered fight and the monastery as well as then dismissing the fight as fiction when I could never locate the cannons in the armoury.

All this reminiscing and research has made me nostalgic for the old, neglected dungeons whose denizens gather dust hoping for adventurers to get lost on the way to the Dark Portal and stumble instead in to a forgotten realm. Of course, there's not much to gain from entering old instances apart from the experience itself, but that is not a problem when all you are after is simply the experience. Hopefully one day I will be able to relive all the sights and battles of my old hunting grounds, and even man a cannon in Stratholme.

  1. One Response to “Imagine a fight with cannons”

  2. In a feat of mind-reading, before I was able to publish this post my US group asked, 'Would you like to go to Stratholme or Scholomance?'


    By pjharvey on Sep 16, 2008

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