One of my pre-Cataclysm projects, that I’m enjoying far more than I thought I would, is to play through the quest lines in Eastern and Western Plaguelands before they all go away. I’d made a few brief forays up there for specific purposes and had thought the whole place very dreary and uninteresting (and full of disgusting ghouls and things), but I’ve gotten surprisingly caught up in the story since actually spending some time there. It isn’t so much the plaintive ghosts; uneasy dead are a dime a dozen in Azeroth, after all, and most of them seem to have something they want you to do to let them rest in peace. Nor is it the hordes of undead, who tend to evoke more disgust than pity in me; rather, it’s the land itself.

It’s clear to see, looking beyond the brown vegetation and dilapidated buildings, that the Plaguelands was once beautiful farmland with a string of charming towns dotted across it. I missed this entirely on first impression, as the general atmosphere of smoke and shambling abominations tends to catch the eye, but after spending more time and visiting places more than once, little details began to stand out. Andorhal, in particular, must once have been a delightful little town, with the lake close by and the hills overlooking it – but so must Darrowshire in its snug little valley and, for that matter, Hearthglen-of-the-marvellous-view (before the fanatics got quite so carried away).

Andorhal and its surrounding farms are the part that really got to me, though. I started off feeling a bit sad for it, but the more time I spend there, the angrier I feel at our friend Prince Arthas. The people of Andorhal never had a chance; first Arthas raises an army of Scourge and Lordaeron is destroyed (and Stratholme is corrupted – thus depriving them of their two nearest major cities). Then the Scarlet Crusade moves in and starts charging all over the countryside burning anything that looks at them funny, and all the while you have the Argent Dawn and their allies battling the Scourge up hill and down dale. No wonder no one lives there any more!

Not even the dogs…

It doesn’t seem fair, somehow.  I’m sure if I’d known what it was like before Arthas came to town I’d be even more indignant – but, of course, I don’t. Even so, having spent some time in the Plaguelands, I now have a much better perspective of why exactly the citizens of Azeroth want to hunt the Lich King down and slay him – besides the obvious. Villains seem to be rather common in Azeroth; you’ll find a marauding tribe of centaur or a restless minor deity under nearly every rock. Some of them, though, deserve death more than others.

What did you find made Wrath ‘personal’ for you (if anything?). I’m betting we all have some reason we’d love to kill Deathwing, or we will when we see what he does to the world; but I’m curious, what was the thing that motivated you to kill the LK?