We had no idea how outdated our maps of Stranglethorn area were. First and foremost, they appeared on my maps as one, contiguous zone and one of the first things I noticed upon approaching the mainland was a giant whirlpool located very close to the mouth of Nazferiti, splitting the area in two. As I would later learn, the two resulting areas are now called “Stranglethorn Jungle” and “Cape of Stranglethorn”. Once I was told a similar whirlpool in the region of Kalimdor known as Darkshore leads to an underwater cavern haunted by the ghost of a demon hunter. Alas, I was not willing to investigate and look for more kaldorei spectres and set my course towards the river. Swimming upstream on a boat this size can take quite an effort, so I put my full concentration on the journey.
Not far into the river, I noticed rocks and lightning bolts being thrown my way from afar. I was passing an area noted on my map as “Mizjah”. Although it appeared to be a ruin of troll construction, it was inhabited by ogres, who apparently invaded the area during or after the two orcish wars. Unlike Lunk, these did not appear to be friendly or open to negotiation. Fortunately, I passed the area quickly. For the following minutes, I continued to maneuver around water currents and hungry crocolisks. Finally, I crossed into a lake and directed my boat towards a camp that appeared friendly, hoping to rest a bit.
Unfortunately, the camp belonged to a faction known as Venture Company. The goblins and ogres that work there approached me, demanding payment for passage through the river. Despite my arguments that the river belongs to no one, they did not negotiate and finally assaulted me. Forced to temporarily abandon the boat, I hid in the nearby saw-mill until they get bored or pass by. They were quite resilient, looking for me for over an hour, helped by some potion they called a “Kurzen Jungle Remedy”. When they finally departed to report to their boss, I quickly ran towards my boat and continued to swim upstream, determined to avoid further confrontations.
The only remaining point of interest I encountered so far in Stranglethorn was a camp of a dwarven hunter, Hemet Nesingwary. Quite a few druids mentioned that dwarf to me in Uldum, lamenting the amount of wildlife he and his hunters slay in various pristine areas of the world. Although I did not visit the camp, fearing they might take me for an exotic animal, it seemed the famous author and hunter was not present on site, nor was his band particularly active today. I contemplated resting nearby for a moment, until I was again attacked by a hungry crocolisk and had to swim away.
I am now outside of the Stranglethorn area and I’m continuing up the Nazferiti River, holding on to its eastern side. Duskwood’s dark aura is beginning to sip into the area here and I consider whether I should continue upriver and approach the Twilight Grove from the north, or continue on foot from here immediately. Either way, by tomorrow morning I expect to be finally in my new workplace.
To be continued