The Auschwitz of Azeroth

I wanted Joy go to Hillsbrad Foothills for one reason only. I wanted to know what was up with the Sludge Fields and I knew this could only be done by someone of the Horde faction.

I’ve marked the place that I would call an Azerothian Auschwitz on the map below.

I had passed by this point a few months earlier on my draenei shaman and what I saw truly freaked me out. I’m sure we all remember this place as a Horde quest area in the old world, but the town, a human settlement previously known as Hillbrad Fields, has now been turned into an internment camp for the captured human prisoners.

It’s not just that, it’s also a horrific experimental lab for … I don’t know – judge for yourself.

The journal of Clerk Horrace Whitesteed, a prisoner of war held at this camp, can be read here and it gives a chilling picture of what happened to this place. I’ve included some of the passages below:

Whitesteed before Hillsbrad Fields was taken over

Day 20
The Hillsbrad Fields are no more. Those that did not flee were captured. The Forsaken have declared us as prisoners of war. We are to be laborers at their new plantation.

Day 25
They incinerated our farms and made us watch. Construction begins tomorrow.

Day 40
Construction of their plantation is nearly complete. This place resembles no farm or plantation that I’ve ever seen.

Day 45
We’ve started laboring in the sludge fields. They grow poisonous mushrooms in fetid water and muck.

Day 50
I hear screams coming from the Warden’s manor. People are starting to disappear.

Day 52
I overheard that some guards talking about the farmers, Ray, Getz and Kalaba. Something terrible has happened to them – of this I am certain.

Day 60
Those of us that remain are scared for our lives. Some of the farmers claim to have seen ghouls running amok at night.

I wrote my article on what I thought were the 10 most creepy things in WoW before Cataclysm was released. Had I written it today, I would have put this place at the same level of creepyness as Thaddius or even Karazhan Crypt. If the Crypt didn’t have the Upside Downs Sinners, which admittedly is the main reason the crypt is so nightmarish, this place could easily have topped it.

Speaking of Upside Down Sinners, the Sludge Fields did in fact have one more sample for the horror hungering: hanging corpses of the same model as the ones in Karazhan Crypt.

Poor Joy, she didn’t enJoy this place although it had moments of sillyness too. What she did like was the opportunity to “do the right thing”.

The quest is given by a shovel – the shovel of mercy. Notice how save is wrapped in inverted commas … fishy. It turns out this quest can be solved in two different ways.

Use the shovel to smash in the human seedling’s heads.
OR
[Right Click] the human seedlings to free them from the dirt.
Do the right thing.

Aha! Interresting. How often do you as a Horde figure get to act on your own accord and not as a tool of the Horde war machine? (this goes for Alliance too) When I made Joy I imagined she was barely loyal to the Horde, rather she’d go her own way, but of course this is not something I often got the chance to see relfected in her questing, except now.

I didn’t know about this choice when I completed the quest, but I’m happy that Joy at the time saved the human seedlings instead of “saving” them and so Joy did do the right thing, at least what was right for her.

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13 responses to “The Auschwitz of Azeroth

  1. Very creepy indeed! It’s horrible. I’m constantly amazed at the stuff you can find in this game. I have played Horde so little, that I had no idea about this place. Thanks Ironyca, def one place to check out in the future. At least you could take a humane stance on the quest. I recall one of the deathnight quests in the starter area where you had to slaughter defensless human farmers – it really disturbed me the first time I did that quest, and would have really welcomed an alternative to the killing. :)

    • Sneaky sneaky Döra commenting as anonymous. I got your IP so I can see it’s yooouuu (I hope you’re okay with me changing that “anonymous” to you).

      I havn’t even done the deathknight starting quests yet, it’s a well kept secret of mine. I’ll do it soon, although I’ve heard it’s quite horrendous. But now that I’ve been to Auschwitz, I guess I’ve seen the worst already.

    • Its not as bad- Well its not all you think. If you truly do the questline, the warden went insane and started experimenting on all of the humans there. The whole questline is to stop him and at the end its puts everything right.

  2. Oh, the Sludge Fields are way, WAY up there in my book of creepiest, most disturbing things in Azeroth. I think the concentration camp imagery of and the horrors inside the Sludge Fields are much more disturbing than the Schottzies in Uldum, and the comedy of Johnny Awesome doesn’t redeem it enough for me to want to play through that zone ever again.
    When I did the zone, I dug up all the people I could, and was horrified when the flavor text on the reward shovel suggested that I could have done otherwise.

    • About the Johnny/Jenny thing I actually agree, it was a weird mix of “hur hur blood elf males look like women” and the fact that I was standing in the middle of a concentration camp, complete wtf-moment.
      I didn’t find out about the shovel until I had almost posted the original article where I concluded that there was, of course, only one right thing to do…. so ironic. I would have hated it if I had thought you didn’t have a choice and were meant to smash the humans instead of digging them up.

  3. Wow Ironyca – I had no idea I had posted anonymously. I just dashed off my comment as usual :D Something very wierd is going on – lol. It used to be when I came to your page, that (as long as I was logged into my own blog), then my details were filled in automatically. Now it seems this is no longer the case. So yeah – I am quite happy that you tracked it to my IP and changed it.

    Do you (or any of your readers) have any explanation? I have such a bad memory, and now I have to run around copy and pasting my details in order to comment. Seems, your page now defaults me to being a guest. Can’t remember what it did before, other than filling in my ‘Blogger’ profile details automatically for me.

    The options I am given on your comments box are:
    ‘Guest’ ‘WordPress login’, ‘Twitter login’ and ‘Facebook login’.

    • I thought it would fill it in when you were logged in as well. But I get irregularities too sometimes, where I have to type it all in again.

  4. Hmm – seems the same thing happened on my recent comment on Tomeoftheancient’s blog as well lol. But now it seems to be remembering my details. Actually – the problem is probably on my end – silly me. I have just reinstalled windows on a new drive after a HD failure, so it’s no wonder my browser isn’t remembering stuff – it had its memory wiped – haha!

  5. I actually encountered a place that gave me similar goosebumps in Thousand Needles 2.0. after the shattering; I wrote a travel recount about it (one of the only two I’ve ever done hehe), not sure whether you’ve ever been up to Twilight Bulwark and Withering there (?)
    (for ref you can check http://raging-monkeys.blogspot.com/2010/11/travelers-logbook-part-i-how-to-have.html ).

    Some of the quests and the scene are very similar and eerie to say the least.

    • I havn’t been at the Twilight areas you mention, and I’m now wondering which character I should bring there (I’m leveling two simultaniously). I’ve been looking forward to this place, even though saying that now sounds rather macabre, hehe.

  6. Pingback: Someone took credit for two of my articles – THE DRAMA! | Ironyca Stood in the Fire

  7. Amazed and Disappointed

    This is a video game. Auschwitz was a camp where 1.1 million prisoners died. 1 in 6 Jews were murdered at this camp. Comparing a bunch of pixelated characters in a fantasy game to this monstrosity pretty much craps on the suffering of an entire ethnicity of people. I get wanting to compare your little game to a real world event as a means of bringing perspective to your play, but this is insulting and moronic.

    • This is indeed a video game, along side any other media, movies, books, photos etc. And yes, they tend to reflect, report and comment on the real world. That is not a problem. If you want to problematize it, then come back with something useful to say about -how- these games and blogs handle sensitive subjects.

      From your comment, you don’t sound like a gamer, let alone someone who has ever set foot in WoW. How much further than the headline did you even read? Here’s the tl;dr for you: I was disturbed by this place. If you read the comments, you’ll see other players were disturbed too.

      The sludge fields is literally a fictional death camp. Of course it’s not real, it’s a representation of a real world concentration camp. Would it be less offensive to compare it to Dachau? What about North Korean camps, which are still active? None of this diminishes the suffering and horrors of Auschwitz or any other place. But if Auschwitz is not a suitable parallel for me to employ, then nothing is. Are we supposed to stop talking about it altogether?

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