The shared topic this week over at Blog Azeroth is:
to consider the nicest, cutest, sappiest, and sweetest quests in the game; nothing sad or depressing, but sweet and light.
suggested by Matty.
Now I’m not particularly good at sappy, cute and sweet, so I decided to pick a quest chain which I happen to adore but has overtones of sadness intermingled with the sweet gingerbreadiness.
This little quest chain has all the hallmarks of a fairytale. When you start out, it’s almost as a disbeliever, accompanying the child because it’s the polite thing to do but …. a witch… in these woods.
As you wind your way deeper into the forest towards her cottage, the atmosphere darkens. Less light manages to fight it’s way through the canopy above, the air takes on a jade hue and suddenly you start to think that perhaps there could be a witch in the woods.
There is a witch in the woods but no one believes me. She turned my friend Shin into jade!
We were all so scared we tried to run back but she sicced her big jade monsters on us. A bunch of my friends tried to get away by climbing trees.
Even I have to admit there are few things cuter than a Panda cub climbing a giant bamboo shoot to escape being turned into jade. Then once you’ve rescued An Windfur’s fellow cubs, she tasks you with saving her best friend from the Witch.
This for me at least is where the tinge of sadness enters the frame. The witch is always a witch, not a wife, not a widow, not a woman who lives alone and keeps jade cats but a witch, especially in the eyes of the children.
Then there are her reasons for keeping her sculpture garden.
Have you come to pay your respects at the shrine of my husband? He was a hero you know. A master of Jade crafting and fighting. He was to be remembered forever they said.
Do you like my statues? I craft them with special care saving only the best to provide my husband company and protection.
She’s not evil (at least by Azerothian standards), she just wants company and to honour the memory of her dead (or possibly turned to jade in an act of sacrifice) husband.
The other reason I love this quest chain is because it reminds me of one of my favourite stories from my childhood, that of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe“. I find myself wondering if it’s any coincidence that the Jade Witch of Warcraft can turn people into jade and Jadis, otherwise known as the White Witch can turn people into stone.
Like all fairy tales involving witches, you’re left with a slight feeling of sickness, as if you ate an entire gingerbread house by yourself. I haven’t failed completely though, there are plenty of cute, light and sweet moments in these quests. I particularly like rescuing the cubs and of course getting my very own jade raccoon at the end.