The hidden ghosts of World of Warcraft
Azeroth, for all its fantastical locations and epic adventurers, is still a very dangerous world. Battles have been fought all over and have claimed many lives, catastrophes have struck unsuspecting locations, and sometimes fate was simply not on someone’s side. In most cases, the spirits of those lost are able to move on; in some, though, the spirits remain connected to this world, unwilling (or unable) to leave. Today we take a look at those spirits which still linger among us. Some of them can be seen by any player willing to make the journey to the other side. But others remain hidden among the majority of travelers, waiting for that one individual with a long-forgotten item who will visit their lonely souls.
Friends of the dead
The first of the dearly departed souls on this list are three helpful ghosts who can be seen by any player who has entered the spirit world. The most recent of these ghosts is the Forlorn Composer. It’s unknown how or when this composer died, but it appears to be unwilling to move on without sharing more of its music with the world. The composer “wails mournfully” until players talk to it and receive the Music Roll: Ghost, which seems to make it just a little happier.
Elsewhere, remnants of old quest lines still exist in the forms of Gaeriyan in Tanaris and Franclorn Forgewright in Blackrock Mountain. Gaeriyan was originally part of the Linken quest line and could only be seen by dead players who used the Videre Elixir to enter the spirit world. Forgewright, meanwhile, sits atop his tomb in Blackrock Mountain, and used to help adventurers obtain the Shadowforge Key. Nowadays, Forgewright still recounts his history among the Dark Iron Dwarves to any willing to listen.
Never one to miss a reference, Blizzard added a small Easter egg in the Shattrath tavern. For any Priest who managed to obtain (and keep) the Eye of Divinity before it was removed from Molten Core, equipping it reveals Ricole Nichie — a spooky guest keeping Haris Pilton company. Unfortunately, like many items in this list, the Eye of Divinity is no longer obtainable which makes Ricole Nichie yet another remnant stuck in this world, unseen by most. Thankfully, she doesn’t seem to care too much, as her ghost goes from taunting Haris Pilton to making judgmental faces (likely at players’ transmog choices).
Sometimes, spirits of the dead remain to aid us in completing what they could not. Such is the case for many of the deceased that players can see by using the now-removed extra-dimensional ghost revealer. Originally part of the “Tier 0.5” upgrade quests, this revealer was needed to speak to certain NPCs during the quest chain. One of the most notorious parts of the chain, the 45-minute Stratholme run, was a quest offered by Anthion Harmon, who was waiting outside Stratholme for an individual who might be able to save his wife from suffering a death like his.
Eventually, players are led to Bodley, a Gnome and former mercencary who only wishes to right his wrongs and help players in their journey. Talking to him, players see true lamentation in his words as he wonders if not accepting this job might have kept him alive and “maybe tossing back a beer, or tossing one of my kids into the air.”
And lastly, there are some NPCs revealed by this particular device that are Easter eggs Blizzard added to curious adventurers. Small critters Sekret and Sekrit can be seen in Scarlet Halls, while Gremnik Rizzlesprang the greedy goblin is floating in a Booty Bay shack. While the ghosts may be stuck on this world, players who revisit Anthion or Bodley still receive thanks for their help. Notably, Bodley seems overjoyed to have someone visiting his lonely, Azeroth-bound soul:
You’ve returned just to talk to me? That’s very thoughtful of you, and you look pretty sweet in that outfit, too!
You don’t know how good it makes me feel to see you. It can get pretty lonely up here, what with most of these yahoos not being able to see me, and all. It’s a great thing that you did for all of us, and I’ll never forget it!
Thanks for dropping in and saying hi, and don’t be such a stranger.
The forlorn souls of Caer Darrow
And lastly, the most tragic of the unseen souls are the former citizens of Caer Darrow. What is otherwise a nearly empty island suddenly becomes a populated town for players who have held onto their Spectral Essence. Magistrate Marduke in front of Scholomance engages players in a lengthy dialogue about the Cult of the Damned. Just outside of town, the ghost Rory explains to players that most of the spirits here are unaware they’ve died and are living their final memory before the plague decimated the entire town.
Two Caer Darrow Citizens can be seen standing in the remains of their home, arguing with one another over some long-forgotten disagreement. Numerous Caer Darrow Cannoneers remain perched atop the towers, loading the cannons in case of an attack. Caer Darrow Guardsmen and Caer Darrow Horsemen guard the city, agitated at the living who visit but unaware of the exact reason why. A baker, a janitor, a weaponsmith, and an artist continue their businesses, selling to travelers in an attempt to provide for their long-forgotten families.
And Sammy and Melia, living out a shared memory of happiness, race around the town’s fountain, inevitably repeating the challenge that they play “best two out of three” not knowing their race will never end.
The World of Warcraft may move on, but the same cannot always be said for the unfortunate souls left behind. While many exist for all to see, some linger in this world largely unnoticed. They may be hidden ghosts to most, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, waiting for a traveler to stop and say “Hi” — even if just for a moment.
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