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A strange little house in Ashenvale


Some older players might remember when all those empty huts and farms in The Barrens received a new infusion of life, with orc families inhabiting them and acting out stories both humorous (That poor kid being chased by a swarm of bees) and heartfelt (That poor kid waiting for his dad to come home from Warsong Gulch). A forum post by player Lalluna of the Darkspear server pointed out that, quite a few patches later, that liveliness may be spreading to other zones in Kalimdor!

Ever since patch 2.3, over in the far west of Ashenvale, just northwest of the Shrine of Aesinna, you'll find a rather lovely looking Night Elf abode, complete with a garden. Inhabiting it is the night elven Edune family: Benjari, Becanna, Elenna, and Aleanna. They seem to have visitors in the form of two humans, William and Sulan Dunadaire, a brother and sister. It's not just a silent tableau either, there's definitely stuff going on, as I'll show you after the break.

It's an interesting place to hang out at for a bit. The first thing I noticed is that almost everyone seems to have a very distinct class. Elenna Edune is a Hunter, complete with a strider pet named Goodie. Becanna is a Druid, complete with cat form. Sulan is a Warlock accompanied by an imp -- which is actually a bit of surprise in and of itself, that the Edune family has no problem with her despite the traditional Night Elven distrust of demonic magic.

There's also a nice little story going on among the families as well. Elenna goes out scouting with Goodie, and coming back, asks William to go tell Becanna to pick up some herbs she found. William, with much blushing and stuttering, delivers the news to Becanna. When William goes back to stand by his sister, Becanna and Aleanna have a little conversation in Darnassian in which Aleanna warns her sister to be careful, since William seems to be a bit sweet on her. Becanna then goes to pick up the herbs, and you can follow her as she prowls about in cat form, harvests the herbs, and then returns to plant them in the garden by the house. It's actually a fun little story, and interesting to think about for a lore buff. Night Elves being tolerant of Warlocks? Humans and Night Elves intermarrying? I love watching the evolution of the world, and watching how Night Elf culture changes and grows as it encounters the other races is a special pleasure of mine.

Of course, the reason they're there, and the origin of their names, is a bit more fuzzy. It may simply be that they're there to provide a little more life to the zone of Ashenvale, but the whole thing is tucked up a bit far in a corner of the zone that's not actually used much, especially now that Melyria Frostshadow has moved to Forest Song. It may simply be that the names themselves are a homage. Edune is similar to the name of the goddess Elune, after all. I also thought that Dunadaire might refer to the Dunedain, a race of Humans from JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, of whom Aragorn is the leader. After all, Aragorn himself was sweet on an Elven woman! The other possibility is that they might be named after Blizzard staffers or their family members. It certainly would not be the first time that's happened, but I can't find any reference to anyone named Dunadaire or Edune working on Blizzard so far. Someone on Lalluna's post mentioned that the romantic aspect of the event might mean it's related to a new Valentine's Day quest, so it might be worth it to keep an eye out for that as the month grows older, too.

So what about it? Does anyone else have an idea of what this little house could be for, or is it just a nice little easter egg for those of us who like to meander aimlessly about the world? Are there any other new secrets tucked around in corners of Kalimdor that people may be missing? Let me know!

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