The real reason I hate the Timeless Isle

I hate the Timeless Isle.

I hate the lack of clear objectives. I hate the pseudo-platformer elements. I hate the pouncing tigers, stomping rock monsters, and the shield bearing Ordon yaungol (all of which have abilities I'd be perfectly happy to deal with in a dungeon but am inconvenienced by when I just want 50 Lesser Charms of Good Fortune for the week). There's also the unconventional grummle mailbox that requires two clicks instead of one, and the apocalyptic typhoon of random consumable items wrecking my bag space. But above all of those there is one thing I hate more than anything about the Timeless Isle ... The yaks.

Well, not the yaks themselves. I just hate that they're there.

It all began when I traveled to the Timeless Isle just after the launch of patch 5.4. Venturing outside of the Celestial Court for the first time I was brought to my knees by the most horrific sight. After all my years in Azeroth nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. Strewn over the grassy forest floor were dozens of fallen yaks. Some were scorched, others bloody or beaten, but without a doubt every one of them was dead. Nearby I heard the wailing grunt of a distressed yak, but by the time I saw where it was coming from it was too late; a goblin shaman swung her axe, delivering one last blow to a mother yak's head. As the once majestic creature crumbled to the ground my heart sank. This was truly the worst place in all of Azeroth.

After that first day I avoided the western side of the isle. I knew there was nothing I could do to save the yaks so I wanted to stay away and push the darkness I had seen out of mind. The problem was I couldn't. Every time I summoned Ruthers I found that I couldn't look him in the eye. When I rode Baroo (that's the name of my Blond Riding Yak) I felt great pangs of guilt. I couldn't even bring myself to make my routine visits to Pengsong after my weekly crocolisk hunt. I was in a depression, a deep, yak-fueled depression.

Then one day something happened. I had been farming tree sprites along the eastern cliffs of the Timeless Isle when I noticed for the first time a lone yaungol standing on a hill. He called himself Gulan and told me that I would find the answer to my troubles if I walked the path of Ordos. I neglected to tell him that I had killed Ordos the previous week in a PUG group.

For a few coins he offered me a smoldering, smoking censer that smelled of ash and cloves. Taking it by the chain I brought the vessel to eye level so I could try to read the tooltip through the smoke. As I studied it a sudden gust of wind swept past me, forcing a burst of hot, black soot into my face. Startled and coughing I lost my grasp on the chain, dropping the censer, and spilling its contents all over the front of my robes ... Which being from the Throne of Thunder were, of course, silk.

I may have inadvertently set myself on fire.

When I recovered myself from the flames something didn't seem right. Everything around me looked the same and yet there was something disconcerting about mine having turned into a red ethereal blood elf priest. Glancing around I found the censer, now cold and extinguished, lying on the ground in a pile of crumbled coal and ash. Picking it up I turned it over in my hands until I found the tooltip. "Become an Emissary of Ordos," I read aloud. "You are hostile to all players ..." I paused in thought as those last words left my mouth.

Glancing up I saw an orc warrior riding up the path on a Brewfest Kodo. Hovering above him was a red health bar. Did this mean I could kill my allies? Suddenly Gulan's words seemed prophetic. If I could kill my allies then ... I could save the yaks! Never again would a yak have to die at the hands of an adventurer! The herdlings, the mothers -- even the bulls that attacked me for no particular reason -- they'd all be safe! Summoning Baroo I rode as fast as I could to the western side of the Isle.

"I'm coming to save you yaks!" I thought excitedly.

And that was the day I realized that I've gotten really rusty at PvP.