I do enjoy the Darkmoon Faire. I spent lots of time there during BC and Wrath, before Darkmoon Island even existed. I'd hang out at the rare stuff vendor and try to snatch up every limited quantity herb I could. They were dirt cheap compared to AH prices, and they made for easy profits during that week. I did a few of the quests here and there. Hell, I got to exalted before the revamp thanks to the Insane in the Membrane Feat of Strength. That's a lot of Rogue's Decks, lemmetellya.
But very recently, I decided to take a closer look at The Darkmoon Faire and all its attractions and quests.
I've come to one inescapable conclusion.
Silas Darkmoon is truly an evil genius.
Let's take a look at the visual clues first.
Upon arriving on Darkmoon Island, you find yourself standing in a very dark, very scary forest. The trees look to be dead or dying. Among the plants and shrubs are glowing sinister eyes, watching your movements as you blindly follow the shiny blinky signs that lead you to the entrance to the Faire.
Then, there's the gate. Take a long hard look at that gate. Notice anything... evil? Perhaps it's the giant freakin' Eye of C'Thun perched atop the archway, watching every fairegoer as they enter. Watch the eye. It's moving. It's not just a decoration. It sees all. And on either side of the eye, there's the deep purple flames. I know of no organization or character that uses purple flames other than the Twilight Cult.
Enter the fairegrounds and take a look around. There are all manner of sights and events to keep you distracted and excited, perhaps even... emotionally unguarded. After all, what could there be to fear and protect against in such a happy place as the Darkmoon Faire? Look over there! Fire Jugglers! That looks like some nice, wholesome entertainment!
And a bit further down, a Fire Eater! Such amazing thi- wait. Why is the fire green now? He ate red fire, and now it's green. Green fire seems demonic to me. Fel-touched, as it were...
Okay, let's head down to the other end of the faire to see the zoo. A zoo should be completely innocent, right? Wrong! Take a look at some of the horrifying beasts in their "paddocks". Notice that the fences are only about a foot tall. Most of the creatures there can just step over the fences if they so desired. Yet they don't. To me, that says they've been trained or completely subdued with some sort of sinister spell.
Check out that enormous banner behind the big Gorilla. Is that the gorilla eating a unicorn while throwing a person and stomping around in huge flames while a night elf and an orc run screaming for their lives? Surely that's a coincidence, right?
Take a look at some of the larger pavilions on the island. Why are they all barricaded and inaccessible? More specifically, what's inside these enormous structures that Silas Darkmoon doesn't want us to see? Could it be some horrifying monstrosity, just waiting for the moment when we'll finally stumble our way inside? Could it be the location of secret sinister rituals of darkness, meant to aid the return of the Old Gods?
This is just plain nuts. They've actually managed to convince us to put ourselves into a large explosive weapon as the ammunition. This, I feel, is a metaphor for our role in events that have not yet come to pass. After all, what are we heroes if not the weapons of the greater powers in the universe, locked in eternal battle? Nothing quite drives that point home by literally being cannon fodder. Hell, we're even being rewarded for aiming ourselves at a predetermined target.
Let's take a second to address an individual at the Darkmoon Faire, Professor Thaddeus Paleo. This man is most assuredly a big part of the evil schemes of Silas Darkmoon and the Darkmoon Faire. Years back, he stated that nobody knew where the Darkmoon Cards came from. Now, however, he admits openly that the Darkmoon Faire seeded these cards all over Azeroth and beyond. How do we obtain these cards? Why, by mass slaughter, of course. That's right. Thaddeus Paleo has you, the heroes, out in the wide world of Azeroth, killing a wide variety of creatures solely to obtain a simple playing card. The drop rates are ridiculously low, yet still we adventurers blindly slaughter, committing widespread genocide in the name of collecting all 8 of any given deck of cards. Consider the other items he covets.
Ornate Weapon: We're taking a weapon of unknown power and handing it over to Thaddeus Paleo for a few Darkmoon Prize Tickets.
Imbued Crystal: We know it's got strange energies inside it. Again, we're handing it over to Thaddeus.
Adventurer's Journal: Not only is this proof of death, but it includes an account of what acts the late author performed in life, including who or what he killed and how he did so.
A Treatise on Strategy: One of the first rules of warfare is that you do not simply hand over a complete guide to all your battle strategies. Especially when that guide what written by Anduin Lothar, one of the men who led the Alliance through the Dark Portal and into Outland.
Let's continue on down the Fairegrounds...
There's the games to consider as well. For example, Rinling, that charming troll, has us firing a gun at small rounded metal targets. However, he wants us to get 25 hits on the marked target within 60 seconds. Aside from the fact that the actual timing requirement is impossible with the cooldown on the gun and the time between marks, this is just plain dangerous. Firing a bullet at a rounded metal target will cause the bullet to ricochet in an unknown direction.
This amounts to essentially firing randomly into a crowd of people. Good training for later evil activities.
Then, there's the Tonk Challenge. Here, you are trained to pilot a siege weapon, firing at targets and using civilian homes (note the little houses) as shield against enemies. Sure, it looks harmless, but it's not. It's meant to desensitize you to the idea of shooting at houses with a tank.
One of the profession quests has you running around healing up Injured Carnies. You have to heal four of them with the provided bandages. What the hell is going on behind the scenes that there are so many carnies being hurt? Are they sacrificing their blood and flesh for some horrifying ritual? Are they trying to restrain some ancient evil until the time is right, being hurt in the process? It's a worrisome question, to be sure.
Darkmoon Faire even boasts a small sandbox area with fun Sandbox Tigers for the little kids to play in and on and around. Yet this area is strangely empty, save for one single Draenei child. The Sandbox Tigers move of their own accord, without riders. Something drives these "toys" to play alone.
A closer inspection of the sandbox reveals a dragon skull lying in the sand, half-buried. What kind of children's sandbox contains the skull of a dead dragon? The little draenei child is actually standing amongst the other bones. Is she wielding wicked magic? Is she, perhaps, attempting to raise these bones into undeath, a draconic monstrosity to command?
Even the other children in the faire area are wary of the sandbox. They approach cautiously, but do not enter. Something about it scares them, and as we all know, the young are often more intuitive than the jaded heroes of Azeroth.
Kolin, the Dancing Darkmoon Bear, looks terrifying. His teeth are bared, and his eyes glow purple. He is, without a doubt, able to kill any that cross his path. He is also under some sort of mind control effect. Why else would there be a glowing Darkmoon Faire Eye over his head? He'll be unleashed eventually, this much is certain. There will come a day when we must join together and put this beast down. It will be a day of pain and fear.
There's another game, not designed to teach you to attack civilian homes, attempt suicide by cannon, or fire randomly into a crowd. No, this one is more subtle. It's meant to drive you insane. Jessica Rogers has a friendly little pet turtle with a pole on his back. All you have to do is throw a few rings on the pole. Simple enough, right? Yet somehow, no matter how many times you center the targeting reticle on the ground and time your toss, that accursed turtle moves. Your ring will miss. You will be driven mad by a smiling turtle with a stick.
Then, of course, there's the most blatant piece of evidence I've seen thus far, the Darkmoon Deathmatch. This is a place, smack in the middle of a "sanctuary", where your alliances mean nothing. You can attack and be attacked by anyone, regardless of faction allegiance. If you enter the pit, you accept your death. Should you survive and exit, you're rewarded.
The Darkmoon Faire is, above all else, a place masterfully designed to distract the heroes of Azeroth with bright lights and fun games. Meanwhile, these "games" are slowly altering your very perceptions of the world around you. They are corrupting you. They are the work of one or more of the Old Gods. This is, I think, their finest work yet. They tried open warfare with the Silithid. They tried raising the dead with the Lich King. They even caused a Dragon Aspect to shatter the world we live in. Yet each time, we pushed them back. We fought valiantly, and we won. And in the short reprieves, we wanted to relax. We wanted to have fun and laugh and play. Silas Darkmoon had everything we needed, and we gladly went to the Darkmoon Faire.
Just like they wanted.
I know there are those who will say that everything I've declared is absurd. It's just a Faire! It's all fun and games! Hyperious, you're making a lot of big stretches with this!
Go ahead. I'll wait. The Darkmoon Faire is, in fact, an anagram for "A Moniker For Death". For the unaware, "moniker" is another word for "name".
Thus, the Darkmoon Faire is another name for Death. The Old Gods do so enjoy the idea of Death, don't they?
I implore you, one and all. Alert your faction leaders, gather up your guilds and friends and armies, and prepare for a battle that will shake the cosmos. The Darkmoon Faire is going to be the site of the final reckoning. Are you ready?