Friday, February 18, 2011

Karazhan Crypts

Of the 13 million World of Warcraft players in the world, many of them have never heard of Karazhan Crypts. It’s not surprising really, considering that the zone known by that name has never been open to players except by hacking or glitching certain aspects of gameplay. The area was never finished, it seems, or maybe it was placed in the game with the intention of being used in a later expansion. Whatever the reason for its creation and current condition, it’s one of the most terrifying places in Azeroth.

In Deadwind Pass, just east of Darkshire’s graveyard, lies the Ivory Spire of Karazhan, once home to the evil wizard Medivh. Deadwind Pass was created by an explosion of unknown origins. The blast tore into the magical fabric of the world and laid bare a nexus of every magical ley line in Azeroth. These ley lines created a point of intense magical power and weakened the foundation of reality in the area. Karazhan was built on the exact point where the lines crossed, though it was never revealed by whom. Decades after Medivh’s murder at the hands of his apprentice he returned from the dead with his old accomplices to occupy his old home. Legend says that beneath Karazhan lay a dungeon that mirrored the Ivory Tower; a perfect inverse duplicate of the citadel. However, no such dungeon has ever been found. Instead there is a massive location beneath Morgan’s Plot that I would guess is a combination prison, torture chamber and burial ground. Below is what I found upon entering the Crypt.

Just past the gates in the mausoleum of Morgan’s Plot is where you will find the entrance to the crypts. There is a gate that prevents players from entering though you can manipulate the game and force your way in. In Burning Crusade it was possible to die near the gate and explore the underground city while in ghost form. That was quickly patched however, long before Lich King was announced. Still, there were ways in, you could duel a friend near the gate and could easily be feared or blinded through the gates. This was also fixed during BC and is no longer possible. Entering Karazhan is still achievable, most easily by rogues and druids though there are other methods for every class as of the writing of this article. (Remember that I do not endorse purposely glitching any aspect of World of Warcraft as it is against the Terms of Service and can get you banned.)

And now for the description of the crypt.

The first area you will encounter, just past the gates, is known as the Well of the Forgotten. Just in front of the gate you can see a small, nameless tomb, the only object of interest in this area other than the hole in the floor to the south. This hole, or well, is a long dark tunnel that bodies were thrown into at some point. The floor of this room is covered in long scratches in sets of 3 and 4, which leads me to believe that those thrown into the well were at least partially alive while falling to their deaths.

The Pauper's Walk is the labyrinth of tunnels that connects the different rooms that make up the crypt. The walk is littered with dismembered body parts, charred remains, mummified humanoids and the bones of animals and humans alike. Some of the remnants have turned a sickly green, others yellow and some black. A few of the body parts even look fresh, as though they were ripped from a recently dead corpse. I'm not sure why it's called the Pauper's Walk; I can't imagine anyone willingly working in this hellish place, no matter how impovrished.