The Moral Quandary of Westfall April 5, 2011Posted by Ben in General Whinging, Leveling, Zones.
It started with my first quest. The investigator wanted me to question some homeless people about the murder of the elderly Furlbrow family. One of the transients didn’t take so kindly to my questions, maybe thinking I was looking for a way to blame him for the crime. He became violent and in our scuffle, the poor man met an untimely end. As I stood sadly over his lifeless body, four small children came running up and began to rummage through his pockets. I backed away slowly to continue my investigation, trying to push out of my mind what I’d done.
When I finally arrived in Sentinel Hill some time later, I came across a wall that was new to me. It was incomplete, and the gnolls were trying to rush one of the gaps. I noticed some homeless citizens loitering about the exterior of the wall, but didn’t give it much thought. Times were tough in Westfall right now, and there wasn’t enough work to go around.
Returning to Sentinel Hill, I approached through one of the gates and saw some commotion. Several of the poor residents of Westfall were trying to enter into the town, but a line of guards was blocking the way. Hanging from the gate was a large placard announcing that “No Transients” were welcome within the walls. I was rushing to pass along my latest discoveries, and didn’t have time to get involved. The guards recognized me and waved me along through.
Moonbrook, once a hotbed of violent ruffians before the Defias Brotherhood had been dispatched, was now filled with people who had no where else to go. Trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, I listened to a cloaked figure standing on a corner. She spoke with flowery language of taking back their home, of a return to prosperity.
A shaman granted me a vision into the past, to the fall of Edwin VanCleef. As the adventurers left the scene of their victory, a small child came out from the shadows. She approached the headless corpse of the man, and in a small, weak voice said, “Daddy?”
When Vanessa VanCleef revealed herself and her plans, I was there. I watched as Sentinel Hill was set ablaze, as the orphaned girl wrought her revenge on those who had wronged her. The locals rushed around trying to put out the fires, trying to reclaim their town from the transients who had rallied behind Vanessa and sought to make a better life for themselves. Gryan Stoutmantle sent me to inform the King of Stormwind and seek help.
In Stormwind, I climbed the magnificent steps of the new keep that Varian had build upon his return. The opulence of the structure was dazzling, and I remembered the poor people of Westfall. The homeless men and women who had tried to scrape together life in an unforgiving land, who were outcasts in their own homes, and who had rallied behind the only person who sought to help them.
I did not return to Westfall. I could not. My faith in the leadership of the Kingdom of Stormwind was shaken.
I’ve played characters through numerous situations. I’ve been asked to lie, steal, and even kill for some coins and shiny baubles, but playing through the story of Westfall really shook me. Maybe it’s my left-leaning politics, or maybe it’s the clear gap between the haves and have-nots that is mirrored in our own society.
But I now have qualms with running the Deadmines. How can I stand with people who cast out the poor, and treat them as criminals? How can I go in there and kill people who only want to make a better life for themselves?