Orgrimmar was noisy – the sounds of commerce, training, and revelry boomed from every corner of the Valley of Strength. The braying of travel animals, waiting to carry their masters across the endless expanse of Kalimdor, surprised me; here were creatures the likes of which I had never conceived, tied up outside of inns and auction houses as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Some with four legs, others six. Some with powerful wings, others hovering by the grace of some sort of magic. All of them seemed massive, enormous beasts that certainly had the stamina to traverse the continent’s wilds for hours, perhaps even days, on end. The powerful stature of the mounts made me hesitate – did I really want to see the caliber of warrior that deserved such amazing pets?

My spellbound reverie was interrupted by a leather-clad troll approaching me, a piece of paper and quill outstretched. “Sign my guild charter?” he asked, waving the contract just enough that I couldn’t see what was written. I hesitated, and he jangled a coin purse. “There’s gold in it if you do!”

My mother was a savvy businesswoman, and taught us better than to accept offers just because they sounded good at first glance. Something about how antsy the troll was put me off, particularly that he was asking me, an absolutely unknown new visitor to the city, to sign some sort of contract. I spread my hands and stepped back. “No, but thank you,” I replied. He grumbled something dismissive and ran off, no doubt on the hunt for someone else to sign his mystery paperwork.

As much as I was impressed with the capital, thoroughly and to my core, I wanted to find my sister quickly and return home. Maybe I wasn’t as well-equipped for adventure as she was, and my first few minutes in Orgrimmar were already overwhelming. I asked a nearby guard if she had seen my sister, and she laughed heartily, stopping only to catch her breath. I didn’t see what was so funny, but she replied that she saw hundreds if not thousands of people a day, and did not take the time to get to know all of them. She suggested I visit either the battlemasters or advanced trainers, to see if they were more familiar with my sister.

Until I left my home I had maybe seen one hundred people in my life, total. Looking around the city, there were at least that many going about their business right in front of me! Again, the scale of our empire made me feel truly small. I asked the guard for directions to the battlemasters, and she pointed me toward the Hall of the Brave, located in a different district.

Zeppelin masters called down from their high towers that transports were ready to take willing passengers to far-off and exotic places like the Undercity or Stranglethorn Vale. Each zeppelin, both incoming and outgoing, had a host of people aboard, all who had seen more of the world in that one trip than I had my entire life. I admit, the idea of seeing new places, and maybe taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the huge city, was an attractive offer.

Climbing the tall building that served as the landing for the huge, purple flying machines, I couldn’t help but marvel again at the construction of such a structure – easily fifty, sixty feet tall, it seemed to dwarf the other buildings, and yet barely reached out of the valley that housed our capital city. The founders had chosen well, I mused, a highly-defensible position with plenty of space for all of the elements that went into a city. Not that I knew what all of those elements were, but seeing the vast array of businesses and services offered, I’m glad there was as much space as possible; I didn’t want to think about all those people fitting into a more cramped space.

The goblin managing the zeppelin berth was hard at work when I approached, securing lines and making sure passengers didn’t stumble on their way on or off the wooden gangplank. “Ey mon,” someone near me called out as I waited to get the goblin’s attention. Turning around, I saw an aged troll dressed in rich purple robes, his braided hair reaching down to his knees. “Dis may not be da safest flight for ya,” he offered sympathetically. “It goes to dangerous places, mon, and you is too young to be out there yet.”

Frowning, I nodded and thanked him for his advice. As much as the excitement of discovering Orgrimmar had lit a small flame for exploration within me, I needed to be aware of my own limits and limitations. Maybe when I found my sister, we could take a zeppelin together, even just on a round-trip. She could tell me about all the strange and wonderful places we’d pass, and whether she’d been there herself.

Waving to the helpful troll, I turned back toward the city proper, sights set on the Hall of the Brave, which sounded like a perfect place to find my sister – she was the bravest orc I had ever known.