This blog is part of my series about The Dwarves. I’ve got a Dwarven Priest named Bradanna, and my husband, Shawn, has a Dwarven Hunter named Hansbrix (who has a bear named Fridge). We are playing these two characters and working our way through Azeroth, zone by zone.

In this one, I feature some screenshots from The Dwarves brief visit to the Darkmoon Faire. Our characters hadn’t been to it before (but we, as players, had). In short, things didn’t quite work out as planned – so The Dwarves will likely need to visit the Darkmoon Faire again sometime.

These screenshots were taken on May 4, 2015.

In the past, I’d had fun at the Darkmoon Faire. This time, however, I decided to try something that was new to me – and failed miserably. It turns out my dyslexia prevents me from figuring out how far away in-game objects are. I was tired that night, and grumpy, and The Dwarves ended their visit to the Darkmoon Faire somewhat abruptly.

The Dwarves were running around in Ironforge when they happened across the Darkmoon Faire Mystic Mage. The balloons, colorful banner, and equally bright clothing she was wearing made her easy to spot.

Darkmoon Faire Mystic Mage: The Darkmoon Faire is now open!  For a small fee, I can teleport you to the fairground staging area.  Would you like to go?

Darkmoon Faire Mystic Mage: The Darkmoon Faire is coming!  Experience our thrilling games, win fabulous prizes, have your fortune told!  

If you act right now, you can redeem this voucher for free prize-tickets and a copy of the world-famous Darkmoon Faire Adventurer’s Guide to help you identify treasures in your travels!

Just hand your voucher to Gelvas Grimegate located inside the Faire.  

Right now, the entrance to the Faire is outside Goldshire, in Elwynn Forest.

Just like that, The Dwarves found themselves in Elwynn Forest, right outside the entrance to the Darkmoon Faire.  They ran through a portal…

…and ended up on Darkmoon Island, on Darkmoon Path, which is very dark and creepy.  Unexpectedly, the path to the Darkmoon Faire had poetry!  The Dwarves each earned the “Come One, Come All!” Achievement for going to the Darkmoon Faire.

Ahead of You, Down the Path

A Majestic, Magical Faire!

Ignore the Darkened, Eerie Woods

Ignore the Eyes That Blink and Stare

Fun & Games & Wondrous Sights!

Music & Fireworks to Light Up the Night!

Do Not Stop!  You’re Nearly There!

Behold, My Friend: THE DARKMOON FAIRE!

The Dwarves have officially arrived at the Darkmoon Faire – for the very first time!

The first thing they did was find Gelvas Grimegate and turn in their voucher.

Gelvas Grimegate: Tickets!  Redeem your Darkmoon Prize Tickets here!  Wondrous and exotic prizes are waiting for you!

Gelvas Grimegate: Welcome to the Darkmoon Faire!  This voucher is good for FIVE, yes, FIVE prize tickets and a free copy of the world-renowned Darkmoon Adventurer’s Guide!

When you accumulate prize tickets, you’ll want to speak to me for valuable prizes.  This handy field guild will help you to locate and identify items of value to our collectors here at the faire!

The Dwarves met Kerri Hicks – the Strongest Woman Alive!  I think its cool that the traditional Faire role of “Strong Man” is a “Strong Woman” at the Darkmoon Faire.  Here at the Faire is, quite literally, a “strong female character”.

I suspect this isn’t exactly what people mean when they ask for strong female characters, but I’ll take it.  I don’t think Blizzard could have given players a more obvious example of a female character who has great physical strength.  In addition, I think there are some players who need that concept spelled out for them.  Women can be strong, too.

Kerri Hicks: For some people, its all fun and games until someone gets hurt.  I call those people, weak.

To be the strongest, you have to hurt someone or something.  You hurt yourself as you push your body to its limits.  You hurt those that threaten the well-being of others.  

If you want to be the strongest, you have to fight.  How bad do you want it?

I want you to crush those that would offer a challenge to you, then bring me back proof of your triumphs. 

Does anyone else find it a tad distressing that Kerri Hicks sounds like she’s been reading too many “fitspiration” posts on Tumblr?  She thinks people who try doing something that requires physical strength, and get hurt, are “weak”.  She thinks you have to hurt yourself and push your body to its limits in order to become strong.  “How bad do you want it?”, she asks The Dwarves.

The “proof of your triumphs” she wants are called Grisly Trophies.  She wants each of The Dwarves to bring her back 250 Grisly Trophies.  To get them, The Dwarves will need to kill creatures that “offer experience or honor”. Players must have the Darkmoon Adventurer’s Guide in their bag, or they won’t be able to obtain any Grisly Trophies.  This quest can only be completed while the Darkmoon Faire is happening.

Next, The Dwarves talked to Ziggie Sparks.

Ziggie Sparks: Hey there, you look like someone that might enjoy strapping a dozen fireworks to their back!

She explains that they’ve got a special delivery of “Firebird” – class fireworks read to strap onto your back and send you soaring in search of rings and glory!  The quest is called Firebird’s Challenge.  This was something new to me.  I’d visited The Darkmoon Faire on some of my other characters before, but I didn’t remember this particular “game”.  It sounded like fun, so I gave it a try.

Ziggie Sparks: Hand over a game token and I’ll strap one of our newfangled “Firebird”- class fireworks to your back.  You’ll be launched up high in the air and sprout wings of flame!

Now here’s the tricky part: you only have 10 seconds of flight, and there are a bunch of fiery rings scattered around the fairgrounds.  Each ring you pass through will count towards your total of collected rings, and most importantly, will give you another 10 seconds of flight.

Collect 15 rings and the prizes are yours!  But if you fail to collect enough rings, it will cost you another token!

There’s Bradanna, with her “wings of flame”.  There are three or four rings of fire that she could aim herself towards.  Unfortunately, since the wings only last 10 seconds, so I didn’t get a good look at them while I was in-game.

The wings are pretty!  But, that wasn’t enough to amuse me.  It turns out that the maneuvering with the wings is the same as when your character is swimming (or moving) underwater.  I understand what buttons to press, but struggle with the underwater parts of the game.  Obviously, this meant that I struggled with this quest/game.

The wings disappeared before I could get to the first ring.  Bradanna dropped to the ground, and had wasted a game token.  That wasn’t fun!  I tried it again, figuring that I’d have better luck the second time since I now had some idea of where the nearest ring was located.  I lost count of how many tokens it took me before I could make it to ONE ring.  I think I managed to get something like 4 rings in … who knows how many tries.  This was extremely frustrating.

Shawn, however, didn’t have any trouble doing this game.  He seemed to be able to find where the rings were and get through more than one before the time ran out.  Perhaps I should point out that Shawn is legally blind, but somehow, was finding his way through this game much better than I was.

Why was I struggling so much?  It dawned on me that the problem I had with this game was the same problem I had maneuvering my character underwater.  I’m dyslexic.  My brain doesn’t seem to be able to process in-game distance.  I’m simply not getting enough visual data to extrapolate how far away something is, or whether that thing is higher or lower than I was.

Few things suck the fun out of a game than when my learning disability makes it impossible for me to do something that everybody else can do with ease.  I honestly wanted to give Shawn all of my tokens and log out.  I was done with the Darkmoon Faire, so I sure didn’t need the tokens. The problem with that plan was that the tokens are soulbound and you cannot give them to another player.  So, I was stuck with them.

My next plan was to hearth back to Ironforge and log out, and let him play in the Darkmoon Faire as long as he wanted to without me.  Instead, we decided to leave the Faire and start working on the next zone in Azeroth.  Oddly enough, questing through that next zone enabled each of us to start collecting Grisly Trophies.

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