You weren’t very nice to me the first time I met you. I guess I just assumed the Barrens takes it toll on someone, and the Crossroads especially. There was none of that “Northern Barrens/Southern Barrens” stuff back then. You got to the Barrens and you were going to be there a while! Nothing but big stretches of quillboars, centaurs, quillboars, thunder lizards, and quillboars. From the gates into Ashenvale to the Great Lift it was Barrens, Barrens, and more Barrens. And some guy named [Local Defense] constantly spamming that the Crossroads was being attacked.
I wrote it off as you having an attitude problem. I was one of the Forsaken so attitude problems were neither new to me, nor a mark against you. Maybe you hated being in the Barrens. Maybe you hated being at the Crossroads. Maybe you hated everybody who wasn’t an orc. Maybe you just hated everybody. You were giving quests, and I was giving zhevra hooves or whatever it was you wanted. We had a business arrangement that worked, and eventually I left the area. No harm, no foul.
You practically welcomed me with open arms when I saw you again! Of course, I looked a bit different by then. Instead of the skeletal body, purple boar tails, and shadowbolts, I was a pretty curvy cow with moonfire. You chatted with me about how difficult it was to be a woman in the Horde and greeted me as a sister. I smiled and nodded, then went to get those zhevra hooves for you.
I never knew it could be so difficult to be a woman in the Horde until you told me. Which is not to say that I started experiencing it after that, or even that I started noticing I’d been experiencing it all along. No, it was never any more difficult for me than it was for anyone else, from what I saw. (Sometimes it was more difficult for me, but that was due to things that had nothing to do with the Horde, my gender, or even the existence of Azeroth. Strange things tied up in a realm known as Real Life.) But I had an awareness now that not every woman’s experience was like mine. Maybe it was different for us because you were an orc and I was a Tauren. Maybe… well, “maybe” a lot of things. We’ll never know. But apparently your experiences as a woman were different from mine. And both were valid. I didn’t need to be treated unfairly for it to be true that you were. The things you said did not change the truth of my experiences, but did give me an awareness of the experiences of others. Thank you for that.
The odd thing is that I’ve seen people say since then that it’s well-known that you treat men and women differently when meeting them. That you’re warm and friendly to your Horde sisters, but cold toward the men. That’s the way you’re always described… your reactions to adventuring heroes are divided along gender lines.
I was female both times.
It’s been assumed that you greeted me the first time the same way you greet men. Maybe you couldn’t tell the difference with so little flesh left clinging to my bones? You did not recognize a Forsaken as one of your Horde sisters. I guess we truly were Forsaken.
You taught me much, Sergra Darkthorn. You taught me to survive the Barrens. You taught me that life in the Horde is harder for some women than others. And you taught me that the Forsaken really had no people… no tribe, no kin… besides each other. My time spent training with you was very enlightening.
For the Horde!
The Purple-Haired Warlock / The Shifty Cow