The thing about wars is they create a lot of orphans. Naturally, this means the World of Warcraft is filled with orphans. Children’s Week is a yearly event where you, the player, are put in charge of various kids, helping to make their dreams come true in exchange for some really cute pets.
As of this year, each faction has three orphans to entertain during Children’s Week, along with two neutral orphans that can be looked after by either faction. Horde‘s orphans are Grunth the Orc, Salandria the Blood Elf and Azala the Zandalari Troll.
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Grunth the Orc
You head to Orgrimmar’s Orphanage to meet Orphan Matron Battlewail, who thanks you for your help and gives you a whistle that you can use to summon your Orcish Orphan at any time. (How does that happen? What kind of training do these poor kids go through? I’ve taken the whistle into places like Uldum and Drustvar and this kid who can’t be more than about 10 years old shows up every time. How is this kid so powerful? What’s going on?) You use the whistle and an orphan named Grunth shows up. He tells you how his parents were adventurers like you, and he’s excited to spend time with you this week.
Grunth has three things he’s longing to do. First, he wants to ride the Rocketway in Azshara. Second, he wants to meet these strong new allies that the Horde has made. Finally, he wants to go see Cairne Bloodhoof‘s funeral pyre. We’ll begin with the allies.
You head to the Ogrimmar Embassy and summon your orphan. He’s well impressed by all your big, strong friends. Next, it’s time for the Rocketway ride. The Rocketway is a road just for rockets that the Goblins built. Naturally, it’s meant to be dangerous and terrifying as well as fun. Just the thing for a responsible guardian to take a kid on.
Obviously, things don’t go quite as planned, especially once Grunth starts pressing the rocket’s buttons. You fly off course and get into trouble, but Grunth is quite impressively able to guide you back, and you don’t become two red streaks of blood and wobbly bits on the ground. Grunth declares he’s going to be a rocket pilot when he grows up. Honestly, he could be one now.
(Since you’re here… If you don’t have the Joy Ride achievement – you get it by riding the full length of the Rocketway – now might be a good chance to grab it.)
Finally, it’s time to take Grunth to see Cairne Bloodhoof‘s funeral pyre at Red Rock in Mulgore. You watch Baine and other Tauren elders light the funeral pyre as they speak of Cairne‘s great deeds and untimely death. The spirits of elder Tauren come and collect Baine‘s spirit. It’s all very beautiful.
Of course, it’s also very weird. You just took this orphan kid to meet up with the Allied races, who only joined the Horde at the end of Legion. Cairne died years ago, at the start of Cataclysm. How are you witnessing his funeral? I stayed around a bit to watch, and, from what I can tell, Baine and Cairne‘s corpse are actually stuck in an endless time-loop over here at Red Rock. The implications are horrifying.
Anyway. Your orphan is too excited about growing up to be a great warrior like Baine to notice how deeply shaken you are at the whole unnatural time-loop thing, and he has two more quests for you. He wants to fly a kite and he wants some ice cream. Both activities take you back to Orgimmar, thank the gods, and you’re able to leave the upsetting scene behind.
You can get the kite from Blax Bottlerocket (along with any other toys and pets that he sells that you may not yet own) and you and Grunth get to fly around some dragon kites that are frankly awesome and I want one.
Snixx Quickfreeze, who must have decided his name chose his destiny for him, will sell you some ice cream that you can share with your orphan.
Now that you’ve taken Grunth on a dangerous journey, exposed him to a horrifying disturbance in the fabric of time, and stuffed him full of sugar, it’s time to buy him and the other orphans the ever responsible present that is toy weapons and return him to Orphan Matron Battlewail. Regrettably, you can’t adopt an orphan, a fact that I was sad about when I first played through Children’s Week and a fact that I’m still sad about now, but you do get to choose a pet.
Apparently, Grunth had such a good time with you, he wants to give you one of his own favourite pets, and I’m not crying, you’re crying.
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Salandria the Blood Elf
Your second orphan can be found in Shattrath City in Outland. Talk to Orphan Matron Mercy who hands you another one of those magical child-summoning whistles, this one for a Blood Elf girl named Salandria.
Salandria has never even left the city, so she has you heading all over Outland. First to visit a friend of hers named Hch’uu, who wasn’t an orphan, but who did get lost and taken to the orphanage until her people came and fetched her back to Zangarmarsh, then to the Dark Portal itself, because why not? And finally to the Throne of the Elements in Nagrand.
Hch’uu is a Sporeling, a race of mushroom-people who live in Sporeggar. She’s very excited to see Salandria and there’s much rejoicing. Next, the Dark Portal. A symbol of war, invasion, colonialism, genocide and general pain and bloodshed, one that exists in a dangerous location patrolled by some of the most feared enemies in WoW history, standing at the top of a road that’s made entirely with the bones of murdered Draenei. What an appropriate place to take a kid to.
Salandria thinks it’s awesome. To be fair to her, it is a very cool design.
The Throne of the Elements seems far more appropriate. While Salandria checks out the fire elemental (and gives you heart failure when she mentions she got a little too close) you talk to Elementalist Sharvak, who makes it clear it is not appropriate and also says some pretty nasty things about Blood Elves being unable to connect to the world.
Huh. I guess that explains the lack of Belf Druids and Shamans.
Having escaped being burned alive by an irate elemental, Salandria‘s ready to leave Outland. First stop: Silvermoon City. She’s heard the rock band Elite Tauren Chieftain hangs out there (don’t ask me how this Outland orphan knows about some Azeroth band – the power of Stan culture I guess) and she wants to see them. Also, she wants to visit the Caverns of Time. She’s heard it has dragons.
In Silvermoon, Salandria continues the tradition these orphans seem to have of being weirdly talented, and Elite Tauren Chieftain wind up applauding her. She decides she’s going to be a rock star when she grows up and she totally can because she’s doing amazing. sweety.
Sadly, the Caverns of Time portal is only returning in patch 8.2, but once you finally get there you can buy Salandria a little toy dragon to keep her happy until she’s grown up and has a real one of her own. (Something really weird also happens, and it happens so fast I missed it. A couple of Wardens of Time prepare to attack Salandria, and Zaladormu stops them, shouting that she can’t be held accountable for something that she may or may not do in the future.) It’s time to take her home, but not before she tells you that you’re the best person in all the worlds, and I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Chat to Orphan Matron Mercy to again be rewarded with a pet. Salandria‘s are much cooler than Grunth‘s were, but if you care about achievements you’ll have to be very selective here, as the Veteran Nanny achievement requires you to get three specific pets (Peanut, Egbert and Willy) on one character. Since you can only get one of these pets every time Children’s Week happens, this achievement takes a minimum of two years (and three Children’s Weeks) to complete.
Later, you will get a letter from Salandria, who lets you know Lady Liadrin has decided to train her as a Blood Knight, so she’s living in Silvermoon City now. I guess that’s better than you adopting her.
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Azala the Zandalari Troll
Battle for Azeroth might not have the world’s best reputation right now, but as far as I know, it’s the first expansion since Wrath of the Lich King to introduce a whole new orphan to bond with. Visit Caretake Padae in Dazar’alor for your whistle to summon Azala.
As a casteless, she hopes to find her place in the world one day by choosing a loa, so she’d like to meet some, namely Pa’ku, loa of the winds, Krag’wa, the frog loa, and Gonk, loa of the hunt.
We start with my own Zandalari‘s loa, Pa’ku, who’s very big and impressive looking, but Azala doesn’t want to bother her. Also, she’s not so sure about heights.
Next, it’s time for one of my favourite loa: Krag’wa. Who wouldn’t love a great big frog?
Well, after he teases that he’s going to eat her, Azala. That’s who. Time to go see Gonk.
Despite the bloody mess outside his lair, Gonk is the first loa Azala seems comfortable talking to. In fact, she gives him quite a mouthful, telling him she’s heard he’ll let her follow other loa and give her the ability to shapeshift. He changes her into various cute little creatures, including a baby brutosaur that’s adorable. Azala thinks she might choose Gonk for her loa when she grows up.
Now that’s taken care of, she wants to go sightseeing. First stop, The Golden Isle, an undead pirate-infested island in Vol’dun that’s supposedly covered in treasure. She also wants to visit the Sethrak that have made friends with the Horde and meet their loa.
The Golden Isle is obviously quite dangerous, but that hasn’t stopped you from taking an orphan anywhere before, and Azala is suitably impressed. The island really is covered in gold, and yet it’s not some sort of loot haven.
You discover why when Azala asks you to open a chest and it curses you.
Thankfully, the curse wears off pretty quickly, and you visit the Terrace of the Devoted next, where Azala very nearly touches the ancient keystone and gets a right telling off from the Avatar of Sethraliss herself. (And I’m officially done with the Sethrak as a result, they must never talk to me or my daughter ever again.)
It’s time to take Azala home. As with the others, she thanks you by offering you one of her own pets. The scavenger loa Jani shows up and they run off together, presumably to steal from “richmons”.
You still can’t adopt an orphan, so enjoy hanging out with Azala while you can, because she, along with the others, will be gone after Children’s Week. I’m not crying, YOU ARE CRYING.
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The orphans must be at least level 20, because they all have their own little mounts, and it’s just the cutest:
Lok’tar ogar, and Zandalar Forever x
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