The Darkmoon Faire was a mysterious traveling carnival run by exotic bunch of wandering showmen, who “celebrate the wondrous and mysterious idiosyncrasies found in Azeroth”. The faire used to travel every month between the human town of Goldshire, the Tauren city of Thunder Bluff, and Shattrath City in Outland. However, around the time of the great Cataclysm, the faire made a mysterious deal to acquire a misty island as their new permanent location. For the first week of every month, the faire opens to welcome people from all over Azeroth to the island through magic portals. These portals are the only way to get to Darkmoon Island, as the geographical location of this mysterious place is unknown.
Overlooking the Darkmoon Faire on Darkmoon Island in WoW (Source)
History and Mystery of the Faire
The faire is owned and was founded by a gnome named Silas Darkmoon who is very protective of the people who work at his carnival and considers them all a family. He can often be seen wandering the fairegrounds with his ogre bodyguard, Burth. Silas does not tolerate violence on his fairegrounds—making it a neutral zone for all factions— or forgive injustices against his "family of freaks". At one point, the faire’s strongwoman, Kerri Hicks, was falsely accused of a murder and sentenced for execution. Luckily, the real culprit was uncovered, but the murderer left alive. Silas and the rest of the Faire carried out their own vigilante justice by abducting him from his home, stuffing him inside his brother's coffin, and burying him alive.
Darkmoon Island itself is host to more than a few mysteries and dangers outside the fairegrounds. It is haunted by the ghosts of several individuals who appear to have been taken in by Silas while trying to escape the problems of their former lives such as being hunted, the horrors of war, or escaping a debt. They all died by unknown means, likely relegated to the dark woods outside the fairegrounds, but nothing is known for sure.
There are also two dangerous beasts that roam the woods on Darkmoon Island, the giant white wolf known as Moonfang, and the deceptively-small yet deadly Darkmoon Rabbit.
The Faire Attractions
If you wish to attend the Darkmoon faire, you will first need to enter one of the provided portals that lead to Darkmoon Island. On the other side, a long path winds through the woods to the faire entrance. To make the journey shorter, Darkmoon Strider mounts are provided.
Traveling down the path, several signs appear which read:
“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!”
There are several games at the faire that can be played by purchasing tokens. Upon winning the games, they will award Darkmoon Tickets, which can be redeemed for a variety of prizes at the various vendors of the faire.
From tokens to tickets to prizes, the Darkmon Dirigble is one of the most expensive, being a mount that costs 1,000 Darkmoon Tickets.
Of the games to be played at the faire, the first is the Darkmoon Cannon, run by the gnome Maxima Blastenheimer. Those who play this game are shot out of the cannon towards a target in the water off the island’s shore. Tickets are won by maneuvering one’s landing to hit the target as close to the center as possible.
The Darkmoon Cannon in WoW (Source)
The Ring Toss is run by Jessica Rogers, in which players must use precise aiming and timing to toss a ring onto a wandering turtle named Dubenko. Players must land at least three rings on the target to win tickets.
The Ring Toss in WoW (Source)
The Shooting Gallery is run by the sand troll Rinling. He gives guests a pellet rifle and challenges them to shoot targets as they light up until they have 25 points. Rinling is also an engineer who repairs the steam tonks from which are the part of next game.
The Shooting Gallery in WoW (Source) Pictured above is a version of the pellet gun used in the game, although this one is infected with old god corruption.
Tonks are creations of dwarven engineering and resemble tiny functional tanks that can do battle with each other. The Darkmoon Tonk Challenge is run by the dwarf Finlay Coolshot, who gives players of the game a controller and challenges them to destroy 30 targets in a mini-town within 60 seconds while avoiding damage from small zeppelins in the air above.
The Darkmoon Tonk Challenge in WoW (Source)
The Whack-A-Gnoll game is run by the orc Mola. She gives guests a mallet to whack stuffed gnolls that pop out of nine barrels in the area. To earn their prize tickets, players must be quick to wack the large gnolls while avoiding the small “baby” ones.
Whack-A-Gnoll in WoW (Source)
The Firebird Challenge is run by the goblin Ziggie Sparks who straps firework wings to the backs of contestants. They must then fly through firework rings of fire in the sky to maintain charges on their wings and stay in the air long enough to earn prize tickets.
The Firebird Challenge in WoW (Source)
Lastly, the Darkmoon Races located along the faire’s boardwalk and are run by the goblin Malle Earnhard. To earn tickets, contestants must choose a mount and be the first to reach the checkpoints and make it back to the starting line while using powerups and avoiding traps.
The Darkmoon Races in WoW (Source)
Aside from these games, the Darkmoon Faire also features several rides, such as a carousel and roller coaster.
For those wishing to see exotic beasts, the Darkmoon Faire also offers the Darkmoon Zoo Bizarrea featuring animals from far corners of Azeroth. It also includes a petting zoo for the gentler animals.
Those wishing to test their might can enter in cage match fighting for prizes, the Deathmatch Pavilion opens at midnight for three hours. During this time, contestants may fight over a Darkmoon treasure chest awarded by the orc Korgol Crushskull.
Located in a quieter corner of the faire is the wise gnoll, Sayge, who will tell your fortune for free. He is highly valued by Silas Darkmoon as a clairvoyant and is considered one of the most highly-skilled that Silas has ever seen.
To bring a festive sound to the fair, Darkmoon Island features two bands that perform concerts periodically: Elite Tauren Chieftain, and the Blightboars.
Strange powerful decks of cards float around Azeroth, and the Darkmoon Faire serves as their source. These cards can be created by those skilled in the art of the scribe, and many can be obtained from powerful creatures from all corners of the world. When a matching set of cards is assembled into a deck, it can be presented to Professor Thaddeus Paleo and transformed into a powerful magical trinket.
There you have it! The wonders, the mysteries, the powers and dangers of Darkmoon Island! What new features will come to the faire in the coming years? No one knows, but they are sure to bring wondrous, and perhaps terrifying, surprises to all who dare explore the Darkmoon Faire.