The Ball of Hordefall was an event of prodigality, fashion and high society interaction (not to mention the sex and music). Though originally started in the modest mead halls of Southshore and Kul Tiras, the event has since seen growth into an expression of modern nobility and the nouveau riche culture, and a decline into nothingness. The ball happened every year since the fall of the Horde in the Second War to the loss of Lordaeron in the Third. Though no longer an event, the tradition of burning effigies of orcs still remains.
The event was often hosted at the Marquis of Hillsbrad's manor, though the Third War, and the subsequent tension over the Foothills, has seen an end to this. In recent times, there have been people who have tried to reignite this event, though have had little to no success.
There was music from the house all through those old summer nights. In its blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched the guests diving from the tower raft, or taking sun on the hot sand of the beach whilst two large boats slit the water with a slow, cumbersome passage.
I was too polite however; dressed from head to toe in what some more bourgeois party guests would notice was a cheaply fashioned tunic. I had little money to spare, and, for what it was worth, this attire meant a lot to me. I shifted over to the bar-- the place where a single young man might not appear out of place-- but was interrupted by a passing arguing couple. A glass was smashed on the floor and the man was restrained by the many marshals dressed in similar suits. In one deft movement, he was taken outside.
It did not matter however; on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing brushes and hammers and garden shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in Lordaeron—every Monday these same oranges and lemons left the back door in a pyramid of pulp-less halves. I assumed there was a gnomish machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb.
At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough coloured lights to make a Winter's Veil tree of the enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors d'œuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar -- where I had recently appeared -- with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of the female guests were too young to know one from another. I was quick to recommend however; being one of the only starters-of-conversation I could muster and one of the only party subjects I knew (Spicer had told me no less).
By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the horse-drawn carriages arriving from Alterac and Strom parked and stabled five deep in the pebble drive, and already are the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colours, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Stormwind. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and the casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each others' names.
The lights grow brighter as Azeroth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier by the minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form with the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of the group, and then, with excited triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and colour under the constantly changing light.
Suddenly one of these gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like an elven ballet, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is a Court Dancer for Perenolde from Quel'Danas. But before a garrulous girl from Gilneas could engage me, Spicer – with a short "over here, old sport" – took me by the arm and pulled me over to his group of nobility.
The Hordefall Ball had begun, and the orc dolls were to be lit. Perhaps even the stars will marvel at our shining ballroom.