Stormwind Daily Mail launches 'Light up the Darkness' campaign
By Jynnxe Jones, Staff Writer

If you could only pick one thing that separates us from our barbarian ancestors, what would it be? Okay, underwear. I think we can all agree on that. And nice shoes, of course. But what I'm really thinking about is artificial light.

Have you ever gone out into the forest on a moonless night, far from the city, and doused the lights? The first thing you notice is… it's dark out there. Reeeaaally dark. There's a reason people back in Ye Merrie Olden Days used to huddle inside with the hut door locked at night. It's because they couldn't see whatever it was that was sneaking up trying to eat them.

Now, I'm not knocking the dark. There's plenty of diverting ways to spend the hours between sunrise and sunset, none of which require light and some of which still include being eaten, if you catch my drift. But it's nice to have some illumination afterwards for when you're going to the bathroom, if only to keep from tripping over any hastily discarded bits of armour between the bed and the door.

But I digress.

The fact is, we need light, and for most of us, that means candles, and here in Stormwind, anyway, that means stealing them from kobolds. The mines in Elwynn Forest may have been dug originally to get at the mineral resources of the area, but today their largest output is what the traders call "white gold" – the common, wax candle. A recent report from the Stormwind Board of Trade estimated that the Fargodeep and Jasperlode Mines alone supply Stormwind City with more than 15,000 candles per month, each one of them stolen from some hapless, frightened, kobold miner.

It's a lucrative business. William Pestle, who you'll usually find hanging around the Lion's Pride Inn, oversees most of the illegal candle trade in the Elwynn Forest and is one of Stormwind's richest men. But he makes his living to the detriment of the hard-working kobold miners who labour deep within the mines and who craft the candles from wax, painstakingly harvested from their own ears.

It's not just the kobolds that are hurt by the candle trade. Every candle stolen is another miner who can't work, and while these mines are largely worked out, they continue to pump a steady trickle of precious metals into the Stormwind economy, to the benefit of you and me. But the miners need light to work, and traders like Pestle have been sending adventurers into the mine for years to beat the miners and take the candles they need to work in those Stygian depths.

Moreover, for the kobold, a candle isn't simply a source of light. It's an object of veneration, dating back to their earliest beginnings. Kobolds may be a simple folk, with limited vocabularies and little use for basic hygiene, but they, like us, worship the Light. So there is a particular poignancy when a kobold miner wails "You no take candle!"

What savage irony is it that we who swear by the Light so casually deny it to others?

For too many years the kobold miners of Elwynn Forest have been exploited by men like William Pestle. The Stormwind Daily Mail, in concert with Citizens Against Darkness and the Elwynn Forest Kobold Protective Society, and with the support of no less a personage than Anduin Wynn himself, demands that the illegal trade in stolen candles end. It is time that the kobold craftsmen be paid a living wage for the candles they produce.

Help us light up the darkness. Join The Stormwind Daily Mail in its fight to stamp out the illegal candle trade in our city. Next time you buy candles, look for the "Fair Trade" stamp and help end the exploitation.

Next Week: Goblins – Bet you can't stop at one. See you there.

(With circulation in Stormwind City, Elwynn Forest, Duskshire, Northshire Abbey, Lakeshire, Ironforge, and wherever in Azeroth the good folk of Stormwind can be found, the Daily Mail is Stormwind's source for news you can trust. The Stormwind Daily Mail is a proud member of the Azeroth Media Group.)