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The Queue: Mushrooms are pretty gross

Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Just look at those things! Barforama. Unless they're on my pizza. Then they're amazing.

Phranklin asked:

You posted about that fairy ring in Tirisfal last week ... at least people were calling it a fairy ring. What IS a fairy ring? Is it something that was in Warcraft before?

A fairy ring is a piece of real-life folklore based on a naturally occurring phenomenon here on Earth. A fairy ring is a perfectly circular ring of mushrooms. The prevailing theory is that fairy rings begin as a single mushroom, but its spores are distributed in such a way that the originating mushroom's spawn begin growing in a perfect ring-like formation around it. The center mushroom dies off, but the ring around it remains connected via an underground network of stringy threads of mycelia sucking up sweet, sweet nutriments.

It's not particularly common for things to grow in perfectly circular formations in nature. The stems of plants are round and tube-like, but they don't grow in circles. Plant life is usually patchy and, to our eyes, a bit random. So when people found these perfect rings of mushrooms, it was extremely odd. Like all odd things back in the day, humans wrote stories about it either to explain the phenomenon of why these things look like they've been placed by hand or just come up with some cool story to attach to it. The reason these mushroom formations are called fairy rings is because ... that was the myth, that it was a gateway into our world for fairies or elves, or a path into an elfin kingdom. Another version of the story says it's a witching circle for witches to witch about in.

If you waited by these fairy rings, it was said that you might have a chance to catch an elf or a fairy and take them for your own. Of course ... fairies and elves in old school folklore were not the pretty, shiny, friendly things we have today. They were all rat bastards. If you were caught meddling with a fairy ring, chances you would catch an elf were low. It was much more likely that they would catch and abduct you (or alternatively, curse you). If you were a farmer, your crops and livestock would die. If you were a woman, you would be struck barren (if the fairies didn't take you as their wife themselves.) If you were a sailor, your ship would rot at sea and the ocean would devour your crew.

So no, World of Warcraft didn't create the fairy ring. WoW is just embracing that little piece of fairy lore.

spac3rat asked:

Do you have any idea about where the huge totem in the center of Thunder Bluff came from?

The same place all of the other totems came from, I imagine. They built it. The one in Thunder Bluff just took more trees to make.

Nessy asked:

Some guy on my server is collecting lava rubies. He's buying them for 6g each and it's really getting the people of trade chat worked up, because nobody knows why he wants them. Some have said there's a new legendary or craftables coming soon, or that there's a bugged vendor that buys then for significantly more somewhere. Anyone have any ideas?

It sounds like either a.) he likes to collect weird things, or b.) he's trolling your entire server and succeeding. If you're on the European Quel'Thalas realm, some dude named Arkenstone describes himself as a "master troll" over in the Lava Ruby comments on Wowhead.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column. Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

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