The title is an obvious reference to a trailer for the 2007 video game Portal by Valve.
It is not our intention to replace popular transportation methods such as ship, zeppelins, and flightmasters. These are cheap, practical, and safe methods of transportation. Portals, when used properly, are just as safe and certainly faster. HOWEVER, in practice portals have a history of being a burden on any society in which it is offered to the general public. Of all the major spells developed and maintained by the Kirin Tor (including polymorph), portal technology is the closest to becoming banished from anything but emergency usage.
Why all the trouble? First, Ley Lines don't grow on trees. Massive traffic through a Line from all over Azeroth wears down the infrastructure and must be periodically replaced. We charge the mage for every portal via reagent taxes, and encourage mages to pass off these charges to those using the portal. But these taxes don't even begin to cover the time cost of replacing a Line, only the materials.
Remember that a portal most used is a portal most efficient: More persons using a single portal causes no further stress to the Ley Lines, and is encouraged. A "Portalpooling" program is in the works that will give tax breaks to mages who create portals for no less than (5) persons. Read your latest issue of "Kirin Tor Monthly" to see the progress of the Portalpooling program.
Second, while a properly used portal is just as safe as your average zeppelin trip (maybe more so considering the engineering practices of goblins), an improperly used portal can potentially yield dire results. Here is a list of immutable regulations for appropriate portal usage:
Rule #1: Do not create a portal to anywhere but the designated Kirin Tor drop-off zones. The most dangerous aspect of the portal spell is its vast potential. We realize it's easy for a mage to create a door to anywhere, so our only way to combat such potentially deadly acts is to make it punishable by death. Special Issue License D-6 permits open portal usage, but is rarely issued. Speak with your local Portal Trainer about qualifying for this license.
Rule #2: Create a portal in the proper place, and use it in the proper way. Do not create a portal beneath the feet of someone. Do not linger halfway in and out of a portal. The portal is not a garbage disposal. The portal is not a shield. Do not use a portal like an umbrella, or any kind of shelter from the elements.
Do not back out of a portal after partially entering it. Do not try and "grab" the edges of the portal, either from the inside or the outside. A portal does not create "handlebars" to assist usage, and disruption of its boundaries is dangerous.
Rule #3: Never force or trick anyone to go through a portal. Not only is this a great way to lose repeat customers, it's also incredibly dangerous (See Rule #2).
Rule #4: Do not have someone who is polymorphed enter a portal. This has yet to not cause an explosion. This is also covered in "Polymorphic Rules & Regulations."
Rule #5: Do not remove the liquid filter from a portal spell. Portals innately prevent large amounts of flowing water through them so that they can be cast underwater. To allow for water elementals to use a portal, this filter can be omitted when casting. Do not omit this when underwater! We feel obligated to mention Moderately Severe Claims Disaster Case 34-zz: "The Great Lakeshire Drought & The Great Ironforge Flood of 24 A.D."
Rule #6: Standard Portal dimensions are 3 yards, 1 foot, and 3/4 inches tall, 2 yards, 8 feet, 9 and 15/16 inches wide. Double-wide portal creation requires Special Issue License G-16, and is commonly issued to mages with a clean portal record of 8 years or more. Speak with your local Portal Trainer about qualifying for this license.
<This goes on for hundreds of pages>