Nothing quite like exploratory ding sneaking up on you. After getting in good with Highmountain, I had Saintvache visit Suramar, since I wouldn’t mind a Nightborne. Once again failing to look up what is required bit me in the rump. I figured it would work the same as the Highmountain in that I needed to complete the initial group of quests. As you likely know, that’s not the case. But at this point, I’d now done two of the factions for “Uniting the Isles.” So it was off to Val’Ashar for some more samaritan work. It was while wandering about there the 50 happened. At this point, I’ll probably keep him up in that area to continue to unite the isles. That’s now the Paladin and Druid that are level capped for me. I think up next is someone on the Alliance side. The who is still up for debate.
Because I Got High (Mountain)
After dipping my toes in over the weekend, I decided to get my hooves wet. Saintvache was off to Legion Dalaran as I decided if I couldn’t have a Zandalari, I could at least get a Highmountain Tauren into the fold. Plus, it gave me a chance to do some leveling, which…wow. Such an improved experience. I’ll elaborate on a later date but I definitely approve. Saintvache is now 47, and that’s just from doing the main Highmountain story and a couple of bonus objectives that happened to be where I was questing anyway.
It didn’t take too long to complete that main story and set up the meeting between Baine and Mayla. I was in for a bit of a surprise as I never looked up how any of the alliances worked. I figured I would fly back to Orgrimmar and it would be a simple case of “hey, thanks for all your help. You proved the Horde is good. We’re in, ok?” Needless to say that is not what happened at all. I really enjoyed the story that lead to them officially joining the Horde. Though I can only imagine what it was like to have to do that chain without a flying mount. Dear Illidan it was like a classic WoW questline – all over the damn place.
In the end, though, it all worked out. The most difficult thing was getting back to Orgrimmar because everyone is logged in for Shadowlands.
See? Just a few people. I actually had to go to Pandaria and use the shrine portal to get back. Then I was able to scoot off and get my new mount and more importantly unlock some new friends. It didn’t take long for one to fall into the fold.
Not a fan of her default armor, but we’ll get that fixed eventually.
With six expansions, and a seventh on the way, there is a lot of World in the World of Warcraft. From Draenor to Deadwind Pass, most areas feel incredibly unique and you get what they’re about. Sitting down today I thought for a while about which zones are my personal favourite and there are two that stand out. Before I get to them, let me just give an honorable mention to Deadwind Pass…because it terrified me the first time I went strolling out of Duskwood into that area. I had no idea what was going to be around the corner.
Now, the first zone, is from Wrath of the Lich King. Older readers will know just how enamored I can be with Grizzly Hills. The rivers, cabins, wildlife, and PvP. Everything about it I enjoy…and who doesn’t love a good port-o-potty quest? I’ve done most of the quests for each faction. Funny enough, though, I’ve never done the Furlbog stuff. I think my next character to go through Northrend will have to rectify this. The music, like most of Wrath, is spot on for the feeling of the zone and if I recall correctly I even listed Grizzly Hills as the place I would live if I had to take up residence in Azeroth.
The other zone, is much newer and I have to include a subzone with it. When Zarahi hit the Broken Shores I immediately headed to Stormheim and instantly fell in love with it. Where Grizzly Hills was all about location, location, location, Stormheim is more about the content. The Vrykul are always fun to interact with and the quest chain that explains the Val’kyr is a wonderful ride as Horde players follow Sylvanas throughout the zone. It ends in a pretty well known moment, and one of the best cinematics of the expansion.:
But what made the zone even better for me was losing, and being sent to Helheim. The Stormheim zone in itself was good, but the lead in and out of Helheim made it even better (to say nothing of how enjoyable Helheim was on its own).
What about you? Are you among those that love the beauty of classic Nagrand? Maybe something even more original like Winterspring or Stranglethorn Vale? And will one of the new zones be even better than the ones we’re talking about now?
Revealing My Privates: Part One
Once upon a time I mentioned that I would share the members of the Private (server) Army. The problem for me and my stickler for things, is that I refused to do so until they were at a point where I was happy with them…Transmogrificantly speaking anyway. Yes, I’m choosing to make up the word Transmogrificantly. It’s gotta catch on better than “dab.” So while this is the first character I’m posting, none of the others are quite ready to make an appearance for one reason or another. But they’ll get there and I will post as they do.
When I rolled on the server I decided I wanted one of each class and no repeat races. Being as there are only 12 classes that meant one race was left out. Sorry Night Elf lovers. It came down to Trolls, Night Elf, and Humans and only Warlocks and Shaman left to assign. For today, though, we’ll focus on the Worgen, who takes up the Hunter slot.
Soundwaive started out Marksman. However, I was doing some questing in Sholazar Basin when I hit level 80. I decided to leave the zone, but because I was close enough I decided to check the spot I had always seen Loque’nahar before (east of the Savage Thicket, up on a hill). Sure enough, there she was and that meant a change in spec. Absolutely worth it. Despite what Mrs. Amateur says, Tone’loque is clever.
Then I got the idea to put together an outfit that complimented the pet and I think it came together really well. The only thing missing is the Mechanized Snow Goggles, because I can’t find Borean Leather for the life of me…and my Skinner isn’t high enough to go get me some.
I made this outfit pre-100, so I found it convenient that the Titanstrike artifact for Beast Mastery is pretty much a perfect fit with the look. Here’s the rest of the components you see:
Head: None, but again will be Mechanized Snow Goggles
Shoulder: Mountainscaler Chain Spaulders
Cloak: Wyrmcultist’s Cloak
Chest: Kurken Padded Chainmail
Hands: Brazen Gauntlets
Waist: Padded Chain Belt
Legs: Bramblescar Legguards
Feet: Mountainscaler Chain Sabatons
Soundwaive is the third private to arrive in New Dalaran. With 100 levels under his belt he’ll be deployed to Aszuna soon enough. But first he’s going to spend some more time in his lab, further developing his Engineering and Alchemy.
A Familiar Time Of Year
It’s strange. Whenever I walk away from Azeroth, for however long, it’s always around this time that I return. Last time it made sense, what with the launch of Legion. Other instances, not so much. Even now. I don’t know if it’s a subconscious thought process as BlizzCon approaches…but it’s always the end of summer and into the fall. It’s as innocent as reading a blog post or catching a video on YouTube (usually lore related). Normally it’s no big deal but then this seasonal change comes along and it all changes.
To be honest, I came back to the game at the end of August when my holidays were winding down. I went two or three weeks in that window without playing and in the past that has been the reason that I stopped subbing and playing all together. Not this time. This time is different. Why? Continue reading
Legendary Amateurs: Book One, Chapter Four
As she rode upon the Hippogryph, Zarahi was lost in her thoughts. A short time ago she was fighting the battle against the Iron Horde. She was a lower level commander but her execution and tactics had been helpful on more than one occasion. Suddenly she was summoned by Hamuul Runetotem and Malfurion Stormrage to create a portal. Then told she was the one going through it. Now she was the one seeking out an ancient weapon? It was almost too much even for her. Surely there would have been another Druid more suited. But while the confusion stemmed within her, she would never say no. Zarahi would always do what she thought was right. If those around her deemed it so, then she would follow.
Landing at the Shrine of Ashamane, Zarahi overheard a discussion between two Night Elves. One was clearly not pleased with the other and walked away. The remaining figure tended to an individual at his feet who was wounded. It wasn’t often Zarahi channeled nature for a spell, but she did so this time without inclination. The person on the ground began to ease and the Night Elf thanked her.
“No tanks be needin” she said. “But if you can help me find Delandros, dat be good enough.”
She was surprised to find out that’s exactly who she was standing before. Zarahi handed over the signet. Delandros Shimmermoon accepted the blessing, and while he wanted to help he had more pressing matters to attend to. He pointed up to a Legion ship and explained they’ve been attacked more frequently with each passing day. Ashen were being captured. The Night Elf also feared his most trusted members may have fallen in the conflict. To make matters worse, they each carried Tel’andu seeds. When Zahari was clearly puzzled, he explained to the Troll the seeds were needed for a renewal ritual. The magic ward that protects the Fangs was fading, weakening over time.
Zarahi look around the land and then turned to the Night Elf. “If ya be knowin’ where dey headed, I be happy to go hunting.”
Delandros sighed. “Your assistance in the effort is most appreciated. The forests to the north were the last time they were spotted. But that was some time ago. If our worst fears are true, please see if you can at least recover the seeds.
Zarahi nodded and made a few preparations before heading out. Several miles from the village she discovered the significance of the situation. Legion demons were roaming the forest. Fortunately, they were not concentrated in what looked like patrols. She snuck up on the first one with ease and almost took joy in spilling Fel blood. The feeling faded quickly as she found a body nearby. Not far from his outstretched hand was a pouch. Zarahi had the blessing of the Loa. One pack of seeds had been found, and quickly.
Bounding through the forest, Zarahi searched. Each demon she passed fell like the one before it. These were clearly only initiates and nothing actually powerful. But they were still enough in numbers and strength to catch the Ashen off-guard. The screams of a Night Elf sent her in a western dash. She came upon a burning tree hut, and a man was being choked by shadow magic spewing from a demon.
“I will never surrender them! The Fangs of Ashamane will be protected, and these seeds will be with me until my dying breath!” The Night Elf kicked and struggled to break free. The demon grinned. “Very well.”
Zahari pounced, raking her claws into the shoulders of the creature. He fell to the ground, caught off guard, and it wasn’t long before her thrashing and raking cat form had left it motionless. When she turned to the Night Elf though, it was too late. With a heavy heart she sniffed out the seeds and put them with the others that she had found. That meant only one more pouch to find.
Zarahi prowled the Mistvale for the next several hours. All she found was more and more demons. And more dead Ashen Druids. But the last of the seeds was nowhere to be found. She feared her search would end without success. Zarahi sat, resting a moment after what had been a long day already. She closed her eyes and listened to the forest. Her feral temperament faded again, and the breeze flowed west. Looking, she saw another tree hut and made her way over. The door was ajar slightly, and inside was a Night Elf.
“Can I help you?”
Zarahi was surprised to find him sitting in his hut amidst all the chaos outside. “I be lookin’ for someone. Da door was open so I-”
“So you just thought you’d walk in and go through my things?”
Zarahi tried to apologize. |Dat not be it at all. With demons all around, I be just tryin’ ta find dem. Thought maybe dey was dead in here.”
Again the Night Elf snapped at her. “Well, as you can see I am clearly not. Will you be leaving then?” He looked back towards the door.
Zarahi was becoming annoyed. Demons everywhere and here this elf sat not only with his door open to trouble, but more rude than a Blackrock Orc in the process. She shrugged him off and then turned out the door, cursing. She took a few steps before turning into her cat form once more. She was ready to bound off when something stopped her. Something in the air. She sniffed and recognized the scent. It was in the blood she had spilled most of the day. And it was coming from the elf.
Zarahi did something she rarely ever did. Shifting into her bear form, she charged the door and slammed it open with her momentum. It broke apart and as the elf jumped to his feet, she leapt and went cat form for the speed and agility. She barely missed him, landing on a table that flipped over as she caught herself.
The Night Elf grinned. “I didn’t think two druids would be that dumb. But I will take pleasure in spilling your blood.” In that moment the Night Elf was gone, an Eredar in its place.
Zarahi bared her fangs. “Many bettah dan you have tried. But here I be.”
In an instance she was shackled with pain. She had felt dark magic enough to know it well. She recoiled in pain, but the spell seemed to stop. She knew it would be a moment before the next one. In the instance she shifted to bat and flew at the demon. In the close quarters she had no room to maneuver, just slamming into him with her wings and clawing at his face. The demon screamed and swung hard at her, knocking Zarahi away. She hit the wall hard and reverted to her natural Troll form.
The Eradar’s eyes widened. “A Troll?” He spat. “I will not only spill your blood, I will drink it as well!” He stepped slowly toward her, receiving nothing more than a scowl in return. “You are not worth the magic. I will take more pleasure in destroying you with my bare hands!” He reached down to grab her by the throat, and she used the moment to strike. Turning her head sharply she drove her tusks into his arm. One pierced it, and she painfully shifted back into a bear. Now she had the creature by the arm, in her mouth. With what strength she had, she charged hard and used him as a ram against the wall. Normally it might have been enough, but Zarahi had taken her share in this fight. She did the only thing she could think of. Calling down Moonfire they both screamed in agony. But eventually the demon stopped moving. Zarahi fell back against the floor in pain. She stared at the dead Eredar, swearing as she ate some healing leaves. They wouldn’t make her better but at least the burning pain would ease.
Once able to slowly move around once more, Zarahi looked around. The hut was like pretty much any other. A room with a bed, a window and a table. And now a great pool of demon blood on the floor and carpet. The rug had shifted in the quarrel, sliding several feet and taking some of the dirt with it. Enough that she could see something sticking out of the dirt. Barely, but it was there. She pulled herself over and dug out around it. A pouch, just like the other two. She now had all three. Wincing, she ate another small bit of leaves and got to her feet. She looked down at the demon once more before painfully shifting back into a bat and flying off.
Legendary Amateurs: Book One, Chapter One
“Zarahi,” the Stormcrow interrupted her thoughts.”Your presence is requested in Moonglade.”
The Troll looked at the Druid flying in front of her with audacity. “Do I be knowin’ you?”
In that moment, the crow transformed from it’s slender fowl form into a large creature, bigger than Zarahi and adorned in Earthen tones of nature. An aura of wisdom poured off of him.
Zarahi caught herself. “Archdruid Runetotem! I be apologizin’ for my ignorance.”
The Tauren shook his head. “It’s quite alright. More importantly right now we are preparing a ritual of great importance. We need your assistance. Please accompany me back.”
Zarahi would never turn down a request from Hamuul Runetotem. She revered him more than any other Archdruid…even Malfurion. For whatever reason, thought Zarahi, many other students fawned over Shan’do Stormrage. But Zarahi always found Runetotem to be the one she looked up to. Stoic, reserved when need be, and a wealth of wisdom without all the fanfare. And when need be, as ferocious a defender as she had ever known. No, she would not decline him. With that, they were off to Moonglade, home of the Druids.
The Archdruid spoke as they flew. “I’m pleased you came with me on such short notice. We have a great undertaking here in the Moonglade that is about to begin, one in which you will play a key role.”
Zarahi was confused. She was a Warrior. She spent her efforts fighting at the front of the Horde; even in Draenor she was put in charge of a large outpost by Vol’jin himself. Now suddenly Hamuul Runetotem had plans for her? Despite her admiration for the Tauren, it was hard to believe. As they approached the glade, he finally began to elaborate.
“The Burning Legion has invaded Azeroth, but for us to defeat them we must strike quickly and unexpectedly. We have discovered a Dreamway. A means to travel through the Emerald Dream. We will be able to traverse vast distances of Azeroth with just a short walk through the Dream. We can even access the ancient home of all Druids, Val’sharrah. Malfurion is preparing the ritual to open the Dreamway. Please summon Zen’tabra and Naralex to his side. Only with our combined efforts can we hope to succeed.”
As she nodded and turned away, Zarahi was still all but dumbfounded. Naralex and Zen’tabra? These were Druids who belonged in the glade. They had purpose there. But Zarahi still did not understand what she was doing there at this moment. But off she went just the same.