Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Princess and the Primate

While exploring Stranglethorne, I found a bottle washed up on the beach.

Inside was a message from someone held captive by a great beast on an island. The note says that they can see the mainland to the northwest, and there's an island to the southeast of where I found the bottle, so I swam across to see if I could find the author of the note.

I found a tauren lady held captive on the island, and indeed, she was the one who wrote the note. She introduced herself as Princess Poobah, and, while grateful that I had come to rescue her, she insisted that I recover her stolen belongings before we left. It seems that the local primates had taken a liking to some of her shinier trinkets.

After recovering her baubles, Poobah finally agreed to tell me who had the key to her shackles - an enormous ape named King Mukla.

With Mukla defeated, all that was left was to unlock Poobah, build a raft, get her safely back to Booty Bay, and listen to her complain about how my raft leaked and her feet got wet until I finally dropped her off.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Madness? This is Stranglethorn!

Near the pass between Duskwood and Stranglethorn, I met up with a Stormwind guard stationed there. He told me that the weekly report from the camp there was overdue, and asked that - if I was passing near it - I could check in with Kurzen, the Colonel in charge, and make sure everything was going well.

Just through the pass, I stumbled across a camp of Stormwind soldiers. I spoke with their leader, Lieutenant Doren, and he told me that they had originally served in Kurzen's Compound, It seems that something has driven Kurzen and most of his Lieutenants mad.

The Lieutenant is unsure what has caused the madness, but he's concerned that his remaining men have already been exposed, and might be more susceptible, so he's asked me to go try to find any documents that might explain what's been going on.

The documents I found didn't tell much, but they did reveal one thing - the final entry in the prison record stated that Colonel Kurzen was sentenced to death by being flung from the top of the tower for the crime of "Weakness".

I've been sent back to the compound to rescue any surviving prisoners on the assumption that they haven't actually committed the crimes that they're accused of; rather, Doren believes that they've been imprisoned because they resisted the madness, and opposed Kurzen's orders.

Freed from the magic-dampening properties of the cage, one of the prisoners was able to teleport us back to the rebel camp. Now that everyone is safe, I'm being sent back one last time - to eliminate Kurzen's maddened lieutenants.

While I was dealing with Kurzen's crazed lieutenants, one of Doren's men examined the potion that seems to have caused the madness, and thinks he might be able to counteract it. If it fails, at least they know what to avoid to keep the men sane. With Doren taking command of the compound, that leaves me free to press further into Stranglethorn Vale.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Dog Days

On the way to Raven Hill, I was stopped by a Gilnean traveler named Fess. He explained that he was here on orders of King Greymane to investigate the worgen in the woods here. One in particular had caught his attention; it had been skulking around the nearby Yorgen Farmstead, and was exhibiting more intelligent behavior than the common worgen. Since the day was still young, I offered to see if I could help flush it out.

I found the worgen. Or rather, he found me. He knocked me over, and looked like he was about to pounce on me, but when I didn't draw my sword, he stopped. He looked almost human as he looked into my eyes for a second, and then he ran off back into the woods.

Fess was ecstatic. He'd had reason to suspect that the corpseweed that had overrun the farm had properties that could be used to counteract the madness of the worgen's curse, and he took this to be proof. He asked me to gather as much as I could, and deliver it, along with a note that Fess would pen in my absence, to Master Harris in Raven Hill. Since I wasn't really in a rush, I agreed.

Nobody told me it was going to fight back!
I hadn't really expected to be greeted in Raven Hill by a worgen. Master Harris explained to me that the worgen curse is permanent; there is no cure. But alchemists like himself know ways to restore the mind, especially when they're trying to hold onto their humanity, like the one I met seems to be. He's given me a sedative potion, and tasked me with returning to the Yorgen stead to capture it.

I captured the worgen, and Harris administered the draught. To our surprise, it didn't seem to have the desired effect; the worgen broke free of the restraints, and attacked Jitters, Master Harris' assistant. The potion must have worked though, because rather than rending the assistant apart, the worgen yelled at him, accusing Jitters of being the one who brought the worgen to Duskwood and claiming that he led the Dark Riders to the farm where they killed his family. The worgen threw Jitters aside, claiming that "I should kill you now for all the suffering you've caused me, but you don't deserve the easy way out."

The worgen introduced himself as Sven Yorgen. He told me that, before the worgen came to Duskwood, he had hired adventurers to slay Morbent Fel, the lich responsible for the undead overrunning the area. Since the undead are, obviously, still present, he's asked me to venture to Fel's home and slay him if he still survives, or bring back his remains if he was defeated.

I found no sign of the necromancer in the house. In one of the rooms upstairs, I discovered tattered and bloodstained wizard's robes, and the floor was caked with old blood, but there was no sign of a body. Sven asked me to speak with Sister Elsington, the worgen priestess that had accompanied Harris to Raven Hill, in the hopes that she'll be able to help be find and dispatch Morbent Fel.

Sven told me that, when he first sent heroes to slay Fel, they took with them an artifact of the Light, and Sister Elsington was able to tell me that she can still feel the presence of the Light in the area. I need to search the area to find the artifact, because without it, we'll never be able to defeat Morbent Fel.

I searched through the catacombs, and eventually found the shattered parts of the Lightforged Rod, and was able to reconstruct it. Delving even deeper into the catacombs, I was able to find Fel, and with the artifact, strip him of his defenses.

Hopefully, this time, he'll stay dead.

I don't think there's anything else I can do to help the people of Duskwood, so the next stop is Stranglethorn Vale.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Best Intentions

The next stop on my journey was the town of Darkshire, in the middle of the Duskwood.

I performed a few menial tasks, slaying undead and feral worgen encroaching on the town before being asked by a member of the Night Watch to investigate the abandoned tower on the outskirts of town. It had been abandoned for years, but recently, lights have been seen in the windows at night. Since the tower stands in the midst of undead-controlled territory, there are both concerns for the new inhabitant's safety, as well as fear that the newcomer might be a powerful undead or necromancer.

At the tower, I was greeted by an old man who introduced himself as Abercrombie. We briefly chatted, and he told me that he'd lived in this tower for some time now, and that he was surprised that he was only recently noticed in the area. He mentioned that he was glad that I'd dropped by though, as he needed some supplies from town, and with the undead that roam around, he didn't feel able to make the trip himself.

I have to say, some of the stuff he was asking for was weird. Like Ghost Hair Thread. I asked Madame Eva in town for some, like I was told to, but she was out. She says she can make more, if I get her some real ghost hair. No big deal, just take this comb to the ghost lady that lives in the haunted house on the other side of the hill.

And I'm supposed to get a special liquor from the tavernkeep. Hopefully "zombie juice" isn't as literal as the thread. I'm not particularly surprised to discover that he's out, but the tavernkeep promises to make some more for me if I gather some of the one ingredient he's missing.

It's made from "rot blossoms". They're flowers that only grow on occupied graves. Because that's not a gross thing to drink at all.

The last thing he needs me to get is a crate full of valuable herbs and expensive tools that he says was stolen from him by ogres a few nights ago.

I guess this must be it.

When I returned to the hermit with all his things, he had a new task awaiting me. It seems that some of the undead have been starting to get a little too bold, so he's asked me to clear out the ghouls from the nearby field. And while I'm at it, he's asked that I bring him some of the bones from the ghouls - he says that he can fashion a "zombie scarecrow" from them to discourage other undead from approaching.

Seems like an unpleasant thing to keep on your doorstep, but if the alternative is zombies, I guess it isn't too bad.

Having finished the old man's tasks, he's given me a few coins for my service, and he asked one final favor - that I deliver a letter to Darkshire's mayor. I was heading back that way anyways, so I agreed.

The letter wasn't good news. Turns out, I'd been duped. Abercrombie was actually a necromancer known to the townsfolk as The Embalmer, and he wanted the things I'd gathered to stitch together a monstrosity with which to attack the town!

The clamor of a fight rose from outside as the mayor finished reading the letter. "Please," he begged me, "if you have any decency, help the Night Watch slay that beast and save the town!"

It's not like he actually needed to ask. I would have helped anyway, and since it was really my fault, I couldn't just let this thing attack the town.

I think I've done enough damage here. In the morning I'm heading on to Raven Hill.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

To Win a War, You've Gotta Become War

With the orcs eliminated, the next step is to push back the gnolls. A chance encounter with one of the local farmers gave some useful intelligence: A nearby tower has been inhabited by a mage who has allied himself with the gnolls. Our first step will be to thin the gnolls' numbers as much as possible, and to infiltrate that tower and eliminate that mage.

Defeating the mage's bodyguard and claiming the key to the tower was easy. So was getting in and finding this Magus Doane. Just as I thought I had him defeated, though, he summoned an abomination, and while I was distracted with it, he teleported away with a parting threat that I would "learn to cower before Darkblaze".

I reported back to camp to pass the bad news on to Keeshan. The five of us retired to his command tent to discuss strategies, when suddenly a deafening crash erupted from outside. We snatched up our weapons and raced outside to see what was going on.

Colonel Troteman had just arrived, bearing bad news and an amazing gift. The final orc force had learned not just about our actions against them, but also our position, and they were mobilizing against us as we spoke. Troteman had managed to requisition a single siege tank, which he personally delivered for us to use in our defence. I didn't even have time to get inside it before Keeshan was in the gunner's seat, ready to kill some orcs.

By the time we broke through to Stonewatch Keep, we'd eliminated most of the orcish forces. Only the rearguard and the high command remained. We took stock of our equipment, and then made our final advance on the enemy.

As we were cleaning up the last of the orcs, the gnomecorder in my pack crackled to life. I'd forgotten I was even carrying that thing! Troteman was calling for an immediate retreat, claiming that the Blackrock Clan had the upper hand. We exchanged a confused look as Troteman's signal suddenly cut out.

With a flap of its enormous wings, a dragon landed amidst us, transforming as it landed into Magus Doane. He revealed that he, Darkblaze, had been behind the orcish invasion, and that he was tired with our meddling. He swore to cut us all down, and with a roaring "FOR DEATHWING!" he reverted to his draconic form and attacked us!

True to his word, Darkblaze quickly cut down most of Bravo Company. In a fit of rage, Keeshan lept into the beast's jaws, stabbing at its face and neck with his dagger. Great gouts of blood began streaming down the dragon's neck, and as it roared in pain, I heard it cough out "You will die with me, Keeshan. This world has enough heroes."

And with that, the monster thrust itself into the air, rising as far as it could before its wings couldn't lift it any more, and both plummeted to the lake below.

It was with a heavy heart that I returned to Lakeshire to tell them that their town was saved. I'll be glad to leave in the morning. I don't want to stay here. It reminds me too much of Bravo Company and their sacrifices.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

It Never Ends

By the time I got to the docks, the others were already ready to go.

On the other side of the lake, we set up a base camp, and began a planning session.

My job is to gather supplies, do recon, and ... well, it sounds like I get to do all the grunt work while they stay in the camp "putting things together."

One of the tasks I was given was to meet up with a scout that Keeshan had sent ahead. The bad news is that I found him. Dead. The worse news is that I found all the residents of Lakeshire that had been taken by the gnolls. The orcs are holding them in a couple big cages, right in the middle of the base that we're preparing to blow up! We have to get those people out of here first, or we'll kill them too!

Did I mention that they've got dragons?

Yeah... they've got dragons.

The camouflage that Bravo Company put together for me worked like a charm.I managed to get in, steal the key, release the prisoners, and get out, all undetected. Then, with Jorgensen's help, we planted some seaforium charges around the encampment.

Nobody's even going to notice one extra bomb in here.

Once all the charges were placed, we headed back to the rendezvous point.

I don't think those orcs are going to be any more threat.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Schedule change

Up to now, I've been updating Monday, Wednesday and Friday. To be completely honest, I've hit a string of zones that I don't particularly enjoy, so I've been rushing the quests given to me, and only collecting screen shots for a couple chains.

Until I get to zones that I'm more prone to take my time with and fully document, I've slowed down the posting schedule so that I don't run out of material before I have more ready.

For now, updates are once a week, on Thursdays. When I have more of a buffer, I'll increase it to Tuesdays and Thursdays. We'll see where it goes from there.