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Upon reaching Ebon Hold, your first interaction is with The Lich King himself. You are !In Service of the Lich King, but he really isn’t that interested in you yet.

Your first task is to head to Instructor Razuvious. Naxxaramas fans ought to remember him, as he is often the first boss many will encounter. Right away, he will send you in search of !An Emblazoned Runeblade. No, not really, it isn’t far. A quick swivel of the camera, and you will see the glowing sparkles over a nearby rack. Even though dried blood coats the blade, a simple trip to a runeforge will set you up with a much shinier Runebladed Sword that will keep you pretty well through your early adventures. You also immediately learn runeforging (via !Runeforging: Preparation for Battle), and get two selections: Razorice and Cinderglacier. Skill learned, you must feed !The Endless Hunger by freeing a nearby initiate. It’s a somewhat fair fight – you’re letting them gear up first before immediately whacking them down. (Good times.) Initiates come in all flavors and all of them are sugar coated in easy, so take your time and choose well for maximum fun.

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Task complete, you head towards the Lich King again, to discuss the !Eye of Acherus, and then use it to check out nearby New Avalon, scouting out several locations. Turns out the residents of New Avalon (Scarlet Crusaders and the like) are preparing for war. Those wacky Scarlet Crusaders, when will they learn? Fortunately not soon, and they will give you plenty of target practice in the process.

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However, since the Lich King’s a bit too important to be heading up and down from the bi-level dwellings of Ebon Hold, you get to be the errand runner to Highlord Mograine. Not content with the Crusade, the Argent Dawn will be next to feel !The Might of the Scourge. Armed with more knowledge than your average newbie, you are sent to !Report to Scourge Commander Thalanor, who will present you with a Scourge Gryphon to head down to Death’s Breach with to take part in !The Scarlet Harvest. Parachutes or jumping over the side might have been cheaper, but there’s a certain fondness for recycling within the Scourge, so you get the eco-Friendly dead Gryphon ride for 2-3 seconds. After all at some point you will have to go back up, again, taking 2-3 seconds because a teleporter will just not suffice.

Traveler’s Tip: While you’re here in Ebon Hold, you’ll probably get a lot more out of the experience if you actually read the books scattered around, as well as the interesting things that will drop. It does give a break from the usual fetch, carry, and swing questing you’ve already become accustomed to leveling to 70, as well as provide interesting context through the area.

Once you arrive in Death’s Breach though, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Just where in the world am I?”

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Look at your map. You’ve been here before, kind of. It’s Tyr’s Hand – and now everything behind it, including Havenshire and the lovely ready to burn village of New Avalon, which we’ll get to in our next report. But right now, you are at just above the Scarlet-infused village of Havenshire.

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You’re going to be busy right away, with four quests to select from:

!Death’s Challenge is a new style of quest that lets you select five death knights. For the pvp friendly, this means you can also use other players to finish the requirements, but if that’s not your thing then there are plenty of NPC knights scattered around to “duel”.

!Grand Theft Palomino is a fun little quest. You want a deathcharger? You’re going to have to work for it. Not hard, mind you.

!If Chaos Drives, Let Suffering Hold the Reins – Do you want to grind mobs to get things done faster? Havenshire provides! Engage in a little population control, Scourge-style. Scarlet Crusaders and Citizens of Havenshire are ready to meet their brutal end as you learn how many mobs you can pull at a time with your new tricks and powers.

!Tonight We Dine in Havenshire – collect Saronite arrows, which are scattered all over the ground. The Scourge is all about recycling.

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Even though the citizens of Havenshire smack talk a fair bit and make such ridiculous claims like “I won’t go down that easy!”, turns out they do go down just that easy. It’s far too simple to be a schoolyard bully, and why not? You’ve got the Lich King whispering in your ear. You’ll also run into your first mailbox while you’re swinging your way through the area, and encounter some !Abandoned Mail.

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As you are slaying Scarlet Crusaders and citizens of Havenshire, you’ll notice all the horses grazing around. Pick whatever stikes your fancy and steal it to finish off !Grand Theft Palomino, because no one’s watching and no one’s going to run after you. Once you return the live horse to Salanar the Horseman, he informs you the horse has been slain, taken !Into the Realm of Shadows, and raised as a deathcharger. That makes sense. In order to get your own, you’ll need to defeat a dark rider.

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It is pretty tempting to wander, in fact, I took a jaunt down a nearby path interested in what was down by the coast. Turns out the beach down there is called Light’s Point. Now I know for me this wandering thing is a left over habit from TBC – and being the reporter, I’m excused for dying stupidly in the name of more information. Now that I’m telling you about this, you have no excuse. Death was swift and like Welcome Bear, this is Blizzard’s way of telling you to be patient. You’ll get to all those tasty Scarlet Defenders at some point, but just in case you didn’t listen to me and went down there, you should go back up the hill right now and finish doing all those quests before you get yourself killed.

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Also, in case you were tempted to skip any of the less interesting sounding quests: Don’t. This is also how you’re going to get all your talent points (currently), and why would you want to miss out on any of those?

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Around the time you think you are running out of tasks, Prince Valanar’s all “but wait, there’s more” and sends you to see !Gothik the Harvester.

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Gothik is very pro at smack talking, probably after getting owned by a fair number of guilds in Naxxramas. He also appears to have been smacked around a bit too much and suffering either an odd sense of humor or memory loss. Turns out he is willing to lend you one of his many portable plague spreaders if you’ll take it over to the Havenshire mines around the corner and down the hill, to unleash it inside. Truly, !The Gift that Keeps on Giving.

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The miners will fall over and turn into ghouls if you’re lucky. Bring those back to Gothik and he’ll sweep them up faster than a Roomba gone wild in his ‘vacuum cleaner of souls’. You only need five. You’ll get sent back over to Prince Valanar, who is your main point guy in the area and awful desperate to finish off the Scarlet fleet by taking on !An Attack of Opportunity.

Your goal? Kill 100 Scarlet Defenders. They don’t aim low, no. Your task is to return to the mine, hide in a nearby cart, be loaded onto the ship like the cargo you are, use the cannons and engage in a serious !Massacre at Light’s Point. How can you pass up an opportunity like that? Feel free to let them know “we can get those for you wholesale” and be on your way for this exceptionally fun quest.

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Valanar’s rather busy, so you get to carry the report to the Highlord after informing him of the fantastic !Victory at Death’s Breach. At some point, you’ll also get mail carrying News from the North, but like a few other things I’ll save that surprise for you to discover.

Once you report back to Mograine, you realize you are still merely following !The Will of the Lich King.

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Having made short work of Havenshire, the eyes of the Lich King now turn towards New Avalon. You will of course, now report to the !Crypt of Remembrance, where we will pick up next time.

Almost.

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