All Good Things… (continued)
Another quest is to gather Volcanic Ash from the (green) lava pools around Shadowmoon Village. I get the 15 ash needed and turn them into the Apothecary, who fashions me a pair of goggles (called ‘Spectrecles’) that let me see into the ghost world of Shadowmoon Valley.
What the hell? I mean… isn’t this like the third freaking time I’ve had to get something that lets me see the ghostly spirits of the dead? This is ludicrous! By now, I should be like freakin’ Haley Joel Osmond in The Sixth Sense and seeing dead people everywhere I go! Gahhhh… annoying.
GW: Sorry. He’s at Auchindoun. Stupid creepy Draenei kid… and I CAN’T KILL HIM! ARG!
J(z): You could always play Kingdom Hearts and just not touch the controls in battle…
Anyway, while wearing the Spectrecles, I can see these ghostly Shadowmoon Orcs in the village, and I’m asked to kill as many of them as I can–to clear them out. I do so… but interestingly enough, some of them mention the Death Knight, Teron Gorefiend, as they attack me.
GW: The Gorefiend… The Skeletal Rider… He who was a Death Knight before Arthas ever drew Frostmourne… This looks promising.
Huh? That’s strange. I mention this to the Apothecary upon completing the quest, and she finds it as bizarre as I do. To start piecing together this puzzle, she asks me to fly far to the South-East, to the Altar of Shadows, where I can talk to this Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit in order to divine the location of Teron Gorefiend.
Aaaaaaand… I’m gonna pause here for one moment in order to give one last SPOILER WARNING.
SPOILER ALERT! THIS NEXT SECTION CONTAINS AWESOMENESS AND SPOILERS FOR HORDE, SO YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO READ ON!
GW: He means it!
There we go. In that case, just skip to the next big bold part.
Anyway, I fly to the relatively simple-looking Altar and talk to the hooded spirit, whom, I notice, is holding what appears to be Headmaster’s Charge. Hm. He’s already seeming a bit untrustworthy.
The spirit tells me that he can find out where Gorefiend is and what he’s doing, but he’ll need three relics of the feared Death Knight–his cloak, his truncheon, and his armor. Each of them is in possession by a spirit or spirits slain by Gorefiend in his life. When the Death Knight took Karabor, the Clerics were marched out of the temple believing that they were to be taken as prisoners of war. Instead, he massacred them all, and it is they who hold his cloak.
GW: Damn. He’s more badass then we knew…
Since the other two relics recommend a group, I decide to go kill the ghostly Clerics of Karabor until they drop Gorefiend’s Cloak. It takes a bit, but they eventually give it up. Nothing too bad, although it’s amusing to see someone fighting something that isn’t there (if you’re not wearing your Spectrecles at the moment, you can’t see any of these).
GW: *watches* Huh… Whats Jayne doin’? …Oh, fighting invisible people. Right. Sure. I believe you.
I partner up with a Warlock buddy of mine to do the second relic, Gorefiend’s Truncheon. Apparently, Teron Gorefiend had a cadre of very loyal Death Knights who offered their lives to him–and were reborn as the spectral Ghostriders of Karabor, eternally riding around the Hand of Gul’dan and waiting for their master’s return. They aren’t elite, but there ARE four of them, so doing this quest is made significantly easier with a partner or two.
GW: The Four Horsemen, part TWO! The ANNOYANCE!
The hardest part about this part of the chain is finding the gorram Ghostriders. They ride very quickly (faster than normal land mount speed) counter-clockwise around the volcano, and it’s a big path… so yeah, it’s hard to find them. Once you do find them, they do hit hard, though with Frost Nova, Blast Wave, and Dragon’s Breath I managed to keep them slowed down long enough for my buddy Ahrim’s DoTs and nukes to kill them all. Once they’re dead, the second relic is yours for the taking!
GW: Epic Flying Mounts will probably be handy here… then you can find the Ghost Riders from the skyyyyy…
J(z): Why must you mock my lack of funds?
The last relic is a bit harder, though. It’s held by a giant spectral black dragon: Vhel’kur, spawn of Deathwing, killed by Gorefiend long ago. Vhel’kur flies around these crystal fields to the East of the Altar where the Ancient Spirit waits. Though it’s not easy, we get a five-man group to take the bugger down.
GW: …Deathwing is just losing family left and right these days, isn’t he?
J(z): Well, if Dragon’s End is any indication, he had no problem keeping supply up to demand…
Part of me kinda wished that he had Shadowflame. C’mon, it’d be funny! “Hey, here’s this awesome 5-man level 70 quest! …but to do it, you need to raid a 40-man level 60 dungeon with an annoying key chain! HAW HAW HAW!”
Okay, maybe not as funny as I thought.
The hard part about Vhel’kur is, actually, pulling him. He’s flying around at a decent pace, and he’s usually out of range of the ground. We managed to land our flying mounts on a higher peak that he passes over and pull him that way, though having everyone grouped so closely together does look slightly silly, as does the massive black dragon balancing on such a tiny peak.
GW: Its the last scene of Dragonslayer! Except the old wizard is a Troll!
Anyway, Ahrim forgets that he has Soul Shatter, pulls aggro, and dies, but we still manage to beat the bugger and nab Gorefiend’s armor. Sweet! With all three relics in hand, it’s back to the Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit!
It turns out, that the Ancient Shadowmoon Spirit wasn’t entirely truthful. He doesn’t know how to find Teron Gorefiend at all! This is in part because he is actually Teron Gorefiend, imprisoned after his second death by a Draenei Paladin, and who needed those three artifacts to break free from his prison.
GW: Who didn’t see this coming? Raise your hand.
But his ghostly captor comes to confront him as well! The only way Teron can escape… is to possess his liberator’s body, turning him into the very shadow of death itself. Yes, you fight a level 72 elite Draenei Paladin as the Death Knight Teron Gorefiend. Yes, it’s ludicrously awesome.
My Warlock pal Ahrim goes first, but doesn’t realize that Gorefiend’s abilities are on his pet bar, and so dies. Silly Ahrim.
After that, it’s my turn. Gorefiend possesses my body (which is really, REALLY awesome)… he has four abilities. One is Haste, which I guess is cool but boring. He has a 1k-2k damage shield, a Life Leech that drains 4k-5k HP from his target and gives it to him, and finally, he has Death and Decay.
Yes, Death and Decay. Just the fact that I have Death and Decay on my bars makes me a very, very happy person.
GW: …This has got to be the coolest quest chain EVER.
J(z): I’d say yes, but we did have the Greatmother line in Nagrand…
He also is getting zapped by electricity this entire time (though what it does, I don’t really know), and the Draenei dude has a healthy amount of HP.
So, this epic battle between the two titans can last for a little bit… but in the end, Gorefiend is too awesome and cool for a lame Paladin that never showed up in any game before, and the Paladin falls.
Gorefiend regains his original body, tells me that he’ll see me again someday, and rides off howling in glee at the return of death incarnate to the world.
Whoops. Sorry world. My bad.
GW: Its not like we didn’t release Hakkar too… Sucks to be an adventurer, doesn’t it?
J(z): But then we killed him right after. Killing the ancient evil after you release it is the defining principle of Adventurer’s Insurance, mon. Er, man.
Also, I’m not too crazy about the idea of death incarnate promising to see me again. Tends to have a less friendly feeling to it and more of a “I’m comin’ to kill you!” feel. Maybe that’s just me, maybe not.
I port back to Shadowmoon Village and tell the Apothecary what happened. She’s stunned at this and tells me I’m an idiot for letting Gorefiend return to the world. However, then she gives me my choice of quest rewards (they’re all blue socketed helmets that let you see spirits like Spectrecles do, and they all look like recolored Tier 1-2 gear)… if you want to discourage adventurers from freeing evil and death incarnate, lady, then you probably shouldn’t reward them for it. Just sayin’, is all.
She tells me that if I’m ever to see Teron Gorefiend again, I have to kill him. Makes sense, I guess, except for the whole “killing the Death Knight to end all Death Knights” deal.”
GW: Wee! …yeah that’ll be fun. Teron: *DEATH AND DECAY!* You: *die!*
J(z): I can’t imagine it’d be all that different, truthfully.
But, for now… there’s other quests that need doing, places that need going, people that need killing. Somewhere, there’s a bad guy, or a medium guy, or a good guy, and he needs to be set on fire. And I’m just the Mage to do it. So I think it’s time for me an’ Terrence to leave this joint and see just what we can find. There’s adventuring to be done.
And, well… that’s that.
GW: Until the 16th!
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! YOU JUST READ A LOT OF SPOILERS!
Huh. I guess that’s a wrap. Even taking into account the apocalyptic end of the world (of Warcraft), this is the end.
So. Burning Crusade. Fun game… more of the same, to be sure, but it’s a fun more of the same, and it manages to enhance what was awesome in the original World of Warcraft and tone down what, well, wasn’t. Not a perfect game, certainly flawed, but it’s just… well, it’s just that damn good to make those flaws easily overlookable. Burning Crusade is, after three months and 70 levels, a computer game for people that love Warcraft, whether it be 2, 3, or World of. That’s all there is to it.
Before I say anything else, there are thanks in order. Yes, I know this makes me seem like a weepy actress at the Oscars, but there ARE people that need to be thanked for sheer awesomeness.
Firstly, a big thanks to Blizzard. Not only for letting me beta-test Burning Crusade, but for making the whole damn game in the first place. Special thanks to Netheara for that whole “front page!” thing, that was pretty awesome. Chris Metzen, thanks for writing and coming up with all this–it’s your world, man. We just play in it.
GW: *salute* And, we love it.
Thanks to WarCry and its staffers. I do hope that people are more aware of WarCry and other, smaller fansites that aren’t run by giant gold-selling corporations. Support the people who love this game, not the people who get rich over it! The WarCry staff is awesome and I’m glad to be a part of it–thanks to Teleios, Andraste, Slycne, Araman, and Azhrarn, for various reasons. You guys are the best. Seriously, you really are. Not just because I wouldn’t have been able to test BC without you guys, just in general. My awesome pales in comparison to your awesome.
Moving into real life, thanks to Jordan and Richard for letting me play TBC on their computers instead of my crappy laptop. Thanks to Gus and Nick for letting me set up shop in their dorm room without (much) complaint. Thanks to Alex H, Viraj, Jon, Brianni, and the Maxes for being… well, for being themselves.
Thanks to Ahrim, Arc, Drallen, Fenirz, Lelayne, Faxmonkeey, Nine, Oprahwinfrey, Pug, Pestilence, Nooblar, Shantar, Ynuriel, and Zombaar all on beta for being awesome and helping me out when I needed it. I know I’ve forgotten some of you, and I’m sorry! Thanks also to [Shadow Syndicate] on Mug’Thol for being a quirky if welcoming… well, more than a family than a guild.
On the forums, thanks to Ghostwalka (especially for this!), Rizz, Shorticus, Numbers, that one night elf female who wanted to marry me, Freckles, Shanic, Dragonlight, for all being great posters and bumping my threads. Once more, I’m positive I’ve forgotten people there, so my apologies. Thanks to Paprika, too, for delivering when I could not.
GW: *bows* Was a pleasure, mon. I’ve loved your adventures as much as any other! While we won’t be side by side into Outland, we will be in Spirit.
And finally, thanks to all of you. EVERYBODY. Everybody who read what I wrote, everybody who clicked those links and looked at those pictures. As an aspiring writer, to have people liking what I write, being FANS of what I write, asking me to write more… well, it’s admittedly a rush and I’ve loved it. I’ve loved answering questions, I’ve loved screenshotting everything I could, I’ve loved all of it. So my biggest thanks is to everyone who made all of this possible–all of you.
Now that those are out of the way, well, uh… huh. Guess there’s not much else to say, except for what could very well be the last time:
-The Mage They Call Jayne(z), signing out.
GW: Don’t worry, folks. He’ll be back. Bye-bye!
J(z): Dammit, I can’t let you have the last word! Okay, uh… so. Last word. Er… last word… hm…