Azuarc's Lich King Journal 7: Dragonblight Questing
I've had some very limited opportunities to play lately. I've been working a new full-time job that goes hours beyond the actual time at work, and the servers have been going haywire whenever I've been home and tried to hop on. I just hit 74 today, finally, after completing all the quests in Borean Tundra and Dragonblight. You've already ready about Borean Tundra in entries 2-4, and I opted to skip the other starting zone with my hunter and forge ahead. (My priest is slowly working through Howling Fjord.)
However, I wanted to take a chance to describe some of the quests that I participated in through Dragonblight. Some of these are quite epic, and there are spoilers. Consider yourself warned.
Dragonblight is the south-central part of Northrend. Along with Grizzly Hills to the east, it's intended for levels 72-75. The zone itself is a large frozen wasteland with essentially no reprieve. (Borean Tundra was only partially frigid.) It's intended for you to come here from Borean, although you certainly could have gotten a feeder from Grizzly Hills. I had two different quests sending me to Mo'aki Harbor in the south-central portion of the zone. I had no idea where this was, but fortunately, there was a great turtle that took me from the Tuskarr village in BT to their town here.
The quests from Mo'aki are the most forgetable in the zone, and honestly that says something, because they aren't bad. The Tuskarr are facing sharp oppression from the Wolvar in the slopes outside of town, which are part of one of the three major quest themes here. A second has to do with a massive shark that is a menace to the harbor fishermen. In order to lore it out of hiding, I had to get some very sizeable chum...
However, the biggest quest series revolves around the inland Tuskarr settlement, Indu'le Village. During the opening act of this quest, you actually join the spirits to explore the village as a ghost.
After performing some favors for one of the Tuskarr "elders" (read: giant talking monolith) on the edge of the village, you find out that there is serious trouble in town and that there is only one being that can help -- Oacha'noa.
That thing is a good 50 yards away from me.
|More Quest Text
Oacha'noa gives you a prophecy to take back to the shaman at the harbor. There is no continuity to the quest chain from there...yet...but I imagine it will serve as a prelude to future assistance from the walruses.
When I finished these quests, I was shipped off to the Alliance outpost in Star's Rest.
We find out some more interesting things at the Night Elf station at Star's Rest. Not too far away, the Blue Dragonflight and their associates are working to shift a number of ley lines in very strange and suspicious ways. You might recall mention of the Blues' home base of The Nexus in the western part of Borean Tundra during entry #4. However, they aren't redirecting the ley lines toward The Nexus, they're steering them away, for reasons that we can only imagine.
After several excursions into the nearby ruins, the Moonrest Gardens, where the blues have been working toillessly, their goals are discovered -- the energy is instead being sent to the Azure Dragonshrine to the east. More on this later. However, for the time being what matters is that many critical mana lines are being corrupted by this redirection. On the shoreline outside of Moonrest, The Glittering Strand, is the first of these ley lines. After defeating their captain there, (which has a rather tragic ending in itself that I'll let you discover on your own,) you proceed to a second in Lothalor Woodlands where the magicks are mutating the ancient protectors (giant tree dudes) there. The third and final ley line is -- and you might have guessed this if you looked at the map -- in the center of Lake Indu'le. The opposition you face there is not from the blue underlings, but from the mana fiends that were created by the horrible mishap at the bottom of the lake that also ruined all the Tuskarr that lived happily nearby. Clearly, Malygos and the blue dragonflight have turned their back on the outside world...including the other dragonflights.
The leadership at Star's Rest -- mostly Night Elven, but including one of the archmages of the Kirin Tor -- need the assistance of Alexstrasza herself, and so you are sent to the bastion of all dragonkin.
Unfortunately, the temple itself -- which has generally been protected by the Red Dragonflight -- has come under attack by the blues. And in spite of having the potential assistance of the bronze, the greens, and even the blacks, it seems that the blue dragons are slowly winning the fight.
Wyrmrest Temple is in the center of a region of Dragonblight known as the Dragon Wastes. It's a mostly lifeless area full of dragon bones and scavengers, but there are five areas of mention -- each flight has a "dragonshrine" in the area, which is apparently where dragons go to die, and is also considered a sacred grounds that many return to in life. The Azure (blue) dragonshrine has already been discussed, but before you even meet Alexstrasza, the Alliance ambassador there asks you to send aid to the attacks that are taking place at the Ruby (red) dragonshrine to gain their trust.
Although there is a very capable force attacking the Scourge that have besieged the Ruby Dragonshrine, the undead currently hold the land inside, and their necromancers are raising the dead. The quest series there ends with the slaying of a banshee at the center of the shrine that was actually the Elven groundskeeper, and had been turned by the Lich King.
She thanks you in her passing, and when you return to the temple, you are finally brought to meet Alexstrasza.
Although Alexstrasza merely directs you to her general, who has a daily quest for you to strike back against the blues, the members of the other dragonflights present each have a task for you.
|Get Us Some Better Equipment
At the green (Emerald) shrine, you actually meet Ysera herself.
The bronze shrine is completely barren, but during the encounter you begin there, you are met with a most bizarre ally.
Finally, albeit very cynical and hinting at sinister, the blacks accept your help at the Obsidian Dragonshrine to rid them of the Cult of the Damned, where a summoner is animating skeletons into frost wyrms.
You will also be sent from Star's Rest to the main Alliance stronghold in the east, Wintergarde Keep. There is a final Alliance base in the far northwest, Fordragon Hold, led by Highlord Bolvar himself. Upon arriving in Wintergarde, there is an implication that the base will not survive long, but that their only goal at this point is to buy time for Fordragon to lead an assault against the deathgate leading into Icecrown Citadel in the northwest of the zone.
Things don't look too pretty on either end. The initial missions in town lead you to rescue townsfolk from the lower levels of the town where they are under attack. (The area definitely has an RTS vibe of "base facing imminent destruction when the enemy builds their next wave to throw at you.") There's also a captured mine below the town that you will eventually realize you need to destroy to keep it out of enemy hands.
|Quest text 3 pics)
During a trip into a nearby crypt to gain some understanding of the situation of the town, you meet the archnemesis leading the assault on Wintergarde. The follow-up quest to torture the "mayor" of the town, who is now a ghoul, produces some interesting details.
It appears that Wintergarde needs to find a way to defeat this lich, which sends you on a wild goose chase gallavanting all over the zone. In the meanwhile, however, the Scourge are attacking from the Carrion Fields in the east, meaning you need to cut off some of their power. That means dealing with this guy:
|Chance to drive a steam tank
|Parachuting to a
There's also a fun quest where you get dropped off at an armory outside of Wintergarde to pilot a steam tank against the various meat wagons in the fields. This is just one of four quests in the zone that allow you to control a mount of some kind. (More on the others later.)
This finally leads you into the mausoleum where Thel'zan the Duskbringer is apparently doing his dirty work. After helping the folks there that you can, it's time to try to figure out where his phylactery is.
|The Forgotten Shore
The archmage in Wintergarde sends you to an associate in the far southeast, who talks to you about all the lost souls on the Forgotten Shore. Those of you who have played Warcraft 3 will recognize the Forgotten Shore. It's the place where this happens:
That was the biggest sign of Arthas' descent into madness during the third war, up until he claimed Frostmourne. Oh yeah, and that's exactly what you get to witness during the next series of quests.
As a nice touch, Arthas' old pally hammer is still on the ground in the snow next to Frostmourne's dais. What is new, however...and this has already been spoiled repeatedly elsewhere, so I'm not blowing anything for you folks...is that apparently Muradin's not dead. After Arthas leaves, you watch him get up, woozy and apparently completely disoriented, and run out himself.
Through a twist, these two events of the past help lead you to Thel'zan's phylactery, which is being held by one of the frost wyrms flying over the Dragon Wastes. A little help from the 7th Legion in the far north nets you one giant phylactery, and with it you can return to confront Thel'zan.
During the encounter, in true badguy fashion, Thel'zan freezes you helpless so that he can utter a monologue about his evil plans before Highlord Fordragon himself shows up to ruin the fun. What you WILL find fun is the original identity of Thel'zan, which I am not going to disclose. (I'm such a tease.)
In the end, you return to Fordragon Hold to be thanked by Bolvar, which nets you a major questing achievement...and causes Fordragon and his staff to become invisible to you, as though they had left and taken their fight to Arthas.
The red dragonflight sends you out on several missions that involve piloting a red drake. The drake is quite powerful, but not as powerful as it needs to be to stand up to all the blues around the dragonshrine, which makes the daily quest REALLY difficult. (Sorry, no pic.)
There are a few other minor spots where you find quests. One of them is the goblin camp of Nozzlerust Post. I think the term "post" is even being generous. It's really just three goblins in the wilderness, building random things to harvest supplies from the areas nearby. You get to control a rather powerful Goblin Shredder from one of these quests, as well.
The Magnataur, a large race of humanoid-mammoth hybrids, are apparently plotting something devious that is up to you to not only realize, but also get to the bottom of. The 7th Legion Front points you in the right direction for this.
The Scarlet Crusade, no, sorry, The Scarlet Onslaught, have relocated their best troops from the Plaguelands to Dragonblight. (The Death Knight starting zone explains this a good deal.) Unfortunately, the Scarlets are still not very good at making friends, but very good at having moles infiltrate their ranks in very high places.
Icemist Village is home to cultists who are corrupting the local wildlife. They're supposedly Cult of the Damned, but they remind me more of Burning Legion followers. Either way, they are also guarding the nearby Pit of Nargus where the Nerubians have their ancient ancestral home of Azjol-Nerub.
Speaking of instances, did I remember to mention that Naxxramas is just outside of Wintergarde Keep?And finally, I will leave you with a picture of this guy...I dunno who he is, but he's just standing around along the Path of Titans.