The Culling of Stratholme

It was Saturday night and we had killed Coren Direbrew for the 21st and final time during Brewfest.

Since by that point killing Coren was a quick and well rehearsed process, we had plenty of time left for another activity.  So we went to the next instance on our list, the Culling of Stratholme.  We were:

80 Priest – Skronk
80 Mage – Ula
80 Warlock – Bungholio
80 Warrior – Earlthecat
80 Paladin – Vikund

Ula put up a portal to Dalaran where we picked up the portal to the Caverns of Time.  And from there… well… we had to find the entrance.  That sounds easy, but it isn’t like there is a big sign that says “Stratholme – This Way” or anything.  In fact, it just looks like some more buildings.

Shhh... Stratholme this way...

Shhh... Stratholme this way...

Okay, I guess there are the banners of Lorna Doone… erm… Lordaeron out front, but still.

In we went at last, only to run into Chromie, who looked remarkably like Ula with her current hair style.

Only their hairdressers know the truth

Only their hairdressers know the truth

Chromie then went on about how those neferious nabobs of no-goodness, the Infinite Dragonfligh, the Team Rocket of Azerothian time travel, were again screwing with the flow of time.

This time around they were trying to keep Prince Arthas from making his fateful decision in Stratholme and thus alter the course of time.

However, given that Arthas goes through the whole story ignoring sage advice, making questionable decisions, and eventually becoming the Lich King (whoops, spoiler… somebody out there is going “What?!  He’s the Lich King?!?”) it wasn’t exactly clear to me how things could get worse and that we might all be better off just seeing what happens.  I mean, we’ve got time travel here, right?  We can always go back and fix it later if things don’t work out.

However, there is no loot and no achievement for trying to stump Chromie with logic, so we opted to go along and just follow instructions.  Mostly.

We were given a thingy and told to go find some tainted grain that would turn people into scourge like meat from that packing plant in Georgia last summer.  They grain is in crates that are glowing, so that wasn’t all that tough.

I did try to ride off into the distance, but you just get enshrouded in fog and eventually run into an invisible wall, so plans to invest a bit of gold an feel the magic of compound interest were thwarted.

We did notice that it was Brewfest in Stratholme.  What a coincidence that this particular bit of Azerothian history took place during the holiday we happened to be currently celebrating!  Amazing!

Brewfest - A Stable Tradition in Azeroth

Brewfest - A Stable Tradition in Azeroth

The crates collected, we were then sent off to follow Arthas around and help him keep to his course.  Fortunately, I suppose, change is just a word for the coins you get back with a purchase in Azeroth, so we didn’t have to worry about any “Back to the Future” like issue, such turns of phrase not in common use or wearing down vests and being mistaken for a sailor.

We then got to watch a little play acted out, where Arthas ignores advice from people who later succeed in NOT becoming… say… the Lich King, and goes on his merry way.

Arthas not listening to his elders

Arthas not listening to his elders

Then it was off into Stratholme proper and a lot of running around as we played a large scale game of Twister.  Scourge in the market!  Scourge at town hall!  Scourge back at the market!  Back and forth we ran.

Chasing the Scourge

Chasing the Scourge

Eventually, we wrapped that up, caught up with Arthas, and began a long escort quest which eventually led us to a Strathomle that we all recognized.

Classic Stratholme

Classic Stratholme

Arthas behaved like a typical escort target, by which I mean he did his best to elude us or pull extra adds when ever possible.  The only thing missing was him looking for a misplaced sword or shield.

Still, we have been trained as a group to escort idiot savant targets, and we managed to get him to the last fight with Mal’Ganis in Crusader Square.  The last fight, frankly, was easier than just getting Arthas there in the first place.  The fight ended with us getting the achievement.


Once Mal’Ganis was down, Arthas gave us a little pep talk, packed his skis, and headed to Northrend.

Arthas say good-bye

Arthas say good-bye

Then Chromie showed up again, stood awkwardly in mid-air, thanked us for our efforts, and handed out goodies.

Floating Chromie

Floating Chromie

And then Chromie said her final words to us.

Really?  This was the best results the time traveling sect could come up with?  I am still unconvinced.

Anyway, we’ve culled Stratholme.  Now we have to head back to the Howling Fjord, back where we started of f months ago, and face Utgarde Pinnacle.

5 thoughts on “The Culling of Stratholme

  1. Centuri

    I have always enjoyed all of the time traveling instances, even Mount Hyjal before I ran it 30+ times. Sadly the Blizzard writing team just seems to have passed this torch on to an intern. So much opportunity for great storytelling just wasted.


  2. syncaine

    Was the instance really that big of a letdown? Out of all the instances in WotLK, I figured this one (being one of the biggest moments in WC lore) would go all out. Plus the original Strath was a lot of fun as well. Sounds like a wasted opportunity indeed.


  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I don’t know about letdown, but of events of the night, getting the Brewfest mount certainly eclipsed it for me.

    It was a story telling moment. You get to follow Arthas again. He’s the star of WotLK and you get to see him all over Northrend. The nice thing about have two chars at 80 is that one did all the quests while the other did all the instances, so between the two I got most of the story.

    So we get to see pre-scourge Startholme. Kind of neat. We see Arthas again act like a pensive teen. True to form.

    But as an instance, not so memorable. Not bad, but never going to make my top 5 list for either best or worst.


  4. P@tsh@t

    Definitely seemed to go directly from whiteboard to release IMHO. As frustrating as it could be, I loved undead Strat back in the day. This felt a bit more like checking the box coupled with a bit of the Universal studios tour thrown in.

    Glad to see how they parted the Red Sea and all, but meh. And no Malown!


  5. mushu

    You need to run it in Heroic mode and beat the timer clock so you can have a shiny new golden dragon to ride! Easy to do but requires pretty good dps and a very good healer when you are just learning it.


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