We got together on Saturday night and the question was, “Where should we go?”
I had suggested last week that perhaps we ought to take another week off to go level up a bit rather than jump straight into the cathedral in Scarlet Monastery. The three bosses there are all level 42, which seemed a bit steep, especially for a group of just four. I figured we might need to be level 38 to ensure some chance of success. I even came up with a couple of options for places we might go level. So when we logged on this was the group:
- Viniki – level 37 gnome warrior
- Ula – level 36 gnome mage
- Skronk – level 37 dwarf priest
- Moronae – level 36 night elf druid
But by the time we had logged on I had changed my mind. I figured why not just give it a try. If nothing else we would get some decent experience clearing out the instance. And if it didn’t work out we could always go slay Herod in the armory again.
I also had a bit of an additional motive. I have managed to find one more Scarlet Monastery quest, In The Name of the Light, and the reward options include a serious upgrade for Viniki. But to finish it you need to kill Loksey in the library (easy) and Herod in the armory (not so easy), along with the two big bosses in the cathedral (hard)
As nobody else had an alternative plan we all headed back up to Southshore, our now usual jumping off point for the Scarlet Monastery.
From there I had another brilliant idea. It had been mentioned that the Chillwind Point flight point was the closest Alliance flight point to the Scarlet Monastery, so I thought maybe we ought to go grab that on the way and see how the path from there looked. I had gotten the flight point a while back, but had been slaughtered by the mobs on the way to Tirisfal Glades. But I was level 30 then. I figured we might have leveled up enough to get through.
Confident I knew where I was going, I led us off to a path through the mountains and into… the Hinterlands.
We were there, so we grabbed the flight path for later. We will need to go back there for the Mallet of Zul’Furrak if nothing else. Then we flew back to Southshore where I consulted a map and realized that we needed to go up the river.
On the second try I was successful. We arrived in the Western Plaguelands and got the flight point.
From there it was just a short run to Tirisfal Glades. We ran off down the road, south of the lake, only swimming across to the north bank. From there the Bulwark and Tirisfal Glades were practically in sight.
Unfortunately, a bear who showed only a level “skull” to us had different ideas. As did the second bear and a spider.
We almost made it. In fact, I did make it, though it was a near run thing when trying to get past the Bulwark Ula and I fell into a pit that was hemmed in by the wall, a tree, and some spikes. I was able to hop my way out and run for it, but the spider got Ula.
Everybody else released and ran back to their corpses and we met up on the “safe” side of the Bulwark to heal up, rebuff, and generally get ourselves sorted out.
From there we ran north to the Scarlet Monastery, though we only made it about 20 feet before I ran us into a deathguard and we once again had to run for our lives. We all survived this time.
At the monastery itself things were busy. People were out playing on a Saturday night so we were able to wander though the opening areas to the cathedral door without the usual entanglements.
Inside, we were soon into the thick of things. The cathedral is not a big instance.
It is, however, densely populated once you get past the opening hallway. I seemed to recall from back in the day that fighting from the fountain was a good plan. I may have run up into the fountain prematurely, but we found off the extra add and setup a base there to clear up the left side. The left side was also part of the vague memories from the group.
From there it was clearing to the steps to get into the upper fountain.
The strip of grass between the upper fountain and the cathedral doors was populated mostly by casters. That meant pulling them back into the fountain, which I mostly accomplished by tagging them with the gun and then running back and jumping down into the stairway to break line of site. That seemed to work pretty well and we were soon opening the doors. Moronae hit 37 in the fountain, so we were all the same level.
If the outer fountain area is crowded, the cathedral itself is packed. We stood there at the open doors, Skronk marking the four mobs in the first row when we managed to proximity pull a pair of walkers around the corner. Skronk switched the markers and we were on to our clearing.
There are three rows in the center and then a series of walkers and bystanders in the aisles on the outside of the pillars. Some slow and steady work managed to clear the mobs group by group. We didn’t even get many accidental adds. Along the way I hit level 38, putting at least myself in the level range I thought we needed to be in.
We managed to clear the main area and had moved off to the left side to clear out the group there. That went well enough. We were wondering whether we needed to clear the side rooms or not when I said we ought to take care of the group on the other side. This led to our first wipe.
I ran over to the other side, steering wide of Morgaine, who is standing up on the altar. However, the rest of the group didn’t come with me and only saw me over on the other side, so ran straight to me.
They proximity pulled Morgaine and things fell apart pretty quickly. But in doing that we did get the answer to the question of whether or not we needed to clear the mobs in the side rooms. When you engage Morgaine all of the remaining Scarlet Crusade mobs in the cathedral run to assist him. We would need to clear.
We ran back to the instance and revived inside. Fortunately the respawn time for the cathedral is much longer than the other wings. We had been at it for over an hour and nothing new had respawned. We were able to get back into the cathedral to carry on.
We went back over to the left to clear the rooms and ended up with a runner from one room pulling the second room and the wheels came off again and we wiped. Back to the entrance to get ourselves put together again.
We went back to the left side and, this time, managed to clear without incident. Then we ran over to the right side, giving Morgaine a wide berth this time, and knocked out the group over there and the singleton in the back room.
Then it was time to pull the torch to pick up the minor boss.
The Icy Veins guide says that High Inquisitor Fairbanks is skippable because he doesn’t drop anything cool, but we don’t skip anything as a group. He wasn’t too tough of a fight really. And he starts out asleep or dead or whatever on the floor so you can get all grouped up around him before you start in.
And, while he doesn’t drop anything blue, he did drop the Inquisitor’s Shawl, which was an upgrade for Skronk (he has them on in the pic above) so it was easily worth the effort.
That left us with most everything cleared in the cathedral. We cleared up a couple of walkers, because while the zone doesn’t respawn quickly like the other instances, it does spawn random patrols now and again, and then sat down to prep for Scarlet Commander Mograine.
Given the fight was above our level I went and took a quick look at how the fight was supposed to play out. I mostly remembered it, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to refresh that memory. The simple order of events is:
- Fight and slay Scarlet Commander Mograine
- High Inquisitor Whitemane shows up and revives Morgaine
- Fight them both, kill Whitemane first, then Morgaine
So we got ourselves as prepped as we could and then got stuck in with Morgaine. He hits hard and I was putting up damage mitigation skills as often as they were ready, worried about keeping going as I was. However we got through Morgaine well enough and he went down. Then Whitemane walked in from the back room.
She came out and stood next to the altar and we watched her, waiting for her to revive Morgaine. A few seconds passed and nothing happened. Finally I decided to take a poke at her, and when that seemed effective, we opened up on her. In glancing through the how the fight runs, I missed the part where you have to get her down to half health or so before she brings back Morgaine.
Silly us. I wonder how long we all might have sat there waiting.
So we beat Whitemane down, she revived Morgaine, and then we carried on with Whitemane, dropping her fairly quickly.
At that point, with the death of Whitemane, Ula hit level 38, which meant she got a full refill on health and mana. That was nice timing, though it might have been a bit better for us if Skronk had been the one to level up. We still had Morgaine on us and he was beating on me hard and I had already thrown up shield wall and used a big health potion and Skronk’s own mana was dwindling.
You know when the healer asks you about the cool down on your health potion that there might be an issue.
Skronk alerted Moronae that he might have to drop out of cat form and throw me some heals. Morgaine was down to the end of his hit points, but my own health bar was marching down at a steady clip as well and no heals were incoming.
Fortunately we were putting out enough damage that Moragine one the race… or lost the race… to the end of our health bars and fell at our feet. We had done it.
And, as happens at these moments, there was some amount of surprise. First, because we managed it a bit under-level as a group of four, then in the frame of the memory of how hard this fight was back in the day with a full group at a higher level. We were bad back in the day.
It was time for some loot.
Morgaine gave us the Scarlet Leggings, mail pants which went to me.
They were a big upgrade, as I was still wearing mail that dropped back in Gnomeregan.
And Whitemane dropped the Hand of Righteousness, a one handed mace that is spec’d for a healing paladin I would imagine, but which was such an upgrade in DPS over my current sword that it went to me.
So I made out pretty well with the blue gear. That said, Skronk might have gotten the most coveted item that dropped. A trash mob had a 12 slot bag on its corpse. A 12 slot bag!
I am sure he would have traded that for Whitemane’s chapeau, but still it was a good drop and a reminder of how inventory constrained we all are. To this day I remember how overjoyed I was at one time back in vanilla when I got a 16 slot bag dropped. That was a minor miracle.
We made it.
Now we just have to do it again once people get that Scarlet Monastery quest I mentioned above and to get another shot at Whitemane’s chapeau. Also, I wouldn’t mind Morgaine’s shield, as that would be a serious upgrade for me.
Done with our task, we stood on the altar for one last screen shot of us all stoning home.
Ula has been at it again and has a video up of our run through the cathedral that covers the high points and aligns with a number of my screen shots.
There is even a very brief post-credits clip from the Bulwark part of our run. She managed to get her video capture turned on to record the last few seconds of a spider and a bear on her as she was trapped in that pocked in the fence before they killed her.
You can comment on the video over at Ula’s blog, where it was posted initially.