Category Archives: Instance Group

Tales of the Twilight Cadre instance group in Azeroth

Archaedas in the Foyer

The past weekend found us all at home.  Since we all live in locales that were under community lockdown guidelines… “shelter in place” they call it… thanks to COVID-19, we seemed to have ample opportunity to play.  Nobody had any reservations for dinner, a show to see, or a sporting event to attend certainly.

So we got together on Saturday afternoon to take another run at Uldaman and met up again in the Badlands.  If nothing else, we still had quests to finish up.  Uldaman is good at keeping your quest log supplied.  Our party for the afternoon was:

  • Viniki – level 44 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 43 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 43 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 42 night elf druid

The still seemed shy of what we might need for Archaedas… but, quests!

Before we went in though, we had to get out quests aligned.  Viniki had gotten ahead with one in the Badlands, so we spent a little bit of time getting everybody back on the same page.  That meant finding a dead dwarf then slaying some troggs.

The troggs are over there

The annoying bit was having to run back to Loch Modan to get the quest update, but three out of four of us have mounts now while the hold out, Moronae, is a druid, which means he has a travel form, so it didn’t take as long as it might of to get the quests set.

Another week in Uldaman

The missing one was Agmond’s Fate, and it was another “collect a few things” quests, in this case it was four urns.  But like the power stone drops and the fungus, there didn’t seem to be many urns about.

It didn’t help that, once again, things were a bit busy outside of Uldaman.  We were not the only ones sheltering at home.  We did find out way to one quest objective outside the instance, a large stone chest.

Well, we got this at least

But otherwise we were in competition with other groups for mobs and drops and harvestables and whatever.  The place was stripped clean, like the paper goods aisle at the store.  So the instance seemed to be our best bet.

So dramatically lit too

Inside we followed what has become the usual path.  We cleared through the troggs, met up with the lost vikings, got the bits for the Staff of Prehistoria, slew Revelosh, and set up to fight Ironaya again, just because.  Seriously, we could just bypass her, but calling her out doesn’t take much extra time and we all live in hope of a nice blue drop.

Fighting Ironaya again

I like that screen shot because Ula’s spell is in flight and because I got off a disarm on Ironaya, which always pleases me for some reason.  Ironaya’s revenge was to drop some mail bracers, and nobody in our group needs that.  Her chamber was, as usual, empty.

Again, the paper goods aisle at the store…

I like that they went so far as to put cobwebs on the shelf to emphasize their emptiness.  I was hoping they might at least have an urn.  But we were denied.

We carried on, following the left wall mostly, taking down Galgann and Grimlok in their turns.  We bypassed the Ancient Stone Keeper and went from Grimlok straight to the Hall of Crafters.  It was time to get things cleared for the big fight.

All those groups in there again

Here is where a couple weeks of practice began to pay off.  After all of the fights… and a few deaths… last week, we had finally settled on a routine that worked for us.  The rhythm for these groups was for Viniki to engage and get aggro and Moronae to call the target marker color the the current DPS focus.  Previously we had tried targeting off of Viniki or having me call the target, both of which have problems.  I use push to talk on coms, and mid-fight my fingers are sometimes too busy to get that extra key, while targeting off of Viniki can fall apart because he has to change targets to hold aggro on whole bunch.  But Moronae taking the lead on that made everything much smoother.

So we plowed through the three groups in the first room, did the golem event easily enough, then did the next set of groups, all without any major issues.  That brought us to Archaedas again.

There he is

On last week’s post Rebeard left a comment suggesting a different strategy for fighting Archaedas.  This involved starting the fight and then running back up to the room with the golem event and fighting Archaedas there.  That was supposed to slow down the arrival of the adds so that, towards the end, when he summons the his final minions you can kill him before they show up and ruin the party.  So we set up to give it a try.

Ready to start Archaedas

The whole thing nearly fell apart seconds into the event.  We started the event and then paused to make sure Archaedas would follow.  As it turns out, the doors to the chamber close and we just barely managed to squeeze out through them.  I believe you can open them up again, but I didn’t stick around to check and even if you can, doing so with Archaedas beating on your seemed like a bad plan.

And then, with Archaedas hot on our heels up the stairs to the golem room, he began beating on Skronk.  Skronk was losing a lot of health and Archaedas seemed to be able to shrug off my taunts.  Somehow we managed to get up to the top of the stairs and into the golem room and get things sorted.  The fight began.

On the plus side Ula, Skonk, and Moronae all leveled up along the way before we started this fight, so we were better equipped.  But being away from Archaedas’ room only slowed down the arrival of the first add.  After that it was the same routine, hitting Archaedas, swapping to burn down the latest add, then on to Archaedas again.  There was a question as to if we would know when we should go all out on him, but his shout of “To my side, brothers! For the Makers!” seemed to be the hint we were looking for.  We focused on Archaedas and were so very close as the big golems arrived and started pounding on me.

Getting so very close

And then he collapsed and the fight was over.

Almost over, one non-elite arrived late

Strewn about us were the corpses of many adds… though they seemed to fade quickly even as the fight was going on.  During the fight we pulled out all the stops.  Moronae hit Skronk with innervate part way through the fight and I managed to consume three superior health potions along the way.  Not a short fight.  So we lined up to take our screen shot by the fallen Archaedas.

Victory in Uldaman

That accomplished, it was time to run back down stairs to the treasure room.

The treasure room has opened

I have to say, the treasure room in Uldaman is one of the biggest teases in the game.  You run into that room and see a giant chest and piles of gold and gems and what not, but what you walk out of there with is… not much.  You go through the final quest bit, get a bit of lore

Ding! Your discs are ready!

The chest contained a couple of leather items, and Moronae only wanted one of them.  Our loot drops for the run were not great.  But we finished the instance, killed the boss, and got into his vault.  One last screen shot there, then it was back to Ironforge.

The treasure is so bright we have a backlighting problem

Back in Ironforge, after a bit of run around, we got the real prize for the whole venture… a 14 slot bag! (Plus some potions to replace the ones from that last fight.)

The best quest reward

And so we were done.  Viniki still has two unfinished Uldaman quests in his log.

Urns and fungus

But I am not sure either is worth finishing up.  After three weeks there it might be time to move on.  Next on the list is Zul’Farrak, home of the famed Carrot on a Stick trinket.  I think I still had that and the Argent Commission in my trinket slots well into The Burning Crusade.

And, as I have done with past instances, here is a replay of the group’s experiences from both the distant and the recent past:

Oddly, February and March seem to be when we visit Uldaman.  No other months will do I guess.

Visiting Archaedas

As we gathered up again this past weekend, the question was what should we do.  We had taken down almost all of the bosses in Uldaman the week before, but our group, as it stood, seemed a bit wee to challenge Achaedas.  We started out on Sunday as:

  • Viniki – level 43 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 42 gnome mage
  • Moronae – level 42 night elf druid
  • Skronk – level 42 dwarf priest

My inexpert opinion was that we probably didn’t have much of a hope unless we were all at least level 43.  Archaedas is level 47 and our past experience shows that when you are five levels below a boss they will resist your spells and abilities with alarming regularity.

However, we still had a good number of quests to finish up in Uldaman. As nobody had a better idea when it came to leveling up it seemed like a worthwhile venture to head back in.  We all had the same five on our list this week.

Our quest list

So off we went to the Badlands.  Ula and I got there first.

Waiting for the group

I had sold everything not nailed down and scrounged gold from my alts to get a mount for Viniki, which felt like a necessity after I had run back and forth across the Badlands a few times.

As it turned out, somehow Moronae never obtained the flight point at Thelsamar in Loch Modan, so he had to run out from Ironforge.  I was less concerned about the delay than how he managed to get this far without that flight point.  Anyway, he got it this time and joined us out in the Badlands.

We figured we could work on some of the quests that require drops outside of the instance, but it was a busy Sunday around Uldaman and the mobs were being hunted by several groups besides ours.

Into the tunnels

Even inside the tunnels it was slim pickings.  We did go update one quest and, after a bit more hunting, decided to just head on into the instance and carry on there.

The area around the instance was bare

There we made our way to the dead paladin, which in turn started another quest that required us to pick up three gems.  That required killing a few bosses, so we figured we might as well clean out the ones we did last week one more time.

We did stumble a bit at Ironaya.  We forgot to get the bits to make the staff to unlock her.  We could have just passed on by, but that seemed wrong, so we headed back, got the items, made the staff, and went through the summoning routine again.

Staff in place to call her

The fight went smoothly.  The whole run through the first part of the instance.  The scorpion traps and such did not cause us any real problems.

Scorpions! We’re Back!

We worked our way around and took down Galgann Firehammer hammer again without issue.

Galgann gets it again

For the quest we needed to go take care of Grimlok as well, so we cut our way into the troggs and got set up for that fight.

Eyeing Grimlok

This time around we put Grimlok third on the list, with the basilisk taking second position since it caused some problems last time.  Grimlok went down pretty easy with that ordering and we were able to update the quest.  The update had us pointed at the vault guarded by Archaedas, so it was on the list for later.

That done, we took a side trip over to the Ancient Stone Guardian, managing to keep Ula alive in the trash this time around.  He was another quick fight, after which we still had some time.  So we figured we might as well see how far we could get on the path to Archaedas.

First there are the troggs outside the Hall of Crafters.  They come in groups of four and are a step up from a lot of the earlier trash in the instance.  Early on you run into a range around 38-42 or so.  Now it seemed to be 43-45.  Still, we managed to get them cleared out and made our way to the big door.

The Hall of Crafters door

Past the door we faced a room with three groups each made up of an elite and four or five non-elites.  However, the non-elites were where we had fallen down in the past and they caused us problems again.

Looking into the room with the groups

The opening idea was the old plan of I hold elite and the rest of the group does AOE to burn down the little guys.  Only the little guys were now our level or higher and one or two of them were casters, so tended to stand back out of the AOE and pelt our own casters.  Ula went down with the first group, though we were far enough along that we finished them off.

The second group saw Skronk go down, and from there it was a near run thing to finish off that group.  Also, to get Skronk back Moronae had to use his combat ress, which has a 30 minute cool-down.  So we were a bit on edge and decided to change up out plan.

Instead of me holding the elite, I would grab the group and pick a non-elite to focus on.  Everybody would target off of me and we would quickly burn down all the small guys with single target damage, after which we would take on the elite.

That seemed to go much more smoothly and we cleared the final group in the room.  But now we had an event to pass through, involving the four golems in a circle.  Again, vague memories were with us, but we were not solid on how the event really ran.

In the room with the Golems

You get three people to click on the pedestal in the middle, which starts the event.  That much we remembered.  But how would the fight run?  We decided to press the button and find out.

As it turned out, the golems activate one by one.  You kill one and the next one goes live.  Four single target mini-boss fights was no big deal.  It helped that Skronk leveled part way through the fight, so got a refill of mana, but we were on it either way.  Soon they were all down and the far door had opened up.

Golems down and the door open

On the far side of the door was another group based on an elite.  But he had six non-elites.  Or maybe it was seven.  I know we had to use all of the target markers to mark them.  That proved to be a couple too many mobs for us to handle.  We ran down the little guys like last time, but eventually damage builds up and Skronk has to start laying heals on me, which then pulls aggro.  I have a taunt to get everybody back on me, but it has a ten minute cool down, so it is a once a fight deal, and after I used it the wheels came off anyway and we had a wipe.

We released and decided to try and run back in via the back door, which we managed to find.  I am not sure how.

The cave to the back door as seen in dead-o-vision

Going in via the back door mean we had to kill the Obsidian Sentinal, a boss we bypassed because it only has a drop for the mage quest and we got that last week.  Again, not a tough fight and we were soon back in the Hall of Crafters.  Fortunately we had pared down the group that we wiped on, so were able to finish off the rest.

There were two walkers going up and down the halls, which we managed to get solo.  Then there were more groups, the last of which was another “use all the target markers” in size.  Somehow though, we managed to get through them with a wipe, or even a death.

Which left us standing at the door of Archaedas.

There he is!

We had gone all that way, we were certainly going to give him a shot.  Again, vague memories and the layout of the room suggested how the fight might go, but we were not certain.

Standing in the room

He has a series of inanimate dwarves around the edge of the room, then some bigger ones in the circle around him, and then two more even bigger ones at opposite ends of the room.  We had out theories as to what might get activated when, but decided to figure it out by kicking off the event.  We got three of us on the pedestal to start things going.

Waking Archaedas, or whatever it is we are doing

The basic plan was to tank Archaedas, focus on him when we could, but kill any add as it appeared.  And there are a lot of adds.  Archaedas starts lighting up the outer circle of dwarves one by one.  They are non-elite, so died pretty quickly, but there are a lot of them and they just keep on coming.

That seemed to go okay.  When his health was down by about a third he woke up that inner circle of dwarves, which we managed to get through.  But even as we were working on that, more of the outer ring dwarves were getting lit up.

A lot of animated dwarves down

We were not doing bad, but we were falling behind.  And then a little too much healing landed on me and they began going after Skronk and the wheels started coming off the wagon.  We had Archaedas about half way down at that point.

Last health check on Archaedas

But then we wiped.  If the boss is on Ula it generally means we’re about done.

After the wipe

It wasn’t a horrible wipe.  Three out of four of us were level 43 by that point in the run, Ula having leveled up as well, but Achaedas was still resisting attacks fairly regularly.  And, again, there is a DPS check aspect of this that we, as a group of four, are going to have to work hard to get past.  But I think we might manage it.  We may have to be 44 or even 45 as a group to ensure success, but our one run at him didn’t feel like it had no hope.

Still, we were not going to go again.  It was getting towards dinner time and home life was calling, so we released, ran back into the instance to revive, then recalled back to Ironforge to call it a night.

With all of that, plus the grinding he did to buy that mount, Viniki is close to 44.  Ula shouldn’t be too far back from that and Skronk is at least a ways into 43.  We might need to look into getting the group a level or two next time.  But the best way to do that might just to be to head back into Uldaman.  We still have quests to finish after all.  We all need some more power core drops and nobody is close to done with the fungus harvesting.

An Uldaman of Vague Memories

One does not just walk into Uldaman… at least you don’t if you want to complete all the quests.

Uldaman seems to be to be clearly designed for multiple visits.  It has a noticeable step in mob level/difficulty part way in, it has a side door like Gnomeregan, and, the clincher, you cannot actually wrap up the quests for the instance in one go.  There is one that sends you there and, upon turning it in, sends you back again.

But first you have to get all the quests, and that too is not just a matter of “grab and go.”  The project leading up to the weekend was to find and collect the quests we could.  The wiki helps, of course.  You can get a list of quests.  But you still have to go out and do things as several of the quests have precursors.

So you start in Ironforge by picking up a couple.  Then you fly off to Loch Modan to pick up and advance a couple.  Then it is off to the Badlands, where there is no Alliance flight point, so you walk all the way.

Now entering the Badlands

The color palette changes from greens to oranges as you cross over into the zone.  Even the map is in the right colors to depict the place.

Welcome to the Badlands

I didn’t have to go very far out of my way while doing some of the lead-in quests in order to fill out most of the map.

Probably the most burdensome quest on the list was Badlands Reagent Run.  This starts in Thelsamar in Loch Modan and sends you off to the Badlands to procure a few items.  The ten coyote teeth are easy.  The drop rate isn’t high, but coyotes are practically the signature mob of the zone, so they are everywhere.  Rock elemental shards are not too bad either.  There are not a huge number of rock elementals, but the drop rate is very high, so you only need a few.

And then there are the buzzard gizzards.  The drop rate is low and buzzards are few and far between in most of the zone.  I was struggling on this stage until Ula mentioned that there was a place where they seemed to congregate.  There was a bunch of them around what looked to be an abandoned orc structure.

Where the buzzard collect…

That done, it was time to trot back to Loch Modan again in order to turn that in and get the quest for the instance.  So much running.  Of course, some people had been saving their coppers for a mount.

Ula on her mechanochicken

Viniki is still about 20g shy of a mount as I write this.

Mechanostriders are not cheap

But after all that running about I had the six quests.

Ready for Uldaman

When I was done with that Moronae showed up and we shepherded him through that as well, guiding him to the buzzard spot and such before finally getting everybody together at the meeting stone.  The lineup for the evening was:

  • Ula – level 42 gnome mage
  • Viniki – level 42 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 41 night elf druid
  • Skronk – level 41 dwarf priest

From there we headed to the front door where, as the title suggests, the whole adventure stirred up a lot of vague or half forgotten memories.  Fortunately there was just enough of a tickle in the back of our collective brains to steer us in mostly the right direction without getting too lost.

As with a lot of the classic instances, there is a whole outer area with elite mobs and a couple of the quests get updated there, as well as mobs dropping items for another.  We wandered around the outer area for a bit, then headed in where we faced Revelosh.

He went down pretty easily.  After that there was a side are… we knew there was something significant about a side area… where we fought our way to Erik, Baleog, and Olaf, the lost vikings.

Not the last appearance these guys will make in WoW

There was a quest turn in there and we read a book and then I picked up an item from a chest, which seemed to be important.

From there we wandered further into the instance to the wide open area with the model city.  Clearing that out we were left with an item that wanted the Staff of Prehistoria.  None of us had that, but Skronk remembered that we had to assemble some pieces, and I had the pieces, so we were able to summon Ironaya.

Ironaya approaches

Ironaya is one of the more memorable bosses in the instance for me.  Probably the only one I can recall clearly, but women wearing tall boots often have that effect on me.  Memorable or not, she went down.

Ironaya done

From there it was a bit of a tour of the mini map as we ran along the edges of the instance to find the bosses.  There was the Obsidian Sentinel, which we needed for a mage quest for Ula.

There he is

That was a fight we only remembered once it started.  The sentinel starts spawning adds, getting smaller as he does.  So we killed the adds then him, collecting Ula’s update.

Further along was Galgann Firehammer and his helpers.

Getting ready for Galgann

While there were three of them, we were able to knock them down with much drama.

Then we worked our way around to Grimlok. He has quite the array of wandering troggs before him and is in the end of the instance where the trash mobs start to scale up in levels a bit. We were a bit more careful with our pulls there, and manag

I sued to do pretty well with that. Grimlok himself is part of a foursome. The plan was to kill the caster, lest we find out that he was also a healer, then move on toe Grimlok. Ula would sheep the warrior and Moronae would pacify the pet basilisk. And, in the end, that worked out. We slew the caster quickly and moved on to Grimlok.

However, there came a point when the sheep popped and the basilisk broke out of his spell and the rest of the crew was trying to get that under control that I started feeling a little lonely out in front with Grimlok pounding on me.

Hanging on with Grimlok

I survived, though I had to use a potion, long enough for the DPS to get back on the big guy and burn him down.  Then the warrior and the basilisk got their turns.

At that point, with some of the pre-instance quest work, we were starting to get to the end of our time.  We started about midway into Sunday afternoon, but dinner time was approaching.  We decided to go check out at least one more boss.  We didn’t think we were up for Archaedas, but there were a couple other named mobs in the instance.

The first one we ended up at was Annora, who is the enchanting trainer in the instance.  You cannot fight her.  So we started working our way towards the Ancient Stone Keeper.  And it is along the way that we had our one and only death.

While bosses did not seem to cause us much problem, there are a number of points in the instance where you end up fighting a sizable group of non-elite mobs, like pits full of scorpions.

Scorpion trap unleashed

We were able to handle most of them, but they were often harder work than some of the boss fights.  Again, I think it is the missing DPS player slot in our group that makes these a bit of a challenge.  Viniki’s taunt has a cool down and his one AOE in defense stance needs a lot of rage to use, so the mobs always get away from me. (I might just be a bad tank in this.)  So the burden tends to fall on Ula to AOE these mobs, but she can quickly pull aggro on the lot of them and it becomes a race to save her.

One group of mobs around the Ancient Stone Keeper managed to win the race and Ula went down.  But it was just that one fight.

She died up here, above the Ancient Stone Keeper

The Ancient Stone Keeper himself… well, he has a gimmick at least.  We learned quickly to get out of the whirlwinds that appear around him.  But with that bit of knowledge we were able to knock him down as well.

He ended up dropping a pair of gloves for me.

Stone Keeper Gloves

I am not sure that +10 spirit was the stat for which I would have wished.  However, I was still wearing mail gloves, so the armor was a boost, and the defense and stamina stats were to my liking, so I took them.

And then it was time for a screen shot of the group.

Done with the Ancient Stone Keeper

Before we recalled, Skronk wanted to go track down a paladin’s corpse that was earlier in the dungeon, around the first troggs.  It was something related to a quest.  However, when we found him there wasn’t anything we could “do” with the paladin, so opted to recall back to Ironforge.

There, in turning in some of the quests, we got the update from one that sends us back for that paladin.  So just one trip to Uldaman won’t do.  Also, we have a lot of drops to get still.  But at least we know where that pally is for next time.

Ula has put together another great video of our first Uldaman run.

She captured all of our boss fights very well.  I especially like the sound effect when Ironaya runs up to Viniki at the start of the fight and punts him.  Also, apparently there was a problem with Viniki’s animation for a while, so instead of the running animation, he was just walking very fast.  I could not see this on my client, but it is visible at some points in the video.  I caused great hilarity as I ran around.

There are also a couple of post-credit scenes, including one with the scorpions and another capturing Ula’s death at the Ancient Stone Keeper.  She also captured a lot of the drops we got from bosses.

We will be making a return trip of course.  We need to level up, if nothing else, before thinking beyond Uldaman.

Right now Viniki is close to 43, as is Ula I imagine.  Skronk made it to 42 and Moronae is probably close there.  Looking back on our group composition from our first victory over Archaedas, we were a group of five that were levels 43 and 44.  We might still give Archaedas a try next time.  That will further test the “bad then, better now” theory of our abilities I suppose.

Razorfen Downs Confusion

After the previous week’s run at Razorfen Downs, where we ran out of time with only two bosses down, I decided to do some ground work to make sure things went better.

To start with, we completely missed a quest giver outside of the instance.  And we spent more time wandering around looking for instance, so I got out my druid and walked around stealthed in cat form to get the lay of the land until I was sure I could find my way directly to the instance.

I had also suggested on Discord that we pre-position ourselves over on Kalimdor if possible, and Skronk added that it might be a shorter run from the alliance flight point on the boarder of Thousand Needles and Feralas, so I tested that route as well.

We met an hour earlier than the previous Sunday afternoon, but I still wanted to get things under way as I was still not certain how long the whole run would take.  The group met up in Theramore.

  • Ula – level 41 gnome mage
  • Viniki – level 40 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 40 night elf druid
  • Skronk – level 40 dwarf priest

Skronk and Ula had also leveled themselves up a bit over the week, so the whole group was past the level 40 mark. (But nobody has the gold yet to buy a mount.)

Everybody in Theramore

The first problem came up when we found that Moronae didn’t have the Feralas flight point.  Fortunately, I had forseen this as a possible issue and had run Winki, my level 24 gnome warlock, down to the flight point and camped him there.  So Skronk, Ula, and I flew from Theramore to Feralas.

Our dots on the map

Once there I logged Viniki out and Winki in, got in the group, and fired up the ritual of summoning.

I even remembered to have a soul shard on hand

Moronae was summoned and got the flight point while I swapped back to Viniki and we headed off to the instance.  There was no trouble along the way.  At the top of The Great Lift the Horde guard was dead already as we passed through, so we were unimpeded all the way to our destination area.

Leaving the Great Lift behind us

I was also able to successfully navigate us to the instance, taking a small side trip up the hill overlooking the path to pick up the quest we missed last time.

Overlooking the crude boar snout structure

Then it was into the instance, where we got ourselves prepped.

There was a question as to how we ought to proceed.  We decided to go left again and follow the same path as before.  However, we decided to leave Belnistrasz and his escort quest until the end.  There was a bad feeling about that.

So off we went.  Being better prepared and higher level, things went a bit more smoothly.

We were able to ring the gong for the Tuten’kash event without losing anybody.  For the first wave we actually all stood so far at one end of the room that the wave of non-elites at the other ended were outside of our aggro radius and just hung out until we finished with the mobs at our end.  They actually ran in a bit, then withdrew down the hallway it seemed, as we went to go ring the gong for the next round only to find no cog wheel when we moused over it.  We had to go looking for them before we could get to the next round.

The round with the elites was a bit chaotic, but we got it done.  And Tuten’kash himself was a simple fight.

Tuten’kash goes down again

From there we moved on through the Murder Pens and across the bridge to Mordresh Fire Eye on his pile of bones.  This went almost exactly as it did last time, where I got a couple of pulls from the skeleton mosh pit before hitting somebody who aggro’d the whole pack and the fight was on.  Ula AOE’d the skeletons while I ran up to Mordesh and hit him with my shield every time he tried to cast his fireball spell.

Smacking Mordesh

Without that he doesn’t do a lot of damage, so we were able to take him pretty easily.

He dropped the Deathmage Sash, which went to Ula.

From there we went back to the Murder Pens and took the path that starts up to the summit of spiral.  There is a lot of trash on the way as well as the occasionally running skeletons.  But the runners are non-elite, so we tended to just take them in stride.

We hit The Glutton on the way up.  Or he hit us… or me… and he hits pretty hard.

The Glutton approaches

However, we had it in us to take him down.  He dropped the Glutton’s Cleaver, a 1h axe that was much worse than the sword I got at the end of Scarlet Monastery, so we rolled on that as vendor trash.  It was worth over a gold, which still seems rich to us.

We kept on around the spiral until we arrived at the summit and Amnennar the Coldbringer, the final boss.

At the top of the spiral

None of us could remember anything about this fight, so we just went at him.

As it turns out, he resists frost, which forced Ula to change up on damage, and spawns some minions, which we mostly just ignored, and knocks back the tank every once in a while, which could have gone really badly had I been kicked off the summit, but I happened to be positioned so his tent was behind me… in inadvertent but fortunate… so I just slammed into that.  Also, he has some dialog.

Are you in the right expansion?

Even with all of that together he went down pretty quickly.  He dropped the Coldrage Dagger.  I was hoping for the plate helm he can drop, as I am still wearing the mail helm from Herod.  I took the dagger, being the only one interested in it.  The DPS is a hair lower than my sword (29.7 vs 30) but it can proc, which might make up for it.

Coldrage dagger stats

Also, a dagger looks like a sword when wielded by a gnome, while a sword sometimes looks silly.

Dagger vs Sword sizing

That pretty much wrapped things up save for the escort quest.  So we tromped back to Belnistrasz to give that another shot.  We were not feeling confident.

There he is in his murder pen

And, of course, things started off with an almost comedic blunder.  The first time you speak to Belnistrasz you have to go through a series of quest dialogs before you end up with the go.  But after you have gotten the escort quest, you basically just accept the quest he has up and it is off to the races.

I was thinking about the original set, so just hit accept right away, only to find it was go time.  Everybody else got the join message, and was able to get on the quest again, though Ula had a moment of panic when she found her quest log was full.  She managed to clear that and accept.  But we were going to have to buff on the fly as Belnistrasz marched on to the idol.

We got waylaid at the last corner by a pair of boars… I think that is just part of the event script… killed them, then caught up with Belnistrasz, quillboars already in progress beating on him.  I pulled taunted one off and the other got sheeped and we were on our way.

Until Belnistrasz.  A few spawns in I had clearly lost track of mobs and one of them killed him.  At that point the event despawned and the quest showed as “failed” in our logs again.

There it is again…

It looked like the event was going to elude us again, though at least this time we did not wipe.  We took a group shot at the idol as it seemed like that might be it for the evening.

The first final group shot

Skronk went to look up if it was possible to get things restarted or if Belnistrasz might respawn while we debated whether or not it was worth it to reset the instance to start again.  The restart was voted down and the web seemed to indicate that if we waited a couple hours Belnistrasz might come back.  We were wandering about when Skronk went back to the start point of the escort quest to find Belnistrasz was already back.

Woohoo!  We got another run at it!

Forearmed this time, we got buffs, made sure health and mana was at max, cleared space in quest logs, and then set off with once more.

Another bite at the apple… or idol… or whatever

At the same turn we ran into the same two boars again… on script… but I ran on past and set myself up to grab the first mobs as they spawned, before they started pounding on Belnistrasz.

For all of the prep, we were still in the same hole as last week.  Getting through this event requires burning mobs down fast, and with a four person group we are missing a person’s worth of possible DPS.  So we started falling behind.  We killed one elite and the non-elite boars that come with when the second group spawned.  Ula kept one sheeped, but we were similarly back a mob when the third group spawned.  And then the fourth.

At some point Moronae pulled aggro on one of the mobs… we were practically surfing the crowd of quillboars by that point… and died.  Already behind with four, losing a DPS put us further in the hole.  But I was determined to hang on for as long as possible.  I pulled out all the tricks I could, tossing out any possible skill that wasn’t on cool down as rage was not at all an issue.

We were still going when Belnistrasz called the one minute mark, but it wasn’t clear how much longer we would last.  Moronae mentioned releasing in the hope of running back to help, but the distance back to the instance was way too far for that.  Eventually I succumbed, followed by Skronk and then Ula.  We were defeated.

Everybody dead at the idol

I stayed put in my corpse to watch Belnistrasz get ganked by the mass of mobs.

Only he didn’t get ganked.  Instead he announced that the ritual was complete… to those of us who had not hit the release button yet.

Ritual complete, op success!

Then he disappeared and the mobs in the room just milled about in a couple of groups.  Those of us still in the room, dead though we were, got the quest update.  We had apparently made it just over the time limit.

But we were still dead.  We had to release and trot back to the instance.  Once in we had healed up, buffed up, and got ourselves ready because, in the interim, the instance had started to respawn.  We fought our way, group by group, back to the idol room.  Fortunately that is not too far into the instance.  There we saw the two groups of mobs still milling about.  We took on one of them, but as we got to the last guy we got too close to the other group and pulled them by proximity.

Still, it wasn’t too bad.  We burned them down and looked around the room.  There was a brazier with a cog wheel on it when you moused over it.  When we clicked on it, Skronk and I were able to complete the quest and get the reward… but Morone and Ula were left out.  The “complete” button was not activated for them.  They apparently released just before the quest update and missed it.  Erf.

We seemed to be done.  I had thought there was a boss at the end of the event, but the room was clear.  The quest from outside the instance did not get any updates, so we decided to skip that and call it a night.  We took a second group shot around the brazier.

The second final group shot

Then we recalled and turned in the one remaining quest that came from the cathedral in Stormwind.  That was about it.

A little later on, after I had dinner, I went back and started looking up the Belnistrasz event.  We were supposed to fight Plaguemaw the Rotting.   When I went to look for screen shots of him, he didn’t seem to look much different than the other mobs, so it is possible we killed him him the mix and didn’t even notice.  The only hint was that we got the Swine Fists off of one of the mobs, or so I seem to remember.  That is a drop from Plaguemaw.  But I don’t have any screen shots to really back that up and Ula hadn’t been running video.  The closest I have is this shot after the fight.

Corpses around the brazier and idol

In looking at screen shots on the web, I think the corpse in the foreground might be him.  But it is hard to tell.  It might not be him.

So maybe we killed him.  But if we did, it didn’t register very much.

Once more, Ula rolled up an excellent video that shows a lot of what I have described.

I like to watch these after I write up my post to see how they line up.  I am surprised at how infrequently I need to change my post after seeing the video.

And so it goes.  We have now done as much Razorfen Downs as we are likely to do.  The next item on the list is Uldaman.  That means so research to find the quests, a trip to the Badlands, and probably several runs at the whole thing, as it is one of the dungeons with a side-door and a step up in levels such that the starting mobs are likely gray when the group is on par with the Archaedas, the final boss.

Finally, a list of past posts about our runs at Razorfen Downs:

Starting Late in Razorfen Downs

As last weekend approached we started looking for a common time when we could meet up.  Common times seemed to be difficult and we ended up aiming for 4pm on Sunday afternoon.  That is a bit of a late start for us, or at least for me on a Sunday. but I had glanced at the Icy Veins guide for our next destination, Razorfen Downs, and it said the instance should take about an hour, so it seemed like we would be fine.

That we all got online at close to the appointed hour seemed like a good sign.  Our lineup for the afternoon was:

  • Viniki – level 40 gnome warrior
  • Moronae – level 40 night elf druid
  • Ula – level 39 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 38 dwarf priest

I had gone out and bumped Viniki up to 40, which means he is again broke as skills ran close to 2g per, but he can now wear plate armor.  I even had some stored away for him.  But now all of the mail armor I picked up in Scarlet Monastery is effectively obsolete.

Moronae has also been busy the previous weekend and had popped up to level 40.

In looking at the Icy Veins info, I had also noticed that one of the quests started in Stormwind and had picked it up in advance and mentioned it in our Discord.  However, nobody else had and when we logged in everybody was in Ironforge, so there was some travel time as people flew off to Stormwind to pick up the quest.  The quest is not sharable.  And during that diversion we also found out that you need to be level 39 in order to get the quest, so Skronk flew to Stormwind and came back with nothing.

Meanwhile I was hanging about in Menethil Harbor watching the ships come and go.

Will this get me to Kalimdor faster?

We decided that getting to Razorfen Downs, which is at the south end of The Barrens, was probably best done via Theremore.  Feralas was considered, but it wasn’t clear if we all had the flight point and there was the complication of getting up the Great Lift and getting flagged by the NPCs there.  So that was discounted.  Instead we ran through the Dustwallow Marsh, emerging into The Barrens at the Shady Rest Inn.

Some day the renovation will get under way

From there it was a run down to the south end of The Barrens.  On the east side of the Gold Road is Razorfen Kraul and on the west Razorfen Downs.  We found the entrance pretty easily.

It is in there

Well, when I say “entrance,” I am being a little less than accurate.  That is the way into the area around Razorfen Downs, and like a lot of vanilla instances, it has a bunch of elites outside on the way to the actual instance.

As for the instance… it has been a long time since we’ve done RFD and I could not remember where the actual entrance was.  So we wandered for a while before finally finding the correct path and were able to get into the instance proper.   At this point we were well past an hour of elapsed time.

As for where to go… I think we went down the correct path.  Again, the Icy Veins article hand waves the whole thing as linear and yadda yadda yadda, but there were clearly some choices.  We bore left at the first two branches, fighting our way past an enormous gong.  The gong hand a cog wheel when you moused over it, so clearly you could click on it to ring it, but I was hesitant to start banging on gongs just yet.

It is a great big gong

We carried on for a bit past that until we made it to the murder pens around the corner.  Murder pens has such a safe ring to it.  We stopped for a bit and Ula, who had tabbed out to read something about the instance, said we ought to go back and ring the gong, as that would summon the first boss.  Or it would summon the boss after a couple of tries.

Back in the room we were spread out when the gong was rung and the first round was a series of non-elites.  Ula went to ice and AOE them, which did not work out quite as well as hoped, with Ula getting swamped and dying.  But the rest of us were able to clean up the mess.

Ula restored, we rang the gong again, this time faced with four elite mobs, which we were better prepared to face.  It was a bit chaotic… getting everybody on the same target and getting random targets off the casters and such… but we managed.

Then, with a third sounding of the gong, Tuten’kash arrived, the boss we had all been waiting for.

Tuten’kash comes to us

He was actually easier than the first two waves, a single big target being easier to manage if nothing else.  We finished up the fight and Tuten’kash was kind enough to drop a nice armor upgrade for me.

Just my size

I actually had a plate chest piece already, the Jouster’s Chestplate, but this was a significant upgrade.  Also, it wasn’t a bare midriff item.  The Jouster’s Chestplate made me look like Viniki the plumber.

Ula made a GIF of my plumber’s butt

That done, we moved on into the murder pens and cleared out the hostiles, then began looking for that quest mob.  There are a few in the pens, but we found the right guy, Belnistrasz.  This guy I remembered as being the quest give that everybody has to stay on sync with.  If one person blitzes through his quest/complete/quest cycle, only they will get the quest and the rest of us will be stuck.  So we did it carefully… and actually managed to do it right on the first try.  Then it was off to follow him.

Come on, it will be fun

While following him back the way we came we were waylaid by a pair of rampaging boars, the random patrol mechanic of RFD.  They ignored him and we had to stop and slay them before following on.  Belnistrasz had disappeared around a corner and, as we caught up we found that the event had already begun.

You have to defend Belnistrasz through a series of waves in order to get to the big boss.  The waves… pairs of elites… keep coming as time counts down.  We got stuck into the task, but for the first time in a while I think we were suffering from that missing DPS position.  If you burn down the quillboars quickly you are only dealing with pairs, which isn’t an issue.  But if you’re slow because you’re been using your healer’s wand skill as a crutch and now he doesn’t have time because he has to heal, then things may not work out well.

We kept it going for quite a while.  Belnistrasz called out the final minute.  But we had fallen behind the killing curve and we never caught up.

When your kid says, “Just a minute” but you need them now

Skronk ran out of mana, I used my health potion, Moronae went down, then I, then Skronk, leaving only Ula in her ice block at the end.  We wiped.

The run back… well, the graveyard isn’t as far away as the one in Uldaman is, but it is a long ways up The Barrens.  And we got lost… I got lost… again trying to find the instance once more.  But we got back and started warming up again.

First, a snack

We rested there a bit while Ula went off to feed their cats.  We were now past the two hour mark and my wife had been poking her head into my office to ask when we would be done.  It was dinner time and all.

So when we set out again I suggested that we find the next boss and call it.  I was going to have to log off pretty soon.  So we went down the path we had blazed previously, past where we had wiped, past the gong, through the murder pens, and over the bridge, to find the boss I had been expecting.

Skeletons and a pile of bones

This is probably my only solid memory from past runs, Mordresh Fire Eye and his skeleton mosh pit… and his pile of bones.  I wonder if the skeletons pull from their for replacement parts?

The goal was just to finish him off, but first we wanted to clear the dance floor of the mass of non-elite skeletons.  My first pull was good, and we got a couple.  The next one was bad and we got everybody, including Mordresh Fire Eye.  Ula AOE’d the skellies and I ran up and grabbed Mordresh.

It ended up being another pretty straightforward fight and Mordresh was down soon enough.  He dropped a nice caster necklace, the Glowing Eye of Mordresh.  In the roll-off it went to Skronk.  And so we were done for the evening.

The group atop the bone pile

That bone pile is pretty elaborate for what is a hill prop for a secondary boss in a mid-level instance.  There are bones and bits sticking out all over it and it took some of us a bit of effort in order to get to the top.  It is also sizable.

Bone pile zoomed out for some scale

Screen shots taken, we recalled back to Ironforge and called it a wrap.

Our first run at RFD was less than a success.  Two of the bosses we hit were easy enough, but we failed pretty hard on the idol event with Belnistrasz.  We’ll need to be a bit better prepared for that next time around.  Also, Skronk hit 39 along the way so he will be able to grab the quest from Stormwind this time.

Once again, Ula has posted a great video of our run which illustrates some of the situations mentioned above.

Next time will see our return to RFD… which is probably okay, as we should probably all be at least 40 before we wander into Uldaman.

Past runs at Razorfen Downs

The Instance Group in the Scarlet Monastery

With WoW Classic so far it has been my practice, at the end of a dungeon run post, to link to past runs of the same instance in various eras of WoW.  With Scarlet Monastery though, that was a little different.  To start with, it has four wings, so I felt I had to wait until I knew we were through there in order to inject those links.

Also, in looking back, I found that some of the posts had issues.  Early on in the history of the blog I hit a point where I was using up my image upload space more rapidly that I expected, so for a brief bit I went looking for alternatives to direct uploads to WordPress.com.

For whatever reason, I chose ImageShack.

I don’t know why.  It was sort of the Imgur of its time I guess.  I am sure it seemed like a reasonable choice when I made.

Back in 2007 they allowed free upload accounts.  Since then they have gone paid subscription only and it seems that they purged all the free accounts, so a range of old posts just have broken image icons where screen shots should have been.  Given how parsimonious I was with images at that point in the life of the blog, I felt I had better fix that.  Fortunately, I throw nothing away and had the screen shots from that era archived, so you can experience those posts in full color.

Also, we didn’t do an instance this past weekend, so at least I have something to post.

Vanilla Era

Basically, real “back in the day” stuff.

While not as primitive as some of my earlier instance run posts, I had clearly yet to establish a regular pattern of posting after every run.  Also, I think over the holidays we were running a couple times a week… I seem to recall a series of Thursday and Saturday runs.  It was a different time.

What is interesting is how parallel the experiences were to more recent posts.  We hit things at about the same level.  We were doing it as groups of five most of the time, though there were some short groups in there.  We did the the “In the Name of the Light” quest.  Arcanist Doan was just as generous with the Illusionary Rod back then as he was recently.

I even distinctly mention how easy it was to avoid Herod’s spin attack in the armory, making me wonder if SynCaine’s theory about modern performance levels making things easier is as straightforward as I might have seemed at first glance. (Ula took a poke at that idea on her blog as well.)  Maybe this stuff was never really that hard and we were not as bad as I recall.

Celebrating in the Cathedral back in 2007

Pre-Cataclysm

After we wrapped the initial instances in Wrath of the Lich King we decided to re-roll the group in as different a way as possible, so we went Horde and did so on an RP-PvP server.  We did go back to our old characters now and again, but we were focused on the new group a lot.

The first post is the original characters going back to the monastery to get Santa hats.  It is the second post that gives a sense about how things had changed.  We showed up with a level 32 group and pressed through to do the graveyard, library, and the armory in one evening.

Granted, this was after the instance levels had been re-factored.  Herod, for example, was level 37 there, as opposed to being the level 40 boss we fought recently.  But still, we managed it, though we passed on the cathedral I guess.

Victory in the Armory

Interestingly, while I do not mention respawn rates in the vanilla era, the fast respawn of the armory comes up in that post.  We wiped on the way out then as well.

Post-Cataclysm

With the coming of the Cataclysm expansion we re-rolled again, this time going with four worgen and a gnome.  Ula only plays gnomes.

With a group of four level 30s we decide to eschew the Dungeon Finder and run to Scarlet Monastery.   We finish the library, slaying Doan successfully.  Sure, we wiped a few times, but we were a group of four level 30s FFS.

At the end of the library

You can see that the Illusionary Rod dropped again.  I think it must always drop.

We were not too far from disillusionment with Cataclysm at that point, though for us re-rolling was the wrong play.  If we had gone back to WotLK and finished off the instances they added after the group took a break (though Earl and I kept playing the whole expansion) and had then gone into the Cataclysm instances, we would have been better disposed to the expansion.

The Neverwinter Heresy

Adrift after growing tired of Cataclysm, we tried other MMOs.  There was the horrible EverQuest II experiment, some time spent in LOTRO after it went free to play, and a diversion into Neverwinter.  There we found that somebody had used the dungeon creation tools to create approximations of several World of Warcraft instances, including the Scarlet Monastery.

I might have forgotten about that, except for the fact that I tagged the post “Scarlet Monastery,” so it is on the canon list.

We went through two Scarlet Monastery recreations, one of the library and the other of the cathedral.

It does have that Scarlet Monastery vibe to it I guess

They were pretty impressive, given the tools.  There was also an attempt at the Deadmines, which was less convincing.

Hallow’s End

We ran out and did the graveyard quite a few times as part of the Hallow’s End celebration, so one could technically count that as a visit to the Scarlet Monastery.  Way back in the day you actually had to run there.  However, I didn’t tag these with “Scarlet Monastery,” but I did find a couple pre-Dungeon Finder run to include just for flavor.

The 2008 post was just a week before Wrath of the Lich King hit, while the 2009 post was just about a month before patch 3.3.0 hit, bringing with it the Dungeon Finder interface, which made running the Headless Horseman a lot more routine.

Headless Horseman Down in Flames

WoW Classic

That brings us to the more recent adventures.

There is a gap between the graveyard and the other wings largely because we went back and did Gnomer again.  Twice.  Go figure.

At the upper fountain last week

There was also a substantial change in the group. Obama has officially dropped out, so he won’t be playing with us any more, and Earl hasn’t been able to get on to play, leaving us with the current group of four.  Still, we persist.

Three Stops in Scarlet Monastery

Saturday one again saw the group together and we were going to take one more run at Scarlet Monastery.  As I mentioned last week, I wanted to finish up the quest In the Name of the Light as it offered up a serious weapon upgrade for me.  The rest of the group was good for that as well, so as we set out we had this line up:

  • Viniki – level 38 gnome warrior
  • Ula – level 38 gnome mage
  • Skronk – level 37 dwarf priest
  • Moronae – level 38 night elf druid

The first thing we had to do was to get everybody on the quest together, and that meant speaking to Brother Anton out in Desolace.

Brother Anton hanging out at the inn

We had gotten ourselves pre-positioned nearby, so getting to Desolace wasn’t an issue.  Viniki had even already done this stage, so I got out Wilhelm, my pally, to run along and get the quest under his belt.

The quest is simple.  Brother Anton just wants you to kill some undead.  He is from the Scarlet Crusade after all, and their stated purpose is the eradication of undead on Azeroth.  The undead in question… thirty of them… are a bit of a ways off.  You basically have to run the length of Desolace, north to south and back, which itself is well stocked with hostile creatures wandering about.

Running the length of Desolace

And Desolace is not a small zone.  It isn’t as big as The Barrens, but it is a lot bigger than Westfall.  So we headed off.

We just need to get to that arch

The zone also has such a muddy color palette that one might mistakenly believe they had accidentally run into EverQuest II Classic.  But we made it without too many entanglements along the way.

The slaying of the ravagers starter off well enough.  We got in the first ten pretty quickly.

Smiting a ravager

But then somebody else showed up to hunt them, and then a third party joined in as well.  The problem with this quest is that even with a full, untouched spawn, there are not 30 ravagers to be slain.  If you have the place to yourself you end up having to wait for respawns.  And when you have other people around it becomes a race to see who can tag ravagers first.  Fortunately for us bringing along a paladin had benefits.  Wilhelm has track undead, so we could spot spawns at a distance, and the one ranged pally spell, exorcism, only works on undead and demons, so he could actually tag things without having to run all the way up to them and shake their hand.

So it took a bit, but we eventually got them, then trotted back across the length of the zone to report back to Brother Anton.

He, in turn, sends us off to speak to Raleigh the Devote, who resides in Southshore.  Anton promised that Raleigh would, “escort you to a place of honor in our Scarlet Monastery” when we met up with him.  But Raleigh wasn’t so receptive.

Raleigh reacts badly

Raleigh has become disillusioned with the Scarlet Crusade, feeling that its once noble mission had gone astray.

The problem

His solution was to decapitate the leadership.  We had to go slay:

  • Houndmaster Loksey (Library)
  • Herod (Armory)
  • High Inquisitor Whitemane (Cathedral)
  • Scarlet Commander Mograine (Cathedral)

Of course, we had slain all four of these bosses before, so we were back for an encore run, hitting three wings in one run.

We ran out to the Scarlet Monastery again, taking the path from Southshore, and arriving without any particular issues for once.  There we went straight into the library to find Houndmaster Loksey.

He is not too far into that instance, so we could zip in, clear just a few groups, then grab him.

Markers of the Loksey fight

Arcanist Doan was not on Raleigh’s list, so we were able to slip right back out of the instance and on to the armory.

This was our third run into the armory, so we had the path in down pretty well.  We moved at a pace though the trash.

Cutting down the scarlets

It did not take us too long to get to Herod.

Herod awaits once more

Having done the fight already, we were able to run through it pretty quickly.  Herod spins, we run, Herod stops, we slay.  He was soon down and the trainee chorus line with him.

All clear again

Herod was nice enough to drop Herod’s Should, the mail shoulder piece, which was a nice addition to my kit.

We did not, however, linger long.  My plan was to get back out of the instance as fast as possible.  Skronk suggested we could just “tele-mort,” wipe and run back, but I wanted to get out alive.  With the quick spawn rate of the armory, my hope was that we could bypass most of the trash and maybe just fight a few groups as we got close to the exit.

Running for the exit

Eventually we hit a group, just before the stairway to the archery range.

The armory layout

It was just a group of three though, so no big deal.  We killed them going in, we would kill them going out.  However, not thinking, I grabbed this group around the corner from where they spawned, which happened to be very close to where the next group of three spawned less than a minute later when we were in the midst of the fight.

A trio of adds

At that point we were toast.  It didn’t help that the walked that patrols this section also wandered in.  I think we also proximity pulled the group behind us that spawned as well.  It was not going well, so the decision was to run for it to see if anybody could get out.  Nobody did, but you can see all the mobs running back past my corpse after they finally got Ula.

Trash returning to their spots

So we ended up with the tele-mort option after all.

That left us lined up for the cathedral.  We did that last week, but it wasn’t a cake walk.  However, having done it we were better prepared as to how we should approach it.  Also, we were very careful not to get too close to Morgaine.

As with the previous run, we cleared a path first to the lower fountain, then the upper fountain.  At the upper fountain we picked off the mobs on the front lawn from left to right, then took the guardians of the door.

Once the cathedral doors were open the careful pulls really began.  We were not fooled by the mobs just inside the doors and off to either side.  We move from group to group with deliberate care, keeping the fights manageable and not letting anybody run off.

Not too far into that Viniki hit level 39.  That would make him all the more effective against the final boss.  However, I was also facing a problem.  I had forgotten to repair my armor after last week… and another couple of deaths during the week… so as we were moving on I got the paper doll warning for my sword and pants.

Never a good sign

My sword was especially light on durability, and would clearly go red if I kept using it.

On the plus side, I had an alternate weapon in my bag, the Hand of Righteousness, which dropped off of Morgaine last week.  It required level 39, so it just opened up as an option right then.  In addition to durability, it gave me a boost from 21 to 29 dps when it came to my weapon.

It is also pretty nice looking

The flip side of that was Viniki hadn’t used a one-handed mace for a while, so while the cap for weapon skills at level 39 is 195, Viniki’s mace skill was 65.  He was not going to be hitting anything for much damage until that worked up.  I warned the group about the issue, then took hold of the mace and pulled the next mob.

As expected, I had some trouble holding aggro for a while as I wiffed swing after swing.  But for a long stretch there was a skill up with every swing.  Soon I was reliably hitting for 1 damage.  Fortunately I was able to use my taunt and a few other skills to keep the mobs from running completely amok on the casters.

We kept going, clearing the left side of the altar first, then going to the right, swinging wide around the pillars to keep clear of Morgaine.  On the right side we cleared then went to grab High Inquisitor Fairbanks again.

It is weird that he is just laying there looking dead

The Icy Veins guide says he is skippable, which is true enough, and does get skipped because he doesn’t drop blue gear.  But he is an easy fight and last time he dropped the Inquisitor’s Shawl, which was an upgrade for Skronk.  This time he dropped the Dusty Mail Boots, which were an upgrade for Viniki.  Worth the time yet again.

After that we went back to the main hall for the final fight.

There is Morgaine

Again, having done it last week we were much better prepared.  Last time there was a some tension as we got to the end of the fight as Skronk ran low on mana and my health ebbed.

This time however it played out like a sure thing.  I re-equipped my sword to be sure I was hitting consistently and we kicked things off.  Morgaine went down, Whitemane revived him, we slew Whitemane, then finished off Morgaine again without the issue being at all in doubt.

Finishing up Morgaine

So the question became, “What did they drop?”

Last week Morgaine dropped the Scarlet Leggings.  This time around he gave us the Morgaine’s Might, the two handed mace.  I was really hoping for his shield, which would have been a major upgrade for me.  Nobody really wanted/needed the mace, so we rolled off for who would get to vendor it.

And then there was Whitemane.  Last week it was the Hand of Righteousness, which I had been using for a bit.  But the big item from her is Whitemane’s Chapeau.  And when we checked the corpse, there it was.  Skronk had been pining for that hat and, in my brain, it was healer gear.  But on looking at the stats, it was really good for any cloth wearing caster.

Whitemane’s Chapeau

So Ula and Skronk had to roll off for it.  Ula won.

She has a post with a video about her new hat over at her blog.

But Whitemane’s Chapeau requires level 39 and she was half a bubble shy.  So we went back out to the fountain area and picked off mobs until she leveled up.  Then we ran over to take a proper screen shot out in front of the upper fountain.

At the fountain for the picture

Then it was time to recall to Ironforge.  But we were not done yet.  We had to fly back to Southshore to turn in the quest to Raleigh.  I was happy to get my new sword.

For those not so inclined, there was another weapon that vendored for over two gold, which at our level of poverty is not something to be sneered at.  And the experience for the quest was decent as well.  It pushed Moronae over the top to 39 and Skronk ended up not too far from that level as well, having hit 38 earlier in the run.

With that I think we might be done with Scarlet Monastery.  I believe Razorfen Downs is next on the list.  At least that is where we went next back in the day.