Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Borean Tundra: Level 68 - Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blizzard released the eagerly anticipated Wrath of the Lich King expansion in November of 2008, and many players jumped right in, ready to head to the frozen land of Northrend to put an end to the corrupted Arthas Menethil, who had become the Lich King, leader of the undead scourge.  As previously shown in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Arthas was dormant in the center Northrend zone of Icecrown, taking a well-deserved break after butchering his own plague-infested subjects, murdering his father, descending into madness, and becoming possessed by a centuries-old spirit that turned out to be the Lich King.  

However, shortly before the Wrath expansion launched, there was an ingame event in WoW where capital cities found themselves under attack when shipments of plagued grain infected players and NPC's alike with the Scourge's disease.  Capital cities became infested with zombies, and officials from the Argent Dawn could barely keep up with cleansing them.  
This was the final straw for the leaders of the Horde and Alliance, and forces were immediately gathered to head to Northrend and end Arthas for good.  Unlike The Burning Crusade, Wrath offered two starting zones, each on the opposite end of the continent from the other.  The first, Borean Tundra, is reached by boat from Stormwind.  
Once arriving, Alliance players find themselves at Valiance Keep...
while Horde start out in Warsong Hold.
One particularly interesting Alliance quest chain has you helping out a group of gnomish engineers who have established their own airfield in the northern part of the Tundra.  
They are under attack from a nearby settlement of mechagnomes, who believe they are doing their part to free your allies from the so-called "curse of flesh," which turned dwarves and gnomes from their previous, robotic state into the mortal beings that they currently are.  Because why would you want to be mortal when you can look like this, right?  
Another fun chain is that of the DEHTA, or Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals.  They are on a crusade to stop the hostile followers of the famed hunter, Hemet Nesingwary, who has traveled to Northrend in his never-ending quest to hunt the ultimate beast.  You sabotage his followers' efforts by performing such humane tasks as luring them into their own bear traps, cutting off their ears, or straight up murdering them.  
As far as the big picture narrative goes, there are two main storylines to deal with in Borean.  The first are the problems that the mage organization, the Kirin Tor are having with agents of the Blue Dragonflight. Their leader, named Malygos, has gone insane and decided that basically everyone who uses magic, except for him, is a threat to the world, and needs to be stopped.  You first encounter this threat at the Amber Ledge, where mages of the Kirin Tor are working with the Red Dragonflight to save some of their kidnapped members from the Blue Dragonflight.  
Eventually, they fly you into the frozen region of the Tundra named Coldarra, where The Eye of Eternity, Malygos' base is located.  
Working with the Kirin Tor and Red Dragonflight, you participate in a plan to lure Malygos from his fortress and take him down.  The Red Dragon Keristraza has you murder Malygos' consort and burn her corpse, which is enough to get the Blue Dragonflight leader's attention. 
The Red Dragonflight attacks, but Malygos escapes them, grabbing Keristraza as he retreats back to his stronghold, promising to enslave her as his new consort.  All in all, the plan failed horribly!
If you've been paying attention up to this point, it probably comes as no surprise that Malygos will end up as a raid boss.  
Meanwhile, on the eastern border of the Tundra, you are given quests to take down the floating necropolis over the Scourge Temple City of En'kilah.  You clear out the city first, disposing of the Scourge priests in each of its three towers, before gaining access to the necropolis.

While spying on the Scourge overlord in Borean Tundra, an undead blood elf named Prince Valanar, you overhear a conversation with The Lich King, in which Valanar informs him that cultists loyal to Arthas have infiltrated the ranks of the Horde and Alliance.  When you are found out, Valanar attacks you and you put him down.   
Presented without context, here is a picture of my character dressed as a murloc running through a cave waving a flag of truce.  

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