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It. Is. Coming.

So, um, Wrathion… could you, would you possibly update that spiffy cloak you gave me so that it might actually be useful now, when your vision is finally coming true?

Hmm, so if Legion proper drops at the end of August, we can probably expect the pre-patch sometime around the end of July. That gives me three months to make significant progress on the following Warlords objectives:

* Finish leveling alts to 100
Balance Druid (98)
Frost Death Knight (97)
Paladin (96)
Warrior (96)
Warlock (96)
Blood Elf Mage (95)
Priest (95)
Rogue (94)
Enhancement Shaman (94)
Feral Druid (62; will probably get the boost when I pre-purchase Legion sometime in the next few weeks)

* Get to 150 Draenor Pet Battles for level 3 Menagerie — I got a slow start with pet battles (and pet charms) in this expansion. I ignored them entirely until Kura started coming to the Garrison in Patch 6.1, and then I only battled Kura if she was in one of my Garrisons. Things picked up after the Pet Battling Monk came out to Draenor a few months ago. She’s been training up pets against Ashlei (and occasionally Gargra) and should finish up that achievement in another couple of weeks.

* Do Silver Proving Grounds and UBRS with Alliance Mage because Millhouse Manastorm — I made myself go to Proving Grounds with this character this weekend, but it took me two tries to get past Bronze and I failed Silver on the third wave, so I’ll have to keep trying…

* Complete Savage Blood Transmogrification project. I have three Alchemists producing Savage Blood as fast as their Alchemy work orders and daily transmutes allow, but what I really need to do is keep my two level 3 Barns fully stocked with trapped elite wolves — I’ve recently discovered that having a Skinner staffing the Barn gives a much higher ratio of Savage Blood produced per number of elite beasts trapped!

* Go back to Nagrand with Alliance Mage to see the last part of Y’rel’s storyline and to see what’s up with Vindicator Nobundo’s strange feeling of being drawn to the Throne of the Elements — I just need to get out there and do it one of these weekends.

* Finish Stables taming quests and mounted combat challenges to get Stable Master title for the Hunter.

* Do Tanaan with the Balance Druid so that she can have all four of the Arakkoa Followers on her Garrison team.

* I guess I should try to do Tanaan with one of my Mages to see if I can get the Hellfire Citadel Mage tier-lookalike robes from the level 3 Shipyard, but who knows if I’ll actually get around to doing it… at least all the ship equipment blueprints are account-wide now, so I won’t have to worry about that.

Kamalia has too many Tauren Followers yet to recruit to be able to accomplish recruiting them all herself before Legion — she’ll probably be coming back to her Garrison from the Broken Isles once a week to check Akanja’s recruit list for weeks or months before that happens. But perhaps once I get more alts leveled up to 100, I might be able to collect all the Tauren Followers between the Garrisons of all my Tauren characters.

My grand imaginations of curating class or race-themed collections of Followers in my alts’ Garrisons may not get very far before Legion arrives. My alts will probably lag behind Kamalia in going to the Broken Isles for weeks or months, though, and while they’re waiting, they’ll just be sitting in their Garrisons, recruiting.

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One of the neatest things about the Wandering Isle was following an NPC’s suggestion to go down a set of stairs to see a pair of historians teaching a group of children about the history of the Wandering Isle.

This morning, I was flying across Shadowmoon Valley with Kaylynda and decided to take a detour to Teluuna Observatory. I was curious to see what was on the top floor — if it was perhaps unoccupied enough to take mog screenshots there with Horde characters. It wasn’t.

Looking around, I soon discovered that if I clicked on the hologram pads, the named Draenei standing next to them would tell me a little bit about the history of the Draenei… (more…)

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By the time Brewfest ended, the Darkmoon Faire was in session. Once again, Thaddeus Paleo scowled at the Underpowered Death Knight, saying, “Your Archaeology skill has stagnated. Come back when you have begun to improve your skill again and are finding more interesting fragments.” Professor Paleo had been telling her that she needed to improve her skill for… could it really have been so many months? Had he been saying that ever since the Vanguard went through the reddened Dark Portal?… OH. Although she could survey digsites anywhere in Pandaria, Pandaria no longer contained the most dangerous known regions. Those places were now on the other side of the Dark Portal, on Draenor.

Ah, and in talking with other Cloud Serpent novices, she’d learned that Jenova Longeye occasionally asked them to search for artifacts that might relate to the history of that Order. It would be good to be able to improve her surveying skill while performing that task.

The Underpowered Death Knight supposed that perhaps she should pay a visit to Frostwall Garrison just to learn where to find an Archaeology trainer on Draenor, and maybe to do a little bit of digging herself in the country roundabout — there were always new tricks to be learned when surveying a completely new location.

She followed the directions that had been enclosed in Kamalia’s letter.




Frostwall, with its rocky terrain, swirling wind and snow, and steaming, volcano-heated cave, stirred in the Underpowered Death Knight’s mind a faint nostalgic longing for her youth, traveling the mountains between the Howling Fjord and the Grizzly Hills and camping by the hot springs.






Lady Sena cracks me up. I haven’t been able to find her in the level 2 or level 3 Garrison, though… I wonder where she and Mr Pleeb go?

The Underpowered Death Knight dinged 96 during Brewfest, so she could, in theory, have opened up the Mine, Fishing Shack, and Herb Garden and, after collecting enough resources, upgraded them all to level 2. I chose to leave her Garrison at Level 1. Thus, without the big book o’ blueprints rewarded from the quest to upgrade the Town Hall to level 2, her only available large building is the Barracks, and her only available small building will be the Salvage Yard — when she reaches an appropriate level to do the quest chain that rewards that blueprint. I’m not going to do much with her Followers, so she just has the Fab Five team of the ones that are the first and easiest to recruit — Olin, Vivianne, Fen Tao, Ka’la, and Ulna.

After reporting at Frostwall, the Underpowered Death Knight travelled to Warspear on the contested island of Ashran in search of an Archaeology trainer. When she inquired about training, however, the woman just shrugged at her.

“I ain’t got nothin’ to teach ya, toots. If ya wanna learn more, ya gotta just get out there and dig. And don’t let those Reliquary goons get in the way of a good find.”

So the Underpowered Death Knight went to dig at some ogre ruins near the outskirts of Shattrath (she got quite distracted for some time exploring the great city and marvelling at its extent and beauty), and to her great surprise, her very first surveying efforts uncovered a brittle cartography journal. The document was written in a language she did not recognize, but the diagrams, illustrating techniques for such things as laying out and recording a digsite and preserving and cataloging artifacts, were clear enough to understand.

But when the Underpowered Death Knight returned to the Faire, Professor Paleo still didn’t want any more fossil fragments. It seemed that he hadn’t wanted fragments from anyone except newly-trained Archaeologists since about midsummer. Why, no-one understood.

She was glad, though, that she had gone to Frostwall. Doing so had allowed her to prove her strength against some of Draenor’s creatures, and she had been strong enough… mostly… if she was careful about choosing what to fight. Nevertheless, she thought it best to finish what she had started in Pandaria before spending much more time on Draenor.

Previously: the Underpowered Death Knight and the Shado-Pan

Next: the Underpowered Death Knight in the Homestretch

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There was something different about the world this morning.

At first, Kerisa couldn’t quite put her finger on just what it was. The sky was the same overcast grey as every other day, with snowflakes floating lazily down into the drifts against which the Garrison staff waged constant war. But the breeze felt fresher somehow, and as she looked up at the sky again, a rylak matriarch and her brood swooped over the Garrison, screaming at each other.

A group of large creatures flying

There were many small flying creatures on Draenor, birds and insects and such, but it seemed that only the strongest individuals of the larger winged creatures could actually fly. In Nagrand, the great windrocs hovered only a few feet above the grass instead of soaring above the trees. The Frostwolf Orcs celebrated those who could successfully tame and ride a flight-capable rylak. Likewise, the Laughing Skull Orcs occasionally managed to tame and ride flight-capable ravagers. Kerisa had heard that in Shadowmoon Valley, the Draenei had tamed fey dragons, which were unusual in that almost all of them could fly.

As the forces from Azeroth had settled in, their wyverns and gryphons had only been able to make short flights from outpost to outpost. Even that was exhausting for the beasts. People who kept stables of personal flying mounts had been sorely distressed by the inability of those creatures to make more than pathetic fluttering hops.

Ever since she had come to Draenor, Kerisa had been quite unable to shift into Stormcrow form. Every time she’d tried it, she’d found herself inexorably shifting into Stag form instead. She’d eventually concluded that there was some enchantment on the land that prevented most large creatures from flying — an ancient warding of the Gorian/Highmaul ogre empire, perhaps, or maybe a working of the High Arakkoa, jealously guarding the skies for themselves.

The sky… the sky did not feel so heavy today. Though she knew not how it could have been done, could the enchantment have been lifted? Or just… worn off? As soon as she had the thought, she began experimentally shifting into Stormcrow form — and instead of feeling her intentions thrust aside, her limbs involuntarily slimming toward delicate hooves and her horns stretching into a great crown of antlers, she felt her fur transforming into long, elegant feathers and her muzzle reshaping into a sharp, curved beak.

Crowing triumphantly, Kerisa spread her wings and flew.

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~*~*~
Something about the abandoned docks where the Hungry Riverbeast came ashore felt hauntingly familiar.


As Kamalia turned around and caught sight of the road leading away from the far side of the docks, the memories returned in a terrifying, overwhelming rush…


The bodies were gone, of course.


In this climate, in this jungle, after so many months, it was inevitable.


But as Kamalia and Draka fought their way up the road, Kamalia spied fluttering scraps of bright cloth snagged in the briars, and Azerothian pauldrons, helmets, and weapons half-buried in the mud.


Her heart ached again for the cost of war, for the valiant members of the Vanguard, Horde and Alliance alike, and for the rescued Frostwolves and draenei who had fallen in that final, panicked, headlong rush toward the (relative) safety of the boats.

Kamalia knew that Tanaan Jungle corresponded to the Hellfire Peninsula region of Outland. Studying the map, she knew that Vol’mar was in the same location, relative to the Dark Portal and Hellfire Citadel, as Thrallmar. But just as with Shadowmoon Valley, this land was so rich and full and overgrown with life that she could not make the terrain align in her mind. Really, this Draenor was so different from the Draenor that had become Outland (especially in the relative homeland locations of the orcish clans), that it was astonishing that it had spawned a collection of Warlords with the same names, and a Durotan and a Draka, at all.

~*~*~

Gameplay-wise, I’m enjoying this patch. With Vivianne at her side, Kamalia has been able to handle just about everything she’s encountered… except for the demons at the Throne of Kil’jaeden and the saberon in Fangri’la. I’ll have to be diligent about getting myself into Saberstalker rep groups for Rumble in the Jungle at the beginning of each week if I want to get this rep done at any kind of reasonable speed. The Vol’mar rep doesn’t seem like it will be too bad to do. The Arakkoa rep will be a bit harder; I’ve actually been deliberately ignoring treasures that I see so that I will still have treasures to collect for the treasure-finding/rare-killing daily for as long as possible.

I’m enjoying the Shipyard and Naval Missions (so far). I think it’s a nifty iteration on the original followers & missions mechanics of the Garrison. I like the gameplay depth of being able to customize my ships for specific missions by changing their equipment. I’ve found about half of the equipment blueprints I need; I still need to keep my eyes peeled for the rares that drop the remaining blueprints and brave the first wing of Hellfire Citadel LFR for the Gyroscopic Internal Stabilizer blueprint. Swapping out equipment is slowly draining my cache of Garrison Resources, though, so I suppose I ought to start using my Trading Post (as long as I have it up anyway for rep purposes) to generate resources.

At this point, I am thinking that I will take only three of my alts to Tanaan: Kerisa the Druid, who is my Scribe, to get the Glyph of Ascendance technique from the rare who drops it; Keija the Warrior, to get the Forgotten Champion’s Blade; and Kaylynda the Alliance Mage.

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After I’d been taking an alt to battle Stone Cold Trixxy every day for awhile, I decided to station a couple of other alts at the two other satchel-giving Grand Master trainers I’ve unlocked so far, Lydia Accoste and Blood Knight Antari. Flying back to Shadowmoon Village one evening after having given the smackdown to Antari, I was suddenly struck by the similarity between Shadowmoon Village on Outland and Lunarfall Garrison on Draenor.

The two settlements are in corresponding locations on their respective zone maps.


With no flying and all those trees in the lush, living Shadowmoon Valley of Draenor, it’s a little harder to get a good aerial view of Lunarfall Garrison than to get an aerial view of Shadowmoon Village in Outland, but both settlements have very similar terraced terrain.


The view from Overlord Or’barokh’s command tower, looking down the hill to the main gate of the village gives me an eerie sense of deja vu to the view from Lunarfall Town Hall, looking down the hill to the main gate of the garrison.

***

***


The Lunarfall Barracks is in the same place as the Shadowmoon Village Inn, and I have put my Lunarfall Barn in the same place as the Shadowmoon Village Stables!

***

The terrain isn’t exactly the same, in the way that nothing about Draenor is exactly the same as Outland — but it’s close enough. Lunarfall Garrison and Shadowmoon Village are the same place.

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The Field Photographer achievement requires characters to visit the Maelstrom in Dragon Soul and the Frozen Throne in Icecrown Citadel. I’m sure there are folks out there who are skilled enough to solo their way to those places, but I sure am not!
We ought to hit up the Terrace of Endless Spring (and Blackwing Descent and Naxxramas), too, because I’ve heard that there are Music Rolls to be found in there…

What do you think? When might be a good time for it? I’ve got RL events on Saturday evenings for the next few weeks, but what about Friday the 27th?

Tauren selfies look so silly! Especially when I’m trying to get Pepe into the shot, too😛

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