The Dwarves are Hansbrix the Hunter (and his pet bear, Fridge) and Bradanna the Priest.  My husband and I had been playing these two characters together, completing parts of Azeroth zone by zone.  There are things that we missed out on the first time we played (other characters) through some of the Cataclysm content.

In this blog, I will feature the most interesting parts of The Dwarves trip through Western Plaguelands. The screenshots you see in this blog were taken on May 25,  June 6, June 7, June 9, and June 10, 2015.

The Dwarves began their exploration of Western Plaguelands by falling directly into the water, somewhere near Sorrow Hill.

They were still in the water when they officially discovered Western Plaguelands.  The Dwarves probably didn’t take the path they were supposed to take – but they managed to get to the right place anyway.

Upon arriving in Andorhal, The Dwarves met two NPCs (Non-Player Characters).  The first was Thassarian (level 85).  The Dwarves had a quest to turn in to him.

Hero’s Call: Western Plaguelands!: There is much to be done here. Both of our enemies are relentless and would slaughter us without mercy the moment we sheathe our blades.

Thassarian gave The Dwarves a new quest to work on.

Scourge First…Horde Later: Darkmaster Gandling of the Cult of the Damned leads the Scourge offensive here in Andorhal. My old counterpart, Koltira, leads the Forsaken forces. If we’re to win Andorhal, we’ll have to defeat both, but we will certainly fail if we have to take on both at once.

I know Koltira well enough to know that he will focus on the Scourge first. We will do the same.

Take out the weaker, desiccated Scourge to reduce their numbers. The Forsaken will have to wait to taste our wrath.

The NPC standing next to Thassarian is named Lurid.  He is a skeleton who is wearing armor.

War Machines: Dried up Scourge… weak. Abominations… strong. We defeat strong abominations… we win war.

Thassarian and Lurid appear to be mostly on the same page. They both want The Dwarves to kill off a lot of Scourge (and ignore the Forsaken for the time being).  The difference is that Thassarian thinks it best to kill the weaker desiccated Scourge first, while Lurid wants The Dwarves to attack the stronger abominations.

By this point in their adventure, The Dwarves have figured out that going after a specific enemy often brings in other enemies. With luck, The Dwarves can finish off these two quests in one battle.

Before jumping into battle, The Dwarves drove over to see what Lang Loosegrip needed them to do.

The Endless Flow: Araj the Summoner is bolstering the Scourge defenses with simple skeletons… an army of weaklings that will overwhelm you before it overpowers you. He has assembled animi within Andorhal’s northern towers that spew these skeletons out at an alarming rate. But I’ve got the solution!

<Lang passes you a handful of grenades.>

Their function is simple. Throwing these grenades at a bone animus … or, for that matter, a mob of skeletons… will reduce them to splinters.

I didn’t know it at the time, but Lang Loosegrip had just given me a quest that would turn out to be one of my favorites.

The Dwarves learned that it is very important to take the time to say hello to the local Flight Master.

Bradanna noticed that she had mail to retrieve.  There are no mailboxes on Andorhal. (Or, at least, none that The Dwarves could find.) They drove off in search of one.

A good friend sent Bradanna an adorable Argi pet!  Argi is super cute.  Bradanna immediately picked him up and cuddled him.  Argi didn’t seem to mind the trip back to Andorhal.

The Dwarves were now ready to fight!  They started attacking the Scourge. In this screenshot, they are fighting a Desiccated Magus.

Bradanna and Hansbrix (and Fridge) fought a Desiccated Spearman while one of Thassarian’s army watched over Argi.

The Dwarves eventually were able to take down some of the Opengut Behemoths that were wandering through Andorhal.

Behemoths are big!  (Dwarf for scale)

Time to take out a mob of skeletons!

The quests that involved jumping into a mob of skeletons, and slaying them all, were the most fun of all the Andorhal quests. Skeletons have long been my favorite monster to fight, and these kinds of battles remind me of playing the Diablo video games.

So many skeletons!

They just keep respawning.  You can fight them forever…. or, until you turn in the quest.

Thassarian: You may not act quickly, but at least you do not fail me.

Very well. I will have a more important task for you, Bradanna, when the time is right.

It sounds like Thassarian was not pleased that The Dwarves accepted his quest and then dashed off to get a pet out of a mailbox. That being said, he’s more pleased with The Dwarves than with…. whoever “failed” him before The Dwarves showed up.

Lurid, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have much to say.  He’s a man…um, skeleton… of few words.

Lurid: Abominations…strong.  Bradanna…stronger.

Thassarian: With the death of the Lich King, all I have left is my duty. There is no family. There are no friends… there is only this. War.

Hansbrix and Bradanna might have a vague awareness of the Lich King and the war against him. But, this is the first time they have encountered someone who was involved in that fight at the time it happened. Thassarian has lost everything that mattered to him.

Thassarian: The Scholomance is one of the few Scourge holdouts remaining west of the Thondroril. The headmaster of Scholomance, a cultist by the name of Darkmaster Gandling, has made an appearance on the battlefield.

This will be his last mistake.

You will find Gandling in a square near the southern end of town. I want you to fight and weaken Gandling. I will join you to help finish him off.

Thassarian: Gandling is strong, but do not worry. I will join you shortly after you begin to fight him. 

The Dwarves were a bit confused by these instructions.  If Gandling is strong… then, shouldn’t Thassarian be coming along to the battle right from the start?  Was he waiting for an invite to their party? Before either Hansbrix or Bradanna could ask Thassarian to accompany them… he gave them another quest.

Thassarian: Gandling has brought his lieutenant, Rattlegore, with him. This clattering horror is far more dangerous than any of the other Scourge you will find upon the battlefield… even the abominations.

You will find Rattlegore within an old town-hall building, near the center of town. I recommend caution before fighting him, Bradanna. He will not be a pushover.

Rattlegore put up a decent fight.  The Dwarves were able to defeat him without Thassarian’s help.

It wasn’t clear if The Dwarves were supposed to have gone through Scholomance before arriving at Andorhal. I can’t quite make the story work out. If The Dwarves had decided to do Scholomance before Andorhal, they would have already killed Rattlegore and Darkmaster Gandling.

If they took that route, it would mean The Dwarves would be fighting Rattlegore and Darkmaster Gandling a second time after arriving in Andorhal. The Dwarves are asked to kill these two “bad guys” here… and will undoubtedly meet them again whenever they get around to doing the Scholomance dungeon.

Bradanna found a Blighthawk sitting by the lamppost outside the town-hall building.  There was no time for pet battles, though. The Dwarves needed to find, and slay, Darkmaster Gandling.

Bradanna was surprised to find that part of Andorhal was on fire. Hansbrix and Fridge had already run past the flames, in search of the next battle.  Bradanna rushed to catch up to them.

Hansbrix quickly got surrounded by skeletons! Fridge was nowhere in sight. Bradanna was, once again, glad that she had decided to become a healer.

A view of Andorhal from the tower.

Bradanna got overwhelmed by the respawning skeletons at the bottom of the tower, and tried to run.  She ended up with a conga-line of skeletons that followed her directly into a Behemoth.  Not ideal!

The Dwarves found Darkmaster Gandling, and Fridge ran right over to fight him.  We were still using Fridge as our “tank”.  As such, the first threat Darkmaster Gandling made was “Prepare to die, Fridge!” Something in World of Warcraft assumes that the first one to attack the “bad guy” must be a player character.  It never ceases to be amusing!

The Dwarves entered combat. When would Thassarian show up?

Darkmaster Gandling: Your life is forfeit.

The Dwarves watched, helplessly, a Fridge got stuck in a bubble and lifted high into the air.  This dire moment was exactly when Thassarian decided to arrive.  Koltira Deathweaver joined the battle, too.

Thassarian: For the Alliance!

Koltira Deathweaver: For the Horde!

The battle continues!

Darkmaster Gandling: Enough of this. The Cult of the Damned doesn’t need Andorhal. This worthless city is yours to fight over.

After his snarky remark, Darkmaster Gandling leaves Andorhal.  We didn’t kill him. He presumably went back to Scholomance. Someday, if Bradanna and Hansbrix (and Fridge) decide to do the Scholomance dungeon – it would make sense to find Darkmaster Gandling in there – and fight him a second time.

If Rattlebone is also in Scholomance…. then I’m going to assume that Darkmaster Gandling figured out how to rebuild him.

Thassarian: Koltira! I had heard rumors that you were here in Lordaeron.

Koltira: You heard correctly, Thassarian. I wanted to give you a chance to kill me again.

Thassarian laughs.  Hansbrix and Fridge wander away.

Thassarian: It looks like it may have to come to that.

Koltira: Yes, it may…but not today. With the Scourge out of the way, I plan to pull my troops back and regroup.

Thassarian: I see. Then I will do the same.

Thassarian: But you must be aware, Koltira: we are brothers no longer. You are a member of the Horde now, and I of the Alliance.

Thassarian: Eventually, we will fight this battle for Andorhal, and only one of us can walk off of this battlefield victorious.

Koltira: Yes, I know. And don’t think I’ll go easy on you.

Thassarian laughs.

Thassarian: Very well. I look forward to it.

Koltira and Thassarian teleport away.

Thassarian whispers: You are not to speak to ANYONE about the agreement that was made today, Bradanna. Consider this an order from your direct superior.

This puts The Dwarves in the awkward position of having to turn in quests to Thassarian while pretending they didn’t see and hear the conversation he had with Koltira.  Thassarian is just going to stand there, next to Lurid, as though nothing at all happened.

Thassarian: Excellently done, Bradanna. And now, with the leader of the Scourge forces eliminated from Ahdorhal, we bide our time.

Bradanna selected Gandling’s Gloves from the reward choice. It was the only item she could use.

Lang Loosegrip: These grenades are all explosives, nothing more. I may not be a goblin engineer…but I still understand the value of being able to just explode things every once in a while.

Lang Loosegrip: With the animus destroyed, the next logical step is tot take out Araj himself and to take a shard of his phylactery. You’ve probably already seen him, lurking at the fountain in the center of town. 

Take my grenades with you. They won’t do anything to Araj, but if he decides to summon any of those skeletons, you can use them to blow them away. Again.

Before jumping into another battle, Bradanna, Hansbrix,and Fridge decided to take a short rest. They joined a happy looking, drunken, skeleton. He didn’t seem to mind.

Lang Loosegrip was exactly right about where to find Araj the Summoner.  The Dwarves didn’t have too difficult a time fighting this “big bad”.

Shortly before dying, Araj the Summoner unleaded a mob of well-choreographed skeletons. They ran right for Bradanna.

The Dwarves needed to pick up Araj’s Phylactery Shard in order to complete the quest. Hansbrix had no trouble smashing it!

Thassarian: Araj dead… this is good. That gnome has done his part in winning this war. As have you, Bradanna.

This was the first time I noticed how awesome Lurid’s axe was! I also noticed that Lurid appears to be wearing a decapitated Dwarf head, complete with braided beard, as a loincloth. What, exactly, was Lurid doing before he arrived at Andorhal?  There must be a story there that hasn’t been told.

Thassarian: The Alliance are victorious, and our forces are still strong. Military strategy dictates the we attack the Forsaken now, while they are recovering and unaware. I made a deal, however…

We will wait. We attack Koltira and his troops when the time is right. In the meantime, speak with Ginny Goodwin and take a flight to the Chillwind Camp, to our south. Commander Ashlam Valorfist will give you your next assignment.

You will hear from me when you are needed again in Andorhal.

Ok, hold on there, Thassarian. First, you had a talk with Koltira, in the middle of town, about a secret truce.  Then, you told us NOT to tell anyone about that secret truce. Now, you’re openly talking about that – apparently classified – truce again, out here where anyone nearby can hear you. If your goal was to baffle us into silence… well, you’ve succeeded.

Next stop – Chillwind Camp!

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: Welcome to the front lines, priest. The Kingdom of Stormwind, with the aid of its allies, has sent me here to counter the growing threat of the Scourge. Here at Chillwind Camp, we fight for our continued survival on a daily basis.

If you’ve come here looking for a chance to prove yourself as a hero, then you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do so… especially as we push towards Andorhal and whatever malign force that controls the Scourge there.

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: Word arrived shortly before you did, Bradanna. With the Scourge ejected from Andorhal, we are one step closer to retaking Lordaeron.

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: We must always be prepared for battle, Bradanna. Whether that battle is against the Forsaken in Andorhal, against the Scourge in the east, or against some yet-unknown foe is unknown. What is known, is that we must be ready.

We are low on arrows. I can obtain the shafts and heads, but I still need feathers. The birds that circle to the northwest typically molt this time of year. Would you mind traveling out into the field and gathering some of these feathers for our camp?

The Dwarves were willing to go gather up some molted feathers. It’s nice that Commander Ashlam Valorfist, who sounds very focused on being ready for war, didn’t ask The Dwarves to kill the birds.  Collecting the feathers the birds have already dropped will get the job done. Commander Ashlam realized that the birds were not his enemy.

Thurman Grant has a sad story to tell.

Thurman Grant: I hail from Westfall, far to the south…as do these men that travel with me. We are farmers, and nothing more.

I had been told that Lordaeron had been healed, and that it was ready for tilling. However, this “Commander” now tells me that it’s too dangerous to proceed. He says that there’s a war going on, and that the plague lands still aren’t healed.

Before anything else, I need to get some food in my men’s stomachs. Anything will do. Bear meat seems to be plentiful.

Hansbrix, of course, took offense at Thurman Grant’s suggestion that he allow Fridge to be turned into dinner! Thurman Grant assured Hansbrix that wasn’t what he meant at all.  He pointed toward the trees and asked The Dwarves to hunt some Shaggy Black Bears.

Argent Officer Pureheart, of The Argent Crusade, was informative, but didn’t have a quest for The Dwarves.

Argent Officer Pureheart: Well met, friend. I am Officer Pureheart, and I am a proud member of a world-wide organization known as the Argent Crusade. Our cause is simple – fight swiftly and mercilessly against any element of evil that surfaces in Azeroth. We are not a political body, nor do we ever wish to become one. To that end, we call both the Alliance and the Horde both as friends – friends in the cause of stamping out evil!

For the Light, my sister!

Bradanna nodded her head and listened to Argent Office Pureheart, and then walked away. There was something odd about this human, who felt the need to insist that her organization was not part of a political group, after proudly telling Bradanna that her organization likes to “fight swiftly and mercilessly against any element of evil that surfaces in Azeroth”.

Bradanna wasn’t quite sure if this was a cult, and worried that Argent Officer Pureheart was about to ask her to make a donation.

Hansbrix sent Fridge off to “tank”, while he and Bradanna fired at the Shaggy Black Bears from a distance.

In between fighting Shaggy Black Bears, The Dwarves remembered to gather the Brownfeather Quills that were on the ground.

   

Ok, back to fighting bears!

Ready to turn in the bear meat and feather quests

Thurman Grant: You hunt like a true priest…Even if we can’t set up homesteads… at least we can still eat.

This time, Thurman Grant decided to insult Bradanna.  Whatcha mean “you hunt like a true priest?” Bradanna felt mocked.  She realized, however, that Thurman Grant probably didn’t mean it that way.  He was just a rather awkward human.

Ding! Bradanna hit Level 39!

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: I will have my fletchers get to work on these. I am glad to see you being useful right away, Bradanna. Perhaps later I will have some more exciting tasks for you.

It did not take Commander Ashlam Valorfist long to assign The Dwarves a “more exciting” task. True to his word, this quest proved to be more interesting than the one where he had them gathering feathers.

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: These farmers from the south wish to take these farms, but I can’t let them enter the plaguelands unprepared. Even with the Scourge gone, danger still looms in the form of the Forsaken. No, we must be ready to fight…and that includes our new visitors.

Before doing anything else, however, I would recommend that you travel to Uther’s Tomb, to the east, and place this tribute before his statue to ask for his blessing. Speak with the priest that tends to the tomb when you are finished.

It appears that the majority of the people at Chillwind Camp take a while to get used to strangers. Very few wanted to talk with The Dwarves when they first arrived.  All of a sudden, they got very chatty.

Argent Officer Pureheart: I saw the strangest commotion coming through town the other day. A horse-drawn cart, loaded with crates and chests. A worgen woman at the reins, a blood elf by her side, and a dwarven paladin running behind, yelling some of the most creative obscenities I’ve heard in quite some time.

They looked like they were headed to Eastern Plaguelands, though I’d imagine they can’t be far past the Thondroril River by now. I wonder what they were up to?

Bradanna did not expect to see an Orc standing there.  She wondered what happened to the Dwarf who was there before.

High Priestess MacDonnell: Sorrow Hill, up the road to the northeast, was one of the first places that the Argent Crusaders and Cenarion Circle were able to heal. The area is now freed of the Scourge.

However, there are still many specters of the past that, for some reason, have not passed on into the next world. They may be mourning, or they may have unfinished business… or they may just be lost.

Take my thurible and use it to douse them with holy incense. One way or another, we will help them move onto the next plane.

Alexia Ironknife: Greetings, priest. Don’t have too much time to talk — I’m just using Chillwind as a camp to get some rest before heading to Hearthglen. I’ve heard word that before they went crazy, the Scarlet Crusade had a mage working for them who was trying to create powerful bows and guns for their soldiers. I’m not sure if he succeeded or not… the Crusade killed him before any of his finished product made it out… or maybe they distrust the arcane that much.

Alchemist Arbington: This job is definitely not worth sixteen-five a year.

The Dwarves drove out to Sorrow Hill. Fridge ran along beside them.  He’s pretty fast for a bear!

Withdrawn Soul: Get away from here!

Bradanna, Hansbrix, and Fridge battled some spirits at Sorrow Hill. The spirits started out being very unfriendly towards The Dwarves.  Fortunately, their attitudes changed after the fight was over.

Withdrawn Soul: I must be going now…

Withdrawn Soul: I’ve waited here for too long. Time to say goodbye.

Withdrawn Soul: I…I think I’m ready to leave now.

Sorrow Hill is a good name for this area. There is something deeply depressing about encountering all these lingering souls, who haven’t left yet. They eventually find peace, and decide to move on. That too, is sad.

After wandering around Sorrow Hill for a while, The Dwarves discovered the Path of Uther.

The Dwarves found a statue in the Sorrow Hill graveyard. There was no marker to tell them who the statue was of. They decided to take a “tourist photo” anyway, figuring they might someday run into someone who could tell them about the statue.

Fridge, as usual, photobombed what would otherwise have been a very somber image.

Lovely yellow flowers line the Path of Uther.

The Dwarves discovered Uther’s Tomb, and met High Priest Thel’danis (who seems to be the caretaker.)

There, at the end of the tomb, was a magnificent statute of Uther the Lightbringer, surrounded by the Light.

Here lies Uther the Lightbringer First Paladin – Founder of the Order of the Silver Hand

Uther lived and died to defend the kingdom of Lordaeron. Though he was betrayed by his most beloved student, we believe that his spirit lives on. He continues to watch over us, even as the shadows close in around our ruined land. His light is the light of all humanity – and so long as we honor his example, it shall never fade.

???????? – Anonymous

One by one, The Dwarves received Uther’s Blessing.

High Priest Thel’danis: You and the humans at Chillwind Camp wish to re-take Andorhal? I wish you luck.

Bradanna wasn’t quite sure if High Priest Thel’danis was giving The Dwarves a blessing, or if this was a polite way of saying that he expected us to fail.

High Priest Thel’danis: If you truly intend to move forward in this battle for Andorhal… well, perhaps I can help.

To the east lies a large crypt. The bottom level of the crypt was once used for storage of weapons and armor… until the Scourge came. Now that the undead have left, the weapons are free for the taking.

Most of the weapons are probably rusted and rotten by now, but they will serve better than tunics and pitchforks.

High Priest Thel’danis pointed out where to go, and The Dwarves chose to take the quest he offered them. He had a point. The farmers back at Chillwind Camp were going to need more than pitchforks if they were going to fight the Scourge.

The Dwarves climbed a large hill and discovered Sorrow Hill Crypt before they could see it.  Fridge pointed towards it and growled. He could smell whatever was over there, and didn’t like it one bit.

Bradanna hesitated as she looked down upon Sorrow Hill Crypt. It looked so peaceful from here. She knew, however, that things were not always as they appeared to be Western Plaguelands. She raced down the hill to catch up with Hansbrix and Fridge.

They had entered the Crypt without her, which she felt was a bad decision. Once again, she was glad she decided to become a healer, and hurried towards Hansbrix and Fridge as fast as she could.

Despite what High Priest Thel’danis said, the crypt appeared to be empty. There were no weapons or armor pieces to be found.

Fridge started growling at something The Dwarves couldn’t see. Bradanna quickly moved and prepared react to whatever was about to happen.

That was when Foulmane lurched into view.

The battle began!  Foulmane pushed The Dwarves back to the stairs – but they did not give up.

The Dwarves prevailed!  After taking a moment to catch their breath, they noticed a glowing object on the other side of the room. It looked important.

It turned out to be nothing more than a broken weapons crate.  That was disappointing!

Scattered all over the bottom level of the crypt, you find shattered crates that once held weapons and armor.

It appears that somebody got here before you did.

The Dwarves figured Foulmane was the one who smashed the crates. But, he wasn’t wearing armor or using any weapons. They wondered what happened to the old weapons and armor – but were interrupted.

Ambushed!

As you turn around, you see the silhouettes of shambling skeletons on the stairs.

The undead aren’t gone from this crypt. They were lying in wait! Furthermore, they appear to be armed with the weapons that you came looking for.

You’ll have to escape from the crypt. On your way out, you should gather as many pieces of equipment as you can.

Skeletal Flayers and Skeletal Sorcerers appeared! It was now obvious who took the weapons and armor.

The Dwarves and Fridge had to fight their way out of the crypt, and pick up random armor and weapons while the battle was going on.

The battle continued after The Dwarves left the crypt. There were well armored skeletons outside.

And then, it was over!

The peace only lasted a few moments, before The Dwarves had to fight their way past more skeletons.

Eventually, The Dwarves realized that their best option was to drive past the skeletons and return to Chillwind Camp.

The Dwarves encountered Marlene Redpath just outside of Sorrow Hill. She wasn’t all there, and didn’t have anything to say. The Dwarves realized that they could see right through her.

She didn’t look anything like the angry spirits in Sorrow Hill did. Was she a ghost? Did Marlene Redpath die in the house she now stands in front of?  Whatever her story is…. has been lost.

The Dwarves informed High Priestess MacDonnell that they released the spirits at Sorrow Hill. She was obviously greatly relieved to hear that. Bradanna handed High Priestess MacDonnell back her thurible.

High Priestess MacDonnell: Hopefully, most of them passed on peacefully. I thank you, Bradanna.

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: What happened at Uther’s Tomb, Bradanna?

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: Attacked by ghosts? Strange. I suppose the crypt wasn’t fully healed after all.

You just missed Thurman Grant…you remember, that oaf of a farmer that was here earlier. He took his men with him and traveled to the nearest farm…against my orders.

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: The farmers traveled to the Writhing Haunt, an old farm to the northeast, across the river. Someone needs to keep an eye on them.

Bring them those rusty weapons and armor you found. We can’t them fighting with pitchforks.

Argent Officer Pureheart: These men and women here at Chillwind Camp have noble goals, but their ultimate purpose is war. I would like to offer you an opportunity to pursue more peaceful goals.

At the Menders’ Stead, beyond war-torn Andorhal to the north, the Argent Crusade has joined forces with the Cenarion Circle. Together, we work on healing this land from the plague that used to reign here. 

Are you interested in joining our cause, priest?

Bradanna and Hansbrix looked at each other and shrugged. The accepted Argent Officer Pureheart’s quest but did not necessarily agree to join. Instead, The Dwarves figured that offering the Cenerian Circle some help would be ok.

Hansbrix, Bradanna, and Fridge discovered The Writing Haunt.

The Dwarves found Thurman Grant inside a small, and nicely decorated, house at The Writhing Haunt.

Thurman Grant: Did Valorfist send you? He doesn’t know when to let up, does he?

Thurman Grant: Well, now that you’re here, we’ll gladly take that armor off your hands.

You can keep the weapons, though. These men wouldn’t know which end to hold.

The Dwarves happily handed over the armor. The farmers won’t have to know much, other than how to put it on properly, in order to make use of it.

As for the weapons… it appears that Commander Ashram Valorfist didn’t bother to ask the farmers if they knew how to use the weapons The Dwarves were sent collect, or if the farmers wanted to learn how to use them.

Bradanna wondered how the farmers were going to survive all the way out here, far from Chillwind Camp, and without anyone who knows how to use simple weapons to defend themselves with. Thurman Grant provided an answer.

Thurman Grant: I told Commander Valorfist that we could hold our own, and we intend to. I had a little conversation with the death knight general, Thassarian, on my way over here. We farmers plan to help in our own way.

We will take control of this farm, begin to cultivate the land…and then when the battle for Andorhal commences, we will attack the Forsaken from the rear. They’ll never expect it.

First, we need to get rid of these Forsaken outriders. Kill some, then return to me.

The Dwarves set out to kill some Forsaken Outriders.

The farmers joined in. Thurman Grant was right – it does seem the farmers can “hold their own” here. They were out here killing Forsaken Outriders before The Dwarves got there.

The farmers had even found the time to cultivate the land (in between fighting Forsaken Outriders). The Dwarves didn’t know anything about these plants, other than they grew much taller than Dwarves.

The Dwarves returned to Thurman Grant to let him know they killed some Forsaken Outriders, as he had asked. Thurman Grant praised The Dwarves fighting skills. “My men could stand to learn a few moves from experienced fighters like you,” Thurman Grant said.

Thurman Grant: In fact, you might still be able to help train some of my men. You probably noticed the abomination outside. We initially tried to fight him, but he didn’t want to fight back. He seems to want to help out on the farm.

Take a group of four settlers and challenge this abomination to combat. He seems to be pretty tough, but with one of him and five of you, I think you’ll have a chance at beating him.

Together, The Dwarves gathered up a total of eight of Thurman Grant’s Provincial Minutemen. They grabbed their pitchforks and followed The Dwarves toward the abomination.

Fridge ran along with them, as usual.  None of the farmers seemed to care that one member of their party was a bear. Bradanna figured that these farmers had seen worse things, and Fridge was showing no interest in attacking the farmers.

It turned out Thurman Grant’s suspicion was right. The abomination introduced himself.  His name is Gory, and he wants to help out on the farm.

Gory: Gory wants to help out on farm. Gory already has his own scythe!

One of the farmers yelled out: If you really want to help out, you can help me and my friends with some combat practice.

The Dwarves looked at each other, alarmed what had just happened. This was a fight that didn’t need to happen. On the other hand, the farmers had reason to not want to welcome an abomination on their farm. The sight of Gory was unnerving!

Gory: You want to fight? Alright, Gory fight.

Gory: Gory give up! You farmers fight more good!

Gory stopped fighting and just stood there. The farmers quickly realized that the battle was over, and started walking away from the abomination. This was a strange situation.

Bradanna wondered if Gory needed healing. She felt bad for him. All he wanted to do was help on the farm – and he got attacked by eight human farmers, two Dwarves, and a bear. At the same time, Bradanna thought Gory was repulsive. She reluctantly decided it just wasn’t a good idea to try and heal an abomination.

The Dwarves and all of the farmers/Provincial Minutemen went together to let Thurman Grant know what happened. Bradanna wasn’t sure he would believe their story. An abomination who doesn’t want to fight? It seemed unrealistic.

Fortunately, the room full of witnesses to what occurred were enough to convince any reasonable person.

Thurman Grant: We can handle things from here. I thank you for your help, Bradanna.

I assume that when we next meet, it will be in battle. Take care of yourself until then. We’ll need all the help we can get.

As a player, I found it interesting that the quest text was written as if a single player did the quests. Bradanna and Hansbrix were in a group, so they each got individuated responses that included their name. I guess this was the easiest way to make the quest text, since it could make sense for both single players and groups. It still felt a little weird, though.

Thurman Grant had nothing more for The Dwarves to help with, and the farmers needed to get back to working on the farm. Before they left, The Dwarves wanted to check on Gory.

The Dwarves carefully walked up to Gory. He was still standing in the same place. It was clear that Gory wasn’t the smartest of creatures, and Bradanna wondered if the farmers would continue to fight him. They might choose to ignore him, which didn’t quite feel right either.

“Gory… are you doing all right?” Bradanna asked.

Gory: Gory just happy to be in the sun.

Bradanna reconsidered her assumption. Gory clearly wasn’t very smart, but he still had wisdom to share. She wished that everyone on Azeroth could be made happy simply by being in the sun for a while. Bradanna wanted to remember Gory’s words when tough times returned.

After waiving goodbye to Gory, The Dwarves drove to The Mender’s Stead.

The Dwarves met Field Agent Kaartish at The Menders’ Stead.

Field Agent Kaartish: Welcome, priest. As you can see, our camp is a joint expedition between Argent Crusade members and Cenarion Circle druids, but we welcome all who wish to help heal the land.

Field Agent Kaartish: No longer does the Scourge hold this area. We, the living, are retaking Lordaeron.

We have taken great strides already, as you have already seen. The earth flowers, the trees grow tall and green, and the wildlife is beginning to return. Yet a few remnants of undeath remain.

While the trees and grass prosper, the animals are struggling. Something is preventing them from healing, and I intend to find out what. Bring me samples from the plagued wildlife so that I may study them more closely.

Next, The Dwarves spoke with Adrine Towhide, who also needed their help. Or, to be more accurate, she needed The Dwarves to help someone else.

Adrine Towhide: I am Adrine Towhide, a druid of the Cenarion Circle. You can thank us for healing this land, where once there was only death.

We accept all who choose to follow the druidic path, regardless of race, faction or talent. Occasionally, that means we enlist a druid who needs more help than others.

I’d like you to meet Zen’Kiki. He’s pretty new, and he’s still learning his craft. Would you mind taking him out with you for a while? You can practice combat on the plagued animals that roam nearby.

Zen’Kiki: Ready to go, mon!

Selyria Groenveld: Dwarf! I’m glad someone’s here to help me out.

We Cenarion druids have re-cultivated Daison’s Farm, immediately behind me. The land has flourished and our crops have been successful… mostly.

A few plants seem to still be infected by the plague that ran through this land. Perhaps their roots were too deep, perhaps the seeds were weak… I cannot say. All I can say is that I need an able priest like you to help me remove the bad plants from the good ones.

Before heading out, The Dwarves talked with Durnt Brightfalcon, a fellow Dwarf.

Durnt Brightfalcon: Word is in from Andorhal, Bradanna. The battle has resumed.

It has become somewhat well-known among the Alliance forces that you’re a hero of the first battle of Andorhal. Thassarian has requested your presence immediately.

The Dwarves, Fridge, and Zen’Kiki were ready to leave The Menders’ Stead and get to work. This screenshot shows Zen’Kiki standing near Bradanna. What I couldn’t see was that Hansbrix had his own Zen’Kiki.

The Dwarves fought a hulking plaguebear. Zen’Kiki tried to help.

Zen’Kiki: Shapeshift! Zen’Kiki’s ready to pounce!

Zen’Kiki: This isn’t right.

Bradanna wasn’t sure what kind of creature Zen’Kiki turned himself into. She was pretty sure it wasn’t one that belonged on land.

Zen’Kiki: Shapeshift! Here comes de moonfire!

Zen’Kiki: It burns like the moon!

Zen’Kiki hit himself with his moonfire. Bradanna was unimpressed. She considered healing him… but then figured maybe this was a good learning experience for a new druid.

The Dwarves killed some really big spiders. They needed to collect samples from them for Field Agent Kaartish.

The Dwarves ran through The Writhing Haunt to collect the last of the samples. Zen’Kiki tried his best, but he really wasn’t much help.  Bradanna believed he meant well, though.

The Dwarves returned to The Mender’s Stead to speak with the people who had asked for their help.

Field Agent Kaartish: Once the animals are healed, our duties here will be nearly complete.

Field Agent Kaartish: I will need some time to study these samples, Bradanna. I will speak to you again when I have completed my analysis.

Field Agent Kaartish: We are not the only Argent Crusaders here in the plague lands. Our headquarters, Hearthglen, lies to the north. Even nearer to the north is a small lumber mill which we also control.

Nathaniel Dumah is my main contact at the lumber mill. I encourage you to speak with him, should you find yourself in that part of the woods.

Next, The Dwarves spoke with Adrine Towhide. She wanted to know details about how Zen’Kiki did.  The Dwarves were extremely honest with their assessment of Zen’Kiki’s abilities as a druid.

Adrine Towhide: It looks like Zen’Kiki is still having a little bit of trouble with his shapeshifting.

Adrine Towhide: Among other things, Zen’Kiki needs to work on his spell accuracy. I could see his wrath spells spirling out of control even from here! In fact, I used them as a marker to follow your progress through the woods.

Perhaps we can use Zen’Kiki another way. Take him up to the top of the all just to our east. The diseased hawks that circle above that hill must be destroyed. Ask Zen’Kiki to shoot at these hawks. Even if he can’t hit them, he will distract them so you can finish them off.

Zen’Kiki: Ready to go, mon!

Hansbrix took Fridge and went to do some necessary shopping before they headed out to complete their latest tasks. Bradanna kept her eye on Zen’Kiki. She wasn’t impressed with him at all, and felt like he would quickly get himself into trouble if no one was watching.

As Zen’Kiki wandered around The Mender’s Stead, Bradanna moved just close enough to be in range in case he suddenly became in bad need of healing.

Zen’Kiki: You just let Zen’Kiki know when you’re ready! I’ll bring one of these birds down for ya!

Zen’Kiki: Here comes Zen’Kiki!

Zen’Kiki was still having trouble with shapeshifting.  He didn’t seem to know which way to face, and the Diseased Hawk was about to attack him.  Fridge stepped in to tank, while Bradanna and Hansbrix shot the Diseased Hawk from a distance.

Zen’Kiki: I seem to be… stuck…

After The Dwarves killed the required number of diseased birds, they returned Zen’Kiki to Adrine Towhide.

Adrine Towhide: Now we’re getting somewhere. How may birds did Zen’Kiki end up killing?

None? You killed them all yourself?

Alright, I suppose we’ll have to find another use for him then. I will let you know when the time is right.

Next, The Dwarves headed over to Dalson’s Farm.  It wasn’t very far away, so they decided just to run over there.

The fought, and killed, some Thrashing Pumpkins.

They also removed some unhealthy-looking pumpkins.

Next, they went to remove rotten apples from the orchard. This is where The Dwarves ran into some Pome Wraths who attacked them.

When this Pome Wrath was out of the way, The Dwarves continued their task. It’s always a good idea to remove the rotten apples before they spoil the bunch.

Other Pome Wraths interrupted them, and were just as quickly dispatched.

The last bit of agricultural work The Dwarves needed to do was to remove bad corn. It sounded easy, until the Corn Stalkers attacked.

The Dwarves were well prepared to defeat these enemies.

The Dwarves reported back to Selyria Groenveld, and told her about the rotten things that were at Dalson’s Farm.

Selyria Groenveld: Thank you for your help, Bradanna. I know that picking vegetables isn’t the most heroic task imaginable, but even the humblest tasks have their rewards.

Bradanna hit Level 40!  Hanxbrix had already hit Level 40. He was always a bit ahead of Bradanna.

The last thing to do was return to Andorhal and speak with Thassarian again. The Dwarves were right back where they started from, shortly after entering Western Plaguelands.

Thassarian: Word has it that you helped those farmers arm themselves. Well, now they’ve initiated the attack without my order! They’ve forced my hand.

The battle has resumed. This time, we fight the Forsaken… and I fight Koltira, my old brother of the Ebon Blade.

Bradanna shook her head.  Technically, The Dwarves armored the farmers. They never gave them arms, because Thurman Grant said that the farmers wouldn’t know which end to hold.  It felt to her like Thassarian was using the situation as an excuse to start a fight with his “frenemy”.

Thassarian: To the east, deep within Forsaken-held Andorhal, you will find their commanders. They do not fight, but call out orders from horseback. 

Hunt down and slay these commanders, Bradanna. The Forsaken won’t stand a chance.

Lang Loosegrip had some advice for the The Dwarves. The advice was a bit vague, but he probably meant well.

Lang Loosegrip: I’m no military expert, but this battle looks to be in our favor. Our defenders are equally matched with their death guards, but the farmers’ militia has taken them by surprise from the rear. For the Alliance!

Still, we should all do what we can to make sure that we win. Travel east into Andorhal and slay the Forsaken death guards that are fighting with our men. The sooner they die, the quicker we can re-take Andorhal!

The Dwarves, and Fridge, took on the Forsaken Deathguards, one at a time.

Thassarian: Well done. With them out of the way, I have no more excuses.

Soon, I must battle Koltira, for honor and for Andorhal.

Thassarian: We are winning this battle, Bradanna. As long as those farmers keep chipping away at the Forsaken’s flanks, we will overtake them.

And just like that, Thassarian changed his mind about the farmers, the moment he saw how useful they were.

The Dwarves let Lang Loosegrip know that they completed the task he sent them on to kill the Deathguards.

Lang Loosegrip: You fight well, Bradanna. I wish I had your ability… and your bravery.

The Dwarves went back to talk with Thassarian, figuring he would have some plan worked out for the battle ahead.

Thassarian: We nearly have this battle won, Bradanna. I can taste victory. The Forsaken never stood a…  What the hell is that!? 

The Dwarves turned around to see what Thassarian was looking at.

Thassarian: Is that a… val’kyr?

Bradanna squinted her eyes… and could just barely see the form of something flying toward them. The Dwarves had never seen anything like this before!

Val’kyr: Kneel, Alliance! Kneel before the might of the Forsaken!

With that, this beautiful, horrible, creature, and the ones it brought with it, began an attack.

Thassarian: Val’Kyr? Koltira brought val’kyr to this fight? Has he gone mad?  No, this is not Koltira’s work. This was Sylvanas.

Thassarian: The val’kyr were one of the Scourge’s primary weapons. Not only were they skilled in battle, but they could be used to convert corpses into Scourge minions. To think that Sylvanas is stooping to such levels for the sake of the Forsaken…

We need to stop the val’kyr before they wipe us out and turn our army against us. Slay as many as you can find. And bring some of these minutemen with you. If they’ve survived this long, then they must have some battle skill.

The Dwarves could hardly believe the situation they had gotten into.  They were about to fight lesser Val’kyr with a bunch of militiamen who were armed with pitchforks.

Thurman Grant: Our militia has been nearly wiped out. Only I and these few farmers remain.

Those winged creatures… they took the bodies of our men and… and turned them into walking, undead corpses! With every one of our men they took, they bolstered their own ranks.

It pains me to admit it, but you will ned to fight them too, along with the deathguards and val’kyr. As they did in life, they hunt in packs, so take some of my minutemen with you.

The Dwarves, and Fridge, led the remaining militia into battle.  They fought against Forsaken Troopers.

Bradanna found these battles to be tough.  It wasn’t because they were not up to the task. She worried about the militia who had to, once again, fight against their (now undead) brothers. She and Hansbrix led the militia past the fallen body of the one they just killed.

The corpse lay on the road in Andorhal, ignored out of necessity. The battle continued to wage around them, and there simply was no time for anyone to mourn for their lost friends.

The moment The Dwarves, and their band of militiamen, killed a val’kyr – another one began to attack.

This was the kind of battle where one wrong move could turn out to be completely disastrous.

Victorious!

Thurman Grant: You fought valiantly, but we’re getting nowhere. Every body that falls just fuels their forces.

Thassarian: For every val’kyr you slay, you save dozens of our men… and prevent the Forsaken forces from growing. Still, they press on. We may not will this battle after all.

Thassarian: I spoke too quickly, Bradanna. Even with your support, things are looking grim for our forces out there.

Thassarian: Our last hope of victory lies in defeating the val’kyr. You’ve done well up until now… but you’re only one woman and there are literally dozens of them raining destruction on the battlefield.

One enormous val’kyr sits atop the tower to our south… you can see her from here. Perhaps if we eliminate her, the remaining val’kyr will dissipate.

This is our only hope. Bring some of Grant’s men with you. You’ll need their protection for this battle.

The Dwarves took a moment to make a plan with the militiamen, as Aradne watched while floating above the tower. Thassarian seemed to think that maybe Bradanna and her militiamen could take on Aradne by themselves, but didn’t seem hopeful about the outcome.

Bradanna was undaunted, though. With Hansbrix and Fridge by her side, along with Hansbrix’s militiamen – this seemed like a battle they just might win.

The first thing to do was climb to the top of the tower.

The battle was intense, but went very quickly.

Here lies the corpse of the Val’kyr Aradne.

Thassarian: I watched your victory from below. Well-fought, but ultimately, it was for naught. The val’kyr and the Forsaken press on: soon they will overtake us. We have lost Andorhal.

Thassarian: Head south, to Chillwind Camp. Tell Commander Ashlam Valorfist everything that happened here. 

Me? I’m going west, into Tirisfal.

My battle’s not over yet. I’ve got an appointment with that harpy that calls herself a Banshee Queen…and I’m finding out what she did to Koltira.

The Dwarves returned to Chillwind Camp to give Commander Ashlam Valorfist the news about Andorhal.

Commander Ashlam Valorfist: Lost? No…next, they’ll be coming for Chillwind, I suppose. This was a major strategic blow to the Alliance’s plans for Lordaeron.

Very well. I will report the results of this battle to King Wrynn. I don’t expect him to be happy.

The Dwarves were right back where they started from. This was not the end of their adventure through Western Plaguelands, though. There was more to explore.

The Dwarves Explore Western Plaguelands – Part 1 is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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