Taurajo, Ashenvale, Hillsbrad: Level 21-24
The beginning of this book finds us in our familiar haunts, the Barrens. Rather than the Crossroads, however, we will work out of the southern town of Camp Taurajo. We only get one chapter in the Barrens before we're travelling again: north to Ashenvale and then back across to Undercity.
Mackenzie starts this chapter at level 21 + 13 bars. Most of his xp up to this point has been solid purple, but now he begins with a little blue xp saved up.
Newly arrived in Ratchet from Stonetalon Mountains, there are two quests that need to be completed here. Further Instructions goes to Sputtervalve by the flightmaster, who responds by sending you back to Fizziks in Stonetalon with Further Instructions II (27). Because it's so high in level we don't need to pick this up just yet. Deepmoss Spider Eggs goes to Mebok by the bank, and we note that he is still waiting for Intact Raptor Horns. Run up to the inn and speak to the Captain there to pick up the quest The Guns of Northwatch (20).
Having turned these quests in, fly back to Crossroads. Stop at the inn, and set your hearthstone to Crossroads, if you changed it to Sun Rock earlier. We have a number of Barrens quests series to finish up, and we have two quests for Thunder Bluff to take care of as well. You should have Hezrul Bloodmark and Jorn Skyseer in your quest log.
Run south from Crossroads, heading for the Lushwater Oasis. This is the oasis to the south west of Crossroads, where you will find the The Wailing Caverns instance. Wandering around the oasis, primarily on the western side, you will find Hezrul Bloodmark(19) with two attendants(15). At level 21, this is still a serious fight. Take out the weak attendants first and then finish Hezrul and loot his head. Then return to the Crossroads and run down the Stonetalon Road to the west, until you find Rethgar Deathgate in his orc outpost. Give him the Head of Hezrul Bloodmark to conclude our series with the centaur and the oases.
After turning in several quests, Mackenzie was level 21 + 17 bars.
End of First Trip.
For the next trip, be we begin by flying to Camp Taurajo. Check in with Jorn Skyseer to turn in your quest from Sergra in Crossroads. He will give you the quest Ishamuhale (19), and another called Melor Sends Word(30). The latter is simply a messenger quest to Thunder Bluff and gives no experience.
Next, fly to Thunder Bluff. The first two quests we have there are The Elder Crone from Stonetalon, and Hamuul Runetotem from Crossroads. Ask a Bluffwatcher for the Druid trainer and go to the Elder rise. In a small hut in the center of the Elder Rise, you will find the Elder Crone. She accepts your Stonetalon quest and then, after a few seconds delay, sends you to the Pools of Vision on the Spirit rise with Forsaken Aid. Across the courtyard from the Crone's hut is the giant tent of Druids. Speak to Hamuul Runetotem inside for your quest from Crossroads. He asks you to find another tauren in the tent, Nara Wildmane and she offers you a quest for Wailing Caverns, Leaders of the Fang(22+).
With these steps done, let's find the Spirit rise. The simplest way is to ask a guard for directions to the Class Trainer: Shaman. We're looking for the Pools of Vision, and we've been there before so remember it is approached from the lower bridge. A path will lead down and to the left to the cave.
Inside the cave, stay left to find Apothecary Zamah, our target from the Elder Crone. Make sure that you have space in your bags for the quest item. Zamah has two quests for you. Journey to Tarren Mill (18) is a messenger quest to the other continent, and Serpentbloom (18) is another quest for Wailing Caverns. You should take the first, or both if you plan to do the instance.
Before leaving, talk to Melor on Hunter's Rise and pick up the higher level quest Steelsnap (30).
Now fly back to Camp Taurajo.
End of second trip.
Leave Camp Taurajo and follow the Gold Road north for a ways until you can see the Tusk Bridge ahead that crosses the dry gully.
Run to the dry riverbed, and follow it to the east. This will lead you to Northwatch Hold. Before you get there, however, you will see a side valley to the south (on your right) with raptor's around the entrance and some bones hanging in the trees. This is the place to find the Stolen Silver, which is located at the back of the valley. Patrols will aggro on you, but the ones at the nests will not if you hug the eastern wall. The raptor nest at the very back is where the box of silver will be found.
The silver is guarded by three raptors, one of which can be pulled solo when it walks slightly away from the others. The last two have to be managed together, so some crowd control might be in order. With the raptors down, loot the chest for the silver. If you still need Intact raptor horns, stay here and hunt the raptors on your way out of the valley.
Now turn your attention to Northwatch Hold. You can run down the hill and approach it through the front entrance, but the better way is to find a gap between the wall and the cliff near the Raptor Run. Run up the ridge at the back of Raptor Run, (the side away from Northwatch Hold). Take the ridge all the way to the peak and you will be able to come down the ridge that leads to the back of the tower. Enter there and you will find yourself behind the northern-most tower. This back door allows you to bypass the whole lower level of the Hold, and proceed directly to the towers. However, finding the correct path from the hill to the tower is tricky, and may take a few attempts.
There are soldiers and healers, usually one linked to the other, throughout this upper level. Each of the named cannoneers has a healer as well. Simply take out the healer first, and then the warrior. The two towers are on either end of the upper level, while the captain is on the ramp heading to the lower level. The Captain's tower, unlike the others, has multiple guards patrolling the ramps and at middle levels. Each of the guards at the top can be pulled solo, before engaging the Captain (20) and the healer. Kill the healer first, as usual. This will conclude The Guns of Northwatch.
At the bottom of this tower, you will find an escort quest Free from the Hold. This is a very long quest, because the escort walks all the way back to Rachet, agroing every pirate camp along the way. If you are in a group, this can be fun, but solo it is not worth the trouble, since most mobs are gray. Instead, leave Northwatch Hold by the back door again.
Your next destination is Ratchet. The easiest way is to run west, up the dry river bed, until you find a ridgeline up to the mountain on your right. Running up one side and down the other will put you right outside Ratchet, with only a few raptors in between. Turn in Northwatch Hold and Intact Raptor Horns.
Leave Ratchet by the main road. At the top of the hill, look to the right to see two oddly shaped boabab trees (extremely thick trunk). Beyond them (to the north) you will come to a similar one that is dead. Hunt a zebra and loot it for its carcass. Return to the dead tree, right click on the carcass in your inventory and Ishamuhale, a big red raptor, will appear. Kill him and loot the Fang.
Now return to Crossroads and turn in Stolen Silver. Be sure to get Mankrik's final quest Consumed by Hatred if you don't already have it. Speak to Korran who is across from the forge and blacksmiths, near the gate to the Stonetalon Rd. His quest is Egg Hunt (22). Finally, fly back to Camp Taurajo and turn in Ishamuhale's fang. Jorn will give you Enraged Thunder Lizards (20). Mackenzie reached Level 22 +7 bars.
End of Trip 3
Beside the flight master at Camp Taurajo, inside a cage, you will find a boar named Mangletooth. He has a quest to hunt quillboar called, Tribes at War (21). With this quest, Consumed, and Thunder Lizards, we will set out to the fields north of Taurajo. Here is our shopping list:
If you finish collecting the thunder lizard blood before the quillboars, return to Jorn right away and turn it in. His next quest will be to the same area: Cry of the Thunderhawk (20) where you will be hunting the flying snakes for one of their Thunderhawk wings. Otherwise, make an additional trip to the fields around Taurajo. The drop rate is very good for the wings. After this long hunting trip, Mackenzie reached level 23 + 2 bars.
End of Fourth Trip.
We have one more task to take care of: Egg Hunt, which we picked up in Crossroads. Running south along the Gold Road from Taurajo, look on either side of the road to find the bright turquoise green scorpids and their nest mounds. Kill the scorpids and clear your way to an egg mound, then use your digging claw to harvest your eggs.
While in this area, watch for a Silithid Harvester, a rare mob. Kill it and loot its head to start another quest for Jorn, The Harvester. It's worth checking the mounds on both sides of the road to find the harvester. With all your eggs gathered, return to Camp Taurajo.
After Cry of the Thunderhawk, Jorn Skyseer sends you to his sister near Ratchet in the quest Mahren Skyseer (27). He also has a quest called The Ashenvale Hunt(20). Accept these two and prepare to leave Camp Taurajo. For now, we are done with the Southern Barrens. Fly back to Crossroads, turn in Consumed to Mankrik, and give the silithid eggs to Korran to complete Egg Hunt.
End of Trip 5.
That concludes this chapter. Mackenzie is now Level 23 + 9 bars.
This next chapter is a reconnaissance mission into Ashenvale. Our main objective is to pick up the two flight paths, and we have a messenger quest that takes us to each of the Horde towns in the region. Getting these flight paths now will make our next visit to Ashenvale much easier, and we can complete a few quests before they turn gray.
Our next quests will be north in Ashenvale. The quest that sends us there is from Thork in Crossroads, standing under the watchtower: Report to Kadrak (19). Kadrak is located on the border between the Barrens and Ashenvale, so take the northern road and run all the way north until you get to the border defenses called The Mor'shan Ramparts.
In the tower on your right, on the middle level (not all the way at the top) you will find Kadrak, who gives you the quest The Warsong Reports (19). Along with the quest are a bundle of orders. Right click on them to break them into three separate orders in your inventory. They will be delivered separately to three destinations: Splintertree Post, the Logging Camp Road, and Zoram Strand.
The transition from the dusty brown Barrens, to the dense greens and purples of Ashenvale is abrupt. Continue north on the road until you reach a tee intersection. The sign will point you to the right and east. Follow this path to Splintertree Post, which will appear very soon on your left. There are two areas to Splintertree post: one up by the road, and another further back into the woods surrounded by a fence.
In the guard tower by the road, either on the ground in front, or on the top level, you will find the Warsong Scout, where you can turn in the first of the reports. Every now and then, the Scout climbs up or down her tower and stands for a while. If you don't find her at the top, it's possible that you passed her on the way up, or even that she was killed by a little pvp action. Wait and she will respawn. After talking to her, she will give you a report to carry back to Kadrak, Warsong Scout Update (21). When finished, continue along the side road to reach the post back inside the fence.
End of first trip
Ahead on your left is the green exclamation point for the Flight master. Speak to her first. On the other side of the clearing is Senani Thunderheart. Speak to her to complete Jorn's quest The Ashenvale Hunt. She offers a quest by the same name, Ashenvale Hunt. This quest will NOT appear in your quest log. Instead, speak to Senani again and ask her about each of three animals that you are supposed to kill. Because you can't take her instructions with you in the quest log, you may want to note down the details of the locations of your quarry.
At this point, you are finished with Splintertree Post. Return to the road and turn left, continuing to the north east. Stay to the center of the road to avoid aggroing any of the higher-level mobs in this area. As you make this lengthy run, you are looking for the Warsong Outrider, the recipient of the second Report. About halfway to the Warsong Lumber Camp you will cross a small river and then see some warning posts. The Outrider may be found anywhere from here all the way to Southfury River on the border to Azshara. She rides a wolf, patrolling slowly along the road. Ahead on the right, you will see the activities of the Warsong Lumber Camp, but there are no interactive NPCs or services available at the camp. It is simply there for Alliance quests.
Once you have spoken to the Warsong Outrider, she gives you the return quest Warsong Outrider Update (25). Now retrace your steps west down the road toward Splintertree Post and beyond. Your goal is to run all the way to Zoram Strand, a Horde outpost on the coast. Continue down the road, past Splintertree, and beyond the intersection that leads back down to the Barrens.
Continue to the west until you see the Night Elf town of Astranaar, in the center of a lake. The way to the north of the lake is clear of Alliance, though there are spiders and wolves, and you can easily bypass the Night Elves there. The easiest path is to swim through the lake, hugging the northern shore, avoiding both the beasts on land, and the alliance on the island.
Beyond Astranaar, you will come to a sharp right turn in the road, and pass through an elven gate. In front of you will be the large tower of Maestra's Post, another Alliance position. Stick to the road and you will find a path leading off to the left and west, toward the coast. Follow it until you begin to see the ruins of Zoram and an opening out to the sea on your left. Follow that opening and you will come out to the beach. Travel south along the beach, avoiding Naga, and Zoram'gar will be immediately in front of you.
End of second trip.
The first thing you will come to in Zoram'gar is the flight master. Speak to him immediately to pick up the flightpath. Nearby is the Warsong Runner, and you can give him the last of your reports, accepting the return quest. Next, across the clearing you will find two elevated troll platforms. The one on the left has two trolls in it; speak to Marukai (the girl troll) to accept Naga at the Zoram Strand(19). Don't run off to complete it, however.
In the doorway of the orc hut, Muglash will offer you a quest for Vorsha the Lasher(23). When you accept the quest, Muglash immediately begins walking toward the water, looking for a burning brazier. When you find the big purple flame, right-click on it to put it out, then quickly stand back and look around for the approaching naga. Avoid them and let Muglash be the tank. You will have two waves of three naga each, and then Vorsha, a hydra, will emerge from the water. The task in all cases is avoid taking aggro as much as possible, only attacking Muglash's target.
The big hydra is not particularly difficult. Be sure to loot the naga you kill during this event to begin collecting their heads. When Vorsha is dead, return to the Warsong Runner to complete this quest. At the same time, turn in your Warsong Report and accept the return quest, Warsong Runner Update(19).
Next, you can go to work for Marukai, killing the naga. Spacing is good so single pulls are easy, and the heads drop from every kill. Kill enough to complete the assignment of 20 heads and then turn them over to Marukai.
This concludes the quests that we need to complete on this visit to Zoram. Take the flightpath back to Splintertree Post, then run south west down the road to the tee, and turn south back to the Barrens. When you get to the northern watch tower at the border, turn in the Warsong Reports; then continue south to Crossroads. This ends our first chapter in Ashenvale.
End of third trip.
Mackenzie was level 23 + 17 bars.
We are now ready to take a second trip to the other continent, and visit the land of the Forsaken. Before leaving, be sure you have completed the Stonetalon line of quests up to this point and have the quest, Journey to Tarren Mill (18), from Thunder Bluff. Also make sure your hearthstone is set to Crossroads or Orgrimmar before we leave. We will use it to avoid the long trip back.
Travel to Orgrimmar and take the zeppelin to Undercity. Arriving at the zeppelin tower outside Undercity you need to run inside and down to find the cooking trainer. Beside him, Raleigh Andrean gives you the quest, A Husband's Revenge(20). Now find the flight master on the upper ring. We have already been to Sepulcher, so we should have the flight path. Fly there now.
Find your way to Sepulcher and speak to Shadow Priest Allister, in front of the entrance to the crypt to pick up the quest Beren's Peril (21). His other quest The Weaver is a bit more complicated than we're ready for, right now. Beside the crypt, take the quest from Apothecary Renferrel, Journey to Hillsbrad Foothills (20). Leave the Sepulcher and return to the main road, taking it south.
The road will open out into an artificial embankment on the west side (to your right). In the middle of this embankment is a side road heading to Pyrewood. Take that side road, but as soon as you reach the bottom of the embankment turn south. Watch for another Son of Arugal in this area and completely avoid him if you see him. You will eventually find a giant wall with a great gate in the center, and many refugees camped at its base.
Follow the wall to the right as far as you can and you'll find a tent with three refugees. Just to the left, standing by himself is Valdred Moray(21), the target for A Husband's Revenge. Clear any patrols that wander along the wall first, then pull him away from the wall to fight him. Loot his hands for the quest. After standing for a while, Valdred leaves his camp and visits each of the other camps along the wall before returning. If you don't see him right away, wait a minute until he returns.
After killing Valdred, return to the road and turn to the right, heading south and east. The road will make a sweeping turn to the left, heading east toward Hillsbrad. After it does, look for a thick collection of Dalaran watchers and wizards on the left, and a broken and twisted lamp post on the south side of the road. That is the landmark to head north up into the hills, where you will find the scourge that you need to kill for the Beren's Peril quest. Coordinates for the base of the path is (60, 74). In the hills you will find a cave system with both mobs, Ravenclaw Drudgers and Guardians. At the back of the cave is a rare mob called the Ravenclaw Regent, who drops an 18 armor cloak.
When finished with Beren's Peril, return to the road and continue to travel to the east. Just as you cross into Hillsbrad, and the grass turns green again, you will find a broken stone tower on the right side of the road. Deathstalker Lesh is standing on the ruined base of the tower, and she gives you a simple messenger quest to take to Tarren mill, Time to Strike (20), where we are heading anyway. Speak to her and continue down the road to the east. You will pass the Hillsbrad Fields on your left, Southshore on your right, and come to another tower on the left. Turn left just beyond the tower, head north and you will see Tarren Mill on your right.
Mackenzie was Level 24 + 5 bars.
End of First Trip.
As always, pick up the flight path as you enter the town. Enter the first building you see on your left and speak to the Apothecary to turn in your quests Journey to Tarren Mill and Travel to Hillsbrad. He will respond with the follow up, Blood of Innocents(23). He will also offer an unrelated quest Elixir of Suffering (23), to kill bears and spiders around Tarren Mill, so accept that as well. Back outside, turn left and run to the center of town to find High Executor Darthalia, who completes Time to Strike. She offers another quest chain, but we will not begin that one on this visit. Instead, check out the wanted poster behind the Ghost Lady Melisara to accept Wanted: Syndicate Personnel (22). Inside the building behind the poster, speak to Krusk and pick up The Rescue (22).
Now we have three quests that send us against the Syndicate in Durnholde Keep: Blood of Innocents, Wanted:, and The Rescue. The other quest, Elixir of Suffering, we can complete as we run between locations. Begin by heading south east out of Tarren Mill, across the fields, killing any bears and spiders that you encounter. When you reach the road, continue east along it. You will first see a ruined tower on the south side, and then a ruined fortress on the north side. This is Durnholde Keep, and it is our target for these quests.
The main quest that you want to concentrate on is The Rescue. As you enter the front gate and clear your way inside, you see that the keep is divided into three areas. To your left is a lower area with some bunkhouses and many syndicate. This left area is where you will find one of the prisoners. To the right is another lower area, similar to the first, but without any prisoners - although Rogues spawn here more frequently. In the middle is a raised area of the ruined keep. This will house the other prisoner and possibly the two jailers as well.
The key to The Rescue is that in order to free the prisoners, you have to locate and defeat each of two jailers, and loot their keys. The difficult part of this task is finding the jailers in the first place. Begin with the middle section of the keep - straight ahead, crossing the bridge and taking the ascending trail on the right. Carefully pull all the mobs as you go. Go left at the fork. Walk through the broken doorway into the keep area and the first prisoner should be straight ahead. I have often found one or both jailers in this same area, commonly to the right of the doorway. The report is that they have multiple spawn locations, however. Also in the upper keep area, you will find a vendor who sells some very nice leather pieces.
If the second jailer is not in the central area, he is usually guarding the second prisoner. Go back to the main bridge and look at the bunkhouses in the western area. The one with the prisoner is in the southwest corner. Remember that you need the jailer's key before you can free him. Also notice that there is a ledge running around the perimeter of the bunkhouse area. You'll find a few mobs along it, but not as many as roam the pit below. Circle around to the southwest corner before dropping off the ledge.
With your looted keys, return to each prisoner and click on the shackles holding them to the floor. Clicking on the prisoners themselves has no effect. During this process, you will have killed numerous Syndicate personnel. We need rogues and watchmen for the Wanted: quest, and the shadow mages will drop the Innocent Blood. If all you have are rogues left, leave the keep and run back to the ruined tower, where they are more accessible and numerous.
Return to the fields south of Tarren Mill and hunt any remaining bears or spiders that you need for Elixir of Suffering (22). Now go back to town and turn in all four quests. Turning in the Durnholde quests will lead to others, but our visit to Tarren Mill is finished for now, so do not take them at this point. There's a brief follow up to the Elixir quest by the same name, Elixir of Suffering (22). Just feed the elixir to Umpi behind you to complete it. Accept the follow up for Innocents, Return to Thunder Bluff (23).
End of second trip.
Our visit to Hillsbrad is done. Fly back to Sepulcher and speak to Allistar to turn in Berin's Peril. Then take the flight path back to Undercity and talk with Raleigh to complete A Husband's Revenge. Travel back to Orgrimmar, and on to Thunder Bluff (or use your hearthstone if it is more helpful). We need to visit Zamah in the Pools of Vision beneath Spirit Rise, and we'll take care of this in the next book.
Mackenzie is level 24 + 19 bars.