Stonetalon, Thousand Needles, Ashenvale: Level 27-30
If you're following this series, you have just completed Horde Quest Guide, Book 4 and have recently arrived from Tarren Mill
In this book we finish the last of the quests in Stonetalon Mountains and Ashenvale. Together with the Barrens, we will have completed all of the central areas of the continent of Kalimdor. Then we move into Thousand Needles, which is the gateway to the southern half of the continent and the higher level zones.
Patch 2.3 - Running through this guide after the patch, I began to see the evidence of the leveling improvements. As long as I completed all the quests, I was easily able to maintain my leveling progress, and no incidental grinding was required. The most important changes are to quests that used to be elite, like Bloodfury Bloodline, or very difficult, like Never Again!. These quests have been simplified and are now much more manageable.
Fly into Sun Rock Retreat. We should have the quest Jin'zil's Forest Magic(27) in our log. (If not, run down to Malaka'jin and talk to Jin'zil back in the cave.) At Sun Rock, collect quests from Tammra Windfield New Life(25), and Maggran Earthbinder Harpies Threaten(26). On the bluff overlooking the inn, Tsunaman has Elemental War(25). The steep path that leads to Tsunaman is actually the start of a mountain trail marked with burning torches that leads to the Charred Vale. With these three quests, we are ready to enter the Charred Vale for a long hunting trip, so make any preparations you need and then take this shortcut to begin your harvest there.
The Charred Vale is shaped like a rough circle. You need to kill a long list of Harpies for Maggran, and generally these will be grouped together by type. The Ambushers are in the center, the Slayers are to the south east, and the Roguefeathers are in the south west corner. The Harpies tend to wander among the northern groups. You will also kill fire elementals for Tsunaman, which are found scattered through the vale, often at the edges. At the same time, watch for mounds of earth in which to plant the seeds Tammra gave you. This is also an excellent spot for mining, so check your tracking for mithril, gold, and truesilver if that interests you.
As soon as your Harpy list is complete, return to Maggran in Sun Rock Retreat. When you turn in Harpies Threaten, Maggran offers you the final quest, Bloodfury Bloodline (26) to kill Bloodfury Ripper. She is a named harpy in the northwest corner of the Vale. Return now to the Charred Vale to complete this final quest. Hunt any other mobs left on your lists and then turn in your quests at Sun Rock Retreat.
Level 28 +7 bars
End of first trip.
After the turn-in at Sun Rock, gather the quest from Braelyn, Cenarius' Legacy(25). Leave Sun Rock and run north to Mirkfallon Lake. Follow the path north of the lake and begin to hunt coursers on the way up to the Peak. Each Courser drops two eyes so we need to kill 15 to get our total of 30. This is easily accomplished during our trips up and back from the Peak.
For Cenarius' Legacy, we need to kill Sons, Daughters and Botanists. The Sons always come with a Treant Ally; the Daughters are ranged fighters; and the Botanists are druid-type casters. Hunt these mobs in the center of the area among the ruins, and complete this quest first.
To finish Forest Magic we need to hunt the wildlife of the area, found around the periphery. Each mob has a different drop rate: I had to kill 14 Sap Beasts before I got a single Sap to drop, but after that they were dropping every third kill. For the Twilight Runners, I found my first Whisker on the second kill, but then they only dropped every 5 or 6 kills. The Dragon Scale dropped off the first faerie dragon I killed, but there may be a single one in the whole area, so you have to keep a sharp watch for him.
With Cenarius and Forest Magic complete, leave the Peak and hunt the rest of the Coursers on our way back to Sun Rock Retreat.
End of second trip.
Return to Sun Rock and turn in Cenarius' Legacy, then accept Calling in the Reserves (28) from Maggran. Leave Sun Rock, and run to Fizzik's house and turn in Further Instructions, taking Gerenzo Wrenchwhistle (27) in its place. Head north from Fizzik's house, until you find the Blackwolf River and follow it up to Cragpool Lake. Wrenchwhistle is found in the giant waterwheel structure towering over the lake. The path up to it starts at the east end of the lake at (68, 41). Stay left as you climb the hill and it will wind around to the top of the structure, to a steps heading down.
The regular mobs are level 20-21, so this is a cakewalk at our level, but Gerenzo himself is level 27 and he may come with a Machine Smith, (the patch has made this easier) who spawns a Mechanical pet, so the final fight can get a little crowded. If you can pull Gerenzo off his platform, he will come solo, but line-of-sight may not always make this possible. When the boss is defeated, loot his Mechanical Arm and return to Fizzik to turn in this quest.
Run to Jin'Zil to turn in Forest Magic. Then hearth to Crossroads, and travel to Ratchet. We're going to look for Mahren Skyseer on the point south east of town at (65, 43). Leave from the Inn, like we did to fight the pirates. When you reach them, stay to the left and follow the coast to the Tidus Stair, where she will be out on the point. She sends you to find and kill Isha Awak(27), swimming in the water to the south. Our biggest challenge with be finding the sea monster; he is most often found in the water between the end of the pirates and Northwatch Hold, around (64, 50). Defeat Isha Awak, loot his Heart, and return to Mahren to complete the quest.
While you are in Ratchet, this is an excellent time to hop aboard the ship and cross over to Booty Bay to collect the Shipment of axes''. These are on the left side of the pier as you leave the ship. It is certainly possible to collect your shipment and be back aboard before the ship leaves. If this is your first trip to Booty Bay, take a minute to look around and pick up the flight path at the top of the Inn. Then take the boat back to Ratchet.
Mackenzie was level 28 + 19 bars.
End of third trip.
Fly to Camp Taurajo. Speak to the Blacksmith and pick up A New Ore Sample (29). Then leave Camp Taurajo, run out to the Gold Road and follow it south until it reaches the Great Lift. Deliver your message, Calling in the Reserves, to Grish Longrunner and then check to see if Brave Moonhorn has another quest for you, Message to Freewind Post(29). This one may be faction dependent. Now take the lift down into Thousand Needles and run south for a short distance until the road forks. Turn left and follow the road to the east to reach the elevators at Freewind Post.
Turn in your message to Cliffwatcher Longhorn, and from Longhorn accept Pacify the Centaur(25). Find Hagar Lightninghoof on the western side of the rise and accept Alien Egg(26). Also pick up the flight path and set your hearthstone here in Freewind Post.
End of First Trip.
Now take the elevator down to ground level and run north from the bottom of the Freewind lift to find the Centaur needed for Pacify. Enter the camp, and work your way to the east, along the north wall. The Scouts seemed to be the hardest to collect, so take any that you find. You will eventually leave the centaur area and come to an area guarded by cloud serpents; gather your alien egg at (56, 50). If the egg is not there, cross to the south wall and look for cloud serpents guarding another one there.
Look for a steep ramp in the north wall near the cloud serpents. At the top is a cave with Dorn Plainstalker inside. He will give you the quest, Test of Faith (26). You may want to note this area on your zone map, so you can return more easily. Take the leap and you will be returned to the cave, where you can accept Test of Endurance (30).
Leaving the cave, travel back to the west again, and clear out any additional centaur needed for the Pacify quest. Then return to Freewind Post to complete two quests. Turn in Pacify the Centaur, and accept Grimtotem Spying(28). Turn in Alien Egg, and accept Serpent Wild (26).
End of second trip.
From the bottom of Freewind Post, follow the main road to the west, past the turn off to the Great Lift. Keep an eye open for a running centaur, catch and kill him. Also continue to kill any Gravelsnout Diggers and Surveyors that you see. On the left you will find a small camp called Whitereach Post. Speak to Motega for Sacred Fire (27).
Darkcloud Pinnacle is back down the main road to the east, just past the trail to the Great Lift. Rather than climbing up to the bluffs, collect the Agave from the springs underneath. The agave plants could be on the banks or in the water itself. The Water Elementals seem to hit unreasonably hard and with the water slowing your movement, this is not a place where you want to be fighting more than one at a time.
When all ten plants have been gathered, return to Freewind Post and then fly to Thunder Bluff with your agave. Ask a guard for the Druid trainer and find Magatha on the Elder Rise. She will complete the quest Sacred Fire and give you another, Arikara (30), in return. On the upper rise, talk to Zangen Stonehoof to accept The Sacred Flame (25) a quest with a similar name but completely different objectives from the one we just turned in. If you don't have the quest Steelsnap (30) find Melor on Hunter's Rise to accept it. Check the Auction House for a Deadly blunderbuss. Our first chapter in Thousand Needles is complete.
Level 29 + 12 bars.
End of third trip.
Between our last visit to Ashenvale and this trip, we should have done two things. First, buy a Deadly blunderbuss from the Auction House, and second, travel to Booty Bay and pick up the Shipment of Axes off the docks. You should also have the Logging rope in your inventory. With those three things in hand, we fly into Splintertree Post.
To begin, run west on the main road until you come to the intersection with the road to Felwood. On that corner is Raynewood Retreat. In the hills to the west of the Retreat you will find Shadumbra (28). Kill him and loot his head, then right click it to start the quest Shadumbra's Head. While you're waiting for Shadumbra to walk by, kill the Laughing Sister dryads (centaur girls, do not engage the night elves) until an Etched phial drops for Sacred Flame. With the phial and Shad's head, retreat south to the road. Turn left, and travel west on the road until you reach the bridge. Just before you cross the river, look for a path on the south side of the road, marked with a few tree-lights. The path is overrun with mobs, but will lead you back to the Moonwell, where you can fill your Etched phial by right clicking on it. Follow the path back up to the road.
If you didn't find the Logging rope from the Furbolgs on your last visit, go and hunt them now until it drops. Return to Splintertree Post. Just south of STP, look for Sharptalon, a level 31 blue bird. Kill it and loot Sharptalon's Claw (30). Now return to STP and talk to Senani Thunderheart to turn in the hunting quests. The claw and the head make up the final two quests in the Ashenvale Hunt, and then the series concludes with The Hunt Completed (30).
Level 29 + 18 bars.
End of first trip.
Across the clearing from Senani, by the flight master, find Pixel the goblin. She has two quests: Warsong Saw Blades (27) is the quest asking for the Deadly blunderbuss which we need brought with us. If you have it with you, complete this quest right away. In return she give you the Saw blades, which is one of the components for Warsong Supplies. The final component, Warsong oil, is found in the Satyr camp. Her second quest is Satyr Horns (26), which you should accept now.
The satyr are to the east of Splintertree Post in an area called Satyrnaar behind a dark red post and lintel. You will be gathering many satyr horns and looking for a stone jar of oil, usually on the ground around the tents. The jar is not a dark green one, like the Undead poison bottles; it's more like a relic or ruin item made of stone with a fringe of moss growing on it. It has been reported in many odd places, including up in the air. Look first for the Warsong Oil around the tents of the Satyr or around the base of trees, then gather the remaining horns. This will be a long quest to complete because of the slow drop rate of the horns. A horn dropped for me every 5 or 6 kills, with a long spell in the middle when no horns appeared.
With the satyr visit finally over, return to Pixel with her horns, collect the saw blades from her and bring all the supplies to Locke Okarr out by the road to complete Warsong Supplies for some useful blue quest rewards.
At this point, you have probably leveled to 30. The next expedition is challenging and would benefit from any help you might get from training. If you haven't already, travel to Orgrimmar (unless you're a druid) and update all available skills before returning to Splintertree Post.
Level 30 +5 bars.
End of second trip.
Back inside the stockade of Splintertree Post, find Valusha, near Wrilehiss. She is interested in the demon area to the south east and offers the quest Destroy the Legion (30). As soon as you exit the wooden gate of the stockade, immediately turn left and climb to the road at (75,65). Directly on the other side of the road is a wide path that leads to the demon area. The first quest is to kill a shopping list of demons.
While you are fighting the demons, a set of Diabolical Plans (30) will drop. Right click to begin a quest of the same name. When these plans drop, immediately return with them to Splintertree Post and give them to Valusha. Valusha will send you back to the demon area to kill the two bosses, Never Again! (32). This is a slightly higher level quest, but not beyond our capabilities. After the patch, the packs of roaming Fell hounds have been entirely removed, making this quest much easier to solo. The good thing is that while we are working on Never Again!, the other quest will be completed as well.
The demon area is divided into two sections. You cross a bridge to enter the exterior demon section, Felfire Hill, which looks like the rest of Ashenvale. Here you will find many Felguard and Infernals. However, if you pass through a narrow gap at (84, 75) you will come to the interior demon area, Demon Fall Canyon, that's nearly devoid of vegetation. Demons can be found either to the left - following the steep trail up to the ridge, or to the right - up a narrow path marked by glowing monuments. Back in these areas, you will have better luck finding the lashers to complete the quest. There is a named boss at each of the demon camps.
Start by taking the left path up to the ridge. Follow the trail and stay to the left where possible. The path will lead to a Demon boss flanked by 2 mannoroc lashers. These lashers can each be pulled solo. The one on the right can be pulled easily; the other lasher is much closer to the demon lord and you must wait until the boss turns his back on you and faces away. If they both are pulled at the same time, you can kill the lasher and run to lose agro, then return to face the boss alone.
The second boss is to the right of the entrance path, up another steep trail marked with glowing monuments. At the end of the trail is a camp of Lashers, with a cave entrance at the back. It is possible to hug the left wall and avoid all the mobs in the camp, and just run into the cave. The mobs in here are the same ones we've seen outside.
The difficult part of this quest is finding the boss in the first place. The boss can spawn at any of the alcoves throughout the dungeon, but he's usually on the very bottom level. Don't try to bypass mobs, or do clever things like jump off bridges; just pull the mobs to you one at a time and check the alcoves as you go. On the very bottom level, below the bridges, you will usually find the second boss. He is a caster type and goes down quickly if no one adds to the fight.
Return the way you came in, and then talk to Valusha in Splintertree Post to complete this quest, and finish the chapter. The rings from this quest and the blue items from Warsong Supplies are the principal reason not to skip Ashenvale.
Mackenzie was Level 30 + 13 bars
End of third trip.
After this long visit to Ashenvale, you will have collected numerous pages of the Shredder Operating Manual. Examine these bag-clogging pages and see if you have enough to make the needed chapters. Right click on those that complete chapters to consolidate them. Then return to the auction house in Orgrimmar and you will very likely be able to buy the missing pages. (While at the AH, check for Strong Troll's Blood Potion, which you will need in the next chapter). If you can't get the complete set of pages at this point, you might seriously consider dropping them, since our questing in Ashenvale is complete.
If you are able to complete the shredder manual, fly back to Splintertree Post and, just down the road to the southwest you will find the quest giver on the south side of the road. Accept the quest The Lost Pages (30). Turn these chapters in for a 3650 xp reward. With this, you can also say goodbye to Ashenvale for a long time.
Before this book ends, fly to Thunder Bluff and find Zangen Stonehoof on the upper rise. Give him the Filled etched phial to complete The Sacred Flame and he will give you a messenger quest by the same name to take to Thousand Needles, The Sacred Flame (29). Level 30 + 16 bars.