Desolace, Stranglethorn, Alterac: Level 34-36
If you're following this series, you have completed Horde Quest Guide, Book 6 and have just leveled to 34, setting things up in Stranglethorn Vale. In this book, we will return there and take advantage of those preparations, but first we need to make arrangements for Desolace.
Our visit to Desolace begins in Orgrimmar. Begin by turning in The Swarm Grows to Belgrom outside the Warrior trainers hall. Ask a guard for directions. He'll give you the next in the series The Swarm Grows (33). Go to the Cleft of Shadow (ask a guard for the Warlock trainers) and find Craven Drok, who patrols. He will offer you Alliance Relations (30), and send you to the Eastern Gate (check your map and follow the road past the Valley of Spirits). Keldran is in the last house before the gates. He will accept your quest and give you the next in the series, Alliance Relations (30). Keldran's quest is completed in Desolace. You should also have a quest from Regthar Deathgate, The Kolkar of Desolace, and one from Freewind Post, Family Tree. With these three in our quest log, we're ready to travel to Desolace.
My current character, Mackenzie, has not been to Desolace yet, so his travel begins by flying to Sun Rock Retreat in Stonetalon Mtns. We want to take the back exit, to the Charred Vale, and then run south out the bottom of the Charred Vale into Desolace. The main road leads south and then curves to the west, toward the sea. As you begin to head directly west, another road with cracked pavement branches off and runs straight south to the Kodo Graveyard. The Kodo Graveyard is near to the center of Desolace, and on its north side is Ghostwalker Post, our destination. It's safer to enter the graveyard and then head east. Look for an access point on the Graveyard side at 55, 58.
At Ghostwalker Post, turn to the south to find Felgur Twocuts to turn in The Kolkar of Desolace. He will give you Khan Dez'hepah (35).
Beside him, Gurda Wildmane offers you a choice of an alliance with one of two centaur clans. This is the start of a lengthy and annoying series of quests with these factions, beginning with a long reputation grind (50 kills) before you can even get started. Because of the streamlined leveling improvements, we don't need the experience, and I'm going to consider these quests optional (Gelkis Alliance (33), Magram Alliance (33)). However, if you need extra xp at this point, Gurda's quest is available. Don't rush off to complete it just yet, however.
Now head to the other side of Ghostwalker Post to find Nakata Longhorn and turn in Family Tree. Accept from him Catch of the Day (37). Continue to the west, and cross the bridge. On the other side, find Takata Steelblade and complete Alliance Relations. Accept the next quest by the same name, Alliance Relations (33), as well as Befouled by Satyr (33). Now turn around and talk to the warlock Maurin Bonesplitter. He completes your Alliance quest and gives you The Burning of Spirits (33). Our next trip will concentrate on this quest.
End of first trip
Return to the Graveyard Road and head north. When you reach the intersection with the Charred Vale road, look to the north and you'll see the outlines of Thunder Axe Fortress. We'll be heading there in a minute. First, turn to the west, and follow the road to the tower of Ethel Rethor. When you reach the small bridge leading to the tower itself, look over the edge to the right to find a small ruins with a human, Azore Aldamort, in the middle. Jump down and talk to him and accept Sceptre of Light (33). Now return to the road and run back to where it curves to the north.
The entrance to the Thunder Axe Fortress is at 56, 29. Inside the fortress, we will be able to gather the Burning Blade members souls with the crystal that Maurin gave us. When they are at about 15% health, activate the crystal and it will take them down the rest of the way. Best to put it on your hotbar where you can reach it. As you are fighting the Burning Blade, one of them will drop a Flayed demon skin. This starts a quest, The Corrupter (33), so watch for it.
As you enter the gates, a Burning Blade member will be on your right, so be ready for him. Turn left and you will be facing a watchtower. At the top of this watchtower, we will find the drop for Sceptre of Light. Clear out the tower first. The hut at the top holds two casters, a Seer who has the Sceptre and an Auger, with low health but very damaging spells. The fight will be surprisingly hard, if you can't interrupt them in some way. After the battle, loot your Sceptre of Light.
Return to ground level and continue to collect your Infused burning gems. By this time, the Demon Skin should have dropped, as well. When you have 15 infused gems, the Sceptre, and the Demon skin, you are ready to leave the fortress. Return to our man by the Ethel Rethor tower and turn in Sceptre of Light. He'll give you Book of the Ancients (37). Now travel back to Ghost Walker Post.
Level 34 + 9 bars
End of second trip.
Maurin Bonesplitter will accept both quests you have completed, The Burning of Spirits, and The Corrupter. The follow-up is another in the series, The Corrupter (33) looking for a Shadowstalker scalp. With this quest, Befouled by Satyr, and Khan Dez'hepah, we'll begin our next trip.
Leave Ghostwalker post by the road that curves to the east. You will see Scrabblescrew's Camp on the left, and then turn left at the intersection. This road turns north and runs beside the Kolkar village at around 68, 47. The only thing we need from the Kolkar at this point is the Khan's head.
The Khan can be found in one of three places: There are two extra large tents, one at 74, 49 and the other at 72, 42, and a covered platform in between the two. The Kahn will spawn at one of these locations. We don't need to go out of our way to kill the centaurs. Clear the mobs in front of the tent, pulling them back to you to avoid mass aggro. Then attack the Khan inside his tent, to keep him from running around. When you have Khan Dez'hepah's Head, return to the road.
Our next stop is the satyr's ruin, further north. When the road comes to an intersection, stay right and cross a bridge. The road eventually fades away at a banner announcing the Satyr area. The Hatefury Satyr are spread throughout the area, and the only ones you don't need are the Tricksters. The Shadowstalkers drop the scalp after 5-7 kills, so you end up killing nearly as many as those on your lists. When all are complete, return to Ghostwalker Post.
Back at the Post, head south to Felgur Twocuts and turn in Khan Dez'hepah. His next quest is Centaur Bounty (31), grinding centaurs. We're not doing the faction grinding quests, so I'm going to ignore this one as well. If you are doing one of Gurda Wildmane's quests, this will be completed at the same time, so you should accept it. Now would be a good time to complete both quests.
Next, cross over the bridge and talk to Takata Steelblade, turning in Befouled by Satyr. In return, he gives you Alliance Relations (33), a messenger quest back to Orgrimmar. Go next to Maurin Bonesplitter and give him his scalp. His next quest in the chain, The Corrupter (35) will be for another visit, but let's pick it up now.
Level 34 + 16 bars
End of third trip.
That completes all our business at Ghostwalker Post for the present, but we're not finished with Desolace. Run down the eastern road and visit Scrabblescrew's Camp. Pick up the quest Kodo Roundup (34), and begin to lead your kodos back to the camp. Just select the kodo and right click the kodo kombobulator in your pack, which you can conveniently place on your action bar. Your targets are any yellow-named kodos, most commonly found in the graveyard, or wandering in herds. After you use the device, run back to Scrabblescrew and the Kodo will follow you. The goblin will ask you to inspect them. Right click on them to add them to your total. Talk to Scrabblescrew again when all five have been rounded up.
Leave Scrabblescrew's camp, heading south west. This road will lead you directly through the demon-infested area of Mannoroc Coven, which can look intimidating, but you shouldn't have any problem if you stay on the road. You will pass some rusty lakes on your left and then cross a road that leads south to Feralas, but your road continues to the west.
As you descend toward the water, you will see the banners and guardians of Shadowprey Village on your right. Follow the trail up to the village, and you will see Roon Wildmane on your left with a quest Hunting in Stranglethorn (31). Run up the hill to find the inn, then find the flight master on the very end of the dock, For now, our visit to Desolace is finished. Take the flight path to Thunder Bluff. Our next chapter is in Stranglethorn Vale.
Mackenzie was level 34 +19 bars.
End of fourth trip
Begin the trip to Stranglethorn by flying to Ratchet and taking the boat to Booty Bay. On the ground floor of the inn, set your hearthstone to make this your home. In the same room as the innkeeper, find Crank Fizzlebub, with Singing Blue Shards (35). Outside the inn, look for the "Tan-Your-Hides Leatherworks" shop in the jumble of shacks on your right. (Where the ramps split, take the upper one, turn right and it's the second leatherworking shop.) Inside, accept Supply and Demand (31) from Drizzlik. Now fly to Grom'gol, and then run the rest of the way north to Nessingwary's camp.
Hemet Nessingwary will complete your quest from Desolace, Hunting in Stranglethorn. He will offer you Raptor Mastery (34). Talk to the members of his party to collect Tiger Mastery (31), and Panther Mastery (31), We don't need to pick up The Green Hills of Stranglethorn. (This is another page gathering quest, like the Shredder Manual in Ashenvale, and the pages will drop on their own, without the quest.)
Along the river, hunt the River crocolisks for Supply and Demand. The drop is slow, so alternate crocolisks with the nearby Young Stranglethorn tigers in Tiger Mastery. Return to Nessingwary when your tigers are complete and you have two Large River Crocolisk Skins.
Mackenzie leveled to 35 on this trip.
End of first trip
Editor's note: I have inserted roman numerals in the titles of the hunting quests that follow to help keep them straight. The numerals will not appear in the quest log.
Turn in the first Tiger quest and accept the next one, Tiger Mastery II (33). Return east to the main road, and find the Young Panthers north across the bridge, on the east side of the road. Beyond the Young Panthers you will find the Stranglethorn Tigers for Tiger Mastery II. You'll need to stay clear of Colonel Kurzen's camp to the north and the Venture Co. goblins to the south. Hunt both Panthers and Tigers, and then return to Nessingwary's camp.
Turn in these two quests and pick up the next. You now should have Tiger Mastery III (35), Panther Mastery II (33), and Raptor Mastery I (34). Your objective is to the south east, on a high plateau on the south side of the entrance to the large Troll ruins. The ramp up to this area is at (30,15). You will find the panthers at the ramp. The raptors are further to the west, out toward the sea.
Beyond the Raptors, on a ledge between the raptor's plateau and the beach below them, are the Crystal Spine Basilisks that drop the Singing crystal shards that you need for the quest in Booty Bay. You will not get all 10 crystals on the first pass, so alternate between the Crystal Basilisks and Raptors, working on one while waiting for the other to respawn.
When you have gathered all your Panthers, Raptors and Crystals, head back to the ramp at 30, 15. Directly east of this ramp is the small hill where you will find Sin'dall. All around Sin'dall's hill, you can find the Elder Stranglethorn Tigers for Tiger Mastery III. When you have all 10, return to Nessingwary's camp to turn these in and accept the next in the series from each quest giver. You should have Raptor Mastery II (36), Panther Mastery III (38), and the final step of Tiger Mastery IV (37).
This last quest is to hunt down Sin'dall, the tiger boss. We found him before on a small hill at (32, 17) near the Elder Stranglethorn Tigers. He's not a particularly difficult kill, so go back right away and kill him. Return to camp with the Paw of Sin'dall. Turn in this quest and you're ready to leave Nessingwary's camp. Activate your hearthstone or travel to reach Booty Bay.
Mackenzie was level 35 + 12 bars.
End of Second Trip
On the ground floor of the inn, turn in Singing Blue Shards to Crank Fizzlebub. Outside the inn, find the leatherworkers to turn in Supply and Demand. We'll get his second quest on our next trip. On the top floor of the Inn, talk to Kebok to pick up Bloodscalp Ears (35). Now you're ready to fly back to Grom'gol.
At the Base Camp, gather the Troll quests: Bloodscalp Insight (34) from Nemeth Hawkeye near the central bonfire, Hunt for Yenniku (34) from Nimboya, and Bloody Bone Necklaces (37) from Kin'weelay both over near the forge. Also find Commander Aggro'gosh in the center of camp to accept The Defense of Grom'gol (36). This last quest sends you out to kill the same Lashtail Raptors that Nessingwary sent you to hunt. We'll complete both quests at the same time.
Leave Grom'gol to the north and begin to hunt raptors. The ones down by the beach are tightly clumped, but there are more lashtails up in the hills to the east that are easy single pulls. You'll need a total of 15 before you're ready to move on.
Further north are the first of a few Troll ruins in the area. If you are alone, this is a very good spot to begin grinding the many trolls you will need to kill to gather all the items for your quests. If this spot is already camped, continue further north to the large ruin on the high plateau. There are many sections to this troll city so don't get too far into it and find yourself surrounded. Just pick an area that you can comfortably farm, with a good escape route, usually on the southern border. We're looking for Ears, Necklaces, Tusks, and a Totem. As with the Desolace centaurs, you may end up killing 50 or more trolls to get the entire list of items. When finished with this long hunt, you will have 6 quests to turn in.
Editor's Note 2: Stranglethorn Vale is a huge zone, and spans a wide range of levels, so we'll have to break it up into several visits. At the end of this expedition, we will take a break from this zone, so we don't want to load ourselves down with a log full of quests. For this reason, don't automatically take all the follow-up quests when they are offered. We will collect them when we return.
One of our quests, Raptor Mastery, goes back to the Nessingwary Expedition. If you are up by the trolls, the Nessingwary camp is not too far away. Run there first and turn in the hunting quest, ignoring the next in the series for now. Then travel down to Grom'gol. Four more quests go here. The only follow up quest you need to take right now is Trollbane (37). Next, fly down to Booty Bay and talk to Kebok to turn in Bloodscalp Ears. Krazek, right beside him, offers you Dream Dust in the Swamp(36). Pick that up now.
That concludes our visit to STV. Our next chapter is in Hillsbrad, so fly to Grom'gol, and take the Zeppelin to Undercity.
Mackenzie is level 36 + 6 bars.
End of third trip.
Before we get started, there's two things to point out about this chapter. The first is that although nearly all the quests are completed in the zone of Alterac Mountains, the quest hub is still Tarren Mill in the Hillsbrad zone. Second, this visit to Hillsbrad will lead directly to a trip to Arathi Highlands, next door, so we need to bring a few quests with us. We have Trollbane, which we got in STV. We should also have Frostmaw from Melor in Thunder Bluff. In addition, stop in Undercity and find Genavie Callow (right next to the bat handler) for her quest, To Steal from Thieves (36). Then fly to Tarren Mill.
Infiltration (34) is given by Krusk in the town hall. Then, go talk to the innkeeper and buy a mug of Southshore Stout. Now run north along the road into Alterac Mountains. At 51, 65 on the Alterac map, take a right out onto the promontory to find a Syndicate camp. Henchman Valik, a human syndicate member, will be standing on the right side of the camp with a very noticeable quest mark over his head. Talk to him, then give him the stout to complete your quest. When you complete the quest, Valik will turn aggressive but if you back away, you won't have to fight him. Then return to Krusk in town but don't accept his next quest yet.
End of First Trip
Expedition 2 Find Novice Thaivand in the cemetery beside the inn and accept Helcular's Revenge (33). For this quest we need to find the Yeti cave (46, 31) in the fields west of Tarren Mill, where we killed the mountain lions. Kill the Yeti until Helcular's Rod drops. Then return to Tarren Mill. On some occasions, I have had to clear out the entire cave to find the rod; at other times it would drop in the first 12 kills. As you are grinding Yeti, notice two flaming braziers in the cave system, one in the upper level, and the other in the room with the pool. We will return to these for our next quest.
Thaivand will send you out again with Helcular's Revenge II (33). Start by going back to the cave and finding the two green flames we noticed earlier. At each flame, right click to activate the rod. For our third flame, exit the cave and turn to the left. Run north up the valley, avoiding the Alliance camp for Alterac battlegrounds, and up through the pass into the snowy area of Alterac Mountains. You may be forced to fight mountain lions along this path, but do not loot a Fresh Carcass.
You will come to an area called the Growless cave. Directly to the north is the cave itself. Clear your way to the cave, and clean out the interior. You also have a quest to find Frostmaw at the same cave, but be careful: you can't work on both of them at the same time. Do not collect your fresh lion carcass until you have activated your staff. Right click on the flame at the back and finish activating the staff. Then leave the cave and return down the valley where you will find more mountain lions to kill.
This time, loot the Fresh Carcass after killing a mountain lion, and return to Growless cave. Right click on the carcass in your inventory and the yeti Frostmaw (37) will be summoned. Defeat him and loot Frostmaw's Mane. Then return to Tarran Mill.
Although we've activated Helcular's Rod in the three flames, his Revenge is not yet complete. Run south of town to the bridge, then follow the river south, below the falls, until you see a field of cows on your right. Find the graveyard of Southshore just north of the cows, and Helcular's Grave is the first gravestone that you see (53, 53). Be very cautious because Southshore guards hit hard and are very persistent. After you re-animate Helcular, return to Tarren Mill.
Level 36 + 12 bars
End of second trip
The next two quests are found in the house opposite the Apothecary. These are for the internment camp north of Hillsbrad Fields. From Magus Voidglare accept Prison Break In (34), and from Keeper Bel'varil pick up Stone Tokens (32). Now return to the human town of Hillsbrad Fields. North of town you will find an enormous purple dome and around it, the ruins of the town of Dalaran. Before you reach the dome, however, you will find the Lordamere Internment Camp (20, 85). This is actually in the zone of Alterac Mountains.
Our targets for the Internment camp are four Undead mobs being kept prisoner. They will be yellow and non-aggressive, but you must kill them and loot the four Bloodstones they carry. The first mob is in the courtyard, inside the gate. Two more are found in the building within the walls. The final Undead prisoner is on the second floor of the building outside the walls.
In each of the three rooms of this building you will find pairs of mobs. Often these are casters who cannot be pulled even if you break line of sight. Instead, they stand right where they are aggroed and chain-summon ghosts who swarm you. Take the fight to them and plan to face two at once. The ghosts have few hit points. At the top floor you will find Warden Belamoore(36) and the final prisoner. Note that the prisoner is only yellow, and you will not have to fight him and the Warden at the same time if you are careful not to agro the undead with area effect damage. The warden will drop Belamoore's Research Journal; this book has no current quest significance, but is an interesting artifact.
When you have all the Bloodstones from the prisoners, leave the building and circle the outside of the compound, killing the mages and guards to collect the rest of the Worn Stone Tokens. When you have all 10, return to Tarren Mill.
End of third trip
The same two NPCs send you back to Dalaran with more quests, Bracers of Binding (34) and Dalaran Patrols(35). Return to the Ruins of Dalaran. These are easiest to complete if you follow the purple dome around to the right. There is a separate part of the ruined town with plenty of elementals and summoners. You will gather the Bracers of earth binding at the same time, and the only concern is the long patrols of the elementals, who may add. Return to Tarren Mill to turn in these two quests.
Talk to Krusk inside the chapel, and accept his next quest Gol'dir (36). Leaving the chapel, turn right and head north into Alterac Mountains. We're following the valley that runs up to the battleground entrance. Continue past the battleground and the valley will end at a seemingly deserted town named Strahnbrad. Actually the town is seething with stealthed Syndicate Spys, and there are mages inside most buildings. While in town, move very slowly, and when you hear a stealth sound, locate the rogue and pull him toward you.
Gol'dir is inside the human-styled inn, on your left just beyond the fountain. He's on the second floor, the room on the right at the top of the stairs. The difficulty is that you must find the jailor first, exactly like the prisoners in Durnholde keep, and loot a key. Usually, the jailor has been beside Gol'dir. He has been reported in some of the other larger buildings in Strahnbrad, if he's not in the inn.
Bring the key to the prisoner. He will complete the quest and offer you another, Blackmoore's Legacy (36), to take back to Krusk at Tarren Mill.
This completes the stories in Hillsbrad and the ruins of Dalaran. We'll be leaving here for Arathi Highlands, but before we go, talk to Tallow and accept The Hammer May Fall (32).
Mackenzie: level 37
End of fourth trip.
This chapter in Tarren Mill and Book 7 of the quest guide are now finished. Book 8 will continue the story in Arathi Highlands.