My Illustrated World of Warcraft Diary: Day 256 - Heavy Leather in Aranthi Highlands

The next day, he was online, and we got cracking, killing our way through Stromgarde keep. He was level 41 and I was 39. It was awesome! Each of us was powerful enough to kill these enemies without too much difficulty. Teaming up on them was a breeze, and they could never muster a force larger than three, so we didn't have much trouble taking them out.

Our only combat strategy was "you rend and thunderstrike, I'll hamstring and sunder armor", although we quickly realized that we could both rend and the target would get hit with both debuffs.

We ran into a little trouble up on the third floor, where two boss characters were hanging out with some drinking buddies. We both died twice, but then grouped with a dwarf hunter and killed everyone up there. It was super fun!

The next day we grouped again and wandered the countryside, trying to collect prison keys from the elementals. It was really fun! These individuals were tougher, but they didn't run from fights, so it was easy to keep from pulling more than we could handle.

Fighting a dinosaur on the plains, I leaned over to skin the body. "Piehands picks up Heavy Leather".

"Oh no way!" his fighter has forging, and could not believe that I could get a valuable skin so easily. This was going to be a good partnership! We ran from Dino to dino, killing and skinning them. I had to actually get him to stop and loot the bodies first, so their corpses were free for me to skin.

At one point, we were wandering around, searching for Fozzruk, the 41st level giant who cruises from elemental circle to another. On the road nearby, we ran up on a pack of undead warriors escorting a zombie courier down the road.

We both noticed them at the same time and jumped backward
"Aye! We almost ran into them!".
They looked like a tough bunch, moving together and impossible to cull singles off of the group. Also, they were zombies.

BUT! They were only level 35, and we were 39 and 41. I considered it.

"Lets kill them all". I ventured.
They were shambling away at a snail's pace.

We ran at them.

At the time, and now again, as I tell the story, I was filled with an incredible surge of excitement and power. We could totally do this, right? It looked _scary_, and we were diving in anyway. After being in 1,000 fights with creatures I knew what I could beat: anything at or just above my own level, or two creatures just below my level, unless they were elites.

This was a different calculation: A pack of five or six zombies four levels below us. It seemed possible, and we were jumping in, because there was no half-way. It was all or nothing: these zombies were going down!

We jumped right in and started swinging, using Thunderstrike liberally as one of our few multi-opponent attacks. Chop! chop! chop! They fell, and a little pile of glittering corpses piled up at our feet. We got 'em!

"Yeah!" It was an awesome moment of triumph, and we both jumped up and down.
One of them was a courier, and grabbing his loot, it looked like this little venture had completed a quest for me! Bonus!

A while later, we had another terrific encounter. Aranthi Highlands is a contested region, which means that undead, tauren and orcs are wandering around doing some of the same quests. Blizzard scrambles typewritten communication between Alliance (men) and Horde (orcs), so it isn't easy to communicate with the other side, but sometimes the goal of your group is obvious to them, and vice-versa.

The next step in this quest was to unlock and defeat another 43rd-level elemental giant, and we were fortunate to find three horde warriors knocking down rock elementals in the same area. Without any communication or advance warning, we released the giant and started our battle. The horde warriors jumped in immediately and started to help! Five of us were, although not technically grouped, on the same team, with a big, dangerous and obvious goal. It was rad.

The giant fell in no time, and despite getting no experience or loot from the kill, the horde was obviously thrilled, jumping around and celebrating with us. We prevailed together.

You want two factions, which are supposed to hate each other to come together? Throw a 43rd level giant at them.

Please Continue Reading Day 257 - Cave of the Drywhisker Kobolds
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