Pull up a chair my friends, and let me share with you a tale of adventure… yes, adventure, but adventure shadowed by woe!
The story may be warmly familiar, but if you stay with me to the end there is a lesson to be learned within.
On an evening much like any other, a small band of misfit wanderers joined together. The purpose of their gathering was to enter the exciting Firelands, land of fun and frolic.
Firelands! A name that once spoke of endless hours of toil and grinding desperation, but now inhabiting that blessed ‘sweet spot’ for raiding; too easy for serious raiding, just difficult enough to need more than one person, lots of goofy mechanics, cool looking transmogs, and the possibility of super-cool rare mounts. Who could ask for more? Do a barrel roll!
Indeed, Firelands is now a place that is a joy to engage, taking only a scant handful of friends to romp merrily among the murderous minions, but having a bounty of potential rewards. Not least of which, of course, is that most wonderful of raid oddities, a Legendary weapon that multiple classes can use, that has little if any element of RNG, and that has so many stages lots of people can be doing it all in the same raid!
These few, these few, this band of misfits had fought together many a time before. MANY, MANY times before. I mean, seriously, that Legendary chain seems to take a coons age to get through.
Moving through that chain is kinda like trying to move a kidney stone. Lots of screaming and yelling, all out of proportion for the itty-bitty thing you get out the other end. And while it’s really important to you, nobody else really cares how the progress is coming. No, really. They don’t want to hear about it.
Of all of these friends that had gathered together, four had been there the longest.
There was Baddmojo, the Rogue, the tank in leather and the queen in red. Known chiefly for his alcohol consumption, Baddmojo could be counted on to be right up in the face of anything you cared to name, first to fight, warbling his mighty battlecry, “Cloak of Shadows, Cloak of Shadows, blood and souls for my Cloak of Shadows!”
Baddmojo is also known as the master of “where did he go, how the hell did he get to the next boss already, I didn’t know you could fly from Alysrazor direct to him, WTF.”
There was me, of course, the Warlock in spite of myself. Ever in pursuit of that next dribble of Smouldering Essences. What weapon do you have equipped, Bear? What’s that, Bear, did you fight a boss with your legendary staff-in-training equipped again? GG, Bear. GG. Did you remember to switch weapons, Bear? Did you, Bear? DID YOU? OMIGOD WHAT IS SO F’ING HARD ABOUT REMEMBERING TO SWITCH WEAPONS, BEAR?!?
By the way, did you remember to switch weapons back, Bear?
Then we had Elynea the fair, Elynea the Deadly Druid, Elynea of the everlasting hunt. Elynea, who has been on almost every single Firelands run with me, and every single fricken time the fire kitty staff has dropped, she has lost the roll to another Druid that came on our run for the first time and never, EVER came back again. And yet, she hasn’t yet killed me with the powers of her mind through the internet.
Tesh, I’m looking right straight at you, buddy. Firekitty staff ninja.
And of course, our course core foursome of diehards would not be complete without Aldyrr.
Aldyrr the Hunter. Trapmaster. Finder of rare pets. Talented multi-tasker and all around great guy.
Or is he?
There we were, once more unto the breach, facing the rocky chunks of magma, flames shooting into the skies.
We were so close. SO CLOSE.
For me, the road had been long, but I was finally nearing the end of the very last collection phase of the legendary questline. Smouldering Essences, that was my game, and the hunting had been good. 208 of the 250 were in my pouch already, and tonight would get me almost the rest of the way. If not tonight, then on our next visit ‘twould be a certainty.
And might not the mistress of chance smile on me yet tonight? The odds were long, but they could fall my way and this could be the very last night of chasing the chain, and the first day of being bound body and soul to the might of a majestic blue dragon for all time.
It could happen. It probably wouldn’t but IT COULD HAPPEN.
Never piss on the fingers of fate, they might wash their hands of your RNG chances for the future. Semper Fidelis. Always Faithful. It could happen. If not this time, then cheer up, next time for sure!
This was to be a special trip, my son was joining us after many months away from the game on his mighty Warlock Wooffie, and Elynea had brought her daughter along for her first full Firelands fun.
Also, and this was new, we would finally take a serious look at the Penitent achievement for Staghelm. I was sure, with the proper coaching and the use of /kneel macros we would get that one down, after our many half-assed attempts on previous weeks.
We began to kill the many, many trash needed for Shannox to get riled up, and it was so chaotic with summonings and late visitors and invites and scurrying around that we very nearly facepulled Shannox before I ever knew he had spawned.
Accidental boss kills are never a good sign, but first down and time to get a move on. Beth’tilac next, Bear which weapon do you have equipped? The right one? Good furball, here’s a cookie, keep it up.
Time to face the spider, my son wants to go up topside, being on the spider’s web is something he enjoys and remembers fondly it seems. I say sure, the more the merrier, I watch as it seems the entire group goes up top, and I’ve barely given the trash down below a glare and a scolding before Beth’tialc comes tumbling down, the web… comes tumbling down.
Loot, mount up and almost everyone dashes off to the next boss (magma!) as I swap weapons to my baby-almost-legendary and wait out the 30 second cooldown before I can drain the cold, dead corpse of it’s Smouldering Essences.
12… 11… 10… 9…
WAIT ONE MOTHER (^)*(&^)& MINUTE HOLD THE PHONE WTF OVER!?!
WHERE THE FUCK DID MY SPIDER GO?
I SAID WHO STOLE MY MOTHER FUCKING SPIDER IN THIS MOTHERFUCKING RAID?
I look across the suddenly vacant space in shock, to see a lone Hunter standing there, looking back at me.
Hands full of spider leather.
Aldyrr skinned my Beth’tilac.
SKINNED HER WITH MY SMOULDERING ESSENCES STILL ON HER COLD, DEAD CORPSE.
Spiderthief, I name you. Trapmaster, Pet Finder, and now Spiderthief.
I’d call you a base, deceitful leather whore, but I’m actually afraid of what that would do to search engines and my traffic. Also, Leather Whore sounds like a pretty cool job description now that I think of it, I used to do leathercrafting, some of the stuff people would ask me to make I coulda put that on a business card, “John Patricelli, Leather Whore.”
I turn to my wife, I turn to her and I say, “He skinned her. He skinned Beth’tilac! He skinned my spider! I could have finished the quest tonight but HE SKINNED MY ESSENCES.”
And she looks at me, eyes devoid of sympathy, Cassie looks at me and she says, “Well, there’s a lot of leather on one of those. Also, you never would have finished the quest tonight. Get over it.”
Well, fine, but I can pout and write a really long blog post all about it, can’t I? That’s what mature adults do when they get all pouty over a video game, right?
oh, they don’t? they suck it up and move on? hah, you ain’t been around here much, has you?
Dedicated with loving respect to my buddy Aldyrr, make sure you go cheer him up on Twitter, his handle is @jhdesynz and I just know he’d love to hear from you.
The moral of the story, the lesson, the key thing to take away from all this, is… if you’re doing this chain watch out for your buddies, now that Baddmojo knows Beth’tilac can be skinned he announced he’s going to be using that knowledge for evil from now on, I’m telling you, watch your friends, they’re not to be trusted with this kind of power.