Visiting roads less traveled
For some unknown, masochistic reason, I’ve always had the long-term goal of getting Linedan both the Loremaster and Seeker (3000 quests completed) titles. Call me a “completionist,” call me a perfectionist, call me an idiot, whatever. But from the time I first saw the Loremaster achievement, I said to myself, “you will be mine someday. Oh yes. You will be mine.”
Apparently, 15 March 2010 is “someday.” After months of off-and-on work to backtrack through the old world, he is Loremaster Linedan, achieved when turning in overall quest number three thousand and ten in Stonard.
This title is the culmination not just of several months of going on quest-completing binges in zones seventy levels too low. In a way, it’s the end of a chapter–and the beginning of another–in Linedan’s entire story.
Linedan is five years old this month. When he first embarked on his career at Red Cloud Mesa in March 2005, the world was yet young and very, well, “vanilla.” Mobs outside instances were still elite. Escorts were group quests. Getting to Camp Taurajo required a long and marginally dangerous run instead of a short flight. And the world was a big, dangerous place for a simple Tauren warrior with no sugar daddy to support him. There were times, around level 13 or 14, where Linedan literally did not have enough copper to pay his repair bills, because I didn’t know anything about this “auction house” I kept hearing of, and was dying way too much.
Later on, about level 18 or so, I joined a guild called Hand of the Forsaken. HotF was the biggest guild Hordeside on Feathermoon at the time, but the majority of the members were level 35+. They were pushing their top people to level 60 and preparing to hit the endgame–Onyxia and Molten Core at the time–and there wasn’t a lot of time for a lowbie warrior who didn’t have anybody else his level in the guild to pair with. So I soloed through Lin’s 20s and 30s and into his 40s, always broke and always behind on gear. It wasn’t until I left Hand and joined an insanely fun bunch called The Sidewinder Band that I actually got to tank instances (they didn’t go well) and run a few group quests with people my level. A month later, Linedan was in Noxilite–the guild he’s still in today, four and a half years later–and finally hanging with a semi-regular group of friends with whom I could instance or do group quests.
I relived a lot of those memories as I went back to places he hadn’t been in years…or ever, in some cases. I marveled at the sheer number of quests that he hadn’t done in Stranglethorn the first time through because he’d always been alone. It felt like I’d had him there for bloody years, and yet he apparently never did any of the Nesingwary quests. He’d never killed the ship captains off Booty Bay, or the giant up the coast, or saved Yenniku, or retrieved that gnome’s damned Pupellyverbos Port from the sands of the Hinterlands. He ran through Silvermoon, Tranquilien, Durotar, Tirisfal, Silverpine…doing kid’s errands for a few copper.
He stalked the burning streets of Stratholme and the sweltering halls of Blackrock Depths, doing by himself in minutes what used to take five friends several hours. He “saved” Bronzebeard’s get from Dagran Thaurissian, and slew Baron Rivendare, and retrieved Atal’ai artifacts, and got some damn weird (and annoyed) looks from level 20s who watched him one-shotting bears.
Ironically, he still did most of it alone. I had a lot of help along the way, true, but in the end, Lin still cleared his final Northrend stumbling block in Icecrown by soloing all the five-man group quests there save one.
And so, after chipping away at it for months, last night, Linedan crossed the finish line. His reward is a title, a nice note from Cairne Bloodhoof, and a very ugly tabard. That title is now in front of his name, and will stay there in preference to any others–yes, even Kingslayer–until Cataclysm comes along. It’s one thing that I’ve done that actually feels like a significant accomplishment.
This will also play into Linedan’s roleplay quite nicely. Lin is clanless, and has been something of an exile from Tauren society because of it. Well, not only is he Exalted with Thunder Bluff and all the other Horde factions, now he’s got the Seeker and Loremaster titles to back it up, and that note from Cairne (which I saved). I haven’t decided yet how or if I’m going to use this going forward…maybe he’ll have a last name again? Who knows. Maybe I’ll finally integrate him back into Tauren society in time for Cataclysm to come along and go Cro Threadstrong on the whole apple cart.
Now what? I’m not sure. The next logical thing for me to work on is the World Explorer achievement. Outland and Northrend were no problem, of course, with flying mounts. Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms? That’ll be a bit tougher considering that I’ll be groundbound…and repair bills due to guard death can hurt when a death costs 12 gold, not to mention the chances of having to spirit rez. That means I’d have to go naked, or at least with no armor. Hmm.
So over the next couple of months, if you’re on Feathermoon, and you see a Tauren in a Pink Mageweave Shirt and a Haliscan Brimmed Hat riding through Alliance-controlled territory…could you give me a few seconds to make sure I get the discovery of where we’re currently sitting before you gank me? Thanks. I appreciate it.