Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dante's journey north

Dante found me the moment I entered the Molten Front on the PTR for the first time.  He didn't have a name, but we bonded instantly.  Then other Petopians joined our little group.  He got a name and a backstory (he was not a typical emberspit scorpion, but was in fact a black Madexx who had journeyed to the Molten Front).  And it was good.

When 4.2 hit live, I found myself wandering, restless.  I wasn't camping any of the spirit beasts and I was unable to do the Thrall questline while horde are camping the hell out of the various areas.  So I found myself wandering over to Madexx's area....

Shockingly, he was up.  And he was black.  I knew he would be.  I don't know how I knew, but I did.

It was Dante.

He wanted me to escort him to the Molten Front on live.  So I took his claw in my hand and we proceeded east.

As we crossed Uldum, I heard of two Ban'thalos tamings.  Dante had given his blessing.  Also, I was tabbed out, chronicling our journey.  All was as it should be.

Except for those scorpids following us.  But we lost them.

We left Uldum and ran into some more of Dante's fiery cousins.

We stopped so Dante could ask a few questions about fire usage.  He knew that Kirix lay in wait in the Molten Front, but it didn't hurt to get a little bit of a head start on his training.

A third Ban'thalos was tamed (on Dethecus!) as we reached the Noxious Lair in Tanaris.  The hunter was horde, unfortunately, so I couldn't pass on my congratulations.  Dante let me know that it was okay and that he truly appreciated what I was doing for him.  I told him that the honor was mine.

We didn't get far when we paused again, this time to meet with Hellgazer (and save me from a giant worm that I didn't even see sneaking up behind me), then we headed for Gadgetzan.  As we approached, a fourth Ban'thalos spawned!  We heard news of the tame as we reached Thousand Needles.

Dante was pleased with all of the rare taming, but less pleased by the zone ahead of us.

Fortunately, I am an alchemist.  Also fortunately, Dante knew how to swim.  If Uldum was our trial of air, this was our trial of water.

We successfully passed into Splithoof Heights.  Dante was pleased.

Unfortunately, I then made a wrong turn, going right instead of left.  The hills were pretty, but there was no path.

Fortunately, there was a way out.  Theramore and the sea lay ahead of us.

Unfortunately, there was a very steep cliff between them and us.  Dante prevented us from freefalling, digging in his claws, so we survived (albeit a bit more bruised, at least on my part).

We made our way to Theramore with the help of another waterwalking potion.  I was set to turn inland, to cut through the Barrens.

But Dante had another idea.  He assured me that he didn't mind swimming after spending so long in the desert.

And so it was that we continued north by sea.

It didn't take us long to reach Ratchet.  We came ashore just to the east of the town, then continued our journey up the eastern side of the Barrens.

As we turned inland, toward the west, Takk the Leaper came to wish us well before leaping off.  (I'm fairly certain he spawned on top of us and scared me half to death with his sudden leap off to the east.  Oh Takk. <3)

We reached Ashenvale and passed through without incident to Felwood.

Death Howl literally ran to greet us there, almost knocking me off my mount.  Between him and Takk, my heart rate had gone up considerably, but Dante remained ever stoic.  I felt like a terrible escort, but he assured me that I was doing fine and that he had everything under control.  I started to realize that this was more of a Harrison Jones type escort and that there was nothing wrong with that.

After meeting with the tempermental Mongress and taking a small detour to dispatch the Ongar (Dante soloed him), we spent a considerable time visiting Olm the Wise.

I for one was grateful for the breather.  Also, the lack of scares.  Takk, Death Howl, and Mongress had gotten me very twitchy.  (The latter had attempted to maul my face off.)

We passed a couple of Timbermaw on our way out of the zone.  Dante had a kind word for the cub.

A thrill went through me as we crossed Winterspring.  Our destination was almost in sight!  But then, I suddenly remembered that the Frostwhisper Gorge no longer has a bridge running across it.  This would be our test of earth.

We had some trouble navigating the mountains in east Winterspring, but we found a cutthrough above the Owl Wing Thicket.  We paused, bemused by a random mountain skunk.

The cutthrough turned out not to go through, so Dante guided us safely back down the hillside and soon, we found a proper cutthrough that bypassed the gorge.  It was all very complicated.  There was one point where Dante and I had to scale a mountain on foot.  Climbing and ropes were involved.

And then....

We reached Mount Hyjal.

An elite twilight stormwaker attacked!  But Dante's guard is never down and we disposed of our assailant readily.  We then proceeded to cross the Regrowth with shockingly less resistance than expected.

We also passed our trial of fire.

And then, we finally reached the Sanctuary of Malorne.  We had made it!  And without any horde resistance.

A friendly night elf hunter cheered Dante as we settled in to await the opening of the portal.  That day could not come soon enough, but come it would.  But that would be a different day and a different story, for Dante and I found a way in today.

Horde stopped camping Dante protected us through the aforementioned Thrall questline, so we eventually got a port to the Molten Front!

We made our way past the fire, a familiar path from the PTR....

We made it. :D  And now I don't want to leave him here, but I can't rightfully keep him from his home.  That was our mission.  He will be here when Ursa and I unphase him.  I can't wait to see him again.

Small addition: was able to get into the Molten Front again in the dead of night to tame Kirix (welcome home, Arachne <3) and visit Dante.  He was quite happy to see both of us; came right over for hugs and photo ops. :D

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