Friday, July 22, 2011

"The Protectors of Hyjal"

Merinna, a bunch of druids, and Gurgthock: The Protectors of Hyjal
My new favorite daily quest is such an unlikely one...

"The Protectors of Hyjal" takes you to Sethria's Roost to kill of a total of 6 large elite elemental baddies.  You are given a team of druids to help you out with this task and it's one of those that, no matter who tagged the elite, if you put some damage on him, you get credit for the kill as well. If you don't have a rotating companion quest to collect items from your kills in this area, it's a quest you can usually finish in about two minutes due to the large number of people questing these zones these days.

What makes this quest special though was the realization I made about three days into the set, when I was flying along with my posse of druids and I realized that somebody was flying a roflcopter along with us. I hovered my mouse over this unexpected guest and realized it was none other than the esteemed Fargo Flintlocke who dove into battle with my group, shouting "Hittim in th' jimmies!"

In fact, each time that you run this quest, you get partnered with one of a fairly lengthy list of guest NPCs. Nevermind killing elementals, I just look forward to my daily guest now, many of whom are guaranteed to make me laugh.

Many of these names are fun pieces of WoW history for long-time players. Some of them are newish, post-4.0 additions to the game that many players might not have met before. All of them are kind of fun:

King Mrrgl-Mrrgl
King Mrrgl-Mrrgl - A druid who seems to be stuck wearing a murloc costume, last seen in the Borean Tundra trying to lead the local frog people through their time of distress. Technically a member of the Cenarion Circle, but also affiliated with the somewhat retarded D.E.H.T.A.

Choluna -  a Tauren Druid who was most responsible for helping players guide the demi-god Aviana back into the real world. She usually resides further up the slopes of Mt. Hyjal at the Shrine of Aviana.

Tarindrella - a dryad from Teldrassil. Her role has changed in 4.0 as her quests were redesigned, but she is one of the first NPCs new Night Elf players meet, and according to Wowpedia, is one of the oldest NPCs in the entire game having been intruduced in WoW alpha.

Zen'Kiki - a Troll Druid who players meet in the Western Plaguelands. Zen'Kiki is new and hasn't quite got the hang of this druid stuff. While assisting you in the Plaguelands, he is likely to shoot himself with moonfire, heal your enemies by mistake, and get stuck shifting into acquatic form on dry land.

Earthmender Norsala - a Troll shaman, she is the one who takes us to fight Glop in Deepholm and is present during many of the other scenes players observe in that zone.

Senior Initiate Goldmine - A Goblin shaman who players have met in numerous locations during the Cataclsum as "Junior Initiate Goldmine." He has you slay his own fire elemental in Deepholm to create a medicine for a gravely injured Earthen. Later, you meet him at several flashpoints in the Twilight Highlands.  It's good to see he's gotten a promotion.

Archmage  Lan'dalock - a resident of Dalaran, Archmage Lan'dalock hands out the weekly Northrend raid quests like "Instructor Razuvious Must Die!" Before those were introduced, he also handed out heroic dailies.
(The image of)
Archmage Vargoth

Archmage Vargoth - (though technically, it's just his image appearing at Mt. Hyjal, once again)  Vargoth appeared in Netherstorm during the Burning Crusade, in a tower where he was trapped by Kael'thelas and his cronies. Through a fairly lengthy quest series, players interacted with images of the archmage summoned by the man's staff. We finally met him near the end of the series and (hopefully) freed him. It seems fitting that, once again, he is reduced to a hovering image once again.

Chromie - Everybody's favorite Bronze Dragon who first appeared in the burned-out hulk of the inn of Andorhal in the Western Plaguelands, and who later took up residency in Wyrmrest Temple. It was also Chromie who led us through the razing of Stratholme alongside Prince Arthas in the Caverns of Time. At the end of the Burning of Stratholme, Chromie approaches the party in the shape of a full-sized bronze dragon, rather than her usual gnomish appearance. On the slopes of Hyjal, she turns into an incandescent bronze dragon whelp instead.

Gidwin Goldbraids, Terenar Sunstrike - Now members of the Argent Dawn, these two NPCs are paladins in training who befriend players in the Eastern Plaguelands and take us on one of the best set of scripted adventures in patch 4.0.  "Giddy," the dwarf is anxious and a little surprised at what he gets himself into. Terenar is perhaps braver but sort of fatalistically so.  On the slopes of Hyjal, they do not really appear together, which is a shame since the "Pally Pals" are some of the best new NPCs  I think Blizzard has created in a while.

Argent Confessor Paletress - Member of the Argent Dawn who was one of the two possible second encounters at the Colliseum instance at the Argent Tournament. Paletress, a leggy blonde with a breathy voice would end up summoning the shade of some boss we had previously faced and then congratulate us when we killed the thing.

The Leaper
The Leaper - A geist liberated from the thrall of The Lich King in Icecrown Glacier. The Leaper went on to become a daily quest giver for the Knights of the Ebon Blade and would say things like, "Mmmmfffffmmmmffff... *cough* I beg your pardon. I meant to say Yes?"

Mog'dorg the Wizened - a quest giver from Ogri'la in the Blades Edge Mountains. He is the one that sets the tasks for players to become kings and queens of Ogri'la and thus begin the (tedious) reputation grind associated with that faction.

Broll Bearmantle - A night elf druid, and particularly trusted companion of King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind. Broll's appearances in game are somewhat limited (he appeared to Alliance members at the Battle of the Undercity that has now been removed from the game), but appeared extensively in Warcraft comics and novels.

Thassarian - A human Death Knight who became one of the leading personalities of Icecrown Glacier. He appears throughout the DK starting area, became an Alliance quest giver in Icecrown and would usually be right next to Highlord Mograine any time the Knights of the Ebon Blade charged into battle against the Lich King.   In 4.0, he was charged with the retaking of Andorhal from remnants of the Cult of the Damned, but lost the city when Sylvanas brought her Valkyr to the fight and overran the entire area.  Importantly, Thassarian was reunited with his brother in arms Koltira Deathweaver though they found themselves serving different armies at Andorhal. After Sylvanas set upon Koltira in retribution for his not following her commands, Thassarian vowed to enter the Undercity and do what he could for his friend.  That storyline (to the best of my knowledge) remains unresolved.  Thassarian's presence at Mt. Hyjal, and Koltira's absence, may be important however.

Russell Brower - A dwarven... um, minstrel. Named after Blizzard's lead music composer, Russell appears at Kirkhaven writing a song to commemorate the marriage of Fanny Thundermar and Keegan Firebeard. His music provides magical shield to players when a powerful Faceless One crashes the wedding.

Flintlocke in the comics
Fargo Flintlocke - Flintlocke was the star of the independent web comic "Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth" and became an in-game NPC when his creator Dave Fargo became lead quest developer for World of Warcraft about two years ago.  Flintlocke takes part in a few quest series leading Alliance players into the Twilight Highlands and this writer is just a huge fan of Flintlocke's advetures.

"Doc" Cogspin - is the new priest trainer and "Surgeon General" of the gnomes. She usually lives in Dun Morough, near Gnomeregan.

John J. Keeshan - Keeshan was originally a Redridge Mountains NPC, waiting inside the caves of Render's Valley to be escorted to safety by players. In 4.0, his story is greatly expanded. A former P.O.W. of the Blackrock Clan, players collect a number of his stolen weapons in an attempt to get him to rejoin the fight. Keeshan eventually does and joins "Bravo Company" to aid the players on a number of quests culminating with a fight against a black dragon in which he is apparently killed. But he later appears again in  the Burning Steppes as a quest giver. His style is very John Rambo.

Gwen Armstead - the right-hand woman of King Genn Greymane of Gilneas, Gwen is a recurring protagonist throughout the worgen starting zone and will surely be the first place players hear the line "Quit gabbing and get going."  Funnily enough, Gwen is not actually a worgen, but just an uninfected Gilnean.

Vanira - is a troll shaman who joined Horde players in retaking the Echo Isles during the pre-Cataclysm event Zalazane's Fall.


In working out this list, it has gotten really long, so this post will have to be continued in Part 2!


  1. Familiar names/faces. It does some bring back some memories of the grind for XP, rep! Blizzard's introduction of Fargo Flintlocke is a nod and recognization to the creator and fans who love the game.

  2. I love Slinky, the way she sneaks around on her tip-toes in the starting area of Kazan.