DRAGONRIDERS ARE WE!
So last night we did . . . exactly the same instances we did last week, only backwards. No, I don't mean we ran through the instance backwards, although the prospect sounds exciting; I mean we ran Madstone Crater first before Maze of Madness. We completed ALL this MADNESS faster than we did last Sunday, but it still made for a late night. We wanted to make sure that Ulan got flagged since he missed last week, and we did indeed do just that. The difference between the two runs?
Pretty isn't it? Dead giant final boss with blades of death around his corpse? Yup, when you have Ulan with you, you also get the spinning blades of awesomeness. We all were cheering when we saw those pop up this week. OH BLADE BARRIER, HOW WE MISSED THEE! For some reason though, it's mere presence didn't abate our pleathora of deaths (Team spode's mantra: if you're not dying, you're not trying hard enough).
So here's the skinny on Madstone crater. The adventure begins with a friendly giant with a problem. Blaze Ar'Rhind is the Storm Heart's Captain and his issue is with his Storm Heart Brigade. They're turning on him and he swears it's something in the Madstone Crater Volcano that's wigging them out. This is perfectly ok with Team Spode since we want to become a part of his brigade anyway. All part of the master plan and what not.
You meet up again with Blaze down in the very southeastern-most point of the Gianthold Wilderness Area inside an insideous instance full of Ogres, Ogre Magi (Named Rune-Tusk War Mages), Minotaurs, Trolls, and Giant Skeletons. Enemy number one of Team Spode would have to be a particular flavor of Giant Skeleton, the Ancient Enchanter. (You may recall a picture from last week's entry of three of said Ancient Enchanters hovering over my corpse.) If you kill six of those Ancient Enchanters, you get . . . dun dun dunnnnnn . . . BONUS EXP! We likes the bonus exp, precious.
What ends up being the issue are these three floating crystals in the wings of Madstone Crater. Apparently you're not uber enough to bust these crystals up yourself and you need to get help from three separate hill giant seers . . . one for each crystal. That's so kooky. It's like Blaze knew exactly what was going on. He had a seer for each crystal out there as a part of his brigade, but he "doesn't really know what's going on?! /shrugs!?" yeah yeah, Blaze, you just wanted to see if we'd get lucky and free your seers. It's cool. We still like you and all.
The trick is to buff the seers up with all you've got (personally I laid down stone skin, blur, resistances, heroism, invisibility, and jump . . . ok I didn't buff him with jump) and then take out the waves of crazy crystal mind controlled Storm heart brigade troops as they come at you. HMMMMmmm, Storm heart brigade has been smoking the "crystal" eh? That stuff will turn you into a bad guy! You crazy minotaurs should know better!
After the three seers take care of the three crystals, then it's just a matter of making your way up to the top of a big spirally mountain and killing the head kahuna, an ancient warlock. Ancient warlock > Ancient enchanter. *Gleek snaps a Z in the general direction of an ancient warlock* And it's a good thing you do take out that bone-daddy warlock because he's right in the middle of a ritual that I'm sure would mean more mind-controlled storm's heart and this instance is hard enough without making it harder, mr. Warlock. Sheesh!
Team Spode successfully dispatched the warlock and then decided, what the hey! As long as we're so close to the Maze of Madness and it's not too long, let's get Ophiga her remaining 500 exp she needed to level, which we did, which was a good time, which was cool with everyone.
So by my count Team Spode still needs to explore the Cry for Help, Foundation of Discord, Prey on the Hunter, and the Crucible instances before we even think about exiting purple glowy rock land. If we're serious about this stuff, we'll also need to collect 9 of each relic type so we can at least finish up the pre-raid for Gianthold Tor. I don't know if we're *that* crazy about Gianthold . . . would be cool to kill those dragons inside Gianthold Tor.
I'm also pretty jazzed about seeing the White Dragon (Aussircaex) from Korthos Island again in the Prey on the Hunter quest for sure.
OH, last thing before I leave this post. Check out this awesome screenshot I got of an ogre springing into the air while Ulan tries to chop off its foot.
Go get 'em Ulan! Nice to have you and your blade barrier back in the group this week!