p>Elkwinkarma -- Undead Warlock, Guild Leader, Technologia
Report --- Stromgarde Keep
It has been several weeks since my last report, but there was a valid excuse. I have been recuperating from an assault Bonky, Keres and I made on Stromgrade Keep. While we were eventually victorious, the action did take its toll.
Stromgarde is controlled by two groups: The Syndicate is a group of human criminals responsible for high crimes against both the Horde and the Alliance, and the Boulderfist Ogres who use the Keep as a refuge where they can practice their unnatural brand of dark magic.
The powers that be in Hammerfall, the Horde enclave in the Arathi Highlands had given us four missions:
- A simple bounty to kill 15 Boulderfist Shaman and 10 Boulderfist Lords
- Retrieve the Befouled Bloodstone Orb from a nasty Warlock named Marez Cowl
- Retrieve the Sigl of Strom from an unknown member of the Syndicate
- Bring back the head of the Boulderfist leader, Or'Kalar
While that may seem like an overwhelming amount of work, for three accomplished members of Technologia it really boiled down to assault Stromgarde Keep and don't stop until you find what you are looking for.
Rather than get too cute, we made the tactical decision to approach the syndicate section of the Keep head on by entering at the front door. After an initial counterattack that was more stressful than we had planned for, we were able to beat back the Syndicate defenders and push into the Keep at will. Dispatching small pockets of resistance as we went, we worked or way through the burned out buildings of what was once a great human city until we reached Marez Cowl. This supposedly great Warlock was a disgrace to the profession as he almost immediately tried to run from our assault. A Warlock does not run from death. A Warlock embraces death --- if one does not accept that axiom then one cannot be a true Warlock.
It was about that time that we found the Sigl of Strom on some mage who just happened upon us while making his way out of one of the last remaining buildings standing in Stromgarde. I don't think the poor sot even saw us coming.
While the Syndicate part of our mission had been relatively easy by elite quest standards, the next part of our mission was much more difficult. The Boulderfist Ogres are some of the most fearless fighters you are likely to meet in Azeroth. And now that they had begun to engage in magic dealing, they would all the more formidable. As they had taken on both destructive and healing magical paths, they were not going to be dispatched easily. Ogres are not normally that smart, someone was helping them.
With those facts in mind, we decided to attack the Ogres from behind and snuck around to the back of the keep where a hole in the wall allowed us access to the heart of their encampment while we remained on the wall. This tactic allowed us to thin their numbers by picking off one or two at a time without attracting attention to our presence. Once the number of defenders were reduce enough we descended the wall and began our full assault.
It was at this point that we first realized that we should have kept with our initial tactic a little longer. The fight, which up to this point had been a controlled three on one or three on two affair, escalated into chaos. At one point we were out numbered two to one. It took every bit of skill, cunning and determination we could muster to finally will the battle. Keres was forced to vanish, a fiendishly clever rogue trick that allows him to escape certain death. I was forced to use several conjured health stones to keep alive long enough to hold the Orgres aggression while Bonky finished off two nasty Warlords. If I had allowed myself to die, Bonky would have been overwhelmed and the party would have been wiped out.
But despite a constant battle that lasted the better part of an hour we were able to prevail. We were battered and beaten, but we were victorious.
Upon our return to Hammerfall, we were warmly welcomed and rewarded with several gifts and some gold to help us mend our wounds and repair our equipment. Of course, now that our reputation has been established, we have been given the opportunity to return to Stromgarde Keep for additional quests. There is always more to do; an adventurer is always needed somewhere.