Mad about Herbs

*pick pick pick*

*pick pick pick*

There are two reasons why I am deviating from the topic I started previously. Wrath of the Lich King, and… Herbs.

Yesterday, I picked up my Wrath copy, and have been glued to my computer ever since. While I did take some breaks for the bear essentials, I did pass most of my time either in the Howling Fjords or following the (most excellent) Death Knight starter quest chain.

So far, this expansion is something extraordinary. I did enjoy The Burning Crusade very much, but on Northrend everything seems much more enjoyable.

The freshness in the air, it is truly exhilarating. Everything is taken as something that was never seen before, and the key word is fun. Quests, fights, professions… Everything is so much fun!

I’ve been playing on my Dwarven Hunter for quite a bit, but haven’t leveled past 70 yet. I think I did like 40 quests so far, and also ran through Utgarde Keep once, which brought me to 90% to level 71 or so. As a short break, I started a brand new Death Knight (also a Dwarf, because they just rule), and the quest chain until you join the forces of the Alliance is non-arguably one of the best the game has to offer. It ends with a movie-style ~2 minute scene which should never be missed, that even has voice acting!

What was it that prevented me from questing further, and reaching levels never seen before? The answer is often green, and has often a strong smell. No, it is not a filthy Horde Orc. The answer is herbs. But why did I prioritize herbs over experience?

Because I’m mad about herbs.

Want to know more?

So my Hunter is just crazy about herbs. Truly, he’s mad about Alchemy, which caused him herbal insanity. He has to know all the recipes, and to get that, he has to discover. Discoveries cost herbs. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

I set my foot in Valgarde, a friendly Northrend landing zone, and the first thing I do is spend my hard earned money on training the new professions.

There are quite a few recipes on the trainer’s list. One of them is Northrend Alchemy Research. It can be done once a week, and it results in a new recipe discovered.

I must catch them all! And I need the herbs to support this.

And hence I set my feet and backpack to a journey in search of herbs.

*pick pick pick* Some Goldclover in my backpack.
*pick pick pick* Some Deadnettle in my pouch.
*pick pick pick* Skill not high enough.

WHAT?! This cannot be! I will not tolerate herbs that refuse to be picked off the ground.

*pick pick pick* Requires 400 Herbalism.

I have to level my skill.

So I started a journey from the Howling Fjords, into the Grizzly Hills, and even into Dragonblight, in goal to raise my skill to 400.

I have met vile creatures. Manifestations of evil that I was not prepared to fight (reminder: I am still level 70). My only option, was to sneak about.

And sneak I have. Using my superior acting skills, I have bluffed mobs into thinking I am dead, only to run again, with fresh herbs stuffed up my fat pockets. I have used my traps cleverly, both to delay and stop those who try to prevent my picking. I even disengaged from combat, only to escape as fast as a cheetah, into herbal freedom.

Until I pick-pick-picked my way into the skill level of 4-0-0.

But that was not enough. I craved for more herbal power. I had to learn more.

But knowledge was hidden in more dangerous places. So I ventured into Zul’Drak.

The stories I told were not believed. Myself, I still doubt the truth of what I have seen, for it has been beyond what a common mind can grasp. Creatures never seen before, of immense size and power. My best tricks were hardly enough this time, and I had to grow even more clever. I had to be ready for anything, and pull my best cunning skills twice in a row for them to work. In cases of dire need, I even had to call my good friend Humar to protect me, then flee while he distracted my pursuers.

Yet craved power has no end.

From Zul’Drak, I decided to find more exotic places, until I finally arrived to The Storm Peaks. It was there that I finally found what I sought. The journey was perilous, but the outcome was worth it.

*pick pick pick* Your skill in Herbalism has increased to 450.
And I was the first in my server.

But the story does not end happily. The events occurred last night, but when I logged this morning, there was no trace to my achievement.

Mystery.

(Mystery Unfolds: After several days and tickets with GMs, it has been revealed to me that me being Server First! was actually some sort of mistake. I indeed didn’t hurry to pick those herbs, and someone did manage to complete this feat a good 20 hours before I did.
T’was fun to see this feat of strength on my list though, even if only temporarily.)

It is being investigated, but the epic journey of the crazed dwarf seeking herbs will never be forgotten.

Scent for glory. Your aim my own. Seek the fate of tales of old.
Sight for fame. My aim as yours. Find the truth in this old lore.
Grasp for Honor. Our aims the same. Search the answer for which we came.
— Anonymously used by the Guild of Explorers

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