And you will know us by the trail of dead Hoggers. Welcome to the Bastards1. A healer who goes AFK, an aggro-happy warlock, a self-centred paladin, and a psychotic shaman. It's the perfect group. The shaman starts as we mean to go on, slaughtering Bambi as we exit Stormwind in to Elwynn Forest, following up by stomping on Thumper. There are going to be no happy endings. We're just glad he's on our side.
Despite numerous ret-cons elsewhere, notorious lowbie-killer Hogger remains an elite mob lurking amongst similar-looking gnolls near the Westfall border. We run almost a direct path to his grounds, trampling the occasional spider and kobold, two of us reaching 7th level on the way, turning up just in time to slay an almost-dead Hogger and over-heal the killing mage. The first kill is always the easiest. It is then a matter of waiting, scanning the area to find where the tenacious dog will respawn.
The second Hogger kill is as smooth as it could be for four low-level lunatics taking on an 11th level elite mob. Out of mana and low on health, we stand over the bloody corpse of Hogger as a non-Bastard lowbie turns up. 'There's no point sticking around to help this other chap', I assure the group, 'because he is too low-level to pick up the quest to kill Hogger anyway'. To prove it, I guide us north to Westbrook Garrison, where we pick up the quest to kill Hogger. Oops. Back south we go, and this third time we each take a paw from Hogger to prove his death. It's good we only number four, for I'm not sure what token the fifth member could take from the corpse.
With muliple Hogger kills under our belts we take a tour of Elwynn Forest's quests, following a route that by pure coincidence intersects every mineral node in the zone. The group perform admirably as they move from quest objective to quest objective, alternately smiting wolves and bears, both creatures daring to interrupt my mining. I now have a bank vault full of copper ore waiting to be smelted, ready to make any mail armour the druid and warlock could ever want. I am focussed to provide for the group's needs.
Giving up on finding red bandanas on scattered Defias Brotherhood mages, near the Eastvale logging camp, we return to Westbrook Garrison where we are tasked to collect gnoll armbands. The new pieces of cloth to find are blue, making it an entirely different quest. Hogger interrupts our gnoll massacre as much as we interrupt his evening stroll, Hogger winning only the once as he bundles in to a brawl we start with two gnoll camps. We even try to help another mage kill Hogger, but misjudge whether we should heal the PC or kill the NPC. The PC dies a split-second before Hogger, the mob's tagged-grey colour becoming a vivid my-kill red immediately before death, leaving the mage with no paw to pick up. I apologise to his corpse before returning our attention to the gnolls.
I think we end up with seven Hogger kills for the evening, and that one mage. Another mage we encounter, a human, we merely stun-lock, thanks to overhearing a curious request in the guild recruitment channel.
The Bastards reach 10th level as a group by the end of the evening, mayhem and destruction in our wake. Azeroth beware.