It's low-level Horde dungeon achievement night! Missing our druid, off in the emerald dream of PC repairs, we limit our attention away from solid group progress and more towards superficial achievements, making sure we keep our focus fixed on fun. Quite why we pick Wailing Caverns as our first stop is thus a mystery, until Livya quietly reminisces. 'I've always had a soft spot for this instance.'
'As do I', replies Vulzerda, 'is yours where you bang your head on a wall repeatedly?' Apparently not, Livya thinking Wailing Caverns is a glorious instance. Having defected from the Horde, albeit not entirely free from the clutches of Orgrimmar, she is probably remembering Wailing Caverns in the same way Alliance folk remember The Deadmines, That is to say, badly. We all remember the instance runs of years ago fondly, because we'd probably go insane if we held perfectly every memory of stupid wipes, idiotic PuGs, and corpse-runs through hellish respawns to get back to Van Cleef's body just in time to see it fade away before you can grab the quest item from it. Not that I'm bitter. But at least this time we are a little over-powered for the mobs we are to face. First, we must make it to the instance.
Vulzerda and I get to Booty Bay at about the same time and hop on a ship to Ratchet, whilst Livya is still poking the night elf who walks the streets of Stormwind naked, having an increasingly unhealthy obsession with him. As we approach Wailing Caverns we hear that Livya is finally aboard a ship. But no more do we have to wait, as instance meeting stones can summon distant members of a party. Livya doesn't like this idea, otherwise used to being pestered for her summoning spell. 'No! Being summoned by other party members is the ultimate humiliation for a warlock!' We'll let her make her own way to the instance. After all, we still have to remember how to get to the druids who live in the nose of the mountain.
We probably should have summoned Livya, her Horde tendencies letting her down when she decides to quickly grab the flight point from Crossroads. The Horde guards remind her of her defection quickly enough, though, and soon we're all standing outside of Wailing Caverns, Vulzerda's skinning knife at the ready. 'I shall loot, skin and crap in this instance', she says, before clarifying that, 'there is no comma between 'loot' and 'skin', dammit.'
It is at this point where I would normally mention how we surge through minions to defeat this boss or that, but it's not that simple. Inside the instance, after a short passage that belies our path ahead, we almost immediately have to make a choice of direction. Surely we will get led in to dead-ends quickly and turn around to get on the main path, but no. Instead, we get turned around in windy passages, retread earlier tracks, and occasionally get lost. This Horde instance isn't linear! It is as if Blizzard forsaw the general level of player competence that bouncing night elves or pink-haired gnomes would attract and made Alliance instances as easy as possible, saving their more intricate designs for the sophisticates that are the Horde.
After the third or fourth time of leaving a footprint in the back of the same dead night elf, we follow Livya as our guide, who also takes time to point out that Wailing Caverns is 'the only instance in which you can kill night elves, surely another point in its favour'. All of this power Livya holds over us soon goes to her warlock head, where at the end of a successful run she declares herself to be 'queen of cheese!', finally finding a way not to look so short. We can't argue with her proclamation, although I rather think the little green jester is more worthy of the title, particularly when earlier in the run Livya is put to sleep by a druid and our overall DPS increases.
'Now make me a castle of stilton.'