We're off to Maraudon! The dungeon was discovered late in the exploration of Azeroth, and so is rather more involved than the other dungeons we've delved in to so far. But Livya says that she knows Maraudon like she knows Wailing Caverns, so we should have no problems navigating our way through the labyrinthine passageways and levels. And Livya is focussed today. After last week's visit to Zul'Farrak, where she was consistently two levels below the rest of the Filesystem Checkwits, Livya has made a pact with demons to stay ahead of us this time. There must be some witchery involved, for no human has the capacity for the careful planning involved to gain a level within the first few mob deaths, no matter how bitter that person may be.
And so we bounce in to the entrance. But which one? In a bid to be more confusing than Blackrock Depths, Maraudon has more than one entrance, both leading to a different route in to the main dungeon, and both needing to be visited to complete a certain quest. Orange crystals are more enticing to me than the purple, so we go that way. Inside, we are greeted by plants and centaurs, centaurs and plants. And maggots. The maggots seem easy enough to kill, they're only maggots, so I grab a few groups and start inflicting AoE pain on them.
It is only when the maggots start dying that I realise my error, as they release a poison debuff on death. Killing a group of them simultaneoulsy thus stacks half-a-dozen poison DoTs on me, and others in range, whilst the other maggots continue to gnaw on us. My 'cleanse' spell only removes one debuff at a time, but luckily Vulzerda's cleansing totem is more effective, otherwise maggots would have been chewing on all of our corpses. I decide only to pull one group at a time.
We reach the water elemental boss and ask our tour guide Livya about his attacks and abilities. 'Um, he does something with adds.' Thanks, Livya! With this keen insight we have no trouble defeating the boss and moving on, where we start to encounter fewer plants and more slimes and demons. It looks like we can avoid one group of slimes by jumping off a ledge, but closer inspection reveals that we'd be jumping in to a second group of slimes, so we plough through the first group as Blizzard intended. I am so engrossed in tanking the slimes that I only notice I reach a new level during the combat after it ends, and I see the congratulatory text in my chat window. When asking casually if something happened, Vulzerda is momentarily insulted.
'Oh', she says, when I correct her confusion, 'I thought you were referring to my chain lightning casting successfully.' It is quite a rare event, I suppose, although it perhaps doesn't deserve Livya yelling a cheer for chain lightning every time Vulzerda successfully casts it. The first time is admittedly amusing, but the second is a little stale, particularly as we've also pretty much forgotten the joke by then. But as Livya has managed to get rid of her annoying little green stalker imp for a rather more imposing seven-foot-tall goat demon, complete with bondage chains, I politely chuckle anyway.
After the slimes, we meet a rather grander centaur, and promptly slay him, causing his redeemed spirit to appear and thank us. This not only advances a quest we're on, but also effectively condones all our future pre-emptive killings, which is nice. With a small ceremony, Celebras offers us his staff as a reward for killing him. But, like most men, and centaurs in particular, he is prone to exaggeration. Celebras's 'staff' doesn't quite living up to expectations, Livya calling it a 'stubby little cock'. At least it's smiling at us.
Moving on from the centaur's happy cock rock, we get to a waterfall, overlooking several teams of synchronised swimming turtles. It is rather tempting to jump over the edge in to the water below, but as there is a corridor off to the side, and we are here to experience the dungeon fully, I don't want to miss anything. I ask Livya if the corridor is the right direction to take. 'I don't know, I've never seen this cave before.' Maybe she was thinking of a different Maraudon earlier. It turns out that the corridor turns a corner and leads to the bottom of the waterfall, and we spent five minutes wondering whether to jump or walk ten feet.
We fight our way to Landslide, awkwardly stepping in the puke of a passed-out guard, and somehow find our way to crocodile boss Rotgrip without jumping in to his pond after we defeat the Princess. To Livya's credit, when I am running around with all the leadership skills of a PuG hunter, she manages to guide us back and up to the Princess. I have a suspicion that Livya just listened to Vulzerda's advice, but as I ignored it it is fairly difficult to make that judgement. Encountering the Princess makes me think it's less of a title and more of a name, as I would more consider teaching her to play fetch with a ball than taking her to one. Never the less, we swiftly defeat the final boss and another centaur spirit appears, giving us a quest to take something to Moonglade. Not that he offers to teleport us to Moonglade, or simply out of Maraudon, so without a convenient exit we are stuck in the centre of a mountain.
The only easy escape is by using hearthstones, forcing us to travel back to Desolace to turn in completed quests another day, because being back in Stormwind means it is time for our weekly RP session! Trying to weird out random RPers in Stormwind by pretending to be statues around the canals isn't terribly effective. Instead, we follow a solid-looking dwarf who is walking towards the Old Town, acting nonchalantly whenever he glances around, pretending that we are coincidentally heading in the same direction as him. We notice a couple of glances thrown over his shoulder, but I don't think he suspects anything.
We're eventually rumbled. There are only so many times we can pretend to be looking in to shop windows when he turns around, but we manage to follow him half-way across the city before he confronts us.
His strong accent confuses us in to thinking he's speaking Dwarven, so we reply in Draenei and understandably don't get anywhere. It's quite likely he's asking us not to follow him everywhere, so we go back to the Trade District to find someone else interesting to stalk. Sadly, no likely targets appear, and Stormwind Cathedral is bizarrely empty of RP attempts, ending our own RP for the evening. Next week, our sights are set on the Sunken Temple, another confusingly constructed dungeon. I accidentally boast that, after years of getting lost, I am now completely confident about the internal layout of the Sunken Temple. I suspect Livya may be mocking me soon.