Filesystem Checkwits disrupt the Scarlet Monastery

10th December 2009 – 5.50 pm

How do you kill that which does not live? It's a recurring question when encountering zombies, ghouls and skeletons, one that eludes a common solution. It raises interesting discussion about the existence of the soul, particularly in conjunction with PC death and resurrection, and whether death is an oblivion awaiting us all or a release only for those pure of spirit. Perhaps the undead are wretched souls living in purgatory, or this sentiment could be a romantic notion helping us sleep at night, hoping that our own destiny is not mired by abhorrent sins. There are many relevant questions, and the long return journey to the Scarlet Monastery doesn't offer us time to resolve any of them in depth, so we resort to clobbering the undead with big weapons.

Whether or not our tactic kills the undead is unknown. But if we hit them often enough it certainly gets the undead so irritated that they at least play dead until we leave the graveyard. Their battered corpses remain still even when we pause to observe a minute's silence at The Monument to Lost Polygons. Vulzerda offers some gnome juice as a libation to all the triangles that never were. We can't stay maudlin for long, as we need to revisit the library to get the key for Qattara and Livya, and then press on to the armoury before seeing the cathedral itself.

Whilst in the library I return the Mythology of the Titans book I picked up last week, careful not to incur any penalty charges for borrowing it for too long. And it's good that I bring it back with me, as it is in high demand! No sooner have I put the book back does Qattara nab it. I deny any responsibility for the book demonstrably and repeatedly falling open at a page that features a lithograph of one particularly big titan. To distract attention away from this surely mythical figure, I threaten a whole room of monks, accompanied by a single spellcaster. As the monks will run in to melee, gathering all the mobs together is a simple matter of stopping at the spellcaster, where they promptly kick me lifeless before moving on to the other Filesystem Checkwits. At least the others are suitably distracted.

For a group with a warlock's soulstone, paladin's divine protection, shaman's reincarnation, and druid's in-combat revivication, it's quite embarrassing that none of them help us survive my ambitious pull. The soulstone 'literally ran out just this second', I don't have any symbols of divinity to power my paladin's spell, the shaman plants her face directly underneath a couple of monks, and there seems no point in the druid pulling any of us back to life before we get more organised, frankly. It's the Filesystem Checkwits' way. A more sensible pull of the mobs outside zombie Arcanist Doan's room is more successfully dealt with, then Doan himself.

Now in possession of the Scarlet Key, we advance to the armoury, where I ponder the masses of mail, plate and weapons simply lying around. Of course, it is apparently all decorative and so I can pick none of it up. Considering that I still have the chausses of Westfall equipped, received for defeating Van Cleef in the Deadmines almost twenty levels previously, and other items of armour are self-made blacksmithing products, the amount of high-quality armour dropped so far seems quite lacking, particularly when the guild has spent most of its time in dungeons looking for shiny items. I would expect an armoury at least to have some suitable upgrades for me.

Whine and you shall receive, apparently. 'Waah waah waah, I have no decent armour', I complain bitterly point out, and a Scarlet lunatic bequeathes me a nice mail belt. And then a suitable helmet drops, followed by another belt, some new gloves, and two more belts. 'Waah waah waah, I don't know which of the new belts, all with minor differences, gives the best overall improvement!' In lieu of an obviously best belt, I choose the one that best complements the rest of my outfit.

Another upgrade arrives when Herod, the boss of the armoury, drops some rather thrilling headgear, much more rugged and shiny than the one from the earlier lunatic, and far superior to the bucket I had previously. So distracted am I with carressing Herod's helmet that I almost miss the most important moment in the guild's history: Livya casts hellfire on purpose, and hits mobs with it! Instead of setting herself on fire out of combat, our warlock is prepared for Scarlet acolytes to rush down the stairs upon Herod's demise. She casts hellfire deliberately, for the first time, defeating all the acolytes easily.

All that is left to do is have a quiet stroll through the grounds of the cathedral, patting bunnies and paddling in the fountain. Curious as to the internal architecture of the cathedral, we poke our noses inside the door. But interrupting a service in progress is apparently a sin, and more of a sin than brutally attacking those interrupting the service, it seems. Somehow learning from our previous wipe, this time the druid resurrects me in combat, the warlock's soulstone revives the druid shortly afterwards, and the shaman reincarnates to help finish of the myriad Scarlet soldiers, monks and priests who jump us. The warlock lies crumpled and lifeless on the grass, seemingly forgotten. But Qattara and Vulzerda race to gain enough mana to resurrect Livya, whilst I look on idly, forgetting I too have the ability to bring characters back to life. I'll get the hang of being a paladin one day.

With the confidence of escaping a wipe under our new and shiny mail belts, clearing the cathedral of fruitcake crusaders is straightforward. It is not quite as obvious how to deal with bumping in to high-level Horde characters when leaving, but I think I cope well when I call the 80th level troll hunter a chicken. Recognising he is no match for a paladin, the hunter uses his hearthstone to escape, leaving the 80th level tauren druid standing alone. Tauren are hot, so I blow him a kiss and we start dancing together before he, too, has to leave. Such a cutie! The Filesystem Checkwits return to Stormwind to repair armour and sell loot, Livya searches for naked night elf Lorr, whilst the rest of us prepare for next week's assault on Razorfen Downs.

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