The Ironforge Deathmarch

Matty posted some interesting ideas, in one she said:

I would like to know your favorite places of ‘former glory’ in the game, or a moment where you did something and it was a pivotal moment for you in game, something your character would tell his/her imaginary grandchildren if it could.

Yes! A wonderful excuse to fly aimlessly about the world of Azeroth taking screen shots which is something I love to do and I took many. I thought of my first epic. I got the Guile of Khoraazi working as a mercenary for that shady Consortium Faction. It’s a moment I remember well. But my first character said move on, that’s not it. I thought of the agonizing grind to get enough money for her first mount. I’m pretty sure she was about level 43 when she finally got it. Now I whine about having to wait until 20 for a mount so that moment should certainly count. No. Move on.

This is where she stopped me. This deceptively tranquil, beautiful view in the Wetlands. To her it’s an awful reminder of the carnage that was the Ironforge Deathmarch, and that’s the story she’ll relate to her grandchildren one day.

It all started when she learned she could be trained to shoot a gun, but to learn it, she’d have to travel to Ironforge. She didn’t know where to get the boat to Menethil Harbor or the path to Ironforge but she HAD to learn to shoot a gun. I don’t remember what level she was but do remember those crocolisks aggroing from quite a distance.

The journey down that path seemed endless. Making headway and then dying, losing ground, back to the graveyard. Remembering it, it seems like the entire trip took a whole Saturday but I doubt it did. I know I will never forget it. The Deathmarch was like a WoW rite of passage, I’m glad I never have to do it again and yet I’m sad it’s gone.

So there’s her spot. The place she really became one with Azeroth. It may look peaceful and safe now but that road is covered in the blood of heroes, lots of it her own.

Note: On learning to shoot and acquiring a gun, one shot was enough to know she’d stick to bows, nevertheless she says it was worth the journey.

19 Responses to “The Ironforge Deathmarch”

  1. That broke my heart…it reminds me of so many battlefields I have visited that seem so peaceful and bucolic now but have the blood of soldiers in their roots…Thank you for this post.

    • There are landscapes in parts of Azeroth that evoke those kinds of feelings for me. Sadness and loss while yet beautiful. Wetlands always makes me nostalgic. I hope I’m not the only person who just sits a while someplace enjoying the view.

  2. I didn’t realise it was a warzone before. Must be an Alliance history thing.

    • If you wanted to get to Ironforge from Darnassus at a low level back then it was kind of a crocolisk/spider warzone. While you tried to run through the Wetlands to the tunnel you’d keep getting killed by the beasties!

  3. JD Kenada Says:

    The flipside of that is ANY non-Draenei wanting to learn Jewelcrafting. Such as my Dwarf Priest…

    This is definitely one area I don’t think the Horde ever suffered in, as the Zeppelins covered all the major cities and then you got the Undercity/Silvermoon Orbs. This was by far just brutal if you were OCD about your toon (because really, why the hell else would you subject yourself to a glofigied corpse run or four?).

    • It really was the corpse run to end all corpse runs! In my case I just could not wait to train guns and then I hated them.

      Later my failed Mage bank alt used to make a fortune porting people to Ironforge. I didn’t even charge but they were so happy to skip the deathmarch they usually insisted on tipping!

      • JD Kenada Says:

        Shat and Dalaran are still that way (I don’t understand why folks don’t set their hearth in Dalaran to be honest).

    • Well, back in the day, if you were Horde wanting to quest in the Badlands, it was either run down through the Wetlands and Loch Modan from Arathi, or run up through Duskwood, Redridge, Burning Steppes, and Searing Gorge from Stranglethorn. I guess Wetlands wouldn’t have been so bad, as it was close in level range to the Badlands and so a character headed to the Badlands would have had at least some chance against the mobs — but getting TO the Wetlands by running through Arathi would have been scary, and the other way was completely awful!
      Eventually I started using the Gnomeregan teleporter as a shortcut and dodging the Dun Morogh guards on my way out to Loch Modan 😛 That trick won’t work anymore, alas.

      • Oh thanks Kamalia, I was wondering what the Horde equivalent had been as my Horde characters didn’t come along until the going was easy and you could have mounts at 20!

        I think running a low level through Arathi would have been even worse, at least dying in the Wetlands you could enjoy the scenery!

      • JD Kenada Says:

        I found Arathi was a piece of cake if you stuck to the path (now for Horde there would have been a hostile patrol on the path at one point, but fairly easy to avoid)

      • There probably weren’t nearly as many Horde who felt like they NEEDED to go to the Badlands as there were Nelves/Draenei who needed to get to Ironforge to learn Guns, or Everyone-but-Draenei who needed to get to Menethil Harbor to go to Kalimdor to get to the Exodar to learn Jewelcrafting, though.

      • On the other hand, if you wanted your flightpoints to connect from Lordaeron to Stranglethorn, you HAD to get that Kargath flightpoint in the Badlands — but if you didn’t do that until level 60, then it wouldn’t have been a deathmarch.

  4. I certainly remember those treks from Arathi to Badlands. I even remember telling Navi to stick to the road in the early days but even that could be hazardous at times.

    • It sounds like the Badlands trip was worse than the Ironforge march. These kids today have it so easy, lol.

      • I made that run several times, playing on a PvP server was even more dangerous… sticking to the path was actually the worst thing to do. Too many players coming to and from Menethil Harbor on mounts to run us down.

        Once we got through the tunnels, we’d hang a left and dive into Lock Moden and swim south underwater holding our breath (literally) as we dashed for the Badlands.

        • I can’t even begin to imagine what that would have been like in heavy traffic on a PvP server!

          And if my memory isn’t fooling me we used to have a lot less breath to hold, I seem to be able to stay under water way longer than in the early days!

  5. Hi :), oh yes that brings back memories indeed, but it was great fun as well. I was a human learning jc so it was the same thing in reverse as the poster above said. The other not quite as long trek I remember, but equally difficult was the long run down to Booty Bay. Thanks for the trip down memory lane this morning 🙂

    • Hi Carole! My JC is a Draenei, I never realized what I problem it would have been for other races.

      OH! Booty Bay, I remember my first character coming in on the boat and leaving Booty Bay to be one shoot right outside BB by those “high” level 30’s!

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