Sapphire Enters the Outlands

After hearing Knifey talk of his first step through the Dark Portal to visit the Outlands, with its strange new creatures and otherworldly landscapes, I have been keen to see the new world for myself. Having explored most of Azeroth and defeated many of its deadliest denizens I feel prepared to face a greater challenge. First, I need to become strong enough to survive the forces the Dark Portal exerts when passing through. With a few quests to complete in Winterspring and another delve in to Blackrock Depths with my guild I quickly gain enough experience to reach 58th level, unlocking access to the Outlands.

It is early the next day when I catch a gryphon to Nethergarde Keep in the Blasted Lands, feeling a good night's rest would be a better preparation than rushing in exhausted from Blackrock Mountain for what awaits on the other side of the portal. It is quite a sight. The portal in the Blasted Lands may look most ominous, but it is nothing compared to the vastly more monstrous construction it leads to, and that's not including the hellish beasts waging a constant war against the combined forces of the Alliance and Horde on the doorstep of the Dark Portal. Luckily, there is a gryphon master on the Step of Destiny ready to send me on my way to Honour Hold, an Alliance encampment further in to Hellfire Peninsula.

It isn't long before I am greeted by the military leaders and set some tasks appropriate to my standing. These quests send me to kill demons in a chasm, destroy demonic transporters, bomb bigger demonic transporters, bomb a massive demon camp, and, well, I am killing a lot of demons. I see now how the name Hellfire Peninsula arose. For my efforts I am rewarded with otherworldly equipment, appropriate for the more powerful enemies I am meeting. It is not long before I have my helmet, trousers, chest piece and sword all replaced with far superior pieces, along with a new shield recovered from the Outlands that I bought from the auction house. All of the new equipment is also more protective and powerful than both that which I have been using for increased damage output whilst running solo as well as the gear more suited to damage mitigation and survivability for dungeon explorations. I can now hit harder and survive for longer all without needing to take time to change any armour. The Outlands is truly a markedly different world from Azeroth.

All the differences are nearly too much for me and I consider taking a rest, but just as the thought crosses me mind I am called to help defeat the fel orcs of Hellfire Citadel Ramparts, a dungeon close to Honour Hold. It sounds like a good opportunity to experience more of the Outlands and practice my skills as a protection warrior. A party of able bodies is drafted, with myself as the warrior, three more Draenei, all shaman, and a gnome rogue. We head to the Citadel and to enter the Ramparts.

Despite having a fair amount of my armour upgraded I am still somewhat underprepared for the onslaught the fel orcs can muster, and the progress is slow but steady. The problems faced are really only caused by my equipment being nowhere near as powerful as the Outlands can provide, and thus used by its inhabitants, and my healer has to try harder than normal to keep me standing, which catches the attention of the mobs on occasion. Otherwise, we fight our way through to the end, defeating all three bosses and exiting victorious to claim our rewards in Honour Hold, where I choose sturdy new shoulder guards.

All of the combat and quests I have engaged in throughout the day has marked another achievement for me. This morning saw my entrance in to the Outlands, certainly a day to remember, and now my trip in to Hellfire Citadel sees me needing only to kill a fel pig or two so that I reach 60th level! To round off my day of major equipment upgrades I head back to Darnassus and take ownership of a swift frostsabre mount, enjoying a fast ride around the trees in the elven capital before changing in to more comfortable clothes to rest for the evening. It has been quite a day.

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