Before starting the long journey to Hillsbrad Hills, I decided to take an even longer journey across Azeroth.
Recently I had been training in the arts of First Aid, Fishing and Cooking. As a Warrior with limited abilities to heal my wounds, all three skills came quite handy. First you have First Aid; the art of making bandages from various cloth pieces. Usually human (and even undead) enemies would be loaded with these. Then you have Fishing; the art of masterfully casting your pole and finding fish of different varieties. Of course the fish is of little use when uncooked, which is where Cooking comes in. In addition to delicious fish frying, you can make omelets, bake cakes and pies, make drinks, cook raw meat that you come across in your adventures and so much more.
The problem is however, the trainers located in major cities can only teach you so much. After a certain level, one needs to venture into the wild in search of books! As with almost everything in Azeroth, these books are located as inconvenient as they get; First Aid book is found in the deadly Dustwallow Marsh, Fishing book is sold in Booty Bay, and Cooking book is located in a remote troll village in Desolace.
Naturally at the ripe level of 20 I had been to neither of these places, so the flight master gave me the middle finger. How rude!
I started with Dustwallow Marsh as it was the closest. After flying to Camp Taurajo, I headed west where the… barrens of Barrens ended, and the tree-laden swamps appeared. I was greeted by high level crocodiles, and a human warlock was standing near the crossing. I wondered if they were friendly.
Luckily killing me once sated their curiosity, and I was able to take a breather behind the secure walls of Brackenwall Village.
Balai Lok’Wein, the troll merchant for Potions, Scrolls and Reagents was selling three books related to First Aid; Expert First Aid, Mageweave Bandage Manual and Heavy Silk Bandage Manual. These books would allow me to make stronger bandages from various types of cloth.
I thanked Balai, and flew to Ratchet, Barrens. The next stop was Booty Bay. Similar to Ratchet, Booty Bay was a neutral town guarded by Goblins. The horde and alliance could not attack one another in these neutral zones, as the goblins would quickly make short work you. While this didn’t stop anyone from trying, the goblin bruisers surely gave some sense of security.
The fisherman who was selling the book was in one of the houses. He was going by the name Old Man Heming. Speaking with a strong Cuban accent, the old man asked for 1 gold piece in exchange for the book, which was supposed to have tips and tricks on how to catch fish, best spots for some rare fish, and so on.
The final task was to locate the Cook. I went back to Crossroads, and started trekking towards Stonetalon Mountain. The mountainous area of Stonetalon was blessed with rivers, creeks and waterfalls, yet it was overrun with aggressive wildlife. I took a brief break in Sun Rock Retreat. It’s inhabitants – the Tauren – were welcoming as always.
After restocking, I passed the valley into Desolace. The moon was slowly rising.
Desolace was a place like no other. Devoid of any vegetation and water scarce as hen’s teeth, its remaining wildlife was oft roaming around in packs, looking for their next prey. Their power way beyond anything I had imagined. Hyenas and vultures were ripping through my mail armor like it was made from paper! I dreaded the repair bill, so I did what any self-respecting warrior would do.
I got naked. I was going to die the minute anyone attacked me anyway, this way I could at least avoid the hefty repair bill. So I started running.
I ran through graveyards of the ancient Kodo’s, bones towering as high as a dozen gnomes.
I ran through areas teeming with demons, slaying anyone who dared come close.
I ran through mountains rich with ore, barely escaping with my life.
Yet after dying countless times, I finally made it to the coast!
With my remaining gold, I purchased the cookbook from the Chef, and took a well-deserved good night’s rest.