Last night had a bit of a rough start to it. On Altar of Storms, you couldn't stay logged in for more than about 10 minutes before you would get booted off. Then when you tried to get back on, you would get a World Server is down message.
I finally got in and was able to stay online long enough to turn in all my Relics of Ulduar for Sons of Hodir rep, and do a couple of dailies. I check the Guild Message of the Day to see when various groups were running their 10 and 25 mans. It was really disappointing to see that Group 1 AND Group 3 would be running Naxx on Wednesday night. I had run as an offtank in Group 3 last week, and thought I might run with them again.
I don't expect people to make their schedules around me. You have to run the groups when most everyone is available. I actually ran the idea by my wife of changing our schedule around a little bit to free up Wednesday night and that went over like the proverbial lead balloon.
So after I turned in my Jewelcrafting daily, I started to head over to Icecrown. Then I got a whisper from my buddy Raistilan. They were doing some alt runs and wanted to see if I could help them out with a couple of dungeon runs. I remember even as I leveled up, that groups were hard to come by, so I offered to come help out. Raist was on his Prot Paladin, but he volunteered to go Ret. At that point, I really wished my Hunter was high enough level to run it, but he's still Level 70.
We were running Drak'tharon Keep which actually worked out for me because I had a couple of quests for Drak'tharon Keep still in my Quest Log.
When I joined the group, one of the members commented that if I was tanking it would be a good run. Now maybe that's because I'm level 80 and it was a lower level dungeon, or maybe people really think I'm a pretty decent tank. I'm not sure. I decided to take it as a compliment.
The run was pretty smooth, and good practice for when I run that place on Heroic. After we were done, they asked if we could do Halls of Stone. I figured sure, why not. I loved Halls of Stone the first time I ran it.
But as we were flying up to the Storm Peaks, I got another whisper, this time from my buddy Saisuke who was on his Shaman. He needed a tank for Heroic Stratholme Past.
I was in something of a quandary. Saisuke had been very helpful to me with acquiring my Titansteel gear, but I had already agreed to help out Raist's group. I hadn't had a chance to do Strath Past, and I really would have liked to do it. So I asked the group if they would mind me taking the group with Saisuke. They told me it was okay. Raist's Paladin went back to Prot and they found another DPS in the guild.
Strath is one of the dungeons I've been looking forward to running. I played Warcraft 3 and remember well the Level this dungeon is based on. This is the place where Arthas disbands the Order the Silver Hand and makes his break from Uther the Lightbringer. Even Jaina's love can not sway Arthas from his path. I always thought that the moment Arthas took Frostmourne and supposedly killed Muradin was the moment he went over to the 'dark side', but you can see from his actions at Stratholme that taking Frostmourne was merely the last step in a process that was already well underway.
"And once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will..."
Culling of Stratholme was something of a gauntlet run. I felt very fortunate to have a group that was obviously familiar with the instance and an Unholy Death Knight who could help keep the pulls under control when I fell behind.
It wasn't until near the end of the run that I noticed the timer at the top of my screen. I immediately remembered the timed Baron runs back at Level 60 and I wondered if something similar was going on here.
Turns out there was because we got to the 'extra' boss with only a minute left on the timer. He went down pretty easily, and Saisuke's shaman won the roll on the Bronze drake. Congrats.
We finished up the instance by defeating Mal'ganis. He didn't drop the Shield, but I did pick up a new Necklace, though now that I look at it more, I'm not sure I'll wear it over my Burning Skull Pendant.