Last time we met up, Kasul and I failed spectacularly on Odin. That wasn’t our fault — probably. I was second tank, and Kasul was the off healer. Our problem was the DPS in the group. Not a lot we could do about that. But I have to admit that the whole Odin encounter is a rush. Camera pulled back as far as possible so I could see the entire arena, just like for Leviathan Extreme. The patterns are clear from that angle. As a tank, I get priority heals, and as a paladin, I have Hallowed Ground and three other defensive cooldowns to keep me up. Sure, we failed, but I had fun. I think Kasul did as well.
But it’s nice to have at least one victory. We’ve had the Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard) on our “to do” list for awhile. That’s the one where the cruddy healer you meet during the early story quests — the one who let her tank die, then proceeded to carry his head around in a sack, driving away the other members of her group — decides she’s going to marry that dead head. And she’s invited all her ex-friends to play key roles in the ceremony. This was a super fun — and super funny — dungeon.
I should probably have written about those then… maybe I will, when we kill Odin for reals. I had this idea that it would be an easy fight… maybe if the DPS had been there.
Story night, though! Last time we met for Story Night, we ended with the death/defeat/diplomatic solutioning of Ramuh, the lightning primal of the Sylphs. We couldn’t rest on our victory for long, though. Wonder Twin (W.T.) had a bright idea that required our immediate presence in Mos Eisley.
See, there’s been a problem all along. The Scions have had to look to the three nations to supply incompetent minions for us to save. Why couldn’t the Scions grow their own crop of incompetent minions so that we could rescue people closer to home, without paying so many teleport fees? Brilliant! After W.T. got the leaders of the three grand companies to pay to make us go away, the Crystal Braves were born, and almost immediately started courting disaster that only we could avert.
W.T. graciously, almost bashfully, accepted the rank and title of Commander of this new, independent grand company. Kasul and I got no rank nor titles, but at least we were given to understand that no job was too trivial, nor too dangerous, for the Crystal Braves to completely foul up, requiring our immediate support.
Since we are now on Patch 2.4 and close to the end of the pre-Heavensward storyline, it became necessary to start preparations for the expansion. The fourth nation of Ishgard, long isolated from the rest of the Eorzean nations, had begun to open diplomatic negotiations with the Coerthan families. While unable to see their way clear to offer an alliance until Kasul and I pay $50 for the expansion, they offered at least to join forces against a new threat, the Harriers.
The Harriers absolutely loved the idea of the Crystal Braves. The Ishgardians and the Coerthans share some draconic affinities with the Harriers. Harriers will kill them if they have to, but with new Crystal Brave meat available… well, they stood no chance, and so we were called in, as we always are, to save the day.
The Harriers are led by a mysterious woman known only as Iceheart, and are suspected of hiding within a gigantic ice wall that was one result of the sudden, permanent freeze that descended on the land some time ago. Turns out Iceheart and her allies really like dragons. REALLY like dragons. REALLY REALLY like dragons. Their long-dead predecessor, Saint Shiva, had herself martyred by her ice dragon lover so that her soul and his could mingle in their descendants. That bond has weakened, and Iceheart aims to rekindle the bond by repeating the ceremony — or so I understand the plot.
I’m not an idiot. I recognized the name Shiva right away. We’re gonna have to kill her again. Seems Iceheart has stolen a bunch of ice crystals, and this is why they are so gosh-darned rare. Clearly she plans to raise Shiva once again. Shiva isn’t really a primal — she was a real person, and Iceheart’s plan is to resurrect her by using a modified primal summoning. What could possibly go wrong?
But first, we would have to find the secret way in to the ice wall — Snowcloak — and hunt her down.
We followed the trail of Crystal Brave bodies (how did we become so numerous so quickly?) to a cave where Harriers had been seen; heretofore unknown-to-be-in-the-area Yda leaped out of the shadows to show us the hidden entrance. The rest of the Scions and what remained of the Crystal Braves quickly made themselves scarce and left it to Kasul and I to gather up some random deeps and head into Snowcloak. There, we might find Iceheart…
Snowcloak is a hard-level dungeon with a few cool tricks. The first fight followed King Mog (Extreme) and to some extent Wanderer’s Palace in that we had to keep an eye on the number of debuffs we received while fighting the boss. Nothing too terrible.
Second boss was a Yeti. He was surprisingly weak to snowballs. Problem: no snowballs. Thankfully there were a bunch of rabbits bouncing around, who could become snowballs without much urging. Just get the Yeti to breathe on them. The Yeti MAKES snowballs… and yet is weak to them… When the snowballs get big enough, a quick shove is all it takes to send it into the Yeti, causing him a world of hurt.
Last fight was the legendary wolf, Fenrir. He summons icicles from the roof. Explosive icicles. Three drop at once. Two of them target players with rays as in Qarn, Odin and any number of other fights. The third shields the group from Fenrir’s howl, Garuda-like. We all messed up at least once, but Kasul managed to keep us alive, or at least rez the dead. And that was that.
Iceheart popped up afterward to explain her forbidden attraction to scaly, winged lizards. She then sent us on our way to explain things to the Coerthans and Ishgardians. We ended story night there.
We didn’t know anything about this chapter going in, but we’re pretty sure we’re going to be meeting Shiva next Monday. After that… well, we must be nearing the end of the pre-Heavensward story. I’m still quite far from getting all the Disciple of War jobs to 50. Ninja is in the early 30s; Pugilist is, I think, 26? or 21? Ninja, as a newer class, is extra, not associated with any achievements. I really should be focusing on getting Pugilist to 30, and from there, Monk to 50. I just have not yet connected with the class.