Alyzabeth dinged 90 on 8/10/12, according to my achievement date–so well over a year ago. It was then that she embarked on the Legendary quest chain, picking up a Mysterious Note and coming into the service of the black dragon Wrathion. Over the past year, she collected sigils and runestones and valor points and reputation and trillium. She flagged herself PvP and threw her squishy, magey self into the mercy of MoP’s battlegrounds, somehow squeaking out a couple nifty victories. She queued herself for countless LFR runs, sometimes finding riches beyond her greatest expectations (wow, two runestones in one week?! neato!) and very often walking away with nothing more than some spare valor that she doesn’t need.
There were weeks when Alyzabeth didn’t bother at all with it. The quests, in their varied stages, stayed in her quest log, mocking the mage. It was a constant in her life, something that she should probably get around to at some point but kept putting off. Eventually though, she’d complete another stage, and run back to the Tavern in the Mists only to be told by Wrathion that there was still loads to do, and Alyza was sent packing back into ToT or SoO to dirty her hands once again.
The moral of this story is that I don’t do well with ‘forcing’ myself to do things, certainly not on any sort of schedule. I can make lists, and the Best Laid Plans, but then I toss them all away and throw a hissy. I’m the type that does things in my own time, when my mood and anxiety allow me to indulge in certain things–LFR, PvP, etc.
Basically, I dragged ass all through the Legendary quest line. Plenty others raced by me and completed it as soon as they were allowed to, slaying the four Celestials on the Timeless Isle and getting their shiny new cloaks and all that jazz. And I didn’t.
At least until now.
It required me to finally get my finger out, and to realise just how close to the end I was getting. It helped that my husband was on pretty much the same step as I was with his hunter, so he was able to encourage me, and give me some tips along the way. After helping Wrathion and Co. forge that stupid spear on the Isle of Thunder, I was sent to talk to the four Celestials in their respective temples, and to battle Wrathion in the Jade Temple; much like the solo scenario on the Isle of Thunder, I smashed my way to victory. There were a few defeats as I got a feel for what I needed to do (I’m very good at reading strategies, but not comprehending them until I actually get my boots on the ground), but with some luck and a few tricks I won. I then found myself with the ‘daunting’ task of defeating all four Celestials on the Timeless Isle; I say this is daunting since on Hellscream EU, Horde-side is quite tiny compared to the Alliance, so getting a group through more traditional means can be hard. I tried doing it the old fashioned way, but we only got three people together before people started dropping.
I was then reminded that we have a nifty Raid Browser tool, and that it now includes world bosses–including the Celestials. It took me queueing up several times before I was able to get groups to defeat all four, and lots of back and forth between various servers (which is quite disorienting, not to mention depressing when you zone into another server and they actually have PEOPLE talking!). There were a few instances of accidentally getting flagged and steamrolled by the Alliance, but oddly enough I kept going. I just tried to let it go, to not get frustrated or disheartened.
And I did it! Alyzabeth’s very long journey came to an end last night on the shores of the Timeless Isle, in the heart of the Siege of Orgrimmar, and in the Tavern in the Mists. Hours spend collecting and button-mashing and running back and forth culminated in that tiny inn tucked away from the rest of the world where she received her upgraded cloak, a few handy achievements, and a very angry Wrathion (what a turd, seriously). Not only had Alyzabeth finally crafted her Legendary cloak, but she also managed to defeat Garrosh in LFR, something I had been struggling with for the past few weeks–yes, I know it’s old hat, but muggins here got groups that couldn’t get past the first boss. Technically that’s another weight off my shoulders, along with the Legendary, since I wanted to defeat Garrosh at least once before going into WoD.
It’s a tad bit bittersweet to come to the end of this journey. It was frustrating at times, triggering some long-held anxieties I have regarding this game (mainly the PvP aspect, but also just socializing and LFR and such). There were times where I wanted to wring Wrathion’s scrawny little neck when he sent me out on some stupid bloody quest (Lei Shen’s heart in particular, especially considering I had already been in ToT right before that). It may have taken me a while to get there, but it’s not necessarily about how fast you complete the journey–it’s about the journey itself. I stuck with something long enough when it was quite easy for me to just give up, and got my reward in the end. To more ‘hardcore’ players, it probably isn’t a big deal; there’s plenty of debate on the intertubes about whether or not Blizzard went in the right direction regarding this particular Legendary (a debate I’m not keen to throw myself into, by the way). But to me, and my wee mage Alyzabeth, it’s a pretty big deal. It’s something to cross off her bucket list, a heavy weight pulled off her shoulders heading into the next expansion.
I suppose the inevitable question is ‘what’s next?’ for her, and I’m not sure. I reckon plenty of faffing is in order, since there’s plenty of achievements she has left that could be done. She still doesn’t have Ashes, so there’s plenty more TK runs in her future. Pets need collecting. Alts need leveling. Golds need to be hoarded, farms tended to. There’s still some upgrades to be found in LFR, something I can do as and when I feel like it, without the spectre of the Legendary hanging over my head.
What a long, strange journey it’s been*. For now, it’s a rare moment where I’m quite chuffed with myself, and I’ll try to hang onto that feeling for as long as I can.
*Another achievement which I consider among some of my finest. Another example of sticking with something long enough, and confronting my fears (Children’s Week!11!) in order to achieve something I really, really wanted.
**Yes, I love my Time Lord set from Cata. It’s one of my most popular transmog sets, just because it has that funky steampunk-esque feel, and it matches, and I love the headpiece <3