Level 45-50 Questing Sub-zone
I suppose anyone paying attention (or quickly checking my post history) knows I tend to enjoy throwing ideas around, often taking existing content and reconfiguring it. Cataclysm has the potential to take everything as it is now and transform it, so lately I've been thinking; after 5 years, what changes have come to various corners of the world?
During another recent thread, I offhandedly commented that Stratholme needs a little tinkering. After all, it has been burning for 5 years now. All attempts at explanation aside (magical fire, etc.), there's really no reason for the city to remain as it is now. For one, Eastern Plaguelands is changing from a Level 60 zone to a level 45-50 zone, so the level of mobs is no longer relevant. Though we don't know exactly what will happen to the Scourge, it can be assumed that they will be weakened or redirected elsewhere after the events of Icecrown Citadel.
Thus, this thread; a reinvention of the Stratholme dungeon to better suit the world of Cataclysm.
With the Lich King's full attention turned towards the defense of his Citadel, the Plaguelands grew have steadily grown less hostile. Seeing an opportunity to reclaim the devastated landscape in the name of the Cenarion Circle, Rayne and Rimblat Earthshatter have spent the last year (before the Cataclysm) attempting to restore balance to the forests. Knowing that a weed will regrow if not completely uprooted, the Druids set their sights on the dark heart of the Plaguelands; Stratholme.
Meanwhile the remaining Alchemists of the Apothecary Society have been narrowly evading capture in Northrend. With Putress slain and Varimathias unaccounted for, the leaderless band of Forsaken have rallied around Plaguemaster Morell, a politically ambitious and calculating individual. While leading his fellow alchemists to Howling Fjord, Morell came across a band of cultists who had abandoned the Cult of the Damned when Arthas fell. Revering the former Lich King as a God, these men and women were making a pilgrimage to Stratholme, with plans to take the city of their Lord's finest hour and establish a permanent base there.
Seeing an opportunity for both desperate factions, Morell and the Cultists banded together, hijacked a dozen ships from the Fjord, and sailed straight towards the northern coast of Lordaeron. Landing not far from Stratholme, the cultists quickly set about slaughtering the last of the Scarlets within Scarlet Bastion while Morell and his alchemists took control of Dawnstrider Harbor.
The region is now in turmoil, and at the heart of the chaos stands a much greener and tranquil Stratholme. Though still plague-ridden, large parts of the city have begun to yield to the Cenarion Circle's efforts. It is within this notorious city that adventurers will find themselves, helping to further the restoration of Nature while holding back the devious plans of the Icecrown Cultists and Apothecary League.
Stratholme has been changed from an instanced dungeon to an open region connected to the rest of the world. Players who enter the gates will find the city radically changed; what was before a bustling city and became a diseased inferno has transformed into a ruin, reclaimed by nature. Stratholme is now designed to serve as a questing hub, with players venturing through the grassy streets and vine covered buildings, nurturing life and driving away lingering threats.
Several of the buildings have had interiors added, and though it does not appear on these maps, the interior sections found in the Culling of Stratholme instance are available (even the sliding bookshelf works). Beneath the city is a vast network of sewers (see Maps, below) where the plague still lingers. Players will encounter several twisted forms of life beneath the ground, as well as passage to and from the North Lordaeron Zone.
Note that this concept is sister to another revamp I've done, one involving "North Lordaeron", or an area of the coast north of the Plaguelands. The thread discussing North Lordaeron can be found here. Here's a link directly to the map to show how Stratholme now fits into the world at large.
(Found images suggesting a mood or feel. I claim no ownership of the following images, with the exception of the first. I have re-hosted them for convenience.)
Map Notes: Because of the current layout of Eastern Plaguelands, the 'backdoor' of Stratholme does not properly align with the current map. Cataclysm could 'retcon' the back door to be closer to the city or simply have it collapse and no longer functional. I have elected to seal it off with a rockslide.
Strath, in it's current form, would also impact upon Ghostlands. However, I have gone ahead and shifted Ghostlands a tad north and east to accommodate.
Map Notes:There are three entrances into the Stratholme Sewers 'micro dungeon'; the Sinkhole at the north, the Cultust Chute in the south, and a hidden entrance accessible via the building interiors. This last entryway is inside the hidden passage seen in the Culling of Stratholme instance, inside the cage players pass on their way to Malganis.
The passages to Banewood lead players to just south of Cadem's Cove, at ground level and to an exit high above the water surrounding the Scarlet Bastion (one-way).
Points of Interest:
Rayne and Rimbalt have established a camp in the corner of King's Square, just inside the city gates. Here they have a few tents set up, and an enterprising Goblin has also erected a small flight tower, allowing adventurers to fly to nearby Light's Hope Chapel, Tranquillien, and Chillwind Camp, as well as the recently implemented flight paths in Western Plaguelands and at The Bulwark.
This small camp has several quests that send players to the various regions of the city, tasked with collecting soil samples, preening corrupted growth and eliminating various manifestations of the plague that have emerged (See "Sample Quests" below). In general, the Cenarion Circle is here to restore harmony to the most unbalanced section of the world, and they need your help.
Several Paladins have made a pilgrimage to Alonsus Chapel (including a few Tauren, working hard to sanctify it after their Blood Elf brethren almost burned it down). Part of their mission in Stratholme is to reclaim the Scarlet Bastion. After Saidan Dathrohan, leader of the Scarlet forces in Stratholme, was revealed to be the Dreadlord Balnazzar, the Crimson Legion began to falter. It was only a matter of time before the Bastion was lost, and the remaining Scarlets escaped and joined their brothers in the North Lordaeron Campaign.
Shortly before the Cenarion Circle arrived, a cult of Arthas worshipers slipped into the city and converted the Bastion into a Cultist Compound. These Icecrown Cultists have dug in, hoping to drive out the Cenarion Circle, and reclaim the city in the name of their prophet. Players must assist the Paladins and Druids within the city to drive these demented followers out.
Several lingering or corrupted spirits remain within the area known as The Gauntlet, especially around the Ziggurats. Though Rayne and Rimbalt have succeeded to some degree in purifying the Eastern-most Ziggurat, the foul taint of the Scourge refuses to relinquish its hold on the city. Players will need to assist in the purging of the undead if life is to return to this corner of the world.
Finally, playes will need to venture into including Slaughter Square, home to the Slaughterhouse and a vast sinkhole. This pit leads into the abandoned sewers and eventually winds down into the Banewood Marshes. Players will need to enter the sewers and purge the undead from the city for good.
The Stratholme Sewers are a non-instanced micro-dungeon that connects various parts of the city and introduce an abundance of new quest opportunities. In the southern most crypt, the Bronze Dragonflight's Chromie waits for adventurers willing to help her recover an artifact somewhere in the past. Players will also find a one-way exit from the Cultist Compound, two passages into Banewood, and a variety of other surprises.
The final task required of any brave adventurers is to enter the Sewers, draw forth the Echo of Rivendare from his crypt, and defeat the phantom of the Deathknight that still lingers.
Originally Posted by Rimblat Earthshatter
Originally Posted by Rayne
Originally Posted by Rayne
Originally Posted by Rimblat Earthshatter
(Note: This quest takes players into the North Lordaeron map. They will travel inside and on top of the Aqueduct that leads towards the Thondroril Spring, eventually reaching the Pumphouse. Inside is an elite Level 58 Abomination, Festerlord Gurk, who's existence within the Pumphouse corrupts the water within the city.)
Originally Posted by Chromie
Enemy Appearance / Location Map
Buried Ghoul: Undead that spring up from the ground.
Icecrown Cultist: Those who worship Arthas have made a pilgrimage to Stratholme, site of his downfall.
Wandering Darkhound: A corrupted wolf, wandering into the city from outside.
Lingering Citizen: (Non-aggressive) Former citizens of Stratholme who refuse to pass into the afterlife.
Corrupted Treant: (Non-aggressive) A nature elemental, twisted by lingering effects of the plague.
Walking Rot: A shambling elemental infected by the plague.
Thank you for reading.
Legal Mumbo Jumbo:
To the extent possible under law, Will Armstrong
has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Stratholme Renewed. This work is published from United States.