During our discussion, and in some of the comments for the first Episode of the Vanguard Forever Podcast the debate arose over the Isle of Dawn starter area versus the original, racial starter zones arose. Some like the Isle and some prefer the original zones for the background lore of your race they provide.
I here and in follow-up articles will present you with a third option… both! I like going to the Isle because the gear you get looks better (and you get to start out with a cloak which in the regular game you do not see till around your 20′s I believe) and you get wrist trinket item that gives some nice buffs and improves every ten levels. With the cosmetic tab now in the game, even after you get better gear (stat wise at least) you can still keep the nice look you get from the Isle.
After leaving the Isle, I then like to head over to my race’s old starter zones and track down the quest givers to get the awesome background story that you miss out on the Isle. This can be a problem for a new player who starts on the Isle, as when you rift from the Isle you are only given three options, one quest hub area for each of the three continents in the game. From there it is easy to rift again to the zone your race starts in, but only if you know what that is. How are you supposed to know that, you ask? Well you could try to search it out on the internet, but the best I have come up with is a link that shows what city each race ends up at in the starter quest line but not who the NPC is that gives the first quest.
Fret not that your time spent on the Isle was wasted and your goal of learning the lore of your people is lost to you for all time. I shall now guide you on to the proper path and the journey starts with the Orcs and Goblins as they share (like a few races do) starter quests. First, lets look at the splash screen when you first enter.
So you start your life of a hero as a slave? Yes, you a captive on board a rival clan, the Gulgrethor’s raid ship. Your luck is changing though, for your enemy are attacking your people and a goblin named Hrinka Tzin helps you out of your chains.
Sounds good you say, but how does this help you find this person if you just left the Isle? Well you will have to take a Rift stone to the Continent of Kojan, to the farthest you can go to the North. Martok is the Orc captial and I believe the closest Rift Stone is to the South of Martok and you need to be at the far northern point of the island.
As part of the deal for setting you free, you have to agree to release another prisoner before making your escape. You will have to kill a slaver for his key first, then make your way past the fighting on the beach and report to Krar. There are Martok and Gulgrethor NPC’s fighting it out on the beach. As you make your way South towards freedom enemies spawn in front of you, which you have to fight alone while the slave you freed watches. So much for the mighty battle lust of the Orc, eh?
You stumble into a small Martok camp and find Skar Krar waiting, he quickly sends you back out on the beach to thin the Gulgrethor ranks and exact some revenge for your enslavement. Eight kills later he sends you on to find your trainer. Now as you have (if you have done the Isle of Dawn starter area) you might be able to skip the trainer part. If not talking to him should turn in the quest and give you one to find Warden Grizzik.
Grizzik wants you to gather five Bonemender Charms, found on Bonemenders to the North. After gathering them you are instructed to use the charms to heal some wounded Martok warriors. You will have to drag the charm from your inventory to an empty hotbar slot, then you can click on it while targeting a wounded Orc to use it.
Returning to Grizzik, he is worried that the attack is just a cleaver ploy and wants you to head East and find a spy he sent out and has not heard from. So strap on your boots and move out looking for Agent Narglok.
On the road you find the spy’s assistant, Jinjax and learn that the attack is a feint for the real attack but fear not for Narglok has a plan. Jinjax gives you directions to his masters camp and ushers you on. Narglok puts your right to work, killing local frogs and harvesting their skins for a potion that will aid in sneaking past the guard dogs around the Gulgrethor camp. Then with the elixir doffed and wrapped in invisibility, you head into the camp to slay some surveyors while Narglok investigates to the East. You turn into a green ghost while the potion is activated so you know it is working, and if you happen to die and need another one you can just retalk to Narglok and get another potion.
Victorious, you return to Narglok to learn that there is a second invasion force on the North Eastern beach. You have to search this new encampment, killing Invaders and Warmongers while looking for the invasion plans. Once you locate the plans and return to Narglok you discover there is an enemy base to the South across the lake. Narglok thinks it would be suicidal to charge through the front and suggests you swim across and sneak in. You have to slay their Commander, Krajin and take his medallion to Warden Grizzik.
Grizzik doesn’t believe that Krajin is involved until he sees the medallion then he grows worried for Krajin was the Lieutenant of Loth and Loth’s involvement means trouble for Martok. You are sent on to warn the Veenax Garrison, ordered to deliver a scroll to Grand Scar Rathsuno. After agreeing to pass on your report in due time, Rathsuno puts you to work bolstering the resources of the Okami Riders, for new mounts will be needed by Martok in the coming fight.
So, it is time to kill some pigs (what did you think you was going to escape a low-level MMO quest without having to carve some bacon?) so their hides can be made into a harness for a Ghostfang. You end up with enough leather for two harness and are sent to tame and bring back two Okami Ghostfang wolves. You have to leash them and lead them back one at a time, talking to Rathsuno to deliver.
Vise Karnag, leader at Veenex Garrison has gotten your report by the time you are finished and wants to meet you. The Garrison is the first outpost where you can pickup sides quests other than the starter storyline, but for this I will bypass them. Karnag for example also has the tutorial quest for Diplomacy.
Karnag warns that if you want to join (or rejoin as it were) Clan Martok you have to pass his tests. First on the list is to find a pack of Shademane Okami and use some rancid meat to draw out the pack leader and slay it. Then take its heart to Warseer Grenik. Grenik is just to the right inside the wall surrounding the building Karnag is in.
You are going to use the heart to make your War Fetish. Since you did not grow up in Martok you will need it to join the clan. You need some Pristine Serpent Feathers and some Hillcat Fangs to complete the fetish. This quest has multiple locations and to select which one to track on your minimap and direction compass press the L key to bring up your quest log.
Now you must take your talisman to a graveyard and catch a Worthy Spirit to empower your fetish. This can be tricky cause the graveyard is a small area with easily aggro’ed Mobs and fast respawn timers. Your target is the yellow named “Lost Worthy Spirit.” Clear out the red named mobs then use the talisman to catch your prize. Once again adding the talisman to a spot on your hotbar to make it easier to use.
Back to Grenik, who examines the fetish and once satisfied announces you have to return the spirit to Ghalan, the God of the Orcs and Goblins. You are sent to the Altar of Ghalan to perform the ceremony. Using the talisman at the Altar causes the spirit to manifest and attack you, please Ghalan with your fighting skill by defeating the spirit. I am not sure but I think the huge axe in the wall at the Altar is the Axe of Ghalan, which you will learn about later on.
After returning to Grenik you are deemed worthy to attempt the Trials of Grakkor. That’s right, after doing all of this you still haven’t started the actual trials yet but now it gets interesting as you are about to start to learn the Lore behind the Orcs and Goblins of Martok. You are sent to the base of Grakkor Mountain to speak with Warseer Joonta for instructions on your trial. Joonta sends you west into the mountains, instructing you to look for the entrance to the Fanx Caverns and Warseer Fezzik who will guide you along the path of your trial.
In these caverns you will learn much of the History of the Orc Clans and Martoks youngest Hero, Grakkor. You will be retracing the steps Grakkor himself took during the first Gulgrethor invasion years ago. First you are to read three tablets in the room with Fezzik, be sure and remember as much details as possible cause afterwards Fezzik will quiz you on what you learned.
After answering correctly, Fezzik sends you on to the next cavern, where you have to slay the beasts within and loot some nests for materials to be used as tender and fuel for your beacon fire. The passage leading up to the next cavern after gathering all you need is next to the path you took into this cavern.
The second cave is green and looks a little like a swamp, you have to stick your hands in the stumps to collect some wood beast eggs. It seems the yoke of the eggs are extremely flammable, that must make for one interesting omelet! After collecting one small, medium, and large eggs climb up the next tunnel and talk to Fezzik again.
The last cavern you have to slay ten Gulgrethor Orcs, fighting your way up the winding ledge till you get to the shade of the great wyrm Grakkor slew years ago. The shade is guarding an Orb you need called the Heart of Flame. Get the Orb and continue up the passage and talk to Fezzik at the exit.
Because you were captured and made a slave by the Gulgrethor you have to prove yourself to the spirit of Grakkor himself in a fight. Defeating him will gain you the Shard of Grakkor and acceptance to light your beacon at the top of the Mountain. Fezzik is waiting for you at the base of the Altar of Martok and gives you your completed bundled items you collected to light your fire.
You walk up the steps and light your bundle, sending a shaft of light high into the sky that any players nearby can see, proclaiming your worth as a clansman of Martok. Fezzik is waiting at the bottom of the stairs and he performs a cleansing ritual, removing the stains and pains of your past. You lose consciousness and wake up at the base of the mountain. Standing before you is Warseer Kurbad who congratulates you and sends you on to Gaxton Village and the true start of your adventures as a member of the Martok clan.