Today, we take a look at the Affliction warlock artifact intro questline. The Affliction artifact, Ulthalesh, the Deadwind Harvester, contains a powerful part of its history in its name. Warlocks will have to follow the trail of the legendary Dark Riders and brave the long lost Karazhan catacombs to claim this demonic scythe.
The first necrolyte to walk the world of Azeroth, Satiel, was given this scythe by the titan Sargeras himself. It grows in power as it draws souls from its victims. The Harvester earned its name as Satiel methodically drained all life from the hapless inhabitants of Deadwind Pass, creating a potent magical nexus there in the process. Hunting down Satiel, the Guardian of Tirisfal turned the scythe on her, sending her soul to join those of her victims. Eventually the Dark Riders recovered the weapon and secreted it beneath the tower of Karazhan.
As you may recall from our BlizzCon coverage, Ulthalesh was the very instrument used to wipe Deadwind Pass of life, creating the barren, bleak, deathly landscape players have known since The Burning Crusade. Then it mysteriously disappeared, and the only hint of its whereabouts are mentions of the Dark Riders from the Tome of Blighted Implements. (The book is found in a prior sequence while working on the Warlock Class Hall on a Legion portal world.)
Calydus, a helpful but mysterious demon, sends players from the Dalaran sewers to Duskwood on the tail of the Deadwind Harvester. Arriving at the quest marker, players discover a small, ruined cottage named Manor Mistmantle, as well as another Artifact hunter, Revil Kost.
Kost’s original goal, as a follower of the Light, is to take back the Artifacts mentioned in the Tome and hide them away again so that their evil can never be used by the Legion, or anyone else. Through persuasion, threats, or battle, players must coerce the human into help, and Kost reveals that Ariden, another Dark Rider, likely knows of the Artifact.
Kost and players set off in search of Ariden into Deadwind past, fighting off waves of Dark Riders, discovering history related to the Riders and Artifact, and ultimately into the Karazhan catacombs. Players then descending a spiral staircase and tunnels crawling with skeletons and spectres, as well as Dark Rider sentinels. You will have to use warlock abilities like Demonic Gateway to get past some of Ariden’s traps.
Ariden is a bit of a hoarder. In the deepest parts of the catacombs, troves of ancient artifacts of all origins are found. The Dark Riders, it turns out, were once merchants bartering with the sorcerer Medivh, but the wizard cursed the merchants to wander forever with an insatiable hunger for objects of power. And among these many treasures the scythe is found–although you’ll have to take down Ariden to claim it.
For more on Ulthalesh’s different models and color skins, see our recap of the Artifact system from BlizzCon 2015. Follow our Legion Artifact coverage for more on the Artifact questlines, mechanics, and abilities. We hope to preview the Warlock Class Hall once some progress-preventing bugs are fixed.