Mifflevan the Warlock again lagged behind the rest of the group as they charged ahead using their heroic mounts. The Warlock needed a heroic mount to keep pace. Warlocks do not simply buy their heroic mounts, however. Warlocks must complete a series of very expensive quests in order to gain the ability to summon a Dreadsteed.
Hundreds of gold pieces and many hours had been spent assembling the necessary reagents and ingredients. One quest remained of the chain: Dire Maul. A dungeon of surpassing difficulty populated by irritating warlock-eating monsters. This was not a quest for the faint of heart. Nor was it a quest to attempt alone.
Mifflevan had put off the quest partially from lack of time and partially because it had not been easy to assemble a group willing to assault Dire Maul. The dungeon was nestled deep in the middle of Feralas, a distressingly long flight from anywhere. Further, it was rumored that Dire Maul contained monsters shockingly indiscriminate about their eating habits. The denizens therein had been heard to pick their teeth with the bones of any would be hero. Even rogues were considered edible in the depths of Dire Maul.
"Enough is enough," thought Mifflevan as the rest of his group once again disappeared over the horizon. "I need a Dreadsteed and I want it now."
A period of wheedling and begging passed. Eventually, three other intrepid adventurers grudgingly agreed to accompany Mifflevan. The band consisted of Mifflevan the warlock, Terrizz the warrior, Elvwyr the druid, and Aylania the paladin. The party assembled outside Dire Maul and, after the obligatory remarks about Mifflevan's wimpy steed with training wheels, ventured in.
The mission was simple: there were five crystal pylons that needed to be shut off in order to allow the group access to a portal from which Mifflevan could summon the Dreadsteed. The first pylon, however, was surrounded by extremely rude gassy monsters with a penchant for hosing all comers with bolts of lightning. The group dispatched them in a matter of minutes and deactivated the first pylon.
They ventured upstairs to find the next two pylons similarly guarded by equally unfriendly gas bags. Fortunately, said gas bags at least adhered to the unwritten rule that only one or possibly two monsters are allowed to attack at the same time, and that they must always stop attacking long enough for the invading heroes to heal and rest before the next one charges. Relying on this incredible stupidity, the group prevailed and deactivated the second and third pylons.
The fellowship then ventured into the depths of Dire Maul to find the last two pylons. Prior to doing so, however, they were required to deal with a large treant who did not take kindly to the humanoids walking past his "area." The area in question was medium-sized stone courtyard containing nothing that any tree would logically want to grow in. The party engaged in fisticuffs with the treant who promptly yelled for help, bringing over 20 other treants to assist. These monsters did not follow the "one at a time" rule and resulted in the temporary defeat of the party. Assembling outside the treant's room again, Terrizz and Aylania noticed that it was possible to simply walk past the animated popsicle stick without fighting it. The group unanimously agreed that getting their collective heads handed to them a second time was of little necessity and chose the "sneak around" option.
They entered a large circular room containing a smaller circular area in the middle. The smaller area was the summoning circle, but it could not be approached until the final two pylons were deactivated, which would shut off a force field through which the group could not pass.
The fourth pylon was, naturally, surrounded by nasty gas bags. The party set to work killing each in turn when things went awry: a passing wind elemental taking its evening constitutional with its two minions happened to see the commotion around the pylon and went to investigate. The elementals attacked the party from behind. This upset the party extremely as it resulted the temporary death of Aylania. The fifth pylon presented no further difficulties. The force field was down and the party entered the summoning circle.
The circle was populated by a very large creature that resembled a very large dog with three heads. Instead of eyes, the dog had multiple eyestalks.
"That is one UGLY animal," said Mifflevan edging towards the rear of the group. "Terrizz, you take it."
Terrizz charged, the others piled on, and the animal proved to be relatively easy to subdue. All that remained was to complete the summoning ritual. Mifflevan produced a pot and removed the lid. A smarmy imp emerged and performed some eldritch ritual, the result of which was to bring about a veritable tsunami of other imps and felguards all keenly intent on removing the the band's respective heads from their bodies.
The battle raged some five minutes at the end of which the party was, much to their surprise and delight, still alive. "I think we're done, people!" Mifflevan exclaimed, as he performed a summoning spell. A portal opened from the middle of the air and through it came a seriously annoyed Dreadsteed and it's even more upset owner. There were some nasty insults flung back and forth largely involving whose right of possession of the Dreadsteed was superior. Mifflevan argued that his right was superior by dint of the fact that he had three other people that said so. The horse's owner responded in the manner most common in Azeroth: attempting to find a new and interesting place to install his sword within the person of Mifflevan. Mifflevan countered with a series of curses involving the sword-wielder's parentage and lineage that caused him no end of personal pain. Further violence ensued. The Dreadsteed took the position of his owner and joined the fray.
Eventually, the band of heroes won out and vanquished the horse, its owner, and everything else that moved or drew breath in the immediate vicinity. The Dreadsteed was now, finally, unambiguously, legally and forever the personal property of Mifflevan. There was much rejoicing. Mifflevan was last seen galloping away on his much coveted Dreadsteed, newly christened "Mittens."
Here endeth the quest.