Keystone Master: A tank’s tale.

We walked a hard, hard path. Our blood waters the grass and stones of this magical place. Adventurers on the path of a depleted 14+, hoping to defeat Odyn in time to upgrade their prized keystone to a 15.

Having withstood the punishment of the Tyrranical Hymdal, Hyrja, Fenrir and God-King Skovald, I, our warrior tank, stare up at my father Odyn. Odyn who sends me to countless herculean tasks, never satisfied – Odyn my ambitious yet negligent father. I come bloodied across these halls to your throne, father.

We wipe, father is cruel. 3min 50 s remain, we have one more shot. Our dps acknowledge that this will be close, I cannot falter. 10 s before the timer runs out, Odyn walks away from us. He hails us as glorious warriors, and our party leader is excited to run the 15 promised.

Eye of Azshara…

The group is hopeful, one of us leave and we pick up a solid new dps into our ranks. We gather potions, food and flasks for the arduous 15+ ahead. A 15 is my chance to finally get my Keystone Master Achievement. It is late into the night, even now as I write, and we head towards the dungeon.

During our flight-path, our new dps promises pain. "A 15 is a 15 for a reason, it all comes down to numbers, is your tank good enough?". Leader writes, "He was solid in HoV/knew what he was doing" and a dps pipes in "better than any warrior I see".

We enter the Eye of Azshara.

5 min in, I am fighting Warlord Parjesh and his bodyguards. It is…brutal. Dps die in droves, healer is unable to keep up, small mistakes and missteps lead to wipes.

We wipe again. And again. The spear-wielding humanoid sea serpent stares me down through slit eyes, mocking me. I am not good enough.

Leader finally calls it: "Sorry guys, but it looks like this isn't happening". People exchange goodbyes at the starting area. I climb on a broken pillar and quietly take my seat. I hear people porting away, the hunter stays.

We talk for a while. The hunter talks about their 1200 days of WoW, about friends lost to WoW, about wanting to be the best American PvE player in the world. The hunter also shares their gradual loss of interest in WoW.

"Climb this broken pillar, and sit here. Look at those granite peaks in the horizon, and Dalaran yonder, floating in the sky beyond the Eye of Azshara. Do you see it? Maybe you can start loving this game again".

They climb up next to me, and look out.

"It's so good".

The timer counts down all the way. The hunter doesn't notice, but I do. Another day, another attempt. I stand up, take one last look at the horizon.

"Where are you going?"

"Far, far away from this place".

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