Well now. Well now. Well now. This is a tricky little quest, and no mistake. Or should I say series of quests? After taking a bit of a summer holiday last week to join in the Scavenger Hunt, I return to Gloamwood Pines to rid the forest of evil. Or should that be E-E-V-I-L-L, (said in a long, drawn out creepy voice.)
I should have known it wouldn't be easy. Should have picked up the signs. Especially from Arthur Roames. “My scouts tracked the Endless Court cultists to Shadefallen Towers,” he said, “but were driven off with heavy losses by a being they're calling the Iron Pine Butcher. Four soldiers were maimed by this brute - there's no getting past him!”
He asked me to take care of this Iron Pines Butcher and I agreed. That’s when he pursed his lips and gave me a big hug, saying “I’ll miss you, man.”
I thought it odd, but shrugged it off. Maybe he was having relationship troubles or something. That would explain the sad look on his face. Although, in retrospect, I should have paid more attention when he said “I’ll see you on the other side."
Anyway, Shadefallen Towers. But of a tricky location that. Huge. And absolutely swarming with cultists armed with guns, ghosts that want to eat your soul, walking skeletons, and not to mention the Iron Pine Butcher himself. (A real nasty piece of work, and no mistake.) Now, I’m going to save you all a bit of time here. Because there are a lot of things to fight in this area. I spent an hour infiltrating the camp, sneaking behind barricades, around buildings and tents, leaping out from behind rocks and taking the enemy down with silent kills, then skulking even further into enemy territory, thinking I must be near the Butcher by now, only to step through another tunnel and find this waiting before me.
The brochure said a sunny mountain view.
But fret not, fellow Rifters. Because you really don’t have to spend ages searching for the elusive Iron Pine Butcher like I did. My mistake was that I was using the map to track him, and at one point it said the Butcher was, like, 1 meter away. I’m whirling in circles, freaking out, going, “Where is he? Where is he?” It felt a bit like that scene in Aliens when they’re barricaded in the room, and the blip-blip of approaching aliens is getting faster and faster and they’re all like "Where are they, where are they?” And the other guy is like, “They’re in the room, man! They’re in the room!” then they all look up and realize the aliens are in the ducts.
Except when I looked up there was just sky. So… I suppose it wasn’t really like that at all. But it was intense!
Anyway, back to the secret. And the secret is, the Iron Pine Butcher isn’t in a single location. He’s moving around all the time, and that’s why I couldn’t find him. You need to look for the guy with chains in his hands followed by the two mini-reavers or whatever they are. His little pets. Kill him first, because the little things don’t do much damage. Then when you’ve killed the Butcher you can stomp on them.
A lot more difficult than it had to be, to be honest. But I got a lot of experience, and picked up some new chest armor that hides Caedryn's nipples, so it's all good.
While I’m in Shadefallen Towers I have a couple of other quests to take care of. Fiona Leone. Remember her? She’s the really crap inventor who keeps getting people killed? Well, she wants me to test her “Death Shield” yet again. But this time I’m to test it the pools of concentrated undead by the three Shadefallen Towers. “With the Vigil's guidance, I have perfected a Death Shield to reveal and eradicate death magic,” she says. “In intensely contaminated areas, it will even draw the magic from the ground before cleansing it. Want to strike a blow against the cultists while giving it a field test?”
I’m all, “Eh… I’m not sure I’ll have time for that Fiona. I have an appointment with my stylist in Sanctum to get my beard done.”
But she begs, so my better nature takes over and I say I’ll see what I can do. So while I’m searching for the Iron Pine Butcher I pause at these pools of glowing souls and test her shield, and surprise surprise, it works.
After all this exercise I feel a need for a bit of pampering. (See, I wasn’t lying about needing to see my stylist. I really do.) I head back to Tearfall Ruin and report the success of my quests. “You are truly sent by the Vigil!” gushes Fiona. “By using the Death Shield at Shadefallen Towers, you proved the worth of the spell and also destroyed the Endless Court's reserves of dark energy. This spell will do much to protect the people of Gloamwood.”
Yes, yes. I know, I’m brilliant. But I really do have to go, so I step through the portcullum to Sanctum and wander around a bit until I find the stylist’s shop. Phew. It’s not cheap, is it? 14 gold to cut my hair? Really? Anyway, my beard has been feeling a bit itch lately, so I decide to go ahead and give it a trim. Here you can see the results, and here you can see that some people are just not meant to be clean shaven. Dear god, Caedryn looks like a near-sighted mole.
That sinking feeling where you know your haircut was a really bad idea.
Back to the stylist I go, and he collects some of my trimmed beard from the floor and glues it back to my face again.