Look at My Horse, My Horse Is Amazing

No, this is not another post about me simply being happy/proud to finally be able to afford a mount on another character! It's about a special mount, one with a story.

If you think about it, mounts in WoW and its offshoots work in a funny way. You just summon them and they appear out of thin air, and the moment you don't need them anymore they disappear just as neatly. There is no in-game explanation for this, no magic that temporarily transports your trusty steed to another dimension or anything like that. A horse is still supposed to be just a horse, but out of sight is out of mind, and even in Classic with all its more "realistic" conveniences, we're happy to accept this particular behaviour for the sake of simplicity.

Not so with paladin mounts though! I've repeatedly mentioned how nice it is that paladins get their level 40 mount for free, but something I don't think I've ever brought up is that the game treats "Summon Warhorse" as a spell. I don't know if this summoned horse is supposed to still be a real flesh-and-blood steed, but there's definitely some magic involved. I always thought that it's odd that this is something that the trainer just gives to you without much ado (there is some quest text but it doesn't really say anything meaningful) - you'd think that getting to magically summon a horse out of thin air would be a slightly bigger deal. (For the same reason it always felt weird to me that druids just learn cat form from their trainer instead of via a quest like the other forms.)

At level 60 though, you can pick up the infamous paladin mount quest to acquire the epic upgrade for your magical mount. It gives a lot more detail than the level 40 quest and charges you with liberating and bonding with a horse spirit. In fact, the quest text feels like the quest writer had some even bigger, overarching lore in mind that got left on the cutting room floor somewhere, as the quest giver talks about a paladin earning their charger like it's a rite of passage - which it is in practice - but at the same time the quest makes it all sound very unique and specific. Why is there a benevolent horse spirit in Dire Maul that only comes out if you kill a giant tree? Just what did people do to that poor woman with the horse feed that keeps yelling at you in caps? (That part was funny though.)

It's actually not a terribly long or difficult quest chain, but there are definitely points at which it can trip you up. I remember starting it on my paladin on the private server Kronos, seeing the long shopping list of materials you're given as one of the first steps, and giving up right there. In Classic though, I'm much more established and - while not rich - had an idea how to go about collecting everything, so I chipped away at it slowly over time.

After you've jumped through the various gold-spending hoops, there are two dungeon steps to complete. First you need to kill the first boss in Dire Maul West and get the blessing of a horse spirit there (as for why... refer to my earlier comment). Then you need to do a little event in the ossuary in Scholomance which cumulates in fighting a death knight and redeeming the spirit of his charger, which then becomes your own mount.

I only had very vague memories of this, though in retrospect I must have done it at one point during Burning Crusade, when a friend levelled a Draenei paladin. Being able to over-level everything probably made it somewhat easier and less memorable at the time.

I wasn't sure how I was going to go about getting those dungeon quests done, but as it happened I managed to rope some guildies into helping me out last night and it was glorious. In Dire Maul we also got a pug hunter as dps whose bow broke halfway through the dungeon, so our hunter class leader ended up trading him a grey bow so that he could continue to do damage from range. We also recruited him to the guild afterwards!

And well, Scholo is Scholo... kind of long and tedious, but we made it. I quickly looked at a guide to the event on my second monitor before going in and it made it sound quite tough, but with our well-geared and experienced group it was easy enough (despite still taking about fifteen minutes in total).

Let me tell you, being able to summon my new epic mount outside felt glorious afterwards. It's not just a way to ride faster - it has a story attached to it and my guildies helped me get there. When I returned to Ironforge later and saw another paladin on their epic mount it actually gave me pause when I realised that every paladin's charger has a story like that, as they will have needed help with the quest at some point.

I really like these Classic quests that encourage you to have an adventure (also see Verigan's Fist). I know that if I ever see another paladin ask for help with that quest I'll want to assist them for sure. It only seems fair to pay it forward.


  1. Back in July I was part of a Scholo run that attempted to get a Paladin her epic mount, and we were doing fine on that fight right up until we weren't. I know that sounds flippant, but we didn't know how to do it, so we tried in the middle of the room. Because we were there, we couldn't get a chance to drink between waves (I was on Card at the time). We were able to overcome that right up until the 5th wave or so, when suddenly the difficulty of the mobs amped up considerably. The healer (and the Pally in question) ran OOM, as well as the Pally tank. I followed shortly thereafter, and the fight went downhill fast.

    So I salute you on your victory in redeeming the horse spirit!!

    1. Yeah, I could see how wrong positioning would make a big difference in that event. Our tank insisted from the beginning that we should huddle in the corner and that worked well.

    2. That's apparently the correct strat, so you get a chance to recover between waves.

  2. Congrats on the new mount! Warlocks have a similarly, well, epic quest chain to get their epic mount. It was one of the coolest and most fun things I have done in Classic!

    Like you I remember thinking when I first read about what is required 'I will never be able to get this' but the support of helpful guildies is a wonderful thing.

    1. If only I didn't hate playing warlocks... :)

  3. Congratulations. That one is one of the more enjoyable achievements.

    Doing the paladin charger quest is a fond memory. I did mine after Vanilla, but at level 60. So much fun that I wish they had more things like that in the game. (I am a bit sad I never did the Warlock epic mount back in Vanilla, too.)