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WoWApr 10, 2018 5:00 pm CT

Battle for Azeroth’s creepiest quest involves a tea party, rhyming, and Smoochums

As the Battle for Azeroth alpha chugs along, we’re getting a better and better picture of what to expect from each of the expansion’s six new zones. And while each has its own unique tone and story, none has stuck out to me the way Drustvar’s has. The zone has an air of eeriness about it from the second you step foot on land, and that continues throughout. It feels as though you’re questing through a horror movie, in many ways.

One of the best exemplars of this comes from a short but unforgettable quest chain. The chain itself is the work of Jackie Wiley and actually served as inspiration for the rest of the zone. Today, we’re going to walk you through the quest experience to show you just how downright creepy Drustvar can be.

Warning: This post contains summaries for one h*ckin’ spooky quest chain in Battle for Azeroth. If you’d prefer to experience the chain on your own, read no further. Everyone else, feel free to put on the following mood music to set the tone.

It starts with a girl named Abby

One of the things I love about the quest is that it begins without any sort of “go here and check out this” prompting. The village you walk through isn’t way off the beaten path or anything, but it’s still something you have to stumble across — not unlike those “innocent” villages (of death) in any number of horror films. As you get closer and closer to the town, you begin to notice a little girl skipping along near one of the houses.

Her name is Abby Lewis, and when you get close enough, you can see she’s singing a lovely little tune to no one in particular:

Our poor little village is dead.

All the people have gone stiff or fled.

There is no more noise…

…except me and my toys…

…just like all the dark birdies said!

Perfectly normal.

Also perfectly normal? Abby wants you to play with her — but she also needs you to round up Mr. Munchykins, Trunksy, and Mayor Striggs. After all, what’s a tea party without those guys?

Who says it’s time for some tea

Rounding up the esteemed guests isn’t all that difficult. They’re located in different corners of the small village, and they’re fairly easy to spot. This is mostly because it’s an empty village and they’re stuffed animals, but let’s not dwell on details.

As you find each tea-party guest, Abby briefly appears to speak to them about their recent behavior (as you do). For example, Trunksy gets yelled at for going in the house, even though Miss Mary doesn’t allow this. Naughty Trunksy!

Speaking of going in the house, Abby also mentions how some villager named Mr. Hawthorne was “always trying to keep the doggies away from his animals” but since Mr. Hawthorne is around no longer, “the doggies can finally have supper!”

There’s more than one bloodstain on the floor.

But when we see things aren’t quite right

Now that you’ve gathered up the three village-bound guests, there’s one more to go: Smoochums. Smoochums likes the woods, so that’s naturally your next destination. Upon finding the smushy-faced puffball, you notice a town registry with all but three names crossed off: Mary Hayes, Jonathan Hayes, and Samuel Hawthorne. It’s probably a good idea to find them — alive and well, no doubt!

Or maybe not. One by one, you stumble across evidence of what happened to these three villagers. And one by one, Abby has a lovely little rhyme to remember them by. In Sam’s case, it appears he went to the woods and never returned:

Sam kept his farm well-tended. To livestock he was kind. Into the woods Sam vanished — now who will tend his swine?

Poor old Jonathan Hayes. When you find his body, there’s a noticeable absence from what a usual body might look like. Namely, his heart. It’s been ripped out. And there’s an open wound where it used to be.

Mr. Hayes is holding a note to his wife, apparently undelivered. He loves her, and he only hopes to see her return home. Fate, however, had different plans:

Mister Hayes was said to have a soul so sweet and nice. How sad the kind man’s heart became a witch’s sacrifice!

Moving along, you find the journal of Mary Hayes. Loving wife, caring mother… and a murderous witch. It seems she’s responsible for her husband’s untimely death:

Miss Mary turned her back on us while seeking wicked power. She brought death upon our village, turned the forest dark and dour.

Finally, you come across one more villager — her eyes are “hollow and empty” and her clothes are stained with blood. She says nothing to you for now, but Abby tells her tale:

The dark ones called to Anne, but from evil she refrained. No surprise to anyone she ended up in chains!

Now all that’s left is the tea party.

RIP Smoochums

Perhaps it’s a sign we should flee

After you turn in your last quest to Annie Warren, Abby appears — like all creepy children do — to tell you it’s time for the tea party to begin. Excitedly, she runs up the hill and declares that you’re about to have the best tea party ever. Based on everything so far, what reason do we have to doubt her? (All of them. We have all the reasons to doubt her.)

When you arrive, you find all of the “guests” gathered around a rune drawn into the ground. Candles are located at specific points on the rune, and Smoochums appears to have been sacrificed. There is still tea, however, so it could be worse.

As you investigate the scene before you, Abby declares that she can now “call the last guest.” She does so by pointing her hand in the air, the hand now surrounded in a black-and-blue glow. This will be fine.

Just kidding. The final guest wants to kill you. Abby, despite telling the aberration to “play nice” also tells it that she doesn’t want us to leave hungry “…or at all!” Unfortunately for the “doggie,” you have a quest to complete and so it must die.

Just a taste of the story

As I said earlier, this little slice of Drustvar helped inspire the rest of the zone, both tonally and thematically. And, trust me, it absolutely nails it. Everything about the zone is wonderfully creepy, and it’s hard to remember the last time World of Warcraft had a zone that so effectively captured a specific look and feel.

Coming as a Horde main, it pains me to suggest anyone play an Alliance character. But Drustvar is just so good and so downright creepy that I insist everyone make an effort to play through it at least once. Whether that be on a pre-made character during an alpha/beta/PTR cycle or on a live-server alt, it doesn’t matter.

If you’re a fan of horror movies, scary video games, or even the classic Eastern Plaguelands experience, Drustvar is a must-see zone. What I’ve shown you here is less than a half-hour excursion in a zone that you could easily spend 6 or more hours in. Props to the WoW team for creating such a fun, spooky zone, and props to Jackie Wiley for the delightfully terrifying little girl that helped inspire it all.

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