I did it. I signed up for WoW Challenges Ironman the night before last. I registered Tyhara, a night elf hunter on the Ironman Challenge board after getting her to level 10.
Yesterday I played Tyhara to level 15 in the night elf starter zone. All had been going well. Like a good little elf, I vendored all the trash and put what I could on the Auction House. I don't use the Auction House much, but I always promise myself that one of these days I'll get around to putting the bags full of "auctionable items" on my many many alts up for sale. That has not happened until this challenge. (Perhaps I'll finally get around to on my other characters, as the bankfulls of "treasures" is reaching hoarder status.)
There are lots of owls in Teldrassil, which means lots of small eggs. I made groups of five eggs and posted them for a very modest sum and took a break. When I got back to the game, all the eggs had sold, leaving me a tidy little pot of gold. According to the Ironman terms, I could use the Auction House to provide me with the funds to buy the modest items that I use - grey or white gear and weapons, white food with no buffs and bags, and bags, if and when I could afford them. I had looked on the Auction House earlier and the bag prices were way beyond my means. I decided to look again and was fortunate to find netherweave bags at the lowest I'd seen them in years! Rejoice!
With a new bow, a few white gear upgrades and at level 15, I decided that it was time to venture forth to make my way in the world. I took the ship to Stormwind and then headed to Westfall. Everything there went well, killing murlocs all along the coast, most of the mobs being 2 to 4 levels below me. I even spotted Old Murkeye way ahead of time, who was the one level 15, trying to appear normal admidst the level 12 to 14 mobs congregated on the beach.
After that, I went inland looking for good hunting. There used to be gnolls in the southern fields and I wanted to investigate that situation.
For the last two years, I've played only Horde, after a two year break. That is four years and two missed expansions - Cataclysm in 2010 and Mists of Pandaria in 2012.
As I passed by the Deadmines on my way to the gnolls, I was apalled by the state of Moonbrook. Time had not served her well. The village seemed deserted and was watched over by a military encampment. Homeless wanderers were everywhere.
I made a wide berth around the town, after having been met by several ne'er do wells, most likely looking to rob me of the little I possessed. Moonbrook Thugs! Modern thugs, none of the old outlaws with their cloth kerchiefs. I had to take a second look before allaying them, for being thugs they all looked quite dapper, most of them sporting a variety of knock-offs of very expensive shades and stylish all black clothing. What has Azeroth come to?
I proceeded onward, and there indeed were the gnolls, chumming up with each other around their little campfires. I knew from my previous experiences to be very cautious around them. They really had the buddy system going on and always have had. One wrong pull and what seemed like a whole village would descend upon you. The numbers of gnolls had greatly decreased since the last time I'd passed through Westfall - which has been years. Attacking them seemed like more trouble than it was worth.
I decided that I'd take a look at the Hushed Bank, the Darkshire river shores, because battling animals - wolves and spiders mostly - seemed like a much safer choice than the quarrelsome gnolls bent around their meager campfires. I called my cat Luna to my side, jumped into the river and headed toward the shores of the Hushed Bank - and this is where Tyhara's story ends ...
I was greeted by a bear, who just happened to be very fierce and very eager to have me for a meal. I sent my pet after him and began to swim - swim! swim! swim away! I fled the bear's attack, but was swimming too close to shore and caught the interest of another bear immediately. I tried to make it to the banks of Elwyn Forest, but with my already lowered health, it only took a few hits and Tyhara was dead.
Fear not my friends, for the challenge is not yet over. Tyhara is listed among the honoured dead Ironman challengers, but she'll continue on as a humble scout. Iarann (a Gaelic word for iron) has taken up the challenge, and with Tyhara's experiences and guidance, she hopes to live quite long into the future.