People say that with any trip, the journey is half the fun. Let me tell you a little about my journey to Butcherblock and why I think the word fun needs to undergo something of a radical overhaul.

As we all know (but took me a fair amount of searching to discover), the boat from the established world (in my case, Antonica/Qeynos-aligned) leaves from the pier in Thundering Steppes. So far my sole experience of TS is feeling the icy hand of zombie death as I foolishly took a quick excursion that way in my early teens. At least this time round I could slip into the shadowy embrace of my Monkly stealth ability to slip by any dangerous beasties unmolested. I’m still not brave enough to actually battle them myself, but it’s progress of a sort I suppose.

Reaching the dock wasn’t so much of a struggle (once I learnt to turn left at the end of the entrance valley instead of right and into Ravenholm. I should have realized though that the biggest danger I face these days doesn’t come in the shape of rotting flesh-covered bipeds, but in the far more familiar guise of my own stupidity. Spying the boat already moored at the end of the pier and not knowing how long before it weighed anchor and set sail I hit the sprint button, slammed on auto-run and started a 100-metre dash that would put a drug-addled Olympian to shame. At which point a passing do-gooder, seemingly thinking he could help, cast a Spirit Of The Wolf buff onto me moments before I step on board. Everyone ahead of the story here?

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No actors were harmed in the recreation of this scene.

A screaming mass of ginger hair and blurred feet pelt straight onto the deck of the ship and, before I can stop it, right off the other side and into crystal blue waters below. Hoping no one saw such mania, or at least hoping that they thought I was recording some sort of stunt for a reality TV series, I sheepishly wade ashore, watching the boat casually head off to adventure land without me.

Checking myself for limpets, I take stock and decide to just wait patiently by the end of the jetty this time for the next ferry to arrive. Unfortunately, my inner three-year old soon kicks in and I find myself exploring the spiral gangplanks around the curious little building next to the pier as the boat arrives. Panicking, I start to hurry back down, cack-handedly misjudge a step and find myself exploring the watery depths once again. Realising that if I hurry I might just make it this time, I quickly swim back to the side entrance to the pier. Unfortunately as I dash towards the boat it starts to slowly move off. Ah hah, I foolishly think to myself. I can put Indiana Jones to shame here and I veer off to the left and up the spiral stairway once again, hoping to reach the top just as the boat sails past. With the kind of heroic leap that would put a salmon to shame I sprint and dive for the deck…

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I call this piece ‘Epic Fail in Blue’.

… sadly missing by several clear yards and ending up straight back in Davy Jones’ locker once again. Sigh. I’m sure by this stage that I’ve got half the server watching this lunatic of a half-dressed, orange dwarf trying his very best to commune with his watery deity in the most flamboyant way possible. I drag myself out of the briny once again, stroll carefully and slowly back to the end of the pier, press the sit button and perch my physical self as far from the keyboard as it’s possible to get without defying the EULA.

Think that was the end of my travel troubles? Stay tuned for part two… Arrival At Butcherblock for the rest of this tale of one man’s madness.

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