The Key to Searing Gorge Edit
You ride south from Thelsamar in Loch Modan, and find yourself in front of the gates to Stonewrought Pass. You try to enter, but the gates are locked. You talk to the guard, Mountaineer Pebblebitty...
- I don't care to hear it, <name>. Nope, no way are you going to be let into the Searing Gorge. Impossible. Not going to happen. How many times do I have to tell you - I can't let you in! Do you not speak common? Are you an orc in disguise? N-O. NO!
- If I let you in, then I have to let everybody in. Pretty soon your close friends will want in, then their distant relatives, then their friends, and so on and so forth. The last time that happened... well, we won't talk about the last time it happened.
- Are you mad? Do you know what manner of beast inhabit that place? The worst that can happen is that we'll have to scoop up your remains with a shovel. We've lost some good dwarves to those awful monsters.
- So the answer is no. If you're bent on getting to the Searing Gorge, you'll have to find another way.
- I shouldn't even be telling you this but if you can make it past all the critters and beasties in Badlands, you might be able to make it to Searing Gorge.
- Yes, the Badlands. There's some type of back road the orcs paved near Kargath. Just goes to show you what kind of fools we're dealing with here! A backdoor to hell? What were they thinking?
- You're a fool that should heed my warnings. no one is invulnerable. You would be wise to remember that bit of advice.
- I'll tell you what. Since you fancy yourself the hero type, if you can make your way through the Badlands to the Searing Gorge and bring me back something to prove your heroics, I'll see what I can do about getting you a key.
- In the southeasternmost corner of Searing Gorge is a lady almost as tough as me. Margol the Rager. Maybe you should investigate.
Examining the horn, you find that the "bit of metal" you'd seen in it was an axe labeled 'Property of Mountaineer Pebblebitty'. You try to pull the axe free of the horn, but the weakened axe head shatters.
You show the horn to Mountaineer Pebblebitty, but since the axe disintegrated when you examined the horn, she doesn't believe you. However, she IS willing to believe Curator Thorius in Ironforge. Pebblebitty insists that you take the horn to him, and have him verify its authenticity.
Curator Thorius is quite pleased to see this horn; Margol the Rager was the bane of every archaeologist to set foot in Searing Gorge. And now, she's a trophy. You give the horn to the Curator, and he mounts it in a spot that he'd been saving for just this very thing. (Tells you just how much damage Margol had done to the archeology digs, now doesn't it?)
You wait for Curator Thorius to finish puttering about, mounting the horn, then remind him that you needed a certificate of authenticity. And with a donation like that, a Proof of Deed certificate is no problem.
You return to Mountaineer Pebblebitty with the sheaf of papers. Pebblebitty sourly keeps her part of the deal, and hands you a key, warning you that if ill befalls you in Searing Gorge, it'll be your own fault.