I'm actually writing this on July 4, so I'm in the mood for a little fun while we're waiting for the dust from patch 4.2 to settle. If you've been around the site before, you've probably seen my worshipful odes to the Dalaran fountain, which I still think was one of the best and most brilliantly eccentric parts of Wrath of the Lich King. (I think archaeology's very similar overall, even if Blizzard's still working out the kinks.) While I took a look at some of the coins almost three years ago during the Wrath beta, it occurred to me recently that we never actually did a guide to them and their importance to WoW's mythology.
So here's the deal: You're in a magic city. The city has a magic fountain. Lots of very important, somewhat important, and unimportant people in the world made wishes and tossed coins into the fountain, and the fountain (being magic) remembered them. Some of the wishes are funny, many of them are sad, many are quite thought-provoking, and a few are simply tongue-in-cheek references to the Warcraft universe (Archimonde's is probably the standout here). If you fish all of them up, you'll get A Penny For Your Thoughts, Silver in the City, and There's Gold in That There Fountain, with the completion of all three granting The Coin Master. So if you're going for the fishing meta Accomplished Angler (ha ha! sucker!), you'll need the coins even if you're not interested in the lore behind them. You monster.
Warning: If you're still playing your way through The Burning Crusade and Wrath content, there are a lot of lore spoilers in here, so be careful.
EDIT: This guide is now finished! You can find the full series here:
- The OverAchiever: Dalaran's magic fountain
- The OverAchiever: The silver coins of the Dalaran fountain
- The OverAchiever: The gold coins of the Dalaran fountain
There's no real strategy involved with The Coin Master, so a full guide to the achievement basically consists of:
- Park yourself at the Eventide fountain in Dalaran.
- Keep fishing.
- Do you still need more coins? Return to step #3.
- Got each coin? Congratulations! Enjoy the Titanium Seal of Dalaran mailed to everyone who gets the meta. Admire its craftmanship while using it to make important decisions!
The coins' denomination roughly corresponds to the importance of the person who made a wish. Minor lore figures threw pennies, major lore figures threw gold coins, and people who are somewhere in between threw silver pieces. There are a few coins here and there that break the pattern, but not many.
We'll deal only with the pennies today, because there are so many of them -- they form a plurality of the coins you'll need to fish up -- and next week, I'll tackle the silver and gold coins.
A Penny For Your Thoughts
There are 22 copper pennies in the fountain. The vast majority of the penny wishes were made by Alliance lore figures, so they may not be familiar to you if you play mostly Horde.
- Alonsus Faol's Copper Coin If you play a paladin, then in terms of lore, you owe the existence of your class to this guy. After the chaos and destruction of the First War, he and Uther the Lightbringer (then his apprentice) teamed up to form the Knights of the Silver Hand. If you play a human or dwarf paladin, you are considered a member of the order. If you die while running Scarlet Monastery, you'll find yourself in Faol's Rest outside, which is probably where he's buried.
- Ansirem's Copper Coin This, like many of the copper coins, was a real stumper for me. Turns out the guy referenced is Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver, and his daughter is Catelyn the Blade in Booty Bay. The apple fell pretty far from that tree.
- Attumen's Copper Coin For all those of us still desperately trying to get Attumen to drop his vampire horse on fire, this is food for thought.
- Danath's Copper Coin Danath Trollbane! You'll find him in Honor Hold these days, much to the disappointment of players who hoped he'd return to Stromgarde and clean the place up a little. Well, you never know. Blizzard hasn't done much with the Arathi Highlands yet in Cataclysm, but there's still time. If you find yourself missing his anti-troll attitude in the meantime, you can see him among the giant statues flanking the main gates in Stormwind -- or at least you could, until Deathwing knocked him over.
- Dornaa's Shiny Copper Coin If you play Alliance, you'll recognize Dornaa from the Outland version of the Children's Week quests. Players have speculated that both Dornaa and Salandria's (see below) appearance among the Dalaran coins, and some hints dropped during the yearly quests, mean that both will show up in a future WoW storyline. There's also the minor matter of Bronze Dragonflight flunkies coming within a hair's breadth of killing both over something that hasn't yet happened (or possibly failed to happen).
- Eitrigg's Copper Coin I was a little surprised that Eitrigg only merited a copper coin, but eh. As I wrote in the 2008 article, this coin made me smile: "It's an acknowledgment of the fact that friendship is in fact possible between humans and orcs, and a simultaneous reference to the cultural gap between them." Eitrigg and Tirion ran into each other in a Warcraft novella by Chris Metzen titled Of Blood and Honor. In years past, you could find Eitrigg advising Thrall in the Orgrimmar throne room. These days, you can find him in both Zul'Drak and in a very interesting Horde quest line in the Burning Steppes.
- Elling Trias' Copper Coin Diehard Horde players are unlikely to get the joke. Trias is the fellow running the cheese shop in Stormwind who for years played an integral role in The Missing Diplomat quest chain. As of Cataclysm, the quest's no longer available (which is a pity, because it rocked), so Trias is free to make his cheese in unmolested comfort for now.
- Falstad Wildhammer's Copper Coin Falstad is the Wildhammer Clan's representative in Ironforge now, and the coin's a reference to his role in The Day of the Dragon. Post-BlizzCon 2010, you'll find him accompanied by the Wildhammer Fact Checker, Blizzard's homage to the "red shirt guy" who caught Chris Metzen and Alex Afrasiabi in a lore mistake at the 2010 quests and lore panel discussion.
- Genn's Copper Coin I'm not sure the arrogance has stood Genn (better known to players as King Genn Greymane) in good stead over the years. Then again, there's something pretty poignant about this wish, given the almost universal exile of the Gilnean nation right now.
- Inigo's Copper Coin Aww. Given that the NPC is himself named after the Inigo Montoya of The Princess Bride, this wasn't much of a stretch.
- Krasus' Copper Coin You may know Krasus better as Korialstrasz the red dragon, consort to Queen Alexstrasza. Luckily for us, he's fond of the mortal races and has been in the background of a number of pretty high-profile events in Azeroth. I would've pegged him for a silver coin at least, but he bears the distinction of being one of the few people who got his wish.
- Kryll's Copper Coin Kryll is another character who's never actually appeared within the game, but lore junkies will recognize him as one of Deathwing's more ambitious goblin servants between the second and third wars. He's one of two characters within the coin set who wind up getting killed by Rhonin. Sudden thought: Why doesn't Rhonin have a coin, and what would he have wished for? (Probably to spend less time being called Richard Knaak's Gary Stu, in all truth).
- Landro Longshot's Copper Coin Ha, ha. Landro Longshot is the goblin NPC in Booty Bay who can redeem Trading Card Game codes. Coins sure do come in handy for scratching those off, don't they?
- Molok's Copper Coin This refers to a dwarven gryphon rider in Day of the Dragon, not the giant wandering the Arathi Highlands. The "lass" here is Vareesa Windrunner, now wife to Rhonin, who ... well ... inadvertently got Molok killed. OK, he wasn't directly responsible for Molok's death, but he sure didn't help.
- Murky's Copper Coin As far as I'm aware, this refers to Murky the baby murloc, which makes it the only coin to reference a noncombat pet.
- Princess Calia Menethil's Copper Coin Now, this is interesting. Nobody really knows where Calia Menethil (Arthas' sister and the logical heir to the throne of Lordaeron, not that the Forsaken give a damn) disappeared to, but players have guessed that she's Calia Hastings, a rogue trainer in SI:7. Blizzard hasn't confirmed it one way or another. And Lord Prestor? You know him better as Deathwing. What's on the coin is actually in direct contrast to Calia's feelings concerning her arranged marriage to Lord Prestor in Christie Golden's novel Arthas. She wasn't happy about it there, and neither was her brother, but Terenas (her father) saw it as a politically advantageous match.
- Private Marcus Jonathan's Copper Coin If you play Alliance, you've passed this guy a million, million times. He's now General Marcus Jonathan, front and center as you enter Stormwind's main gates by foot. In Cataclysm, you'll also see him pathing around Elwynn Forest's roads with a full complement of soldiers on horseback.
- Salandria's Shiny Copper Coin This is Dornaa's counterpart for the Horde on the Outland leg of Children's Week quests, and her coin is somewhat less heartwarming (not that Dornaa's induced a lot of fuzzy feelings, but anyway). You get a good peek at their respective personalities during the quest series, and let's just say that the blood elf orphan seems to have a more troubling future ahead of her than her draenei counterpart. Both Dornaa and Salandria's coins are "shiny," as an aside, and Wowhead commenters think this indicates that they're both very recent additions to the fountain.
- Squire Rowe's Copper Coin This one confuses me somewhat because the NPC is so obscure, but it's Squire Rowe in Stormwind. The Cersei referenced here is possibly Cersei Dusksinger, a blood elf warlock that Horde players will know as a bored NPC stationed in Stonard forced to converse eternally with her annoying succubus and the local orcs, who are none too pleased with her presence. So how did these two crazy kids meet, anyway?
- Stalvan's Copper Coin Stalvan Mistmantle -- the guy behind one of the most legendarily creepy and engaging quest lines in WoW. Fortunately for us, it survived the expansion. I kind of love it when WoW focuses on motivations that don't include magic, curses, prophecies, or gods. Somehow the story always seems a lot more personal when you're trying to deal with someone who's just a major creep.
- Vareesa's Copper Coin Blizzard has to decide whether she's Vareesa or Vereesa, but however you decide to spell it, this is Alleria and Sylvanas' little sister. She's not so little anymore and is now married to Rhonin, to the distaste of many.
- Vargoth's Copper Coin Oops. Things didn't end so well for Captain Sanders, but they'll end better for you if you can manage to find his treasure map, a random drop in Westfall (and wow, what an incredibly cool quest series). Anyone who played through BC will already be very, very, very familiar with Archmage Vargoth, whose ghostly visage popped up in every 5-man, raid, and kill shot thanks to his staff, which summons an unlimited number of Archmage Vargoth copies. The practice was so ubiquitous that my guild's exasperated video maker put "Image of Archmage Vargoth" in the credits while doing our Illidan kill movie.
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