In response to some questions from last week, yep -- we'll be heading for some Firelands achievements after this (and the conclusion of our Mountain O' Mounts guide), but I did want to finish our series on the Dalaran fountain first.
The gold coins are arguably the most interesting of the bunch, or at least they concern most of the more significant lore figures in the World of Warcraft universe. As before, getting all of the coins will grant you 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 and one more notch toward Accomplished Angler.
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 Gold in That There Fountain
There are 15 gold coins available, and each comes with an interesting on-use effect -- you can flip it back into the fountain for an increased chance at fishing up coins (any coins) for the next 2 minutes. This is really helpful early in the process while you still want most of them and somewhat frustrating toward the end when all you're really after is a few.
- Anduin Wrynn's Gold Coin This one made a lot more sense during Wrath of the Lich King, when Anduin had had the standard human child model for -- what was it, 5 years? These days, he's a considerably more handsome adolescent with a unique model and an engaging personality. The Alliance quest chain that gets you to the Twilight Highlands will also give you an anvil-sized hint that he's on track to become a priest, in marked contrast to his more warrior-esque father. The kid's got a good head on his shoulders and also happens to be one of the least annoying escort NPCs in the game. Well done, Blizzard. The heir to Stormwind's throne is getting off to a much better reception with players than the current office holder did.
- Archimonde's Gold Coin Probably the single funniest coin of all, and you have to admit -- Archimonde's got a point. For me, it's tough to forget what the Archimonde fight was like in the Battle for Mount Hyjal back during The Burning Crusade's tier 6. The fight was the same from beginning to end, basically just a series of debuffs slapped randomly on raiders. This was great if your raid had a real penchant for individual responsibility; it was an absolute disaster if it didn't. Raid deaths compounded the problem by adding an additional debuff called Soul Charge, which was particularly nasty if a priest, mage, or warlock died. The result was a 4-second silence applied to the whole raid. We had a warlock who wasn't particularly good at this fight, and -- you know what? I'm just going to stop there before I dredge up more memories that are best left buried.
- Arthas' Gold Coin Really, a wish like this dropped into a fountain like that is just asking for trouble, I think we can all agree. I was surprised that this wasn't a more lore-heavy outing, given Arthas' obvious importance to the WoW storyline, but eh.
- Arugal's Gold Coin If you're new to WoW, this probably doesn't make a lot of sense, as you won't run across Arugal until a quest series in Grizzly Hills. However, he used to be the last boss of Shadowfang Keep and is also one of the people responsible for introducing (or reintroducing) the worgen to Azeroth. How'd that happen? Both he and Genn Greymane of Gilneas thought that introducing a pack of savage, uncontrollable wolf-men into the world would be a good way to counter the Scourge in the region. To give them their due, they did. Then they went off and started being a pack of savage, uncontrollable wolf-men in places slightly less convenient for both Gilneas and Silverpine. Who could have seen that coming?
- Brann Bronzebeard's Gold Coin Half my in-game life was spent waiting for Brann's not-particularly-hurried self to start the Tribunal of the Ages encounter in Halls of Stone, before Blizzard finally boosted his speed. These days, you can howl at Brann to hurry up because he's taking ages to pop the door to Anraphet's chamber in Halls of Origination.
- Chromie's Gold Coin In reality, Chromie is Chronormu the bronze dragon, one of the few to select a gnomish form while interacting with the mortal races. (Most dragons use an elven form, with a few using human.) She's been in WoW in one form or another since classic and has always been associated with some of the game's best quests, whether it's The Battle of Darrowshire or Mystery of the Infinite. As a note on the latter, players have long speculated that Nozdormu is going to wind up a raid boss at some point. He's long known when and how he's going to die and may be trying to alter the sequence of events preceding his death. Way back when I covered the Dalaran fountain coin lore for the first time, I thought that Chromie's having a gold coin (which seems to be reserved for major lore figures, which Chromie really wasn't) might be a clue that we'll be seeing a lot more of her in the future, which is fine by me, because she's kind of a badass. Most recently, she's one of the NPCs who can randomly pop up for The Protectors of Hyjal. Hmm.
- Kel'Thuzad's Gold Coin Aww. And we killed his cat, too. Actually, if you read The Road To Damnation, a short story narrating the events that led to Kel'Thuzad's presence with Naxxramas, you do feel a bit bad for the guy. I'll grant that his unenviable association with the Scourge is entirely his own fault, but he got in over his head and couldn't get out. Pretty sad. The story's very much worth your time and affords you a quick peek at Antonidas, Kael'thas, and Jaina.
- Lady Jaina Proudmoore's Gold Coin This is actually my favorite among all the coins and still one that I keep in my packs. As I noted earlier, this coin could actually mean one of several very different things, depending on when Jaina tossed it into the fountain. That said, I kind of like that it's left deliberately ambiguous. Wrath of the Lich King, while epic in scope, was underscored by a number of very personal, very private tragedies. Most of the major players had a personal and bitter stake in the outcome, and I don't think most of them left satisfied with what had happened.
- Lady Katrana Prestor's Gold Coin Lady Prestor is better known as the black dragon Onyxia, and this is another coin that's probably a bit confusing for anyone new to the game. For years, she played factions within the Stormwind kingdom against each other, helped to orchestrate the Defias riots, and was behind the disappearance of Varian Wrynn. Within the game, her scheming eventually culminated in an absolutely epic event associated with the Alliance's Blackrock Depths quest line, where Bolvar Fordragon exposed Prestor (in the Stormwind throne room) for what she really was. This is undoubtedly one of the things that players miss most about the modern game, but it can't be helped. Lore-wise, Onyxia's now dead by Wrynn's hand ... well, sort of. As Rowann observed on the Wowhead comment thread, "Prestor is gone, and yet the fountain still stands. I think it's pretty clear who eventually won." Note to self: Do not insult the fountain.
- Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider's Gold Coin Something always felt off about Kael's characterization between Warcraft 3 and The Burning Crusade; I never really bought that this guy would go completely off the deep end in the way he did. But his aborted romance with Jaina (and Arthas' taunting him over the issue toward the end of Warcraft 3) is something that you'll only ever see acknowledged within the game on this coin.
- Sylvanas Windrunner's Gold Coin This is one of the saddest of all the coins, and (were Sylvanas aware of it) just as vicious a reminder of what she's lost as the Lady's Necklace that Horde players can find in the Ghostlands. Jaina emerged from the events of Wrath with at least a bit of closure related to Arthas' death; Sylvanas is still trapped in undeath and, politically speaking, perhaps the worst off that she's ever been. Then again, some of us would have chosen to handle it very differently than she did ...
- Teron's Gold Coin Teron Gorefiend is probably most familiar to people who played during The Burning Crusade, particularly if they had the misfortune of encountering his raid boss self in the Black Temple. However, even without the Black Temple fight, everybody had a "Nice job breaking it, hero" moment after a quest line in Shadowmoon Valley, after which you discovered that you helped one of the world's most vicious death knights back to power. Hands up, all you BC raiders -- who remembers their raid leaders screaming, "Constructs! Constructs in the raid!"?
- Thrall's Gold Coin Thrall, in his past role as Warchief of the Horde, was someone in a fairly impossible set of circumstances. He had to balance the needs and desires of several very different races against each other, pursue peace with the Alliance despite the presence of hotheads from factions like the Warsong Offensive, and command the respect and loyalty of the orcish nation despite not being raised among them. The coin feels like a somewhat ambivalent thought concerning Grom Hellscream, who saved the orcs from the blood curse but had done some terrible things before. I always thought it was interesting that Thrall didn't make a wish for himself, for the safety and freedom of the orcs or the Horde, or even for Grom to be remembered. He just wished for his friend to rest well. The moral questions certain to be asked of Grom's life were probably not too far from his mind at any given moment. However, the modern Thrall has a lot more to worry about.
- Tirion Fordring's Gold Coin Another sad coin, and another victim claimed by WoW's advancing storyline. Taelan is (well ... was) Tirion's son and figured prominently in an quest series in the Western Plaguelands once upon a time. It didn't end well, but your efforts as a player helped spur Tirion Fordring back into action. So I suppose it could be argued that the players' struggle to reunite father and son back in the Plaguelands started a chain of events leading to Arthas' death and the reclamation of the Plaguelands themselves.
- Uther Lightbringer's Gold Coin Mmph. Yet another wish that never came true, and possibly one of the saddest given what later happened to Uther and Arthas' ultimate fate.
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