Friday, March 19, 2010

Doin' it for themselves: Gravis Slipknot

This week has been rather intense, and I therefore want to apologize for the posts not coming out on time. I eventually plan to drop down in pace with posting to one post every other day, and I will announce this when it happens.

The Alterac Mountains rise over the surrounding lands, towering over the Hillsbrad Foothills to the south and Lordamere Lake to the north. Once upon a time the human kingdom of Alterac was a powerful political and military force, but the betrayal of king Aiden Perenolde during the second war saw his country sacked and the line of kings broken. Today the mountains are home to ogres, yeti, beasts... and bandits.

This entry is about Gravis Slipknot.

Name and residence

Gravis Slipknot is a human rare mob found in the ruined town of Strahnbrad in Alterac Mountains in the Easter Kingdoms.

Gravis can be found inside the town, either inside one of the buildings or wandering outside. He will often walk a short way and take up a new position for a few minutes before continuing on. Sometimes he can be found at the small shed just outside the main village. He is somewhat easy to visually spot because he does not wear the distinctive mask that most other human mobs around the area have.

And to get this out of the way, a lot of people believe he was named after the metal band, but the name may just as well simply refer to the knot used to make nooses.

Criminal record

Gravis is a member of the Syndicate, a band of bandits led by the disowned former nobles of Alterac, desperate to reclaim their lands. While the Syndicate members normally wear an orange mask, Gravis does not. However he is tagged as "Syndicate" and does drop Marks of the Syndicate when slain. Weirdly, he does not offer any Ravenholdt reputation when killed, nor does his death decrease your standing with the Syndicate (more on this below).

If engaged in combat he has no special abilities or any quotes that would give us clues on who he is. My guess is that he's really just one of the Syndicate who's made a name of himself with the authorities of the surrounding regions, making him famous enough to be recognized by name.

Mystery of the Syndicate

You may notice in questing around Hillsbrad and Alterac, that killing certain mobs will lower your "Syndicate reputation". The Syndicate faction is somewhat odd, because while you can increase your standing with them, you have to do so by killing members of the Ravenholdt faction.

There are no rewards for gaining reputation with the Syndicate, and you cannot increase that reputation beyond neutral. So why does it exist? Well, there are some cryptic indications that the Syndicate were once intended to be something more.

On the fascinating website Lost World of Warcraft (no longer updated, but still worth a visit) there are a couple of cryptic entries which indicate that the now-useless Marks of the Syndicate were once intended to have a purpose, evidenced by a datamined ancient spell called "Syndicate Disguise" which is listed as requiring a Mark of the Syndicate to use.

Various ideas exist about this, but it offers a glimpse of something that might have been. What does this have to do with Gravis Slipknot? Not much beyond the Syndicate connection.

Until next time, be sure to watch out for highwaymen.


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