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The Most Horrific Quest in World of Warcraft

In a game of tens of thousands of quests, one stands above the rest for cruelty and terror

World of Warcraft has been active since 2004, and has grown over a hundred to over thirty-thousand quests. This expanding pool of activities offered players all manner of tasks, including the stereo-typified killing boars. Of all the thousands of quests, the most horrible one, Souvenirs of Death, was found at Tarren Mill, a Horde town in the Hillsbrad Foothills, Eastern Kingdoms. This mission was not part of the Battle of Hillsbrad quest line, which sent players on a succession of wetwork missions against an Alliance farming settlement. This quest was a personal request from Deathguard Samsa, to obtain 30 human skulls in exchange for a ring and some experience. Accepting the request transformed the player from soldier to monster. The quest was removed in the Cataclysm world revamp but still available through Wrath of the Lich King Classic.

Given with the same tone as asking to pick up a few apples at the market

All’s Fair In Love and War

The Battle of Hillsbrad campaign is itself an exercise in terror, with a total body count of 66 human town leaders, farmers, miners, and peasants. The immorality of the series can be explained in the context of the ongoing Alliance-Horde conflict, and the Forsaken’s habit of turning up violent intensity to eleven out of ten. Samsa’s quest took a horrendous task, murdering civilians, and compounded it with the desecration of the victims. A clean kill meant little if the victim had their head severed and taken. Also, Samsa wanted “skulls” not heads. Were survivors subject to the sight of the discarded scalp, eyes, tongue, and brain, or were Samsa’s trophies cleaned once the player was clear of the settlement? These scraps of humanity would be then consumed quickly by the starving mountain lions and bears in the area, leaving families to ponder the fate of their loved ones’ final remains.

A serene scene about to be transformed with bloodshed and horror

Dark Passenger or Driver?

What inspired Deathguard Samsa’s to become a skull collector? Did he lose his mind, awakening from the Lich King’s control as an undead, feared and hated by the same humans who once laughed and embraced him? Maybe. Perhaps the answer is far darker. What if this fascination with human trophies predates his transformation? Once upon a time, Deathguard Samsa strolled the streets of the Capital City; not so much a face in the crowd as a predator on the prowl. Did he just have horrid thoughts or did he act on them? Was he the City’s Jack the Ripper? How many souls lost their lives to him before Arthas invaded? Thanks to the undead curse, Samsa (his real name lost to history) lured adventures to help add to his macabre collection, and we were more than happy to assist. This was the most monstrous part.

Deathguard Samsa in Tarren Mills awaiting a new accomplice for a bit of the ultra-violence

And The Runner Up Is…

Souvenirs of Death is not present in Dragonflight but the Cataclysm revamp of Hillsbrad Foothills did not herald sunshine and rainbows for the humans who remained in the region. In the Horde quest, Do the Right Thing, the player discovers a renegade group of Forsaken conducting forbidden experiments. In one gruesome area, human captives were buried up to their necks as “seedlings.” The ghouls patrolling the field sometimes pounced on them and devoured their head. Sickened by the scene, the player takes a shovel, and has the choice of either digging out and freeing the humans, or bashing in their brains and killing them. Compared to Souvenirs of Death, Do the Right Thing provides the player a way to end the captives misery. If the quest was to capture and bury a bunch of humans in the field (Spec quest name, If You Bury Them, They Will Come), then it might supplant Souvenirs of Death top standing.

Waiting to be eaten, freed, or killed with a shovel. True nightmare fuel.

Shadowlands brought the Alliance-Horde conflict to an official end. The new peace has been reinforced in Dragonflight with cross-faction dungeon running and cross-faction guilds coming in patch 10.1. If there is another world revamp, maybe the humans of Hillsbrad Foothills will be freed from terror. Maybe.

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