What Lies Within the Upper Levels of Scholomance?
I have run through Scholomance alone and with others many times, and in all those runs I had that strange feeling about the dungeon. In my last run, I discovered that the dungeon has more to it than what eyes first see.
Hello fellow adventurers,
Although I am the hardcore explorer type of WoW player, I too can miss some interesting details from time to time, especially in a huge world such as Azeroth that has so many beautiful things to see. One such thing that I had missed is within the Scholomance dungeon, located in the Western Plaguelands, far to the north of Eastern Kingdoms.
Scholomance was restructured when the Mists of Pandaria expansion was released. Some areas and bosses were removed, some rooms were changed and new bosses were introduced. I started playing WoW after MoP so I didn't have a chance to see the old version of the dungeon. I watched a video of a fellow adventurer playing solo through the old version but I still don't have a clear idea about how the dungeon truly felt since I didn't experience it myself. That's what I knew about Scholomance; what I didn't know about the dungeon till my last run is that it has a lot more to it than what we usually see by a quick play-through.
Scholomance is located on the Caer Darrow island at the center of the Darrowmere Lake in Western Plaguelands. From the outside, it looks like nothing but the ruins of an old keep, but when you go inside, you discover a huge education complex consisting of large study rooms, long corridors, tombs and hidden areas going up and down in different parts of the dungeon.
The first area you visit after entering the dungeon is The Reliquary, where you encounter the first boss of the dungeon, Instructor Chillheart, who welcomes you by a warm "Class is now in session". Before walking down the stairs to fight with the boss, if you look above the bookshelves, high on the upper part of the northern, eastern and southern walls, you will see a number of mummified bodies and skeletons lying inside small chambers engraved into the walls.
Actually, you can see such engraved tombs throughout the dungeon, but this is our first clue to grab our attention to look up, as this place has some interesting things in its higher areas.
Passing The Reliquary via the door that opens after slaying Instructor Chillheart, you reach the Hall of Illusions. You may want to clear the room first, so that you can explore it without any distractions. If you look above just in front of Jandice Barov, you will see four openings, closed with metal trellis that seem to be openable.
If you look carefully, you will notice that the openings are quite high and there is a purple glow coming from the other end. I wonder if these openings were used for throwing things to this room from a much higher part of the dungeon.
Next, in the Chamber of Summoning, you will see six Boneweavers and a bone pile in front of each of them. The openings that we saw in the previous room will now become more meaningful with what we will see here, especially considering the NPC name: Bone-weaver.
(Just opening a paragraph here for a friendly warning. I am going through the dungeon as I am writing these notes and honestly, being in this dungeon alone and checking all these details and thinking about them made me feel a bit nervous. It's just a game but when you are fully immersed as I am right now, especially hearing weird sounds with no NPCs around, it sometimes feels like you are witnessing real things that took place. So, if you are in the dungeon right now, exploring it alone at night with volume up and if you are not feeling comfortable, you have the option to stop reading at this point, or maybe leave exploring the dungeon to a later time after you're done reading these notes.)
In the Chamber of Summoning, right where the walls of the room meet with the ceiling, you will see hundreds of skulls piled on each other. Skulls that are not of humans but of humanoid type of creatures with long front teeth, facing towards the room as if they are still witnessing the atrocities that are taking place in this cursed place.
Now, let's focus on the bone piles in front of the Boneweavers again. Above each bone pile, you will see an opening on the ceiling. They are larger than the ones in the Hall of Illusions, and some of them are open. From these openings, you can better see how high the top is. A white-blue light is shining downwards from the openings, probably the last bit of light whoever that is thrown down from that openings and end up in the bone piles see.
If you take a closer look at the bone piles, you will notice some big bones. Bones of creatures 4-5 meters tall. Whoever was throwing them from the upper section, must have been really strong. Continue with the next room, Butcher's Sanctum, where the main inspiration for these notes rests. I strongly believe that from now on, whenever you visit this room while playing through Scholomance, you will remember these notes.
Like before, it's better to clear the room so that you can take a good look around, or above I should say, with no distractions.
This room has three doors other than the one you entered through. The eastern door is the door you go through to continue the dungeon. The western and southern doors are blocked but if you look closely, you will see the areas that were removed from the dungeon during the MoP remake process. One thing that might grab your attention is that, behind the southern door, there is a waterfall of blood flowing through an opening in the wall. Most probably there is a heavy butchering that's going on in the higher parts of the dungeon.
Now, go to the center of the room and look up. You will see a number of things.
The openings going high above in the previous rooms, now make more sense when you see how high this room actually is. There are dozens of closed tombs engraved within the walls, then there are two bridges going across the top of the room and you will see metal cages hanging below the bridges. You will also see two big openings on the wall, just below each bridge. The openings below the lower bridge have some trellis. Whatever inside the openings, they surely did not want them to go out.
One very interesting thing that grabbed my attention and made me want to go up and check what is there, is that if you position yourself so that you can see a bit of what there is above the lower bridge, you will notice lights at the points where the bridge is meeting the walls on two sides. My guess is the lights are there because there are doors. To me, the bridges seem to be connecting the upper parts of the dungeon, which are not accessible.
In the room where you fight with Lilian Voss, there is a wide upper platform at the top of the room. That's the platform you took after entering the dungeon, simply continue to the next room.
The Viewing Room has a quite spectacular dome-shaped ceiling. You will see some floating candles and a central fel-glowing light, that not only lightens the room but also the hundreds of skulls with fel-glowing eyes decorating the ceiling. These skulls are much bigger than any others I've seen so far in the dungeon.
In the next room, where you fight with the last boss of the dungeon, Darkmaster Gandling, though there are six side-rooms that you can explore (after defeating the boss), there is no visual clue about anything up above these rooms, so our exploration of Scholomance ends here.
As you see, there is a lot more to see in Scholomance than what it offers at a first glance. There is no doubt there are higher, unreachable areas in the dungeon and whoever are residing there, I can only assume they are doing much fouler things than the visible residents.
So, what do you think lies within the upper levels of Scholomance?
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