PuGging Dragonsoul

Navimie looked up in surprise as Lushnek's broad frame filled the doorway.   "Hey, what's up?"

"Invites are going out now, just thought you should know."

Navi dropped the nuts she was shelling.  "Now?"  She wiped her hands on her apron and grabbed her healing gear from the bed.  "But it's only 6:45!"

Lushnek shrugged.  "Most of us are in already, except you and Aza."  He turned and headed back outside.

Navimie stripped off her dirty clothes and donned her healing gear.  She ran out into the fading sunlight, buckling her shoulderguards as she ran.  She wasn't ready.  She thought she had at least 10 minutes to prepare.  Once outside, she shifted into flight form and headed to the meeting point.

Bèar was writing down names as she landed in front of him and shifted forms.  He nodded at her.  "I'm here," Navimie said, by way of greeting.  Bèar gave her the token that would mark her as a raiding party member, and allow her to communicate and be summoned by magic means.  "We head out at 7pm."  Navimie smiled in acknowledgement and shifted once again to flight form and flew to the bank.

Lushnek was there too.  "I guess I should head out to Caverns of Time.  You should too."

Navimie opened her bags, and took out some fish.  "I haven't got any flasks or ANYTHING.  Have you got any?"

"Crap," said Lushnek, a look of dismay on his face.  "I only have one, sorry."

Navimie hurried over to Auctioneer Sowata to check the Auction House for flasks, but there were none.  I hope they have a cauldron, she thought as she took to the skies again and headed to Tanaris.

Magical summons were issued as she was halfway over.  As the spell shimmered around her, the horizon blurred and refocussed into the snowy landscape of Dragonblight.  She looked around her as people started materialising around her.  She frowned as she looked at the gear of rogue standing near her.  He was still progressing on his legendary chain.
..."Navi, did you want to run a 25 man raid with a bunch of people from Shift?"  asked Gutsy.
"What, Dragon soul?"  Navimie's heart leapt at the thought of a raiding party - it had been so long...
"Yeah, most of the people there will be heroic geared, and be 6 out of 8 heroic.  They'll need some strong healers, you want in?"
"Hell yes!"...
Navimie turned to look at the other resto druid in the raiding party, who was too busy studying Roshii to notice her inspection.  He was similarly geared to the rogue.  No heroic gear and wearing a Cataclysmic Gladiator's Kodohide chest.  She started to feel a bit nervous.
..."What do I tell the others?  I wish they could come."
"Let me ask and see if I can get them in."  Gutsy sounded optimistic.
"That would be cool!  Us all doing heroic raiding again..."
Sevros whispered her.  "Hey, these guys in LFR gear are making me nervous.  And nobody here is from Shift."

"And Gutsy said she might not be able to come today.  She's not feeling well."

"What?  So she's dumping us here?"

"No, no, nothing like that.  I think she's going to try to come.  She really wants to."  Navimie didn't sound convincing to Sevros.  He arched an eyebrow at her, and grinned.

"She's in the raid, Nav.  Stay calm."

Lushnek came up beside them.  "Have either of you two noticed that we seemed to be the highest geared people here?"

Navimie felt a coil of dread unfurling in her stomach.  What had she gotten her friends into?  She had lured them here with a promise of heroic battles and it looked like it COULD be a disastrous waste of time.  How were they going to do heroic content with these people?  Especially Heroic Spine?

Gutsy was there despite not being her best, and Roshii was a bit slow on her feet too.  They waved to Navimie but they weren't in a particularly chatty mood.  Navimie wasn't feeling chatty either, she was feeling pretty duped.  And at last minute, she noticed Azadelta wasn't around.  Perhaps Aza wasn't in the mood for a raiding party, Navimie thought.

"Hi everyone, thanks for coming," said Bèar.  "We're just about ready to go.  We're going to try for as many heroics as possible tonight, and it's going to take some time, and multiple wipes, but our goal is to get some gear, and hopefully get some heroic bosses down."

As Bèar went through the strats and assignments, Navimie felt a glimmer of hope.  It sounded optimistic, and the strategy sound.  The fight started, and Navimie was healing the Morchok side with Gutsy, and the other side had Roshii being the soaker.  Roshii was already not feeling as nimble as usual and fell at the end of the battle, but was revived with the other fallen combatants.  One heroic down, and it felt good.

Navi stopped to repair at the armorer when Aza came running up to her.  A wave of guilt assaulted her as she realised he hadn't been here the whole time.  "Navi, what time is the raid?"  He looked in dismay at her dishevelled appearance.  "Wait, did you go without me?"  The hurt on his face was a stab to her heart.  She felt terrible.

"Aza... I'm..."

Aza looked at her in chagrin.  "I sent you a mail and everything, asking what time it was..."

"I"m sorry, I didn't see it, Lushnek came to drag me out when I wasn't even ready..."

Coldly, Aza turned away, mounted up and flew away without a word or a backward glance.  Guilt lay on Navimie like a heavy stone, and she blinked away the sting in her eyes and headed back into the instance.

Yor'sahj was a different matter.  The method was different, unfamiliar.  DPS seemed to be a little behind.  Healing was different as well - Bèar killed the mana void as part of his strategy, whereas Navimie was used to leaving it up and using mana cooldowns and whittle the mana void down for bursting at the next blob phase.  Each attempt seemed to struggle more.  All four of the oozes were getting to Yor'sahj, indicating that the damage dealers weren't doing enough damage.  After many attempts, Bèar turned the encounter off heroic and Yor'sahj was defeated easily.

"If we can't do this on heroic," whispered Navimie to Gutsy, "I don't hold out much hope for doing any of the other bosses on heroic."
"Me either," said Gutsy.  "But bad raiding is better than no raiding, right?"
Navimie laughed.  "I guess so."

Bèar was a really calm and fair raid leader.  He never got angry, he was patient, and he was encouraging and didn't point fingers at failures.  Navimie really admired that, and respected him for it.

The raiders decided to try to fight Heroic Ultraxion as well, multiple times.  As they wearily ressurected after their final heroic attempt, Navimie was a little saddened, as Ultraxion held an item Navimie dearly wanted - in fact she was sure many people in the raiding party wanted the same item, and she was no more entitled to it than they were.  He was slain on normal mode and a few people left as it was getting late, but the last few bosses fell easily - though Spine and the number of debuffs was phenomenal.  Navimie and Gutsy blanketed the raid with healing, with only drops of mana left to sustain them in the last minutes.

Deathwing himself was no match for the raiders, and he was brought down with ease.  By that time it was late, and a lot of the raiding party were tired, weary, covered with dirt and blood from the countless battles they had fought that night, armour was broken and in need of repair.  Many raiders walked off with trophies from the kills - Sevros was one of them.  Navimie looked proudly at her Frostwolves guild mates, who had fought with such valour, their prowess and skills were the best amongst the raiders who attended.  It wasn't surprising really - their guild had so much more experience than these raiders, and it was good to see that despite months of no raiding parties, their skills had not diminished.

"Navi, I can't believe you volunteered me for soaking on Morchok!" said Roshii, wiping her brow.  "I was already not feeling the best, and sluggish, and then you made ME do it.  Thanks a LOT.  I looked so stupid when I missed two stomps."

"You made it almost to the end," laughed Navimie, clapping her on the back. "Thank you for those innervates Lush," she added, hugging her boomkin friend. "I love you!"

"It felt SO good to be raiding again," said Souglyy, as she strung her bow over her back.  She ran her hands through BP's fur, and the black oily wolf wagged her tail enthusiastically.  "Good girl, you did GREAT."

Navimie looked at her friends, and felt sad that Azadelta had missed out.  But Aza probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much because it wasn't really a heroic run, the challenge just wasn't there.  Navimie was unsure if she wanted to go on a raiding party with this group again, but at least she'd had a good time.  It was good to be part of a raiding party.  She missed it so much.  The teamwork, the fun times, the struggles... but the feeling of sheer exultation when they defeated someone TOGETHER - that feeling was unbeatable.  It was a winning feeling, and it would be nice to feel like winners once again.



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