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The first 10 man instance in The Burning Crusade expansion.

How hard can it be? This is the question on a lot of minds when the expansion came out. A lot of guilds arrogantly stepped over the threshold into darkness thinking this would be a short step on their way to Black Temple glory. It turned out to be a lot harder than many had first imagined. WoW players had been used to the relative ease of the 20 man content introduced to give more interest to the game before the expansion came out and this 10-manner was sure to be on the same level. Smaller raid sizes for one, caught many out and the logistics of trying to force raid teams that were once 40 plus people into a 10 only raid took their toll.

As if that wasn't bad enough a whole new attitude towards raiding was required. Places like MC and BWL had allowed a certain amount of raiders to 'be carried' or had been kinder to those not as well prepared or geared as their team mates. All of a sudden there was no room for dead weight in teams who wanted to progress into end game content. Specs had to be spot on, gear had to be at a certain stat level, potions were needed, foodstuffs and other raid consumables were required to have any kind of chance agaist many of the bosses within.

Dubbed the "guild breaker" by many because of the devastating effects this instance, indeed, the whole expansion had on many of the older and more established wow guilds. It must not have helped most of them to learn that smaller, less well established and even - horror of horrors - new guilds were coming into their own and making their own marks upon the server.

Against a back drop of guilds being irrevocably split and players walking away from WoW forver it is not surprising that Karazhan became the albatross for many guilds. But did it really deserve this reputation? Wasn't it really more about the elitism and arrogance of some players, which had set them up for the fall? Or were they right - was even this, small raid impossible for anything other than an elite team of 7 day a week raiders to crack?

The Raiders of The Lost Orc approached Karazhan with a different attitude, summed up by the GL Rahven: "Regarding Karazhan, every fight we win whether it's Attunmen, Curator or even just trash mobs is a chance to help guildies get better gear, to get reputation for good rewards, to get patterns/recipes with which to assist the guild, to improve our skill and teamwork and most importantly to spend time having fun with some of the best people on Dragonblight" And where did this attitude get us? Let's find out...

We first stepped into Karazhan in early April and managed to take down Attunmen after a few tries. From then on he became a regular kill and the next raid in that month saw Moroes taken to an achingly close 2%. It was clear that we were as good, if not better than some of the other 'top' guilds.

Our next bout of progess came in July when we found ourselves able to get together a team on a more regular basis, this was largely because of the formation of the 'Marauder' team within the guild. Moroes fell at the beginning of that month and on the same night The Big Bad Wolf got down to 19% before huffing and puffing and blowing the raid down. A little later that month Romulo and Julianne met their tragic, yet pre-destined ends. Shortly followed by the Curator, who also gave us our first T4 piece.. we were on our way to gearing up! As Rahven commented in her update post that night - There is no stopping us now! Words which proved ever more right as our time in Karazhan moved on. The following week we took down four bosses in one night for the first time - and the Big Bad Wolf ran out of puff. The chess event was outplayed a few nights later, The Curator then gave a second T4 piece to the guild. The crowning event of July came on the very last night of the month with a tremendous takedown of the Shade of Aran and the Prince in the same evening.

August began with us in jubilant mood and saw our second team of Karazhan raiders being to make their way into the dungeon. They made good, steady progress and then with a team of players mixed form both teams we managed to get another couple of guild firsts - a killing of Maiden with no Palladins in the group and The Wizard of Oz event conquered on the first attempt.

We could only wonder what September would bring and we were not to be disappointed:

Illhoof dead on our first ever try without the loss of one single raider.

Nightbane down after a few attempts, but the same night.

Netherspite dead!

Karazhan now stands cleared in the space of a very few raids.

This was all achieves by a small group of skilled, dedicated players who understand what it really means to pull in the same direction. The Raiders of the Lost Orc prove that no matter what the guilds size it is it's spirit which binds it and carries it foward. And now, with Karazhan on farm status we can look to new horizons, new conquests and new adventures.

Raiders of the Lost Orc - Fronti Nulla Fides (no reliance can be placed upon appearances)

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