Once you’ve completed Blackrock Depths: Prison a few times it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about forging your very own Shadowforge Key. Someone in your party must have a key in order to complete a Blackrock Depths: Upper City run. And once you reach about level 54 or 55 you can expect that most of your groups for Blackrock Depths will intend to do Upper City, not the Prison run.
If you play a Rogue you can probably skip this quest/run altogether because all the gates and locks in Blackrock Depths can be unlocked using Lock Picking.
Just be sure that you have the quest, Dark Iron Legacy, at the start of your run!
Even if you don’t intend to complete the quest any BRD: Prison run can be extended quite easily following this guide. If you find yourself in a good group with an extra 20 minutes or so on their hands, I definitely think it’s worth your time to stick around and kill a couple extra bosses.
- Prison section: Lord Roccor Optional.
This giant rock elemental patrols the Halls of Law – look out for him.
- Prison section: Houndmaster Grebmar Optional.
- Prison section: High Interrogator Gerstahn
The final boss of the “Prison” run – you should receive a Satchel if you were queued for Blackrock Depths: Prison.
- Prison section: Ring of Law
Make sure your entire party is well within the gate before you start the event by running into the very center. The bosses summoned during the event are random. Once complete the western gate will open so you can start your Shadowforge Key run.
- Pyromancer Loregrain
This boss stands right in front of the Shrine of Thaurissan. Your quest requires you to bring Ironfel (which we’ll loot off Fineous further on) back to this shrine so we might as well clear the way to the shrine now.
- Warder Stilgiss and Verek Optional.
- Watchman Doomgrip Optional.
If your party has 12 coffer keys between you, you can open all the coffers in the Relic Coffer Vault and summon the Watchman. The stone guardians in the room will also activate, so your tank will need to be ready to pick them up.
- Fineous Darkvine
Fineous likes to hide in amoungst the other dwarf mobs in the Halls of Crafting, so keep an eye out for him. After you kill him, every single party member with the quest needs to loot the body for Ironfel. If you’re in a rush to finish, backtrack immediately to the Shrine of Thaurissan to hand in your quest and receive your key. Otherwise, stick around to kill a couple more bosses:
- Lord Incendius Optional.
He’s only a couple pulls further in than Fineous, so might as well kill him I say! From this point you can continue straight ahead, kill millions of dwarfs and eventually reach Bael’Gar along the Dark Iron Highway. However, I recommend turning around and heading back to the Shrine of Thaurissan at this point.
- Bael’Gar Optional.
Everyone has finished their quest by now – congratulations on earning your Shadowforge Key! You can use that key to reach an extra boss: Bael’Gar. Backtrack to the East Garrison (the floor between the Ring of Law and the Spectator Arena above it) and head west down and out through the locked door using your key. Follow the red path marked on the map to reach Bael’Gar.
Prison vs Upper City and When to Get the Key
The worst thing about queuing for Random Classic Dungeons in your mid-50s is that there’s absolutely no way, once you see the Blackrock Depths loading screen, to know whether the Dungeon Finder expects you to complete a Prison or Upper City run.
Usually you won’t know until you have killed the “final” prison boss, High Interrogator Gerstahn.
If you do receive a Satchel of Helpful Goods now is an excellent time to suggest extending the run into a Shadowforge Key run, provided you or someone else has the quest, and your group is actually well… nice enough that you’re keen to stick with them for an extra half hour or so.
If you don’t receive a Satchel of Helpful Goods you were meant to skip this early section and work your way, using a key or a Rogue, straight towards the “Upper City” and the Grim Guzzler bar. The Upper City run is really long and most groups who clear the first section are usually totally worn out by the mere thought of starting over to do an Upper City run that they give up and drop group instead of continuing.
Best thing to do, in my opinion, is to try and earn your key before there’s even a possibility of ending up in an Upper City run. Which means you should try and pick up your quest the first time you end up in Blackrock Mountains:
- Ask your very first Blackrock Depth party members if they have Dark Iron Legacy in their quest log, and if they do, ask them to share it with you; if they don’t:
- When everyone has left the group, die, spirit run back down into the instance and pick up the quest.
The Corpse Run and Picking up the Quest
Note: at image 7 in the slideshow, talk to Franclorn Forgewright (see article image, top of post) to pick up the quest, Dark Iron Legacy. Hand it in and pick up the follow up quest by the same name. Then continue down towards Blackrock Depths.
The basic directions are:
- Travel south from Thorium Point/The Graveyard, in the general direction of your corpse marker on your mini map
- As you enter the southern half of your map start looking towards the southern border of the zone for a set of wooden slats which form the path up to Blackrock Mountain. Take that path (I think it’s a bit further east than where your corpse marker on your mini map).
- Enter through the giant doors. Blackrock Mountain can be navigated via a giant ring path. The northern door opens out to Searing Gorge, the southern door opens out to Burning Steppes. If you enter from Searing Gorge, turn left and travel a short distance along the ring road.
- Climb up the rubble onto the giant chain that links the ring road to the floating rock island in the middle of the mountain. Walk onto the chain, turn right and head down the chain towards the summoning stone (going left takes you to Blackrock Spire – upper and lower).
- Walk into the building, the tomb, via either door near the summoning stone. Pick up the quest, Dark Iron Legacy, from Franclorn Forgewright standing on his tomb (see article image, top of post). Hand it in and pick up the follow up quest by the same name.
- Head down through the center rooms until you come out the other end. Don’t walk off the edge.
- Turn right and you’ll see that the path spirals down until it meets a second chain bridge.
- Cross the second, smaller chain bridge and walk up towards the blood elf (this guy exists to port attuned players directly into the raid zone – Molten Core) but just before you reach him, take the right open doorway.
- Welcome to the Grinding Quarry. Head north east, weaving between the giant rocks, until you see a wide bridge due north.
- Cross the bridge and you’ll see the Blackrock Depths zone portal tucked into the rock face on your right.