The Flames of Midsummer

Posted June 25th, 2010 by Kharin

Dancing up a firestorm

The flames are burning brightly across the world of Azeroth with the start of the Midsummer Fire Festival .  Tied to the northern hemisphere summer solstice, this two-week long seasonal event celebrates the height of summer heat with bonfires, fiery pole dancing (reminiscent of spring maypoles of old), special clothes and foods, and juggling flaming torches.   There are factional bonfires to honor or stamp out near the main settlements and in the major cities.

The associated quests give gold, burning blossoms (currency to buy festival related items) and experience (if less than 80).  There are also two pets which can either be purchased (the Captured Flame)  or can drop from seasonal boss Frost Lord Ahune (this year the Frigid Frostling instead of the Scorchling), some novelty items (eg Handful of Summer Petals and Brazier of Dancing Flames) and, as from June 2010 (for characters 75+, though level 78 is required to use the dungeon finder), level 80 epic gear from the seasonal boss Frost Lord Ahune (now a 82 elite) drops.  In addition, for the first encounter each day, there are 2 frost emblems in the satchel of chilled goods.   Engaging in festival activities and eating festival foods gives a number of buffs, including a 10% increase in experience from killing monsters for ribbon dancing.

This guide to the Midsummer Fire Festival gives details on the related quests, achievements, rewards and activities, including the 2010 changes to seasonal boss, Ahune (summoning, loot drops and level).   For 2011 changes to the Festival and location of the Bonfires across Azeroth check out Where are the Fires?


The Master of Summer Lore directs you to Loremaster in the capital cities.    Once there, you can pick up two other quests:

Incense for Summer/Festival Scorchlings –  In which you are directed to give incense to a summer scorchling at one of the regional bonfires.  This has a surprising effect on innocent little flame who enlarges and becomes quite megalomaniac and then apologetic as he shrinks back to his normal size.

In Unusual Activity the Earthern Ring Elder sends both alliance and horde to Zoram’s Strand in northern Ashenvale to investigate the suspicious activities of the Twilight cult – first you obtain damming Twilight Correspondence (a drop from the level 20ish twilight cult npcs), then take on a crab disguise (An Innocent Disguise) to overhear the plot to summon the Ice Lord in the Slave Pens, Zangermarsh to bring about a cataclysmic clash with the Firelord Ragnaros (no doubt a portent of things to come) to end summer for ever.  On returning to the elder (Inform the Elder) Frost Lord Ahune (if 75+) and the daily Striking Back (location depending on level) become available.

Frost Lord Ahune

This year (2010), 78+ can now queue for the Ahune encounter using the dungeon finder or asking the Earthern Ring to put you in the queue.  Once the group is formed, your toon will be transported directly to the slave pens.  There is an elite guarding to summoning stone which must be dealt with and, when the party is ready, the stone should be activated.  The fight has two phases.  In the first phase Ahune is basically stationary but does a lot of damage in melee range.  Keeping out of melee range, the group should focus on the adds during this phase. The tank should target the elite adds and as many other adds as possible.  Everyone in the group should avoid the icespikes (move when the circle forms under your feet).  In phase 2, Ahune is submerges and everyone in the group, including the healer if possible, should dps the icecore down as fast as possible.  The fight shifts between the two phases, but each time Ahune comes out of the ice core a greater number of adds spawn so that the longer the fight goes on, the more likely the group is to be overwhelmed.  Both Ahune and the adds are immune to frost damage which makes this difficult for frost mages and Death Knights with frost aspect.

As of 2010, the summoning stone can only be used ONCE but you can re-queue for the encounter as many times in the day as you wish.  However, the satchel of chilled goods (looted from the Ice chest)  with the 2 frost emblems is only available once a day (similar to the frost emblems awarded for first random heroic, which are also still available).  The satchel can also drop the Frostscythe of Ahune or the pet.  Additional epic purple gear are available on each encounter.

The first time you defeat Ahune you will also loot shard which starts a quest Shards of Ahune that rewards the tabard – remember to hand this in to Luma Skymother BEFORE you leave the dungeon.


At all your own factional bonfires across Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, Outlands and Northrend there is a once a season quest to honor the fire at each location which gives 5 flowers as well as gold and experience proportional to your level.  Though not necessary to complete the quest, you can relight your faction’s bonfire with one of the flowers for a personal buff (gives an increase in crit and fire damage) and a region wide buff for your faction.  Bonfires are generally placed at the most significant factional town or village in a region or, in some cases, outside neutral settlements (Gadgetzhan in Tanaris or Area 52 in Netherstorm for example.)

At your opposing faction bonfires there is another quest to extinguish or desecrate the flames which gives 10 flowers as well as gold and experience.  Doing so will also flag you PvP for 5mins making you vulnerable to attack from any opposing players in the area.    The bonfires, other than those in capital cities, are generally placed a little distance from the town or village.

Stealing the flame from each of the four capital cities of your opposing faction gives the city’s flame which gives a hand in quest leading back to the Loremaster in your own cities. Once all four flames have been handed in the final quest A Theif’s Reward becomes available which gives Crown of the Fire Festival and completes the King of the Fire Festival achievement.  With the exception of Darnassus, these fires are within the city and require running the gauntlet of city guards, npcs and opposing players to reach.  Within the alliance, the flames are placed near the entrance to the Stockades (Stormwind), outside the Explorer’s Hall (Ironforge), on the north side of the Hall of Crystal (Exodar) and near the docks of Rut’theran Village (Darnasuss).  In the Horde cities, the flames are near the docking area at the Spirit’s Rise (Thunderbluff), just outside  Grommash Hold in the Valley of Wisdom (Orgrimmar),  the Court of the Sun (Silvermoon City) and just inside the Upper City of Lordareon (Undercity).

Fire juggling

A lead-in quest Playing with Fire from the fire-eater at the regional bonfires sends you to the city to speak to the Master Fire eater who then gives with follow-on quests.

In the first quest Torch Tossing you need to hit the braziers with your lighted torch 8 times within 45 secs.  High latency (anything above 400) can make this difficult.  Also the timer starts from the instant you accept the quest.  However, the quest is repeatable if you don’t get it the first, second or twentieth time.  Suggestions to make this quest easier include –  place the torches on your toolbar (its faster to hit a key like 1 than click an item in your bag),position yourself as close to the braziers you can while still being able to accept the quest, face the braziers as you accept the quest, make sure you can see all the braziers, press the action key and then click the brazier with the arrow over it, you don’t have to get every one so if you miss it may be better to let the next one go rather than remain one step behind, in fact it may be better to aim to hit every second brazier or miss alternate braziers if they are at a distance as this gives you a much better chance of hitting the required number within the 45 secs.  If latency is an issue, choose a time and place that gives you the lowest latency issues.

Once you complete this quest Torch Catching becomes available.  Here you have to catch a flaming torch four times in a row.   You have to be close to the festival bonfire to light the torch, and the first toss starts as soon as the torch is lit.  Dropping the torch can cause fire damage and, of course, means you have to start again.  Once again, high latencies can make this quest hard.   Suggestions for completion of this quest include reducing latency as much as possible if this is an issue, have a wide angle view and follow the shadow of the torch on the floor, keep as close as possible to the shadow as it twists, turns, speeds up and slows down, and, if possible, increase your general run speed (eg aspect of cheetah for hunters, kitty form for druids).  Keep at it and you’ll get there eventually.  Part of the reward for completing this quest are 5 torches and you will now be able to purchase additional torches from the Festival Supplier.

Having completed these two quests, two dailies (harder versions of the originals) are now available.


The achievements for the midsummer festival are closely intertwined with the quests.  They are not too difficult and for the most part require travelling.  The boss encounter has a level requirement (75+) while the pre-reqistite torch tossing quests can be difficult with higher latencies (difficult from 400-590, extremely difficult 600+).


  • The Fires of Azeroth – Honoring the flames at your faction’s bonfires – in Kalimdor (Fire Warden/Keeper of Kalimdor), Eastern Kingdoms (Fire Warden/Keeper of Eastern Kingdoms), and Outlands (Fire Warden/Keeper of Outlands) but not of Northrend.
  • Desecration of Horde/Alliance -  Extinguishing the flames of the opposing factions bonfires in Kalimdor (Extinguishing of Kalimdor), Eastern Kingdoms (Extinguishing of Eastern Kingdoms), and Outlands (Extinguishing of Outlands) but not of Northrend.
  • Stealing the flames from the four capitals of the opposing faction and handing them in leads to King of the Fire Festival (see above).

These nine achievements are best coordinated together and it is worth considering  following a circuit which minimises travel and maximises use of portals (in Dalaran, Shattrath & the one to blasted lands as well as mage portals, ship/zeppelin routes).

  • Burning Hot Pole Dance – requires ribbon dancing while wearing all 3items of summer vestments for 60 secs.  The clothes can be bought for a total of 400 flowers (obtained by quests).  Right click on the pole while standing close to it.  You will be connected to the pole by a firely ribbon and you will start spinning.  Just keep spinning for 60 secs for thea achievement (and a great buff for levelling).  Move away from the pole to stop spinning.
  • Torch Juggler – requires juggling 40 in 15 secs in a row in Dalaran.  In my experience, the biggest difficulty is the prereq quests that give you some torches and more importantly, the skill to catch the torches.  Without doing the training quests your toon will drop them.   You will need a minimum of 10 and up to 40 torches (the maximum you can carry) for safety keeping in mind that if you drop a torch you will lose it.  Five torches are rewared as part of Torch Catching quest and additional torches can be purchased from the Festival supplier.  Torches are not soulbound or conjured and can be traded, placed in Guild Bank, bought and sold on Auction House, or mailed.  Get to Dalaran whichever way you can (hearth stone, flight, kirin ring, mage portal or by other means – see my post on Flightless in Northrend).  If you have trouble with lag in Dalaran you should consider an out of the way corner such as the exit pipe in the Underbelly, one of the surrounding rock islands still in the Dalaran zone or Archmage Vargoth’s Retreat.  **** Once you are have the torches and are in position, put the torches on your action bar, get into first person view and angle it down to the ground then spam your action key and mouse click till you get the achievement.
  • Completing   the above achievements gives you the meta-achievement  Flame Keeper/Flame Warden and counts towards What a Long Strange Trip it’s been and the violet proto-dragon.

The summer festival can be a lot of fun and, if you don’t already have it, can help you along your way to World Explorer as well.  As light hearted as it is, it does have some disturbing undertones which reach back to the creation cosmology of Azeroth (with the chaotic “old gods”, the coming of the titan “creators” who bring order to a chaotic world and the “curse of the flesh” which infects the works of the titans and cannot be eradicated without total destruction of the world).  The earthen Ring (and the elementals associated) hold to a balance of the essentially chaotic elemental forces while the destruction seeking Twilight cult, in their reckless efforts to awaken and free the old gods, seek to bring about catstrophic, world-destroying conflict. Over last few years, the Twilight cult’s nefarious schemes are thwarted and the cataclysmic clash between Fire Lord and Ice Lord is prevented.  However, with the release of the next expansion pack, Cataclysm, looming on the horizon – that victory seems to be only temporary.

Like the passengers and crew of the Titanic, we too can be complacent as we marvel at the truly amazing achievements of human technology and science.  That is until we are brought up against the sheer force that nature can unleash upon us. Or until the major catastrophes caused by human greed, short-sightedness and technological breakdowns leave us searching for solutions (as recent events have shown).   A number of explanations can be put forward to explain the paradox of a cosmos of such surprising complexity, order and beauty that contains unmitigated evil.   Explanations such as a world in eternal struggle between order and chaos (as in the WOW universe); or an indifferent  materialistic world brought about by the laws of nature, accidental combinations and surprising coincidences; or a created world in rebellion against a loving, personal God.  However, only one seems to me to ultimately value humans beings as more than accidental pond scum or pawns, bystanders even illusions in titanic cosmic conflict.


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One Response to “The Flames of Midsummer”

  1. seph

    for the juggling…. you dont need to be in first person view… it’s not as hard as you make it sound. as you said, put it on your action bar, make sure your target is underneath you… click, and repeat with action bar/click spam… easy