I forgot to count how many times I died in that quest-fight-pits-thing, and I also forgot how many times I died later on, in that tunnel to the Kiln and in that Kiln battlefield. But it's far into the two-digit-numbers. I must've died at least thirty times, all in all. Despite all those deaths I managed to defeat all the beasties in the end, and thus earned myself the rank of YtHaar. Other, higher level, people will probably think it was just another quest, but for me it was difficult and I am real proud of being an YtHaar.
And of course I was real happy with the early bird bonus too.
Oh and by the way: I still think the new kiln cape looks like a bunch of mini-F117's strapped to your back, no matter what everyone says. :)