The Forgotten Quests

There is no doubt, there are a large number of quests in DDO, with many getting a lot of play time and with others barely getting any play time.  A lot of this has to do with the experience quests hand out, the ease of which the quest can be run to maximize the experience per minute ratio, as a favor grind, and for pieces of wanted loot or gear as well as other factors.  One set of quests that is not as popular as many others are the quests within the Ruins of Threnal Adventure Pack.  I always found Threnal fun and very interesting, exploring the three excavation sites (Western, Eastern, and Southern) and tracking down the mysteries held within in each.  However, there are four other quests in this area that hardly ever get ran.  These quest include the Threnal Arena, The Giant Lieutenants, The Giants’ Lair, and The Giants’ Supplies.  I recently took Hamllin (Level 12 Fighter) through all of these quests and was reminded how fun they are.

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Hamllin making his way to the Threnal Arena altar.

One of the reasons why these quests aren’t run all that much is because they don’t show up in the Adventure Compedium and completing them doesn’t help you gain any favor.  Also, three of the four quests don’t appear in your quest journal.  Of the four quests, Threnal Arena is probably the most commonly ran.  This is mainly because after its completion you can pick up either the Threnalian War Blade or Threnalian War Dagger.  The quest is unique in that it starts after you “talk” to the altar in the ruins of the Threnal Arena and put down the Threnalian Ceremonial Blade that you pick up after completing the Western Excavation.  The quest has three waves of combatants: Apprentice Challenge, Master Challenge, and Grandmaster’s Challenge.  The foes you fight in each challenge get more difficult and range from annoying rust monsters, gargoyles, flesh renders, fire reavers, ice flensers, and with beholders in the last challenge.  Each wave offers a small amount after its completion.  Overall the quest isn’t all that difficult but if you aren’t careful the beholders can easily drain you of all of your levels, which nearly happened to me.

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Hamllin fighting in the Apprentice Challenge in the Threnal Arena.

The next three quests are collectively known as the “Giant Caves”.  As you can guess by that statement and by the name of the quests, they are entirely composed of giants, hill giants and fire giants.  These particular set of quests used to be considered one of the best loot runs, basically when the level cap was around 10 and 12.  It is ironic how a set of quests that used to farm relentlessly are now really just a “relic.”  People used to come into these quests looking for +1 Stat Tomes, +5 Mithral Full Plate armor, and one of “top five” weapons (disruptors, banishers, vorpals, smiters, and paralyzers).

Two of quests that compose the giant caves are level 9 on normal while the last one, The Giants’ Supplies, is level 10 on normal.  All three quests are pretty short.  The dungeon layout for all three is pretty straight forward.  The Giant Lieutenants is quest that is closest to the arena.  The other two quests aren’t very far from the primary Threnal quests.  In the Giant Lieutenants, your objective is to slay five hill giant lieutenants, pretty straightforward.  You will encounter other hill giants and fire giants as well.  In the The Giants’ Lair your objective it way waste to all of the giants and slaughter them all.  In the last, the Giants’ Supplies you have to destroy all of the crates that are scattered about in the main room (which has an upper level and lower level that you use giant mushrooms to travel back and forth from) and to destroy the fire giant leader.

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Hamllin looking for some giant lieutenants to take care of.

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Hamllin working to defeat all of the giants in the Giants’ Lair.

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Hamllin looking to cause some trouble by destroying some supplies.

All three quests are relatively straight forward, but it must be cautioned that these giants aren’t simple pushovers either.  They also tend to group together and like to swarm their enemies and they can be extremely dangerous if you aren’t prepared for such tactics.  Separating them is probably the best option and fire resistance/protection is a must in all three caves.

It is a shame that these quests aren’t run more frequently.  I wish they were fixed to include favor when that system was released years ago.  I’m not sure why they weren’t added that way.  They are actually quests with objectives.  Although they are short they can be pretty tough.

The next time you are in the Threnal Ruins, try giving them a shot.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Ruins of Threnal!!

It Was A Low Level Weekend, Quest Runs October 17 to October 19

Over the weekend, I played primarily three characters: Erdrique (Level 5 Monk), Hamllin (Level 12 Fighter), and Stoorage (Level 10 Fighter).  However, my questing for the weekend began with Berann (Level 7 Barbarian) on Friday morning with some slayer runs.  That morning I took Berann into the Waterworks Slayers and collected some more kills.  After I ran through the Waterworks, I then took Berann out to Smuggler’s Rest and had some fun smacking around some hobgoblin pirates…at least until I accidentally smacked a half-orc pirate who proceeded to chase me around the island .  I collected some doubloons and map pieces for awhile but didn’t get a chance to enter the Crystal Cove.  On Friday afternoon, I brought on Hamllin and took him out into the Ruins of Threnal one last time.  I took Hamllin through the forgotten quests out there, first tackling the Threnal Arena.  I was quite surprised, and almost died, when a beholder in the last wave of monsters nearly drained me of all of my levels.  But I was able to hold on and took him out.  I then headed off to complete the Giant Caves: The Giant Lieutenants, The Giants’ Lair, and The Giants’ Supplies.  It brought back some memories of classic loot runs.

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Berann facing off against Shaman Yiley in Waterworks.

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Berann taking care of some pirates in the Smuggler’s Rest.

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Hamllin being tested in the Threnal Arena.

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Hamllin looking for some giant lieutenants.

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Hamllin doing what he can to destroy some crates.

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Hamllin exploring the Giants’ lair.

On Friday night, I logged on with Erdrique and decided to him up the Waterworks.  I was joined by Hellshield and we headed off to do some slayer runs in the Waterworks Slayer area and then headed off to look for Arlos and Venn.  We completed the entire arc: The Kobold’s Den: Clan Gnashtooth, The Kobold’s Den: Rescuing Arlos, Venn’s Trail: Clan Tunnelworm, and Venn’s Trail Venn’s Fate.  We knocked the string on elite .  We then took care of our inventory and repairs and headed off to the Marketplace to start The Seal of Shan-to-Kor.  We were able to get through the first two quests: The Cloven Jaw Scourge: Blockade and The Cloven Jaw Scourge: Caverns of Shaagh before we had to call it a night.

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Erdrique taking some time to explore the sewers.

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Erdrique making his way through Clan Gnashtooth to find Arlos.

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Erdrique freeing prisoners in the prison.

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Erdrique wondering what is down the pipe.

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Looking for Venn.

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Erdrique prepping to make his way through the blockade

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Erdrique battling his was through the Caverns of Shaagh.

I didn’t get any questing in on Saturday night as it was a weekend date night .  On Sunday, I was scheduled to log in with Stoorage and he still needs to complete the quests out in Three Barrel Cove on elite.  With him being on my premium account, I tend to have to run these quests three times (normal, hard, elite) so it does tend to take me longer.  However, I also wanted to run a Cannith Challenge and to hopefully get a run in the Crystal Cove.  So, I took him out into Three Barrel Cove and completed the quest The Legend of Two-toed Tobias, but only on normal.  After that run, I picked up a challenge token and head off into Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door.  I made my way through the mansion and was able to find the succubus and the blackguard.  After I was ported out of the successful challenge, I then headed to Smuggler’s Rest where only about 1,200 map pieces were still required to open up the Cove.  A short time later the Cove was open and I took Stoorage in their and some fun directing some kobold miners as well as taking care of them from the multitude of attackers.  By the time the quest was done, it was time for me logout and head to bed.

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Looking for Two Toed Tobias.

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Hunting down a boss in Dr. Rushmore’s mansion.

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Battling the pirates roaming Smuggler’s Rest.

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Stoorage protecting and directing traffic in the Crystal Cove.

So overall, the questing this week was primarily done by some low level questing.  I’m progressing quite nicely with Erdrique and Hamllin is also moving along.  I hope everybody else had a nice weekend and a fun time questing in DDO!!!  Thank you for reading and happy hunting everybody!!

Enemy Profile-Bishop Zasha’oth of the Fury

Recently I finished the Cult of the Six story arc with Hamllin (Level 12 Fighter).  One of the final enemies you encounter in this chain is Bishop Zasha’oth of the Fury.  The Bishop is actually a very vicious drow scorpion.  The Bishop is waiting for you at the top of pyramid in the Temple of the Six and you can only get to him once you defeat some other drow scorpions and fire reavers who are protecting him as well as setting some rune wheels in the correct order to drop down some magical barriers that block the paths up the pyramid.

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Hamllin preparing to fight the Bishop.

The Bishop, like other drow scorpions, will attack you with his massive claws, try to hit you with poisonous stinger, and likes to hit you with dispel magic to debuff you.  He can poison you and he can hit you with a curse.  Overall though, he isn’t a really overwhelming end boss.  Being a “bishop” I would think he would be a cleric, however I don’t recall him hitting me with any divine based spells, such as flamestrike or blade barrier, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he can lay these down.

He is evil and I didn’t notice any elemental resistances for him.  I took him down before he even attempted to really attack me, so  I also believe his hit points are not too numerous.  The biggest issue you have with the Bishop is that as soon as he dies, the next red named boss spawns, a fire reaver.

The next time I’m in Co6 I will have to wait to see what other attacks the Bishop has and update this post.  It shouldn’t be too long until I take somebody else through here.

Thanks for reading everybody and no head back out into Sorrowdusk Isle and take on the Bishop and his Cult of the Six!!  Happy Hunting!!

Sludgge’s Journal-Under the Big Top

Quest: Under the Big Top
Level 20 (Epic Normal)
Crawlers: Sludgge

After dealing with that pesky halfing, Roderick Nettles and that wicked abishai Garos, I reported back to Rouge who congratulated me on the successful mission and then forwarded me to talk to Cerise as their intelligence had finally narrowed down the leader of the Maleficient Cabal and have determined where they are. So I took off and found Cerise on the other side of the House Phiarlan enclave just outside of the recently erected Troubadoor Carnival. Cerise also mentioned that the leader’s name is Malicia.

After picking up a few other nagging details from Cerise, I reported back to Erdrique and let him know that I was beginning to start this mission and hopefully to take down the Maleficient Cabal once and for all. I then entered off to the carnival. I then started to think that hiding your forces in the midst and guise of a carnival was a really interesting idea and pretty clever. Carnival’s are generally harmless and are known to contain unique and exotic individuals so it is an excellent way to sneak a large number of “exotic” people into an area without drawing a large amount of attention. As I came upon the carnival, I noticed the standard carnival activities: high striker bells, slight of had tricks, fire handlers, and other people selling their wares.

One thing I did notice was that there were a large number of tents and some interesting posters of the old Marketplace tent. Not sure why these were posted but they catch my eye. I took a minute to summon forth my onyx panther and my owlbear at confer with Wyoh, the cleric mercenary that had accompanied throughout my travels to determine the mystery of the Maleficient Cabal. After we got situated, we decided to explore this carnival.

It didn’t take long for things to start to get interesting. As we ventured further into the carnival, we noticed that there wasn’t a single person here. We continued forward into the first set of tents and first set of carnival workers when things quickly changed. In the blink of an eye, the carnival staff quickly revealed their true identities and we were quickly swarmed by a bunch of tieflings. The same type of tieflings who were trying to prevent us from getting to Brawnpits and who were trying to running the Grand Gala. The ensuing fight was quite vicious. We were primarily assaulted by Maleific Seers, Maleific Strongmen, Maleific Knife Throwers and Maleific Firebreathers. After a ferocious battle, we looked around at our defeated ambushers and the tents they guarded.

We didn’t discover anything around that area and came upon another set of carnival workers. Now we were quite suspicious and we expected to be attacked. As soon as we entered their area, the tieflings revealed themselves, as well as their hellhound pets, and battle quickly resumed. I got the sense that the panther and owlbear might have been enjoying this a little too much. After this battle we noticed a large rune wheel. I could sense immediately that the wheel was trapped and noticed that rune wheel needed to be set correctly to open up a gateway to continue further into the carnival. I was able to find and disable the trapping mechanism fairly easily which allowed me to set the rune wheel and allowed us to take down the barrier to move our way deeper into the carnival.

This same pattern continued throughout the rest of the carnival on the way to the Big Top. We passed through a few more gates that were controlled by rune wheels that all had traps strategically place upon them. We engaged a number of tiefling forces which also included some Maliefic Illusionist along with the other types of enemies we had already encountered. After a number of battles we were eventually able to make our way to the Big Top.

Once at the entrance to the Big Top, we encountered a secondary party that was sent in with us, another set of House Phiarlan spies led by Yewl d’Phiarlan. Yewl basically informed us that we were being used as a distraction to allow Yewl and his band to get inside and deal with the Maleficient leader Malicia, themselves. I wasn’t happy about hearing about these turn of events but we agreed to help Yewl to fight and take down Malicia.

With that said, we entered the Big Top. Yewl went to the center of the Big Top and called for Malicia to enter. She eventually showed up, giggling the entire time. Malicia turned out to be a very dangerous and seductive succubus. Before we knew what was really happening, Malicia had taken control and charmed Yewl as well as his contingent and we were quickly fighting them off. Once we dispatched with the charmed Phiarlan forces we then focused on Malicia, who seemed quite amused.

We quickly engaged Malicia with everything we had. We all knew, including the onyx panther and owlbear, that if we didn’t keep Malicia busy that she might try to charm one of us to fight each other. Malicia kept us off balance and during the fight she would summon forth more of her tiefling forces to distract us. The onyx panther and owlbear did a good job keep the majority of Malicia’s attention which allowed me to score critical and lethal hits on her from behind. With our relentless onslaught, Malicia finally fell and we watched as she lost her control to the anchors that bound her to this plane and saw her dematerialize and return to Shavarath. The only thing I could think of was that she wasn’t going to be very happy and I wondered how she would exact her revenge, for surely she would.

After her fall, we quickly left the Carnival and reported back to Cerise who congratulated us on taking down Malicia. Cerise mentioned that they will have some work cleaning up from the aftermath but it wasn’t anything that they couldn’t handle. Cerise thanked us and then told us to report back to Rogue. When we back to Rogue she was all smiles. She seemed appreciative of our work and gave us a generous payment for completing the task. I did make it clear, however, that I wasn’t very happy being used as a pawn or a diversion in the schemes of House Phiarlan. She looked at me puzzled and confused until I told her about Yewl and the House Phiarlan contingent already getting ready to enter the Big Top. She apologized for the “misunderstanding” and told me she would look into the matter but I saw right through her bluff. In any case, she paid us and we headed out. I took off to report back to Erdrique and to let him what had occurred.

Primarily Low Level Questing With One Epic Run, Questing Over October 13th to October 16th

The questing for me this week was dominated with runs with my new druid, Cannock (Level 7), some more runs with Erdrique (Level 4 Monk) and Hamllin (Level 12 Fighter).  I did get one epic level quest run with Rimuldar (Level 23 Wizard/Magister) as well.

The week started with a Monday morning slayer run with Containment (Level 5) who finished up his Waterworks Slayers and then moved onto to start his domination of Tangleroot Gorge.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin and took him back out into Sorrowdusk Isle and completed the quest The Sanctum: The Church and the Fury which was the last quest in the Cult of Six story arc.  For Monday night, I logged on with my newest character, Cannock, and took him through “The Voyage” and raised him up to level 7.  I then took him out into Korthos and completed the quests Heyton’s Rest, The Storehouse Secret, The Cannith Crystal, The Collaborator, Redemption, and some Korthos Island Slayers.  Even though I was over level, I also go back and run theses quest for the favor.  After hitting those up, I called it a night.

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Containment dealing with the kobolds in Waterworks.

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Containment battling Clamor in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Hamllin dealing with the scorpion king in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Hamllin stunning the drow scorpions in Cult of the Six.

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Cannock exploring the Storehouse.

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Cannock working to protect the crystal.

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Cannock dealing with the traitor.

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Cannock will do what he can to rid Korthos Island of trouble.

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Cannock resting in Redemption.

I was scheduled to play Charlock (Level 13 Fighter) on Tuesday morning for my slayer run so I brought him and out into Sorrowdusk Isle and finished that explorer zone.  Charlock is now ready to head out into the Red Fens.  My afternoon run was with Erdrique who I took into the Depths of Darkness.  Unfortunately I was running behind and that was the only quest I get in for my mid-day afternoon run.  Tuesday night, I logged on with Rimuldar.  Rimuldar was working on finishing up the Sands of Menechtarun quests on epic normal.  He only needed the quest, Against the Demon Queen, to finish all of the quests on epic normal before he moves onto the next set of quests.  The quest run went very well and I wrote about it here.  It was one of my more enjoyable runs in the epic setting so far.  After I took Rimudlar through the Court of Lailat, I then headed off to House Cannith and ran the challenge Buying Time on level 20 for some of the heroic ingredients.   I had no major issues in there, but I did actually get killed but I was still able to complete the quest.  After the run through Buying Time, I headed off to bed.

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Charlock is now done with Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Erdrique fighting his way through the Depths of Darkness.

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Rimuldar basking in his victory over Lailat.

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Rimuldar taking it to an animated armor in Buying Time.

Wednesday morning I was scheduled to start the day with Lorrikk (Level 11 Monk) and I took him out into the Searing Heights.  Lorrikk is nearly done with the Searing Heights, he only needs one last rare encounter (Guck) and he will be finished with the area and will be moving to Sorrowdusk Isle.  When I got home from work, I logged on with Hamllin and took him into the last parts of the Ruins of Threnal: Entering the Gate Chamber and The Gate Chamber.  While running through Entering the Gate Chamber, I just realized even more how much slimes and rust monsters annoy me…  I didn’t run anything Wednesday night because it was date night with the misses :).

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Lorrikk wanting to hunt in the Searing Heights.

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Hamllin fighting a flesh render in Threnal South and wondering about the floating floor pieces.

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Hamllin finally entering the Gate Chamber and being greeted. 

For Thursday, the day started out with me logging in with Crawlller (Level 5 Ranger) and I took him out into Tangleroot Gorge.  I was lucky enough to have another player join my party post in the LFM panel during my run through of explorer area which allowed us to power through the explorer area twice before I needed to head to work.  I didn’t log into the game for a mid-day run, as I took my wife out for a little celebration (she was accepted into a new college) but I did log in Thursday night with Erdrique and I took him through the last two quests in the Catacombs: Endgame: Marguerite and Endgame: Archbishop’s Fate.  After that,  I logged on with Containment and took him through Home Sweet Sewer, Kobold Assault (normal and hard), and into the Cannith Challenge Behind the Door.  For the challenge, I didn’t quite complete the quest as I ran out of time before I got to one of the boss monsters, however I did kill the Mother of the Nest and earned a supply chest.  After those runs, I called it a night.

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Crawlller exploring Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique making his way back to the Archbishop’s chambers through the Eastern Catacombs.

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The Archbishop has been purged.

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Containment bringing the dogs out of the sewer.

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Containment working to defeat the kobold swarm.

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Containment making his way through Dr. Rushmore’s mansion.

To sum up the questing for the week, it was centered around low level and mid level runs with a very fun epic run on Tuesday night.  It was a good of questing!!  I hope you all had a strong week as well :).  Thanks for reading and happy hunting everybody!!

Having Some Fun With the Queen

It has been awhile since I wrote anything about the small amount of epic questing I get to do and I had an extremely (and surprisingly) fun time with the last epic adventure I ran and wanted to pass that experience on.  Now I have mentioned in the past, that I tend to run the majority of epic quests on epic normal primarily because of the lack of the appropriate gear for my characters in the epic levels, so I tend to not take on more than I can handle (or at least attempt to).  With that said, I just ran the Demon Queen pre-raid, Against the Demon Queen, on epic normal with Rimuldar (Level 23 Wizard/Magister).  Now on heroic settings, this particular quest has always caused me some heart burn with my melee characters. Primarily because of Lailat and six deadly khopeshes and her continuing knock down/run over ability.  I was expecting on having more trouble with Rimuldar during this run but was pleasantly surprised!!

If you don’t know, the quest Against the Demon Queen is the pre-raid quest for Zawabi’s Revenge (where you take on the Demon Queen, Lailat, once again).  Before you can enter the quest, you have to first complete the three flagging quests: Tomb of the Wizard King, Chains of Flame, and An Offering of Blood and turn in the special quest items from each of those quests.  All of these quests are located in the Sands of Menechtarun.

Once you enter queen’s Lailat’s Court, you have to read a tome that contains a puzzle.  The puzzle describes the path you need to take to advance to the queen.  Once you enter further into the quest, you will see that the dungeon is divided into 6 different directions, with each pathway marked by a placard, with each placard being mentioned in the opening puzzle in the tome.  Basically you have to make your way through each path in the correct order to advance to Lailat.  Each path contains a different set of enemies, traps, and challenges.  Once you get to the end of a path you have to activate a rune.  If the order you took is correct, you will defeat one of Lailat’s “swords” (actually a rhaksasha) and if you are incorrect you get teleported to a “penalty” room that you have to fight your way out of and to try a different path.

In this particular run, I had summoned an exalted angel hireling, my onyx panther, my level 17 owlbear, and a living meteor swarm.  The opening room and pathway immediately after reading the tome is filled with efreetis and fire reavers.  I was surprised to see that I had little problems with them.  I was using primarily ice based spells (obviously) and electrical spells, as well as some or my Archmage spells.  The summoned meteor swarm seemed to draw quite a bit of attention, which was fine be me, and allowed me to go relatively unnoticed.

Now on heroic, I typically run into trouble with the monkey hallway, which is composed of some wildmen.  In this hallway, there are a few wildmen mystics on pillars that are pretty tough to reach at first and they tend to use their elevated positioning quite well.  This time however, I was able to hit many of them with a Finger of Death, Powerword Kill, or to drop a firewall on them with some other damage spells.  I was pleasantly surprised to run into little issues with them.  Especially since Rimuldar isn’t really made for strong necromancy casting.

While making my way through the rest of the quest, I only made one “mistake” with my pathing which forced me into the “penalty box” once, which was also nice.  A good thing about the penalty box is that there are four named enemies down there that do give optional experience.  I did run out of spell points with a few paths to clear so I simply recalled and used the shrine in the Desert just prior to the dungeon entrance.  Although I did lose some experience, I wasn’t all that concerned about that.  The other paths caused me little difficulty.  The mephit pathway does have a number of annoying traps but luckily I made it through these ok on epic normal.

The point where I expected to have the most trouble was fighting Lailat herself.  However, prior to fighting her, I positioned my exalted angel hireling off to the side (while we were also fighting the rhaksasha and the efreetis) and once the rhaksasha was killed I ran off to the opposite side and brought my panther and owlbear with me, as well as my living meteor swarm.  Well, luckily the living meteor swarm, immediately gained her attention which allowed my panther and owlbear to pounce and her but more importantly it allowed me to hit her with my barrage of spells from chain missile, to Eladrin’s Electric Surge, Acid Bolt, etc..).  I did gain her attention once of twice but I was able to shed it fast enough.  Before I knew it, she was knocked out and teleporting to her other circle and then continued on and pressed the fight further.

On the next platform I had used the same logic and during the second fight she never even bothered to come my way, having her attention to much on meteor swarm and my other hirelings.  The entire time I was battling her I had empower and maximize on and just stood back firing away.  In the end, I suffered no deaths and only the one reentry penalty.  The quest netted me nearly 61,000 experience which gave me enough to hit level 23 .

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Rimuldar basking in the glory of Lailat’s retreat!!

So overall, it was a fun and surprising adventure with Rimuldar.  Spellcasting characters aren’t really my main focus in DDO but this run was certainly enjoyable!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in the Desert!!

I Wish I Had Those Skills!!

For the most part, hirelings can have some pretty lackluster abilities and the complications of their AI is well known.  However with that said, there are some moments where the hirelings shine.  For example, I was taking Erdrique (Level 4 Monk) through the quest the Depths of Darkness and he had the hireling Maloren.  Well, during the last fight, Maloren pulled off something Erdrique could only ever hope to accomplish…he was climbing in mid air!!

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Maloren pulling off a feat that Erdrique could only ever dream of.

I’m not sure what quite happened hear but Maloren was actually climbing in the air like he was climbing a ladder.  I think what happened was that he was trying to follow me up to the balcony where I had taken out the hobgoblin spellcasters.  However, I defeated them before he started to climb the ladder to follow me and when I jumped down to engage the boss and his cronies Maloren ported back to my general location but he was in mid climb during that.  In either case, I thought it was worthy to show off.

Now I’m jealous of the hirelings…well maybe not…Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!