I was running Harrgon this morning through Tangleroot Gorge for my typical morning slayer runs and started to wonder about the various monsters and factions that are in this commonly played explorer area. Awhile back, I wrote up a summary about Searing Heights and figured I would do the same thing here. Tangleroot Gorge is a level 3 to 7 explorer area that houses one of the most frequently run lower level quest arc, Assault on Splinterskull. You can get to Tangleroot Gorge by talking to Wransyl of Vedykar, located in House Phiarlan, who will transport you to the One-eared Bugbear Inn, which is just on the outskirts of Tangleroot Gorge. Before Wransyl takes you to the inn, he tells you talk to Emeric Quall who starts you on your path to taking on Splinterskull by sending you on a mission to meet Ungurz.
Tangleroot Gorge is basically a forest area that runs along the Tangleroot River. The Tangleroot River is relatively shallow at this point in the gorge and seems to be a slow current river. The explorer are has variety of monster types and factions:
2). Clamor and his worgs and wolves
3). Silkweave and her spiders (black widows and brown spiders)
4). Xassak and his trogoldytes
5). Jarak and his bugbears
6). Vilesting and his scorpions (and rust monster?)
7). Kornak and his ogres
8). Kroksh the wandering Giant
There is no doubt that the overriding presence in Tangleroot Gorge is that of the hobgoblins. It doesn’t take you very long before you start to encounter the various outposts and hobgoblin patrols of Splinterskull. However, how do hobgoblin’s of Splinterskull relate and interact to the rest of the denizens in Tangleroot? It is readily apparent that Yarkuch (the leader of Splinterskull) and his hobgoblins have some type of alliance with Clamor and his worgs and wolves. Clamor, the strongest of the worgs and wolves in the explorer zone, is most definitely the pack leader. It appears that Clamor has been working with Yarkuch. You see many of these outside patrols of hobgoblins associated with the wolves and worgs. Not to mention, the wolves and worgs are also a main component of the patrols inside of Splinterskull.
Yarkuch was a busy hobgoblin though. It looks like he also has made some packs with the spider queen, Silkweave. This isn’t too surprising, since Yarkuch seems to have under his influence perhaps the most well-known spider in DDO, Whisperdoom. Yarkuch has probably used that relationship to influence his relationship with Silkweave allowing him to use some of her spiders to protect his fortress, as you commonly encounter spiders as the first threat when you enter the might Splinterskull fortress.
The troglodytes, however, seem to be one faction that don’t happen to be allied with the hobgoblins. They seem to have the Tangleroot River pretty much under their control. Their aren’t a whole lot of enemies found within the river itself accept for troglodytes who appear to under the leadership of Xassak. I’m guessing that the troglodytes have been pushed into the river by the hobgoblin presence in the gorge.
An entity that seems to be rare in wilds of Tangleroot Gorge are the bugbears. Hell, the inn itself is named after this goblinoid but the bugbears in Tangleroot are sparse at best. They seem to hold a patrol on some of the suspension bridges of the gorge and inhabit one fortress in the wildneress. But Jarak and his bugbears seem to be neutral in the area. I have sneaky suspicion that they have a “you don’t bother us, we don’t bother you” relationship with the hobgoblins of Splinterskull. It also does suggest that one point, this region most likely had a large bugbear presence.
The next three factions all seem to be neutral, at least to me, if not out of place. The first one, Vilesting, is a puzzling one. Vilesting is a fiendish scorpion and he seems to have taken over a cavern with a number of other large scorpions. However, I’m trying to figure out how this fiendish scorpion made his way to Tangleroot or who he was tainted. There are some powerful casters on the island: Zulkash, Xassak, and Kornak among them and it is possibly that one of these powerful casters was “experimenting” and Vilesting was created. Another puzzling situation, is that Vilesting appears to have a rust monster associated with him. Now how he relates to this powerful scorpion is beyond me.
There is another cave, not far from Splinterskull, that house Kornak and his ogres. I’m kind of on a fence with trying to reason this one out. Kornak is an ogre magi and the outside of his cave is guarded by worgs and worgs also are located inside the cave with Kornaks ogres. This seems to suggest that Kornak has some type of relationship with Clamor. Also, Yarkuch happens to have three war-masters, who all happen to ogres. I’m thinking that it is possible that all of these ogres are from the same tribe or clan. However, with that said, the ogres seem extremely protective of their cave and they made their presence known on the markings and banners on the outside of their dwelling, kind of like a statement that they are independent from all others. Not sure on this faction.
The last faction is Kroksh, the wandering hill giant. And he seems to be just that. Although he generally occurs with a bunch of worgs, I think the worgs just tolerate his presence and he just ignores them. He doesn’t seem to have any allegiance to anybody but himself.
Well, that is all of the factions and my theories on how they relate to each other. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Gorge!!