Yesterday I wrote up a short article on Gwylan’s Stand, one of the quests that came out with the original release of DDO. Well today I want to take a look at another older quest but this one was released with DDO’s first Module: Dragon’s Vault. The quest I want to talk about is Stromvauld’s Mine. Stromvauld’s Mine is a level 8 quest (10 on elite) and it is located in the House Denith Anvilfire Inn Tavern. The quest giver is sitting at a table in the tavern and is Laird Stromvauld. The premise of the quest is to locate and determine what has happened to Stromvauld’s mining crews as they haven’t reported back when they were supposed to. Two teams have gone missing and Laird asks for your help to discover their fate and hopefully to rescue them.
This particular quest can be quite difficult if you aren’t prepared for it. When the level cap was only level 10 and then raised through 16, I used to consider this quest a particular test on my various character’s resilience and self sufficiency. The quest occurs entirely in the mine has a number of furnaces, catwalks, upper and lower levels, and caverns to explore around. As soon as you enter the quest zone, you notice that the first quest objective is to located a specified number of dead miners. As you explore the zone, you will encounter the dead minors and have to interact with them to be given credit for their discovery.
As you venture into the cavern you will also notice some gems lying around that you can pick up. As an optional objective you are given the ability to locate a specified number of gems as well.
There are a few other optional objectives in the quest as well, primarily centered around destroying/defeating enemy monsters. So speaking to the enemies and monsters in the quest, the things you will encounter include rust monsters, scorpions, earth elementals, fire elementals, and a plethora of drow (some named optional casters, a lot of archers, and a number of drow melee fighters). I’m not entirely sure how the elementals and rust monsters relate to the lore of the quest. However, there is no doubt that the drow are the source of miners death and they are probably worshippers of Vulkoor and thus are also the source of the scorpions. I’m also thinking that the drow casters are responsible for summoning the earth elementals and fire elementals and probably were holding the rust monsters as pets or something.
On elite, all of these enemies can be extremely difficult to deal with. Scorpions are extremely deadly on any adventure on elite and the earth elementals are particularly hard to deal with unless you are prepared for them. The drow archers are perched in strategic locations that make them annoying, with some using a lighting trap as cover. There are only two fire elementals that spawn behind you from two campfires when you make your further into a quest. These two are expertly place and will wipe out a party if they don’t know about them. The campfires are place at a location that overlooks a drow party below, so the initial tactic is to range the drow from the overlook. As you do that, the fire elementals come out to inflict some serious damage, again if you are unprepared. After you take out the fire elementals, the drow in the camp below the overlook are relatively easily dispatched.
Once you get past that point, you go lower into the mine following the length of a mining shaft. You land on some catwalks and deal with a plethora of drow as you make your way to the lower levels of the mine. Sometimes you will encounter a optional name and there is a locked chest that you can get access too but the main focus is to continue down to the main hall where the drow leader is located. Once she is defeated, you can then rescue the sole surviving chief engineer.
There is an annoying part to this quest-finding the dead engineers. They are spread throughout the quest and are located randomly during each time you run the quest. As are the jewels. Many times an engineer will be overlooked in the heat of battle and the party will have to make their way back through the mine to located that missing dead engineer. However, this is a relatively minor inconvenience, as thought who have ventured into Stromvauld’s Mine know that they need to keep their eyes out for those dead bodies.
During my last run through Stromvauld’s Mine I received over 13,000 experience and that didn’t count any optionals. It did include no deaths, elite streak, first time bonus, VIP bonus, Voice of the Master, Greater Experience Tome, and 2% Guild ship shrine. I completed four optionals that ranged from 685 experience to 857 experience each, and just as a side note, I had missed one of the gems.
Stromvauld’s Mine is a challenging quest and is one of the older quests in the game. It is also one of the oldest quests to have some drow enemies. Overall, it is a fun quest and worth a good amount of experience, especially for one working on heroic true reincarnation train.
Thanks for reading everybody and have fun exploring the mine!! Happy Hunting!!