Exploring the Shadow Crypt

One of the last level 9 quests I needed to complete with Erdrique (Level 13 Druid) on elite was The Shadow Crypt.  The Shadow Crypt is the capstone quest to the Necropolis II adventure pack and you have to complete Tomb of the Shadow Guard, Tomb of the Shadow Knight, Tomb of the Shadow King, and Tomb of the Shadow Lord to properly flag for it.  The quest is bestowed by a member of the Emerald Claw camp, called The Herald.

The quest is actually a very unique one and I can’t think of another quest that employs the same mechanic.  The entire tomb is basically a “tiered” maze.  The quest starts out with a member of the Emerald Claw (I think) laying on the floor and she indicates that she was betrayed by the Shadow Council and she warns you that the entire tomb is maze.  You are then attacked by a series of shadows.  You then have an option to go into any direction. 

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Erdrique burning up shadows and other incorporeal undead in the Shadow Crypt.

When you pick a direction to head you are transported to another room in the tomb and when you turn around and go back the way you came you might be transported to the original room but most likely you will be transported to an entirely different room.  The objective of the quest is to gather 2 gears of four different colors (red, yellow, green, and blue).  When you move to a new room, the room will be shaded in one of these colors and when you enter the room and kill the enemies a chest will spawn with the appropriate color gear (there is a set of rooms that have a swimming maze instead of mobs to kill).  If you collect three of each colored gears then you can get access to an additional chest at the end.     

The quest contains a number of optional rare encounters that help add to the total amount of experience available in the quest.  Once you do gather at least two colors of each gear, you need to continue to move forward through the quest until you come to a room that has a translucent/spectral banner the covers one of the exit ways.  This particular room is the room that leads to the locks and levers needed to reach the Shadow Council and the named vampire at the end of the quest  Finding this particular room can sometimes be really aggravating, but you’ll find it eventually.  The DDOWiki has a few of the paths laid out to help in this endeavor.

In this quest, firewall pretty much rains supreme and ghost touch weapons are essential for your melees.  The quest isn’t very hard but just can be annoying.  At the completion of the quest Erdrique received well over 40,000 experience (including the optionals) and I was able to get the bonus chest.  As I mentioned before the uniqueness in this quest comes from the ability to “zone” into each room, no other quest is like this that I’m aware of.

So, now Erdrique is now done with the Shadow series and will begin moving into the the Cursed Crypt Series, eventually.  Those quests are base level 11 and Erdrique is still working on his level 9 and 10 quests.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!   

One of Those Quests That Just Tends to Grow On You

There are those quest in DDO that some people just hate, no loathe, to enter and complete.  But in some instances, those same quests tend to “grow” on a player, where the quest actually becomes fun and interesting to run, as opposed to being loathsome.  For me, one of these particular quests is The Pit.  Now I wrote about the Pit awhile back and my overall thoughts about it haven’t changed except that I enjoy running it much more than I did in the past.  I just took Charlock (Level 13 Fighter) through it and received over 24 k experience in just over an hour (and mind you that Charlock was receiving a 50% experience penalty for being four levels higher than the quest).  

Charlock fighting the enemies of the Pit photo CharlockfightingtheenemiesofthePit_zps1655d9cd.jpg
Charlock taking on the many troglodytes of the Pit.

So thinking about my latest adventures in the Pit I began to wonder about those other quests that I always cringe about running.  One of those quest used to be the Tomb of the Shadow King.  I remember shortly after the Necropolis II came out when I and another guildie decided to run this quest in a PUG and it was one of the hardest experiences I had to go through.  We were doing it on elite and that was back when we had lost experience on death, I ended up with a negative experience that night, lol.  But now, running the Shadow King is a second thought.

Another the Necropolis quest that I currently don’t look forward to running is the Tomb of the Tormented.  Moving those rats through those mazes is extremely annoying to me, lol.  I wonder if that quest will ever grow on me…I doubt it .  Another quest that has always aggravated me is the Coalescence Chamber.  Really the only reason I have trouble with Coalescence Chamber is because of the shafts and getting knocked off of them and then having to rerun up there with respawning scorpions and bats.  So annoying…

So we’ll see.  Maybe in time these other quests will grow on me too!!  Thanks for reading everybody body and happy hunting!!    

Grey Moon vs. Black Sun Just Now Seeing the Connection

I’m currently taking Hamllin (Level 9 Fighter) through the wilds of Sorrowdusk Isle and through the Grey Moon/Cult of Six Story Arc.  As I was taking Hamllin through the various quests in the Grey Moon portion of the story arc something had just occurred to me.  Now, I have run this particular chain quite a bit over the years the realization of what I just noticed yesterday made me laugh.  The storyline behind the Grey Moon/Cult of Six Story Arc centers around the Grey Moon ogre tribe being pushed out and overthrown by other traitorous ogres who have made some deals with trolls and cultists members of the Dark Six.  Upon entering and fighting through these quests, a common enemy you come across are the Black Sun ogres. 

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Hamllin battling Black Sun ogres in the Iron Mines.

When I first looked at the various ogres clans in DDO I had assumed that the Black Sun Ogres were a rival clan.  However, one just has to look at the names of “Grey Moon” and “Black Sun” to figure out what has is going on here.  Black Sun is basically the opposite of Grey Moon, therefore indicating that these particular ogres were part of the coup to overthrow Lord Haag of Grey Moon, these are the traitors.  LOL, I’m just now seeing this :P.

It is the little discoveries such as this that helps keep DDO fresh for me :).  In any case, I just felt I had to write about realization and to share it with you all.  Thanks for reading everybody and now get back into the game and venture forth into Sorrowdusk and slay some Black Sun ogres!!  Happy hunting!!

Questions about Champion Preinyl

Hamllin (Level 9 Fighter) has been running a lot in Sorrowdusk Isle and is currently working on the Grey Moon Story/Co6 Story Arc.  As a result, I just ran the quest The Iron Mines: Justice for Grust and I completed the optional to slay Champion Preinyl (a nasty troll).  As I completed the optional I wondered about the particular mechanic on how he actually spawns.

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Hamllin getting ready for Champion Preinyl’s charge.

To get Champion Preinyl to spawn, you have to open the door and then let it close and then open it up again.  When you open it the second time, he comes out charging after you.  So how exactly does this work or better yet, lore wise what is happening here?  My first thought was that there is some type of secret door that Champion Preinyl was using and the second time you opened the door he was there because he had just came out of the hole.  However, I don’t think that logical, otherwise our rogues and rangers probably would have spotted such a door.  So instead, I theorize that Champion Preinyl is actually teleported to that location or has taken some type of portal created by the our nice friends, the cultists of the six.  It seems to fit for his miraculous and strange appearance. 

I can’t really think of any other method for the Champion to get into the room.  Have to love random thoughts and intrigues.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Minimal Questing Over the Weekend, June 13th to 15th

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post today, my questing over the weekend was relegated to a few runs this past Sunday.  This was because I had to travel out of town for a wonderful occasion, my daughter graduated from high school on Saturday .  My daughter lives her mother in the central part of the state whereas I live on the coast so my wife and I left on Thursday night and stayed there until Saturday afternoon for my daughter’s graduation.  This left me with only Sunday to gather in any gaming time.

So, on Sunday, I logged on first with Erdrique (Level 12 Druid) and just took through the Red Fens to gather some more slayer counts.  Erdrique currently has level 13 banked and he only needs about 5,000 experience until he is forced to level and then to have level 14 banked.  So I took him into the slayer area to gather some rare encounters to get him as close as possible to that mark before I need to level.  Later that night, I logged on with Kanndar (Level 11 Paladin).  Kanndar is currently working on completing his level 6 quests on elite, which includes The Bloody Crypt.  Because of this, Kanndar needed to reflag and I finished those flagging runs by completing Tomb of the Immortal Heart and Tomb of the Burning Heart (purchased hirelings to get through this one).   Now Kanndar is ready to hit up the Bloody Crypt.

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Erdrique hunting down some enemies in the Red Fens.

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Kanndar dealing with the evil cultists in the Tomb of the Immortal Heart.

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Kanndar speeding down a corridor in the Tomb of the Burning Heart.

So although it was a light weekend in game, it was still a very exciting and joyous weekend for me!!  I hope everybody else had a fun and great weekend as well!!  Thanks for reading and happy hunting!!

Tough Time in Into the Deep on Epic Hard

The past few times I have run Kolll (Level 21 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) he had dominated his quests on epic normal.  These runs included the Red Fens quests: The Last Stand, Fathom the Depths, and The Claw of Vulkoor.  All of these quests I had very little difficulty.  I ran the quests only with my onyx panther, level 17 owlbear, and an exalted angel hireling.  As a result of that success and because I upgrade some of his gear (although he still has stub standard bows and items) I decided to try the next quest, Into the Deep, on epic hard to see how well I would fare.

Kolll fighting underwater photo Kolllfightingunderwater_zps07c2f71c.jpgKolll fighting the sahuagin in their own environment.     

The quest started out well enough, I realized that it was taking more time to take the mobs down due to their inflated hit points and I also recognized right away that my paralzying arrows were not nearly as effective as they are on epic normal.  Even with that said, I still had little problems dealings with the sahaugin, making sure I was taking out the wizards and clerics out first.  I didn’t really run into any issues until I made my way into the first temple and caught the aggro of some of the tainted water elementals.  It took me quite a bit a time to take them down as they were immune to a large number of attacks (wounding, frost, etc.) but eventually I got past them.  I had entered the temple with the enslaved drow and was able to free them easily enough.  I had expended all of my mana just as I reached the shrine, so the resource management was on par.

Kolll working on an elite deep water warrior photo Kolllworkingonanelitedeepwaterwarrior_zpsdbffde3c.jpg
Kolll landing a paralyzing shot on an elite sahuagin underwater warrior on epic hard.

I then made my way to the last fight.  Where I defeated the first wave of bad guys easily enough and started to range the frozen giant water elemental.  I had that elemental more than 50% free when disaster happened :(.  I simply forgot about some of the mechanics in this particular quest.  I hadn’t really been under attack after that first wave but eventually a few sahaugin meandered their way to me and quickly engaged them with my hires and myself.  I then moved closer to the frozen elemental to realize that many more sahaugin were sitting off to the sides and hadn’t seen me fighting previously.  They quickly joined in and to make a long story short, I simply got overwhelmed.  My companions were (and I) were hit with greater command a few times and that pretty much spelled doom for me. 

I did try to reenter the quest but the swarm was still to large and as soon as I dropped back into the room I was killed yet again.  So, the next time I enter the quest I will have to remember to do a better job on crowd management.  Prior to these runs, my paralzying arrows saved me that embarrassment.  However, this time my paralyzing arrows were minimally effective so I had switched to a different elemental stance.  I also need to look into getting a better bow.  Right now his main bow is +1 wounding longbow of pure good with festival icy burst on it.  I also tend to use some Xoriat arrows of different types as well as the Stay Frosty ability.  This has worked well in the past but I was having problems as I mentioned earlier in this run.  We’ll see how it goes, but I did expect to run into issues.  I have faith though that Kolll will lay down his revenge!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!! 

Reviewing the Fun From Last Week, June 9th to June 12th

It has been a relatively crazy spring so far this year for me, with more wrenches thrown into my playing schedule than what I can remember in past years and last week was no exception.  In fact the disruptions/complications to my quest runs actually affected my ability to write up some blog posts as well, so now I’m trying my best to catch up :), and I’ll explain the reason for last weeks strangeness when I write about the runs over the weekend, but this blog is going to focus on the runs during last week.

My question started off on Monday morning with the typical slayer run :).  I took Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger) into the heroic version of the Gianthold landscape.  I recently decked out Larrs with some new gear so I’m still getting used to his equipment so that I don’t get two pasted when I take him into some more epic quests, although he did great in the last quest I ran him through.  Later on Monday afternoon, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 12 Druid) and took him through the quest, The Claw of Vulkoor.  I did suffer one death when the fire giant turned on that vicious fire trap and became a little extra crisyp, but besides that little misshap I had no other issues.  Later that night, I was scheduled to play Suppply (Level 8 Paladin) and I took him through the rest of the Assault on Splinterskull on hard and restarted it on elite.  I then logged out for the night.

Larrs fighting jariliths in Gianthold photo LarrsfightingjarilithsinGianthold_zps33a70125.jpg
Larrs still experimenting in the Ruins of Gianthold.

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Erdrique looking out off the Claw Canyon.

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Suppply beating up on some poor hobgoblins.

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Suppply fighting his way to Yarkuch.

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A hobgoblin towering over Suppply.

Tuesday morning I was scheduled to take Containment (Level 4 Cleric) through the Cerulean Hills.  I took him through the Hills and was able to complete that all of the rares accept for the last orc warrior.  Once I find him, he will be good to go to the Waterworks Slayer area.  Later that afternoon, shortly after I got home from work I logged on with Hamllin (Level 9 Fighter) and took him into Sorrowdusk Isle and took on the ogres of the Iron Mines and freed Achka (The Iron Mines: Freeing Achka).  On Tuesday night, I took Kolll (Level 21 Range/Shiradi Champion) into the Red Fens and tried to run Into the Deep on Epic Hard and I will highlight those results in another blog post, unfortunately he had a tough time :(.  After my attempt on that run, I had to call it a night.

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Eerie morning in the Cerulean Hills.

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Hamllin taking on Barxer.

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Hamllin facing off against Flamefang.

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Kolll working on the sahaugin in Into the Deep.

On Wednesday morning, I logged on with Charlock (Level 13 Fighter) and took him into Sorrowdusk Isle and hunted down some ogres, trolls, scorpions, hellhounds, undead, and evil cultists.  Wednesday was also the day of the update, but I was able to get on and into the jungles and get some slayers before the servers were shut down.  Later that afternoon I brought on Erdrique and played around on the guild airship and setting up the amenities.  I didn’t log on Wednesday night because it was date night.

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Charlock engaging with an ogre in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Erdrique playing around the guild airship.

I logged on Thursday morning with Lorrikk (Level 11 Monk) and took him into the Searing Heights adventure area.  I had some taking on some of the Sulatar drow, fire elementals, fire mephits, wolves, and the Bloodtide pirates.  Later that afternoon I logged back on with Hamllin and took him into Sorrowdusk Isle and ran The Iron Mines: Justice for Grust.  After that I logged out and prepped for a trip and didn’t log back into the game until Sunday.

Lorrikk enjoying a fire in the Searing Heights photo LorrikkenjoyingafireintheSearingHeights_zpsc4823fc3.jpg
Lorrikk enjoying a random fire in the Searing Heights.

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Fighting the Black Sun Ogres in the Iron Mines.

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Hamllin in the midst of the spider nest in Sorrowdusk Isle.

So the week itself was relatively stable, except for Thursday night and for Wednesday afternoon when I spent an hour and a half fumbling around the guild airship and playing with the amenities after the release of Update 22.  As always though it was fun!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!      

Spending Time on The Guild Airship

With the release of Update 22: Pirates of the Thunder Sea, new models for the airships were released along with completely new additions.  Instead of running a quest after I got off work yesterday, I spent over an hour trying to figure out the best things to purchase for the Crypt Crawlers Stormglory Tempest airship.  Our airship was remodeled to have one lower deck that has two state rooms and eight hold rooms as well as the cargo hold. 

Now I don’t have the Lamannia client installed on my computer as I like to be some-what surprised by the new updates.  I say some-what because I do read the Lamannia Discussion forums and the like.  So I knew about the changes in concept but actually seeing the changes took me some time to figure out.  I was hoping to get the 5% experience shrine and the Grand Reliquary I state room but when I found out that they cost a number of Astral Shards I had to revert to buying different state rooms.  Its going to take the Crypt Crawlers quite a bit of time for us to save up enough Astral Shards for the larger airships and fancier amenities, as I only have about 300 shards between my two accounts and our other players just don’t dabble enough in the Astral Shard Auction House to obtain any shards in large numbers.  I’m hoping we will see these drop from the quest arc rewards but I doubt they will have a decent drop rate.

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Erdrique looking at one state room on the guild airship.

In any case, I took to spending platinum and I did indeed do that.  Erdrique had about 3.8 million plat when I started to place down amenities and now only has 1.9 million plat, spent half of his dough on the amenities.  Of course, since this was the first time I really took at look at the amenities, I realized I made a number of mistakes.  First I purchased the hold rooms that purchased the state rooms.  I should have done this the other way around.  As the two state rooms I bought actually had the same buffs as four of the hold rooms I originally bought.  I bought the Proving Ground and the Collegium of the Twelve for the state rooms but had purchased the Arcane Sanctum, Crusader’s Chapel, Archery Range, and Tactital training room for the hold rooms…oops.  So I had to replace all of those. With four other amenities.

The one thing I really like about the amenities though is that once you buy them you keep them and can swap them out when necessary.  So when we do get enough Astral Shards (assuming we do) and we replace one of the state rooms, we can then reactivate any necessary hold rooms.  I think that is pretty nice!!

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Erdrique setting up a hold room.

The Cargo Hold is also a mess.  I need to go back down there now and replace a number of old amenities that are no longer needed, such as the stat shrines.  Right now I’m taking advantage of those old hook points to have an Auctioneer and the Transporter.  I did notice that the one you put an amenity from the “old stock” on an empty hook point that its duration has been shortened, which I found interesting. 

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Erdrique realizing later we don’t need this hold room, need to replace it.

Overall, I like the layout in our new “old” ship.  I’m disappointed in the Astral Shard prices for some of the amenities, such as the experience shrines, and will wait to see what we get from quest rewards concerning those.  I’m also discourage in the price of the large Astral Shard ships.  The Crypt Crawlers will probably never see the largest ship but who knows, time will tell.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!! 

Double Rare Occurrences

I think it might have been Hamllin’s (Level 9 Fighter) lucky day yesterday while going around Sorrowdusk Isle and starting the Grey Moon Story Arc.  While Hamllin was making his way to the first quest in the arc, The Iron Mines: Freeing Achka, I decided to check for the two rare ogre encounters, Barxer and Kurmer.  I have hardly ever seen both of them occur during the same run but sure enough I ran into both ogre commanders.  I usually have a hard time finding Kurmer in truth, so I glad to have them both spawn in Hamllin’s first foray into Sorrowdusk Isle.
  photo HamllintakingonBarxer_zps56137435.jpg Hamllin taking on Barxer in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Hamllin stunning Kurmer in this battle.
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Not a bad quick run to Freeing Achka getting the fist two ogre commanders, 5 explorer points, and 33 kills.

Hammy’s good luck continued when he entered the quest The Iron Mines: Freeing Achka.  During the quest run he came across both canine rare encounters: Powder and Flamefang.  Now often do you find a winter wolf and a hellhound working together in the same quest?

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Hamllin fighting away with a stunned Powder.

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Fighting Flamefang in the Iron Mines.

Maybe I should have continued to venture around Sorrowdusk Isle to see if I could find the other rare encounters.  Oh well, maybe next time!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in Three Barrel Cove!!

Wondering About the Fire Giants and Raveneye Drow in Red Fens

I enjoy running the Red Fens and helping the Raveneye Clan revolt against the demon led forces of the sahaugin.  Yesterday, I took Erdrique (Level 12 Druid) through the Claw of Vulkoor on elite.  As I was going through the quest, I realized that this particular quest is kind of on the outside of the other three quests in the chain (The Last Stand, Fathom the Depths, and Into the Deep).  The priority enemies in the other three quests are the sahaugin and their minions but in the Claw of Vulkoor, the enemies aren’t sahaugin but fire giants.  To make the Claw of Vulkoor more complicated, is that it is also full of scorpions, who the drow covet.

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Erdrique preparing to help Priestess Ionna obtain the Claw of Vulkoor.

The whole lore behind this quest is to obtain the Claw of Vulkoor that can be used to bestow the blessing of Vulkoor on those chosen drow warriors of the Raveneye Clan to battle the dreaded sahuagin invaders, turning the drow warriors into scorrow.  Of course though, the Claw of Vulkoor lies in the heart of the fire giant territory.  The initial hope of the quest giver (Croaker, interesting name since croaker is a common fish in estuarine and ocean waters of the eastern US, fish and sahaugin, hm..) is for to negotiate with the fire giants to allow the drow passage to the Claw of Vulkoor.  Of course this isn’t allowed by the fire giants for two reasons:  1).  the fire giants still see the drow as slaves (Eberron lore has the giants enslaving the majority of drow for eons until the drow revolt) and 2). evidently this area is a sacred graveyard/burial ground to the fire giants who don’t want the graves looted to drow graverobbers.  So needless to say, fighting ensues.

Another thing that I find interesting is that the fire giant warlock, Sobrien, turns all of the drow into scorpions.  Of all the things to convert them into, he turns them into something they worship?  I thought that interesting.  I wonder why he didn’t turn them into mice or something.  Oh well, the real mystery is how did the fire giants get the scorpions (not the drow warriors who were transformed) to fight with them?  Or how did the fire giants establish a sacred graveyard in the middle of an area that is important to Vulkoor and the drow?

My assumption is that this was holy and sacred ground to both the fire giants and Raveneye drow clan back during the time when the drow were just mere slaves.  The drow were able to put up scorpion protectors for their precious artifact while the fire giants were also able to establish the a portion of the area as a burial ground.  When the drow forces rebeled, the fire giants held onto the land and scorpions remained to protect the precious artifact.  They probably grew used to the fire giants and/or used them to help guard the artifact and the fire giants did likewise (used the scorpions to help guard the burial ground).  I wouldn’t be surprised if the two even developed a level of respect for each other, however there is no doubt that the giants still disrespect the drow.

It makes me wonder how the Sulatar drow would take to this situation.  I could see the drow of Searing Heights bowing to their knees to the fire giants and waging a war with the Raveneye Clan, at least until they saw how overrun their drow kin are from sahaugin.  They would probably take to the sahaugin in a heartbeat just to spite any other race who would dare to wage a war with another drow clan…after all only another drow should be fighting a drow right?

In any case, the Claw of Vulkoor is unique in this quest chain and a fun little quest to run!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!