Vampires are a common enemy to encounter in DDO from around level 5 or so when our characters start to enter the Necropolis. However, there was a time in the game when the only enemy vampire in the game was located in the quest The Church and the Cult. There were two other vampires in the game but they weren’t enemies but NPCs instead (Veil and Versigante). I just recently took Hamllin (Level 12 Fighter) through The Church and the Cult and figured it would it be a fun quest to write about.
Hamllin taking on the cultists of Vol.
The quest giver is Inquisitor Lightbringer in House Phiarlan. Evidently it has come to the attention of the devout followers of the Silver Flame that a new church has been established in Stormreach that is supposedly related to the worship of Vol, offering the promises of eternal life. However, there is no direct proof that the church as done any wrong doing so the Silver Flame are reluctant to move against them and have asked our characters to investigate the new church. As a side note, this is quite a different tactic from our old friend Inquisitor Gnomen who simply has you destroy all of the followers of the Sovereign Host in Purge the Herectics. The quest is located in House Phiarlan, not far from the quest giver.
The layout of the quest is relatively straightforward. When you first enter the quest, you are in a large hall with pews and worshippers who shortly evacuate when you proceed further into the room. After you defeat some initial enemies you will follow a path through a door that opens when you first entered the room. You will then find a secret door and continue down into the lower reaches of the “church”. The path leads you to a center chamber where you find a pedestal that contains the Book ov VOl. The book tells you that to survive eternity you much pass the tests of cold and fire.
This central chamber has a door to the north, west, and east. When you read the book the doors to the east and west open up. You can go either way, the door to the west contains the challenges of fire while the door to the east contains the challenges of ice. Once you get through these challenges the northern door can be opened (remember to through the levers in fire and ice rooms) and you will continue down the path until you eventually reach the last chamber to fight the true priest of Vol.
As you make your way through this quest, you will have deal with a multitude of traps. The traps include impaling ground spikes that leap from the ground, force traps, and sonic traps. While making your way down to the fire path you will encounter fire traps that are placed in some interesting areas. Likewise, going down the ice path will lead you to some ice jet traps and some vicious spinning blade traps which can be problematic.
The enemies you encounter in The Church and the Cult are primarily undead blackbone skeletons, fire and ice mephits, and various grades of Vol Cultists. You will also encounter a few dread zombies, wraiths and specters, although not many, and a few winter wolves down the ice hallway. What is interesting is that you don’t encounter any hell hounds down the fire hallway, I wonder why? As you can imagine, you encounter fire mephits in the end room of the fire hallway and ice mephits in the final room in the ice hallway. These mephits are difficult to take on because their various rooms are also laden with the traps I mentioned above and these traps are continual, they keep going off once they are triggered, making avoiding them but dealing the mephits difficult. The blackbone skeletons include some warrior, ranger, and magic types but all of these are relatively easy to deal with and then tend to only appear when you break any coffins or sarcophagi. Of the Vol cultists, the Priests of Vol and Necromancers of Vol are the most dangerous and should be taken out first. The Acolytes and Apprentices are also quite annoying at times.
The end fight is with Adran ir’Karsmore, the original vampire in DDO. He is a CR 17 enemy on elite and likes to transform into wolves quite frequently. He will try to dominate your a will a number of times during the fight. There was a time when Adran’s healing regeneration was extremely difficult to overcome and the Lay on Hands ability of Paladins was greatly sought after to take him down. However, the use of crafted pure good items and other items makes this fight much more manageable. Besides trying to dominate you, he will hit attempt to hit you with energy drain attacks and might even try a destruction or two. So having a deathblock item and protection from evil will help to deal with these effects.
Besides being known for having the “first” vampire in DDO, the Church and the Cult is also known for the loot you can receive. These items include the Silver Longbow, the Bloodplate, and the Cloak of Shadows. All of which are pretty nice items at lower levels.
So that is a look at the Church and the Cult. It is a fun and challenging quest and one I would recommend trying whenever you get a chance. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!