One of the many things I enjoy while playing DDO is trying to determine the various links and interactions between the factions that are present within the various quests, races, and explorer areas that our characters encounter while doing their questing. I just like trying to extend the lore within the game and to try to make my own determinations on how all of these things relate to each other, it at all. As far as the explorer areas, I have already taken a look at the Cerulean Hills, Waterworks, Tangleroot Gorge, Searing Heights, and the Red Fens. I currently have a few characters moving through the Heroic Three Barrel Cove explorer zone with Erdrique (Level 8 Monk) just finishing it up so I wanted to take a second to take a close look at this particular area.
It is well known that the area of Three Barrel Cove is dominated by pirates. However, their are multiple groups of pirates as well as a few other factions spread throughout the island. Here is a quick breakdown of the enemies and their factions in Three Barrel Cove:
1). Captain Dustdyn and his pirates
2). Fire mephits and elementals from the Fire Caves
3). Scorpions-Cove and Night-Lacerator
4). Cannoneer Strinati and Undead
5). Captain Tychonn and his pirates
6). Brine and his sahuagin
7). Dulse, the scrag
8). Chortle and her hyena pack
9). Wild Dogs
10). Salt and Sand mephits
11). Admiral Ancker and his kobold pirates and their rats
12). Vitia and her darkfang spiders
13). Scortchtusk, minotaur
14). Thum, earth elemental
The quick rundown above shows about 14 different factions in Three Barrel Cove. This isn’t quite surprising when you consider the size of and variety of landscapes found throughout the island.
Perhaps the first enemy you encounter in Three Barrel Cove is Scortchtusk, the minotaur. He is typically camped, when present, just inside the wilderness zone aboard the Sea Witch. The Sea Witch is the vessel that Lars Riflee’s vessel who later recruits you to help defend from pirate ogre, Ruug. Due to Scortchtuck’s unfriendly behavior, I would have to guess that he is a member of Ruug’s pirates and is doing what he can to capture Riflee’s precious boat.
Probably the next set of enemies you will encounter will be those pirates from Captain Dustdyn’s encampment. Captain Dustdyn is an orc pirate captain who has a sizeable force that includes orcs, hobgoblins, bugbears, minotaurs, humans, dwarves, and worgs. His encampment controls a primary passage that allows one to get to the Fire Caves and to the other side of Three Barrel Cove much more quickly. One of his more deadlier lieutenants (maybe even his first mate) includes the bugbear bard, Halfgrim Moonhowler. There is no doubt that Captain Dustdyn holds a sizable chunk of the island. His forces are separate and unique from the other pirates located in the Cove.
The next large group of pirates you will eventually come across are those following Captain Tychonn who is an air pirate captain for the West Wind’s Mistress. His band consists of mostly of drow, human, dwarf, halfling, and warforged pirates. He has small groups scattered throughout the island, including some some bands just outside of Captain Dustdyn’s stronghold. These two powerful captains probably parlay with each other, possibly even have a tenous alliance. Dybesh Relix is the first mate for the West Wind’s Mistress and leads a small group of pirates who are positioned not far from the quest Prove Your Worth and who also control a secondary passage that allows you to get to the other side of the island. It is also apparent that Captain Tychonn is no stranger to assassinations either as he also has in his ranks a tiefling assassin named Ithun Orenah, probably hired on as a mercenary. Could it be that Captain Tychonn is planning on the assassination of his rival, Captain Dustdyn?
The last set of pirates are those led by the kobold, Admiral Ancker. He has a sizable force of kobold pirates that have fortified a small alcove not far from the quest Scondrel’s Run. His kobolds consist of many shamans (sea witches) and various types of melee pirates (swashbucklers, gunners, deckhands, etc). Unfortunately for the Admiral, the just doesn’t get any respect from the larger pirate forces on the island. I’m guessing that Admiral Ancker has some type of understanding with the sahaugin forces on the island though as they seem to have a few overlapping territories along the beach. The kobolds also seem to be control, or have trained, a large number of rats to help protect their stronghold.
The next set of enemies you will encounter will be the sahaugin. Unlike those in Korthos, these sahaugin are primarily focused along the beach area. They are led by a vicious warrior named Brine, who tends to guard his gruesome shrine to the Devourer. The sahuagin forces also include some annoying sea witches. The sahaugin do not appear to be allied with anybody except for maybe the kobolds. I’m thinking that they have been driven to the edges of the area, or that Three Barrel Cove is a staging area for underwater base at the inlet to the Red Fens. In either case, the sahaugin forces here are extremely hostile and attack on sight.
Dulse, the scrag, is an interesting conundrum. He is located on one of the smaller islands that is typically controlled by the sahaugin. He is a champion of the Devourer, the same god that is worshipped by the sahaugin. However, he is only one two scrags that I know of in Three Barrel Cove, with the other scrag being Brekik who is located in the quest, Ghost of a Chance. It appears to me that Dulse has formed some type of an alliance with sahaugin or has been hired as a mercenary. One thing that leads me to believe this is that when Dulse isn’t on the island, it happens to be overran with forces from Captain Tychonn. Of course it could be that Dulse is serving at the whims of the Devourer and his assisting the sahaugin in a stronger foothold in Three Barrel Cove or perhaps in regaining some spiritual ground.
Now there are three different sets of elemental outsiders found in Three Barrel Cove. The first set are the fire mephits and fire elementals which are only found along the volcano and to the entrance of the Fire Caves. These mephits and elementals were probably summoned forth by the ogre Shaman Mak-Murong who has overtaken the fire caves. The next set of elementals includes the sand and salt mephits which you encounter along the beach zone from the Admiral Ancker’s encampment and along to West Wind’s Mistress. It is currently unclear who brought forth these outsiders, however Admiral Ancker has a large number of shamans in his forces and I wouldn’t be surprised if they summoned forth the sand mephits to help augment their forces. The same could be said for Captain Tychonn. Dybesh Relix is a powerful cleric and he could have easily summoned for the salt mephits to help guard the beach line on the way to the upper reaches of the West Wind’s Mistress. In this sense these two factions could be separated. Now the last elemental, Thum, is a complete mystery. He is an ancient earth elemental who is located very far from the quest Ghost of a Chance. And although there are a few sahaugin close to him, I don’t see them summoning forth an earth elemental. He maybe the remnant of a different spell caster who is no longer present in the Cove.
Now close to the quest, The Legend of Two Toed Tobias and the mini-arc Garl’s Tomb you will encounter a series of undead led by Cannoneer Strinati. My first inclination is to believe that the Cannoneer and his forces were once members of Tobias’ crew. As a result they guard the entrance to his lair and tend to attack anything that gets in the way. These guys have no allegiances to anybody.
The rest of the factions are what I’m calling the “natural fauna.” These include Lacerator and his various types of scorpions, Chortle and her hyena heard, Vitia and her darkfang spiders and the wild dogs. The scorpions are primarily located along the beach line, with a few night scorpions along the way to the fire caves prior to the fire mephits and elemental guardians. They tend to have a limit up to the sahuagin territory. Vitia and her small group of spiders are found in a dense forest alcove just past Scondrel’s run. Chortle is located right next to the quest Prove Your Worth while her hyenas are spread out a little more loosely. And the wild dogs, obviously strays from dead pirate owners, are primarily located just behind the quest Prove Your Worth. All of these groups are independent of each other and basically don’t tend to overlap.
So, as you can see their are quite a number of different groups and factions spread throughout Three Barrel Cove. Most of them act independently of each other and it is perhaps the most segmented zone yet, with distinct boundaries between the various pirates and other factions.
Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in Heroic Three Barrel Cove.