There used to be a time where I couldn’t stand to run the quest Dead Girl’s Spellbook (Valak’s Mausoleum). Valak’s Mausoleum, probably better known as Dead Girl’s Spellbook, is one of the side quests out in Delera’s Graveyard. Dead Girl’s Spellbook was one of the earliest quest to use a time limited mechanic in DDO. It is a level 6 quest that is bestowed by a NPC who is known as “Dead Girl” and who is standing just outside the quest entrance within Delera’s Graveyard. The point of the quest is to retrieve Valak’s spellbook which contains some poweful necromantic secrets. Of course Dead Girl doesn’t tell you what is in the spellbook, she only mentions that Valak was her mentor and died recently and now her studies are incomplete, unless of course she can get a hold of his spellbook. She does tell you that Valak was a little “mad” and has set a number of traps and other nasty things within his grave to protect his spellbook, evening casting some type of a spell that will kick you out of his grave after a short while (thirty minutes).
Well, I just took Erdrique (Level 9 Monk) through Valak’s Mausoleum. This particular quest can be very frustrating for those who aren’t familiar with its layout and with its contents. As you can imagine, their is a large amount of undead in this quest. You will encounter a number of skeletons (warriors, archers, and arcane skeletons), wights (including priests), wraiths, and mephits. Another aspect of this quest is that it contains a number of runes that are activated by throwing levers or turning valves, some vicious large blade traps, a mini-maze, a little swimming, and some ambushes.
As you enter the quest, your first challenge will need to be to open up a rune controlled door. To activate the runes you have to throw four levers. These levers are guarded by a number of skeletons and wights that tend to spawn once you activate the levers. The main thing to remember during this whole quest is that it is timed and that you should try to be as efficient as possible on taking out these enemies, while doing what you can to not to engage dungeon alert.
Getting past the first room will lead you into a room where you can lose some time if you aren’t careful. You basically are lead into a mini-maze that is guarded by some wraiths and skeletons, including arcane skeletons. You can lose time here if you don’t realize that the end of the maze is sealed by a door and that door can only be opened when three wall levers are activated to light up three runes that seal the door. So when you enter the maze look for the levers first and then make your way out. It also should be noted that this area contains a hidden door that conceals a rest and resurrection shrine if needed. Also, when you throw a wall lever the arcane skeletons will spawn.
Now, after the get past the mini-maze you will encounter a lengthy hallway that does nothing but spell “trap.” As you can guess, it is trapped with three very large blades. If you have an evasion character (which was lucky for me I did), you can easily evade the traps, otherwise you will have do your best to time them. Of course this assuming you don’t have a character that can disable them.
Once you pass the large blade traps you will enter a very large room that contains a catwalk. You can’t see the opposite end of the room but as you can imagine it is sealed with another rune controlled door. To open the door, you have to turn two valves that are located on the catwalks that activate the runes. Now, this is one room where you can waste a huge amount of time. This room spawns a number of skeletons (archers and warriors) and if you take the time to destroy them all, you will lose a large amount of time. Your best bet here is to run along the catwalk and throw the levers and then fall down (feather fall) from the catwalk to the door and move forward.
Once you get past the catwalk room, you will enter another lengthy hallway which again spells “trap.” But instead it offers an ambush. As you enter the end of the hallway, the door slams shut and you have to battle your way back to take out the wights and other enemies that have followed you. When you kill the correct enemies, the door will open.
When the door opens and you enter the next room you will encounter another sealed door. Figures right. Well this time you realize you need to go for a swim. The room you entered is actually covered by a shallow pool that will lead you to two other rooms, each with a lever. Each lever, when thrown, will spawn an ambush of undead mobs, including one of the levers being guarded by Valak’s first born. The levers will open the door in the other room so you can proceed further on.
The next room you enter is another large room, where again you can lose a large amount of time. This room has two levels and each level has rooms on each side, west and east. Make sure you stay on the lower level and clear out the room to the west and east. Each room will have a lever that opens up the congruent doors on the upper level. When you get to the upper level you will enter those side rooms as well and throw another two levers to open up the final passageway. You lose time in this room if you don’t clear out the lower levels first and if you waste time trying to defeat all the enemies.
The next hallway leads to the final chamber where you will take on Valak and his minon’s. It is guarded by a set of mephits but that is it. The last chamber is pretty spacious with a large, ornate coffin which is the resting place for Valak. Valak, a powerful arcane caster, is pretty interesting as he wields this large scepter/staff and casts his spells at your. He is guarded by a set of wight priests. After you defeat Valak, you can grab his spellbook and complete the quest.
The quest itself is pretty challenging on your first go round because you don’t know the layout of the quest and where the time sinks are. I hope this will help those who try this quest on the first time.
Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting everybody!!