Earlier in January, I took Erdrique (Level 15 Monk) through a few slayer areas including Ataraxia’s Haven. The factions that occur out in the Haven are both unique and interesting and the enemy factions can be quite tough. I have already taken a look at the Cerulean Hills, Waterworks, Tangleroot Gorge, Three Barrel Cove (Heroic), Searing Heights, Sorrowdusk Isle, Red Fens, and Restless Isles and now would like to take a closer look at Ataraxia’s Haven. Ataraxia’s Haven is a fun wilderness zone and can be a large source of quick experience. You can get to Ataraxia’s Haven by talking to port masters in the Harbor, House Deneith, and House Kundarak that will also offer passage to Three Barrel Cove.
The first thing to do is to list the various types of factions we encounter in this fun wilderness area. These include the following:
1). Sykros and Leros, NPCs and quest givers
2). Duergar, (Bororo the supervisor and Dranem the sniper)
3). Mirot and his Wildmen
4). Goregra and her hyenas
5). Kithba and her razorcats
6). Schenker and his scorpions
7). Dulk and his scrag trolls
8). Hellgut and his darkfang spiders
9). Arboth, the nutty kobold
10). Bestore and his rusty monsters
Unlike the Restless Isles, the other Level 10 explorer area, Ataraxia’s haven has a nice diversity of enemies. However, the first two people you encounter when you leave the boat is Sykros and Leros. They both are key to some of the links between the factions in the area. Sykros, as we learn, purchased the island and named it Ataraxia’s Haven after his daughter and planned on making it a resort area. To help him with this endeavor he hired Leros to help keep some balance and control with the native wildlife. However, their plans were waylaid when a clan of duergar landed on the island and bullied and intimidated Sykros so that they could mine the island relentlessly. Leros is especially angry as they are rapidly destroying the ecosystem and balance of the island. As a result, both of these NPCs give you quests that directly relate to undermining the efforts of the duergar.
The duergar, in the meanwhile, have taken over a large portion of the island, including the center of the island where they have established their mining center and the lighthouse where they are holding Sykro’s daughter, Ataraxia, prisoner. The duergar on the surface of Ataraxia’s Haven are led by Bororo and he commands a significant force of miners, bards, rangers, and spellswords. He has also stationed his best archer, Dranem, as a sniper in the gazebo that overlooks the island to keep an eye out on things. According to Leros, the duergar have been a force to reckon with on the island and have been hunting down the native wildlife for sport and for food which he says has made the native inhabitants increasingly dangerous and bloodthirsty.
However, the relationship between the native wildmen and duergar appears to be a little more complicated than Leros has suggested. The wildmen, led by Mirot, do not outright attack the duergar and often are associated with Danem by his overlooking gazebo. I’m wondering if Mirot and Bororo have come to some type of uneasy agreement where the duergar will provide the wildmen with some type of goods and will allow them to hold their own territory as long as they don’t interfere with the duergar activities and help defend the island. Oh course I can see this easily changing if the duergar continue to slaugther the other fauna on the island leaving the wildmen with no source of food. But the wildmen are probably easily manipulated.
Now, how do the scrags fit into this. This has led me to a real quandary. It appears that the scrags on the surface of the island, led by Dulk, appear to be supporting the duergar as they tend to not work against them. However, this relationship has soured somewhere down the line because the scrag have ambushed the duergar in the caves leading to the lighthouse as we learn in the quest Sykros Jewel. This relationship appears to be changing as our characters come across them at different points on island. One thing that is evident, is that the scrags and wildmen seem to having nothing to do with each other. They tend to solely inhabit their various portions of the island without any overlap suggesting that the scrags and wildmen have come up with a natural and mutual understanding over years of coexistence.
The next set of creatures we encounter are the natural hunters of the island. I’m not sure of the prey items that would be available, as we really don’t encounter them, but the island is probably rich in prey resources to support this type of population. Of course these predators could be preying on each other, and occasionally taking a wildman or a scrag here and there, but I find that a little unlikely. All told, we have at least four primary predators on the island including Goregra and the hyenas, Kithba and the razorcats, Schenker and the scorpions, and Hellgut and the darkfang spiders. The habitat range of the hyenas and razorcats tend to overlap a little bit but for the most part they inhabit separate portions of the island. One thing I have noticed, the hyenas are typically found with the wildmen while the razorcats are typically found with the scrags. This could show some type of taming of these large predators by the wildmen and the scrags. Schenker and his scorpions are primarily located along the beach shorelines and seem to be loners for the most part. I have seen them mixed with the razorcats and scrags but vary rarely. The real mystery with these large predators is Hellgut and darkfang spiders. These guys are only found in the Abandoned Temple. The spiders are not located on any other portion of the island except for the quest Sykro’s Jewel where you encounter Deluge. This makes me think that the duergar brought Deluge and Hellgut with them to the Haven in one capacity or another. Or, perhaps, there is some type of passage between the Abandoned Temple and the lighthouse that allows the spiders to move freely back and forth. Both of which are intriguing.
The only prey source that I could think of for the large network of predators are the rust monsters. Of course Bestore and the rest of the rust monsters are not simple prey items. These large creatures are found along the shoreline and in the Ocean Cave. They are sometimes intermixed with the scorpions along the shorelines of the island. I can easily see the the predators of the island feasting on the young of these creatures but once they hit adult size, they are pretty much left alone.
Now, perhaps one of the most unique and interesting entities in all of the explorer areas is Arboth. This crazy kobold is located on a smaller island offshore of the Haven by the rest shrine. He is definitely one strange character as he claims to be a dragon until you pointedly show him that he is nothing more than kobold. It makes you wonder what else this crazy creature is trying to hide and why in the world he is found here and how he actually has survived in the harsh environment of Ataraxia’s Haven with all of those large predators running around.
Ataraxia’s Haven is a fun zone. It contains a number of interesting links between the natural fauna and its humanoid inhabitants. This is probably one of the more “natural” areas in terms of that aspect as many of the explorer zones up to this point are dominated by links between competing or warring factions.
Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in Ataraxia’s Haven.