It has been a little while since I took a detailed look at a quest. Since Erdrique (Level 3 Rogue) is re-making his way through the Harbor I figured it would be a good time to take a look at a lower quest. The quest I chose is probably one of the more difficult Harbor quests for its level, Walk Through the Butcher’s Path. Although Walk Through a Butcher’s Path is only a level 2 quest on normal, making it a level 4 on elite, walking blindly into this quest can be disastrous. There are a number of fun and interesting aspects to the quest that do make it an interesting run besides being tough.
The quest giver is a NPC named Mistress Ahura, who happens to be an elf, and who is located not far from the Fallowcrest Library in the middle of the Harbor. Speaking of the Mistress Ahura, I always wondered whose mistress she really is, but I guess I can wonder about that at some other time. Mistress Ahura tells you that many adventurers have tried to rid the sewers of the many evil creatures that inhabit it but not many have returned. She then tells you the sewer entrance isn’t all that far away.
The layout of the Butcher’s Path is similar to the other numerous sewers of the Harbor. You basically are exploring the tunnels under the surface that are dimly lit and that remind a person of some strange dungeon and you can also tell that these tunnels were constructed by giants from their high ceilings and width. The quest is actually pretty linear but it is rather lengthy. The quest also contains a number of mechanics that are introductory to higher level quests including secret doors, ambushes, the use of runes, strength and intelligent checks, swimming into hidden rooms, and fighting in narrow passage ways. Shortly after you enter the quest you will have the opportunity to spot and find a hidden door that leads to a quick kobold ambush. Later on in the quest, you have the opportunity to find some other secret doors that have valves you can turn to grant access to levers and runes to obtain another optional. Another interesting aspect of the quest is that the tunnels will narrow drastically at some points, creating “choke” points which can be extremely dangerous if you can’t swarmed in them. There are also two locations where you can enter the water to look for two other optional enemies. One of these you can access by jumping over to a gate instead of swimming under it. A rogue has some interesting time in here because of the secret doors and ability to unlock a few different things. However, there is only one trap that I can think of which is located in the water on the way to an optional encounter.
One particular dangerous part of the quest is the second ambush area that is triggered when you loot a chest. When the chest is looted, some gates drop down and you are attacked by a few waves of kobolds. Back in the day, the kobolds just swarmed you in mass numbers but now this has been changed so that the kobolds swarm in waves instead. Once the first wave is eliminated the second wave is released and so forth.
As for enemies, the Butcher’s Path is mainly dominated by our ever friendly kobold, The kobold shamans are particularly dangerous with their lightning bolts and obscuring mist spells. There are also a few oozes, which can also be quite annoying, especially if you don’t have a weapon to deal with them (muckbane or everbright). Besides these enemies, there are a few rare/optionals as well. First off there is an optional ogre that is located behind a locked door that can lead to quite an interesting battle. There is also a troglodyte chief that is behind a door that requires a strength check to open. Before you get to the troglodyte chief you will come to an area where you can either swim through a tunnel or leap to a locked gate above the water. Both routes will take you to another troglodyte rare encounter, a dangerous shaman. Another casting shaman is located past another tunnel in the second area where you can go for a swim, although this one is a warlock. The last rare encounter is another kobold who happens to be a witch doctor who seems to like to camp out at the sewer exit.
The combination of these enemies, as well as their numbers, can easily overwhelm a low level party, especially on elite. The Butcher’s Path gives adventurers some exposure in how to deal with ambushes, how to work with secret doors and their hidden mechanisms, a diversity of rare and powerful optionals, and dealing with narrow hallways. It is a challenging quest for low levels but still a fun one. If you get a chance, make sure you take the challenge of the Butcher’s Path.
Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Harbor!!