The other day I took Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) into the Lordsmarch Plaza and the Lordsmarch Palace to take on the quest Eyes of Stone. Eyes of Stone is a level 12 quest and was part of the Update 7 set of quests that also included Diplomatic Impunity and Framework which are collectively known as the Deception of Stormreach chain. This little quest line is actually the precursor to the Attack on Stomreach chain. Eyes of Stone does require you to complete the quests Diplomatic Impunity and Framework to be properly flagged (you can still pop into the quest if another party is flagged and you are not though). The quest giver is Tollis Kalmor, a head guard, who is located in the Lordsmarch Plaza. Tollis tells you that something isn’t quite right and he fears that something is going happen and asks for your help to look into his suspicions.
The basic premise of the quest is that the Droaam abassador, Hestess, has betrayed the trust of the Coin Lords and orchestrated an invading party to take over the Lordsmarch Palace and to capture the Coin Lords. As you make your way through the palace you come across a number of interesting and potentially fatal situations. Shortly after you enter the quest, which starts in the Lordsmarch Plaza at night, you are ambushed by a small band of Droaam troops. After you dispatch them you then enter the palace and encounter a few guards that have been petrified and a steward is who extremely terrified. If you didn’t know by now, Hestess is a medussa. The steward then tells you that Hestess has turned a number of palace inhabitants into stone and then tells you that there is a salve that can remove the petrification and that is stored in the library.
The quest then spans throughout the rest of the palace and its multiple levels and then back through the plaza to eventually lead you back to the top of the palace to fight Hestess and her protective band of Droaam troops. The quest enemies you will encounter are primarily kobold Droaam demolitionists, half orcs, orcs, ogres, and gnolls. There are also a four named gnolls that each control a special elemental that are guarding the petrified coin lords in individual rooms. There is also an optional monstrous troll named Mangle that you can take on in another part of the palace as you are making your way to open up gates to allow you access to the palace areas that have been sealed off by the Droaam troops. The quest also contains a number of secret doors. The interesting aspect about these secret doors is that they hide passages that lead from each Coin Lord’s private room to another. Makes you wonder if the Coin Lords like to spy on each other. There are also a few other sources of optional experience, including releasing a number of guards from their petrification status and by collapsing the hastily build tunnel the Droaam have used to break into the palace.
The layout of the palace can sometimes be confusing. It never fails that I will get turned around a couple of times. You have to make your across the different levels of palace, which also involves doing some double backing to open up gates that have been closed by the Droaam forces. You even have to go back to the plaza. As for traps, there are a few traps that are supposed to be “fire extinguishers” and that shoot out freezing cold spray in the library. The library also contains a few secret bookshelves that can be slid over to make your way through the library a little easier.
Hestess is in the upper reaches of the palace and is guarded by a number of troops. The palace room where she is hiding contains a number of special mirrors that can be turned around by throwing levers. The idea behind the mirrors is that Hestess will be petrify herself if you can get her to stare at herself. For the most part, I simply bypass this method and tend to immediately attack her. However, before I do that, I tend to take out any gnoll mages or clerics that might also be with her. Hestess is a spellcaster and a powerful combatant. Her most potent attack is her petrification and as soon as I hear and see the animation for that going off, I quickly run away. That particular attack doesn’t last very long and as soon as the attack is complete, I quickly go back to battle. The myriad of enemies as well as the abilities of Hestess make this fight pretty challenging.
The quest is a fun one. This particular quest gives you your first exposure to dealing with a medussa, who you will encounter a whole lot more in the Attack on Stormreach Chain. If you haven’t played this quest before, I would recommend giving it a play through. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Lordsmarch Palace!!