One thing I have learned from reading the DDO Forums over the years and from my game time is that players either really like the Necropolis (minus the Orchard) or hate the Necropolis. There isn’t a whole lot of players who are in the middle ground with these quests. I for one happen to be one of those who are somewhat in the middle. I do like the Necropolis quests for the most part, but some of them are just frustrating such as Tomb of the Tormented or Tomb of the Blighted. Recently I took Charlock (Level 14 Fighter) into the capstone quest for the Necropolis II chain, the Shadow Crypt. The be flagged for the Shadow Crypt, you have to complete the four Shadow Tomb quests: Tomb of the Shadow Guard, Tomb of the Shadow Lord, Tomb of the Shadow Knight, and Tomb of the Shadow King. Now these particular quests are known to be a little frustrating because they contain a very large number of “shadow” monsters which require the use of ghost touch or ghost bane weapons for your attacks to be 100% effective. These quests contain the typical incorporeal monsters such as wraiths, shadows, and specters but they also contain umbral worgs and umbral gargoyles. Not to mention, the joy and fun we have concerning the phase spiders which aren’t incorporeal but phase in and out constantly.
The primary “home” for these monsters is aptly named the Shadow Crypt. The Shadow Crypt is bestowed by an NPC known as “The Herald.” When you enter the quest, the first thing you encounter is a wounded NPC who tells you that the Shadow Crypt is a twisted maze. Shortly after talking to her, you are then assaulted by a number of wraiths and specters, some of which are orange-named. After the assault you can go into one of three directions that discover what lies in this maze. This quest is unique, in that each room you enter you transport like you would from one room to another, instead of just entering into the next room. The maze layout can be quite frustrating but luckily the folks with DDOwiki have done a good job at mapping it out. As you make your way through the maze, you will encounter five different types of rooms. One room type will be flooded and will require you to make your way through a maze underwater. Another room type will contain a small pyramid in the center of it. The third room type will be another small maze, although this one isn’t underwater. The fourth room type will have a series of torches for you to light. And the last room type will contain a number of columns. The idea for the quest is to make your way through the overall maze and to collect four different color gears. Each room you enter will be a different color from red, yellow, blue, or green. That color gear will be stored in a chest in each room. You need obtain two gears of each color to unlock four levers to enter the last room. If you get three gears of each color you can use the extra gears to get access to special locked quest at the end of the quest.
The primary enemies you will encounter will be the umbral worgs, umbral gargoyles, wraiths, specters, and shadows with some phase spiders mixed in for good measure. You will also be forced to fight the shadow council (Shadow Guard, Shadow Lord, Shadow Knight, and Shadow King) once you make it to the end. Once the council is defeated you will have access to the end fight, Nerezza, who is powerful vampire. You fight Nerezza in a completely black room and have to deal with ability to make numerous copies of himself. Once you defeat him you can collect the Twisted Apocrypha and be taking back to the end of the crypt where you will be able to loot your chest and activate the last set of levers with any of the extra gears you may have.
This particular quest can be annoying in that you can easily get turned around and separated from your party if you don’t transition from one room to the next together. You can also get lost pretty easily as well. One thing it has going for it, is that it does hand out a lot of experience. At level 11 on elite, it still handed out nearly 30,000 experience and that didn’t count the optionals. It is definitely a different style quest.
Give the Shadow Crypt a try. Just make sure you have your ghost touch/ghostbane weapons handy and be prepared to get turned around quite a bit :). Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!!