I have come to realize something relatively recently. What I realized is that there are just those quests where no matter how well you plan or how well you know the quest you are just destined to get killed. These quests vary from player to player, and possibly even from character to character, but nonetheless they definitely occur. For me, this particular quest appears to be Undermine. I just don’t quite get it. Anytime I run this quest, I suffer a humiliating defeat in one way or another. I just took Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue) through Undermine and found myself as a soul stone more than halfway through the quest. Undermine is part of the Attack on Stormreach Quest Chain. This chain includes the quests Assault on Summerfiled, Blockade Buster, and the capstone quest, Seigebreaker. You can run the three quests prior to the capstone in any order but if you do follow the story line then Undermine will be the third quest in the chain.
Undermine is a devious quest. It centers around the forces of Droaam bulding a very rough and unstable tunnel to conduct a surprise attack on Stormreach through the Lordsmarch Plaza and Palace. The quest begins with your character defeating the initial waves of Droaam troops and then hopping own into the tunnel to thwart any other further attempts at an invasion. The initial invading force is composed of Droaam gnolls, orcs, half-orcs, and orges. When you enter the tunnel, you have to deal with these same enemies and more including the various Droaam kobolds and some angry earth elementals. There are also a few other optional monsters to encounter. As you character makes their way through the mine, you learn that the chief engineer is a wicked kobold who has no qualms sacrificing his brethren to save his own hide.
Erdrique and his little party making their way through Undermine prior to him getting killed.
Undermine has a few features that make the quest somewhat unique. First off, as you chase the chief engineer, he will create miniature blockades that will require you to find and obtain other explosives that need to be charged and placed to blow the rubble away so you can continue on. One thing to note here, is that if you don’t move you’ll blow yourself up as well. Now this mechanic isn’t new and is in a few other quests but it is unique to this chain of quests. The other unique feature is the huge minefield you have to cross to get to the end of the tunnel. You eventually come upon a very large minefield where you have three different methods to cross it: 1). blow up the mines with various charges (same as those used to blow up the rubble), 2), disable them with a ton of thieves tools, or 3), jump on the ledges that are littered throughout the minefield. Oh to top that off the minefield is also full of Droaam forces on the ledges waiting to harass you. You could also try to run across the minefield assuming you have a high reflex save and evasion but I wouldn’t do this route. In any case, I tend to get killed her most often as I attempt to blow up the mines and always wind up missing one. Although I admit, I didn’t get killed here doing this last run. The next and final unique feature of this quest, is the large rolling boulder that comes down upon you, very much like what happens to Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You eventually hit a specific spot in the tunnel when the a huge boulder is unleashed and sill smash you unless you move off the side quick enough or destroy it (destroying it is actually an optional objective).
The combination of these situations and the enemies you encounter make the quest interesting. What killed me during this particular run through was a gnoll warpriest champion. I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t realized that the champion was there and before I new it I was a soul stone after taking its punishing magical attacks. I actually got killed just before the minefield. However, I was able to get back up and to limb my way through the rest of the quest. Although my pride was broken, I did make it through the quest.
In either case, Undermine is just that quest. No matter what, I end up as a soulstone at least once during that quest. If you haven’t tried it, I would recommend it. It is interesting and has its funny moments as well as its frustrating moments. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in Undermine!!