Although the quest chain The High Road of Shadows has been out for quite some time, the only exposure I have had with it has been to run some slayers in the wilderness area with a few of my higher level characters. Up to this point, I haven’t had the desire or the need to run through the quests that were released with the pack. However, I’m currently working on completing the non-raid heroic quests on elite with Erdrique (Level 22 Rogue/Fury of the Wild) and came up to these set of quests in my Adventure Compendium. The first quest in this chain is called Detour. The quest giver is Tibalt Dormen, a Harper located not faraway from the entrance zone to the High Road. When talking to Tibalt, we learn that Oriphaun has broken up a nether scroll and another Harper wizard has found one of the pieces. However, he appears that he needs to be escorted to the Harper’s lodge to place the scroll piece in a safe place.
Erdrique wishing he had that ability to ward off damage.
The reason why the escort is needed is because the Harper wizard who found the Nether scroll piece, Bensen Virandson, is now being tracked by members of the Netherese and their hired hands. As a result, Bensen has been forced to take a “detour” on his way to the lodge. Luckily for us, the starting point to the deter, the Greenweald Lande, isn’t far from the beginning of the High Road. Now one thing I found extremely interesting is what I saw as soon as I entered the quest. As soon as you step into the quest, you enter a little building that has a few cabinets and desks. On one of these desks, a layer scrolls is spread out that are all interactable. At first I thought that these were collectibles and then as I read them I realized they were short biographies on some powerful characters. I wondered if these characters would be in this quest. It turns out they do appear as optional encounters as you escort Bensen to the Lodge. This bit of lore I found really interesting and I haven questioned the back ground to some of the rare/named encounters we come across in a few other quests and this type of mechanic is a great way to fill that void for sure!!
Erdrique looking up the Greenweald Lane.
The quest layout is pretty straightforward. You continue out of the initial building and meet up with Bensen and then follow the road around its twisty path and then into the woods to get to the lodge. During the entire trip, we are constantly ambushed by either the Netherese and their hired hand, by the natural wildlife (primarily wolves and dire bears), and sometimes by dretches which are just randomly spawned by the Nether scroll fragment itself. As for traps, the only ones I noted were some spell wards but they were annoying to deal with because when I discovered them I was also being attacked.
Coming across one of the powerful mercenaries in Detour.
A large portion of the ambushes are lead by one of the names mentioned in the scrolls you noticed in the beginning of the house. Now although the quest is really an escort quest, you don’t really have to worry about Bensen. He takes cave of himself quite well and even has some parts in the conversation where he makes fun of “escorts” and how he is a Harper wizard who can take care of himself. Once you make it to lodge, you will encounter another large battle when you get downstairs.
Erdrique finally coming across the Harper Lodge.
Erdrique preparing for a vicious battle in Detour.
Overall, I found the quest unique. I really liked the extra knowledge of those scrolls on the various optional names you come across. I also like the extra help the wizard gives you during the battles. The waves of enemies was sometimes annoying, but this primarily because I was trying to move through it relatively more quickly that I should have because I was trying to get done so that I could make dinner. It was a fun quest and I look forward to seeing what the other quests in the chain have. Thanks for reading everybody and Happy Halloween!!