Earlier in the week, I got my first look at one of the quests from Update 28, Grim and Barrett. I took Erdrique (Level 20 Rogue/Fury of the Wild) into the quest on heroic elite. Grim and Barrett is a level 14 quest, making it level 16 on elite. I took Erdrique into the quest on heroic elite to get an idea of what the quest was like. Although I was level 20, I must say that I still found the quest challenging in many respects. I really liked how the quest opened up, with Arraetrikos confronting you as soon as you entered the Gatekeeper’s Hostel and then simply dismissing you so that his minions can deal with you. If you aren’t aware of the storyline behind the quest, basically Arraetrikos has decided to invade Gatekeeper’s Hostel in order to achieve some type of Planar Awl, an ancient relic from the Daelkyr invasion centuries before. You are basically recruited to drive the devil’s out of Hostel and to rescue any of the druid Gatekeeper’s if possible.
Coming across Arraetrikos in the quest Grim and Barrett.
The layout and design of the quest is pretty straightforward. After Arraetrikos confronts you, you get attacked by a wave of devils, primarily abishai. The red abishai are particularly dangerous. They tend to like to through some powerful fireballs and/or meteor swarms which can be quite deadly. Especially to those characters with out a high magical resistance rating or no evasion. My hireling cleric was pasted twice by their constant barrage. They were the first creatures I went after during each encounter.
Erdrique making his way through the quest Grim and Barret.
The graphical representation of the Hostel was quite well done in my opinion. The detail put into the various book cases, crates, walls, and alleyways was quite impressive in my opinion. The Hostel is also an interesting place containing a nice mixture of a Inn and an open air courtyard in one. A nice little setting for druids, which I thought fit the order of the Gatekeepers quite well. There were also a few traps you need to deal with, the old style Eberron slicing blade traps around a nice solid set of crates. Overall, I thought this was a nice layout.
Erdrique coming out into the courtyard in Grim and Barrett.
The enemies you come across were interesting as well. They primarily consisted of abishai but you also come across a named orthon (the jailor) and the minions of the Lords of Dust, aspirants and rhakshasas. This also highlights the new “allegiance” that has been developed and struck between Arraetrikos and his devils and the rhakshasas.
Taking on Mythron to get the keys to the jail.
One thing I found a little light hearted and fun about this quest is how Barret breaks down the druid portals that are put into place throughout the quest. It doesn’t take you long to find Barrett, a druid who is wild-shaped as a dire bear. When you find him, he informs you that he will assist you in taking down those barriers as you approach them. Basically, this involves you calling him forward so that he can barrel through them and knock them out. It is quite comical to watch a dire bear running down a hall and just bull dozing through a wall!!
Erd and his hirelings finishing off a group abishai.
The biggest issue I had with this quest wasn’t actually about the quest itself but more about finding the quest. It took me about twenty minutes to finally locate the appropriate planescaller/farshifter in the Hall of Heroes that would transport you to the appropriate place in the Harbor. This was quite frustrating at first because I knew that I had to go to the Hall of Heroes to find this transporter but he wasn’t marked on the map and didn’t realize this until I happened to talk to him by chance. Hopefully finding the other quests won’t be so much of an issue.
Over all, I found the quest quite fun. I look forward to checking out the rest of them. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!