Last night I took Charlock (Level 16 Fighter) through the quest Hiding in Plain Sight. Hiding in Plain Sight, better known as HIPS, is a free to play quest that is located in the Harbor. This quest actually extends the Baudry Cartamon quest line while at the same time opening up the storyline that leads us to the Restless Isles. The quest is actually bestowed by an Inquistive Ingaram who is residing in the Wayward Lobster. The Inquisitive is investigating the issues and troubles of Baudry Cartaman with respect to his shipping business and with his chief rival, Hazadill. As we learn more about what is going on, we realize that Baudry is concerned that his fellow employees are working against him and for Hazadill. He asks us to check on this possibility so we venture back into the same warehouse we helped to protect in our early days in the Harbor as a young and bright adventurer.
Coming across Hazadill’s henchmen in the sewers connected to Cartaman’s warehouse.
Hiding in Plain Sight can be quite challenging at level. It is also a relatively long quest, which is a little ironic concerning that the Protect Baudry’s Interest quest is extremely short. One thing about Hiding in Plain Sight is that it is laden with breakables. One of the quest optional objectives is to destroy 75 shipping crates. I also find it funny that Baudry doesn’t seem to mind that you destroy a large portion of barrels in his warehouse and I even wrote about that a while ago here.
Charlock taking the opportunity to break some barrels in Baudry’s warehouse.
So what else is Baudry shipping?
The vast majority of the quest occurs in the Stormreach Sewers under the Harbor. As you enter the warehouse you catch notice of two individuals hanging out by a secret door and then see one take off. As you defeat the lone worker and descend down the bath to the sewers, you encounter a wide variety of things. First off, it doesn’t take very long before you start running into various types of traps. Hiding in Plain sight contains some wicked traps that include acid spray traps, poison spray traps, spinning blades, sliding blades, and large slicing blades. There is also at least one hidden door in the sewers that hides a contingent of cartel forces and conceals a room filled with breakables and a chest.
Charlock meditating for his next battle in the sewers.
Charlock making his way through the sewers to find Hazadill.
Charlock exploring the sewers on his way to find Hazadill.
The vast majority of the enemies you encounter are humanoids of some sort. These include halflings, humans, warforged, elves, dwarfes, bugbears, and ogres. There are also a few other critters including a slime or two, some defenders (mithral and adamantine), and a nest of darkfang spiders. We basically run into two different factions when we make our way through these sewers, those from Hazadill’s cartel and those from the Aurum, who appear to be working with Hazadill. The Aurum representatives appear to be casters while the cartel enemies are more melee oriented, including a number that can sneak up and attack you like a rogue. Hazadill is a bugbear and he is protected by two of his bugbear buddies (Froz and Radek) as well as a member of the Aurum team.
Taking out some of the members of the Aurum who are helping Hazadill.
This particular quest contains a number of “highlights” that make the quest memorable. First off, it actually carries you through a few of the low level quests that you made it through when you first came to the Harbor with those being Protect Baudry’s Interests and Information is Key. It is curious to wonder if Osgood has anything to do with Hazadill. There is also a part of the dungeon where Hazadill’s forces are actually dealing with the dangers with using the Harbor sewers as you stumble upon them fighting off some slimes. That always brings a smile to my face, watching another enemy having to deal with slimes for once. Another memorable point for this quest is nest of darkfang spiders that make their home about halfway through the quest and behind a trapped door. I’m not sure how the Hazadill’s troops move back and forth through this area but they have to move through these spiders to get to Hazadill’s lair. Makes one wonder if Hazadill has accrued some pets over the years.
Charlock waiting for the goons to deal with the slimes.
Stumbling across some spiders in HIPS.
The quest also contains a small by notable swimming portion to it. To make it Hazadill, you have to swim through a series of tunnels that are lines with spinning blade traps that raise up and down from the base of the floor. This tunnel is just past the spider nest. At the end of the tunnel is a super huge blade (actually a few blades) that conceal the bottom of the shaft. At the bottom of the shaft, there is a possibility that the trinket Bottle of Air can be found. Another fun factoid, in one of the side rooms just before the end fight with Hazadill, is a stash of explosive barrels that evidently come from the explosive expert Philver Sharpwood, who has been having issues with the Quickfoot gang, if you remember from the quest An Explosive Situation. Makes you wonder about him as well.
Charlock isn’t looking forward to going down there.
Luckily these spinning blades are avoidable with some patience.
Now that is a vicious looking set of blades.
Charlock blowing up a bunch of explosives that are marked from Philver Sharpwood.
When HIPS was first released, the end fight was quite challenging. Hazadill tended to through up a lot of Otto’s Sphere of Dancing and he has the ability to self heal as well as some of his fellow groupies. It isn’t as difficult now as it used to be. But, it can still be challenging at level.
Finally encountering Hazadill and his lieutenants.
Charlock fighting Hazadill as he heals himself at the end of HIPS.
If you are interested in a medium length quest for the level 10 to 14 range, HIPS would be a good once to try. It has a diversity of traps, some potentially lethal enemies, plenty of breakables, and some fun little lore mechanics. Check it out when you get a chance. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in HIPS!!