Starting off 2017 with Some Questing

I have been writing up short summaries of my quest runs for quite a while now.  I mainly do this to highlight the various types of quest there are in DDO and for me to help track my own progress over time.  I used to do compile two blogs a week to highlight these runs, one blog post would track my questing from Mondays to Thursdays and the second post would highlight my questing from Friday through Sunday.  With the start of the new year I want to continue the general thoughts of summarizing my questing runs but I want to one post to cover the week. Of course, this blog will cover two weeks, since I didn’t get a chance to do one last week :(.

To start the new year off, I took Erdrique  (Level 10 Bard) and Sttollen (Level 11 Rogue) through Mirra’s Sleepless Nights, Purge the Herectics, Sorrowdusk Isle, The Iron Mines: Freeing Achka, and The Iron Mines: Justice for Grust.  While making my way through Mirra’s Sleepless Nights I completed the optional for locating and destroying the source of the wailing.  In Purge the Heretics, I completed the optional objectives to slaughter the halfling mercenaries and all of the commoners.  When I went into Sorrowdusk Isle, to pick up and start the quests for Grey Moon, I collected 125 slayers for Erdrique and Sttollen, located all explorer points; collected the awards for slaying 10, 25, 50, and 100 slayers; and located and defeated Teargon, Furley, and Saate.  Once inside  the Iron Mines, I came across the rare encounter Powder in Freeing Achka and in Justice for Grust I defeated Corrosion, Chef Grank, and Champion Prienyl.  However, while running through Justice for Grust, Erdrique got  squashed by an ogre champion, which made the quest quite interesting.

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Erdrique making his way through Mirra’s Sleepless Nights.

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Erdrique fighting his way to Achka.

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Erdrique battling Corrosion in Justice for Grust.

 

 

On January 2, I took Erdrique and Sttollen into the Searing Heights explorer area to kick things out for the day. While out there, I collected 226 slayers for Erdrique and Sttollen.  Erdrique also picked up a monster manual deed for orc hunter and received 2.260 experience.  Both Erdrique and Sttollen collected the rewards for 10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 kills.  The kills included the rare encounters for the first mate, Ghamzee, Calcine, Giallo, and Itharn Ushu.  Erdrique also collected all of the explorer points.  Later in the day, I took Erdrique and Sttollen back into Searing Heights and this time I collected all of the explorer points with Sttollen.  I also collected 138 more slayers and collected the rare encounters for Shute Ruggzen, Hazai Haatha, and Cruor Russo.

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Erdrique taking on the sights of Searing Heights.

 

I didn’t log back into DDO until Wednesday, January 4th.  I took Garrrin (Level 23 Barbarian/Primal Avatar) out into the King’s Forrest.  While out there, Garrrin collected 45 slayers including six dire bears and one astral panther.  Shortly after that run, I then logged Hamllin (Level 20 Fighter/Shadow Dancer) and took him into the quest Memoirs of an Illusionary Larcenor on heroic elite.  It was the first time I tried this particular quest and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I’m embarrassed to say that I wound up getting killed near to the end fight, primarily because I wasn’t paying attention to the fact my cleric hireling went down.  But I did my revenge, eventually :).

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Garrrin hunting in the King’s Forest.

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Hamllin exploring the intricacies of Memoirs.

 

For Thursday, I started my questing by dual boxing with Cannock (Level 8 Druid) and Crawlller (Level 8 Ranger) into Tangleroot Gorge.  Crawlller already has this area maxed out but Cannock collected another 50 slayers before I switched characters out.  They also took out the wandering giant, Kroshk.  Later that night, I logged on with Containment (Level 8 Cleric) and Cannock (once again) and took them through The Cloven Jaw Scourge: Caverns of Shaagh.  Making my through that part of Shan-to-Kor, I completed the optional objectives for slaying the three ogres, slaying the three witch doctors, the three large elementals, and 75 hobgoblins.  Dealing with the champions, Containment collected 15 mysterious remnants and Cannock collected 11.

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Cannock illustrating who the alpha wolf is in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Containment prepping for attacks from some hobgoblins in the Caverns of Shaagh.

 

To kick off the weekend, I took Tuhnn (Level 16 Bladeforged) out into the Sands of Menechtarun for my regular slayer run.  I forgot to record my slayer numbers but I did collect a monster manual deed for zombie exterminator and finished locating all of the explorer points.  Tuhnn also looted a pair of the Gloves of the Falcon.  After that run, I took Hamllin back into Memoirs of an Illusionary Larcener and this time I was able to complete it on heroic elite with little difficulty.  That night, I logged on with Erdrique and Sttollen and I took them, first, through Gladewatch Outpost and then the Forgotten Caverns.  While in Gladewatch Outpost, Erdrique picked 50 mysterious remnants and while in Forgotten Caverns they took out the optional for slaying Moldfang.  After running through the Forgotten Caverns, I took Erdrique and Sttollen out into Tangleroot Gorge and completed Doom of the Witch Doctor: The Way to Zulkash and Doom of the Witch Doctor: Zulkash, Herald of Woe.  To close out the night, I took Erdrique and Sttollen into Devil Assault and defeated all of the waves.  In that run, Erdrique collected 17 mysterious remnants and Sttollen collected eight.

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Tuhnn hunting for some slayers in  the desert.

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Hamllin exploring the dangers of Memoirs.

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Erdrique battling his way through the seige at Gladewatch Outpost.

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Battling the trolls of the Forgotten Caverns.

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Erdrique taking on the hobgoblins of Splinterskull.

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Erdrique setting the rune wheels to make his way to Zulkash.

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Preparing for the Devil Assault.

 

Continuing with my weekend runs, on Saturday I logged back on with Erdrique and Sttollen and I took them through the quest Dead Predators, The Bounty Hunter, Caged Trolls, and the Bloody Crypt.  While in the Bounty Hunter, Erdrique collected another monster manual deed for warforged hunter gaining him 471 experience.  We also collected the optional objectives for freeing Annelisa and killing the troll chieftain and Ras Clowery.  Erdrique picked up two more monster manual deeds in Caged Trolls, dwarf exterminator (1,130 experience) and dwarf hunter (2,260 experience).  We also completed the optional objective of plundering the Emerald Claw’s treasure cache.  The end the night, in the Bloody Crypt we collected the optional objective for slaying Gullet the Famished, defeating the Black Abbot’s legion, and slaying three priests of the Crimson Heart, Burning Heart, Immortal Heart, and Sanguine Heart.

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Time to plunder some loot in the Bounty Hunter.

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Erdrique battling his way through the Bloody Crypt with some help.

 

The beginning of the second week, I started out by taking Stoorage (Level 15 Fighter) and Izmit (Level 15 Shadar-ki) into Caged Trolls and The Bounty Hunter for some simple favor runs.  I completed the optional for plundering the Emerald Claw’s treasure cache in Cage Trolls and for the Bounty Hunter we completed the optional objectives for freeing Annelisa and slaying the troll chieftain and Ras Clowery.

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Stoorage making his way through the Caged Trolls.

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Stoorage exploring the Knaves Hollow.

 

On Monday, January 9th I logged on with Stoorage once again and this time I dual boxed with my other fighter Charlock (Level 16).  I took them into the Red Fens to work on another slayer run.  While out there, Stoorage collected 118 more slayers (with the help of a slayer potion) while Charlock collected 95 more slayers.  They also encountered Sharkbiter and Vyk Ka.  Shortly after that run, I logged on with Erdrique and Sttollen and I took them through the quest, Bargain of Blood.  I completed the optional objectives for finding the Deneith party, freeing the slaves, and destroying the assassination logbook.  That night, I switched characters and logged on with Wapoyei (Level 24 Cleric/Divine Crusader) and I took him into the High Road while I was also playing with our digital PNP game.  Wapoyei collected 81 more slayers and completed the random encounters for Wild Warriors, Trader Travels, and the Wood Woad.  I collected one Commendation: Cleric of Amaunator.

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Stoorage battling the sahaugin of the Red Fens.

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Erdrique fighting off the Blood Tide pirates in Bargain of Blood.

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Wapoyei exploring the dangers of the High Road.

 

I logged on Hamllin to kick off things on Tuesday and I took him into the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic) for some slayers.  He came across two of the rare encounters, Lord Cirrus and Uthgur.  As for the slayers, he collected 68 Storm Heart slayers and two Storm Fist slayers.  After that run, I then took Hamllin into the next quest of the Slave Lords: Secret of the Slavers’ Stockade.  I completed the two optional objectives to explore the abandoned tower and to speak to Lady Morwin Elissar.  Later on Tuesday night, I took Berann and Containment, dual boxing, through the Tomb of the Burning Heart and The Mystery of Delera’s Tomb.  The completed the optional objective of shattering the burning brigade in the Tomb of the Burning Heart.  In Delera’s, Berann collected a monster manual deed for skeleton hunter earning 1,356 experience and the objectives for slaying Omaren Deathguard, Omaren Sentinel, Shade of Destruction, and 40 ghostly skeletons.

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Hamllin fighting off some ogres in Gianthold.

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Hamllin making his way through the Slavers’ Stockade.

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Berann making his way through the Tomb of the Burning Heart.

 

On Wednesday, January 11, I took Suppply (Level 11 Paladin) and Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) into Sorrowdusk Isle.  They both collected 103 slayers and took down the rare encounters Thanolin and Vermilo.  Suppply also finished collecting all of the explorer areas.  That was the only run I was able to knock out on that day.

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Suppply exploring the wilds of Sorrowdusk Isle.

 

I took Wapoyei into The High Road, once again, to start things off on Thursday.  Wapoyei collected 40 slayers and came across the random encounter for Spectral Sightings.  After my slayer run, I took Hamllin into the quest Seigebreaker.  Hamllin looted a Mark of the Tzaryan Rrac and Garments of Equilibrium.  I completed the optional objectives for settng the tents on fire, poisoning the water supply, destroying the crates of provisions, and blowing up the explosive stockpiles.  He also defeated Tinkerstab, Skinny, Major Pain, and Brinky.  To end the night, I took Sludgge (Level 22 Rogue/Shadowdancer) into the Chains of Flame on epic normal.  Sludgge collected a monster manual deed for mephit exterminator I and earned 423 experience.  Making his way through the multiple levels of the Burning City, he collected five fragments of the Token of the Twelve and a complete Token of the Twelve.  He also collected 11 commendations of valor as a quest reward.  As for the optional objectives, he spoke to Valgrim Force-Bound, defeated Valgrim’s elemental guards, freed Valgrim Force-Bound, spoke to Erath the Blinded, transferred Erath’s curse, defeated the ogre mages, and freed Erath.

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Wapoyei doing some hunting in the High Road.

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Hamllin battling the forces of Droaam in Seigebreaker.

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Sludgge fighting his way through the gnolls of the Burning City.

On Friday the 13th, I logged on with Sludgge and took him into the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic) for some simple slayers.  He came across Cirrus and collected 64 Storm Heart slayers and a single Storm Fist slayer.  Later that night, after some maintenance, I took Erdrique and Sttollen into The Black Loch.  Erdrique collected a monster manual deed for zombie exterminator and earned 1,356 experience and completed the optional ojbectives for killing the failed experiments and using the gold key.  Unfortunately that was the only run I was able to complete that night.

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Sludgge making his way through the Ruins of Gianthold.

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Erdrique battling and spinning his way through the Black Loch.

To close the two weeks out, I took Erdrique and Sttollen through Storm the Beaches and The Tide Tuns to complete the Sentinels of Stormreach Story arc.  In Bargain of Blood, they completed the objectives for slaying pirates, more pirates, and even more pirates.  In the Tide Turns they completed the optional objective for activating the barriers in the north and south barracks and trapping the pirates.  Sttollen looted two Tarnished Heavy Deneith Chains while Erdrique looted the Torn Chitin Bracers and a Chimera’s Breath at the end of The Tide Turns.

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Time to prepare to lay seige to an island fortress.

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Erdrique battling his way through the Tide Tuns.

So, a wide variety of runs over the first two weeks of the year that included epic and low level questing, numerous slayer runs, and range of character levels.  I hope everybody else had a great start to the year as well!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

 

 

 

Thoughts on The General Manager

I have always thought that one of the more interesting encounters I have come across with my various characters in DDO is when they first meet up with the General Manager.  If you aren’t sure about who exactly the General Manager is, you will find him in the quest Bargain of Blood which is part of the Sentinels of Stormreach story arc and is located in the Searing Heights.  The General Manager is actually not one enemy but two enemies.  These two enemies are quite an unlikely pair with the General being a huge and powerful minotaur while the Manager is a wily kobold shaman.  When you come across them at the end of Bargain of Blood, the Manager is perched on top of the General.  As you battle them, you first defeat the General which results in the Manager falling down and then you battle the Manager to finish the quest.  Definitely an interesting sight.

So how did these guys ever meet?

But I always wondered how did these crazy creatures ever meet and how did they form such a close bond.  And on top of that, how did they ever get involved with Captain Tew and the Blood Tide Pirates?  Whenever I think of these two, I can’t help but think about the story of the lion and the mouse.  I see the kobold as being the mouse and the minotaur as lion.  Where the minotaur stumbles across the kobold during his foraging and initially wishes to make a meal out of him.  The wily kobold takes notice that the minotaur seems to be suffering from some type of ailment, that the minotaur seems to be expressing concern about as he prepares for his meal.  By offering to help the minotaur, the kobold successfully heals him and therefore saves his life and then becomes an influential and important friend to the minotaur.  It definitely seems like a plausible theory but is it the most likely?

Another possible, although rather more unlikely theory, is that Manager’s clan might have hired the General’s tribe as a source of protection.  Perhaps these two unusual comrades knew each other from a young age with this type of association and as a result they grew up and headed out into the world together.  The reverse could also be said, perhaps the General’s tribe captured or bullied the Manager’s clan into being their servants and then an unlikely friendship developed.  This friendship and commitment to each other could have been recognized by Captain Tew who then added both of them to the ranks.

So what is the deal with the Manager?

But looking at this connection more analytically, it could also be surmised that the Manager has literally charmed the General.  The Manager is a shaman after all.  It is not improbable for the Manager to know a number of dubious charming spells.  It could be that the General just thinks he likes the Manager, while in reality he is literally charmed to protect and to work as the Manager’s muscle.

Another plausible thought is that Captain Tew recruited both of these villains to be members of his crew.  As part of the Blood Tide pirates, these two somehow developed this strange and powerful bond that Captain Tew was quickly able to pick up on.  He probably noted that they could make a very formidable enemy if they were to work together and so he promoted that growth in hopes of taking advantage of the unique talents of both them.

In tandem, this unlikely pair is a strong and powerful enemy.  Be prepared for them when you hit the end fight of Bargain of Blood.  What do others thing?  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

 

Questing into the Second Week of March, Quest Runs March 7th to 10th

During the second week of March, my questing was pretty much with mid-level characters or epic level characters.  It was also an abnormal week for me because I had to do some traveling for work to get some management training so I didn’t get as much questing in as I typically would.  I started out the week with my typical slayer run on Monday morning.  I took Wapoyei (Level 24 Cleric/Divine Crusader) into the High Road.  While out there I collected another six slayers and defeated the specter, The Eternal Wanderer.  Needless to say I didn’t have a whole lot of time to play that morning.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter) and I took him out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some slayers.  During this session, Hamllin focused on the gnolls and collected another 62 slayers in that area as well as taking down Stinkpelt.  That night, I logged on with Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) and Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) and I took them into Searing Heights to run the quest Bargain of Blood.  It was another dual boxing session and I wanted to get my revenge from my horrible attempt at Bargain of Blood from the night before.  On the way out to the quest, I picked up another 13 slayers for Harrgon.  In Bargain of Blood, I was able to the complete the optional objectives for destroying the assassination logbook, meeting up with the House Deneith Party, and freeing the slaves.  After completing Bargain of Blood, and getting my revenge, I then headed off and to do the quest Under the Big Top.  As I made my way through the quest, I only picked up one optional objective and killed Maz’il’tilnik.  In the end chest, Harrgon picked up The Big Top and Diamond of +5 Hide while Suppply picked up the Antique Greataxe as a story arc reward for completing the Phiarlan Carnival Series.

Wapoyei hunting in the High Road.

Hamllin battling the Windlashers in the desert.

Suppply making his presence felt in the Bargain of Blood.

Suppply taking note of the artwork in Under the Big Top.

On Tuesday morning, I was scheduled to play Neverwinter Nights II instead of the usual DDO.  I took my level 7 Spirit Shaman Ragnar further into the Warehouse in the Dock District of Neverwinter City.  For my afternoon run, I took Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Grandmaster of Flowers) into Sands of Menechtarun for some more slayers.  I also wanted to get something quick in before I headed out to Raleigh for my training.  While out there, I collected 57 gnoll slayers and came across Den Mother Fheena in the Windlasher Village.  That was all I could get in on Tuesday as I left shortly after that slayer run.

Ragnar participating in the battle in the warehouse.

Erdrique making his way to the desert.

I took my computer with me on my training trip in Raleigh and was able to get a few more runs in during the week.  On Wednesday, I logged on with Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) and I took him into The Lords of Dust on epic hard.  Kolll picked up 54 fragments of the Token of the Twelve, eight mysterious remnants, the Golden Guile, a monster manual deed for Rhaksasha Hunter for 2,260 experience, and 17 commendations of valor as a quest reward.  However, that was the only quest I was able to complete.

Kolll taking down the cultists in Lords of Dust.

For Thursday,  I started out the day by taking Sludgge (Level 22 Rogue/Shadowdancer) into the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic) for some slayers.  Sludgge collected 51 Stormheart slayers, two Stormfist slayers, and one Stormeye slayer.  He also defeated the ogre mage, Uthger Runetusk.  That night I logged on with Kanndar (Level 13 Paladin) and Stoorage (Level 13 Fighter) and I took them both into the Tharashk Arena (VON 1) for another session of dual boxing.  The completed the optional objectives for defeating Angog the Champion, Myr’dril, the drunken ogres,  troll enforcers, Smashjaw, and Grogan.  I picked up a number of monster manual deeds during this run.  Kanndar picked up two monster manual deeds, one for minotaur hunter and another for kobold hunter, each awarding him 446 experience.  Stoorage collected a troll hunter monster manual deed for 1,943 experience.  Stoorage also looted a Diamond of +3 Intelligence.  That run closed out my activity for the week.

Sludgge doing some hunting out in Gianthold.

Kanndar battling the drunken ogres in the Tharashk Arena.

So, although it was an “off” week for me, I still had a number of interesting runs.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

 

Questing in the First Weekend of March, Quest Runs March 4th to 6th

Well if the title of this post doesn’t tell you anything else, it does show you how much back log I have since today is March 28th and I’m just now getting to my post about my questing activities over the first weekend of March.  I swear I’ll catch up…maybe…

Looking back at those quest runs, I noted quite an array of runs that included some dual boxing, some slayers, some epic runs, and a look at the Anniversary Party.  I started the weekend runs by taking Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) and Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) into the Searing Heights during one of my dual boxing sessions.  During this particular run, Suppply collected all of his rare encounters, located all of the explorers, and collected 135 slayers.  Harrgon also did fairly well getting over the 200 slayer mark with the same 135 slayers.  They defeated the First Mate, Smolder, Hazai Haatha, Giallo, Calcine, and Ghamzee.    During my afternoon questing, I took Erdrique (Level 27 Rogue/Grandmaster of Flowers) back out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some slayer runs.  During a quick run out there, Erdrique collected seven gnolls and 88 scorrow.  He also took the following named scorrow: Mendexethazz, Volrune the Curate, and Workan-Kull.  Later that night, I took Erdrique back out into the desert for some slayers before completing some other quests.  This time Erdrique collected 228 gnolls, 91 scorrow, and 104 undead slayers.  During this run I took out Yuurugh, Whirling Ozann, Palumak, Commander Errulf, Haraja, Mendexethazz, and Utach.  I looted the scimitar Mirage from Utach’s quest.  I also collected 750 slayers for the scorrow area and a monster manual deed for zombies (Hunter III for 1,770 experience).  After tromping through the desert, I headed off and made my way through the Anniversary Party.  I was able to defeat all of the developers and the overlord to get five party favors.  I then too Erdrique into Sschindylryn to make my way to final quest of the City of Portals, The Portal Opens.  As I made my way to the quest I picked a few more slayers for both the drow (seven) and the children of Lolth (four).  Within the Portal Opens, I defeated at least one priestess of Lolth, and the following orange named drow Shev’aal, Namajj Hru’un, Utheo Myar, Sorntran Arkenep, and Chaszoj’ryn.  I picked up a commendation for the druid’s of the king forest and one for the purple dragon knights.  I also looted a Blade of the High Priestess when the quest was completed.  For a quest reward, I selected 24 commendations of valor and for a storyarc reward I picked up a Slaver’s Hand Crossbow.

Suppply battling the Bloodtide pirates in the Searing Heights.

Erdrique hunting scorrow in the desert.

Erdrique enjoying the hunt under the moonlight in the desert.

Erdrique fighting Steelstar in the Anniversary Party.

Erdrique taking note of the banner in the quest the Portal Opens.

My quest runs on Saturday were quite challenging.  I first took Erdrique into the quest Don’t Drink the Water on epic hard.  I didn’t run into any issues until I reached the green dragon, Tharmalos, at the end of the quest.  Facing off against the powerful green dragon, I had died twice and once I used a raise cake to get back up.  But I did complete the quest, eventually.  As I made my way to the final fight, I picked up a monster manual deed for mudmen account wide, hunter II.  I was also able to defeat a few orange named dire bears and completed the optional objective of discovering the yuan-ti’s secret chest.  At the end of the quest, I picked up a commendation for War Wizards and as a quest reward I picked up 23 commendations of Valor.  After the rough run, I then took Erdrique back into the Underdark.  I picked up another 33 slayers on my way to the quest In the Belly of the Beast.  This was another difficult quest that I decided to try on epic hard.  Although I did get through the quest, I died four times (three times inside the belly of the great purple worm) and had to re-enter the quest once.  I completed the optional objectives for defeated Zeslyn and bluffing the freedom for the purple dragon knight.  Inside the arena, I took out a few orange dire bears before I was attacked by wave after wave of enemies.  At the end of the quest I picked up two commendations, one for the villagers of Eveningstar and one for the clerics of Amaunater.  As a quest reward, I picked up 24 commendations of Valor.  I also collected another monster manual deed, this one for rust monsters, which gave me the account wide reward for rust monster expertise.

Starting out in the cavern in the quest Don’t Drink the Water.

Erdrique taking note of the fire salamanders in the Underdark.

Coming across a magical barrier early on In the Belly of the Beast.

To close out the weekend, I dual boxed with Suppply and Harrgon once again.  I took  them into Searing Heights and into the quest Bargain of Blood.  In the Searing Heights, Suppply collected his last 138 slayers to complete the area and Harrgon picked up another 224 slayers and reached the 400 slayer mark.  Harrgon also picked up all of the explorer points  The rare encounters I came across were Calcine, Ghamzee, Cruor Russo, Giallo, Hazai Haatha, and Shute Ruggzen.  Although the exploration of the Searing Heights went well, the quest run through Bargain of Blood on elite did not.  This was primarily because I was trying to rush through the quest, which never seems to end well for me.  In fact, Harrgon suffered seven deaths in the quest, who was the primary driver for this run.  I did defeat a first mate and completed the optional objective for destroying the assassination logbook and I met up with the House Deneith party.  Harrgon collected three mysterious remnants while Suppply picked up 16.  Overall, it was just a rough night in the quest.

Harrgon contemplating the majesty of the Searing Heights.

Harrgon battling the Bloodtide in Bargain of Blood.

So it wasn’t a bad weekend overall.  I was able to make my way  through a number of quests that I haven’t had a lot of experience making my way through and one quest I had never completed before, that being In the Belly of the Beast.  However, not all of my runs were successful, which is also good, allowing the challenge to still be there, especially in the lower level quests.  Although I did get my revenges in Bargain of Blood.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Underdark!!

Epic Style Weekend, Quest Runs January 8th to January 10th

Well, with Erdrique (Level 25 Rogue/Primal Avatar) now done with all of his quests on heroic elite, it is time to start working on some epic quests.  Kind of hard to believe that I have done very few quests on epic and I’m level 25.  The only epic quests I have completed up to this point was Impossible Demands, Unquiet Graves, and some House Cannith Challenges.  With this particular weekend, it is time to move forward into the epic quests.  I think my primary plan will be to complete them on epic normal and then on epic hard.  If I have no issues trying them on epic hard then I will try epic elite.  Going to start with the Eberron quests and then make my way over back to Eveningstar.  However, before I make that trek, I started out the weekend by taking Containment (Level 7 Cleric) and Cannock (Level 8 Druid) back into Tangleroot Gorge for some morning slayer runs.  Containment is nearly done with these slayers so he will be moving over to Three Barrel Cove soon.  And, as you can tell, I was dual boxing once again with Containment from my Premium account and Cannock on my VIP account.  In the afternoon, I took Erdrique out into the Sands of Menechtarun.  Even though Erdrique is well over level for this area, I still enjoy running around out here.  I still want to take the time to max out each explorer area.  I believe I will have to modify a few things to accomplish this, but we’ll see.  Friday night, I logged back on with Erdrique and after working on some maintenance tasks, I grouped up with Hellsbain and Lunarhaze and we completed A Small Problem, Partycrashers, The Snitch, and Under the Big Top on epic normal.  We didn’t encounter any problems and we were able to hit the optional fights in Partycrashers that allowed us to watch the NPC get killed when all of his “plans” were thwarted.  We called it a night after those runs.

Containment taking on Silkweave in Tangleroot Gorge.

Erdrique now focusing his hunting in the Sands of Menechtarun.

Making our way through A Small Problem.

Fighting the illusions in Partycrashers.

Fighting off the enemies in the Snitch.

The Crawlers taking some time to visit the circus.

On Saturday, after some more maintenance, I completed a number of House Cannith Challenges on my quest to finish my upgrades to the Spare Hand and Ring of the Stalker.  In that regard I ran Extraplanar Palace: The Dragon’s Hoard twice, Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal, and the Extraplanar Palace: Buying Time.  I also started on the Sentinels of Stormreach chain on epic normal by completing Bargain of Blood.  I didn’t have any issues with these quests and I called it a night.

Coming across Salteshka in the Dragon’s Hoard.

Fighting the marilith in the Dragon’s Hoard.

Working our way through the Lava Caves.

Erdrique making his way down to intercept the rhaksasha in Buying Time.

Erdrique starting the Sentinels of Stormreach chain by making his way through Bargain of Blood.

The close out the weekend on Sunday, I logged on with Erdrique during the day but only was able to complete some maintenance tasks.  I didn’t get a chance to run anything during the afternoon :(.  That night, I logged on with Containment and Cannock once again.  I then took them into the first part of Shan-to-Kor, The Coven Jaw Scourage: Blockade.  Both Containment and Cannock both need Shan-to-Kor on elite so it was worth while to dual box them through this quest.  I was only able to do this quest in the chain so hopefully I will be able to complete the rest of the quest chain next time.

Cannock leading the way to the start of Shan-to-Kor for Containment.

Overall, the weekend wasn’t bad.  I was primarily dominated by getting in some epic questing, which will probably dominate my weekend quest runs until I get Erdrique through his epic reincarnation and into his next heroic true reincarnation.  Which is perfectly fine because it will allow me to get into some of those quests I haven’t seen yet, hopefully :).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

A Fun Weekend, Quest Runs September 4th to September 6th

This past weekend brought about some fun and fond memories for me!!  Especially concerning a couple of the quests in Ruins of Gianthold.  My weekend started out with a morning slayer run on Friday prior to work with Suppply (Level 9 Paladin) who is working on finalizing up Three Barrel Cove.  Suppply is nearly done out there.  I think he needs one more rare encounter and two more explorer points.  After he finishes that up he will be heading out into Sorrowdusk Isle.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) and I took him out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some afternoon slayer runs.  Later on Friday night, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 18 Rogue) and I took him back out into the Red Fens for some slayers to start out the night.  Erdrique is steadily closing in on that 7,500 slayer mark.  After I made my circuit in the Red Fens, I then took him out into the Ruins of Gianthold.  While out there I head off and completed A Cabal for One, destroying the hobgoblin tribes.  Once I completed that run, I decided to do a challenge and headed out to House Cannith and ran the Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage.  I’m working on gathering some ingredients for a Cloak of Flames for my druid, Cannock (Level 7).  After I completed a run through Labor Shortage, a then went back to the Ruins of Gianthold and completed Madstone Crater.  When I headed out to Madstone Crater I had put up a group in the LFG panel and had one PUG member join me when I was finished with the second seer.  It was good to see at least one pug join me :).  After a quick break, I then ran another iteration of Labor Shortage and then I called it a night.

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Suppply finally finding Brine in Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin hunting in the Desert.

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Erdrique making a circuit through the Red Fens.

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Erdrique taking note of the lava flow in the Gianthold on his way to A Cabal for One.

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Erdrique taking on the hobgoblins in the Hobgoblin lair.

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Erdrique running into a spectral dragon in the Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage.

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Erdrique running into Tarmor on his way to Madstone Crater.

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Erdrique watching his mindflayer get a meal from the ogre.

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Erdrique looks small compared to the marilith in the Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage.

Saturday was even more productive than Friday.  During Saturday afternoon, I took some time between my chores and my yard work to take Erdrique through some Cannith Challenges to keep gathering ingredients for Cannock’s Cloak of Flames.  I wound up running the Lave Caves: Time is Money four different times.  Saturday night, I got up with Hellbanisher and Okhamel and we had some fun times in the Ruins of Gianthold.  The first quest we hit up was Prison of the Planes.  Prison of the Planes was the last quest I needed to completed to get into Gianthold Tor.  However, once we completed the Prison of the Planes, we decided to give a The Crucible a try.  It had been quite awhile since I last ran the Crucible and figured it would be fun to give it a go.  We headed off and we made short work of it!!  I was expecting us to get bogged down in the maze and in the swim but we made it through both areas easily.  I did the swim with Erdrique and it was perhaps the smoothest swim I have done as of yet.  Then again, I’m not a Crucible expert.  After we completed the Crucible, we then decided to run Gianthold Tor.  We made our way through it without any problems.  Once we completed the quest, we then decided to give the three dragons a shot.  We were on elite so we were expecting on having some issues.  However, we expected wrong.  We took on the black dragon and his fire giant guardian first, then we took on the blue dragon and his cloud giant partner, and finished with the white dragon and his stone giant companion.  None of them gave us much of an issue.  I was quite surprised by that and have to admit it was quite fun taking them on again.  After we completed the Tor, I cashed in my saga reward for a huge boost in guild renown and Hellbanisher called it a night.  After Hellbanisher logged out, Okhamel and I then headed out into the Orchard of the Macabre.  While out there we ran through the Fleshmaker’s Laboratory on elite, including the optional objective.  After that, we both called it a night.

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Erdrique taking on the drow sorceress in the Lava Caves.

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Erdrique taking down another scorpion in the Lava Caves.

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Erdrique encountering scorpions in the Lave Caves.

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Erdrique taking on the lions in the Lava Caves: Time is Money.

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Coming across some jariliths on the way to the Prison of the Planes.

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Erdrique fighting in the Plane of Fernia in the Prison of the Planes.

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Erdrique in the midst of the battle in Gianthold Tor.

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Erdrique and Okhamel fighting the carcass eaters in the Orchard.

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Erd and Okhamel making their way through the Fleshmaker’s Laboratory.

Sunday, similar to Saturday, I took some time between my chores and yard work to get a few challenge runs in.  I actually got up with Khamelbush and we ran Lave Caves: Time is Money twice and the Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage twice during the afternoon.  That night, I gave Erdrique a break and logged on with Cantlin (Level 12 Sorcerer) and I got up with Twotoe, Purplepower, and Clairique and we ran through all of the Sentinels of Stormreach quest on elite.  We breezed through Bargain of Blood and the Black Loch.  We then headed off to Storm the Beaches and we had a PUG join our group.  We did run into some problems here but not many.  We then moved onto the quest The Tide Turns and finished the storyline.  We still need to hit up the quest, Spies in the House but overall it was great set of runs!!

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Erdrique taking out the enemies in the arena in the Lava Caves: Time is Money.

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Erdrique and Okhamel battling the cloud giant in Time is Money.

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Erdrique clearing a path in the Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage for the kobolds.

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Erdrique looking over the slain spectral dragon.

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Cantlin and his party taking on the assassin of the Bloodtide pirates in Bargain of Blood.

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Crawlers making their way through the Black Loch.

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Cantlin going for a swim in the night at Mistral Island.

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Cantlin and his party preparing for Captain Tew’s rath.

As a recap, this past Labor Day Weekend was quite productive indeed for me.  I was able to get a number of quests completed, even some quests that I have completed in quite a bit of time.  It was definitely a fun time!!  I hope everybody else had a great weekend and I hope everybody enjoy their holiday weekend (at least those in the US).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Never Noticed the Tattoo Before

The other day I was taking Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger) through the Bargain of Blood when I noticed something for the first time.  The First Mates of the Blood Tide Pirates have a pretty nice looking anchor tattoo plastered on their biceps.  I noticed as my little halfling was plastered between the wall and minotaur.  Upon seeing this tattoo and noticing it for the first time, I began to wonder about a few things.

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The Blood Tide Pirate First Mates seem to have a nice looking anchor tattoo.

First off, I wondered if any of the other Blood Tide Pirates had tattoos.  I haven’t seen any of them with tattoos and they have some pretty vicious monsters and enemies in their ranks including hobgoblins and orcs.  Where are there tattoos?  Then I began to wonder if this particular tattoo was some type of rank designations.  Perhaps the First Mates are just required/forced to receive this branding.  That way it show to all other subordinates not to question their orders.  I’m guess the other captains and higher officers are just plainly recognizable but the First Mates are more like the common ranks and need the distinction.  The, I thought, who would administer a tattoo to something like a minotaur?  I just know I wouldn’t want to it.  Perhaps it is applied magically?  Speaking of that, maybe the tattoo is also magical and perhaps it can be used by the First Mate to talk directly to his captain.  Now that would be interesting…

Another one of those small in game things that I’m positive I have seen before but just now really noticed.  Have to like finding those little discoveries.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Overview of the Sentinel of Stormreach Quest Series

I currently have a few characters working on the Sentinels of Stormreach Series and few others who have recently completed that interesting set of quests.  This particular adventure pack contains five quests, four of which are required to complete the story arc while the fifth quest is just an additional quest thrown into the mix that involves the primary enemies of the storyline, the Blood Tide Pirates.  The quests that are included in this storyline include Bargain of Blood, The Black Loch, Storm the Beaches, The Tide Turns, and Spies in the House.  The capstone quest in the chain is The Tide Turns and while Bargain of Blood, The Black Loch, and Storm the Beaches are required to get into the capstone quest (at least during the first run through).  Spies in the House is the fifth and additional quest and is considered to be one of the hardest quests in the game at heroic levels.  These quests are level 7 quests, except for Spies in the House which is level 8, and they have an epic version that are level 20 and 21.  The story arc quest giver is Taggart d’Deneith who is located just outside of the House Deneith Tower.

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Larrs making his way through the Bargain of Blood and the Blood Tide Bazaar.

These quests are relatively simple and straight forward, except for Spies in the House.  Excluding Spies in the House, the quests have relatively simple maps to follow and they take place in some interesting locations.  The quest entrance to Bargain of Blood is located in the Searing Heights and the quest takes place in the a Bazaar that the Blood Tide Pirates have set up to sell the loot they obtained by attaching the ships sent to the merchants of Stormreach, where slaves are also sold, and where assassinations can be arranged.  Talk about finding a Bargain.  The Black Loch is actually within Three Barrel Cove although you don’t go through Three Barrel Cove to get there, you are teleported there by the quest giver.  The Black Loch is the central gathering place for the pirates of Three Barrel Cove who, ironically, have hired House Deneith to repel the invasion of the Blood Tide Pirates.  The Black Loch is a subterranean adventure with some interesting tunnels within a mountain and a large underground lake.  Of course the whole area is littered with undead pirates and regular pirates of the Blood Tide Horde.  In Storm the Beaches, you are teleported to a unique island called Mistral Island.  At that location, you are required to take the ballistae on the stronghold for the Blood Tide Pirates on this island.  You basically travel around the outskirts of the stronghold, then along the outside of the stronghold (basically in a square) and then within in the stronghold where you take a planar gateway as well as the ballistae.  In the Tide Turns, you have to travel to the House Deneith Tower, and confront the leader of the Blood Tide Pirates (Captain Tew and Ahraatz-Ri) who have taken and embarrassed House Deneith by taking over the Sentinel Tower.

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Larrs making his way through the caverns of the Black Loch.

Unlike the other quests, Spies in the House contains a very complicated dungeon design.  When you make your way through this quest, you will have to go through a number of different vertical levels which is what makes the map complicated.  You actually start the quest by dropping down a tunnel and then have to make your way back up.  It contains a number of traps and has a wider variety of enemies, including mephits, gargoyles, and elementals.  In some cases you have to kill a number of undead pirates to open gates to get to levers to continue forward and you have to use a few air jets to shoot you further upward as you progress forward.  Dealing with these air jets can be extremely annoying.  You will also have to deal with a few levels that have electrified floors that you can’t turn off and that deal a good amount of electrical damage.  It is by far the hardest of the quest chain and luckily isn’t necessary to complete to get to the capstone quest.

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Erdrique looking for the ballistae in Storm the Beaches.

The types of loot you can received while making your way this quest chain can be interesting.  The end reward list contains a number of items that have “Unraveling Enchantments.”  The end chests of the quest will drop a type of sigil that can be applied to these quest and story arc rewards that can release these enchantments and reveal their true potential.  These items unraveled items can also be upgraded to epic version with the scroll, seal, and shard mechanic.

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Erdrique making his way through the Tide Turns.

The quest line overall is quite interesting, especially if you are a fan of pirates.  You can see some of the creativity in this murderous band of pirates who seem to employ just about anybody including humans, drow, minotaurs, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, and even undead.  Captain Tew and Ahraatz-Ri are definitely not afraid to use some ingenuity when it comes to boosting their ranks even having necromancers add zombies and skeletons to their force.  It is definitely a fun pack.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting while quest through the Sentinels of Stormreach Storyarc.

Looking Back at This Week’s Runs, Questing July 13th to July 17th

As I took a glance at my quest runs this past week, I really couldn’t come up with a nice theme for the week.  However, now that I think about it, I probably could have said it was the week of undead and giant slaying considering that I had quest runs through the Catacombs, Delera’s Graveyard, Threnal, Red Fens, and the Black Loch.  Well, in any case, my questing started off on Monday morning with a slayer run into the King’s Forrest with Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion).  Kolll is slowly wracking up his slayers out there.  I think I need to put in a few extra slayer runs for him to really start making a dent in that area.  Later that afternoon, after I got home from work and prior to dinner, I took Erdrique (Level 14 Rogue) back into the Ruins of Threnal and completed the Threnal Arena and the first quest among the Giant Caves, The Giant Lieutenants.  Later that night, during my digital PNP game session, I logged on with Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) and took him into the Catacombs and completed The Old Archives, The Crypt of Gerard Dryden, and Setting the Wards: The Lower Cathedral on hard.  I called it a night after those runs and we closed out our PNP session as well.

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Erdrique taking on the challenge of the Threnal Arena.

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Erdrique looking for the giant lieutenants.

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Crawlller making his way through the Old Archives.

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Crawlller reading the inscription on the Tomb of Gerard Dryden.

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Crawlller opening a lever in the Setting the Wards: The Lower Cathedral.

On Tuesday, my morning questing was in Neverwinter Nights II.  I mix in an occassional run of Neverwinter Nights II with my slayer runs.  I’m currently working on a low level Spirit Shaman named Ragnar at the moment and we are currently exploring the corruption in Neverwinter.  Later in the afternoon, I took Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) and I took him out into the Red Fens and wracked up some more slayers.  Hamllin is slowly accumulating more and more slayers and is approaching that 7,500 mark.  Later that night, I logged on with Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger) and I took him into House Deneith and started the Sentinels of Stormreach chain.  I picked up the quest storyline and the first quest Bargain of Blood and headed out to the Bargain Bazaar in the Searing Heights.  I completed the Bargain of Blood on epic normal with help from my onyx panther, level 17 owlbear, and a favored soul hireling.  I didn’t have any problems at all, using charm monster quite effectively to turn my enemies against each other.  I then headed off to The Black Loch, where I took Larrs and his makeshift band against the necromancers of the Blood Tide pirates and I had some fun slicing through those hordes of shuffling zombies and pirates.  I then called it a night.

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Ragnar working his way out of a battle in Neverwinter.

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Hamllin is a twisting whirl of death in the Red Fens.

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Larrs making his way to the final battle in Bargain of Blood.

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Larrs in the midst of combat in the Black Loch.

Wedensday was my typical “short” day.  I started the day by taking Kanndar (Level 12 Paladin) into Sorrowdusk Isle to work on some more slayers out there.  He is still working on his 750 slayer mark out there.  Later in the afternoon, I took Erdrique back out into the Ruins of Threnal and completed the last two quests out there: The Giants’ Lair and the Giants’ Supplies.  Those were the only runs I was able to complete as I spent the rest of the day with my beautiful wife.

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Kanndar taking care of the ogres in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Erdrique taking on the giants in the Giants’ Lair.

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Erdrique working on destroying the crates in the Giants’ Supplies.

I logged on with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) first thing Thursday morning and took him through some slayer runs in Three Barrel Cove.  Later on in the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin and continued to work on his slayer runs in the Red Fens.  Later that night, I logged on with Harrgon once again and I took him through the quests Free Delera and Thrall of the Necromancer on elite.  I still had some time to kill, so I took Harrgon out into Three Barrel Cove to more on some slayers and then I called it a night.

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Harrgon taking on the enemies of Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin hiding in the reeds of the Red Fens.

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Harrgon being swarmed by wraiths in Free Delera.

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Harrgon taking on the skeletons of Thrall of the Necromancer.

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Harrgon taking note of some more waterfalls in Three Barrel Cove.

Overall, it was quite a diverse week of quest runs.  I had some low level, mid level, higher level, and epic level runs in the mix this week.  I hope everybody else had a nice week as well and I hope everybody has an even better weekend.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting.

What Kind of Deals Can You Find in the Bargain Bazaar?

I mentioned in my blog yesterday that I recently took Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger) through the quest Bargain of Blood.  Although I was making mockery of the House Deneith attitude, the quest itself is rather interesting.  Bargain of Blood, being a part of the Sentinels of Stormreach Storyine, is primarily filled with pirates and monsters who serve Captain Tew’s Blood Tide Pirates.  When we learn about the situation that is occurring from Taggart d’Deneith and  Lile d’Deneith, we realize that this Bazaar can be quite a dangerous place and needs to be shut down.

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Larrs looking out over the bazaar and prepares for the incoming pirates.

The Bargain Bazaar is located in a secluded place within Searing Heights.  As you make your way out to the Bazaar you will encounter a number of the Blood Tide encampments showing how influential their presence is in the Searing Heights.  The Bazaar is located southwest of the entrance to Searing Heights, just south of the Crumbled Archway explorer point.  When you enter the Bargain Bazaar, it doesn’t take very long for a scouting kobold for the Blood TIde Pirate to recognize that you are trouble to pull the alarm.  We also see a number of “customers” mingling around and buying and selling items.

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Larrs clearing the path through the Bargain of Blood.

The Bazaar itself is an open air market.  You have to pass through a number of gates to make your way further into the Bazaar and to make your way to the General Manager.  The gates are opened by hitting raised levers with ranged weapons.  The vast majority of the selling at the bazaar occurs at the lowest level while other nefarious activities seem to be occurring on ledges and ramps that above the primary selling area.  As you make your way through the bazaar you see a ton of crates, vases, boxes, paintings, desks, and other goodies that the Blood TIde have looted from ships that merchants and purchasers used to get their items shipped to them.  It makes you wonder what types of “discounts” the Blood Tide pirates are offering for these wares.

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Larrs running around on the perimeters of the bazaar fighting the Blood Tide.

The enemies within the bazaar are primarily composed of hobgoblins.  However, you will also encounter some drow pirates, orch shamans, and minotaurs.  You also have to deal with two kobolds (the first monster in the quest) and the Manager.  You also have a named bugbear and drow assassin to deal with.  The are a number of traps within the Bargain Bazaar, primarily composted of spinning blade traps or spikes.  You do have a few optional quest objectives that are relatively easy to complete, including rescuing the prisoners of the bazaar.

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Larrs fighting the General Manager at the end of the Bargain of Blood.

The enemies are primarily problematic when there is a drow sorcerer or other caster nearby.  The General Manager is an interesting boss.  The General Manager is actually a kobold (know as the Manager) riding on top of a Minotaur (referred to as the General).  This boss fight actually requires you to kill the General and then to kill the Manager.  However, be prepared.  When you throw the last of the few levers to get to the end quest, some water elementals might spawn (I believe this depends on the difficulty).

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Larrs dealing with the Manager.

The quest is pretty fun.  The map is relatively small the quest time is also relatively short.  Things can get annoying if you fall of the raised paths on the permiter of the bazaar, but overall it isn’t a bad quest to run through.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Bazaar!!