I’ve put off doing this post for a while… which probably just means I’ve forgotten more of the details over time… because the Elemental Glades were… intricate. That is really the only word I can think of to cover the zone.
Way, way back in the day when we poor elves started in TorilMUD, only to find ourselves trapped on Evermeet until we hit level 20, we didn’t have a lot of options as where to adventure. As covered in past posts under the Leuthilspar Tales tag, we only had three zones to adventure in.
I’ve written about Kobold Village and the Faerie Forest already. Those were the zones where we spent the lion’s share of our time, taking on the Kobold miners, or running the Taskmasters and Bandor circuit, with the roots in Anna’s cellar along the way if we had a healer.
But the Elemental Glades… we rarely set foot in the place.
Sure, everybody on the island went there at some point. It was just at the end of the path from Leuthilspar. Not only wasn’t it hidden or hard to find, it was hard to miss. You could easily wander in there accidentally.
The zone itself was strange, with a series of rooms, in clusters of four connected by a path that ran through the zone. Each cluster had its own sort of tree. And if you went too far down the path you would run into the su-monsters, evil psionic primates of Forgotten Realms lore that would not only assist each other but would come in from adjoining rooms to get you. Many a young elf died to the su-monsters and getting that corpse… and the accompanying equipment… back safely was a challenge.
But mostly we avoided it because there wasn’t anything in the zone worth our time. What gear there was lacked redeeming stats or, save for the “ridiculously tiny cap,” comedic value.
A small girl who looks something like a halfling, only smaller. She is
dressed in a short brown tunic.
The brownie is a small-sized level 15 Faerie.
She is in excellent condition.
<worn on head> a ridiculously tiny cap
Katumi tells you ‘a ridiculously tiny cap (Head) AC:0 Armor:-6 Hp:7 * Wt:0 Val:0p * Zone: Elemental Glades * Last ID: 2011-01-22’
Some things seemed neat, or filled slots that might otherwise go empty.
The fairy is a tiny version of a woman, but with wings!
The fairy is a small-sized level 15 Faerie.
She is in excellent condition.
<worn around neck> a pouch of fairy dust on a string
Katumi tells you ‘a pouch of fairy dust on a string (Neck) AC:0 Svpar:-2 * Wt:1 Val:0p * Zone: EM Roads * Last ID: 2007-03-17’
But most of the stuff wasn’t worth the effort and the mobs were tough and gave poor experience. An elf would only go hang out in there if they were bored or desperate… or had a group strong enough to kill the su-monsters. And even that wasn’t good experience, just cathartic.
And if you went past the su-monsters you were in danger of getting stuck. The east exit from their square of rooms was a strange corridor. If you went east you went into a normal room, but if you move back west you ended up in an elemental area with a castle and a hostile mob to kill. Well, we found out about the hostile mob later, as they were behind a locked door in each zone. A young elf getting stuck in these areas was always a chore to rescue. We just told people to stay away and did so ourselves.
As time went on however, as we leveled up and left the island, a couple of our fellow elves began to return to the zone to try and figure out what was really going on. As I recall Chandigar, ever the quest hunter, was the one who went in a deciphered what was going on. I only explored and mapped the place. And, thanks to digging out ZMud a bit back, I now have an annotated map to share.
One of the first things discovered, aside from the layout, was that if you went up past the wombat into the ethereal tower and killed the wraith up there, it would drop a cube of ethereal matter.
To get to past the wombats and up into the ethereal tower you first had to get through Boabob trees, a section of the zone where all the exits were hidden by default I recall somebody getting in there and being in a panic because there did not appear to be any way out.
Southwest Corner of a Grove of Baobab Trees
You had to search until the exits showed up.
Once past that you had to slay the wombats, which were aggro. Bad wombats! Then you had to do in the wraith. Easy enough as a druid as my sunray spell was extra potent against undead. Then, once you looted the cube you could then take the cube to the forrestal over in the maples and he would give you the greenstone earring.
< > give cube forrestal
You give a cube of ethereal matter to the forrestal.
The forrestal takes the box and his eyes grow wide with wonder. ‘I was told once, long, long ago about a substance like this. I might be able to use this to heal my grove! Thank you, brave adventurer!’ He casts about as if looking for something. ‘Well hmm. I must, as a matter of honor, repay you for your service. Take this earring! It will serve you well in the different worlds you may wander.’
The forrestal gives you a greenstone earring.
‘I’m going to go tell the dryad the good news,’ he says. ‘She’s been worried since I’ve been upset over the trees.’ Whistling a merry tune, the forrestal vanishes into the woods.
The greenstone earring was crap, but it gave you full fire protection. However, that turned out to be a vital aspect of the whole venture, as you needed that fire protection to get through the flame bathed elemental castle of fire.
Meanwhile, the location of the keys required for these elemental sub-zones were discovered. Two of them were hidden in rooms which I have marked on the map. I have completely forgotten where the other two were hidden, but we used to know and would grab them and run the individual elemental towers.
The towers mobs holding the towers dropped some loot. Nothing really worthwhile. I remember a flaming bastard sword or some such coming from the elemental tower of fire, a weapon with a name that far outpaced its stats.
So there wasn’t much in the way of rewards. We ran them pretty much just to say we had done it a few times or when there was nothing else to do. After they were done there was an exit in each that dumped you back in the Elemental Glades in the area with the sprites that matched the tower in question. So for the fire tower you ended up with the fire sprites.
We were that far. We could run those bits of the zone and ended up with a bit of gear we could vendor. But we also ended up with a stone from each castle. That looked like a quest item to somebody.
As it turned out, heading back up to the ethereal tower, there was a locked door that had a niche the shape of the stone looted from the earth elemental guardian. And after that there was another door with a niche that matched another stone, and then another and another. Four stones to unlock four doors.
And after that last door was… well… I forget. There might have been a mob in the room to fight. There probably was. But I cannot recall even a glimpse of what the mob might have been. But once past the fight, if there was a fight, there was a chest, inside of which was the reward for the whole quest line, an obsidian dagger.
Katumi tells you ‘a jagged obsidian dagger (Wield) Dam:1 Hit:2 * (Weapon) Dice:1D8 * Float Hidden Magic !Mage !Priest * Wt:4 Val:0p * Zone: Elemental Glades * Last ID: 2006-02-26’
The dagger was crap. By the time we were doing that any rogue or assassin that was even trying a bit had the then all powerful Glowing Crimson Dagger from a quest in Havenport that was both interesting and easy enough to do with a small group that it got done nearly every boot that allowed enough time for people to get there. Even the current, post eventual nerf stats are much better. It even has a proc.
Katumi tells you ‘a glowing crimson dagger (Wield) Dam:2 Hit:3 * (Weapon) Dice:3D5 Crit:6% Multi:2x (Class: Simple, Type: Dagger) * Procs: Crimson Strike – Stat Drain * Magic * Wt:1 Val:35p * Zone: HP (UQ) * Last ID: 2010-12-04’
That was the answer to the questions about the zone. It was essentially built in service of a single quest. It was also clearly from another era. Rumor had it that the zone was something somebody built for another MUD and brought it along with them when Sojourn became a thing. It was further said that it got tacked onto the Evermeet zones because it sort of fit in and all we had was Kobold Village and the Faerie Forest. And it gave us some place dangerous to get lost… because to Kobold Temple of the Unholy wasn’t enough I guess.
And, as a final note about the item stats quoted, they come from Katumi, and in-game bot that you can send tells to for such information. Something I would have never dreamed of back in the old days. If you log in be sure to send Katumi and tell with just a “?” to get the info about how it works.