Tag Archives: North Karana

Day and Night on Lake Rathetear

Having settled ourselves on the shores of Lake Rathetear, it was time to see if we could hunt there successfully.  Our goal was to get to level 19.

We decided to hit the gnolls and undead that guard the area that leads to South Karana.

Map of Lake Rathetear

(Map, as usual, from the EQ Atlas archive.)

On the map above, the area we were headed towards is marked with a “2,” while our camping point is marked with a “13.”

Getting there meant a swim of course.

Swimming to our target

Once there, we got ourselves together on the ledge overlooking the gnoll encampment, did our various buff, and generally made a plan.

Set up time

Down below us was a single gnoll, two groups of two gnolls each, and one group of four gnolls.  The gnolls were a mix of guards and shaman.  They were all at least a level or two below us, as they all con’d blue to us, so the experience was so-so, but they respawn rate was generally fast enough that we rarely had to touch the group of four.

When the sun went down though, the respawns turned to undead, which were much more lucrative for experience, as they usually con’d at our level or above, though some of the plain skeletons still con’d blue.

Combo gnoll AND undead

The only unfortunate part was that, in the 72 minute representation of the 24 hour day/night cycle in EverQuest, undead only seemed to spawn from 8pm to 5am, or about 27 of minutes.  So we spent most of our time grinding slowly through gnolls waiting for the sun to go down.

Eventually though, we started hitting 19, one by one.  When hitting 19, a little pop-up gave us advice on where to hunt next.

Of course, South Karana was just steps away.  However, the most lucrative spot for us, the Aviak tree house, was heavily camped when we got on.  But as the night dragged on and we faced another stretch of gnolls after three of us had already hit 19, we decided to head into South Karana to see if we could speed things up a bit.  We were also all encumbered with drops, so the centaur camp and its vendor was on our list of destinations.

It was late, past 11pm Pacific, and the Aviaks appeared to be at peace, so we were able to dive in for a bit and clear out those on the ground around the base of the tree house.

Attacking the Aviaks

However, our burdens were hurting our ability to fight.  Deneldir was slowed to walking speed when not buffed.  So we decided to head toward the vendor, taking targets of opportunity as we moved.

An opportune elephant

After we relieved ourselves of our excess mass at the vendor, we decided to head into North Karana.  Though we did okay in Lake Rathetear, we decided to head to Odus and Kerra Island for our next round, which meant heading first back to Qeynos.  North Karana is along the way.  We figured that we could get Deneldir his last few percentage to level there.

The familiar bridge in sight

That actually took much longer than I thought it would.  There is a gap in levels in the zone, with hill giants, griffons, and griffenes still conning red to us, but most everything else in the zone showing up as gray.  There were a few blue con mobs, high level beetles and griffawns, and a couple of runs around the zone finally got Deneldir his level.  The group was all level 19.

It was nearly midnight at that point, so we camped at the gypsy camp which, while not exactly safe, is still safer than the bridge is for Tistann.  He seems to be persona non-grata with the followers of Rodcet Nife, a priest of which is in the bridge tower.  He’s attacked me before.

The next morning I ran my guys back to Qeynos across West Karana.  Again, another odd experience, as the zone was almost all gray to my guys at 19, but I knew that there were still a couple of mobs out there I had to fear.  I even found a couple that were still worth killing for experience.

Scarecrows in West Karana

I cleared the field of scarecrows and continued on, eventually spotting the warm glow of the West Karana towers, something very home-like and familiar.  Then it was through to Qeynos, where I bound my guys on the dock so that they were be ready to travel to Odus later on.

Sunset on the Qeynos Docks

Next time, adventures on Kerra Island.

Norrathian Scavenger Hunt

It looks like the low level armor quests are in for my two characters, a bard and an enchanter, as well as for Potshot’s paladin and druid.  So for much of this week we have put off the experience grind in favor of completing these quests, each of which give you a full set of armor and a weapon when done.

Seeking out these items is a bit of a scavenger hunt.

For example, to wrap up the bard armor quest in Qeynos, the Wind Spirits Armor quest line, you end up with quite a list of  items to obtain, which seem to fall into three categories.

There is the raw element needed for all of the recipes.  For the bard it is this:

  • 20 – Brick Of Crude Iron Ore

These drop off of gnolls in and around Blackburrow, so are easy enough to find, though they are a pain to accumulate as they weigh 15 lbs. and cause you to become encumbered after picking up only one or two.

There there are the standard vendor items that you can pick up around town at any time.  Again, for the bard quest these are.

  • 1 – Arrow
  • 1 – Bottle
  • 1 – Honey Mead
  • 1 – Throwing Spear

And then there is the Scavenger Hunt.  These items all drop off of mobs.  Some of them you can find at vendors in the area, having been sold for coin by people who did not need them, while others are flagged as No Drop and thus have to be looted from the mob in question by you personally.

  • 1 – Bandit Sash
  • 1 – Bat Fur
  • 1 – Black Wolf Tooth
  • 2 – Blackburrow Gnoll Pelt
  • 1 – Brown Bear Femur
  • 1 – Coyote Skull
  • 1 – Diseased Wolf Pelt
  • 1 – Giant Fire Beetle Carapace
  • 1 – Giant Spider Egg Sack
  • 1 – Gnoll Backbone
  • 2 – Gnoll Pelvis
  • 1 – Gnoll Scoutsman Documents
  • 1 – Greater Cat Tooth
  • 1 – Lock Of Scarecrow Straw
  • 1 – Low Quality Bear Skin
  • 1 – Matted Greater Cat Pelt
  • 2 – Ruined Wolf Pelt
  • 2 – Spider Legs
  • 2 – Vial Of Gnoll Blood
  • 1 – Woven Spider Silk
  • 1 – Young Puma Skin

The No Drop items seem to be spread out so that each recipe has one, so you cannot work completely from the vendors in your area.

Via some aggressive shopping (I covered all the vendors in West Karana, North Karana, and East Karana), and only a bit of mob camping, I have been able to make two bracers, the boots, and the breast plate for Tistann.  The armor is… bright emerald green.

Bard turning slowly green

The nice thing though is that, when you make the chest item for your quest, you also get offered the quest for the weapon that goes with the set, which in my case was the Wind Spirits Longsword.

That sword might be one of the best looking I have seen so far in the game.

Tistann's new blade

The design is simple and functional, taking the form of a katana.

I am somewhat stuck on the coyote skull, the young puma skin, and the giant fire beetle carapace, none of which I have seen anywhere.  And then there is the diseased wolf pelt, which seems to drop quite regularly off of rabid wolves in Qeynos Hills, only they are a pretty rare spawn.  I count myself lucky to have gotten one so far.

The Qeynos armor quest for my enchanter, the Arcane Order Armor, has a likewise long list of items to obtain.  The magic users, magicians, enchanters, and wizards all get the same quest.  It is no wonder nobody can tell them apart on site.

Thrall looking for some clothes

For Thrall’s quests, the basic item for each recipe is:

  • 20 – Woven Spider Silks

Those are easy enough to find hunting spiders out in West Karana.

And the vendor items… well… they make more sense than perhaps some of the bard items.  An arrow and a bottle?  Really?

  • 1 – Cloth Cap
  • 1 – Cloth Sandals
  • 1 – Cloth Shirt
  • 1 – Cloth Sleeves
  • 1 – Cloth Wristband

And then, again, there is the Scavenger Hunt:

  • 1 – Bandit Sash
  • 1 – Fire Beetle Leg
  • 1 – Giant Fire Beetle Carapace
  • 1 – Giant Fire Beetle Eye
  • 1 – Giant Fire Beetle Leg
  • 2 – Giant Whiskered Bat Eyes
  • 1 – Gnoll Jawbone
  • 2 – Gnoll Pup Scalps
  • 1 – Golden Bandit Tooth
  • 2 – Large Myotis Bat Ear
  • 1 – Matted Lion Pelt
  • 1 – Medium Quality Bear Skin
  • 1 – Puma Skin
  • 1 – Rabid Wolf Hide
  • 1 – Shadow Wolf Paw
  • 2 – Snake Eggs
  • 1 – Spider Legs

There is that giant fire beetle carapace again, and a rabid wolf pelt, which I am going to guess also only drops from rabid wolves in Qeynos Hills.  And then there is the medium quality bear skin, which Potshot also needs, and which does not appear to be a drop or vendor trash, but a crafted item.

Tistann had one of those as well, the low quality bear skin, but I managed to find one of those by searching all of the tailoring vendors.  We shall see if luck strike again in that regard.  If not, Thrall may have to take up tailoring, which will mean that Tistann might have to continue on with smithing since you need skinning knives to work on hides.

So far I have not been able to complete any of the recipes for Thrall, so he has no new armor to show off.  But I suspect Potshot and I will spend some time this weekend trying to outfit our team.

Down and Out in Qeynos Hills

Our little expedition into EverQuest has advanced a little further.  We have faced a few barriers, such as when Grimfeather spawned right on top of us in North Karana.  That was a bit of a surprised.

A song for departed... me

Actually, the biggest surprise was that two of us survived and made it to the zone.

And there was that stretch when North Karana seemed to be nothing but blue mobs and so the allure of that bridge to East Karana beckoned.

Is the linoleum greener on the other side?

That started out okay.  We did camp for a bit and were able to pick off some scraps that another group, which seemed determined to kill everything in the zone, missed.

A few spiders were left for us

Then, when we were involved in a fight that was already stretching our abilities, a cyclops wandered up and we had to run for it.

Cyclops Attack! Run!

That is Broon, Froon’s little brother or cousin or some such.  He is physically smaller than Froon, who I have mentioned before, being only level 23 to Froon’s 30, but that was enough to make him a hazard to us at level 10.

As you can see, my guys seem to have a head start on the fleeing process.  I think I may have understated the danger.  I typed in that we needed to move because a cyclops was headed our way, when I probably should have just written, “RUN!!!!”

They cyclops pounded Potshot’s guys into mush, while I had enough time to stop and take pictures.

Broon off to stomp somebody else

After Broon, we decided that maybe blues in North Karana were not such a bad deal.

And mobs come in waves.  We cleared out blues and soon more lucrative targets began to show up.  We hit level 11 across the board which, among other things started to open up griffawns to us as potential targets.

A Griffawn attempts to escape us

So all that was well and good.  And then I went back to Qeynos to buy spells.

I had not been thinking too much about money up to this point.  I had enough for my spells previously.

This time around though, I got to the spell vendor and noticed quite a discrepancy between the prices of the spells I wanted to buy and the amount of money I had.

Not much money... or equipment... on Thrall

Spells were 1-2 plat, and Thrall didn’t even have two plat coins to rub together.  And he had to pick up his level 10 and 11 spells.

Fortunately my bard, Tistann, had a bit more, maybe 5 plat total, so when he bought one new song, he handed the rest to Thrall who was able to at least buy a couple of key spells.

But in general, my simply selling to the vendor anything that drops off of mobs does not seem to be bringing in enough to pay the bills.  So I need a plan to bring in a bit more money.

I looked at trade skills for a bit, having seen some people hawking their wares on the auction channel in various zones.  But trade skills need some money invested in them before you can start turning a profit.  Not having the seed money, that does not seem to be the path for me.

I will have to look around and see if there are any mobs out that that we should be hunting that are more lucrative than beetles, lions, and wolves in North Karana.

At level 11, the game had one suggestion.

I wonder if gnolls are well off enough to support my magic habit.

Any other ideas for money out in the Qeynos region?

I have to save up at least enough for Bind Affinity at level 12 so we can travel across Norrath without having to worry about dying and ending up back in Qeynos.

Wanderung Nach Osten

Potshot and I have been pushing on in EverQuest on the Fippy Darkpaw progression server.

But as you level up you find yourself seeking new places to hunt as you soon find your hunting ground, once so full of juicy targets, suddenly overrun with blue mobs that just don’t give the same experience kick.

Not that there is not a wide range of mobs in West Karana, but you have to find the ones appropriate for your group.

We did have some success against bandits, as long as we could keep them in small groups.

Bandit fight in West Karana

There is a spawn point for a pair of bandits that served us well, though the spawn rate is somewhat slow.  That slowness lead us to try to pick off other nearby bandits who end up bringing along all their friends.  Pairs we could handle, even three bandits were manageable, but four or five yellow/red mobs quickly got out of hand.  We had to make a run for the border a few times.

We went looking for a better place to camp, which meant wandering eastward in the zone, as the title of the post is meant to indicate.

I remembered having good results back in the day with Paladin over by the Combine ruins.

A so-so place to hunt undead

My memory seemed to be flawed in that regard.

Not that there were not undead to be slain.  But they seemed to be lower level that I recalled.  We cleaned them out a couple of times and then, in the usual EQ way of things, a red ghoul spawned in the middle of all the blues.  Reds make us shy away.

For those of you who have not played EverQuest, or who haven’t played it in ages, let me summarize how the /consider system works.

When you highlight a mob, a target ring appears about it on the ground.  The ring has a color.  The rings gain some variety in color as I recall when you get into the higher levels, but at low levels, you appear to get these:

  • Gray -Too far below you to give any experience
  • Blue – 1 to 4 or 5 levels below you
  • White – Your level
  • Yellow – 1 to 2 levels higher than you
  • Red – 3 to 50 levels higher than you, your mileage may vary

I seem to recall green being in there, but maybe that is at higher levels.  Anyway, this is what I have observed so far.

There is no nice little number on the mob telling you what level they are, nor are their names color coded to let you know who is aggro and who is passive.  You get a color and, if you /consider (which is mapped to the C key by default) you get a statement about their view of you,  like ‘indifferent’ or ‘ready to attack’.

All of this makes for interesting times.  Gray mobs you don’t bother with.  Blue ones you take when you have no other options.  White and yellow mobs are your meat and potatoes for a camped group.  And then there are the red mobs.

A red mob that is just 3 levels ahead of you is a choice target and your group will probably have no issue with it.  One that is 5 or 7 or 10 levels above you is more likely to kill you or send you running for the zone line.

And so, when we decided to just head on over the zone line to North Karana while most of the group was level 7, the problem of “how red is that red?” became one of immediate interest.

That first look into North Karana

West Karana, while it had plenty of higher level mobs for us, was also full of much lower level mobs.

In North Karana though, the lowest level mob we saw at first was our level, and most everything seemed to con yellow or red.  It looked like a happy hunting ground as long as we stayed near the zone border.  And so we set up shop in the lower left hand corner of the zone.

North Karana

(Map from the EQ Atlas archives)

We got off to a rough start.  We did not seem to have our act together and were oddly reluctant to flee when things were obviously not going our way.  Despite being 10 steps from the zone line we had a few deaths before we settled in.

Our first experiments with red con mobs went badly and until we learned the hierarchy of giant beetles out there (scyther > borer > pincer) we tended to shy away from anything red.  But yellow mobs were in abundance if we went looking far enough.

A beetle in our range

(That shot makes me want to do a series like the 36 Views of Mt. Fuji, only with the wizard spires.)

Once we got settled in and a feel for what we should be looking for, we moved our little camp to one of the small hills in the zone, just off to the East of the Wizard spires.  That put us closer to the flow of “traffic” in the zone and gave us decent all around vision to keep an eye out for the wandering mobs that might do us in, such as the various griffons, griffenes, griffawns, and that hill giant that wanders the zone from time to time.

Level on the hill

Then it was a matter of pulling and slaying.  We ended up with a decent rhythm in the zone.  We got used to pulling the next target straight over the enchanter to get his pet engaged, which helped a lot since the pet was a level or two ahead of us a lot of the time and was probably doing more damage than any individual in our group.

Targets were plentiful and lucrative and we only had to run for the zone line a few times when we were working out which red mobs we might have a chance against. (Borer beetles only at this point.)

And with our success, we found ourselves up to level 10 as a group.

I was interested to see that you now get your skills, and a notification about them, when you level up out in the field.  I do not recall that being how it was back in 99, but my memory about many things is flawed.

Among the things level 10 got us was spirit of the wolf for our druid, so it will be easier for Tarlach to run out and pull.

North Karana is still our hunting ground for now, though a lot of our initial targets have now gone blue to us, so we have to seek out other prey.

Atop the bridge tower

We still have a ways to go before we are able to take on the griffons that fly about the zone.  They are the most prominent mobs in the zone, but used to be quite worth the effort to hunt back in the day.  We also have South and East Karana close to had as well.

And, in another level, we will have bind affinity in the group.  We can then take our show on the road and bind ourselves in other locations so we won’t have to worry about having to run all the way from Qeynos should we die in Faydwer.

Our horizons expand.

Who Sells My Spells by the Seashore?

Nobody does.

At least not the spells I needed, which is why I had to run to Highpass Hold, which is up in the mountains, far from Qeynos and the seashore.

It is like the vacation quandary, mountains or seashore.

Up to this point, all of the spells for Thrall, my enchanter, have been available from one of the guild vendors in South Qeynos.  But my level 7 pet upgrade was nowhere to be seen.  I had to go check Allakhazam.

The spell system is one of those things in EverQuest that I am sure we would never put up with in a more current game.

Unlike the original game, 12 years back, where you got some spells every five levels if you were a caster, they are now more spread out and you get something every level.  In some ways this is better.  They’ve added spells to the game and they would come in huge lumps if you have to wait every five levels.  On the other hand, it does mean a lot of gating back to the guild and trying to find your spells.

To get your new spells you have to run back to your guild, buy the spell, and copy it into your spell book.

This isn’t so hard if your class only has a few spells, but for the true robe and pointy hat brigade, which has many spells, just finding the spell can be an issue.  The spells are sold by vendors in your guild, but each vendor can only sell so many spells.  So for an enchanter, there are a number of vendors in and around the guild.

In the Magic Guild

In that picture are three of the vendors an enchanter might need to visit in Qeynos.  There are three more in the building next door and a couple more that I can only describe as “hidden,” since they are standing in little niches around the side and back of the building, as well.  And these are mixed in with vendors for magicians and wizards.  This adds up to quite a few vendors.

The spells do tend to be grouped by level, so one vendor sells a certain level range of spells, but nothing about a given vendor tells you which levels.  But at least once you figure out which one is about the right level, you have a starting place.  And the spells themselves are list alphabetically in the vendor’s inventory, so you actually have to right click and hold on each spell to bring up the information about the spell, which includes the level at which a given class can use it.

Then certain special spells are only sold by a limited number of vendors, so the spell you need might not be anywhere close to the guild in your starting town.

And, naturally, there is nothing in the game that tells you what spells you get at a given level, no nice little pop up at ding or empty but labeled slot in your spell book.

It is no wonder that Allakhazam’s became so popular.  I have no idea how mere mortals were supposed to figure all of this out on their own.

I certainly became, and remain, a fan of that site when it comes to EverQuest information.

And because of the site I knew that at level 7 Thrall was due to get a new pet spell.  There is a whole series of these spells, each of which summons a pet of a certain level and only that level.  None of this Wow-esque summoning of magical pets that are always the same level as you.

According to Allakhazam, my level 7 pet spell was up in the High Keep in Highpass Hold.

I’ve been there before, but it has been a while.  Way, way back in the day, I decided I wanted to make armor, but starting on the Qeynos side of the world meant you had to get your initial ingredients from Highpass Hold, which is… a few zones over.  The mountains, remember?  Now I would be making that trip again.

I had a bit of time yesterday morning, so I decided to give it a shot.  The first zone on the list was West Karana.

I’ve spoken about West Karana being dangerous, but I am used to it and know the safe, quick way to pass through it; follow the river.  It was daylight in the zone and I got to pass one of the zone landmarks, the combine ruins.

Great place to hunt undead

I ran along the river until I hit the invisible zone line and zoned into North Karana, where it was night time.

Spires in the dark

One of the odd things about EverQuest is that the zones don’t all seem to be in sync when it comes to the day/night cycle.  There I was running across a well lit landscape and then I zoned into the adjoining landscape to find it dark.

For North Karana I seemed to recall that following the river around to the bridge to East Karana was a bad idea.  The road through the zone that runs from the South Karana to East Karana bridge was the safest route, so I followed that.

I also noted that the mobs in the zone were my level or just a bit higher, except for the griffons which were red, and made a note to suggest that Potshot and I move our next hunting expedition to NK.

I made it safely across North Karana and zoned into East Karana, where I was greeted pretty much with what I remember about the zone.  Corpses.

They didn't escape

In my first run to Highpass Hold, I got to East Karana and turned around.  The zone at the time was covered in a layer of fog and dangerous creatures would loom out of it.  The first time I did make it past, I had spirit of the wolf on me and ended up leading several creatures all the way to Highpass.

Now, however, the fog is gone and there seemed to be a dearth of dangerous, or at least aggro, creatures.

Seems pretty clear in East Karana now

I just headed out across the zone and made it to the long, long run up the canyon path.

Here I felt I was home free.  The run is long, but as long as you don’t fall off the edge, things are usually okay.

I did have one heart stopping moment when I rounded a corner and was face to face with a Dark Stalker, which is basically a big black wolf.  He con’d red and aggro, but didn’t seem to think I was worth the effort, so on I ran.

Eventually I hit the top of the pass and zoned into Highpass Hold.

Almost to the end of my journey!

Just beyond the gate/tunnel pictured above there are some gnolls.

I remembered the gnolls, but I could not recall if there was anything special I had to do to get past them.  In my memory, I could only recall just running past them.  But then, they used to be camped all the time too.  What to do?

I decided to just try and run past and head for the keep.  If I could remember where the keep was.

The gnolls had different ideas.  They were red to me and stunned me with every other hit.  I knew I was done for.

Back to North Qeynos

And being dead meant going back to my bind point which was all the way back where I started, back in North Qeynos.  Well, the spell for my level 7 pet would have to wait until I had the time for another attempt.  At least the experience loss is small and all my equipment wasn’t still sitting on my corpse.  Getting that back would have been a challenge.

Then I got a tell from somebody asking me if the gnolls had seen through my invisibility.

Invisibility? Crap, I had that spell!  Why didn’t I think to use it?  And now here is somebody come to mock my stupidity.

But no, it turned out that this was a fellow enchanter, also level 7, who had been up there for the same spell I had been.  His name was Obmoz and he offered to pick up the spell for me.  He actually grabbed that and my next two pet spells, which ran about four and a half platinum.

When he gated back to Qeynos, I basically gave him all of my money, which was about 9 platinum.  One can always grind for a bit more coin, but I wasn’t sure when I was going to find the time to make that run again, so I was grateful.

So now Thrall has his new pet, which actually cons yellow to him, so it is a level or two ahead, and the spells for his next two pets as well.

Plus I think I know where we are going to go hunting next.