In the Halls of the Mountain Kings

It’s been quite a while since I took first-life Lynncletica on her roaring rampage through the Reaver’s Refuge quest chain. She completed the entire chain going solo, including “Stealer of Souls,” stopping short of trying to take on the undead Sor’jek, the ex-Tempest’s Spine boss.

With the advent of Cannith Crafting and Dragonscale Armors, what was an unpopular place to get interesting loot has become patently uninteresting for many, myself included.

Just getting to the Refuse (did I say that? I meant “Refuge“…really, I did) is a pain in the chaps, as well as leaving it (you must either have Teleport or talk to the Stormreaver to get the “Fly” spell and fly back up into an exit portal high above you). I love the aesthetics of the area but navigation inside the Refuge has got to be one of the most unintuitive places in the game.

You can do the flagging quests in any order. It’s what you need to gain from or prior to the the run that’s certainly made flagging less interesting.

Randomly appearing in chest loot in the Demon Sands, Orchard of the Macabre, and in the three wilderness areas of the Refuge) are these special exclusive, bound-to-character gems. Three of them are needed as part of the process to enter “Stealer of Souls,” in addition to the Dragonshard Essences you farm from each of the three flagging quests.

That nonsense said, let’s talk about each of the three quests. I’m no expert in any of them but I can tell you why each and every one of them are some of the nastiest, overly-complicated developer-got-out-on-the-wrong-side of the keyboard-without-their-coffee quests designed.

Enter the Kobold

The small wilderness area of Mount Reyselon is actually quite stunning. You really feel like you’re on a mountain. The patrolling gnolls there aren’t a burden but it might take you a bit to find the entrance to the kobold lair.

The quest itself is pretty straightforward. Stealth works very well as an alternate way of getting through and is a fun challenge.

What totally mood-kills the entire quest is the puzzle room that makes you behave like a Knight on a chessboard to open a force-fielded door on the opposite side.

It’s not an especially terrible puzzle to complete, especially using the DDO Wiki solver. The puzzle just completely ruins the gaming momentum. There is a chest that your party can get once the party is across–yes, the entire party has to cross. Heaven help them if they become disoriented or enter before the puzzle is completely solved, forcing you to start again.

The end-fight can be nasty, with many respawning mages and evil genies pummeling you with fireballs and whatnot.

Monastery of the Scorpion

As a player that so loves the Monk class, I was expecting quite a lot from this wilderness area and quest when I first played it. I hoped to see contemplative Monks outside, some interesting NPC banter on the meaning of life and how to get the evil Monks out of their monastery.

No such luck. The Monks there were destroyed long before. Worse, inside, the Drow Monks there are, well, Drow Monks. Poor CON, using kamas. They are hardly a match.

Worse–more freaking puzzles. The traps keep you on your toes, sure. But there’s much to do gymnastically to progress through the quest.

The mood-killer is the end fight. A terribly overpowered Scarrow boss is there to beat, unless you have a good puzzle-solver in your party that can solve it to kill the boss in that manner.

Prey on the Hunter

Most players I’ve been with find themselves becoming very, very annoyed towards the end of this quest–myself included.

An endless swarm of frost giants and other things appear as you make your way through a maze of tunnels, locating switches to unlock doors or gathering the party to wait for ice floors to shatter to let you fall below and to another tunnel.

This quest has two mood-killers. To reach the final fight where Aussircaex is being attacked by several frost giants, you must find the right path through an ice maze. Once you start the maze, the dragon is attacked, so you have very little time to save her before you fail the quest.

Once you’ve past the maze, there’s the matter of a half-dozen frost giants and the dragon, which you cannot heal and whose attacks can hurt you. Likewise, your attacks can hurt it if you’re not careful. To kill what hope is left in a near-hopeless fight is the giant boss that appears and zergs to the dragon if you don’t cut it off fast while trying to keep all the other giants from ending the dragon.

I can’t remember if I completed this fight on Casual difficulty but it’s likely–Lynncletica has learned to hate frost giants and came in prepared to stop them after several attempts and without hirelings that got in the way more than helping.

The Last Battle and The Loot

Once you survive and complete the three flagging quests and gather the needed gems and essences, there’s the matter of “Stealer of Souls” to complete. On Lynncletica, “Souls” was surprisingly easy to do, thanks to strong Evasion and good Healing Ki/amplification on my solo run. The last area, where air elementals try to push you off, was the only real challenge. I did pass up on taking on Sor’jek on my first and only run through the quest.

Using the Draconic Runes, you buy a basic Dragontouched armor that has three slots for a plethora of special runes with different abilities. The good news is that these abilities can add quite a lot of versatility. The bad news is that (1) getting the rune you want is relatively random (you can crunch runes in the altars there to gain a new, different, randomly spawning rune) and (2) the results may be woefully ordinary, especially in comparison to Gianthold’s Dragonscale armor/robes as well as the new augment slot options that can add much of this functionality without the heavy grinding.

I want to complete this area just to know I can beat the damned thing. If I can upgrade my Dragontouched Robe, great. But it’s more than the loot, but the challenge of beating a quest chain that is really stacked against you.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. geoffhanna
    Apr 27, 2013 @ 18:16:16

    You can do it man!

  2. Keavaa
    May 01, 2013 @ 16:03:05

    I like Reavers alot. Even though the armor seems quite ordinary in stats compared to newer stuff it does look very good. I especially like the look of the medium armor. I wish Reavers had a revamp. Rocking Epic Elite Enter the Kobold would be awesome. Its already freakishly hard on elite at level. I think i need to go back there myself. My Keava solo’d it last life like you, but i was lucky with runes and made my DT to spec in 1 run.

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