[I found my Wayfarer's Guide to Velious. Here it is.]
Wayfarer's Guide: Velious
EverQuest is a vast game, and it keeps getting bigger - each expansion brings new zones to explore, new places to go and new things to see - not to mention new things to kill and new stuff to take. Even between expansions, only a priveleged few have learned the game well enough to get to and master the out-of-the-way endgame zones. Sleeper's Tomb requires a drop from named, Velious dragons; Vex Thal requires spending time in ten different zones on Luclin; reaching the Plane of Time requires having gone through virtually all of Planes of Power.
My ambition with this paper is to lay out the geography of EverQuest in the most intuitive manner possible.
The Velious expansion, in contrast to Kunark, was designed with a few major goals in mind. The first was to put the faction system in the forefront of the player's mind; the second was to provide a set of high-end, questable armor for players who had outgrown the Old Planes and Kunark.
Third, and not least, was to give raid-capable players more than was offered with Kunark, which offered as raid targets Venril Sathir, Trakanon, a few Kunark dragons and Veeshan's Peak; in short, all bosses up until Kunark had 32,000 hit points or less. The high-end of Velious, Western Wastes, Temple of Veeshan, and Sleeper's Tomb (recently renamed Kerafyrm's Lair) offered many more challenges and rewards for raiding players.
From the Complete Wayfarer's Guide, Part I:
Velious is dominated by the Giant, Dragon and Dwarf factions, the Kromzek, the Claws of Veeshan and the Coldain respectively. Coldain and Giants battle over Iceclad Ocean, East Wastes and Great Divide; Dragons and Giants contend for the Wakening Lands; and the Claws of Veeshan control the area from Skyshrine westward. The Giants are thus at war with both the Dragons and the Dwarves, but the Dwarves and Dragons are not allied.
Alliance with any particular faction gives access to the cities and quests of that faction; each faction has a set of questable armor for each class, Dwarves being the least of the three, Giants and Dragons roughly equal with one another. This armor is appropriate for approximately levels 50-62. An example is the Warlord's Breastplate.
I will add here that the comparitive weakness of the Thurgadin armor quests is offset by the rewards of the Coldain Ring and Coldain Shawl quests, which are excellent rewards, for most players, even today.
II. Travel Across Velious
In the first part of the Wayfarer's Guide, I said that Velious' icy zones are a linear progression. I can now do little better than to repeat what was said there, in terms of the simple layout of the zones. However, I will elaborate on the features and attractions of each, and their relation in the great scheme. For a brief outline, I can do no better than I did in that place:
...their order is Iceclad Ocean, Eastern Wastes, Kael Drakkel, Wakening Lands, Skyshrine, Cobalt Scar, Siren's Grotto, Western Wastes, progressing Westward from Iceclad Ocean. Great Divide, which has both a book and Nexus Spires, is a cul-de-sac - to progress deeper one must zone to East Wastes and go through Kael.
There are three main accesses to Velious from without: the first, by way of the Gnomish Icebreaker ship, which launches from the shores of the Northern Desert of Ro (a convenient and short run from Freeport) and lands at Iceclad Ocean; the second, by way of the Nexus spires, which teleport one into the Great Divide, a short distance from Thurgadin; and Druid and Wizard teleport spells, which can take one as deep as Cobalt Scar.
There are Wizard / Druid portals, called Dragon Circles for their design, in Iceclad Ocean, Eastern Wastes, Great Divide, Wakening Lands, and Cobalt Scar.
I will assume that the adventurer is entering Velious by way of Iceclad Ocean. Iceclad is broken into three major islands, called "Icy Fingers." At the dock, the first group one meets is the gnomish pirates who are apparently stranded here (and, apparently, unable to engage in piracy). This island is largely overrun by snow cougars (approx. level 25), and is connected, by way of an ice floe, to the second island, which is dominated by the imposing Tower of Frozen Shadow, lair of the vampiress Tserinna. At the western edge of this second "Finger" is yet another ice floe to the West, frequented by an unassuming tribe of ice gnolls, and the third of the Icy Fingers. Here, in addition to cougars and "Snow Dervishes," whirling piles of ice and refuse, from whichthere are giant scouts from Kael Drakkel, and the "Dragon Bridge," featuring the skull of a long dead dragon as a warning to would-be interlopers, from the Iceclad Ocean to the East Wastes.
The East Wastes are, essentially, what they sound like - a vast, hilly, empty white wasteland populated mostly by animals, such as rhinoceri and mammoths, which have adapted to the sub-zero conditions of the continent. In the center of the Eastern Wastes is a large fortress of snow-orcs called the Ry`Gorr; to the North of this fortress is an encampment of Coldain dwarves (see Thurgadin) under the leadership of Garadain Glacierbane, a great Coldain hero. Along the Western edge of the East Wastes are passages to the Great Divide on the one hand, and the Storm Giant citadel of Kael Drakkel on the other. Here, also, we find the entrance to Kerafyrm's Lair, called formerly - before the awakening of the Great Prismatic Dragon from his Sleep and Imprisonment - the Sleeper's Tomb.
The Great Divide, a dead-end, is a harsh mountain range, named after the deep canyon leading from the Eastern Wastes, past a mysterious set of Combine spires, to the Coldain city of Thurgadin. The Coldain maintain, of course, a major presence in this area - one knows one is approaching the city when one finds towers guarded by the dwarves; the city itself is burrowed into the Northern wall of the area. The Daggerfall river runs North-South through the area. In the center is a great mountain cave, guarded by the wurms of Velious. The Kromzek of Kael maintain a "small" (by Giant standards) fort to the immediate south of the Combine spires, but, despite the occasional skirmish, the giants are in no position to make a move against Thurgadin - yet. Along the Eastern edge of the mountain range may be found Velketor's Labyrinth.
Returning to the Western wall of the East Wastes, we find the massive walls of Kael Drakkel, home city of the Kromrif giants, and the elite Kromzek under the leadership of King Tormax, to which we shall return in the appropriate place. For now, let us be content to realize that one must pass through the Giant city to reach the verdant Wakening Lands. Invisibility is essential in this for those who do not have the goodwill of the Kromrif.
The Wakening Lands are an amomaly on the otherwise frosty continent of Velious. Far from the inhospitable ice which characterizes the rest of the continent, the Wakening Lands are a lush, verdant - almost tropical - forest. The reason for this otherwise inexplicable phenomenon of microgeography is the existence, at the exact center of the jungle, of a portal to the Plane of Growth where Tunare (Nature) Herself resides. This proximity accounts for the unnatural fecundity of the area. This place, lying between the Giant fortress Kael Drakkel and the citadel of the draconic Claws of Veeshan, Skyshrine, is the most hotly contested area in all of Velious, and both sides maintain a heavy presence here. It is worth noting that the green dragon Wuoshi guards the Dragon Ring in this area, and - unless he has been killed in the interim - he does not permit those who may intend harm against the Claws of Veeshan to pass.
To continue into Velious, we must pass through the great Skyshrine to reach Cobalt Scar. It must be noted that virtually all of Velious on this side of the 'shrine is controlled by the dragons and dragon-kin of the Claws of Veeshan; therefore, it is to the traveller's great advantage to earn their trust. Now, Cobalt Scar is really a thin crescent of land bordered by a great sea; to gain passage through here to our ultimate goal, the Western Wastes, we must pass through the Sirens' Grotto, which is submerged under the sea, along the Western wall.
The Sirens' Grotto is a dangerous place, an ice-cave full of beautiful, enchanting - and wholly evil - Sirens and their dominated thralls. We will return to this place in a later section; for now, it is our concern to make it through here to the Western Wastes. The easiest way of doing this - and the only way which really comes with my recommendation - is by magical Succor. It is possible, with invisibility, to make it through here without fighting; however, it is extremely dangerous even for the most experienced adventurers.
Coming through Sirens' Grotto, we reach - eventually - the Western Wastes. It is here that the mighty dragons of the Claws of Veeshan make there home, and here where may be found the great Temple of Veeshan. The creatures - velium hounds, enormous ice burrower-worms, and others - are a challenge for the most powerful.
III. Cities of Velious
General notes: As mentioned above, Velious is divided, essentially, into three factions: the Coldain dwarves of Thurgadin; the Kromzek and Kromrimf giants of Kael Drakkel; and the Dragons and Dragon-kin (wyverns, wurms, drakes, and so on) of Skyshrine.
III.1. Thurgadin. The city of the ice-dwarves called the Coldain, Thurgadin is burrowed into the side of the Great Divide, and is protected from the proximate giants of Kael Drakkel by an illusiory waterfall.
Like most dwarves, the Coldain worship their creator, Brell Serillis, Lord of the Underfoot. The Coldain city is divided into two zones - Thurgadin city proper, housing a bank, the butcher shop Mordin's Meats, and several other vendors in the "ring" called the commerce district. Thurgadin city is also home to the Coldain residences. The dwellings and other structures here are built for a dwarf's stature - taller races, particularly Ogres, may have a hard time getting around here, even if they have gained the goodwill of the dwarves.
Deeper within the undermountain, past a fortification teeming with Coldain crossbowmen, lies Icewall Keep. Here Dain Frostreaver IV, king of the Coldain, makes his abode. Icewall Keep is made entirely of Velium, the dense, forgable ice from which Velious takes its name. Those adventurers wishing to make a name with King Tormax of Kael Drakkel may kill the defenders of Icewall; the Royal Frosted Velium armor which they wear is an excellent upgrade for many adventurers, even those who have much experience.
III.2. Kael Drakkel. This is the city of the Frost and Storm giants of Velious. Accessed through an enormous, fortified courtyard in the Eastern Wastes, Kael Drakkel, as may be expected, is constructed on a truly massive scale. The paths of Kael are fairly intricate, but divide into three major areas: the City, or main part of Kael, where may be found the bank and vendors, as well as giant Commoners and Nobles; the Arena and Temple, where the comparitively powerful Kromzek Adjutants, priests of Rallos, Tallon and Vallon Zek, may be found (and where much of the sought-after Corroded armor, used in the Thurgadin Class Armor Quests, may be had); and the Palace, home of King Tormax himself.
III.3. Skyshrine. This is the home citadel of the dragon-kin of the Claws of Veeshan and their crystalline golem defenders. Wyverns, drakes and - in the upper reaches of the Shrine - wurms and dragons all make their homes here. Hsarga, the wife of Lord Yelinak of the First Brood, leader of the Claws in Skyshrine, was slain ages ago in the eternal war between the Giants and Dragons.
The lower part of the Skyshrine, which a person enters from the Wakening Lands or from Cobalt Scar, is the city proper, and is more or less open to outsiders. Common vendors and the bank may be found in this area. As one progresses up the Shrine, into the "Forbidden" area, the passages widen to allow the passage of great wurms and dragons. One passes a maze of teleporters to reach the area of the Skyshrine armor quests; beyond this, in the very topmost reaches of Skyshrine, are the lairs of Lord Yelinak himself and his draconic assistant-Generals.
Note that, though one may be allied with the Claws of Veehsan, Lord Yelinak is on his own, seperate faction, which must be raised seperately. The main reason for increasing one's faction with Yelinak is that Lord Yelinak will pay dearly for the head of his rival, King Tormax, on a platter.
IV. Dungeons of Velious.
IV.1. Tower of Frozen Shadow. A massive and imposing structure on the middle of Iceclad Ocean's "Icy Fingers." The Tower, seven stories tall, is ruled by Tserrina, a vampiress. To progress from one floor to the next require sucessive keys; only one member per group needs to have a key, provided the whole group is in proximity to the mirrors which transport from one floor to the next. The keys are carried by rare floor bosses.
This is an excellent zone for moderately powerful adventurers, from level 35-50, with many nice drops, such as the Student's Homework, Teacher's Syllabus, and Tserrina's Symbol, Tserrina's Whip, and Tserrina's Robes.
IV.2. Crystal Caverns. Crysatal Caverns opens into the Ry`Gorr fortress in the Eastern Wastes, and is the Orcs' Velium mine. Here, also, is a Coldain settlement which long ago lost contact with Thurgadin city. The great draw of the zone is the abundance of raw Velium, which is usable by virtually all tradeskillers in one form or another, including Small Pieces of Velium, which may be used to craft a Vial of Velium Vapors (aka Thurgadin Gate Potions), one of the few Gate options for melee who cannot afford Gate Potions or attain the Small Clockwork Talisman.
This is also the origin of many pieces of "twink" gear, including the Blackened Crystalline Robes.
IV.3. Velketor's Labyrinth. The icy residence of the great outcaste Storm Giant sorceror, Velketor. The lower levels of this area consist of slick ice-paths, populated by the wooly ice-spiders of Velious. In the upper reaches of the Labyrinth may be found Velketor himself.
IV.4. Siren's Grotto. Siren's Grotto exits into Cobalt Scar on the one hand and Western Wastes on the other. It is important, to begin, to note that the Succor-point of the zone is near the Western Wastes zoneline; therefore, the easiest mode of passing through Siren's Grotto, from Cobalt Scar to West Wastes, is simply to Succor from the Cobalt Scar zoneline.
IV.5. Dragon Necropolis. The Dragon Necropolis is where dragons go to die. Situated off the Western Wastes and accessed by a portal, guarded from those who would desecrate the burial grounds by Klandicar, a dragon of the First Brood, the Necropolis is a large system of caves and caverns. The large outer cave is populated by Phase Spiders, extraplanar spiders with the ability to stun a tank for long periods of time. Also to be found here are the Chetari, rat-men of similar stock to those which populate the Hole.
The outcast dragon Zlandicar, a black of the First Brood, makes his abode deep within the Necropolis. He is a cannibal, an eater of dragons, and the Claws of Veeshan want nothing to do with him.
IV.6. Temple of Veeshan. This is the most sacred shrine of dragonkind, home of the most ancient and powerful Wyrms on Norrath. Sontalak of the First Brood stands at the entrance way, ready to stop those unworthy of passage. The Temple of Veeshan is open only to such as are tolerable to the Claws of Veeshan - and that only to the "south wing" and entrance hub of the temple.
The other three wings - West, East, and North - are off-limits to adventurers. In the West Wing, or Halls of Testing, are found the Guardians of Veeshan, who guard the desirable armor which can be quested in the Skyshrine. (Should you decide to hunt here, the rules to be followed are: do not allow the door to open while combat is happening, and do not drag corpses except while Feigning Death.) In the East Wing, also, are Guardians of Veeshan, as well as the blue dragon Lendidaria; here may be found armor which, for those allied with King Tormax, can be quested in Kael Drakkel.
The North Wing of the Temple of Veeshan ("North ToV") contains the innermost sacred Shrine of the dragons, which is strictly off-limits to all who are not dragons. Woe, woe, woe to he who enters the North Wing of the Temple of Veeshan, who is not surrounded by powerful companions. The great and mysterious Vulak`Aerr, Master of Dragonkind, is not to be seen except under unusual circumstances - legend has it that he will not return to the Temple except in its hour of greatest possible need. Lord Vyemm, a powerful red dragon, watches over the Temple of Veeshan in his stead.
IV.7. Kerafyrm's Lair. The story of Kerafyrm, the Prismatic Dragon, is long and twisted. I will give an abstracted version of it here - for those interested, it can be further studied with the dragons guarding Lord Yelinak of Skyshrine.
Briefly - before the rise of the Second Generation, the children of Veeshan formed a compact, a group which called itself the Claws of Veeshan. This group made, as a rule of order among dragonkind, the fiat that no dragons of different colors should mate, for the result of such a pairing could only be a Prismatic Dragon. To make a long story short, two dragons, acting against the Claws of Veeshan, did so, and thus was born the great and terrible Kerafyrm - the first and only prismatic dragon to walk Norrath.
Kerafyrm would grow to become the most powerful creature on the planet, and was not loyal to the Claws of Veeshan, who determined that he should be stopped. The Claws determined that, since they could not destroy the prismatic outright without heavy losses in the combat, they would lure him into permanent stasis, at the bottom of a specially constructed Tomb in the Eastern Wastes. With difficulty this was done, and four Warders, powerful representatives of dragonkind, were set to guard against Kerafyrm's ever awakening again. Eventually, however, after the passing of countless millenia, a band of greedy, evil and ruthless, though powerful [edit: Hi, Legacy of Sorrow], adventurers unwittingly awakened Kerafyrm and released him from his force-bubble. They were the first to die as after his awakening Kerafyrm raged through Velious. Eventually, the Prismatic Dragon made his way to Lord Yelinak of Skyshrine, who barely escaped the battle with his life; Kerafyrm, it is rumoured, left Norrath to challenge Veeshan herself for control of the universe.
The Sleeper's Tomb is populated, now, by the massive Velium golems which were set to maintain the tomb against the ages; when a golem breaks or otherwise needs to be removed from duty, it is always replaced by the Progenitor, a massive golem. In the tomb itself, at the bottom of a long descent from the East Wastes, now stand the four generals who, ages ago, stood with Kerafyrm against the Claws of Veeshan. They are extraordinarily powerful, and not to be trifled with.
V. End Notes
This ends the Wayfarer's Guide to Velious, a continuation of my guide to navigating Norrath and its environs, the Complete Wayfarer's Guide. Please do not forget to check out the Complete Wayfarer's Guide, Parts I-VI at http://www.rpgexpert.com/
. Thank you!