Wayfarer's Guide to Kunark
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. Those who have been playing for awhile, who have many characters of higher or lower level, and have a lot of play time, will know how to get around. This guide is for all those who have had the experience of being invited somewhere by a friend and been forced to decline; for everyone who has died on his way to a raid; or experienced any of the many pitfalls that can befall the solo traveller in EverQuest.
Kunark was the first continent to be discovered by explorers setting off from the NorthEastern Antonican shore. It consists, as a rule, of dense jungles and marshes; we will examine its geography in detail below. It is important to bear in mind, however, that Kunark has the most convoluted and "recursive" zone structure in all of EverQuest. Therefore, it is best to study this guide with the help of a zone connection map, such as the one below.
From the Complete Wayfarer's Guide, Part I:
Kunark the jungle continent is fairly homogenous, and can be taken as a single area. It does not subdivide into sections easily, but Cabilis forms something of a 'hub'. The other entrances to the continent are by boat, from Butcherblock to Firiona Vie ("good") and from Oasis to the Overthere ("evil"). The dungeons here are: Old Sebilis, Chardok, Karnor's Castle, Kaesora, Howling Stones, Dalnir's Crypt, Veeshan's Peak, Droga and Nurga.
Howling Stones (a.k.a. Charassis) and Sebilis both require quested keys. Veeshan's Peak was once a "Kunark level" raiding dungeon, with 32000hp bosses, but has recently been upgraded to the level of the Elemental planes; it too requires a quested key.
Kunark and the Old World are the focus of all the Kunark Class Epic and Iksar Class Epic quests, except for Beastlords (whose Class Epic extends to Luclin) and Berzerkers, whose Class Epic takes them, presumably, all over the previous expansions and into Gates of Discord. [Note: Also important is the Kunark class armor, which drops from named in high-end Kunark dungeons. Apart from the Breastplates and Greaves, this is statless and slightly higher in AC than the equivalent Thurgadin class armor, and also usually feature a minor clickable effect of some sort. There is Kunark Class Armor for Warriors, Paladins, Shadow Knights, Clerics, Druids, and Shamen.]
Faction does not play a large part in Kunark; since the entrance to Kunark for evils is through the Overthere outpost, and since the Overthere Outpost is on Venril Sathir faction, to preserve faction here it is best for evil classes and races not to fight in Kaesora, Howling Stones, or Karnor's Castle. Most will always be killed on sight by Iksar. A few interesting quests are available from the Sarnak, faction with whom can be gained by killing Kunark Goblins. Firiona Vie faction can also be had by killing Goblins.
II. History of Kunark
First, a brief history of Kunark, and how it came to be as it is today.
At first, the unquestioned rulers of the continent of Kunark were the Shissar, a race of snake-men who were, at that time, powerful masters of magic, and ruled Kunark with an iron fist. The Shissar used the Iksar lizard-men as slaves in their mines. Iksar legend says that the Shissar eventually angered their own gods, and were destroyed by a plague called the Green Mist; this event resulted in the liberation of the Iksar, who slowly began to learn the xenophobic and warlike philosophy and master the magic of their former captors.
The Iksar eventually divided into five seperate tribe-states - the Kylong, Nathsar, Obulus, Jarsath and Kunzar. These original tribes do not survive as such, but relics of their respective cultures can, to this day, be found scattered here and there across Kunark. The last of these tribes, the Kunzar, were led by Venril Sathir, then a young Necromancer-king, whose skeletal armies eventually conquered and annexed the other tribes into the Iksar empire, called the Sebilisian empire after its then-capital city. Venril Sathir waged war against the giants and goblins of the continent for years, expanding the rule of the Sebilisian empire to include nearly all of Kunark, less the volcanic Skyfire mountains.
Away from prying eyes, however, a group of outcaste dragons calling itself the Ring of Scale made their home in Veeshan's Peak, a volcanic mountain deep within the inhospitable badlands of Skyfire, and watched the proceedings of the Iksar empire with deep distrust - first of the motives of Venril Sathir, who intended to bring the whole of Kunark under his own rule. The Ring was, however, divided on how to deal with the problem of the Iksar.
One dragon, a young blue named Trakanon, argued for the swift destruction of the Iksar race to end the problem once and for all, a position the rest of the Ring of Scale opposed in favor of subtler methods of control. Trakanon and his group wouldn't be denied, however much he was opposed by the greater Ring, and he and his army waged brutal war against the Iksar capital, Cabilis. Victory against the iksar must have been swift; the few who remained were forced to retreat from their fortress.
Trakanon's opposition to the Ring of Scale earned him the reputation of a turncoat, and the Ring began to move against him, trapping him, ultimately, within the city he had captured; eventually, by an unknown process, he attained a state of putridity within the city, not quite undead. Meanwhile, the shattered Iksar empire split again, briefly, into its five original tribes, before reuniting under a descendant of Sathir's, named Ganak. The conquerors' dreams of the Iksar, and New Sebilis, were not crushed by their defeat at "Old" Sebilis, and the Iksar continue their wars of extermination against the Krom`Dek giants, and the savage Goblins of the continent for control of Kunark.
In addition to these foes of the Iksar, they have also to contend with the Sarnak, a dragon-iksar hybrid, combining what some call the worst traits of each - the lanky, serpentine frame and beak of a lava dragon, and the man-like build and primitive culture of the Iksar; a bizarre hybrid which is the result of Ganak's investigations into crossbreeding during the war between the Iksar and the Ring of Scale. We may say, then, that the story of Kunark is the story of the Iksar race, which will be convenient for our travellogue.
III. Travel Across Kunark
There are two Elven outposts on Kunark, one of the Dark Elves at the Overthere, and one at the outpost of High Elves and their allies called Firiona Vie. Both outposts are home to ports of access from the Old World and from the Plane of Knowledge; the Overthere is reached by way of a raft from the Oasis of Marr to Timorous Deep, and, by way of a burned-out shell of a ship called the "Bloated Belly," from Timorous Deep to the Overthere. The High Elven outpost at Firiona Vie may be reached by a similar process, beginning at the Butcherblock Mountains on Faydwer. Both outposts may also be reached by book from the Plane of Knowledge.
The second means of entering Kunark is by way of the Nexus, on Luclin (See The Complete Wayfarer's Guide, Pt. II). Travelling by way of the Combine Spires takes one to the Dreadlands, a badlands teeming with Drolvarg, the werewolf servants of Venril Sathir, whose stronghold, Karnor's Castle, lies in the middle of the waste. To the West of here is Firiona Vie, to the North is Burning Wood, and to the North-East is a pass to the Frontier Mountains.
The third method of entrance is by way of the Cabilis stone in Plane of Knowledge; this brings one to the Field of Bone, not far from the entrance to the city. Here, the main feature is the pit of scorpions and skeletons, walled off at the foot of Kurn's Tower. Travelling West brings one to the Emerald Jungle, the home of Severillous, a Green dragon, more powerful than Lady Vox or Lord Nagafen. Otherwise, it is infested with giant mosquitos and similar nuisances. To the south of here, through a small pass, is Trakanon's Teeth - the forest which surrounds the ruins of Old Sebilis.
Returning to Cabilis, to the Southeast of the city is the Swamp of No Hope, connected to Trakanon's Teeth by means of an underwater pass. To the South, the elven outpost of Firiona Vie. From here and returning to Cabilis, to the South East of the city is the Lake of Ill Omen, a huge grassland, in the center of which is the namesake Lake, which at one point was a du rigeur training ground for characters level 20-28 or so. There is a Sarnak fortress-outpost here, and the ruins of Veksar lie submerged under its waters. To the immediate east, again, is Firiona Vie.
IV. Cities of Kunark
There are only three cities on Kunark: Cabilis, home of the Iksar; Firiona Vie, Kunarkian home of the High Elves and the "Light Alliance;" and the Outpost at the Overthere, representing the "Dark Alliance" on Kunark.
Nobody but Iksar are welcomed at Cabilis. Dark races, and Iksar, are unwelcome at Firiona Vie; Light races, and Iksar, are unwelcome at the Overthere. It is difficult and hardly worthwhile to move any of these factions enough to "change" them; however, it is possible for the Quixotically dedicated.
IV.1.Cabilis is the home city of the Iksar race, a fortress-cavern-citadel of surprising complexity for a Shamanic culture. No race besides Iksar, generally, is welcome here; but worshippers of Cazic Thule will have an easier time than others of fitting in. The streets are paved with water, and the Iksar can - and should - become masterful swimmers at an early age. Cabilis is divided into two halves, West and East. The West half - features the Necromancer guild, a few vendors of note, and the zone to Swamp of No Hope and to the famous Lake of Ill Omen.
East Cabilis is more "downtown;" here is found, in addition to most of the city's tradeskill vendors and the Bank, the Shadow Knight, Shaman and Beastlord complex and the Monk guild, as well as the Warrior guild. New Iksar do not get "newbie quests"
Firiona Vie. This is the city of the "Light Alliance" of High and Wood Elves, Halflings, Gnomes, Dwarves, Humans, Barbarians and Erudites. It has every tradeskill vendor one is likely to need, and is the entrance of the above races into Kunark. This is where players of these races can exchange Kunark spells for others that they may need, and is also the source of many quests for light races, including the Wurmslayer.
The Overthere. This is the outpost of the "Dark Alliance," led by the Dark Elves and including Ogres and Trolls. The Overthere is in every respect to Dark races and classes what Firiona Vie is to light ones.
The Overthere is also excellent hunting for characters level 17-23 or so, and then again from level 30-40 or so.
V. Dungeons of Kunark
V.1. Sebilis is the ancient capital of the Iksar empire, which was abandoned when Trakanon and his draconic forces razed it and made it their own. It has since been taken over almost completely by Kunark frogloks, under the spell of Trakanon. This is probably the second most famous dungeon in all of EverQuest, next to Lower Guk; although, like Lower Guk, it has today mostly been abandoned by adventurers. The gear which drops in Sebilis is now legendary: the Lamentation, the Siblisian Berserker Cloak, [sic]many pieces of Kuanrk class armor including the Breastplates guarded by Trakanon himself, and, most famously of all, the Fungus Covered Scale Tunic.
Sebilis is a keyed dungeon.
V.2. Karnor's Castle. Found in the middle of the Dreadlands, this is the castle of the lich-king Venril Sathir, whose ambition it is to rule Kunark once again. Under the command of the powerful necromancer is a host of ghostly and skeletal Iksar, as well as the mercenary Drolvarg werewolves. Many pieces of Kunark class armor may be found here, including the Greaves which drop from Venril himself.
Karnor's Castle is an outdoor dungeon, and the basement - which is full of undead Iksar - is a popular place to solo for Paladins with Slay Undead. The mobs here con green and light blue to sixty-five; at one point in EverQuest's evolution, Karnor's Castle was the place to be for high-end experience, and was, famously, train-tastic. This is less true today.
V.3. Chardok. The citadel of the Sarnak, Howling Stones is one of the more interesting dungeons in Kunark. It has been revamped multiple times, including the addition, at one point, of a "Chardok B," which is now gone from the live servers.
Chardok cosists of a series of cave-passages leading to a larger castle area; naturally enough, the Sarnak and their Chokidai (lizard-wolves) get harder as one progresses deeper into the zone, and the rewards become correspondingly greater. Because it has been revamped fairly recently, it is fair to say that the item-loot which drops here tends to be better than that dropped elsewhere in Kunark.
It is worth mentionig that Ally faction (See The Complete Wayfarer's Guide, Part I) with the Sarnak, obtained by killing Kunark goblins, is rewarded by several interesting and worthwhile progressive quests.
V.4. Howling Stones. Howling Stones (or Charassis) is a keyed dungeon; it is the remains of an Iksar city, and the final resting place of Drusilla Sathir, wife of the lich-King Venril. She is, of course, not quite dead. This dungeon is appropriate for characters up to level 55 in groups and level 60 solo. Most sections contain mixed live and undead mobs, so it will not be possible to invis past.
Howling stones is divided into four "wings" - the first wing is open, the other three require their own, no-rent keys to be accessed. These are progressive and drop inside Howling Stones itself.
V.5. Kaesora. The citadel of the Sarnak vampire Xalgoz, this ruined fortress has been taken over by the forces of Venril Sathir, under the command of Xalgoz himself. Apart from the Zalgozian fang, required for the Key to Charassis quest, and the ultra-common Dusty Ransacker's Pack, there is little reason to come here.
Kaesora, like many Kunark dungeons, contains mixed live and undead mobs, making Invisibility through any given part of it more or less impossible. Those who find the Key to Charassis to be a desirable object will have to clear their way down; on the upside, everyone in the group should get a Dusty Ransacker's Pack, which is a weight-reducing bag.
IV.6. Dalnir's Tomb. This is a low-level for characters in their 20s and thirties, divided into three successively-deeper floors. The monsters here are the typical Kunark mix of skeletal and ghostly Sarnak, live "gnashers," and "enthralled" humanoid creatures of various sorts, including goblins, sarnak, and PC races such as halflings and elves.
The boss of the zone is a Sarnak enchanter called "the Kly," responsible for the "enthrallment" of the various beings - not counting the undead - here. He drops a surprisingly nice head piece (and nothing else,) the Sarnak Headgear. The better loot of the zone, such as the Two Handed Practice Sword, drops from the single Lumpy Goo spawn, on the second level of the zone.
IV. 7. Kurn's Tower. This was the structure built for Venril Sathir's head torturer, Rile; it sits in the middle of the Field of Bone, immediately outside of Cabilis. Its upper levels are populated by undead Iksar; this is the place to be if, for whatever reason, you need to farm bonechips in a hurry.
Its lower levels are occupied, mainly, by Burynai necromancers and shamen. It is appropriate for very low level characters, between 10-20 or so.
IV. 8. Veeshan's Peak. This former Kunark-level raiding zone was revamped recently to the level of the Elemental Planes. Essentially, it is a large cavern complex, swimming with dragons and dragon-kin. It is known that each of the old dragons which inhabited the place now gives a quest (Hoshkar, Phara Dar, Xygoz, Silverwing, and Druushk,) with a very nice reward, and also that the front of the zone is now an experience area for high level characters.
The quest for the key has been updated as well, and requires an Elemental Boss-capable raiding force to complete.
VI. End Notes.
Thank you for reading the Supplemental Wayfarer's Guide to Kunark! Please stay tuned for the Wayfarer's Guide to Velious, which will round out and complete our coverage of the EverQuest Trilogy. The Complete Wayfarer's Guide Part I and Part II covered essential travel techniques and methods. The Complete Wayfarer's Guide Part III covered Faydwer; Part IV covered Odus; Part V and Part VI covered Eastern and South-Western Antonica. This Guide to Kunark and the forthcoming Guide to Velious round out our series on the EverQuest Trilogy.
If these are recieved well, we will finish off the series with the Wayfarer's Guides to Luclin and the Planes of Power.
Aktolo, 13 Gnome Paladin of Al`Kabor
35 Sense Heading!~