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Phreekitty's Ultimate Guide to Kedge Keep
Phreekitty's Ultimate Guide to Kedge Keep
ULTIMATE GUIDE TO KEDGE KEEP (From Dec 2001, Live)
Written by Phreekitty Phyre`Chylde. Edited and Researched by Radia Delfin and Henna Garbfren.
Kedge Keep is an underwater dungeon located in Dagnor's Cauldron, near the entrance to Unrest. Kedge is designed to accommodate players from their low 30's to their 50's. Almost one year after the public release of Everquest, server overcrowding is a constant topic of debate. On the established servers, overcrowding in the "high-level" hunting areas has led to server migrations, "play-nice" rules being instituted, and on my server (Cazic-Thule) a reservation system where guilds actually reserve a dungeon, or plane, for months in advance.
In the midst of this population explosion, the popular dungeons like Lower Guk and Sol B are terribly over-camped. During prime time, there are more Elves in Lower Guk than Frogloks, and in Sol B, the poor Kobolds spawn into an environment where two, or even three, groups of adventurers are camping each spawn point. Players congregate at the zone exits for hours waiting for that elusive spot to open in a group, while those with the tracking skill stare in dismay at their empty tracking list displaying only other players waiting for something to spawn.
It is not uncommon for me to log in to the chat server in the midst of this insanity to find many of the servers nearing 2000 players; but when I enter Norrath and execute a /who command I get the following response:
[48 Bard] Phreekitty (Half Elf) There is 1 player in Kedge Keep.
I have, therefore, written this guide to Kedge Keep to stimulate interest in this underutilized dungeon. I apologize in advance those who have discovered the wonders of Kedge on their own, and who, up until this point, have enjoyed free and unfettered hunting in this wonderful dungeon. For the rest of you, this is your invitation to let the Frogloks and Kobolds live in peace, and to experience that "wow" sensation you haven't felt since the first time you entered Blackburrow. Come on in, the water is fine!
Phreekitty Phyre`Chylde, Aquatic Bard, Cazic Thule Server
Special thanks to Radia Delfin, my Kedge mentor, who encouraged me to get my feet wet for the first time... so to speak, and who enlightened me to the many ways in which bards can rule Kedge; to the bards of Norrath across all the servers, and specifically those whose post on the bardic websites such as The Concert Hall and the One List, thanks for the inspiration; to my old friend Hinanar, whose utter lack of directional skills and complete inability to navigate his way from one side of a room to another drove my need for completeness (Phreekitty tells the group, HIN, STAY LEFT!!! ESTRELLA IS ON THE RIGHT... EVAC!!! EVAC!!!); to Henna, whose insatiable greed for farming expensive and highly marketable items began this endeavor (Henna tells the group, No worries, I'll pull Estrella solo, I can smell that Shawl... -- RETURNING TO HOME POINT...LOADING...PLEASE WAIT); and last but not least, to Estrella of Gloomwater, whose incredible aggro range and ability to see invis is an inspiration to us all.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Chapter 1 - General Information
- A) Background
- B) Introduction to Kedge Keep
- C) Fighting in a "Vertical" Dungeon
- D) Pathing Problems
- E) Fear and Loathing in Kedge Keep
- F) The Most Feared Killer in Kedge
- G) Dying in Kedge Keep
II. Chapter 2 - The Newbie Areas
- A) The First Floor
- B) Pulling the First Floor
- C) Pulling Through the Hole
- D) The Second Floor
- E) Pulling the Second Floor
III. Chapter 3 - The East Room Route
- A) Cauldronbubble
- B) Gloomwater and Gloomstalker Mermaids
- C) Pulling the Mermaids
- D) Estrella of Gloomwater
- E) Pulling Estrella's Temple
- F) Temple of Prexus
- G) Fighting in the Grand Hall
- H) Seahorse Caves
- I) Pulling the Seahorse Caves
IV. Chapter 4 - The South Room Route
- A) The Golden Haired Mermaid
- B) The Crossroads
- C) Cauldronboil
- D) Pulling Cauldronboil
- E) The Well (Frenzied Room)
- F) The Patriarch Room
- G) The Ferocious Room
- H) Pulling the Frenzied/Patriarch/Ferocious Rooms
- I) Phinigel Autropos
- J) Pulling Phinigel Autropos
- V. Appendix A - Special Spawn List
- VI. Appendix B - Alphabetical Item List
- VII. Appendix C - Items By Class
- VIII. Appendix D - Kedge Inhabitants by Approximate Level
CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL INFORMATION
The entrance to Kedge Keep is Located at coordinate -1000, -1000 in Dagnor's Cauldron. The entrance is underwater, a short distance north west of the entrance to Unrest. The entrance to Kedge Keep is marked by the well preserved ruins of a massive marble portico. The same cataclysmic forces that shattered the landscape of Dagnor's Cauldron, also destroyed this masterpiece of the Kedgan Empire. Erudian scholars believe that Kedge Keep was built during the Third Empire; the twilight of Kedgan Society. Though the data is sketchy at best, it is believed that Kedge Keep served as a center of Kedgan religious practice, and may also have served as a regional seat of governmental authority. There is also some evidence that the present day location of the Estate of Unrest once housed visiting dignitaries and ambassadors from the terran nations who called upon the Kedge.
The Kedgan people were an aquatic race, and the layout of Kedge Keep illustrates this point well. Because the keep was not designed for land dwellers, it can sometimes be difficult to maneuver through the maze of access tubes, called Kraecen (vertical tubes), and Paecen (horizontal tubes), in the language of the ancient Kedge. There are no stairways in Kedge Keep. There are also no ladders, no doors, and there is no wooden furniture, making Kedge Keep seem quite alien to those used to living on dry land. You must get used to "thinking vertically" while in kedge. Access to rooms are often through the ceiling or floor, and when entering a room for the first time, be sure to check overhead, as danger may be hiding in the ceiling.
Light is provided by a unique type of underwater lichen, which the Kedge harvested and allowed to grow on the interior walls of their buildings. The Kedge people also used the glands and appendages of fish from the deepest reaches of the worlds oceans. These fish never saw the light of Norrath's sun, and evolved their own source of light. The light giving parts of these fish were collected and worked into "lamps" to provide added light in Kedgan structures. There are some magnificent examples of these "lamps" in the Grand Museum in Erudin, and you will see them throughout your tour of Kedge Keep. You will be amazed by how "light and airy" Kedge Keep feels, considering the fact that neither sunlight, nor air, have ever filled the rooms of this ancient castle.
INTRODUCTION TO KEDGE KEEP
Before you enter Kedge Keep, there are some things you should know. Kedge is like no place you have hunted before, there are problems you will encounter, and tactics that must be employed, that are unique to this underground dungeon. I will begin my discussion with an overview of some general things to keep in mind when you adventure in Kedge. This will be followed by a detailed walk through of the entire dungeon, with some pointers on what to expect and how to deal with specific problems posed in those areas. I have noted where special spawns are located and have included a detailed description of the items that they drop. There is also appendix that lists the items found in Kedge. Because Kedge is being updated regularly, this should be considered a work in progress. As I get new information, I will continue to update this guide to keep the information current.
FIGHTING IN A "VERTICAL" DUNGEON
Kedge Keep is a "vertical" dungeon and is unlike anywhere else you have fought in Norrath. A few words should be said about this at this point, because it is an extremely important point that should not be overlooked. The addition of a third dimension poses many unique and unexpected problems for newcomers to Kedge. One of the most common problems, and potentially the most deadly, is the way spell effects and monster aggro is calculated along the vertical z-axis.
Some of you may have had some experience with this problem if you spent any time during your 20's fighting in the Aviak Village in Southern Karana. The problem would usually manifest itself in this way. You sneak up on a solitary Aviak Rook, who is minding his own business just outside of his hut, high up the ramp to the main tower. Luckily, the other ten players who have also spent the last three hours running up and down the ramp looking for something to kill, are nowhere to be found. It is just you and the Rook. You sneak up behind the Rook, give him a slap, and turn to run down the ramp to your waiting party. Suddenly, however, you stop in your tracks. Looking down at your text window you see that you have been stunned by an Aviak Avocet , yet its just you, the Rook, and some druid named Dorkle, way up high on this section of the ramp. As you run to the Lake Rathe zone exit with your new bronze breastplate shining in the Karana sun, you come to the realization that creatures on the ground can aggro you and hit you while you are on a platform hundreds of feet above them.
This little wrinkle in the physical laws of Norrath applies in Kedge as well. Because Kedge is a "vertical dungeon", this could pose problems for you if you are not careful. If you are in a room with a tube in the floor, such as the EAST ROOM on the second floor, be aware that an area of effect song could pull things from the rooms below you. Area of Effect spells have their place in Kedge, just be aware what is above you and below you, and you will be fine.
Since we are discussing general problems posed by Kedge, I might as well address the single worst part about fighting in Kedge Keep. When people tell me they hate Kedge Keep, they usually cite the myriad pathing problems as the focus of their disdain. While these problems do exist, and are incredibly frustrating at times, they can be isolated and avoided if you know what you are doing. I will discuss problems specific to certain areas in the following sections that discuss those areas. Here, however, I would like to address two general factors that cause the most problems. The two main pathing problem culprits in Kedge Keep are pets and long range pulling.
Anyone who has fought with pets in a dungeon has experienced the sinking feeling that comes after a particularly difficult fight when the pet's master tells the group, "Umm, I think my pet chased that runner that got away." That morale killing message is usually immediately followed by the unwanted arrival of ten to twelve party crashers carrying invitations signed by the recently deceased pet.
There are, however, no runners in Kedge. Consequently, pets summoned by casters in Kedge are a welcome addition to most parties. Instead, the problem of runaway pets manifests itself in a slightly different way in Kedge, though the results are just as deadly. It is rumored that Verant nerfed the Kedge inhabitant's ability to run, and disabled all fear spells in Kedge because of the pathing problems that exist there. What Verant failed to do, however, was to disable the player's ability to charm the inhabitants of Kedge. Herein lies the problem, and a dilemma for those with the ability to charm.
The dilemma arises from the fact that the ability to charm your enemies is one of the best tactics to employ in Kedge. All types of charm, but especially the druidic line of Charm Animal spells work wonders in Kedge. The question is, do you want to take the chance? When used correctly, your party will be nearly invincible, as you turn your enemies strengths to your advantage. When this tactic goes wrong because of a pathing problem, however, it usually goes VERY wrong, and you should prepare for a total party wipeout.
The nightmare usually plays out this way: 1) puller lures two fish back to the party, 2) druid charms one of the fish, 3) the party watches in amazement as the pet rips apart his comrade for any easy kill, 4) the druid then swims a short distance to med in safety, 5) as the druid moves, his pet tries to follow and gets caught in a "track", 6) the pet swims back and forth in confusion for a few seconds, then swims away, 7) silence, 8) druid says "charm broken, get ready", 9) pet appears in the midst of the party with a pack of "friends", 10) LOADING... PLEASE WAIT....
To prevent this you should exercise the following precautions. First, keep a tight reign on your pet at all times. As soon as a fight involving your pet ends, there is a good chance your pet will try to wander away. Use whatever commands you can to keep your pet at your side. Veteran fish charmers tend to mash their /Pet Sit Down, or Pet Follow hotkeys whenever they have a pet in Kedge Keep. This prevents their pet from wandering off along a path that with bring a deadly train. Another solution to this problem is to have invisibility memorized next to your charm spell. After the fight is over, cast invisibility on yourself to break the pet's charm. Also, do not move after a fight when you have a pet, just sit and med where you are.
Kedge's quirky pathing can also cause problems for those that pull with spells or songs. To be safe, only use direct damage or damage over time spells to pull the inhabitants of Kedge. Never pull with Charm, Blind, Snare or Mesmerize related songs or spells. The reason for this prohibition is that while returning to your party, you may get too far away from your prey. If this happens, your prey will get caught in a track and will take an indirect route to your camp, bring the inhabitants of every room is passes along the way. Common examples of this problem are: the mermaids near the ACCESS HALLWAY will take a detour into Cauldronbubble's lair before moving up to the EAST ROOM, the fish on the SECOND FLOOR will drop into the PIRANHA PIT before teleporting to the ENTRY HALL.
FEAR AND LOATHING IN KEDGE KEEP
Part 1: FEAR - The inhabitants of Kedge Keep are immune to fear type spells, and never run from a fight. Therefore, summoned pets work well, as you do not have to worry about them chasing down a runner, and pulling the whole zone upon you. There are some spells that are not in the fear line of spells, but have a secondary fear/flee effect. They include spells such as Flash of Light and Sunbeam, which temporarily blind your enemy and cause them to run. These spells should be avoided when in Kedge, as they can override the ban on fear and can cause some of the largest trains you will ever see in Kedge.
Kedge dwellers are immune to cold based spells, and seem to be less resistant to electrical based spells, though this later fact may be superstition based on the belief that water conducts electricity well. Fire based spells work very well in Kedge Keep. Area of effect Spells can be very dangerous and are generally avoided in Kedge, unless you are aware of what is in the rooms above and below you.
Part 2: LOATHING - Quiz time. What single inhabitant of Kedge Keep is capable of doing 10,000 points of damage to a group of twenty five Level 50 characters in the blink of an eye? Phinigel Autropos? Estrella of Gloomwater? No, not even close. The only creature capable of this kind of mass destruction is that cute little Shimmering Sailfin that you occasionally see swimming around the various rooms of Kedge. These innocent looking little fish sometimes explode upon death, causing 400 points of damage to all players within radius of the blast. Kill one of these during a close fight with Phinigel and see how often you are invited back to Kedge Keep. You have been warned.
There are various types of Sailfin in Kedge Keep: Cobalt, Cerulean, Emerald, Crimson, and Shimmering. The chromatic Sailfin are under level ten, while the Shimmering Sailfin are in their low thirties, and will occasionally pick a fight with low level characters or their pets. All sailfin drop fresh fish and the all important fish scales. For this reason, they are harvested by players who need to continually cast Enduring Breath. If you plan on killing these fish for their scales, be aware that they are place holders for the rare spawning wandering Stingtooth Piranha. If you continue to kill sailfin, you will eventually see these tenacious piranha patrolling the corridors in place of their less sinister cousins. If you are hunting for experience, you can use this to your advantage by causing xp-giving Stingtooth Piranha to spawn. Just be sure to avoid the Shimmering Sailfin at all cost. If someone in your party engages one, have everyone else move away to avoid being caught in the area of effect blast.
THE MOST FEARED KILLER IN KEDGE
Quiz time. What do you think is responsible for more deaths in Kedge than everything else combined? Sharks? Mermaids? Seahorses? No. The most deadly killer in Kedge Keep is "AFK". Phone calls, door bells ringing, bathroom breaks, spouses asking you to take out the garbage are all culprits. Anything that makes you walk "Away From Keyboard" is a potential death sentence. Kedge is not like other places where you can pay attention 85% of the time and rely on others in the party to watch your back. If your Enduring Breath expires, it is very difficult for a party member to recast it in time to save you. It seems like a simple point, but it can ruin your night if you lose half a bubble of experience because you went to order a pizza. To avoid this pitfall, make sure someone casts Enduring Breath on you before you go AFK, you will thank me later.
Casters under level 35 also run the risk of having their Enduring Breath run out while they are meditating. If you are staring at your spellbook, you may miss the air indicator until you begin choking to death. There is really no way around this, except that you need to be more alert than usual when in Kedge. The common wizard tactic of going outside for a smoke, or a walk around the block while meditating should be avoided while underwater.
Magicians should give all members of their party a water stone, even if someone is casting enduring breath. Bards should always have the Aquatic Ayre memmed as well. If possible, you should have the sound on your computer turned on, because the unmistakable sound of someone drowning is the best alert that someone is in trouble. Bards should also click on their song as soon as they here or see someone drowning. Do not check to see who it is or try to warn the party, just start your song and find out who it was later.
DYING IN KEDGE KEEP
It will eventually happen to you, so here is what you need to know about death and corpse recovery in Kedge Keep. First of all, because Kedge is usually empty and is off the beaten path, you can not rely on getting a resurrection like you can in more popular dungeons. This means that someone from your party will have to swim in and drag bodies to the zone. In more conventional dungeons, this is accomplished by a party caster that was bound just outside the zone entrance. In Kedge, however, this won't work. The problem is that underwater breathing requires either a device, such as a rebreather, aqualung, or fishbone earring; a conjured water stone from a magician, or a spell which requires a spell component such as a fish scale.
Obviously, when you die, all your items are left on your corpse inside the dungeon. There are few things more aggravating than standing in front of unrest, begging newbies for fish scales for a corpse recovery. It is possible, though not advisable, to "free dive" down to the ENTRY HALL if your swimming skill is very high, and you know the way. Once you get there, you can loot fish scales or a breathing device from your body. An alternative solution is to create a mule and camp him at the entrance to unrest with a full supply of components for corpse recoveries. When your party gets wiped out, log onto your mule and pass out the goodies to the corpse recovery team. It may seem like a lot of work, but will save you time in the long run if you spend a lot of time in Kedge.
One other thing I should mention is where corpses end up if they are bugged, "fall beneath the world", or just poof. The "safe point" for corpses is at location 0,0. This location is at the bottom of the HOLE, in the PIRANHA PIT. The benefit of this is that it is close to the zone entrance. The problem is, of course, that the PIRANHA PIT is not exactly a safe place. You should also be careful when dragging bodies up through the HOLE, as sometimes corpses can get caught in one of the pillars on the SECOND FLOOR. If this happens, you will not be able to drag the corpse out and will have to resurrect the person in the middle of the SECOND FLOOR.
CHAPTER 2 - THE NEWBIE AREAS
THE FIRST FLOOR
When you first enter Kedge Keep, you pass through a narrow hallway that leads to a large octagonal room. This hallway is the ENTRY HALL, and is where most newcomers to Kedge set up camp. You can successfully pull the top two floors of Kedge Keep to this location. There is one room to the south of the ENTRY HALL, and this large room comprises the entire first floor of Kedge Keep. This room is the RECEPTION FOYER, with alcoves to the north, south, east, and west, and an access tube in the center of the floor.
The RECEPTION FOYER is known simply as the FIRST FLOOR to Kedge veterans, and contains six Lancer Swordfish, and one special swordfish spawn. The special swordfish spawns in the southern alcove, and swims to the southeast part of the room, near the ceiling. It is usually an Impaler Swordfish or a Piercer Swordfish, but if you are lucky and Prexus favors you, the FIERCE IMPALER will spawn in that spot. (Common Drop - Gloomwater Harpoon: Magic, Piercing 9/31, STR +4 HP +25, Wt. 3.0, WAR RNG SHD BRD ROG SHM, All Races, Rare Drop - Darksea Harpoon: Magic/Lore, Piercing 10/28, STR +5 WIS +5 MANA +20 SV DISEASE +5, Wt. 7.0 Range 40, Shaman only, All Races)
These are all excellent items, and are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the bounty that Kedge has to offer. The Seahorse Scale Cloak is a must have for Vox hunters and dexterity junkies. The Gloomwater Harpoon is simply one of the best non-dragon/plane rogue weapons, and has excellent stats and damage ratio for anyone who can wield it. Did I mention that the Darksea Harpoon fits in the range slot?
[Note: Recently the spawn rate of the Fierce Impaler has been drastically reduced, and the Shaman only Darksea Harpoon has been added as loot. In the days when I hunted the ENTRY HALL, the Gloomwater Harpoon was the common and the Seahorse Scale Cloak the rare.]
PULLING THE FIRST FLOOR
Be careful when pulling the RECEPTION FOYER, as the Lancer Swordfish hide near the ceiling and below you on the floor. You must become accustomed to fighting in three dimensions when in Kedge Keep, and this is perfect area to hone those skills. The mistake most newcomers make when they first try to pull this room is to forget to look down. As you leave the ENTRY HALL and swim south, you are forced to swim up to the fallen pillar that lies at the north end of the RECEPTION FOYER, and separates the foyer from the ENTRY HALL. Just past the fallen pillar, the floor falls away and is recessed around the opening to THE HOLE in the center of the room. Waiting patiently near the floor below this fallen pillar are two Lancer Swordfish. They are almost impossible to see until you are directly on top of them, and they should be pulled first if you are clearing the room.
A technique used by veteran pullers that can be very effective here is to switch to third person view so that you can swing the camera around and get a better view of the room. While sitting in the ENTRY HALL, move the camera so that it is positioned in the RECEPTION FOYER so that you can see where all the lancers are hiding. Try to find one that is isolated from the rest and go get him.
The wandering single Lancer that croses the room from the eastern to western alcoves can be a special problem. Casting spells and firing arrows at it will not work correctly. To pull "The Crosser", as this Lancer is sometimes called, simply swim to the fallen pillar and edge out into the room slowly. Only try this after you have cleared the other lancers in the room. The wandering Lancer will eventually aggro you, and you can pull him solo without bringing the Impaler or Piercer.
The biggest problem faced by younger players hunting the FIRST FLOOR is what to do with the Impaler, of Fierce Impaler when he spawns. These fish are deadly, and can take someone from full health to dead in a matter of seconds. Most groups in their low to mid thirties can not take the Impaler or Fierce Impaler in one try. Feel free to take him down in stages, as your party can heal and regain mana faster than he can heal. Simply have your party members zone as their health gets dangerously low, and have your casters mana dump on him. When everyone has healed and regained mana outside, zone back in and pull the Impaler again. Repeat until you put him down and you will be rewarded handsomely with loads of experience for your effort.
The mistake most newcomers make is to enter the room and fire a ranged weapon or attack at one of the swordfish near the ceiling near the south end of the room, thereby pulling every fish in the room. The swordfish near the ceiling are visible from the ENTRY HALL and are directly in your line of sight as you swim up to the fallen pillar. This room was designed to draw your attention towards the ceiling spawns in the back of the room while the Lancers on the floor wait in ambush. The trick to clearing this room is to swim to the left or right of the fallen pillar when you enter the room. Slowly make your way to edge of the ledge over the recessed floor and you will aggro one of the Lancer Swordfish waiting in ambush on the floor. It is then a simple matter to return to ENTRY HALL with your catch.
A group in its low 30's can easily handle anything in this room except the Impaler or Fierce Impaler. The Impaler and Fierce Impaler hit for over 100 points per shot and have a ton of hit points, so be careful. The swordfish in this room, like all the residents of Kedge Keep are immune to fear spells, do not run when wounded, and are extremely resistant to cold based spells. All swordfish are considered warriors and they will bash/kick/dodge/parry/riposte you to death if you are not careful. They also have plenty of hit point's, so be prepared for a protracted fight. When they get you below two bubbles of health, they smell blood and will stay aggroed on you until you, or they, are dead.
Without sow, it is impossible to swim backwards in Kedge Keep. Since Kedge is an "underground" dungeon, you will not be able to cast sow while in Kedge. This results in the need for you to turn your back on fish in Kedge when you need to effectuate an escape to the zone or while pulling. The swordfish here are faster than you (even with 200 swimming skill) and will bash/stun you if you turn your back and try to swim to the zone exit a few feet away. Turning your back on a swordfish you are engaged with is a very bad idea, and will usually result in the "stun spin" which, in turn, usually results in the "Returning to Home Point" message.
The Swordfish in the RECEPTION FOYER provide excellent experience for players in their 30's, and can be camped for experience by players up to their low 40's. For those of you that hunted caiman and crocodiles on the beach in oasis during your teens, you know the routine here. These swordfish are chock full of xp, but don't drop any cash. They also only drop swordfish bills, which are worth a couple of gold pieces, and the no drop Lacer Swordfish Fins which are used for the shaman totemic breastplate quest.
One of the benefits of fighting in the ENTRY HALL is that it is one of the few places in Kedge Keep where you can employ almost all the tricks and devices at your disposal without worrying about causing a train. The beauty of this area is that you are always just a few strokes from the zone exit, so take some chances and have some fun!
PULLING THROUGH THE HOLE
Vertical pulling through THE HOLE can be dangerous and disorienting. Here are some tips to make your life easier. To swim through THE HOLE without getting jammed up against the wall, learn Phreekitty's Spiral Technique. Press down and hold the Forward Key on your keyboard. While this is held down, press and hold down either the right or left key on the keyboard. This will cause you to "corkscrew" through the tube at full speed without touching the walls. When you exit THE HOLE into the RECEPTION FOYER, immediately look for the broken pillar on the ledge to the north, just past that is the ENTRY HALL with the zone exit - and hopefully your party. Bards can pull the PIRANHA PIT without even entering THE HOLE. While in the RECEPTION FOYER, simply swim over the entrance of THE HOLE with one of your area of effect/damage over time songs playing (Chords of Dissonance or Denon's Dissension). The two piranha in the pit will hear you, and will come after you, just make sure you cleared the two wandering swordfish from the SECOND FLOOR or they may come as well.
There are some pathing bugs that you should be aware of if you plan to hunt from the ENTRY HALL. Summoned pets work very well in Kedge Keep. However, if you charm a fish, you run the risk of it getting caught in the pathing bug, which will cause your pet to swim away. If your charmed pet swims away, get ready to zone or evac, because it will bring everything on the first two floors of the keep down on you head! The fish that are aggroed by your lost pet may also choose to teleport to a point next to the zone exit, rather than bother with the long swim up through THE HOLE. This is especially nice, because your escape route will be blocked, and your party may be unaware of this sneak attack. You should also avoid medding or resting in the corner by the zone exit (Location 91,38), as this is the aforementioned teleport point and is a place avoided by superstitious Kedge veterans.
THE SECOND FLOOR
While in the RECEPTION FOYER, enter the vertical access tube in the middle of the room, known as THE HOLE. This takes you down to the SECOND FLOOR, which contains four rooms at each compass position, North, South, East and West. Warning: Exit THE HOLE when you see the eight columns, do not continue to swim down into the PIRANHA PIT unless you plan to pull the two piranhas there. There are wandering swordfish that roam the central area of the SECOND FLOOR. They are either Piercer or Impaler Swordfish, and can be easily pulled to the ENTRY HALL on the first floor. At the bottom of THE HOLE is the aforementioned PIRANHA PIT, which contains two spawns. These two Piranha are either Stiletto Tooth or Stiletto Fang piranha, and can be quite tough. The Ravenous Stiletto Fang Piranha also spawns in the PIRANHA PIT occasionally. He is tougher than the others, but does not drop any special items. The good news about the fish in the PIRANHA PIT is that they will not aggro unless they are purposely pulled. Leave them alone, and they will leave you alone. This makes pulling the SECOND FLOOR much easier.
The NORTH ROOM contains a single spawn which is usually a Cauldron Shark, but occasionally is a Cauldron Hammerhead. The WEST ROOM also contains a single spawn, which is almost always a Stiletto Tooth Piranha - on rare occasions a Stiletto Fang Piranha will spawn there. Once you have cleared the FIRST FLOOR, and have killed the wandering swordfish on this floor, you can easily pull either of these rooms solo to the ENTRY HALL above. The rooms to the south and east are empty, but contain access tubes to the rest of the keep, and will be discussed shortly. For now, I want to discuss some tactics for pulling the SECOND FLOOR.
PULLING THE SECOND FLOOR
When the Lancer Swordfish on the FIRST FLOOR become green to you, its time to move down to the SECOND FLOOR for some bigger game. Groups that camp the SECOND FLOOR choose to set up camp in either the EAST ROOM or the SOUTH ROOM because nothing spawns in these rooms. Both rooms have their advantages, and it really comes down to personal preference which room you choose. Both rooms allow you to pull the two roaming swordfish in the middle of the floor, the PIRANHA PIT, the NORTH and WEST ROOMS, and the FIRST FLOOR. There are some differences, however.
The SOUTH ROOM has the advantage of being below the Golden Haired Mermaids room. This room has three spawns in it, and nicely supplements a continuous pull of the SECOND FLOOR. You may also go to the CROSSROADS and pull the two wandering mermaids that patrol that area if you don't mind the rather long pull. On the downside, the SOUTH ROOM is constantly patrolled by Sailfins that come up through the tube in the floor. These are more of a nuisance than anything else, but they prevent your party from using area of effect spells or songs. They will also occasionally attack your party without provocation, and the Shimmering Sailfins blow up for 400 points of AoE damage - very annoying. Also, a little known fact about Kedge is that the sailfins are place holders for Stingtooth Piranhas. If you continue to kill the sailfins, you will be ambushed by wandering Stingtooth Piranhas that spawn in there place. This is a clever way to increase the number of spawns that your party is fighting, but can be annoying if you are constantly being interrupted while you meditate.
The EAST ROOM has the advantage of being completely empty. Your party is still unable to cast AoE spells, however, because Cauldronbubble and his companion, hiding at the bottom of the tube in the floor, will be affected by any AoE spell or song cast in the room, and will come up to wipeout your party. The real benefit to camping in this room is that you have three rooms of mermaids, below you, just off the ACCESS HALLWAY. These mermaids give great experience and can be pulled quite easily.
CHAPTER 3 - THE EAST ROOM ROUTE
The EAST ROOM has one vertical tube entrance in the floor. This is the access tube you will take if you want to find Cauldronbubble, Estrella, Undertow, Coralyn Kelpmaiden, or the Seahorse Matriarch.
The vertical tube in the floor of the EAST ROOM is BUBBLE'S TUBE, named for CAULDRONBUBBLE, the 49th level shark who sleeps in the room at the bottom of the tube (Common Drop - Sharkbone Warhammer: Magic, 1HB 8/26 +5 WIS, Wt. 3.0, WAR CLR PAL RNG SHD DRU MNK BRD ROG SHM, All Races, Rare Drop - Hammerhead Helm: Magic, AC 13 STR +7 STA +7, WAR CLR PAL RNG SHD BRD, All Races). There is only one entrance to BUBBLE'S DEN, and it is through this tube. Just swim straight down from the EAST ROOM and you will see Cauldronbubble or his place holder, a Cauldron Hammerhead. Also in the room, hiding in one of the alcoves is another shark, usually a Cauldron Hammerhead, but occasionally a Cauldron Shark. This other shark will come when you pull Cauldronbubble, so be prepared to fight two sharks whenever you pull Cauldronbubble.
Cauldronbubble should be pulled to either the EAST ROOM, or the ENTRY HALL. I prefer pulling him to the EAST ROOM because he will not bring any friends, save the shark who lives with him in his den. It should be noted that Cauldronbubble does not swim up the tube from his den, instead, he teleports to the room where your party is waiting. When your puller arrives, there will be a brief pause before Cauldronbubble, and the shark that lives with him appear in the room. This brief moment should be spent healing the puller, because Cauldronbubble hits for over 100 points per nibble, and his partner is no slouch either.
I recommend having a high level druid in your party try to charm the shark that comes with Cauldronbubble. Not only will this shark do a fair amount of damage to Cauldronbubble, but it is likely to aggro Bubble enough to get, and keep, his attention. Your party can then sit back and let the two sharks beat each other up. When the pet finally dies, Bubble should be rather easy to finish off. Two druids in a party is even better, as they can alternate casting Charm Animal whenever the charm breaks. Warning: Do not have an enchanter mesmerize the shark if your druid is planning on charming it. There is a bug that will make the charmed shark attack your party. Cauldronbubble plus another shark equals death, so get your strategy down before waking up the sleeping giant. You should also clear the area outside of the room of wandering Piercer and Impaler Swordfish before you pull the sharks from BUBBLE'S DEN. If you fail to do this, they will likely join the fight at the most inopportune time and can easily turn the tide of battle.
GLOOMWATER AND GLOOMSTALKER MERMAIDS
BUBBLE'S TUBE has an exit halfway down, on its north wall. This exit leads to the ACCESS HALLWAY. There are four exits from the ACCESS HALLWAY, north, south, east, and west. When you enter the ACCESS HALLWAY from the southern exit (BUBBLE'S TUBE), you will be facing north, and you will see two strands of green seaweed. Ahead and to the left are the northern and western exits of this hallway. These exits lead to two rooms containing two mermaids each. The mermaids in these two rooms will either be Gloomwater or Gloomstalker Mermaids, and can occasionally be pulled solo if your puller can lull one of them. These mermaids are casters, druids to be more precise, so you should have your magic resistance shields up before you decide to take them on. They will also usually have some form of damage shield on them, so if you are a tank heavy group, be sure to dispel their shields early in the fight. It is a simple matter to pull these mermaids to the EAST ROOM, if your group is camped there.
If you take an immediate right when entering the ACCESS HALLWAY from BUBBLE'S TUBE, you will see the eastern exit, which will give you the option to go up or down. If you go down, you will follow a tube that turns right (south), then left (east), and opens into a large octagonal room with flooring only along the perimeter of the room. This is ESTRELLA'S CHAPEL, and it is guarded by three mermaids, usually a Gloomstalker and two Gloomwaters. The Gloomstalker Mermaid is standing at the other side of the room, facing the tube from the ACCESS HALLWAY. The two Gloomwater Mermaids are hiding at either side of the access tube exit, hidden behind pillars. This room can also be pulled to the EAST ROOM, though it is difficult to split up the three mermaids, as it is difficult to target them from behind the pillars.
PULLING THE MERMAIDS
As noted before, the first thing you should do when fighting these mermaids is to dispel their damage shields. Because they usually come in pairs, you will be faced with a dilemma that requires tactics that run contrary to the established views on how to handle multiple MOB pulls. If you don't have an enchanter or bard to mesmerize the one of the mermaids, established tactics call for everyone to assist the puller and focus all your firepower on one mermaid until it goes down, before engaging the other one. This divide and conquer strategy will not work well with these mermaids, however, as the second mermaid will sit back and heal the other until your casters run out of mana and your healer runs out of heals. I suggest a better tactic is to have one of your tanks engage the second mermaid to prevent her from assisting her sister.
The mermaids here will cast debuffs on you, and can therefore dispel your Enduring Breath in the middle of a hectic fight. Always keep an eye on your Enduring Breath when you are fighting casters in Kedge, and have a backup air supply handy if possible. Because they are casters, the mermaids in this area are formidable opponents, though you will be pleased to know that the considerable effort required to defeat them will be amply rewarded. The mermaids in this area not only provide a considerable amount of experience for their level, but they also are fond of carrying precious gems. About a quarter of the mermaids you fight here will drop gems of the sapphire/star ruby/fire emerald variety. If you do the math, you will realize that a party camping these mermaids for a few hours can collect thousands of platinum worth of gems. Let's keep this our little secret, agreed?
ESTRELLA OF GLOOMWATER
If you had chosen to go up at the eastern exit of the ACCESS HALLWAY, you would have entered a tube that goes left (north), then right (east), then up again to the left (north). You are now in the octagonal FALLEN GATE ROOM, facing north. The FALLEN GATE ROOM is distinguished by a lovely, crashing wave motif along the border of the ceiling. It has an alcove to your left (west), an empty room straight ahead (north), and a vertical tube to your right (east) with a gate lying on the floor in front of it. The room to the north is the SAFE DEN, and is adorned with a beautiful pattern of golden seahorses along the ceiling. This is one of my favorite places in Norrath, and is a perfect place to quietly rest and recuperate after a long day in Guk. The FALLEN GATE ROOM and the SAFE DEN are safe areas, and can be used for buffing and regrouping as no fish venture into this area. These rooms are also perfect places to set up camp if you want to pull the mermaids near the ACCESS HALLWAY or the mermaids outside of ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE.
Leave the FALLEN GATE ROOM through the eastern exit, over the iron gate lying on the floor that gives the room its name, and go down this vertical tube all the way to the bottom and STOP! You are now standing on the TINY LEDGE facing south into a room with a single mermaid. Warning: Be very careful here! This mermaid is one of Estrella's hand maidens, and although she can not see invis, Estrella can, and she must be avoided until you are ready to fight. (Note: All the mermaids in this area of Kedge are either Gloomwater or Gloomstalker Mermaids. Both types are casters and worthy opponents, though Gloomstalkers are slightly tougher. I will refer to them generically as mermaids, but you should be aware of this distinction.)
Estrella can be pulled to this room adjoining the TINY LEDGE after you evict its current resident, though I recommend a different location when taking on the onerous task of fighting Estrella. When I lead groups to fight Estrella, I usually choose another location because I don't want to worry about mermaids spawning on top of me in the middle of fights. My personal preference for a campsite is THE BALCONY room, which is just to the east of this room, and is where I will take you now.
Leave the TINY LEDGE by hugging the left hand wall (moving east). Swim over the two mermaids, and the withered tree they protect, and enter the small elevated room straight ahead. This elevated room is THE BALCONY, and is a safe area to rest and change your shorts. Remember, when swimming over the withered tree, do not turn to the south to get a "better look" at the pretty green room. If you do, you will die, and you will train everyone with you. The mermaids in that room see invisible, and so does Estrella. They are xenophobic and have a really bad attitude - you have been warned!
If you were foolish enough to swim south into ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE, this is what you would see. The temple is decorated with yellow-green tiles to distinguish it from the rest of the area. If you enter the temple and turn right (west), you will enter the lower section of ESTRELLA's CHAPEL. Swim up and you will see the three mermaids mentioned earlier, stationed guard on the ledge near the ceiling. There is also a wandering mermaid that patrols this lower section of the chapel.
If you were to travel due south from the withered tree near the BALCONY, you would reach the temple's southern exit, which opens onto another withered tree and two more mermaids. To the north of this tree is a small room that resembles the BALCONY. To the south is a small elevated room with an access tube that leads to the CROSSROADS. (The CROSSROADS will be discussed in the SOUTH ROOM ROUTE section.) The eastern section of ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE is where all the action is. This is where Estrella resides, and she is flanked by two mermaids who stand to either side of her dais, next to the large pillars.
Also spawning in this area is SHELLARA EBBHUNTER (Common Drop - Gloomwater Arrow: Magic, Archery 10/0 Range 150, Wt. 0.1, WAR PAL RNG SHD BRD, All Races, Rare Drop - Pearlescent Mask: Magic/No Drop, AC 5, +5 AGI, +10 Magic Resist, Wt. 0.1, Effect of Serpent Sight, Monk only) Shellara's placeholder is one of Estrella's handmaiden, and she usually spawns after a group has cleared this area. This has led to the mistaken theory that Estrella must be killed to get Shellara to spawn. Unlike Estrella, who is a timed spawn and is up unless she has recently been killed, Shellara only spawns on rare occasions after her placeholder has been killed. Few people hunt this area without taking a shot at Estrella. Therefore, Shellara's rare chance to spawn usually comes in the aftermath of an Estrella raid, hence the misconception.
PULLING ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE
Fighting successfully in this area depends on your parties ability to isolate the mermaids and take them down individually, or in pairs. This is easier said then done, however, as the mermaids are casters who cause endless problems for monks trying to "feign pull." Also, the mermaids spawn here very quickly, if you wait too long to pull Estrella from her chamber, you will have the added problem of mermaids spawning on top of you in the middle of an already close fight. There are ten mermaids in and around ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE, so this area must be hunted with speed and caution if you want to keep your party alive. The Gloomwater and Gloomstalker Mermaids pose the usual problems associated with fighting against casters, but Estrella poses some unique problems that you should know about ahead of time.
First of all, ESTRELLA OF GLOOMWATER is a level 51 caster. If you do not have people in your party over level 47, do not bother calling upon Estrella. If I had a copper piece for every time I sat naked outside the Freeport Bank waiting for a resurrection, listening to a level 46 wizard explain in guildsay how Estrella resisted every spell, I'd be a rich bard. Estrella's favorite tactic is to blind the tanks in your party, then swim over to the casters and smite them while the tanks flail helplessly at empty water. If that doesn't work, Estrella will summon her favorite members of your party to her side for some extra added attention and tender loving care. She will also dispel your parties buffs during the fight. This is especially problematic underwater, because various members of your party will lose their Enduring Breath. During the chaos that is a fight with Estrella, it can be difficult to see your party member screaming for "EB, EB!!!", until it is too late. Oh, did I mention that she has about 10 zillion hit points, and an endless supply of mana? Watch those stamina bars and bring your lunch, because it will be a long fight.
I can not emphasize enough the respect I have for Estrella of Gloomwater. She has provided some of the toughest battles I have been involved in, and is an incredibly tenacious adversary. She has sent me to my watery grave far more than any other single opponent I have faced in Norrath. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that she simply is not worth the effort anymore, and I avoid her whenever possible. When I do choose to fight her, I bring two balanced groups with me because there is too much than can go wrong when fighting Estrella with just one group.
Someone at Verant apparently shares my opinion of Estrella, as they have chosen to have her drop two special items almost every time she is defeated (perhaps a hint at how many groups they believe are required to successfully engage her). When they unleashed her on the world, Estrella's creators must have underestimated her wrath and the devastation she would leave in her wake. When they discovered what they had wrought, they gave her the rare distinction of dropping multiple special items. The two items she drops are chosen from the following list, and it should be noted that she can sometimes drop two of the same item. (Common Drop - Rod of Drones: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 6/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges of Drones of Doom, Druid only, All Races, Common Drop - Lamentation Blade: Magic item, 2HS 25/54, +5 STR +4 STA, Wt. 8.5, WAR PAL RNG SHD, All Races, Rare Drop - Prayer Shawl: AC 5, WIS +8, Wt. 0.4, CLR DRU SHM, All Races)
TEMPLE OF PREXUS
Lets move back to the BALCONY, the small elevated room next to the withered tree to the north of ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE. The north side of the BALCONY has a vertical access tube, which goes up into the GRAND HALL. The GRAND HALL is a testament to the architectural genius of the ancient Kedge engineers. The GRAND HALL is actually an enormous nave, flanked by eight massive granite columns that separate the nave area from the east choir and west choir. Warning: Nesting in the ceiling of the GRAND HALL as you enter are five Stingtooth Piranha, who disprove the old adage that size matters. They are small and tenacious, and will wear you down if you don't have an enchanter or bard to control them.
If you march down the GRAND HALL to the north, as the ancient Kedgan Clergy once did, you will enter the CATHEDRAL, with its awe inspiring conical ceiling reaching upwards into the darkness. The CATHEDRAL is actually the apse of this ancient temple devoted to Prexus, god of the oceans. If you are a cleric or paladin devoted to Prexus, you have arrived at the most sacred waters in all of Norrath, the fabled Kedgan Temple of Prexus. Like most rooms of Kedgan design, the CATHEDRAL is octagonal in shape, and has a square alter at its center. Tending to the barnacle encrusted alter in the middle of the room are two seahorses. If you ascend to the apex of the conical ceiling, you will eventually meet Undertow, or his place holder, a Swirlspine Seahorse. It is considered bad manners to begin a fight in this room without praying first at the alter. Also, giving your deity a heads up that you will be joining him soon might be a good idea if you plan to take on Undertow.
FIGHTING IN THE GRAND HALL
This is a great area to hunt, with three special spawns, no risk of trains, and an unlimited supply of fish to hunt that give great experience for their level. It is a difficult area to get to, but the rewards are worth the effort. When you enter the GRAND HALL, take an immediate left (west) and go into the southern corner of the western choir. This is the SAFE CORNER, and is where you will camp and stage any assaults on this area. You should enter the GRAND HALL while invisible, because there are five Stingtooth Piranha's hiding in the ceiling as you exit the vertical access tube from the BALCONY, and they will wreak havoc with an unprepared group that is not ready to fight.
There are four groups of creatures that you can pull from the SAFE CORNER: the five stingtooth piranha in the ceiling, Undertow and his two companions, Coralyn Kelpmaiden or her placeholder mermaid, and the seahorses from the SEAHORSE CAVES. I deal with the SEAHORSE CAVES in the next section, so I will only address the other three groups here. A well balanced group of five or six players can get excellent experience and a shot at some very rare and powerful items by camping the SAFE CORNER. This combination, coupled with the fact that it is rarely camped, makes the SAFE CORNER one of the best spots to camp in Kedge Keep.
When camping this area, your first task is to clear the five Stingtooth Piranha in the ceiling of the GRAND HALL. When doing this, be careful to avoid the wandering seahorse that occasionally patrols this area. This wandering seahorse is the only variable in this entire area and should be eliminated at your first opportunity. The wanderer spawns in the seahorse caves and swims out to the GRAND HALL, crossing from east to west , then returning to the caves. The timing of his patrol varies, bur he always seems to show up in the middle of a fight and has a bad habit of healing your current opponent. The few bad experiences I have had in this area usually begin with the arrival of the wandering seahorse.
After dispatching the five piranha in the ceiling, you can easily pull CORALYN KELPMAIDEN (Common Drop - Sharkbone Warhammer: Magic, 1HB 8/26 +5 WIS, Wt. 3.0, WAR CLR PAL RNG SHD DRU MNK BRD ROG SHM, All Races, Rare Drop - Sharkskin Drum: Magic, Wt. 0.8, Bard only, All Races) or her mermaid place holder from the eastern aisle, near the entrance to the SEAHORSE CAVES. To get to Coralyn, simply swim east from the SAFE CORNER, across the GRAND HALL. She spawns alone in the southern corner of the eastern aisle, so nothing else will come when you pull her.
Now you have a choice to lure seahorses from the SEAHORSE CAVES or from Undertow's CATHEDRAL. If you choose to hunt Undertow, you must first take out the two seahorses that occupy the room with him. These two lesser seahorses move around the octagonal cathedral, constantly changing their position. It is a relatively simple matter to split them off from their friends if you wait for one to swim near you while you wait in the GRAND HALL. Use a ranged weapon or spell to get their attention, and then return to the SAFE CORNER.
Just be sure not to attack one while it is deep in the CATHEDRAL, near the back wall. Undertow (or his Swirlspine placeholder) is at the top of the ceiling facing north, which is away from you. The only way he will aggro you while you are pulling his friends, is if you pull one that is deeper in the room than he is. Be patient, and wait for the lesser seahorses to come to you and you will easily split up the room.
Pulling UNDERTOW (Common Drop - Blazing Wand: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 5/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges of Blaze, Magician only, HUM ERU HIE DEF GNM, Rare Drop - Squallsurge Shall: Magic, AC 5, STA +5 MANA + 50, Wt. 0.3, NEC WIZ MAG ENC, All Races) or his place holder is a fairly simple matter. Swim to the top of the Cathedral, and he will escort you back to your party. The Swirlspine Seahorse placeholder is level 49-51, and is actually more difficult to kill than Undertow. They both have a substantial amount of hitpoints, which can drag out the fight. It is a good idea to eliminate the wandering seahorse before you tackle Undertow, as he has a good chance of making his rounds during the inevitable long fight that will take place.
When pulling Undertow, bring him back slowly and make sure he does not hit one of the pillars in the GRAND HALL on his way to the SAFE CORNER. If he hits one of the pillars, he may suicide, taking his loot with him. Also be careful not to push Undertow back into one of those pillars when you are fighting him, as this may also cause him to suicide.
In the southern corner of the eastern aisle of the GRAND HALL is a large hole in the wall that leads to the SEAHORSE CAVES. The SEAHORSE CAVES are the home to various Squallsurge, Spinereef, and Soothebrine Seahorses. These seahorses are in their mid forties, and drop seahorse scales that sell for just under two platinum pieces each at vendors. There are four caves in total, three inner caves and one large outer main cave. One seahorse resides in each of the four caves, and two wandering seahorses patrol this area.
As you first enter the SEAHORSE CAVES, you will be facing east, and will be in the large main cave. This main cave has a large rock in its center, and has exits to the north and east that lead to the three inner caves. To your right as you enter, in the southern part of the room is the static spawn point of a seahorse. Across the room to the north is usually one of the two wandering seahorses, as this is a resting point before they continue their patrol of the caves. This is the least safe place in the caves to fight, as there will occasionally be two wandering seahorses here as well as the static spawn. There is also the danger of aggroing Coralyn Kelpmaiden or her mermaid place holder, who guard the entrance to the caves.
There are northern and eastern exits to this main cave. The northern exit leads to a single cave with one seahorse, while the eastern exit forks, leading to two separate caves containing one seahorse each. If you turn right (south) at the fork in the eastern exit from the main cave, you will enter the nest of the SEAHORSE MATRIARCH (Common Drop - Rod of Health: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 6/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges Word of Health, Cleric only, All Races, Rare Drop - Shield of Prexus: AC 8, Effect of Enduring Breath, WAR CLR PAL RNG SHD DRU BRD ROG SHM, All Races).
PULLING THE SEAHORSE CAVES
As noted above, there are six seahorses in the SEAHORSE CAVES, four static spawns (one in each room), and two wanderers. Like the rest of Kedge Keep, the seahorses here are on an eighteen minute spawn cycle. That leaves three minutes per spawn for a party of six to clear this area. If you have a particularly strong party, you can pull Coralyn Kelpmaiden and the Stingtooth Piranha from the GRAND HALL into the rotation. This will give you a minute and a half per pull, provided you split the spawn perfectly. Either way, this area allows a party to constantly pull and rack up the experience. There is no down time here if you don't want it, though after fighting some of the tougher seahorses, you will need it. Just be sure to have someone in your party time the in-room spawn, as you do not want the Seahorse Matriarch spawning on top of you during a difficult fight. For high level parties, this area is better to camp than the SAFE CORNER, because the stingtooth piranha in the GREAT HALL become green to players as they near level fifty.
When pulling this area, you should set up camp in the lair of the Seahorse Matriarch. As you enter the SEAHORSE CAVES, follow the wall on your right until you enter the inner caves, then continue right (south) until you get to the cave with the lone seahorse and the huge boulder on your left. This is the Seahorse Matriarch's cave. The reasons for setting up camp in this room are twofold. First, this assures your party will clear the seahorse placeholder as soon as he spawns, therefore maximizing your chances of getting the Matriarch to spawn. The second reason is that this is the only cave that the wandering seahorses will not enter. The wanderers will come as close as the ledge just outside the room, and may aggro your party if you are not medding against the back wall, but they will not otherwise disturb you. This allows you to determine when you will fight and permits a more orderly camp of the area.
CHAPTER 4 - THE SOUTH ROOM ROUTE
Now I will discuss the route leading from the SOUTH ROOM on the SECOND FLOOR. This route leads to the master of Kedge Keep himself, Phinigel Autropos. We begin in the SOUTH ROOM on the SECOND FLOOR. This room has no regular spawns, so you can regroup and prepare here, so long as you stay away from the doorway and the swordfish that patrol the central area of this floor. The SOUTH ROOM has an access tube in the floor and in the ceiling. The tube in the floor takes you deeper into Kedge Keep, while the tube in the ceiling leads to the Golden Haired Mermaid.
THE GOLDEN HAIRED MERMAID
Even more common than the shaman hanging out in the ENTRY HALL waiting for the Fierce Impaler, are the rangers camping the SOUTH ROOM waiting for the Golden Haired Mermaid. This is because she drops a lock of hair each time she is defeated. This hair is no drop and is a component of the Rain Caller Bow quest. Anyone can do this quest if they have the correct faction, but only rangers can use the finished bow. This quest provides excellent experience for high level players, and the Rain Caller bow can sell for thousands of platinum pieces at the bazaar. This makes Goldie's scalp one of the most sought after prizes in Kedge.
If you swim up the tube in the ceiling of the SOUTH ROOM, you will enter a tube that goes south, then east, then turns south again and enters into a small octagonal room with three inhabitants. In the center of the room, facing you is the Golden Haired Mermaid or one of her place holders, a generic "a mermaid", or a Stiletto Piranha (Tooth or Fang). The other two occupants of the room are always Stiletto Tooth or Stiletto Fang Piranha. One is hiding behind a pillar to the right as you enter the room, the other is nesting in a recess in the center of the ceiling, just above the spot where the Golden Haired Mermaid spawns.
Luckily, the piranha in the ceiling will not usually come when you pull Goldie, or her placeholder. To insure this, use range weapons or spells to lure her from the hallway. The piranha to the right will almost always come, however, so you should be prepared to fight a piranha as well as the Golden Haired Mermaid whenever you pull her. This is sometimes a blessing in disguise, as groups with druids usually have their druid try to charm the piranha. A piranha as a pet is a lethal weapon, and can easily distract and interrupt the Golden Haired Mermaid as she attempts to cast spells. Goldie is a druid also, however, so be prepared for the damage shields she usually places on herself and the piranha in her room.
The empty room below the SOUTH ROOM has one exit to the east. When you go through this exit, you follow the access tube right (south), then left (east), and you soon enter a small room with access tube exits on each of the room's four walls. This is the CROSSROADS, or 4-WAY as it is sometimes called, and is the main staging area for assaults on this side of Kedge Keep. It should be noted from the start, that unlike other areas I've suggested for setting up group camps, the CROSSROADS is NOT a safe area. Constantly wandering through this area are mermaids from Estrella's room and Shimmering Sailfish. The latter see invisible and will blow your cover by attracting wandering mermaids as you are setting up camp, not letting you properly prepare for the coming fight. The pesky Shimmering Sailfins will also harass your party's lure, and will explode for substantial area of effect damage when attacked.
The west exit from the CROSSROADS leads to the room under the SOUTH ROOM, and is the portal you came through to get to this room. The north exit from the CROSSROADS leads to the small rooms adjoining ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE to the south. I discussed ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE above, and I will not repeat that information here. Suffice it to say that the same problems and strategies I discussed in Estrella's section apply here as well. The only difference is that you are now approaching her lair from the south instead of the north. Also, if you plan on pulling Estrella to the CROSSROADS, make sure your lure is heavily buffed. I give this warning because the north access tube is difficult to navigate, as it goes up, then levels out to the north, then dips down into the room near Estrella's lair. When Estrella and her handmaidens are chasing you and casting blindness on you, you have plenty of things to worry about without having to worry about navigating the circuitous route of this access tube.
The east and south access tubes from the CROSSROADS intersect after a quick turn, and therefore lead to the same place. (The east exit takes a right turn after a few strokes, while the south exit takes a left turn) At the point where the east and south access tubes from the CROSSROADS intersect, you are given the option to continue south, or to swim down and continue east. If you continue south from this intersection, you will enter BOIL'S LAIR. If you go down and to the east from the intersection, you enter the WELL. Both these areas have sharks, sharks, and more sharks, so if you like your prey big and tough, you have come to the right place.
Exit the CROSSROADS from the east exit. It will turn right and continue south to the intersection with the access tube from the south exit. When you reach the intersection, continue south and in a few moments the walls will fall away as you enter an enormous room of silent dark water. The first time you enter BOIL'S LAIR, your heart will skip a beat, and you will have to remind yourself to breathe. You are on a ledge at the north end of the room. The ceiling of the room extends upwards until it is obscures by the dark water, ahead of you, the floor abruptly ends, forming a deep chasm that splits the room along its east-west axis. Around the perimeter of the room are six apartments, long since abandoned, that once housed the servants who served Kedge's clerics and tended to the daily needs of the Temple of Prexus.
Today, however, this area is a makeshift jail that houses aqua goblin prisoners. Patrolling the watery chasm that divides this room, and blocking your access to these jail cells, are four enormous sharks. The leader of this pack is none other than CAULDRONBOIL (Common Drop - Sharkjaw Cutlass: Magic, 1HS 10/32, Wt. 2.0, WAR PAL RNG SHD BRD ROG, All Races, Rare Drop - Kedgemail Gauntlets: Magic/No Drop, AC 11 STR +3 DEX +5 MANA +25, Wt. 3.0, PAL RNG SHD BRD ROG SHM, All Races), the 49th level shark who has made this area his home.
The secret to pulling this room is to wait for the sharks to separate. The four sharks in the room patrol the watery trench that traverses the room along its east-west axis. At different times, the sharks will be at the bottom or the top of the trench, and will move from the east to the west. You enter the room near the ceiling, and therefore you should try to wait until some of the sharks swim down near the floor. Isolate one or two of the sharks and bring them to your party waiting in the CROSSROADS or below the SOUTH ROOM. When fighting Cauldronboil in the CROSSROADS, be careful not to push him into a pillar, as this may cause him to suicide and take your loot with him.
If you are adventurous, you can also bring your invisible party to one of the jail cells, and fight from there. This is a much shorter pull, and alleviates the need to worry about the wandering mermaids that patrol the CROSSROADS. If you decide to try this, be aware that the aqua goblin prisoners, although green, are hostile, and may try to attack a caster if he sits down to meditate.
THE WELL (FRENZIED ROOM)
Exit the CROSSROADS to the south and follow the access tube as it turns east and crosses the intersection with the tube from the east exit. Continue east from this intersection - this will require you to swim down a bit - until the access tube terminates its easterly course and turns upward. You are now at the bottom of a deep and narrow well. Swim up the well shaft and you will enter a room that is named after this oddly placed structure. This room is also called the FRENZIED ROOM, named for the Frenzied Cauldron Shark who occasionally spawns here.
When you exit the top of the well shaft, you will be in a pit at the center of a large circular room. There is one other exit to this room, through a small access tube past the fallen pillars to the west. That other exit leads to the PATRIARCH ROOM, and to Phinigel Autropos. There are three sharks in this room. They are usually Caldron sharks or Hammerheads, but on rare occasion, the FRENZIED CAULDRON SHARK (Common Drop: Shark Tooth, Magic, Piercing 5/18, Wt. 1.5, WAR RNG SHD BRD ROG NEC WIZ MAG ENC, All Races, Rare Drop: Abalone Gorget, Magic, AC 8, WIS +8, weight 4.0, WAR CLR PAL SHD BRD, All Races) will spawn in place of one of the other sharks.
THE PATRIARCH ROOM
If you swim over the fallen pillars and exit the FRENZIED ROOM to the west, you will enter a narrow access tube that turns right (north), then left (west), leading you to a large rectangular room. This is the PATRIARCH ROOM, and contains four exits, including the one you just emerged from. There are two seahorses and a shark that inhabit this room. The seahorses will be either Squallsurge, Spinereef, or Soothebrine Seahorses, just like those found in the SEAHORSE CAVES. If you are lucky, however, one of the seahorses will spawn as the SEAHORSE PATRIARCH (Common Drop - Wand of Ice: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 5/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges of Ice Shock, Wizard Only, HUM ERU DEF GNM, Rare Drop - Seahorse Scale Cloak: Magic/Lore, AC 8, DEX +6 SV COLD +35, Wt. 3.5, WAR PAL RNG SHD MNK BRD ROG, All Races) The shark will be either a Cauldron Shark, a Cauldron Hammerhead, or a the Ferocious Cauldron Shark which I will discuss in the next section. [Note: The drop of the Seahorse Scale Cloak has recently been changed. This is where I have been told it now drops, though I have not verified this.]
To the right (northeast corner) as you enter the room, is the access tube that leads to the cavernous lair of Phinigel Autropos. To the left are two exits at the southern end of the room that lead to two separate rooms. The entrance in the center of the south wall leads to a small room that is usually empty (it is occasionally visited by the shark that lives in the PATRIARCH ROOM). The exit in the southwest corner of the room leads to an access tube that goes down and opens into the FEROCIOUS ROOM.
THE FEROCIOUS ROOM
The FEROCIOUS ROOM is almost always empty and is a good place to set up camp if you plan to hunt this area. The only time anything spawns here, is eighteen minutes after you kill the shark that wanders the PATRIARCH ROOM. This room is the spawn point for that shark. After he spawns, he swims up the access tube to the PATRIARCH ROOM, and immediately enters the small room through the south wall. He sits there for a while and then moves into the PATRIARCH ROOM to begin his patrol. On rare occasion, the shark that spawns in this room will be the FEROCIOUS CAULDRON SHARK, (Common Drop - Wand of Shadow: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 5/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges of Invoke Shadow, Necromancer Only, HUM ERU DEF GNM, Rare Drop - Driftwood Treasure Chest: Magic/Lore, Wt. 10.0, 10 slot container that reduces items weight by 100%, All Classes, All Races)
PULLING THE FRENZIED/PATRIARCH/FEROCIOUS ROOMS
If you set up camp in the FEROCIOUS ROOM, you can pull the three sharks from the WELL room, and the two seahorses and the shark that reside in the PATRIARCH ROOM. All these spawns are on an eighteen minute cycle, therefore leaving three minutes per spawn if your party plans to clear this entire area. The beauty of this plan is that there are three rare spawns here. Every six minutes, your party will have a shot at getting a named spawn. If you spend any time here, you are almost guaranteed getting something good.
To pull this area, set up camp in the FEROCIOUS ROOM and remember to time the spawn of the Ferocious Cauldron Shark or his placeholder. Other than that, its rather straightforward, just be sure not to pull too many at once.
In the north east corner of the PATRIARCH ROOM, there is an access tube that turns to the north and drops down to a lower level. This is the tube that leads to the lair of the ruler of Kedge Keep, Phinigel Autropos. This tube drops down to the north, turns left, drops down and continues to the west. The tiles that line the walls of the tube are the same green/yellow tiles that cover ESTRELLA'S TEMPLE. At its western end, the tube turns upward and deposits you onto a ledge overlooking an enormous room.
This room is the home Phinigel Autropos, and is the center of governmental authority for all sentient aquatic life across the oceans of Norrath. The room is octagonal, following traditional Kedgan design. There is an inclined ledge that runs along the perimeter of the room, halfway up the wall. The only exit from the room is in the east wall, where you entered.
As you enter the room, the ledge you are on quickly ends, leading you to descend to the main floor of the room. In the center of the room, the floor has been cut away in the shape of an eight sided star. At the tip of each point of the star is a large column that rises up into the dark water above. There are four Swirlspine Seahorses guarding the cutaway section of the floor. They are inside four of the star points, with their heads at floor level. If you descend into the star shaped crevice, you will enter another octagonal room guarded by the deadly Swirlspine Guardians. At the center of this room is PHINIGEL AUTROPOS (Wand of Mana Tapping: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 5/30, Wt. 1.5, Seven Charges of Mana Sieve, Enchanter only, HUM ERU HIE DEF GNM, Rod of Malisement: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 7/30, Wt. 1.5, Seven Charges of Malisement, Shaman only, BAR TRL OGR, Staff of Elemental Mastery: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 2HB 15/30, Wt. 5.0, Effect of Reclaim Energy, Magician only, All Races, Trident of the Seven Seas: Magic/Lore/No Drop, Piercing 10/30, Wt. 2.0, Effect of Frost Strike, Rogue only, All Classes, Robe of the Kedge: Magic/Lore/No Drop, AC 8 STA +10 MANA +100, Wt. 1.5, NEC WIZ MAG ENC, HUM ERU HIE DEF GNM).
PULLING PHINIGEL AUTROPOS
There are many differing opinions about how to pull this room. Instead of going into them all, I would simply like to address some of the problems encountered in this area, and will suggest one strategy for pulling this room. If you have made it this far, you should be sophisticated enough to devise your own strategies that will work for you. Just be sure to have someone with Evac memorized, because you will probably need it.
There are essentially three waves of opponent that must be dealt with here: Swilspines, Swirlspine Guardians, and Phinigel himself. To pull this area, I suggest a minimum of two strong groups, though three groups will make your task much easier. The key to fighting in this area is the pull. You must be able to pick off one or two seahorses at a time, until you get to Phinigel. Pulling more than two seahorses spells almost certain disaster, no matter how many people you have. Therefore, having a high level monk feign pulling is almost a necessity.
I recommend setting up your camp in the PATRIARCH ROOM. This gives your puller some room to work with, and allows her to sacrifice herself should the pull go badly, therefore not endangering the entire party. It is useful to think of the Swirlspines and the Swirlspine Guardians as forming two concentric rings around Phinigel. When luring the Swirlspines along the points of the star, you should swim directly out to the perimeter of the room, and then make your way along the ledge to the eastern exit of the room. This will avoid attracting attention from the other seahorses standing guard in the center of the room. When pulling, you should also be sure to avoid placing yourself in a position where a blast from a seahorse's spell will knock you into the aggro range of another seahorse.
The Swirlspine Seahorses and Swirlspine Guardians are casters, and have a tremendous amount of hit points. They will cast area of effect spells to wear down your party, so make sure you have your resistances buffed before you take them on. In addition, the SWIRLSPINE GUARDIANS (Common Drop - Swirlspine Belt: Magic, AC 4, Wt. 1.0, Effect of Haste, WAR PAL RNG SHD MNK BRD ROG, All Races) are able to summon you to their side during the fight, so be careful. This becomes particularly problematic when a Guardian teleports back to Phinigel's room in the middle of a fight. As everyone stands around asking, "Where did he go, did he suicide?", you will begin to notice players disappearing one by one as they are summoned to their death. If this happens, camp immediately and /petition the problem as soon as you relog, because corpse retrieval from a fully spawned Phinigel's Lair is next to impossible.
The Swirlspine Guardians have the ability to cast Complete Heal on themselves, or on their companions if you pull more than one. You should be prepared to have an enchanter mesmerize any extra seahorses that you pull, while your party focuses on one at a time. Enchanters work well down here, and some believe that the Swirlspine Guardians are easier to mesmerize than their generic Swirlspine cousins, though I have not confirmed this.
Phinigel Autropos is not too difficult to take down if he is pulled alone. He is not in the same class as the dragons, though his loot can be almost as good. The key is to get him alone so that everyone can concentrate on him. Remember, the respawn time on the Swirlspines in this area is eighteen minutes, so you must work fast to clear a path to him. Phinigel will summon players to his side and has a wide variety of spells at his command. He will also dispel your parties buffs en masse, just like the dragons do, so be prepared and watch your Enduring Breath. Phinigel is well worth the trouble, and presents a great opportunity for fun and advancement for a couple of well organized groups who want a few hours of interesting, challenging gaming. Good luck, and keep an eye on your air supply!
APPENDIX A - SPECIAL SPAWN LIST
- FIERCE IMPALER - (Common Drop - Gloomwater Harpoon: Magic, Piercing 9/31, STR +4 HP +25, Wt. 3.0, WAR RNG SHD BRD ROG SHM, All Races, Rare Drop - Darksea Harpoon: Magic/Lore, Piercing 10/28, STR +5 WIS +5 MANA +20 SV DISEASE +5, Wt. 7.0 Range 40, Shaman only, All Races)
- CAULDRONBUBBLE - (Common Drop - Sharkbone Warhammer: Magic, 1HB 8/26 +5 WIS, Wt. 3.0, WAR CLR PAL RNG SHD DRU MNK BRD ROG SHM, All Races, Rare Drop - Hammerhead Helm: Magic, AC 13 STR +7 STA +7, WAR CLR PAL RNG SHD BRD, All Races).
- CAULDRONBOIL - (Common Drop - Sharkjaw Cutlass: Magic, 1HS 10/32, Wt. 2.0, WAR PAL RNG SHD BRD ROG, All Races, Rare Drop - Kedgemail Gauntlets: Magic/No Drop, AC 11 STR +3 DEX +5 MANA +25, Wt. 3.0, PAL RNG SHD BRD ROG SHM, All Races),
- FRENZIED CAULDRON SHARK - (Common Drop - Shark Tooth, Magic, Piercing 5/18, Wt. 1.5, WAR RNG SHD BRD ROG NEC WIZ MAG ENC, All Races, Rare Drop - Abalone Gorget: Magic, AC 8, WIS +8, Wt. 4.0, WAR CLR PAL SHD BRD, All Races)
- FEROCIOUS CAULDRON SHARK - (Common Drop - Wand of Shadow: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 5/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges of Invoke Shadow, Necromancer Only, HUM ERU DEF GNM, Rare Drop - Driftwood Treasure Chest: Magic/Lore, Wt. 10.0, 10 slot container that reduces items weight by 100%, All Classes, All Races)
- SHELLARA EBBHUNTER - (Common Drop - Gloomwater Arrow: Magic, Archery 10/0 Range 150, Wt. 0.1, WAR PAL RNG SHD BRD, All Races, Rare Drop - Pearlescent Mask: Magic/No Drop, AC 5, +5 AGI, +10 Magic Resist, Wt. 0.1, Effect of Serpent Sight, Monk only)
- ESTRELLA OF GLOOMWATER - (Common Drop - Rod of Drones: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 6/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges of Drones of Doom, Druid only, All Races, Common Drop - Lamentation Blade: Magic item, 2HS 25/54, +5 STR +4 STA, Wt. 8.5, WAR PAL RNG SHD, All Races, Rare Drop - Prayer Shawl: AC 5, WIS +8, Wt. 0.4, CLR DRU SHM, All Races)
- CORALYN KELPMAIDEN - (Common Drop - Sharkbone Warhammer: Magic, 1HB 8/26 +5 WIS, Wt. 3.0, WAR CLR PAL RNG SHD DRU MNK BRD ROG SHM, All Races, Rare Drop - Sharkskin Drum: Magic, Wt. 0.8, Bard only, All Races)
- GOLDEN HAIRED MERMAID - (Common Drop - Lock of Hair - Used for Rain Caller Quest)
- UNDERTOW - (Common Drop - Blazing Wand: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 5/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges of Blaze, Magician only, HUM ERU HIE DEF GNM, Rare Drop - Squallsurge Shall: Magic, AC 5, STA +5 MANA + 50, Wt. 0.3, NEC WIZ MAG ENC, All Races)
- SEAHORSE MATRIARCH - (Common Drop - Rod of Health: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 6/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges Word of Health, Cleric only, All Races, Rare Drop - Shield of Prexus: AC 8, Effect of Enduring Breath, WAR CLR PAL RNG SHD DRU BRD ROG SHM, All Races)
- SEAHORSE PATRIARCH - (Common Drop - Wand of Ice: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 5/30, Wt. 1.5, Five charges of Ice Shock, Wizard Only, HUM ERU DEF GNM, Rare Drop - Seahorse Scale Cloak: Magic/Lore, AC 8, DEX +6 SV COLD +35, Wt. 3.5, WAR PAL RNG SHD MNK BRD ROG, All Races)
- SWIRLSPINE GUARDIANS - (Common Drop - Swirlspine Belt: Magic, AC 4, Wt. 1.0, Effect of Haste, WAR PAL RNG SHD MNK BRD ROG, All Races)
- PHINIGEL AUTROPOS - (Wand of Mana Tapping: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 5/30, Wt. 1.5, Seven Charges of Mana Sieve, Enchanter only, HUM ERU HIE DEF GNM, Rod of Malisement: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 1HB 7/30, Wt. 1.5, Seven Charges of Malisement, Shaman only, BAR TRL OGR, Staff of Elemental Mastery: Magic/Lore/No Drop, 2HB 15/30, Wt. 5.0, Effect of Reclaim Energy, Magician only, All Races, Trident of the Seven Seas: Magic/Lore/No Drop, Piercing 10/30, Wt. 2.0, Effect of Frost Strike, Rogue only, All Classes, Robe of the Kedge: Magic/Lore/No Drop, AC 8 STA +10 MANA +100, Wt. 1.5, NEC WIZ MAG ENC, HUM ERU HIE DEF GNM)
APPENDIX B - ALPHABETICAL ITEM LIST
- See below.
APPENDIX C - ITEMS BY CLASS
- See below.
APPENDIX D - KEDGE INHABITANTS BY APPROXIMATE LEVEL
- Lancer Swordfish - Low 30's
- Piercer Swordfish - Mid 30's
- Impaler Swordfish - Low 40's
- Fierce Impaler - Low 40's
- Stingtooth Piranha - Upper 30's
- Stiletto Tooth Piranha - Upper 30's
- Stiletto Fang Piranha - Mid 40's
- Ravenous Stiletto Fang Piranha - Mid 40's
- Cauldron Shark - Upper 30's
- Cauldron Hammerhead - Low 40's
- Cauldronboil - 49
- Cauldronbubble - 49
- Frenzied Cauldron Shark - Mid 40's
- Ferocious Cauldron Shark - Mid 40's
- Crimson Sailfin - Below 10
- Cobalt Sailfin - Below 10
- Cerulean Sailfin - Below 10
- Emerald Sailfin - Below 10
- Shimmering Sailfin - Low 30s
- Spinereef Seahorse - Mid 40's
- Squallsurge Seahorse - Mid 40's
- Soothebrine Seahorse - Mid 40's
- Swirlspine Seahorse - 49-51
- Swirlspine Guardian - 49-51
- Undertow - Upper 40's
- Mermaid - Low 40's
- Golden Haired Mermaid - Low 40's
- Gloomwater Mermaid - Low 40's
- Gloomstalker Mermaid - Mid 40's
- Shellara Ebbhunter - Upper 40's
- Coralyn Kelpmaiden - Upper 40's
- Estrella of Gloomwater - 51
- Phinigel Autropos - 53