There are some zones in Everquest that are always crowded (think Oasis, Lake of Ill Omen, the Overthere and the Dreadlands). There are other
zones which are uninhabited for hours or days at a stretch. Of the two extremes, we greatly prefer the latter. The lack of /ooc spam debating the
relative merits of Legolas and Aragorn as well as fewer chances for training and kill-stealing does make these quieter zones much more pleasant for the
businesslike party. The downside, obviously, is that you're not going to assemble a pickup group in these zones. Bring your own party is the best advice. So
when we prepared for a return visit (or two) to Dalnir's Crypt in Kunark, we carefully assembled a
crack team of characters. Slugaduk, the troll warrior,
Calima, the half-elven bard, Moonfairy, the human wizard and Ancarett, the high elf cleric. On the first trip in Yseulte the druid substituted for Ancarett, because
Calima and Moonfairy needed an escort across Kunark to find the zone. Each foursome had a lot of fun in this underused dungeon.
As mentioned in an earlier adventure, Dalnir's Crypt is hidden away in the northern reaches of Warsliks
Woods. The entrance is incredibly difficult to
find, nestled in a hill facing out to the waterline. Then the illusion of water stops all but the seasoned adventurer from ferreting out the zoneline. Inside the zone,
you're surprised to find anyone but your party and a few hopeful monks. As everyone in our party was in their mid to late thirties, we knew pulling single mobs near the
entrance wouldn't be too challenging, so everyone was invis'd and we made for the back room of the temple. You have to break the spawn of two or three coerced mobs and
a goo or two. If you're fortunate, the goo won't aggro and all you'll have to battle are the coerced. Slugaduk and Calima took on the coerced we found there: except for
some of the clerics (who heal themselves and smite their opponents) and the shadow knights (who harm touch), they weren't
particularly tough. According to the storyline,
the coerced are prisoners of the Kly experimentalists. Despite their captive status, they fight vigorously against adventurers. They represent a broad cross-section of
Norrathian society. Over the course of the first evening we battled erudites, dwarves, Iksar
and more. Once the room was cleared, Slugaduk would run back to the temple area and pull one or two more mobs. Thanks to Moonfairy's wizarding blasts, the monsters were
soon on the run.
Now that the spawn was well and truly broken, Slugaduk pulled a variety of mobs, including more of the nibblers which
resemble tooth floating sperm. Their teeth are fearsome, but they were all too easy to take down. Calima
kept our mana refreshed and twisted
several melee songs during the fighting. Poison resists and cures helped keep the goos from really bringing down the party's health. Things only became stressful when some
of the caster coerced repopped in the room we were camping. We had thought about jumping down to the pool room on the second floor, but one look at the lateness of the hour
changed our plans. Yseulte ported the group out to West Commons where we all resolved to return to Dalnir's another evening soon.
That return trip took place a week later. This time we were determined to reach the second floor. Calima was in need of a coin that dropped from one of the Kly
on the second floor for the Nostrolo tambourine quest. We were rather shocked on zoning in to find
about fifteen other players in the zone. Some were camping the first floor,
which didn't concern us but several parties were lower down. We chatted with the others in the zone and figured out there wasn't any cause to worry. Some were looking for the
wonderful monk-only crescent armour and another group sought some of the rare Kly drops. Fortunately, no one else was camping the
Kly Imprecator who dropped the coin so, after assuring the other parties
we'd respect their camps, we settled to wait for the Imprecator. It took a while for him to spawn, and we faced several other random pops, included some more coerced.
Slugaduk jumped into action against the coerced tier'dal caster and pulled a few other nearby mobs
while we waited for the Kly Imprecator to spawn. Once he did, he was surprising easy to kill except for the fact that spell knockbacks
sent him halway into the ceiling where he was almost impossible to engage in melee. At this point, the dungeon was beginning to empty out. Slugaduk showed us the teleport
pad back to the top floor. We all decided we had a bit more fighting spirit left so we headed back on down to the pool room for some easy camping and pulls. A variety of
coerced, nibblers and goos followed slugaduk to our comfy perch beside the pool. We were thrilled when one of the
goos dropped a fighting baton which Slugaduk nabbed for his young Iksar monk alternate. Laden down with fine steel weapons, many research
components and sundry loot, we gladly took up Moonfairy's offer to teleport us all out. By the time we left, we were the only ones left in the zone.