The Tattered Notebook: Solving the mystery of Kael Drakkel

In last week's Tattered Notebook, I mentioned a mysterious quest given to me by a server Guide named Kaaell. It involved locating several spots in Kael Drakkel, which would be no easy task given the difficulty of the zone. As Kaaell himself put it, this was a challenge for only the bravest players of the highest adventure level. Kael Drakkel is the newest contested dungeon from Destiny of Velious, and it's the most difficult group content available. Fortunately for the guild, we happened to catch him offering the quest again, and we all set off together to explore the zone and figure out what the quest would award us.

Did we solve the quest and discover the reward? Read on to find out!

As I mentioned last week, I've seen many Guide events on our server, and Guk is particularly lucky to have Guide Dentmenn. During the Gnomish races, a few of my guildmates received a Guide quest that rewarded them with unique tinkered aerial mounts. A few weeks earlier, my guildmate Philly received some special Guide shinies that, when added to his collection, rewarded him with a neon-pink ninja hood. Philly is a big PvPr in battlegrounds, and from all reports, the pink hood really made him popular in there. But so far, no one had solved the Kael Drakkel zone quest. Dentmenn seemed as excited to see it completed as we were, so we buffed up and headed into Kael to reach the quest update locations.

Those who played the original EverQuest probably remember the chaos and excitement of fighting Giants in Kael. Groups began to recognize each other -- for better or worse -- in the nightly effort to farm armor patterns and build faction. Giant trains were a common occurrence, and if you were particularly lucky, you'd get to catch the chaos of first-come-first-serve races when the Statue of Rallos Zek was up.

Amazingly, I think Kael Drakkel in EverQuest II is actually larger than its predecessor. You'd be hard-pressed to complain of overcrowding in this contested zone, and our four-group guild army went through the entire dungeon without running into another group. That's good, because it means no kill-stealing, but it also means that you're on your own if your group wipes, and a revive is likely the only option.

The mobs in Kael are no joke. They have lots of AE frontals and several uncurable detriments, and the giants grow stronger and hit harder as more and more of them attack you. The experience was very good, even on the trash mobs, and we did try out a named called Dominus Gandrrig. All was going well until he summoned some adds and then leveled our groups with something called "Marked as an Enemy." As with all named mobs in Kael, the mob will reset in a different location in the zone once the encounter is broken, so we only got one shot at him.

The key to success in Kael is careful patience. Groups that are used to having their tanks clomp into the center of a room to pull everything in sight will be in for a rude surprise. Single pulls are best, and placement is key. Several mobs have knockbacks, and there are roamers, so if you aren't vigilant, you'll end up with unwanted friends. As we crawled farther into the zone, we went back to our EQ roots, with our monk Sumie scouting ahead and our tank Zergwar fetching Giants to pull back to the groups along the wall. It definitely felt like old Kael, and I could easily see a group of us working its way into an area and then plunking down in one spot for the evening. Respawn is fast enough that you can actually become pinned down in one area if you aren't clearing quickly enough. Even with our multi-group force, we had to pull quickly to make progress through the zone.

Two hours into our crawl, we still had a couple of landmarks left to discover. It was getting late, well past our normal stop time, and even though everyone wanted to stay to complete the quest, you could tell that people were beginning to fade. We had found the throne room, one of the last update locations, but we still needed to find "the area where the commoners resided." We slowly made our way up the massive halls until we reached an area called "Old Kael." This was my favorite area of the dungeon because it had the same look and feel of the original Kael. We knew we were very close to the final update, and sure enough, a few minutes later our scouting monk Sumie announced that he had found the last spot. We triumphantly completed the quest, and to our surprise, we all received a clickable item that turned us into...


After lining up for the obligatory guild screenshot, we gated back to the guild hall to wrap up for the night. But while we waited to zone, we decided to make one last stop out in Great Divide. Our guildmate Drax scooped up a rally flag, and about a dozen of us popped right into the middle of the Coldain Ring War Public Quest. The poor players fighting the giants were completely confused to suddenly see a "new wave of giants" appear in the middle of the battle, and it was hilarious to see some of them chasing us around and others running as fast as they could in the opposite direction.

So the next time you hear a Guide offering a special quest or challenge, take it! Most of the quests are easily soloable and not nearly as hard as the Kael Drakkel exploration quest. The rewards vary, from unique food and drink to some really fun house items and appearance gear. And if you're particularly lucky, you might even get a special Guide shiny for your collections. Many Guide events are spur of the moment, but some of them are pre-announced over on the official forums.

Thanks again to Dentmenn for playing the role of Kaaell and offering the quest, and congratulations to my guildmates in Revelry and Honor for being the first on the server to complete the quest (and wreaking havoc on the Ring War)!

From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. You can send feedback or elven spirits to