The Scars of Velious was the second expansion released for the EverQuest franchise. Unlike the previous expansion, Ruins of Kunark, the second expansion to the world of Norrath was targetted almost exclusively at high level players. The expansion's title refers to the three massive valleys present on the continent, which are said to be where Veeshan the Wurmqueen marked the planet as her own. Among the many additions that this expansion brought to the game, these are the most notable features:
- New Continent: The continent of Velious offers 19 new challenging zones for the most skilled adventurers in Norrath.
- New Planes: Among the 19 new zones were the Plane of Growth, home to Tunare the goddess of nature, and the Plane of Mischief, home to Fizzlethorpe Bristlebane.
- New Armor Designs: All of the armor from Velious had a new distinct look. Previously, aside from the color, plate armor always looked the same, as did any variations of chain or leather. But Velious brought about many variations, which made each adventurer much more distinguishable.
- Warring Factions: The most significant thing about Velious is that there are three factions constantly at war, and choosing which side to join is an important decision for any player and/or guild. Each faction offered, among other things, a set of armor through a series of quests, for each individual class. The molds and patterns for these pieces of armor could be found on the corpses of the rival faction. The most memorable part of these sets of armor are the plate helmets, which looked unlike any other helmets ever seen.
These dwarves came to the frozen continent by accident centuries ago and have ever since been battling against the giants to survive. They welcome any newcomers to the continent into their hidden city of Thurgadin, regardless of race or religion, but will defend their home fiercely against any who have made friends with the giants. Their ruler, Dain Frostreaver IV, and his court offer many rewards for the deaths of the Kromrif giants. Thurgadin and Icewell Keep, which is the royal castle within the city, serves as a base of operations for almost all adventurers new to Velious, at least until new allegiances can be solidified.
The giants that inhabit Velious have been here much longer than the dwarves and don't take kindly to any newcomers. They are possibly the most devout followers of Rallos Zek the Warlord found anywhere in Norrath. They are divided into two groups: the Kromrif who defend against the dwarves to the east, and the Kromzek who defend against the dragons to the west. The giants are ever at war with both the dwarves and the dragons. Their ruler, King Tormax, and his advisors in Kael Drakkal would bestow great treasures upon those who help their cause. The most elite guilds of adventurers often become allies with the giants as a result of the guilds' desire to slay the mighty dragons.
Claws of Veeshan
These are the oldest dragons in the world. They are the first dragons, and the first creatures, to ever roam the lands of Norrath. They inhabit most of the western half of the continent including their massive city of Skyshrine, ruled by Lord Yelinak. The Claws of Veeshan care none in the affairs of the dwarves, but will grant unimaginable gifts to those who join them in the war against the Frost Giants. Earning the respect of the First Brood may prove to be the most difficult task of all.
The release of Velious also introduced new, unique plate helmet models that were difficult to obtain and quickly became a status symbol for any class capable of wearing them.
The newly discovered continent of Velious lies at the southern reaches of the world of Norrath. Travel to the frozen land is made possible by the gnomes who have fashioned a ship that will carry any willing adventurers from the Northern Desert of Ro south to the Iceclad Ocean, which is the eastern most point of Velious. Druids and wizards have discovered four mystical structures seemingly built by the dragons millenia ago that allow them to teleport to the continent. Anyone wanting to travel with one of these wizards or druids must have first picked up a shard at one of these structures themselves, meaning that travelling on foot is required for at least the first tour of the continent. The map below is condensed to show Velious on the same map as the previously known continents.
Cobalt Scar is the southern most of the three scars left on the continent by Veeshan. The region is divided into two main areas known as Dragon Claw peninsula and Siren's Bay. The bay is full of the icy waters that flow in from the Iceclad Ocean to the south. The waters hold a secret passage through the otherwise impassible cliffs to the north to Siren's Grotto. Siren's Bay is also the home to an ancient dragon known as Kelorek'Dar, which makes travelling to Siren's Grotto a gamble every time. The sirens themselves are quite dangerous as well. They are all adept enchanters, which can be tricky even for the most experienced adventurers. The beach is home to the largest population of Othmir anywhere on Norrath. This race of otter-like people are friendly to most anyone and spend most of their time gathering crustaceans which they use for food, then armor. Overlooking the beach from steep cliffs is an expansive tundra inhabited by dozens of wyverns. This area is known as the Dragon Claw peninsula. Many experienced druids and wizards find this part of the region excellent for gaining experience and rare gems by themselves. The peninsula stretches from the eastern cliffs due west, which protects the bay from the bone chilling winds that blast the southern cliffs. At the end of the peninsula is a tower constructed by the dragons of Skyshrine, and inside it is a portal to enter their massive city. Cobalt Scar is also the fourth teleport location on the continent, and is the farthest into Velious one can teleport to before having to travel on foot through Siren's Grotto to the Western Wastes.
Crystal Caverns is located beneath the thick snow and ice of the Eastern Wastes. The entrance can be found within a fortress currently solidified by the snow orcs known as the Ry'Gorr. Inside, the various tunnels twist and turn, confusing even the most experienced adventurers. Perilous drops have proved fatal to some and injured many. The dangers are ignored by many greedy intruders, for much of the caverns are made of velium, a precious metal found only on Velious. Long ago, these caverns were the stronghold of the dwarves when they first arrived on the continent. Their home, known as Froststone, can still be found in the lower reaches of the cave system, and there are several Coldain who still stand guard there. Constant raids led by the Kromrif giants of nearby Kael, and the infestation of Queen Dracnia's spiders from the depths below led the dwarves to abandon their original home in favor of the hidden city of Thurgadin. Legend states that Slagd Frozentoe, a frost giant general, led a force of 250 giants to eradicate the dwarves once and for all. Slagd was led into a labrynth of traps by a cunning dwarf by the name of Glight Snowchipper. Glight and a handful of other brave dwarves bought the rest of the Coldain enough time to escape to safety. Glight and mining friends sacrificed themselves with one final trap that dropped over thirty thousand tons of ice on the invading giants. The Coldain often refer to the Crystal Caverns as Glight's Fall, in memory of one of the bravest dwarves to ever live.
Dragon Necropolis can be found in the southern ravine of the Western Wastes. The entrance in the wastes, a magical portal, is guarded by one of the First Brood dragons known as Klandicar. The necropolis is a massive underground complex of tombs and caverns holding the remains of some of Norrath's most powerful dragons. If the powerful phase spiders weren't enough, traps are strewn about the entire complex, which will root, stun, or summon beetles to attack adventurers. Many tombs can be found near the entrance, most importantly being that of Jaled'Dar, the founder of the Ring of Scale, who fell in the great battle with the Iksar Emperor Ganak high above what is now known as the Field of Bone. Jaled'Dar's shade (ghost) rests atop the tomb and welcomes all visitors, for he cannot rest. He blames Trakanon for foolishly starting the war with the Iksar and seeks revenge. He speaks of awakening a dragon known as The Sleeper, who was the most powerful of all dragons. The Sleeper, real name Kerafyrm, was imprisoned by the power of First Brood. Jaled'Dar explains that a key to the Sleeper's Tomb can be crafted from the talisman of a First Brood dragon, which is the first step in the monumental task of freeing the deadliest of dragons. At the far end of the necropolis is a massive crematorium where lesser dragons' remains are placed. The maze-like tunnels beneath the necropolis are infested with two factions of rats known as the Paebala, who are tolerant of visitors, and the Chetari, who are not. The Chetari answer to the one living dragon that can be found here, Zlandicar the Cannibal. Although Zlandicar is one of the elite First Brood dragons, he was banished by the Lord Yelinak of the Claws of Veeshan to live out the rest of his days here.
Eastern Wastes is a massive outdoor region which any newcomer to Velious must traverse in order to reach any relative safety on the continent. Coldain dwarves, Kromrif frost giants, Ry'Gorr orcs, and various wildlife including wooly mammoths, manticores, and snow griffons all patrol the region. A massive bridge, known as the Gretespaign, from the east connects the Icy Fingers of the Iceclad Ocean to the main part of the continent. Found at the center of the region is Ry'Gorr Keep, a fortress inhabited by a vicious band of snow orcs attempting to claim the lucrative Crystal Caverns below as their own. The bonfire in the center of the fort can be seen from many miles away assuming a blizzard isn't rolling through. To the northwest is a passage to the Great Divide, one of the scars of Veeshan. To the southwest is a valley so deep that one can only see the bottom when the sun is highest in the sky. The valley leads to the entrance of the frost giant stronghold known as Kael Drakkal. Those who have not earned the respect of the giants should obviously use extreme caution when attempting to pass through to the western half of Velious. Far to the south in the Eastern Wastes is a massive statue of a slumbering dragon. This marks the entrance to the Sleeper's Tomb where Norrath's most powerful dragon lies in an eternal slumber. Travelling through the Eastern Wastes can be perilous for anyone thanks to its massive size and constant weather changes that can disorient even the most experienced rangers.
The Great Divide is a harsh mountainous region west of the Eastern Wastes. A massive waterfall to the north pours into the region creating the Daggerflow River, which stretches south through an impassable underground tunnel into the Wakening Land. When arriving from the Eastern Wastes, adventurers are greeted with a familiar site. Massive spires built by the ancient Combine Empire lie here, just like the ones seen on Antonica, Odus, Kunark, and Faydwer. On the cliffs to the south of the spires is a fortress built by the Kromrif frost giants in an attempt to keep tabs on the Coldain dwarves. The Coldain have built many small forts along the northern cliffs, but they are camouflaged within the snow. Their home, Thurgadin, can be found concealed behind the bonechillingly cold waterfall. The center of the region lies a massive rock formation inhabited by countless shardwurms that cause trouble for anyone attempting to take a shortcut down the river. West of the river one can find an sizeable army of roaming tizmaks. This race of yakmen does not welcome those new to the continent, but surviving their assault is required for claiming a shard from the nearby dragon portal, which will allow one to be teleported to the region by wizards or druids. The western cliffs are infested the only bears on the entire continent, the cave kodiaks. Countless caves can be found here, but one is particularly worth checking out. Velketor, a frost giant mage exiled from Kael by the Priests of Zek, has built a maniacal labyrinth of icy paths, perilous traps, illusions, and ultimately a massive castle where he plots his revenge on his brothers. Some adventurers have told tales of enormous battles that have taken place in the Great Divide as they assist the Coldain as hundreds giants assault the city of Thurgadin.
Iceclad Ocean is the southern most ocean in Norrath. The gnomes have built a ship they call the Icebreaker, which slices through the icebergs on its way from the Northern Desert of Ro to the Icy Fingers of Velious. Where the Icebreaker docks is home to a band of wily gnomish pirates that offer the most essential supplies, at a high price, for adventurers heading into the lost continent. These pirates were the first to rediscover the frozen lands, a millenia after the dwarves arrived. Their captain, Nalot, had originally sailed south from Butcherblock Mountains with his band of pirates on a quest to rule the seas of Norrath. After sinking several other ships and claiming their treasures for himself, Nalot stumbled upon the impassable ice of Iceclad Ocean. He then docked his ship in Freeport, sold nearly all of his treasures to the underground market, then returned to Ak'anon and set to work on creating the Icebreaker. Travelling southwest to the second of the Icy Fingers, one will find a small forest of pine trees that inexplicably flourish in these harsh conditions. Beyond the trees, and easily seen from miles away, is the intimidating Tower of Frozen Shadow. Only those with the utmost patience and sharpest of minds should dare attempt to enter the tower. Not far from the forest is the first of the available dragon portals found in Velious. Collecting a shard from within the portal will grant any adventurer the ability to be teleported to this location by friendly wizards and/or druids. Along the shores of the second finger are bands of Icepaw gnolls that are generally friendly to passers by. Occasionally, a legendary turtle known as Lodizal will roam onto the shore. The third of the Icy Fingers is the largest and features an enormous stone monolith in the shape of a dragon skull known as the Gretespaign (Great Span) that allows travellers to cross to whole of Velious.
Icewell Keep is the underground castle where Dain Frostreaver IV, leader of the Coldain dwarves, makes his home along with his council of advisors. Twelve elders comprise the council who conduct business on the second floor of the castle, while Dain sits upon his throne of velium on the third floor. Dain Frostreaver IV is said to possess both the wisdom of his grandfather, the Priest King, and the combat skill of his father, the War King. He currently seeks vengeance for the death of his father who fell to King Tormax's blade in the War of Yesterwinter, but he is wise enough to realize that his people must rely on their stealth and cunning rather than brute force when continuing their battles with the giants. Dain Frostreaver IV will enlist any willing adventurers in his quest to eradicate the giants from Velious. He and his council offer countless powerful relics as reward for service to the Coldain. Those siding with the giants of Kael can find Icewell Keep just as lucrative, in an entirely different manner of course. Slaughtering these high ranking officials will earn great respect from King Tormax and his minions. Defeating Dain himself, one of the fiercest warriors in all of Norrath, will earn his murderers some of the rarest treasures in the world, especially for the one lucky enough to personally deliver Dain's head to Tormax. Those who simply displease the court, much less incur their wrath in battle, will often be cast into the pit of despair located in the center of the council's Great Hall. This pit leads to one of the scariest places in all of Velious, as this ancient well is inhabited by some of the most vile and vicious creatures ever witnessed. Icewell Keep is a destination for most adventurers, regardless of their allegiances. Only those siding with the dragons have no real incentive to come here.
Kael is the stronghold of the giants of Velious. It rests between the vast Eastern Wastes and the lush forest of the Wakening Land. Anyone wishing to venture to the western half of the continent must pass through the storm giant city. They are arguably the most devout worshippers of Rallos Zek found anywhere on the planet. The north wing of the city is devoted entirely to their lord and creator. The temple includes a massive arena built in memory of Porlos, slayer of Lord Yelinak's mate Hsagra. Also found in the temple is an enormous, even for giants' standards, statue of the Warlord himself. Under the right circumstances, adventurers can battle the statue to prove they are worth to face the Avatar of War. When entering the city from the Eastern Wastes, one will pass through the primitive living quarters of the Kromrif faction, who are dedicated to the war against the Coldain. The rest of the city consists mostly of the Kromzek faction, who are dedicated to the war against Veeshan's children, the dragons. The dragons see the mere prescence of the giants in this region of the world as sacrilege. The Kromzek areas are much more elaborate and advanced than the Kromrif district. The streets are paved with the crushed bones of their enemies while savage wolves patrol the pits beneath the city devouring any scraps tossed aside by the giants. The center of the city acts as a hub for the different districts of Kael including the city's bank, fortified with both stone and steel. To the south is King Tormax's castle, where he and the most elite storm giants reside. Tormax's throne is built within the skull of Lady Hsagra, one of the First Brood dragons. A council of advisors line the halls beyond Tormax's throne offering some of the best armor ever seen for each individual class in return for surviving the western wing of the Temple of Veeshan and returning with various molds and patterns. King Tormax and his army are constantly fighting on two fronts, which works quite well for those who choose to side with them, for they can obtain great wealth through quests involving the deaths of both dwarves and dragons. The Claws of Veeshan are easily the primary target though. Since the giants are enemies to both the Coldain and Claws of Veeshan though, the city is often overrun with adventurers attempting to prove their worth to either Thurgadin or Skyshrine by slaying the giants. This can prove quite troublesome for adventurers who use Kael as a base of operations for their journeys in Velious, but that's what makes the region so dynamic.
Plane of Growth
The Plane of Growth is the astral home to Tunare, the Mother of All, more commonly referred to as the goddess of nature. The portal to her plane was opened by Tunare herself many millenia ago in a successful attempt to keep the Wakening Land full of life. Any who are devoted to Tunare may freely enter the realm and accept quests from the various heroes and legends that reside within the plane. Upon entering the realm, one will appear next to a structure resembling the ancient druid rings found throughout Norrath, except this one is made of pristine, white marble. Those who are not welcome will soon be met by an army of satyrs known as the protectors of growth. They can sense intruders from anywhere within the plane, and seem to attack in waves about every half hour. The rolling plains near the entrance are full of roaming creatures including wolves, horses, bears, and an occasional unicorn. Splitting the plane in half is the Stream of Silence which is fed by a magnificent waterfall pouring down the mountains of Takish to the north and ending in the Lake of the Whispering. It is said that this water then trickles through what is called the Stream of Rebirth, which feeds the soul of Norrath itself, allowing all things to grow. Near the lake is the elaborate entrance to the holy city of Takish'Hiz, guarded by an enormous suit of armor. The city is not to be confused with its mortal counterpart, which now lies buried beneath the sands of the Desert of Ro. East of the river lies a dense forest where several powerful Entolings lumber about. They may be slow, but they are easily the most powerful creatures in the plane other than Tunare herself. The Mother of All resides in a monstrous oak tree guarded by the leader of the protectors of growth, Prince Thirneg. It would be unwise to ask him for phat lewts. Tunare herself appears to mortals as a beautiful, tall High Elf in a flowing green dress. If provoked, she will exit the tree and unleash her wrath upon her attackers.
Plane of Mischief
The Plane of Mischief is an ever changing realm of madness governed by the King of Thieves, Fizzlethorpe Bristlebane. Long ago, a wizard greedily sought to draw power from the planes. He created a dollhouse based on one he saw in his dreams. This dollhouse was a replica of Castle Mischief, and of course the image was planted in his mind by Bristlebane himself. Bristlebane thought it would be great fun to allow mortals into his plane, giving him an endless line of targets for his trickery. Upon arriving in the plane, a colorful thicket known as the Forest of Dreams greets adventurers. Laughter can often be heard, seemingly from the trees themselves, while bixies often taunt them from high above. Unbelievably strange creatures roam the forests, some hostile, some not. Upon emerging from the other side of the forest, the massive Castle Mischief appears. A magnificent bridge is set in place to allow passage over the moat, but this bridge is simply an illusion. The only way to cross the moat is across an invisible bridge to the west. The walls are patrolled by halfling heroes, devoted to the King of Thieves. Every inch of the castle is built with mischief, trickery, and deception in mind. It features countless false walls, traps, and optical illusions that make it unlike any other place in the universe. Each area of the castle has a different theme. Those that unwittingly fall into a pit will find themselves in a grand maze that can frustrate even the most patient monk. Other notable sections include a grand theater, where Bristlebane conducts plays involving puppets of the other gods and goddesses of Norrath; a library of nonsense; a garden of talking plants; a series of rooms that appear sideways or upsidedown; a massive chessboard with living pieces; and a mind boggling line of rooms that either are getting larger or the visitor is shrinking. Bristlebane's throne room is likely what anyone would imagine, a massive chair surrounded by enormous piles of gold. The items found or earned here are just as wacky as the Plane of Mischief itself. Simply put, Bristlebane's realm is a unique experience unlike any other.
Siren's Grotto is hidden underwater along the northern cliffs of Cobalt Scar. It is a dangerous place for a multitude of reasons. First of all, the sirens of Velious are extremely territorial and do not take kindly to visitors of any race. The entire grotto is full of various aquatic creatures including fierce seahorses that have the ability to see even those who are normally invisible. Even the dry land here is not safe, as hulking bulthars, molkors, and ulthorks will crush anyone they see as a threat. As dangerous as the region is, it is equally as beautiful. Many travellers have been lured to their deaths due to the mystical architecture, crystal waters, and glowing wildlife. Those diving deep into the waters of the grotto will discover an elaborate temple the sirens have built for E'ci. Mistress Latazura, possibly one of the most powerful enchanters in the world, can be found here along with many other siren priestesses. Siren's Grotto is obviously quite risky to enter, but it is the only way to reach the Western Wastes where one can find the Dragon Necropolis and the fabled Temple of Veeshan. Most adventurers learn quickly how to traverse the grotto with the utmost speed, as they make countless runs from the Cobalt Scar dragon portal to the Temple of Veeshan.
Skyshrine, also known as Ilak Tas Gral, is the primary stronghold of the Claws of Veeshan. It was built many millenia ago by the First Brood, who are the dragons placed on the planet by Veeshan herself. They contructed the city on the western edge of the Great Scar, now known as the Wakening Land, which teems with life due the Wyrm Queen's touch. Only four of the massive towers remain to this day, the others being destroyed not by the giants but by civil wars between the dragons themselves. From here the dragons of Velious plan their raids on the storm giants while also defending the western reaches of the continent, for almost everything west of Skyshrine is the dominion of Veeshan's children. The dragons are generally tolerable of visitors, so long as they have not made a name for themselves by slaying dragonkin along their way to the city. They are highly intelligent, but also wise beyond imagination, for the Claws of Veeshan are some of the most ancient beings in all of Norrath. Race, gender, religion, nor occupation seem to matter to the dragons, for they know Veeshan is the one true power and they are her children. A tunnel from the Wakening Lands leads to the lowest level of the monstrous city. Even the lowest level of Skyshrine has elaborate halls that are adorned with ancient relics and statues. These lower halls have various merchants and tradeskill kiosks scattered about to serve those who devote themselves to the dragons' causes. Beyond the merchant district is a large foyer with a beautiful fountain in the center. This fountain is also a magical portal to the Cobalt Scar, but requires a key that can either be earned or taken by force from a drake known as Ziglak Whisperwind. Those opting to ignore the fountain will be met with a seemingly endless climb up the various towers of the city where the high ranking dragons reside, including Lord Yelinak. Along the way up are countless massive corridors, a mind numbing maze of teleportation pads, and a stunning collection of tomes that makes the one in Erudin seem miniscule. At the upper levels, ancient dragons offer various quests to those adventurers who wish to aid them in their destruction of Kael Drakkal. At the end of the seeminly endless trek into Skyshrine is Veeshan's Spire, which is where Lord Yelinak resides. He is the sole remaining guardian of the city, for his mate, Hsarga, fell in battle to the Kromzek many centuries ago. Yelinak's First Brood brothers and sisters have since left the city in favor of the western shores of the continent. He offers unimaginable rewards for those who aid him in his quest for revenge against Tormax's legions of giants, but he is also a target for those who have sided with the children of Zek.
Sleeper's Tomb, also known as Kerafyrm's Lair, is an enormous underground lair beneath the frozen tundra of the Eastern Wastes where the First Brood imprisoned the most powerful dragon in history. Long, long ago, there was no Claws of Veeshan or Ring of Scale. All the dragons of Norrath were of one faction. This all changed when two dragons of opposite elements mated, which was strictly forbidden by the council of elders. From their egg hatched a crystal dragon, resembling Veeshan herself, whom they named Kerafyrm. When the Arch Priest of Veeshan, Kildrukaun, learned of their defiance, he sentenced the two lovers to death. Ironically, he took pity upon the young prismatic dragon, and took great interest in its growth. It was during this time that the dragons split into two factions and the Ring of Scale left Velious for the continent of Kunark. Kildrukaun believed that Kerafyrm would the Claws of Veeshan in a great civil war against the Ring of Scale and successfully reunite all dragons under the same banner. The council of elders disagreed with this view, as they thought it a great risk to wage war in Kunark leaving Skyshrine more vulnerable to the storm giants. Kerafyrm quickly rose through the ranks of the Claws, and became so powerful, ruthless, destructive, and chaotic that the council decided that Kerfyrm had to be stopped or else risk the destruction of the entire world. Kildrukaun was present for this ruling, so he assembled a legion of followers to join Kerafyrm in defiance. Kerafyrm's immense power made the battle more of a fight than it should have been, but they were severely outnumbered by the council of elders. How they subdued Kerafyrm is still a mystery, but death was not an option. The Claws of Veeshan built an elaborate tomb beneath the Eastern Wastes where they placed four powerful warders to keep watch over Kerafyrm, now known as The Sleeper. Kildrukaun and a few of his supporters survived the battles and escaped to unknown parts of the world. The warders are simply the last line of defense in this massive tomb, while gigantic golems known as The Progenitor, The Master of the Guard, and The Final Arbiter keep all but the most skilled adventurers at bay. Entrance to the tomb is only earned after completing a task given by Jaled'Dar's shade in the Dragon Necropolis. Jaled'Dar was the leader of the Ring of Scale that left Velious for Kunark, and in his death seeks vengeance against the Claws of Veeshan. Returning a talisman from any of the remaining First Brood dragons to him will earn a key to the tomb, which is highly sought after by any melee class, for the golems that protect the marble and velium halls carry the legendary primal velium weapons. It is said that if anyone were to slay the four elemental warders that Kerafyrm would be released.
Temple of Veeshan
Temple of Veeshan is home to the mightiest of dragons in all of Velious. Much of the temple is off limits even to the most devout followers of dragonkind as well as those Lord Yelinak would regard as an ally. For no matter what good deeds a Norrathian has performed in the name of dragons, ultimately dragons are simply superior to the "second generation" of races, and this is their most holiest of places. The dragons were here before the other gods took notice of Norrath, and they will likely be here after the other races die out. The south wing is where those that made it past Sontalak outside will arrive in the temple. Though, once inside, there is no immediate means of exiting. The south wing has one enormous straight hallway decked with dozens of almost life-size paintings of some of Norrath's most notable dragons including Lady Vox and Lord Nagafen. This hall is guarded by small drakes of various shades. This hall is safe to those allied with the Claws of Veeshan, as is the west wing, known as the Hall of Relics. The Hall of Relics is overseen by Lendiniara the Keeper, one of the few remaining First Brood dragons. The hall gets its name due to the vast amount of powerful items that can be found here. They can be obtained by the dragon's friends through quests offered by Lendiniara, Telkorenar, and Gozzrem, or by more nefarious means as those who side with the giants of Kael will tell the player. Many of the wurms, drakes, and dragons of the Hall of Relics carry armor molds and patterns that can be crafted by the giants into some of the best equipment ever seen. The east wing, known as the Hall of Testing, was built for exactly that reason; to test those devout to dragonkind. At the end of this wing is a cursed dragon known as Dozekar who must continually be defeated by the lesser races of Norrath as punishment for an unknown crime. Some believe him to be the father of Kerafyrm, but these rumors have little proof.
The north wing of the temple, known as Vault of Worship, is the largest wing and is completely off limits to anyone other than dragons themselves. The wing is guarded first by the massive Aaryonar and his legion of flurrying drakes. Those skillful enough to defeat him will be met with an enormous lava pit, where a chamber seems to almost hover above. A slippery path leads both left and right around the pit. To the right resides Dagarn the Destroyer, the most powerful of shardwurms; Lord Feshlak, an extremely rare golden dragon; and Lord Kreizenn, the master of fire and flame. To the left is a dragon stronger than the previous three combined, Lord Vyemm, who has the ability to summon any adventurer then quickly cast them away, often sending them into the pit of lava. Further around to the left is a small pond of immeasurable depths, where Lord Koi'doken, an aquatic dragon, resides. Just beyond his pool lives Lady Mirenilla, a deadly shadowknight dragon. Whether taking the left or right route, once the other side of the lava pit is reached, plunderers could either venture deeper into the temple of cross the bridge to the chamber that hangs above the pit. This is where the council of elders meet. Entering the council chamber without first dispatching the other dragons would be quite unwise, for Vulak'Aerr will summon the aid of his friends if he can, and Vulak'Aerr alone is a foe that not many live to tell about. Just north of the council chamber is a tiny alcove with what appears to be a dollhouse. Touching the dollhouse could be good or bad depending upon the level of insanity the player has, for it will transport them to the madness known as the Plane of Mischief. Ignoring the house and taking the hall north will lead to the triplets known as Cekenar, Zlexak, and Sevalak who use the powers of lightning, chaos, and disease respectively. Travelling east from the house of mischief reveals how the dragons come and go from the temple, as the roof opens up to the skies above. Here, Lady Nevederia and Jorlleag use the powers of wind and ice to keep watch over the secret entrance. Nearby is a portal back to the Western Wastes for those unable to fly out. Each one of these aforementioned dragons carry treasures unmatched by anything seen on Norrath by this point in history. Even the most devout dragon followers are often enticed to enter raids on the north wing greedily seeking riches.
Thurgadin is where the Coldain dwarves of Velious make their home. These dwarves are tolerant of all other races upon their first visit to the icy continent, so long as they have not killed any of their brothers and sisters on their way to the city. Those who maintain the trust of the Coldain will quickly learn that the city's people are some of the most skilled craftsmen found anywhere in the world. The Coldain offer many supplies to the influx of new adventurers to the region, but also speak of great relics and rare weapons that can be obtained through various tasks, usually involving the detriment of the frost giants of Kael. The city itself is built with an obvious defensive strategy. For starters, the entrance is hidden behind a massive waterfall in the Great Divide. Secondly, once inside, there is the large, slippery Breakstone Bridge that spans over a deadly pit. Lining the walls along the bridge are "murder holes" where Coldain archers keep a watchful eye on any entering their home. Thirdly, the city streets consist of narrow passages with short ceilings, ideal for the dwarves, but not so much for anyone taller than a human. Beneath the city are caverns known as the Hall of Ancestors where Coldain heroes are buried within the ice. Near the entrance to Icewell Keep is a large room known as Rememberance Park, which features several statues of the greatest of the Coldain heroes including Colin Dain, shown battling a giant, and Glight Snowchipper, shown sacrificing himself to halt the frost giant's advance on Froststone. The west wing of the city is known as the Church District and is devoted to the Duke of Below, Brell Serilis. The clerics and paladins here maintain the Temple of Lore, which chronicles the history of their people. Each priest is tasked with memorizing a chapter of their history in order to ensure that even if the ancient scrolls are destroyed or lost, that their people will not be forgotten. And while the Coldain have many differences when compared to their Kaladim cousins, visitors will be pleased to find a tavern around almost every corner of town.
Tower of Frozen Shadow
The Tower of Frozen Shadow is a wretched place that often catches the eye of those just arriving to the continent. The tower stands high on the second island of the Icy Fingers in Iceclad Ocean, and the wicked treachery found inside is notorious for quickly ending many adventurer's endeavors into Velious. Inside the tower are countless atrocities including vampires, undead gnolls, spectres, festering hags, ghosts of once great and intelligent men, and one powerful mistress that controls them all. The tower consists of seven floors, each requiring a key to access. The entry level is full of twisted skeletons and undead gnolls. The second tier, known as the library, is haunted by the ghosts of many Erudites, human, and dwarves. The third floor, known as the servant's quarters, will confuse even the best scouts, for it has many false walls and many shadowed men ready to attack. The fourth deck, known as the crypt, consists of a dizzying maze inhabited by mummies and oozes. The fifth level showcases an eerie wedding that even a necromancer would not wish to be a part of. The sixth level is divided into two parts separated by a magical mirror that does not require a key. And the top floor is where Mistress Tserrina Syl'Tor makes her home. She appears to be at least partially a dark elf but twisted in a grotesque way unlike any of Innoruuk's children. Defeating her will earn a master key that allows access to all the floors of the tower. Scaling the Tower of Frozen Shadow is indeed a feat to brag about, for few even attempt it, and fewer live to tell the tale.
Velketor's Labyrinth is named for the outcast storm giant wizard who rules this dungeon. It is hidden among the caves found along the western cliffs of the Great Divide, and it is here that Drovrag Velketor practices many experiments. Upon entering his realm it is quite obvious why people refer to it as a labyrinth. The place seems quite small at first, but the twisting and turning slippery walkways reach high above. If the risk of slipping and falling to the ice below were not dangerous enough, the icy ramps are crawling with arachnids, many of which have the ability to remain invisible and backstab naive adventurers. All of this is by design, for Velketor seeks complete seclusion for his experiments. Those agile enough to make it to the top of these catwalks will find an enormous pit that they must carefully shimmy around. Falling into the pit would be devastating, not just because of the great distance that one would plummet into the glacier, but because of the horrible creations that haunt the depths of Velketor's realm. Those who do not fall below are greeted by a village of vicious Icepaw kobolds. Beyond the village is Velketor's castle. Just outside the castle is a well of bonechilling water that reaches all the way to the pits below, which allows those that survived those pits one last chance to escape and meet up with their friends who did not fall. For those coming up from below, they must first make it past an efreeti known as Lord Dolijonijiarnimorinar. The castle above is guarded by an army of golems, created by Velketor's power to infuse life into the glacier itself. The reasons for Velketor's banishment from Kael is unclear, but what is certainly clear is that he is building a legion of followers that could potentially wage an attack on his brothers.
The Wakening Land
The Wakening Land is a marvelously unique locale on the continent of Velious. It is said that when Veeshan dug her claw into the face of Norrath, it went deep enough to draw magma beneath the frozen continent. This heat and humidity led to the creation of a lush forest that teems with life in the midst of an otherwise frozen and desolate land. When the other gods discovered Norrath, Tunare, the goddess of nature, first created the elves and placed them in the mystical forest where the Desert of Ro now exists. She also created a slightly less intelligent race of people known as the Sifaye, and placed them in the Wakening Lands. After many centuries, the forest began to cool and it was obvious the Wakening Lands would eventually revert back to frozen tundra matching the rest of the continent. In order to save her creations from certain death, Tunare opened a portal directly from the Plane of Growth, which breathed life back into the forest for all of eternity. In the center of the region is a tower built in honor of Tunare, and atop the tower is a small tree that when touched will transport anyone to the realm of Tunare. The giants eventually built their city on the eastern edge of the forest, and greedily began expanding into it. After destroying a village of faeries, it has been Tunare's creatures' sole purpose to defend the realm from the giants. Far to the west lies the entrance to the dragon city of Skyshrine, so the giants are battling two factions on one front. In the southeast part of the forest is the third of four dragon portals that can be used by wizards and druids to teleport throughout the continent. This portal has one major drawback for some. A legendary green dragon named Wuoshi calls this portal home, which means that anyone not considered a friend of the Claws of Veeshan will almost certainly meet their demise upon magically appearing in the Wakening Lands. Wuoshi has taken great interest in the fae that inhabit the forest, and some say he defends them against the giants.
Western Wastes is the final frontier on the continent of Velious. It is only reachable after passing through the mesmerizing Siren's Grotto from Cobalt Scar. The shores of the wastes are entirely too steep to scale, making arrival by sea impossible, even though several gnomes have tried. The entire region is considered holy ground by the dragons of the Claws of Veeshan, and they will smite any of the lesser races who venture here except for those few who have proved themselves through countless tasks. For those not considered friends of the dragons, they will find this region quite dangerous, for the Claws of Veeshan roam throughout the area making not one square inch of the tundra safe. Given the difficulty of even finding this region, many dragons use it as a breeding ground where they can safely protect their many nests of eggs. At the base of the southern scar is the entrance to the Dragon Necropolis, yet another sacred ground to the dragons, which is guarded by Klandicar, one of the few remaining First Brood dragons. Built into the face of the northern scar is the magnificent Temple of Veeshan. The first time one reaches the southern cliffs and peers down to the holy temple is a moment to remember, for it is a truly awe-inspiring sight. The entrance is protected by a row of elite dragons spearheaded by another member of the First Brood, Sontalak. Scattered throughout the region are monuments legible only to the children of Veeshan, which are said to chronicle the history of life upon Norrath.