The Ruins of Kunark was the first expansion released for the EverQuest franchise. Out of the many additions that this expansion brought to the game, the most notable were:
- Level Cap: Increased the maximum character level from 50 to 60.
- New Playable Race: The Iksar, a lizard race that could swim without fatigue and regenerate health and mana faster than other races.
- New Continent: The continent of Kunark offers 26 new zones of varying difficulty for all levels of adventurers.
- Epic Weapons: Class specific weapons that required extensive quests to obtain.
- Special Class Armor: Several classes could collect an entire suit of armor specific for them, with the chest and leg armor being only acquirable by an entire raid of players.
The Iksar are a reptilian race that inhabit much of the continent of Kunark. Their home is a city in the center of the continent known as Cabilis. Iksar are inherently evil and they all worship Cazic-Thule, however, the Iksar are actually hated by all races. This includes all of the the Ogre, Dark Elf, and Troll population. Conversely, they hate all other races as well. Newcomers to Kunark have trouble telling one Iksar from another, and often male from female. The female Iksar often have colorful markings on their face, making them more recognizable and unique. Their scaly skin gives them a higher ability to mitigate damage than any other race. As amphibeans, the Iksar breathe through their skin, which means they cannot wear plate armor, or else they will suffocate. On the plus side though, they have regenerative ability rivaled only by trolls. Iksar's eyes are enhanced with infravision, giving them the ability to see well at night. They are born with a high skill in swimming, which is needed in the watery streets of Cabilis. All Iksar also have the ability to forage food and water from the surroundings. Their hatred for all other races comes from their history. The Iksar were once slaves to a race of snake people called the shissar. After the shissar left the continent, the Iksar built an empire and were eventually at war with the dragons of Kunark known as the Ring of Scale. Much of the continent now lays in ruins due to battles long ago. The jewel of the Iksar empire, the city of Sebilis, has since been claimed by legions of frogloks and the rumor of an undead dragon.
Iksar are the only race other than Humans that have mastered the martial arts and can become monks. They also have a large population of necromancers, probably the most devout Cazicites on Norrath. Cabilis also produces some of the most fearsome shadow knights ever seen. And a few Iksar choose to forsake magic for the toe to toe brutal action that is the life of a warrior. While they do not have the ability to kick, their acrobatic fighting style allows them to sweep enemies with their tail. Iksar also make excellent shaman due to their regenerative abilities.
Simultaneous with the discovery of Kunark, several adventurers began to speak of fabled weapons of unfathomable power. They told tales of marathon quests that yielded these weapons to members of each class from bards to warriors. These quests would each span the world and often into the planes of the gods. Some tasks could be completed alone, but many would require a small army of commrades to complete.
Each class' weapon is easy to spot, not just for their unique design, but because of the particle effects eminating from the weapon. Through the hard work of many pioneers, each class' epic weapon was discovered, some easier than others.
WIth the increase of the level cap from 50 to 60 came new titles for each class. At levels 51, 55, and 60, each class had a new title that would appear next to the character's name on any searches.
The newly discovered continent of Kunark lies almost direclty south of Faydwer and is southeast from Antonica across the ocean known as The Timorous Deep. Those of evil intent that are interested in travelling to Kunark are encouraged to take a raft from the docks in the Oasis of Marr, which will take them to an Ogre village in the Timorous Deep. From there, a ship will take travellers to the northern shores of Kunark in a region known as The Overthere, which is where Dark Elves have set up a large outpost on the continent. Good-natured citizens of Norrath should travel to Kunark from the docks in Butcherblock Mountains, where ferries will take them to a massive ship that makes a stop at a small Elven post in the Timorous Deep. After a short stop, the ship will arrive on the southern shores of Kunark in the elven establishment on the island named for Firiona Vie.
The Burning Woods is a decaying forest set on the western edge of the continent. The entire region is quite dangerous due to the numerous wandering creatures, including giants, wasps, undead, gorillas, and Sarnaks that will attack anyone on sight. The half dragon, half Iksar race known as the Sarnak have a massive citadel in the northern part of the woods known as Chardok. Only those adventurers of the most advanced skill level should venture into the Sarnak city. Near the center of the region is a massive crater where a smoldering sphere of mysterious origins still lies. When this sphere hit the forest many years ago, it set fire to much of the surrounding area. The smoke from the fire was so great that it darkened the entire continent for years. Other than Chardok and the crater, notable locations here include a massive hornets nest in the southeast corner of the region and a fort built by forest giants. The dangers are many, but the woods hold many secrets that lure quite a few adventurers to the region. North of the Burning Woods are the volcanic Skyfire Mountains, while to the south are the plains known as The Dreadlands. East of the Burning Woods are the Frontier Mountains.
East Cabilis s the heart of the current Iksar empire. Sometimes referred to as New Sebilis by the older citizens, Cabilis is where Iksar are trained before venturing into the various regions of Kunark. The Iksar spent a significant amount of time attempting to reclaim their former home of Sebilis, but the undead dragon Trakanon thwarted these attempts. The new city is built on the moors northeast of the Lake of Ill Omen in the center of the continent. Much of the city itself is connected by various waterways that make up its streets. The city has hints of the Iksar's former glory scattered about its mostly rudimentary design. Although it isn't much to look at, most of Cabilis is still under construction and grows every day thanks to countless froglok slaves. The entirity of Cabilis is protected by towering stone walls, and the eastern half has gates in Swamp of No Hope and the Field of Bone. The Iksar are led by Emperor Vekin, who makes his home near the center of town. East Cabilis is easily the busiest part of town, for this is where the bank and dozens of merchants are located, creating high amounts of traffic. Guild halls for warriors, shadow knights, and monks are also found in this part of Cabilis.
West Cabilis is quieter than the eastern half. Construction has all but finished here, so there is alot less noise and absolutely no froglok slaves to be seen, leaving the western half of Cabilis as a pure Iksar society. While most merchants set up shop in East Cabilis, there are still a few to be found here. The most notable landmark in this part of town is the Tower of Death, where hatchlings are trained in the dark arts of necromancy. The guards of the western half of Cabilis refer to themselves as crusaders and are loyal only to the Tower of Death. Even the rare outsider who has proven their worth to the Iksar will probably not be accepted by the crusaders. The two gates in western Cabilis lead to Warsliks Wood and the Lake of Ill Omen. In the southern part of town is a relic of the former Iksar empire that serves as an arena.
Charasis, also known as Howling Stones, lies beneath The Overthere, deep within the massive canyon that can be found in the center of the plains. The city was built not long after the Shissar were eradicated from the planet. It was the home of the strongest and most powerful tribe of Iksar, the Kunzar, and was the birthplace of Venril Sathir. It is here where he learned and perfected the arts of necromancy. Before becoming the lich king of Karnor's Castle, Sathir was the greatest emperor in the empire's history. He was able to unite the Iksar tribes, through war, for the betterment of their race. While he ruled from glorious capital city of Sebilis, it is said that he kept his most prized possessions locked away in his original home, Charasis. After the death of his wife, Drusella, Venril Sathir had the beautiful city evacuated, save for a handful of royal guards that would serve to protect his wife's crypt for eternity. The emperor sealed the city shut so that only he could visit it. After the fall of the Iksar Empire, Sarnaks discovered the ruins and even a means to get inside. Their greed for rare treasures was met with a series of mind-bending hallways lined with powerful undead who had been undisturbed for centuries. Not long after Norrathians discovered the ruins of Kunark, a means of obtaining a key to Charasis was discovered. Many met the same unfortunate fate of the Sarnaks, but some returned to Firiona Vie carrying relics of immense power. Those who intend to use the outpost in The Overthere as a base of operations in Kunark should steer clear of Charasis, for slaying the creatures within the ruined city will negatively affect one's faction standing with the guardians of the outpost.
Chardok is the stronghold of the unnatural race known as the Sarnak. The Sarnak were created by the Iksar using arcane magic and are hybrids of dragons and Iksar themselves. They seem to have inherited much of their forebears' traits, as they are ruthless and ferocious in battle, but also possess a certain amount of magical prowess seen in their ranks of shaman and necromancers. In the wars between the Iksar and the Ring of Scale long ago, the Sarnak were used as infantry against the dragons by the Iksar. Even though they aided the Iksar greatly in their efforts, the Sarnak were considered nothing more than slaves by all but a few in the Iksar empire. Since the end of the war, the Sarnak have established their own place on the continent and seek to build their own empire over the ashes of the old ones. Located in the northern reaches of the Burning Wood on the borders of the Skyfire Mountains, Chardok is where they have begun their efforts. This underground fortress is easily one of the most dangerous places on the continent of Kunark. Those brave enough to enter the city and lucky enough to return often bring back relics of unimagineable power. Much of the upper levels of Chardok consist of claustrophobic tunnels of dirt and stone, but the deeper into the city one goes, the more wonderous Chardok becomes. Deep within the fortress is a lush castle with beautiful stone walls, marble floors, fine tapestries, a massive library, and all the amenities. The castle, and the Sarnak empire as a whole, is ruled by the Di`Zok family. Overking Bathezid has become the target for many upon their epic quests, but some would say that Queen Velazul Di`Zok is the true ruler of the city. Beneath the main part of the city are mines where slaves help provide the raw materials needed in the spreading Sarnak empire. In the parts of the city still under construction, which appear to most adventurers as simply a dungeon of twisting tunnels, many dark experiments are being performed by the likes of herbalists and korocusts. Those who have slain enough goblins to earn the Sarnak favor though, will be treated by the city's unique selection of herbs, food, and even a bank. Unless one has earned their trust, entering Chardok alone would certainly be unwise.
The City of Mist
The City of Mist is hidden deep in the fog of the Emerald Jungle. It was once known as the Iksar city of Torsis. Torsis was a bustling trade city and also the primary base of operations for the Iksar army. It was once lined with the finest limestone, marble, and tapestries available on Kunark, but has since become a delapidated, overgrown ruin of its former glory. Undead and other abominations now roam the streets. Testaments to the city's once great importance lie everywhere, which has brought many brave adventurers to the region seeking treasures of the fallen Iksar empire. Torsis was once the pinnacle of Iksar architecture, as three floating towers were constructed here. Their luminous magics have since dissipated, but are still as wonderous to new eyes as they were the day they were erected. Many of the homes, shops, temples, and city offices are unrecognizable at this point, but some of their contents has to have been looted, for the fear of those that now reside in the city has kept most people away. Aside from the undead, there are hulking golems known as Black Reavers that upon death, seemingly spawn countless other monstrosities, which test the stamina of even the most battleworn adventurers. The founder and ruler of Torsis was Lord Rak'Ashiir, and his ghost still roams the city, strangely not aggressive to intruders. The downfall of the city has been attributed to the overall downfall of the Iksar empire by most historians, but a few know that Lord Rak'Ashiir lost faith in Cazic-Thule after his own daughter was taken by the god. This abandonment of faith led many to leave Torsis, which only expedited the fall of this once great city.
The Crypt of Dalnir
The Crypt of Dalnir is likely the least visited part of Kunark, for it is well hidden and off the beaten path of most adventurers coming to the continent. Its entrance can be found in the northwest regions of Warsliks Wood. A series of confusing tunnels eventually lead to a large room, which, at first, appears to be Dalnir's tomb. But upon closer inspection, it is simply a hole that leads deeper into the crypt. Dalnir was once a wealthy noble and powerful necromancer in the great Iksar Empire centuries ago. Unlike some necromancers, Dalnir accepted his mortality and set forth in creating an epic final resting place. The tomb would display Dalnir's great wealth and a vast library of history and arcane studies to symbolize his great intellect. Once the project was completed, Dalnir saw to it that all those who helped build it were put to death, save for one. Dalnir's most trusted servant was tasked with burying Dalnir himself upon death. Dalnir's last act was to set a curse upon the entire crypt and his most trusted servant was sealed inside to live out his last days. The location of the crypt was lost for centuries, until it was stumbled upon by some runaway Iksar criminals who had escaped Cabilis. Recently, the crypt has been invaded by a faction of Sarnaks led by a powerful wizard known simply as Kly. Kly has successfully lifted the curse laid upon the halls, but has instilled his own evil upon its residents and visitors. Kly is powerful in the ways of coercion, as he is able to convince most anyone who has entired Dalnir's crypt to stay within its walls forever.
The Dreadlands the largest region in the known world of Norrath. It offers several different types of terrain and a myriad of creatures to hunt. Dreadlands closeness to the Elven outpost of Firiona Vie makes it an ever popular location for those arriving from Faydwer. Upon entering from Firiona Vie, the region appears to be a grassland full of trees and other foliage, but not far to the west is a desert that spans for what seems like forever. In the center of this desert is an enormous citadel known as Karnor's Castle, an ancient stronghold of the Iksar Empire centuries ago. Surrounding the castle are an army of terrifying creatures known as drachnids. These half-Dark Elf, half-spider abominations are said to be the work of Mayong Mistmoore, the vampire lord of Faydwer. The castle itself is guarded by a race of dog-like people known as Drolvargs, who detest all visitors. To the north are passages to the Frontier Mountains and The Burning Woods. After crossing the expansive desert, after another patch of grasslands, one will meet a massive glacier that has been inching its way across the continent for millenia. The grassland quickly become a frozen flatland that rises into some of the tallest, snowy peaks in all of Norrath. In the flats of the ice stands a fort built by the giants native to the region. And seen wandering through the mountains is Gorenaire, an ice dragon cleric from the Ring of Scale. She has become the target of many paladins, for a white dragon scale is required for their most epic of quests. Those able to get around her and the countless yeti that inhabit the mountains will find a tunnel passage that leads through the glacier. On the other side of this tunnel is a lush grassy area known as the Lost Valley. This valley is home to the most in-tact remnants of the Combine Empire seen anywhere in the known world of Norrath. A large outpost stands here, mostly untouched, along with the towering wizard spires just like the ones seen in Toxxulia Forest, North Karana, and Greater Faydark. Through these spires, and the nearby druid ring, many travelers arrive to the continent of Kunark.
Emerald Jungle is teaming with viscious creatures both natural and unnatural. The foggy marshes are infested with undead legions that eminate from the ruins of the once great city of Torsis, now known as The City of Mist. The city itself has been all but devoured by the jungle, but can be found not far from the center of the region. Both druids and wizards have learned the ability to teleport to Emerald Jungle, giving themselves and their friends relatively quick access to Trakanon's Teeth and Sebilis to the south. Many unwary hatchlings from the Field of Bone wander into the jungle from the west, only to be met with a bloody demise at the hands of Severilous. Severilous is said to be one of the oldest members of the Ring of Scale. Many believe he has left the confines of Veeshan's Peak in search of Trakanon, with whom he wishes to discuss the threat of the rising new Iksar empire. Severilous is a shaman and is often followed by his trusty wolf pet. His green dragon scales are considered to be quite rare by warriors attempting to gather each color for their epic quests, which makes Severilous one of the most battle hardened dragons in all of Norrath. These constant interruptions have kept him from completing his task of finding Trakanon and ultimately putting and end to the growing Iksar threat.
The Field of Bone
Field of Bone is likely the most popular region for Iksar broodlings to begin their adventures. Upon exiting the gates of East Cabilis, the marshy grasslands quickly fade into the expansive wasteland known as the Field of Bone. Commonly mistaken for a desert, the lifeless fields are exactly what the Iksar say they are; fields of bone. The region gets its name from the great battles held here between the Ring of Scale and the Iksar Empire centuries ago. The most notable fossil in the area is that of Jaled'Dar who was slain by Emperor Ganak in one of the largest battles ever seen in Norrath's history. To this day, undead haunt the fields day and night, becoming fodder for young Iksar who seek to grow stronger. Near the ocean to the north is an enormous structure known as Kurn's Tower where the enemies of the Iksar were taken for imprisonment and torture in the days of old. The tower appears to be ready to topple over at the next great gust of wind from the Timorous Deep. To the east is the murky Emerald Jungle, Warsliks Wood spills into the area to the northwest, and in the southern part of the Field of Bone are the ruins of a once great citadel known as Kaesora. A few adventurers at the outpost of The Overthere tell horror stories of a powerful Sarnak vampire lord wreacking havoc from the depths of its ruins. On a small island off the shores of the Field of Bone resides an ancient gorilla known as The Tangrin. He is the last of the Malkara tribe of apes that once ruled the nearby Emerald Jungle. The Tangrin has witnessed the coming and going of Iksar, dragon, and Shissar empires, and probably knows more of Kunark's history than any living being on the continent. He does not tolerate any visitors to his island, but several enchanters have challenged themselves to tame the beast.
Firiona Vie is the outpost built by the Elves of Faydwer and they welcome all good-natured travelers to the newfound continent of Kunark. The outpost itself is on a small island just off the shores of Kunark and is surrounded by a stone wall, making it impenetrable by sea. A single bridge connects the island to the wilds of the forests to the north, making it near impossible for any of Kunark's natural inhabitants, such as frogloks, drolvargs, or drachnids, to invade the city. Firiona Vie's architecture will be immediately recognizable by anyone who has visited the treetop city of Kelethin, for the various shops, homes, and offices all appear to have been plucked from the Greater Faydark. Unbeknown to most, the Elves first landed in this region several hundred years ago, but were almost immediately sent home by the armies of frogloks that protected the region in the name of Venril Sathir, the Iksar lich king. Two hundred years later, the Elves attempted to set up an outpost again, and although they were prepared for the frogloks, they were not prepared for the forest giants that had since moved into the southern parts of Kunark. King Tearis Thex of Felwithe would again send an expedition of Elves to Kunark twenty years later, led by Firiona Vie herself. Firiona is known to all as the Champion of Tunare and is also the heir to the throne of Felwithe. Upon their arrival to Kunark, Firiona was kidnapped. King Tearis Thex, heartbroken and enraged, sent an army of immense proportions to Kunark, led by her childhood mentor, Galeth Veredeth, in an attempt to rescue her. This time, the Elves were able to establish an outpost once and for all, and named it after the Champion of Tunare. A massive statue of Firiona was built of mithril and marble by the smiths of Kaladim and presented to their friends in honor of their champion. The statue can be seen from miles around and is often the first sight that can be seen from travelers arriving by ship. Sir Veredeth was successful in his endeavor of rescuing Firiona from the clutches of Venril Sathir's minions, and he has chosen to remain in the outpost to this day.
Frontier Mountains is a rocky region located to the west of the Lake of Ill Omen. It is inhabited by a faction of mountain giants known as the Kromdek, as well as a tribe of countless goblins known as the Mountain Death clan. Many mid-seasoned adventurers thrive in this region as both the giants and goblins carry quite a bit of coin. The goblins pour out from underground caverns through the mountain range. An entrance to the Mines of Nurga lies in the southern part of the region. These mines are connected to the Temple of Droga, which has an outdoor entrance in the far northwest reaches of the mountains. The center of the range is where adventurers will find a large fort where the mountain giants guard one of the richest mines in all of Norrath. The Sarnak have also moved into the region, attempting to claim Droga and Nurga as their own. Adventurers who slay either the Sarnak or Mountain Death will earn favor with the opposing faction, which leads to unique opportunities on both sides. On the peaks of some of the mountains here, large statues signify the might of the Iksar Empire from century's passed. South of the Frontier Mountains lie the Dreadlands, and over the peaks to the west is the smoldering forest known as the Burning Woods. Those able to pass the mountains into the north will find the open plains of The Overthere and the Dark Elf outpost that rests on the shores of the Timorous Deep.
Kaesora was once a great temple for the Iksar Empire of old. Five towers had been built here, known as the Five Towers of Teraaz, and circled the base of the temple. Now, only four remain, and only the tops of those remain visible, as much of the temple has sunk into the wasteland known as the Field of Bone. The ruins of the former temple are still accessible, but they are now inhabited by a powerful Sarnak vampire lord and his legion of minions. His name is Xalgoz, and he has taken the temple as his own shrine. The twisting hallways of Kaesora are full of traps and points of no return. Not far from the main entrance is a large library full of Iksar and Kunark history. If it weren't for the undead roaming throughout the halls, much could be learned from its countless tomes. The ruined buildings and other structures within Kaesora give hints of their former beauty. Xalgoz himself can be found in the deepest depths of the temple, where he constantly studies ancient texts to increase his already vast knowledge of the arcane arts. Here he continues to summon the undead, amassing an army to rival any force that Kunark has to offer. It is rumored that he has formed an alliance with Venril Sathir, the Iksar lich king of Karnor's Castle. An army of their combined might could threaten more than just the continent of Kunark.
Karnor's Castle is both one of the most dangerous and the most popular locations for adventurers in Kunark. Experienced adventurers often come here to test their skills before venturing on to the hidden challenges the continent offers to those of great ability. Karnor's was once an important stronghold of the Iksar Empire and was built in order to eliminate the threat of the giants of both the woods and mountains. It is now ruled by the newly risen lich king, Venril Sathir, and his army of undead cohorts. Venril Sathir was the first of the Iksar Emperors after they secured their freedom from the Shissar over two thousand years ago. He was able to unite the five tribes of Iksar and conquer most of the continent of Kunark. Venril Sathir was obsessed with immortality, so he made a pact with the Prince of Hate, Innoruuk, in order to rule the Empire forever as a lich. Venril's son, Rile, interrupted the ritual and claimed the throne for himself. Venril's soul was trapped within an amulet and his body cremated by Rile. Now, many centuries later, Venril Sathir has risen and is planning to dominate Kunark as he did before. Karnor's Castle, while technically indoors, has no roof, which allows for druids and rangers to use the full gambit of their spells. The first part of the castle is guarded fiercely by drolvargs loyal to Venril Sathir. Much of the upper levels have been neglected for centuries, while the depths of the castle have been renovated by Sathir's servants. The interior moat of the castle, made possible by Sathir's immense power of the arcane, has an underwater entrance to the underground halls, jail, and hidden rooms of the citadel. In the rear of the castle, beyond the legions of undead, is where Venril Sathir himself resides. Here he has built a library of stunning proportions and a laboratory where he resurrects and creates some of Kunark's most fearsome abominations. The other races of Kunark are beginning to take note of Venril's return, but it may be too late.
Kurn's Tower was once the most dreaded place in all of Kunark. During the reign of Venril Sathir around two thousand years ago, this tower was where the Iksar took their enemies to imprison, torture, maim, and eventually kill them. During the height of the empire, Kurn Machta was one of Venril Sathir's most loyal captains. Venril did not wish to taint the glorious streets of Sebilis with the torturous screams of prisoners, so he commissioned the tower be built and chose Kurn as executioner. Venril could not have chosen a better candidate for the job. Along with his love of torture, Kurn performed various experiments on the prisoners. Under the reign of Atrebe Sathir, Venril's grandson, these experiments are what led to the creation of the Sarnak race. Legend tells of one prisoner who was able to dig his way out of captivity only to find himself in the underground lair of the Burynai, a badger-like race of people who worship Innoruuk. The prisoner was slaughtered, but his death led to the Burynai discovering the tower's depths. Soon, an army of necromancer and shaman Burynai took the tower and captured Kurn himself. The Burynai's leader fell in love with the torture devices created by Kurn, and used them on their creator. Kurn's Tower is now in shambles. It appears as though it could topple at any moment, yet adventurers enter every day in search of Kurn's great fortune. The tower's roof has already collapsed, leaving only the first two levels above ground fully accessible, but there are subterranean levels to the tower as well. Many undead, prisoners and guards alike, roam the various halls and chambers of the tower. Spiders have also infested the tower in order to escape the scorching sun out in the Field of Bone. In the lower levels, the Burynai still reside here and are led by a powerful shamn known as Bargynn. The Burynai, as loyal followers of Innoruuk, are more than willing to demonstrate their hateful spite to any visitors of the tower.
Lake of Ill Omen
Lake of Ill Omen lies directly in the center of the continent of Kunark and is a large outdoor region inhabited by many goblins, Sarnak, and Iksar alike. It's close proximity to Firiona Vie and Cabilis make it a popular hunting ground for young adventurers from Faydwer and iksar too. In the southwest part of the area, the Sarnak have built a sizeable fort as they attempt to expand their empire outside of the Burning Wood. A small passage through the granite walls to the west leads to the Frontier Mountains, which is likely the next area to offer a challenge to most adventurers around the lake. Northwest of the lake are caves where countless goblins pour out from Warsliks Wood and roam the fields around the lake terrorizing all they come across. A river leads east from the river directly to Firiona Vie, making it easy for those who are good-natured to make it to safety. To the northeast is the Iksar city of Cabilis. Those without scaly skin would be wise not to venture in that direction. And to the southeast of the lake is a massive windmill where Professor Akabao studies the history of Kunark, the Kylong tribe of Iksar in particular. Circling the lake, adventurers will find it impossible not to notice the dozens of Iksar statues and other ancient structures that still stand to this day. They appear to be welcoming visitors to something grand, not just a lake infested with bloodgill goblins. Great pillars can be seen poking their way above the waterline of the salt lake. These are the remants of the once great Iksar resort city called Veksar. Centuries ago, an earthquake shook the region, and Veksar sunk to the floor of the lake. Those with the ability to breathe underwater can see even more of the city's former majesty and return with tales of what appears to be the city's entrance still accessible. The Iksar claim the city has fallen too close to the Underfoot, something the Erudites know all too much about.
Mines of Nurga
Mines of Nurga is where the hordes of Mountain Death goblins of Kunark eminate from beneath the Frontier Mountains. Nurga is the lower tunnel system of mining complexes that the goblins have bulit to supply their warriors that spread like wildfire across much of the continent. While connected via underground tunnels to Droga, Nurga is much more dangerous in terms of the might of the goblins found there. Much like Droga though, Nurga is mostly a one way street due to the fact that there is no way to get back to Frontier Mountains after dropping into the mine without taking the long way around. The architecture is simplistic and not much to look at, but the rotting wood and makeshift tents seem to be enough for the goblins. Possibly the most notable thing about Nurga is that there is a mysterious Ogre monk that resides here. The fact that he's an Ogre monk is strange enough already, but that the goblins tolerate his existance there just compounds the mystery. Many Human and Iksar monks have fought through the mines to converse and/or challenge this strange Ogre known as Trunt.
Old Sebilis is easily the most popular location for adventurers of the highest skill level. Sebilis was once the heart of the great Iksar Empire and was built under the reign of Venril Sathir nearly two thousand years ago. After the death of Emperor Ganak, who died in a battle against the leader of the Ring of Scale, Jaled'Dar, in the Field of Bone, the Empire slowly crumbled. After multiple Sarnak slave uprisings, forest giant attacks, and goblin invasions, the city was vulnerable. Trakanon, the poisonous dragon of the Ring of Scale, had an undying hatred for the Iksar unrivaled by any other dragon. His previous actions had him exiled by Jaled'Dar, but with the death of Jaled'Dar, Trakanon decided to deal the final blow by crushing the jewel city of Sebilis. Trakanon was mortally wounded in his successful attempt to destroy the city. The Iksar evacuated the area, establishing what would become Cabilis. It has now become inhabited by hundreds of frogloks. Unlike the frogloks of Antonica who worship Mithaniel Marr, these frogloks show allegiance the now undead Trakanon. Located deep within a part of the Emerald Jungle known as Trakanon's Teeth, the majesty of the city can still be seen even though many of the pillars and statues are in shambles and overgrown with vines. WIthin the ruins of the city, past countless roaming ghosts, is a mystical glowing red orb. Touching this orb will transport anyone holding the requisite key into Sebilis. Inside, much of the city's stone walls and floors are still in tact. After passing through the entrance hall, the city opens into a massive underground cavern that sprawls into three directions.
The bridge to the west leads to a prison, armory, bar, and kitchen. The bridge to the east leads to a library, laboratory, and two strange rooms commonly referred to as "discos" by many adventurers. The bridge to the south leads to a massive pyramid with a locked door. Behind the door is an area even Trakanon himself dares not go; the crypt. The crypt is inhabited by the ghosts of many of the city's noblemen and former emperors. Anyone brave enough to enter the crypt, will need a rogue to even past the front door. Below the three bridges is a sewer system that still runs with freshwater brought in by the marvelous acqueduct system built during the height of the empire. Swimming through these waters will lead to the underground parts of the city where fungus men known as myconids can be found. The myconid's king is the target of many melee classes, especially monks, for he is known to carry a tunic with the regenerative powers of the fungus found in these caverns. Beyond the mushrooms, an army of golems known as juggernauts await any who attempt to reach Trakanon himself. Those strong enough to pass the countless waves of these juggernauts will reach a bridge that leads to a massive chamber where Trakanon himself now resides. He is guarded by his most loyal froglok, Tolapumj, a frighteningly powerful enchanter. The undead dragon himself is one of the most powerful enemies in all of Kunark, and those who can work together to defeat him have returned to Firiona Vie and Overthere with chestplates, chainmail, tunics, and robes of unrivaled powers. The hundreds of frogloks and other various creatures here carry some of the most sought after weapons and armor in all of Norrath, which brings many adventurers to the once great city.
The Overthere is a large shore-side plain. The shores to the north are where the dark alliance of Dark Elves and Ogres have built an outpost from which all of their endeavors on the continent emanate. The outpost has worked out an alliance with Venril Sathir, the lich king of Karnor's Castle. The outpost offers anything one would need before heading out into the wilds of Kunark; a bank, dozens of merchants, guild trainers, and more. A boat makes rounds at the docks, taking anyone through the Timorous Deep back to Antonica. Dragoons from Neriak make their rounds throughout the plains in the darkness of night, so those not on good terms with the Teir'Dal should keep an eye out after the sun sets. A myriad of creatures also inhabit these plains including cockatrices, rhinos, sabertooth tigers, and living cacti known as succulents. The Sarnak have also moved into this territory, and their whips can earn just about anyone favor with the dark alliance when given to Captain Rottgrime as proof of death. Despite its inherent dangers, the Overthere is one of the most popular regions of Kunark for mid-seasoned adventurers. To the east is a valley into the dark forest known as Warsliks Wood. To the south is a lengthy valley leading to the Frontier Mountains. To the west is a tunnel luring adventurers into the deadly Skyfire Mountains. In the center of the Overthere is a large canyon. Within this canyon are frightening creatures known as scorpiki, who are half scorpion and half Iksar. In the deepest part of the canyon is a city built by the Kunzar tribe of Iksar thousands of years ago known as Charasis. The entrance to the city, also called The Howling Stones, is marked by a glowing red orb that requires a key to pass. Any holding a key may touch the orb to enter the city where Venril Sathir was born.
Skyfire Mountains is the domain of the dragons of Kunark. West of The Overthere and north of the Burning Woods, this rocky, broken terrain is covered by many rivers and several lakes of lava. The fiery lava gives the night sky a red tint, which is where the region gets its name. As if falling into the many pits of magma weren't enough of a danger, the region is teaming with all kinds of dragon-like creatures including drakes, wyverns, wurms, chomodracs, and most notably, Talendor. He is a relatively young dragon, too young to be inducted to the council of the Ring of Scale in Veeshan's Peak, but is earning his rank by slaughtering any and all who pass through these mountains. Veeshan's Peak is the largest mountain here, and a massive door in the side of the volcano leads to the stronghold of the Ring of Scale. The brave enough or foolish enough to enter the peak must first complete an extensive quest to earn a key from Emperor Ganak in Trakanon's Teeth. Surrounding the entire region are structures obviously built by dragons, possibly millenia ago. In the northeast is a fire temple where a giant dragon statue holds a pulsating red orb. In the southeast is an identical statue, this one holding a blue orb as it is a temple of ice. To the south, near the valley leading to the Burning Woods, is a dragon graveyard. Wizards have uncovered the ability to teleport to this graveyard, which is actually quite dangerous. In the southwest is another dragon statue, this one holding a revolving globe of Norrath. Historians have braved the intense heat and dangerous wildlife of the region to study the globe, for it shows a large frozen continent far south of Antonica, several small continents west of Odus, and a massive continent in the opposite hemisphere. The knowledge of the dragons appears to be unmatched by any other race. Druids studying it have learned the ability to teleport to this mysterious globe, which is much safer than their counterpart's location.
Swamp of No Hope
Swamp of No Hope gets its name from a group of Human settlers who attempted to establish an outpost here. The murky waters and thick air make every moment in the swamp uncomfortable. Not for frogloks though, as they have built a rather large city here known as Krup. Most adventurers should make an effort to stay away from the elevated froglok city, for they will swarm enemies quickly. The frogloks of Kunark were once slaves to the Iksar during the height of the Iksar Empire, but played a crucial role in the fall of the empire with constant slave uprisings in the city of Sebilis. They are hostile to all visitors because they believe in a prophecy that states newcomers will enslave them once again. Firiona Vie is just south of the swamp, which makes many of the frogloks weary. The new Iksar city, Cabilis, has gates in the northwest portion of the marshes. A hidden passage through the river to the east leads to Trakanon's Teeth, and a winding valley to the north will take adventurers to the Field of Bone. Most of the traffic in Swamp of No Hope is simply from more advanced adventurers passing through from Firiona Vie on their way to Sebilis, but the swamps are great for hatchlings of East Cabilis to improve their fledgling skills.
Temple of Droga
Temple of Droga is a dangerous dungeon where once you step in, you cannot get out without passing through many of it's twisting caverns. The goblins of the Mountain Death clan reside here beneath the Frontier Mountains, and they do not take kindly to visitors unless they have proven their worth by slaughtering Sarnak. The winding, dirty, dark tunnels open up in several places showing the goblin's architectural skills. They have set up a series of tracks for mine carts that come together in a large city built in the fashion of log cabins. Droga is connected through two separate paths to the smaller mines of Nurga, which can be used as a short-sighted escape in times of emergency. Truth be told, there's no quick way out of Droga or Nurga without the aid of a druid or wizard. In the deepest, darkest part of the mines is an area known as Death Hollow where Chief Rokgus commands the goblin horde. Rokgus is known to be a bit crazy, sending groups of goblins to certain death on many occasions in attempt to eliminate the Sarnak from the Frontier Mountains. Legend has it that when the goblins first arrived on the continent and had set up their mines, Rokgus witnessed over a hundred of his brethren slaughtered by an unprovoked attack from the Sarnak. Rokgus has since devoted himself to revenge. It was his order that sealed off all but one entrance to both Droga and Nurga, making any invasion a glorified trap for goblin slaughter. Many have heard tales of Rokgus' stockpile of treasures including a powerful dagger, a glowing fist, a thorned idol, and one of the rarest items in all of Norrath; the Locket of Escape.
Timorous Deep is an enormous ocean south of Faydwer that surrounds the entire continent of Kunark. The Maiden's Voyage enters these waters from the northeast from Faydwer and after passing a couple islands inhabited by bandits and not far from the Spiroc island, it continues directly to the Elven outpost of Kunark known as Firiona Vie. When leaving Kunark, the massive Elven ship will make a pit stop at a small outpost set up by the Elves on one of the larger islands found in the Deep. The ship will circle the island before heading back north to meet up with the ferries that go back and forth from Butcherblock Mountains. When travelling from Antonica, a raft will take adventurers to a small camp built by Ogres on the Spiroc island. The Ogres tend to stay away from the larger portion of the island which is inhabited by a colorful race of aviaks that are quite territorial. Nearby, the Bloated Belly, a crude ship fashioned by the Ogres will take anyone to the northern shores of Kunark where the dark alliance of Ogres and Dark Elves have settled on the continent. The Ogres have chosen a less than scenic route through these waters, really only passing a ship graveyard where bandits inhabit the wreckage, which doesn't sit well with most of the ship's passengers. The Timorous Deep has much more to offer than what can be seen from the pair of ships. Just north of the continent is a sight not many will ever see, which are Iksar ruins that have sunk to the bottom of the sea.
A relatively large island southwest of Kunark features many Iksar ruins and a mysterious chessboard that resembles the one found in Butcherblock Mountains. A lone Gnome studies these ruins, while a stoic Iksar monk eternally meditates atop the islands highest peak. Directly south of this island are a pair of small islands infested with raptors. Among them is an abandoned druid ring that no druid would ever wish to use given the ferocious predators inhabiting the area. To the east, just south of the Elven camp is an iceberg that floats along carrying yetis. Far, far to the south is a mysterious granite ring island. The only entrance is via an underwater tunnel to the east and once inside, one must swim around the inner the ring to the west to enter another underwater cave in order to emerge in a tropical island resembling paradise. A small group of Erudite clerics reside at an inn here selling rare wines and teaching the ways of the Triumvirate of Water. Clerics of all allegiances make a pilgrimage here on their most epic of quests. The lake found within this island is said to be where one of Norrath's most fabled creatures often resides. Faydedar, a sea dragon most do not believe to exist, often patrols these waters in the southern reaches of the world terrorize all who travel by sea. Finally, in the far southwest corner of the ocean, at the very edge of the known world, a set of wizard spires just barely peeks above the water line. These spires, built by the Combine Empire, hold the secrets of teleportation. Swimming to the ocean floor here will reveal a tunnel that drops adventurers into a large white room with a mystical green bonfire in the center. Surround the room are firepots and torches that symbolize nine major cities of Norrath. Touching any one of these magical relics will transport one to the city that they represent.
Trakanon's Teeth is separated from the rest of the Emerald Jungle by an enormous, ancient wall built by the Iksar over two thousand years ago. The wall acts as a first line of defense for the once great capital city of Sebilis that now lies in ruin deep within the region. This portion of the jungle is teaming with frogloks and undead Iksar that roam throughout the overgrown jungle. The entire area features remanants of the once glorious Iksar empire including an acqueduct that once brought fresh water to Sebilis. To the east, in the deepest part of the jungle, lies the entrance to Sebilis. While mostly destroyed, one can imagine the former beauty of the city from the intricate archways and the few statues that still stand. Beneath the exterior ruins, much of the inner city is still in tact, but entrance will require a key. In a nearby system of caves that served as a mausoleum for the Iksar of old, Emperor Ganak's ghost greets any and all visitors. Ganak was the great-grandson of Venril Sathir, the first emperor after the Iksar liberation, and after the death of Ganak's father Atrebe in a failed necromantic experiment, Ganak quickly assassinated his two older brothers in order to claim the throne for himself. Ganak took the throne during the height of the Iksar-Dragon wars of Kunark. He faced off against the Ring of Scale's leader, Jaled'Dar, in an epic aerial battle in what is now known as the Field of Bone. Both leaders perished in this battle, and the demoralized dragons retreated to Veehsan's Peak to rethink their plans. Not long after, the poisonous dragon known as Trakanon attacked Sebilis himself, destroying what was left of the Iksar Empire. The frogloks, who were slaves to the Iksar, now worship the undead dragon and defend the city with vigor. Emperor Ganak offers adventurers two tasks to complete. The shorter and easier of the two will grant one with a key to the inner depths of Sebilis in attempt to rid Ganak's city of Trakanon once and for all. Those with the ability to complete this task can accept a much more difficult quest from the emperor's ghost. This second task sends adventurers on a journey to collect medallions for each of the ancient Iksar tribes along with a tooth from Trakanon himself. The reward for this epic adventure is a key to Veeshan's Peak. Emperor Ganak seeks the demise of the dragons even in death.
Veeshan's Peak is the sacred home of the Ring of Scale, which is the society of dragons that reside on the continent of Kunark. The first dragons of Norrath were placed upon the planet by the Wurm Queen herself, Veeshan. Legend states that a political disagreement led to the dragons dividing into two separate factions, and the Ring of Scale being the faction that decided leave the dragon's original home and claim Kunark as their own. The Ring of Scale built a massive lair within the largest volcano in the Skyfire Mountains. Their leader, Jaled'Dar, fell in battle with the Iksar many centuries ago. Veeshan's Peak is now governed by Jaled'Dar's daughter, Phara'Dar, and a council of ancient dragons of unfathomable power. Entering their lair requires the completion of one of the longest, most arduous quests in all of Norrath. Those dedicated enough to complete this task, given by the ghost of Emperor Ganak in Trakanon's Teeth, can join a legion of friends in entering the most dangerous locale Norrath has to offer. Upon entering, there is no immediate exit, and teleportation does not work here. The only way to survive the magnificent, ancient lair is to slay one or more of the legendary dragons in order to reach a teleporter behind them that will deliver one to the relative safety of Skyfire. The exit behind Phara'Dar herself is said to lead directly to the Plane of Sky. For the most elite of adventurers who are able to fell any of these ancient guardians, they will return with weapons, armor, and various other items of unimagineable power. Veeshan's Peak is the true test for Norrath's greatest champions.
Veksar was the last part of Kunark to be discovered by the newcomers from Faydwer and Antonica. Around two thousand years ago, when the Shissar mysteriously vanished from the continent and the Iksar gained their freedom, the Kylong tribe of Iksar built a glorious resort in the middle of the largest lake in the land. Back then, the lake was accessible by sea, which made Veksar a magnificent port city. After a thousand years of prosperity, a catastrophe hit the region. Some say it was a massive earthquake, while some tell tales of a viscious dragon laying waste to Veksar. The city sank to the bottom of what is now known as the Lake of Ill Omen. Remnants of the once popular city can be seen all around the lake to this day, and the highest towers of the city can be seen peaking through the water line. An entrance to the city remains exposed, although at the bottom of the lake. Most Iksar dare not dive to such depths for fear that their beloved city has sunk too close to the Underfoot. Erudites, such as Professor Akabao in the nearby windmill, know the dangers of the Underfoot all too well thanks to The Hole. Those who have entered Veksar return with tales of a powerful magic that has kept much of the city from being flooded. Hundreds of ghosts of the city's long lost citizens currently roam the halls of the once beautiful city. A powerful undead dragon known as Garudon haunts the ruins, lending weight to the theory that Veksar's destruction was due to more than a natural earthquake.
Warsliks Wood is a beautiful evergreen forest along the northern coast of Kunark between The Overthere and Field of Bone. It was named in honor of a forest giant general who thwarted many attacks from the Iksar Empire of old. Near the coast in the northwest corner of the forest is the newly discovered Crypt of Dalnir. After the fall of the Iksar Empire, the surviving Iksar scattered across the continent and quite a few settled here in these trees. They have constructed a road fhrough the woods from Overthere to the Field of Bone, not out of kindness, but in an attempt to lure travelers into a false sense of security, which makes them easy targets for an ambush. Goblins have also moved into this region from the nearby Frontier Mountains and have set up an outpost they call Twark within some of the ruins of the Iksar empire near the cliffs above the ocean. Not far from the gates of Cabilis in the southeast part of the forest is the greatest danger the region submits, and that is the fortress of forest giants known as Chalp. Rumor has it that these Kromdul giants still horde some of the most powerful relics from throughout the continent's long history.
The Ruins of Kunark was widely regarded as a successful first expansion for the EverQuest franchise. Though the original game had a plethora of content unseen before in a video game, the developers at Verant felt that tweaks could be made and more stuff could be added. Many players praised the expansion as adding to the core gameplay experience without hindering what made it great in the first place. With the addition of the continent of Kunark, the world of Norrath and the content of the game was expanded by roughly 15%. The introduction of many memorable zones including Timorous Deep, Frontier Mountains, Burning Woods, and many others have since made a return to EverQuest II with its expansion, Rise of Kunark.
Ever since the game's core audience left the game, mostly after the Planes of Power expansion, many still feel to this day that the Ruins of Kunark was not only the greatest expansion in EverQuest history but also the greatest expansion in MMORPG history.