SOUTHERN PLAINS OF KARANA
DescriptionThe Southern Plains of Karana mark the southernmost expanse of the vast Plains of Karana, and lie just north of the Rathe mountain range and the swamplands beyond. They are generally quieter than the other areas of the plains, there are no hill giants or griffons around. Wolves, lions, and elephants roam the plains here, with the occasional centaur hunter in chase.
DangersThis zone is very dangerous only if you are the type of person who likes to make enemies. By that, I mean that if you have been hunting creatures (lions, wolves, elephants) that generally leave you alone, this zone will be very deadly for you, as they all are roaming throughout the area. On the other hand, if you have no quarrel with these creatures, you can roam freely without fear of random attacks.
The only other real danger in this zone, aside from the above, is the roaming elephant named Cracktusk. This elephant has been driven into a homicidal rage by the crack in his tusk that causes him exquisite pain. Be very careful of this creature, for although he is not in the zone often, if he is he can sense you from farther away than you can see him, and he runs far faster than any character can without the aid of magic (and so fast, in fact, I wonder if magic would help). My ranger was tracking him from a distance, and my first view of him was with him charging me.
The other NPC that can be dangerous is Lord Grimrot himself. He is the bane of the Qeynos area, and there are many quests surrounding this character. He spawns at the northernmost undead ruins, just south of the bridge, and appears either as a human dressed in plate carrying a large scythe or as a skeleton (which I personally have never seen). He is so tough that I know 50th level paladins who could not solo him, but I know small groups in their mid-30's who have taken him successfully, and he doesn't roam from this area unless drawn out.
A downside, more than a danger, is that most of the good spawn spots are usually taken around the clock. These include any area near the aviak town, the treants, the spires around Splitpaw, etc. Unless you can spend some time solo'ing, I wouldn't make a super long trip to here unless you know you can get into a group, as you might be standing around for a bit.
BenefitsThe largest benefit of this area is that it is one of the busiest (in terms of creatures) areas to adventure in. A person could solo or group here from the low-teens up to the early 30's in level and never leave. The large spaces allow us druids our room to kite in, and groups can also pull from the various known spawn spots.
The other plus to this area is that it is a very unique area of the world to hunt in and explore. There is no other zone with elephants, no other zone with Centaurs, no other zone with an entire aviak town. Quillmane is a pegasus that occasionally flies across the northern edge or middle of the zone, and can be taken on by high level groups. There are also cropping up many unique named NPC's here, including a wolf, lion, and cyclops. There are several undead camps that provide a large amount of experience for large groups that wish to take them out. Lord Grimrot hides out here, as well as a hermit. And on top of it all, the rough rock spires of Splitpaw rise from the center of the zone...
Travelling To and From Southern Plains of KaranaOn the northern edge of the zone the surrounding hills fade away to mark a pass that leads down to the bridge to the Northern Plains of Karana. The Guards of Qeynos, including their Commander, guard this bridge from their tower on the northern edge of the bridge.
On the southern edge of the zone lies a narrow pass that leads into the depths of the Rathe Mountains, including Lake Rathe and from there the mountains themselves, and to the swamps beyond, the homes of the ogres and trolls. This is the pass one must go through on the southern route from Qeynos to Freeport.
In the middle of the zone, directly between the passes to the north and south, lies the entrance to the Lair of Splitpaw. Several stone spires marking the claws rise from the earth, and the small tunnel to the lair below lies between them.
Nostalgia from 1999-2003 EQ Atlas Web Site