Guide for Vah Shir Beastlords

The Hollowshade War

Hollowshade Moor is one of the most entertaining zones in the game - provided you aren't attempting to gain experience there. It's a zone that I have cursed many a time in the past, but that's changed now that the war script is fixed. As it now is, it serves several purposes: as an experience and quest zone for young Vah Shir (14-30); a source for high level smithing components; probably the most exciting mid-level raid zone; and a zone for 49+ people to solo farm interesting drops (many of which are no drop). The two reasons I used to curse this zone were: all the mobs are undercons, with a distinct lack of experience modifier; and the war script was badly broken, with no way to reset the zone to any reasonable status.

Allakhazam's Hollowshade Moor Quest. Check here for details of the drops - the list of mobs is rather incomplete.

A number of decent mid range weapons can be found here: a +5 wis 1HB, a 2HB with dot/debuff proc, several piercers, and an average 1HS. There are two haste items; several items with +2 to +5 wis, various levels of int, skill modifiers of +3% for piercing, and +3% and +4% med, and an FT(I) item.

The west side of the zone is an open field with rockhoppers and rhinobeetles, roughly level 10-14. These drop pelts, and various items for the vah shir quests. Across the south end of the zone is a lake with turtles and fish, also with quest drops, and various ground spawns on the island for these quests. South of the lake on the west side, below the entrance to Paludal Caverns, is another area with a slightly higher density of hoppers and beetles - good to hunt in if you need their drops. As well as the common mobs, a named hopper, Dirtchomp, and a named beetle, Gorehorn, can spawn. These are roughly level 25. It is possible that they can be spawned by killing the "aggressive green" beetles and rockhoppers (ie the ones that will aggro even when green cons).

There are three camps: a village on the south wall, occupied by grimlings; a cave to the east, occupied by sonic wolves; and a cave in the NW, occupied by owlbears - as well as a vah shir outpost near the entrance to Shar Vahl in the NW. All of these four points can be occupied at various times and different combinations by the three factions (owlbears, sonic wolves and grimlings). The war is started by players, and continues until one faction holds all three camps, at which point it will take over the outpost. When a named mob in the outpost is killed, the zone resets back to its normal state.

Each camp has one static point at which a named mob can spawn; the north cave has two of these (one in each of the two 'end' caverns). In addition, there are several named mobs that can spawn outside the camps and will wander about their faction areas. Drops are best from the named mob of each group in their home camp, from which ever occupies the north caves, and from the final named mobs that spawns in the outpost. The drops required for smithing are commonest from whichever of the owlbears or wolves holds the southern village - shrieking and wailing substances (wolves and bears), for shadowscream armor. I should point out that the owlbear smithing drops are also available in Paludal; I am not sure about the wolf ones.

Running the War

To start the war, just kill the named mob in one of the three camps. That will trigger an invasion from the next camp counter-clockwise, which will be defeated if you don't help the invaders; while the invasion is underway (it lasts for 6 minutes), killing any of the other nameds has no effect. Once one camp has been taken over, invasions are automatically triggered at random every 12 minutes; these are usually, but not always, unresisted. The system seems to be arranged so that all three camps won't be taken by the same group without player intervention, so the team with two camps will always be undefended, and the team with one camp will always defend it. The zone announcement has been adjusted to be reasonably clear if the camp attacked will be defended or not. If the invasion is the one you want, you need once more to kill the defenders, if they spawn; if it isn't, you will have to kill the attackers, which is best done as they start to leave their base. Just one attacker reaching an undefended camp will take it over. I have been told that there is some magic system to force the 'correct' invasion to happen; but watching the person who claimed this, the 'wrong' invasion happened three times in a row, so I assume this is false. I have also heard that you can aggro an attacker and pull it into the winning area, but I haven't been able to succeed with this. Attackers from the north and east leave from the caves, but attackers from the south spawn on the sandy spur in the lake by the east wall. By waiting for the right group to set out and helping them to win, you can arrange for any combination of two groups in the three camps. The attackers are variously called grimling invaders, furious owlbears, and sonic wolf fiends. They are non-aggro, and slightly easier to kill than the general run, whereas the defenders are harder, and they summon. Grimling invaders have two types, one of which (in the yellow jerseys) is immune to changes in run speed; the other is not. Aggro them, and they will turn to you.

As soon as one group has taken all three camps, the vah shir leg it for the zone accompanied by rain and thunder, and the victors take over the outpost. The named mob that spawns is typically level 35ish (blue to 40, green to 52), and as soon as it is killed, the zone returns back to normal.

If you want the owlbears to win so that you can try for the FT 1 range item, first kill the grimling chieftain. He summons, and casts a form of snare (called Quicksand). When killed, he only uncommonly has any of his drops - but you'll need to kill his two bodyguards to loot. These three often drop acrylia, as well as the usual grimling drops. At the back of his hut are two spiritists, who will chain heal. Once the three at the front are down, take out the spiritists. As soon as the chief drops (within 30 seconds), the owlbears set out, and five grimling defenders spawn. These summon, backstab, and use Strong Poison on you. Kill the defenders before the furious owlbears arrive, and the owlbears will take over the village. In the chieftains place will be a screechmaw, who drops an owlbear claw earring or a sinew wrapped owlbear ribcage (chest slot).

Next, you will have 18 minutes from the chieftains death, 12 minutes from the owlbears taking over the village, to get to the wolf cave in the east. If the wolves attack the owlbears, five sonic wolf fiends will set out. It is easiest to kill them as they parade outside the cave. Keep on doing this every 12 minutes until the owlbears attack. Then three sonic wolf defenders will spawn; kill these - I think they can summon as well, but it is possible that they don't. Defenders are all perma-rooted. Then race to the outpost.

At the back of the outpost spawns Skriat'Chakku (named owlbear). I target her from the road, then run around the back and cast on her - she warps through the wall onto me, and can be safely killed without interference from the other owlbears. She is immune to changes in run speed. The commonest drop is the owlbear bone club, but both the +5 cha cap and the polished owlbear beak piercer is common. The rare drop is the eye (FT1).

To get the grimling Prince Garzemort, start by killing the sonic wolf cave packleader; for Gnarlik, start with the owlbear denmaster.

This cycle can be over in 25 minutes; at times, it has taken close to 90 minutes if the luck of the random number generator was against me. The same approach, with a different starting point, can result in each of the three groups winning. The boss wolf, Gnarlik, is a reasonably easy kill. The hardest is the grimling Prince, who is extremely magic resistant. He sometimes resists both Splurt and Bond of Death, which are generally never resisted; life taps seemed to always land. Cold nukes always landed for full; I don't know about fire. If left to their own, they can easily kill a level 49 pet, although they are easy solo kills at that level.

Mid Level Raid Plan

If I was intending to do this as a mid-level raid, I'd want at a minimum 2 groups of 35 - 45s, up to four groups, one with a tracker. Station a group at each of the camps, and use the fourth to track named mobs in the middle of the zone, plus track the invaders. If you have two groups, use one to kill the trigger mobs and kill defenders, and the other to intercept invaders. Start by killing the appropriate trigger mob, then have all groups commence killing all the nameds for the next 5 minutes. In the south, you only need kill the chief's hut (2 healers, 2 bodyguards, and the named). In the north, you should be able to walk between many of the mobs without aggroing, although the entries to the two caves with nameds at the back have two guards that are likely to aggro, and the nameds are close to other mobs, and adds are likely, depending on your level. The only way to handle the east cave is to kill in to the named placeholder, and sit tight waiting for respawns. I have seen someone pull the named through the roof of the cave, but I don't know if this is still possible. The east cave is by far the toughest to deal with. Nothing in the zone can see invis, so it may just be possible to invis a group in to kill at the named spawn point; in the east cave, I can pretty much guarantee 2 or possibly 3 adds, depending on timing.

Killing defenders will be tougher at this level, as they are permarooted and summon. If you kill the normal entry guards (bodyguards/guardians) first, you should be able to kill defenders from one end. The grimlings will be the hardest to defeat, but they don't have wanderers pathing through the defenders area.

Keep killing the nameds until you have enough drops, then cycle through a different way. You should be able to get owlbear/sonic wolf claw earrings for everyone, and a variety of other items.

Named mobs

grimling chieftain
owlbear screechmaw

East Cave:
sonic packleader/Ghowlik
owlbear fleshrender/Skriat'Chee
grimling tribal leader/Grurn No Eyes

North Cave, Main position:
owlbear denmaster/Skrietat'Chu
sonic wolf/Dreadmaw Wolfkin
grimling guard/Gniktar Grimwit

North Cave, other named:
owlbear fleshrender/Skrietat'Cha
sonic wolf/Fireclaw Wolfkin
grimling guard/Gleeknot Gnitrat

Prince Garzemort

Wanderer (North Central, between the two rivers):
Gamtoine Cursmakk (not seen personally)
Wanderer (North Moor, outside owlbear caves):
Prince Skriatat
Warpaw Dankpelt (not seen personally)
Wiknak Grimglom (not seen personally)
Wanderers (West and South Moor)

Just for Beastlords: the Sonic Wolf Bane Claws and Garrison Cloak

The sonic wolf bane quest at first sight isn't worth doing; the claws themselves are less powerful than polished steel ulaks, which you can easily get for yourself solo at high twenties, and it involves considerable pain camping mobs in Hollowshade to find the required components, as well as a relatively high level (135) in one of the hardest to train tradeskills, tailoring. See the Trade Skills section for advice on reaching this level. However, the end of this series of quests is well worth getting, the Officers Cloak (now Vah Shir beastlord only, unfortunately), and to an extent justifies the time spent on the long camps in Hollowshade.

It is possible to multi-quest to get the Journeymans Cloak, skipping the claws entirely, if you can find someone with the claws already who is willing to MQ With you. You still need drops from the war, but the biggest trouble is over.

To make the claws, you will need first to get your tailoring skill to 135. The easiest way to do this, and cheapest, is to collect a very large quantity indeed of owlbear pelts and shadeling silks, following the Vah Shir tailoring quest; I would suggest 20 or more stacks at least. You can collect these from the owlbear caves, or from the owlbears if they are resident in the grimling village. You will also need a few rare drops: kelp salts from the moor tortoises on the south islands; fish oil soaked rags, rare from grimling fishermen and possibly herders, but common from the grimling chieftain; owlbear tendons from wandering cubs, grapplers and razorbeaks in the north, or from various owlbears if they are in the grimling village; and finally sonic wolf tendons, which seem to only drop from wandering sonic wolves, very rarely, when wolves are in the eastern caves - I got mine from a wolfling. Note that all of the owlbear and sonic wolf drops only come from the wandering spawns outside the caves, not from inside the caves or the wanderers that leave the caves. Combine these with your stretching dowels to create toughened sinew lashings.

Next comes the really hard part: you need to find Shar Vahl citizens who have done the same quests, and trade one of your lashings for their components: sonic wolf bane poison from a rogue, reactive sealant soak from a shaman, a porous claw blade from a warrior, and ceramic claw sleeves from a bard. Combine these in a Weapons Assembly Kit that you buy in the Shar Vahl Library (from ??). When this is finally done, hand in the claws, then your apprentice's cloak, to Kaam Rahiir (in the south section of the Library at -250, 130). You will be given a journeyman's cloak, and told to take the claws to Ahom Gurzhin, who stands in the cave entrance to Grimling Forest in Hollowshade; this is incorrect, he only wants to see your journeyman's cloak. Ahom gives you a journal to deliver to Historian Sharar (140, 70 in the north section of the Library), who in turn gives you a note to deliver to General Avilah. The General is also in Shar Vahl, on the top floor of the building in the north section before the Hollowshade bridge, at the west end of that area - he is at 380, 440, up the outside steps. The General gives you a box, and wants you to combine in it your journeyman's cloak, and three rare drops from Hollowshade. You will need: a grimling chieftain's staff, which drops from the grimling chieftain and the spiritists in his hut; an owlbear guardian talon, which drops from owlbears in the north cave; and a sonic wolf guardian fang, which drops from sonic wolves in their cave. Combine these items and return the box to the General, and you will be rewarded with the Garrison Cloak, and a note to deliver to Veteran Darznel, who is in Grimling Forest.