The Hollowshade War

Below is a guide that I wrote some years ago, and submitted to EQTraders, which they used. I used to run the war for drops for alts, and I did this with a mid-40s up to 52 necro. These days, it is most commonly used to farm smithing drops for mid-level skill ups, although the cultural skill up paths have largely finished that.

Hollowshade was a painful zone for low level Vah Shir players; it had drops that were required for their trade skill based weapon quests, which were even underpowered for the day. The mobs were far more aggressive and hit far harder than those in Shar Vahl itself or Shadeweaver’s Thicket, and gave very little experience. The main reason to expose yourself to Hollowshade was to run along the wall to reach Paludal at around level 10-12.

Initially the war was broken; it wasn’t fixed for over a year, after the release of Planes of Power and (I think) after the release of Legacy of Ykesha.

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 piering, 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 (i.e. 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 (but in a very small quantity); 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 (dark blue to 40, light blue 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 have been told); 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:


East Cave:

North Cave, Main position:

North Cave, other named:


Wanderer (North Central, between the two rivers):

Wanderer (North Moor, outside owlbear caves):

Wanderers (West and South Moor):

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