Kedge Keep is the ancient fortress of the Kedge, an aquatic race of beings whose civilization perished centuries ago. A few of the kedge can be found within, but mostly the other inhabitants of the Keep stay inside. The Temple to the god Prexus is also hidden within the aquatic depths of the Keep.
<Note, as complete as I try to be, one of my contemporaries has written an extensive guide on this topic, far more complete than what I will include, and I owe much to him for making my research on this topic much less painful and much quicker. Anyone seriously planning on hunting within should at least read it once. It is displayed at Phreekitty's Ultimate Guide to Kedge Keep... --Muse>
This dungeon is a very unique place in which to adventure. Unlike all the other places in all the lands, the entire dungeon is underwater. This alone requires that any group adventuring within have a fair amount of planning before travelling within, and so it is also one of the least inhabited dungeon in the entire game. You will never hear someone yell "camp check!" in all your time here, that much I can guarantee.
The uniqueness of this zone makes it dangerous for a few reasons that someone adventuring within needs to take into account when hunting there, regardless of what you hunt. First of all the zone is entirely underwater. That means that anyone going inside has to have some way of breathing underwater, either through an item, a spell, or a bard song. Make sure to keep ahead of this if you are using a spell to breathe with, since it can run out like any other and death by drowning is fast. This can also make corpse recovery difficult, since all of the above require an item to take advantage of.
The second problem is that the dungeon is one of the few that extends up and down as much as it extends in the traditional directions. This can be dangerous if you use any area-of-effect type of spell or song, because all of the creatures above and below you in the dungeon will feel this as well. Be aware if and what rooms and monsters are above and below you when you cast a spell. For instance, say you are pulling the Second Floor into the east room, and someone (I won't say who) casts an AoE rain spell, for instance. This will affect the monsters you are fighting, but will also affect the monsters below you, in this case, area #3 on the map. They will then actively engage in the next problem...
Pathing and popping are the next two largest problems. Pathing in the Keep is a constant pain, since creatures move along very non-intuitive lines when they come to you after a pull. It seems intuitive that a fish across a room from you, when shot with an arrow, would turn towards you and move in, following you as you go. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. If you pull with the creature right on you, it will follow you pretty well. If you don't, however, the fish will, if you're lucky, follow a circuitous route around the perimeter of the room to meet you. If you are unlucky, it will turn and swim out of the room or just get stuck somewhere. At this point it will do the next fun trick, and will pop to where you are. The puller swims back, no fish in sight, and POP! the fish is directly in the middle of the group, hopefully without too many additional friends it found along the way. In the above example for the vertical dungeon, the popping fish would be Cauldronbubble, not a fish you want dropping in unannounced. Also, along these lines, using spells that cause fear or slow a creature on the pull, or losing track of a pet, will likely cause the creature to get lost, only to pop back with many enemies. If this happens, it's better to evac and figure things out later...
Now for specific dangers. There is one fish that everyone should be aware of, and that is the Shimmering Sailfin. This fish, when killed, can occasionally explode causing 400 points of AoE damage. Also, killing off the sailfins that can be frequently seen floating around will cause the more dangerous and aggressive piranhas to start spawning, which can cause problems if you're in for a long camp.
Two of the rarer spawns bear mention. The first that most groups will encounter is Estrella of Gloomwater. She is quite possibly harder to take down that Phinigel himself, and even if this isn't true, the possibility makes the point that she is no pushover. She is highly aggressive with a large aggro radius, can see through invisibility, has several guardians (all of whom can see through invis as well), and is a formidable caster. She can dispel your buffs ("Enduring Breath, anyone? Please!?!"), blind you, and if that's not enough, summon you to her to finish the job.
The other rare spawn is Phinigel Autropos himself. His room is designed in a unique way, with the entry hall at the top of a large barrel-shaped room. Just below the entrance is a narrowing with a star-shaped opening that leads downward to where Phinigel is. Pulling this area is extremely difficult, because he has many powerful guardians, which will aggro you easily and can take down even a very powerful party if you get more than one or two that you can't control. Pulling Phinigel in any way other than by himself is a death wish. He has all the abilities of Estrella, and is even more powerful...
As I mentioned above, this zone has the distinction of having the least occupants at any given time of any zone in the game. That, to me, means that the hunting here is fine. There will be no trains that you don't create. There will be no idiots begging for some change. There are no lines for any of the creatures, and you can hunt whenever you want. You can actually feel like explorers, and that you're seeing things that very few people in the game have ever seen. That's probably the single biggest benefit of the zone.
There is also great treasure to be gained by hunting here, including many powerful items that you've likely never even heard of, much less heard auctioned off at the bazaar. Many of the monsters drop incredible loot in the form of gems. Rare spawns are clustered so that taking on an area easily leads to the ability to gather several unique items per trip.
Travelling To and From Kedge Keep
There is one way to get to Kedge Keep, and that is by swimming down through the waters at the southern tip of the lake in Dagnor's Cauldron to the broken entrance hidden in the depths. If you are an apt swimmer, you might be able to do it while holding your breath, although what you plan on doing inside Kedge Keep when you are unable to hold it any longer is anyone's guess.
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