Kithicor Forest has recently become a much more dangerous, dark place. In days past, it was a quiet woods where an intrepid explorer could find many things of interest, but now it is overrun. It is confusing to travel in only because there aren't too many identifiable waypoints and the range that one can see is limited, but it contains good hunting for two different ranges of adventurers, as well as several unique items.
Another addendum. Following the opening of the Plane of Hate, this zone has become significantly more dangerous. At night, there are many very high level (level 35+) undead in the zone, which are highly aggressive. These undead can also sometimes be found during the day. In addition, different creatures are now appearing here, such as goblin workers and will-o-wisps, which are relatively high level (low teens). Exercise caution when travelling through here, especially at night.
The shadowed men have recently taken up appearing in this zone with frightening frequency. Their stepped up presence has turned a previously relatively safe zone into a much more dangerous one, as they often can't be seen until close, form into cohesive and deadly groups, and are extremely powerful. Keep your eyes peeled for this new group of inhabitants.
This zone is very dangerous to travel through, whether day or night. At night the powerful undead, which are mostly over 40th level, spawn all over the zone. In the daytime, these undead no longer spawn, but if more powerful characters did not destroy them they will still be walking around. It is only relatively safe to run along the walls, as the monsters can charm you off of the wall. Also, there are now Dark Elf Dragoons that can be seen wandering the zone, causing problems during the daytime hours.
There are other dangers here as well. The first is that the forest itself is very confusing and hard to get around if you don't know what you are doing. All the trees and hills look the same, and there is no sky to see and not many paths to follow if you get lost. If you bite off more than you can chew in terms of a monster, there are no wandering guards to save you (no guards period, actually) and you pretty much have to know where you're headed if you want to zone in time to escape. There also aren't many roaming bands of other players to save you if you need it.
The second is the named Orcs that live in the southwestern corner of this zone. They aren't always out, but apparently to some people they /con as being indifferent to you, although they actually kill on sight. They are also, by far, the toughest monsters in the area (other than maybe Thumper, I never poked him to find out). A large number of players use the southern edge of the zone as their waypoint to find their way from West Commonlands to Highpass Hold, and it brings them perilously close to these guys.
As I mentioned above, people think that there are few benefits to playing in this area. When playing my ranger, I had to disagree. This area provides some of the best untouched hunting in the game, all readily accessable. It is possible to track around and find any monster you want, and I guarantee you nobody else will be after it. This goes for the newbie area as well as the higher level area that covers most of the southern edge of the zone. As a 10th level ranger, everything in that area /con'ed comfortably blue to me, and lower level groups could hunt their and make good experience. The largest problem with hunting here is the lack of money, as none of the creatures are sentient and carry cash with them. This is still true since the addition of the more powerful monsters, but is much more dangerous.
The other big plus in the game is that there seems to be some interesting quests available (or soon to be) in this area. The items that I mentioned above can be obtained from Ged Twigborn, a roaming NPC in the vein of the more famous Baobob Miller. He is occasionally accompanied by his non-speaking companion Irin Lunis. To find him, you either have to be able to track him down, which still requires some footwork, or to find Irin Lunis and follow her when she moves, because if she's by herself, she's walking towards him. He generally appears randomly in the southern half of the zone. It also appears that there is a Kithicor Resident faction. I haven't been able to increase it other than by doing the above quests, although you can increase it by killing orcs in Highpass Hold. There are several more NPC's (including the enigmatic Thumper) who don't speak to me yet, who I think will if I can get my standing higher.
The newest quest is that rangers can now obtained Ivy Etched Armor from a ranger outside of Morin Shadowbane's house in the northwestern section of the forest. This is a class-specific armor for rangers, and appears as green chain armor.
Travelling To and From Kithicor Forest
On the eastern edge of the zone lies the entrance to the West Commonlands, a mid-level zone that most people duck their heads and run through on their way to Freeport to the east.
On the northern edge lies the halfling starting city of Rivervale, a remarkably well-developed city (in terms of quests and talking NPC's), and beyond lies Misty Thicket and Runnyeye and the Gorge of King Xorbb, along the alternate route between Qeynos and Freeport.
On the western edge lies the entrance to Highpass Hold, a high mid-level zone. My recommendations are to not attempt this zone unless you are invisible, know the zone extremely well (and I mean like the back of your hand) or are at least 15th level or higher. Once you step in and see the trail of bodies leading off down the narrow, windy path, you might get an idea of what I mean. When you look up and see the orc shaman casting Root on you you'll definitely know what I mean.
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