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Community News - May 2014

A Newbie in Norrath: Gnoll Patrol


By: Erin “Stellara” Oakley


Hail, Norrathians! As I’ve mentioned, I love reading your feedback. When asked about favorite zones, I noticed that people seemed to be particularly nostalgic about Blackburrow.

According to the Wikia entry here, Blackburrow was an abandoned Dwarven excavation site that became overrun with gnolls. Although I never journeyed there myself on my first playthrough of EverQuest, I decide to see what all the fuss is about. I conjure up some food and water, saddle up my pegasus, and set out for Gnoll-land.

The wind howls through the jagged glaciers of Everfrost Peak, inhabited only by wolves, polar bears, restless skeletons, and these creepers:

Stellara Ice Goblin Whelp

This is the first time I’ve really looked at a goblin up close, and I don’t remember them being nearly this terrifying. Nightmare fuel! I press on.

The skeleton of a vengeful composer attacks me on the road. I didn’t think musicians were usually this aggressive; maybe people pirated his music one time too many? On his corpse I find a diary page - Delius Thyme’s diary, to be exact. Apparently, PUG groups were ugly in his day, too.

Stellara Blackburrow Book

The glowing trail leads into a hallway guarded by a gnoll and… a scrawny gnoll. You would think they would put better guards on the entrance to their stronghold, but I suppose gnolls aren’t renowned for their intelligence. (*cough*Fippy*cough*)

Stellara Blackburrow Entrance

The guards, being at least ½ scrawny, don’t give me any trouble, so I waltz into Blackburrow and start to explore:

Gnolls. Gnolls Everywhere.

They make weird soft whining noises as I move past, for the most part unwilling to attack me. The architecture (if you can call it that) looks pretty much like what my dog would create, which makes perfect sense. The tunnels are a jumble of jagged edges and dead ends.

Stellara Blackburrow Architecture

 The Gnoll Patrol is on a roll! (Sorry, I had to.)

Stellara Gnoll Patrol

Looks like the goblins aren’t the only ones embracing the “paint your own face on the outside of your house” trend! Is it just me, or is the gnoll emblem kind of cute?

Stellara EverQuest Tent

A burly gnoll and a scrawny gnoll: this summer’s hit new comedy?

EQ Gnoll Buddies Stellara

Although it seems I’m a bit too big for the gnolls to pose a threat, I can see why this zone was beloved of so many adventurers. The challenging labyrinthine tunnels, constant supply of gnolls to light on fire, and the nice loot drops make it a perfect leveling zone.

My time among the puppy people has made me wonder: Norrathians, what’s your favorite NPC race?


Till next time,