The Stone of the South, Stolen!
Only one more Wyrmhunt quest to pick up before you go see the duke- you now need to 'rout a monster infestation'. Despite the heavy fighting in the last few missions, note that this is the only one with any actual allusions to combat in the name-so expect it to be quite combat- heavy. Apparently a horde of Goblins sacked a fortress while it was under-going repairs (no wonder the duke doesn’t repair anything!). This fortress-the Stone of the Southwest (aka: the Shadow Fort)-is vital to the defense of southern Gransys… which, last you saw, was entirely out of the duke’s control. The safety of the entire duchy rests on this mission, according to Ser Maximilian, and you’re to meet up some some soldiers previously dispatched. Sounds like some savvy guide-writer saved the best, most dangerous, quest for last.
Before you head off anywhere, check the location of this quest on your map. You’ll see that it lies north-west of the 'Rest Camp' in Devilfire Grove, meaning you’d have to depart Gran Soren, walk through the Estan Plains, go back through Moonsbit Pass, down Manamia Trail, through the Vestad Hills, and then through the unexplored Devilfire Grove to reach the beginning of your quest. If you remember, however, while exploring the Estan Plains you promised a merchant named Alon that you’d clear the Ancient Quarry for him, which will then allow merchant travel. This quarry is in fact a shortcut from the Estan Plains to Devilfire Grove. Is it safer than just walking? No. In fact, it can be decidedly more dangerous, but if you need to fight your way to the Shadow Fort, you might as well explore a new dungeon and complete another quest, while you do so. In short, traveling to the Shadow Fort supplies you with a convenient excuse to do this quest.
Head out the northern gate of Gran Soren (be sure to bring plenty of lantern oil and a Pickaxe, it is a quarry after all), and make your way east across the Estan Plains then follow the road that leads directly to the Ancient Quarry. Once there, set your lantern and head on inside. Immediately inside you’ll get the achievement/trophy 'Into the Ancient Quarry'. Each ore vein will not be pointed out as you explore this place, there are plenty of them, but none of them yield anything unique (although the ore here still may prove valuable for crafting), so just mine whatever you find. You can expect to harvest Ancient Ore, Burst-Rock, Copper Ore, Firefly Stone, Gold Ore, Pretty Stones, Silver Ore, Southron Iron, Unremarkable Ore… and of course, rocks. Simply put, it’s a mineralogical treasure-trove.
Ignore the Large Rats scurrying around here as you head south. When the passage opens up, turn east and jump up a ledge to find a square chest containing goodies. From here, follow the eastern wall south until you reach a pressure plate in front of a gate. Stand on it for a small eternity until the pressure plate is lowered and the gate rises. Once the way is cleared, enter the room beyond the gate and smite the sneaky snake on the floor before picking up the 'Quarry Key' sitting on a cut stone to the west. To the east, you can also nab a Pickaxe, if you forgot to bring one earlier.
Backtrack to the north and, when you get the chance turn west to find two paths-one leading uphill to the south, and another to the south-east. The one to the south-east leads to a dead-end, and can be ignored, so south it is. Follow the tunnel as it twists and turns until it opens into a chamber occupied by Bandits. They’re moderately strong, weaker than the ones you just killed in the Northface Forest, but more than you could easily handle when you were first exploring the Estan Plains. When all the Bandits are apparently dead, be wary, as more may arrive from the room to the west (marked as an 'Abandoned Mine' on the 'Neighborhood' map), which should also be scoured for any enemy presence before returning to the room where you first encountered Bandits.
Once you’re the only things still moving in sight, survey the area. From this central chamber there are four paths-north backtracks to the northern exit of the mine, so it can be written off as a possibility. First, explore to the east, which terminates in a small dead-end chamber containing another sneaky snake, some Harspud drinks, and a rounded chest.
Backtrack to the west, then head into the 'Abandoned Mine' room further west, where you flushed out a few Bandits just a moment ago. The loot is strong in this room-particularly on two counters-one on the eastern side of the room holding some fruit and a Coin Pouch (1000 G), and the one on the western side of the room holding a Small Coin Pouch, a Coin Pouch, and a Large Coin Pouch (4600 G). Beyond the western counter sits an ornate chest, full of quality looting. To the south you’ll find a locked door near a defunct smithy, which can be opened using the 'Quarry Key' you found earlier. Although this seems to confuse matters, never fear-both the southern tunnel to the east and the tunnels beyond this door eventually link up in the same place.
Ogres and Undead in the Mine
Continue south past through the door you just unlocked to reach regular, smooth-cut, wooden-braced tunnels, which shortly split. Let’s ignore the minutiae and again brush with broad strokes; to the west you’ll find plenty of ore veins, Shadowcap mushrooms, and other bits of loot. These tunnels are guarded by Undead, Undead Warriors, and Giant Bats. To the east these smooth tunnels run parallel to the larger, less-tidy, southward-running tunnel to the east. Windows and a doorway connect the two south-running tunnels, but stay out of the larger tunnel and flip a lever to open a door, which will allow you to continue south.
Continue south past the door you just opened and smite whatever Undead/Undead Warriors lurk beyond. Continue south until your path is blocked by an elevated ledge, and turn east to spot a doorway, and beyond, the reason you’re sticking to these narrow tunnels and not the larger ones to the east. In the larger tunnel beyond the doorway lurks an Ogre. Sure, you’ve killed a few by now, but they’re still quite strong, so why fight them fairly when you can use the narrow doorway to your advantage? Provoke the Ogre and kill it from afar, if you’ve got ranged attacks. If not… well, you really have no option but to engage it. Try to avoid attacks like Bolide and Comestion, as it can destroy the wall here and allow the Ogre to access the tunnel.
Note: In the PC version of the game, the Ogres here seem to have no trouble getting into the side tunnels, so you’ll have to engage the Ogres directly.
Once the Ogre is dead, head into the wider eastern tunnel and begin looting your way back north to cover ground you passed by earlier. You can find some goodies along the 'windows' built into the western wall, as well as a rounded chest near the southern-most window, which can contain some goodies. Another rounded chest lurks in the north-western corner of the chamber, near the tunnel that links it to the north, itself containing the Final Journal Entry . When you’re done exploring, head to the south where another pressure plate-operated gate awaits.
Murdering Monsters for Merchants
You know the drill-stand on the pressure plate until it depresses, opening the way to the south. After it opens, turn around and exit the Ancient Quarry via the way you came and talk to Alon, who is elated that the way through the mine is now open… until you tell him it’s still infested with monsters. Since monsters are as much of an impediment to a wary merchant (more-so, since a gate will stop you from selling items beyond, but an Ogre will stop you from selling anything ever again), you’ll be asked to finish the job. You technically don’t need to take this extra step to complete the quest - Alon will be just as happy if you clear the quarry without stopping by to tell him the false-finish in the middle - but talking to Alon after opening this portcullis is required to get your Pawn complete knowledge about this quest.
Return into the quarry and make your way back to the now-opened porcullis. Beyond the gate a surprised Goblin will chuck a torch at you.-dispatch it and occupy the tunnel to the south. A side-tunnel runs to the north-west shortly south of the gate, which just leads back to the tunnel where you meekly opposed the Ogre. Continue south until you find some Spiders lurking around some stones you can climb, leading to an elevated ledge. Kill the bugs, but ignore the ledge to the south for now. Instead, follow the tunnel (which has now turned west) until you reach a ramp back east. Again, ignore the distraction and continue west until you reach a chamber occupied by a half-dozen Goblins. Smite them and loot their home, which contains White Sage, ore veins, and two rounded chests.
|Square Chest||Square Chest|
|Battle Greaves||Downcuffs & Cuisses|
|Ring of Gules|
Backtrack back east and head up the ramp you ignore earlier to reach a wooden door. For once, you’re on the side with the brace on it, which you can smash to open the door. Do so and head through it, immediately turning east, where you’ll find yet another Ogre roosting. All in all, it’s best to engage it from the doorway if you’re not confident in victory, from which pot-shots can be made. Otherwise, go boldly forward and smite it. Once it’s dead loot a chest opposite (south of) the door you opened to get up here to find a square chest, then explore to the east, where you’ll find the Ogre’s nest overlooking the Spider ledge you passed earlier.
From the Spider-infested ledge near where the second Ogre lurked, head south-east a short distance until the path forks. Don’t worry yourself too much-it’s just a loop. Head down the lower path to the east to find yet another Ogre skulking in the distance, at the eastern end of the loop. Handle it however you must-along the southern wall of the northern tunnel loop you can find some stone, which can be scaled for sanctuary, but it can be hard to attack from here. In any event, once the Ogre is dead, climb the stones previously mentioned to find a loot-filled square chest lurking in an alcove. Another loot-bearing square chest awaits your attentions along the northern wall of the northern tunnel, as well.
|Square Chest||Square Chest|
|Eden's Warden||Bronze Cuirass|
|Ferric Talon||Helical Archistaff|
|Scalding Razors||Iron Lorica|
Return to the Spider-infested ledge where you found the second Ogre. From here if you continue south-west you’ll reach the door leading to Devilfire Grove, where you’ll go shortly. First, however, return north to the Estan Plains exit, where Alon waits to hear the good news. Give it to him, and he’ll say that merchants will now have an easier time reaching the capital-a good thing for buyers and sellers alike. What does this mean for us? Well, first you’ll get a quest reward, of course, but in addition the Ancient Quarry will now be considered a civilized area-enemies within will never respawn (although chests and ore veins, among other bits of loot will!) and you’ll never consume Stamina while you’re in the Ancient Quarry, making it a very nice shortcut, indeed.
In addition Alon can now be found in the 'Abandoned Mine' room, where he’ll sell a variety of rare and expensive items, including the White Hawk set and the Swordsman’s set-the former is an elegant suit of full plate, while the latter is a rugged suit of partial plate. To buy one full set of each will run you 531,170 gold-not including the White Hawk’s Talon (Sword) which costs another 109,000 gold. Despite the costs, these suits of armor are painfully mediocre-but can only be obtained here. He also sells a variety of other goodies-but these are the most interesting ones.
Note : If you return here later (for me, it took until after the Wyrmhunt quests were done) the miners will have excavated a few new areas, allowing you to get at new loot. From the 'Ancient Quarry North Entrance' head south until you reach three forks. The eastern fork leads to the first pressure plate, beyond which is the room where you found the 'Quarry Key'. The central fork leads deeper in to the mine, while the western fork leads to a dead end… or at least, it did. The eastern and western paths will now continue further, where you can find new loot and ore veins. The eastern fork hides two square chests, while exploring the western fork will yield a square chest and a rounded chest. Just something to keep in mind for the future.
Note: Alon’s stock will not be expanded nearly as much in the PC version as in the console versions. Namely, he won’t sell any pieces of the White Hawk’s or Swordman’s sets.
When you’re ready, carry on south to reach Devilfire Grove. If you need to return to Gran Soren to stash loot/rest, do so. On the other hand, there’s the 'Rest Camp' in Devilfire Grove where you can do your business…
|Square Chest||Rounded Chest|
|Iron Cuisses||Bloodthirsty Beak|
|Iron Helm||Ferric Talon|
|Iron Manicae||Mounted Pale|
|Iron Vest||Steel Greatsword|
|Sectional Iron Plate||Thousand Troops|
|For clearing the Ancient Quarry||5000 XP, 15 Rift Currency, 8500 Gold|