The Everquest Chronicles: The Entrance to Blackburrow

in everquest •  6 months ago  (edited)

It all started in December 2000 when I purchased Everquest, the game. I have been a gamer since the early 1980s but had never played an MMO before.


In the next few weeks, @bingbabe would become an ‘EQ Widow' as I was drawn into the harsh unforgiving world of Norrath, an obsession that would last for several years.

More recently I installed the Everquest client again on my PC. It's free to play now but a far cry from the heyday of the early noughties when adventurers banded together for quests and glory.


Many zones are now deserted as players have long since left the game for other ones with superior graphics, and easier gameplay.

This is the story replayed today as my level 66 Barbarian Shaman who can now freely roam through low and mid-level zones without fear of being killed.


If you are not a gamer and have never played an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) then you may not be able to relate to this at all.

Everquest was named ‘Evercrack' due to its addictive nature and for good reason.


At level 5 I left the sanctuary of the Halas gates in search of greater adventure.

The bears had turned 'Blue' or even 'Green' when I hit the ‘C’ key to Con them and they were yielding me less experience per kill.

Rumours had spread to my ears about the city of the Gnolls. An underground labyrinth named Blackburrow. Gnoll pups would roam around Everfrost but at my level, they had all turned ‘Green'.


EQ Maps, still here almost 20 years later though it's now Brewall's Everquest Maps today

As my world didn't have maps, I was forced to download them from ‘' and print them out. Getting lost in Everfrost was a huge deal, as many locations looked the same.

EverQuest 23_08_2019 21_24_09 (2).png

Valleys and Mountains were jagged, steep but my Shaman ran up and down all without changing speed whatsoever, fatigue was not a factor in Everquest.

I often cursed the ice, snow and low-resolution graphics.

Finding the entrance of Blackburrow was a terrifying ordeal for a level 5 Barbarian Shaman.

Vengeful Composers and Soloists were rife and an attack always meant death when far from the Halas gates if one happened to catch my scent.

EverQuest 23_08_2019 21_33_57 (2).png

Seeing something other than snow was strange to my eyes. The huge cave-like entrance at the edge of Blackburrow looked unworldly and alien, and then there was the problem of the two guards at the entrance.

a gnoll' and ‘a scrawny gnoll' became my prey for the next two levels of my life though I had to be careful not to catch the attention of both.

Standing at one side, I would use my new ‘Sicken' spell which I learned was a DOT (Damage over time) spell to ‘pull' them.

EverQuest 23_08_2019 21_39_52 (2).png

Today, they are called 'a gnoll guard', but other than that, little has changed in almost 20 years

Every tick (6 seconds), the gnoll would take some damage which greatly aided me while I whacked it over the head with a blunt club or some other crappy weapon I had managed to gain.

My weapon skills were increasing and every so often I would be rewarded with a message stating, ‘Your skills in 1HB have improved too (23)' or something similar. I learned later that 1HB meant 1 handed blunt weapons.

While these gnolls were quite challenging, they had an annoying habit of running away when low on health. This sometimes meant toward the other gnoll.

The lost art of pulling mobs. They lived a lot longer when this Shaman was a lot younger than today

You might think this is not a big deal, but it took all my will, strength and concentration to kill even ‘a scrawny gnoll’ at level 5. I didn’t want ‘adds’ as they were called by my Barbarian comrades, helping out.

Each fight took its toll and I had to sit somewhere safe to meditate else my mana would not be replenished.

This took around 5 minutes per fight, and I may go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea to stop the tedium setting in.

The gnolls, unlike most other monsters I had encountered so far, were ‘aggro' to me. This means they would attack me if I moved too close to them. Using the ‘C' key I could see their view of me.


‘a gnoll guard scowls at you ready to attack.’ They never used to tell me the level of the monster in the 'old days', but do now.

What had I personally done to these arseholes before we met? Noting at all, yet I was hated due to my race.

After what seemed an eternity I dinged level ‘7’ and the puny gnolls at the entrance were no longer a serious challenge to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t let me guard down but being only sometimes a Blue ’Con’ and mostly ‘Green’ they were taking less effort to kill.

By now I had taken to peering into the tunnel as the guards took some time to respawn. I always wondered how that magic happened? I killed them and they came back after so long. I never used to resurrect in the same place. It hardly seemed fair.

The tunnel was very dark and my Barbarian eyes had trouble picking out details. Changing the brightness setting on my monitor helped some and my first few encounters in there had almost killed me.

Ultravision helps, but back then I couldn't see a damn thing in the tunnel. Fighting hand to hand would take forever as I still don't have the skills. The 'Sicken' spell helps things along nicely

Sneaky gnolls hid within the tunnel and I learned 2 of them lived in there both on the same spawn timer as the outside ones. They were no stronger than the original pair and it was more the shock of them being there that took me unawares.

Once all four were dispatched I went deeper into the tunnel and hit the zone line for Blackburrow proper. This was to be a completely new experience for me.



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I am really out of touch with games as I haven't even played anything like this old one. The last one I really got into was Half Life and that was not on-line. I can see how they would eat time and I cannot afford that these days. My son is the gamer in our house with his PS4. He's always blowing up his friends.

Half Life, and a 3 line comment... Half Life 3 Confirmed.

Jokes aside, you should try RPGs. Divinity Original Sin is a good starting point.

Or Final Fantasy 7


I really don't need something else taking up my time. I have music stuff to work on as well as other little jobs to do and Steem has been occupying me too much. I need games I can just dip into. I am tempted to set the Wii up again.

Well, since I also have little time I usually just play one or two rounds of Gwent.

I only use the PS4 myself today, besides SteemMonsters. Dont use the PC at all now for 'proper' gaming.

I've hardly touched the PS4. When I did I wasn't much good. Got a PS2, Megadrive and Wii here I could play with.

My first MMORPG was Guild Wars 1, loved that game, played for hours upon hours, even when I quit I went back to it after a couple of months, farming, grinding, better items, better armor, more damage, more skills, I just kept going at it... and the friends I made along the way on TeamSpeak and ventrilo, those were the times... After Guild Wars 1 I went for the good old World of Warcraft, to be more specific, World Of Warcraft on a pirate server, I was a kid, I had no money to pay and my parents were scared that their credit card was going to be stolen if they put it on the internet... I played for years on the pirate server, bought the game in order to support Blizzard, and when I grew up ended up paying for a subscription to the real servers, played for years again, the dungeons, the parties, I was 16 and just in my class there were 9 guys playing... After it I went to the good Guild Wars 2, I was 18, played the beta, and when the full release came out I got addicted to it, I played so much that I stopped going to college, stopped going out, I just wanted to play Guild Wars 2 and farm my legendary, ended up quitting games at the age of 20, I sometimes go back, but it's not the same thing, I don't have any friends there anymore, I just play alone and it just isn't the same...

I just play alone and it just isn't the same...

I hear you there, it was all about the people.. even though I used to solo a lot I was always in a guild and did guildy things.

I had a go at Guild Wars too, that was the one with no monthly fee. It didnt grip me for long, though I think I still have the original box. You cant really sell second hand MMO boxes can you?

Probably not... but maybe in 30 or 40 years you can get some collector to buy it xD

I'm saving them, when the time comes I'll sell them to a collector for 100x the profit xD And I'll probably be able to tell my kids and grandkids that I had a great time playing with my Guildmates!

You really were a Guild Wars fan! I have a load of these too, but mine are EQ, EQ2, WoW, DAOC, Anarchy Online.. I tried just about all of them!

Never got into EQ or Anarchy Online... WoW I got the first 3 expansions here, but after that it went to shit... I played some EvE Online too and Blade and Soul which is mostly an asian focused MMORPG where, if you aren't Asian, you play PvP and have no idea what the fuck is happening...

Other than those I dipped my toe very shortly in Minecraft MMO servers (before it was cool) and aion...

If I went back to MMO I would probably be playing Elder scrolls online the game has a lot of development and it looks really cool. But why go back to gaming now if blockchain-based MMORPG might be just around the corner XD

Eve Online.. the only other truly terrifying game I have played.. that was harsh!

The good thing about EVE was the devs were great at messing up stuff, leading to the players striking the economy like a short while ago.

Great stuff.

Yeah, even though I'm not playing anymore I actually followed the player's "revolution"! EvE is starting to die out, even with their new F2P thing the game just isn't appealing anymore for new players, and the old players are just tired of the same stuff over and over again with small twists but not much...

I would love for them to do an EvE 2 with much better gameplay but I doubt they will ever do it... I now look at star citizen for the future, but from what I'm getting the game will be a mix of singleplayer with multiplayer.

Have you tried X4 foundations? I mean it's single player but it entertained me for some hours.

Sounds like you are continuing to have a lot of fun with this game. I feel like I had some kind of vampire when I played it years ago. That doesn't really make much sense to me though.

It's more nostalgia, and with Steemit being such as small audience.. I don't know whether to continue doing these. Don't want to bore everyone to tears?

Rose Tinted glasses are my expertise! Especially with games. Theme Hospital, ah now that was a game!

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I had many friends who were addicted to this game and tried to get me into it, but i never did, I onlyy very rarely play games still now even though I have a PS 4 I may play a game on it for maybe an hour or two max a month over the summer months maybe a little more in the winter months

Not even League of Legends, CS GO and the likes? :P

By the way, congrats on winning the engagement league. Nice to see you around while curating.

I did play some of the very early games but i forget the name now but mostly my time on a computer these days is spent editing photos and commenting and replying on here, so I dont have much time for games

Thanks for the League, nice to bump into each other here :)

No time for games is what successful people say :D


Lol I wish I was successful photography is just a hobby for me

Wow, everquest again... I've been seeing this game a lot lately.

It, like Runescape, is making a comeback.

Know what else I loved? Ragnarok Online, now that was a MMORPG I spent hours in... was a Pally.