Near the Borley Mansion in the northern mountains lies an ancient Keep in ruins. Rumor says it was occupied by Drow long ago during a battle with the Duergar. Another rumor says it was built by early Ofcol settlers but abandoned for a more forgiving climate at the foot of the mountains. Although no two tales agree on the identity of Shadow Keep's former inhabitants, they all say that the Keep is always shrouded in shadows, even on the sunniest of summer days, and that whatever lives there now is very, very evil.
Level Range: 51-51
Walking route from Aelmon: 19n, 3e, 5n, u, e, u, w, n, u, n, u, 5n, 4e, 2n, 2u.
The area has five major parts:
- The entrance from North of Ofcol, populated bu the hound dogs and some wraiths, uncursed,
- The keep, ground floor with a few mobs and access to the Carrion Crawler, cursed,
- The keep, upper floor - not particularly notable, cursed,
- The keep, lower floor - mostly cursed, linking the keep to the
- Graveyard, home of the rotting corpses, a popular place for small lowhero solo xp, uncursed.
Shadow Keep, better known as rot cor/hound dog, is one of the easiest hero areas to run. It is slightly better than peasants/yaks for low hero groups as most mobs do not assist (unlike yaks), and it is not frequently run by lowmorts (unlike Sir Michael's area).
Portalling to rot cor or rot veg will take you to the graveyard where the rotting corpses are. They are the mainstay of many a rogue soloer, as their wimpy is set quite high (relative to their hp) and any decent classed rogue could make them flee at 101 with backstab and one attacking round. The rotting corpses are not agaggressive and do not assist, but they will attack sleepers and pick items up off the ground. North of the graveyard is a small twisted path where some Decaying Mass Of Vegetation lie: these have similar hp to rotting corpses, but do not flee, and have hero wields. The waterfall north of the vegs is a safe room; in the pool is an invisible crystal key that unlocks the room north, which contains the Paladin's Ghost carrying the Shield Of Heroes. He is sanced, level 80, and invisible, so heroes must use an area spell to get the mob to attack.
There are two wraiths you can find by going all the way to the south end of the graveyard (Room desc "The Ruined Gate"); they are a bit bigger level than the zombies, and invisible; sleeping here will cause them to attack you.
In the middle of the graveyard is a locked room crypt (which has no key); going through it will take you into the tunnels connecting to the keep. In the first room there is the Shadow Prince and shadows; the shadows are easy to kill and also flee easily, but watch for the Prince as he is sanced and has an 8/8 hero piercing wield (anti-good, dark). Use "look sha" before killing. Going down from the prince will take you to more shadows; you can safely go south from here, but beware the four stone guardians that stand in the middle of the connecting tunnel: they are aggressive and stomp gear. Sometimes one stone guardian repops a room west of the rest, so be sure to scan before chasing mobs. They're good xp.
The second portal point, hound dog, will take you to a small area in front of the keep. The hound dogs in this area are similar to the corpses except there are fewer of them. Going south and down will take you back to North of Ofcol, the closed door north will take you inside the Keep. There are a few towers in the area surrounding the keep: the "On the roof" rooms up from the towers are safe, but watch for two wraiths in the bottom floor of the tower which has a locked door west.
Be careful entering the Keep, as there is no way back outside of it once you enter, save for the chapel to the north of the ground floor, which is uncursed. Two north of the entrance are closed doors east and west; to the east is a cave bear of average difficulty, and to the west are a pair of shadows that flee. North of this is the cracked fountain, where more rotting vegetations are. North of this is an invisible sanced mob which holds the key to the locked room north. The room north of this is the only noncursed area inside the keep; also look for a 2x heal scroll in the altar.
North and west of the cracked fountain is another invisible mob; this one is not sanced but does hold a wield. West of this ghost is a room with two suits of armor, both pinked, and carrying -6/-6 wields.
Going straight west from the fountain will take you to some insane servants. They are of average hero mob difficulty, but will assist. To the end of the west hall and up will take you to a bunch of bedrooms with more servants and a sanced Closet Monster. It will bite and poison, so normally the monster is skipped unless the group can kill it quickly.
Back down to the fountain, east, and north will take you to the dining area. To the east of this is a few aggressive servants, and under them is the Carrion Crawler, which has the Ring Of Truth (hero finger ac gear). However, the carrion crawler eats corpses, so this part is normally skipped (in fear of fleeing down). Once the crawler is defeated, you must recall or teleport out, there is no way back up into the keep.
All the way east and down from the fountain is the prisoner area; the key is on the guard's corpse. West and both north/south from the guard are skeletons; they are considerably easier than the other mobs in this area. More skeletons are available 3 west and north from the guard; 3 west and south from the guard has a secret exit west leading into the tunnel that connects the keep and the graveyard. There are more shadows in this tunnel, and two wraiths in "A dead end" where the room description says "You are not alone..."... and also the stone guardians! Scan before moving.
On October 2012, the area was slightly revised by Scevine to include the Order's Last Mission Quest, which concludes the area's backstory and answers some open questions about the Keep's history.