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History of Execution Grounds[edit]

Long ago, a peasant revolt occurred in Dion but was suppressed by the Duke of Dion, Duke Byron Ashton. The Duke had the rebels executed en masse in what is later known as Execution Grounds.

In Aden, the dead do not lie easy, and this place is now haunted by the spirits of the executed. The guillotines still stand as silent testimony to the lives taken here, and the mists that hangs perpetually over the area serves to heighten the gloom of this haunted place.

Location and Layout[edit]

Location[edit]

Execution Grounds (EG) lies just east of Dion and west of Giran. EG has three entrances:

  • west entrance passing the Mandragora Pits.
This is the primary entrance to EG and many PCs headed into EG to hunt (or to utilize the east entrance to Giran) take this road, as it is within a quick 5 minutes' run from Dion's east gate. . This road is safe as the majority of the mobs nearby are non-aggressive until you get near the Mandragora Pits.


File:EG North Entrance.jpg
These statues guard the North Entrance to Execution Grounds.
  • north entrance from Dion's north gate or Giran.
The north entrance connects to the north road between Dion and Giran. This road is very long and as a result is typically not utilized that heavily. You do get travellers on this road headed to Partisan's Hideaway, but by and large people prefer the shorter, but more dangerous south road (going into EG from the east entrance). This road is a good choice for lower level PCs, as the mobs on this road are typically lower level, not aggressive, and not clustered heavily or near the road.


  • east entrance leading to Giran.
The east entrance is quite heavily used as the time taken on this route from Giran to Dion is substantially shorter than the time taken on the north road, especially if you SOE to Giran or Dion once you are able to. It is for this shortcut that many PCs go into EG, and players coming into EG from Giran via the east entrance must be aware that there is a risk of running into a train of mobs that a passing PC brought along.

Layout[edit]

EG is laid out in 3 layers. For simplicity, they are:

  • the bottom layer
  • the second layer or second tier
  • the top layer or top tier

In addition, there are two areas of interest. They are:

  • the Mandragora breeding pits
  • the Pit

Execution Grounds Bottom Layer[edit]

The bottom layer, which is connected to Dion via the east gate, has the highest level mobs, and is typically not the place a low level (< level 24) PC should be - a lot of the mobs there can make your day fairly messy. Mobs there include Mandragora Blossoms, Mandragora Saplings, Mandragora Sprouts, Strains, Dead Seekers, Granite Golems and Hangman Trees.

The bottom layer is dominated by trees and a huge gullotine surrounded by Hangman Trees.

Of special note is that in the middle (roughly) of this bottom layer is a road intersection. PCs typically call in the crossroad or x-road or similar, and it is here that dwarves tends to set up shop selling SS and SpS. SS is more common, and it is not unknown for a PC to repeatedly request for SpS without getting any.

Due to the promixity to Dion, prices for these shots tend to be at market value, but occasionally people do raise the prices, especially if no other sellers are around.

In addition to dwarves, there are more and more elven (both types) and human buffers selling buffs at the crossroads. Prices differ according to the type and level of buffs offered. You might not see dwarven shops all the time, but typically there is one or two buffers selling buffs -- if not at the crossroads, then somewhere in EG.

Rest Spots

  • The crossroad is the place where most PCs go to rest. The location has a few spawns, but the mobs spawned are all non-aggro, so it is a fairly safe location to rest. There are a few other locations in EG that is "safe", but none quite like the crossroad.

Tips

  • One great hunting spot is actually just immediately north of the crossroad. For low 30s soloing, there are a pair of Strains which spawns on top of a small knoll with a big tree and some tentage. From experience, a Knight can kill both Strains (without using SS), sit down and rest, and be nearly fully recovered by the time they respawn.

Having the discipline to stick to only these two and religiously sitting down to rest while waiting for the respawn will net you a great deal of XP -- enough to go up 10~15% by the time you finish collecting the 30 Black Lion quest items from the Strains. This is of course affected by equipment, but if you are fighting Strains solo, you should be using near top-of-line for D-grade equipment.

Execution Grounds Second Tier[edit]

The second level is merely a pair of intermediate tiers that connect the bottom to the top tier. These are smallish "arenas" that contain mid- and high- level mobs: the southern tier contains mainly aggressive Neers and Neer Berzerkers, which the northern tier, Strains and Amber Basilisks. There are a few Hangman Trees on each tier.

These tiers are not as extensively hunted for a variety of reasons. On the northern tier, the Strains can be found along with other more rewarding mobs on the bottom, so there's not that much incentive to actually hunt on the second tier when the bottom will serve. The Amber Basilisks don't drop anything exciting at a good enough rate, so they aren't a favourite, and they don't drop the Black Lion quest items.

Also, Strains hit rather hard against some classes, so fighting a few of them one after another means a long down time to recover. And, the top tier has a lot more low-level mobs that can be killed quickly and cleanly. All these makes the north tier less interesting, though you will find players hunting Strains there.

On the southern tier, the Neers and Trees are all aggressive, and they hit fast AND hard. This means it's very easy to get it over your head and die messily there. The Neers spawn close enough to each other for their social ties to be a problem, so it's not an ideal hunting spot.

Overall, compared to the top and bottom tiers, the second tier aren't really that great a hunting area. The northern tier is better for solos and some parties, but the southern tier isn't the greatest.

One thing to note about the southern tier: as it is the shortest distance between EG's east and west entrances, many PCs run past this area and as a result attract trains of Neers. Neers aren't quite fast enough to catch a running PC, but they do follow, and often this means a whole group of Neers descending onto the crossroad.

Rest Spots

  • Good resting places on the second tier typically are on the rim overlooking the bottom tier. Mobs are not placed too near the rim, though some can wander in. You can rest on the rim, but it's not recommended to go AFK there.
  • Alternatively, the stairs leading up to the top tier or down to the second tier are good resting spots there, except that PCs can lead mob trains along those paths (sometimes deliberately). Again, you can rest there, but don't AFK there.
  • Generally speaking, it's best to rest on the stairs, but if you intend to AFK, the crossroad is still the best spot.

Tips

  • The southern tier isn't a great hunting spot. However, nukers can still pull off a pretty mean trick on the southern tier. Basically, it's mob training all the Neers by simply running past them. Once you get all of the Neers behind you and in a tight, compact group, a fireball or two (or as many as you need) will net the nuker an obscene amount of XP, SP, adena and drops.

The expenditure in HP, MP and time is very very small compared to the rewards. The combination of small area and large numbers of aggressive mobs makes this an especially rewarding tactic.

Execution Grounds Top Tier[edit]

EG top tier is where all the Sorrow Maidens and Specters gather. The density is very high here and respawn rate is generally higher here. These two mobs are fairly low level, and drop the Black Lion quest item. As a result, this area is heavily hunted -- expect KS'ing and conflicts at times.

Sorrow Maidens are highly popular in Chronicle 1 as they are non-aggressive (but social if memory serves) and does not frequently use magic. In Chronicle 2, they gain the ability to use Wind Strike, but are still non-aggressive. As such, melee classes still like them (as they do not cast when in melee), and magic classes just have a slightly harder time. The main issue with Sorrow Maidens are that they have a trememdous amount of HP (for a spirit), and take a long time to kill.

Specters are aggressive and social, and to the typical EG hunters, a nuisance. They are fairly vulnerable to stuns and do not have as much HP as other mobs, and they do not drop as much adena or materials as other mobs.

Specters are pretty much the lowest level mobs on the top tier, and while a newcomer to EG may find them troublesome, most experience hunters ignore them. Still, Specters are easy to kill and can be good for a short session or to gain the requsite Black Lion quest items quickly.

There is also a sizeable Mandragora Blossoms presense on the top tier, especially near The Pit. Mandragora Blossoms are aggressive and social, hard to kill (high HP), and hit hard and fast. They also do not drop Black Lion quest items, and are thus much more than a nuisance -- a group of them can be downright deadly. A solo hunter must take care around Mandragora Blossoms, as they seem to wander much more frequently and aggressively.

There is also a boss-type character in EG: the Demon Tempest. It spawns on the top tier, in two (or three) locations. PCs can typically see it in two locations at the same time, but once any party attack it, the second instance would disappear. The Demon Tempest is a high-level mob, and is accompanied by 3 to 5 high-level skeletons, so it's not something a solo hunter in EG would typically tackle.

The top tier as a general whole is flat and doesn't surprise you with hidden mobs (respawning mobs are an exception to this). It is fairly easy to evade aggressive mobs in the top tier, and it's actually hard to trigger aggressive mobs unless you deliberately do so.

Rest Spots

  • Good resting places on the top tier typically are on the rim overlooking the second or bottom tier. Mobs are not placed too near the rim, though some can wander in. You can rest on the rim, but it's not recommended to go AFK there.
  • Alternatively, the stairs leading down to the second tier, or the passageway of the northern entrance are good resting spots there, except that PCs can lead mob trains along those paths (sometimes deliberately). Again, you can rest there, but don't AFK there.
  • Do NOT rest at the eastern entrance. Many aggressive mobs spawn there (Specters and Neers), and mob trains are common there. You are asking for trouble resting there.

Tips

  • As the top tier of EG overlooks the gullotine at the bottom tier, an interesting activity is for PCs to leap off the top tier for an express trip down to the bottom tier. In Chronicle 1, no falling damage is incurred, so it's a fairly quick way to get to Dion; Chronicle 2 has falling damage, and as such such activities have taken a downturn, especially considering you can land in front of an irate Hangman Tree.
  • Because of their promixity to the northern entrance to EG, Specters and/ or Mandragora trains coming out of EG pursuing PCs are relatively common. PCs coming into EG from the North must be careful, because the entrance is fairly narrow and having a mass of mobs coming at you just as you turn the corner may be fairly disconcerting.
  • There are also a few Strains and Neers around the top tier, typically near the east entrance to EG. Mob trains following PCs in and out of EG are common place here, and Neer trains especially so near the stairs to the Southern Second Tier. PCs hunting there must take care not to run foul of such trains, as Neers are aggressive creatures.

{To be continued}

Execution Grounds Mandragora Breeding Pits[edit]

The Mandragora Pits are to the south/ west of EG, and consists of two major pits bounded by a railing of sorts. The two pits lay on either side of the road into EG, and it's a location that most PCs who are headed into EG or Dion will pass.

As its name suggests, this is the place where Mandragoras are bred. This is the only place in Aden that Mandragora Saplings and Mandragora Sprouts are found. In addition, Mandragora Blossoms are also found here. Mandragoras are bred apparently for food, although that is not something that is done by PCs.

All Mandragoras are social to each other, and Mandragora Blossoms and Mandragora Sprouts are aggressive. Thankfully, the majority of spawns are within the pits itself, though at least 3 ro 5 can spawn outside of the pits, either on the road itself or on the west end of the pits. Thus, it is possible but not common for PCs to be attacked by Mandragoras when they enter EG from Dion.

The pits slope towards the flat bottom and there are many horticultural structures on both sides and bottom. These block LOS and poses a danger to PCs hunting Mandragoras -- you may not see a mob behind cover, and you can have difficulties targeting them.

The density of the Mandragora spawns is fairly high within the pit itself, but the plentiful structures makes it hard to target or spot them. Hunting in the bottom of the pits is not recommended for a solo PC of relative levels.

Rest Spots

  • Practically speaking, any point on the road proper will suffice. Mandragora spawns sufficiently far from the road to make attacks while resting a rarity -- but it does occur from time to time.
  • A greater danger comes from mob trains from EG chasing after other PCs. These occur fairly often, and as the mobs in EG are higher in level than most Mandragoras they are correspondingly more dangerous. Thus, it is not recommended to go AFK while resting on the road.
  • You can also pull out of the pits totally and rest against the cliff walls -- it is generally safe there as most PCs would not bother to circumnavigate the pits. It is even fairly safe to go AFK there.

Tips

  • Generally speaking, it's not a good idea to go deep into the pits to hunt. The spawns are close, and they are all social, so you can end up being swamped by Mandragoras if your luck runs out.
  • It is generally better (as a solo) to stay at the rim and bait individual Mandragora out. There are points on the rim where the railing is broken, so it is possible to stay there and use bows or spells to target individual Mandragora.
  • Be aware that it's also easy to misjudge the vertical separation of the Mandragoras, especially as they are in a pit. It is possible to pull two or three Mandragoras by accident, so always have an exit route planned.

{To be continued}

The Execution Grounds Pit[edit]

{To be continued}

Mobs[edit]

EG has mobs of various levels, as listed below:

  • Mandragoras
    • Blossoms
    • Saplings
    • Sprouts
  • Specters¹ (level 26, aggressive, social, undead)
  • Sorrow Maidens¹ (level 27, social, undead)
  • Neers
    • Crawler¹ (level 28, aggressive, social, undead)
    • Berzerkers¹ (level 29, aggressive, social, undead)
  • Amber Basilisks (level 30, social)
  • Strains¹ (level 31, undead)
  • Ghouls¹ (level 32, undead)
  • Dead Seekers (level 34, social)
  • Granite Golems (level 33, social)
  • Hangman Trees¹ (level 35, aggressive, social, undead)

¹ These mobs drop the Black Lion quest items.

These varies from the mid 20's to low 30s'. The density of mobs is fairly high. Thus, the range and concentration of mobs makes EG an ideal place for PCs who have completed their 1st Profession Change and has leveled to around level 23 or level 24.

In terms of aggressiveness and social behaviours, Mandagora Sprouts, Sorrow Maidens, Strains, Dead Seekers, Ghouls and Granite Golems are non-aggressive; Strains are also non-social. Everything else is aggressive, and social to boot. All the normal mobs, apart from the Mandagoras, Amber Basilisks, Dead Seekers and Granite Golems are undead.

This makes hunting in EG a bit dangerous, but EG is sufficiently big that the mobs are typically spawned independently. Moreover, the mobs are typically segregated by tiers, so you don't - often - run into huge trains in EG. The potential is there and it does happen, especially with Hangman Trees and Neers, but it occurs less frequently than one may think.

Mini-Bosses[edit]

In EG there are two mini-bosses. The first is the Revenant of Sir Calibus, a level 40 aggressive undead mob spawning with one to five undead followers (level 35 Squire of Sir Calibus).

During respawn, Calibus will announce his arrival in the Global Shout channel. Calibus himself is strong, has a large amount of HP, but is very slow. The Squires are weaker but also a lot faster, being close to unkite-able without Windwalk or Windwalk 2.

  • A good tactic against the Calibus group would be to have Clerics/ Oracles cast Dryad Root on the Squires, then have Archers and Mages deal with Calibus. After the Dryad Root expires, the combined firepower of the Mages and Archers can take them out while the Clerics herd them around a bit.

Be careful of Hangman Trees nearby, which might cast Dryad Root on you. The remedy to this is to of course kite the entire mob outside of the Hangman Trees area before Dyrad Rooting the Squires.

  • Another option would be to have a Knight or two tank or take turns tanking the Squires, killing the Squires first and then slowly finishing off Calibus with ranged attacks. Note that Calibus is undead, thus Clerics/ Oracles and the like can use their Destroy Undead spells.

The other EG mini-boss is the Demon Tempest, an aggressive mob with one to five followers (Revenant of the Damned). Like Calibus, the Demon Tempest will also announce itself on the Global Shout channel on spawn. Thus, EG tends to be a bit "noisy" at times.

  • The basic tactic for Calibus applies here as well, except that the Demon Tempest is a bit less powerful, but packs a nasty Vampiric Touch type spell. The Revenants themselves are close to equal to the Squires of Sir Calibus in terms of speed and tactics, but they are less powerful. Note that Demon Tempest himself is considered undead.

Special Mention[edit]

{To be continued}