DescriptionThe Hole was created at the end of the Erudin/Heretic war, when the Heretics used their magical powers to punch a hole in the earth deep into the depths of Odus. Within this deep shaft they built their city of Paineel. However, they penetrated too deeply and, unknown to them at first, they had touched upon the Plane of Underfoot itself, which had been cast onto the earth in eons past. In the years after the city was built, they became aware of the enemy below them and attempted to block them in, but with the arrival of the great Master Yael, the elementals and minions of Brell swept through the city on one gruesome night, destroying everything in their path. The Heretics were forced to retreat to their highest outpost, the site of the current city of Paineel.
Levitate does not work in the Hole, so attempting to use it, either by dropping in from Paineel above or to move down the outer shaft around the castle, will be painful. Also, once you step off the very first ledge in the dungeon, you have to either be able to teleport out or find the key to escape, because there is no way to make it back up to the ledge without the key.
The rest of the dungeon is broken into several discrete areas. Most of the city area, including the front castle, is filled with elementals of various types, many of which are casters. There are also ratman warriors and rock golems that are mixed in with the elementals. These are all high level (around level 50) and some will summon. Combine this with wandering monsters and this area is very difficult to adventure in. Having at least one full group of level 50+ is necessary to do well here.
Further in stands the tower filled with undead. Unlike the rest of the dungeon, there are no elementals in this tower. The tower is tightly packed with rooms and monsters, and is vertical, so it is a dangerous place to hunt. Many of the undead are necromancers and shadow knights. This is generally considered the most dangerous area to hunt, because of the high number of aggressive monsters you will get with each pull.
At the deepest part of the Hole lies the area of Master Yael, the leader of the elementals. He stands before a locked door which, so far, has no key. This presumably leads to the Plane of Underfoot. Master Yael has the ability to death touch people fighting him.
Many of the monsters in the Hole fit the category of "summoned" creatures, which means that classes that get the line of spells that affect summoned creatures (e.g. Dismiss Summoned) will be significantly more effective fighting in this zone. Most of the rest count as undead creatures, which is good for the clerics and paladins in the group.
Most of the loot in the dungeon is on a random cycle, which means that fighting any monsters of the appropriate type will give you any of the items on the random rotation. Some of the items drop off of specific creatures, and are very good, but these are the exception to the rule. Most of the named creatures will drop withered leather armor at times.
This zone is a haven for the high-level weapon quests for all the classes. No less than six different classes (that I can think of) have to make their own trips to the depths of the Hole to obtain vital components for their quests. Getting to know the area at some point is, therefore, a good idea.
Travelling To and From The Hole
There are two ways to enter the Hole, both from within the Erudite city of Paineel. The first is through the large hole with the waterfall in Paineel. This, however, is not a safe way to enter the city. Levitate gets stripped when you enter the zone, and you will fall for lethal damage at the feet of Master Yael at the bottom of the zone.
The other way is through a small, locked boulder located in the area just past the newbie area in Paineel. You will need to be able to pick locks in order to open this, but evil races can purchase the key in Paineel for quite a large sum (around 100-120 pp). Also, smaller races or creatures (like wolf form or some illusions) can fit through the rocks with a little work, although they must be careful not to drown while doing so.
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