The Lavastorm Mountains are a relatively small, but very difficult and dangerous zone to travel through. It is similar to Dagnor's Cauldron, in that some cataclysm has wrecked the terrain within it, here being obviously volcanic in nature. There are many lava pits throughout the zone, and shattered rocks stick up from the ground. A massive lava pit, known as Solusek's Eye, lies in the center along the northern edge of this shattered land.
Lavastorm is a good stepping stone for hunting through the teens, as it is filled with monsters at those levels.. There is no monster here than can be attacked by someone of less than 12th level or so (although some people with pets can do so), while adventurers 16th-18th will be able to hunt well, and higher level adventurers will be hard pressed to find anything to occupy themselves. The main dangers are the creatures within the zone. Of all the creatures above, only a handful are aggressive, and that includes the goblins, the fire elementals, the fire imp, and the shadowed men. Of these, the ones that are extraordinarily dangerous are the fire imp and the shadowed men. The fire imp is one of those monsters that /con's much lower than they actually are. Fighting a green aggressive one at level 17 as a ranger with both fire and magic protection over 50%, I was killed rather easily because this creature casts a rather powerful fire-based spell throughout battle. The shadowed men are a special case, as they come in a rather large group and don't wander, and are well-known to be both fast on the ground and lethal in combat, regularly tearing apart larger groups of more powerful characters. They are also approximately 30th level, which makes them the most powerful creatures in the zone to date.
The other danger is the terrain itself. The harsh rock outcroppings and ravines can hide drops that will cause you damage (especially if taken quickly), pits of lava, or aggressive monsters. Travelling slowly and with care, or quickly with levitate, are the safest ways to get through the zone.
As a ranger who prefers to hunt outdoors, I enjoy hunting in this zone to most of the dungeons around. The monsters are relatively scattered so you can control exactly what you fight. All of the creatures spawn items that are worth a fair amount of money. They are all also extremely cool creatures, nowhere else can you hear the sounds of the rock dervish as its many rocks slam into your armor in rapid unison, or hunt the manner of creatures that are seen here.
There are some more practical benefits to hunting in the zone as well. The good races can sell at the gypsies located along the west wall, and the evil races (dark elves at least) can sell to the druid merchant at the druid ring in the northwest corner (don't ask me why that makes sense). Also, there are many higher level druid spells for sale there. There are *four* dungeons accessible from this zone, making it a crossroads of higher level characters to and from hunting grounds within the various dungeons.
Travelling To and From Lavastorm
Lavastorm can be reached from the south by trekking through the Nektulos Forest, home to the dark elves. Exits to Najena lie in the southeast corner of the zone, behind a massive set of shattered doors. Entrances to Solusek's Eye A and B lie along the southern edge of Solusek's Eye, and the Temple of Solusek Ro lies along its northern edge.
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