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Age of Conan: Unchained General Article: A Look at Rise of the Godslayer, Part Two

By John Humphrey on December 22, 2009

In the center of Kara Korum, you will discover an immense crater with gargantuan walls; what will the player find if he or she investigates? An atmosphere of the unworldly surrounds and pervades this landscape and appears to corrupt the desert from here. Along the southern border of this zone, the Northern Marshes of the Grasslands run along the south side of the River of Yellow Curses; monstrous denizens cross the River of Yellow Curses from Kara Korum to threaten and harry travelers. Will you uncover why the village simply known as Ghost Hill was abandoned and a stench of rancid decay is carried on the winds from the forest to its south? Physics may not work as expected in Kara Korum. Rivers flow uphill in some places, gravity misbehaves occasionally, and beasts may fall with meteorites from the sky. Meteorites are also launched from the Black Desert delivering Darkspawn beasts across the landscape of Khitai.

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When you pass to the eastern limits of the Northern Grasslands, you can see out into the manicured countrysides of the Chosain Province; be sure to not let your guard down... When you enter Chosain Province, you discover all-out war between the city-states of Gun Xui in the southern lands and Gun Hai in the northern lands. Perched precariously between these cities, Shaulun serves the needs of both military forces, providing mercenary soldiers to the highest bidder.

Shaulun is a staging ground. Training can also be found here in ancient open handed fighting styles. Designers describe this expansive city a "wretched hive of scum and villainy". Opportunities for quests and betrayals abound here. It is also the former home of the Skulls of Jeng Ho, who now serve the regional warlord in controlling the province. The magnificent Pillars of Heaven are a honeycombed pair of stone monuments connected by bridges towering overhead. A waterfall cascades between them. They sit near by the Palace of the regional Warlord whose faction is in direct conflict with the Tamerind mercenaries. When you climb to the top of the Pillars of Heaven, you can see a spectacular view across the entire province.

The Pillars of Heaven were built by the ancient Lemurians thousands of years ago; they were originally a set of old abandoned temples. When your players seek them out, they are not so abandoned anymore; a bandit chieftain, by the name of Bhangi Khan, controls them with his bandit army. Outside the cities you will encounter active battlefields where warriors of each faction engage each other in open warfare. You can contribute to the siege on the side of your faction at any time you choose. Be prepared for smoke and other battlefield surprises and effects. In addition to fighting soldiers of the opposing faction, you must be on the watch for rag-pickers and looters of the corpses on the battlefield. They are unpredictable and could be a threat to either side. As you approach corrupted areas, stay on the lookout for large Darkspawn mobs. They can be very dangerous and very aggressive, and they will always protect their hidden mission.

The southern border of the Northern Grasslands merges into the thick, seemingly impenetrable jungles of Paikang . Is this jungle the same one from which the Chronicles of Nemedia tell of it as the former home of the Elephant Deity that Conan slew in Zamora in the tale "The Tower of the Elephant"? Rumors abound of a cult, the Children of Yag-kosha, with ambitions to dethrone the King of Aquilonia in revenge for their fallen god. Will you investigate or rely upon agents of the Aquilonian throne to uncover this threat? The jungles break through into Souleater Pass and the mysterious valley of Heaven's Lake. The coastline of the Eastern Ocean is littered with the skeletons of a hundred ships. Where did they come from and how did they end up here? The Imperial City of Paikang lies to the south of the aptly named Shatterspar Coastline. Travelers tell of how the gleaming purple minarets of Paikang sparkle in the morning sunlight. Paikang is also a city under massive siege, and its leaders call out to the strongest of heroes to resolve her problems. Paikang will also introduce this expansion's Tier 4 Raid instances for end-game level 80 characters to master. From material released to date, there should be at least eight end-game dungeons for veterans to explore and farm.

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John Humphrey / Born in Pittsburgh, PA. Steeler Nation!!! Moved to the Florida Gulf Coast in the mid-80s. Established a beautiful family. Established a Sci-Fi club in Pensacola that is still running strong, long after I moved away. Interests include Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Reading, Creative Writing, Scuba Diving, Boating, Sailing, Hiking, Animal Husbandry, Soccer, Martial Arts, Certification Training, Landscaping, and having a Great Time with my Family.

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