Blackburrow is the home of the Blackburrow clan of gnolls. It is something of a combination between underground dungeon and above ground hunting area, and represents the only pathway to get from Everfrost and the home of the barbarians to the Qeynos Hills and lands beyond. The overall structure of Blackburrow consists of two entrances and a ring with a deep hole in the middle. There are multiple tunnels to the lower levels where higher level gnolls can be found.
This level is quite dangerous, mostly for two reasons. The first is that it is famous for its "trains." Trains are created when a gnoll runs to the lower levels after being attacked, encounters some of its fellows and recruits them to help him to return to the top. Invariably, the gnolls at lower levels in Blackburrow are tougher and more dangerous, and I've seen trains of almost a dozen Gnoll Elite Guards running through the area. Since they are all above 10th level and the average level of a character on the top is about 8th or so, these trains leave a trail of bodies behind them and a large number of high level characters running to the exits /shout'ing "run" and "zone" and "TRAIN!!!" Quite satisfying.
The other danger is that there is a large variance in the strength of the gnolls who spawn at the top, which is made more dangerous by the fact that there really isn't a good, safe place to stand and keep an eye on the spawn spots. They spawn all around you and have a wide range of levels, so you can wind up attacking a much more powerful gnoll if you don't /con first. Needless to say, this happens often, and people will be running past you with gnolls chasing them.
The other problem, and this is more of an annoyance than a danger, is that there are 15th level warriors sitting at the top killing scrawny gnolls when they appear. What I mean is, there are a lot of high level people who don't go kill gnolls their own levels in the lower dungeons, but instead hunt on the top. This can mean slim pickings for us lower level people. It can also mean more trains, because a very low level monster will flee when attacked by one of these guys, and if they aren't quick enough or smart enough to catch it before it runs down its hole, you can bet a train is on its way.
This area, although dangerous, does provide some good benefits. First of all, the gnolls are generally pretty wealthy. Most of the gnolls you kill will either have a weapon or some cloth armor item, all of which are worth cash. You'll find that every time you go home, you'll feel rich for having hunted there.
The other reason people hunt here is for quest items, mostly monks coming out of Qeynos looking for items for the quests. They can only be found here, so monks are seen here frequently with their parties. There are quite a few other quests that can be done here, looking for various items for use in the surrounding towns, so the place is a hub of activity.
The character of hunting in Blackburrow has changed significantly over the past few months of Everquest, and I have changed this guide to note that. When the average player was about 10th level, Blackburrow was swamped and it was almost impossible to get a kill in anywhere in the dungeon. Trains happened about every 5 minutes, and you had to play at 3 am in order to get a shot at camping the Elite Room. Now things are different. The dungeon is much more open as people have improved the levels of their characters, and you can actually hunt here.
Travelling To and From Blackburrow
There are two entrances to Blackburrow. The first is on the southeast segment of the canyons of Everfrost, which can be hard to find given that the area is confusing. I'm not sure why, but I get lost there about every other time even though I've travelled that path about a hundred times now. The tunnel is guarded by several gnolls, and has up to three of them down through it, so you'll often see barbarians who are timid to go into Blackburrow itself hunting out here. The tunnel itself is long and dark, and used to be impassable without a light source. I believe they've improved it, but not by a ton, so don't count on it being vastly lighter.
The other entrance is through Qeynos Hills, and the entrance is in the northeast corner of the zone. There is no path to it, but it is east of Surefall Glade and north of the zone to the Plains of Karana. The gnoll head canopy is hard to mistake. There are several good spawn sites nearby for gnolls, especially a few for gnoll watchers in groups that are fun to take out for lower level groups. The tunnel here to Blackburrow is much lighter and shorter.
Nostalgia from 1999-2003 EQ Atlas Web Site