A Book Quest is started by reading a book, either purchased, looted or plundered, and performing a series of steps, rereading the book between each step to learn the next step.
There are three types of Book Quests:
- Explore Tasks: You are required to visit a number of locations, receiving an auto-update at each location. Explore Tasks are almost always initiated from purchased books.
- Catalog Creatures Tasks: These require you to locate certain mobs, and get within 15m then use the Catalogue Creature skill, which will be located in your Knowledge Book.
- Kill Tasks: These require you to hunt certain mobs, usually in groups of 10 and sets of 3 groups for a total of 90 kills. Kill Tasks are almost always initiated from looted books.
All Book Quests reward a good chunk of Experience, along with a House Item you can place in your home.
Unless otherwise noted, all purchased books may be bought from one of the following:
- Good Sages
- Evil Sages/Merchants
Due to the renovations of Freeport and Qeynos, books that use to start in the villages (Graystone Yard, Longshadow Alley, etc.) or discrete sections of the city proper (i.e, Elddar Grove) now require you to visit that village's gate or specific site within the home city. Most of the categories have not changed, however.
"The History of the Fae" can only be purchased from Piritta in Kelethin, and only by those of Good alignment.
Each history book contains 3 quests that require you to travel all over the The Shattered Lands of Norrath. The history quests get progressively harder with the first quest in each book being level 10, the second quest being level 20, and the third and final quest being level 30.
After finishing the first quest in the book don't discard it. Read the book again and the you will see a new chapter available to read. Upon reading the book again you will gain access to the next quest in the storyline.
Catalog Creatures Book Quests
Outlying Creatures Quests (level 15) Quick and easy creature cataloguing quests, done in each city's low-level zones. Note that Qeynos citizens can reach all relevant Freeport areas (and vice versa), though some areas will require stealth to go past low-level volunteer guards.
Sewer/Catacombs Quests (level 10-25) These quests require you to venture underground into the grimy belly of Norrath's two major cities. The quests may be begun around level 10 in the uppermost sewer levels, but the levels of the mobs increases as you go further underground into successively deeper zones. The tunnels are fairly narrow, which makes it difficult to simply avoid aggro mobs, though most have a very short aggro range, allowing the careful quester to tip toe by unharmed.
Overland Zone Quests (level 20+) These may often be purchased from a gratified merchant after you clear the immediate area of mobs. About 2/3 of the creatures listed can easily be found by a person familiar with the zone ; the rest are less common but can be found via the EQ2i wikia and/or EQ2Maps. Between the racial histories, the catalog quests, and some curiosity, you will complete most discoveries in those zones. The range of the Catalogue Creature ability is 15m, which is usually greater than the aggro range, so unless the creature is heading your way you should be fairly safe. Still, being observant and patient is necessary in some areas to assess roamer paths.
L = looted from chest
P = plundered from zone
R = quest reward
$ = bought from city sages unless specified
* = category is Serpent Sewer but mobs are in Edgewater Drains
A detailed overview
The quest books are a treasure trove of quest experience and, in many cases, discovery experience. They can chiefly be found in the mage guilds of Qeynos and Freeport, where they are sold by a special merchant called a Sage. The Sage for South Qeynos is Indis Surion ; the one in North Freeport is Navarius Orvalis.
Common formats for those quests are "Explore & Read" (when you reach the correct Point of Interest, you are prompted to read further from the book to be given the next objective) and "Search, Destroy & Read" (where you are given a kill list and are prompted to read more once the designated targets have been destroyed). Another format is the Creature Cataloguing quest - which is slightly different as you get the list of creatures to catalog up front, and do not need to keep reading the book.
People interested in tapping into this content can proceed thus. The level or level range mentioned is the lowest reasonable level to undertake the quest. Note that book-based quests will leave you with, in most cases, two copies of the book (the one you quested with, and the quest reward), so bibliophile adventurers will soon have an inn room that looks like a library.
Though it can be difficult to actually read the books in the field whilst juggling multiple quests and running away from a lion, the lore found can be fairly interesting if you have an interest in the history and cultures of Norrath.
Lore & Legends books (level 10)
The Sage in Kelethin has the Skeletons one, and near the Sage in Freeport is the Elementals one as a clickable stack of books. Since the L&L attack is invaluable, everybody is encouraged to start those scaling quests ASAP. Note that the Sages automatically offer the L&L books you have completed for just one copper, so you can buy it again after completion if you threw it away - but this is a not a part of their default inventory.
Racial History Quests (level 10)
All of these rely on the same principle - go to a Point of Interest, examine the book, repeat. All the level 10 and level 20 quests can be done right at level 10, and many Points of Interest (such as Crater Pond or the Crossroads) are used in several such quests, so doing many such quests at the same time is efficient. The caveats are:
- It's a lot of running around, and usually amidst creatures that can easily kill you. Many such quests range over both Antonica and the Commonlands. Getting a mount (for instance one from the Moonlight Enchantments events) would be a major asset.
- You will need lots of bag space to carry the whole suite of books, since those are "Explore & Read" quests. And after you're done, you will need the storage space to keep the books until you can do the level 30 quests.
- Qeynos folks can access all relevant Freeport locations, and vice versa. The one exception is the history of the Tier'dal, which involves heavily-guarded locations. The Sages in Qeynos and Freeport both sell the fuller range (good and evil) of racial history books.
- A handful of Points of Interest, such as the Blackburrow Brewery, are guaranteed deaths unless you can stealth. Some areas are challenging to reach without dying and require good knowledge of the zone.
- The Racial History quests are probably best coupled with the Antonica and Commonlands, and the Thundering Steppes and Nektulos, creatures cataloguing quests.
- The following part III quests can be completed in the low 10s (though you will take occasional aggro - a high running speed and more than 800 health will greatly help survive those encounters): Barbarians, Halflings, Humans, Iksar, Kerra, Ogre, Ratonga. None imply visiting dungeons with creatures in their 20s or above, or traversing spots that are impassable at those levels. As to Erudite history - if one managed to visit the two Stormhold locations in the second part, the third part can be done in the low 10s.
Fae history quest (level 10)
This quests is different from the rest - it scales with level, involves some combat, the text is presented in an actual book, etc. The Fae one can be bought from Piritta Silvarri, but there doesn't seem to be an equivalent Arasai quest.
Isabella Cellus' Familiy History book (level 10 to low 10s)
Search, Destroy and Read in Antonica and in and around Blackburrow. Note that you will have to wait for multiple respawns for Sabertooth Champions.
A collection of epitaphs ; Architecture of the Vermin's Snye (low 10s)
Search, Destroy & Read quests in Vermin's Snye, which is a level of sewers below Qeynos, easily reachable for Qeynosians and Freeportians alike. The stronger opponents are level 14 or 15.
An old cookbook (low 10s)
Search, Destroy & Read quests in the Commonlands as a terrible tale of gastronomical villainy unfolds. Involves many Bloodskull orcs which also play a role in many Commonlands quests and are level 12 to 14 or so. The last quest involves level 15-16 kerrans.
Basic mining guide part one (low 10s)
Search, Destroy and Read in the Sabertooths mine - the tunnel at your right when you exit the Blackburrow entrance tunnel. Opponents are about heroic level 13 with one or two up arrows, and packed together. If working solo, you will have to pull super-carefully and wait for several respawns.
Collected stories of the Serpent Sewer ; The Journal of Rocco Barisano ; The murkies (10s)
Search, Destroy and Read in the Serpent Sewer under Freeport. Opponents are level 16 or so for the first two quests in the Collected Stories, 18 to 21 for the last Collected Story, the Journal and the Murkies. Finding the creatures in the first place can be a problem - being a tracker or having a tracker friend is a good thing, or you could just massacre the placeholders. Targets overlap, so do all quests simultaneously.
Basic mining guide part two (mid-10s)
This Search, Read and Destroy quest initially overlaps with part one of the guide, but then moves to the upper Blackburrow level, an heroic dungeon environment with lots of level 13-16 gnolls of varying heroic toughness and roamers.
Ignatia Cellus' Family History (mid-10s)
Search, Destroy and Read quest in Antonica chiefly involving level 15-17 Sabertooth battlers, which are abundant and easily found.
The rat queen of Vermin's Snye (high 10s)
Search, Destroy and Read in, of course, the Vermin's Snye. Your quest journal will say level 10 - this is a bald lie, as the last steps involve groups of 16^^ see invis fellows of uncertain manners and deplorable hygiene.
Karath Smoothmane - The breaking of the pact (high 10s to 20)
Search, Destroy and Read with skeletons in the Thundering Steppes. Works fine with the Axe from the Past heritage quest and The Three Keys (third tome).
Freeport Sewers creature catalogue (high 10s to 20)
This Creature Catalog quest covers all three Freeport sewers zone. One creature involves killing a level 20 creature, and the Edgewater Drains are a mid-20s zone, so this quest is much more demanding than previous creature catalog quests.
Karath Smoothmane - The winter comes (very high 10s to 20)
Search, Destroy and Read with heroic level 21-22 gnoll groups in the Thundering Steppes.
A Martyr's Tale ; Cleaning with the Cryptkeeper ; From the Trial of Kane Bayle ; Guide to collecting crypt plates (low 20s)
Search, Destroy and Read in the Crypt of Betrayal (the third level of sewers below Qeynos). Opponents are about level 23 and overlap between the quests. Lots of undead.
The Oops factor ; At Low Tide ; Gnomes and the Art of Clockwork Maintenance ; The Trainee's Test (very high 10s and low 20s)
Search, Destroy and Read in Edgewater Drain (part of the Freeport sewers). Opponents are about level 23-24, except for "The Oops factor" where they can be 21 or 22. Very significant overlap between quests.
The Three Keys (low 20s)
Search, Destroy and Read with low 20s animals in the Thundering Steppes. The third tome can also involve undead, if you are doing the Axe from the Past.
Bird Watching ; Dragoon Zytl (Black Rank) ; Dragoon Zytl (Green Rank) ; The Monsters (low 20s)
Search, Destroy & Read quests in Nektulos. Opponents are about level 24.
Iriana Cellus' Family History
Search, Destroy and Read in the Thundering Steppes. Level 24 or so undead. Works fine with the Axe from the Past heritage quest.
Dragoon Zytl (Blood Rank (mid-20s)
More Search, Destroy & Read in Nektulos. Opponents are about level 26 and undead.
Ilene Cellus' Family History (high 20s, or group in the low 20s)
Search, Read and Destroy in Stormhold. This is an heroic dungeon environment and involves 24^^^ zombies at the end.
The Far side of tear (30 and low 30s)
Search, Read and Destroy in Zek. The opposition is about level 34 and overlaps between quests. Part three involves level 36 opposition, part four level 37s, and there is no part five.
Assistant's Researcher's Notes (N.A.)
A special lore quest ; you'll need the Glowing Black Stone to start it, which is a quest reward from an heroic quest in the low 30s.
Other Creature Catalog quest books for T4 and above zones can be found at Piritta Silvarri in Kelethin, whereas they used to be the province of gratified merchants in those zones.
Notes regarding the Search, Read and Destroy quests
These quests involve killing lots and lots of specific creatures, and the main difficulty will often be finding these creatures in the first place. To help with this:
- The creatures to be destroyed in those quests often happen to also be the targets in other quests, whether from a book or from a more classic quest (such as city writs and clickable objects). Some preparation to group these together can save a lot of time, having each kill count toward the objectives of two, three or even four killing quests.
- Some such quests are repeatable quests, where a NPC requires killing N creatures chosen at random among common creature types in the zone. Do not hesitate to rotate these -- take the quest, check the targets, and if it doesn't match your target reject the quest and take it anew until you get the correct targets.
- At some point you may be unable to find the correct creature types. There's a solution to this, however. Traditionally, in Everquest, creatures appear in set places a set time after the previous creature was killed (this is called a spawn point). For instance, imagine that you kill a creature at the entrance of Seaside Road in the Thundering Steppes then sit and wait to see which creature will eventually replace the killed one. No matter what you killed, in this spot the new creature might be a grassland beetle, or a juvenile hawk, or a young antelope, or a plains snake. This is randomly determined. If you need to kill a lot of juvenile hawks, killing all the beetles and snakes and antelopes in this area will give a chance that each deceased creature eventually gets replaced by a hawk. Being proactive and trying to determine which creatures can share spawn points is often a better way to finish quests that require killing lots of creatures which are not very common in the zone. And of course, there are quests out there that require killing beetles, and snakes, and antelopes, so it's not necessarily a waste.