New players are generally encouraged to start in the area of Solace. If you answered 'yes' to the question 'Is this your first time playing Arctic?' when creating your character, then you will automatically start there. Solace, as well as much of its surroundings, is specifically oriented towards familiarizing new players with Arctic's gameplay and general theme. This guide assumes that new players have read the newbie guide and the FAQs before proceeding.
Solace, the town
Solace is laid out in what one would consider two 'floors' - the ground level, and the tree level. Those familiar with the Dragonlance setting will likely understand and recall the reason immediately - those unfamiliar with the reason may look to the more general article on Solace in the 'articles' section of the website. On the ground level there are no real services other than the weaponsmith and the stables. Almost everything in the town is above ground, including the guilds, armor shop, and the famous Inn of the Last Home.
New players starting in Solace will be far up in the trees at the newbie reception area. This area is important, not only in that you start here, but should you lose your guide, you may come to this room and request another. Moving one room down takes you to the room directly above Solace square. Surrounding this room, to the north and south, are hallways that lead to the various guilds. New adventurers should stop in their respective guilds before venturing forth, while barbarians may find their guild outside of this area (it lies, oddly enough, off of Eastern Avenue, down and to the east). Players who have died may return to their guildmaster and use the 'reequip' command to receive a new set of basic equipment.
Your first steps into the world
Now that you have presumably learned your class' basic skills (do not fret - as you gain levels and explore, many more skills/spells will become available to you) it is time to begin adventuring. New players may jump down to the leveling guide included below, should they wish to get straight to the action, or read on for more information.
New players should be warned that they are not allowed to see their stats (strength, intelligence, and so on) until attaining level 3, at which time they may go to the nearest magic shop (Solace's being in the northern section of town) and buy a potion of knowledge. By using the 'quaff' command, ie 'quaff potion', one's stats will be revealed. Determining whether a particular roll is acceptable or not is largely a matter of personal taste, however. Most players would tell you there are very few rolls which are wholly unplayable, and it's usually much more important to explore with your first character.
How to gain levels efficiently in Solace
There are a number of fantastic zones in and around Solace which players may explore. There are two basic paths laid out: one for evil aligned characters, and one for good aligned characters. Neutral characters may choose either path, or mix the two.
Good aligned characters should start by exploring the 'Sewers of Despair'. This zone is suitable for adventurers between levels 1 and 12, roughly speaking. Low level characters should begin with earthworms, moving on to centipedes, spiders, hobgoblins, and goblins as they progress in levels. Later on, they may explore the northern parts of the sewers, which are infested by goblins.
Upon attaining level 12 or thereabouts, characters may move to the haunted mansion in the northeastern part of Solace. If one slays the wailing revenant, they will likely receive one of its eyes, which if held provides the bearer with the ability to both see undead in the dark, but also to detect magic.
As many of these monsters are invisible, one would be advised to buy a 'potion of see invisibility' beforehand. With the 'fly' spell, adventurers may also explore the ruined mines to the northwest of Solace, which are now infested by kobolds. Be careful not to venture too far down the mineshaft, however, as a giant spider lurks below. This zone should carry adventurers to at least level 15, if not farther.
Some other options for low level, good-aligned adventurers in Solace include Darken Wood (southeast of Crystalmir lake), and the Que Kiri Village in the Plains of Abanasinia, to the east of town.
Evil aligned characters may also start in the Sewers of Despair, however, upon reaching level four or thereabouts, may notice their experience per kill decreasing, as many monsters in this area are evil. The Solace Park is also a viable area for exploration for evil characters, although they should exercise care when exploring the Vallenwood trees, as significant drops may be hazardous to one's health. Upon reaching levels 5 to 7, evil characters should venture forth, to the south of Solace to the Que-Teh Village, or northwest to Matthias' Mansion. Evil players may also find that the village on the road towards Tantallon, to the northeast of Solace, is a possible target.
Simply spending all one's time in a single city, while perfectly fine until the mid levels, may be detrimental to new players, especially those who practice magic (clerics, mages, druids, paladins and dark knights). Not every city's guildmaster teaches every spell or skill, and thus players must often visit new towns upon leveling in order to learn the newest spells. This is also a good chance for players to move to new cities, and begin exploring new surroundings. Players surpassing the 13-15 level range are encouraged to explore areas surrounding the cities of Kalaman or Balifor.
There are, of course, opportunities in other cities as well. Please refer to the articles for each major city for more information.
So you want to be a hero?
Quests have become, especially in recent years, an important part of Arctic gameplay. As such, there are numerous quests throughout the world which players may embark upon. Solace includes a number of quests. Whether one may undertake a certain quest may be dependent upon one's level, class, and so on.
The quest of Honas
In the north of town is a poor, bedraggled man, Honas. Now burdened by gambling debts, and under threats from the lender Murgen, he is searching for help. Good aligned players may begin the quest by using the 'listen' command, ie 'listen Honas'. They must then find the Solace Constable and 'deliver note constable' to complete the quest. Evil aligned characters should track down Honas' debtor in the southwest of town. They need only to kill Honas, return to Murgen, and type 'present ear Murgen' to finish the quest.
The Theocrat's Collection
The High Theocrat of Solace is an avid taxidermist and collector of such trophies. Despite already having the heads of such fearsome animals as the Abanasinian lion, his collection is yet lacking the head of a bear. Curiously enough, a large brown bear has been terrorizing adventurers in the forest southeast of Tarsis. Should one find and slay the bear, they should make sure to 'decapitate' the corpse and 'present' the head to the Theocrat for their reward.
Improving your weapons
Theros Ironfeld, the blacksmith of Solace, sells a wide variety of weapons. Adventurers who buy one of his iron weapons may be presented with a quest whereby they may improve these weapons. After buying one of the iron weapons, players should type 'look sign' - Theros will then explain that you must gather some items for a special weapon request he has. The ingredients required may be found in and around Solace: a lump of hardened honey, a vial of dragon's blood, and a lump of coal.
A meat problem
The Fire Hearth, a bar in the trees between the armor shop and the guilds, has run out of venison, according to a sign that they have hung up. The forest to the east of Solace, however, is teeming with deer. Should someone kill a deer, take the hunk of venison from its corpse, and then 'give venison Hannibal', they will earn some experience, coin, and some venison bordelaise!
These quest, intended as a short and basic introduction to the Arctic style of quests, are intentionally made fairly obvious and easy to complete. Rest assured, there are many more quests in the game, and the majority of these will require skill, cunning, and wits to complete!
Putting the dead to rest
The haunted magic school, in the northeast part of Solace, once served as a place of study in the town, until it burned down one day. Some say that this was due to one mage who desired such power that he summoned a pit fiend, yet failed to control it - the fiend retaliated and set the school alight, killing all inside. If one were to somehow slay this fiend and free the spirit trapped below the school, they would likely emerge from the endeavor with a good deal of experience.
A day in the life of a Solace boy
There is a boy in the Solace park who has been ignoring his chores, choosing instead to go fishing at a small pond. Should you help him with his chores, he will reward you. One must find a shiny medallion, a red feather, and chop some firewood and stack it in the shed. An axe is available on a shelf in the shed, while there is a log just south of the shed, perfect for chopping. Once the wood is cut, players should bring the logs back to the shed and 'stack logs'. Players will receive a muddy blue vial, which will restore their moves, as well as 100 coins for stacking the wood.
Where to go from here?
After arriving at this point, you may wonder, "What's next?" The answer, is of course, anything! Exploring, venturing out with groups, practicing skills, or hunting for spells might be good options for most. The important part, however, is that you have fun!