The starting zone for new characters is based on the combination of their race and class, according to a set order. Cornacs normally start the game at Trollmire, for example, but a human Archmage will get Angolwen instead, since that class takes precedence in establishing the initial area.
This is worth paying some attention to, given that some artifacts can only be found in specific locations and a number of unlockables require access to certain areas, but some zones are only available to characters who start the game there and that can be bypassed by elements of the build.
Below you will find every starting zone in the game, including those introduced by the Ashes of Urh’Rok & Forbidden Cults DLCs, ordered by precedence. Short descriptions are provided, but you are advised to read the main article for each zone and check out the guides linked at the end.
- 1 Starting Zone Hierarchy
- 1.1 Special Start
- 1.2 Standard Start
- 2 Notes
- 3 See Also
- 4 External Links
Starting Zone Hierarchy
NOTE: Characters falling under two categories will start in the zone listed higher.
Some of the zones in this section can only be accessed by characters who start at them, offer unique quests or rewards to those, or usually become available later in the game—the Ruins of Kor’Pul being the only exception.
Undead (Ghoul and Skeleton)
Main article: Blighted Ruins
Undead characters (Ghouls and Skeletons) of any class start the game at the level 3 of the Blighted Ruins and must climb up to the first level, where a boss awaits. The fight is optional, but bear in mind that the ruins cannot be accessed again once you leave.
Main article: Kroshkkur, the Hidden Sanctuary
Drem characters of any class begin at the Hidden Sanctuary of Kroshkkur, a special city that can only be accessed by those who start there. In the beginning, the sanctuary is about to be destroyed and you must choose between abandoning it to its fate or saving it, by defeating the boss of The Maggot (a dungeon only reachable from Kroshkkur), after which you will be able to visit it at any point of the game.
Main article: Ruins of Kor'Pul
Krog characters of any class start at the Ruins of Kor’Pul, with one exception: Krog chronomancers will get the standard start for that particular metaclass. Other than that, picking this race is a way of skipping special zones altogether—to make the game more challenging, perhaps, since the extra experience from those zones is meant as a boost to classes that might otherwise have a rough early game.
Demonic (Doomelf, Doombringer, Demonologist)
Main article: Searing Halls
Doomelves of any class, and both Doombringers & Demonologists of any race not yet mentioned, start at the Searing Halls, a dungeon in outer space, orbiting Eyal. Defeating the boss will create a portal leading to the level 2 of a random T1 dungeon and, depending on where you end, it is advisable to use the Rod of Recall to escape as soon as you get there.
Demented (Cultist of Entropy & Writhing One)
Just like the Drems, characters of the demented metaclass (Cultists of Entropy and Writhing Ones) of any other race not mentioned above will start at Kroshkkur. The start being the exact same, everything in the Drems’ section above also apply to them.
Main article: Escape from Reknor
Dwarves of any class not mentioned above start in the middle of a quest, fighting to Escape from Reknor along with their squadmate Norgan—and as with the undead start, the boss of the zone can be skipped, although it is possible to go back and fight him later. After that, they arrive at the Iron Council, a special town that can only be accessed by dwarves.
Main article: Irkkk
Yeeks of any class not yet mentioned start at the town of Irkkk, in the Island of Rel, and must finish two dungeons—the Ritch Tunnels and Murgol’s Lair, inacessible to other characters—before they can reach the mainland.
Celestial (Anorithil & Sun Paladin)
Main article: Gates of Morning
Characters belonging to the celestial metaclass, Anorithil and Sun Paladins, provided they do not belong to the races mentioned above and are not Ogres, will start at the Gates of Morning. The boss will take the fight to the level 2 of a random T1 dungeon. Depending on where you end, it is advisable to use the Rod of Recall to escape the zone as soon as the boss is defeated.
Main article: Angolwen
Archmages of any race not mentioned above will start at Angolwen and be offered an optional quest—not obtainable any other way. Should they accept, they will be taken to a dungeon in outer space where they will have to use cast phase door in order to move around. Being an optional area, monsters there can be rare+ and the zone is a hard zone on Insane+.
Chronomancers (Paradox Mages & Temporal Wardens)
Main article: Point Zero
Chronomancers (Paradox Mages & Temporal Wardens) of any race not mentioned above start at Point Zero and will be offered an optional quest—not obtainable any other way. Should they accept, they will be taken to a dungeon filled with temporal spiders. Being an optional area, monsters there can be rare+ and the zone is a very hard zone on Insane+.
Characters whose build do not belong to any of the categories above will start at one of the following zones instead, the only consideration being their race.
Ogre & Shalore
Main article: Scintillating Caves
Main article: Norgos' Lair
Thaloren of any class not listed above start at Norgos’ Lair. Being a default zone, they can leave and come back at any time.
Humans & Halflings
Main article: Trollmire
- 1.^ For example, since the Iron Council, being the special zone for dwarves, has precedence over the chronomancers’ start, a Dwarf Temporal Warden will never be able to access Point Zero.
- 2.^ Starting zones in the Embers of Rage DLC do not require much elaboration: Orcs start at Kruk Pride while Yetis and Whitehooves start at the Vaporous Emporium, independently of their classes.
- 3.^ Cathbald’s guide, in particular, is rather detailed and was the source of most of the information in this article.