This section only includes people and locations required for the main quests in the game. If you're looking for information on class or guild specific quests, then check the Guild Quests section.
1 - Mara / Shrine
Mara is involved in the quest to find Valdane. Provided that you've spoken to Lord Graemare in Bolen Fields and Gileah at the Fargrove tavern, then you'll find Mara here (next to the Shrine of Celestial Power) battling a group of ninjas. Mara can't be killed, so let most of the ninjas attack Mara while you pick them off one at a time.
After the battle, Mara will reveal that she is Lord Graemare's daughter, and that she has been traveling in disguise, looking for her brother Valdane. She'll tell you that Valdane was captured by Demigoth slavers, and that she suspects a man named Vartugg of being behind the deed. Then she'll give you Mara's letter, which is an offer of truce beween her family and Vartugg. Presumably, it's also an offer of a whole lot of money to get Valdane back. Once you've finished your conversation with Mara, she'll tell you that she's heading to her father's camp in Bolen Fields, and then she'll disappear. If you're playing version 1.4/1.5, then you'll earn a point of honor for rescuing Mara.
This step in the quest to find Valdane might not seem important, but you must have Mara's letter in order to pass through Skuldoon (#3) and enter the Forbidden Lands.
2 - Lake Dread
There are two bridges spanning Lake Dread: one leading west towards Harrow Ruins, and one leading east towards Skuldoon. For some reason the bridges weren't included in the automap, and since they're also not connected to the roads, they can be tough to spot. So it's best to explore this area in the daytime, or else you'll probably have to do a lot of swimming, which isn't fun.
At this point at the bottom of the lake, you can find a level 7 armor chest.
3 - Skuldoon
See the Skuldoon section for details.
4 - Grymlok's Tower
Grymlok is a shopkeeper for druid armor and rune magic. If you've spoken to Staroxia in the Forbidden Lands, then you'll know that Grymlok is the key to traveling to the Vale of Ruin. When you speak the phrase "altor vare restrum," Grymlok's memory will become unblocked, and he'll eventually hand you the book of runes, which will automatically give you the rune code for the moon bridge in the Vale of Ruins.
Grymlok will also mention Khad and the Draedoth, and he'll use words like "fiendish," "twisted," and "depraved." Their temple is in the northern part of the Vale of Ruin, and you'll meet them later. If you're playing the Collector's Edition, then talking to Grymlok will reward you with 25,000 experience and 5 honor points.
Note: Depending on the version you're playing, the game might not really pause when you talk to Grymlok. Nothing will attack you, but random encounters will still spawn. So it's a good idea to break up the conversation and periodically patrol around the tower. Otherwise, you might get swarmed when you end the conversation.
5 - Tomb of Souls
When you approach the door to the Tomb of Souls, a Watcher will talk to you. If you know the pass phrase "avat demonicum" to get in, then the Watcher will unlock the door for you. You can get the pass phrase from Valkyra in the Vale of Ruin. The interior of the tomb is covered in the Tomb of Souls section.
Note: You might have a quest from Valkyra that includes the pass phrase, but as of version 1.3 you'll receive that quest before actually meeting with her. You won't be able to enter the tomb until you've met with Valkyra and she's told you the pass phrase.
6 - Moon Bridge
7 - The Rune Forge
8 - Guardians of the Forest
You'll find a few Guardians of the Forest blocking your way here. If you bought the totem of the tree from Worglaw in the Forbidden Lands, then you can give it to Wuldenfyr, the Elder of the Guardians, and he'll allow you to pass. Wuldenfyr will also give you the Staff o' the Grove. If you're playing the Collector's Edition, then you'll also receive 25,000 experience and 5 points of honor.
If you killed Worglaw or stole the totem from him, then the guardians will know what you did, and they'll atatck you. The guardians are worth a lot of experience, but they're tough to kill.
9 - Isle of the Damned
The only way to reach the Isle of the Damned is from the west, through the Guardians of the Forest (#8). If you try to swim to the island from the south, then you'll hit a section of the lake where you'll be pushed underwater and to the south, preventing passage.
On the island you'll find an altar with a shadow crystal on it. The crystal is required for entering the Shadow Ruins (#10). If you're playing the Collector's Edition, then you'll have to defeat a floating shadow guardian to get the crystal.
10 - Shadow Ruins
Outside the Shadow Ruins, you'll see an Altar of Shadows. Placing a Shadow Crystal (from #9) on it will cause a shadow gate to appear. You can use this gate to enter the ruins.
Note: In the original versions of the game, entering the ruins will casue the shadow gate to disappear, preventing you from returning. That means you should claim the Relic of Power from inside the ruins before leaving, or else you won't have any way of completing the game. This bug has been fixed in MMXII.
11 - Altar of Night