Northern Plains of Karana
The Northern Plains of Karana consist of a small but dangerous area in the middle of the vast Plains of Karana. It is also the hub of most of the traffic on the western half of the continent, as it marks the area where the bridges from the east and south pass over the river that marks two of its borders.
Can you say dangerous? This zone is almost painfully dangerous, and the largest reason is that it has very high level, powerful, aggressive creatures that roam the entire thing. Hill Giants and the Griffins all fit into this category, and you can't even think of taking on the lowest level Griffawn until at least 14th level, and even then I don't know. Once my 10th level Ranger and my friend's 10th level Warrior met a gamble griffawn that attacked us. I think I kicked it once for 3 points of damage before my friend was killed. Needless to say, they are very powerful and should be avoided. The guards at the lone tower are the most overworked guards in the game, and its not uncommon to see one of them at half health...
"a rabid Griffon" occasionally spawns and patrols the Eastern edge of the zone. It is very fast and has a large aggro radius, and is relatively high level (red to level 24).
Given that the above is true, hunting in this area is very dangerous, although it can be quite lucrative. If you know how to hunt, and by that I mean to pull creatures to the zones edges and use your far distance view to keep an eye on what's coming, you can actually do quite well fighting the many types of beetles at lower levels. Like I said, though, hill giants are fast and can spawn practically on top of you, and the run from Qeynos is long...
Willowisp hunting is excellent here from lvl 10 - 15. The Research Aid quest gives several percent exp, for every lightstone handed in.
The largest benefit in this area is the high-level hunting it affords. Well-coordinated groups of 15th level and higher (usually low 20's) can make quite a bit of money and experience in this area, travelling and killing off Griffins.
It is possible to bind in the gypsy camp here as well, making the trip for melee-types a bit better.
There are also some items to be had in this area which are unique on this half of the continent. The only place to get combine weapons on the western half of Antonica (other than Rathe Mountians) lies within the Northern Plains. Also, there is a good chance that werewolves can be found in the northern part of the zone next to the mountains where the Fangbreakers roam, providing all of their associated items as well. There is also a merchant who sells high level Druid spells, as well as a trainer for Druids near the eastern bend of the river.
Traveling To and From Northern
The western border marks the vast edge with the Western Plains of Karana. Travelling that way leads eventually to the cities of Erudin, Qeynos, and Halas. The southern and eastern edges of the zone are bordered by an impassable river. The only ways across it are two bridges. The southern bridge leads into the Southern Plains of Karana, and is guarded by the Qeynos Guard.
The eastern bridge is a vast wooden structure, rumored to have been built by the hill giants, that passes over the eastern stretch of the river. Nobody guards this bridge.