An Escort Quest is a type of Quest in which a player escorts an NPC to it's requested destination. Completing an escort quest rewards the player with 500 gold, a small amount of Fame and gains towards the Virtue of Compassion. You can only have one active escort quest at a time.
Upon accepting an escort quest the NPC will begin to follow you. Using a gate, moongate or even having the NPC follow you entirely on foot is acceptable, but they will not board a ship on foot. There is a time limit of roughly 10-15 minutes to complete the quest or the NPC will disappear, so keep this in mind if you escorting on foot and are headed for a destination that is far from a moongate. With the exception of Ocllo, you can complete the quest if you deliver the NPC to their destination regardless of whether the quest originated in Trammel or Felucca.
Delivering an NPC to a town will not always complete upon entering guardzone. Some towns have boundaries much further into town that must be crossed before the NPC will recognize you have successfully brought them to their destination. This is especially apparent with Yew and Minoc.
If an NPC should give up and disappear on it's own(which happens randomly, although rarely), it is important to open the quest menu on your paperdoll, select the quest and resign it as it will not remove itself automatically. Additionally, if you should leave the near presence of an NPC, such as recalling away, it will cry out it's escort has abandoned them and end the quest. This can surreptitiously happen sometimes when crossing a server line while on foot but is typically rare.
While escorting an NPC, they will not do anything to help defend or protect you. If you render yourself invisible, such as through the Hiding skill or the Invisibility spell, they will stand by your side, perhaps giving away your location in dangerous situations.
On the other hand, attacking an NPC can have dire consequences. It will summon three NPC mercenaries to defend it and is not an easy fight. Should you kill the NPC, you will lose Karma.
In a town escort quest, the NPC will be found in a town and will request a specific destination town. After successfully completing the quest, you must wait five minutes before accepting another town or dungeon escort quest.
Typically found in randomly-spawning Brigand camps, the NPC will beg to be rescued. It is not required you defeat their captors to accept the quest. Completing a rescue escort yields more gains towards the Virtue of Compassion. NPC's in need of rescue may also be found in some dungeons being held captive by orcs or lizardmen. Sometimes the NPC will request to be taken to any town instead of a specific destination. Rescue quest NPC's will always have a title of "Nobleman" or "Noblewoman" following their name. There is no waiting period between finishing a rescue escort and accepting another one.
While called dungeon escorts, the NPC's are found in towns but are requesting to be taken to a specific dungeon. These NPC's will have a title of "Seeker of Adventure"" following their name. Once delivered into the dungeon, the quest will be completed, your rewards will be given and the NPC will otherwise ignore you. After successfully completing the quest, you must wait five minutes before accepting another dungeon or town escort quest.
Completing town escort quests are an excellent way for newer players to make money. They are almost completely safe as most of the quests can be completed via moongate, only take a few minutes and the 500 gold reward is good money.
The small island known as Barrier Isle just outside and to the east of Trinsic is usually brimming with NPC brigand camps which usually have nobles to rescue for rescue escort quests. One way to speed up the spawning of nobles if none are present is to slay all NPC brigands so that a new camp will spawn, hopefully with a noble.
Accepting town escort quests from NPC mages used to be bugged. You would deliver the mage to their destination and they would disappear without paying you. This helped lend credence to the saying "never trust a mage" in times past.
Accepting NPC brides as escorts, taking them out of a guardzone and killing them was once a popular way to acquire silver-hued sandals.
One miscellaneous quirk with escort quest NPC's is that after the escort quest has been completed they will remain visible for a time but will not display a paperdoll if double-clicked.