A Tangle of Weeds

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A Tangle of Weeds

1325 AE
Personal story
Justice for Riannoc
Ascalon Settlement
(Gendarran Fields)
Sylvari tango icon 20px.png Sylvari
Order of Whispers (order icon).png Order of Whispers
Preceded by
Trouble at the Roots
The Bad Apple
Followed by
Setting the Stage

A Tangle of Weeds is part of the personal story of sylvari characters. It is selected by becoming a member of the Order of Whispers in the previous mission.


Defeat Mazdak the Accursed.

  • Meet Cai at Ascalon Settlement.
  • Assist with the town's evacuation.
  • Speak to Noctis, the Harathi leader.
  • Follow the Harathi to Ascalon Settlement.
  • Defeat Mazdak the Accursed.
    Event bar.jpgEvent boss (tango icon).png
  • Speak with Cai.


Click here to edit the reward data

All professions


Go to Ascalon and talk to Cai. The plan is to evacuate the village, and then tell the centaurs they can have it. Then the Risen will attack the centaurs. During the battle, the Valiant and the others will attack Mazdak directly.

Note that you must use Caladbolg for this fight. You cannot use your normal weapons. Caladbolg's skills include:

  • Sword of Wrath.png Daybreak Blade / Flashing Arc, your basic melee cleaving attack chain.
  • Chain Lightning.png Electrolyze, a ranged attack that hits multiple enemies with a bouncing lightning orb.
  • Backbreaker.png Skyfall, a melee knockdown useful against Mazdak and large enemies. Note that the Risen Abominations are immune to this.
  • Cleansing Wave.png Twilight Crash, a knockback that scatters enemies directly in front of you. Good to get some breathing room against groups of Risen.
  • Whirling Wrath.png Maelstrom Strike, a spinning attack that decimates nearby foes. Use whenever available, as this is your strongest skill.
  • Evacuating the town: talk to the villagers and tell them to leave. Talk to a Seraph Lieutenant. Go out the east gate and beat up some tough pirates who are robbing a villager.
  • Talk to the centaurs: go to the green star location and tell the centaurs that they own the village now. They'll be very happy and gallop to take over the village. Follow them back inside.
  • Soon after the centaurs and the heroes arrive at the village, the Risen army arrives. You don't want to fight them, remember the plan is that they fight the centaurs while you go fight the lich.
  • Mazdak the lich is in the graveyard in the southwest of the town. Go there, trying to avoid getting into too many fights. The main goal is to kill Mazdak, you don't have to kill anything else if you don't want to. Or if they are in your way. Or if they are looking at you funny.
  • Kill Mazdak. Give it all you've got, once he is dead, all the fighting is over.
    • Kill all of the Risen outside the graveyard entrance. Revive npc's as required. Do Not Enter the graveyard.
    • Head along the wall to the left of the graveyard towards the back. Using Caladbolg's #2 & #5 skills, draw the Risen out of the graveyard.
    • Once the graveyard is empty, revive npc's, and head in through the entrance, don't jump the wall. About halfway in, summon any summons (if any) that you might have.
    • A little way past halfway in, Mazdak will spawn. With all of the npc's, any summons, and Caladbolg's skills, the battle should be short. (Disregard any minions Mazdak spawns, as they disappear once he is dead.)
  • When fighting Mazdak alone (npc's are all dead) kite him out of the graveyard, (from behind the wall to the left of the graveyard,) so the minions that spawn once his health goes below 50% don't get aggroed.
  • A cutscene plays of the Seraphs running into the town and dancing around the flagpole.
  • Talk to Cai to finish the instance.


Branching Out Hero 10Achievement points
Complete the sylvari personal story step "A Tangle of Weeds", "Dead of Winter", or "Flower of Death".You made sure the dead stayed dead. Story Achievement 10Achievement points
  • Complete the story step.





Ambient creatures




Upon arrival in Ascalon Settlement:

Cai: Hurry! This way!


Cai: There you are, Initiate! Are you ready to cause a little trouble, Order of Whispers style?
<Character name>: I'm ready, Cai...but where is everyone? The village looks nearly empty.
Cai: Whispers Agents pulled a few strings, and called in Seraph Lieutenant Lokam's gambling debts. In exchange for a clean slate, he's ordered the village evacuated.
Cai: They'll only be gone fore a little while, but in the meantime, we'll meet with Harathi centaur and convince them to come to the settlement.
<Character name>: We're going to turn the town over to centaurs? How can that possibly help defeat the undead?
Caithe: I see where Cai is going with this. Think like a spy, not a soldier, my friend.
Cai: It's a trap, of course! The undead will storm the village, and when they get here, they'll fight the centaurs.
Cai: Once the two groups have decimated each other, the Seraph return and retake the town. Lokam looks like a hero—
Caithe: —and in the confusion, we three backstab Mazdak while his army is otherwise engaged. That's my kind of fight.
<Character name>: It's a cunning plan. Let's get started.

Convincing villagers to evacuate:

Cai: I'm coming along.
Cai: We've got to get these people out of here. If the centaurs see them, they're going to get trampled!
Talk end option tango.png I'll hurry them up.
Villager: Leave? But why? The village is perfectly safe.
Trahearne: It will not be safe for long. The Orrians are on their way. You must evacuate.
Villager: Evacuate? But this is my home! All of my things are here!
Trahearne: Things can be replaced. Lives cannot. Champion, can you make her see reason?
Trahearne: A moment, please—this is a delicate negotiation.
Talk end option tango.png I'm here if you need me.
Villager: Leave me alone. It's too dangerous out there. I can't leave my gold!
Ferocity There's nothing out there worse than what's about to be in here. Centaurs! Undead!
An army coming here? Goodness, maybe I should take your word for it. You're so fierce!
Talk quest option tango.png Hurry up, get your things, and run for the hills.
Dignity Foolish human. You dishonor yourself and your ancestors.
My ancestors... yes. They fled Ascalon so we'd survive. I can't throw that away out of stubbornness. You're right.
Talk quest option tango.png Well said. Find a hiding place, and the Seraph will let you know when all is clear.
Charisma You're clever and cunning enough to recover from this loss.
But... ah, to Grenth with the gold. My grandparents left behind more than this when they fled to Ascalon. I'll recover.
Talk quest option tango.png Trust me. You'll still have a home after this. Now, go!
Talk end option tango.png I'll deal with you later.
Trahearne: Now we need to empty this place of innocents. Please hurry!
Talk end option tango.png I will.
Doomsayer Senug: Doom! Doooom!
Caprice Vonne: Yes, yes, doom. Come on. Lieutenant Lokum ordered everyone to evacuate, and that includes you.
Villager: The Harathi don't scare me. They're just centaurs, and we've beaten them before. Why should we leave?
Caithe: If you stay, you will be slaughtered by the undead. The centaurs are not the problem. They are the solution.
Villager: Slaughtered? Are you threatening me? I'm not scared of you, either!
Caithe: Herald, Handle this fool, before I pare her like an apple.
Caithe: Asinine, shortsighted—leave them. We have invested too much here to worry about such arrogant foolishness.
Talk end option tango.png No, we have to try. Let me talk to them.
Villager: These lands belong to my family! I'm not leaving just because you shrubs are quivering in the breeze!
Ferocity If you really want to die, I can take care of that for you.
You wouldn't. Fine. I'm leaving! If my house is harmed, I'll hunt you down and build it out of the lumber of your limbs!
Talk quest option tango.png Threaten all you want, but leave!
Dignity Caithe risks her life for you, and you imply she is an enemy?
Her life? I... she... well, I've heard she is a friend to Captain Thackeray... Fine. I'll evacuate. For now!
Talk quest option tango.png Thank you for your trust.
Charisma It's okay. Clearly this mighty fighter can take on the whole undead army!
Wait, what undead army? Where did the Seraph go? I need to be with the Seraph!
Talk quest option tango.png You'd better hurry and catch them.
Talk end option tango.png I'll deal with you later.
Cai: This should be interesting. Let's see how it turns out, shall we?
Caithe: Well done. Now, let's clear the area and then speak with the centaurs.
Talk end option tango.png Can do.
Lieutenant Lokam: We're out of time. Do one more sweep for stragglers, then get to the safe zone.
Seraph: Yes, sir. You're sure we can trust these sylvari, sir?
Lieutenant Lokam: You don't have to trust them, Sergeant. As a member of the Seraph, you only have to trust me. You have your orders.
Seraph: Understood, sir.
Lieutenant Lokam: Homes and livelihoods are at risk. I hope your order knows what it's doing.
Talk quest option tango.png I know it's a sacrifice, but it's a necessary one.
Get the holdouts out of here. I heard some commotion beyond the east gate. You'll need to attend to that, too.
Talk quest option tango.png Thank you, Sergeant. Now get to safety.
Talk end option tango.png I'll handle it from here.

Leaving the village:

Cai: Those pirates are preying on the evacuees. I may be unscrupulous, but that's downright mean. Let's teach them a lesson!
Villager: Help! Pirates! Let go of my things, you dirty sea rat!

Approaching the centaurs:

Cai: That went well. Now, to convince the centaurs. Let me do the talking—I've bamboozled these hoof-heads before.
Talk end option tango.png I can't wait to see this.
Caithe: Now to coerce the centaurs. I hope you have a good bluff, my friend.
Talk end option tango.png I'll do my best, but keep your blades ready. Just in case.
Trahearne: I'll stay here and watch for the undead army. You deal with the centaurs.
Talk end option tango.png On it.
Cai: Let me do the talking. These Harathi aren't as dumb as they look.
Centaur: That is far enough. You said you wished to bargain? Speak.
Cai: Noctis expects us. Do you want to explain to him why you turned us away, hoof-face?
Centaur: Very well. You may enter, but walk with respect, or you will never leave.
Noctis the Facemauler: Plant spirits! By the living soul of the earth, I did not think it to be true.
Cai: Spirits of the land, that's us. We are angry at the humans of Ascalon Settlement. We've used our magic to chase the humans away.
Cai: See for yourselves! The gates are open and the streets are empty. Go there, centaur, and claim your prize.
Centaur: Noctis! The humans are fleeing into the hills. The spirit tells truth! The village is undefended!
Noctis the Facemauler: Gallop to the human settlement immediately. Bless you, spirits! The Harathi will long remember your deeds!
Cai: We'd better hurry if we're going to see the show. What fun!
Talk end option tango.png Those centaurs have no idea what they're in for.
Caithe: The Risen are coming. I can feel their presence on the wind.
Talk end option tango.png We'll be ready.

Upon arrival back in the village:

Noctis the Facemauler: Amazing! The town is as silent as death. You're noble spirits and friends to the Harathi.
Trahearne: The Risen march upon Ascalon Settlement. We'll need to work together to hold this place.
Noctis the Facemauler: What is this? The undead? To arms! The Harathi have not retaken this land only to see it fall to corruption!
Cai: We've got to find Mazdak! What do you want to bet he's sticking to stereotype? Shall we check the graveyard?
Talk end option tango.png Makes sense. Let's go!
Caithe: The Risen are scattered and confused. We must strike against Mazdak now!
Talk end option tango.png So we shall!
Trahearne: Hurry! We must destroy Mazdak!
Talk end option tango.png Revenge for Riannoc at last!

As the battle begins:

Cai: Remember, the lich is our priority. Don't waste time fighting anything else if you can help it.

Fighting Mazdak:

Mazdak the Accursed: Pathetic little adventurers. Come, fight me.
Mazdak the Accursed: The touch of that sword is like fire! This cannot be! (75% health)
Mazdak the Accursed: You think you can avenge your dead kinsman? You will fall, as he did. (50% health)
Mazdak the Accursed: I cannot be defeated! I will break Caladbolg - and you, along with it! (25% health)

Defeating Mazdak (in-game cut scene):

Cai: Perfect. The centaur defense crumbles...just as the Seraph swoop back in to retake the town.
Noctis the Facemauler: The Seraph are coming! Curse those trickster spirits! Retreat, and fight another day!
Caithe: We should savor our victory; it was hard-won. Now, I must reflect for a moment on our next move
Talk end option tango.png Of course.

Speaking with Cai (cinematic):

<Character name>: Mazdak the Accursed is dead. By the blade of Caladbolg, Riannoc is at last avenged.
Cai: Well done, Initiate! Your cunning and nerve really threw those undead for a loop. I'm proud you're a member of the Order of Whispers!
Cai: Now, for the rest of your initiation. Go to Lion's Arch. There, you'll be contacted by an apple merchant. Meet with him to get your first formal assignment.
<Character name>: Thank you, Cai. You can count on me.
<Character name>: Caithe? You're so quiet. Are you injured?
Caithe: No. I am thinking. Riannoc died before he could fulfill his Wyld Hunt. He failed because he was alone.
Caithe: If we wish to fight Zhaitan, we must not let fear or anger force us apart. If we do not find a way to defeat the dragons, Tyria will be destroyed.
Caithe: Tell me, my friend. Do you think...do you think it's possible for people to let go of their differences? To unite?
<Character name>: Our Dreams inspire us, Caithe. We must never give up hope, or we give up the Dream itself.
Caithe: Then I must also go to Lion's Arch. It is time to call together Destiny's Edge.
Trahearne: By your leave, my friend, I'll return Caladbolg to the Pale Tree. I'll be sure to tell her the tale of Mazdak's defeat.
<Character name>: Will I see you again, Trahearne?
Trahearne: Yes. I'm sure of it. Our Wyld Hunts are linked, my friend. We will need one another.
Trahearne: May your path be filled with adventure and joy. Until we meet again.

Talking to NPCs:

Cai: That was fantastic, Initiate! I know you'll do great in the Order of Whispers.
Talk more option tango.png Are you coming with me to Lion's Arch?
Cai: No, I'll stay in the Grove and help others. Don't worry, though; the Preceptors will assign a mentor to help you learn the ropes.
Talk end option tango.png A mentor? Interesting. Thanks for everything, Cai.
Talk end option tango.png I look forward to being part of the Order.
Caithe: In the end, Mazdak was only mortal, and anything mortal can be defeated. I'll meet you in Lion's Arch, <Character name>.
Talk more option tango.png Before you go, can you tell me about Destiny's Edge?
Logan, Rytlock, Eir, Snaff and his apprentice, and myself. We were readying ourselves to fight Zhaitan[sic]... but it all went wrong, somehow.
Talk more option tango.png Fight Zhaitan? Do you think you could have won?
Then? Yes. But not now. Not when we are so... fragmented. Perhaps I can make them see reason.
Talk back option tango.png Perhaps. Can I ask you something else?
Talk end option tango.png I'll see you there.
Talk more option tango.png So, off we go to Lion's Arch. Any particular place in the city?
The Trader's Forum, where we formed Destiny's Edge. I hope it reminds them of better days.
Talk back option tango.png Seems reasonable. Can I ask you something else?
Talk end option tango.png All right. I'll meet you there.
Talk end option tango.png See you in Lion's Arch.
Trahearne: Well done, <Character name>,[sic]. Know that if you should need me, I will be there. Our Wyld Hunts will bring us together once more.
Talk more option tango.png You should come with me.
No, I think not. I have more research to do on Orr. You'll do well on your own. I know it.
Talk more option tango.png What will happen to Caladbolg? (same as below)
Talk end option tango.png Take care, Trahearne.
Talk more option tango.png What will happen to Caladbolg?
I will return the sword to the Pale Tree. If it is needed, I'm sure we'll see it again.
Talk more option tango.png You should come with me. (same as above)
Talk end option tango.png I hope you're right.
Talk end option tango.png I hope to see you soon.
Caprice Vonne: Bleaugh! This place smells like unwashed horses! Still... nothing's been destroyed. I guess we owe you folks our thanks.
Talk end option tango.png You're welcome.
Lieutenant Lokam: You pulled it off! Undead defeated, the centaurs routed? I should accrue more gambling debts if this is how they end up!
Talk end option tango.png If I were you, I'd count myself lucky and leave the dice alone.

My story[edit]

Minister's Defense.jpg

Mazdak the Accursed is destroyed. Riannoc's spirit can finally rest in peace. I returned Caladbolg to the Pale Tree, but perhaps one day, I will see the sword again. Meanwhile, I've joined the Order of Whispers. I look forward to seeing more of the world.

My story


Avoid falling off of the cliff behind where you engage Mazdak. (Keep yourself between Mazdak and the graveyard entrance.) Doing so while he is near low health will result in missing the video during your reset back into town, and an inability to complete the quest. The instance must be cancelled and restarted from the beginning in order to complete the quest.
While equipped with Caladbolg, revenants are unable to change legends.