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Buried Insight

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Buried Insight

1328 AE
Heart of Thorns
Buried Insight
Decayed Hive
(Tangled Depths)
Rata Novus
(Tangled Depths)
Preceded by
The Way In
Followed by
Sign Cutting

Buried Insight loading screen.jpg

Click to enlarge

Buried Insight is the thirteenth chapter of the Heart of Thorns storyline.


Search Rata Novus for research on the Elder Dragons

  • Meet up with Braham, Canach, and Taimi.
  • Make your way into Rata Novus.
  • Find the Elder Dragon research.
  • Protect Taimi as she turns on ley collectors.
  • Follow Taimi to the draw of ley energy.
  • Defeat the chak blitzer.
  • Veteran Chak Blitzer
    Event bar green.jpgEvent boss (tango icon).png
  • Test the dilapidated asura gate. It's probably fine.
  • Optional: Check in with Taimi.
  • Find the Rata Novus Elder Dragon research lab.
  • Discover a way to open the blast door.
  • Check in with Taimi.
  • Protect Taimi while she works.
  • Lure the chak into Taimi's makeshift weapon.
  • Enter the Elder Dragon research lab.
  • Turn on the computers.
  • Discuss Taimi's findings.


Event boss (tango icon).png Put the Mordrem Punisher out of its misery. (80) (for the achievement "An Ignoble End")

  • Mordrem Guard Punisher
    Event bar.jpgEvent boss (tango icon).png


All professions


In this mission the green star will indicate the entrances to a mission instance, unlike the previous mission.

After the initial dialogue, follow Taimi as she sets up the various ley energy collectors, defeating the various Chak that spawn along the way.

After the first chak encounter, you say "Let's pick up the pace," then the NPCs may freeze and not respond. The objectives will only say 'Find the Elder Dragon Research'. Running around the map a little then returning to the NPCs may re-activate their dialog to allow the mission to progress.

After Taimi has set up enough collectors, the Rata Novus defensive systems will reactivate. You will have to deal with the security golems and ballistic cannons that will now attack you, but they aren't too hard to take down.

Sometimes Taimi may stall after the line "I think so. We're almost right on top of the source!" and will not move forward. The only way this can be avoided is to defeat the golem that spawns and walks down the path before Taimi reaches the area.

Continue on to where the Veteran Chak Blitzer spawns, along with various other chak.You only need to take out the Chak Blitzer to continue.

After going through the re-activated asura gate, you will be given a Mastery Point, though the mission will not be over.

In the room with all of the chak, kill or keep them away from Taimi until she has the laser up. Then carefully lure the Chak into the laser. Be careful not to stand in front of the laser yourself. Using swiftness/super speed buffs on Taimi can help speed up this section.

A few chak may be left after the laser is done. Clear them out and continue into the next room to conclude the instance.

After the mission is complete, you will spawn back in the open world tunnels, so be careful of nearby wandering chak.


Cleaning House turret locations
Available from first play through
Buried Insight Heart of Thorns: Act 3 Heart of Thorns mastery point 0Achievement points
Search for ancient research on the Elder Dragons.Journal: Buried Insight Completed Completed Buried Insight 0Achievement points
  • Complete the story chapter
This achievement rewards items. Cleaning House Heart of Thorns: Act 3 10Achievement points
Locate and destroy all of the active Rata Novan security mechanisms throughout the city.Story Instance: "Buried Insight"
Prerequisite: Buried Insight
Reward: Deluxe Gear Box.pngDeluxe Gear Box
Eliminated All Rata Novan Security Mechanisms 10Achievement points

This achievement does not need to be done in one playthrough and can be completed over multiple runs. You can visit all of the cannon locations prior to entering the Asura Gate for the Elder Dragon research lab. Once you enter the lab, there is no way to return and you will need to replay the story mission to finish the achievement.

There are 32 security devices that need to be disabled in total:

  • 4 security golems
  • 28 Ballistic Cannons

The security golems and initial cannons can be found as you progress the story line. The remaining cannons can be destroyed by going around the roughly circular path centered on the Rata Novus Waypoint (blue circles on the image), including the 4 cannons in the water under the Point of interest (map icon).png Rata Novus Perimeter (green on the image) and the 4 cannons along the path you started from.

This achievement rewards items. An Ignoble End Heart of Thorns: Act 3 5Achievement points
Find and question the wounded Mordrem Guard on the outskirts of Rata Novus.Story Instance: Buried Insight
Prerequisite: Buried Insight
Reward: Heirloom Seed Pouch.pngNoxious Seed Pod (3)
Ended the misery of the Mordrem Guard in Buried Insight 5Achievement points
  • The wounded Mordrem guard can be found to the north of the instance entry area.
  • Achievement qualification may be tracked via the Achievement effect.png Qualify for An Ignoble End effect.
  • The wounded Mordrem guard will disappear if you progress the story instance further.
Available on subsequent visits
This achievement rewards items. New Horizons Heart of Thorns: Act 3 5Achievement points
Follow the trail of clues left behind by Kalla and Poskk to access the hidden lab in Rata Novus.Story Instance: "Buried Insight"
Prerequisite: Buried Insight
Reward: Loot Sack.pngBag of Alchemical Materials (10)
Gained Access to the Hidden Lab in Rata Novus. 5Achievement points

There are two notes that must be obtained to complete this achievement:

  • The Waterlogged Note - found underwater, west of the first set of power supplies that Taimi turns on, in the very deep shaft with four underwater turrets.
  • The Printed Schematic - found in the Rata Novus Command Center, a small distance from the old asura gate at a nearby console.
  • A third note can be found in a Derelict Sentry Golem, but it is not necessary for solving the code.

After finding the above notes, simply wait until the end of the instance where your party has reached the Dragon Research Lab. Look for the Rata Novan Terminal and input "01172". Note that there is a "1" already input for you, making the complete code "101172". From there, enter the portal to get the achievement.





  • Mordrem Guard Punisher



Initial cinematic:

<Character name>: We should get moving. Where's Taimi?
Braham Eirsson: I told her not to, but she wandered off to study some old tech she said looked "fantastically intriguing."
<Character name>: Time is of the essence, but we can't leave her here alone.
Taimi: Wait! Guys! I'm here! Don't get your feathers in such a ruffle. I'm fine!
(continues without cinematic)
Braham Eirsson: Well, we don't have time to wait here while you play with some new toys.
Braham Eirsson: That dragon's not going to sit around while we find this Rata Novan research.
<Character name>: It's okay. But we can't delay any longer.

Making your way into Rata Novus:

<Character name>: Tizlak was right. The city appears long dead. I guess we won't find any allies to rally for our cause.
Taimi: Such a pity. All those asura.
Braham Eirsson: Maybe no new allies, but there is something else here. I'm picking up some prints that are definitely not asura. Looks like they belong to...
(Chak spawn)
<Character name>: Chak?
Braham Eirsson: Yeah, how did you...? Ah. Gotcha.
Taimi: Makes sense the chak are here. This place is a nexus for ley energy. I speculate these things actually channel it somehow.
<Character name>: Great, well-fed chak. They're probably responsible for the death of this entire city.
Canach: Luckily you can withdraw into the safety of your golem. This is obviously no place for an asura.
Taimi: Safety of my golem? What's that supposed to mean? Maybe you need the safety of my golem!
Canach: What? I'm not saying it, nature is.
<Character name>: Okay, enough. Let's pick up the pace.
<Character name>: We need to find the lab where they conducted their dragon research. What's the best way to do that?
Taimi: Maybe if we power up the city, Scruffy could trace the biggest energy draw. Logically, it should be the hub of their research.
<Character name>: Sounds reasonable. How do you restore power to this place?
Taimi: That's what I was investigating before you got here—not playing with toys, Braham...
Taimi: Anyway, they had a different procedure for refining ley energy and using it for power.
<Character name>: Impressive.
Taimi: This thing's an off-line ley collector.
Taimi: We could manually turn enough of them on to get the juice flowing, but the chak will notice and come running.
<Character name>: It's worth the risk. Get it started.

While fighting chak and defending Taimi:

Braham Eirsson: Glad these chak are enough of a challenge to keep me sharp for Mordremoth.
Taimi: I've got good news for you if you're itching for a fight.
Taimi: The more of these we turn on, the more chak they'll attract. So yeah... Math! Deadly math!
<Character name>: Just keep doing your thing, Taimi. We'll take care of whatever comes.
Taimi: C'mon, you stupid—
Taimi: There! Finally.
Braham Eirsson: How much longer, Taimi?
Taimi: Still multiple collectors left before the city turns on.
Canach: If the power is down, where's this light coming from?
Taimi: I wondered the same thing! And the Rata Novans had quite an answer!
Taimi: The fixtures above us are actually clusters of optic cables that run up to the surface.
Taimi: They carry natural light down below. No power needed.
<Character name>: All the way down here, and you still get daylight.
Taimi: It's ingenious! I hope we get to see how they solved one of the underground ventilation problems.
Taimi: It could revolutionize all future asuran construction!
<Character name>: We won't find it here. On to the next one.
if sylvari:
<Character name>: Canach, is it just me, or is the call quieter down here?
Canach: I noted that as well. Mordremoth's voice was growing to a great bellow as we drew closer.
Canach: Here, it's a whisper. It's a welcome respite.
<Character name>: Was it becoming too much for you?
Canach: Was it for you?
<Character name>: No. My resolve is stronger than that.
Canach: Mine as well.
<Character name>: You're unusually silent, Canach. Is the call distracting you?
Canach: It's actually quite the opposite. It's... quiet down here.
Canach: Mordremoth's voice was growing to a great bellow as we drew closer. Here, it's a whisper. It's a welcome respite.
<Character name>: Was it becoming too much?
Canach: Commander, you insult me. I have no plans to give myself over to that beast.
<Character name>: Good to hear.
Taimi: Just a few more and we'll have enough power to get any of the surviving systems up and running.
<Character name>: And from there?
Taimi: Scruffy will allow me to track where all this power is headed.
<Character name>: Good. We find a lab. With any luck, we find their dragon data. Let's get the last one going.
Taimi: Hold up, hold up! Scruffy's picking up some unusual readings.
Taimi: It looks like... It's a golem signature; old-fashioned, but different than anything I've seen before.
Braham Eirsson: Does that mean...?
Taimi: We must have powered up the city enough to turn on its defenses. And then we triggered said defenses. Yay, us.
<Character name>: Heads up, everyone. Sounds like asuran tech incoming.
Canach: The chak's connection to ley energy is curious. I wonder if it could be employed against Mordremoth.
Braham Eirsson: Going after the Rata Novan research is one thing. We can't waste time studying them now.
Taimi: Braham, no one has ever wasted time studying.
<Character name>: Let's stay on course. Which way, Taimi?
Taimi: Now that we started the engine, I'm getting a sizable power signature—might be a lab. Follow me and the big guy!

Sentry Golem dialogues:

Civic—pride—poll—initiated: What—should—the—city—slogan—be? Thank—you—for—participating. Current—leader: "We'll—show—them!"
Good—afternoon, citizen! Keep—Rata—Novus—clean! Deposit—chak—carrion—in—the—labeled—receptacles!
Good—evening, citizen! Rest—easy—tonight; we're—here—for—your—safety. L.O.X. sentry—golem—loves—watching—you—sleep—peacefully.
Good—morning, citizen! The—early—asura—gets—the—subterranean—invertebrate—grub!
Rata—Novus: Built—to—last!
Rata—Novus's—future—is—so—bright, you—have—to—wear—class—C—welding—safety—goggles, model—number—601325.
There's—no—"I"—in—Rata—Novus. Join—the—anti-chak—krewe-saders—today!
Tranquility—is—the—key—to—prosperity. This—is—Rata—Novus.

Following Taimi

Taimi: Should be just around this... Wait. Sorry, guys, the signal just moved.
Taimi: I guess the ley equipment on Scruffy's not quite perfected yet.
<Character name>: It's fine. Let's keep moving before we run into more trouble.
<Character name>: How's it working now, Taimi? We back on track?
Taimi: I think so. We're almost right on top of the source!
Canach: Is that...?
Taimi: An asura gate! Dissimilar in design, but probably similar in function.
Braham Eirsson: Is it active? Why isn't it glowing if we turned on the power?
Taimi: Good question. Let me see.
Taimi: Uh, okay. Good news, bad news. Good news is there's enough power to turn this gate on.
Taimi: Bad news is, something's interrupting the flow. Something...big.
(Veteran Chak Blitzer spawns)
Braham Eirsson: I think we found the culprit.

Cinematic after defeating the Chak Blitzer:

Canach: Braham!
Taimi: Move! Go! Go!

After cinematic:

<Character name>: Nice job, Taimi.
Taimi: Thanks, but Scruffy did most of the work.
<Character name>: Yeah, well, he's as much a part of the team as you.
Taimi: I guess so. Sure...
Canach: The gate's up. Where do you think it goes? Rata Sum?
Taimi: As far as I know, they were never connected. It must lead deeper into this complex. We should test it out; make sure it's safe.
<Character name>: How do we do that?
Taimi: Someone just walks into it, and if they're not obliterated, it works! Who wants to try?
if asura:
<Character name>: I suppose I'll be your test subject.
if charr:
<Character name>: Fine. It's on me then!
if norn:
<Character name>: Guess it's up to me.
if human:
<Character name>: I suppose I'll go.
if sylvari:
<Character name>: I suppose I'll try it.

Optional: Check in with Taimi

<Character name>: Is everything okay, Taimi?
Taimi: Sorry. Yes. I'm okay, Commander... Well, actually... Permission to speak freely?
<Character name>: Always. What is it?
Taimi: I enjoy serving in this company; everyone is great, but I'm a member of this team, not its mascot.
<Character name>: I agree. You've more than proved your mettle during this mission.
Taimi: Oh! You do? Well, I wish everyone else felt that way.
<Character name>: I think they do. Hate to break it to you, but you're a full-fledged part of this team whether you like it or not.
Taimi: Okay. I'll take your word for it. Thanks.

Cinematic after walking through the portal:

Taimi: Great job not dying, Commander! I told you that gate would—

After cinematic:

Taimi: I hope no one was planning on going back that way...
<Character name>: Where'd we end up?
Taimi: There's a huge ley draw ahead of us. I'd bet my transverse wave inverter it's the dragon lab.


Braham Eirsson: Wolf's fang!
Canach: We appear to be outnumbered.
Taimi: This isn't a lab to them. It's a dining hall.
<Character name>: Wait. The emblem on that blast door.
Taimi: A dragon! That must be it!

Discovering a way to open the door:

<Character name>: We need to get through that mess and open that lab.
Canach: We can't. The door that leads down those stairs is dead.
Braham Eirsson: So, we're trapped here? The only other way out was through the gate that just exploded?
Taimi: Maybe? Probably. Yes.
<Character name>: Let's think about this... Why aren't those doors working?
Taimi: Oh! Hold on...
Taimi: Ley energy powers this whole place, and this ley conduit is blown.
Taimi: It almost certainly rendered the doors to this room and the lab inoperative when it went.
Taimi: If we can complete the circuit, they'll both open for sure!
<Character name>: Any ideas, people?
Taimi: I have a thought. Scruffy can bridge the gap. The ley tech I outfitted him with should conduct the energy.
<Character name>: But... will he survive?
Taimi: Well, I'm not sure...
<Character name>: Taimi, back at Dry Top when the Inquest destroyed Scruffy and almost captured you... I can't—
Taimi: You can't what? Let a child make her own decisions? I'm not a child and this is what I'm doing.
Taimi: Maybe I wasn't ready for it at Dry Top, but I'm ready now.
<Character name>: Fair enough. But once the doors are open, we'll still have a ton of chak to contend with.
Taimi: I have an idea for that too, but first things first.


Taimi: All right, big guy, it's time. You know what to do.
Braham Eirsson: Why did he stop?
Taimi: Go on. It's okay. I'll be okay.

After cinematic:

<Character name>: Thank you, Taimi.
<Character name>: Now about those chak.
Canach: Yes, we're devastatingly outnumbered.
Taimi: Commander, when you were young, do you remember the bad kids burning beetles with a magnifying lens?
If sylvari:
<Character name>: I've heard stories. Why?
If not sylvari:
<Character name>: Sure. Why?
Taimi: Because I'm about to be bad.
Taimi: The device in that room is basically a huge telescope.
Taimi: I can reconfigure all the lights in there to feed into the lenses, turning it into a giant heat ray!
Braham Eirsson: And then we have ourselves a chak cookout. Brilliant.
<Character name>: Do what you need to. We'll back you up.
Taimi: Okay... Here we go.

During the fights:

Taimi: Outta the way, chak!
<Character name>: Fend them off until she's done!
Taimi: (screams) Commander!
<Character name>: It's okay, Taimi. We're right here!
Taimi: I've positioned the lenses on the microscope. Have to get to that console now!
<Character name>: Move!
<Character name>: What next?
Taimi: Hold on... Get your crawly legs off of— Focusing all the light clusters in this room into one point!
<Character name>: C'mon!
Taimi: Almost there!
Braham Eirsson: Commander!
Canach: Taimi, I can't keep them away forev—
Taimi: Got it! Watch out!
<Character name>: Now what?
Taimi: Over here, Commander! Lure them over this way!

After the heat ray is turned on:

Taimi: Draw the chak into the path of my beam!
Taimi: Yes!
Braham Eirsson: That... was amazing.
Canach: It smells better than I would have imagined too.

In the Dragon Research Lab:

<Character name>: Is this it? Is this the right place?
Taimi: Boot up these machines and we'll find out.

After turning on the computers:

Taimi: Whoa, these Rata Novans had a serious beef against Primordus
<Character name>: Anything on Mordremoth?
Taimi: No. Well... Sort of. It's about all the Elder Dragons.
Canach: What is it?
Taimi: Based on their extensive research on Primordus, the Rata Novans determined that each Elder Dragon had a weakness.
Taimi: A unique respective weakness.
Braham Eirsson: And does it say...?
Taimi: What it is? No.
Braham Eirsson: (sigh) How easily the fleet went down; it's obvious the way you and my mother stopped Zhaitan won't work here.
Braham Eirsson: So what do we do now?
<Character name>: This is good news, people.
<Character name>: We've been charging headlong against Mordremoth not even knowing if it can be beaten, only knowing we had to beat it.
<Character name>: Now we know it's possible. Our mission is to find out how.
<Character name>: To do that we have to get closer to Mordremoth. And thanks to that ley map, we know exactly where it is.
Braham Eirsson: Let's catch up with the others, then. I suppose it'd be nice to have some help finding this weakness.
<Character name>: Thanks for everything, Taimi. So, does this mean no more Scruffy?
Taimi: Oh, no. I already have design plans for Scruffy two-point-zero!
Taimi: Little trim here, little tuck there, and weapons—lots of weapons.
Taimi: But no golem for the immediate future means this is the end of the road for me.
Taimi: I'll be staying in Rata Novus with all this delectable research—bummer!
<Character name>: Alone? Are you sure?
Taimi: Hey, would you ask Rytlock if he was sure? Canach?
<Character name>: Point taken. Should I send word to someone back at Rata Sum, let them know you're here?
Taimi: Uh... No, thanks. I'll take care of, like, a few weeks or so.
<Character name>: Don't want to get Phlunted again, huh?
Taimi: Not particularly.
<Character name>: (laugh) Okay, Taimi. I hope to see you soon.
Taimi: Me too, Commander. Give that dragon a good one for me.

Related to achievement objectives[edit]

Approaching the lone Mordrem Guard Punisher (part of the "An Ignoble End" achievement):

Canach: Is that—? A traitorous sylvari somehow made it into Rata Novus. Alone.
Braham Eirsson: Big deal. It'll fall just like the rest.
Canach: Wait. He doesn't appear hostile. More...confused.
Taimi: Your point being?
Canach: The call is quieter here. Maybe this one sought refuge. Maybe there's something left inside.
Braham Eirsson: Then let's just crack it open and find out.
Canach: No. I'm going to talk to him.
if sylvari:
<Character name>: Careful, Canach. I’m curious about what happens when one surrenders to the call too, but he’s still armed.
<Character name>: Canach, wait. It could be a trick...
Canach: I'll take my chances, Commander. I have to know.
Canach: Brother? Hello?
Mordrem Guard Punisher: Help me! Please! I can't tell what- [sic]
Canach: What is it? What is it like, giving in?
Mordrem Guard Punisher: It was a relief. Such a relief. I didn't want to fight it anymore. But then...I did things.
Canach: Of your own will?
Mordrem Guard Punisher: I— I don't know. At the time, I knew it was wrong— I couldn't stop! Forgive me! I wanted to obey!
Mordrem Guard Punisher: My strings were tugged and my body acted while I watched. A passenger to the dragon's breath, its whispers.
Canach: Do you hear it still, feel its pull?
Mordrem Guard Punisher: I do!
Canach: And what does it want? What's its plan?
Mordrem Guard Punisher: It—it wants—it wants die!
<Character name>: Canach!
Mordrem Guard Punisher: You will succumb! No one is strong enough to stand against Mordremoth!

After defeating the Mordrem Guard Punisher:

Canach: Well, that went about as expected.
if sylvari:
<Character name>: Apparently he was too far gone. A dire warning for us all.
<Character name>: A valiant effort, my friend, but apparently he was far too gone.
<Character name>: Let's keep moving.

Objects related to "New Horizons" achievement:

Derelict Sentry Golem: This sentry golem appears to have been deactivated many years ago. Although it looks completely inert, a faint glow still emanates from its chest.
Talk more option tango.png Attempt to pry open the chest cavity.
The chest cavity cracks open, and in the dim glow of one last active circuit you can see a rolled parchment tucked behind a mass of wires.
Talk more option tango.png Move the wires aside, and take the parchment. (ends the dialog)
Rata Novan Terminal: This terminal is surprisingly fully functional, and the screen contains a single text entry, written in the form of an operator's log.
Talk more option tango.png Read the log.
Engineer Poskk, log number 4399. The insectoid creatures come in greater numbers. City leaders and citizens flee deeper into the facility. I'm to maintain the gate as long as possible. Is this to be my end?
Talk end option tango.png Leave the console.
Rata Novan Terminal: The console is weathered and the screens faded, but you can see that there's one last user entry, which seems to be a message from one asura to another.
Talk more option tango.png Read the message.
"Kalla? Where are you? You're worse than those bookahs on the surface. The treat is worse than we forecasted! The city council has been misleading us. I'm going to try your other console."
Talk end option tango.png Leave the console.
Rata Novan Terminal: The console is barely functional, save one screen that displays a single user entry, which appears to be a message from one asura to another.
Talk more option tango.png Read the message.
"Kalla! Eternal Alchemy, this city is going to erupt under our feet any day now, and you're playing childish games with me. I'm headed toward the control room. I hope you see this in time."
Talk end option tango.png Leave the console.
Rata Novan Terminal: This terminal appears to control the nearby asura gate. There are a series of spaces, beginning with the number 1, followed by five blank spots. A keypad on the terminal glows softly, awaiting input.
Talk more option tango.png Try the number 0.
Talk more option tango.png Try the number 1.
Talk more option tango.png Try the number 2.
(after final correct number) The keypad beeps and a small button on the terminal glows, waiting to be pressed.
Talk more option tango.png Press the button.
The terminal beeps six times, and the nearby asura gate hums to life.
Talk end option tango.png Exit the terminal.
Talk more option tango.png Try the number 7.
Talk end option tango.png Leave the terminal.

My story[edit]

Buried Insight loading screen.jpg

We entered the lost, underground asura city with the promise of possibly finding allies in the war against Mordremoth, but those hopes were quickly dashed when we confirmed Tizlak's information—the city was long dead. However, there was a chance their research still existed, so we powered up the city and followed the biggest energy draw to their Elder Dragon lab. The only way inside involved Taimi sacrificing Scruffy to bridge a blown-out ley circuit. She proved to us she's more than just an asura with a golem, she's a self-sufficient soldier. Once in the Rata Novus Elder Dragon lab we discovered that each dragon has a unique and respective weakness. We didn't discover what Mordremoth's was, but at least we know the dragon can be felled. Our job now is to find out how.

My story


  • Security golems seem similar in design/style to those constructed by Zinn in original Guild Wars, also in naming terminology (L.O.X.)
  • Some security golem dialogues seem to be variations of motivational quotes.
    • One golem dialogue in particular is a riff on the song "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" by Timbuk3.