Plan of Attack

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Plan of Attack is the fifth and final story episode in the The Dragon's Reach: Part 1 chapter of Living World Season 2.


Meet with Rox and Rytlock to discuss the summit.
  • Meet Rox outside the Old Duke's Estate in the Plains of Ashford.
  • Speak with Rox.
  • Talk to Rytlock about the summit.
  • Explain the threat to Rytlock.
  • Ask Rytlock how you can help.
The crown fragment pulls towards the Ruins of Oldgate in Diessa Plateau.
  • Retrieve the first crown fragments from the Ruins of Oldgate.
  • Find the first crown fragment after Rhell's machine neutralizes the ghost.
The crown fragment pulls towards Serenity Temple in Blazeridge Steppes.
  • Retrieve the second crown fragment from Serenity Temple.
  • Retrieve the second crown fragment after Historian Cerin finishes his research at Serenity Temple.
The crown fragment pulls towards an old house in the Iron Marches.
  • Retrieve Bria's crown fragment.
  • The final crown fragment must be hidden nearby. It will be easier to find after Bria's gone.
Assist Rytlock with the Foefire cleansing ritual.
  • Return to Rytlock and Rox in the Plains of Ashford.
  • Return the crown fragments to Rytlock.
  • Speak with Rytlock.
  • Speak with Smodur.
  • Speak with Rox.
  • Venture deeper into the crypt.
  • Talk to Rytlock when you're ready to begin.
  • Witness the foefire cleansing ritual.
  • Defeat the possessed statue.
  • Speak with Smodur.
  • Speak with Rox.



  • Event boss (tango icon).png Defeat the possessed statue (80)
    • Possessed statue
      Event bar.jpgEvent boss (tango icon).png
    • Kill the Ascalonian mender before it buffs the statue.
If you phase the statue too quickly, bringing its health below 25% before Rytlock dispels the first shield (which can easily be done using condition damage), Rytlock will fail to dispel the shield, and you will need to either wait 10 minutes for the buff to expire or reset the instance.


The first instance is purely dialogue to introduce the quest.

For each fragment, you will have to complete a different event in Ascalon. Once the event is complete, a Rock Pile will appear, and inspecting it will yield the fragment. If the event was recently completed, it is possible to skip it and get the fragment immediately.

  1. Event shield (tango icon).png Defend Rhell Crankmane while he sets up his ghost control machines (16)
  2. Event collect (tango icon).png Collect artifacts from Serenity Temple for Cerin (45)
  3. Event boss (tango icon).png Defeat Bria to rescue the captured cubs (50)

Get back to the Plains of Ashford for the mission instance proper, Foefire Cleansing. You'll need to fight a few Ascalonian ghosts first, until you reach the Vault. There, you'll have to fight a boss, the Possessed Statue. Most of its attacks affect large areas, and can cause Chill, as well as massive damage. Additionally, Spectral Flames spawn; these enemies move slowly, but are invulnerable, and their explosions cause Burning for a long time, as well as heavy damage and launch. During the battle, ghosts will also spawn, which need to be killed in order to charge Sohothin (6 ghosts required to be killed for each stage of invulnerability). This lets Rytlock take off the Spectral Protection buff that the statue gains when it reaches 50% and 25% health, and which makes it invulnerable. Among the ghosts, the most important targets are Ascalonian Menders which will spawn outside of the room and then slowly walk towards the statue. If they reach it, they will heal and buff the statue, extending the fight, so you should kill them before they reach their destination.


This achievement rewards items. The Dragon's Reach, Part 1 The Dragon's Reach, Part 1 Central Tyria mastery point 0Achievement points
Convice world leaders to attend a summit to discuss the gravity of the growing threat.Journal: "The Dragon's Reach, Part 1" Completed
Reward: Dusty Bag of Loot.pngLast Good-Bye
Completed The Dragon's Reach, Part 1 0Achievement points
  • Complete the story step.
This achievement rewards items. Return to Foefire Cleansing Return to The Dragon's Reach 0Achievement points
Complete the mission Foefire Cleansing in Living World Season 2 Episode 3.
Reward: Burning Ember.pngPile of Silky Sand (50)
Completed Foefire Cleansing 0Achievement points
This achievement rewards items. Not So Buff Now The Dragon's Reach, Part 1 5Achievement points
Complete the final encounter while preventing the Ascalonian menders from casting buffs.Story Instance: Foefire Cleansing
Reward: Story Journal chest.pngAmbrite Stash
Stopped the Menders 5Achievement points
  • To get this achievement, you need to make sure that no mender will reach the statue to heal or buff it.
  • Achievement qualification may be tracked via the Achievement effect.png Achievement Eligibility: Not So Buff Now effect.
Don't Knock Yourself Out: old safe spot.
This achievement rewards items. Don't Knock Yourself Out The Dragon's Reach, Part 1 10Achievement points
Avoid being hit by attacks that cause knockback or knockdown while remaining in the room.Story Instance: Foefire Cleansing
Reward: Story Journal chest.pngGeode Cache
Avoided Being Knocked Back or Knocked Down 10Achievement points
  • For this achievement, you need to avoid any knockdown attack of the statue. These attacks are either signalized by danger circles on the ground, or caused by the Spectral Flames following you. This is more easily attempted with a ranger, as the Spectral Flames will sometimes follow your pet and can get stuck on spirits, making it a lot easier to avoid them.
  • There used to be an easy way to finish this by positioning yourself in a safe spot on the Southern wall. From this spot, you could reach the Possessed Statue with any weapon with range 1,200 or more, while being safe from most of it's attacks (except the power strike attack for Strike's Over and falling boulders) and the Spectral Flames. This safe spot appeared to have been made inaccessible by February 2023.
    • If you play as a profession that has access to 1,500 range weapons, you can also stand on the rubble pile left of the door, and still be able to hit the statue while being safe from the Spectral Flames. That pile is much easier to climb up to than the proper safe spot, but if you're doing Strike's Over at the same time, you need to actively dodge or jump over the statue's power-strike attack.
  • Achievement qualification may be tracked via the Achievement effect.png Achievement Eligibility: Don't Knock Yourself Out effect.
This achievement rewards items. Strike's Over The Dragon's Reach, Part 1 15Achievement points
Avoid the power-strike attack without leaving the room.Story Instance: Foefire Cleansing
Reward: Story Journal chest.pngStore of Edible Cactus
Avoided Power Strike 15Achievement points
In some cases, the achievement effect might not appear at all, not granting the achievement even if all the objectives have been fulfilled.
  • To get this achievement, you need to let three menders in a row reach the statue to buff it. Once the statue is charged, it will attack with its power strike attack which starts a shockwave you will need to dodge through or jump over. Note that you will need to complete the battle before the achievement is rewarded but triggering the charged attack once and dodging it successfully is enough to fulfill the achievement requirements.
  • Achievement qualification may be tracked via the Achievement effect.png Achievement Eligibility: Strike's Over effect.






First instance[edit]

Talking to Rox
I'm glad you're here. I was dreading having to do this without backup. I sent Tribune Brimstone a mail asking if he would forward our summit invitation to Smodur.
Talk quest option tango.png And his response was to order you to meet in person?
Yeah. No way around it now. This is too important a cause. I had hoped it wouldn't come to this. I don't want to see his disappointment in me.
Talk quest option tango.png He has nothing to be disappointed about. You did what you had to do.
And I'd do it again, to save Braham—or any of you. No one is dispensable. Not even for the glory of taking down Scarlet.
Talk quest option tango.png I know him. He'll understand that. He's lost people too.
Thanks. I needed to hear that. Let's get this over with, okay?
Talk quest option tango.png Let's do it.
After talking to Rox
Rytlock Brimstone: Well, Rox. You're actually showing your face. That shows courage, considering what you're here for.
Rox: Tribune?
Rytlock Brimstone: You want me to talk the Imperator into attending your summit, and yet, you disobeyed my order to end Scarlet.
Rox: I...ahem...I had to make a battlefield decision, Tribune.
Rytlock Brimstone: If it hadn't been for our friend here, Scarlet would still be out there murdering people and ruining Tyria one city at a time.
Rox: Yes, Tribune.
Rytlock Brimstone: At ease, soldier. Excuse me while I discuss this with someone I know I can rely on.
Talking to Rytlock
I know that look. You don't have to defend Rox, you know?
Talk quest option tango.png Well, you sure haven't lost any of your drill sergeant charm.
I know. I'm rough on her, but somebody has to be. She's too soft inside. She'd have been dead long ago if I hadn't toughened her up.
Talk quest option tango.png You going to punish her for not killing Scarlet?
Nah. I understand why she did it. Besides, she's a free agent now. She and I don't need to see eye to eye anymore. Of course, that doesn't mean I'm not gonna give her grief when she needs it.
(If charr)
Talk quest option tango.png She still answers to the legions.
Sure. But being a free agent means she has her mission and she's expected to figure out how to do it herself. She's on her own.
Talk more option tango.png Rox has a mission? What is it?
All free agents have missions. Some deliver messages. Some fight Elder Dragons. We don't talk about it.
Talk quest option tango.png Got it. So she told you why we're here?
Not much. In her mail she mentioned something about how you want Imperator Smodur to attend some strategic gathering?
Talk quest option tango.png We need you to talk to him for us.
(If not charr)
Talk quest option tango.png What does that mean exactly?
Ask her. All I can say is that I'm not responsible for her anymore. Anything she screws up doesn't reflect on me. She's on her own.
Talk quest option tango.png Got it. So she told you why we're here? (continues as above)
After talking to Rytlock
Rox: Tribune, we also have information that will interest you and Imperator Smodur. It's about the Elder Dragons.
Rytlock Brimstone: I know. Word's reached me that Mordremoth is active.
Rox: That's an understatement. It's been destroying entire forts. We're not sure how far it can reach. The Black Citadel...
Rytlock Brimstone: ...has enough to worry about with Branded and Ascalonian ghosts.
Explain the threat to Rytlock
And if that's not enough, it takes everything else we've got to keep the Flame Legion off our ramps.
Talk quest option tango.png Before you know it, you'll be adding Mordremoth to that list.
Rox: Tribune, the Branded are contained to one region. Mordremoth is quickly spreading across all of Tyria. It has already reached as far as Timberline Falls and Kessex Hills.
Talk quest option tango.png Mordremoth's reached charr lands. I fought its minions in the Iron Marches.
Rytlock Brimstone: That changes things. How bad is the situation?
Talk quest option tango.png Bad enough that no one in Tyria can afford to ignore it any longer.
Rox: That's right. What happens to us if everyone else's armies are destroyed because we charr kept to ourselves? We have to stand together.
Talk quest option tango.png And we have to take on the greatest threat first. That's Mordremoth.
Rytlock Brimstone: You don't have to tell me how dangerous Elder Dragons are. But convincing me and convincing Imperator Smodur are two different things.
Talk quest option tango.png There must be something we can do to convince him.
After that conversation
Rytlock Brimstone: As a matter of fact, that's why I asked you to come in person. I carry Sohothin, my blade. It's said to have the power to reverse the Foefire.
Rox: Is that true or just a myth?
Rytlock Brimstone: I plan to test it. After years of research, I've finally found the proper combination of elements to unlock the sword's power.
Rox: You could rid us of all the ghosts?
Rytlock Brimstone: That's the idea. We do that, and Smodur will have less to worry about. Then we can convince him to attend the summit.
Ask Rytlock how you can help
I've researched the ritual, and I learned a lot about Ascalonian history. This story began a thousand years ago, when this ritual was first formulated by the humans' gods—the Six.
Talk quest option tango.png Please, go on.
The Six gave them magic. At the same time, they also gave one of them a magical crown and two magical swords to protect the kingdom.
Talk quest option tango.png Sohothin and Magdaer. And King Adelbern had inherited the crown?
Exactly. The crown was designed to break into four parts. When the fragments are separated, they're hard to see. This was a safeguard to keep this powerful item from falling into the wrong hands.
Talk quest option tango.png And the crown is required for the ritual?
It is. When Adelbern enacted the ritual with Magdaer, he became a ghost. But the crown was preserved and found by charr who entered the area later. They toyed with it, and the fragments were lost.
Talk quest option tango.png And you found them?
I found one. I'm asking you to find the others. The fragments work like magnets to each other. Once you have one, you'll feel a pull towards the others.
Talk quest option tango.png Even after all this time, you're sure they're here?
I'm hopeful. We need the crown to perform the ritual. Might as well assume they're there.
Talk quest option tango.png You, Rytlock Brimstone, are going to perform a ritual?
If it means I succeed at breaking the Foefire curse, I'd put on a robe and call myself Shaman Brimstone. There's a lot at stake here, my friend.
Talk quest option tango.png Point taken. I'll go find the crown fragments. Rox can help you get set up.
Talking with your allies
Rox: I could go with you, you know?
Talk end option tango.png No. This is a one-person job. I'll be back soon.
Rytlock Brimstone: You're going to have to use your instincts to find the rest of the fragments. I've got to mentally prepare for the ritual. These things always have cleansing and mumbling and relaxation involved.
Talk end option tango.png Good luck. I'll be back soon.

Gathering the crown fragments[edit]

Searching the Rock Pile at the Ruins of Oldgate, Serenity Temple, and Bria's Manor
The faint glow of a crown fragment shines through the rubble.
Talk quest option tango.png Take it.

Foefire Cleansing instance[edit]

Approaching Rytlock
(If charr)
Rytlock Brimstone: You made it. Not that I doubted you for a minute.
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: At ease, soldier. Your deeds have reached my ears, as has your invitation.
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: If this mission is even remotely successful, I will attend your summit.
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: Let's hear your plan, Brimstone.
Rytlock Brimstone: You made it. Not that I doubted you for a minute. Have you met Imperator Smodur?
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: I know you by reputation. I've also received your request.
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: If this mission eliminates even a portion of the enemy, I will attend your summit.
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: What's the plan, Brimstone?
Talking to Rytlock
You're back. Did you have any luck?
Talk quest option tango.png Yes. I found them all.
Great. Give me the crown.
(If human)
Talk quest option tango.png Hold on. This crown is very important to my people.
I see. What are you saying? You don't want me to use it?
Talk quest option tango.png You must promise you'll give it back to me when this is over.
When this is over, and the ghosts are gone, I'll put it into your hands myself.
Talk give option tango.png All right. Tell me more about the ritual.
It all hinges on Sohothin, my sword. There were originally two of them—Sohothin and another called Magdaer. They were given to the Ascalonians as protection against invasion.
Talk quest option tango.png Go on.
A couple hundred years ago, Sohothin was wielded by Rurik, son of King Adelbern. He was killed by a Stone Summit dwarf. It came into my care several years ago.
Talk quest option tango.png How did you get it?
Irrelevant. Point is that its partner, Magdaer, is the sword Adelbern used to curse the Ascalonians. I've long suspected that Sohothin is the blade that can break the curse.
Talk quest option tango.png Okay. So, how?
I've had my snout buried in scrolls and books at the Priory. One of the scholars there has been helping me tack together the history. I finally found a reference to the ritual.
Talk quest option tango.png And you trust the source?
It's got an Orrian stamp on it, which makes it so old, it's got to be legitimate. In any case, I have to try. If it works, we'll be free.
Talk quest option tango.png Tell me what you need.
Once we're inside, we need to channel ghost essence into the sword to fire it up. That means slashing a lot of ghosts.
Talk quest option tango.png So, high stakes. Big danger. Sounds like fun. Let's go.
Talking to Smodur
We may be here on a fool's errand, but it's worth a try. Rytlock has done the impossible before. These ghosts have plagued my people for too long. I spend every day looking for ways to end it.
Talk quest option tango.png If this works, it would be a boon for both charr and humans.
True. It must be infuriating for humans, even those who aren't descended from Ascalonians.
(If human)
Talk quest option tango.png It's heartbreaking, especially when I'm forced to kill them.
(If charr)
Talk quest option tango.png Maybe it'll help us get the treaty signed.
Talk quest option tango.png I imagine it feels like being perpetually stuck in a war.
Yeah. All the more reason why this needs to work. Your help is not going unnoticed.
Talk quest option tango.png I'd do just about anything for Rytlock or Rox.
Talking to Rox
Looks like we've got everything we need. That crown you put together is historic. It practically crackles with the weight of Ascalon's ancestors.
Talk quest option tango.png If this works, we'll go down in history ourselves.
Do you think it will? I mean, surely getting rid of all the ghosts can't be this easy.
(If human)
Talk quest option tango.png Who said it was easy? Getting the crown was no stroll in the Pavilion.
Talk quest option tango.png Who said it was easy? Getting the crown was no stroll.
And on the other side of that gate, we've got ghosts building up, just waiting for us to come through. I hope their essences can charge Sohothin.
Talk quest option tango.png I guess we'll find out.
After talking to Rox
Rytlock Brimstone: That should be everything we need to cleanse the Foefire.
Rox: How do you know this will work?
Rytlock Brimstone: It'll work...because I said so.
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: You're on point, Brimstone.
Rytlock Brimstone: Yes, sir.
Opening the crypt
Rytlock Brimstone: We don't know what's down there. Be ready for anything.
Rox: Frostbite and I are ready to stomp some ghosts.
In front of the entrance to Barradin's Vaults
Rytlock Brimstone: The tomb is just ahead. That's where we'll test the Foefire cleansing. It's a place of power.
Rox: I guess there's no turning back once we step through that arch, huh?
Rytlock Brimstone: You prefer to go back to the fahrar, cub?
Rox: No, sir!
Talking to Rytlock in front of the crypt
You have to be ready. This could go in any direction. There's no way of predicting what this ritual will do.
Talk quest option tango.png I'm ready.
Starting the ritual
Rytlock Brimstone: I hope this works.
Rox: (spit) For luck.
Rytlock Brimstone: (chuckle) You used to do that when you were a cub. C'mon, let's get this over with.
Rox: Something's happening. These ghosts don't seem to like your sword very much.
Rytlock Brimstone: They're gonna like it even less in a few minutes.
Rytlock Brimstone: Damn! They're possessing what's left of Barradin's statue.
Rox: Someone once told me nothing worth fighting for is ever easy.
Rytlock Brimstone: Ha! You do listen.
Rox: Only when I feel like it.
When a mender spawns
Rytlock Brimstone: Another mender. Stop it from reaching the statue.
Fighting the Possessed Statue
Rytlock Brimstone: Sohothin is charged with the ghosts' power. Let's see how effective this is.
Rytlock Brimstone: We need to kill ghosts to charge Sohothin.
Rytlock Brimstone: Sohothin is charged. Let's take that shield down.
Cutscene after defeating the Possessed Statue
Rytlock Brimstone: Ascalon, I free you from this curse!
Rytlock Brimstone: I have to go after it. Without it, we'll never end this war.
Rytlock Brimstone: Go!
After the cutscene
Rox: I need to go after him!
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: The portal is closed. You can't.
Rox: But—
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: Stand down, soldier. He'll be fine. If anything, I'd be worried for the poor souls that get in his way.
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: This is his mission, not yours.
Talking to Smodur
Brimstone will be back. Don't worry.
Talk quest option tango.png He took a lot of ghosts with him.
I noticed. He may not have ended the curse, but he had an effect. And you played a pivotal role. I'll come to your summit for that reason alone.
Talk quest option tango.png Even after the cleansing failed?
This cleansing's not over. Brimstone's dedication to his duty will bring him back. The least I can do is honor his commitment by attending the summit.
Talk quest option tango.png That's good. Thank you. You won't regret it.
Well, I'm not so sure about that, but I'll keep my word. I'll be there.
Talk quest option tango.png I'll see you there, Imperator. Thank you.
Talk quest option tango.png What exactly is going on?
Happened fast, didn't it? Brimstone failed the Foefire cleansing, and lost Sohothin to the Mist in the process. Without that sword, he can't complete the ritual. He had to pursue it.
Talk quest option tango.png What can I do?
Nothing. This cleansing is Brimstone's duty. He'll pull through.
Talk quest option tango.png He took a lot of ghosts with him. (same as above)
Talking to Rox
What just happened?
Talk quest option tango.png It looked to me like that was a portal to the Mists.
The Mists? I hope so. At least we know you can come back from the Mists. What was he thinking?
Talk more option tango.png He had to go after Sohothin.
I suppose. At least now we have more hope that the sword might one day break the curse. I guess it's our only chance of getting rid of the ghosts for good.
Talk more option tango.png My thoughts exactly. I just wish he hadn't gone alone.
I agree. If only the portal hadn't closed so quickly! I suppose there's no way to find him.
Talk quest option tango.png No. None. The Mists are vast. Are you all right?
I will be. My heart is still hammering. I just have to keep telling myself that he'll be fine. He's been in bigger scrapes. Still...
Talk quest option tango.png I know. I worry too.
At least the imperator has agreed to come to the summit. That's one consolation.
Talk quest option tango.png Yes. His presence is important. The charr army is powerful.
So, Phlunt hasn't backed out? What about Queen Jennah?
Talk quest option tango.png Phlunt's waiting on Taimi's device. Kasmeer's convinced the queen to come.
<Character name>, what if they don't come? What if no one comes?
Talk quest option tango.png I can't even think about how devastating that would be for Tyria. They must.
Talking to your allies
Imperator Smodur the Unflinching: Carry on. This foray is over. If you seen Brimstone before I do, send him to the Citadel. I want to hear what he encountered through that portal.
Talk end option tango.png Will do.
Rox: Rytlock will be okay. He's been through worse. But that doesn't mean I won't worry until he's back.
(If already talked to Smodur)
Talk more option tango.png Understandable.
Hey. Before you leave, take this.
Talk more option tango.png What is this?
A stone from Duke Barradin's statue. I sure don't have a use for it, but maybe you will.
Talk end option tango.png I'll pass.
(If not talked to Smodur)
Talk end option tango.png I'm sure he'll be fine.

My story[edit]

Plan of Attack loading screen.jpg

Rox and I met Rytlock outside Duke Barradin's crypt in an effort to get Smodur to the summit. Smodur wasn't going anywhere so long as the Ascalonian ghosts were haunting the area. Rytlock had discovered a ritual that might send the ghosts back to the Mists, but it required his sword, Sohothin, a mass of souls to fuel it with magic, and the pieces of Adelbern's crown. I agreed to obtain the crown fragments, which were scattered across the countryside.

The first crown fragment revealed itself after Rhell Crankmane's machines activated.

The second crown fragment revealed itself in Blazeridge Steppes's Serenity Temple after Cerin finished his research.

After Bria was defeated, the final crown fragment revealed itself near her house.

We attempted the Foefire cleansing ritual, which didn't go entirely as planned. Some spirits were drawn into the Mists portal, but so was Sohothin, Rytlock's sword. Knowing that a full cleansing of the Foefire was impossible without his enchanted blade, he leapt in after it.

Smodur agreed to attend the summit since the ghost problem, while not solved, was lessened by our efforts. He seemed confident that Rytlock would hold his own while trapped in the Mists, though Rox expressed worry.

My story


  • The name of the "Strike's Over" achievement is a reference to the Monk Strike during which monks, the healer class of Guild Wars, grew tired of being mistreated by dps and tank classes and refused to join player parties to help them complete the difficult Thunderhead Keep mission.