Stronghold of the Faithful
Stronghold of the Faithful
You’ve faced the ghosts of Spirit Vale and uncovered the truth behind Salvation Pass; now the final steps of your journey lie before you. Prepare to enter the Stronghold of the Faithful and challenge the White Mantle in their own territory. Cut through to the heart of their plans, or you and your allies may be lost forever to their twisted magic.
- Using the portal in Lion's Arch Aerodrome. You must join a raid Squad before you can enter the portal.
- The portal for entering the raid Forsaken Thicket is located in the far northeast corner of Verdant Brink. The in-game map shows an icon for the portal, which can be reached by heading east from Jaka Itzel Waypoint or north from Shipwreck Peak Waypoint. Players must be in a raid squad of up to 10 players prior to entering the portal.
- Points of Interest
- Tunnel of Respite —
- Fountain of Cleansing —
- Zealot's Bastion —
- Twisted Castle —
- Temple of Awakening —
- Talk to Glenna.
- Escort Glenna to the stronghold's courtyard.
- Turrets secured
- Defeat McLeod and breach the stronghold.
- Defeat McLeod.
- Defeat McLeod.
- Destroy Xera's creation.
- Destroy the Keep Construct.
- Keep Construct
- Time remaining: 10:00
- Keep Construct
- Traverse the Twisted Castle.
- Enter the portal beyond the bell to confront Xera.
- Defeat Xera.
- Time remaining: 11:00
- Stay ahead of Xera. Destroy charged bloodstones to manifest ley lines.
Glenna must be escorted to the stronghold's courtyard.
To begin the encounter, one player must interact with her and select the option Let's start the mission. Once the encounter has started, players will remain in combat until they have killed McLeod the Silent and opened the final gate.
It is recommended to split the squad into two groups prior to starting this encounter: a Tower group and an Escort group. It is imperative that all members of the tower group have the Bouncing Mushroom, Ley Line Gliding and Forsaken Thicket Waters masteries. Their roles will be explained below.
- Initial Mechanics
The most important thing to note is that if Glenna dies, the encounter will fail. There is no time limit, so players may spend as long as they want.
Once the encounter has begun, Glenna will gain 15 stacks of Surveilled. Glenna will lose one stack every second if a player is not within 1000 range of her. Once a player is within range, her stacks will start to regenerate. If it reaches 0, five White Mantle Seekers will spawn and proceed to kill her. These should be dispatched quickly if they happen to spawn.
All players will gain the special action skill Over Here! (Default key: ) that they can use to call Glenna to their current position. The range of this skill is 1500 units so it can be used outside of the range needed to prevent her stacks from going down (not recommended). Using the skill will also prevent her stacks from increasing or decreasing until she has stopped moving. Using this skill is required to proceed through the encounter.
The first obstacle is a lowered drawbridge. At the base of the drawbridge is a white glowing circle. When Glenna is called to stand in the circle she will cast a spell to summon a ley line. Players will need to cross the gap and interact with a lever to raise the drawbridge, allowing Glenna to cross. After the drawbridge raised, players will need to call Glenna to the gate so that she may blow it open. Be wary of the explosion as it will down any players caught in its blast. Subsequent runs will have this already completed, allowing players to wait at the gate before starting the encounter.
Once players have crossed the gate, the encounter begins.
A red orb will spawn which will summon White Mantle shortly after. This group should be dispatched so that Glenna may safely join up with the group. Once this group is defeated, players should split into their respective groups: a Tower group and an Escort group. Both groups will need to proceed with coordinated effort in order for this encounter to succeed.
- Tower Group
The tower group must first head through the Tunnel of Respite. While running through the tunnel players will be afflicted with Toxic Spores, which reduces healing and deals a small amount of damage every second. Walking through Thicket Waters (requiring the Forsaken Thicket Waters) will give players Healing Cleanse which will slightly heal them and make them immune to the effects of toxic spores. Within the tunnel are also multiple Mushroom foes that will attempt to slow players down. Depending on the group's composition, experience, and strategy, they may either be killed or ignored. Once the tunnel is cleared, a group of White Mantle will spawn, which can also be skipped or killed.
Players will need to run though a minimum of three Thicket Waters in order to clear the tunnel.
The group will then need to climb the nearby cliff and glide over to the Bouncing Mushroom, that they will use to get onto the tower.
- Escort Group
The escort group will continue forward on the ground, bringing Glenna along with them.
While walking through, players will encounter mines. These mines are surrounded by a red outline, followed by a white outline. If a player steps into the the red outline, it will detonate, instantly killing them. The mine will be untargetable and immune to damage until a player steps into the white outline, revealing the mine. Players who do this must try to avoid stepping into the red outline. Glenna will also be instantly killed if she steps into the red outline. Players should also be careful to not get feared or kicked into the mines. The mines will respawn shortly after they are destroyed, creating a red circle on the ground and slowly growing outwards. If Glenna was unfortunately placed on a respawning mine, and players fail to notice, it will instantly detonate.
While progressing through the stronghold, waves of White Mantle soldiers will march towards the group. They should be dispatched quickly so that the group may advance.
Eventually, the group will come across an area being bombarded by the tower above, making it impossible to continue forward. This will be taken care of by the tower group.
- Securing a tower
Atop the tower will be multiple White Mantle soldiers, encircled within a red ring. Once the number of players within the circle outweighs the number of White Mantle soldiers, the ring will turn green and start being captured. There is no visible progress bar when this happens. The fewer soldiers there are within the ring, the faster it will capture. Players may either kill the soldiers or use Pulls or Knockbacks to move them out of the ring. Once the tower is captured, it will cease firing, allowing the escort team to continue moving forward. When all White Mantle soldiers are killed, a new wave will spawn shortly after in an attempt to regain control of the tower. It is recommended to keep at least one alive to prevent this from happening.
Once the tower is captured, multiple things will happen. Players with the Forsaken Magic mastery may interact with the tower, allowing them to rain shards on incoming White Mantle soldiers for the escort team or at point-blank range on to undefeated enemies on the tower. Additionally, a ley line will spawn below, allowing players on the tower team to go down and help the escort team and then go back up, or vice versa. Additionally, a Warg Bloodhound will spawn at both the top of the stronghold and the entrance (colloquially called the front and back wargs respectively).
- Warg Bloodhounds
These Wargs will have a special icon on the map and will slowly move directly towards Glenna, ignoring all players. If they reach her, they will deal heavy damage, enough to kill her in one or two hits. They are immune to hard Crowd Control effects, but vulnerable to soft effects such as Chilled, Immobile, Crippled. It is recommended to move Glenna away if a warg gets near.
A common strategy is to have a player or two to deal with the warg that spawns behind the group. Players in this group should take care in avoiding the recently respawned mines while chasing down the warg. Depending on how quickly the main group advances, their job can be as simple as killing the warg as it spawns or slowing down multiple wargs. Once the four back wargs have been dealt with, they may rejoin the main group.
The escort team should continue moving forward until either the front or back warg gets close or they reach another impassable area due to the tower above. This time, there will be a white circle on the ground in front of this area, where players must bring Glenna so that she may create another ley line, allowing the tower team to move up to the next tower.
The entire siege comprises of 5 towers to be captured. Once the fifth tower is captured, McLeod the Silent will spawn and the final phase will start.
- McLeod the Silent
After the last tower is captured, McLeod the Silent will spawn. It is recommended for all players on the tower to jump down and rejoin with the escort team for this fight. One of his core mechanics is to teleport to the furthest player, as such it is not uncommon for him to teleport to the top of the last captured tower if players did not jump off in time. If this happens, players should continue their return to the rest of their squad, and simply wait for him to teleport once again. Alternatively, players may stay on the tower and do some damage before returning to the group.
There are three main mechanics players need to be aware of while fighting McLeod. His main attack resembles the mesmer's Blurred Frenzy and will apply a very high amount of confusion to players.
When he reaches 75%, 50%, and 25% health he will disappear and summon two clones with the same attacks. Each clone will have eitherCrimson Attunement or Radiant Attunement. All players will be randomly given these attunements as well. The clones can only be damaged by players with the same attunement. The attunement of each character is additionally indicated by an colored overhead icon both of which can be seen in the gallery below.
The moment both clones are defeated, McLeod will return to the battlefield. as well as summon a Warg Bloodhound at the nearby gate. This warg will behave identical to those fought during the escort and must be dealt with swiftly before it reaches Glenna. If Glenna dies or all players are defeated, the entire encounter will have to be redone.
Once McLeod is defeated, players are free to bring Glenna to the gate for her to blow it open with her explosives. Once the door is blown open, the encounter is completed.
- Health: 55,053,600
- Enrage Timer: 10 minutes
- Enrage Effect: Enraged — Increases damage dealt by 200%.
Keep Construct (Boss)
The Keep Construct will aggro on the player with the highest amount of toughness. It has an extremely large amount of health, so dealing damage to it, while not completely pointless, will be largely ineffective. In order to do more damage, the two stacks of Xera's Embrace must be removed first.
- Boss Mechanics
- Gaining Power - Every minute, the Keep Construct will gain a stack, which increases the damage all its attacks will do.
- Xera's Embrace - When a projection is killed, it will create a large green circle for a second. If the Keep Construct is standing within that circle, it will remove one stack of Xera's Embrace.
- Tower Drop - The Keep Construct will create a tether between itself and the nearest player, then leap into the air, landing a few seconds later and knocking down all nearby players.
- Phantasmal Blades (below 75%) - The Keep Construct will sit down and create a small portal-like circle at its base. It will then alternate slamming its arms down on the ground and creating a blade that slowly revolves around it.
- Players standing in the portal or hit by the blades will gain Confusion (faster if they are in the portal). There are small gaps in between each blade where players may stand and safely deal damage.
- This attack will gain an additional blade every 25% health the Keep Construct loses, capping at three blades.
- Hail of Fury (below 33%) - The Keep Construct will leap into the air, becoming untargetable, and drop debris on the arena, Stunning players that get hit.
- Even though it cannot be targeted, Xera's Embrace can still be removed by killing projections on top of where it was before it leapt away.
- Health: 378,576
8 of the statues that ring the arena walls will light up, shatter and spawn projections over the course of the fight; at most one statue from either the east or west sides will spawn at a time and it will re-form once its projection is destroyed. Each projection, upon spawning, will immediately fixate on a player and begin walking towards them.
- Each projection will have a large white circle around them; if a projection enters the circle of another, they will both stop whatever they were doing and start slowly walking towards each other. When they meet, they will merge and form an Insidious Projection.
- When a projection is destroyed, it will spawn a green circle (around half the radius of the white circle). This green circle will will remove a stack of Xera's Embrace from the Keep Construct.
Each statue will spawn one of eight different projections: Galleta the Persistent, Henley the Tremulous, Engul the Calculating, Jessica the Benevolent, Olson the Elder, Ianim the Architect, Faerla the Fastidious, or Caulle the Vociferous. All 8 projections share the same attacks that do minor damage.
- Spawn Schedule
- One projection will spawn from each of the two sides 20 seconds into each of the 3 main phases.
- Once a projection is destroyed, a new projection from the same side will spawn after 20 seconds.
- Statues will light up 8 seconds before they shatter and spawn their projection, giving plenty of advanced notice to get in position.
- All projections (except insidious ones) will despawn at the start of the Magic Blast phase.
- Player Effects
- Fixated - Once they spawn, projections will immediately fixate on one player, indicated visually by a white tether connected to the player and by a system message received by the fixated player stating that "You have been fixated."
- If there are multiple projections then they will each choose a different player, usually either right next to the other fixated player or bisecting the stream created by the other projection.
- The player the Keep Construct is aggroed on will not be fixated unless they are the last player alive.
- If a fixated player goes down, the phantasm will immediately switch to another valid player.
- Insidious Projections
- Health: 3,785,760
Insidious Projections will do large amounts of damage and corrupt boons, turning them into conditions. The Insidious Projection has more health than normal projections, making them more difficult to kill. It will not remove a stack of Xera's Embrace even if it is killed. Many groups will choose to reset instead of dealing with them.
Phase Mechanics (Keep Construct)
|Cycles through the following phases in order until the Keep Construct is brought down to 66% or 33% health at which point it transitions to the Magic Blast phase.|
|Initial||Kill projections on top of the Keep Construct to remove stacks of Xera's Embrace
|Defiance Bar||Break the Keep Construct's defiance bar
|Core Exposed||Station 2 people on each of the 3 circles when they disappear
|Ley Rifts||Push the core through the rifts to accrue stacks of Compromised on the Keep Construct
|Core Retrieved||Deal damage to the Keep Construct
|The Keep Construct was brought down to 66% or 33% health. Upon completion, resumes at the Initial phase.|
|Magic Blast||Prevent Xera's energy orbs from reaching the Keep Construct
- Initial Phase
The goal of this phase is to kill projections on top of the Keep Construct to remove stacks of Xera's Embrace. Once both stacks are removed, the Keep Construct will gain a Defiance bar, which should be broken in order to start the Core Exposed phase.
During this phase, the Keep Construct has two possible mechanics that it will choose from randomly:
- Xera's Fury - All players will have a large circle spawn around them, with a red circle emanating from the center. Once the circle is fully red, each player loses 20% of their maximum health for each circle they are standing in (including their own circle).
- Tip: It is recommended for all players, except the tank and one of the fixated players, to spread out. This is to allow the projection to strip a stack of Xera's Embrace if it gets killed. Players who spread out are recommended to continue attacking the projection at a range.
- Radiant/Crimson Phantasms - The Phantasm attack will spawn multiple Radiant and Crimson Phantasms around the arena. All players will be given either Radiant Attunement or Crimson Attunement and must kill all phantasms they are attuned to.
- If there are any phantasms still around 15 seconds after spawning, they will explode and deal a massive amount of damage to all players.
The above two attacks may be interrupted by breaking the Keep Construct's Defiance Bar, if it is available, removing the need to do any of the mechanics required for it. (i.e. the phantasms will disappear and the time bomb circles will dissipate.)
- Core Exposed Phase
The Construct's Core is exposed. Deny Xera's phantasms from protecting it.
Once the Keep Construct's Defiance Bar is broken, it will start to rise into the air and evade all attacks for a few seconds. Shortly after, three invulnerable Xera's Phantasms will spawn, and create a green circle around them that will slowly shrink. A minimum of two players must stand in each circle, or else the Keep Construct returns to the center of the arena, invulnerable, and kills all players, forcing the fight to be reset. Players should continue standing on the circle until after the next phase starts, as leaving the circle too early may trigger the aforementioned scenario.
During this phase, projections will continue to spawn. Players should avoid dragging a projection across the arena to the opposite side, as that is where the next projection will spawn, allowing them to easily merge. Players that are not on a circle should continue focusing down these projections as they spawn.
- Ley Rifts Phase
Collide the core with unstable ley rifts.
If the previous phase was completed successfully, the arena will be surrounded by a red ring and five Unstable Ley Rifts will spawn around the inner edge. The Construct Core will then spawn in the center and Retriever Projections will spawn around the arena. This phase will end prematurely if a Retriever Projection picks up the Core. The Retrievers have a Defiance Bar which may be broken to stun them for a short while. The red ring will do a moderate amount of damage to any player standing in it.
The Core must be brought to the unstable rifts. For each rift the core touches, the Keep Construct will gain one stack of Compromised during the next phase, which increases the damage taken by 75%, up to a total of 375% if the Core was brought to all five rifts. The Core may be Pushed, Pulled, or Launched into each of the rifts. If these effects are not available, a player may attack the core to push it a short distance. (Cooldown: 1 second) Moving the Core into the outer red ring will cause this phase to immediately end. Player pets, minions or illusions cannot push the Core, but it will be distracting for the player doing it.[verification requested] (Especially illusions because they look similar to the projections)
The Projections summoned by the statues will continue to spawn in this phase and should be dispatched quickly. It is recommended to bring them to the center to avoid inadvertently hitting the Core, which may knock it out of the circle. If the core gets close to the red area, it can be pulled away or a player may go into the red area, temporarily, to knock it back towards the next rift.
- Core Retrieved Phase
The Construct's core has been retrieved.
Once the core has been brought to all five rifts, retrieved or knocked out of the arena, the Keep Construct will return into the center of the area. During this time, the Keep Construct will be Stunned and knocked down. The duration depends on how many stacks of Compromised it has. Players should try do as much damage as possible during this phase.
If no rifts were obtained in the previous phase or the effects of Compromised wore off, then the Keep Construct will start attacking players shortly afterwards. The Keep Construct will have regained both stacks of Xera's Embrace at the start of this phase, though any projections killed on top of it will have continued to remove stacks. Players will need to remove all remaining stacks of Xera's Embrace and restart from the initial phase until the conditions for the next phase are achieved.
- Magic Blast
The Keep Construct is attracting energy to unleash Magic Blast.
Once the Keep Construct is brought down to 66% or 33% health, it will start channeling its Magic Blast attack and gains Xera's Boon which will make it invulnerable for a while. Any projections still remaining will disappear and additional ones will not spawn during this phase.
Crimson and Radiant Energy (red and white orbs) will start spawning around the edge and slowly gravitate towards the Keep Construct. Players will then gain either Crimson Attunement or Radiant Attunement and must intercept each orb before they reach the Keep Construct. Each orb that gets absorbed will grant the boss one stack of Magic Blast Intensity (caps at 35 stacks), which will increase the damage the Magic Blast attack will do. Intercepting an orb of the same color will deal a small amount of damage to the player and absorb the orb. Intercepting an orb of the opposite color will also deal some damage to the player, but the orb will pass through them.
Players are recommended to spread out as evenly as possible and collect as many orbs as they can. It is not required to stray too far away from the center. Since collecting orbs deal damage to the player, players should constantly heal themselves and others during this phase. The orbs can deal critical damage.
This phase ends after approximately 38 seconds, after which it will release its attack (unblockable), and will resume at the initial phase.
General Strategy (Keep Construct)
A common strategy is to bring the Keep Construct to one side of the field, under the statue that is lighting up. This allows players to immediately focus down one projection and kill it before the other gets too close. The second projection should be killed as quickly as possible because a new statue will start lighting up on the same side of the field soon after. Then the defiance bar is broken and players spread around the three green circles. Generally the fixated player and the DPS players stay together to cleave down the projections. When the Construct Core appears the designated player should push it through as many Ley Rifts as necessary, and squadmates can help to speed it up if possible. Then the boss can be damaged until he reaches 66% or 33% health, and players have to collect orbs of the same color they're assigned to.
These phases are repeated until the boss dies.
Throughout this encounter, a new effect is present on all players, called Madness. Each player's stacks of madness will increase throughout the encounter, and will increase at a faster rate if the character (not the player's camera) is facing the central rotating pillar. Depending on the stack number, different effects will be applied:
|Number of stacks||Effect||Visual Icon|
|10||Crippled (5 seconds)|
|20||Crippled (10 seconds)|
|30||Damage: 5000 (Only if facing the rotating spire.)||Silver|
|40||Torment (5 stacks for 10 seconds)|
|50||Torment (10 stacks for 20 seconds)|
|60||Damage: 10000 (Only if facing the rotating spire.)||Gold|
|70||Torment (20 stacks for 20 seconds)|
|80||Fear (3 seconds)|
|90||Fear (5 seconds)||Red|
Players that have the Forsaken Thicket Waters mastery will have the option, upon interacting with Fountains throughout the Twisted Castle, to either "Dip your hands into the water."—removing 10 stacks of madness—or "Drink the water."—granting temporary madness immunity.
- Haunting Statues
Throughout the Twisted Castle, players may encounter Haunting Statues, either singular or in groups. These statues have extremely high toughness and health pool; as such attempting to destroy them is not recommended. If a character (not a player's camera) faces one of these statues, it will not be able to attack or move ( Creeping Pursuit); however should no character be facing the statue, it will rush towards a random player. Any player entering the red area of effect at the statue's feet will instantly be teleported to the start of the maze.
A common strategy for dealing with these statues is to have one person hold the statue in place while the rest of the group runs by. One of the players having ran by the statue then turns around and faces the statue in order to allow the initial squad member to join the rest of the group.
Making it through the maze without being caught by a statue awards the Evasive Maneuver achievement. Eligibility may be tracked via the Eligibility: Evasive Maneuver Achievement effect.
- The Maze
In order to proceed through the maze, players will need to navigate through multiple sectors of the maze, defeating mobs, and activating multiple pressure plates (commonly referred to as "buttons") to open doors. As running the entire maze in one big group would prove too slow, a common strategy is to separate some players from the main group to activate far away buttons. For ease of explanation, a map detailing the path is present on the right of this walkthrough.
In order to move from one platform to another, players must approach an active gate (an active gate will pulse pink and purple, similar to a mesmer portal) and hit their interact key (default binding 'F'). Going through portals will bring players to a pre-defined location, where they will either encounter a set of enemies, traps, and/or haunting statues. If there are White Mantle enemies on the platform players spawned on, they will need to be defeated in order to activate the next portal.
Occasionally players will be exposed to fake floors. In order to not fall through these, players will need to distinguish real floor panels from fake floor panels. Contrary to the real, stable and sturdy, real floor panels, the fake floor panels have a slight distortion effect applied to them, most noticeable near their edges.
In order for the encounter to end, only one player needs to interact with the bell at the end of the maze. Once the bell is rung, players will be able to respawn or take the portal up to Xera's platforms where the players will begin the last encounter of wing 3.
- General strategy
The most common way to approach the encounter involves certain skips that make it faster and easier to complete, in which the squad sticks together throughout the entire encounter and 1-3 players split from the main group to activate certain key buttons.
|Main group 1||(none)||The White Mantle enemies on the first platform are killed in order to start the encounter. Then everyone takes the portal to their left (marked with a "1" on the map) and cross a short corridor towards a second portal. After taking portal 2 there is a group of enemies that need to be defeated. At this point the designated player/s split from the main group.|
|Skip button||While the main group goes through portal 3, one player has to cross the gap to the platform below marked in the map with a green path. A form of leap is required to make it, as normal movement would fall short. This can be done by an elementalist using Ride the Lightning, a druid using Ancestral Grace or a mirage with Mirage Thrust, among others. After activating the button, the player can walk into a Haunting Statue's AoE to get ported to the start.|
|Left button||(none)||Taking portal A will take the player to a small platform with a button. After activating it, the player can take the next portal to go back to the start.|
|Main group 2||Meanwhile, the main group after taking portal 3 has to clear a group of White Mantle and make their way to the platform below. To reach the platform below players need to stand on the edge of the platform next to the portal and dodge forward to land on top of the arch. Do note that a normal jump or a dodge-jump will result in enough fall damage to fully kill the player. In many groups a mesmer takes care of this part by using Portal Entre to transport the group down, resulting in only the mesmer taking the fall damage. |
Once the main group is on the platform below, they should clear the White Mantle enemies while being mindful of the three Haunting Statues. Any two players have to activate the buttons on the area, and then the group can proceed to take portal 4.
|Triple Statues||(none)||At this point the main group should have activated the buttons. The designated player has to take portal B to activate the last button, passing in front of a line of 3 Haunting Statues. Mobility skills or Stealth are recommended to get to the button quickly and safely. Once the button has been activated, this player can take the portal next to it to go back to the start.|
|Main group 3||(none)||The main group, after taking portal 4, needs to wait for the last button to be activated in order to proceed. There are some Haunting Statues that players need to be mindful of and some White Mantle enemies, but they do NOT need to be defeated in order to complete the encounter. The group can get to the end of the Twisted Castle following the path indicated in the map, and as soon as one player interacts with the bell at the end the encounter ends.|
|Rewards||(none)||A chest spawns at the end of the Twisted Castle which contains the Legendary Insight that can be autolooted if the player has the corresponding mastery unlocked and is alive within range when the encounter finishes. It might not show on the screen that it has been looted, so checking the inventory or the chat log is recommended. For those who were not able to autoloot this chest, they should go to the start by taking a Ley Rift to Travel to the Twisted Castle, then take the middle portal shown in the map and interact with the unnamed chest.|
- Health: 22,611,300 (goes up to 25,560,600 after 50%)
- Enrage Timer: 11 minutes
- Enrage Effect: Enraged — Increases outgoing damage
Upon arriving at the Xera encounter, players will be faced with one of Xera's illusion, standing still on a lower platform taunting the players. Once players destroy this very low health clone, the Xera fight will begin. It is therefore recommended to only destroy the clone once everyone is ready to start the encounter.
Note that players can walk anywhere on the same platform as the clone with no effect on its status whatsoever.
Initial Puzzle and Platform Phase
Once the initial Xera clone is destroyed, ley-lines will appear on both the eastern and western sides of the platform. As the group is expected to clear both sides in roughly the same time, the squad should split themselves up accordingly. Each platform holds a Bloodstone Fragment in the middle of the platform, protected by a dome; both of which must be destroyed to continue.
The first platform puzzle is very similar to the Core Phase in the Keep Construct encounter. Each platform will have three Exquisite Conjunctions, three Unstable Rifts, and 3 un-named orange areas of effects moving around the platform. In order to remove the protective dome from the shard, each Conjunction must be pushed through an Unstable Rift. Pushing a Conjunction through one of the orange aoes, or pushing them off the edge of the platform, will cause the loss of said Conjunction, and players will need to wait for it to respawn. Once all Unstable Rifts destroyed, players are free to destroy the Bloodstone Fragment. With it destroyed, a ley line will appear, heading southward towards the next platform.
The second platform puzzle consists of three pressure pads and a protected Bloodstone Fragment. If all three pressure plates are stood on at the same time, the protective dome around the shard will be removed, allowing for it to be attacked. Standing on each pad will give a unique effect to each player standing atop it. Regardless of the pad, once the stack is about to reach 11, it will do damage equals to 100% of player's health. Full health with barrier will be able to stay alive after 10 stack and the stacks will start over again. As it is rather unlikely players will be able to destroy the shard in one burn, all 3 players should hop onto their pressure plates at the same time, and on the count of 9 stacks, rotate to one of the other pressure plates. This should be repeated until the shard is destroyed.
It should as well be noted, that after about 30 seconds from the start of the fight, the first platform will become ensnared in Xera's Ribbons, and after about 60 seconds so will the second. Standing on a platform ensnared in ribbons will yield very high damage onto the players.
With the second platform cleared, a ley line will once again appear allowing both groups in the squad to gather on the southernmost platform. A few moments later players will be prompted to glide to a newly appeared, central, platform where Xera is present in her human form.
Throughout this phase, the player squad will be fighting Xera in human form, along with occasionally spawning White Mantle soldiers, and attacks cast by her floating illusions. With regards to the base attacks of Xera herself, the only attack which players need to be wary of, is an attack identical to that of McLeod the Silent, which resembles Blurred Frenzy and stacks a very high amount of Confusion.
Throughout this phase, Bloodstone Fragments will spawn in each of the 12 segments in a clockwise order. Each fragment will have a very wide aoe around it, increasing the stacks of Derangement of each players standing within it. While Xera stands inside a bloodstone fragment aoe she will constantly convert conditions into boons, greatly empowering her attacks and reducing damage taken. One of the tactics is to destroy these fragments as they spawn and have the player with the highest toughness aka tank chase after the forming fragments, making sure to stay out of their area of effect. Standing inside their AoE while they are destroyed removes 10 stacks of Derangement if the player has the Forsaken Magic Mastery. As time evolves, the tactic has now changed and in all raid groups, the tank just has to move to bring Xera to specific positions, ignoring the fragments to maximise the DPS. As for this first human phase, the fragments can be largely ignored unless the group has insanely low dps.
Xera will regularly have an active breakbar. While she is in breakbar phase she will send out attacks randomly around her (similar to Vale Guardian) and take greatly reduced damage. The longer she stays with an active breakbar, the faster the next set of Bloodstone Fragments will spawn. Breaking her bar quickly is therefore extremely important.
Additionally to the Bloodstone Fragments spawning around the arena, there are three other main mechanics players need to be aware of. The first is a purple beam of light landing in the exact center of the arena shooting out projectiles. Being hit by a projectile creates a small lifting AoE below the player that generates Derangement stacks.
There is as well an attack behaving similar to the lift mechanic of the Mesmer's Elite skill Gravity Well where Xera will cover half the platform in a red blurry area, every 30 seconds after Xera spawns on the main platform. Players remaining inside will be lifted after a few seconds, taking heavy damage and gaining 25 stacks of Derangement. Patterns may be skipped if they occur at the same time as the special action key attack (see below).
Occasionally the squad will be prompted with a message saying "<Squad Member> has harnessed ambient magic". The named squad member will receive a special action key effect, which they can cast as a ground targeted area of effect skill. All players must stand within the bubble as Xera's powerful attack hits the platform. Any players caught outside the bubble will be immediately defeated. If this is active while a half platform AoE would happen that AoE is skipped.
Once Xera reaches 50% health, she will vanish and players will be prompted to ley line glide to the southern-most platform to continue on to the next phase. Players failing to ley glide to the next platform will fall to their death.
Second Platform Phase
For this phase, players will need to destroy a Bloodstone Fragment on every platform surrounding the main central platform. After a Bloodstone Fragment is destroyed, a ley line will appear between the current and next platform, allowing players to rotate across all six platforms.
At the start of this phase each platform, with the exception of the southern most platform, will be modified randomly into on of many configurations. Although most platform configurations provide no real threat to players, squad members should beware of the occasional configuration where the ley line ends right in the middle of a wall. If such a situation occurs, players will need to glide either to the left or right opening in the wall.
As soon as a player steps on a platform, AOEs will begin appearing on the ground. Although they do not deal significant damage, they do, over time, apply a significant amount of conditions. Additionally these attacks have the option to daze a player; an effect which is deadly to a player jumping off an edge and hoping to glide. As such it is important for players to be mindful of these attacks prior to them jumping off the platform, and to be ready to re-deploy their glider should it be forcefully closed due to a daze effect. Players that fail to glide from the 5th to the 6th platform may attempt to glide to the not yet manifested middle as being inside the main platform when it manifests will place the player in the middle of the platform.
Once all six Bloodstone Fragments destroyed, players will be prompted to once again glide to the central platform in order to continue their fight with Xera.
Human Phase + Second Puzzle Phase
This second phase will behave almost identically to the first human phase in terms of mechanics. The only two noticeable changes in mechanics are that the Bloodstone Fragments now spawn in a counterclockwise order, and the platform covering attack will have a new pattern shown in the image on the right. The cooldown of this attack is shortened to 25 seconds as well.
At 40% Health, the squad will be prompted with the message "Xera is teleporting squad members to a floating tower". A few seconds later, 5 random squad members (excluding the player with the highest toughness) will be teleported to a platform. They will there have 2 minutes [verification requested] to complete the same core-pushing puzzle as at the start of the fight. Naturally, the puzzle has to be completed as soon as possible, otherwise the remaining players on the main platform will be cleaved down by overwhelming soldiers and illusions. Additionally, there is a portal available which can be used by only one player to return to the main platform immediately. Usually the main healer will go back to the platform if all healers got teleported. The rest of the players will be returned to the main platform shortly after they complete the puzzle.
At 20% health, Xera will once again teleport players to another platform where they will need to complete the pressure-plate puzzle. Players returning from both puzzles will have the Hero's Return effect, which will shield them from damage they might take from spawning back on the main platform. However, you can still get hit by the projectiles emitting from the purple beam, so make sure to avoid them.
- Caulle the Vociferous
- Crimson Phantasm
- Engul the Calculating
- Faerla the Fastidious
- Galleta the Persistent
- Henley the Tremulous
- Ianim the Architect
- Insidious Projection
- Jessica the Benevolent
- Olson the Elder
- Radiant Phantasm
- Retriever Projection
- Xera's Phantasm
- McLeod the Silent (boss)
- White Mantle Battle Mage
- White Mantle Cleric
- White Mantle Cultist
- White Mantle Knight
- White Mantle Seeker
- Xera (boss)
- Bouncing Mushrooms
- Decorative Armor
- Drawbridge Lever
- Ley Rift
- Thicket Waters
Books and Journals
Inside the Temple of Awakening
- Boss chests
- Hidden chests
Entering Stronghold of the Faithful:
- <Character name>: We got your message. We appreciate your willingness to help, but are you sure you're up for the mission?
- Scholar Glenna: When Bennett told me about the horrors he endured while in White Mantle captivity, I felt it my duty to assist.
- Scholar Glenna: We'll blast these zealots back into the history books.
- <Character name>: All right. I don't know what'll happen inside, but I'm glad you're with us just the same.
- <Character name>: We'll let you know when we're ready to begin the assault.
Starting the escort:
- <Character name>: We're ready.
- Scholar Glenna: Has everyone made peace with their gods, spirits, deities...or trees? Good.
- Scholar Glenna: I'm carrying a heavy payload and won't be of much use in a fight.
- Scholar Glenna: I can cast spells when absolutely needed, but for the most part you'll need to keep me alive.
- Scholar Glenna: You think you can do that?
- <Character name>: Any volunteers for escort duty?
- <Squad member>: (cough)
- <Character name>: We'll figure it out as we go.
- Scholar Glenna: Shout and I'll follow you. But don't mistake my willingness for blind obedience.
- Scholar Glenna: Lead the way.
- Ordering Glenna (one of the following lines):
- <Character name>: Glenna!
- <Character name>: Glenna, over here!
- <Character name>: I need you here.
- <Character name>: (whistle)
- <Character name>: Come to me.
- <Character name>: On the double!
- <Character name>: Follow my lead.
- <Character name>: Move!
- Glenna's replies (one of the following lines):
- Scholar Glenna: I'm not your puppy!
- Scholar Glenna: I'll follow you.
- Scholar Glenna: Coming!
- Scholar Glenna: Fine!
- Scholar Glenna: Roger.
- Scholar Glenna: Lead the way.
- Scholar Glenna: Grrr!
- Scholar Glenna: On my way.
If Glenna is too far away from the group:
- Scholar Glenna: Uh, guys! Don't leave me behind!
At the bridge:
- White Mantle Cultist: Invaders at the gate! Ready the defenses!
- White Mantle Cultist: Notify Xera and await her orders.
- <Character name>: Figures we couldn't just walk right in.
- <Character name>: We need to find a way to reach that lever.
Upon interacting with the first ley-line source:
- Scholar Glenna: Protect me. I'm about to try something.
- <Squad member>: What are you doing?
- Scholar Glenna: Getting us across.
- <Squad member>: How did you do that?
- Scholar Glenna: Practice.
After pulling the draw-bridge lever:
- (one of the following lines)
- Scholar Glenna: Nice work! If I ever need a lever pulled, I'll send you a mail.
- Scholar Glenna: Excellent lever-pulling technique. I'm sure the Iron Legion could use someone like you.
- Scholar Glenna: My hero! You really showed that lever who's boss.
- Scholar Glenna: Hurray!
- <Asura female squad member>: Yeah, yeah. Just get the door opened, brainiac.
- <Asura male squad member>: Yeah, yeah. Just get that door opened, brainiac.
- <Charr squad member>: Ever been fired out of a canon, Glenna? I can arrange it.
- <Human squad member>: Are you familiar with the concept "friendly fire", Glenna?
- <Norn squad member>: Don't quit your Priory job.
- <Sylvari squad member>: I'm sorry. Were you talking again?
- Scholar Glenna: Bomb planted. Cover your ears!
- <Asura squad member>: Ear canals protected!
- <Human squad member>: We're ready!
- <Norn squad member>: Do it!
- Xera: I want these intruders destroyed.
- Xera: History is being made today, and nothing can get in the way.
- Scholar Glenna: Who was that?
- <Squad member>: Our next target. Pick up the pace, people! We've got a party to crash.
- <Squad member>: Watch your step!
- Scholar Glenna: Try to destroy the mine, but don't get too close!
- (one of the following lines)
- <Squad member>: The path diverges here. We may want to split into groups and flank the enemy.
- <Squad member>: The path splits here. We may want to separate into groups and take the enemy by surprise.
- Scholar Glenna: Make sure someone stays with me. I need protection!
- Xera: Send in reinforcements!
- Xera: Keep them out at all costs.
- Scholar Glenna: She seems particularly motivated to keep us out.
- <Squad member>: Something big is happening inside.
Upon clearing a tower:
- (one of the following lines)
- <Squad member>: Area clear!
- <Squad member>: Area secure!
- <Squad member>: Tower secure!
- <Squad member>: We've secured the tower!
- (under ? conditions [verification requested] (additionally))
- <Squad member>: The area is secure. Activate that ley-line!
- <Squad member>: We need a ley-line!
While fighting McLeod the Silent:
- McLeod the Silent: Your death will bring Him life!
- McLeod the Silent: Your soul for Lazarus!
After defeating McLeod the Silent:
- Scholar Glenna: This is it. Keep watch while I prepare explosives.
- Scholar Glenna: This should be the last barrier in our way.
- Scholar Glenna: Everyone clear? Explosion imminent!
- Scholar Glenna: That went flawlessly!
- <Squad member>: If you say so.
- <Squad member>: Let's head inside.
Entering the courtyard:
- Xera: How dare you set foot on sacred ground.
- <Squad member>: Whatever you're doing here, it's not going to work.
- Xera: Lazarus will lead the White Mantle to rule a new Kryta, and there's nothing you can do to stop His return.
- Xera: You're already dead.
- Xera: Enjoy my creation. It'll be the last you see.
- Scholar Glenna: That's one powerful mesmer right there.
- <Charr mesmer squad member>: Whatever.
- <Mesmer squad member>: She's nothing special.
- <Mesmer squad member>: Compared to me? She's an amateur.
- <Squad member>: Watch me make her disappear.
- <Sylvari mesmer squad member>: Don't make me laugh.
- <Squad member>: She just slipped up. They may have Lazarus. If so, then the sacrifices at Salvation Pass were meant to heal him.
- Scholar Glenna: Good luck without me!
Upon engaging the Keep Construct:
- (One of the following lines):
- Xera: You're nothing but a minor inconvenience.
- Xera: Kryta will be ours again.
Projection spawning during fight with Keep Construct:
- (One of the following lines):
- Xera: Another!
- Xera: My army is limitless!
- Xera: More!
Phantasms spawning during fight with Keep Construct:
- (One of the following lines):
- Xera: Who will die next?
- Xera: What is real? Can you tell?
- (One of the following lines):
- Xera: Suffer!
- Xera: Endure the pain!
Keep Construct's defiance bar broken:
- Xera: It's no matter. Repairs are trivial.
When the Keep Construct's core is visible:
- Xera: Keep your hands off that!
- Xera: Blow them to pieces!
- (One of the following lines):
- Xera: I have limitless power at my disposal!
- Xera: Each second you waste fighting my minions brings us one step closer to His rebirth!
- Xera: You can't win!
All group members die during fight with Keep Construct:
- (One of the following lines):
- Xera: You failed!
- Xera: His return is inevitable.
While fighting the Keep Construct:
- Xera: Fear my illusions.[verification requested]
- Xera: I've hed enough of you!
- Xera: You can't escape!.[verification requested]
Approaching the Saul D'Alessio statue:
- <Asura squad member>: Saul D'Alessio. I guess we have you to blame for all this.
- <Charr squad member>: So this is the founder of the White Mantle. Huh.
- <Human squad member>: Traitor.
- <Norn squad member>: Saul D'Alessio—drunken gambler.
- <Sylvari squad member>: Saul D'Alessio. So you started this mess....
After interacting with the Mursaat Bust:
- <Squad member>: Where do you creatures come from...[verification requested]
- <Charr squad member>: So this is a mursaat? They look like Exalted.
- <Sylvari squad member>: What are you, and where did you come from?[verification requested]
- <Sylvari squad member>: Where do you come from...and why are you here?
- Scholar Glenna: Way to stick it to the White Mantle, hero.
Throughout the courtyard:
- <Asura squad member>: Judging from the construction, it appears they've been keeping themselves occupied.
- <Human squad member>: Judging from the looks of this place, they've been busy.
- <Sylvari squad member>: Look at this place. It almost defies explanation.
- <Charr squad member>: You can accomplish a lot in a few hundred years of isolation.
Upon entering the adjecent wing of the courtyard:
- <Human squad member>: Such talent. What a waste.
- <Sylvari squad member>: Proof that even the misguided have some redeeming qualities.
After interacting with the Painting:
- <Sylvari squad member>: Strange how a bunch of delusional fanatics can make such interesting art.
After interacting with The Awakening (a book):
- <Character name>: They failed to control Kryta hundred of years ago, but they're still trying.
- <Character name>: Why won't they give up?
Upon entering the Twisted Castle:
- Xera: It seems I underestimated you.
- Xera: But I don't need to destroy you. I only need to slow you down.
- Xera: I'm clipping your wings. Try not to fall to your death.
- Xera: A new era for Kryta begins with the return of Lazarus. Prepare yourselves for his awakening.
- <Mesmer squad member>: There's no way an ordinary mesmer could wreak this kind of destruction. Is she siphoning magic from bloodstone shards?
- <Mesmer squad member>: I really want her toys.
Throughout the Twisted Castle:
- Xera: You're living on borrowed time.
- Xera: I have eyes everywhere.
- <Squad member>: Look for a way forward. This pressure plate just activated something.
- <Squad member>: This is getting slightly creepy.
- <Squad member>: That feels better...
- <Squad member>: Stay away from the statues. They'll teleport you to the entrance.
- <Squad member>: You've got to be kidding me.
- (one of the following lines)
- <Squad member>: Watch your step. Something feels out of place here.
- <Squad member>: Careful where you step. We don't know where these portals go.
Upon reaching Xera:
- Xera: It's time we settled this.
- <Squad member>: My thought exactly.
Approaching Xera (periodically, at random):
- Xera: How does it feel to make it so far only to fail?
- Xera: Your life is mine.
- Xera: Who wants to die first?
- Xera: What are you waiting for?
- Xera: Go ahead-make the first move.
When engaging Xera (sometimes does not occur, seems related to progress on previous pull):
- Xera: The Tyria you know is about to change.
- Xera: And there's nothing you can do to stop it.
Upon destroying a Bloodstone Shard:
- (one of the following lines)
- Xera: You will answer for that!
- Xera: You didn't dare!
- Xera: No! What are you doing?
Upon reaching the middle platform for the first time:
- (one of the following lines)
- Xera: Surrender now, or face an eternity of suffering!
- Xera: Your efforts are meaningless. We won't be stopped!
- Xera: I've waited years for this day to come. No one can stop what I've set in motion.
Upon casting Gravity Well:
- (one of the following lines)
- Xera: Kryta will be rebuilt on your graves!
- Xera: Your death will bring Him life!
- Xera: I'm everywhere. You can't hide.
Upon casting her deadly attack:
- (one of the following lines)
- Xera: My power is limitless!
- Xera: More power!
- Xera: I'll stop at nothing!
During the 50% health intermission:
- Xera: For hundreds of years we have hidden in plain sight, living in your cities, manipulating your politics.
- Xera: Soldiers, farmers, scholars—all swearing allegiance to the cause...all waiting for the moment to strike.
- Xera: Our time is now. We rise from the shadows to claim what is ours!
Upon returning to the platform:
- Xera: He is almost complete.
- Xera: Even if I die, He will live!
When teleporting group members to the other platform:
- (one of the following lines)
- Xera: Bow before Lazarus!
- Xera: Bow before me!
- Xera: Submit to the White Mantle!
While fighting Xera [verification requested]:
- (one of the following lines)
- Xera: Must not... stop...
- Xera: I'll bury you before you can reach Him!
Upon defeating Xera:
- Scholar Glenna: What happened? What did I mi—oh my! I see you've made a mess of the place.
- Scholar Glenna: You shattered the bloodstone shards and caused a ley-rift reaction. That would explain things.
- Scholar Glenna: Congratulations on silencing a high-ranking White Mantle zealot. Not many can say they've done that.
- Scholar Glenna: When you're all done high-fiving and backslapping each other, you may want to head down to the stasis chamber.
- <Character name>: What's in the statis chamber?
- Scholar Glenna: Go see for yourself.
- Scholar Glenna: All I can say is that I think we have a problem on our hands.
After interacting with the Stasis Chamber:
- <Character name>: We caused an unstable reaction when we destroyed the bloostone shards.
- <Character name>: Did Lazarus escape? Or was he killed in the process? What happened here?
After interacting with the Spent Shards:
- <Character name>: These shards are depleted. They're devoid of magic.
- <Character name>: Were they using them to revive the last mursaat?
After interacting with the Barrel:
- <Character name>: All these shards must've been taken from a larger source.
- <Character name>: But what happens when you fragment a bloodstone?
- After defeating McLeod the Silent, 3 illusionary animals spawn around the Fountain of Cleansing. They shatter when the player gets near. A Llama appears in front of the Saul D'Alessio statue, a Moose appears in front of the Confessor Dorian statue and a Doe appears between the Saul D'Alessio and Confessor Isaiah statues.
- Occasionally a Decorative Armor statue appears near the Mursaat Bust, behind the left tent.
- This name for this wing was revealed on June 07, 2016 with the Stronghold of the Faithful teaser and was subsequently released on June 14th, 2016.