Living World Season 4 content

The Hero of Istan

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The Hero of Istan

1330 AE
Living World Season 4
Plains of Jarin
(Domain of Istan)
Preceded by
Convincing the Corsair
Followed by
The First City

Domain of Istan loading screen.jpg

Click to enlarge

The Hero of Istan is the fifth part of Daybreak.


Infiltrate the prison.

  • Meet Sayida the Sly outside the Mordant Crescent Great Hall.
  • Allow Sayida to put you in manacles.
  • Let Sayida hand you over to the Mordant Crescent.

Escape the cells.

  • Speak with Zaeim.
  • Find a way to escape your cell.
  • Take the jailer's key.
  • Free Zaeim.
  • Collect your gear.
  • Escape the dungeons.

Escape the prison.

  • Defeat Warden Amala.

Leave the Great Hall.

  • Get your communicator.
  • Give the coin to Sayida the Sly.
  • Investigate the commotion outside.
  • Defeat the Great Hall defenders.
  • Plan your next move with your allies.


Upon replaying


Meet Sayida the Sly south of the Mordant Crescent Great Hall. After a brief discussion, she will make you her prisoner, which applies the Shackled effect, and lead you to the front gate. Warden Amala will emerge from the hall and, once Sayida has made a deal with her, knock you out. You will awaken in a cell room, and Zaeim, another prisoner will give you a brief on what happened. You will need to find a way to escape your cell, with each profession having a different way of breaking out:

Only the instance owner can use their appropriate method above. Once you've made it out of your cell, take the nearby's Jailer's key and unlock Zaeim's gate. Grab your equipment from a nearby weapon rack and join Zaeim in escaping the dungeon. At this point you can interact with the book 101 Things the Mordant Crescent Doesn't Want You to Know! next to a corpse in one of the cells for the Library Detective achievement.

The path outside will be riddled with Awakened forces - try and avoid their line of sight, indicated by a white radius in front of them. If you are seen (by entering the radius), you will have to fight the Awakened forces. Climb the final set of stairs and unlock the gate. Once you've gone through the gate, you'll enter a large hall, where a fight is taking place between members of the Sly Crew and Warden Amala.

Warden Amala will be transforming throughout the fight, calling upon different human gods. In the first phase (occurring between 100 and 85% health) she will leap across the room, creating circular AoE attacks, as well as occasionally blocking. Once she reached 85% health, she will have a break bar that you can break. If broken, she will be stunned for a short period of time. Regardless, she will call upon Lyssa, creating multiple clones inside the room. An easy way to identify the "real" Amala is by the legendary rank border around her icon in the UI. She will continue teleporting and switching places with her clones until you get her to 70% health, at which point she will call upon Melandru. Attacking with her scythe, Amala will spawn several AoEs that knock back. At 55% health, the power of Dwayna will be called upon, attacking with various lightning AoEs that inflict daze. At 40% health, she will call upon Grenth, using more leaping attacks and grasping hands to inflict bleeding and crippled. As her final phase, which she enters at 25% health, she will call upon Balthazar, forming multiple fiery AoE attacks that can quickly fill up the room. Finish her off and obtain your communicator from her in order to talk to Taimi, who will brief you on what happened before being interrupted by Palawa Joko.

Sayida the Sly will expect payment for her help, so talk to her and give her the coin. Go outside the hall into the courtyard which is being defended by Awakened forces. Alongside Zaeim, Sunspear and Sly crew members, clear the defending forces. Talk to Rytlock to finish the story.


The Hero of Istan Daybreak 0Achievement points
Execute your elaborate plan within the Mordant Crescent Great Hall.Journal: The Hero of Istan Completed Completed the Hero of Istan 0Achievement points
  • Complete the story.
This achievement rewards items. Return to The Hero of Istan Return to Daybreak 0Achievement points
Complete the story mission The Hero of Istan in Living World Season 4 Episode 1.
Reward: Volatile Magic.pngVolatile Magic (5)
Completed The Hero of Istan 0Achievement points
  • Complete the story.
This achievement rewards items.This achievement requires at least one completed objective to become visible. Library Detective Daybreak 8Achievement points
Collect overdue library books—through whatever means necessary.
Reward: Volatile Magic.pngVolatile Magic

Found 1 Overdue Library Book 1Achievement points
Found 3 Overdue Library Books 2Achievement points
Found 7 Overdue Library Books 5Achievement points
  • Book n°6: interact with the Tattered Book next to a corpse in one of the cells passed by the player character right after escaping. You can re-enter the jail area at the end of the mission.
This achievement requires at least one completed objective to become visible. Stop Right There Daybreak 1Achievement points
Defeat the Awakened guard who goes to check on the riot before he can reach the top of the stairwell.Story Instance: The Hero of Istan Stopped the Awakened Guard 1Achievement points
  • Shortly after beginning your escape attempt from the cell, a nearby Awakened Soldier will slur something about hearing a commotion upstairs and begin walking towards the exit. Break out of the cell, grab your equipment, and kill him before he reaches it. He walks slowly, so you can afford to take your time so long as you don't dally.
  • Achievement qualification may be tracked via the Achievement effect.png Achievement Eligibility: Stop Right There effect.
This achievement requires at least one completed objective to become visible. Thereby Hangs a Tale Daybreak 1Achievement points
Relive the tales of the imprisoned storyteller.Story Instance: The Hero of Istan Met the Storyteller 1Achievement points
  • After breaking out of your cell, head down the stairs to the north and open the cell at the bottom to reveal a skeleton reclining in an armchair. Simply interact with it and read the dialogue through to the end.
This achievement requires at least one completed objective to become visible. Tipple Toes Daybreak 1Achievement points
Escape the dungeons without being spotted by the drunken Awakened.Story Instance: The Hero of Istan Escaped the Dungeons 1Achievement points
  • Some of the guards will pass out as soon as you approach them; others will remain standing and display a white "field of view" cone at their feet. Avoid these cones as you climb your way out of the dungeon; the guards will occasionally turn or patrol a small area, so take care. Climb on fences and walls when you can to help avoid detection.
  • Achievement qualification may be tracked via the Achievement effect.png Qualify for Tipple Toes effect.
  • Completion may bug if attacking Awakened Soldier for the Stop Right There achievement aggros other nearby guards. This achievement will likely need to be done on a separate attempt.





Mordant Crescent



Approaching Sayida
Sayida the Sly: Ah, I was starting to think you'd wised up.
<Character name>: No such luck.
Sayida the Sly: Why are we even here? There's no sign of your Shadows agent or his cavalry yet.
<Character name>: I trust Kito. The cavalry will be here.
Sly Medic: Uh, Cap'n, these casks are getting heavy.
Sayida the Sly: Well, I have my crew in position, enough of Mehdi's grog to fell a hydra, *and* a little something for you.
Sayida the Sly: Do you have my coin?
<Character name>: You'll get it when we have Zaeim out safe.
Sly Medic: My back...
Sayida the Sly: Okay, time to hand you over to the people who want you dead.
Letting yourself handing over
Sayida the Sly: Oi! Captain Sayida the Sly, requesting entrance! I come with gifts!
Sayida the Sly: Come on, pick up the pace, you miserable excuse for a hero. The warden hasn't got all day.
Warden Amala: Back for more, Captain Sayida? The Sunspear's bounty wasn't enough for you?
Sayida the Sly: I only live to give Joko what he wants, Warden Amala. Praise Joko.
Warden Amala: Praise Joko.
(The nearby Awakened Soldiers repeat "Praise Joko." in unison.)
If alone in the instance:
Sayida the Sly: And there's nothing he wants more than the Tyrian hero — in the flesh.
If in party with another player(s):
Sayida the Sly: And there's nothing he wants more than the Tyrian hero and some co-conspirators — in the flesh.
Warden Amala: Well, I'll be a scarab's breakfast... How did you and your drunken wharf rats manage this?
Sayida the Sly: Sorry, Warden. Captain's gotta have her secrets.
Warden Amala: Hmph. Fine. I'll have the gold brought to the front hall. Take it and go. Now.
Sayida the Sly: Without drinking a toast to the most magnificent Palawa Joko?
Sayida the Sly: Wonder what he'd do if he heard you refused to honor him.
Sayida the Sly: We've brought you the finest grog found outside the pleasure halls of Vabbi just for this purpose.
Sly Medic: It's very heavy.
Warden Amala: One toast — to honor the most glorious Palawa Joko.
Taimi: Commander, it's Taimi. Are you there...?
Warden Amala: Wait. What's that? Quiet, prisoner!
Waking up (cutscene)
Unknown Voice: in there. Are you dead?
<Character name>: Not now, Taimi...
Unknown Voice: Ah. Grog. Sleep it off, then.
In the cell
<Character name>: Wait. What happened?
Spearmashal Zaeim: You're in the holding cells of the Mordant Crescent Great Hall.
Unknown Voice: Keep it down over there!
<Character name>: Ugh... Are you...Zaeim? The hero of Istan?
Spearmashal Zaeim: That is what people call me, yes. And who are you?
<Character name>: People call me the hero of Tyria.
Spearmashal Zaeim: Oh—the famous commander. Agent Kito told us tales of how the two of you killed Balthazar.
Mordant Crescent Jailer (1): Nonshense. Joko killeded Baltushar. He told us sho, himshelf...
<Character name>: I'm here to rescue you.
Spearmashal Zaeim: And how is that going?
Mordant Crescent Jailer (1): You twos better — (hiccup)
<Character name>: According to plan, believe it or not. Now we need to find a way out.
Spearmashal Zaeim: It's no use. I've tried everything.
While finding a way to escape
Mordant Crescent Jailer (2): Shome kinda riot outside. Shunspearsh. (burp) Gonna sheck it out...
Spearmashal Zaeim: My people are here?
<Character name>: A friend is bringing some help from the outside.
Spearmashal Zaeim: What did you do to the guard?
Spearmashal Zaeim: You're wasting your time. I've tried everything on this lock.
Spearmashal Zaeim: Is it true you and Agent Kito also killed two Elder Dragons?
Spearmashal Zaeim: You might as well just give up.
Interacting with various objects in your cell
Cell Bars: The bars are solid iron.
(If mesmer)
Talk more option tango.png Iron? That's it?
The Iron is very strong.
Talk more option tango.png But there's nothing magic about it? Just iron?
It's just iron. Strong, solid iron.
Talk more option tango.png This is too good to be true.
Truly. Iron. That's it.
Talk more option tango.png It's not possible. Through walls? Can't be done.
The bars are spaced a bit apart. It would take some extra effort, but it might be possible...
Talk more option tango.png This is a Mordant Crescent prison. Escaping can't be this easy.
Contrary to what some mesmers believe, the best answer is the simplest one.
Talk more option tango.png Well, here goes nothing... (gives access to Blink)
Talk end option tango.png No way.
Talk end option tango.png Best not risk it.
Talk end option tango.png This is the end.
Talk end option tango.png It appears there's no way out.
Talk end option tango.png Surely these bars are impassable.
(If necromancer)
Talk more option tango.png If only there were some way past them.
The blow to the head left you drained. But that tar puddle is crawling with vermin and practically radiates blood energy.
Talk more option tango.png These are tools you can use. (gives access to Summon Flesh Wurm)
Talk end option tango.png I'll just keep looking.
(If revenant)
Talk more option tango.png They cannot hold you.
For some reason, you have no doubt you will escape.
Talk more option tango.png Perhaps you can use Joko's strength against him.
A whisper needles at your subconscious, an urge for freedom.
Talk more option tango.png ...And power... Just this once, never again... (gives access to Legendary Prisoner Stance)
Talk end option tango.png No, this is a mistake.
Talk end option tango.png It must just be your imagination.
(If warrior)
Talk end option tango.png You hate prison.
The walls, the bars... People were not meant to be caged.
Talk more option tango.png Nothing can hold you. Nothing! (gives access to Seethe)
Talk end option tango.png Maybe it's best to take a breath and think.
Talk end option tango.png Perhaps you should look around.
Disgusting Bucket: That water is positively foul.
(If engineer)
Talk merchant tango.png But there's an iridescent film floating on top. (gives access to Disgusting Grease)
Talk end option tango.png Keep looking.
Strange Stones: These stones have an odd sheen to them.
(If engineer)
Talk merchant tango.png On closer inspection, these appear to be flint stones. (gives access to Crude Flint Stone)
Talk end option tango.png Keep looking.
Remains: Not much left of the previous occupant.
(If engineer)
Talk merchant tango.png A few of the bits seem rather sturdy. (gives the item Makeshift Lever)
(If ranger)
Talk merchant tango.png But this round fragment could work as a summoning horn. (gives access to Vermin Call)
(If thief)
Talk merchant tango.png There's a shard or two here that seem pretty solid. (gives the item Makeshift Lockpick)
Talk end option tango.png Keep looking.
Debris: The debris is black and sticky.
(If engineer)
Talk merchant tango.png It looks like dried tar flakes. (gives access to Tar Flakes)
Talk end option tango.png Keep looking.
Cell Door Lock: :The lock is forged iron.
(If elementalist)
Talk more option tango.png But even steel melts. (gives access to Conjure Slag Axe)
(If guardian)
Talk more option tango.png But not unbreakable steel. (gives access to Hammer of Unchaining)
(If thief)
Talk more option tango.png But not impossible to pick. (with Makeshift Lockpick in inventory; use Lift Pin every time it pops up, to successfully open the lock)
Talk more option tango.png But the keyhole is large. (without Makeshift Lockpick in inventory)
Your fingers are too large to fit, but something smaller could fit inside and work the tumblers.
Talk end option tango.png See what else is in the cell.
Talk end option tango.png Perhaps you should look around.
Cell Door Hinge::Several hinges hold the door in place.
(If engineer)
Talk more option tango.png But they look poorly fitted. The result of shoddy construction. (after having found Disgusting Grease, Tar Flakes, Crude Flint Stone, and Makeshift Lever)
The pins are held in place only by friction.
Talk more option tango.png Work the grease into the cracks.
The metal encasement is a bit loose. It if could be expanded just a little...
Talk more option tango.png Press tar flakes around the casing.
The flakes form a kind of paste, coating the coarse metal.
Talk more option tango.png Use the flint to strike a spark on the bars.
The tar catches fire and billows an acrid smoke as it burns.
Talk more option tango.png Use your makeshift lever to lift the door off its hinges. Opens door.
Talk end option tango.png Give up.
Talk end option tango.png Give up.
Talk end option tango.png Give up.
Talk end option tango.png Give up.
Talk end option tango.png Keep looking.
After opening your cell
Spearmashal Zaeim: Aren't you the crafty one. The jailer has the keys on his belt.
After taking the jailer's key
<Character name>: I'm going to get us out of here, and then I need you to get me into Fahranur.
Spearmashal Zaeim: That's a tall order. One thing at a time.
After freeing Spearmarshal Zaiem
Spearmashal Zaeim: Thank you, Hero of the Mordant Crescent Great Hall.
While collecting your gear
<Character name>: Damn. My communicator's not here... So, can you get me into Fahranur?
Spearmashal Zaeim: As I said, one thing at a time. Why don't we get out of here first?
Interacting with the Imprisoned Storyteller
The figure looks oddly calm, confident in its eternal repose. It's strangely compelling. A voice whispers, "Imagine..."
Talk more option tango.png Touch the skull.
Fractured images flash before you, as if in a dream. Whoever he was, this man had tales to tell. You're not sure if you can make out details...
Talk more option tango.png ...but you feel compelled to try.
Dark dwarves, white stone, colorful dragons. A motley crew, gathered around a fire. A pistol, a staff; a shield, a lute; three daggers; a bear. And a whole lot of grog.
Talk more option tango.png What does it mean?
The images fade, and you draw back. You can't explain it, but something about the man...
Talk more option tango.png ...makes you smile.
No doubt he brought escape and hope to the weary denizens of Istan. Perhaps that's how he ended up here, master of the dungeon.
Talk end option tango.png Sleep well, storyteller.
Talk end option tango.png you the creeps.
Talk end option tango.png Grog, grog... Oh, right. You were escaping!
Talk end option tango.png ...and you don't want to.
Talk end option tango.png Leave it be.
If spotted by a drunken Awakened guard while escaping
Awakened Archer/Occultist/Soldier: Prishoners...shtop 'em!
Interacting with the door to the Warden's Quarters
Taimi: Commander, please, are you there...?
<Character name>: Taimi?
Taimi: He's got me—I need you...
<Character name>: I'm coming, Taimi!
Encounter Warden Amala
Warden Amala: I knew this had to be a ruse. I'd expect it from you, Commander, but Sayida...Joko would not approve.
Sayida the Sly: Who needs approval when I've got his gold?
Taimi: Oh no...he's coming...
<Character name>: Where is she?
Warden Amala: He commands that you must die!
While fighting
Taimi: Hurry, Commander! (Amala reaches 70%)
Taimi: Where are you? (Amala reaches 55%)
Taimi: Commander! Why aren't you answering? (Amala reaches 25%)
When defeating Warden Amala
Warden Amala: Sweet release...
After getting your communicator
<Character name>: Taimi! Taimi, where are you?
Taimi: Commander! I-I think it's the city from Aurene's vision!
Taimi: Oh no, he's coming!
<Character name>: Who? Who's got you, Taimi?
Taimi: No, no, stay away! Please...
Mysterious Voice: Your turn, little one.
<Character name>: No. It can't be...
Sayida the Sly: Joko. Sounds like he has a friend of yours. I suppose you'll want help saving her next—
Spearmashal Zaeim: Not from you. Commander, this pirate is the one who *sold* me to Joko.
Sayida the Sly: Relax, Sunspear. He'd never pay me twice for the same merchandise.
<Character name>: We don't have time for this. My friend is in that sick lich's hands. I have to go help her!
Sayida the Sly: Fine. There is one matter outstanding, however...
After handing Sayida the coin
<Character name>: Take your damn coin.
Sayida the Sly: Your gratitude is...touching.
Sayida the Sly: That's my cue to get out of here. I suggest you do the same.
Investigating the commotion outside
Spearmashal Zaeim: My Sunspears!
After defeating the Great Hall defenders
Rytlock Brimstone: Commander! I heard you pulled a Thackeray and got yourself captured. Is that the spearmarshal?
<Character name>: We've got new problems: Joko's back, and he's got Taimi—at Fahranur.
Canach: Aurene's vision!
Rytlock Brimstone: He has Taimi? Let's GO!
Spearmashal Zaeim: I'll prepare the Sunspears to reclaim Champion's Dawn. Then I'll meet you at the old dock at Issnur Bay.
Spearmashal Zaeim: Sunspears! Let's liberate Champion's Dawn!
<Character name>: Aurene! If you can hear me, please protect them!

My story[edit]

The Hero of Istan loading screen.jpg

I met with Sayida and her crew just outside the entrance to the Mordant Crescent Great Hall. She clapped me in irons and escorted me inside.

Sayida handed me over to Warden Amala, and with scores of Awakened looking on, she sweet-talked the warden into a toast to Joko, slyly handing over the spiked grog. All was going smoothly until Taimi called me over my communicator, raising the warden's suspicions. Amala cracked me over the head, and everything went black.

I came to in a dungeon cell next to Zaeim, the Hero of Istan. After the jailer outside toppled over from the spiked grog, Zaeim and I escaped and reached the stairwell leading out of the dungeons.

I must still make it past Warden Amala, and time is of the essence: Joko is back from the Domain of the Lost. And he has Taimi.

Amala put up a difficult fight: a dervish who had once dedicated her life to opposing Joko, she'd been executed and Awakened by the lich. Even under his control, she was still able to channel the power of the gods, but with the help of Sayida and her corsairs, Zaeim and I brought her down at last.

The skirmish outside the prison is still something of a haze: the Sunspears burst through the Great Hall's main gate with Rytlock and Canach to reunite with their Spearmarshal, while Aurene strafed the overwhelmed Mordant Crescent from above.

But it's hard to enjoy our triumph when Joko has Taimi. Zaeim has offered to guide us into Fahranur and has directed us to meet him at a cave on Issnur Bay. There's no time to waste.

My story


  • The imprisoned storyteller is a reference to the position of 'dungeon master' in Dungeons & Dragons, and the third line in its dialogue specifically references the long-running Dungeons & Dragons livestream Critical Role.
  • The following effects are applied to the players while in the dungeon, even though they appear to not have any actual effects: Unease, Apprehension, Dread, and Panic.