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Dunes of Despair Mission map.

This is a mission entry. For information on the mission outpost Dunes of Despair, see Dunes of Despair (outpost).

Zcoins.png This article has an associated Zaishen Challenge Quest.


Help the Ghostly Hero reclaim his throne.

  • Escort the Ghostly Hero to the Temple of Ascension.
  • Defeat the Enemy Ghostly Hero.
  • Hold out while the Ghostly Hero performs his ritual.
  • BONUS Gain more glory by defeating the three forgotten generals and their minions within their forts.



The Ghostly Hero will follow the person who talks to him. To have him stop following, the same person must speak to him again. Follow the path and kill any Losaru you encounter. They come in groups of three (four groups in total: three groups of Losaru Bladehands and one group of Losaru Bowmasters). Near the Bowmasters, you will see a Siege Wurm firing at you from across the chasm (point A). Kill the group of Losaru Bowmasters first (keeping your ranged people back), then move the Ghostly Hero to the drawbridge to lower it.

Siege wurms have extremely high armor, natural resistance, and an inherent +3 health regeneration. Their only skill is Wurm Siege, which takes 3 seconds to cast, but does considerable area of effect damage. Siege wurms will not fire until a party member comes within a distance of a little less than radar range. Henchmen and heroes can trigger them to start firing, as well as players. Once aggroed, a siege wurm will continue firing even if the party moves out of range. Siege wurms are most easily killed by armor-ignoring damage. The party can practice with the first siege wurm if needed. Like any siege beast siege wurms do the most damage from a distance. Running up to it, and killing it while adjacent takes the wurm down with much less damage to you and your party.

South after the bridge you will encounter the boss Goss Aleessh (point B). After defeating the boss and his minions a cutscene will take place. Afterwards, move the ghost towards the raised drawbridge to the south, but keep him at a distance. Have the person he is following speak to him and he will stay put. Have any ranged attackers kill the Enchanted Bows on the ledges beside the bridge. Once they are disposed of, bring the ghost to the bridge (have a party member talk to the ghost) and he will lower it. Do not go in past the arch. Enemies will come out in pairs; just wait for them on the bridge. After the last wave (it's the group of three instead of two), defeat the ghost on the altar (point C).

At this point you should stop and tell the party to prepare themselves. If going for the bonus, now is the time to decide upon a strategy. When everyone is ready, bring your ghost near the altar to start his ritual. You will have to defend him for 10 minutes. Four pairs of Forgotten Arcanists will appear: a pair from the east, then the west, then the south, then the east again. After a pause, two enchanted bows will come from the south, then two enchanted from the west. After another pause, two more enchanted will come from the west, along with a boss. In addition, four siege wurms will pop up at fixed times. One comes from the east at 8:20 remaining on the timer, one from the west at 6:40, one from the south at 5:00, and another from the west at 3:20.

If you only need the mission, it helps greatly to stay far enough away from the south siege wurm for it to never begin firing. You can head to the south earlier in the battle, but from 5:00 onward, your entire party must not venture far south of the ghostly hero. It also helps to kill the east siege wurm after the clearing the four groups of forgotten. There is a delay between the forgotten and enchanted, which provides adequate time for this.

Note: The ghostly hero can get stuck. If this happens before a cut scene and he's in a safe spot, you'll be able to continue the mission without him, and he'll appear with you after the cut scene. If he gets stuck after the cut scene with Goss Aleessh, but before successfully opening the bridge to the fort, you'll have to start the mission over again. Attempting to talk to the stuck hero will produce messages like "We are in battle" when no battle is actually taking place. At least some of the time, this is related to the Siege Wurm, and can be solved by killing it.

Tip: Before engaging the enemies at point B you could go to the west to point D. There is a group of Losaru guarding a Slow Totem there. The totem slows down enemies within the area where it is dropped. It is most useful for the bonus and can be quite helpful for the mission too if used correctly. Note that enemies under the effects of Slow Totem are not hexed with Imagined Burden, despite the visual effect, so you cannot use it to trigger such spells as Shatter Delusions, etc.

Tip: Unless attempting the bonus (see below), it is very important for the party to stick together at all times during the 'siege'. Arcanists and Enchanted can take quite a beating before going down, and they stack up quickly without a proper offense. The Ghostly Hero won't last more than a minute at best if under attack, and as usual his death means a mission failure. If you're using a human Monk, make sure they give priority to healing the Hero.

Tip: Interruption and skills that cause the Dazed condition are helpful in this mission. Forgotten Arcanists are most dangerous due to Earthquake and Kinetic Armor - interruption leaves them vulnerable and mostly harmless. Siege Wurm's attacks (Wurm Siege) are also spells and susceptible to interruption.


Exiting the South gate, there is a compound with three generals, at the three points on the map marked 1. Each is accompanied by two enchanted. Killing a general's group will cause a group of three forgotten to spawn and go attack the ghostly hero. Killing the north general causes a group of three to spawn to the west of the generals' compound and attack from the west. Killing the southeast general causes a group of three to spawn to the west of the generals' compound and attack from the south. Killing the southwest general causes a group of three to spawn to the east of the generals' compound and attack from the east. Killing all three of the general groups completes the bonus, even if you subsequently fail the mission.

This bonus is by far the hardest in the campaign, and a direct approach requires vastly more firepower than henchmen can supply. There are two basic approaches, and a number of variations on each. Either you can kill everything in the siege, then leave to kill the generals, or you can warp the party through the wall to skip the siege entirely. The former usually requires either heroes or multiple players, while the latter requires either Necrotic Traversal or Consume Corpse. An SoS rit can easily solo the bonus with a summon stone.

The direct approach[]

The key is to bring ample firepower to kill mobs quickly. The essential skills for this are interrupts, condition removal, enchantment removal, and lots of armor-ignoring damage. Unfortunately, all of the available henchmen are completely missing the first two, and don't have much of the last two, either. Alesia and Lina are adequate healers, but most of the henchmen are only marginally useful. A group will probably need to bring either heroes or multiple players.

The essential trick is that a mesmer hero can solo a siege wurm in about 45 seconds if given Wastrel's Worry, Power Drain, and Leech Signet. When a siege wurm pops up, flag the hero within range of it, lock the siege wurm as his target, and set him to "fight", rather than guard or avoid combat. Test the hero's build at the first siege wurm by the second bridge to see if he wastes energy on other, unnecessary skills. During the siege, you may have to temporarily disable some other skills while the hero kills siege wurms to prevent him from wasting energy. Obviously, a player can fill this role instead of a hero, and the player does not have to be a mesmer if he has adequate armor-ignoring damage, energy management, and either interrupts or self-healing to quickly solo a siege wurm.

Once you get to the area of the siege, tell the ghostly hero to stay out. Head to the south wall, from which you can see the first general. Use a longbow or flatbow to try to pull and kill any mobs in the general's group that might be within range. Also kill any jade scarabs that pop up. Killing such mobs before the timer starts is not necessary, but it does make things easier. If you are able to kill the first general, head to the west gate and wait for the group of three forgotten to come, and then kill them when they arrive.

After you start the siege, wait by the ghostly hero for a while. Kill the first three groups of forgotten that come, then head east a bit to kill the fourth group. The first siege wurm will pop up to the east at about this time, so send the mesmer hero over to kill it. Have the rest of the party head to the south gate to kill the two enchanted there, and then to the west gate. You can tell when the hero has killed the siege wurm from his hero panel by when he is no longer locked onto a target. Unflag the hero to join the rest of the group when that happens.

The next siege wurm will pop up at the west gate while you wait for the boss group to come, so kill it promptly, and then kill the boss group when it arrives. After this, the group should head to the south gate with about 5 minutes left. It's vital that you get there before the fourth wurm pops up to the east at 3:20. This way, you can stay out of range of it, so that it will never begin firing.

Once you get to the south gate, have the mesmer hero kill the siege wurm when it spawns there at 5:00, while the rest of the group ignores the wurm and kills the first general's group. When the general is nearly dead, one player or hero should head to the spawn point of the group of forgotten that spawns when the general's group dies. Attract their attention to keep them from running off to attack the ghostly hero, and the rest of the group can join in and help kill them. Remember to unflag the mesmer hero once the wurm is dead, so that he can help the rest of the group with the generals.

Next, head to the southeast general inside the compound and kill his group. If any jade scarabs pop up on the way, kill them first. If you have a lot of time left, you can have one player or hero go back near the south gate to the main fort once the second general is nearly dead, and attract the attention of the forgotten on the way to enter the fort through that gate. The rest of the group can join the battle as soon as the general dies. The party can then go kill the third general's group to complete the bonus, and then head back to the ghostly hero to save him from the final group of forgotten.

If you are short on time while fighting the second general, then have the whole group stay to fight him and ignore the extra group that spawns when he dies. Instead, have the entire party go kill the third general's group to complete the bonus. The mission will end before the group that spawns with the second general's death can kill the ghostly hero.

Warping through walls[]

This approach relies on the necromancer corpse-teleport skills Consume Corpse and Necrotic Traversal and, if needed, the resurrect-teleport skills Rebirth and Sunspear Rebirth Signet to warp outside of the fort before beginning the siege and lowering the drawbridges. Note that shadow stepping skills will not help in getting across the gap. It also relies on mobs spawning in the right locations, so bring a flatbow or longbow to increase the range you can pull from.

At least one, and preferably all, of the human players in the party must bring one of the two corpse-teleport skills. If anyone does not have one of those skills, they need to be able to suicide so that those who have warped across can then resurrect-teleport them on the other side. Suicide methods include vampiric weapons, health sacrifice skills, or other self-damaging skills such as Burning Speed.

Heroes and henchmen can be warped without any teleport skills, as described below.

If you wish to complete the mission and bonus together, then before you attack Goss Aleessh, head east and clear any jade scarabs that pop up in that area. Kill the two enchanted that come with Goss, but pull the boss itself to the east and kill it right against the southern wall of the area. Because boss corpses do not disappear, you can use his corpse later to warp back across after completing the bonus.

Clear the fort as normal, but leave the Ghostly Hero outside to prevent him from claiming the throne and triggering the siege. Head to the raised platform just to the east of the south gate. Walking against the edge of the platform will usually pop a Jade Scarab or two on the other side of the wall which you can kill. Otherwise, the first general's group should be within longbow range, so shoot and pull it and kill the group. (Unlike normal enchanted, the enchanted bosses leave corpses, so you are guaranteed a corpse from this group.) If you cannot find any Jade Scarabs and the general is out of range, abort the mission and retry.

Once you get a corpse on the other side of the wall, use your corpse-teleport skill to warp to it. If you need additional corpses to allow other players to teleport, those who have crossed the wall can move around to find more jade scarabs and pull them back to the rest of the party. If there are players who lack a corpse-teleport skill, this is when they need to suicide so they can be resurrect-teleported across.

If you are planning on completing the mission as well, be sure to clear the three groups of forgotten and enchanted that spawn when the generals' groups are killed, so that they do not join in the siege and overwhelm your group. After completing the bonus, one player needs to return to where you left Goss Aleessh's corpse and teleport back across the wall, then take the Ghostly Hero inside the fort to begin the siege. The rest of the party can enter the fort after the bridges are lowered.

Tip: As an added "bonus", this method gives you unlimited time to explore the area outside the fort for the cartographer title. See the Notes section below for details.

Warping with heroes/henchmen[]

As noted above, it is not necessary to warp henchmen or heroes to the other side of the wall in this manner. Instead, once all players are across, flag henchmen at the top of the wall. All players should follow the yellow path to the north, so that the henchmen are far off of radar range. The game does not check for pathing obstructions when far enough off radar, so when when you unflag the henchmen and heroes to let them run toward you, they will miraculously be on your side of the wall. Now reunited, the group can go kill the other two generals and their groups to complete the bonus.

Be sure to turn off all corpse exploit skills on your heroes.

Hard mode[]

If you only want the mission, killing the Forgotten Arcanists that come at the start of the siege fast enough to avoid a backlog is the only part that is much of a challenge. Armor-ignoring damage or being able to remove Kinetic Armor helps considerably. They can kill the Ghostly Hero pretty quickly if you don't defend him.

Either approach to the bonus listed above can work in hard mode. To do the direct approach, however, takes either a very strong group, being able to kill some mobs early (so that you could have done the necrotic traversal method), or dumb luck in not having to fight the monk boss, Dassk Arossyss. If you let a group of forgotten that spawns when a boss dies get away, it can kill the ghostly hero pretty quickly. You'll certainly need to grab the first group of forgotten that spawns when a boss group dies, and perhaps also the second unless you're very short on time or trying to do the bonus only, and not the mission.




Bosses - elite skill captures[]


Briefing from the Ghostly Hero.

Inside the mission[]

Ghostly Hero: Once my people came to the desert and built a great temple. But while we labored, we were set upon by the stewards of the desert, the Forgotten. They killed my people, and now another ghost sits upon my throne. I beseech you, help me return to the temple. Help me reclaim my throne and my passage into the Hall of Heroes.

Intermediate cutscene[]

Ghostly Hero: Up ahead, inside the Temple of Ascension, is the Throne of Pellentia. The gods gaze down from the Hall of Heroes, granting their favor to those who control the throne. But there is another spirit who sits upon the hallowed throne. The temple is well guarded. Get me inside so that we may supplant the usurper. He must be destroyed before I can take the throne. Keep me safe while I cast the ritual to open the door.

Ghostly Hero: I can see the usurper there, in the middle of the Temple. We must defeat him before I can reclaim my throne. Watch that no harm comes to me while I lower this bridge.

Ghostly Hero: The Forgotten will come again. Hold them back while I cast a ritual and return the throne back to my custody. Peer down from the heavens, I beseech you. Grant us your gaze, oh gods of Tyria. We have proven ourselves worthy. Grant us that which we seek.

Bonus objective:

Cyss Gresshla: The gods will gaze upon you no more. My death will be the first tolling of your death knell.

Ending cutscene[]

Ghostly Hero: We have drawn the attention of the gods. Let us hope they are pleased.



explored area of the Dunes

  • Players looking for a cartographer title can uncover large areas of the map on the southern and southeastern parts of this map. To uncover all areas, the player must enter several towers along the southern edge that have their drawbridges up. This is an illusion as the player can simply walk across the gap and enter the towers. There is a large section towards the southeast that is not part of any mission path and is easily missed. Altogether, the "bonus region" of the map will net you approximately 0.5% towards the cartographer title, assuming you've explored the entire rest of the mission.
  • The bosses, excluding Goss Aleessh, spawn randomly. One of the bosses attacks the center with a monster wave and three others spawn at the fort in the south. No bosses spawn at points 2 and 3.
  • It is possible to run this mission if you are a Minion Master with two henchmen, a warrior and a monk; it's also possible to do the bonus if you "trick the timer". This can be a very profitable way to make gold because this mission can be difficult to pass and is not often seen run.
  • Oddly enough seeing as the enemy ghostly hero is a ghost, his corpse is exploitable.
  • The southernmost point in the Tyrian continent is in this mission.
Bug.png Bug! The Enemy Ghostly Hero actually doesn't need to be killed to complete the mission, Ghostly Hero can still perform his ritual and the mission will continue as normal even if you don't kill him.
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