This article has an associated Zaishen Challenge Quest.
Rescue the soldiers taken prisoner by the Charr.
- Safeguard Prince Rurik's life.
- Free all the Ascalon captives.
- Get to the Obelisks inside the ruined academy.
- ADDED Cross the ravine and open the drawbridge for Prince Rurik and Erol.
- BONUS Follow the Flame Keepers at a distance to gain entrance to the Flame Temple. Extinguish the Flame Temple once inside.
After running off a short distance in the beginning, Prince Rurik will return and follow the party leader. For the most part he will follow your lead, but be careful as there are a few places where he will still rush ahead regardless (these will be noted below); mostly he rushes ahead to attack Charr at about half Radar range.
The first part of the mission is a long and winding path through devourer territory. Be careful not to rush too quickly through this area, as there are quite a few pop-up groups, and you can easily find yourself over-aggroed. Eventually you will meet a devourer boss, after which the enemies change to mostly Charr.
After looping over the river and back, you will find three prison cages (A on the map) alongside the river. Near each of the first two cages is a group of Charr with a boss. As you approach the cages, Rurik will rush ahead to open the cage and free the prisoners; be sure to follow him closely and keep him alive. You will see a devourer boss in front of the last cage - there is a pop-up group near him, so take them out carefully before approaching the cage. Amongst the prisoners you find Erol, a member of the Flaming Scepter Mages captured at the time of the Searing. He mentions that others of his order are being held in ruins to the north, and Rurik insists on saving them as well.
After the cutscene, Rurik will run ahead and lead you a short distance (through a few groups of Charr) to a drawbridge across the tar river (B). Rurik states that he and Erol will wait there while you find a way to lower the bridge from the other side. Head back south and find a path leading east and down to the river. Follow the river to the northwest, under the drawbridge, until you find a path leading north and up, out of the river. You will find an archway with the Historical Monument of Surmia nearby (C). Pass through the arch and follow the wall to the south, where you will find the lever to release the drawbridge.
Tip: Before passing through the archway, you can turn right and run up along the wall that arch goes through, kill the one Charr there, and then shoot down onto the Charr inside the wall. From this position you can take all of them out with spells without any of them being able to target you.
After lowering the drawbridge, Rurik and Erol will cross and lead the way north to where the mages are being held, then into the courtyard of the old academy (D). Close the door behind you (using the levers), and lead the mages to the obelisks, where they will provide additional defense against the upcoming Charr assault. The Charr will attack in groups of 3-4 from three different directions. There will be two groups from each direction, and then a final group with a boss. During this assault, Rurik will be using Knock to open the door into the academy, at the same time chanting an incantation. The door will open (and the mission end) when either Rurik finishes the incantation or when you have defeated all the Charr, whichever takes longer.
Tip: You can save a lot of trouble by ignoring the drawbridge and Prince Rurik at first. Clear out the Charr on the path to the north (don't worry about the Charr army in the central area), then enter the courtyard. The Charr for the final assault will be arrayed around the courtyard. With careful pulling, you can pick them off one group at a time. Alternatively you can ignore the courtyard and engage each Charr group in the valley, again with careful pulling. When all the Charr are defeated, go back and pick up Rurik, and you can complete the mission in peace. However, do be careful that Rurik may still aggro the group of Charr in the valley, so watch him carefully.
After leaving Prince Rurik at the bridge and heading down into the river of tar, if you immediately cross the river to the north you will find Breena Stavinson (point 1 on the map) who has been held prisoner in the middle of nowhere for ten years. She will give you the bonus objective after you free her by killing the Charr boss nearby. Pay close attention to her dialogue: she says that the Charr passing by this way are taking fresh braziers to their temple, then asks that you destroy the Flame Keepers at the temple. Thus, you need to follow the snail paced moving Ember Bearers that appear at a distance, not kill them immediately - they are your main means of accessing the area where the Flame Keepers are. If you happen to kill them you will have to restart the mission.
Note: Keep in mind that if you don't follow them, doesn't mean you've lost the bonus. Just use the given map to reach the fire temple, the gates will be open. You can make good use of the time by continuing the quest and lowering the drawbridge already; across the bridge, you will meet up with the Ember Bearers again - Rurik should stick around the bridge while you finish the bonus.
Tip: If you accidentally catch the attention of the Ember Bearers, just run away. They will eventually lose interest in you and continue on.
The Ember Bearers will lead you back across the river and to the southwest, until they reach a gate that opens for them to pass through (2). After the gate is open, you can kill the Ember Bearers.
It is not necessary to follow the Ember Bearers as you can enter the locked area by a back door. Where you first receive the bonus quest, head on as if going to the gate, but then turn to the left and across the left side of the lake. You'll head around and meet the ember bearers from the front and be able to kill the Flame Keepers.
The Flame Keepers are at the top of the hill to the south (3). Kill them to complete the bonus. There is a second gate to the north (4) that leads to a shortcut to the other side of the drawbridge.
Tip: The Flame Keepers, even though they do not move, can be picked off one at a time if you have no melee henchmen and position yourselves carefully so as to only aggro one at a time.
Note: The floating "Ember" may glitch and become stuck on the terrain, leaving the temple locked. This glitch occurs very frequently if you let the Ember Bearers get out of radar range, so it is advised to follow the Ember Bearers and finish the bonus before proceeding with the rest of the mission. Alternatively, to get them to carry the fire again, aggro them and pull them to the wall where it is stuck and run away. With luck, they should have been able to pick it back up.
It is possible to access the bonus area using corpse teleportation skills (Consume Corpse or Necrotic Traversal), as there are Charr near point 4 that can be usually aggroed from outside the gate. However, the character(s) who teleported inside will be stuck there, as no enemies spawn near enough to either gate to be able to leave the area using the same method.
Watch where Rurik goes at all times! He likes to run into big mobs. In the last area, mobs are close together and delicate pulling is required. Therefore, it is advisable to leave Rurik on the bridge until the entire area is cleared.
Charr Mesmers (Mind Sparks and Chaots) in Hard Mode have the skill Power Block, which can cause serious problems for Monks and Elementalists focused on one attribute, especially with Heroes. It is thus best not to rely on only one character for healing.
Charr Necromancers can cause massive health degeneration and deny healing with Lingering Curse; heavy hex removal / health regeneration are important.
- 8 (23) Charr Axe Fiend
- 8 (23) Charr Blade Storm
- 6 (23) Charr Blade Warrior
- 8 (23) Ember Bearer
- 8 (23) Charr Hunter
- 6 (23) Charr Stalker
- 5 (23) Charr Martyr
- 7 (23) Charr Shaman
- 6 (23) Charr Ash Walker
- 8 (23) Charr Ashen Claw
- 6 (23) Charr Mind Spark
- 8 (23) Charr Chaot
- 6 (23) Charr Fire Caller
- 8 (23) Charr Flame Wielder
- 7 (23) Flame Keeper
Briefing from Captain Miken.
Inside the mission
Prince Rurik: Quickly! This way! Follow me. Our countrymen suffer while we dawdle.
As a boy I spent much time in these lands. Look at them now. Instead of ponds and streams we have pools of bubbling tar and rivers of sludge. It saddens me to see Ascalon in ruins.
Prince Rurik: These men can head back to the Wall by themselves. We must continue on and release the others. There is no time to lose.
Prince Rurik: These men can head back to the Wall by themselves. There are still others we must free before our mission is complete. Follow me.
Prince Rurik: The bridge is up, but it looks as if it can be lowered from the other side. I'll wait here with Erol. You find another way across and lower the bridge for us.
Prince Rurik: This is a fight we cannot win. we must avoid a confrontation with that group at all costs. Come with me. I grew up in this city, and I know a way around them.
Prince Rurik: Our only chance is to run for the obelisks in the ruins of the Royal Academy. Bring those men. I have a plan. As a boy, I studied at this academy. It's been some time, but if you can hold off the Charr I can activate the old runes and open a gate that could save our skins.
Come to the fore, O sons of Ascalon.
We fight once more, the battle lines are drawn.
Now join the men who live to guard us all.
Go and defend atop the Northern Wall.
Fear not the cost, whether in blood or gold.
Mourn not the lost, though they will not grow old.
If here they fall, we know they shall live on,
When e'er you call or cry, For Ascalon! For Ascalon!
Breena Stavinson: Thank the gods you're here. I've watched this road for ten years. The beasts come by around this time with a fresh brazier of fire to take to their temple. Find the Charr Flame Corridor and destroy the Flame Keepers.
Prince Rurik: Gods! How long have you been out here, man?
Erol: I don't know. Since my unit was taken at the end of the last Guild War. Since the sky rained fire and destroyed Ascalon.
Prince Rurik: You've been here since the Searing? That's over two years! Are there others?
Erol: Yes. The remnants of my unit, the Flaming Scepter Mages.
Prince Rurik: Soldiers who have been slaves since the end of the war?
Erol: They're being held in the ruins of the old capital, Drascir.
Prince Rurik: Then we go to Drascir.
Erol: My Lord, night is falling. If we don't head for the Wall now, we may all be captured.
Prince Rurik: I understand the dangers, but Balthazar be damned if I allow those soldiers to remain slaves to the Charr.
Erol: I can show you where they are being held.
Prince Rurik: Very good. We head north then. To Drascir.
Prince Rurik: Quickly, this way.
<party leader>: That was close!
Prince Rurik: Yes, closer than I'd hoped. This portal will take us to the Academy at Nolani. From there we can make it to the Wall and cross over to Rin. We should hurry though, the magical wards will hold back the Charr, but not for long.
Erol: Wait, my lord. Come, look at what I have found.
Prince Rurik: Is that...?
Erol: Yes, my prince. I believe it is the mouthpiece for the fabled horn, Stormcaller! With this weapon we could destroy the Charr once and for all. Ascalon could be saved.
Prince Rurik: I have heard the stories of the horn's magic, but let us not be too hasty. If this is what you say it is, then we must get it to Rin. We'll see for ourselves how much power this Stormcaller has. Come. We'll take this to my father, King Adelbern. Surely he will know if discovering this weapon is our salvation...or simply too late. Either way, staying here will surely be the death of us. Quickly, through the portal!
- Upon completion of the mission players will find themselves in: Nolani Academy.
- To continue the storyline, talk to Flaming Scepter Mage Danan.
- During this mission the Flaming Scepter Mages are first called "Mage" until they actually take place at the obelisks. It's advisable not to talk to them, otherwise it's possible that they don't hold the obelisks making the mission harder than necessary.
- Before doing this mission, pick up the Cities of Ascalon quest from Symon the Scribe in Ascalon City. One of the "historical monuments" for the quest is located two-thirds of the way into this mission, just before opening the drawbridge (C on the map). The Cities of Ascalon quest rewards you with 1000 XP and the Grim Cesta used by some Invincible Monk builds. After completing it, you can receive the Symon's History of Ascalon quest from Witness Rastin, an easy quest worth 2000 XP.
- You can explore the tar area north of the bonus to receive extra cartography points. You may want to bring a long bow and skills like Death's Charge or Necrotic Traversal for a part with closed gates.