Assault on the Stronghold

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Disambig icon.png This article is about a primary quest. This name is also used for a Zaishen mission quest. For the explorable area, see Sacnoth Valley.
Assault on the Stronghold
Assault on the Stronghold page.jpg
Section Primary Ebon Vanguard Quests
Campaign Eye of the North
Given by Roan Fierceheart
in Dalada Uplands
(Charr Homelands)
Part of The Missing Vanguard
Preceded by What Must Be Done
Followed by Be Very, Very Quiet...
Falling Out
Type Primary quest Repeatable quest
Map(s)
Assault on the Stronghold map.jpg
(Click to enlarge)

Team up with Pyre Fierceshot's warband to rescue the captured Ebon Vanguard soldiers.

Quest information[edit]

Objectives[edit]

  • Roan Fierceheart in Dalada Uplands will prepare you for the assault.
  • Invade the hierophant's stronghold and rescue the Ebon Vanguard.
  • Defeat the Charr guards and gain control of the siege devourers.
  • Target archer groups with siege devourers to cover the armored saurus while it breaks down the front gates.
  • Free the Ebon Vanguard held captive within the fortress.
  • Defeat Hierophant Burntsoul and all hostile forces.

Reward[edit]

Walkthrough[edit]

Walk out of Doomlore Shrine to see Roan Fierceheart at the top of a small hill. Speak with him to witness a cut-scene and be transported to the starting area in Dalada Uplands. Roan Fierceheart and the rest of the warband will be on the hill above a field. You will see one of two Siege Devourers just below and another off to the left; the warband will offer to take care of the closer one while your group handles the one farther away. You can leave your allies alone at the right side until you break down the gate.

Siege Devourers[edit]

Once the Charr in the immediate vicinity of a Devourer are defeated by either you or the warband, you will have captured it; you can then command it to attack the Rangers (Charr Seekers) at either the bluff or the ones at the gate on its side (left/right) of the central path into the stronghold. There are four Seekers at each of these two points whom it will then attack; that makes for a total of four groups of four seekers each. Around every 10 seconds, three melee Charr will spawn at the teleporters located below the seekers at the bluffs on either side and proceed to move to the Devourer on their side and attack it. Should these Charr destroy a Devourer, you will be able to reactivate it in place by defeating the Charr near it; you would then instruct it again to attack the Rangers on its side at either the bluffs or the gate. You can keep the mission at a steady and unchanging state - even in Hard Mode - for so long as your team can keep the Charr at bay on the left side and you have the Devourers on either side attacking the Rangers. Should the Charr on the right side overwhelm the warband (especially in Hard Mode) you should be able to defeat the Charr on that side with your team; that will reactive that Devourer and resurrect the warband members in place and ready to resume defending the Devourer. Trying to take on the Rangers at any of the four positions is unnecessary and suicidal.

Saurus at the gate[edit]

An Armored Saurus will move to the gate in an attempt to break it. With all of the 16 Charr Seekers alive (two groups of 4 on each side of the gate), the saurus will be unable to come close to the gate. If it dies, another one will spawn shortly thereafter and give it another try. The seekers also have their numbers maintained by spawning. Turn your attention to the Saurus after you've established a steady state as described in the previous section; there is no pressure to hurry that process along or to panic.

The hardest part of the mission is making sure that a Saurus survives long enough to batter down the gate, allowing you to enter the camp itself. You are hindered in this attempt by the seeker groups on the cliffs around you; party and warband members that stray within range of these foes can be killed within seconds. Regardless of how you proceed, the following points are important in getting through the gate:

  • The stone arch over the gate will provide some protection - not much - to the party (including the Saurus).
  • The Siege Devourers cannot be relied upon to completely clear the stronghold defenses on their own until after the gate is battered down.
  • Once the gate is broken, the defenders around the gate areas will cease to spawn.
  • If a Siege Devourer is destroyed, seekers will cease to spawn on that side of the entrance area.

Strategies: Siege Devourers, Rangers, Saurus[edit]

There are a variety of techniques that you can use (including many on the talk page), which fall roughly into two categories:

  1. Keep the cliffs cleared of seekers;
  2. Protect the saurus and party members;
Clearing the cliffs[edit]

As soon as you claim the Siege Devourers, target each of them to fire at the Bluffs. Fight off the first wave of ground reinforcements, then head towards the gate, scraping the edge of the bluffs on the right; this puts you out of reach of left-side Rangers and provides some protection from those on the right. From the protection of the arch, use area of effect (AoE) skills to take down the right-side Rangers closest to the gate, followed by any remaining bluff Rangers, and then repeat for the left side. By the time you are done, the Saurus should have been able to take down the gate; if not, keep killing the seekers as they respawn until the gate is finally destroyed.

Alternately, you can have the Devourers clear most of the Rangers in a just-in-time fashion to let the Saurus barely survive and do its job. If playing with multiple players, have one each positioned at the Devourers; if playing with a single player, stay at the left Devourers. All other players, Heroes, and Henchmen should stay at the left Devourer and deal with continuously spawning melee Charr. As soon as both Devourers are active, set them to attack the Rangers at the buffs on their respective sides; a solo player would do this at the left Devourer and run to the right Devourer to do it on that side. The Devourers should nearly clear out the buffs just in time for the Saurus to appear in the Allies list. As soon as that happens, set the Devourers to attack the Rangers near the gate on their respective sides. This should create a small time window with very few surviving Rangers but long enough to let the Saurus pass through and break down the gate. Once that happens, the Rangers will stop respawning and you can command the Devourers to change targets till all remaining Rangers are defeated at all four locations; the warband will pitch in a well. Since the Devourers can be reactivated and there is an unlimited supply of Sauruses, there is never a need to panic or be in a hurry. This will work in Hard Mode as well.

Protecting the Saurus[edit]

Use strong protection skills to limit damage on the saurus as it approaches the gate (a bonder works well; see below for other skill suggestions). While the tank is moving, alternate the targets of both siege devourers from bluffs to gate and back until the beast reaches the gate, then point the siege units at the Charr at the gate. Until the gate is broken, leave the party (and the warband) back to defend the devourers (and the party members responsible for protection).

Stronghold proper[edit]

Once the gate is broken and you enter the stronghold proper, you will find several groups of Charr waiting for you. All but two of the groups will retreat as you approach; finish them off and then have the bulk of your party wait while one player heads up the stairs. As you come close to the ceremonial center (and the Charr hordes), Hierophant Burntsoul will command the Destroyers to be released. Move just close enough to trigger them and then retreat. (If there are multiple players in the party, make sure that those further back keep moving, to prevent the warband from approaching the center area too soon.)

The Destroyers and Charr will be hostile to each other; lean back and watch them destroy each other. Once they are finished, quickly jump in to finish off the remaining Destroyers while they are still damaged.

Hard mode[edit]

The techniques are basically the same, but there is less room for error: protections need to be strong (for the party and saurus) and/or you need to be able to defeat the Charr quickly on the field. With heroes and henchmen, it can be difficult to defend both devourers, so ignore the left-side one and focus your attention on the right, where you have the warband to assist. Although one of the siege units will be lost, the left-side ground forces will also stop spawning, making defense of the remaining unit much easier. Wait for the Armored Saurus to appear and proceed as in Normal mode.

The remainder of the mission can be done following standard techniques: move forward slowly, pull groups individually, and keep spread out to avoid AoE damage (especially from the Elementalist boss).

Skill recommendations[edit]

Saurus protection[edit]

Use damage reduction or health regeneration skills, e.g. Spirit Bond, Protective Spirit, Shield of Absorption, or Life Bond. Consider using Life Bond with Shield of Deflection and 1 well timed Healing Seed/Seed of Life. Protection spirits are also helpful, e.g. Union and Shelter.

In Normal mode, Life Barrier is probably sufficient. (When using a hero, disable the skill, target the saurus, and then manually force the hero to use the skill). The bond should protect the first Armored Saurus, allowing for a quick completion of the mission.

Another way is to have a monk with Healing Prayers cast Healing Hands and Healing Breeze on the Armored Saurus with both devourers targeted on the gates. Restful Breeze also works well because when breaking the gates, Saurus doesn't use attacks or skills. The healing and health regeneration should be enough to keep the saurus alive long enough to break the gates even in Hard mode.

Killing Charr[edit]

Ebon title track skills are useful as always against Charr, especially Ebon Vanguard Assassin Support. AoE and skills that do not require line of sight are required to take down the rangers on the bluffs, allowing you to avoid their attacks by staying close to the cliffs.

Countering bow attacks[edit]

The Charr rangers can deal significant damage to balled-up groups and there is little time to flag heroes or henchmen apart. Ignite Arrows provides a particular threat due to the sheer number of bows directed towards the party. There are several ways to counter this:

Other skills[edit]

  • Minion masters help during the beginning and end of the mission to stall approaching foes and to soak up aggro.
  • Wards are useful for defending the devourers, for protecting the party as it kills the bluff rangers, and inside the stronghold as you pull Charr towards the stairway.

A Spiritmaster can drop his offensive spirits next to the warband devourer and then put them in play again at the left devourer.

NPCs[edit]

Allies[edit]

Charr

Devourers

Dinosaurs

Humans

Foes[edit]

Charr

Destroyers

Bosses[edit]

Charr

Dialogue[edit]

Initial dialogue[edit]

Roan Fierceheart

Did you have something to say to me, human? I didn't think so.
Yes I am ready to attack the hierophant's stronghold
The assault command has been given. We must take the armored saurus into Sacnoth Valley posthaste! The warband awaits you there. Are you ready to attack the hierophant's stronghold?
Yes Burntsoul's reign ends today.
No I'm not ready yet.

Intermediate dialogue[edit]

At start.

Bonwor Fierceblade: Capture those siege devourers and break down the gate! The enemy awaits our blades!
Bonwor Fierceblade: We'll assault the right devourer. Let's hope you can handle the other side.
Bonwor Fierceblade: For the warband! Charge!

After taking the right devourer.

Bonwor Fierceblade: Right side secured. When you are ready, get over here and direct this devourer.
Bonwor Fierceblade: Prepare for battle! Protect the saurus at all costs!

If the saurus dies.

Bonwor Fierceblade: Another armored saurus will soon join the battle.

When a new saurus arrives.

Bonwor Fierceblade: Protect the armored saurus! Break down the gate!

On smashing the gate.

Bonwor Fierceblade: The gate has fallen! Move out! Clear that fortress!
Bonwor Fierceblade: Gron, you and the rest of the warband stay here and make sure no one escapes through the front.

Encountering Burntsoul.

Hierophant Burntsoul: You will not escape with your lives. Release the Destroyers!
<Party leader>: Those Destroyers are your enemies too. They'll kill us all!
Hierophant Burntsoul: Then we shall die together, human! You will not win!
Captured Vanguard Soldier (1): Free us from this madness!
Captured Vanguard Soldier (2): Help! They're going to feed us to the Destroyers!
Captured Vanguard Soldier (3): Get us out of here!
Captured Vanguard Soldier (4): Damn these Charr! By Grenth, damn them all to the Underworld!

Notes[edit]


Eye of the North primary repeatable quests and missions
Asura arc: Finding the Bloodstone and The Elusive Golemancer » Genius Operated Living Enchanted Manifestation
Ebon Vanguard arc: Against the Charr » Warband of Brothers » Assault on the Stronghold
Norn arc: Curse of the Nornbear » A Gate Too Far and Blood Washes Blood
Deldrimor arc: Destruction's Depths » A Time for Heroes
Challenge: Glint's Challenge