Traversing the Domain of Anguish:
The Foundry of Failed Creations and the Stygian Veil

As an addendum to the advice I shared in last week's missive concerning survival in the Domain of Anguish, I wish to share with you a few more specific strategies for prevailing in the Foundry of Failed Creations and the Stygian Veil. The overall strategies I shared last week still hold true. I simply wish to elaborate on some and add others that hold true in these two treacherous locales.

In the Foundry of Failed Creations, your party of adventurers will face enemies with an all-too-familiar past. It is here that the great Titans were created by demonic forces within the Domain of Anguish. Were it not for this foundry, the Charr never would have attacked the human kingdoms of Tyria. Ascalon's fields would not have been scorched and destroyed by the Searing. Orr, the legendary home of the Five Gods, would have never sunk into the sea. Indeed, the Flame Seeker Prophecies could never have came to pass were it not for the twisted minds that created the horrific and sadistic false gods known as the Titans.

Walking into the birthplace of foes that have made life in Tyria a constant struggle is a truly humbling and yet enraging experience. However, do not give in to your desire to carelessly exact revenge, or you very well could become be the next victim in their catastrophic wake of carnage and destruction. Use your past experiences with these foes to your advantage, for what you learned in the past can and will save you now.

The Titans' life and power revolves around fire. Anyone who has seen the charred remains of post-searing Ascalon will have that memory burned into their memories. Using that knowledge, it should be obvious that spells and skills that protect against fire will greatly enhance your chances against the hulking Titans. Also, as any Pyromancer can tell you, fire magic gains much of its power from its ability to burn large areas with a single spell. So, once you engage a Titan, your party should spread out to avoid these area-wide effects. Staying in a tight group puts your entire party at risk, which in turn can overwhelm the healing efforts of your Monks.

Speaking of my holy comrades, you would be well advised to take a Monk specializing in Protection Prayers into the Foundry. The sheer damage output of the Titans is difficult to repel with Healing Prayers alone. However, a combination of Protection skills to minimize and reduce damage and Healing skills to counteract the damage that makes it past the Protection skills, should make these encounters more survivable. Combine that with skills that diminish the effects of fire damage and a sharp wit to avoid area-of-effect damage, and your party should find the task easier to undertake. Just remember to hold with you the vision of the once-lush lands of Ascalon, and thoughts of the sacred home of the Five Gods resting at the bottom of the sea as you crush these abominations. Grenth demands they be dealt swift and cruel justice for their lives of blasphemous destruction.

Stygian Veil contains large armies of stygian and demonic creatures. Generally, these groups are separated from one another, but at times you will find them co-mingled into a massive force. The first, and perhaps most useful, piece of advice I have to share is that many of the stygian creatures lack ranged skills and attacks, making them highly susceptible to snare skills, or skills that slow or Cripple foes. Ward Against Foes and Deep Freeze can slow large groups, allowing casters and ranged fighters to employ attack and withdraw tactics known as kiting. The stygian creatures will either be forced to chase the casters in vain or divert their attacks to more stationary targets—such as Warriors and Dervishes—greatly limiting their ability to wipe out the members of your party wearing lighter armor, such as Monks or Elementalists.

If you do face a group of both demons and stygian creatures, you would be wise to slay the demons first. Their slowing and snaring abilities can counteract the kiting strategy mentioned above. Once you have slain the demons in an area, you should then be free to use your own snaring techniques to defeat the remaining stygian creatures. However, beware that some stygian creatures have reportedly been spotted using ranged attacks of their own.

Finally, torment claws are a serious concern for parties—more so than in the other areas of the Domain of Anguish. Take your time progressing through this realm, as these torment claws break through the ground without warning, potentially killing members of your party before you know what hit. Even if there are no foes in sight, in the Stygian Veil, danger ever lurks below you, waiting for the right moment to strike.

Take this advice to heart before making your way into these treacherous lands. I will share advice for traversing the City of Torc'Qua and Ravenheart Gloom in next week's missive, and I suggest, as always, you share tips with your fellow adventurers to increase everyone's chances in these dangerous locales. May the gods fill you with the strength you will need to survive the challenges ahead.

Rare Items Galore!

It seems that even in the direst of times, Vabbians still find time for the simple pleasures in life. A particularly flamboyant Vabbian noble has hosted a sort of treasure hunt to celebrate the wedding of his eldest daughter. Since he is aware most of the commoners and servants of Elona could care less about aristocratic matrimony within the great palaces of Vabbi, he has announced that he wishes to "share his joy with all of those in Elona."

It seems his daughter, while well mannered and studious, is decidedly not the fairest one of all in Elona. Many of those who serve in the eccentric noble's court claim that she is, in fact, the oddest-looking woman they have ever seen. I shall spare you all the details, but phrases such as "face like a Centaur," and "beard like a Dwarf" definitely have fallen from a few lips. I can certainly see why the noble in question is so…pleased this wedding is finally taking place, for he has been waiting far too many years for his daughter to find a husband—certainly much longer than it should generally take to find a suitor for such a wealthy bride.

But I digress. While the ungainly and Centaurish-like daughter of a Vabbian noble may be newsworthy content in the less distinguished publications of our fine lands, I generally like to share more useful information. As I was saying, the Vabbian noble in question desired a way to share his joy with all of Elona. Upon careful consideration, the generous Vabbian decided to distribute his family's collection of rare weapons and items to the commoners of Elona. Not only will this help all of Elona during this time of conflict, but he felt it would be a fitting way to spread his joy across the realm.

He has since sent riders to all corners of the land, placing these items in locked chests. With this generous addition of the Vabbian noble's wares, we should expect to see roughly twice as many rare items in these chests over the next few days. The noble also understands that many in Elona do not possess enough gold to purchase keys to unlock these chests. In response, he has ordered many of his servants to distribute keys throughout the dangerous lands of Elona. Unfortunately, these servants have not been heard from since, and thus these keys, as well as the hands that once held them, may now reside in the gullets of monsters or packs of brigands.

All and all, this is a profitable time for Elonians. You should find it much easier to find rare items for the next few days, and there are a large number of keys missing in the wilderness. Even though we may mourn the many loyal servants who perished while dispersing keys and treasure, we can also take heart and celebrate the two Vabbians who have found happiness in the state of matrimony. May Lyssa bless their marriage, and may Dwayna do her best to ensure the children take after their father.

Random Acts of Kindness

Another week has come and gone, and through my travels over the past several days, I have witnessed many kind souls I wish to note.

In the port city of Kamadan, Suzy Knot Heel gave away a free belt pouch, as well as a few collector items, to help a new recruit get started on his adventure. A few minutes later, I saw Belinda Stormpike offering both advice and items to those in need. Their kind acts no doubt made many recruits' first experiences in Elona more pleasant.

While visiting Jokanur Diggings, I witnessed Omo Tuck, Souen No Kite, Thrade Akiha, Vusi Nomzamo, and Mathias Lucian all aiding a recruit with sound advice on equipping the Heroes who joined that novice. Such a large number of citizens answering a call for help warms my heart.

While fighting my way to the Hall of Heroes, I encountered a particularly polite opponent named Infantes Facior. While the spirits of the Rift are pleased by any who entertain them with mortal combat, they also have great respect for those who show honor on the battlefield.

Finally, I would like to share a word about a kind act yet to come: Mog Ruith Of Armagh, a respected and talented Mesmer, has informed me that his guild The Boat Crew [boat] is hosting a Wintersday Gathering in the Great Temple of Balthazar in a few day's time. While the focus of the event is a Mesmer Wintersday Gathering, citizens of every profession are welcome. Through Mog Ruith's hard work, and through generous donations from Quick Rinoa, Anya Winter, and Severra Timarre, The Boat Crew has purchased enough ale and gifts to share with many of the partygoers, and to use as prizes for trivia questions. Of course, supplies will be limited, so be sure to arrive early!

While I am unfamiliar with the calendar and time device used by this fine guild, they have asked I let everyone know that the party will begin at 1 p.m. Pacific on Saturday the 16th. Be sure to stop by the Great Temple of Balthazar on Saturday to take part in the festivities!