- "Goblins have seized the Stone of the Southwest. Reclaim this vital bulwark against the dragon."
This quest is one of four Wyrm Hunt Quests that can be obtained from Ser Maximilian once the Arisen has received the Wyrm Hunt License from Ser Duncan after the completion of the quest Lure of the Abyss.
The quest is obtained by speaking with Ser Maximilian in the Noble Quarter and selecting "Rout a monster infestation" from his available quests. This quest requires the Arisen to travel to The Shadow Fort and defeat the Goblins that have overrun the fort.
There are a few ways to get to The Shadow Fort from Gran Soren; however the most efficient way is to venture through The Ancient Quarry. This walkthrough will assume this route is taken and that the Quarry is still infested with monsters.
Lower levels who have not ventured this far southwest, should prepare well as the upcoming battles can be quite challenging.
Speak with the Captain
In order to reach The Shadow Fort via The Ancient Quarry, exit Gran Soren through the southern entrance and then take the road north past the first archway. From there, take the path west leading through the Estan Plains.
Following the path leads the players to a fork in the road close to a Miner's Hut. The area here is filled with Goblins and at night is swarming with Undead. At the fork take the path south and players will end up at the northern entrance of the Quarry. The quest Of Merchants and Monsters can be started here via the travelling merchant Alon, who is in trouble because the Quarry's entrance door is closed and the quarry is overrun by monsters. It is not required to complete this quest to advance, but it is highly recommended as it clears the mine of monsters permanently and allows Alon to open his shop.
Once the Arisen has made it through the quarry, Pawns will mention a Rest Camp which can be found by taking the southern road. This is not however on the path to the final destination. In order to reach The Shadow Fort, take the western road through the forest.
- Note: The quarry route from Gran Soren to the Shadow fort is one often taken - alternative routes are described in the article Escort Quest Walkthroughs.
Once the Arisen arrives at The Shadow Fort, seek out Ser Robert, who is in charge of the assault to retake the Fort. He will explain the bulk of the mission, which involves the Arisen and their party to go into the fortress and open the gate so the main force can enter for a major assault on the enemies inside.
Open the Gate
In order to infiltrate the Fort, take the cavern opening down, slay 8 Bats and travel to the end of it to reach the cellar of the left tower. Slay the 2 Goblins and 2 Hobgoblins waiting in the cellar and head upstairs to the top of the tower, ignoring the door on the first floor for now. At the top of the tower on the back wall will be an empty hole which requires a lever to open the main gate.
Optional: Jumping over the broken bridge to the other tower will grant access to a Ballista. Arisen who are fortunate enough may be able to take out one or two of the Ballistas on the other side of the courtyard. Be warned however, the opposing Ballistae fire accurately at stationary targets and can do quite a bit of damage. Once the Ballista has taken enough damage it will be destroyed. Bow-welding vocations can use long range skills to shoot the Goblins off the opposing Ballistas. Even if the Arisen doesn't destroy the two Ballistae on the opposite wall, destroying the single one here will mean the Arisen's party will not be pinned under cover fire between two opposing Ballistae positions.
Before heading down the tower, it is advisable to prepare for the chaos in the courtyard. The courtyard is filled with Goblins who are accompanied by two Cyclopes; twin Ballistas overlooking the courtyard will provide cover fire for the enemies (unless destroyed previously), making this fight incredibly difficult. The Ballistas will fire explosive spears, capable of doing considerable damage and setting the Arisen and their party ablaze. It is advised to lure the Cyclopes behind a stone building or close to the curtain wall with the two Ballistae to avoid their fire.
Once the courtyard has been cleared of enemies, make way to the ladder on the Station Room in the courtyard. From the top of this building, jump down inside. Remember to also unlock the barred door to allow easy access into this area. Take the closed door down into the dungeons. Below will be some Goblins guarding a chest containing the Shadow Fort Lever.
Once the lever has been retrieved, travel back to the first tower and put the lever into place to open the gate. Opening the gate allows Ser Robert's men to storm the inner bailey.
Rout the Goblins
Assist Ser Robert and his men in fighting off the remaining foes. Once the party has the upper hand, the Goblins will retreat and the doors to the far building will open.
However, if Ser Robert is defeated the quest will fail.
Defeat the Goblin Chieftain
Before entering the castle, make sure Ser Robert and his men are safe and not engaging any enemies. Once no more enemies are present, the main force should be holding their ground with their shields raised. This will allow them to block any incoming ballista fire as well.
Enter the fortress through the main gate and take the stairs to the right. The stairs wind up towards the tower. Beware, though, at the top of the tower will be a third Cyclops, and this one is armored. The rampart’s walkway is small and the armored Cyclops can easily knock foes off, most likely causing death as the fall is quite high. Lightning-based attacks will aid considerably in this fight.
Once the Cyclops has been taken care of, make sure to pick off any remaining Goblins and that the ballistae are no longer under their control.
To reach the Goblin Chieftain, head down the stairs via the left tower and enter the room overlooking the keep's main entrance. After a short battle with the Goblin chief, he usually will flee through the window and retreat to the Frontier Caverns.
Whether or not the Chieftain was slain or flew, victory is obtained. If Ser Robert survived the assault, speak to him for a reward.
Report Your Victory
If the assault ended with Ser Robert's death, Ser Maximilian will remark that, although it is a shame that the fortress was lost, the Arisen’s very presence and willingness to fight has boosted the morale of the army and the Duke will appreciate the Arisen's efforts nonetheless.
After speaking with Ser Maximilian, the quest is complete. The Arisen may select another Wyrm Hunt Quest if they are available or choose "Hear the duke's directive" to advance the story line.
- Disabling the ballistae - A fairly reliable way to destroy the ballistae on the other end of the Shadow Fort before the far doors are opened is by firing the accessible ballistae on the other side of the inner bailey.
- Regular bolts may be more effective due to their higher rate of fire
- For notes on using the ballista, see Ballista § Notes
- Players who are having a difficult time keeping all of the soldiers alive can utilize Spring Water or other group curatives, which will heal the Arisen, their party, and all of Ser Robert’s men.
- Goblins enter the battlefield from the many small holes in the area in front of the main castle - smaller Arisen may enter these holes to the tunnels below.
- If Ser Robert dies, the main castle doors will never open, even if you defeat all the enemies in the courtyard and disable the ballistae.
- It is possible to jump out of the same window the Goblin Chief used.
- It is possible to kill the Goblin Chief before he flees - one way is to lure him outside his headquarters. Defeating him anywhere outside his room instantly goes into his death sequence thus awarding the player the experience right away.
- It is also possible, although extremely rare, for a ballista bolt to kill the Chieftain in midair after he jumps out of the window. He will fall to the ground dead and the player will be awarded experience.
- Even if Ser Robert is killed in battle, and the assault falters, Ser Maximillian will be sufficiently satisfied with the action to progress the Wyrm Hunt Quests.
- In Dark Arisen, there is Portcrystal in one of the cells within the Station Room