Dec 082011

During my exploration of Arbor Bay, I noticed a restless spirit near an entrance to the Depths of Tyria. When I returned to that spot with my friend Malory, we learned of crewmember Shandra’s curse. She was a member of Lady Glaive’s crew on the Queen of Fools ship. When they sailed into Orrian waters, a mutiny took place. Our task was to free the crew members souls by killing their betrayer.

When Shandra mentioned Orr in her story, I should have guessed that this area would be full of undead. To defeat these foes with ease, you can’t just rush into combat; you need a good party formation. Ideally, one person goes in first to taunt the enemies into hitting them, then the rest of the party heads into battle without the worry of enduring too much harm. I took on the agonizing job of goading the enemies, because I love the thrill of danger and I also had the toughest armor. Malory expressed his regret that he didn’t volunteer, but he couldn’t allow his mesmer garments to be ruined.

At various points on the first level, we saw Canthan style housing and Elonian style pipes being used. Everything here looks in good working condition, so I wondered if the undead that live here maintain these.

Several of the undead groups we encountered were led by Cursed Brigands. Their bright red aura serves as a reminder of their power, and their mastery of elemental magic. The store room behind them is filled with barrels and chests that resemble the variety that Xunlai Agents use.

As we made our way through these Shards of Orr, Shandra told us more about her crew’s plight. After her defeat in the Second Great Corsair War, Lady Glaive sailed north, and then made a deal with King Zoran of Orr to enter these caves. But a crew member named Fendi saw this as a chance to gain control of Glaive’s ship and made a deal with the king’s advisor. It was sickening to hear that last bit of information, because we all knew that the king’s advisor at the time was Vizier Khilbron, the one who would eventually cause the sinking of Orr (known as the Cataclysm).

I found it hard to admire the beauty of the lush area that connects to the second level of this cave system. All I could think of was Shandra’s crew and the fall of Orr.

A grand statue seemed to greet us as we entered the second level. Its flame, which is only enhanced by the crystalline room, provided good light to fight under.

After defeating another Cursed Brigand under the statue, we admired the clear waters that provided a wonderful reflection of the statue.

Malory picked up a torch that only appeared after we killed that Cursed Brigand. Its purpose was not immediately obvious; braziers must be lit along throughout the cavern to open its doors. As if this wasn’t bothersome enough, a large group of undead appear when all the braziers were lit.

Nearing the end of our exploration of the second level, and fighting another undead mob created by the braziers, we admired our surroundings. There is a library here with beautiful stained glass windows and shelves packed with scrolls. While Malory and I looked over a few scrolls, Shandra went on about her troubles again. Her captain Lady Glaive sealed away the damned crew members, and fled the area with her ship. I felt the urgency of her wishes and decided to revisit this library some other time.

On the third floor, the number of undead we faced grew as we neared Fendi’s lair. It became difficult to engage one group in battle without attracting another.

The ominous feeling of this room was only enhanced by the sound of cracking fire from the lit torches and open furnaces overhead.

One final Cursed Brigand and his undead followers confronted us as we lit the last brazier. These feast halls seem to be a common type of room to build in dungeons. I remember first seeing one in the Cathedral of Flames.

Shandra got quite anxious as we neared Fendi, but on the bridge to his lair I couldn’t keep my eyes off the unreachable area to the right. There are so many spots in Tyria I’d love to visit, but for one reason or another I can’t reach them.

If fighting hordes of undead were not enough to strike fear into our hearts, the design of Fendi’s lair was certainly meant to. Between the flame jets and the rivers of lava, I got the clear impression that unwelcome guests would meet a fiery death.

Unlike the usual enemies I’ve encountered, Fendi had two forms. During the initial encounter you fight Fendi Nin and his skeletal archers, but after you strike a fatal hit he transforms. And in this brief moment you encounter the Soul of Fendi Nin and his damned crewmen. Destroying the soul is the only way to truly defeat him, but he reverts to first form after a few seconds. This long cycle of battling the two forms challenged the limits of our endurance.

Eventually the amount of damage we took, pushed us back near the bridge that leads to his lair. This seemed like bad luck at first, but he continued to fight us in the path of fiery jets. The damned crewmen stopped appearing next to him, and the additional damage from the jets helped us finish off the Soul of Fendi Nin much quicker.

Malory and I entered his lair to collect the treasure and have a look around. There were stretches of flesh sewn together between wooden poles, and strange pillars with several spikes protruding out. It reminds me of the mursaat, but I couldn’t understand why there would be any connection to them here. Perhaps it’s just Fendi’s idea of “decor”.

Prized Spoils: 6 golden items
Outposts: Gadd’s Outpost
Exits: Arbor Bay
Friends: Malory K.