TERA's third instanced dungeon is the Cultists' Refuge. This dungeon is meant for three to five characters, levels 35-40, including at least one tank, one damage dealer, and one healer. You'll face three tough bosses in this dungeon, and an optional fourth.
The Scions of Lok have concentrated their forces in a remote desert temple, where they plan to resurrect fallen allies and unleash a terrible power on the Valkyon Federation.
While the dungeon proper is accessible to any character level 35 or higher, to get the full experience you'll want to follow the Samael's Apparition plotline. This group of quests begins at level 35 in the Val Aureum city of Tulufan, leading you through ancient ruins and challenging opponents.
Commander Seir recalled you to Velika to join Elleon's task force investigating rumors of Scion activity in a temple near the city of Tulufan. The Scions of Lok were seeking the power of the legendary giants, but your quick thinking and strength of arms foiled their plans.
You weren't done yet, though, and were quickly back in action recovering an artifact that would allow them to try again. In the process, you killed some of their leaders.
This section will walk you through the main quests and encounters leading up to and inside the Cultists' Refuge. The tactics presented are suggested by players like you and draw on extensive play experience, but are not absolute guarantees of success. As with all things TERA, player skill and a healthy amount of common sense are what you'll need to win—but we've included a few tips, too.
|Quest Title||Min Level||Type||Starting NPC|
|A Race Through Dark Places||35||Story||None (automatic after finishing Final Fury)|
While you were fighting monsters and Lokians on the beach, Elleon and the rest of the task force pushed deep into the ancient temple complex known as the Dark Cathedral, and they haven't been heard from since. After some bureaucratic back and forth, you set out to meet Orlaith and Elsine in the southeast camps.
Orlaith and Elsine agree on one thing; Elleon was hot on the trail of a Scion priestess, whose name rhymes with Ak and Kia. Deirin, the teleport master, can send you deeper into the cathedral complex to get more information from Rendalf.
Prefect Rendalf doesn't have a lot of good news for you, but he can send you on to one of Elleon's arcanists, Runha. She's been holding open a portal that the task force went through, but doesn't think she can do so for much longer. Maoran, the teleport master, can help you get there, if you don't want to take the long way around.
While Ruhna appears the very model of elven calm, her report is sobering. A great deal of energy directed at closing the teleport link she's maintaining. In particular, Scion priests are channeling energy from three powerful monsters against her. They need to go, or she won't be able to keep the link open to the area that the task force scouted.
These BAMs have fairly standard tactics, but their location makes them a bit tricky to fight. Not only is each attended by a Scion "handler," but the chambers they inhabit are patrolled by fairly tough shurian mercenaries.
Time your approach to avoid aggroing either the shurians or the Lokians patrolling the hallways. Extra combatants can chip away the outer edges of your defensive formations, and you'll want to bring as much damage to the table as you can.
Fimbrilisks jump, slam, and rend with regularity, but also have a damaging forward shout. If you've got a mystic or priest with you, have them ready to dispel a particularly nasty "bleed" attack. Standard BAM tells apply—there's one outside the Cathedral proper fighting a group of NPCs if you'd like to watch.
With the Fimbrilisks out of the way, Ruhna has one more task for you. She's been using a dimensional anchor to help maintain her teleport link to the task force, and while she can feel the connection strengthening, something's not quite right. Before she sends you through, she'd like you to check it out.
The hallways are just as full as ever, and you might attract a bit of attention on your way there. Once you're finished with any incidental combat, approach and activate the plinth.
Hydraths are tricky opponents, but if you remember the reapers from the Island of Dawn and Cliffs of Insanity, you know half of what you need to survive this encounter. Observe both the top and bottom "bodies" for tells, but also keep an eye on the rotating center blades. Both a "shotgun" attack and an electrical cone can end your adventure pretty quick.
Remember Rule #1: Don't get hit. The hydrath's tentacles slam down fast and hit hard. It will occasionally chase you around the room, but stick to your class's strengths and you should be fine.
Of note: The dark cathedral is an "open" area, and there's a chance someone else will activate the plinth while you are fighting Libtrixis. You do not want this to happen, as you will quickly find yourself fighting two of these creatures. The room will get very small very quickly in this situation.
|Quest Title||Min Level||Type||Starting NPC|
|Dark Dreams Sundered||37||Story||Ruhna (must have finished A Race Through Dark Places)|
NOTE: This quest is only available to characters level 37 and higher who have finished the previous quests in the plot. However, the dungeon strategy is the same whether or not you have the quest.
Ruhna can now maintain a stable connection to Elleon's advance team, and has a message from your friend and Elleon's friend, Jelena. True to his nature, Elleon has moved ahead of the rest of the task force, and possibly got himself into a bit of trouble. The remainder of his troupe has had their hands full while trying to find him, and need your help to clear a path to their leader.
The last person to see Elleon was Davina, a castanic scout. She was out on patrol when the doors came down, and there's been no word from her since. The fact that she's also Jelena's sister is cause for extra concern, but hey, that's why you're here, right?
And if you've got a little time...
|Dark Beings||Karus||Collect Darkness Cores
|Book of the Abyss||Belenon||Collect Books of the Abyss
|The Quality is Superb!||Nullu||Collect Cultist Weapons
|Imp-Probable Problem||Raubelak||Kill Auric Imps|
|Dark Dreams Sundered||Jelena||Activate the Eastern Wardstone|
The first thing you'll need to do is open the doors leading to the rest of the structure. From experience, the task force knows they are controlled by wardstones, the first of which is in the next room. Of course, it's not going to be easy.
The first wardstone is guarded by a flock of imps, a wraith, and a series of spike traps, so make your way to the center of the room as fast and as safely as you can. Don't worry about chasing the wraith around—it will float its menacing way back to you before too long. Wipe out the imps, avoid the spikes, and then activate the wardstone once the room is clear. The door to the east is now open, and you can proceed.
The first chamber you'll encounter is chocked full of skeletal figures with glowing balls of energy in their chests.
These are Ksharans, a particularly nasty form of undead used by the Scions of Lok. Fast, agile, and deadly, they can take down an unprepared group. On the bright side, they're standing next to barrels that EXPLODE when attacked. Ranged combat is recommended here, because the "mystic" skeletons make liberal use of Corruption Ring, and your HP belongs in your body for maximum effectiveness.
One last thing: at the far side of the room is an oversized skeleton. Attack this one last, as doing so will aggro everything in the room, and some of the enemies from the next as well.
The next room is full of golems and imps. The first are stationary, the second will swarm you if you're not careful. The golems take a bit of work to down, but the good news is that you don't really have to fight them. If you have a lancer in your group, use Leash to pull them out of the way and you'll have a clear path to the next chamber.
Surrounded by patrols and with her back literally against the wall, you see Davina as you enter the next room. Clear out the enemies without approaching her—if you get too close she'll join in the fight and you want her at full health for what comes next.
Davina's been holding the line here since the doors came down, and is about out of oomph. The Ksharans and Scions are massing for another push, and you've arrived just in time to "help" her. When you're ready, let her know—you'll have five minutes to fight off waves of enemies.
Use the same tactics as before, but this time you've got no barrels, a ticking clock, and Davina's HP to consider. Basically, you've got to keep her alive until the timer winds down, but she's not going to make it easy on you. Though she's a skilled combatant, despite her appearance she's not as good as Jelena, and a few hours of non-stop fighting takes its toll on anyone.
Keep the fight away from her as best you can, and take out enemy mystics as soon as they appear. If she dies, this trip through the dungeon is over for you, and you'll need to try again later.
|Dark Dreams Sundered||Jelena||Activate the Western Wardstone|
Around the corner and down a small set of stairs, another obelisk stands in front of a sealed door—but this is not the wardstone you're looking for.
Triggering the obelisk will open the door and reveal another challenge for you to overcome. Alas, still no wardstone. Not yet, that is.
Nothing all that special about Galanos, other than he hits hard and often. Watch for tells and melodramatic chat messages, and stay at range as much as possible.
One of his monologues presages a red targeting circle in a wide radius around Galanos. If you're not wearing heavy armor, you should not be standing inside with him. Even if you are, block. Healers, be ready with heals and/or a rez if folks are a bit slow in evading.
Next, look out for his bitey little minions. Galanos will periodically run to the center of the room and summon a fresh batch.
Don't let him. Though they're more of an annoyance than a danger, each one is "extra HP" for the boss, and you want him to go down fast so you can move on. Also, they have a bit of a taste for healers.
Once he's dead, the western wardstone will appear. Activate it, and head back to Jelana for more instructions.
|Dark Dreams Sundered||Jelena||Find and kill Akia|
Jelena's still heard nothing from Elleon, but something he said to Davina got people thinking. After a quick chat with Nulla, you're off to deal with the meddlesome Akia. After each of your previous encounters with the shadowy leader of the Scions of Lok, she escaped capture, possibly retreating to this very complex. If she's really behind this mess, she can't get away again.
Odds are good she's hiding out somewhere in the western half of the dungeon. Really good. You might even call it a "sure thing."
But first, you've got to take out the trash. The path between you and Akia's unfortunate demise is full of undead and other nasty creatures. Unlike the eastern half of the dungeon, none of it is easily skippable, but you can take some precautions.
In the first room you come to (just on the other side of the now open western door) you'll find an entire strike force of Ksharan mercenaries. If you're not careful, you'll end up fighting them all at once, especially if you try to sneak around and kill the prelate guarding the next hallway.
Pull off a few opponents at a time, and you'll do fine. Your next opponents are swarms of scorpions under the command of Ksharan spellcasters.
Stay focused on the skeletons. They've got a lot more damage potential and your attacks will pretty much take care of their crunchy minions. Try not to take on too much at once though. Little bites and stings can add up fast, especially on healers. You should also avoid their big red energy ball attacks, as they'll apply a "backwards" status effect you'll want to remove as soon as possible.
There are a few patrols coming up, but nothing you can't handle. Far more important is a choice of what to do next.
Akia's to the right. Trust us on this one. You'll have another room of Ksharans and imps to deal with, but by now you know what to do.
Because at this point, who else could it be? There's a sealed door to your left and a dungeon full of dead enemies behind you. But just to be sure, talk to the mysterious woman in the blue dress.
Akia attacks with both fire and frost. Keep an eye on the floor when you're not pouring on the damage. The red circle means what you think it means.
|Dark Dreams Sundered||Jelena||Summon and kill Terkasia|
The door leading out of Akia's chamber is open, but there's still no sign of Elleon. Following a short hallway, you'll come to a more or less empty room.
Roleplaying games have a lot of lessons for life, but one of the most important ones is that you should always read mysterious books lying unattended at the end of a heavily defended temple complex, right?
No problem. You've got this one. Terkasia is a pretty tough boss, but its attacks are a lot like those of Librixas. Pay attention to its eyes and main body—if either changes, something's up. Blinking eyes indicate a fast triple tentacle slam is coming. When its body spins up and tilts, Terkasia is about to charge. Its range covers the entire room, so backing up won't get you out of danger. Move fast to either side, or renew your faith in your weapon's ability to absorb damage.
You'll also need to look out for two kinds of lighting attack. The first is a standard targeted AOE, so watch for it and get out of the way. If you miss your dodge, it's not the end of the world.
The second, though, is a much bigger deal. Terkasia will explode in a very wide area with enough damage to drop lightly armored characters, with a secondary DoT effect strong enough to drop everyone else. Get clear or block, and hope the healer lives long enough to remove the effect.
Once you've dealt with the giant armored floating demon, you'll notice Elleon at the other side of the room. Cool and collected as always, he reveals why the task force is really here, and offers you the honor of finishing their mission (Hint: The Scions of Lok were trying to do something that rhymes with "fesurrecting damael"). Head back to Jelena with the good news.
NOTE: If you decided to proceed with this next encounter, make sure all of your party members have either completed this dungeon before, or are on the same quest and in the same place as yourself
|The Last Thing We Wanted To See||Jelena||Find and kill Bhaozurbas|
Now that you've defeated Terkasia and destroyed the soul stone, Jelena thinks it's a good idea to find out what's behind the last door. She hands you a scroll which should remove the seal on it, and sends you to find out and deal with whatever's there.
Make sure everyone who's on the quest is present, and then use the scroll. The seal will break, the door will open, and now you've got another problem to address.
Welcome to the front lines, everyone. That's an argon. Bhaozurbas is an army all by itself, and if you want to walk away at this point, no-one will judge you.
Seriously, though, it's going to be a tough fight. The argon can attack any point in the room using a short-range teleport, and those swords are every bit as deadly as they look. But it's got tells just like any other monster, and with a bit of caution you may yet get out alive.
Tip #1: Don't stand in front of the argon. It seems like a no-brainer, but most of its attacks are aimed to the "front." If you're not the tank, you shouldn't be standing there.
Tip #2: Nowhere else is safe either. The argon teleports around the room with no warning, so don't spend too long in one place if you can help it. Damage dealers should take note and adopt a "run and gun" strategy.
Tip #3: Don't stand in the red circle. It means what you think it does.
Tip #4: Paint the target. The party leader should put a mark on the argon as soon as the fight starts. This will be important in three more paragraphs.
If Bhaozurbas crouches and puts its hands on the ground, look out for either a rushing wave of energy or a flying wall of charging argon. With its extra-wide body low to the ground, it can knock down and trample most of the room at once. Both attacks are common after a teleport.
An ominous red circle marks the spot where one of its swords will land with a flurry of lightning strikes. Try not to get hit by these.
But what you really want to avoid is having it charge into the middle of the room and start summoning duplicates of itself. And for duplicate, read "gonna mess you up if you guess wrong." While you're trying to see anything in a forest of neon-blue chiton, you might miss the fast and furious cascade of red circles on the ground.
Don't stand in the red circles. In fact, start running, and don't stop for 15 seconds if you can help it. After that, the duplicates will disappear and you'll have the main body to deal with again.
Mind you, the best defense is always a good offense. So if you want to avoid guessing wrong, the preferred plan would be to stop the summoning altogether. Anything you can do to disrupt the summons is a good idea, but here are a few suggestions by class.
In addition to the optional boss above, there are a couple quests you can complete on subsequent visits to the Cultists' Refuge. You can try to get it all done in one go, but you'll need to pay close attention to when you finish the pre-requisite quests and turn them in as soon as possible.
|Belenon||Collect abysmal cores from Ksharan mercenaries
(must first finish Book of the Abyss)
|Karus||Kill Ksharan mercenaries
(must first finish Dark Beings)