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This map location will become available during Minister Lloyd's quest in
. The first half of that quest -- where you learn that residents of Imnesvale are being murdered, and their bodies spirited away, by wolf-like creatures -- is covered on the
page. For this part of the quest, you'll need to put a stop to the murders.
You'll start out in the forest outside the ruined temple. Nearby, you'll spot a dying Shadow Thief named Lellyn (#1). When you search his corpse, you'll find his journal, which will indicate that he was a member of Mazzy Fentan's adventuring band. The journal will also detail how the band has been fighting wolves and shadows, and how shadows are destroyed by light.
Note: The forest will start out very dark (AR1404). It will only brighten (AR1400) at the end of the quest.
Slightly deeper into the forest, a werewolf named Anath will appear. She'll announce, "You will not steal my vengeance!" and then she'll disappear into the wolf cave (#2). When you follow Anath there, she'll tell you that a Shade Lord recently emerged from the ruined temple to the east (Exit A) and transformed her pack into shade wolves. She'll also claim that the Shade Lord is the one responsible for the murders in Imnesvale, and that she wants to kill him. It won't make much difference if you believe Anath or not. She'll die soon enough either way. But if you kill Anath yourself, then you'll earn 2200 xp.
As you explore the forest, you'll run into shadow wolves, shadows, and shadow fiends. These creatures are all considered undead, and you can destroy them with Turn Undead. Otherwise, you'll need to use spells or magical (+1 or better) weapons and ammunition against them. In most of the forest, you'll only encounter shadow creatures one or two at a time, making them easy to kill. But when you reach the entrance of the temple (Exit A), you'll find a whole mess of shadow creatures guarding it, and you might have trouble defeating them in a regular battle.
Luckily, there's an alternative way to deal with the shadow creatures. Just to the left of the entrance, you'll find a crystal and a mirror (#3). If Anath survived your encounter with her (#2), then she'll be by the entrance, too, and just before she's overwhelmed and killed, she'll tell you to use the mirror to focus the light of the crystal and destroy the shadows in the area. So you'll have some options. Just note that you won't earn any xp for kills made by the mirror, so even though it represents the easiest way to deal with the shadows (you can just use Sanctuary or Improved Invisibility to send a character right to the mirror and activate it), it's not necessarily the best way.
On the first level of the temple, you'll need to do two things:
- Collect Sun Gems (#9, #15) to dispel Shadow Barriers (#4, #17). This will allow you to explore the entire level.
- Collect the Sun Ray Symbol (#7), the Dawn's Light Symbol (#13), and the Lightstone Symbol (#16). When you have all three, you'll automatically put them together to form the Symbol of Amauntor, which will unlock the staircase leading to Level 2. Collecting the symbols will also earn you 21,250 xp.
On Level 2 of the temple, you'll encounter Thaxll'ssillyia the Shadow Dragon (#18). The Shadow Dragon Wardstone (#13) will allow you to walk past him without a fight. If you decide to attack him anyway, then you'll be in for a tough time. See Thaxll'ssillyia's entry below for some tips on how to deal with him.
Past Thaxll'ssillyia, you'll reach the Shadow Altar (#19), where you'll meet the Shade Lord (inhabiting Merella the ranger's body) and Shadow Patrick (a member of Mazzy's ill-fated adventuring band). After a brief conversation, they'll attack you, and you'll have to defeat them plus the altar, which will spawn regular shadows every so often.
The battle should not be too tough. Just gang up on the Shade Lord to prevent him from casting spells, and then mop up whatever remains. You'll earn 32,000 xp for killing the Shade Lord and Patrick, and each character in your party will earn 44,250 xp at the end of the battle. You'll also find a
Cloak of the Stars
, and more when you loot the corpses. Plus, winning the battle will remove the gloom from the forest, making it easier to explore.
Note: If Mazzy is with you, and if you insult her adventuring band or refuse to let her commemorate their deaths, then she'll leave your party and disappear from the game.
1 - Lellyn
2 - Wolf Cave
3 - Mirror
4 - Shadow Barrier
To dispel this barrier, you'll need to pick up a nearby Sun Gem (#9).
5 - Sarcophagus
Inside the sarcophagus here, you'll find Amuana's Bones. You'll need the bones to complete Amuana's quest (#13).
6 - Prison
Inside this prison, you'll encounter a Shadow Jailor, which will drop the Shadow Prison Key when it dies. The key will allow you to open the prison cell, where you'll meet Mazzy Fentan (a lawful-good halfling fighter). You'll also find Tombelthen's Journal (2nd Half), which you'll need for one of the
quests (if you're playing a ranger).
7 - Statue of Amaunator
If you talk to the statue here, then it will quiz you on the Holy Ritual. To learn the correct answers, you should first pick up the scrolls describing the Morn Ritual (#8), the Noontide Ritual (#12), and the Dusk Ritual (#15). The scrolls will only tell you two-thirds of each ritual, but each time the statue asks you a question, the three answers will come from the three rituals, so you'll either know the right answer from the associated scroll, or you'll know which two answers come from the other scrolls, making the remaining answer the right one.
More explicitly, the Morn Ritual answers are 2-3-1, the Noontide Ritual answers are 3-1-1, and the Dusk Ritual answers are 1-3-2. If you answer a question incorrectly, then you'll get hit with fire. When you answer all of the questions correctly, you'll receive the Sun Ray Symbol and 45,500 xp. You'll need the symbol in order to reach Level 2 (Exit B).
8 - Pillar
This is where you'll find the Morn Ritual.
9 - Pedestal
You'll find a Sun Gem on the pedestal here. Its light will destroy shadows while it remains on the pedestal, but you'll need to pick it up so you can dispel a Shadow Barrier (#4).
10 - Shadow Barrier
There isn't any way to dispel this barrier.
11 - Fire Pool
This fire pool will deal minor fire damage to anybody who steps into it, so try to walk along the outer edge as much as possible. If you loot the debris in the pool, then you'll find a Pearly White Ioun Stone.
12 - Pillar
This is where you'll find the Noontide Ritual. If you have trouble dealing with the creatures guarding it, then you might want to try luring them out into the fire pool (#11), and fighting them so they have to stand in the pool and you don't. The skeletons at least should take damage.
13 - Amuana's Tomb
When you enter this room, you'll meet the ghosts of Badon and Dettseh, the prophetess Amuana's guardians. They'll ask you to return Amuana's Bones (#5) to them. When you do, Amuana will appear to you, and she'll give you a Shadow Dragon Wardstone and the Dawn's Light Symbol. You'll also earn 17,750 xp. The wardstone will allow you to walk past Thaxll'ssillyia (#18) without triggering a fight. You'll need the symbol to reach Level 2 (Exit B).
14 - Letter Room
Just outside this room, a voice will direct you to speak the name of the master. Then inside the room, you'll find a grid of letters. To cross the room safely, you'll need to walk on the letters that spell "Amaunator" (since it's his temple you're in). If you walk on an incorrect letter, then you'll take some fire damage.
15 - Left Room
Inside the statue here, you'll find
Arla's Dragonbane +3
, the Dusk Ritual, a Sun Gem, and more. You'll need the ritual for Amauntor's quiz (#7). The Sun Gem will dispel a nearby Shadow Barrier (#17).
16 - Right Room
Inside this room, you'll meet a shadow. It'll ask you to carry it through the Letter Room (#14) so it can escape from the temple. No matter what you do, it'll (eventually) attack you, and you'll earn 620 xp for defeating it. In a container behind the shadow, you'll find the Lightstone Symbol, which you'll need in order to reach Level 2 (Exit B).
17 - Shadow Barrier
You'll need a nearby Sun Gem (#15) to dispel this barrier.
18 - Thaxll'ssillyia
Inside this large chamber, you'll encounter the shadow dragon Thaxll'ssillyia. If you have the Shadow Dragon Wardstone (#13), then Thaxll'ssillyia will ignore you -- unless you talk to him or attack him, and then he'll turn hostile. Otherwise, if you don't have the wardstone, then Thaxll'ssillyia will attack you as soon as he sees you.
Defeating Thaxll'ssillyia can be difficult or easy depending on your party. He'll push away melee attackers with wind buffets, he'll drain levels with his breath attacks, and he'll cause fear with his regular attacks. So we'd recommend buffing up your party as much as possible, spreading everybody out, and having your tank talk to him to start the fight. Then summon creatures to keep him distracted, or have whichever character he targets run around so he spends more time chasing than attacking. Meanwhile, cast some debuffs on him, and have the rest of your party plug away. Thaxll'ssillyia only has about 150 hp, so it shouldn't take long to kill him if you can keep your party alive.
Of course, there's also a trick. Thaxll'ssillyia can't do much of anything to mustard jellies. So if you have a caster (or two) with the Polymorph Self spell, then you can have them transform themselves into mustard jellies and tank Thaxll'ssillyia while the rest of your party stays out of the way and deals ranged damage.
If you manage to defeat Thaxll'ssillyia, then you'll earn 45,000 xp, and you'll find the Crom Faeyr Scroll, Shadow Dragon Scales, a bunch of gems, and over 3000 gp on his corpse. The scroll is one of the ingredients for Cromwell in the
Crom Faeyr +5
. The scales are the main ingredient for Cromwell to craft
Shadow Dragon Scale
19 - Shadow Altar
- Entrance to the ruined temple.
- Stairs between Levels 1 and 2. You'll need the Symbol of Amauntor to unlock the door just in front of the staircase.
- Exit to the shadow altar.