Echoes of the Dead Instance Cluster, Part Two: The Lost Temple

alt="Part 2: The Lost Temple"

After completing the 3-man instances in Evendim and North
Downs, "In Their Absence" takes us further along the path of the
Gaunt-lord invasion in the wake of the disappearing rangers. More
specifically, the continuing story deals with the machinations of
Ferndur and Drugoth as they continue to assemble their own dark armies
in the service of Sauron. And these fellows have had a bit more time to
work their foul magics, requiring larger groups to end their black

Flush from victory after foiling Ivar Bloodhand's plans at
Stoneheight, the heroes' story continues in the Trollshaws, where the
entrance to an ancient, forgotten temple has recently been unearthed.

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Step inside the door, take a look around. Go on, do it, you
know you want to. The design of this place is amazing and has the feel
of high adventure. You will regret not bringing your bullwhip and
fedora, and will be on the lookout for giant rolling boulders. Or maybe
not - once you start engaging the enemies, you'll be glad for the 2nd
age weapon currently in your sweaty hands.

alt="The Lost Temple"

You're going to want a very solid, balanced group for this:
tank, off-tank, healer, DPS, support. A Lore-master traited for
in-combat disease-removal might be a strong asset here, but if he
doesn't know which diseases to remove and which to leave alone, he
could be a liability. Diseases do play a major part in this instance,
so make sure you have a full stack of Steeped Lhinestad potions.

The winding path leading into the temple is well-guarded by
groups of mercenary hillmen, Angmarim and trolls. Each group has a
slightly different makeup, and they get progressively more difficult
the further in you go. For the first couple of groups, start with the
Mercenary Captain as primary DPS target - he applies a debuff (marked
by a giant red eye over the target's head) that increases threat
generation by 300% for the duration. When/If this lands on the healer,
the group is in trouble. Better when it lands on the tank. Do be aware
of ranged attackers in each group - if not handled early on by the
tank, they will invariably start picking on healers.

Later groups will have Acolytes of Pestilence - when you
encounter these groups, take out the Acolytes first. They apply strong
disease debuffs, some of which may or may not be potted off during the
fight. The last couple of groups have trolls. Trolls are
priority targets - they have a disease aura, and they do all the other
horrible things that all trolls everywhere do. So target priorities
are: 1) trolls; 2) Acolytes; 3) Captains; 4) whatever is left.

These fights are particularly hard on tanks and other melee
classes, who will receive the Creeping Infection debuff while standing
in the auras of the enemy mobs. This debuff increases incoming damage,
and it stacks with itself, so if the main tank gets this debuff stacked
5 times (+100% incoming damage), it will be more or less impossible to
keep him healed. Tanking needs to be spread out a bit across more than
one character, and mobs need to be separated to prevent the debuffs
from stacking too high and keep this penalty in check.

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alt="Angaidh and Sidhag"

After fighting the final "trash" group with 2 trolls, you come
to a gated courtyard, the realm of Sidhag and her brother Angaidh. You
get to fight them both at once - hence the need for an off-tank. The
trick here is to keep them separate and burn them down more or less
evenly. There are a couple of ways to do this, but this method has
proven to be fairly effective.

Put the main tank on Angaidh and drag him up the stairs to the
left, and everyone else focuses on Sidhag. The healer stands in range
of both groups. Sidhag is a ranged attacker and will usually not leave
her spot until she goes to check on her brother - she will announce it
("How fare you, brother?") and go charging off. When the twins are
standing close to one another, the combined auras make them hit harder
than usual, and Angaidh will potentially unleash a massive AoE
insta-death attack, so the goal is to keep them apart. As you can see
in the image above, their auras are quite wide, so they need to be kept
far apart. 

The tank kites Angaidh
around a bit when this happens, taking him across the raised platform
to the other set of stairs and over to the other side. Angaidh, like
his sister, will occasionally run off to check on his sibling, but the
tank should not waste time or energy chasing him when he does this; he
will come back, and waiting for this to happen avoids the AoE
insta-death attack. Continue this
pattern until Sidhag is down to about 60k morale and then switch
to Angaidh - if the group burns her too far before taking
Angaidh down, she will heal herself massively and the fight ends up
being perpetual.

At 60k, switch DPS to Angaidh and take him down to
about 60k, then switch back to Sidhag. Take her down to about 30k, then
switch back to Angaidh and take him down to around 5k. Back to
Sidhag, and kill her, then back to Angaidh and kill him. They
need to die within seconds of one another to complete the deed. You can
advance to the next part of the instance without doing it this way, but
where's the fun in that?

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After looting the chest, head on inside to the tunnels. The
tunnels are populated with trolls, wights and maggots, and pretty much
all of them apply disease debuffs. At this point, you're going to want
to know which debuffs have which effects, and which can safely be
potted off or otherwise removed. Here's a handy little chart to help
you with that:

style="text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"
border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">
style="width: 25px; height: 25px;" alt="Creeping Infection icon"
src=""> style="width: 235px; height: 183px;" alt="Creeping Infection"
src=""> Occurs
when standing in auras; cannot be removed with potions and stacks with
itself. Tanks may find this unavoidable in the first few seconds of a
fight, and can fall very quickly when they have this debuff stacked 5
deep. style="width: 25px; height: 25px;" alt="Brain Fever icon"
src=""> style="width: 225px; height: 156px;" alt="Brain Fever"
src=""> Occurs during
mini-boss and final boss fights; can be removed with potions. Infected
characters will have a yellow fuzz on their screen and will
periodically cower. This one has a slightly different icon than
Creeping Infection - the Brain Fever icon has a yellow box border, and
the Creeping Infection icon has no border. style="width: 25px; height: 25px;" alt="Contagious Cloud icon"
src=""> style="width: 233px; height: 170px;" alt="Contagious Cloud"
src=""> This one surrounds
the victim with a green cloud. If removed with a potion, anyone within
the green cloud will be infected. Move well away from other characters
before using a potion, and make sure no one is standing in your cloud
when you do. style="width: 25px; height: 25px;" alt="Septic Arrow icon"
src=""> style="width: 213px; height: 156px;" alt="Septic Arrow"
src=""> Can be removed with
potions. The icon for this disease is exactly the same as the one for
Maggot Infestation. style="width: 25px; height: 25px;" alt="dfd"
src=""> style="width: 214px; height: 184px;" alt="Sleeping Sickness"
src=""> Can be removed with
potions, but will cause the victim to be stunned momentarily. This one
is dangerous for tanks and healers, but is better left alone on most
other classes. If there is a Lore-master in the group, and he has used
Sign of Power: Righteousness on you, go ahead and use the potion. style="width: 25px; height: 25px;" alt="Maggot Infestation icon"
src=""> style="width: 214px; height: 142px;" alt="Maggot Infestation"
src=""> Can (and should) be
removed with a potion before it spawns more maggots. Infected
characters will have a green maggot stuck to their face. style="width: 25px; height: 25px;" alt="Decrepitude icon"
src=""> style="width: 228px; height: 168px;" alt="Decrepitude"
src=""> Can and should be
removed with potions. This one is particularly dangerous when coupled
with the Creeping Infection disease, or when applied to healers. When
cured with a potion, the formerly-infected character will perform a
roar emote. style="width: 25px; height: 25px;" alt="Enervating Plague icon"
src=""> style="width: 228px; height: 155px;" alt="Enervating Plague"
src=""> Can be removed with
potions, but will drain a large amount of power when cured. Let it run
its course and chug a Celebrant potion after.

Maggots are usually a priority in these fights. Left
unchecked, maggots will grab onto the faces of characters and spawn in
more maggots, and also they're freakin' gross - kill them first and
fast. Then you can worry about the trolls and wights. Be careful about
charging into any rooms that appear to contain only one mob - sometimes
there are others hiding out of sight, or more will spawn in around you.
It may be a better idea to pull the visible mobs into the hallways and
deal with adds as they come.

In these tunnels, there are 3 crypts of ancient kings, and
each one is a mini-boss. Follow the same priority list (maggots, then
trolls, then wights) and save the boss for last. Bosses will call in
waves of reinforcements, so be prepared to deal with them when they
come charging in the door, and stick to priorities. And again, remember
to take care of the ranged attackers before they start wailing on the
healers. Watch out for them in every crypt.

In general, you'll want to run the tank in first to handle the
boss, and send DPS and support in along the sides to take out the adds.
Once the adds are down (there are usually 4 or 5), switch to the boss
and burn until more adds come, then take care of those. These fights
are challenging, and keep in mind that the sarcophagi in the middle of
the rooms blocks line of sight

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alt="Thadur's chamber"

At the end of the long, winding tunnel, you reach a large
central chamber, the room you can see on the other side of the fence in
each of the smaller mini-boss crypts. Ferndur the Virulent stands tall
in the middle of this room, surrounded by the rotting corpses of his
victims. At first glance it may look like a straight-up tank-n-spank
fight, but Thadur is much more devious than that. Like a popular
country singer of olde, he has friends in low places. And you have to
destroy them all.

During the fight, Ferndur applies a number of debuffs. The one
to watch out for is the glaring yellow-green eye - this is a timed
effect that will spawn a large, corrosive cloud around the victim and
reanimate any corpse within the cloud's radius. These clouds must be
used wisely to animate all of the bodies lying around the room. Keep in
mind that they are highly corrosive and can kill anyone standing in
them. The goal here is to drop the cloud in a useful spot and then get
out immediately.

When the bodies are animated, the group wants to focus DPS on
the adds and have the tank kite Ferndur around the room. The group will
need to beat on Ferndur a little bit initially to trigger the debuffing
stage, but once this starts, keep DPS off of him. 

For placement of the clouds, start with the groups of bodies
in the middle platform on the left side facing in, and the next cloud
to the right of that. Those clouds will dissipate eventually, but in
the meantime stay out of the middle of the room. The rest of the clouds
will be deposited clockwise around the edge of the room, tight together
but placed so that
each one will cover 2 bodies. You want to get 2 at once, and not more
than 3 - anything more than 3 can get difficult to keep under control.
When a player gets marked with an eye, the healer will need to pay
particular attention and be ready to hit some big heals quickly after
the cloud pops. And the player will need to avoid any
previously-spawned clouds - stepping into one while bearing the eye
will result in immediate death.

The adds must be dispatched fairly quickly - Ferndur doesn't
waste much
time between applying the debuffs, and the group can easily be
overwhelmed by too many zombies and not enough DPS. Maggots will spawn
in periodically during the fight, and these need to be handled
immediately. You don't want the room filling up with maggots as you're
battling zombie trolls. Trust me. Fortunately, the maggots can be
interrupted when they start their dangerous inductions - keeping a
Burglar on the maggots helps out a lot.

Keeping the adds-killing group in a fairly tight ball will
help with general crowd-control. Rather than having loose mobs running
willy-nilly, hither and yon, they will surge towards the one part of
the room where everyone is standing. This will also help with
containing the maggot threat, making it easier to notice when they are
entering the fray since they have to slither all the way across the

Late in the fight, Ferndur's resurrected Mercenary Captain
minions will apply red eye threat-increasing debuffs on more
than one target at once. This can get dangerous if the red eye lands on
the healer, as it significantly increases threat from healing. If the
healer gets the red eye, he needs to kite enemies and pause on the
healing until it expires. This can be avoided by keeping the Mercenary
Captains locked down with stuns and mezzes until it's killin'-time.

At around 180,000 morale, Ferndur will drop 2 eyes at once,
and 2 players will need to rally to their zombie-spawning points. They
will need to know how far apart to stand or get caught in each others'
clouds, which can be fatal. At around 150,000, Ferndur calls in a swarm
of maggots, which will need to be handled quickly.

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After you finally down Ferndur, Elrond comes in and says what
a great job you did. And then you get to loot the chest for a handful
of medallions, runes and relics and some kick-ass jewelry and such.
Once that's all done, you can begin preparing for your next trip to the
frozen wastes of Forochel.

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