In terms of enemy levels, it is one of the most challenging side quests in the game. Parties with a level of less than 10 may consider the combat very tough.
The Steward of Caed Nua informs you that a conflict at a nearby keep has boiled over. Torn Bannermen have begun to attack an old archmage, Concelhaut, in an attempt to retrieve an artifact. The Steward suggests that you learn more about these groups, in the event the fight reaches Caed Nua. The quest requires the Watcher to visit Crägholdt Bluffs, a relatively challenging map for when the Watcher first receives the quest.
It is later discovered that Llengrath, one of the other Archmages, hired the Torn Bannerman to stop Concelhaut from achieving immortality. Llengrath believes that Concelhaut's Engwithan phylactery poses a threat to mankind and could be able to live forever by wrongly using the phylactery. Llengrath believed he outsmarted his rival by achieving immortality in a different way. He preserved his knowledge and trained a worthy successor, so he could become the new Archmage. Thus, Llengrath became a "title" that is passed on to his apprentices: the current Llengrath is not the first one, nor will she be the last.
As you first enter the map, you are "greeted" by two guards. No matter what dialogue options you choose, a fight will break out. This is a good test to see if your party is ready to assault the keep. Be aware that a third guard may join from the north if you stray too close.
Beyond the guard tent and to the east, there is a sleeping Orlan that you can sneak up on. The chest near him has a level 14 lock on it, but the Orlan has a key around his neck. If you sneak up on him, you must choose one character to do the job. You will need Stealth 12 (only if it is during the day) and either Dexterity 17 (steal the key) or Might 17 (kill him quietly).
If you fail the Stealth check at night, the Orlan falls asleep again and you can either steal the key or kill him as above.
If you fail the Stealth check during the day, the Orlan wakes up immediately. You may use Call to Slumber (Wizard) or Puppet Master (Cipher) to put him back to sleep; or Wild Sprint (Barbarian), Long Stride (Monk), or a Hunting Bow to kill him. If you fail to take care of him, he alerts the nearby guards.
At the command tent, you find an unsigned letter (optional) to a certain Commander Baelorin with orders to kill Concelhaut and find an artefact called Engwithan Phylactery. Continue your way past Commander Baelorin (drops The Golden Scales) to the stairway entrance at the top of the castle.
Inside you can visit the labs of four apprentices: Tanoss, Pelden, Sabel, and Uriaki. The door to Concelhaut's room is locked, to open it, you need four notes that give hints how to answer a riddle. These can be retrieved from the apprentices, you can either kill all of them, or follow Tanoss' offer to kill the other three to get his. Uriaki will also offer her key if you kill Tanoss instead. There are trapped and locked chests in the labs, hidden floor plate in Uriaki's lab. When you have read all four apprentices' notes, you can answer the questions at the door to Concelhaut's office (if you haven't read all notes, the correct answers will not appear in the dialogue options):
- (First defense): "A warded mind."
- (Deadliest weakness): "Pride."
- (Most critical quality of magic): "Malleability - it can be shaped into any spell."
- (Wizard's true foe): "Mortality."
That opens the door, and when you enter, a dialog starts that inevitably ends with a very tough fight (one of the toughest of the game), so be prepared. The fight can be made much easier by positioning your party outside the doorway into Concelhaut's domain, then sending a rogue (eg. Devil of Caroc) inside to trigger the conversation. Once it finishes, immediately use whatever invisibility talent to fall back to the rest of the party. With luck, you should be able to draw Concelhaut's army one by one. It includes samples of each of his students' work, so it might be a little too much to take head-on. If in doubt, retreat one character to the staircase, so that when Concelhaut mops the floor with the rest of the team, they can all get back up and rest (assuming it's possible).
Concelhaut drops an Exceptional Scepter, Broad Belt of Power, Bracers of Deflection, Boots of Stability, Spellward Amulet, the unique grimoire The Ironclasped, and the pet item Concelhaut's Skull (which is actually the Engwithian Phylactery that everybody was after, as you have learned from the dialogue with Concelhaut). There is also an Obsidian Lamp Figurine in one of the shelves. In addition, if you have at least 10 Lore, searching any of the bookshelves has a chance to give you a book called The Iroccian Calendar, which can be sold for 2,000.
You can leave the area towards the lower right of the map by pulling the lever on a column which opens the wall. Some not so easy enemies here. Exit is a shortcut to the right edge of the Crägholdt Bluffs map.
Completing the quest grants a significant amount of experience, additional XP for several bestiary entries (Lich, Animated Weapon, Void Seer, Steelspine Magus) and possibly a few thousand XP for disabling traps and locks.
|0||Siege of Crägholdt|
|10000||The Steward of Caed Nua has informed me of a recent conflict on a remote bluff in the Dyrwood. The Torn Bannermen, a feared collection of mercenaries, have besieged the manor of a local legend, the archmage Concelhaut. The conflict is over a mysterious magical artifact. The Steward believes I should investigate the problem to ensure the safety of Caed Nua.|
|1||Travel to Crägholdt and investigate the conflict.|
|10001||Concelhaut's manor is located to the northeast of Caed Nua. It sits atop a remote bluff, known as Crägholdt. I should travel to Crägholdt and ascertain the situation.|
|20001||After arriving in Crägholdt, I was approached by members of the Torn Bannermen mercenary company. I wasn't welcome here. I should proceed with caution.|
|20002||Members of the Torn Bannermen did not appreciate my presence near their camp. I was forced to defend myself from their agression.|
|20003||I've learned the name of the leader of the Torn Bannermen, Commander Baelorin. I've also learned the mercenaries are after something called an Engwithan phylactery. Perhaps I can get more answers by speaking with this man.|
|10003||Commander Baelorin did shed some light on the conflict with Concelhaut. Crägholdt is overrun with powerful undead. It is unclear what fate befell Concelhaut. I should explore the ruins of the manor for more answers.|
|10004||I set an ambush for the leader of the Torn Bannermen, Commander Baelorin, and left him dying in the dirt. I should find Concelhaut and inform him of this turn of events. Perhaps he will reward me.|
|6||Find Concelhaut in Crägholdt.|
|10006||I've entered Crägholdt. Concelhaut is around here somewhere.|
|20005||I was greeted by a servant of Tanoss. His master wants to meet with me.|
|20006||Tanoss told me that only someone with all four parts of a key can get in to see Concelhaut. Each part of the key is carried by a different apprentice.|
|20007||Tanoss offered to give me his part of the key if I eliminate the other three apprentices.|
|20008||Uariki made me a counteroffer - if I kill Tanoss instead of her, she'll give me her part of the key.|
|20009||I read a note from one of Concelhaut's apprentices containing some information necessary to reach Concelhaut, but it seems that the information was divided among all the apprentices. I'll need to acquire their notes somehow.|
|10008||I've learned the key to gaining an audience with Concelhaut. It's time to meet the great archmage himself.|
|10009||Concelhaut needs a Watcher's soul to complete his new spell, and he's very insistent on using mine.|
|30000||I've defeated Concelhaut, one of the greatest wizards in Eora.|