Tiamat Stronghold (TS), also known as Tiamat's Fortress (TF), is an instance for players of level 57 and above, introduced in 3.5. Its entrance is located in Ruinhold Scatterings in Cygnea (Elyos) and in Dragonfall's Glare in Enshar (Asmodian). It features 7 bosses; Tiamat's most trusted Brigade Generals and elite soldiers.
Tiamat Stronghold floats above Tiamaranta's Eye in the center of Tiamaranta as a symbol of Tiamat’s supremacy over its lands. Tiamat is said to have created it by breathing magic into a vortex, creating a mystical fortress with a deafening crash and a burst of blinding light. It serves as the headquarters for Tiamat's highest ranked legions (and the most powerful ones), as well as a control center to manage Dredgion routes. It had been inaccessible to Daevas, but the Reians have finally found a way in.
Expecting to find the entrance to Tiamat's throne, Kahrun rushed in to the center of the stronghold. Confused by not finding it there, he was surprised by Garnon, informing him they had found the real entrance to her throne room, where the Dragon Lord patiently waited for him.
Upon the destruction of Tiamaranta, every brick holding the stronghold followed its fate. When advancing into the newly risen lands, Daevas and Reians were surprised to find certain fragments of Tiamaranta's Eye had crashed against this new region. Between the ruins, scatterings and fire they found certain relics which had been imbued with Tiamat's own emotions. One of them was a mirror which fragmented into two shards; the Mirror of Bitterness and the Mirror of Glimmer, which powered by her frustration after the defeat of her generals, allowed travel into her memories, recreating the original infiltration of the stronghold by the hands of the Reians and Daevas.
Similar to every instance, the most needed roles always have to be present. However, as certain bosses will gain the buff (greatly increasing attack power and attack speed) between phases, a class with debuffing skills (Spiritmaster or Songweaver) greatly simplifies the work for healers.
Once inside, players will find themselves guarded by several Reian NPCs in the Stronghold Approach. It is highly advisable to take the quests available from and . When ready, proceed talking to , who will disable the Aetheric Field. Waves of Balaur will start rushing to the guards; once 3 waves are finished, press forward. Some players opt to complete one of the repeatable quests by luring the common grade soldiers one by one. It is suggested for players not to use any buffs, as any healing skill or AoE attack may lure all of them to the players, crushing them instantly.
Players will then face the first boss; in the Stronghold Gateway. As the gatekeeper, he will use earth based attacks. Similar to Raksha in Raksang, he will spawn stone stalagmites around group members which will explode very fast, stunning them. Additionally, the he will cast (an AoE which will deal continuous damage to enemies as long as they remain in the affected zone) and , an attack which will inflict damage on a single target and all the ones near the affected player. Across the fight he will use as well, an instant attack whose damage depends on the amount of people fighting him (the more people, the less damage each person receives). When low on HP, he will receive the effect. Once killed, Tiamat will curse upon Daevas and the gates behind will open up.
The instance separates into three wings from the Glorious Nexus with varying difficulty, which can be taken down in any order desired: West Wing (easy), East Wing (medium) and North Wing (hard). Each wing features two bosses. In order to make the special chest in the Noble Garden, accessible from the in the middle, players will need to take down all six bosses in the instance. The more bosses they defeat, the more relic chests will spawn; usually one for each group member.
The West Wing presents the least difficulty. Players must make their way through Balaur soldiers until reaching the Engineering Lab. To open it, a group member must interact with the device in the middle of the room. Most groups here opt to train through the several monsters in the laboratory, while others will fight their way through. Going down the elevator, players will stick to the wall on the right side, reaching an annex room, Hewahewa's Lab, with a named Shulack; , solely a quest mob. If the group agrees to train, group members will start running heading to the door leading deeper into the wing. Eventually, they will reach a door which has to be passed swiftly in order not to be overwhelmed by the chasing Balaur.
Players will then meet their next boss in the Gravity Control Room, . During the fight, he will use the generator behind him to make the rings on the floor to ignite. It is advisable to move out from them as fast as possible. He will from time to time lower the group's attack speed. Nearing 10% of HP, he will cast onto him, ceasing any skills and keep auto-attacking. Once defeated, the door leading to the Dredgion Control Center will open up.
After passing through some soldiers, players will meet West Wing's main boss, . As a powerful mage, she will cast , a frontal fan-shaped attack which inflicts damage. Additionally, from time to time, she will summon a rift around her by using . Players have a few seconds to move out from it before she casts , as they will be fatally crashed from it. Her deadliest attack is an all-room-wide AoE; , which will inflict considerable on-going damage as long as a player stays on the floor. She will instantly teleport to the middle in front of a generator. As she does this, rays of light will fill the room. To avoid it, members will have to jump onto the gravitational pads placed on both sides of the room, being thrown to the air and not be hit by the attack. Like Chantra, at 10% of HP she will cast and only auto-attack. Once slain, Tiamat will curse upon Daevas again and a portal leading back to the Glorious Nexus will spawn.
The East Wing features a middle difficulty. Throughout the wing, players will face strong the Drakan soldiers called . Due to their strong attacks (most notably , causing high damage to all nearby enemies), most groups wish to encounter them the least possible by sticking to walls or waiting for them to patrol somewhere else.
Players start at the Military Ward, where they will find a , holding the , required to progress into the Eternal Prison Entrance. This circular room features two doors on the sides (each leading to two Ready Rooms), one door on the far back (leading to the Laksyaka Legion HQ) and an elevator locked behind a door (leading to the Eternal Prison). Each door connected by narrow passages, guarded by a . Group members will confront for the first time a , which will summon Balaur guards if left for too long.
The door leading to the Eternal Prison, where the first boss of the wing is located, can be opened by using the . To get it, players will need to kill another located in a Ready Room, which will drop them. Out of the four Colonels available, only one will drop the key. Getting the desired key is fully dependant on luck. Once the group has gotten the drop, they may head back to the elevator and jump into the Eternal Prison.
There, players will face . His contact with Siel's Relics have given him the power to control time (although up to a much lesser extent than Siel). This whole room will cause every group member to receive an attack and movement speed debuff, as well as a DoT (damage over time) until Kumbanda is taken out. Once engaged, he will make certain areas near him (indicated with clocks) able to nullify the room's debuff. Most groups opt to stack under him, as clocks will always spawn there. Additionally, he will summon from time to time a Kumbanda's Ghost which will cast , paralysing the group member targeted. It should be slain as soon as possible.
After its defeat, to progress further, members will have to open the room behind Kumbanda, where and his servant, are imprisoned. Murugan will clear the way to the Laksyaka Legion HQ, where players will find the wing's main boss. With the debuff gone, players may explore the prison freely. Some cells will have captured Balaur guarded by . The northern cell, named Repentance Chamber, will hold , a Balaur prophet seeking peace.
Heading back to the Eternal Prison Entrance and then to Laksyaka Legion HQ, players will meet Murugan again, asking the Daevas not to interfere with the battle between Surama and Laksyaka. After stepping in to the room, a small fight takes place between the two, in which Laksyaka results as the victorious. Once complete, the next boss may be engaged.
will transform one group member into a skeleton, during which state the player will act as the tank, only able to use two skills; (will taunt and decrease Laksyaka's speed) and (will destroy additional mobs and use their energy to recover the caster's HP and MP). Whoever is assigned this role, the person should kite the boss around while the rest of the group deals damage on him. This state is refreshed every few seconds and will be applied to anyone who is not on top of the small platform near the entrance. For this reason, only the designated party member should go downstairs, or the effect will be applied to that person too. He will constantly cast to himself, boosting his offensive attributes, as well as , slowing everyone's movement speed. Whenever the latter is casted, additional monsters will be summoned. The player acting as tank should use on them to destroy them and recover HP and MP. At 10%, he will receive the buff, like the other bosses. Once defeated, Tiamat will appear once again and curse upon Daevas. A portal to the Glorious Nexus will spawn.
The North Wing features hard difficulty. Proceed to the Savage Gauntlet, holding (which act similarly to the ) patrolling the long hallway. At the end of it, a powerful boss awaits; . Across the fight, he will cast , a frontal AoE, making it suggestible for groups to turn him away from them. Additionally, he will stab the floor with his sword and deal damage on all enemies (this skill distributes its damage between group members). Nonetheless, his most notable ability is . He will begin spinning his blade around him, causing severe damage to all enemies within 10m, easily countered by moving away from him. While spinning his blade, he will gain the buff, which will block and reflect any attack inflicted on him. Players can anticipate this skill and prepare to move out by listening to him say "I will crash you all!", signalling his imminent attack. Due to how easily he can reset if moved too much, the tank should dash back to him slightly before he finishes his attack. While his skill set will be the same throughout the encounter, he will gain the buff at 70%, 40% and 10% of HP. Provided they are not removed, the party will have to deal with attacks thrice stronger and faster, making a dispelling class almost mandatory. Once slain, the door behind him, leading to the Tahabata Legion HQ, will open.
Deep within this wing, awaits, the strongest boss in the instance. Before engaging him, players should make use of any Fireproof Scrolls and Food with elemental defences, as most of his damage is based on that element.
Across the encounter, starting from the borders, the room's floor will continuously turn into a sea of lava, inflicting damage on players who stand on it. This will limit the battlefield to the centre of the chamber. Dealing damage comes as a very important part, as the more the group takes to change Tahabata's phases, the more stressing the fight will become. This is because he will begin summoning immobile twisters of fire, laying a powerful damage over time on whoever steps into one and put him into an Aether's Hold state. They appear every few seconds, and will only disappear once Tahabata changes of phase.
Still, groups wanting to take him down will also need to be wary of his skill set. The change of phases is indicated by , an all-room-wide AoE which will inflict damage on players every second, and an instant paralyse, which will affect all players. He will also count with , a frontal AoE which will deal damage on targets in front of him. He will also teleport around sometimes, following it with , an AoE with a radius of 10m inflicting considerable damage on targets in range.
Tahabata's fight is consisted of three phases. Between 100% and 60%, one third of the room will be lava. Between 60% and 15% two thirds of the room will be lava. However, when his HP reaches 15%, lava will cover the whole room. From here until the end, there are no safe spots, making it essential for the group to finish him off before the lava damage overwhelms the party. Finally, he will also receive the buff in this phase, once again, showing the importance of a dispelling class. If they survived all dangers, a chest containing the best rewards will spawn.
However, there is still stuff left to do. Following back to the Glorious Nexus, players may use the Tahabata Statue to reach the Noble Garden. For each boss defeated, a chest containing AP relics will appear in there. Provided all bosses have been defeated, a giant chest will spawn in the centre, containing a , and a for each player. Guarded by , players can use to disguise as a Balaur and interact with , to who players can turn in Protectorate Coins for skins or other supplies.
- Tiamat Guard Captain's Fabled armor and accessories
- Named Fabled Weapons (names varies per boss, magical weapons with attack speed)
- Tiamat Guard's Eternal armour and weapons
- AP Relics
- (can be used to purchase skins, bundles and mounts)
- The instance's entrance was originally located in the Elyos Breakout and Asmodian Breakout in Tiamaranta’s Eye, and at the 12 o’clock position of the area.
- The instance features three different layers; the general level where most bosses are fought, the Eternal Prison (a dungeon under the stronghold, is fought here) and the Noble Garden (a hidden garden not physically connected to the fortress).
- Named enemies in this instance have played major roles in the past:
- : Shulack scientist investigating about Drana and its effects on the creatures (soon to be soldiers) of Dark Poeta, faced as an optional boss in the instance.
- : Controls the Chantra Dredgion, level 51-56 instance.
- : Controls the Terath Dredgion, level 56-65 instance.
- : In Gelkmaros, he originally stole Siel's Relics and tried escaping from Tiamat's wrath, but was later captured by her troops in Beshmundir Temple and was imprisoned in the Eternal Prison.
- : Brigade General of the legion conquering Silentera Canyon, recently promoted.
- : Later promoted to Brigade General of the legion in tasked to infiltrate and control Dark Poeta, faced as the final boss of the instance.
- : Later promoted to Noble Lord, faced as bonus boss in Dark Poeta if players reach S Rank.
- Players will meet with and , first fought as bosses in Esoterrace, but this time as an ally. If players previously completed the instance, they would know the whole story between Surama and Laksyaka and the reason behind their mutual hatred.
- Another cell in the Eternal Prison holds , a Balaur prophet who was imprisoned for foreseeing Tiamat's death. By completing a quest given by him, players are given an Easter Egg on the events in Dark Betrayal (4.0).
- Tiamat's enemies are sent here. They are either imprisoned in the Eternal Prison or turned into statues in the Noble Garden.
- There are two questlines which feature important events. One of them can be started from interacting with a dagger in the Noble Garden, which will show information about Dragon Lord Apsu. The other one can be started from finding and interacting with the scroll in the Savage Gauntlet, which will reveals information on how the events in Dark Poeta can be prevented.