Dzemael Darkhold

Overview

Dzemael Darkhold (ゼーメル要塞 [dzemael yousai] or 'Dzemael Fortress' in Japanese) is situated in the mountainy area of Dragonhead (and more specifically the mountain called The Nail), far south of the local camp in the vicinity of the Skyfire Locks. Being almost directly south of the city of Ishgard but on the other side of the Nail, the location offers an excellent vanguard defense for the city - if it were under control of the Ishgardians. However, quite regrettably both voidkin and Garleans seem determined not to let that happen.

The Darkhold is a dungeon-type instance. It can be entered in a party of 4-8 people of level 45+, and has a time limit of 60 minutes. All participants must have completed or to be on the proper step of the quest Into the Dark.

History

Dzemael Darkhold was originally merely a complex natural construct of caverns and caves among the mountainy territory of Coerthas. However, with the Ishgardian war against the dragons of Dravania raging on, Count Dzemael, the head of the House Dzemael, realized how good of an anti-dragon fortress the cave complex would make. Construction work started to make Dzemael into a proper fortress. Many tunnels were dug, caverns smoothed, and doors installed to make the place more of a fortress than a cave.

After some work on the Darkhold, when construction work reached the area called the Altar of Saint Daniffen, a life-like statue of a fiend of some kind was found. The statue was excavated with no incident, but the moment an attempt was made to move it it came to life - Batraal, a strong voidkin from the depths. It is also said that at this time a planar rift appeared and released many strong voidkin into the Darkhold. Be that as it may, the voidkin did appear, and many were killed in the initial surprise of Batraal. The knights of Ishgard gathered deep in the Darkhold to take on this foe, but unbeknownst to them the Garlean forces chose that exact moment to storm the place. The knights were caught between the imperial troops and Batraal, and were subjugated in very short order. Only a scattered few escaped with their lives.
This incident likely happened in 3rd Umbral or early 4th Astral of 1572 of the Sixth Astral Era. The Mythril Eye ran on article on the incident, titled Disaster at the Darkhold.

Afterwards, at least House Fortemps of Ishgard started gathering military forces at Owl's Nest, a hamlet close by to the Darkhold. House Dzemael set guards at the entrance to the place to prevent further access - it's unknown if there were any skirmishes with the Garlean troops still inside, as some were still there at this time. However, other factions in Eorzea also took an interest in the Darkhold and the secrets it holds, among them the Grand Companies and the crime organization Faces of Mercy. Each of these sent operatives into the Darkhold in various missions. These are looked into in more detail in the three variants of the quest Into the Dark.

Info (1.x)

Enter: 5 minutes from exiting, requires quest progression
Recommended Level: 45
Party: 4-8
Time Limit: 60 min
Location: Coerthas Central Highlands (?,?) (Dragonhead) - Dzemael Darkhold
Quest: Into the Dark

Treasures

It bears noting that you aren't guaranteed to get any of these items even if you get the right chest. The drop rates for these equips seems to be rather low.

Common Treasure Chests
Alpine War Jacket
Bladedancer's Jackboots
Revolutionary's Bliaud
Solid Scale Mail
Warlock's Buckler
Warlock's Pattens

Boss Treasures (Red)
Claret Breeches
Claret Coif
Helm of the Lone Knight
Mitts of the Lone Knight

Boss Treasures (Others)
Astaroth Cane
Canopus Bill
Canopus Guisarme
Canopus Shield
Templar's Falchion
Verdant Hora
Verdant Scepter
Verdant Shortbow

Monsters

Alpgrot Orobon
Bone Nix
Diamond-toothed Hedgemole
Forsaken Soul
Hellsbound Warrior
Imperial Myrmillo
Imperial Primus Ordinarius
Imperial Veles
Lava Drake
Recluse Hippogryph
Roaming: All-Seeing Eye
Boss: Deepvoid Slave
Boss: Batraal

Guide (1.x)

Dzemael Darkhold usually requires a full party of level 50 (or close to level 50) people, although in skilled parties it can be done with 4-5 people only. Most strategies involve running through the dungeon, tank first, and not killing any mobs you absolutely do not have to. Toads, as they come with a draw-in ability, should be slept when using this strategy.
Other noteworthy basics in Dzemael involve keeping an eye out for the All-Seeing Eye, an Ahriman type mob that wanders around the dungeon and can deal either great damage (first map) or damage and many dangerous statuses (second map). Two of these will be wandering around the area of the last boss as well.

The way forward opens by standing in the blue magitech circles. The bigger a circle is, the more people it requires standing on it to open/activate. It bears noting that the biggest-type circles also despawn all previous monsters (generally behind you) and spawn the next set (generally ahead of you). This way, should someone die and have to return to the entrance, they don't have to worry about getting through the mobs and will have an easy run back to the rest of the party.

The dungeon has several chests scattered throughout, as well as additional (up to five) chests obtainable after beating the last boss. All but one of these boss chests has special conditions to spawn.

The Way to Deepvoid Slave

As you enter the Darkhold, you'll appear on map 1 in the tunnel marked with Exit to Dragonhead. This will also be your Return point when within the dungeon. Everyone should consider skipping the cutscenes, there will be one upon entering and one a bit down the tunnel.
When you reach the area where mobs start appearing, go into formation with tank first and healers nearby. First chest is in the tunnel lading to the Guardhouse.

If going for all chests upon completion, activate all the magitech circles on the way, and kill the Orobons in the Chocobo Stables. Otherwise, head for the circle south of the Gullet. This will despawn previous mobs and open the way forward. The Gullet and the next room, the Grand Hall, each have several small magitech circles to activate to open the way. Do that, and continue on. Second chest is in the northernmost point of the map. Pick that up, and head back to the intersection that circles around west and back east, and activate the last magitech circle of the map at the Final Prayer.
Once activated, all members should examine the device that appears, that will lead to map 2.

You will be teleported to Dragonbreath Falls on map 2. Head forward, and pick chest 3 on the way in the northern dead end. Next up is the Deepvoid Slave in the Feasting Hall, commonly known as the Ogre. The fight is activated by gathering all party members into the magitech circle.

The Deepvoid Slave will spawn with a circle of Souls, ghost-type monsters that will only waff around in their circle and do one attack each after the circle changes location. The two possible locations for the circle are on the upper ledge (starting location) and down on the floor. Once the Souls are about to change location, they will start emitting a red and black glow. At that instant, all mages and ranged attackers need to head either up or down, to the current location of the ghosts where they are about to teleport away from. If they don't do that, it is quite possible for the more fragile mages to be one-shotted.

As for the Deepvoid Slave, he will spawn close by to the party. The tank needs to skip the CS upon fight initiation and claim him immediately. The tank will then take the Slave up onto the ledge between ghosts and position himself with his back to the wall and the ogre right in front of him. The Slave has a knockback attack, so positioning just so that the knocback will only knock the tank into the wall is important. For any melee, it's also important to note to never to attack the Slave from behind, as this will result in a very strong aoe attack.

Once the Deepvoid Slave is down, pick up the chest that he spawns and continue on.

The Way to Batraal

In the tunnel heading north from the Feasting Hall there are three magitech circles to activate. The next destination, however, will depend on your objective - if going for the boss, head left into the Granary and pick up the chest there. Spawning it will require killing the Lava Drakes in the room. Otherwise, head north for the Knights' Quarters. If going for the AF (marked with purple on the map), stay on the leftmost ledge at first and kill the ghosts that come into your way. Otherwise, activate the magitech circles of the room and head on.

If anyone needs to complete the Into the Dark quest or you want to go for all-chests boss, next head down to the Captain's Quarters. There you will find several imperial soldiers and a chest. The imperial soldiers need to be killed to advance the quest.

Last leg of the journey is to head to the Altar to Saint Daniffen. Standing on the magitech circle there will activate the Batraal fight.

As mentioned before, during the fight two All-Seeing Eyes will wander the battlefield, so everyone must keep an eye out for them. But Batraal will also spawn with an endless supply of Hellbound Warriors, a skeleton-type mob. What you need to do is divide into two groups, one that holds Batraal and one that alternates between killing Warriors and helping with Batraal.

Batraal group will consist of the tank and a white mage only. The tank will claim Batraal and take him to the southern portion of the map, where he will tank Batraal back and forth between the eastern and western walls. The dedicated white mage is a necessity.

The other group will consist of the rest of the group, and preferably also include a white mage. This group will activate all magitech circles that spawn periodically (they give Batraal buffs when in existence), kill all Warriors when they spawn, and once all Warriors are down, go attack Batraal until the next group spawns. It is recommended to have one person keep an eye out for the northernmost magitech circle, it is important to activate that one as soon as possible.

Once Batraal is close to death, the whole party can concentrate on taking him down and ignore the skeletons.

Boss Conditions

Defeating Batraal will net you the achievement Like a Batraal Out of Hell as well as 1-5 chests, depending on how many conditions you have fulfilled.
Red chest will always spawn, as its condition is simply defeating Batraal. Red chests that spawn may contain equipment and gold chests items and gil. Each chest position always has the same possible loot and the same condition. Below, they have been listed left to right.

1: Slay the Alpgrot Orobons in the Chocobo Stables
2: Activate all magitech circles
3: Defeat Batraal
4: Defeat Batraal within 25 minutes (35 minutes or more remaining on the clock)
5: Open all common treasure chests


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