This past week, I spent a few nights in Rakshasa Citadel, which is on the island of Sunset Pointe off of Dragon’s Backbone in Qalia. The first night, I vowed to never go back. Then, after realizing that my group was one demon kill away from two quest completions, we returned for a second night. By the end of the second night, I couldn’t wait to return. While Rakshasa Citadel isn’t necessarily a place for insane experience or fantastic loot, we did walk away from our two nights there with a surprisingly decent chunk of experience, and a few blue upgrades. What really appealed to me, though, was the neat storyline, and of course, the amazing architecture.
Above: Towering statue in Citadel of the Rakshasa. The Architecture here is characteristic of the Kurashasa, and can be seen in places like Qur’xa Temple and Serpent of Sihari.
When you first reach the Citadel, you’ll see a pack of Kurashasa standing to the side. They have been tasked with the job of learning more about the Citadel, and about their rivals, the Rakshasa. But when they arrived, they discovered that a race of demons, called the Ahnd’ka, have taken over the citadel. For anyone who’s played a Kurashasa, you’ll know from their lore that these demons had discovered planar travel and made their way into Telon, and the Kurashasa made it their mission, as savage hunters, to track them down and get rid of them.
To add to the threat, there are also the Descrier, an army of beholder eyes who have learned planar travel and are entering Telon. The only way to stop them is to get the key from the Ahnd’ka leader, Eclipse Shiekaar, recharge it, and travel to through the portal to destroy Warlord Khurang.
Above: Clearing to the throne room in the citadel.
If you are planning to visit the citadel, there is a fantastic map over at Forgotten Horde. Mobs here tend to be around level 40-43, and most are 4 dot. When you first enter the dungeon, be prepared to deal with pulls of two or three, and always keep moving, because respawn is very fast. After making it down the main room, you can go one of three ways: left takes you to the stairwell that leads to the catacombs, right takes you to a smaller room that has several tome nodes for one of the quests, and the stairs take you upstairs to the throne room. There are many named here, and while most are pretty easy, the last two named eyes in the rear of the basement are much more challenging. Be prepared to deal with a very nasty dot from General Zikx, who also will come with one friend. Also of note is that one of the nameds from “Kamelott, Inc” resides upstairs, and has a chance of dropping a crafter’s mass production manual (forgot which one).
Above: The catacombs of Rakshasa Citadel. When I saw this place all I could think of was Vanilla Sky and Ted Williams. Open your eyes!
I’ve spent three nights here, along with my guildmates Reighn, Sindya, Andaraiel, Faunis and Ginone. We’re currently at the step to kill the stone guardians and recharge the portal key, and with any luck, we’ll be able to enter the Descrier Plane soon. From what I have read, when we enter the plane, we will have to kill summoners inside, which will eventually lead to a fight with Warlord Khurang a 6 dot, level 45 beholder. I will update when we do this (hopefully tonight!)
Above: Fighting a named Ahnd’ka as we crawl to the catacombs.
This dungeon has some great twists and is beautifully designed, but it has a storied past and is emblematic of the difficulties that Vanguard has gone through since launch. In May, it was highlighted on the official Vanguard site, and was in the process of being polished up when Sony/Sigil transition occurrred. It’s been in a state of limbo, and could benefit greatly from another pass. Respawn inside is fast, probably too fast, especially in the rooms on the first floor. Intended level is not 35-40, as was listed on the main site, but more like 40-45, and experience per kill isn’t as high as it should be given the difficulty of the place. Soloing the cartheon in Anguish nets you almost the same amount per mob, which is Geico man easy. Also, there is no altar on the island, so if you die, you pop at Jalen’s Retreat. That’s a long swim, and a pain even if you boat it back, which might discourage people from taking the risk to crawl it. Lastly, the ring quest is a bit unbalanced – it is very hard to get the ore (we have yet to see it drop, and I’m now under the impression that it only drops from Warlord Khurang) and the ring reward is not that great for the effort.
Hopefully Rakshasa Citadel will be properly polished in the future. But in the meantime, it’s still worth visiting if you have a group of skilled players in their 40s. It’s a blue collar dungeon, so bring your hardhat and expect to work hard for your experience and rewards. But if you follow through with the questlines, you definitely walk away feeling like you’ve mastered some challenging and interesting content. That’s precisely the reason I play.