The Abandoned Thaig is an old thaig at the west end of Sundermount in the Free Marches. It becomes accessible in Act 2 via a cave entrance marked "Recently Opened Passage". It is renamed to Hidden Dungeon in Act 3.
The thaig contains one of the Evil Tomes of Tarohne from the Forbidden Knowledge quest, and perhaps in consequence has become infested with undead and demons. There are also some stone golems and a Nexus Golem, presumably left behind when the thaig was abandoned.
Quests EditForbidden Knowledge (Act 2) "South-Song" Gerralt's Corpse (Act 2)
Notable items EditEvil Tome
(Act 2), on the other side of the room from the Nexus Golem. This item is related to the Forbidden Knowledge quest. Roadhammer
Damage: 32 physical damage
(52 per second)
+10% physical damage
25% chance to reduce attack speed
25% chance to reduce movement speed (Act 3) Vir Atish'an
Requires: 29 magic
+13% healing by this character (Act 3)
The battle of the central room is divided into 5 waves, each with many Normal-ranked enemies and 1 Elite rank, except the last two waves. Each wave is timed to roughly 20-25 seconds regardless of how many enemies you've slain, so taking too much time to eliminate the enemies will lead to you getting overwhelmed. On the other hand, completing each wave exceedingly quickly allows you to drop out of combat and heal. Thus, the battle favors offense over defense.
- The 1st wave consists of one rage demon and four shades. Dispatch the rage demon with cold spells and the full force of the party. On Nightmare difficulty the shades are immune to spirit damage, so be careful not to rely on it, whereas they are greatly vulnerable to electricity and nature.
- The 2nd wave consists of one desire demon, two abominations, and two shades. The desire demon can buff its subordinates but has little damage resistance and can be stunned by lesser stunning talents. Use electricity and nature for best results, do not use spirit for anything but the abominations, which have no elemental weaknesses or immunities.
- The 3rd wave consists of one rage demon and three shades. Repeat the strategy from the first wave.
- The 4th wave consists of two abominations and two shades. Repeat the strategy from Wave 2.
- The 5th wave consists of one Arcane Horror and one Revenant. Defeat the Arcane Horror first, then use stuns and spirit attacks to take down the Revenant.
The foremost concern in this fight is getting interrupted by the force of the shades' and abominations' basic claw swipes. These attacks not only stun-lock less resilient companions with great frequency, they effectively reduce the number of attacks you can complete, reducing your DPS and increasing their lifespan long enough for additional waves to join in. Unless you've dumped a great deal of points into rogues' and mages' Constitution, warriors are the only ones who can fight back with relatively few annoyances, due to naturally higher health as well as investment in Strength providing additional Fortitude.
The following companions and preparations should help immensely in this otherwise difficult fight:
- The fight favors Fenris, especially with investments in Vanguard and Tevinter Fugitive already made during Act 1. If he is Level 13 with 4 points in his specialization (including the required Veneer of Calm and friendship/rivalry passive), Battle Tempo becomes a great pickup for attack speed. With Cleave unlocked in Vanguard, he has access to Destroyer and Massacre. With these passives, a powerful weapon like Oath-Breaker and the critical chance conferred by Lyrium Ghost and Sunder, he can cleave through the Normal ranks' defenses with just basic attacks and inflict deathblows to save yourself a couple hundred points in additional damage per enemy.
- Merrill does well in this fight, having a natural inclination towards the nature, lightning, and spirit elements. Warriors should attempt to set up Stagger as quickly and widely as possible so an upgraded Chain Lightning can exploit the cross-class combo and elemental weakness to quickly dispatch shades. Horror is also a great way to stun the Elite ranks,
- Anders does well with cold spells against the rage demons, but he can be easily interrupted by the shades' and abominations' claw swipes. Haste is possibly the best spell to use here to meet the 25-second marks.
- Varric has the advantage of bringing a crossbow to a claw fight. He can detonate Brittle combos and set up Disorient combos with little talent investment and upgrading, provided the element can actually harm the enemy. By this point in the game he should have excellent attack speed (+50% in total from Speed, Well-oiled, and Embellishment).
- The Hypnotist's Staff along with Elemental Weapons, as well as enchanting weapons with Runes of Lightning should help in this fight. Failing that, use Nature and Frost, but note that neither of these elements will work against the Revenant on Nightmare. Craft some Deathroot Toxin if you need additional damage.
- Since enemies scale in health with Hawke's level, the earlier you complete this fight in Act 2, the better off you'll be in the long run.
- With 5 waves of conflict spaced 20 seconds apart, don't be shy about using Healing Potions. Buy extras or store the ones you find to allow more to spawn, then bring them all at once.
No matter soloing or with a full party, it is better to ignore all Normal-rank enemies and concentrate fire on the Elite ranks in the first three waves. This allows you to dispatch them before they've had a chance get into position with their subordinates, then move as a group around the room to pick off each shade and abomination. Before the fifth (or fourth, depending on your health, stock of healing items, and confidence) wave initiates, lure all remaining opponents into the hallway using the door as a choke point and eliminate them with area-of-effect spells/talents (Gravitic Ring plus Firestorm, upgraded Cone of Cold and Bursting Arrow, etc.). You can drop out of combat from here to heal and save, however all remaining enemies that have yet to be slain will spawn simultaneously, so the further you advance before retreating, the better shape you'll be in to wrap things up. If the revenant is aggro'd before the horde perishes, make sure to interrupt its healing aura with Horror or Dispel Magic.
One thing you should not do is retreat to the hall in wave 1 or 2; with the door still locked, the only way to leave is to defeat all of the remaining waves of enemies at once, which makes the fight even more difficult and can even break a Nightmare run entirely. The best way to handle this fight is by defeating at least the first three Elite ranked enemies before attempting a retreat, then eliminating their subordinates. This leaves only two shades, two abominations, and the arcane horror and revenant to fight at most.
- In Act 3, as you enter you will encounter skeleton archers and corpses and, in the hallway, one arcane horror and one revenant along with several skeleton archers and corpses. There will be no enemies in the area with the Nexus Golem.
- pcxbox360 (1.04): There seems to be a bug that after the end of the long 5 phased battle explained above, no XP will be given as reward.
- pc(1.04): All 5 waves of enemies in the center room can spawn at the same time.