The scholar has been researching the Cult of the Sky, and explains that one of their altars is in the area. He asks you to take up the search and hands you his notes.
After speaking to the scholar, a plot point appears on the map leading to the altar. Interacting with it reveals a chest with treasure inside. There are two possibilities:
- Taking the loot but leaving the Book of the Lady will allow you to finish the quest without initiating combat.
- Taking the Book of the Lady causes the entrance to the area to seal and initiates combat with a sky horror and various cultists. This route grants the most XP.
Once you have defeated all enemies, interacting with the altar again will allow you to take the Cult's treasure.
The Sky Horror seems to be an Arcane Horror-type opponent. The fight is one of the most challenging in Dragon Age II.
While fighting it, Cultists from the sides will come to aid it and after it loses 1/4 of its health, it immediately teleports to safety, leaving you to fight the Cultists only. The Sky Horror uses two spells that deal massive area damage around it, one of which has a very small casting time. Therefore, using melee characters against it is not recommended at all.
One strategy against the sky horror involves the typical kiting/barraging, but with a slight twist. This procedure is recommended because its massive health bar, in combination with lethal spells as a caster/destroyer, makes the fight punishing and unusually lengthy.
The Sky Horror is very resilient, nigh-impervious to even the most forceful/impacting/debilitating attacks. As a result, conventional controlling strategies have little effect, and the Sky Horror will unload the area wide spells.
With the effects of this high damage + high health combination known, a straightforward strategy can be prescribed:
- Stand around its re-appearing point (altar or right in front of the barrier) to bait the Sky Horror into casting the self-centered circular ice field, which has relatively limited range. Command team to move out of the range as soon as the Sky Horror re-appears—by that point, the Sky Horror will conclude that it has no need to tele-port away and commence the ice field channel. As it will not cease the channeling, your out-of-range ranged team can rain upon the Sky Horror with impunity while melee characters pummel the mobs.
- If the player has The Black Emporium DLC, they may use dog to attack the Sky Horror and force it to start channelling it spell. Ending the sustained talent early, rather than letting Dog die, to initiate the cooldown may be preferable after the channel starts.
- Dispel Magic is a very useful spell in this encounter. You can use it to interrupt any spell the sky horror is casting. The spell has a very short cooldown so with a little planing every second aoe spell can be interrupted. This was tested on hard difficulty.
- Careful usage of the fully upgraded assassinate skill can deal enough damage to initiate the next phase immediately. Disabling tactics and spreading the party is nevertheless essential for survival. One can, put the party members on "passive" and kite the last mob of each phase until assassinate is recharged and use it again immediately to initate the next phase.
- The first wave of mobs mainly spawns to the right of the force field and the second wave of mobs mainly spawns to the left of the force field. Positioning the party tank in those corners before they spawn will help to divert their attention from the rest of your party.
- At level 15, having both Isabela and Tallis use Twin Strike is enough damage to instantly cause the Sky Horror to switch to the next phase. If upgraded, the cooldown is also short enough that it will be ready when the mobs are dealt with and the Sky Horror teleports in for the next phase. If you position them right infront of the force field, they can instantly hit it with twin strike again and force it to teleport to safety before it can finish using the ice field attack. Warning : The sky horror will still continue to use the ice field attack after teleporting, and it may hit your party if they are too close to the force field. If necessary, use the tank to keep one trash mob alive to buy time for twin strike to finish its cooldown before the sky horror starts the next phase.
- It is pointless to try and dodge the swirling vortex attack as it does sufficient damage to one shot any non tank character before you can move out of the AOE and the damage type of the attack is unknown so you cannot stack resists to counter it. The only way to avoid losing characters in this fight is to prevent the sky horror from using the attack by doing enough damage to force it to teleport to safety before it can.
- The sky horror appears to be weak to frost.
- This strategy was tested on insanity: Bring a mage with Winter Blast and Vulnerability Hex, a rogue with Brand and fully upgrade Tallis's Drop Dead talent so it does bonus damage to BRITTLE targets and fade creatures. As soon as the battle starts cast Vulnerability Hex (VH) and Brand (B) on the Sky Horror and immediately cast Winter Blast (WB) and Dead Drop (DD) on it. If successfully brittled, the resulting combo will bring down half of the boss's health bar, if not brittled, it is at least guaranteed to bring down at least a third. Your top priority in the second phase is to eliminate the Sky Assassin before it can cloak and murder your party members, your second priority is to keep the enemy mobs from targeting Tallis and your mage who are key to bringing down the boss. Repeat the VH+B=>WB+DD every time the boss returns and it should go down pretty fast. It should be noted that if the Sky Horror takes so much damage that the AI confuses the battle phases and teleports it to the middle of the battlefield while on cooldown, this allows you to attack it with complete impunity.
Rewards EditGirdle of the Skies
+(1.2 + 1.2 * LVL) mana/stamina
+2 mana/stamina regeneration rate
+(3 + 0.15 * LVL)% magic resistance Sacrificial Dagger
Requires: Dual Weapon
Damage: 25 spirit damage
(46 per second)
Attacks ignore enemy armor
5% chance to regenerate 2% health Codex entry: The Cult of the Sky, from the Book of the Lady