Hub 3: Heresiarch's Seminary (map)
|Castle of Grief|
|Deathkings of the Dark Citadel|
|Map name: MAP27
Cheat code: visit13
There are two major puzzles to solve in this hub. First, you must find five (5) gemstones, representing planets, to fill in an astrological chart. These can be found on Orchard of Lamentations and Silent Refectory. Once this is done, the way opens to the second puzzle, the puzzle of the three chapels: wolf, dragon, and griffin. There are a total of nine (9) switches distributed across the chapel levels. After solving the second puzzle, you must confront the Heresiarch.
Hexen's religious order has been turned toward darkness and the heavens are in chaos. The Heresiarch now stands against all who would bring salvation to her people.
As always, you begin facing an Icon of Korax, which comes alive and taunts you. He alludes to the religious nature of the Hub: “Worship me, and I may yet be merciful… then again, maybe not”. The wall opens to reveal a ledge with an elevator, leading down to the forecourt — an open space where you’ll be surrounded by monsters. You will notice strange sounds of demonic chanting, heralding a new foe, the dark bishop. There will be a handful of these approaching from the Seminary in front of you. There are also chaos serpents, situated on high ledges flanking the starting point and the Seminary, who will snipe you with fireballs if you are unwary. The most immediate problem is the swarm of centaurs on the ground, with some slaughtaur sergeants mixed in. If they cluster around the elevator, you can jump while it’s above ground level and go right over them. You should take advantage of the open space of the forecourt to maneuver around and avoid getting pinned down. There are trees scattered around — these can cover you from projectiles, but they may also hamper your movement if you are not careful. Keep attacking and running, and you should clear the crowd without trouble. As always, fléchettes are useful for crowd control. An alternate strategy is to head to the far western corner, behind a troop of poisonous mushrooms. If you burst the mushrooms and hide in the alcove, the centaurs will be ensnared by the gas clouds. If you use this trap, it helps to take out the dark bishops first. Either way, you should not forget about the remaining chaos serpents — two of the ledges are immediately accessible, but it is safer to take them out at long range. If that is too difficult now, you will have a better opportunity later. There are caches of blue and green mana by the elevators.
It is time to enter the Seminary proper. As long as you have killed enough centaurs in the forecourt, the heavy stone doors will be open. There are ettins to greet you, and many more dark bishops. It will be dark inside until you find your way to the main hall. Then, you will be welcomed by an earthquake, and the torches will all light in a row, illuminating the Seminary. At the same time, even more dark bishops will teleport in. You should keep moving and utilize cover to fend off the swarm. If you are having trouble, fléchettes will soften them up. When mopping up the remnants, be sure to dispatch the chaos serpent perched on the platform to the northwest.
Once it is safe, you should get your bearings. You are in a cathedral with a central nave lined by torches, and chambers off to the sides which you cannot access yet. There are plenty of quartz flasks, crystal vials, and mana containers to replenish you.
You have the option of entering a pair of wooden doors which flank the entrance. These lead up to balconies overlooking the forecourt; the east balcony holds crystal vials, while the west balcony has green mana. Each has a switch that will lower a high ledge to give you access. These ledges contain discs of repulsion and a green chaos serpent (if you did not dispatch it earlier). If you ride the ledges up, you will have a clear shot at any remaining chaos serpents on the nearby high ledges. If you then jump down, you will take some fall damage, but not a dangerous amount. The southeastern and southwestern ledges offer fléchettes for your trouble.
At the northern end of the Seminary, past the crossing (and the sealed inner sanctum), there is a magic platform that you can try out if you wish (see: Secrets). There may be more dark bishops lurking here, so it is a good idea to deal with them now.
At the southern end of the nave, in front of the entrance, is an astrological chart — this is the centerpiece of the first puzzle.
The astrological chart depicts a solar system, with sockets for planets, which are represented by gemstones. A ruby is already in place — your first quest is to find the other five (5) gemstones to fill the rest of the chart. Two of these are in the Orchard of Lamentations, while the other three are in the Silent Refectory. But first, you must tread further into the Seminary to find their respective portals.
Along the east wall are two barred passageways; your first task is to open them up. To do so, you should head north to the crossing (between the apse and the magic platform). To either side, east and west, are alcoves with stained glass windows. Smash them to reveal an afrit (or ettin if you are the fighter), a green mana container, and a switch. You must pull all six (6) of these switches to proceed. Having done this, you will hear a sound as the bars retract. The two eastern passageways are now open — the northern passage leads to Silent Refectory, while the southern passage leads to Orchard of Lamentations. You may go through them in either order.
Orchard of Lamentations
The Orchard of Lamentations can be accessed by the southeastern passage.
The passage leads down a few flights of steps, flanked by dragon icons. There are crystal vials along the way, and perhaps a rogue centaur. At the bottom of the stairs is a desolate courtyard filled with ettins and centaurs. You should clear out the crowd now so that they cannot interfere later. There is the additional menace of slaughtaurs (and a chaos serpent) on the far ledge, along with more chaos serpents on the near ledges. The slaughtaurs can unleash dangerous volleys, so it is important to utilize movement and cover. You should also be wary of crossfire from the chaos serpents. You may have to aim upwards to hit the slaughtaurs, especially if you are the fighter (you can also hit them long-range from the upper landing). If you are the mage, the arc of destruction is the best means of annihilating these foes.
Having defeated the monsters occupying the courtyard, you now have a choice: complete optional areas, or head straight for the portal. It is recommended that you clear all the areas as there is plenty to pick up, including the third segment of your ultimate weapon. For directions straight to the portal, skip to the last paragraph of this section.
Once it is quiet, you should look for a pair of dead trees against the southern wall. Destroy them, and you will find a hidden switch. This switch activates the dragon icons you saw by the stairs, causing them to revolve, which gives you access to the corridors behind them (unlike many other rotating doors in Hexen, these will not crush you). The lower/eastern revolving doors lead to the ledges where the chaos serpents were (and there may be a couple more to mop up behind them). The corridors offer mana of both types, and the northern ledge has discs of repulsion. The upper/western revolving doors lead to optional areas which will reward you if you take them on.
The southwestern dragon door leads to a cellar with many pots stored within. There are green chaos serpents and afrits, but there is also plenty of mana of both types. You can break the pots to find even more mana, but beware: there is a dark bishop hidden inside a small round pot in the southern sector of the room. Most importantly, the third and final segment of your ultimate weapon is here. Its exact location depends on your class — the Quietus segment appears in the northwestern sector, the Wraithverge segment appears in the southeastern sector, while the Bloodscourge segment is found in the southwestern sector. There is a flight of stairs to the southwest, adjacent to the corridor you entered from, leading back up to the forecourt.
The northwestern dragon door leads to a lengthy corridor which wraps around a central cloister (which you may have glimpsed through a barred window in the cathedral). The corridor is filled with afrits (along with ettins if you are the fighter), but these should not pose a threat. At either end of the corridor are griffin icons: activate one of these to lower and raise the adjacent wall, which will then carry you up. You are now in the cloister — a fairly large open area, surrounded by a colonnaded walkway and alcoves. Your immediate concern is the large swarm of chaos serpents all around you. You should maneuver, unleash your firepower, and be ready to heal if needed. If you have your ultimate weapon on hand, now would be a good time to try it out. You will have no trouble replenishing afterwards — the cloister is stocked with plenty of mana, fléchettes, quartz flasks, and crystal vials. In the center of the pool is the main prize, an icon of the defender. If you wish to retrace your steps, you can activate a skullface switch on the east wall to lower the niches, bringing you back to the griffin corridor. However, this is unnecessary, as doors are now open at either end of the walkway, letting you return directly to the main cathedral.
To finally open the portal, you must make your way back to the southeastern passage. Between the paired dragon doors, on the southern wall, is a switch. This will lower the flight of stairs behind you, revealing a narrow staircase on your left. This leads up to a mudroom with many corpses and a squad of dark bishops. There is a falcon shield and a couple of quartz flasks to pick up. The stairs will seal shut behind you, but this is no matter, as the southwestern wall will open onto the forecourt. You will note that the mudroom you just came out of is east of the main entrance — go to the west, and you will find that another mudroom, mirroring the first, has opened on the other side. Once again, there are dark bishops to contend with, more corpses, a couple more quartz flasks, and another staircase. The stairs descend to a narrow, winding corridor, which eventually leads to the slaughtaur’s ledge overlooking the courtyard (N.b. the corridor wraps around the map, as if you were circumnavigating a small globe). Here you will find discs of repulsion and combined mana (hopefully you killed the monsters earlier). More importantly, there is a bullhead switch to your left — pull it, and it will open a portal down below to the right/north. This portal leads to Orchard of Lamentations.
The Silent Refectory can be accessed by the northeastern passage. This portal is much easier to open.
A long flight of descending stairs stretches before you. At the bottom is a small chamber full of ettins and hanging corpses. Along the way, you will pick up crystal vials, combined mana containers, and a quartz flask. On the lefthand/northern wall is a switch which activates the elevator at the eastern end of the room, causing it to descend rapidly. You must hop on quickly to avoid taking fall damage — however, even if you fall down the entire shaft, it will not be fatal provided you have enough health. The elevator brings you down to a small basement with a chaos serpent guarding a portal. There is a switch on the lefthand/northern wall to ride the elevator back up. The portal leads to Silent Refectory.
If you have all five (5) planets from Orchard of Lamentations and Silent Refectory, it is time to solve the astrological puzzle and proceed.
As an aside, when you pulled the bullhead switch to open the portal to Orchard of Lamentations, two of the barred passages along the west aisle were opened, to the northwest and southwest. Inside are afrits, green chaos serpents, and fléchettes. You should dispatch the enemies now, so that they cannot cause mischief later. At the back of these passages are more pillars, with many more monsters secured behind them. This area, with the wings of wrath you may have glimpsed through the bars on the west aisle, is sealed off until later. You need not worry about it for now (for players interested in glitches, there is a hub skip at this point, see: Speedrunning).
As mentioned previously, the astrological chart is at the southern end of the nave. There are six sockets for planets, with one already filled by a ruby. Now, you must fill in the rest of the chart with the five (5) planets you have collected. Each planet fits into a specific socket — if you are not facing the right spot, you will be told that “you cannot use this here”. However, the pattern is quite simple. There are three pairs of gemstones, and each pair should be in opposition; with one in the circle on one side, and the other in the triangle on the other side. Since the ruby is placed in the circle at the lower left, that means that the other ruby fits in the triangle at the upper right. The sapphires fit in the upper-left socket of the triangle and the rightmost socket of the circle. The emeralds fit in the top-left socket of the circle and the lowest socket of the triangle. To clarify further, the three gemstones from Silent Refectory fit in the upper sockets, while the two gemstones from Orchard of Lamentations fit in the bottom and rightmost sockets. When you find the correct socket, the planet will be deposited with a distinct magical sound. Beware of any ettins sneaking up behind you while you work with the chart.
Once all five (5) planets are positioned properly in the solar system, you should make your way to the northern end of the cathedral, where the magic platform is located. There are three dragon icons set in the walls, to the north, east, and west of the platform. These dragon-adorned walls are in fact large blocks; which now slide backwards to open up new passages, from which dark bishops come pouring forth. In the eastern chamber, there are discs of repulsion and combined mana containers; to the west, there are crystal vials, combined mana, and boots of speed. The northern passage is the way forward.
Make your way north and around the wall to reach the apse. There are three portals here, leading to the Wolf, Dragon, and Griffin chapels, wherein you will solve the second puzzle of the hub. Each portal depicts its chapels creature of worship, making them easily recognizable. The tripartite portals are also found on the chapels, with a blank portal leading back to the apse. On the opposite wall are nine darkened windows, representing the nine (9) parts of the puzzle to be solved, three (3) in each chapel. These windows will be illuminated with the corresponding icons as you solve the puzzle. The chapels are interlocked with puzzle switches, so that you must explore as much as you can in one chapel in order to open paths in the other two chapels. Done correctly, you should only have to make five visits.
When you come back with all parts of the puzzle solved, a Heresiarch will appear as "boss" of the hub.
When the Heresiarch is dead a large earthquake will happen and the bars blocking access to the passage way on the left side of the central cathedral will raise. The hub's secret level will also become accessible.
If you want to get to the secret level of this hub, go into the northern part of the cathedral. There are some pillars there (a bit more south than the lowering square that summons monsters and goodies). These pillars lower and raise after the Heresiarch’s death. Behind there, a part of the floor (where the Heresiarch started standing) has lowered allowing access to the portal that will take you to the secret map of the hub: Deathwind Chapel.
Once you have returned from the Deathwind Chapel (or without having visited it, if you don’t want to), just get into the central room of the big cathedral and enter one of the newly opened passages on the left side (which one doesn't matter as they form a loop). When you get to the end of the small corridors there, just jump through the window heading back east to the cathedral and pick up the Wings of Wrath there. When you step on the platform they’re on, the wall behind you (i.e. to the west) will open, releasing some monsters and revealing the portal to the next hub, the Castle of Grief.
There is a roughly square-shaped platform at the northern end of the cathedral. Walking close to it causes it to lower down, summoning a couple of (sometimes more powerful) monsters and some goodies (sometimes quite powerful as well). But be sure to step on it quickly, because when it rises, the goodies are lost (although the monsters remain) and it won't lower down again until some time passes (5000 tics, or 2 minutes 20 seconds).
Areas / screenshots
Routes and Tricks
There is a hub skip on this level.
- Follow the walkthrough as normal, as if you were heading to Orchard of Lamentations.
- After pulling the switch after wrapping around the map, head to the main hall, and into the left-hand corridor (leading to the hub exit portal).
- Glide through the pillars.