Council of Blood
The Council of Blood is a group of three venthyr located in Castle Nathria, who collectively make up a council encounter. Defeating both the Sun King's Salvation and Artificer Xy'mox encounters is required to unlock the gates to reach the Council of Blood. As such, they are typically fought 7th in the instance. The fight changes depending on the order in which the three bosses are killed. Killing Baroness Frieda last is typically seen as the easiest, while killing Castellan Nikalaus last is generally seen as the fight's hard mode. The loot of the fight does not change based on kill-order.
The Council of Blood presides over courtly functions in Revendreth. Castellan Niklaus is a strict military commander with an indomitable will and impenetrable armor. Lord Stavros, a foppish dandy, leads the court in dance but is also deadly with his blades. Baroness Frieda wields powerful anima magics and commands the dredger wait staff--along with the respect of the entire court.
This fight requires two tanks. should be saved for the final phase when raid-damage is highest. The three bosses each fight differently, with Nikalus summoning adds, Stavros forcing raid movement and coordination, and Freida needing interrupts. Of these, Nikalus is easily the most dangerous, with the dredger and stoneborn adds he summons adding far more complexity and raid-wide damage to the fight when not killed first. The easiest way to beat this encounter is killing the bosses in this order: Niklaus, Stavros, and finally Frieda. Since the other bosses heal completely when one dies, it is pointless to multi-dot and cleave, and best to focus on single-target damage. An interrupt rotation on Baroness Fireda is important to stop her Dreadbolt Volley cast, which hits for significant damage and a shadow dot that hurts for even more. Calling-out interrupts is recommended.
When each boss reaches 50% health, they will engage in the fight's most notable mechanic: The Danse Macabre. As the bosses rush up to their podium and become untargetable, the players will see a bright yellow spotlight somewhere in the room that only they can see. They need to rush under that spotlight before the dredgers finish coming out to the dance floor to successfully begin the dance. You will know your character has successfully begun when they automatically perform their /dance animation. From here, the bosses will call out 1 of 4 different directions your character needs to move in order to continue dancing: "Shimmy right!" (right) "Sashay left!" (left) "Prance forward!" (forward) and "Boogie down!" (backwards). All of these directions are relative to the character facing towards the boss' podium. The shapes on the floor denote where you need to stop moving. Successfully completing dance steps will award the character with Fancy Footwork, a significant haste buff for 30 seconds, while failing will give a dot that stacks shadow damage until the current Danse Macabre is over. Once a Danse Macabre has completed, the bosses will not trigger another until a boss has died and another is then brought down to 50% health.
The fight also has a soft-enrage mechanic, Oppressive Atmosphere. As the fight continues, the raid will take increasing passive shadow damage. The atmosphere can only be reset by killing one of the bosses or by triggering a Danse Macabre. Ideally, the stacks should not go above 7, as it becomes increasingly taxing on the healers' mana.
For the first phase, one tank should take both Niklaus and Frieda, while another tank takes Stavros alone. This is due to the two separate tank debuffs: Niklaus will strike the tanks with Duelist's Reposte, while Stavros will teleport behind his current tank and rush forward, afflicting anyone caught with a stack of Evasive Lunge. Keeping the melee dps away from Stavros in Phase 1 will keep the chance that they will be clipped by Evasive Lunge to a minimum as they focus on Niklaus. When a tank gets 2 stacks of Duelist's Reposte, melee should stand back and wait for the tanks to cleanly swap to avoid Stavros.
During this phase, Stavros will cast Dark Recital, ("Everyone, find your partner or die!") debuffing several players for 8 seconds with a shadow damage dot that is lethal if the players are too far away from each other. Each player who is affected must move close to their "partner" to reduce the damage. DBM will mark players who are designated as "partners." However, in addition to the shadow damage, small eruptions will spawn underneath the afflicted players and explode after about 1 second. This means that the afflicted players can never stand still, cannot carelessly run through other players on the way to meet their partners, and once close to their partners, must continue moving in roughly the same direction until the debuff expires. This can potentially lead to hectic situations, especially in melee-heavy groups. To counter this, melee dps should watch their DBM timers and step away from other players and the bosses just as the Dark Recital is cast. Therefore, if they are affected, their eruptions will not hit other players, and if they are not, then they have made more room for the afflicted ones to move away from the boss and towards their partners.
Niklaus will summon a Dutiful Attendant, an add that shields the lowest-health boss, making them invincible. These adds should always have priority. Note that when Niklaus hits 50% and casts his Danse Macabre, any Dutiful Attendant adds that were alive as the Danse began will reappear at the edge of the room and shield the boss once again. With the haste buff from a successfully completed Danse, any remaining attendants should go down quickly.
Finally, in addition to her Dreadbolt Volley, Frieda will also channel Drain Essence, which drains health from 3 random non-tank players. This damage is unavoidable and those affected should be spot-healed.
Once Niklaus is down, the other two bosses will be restored to 100% and gain new abilities while maintaining their old ones. As the dps switches to Stavros, both melee and tanks need to be cautious about positioning due to Starvos' Evasive Lunge. Melee need to stand to the left or right of the boss, as standing in-front or behind will result in taking lethal damage. Tank swapping should be done by a tank not moving until the other stands in their spot, taunts Stavros, and allows the original tank to move away. This will reduce the chance Stavros changes direction enough to put the melee in danger.
Stavros retains his Dark Recital and Evasive Lunge, while gaining Waltz of Blood. This cast summons several untargetable venthyr who proceed to dance around the room, inflicting damage and knocking back anyone in their way. Combined with Dark Recital, Waltz of Blood can prove to be a very disruptive ability. However, since the adds do not move very far from where they are summoned, simply moving the raid and bosses a good distance away from the adds trivializes this ability.
Meanwhile, Frieda gains Prideful Eruption. This creates large circles around each player that will create a 6-yard explosion when the cast finishes, dealing high damage to all players and even more if others are caught in another player's circle. Simply move away from other players when Frieda is channeling and heal through the damage.
When Stavros goes down, the last phase begins. This phase has high raid-wide magic damage from both Prideful Eruptions and from Frieda's final ability, Soul Spikes. Soul Spikes is cast on her current tank and radiates a portion of the damage it deals to the entire raid. She will send 4 spikes to her current tank, each increasing the amount of damage the tank takes from subsequent spikes. While a tank can survive this ability with cooldowns, it is easier for the second tank to taunt when Frieda has cast 2 spikes, keeping the damage to both the tanks and the raid to a minimum. This last phase is essentially a test for the healers to keep everyone alive long enough to finish the fight. So long as the healers have enough mana by the end of the second phase, the last boss should go down relatively easily.
- Prince Renathal yells: Come, mortals. It is time to rid Revendreth of a haughty band of nobles who stand between us and Denathrius.
- Lord Stavros yells: Thank you both for coming. The party would not be as... lively without you!
- Baroness Frieda yells: Think nothing of it, dear. So long as the wine keeps flowing, you shall have my attention.
- Castellan Niklaus yells: I am not fond of these gatherings. I prefer to settle my arguments on the battlefield.
- Baroness Frieda yells: Hush now! If you behave, I might allow you to impale a few of the waitstaff.
- Lord Stavros yells: How dare you invade my party in such dreadful attire!
- Castellan Niklaus yells: At last, a battle to win!
- Danse Macabre
- Lord Stavros yells: Everyone, take your positions! It is time for the danse macabre!
- Lord Stavros yells: Your steps were simply delicious! Pity you have to die now.
- Baroness Frieda yells: Dear guests and vile intruders, take your places for the danse macabre!
- Baroness Frieda yells: Enough! Your gyrations sicken me.
- Castellan Niklaus yells: Attention! Set formation for the danse macabre!
- Castellan Niklaus yells: Stop this nonsense! You have disgraced this gathering long enough!
- Dark Recital
- Lord Stavros yells: Everyone, find your partners! Or die!
- Waltz of Blood
- Lord Stavros yells: Come, my friends! Dance until you bleed!
- Lord Stavros yells: Everyone to the dance floor!
- Lord Stavros Death
- Lord Stavros yells: But I am... the life... of the party...
- Baroness Frieda Death
- Baroness Frieda yells: You will always... be beneath me...
- Castellan Niklaus Death
- Castellan Niklaus yells: What kind... of strategy... was that...
- The names of the Council of Blood (Stavros, Frieda, and Niklaus) are likely a reference to comedians Stavros Halkias, Adam Friedland, and Nick Mullen, who host a popular comedy podcast whose name is not suitable for inclusion on this wiki.
- Additionally, Niklaus is the name of one of the original vampires in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals (TV series), and Stavros is the name of a character Nathaniel Buzolic plays in Pretty Little Liars but is also one of the original vampires in the aforementioned series named Kol. Frieda is similar to Freya, who is another member of the original vampire family of The Vampire Diaries while not being a vampire herself but instead a witch, similar to the ranged attacks of Frieda.
- The Danse Macabre phase is based on the allegorical genre from the Middle ages of the same name.
- In the PTR, Baroness Frieda's line for finishing the Danse Macabre was "Enough! Your spastic gyrations sicken me!" In-game, the word "spastic" was removed, likely due to being seen as a slur against people with cerebral palsy.
- Despite the dungeon journal and her dialogue claiming that Baroness Frieda commands the waitstaff, it is Niklaus who commands/summons them if another boss dies.
- Patch 9.0.2 (2020-11-17): Added.