Conan Exiles Black Keep Guide

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There is no doubt that Conan Exiles is a world full of treasures and mystery, and the Exiled Lands is the perfect place to find different points of interest that include not only caves that hide secrets but also some dungeons where only the bravest players will venture into.

The Conan Exiles Black Keep is one of those dungeons where you will not only find scattered pieces of game lore but also a lone boss that is guarding the Knowledge of high-end gear that can be of your interest.

Bottom Line Up Front

The guide below shows you every detail about the Black Keep to avoid getting lost inside this dungeon. Here’s what you should know about this place if you’d like to save up some time instead:

  • Black Keep location: Ruins of Xullan, 12-F on the grid from the Exiled Lands map;
  • Dungeon prerequisites: Level 55 and Starmetal Tools Knowledge unlocked;
  • Recipes learned after completing this dungeon: every Silent Legion armor set (light, medium, and heavy), Kinscourge Weapons (Telith’s swords);
  • Enemies found inside the dungeon: Silent Legion Warriors, Spiders, the Kinscourge boss;
  • Recommended consumables to carry with you: Specter Coating, Firewater;
  • Special items (boss loot): Tears of Two Races and Heart of the Kinscourge.

Recommended Level and Difficulty

Difficulty
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In the Black Keep, you can learn the Silent Legion Knowledge after unlocking the Star Metal Tools Knowledge, which is only available at level 55. Try leveling up enough before venturing into this dungeon, even if you can get inside it before reaching this level. You will also need strong enough weapons to kill the Kinscourge.

The Black Keep is a medium/hard-difficulty dungeon. Bringing a follower into the Black Keep is recommended but not obligatory. A player can complete the Black Keep on their own but has to be careful with the enemy’s attacks.

It’s easy to get a little lost and end up in the same rooms a few times if you don’t pay enough attention to where you are going. Once you get used to this place, you’ll start remembering exactly where you should go next (hopefully). You have to worry mainly about the Kinscourge attacks.

Items To Take Into The Dungeon

Items To Take Into The Dungeon
Image by Wild Jester

Apart from the essential consumables to heal yourself and prevent hunger and thirst, there are more things to consider before running into a dangerous place like the Black Keep.

Warming Up

To reach the Conan Exiles Black Keep, you’ll have to be dressed for the weather until you get inside it (the weather doesn’t affect you while you explore it).

Prevent slowly dying from the “Extremely Cold” or “Frostbite” effects by:

  • Wearing appropriate gear with enough cold resistance. Only good quality armor pieces provide high resistance to cold. Opt for consumables if you can’t craft cold protection armor yet;
  • Consuming spicy foods or alcoholic beverages that warm you up. Only some of these are strong enough to help you survive extreme temperatures. Firewater is one of the best choices to bring with you until you enter this dungeon, and you can unlock its recipe by learning the Specialist Brewing II Knowledge in a book found near the obelisk at the Mounds of the Dead.
Specialist Brewing II Knowledge book near the Mounds of the Dead obelisk
Image by Wild Jester

Protection

The Silent Legion warriors and the Kinscourge can significantly hurt you, so don’t worry if you need to carry extra weight regarding armor and shields. Some players acknowledge the burden of wearing stronger armor, but the benefit of adjusting this kind of gear with kits or specialized thralls is good, or mixing heavy armor with medium or light pieces can be a wise choice as well.

Some armor pieces from the Heavy Armor and the Wild Druid set are enough to finish this dungeon. However, no gear protection is perfect if you don’t defend yourself from enemy attacks without a shield or dodging. This dungeon has enraged enemies and small rooms with little space to move around, so carrying a resistant shield you own in such a place is a lifesaver.

Weapons

Specter Coating dropped by a Cimmerian NPC.
Image by Wild Jester

Since the Black Keep is not a low-level dungeon and strong enemies dwell in it, you’ll need to consider bringing high-tier weapons into this place.

  • Hardened Steel weapons are an option if you can’t craft epic weapons yet (like Star Metal weapons);
  • Legendary weapons if you have any;
  • Bows with arrows can weaken enemies but can be tricky to use in small dungeon rooms. Arrows are better used against the boss since his room has more space to move around.

Alternatives/helping hand:

Mounds Of The Leads
Mounds Of The Leads by Wild Jester
  • Bring a fighter thrall to help you during combat, especially if you don’t own strong enough weapons;
  • Use Specter Coating to kill Warriors and the Kinscourge faster. Specter Coating isn’t a craftable item, and only enemies drop it. On the Exiled Lands, corpses of human Cimmerian NPCs by the Mounds of the Dead camp (11-B on the map grid) have chances of dropping vials of Specter Coating. Apply this vial to weapons as you would do with Reaper Poison. It will take a while to collect enough vials if it’s something you’d like to invest in, though.

Having a strong and agile character also contributes to the performance during combat in the dungeon and pretty much anywhere else you go, and enemies are present.

Knowledge And Recipes From The Black Keep

In Conan Exiles, it’s common to learn something new after completing any dungeon, and the Black Keep is no exception. Completing it will allow you to unlock the Knowledge below:

  • Light Silent Legion Armor;
  • Medium Silent Legion Armor;
  • Pride of the Silent Legion;
  • Kinscourge Weapons.

The Star Metal Tools Knowledge is obligatory to unlock every Knowledge listed above.

Star Metal Tools
Image by Wild Jester

Kinscourge Weapons

Telith's Lament and Telith's Sorrow, respectively
Telith’s Lament and Telith’s Sorrow, respectively. Image by Wild Jester

By learning the Kinscourge Weapons Knowledge, you are unlocking the recipes of two Telith’s swords – a one-handed and a two-handed sword, both with a crippling effect and sharp enough to deal a good amount of damage on your enemies. Both swords are available to craft in the Improved, Garrison, and Campaign Blacksmith’s Benches.

Pride Of The Silent Legion

Silent Legion Armor
Silent Legion Armor by Wild Jester

Learning the Pride of the Silent Legion Knowledge will unlock the recipe of every heavy Silent Legion armor piece. This heavy armor is quite valuable when it comes to defense. Also, each piece benefits your character, slightly increasing the value of a status (health, stamina, carrying capacity, strength weapon damage, and agility weapon damage) while equipped. This armor set isn’t much resistant to cold weather but is significantly resistant to warm temperatures.

Light And Medium Silent Legion Armors

Silent Legion Medium Armor
Silent Legion Medium Armor From Wild Jester

Learning both Light and Medium Silent Legion Armor Knowledge will unlock the recipe of every Light and Medium Silent Legion Armor piece. Compared with other kinds of light and medium armor, the Light and Medium Silent Legion Armor sets have much superior defense.

Like the Silent Legion heavy armor version, each piece benefits your character, slightly increasing the value of a status (health, stamina, carrying capacity, strength weapon damage, agility weapon damage) while equipped. Both armor sets offer low resistance to cold and warm temperatures.

Silent Legion Light Armor
Silent Legion Light Armor From Wild Jester

Every piece from all Silent Legion armors can be crafted in any armorer’s bench except in the lowest tier bench.

Enemies

Every kind of enemy present in the Black Keep is listed below:

Silent Legion Warrior

Silent Legion Warrior
Silent Legion Warrior From Wild Jester

With 880 health points each, these armored skeletons are very aggressive by nature and will slightly corrupt you once they hit you, so defend yourself with a shield or by dodging their attacks. You can use corruption cleansers (Heart of a Hero, Cleansing Brew, being in the presence of a dancer thrall, etc.), which will allow you to fully restore your health and stamina bars back to normal eventually since those will get you rid of the corrupted curse.

These enemies are spotted throughout the dungeon (except in some rooms and corridors) and outside it by the Ruins of Xullan. You can find groups of two or four often.

When a Silent Legion Warrior corpse is looted, it drops:

  • Always – Iron Bars;
  • Sometimes – Weathered Skull, iron tools, Ironhead Arrow, Bark, Coal, and/or Brimstone.

When a Silent Legion Warrior corpse is harvested, it drops:

  • Always – Bones;
  • Sometimes – Weathered Skull.

Spiders

Spiders
Spiders From Wild Jester

Spiders are the minor threat of the Black Keep, being present only in one room, which you can skip unless you are interested in grabbing all the loot from this place. There are, in total, five spiders inside the Black Keep: common brown and green spiders and two widows.

The health pool of these creatures varies from 117 to 518 health points. As expected, they won’t receive you with a warm welcome, but they won’t poison you enough to kill you before they die first.

These spiders can drop when harvested:

  • Ichor, Chitin, and/or Feral Flesh;
  • Gossamer (only if the carcass is harvested with a Sickle);
  • Zathite Bags (only if the carcass is harvested with a Zathite Ritual Dagger).

The Kinscourge

The Kinscourge
The Kinscourge From Wild Jester

The Kinscourge, or Tyros the Deathbringer, is the only boss found in the Black Keep, being the only enemy you must kill to complete this dungeon. Being a 3-skull boss, he’s stronger than some other bosses.

It will take a while until you kill him, but he’s not the trickiest enemy you will deal with during your journey. Don’t be fooled by his slow walking while he carries his heavy sword, as his attacks are fast and quite damaging. Your mission is to end his suffering for once.

The Kinscourge performs two types of attacks: melee and ranged attacks. He will attack you with his sword (melee) at short and medium distances and can hit you between 1 to 3 times, depending on the melee attack he’s using each time. He commonly likes to slash and will try to stab you with his sword a few times.

The Kinscourge Attack
The Kinscourge Attack From Wild Jester

His ranged attacks are his special attacks. In one of these, the boss hits the floor with his sword, causing a wave that will hurt you if you’re caught in it. In the other attack, the boss casts a spell, causing an explosion in the surrounding area.

Kinscourge Attack
Image From Wild Jester

NOTE: This boss doesn’t usually walk after the last steps from the stairway in the back, where the statues are (near two braziers at the left and right sides of his room), meaning they’re one of the safest areas in that room for you to be. He can still try to perform one of his special attacks but will return to his initial point after a while. Be aware that he will likely recover his health, so only use these spots as the last resort.

Boss returning to his starting point
Image From Wild Jester

When the Kinscourge corpse is looted, it drops:

  • Very frequently: Iron Bars (with a few exceptions, it can drop other random resources instead);
  • Sometimes: Weathered Skull, Bones, Bark, Brimstone, Coal, iron tools, Ironhead Arrows.

When the Kinscourge corpse is harvested, it drops:

  • Always: 1x Heart of the Kinscourge, 1x Tears of Two Races, Bones.

The Heart of the Kinscourge is one of the ingredients required to craft the Telith’s Sorrow and the Telith’s Lament swords. However, the boss only drops one heart each time. If you wish to craft both swords, you must go back to this dungeon and kill him again for a second heart.

The Tears of Two Races is one of the Artifacts needed to create the Keystone – the item used to remove the player’s bracelet to finish the game and start over. Optionally, you can discard this item.

General Loot

General Loot
Image From Wild Jester

There are only two sources of loot in the Black Keep – the enemy corpses and chests. Since enemies and their loot were mentioned previously in this guide, we should now focus on what we can get from looting the chests instead. The number of large chests in this dungeon is small, but their loot is diverse and will respawn after a while. Items you can find inside the Black Keep chests are:

  • Varied resources such as iron bars, wood, blood, and dyes;
  • Potions and elixirs (Elixir of Enduring, Breathing Potion, etc);
  • Weapon kits like the Advanced Blunted Weapon Fitting;
  • Orbs and random low-tier arrows and weapons (Razor Arrows, Stygian Spear, etc.);
  • Tools like the Star Metal Hatchet;
  • Random light armor pieces such as the Climbing Boots;
  • Decorations (trophies, candles, jugs, etc.).

While it doesn’t spawn all the time, it is possible to find a scroll that will give you a Sorcerous Spell Page if you interact with it.

Black Keep Location And How To Enter

Ruins of Xullan
Image From Wild Jester

The Black Keep dungeon is located inside the Ruins of Xullan, at 12-F on the grid from the Exiled Lands map in the snow environment.

This dungeon has two entrances, giving you a chance to decide which one is more convenient for you to get inside. Both will lead you to the same dungeon room.

Main Entrance

Main Entrance
Image From Wild Jester

The main entrance is located at 12-F on the map grid in the Ruins of Xullan, northeast of the Bridge of the Betrayer.

Go up every stairway you see: both left and right sides will lead you to this entrance. You will meet your first enemies here, so be careful.

stairway
Image From Wild Jester

You can climb up the structures a little more to the eastern side to avoid some enemies on your way, but you can’t avoid the ones near the door. Once inside, you’ll find yourself in the first room of the dungeon.

Secondary Entrance

Dive into the cold water to find the secondary entrance, located at 11-E on the map grid by the Undergate, northwest of the Bridge of the Betrayer.

The Glowing Goop algae lights will guide you and help you find the spot. As soon as you see it, go up and enter through the door. Once inside, cross the water and go upstairs.

Under Water Spot
Image From Wild Jester

Directions To Follow/Playthrough

Directions to Follow Playthrough
Image From Wild Jester

Optionally, you can check every room and corner to see if you can find any game lore piece or chest if you don’t want to miss anything in this dungeon, but you’ll have to fight more enemies and spend more time inside it if you take this decision. This playthrough will prevent you from getting lost in this place during your first time there and take you straight to the boss room.

In the first room of the Black Keep, stand in front of the main entrance (with your back against the door) and go through the corridor on the left.

After choosing that path, you can carefully take down the two warriors waiting for you nearby the statues.

Fighting
Image From Wild Jester

Go to the next room. Here you can choose to see what’s hiding behind each door or keep moving on to the next area. Deeply exploring and looting this place is up to the player’s preference and needs.

You can go up the stairs and walk through the corridor without worrying about enemies. You’ll only find about three enemies once you go up a little more and approach the area with the hanging chains and crates.

Corridor
Image By Wild Jester

Walking further will lead you to a two-way path. Going straight on seems to be a good decision if you’re up to fight four enemies (in total). Turning right instead will lead you to a small bridge.

Image By Wild Jester

Crossing the bridge will take you to the area you must go to later. You will see two locked doors that require a unique key – the Ancient Key – to open them.

Loocked Room
Image From Wild Jester

Interacting with the door at your left side of that room after that bridge you’ve crossed will take you to the same area you would be if you’ve chosen to go straight on at the previous path – you have just avoided fighting with four warriors by picking the way with the bridge instead.

Same Way Scaled
Image By Wild Jester

Once you are in the correct room with the two doors, choose the next door you can open to proceed through the dungeon. As you exit the corridors, you’ll find yourself in another room, this time with more enemies to deal with (about four). Once you kill them, interact with the already open large chest at one of the room corners to receive the Ancient Key.

Ancient Key Scale
Image From Wild Jester

Going through the next door is optional. Now, return to that room with the two locked doors. You can skip the first door that requires the Ancient Key since the things behind it aren’t required to complete this dungeon. You can use the Ancient Key in the other locked door instead.

Opening Lock Door
Image By Wild Jester

Go upstairs to meet the dungeon boss: it is now your time to prove you are brave enough to face the Kinscourge! Before approaching him, try first taking down the two Silent Legion Warriors at both left and right sides of this place since extra enemies will bother you.

Meanwhile, staying out of the Kinscourge’s sight is a good idea. Once you’ve killed and looted the boss (make sure to harvest his corpse as well) and learned the Silent Legion Knowledge, you have completed the Conan Exiles Black Keep dungeon.

The only way of going out of this dungeon is through the entrances – the fastest way of reaching them is to carefully jump into the pit found at the boss room, land in the water, and find your way out through the initial room. Never jump into the water before doing all the steps needed to complete the Black Keep since you can’t climb up any walls from this place!

Lore Locations

You can find game lore pieces through several parts of the Exiled Lands. The Black Keep dungeon has a few of them if you’re interested in knowing more about the story of Conan Exiles and Conan the Barbarian.

First

Runes Of Xulan
Image From Wild Jester

 Ruins of Xullan near the Black Keep entrance: there is a Lorestone you can interact with on the right side.

Second

Torn
Image From Wild Jester

First room: there is a book with the Torn Page #1 lying on the floor.

Third

Prison Cell
Image From Wild Jester

Area with multiple doors: there is a book on the floor in a small room behind one of the doors containing the Prison Cell Note.

Fourth

Torn Scaled
Image By Wild Jester

At a corner on the floor near some of the stairs that will lead you to the Kinscourge boss room, you can find a book with the Torn Page #5.

FAQs – Conan Exiles Black Keep

Question: Can I complete Black Keep more than once with the same character, or do I have to start over?

Answer: You can go back and complete the Black Keep as many times as you wish in your current gameplay with the same character. This also means you can obtain more of the same loot from this dungeon every time you return there, including the enemies and boss item drops, which is helpful if you need more Hearts of the Kinscourge to craft the Telith’s swords, for example.

Question: My character has kept the Ancient key after I’ve completed the Black Keep. Can I use it anywhere else?

Answer: The Ancient Key is exclusively used inside the Black Keep to open two doors – one that leads to the room with spiders and another for the stairway that will lead you to the Kinscourge room. Keep it if you wish to return to this dungeon later, so you don’t have to grab another key from the chest again.

Question: Is sorcery useful in the Black Keep?

Answer: Sorcery is somewhat helpful in different places and occasions. A player doesn’t have to become a sorcerer to complete the Black Keep successfully. However, spellcasting seems to be a helping hand in many things, like aiding in combat situations. Still, it is not a flawless mechanic since there are situations where a few enemies will ignore your spells, so be careful!
For example, casting the Mirror Mark spell can distract enemies so you can hit them while they’re fighting your character copy instead of the real one. The Invisibility Self spell allows you to become temporarily invisible, decreasing the senses of the surrounding enemies. Performing specific actions will cancel this spell, though.
Both spells are not 100% safe, but they are still partially effective. The Wall of Fire spell can block the passage for the Kinscourge, for example, slowly draining his health over time, but it is still significantly less damaging than the blade of a sword. The wise use of sorcery can be dangerous to your enemies, but using weapons over spell casting is recommended.
Plus, you are vulnerable to attacks while casting spells. Performing the Summon Corpse ritual at a Circle of Power to retrieve your corpse loot if you die inside the dungeon and plan to respawn outside of it safely makes sorcery more convenient than you think. Remember that everything linked with sorcery will make you corrupted, so cleanse yourself from corruption with appropriate cleansers (dancers, cleansing consumables, etc.) before going inside the Black Keep.

Summary

The Black Keep is one of the main dungeons of Conan Exiles you should venture into if you wish to unlock some of the most exciting gear pieces available in the game and collect one of the six artifacts hidden in the Exiled Lands. Even though not the most challenging, this is still an end-game dungeon that will take you into a secret place where a lone boss with a dark past dwells, waiting to test the might of whoever provokes him.

If this dungeon has something of your interest and you follow each steps from this guide, start getting ready for a new fun adventure in one of the several dungeons Conan Exiles has at your disposal – each of them with different and rewarding challenges!

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