Entering the Academy isn’t quite as simple as strolling up to the gates and heading inside. You’ll need to get your hands on an Academy Glintstone Key first, which will require a bit of exploration.
Map to the Glintstone Key
To find the Glintstone Key, go to the southern entrance of Raya Lucaria Academy. There, loot a map from a corpse against a wall. The map is not very detailed but shows land in the water with X marks. With some effort, you can locate the key. If you prefer a direct route, follow my guide.
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Locating the Glintstone Key
To find the Glintstone Key, stay in Liurnia and head west from Raya Lucaria Academy. Go to the Temple Quarter area in the swamp, an underwater village inhabited by Albinaurics. Make sure to activate the Site of Grace in this area. After that, head north-northwest on Torrent to continue your journey.
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Head north-northwest on Torrent until you reach two land masses in the lake. The one you want is the northernmost, with a distinctive rock formation. Here, you’ll find the Glintstone Dragon Smarag. While he guards the Glintstone Key, you don’t have to defeat him.
Smarag is initially asleep, allowing you to sneak behind him and take the key from his stash. Even if you wake him up, you’ll have a few seconds before the boss fight begins to grab the key and make your escape.
Fighting Glintstone Dragon Smarag
If you choose to battle the dragon, consider your armor’s magic and physical resistance due to Smarag’s magical attacks. Smarag uses both sorceries and melee attacks when grounded.
He’ll focus on melee if you’re close and use breath attacks when you’re at a distance. Watch out for the Glintstone Cometshard attack, a fast magical projectile he uses at a distance. Smarag typically fires two projectiles in quick succession, so stay vigilant.
When airborne, Smarag employs area-of-effect breath attacks and dive bombs. Keep the dragon in your line of sight and react accordingly.
Use Torrent to avoid large-scale breath attacks, and roll to dodge dive bombs. Smarag doesn’t stay airborne for long, so take the opportunity to heal and buff. When he’s back on the ground, continue your assault.
Felling the beast
When battling Smarag, your strategy depends on your build. For melee characters, focus on damaging Smarag’s head, which takes 50% more damage and can posture-break him. Once broken, rush to his eye for a finishing blow. To damage the head effectively, use Torrent opportunistically, approaching closely during openings and striking with a long weapon.
You can also jump off Torrent for a head-striking jump attack. After a few hits, Smarag will be incapacitated. Alternatively, you can target Smarag’s wings and feet by riding Torrent around his leg if you prefer not to aim for the head.
For ranged and magic builds, maintain a safe distance from Smarag and attack his head to deal extra damage and build up posture breaks. When Smarag gets close, hop on Torrent and retreat before resuming your ranged or magic attacks. Repeat this process until he’s defeated.
Rewards for defeating Glintstone Dragon Smarag
Defeating Glintstone Dragon Smarag will yield rewards. You’ll receive 14,000 Runes and a Dragon Heart. To obtain his Glintstone Breath attack, visit the Cathedral of Dragon Communion in Caelid, near the southernmost area of Caelid. Follow the road that encircles Caelid in a horseshoe shape to find the cathedral easily.
Unlocking Raya Lucaria Academy
Obtaining the Glintstone Key allows you to open the gates at Raya Lucaria Academy, regardless of defeating Glintstone Dragon Smarag. These gates can be used repeatedly, but the key cannot be shared. To get the second key, head to the Academy’s roof and find it hanging from a chandelier. You can access this area by dropping onto rafters from a room on the top floor through a window leading to the roof. This second key is necessary to complete Thops’ quest, marking the final use of Glintstone Keys in your playthrough.