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Rondstat

Rondstat

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'Phite Club

The most disappointing quest of the bunch. Could have used more emphasis on the preceding quests, and some sort of story significance for the soul altar. I'd see the scenario flipped: rather than having us instigate an uprising that happens offscreen, we experience an uprising instigated offscreen.

Start with Ozan, who's made a few discoveries. First - sarcophagi in tombs completely empty. By itself, not too strange - burials often used decoys. But to not encounter a single body in hundreds of plundered tombs indicates something greater. Second - calcification on door matches crystallized corruption below. While easy enough to handle with while he himself is dealing with corruption, impermeable outside of tomb. Almost as if he'd need some creature utterly infused with corruption that could expertly burrow through.

Use box trap, capture corrupted scarab (either in dungeon or on surface), bring to Ozan, open door. Long, stone walled corridor complex with misshapen altar at one end. Instantly drains run energy, gradually decreases our constitution, screen darkens as we progress until Ozan says, in strange voice

You! You are the one who took me from my home.

You must help me. You must take me back.


Ozan, in his own voice, says he can take no more, and we quickly retreat. Outside, he notes that tunnels seem old - far older than rest of tombs, maybe older than Menaphos itself. But who would know about such ancient history?

Return to Senliten. She sadly shares that Osman just left, seeking her blessing, but he refused to heed her advice on operating honourably.

That is the wisdom of an antique age. Perhaps, when you had gods to fall back on, you could enjoy the privilege of honour. But modern Kharidians do not have that luxury. Every niche we can gain in this blazing desert, we must carve with our own fingers. There is no one watching out for us. We must take every advantage, every opportunity, or suffer.

30-Jun-2017 15:04:22

Rondstat

Rondstat

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We ask about the corridor behind the door. Senliten is not sure it is the same, but she's reminded of a darker chapter of her rule. Icthlarin and Amascut discovered a rift of pure, overwhelming magical energy deep beneath the sands in the far south. Her magi employed it in a particularly testing battle with the Zarosians, but its power was so raw and vast, it overpowered the mortals' magical potential, crushing their souls. If this is the same, she advises we stay away.

Return to tomb, find Ozan missing, signs of a scuffle - torn fabric, scuff marks, and a dropped Imperial teleport.

Ozan has been imprisoned for entering area forbidden by pharaoh. He's shackled - can't break out as easily as we did. But - he suggests - we're respected in Imperial District, maybe they'll let us join guard, can break him out from within system.

Ahkomet tells us guard is overwhelmed - between longstanding protests by laid-off stevedores in Port, workers' strike in slums, and Sophanite demonstrators gathering at east gate, her men spread too thin. Reluctantly allows us to help as volunteer guard, gives us badge. Prison warden won't let us on guard duty - we're not even dressed as real guard! Must serve duties at three sites of unrest, gain armour piece from commanding officer at each for job well done.

Slums head guard says there's nothing to be done, need quarry shipment that striking workers would otherwise deliver. We mine, give it to him, he asks us to try to find out what's behind strike. Batal states, now that they're not constantly struggling to survive, workers have more opportunity to examine own conditions, realize entire city pivots on their labour. At the behest of a newcomer named Ansom, decided to strike for higher pay and the right to freely travel and settle around Menaphos and the desert.

30-Jun-2017 15:19:33 - Last edited on 30-Jun-2017 15:25:45 by Rondstat

Rondstat

Rondstat

Posts: 2,770Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Ports head guard says, as longest conflict in city, many protesters have become rowdy, violent. Asks us to 'deal with' those attacking guards (combat encounter). Talk to Wadud to understand protests - unpaid stevedores have been out of work since city closed, jail already overcrowded with protesters. Menaphos is jewel of desert, centre of world culture, isolationism wrong.

Coenus, at gate, is unsure how to dispatch so many 'insurgents' at once, asks us to build additional barricades to stave them off, keep them from rushing gate (construction). After, talk to Jex and High Priest on bridge. Their plague has finally lifted completely, and there is no reason for them to be kept out. One brave former slave, unknown to them before, named Sam No, convinced them - guard arrows may stop individual rebels, but they cannot stop the entire community standing together.

We're finally allowed access to jail just as a prison riot breaks out, instigated by a 'hooded figure' he hadn't seen before, so Ozan tells us. We escort him slowly (feet still shackled) through jail, avoiding flying debris, violence.

Outside, we share info from Senliten, brainstorm. What could absorb intense magic energy, negate its effect? Essence! Ozan asks us to obtain some from our Morrisane accomplices (who've set up a small magic shop), and get them to accompany us as emergency backup (we were barely able to escape from the corridor the last time). (If we go to Emir at this point or postquest, he expresses regret that he can't get more forces into Menaphos to aid us.)

Morrisane's men tell us that Ehsan has forbidden them to leave. She confronts us, reveals that she knows our real name, and that we are a spy for the Emir. This is highly valuable information, and she will protect it - if we can give her something of greater value. She dismisses our paltry bribes and laughs at threats of violence, but is intrigued when we offer to help re-open the city to trade.

30-Jun-2017 15:25:19 - Last edited on 30-Jun-2017 15:33:33 by Rondstat

Rondstat

Rondstat

Posts: 2,770Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
But sadly, you offer something unobtainable. We will never chip through the Pharaoh's paranoia, at least as long as that plague is active across the river.


We tell her the plague is no more. As a physician, she can verify it for herself. She asks us to get Ahkomet on board. As his chief advisor, she will speak to Pharaoh - Menaphos' gates may soon open again.

We convince Ahkomet that liberalising the movement of people and goods in and through Menaphos is the key to ending the unrest in the city. She agrees to make a formal recommendation to lift the quarantine/embargo if Ehsan can verify the plague is no more - she will accompany us to the bridge this evening.

We arrive at night. Most of our barricades have been destroyed, remainder set ablaze, casting orange glow. Ehsan proclaims the Sophanites are clean, Ahkomet calls for gate to be opened, but is stopped as the Pharaoh appears. She is shocked - he's not been seen outside the palace in years. He dismisses Ahkomet, promotes Coenus to her position, tells him to slaughter all the insurgents. Ahkomet protests - it's a peaceful demonstration!

Because it's crazy that they don't make use of their own great filters (I'm thinking bonfire here) and the throne room has got to be the blandest environment in the city.

At that moment, Osman appears from the shadows, stabs Pharaoh. He displays documents, proof of his right to the throne, dominion over all the desert, and promises that the city will be opened, all leaders can keep their positions.

Pharaoh suddenly rises, boss fight ensues in main courtyard. At end, he has moment of lucidity, horror at what he has become, but cryptically states, just before he succumbs to his wounds

I understand. She has found another.

30-Jun-2017 15:45:22

Rondstat

Rondstat

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Ehsan proclaims that she never had the opportunity to finish her earlier assessment. Most of the Sophanites are fine, but

The priests! There is something foul within them! Some corruption that might claim us all if left unchecked. Could it be something from the temples themselves, some affliction that has wafted up and claimed them?


She states, with briefly green-glowing eyes.

Osman morosely admits, from his own investigation as spy master and the explorations of the adventurer, this is true - corruption ferments just below the surface of both temples. He orders the priests exiled, and the Sophanem Temples shuttered.

With Ozan, we later confront Osman in his throne room. He claims there's no evidence of the Kharid Ib in Menaphos - he would know - and orders us out of his quarters - he has a kingdom to run, and little time for adventurers.

We realize it is just as Senliten feared, and return to Mastaba only to find temple desecrated, sarcophagus empty, Leela missing. But who could have got through Temple's protections? See final Amascut cutscene, minus Jabari.

Postquest, Ozan informs us that the strange energy is gone from the ancient corridor, almost as if someone is diverting it somehow. Ehsan tells us she found an interesting Talisman at the bottom of one of Morrisane's rune crates, which she will give us in exchange for a large donation of gift offerings. Wooden boards cover Sophanem temples, priests (and Jex) gone. Protesters disappear from Ports. All dialogue mentioning plague or old pharaoh changed.

Creates some rationale for how the weird invention rig on the soul altar works. Creates more of a tense, cliffhanger type end point. Resolves Contact!/Icthlarin's Little Helper plot points. Brings some of Menaphos' skill activities into lore.

30-Jun-2017 16:00:41

Rondstat

Rondstat

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Hey, Runefest news got me to peek at the forums again. Got me thinking about story.

I leave reviews on this thread. It's always interesting how longterm views change so much.

Anyways, some more postmortem thoughts on the quests of 2016, now I'm far enough removed from it.

Nomad's Elegy - a great quest. My thoughts on it are largely unchanged; it is admirable for its risk-taking, its explorations of circumstance, responsibility, and agency, its plot, writing, mechanics, and the tremendous assets. The one lingering regret is that it didn't go more introspective for the adventurer.

Kindred Spirits - my review was definitely coloured by the implied sexual violence of Ahrim, which cast a pallor over the whole experience. I still think that was a bad move, and the bros were not handled as well as they could have been, but I think the quest structure was intriguing, and there were some excellent mechanics. A lot of stuff that didn't resonate - the choice of victims, our character's staggering idiocy, the first 1/3 of the quest - come down to personal preference. Rancour's speech - still very memorable.

Children of Mah - sort of the Michael Bay of Runescape. Big and insubstantial. For how many giant events/figures/plot points it covered, it ultimately had no bearing on the story, and was eminently forgettable. On a technical basis, though, it was supremely well done.

Endgame - I had also called this forgettable. I think maybe I was swayed by the consensus there. I deeply admire this quest for its scope, for its risk taking, for its attempts at mechanical and narrative innovation, and for eschewing so many story conventions, deliberately avoiding a lot of the resolutions many of us had been anticipating. The execution - undeniably uneven. But I don't think any other MMO would ever dare attempt anything like this. Plus, it features one of my favourite moments of any quest, in the Armadyl Tower dialogue. Huge props for its ambition - quest itself is somewhat secondary.

21-Sep-2017 00:39:34

Rondstat

Rondstat

Posts: 2,770Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Endgame, as a quest, took massive risks. And the thing about risktaking is that, sometimes it pays off, and sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it didn't. But the last thing I want is for Runescape to stop taking risks, to stop pushing the envelope for an MMO story experience. You need the occasional misstep, in order to get the risks that do pay off (like tLoV).

21-Sep-2017 00:52:50

Ramooona

Ramooona

Posts: 268Silver Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
700! Hah! Milestone!

Did I vote here? I liked The Chosen Commander. And Nomad's Elegy.


EDIT: Also, might be cool to change the opener so the first post is global quest rankings, and the ones after are OP's picks. Seems more intuitive that way than scrolling down the page to see what the top ranked quest is.

05-Oct-2017 08:14:16 - Last edited on 05-Oct-2017 10:31:47 by Ramooona

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