Thursday, September 26, 2013

No Stone Unturned!

When I completed the Bartle test and had my results say that the motto I live by in the Realms of Despair is "No stone unturned!" it straight away made me think of the Desert of Despair, in particular the fifth marker stone. I have briefly mentioned it in passing before but this stone is important to the whole area for three different reasons. You need to have a character with 25 strength and a lot of free weight to lift it up. If you're lucky you'll find a golden dagger underneath. It's a weird once per reboot area pop item. The dagger identifies as follows:
Object 'a golden dagger' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 50 treasure, weight 1.
Locations it can be worn:  wield
Special properties:  none
This treasure has a gold value of 100000.
This dagger is the key to the whole desert area, not to be confused with the golden dagger from Dragon Tower. Within the Desert of Despair there is a "Travelling the Sands" maze. Besides being lots of crap buried in this maze it also leads to the Barren Wastes area, a small oasis and hidden away (without being mentioned on the Rodpedia map) is the tomb of Ha'rach. To find this tomb the entrance is near the Barren Wastes and is nw from a room that starts its description with "Clear and cold". The entrance to the nw opens and closes on a timer. Be patient until it opens up and you find yourself here:
A bold monument
Here, in the center of the desert, a large monolith stands tall. Reaching for
the sky, the monolith reaches above a large troll and his steed. Set slightly
off to the south of the monolith, a half-circled rock has managed to remain
clear of the sand that has piled on everything else around. It is undoubtedly a
door that makes up the carved square that marks the center of the rock.
However, there doesn't appear to be any way to open it.
Exits: southeast
 Dig down and you will sucked into this room:
>dig d
You begin digging...
You dig open a passageway!
You are sucked into a swirling vortex of colors! 
Beneath the monument
The small chamber beneath the monument is a roughly hewn cave. The walls are almost too hot to touch. The geologic oven is marked by two glowing orbs on the walls. Beautifully etched golden rods are strapped across the eastern wall, protecting a heavy stone door. A distant sound of heavy gears working resound through thin slots in the wall above the door.
Exits: none
A pair of orbs flank the gold-bound door.
After waiting around for a while in this room and have a golden dagger on you will see the following message:
A small keyhole catches your eye above the bars.
Then put your dagger in the keyhole...
You put a golden dagger in a keyhole.
The golden dagger slides smoothly into the keyhole, creating an audible *click*.
You get a golden dagger from a keyhole.
The golden rods are slowly pushed out of the wall, eventually dropping to the ground.
As the bars strike the ground, the vault opens slightly. 
This opens the door to the Room of Death maze - a maze where if you make one wrong move and you've hit a death trap. Do not enter this place unless you know what you're doing - even then I use naked characters. There are clues to the maze hidden around the rest of the Desert of Despair. If you manage to get through the maze you will end up at this room:
Treasure Awaits
This room is very different from the rest.  One entire wall is covered with a
golden statue. The room glows with the light from the statue, drowning out any
other light brought in.  The ceiling here stretches much further as well.  It
seems it would be taller than the surface of the ground above. With such a
large statue in such a small room, the only place to put people is to stack
them on top of each other, otherwise any more than three would be very cramped.
Exits: west
(Glowing) An enormous statue rests in front of one wall.
 This is not the Statue of Ha'rach - but it is close. When you examine it you the following:
The brilliant gold of this statue is different than any you've seen before. It
almost looks like a fluid, the way it shimmers.  The statue depicts a large
man, a ruler or god perhaps. He sits in his magnificent seat, his hands resting
on his knees, palms facing the ceiling above, as if waiting to catch something.
 Drop your golden dagger here and if you have failed to do other parts of the area correctly then the following will happen:
You drop a golden dagger.
As the dagger drops into the statue's hands, the room begins to
glow with a vibrant light.
And then, a flash...!
The entire statue begins to change shape...
The hands begin to rise up and take the form of a serpent head!
The statue arches its back and the golden serpent comes after you!
You yell 'Help!  I am being attacked by the Golden Serpent!'
The Golden Serpent _demolishes_ you!
This  serpent is impossible to kill since the room it is in a non magic room which if you flee from it back into the Room of Death maze you will either die or the Golden Serpent will disappear. If however you have done the other parts of the area correctly first then the following will happen:
You drop a golden dagger.
As the dagger drops into the statue's hands, it quickly morphs and
is absorbed by the rest of the gold.
A brilliant flash of light consumes the room!
> look
Thoth's Rune on Vertic Avenue
Walking down the cobbled roads of Vertic Avenue, you come to a section
of road which widens into a square.  A massive rune of teleportation has
been engraved deep into the ground here, symbol of the scriber's might.
Walls surrounding the castle and church are to the east and west,
while Vertic Avenue ranges to the north and south.
Exits: north south
A large man, scarred in battle, strides boldly and hefts a large axe.
Harakiem is shrouded in flowing shadow and light.
Harakiem is surrounded by a mix of ice-shards and sparking flames.
Meanwhile your other characters who were waiting Beneath the Monument will be transed through to here:
A ledge above the temple
Standing on the edge of an underground canyon, the floor drops away to the
front. Some distance below the ledge, the glow of gold illuminates the
brilliant stalactites that take careful aim at their victims below.  A small
temple is the source of the light.  From this height, the temple does not
appear to be very large.
Exits: down 
From here it's a short run past the albino goblins, through no supplicate rooms, one tricky puzzle and you'll be at the Statue of Ha'rach... More about that some other time, but to me the fun part is there is a lot to find in a big area like the Desert of Despair. There are hidden clues and secrets - much of the most important information is missing from Rodpedia. Don't be scared to explore - but be careful to avoid unnecessary risks. Most of all leave no stone unturned.

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