|Release date||26 April 2005 (Update)|
|Quest series||Desert (#3)|
In the deep south of the desert, unrest is brewing... The cities of the Menaphites have barred their gates to all. An unsettling desert wanderer may know of a secret entrance though, to Sophanem - the city of the dead.
Will you become Icthlarin's Little Helper by entering? Enter into a titanic struggle for the soul of the high priest of Icthlarin in a land where the cat is top dog.
|Start point||South-east of the Southern bridge over the River Elid in the desert far south of Al Kharid. Talk to the Wanderer.|
|Member requirement||Members only|
|Items required||Items from the tool belt are not listed unless they do not work or are not automatically added.
|Enemies to defeat|
- After returning the Canopic Jar and talking to the priest, you can enter the city through the front gate, so you can use the magic carpet transport.
- It is possible to get out of the city without purposely dying, finishing the quest, or using a teleport. There is a small crack in the north-eastern corner of the wall near the locust. You can re-enter the city from a rock north-east of where the quest started, directly north-east of the tent where the wanderer is.
- 3-4 waterskins are recommended- remember, one will be taken from you by the wanderer right at the start. You will not need water within the city, and there are places to fill your water.
- Note that wearing a lot of weight will make you die faster in the desert. Take this into account- bring more waterskins if you are bringing a lot of armour and weapons with you.
- Note that jumping the pit is risky. You will not always make it, even if you have 100 run energy and nothing equipped.
- The level 56 Possessed Priest and one of Apmeken, Het, Crondis or Scabaras are not hard to defeat with the help of prayer.
Deeply Into My EyesEdit
The Wanderer will have a strange reaction ("Arghhh get that cat away from me. Quickly please.") to your cat if you have one. (if you don't have it with you, it won't work.) Select "Why? What's your problem with it?" as your response since this is the only one of the three options that will let you proceed with the quest. The wanderer will then tell you that if you get your cat away from her, she will tell you about the secret entrance to Sophanem.
The Wanderer's reaction is rather more extreme if you have a hell-kitten. Once your character picks the cat up, the wanderer will ask for a tinderbox and one full waterskin. Once you give them to her, she will hypnotise you and you'll enter a small cave (you can now use this passage to enter the city at any time). The entrance to that cave is north-east from wanderer's tent, in a rock. You will enter at the eastern side of the city.
You will end up outside a pyramid in Sophanem many hours later, and a Canopic jar will appear in your inventory, which you can't bank, but turns to dust if you drop it. If you wish to be insulted by the ghost you find yourself next to, you can speak to it using a ghostspeak amulet (Talking to the ghost with or without a ghostspeak amulet is not required to proceed). Touch the north door of the southern pyramid to begin the first flashback. (There is a cat image on the door. If you can't find the door, try to rotate the view)
If you ever have to leave Sophanem and want to get back in, just enter the small cave east of the wanderer. You will find yourself in the midst of some locusts. Be prepared to fight (if you need food, gather their meat) or run towards the west.
Every now and again during the quest, you'll experience a flashback where you remember what you did while you were hypnotised. You need to play through these in order to progress through the quest.
Beware, dying in the flashback is no different from a normal death! Make sure to bring plenty of good food. Also, a mysterious force will block any teleports, so be careful.
You will have access to an altar, and your health will be restored once you finish the flashback.
During the first flashback, you will need to go through the pyramid. Follow the passage east and avoid the wall crushers at all costs, since getting hit by one will cause ~300 damage. You can avoid them by walking on the opposite side, and crossing diagonally.
Once you're past the crusher blocks, you'll find pit traps in the hallway. If you step on the wrong spot, you'll fall into a pit and end up at the beginning of the pyramid, and dealt ~300 life points. There are a series of white blocks along the wall, at which you must turn at certain points. Go along the left until you reach the first rectangle. Walk one more square forward, then walk to the right. At the next rectangle, instead turn left at it. The next turning point is right between the candlestick and the next rectangle. At that point, turn right. You can run from here to the next set of block traps.
You'll see Mummies (level 70). They are aggressive, and may be a hazard to low level players. You do not have to fight them; simply run past them. You may also see Scarab swarms (level 12) crack out of the ground. They hit extremely fast (once every game tick) for low (0-20) but very accurate amounts of damage and can poison you for 38 life points, although they move slowly.
Continue to some more wall crushers. Three squares south of these wall crushers, there is a safe spot to sit and heal. If you stop right in the middle of the narrow passage before the Scarab Swarm room, you will not yet have triggered the Scarab Swarm to attack and you can rest. Past these, you'll eventually find a large pit.
It is recommended that you jump over the pit with running option turned on and both hands free, (note that it is possible to jump the pit successfully with items equipped, though it is recommended to jump without) Remember you will need at least 20 run energy to do this. If you fail to clear the pit you will return to the area right after the floor traps and take 50 life points. There is another path before the pit that leads to a chest that contains 50 coins. However, it's quite hard to reach so you could just avoid it and go straight for the pit, but looting it is a requirement for the master quest cape.
But if you intend to go for the 50 coins; go past the wall crushers like the other ones, then standing on the north side of the easternmost crusher (north of it, not past it) walk three spaces east; then walk diagonally south-east. You are then free to go east to the chest. Follow the same path back.
Note: There are no markings on the walls for the traps, but the floor has rock litter on it distinguishing the safe path (except for the very last diagonal step). If your graphics settings are set at "Minimum" or are customised with "Ground decorations" set to "Off", then the floor has no rock litter, making it harder to see the safe path to walk.
Note: When jumping across the pit, if you find yourself constantly falling despite having the 20% run energy needed, check your weight. The more you weigh, the less likely you are to complete the jump. Using the rest feature to regain full energy may prove helpful, but can't be used if you are poisoned. Wearing Weight-reducing clothing may also help. You can also drop your armour, then telegrab it from the other side of the pit.
Go to the left (west) door and open it. You need to solve a puzzle. The objective is to flip all of the tiles onto their gold sides. There is no required number of flips that you must make, nor is there any sort of limit. Each time you flip a tile, the 8 tiles around it will also flip.
Please note that different puzzles may be presented, and that one must reset the puzzle many times to get this one. One possible solution to the puzzle is below:
Once you've solved it, you'll wake up, fully healed, outside the pyramid.
The Desert DemigodsEdit
After you finish the flashback, talk to the Sphinx (with your cat), asking for help, and she will ask you this question: "A husband and a wife have 6 sons. Each son has one sister. How many people are in the family?" The answer is 9. If you select the incorrect answer, you will lose your cat! Once answered correctly you will receive a Sphinx's token so you can speak to the High Priest.
Go to the High Priest, located on the west side of the city (in the temple), and ask him about the remains. He will tell you to put them back in the burial chamber, and that you will need the help of your cat. Before entering the pyramid, take note of what examine text you have when examining your canopic jar.
Remember: To enter the pyramid right click on the door and click open.
Go back through the pyramid until you reach the pit. When you try again to jump the pit, you'll enter another flashback. You'll be starting exactly where you left off with your last flashback. Go through the door (no puzzle this time) and pick up the jar that you had in your inventory before (there are four on the ground). Depending on your jar, you will fight a different guardian god:
- Crocodile: Crondis (level 57) - She uses Magic attacks.
- Bug: Scabaras (level 58) - He uses Melee attacks.
- Ape: Apmeken (level 56) - She uses Magic and Melee attacks.
- Man: Het (level 56) - He uses Melee attacks.
The Protect from Magic prayer can make the battles against Crondis and Apmeken quick and simple. Likewise, Het and Scabaras can be trapped behind the stone table in the room and killed with either ranged or magic.
Note: you may loot Sarcophagi should you wish to do so. The result is random and is most often empty but other results include:
- Something sharp was inside. This will cause the same damage as a trap.
- A gold bar, 10 noted gold bars, an emerald ring, or Sapphire necklace (no message will be displayed)
- Gas that will cause poison
- A level 18 Scarab swarm will spawn beside you
- 1,000 coins (message will display)
Once you've defeated it, pick up the same Canopic jar. Jump back over the pit to end the flashback.
After the flashback is over, you will say to yourself that you think you should put the Canopic jar back. Go to the west door. This time you have to solve a puzzle that is identical to the previous one. Click on the bird until the configuration is the same as it was initially, then solve it using the same 3 step trick that is detailed above. Turn all of the tiles to their gold side, then enter the room.
Drop the jar where you found it and run back through the mummies and the scarab swarms, and let yourself fall through the pit traps to be taken to the beginning of the pyramid. You don't have to reduce weight to jump back across the pit; but hands should be free. You will take some damage. At the beginning of the pyramid, there is a ladder. Take this ladder to exit the pyramid.
Preparing for the CeremonyEdit
Go back to the High Priest, he will ask if you could help him to prepare for a ceremony by helping the town's Carpenter and Embalmer. Find the Embalmer to the south of the temple and talk to him. He will ask for a bucket of sap, linen, and a bag of salt.
- To get a bag of salt, you can either buy it from a slayer master or go to the lake north of Sophanem and use an empty bucket on it to get a full bucket. Then use the full bucket on the centrepiece inside of Sophanem in the southeast region of the city. You will pour the bucket of water into the font, and the water will evaporate, leaving salt that was in the water. Search the font and take the pile of salt.
- A bucket of sap can be obtained by using a knife with an evergreen tree while you have a bucket (you can use the bucket on the evergreen if the knife is in your tool-belt).
- Head to the city's eastern side to find the carpenter. Give him your willow log. (After the quest he will buy willow logs from you at 40 coins each in groups of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20). The carpenter will not give you the symbol until after you've given the embalmer his goods.
- Talk to Raetul to buy a sheet of linen for 30gp. He is found wandering around a silk stall on the eastern side of Sophanem, north of the Carpenter.
After you get these items, go back to the Embalmer and give the items to him. (After the quest he will buy buckets of sap from you at 30 coins each in groups of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20.) Again, speak to the carpenter and he will give you a holy symbol. (Click on the carpenter and he will tell you he is putting the finishing touches on the symbol. After he is done he will then hand you the holy symbol.)
Amascut, the DevourerEdit
Once you have the symbol, go back into the southern pyramid (pray at the altar if needed) and try to jump the pit. When you try, you'll enter another flashback.
You will find yourself outside the west (left) room and will have an Unholy symbol in your inventory. Go to the east (right) room. Enter it and use the symbol on any Sarcophagus on the walls. Go back through the door and the flashback ends.
After the flashback ends you will speak to yourself again, saying that you shouldn't have done that. Jump across the pit again and re-enter the eastern burial chamber. After a cutscene, you'll learn that the Wanderer was behind it. She is really the Devourer, Amascut, an evil goddess, and she'll possess one of the priests. You will now have to fight a level 56 Possessed Priest, who attacks using bolt spells. Use Protect from Magic prayer and kill him. This fight is very easy, if you have level 60+ stats in combat and maybe 2 or 3 salmon (or any food of preference). He can be killed fairly quickly if exploiting his weakness to slashing weapons. He will drop a 4 dose potion of either attack, strength, magic, defence, or agility.
Icthlarin's Little HelperEdit
Talk to the High Priest again, and he will thank you for your help, although it would appear another adventurer has stolen the jar again, causing the plague to remain. You will then mention how many unanswered questions there are, and will collapse, experiencing yet another flashback. You will see yourself escaping from the pyramid, and you will encounter Icthlarin, god of the Underworld. He sees his sister's spell, and de-hypnotises you with the help of the previous high priest.
You will then find yourself back in the eastern burial chamber. (There is a glitch where you might have the canopic jar in your inventory, you can drop this as it does not affect the quest) Exit the chamber, jump back across the pit, making your way back through the pyramid to the start. To quickly get back through the pyramid, just fail the pit (by holding something in your hand - note that this may not always work) and then purposely step on a trapdoor to get back to the beginning, you will only lose a few life points.
Return to the temple (southwest in the village) and talk to the High Priest, who will reward you with an Amulet of Catspeak for your help.
Congratulations! Quest Complete!
- 2 quest points
- 4,500 experience
- 4,000 experience
- 4,000 experience
- Amulet of Catspeak
- Access to the city of Sophanem
- 2 Treasure Hunter keys and 2 Hearts of Ice
Required for completingEdit
Completion of Icthlarin's Little Helper is required for the following:
If you wear the Amulet of Catspeak and talk to your cat, you can watch a final cutscene where you are first hypnotized by the wanderer and given the Unholy symbol. Your cat will then explain to you what the wanderer's plans were all about.
- Upon the completion of this quest, one's Adventurer's Log will read: "I was being controlled through visions, but my mind is my own again, after the god of the dead intervened with the Devourer’s mind control."
- After completing the quest, if you talk to Juna, your character will say, "...And with the amulet I received, I could understand the language of cats!" to which she replies, "It is a rare privilege to understand the language of those beings. You should listen carefully to all that they say - but not believe too much of it."
- This is possibly a reference to "Eragon", when Eragon is told about dealings with werecats.
- Before, when the Ring of Life was used during the flashback, you would be teleported out of the flashback, but you couldn't enter Sophanem again. This bug has been fixed by Jagex.
- Most of the quest is very similar to the backstory of the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, in which a Sphinx sets a plague on the city of Thebes and to save the city, Oedipus has to answer a riddle correctly.
- There is a glitch where if you tell your cat you're confused about what happened, after the flashback you might lose your cat. This can be fixed by logging out and in, your cat will then return.
- If you try entering the pyramid again with your catspeak amulet equipped, your cat will simply say "Meow."
- If your cat is out and your inventory is full when you speak to the wanderer, you won't actually pick up your cat but the wanderer will continue as if you did.
Icthlarin's Little Helper