Desperate Times

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Artwork for the quest.

Desperate Times is a quest featuring Seren and is a continuation of the Elder Gods quest series following on from the player's encounter with Jas during Sliske's Endgame. It was first announced in the Month Ahead of May 2019.

Teasers for the quests were released gradually during the Song of Seren weekend from 10 to 13 May. Characters appeared on the 1st2nd floor[UK] of Burthorpe Castle in the following order: Seren, Thok of Daemonheim, King Roald, Sir Amik Varze, Lord Daquarius, Armadyl, Brundt the Chieftain, Doric, Osman, Ichi, Zilyana, Garlandia, Moia, Azzanadra, Zanik, Icthlarin, Zarador, Glout, King Narnode, Lady Vanescula, Oneiromancer, Major Mary Rancour, and Juna.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Council[edit | edit source]

Seren (with Eluned) chathead.png
Seren explains her plan.

Talk to Seren on the first floor of Burthorpe Castle. She will invite you to join her council and explain her cause, stating that the elder gods see life on Gielinor as food for their unhatched children. She plans to appeal to the elder gods and show them that life is worthwhile, as she was taught to see life as worthwhile. The first elder god she seeks to impress is Bik, with the plan being to build a garden. She tasks the player with negotiating a location, task force and seed collection from the assorted council members.

For the land, speak to either Zarador to use the Feldip Hunting Grounds, Vanescula Drakan to use the swamps of Morytania, or Osman to use the northern desert. For the task force, talk to either Moia to summon an undead force, Brundt the Chieftain to use the Fremennik, or Sir Amik Varze to use the White Knights. For the seeds, talk to either Azzanadra, Garlandia or King Roald. Once a combination has been selected, confirm your choice. The council will reject the suggestion however for varying reasons, such as the Fremennik being unsuited to the proposed environments and Vanescula viewing the White Knights as an invading force. If you logout or exit to lobby, the combinations selected will be reset.

After three failed combinations, Kerapac will appear and claim that Seren's plan of appeasement will fail and was proposed out of sentiment. He proposes an alternate plan, to use the Elder Artefacts to put the elder gods into a permanent sleep. The council will all agree with Kerapac, except for Seren, and Kerapac will instruct you and Thok to travel to the Needle, west of the Piscatoris Fishing Colony. Fairy ring code AKQ can be used to reach the fairy ring just south of the colony or home teleport to the Eagle's peak lodestone and take the row boat with Kathy Corkat.

The Needle[edit | edit source]

Kerapac and Thok at the Needle.
Kerapac (Desperate Times) chathead.png

Head to the Needle and talk to Kerapac. He will say there is a power resonating from the artefact and ask if you can feel it. Pick any option. Kerapac will say he can charge the Needle, but this will cause temporal instabilities to spawn. Five instabilities will spawn, which can be closed by clicking on them. One can be found near the Needle, two can be found in the front yard of the nearby farmhouse, and the final two can be found on the 1st2nd floor[UK] of the farmhouse. Once all five are closed, return to Kerapac. He will remark that, while the Elder Artefacts are not truly sentient, they have something resembling a consciousness, and that the mind of the Needle has refused him. He will state that he needs assistance from a powerful human mage, Charos, whose magic has affected the minds of others in the past.

Head to Charos' tomb located under McGrubor's Wood. The fastest way to get there is by home teleport to the Seer's Village lodestone or via Fairy ring ALS and heading south-east to the mysterious hole. Once in the tomb, investigate the coffin to get a letter from Charos, stating that Charos is aware of what you are attempting and is eager to meet you. He challenges you to play one more game in order to find him: you must locate three keys hidden in three locations, all of which are alluded to by riddle. These keys will empower his old necklace, allowing you to remove his disguise once you find him.

Keys to Charos' Necklace[edit | edit source]

One of the three portals, in the Black Knights' Fortress.

Caution: If you log out or enter the lobby while in a puzzle room, it will reset the current puzzle!

First Key[edit | edit source]

The first key can be found at the Digsite, near the entrance to the Empty Throne Room. A group of students and examiners will be standing around a strange portal. (Portal may also be outside the entrance by Celia Diggory). Step into the portal, which will lead you to a room with a sliding puzzle in the center and several smaller rooms containing chests located around the perimeter. (The tiles that make up the slider puzzle will not budge until at least one chest has been unlocked.)

In order to solve the sliding puzzle and obtain the key, the doors leading to rooms with chests must be unlocked by stepping on the coloured magic portals on the floor. (The color of each portal does not correspond to any particular door, and no particular combination of portals must be stepped upon in order to unlock a specific room. Try each portal until the door to the room you wish to unlock has opened.) Once a room containing a chest has been unlocked, the chest within must be unlocked by completing a riddle. Solving the riddle properly will allow you to obtain a four-letter code which must be entered into the combination lock interface in order to successfully unlock the chest.

Note: Each puzzle room may contain multiple riddle-locked chests - often two or more - in order to complete the word grid corresponding to the slider puzzle. Rooms that do not contain locked chests have no bearing on the completion of the puzzle.

The following list outlines the possible riddles a player may be required to solve in order to unlock a chest:

  1. If the room contains a note on an old recipe:
    • If the amount of every ingredient in the recipe can be represented with a single Roman numeral (i.e. 1000g of Bacon == "M"), those numerals - in the order of their appearance in the recipe - are the code.
      • For your reference, a sheet of numerals may be found on the ground near a pillar in the middle of the room. [Roman numerals: 1 = I | 5 = V | 10 = X | 50 = L | 100 = C | 500 = D | 1000 = M]
    • If not, the code is the first letter of each ingredient in the recipe, in the order of their appearance on the list. (e.g. 1052g "F"lour, 102g "C"hocolate dust, 56g "D"oogle leaves, 2 "E"gg = FCDE)
  2. If the room has four items on the ground that cannot be picked up, the code is the first letter of each item (e.g. "P"lank, "J"ute fibres, "C"atfish and "D"iamond bolt = PJCD).
    • Tip: Start with the item located the furthest away from the chest and end with the item nearest to the chest. If that does not work, reverse the order (i.e., DCJP).
  3. If room has coins on the ground, the code is the number of coins in each pile, starting with the furthest away pile from the chest and ending with the nearest, represented in Roman numerals. You must right-click examine the piles of coins to tell you how many coins are in the piles. If that does not work, reverse the order.
    • If you have the loot interface enabled, do not rely on the loot interface to correctly indicate the number of coins that are in each pile!
  4. If there is a plaque located on the wall next to the room's door, the code is the first letter of the location that corresponds to each lodestone network icon (shield) depicted in order of appearance. (e.g. Lumbridge lodestone icon.pngFalador lodestone icon.png Draynor lodestone icon.pngVarrock lodestone icon.png = "L"umbridge, "F"alador, "D"raynor Village and "V"arrock = LFDV).
  5. If room has only one item on the ground with a four-letter word in its name, the combination is those four letters. (e.g. Beer = BEER, Bronze dart = DART, Cake = CAKE)
    • If the item is a clean herb (e.g. Clean ranarr) the combination is HERB.
Example of a word grid to solve sliding puzzle after unlocking all the chests

Once the chest is unlocked, it will reveal part of a word grid, which is the solution to the sliding puzzle. Unlock all of the chests to obtain the completed word grid and solve the slider puzzle. (Each word is a description of the tile it represents, located within a three-by-three grid. In order to complete the slider puzzle, each tile on the ground must be located in the same position that corresponds with its location in the word grid. The blank tile on the word grid corresponds to the empty space on the slider puzzle. The puzzle is solved just as one would solve a Treasure Trails puzzle box or Dungeoneering sliding tile puzzle.) If done successfully, the room will shake and you will obtain a key, which will automatically combine with the necklace as you receive it, and a magic portal leading outside will appear.

Second and Third Keys[edit | edit source]

The other two locations are the main bedroom on the 1st2nd floor[UK] of the Varrock Palace (the portal is hidden behind the clothing screen. King Roald and Sir Amik Varze will be at the table near the stairs) and the ground1st floor[UK] of the Black Knights' Fortress (the portal is in the south-east room near the entrance, you can get an outfit to get in the castle from the armor stand by Edgeville monastery. Lord Daquarius, Lieutenant Crane and Blacklock will be nearby). Solve both slider puzzle rooms as before in order to obtain the remaining two keys. After obtaining the third key, you will get a bloody clue scroll with "URIT" written repeatedly across it. This scroll works the same as the one found during You Are It, and reading only the letters that are different spells out "RELDO". The player then mentions that they think they should head to the Varrock Palace Library.

Varrock Library[edit | edit source]

Return to the Varrock Palace and speak with Reldo in the library. Opt to use the newly-empowered necklace and Charos will reveal himself to you, explaining that Reldo was merely a well-placed disguise. Kerapac and Thok will join you and discuss plans on what to do with the Needle. Kerapac will commission Charos with creating a device of his own design, with which he hopes to subdue the Needle. Thok will disapprove of this approach, stating that they can cow the gods into submission instead. Charos suggests Thok go do that and Thok will leave. Charos will request three rune bars, two runite stone spirits, 10 gleaming energy and 10 mind runes in order to build Kerapac's device. Get these items and give them to Charos: he will build his device, then instruct you to meet him at the Needle.

The Device[edit | edit source]

Items recommended: Equipment to fight a level 50 magic clone of Sliske.

Gail chathead.png
The warped version of Naragun.

Charos prepares to use his device on the Needle. Before he can, however, Gail appears and attacks him and Thok. Kerapac will send you into the Needle while he fends off Gail's attempts to stop them.

The first anima puzzle, as Saradomin and Zamorak fight in Guthix's chambers.

You will end up in the deepest part of Guthix's Cave. As you wander around the cave, clones of Sliske will attack. Defeat them and collect the broken mask shards. Clone spawns seem to be triggered by stepping in specific areas; make sure to explore thoroughly to make them all spawn. Once five clones have been defeated and five shards obtained, reassemble Sliske's mask and wear it. You will be transformed into Sliske. Head to the end of the cave, where Guthix is, and kill him. You will be transported to Naragun next. Find and harvest five memories relating to Seren, Armadyl, Zamorak, Bandos and Saradomin. Guthix will appear by the fairy ring and ask that you talk to him. After talking with him, you will be transported back to his cave. In the cave, switch each of the mutable anima once.

An avatar of Kerapac discusses his plans.

After this, you will appear in a facsimile of the Empyrean Citadel. Sliske will appear in the middle platform and begin talking about gods, presumably intended towards Jas. Head to the west into the room with Gielinor and use the agility shortcuts to make your way around the room. You will go through all the rooms you did during the Missing, Presumed Death quest, but with either Kerapac or Sliske appearing and talking about their plans. Making it to the end and jumping down will instead bring the player to a new area.

Final room map, wisps in red

The player will be brought to the upper platforms of Sliske's Labyrinth, where anima will now also enter temporal portals, which the player may enter as well to go to a different area of the room. Changing all the redirect anima to go to Kerapac will advance the quest.

The final room appears as the end area of the Dragonkin Laboratory, although some nodes will be coloured orange and frozen in place. To unfreeze these, players must find memory wisps (one in the room to the north-east, one in the room to the south-east where Verak Little would appear, on the stairs to the west leading to where the Black Stone Dragon would appear), and listen to Kerapac talk to his son Vicendithas about his plan to return to a place called Orthen. Once all energy is redirected to Kerapac instead of Gail, a cutscene will occur.

Kerapac gains control of the Needle.

The cutscene shows Kerapac gaining control over the Needle by stabbing it with the Staff of Armadyl (with Charos' device allowing Kerapac to retain his memories), reverting Gail into her human form Primrose. Using his newfound power over the Elder Artefact, he teleports it away and flies off towards the east, out past the ocean to prepare for the next stage of his plan.

Talk again to Charos, who is furious at being backstabbed, and Primrose, who must go see her mother. Return to Burthorpe and let the council know what happened.

Seren will be told that Kerapac had set up the World Guardian, and that using the Needle's power, Kerapac seems to have a plan that involves the sacrifice of one planet - Gielinor - in order to destroy the Elder Gods and save all the other planets permanently. Seeing as the council was betrayed, and that a third party's plan is in effect to destroy all life on the planet, Seren begins to formulate how to stop and kill Kerapac with the aid of the council and Charos.

Congratulations, quest complete!

Rewards[edit | edit source]

Desperate Times reward.png
Music unlocked

Required for completing[edit | edit source]

Desperate Times is not currently required for any quests or miniquests.

Transcript[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]


Update history[edit | edit source]

The update history project is a work-in-progress - not all updates to this topic may be covered below. See here for how to help out!
  • patch 20 May 2019 (Update):.
    • A cutscene during the Desperate Times quest was incorrectly altering the players Sliske's Endgame quest progress. This has now been fixed.
      • Players that have been affected by this should now find themselves in a state as close to previous as possible. Players may find they have to repeat parts of the quest that they already had previously.
      • Players that had already completed the quest will now find themselves at the start of the boss fight on a non canon quest play through.
    • Corrected the required items for the Desperate Times quest from runite bars, to rune bars in the quest journal and quest dialogue.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Upon completion of the quest, the adventure's log states: "I may have accidentally helped a dragonkin take control of an elder artifact endagering[sic] all life on Gielinor. Oops."
  • The quest name is a reference to the saying "Desperate times call for desperate measures".
  • During the scene where Charos builds his device, the player has the opportunity to read The Lusty Asgarnian Maid. This is a reference to The Lusty Argonian Maid, an erotic novel in The Elder Scrolls. Should the player choose to read the book, it will turn out to actually be a book on cleaning titled The Dusty Asgarnian Maid.
  • At the Digsite portal, one of the students mentions lizardmen, which were a race originally mentioned in 2001 but were never released in RuneScape, but which are in Old School RuneScape - [1].