One Piercing Note

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One Piercing Note (#178)
One Piercing Note.png
Release date7 November 2011 (Update)
Voice OverFull
Official seriesNone
Start areaAl Kharid
Advanced data
Quest ID196
Quest create ID187
Official difficultyNovice

One Piercing Note is a novice quest which continues from the legend described in the story of The Song From Before The War. The theme of the quest is that of a murder mystery, specifically uncovering the motives of the murder. The quest was the first to be fully voiced and contains an extensive amount of audio.

Official description[edit | edit source]

There has been a murder in the Abbey of Saint Elspeth, and the abbess wants an adventurer to investigate. Can you find the mysterious killer without disturbing the sisters' lives of prayer and sacred music?

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Abbey[edit | edit source]

Sister Catherina chathead.png

Head east from Al Kharid, through the gate beside of Ranael's Super Skirt Store, past the Desert strykewyrms, to the Citharede Abbey. A strykewyrm hunter will speak to you before you can enter and tell you about the Abbey of Saint Elspeth. As you enter the Abbey, you will hear a group of troubadours singing, and see one of the sisters waiting for you. Speak to Sister Catherina, who will tell you that Abbess Benita has asked her to wait for an adventurer to arrive, although she doesn't know why. She will tell you to immediately head for Benita's office, which is located inside of Citharede Abbey, the second room towards the north.

Sister Anna's death[edit | edit source]

The Abbey

Abbess Benita wants you to investigate the murder of one of their sisters, which she had not yet told the others about. She says that the last time she saw Sister Anna was at Vespers the day before, and found her body when she didn't turn up for Compline. She hands over a key to Sister Anna's cell, so that her private room can be investigated. She also wants Sister Anna's body to be inspected, and for the people around the abbey to be questioned. Abbess Benita will also request you to be subtle in your investigations as she doesn't want the murder to be known. She will give you a notebook to keep track of progress with the investigation. This can be useful if missing a clue, since lines of investigation are crossed out if all the clues involved with them are found.

Cell[edit | edit source]

Sister Anna's cell is in the south-east corner of the Abbey with the rest of the cells. Read the doors to find the correct one and open it with the key. Here, inspect the bed to find a cloth fragment, and the window to reveal it was broken from inside. In the north western part of the Abbey is the applicants room, in which you will find another cloth fragment on the bed.

Body[edit | edit source]

Sister Anna's body is in the infirmary, in the south-west corner of the Abbey. The abbess prepared it for burial herself and forbade the other sisters from seeing it. Investigate the body simply by clicking on the bed covered with grey blanket. The information about Sister Anna's body and her wounds will be revealed. The body will give up to four clues.

Questioning the suspects[edit | edit source]

A total of five people found in and around the monastery will need to be questioned. The order in which you speak to them does not matter. When you have spoken to the suspects correctly, you will be notified that you have gathered clues that will appear in the chat box in red text. Make sure you get all the clues to continue.

Clock tower puzzle
  • Sister Cecilia – located in the altar room at the east of the ground floor of the abbey, with the choir (3 Clues): make sure you read the hymn book on the floor by the choir or you will not be able to grab the Holy Cithara after the quest.
  • Sister Catherina – located in the altar room of the abbey, opposite the side of the choir (2 Clues)
  • Sister Elena – located in the kitchen (the middle room at the north of the ground floor) (3 Clues)
  • Sister Debora (Feet) – located in the clock tower immediately north of the altar room; climb 2 flights of stairs to reach her (2 Clues)
  • Valerio (Troubadour) – located outside the abbey (3 Clues)

All of the questions must be asked of each suspect.

Valerio and sister Catherina both ask you why are you asking such questions. Telling them the truth or following Abbess Benita's orders won't change the outcome of the quest.

Run through all the options when speaking to each suspect, to avoid missing the clues, resulting in failing to continue the quest.

Sister Debora (called "Feet" when first encountered), who can be found upstairs in the clock tower in the north-east corner, confuses the adventurer with Sister Catherina and asks for help with setting up the correct time on the clock. She says how the clock is incorrect, which can be fixed by rotating the hands. Set them to the 12 o'clock position. As soon as it is fixed she will come out of the clock and you may now question her.

Return to Abbess Benita and say that you are finished. If clues are missing, she will say how many have yet to be found. Once all the clues are found, say who you think is the killer. The option chosen doesn't matter since the result will be the same. A cut-scene occurs and a scream will be heard.

Sister Elena's death[edit | edit source]

Sister Elena's corpse

Follow the sound of the scream to the cellar. The door to the kitchen has been blocked, so players will need to go via the chapel to get there. Go down the stairs, and you'll find Sister Elena's corpse, along with Sister Cecilia panicking. Abbess Benita will then say that she cannot hide this any longer, and will ask for you to find the clues.

First, investigate both the bloodstains and the body. Do not search the reliquary (providing that it is open). If you choose yes and are not wearing anything Saradomin related, you will get hit for your current life points minus one.

  • Search the robe cabinet directly south of Sister Elena's body. Be sure to look carefully, as it can be difficult to find in the dark.
  • Return to Benita and ask for the cell key for Sister Elena's cell, which she will give. Search her bed and a bundle of letters will be found. Make sure to read the letters once you have them. Talk to Abbess Benita about them.
  • Next, search the sack in the kitchen to the east of the Abbess (where Sister Elena was).
  • Talk to Valerio (only after having read the letters will the options from Sister Elena's death be available).
  • Finally, speak to Sister Cecilia (in the altar room opposite the choir) and learn that she saw the ripper demon.

Once all the clues related to Sister Elena's murder are found, return to Benita to submit what you have found and she will ask who killed Sister Elena. Again, the option chosen does not matter. She then asks the adventurer to bring Sister Catherina back inside for her own safety.

Sister Catherina's death[edit | edit source]

Sister Catherina is murdered.

Go outside and talk to Sister Catherina, who is dancing with the troubadours. You must respond to her request to dance with her (agreeing or refusing to) before asking her to come back into the abbey. Once you have, pick the first option to take her back inside (will not work if you have not found all previous clues). She agrees to go back in, but another cut-scene occurs. As the player passes through the gateway, the gate comes down and Sister Catherina is locked outside. The player may only watch as "The Ripper" jumps down and murders Sister Catherina in cold blood. Valerio rushes to try to save her, interrupting the masked killer, but is too late.

Abbess Benita discovers the late Sister Catherina.

Climb the ladder to the south of the portcullis and operate the winch to open it. Investigate the body or talk to Valerio. Abbess Benita also appears, and after a brief conversation. Walk to Abbess Benita's office.

In the office, again, choose an option for who you think is the murderer, but it again does not matter. In further conversation, suggest making a trap to catch the masked killer. Suggest a new victim/target as a bait for the masked killer. Then you need to choose "They were all associated with Valerio".

After the conversation, pick up a cabbage from the small field just south of the kitchen, and then head downstairs to the cellar. Move the nearby candelabrum or tri-candle stand next to the Reliquary. The candelabrum can be difficult to see in low detail. Taking care to not accidentally select eat, put the cabbage on it. More could be picked from the centre of the Abbey. Search the robe cabinet for a set of Citharede robes, put them on the candelabrum to finish off Sister Cabbage and hide in the cabinet.

The final conflict[edit | edit source]

The Killer hits the dummy

Another cut-scene will play where The Killer arrives and attacks the dummy. Exit the cabinet and try to knock the killer out. However, the killer is not knocked out and runs away up the stairs. Chase it around the abbey. Small cut-scenes will play to show where the masked killer is running.

It heads to the kitchen, then outside to the gate which is closed. Two of Valerio's group block the gate, making the ripper run to the prayer area. The sisters don't notice, however, and the masked killer runs up to the clock tower.

The Killer threatens to take Debora's life.

Once at the clock tower, the masked killer takes Sister Debora as a hostage and it is revealed that the masked killer was Sister Anna herself. You cannot fight her, however, only have a conversation with her. She believes she is the Spirit of Saint Elspeth and that Saradomin wished the dancers, the singers, and the musicians to die. She explains that she killed all the sisters in cold blood because of their lust to dance, which she finds evil in her possessed mind. She killed the abbey applicant, Isabella, and dressed her in abbey robes to look like Sister Anna's body.

There is no way to convince her to release Sister Debora and surrender. To stop her, go down one floor and operate the clock mechanism, setting the time to twelve o'clock, where the both hands hits the topmost notch. Contrary to most clocks the thin hand is the hour hand and the thick hand is the minute hand.

Sister Anna falls off of the tower.

Return and talk to Sister Anna again. In order for the bell to ring, you will have to select the option that refers to a bell while talking to Sister Anna. This will result in the bell ringing, causing her to cower due to the noise. Sister Debora pulls off Sister Anna's claws, throwing them off of the tower. Talk to Sister Debora and she will leave. You must talk to Sister Debora first or Sister Anna will ignore you. Sister Anna will break from her madness, her regret, and her actions. Three options will appear as you talk to Sister Anna. However, choosing any of them results in Sister Anna falling off the tower to her death, either by her own delusional choice, or by your own choice; the choice will not affect the outcome, or the rewards of the quest.

The applicant's body is laid to rest.

Finishing up[edit | edit source]

After the cut-scene you are returned to Abbess Benita's office, where you have two choices:

You can either reveal Sister Anna as the true culprit, much to the horror of the Abbess and Valerio, who will indicate that both her resignation and the possible disintegration of the order may result. The second choice is to reveal that the ripper demon who possessed her as the offender.

Regardless of your choice, Abbess Benita will thank and reward you.

Audio options icon.png
Quest completed!
The unique music that plays on completion of this quest.

Congratulations, quest complete!

Rewards[edit | edit source]

One Piercing Note reward.png
Additional rewards/activities

The below activities are members-only:

Music unlocked

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Required for completing[edit | edit source]

One Piercing Note is not currently required for any quests or miniquests.

Pre-release[edit | edit source]

In the lead-up to the quest, the Lore The Song From Before The War was released, containing hints about the quest and the lore attached to it. A One Piercing Note developer's blog was also released days after.

The location of the quest was revealed at RuneFest, and the desert was altered in an update a week before release to make room for the Abbey.

Audio hints were released through Skaldrun's Images forum thread, the first time audio hints have been used:

  • Lyrics: Holy Elspeth guide our tongues to sing to Saradomin's grace. Grant us the vision that you saw to hold before us all our days.
  • Lyrics: Teach us to stand fast, as you stood, undaunted by the demon's cries. The clash of battle shook you not, nor heeded you Zamorak's lies.
  • Lyrics: Teach us that single piercing note that rang out with your final breath. Thou shook to ash the demon's heart; brought it to silence and to death.
One Piercing Note

If you've seen the bottom of our newest Lores and Histories story, you’ll already know the title of November’s quest: One Piercing Note. Legend has it that, during the God Wars, there lived a holy woman named Elspeth whose voice was so perfect that no demon could bear to hear it. In the present age, a group of Saradominist holy women found Elspeth’s remains on a remote desert plateau and set up an abbey in her memory. Within the abbey’s sand-blasted walls the Sisters of Saint Elspeth devote their lives to prayer and sacred music.

Now there has been a murder in the abbey, and Abbess Benita is praying for an adventurer to investigate. To complicate matters, a wandering troubadour has set up camp outside the abbey, despite the order’s rules forbidding secular music. It’s up to you to uncover the abbey’s secrets and find the killer.

As befitting a quest involving a troubadour and a holy choir, sound and music play a prominent role in One Piercing Note. The music is woven into the story, and includes recordings of real musicians and singers. In addition, in a first for RuneScape, all NPC dialogue will be voice-acted. So, turn your speakers on and enjoy our latest all-singing, all-dancing quest!

Transcript[edit | edit source]

Post-quest FAQ[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Credits[edit | edit source]

One Piercing Note
DeveloperMod John A
Design reviewMod Osborne
EditingMod William
Art & Graphics
Art DirectorPascal B
CharactersMark C, Baj S, Manu L, Mod Ante, Mod Brass
EnvironmentsMod Stead, Mod Chilly, Mod Joe, Stephen W, Mod Fenix, Stacey A, Mod Hayden, Alan O, Chris M, Matt M
AnimationMod Paul B, Mod Stu O, Mod Wing, Mod Hing, Simon P, Sam O, Gurpreet K, Chris W, David C
ConceptMod Piso, Mod DBarker, Mod Yann, Mod GiuG
Quality Assurance
Head of QASteven B
Quality assuranceIan 'Chief' H (Project Lead), Alistair H, Adam H
Voice ActingAlison Dowling, Alison Pettit, Charlotte Moore, Emma Tate, Laurence Kennedy, Richard Laing
AudioMod Lord, Mod Bond, Mod Ian, Michael Manning
JChoirSarah C, Kerry B, Vicki M, Danni A, Jess H, Christina K, Mod Maylea, Kayleigh O, Martin F
Troubadour BandMod Lord (mandolin), Kerry Bolland (violin), Michael Manning (percussion)
Dialogue DirectorMark Estdale
Recording EngineerJuan Manuel Delfin
Dialogue EditorTim Vasilakis
Recorded atOM London
WalkthroughMod Michelle

Update history[edit | edit source]

This information has been compiled as part of the update history project. Some updates may not be included—see here for how to help out!
  • patch 7 June 2021 (Update):
    • Quest Journal objectives for One Piercing Note are no longer highlighted after completing the quest.
  • ninja 4 December 2017 (Update):
    • The Prayer XP for completing the One Piercing Note quest is now awarded in the form of a lamp.
  • patch 22 May 2017 (Update):
    • A typo in the quest journal for One Piercing Note has been fixed.
  • patch 16 January 2017 (Update):
    • A graphical issue that occurred when trying to skip certain One Piercing Note cutscenes has been fixed.
  • ninja 20 June 2016 (Update):
    • The One Piercing Note quest is now available to free players!
  • patch 1 September 2014 (Update):
    • Several tweaks have been made to the cut scenes used in One Piercing Note to ensure they play correctly.
  • patch 16 January 2012 (Update):
    • Capitalisation has been fixed on objects throughout the One Piercing Note quest.
  • patch 13 December 2011 (Update):
    • The quest rewards interface now uses proper grammar at the end of One Piercing Note.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Unused characters from One Piercing Note.png
  • On the first day of the quest's release, the rewards portion on the quest help said "The spoilers departed with a shrill scream. We'll reveal more soon, once we've pieced together the evidence."
  • The Adventurer's Log will say "I discovered the identity of the murderer in the Citharede Abbey" once a player has finished the quest.
  • After the quest you can encourage Sister Cecilia to leave the Abbey or stay. If you tell her to leave she joins Valerio and drops the title of Sister.
  • One of the suggestions you could make when trying to find the killer is "I'll kill them all and Saradomin can sort it out". This is a reference to the phrase "Kill them all and let God sort them out", supposedly said by the papal legate Arnaud Amalric during the siege of the French city of Béziers in 13th century.
  • The quest bears much comparison with the Murder Mystery quest. The two quests are explicitly contrasted in the developers' blog released before One Piercing Note, which stated that the main difference between the two is that Murder Mystery focused on the who of the murder while One Piercing Note focused on the why.
    • Both are novice, no-requirement murder mystery quests that take place within a relatively confined area. Also, both feature a character named Anna (Anna vs. Sister Anna).
    • The quests also have characters whose names begin with the first few letters of the alphabet (Anna, Bob, Carol, David, Elizabeth and Frank in Murder Mystery vs. Sister Anna, Abbess Benita, Sisters Catherina/Cecelia, Sister Debora and Sister Elena in One Piercing Note). This may be a reference to Agatha Christie's famous murder mystery The A.B.C. Murders.
  • When you ask Sister Debora about what she thought of Sister Anna she makes a reference to the watchmaker analogy, a philosophical argument that compares the world to a clock, and God to the clock maker.
  • One Piercing Note has an unused entity icon: One Piercing Note entity icon.png.
  • This quest was made free-to-play on 20 June 2016.
  • The dummy made in the trap to lure the killer is meant to reference the cabbage god Brassica Prime.