Penance King

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The Penance King, whose true name is Cacus, is the boss of hard mode Barbarian Assault. He cannot be defeated by normal methods and can only be damaged by flamethrowers created during the fight. Upon defeating the king, players are awarded 210 points in their role and 15 points in the other roles.

History[edit | edit source]

Cacus was once one of Hostilius's dukes and leader of the Ninth legion of demons in the Zarosian Empire. After Zaros was banished and Zamorak led a rebellion against the Chthonian demons, Cacus and the rest of his kind were either slaughtered or banished to the Abyss. The exact events leading to Cacus ending in the Abyss are unknown. His legion was destroyed before the fall of Zaros, and he did not figure in the list of Legati written around the end of the Second Age suggesting he was already absent or considered dead. Nevertheless in the Abyss he brooded and survived on detritus brought to him on abyssal currents, and said currents slowly moved him closer to the world of Gielinor. He sensed a Fremennik named Aesa Fellsdottir in her dreams and devoured her soul. Aesa isolated herself in an underground cave and awaited her death, after which he created a portal from her body and entered Gielinor. Now calling himself a king, he spawned Penance Queens from his own essence, which in turn spawned the Penance race ubiquitous to Barbarian Assault.

Players will learn this information by purchasing and reading the barbarian assault lore book #1 and #2.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Overview and attacks[edit | edit source]

The Penance King cannot be directly damaged by players, although additional sources of damage, such as blood necklaces and perks, are able to damage him. He cannot be stunned and will chase after players at walking speed. He does not attack with a specific combat style, although he is only able to attack a player in melee range. Each of his attacks deals soft typeless damage equal to 25% of his target's maximum life points, increasing to 33% and 50% every time an incantation is completed.

He also summons King spawns with 250 lifepoints that follow players and explode upon touching them, dealing typeless damage to all players in a 5x5 area of effect equal to 25% of their maximum life points. If a king spawn is killed, they immediately explode, dealing the same damage, and if they are left alive, they eventually explode on their own.

Resonance can block all damage but not heal from the Penance King's attacks and the spawns' explosions, as will Disruption Shield. Other Defence abilities are able to reduce the damage as well, although they should rarely need to be used.

Gathering for flamethrowers[edit | edit source]

The flamethrowers, the only weapons that can defeat the Penance King, must be created by gathering various items that the king vomits onto the ground. He will periodically say " The hunger consumes me...I must feed!"; at this point, a poisoned meat, which is obtained from a dispenser on the the west side of the room, must be dropped near him. He will eat the meat and say " Omnomnom" followed by " BLUUURGHHHHHH", vomiting one item for each of the four roles. The items are:

Each item is only visible to players of the respective role. When 5 of each item per role are collected, they can be deposited in the west. The flamethrowers will then be available from the same chute the items were deposited in.

A Healer is generally the one who feeds the king. A commonly used tactic has a Healer at the healing spring clicking on it rapidly to replenish their life points, all the while feeding the king when he indicates his hunger. The other four teammates stay at the east side of the arena and move west when the Healer tells them that the king has been fed enough. The teammates must then pick up their appropriate item, then refine the items, and finally deposit the refined items at the chute. When a message says that the flamethrowers are available, go to the chute and take the flamethrower.

The incantation[edit | edit source]

A team of players use their flamethrowers to damage the king.

After the flamethrowers have been obtained, the Penance King must be made vulnerable to them. This is done by reading an incantation in the correct order.

Scrolls are dropped by the Penance King when a player successfully attacks him with any normal weapon. Although the Penance King is invulnerable against the player, the player must still roll a successful hit to obtain the scroll; a scroll can be obtained with a single attack by using the Ingenuity of the Humans ability. The dropped scroll is only visible to the player who attacked him and caused it to drop. It is advised to use magic or ranged to attack him, as melee is extremely dangerous. It may take several attempts to receive the scroll, as the Penance King has fairly high defence. A scroll is dropped when the player sees a message saying that the King is resistant to their attack.

When a scroll is picked up, 5 words - Labefacto, Flamma, Ignis, Debilito, and Exuro - in a random order appear on the screen, which is read from left to right. Clicking the scroll in the inventory reveals which word the player has. When all five teammates have obtained their scrolls, they must click their respective word on the screen in the correct order. If any player clicks the incorrect word (even if they have already clicked the correct one), everyone receives the message "Someone read the wrong scroll!", completely resetting any activated words. The player who has the fifth word should not click it until they have confirmed that there are few or no king spawns around the Penance King. Once all five words are read in the correct order, the Penance King will become stunned and vulnerable to the flamethrowers. Everyone must attack the king while wielding their flamethrowers. Although players will receive a message saying that they are prohibited from attacking due to an item equipped, it does not prevent them from damaging the Penance King.

Each flamethrower deals rapid critical hits of 10,000 to 12,000 magic damage, which should bring the Penance King to around two-thirds of his life points, at which point he will once again become immune to damage. He will create cracks on the ground beneath him, which deal damage to players for 33% of their maximum life points. To avoid this, the players should use the Escape ability after attacking him with the flamethrowers. He will once again summon King spawns (hitting only 25%) to his aid while his attacks will deal increased damage. The scrolls must be re-obtained and the incantation must be done again, although the flamethrowers are kept. The entire process of obtaining the scrolls and attacking the Penance King with flamethrowers will need to be repeated at least 3 times (or 4 times, if some players did not attack to the fullest) in order to finally defeat the Penance King.

Dialogue[edit | edit source]

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!

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Concept art for Cacus
  • The Penance King's life points are the first seven digits of pi.
  • In Roman mythology, Cacus was the name of a fire-breathing giant slain by Hercules.
  • The concept for the Penance King and Barbarian Assault Hard Mode was pitched by PrimalMoose at RuneFest 2013. A poll was later released to all players to decide by which method the King would be defeated, with "weapon of power" winning the poll.
  • The words on the scrolls are all in Latin/Infernal, seeing as Cacus originates from Infernus.
    • Labefacto translates to "I destroy", "I ruin", or "I overthrow".
    • Flamma translates to "fire" or "flame".
    • Ignis also translates to "fire".
    • Debilito translates to "I cripple", "I debilitate", or "I disable".
    • Exuro translates to "I burn".