Is the Oracle related to the Elder Gods?
Q: Now that Sliske dislikes us, are you going to let us give him a taste of his own medicine any time soon?
Mod Rowley: I don’t think that Sliske truly dislikes the player. He was actually angry at Zaros, and in the moment took it out on you. If you speak with him after the quest, he’s back to being calm and jovial. I envisage Sliske as being bipolar, and his anger was a depressed outburst, but he quickly bounces back. Conversely, his over-theatrical nature is when he’s in a more manic state. I think he’s the player’s friend no matter what, even if the player doesn’t want him to be. With friends like him.
Sliske has said that he intends to take the runescape gold back seat for a time. We’ve focussed on him a lot in recent content, and I think it’s time to focus on other characters for a while. I certainly see dealing with Sliske occuring at the end of his tournament (or soon after), though whether you give him is comeuppance or end up helping him…who knows? He’s maybe more of a tragic character than we currently think…
Mod Rowley: Sliske meant it when he said he’d offer you one truth – whichever question you asked of him, he told you a truthful rs gold answer. It was a sobering moment for Sliske, but probably also a liberating one.
Mod Rowley: Everything that Zaros knows he discovered for himself. He’s been roaming the universe for a long, long time and has just pieced together all he has discovered. He has seen the shattered remnants of broken worlds, the elder gods’ progression towards perfection, and the current state of Freneskae. I’m surprised it took him so long to figure out, to be honest, but I guess he was distracted first with his ‘empire building business’, and then with the matter of creation.
Mod Rowley: No…maybe…I don’t know? We know that elder gods need a mouthpiece to communicate with ‘lower beings’. Ful would talk through the TzHaar, so it’s entirely plausible that Wen could talk through the Oracle (and who knows, maybe she already does…). But we also have no immediate plans, so that’s just speculation on my part.
Mod Rowley: Zaros thinks he is both delicious AND nutritious. Or more likely, he sees no use for him and subsequently no interest.
Mod Rowley: It’s more obvious with sound effects on (and in hindsight), but as you arrive you’re being watched/stalked by a nihil. You see one in a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ appearance as you approach the slide obstacle for the first time. The intent was just to give a creepy vibe, and to make you question Zaros’s motives a bit more.
Mod Rowley: If you use the charged engrammeter on Freneskae after gathering all the Mahjarrat memories. I’ve proposed an idea for those who stayed behind, but I can’t imagine many of them surviving this long.
Q: Why wasn’t Wahisietel informed at all of Zaros’ return? He’s supposed to be a Zarosian, right?
Mod Rowley: Zaros’s return was on the down-low, only his MOST loyal and trusted followers in the loop. While I still see Wahisietel and Akthanakos as being loyal, and still serving the cause, they’re more subordinates of Azzanadra – both in terms of power and their ranks within the old Zarosian empire. They receive their orders from Zaros through Azzanadra, and there was no need for them to be at the Zaros address upon his return.
Mod Rowley: That dialogue I believe is from Desert Treasure, and is likely in reference to the circle of mirrors. We did toy with that ridge in the desert being where you can plant the Measure, giving wider significance to that Eblis post-quest dialogue, but decided against it and removed it.
Q: Where did the rest of the ghosts who were trapped in the shadow realm disappear to?
Mod Rowley: There appears to be an issue of Sliske mass-trolling players, and instead of letting players see the Shadow Realm, he’s actually stopping them. (We’ll fix this ASAP, and hopefully before anyone misses out on this week’s ghost penguin.)
Mod Rowley: If he ever does manage to transcend to elder godhood, and the ilujanka haven’t died out by then, I have no doubt he would fulfil that promise. Mod Raven and I have been toying with the idea that this would not be an easy choice, or that there would be an alternative choice of at least equal viability (but anything can happen between now and whenever this choice would come to fruition).
Mod Rowley: None that I’m aware of.
Mod Rowley: That it was the natural order of things, as far as Mahjarrat customs are concerned.
Mod Rowley: She respects you too much not to try to kill you. I think we’d remove her from her prison when we want her talking to players, to not confuse things too much. She’s not very talkative, though.
Mod Rowley: I think it would be a good idea to move both Akthanakos and Wahisietel to Senntisten in a future update. I’ll propose it to Mod Osborne.
Q: We know of Jas, Ful, Mah, and I believe the Oracle revealed the 4th Elder is Wen. Who is the 5th Elder?
Mod Rowley: Yes, Wen is another of the elder gods. We did also want to reveal the final elder god’s name as post-quest dialogue on the Sleeper, but that proved difficult with the close release dates of One of a Kind and Fate of the Gods. I’ll see if I can get that added in.
Mod Rowley: “All in due time.” (Or when it becomes important.) It will be more likely that we’ll hear some more of Seren’s side of the story first.
Mod Rowley: Zaros seems to think that she embodies potential – both light and darkness – but that’s assuming elder gods represent anything and don’t just exist.
Mod Rowley: As far as things currently stand, the only people who know he has returned are those he addressed. I’m sure other characters will find out eventually, though. I’d like to have added opportunity for players to inform their emissaries/those they follow, but will have to leave that to a future project.
Mod Rowley: The relationship between Seren and Zaros is a bit tricky – it’s potentially borderline Lannister. I’d say the normal rules don’t apply to divine creations, and that it’s purposefully left open to interpretation whether their effect on each other is familial or romantic, and even if it’s real or imagined. Maybe it’s not actually something done to them, and they just believe that to be the case. They are both quite alien beings with emotions beyond mortal comprehension.
Mod Rowley: That was more an affectation of Zaros and Seren – their interpretation of what was happening to Mah. At Runefest, we also said that elder gods can choose to ‘power down’, the ultimate effect of which might seem akin to death in the eyes of some.
Mod Rowley: In terms of the focus of the quest, it just wasn’t important (at least not to Zaros). He says himself that “to agonise over the past cripples our thoughts of the future”, and Zaros is focussed on what needs to be done now. Players know a lot about the history between these two characters already; if we dig deeper into it we would do that in future content involving both characters. A reunion between Zaros and Zamorak would be interesting…and I really want to see how that would play out now!
Mod Rowley: I added some post-quest dialogue to the Valluta, before being kindly informed by Mod Moltare that you can’t actually get back to talk to her post-The Void Stares Back… The basic idea is that Guthix used the elder sword to create the pathways that the World Gate makes use of for travel between worlds. He later used the sword where the Valluta is now, but cut too deep, piercing the void (and shattering the sword in the process). This was to explain the similarity in look between the World Gate and the ‘Void Gate’.
Mod Rowley: The elder sword and World Gate are intrinsically linked. The difference between those things and god portals is a matter of power/distance. It takes relatively smaller amounts of power to travel between two worlds that are ‘close’ (in terms of planar distance). Any god of a certain tier can travel between worlds, and slowly make their way through the universe (by expelling energy) – the lower the tier of godhood, the larger a burden this puts on them (hence Icthalrin and Amascut’s jaunt to find the Mahjarrat was a huge effort for them, though they may themselves have had other means).
This is how Zaros originally traversed the universe (slowly, one world at a time). The World Gate, on the other hand, is such a powerful device because it provides near instant travel across vast distances. It’s no wonder he nabbed control of it.
It also takes more energy to bring more than just one entity through a portal, so bringing vast armies between worlds is slow and costly. This is why Zaros did what he did to Loarnab, using its power to bring his demonic legions all the way from Infernus, rather than his own. There are exceptions to every rule, too, and special cases, of course.
Mod Rowley: We already have plans to add both muspah and nihil Slayer assignments as part of updates we’re already working on. We wanted to gauge reaction to them first to see if that would be wanted. Even so, I think we plan to add them as opt-in tasks on Kuradal (like aquanites, for a small Slayer points cost). They would both have Slayer requirements to match that of the quest (76).
Mod Rowley: Considering that you are the only mortal to have laid hands on this particular artefact, feel free to name it yourself! The Measure is its ‘true’ name, as given to it by the elder gods (and you know it via proximity/touch, much like touching the Stone of Jas).
Q: When will we be able to access the other worlds seen through the portal?
Mod Rowley: For all intents the gate is now fully operational. That you can’t travel anywhere else with it is more due to it being open for future content than for any narrative reasoning at this point. If I find the time for it, I could make it work for previously unlocked locations (e.g. to travel to Kethsi and Naragun, likely arriving at the existing fairy rings), but those places are already accessible, and so this wouldn’t be a high priority. I believe there’s existing lore (somewhere) about how the fairies broke down ‘their’ World Gate to create the fairy ring network, so the technologies are compatible. Future locations will become unlocked with future content, and we can always expand on the number of destinations as we need to – we only kept it to 10 for the sake of the puzzle to repower it.
Mod Rowley: We have a plan to add additional memoriam crystals centred more fully on Seren’s past (from her first meeting with the elves) as part of the elf city update…
Mod Rowley: Simply due to the close release of these two projects. I’ll talk to Mod Jack about getting something added.
Mod Rowley: I disagree that we didn’t do this. Zaros has already been shown in a hugely negative light prior to this, and he’s hardly going to show himself in too negative a light when he wants your help. That said, Zaros himself does highlight some of his own flaws, both directly (hubris, entitlement) and indirectly (standoffishness, arrogance, superiority, not giving you all the information). There are also unspoken suggestions as to Zaros’s character that are less that positive (chopped up sentient creatures in the nihil arena suggesting what went into their creation). It could also be argued that everything he says to you during the quest is a manipulation – as such, your opinion of him going in is reflected back at you. Only time will tell if you made the right choice (regardless of which choice you made).