Desert Diplomacy

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Princess Amira's guests Princess Nabile, King Altador, and Princess Lunara were among those robbed.

Desert Diplomacy was a mystery event that began on 7 August 2014 and finished on 25 August. Five rulers from across Neopia were invited to Sakhmet by Princess Amira, however their summit was ruined when several gangs of thieves broke into the palace and stole the belongings of the representatives.

The player was appointed Chief Inspector in the case by Princess Amira, and starting on 8 August, they could review one lead a day to discover a clue. Together, the clues are elements of a logic puzzle, like the Usurper!, Guildmasters' Dinner, and the Cyodrake's Gaze plots.

Summary[edit]

Some of the thieves accessed the palace by climbing over the walls.

On August 7th, Princess Amira invited rulers from all over Neopia to her palace in Sakhmet in order to discuss trade routes and foreign policy. King Altador of Altador, King Hagan of Brightvale, Princess Lunara of Shenkuu, Princess Nabile of Qasala, and King Skarl of Meridell all attended.

Unfortunately, thieves were able infiltrate the palace and steal a valuable item from each ruler. After learning of the thefts, Princess Amira immediately dispatched her network of spies to find information about this missing items, and appointed the player to investigate.

Over the following days, several Lost Desert residents came forward with clues, and a picture of the crime began to develop. It appeared that several different guilds of thieves were involved in the crime, which each accessed the palace in a different way and each stole a different treasure from the delegates.

Crime details[edit]

Owner Loot Guild Modus operandi Time
King Skarl Illuminated Menuscript Pyramid Prowlers Drank an invisibility potion Midnight
Princess Nabile Wedding Ring Dagger Clan Used a cunning distraction 1 a.m.
King Altador Royal Telescope Oasis Runners Wore a clever disguise 2 a.m.
Princess Amira Grand Speech Scroll Hand of Anubis Snuck in via the sewers 3 a.m.
King Hagan Pocket Chess Desert Scarabs Bribed a guard 4 a.m.
Princess Lunara Magical Blue Amulet Sun Chasers Climbed the palace walls 5 a.m.

Participation[edit]

Everyday, Amira's spies directed users towards the whereabouts of a new lead. These included interviewing Lost Desert residents about the theft, and discovering crime scene evidence. Users had to visit these specific locations in order to discover the clue.

One new lead was released per day, but players could discover several clues in one day if they had missed discovering them previously. Although the player was given several options for what to ask during the interviews, all choices lead to receiving the clue.

Date / Location Source Clue
August 8, 2014
Lost Desert Foods
Desert shopkeeper d3s1uj5b.jpg
Lost Desert Foods Shopkeeper
  • The Illuminated Menuscript was either stolen using invisibility or by bribing a guard.
August 9, 2014
Osiri's Pottery
Evidence 02.png
Lady Osiri
  • The Oasis Runners stole an item sometime before the guild who bribed a guard.
August 10, 2014
Neomail
Evidence 03.png
Tomos
  • Of the guild that used distraction and the Sun Chasers, one stole the Wedding Ring and the other committed the theft at 5:00 a.m.
August 11, 2014
Lost Desert Colouring Pages
Evidence 04.png
Found grappling hook
  • The guild that climbed the palace walls committed the theft sometime after the Wedding Ring was stolen.
August 12, 2014
Sakhmet Solitaire
Evidence 5.jpg
Sakhmet Solitaire Chomby
  • Of the guild that bribed a guard and the Pyramid Prowlers, one stole Pocket Chess and the other committed the theft at midnight.
August 13, 2014
Sakhmet Battle Supplies
Evidence 6.jpg
Remnok
  • Neither the guild that committed the theft at 3:00 a.m. nor the guild that bribed a guard stole the Magical Blue Amulet.
August 14, 2014
Neomail
Evidence 07.png
Eyrieki
  • The Royal Telescope was not stolen at 3:00 a.m., nor was it stolen by the Desert Scarabs.
August 15, 2014
Scarab 21
Evidence 8.jpg
Found dagger
  • The guild that used invisibility committed the theft one hour before the Dagger Clan.
August 16, 2014
Cheat!
Evidence 9.jpg
Brucey B
  • Pocket Chess was not stolen by the Sun Chasers, nor was it stolen at 2:00 a.m.
August 17, 2014
Cool Desert Paint Brushes
Evidence 10.jpg
Lutari Stallholder
  • The guild that committed the theft at 1:00 a.m. did not use a disguise.
August 18, 2014
Neomail
Evidence 11.jpg
Amarna
  • The Illuminated Menuscript was stolen by the Pyramid Prowlers.
August 19, 2014
Scratchcard Kiosk
Evidence 12.jpg
Found helmet
  • The Hand of the Anubis committed the theft one hour after the guild that used a disguise.
August 20, 2014
Neomail
Evidence 13.jpg
Enarka
  • The Grand Speech Scroll was either stolen at 4:00 a.m. or via the sewers.
August 21, 2014
Fruit Machine
Evidence 14.jpg
Fruit Machine Kau
  • The guild that used the sewers committed the theft sometime after the Royal Telescope was stolen.

After receiving all fourteen clues, the player could then solve the mystery. The player was asked how and when one specific item was stolen, and which guild of thieves took it.The player had until 12 am NST on 25 August to submit their answer, after which time, prizes were awarded.

Prizes[edit]

At the conclusion of the event, the player was awarded up to five prizes depending on how quickly they had submitted their solution, whether or not it was correct, and an additional prize - the Honorary Guard Tunic - for getting all three parts of their answer completely right. If the player did not submit an answer but had collected at least one clue, they received the Elegant Scarab Whistle but not the other prizes.

  • Elegant Scarab Whistle
    The high-pitched sound this whistle makes can only be heard by scarabs. However, the shrill screaming you make when thousands of scarabs suddenly descend upon you can be heard for miles.
  • Non-Illuminated Menuscript
    This replica contains all the invaluable recipes recorded in the ancient menuscript. (With less gold lettering due to production costs.)
  • Anubis Thief Plushie
    Neopoints dropped on the floor always seem to roll under this plushie for some reason.
  • Staff of the Bewed - awarded for guesses made on 21 August
    The eyes glow red when your intended is near.
  • Oasis Tonic - awarded for guesses made on 21, 22, and 23 August
    Oh sure, you could always happen to stumble upon an oasis in the desert, but why take the chance? Limited Use. Only one healing item can be equipped to your pet!
  • Honorary Guard Tunic
    A heroic reward for a heroic deed.

As well as the prizes awarded at the end of the event, every time a user acquired a new clue, they were rewarded with an item randomly selected from the list below:

  • A History of the Lost Desert
  • Bound Darkness Scroll
  • Broken Desert Pottery
  • Bucket of Sand
  • Canteen-o-Sand
  • Cheops Juice
  • Cobrall Dagger
  • Common Desert Collectable Scarab
  • Decorating With Sand - Winter Quarterly
  • Desert Arrow Launcher
  • Desert Flower
  • Desert Kiko Snacks
  • Desert Petpet Stamp
  • Desert Petpets: A Cautionary Tale
  • Desert Poogle Music Box
  • Desert Robe
  • Desert Survival Skills for the Dim-Witted
  • Desert Tent Zoning Regulations
  • Desert Usul Plushie
  • Edible Desert Foliage Vol. 9
  • Eye-Sha
  • Famous Sand Collections
  • Flowered Vase
  • Framed Desert Scroll
  • Golden Heart Necklace
  • Grackle Bug Stamp
  • Grackle Bug on a Stick
  • Handled Pottery
  • History of the Sakhmet Dynasty Vol. 3
  • How to Carve Sandstone
  • Jazan Valentine Gift Bag
  • Khnum
  • Long Lost Desert Scroll Trinket
  • Lost Desert Architecture
  • Lost Desert Weather Guide
  • Lyins Dagger
  • Miniature Sandbox
  • Nune
  • Pyon
  • Pyracone
  • Pyramid Sun Rise Stamp
  • Royal Proclamations of Coltzan Vol. 13
  • Ruki Population Survey Vol. 5
  • Sand Cuisine for Elephantes
  • Sand Drawings
  • Sand Hot Dog
  • Sand Mound
  • Sand Sculpture Strategies
  • Sand Shake
  • Sandcastle Mold
  • Sandy Geb Cakes
  • Scarabug
  • Sceptre of Lost Time
  • Selket
  • Strange Yellow Mist
  • Tchea Fruit
  • The Art of Food Sculpting
  • The Chemical Properties of Sand
  • The Joy of Burnt Desert Food
  • Vase Mug
  • Wadjet
  • Ya Tchea Fruit Bomb

Neocash activity[edit]

The fragments were all parts of Princess Amira's decree that had been interrupted by Prince Jazan in the Lost Desert Plot.

In addition to one of the above items, each time a clue was discovered, the player was awarded a piece of parchment with a hieroglyph on it. Players were invited to buy a hieroglyphic dictionary from the NC Mall in order to decipher the parchment and receive a Neocash item. Players who deciphered all the fragments received an additional item, Lost Desert Palace View Background, at the conclusion of the event.

Behind the scenes[edit]

This event was featured on 12 August 2014 in the Neopets e-mail newsletter, Scandal in Sakhmet. As explained in the Neopian Times editorial, [Prince Jazan]] did not attend the summit as, following the events of the Lost Desert Plot, Nabile is on much better terms with Amira than he is. The Emperor of Shenkuu was convinced by Princess Terrana to send Princess Lunara to train her diplomatic skills.

Desert Diplomacy made several references to the Lost Desert Plot of 2005. The wedding ring Nabile lost was an enchanted relic that Jazan offered to both Amira and Nabile: by accepting it and marrying Jazan, it would restore Sakhmet and undo the curse of Qasala. The Neocash parchments featured the hieroglyphs first introduced in that plot, and were all parts of the announcement that Jazan's arrival interrupted. Among the prizes given out for discovering each clue were scrolls that appeared as unobtainable items in the puzzle portion of the Lost Desert Plot, and the final prizes included a whistle that referenced the false prophecy puzzles.

Goof[edit]

Eyrieki sent a Neomail helping the investigation, but the clue image shows the Qasalan Mummy instead. This was acknowledged as a mistake in Editorial #659

External links[edit]