Lost Desert Plot

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"One thing about Sakhmet, you can guarantee that it's never a dull place..."
This article is about the 2005 plot set in the Lost Desert. You may be looking for Brucey B and the Lucky Coin, Usurper!, The Hunt for the Crown, or Desert Diplomacy.

The Lost Desert Plot was a plot that started on the 30 August 2005 and concluded on 29 November. Prizes were released on 30 January 2006.

The plot introduced Qasala, a cursed kingdom of the Lost Desert that has lain in ruins since it was destroyed in a sandstorm 200 years ago. Prince Jazan sought to undo the curse on Qasala by marrying Princess Amira of Sakhmet, and held her city hostage when she refused his proposal. The plot also featured Nabile and Tomos, thieves with the Desert Scarabs who would uncover the truth about the curse.

Alongside the story, users joined in in solving an enormous and complicated puzzle. After its completion, The Neopets Team would describe it as "biggest plot puzzle we've ever done". It was the first time Neopets implemented a plot which required people to actively participate if they wanted to progress. The players were set very difficult tasks, including exploring and mapping the extensive Temple of 1,000 Tombs, the layout of which was unique to each user; and unburying, excavating, and furnishing the Scroll Repository. They were also faced with numerous red herrings.

Initially, Chapter 14 was portrayed as being the end of the plot - the story of Amira, Jazan, and Nabile appeared to be concluded, but the puzzle remained incomplete. The plot continued with the return and defeat of Jazan's father, Razul, which tied in the end of the puzzle.

Discussion of the puzzles on the Neoboards lead to the coining of the acronym OLDPD, for Obsessive Lost Desert Plot Disorder. Discussion boards tagged with OLDPD would continue for many future plots - The Neopets Team congratulated them on passing 5000 threads during the Disappearance of Krawk Island event.

Several characters introduced in this story would return in future plots: Prince Jazan and Nabile would appear in The Faeries' Ruin, and Nabile, Tomos, and Amira would feature in Desert Diplomacy. The Foreman, who the player encountered during the puzzle, would return in the Altador Plot as the janitor in the Hall of Heroes, and similar, angry Yurbles would appear in The Tale of Woe and The Faeries' Ruin.

Synopsis[edit]

Over two hundred years ago, the sorcerer Razul laid a curse on his city, Qasala, its people, and his son Jazan, trapping them in a torturous, undead existence so that he might cheat death. A prophecy stated that the curse would be lifted when Prince Jazan married a Princess of Sakhmet. In order to save his people, Prince Jazan tried to take Princess Amira's hand in marriage, who had ascended to the throne of Sakhmet after her father's death. Princess Amira refused, and so to try and coerce her, Jazan used magic to transport the city away from the Lost Desert and trap it in a world of the undead.

Taking refuge in the Qasalan ruins, Nabile and Tomos discovered the history of Qasala and realised the curse would only be broken if Jazan and the princess loved each other. Returning to Sakhmet using the enchanted Ring of the Lost, Nabile managed to stop the wedding. Amira's adviser Enarka realised Nabile was the descendent of a disinherited line of the royal family, and was of royal blood herself. Nabile confessed her love for Jazan, having read of his tragic past in Qasala, and they agreed to get married instead.

This completed the prophecy, and undid the curse, but in doing so, returned Razul to life - his plan all along. Jazan battled Razul and was able to defeat him.

Story[edit]

"The most magnificent thing in all of Sakhmet is the Royal Palace."

Deep in the Lost Desert, the exotic city of Sakhmet was a hive of activity. From the grand Royal Palace, Princess Amira could look out over her city and its busy streets.

A mysterious noble rode into the city on the back of a Uni. After bribing his way past the palace guards, he arrived in the Great Hall as the Princess was holding court. Introducing himself as Prince Jazan IV of Qasala, he announced his intention to marry Amira, and produced a scroll claiming that she was already promised to him. Princess Amira was unimpressed, and ordered her guards to expel the "fraudster" from the city.

Princess Amira asked her advisers to see if they could corroborate Prince Jazan's claims. Enarka discovered a historical record pertaining to the city of Qasala - although once thriving with a respected royal family, it was destroyed in a sandstorm over 200 years ago. Prince Jazan must be a fraud.

Nabile and Tomos, street urchins with the Desert Scarabs, had watched Jazan enter and leave the city. At Tomos' suggestion, they tailed him, hoping he might have treasure they could steal. Rather than finding a palace or a city, they followed his Uni's tracks all the way to a sprawling ruin. Unable to find the Jazan or any treasure to be had amongst the dust, they were forced to return to Sakhmet empty handed.

Prince Jazan was not ready to give up on marriage yet, and some time later he returned to Sakhmet, resolute. Seeing his arrival, Nabile and Tomos decided that this time they would wait outside the city for him to leave, and then ambush him.

Princess Amira was preparing to make an announcement to her people when Jazan interrupted, suggesting she was going to publicly acknowledge him as her husband-to-be. Amira refused again, and Jazan's disguise magically dispelled. His Uni reared up as the terrifying Nightsteed, and magic lightning crackled in the air. Jazan gave the Princess another chance to marry him and fulfil the prophecy.

Jazan makes an ultimatum.

She refused a third time, and Jazan's spell whisked the city of Sakhmet and all its inhabitants away into an alternate dimension - Jazan's world, full of terrible undead monsters. Nabile and Tomos, still outside the city waiting to ambush Jazan, watched on unable to help as the city faded away.

Jazan gave the Princess one week to change her mind and marry him, or he would let the monsters roaming the streets destroy the city. Her court appealed for her to accept, but she did not want to be part of whatever evil Jazan had planned. While most Sakhmetian residents barricaded themselves indoors, General Dacon made his way to the edge of the city. Outside, the inhospitable landscape was fraught with violent sandstorms: there was no hope of escape or reinforcement.

With nowhere else to go, Nabile and Tomos sought shelter in the Qasalan ruins they had discovered earlier. However, they found them no safer than the desert - they were chased by Nightsteed until they fell into one of the city's traps. Surviving the long fall and escaping a water trap, they discovered part of the city that was still intact. While Tomos explored the armoury, Nabile began translating some inscriptions in the library. Jazan and his city, the histories revealed, had been cursed to live a monstrous existence until he married the Princess of Sakhmet. "When true love unites, Qasala will live again."

Horace and the Desert Scarabs remaining in the city barricaded themselves in with the Lost Desert Foods shopkeeper. They worked out that the Qasalan monsters had very poor eyesight - if they stayed still, they would walk right past. They also found blunt weapons to be very effective. Together, they made their way to the palace to inform the General of what they had learnt. The guards and the Scarabs were able to make their way to families isolated in the city and bring them back to the palace. Jazan set Scordrax, the twin-headed Scorchio, on the city to try and force Amira's hand. He offered her an enchanted wedding ring that would lift the curse on his people and free her city.

In Qasala, Nabile and Tomos discovered some other enchanted rings. After escaping from the Spirit of the Ruins, Tomos tried on the Ring of the Lost, which transported him and Nabile home - to Sakhmet. Jazan ordered them arrested and commanded Amira's servants to prepare the wedding. In fear for their lives and wishing for an end to their torment, they did as he said.

Nabile explained to her guard, a Qasalan Pteri handmaiden, that she knew about the history of Qasala and that Amira would have to love Jazan for the prophecy to work. The handmaiden agreed to take her to the wedding so she could talk to the prince. She told him she knew he used to be a kind prince, and that she thought his wickedness was part of the curse - she was in love with him. Enarka pointed out a portrait on the wall: Nabile was the spitting image of Princess Neera, who was disinherited a long time ago for marrying a peasant. As Neera's descendant, Nabile was Amira's distant cousin and of royal blood. She, too, was a princess of Sakhmet, and could complete the prophecy by marrying Jazan. Nabile took Amira's place, and Sakhmet was returned to the Lost Desert. Nabile and her husband returned to Qasala to begin rebuilding it.

Razul returns.

As time went on, Jazan became troubled that his people were still monsters and his city in ruins, even though he completed the prophecy. He sent Nabile back to Sakhmet. He became miserable and forlorn without her, but while Qasala remained a land of the dead, it was no place for the living. Princess Nabile spent her time in Sakhmet researching the curse. The prophecy had promised that when the curse was lifted, Jazan wouldn't be the only thing returned to life.

One day, while Princesses Amira and Nabile were taking tea together, an unnatural storm appeared in the skies above Sakhmet. Fulfilling the prophecy had resurrected Jazan's father - Razul, a great sorcerer who had been imprisoned long ago by the people of Sakhmet. He began to lay waste to the city, impervious to the weapons of the Desert Scarabs and General Dacon's guard. He moved on to the palace, determined to eliminate the princesses.

Sensing that Nabile was in danger, Jazan returned to the city for a third time to do battle with his father. Weakened by his time away from Nabile, he was outmatched. When Nabile took a magical blow meant for Jazan, it enraged him enough to overwhelm Razul and defeat him once and for all.

Participation[edit]

Mysterious Tablet[edit]

The mysterious fortune teller.

Under the plot comic was a link to the Fortune Teller's tent outside of Sakhmet city. She gave the player a Mysterious Tablet she had found. It had place for sixteen tiles, each with a Sakhmetian hieroglyph, but twelve were missing. Which tiles were missing and which symbol was on each tile were random for each player.

Banner ads also started appearing, directing the player to the Temple of 1,000 Tombs. The Temple has a different layout for each player, and contained 3 libraries and 288 tomb doors. Tomb doors come in four shapes - pentagonal, triangular, rectangular, and round - and six colours - black, blue, gold, green, silver, and red. There are twelve tomb doors - one for each hieroglyph - in each colour and shape.

From the 11 September, after part three of the story was released, the Fortune Teller began receiving visions through her crystal ball. Every six or seven hours over the course of the weekend, she received a new vision. Each vision referred to a location in a different Neopian world. By visiting the correct location, the player discovered a strange parchment that provided a clue as to where a piece of the Mysterious Tablet could be found.

Each parchment consisted of four columns, each one describing a particular tomb door in the Temple. For the first stone fragment, the player had to find the clue after playing a game of Pyramids, and visit the tomb door described on it in the column starting with one dot (i.e. first piece). For the second fragment, the player had to retrieve the clue by playing a game of Snow Wars, and then visit the tomb door described in that clue under the column beginning with two dots (i.e. second piece) and so on.

When first retrieved, each fragment was dirty and had to be taken to Donny in his Toy Repair Shop to restore it. There was a chance that he would accidentally blow it up or give the player something else in exchange - if this happened, the player had to return to the same tomb to get another fragment. After retrieving and cleaning each fragment, the player could take it to their Mysterious Tablet, where it would fit in place.

After the fourth part of the plot was released, the heiroglyphs were added in to the comics for the first three parts. If the player went through the comics and clicked the symbols in the order they appeared on their tablet, they would be rewarded with one of twenty-seven prophecies that predicted Prince Jazan would make Sakhmet disappear. The prophecy consisted of a combination of three sections, each one of nine interchangeable parts:

  • The ancient prince will...
  • Prince Jazan will...
  • The prince of Qasalan will...
  • ... cause the disappearance of...
  • ... make vanish...
  • ... steal away...
  • ... the great city.
  • ... the city of Sakhmet.
  • ... the desert capital.

Inside the Temple, one of the tomb doors leads to a statue of Nuria the Fire Faerie, while all the others lead to traps. Which tomb door lead to the statue was random for each player, but the inscription outside the temple gave a hint. The inscription cryptically refereed to a colour and a shape, which would narrow down the possible doors to twelve - one for each hieroglyph.

Exploring the Temple could be hazardous.

A message carved on the statue of Nuria invited players to speak a prophecy: "Whosoever shall speak the prophecy here, shall be rewarded with treasures beyond compare."

The player would discover three prophecies during the plot. Speaking anything other than one of those prophecies would cause them to become ejected from the Temple and barred from re-entering for half an hour, like getting caught in a trap. Reading the first prophecy to the statue would cause a compartment to open, but far from the promised treasures, the player would get buried in a pile of Scarabs.

Scroll Repository[edit]

The player needed a good reason to convince the guards to let them in.

The first prophecy would come true in part five of the plot comic, when Jazan used magic to take Sakhmet into another world. When this happened, Sakhmet and most of the Lost Desert locations disappeared from the Lost Desert map and became inaccessible. The player could still visit the Fortune Teller, however, who informed them that some of Amira's ministers were outside the city and were trying to find out how to bring it back. They had decided to finish the new Scroll Repository and use it as a library. The Scroll Repository had first appeared in two Lenny Conundrum puzzles, #132 and #133, as a place to store all the scrolls that had been appearing so far in the plot.

After a few days, a row of footprints appeared in the desert going into the distance. Following them, the player arrived at the gates of the Scroll Repository - but the guards would not let them past without a good reason. The player was presented with six out of twelve possible reasons, none of which could convince the guards.

The library doors featured murals of (left to right) stars, a river, and a maze.

In order to come up with a good enough reason, the player had to read a certain scroll in the Temple of 1,000 Tombs. Each of the twelve scrolls was sealed with one of the Sakhmetian heiroglyphs - if the player read the scroll sealed with the symbol on their statue of Nuria, one of the excuses they could give the guards would work. The correct scroll had to be the most recent one the player read in order for the correct reason to appear.

The door to each library featured a stylised mural of a snake, the symbol on Jazan's crown. The three murals resembled a constellation, a river, and a maze. Clues as to what each mural was meant to depict were left in the image URLs - ast for aster, the Latin for star; h2o for H2O, the molecular formula for water; and nwo for no way out.

If the player could find the right scroll in the site search, the item description would hint as to which of the three libraries it could be found in. While the player's Neopet would "read" any scroll they player clicked on, they would "understand" the correct scroll. If the player hadn't discovered the statue yet, they could not get to the correct library.

The item's name gave a hint as to which of the six choices was the reason that would work.

The unburied Repository.

Having gained entrance to the Repository, the player was put to work by the Foreman. There followed three collaborative steps where players had to work together to proceed.

The pyramid had been buried in a freak sandstorm (as in Lenny Conundrum #133) - players had to work together to unbury it. Each player could take away one handful of sand at a time, but they had to carry it far away from the Repository. This took between one and three hours, faster depending on the player's active Neopet's speed. When they took a handful of sand, the user might discover an item, including a small chance of finding a Lost Desert Paint Brush. It took four days and 104,034 handfuls of sand to dig up the pyramid.

It was then discovered that the original engineers had built a solid pyramid, and had left no room inside. Players had to remove some of the blocks to make rooms. If the player attempted to move a block on the edge of the pyramid or that would form one of the interior walls, they were stopped by the Foreman and couldn't retry for another thirty minutes. Of the remaining blocks, the player could only move one if it had the same hieroglyph as their statue of Nuria on it, otherwise they'd be stopped by the Foreman as well. If the player clicked on a block that did have the correct hieroglyph, they could move it as soon as four other players had joined in.

Once the block was moved, an item would be discovered behind it. The Foreman would award it to whichever player rolled the highest number on his one hundred-sided die. The player had to wait thirty minutes after successfully moving a block before they could try again. 4,330 blocks had to be moved this way, taking players 22 hours.

After the rooms had been excavated, they had to be furnished. A team of Ruki carpenters in one of the tents at the Repository site spent the next few days carving furniture - stand lamps, tables, scroll racks, and benches. When they were ready, players could pick up a piece of furniture from the Rukis' tent and carry it into the Repository. Chalk markings had now been drawn on the floor, marking which pieces of furniture were needed where.

The player had to find the Interior Decorator, who moved about the pyramid at random every few hours. He would tell the player to which floor to take their item. They could place the item in any of the corresponding chalk marks on that floor. Place a piece of furniture on the wrong floor or on top of the wrong marking would incur the wrath of the Foreman. Although only 1,829 pieces of furniture were needed, thieves took furniture almost as fast as it could be placed, and so it took several days until all the furniture was placed.

Now unburied, excavated, and fully furnished, the Scroll Repository was finally filled with 28,680 scrolls. It was now open even to those players who hadn't found the correct excuse to trick the guards.

Useless Crystals[edit]

The Spirit of the Ruins is made from black smoke.

After the Repository was completed, a secret staircase appeared on the fifth floor that led to the map room, containing a model of Sakhmet city. For three hours a day - one hour in every eight, but at times that were random for each player - sunlight shone in to the room. The player could place a lens on top of the model Royal Palace's dome and, when the light was shining, this would project a code on the opposite wall. The player had to obtain four lenses, called Useless Crystals.

The first crystal could be retrieved from The Foreman, who started working in the Repository cafeteria after it had finished being built. If the player had read the first prophecy to the Statue of Nuria, the Foreman was entertained by their story about being buried in scarabs. Lamenting how boring his job was, the Foreman wished he could have a souvenir from an exotic place. The player had to visit the Gift Shop of 1,000 Souvenirs, located outside of the Temple. The shopkeeper did have one souvenir, but would only give it up in exchange for some black smoke. She gave the player an Empty Vial to put it in.

The Foreman's Useless Crystal.

The Empty Vial could be equipped to the user's Neopet. Visiting the Battledome, the player could fight the Spirit of the Ruins, a monster made of black smoke that haunts the Qasalan ruins. If they used the Empty Vial against him, it would fill up (becoming a Smoky Vial), and it could then be unequipped and returned to the Gift Shop Ruki. In return, she gave the player a Temple of 1,000 Tombs Souvenir T-Shirt. The Foreman was very pleased with this souvenir, and gave the player a Useless Crystal in exchange - a box full of them had been shipped to him instead of cakes by mistake.

Placing this crystal in the map room projected a sequence of primary colours on the wall. There were sixteen spots, twelve coloured and four blank. These corresponded to the sixteen symbols on the player's Mysterious Tablet. The sequence was random for each player.

The player had to read certain scrolls in the Repository, in a certain order. Each scroll was sealed with a colour and a hieroglyph. Combining the colour sequence and their Mysterious Tablet, the player could tell which scrolls they needed to read - for example, if the first spot was blue, and their first hieroglyphic was ben ben, this meant the player had to read a blue, ben ben scroll. If the player looked closely at their Useless Crystal by clicking on it in their inventory, they were shown a different image. The three black spots at the top were revealed to actually be three tiny coloured gems, in a random order for each player. The left-to-right colour order of the gems was the order the scrolls had to be read in, e.g. if the order was blue, red, and yellow, the player would have to read all their blue scrolls, then all their red scrolls, then all their yellow scrolls.

In order to find these scrolls, the user could consult the card catalogue that was installed at the entrance to the Repository. There was one catalogue for each primary colour - blue, red, and yellow - and each catalogue cross-referenced the twelve hieroglyphs with the names of different sections of the Repository. This meant that in that section, there was definitely one scroll with that colour and hieroglyph. Within each colour, the player had to read the scrolls in the order they appeared in the catalogue, not the order they appeared in on their tablet.

The second crystal.

Having read the twelve scrolls they needed, in the correct order, they were given the clue, "A sharp eye holds the next step." Returning to the Temple, the player could find the next Useless Crystal in any spike trap, by clicking on the eye of one of the skulls. As soon as it was retrieved, the card catalogues and the position of every scroll in the Repository were re-shuffled.

When this crystal was placed in the map room, it projected a different colour sequence. Some of the coloured spots were the same as those made by the first crystal, but others were replaced by a different, secondary colour - green, orange, or purple. The player needed to consider only the eight, secondary colour spots. They needed to read the scrolls of these colours that corresponded to the hieroglyphs on their tablet.

However, the card catalogues only showed where the blue, red, and yellow scrolls were. In order to find the location of a specific secondary colour scroll, they player had to read the scrolls of the same hieroglyph in the colours that, when mixed together, produce that colour. For example, to find out where the orange fer fer scroll is, the player must read the red fer fer and yellow fer fer scrolls. To make matters more complicated, this would only tell them of the location if the player read to two primary coloured scrolls in the correct order - the left-to-right order of the card catalogues.

The third crystal, bottom-left of the Non-Cube.

Once they had found the whereabouts of the eight secondary coloured scrolls, they had to be read in the right-to-left order of the Mysterious Tablet. The player then received the clue, "This clue does not exist." Referring to how The Neopets Team disavow knowledge of Jelly World, this clue meant the next crystal could be found in any of the Gelatinous Non-Cube traps in the Temple. To find it, the player had to go to one of these traps and click the bone floating inside the Non-Cube. As soon as it was retrieved, the card catalogues and the position of every scroll in the Repository were re-shuffled again.

This new crystal caused the same pattern of lights to appear as before. This time, the player had to read the scrolls with the hieroglyphs corresponding to the space left unlit, without a coloured spot. The scrolls read had to be white in colour - i.e. not any of the other colours.

To find the location of a white scroll of a certain hieroglyph, the player had to read the blue, red, and yellow scrolls for that hieroglyph. The order in which to read the scrolls was given by the Foreman's toe nails, which he had begun to paint in different colours. The correct order was the colours his nails were painted from outside-in. The Foreman repainted his nails, and thus the order of blue, red, and yellow scrolls to read changed, every time the player read a white scroll. The four white scrolls had to be read in the order on the Mysterious Tablet, this time from left-to-right.

The fourth and final Useless Crystal.

Having read the four white scrolls, the player received the clue, "'The solution to the puzzle is thus...' followed by a number of strange diagrams and figures. Somehow, it all makes sense." - this directed the player to the unsolvable riddle traps in the Temple. An alcove in the wall would open up when the player clicked on it, revealing the fourth Useless Crystal.

When light was shone through this crystal in the map room, rather than refracting into different coloured spots, it was focused into a powerful beam of energy that blasted a hole into the opposite wall. This revealed another secret chamber, containing the Mysterious Scroll.

Mysterious Scroll[edit]

The Mysterious Scroll could be read in two directions.

The player retrieved the Mysterious Scroll and could return with it to the Fortune Teller. She found it was in an ancient dialect of Sakhmetian, but that most of it was nonsense. Part of the scroll referred to the original prophecy and the curse on Qasala: "The curse of Jazan will make Sakhmet disappear [...] Jazan must marry a true princess of Qasala to break the curse."

Before the player could proceed any further, The Neopets Team announced the plot had finished and it appeared to be concluded. However, the plot resumed with the appearance of Razul attacking Sakhmet. Returning to the Fortune Teller, she realised that the scroll was readable in both directions, and holding it upside down, it serves as a translation guide. She suggested that the player use it to translate the Mysterious Tablet.

Translating the Tablet proceeds like a game of Mastermind, familiar to players of the site as the games Codebreakers and Time Tunnel. The player could place Qasalan symbols on a new copy of the tablet, and then attempt to translate. For every correctly placed piece, they were given one white dot. For a piece that is meant to be on the tablet but not in the place they have put it, the player was given a black dot. This allows the player to eventually figure out which symbol goes where.

The statue of Nuria finally revealed its treasures.

The player could find the Qasalan symbols in chapters 12, 13, and 14 of the plot comic, and, like before, click on the symbols in the order they appeared on the tablet. If they clicked the symbols in the left-to-right, top-to-bottom order, they translated the tablet to mean "The golden eye shines truth upon those who would do evil". Taking this prophecy to Nuria would lead the the player being covered in a mountain of scarabs.

As hinted by the Fortune Teller's confusion in reading the scroll, Qasalan is meant to be read right-to-left, bottom to top. Clicking the symbols in this order reveals the prophecy, "The father of the prince will destroy the great desert". Returning to the statue of Nuria and reading this prophecy would reveal three weapons, the Scimitar of Eternal Dawn, the Mace of Righteous Flame, and the Spear of Infinite Wisdom. The player could take one of the weapons - although it would break as soon as they did.

The player's Neopet could do battle with Razul in the Battledome. Using the weapon they had found would instantly defeat him. Each player could only defeat Razul once. When enough players had defeated Razul, Jazan was able to overwhelm his father's power and save the Lost Desert.

Battledome[edit]

Three challengers were released as part of this plot. Unlike in previous plots, the player did not get points for defeating them per se. The Spirit of the Ruins and Razul had to be defeated at certain points in the puzzle - completion of these steps earned the player plot points. Scordrax, although he could be battled, did not earn the player any plot points, nor was battling him part of the puzzle.

ruinspirit.gif twoheaddragon.gif razul.gif
Spirit of the Ruins Scordrax Razul

In addition, released and set during this plot was the eighteenth part of Defenders of Neopia series one, featuring the Qasalan Mummy.

Red herrings[edit]

The Neopets Team left several red herrings throughout the plot to confuse players. On the 26 August, they announced through the New Features page that several scrolls had been released. Three players revealed on the Neoboards that they had them - these included duke_of_mildew and buffoonery. They were in fact members of staff masquerading as normal players. Although these would form part of the puzzle, these were never actually released to players. They would eventually become available nine years later through the Desert Diplomacy event.

Another scroll, Pyramid Painting Vol. 7: Faux Finishes (referring to the gold-painted Scroll Repository) had been given out in Lenny Conundrum #132. Although this scroll appeared in the Temple of 1,000 Tomb's library and trap art, it was another red herring.

The Fortune Teller .swf file originally contained some left-over art, including of Sophie and a sketch of the Fortune Teller. This was noticed by players who thought they were clues. The Neopets Team later replaced the left-over art with a picture of a spinning Sand Cuisine for Elephantes scroll as an intentional red herring.

Only one column on each Mysterious Tablet piece clue was relevant - the rooms described in the other columns were red herrings. The image of the outside of the Temple changed between 3 pm and 5 pm NST to show a sunset - this change was cosmetic only.

Prizes[edit]

On 30 January 2006, players were awarded points depending on how quickly and how much of the puzzle they had completed. Players received a site theme and one of the following trophies when they visited the Gift Shop of 1,000 Souvenirs - rebranded the Gift Shop of 1,000 Rewards.

Trophies
ldp_trophy1.gif ldp_trophy2.gif ldp_trophy3.gif ldp_trophy4.gif ldp_trophy5.gif ldp_trophy6.gif ldp_trophy7.gif

Sand Mite

Furniture Merchant

Desert Scarab

Dune Explorer

Scroll Specialist

Qasalan Archaeologist

Aegis of Sakhmet

(1000-? points)

(4,000-6,450 points)

(12,850-22,800 points)

(23,800-62,800 points)

(134,300-164,300 points)

(179,300-194,300 points)

(199,300-229,300 points)

The list of the top scoring sand and block movers were released on 31 January.

The list of the top scorers in all of Neopia was released on 1 February. First place was parkersc with 229,300 points, tied for second place with 214,300 points were dolphinling and dragon_cleric, and tied for third place with 204,300 were cran_b, sum41girl2k, and ub3r_g00b3r.

Players could see how much of puzzle they themselves had completed, how many handfuls of sand they had carried, and how many blocks they had moved, by clicking the trophy on their user look-up. Furniture mover statistics were said to have been "stolen". The scores for handfuls of sand, blocks moved, and furniture placed did not contribute to a player's overall score.

Players could chose their own prizes by 'spending' their points in the shop. There were twelve possible hieroglyphic keyrings, but each player could only buy the one bearing the symbol from their Statue of Nuria.

  • Handful of Sand - 50 points
    Its indescribable!
  • Hieroglyphic Keyring - 1,000 points
    This handy and stylish trinket is perfect for holding your keys!
  • E-Z® See Crystal Ball - 1,000 points
    Please insert 100 Neopoints to see the next three minutes of your future.
  • Nuria Statue Bobblehead - 1,000 points
    STOP THAT!
  • Spike Pit Play Set - 1,000 points
    Made from 100% recycled spikes. Contains the real bones of unfortunate adventurers!
  • Useful Crystal - 1,000 points
    Great for jimmying the locks on ancient tombs.
  • Gelatinous Non-Cube Plushie - 1,000 points
    Filled with real jelly. WARNING: Do not eat this plushie.
  • Nabile Plushie - 10,000 points
    It even has a tiny Desert Scarab tattoo!
  • Stylish Scroll Rack - 15,000 points
    Adds an air of sophistication to any room.
  • Foreman Cudgel - 20,000 points
    Keep your workers in line with this authentic replica cudgel. Signed by the Foreman himself!
  • Handy Spike Pit - 25,000 points
    Thwart those pesky thieves with this handy spike pit! Includes stain remover.
  • The Annals of Insanity - 30,000 points
    HAHAHAHAHA LENS FLARE OMG
  • Secrets of Dirigible Construction - 30,000 points
    How to build lighter-than-air flying machines? Yeah right!
  • How to Play the Viola - 30,000 points
    The only guide in Neopia that can teach you to play the viola in a week flat. Now if only there were any violas to play in Neopia...
  • Snarkie Answers to Stupid Questions - 30,000 points
    Yeah, right. Like anyone finds this book useful.
  • Foreman Plushie - 40,000 points
    Double-stitched to prevent the seams from splitting when you throw it against the wall in frustration!
  • Razul Plushie with Real Fire Action! - 50,000 points
    DANGER: Not for children, adults, pets, or anyone at all, really.
  • Anubis Toxicology Reports (Abridged) - 60,000 points
    Everything you ever wanted to know about what can make an Anubis ill. And lots more you never cared about.
  • Lost Desert Paint Brush - 70,000 points
    Transform your Neopet with this super-rare Lost Desert Paint Brush.
  • Royal Wedding Ring - 100,000 points
    A powerful, hypnotic artifact. Be careful, or you might end up cursed...
  • Ring of the Lost - 150,000 points
    It takes you where you need to go.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The city vanished.
  • The sixth Neopets TCG expansion, Lost Desert, was released in conjunction with this plot.
  • When Jazan transported Sakhmet to another reality, the city and most of the shops and games in the Lost Desert disappeared from the site.
  • The stolen Scroll Repository furniture would be recovered as one of the prizes for The Faeries' Ruin plot.
  • Princess Amira's announcement that was interrupted by Jazan would appear in the Desert Diplomacy event. It began, "Henceforth let it be known throughout the Lost Desert that Neopets are not to wear white after Draik Day..."
  • The Scarabs released during this puzzle continue to plague the Lost Desert, and their removal is part of the game Qasalan Expellibox.

External links[edit]