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Desert Diplomacy: Dialogue

Below is a record of all the clues and dialogues from the Desert Diplomacy event.

Clue 1

Perhaps the thieves have tried to sell King Skarl's Illuminated Menuscript. You might check with Lost Desert Foods.

You look like you'd enjoy a fine Sand Pear. How about it? It's guaranteed to put sand on your chest.

» Actually, I was hoping you'd heard about the Illuminated Menuscript theft.
» No time for that! Tell me you know where the Illuminated Menuscript is!

What makes you think I'd know anything about it? I'm outraged. I'm insulted! I'm - well, I'll tell you one thing. It's not easy to steal, being so large. If I were going to nab it, and I wouldn't, just so we're clear, I'd use one of two methods.

» Yes, go on.

You sure you don't want to buy a Sand Pear? *sigh* Everyone says they look like Chias. Anyway, I'd use some kind of invisibility potion to hide it, or else try outright bribery. Not that the palace guards are easy to bribe.

The Illuminated Menuscript was either stolen using invisibility or by bribing a guard.

» Thanks! That's very helpful.

Clue 2

Reports indicate that a pottery seller may have overheard one of the thieves bragging about their crime.

I should have gone into wall sales. Those new-fangled Neohome owners would have just eaten them right up. But what can I do for you today? Fancy a Pumpkin Pot? Halloween is coming, you know.

» Not right now, thanks. I gather you heard one of the thieves bragging?
» Never mind that! If you heard one of the thieves, you must tell me at once!

I'd never withhold evidence, of course. Princess Amira is one of my best customers -- not to mention a beloved ruler. *sniff* It's just that I'm not sure what I heard is any use.

» I'll be the judge of that, potter.
» More evidence can't hurt, right?

Hmm. Wait, who are you again? How do I know you're not in league with those thieves, trying to find out what I know?

» Well, here's Princess Amira's official seal. She asked me to solve the mystery.

Oh! Why didn't you say so before? In that case, I heard two voices this morning behind my stall.

The Oasis Runners stole an item sometime before the guild who bribed a guard.

And they bragged about it! Ugh.

» You've done a great service for the Princess.

Clue 3

It pays to have informants with eyes and ears everywhere. It appears one of Princess Amira's informants has a neomail about Queen Nabile's wedding ring.

Clue 4

Now might be the time to peek around the walls of the palace and see if anyone has missed a clue. The Colouring Pages are a good place to start.

You've found a grappling hook and a length of rope, dropped near one of the canvases. The Colouring Pages are right up against the walls of the palace, so it must have been used to climb the walls and enter one of the bedrooms. The thieves would have been noisy, since several pieces of broken masonry lie near the grappling hook.

Clearly, the thieves weren't worried that former thief Queen Nabile would hear them from her nearby window. They knew she would be distracted -- someone else had already stolen her Wedding Ring.

Finding the rope here can only mean one thing:

The guild that climbed the palace walls committed the theft sometime after the Wedding Ring was stolen.

Clue 5

An agent reports that a witness has come forward at Sakhmet Solitaire. Time to see who's really holding all the cards.

They told you I'd come forward, didn't they? Told you I'd spill everything. Well, they were wrong! I'm a card-carrying citizen of Sakhmet! I have rights! I can't be strong-armed into spilling secrets to the guards!

» I'm not a guard. So spill.
» Whoa, calm down! I just have some questions.

Er, did I say secrets? I meant tickets. Yeah, tickets. For, um, the Scratchcard Kiosk. Oh, never mind. I don't know anything about midnight. Or bribery. Or -- hey, you're trying to trick me into telling!

» Take a deep breath, and start from the beginning.
» Why, are you involved in the robbery?

Let's just say I'm never doing business with the Pyramid Prowlers again. Not that I did in the first place. They just asked to use the back of my tent for a little bit during the night. Where's the harm, right? It wouldn't disturb the customers, after all. I'm in trouble, aren't I?

» Probably, but I'll let it slide for now. Go on.

All right, well, I may have overheard a few things. But it was dark, so I'm not sure who said what.

Of the guild that bribed a guard and the Pyramid Prowlers, one stole Pocket Chess and the other committed the theft at midnight.

» There now. That wasn't so hard.

Clue 6

A nomad claims to have information on the missing Magical Blue Amulet. He can be found at Battle Supplies.

You took your time arriving. I might have gone on a hunting expedition soon if you did not appear.

» I'm told you know something about the Magical Blue Amulet?
» Sorry, I didn't know there was a deadline. Now, about the Amulet...

Politeness is the dance of civilization. It is wise to learn its steps. Just as a wise Neopet does not step out into the desert when the horizon is dark with sand in the wind.

» Okay... But what do you know about the Amulet?

What can be known of a thing, truly? If I study the art of the sword for a thousand days, do I know it? Or am I as much a student at the end as I was when I began?

» You are more a student than ever, knowing now how little you know. » I can see that we're not getting anywhere here.

Ha! A sleeping mind has awakened. Very well, I will give you what you seek, though understand that it is, by itself, a drop of water in the desert. You must collect the rain.

Neither the guild that committed the theft at 3:00 a.m. nor the guild that bribed a guard stole the Magical Blue Amulet.

» Thank you, I'll just go... collect the rain, then.

Clue 7

A Scarabug has deposited a Neomail in front of you. It's very dusty, and the Petpet has mangled one corner.

Clue 8

A young street urchin urges you to come quickly to Scarab 21. She's found a clue!

This particular Cobrall Dagger has a tiny symbol etched into its hilt, showing it belongs to a member of the Dagger Clan. What's perhaps even more telling is that it's been dropped beside a set of footprints... underneath which is another set of footprints that head out into the open, where anyone could have spotted their owner. You're no expert, but ever since you read Scouting For Korbats, you've known how to tell the age of tracks, and it's pretty clear.

The only sensible conclusion is:

The guild that used invisibility committed the theft one hour before the Dagger Clan.

Clue 9

Rumour has it that one of the Cheat! players who vacations here in the Lost Desert wants to talk to you about Pocket Chess.

Heeeeyyy, if you've come to shake fins with the Neopian who saved the world from Dr. Sloth, I gotta tell you, I'm in the middle of a Cheat! tournament.

» Actually, you're not the only Neopian to save the world from Dr. Sloth.
» Isn't cheating sort of immoral for a hero such as yourself?

On second thought, what's your business? Oh, you're that chief investigator for the Princess. Beg your pardon, I mistook you for someone else.

» No problem. So what information did you have?

I'll only speak on condition of anonymity, okay? I've got a reputation as a great guy, and I wouldn't want to mess that up.

» By telling the truth?
» You don't want the world to know you helped crack the case?

Er... Now that I think about it, you may have a point. All right, don't ask me how I know this, but...

Pocket Chess was not stolen by the Sun Chasers, nor was it stolen at 2:00 a.m.

There. That should blow the case wide open. *wink*

» Yup, that's super helpful. *sigh*

Clue 10

A Lutari working at the Paint Brush Stall reports having witnessed someone leaving the palace the night of the robbery.

Step up, step up! Come to view the pretty designs, stay for the fresh breeze. I don't sell the paint brushes myself, unfortunately, but it's free to look!

» Lovely! But I gather you saw something the night of the robbery.

Indeed I did, and I don't mind telling someone about. No, sir. I was working late, polishing the pedestals and dusting the plaques. It's much cooler at night. You can see about a billion stars, too, if you aren't hard at work inside a tent.

» Did you see anything to do with the robbery?
» I'm guessing you heard something, then?

Did I ever! And it wasn't like they were wearing a disguise, either! Hoo boy. Bold as Brightvalian brass, as they say. Marching away from the palace in the middle of the night. Not that I could tell who they were or what they were carrying, mind. But they were definitely carrying something!

The guild that committed the theft at 1:00 a.m. did not use a disguise.

» Got it. Thanks for your cooperation.

Clue 11

Amarna, the Scorchio who runs the Word Pyramid, has sent a Neomail with important information for the chief inspector.

Clue 12

Evidence pointing to the Hand of the Anubis has been uncovered in the sand around the Scratchcard Kiosk.

The helmet clearly belongs to the Palace Guard, and yet, when you examine it more closely, you can see that it's of an older style no longer used by Princess Amira's soldiers. As for what it's doing here? The simplest explanation is that it was a disguise, and its owner abandoned it when it was no longer needed. Interestingly, it seems both its owner and a member of the Hand of Anubis bought scratchcards, one hour apart, judging by the discarded stubs lying nearby. Guess they were feeling lucky after getting away with robbery.

The clear conclusion:

The Hand of the Anubis committed the theft one hour after the guild that used a disguise.

Clue 13

You have received a Neomail from one of Princess Amira's most trusted advisors, Enarka.

Clue 14

Someone has come forward at the Fruit Machine with a valuable lead. This could be it!

Oh my goodness, come quick! I just put two and two together! If I'd realised someone could use this information, I never would have kept quiet for so long.

» What is it? What do you remember about the robbery?
» Hey, how come I never win anything good from you guys?

This doesn't actually have anything to do with the Fruit Machine. I was on my way home from dinner at the palace -- the Princess invites us all sometimes, and we share stories about crazy customers, I mean delightful anecdotes about our favourite customers -- and I passed the sewers. It's unfortunate how there's a stinky grate that I have to pass to get to my house.

» Still, I reckon it's better to have sewers than not.
» That is pretty gross. You have my sympathy.

Quite so. Anyway, someone ran by, muttering something about the Royal Telescope being missing and how King Altador was going to do something drastic. Then I heard a squeal, like grinding metal makes, and when I looked at the sewer grate, a dark shape was slipping inside.

The guild that used the sewers committed the theft sometime after the Royal Telescope was stolen.

I'm sure of it.

» Thanks for coming forward. I'll get to the bottom of this, don't worry.

Prizes

The scrappy Desert Scarabs pulled off a Pocket Chess heist without King Hagan being any the wiser. All it took was a little coin to bribe the guards and good timing; they struck at 4:00 a.m. while King Hagan was sound asleep, dreaming of brilliant chess stratagems.

OR

It was the Dagger Clan who used a cunning distraction to steal Queen Nabile's Wedding Ring at 1:00 a.m. King Jazan was most displeased to learn of their antics. They were quite willing to accept Sakhmetian justice instead of facing him.

OR

It was the mysterious Sun Chasers who stole the Magical Blue Amulet from sweet Princess Lunara. Their motives are as opaque as their origins, but it's clear they climbed the palace walls to enter her room at 5:00 a.m. and commit their crime.

OR

It was the Oasis Runners who stole the Royal Telescope from King Altador's desk drawer for their own black market schemes, using a clever disguise at the late hour of 2:00 a.m. Too bad they had no idea how to operate the delicate instrument.

OR

It was the Pyramid Prowlers who drank invisibility potions, slipped into the palace, and stole the Illuminated Menuscript from King Skarl's unconscious grasp at midnight. The Meridell royal kitchens are most grateful for the item's return. It keeps Skarl happy.

OR

The Hand of the Anubis, no doubt intending to add to their pretention, stole the Grand Speech Scroll from Princess Amira herself. Since they slipped in via the sewers, it was a wonder she did not wake from the stench, but then, it was 3:00 a.m.

Princess Amira will see to it that the thieves are punished in accordance with the ancient laws of Sakhmet. She'll have to look it up, but Baggusses are probably involved.