Mar 07 2011 -
Serpentine Tower - Myths and Theories
|nd so I took a deep breath and descended to the floor below. I found myself in a gloomy cellar-vault shrouded in a subtle golden gleam. Here it was, the mysterious chamber deep inside the Serpentine Tower. Three creatures confined to three small cells, just like adventurers before me had reported: a vampire, a fire elemental, a behemoth - their backs turned on me as if they tried to hide something...
The Serpentine Tower located at the southern shores of Ankrahmun certainly belongs to the most mysterious places in Tibia. Generations of brave adventurers have tried to lift its secrets. Some of them used brute force, others spent weeks and months to find the one brilliant idea on how to release the vampire and the behemoth from their cells, or to get hold of those strange items in the green djinn chamber one floor below: a portable hole, a carrot of doom, boots of waterwalking... what are those items, and are they obtainable?
A lot of theories have evolved during the past years, all of them containing a spark of hope to finally solve the famous Serpentine Tower quest. Some theories revolve around the four empty coal basins next to the green djinn, others claim that several players have to stand on certain floor tiles which are scattered throughout Tibia at the same time, and others again are based on translations of the books that are stored in the tower's library. Many of these theories have kept players busy for years already.
The following theories, ideas and approaches to beat Serpentine Tower have been fully conceived by members of the Tibia community. Note that CipSoft assumes no liability for any damage that results to your character from following the suggestions mentioned... ;)
The dead and the living
Welcome to Ankrahmun, city of the undead, home of the mysterious Serpentine Tower which accomodates the Academy of Magic Arts, and maybe also a fabulous quest that is still unsolved. Tothdral, also known as "The Seeker Beyond the Grave", is the undead guardian of the tower's library. He is both an astrologer and a skilled sorcerer trainer willing to teach you some decent spells if you prefer. Tothdral believes in the power of ascension to pure godhood which will only be granted to those who are worthy. As we all know, the death/life dualism plays an important role in and around Ankrahmun. Could it be the key to solve the Serpentine Tower mystery?
Death is perfectly symbolised by bones and skulls, darkness and emptiness, while the sun, the colour green, water and, not to forget, player characters represent life. In the Ancient Tombs quest, you gain access to the pharaohs' tombs - places of death deep below Ankrahmun - by using scarab coins on coal basins. As Mend Sorcerer from the world of Guardia remarks, the Serpentine Tower might be related to Arkhothep who is the ruler of Ankrahmun and the master of the dead, so "maybe skulls could be useful in the Serpentine Tower as they are symbols of death", Mend Sorcerer says.
"Ankrahmun sees death as an evolution and not exactly as the end of life", an anonymous player mentions. "Therefore higher undeads might hold the key to solve the quest, like the banshee queen, vampires and most probably elder bonelords."
But what does "dead" really mean? Apart from being the opposite of life, could it also refer to being drunk in a way? Like, being so drunk that even a rat could be a deadly threat for you? Elite knight Critter Smit from Calmera seems to have this in mind when thinking about how to solve Serpentine Tower: "Here is the solution that I've been keeping secret for years. No one can do the quest being sober. Releasing the first two creatures is easy. For the third one you have to be drunk ingame, and for the final one you have to be drunk in real life." Good luck, mate. Tibians, it is up to you to decide if that is a useful hint or not. CipSoft does not recommend following this advice!
Somebody who did not reveal his name says he tried to beat Serpentine Tower by going there with a black skulled character. That is an interesting approach with regards to the death/life topic that surrounds the whole area. Being black skulled means he or she must have left a pretty decent blood trail before. At the same time, black skulled characters are condemned to death themselves since they are an interesting target for PvP players. So in this regard, black skulls fit perfectly to the death/life dualism, and also to the whole sacrifice topic that is a popular component of many Serpentine Tower myths.
What could seem more natural in a mysterious place like the Serpentine Tower than making sacrifices to some gods? So the fact that quite many theories revolve around sacrificial rituals is just consistent.
Since Tothdral is an astrologer, and Serpentine Tower itself is all about astrology as an anonymous player assumes, the key might lie in sacrificing items that fit to the setting. "Tothdral studies the stars, and what resembles a star the most in Tibia? A talon. So if we place talons on the coal basins on the roof of the tower, this might be an allusion to stars and finally bring us forward."
Different kinds of sacrifices are considered by Tibians but to whom are they made? To the stars, the immortal pharaohs, the Akh'rah Uthun or something else? "Sacrifices are meant for the djinn gods and certainly have to be made by more than one person", Mistic Rook, elite knight from the world of Mythera believes. The first part of his statement is interesting because when it is all about djinns, there is one thing that could be worth considering as a nameless feedback-giver notes: "Everybody just kills the djinn but possibly the djinn needs to be alive and stand on a certain tile for the quest to proceed." That, by the way, is also death/life dualism in the pure form.
Sir Linky, Lunaran paladin and self-appointed quest-solver remarks, he rather prefers to find someone who can teleport him right onto all these spots that are currently unaccessible in the Serpentine Tower. Nice "quest-solving". Anyway, since that is hardly possible he came up with the idea to use the dead corpses of pharaohs as a kind of sacrifice and place them on the coal basins. However, he hasn't tried this out himself, yet.
It could possibly be that the Serpentine Tower may not be meant to be treated as a separate place for sacrificial rituals, but that it is connected to other places as well. "I think we have to take into consideration other coal basins, too, those we can find in and around Ankrahmun and maybe even in some other areas", Erwe Boleta from Silvera states. What places are known to have a history in sacrifices? And do they have any connections to Ankrahmun, the city of the dead, and the Serpentine Tower?
Useful items, strange levers
There have been many speculations about those four empty coal basins next to the green djinn. They look like being quite useful, but in what way? Generations of adventurers considered them as some sort of sacrificial altars. Plenty of items differing in class, look, size and weight were placed on top of them, hoping that something would happen. Nothing happened so far - or was it just not noticed, yet?
Brutala Jocke from Titania tried his luck with placing different soils on the basins which he had obtained during the Elemental Spheres quest. Maximus Nox from Fidera strongly believes that a holy scarab, a scarab amulet, a blue gem and a djinn's lamp have to be placed on the basins "in some serpentine correct order", as he says. Another Tibian who decided to stay anonymous thinks that the coal basins are somehow connected to those rotting items that are dropped by pharaohs during the Ancient Tombs quest. However, there are just four basins in the Serpentine Tower, so which of these items could fit?
Well, one floor below the tower library there are two smoking basins next to an altar. Phoenix of Shadows, paladin on the world of Eternia, expects these two basins to play a role in this puzzle. Maybe the four pieces of iron that can be found in the barrel in the room behind are useful here? Phoenix of Shadows has another idea: "The Serpentine Tower is a place of magic experiments so you probably have to use magic items on the right spot."
Daelwyn from Pacera also believes that a combination of some secret floor tile and one or more special items could be the solution, but so far neither scarab coins, platinum coins, a demon helmet, a wand of cosmic energy nor a carrot worked on the basins. Maybe Daelwyn just did not find the right floor tile yet, or the items have to be a bit more magical.
Talking of floor tiles, rumour has it that at least four characters are needed to advance in this quest, similar to Annihilator. That is what Przemuschek from Refugia has heard. Wolfie Blackheart from the world of Valoria even considers that the four characters need to have different vocations.
Okay, let us skip the basins for a while. What about this lever in the green djinn's cage whose function is still unknown? Piotr'Ornowski Diabel from Harmonia has pushed and pulled it several times but of no avail. Meanwhile he even considers to line up players all around Tibia so that the entire map is monitored while he uses the lever another time. By doing so, any map change could be reported instantly via the game chat. Yes, he admits that this idea is rather impossible to put into practice, but anyway.
Is there a logical explanation why the fire elemental and the djinn can be released, but the vampire and the behemoth could not until the present day? That is the question Fertyn, royal paladin from Libera, asks himself. "We have to light a torch in order to release the fire elemental. Fire is the connection here. Green djinn and the efreet are masters of the element fire, so it is no wonder that we have to use the lever in the fire elemental's cell in order to release the djinn." Okay, but what about the vampire? "That's a tricky one. We probably need something connected to the undead. A blood sacrifice maybe, or a body sacrifice."
"It must be something that harms a vampire", Sir Astroz from Harmonia says. "We free the fire elemental by using a pot filled with water. Water extinguishes fire. Maybe we have to use a mirror to release the vampire?" Interesting view.
So which item is needed to release the two remaining creatures from their cells? With a good deal of passion, Paceran knight Markus de Vlad reports: "I travelled to the farthest dungeons and brought the most ancient potions. I tried obscure perfumes and a bottle of all drinkable liquids that exist in the world. I went to the Serpentine Tower with the remains of a dead body. I literally used everything situated between the lines of death, but with no success."
"I have attempted to free the prisoners with scarab coins, fire fields, vials of blood, gold, various gems, wands and rods, frozen starlights - there seems to be no real answer on this question", Blank bunny from Luminera remarks slightly disappointed. And Securan druid Lanuza adds in the same mood: "I've roamed Ankrahmun's deserts for hours searching for clues. I've explored the deep mountains which are protected by dragon lords. I've travelled the world to hear the opinions of distant strangers. I've even spent the night with the djinn" - and still no clue. "And I've also caught myself reading books for hours in quiet libraries." Hm, okay, let us take a closer look at this.
Books and other historical documents
"Reading must be the main priority", Mageran paladin Mouse Looney says. In his view, there have to be hints somewhere in a book. Otherwise a quest like Serpentine Tower that seems to be really difficult to solve would just stay unsolved until the end of time. "I believe this quest is all about a certain mystery of the pharaoh", Dreamlike, inhabitant of Mythera, remarks. "The research paper 88-04 F says that the pharaoh had ordered to stop the ongoing research in the field of magic. I believe the Serpentine Tower quest is based on this incident."
Scorponok, elite knight from Berylia who has a soft spot for stuffed toads and comfortable shoes, agrees that the answer to the Serpentine Tower lies hidden in the books that can be found in the Ankrahmun libraries: "I just need some guidance from a divine hypnotic toad and some comfy slippers to read the books about the city of Ankrahmun when I'm relaxed in my Stonehome bed", Scorponok says with a twinkle in his eye.
"One of the books says that everything is made of sand", Securan paladin Priorytet notes. "Maybe we can destroy something by using a hammer and then a lever appears?"
Liberan paladin Zyrie, on the other hand, has focussed on the book "Mehrah asram cha mehe than" that is written in a foreign language. "I used a translator and said certain phrases taken from it to NPCs in Ankrahmun but nothing worked so far." Some even believe that the bonelord language 469 might be the key, as Flying Pala from Iridia confirms: "Someone had told me that if I was able to understand that language, I would be able to solve the Serpentine Tower." However, he did not manage to get any valuable information out of it yet, even after having spent hours on seemingly senseless codes and decrypting algorithms, as he admits.
There is a blue-coloured book in the Ankrahmun temple library that includes a poem praising the pharaoh. Does this poem give a hint to solve the Serpentine Tower riddle? Lumiel, master sorcerer from Rubera, interpretes the poem as follows in the brackets below:
By the powers that remain and the powers of old, (the pharaohs)
by the wisdom of the scarab and the kiss of the scorpion, (strength for fighting, intellect for puzzles)
by the infinity of the sand and the eternity of the mountains, (tombs under the desert)
by the life-giving powers of water and air, (pot placed on fire to activate the portal, lighting the torch to release the fire elemental)
by the death-bringing powers of fire and lightning, (fighting fire elemental, fighting djinn)
by the blessing of death and the revelations of undeath, (dying and becoming undead, refers to the vampire)
this corpse shall rise from the grave,(sacrifice: skull/undead item)
this corpse shall break the shackles of life, (sacrifice: life ring/crystal)
this corpse shall seek wisdom, (sacrifice: mind stone)
this corpse shall serve the one. (sacrifice: ankh)
Praised be our pharaoh! (Arkhothep, who you will fight)
What is the meaning of this poem? Is it true that it contains an instruction for solving the Serpentine Tower quest? Maybe the answer is much more simple as expected. Olleeallee from the world of Isara simply targets how books are arranged in the tower library. "Why not try to re-arrange them?" he says.
Does timing matter?
Lady Jouanna and her friends from the world of Galana believe that the scarab raids around Ankrahmun might be somehow connected to the Serpentine Tower. Are they triggered by the tower? Do they activate the tower in a way? It is hard to tell. Since the three have not witnessed any of these raids on their home world, yet, they could not verify if their assumption is right.
Another approach is presented by Psyko Delix, inhabitant of Vinera. In his view, timing plays a major role in the Serpentine Tower quest. He assumes that players need to perform a sacrificial ritual correctly at the right time in order to get ahead: "There are three sacrificial spots: one in the Serpentine Tower, one in the lighthouse of Darashia, one in the Medusa Shield quest, also known as Necromancer quest. You must start at dusk. Sacrifice blood on the altars of the necro room, place scarab coins on the basins in the Serpentine Tower plus 5 people on the switches there with their own blood spot underneath. Then place rubies on the basins in the lighthouse tower." What is going to happen then? Nobody knows. Psyko Delix made no comments about his personal vision on the "afterwards" either.
However, this is indeed an interesting question: What happens when the quest is solved? What are the rewards and are they really worth all these efforts that already last for years now? A couple of players have shared their ideas with us about what might come next when they push the lever in the green djinn's cage and "it" happens. Let us see what people have to say about that.
Beyond the djinn
Some assume that those strange sand walls in the North of Ankrahmun could collapse and clear the way to Arkhothep's personal tomb where the famous soul ruby is waiting for the first one who gains access. Finally, the helmet of the ancients would be complete! Or maybe the magic barrier in the Ankrahmun dragon lair would disappear which is guarded by fire elementals, as Feyn Daron from Xerena believes among others. There is a teleporter behind it. Where does it lead to? For some, the Serpentine Tower might provide a passage to the afterlife. Will we all become gods?
Scrholl, master sorcerer from Refugia, also supports the idea that Arkhothep will play a role regarding the quest reward. In his view it is quite likely that you have to find out how to learn the cat-eye spell from Tothdral first. Then, maybe on the other side of the sand walls North of Ankrahmun, "you will have to use the cat-eye spell to fight creatures of the darkness and thus get friends with Tothdral who will then reveal how to reach Arkhothep's chamber."
It is assumed by Deaths Bite, inhabitant of Saphira, that there is a possible connection to the Desert Dungeon quest. If we understood correctly, Deaths Bite believes that the mysterious lever next to the unreachable banshee in the desert dungeon might release the vampire in the Serpentine Tower. The question is, how to reach the banshee and the lever?
Wos Loko from Luminera had the idea that he could obtain the items in the green djinn's room by using the magic carpet in Darashia: "I thought if I could take the carpet and bring it to Tothdral, he might start negotiating with the djinn and trade the carpet for the items which are guarded by the djinn." Granted, that is a pretty oriental approach, isn't it?
Finally, Sir Poladier, sorcerer from Astera, is convinced that the green djinn's lever does not mark the end of the quest: "Maybe four or five people will be allowed to gain access to the final room, or maybe just another room to solve the next part of the puzzle."
So, here we are now, surrounded by tons of ideas on how to proceed in the Serpentine Tower quest. For this featured article, almost 300 players have taken the chance to share their thoughts and opinions with us which have already kept them busy for years. Several approaches mentioned above are likely well-known in the community, others are probably quite new and have not been tried out yet, and yet again others might just seem to be much too crazy to even give them a chance. Well, all those ideas are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more floating around out there which could not be covered in this featured article.
What do you think about these theories? Do you consider them worth a try? Maybe you even got inspired by them and just came up with some totally new ideas. We would love to read about them in the featured article thread.
Serpentine Tower must fall!
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