3.0(4.0?) and Sorcery Speculation Megathread

New Clues May 8th!

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Welcome, traveller. In this thread you will watch my slow descent into madness as I try to piece together the cryptic and unknown, and delve deep into the lore to speculate and theorize the arrival of a more sorcerous edition of the game we all know and love.

Join me on my journey down the rabbit hole, deeper into the bowels of this mystery. There is more going on here than one would expect


The Initial Clues


The following summaries are for the clues and hints leading up to the launch of 2.7. Expand the summaries below for details on each clue.

Pre-2.7 Clues
Clue 1

It all began a few days ago. A burnt piece of parchment was found, written in what seemed to be incomprehensible gibberish.


But incomprehensible it was not. The clever mind of Reyouka discovered it was a code, and deciphered it.

In a transcription cleaned up by @Tephra, it reads as follows:

Your pursuit of knowledge
it is meaningless!!!
Be a part of something far greater
I am at the precipice
I will shatter the foundations of everything you know!!!
Before I can complete my grand work I need capable talent
I need you…
Raise the pillars summon the resting ones
receive gifts beyond your wildest imaginations
failure will not be tolerated
you will prevail I care not if in this life or the next

Take note of raising pillars, and in this life or the next. Both are crucial clues, more detail to follow.

Also, look at the red markings on the sides. There are two symbols on the left. These will show up later. The markings on the right side of the note, I have no idea what it may be. Looks like a part of something larger.

Clue 2

Not long after, another clue came out. A note, in English but torn up.

Pieced together independently by several people, including myself the message becomes a lot clearer.

Day 13
A strange plum-colored mist surrounds
the area. Came from nowhere, limits
sight - but I can make out some sort
of shimmering dome surfacing from within.
The sound of hollow rattling seem to
echo from the area.

I cannot discern the cause nor source
of the phenomenon, nor does it bear any
signs of the Wolfmen or Snakemen.
Vantage points do not provide clear
vision, so I will path a way inside
the mist.

Day 14
AVOID TOTEMS
DEATH RISES
MUST REPORT TO…

Totems, pillars. Very similar terms for what may be the same thing. Interesting note in this one is the shimmering dome, which I believe to be a reference to Kuthchemes in Black Colossus, which is about an undead sorcerer. Plum colored mists would be corruption, like we see around obelisks and other areas.

I didn’t even notice the first time, but @KiahonfireOfficial brought it up in her video which made me look into it more as well. When reassembled, on the top right of the note there is a symbol. A four pointed cross with a bow atop it. I traced and upscaled it, but not in the original colors. The cross seems to be white on the original.

Clue 3

Next, we get into the meat of the clues. We got a burst of three/four at once, but one clue is a color shift of the same one.

Firstly, this one

The symbols elude me. They are unlike any other I’ve seen in the game, from any culture. Acheronian, giant-king, even the elder races or the well of Skelos. I got nothing on this. Two of them were written on the first clue, and have some clear connection to that. What that connection is, I do not know.

But the location, it is Flotsam. The exiled lands, not siptah.

Huge shoutout to my wife who was my scout while I’m at work. Interestingly, the circled orb in the center of the image is not present. We speculate it is floating. Under each symbol save for the bottom is a pillar, or totem.

It’s all coming together, but what does it mean?

Our next two clues only make it more confusing.


A faded sketch of a cairn in the north. But where exactly? Well, here.


Once again found by my wife, this is off to the side of the Mounds of the Dead. Interestingly, it’s on the side with the undead.

I want to point out, there is a small stone obelisk, totem, or pillar in the image that is not currently present in-game. A bizarre addition, and I think a hint that ties it together.

Big necromancy energy so far between these clues. Our next clue is a bit more confusing, but I have two theories.


By far the least detailed, this was a hard one.

But I solved it! I found it and I can say without a doubt, absolute certainty; this is indeed the Summoning Place

There’s still so many questions left unanswered. What was risen at Flotsam? What do these locations have to do with each other? What do the symbols mean?

Clue 4

Another clue emerges. This time, in the form of a scroll.


This one seems to be more direct; tying together parts of the narrative I had already been assuming and giving new insights. The center of the scroll bears the same symbol as the second clue, the bow and arrow over a faded white cross. Given the background contents of the image are Aquilonian in nature, and the scroll speaks of Mitraen faith, it is safe to assume this scroll and the note are connected to some Aquilonian faction operating in the area. The “eastern pathfinder” they refer to as missing I believe to be the author of the second clue note. We know he was in flotsam, which is as far east as you can really go. Given how abruptly the note ended and the fact it was torn up, good to assume that he is certainly dead.

What concerns me the most is the mention of the robes. The symbols they mention I would wager are probably the same or linked to the ones on the third clue. Occult symbols of a still unknown origin.

Putrid scent of dead men, they cannot be killed. Death rises. It all points in the same direction.

Testlive Findings

New Discoveries are made, this time from the testlive. In a video on her channel, (go watch it) @KiahonfireOfficial found an all new set of armor, as well as some new furniture pieces that are visibly… different. I’ll let the images speak for themselves.



Look at that armor. Look at it. It’s current name is the Skelos Cultist Master’s set. A lot of people will immediately tie this to the Well of Skelos, and the Votaries within. And for good reason, just look at how incredible this set is. Huge Set motifs all over it in the forms of the snake detailing.

An interesting lore connection to be made, Skelos was an ancient sorcerer long ago. The votaries and the well are named after him. Skelos wrote a powerful spellbook, known as the Ironbound Book of Skelos. It contains forbidden knowledge, and is highly coveted by sorcerers who are able to attain any scrap of it.

Final Clue

Later that very same day, another clue dropped on their social media. A video this time, of which I have taken a very crusty screengrab from.

A lot to dissect here. First of all, this is clearly a closeup of the totems mentioned before, and seen roughly in the sketched locations from earlier. The skull face spews corruption from it’s maw, and above the face of death sits those still unknown markings.

Behind it, we can see several things of note;
Wights, more undead.
Another totem further back.
And most interestingly, some form of circle. Marked with two visible symbols, one corresponds to the totem in the front, and it is safe to assume the second corresponds with the totem behind it. What the purpose of this circle is remains unclear. Maybe for summoning?

Jeitt51 pointed out something I had missed before. It seems like there is a figure inside the circle. Is it the summoner or the summon? Who knows, but good to note either way.

And since we’ve gotten into the habit of it, let’s dissect the location to see what we can discern. It didn’t take long for the keen eye of @Aurelio to find it.

So far, this is the only clue to be on the Isle of Siptah. Currently, no idea what implications this has given the others were not.

download.jpeg-45


2.7 Release

In the early hours of this morning, 2.7 has dropped and with it brought the new event Grave Matters. Sorcerers have arrived both in the Exiled Lands, and the Isle of Siptah for some still-unknown purpose. They bring with them a ritual, to raise forth pillars of still unknown magics, and raise the dead. We must put a stop to them, but there are still questions. More now, than before. The clues given to us prior all foretold of their arrival; and yet not all questions are answered.

Where did they come from? What is their goal? Will there be more of them?

I believe they’re after something, looking for it. They may bring with them knowledge of a page of the Iron-Bound Book of Skelos, leaving a doorway open in the future for new pages to come into play - and possibly we may even learn some for ourselves.

Iron-Bound Book of Skelos

https://hyboria.xoth.net/img/book_skelos.jpg
Image Source
"He desired to learn if this island were indeed that mentioned in the mysterious Book of Skelos, whereon, nameless sages aver, strange monsters guard crypts filled with hieroglyph-carven gold." – Robert E. Howard: “The Pool of the Black One”

Let’s assess our new visitors, to gain some insight on who they are and what they may want:

The Sorcerers

Firstly, we have Kalisha the Masked. A Darfari priest, interestingly part of the Votaries. The Darfari do not typically revere Set, or follow in the ways of the Votaries of Skelos; and yet here she is. Curious.


Next up, we have Stathem the Embalmer - a Lemurian Taskmaster. A remnant of an ancient race, on the brink of extinction. And yet again he too abandons the ways of his dying people in favor of the ways of Skelos.


Lastly, and the most interesting one I want to hyper-fixate on: Boreanaz the Shrouded. The ONLY named Hyperborean in the entire game. I checked, thanks to Tephra and Multigun for helping me verify this. This is pretty substantial, given the ties between Hyperboreans and the volcano. In a further down post, I elaborate a bit further on this.

All three of these individuals come for the same purpose, with the same robes and the same rituals; and yet beyond that nothing ties them together save for their devotion to the cause of Skelos. Perhaps these are the capable talent, in service of a greater master’s grand plans that have yet to come to light. They stand unified, certainly in seeking the promise of power and ancient knowledge. They come looking for something, and will do whatever it takes to attain their unknown goals.


The Pixelcave Interview

Dec 10: Youtuber Pixelcave interviews Lead Designer Dennis and Lead Content Designer Matt about the 2.7 update. The full video can be found here, go watch it and show some love to everyone involved.

I’ll be taking quotes from Multigun’s excellent as always transcript of the interview, found here, go leave him a heart and a kind word. Naturally, I’m not just going to copy and paste the entire thing, but I do want to pull and highlight some important quotes.

Before I do, I just want to say sorry to Den and Matt for scrutinizing everything they say to the level of detail I’m about to. This interview was great, and I just want to help spread some excitement in the community for the future.

Expand for transcript

At the moment, you don’t know why. This phrasing definitely leans into the thought that this is only the beginning of something larger. It means perhaps one day, we will know why.

These aren’t random locations, this means the sorcerers are actively planning where they strike; perhaps they’re searching those specific spots for something?

We already knew there was going to be more events, they’ve made that clear since this one went live. I for one am looking forward to more in the future, and I can only wonder what other reasons the other events would have for completing that set them apart from this one.

Very true, I couldn’t have said it better if I were in his shoes. Conan is a very Sword and Sorcery themed universe, it’s the genre assigned to it. The sword is definitely part one, but now we wait for part two.

I’d say this quote is a smoking gun personally. Wait and see isn’t a no. Wait and see means something is in the works, something is coming. More active storytelling is a huge deal for lore nerds like me, many great stories involve sorcery to some extent. The lack of it means a lack of storytelling.


Andy’s Solution

Avid sweater-wearer and community manager AndyB took to twitter today, to share some insight on the clues from before.

First Clue translated


This is the first clue, written in English. He shares how he made it in a tweet.

Likewise, he posted the un-torn (de-torn?) second clue in a second tweet

Second Clue

Lastly, he shed some light on the symbol. The bow seen is from the ranger class in Age of Conan

Clue2Symbol

I also want to highlight something, huge shoutout to the concept artist Filipe Augusto for sharing his concept art of the Skelos Master robes. They look incredible and he did a terrific job with it.


Before you can march onward, you first look back at what you and your scouts have uncovered.

Posting on their social media, (Linking facebook because I’ll be damned if I’m gonna link like fifty tweets) they offer a retrospective look back at the clues. Follow the link for the entire post, I’m just going to be cutting quotes to look at in the below summary.

Summary

First, the burned parchment - scribbled in coded tongue, perhaps the intent was for it to be destroyed after the command was received, but whatever :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: sorcerous :eyes: :eyes: :eyes: cur in possession of the missive neglected to finish the task. Scribes Tephra and Reyouka found initial success in deciphering the message.

The seeker noted the scattered remains of another fallen soul on a nearby overlook, believed to be an ill-fated scavenger who turned over the wrong stone.
Several of your finest keepers pieced the note back together, painting a grim picture and grave warning of what was to come.

It’s safe to assume this helps ties up the narrative of who wrote the notes. In this story, we are a part of an organization that is working to fend back these sorcerer attacks which have only now just begun.

Grave matters, indeed. This is but a show of force; but the beginning of something far greater and more terrible. To what end…?

There’s definitely something much larger on the horizon, this is just the opening act of a greater part.

Scribe Jimbo is keeping a running ledger of the murmurings of late; you may review his findings at the pavilion noticeboard.

I wonder who this Scribe Jimbo guy is…

Thanks for the shoutout devs, I hope you’re enjoying reading my ramblings as much as I enjoy writing them


Babe wake up, new rambling post about sorcerers incoherently thrown in the replies


2.8 & The Sorcerer Change

2.8 has arrived and taught the world (our thralls) to dance. While the only thing magical about this update is making Tcho-Tchos juggle and yell in human tongue, there is one notable and downright bizarre change.

The two sorcerers from Grave Matters who previously were able to be thralled have had a sudden change in profession.

Formerly taskmasters, Boreanaz is now a priest of Ymir and Stathem a priest of Derketo.

This change is quite odd given there is no real reason for it, and it’s unprecedented and unheard of for a thrall to change jobs like this.(Correct me if I’m wrong, devkit nerds)

So it really begs the question of why? Why do these two magic wielders who formerly adorned robes with Set motifs suddenly change teams and become devout worshippers of separate dieties? Is it possible we’re seeing time canonically pass in the world and under captivity they give up their old mission and turn to religion to atone?

More to follow, post will be expanded and edited. Updates on updates when new clues drop or if something new is found. If I’m missing anything, leave a reply with any info you may have found. If I miscredit someone, let me know as well.

28 Likes

Excellent - thank you for bringing all this together.
Regarding the fifth location - my initial thought was that it is in the Unnamed City (looked to me like the area directly behind the Green Dragon), but I can see how the Hand of the Maker or the Summoning Place could also fit. I took the centre of the image to be more solid, but certainly it could be a gateway through.

Regarding the mysterious symbols on image 3 - to my eye they most resemble Kanji or something similar. The bottom one in particular looks familiar for some reason, though I can’t place it. Maybe @TeleTesselator can confirm or deny a possible Kanji connection (if you don’t mind looking at potential spoilers :slight_smile: ).

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I don’t see any. Looks more like Vedic Sanskrit to me: https://omniglot.com/writing/sanskrit.htm

image

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It’s no perfect match but it’s definitely very close in style. Maybe we can look into any connection REH made between these irl influences with a race in the hyborian age? Perhaps the style is mimicked in more than just writing and we could assume a few more things off that

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I scoured the city first and couldn’t find anything similar. A lot of pieces look alike, but the exact pieces are just different enough it may not be. The tops of the pillars in hand and summoning have those tendrils coming from the top, which not many places have in the rest of the map.

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Remember, the hyborian age is a mystical age placed sometime after the fall of Atlantis but before the rise of written history. So whatever language they used in these clues should be the very earliest written language possible.

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Certainly my impression was based on memory rather than proper scouting. I agree, those tendrils are clear enough defined on the foreground part of that image to be more than coincidental. It’s odd - to my eye, that part of the image looks most like the top of the towers at hand of the maker - not quite matching the Summoning Place so well - but the second tower looks far more like it fits the summoning place than the hand (as shown so well in your screenshots - I would expect the top of the second tower at the Hand to be equally clear, whereas I can more easily see how the top of that second tower at the summoning place could blend back into the background more).

True. I was thinking more IRL - thinking about it as maybe a clue intended to bring in more of the Japanese playerbase (perhaps as an apology for the problems suffered by Conan Outcasts this year). But, of course, that fails to take into account that these are seemingly designed as ‘in-character’ documents.

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What?

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Something there were a few threads on - as I understand it, Conan Outcasts is a special version of the game for the Japanese market, but they got stuck being unable to play for an extended period. As you’ve explained, that’s probably not relevant to the main topic, it was just my brain trying to come up with a reason for what I was seeing as kanji…

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Really? Interesting… “Conan Outcasts” huh? Never heard of it.

Yup, sure enough… looky there. Heh!

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The missing image looks a lot like Priestking area. What if “build the pillars” is a reference to fixing the aqueducts? There is a big “deactivated” water sluice in the local ruins, that has an opening to the North.

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I’m not too sure about that myself, but I’d have to double check the area. It’s pretty hard to say for sure with how little detail the image has, but I’ve got a strong feeling about the Summoning Place personally. If you can match it up otherwise, by all means feel free to post a screenshot and I’ll add it.

It’s a hunch for sure. I interpreted it more as those smaller totems or pillars we see in a few of those images. Three are present in the Flotsam image, and one is present in the Mounds image. None of those are currently in-game, but they are undoubtedly on the clues which is interesting to note on it’s own

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Damn, Jimbro! This is well put together.

We’ve already discussed our theories, but it certainly does seem like this is leaning towards sorcery. It’s been fun trying to discern what these images are.

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It’s long overdue and hopefully well worth the wait. Whatever it is, it’s gotta be big with how cryptic they’re making it for us all.

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Hmm :thinking:… maybe the coordinates of these places could be combined into a date? (when we could expect a trailer, stream or the update). Three locations - could it be a day, a month and a year. And the arrows in one of the pictures could represent the hands of a clock and the exact time. It’s just my blind shot… :sweat_smile:

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If that were the case, we’re several years overdue on a trailer.

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Well… I’m cryptic about things that are irrelevant so… it’s “something” coming and fine to speculate but…

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Raise the pillars…purple smoke…maybe what many have asked for…building of their own obelisks (but whether it’s teleporting points or something else…who knows) I think magic is coming and it will be cool and all but I also think it is going to be more building based (IE magic via structures). The Flotsam pic is nearly identical except the dark figure just south of the trees…which could mean a new obelisk there. Same with the mounds picture…there is a dark building just behind the ruins that you can make out that isn’t there in the game currently.

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I don’t think that’s what they are. They don’t look like typical obelisks.

There’s actually three in that image. Look at the top and to the right, they’re immediately under those symbols. There’s also another in the Mounds image that isn’t there ingame. If it were an obelisk it would make no sense for the mounds one, as there’s already one incredibly close by

It’s definitely something magical, but I think it’s separate from the obelisks we already have.

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A new clue has dropped upon us, in the form of a scroll.

Initial thinking, it bears the same symbol as the torn up second clue. The missing pathfinder to me seems like the author of clue 2, who I’ve presumed as dead given the fate of his log and the bloody fingerprint.

Robes are new, could be a new class of armor, separate or encompassed by Light armor. Still reminiscent of sorcery.

It’s safe to assume this scroll was written by a Hyborian, likely Aquilonian or some other mitraen-faith kingdom. It sounds like they have a lack of knowledge on the practices or faiths of other cultures, and may be encountering a cult of necromancers, or a singular one.

“They cannot be killed”
“They reek with the putrid stench of dead men”

Definitely to me seems to imply more necromancy, possibly more than one raised body. There may be a necromancer out there raising himself an army…

Prepare yourselves, exiles.

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