A Tale in the Desert IV: The Story of Tale Four
A Tale in the Desert is currently in its fourth tale. MMORPG.com ATitD Correspondent Clarence Krueger II writes this overview of the story as it has unfolded to date.
A Tale in the Desert: Tale 4 started on December 13, 2008. The opening of Tale Four brings the sad news of the Pharaoh's passing. During his reign, the Pharaoh brought peace, prosperity, and great advancements. The Pharaoh is survived by his two sons, Sami and Wahim.
With the passing of the Pharaoh, the eldest son becomes the new ruler with the consent of his brothers. Sami, as eldest son, returned right away from his studies in Greece to lead the people of Egypt as their new Pharaoh. Wahim the younger brother was not in agreement. Wahim was not afforded the special education of his brother to study Egypt's history, its science, and human nature. Wahim believes that Sami would not be the leader that Egypt needs in its time of mourning.
There is a long history of Wahim causing trouble in the palace of the Pharaoh. With Wahims disapproval of Sami, Egypt is left without a Pharaoh. Sami has taken position of caretaker governor until the dispute between the two sons can be settled. Wahim, meanwhile, has decided to continually try the people of Egypt with several tests and challenges. While benign on the surface, some of Wahim's actions have pointed to a possible ulterior motive. Sami, meanwhile, continues to keep Egypt together as a whole; passing laws and providing fun challenging events, and providing wonderful and unique items as rewards for the pleasure of its citizens. Sami is not without blemish. Some of Egypt believes Sami may be purposefully stirring up trouble with his brother Wahim.
A week after the start of Tale Four, Wahim presented Egypt with the chance to win a microphone for the owner's pleasure. Wahim's auction came with a twist. The highest bidder of flax would receive the microphone, but the second highest bidder would have to pay his losing bid as well. This started a furious bidding war. After bidding reached two thousand flax, Wahim also mentioned he would accept Cornerstones in exchange for one thousand flax. Now, while flax is a grown and fairly easily replaced item, cornerstones are very limited. Each player receives one cornerstone upon citizenship (a paying account), and one additional cornerstone at six months and one year. Cornerstones are required to keep a citizen's compounds and homes from deteriorating and collapsing.
Upon this offer by Wahim, the bidding grew outrageously. Once bidding reached fifteen thousand flax, there were only two different bidders remaining. Singh and Balthazarr continued the bidding war without pause. The final bidding reached twenty seven thousand flax by Balthazarr, with Singh as runner up, having to pay twenty six thousand flax for losing. Upon hearing about the result of the appalling auction, Sami searched the Pharaoh's treasury and found a microphone to give away as well. Sami believed that this microphone should belong to the people and should not be won through greed. He placed a new microphone upon the land that could be picked up and used by anyone. It also could not be stashed in a chest or hidden. In fact, upon logging out of the game, the microphone would be placed on the ground and useable by anyone who picked it up.
During the following months, Wahim continued to challenge Egypt with new Tests, which often caused conflict and stirred trouble among her citizens. Sami's continued generosity was shown through several events with nice prizes and even gifts for participating, and giving away blueprints to a new special compound design. This new compound design allowed for bigger compound sizes and more elaborate construction. Unfortunately, Sami could only find four copies, and all attempts to duplicate them had proven futile. Luckily, the blueprints did not crumble upon use and could be passed from player to player. Sami gave away the four blueprints through four different methods, allowing for a better disbursement of the blueprints into the hands of the citizens.
Things quieted down for several weeks until Wahim brought forth another "offer". Egypt was entering its second month of the new telling when Wahim brought forth even more contention among Egypt's citizens. At this point, research in Saqqarah had unlocked Metallurgy 3 for research. Metallurgy allows for the making of better smelting furnaces. Research requires the work of Egypt's citizens to gather and/or make varying supplies and donating requested amounts to the appropriate University. After 24 hours, the University releases the new technology for Egyptian citizens to learn.
Metallurgy 3 required, at the time, a fairly large source of alloys and alloy products to research, coupled with the 30 day research requirement. Unfortunately, production of alloys requires the use of Reactories. At the time, Reactory operation was unclear, and was still being researched by Egypt's citizens to try and figure out the best operating method. Many of Egypt's citizens and researchers were upset about this new development and started voicing their displeasure. Enter Wahim; with his offer to "help" Egypt's citizens. After talks with the University of Harmony about this new technology, Wahim and the scientists, offered an alternative method for researching the new technology.
The new research would allow for the building of a furnace that was small, fast, efficient, and non-polluting. The experiment would allow the scientists to reduce the research time back to just 24 hours, as well as greatly decreasing the cost of materials and goods to research. The catch was that the experiment would require the use of a whole region and cut all vegetable yields in half for the whole area for a full month, real world time. The region with the highest 'Yes' votes would be chosen for the experiments with the stipulation that the 'Yes' votes must be greater than 50 percent. Wahim also offered an unknown list of chosen residents a small reward of 10 steel for allowing the research in their region. Wahim then entreated Egypt's citizens to visit their local voting booths.
This development soon had Egypt as a whole riled up. There were debates of where to allow the research or if Wahim could be trusted to keep his word. There were several who were vehemently against the experiment, and felt that Egypt should just be patient and not be fooled yet again by Wahim's "offers". The debating in some cases quickly degraded to furious yelling matches and belittling comments. In the end, Pyramid Lake, the region with one of the best cabbage and leek yields, offered the scientists the use of their region for their tests, with 75 percent voting 'Yes'.
This has been just the beginning of the continued struggle between Sami and Wahim. Will Egypt continue to struggle without a Pharaoh? Does Wahim really have the best intentions in mind for Egypt's citizens? Is Sami really the generous benefactor he seems to be? Only time will tell what will come Egypt's way, and whether her citizens will continue to handle the challenges of life in Egypt.
This covers the story line for A Tale in the Desert IV from December, 2008 through March, 2009.