(Join Syp as he attempts to document a complete playthrough of The Secret World from start to finish. What will The Secret Adventures discover next? Find out in this exciting installment! WARNING: Spoilers and stories ahead!)
The Last Legion (action mission)
In this edition of The Secret Adventures, we’re going to turn our attention to Khalid, a desert nomad who sports five missions (two main, three side). The player consensus is that Khalid is, in fact, the Aaron of the Old Testament, Moses’ brother and the first high priest of the Hebrews. He gives me a rundown on what happened a long time ago, with a Roman cult that worshiped the sun god and was eventually defeated by the Marya and Sentinels. But, of course, they’re back and I must go do something about it.
I like how he gruffly orders me to get going already and kill them to death.
I head into the legion’s ruins, which I assume is the same place that I visited when I traveled back in time to the Roman Empire days. Kind of neat to see it from this perspective, now. Lots of undead Legion killing, including a gladiator-style final battle. This featured one of TSW’s very rare mid-mission cutscenes, although I didn’t feel it added much to the proceedings.
Scattered to the Wind (side mission)
Khalid has a diary nearby with three side quests in them. Since I’m definitely not above reading a man’s diary without permission while he’s standing three feet away, I snap up all three quests. First up is to find eight missing pages, probably containing Khalid’s My Little Pony fanfic.
Since this mission takes place in the very ruins I just visited, it probably would’ve been a good idea to grab it at the same time as the previous quest. OH WELL. It’s kind of fun to waltz through the ruins and lay waste to the roaming mobs, now that I’m significantly tougher and they were nerfed a while back.
Consecration (side mission)
There’s a ritual in Khalid’s diary that allows people to speak to the dead. That totally sounds like a good idea, so why not do it? After gathering the ingredients for the ritual, I summon a happy spirit that leads me on a merry chase into a small dark cave. There’s a strange mound here, so I dig it and… the mission ends. There’s no explanation as to what I might have found, no mission debriefing text (just the form letter one), nothing. I was all excited to help solve a mystery! Funcom dropped the ball with this one.
Moving Mountains, Rising Sands (side mission)
The last diary side mission is simple: kill two big patrolling golems nearby. As long as one didn’t accidentally pull a bunch of mobs with them, I can’t see how you could fail this mission. Geary said that the two golems meeting together were supposed to herald the end of the world.
The Unburnt Bush (investigation mission)
So Khalid/Aaron’s brother Moses apparently haunts a nearby burning bush as an immortal spirit, because why not take the biblical account in Exodus and jumble it around? Anyway, Khalid hints that there’s something I should see but I’m going to have to find my way on it… and at least I have his staff — the Staff of Exodus — to guide me.
Actually, I also have all of Moses’ burning bushes to lead me on a guided tour through the desert to a series of altars which look like those giant wooden spools that poor college kids use as tables.
At each altar is an arabic inscription that points to a similar Hebrew inscription on Khalid’s staff. When solved correctly, it triggers a bit more of a backstory. Also, each altar shows off a flashback of one of the 10 plagues of Exodus, just as a showpiece.
Anyway, the full story is that the Black Pharaoh got jealous of the power of Aaron’s staff and went on a mission to get his own super-duper staff. Stuff was done, people got killed, the staff was sent back to Egypt, the end.
The final stage of this mission is nerve-wracking, as a ring of mummies rise up and start advancing while you frantically keep trying different staff code combinations. Solve it, and the mummies die. Don’t, and you’re insta-gibbed.
Geary chews a bit on Khalid’s multiple mentions of the “four and sixty” — another secret society, perhaps the very first one. There are a lot of theories on this, the most interesting of which is that it’s made up of a group of immortals that are sprinkled through the game world. People like Khalid and Boone who aren’t overtly linked to any organization or society, but still show up to help out as much as they can.
That’s it for Khalid! Give him a hand, ladies and gents, he’s been swell!