Home > Age of Conan, Quests > The Crawling Chaos quest line

The Crawling Chaos quest line

The Crawling Chaos (CC) is a long quest in the Dragon’s Spine and is closely connected to a number of other quests in the playfield. Completing other quests will progress your CC quest, and this in turn will make yet other quests available. Along the way you get to learn a lot about the lore behind the playfield, enjoy numerous references to the work of Lovecraft and Howard, and finally get an epic flute as the quest reward:


(Click to enlarge.)

Doing the CC quest is actually very easy: you just keep doing quests in the Dragon’s Spine and revisiting the various NPCs to check if/when new quests have become available. Sooner or later you’ll get the various parts of CC quest done as well. But judging by the amount of questions both in global chat and in the forums, the quest is giving enough people enough trouble that I figured a post about it might be useful. If you prefer a guide to this quest in the form of a 50-minute youtube video, one has recently been posted by Civilix: link. (See also a forum thread about this quest.)

You get the Crawling Chaos quest by approaching the area around (1116, 839); a cutscene appears and a window pops up with the initial quest description. It seems that some other quests are a pre-requisited for this; I didn’t get this cutscene after completing A Foreshadowing Encounter, but I got it after I also completed The Snakes Who Walk (but no other quests besides these two). In any case, it makes sense to do both of these quests as they explain the story, so I’ll describe them below:

A Foreshadowing Encounter. To get this quest, speak to the dying camel that lies very near to where you ported into Dragon’s Spine from Khemi. The next step leads you to talk to Arch Lector Tiandal nearby (1229, 1289), who tells you about a mysterious swarthy man whom he has been chasing all the way from Tarantia.

The Snakes Who Walk. You get this quest from Alanza at the northern dig site (1266, 1204); the next steps are to look at the captured serpent man in a nearby cage and then talk to Captain Achillas nearby.

After these two, you can pick up the start of the CC quest, as described above. The first step is to speak to the Messenger at (1203, 826), who tells you to start looking for lies in the desert.

A quest named Deception in the Dunes now becomes available from Jamila in the tent at (1271, 1209). She asks you to find a missing excavator named Tawar; he is at (1310, 1051). As you talk to him, illusions of naked women appear to float around him; this is the first lie of the desert and will move you to the next step of the CC quest. To complete the Deception in the Dunes, go talk to the Tempest of Set nearby.

The Tempest now offers you the next quest in the chain, A Shattered Truth. He believes that the strange behavior of excavators such as Tawar is due to the influence of two recently excavated stone tablets, and asks you to destroy them. You’ll find the tablets in a tent in the southern dig site (1063, 258).

A nearby NPC, Khaa (1068, 280), now asks you to cut some wood for him, in a quest named The Axe, the Tree, the Bloom that Could Not Be. Pick up the axe nearby at (1063, 264) and go cut the withered tree at (467, 386). Flowers spring up on the dead tree, which is the second lie of the desert and will update your CC quest. Go to Abasi at (929, 413) to hand in the wood.

Now you can get the next quest, The Double-Walking Tempest, from Tachus in the northern dig camp at (1204, 1042). He needs poison for the anti-serpentman traps and asks you to fetch some poison from the Tempest of Set, who has apparently been gone for some time now. You’ll find the Tempest in a tent near the Palace of Cetriss at (799, 864). The Tempest doesn’t remember talking to you before, which is odd considering you’ve spoken to him several times in some of the previous quests, while he was standing at the edge of the northern excavation camp! Anyway, he gives you a poisonous plant, which you can now carry back to Tachus.

A new quest, Lies, Lies, Crawling Lies now becomes available from Jamila. The next step is to talk to Alanza, who is angry about the tablets you’ve recently smashed; after that you complete the quest by talking to the Messenger, who hints that you will find your answers from a fool rather than from wise men.

You can now talk to the Excavation Guard at (1342, 503); he turns out to be just the fool you’ve been looking for — he got himself caught in a serpent man trap. During the conversation he transforms into a serpent man and becomes hostile. This is the next lie of the desert, updating your CC quest, and it also gives you a new quest, Unshrouded Secrets. Complete it by killing the serpent man and carrying his head to Ankh-Ausar at (1070, 271). He tells you about the serpent men’s morphing abilities and how they can be unmasked by the phrase “ka nama kaa lajerama”.

From Ankh-Ausar you get a new quest, The Serpent Beneath the Skin, in which you will use the magical phrase on Khaa, on the Messenger, and then on the Tempest of Set in the northern dig camp; unlike the first two, the Tempest actually turns out to be a serpent man in disguise (presumably the one you’ve seen near the Palace of Cetriss is the real one). This is the next lie of the desert and updates your CC quest. After killing the false Tempest, you can complete the Serpent Beneath the Skin quest by talking to Alanza and then to Ankh-Ausar.

The resulting conversation with Ankh-Ausar tells you a lot about a mysterious artefact called the Shining Trapezohedron, which updates your CC quest again; you can also get from him a quest to find the Shining Trapezohedron in the Sepulcher of the Wyrm (group dungeon located south of the southern excavation camp), but you don’t need to do this quest to complete your CC quest.

Now you can get the next quest, The Seals of Cetriss, from Alanza. Remember those two tablets you smashed earlier? Turns out that there is a third tablet which could be reconstructed from several pieces that are currently scattered around the playfield. Go pick them up at (1274, 1211), (1148, 919), (1196, 1137), (1007, 364), and (1072, 272). Now you can click the Third Seal of Cetriss at (1159, 410) and be teleported into the adjacent room containing some curious murals and a mysterious flute.

You should have cutscenes enabled for the next step. Click the flute and you’ll see a cutscene showing how the Messenger presented a Serpent Man King with the Shining Trapezohedron; at the end of the cutscene, the CC quest updates again. Apparently the quest fails to update if you had cutscenes disabled. You can now complete the Seals of Cetriss quest by talking to Alanza, but you can actually proceed with the CC quest without doing so.

Now you can approach the Messenger again, but before reaching him, around (1201, 836), you get teleported into a miniature separate playfield called the Dreamscape of Leng. This teleporting mechanic is sometimes bugged and you might need to switch to a different instance of Dragon’s Spine and try approaching the Messenger in that instance again to get ported correctly.

There you will first have to kill several waves of minions, followed by about 10 normal mobs called Priests Not To Be Described. These all have the same name, but they actually seem to be of two kinds: about half of them have very low HP, others have normal HP, so it might be useful to kill the ones with low HP first.

After this a boss named The Spiraling Worm spawns; it has twice the usual amount of HP for a level 85 boss (i.e. 50k instead of 25k). The main thing to watch out for in this fight is his Phosphorous Sand spell, which spawns AoEs on the ground; move out of them quickly to avoid taking damage.

During the worm fight, you can click the flute on the nearby altar to get a damage buff. Some people reported having problems with the flute as they get interrupted before the cast is completed. In any case, depending on your class and gear, chances are good that you won’t have to bother with the flute at all.

At some point during the worm fight, another Priest mob spawns and effectively offtanks you: the worm loses interest in you until it kills the priest; this can give you a welcome opportunity to heal up a bit. (Some people say that this priest is spawned by clicking the flute, but I think this is a mistake; he spawned for me even if I didn’t use the flute at all.)

After you kill the worm, a portal appears and you can walk into it to be ported back to the Dragon’s Spine. Now you can finish the CC quest by having a long conversation with the Messenger, in which you’ll find out who he really is (as if there was any doubt by this point :P) and finally get your Otherwordly Flute as the quest reward.

There’s another quest as a postscript to this whole affair. Having completed the Crawling Chaos quest, move a few steps away from the Messenger (1198, 838) and a window pops up, giving you a quest called One Chance at Redemption to warn Tiandal about the Messenger’s true nature.

There’s one tricky part in the resulting conversation with Tiandal. At some point, Tiandal becomes exasperated with your initial and rather incoherent efforts to warn him: “Seize thine tongue!” etc. You then have several options to continue the conversation: option 1 is “There’s no hope then”, option 2 is irrelevant (you just get the other two options in the next step) and option 3 is “Very well, Tiandal”. Now, in most conversations in Age of Conan, option 1 is always the right choice to take; but here, if you choose option 1 at this point, the quest completes at once and you miss out on a lot of the lore-related conversation.

You should take option 3 instead. This will not only give you more lore information but will complete the quest in a more satisfactory way. (Technically, there’s no difference, of course; in both cases, your quest will be done and you’ll get the same reward — a blue ring with constitution, which might be valuable to a poorly geared character but is otherwise unimpressive.) The point of this quest is to warn Tiandal against pursuing the Messenger, and if you chose option 1, Tiandal remains stubborn in his zealotry, so your effort to warn him off has basically failed. But if you chose option 3, he agrees to give up the pursuit, admitting that he has himself already experienced some curious examples of the Messenger’s abilities.

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Categories: Age of Conan, Quests
  1. Shaidarharanh
    January 24, 2013 at 06:48

    Very nice post 🙂
    About the worm boss at the end:
    You can stand over the corpses of the previously killed priests and wait for a sand spell to land where you stand. That will animate the corpse and make him take aggro of the worm. You can then play the flute, and this will give you a damage buff. There are three corpses you can animate in total (the three that had the most hp).

    • January 24, 2013 at 08:50

      Aha, so that’s what causes the priest to appear during the worm fight. Thanks for the info.

  2. Tofha
    January 28, 2013 at 13:17

    This questline ends like the Iron Tower one (“confess the sins” after delivering the Keeper from its prison). Nyarlatothep’s Avatar would be the future bad guy we have to fight in AoC epic raids, it would make sense considering he is linked to both the Entity and the Lurker at the Threshold.

    For the upcoming T3.5 raid, my bet is on Yigg :p

  3. Ayda
    February 6, 2013 at 04:41

    Do you have any advice for doing this chain of quests for a PoM with mostly khitai faction (hyrkanian) gear? Can it be done as a group instance or is it purely solo? I’ve done everything solo up to this part but die on the priests.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    • February 6, 2013 at 11:04

      Well, I’d be very surprised if you could get there with a group — my impression is that it’s purely a solo instance.

      I don’t have any PoM-specific advice because I don’t know much about the class (my PoM is level 55 or so, and I haven’t played it for more than a year). About half of the priest mobs have very low HP, so I think it’s a good idea to kill those first; try to use some AoE attacks to speed this up. IIRC PoMs also have some bubbles that last ridiculously long, so that might help you survive. I’m not sure if the priest mobs are CCable, but if they are, that might help as well.

  4. Izzahs
    April 25, 2013 at 05:04

    How does a ranger defeat Dreamscape of Leng… i can down half of the priests but cant kill the last ones. Tried prot gear/crit gear… still cant do it. Am I missing something? I have Khitai gear/T3/T2… so idk how i’m supp to survive. Tried prot gear and couldnt survive the spell dmg still. Any ideas?

    • April 25, 2013 at 08:12

      Are you sure that you’re moving out of the AoE on the ground (spawned by Phosphorous Sand)? If you’re doing that and still can’t survive his damage, then I have no idea. I don’t know anything concrete about rangers but I can’t imagine that it should be impossible to kill it with the gear you described.

  1. March 2, 2013 at 21:28
  2. November 13, 2016 at 06:39

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