The Rite of Passage
A Dragon's guide to Horizons: Empire of Istaria
By Ranqthas Clawfoot
"Like a still surface of water that's been disturbed by
a single drop. The ripple moves outward as we progress forward, and we are
caught in its wake."
-- Karane the Historian
It is said that...
Angry clouds whirl about a giant crater trapped
in perpetual twilight. What could have happened here?
According to Istarian lore, the Rite of Passage
(often referred to
as "ROP" by the Gifted) was created as a solution to a problem caused by an
unfortunate turn of events.
In the blink of an eye, a disruption in time -- the culmination of those
events, swallowed a place sacred to all dragons. Caught in its wake, the
dragons of Istaria found that they no longer aged and matured naturally.
To continue their numbers, an artificial means of development was created:
the Rite of Passage. Upon completion of the tasks comprising the Rite, a
hatchling dragon will find themselves in the body of an adult, with new and
more powerful abilities, such as a stronger Breath of Fire, and of course,
Which side are you on?
Semeneth the Ancient Helian resides in Chiconis.
As a hatchling wandering about Istaria, you will encounter the politics of
dragons. They have split into two factions: the Helian
. Ask around, learn what you can. One of the first tasks in
your Rite of Passage will be to choose a faction.
The two factions differ in their feelings towards the "lesser races" of
and as well as their fighting styles.
Helians and Lunus both agree that the lesser races will cause trouble amongst
themselves and ultimately for dragons too. The Helians believe that with
proper guidance and strong bonds, the lesser races may be educated and taught
to get along. The Lunus believe that they are far superior to the Naka and
should be regarded as so - maintaining order through force.
Valkoth the Ancient Lunus resides in Dralk.
As mentioned, the two factions also have different ways of fighting. The
strong Lunus fight mostly with brute strength - tooth, claw and scale.
Their tactics center around fierce, close-range melee fighting. In
contrast, the powerful Helians are more scholarly and have honed their
skills in the use of primal magic. A Helian would be adept at casting
powerful ranged attacks and area spells.
Finally, do not get misled. It is often stated that crafting is an activity
reserved for Helians. This is quite wrong as the Lunus need their scales,
claws and lairs. Many of them would be disgusted to rely on a Helian for
such vital items, so it can only be assumed that there are are indeed Lunus
crafters. To that effect, crafting capabilities do not differ between the
Philosophies aside, the practical differences between Lunus and Helian are
currently quite small. Being melee fighters, those of the Lunus path
receive a stat boost in the Tooth and Claw skill and a resistance to fire
damage. Similarly, Helians have a stat boost to the Primal skill and innate
resistance to spirit and ice damage. The only other difference is a
"faction breath" -- an alternate breath attack in addition to Breath of Fire.
Helians have ice, Lunus have lightning.
|Bonus||Path of the Helian||Path of the Lunus|
|Attack Skill||+20 Primal Magic||+20 Tooth and Claw|
|Second Breath Attack||Ice||Lightning|
To put these numbers into perspective, the tier III "Defense" techniques
for Ice, Fire and Mind are +24. The tier IV "Adventure" techniques for
Primal and Tooth and Claw give a +20 bonus. The difference in statistics
boils down to one or two teched tier IV scales.
If none of the above differences have helped you decide one way or another,
perhaps the differing requirements and tasks of each faction's Rite can help.
This will be discussed in detail later, however, simply put, the
Lunus Rite of Passage has lower requirements than those of the Helian one.
As if having to choose a faction was not difficult enough, you are also
faced with the choice of when to start and complete your Rite of Passage,
as well as whether or not to even do it!
The starting requirements for Rite of Passage are as follows:
- 250,000 Hoard
- Level 30 Adventure
- Level 20 Craft
Do note that these are only starting requirements. By the time you finish,
your levels (especially craft) will need to be higher. While it depends on a
number of other factors, the Rite of Passage may be completed as soon as
level 30 Craft for Lunus and level 40 for Helians.
A Guardian of Faces takes a moment from patrolling Meteor Crater to
pose for a photo.
In making the decision of when to start (and when to finish) keep the
following in mind:
First, part of the Rite of Passage (for both paths) involves killing named
monsters with ratings well over 40 in areas with regular monsters with
ratings even higher. A level 30 dragon adventurer would find it rather
difficult to kill them on their own but quite easy to collect death points,
even in the company of others. At a low level their task in most cases
would be to stay out of the way and stay alive while others did all
the work. In contrast, a Lunus may be able to complete most if not all of
their Rite of Passage alone at level 50.
One of three Enslavers after killing yet another hatchling.
Secondly, there is some crafting involved. To finish with a craft level
of 30 (or 40 for Helians), you will be pressed to get the necessary skills
in scalecraft, spellcraft, and transmutation. While possible to do, you
will be scrounging up skill points using teched scales, buffs, and maybe
even training point rearrangement. A Helian with level 50 craft should have
enough skill in these areas to craft the necessary items without having to
do any of that. Just because you can start early does not mean you have to
finish early, nor does it mean it will be easy!
A line of special chest scales which only a hatchling may quest for.
Third, there are six chest scales which only a hatchling dragon may acquire
through quests. These scales are divided into two sets, each set providing
bonuses useful to a Helian or Lunus, and three grades, each grade having a
larger bonus than the one before it. It is possible to get all six if you
wait till you reach level 50 Adventure. The bonuses from the Simulated
scales, save the armor, are more powerful than those of tier V techniques
and should not be quickly dismissed.
|Min Adv. Lvl
||Bonus from Scale of the Prime
||Bonus from Tempered Scale
+8 Tooth and Claw
+18 Tooth and Claw
+35 Tooth and Claw
Karane the Historian lives in a secluded lair outside of Chiconis.
When you decide to begin your Rite of Passage, speak to Karane the Historian,
a bit north of Chiconis. There you will be given some background and
ultimately the opportunity to choose your faction. After a bit of running
about and speaking to the ancient faction leaders, you will have to return
to one as an indication of your decision.
As you may suspect, the Rite of Passage is slightly different for each
faction, however there are some tasks common to both. If you are
considering doing your Rite of Passage with a partner, it is not necessary
that they choose the same faction for fear of not having anything to do
together. Some tasks are identical and towards the end, the "boss mobs"
to kill are mostly the same and can be done together.
A Word of Advice
Karane's lair lies north of Chiconis. A bit out of the way, much
like other locations related to the Rite of Passage.
Before jumping into your Rite of Passage, consider having some good fighting
scales made. What base and techniques to use depends on your fighting style
- ask an experienced dragon for advice. One thing to make sure you get,
however, is a speed technique. These can only be applied to wing scales.
Get the highest tier of scale and technique that you can equip. If you are
close to the next tier in Dragon Craft or Dragon Adventurer, consider
leveling into it to take advantage of the increased potency. Older dragons
sometimes jokingly reply "ROP" means "Run (all) Over (the) Place" when an
inquisitive hatchling asks what it means. There is a reason for this!
A pair of speed-teched scales is well worth the investment.
A detailed guide for the Helian and Lunus Rite of Passage can be found below.