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Secrets of the North & More!

Written by developer on . Posted in OSRS News

We’re back with the first update of 2023 – and what an update it is! We’re kicking off the new year with a brand-new Master-level quest featuring a repeatable solo boss and a bunch of new items to grind for – but that’s not all! We also have a ton of changes and fixes to content all across the game, so you can start your new year off right.

Changelog: January 11th


Secrets of the North

  • Added a new Master-level quest called Secrets of the North.
  • Added a repeatable solo boss unlocked via quest completion.

Xmas 2022

  • Removed the 2022 Christmas event from the game.

Wilderness Boss Rework

  • Updates on the status of and changes to the proposed rework. Keep scrolling for more details!

Combat Achievements

  • The 'Perfect Wardens' Combat Achievement no longer fails in cases where the group/split orb mechanic in Phase 1 was solved correctly.
  • The 'Tombs Speed Runner' Combat Achievement now completes for players in purgatory.
  • Various Tombs of Amascut Combat Achievements that rely on specific Raid Levels no longer complete if a time limit Invocation is missed, lowering the final Raid Level.
  • Group Iron groups with just two people are no longer asked to complete the 'Personal Space' Combat Achievement at Bloat.
  • The 'Hesporisn't' Combat Achievement no longer fails when the final hit with a Special Attack includes a zero-damage hitsplat.

Other Changes

  • Changes to Ordan's Blast Furnace Ore Shop now match what was polled. The shop now functions the same way for regular accounts as it does for Iron players.
  • Added various unique items from Nex and Tombs of Amascut to the Grand Exchange item sink.
  • The Nutcracker Staff no longer always hits 0.
  • Improved the clickbox for Fairy Rings.
  • Improved the clickbox for the top of the Agility Pyramid.
  • Equipment interface now shows Attack Speed for current weapon and attack style.
  • Players can no longer receive duplicate Runecraft Pouches from the Rewards Guardian in Guardians of the Rift when in possession of a degraded Colossal Pouch.
  • Stat Restore and Boost Potion Share spells now take Holy Wrench, Max Cape, Prayer Skillcape and Ring of the Gods (i) into consideration.
  • Stuffed heads can now be mounted in the Player-Owned House without gaining Defence XP.
  • Adjusted the capitalisation on various Slayer interfaces.
  • Players can no longer grief each other inside Tombs of Amascut by teleporting away after picking up mirrors on the Path of Het or after telegrabbing water containers on the Path of Crondis.
  • Automatic Arrow equipping and Rune Pouch storage options from the Ranged and Magic Tutors in Lumbridge can now be turned on in the Settings menu.
  • Added a confirmation message for removing all Bank fillers from the Bank.
  • Achievement Points on Fresh Start Worlds now update without needing to switch tabs.
  • World crashes no longer reset Quest Speedrunning timers.
  • Players can now store over 1,023 items in a single Bank tab.
  • Changing chat channels via commands such as /@f no longer sends an empty message.
  • Rellekka's mine gate no longer visually breaks when two players try entering at the same time.
  • Bonus damage from the Salve Amulet now correctly applies to the ghosts inside Soul Wars.
  • The TzHaar Fight Pit scrying orb no longer hides your skull on High Risk PvP worlds.
  • Chinchompas triggering box traps once again face towards the trap they're triggering.
  • The Achievement Diary task for picking up Potato Cacti in the Kalphite Hive now works for Iron players in their alternate version of the Kalphite Queen's chamber.
  • Pending combat damage no longer clears as players go in and out of the cave or up the lift at the damaged tower at Ferox Enclave.
  • The in-game name change menu now has 'Confirm' written on the confirmation button.
  • Players bound by spells including Bind, Snare and Entangle will now receive an audio cue and chat message when their freeze is due to expire.
  • Fixed a graphical issue in the Ardougne Clocktower.

Secrets of the North

It's here at last: our first continuation of the Mahjarrat storyline! Those of you who paid close attention throughout November last year and saw our 2022 Winter Summit already know quite a bit about this quest, but let’s refresh your memory before you get stuck in to this intriguing murder mystery.

Our story begins - as all good murder mysteries do - with a mysterious murder! To start the quest, head to the Carnillean household just north of the Clock Tower in the south-west corner of East Ardougne.

To make sure you're equipped with everything you need to crack the case (and clear your own name as a suspect!) you'll need the following:

  • Quest Requirements
    • Making Friends with My Arm
    • Devious Minds
    • Hazeel Cult
    • The General's Shadow
  • Skill Requirements
    • 69 Agility
    • 64 Thieving
    • 56 Hunter
    • We'd recommend a Combat Level of 85.

Be prepared to form an uneasy alliance, dig up secrets best left buried deep, and walk away with more questions than answers...

For your troubles, you can expect the following rewards:

  • Rewards
    • 2 Quest Points
    • 60,000 Agility XP
    • 50,000 Thieving XP
    • 40,000 Hunter XP
    • Access to a repeatable, solo-only boss.

It’s also worth noting that Secrets of the North is a direct prequel to the highly-anticipated Desert Treasure II – The Fallen Empire, coming later this year. Read all about it in the Winter Summit Summary Blog!

You also voted for a selection of new rewards from the repeatable boss unlocked at the end of the quest. We went over the details in the relevant poll blog, but here’s a quick overview – along with the actual item names!

Venator Bow

The Venator Bow is a tier-80 Ranged weapon which uses charges to bounce arrows between nearby targets!

To assemble the Bow, you’ll need to obtain five Venator Shards, which also drop from the boss.

What sets the Venator Bow apart from other ranged weaponry is its ability to hit up to three targets with a single shot. When charged with Ancient Essence, the bow consumes one charge per attack to make arrows bounce between NPCs.

Once the initial attack hits an NPC, the arrow will try to find another nearby target. If the arrow finds another target, it performs an accuracy roll. Should the bounce 'hit' the target, damage will be rolled between 0 and 66% of your max hit. From the second target, the arrow will try to bounce back to the original target and perform another hit (again capped at 66% of max hit). If your original target has perished or isn't in range, the arrow will look for a third target instead.

The specifics of the bounce mechanic are explained in greater detail in the poll blog. Remember, back then we were calling this the ‘Bloodletter Bow’!

For the time being, the Venator bow will not be useable inside Barbarian Assault, following initial feedback from the Barbarian Assault community surrounding the bow's disproportionate power and impact on the minigame.

Both the Venator Shards and the uncharged Venator Bow will be tradeable.

We'll be keeping a very close eye on your feedback about the rate at which you're gaining and losing charges with this weapon - so make sure to let us know your thoughts if you're fortunate enough to snag one early on.

Ancient Icon and Sceptre

The Ancient Icon is an untradeable magical artefact that’s absolutely brimming with potential power. Take it to a specific NPC and they’ll be able to combine it with the Ancient Staff to create the Ancient Sceptre!

This is an untradeable weapon that is designed to sit between the Ancient Staff and the Kodai Wand. It not only provides a +5% magic strength bonus, but also buffs the effects of all Ancient Magicks by 10%. Here’s how that works:

Blood Magick:

  • Healing from these spells becomes 10% more effective.
  • This means that all spells will heal the caster with a base of 27.5% of the damage dealt (a 2.5% increase).
  • The effect from the staff also stacks multiplicatively with Bloodbark Armour: (25% + (Bloodbark Armour)) x 1.1 = 32.5% x 1.1 = 35.75% increased healing when wearing Bloodbark Armour and wielding the Soulblight Sceptre.

Ice Magick:

  • The freeze duration from these spells becomes 10% longer.
    • Ice Rush: Does not benefit. Ice Rush is an 8 tick (4.8 seconds) freeze. A 10% increase would take this to 8.8 ticks, and Old School always rounds down, so we're right back where we started!
    • Ice Burst: 16 ticks (9.6 seconds) → 17 ticks (10.2 seconds)
    • Ice Blitz: 24 ticks (14.4 seconds) → 26 ticks (15.6 seconds)
    • Ice Barrage: 32 ticks (19.2 seconds) → 35 ticks (21 seconds)

Shadow Magick:

  • The stat drain effects from these spells are 10% more effective.
    • Shadow Rush and Shadow Burst will reduce your opponent's Attack by 11%.
    • Shadow Blitz and Shadow Barrage will reduce your opponent's Attack by 16%.

Smoke Magick:

  • Increases the 'Poison Value' of the Poison effect by 10%.
    • Poison Damage will be dealt 11 times, instead of 10, when casting Smoke Rush and Smoke Burst.
    • Poison Damage will be dealt 22 times, instead of 20, when casting Smoke Blitz and Smoke Barrage.

All of these effects will be enabled in PvP situations, so they will be usable across the full range of content in-game.

To wield this Ancient upgrade, you'll need 60 Strength and 70 Magic. Here's how its stats shape up:

Some of you have been wondering how the Ancient Sceptre behaves on death in PvP situations. Currently, if you die in PvP the Ancient Sceptre is destroyed and must be re-obtained. The PKer receives a plain old Ancient Staff.

We’ll be exploring adjustments to this behaviour in the near future, such as having the Sceptre break and require a repair cost, the value of which will be dropped to the PKer. The repair cost would slot somewhere between that of Ahrim’s Staff and the Master Wand, since that’s roughly where the Ancient Sceptre sits in terms of PvP power. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue!

Saturated Heart

Some rewards make your heart leap out of your chest. This reward, however, is someone else’s heart. Delightful!

Using enough Ancient Essence on an Imbued Heart will transform it into the Saturated Heart, absolutely dripping with magical energy.

Aside from being super gross, the Saturated Heart buffs Magic by 4 + 10% of the player’s base Magic level (rounded down). This boost won't drain over time, similar to a Divine Potion effect, so you'll be able to continue firing off spells at maximum power to your heart's content. Literally.

Bear in mind that the Saturated Heart shares a cooldown with the Imbued Heart, so you won't be able to use them both at the same time.

Forgotten Brew

Just like the Saturated Heart, the Forgotten Brew is created by adding Ancient Essence to an Ancient Brew, increasing its potency and boosting your Magic level even higher.

  • Ancient Brew boosts the player's Magic level by 2 + 5% of their base Magic level and restores Prayer Points equal to 2 + 10% of their base Prayer level (with the ability to restore up to 5% over the player's base Prayer level).
  • Forgotten Brew boosts the player's Magic level by 3 + 8% of their base Magic level and restores Prayer Points equal to 2 + 10% of their base Prayer level (with the ability to restore up to 5% over the player's base Prayer level).

Both potions will still drain Attack, Strength and Defence levels by 2 + 10% of your current levels - so drink responsibly!

To cook up one of these Forgotten Brews yourself, you'll need a whopping 91 Herblore. Each Brew will net you 145 XP. Delicious!

Ancient Essence

In case it wasn't clear, this is a resource you can either obtain from the new boss or by breaking down Venator Shards.

It's used in the creation of some of the rewards outlined above, to charge the Venator Bow, and as an ingredient in Forgotten Brews.

And that’s about all we have to say about the new boss! We’re excited to watch you come together and figure out exactly how it works.

In the meanwhile, let’s move on to the rest of this week’s update!

Christmas Event 2022

The Nutcracker Pub will be closing its doors today as the festive season comes to an end. Those of you who last logged out inside the pub – don’t worry mate, we’ve all been there – will find themselves just west of Barbarian Village when they next log in. If for some reason you find yourself in some sort of endless Christmas purgatory with no escape, let us know. We’ll do our best to get you out before the Gnome Child gets hungry.

We hope you enjoyed this year’s event, and we’ve loved seeing your new festive fashionscape on show! Perhaps we’ll see if the Nutcracker will have you back some time in the future…

Speaking of, we’ve made a small change to the Nutcracker Staff’s stats to bring them in line with other ‘fun’ weapons. We saw a handful of feedback from skillers that the Staff’s guaranteed zero damage re-enabled methods and metas that haven’t been seen for some time. We don’t want to spoil all the fun, so we’re actively looking into these so-called ‘splashing’ weapons and the conversation surrounding them. Keep an ear to the ground for more news!

An Update on the Wilderness Boss Rework

The next major update you’ll see this month is the Wilderness Boss Rework, making its way to a barren wasteland near you on January 25th.

We’ve been running all kinds of tests since our last update, and we’ve made a few changes based on the results. Have a read!

Non-multi Boss Variants

We’ve already spoken about our plans to provide alternative, weaker versions of the reworked Wilderness Bosses that will be outside multi-combat zones. They’re designed for players who prefer to do things solo and will offer unique items for completionists. In exchange, there’s a lower monetary reward compared to their multi-combat equivalents.

These solo bosses have lairs of their own, with entrances in and around the Graveyard of Shadows north of Ferox Enclave. They’re all below level 30 Wilderness.

During testing, we found that having the lairs be true, single-way combat didn’t make players feel they were engaging in real, risky Wilderness content. The ability to teleport away at any point during a kill, even with PKers in the cave, took the ‘risk’ out of the ‘risk vs. reward’ philosophy we built the Wilderness on.

As a result we’ve decided that for the time being these lairs will actually be Single-Plus combat zones, similar to the Revenant Caves. You’ll still be able to teleport out, but won’t be able to avoid the inherent risk associated with Wilderness content.

The Dragon Pickaxe

There’s been a lot of hype about bringing the Wilderness bosses in-line with modern standards, but we also want to highlight our plans to fix the issues surrounding the Dragon Pickaxe.

From January 25th the King Black Dragon will drop the Dragon Pickaxe at a rate of 1/1,000 instead of 1/1,500. The Kalphite Queen will also have the Dragon Pickaxe added to her loot table, at a rate of 1/400.

Now, let’s move onto another ‘hot’ topic – the Volcanic Mine.

Petrified Pete looks more than ready to see some fresh faces!

Implementing the Pickaxe at Volcanic Mine proved a bit more complicated than adding it to an NPC's loot table, since many players already have vast quantities of points saved up.

We’re implementing a trade-off for players with points to spare, which should make chasing the Pickaxe a goal in itself and won’t risk locking its value at a fixed price.

To do this, we’re adding an Ore Pack to the shop which you can buy with points. There’s a chance for the Ore Pack to contain a broken Dragon Pickaxe left behind by an unfortunate ex-miner. Players looking to maximise their profits are still encouraged to buy Runite Ore instead – these Ore Packs exist exclusively for players chasing the elusive Pickaxe.

Those of you who’ve been playing for a while will remember Broken Dragon Pickaxes from the exploding rock random event. Even though it’s been a good seven years, Nurmof the dwarf remembers them too, and he’s willing to flex his repair skills for 2,500,000 GP. This hefty cost helps the Pickaxe retain some of its value while making it obtainable for those who don’t fancy PvM. Plus, the values of the ores in the Ore Packs should go some way towards the cost of repair!

We’d really like to hear your thoughts about the new repair system and fees, so be sure to let us know through the usual channels.

Other Changes

Since it’s been a hot minute since our last update, we’ve got a lot more changes than usual – so get scrolling!

Combat Achievements

  • 'Perfect Wardens' was occasionally failing during Phase One even when players cleared the group/split orb attack successfully. This should be working as intended with this week’s update.
  • Players who meet their untimely demise and landed in purgatory during the Wardens fight will no longer be locked out of the ‘Tombs Speed Runner’ combat achievement. The task should retroactively complete for players who should have checked it off already.
  • Various Tombs of Amascut Combat Achievements require specific Raid Levels for completion. These were made significantly easier by using time-limit Invocations to boost the Raid Level, because the Achievements would complete even if players failed the time limit. As of this week Achievements will trigger based on the Raid Level upon entering the Loot Room, so players will either need to complete the raid within their chosen time limit or use different Invocations.
  • Group Iron groups consisting of just two players no longer need to complete the ‘Personal Space’ Combat Achievement at Bloat, which requires three players.
  • Some weapons with multi-hit special attacks (such as the Crystal Halberd) were incorrectly failing the 'Hesporisn't' Combat Achievement if one of the final attacks hit for zero damage. This behaviour has been corrected.


  • Ore prices at the Blast Furnace Ore Shop now remain static, as polled in Poll 77. Although we initially made this change for Iron players, we’ve now decided to implement it in all versions of the Shop.
  • Various unique rewards from Nex and the Tombs of Amascut have been added to the Grand Exchange's Item Sink list:
    • Zaryte Vambraces
    • Zaryte Crossbow
    • Torva Helm
    • Torva Chest
    • Torva Legs
    • Ancient Godsword
    • Osmumten's Fang
    • Masori Mask (f)
    • Masori Body (f)
    • Masori Chaps (f)
    • Tumeken's Shadow
    • Lightbearer
    • Elidinis' Ward
  • The Equipment interface now shows the Attack Speed for your currently equipped weapon and selected attack style. This shows the 'base' attack speed, as well as any modifiers that might be in place. For example, a Magic shortbow would show as a 2.4s base attack speed, with a 1.8s 'actual' attack speed when using the Rapid attack style.

Here's an adventurer in a bizarre (but very colourful!) getup, showing off what the Attack Speed for Rune Knives on Rapid attack style looks like in the nifty new Equipment interface.

  • Stat Restore Pot Share and Boost Potion Share spells now take into account the Holy Wrench, Prayer Skillcape, Max Cape and Ring of the Gods (i)'s respective effects when used to share the effects of any potion impacted by these items.
  • Players looting the Rewards Guardian at Guardians of the Rift should no longer receive duplicate Pouches when looting with a degraded Colossal Pouch. You’ll get Abyssal Pearls and like it!
  • Mounting stuffed heads in your Player-Owned House now gives you the option to avoid gaining Defence XP, in case you'd like to make your pure's living area a little more homely.
  • Players can no longer grief each other inside the Tombs of Amascut by teleporting away after picking up mirrors on the Path of Het or after telegrabbing water containers on the Path of Crondis.
  • Various Slayer interfaces, such as the Rewards interface accessed through various Slayer masters, have had their capitalisation made more consistent with other interfaces in the game.
  • The Ranged and Magic tutors in Lumbridge let players automatically equip Runes and Arrows or place them in the Rune Pouch. You can now toggle these options in the Settings menu, instead of schlepping all the way to Lumbridge. If this is the first time you're learning about this setting, enjoy your newfound QoL!
  • Some players reported catastrophic effects on Bank organisation when accidentally removing all of their Bank fillers at once. We've added a confirmation option to prevent a misclick from ruining your hard work.
  • Players can now store over 1,023 items in a single Bank tab.
  • Fresh Start World players no longer need to switch tabs to see their Achievement Points update.
  • Some players reported impossible Quest Speedrunning times around world crashes, since the speedrun would remain active but the timer would reset to 0. We've fixed this behaviour.
  • You should have an easier time clicking Fairy Rings from now on, because we’ve improved the clickbox. We’ve also given it a quick lick of paint to make it even more obvious!

This butterfly-filled beam indicates the adjusted clickbox for Fairy rings and looks suitably magical to boot!

  • Similarly, we've improved the clickbox for the obstacle at the very top of the Agility Pyramid, meaning you'll be able to secure your loot without accidentally running around the whole top level, falling down an obstacle, and logging out in frustration.
  • Changing chat channels via commands such as /@f will no longer send an empty message in chat.
  • The gate to Rellekka’s mine no longer breaks visually when used by two players at the same time.
  • Any Soul Wars ghosts reading this should watch their back, because the Salve Amulet's combat bonuses will now apply correctly when inside the minigame.
  • Players can no longer 'hide' their Skull by using the TzHaar Fight Pit Scrying Orb on High-risk PvP Worlds.
  • Chinchompas have been showing off by strafing, moonwalking or otherwise trick-shotting their way into Box Traps. They should now face towards the trap that they're actually triggering.
  • Potato Cacti pickers rejoice, the Achievement Diary task for scooping five of them now works for Iron players in their alternate version of the Kalphite Queen's chamber.
  • Pending combat damage no longer clears as players go in and out of the cave at Ferox Enclave, or up the lift in the damaged tower. We received reports that this behaviour was disrupting combat on DMM worlds.
  • The in-game Name Change menu now has 'Confirm' written on the confirmation button and will display your chosen name in the 'Status' field instead. We hope this will make things a bit clearer!
  • Ancient Magicks’ Ice spells had previously been given an audio cue and a message to tell their victims when the freeze was about to expire. A similar message and audio cue has now been added to various other holding effects, including Bind, Snare and Entangle.
  • Finally, and arguably most importantly of all: a door in the Ardougne Clocktower has been refitted so that it no longer extends into the roof, saving the structural integrity of this historic and culturally relevant building.

PvP World Rota

The PvP rota has moved to Period A:

  • 539 - (US) - PvP World
  • 548 - (Germany) - High-Risk PvP World
  • 577 - (US) - Free-to-Play PvP World
  • 559 - (UK) - LMS Competitive

World 390 (AUS) for LMS Competitive has been activated with this rota.

The PvP Arena is using '1 Defence Pure' loadouts in Ranked Duels and Tournaments this week.

That's a wrap on the first of many jam-packed updates we have in store this year!

We can't wait to see all of you get stuck in to unravelling the Secrets of the North. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on anything shared in this week's update using the links below.

You can also discuss this update on our official forums, on the 2007Scape subreddit, the Steam forums, or the community-led OSRS Discord in the #gameupdate channel. For more info on the above content, check out the official Old School Wiki.

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