The Wiki for Tale 4 is in read-only mode and is available for archival and reference purposes only. Please visit the current Tale 10 Wiki in the meantime.

If you have any issues with this Wiki, please post in #wiki-editing on Discord or contact Brad in-game.

Test of the Venery

From A Tale in the Desert
Jump to navigationJump to search
Main Shard Bastet T5 Beta

The Test of the Venery challenges you to create a puzzle that can potentially cover a large portion of land. Veneries consist of a series of lockboxes scattered across the land, each containing a key that leads to another lockbox and a clue that will lead to this next lockbox. A simple venery will play as a single chain between lockboxes. More complex veneries can exist, that have multiple chains going on at once. Upon completing a venery, you get a Venery Certificate.


Demonstrate the Principle


A Venery consists of a Venery Gathering Point and at least 7 lockboxes placed around the land.

Venery Gathering Point


Built in a Small Construction Site (1 Canvas, 4 Rope).

Simple Lockbox

Made in a Forge (2 minutes to cool)

Designing a Venery

  • Hints are on the "exterior" of the lockbox, and will appear if, and only if, the lock box requires a key and the player does not yet have that key.
  • Clues are on the "inside" of the lockbox, and will appear if no key is required, or once the player has all of the required keys.
  • You must put a lockbox in the Venery Gathering point. This should be the last box that people go to.
  • The Venery gathering point will have 2 Venery menus (important for when you want to generate keys)

Is there anyway to set the final text at the Venery Gathering Point when someone gets back to it at the end?

Dreasimy: the way I do my veneries is make the lockbox on the gathering point require ALL the keys in your venery so it can only be opened at the end. Then I use the Welcome Text as my intro and when they search for keys on the base at the beginning, it tells them they dont have the keys they need and instead gives them a Hint which directs them onto the next lockbox, this way you use your CLUE as your final text at the end :) Here is a step-by step guide I wrote: Dreasimy's Guide to Creating a Venery

Puzzles like the Venery are subjective: what one person finds challenging and fun, another might find infuriating. You can't please all of the players all of the time, but there are a few tips you can follow to make your puzzle as entertaining as possible.

Every Venery Tells A Story A venery should be more than just a random series of locations and objects. It should tell a story, with each location revealing a little more of the tale. It adds depth to your puzzle, and gives the player additional motivation to keep playing.

You don't need to write a novel: just decide on a simple storyline, and let that guide the development of a puzzle. Is the player trying to find a lost camel? Is he on the trail of the man who stole his gem collection? Is she following a map to some elusive treasure? Are they touring exciting landmarks across the face of Egypt?

You decide!

Location, Location, Location! When selecting objects for your lockbox locations, try to choose distinctive sites. Unique landmarks such as a particular sculpture, or the only deep well for 200 coords would be excellent choices. One single apiary in a field of 4 dozen would be an awful choice.

Once your player finds your lockbox location, there should be no doubt in their mind that this is the place!

This doesn't mean that you can't use common, everyday objects in your puzzles. It just means that you'll have to be careful to guide the player to the target you've chosen, rather than having them run willy-nilly across Egypt.

Clues Blues No matter what form your venery takes, the clues you write will make or break your puzzle. The trick to writing good clues is to give the player just enough information to figure out the target, without telling them the answer. Designing good clues is a puzzle of its own!

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Hint, but don't tell. Rather than telling the player to simply "go east", find a way to subtly guide them in that direction. The sun rises in the east, so you could tell the player to "journey in the direction of the rising sun". Nowhere do you say the word "east", but the clever player will figure it out. (The less clever players will ask for help.)

Be colorful. Let's say that, in your venery's story, you tell the tale of the Lost Queen Pleocatra, and have the players follow her wanderings through the desert. Why not wrap your hints into the story? "Pleocatra grew thirsty. After a moment's wandering to the north, she found a lone Royal Cactus, and judging that it must be fit for one of her royal upbringing, she drank the sap straight from the trunk."

In this paragraph, you've given the player clear directions to "go north a short distance until you find a single Royal Cactus", and you've furthered the tale of your venery, all in one shot.

Feel free to add colorful details to your clues: the venery is as much story as it is puzzle.

Play with the puzzle. You can have fun with your clues by rhyming, telling riddles, even inserting puzzles of your own in the venery clues. The more unusual your venery, the more people will be drawn to it, and the higher a rating you are likely to receive. Don't be afraid to bend the rules and try new things!

How about a venery done entirely in song lyrics?

   Sweet desert rose
   This memory of Eden haunts us all
   This desert flower
   This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of her love
   (with the next lockbox on a nearby sea lily)

...Or a venery that uses word games?

   You'll find your next clue in the public works compound. All you have to do is take out the trash:
   (remove the letters T-R-A-S-H from the above, and you're left with "box kiln")

...Or a venery where all the lockboxes are attached to players? Let the manhunt begin!

Now that you've got some ideas to play with, let's see some top notch veneries!

   Taken from T3, and modified a bit


Dreasimy's Guide to Creating a Venery

Venery Locations

  • Green for recognized (passed) puzzles (use "Gr" prefix on pin)
  • Red for unrecognized (unpassed) puzzles (use "Rd" prefix on pin)

Region Coordinates Designer Passed Title Remarks About
Stillwater 2302,3234 Spooner Yes
Shabbat Ab 1367, 1984 GONE Asnath Yes
Shabbat Ab 1470,1763 Falbala Yes
Sinai 3411,4497 Pandemonis Yes
Falcon's Bay 4299, -1174 Jacen Yes How I get maried in French North of UThought
Saqqarah 783, -756 Fryoj No Saqqarah Uni-Run Venery/FAQ East of CS(by Essence of Harmony)
Saqqarah 769, -757 JaylenaeYbarre YES What happend when I arrived from beginner's island a few steps away when leaving cs, on the left side of the road
Shabbat Ab 1376, 1725 GONE Ping Yes Felix and the Fatestone II: Electric Boogaloo Just south of the CS (along the road)
Shabbat Ab 1471, 1996 McArine Yes A course in math. Close to UArch
Shabbat Ab 1469, 2008 GONE Sefet Yes The Sum of the Parts Close to UArch
Shabbat Ab 2317, 2335 Ephemere No First steps in Egypt Deutch, English, Français 15-30 mins
Shabbat Ab 1482, 1759 lilinou Yes Une promenade en amoureux/A romantic walk English, Français East of the CS
Shabbat Ab 1420, 1980 Trillian Yes People of Egypt United Tour around some local guilds 15-25mins West of UHarm
Shabbat Ab 1380, 1710 Numaris Yes The Professor's Errand Story: Visits the schools of SA Hall of Diversions - Bijou, Pathmaker, Empty Hand also available
Stillwater 1481, 3892 Halana Yes Sheep, Camels, and Bunnies, OH NO!!!! OH YES!!!! English 10 - 15 mins
Stillwater 1431, 3878 Yendorhut Yes Serenity Venery on bridge just East of U of B 30 mins - help a group of strangers find their ship and see something wonderful at the end (gone as of 12/20)
Nomads Paradise -1533, 2519 Voyna No A tale begins (Une histoire commence) Across road from S Thouhgt
Nomads Paradise -1424, 2750 akc2 No meeting with Anubis (french + english) Close to the cs
Meroe 809, -3651 GONE Katezinha Yes The Scatterbrained Oracle Just West of CS
Meroe 834, -3630 Elfus No Marr the Vampire Just between 2 beetle sculptures, near the breezeaway Basic, short story, easy venery (Outdated, thanks to ppl removing meroe's conflict shrine)
Meroe 835, -3636 Astrina No A bag of Cartouches A path of wisdom and discovery. 10-15 minutes to complete, entire run is close to Meroe CS (starts just north) (appears to be unsolvable now -- a mosaic for the 5th step no longer exists).
Meroe 832, -3633 SunnyOne No Miuty's Children Choose your own adventure. Near the intersection, just north of Meroe CS. Should only take 5 - 10 minutes. All close to Meroe cs.
Queen's Retreat 594, -6151 Dreasimy Yes The PATH-OPENER, Keeper of the Names Just north of the CS, across the road, in front of the Mentor Shrine in front of the Breezeway 15 - 30 minutes, 230 coord max travel from start
Queen's Retreat 593, -6144 Traak No Shroomers Delight Quick, fun, shrooms Just north of CS, near the EoH
Queen's Retreat 593, -6149 Wampak Yes A Guild's Tale One guild's epic journey... - in rhymes! (10-20 mins) Just north of CS, across the road etc... (next to Dreasimy's venery!)
Queen's Retreat 593, -6149 GONE Ptahiah No How the Waste was Won... Danger! Excitement! Despicable villains, attractive heroic people with hats and Marmalade! (booo! hisss!) Just north of CS, across the road etc... (next to the other QR veneries, with a big flower behind it)
Adn 1045, 6955 Hily Yes Hilly's little thought Little funny and easy to do Near the CS

Recent winning Veneries

Semi-automatic Recognized Puzzles list