Mad King Thorn hasn’t been seen in 250 years and has become more of a character in a fairy tale story to amuse young children. But those that know the truth realize that King Oswald Thorn’s past was no laughing matter. As a child, his pranks included feeding peppers to animals in order to torture them. He soon graduated to more despicable actions like luring his brother in a giant spider’s web. As an adult, he killed his own father to ascend to throne and held extravagant feasts though the people of Kryta were suffering from famine. His laundry list of vile deeds steadily grew and included skinning villagers alive and marrying eight times, each with untimely and gruesome ends. An angry mob eventually overwhelmed the Mad King’s defenses and put a stop to his brutal rule. The mob, however, was so enraged by his years of terror that they dismembered his body.
His spirit lives on in the Underworld, but fortunately—due to powerful magical seals—he is only able to materialize in Tyria once per year on Halloween. The Mad King has foul servants, called the Lunatic Court, that seek to unmake the seals and set his evil spirit free. Only one seal was ever known to be broken and the Mad King’s story has become a distant legend. But this year—the 500th anniversary of the Mad King’s death—something feels different. The scholars of the Durmond Priory sense that something is amiss and have dispatched some of their finest to research odd energy readings in Lion’s Arch. What strange secrets will you help them uncover?
Shadow of the Mad King
Halloween is alive and kicking in Tyria and if you’re looking to get involved in the festivities before they end next week, you’ve come to the right place. The Shadow of the Mad King is a holiday event in four acts. The first act has already begun with subsequent acts going live up until Halloween. ArenaNet has tweeted, however, that the finale will actually be midday Pacific time on October 28. So make sure you clear out your plans for Sunday if you want to experience it.
To begin unraveling the clues about the strange energy readings the Durmond Priory has discovered, head to the Grand Piazza in Lion’s Arch and talk to Magister Tassi. She’ll send you an in-game mail with a Candy-Powered Matter Meter (CPMM) along with some candy corn to get you started. One candy corn will allow you to use the CPMM four times and your first goal is to talk to the ghost, Serene, who is standing right next to Magister Tassi. Use the CPMM to scan the etheric field (action button 3) and talk to her.
Serene will give you a book that reveals some gruesome details about the Mad King’s childhood and give you clues as to where you should search next. There are six books in total in this spooky scavenger hunt and after turning them in to Magister Tassi, you’ll have to wait until act 2 commences to continue your quest. For complete details on where to locate the other five books, check out my video guide.
The costume brawl is a mini-game free-for-all romp that pits disguised players against each other for fun and achievements. Players who have purchased the witch or Mad King costume from the gem store can lay down cauldrons and ghostly banquet tables which allow everyone to join in the brawl! In addition, using tonics, toy items, costumes, or jumping into the Mystic Forge will also transform you so there are tons of ways to get into the game. Each disguise grants you a new set of abilities and then it’s just a matter of finding other costumed players to beat down! While mostly just for fun, if you manage to get your score high enough without getting knocked out, you’ll earn achievements for becoming “King of the Costume Brawl”. But be warned, having that illustrious title puts a giant crown icon over your character so you’re sure to be everyone’s next target!
You’ll find each of these items sprinkled around Tyria in random places. You can knock on Haunted Doors for a chance at a personalized trick-or-treat bag or a trick, which spawns a host of Halloween-themed bad guy for you to destroy and loot. Gendarren Fields appears to be a popular spot to locate these nightmarish portals.
Candy Corn mining nodes are a great way to stock up on the sugary sweet. These candied morsels are used as currency for spooky weapon skins, new crafting recipes, and for acquiring the final part of the October monthly achievement.
Carving 150 pumpkins during the event unlocks achievements and the Master Carver title for you to enjoy forever. Hold down the ctrl key to make it easier to find any nearby pumpkins and be on the lookout for guides like this one to make your search easier.
Black Lion Trading Company
The gem store has been updated with all sorts of Halloween-themed item, but if you’re interested in acquiring them, you have to act fast as many of the items will be available for a limited time only. There are several new town clothes items including a Witch/Warlock costume and a Mad King’s outfit, which include roleplaying skills for equipping them. (By the way, the witch costume on an asura is something not to be missed.) PvP fans can purchase Mad King and Scarecrow finishers to add insult to injury to their slain foes. There are also new scary tonics, personalized trick-or-treat bags, and a new trio of spooky mini-pets. Everyone should visit the store and pick up a free pair of devil horns. If you’re interested in seeing what any of these items look like, click here for a video preview.
Crafting and Mystic Forge Recipes
Several haunting crafting recipes are now available in Lion’s Arch including tonics for artificers and new yummy snacks for chefs. There are also ways to get the temporary Halloween-themed weapons as permanent items, but be warned the materials are quite difficult to obtain.
Pick up some personalized trick-or-treat bags for a chance at some new sigil and rune recipes. Folks are also making good use of the Mystic Forge to discover new levels of awesomeness. Did you buy the three new spooky minis from the gem store? Throw them into the Mystic Forge along with 250 pieces of candy corn and get an exclusive chainsaw-wielding skeleton mini!
And So Much More
ArenaNet has slipped in so many interesting little nuances into this patch, it’s impossible to list them all. They really want to encourage players to explore and experiment. There are reports of players using the Candy-powered Matter Meter to uncover all sorts of hidden goodies. Talk to kids running around Lion’s Arch and give them candy corn in exchange for treat bags. Check out your achievements page for a whole list of holiday-inspired goals. There’s also a new mini-dungeon called the Forsaken Halls in the Dredgehaunt Cliffs, though this is likely a permanent (non-holiday) fixture in Tyria. Lastly, if you’re one of the disgruntled folks who have opened a ton of Black Lion chests hoping for some Halloween-inspiried weaponry, take heart. ArenaNet is looking to add a way to convert your unwanted treasures into the haunted items you seek!
ArenaNet has knocked the ball out of the park with this holiday event. On top of everything listed, we still have three more acts to uncover, including the finale on Sunday! We’re interested in hearing about your Halloween adventures in Tyria. Let us know what you’ve discovered in the comments section below!