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You'll receive this quest during the 339 Days Left segment of the endgame, after ruling on the status of Aurora
. The quest begins in the Treasury, where Hobson tells you about reports of a huge, valuable diamond buried deep within the desert of Aurora. Its sale could provide a large amount of money to bolster the Treasury's reserves... or fill your own pockets.
This quest takes place in Aurora, but this time you won't need to take a ship; simply fast travel there, and take the time to explore the City of Aurora if you wish, to see how it looks after your previous edict. When you're finished, head out of the city (follow the hill upwards past the Demon Door
), and you'll be in Shifting Sands, the major "wilderness" area within Aurora. Looks familiar, doesn't it? This is the same desert you were in when escaping the Crawler the first time, only now you're on the opposite end of it.
You'll likely notice an Evil Gnome
on the pillar immediately upon entering, so shoot it and then head down the steps and turn right towards the pass with the red banners in the distance. On the way there, you'll encounter some Sand Furies, who you've faced at least once before, but now they're in their native habitat. Beat up on them and then head down the pass. You'll hear another Evil Gnome
on the way, so turn left and shoot him (he's hanging from the canyon wall), and shortly you'll be face-to-face with the entrance to the Sandfall Palace, where the Desert Star lies hidden. Grab the dig spot to the right of the entrance before you head inside.
Although Sandfall Palace initially looks like a large cave, upon heading forward a bit (another dig spot on the left as you come in), you'll start to see signs of ruins, including a great stone door. You'll fight some more Sand Furies as you pass in front of it, so deal with them as usual. Before heading onward, turn to the door and you'll notice a Flit Switch above it. Shoot at it a few times, and the door will open. Inside you'll find a regular chest containing an Auroran tattoo, and more importantly a Silver Key
. You'll also have a sneak peek at the area you're about to visit.
Head back out the door and step into the open area you were just overlooking. Make your way down the walk and you'll see some Sand Furies charging towards you; ruin them in whatever way you please. Near the foot of the first set of stairs down, you'll find a Red Auroran Flower
, for the Temple's Treasure
quest. From there, turn left and take the steps down to the water, where you'll find a Green Auroran Flower
next to two palm trees. If you're up for some swimming, dive in and check near the island for a dive spot; there's another on the opposite side of the water, so swim under the bridge if you'd like that one too. Aurora is indeed a land rich with collectables.
Head back to dry land and make your way across the bridge, and you'll be attacked by some Sand Furies upon approaching the door. These girls really don't want you getting in, huh? Deal with them, and step through the door (there's nothing down the left and right stairs). You'll emerge into another large room, this one not quite as flooded. Sand Furies will attack when you enter, so again, dispose of them as you wish. If you're unconcerned with loot, simply climb up the stairs ahead of you, then follow the upper balcony around to the door. You'll once again be attacked on the way by more Sand Furies.
However, there's quite a bit to plunder in this room before you leave. First, there's a dig spot to the right of the room's entrance. For another, follow the shallow water to the left, and nearby, a Green Auroran Flower
. Continue along the same path to the end for a chest. Back at the entrance, maneuver past the stairs up, taking a left around the gear-like statue for a Blue Auroran Flower
growing in a shrine on the wall. Finally, there's an Evil Gnome
on the right wall of the room; you can either shoot him from the balcony, or from underneath.
Pockets stuffed with trinkets (or not), make your way into the next room. Ahead - the Desert Star itself! Seemingly unguarded, no less. Sadly, there's no trap doors, spiked ceilings, dart guns or giant boulders to stop you from just taking it, but when you do snatch it up, the doors will shut and you'll be attacked by a group of Sand Furies. Bit anti-climactic, unfortunately. Kill them off, then search the left alcove behind the gear-statue for a Silver Key
. All in all, this is turning out to be a very profitable venture. Leave via the door on the right side of the room.
You'll be "ambushed" by yet more Tusken Rai- er, I mean, Sand Furies, so dispose of them in the hallway, then check to the left of where you came in for a Red Auroran Flower
, the final flower in the Sandfall Palace. Proceed forward through the hallway, and you'll find more Sand Furies to butcher, along with a chest containing a complementary gemstone. Take the door to the right, and you'll find yourself on a balcony overlooking the first room. Make your way to the end of the walk for a chest containing another Auroran tattoo, then vault down to the lower level. At this point, you're done with the Sandfall Palace for good, unless you need to return for a collectable later on. Run your way back to the exit, and the Desert Star will be yours to sell.
You'll find Hobson waiting for you in the Royal Treasury. Return to him and he'll have found a buyer willing to provide you with a pretty substantial 700,000 gold. You have a choice here: either keep the money for yourself, and gain some evil points, or donate the money to the Treasury to help ensure Albion's safety, plus good karma.
Once you've made your choice, the clock will advance to Day 294