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Getting Lured in the Lumbridge Swamp Caves

I was once successfully lured into the Lumbridge Swamp Caves back in my earlier days on RuneScape. Somewhat annoyingly, I can no longer remember with much accuracy when this occurred; my best estimate is sometime during mid/late 2005, though it might possibly have happened even as late as the beginning of 2006. Regardless, I am still able to recall quite well the event itself.

The luring began in (to the best of my memory) Draynor Village. (I remember that we approached the cave entrance from the west, so the fact that we had walked over from nearby Draynor Village is quite plausible.) I was probably relaxing somewhere near the bank when I noticed the chat messages of another player who was trying to get everyone's attention and get us to follow him somewhere; what excuse he provided to entice other players to do this I can no longer remember—most likely he claimed it was to see something cool—but regardless it was somewhat effective, for I (and some other players) became interested and decided to follow him. After a little while, when a sufficient number of players (maybe around 10) were following him, he decided that it was time to lead us to his destination.

By this time, I had been playing RuneScape daily for at least several months, and was, at the very least, not a total newcomer to the game. I had been scammed a few times already, and was well aware that there were dangerous areas of the game world where I could be killed; most of all I knew never to follow a stranger into the Wilderness, and, in fact, there were probably accusations that the lurer was attempting to lead us there, but he assured us that this wasn't the case, which was actually true: after a short walk southeast from Draynor Village, we arrived at the entrance to the Lumbridge Swamp Caves in the southwestern section of Lumbridge Swamp.

Upon reaching the entrance, the lurer either instructed each of us to buy a candle from the NPC next to the entrance, or else gave a candle to everyone who was following him (I cannot remember anymore which was the case, though he would have been smart to do the latter, as the aforementioned NPC sells candles for 1,000 coins each, and providing them to us for free would have increased our trust in him). After checking that everyone had a lit candle, the lurer then told us to click on the cave entrance to head into the caves. At this point, I recall vaguely, one or two players grew suspicious and refused to follow him any further, and probably also began warning the rest of us that the caves were dangerous and that we were likely being lured. Naturally the lurer downplayed or denied these claims, and, alas, in my ignorance (I had never been in the Lumbridge Swamp Caves before) and misplaced trust I ignored them, and proceeded to descend into the caves with the lurer and most of the other players who were still following him.

Once inside, the lurer again called for everyone to follow him, which all of us did; he then proceeded to lead us around the caves. By now, I had become cautiously alert: this was my first time venturing into the Lumbridge Swamp Caves, and I was vigilant for any high-level monsters which might be present in the area. However, because all the monsters in the caves that our group encountered had a combat level which was considerably lower than my own at that time, and because none of them auto-attacked me, I falsely believed that, for me, the caves were low-risk, and that I was secure walking around in them.

Not very long after we had entered the caves, I heard a small explosion, my view of the game world suddenly became almost entirely dark, and my character received a not insignificant amount of damage to his hitpoints; in addition, I noticed that many of the other players had also received a similar amount of damage, and when I checked the chat box, I saw a message from the game informing me that swamp gas had caused my candle to explode and injure my character. I was very surprised at this, but because my character still had most of his hitpoints, I was not much alarmed. In short time, however, a message appeared in my chat box informing me that small insects were swarming around my character, and very soon afterwards I suddenly found myself witnessing my character (as well as most of the other players) receiving small amounts of damage very rapidly (i.e., a few times each second).

I can still recall the utter panic I felt as a kid back then upon seeing this happen before my eyes. I remember vividly that I attempted desperately to use a ring of dueling I had equipped to teleport out of the caves, but, unfortunately, because the ring presents a menu in the chat box that is automatically closed whenever the player character takes damage, I was unable to successfully use it to escape. The only other thing which I thought to do was to eat all the food I happened to be carrying in my inventory at the time, but this only delayed things, and finally I watched helplessly as my character's hitpoints were quickly reduced to zero and he died. (Today I am aware, of course, that you can merely relight the candle with a tinderbox to stop the damage from the insects, but back then I either did not know this or did not even have a tinderbox in my inventory, and had only acquired the lit candle in the first place because the lurer had given it to me prior to my entering the caves.)

I was incredibly upset over this, and I don't exaggerate when I say that, as kid in those days who was completely obsessed with RuneScape, I thought that this was the end of the world—or, at least, the end of my RuneScape world. Up till then I had played the game very cautiously, and as a result had never once died while carrying anything valuable; it therefore came as a great shock to me when my character was killed so quickly, and especially in a beginner's area like Lumbridge. I lost some of the most valuable items on my account, and because this occurred back when I was still quite poor and well before I discovered a reliable and reasonably quick method of making money within the game, it truly felt like a devastating loss from which I would never recover.

After this initial distress had passed, though, I began working to regain all the items I had lost, and it didn't take me very long to do so. As I look back on this event today, I realize that, despite how upset I was at the time, it was a valuable experience: I learned that it was very possible to be lured in locations other than the Wilderness, and I grew far more suspicious of other players, particularly those whom I suspected of being possible lurers. Getting lured (as well as scammed) at least once is, I think, a natural and important learning experience for every RuneScape player, for it is by that direct experience that each player becomes alert and knows how to guard himself against any future attempted lures/scams. It is far better that the players rely on their own knowledge and common sense to protect themselves, rather than Jagex attempting to protect the players by implementing terrible updates (e.g. the Wilderness ditch) that alter important game mechanics.

And, finally, getting lured that day profoundly affected my attitude towards the Lumbridge Swamp Caves. For a long time afterwards I hated and was greatly—and even irrationally—fearful of the area, and avoided returning to it for any reason. I remember once, not long after I had been lured into the caves, I was training my Slayer skill when I received a Slayer assignment which I believed was too difficult for me, whereupon I went to Turael in Burthorpe to get an easier assignment. Unfortunately, he assigned cave bugs as my Slayer task, which I soon learned, to my great frustration and anger, could be found only in the Lumbridge Swamp Caves; as I could not change my task again, for a long time I was simply unable to advance my Slayer level any further because I absolutely refused to enter the caves again. (Eventually, however, I got tired of my Slayer skill being stuck, and briefly ventured down into the caves while carrying an absurd number of lit bullseye lanterns to kill the required number of cave bugs.) Even today, more than 15 years after getting lured, I still dislike going into the Lumbridge Swamp Caves—it is easily my least favorite area of RuneScape.


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This page last modified on 29 June 2021.