The City Before Us

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The City Before Us
MissionTitle TheCityBeforeUs.png
Region: Valley of the Sun God
Zone: Scorched Desert
Start Location: Al-Merayah Foundations
Start Coords: (468,325)
End location: Marya Encampment
Given by: Time Tomb (Al-Merayah Foundations)
Type: Sabotage
Recommended Level: 39
Requires: The City Beneath Us
Reward: 8,100 Experience
Repeatable: Yes
Story Arc: The Last Train to Cairo
Previous Mission: The City Beneath Us
Next Mission: The Last Train to Cairo
Game Version: SWLicon.png SWL
Added in: Update 2.0
Map Old Merayah.jpg

Stopping the delivery of a dangerous and unstable Third Age explosive first depends on recovering a containment device. Travel to the past and find a functioning version of the broken ark.

Journal Entries

Mission Sabotage.png The City Before Us       Main Mission
REPEATABLE (Recommended Level 39)
Stopping the delivery of a dangerous and unstable Third Age explosive first depends on recovering a containment device. Travel to the past and find a functioning version of the broken ark.
Tier 1
Another mysterious time tomb has been uncovered beneath al-Merayah. Make use of it to disrupt the cultist operation while discovering more about the past.
  • Enter the Time Tomb
Tier 2
Thinis, 1897 BCE. al-Merayah was built from the rubble of that ancient capital, just as it - Thinis - was built from remnants of golden clockworks and - deeper still - broken ziggurats and cathedrals. All were lured by what came before, clawing back to the first wreckage, the forgotten.
  • Find a functioning ark in al-Merayah's past.
Tier 3
History will seek to conserve itself. Your influence is limited. Objects can be manipulated, but important things - like the ark - cannot simply be removed and taken out of time. They must be replaced.
  • Take the functioning ark
  • Replace it with the fake ark
  • Put the broken ark in its place.
  • Escape the trap
Tier 4
The mechanics of the time tombs remain a mystery, as do the temporal laws that govern their use. But the impulse of those who created them is clear: to claw back and recover what's been broken or lost. You have taken what you need. Now put it to good use.
  • Bury the functioning ark in a safe place
  • Return to the present
  • Recover the functioning ark
Tier 5
You now have the means to secure the destructive device in the hands of the cultists. All that's left is to find and catch them. Saïd will contact who he needs to to pinpoint their location. But you'll need another ally to get you there in time.
  • Find the boldest driver in the desert.


There are 5 tiers to this mission.

Tier 1/5

Tier 2/5

  • Find a functioning ark in al-Merayah's past
    • The door to the south-east is blocked, but there is a 3-rune puzzle. The runes will light up based on which one you push. The goal is to light up all 3 in order to get the door to open.
      • Each rune changes the status (on/off, light/blank) of itself, and usually at least one rune around it. The early puzzles are pretty easy to brute force, but paying attention will make the later puzzles easier. From this door, you can learn that:
        • The "7" rune triggers itself and one rune to the left
        • The "II" rune triggers itself and one rune above it
        • The "III" rune triggers only itself
      • Attempt #1 = "III" over "II" and "7" - quickest order is III, 7
    • In the next room there will be runes that light up on the pillars and the far doorway. The runes are II, III, 7, n. There are also the same runes on various tiles on the floor. Only step on a rune on the floor if the symbol on that tile is lit up on the pillar/doorway. Wait for a rune to light up. When it does, step on the floor tiles for that rune. When you can't move - wait for the 2nd rune to go dark and a new one to light up. Then move onto the tiles for the one that just lit up. Keep repeating until you get to the far side.
      • Stepping on the wrong tile - one that does not have a rune lit up - causes a gyser of fire that does 475-500 points of damage every 0.5 seconds.
      • You do not take durability hits when you become exhausted and respawn.
    • Once you're past the fire trap you'll be at a doorway that is again blocked. This time there are 4 runes to light up
      • The new rune, a weird "n" shape, triggers itself and one rune each to the left and below
      • Attempt #1 = "III" and "n" over "II" and "7" - one solution is II, n, III
    • Run up the stairs and come to another blocked door, this time 5 runes.
      • The new rune, "I1", triggers itself, two runes in the row beneath it, and the bottom left rune
      • Attempt #1 = "I1" over "III" and "n" over "II" and "7" - one solution is I1, II, III, 7
    • In the next room will be a Custodian of Time. You must fight him down to under 11,000 health, and then it enters a heal mode (watch out for it's knockback) open the lock puzzle. This time there will be 6 runes to light up. You may have to fight him back down into heal mode a couple of times depending on how quickly you solve the puzzle. An alternative is to have one person working the door puzzle and someone else keeping him busy. Once the puzzle is solved and the door opened, he deactivates.
      • Attempt #1 = "I1" and "III1" over "III" and "n" over "II" and "7" - order was III1, n, II, III
    • When you pass through the door onto a balcony overlooking a sunken area, the quest will advance

Tier 3/5

  • Take the functioning ark
    • NOTE: This mission has been buggy for groups. If you are with a group - make sure every one is standing right next to the pedestal when the ark is taken and replaced. It can be very difficult to advance the mission for anyone who misses it.
    • Take it off the pedestal on the dais
    • NOTE: Before proceeding - make sure you have sprint turned on. Once you do the next step, you want to run to the stairs and get up out of this area.
  • Put the broken ark in its place.
    • Use the white [ ] brackets on the pedestal to put the broken on in it's place
  • Escape the trap
    • Run for the stairs and then up and out. The entire floor will become covered with fire very quickly and you need to out run it
    • After you pass the defunct Custodian of Time a cutscene will play, and then you need to run quickly down the stairs while a boulder chases you.
    • On the way out, the fire tiles on the floor are disabled and are safe to run over
      • Again, this has been buggy in groups. In a group, everyone will be able to run out except for the one person seeing the cutscene. That person will wind up behind the boulder and will die the moment they try to pass it after it stops.

Tier 4/5

  • Bury the functioning ark in a safe place
    • Head down to the ground and along the path leading to the north-east
    • When you get to the top of the path, there will be white [] brackets under a tree. They are mostly buried and can be hard to see. Located at (516,497). You might want to take the Lore at (552,492) before burying.
  • Return to present day
    • Head back to the time tomb and use it
    • Cutscene will play
  • Recover the functioning ark
    • Head up the path to the north-east. You'll have to fight your way through again
    • The location will be marked on your map. It's the flat tiled spot, overlooking the Time Tomb. The [] brackets are at (516,496)
    • You'll get a text message from Saïd

Tier 5/5


Dragon.png FROM: The Dragon
To: <Character Name>
SUBJECT: The City Before Us
The models have cleared you to board a train heading to Cairo and to stop the delivery of the occult device. Not that you think you need our consent or confirmation. You work with who you want to, open unauthorised messages, slip through history like your own personal we dream. You are a variable. You are energy.

The Kingdom was responsible for Tokyo, in part. They delivered the weapon, ensured its safe pass out of Egypt. Now - in the name of balance - they appear driven to undo what they have done.

Behind the iron and wit, the strange shamble and designer affectations, no one is more desperate to stop a second Tokyo than Saïd. That is precisely what he wants us to think.

Illuminati.png FROM: The Labyrinth
To: <Character Name>
SUBJECT: The City Before Us
Saïd – I’m assuming you’ve pieced together how exactly he was involved in the Tokyo incident. Still not sure if his current whimsy is being dictated by genuine regret or if he’s got some other angle. I’d respect him more if there was another angle. Otherwise it’s just sad.

Either way, you should have everything you need now to put an end to the Atenist operation. Container, contained, coordinates, etc.

They’re on a train heading towards a Phoenician ship waiting for them in Cairo. Explain to me why you’re not already on it?


Templars.png FROM: Temple Hall
To: <Character Name>
SUBJECT: The City Before Us
You understand now why we can never fully trust the Kingdom. Their involvement in the Tokyo attack may not have been direct. They certainly had nothing to do with the who, where, why, or when.

However, they were instrumental in organising the initial excavation and getting that first destructive device safely out of Egypt. And now here we are - ostensibly working with them to keep it from happening again! It is times like this I find the job most unsavoury. The ends, we must tell ourselves, not the means.

The occult device is on a train heading for Cairo. Questionable allies aside, everything should be in place for us to get back on track and stop them.

Do you see what I did there?

R. Sonnac

"Secret World Legends"
Exp.png 8100
Anima Shards.png 700
  SWL Patron Icon.png Patron Bonus
Exp.png + 810
Anima Shards.png + 105
Weapon Reward Bag.jpg 1 Weapon Reward Bag
Talisman Reward Bag.jpg 2 Talisman Reward Bag
Glyph Reward Bag.jpg 1 Glyph Reward Bag
SWL Agent Dossier Reward Icon.png 1 Agent Dossier
XP Per Tier
  • Tier 1: 1012 Exp.png
  • Tier 2: 1013 Exp.png
  • Tier 3: 1012 Exp.png
  • Tier 4: 1013 Exp.png
  • Tier 5: 4050 Exp.png



After the The City Beneath Us mission, you return to Saïd after finding a broken Ark

Saïd: Broken, is it? That's a pity.
Saïd: I take it you see how this needs to work, hm?
Saïd: Where o where can we find a functioning version of the ark?
Saïd: Or should I say, when oh when?
Saïd takes something out of his pocket
Saïd: I haven't the faintest when I got this, but I can't remember being without it.
Saïd: I suppose it once meant something to me.
Saïd: (Tossing the item to you) Chop, chop, time is of the essence.

Tier 4

Saïd: (pointing at you) Anka ka habi.
Saïd: Anka ka medu.
Saïd: (gesturing to himself) Said oo Erasmus!
Saïd: Non evole.
Saïd: (walking around you, looking at you) Kete evole eme friti.
Saïd: Hon pen oik peheh nok.
Saïd: Entenko u non um peteh.
Saïd: (gesturing to the Time Tomb) Erasmus el-Lisht.
Saïd: Ha pi pet hoa oo.
Saïd: (gesturing for you to enter the Time Tomb) Pet oik oo. Nen pi owa. Enter asti. Enter.
Saïd: Enter tardis bikura, hm?
Saïd takes the scarab out of your pocket that he gave you last time you met him
As the door to the Time Tomb closes, you can hear Saïd laughing
Saïd: Anka ka habi?

Other Information

Related Achievements


  • The language that Saïd is speaking in Tier 4 does not appear to be Egyptian, and so far has not been translatable.
  • Saïd appears to refer to the time tomb as "tardis", a reference to the British sci-fi series Doctor Who[1], whose protagonists travel through time and space in a ship of that name shaped like an old police phone box.





Solomon Island Missions ▪ Kingsmouth ▪ Savage Coast ▪ Blue Mountain
Valley of the Sun God Missions ▪ Scorched Desert ▪ City of the Sun God
Transylvania Missions ▪ Besieged Farmlands ▪ Shadowy Forest ▪ Carpathian Fangs
Tokyo Missions ▪ Kaidan
South Africa missions ▪ New Dawn
Faction Missions ▪  Dragon ▪ Illuminati ▪ Templars
Other Missions ▪  Hub Cities ▪  Scenarios ▪  Seasonal ▪  Events