|Release date||19 December 2012 (Update)|
|End date||14 January 2013 (Update)|
|Head developer||Stephen R|
|Preceded by||A Towering Feast (2011)|
|Succeeded by||Up to Snow Good (2013)|
A Stray in a Manger is the 2012 Christmas holiday event. In the event, the player must help their snow imp, who has become Santa Claus to the pets of Gielinor. On the advice of the snow imp, players find stray dogs who want to have a new purpose as their Christmas wish to help power the snow imp's sleigh.
Speak to the Snow imp near the Draynor lodestone, which is north of the village. If you already had a snow imp from earlier events, it will be the same imp - with the 'Claus' title, otherwise you'll receive a new one. He will explain about the different types of Christmases for different races and that Santa Claus is in a bit of a pickle, not having enough time to distribute presents to everybody. As such, he assigned different snow imps to do different races, for example elves, dwarves and even Mahjarrat imps. Your imp has become Pet Santa and is to bring presents to all the pets. He has received letters from several stray dogs, who want a home and a purpose for Christmas. He suggests that you find the four stray dogs in different cities and magically teleport them to the imp using dog antlers, where they will become Pet Santa's reindeer. You must find a stray Dalmatian in Al Kharid, a Doberman in Draynor, a Labrador in Falador, and a Mongrel in Varrock.
Finding the Dogs
All of the dogs will be found relatively near the lodestone. Put the antlers on them and they will fly back to the snow imp.
- The doberman can be found to the south, near The Skulls Headquarters, which is an old jail block. You will find the dog north of the jail outside the yard.
- The dalmatian can be found wandering around the Al Kharid Bazaar.
- The labrador can be found near the bridge to the White Knights' Castle in Falador.
- The mongrel can be found in Varrock near Aubury's rune shop or the Blue Moon Inn.
After finding all the dogs, return to the Snow imp. He will give the dogs names. The Dalmatian is named Little 'Elper. The Doberman is named Oddie, after a scientist near Draynor. The Labrador is named Sir Chen Rescoo, because he is from Falador, home of the White Knights. The Mongrel is named Patch.
Getting the Dogs Ready
Soon after, he will whisper that they are Dragon's belly, meaning smelly. He would then like you to clean them and gives you a bucket of water for that purpose. Clean the four dogs and return to the Snow Imp. The dogs will then become reindeer for his sleigh and a cutscene will play. After a few moments, he will have the presents magically delivered and eating mince snowballs that the pets left for him.
Finding a Home
The imp will then ask you to choose a dog so that they can live with someone. He will suggest choosing between near Aggie in Draynor Village, outside the Party room with Party Pete looking after it, next to Gertrude in Varrock or in Al Kharid by the Sorcerer's Apprentice. He would give you a Kennel flat pack. After choosing a location, build the kennel at the kennel hot-spot. The Snow imp will appear after building the kennel and say you deserve a present. He will then give you a genuine Santa beard followed by regurgitating a Gift of Giving (active), which can be traded with other players for customisations to the kennel.
- Santa beard
- Stray dog pet
- Gift of Giving, which gives one of a number of possible items. The Gift of Giving may be traded with other players to receive more items. This includes:
- Customisations for Kennels
- Players will earn a "Santa" title once all the kennel customisations are unlocked
- Santa sack
- Named snow implings, which can be handed in for up to 200,000 Bonus Hunter Experience (see below).
- Stocking Fillers - miscellaneous objects, such as biscuits, roast potatoes, monkey nuts, fireworks, confetti, firecrackers, Christmas pudding, and snowballs. Receiving these items signals the end of the unique items. (Note: Players don't have to obtain all main rewards before receiving these objects.) Free players can also get purple sweets, mulled wine, yule log, turkey drumstick, charcoal, or an orange, which are members-only items. You can also receive a bubble maker.
- Customisations for Kennels
With the exception of the santa sack, all rewards from the gift of giving may also be obtained by catching Snow implings.
Members can catch snow implings appearing in certain areas around RuneScape, such as around Draynor Village and Varrock. Catching a snow impling will give a festive item, including Kennel customisations. It is also possible to catch named implings (see below) - these will be received as loot just like any other item.
Named snow implings
The Snow Imp is looking for four snow implings, named Petey, Susy, Eddy and Lucy. These may be found by either trading Gifts of Giving or by looting Snow implings. Members can take the four implings to the snow imp to receive up to 200,000 bonus Hunter experience - 50,000 experience for each.
The bonus experience is not awarded immediately. It is instead distributed as the player gains Hunter experience through training in the form of a 100% experience bonus. All implings are obtainable by opening Gift of Giving (active) or by catching snow implings.
Unlike the previous year, decorations throughout Gielinor were scarce. Only Lumbridge, Varrock, Falador and Al Kharid received minor decorations in the form of decorated pine trees, presents, wreaths and snowy trees.
- Just like all white knights; the Labrador, Sir Chen Rescoo, is a play on words. In this case, the dog is likely to be named "Search and Rescue."
- The four snow implings' names (Susy, Petey, Eddy, Lucy) are a reference to the main characters in the Chronicles of Narnia (Susan, Peter, Edmund, Lucy).
- All the dogs are named after dogs from popular culture. Snow imp's Little 'Elper is based on Santa's Little Helper, from The Simpsons. Oddie is based on Odie, from the Garfield franchise.
- After completing the quest, the Snow imp will allow the character to build a kennel for their new pet using a simple 'Imp-kea' flatpack. This is a reference to the Swedish DIY warehouse IKEA.
- After the cutscene, a scorchmark trail with flames appears behind the sled, a reference to Back to the Future, since the Snow Imp is able to deliver the world's presents in a matter of seconds.
- This is the first fully-voice acted holiday event quest.
- The Snow imp speaks using aspects of British Cockney slang, including rhyming slang when he uses the word "dragon's belly" to represent "smelly".
- The Flea circus rewards are named after a game with the same name developed by Andrew Gower in 1999.
2012 Christmas event