Hatchet head (dragon)
Unstable Foundations was removed after an update.
The contents of this page no longer exist in RuneScape, and this article is kept for historical purposes.
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Unstable Foundations (also Roddeck's Cellars) was a quest that new players complete when creating and learning how to use their character. It was a tutorial quest, and replaced Tutorial Island on 17 September 2009. This quest was a remake of the tutorial quest Learning the Ropes. The quest involved slaying a dragon in order to escape a cellar with the help of Sir Vant, a knight from the White Knight's Castle. The quest was removed in a hidden update on 25 May 2011, leaving introductory tasks as the new one. Unstable Foundations was fully voiced.


Creating your character

Main article: Account creation
Unstable Foundations map

Before you get started, you must create your character. You must fill in a few things: Gender, Head, and Body options. The Mouse menu is to choose how many mouse buttons you have: one or two. The Gender menu lets you decide your character's gender (male or female). The Head menu lets you decide what your character's hair, skin, and beard will look like. The Body menu lets the player decide what the avatar's clothing and body will look like. Please note that whichever character you choose will not affect any of your stats or equipment. The Creating your Character part of the tutorial reminds you that all settings can always be changed at a later date.

The mentor

Squire Killed

Sir Vant's squire is incinerated by the dragon's attack.

After you customise your character, you must speak to Sir Vant, a White Knight. He will tell you that he is there to fight a large, dangerous dragon. A cutscene will follow, with Sir Vant attempting to defeat the dragon and a puff of stray dragonbreath killing Sir Vant's squire.

Defeating the goblin

While he is fighting the dragon, a goblin will come and start rummaging through Sir Vant's pack. He will ask you to kill the goblin for him. Use the deceased squire's equipment to slay the goblin, who is easier to defeat than other goblins.

Drugging the dragon

Climbing over low wall

A player walking on the ramp

Once the goblin is defeated, Sir Vant asks you to place some drugged meat in the Dragon's food bowl near the pillars. Sir Vant cannot move from the doorway so you will have to climb over the wall. The ledge is too high to climb, so players will have to take the plank which is also in that area and make a ramp to climb over the shorter wall on the east. If you try to walk in front of the dragon Sir Vant would shout a warning and you would automatically run away.

After you use the drugged meat on the bowl, the dragon smells the meat and your character will run to a hole. Sir Vant will shoo the dragon away, causing it to walk up to the meat, eat it, and fall asleep.

Slaying the dragon

Dragon Dead

The roof has colapsed on top of the dragon.

After the dragon falls asleep, Sir Vant asks the player to get his equipment from his pack. After this equipment is gathered, he asks the player to help him set fire to the pillars and crush the dragon.

First the cloth must be soaked in oil from Sir Vant's oil can, then ripped apart (or you can rip the cloth in half first, and then soak each of the strips in oil). Next, the oily strips of cloth must be placed upon the wooden pillars, and then, finally, the fuses must be placed upon the pillars by using the fuses on the pillars.

After the pillars have been prepared, talk to Sir Vant and he will ask the player to give him a tinderbox (use the tinderbox on him) and then use the tinderbox on the pillar farthest from Sir Vant. Sir Vant and the player will light the pillars simultaneously, causing the ceiling to fall on the dragon and kill it. The ceiling will not collapse until the player has run to safety.

Congratulations, the dragon has been slain!

Escaping the cellar

Roddeck will now walk in from his cupboard door to thank you for ridding him of the dragon and to offer his services as an advisor for you. Upon asking how to get out of the cellar you will be offered two choices - to mine your way out or to chop through some roots to escape. Pick one and you will be given either a bronze hatchet for chopping or a bronze pickaxe for mining.

Walk over to the roots or rocks blocking your path behind where the dragon was killed and try to mine or chop your way out, depending on which skill you chose earlier. You will be unsuccessful and be advised to level up your mining or woodcutting to level 2 to remove the blockage.

Follow the instructions to set yourself the objective of gaining level 2 mining/woodcutting and then chop/mine the indicated roots/rocks until you reach level 2. Although you have a choice to keep mining/woodcutting the roots/rocks until you reach level 3 which then Sir Vant will tell you to hurry up and unblock the blockage. Each root/rock gives 42 experience, and two is needed to reach level 2.

Now go back to the blockage and try again, this time you will succeed, and receive root chippings if you chose to woodcut, or stone clippings if you chose to mine. Go through the passage you have created and talk to Roddeck once more. After this, ascend the ladder to freedom to complete the quest!


Unstable Foundations (mining) reward
Unstable Foundations (woodcutting) reward
  • 1 quest point
  • Level 4 Mining/Woodcutting (depends on which way you escaped the cellar)
  • The ability to chat freely if you are age 13 and up
  • The ability to explore RuneScape
  • The services of Roddeck, an advisor
  • 20 coins (from the tutorial tasks)
  • The ability to attack
  • The ability to pick up items
  • The ability to shop and earn money



Tutorial changes

Mod Ash explains the reasoning behind the tutorial changes.

  • Upon the completion of this quest, one's Adventurer's Log read: "I found myself in the strange world of RuneScape, only to be confronted by a lumbering dragon! Still, I played my part and saved Lumbridge with Sir Vant."
  • Previously, there were three food bowls, only one of which was the correct one.
  • Unstable Foundations, at one point, was the only content in the game where the player character was voiced.
  • As of 22 October 2011, sometimes when opening the quests bar, Unstable Foundations can be seen.
  • After an update, new players will spawn at Explorer Jack's house, and have to go down to the cellar by themselves. After that, they just need to talk to Sir Vant to start and finish the quest.
  • If you ran to the north-east part of the cellar and searched the crates, you could take a cabbage from one.


Audio options icon
Ooh, shiny!.ogg
The goblin voice.