Battle of the Monolith

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The Battle of the Monolith is a conflict that took place during the Sixth Age some time after Zaros stole Saradomin's crown. Being one of the last pieces in his plan, Zaros turned his attention to the Monolith in the Varrock Dig Site and ordered his forces to capture it for him.

Background[edit | edit source]

Following Kerapac's attempt to sacrifice all life on Gielinor in order to kill the Elder Gods, Seren's council returned to discuss her original plan to build a garden in order to appease Bik. Azzanadra, however, became disappointed as Seren's aura increased its influence upon the council, leaving them unable to disagree with Seren. Furthermore, he was of the belief that, rather than attempting to appease the Elder Gods, the real threat lay in their unborn offspring. With that in mind, he approached the World Guardian and proposed that they find the Elder Halls in order to learn how to stop the Elder God eggs from hatching.

However, this turned out to be a ruse: while the World Guardian searched numerous sources of information in order to find the Elder Halls, Trindine secretly used those same sources to learn more about Saradomin's crown in order to steal it for Zaros. By the time the World Guardian learned of the deception, it was too late: while Azzanadra and Trindine failed to steal the crown from Saradomin, Zaros was able to do so easily. To make matters worse, the Zarosians used the Frostenhorn to amplify Zaros' loyalty aura and turn most of the Temple Knights to their cause, drastically diminishing Saradomin's forces on Gielinor. Following the Zarosians to Kharid-et, the World Guardian was able to overhear Zaros commanding his forces to prepare to capture the Monolith, seemingly the final step in his grand plan.

The Battle[edit | edit source]

The beginning[edit | edit source]

Arriving at the Varrock Dig Site, Azzanadra, Char and Nex led the Temple Knights towards the Monolith; however, Seren and Saradomin had formed an alliance in order to stop them, and, joined by Crux Eqal, sent their own warriors and knights to defend it. The World Guardian assisted the alliance by taking Helwyr, Commander Zilyana and Thaerisk Cemphier under their command, helping them repel the Temple Knights and the abyssal prowlers as they made for the Monolith.

Meanwhile, Saradomin found himself facing Nex in combat. Though she summoned a cadre of Temple Knights to fight him, he disposed of them easily before pursuing Nex. In spite of his power, Saradomin found himself pushed to the limit as he simultaneously battled and defended his troops from Nex, who clearly relished the challenge. Exchanging blow after blow, they found themselves evenly matched, unable to gain any significant advantage over the other.

The Shadow Breach[edit | edit source]

After a week of fighting, the battle had become an intractable stalemate. Forced to intervene personally, Zaros teleported to the battlefield, his very presence dragging the battle to a halt. Expressing his disappointment in his followers, Zaros found himself confronted by Seren, who tried once more to stop him. To the surprise of everyone present, Zaros revealed he in fact intended to leave Gielinor, deeming it a lost cause. Insisting that he owed the Elder Gods nothing and that they were not family, he told Seren that the only way to stop him would be for her to kill him; ultimately, Seren could not bring herself to do it and vanished from the scene.

A confused Azzanadra asked Zaros if he truly intended to leave, to which Zaros elaborated that the Monolith, an Elder Artefact otherwise known as the Codex, was originally built to seal the Shadow Breach, a tear in reality that connected to another universe and that constantly leaked shadow anima, which was harmful to Gielinor. Azzanadra realized Zaros was talking about Erebus, the Zarosian afterlife, which Zaros confirmed. Since he could not find what he was looking for in this universe, Zaros planned to travel to Erebus in order to treat with those who ruled there. Having stolen a vat of shadow anima from Raksha's prison and Saradomin's crown, Zaros had the means to both protect and guide himself in Erebus, which was a world brimming with shadow anima; and with Mah's core, he would have an offering for the rulers of Erebus. Though Azzanadra offered to go with Zaros, he immediately refused, on the grounds that Azzanadra would not survive the trip. Azzanadra decided to, in his absence, prepare Gielinor for his return, to which Zaros merely told him to do as he wished.

His path unobstructed, Zaros forced the Monolith to open and entered the Shadow Breach. Shortly after, however, creatures of shadow began to pour from the portal, which also began to slowly leak shadow anima. Realizing the danger they were in, Azzanadra immediately proposed a truce in order to fight off the invaders and close the portal; a truce with Saradomin begrudgingly accepted. Placing Nex under the World Guardian's command, all the forces present united to contain the new threat.

In the ensuing days, the alliance fought wave after wave of shadow cacklers, far too numerous to approach the Monolith safely. Char had been using the Frostenhorn in order to support her allies and amplify their strength, but now she was forced to do so almost constantly. At one point, however, she came under attack by a massive shadow beast, necessitating that Nex and Saradomin save her. Even though the three of them focused their efforts to slay the behemoth, their attacks only made it stagger. Instead, they elected to keep it away from the frontline, knowing that their human allies would not stand a chance.

Reinforcements[edit | edit source]

As the battle dragged on, the alliance found itself being slowly outnumbered by the shadow cacklers, whose numbers seemed almost limitless, while their own forces were being whittled as more and more knights became too injured to fight. And to make matters worse, the Shadow Breach was emitting so much shadow anima that just being near the portal was harmful. Wahisietel and Trindine, who were not actively participating in the battle, suggested that the World Guardian bring reinforcements. Since there were few Aviansie on Gielinor at the time, Armadyl was on Tarddiad and the Zamorakians both had reason to turn against every faction present and had been conspicuously uncooperative thus far, the World Guardian suggested appealing to the TokHaar, who had built Gielinor under the direction of the Elder Gods. Not only would they want to protect the very world they had built with their own hands, they had ample combat experience after constantly fighting each other in the Elder Kiln. Seeing this as a viable suggestion, Wahisietel and Trindine beckoned the World Guardian to do so with the utmost haste before they lost more of their forces.

Travelling to TzHaar City under the Karamja Volcano, the World Guardian met with TokHaar-Hok, who acted as the voice of the TokHaar. Hok was able to smell traces of shadow anima on the World Guardian and immediately knew something was wrong. Quickly explaining the situation at hand, the World Guardian requested that the TokHaar help the alliance repel the invaders. Hok was not able to provide an answer, however, and instead began to search their memory in order to see if the Elder Gods had left them with a protocol that would tell them how to act in such a contingency. Seeing that Hok was taking too long to answer, the World Guardian decided to return to the Varrock Dig Site.

Meanwhile, the alliance was fighting with everything they had to contain the invasion, but even with the power of the Frostenhorn their strength was being depleted while the behemoths seemed to become even stronger every time one showed up. Nex herself had become so exhausted she was caught off guard by one and was knocked off the sky. Before she could strike back, however, the ground began to quake and crack open as waves of heat washed over the battlefield: the TokHaar had come. Emerging from the earth and proclaiming their presence, TokHaar-Hok began to battle the same behemoth who attacked Nex. Though the behemoth managed to shatter his body, an unconcerned Hok simply replaced it with a new one while summoning more TokHaar to assist him. Chanting in a primordial tongue Nex couldn't recognize, the TokHaar swiftly disposed of the behemoth by burying it in a burning chasm. Declaring their intention to eliminate the invaders, the TokHaar joined the alliance.

One enemy for another[edit | edit source]

With the assistance of the TokHaar, the alliance was finally able to repel the invaders. Char, believing they had truly won, blew the Frostenhorn near the Codex. However, its ability to amplify energy caused it to amplify the residual shadow anima, dragging her into Erebus. Azzanadra then took it to himself to close the Codex, successfully doing so, but the backlash caused him to ascend into a god in the process.

The TokHaar, while content that the shadow creatures had been repelled, realized that too much anathema had leaked into Gielinor during the battle. Seeing that Gielinor was now ruined, they convened and agreed that everything would have to be dismantled, starting with their former allies for causing it and began attacking them, much to their surprise.

Azzanadra was still left dazed from his ascension, much to Nex's concern as the battle continued to rage outside. Nex then left Azzanadra and returned to the battlefield, where she spotted a TokHaar and pounced on it. The TokHaar grabbed Nex by her wings and slammed her to the ground, upon which she launched a shadow ball to stumble it back. Nex then taunted the TokHaar, angering it and causing the ground to tremble. Remembering the fate of the shadow behemoth, Nex took to the air, and unsure of what it was trying to do, resolved to finish the fight quickly and dived at it. The TokHaar, having been used to fighting its own kind, braced itself, but Nex feinted to the side, knocking the TokHaar to the ground.

Nex then demanded an explanation from the TokHaar as it tried to pinwheel her. The TokHaar stated that it was the protocol, prompting Nex to ask what it would think of itself after finishing it task. The TokHaar hesitated before stating that the masters' words were absolute. Nex then felt a lick of fire, realizing too late that TokHaar-Hok was about to attack her and she reflexively raised her hands in response, thinking of Char and believing she was about to die.

Instead, the fires were stopped by a shimmering barrier, revealed to be Saradomin's doing. Hok then readied for another attack, just as the TokHaar Nex had pinned got back up on its feet. The pair worked together to fight the new enemy, with Saradomin smashing Hok with such force that he was sent flying into a wall of ice spikes Nex had conjured. The smaller TokHaar charged at them but was kept in place by Nex's barrier. Nex then saw more figures in the smoke, realizing that the TokHaar were coordinating to surround them.

Neither felt the chill descending upon the battlefield, until Nex spotted Hok's shell emitting steam. A wall of ice then surrounded Hok and exploded, shattering him into shards of obsidian. As the smoke cleared, Azzanadra was seen on Wahisietel's arm.

Elsewhere, the TokHaar attempted to march on the Codex to destroy it, but they were repulsed by the World Guardian and the remaining forces.

Eventually, having fought the alliance for days on end without being able to defeat them and having lost countless of their own, the Tokhaar decided to collect the Tokkul of their fallen and return to the lava in order to replenish their numbers for the future.

Unforeseen consequences[edit | edit source]

While the alliance was relieved that the battle was effectively over, things remained tense between Saradomin and the Zarosians, who were able to part ways peacefully, if on less than friendly terms. A common agreement was made that the Monolith should remain under guard.

Azzanadra, for his part, gifted the World Guardian with a Shard of Erebus as a sign of gratitude for their assistance, as well as an apology for his own role in the whole affair. Although he was less than enthused at the idea of being a god and still felt that his actions had been necessary in the long-term, he remained confident that Zaros would eventually return.

However, thanks to all the shadow anima that had seeped into Gielinor through the Shadow Breach, the eggs of the Elder Gods were stirred from their slumber and prepared to hatch.