Kharidian–Zarosian War

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The Kharidian–Zarosian War[1] was a series of major battles in the northern Kharidian Lands in the Second Age. Zaros, the divine aspect of darkness, had been expanding his empire of Forinthry which shared a border with the Kharidian lands, which were ruled over by a group of gods called the Menaphite Pantheon.

The war started from simple border skirmishes, that broke out due to the Menaphites fear of the expanding Zarosian border.[2] To cope with the resulting attacks, all the troops of the Kharidian cities were dispensed to fight, and many mercenaries, such as Gram Kobold, who kept a diary on the war, were hired as well. Initially, the Zarosians were on the winning side, quickly conquering the Menaphite's terrain. Icthlarin, Menaphite god of the dead, left the planet to seek help elsewhere, and eventually arrived to the war-ridden plane of Freneskae. There, he convinced nearly five hundred of the extremely powerful race of the Mahjarrat to swear allegiance to him and vanquish the Zarosian armies, at the promise of large battle and combat. He took the Mahjarrat with him to Gielinor,[3] where they arrived through a large rift in the midst of battle.[4]

Turning the tide[edit | edit source]

Over the next few years with the Mahjarrat's aid, Icthlarin was able to gradually drive back the Zarosian forces out of Menaphos. Once Zaros learned of his shared kindred with the Mahjarrat. He was able to convince one runaway to join him, after the latter had lost his entire wight army to Icthlarin after the god demanded he relinquish the souls of the dead, which he refused. [5] This resulted in the majority of the Mahjarrat betraying Icthlarin at the fortress of Kharid-et and siding with Zaros. The newly invigorated Zarosian forces once again pushed the Menaphites back to Menaphos with the minority of Mahjarrat who had not defected being defeated by those that had. [6]

The war ended when the god Tumeken took a desperate last stand and sacrificed himself using a magical blast of fire which caused the total annihilation of the armies on both sides and devastation the surrounding area. This resulted in the once lush and fertile Kharidian lands becoming a desert. Fewer than a hundred Mahjarrat survived the blast through a magical barrier that was erected by Azzanadra. These remaining Mahjarrat were wounded and exhausted and they had no choice but to retreat. [7] Due to these events, Zaros was horrified and realized what he had done and began the slow process of removing his presence in his empire, so that the mortal races could live on their own.[8].

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The surviving Zarosian forces retreated to Kharid-Et, which became the marker of the border between the two empires. The Kharidian Empire was in a fragile state following their phyrric victory. But Zaros' realisations presumably meant that no further advances on the Kharidian Empire was considered, at least not from him personally. It is not known if any peace treaties, contracts or relations were formed between the nations afterwards.

One ploy to conquer the Kharidian Lands was made by the Mahjarrat Legatus Zemouregal and the death cult Sombre Vigil, who planned to invade Menaphos of their own volition with mobile necromatic siege engines made from corpses and dead flesh, the scheme was however foiled by Death himself.[9]

After Zaros' banishment, when Kharid-Et was attacked by Saradominist forces, the Mahjarrat Praetorian Trindine oversaw the evacuation of the fortress sending the civilians into the Kharidian Lands by an underground portion of the River Elid, where they eventually settled on the western coast of the Kharidian Desert, apparently to no objection of the Menaphites.

Tumeken was assumed to have perished in the explosion he had caused, his essence presumably survived in the shape of a diamond. The diamond was recovered by a group of Menaphites led by one of the few Menaphite-loyal Mahjarrat Temekel. The stone was eventually stolen by the Zarosian Heriditas Expedition, who were sent to look for any remains of Tumeken. The stone was hidden in Kharid-Et and was lost, when the fortress fell. It was rediscovered in the ruins of Kharid-Et millenia later by one of the founders of Al Kharid and ended up in the posession of the royal family of Al Kharid, who went to great lengths to protect it. After the stone was stolen in 169 of the Fifth Age, there was indication that the stone possesed a will and mind of its own, being able to speak through people nearby. The diamond was revealed to contain the mind of the God the Sun, when it took possession of Ambassador Jabari and two thralls in an attempt to bid his daughter, Amascut, from continuing her destructive path.

The landscape of the Kharidian Empire was vastly changed from a fertile and lush land of forests it was turned into an arid desert, which persists to this day and continues spreading [10]. The River Elid became even more important as the river could still sustain some of the fertility by the riverbanks. A wide variety of cacti are the only plants that can grow in the majority of the Kharidian Desert. Upon his awakening during the end of the Third Age, Guthix supposedly somehow used the Land of Snow's perpetual winter to ensure a sort of balance to the desert that had formed. [11]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Gram Kobold, "The Book of Sliske", RuneScape. "It was a turning point in the Kharidian-Zarosian war."
  2. ^ Fate of the Gods - FAQ. "Q: Zaros says that he didn't start any of the wars that he was involved in. Does that mean that Icthlarin started it when Zaros fought in the desert? Mod Rowley: I'd imagine it being more prosaic than that, with it starting from simple border skirmishes (Kharidians launching a pre-emptive strike at the expanding Zarosian border out of fear) involving none of the gods. The desert gods have ever only been interested in their own little area of the world, with no desire for expansion."*
  3. ^ Jagex. Postbag 47 - "Transcript:Grumpy mermaids and sleepy dragons.", Letter 5, by Wahisietel. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
  4. ^ Gram Kobold, "The Book of Sliske", RuneScape. "We were blinded momentarily by a burning light, and the ground began to rumble. A wind came rolling across the plains like a tidal wave, drowning out the cries of war. The light spread like a flame burning through parchment, opening a tear in the very fabric of the world. From that yawning rift a small army marched forth, the ground quaking beneath their feet. A figure held the portal open, the head of a jackal atop its shoulders. Icthlarin had returned, and he had brought reinforcements."
  5. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "...when I first encountered them I knew instantly that we shared kindred... Had he known what he was truly dealing with, Icthlarin may never have brought them to Gielinor. He tried to reign in their nature, and it was not long before one of their number broke free. It was easy for me to convince that breakaway of my superiority."
  6. ^ Kharshai, "Kharshai's memory", RuneScape. "It took us only a handful of years to drive the Zarosian empire out of Menaphos completely, but at the fortress of Kharid-et we betrayed the one who delivered us from Freneskae and sided with Zaros. I obeyed the will of the strongest as is proper, but it not something I am comfortable with. We emerged from the fortress and with the might of the Zarosian army, pushed the Menaphites and the small number of our kin who had not defected back into Menaphos once more. We pursued them furiously, relishing the opportunity to battle our kin. On a plain near the middle of the peninsula we caught up with them and they fought a fierce and desperate last stand."
  7. ^ Kharshai, "Kharshai's memory", RuneScape. "Azzanadra had erected a magical shield around those of us in range. The rest of our people, the Zarosian legion, and the Menaphites were merely smoking remains. Nearly five hundred of us left Freneskae, and now there were less than a hundred left. Despite the shields, we were wounded and exhausted, and had no choice but to retreat. As we returned to Kharid-et the extent of Tumeken's final act became clear. What had been a lush and fertile land had become a desert."
  8. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "So, in a desperate final act, the desert god Tumeken devastated his own lands to discourage me. I was given pause, and ended my campaign. I realised that I had become what I was fighting against. From that point on, I slowly started to remove my presence from the empire."
  9. ^ Jagex. "Roots in the Community." RuneScape Lores and Histories.
  10. ^ Jagex. Postbag 24 - "Transcript:Spooky goings on!", Letter 2, by Kaqemeex. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
  11. ^ Queen of Snow, "Land of Snow", RuneScape. "The coldness of this place counteracts the heat of the great deserts and volcanoes of others, ensuring the correct balance of hot and cold"