Kharidian Desert

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The Kharidian Desert is an expansive region located south of the nations of Misthalin and Morytania. The desert becomes a dangerous region south of the Shantay Pass, requiring a player to drink from waterskins or other sources of water to avoid dehydration unless Crocodile Tears has been completed. Failing to drink will cause the player to lose life points.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The Kharidian Desert is a vast land found south of the wooded kingdom of Misthalin and Morytania. The desert is the home to some of the oldest civilisations in Gielinor, ranging from the Menaphites that built the cities of Ullek and Uzer to the bandits that are all that remain of the followers of Zaros. As a result, it is amongst the most history-rich and treasure-filled areas in the world. It is this that has attracted so many archaeologists and explorers to the area, but not without consequence.

The most modern settlement in the desert is Al Kharid, having been built in around 1950 in the Fourth age by settlers crossing the River Lum in Misthalin. East of Al Kharid is the even newer Abbey of St. Elspeth Citharede, which was founded around 99 of the Fifth Age by Saradominist nuns.

Most of the peoples of the desert are worshippers of Tumeken and the Desert Pantheon, although in recent times the population has started to abandon the old Gods and begin worshipping other entities. This is demonstrated in the greedy, mercantile spirit of Pollnivneach and the destruction of the statue of Elidinis in Nardah. The plagues in Sophanem have been blamed on this, as well as incorrect burial practices.

The Kharidian Desert is largely open land, seemingly untouched since the God Wars. Here the scorching desert winds blast the sand, turning the dunes into a sea. The blazing sun watches tirelessly from the sky, slowly draining the life of all that walks beneath it. The vultures circle overhead, eating the corpses of those that the desert bested, and packs of starving wolves search endlessly for prey, their hunger never sated. Many have entered the desert, never to return.

Indeed, the Kharidian Desert has earned its reputation as dangerous, merciless, and unyielding. Yet even here civilisation has emerged, and great rewards await those with the courage and ability to travel into its wastes!

History[edit | edit source]

First and Second Ages[edit | edit source]

The Kharidian Desert has the oldest known human civilisation from the midpoint of the Second Age or even earlier, descending even from the time when the human first came to Gielinor.[source needed]

When the god Guthix shaped the realm of Gielinor, he also shaped the area which is now known as the Kharidian Desert at the south. At least the Eastern Kharidian was heavily wooded and rich in resources back then. Although Guthix brought many races to Gielinor, Kharidian was uninhabited and unnamed until the Second Age.[source needed]

Years later, many other gods entered Gielinor. One of these gods was Tumeken, God of the Sun. Many human tribes chose their own god to follow. Those who joined Tumeken later became known as the Menaphites.

The former temple of Amascut, after it was destroyed.

Somewhere around the beginning of the Second Age, Tumeken blessed the southern lands with his deity, called it Kharidian, and brought his followers into the area to live on. The small menaphite tribe later grew into an enormous kingdom ruled by a pharaoh king or queen. The kingdom contained enormous cities. The biggest of them were Uzer and Ullek.

Tumeken later married Elidinis, goddess of fertility and growth, and they shared their rule over the Kharidian Lands. They later created two children, Icthlarin, god of the dead, and Amascut, goddess of rebirth.

Kharidian-Zarosian War[edit | edit source]

When the god Zaros arrived to Gielinor, many young gods were already engaged in skirmishes and border disputes. Zaros sought to expand his empire and unify the young gods under his banner, to which they resisted.[1] As the progress of his empire stalled, he believed the desert would not offer much resistance.[2] The Menaphites fought back, but Zaros's army was far stronger than that of the Kharidian Lands, and the Menaphites were likely to lose the Kharidian-Zarosian War.

Icthlarin and Amascut travelled to the world of Freneskae, hoping to find a powerful force to turn the tide of the war. There they found the Mahjarrat, a race that wielded powerful magic. Icthlarin asked them to aid the Menaphites in the war against Zaros, in exchange of places of respect and influence within the Kharid. This prompted a violent debate within the Mahjarrat, which took the lives of two. Horrified, Amascut walked out of their village and went towards the nearby volcano. Eventually, most of the Mahjarrat tribe agreed to join the Menaphites. They left with Icthlarin to Gielinor, leaving some Mahjarrat behind, as well as Amascut.[3]

In a just few years, the Mahjarrat, now allied with the Menaphites, managed to drive out the Zarosian Empire out of Menaphos completely.[4] According to Tumeken's Dream, witnessing the death and destruction caused by the Mahjarrat warped Amascut's mind, causing her to become obsessed with those very things.[5] Tumeken saw himself in the failures of his children and wearied. He marked Icthlarin to rule the desert in his stead while he rested. According to the Book of Light and Day, Tumeken fell into a deep sleep and for three nights he had pleasant dreams, each time creating a new lesser deity: Apmeken, Het and Crondis. On the fourth night, he had a bad dream. He dreamt of his increasing isolation and Scabaras came into being.[6] These deities became part of the Menaphite Pantheon and were worshipped by the entire Kharidian civilisation.

At some point during Pharaoh Senliten's rule or shortly before, the settlement of Sophanem was formed, believed to be built by refugees fleeing from Ullek.[7][8]

Zaros, after witnessing the Mahjarrat in battle, realised that they were also children of Mah; in one sense, they were his younger siblings.[9] One devious Mahjarrat, called Sliske, grew tired of working for Ichlarin. He convinced the majority of the other Mahjarrat to meet with Zaros at the fortress Kharid-et, located just east of where Al-Kharid stands today.[10] Zaros offered the Mahjarrat a place within his empire. This offer triggered a debate between the Mahjarrat about the rituals of rejuvenation. They had not performed one since they left Freneskae, busy with the war, and argued whether they should still perform a ritual in the absence of the volcano and the ritual marker stone. Zaros, curious about their ways, witnessed them perform a ritual with a marker stone he had created for them. He perceived that the energy from the sacrificed Mahjarrat that would normally appease Mah had instead been redistributed to the Mahjarrat. He said that without regular rituals, their energies would wither and they would die, but recommended to perform the rituals infrequently, recommending an interim period of 500 years. Wahisietel believes that Zaros's insight is what caused most of the Mahjarrat to join the Zarosian Empire.[11]

They emerged from the fortress and, together with the Zarosian army, pushed the Menaphites and the few Mahjarrat who remained in Icthlarin's service back into Menaphos. On a plain near the middle of the peninsula, the Mahjarrat fought each other and those loyal to Icthlarin were decimated.[12] As the Menaphite army stood no chance against the now-bolstered Zarosian army, Tumeken sacrificed himself to discourage Zaros, creating a huge explosion that inflicted heavy casualties on both sides.[13] The Mahjarrat would all have perished had it not been for Azzanadra, who managed to erect a shield just in time, enough to save a fifth of the race.[14] Zaros, realising that he couldn't unite all of Gielinor under his banner by force, ended his campaign on the Kharidian Lands.[15] Although Tumeken's sacrifice spared his people from Zarosian rule, it came with a huge cost; most of the green and fertile Kharidian Lands had turned into a warm and deadly desert wasteland.[16]

Osmumten's reign[edit | edit source]

Osmumten was now the first Pharaoh of the rapidly-desertifying Kharidian Lands. After Tumeken's sacrifice, refugees fleeing from the front lines of the war set up a camp where Menaphos stands today. Osmumten decreed the creation of a city, which would stand where the settlement of Sophanem and the refugee camp were.[17] He worked day and night to rebuild the losses from the war, and inspired others to follow him in his example.[18] Others, however, were resentful of Tumeken's actions on the desert. They stopped worshipping him and questioned Osmumten's right to rule as Chosen of Tumeken. As Menaphos was loyal to Osmumten, they would not challenge him directly. They conspired in the dark and infiltrated the royal guard. Once the assassin worked up the ranks, they murdered Osmumten, supplanted his title and deposed Senliten's line. The descendants of the usurper ruled Menaphos right up to the end of the Fifth Age.[19] Osmumten's child was smuggled out of Menaphos to safety, thanks to which Senliten's line still survives to this day.[20] Osmumten's body was not mummified, and Senliten suspects that his usurper also desecrated her tomb, cutting her connection to the world of the living. She also suspected Amascut to be behind her son's assassination as a plot to corrupt Het.[21]

At some point, Menaphos and Sophanem were split into two cities. Sophanem became became the city of the dead, where the religious people resided, and where bodies would be prepared so their souls can pass into the afterlife. Menaphos grew off trade, mainly with the Wushanko Isles. Over time, many pharaohs used the city's increasing riches to import exotic fauna and flora, as well as cheap labour to build opulent buildings and large pyramids. Eventually, Menaphos became the largest settlement in the desert.[22]

Third Age and the God Wars[edit | edit source]

Jaldraocht Pyramid, where Azzanadra was imprisoned.
The enormous Dominion Tower, built in ancient times by an individual known as "The Founder".

Many of Zaros' followers, including some Mahjarrat, switched to Zamorak and destroyed all of Zaros' remaining fortresses and settlements.

Throughout most of the Third Age, the desert was relatively free from the God Wars.

A climate change took place in the middle of the Third Age in the eastern part of the lands, turning wooded areas into deserts like the rest of the area had been.

In the last millennium of the Third Age, the first major battles of the God Wars finally reached Kharidian areas. The Kharidian Desert Campaign started when other gods sent their forces into the desert in attempt to conquer the kingdom for themselves. The vampyre overlord Drakan was also involved in this campaign when he was trying to expand his kingdom Morytania into the Desert.

Shortly after Zaros's banishment, Saradomin and Zamorak fought against Zaros's army, pushing it into the Kharidian Desert. Eventually, they captured Azzanadra, Zaros's second-in-command. They trapped him at Jaldraocht Pyramid and cast a spell on him, sapping his life force and storing it in four diamonds.[23][24][25]

After Tumeken's sacrifice, the Kharidian Desert had entered a period of instability. In-fighting became rife and monsters were emerging across the region. Amascut, disguised as a human, approached Catolax, Faiza and others to create the Order of the Slayer Masters at the Sunken Pyramid. They went across the desert's regions and slayed the monsters that threatened their inhabitants. Unbeknownst to the Order, the souls of these creatures were feeding Amascut, strengthening her.[26]

The city of Uzer was one of the targets of the God Wars. At one point, it formed an alliance with Saradomin, who granted the city military protection.[27] To bypass its defences and attack the city, Zamorakian forces, led by Zamorak's chief lieutenant, the elder demon Thammaron, opened a portal from Infernus to Uzer.[28] The city was sieged and eventually, Uzer's army was wiped out. With no army and Saradomin's forces diminishing, the whole city's industry was transformed to the manufacture of golems. A golem army was created to fight Thammaron.[29][30] Many golems were lost, but together with the Order of the Slayer Masters, the golem army managed to gravely wound him and drive him back through the portal. A group of priests sealed the portal and Thammaron died shortly after.[31][32][33] Towards the end of the God Wars, around year 3669, Uzer was razed.[34]

At some point after Thammaron's defeat, Catolax tracked down a large banshee to the Pollnivneach Slayer Dungeon. In it he found a strange machinery with the mark of Amascut and, when he killed the banshee he was tracking, its soul escaped from its body and was absorbed by the machine. He warned the Order of Amascut's plan and destroyed the machine.[35] Catolax latter warned them that she was coming after them. The Order made plans to leave the Kharidian Desert and pass down their teachings across the ages. Amascut killed Catolax and then Faiza. She bound both of their souls to the location of their death so they would never be able to move on to the afterlife and meet each other again.[36]

Ullek also fell to Zamorakian hands. Balfrug Kreeyath, who would later become bodyguard to K'ril Tsutsaroth, destroyed the city. A few survivors managed to escape through a tunnel network into Sophanem.

A lot of the of Zaros' remaining followers were killed or imprisoned in the Kharidian Desert during that time, like Azzanadra.

However, not all the settlements fell. Menaphos and Sophanem, much smaller than they are now, managed to survive the wars. They accepted the refugees from destroyed cities. Former inhabitants of Ullek, for example, influenced the city greatly, making these twin cities to be some of the oldest surviving human settlements.

To the north of the desert, a battle between Saradominist and Zamorakian forces in a settlement controlled by Saradomin left the town destroyed and most of its human inhabitants dead. One of its citizens, Nardarine, fled the town and ventured south into the desert.[37] She prayed to Saradomin, but Elidinis appeared instead. Nardarine begged the goddess for a safe haven, which she granted in exchange for the worship from her and her descendants. She gave her water and resources to build a home. Over time, more refugees from the God Wars came seeking asylum. Nardarine let them stay as long as they took the same oath of fealty as her. This is how the town of Nardah came to be.[38]

The God Wars ended when Guthix woke up and set up the Edicts of Guthix, expelling most of the major gods from Gielinor.

Fourth and Fifth Ages[edit | edit source]

The northernmost city of Al Kharid, at war with Menaphos in the Fifth Age.

At some point during the Fourth Age, Al Kharid and Menaphos became engaged in a war that lasted for centuries.[39] Apmeken and other lesser deities worked to bring peace until, in the year 119 of the Fifth Age, the progressive young Pharaoh of Menaphos and worshipper of Apmeken proposed an alliance with Al Kharid. Amascut, seeing her hopes for large-scale destruction crushed, cursed the Pharaoh and hunted down Apmeken. They fought a brief battle and Amascut, triumphant, cursed Apmeken and stole her sight, speech and hearing. This curse also affected the desert monkeys and many of them lost their senses as well.[40] From Apmeken's senses, Amascut forged three malignant entities — Ayuni, Eruni and Leeuni — and set them upon the monkey population, which was slaughtered.[41]

In Sophanem, Amascut created a deadly plague which affected all of Sophanem's citizens and animals. To avoid the plague spreading across the rest of the Desert, Sophanem was separated from Menaphos and the citizens of Sophanem were locked up within their own city.

Amascut also took control over the Scabarites, a new race of insect like humanoids who were loyal to the desert god Scabaras. Most scabarites resides now within the ruins of Ullek, and Amascut forced them to attack Sophanem through the ancient tunnel once used by Ullek citizens during the God Wars, making the life in Sophanem even harder.

In year 99 or 100 the Abbey of St. Elspeth Citharede was founded by the followers of Saint Elspeth near Al Kharid. In year 169, a brutal murder occurred within the abbey, and an adventurer arrives in time to investigate in the quest, One Piercing Note.

Sixth Age[edit | edit source]

Some of the Tuska debris, fallen in the Bedabin Camp

The body of Tuska crashed just off of the western coast of the Kharidian desert, leaving debris strewn along the shore, and creating a large sandbar south of the crash site.

Regions[edit | edit source]

Kharidian desert is roughly separated into three regions - the Northern, Middle and Southern parts. The River Elid also divides the middle and southern regions into eastern and western parts.

Northern Region[edit | edit source]

Shantay Pass, the entrance to the southern region.

Also called Al Kharid Desert. This place is the safest of the three and also the only part open to non-members. It is politically independent from the southern parts of the desert, with the centre being Al Kharid. The northernmost part of Al Kharid Desert has a mine with a wide variety of rocks. It also has the Duel Arena, Mage Training Arena and ends with the Shantay Pass on the southern edge. The Northern Kharidian Desert is the coolest region (temperature-wise), hence its inhabitants and tourists suffer no desert heat effect. This is also the place once you finish Diamond in the Rough, you can start the Sorceress's Garden minigame.

Middle Region[edit | edit source]

Shantay Pass divides the northern and middle region where players can buy supplies to venture further into the desert. Prior to April 2005 desert updates, anything south of the Shantay Pass was called Shantay Desert by many. The middle region of the desert is more dangerous than the northern one due to many monsters who are aggressive to low-level players. However the most notable danger in this region is the desert heat effect which is absent only in a few settlements. Fortunately, Kharidian Cacti grow in this region, which can be cut with a knife to refill waterskins. Also completion of the quest Crocodile Tears also provides immunity to desert heat. The middle part of this region of desert contains the Kalphite Lair, Desert Mining Camp, Bedabin Camp, ruins of Uzer, Dominion Tower, a hunting area, and on the southern border there lies the Bandit camp and Pollnivneach.

Southern Region[edit | edit source]

River Elid.

The southern region is the Kharidian Desert proper. The transition between the middle and southern regions, especially in the eastern part is smooth. Pollnivneach, the Bandit camp and a mountain range approximately divide the middle and southern regions in the west. In most of the southern region, players may notice slightly darker sand colour and a lack of Kharidian Cacti. This is where extra waterskins or an enchanted water tiara come in handy, especially when being away from settlements for extended periods of time. The monsters in the southern part are also stronger than those found in the middle part. For example, the River Elid is full of level 63 crocodiles. The south-eastern areas near the Ullek ruins and the reed swamp are particularly dangerous places due to the much larger crocodiles and scabarites residing there. The most important landmarks in the southern part include Nardah, the twin cities of Menaphos and Sophanem, several pyramids, a mining quarry and the ruins of Ullek underneath the swamp area.

Survival[edit | edit source]

Inventory: Water and Equipment[edit | edit source]

Main article: Desert heat

Waterskins can be refilled by three methods: using a waterskin on any water-filled item such as a bucket, jug or bowl or any water source such as a sink or a fountain; with a knife in their inventory, players can cut healthy Kharidian Cacti to fill waterskins; or players with access to the Lunar spellbook can cast the humidify spell, completely refilling all Waterskins in the players' inventory. Cutting a cactus will not always give the player water, but if it does the player will also receive 10 Woodcutting experience. Many parts of Kharidian Desert, especially the southern part of the desert, do not have cacti to get water. You can also drink from other sources of water such as water in bowls. You cannot drink from water not labelled on the map as a water source such as the River Elid.

The enchanted water tiara is a quest reward from Dealing with Scabaras which can be used in place of waterskins.

Wearing desert clothing, available from Shantay at the Shantay Pass, will cause the player to drink less frequently. Without desert clothing, a player needs water about every 90 seconds. With a full set of clothes, a player needs water about every 120 seconds. The desert outfit, Menaphite robes, and dervish outfit also provide protection like desert clothing.

If the tome of frost is worn the damage taken from the desert heat will be reduced and time between the hits will also be longer. Wearing both the tome of frost and desert clothing will not reduce the time between the hits, but it does lower the damage taken.

All those methods are rendered redundant upon completing the Crocodile Tears quest, as it rewards permanent immunity against desert heat.

Monsters[edit | edit source]

Although the desert houses many beasts, there are three common creatures that can be found in great numbers and that players should be prepared for. Desert wolves, though only level 27, can be dangerous to lower-lever players. Ugthanki, level 42 desert camels, are aggressive and potentially dangerous, especially if the player is only wearing robes. In addition, along the River Elid the player can encounter level 63 crocodiles which will attack the player if they stray too close to the river. There are also desert strykewyrms, but as they attack the player only if they have been assigned as a slayer task (requires 77 slayer) and only if they are provoked, they are not a danger for the inexperienced.

Cities[edit | edit source]

There are four major cities in the desert. The player does not need to drink water in most cities.

  • Al Kharid: Al Kharid is the only non-member city in the Kharidian Desert, and is located at its northern edge. Several quests can be started here including The Feud, Stolen Hearts, Diamond in the Rough and Shadow of the Storm. In Al Kharid there is a bank, crafting shop, tannery, furnace, platelegs shop, plateskirt shop, scimitar shop, some stalls and a palace. Other notable features are the Al Kharid Mine north of the city and the Duel Arena to the north east. Previously if players wanted to enter from Lumbridge, they would have to pay a toll of 10 coins, however a fee is no longer required to enter Al Kharid. You may also enter Al Kharid by walking through Lumbridge swamps to get to the docks where a boat takes you Daemonheim.
  • Menaphos and Sophanem: Players are granted entrance to Sophanem if they have started the Icthlarin's Little Helper quest. Upon completion of the Contact! quest, a bank and several other features become available for use in Sophanem.
The remains of Ullek, the Kharidian Desert's former capital.
  • Nardah: The city of Nardah is located in the south-eastern-most area of the desert. It is located near the Agility Pyramid. The player may buy a waterskin (full) from Ali for 1,000 coins. The reason of the high price is because the city is under a curse, featured in Spirits of Elid quest, which has dried up the fountain. The city also has a Choc-Ice stand, where the player can buy choc-ice for 30 coins each.
  • Pollnivneach: Pollnivneach is a desert city located on the banks of the River Elid. A substantial amount of the quest The Feud takes place here. The city is divided between the Bandits and the Menaphites. The player can purchase water here from the shop. There is a well, a kebab shop where the player may buy super kebabs and red hot sauce, a tavern, where drinks can be bought, and a camel merchant. The player can fill waterskins from the well by filling a bucket and transferring the water.

Other locations include:

Transportation[edit | edit source]

The main form of transportation in the desert is by Magic carpet. They can take the player to a variety of places in the desert, such as:

A player rides a magic carpet over the desert.
This map shows where magic carpets can go. An orange line indicates a route.

The normal cost of such travel is roughly 200 coins. However, doing the Rogue Trader activity or wearing the activated ring of Charos will decrease the price to 100 coins, and combining them both lowers it to 75 coins.

There are also several fairy rings located in the desert.

Wearing armour of any kind is not advisable, as due to its metallic nature the player will overheat faster and thus use up their supply of water quicker.

Extra Features[edit | edit source]

The Kalphite Queen

Kalphite Queen: The Kalphite lair is located west of the Shantay Pass, surrounded by bones. A rope is required to enter the Kalphite tunnels and another to enter the Queen's chamber. Also, on the first level of the dungeon, there is a tunnel leading to the Dorgesh-Kaan south dungeon.

Kalphite King: The Exiled Kalphite Hive is located south of Azzanadra's Pyramid. The Kalphite there are more powerful than the traditional ones, and so is the "King of the Desert". The Kalphite King is the third-most powerful boss of the game, having a combat level of 2500, he can be killed by only one person but it is extremely hard. He is very rewarding, providing valuable random drops along with the drygore weaponry, which is immensely expensive and some of the most powerful weaponry in the game for players. The Exiled Kalphite Queen also resides there.

"The King of the Desert".

Azzanadra's Pyramid: The final Pyramid from the Desert Treasure quest, this labyrinth is where the player can switch between the normal spellbook and the Ancient Magicks spellbook.

Agility Pyramid: Located just north of Nardah, this Pyramid is one of the more popular methods of training Agility. Players must negotiate each level of the Pyramid to reach the summit, where they can retrieve a golden pyramid exchangeable for 1,000 coins.

Pyramid Plunder: Located in Sophanem, this Thieving activity allows the player to advance based on your Thieving level.

Dust Devils: Dust Devils are level 85 monsters. They require 65 Slayer and a facemask to kill. They are located down a well east of the Bandit camp.

Desert Lizards: These Slayer monsters are located north of Nardah and east of Sophanem. They require level 22 Slayer and an ice cooler to kill.

Goats: These level 10 monsters, and the level 22 billy goats that are found with them, are the only source of the desert goat horns used to make combat potions. They are found near Pollnivneach, Nardah, the Kalphite lair and the Shantay Pass.

Mines:

Soundtracks unlocked in the region[edit | edit source]

Update history[edit | edit source]

The update history project is a work-in-progress – not all updates to this topic may be covered below. See here for how to help out!
  • patch 24 February 2020 (Update):
    • Various NPCs in the Kharidian Desert have had their name changed from 'Ali' to better reflect the diverse variety of names we see in real life.
  • patch 4 June 2018 (Update):
    • It is now possible to see various NPCs in the area south of the desert when climbing over the fallen pillar to a higher floor.
  • patch 26 February 2018 (Update):
    • All dig locations for the Kharidian desert scan clue are now located east of the River Elid as intended.
  • patch 10 July 2017 (Update):
    • The Kharidian Desert members' information on the non-members world map has been updated to include Menaphos.
  • patch 19 June 2017 (Update):
    • The swamp environment area in the desert has been updated.
    • Blocking has been added to some desert locations near the Bandit Camp.
  • patch 5 June 2017 (Update):
    • The Kharidian desert has been graphically updated.
  • patch 21 November 2016 (Update):
    • The top of a deformed cliff by the brilliant divination colony has been flattened.
    • A number of force-walk tiles in the desert south of the Citharede Abbey have been fixed.
  • patch 13 July 2015 (Update):
    • Missing textures have been added to an area of sand beside Tuska in the desert.
  • ninja 1 June 2015 (Update):
    • The "Dying of thirst" message spam has been reduced while wearing a tome of frost in the desert.
  • patch 25 September 2013 (Update):
    • Another rogue curtain, this time attached to a cactus in the Kharidian desert, has been removed.
    • Several tiles near the Sinclair mansion, and in the Al Kharid desert, no longer force players off them.
  • patch 29 May 2013 (Update):
    • Several desert NPCs jaw lines and skin tones have been fixed.
  • patch 2 April 2013 (Update):
    • Some sections of blocking have been added to the Wanderer's tent in the desert.
  • patch 28 January 2013 (Update):
    • Players can no longer walk on water in the desert.
    • It is no longer possible to walk through the statue of a giant head in the desert.
  • patch 4 December 2012 (Update):
    • The desert effect now works in all new areas of the desert.
  • patch 13 November 2012 (Update):
    • Some audio has been added in the Kalphite Nursery and the Vulture area of the Desert.
  • patch 31 January 2012 (Update):
    • Some force-walk areas in the desert have been removed.
  • patch 6 December 2011 (Update):
    • A certain area near a rock wall in the desert no longer teleports the player to the other side of the wall.
  • patch 28 March 2011 (Update):
    • A white tile in the desert has been fixed.
  • patch 11 January 2010 (Update):
    • Increased the range of ambient sound effects in the southern desert area.
  • patch 3 December 2009 (Update):
    • Fixed a river section in the desert.
    • Adjusted some height mapping in the desert.
  • patch 9 November 2009 (Update):
    • Free players are now given a bit of text when trying to enter the desert.
  • patch 13 October 2009 (Update):
    • Added a missing travel icon in the desert.
  • patch 16 June 2009 (Update):
    • Added a new song, "Kharidian Nights", to part of the desert area.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Kharidian Desert takes inspiration from the real-world regions of Southwest Asia and North Africa, the latter of which is notably the location of the Sahara desert. The Kharidian Desert's transformation into a dry area mirrors the geological history of the Sahara desert which was a tropical wetland thousands of years ago.
  • The areas that the Kharidian Desert is inspired by do not actually have any cacti. Cacti are only native to North and South America.
    • The presence of cacti is another curiosity in that they could not have survived in the Kharidian Desert's former forested environment. Cacti are specifically adapted to live in dry conditions and could have only appeared in the area within the last few thousand years.
  • The Kharidian Desert was graphically updated on 5 June 2017, to coincide with the release of Menaphos.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "When I arrived, there were many young gods carving out territory, engaged in petty skirmishes and border disputes. I sought to unify them under my banner, but they... resisted."
  2. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "My empire's progress has stalled, I expected little resistance from the forests to the south [...]"
  3. ^ Bilrach's memory, "Mahjarrat Memories", RuneScape. "[...] Icthlarin and Amascut appeared and told us of a world with weaklings, assaulted by an implacable foe. They needed the help of beings as mighty as we, and in return offered us places of great respect and influence. This prompted a debate - the greatest I had seen in my short life - about whether to stay or to go. The sides were evenly matched in number, but with both Temekel and Azzanadra in favour of leaving, the subsequent violence left Salisard dead and Abrogal atop the marker stone. I do not know what Icthlarin thought of this, but his companion Amascut seemed dismayed by our ways and walked out of our village towards the volcano. We did not see her again."
  4. ^ Bilrach's memory, "Mahjarrat Memories", RuneScape. "It took us only a handful of years to drive the Zarosian empire out of Menaphos completely [...]"
  5. ^ Tumeken's Dream, RuneScape. "But her mind did warp as she saw her sibling's tribe,
    Bringing death and destruction on the same whim as was her calling."
  6. ^ High Priest (Sophanem), "Contact!", RuneScape. "The Book of Light and Day says that Tumeken once fell into a deep sleep and dreamt for four days and four nights. The first night he slept and dreamt a good dream. He dreamt of a journey long and arduous. From the loins of his subconscious Apmeken was born into reality; a physical manifestation of his dream. Tumeken continued to have pleasant dreams for a further two days and two nights. After each, a new deity came into being. On the fourth night, however, Tumeken dreamt a bad dream. He dreamt of himself and he dreamt of his increasing isolation caused by his extended sleep. This isolation sprung forth into the world and took the form of Scabaras."
  7. ^ Senliten, "Missing My Mummy", RuneScape. "I was in life, ruler of these lands from the plains of Uzer to the forests of Ullek. From the new settlement of Sophanem to the untamed hunting grounds of the Bedabin."
  8. ^ Scabaras research, "Dealing with Scabaras", RuneScape. "The archaeologists theorise that Sophanem was built by the refugees fleeing Ullek."
  9. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "The legates refer to them as Stern Judges, but I have learned their true name - Mahjarrat: 'the children of Mah'. [...] They are but a fraction of myself and my old companion, yet I feel a connection with them, a shared ancestry - they are my younger siblings."
  10. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "[Icthlarin] tried to reign in [the Mahjarrat's] 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. [...] Sliske."
  11. ^ Wahisietel's memory, written by Wahisietel, "Mahjarrat Memories", RuneScape. "[...] during our short years of war among the Menephites, we gave no thought to the Rituals. However, once we reached the fortress of Kharid-et, Zaros's offer for us to join the empire triggered yet another debate. When some argued that a sacrifice ought still be made as part of our tradition, a further debate broke out about whether the sacrifice could meaningfully be performed in the absence of the volcano and marker stone. Zaros seemed puzzled by our debate, but after Azzanandra explained the history and purpose of the Ritual of Rejuvenation he offered to create a replacement marker stone for us and expressed interest in observing. The Ritual proceeded [...] and afterwards Zaros explained what he had been able to perceive of it. In the absence of Mother Mah, [...] he explained that the energies that had been intended for propitiation had instead been distributed amongst the rest of us. He told us that on this world, without regular sacrifice our energies would wither and we would perish. He cautioned however to perform the Ritual infrequently, and recommended an interim of five centuries. [...] I think Zaros's insight into our ways was the most significant factor in our decision to join the empire."
  12. ^ Kharshai's memory, written by Kharshai, "Mahjarrat Memories", RuneScape. "[...] at the fortress of Kharid-et we betrayed the one who delivered us from Freneskae and sided with Zaros. [...] 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. They didn't stand a chance."
  13. ^ Kharshai's memory, written by Kharshai, "Mahjarrat Memories", RuneScape. "[Tumeken] cursed our treachery, then sorrowfully told the Menaphites that he needed them to join him in making the ultimate sacrifice for their homes and families. Then he raised his arms to the sky, and the light from his body grew brighter until nothing could be seen, and then his body exploded into fire and I passed out. [...] The rest of our people, the Zarosian legion, and the Menaphites were merely smoking remains."
  14. ^ Kharshai's memory, written by Kharshai, "Mahjarrat Memories", RuneScape. "At first I did not know how I survived, but soon it became clear that Azzanadra had erected a magical shield around those of us in range. [...] Nearly five hundred of us left Freneskae, and now there were less than a hundred left."
  15. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "Not all Mahjarrat chose to leave Icthlarin's service, but the few that remained did not last long. 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."
  16. ^ Kharshai's memory, written by Kharshai, "Mahjarrat Memories", RuneScape. "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. [...] Tumeken had sacrificed himself and half his lands to save the remainder."
  17. ^ Osman, "The Jack of Spades", RuneScape. "[...] the city itself has only existed since after Tumeken's sacrifice, starting out as a refugee camp. More and more people flocked there to get as far away from the front lines of a long-ago war. Over time, people made it their home."
  18. ^ Senliten, "Our Man in the North", RuneScape. "When I passed, my son, Osmumten, became Pharaoh. [...] He would often visit me here in my tomb for counsel. One time, Tumeken himself bid my son here to seek me out; this was the day that Tumeken laid down his own life to spare his people, thus bringing an end to war. Osmumten was left to rule alone, and rebuild. It was he who decreed the creation of both Menaphos and Sophanem as you know them today. To build a city where only tents had stood, as a bastion against our lands that were rapidly turning into desert. He toiled day and night, yet did not order others to follow his example, but follow him they did. His fortitude and will inspired his people to survive in the wake of our god's passing. His strength inspired them, a strength that persisted throughout his rule."
  19. ^ Senliten, "Our Man in the North", RuneScape. "Others of our people did not respond so well to the loss of Tumeken. They blamed him for turning our lands into a desert. [...] They stopped worshipping him, questioned his past decisions and began to question his authority. Their minds became infected with doubt and contempt. Ultimately, they began to question my son's right to rule, for he was one Chosen of Tumeken, and now the only physical embodiment of his rule. The might of Menaphos was loyal to him, however, so they dared not challenge him openly. They plotted in the dark, conspired against him, using trickery and subterfuge to wear down his resolve. Eventually, they struck - an assassin that had worked up through the ranks of his royal guard. At least his death was swift... He was supplanted, the royal bloodline was deposed, and Menaphos has been ruled over by the descendants of that usurper ever since."
  20. ^ Senliten, "Our Man in the North", RuneScape. "That being the name of my grandchild, who was smuggled out to safety as my son died - the ancestor whom he can draw back to such that he might prove his royalty."
  21. ^ Senliten, "Our Man in the North", RuneScape. "My son did not get the respect in death that I did. Indeed, I fully suspect his usurper was behind the desecration of my tomb. [...] Leela and I fully suspect now that Amascut was behind my son's downfall, as a means of corrupting the god Het - he being our pantheon's god of strength."
  22. ^ Osman, "The Jack of Spades", RuneScape. "Menaphos is the largest settlement in the Kharidian Desert. [...] Originally, Sophanem and Menaphos were one city, but at some point in history it was decided to separate the two. Sophanem came into being as the city of the dead, where the religious folk resided. Death is something of an industry there. Menaphos, in contrast, became a vibrant city full of life. It's[sic] wealth grew off the back of trade, particularly with the Wushanko Islands to the east. Over the years, many pharaohs used this connection to import exotic flora and fauna, cheap labour to build ever more opulent buildings, and larger and larger pyramids."
  23. ^ Eblis, "Desert Treasure", RuneScape. "The spiteful Saradomin and pathetic Zamorak warred with each other, but the hatred they had for each other was as nothing to the hatred they held towards us! With each battle they waged, we lost more and more land, unable to fight on all fronts, and were pushed further and further South into this gods-forsaken desert. Our greatest hero, Azzanadra, was finally trapped in a strange stone structure to the South of here, and bound within by terrible powers..."
  24. ^ Azzanadra, "The Temple at Senntisten", RuneScape. "It was not long after Zaros was banished, and a communication portal constructed, that I became trapped in that pyramid. At that time, Senntisten was still exuberant and well defended."
  25. ^ Eblis, "Desert Treasure", RuneScape. "Azzanadra was our greatest ever hero! He was unkillable, and the cowardly traitors who stole our lands did not know what to do with him, for his hatred for them was as strong as his magics. In the end, they cast a spell upon him, to trap him in the stone structure to the South of here. They stole his very life force, the essence of his power, and trapped it within four crystals - the very same Four Diamonds which you have now recovered from the brigands who stole from us."
  26. ^ Faiza, RuneScape. "[...] the Kharidian region entered a period of instability and it became a daily struggle for some of us to survive. With the gap in leadership, in-fighting became rife and those of us who survived also had to contend with the more abundant monsters that were emerging across the region. Then one day a woman approached Catolax and myself with an opportunity. She was creating a group, she explained, that would fight to preserve the safety of all that lived in the desert. She led us and five others to this very building where we founded the Order of the Slayer Masters. Each of us set across the region slaying the creatures that threatened the towns and villages; [...] the woman that brought us together was her, the Devourer Amascut. Everything we did, every creature we killed was tied into her magic. The lives we thought we were saving...we were only making them worse. We were simply feeding Amascut a continual supply of souls that only led to strengthening her."
  27. ^ Varmen's notes, written by Varmen, "The Golem", RuneScape. "It was allied with Saradomin and enjoyed his protection, as well as that of its own mages and warriors."
  28. ^ Clay golem, "The Golem", RuneScape. "A great demon. It broke through from its dimension to attack the city."
  29. ^ Varmen's notes, written by Varmen, "The Golem", RuneScape. "[...] its existence tells us that the city's inhabitants were expert magical craftsmen. The huge kilns in some of the buildings indicate that at some point before its destruction the whole city was converted to the manufacture of these golems."
  30. ^ Varmen's notes, written by Varmen, "The Golem", RuneScape. "I surmise that the army of golems was created in order to fight the demon, since Uzer's army had been wiped out and Saradomin's forces were increasingly stretched."
  31. ^ Clay golem, "The Golem", RuneScape. "Many were destroyed, but we drove the demon back!"
  32. ^ Faiza, RuneScape. "Our first test as a team of Slayer Masters took us to Uzer where a group of demons were assembling, preparing to launch an attack across the region. Alongside the golems, we fought against them. We killed a good many, while others retreated back through a portal beneath the city. A group of priests managed to close the portal after they fled, protecting the city from future attacks."
  33. ^ General Khazard, "Dishonor among Thieves", RuneScape. "One of Zamorak's most prominent generals - Thammaron - led the attack. He was gravely wounded and died just through the portal in these ruins."
  34. ^ Varmen's notes, written by Varmen, "The Golem", RuneScape. "I can say with confidence that these are the ruins of Uzer, an advanced human civilization said to have been destroyed towards the end of the Third Age (roughly 2,500 years ago)."
  35. ^ Faiza, RuneScape. "When my husband, Catolax, sent his message to us, he described a journey to Pollnivneach where he was tracking down a banshee larger than any he had ever encountered before. [...] As he went deeper into the dungeon, Catolax wrote of finding a machine - he described it in detail as a twisted, evil thing. Just being in its presence, he felt life draining out of him. Getting closer, he saw that it bore the mark of the Devourer. Caught off guard, the banshee that Catolax had been tracking leapt at him and nearly killed him. He managed to strike a killing blow - and in doing so something escaped the creature and was absorbed into the machine. It was the creature's soul! It was in that moment that realization struck: Amascut was using this machine to gather all the souls from across the region so she could consume them. My husband wrote of his intentions to destroy the machine, but I never had the chance to find out if he succeeded."
  36. ^ Faiza, RuneScape. "With the last mural, I explained that our plan to pass down our knowledge through the ages was our final action here at the Order. However, I did not explain why it came to be our final action. We received word from my husband, another of the Slayer Masters, that Amascut was heading our way and the Order was in danger. [...] As I mentioned, we made our plans to leave the Kharidian region to preserve our way and be out of her grasp. [...] I waited here, and sure enough, she arrived. Gloating horribly, she explained how she had killed my husband, talking in detail of what she had done to him. [...] Her final act was just as cruel - she bound my spirit to this point, just as she had done with my husband's, so that we would never be able to move on to the afterlife. So we would never be together again."
  37. ^ "Spirits of the Elid", RuneScape. "Nardarine came from a town towards the north side of the desert, which does not exist today. This was in the Third Age in the time thou callest the [...] God Wars. Her town was once controlled by Saradomin, but there was a great battle there between Saradominist and Zamorakian forces, which pretty much levelled the town. Most of the human citizens perished. Nardarine had the wisdom to escape into the desert [...]"
  38. ^ "Spirits of the Elid", RuneScape. "She prayed to Saradomin for help [...] Elidinis heard the prayers of Nardarine. [...] Elidinis replied, 'I will grant this unto thee on the condition that thou swearest to forever pay fealty and homage to me, and I grant this also unto thy descendants for as long as they too will pay an oath of fealty and homage to me.' Nardarine said, 'If you would grant me a safe home, with a supply of food and water, then I would surely do this [...] Then Elidinis made a spring of water appear at Nardarine's feet and brought stone from below the sand so that she might have something to build with. [...] Over time, more refugees from the God Wars found Nardarine's home. Nardarine let them stay with her as long as they did make the same oath as her. Hence the town of Nardah was born and Nardarine lived the rest [...] of her days in the peacefulness that she craved."
  39. ^ Osman, "Contact!", RuneScape. "Our two kingdoms were at war with one another for centuries. They tried to expand their kingdom northwards many times over the years, but we held them off."
  40. ^ Mizaru, "Do No Evil", RuneScape. "Amascut considered her too weak and insignificant to deal with. However, unbeknownst to Amascut, Apmeken and some of the lesser deities worked to bring peace to the long-warring desert. Slowly, they patched the ill-feeling between Al Kharid and Menaphos. Fifty years ago, the progressive young Pharaoh of Menaphos proposed an alliance of Al Kharid, in the hopes of bringing prosperity to the desert. He was a worshipper of Apmeken. Amascut was furious. Without war there could be no destruction on the scale that she desired. She cursed the pharaoh and hunted down Apmeken. They fought a battle in the dunes of the desert. It did not last long; Apmeken was no fighter. Amascut could not destroy the lesser god, but she could curse her, so she stole Apmeken's sight, hearing, and speech. Perhaps we were caught in the boundaries of the curse, or perhaps we suffered in sympathy; I don't know, but many of us desert monkeys lost our senses."
  41. ^ Mizaru, "Do No Evil", RuneScape. "[...] Amascut was not satisfied with merely incapacitating us. She took Apmeken's stolen senses and, from them, forged three foul creatures – Leeuni, Ayuni and Eruni – setting them upon the monkey population. Perhaps, if we'd had our senses, more of us would have survived. My brothers and I were able to escape by helping one another. After travelling to Karamja, we heard about Ape Atoll and set off for it. As far as I know, we were the only ones to survive the massacre."