The Menaphite Pantheon is the name given to an octet of deities who rule the Kharidian Lands. It consists of Tumeken, god of light, his wife Elidinis, goddess of fertility, their children Icthlarin, god of the Underworld, and Amascut, goddess of rebirth, as well as four demi-gods: Apmeken, goddess of friendship and pleasure, Crondis, goddess of resourcefulness, Het, god of strength and mental health, and Scabaras, god of wisdom and isolation.
The latter four are said to have been created by Tumeken in a dream, wherein he travelled to multiple places and turned an animal who acted well in areas of misbehaviour into a demi-god. According to Aristarchus, a Menaphite historian, a camel god exists, who is worshipped in the desert as well, but they aren't part of the Pantheon.
History[edit | edit source]
Second Age[edit | edit source]
After Guthix had gone to sleep, having shaped the world, Tumeken and many other deities one by one discovered RuneScape and, for their own reasons, began interacting with the mortals living there and claiming territory for themselves. It is quite possible, given how little he was antagonised early on, Tumeken was one of the first gods to arrive after Guthix went to sleep. Little is known about Tumeken's arrival but he would claim the Kharidian Lands for himself and the Menaphites living there as his subjects. The Kharidian Lands at the time were a vast area, stretching from Al Kharid in the north what would later become Sophanem in the south, had lush areas of forest, and was rich in resources. In search of companionship, he would meet the goddess Elidinis at the spring of the River Elid and took her for his wife. From their union Icthlarin and Amascut were born. Together, they founded the Kharidian empire, an immensely prosperous kingdom with the cities Uzer and Ullek among the wealthiest in the world at the time. However, Tumeken was still not finished and, to further co-rule his lands he, according to the legends, entered a deep sleep and dreamed. Every day for four days he would visit a section of his lands and at the end of each day he would create one of four avatars of his essence: Het, Apmeken, Crondis, and Scabaras. These four would form the lesser gods of the Pantheon and each was given a duty by Tumeken to help Menaphite society. Evidence suggests the lesser gods were enthusiastically embraced, with the people of Northern Kharidian building a massive Arena to train warriors of Het. With the multitude of gods now existing in the empire, Tumeken would cease directly ruling the Menaphites, preferring to leave the task to his children, specifically Icthlarin. Thanks to the richness of the lands, the efforts of the Pantheon, and their strategic location, the Empire and its people prospered.
However, the prosperity of the Kharidian empire could only go unnoticed for so long. More and more gods started to arrive, with more aggressive ones, such as Saradomin and Zaros, desiring as much territory as possible. Zaros, the god whose empire lay closest to the Kharidian Lands, had established his own empire in most of modern day Misthalin and Asgarnia and the Wilderness, calling many wicked races from other realms to his aid.
Inevitably, the gods clashed. Zaros attempted to conquer more territory to the south, invading the Kharidian territory. The pantheon resisted and assembled an army of Menaphites and mercenaries, with even the lower gods themselves fighting. Thus, the Kharidian - Zarosian War commenced. Initially, the forces of Zaros were on the winning hand. Despite the best efforts of the Pantheon, they lost ground by the day. The Menaphite forces were driven further and further south. After particularly decisive victory, control of a critical mountain pass was lost, giving the Zarosian forces unrestricted access to the southern desert, and nearly completely destroying the morale of the Menaphites. Icthlarin, realising that all would be lost without aid, left Gielinor in search of allies from other dimensions. Soon, he discovered Freneskae, a plane of eternal warfare, and its inhabitants, an extremely powerful race known as the Mahjarrat.
He made an agreement with the Mahjarrat; some of them would come with him to defend his lands, at the promise of fully being able to exercise their powers and bathe in warfare. The combative Mahjarrat agreed to this and followed Icthlarin to RuneScape. They arrived in the midst of battle, as noted by the mercenary Gram Kobold, and began slaughtering the Zarosian troops. Their shapeshifting abilities earned them the title of "The Faceless Ones". They were given the name the "Stern Judges of Icthlarin". Their arrival decisively shifted the direction of the war in the Pantheon's favour. These Zarosians were no match for the Mahjarrat's extremely powerful magic, nor could they inflict any major damage to them, for they would heal almost immediately. Some Mahjarrat went even further than that; the devious Sliske, for example, would not fight directly. Rather, he searched amongst enemy's troops, partially travelling through the Shadow Realm, and converted the strongest of them into his semi-undead wights. These served Sliske mindlessly, battling their own forces.
With the aid of the Mahjarrat, the Zarosian forces were soon driven north until finally defeated. The Zarosian armies were forced to abandon the northern mountains and retreat towards the safety of Senntisten. Thus the war ended with a complete victory for the Menaphites, who had recaptured all their former territory. However, with the war won, new problems began to arise almost immediately. Icthlarin ordered Sliske to release the souls of his wights, wanting to escort them to their proper place in the Grim Underworld, but he refused. Icthlarin then forcibly smote the wights and released their souls, which angered Sliske. He defected, later offering his services to Zaros, setting a dangerous trend for the future.
Over time this trend would continue, with more and more Mahjarrat becoming disillusioned with Icthlarin, likely for various reasons such as his interference with their necromancy as well as boredom with the newly instated peace of his reign. They started to see Zaros as a more worthy master and, despite swearing "vows of obedience" to Icthlarin, numerous Mahjarrat began defecting. At some point after the death of Queen Senliten the entire race finally abandoned Icthlarin and the rest of the Pantheon. The final mass defection was undoubtedly one of the most critical effects in the entire Second Age, dramatically affecting the balance of power on RuneScape.
Despite the short time the "Stern Judges of Icthlarin" spent in the Menaphite empire, they would make several critical contributes to its future and the Pantheon's. First, the era can be considered a golden age for the Menaphite people. The power of the Mahjarrat made them one of the most powerful and influential factions on RuneScape. The village of Sophanem was founded, near the delta of the River Elid. Less positively, but ultimately more importantly, was the corruption of Amascut after witnessing the Mahjarrat's power. Her mind is said to have been warped to the point where she became evil. Now the goddess of destruction, she abandoned her divine duties and began eating the souls of people, leaving them unable to die properly, to stop her brother from transporting their souls to the afterlife. She even started to destroy her own temples and followers. Now completely driven by jealousy toward her brother, Amascut would try to undermine him in every way possible. Because of the mass destruction she started to leave in her wake, as well as being completely unpredictable, Amascut, "the Devourer", had become so dangerous that she was possibly feared more than the Zarosians.
Third Age[edit | edit source]
The Gielinorian God Wars would cause catastrophic upheaval in Menaphite society. This coincided with the decay in the power and influence of the Pantheon, who would be completely overwhelmed by the forces of the other various gods. The Menaphite Pantheon and its armies did their best to stop the forces of the other gods but they were ultimately defeated. Much of the damage inflicted would be done in the last millennium of the wars, with the Kharidian empire riding out the first three thousand years of the war relatively unaffected compared to the rest of the world. During this time, Amascut's insanity would cause strife that the Pantheon could not afford, though the presence of her parents prevented her from going completely out of control. Her claiming of the soul of the great slayer master Catolax may have occurred around this time.
During the first three millennia of the God Wars, Saradomin would become very influential in the Kharidian Lands, particularly the northern portion, which was closest to the fighting. Uzer and the region surrounding it had become as valuable to the Saradominists as they were to the Menaphites. The army of Saradomin would create a massive front line to the north of the city with numerous Icyene from Hallowvale deployed to fight. Humans from the various settlements in the region also contributed. For centuries this front clashed with the demonic forces to the north of it. The people of Uzer would create golem limbs for Icyene who were wounded, one such recipient being Sergeant Mazakon. The practice of creating golem limbs has been lost in the modern age. Ripper demons were used to kill high profile targets, one such attack notably killing the Saradominist Elspeth, who was later canonised as a saint. The fighting was relentless, and over time the front was driven further and further south, toward the mountains which Uzer lay behind.
At the same time, the Zarosian Extermination to the north by the Saradominist and Zamorakian forces sent Zarosian refugees fleeing in all directions. While most fled to Senntisten, which would hold out for much of the wars, numerous refugees also fled to the south into the Kharidian Lands. They would settle to the west of the region and become bandits, causing some local trouble for the Menaphites.
However, all these issues would pale in comparison to when Zamorak turned his full attention towards the empire. Seeing an opportunity to deprive Saradomin of war material, as well as desiring to exterminate more Zarosians, Zamorak launched a massive campaign, mostly conducted by demons. An offensive smashed through the weakening Saradomist lines and Zamarokian forces poured into the region. During the Battle of Uzer, the Elder Demon Thammaron opened a portal leading into the central temple complex of the city, resulting in the defeat of Uzer's forces and the destruction of the city. Nevertheless, the city's elite golems were able to fatally wound Thammaron, and he died slowly and painfully in his throne room some time later.
The Menaphite Pantheon lost complete control over the entire northern desert. In the chaos, numerous Menaphites were slaughtered in the cross fighting between the three forces. Civilians were forced south to the great city of Ullek, then the unofficial capital of the empire, and still firmly in the domain of the Menaphite Pantheon. A conjoint effort by the armies of Saradomin and Zamorak succeeded in capturing and imprisoning the Zarosian champion Azzanadra in Jaldraocht Pyramid, effectively reducing the status of the Zarosians to being an annoyance. The armies then resumed fighting each other.
Shortly afterwards, the monstrous demon Balfrug Kreeyath led an army to the south-east and attacked the great city of Ullek. This far south in the empire, the fighting would have been an affair between Zamorakians and Menaphites, with no interference from any other god or fraction. Details of the ensuing battle are scarce, but the city was completely levelled, and Balfrug obtained a high position in the Zamorakian armies, aiding K'ril Tsutsaroth in the Battle for the Godsword later.
The destruction of the constant battles and fighting turned the once lush lands of Kharidian into the desert it is today, leaving no trace of the rich forests it once had. Refugees from Ullek would flee to the village of Sophanem, which had become the only significant Menaphite settlement left. Sophanem would quickly change from a humble village into a massive city. The massive influx in population also led to the founding of the city Menaphos on the opposite bank of the Elid. The twin cities would be the last bastions of power of the Menaphite civilisation for the rest of God Wars.
When Guthix ended the war after millennia of battle, he created a set of edicts that forbade all gods from interfering with the world directly, banishing them. The Menaphite demi-gods, as well as Icthlarin and Amascut, were not affected by this, due to a relative lack of power, but Tumeken and presumably Elidinis were. The former went to sleep in a similar way to Guthix himself and has not been seen since.
Fourth and Fifth Ages[edit | edit source]
Very little is known about the Menaphite Pantheon's activity in the Fourth Age. The capital of the desert, now Menaphos, developed and soon the society flourished. Meanwhile, new settlements such as Pollnivneach and Nardah arose. In the north, the town of Al Kharid was founded. Around the beginning of the Fifth Age, Menaphos and Al Kharid clashed in a bloody war. It was settled with a shaky peace between the Emir of Al Kharid and the Pharaoh of Menaphos, but the two cities remain hostile towards each other.
Meanwhile, Amascut had set in motion a plan to conquer the desert, possibly because the path to do so had been opened with her parents' banishment. She began by incapacitating the lesser deities; for example, she stole three senses of Apmeken and turned them into three monstrous demons that slaughtered all but three of the desert's simian inhabitants, ridding it of monkeys. As a result, Apmeken went into hiding. Scabaras was banished from the desert due to a trick of Amascut's and became seen as an epitome of evil to the Menaphites. Amascut manipulated the Scabarites by pretending to be their god and possessing their High Priest, using them for her own ends.
In 169, she kidnapped the dying Emir's son Ali Mirza and demanded the Kharid-ib, a legendary diamond known as the heart of the sun, as ransom. She obtained it in the end, although her plans with it remain unknown. She then attempted to devour the soul of Klenter, a former High Priest of Icthlarin, but was narrowly stopped in doing so by her brother. In a rage, she unleashed a non-contagious plague over Sophanem, causing the Pharaoh of Menaphos to put the city under quarantine, locking it from the outside world. An adventurer, who had also attempted to stop Amascut earlier, managed to release the Scabarite High Priest from Amascut's clutches and she attempted an assassination on them, but failed. A while later, they also restored Apmeken's senses and erected a new Monkey Colony in the desert. In the meantime, Scabaras had returned from his banishment, secretly having aided the adventurer by attempting to prevent Amascut from obtaining the Kharid-ib.
Sixth Age[edit | edit source]
When Guthix was killed by a Zarosian Mahjarrat at the end of the Fifth Age, his edicts were broken, allowing gods to return to RuneScape. The same was true for Tumeken and Elidinis, although their whereabouts and plans are currently unknown.
In year 1 of the Sixth Age, Icthlarin calls upon the help of an adventurer as Death is missing. On receiving an invitation box to Sliske's ascension, Icthlarin realises it was him who kidnapped Death. The adventurer opens the box and they are teleported to the Empyrean Citadel. As only the gods were actually invited, Icthlarin proceeds into the citadel while the adventurer finds another way in. After passing three trials, the adventurer gets into the main room after getting an invitation and Sliske releases the dragonkin Strisath, who shoots balls of fire at Icthlarin and the adventurer as they attempt to release Death from his cage. After being released, Icthlarin's magical shield fades and Death teleports them out of the Citadel before an approaching fireball hits them.
The gods[edit | edit source]
Tumeken[edit | edit source]
Tumeken is the leader of the Pantheon and the god of the sun, also named Lord of Light. He is the husband of Elidinis and father of Icthlarin and Amascut. He is said to have departed on a journey in a dream of his, wherein he created the four demi-gods of the Pantheon. The kharid-ib, translated as 'heart of the sun', is rumoured to be somehow affiliated with the god. Tumeken is the most powerful of the desert gods, as well as directly creating several extremely powerful lesser gods from his essence. He sacrificed himself to protect his kingdom at the height of the war against the Zarosian Empire, leaving his current status unknown. His symbol resembles a sun crown and he is either depicted as a human wearing it, or a hawk-headed one.
Elidinis[edit | edit source]
Elidinis is Tumeken's wife, goddess of fertility and the namesake of the River Elid. Tumeken met her when he drank from the Elid upon arrival to Gielinor and found her visage beautiful. She is mainly worshipped in Nardah, a desert town named after her friend Nardarine. Not much else is known about Elidinis, other than that she is the mother of Amascut and Icthlarin. It is said Scabaras was banished from the desert after having attempted to 'undermine Elidinis' - the meaning of this, however, remains unknown. Elidinis was affected by the Edicts of Guthix.
Icthlarin[edit | edit source]
Icthlarin is the jackal-headed god of the dead, son of Tumeken and Elidinis, brother to Amascut and responsible for escorting souls of the deceased to the Grim Underworld. He used to do this in cooperation with his sister, but they have become enemies since the warping of the latter's mind, which she blamed on Icthlarin. He is notable for having brought the Mahjarrat to Gielinor to win the Kharidian - Zarosian War. This was successful, but they eventually left him for the ranks of Zaros, a great loss for the Pantheon and a turning point in the Second age. He is very hated by Sliske as a result of his stealing of the Mahjarrat's wights acquired during the war. Icthlarin's symbol is an ankh and he is not powerful enough to be affected by the Edicts.
Amascut[edit | edit source]
Amascut, daughter of Tumeken and Elidinis and sister to Icthlarin, used to be the lioness-headed goddess of rebirth, whose duty was to grant the souls her brother would have escorted to the Grim Underworld a new life. However, she suffered a mental corruption in the Second Age after witnessing the power of the Mahjarrat and abandoned her duties completely, having become The Devourer. As goddess of destruction, Amascut began stealing souls from people to prevent her brother from escorting them, blaming her warping on him, before devouring them. She was confronted and cursed by her clergy but turned them into cats in retaliation, after which Icthlarin granted them immortality.
She has also dispatched of the four lesser gods of the Kharidian Desert. She had the followers of Apmeken massacred using the latter's stolen senses, corrupted Crondis, tainted Het's senses and began manipulating Scabaras's followers, the Scabarites, into invading Sophanem. At the end of the Fifth Age, Amascut succeeded in stealing the legendary Kharid-ib and the soul of Klenter, but lost her control over the four lesser gods in the process.
Apmeken[edit | edit source]
Apmeken is the monkey-headed goddess of friendship and social pleasures. She is the patron god of the desert monkeys and able to change her head at will; a monkey head represents skillfulness, the ape is wise and the baboon is generally comical. She was the second demi-god created by Tumeken - when he saw two tribes argue in bitterness, he also noticed a group of monkeys playfully interacting when one of them approached him and jumped onto his shoulder. He granted her power to rule the desert with him, for she was the "most sociable of creatures". In the Fourth Age, Apmeken's sight, hearing and speech were stolen by the Devourer. The latter forged them into three monstrous demons which she set upon the desert monkeys, slaughtering nearly all of them. As a result, Apmeken went into hiding, but returned centuries later when her senses were restored and the monkeys returned.
Crondis[edit | edit source]
Crondis is the crocodile-headed goddess of modesty and resourcefulness, mainly worshipped by farmers and sailors. She was the third god created by Tumeken, when he was impressed by her resourcefulness upon eating a single small prey, whereas he'd seen the inhabitants of Ullek feast beyond limits. Little else is known about Crondis.
Het[edit | edit source]
Het is the human god of physical and mental health. He was created by Tumeken on the first day of his dream near Al Kharid, when he saw his strength and health among the weak and dying desert dwellers there. Het is worshipped by the Pharaoh of Menaphos for his traits. Warriors generally align to him and the Duel Arena near Al Kharid used to be a training ground for them.
Scabaras[edit | edit source]
Scabaras is the beetle-headed god of wisdom and isolation. Different tales tell of his creation, but the most reliable source states that Tumeken waited for hours in the southern desert, where the only life-form he ever saw was a lone, digging beetle isolating itself from the god. This beetle became Scabaras to be an example of what becomes of one when they lose themselves in solitude. Some time in the Fourth Age, Scabaras was banished by the Menaphites. It is said that he attempted to undermine Elidinis and that he had declared himself the sole god of the desert, although these are very vague references and may have been an attempt to destroy his reputation. He henceforth became viewed as an evil god. He returned in the Fifth Age, however, and attempted to prevent Amascut from obtaining the Kharid-ib, but failed.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The Menaphite Pantheon seem to be largely based on the gods of ancient Egyptian mythology. Tumeken is very similar to Amon-Ra, for example, the greatest deity of the Egyptians, associated with light, while the depiction and function of Icthlarin match those of Anubis, his symbol being an Egyptian hieroglyph. Additionally, Amascut bears some resemblance to Sekhmet. The canopic jars with organs, pharaohs, mummification and decorations in Sophanem, as well as the desert pyramids, are also references to ancient Egypt.
|Facets of gods|
|† denotes gods that are deceased; ‡ denotes gods part of the Menaphite Pantheon|