Siege of Senntisten

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We must gather the gods. They can drain the eggs to keep them from hatching. It falls to their followers to hold off whatever is coming. The battle to come will be apocalyptic. The world is at stake. We must keep the fight away from the common people. My agents recently uncovered a location which is both fortified and remote. A place I know well. The City of Senntisten...

Azzanadra

The Siege of Senntisten was a massive, year-long battle and a major conflict during the Elder God Wars that took place during the Sixth Age in the underground ruins of the city of Senntisten, around a month after the Battle of the Monolith. Following the discharge of shadow anima from the Shadow Breach, the eggs of the Elder Gods were roused; in order to prevent them from hatching, Azzanadra had them moved to Senntisten, where he hoped they could be defended from their parents while the younger gods drained them of their anima.

Sure enough, the Elder Gods were quick to notice the theft of their eggs, and immediately began to send their forces to attack the city in order to retrieve them by force before they hatched so that they could enact the Great Revision: the end of the current universe and the beginning of the next.

Background[edit | edit source]

During the Battle of the Monolith, Zaros forcibly opened the Codex and used the Shadow Breach contained within to travel to Erebus. The Shadow Breach then began to leak dangerous amounts of shadow anima to Gielinor, which was poisonous to all living beings. Azzanadra was eventually forced to close the Codex himself after Char was drawn into the Shadow Breach, but the resulting backlash made him ascend to godhood. By then, however, the shadow anima from Erebus had already affected Gielinor's animasphere. The worst of the after-effects was, without a doubt, the rousing of the eggs of the Elder Gods in the Elder Halls beneath the Heart of Gielinor: having already been threatened by Kerapac once before, the eggs responded by preparing to hatch.

Preparations[edit | edit source]

Ariane and Charos, well aware that the Elder Gods only needed to touch the eggs in order to transfer their memories and identities and start the Great Revision, enlisted the aid of the World Guardian to help solve the looming crisis. The trio determined that their plan required addressing two core issues: stopping the eggs from hatching and stopping the Elder Gods from touching them. While it was agreed that the first issue could be solved by moving the eggs away from the Heart and draining them of anima, feats which would require the assistance of the younger gods, there was still the matter of placing the eggs in a location beyond the reach of the Elder Gods: it had to be a defensible location, away from densely populated areas and preferably not out in the open.

Azzanadra offered a solution in the form of the ruins of Senntisten, which was believed to have been destroyed during the Third Age; according to Azzanadra, a mostly intact area of the city had been uncovered deep underground, beneath the Varrock Dig Site, making it an ideal position to hide the eggs. Acknowledging that this was not a plan that could be pulled off with just one god, Azzanadra counselled the World Guardian to enlist Seren, Saradomin, Zamorak, Armadyl and Icthlarin so that they might drain the eggs of anima. With the exception of Icthlarin, who deeply distrusted the Mahjarrat and instead proposed to search the universe for an alternative solution, all the gods agreed to help, both by draining the eggs and by enlisting what military forces they could muster for the stand-off.

Once preparations were complete, Azzanadra expended a large portion of his new power in order to teleport the eggs to Senntisten's Grand Cathedral, where he directed the World Guardian in erecting a magical barrier powered by the ancient elements; this, he believed, would emulate the effect of the shadow anima barrier Kerapac used to ward his laboratory on Anachronia, keeping the Elder Gods at bay. After the rest of the gods arrived to lend their assistance and the cathedral was adequately protected, the assembly was interrupted by a projection of Kerapac, who warned them that Jas had commanded him to retrieve the eggs and that he would bring an army of Nodon dragonkin for that purpose. While he admitted that normally he would be happy to help, Kerapac had been bound to Jas through the Needle, meaning that he no longer had a choice in the matter. Once Kerapac was gone, the gods unanimously voted to have Azzanadra coordinate their forces while they focused on draining the eggs, a role which Azzanadra hesitantly accepted.

The Battle[edit | edit source]

The Nodon Front[edit | edit source]

The Nodon Dragonkin lay siege to the cathedral

True to his word, Kerapac awakened the Nodon dragonkin, who had also been bound to Jas as a consequence of his actions, and led them from Senntisten's Colosseum by using their own dream technology to manipulate them. The Nodon quickly set up siege engines in the ruins of Senntisten's market and began attacking the cathedral, while the Temple Knights, Crux Eqal Knights, Commander Zilyana, K'ril Tsutsaroth, Kree'arra, Nex and her Praesul defended the perimeter.

Though the generals were able to kill the Nodon without much difficulty, Kerapac used the Needle to control time and repeatedly resurrect them, effectively reducing the fight to one of attrition. Since they were too occupied with the Nodon to attack Kerapac directly, the World Guardian took it upon themselves to fight him personally.

During their battle, Kerapac utilised both the Staff of Armadyl and the Needle to fight the World Guardian, attacking them with powerful magic and rewinding time whenever he was about to die. Eventually, however, his abuse of the already damaged Needle's power caused it to overload and fracture the threads of time, forcing the World Guardian to fight several time echoes of Kerapac while they tried to kill time echoes of themself. Once the time echoes were subdued, the World Guardian finished off an enraged Kerapac, who was unable to save himself with the Needle. However, just as he lay dying, Jas intervened by using the Needle's power herself to resurrect Kerapac, much to his chagrin, as Kerapac's torture at the hands of Jas had left him begging for death. While Kerapac's defeat temporarily relieved pressure on the front, he would eventually return to fight the World Guardian once more.

The Glacor Front[edit | edit source]

The elves defend the cathedral from the glacors

When the Nodon Front reached a stalemate after a month of prolonged fighting, Wen decided to send an army of her own to assist the Dragonkin. Searching in the lower planes, she found one in the form of the glacors, a rare form of ice elementals that had frozen the world of Leng untold millennia ago. However, she noticed that shadow anima suffused both the glacors and the planet itself. While at first she hesitated to even approach the glacors, ultimately she decided using them was worth the risk and opened several portals across Leng's surface, which the glacors then used to travel to Senntisten.

Arriving in the aqueduct to the south of the Grand Cathedral, the glacors quickly covered the surrounding area in ice. They met opposition in the form of Helwyr and the elven knights under his command, who barricaded the bridge connecting the cathedral to the aqueduct. While the elves could hold the glacors and glacytes at bay without much trouble, they were completely powerless against the threat that had come with them: the Arch-Glacor, a massive glacor that dwarfed Helwyr himself. Familiar with the Arch-Glacor's ability to return after being defeated while becoming even stronger than before, Azzanadra decided to use his own power to hold the Arch-Glacor at bay. He also called upon Ariane, Charos, Akthanakos, Enakhra and Arianwyn, some of Gielinor's most powerful mages, in order to assist him, which they did by neutralizing some of the Arch-Glacor's most powerful attacks.

Aware that their combined magical might would not keep the Arch-Glacor in place forever, Azzanadra directed the World Guardian to fight it, offering advice on how to counter its attacks. When they proved capable of battling the ice elemental at its full strength, Azzanadra allowed the World Guardian to fight it unassisted while he and the rest of the mages rested.

The Croesus Front[edit | edit source]

The graveyard becomes infested with fungus

After another month of fighting, the Glacor Front also saw itself reduced to a stalemate. In view of this, Bik decided to intervene by pressuring the alliance not with a new threat, but rather an old one: Croesus, an ancient, sentient fungus that had once caused such death and destruction in Senntisten that the year its rampage took place in came to be known as the Year of Croesus. Originally, Croesus was created during the Second Age as a biological weapon by the Praetorians, the secret police of Senntisten, who continually tested it and burned away its weaknesses. However, they went too far with their experiments: eventually, Croesus grew beyond their control and infested an entire district, which Zaros's Tenth Legion attempted to contain.

Not only did they fail, most of the Tenth Legion was decimated, forcing Zaros himself to intervene personally by burying the entire district underground, depriving Croesus of substenance for thousands of years until it grew dormant. Bik found the remains of Croesus buried under the graveyard east of the cathedral and resuscitated it, upon which it promptly infested the entire graveyard and killed the Lumbridge and Varrock guards stationed there.

Gorvek, who once served in the Tenth Legion as Morvannon's mount when Croesus first emerged, assisted the World Guardian by explaining how to neutralise Croesus before it could grow too powerful. Since Croesus was not a living creature in the traditional sense of the word, it could not be killed; instead, it drew nourishment from the carcasses of four powerful creatures buried in the graveyard, which in turn had been defeated during the Second Age by four heroes: Vendi, Ophalmi, Tagga and Sana. These heroes, who had also been buried in the graveyard, defeated the creatures not by spell or blade, but by using their skills in Hunter, Fishing, Mining and Woodcutting; as such, Gorvek determined that Croesus could be stopped by repairing the statues of the dead heroes and drawing upon their power to stun Croesus long enough to damage its core. The World Guardian followed Gorvek's plan and was able to successfully force Croesus into dormancy once more (at least, for the time being).

The TzekHaar Front[edit | edit source]

The TzekHaar attacking from Senntisten's sewer

Though Croesus would occasionally re-awaken and relapse into dormancy, the Croesus Front also devolved into a stalemate after yet another month of fighting. By this time, Ful decided to finally send her own army. When the strength of the TokHaar proved insufficient during the Battle of the Monolith, Ful had them reforged in the Elder Kiln, upon which they resurfaced as the TzekHaar. Now stronger than ever, the TzekHaar emerged in Senntisten under the command of TzKal-Zuk, the First Champion of the Kiln. Originally a chieftain and gladiator named Zuk, he became an immortal demigod after besting the TokHaar in combat and claming the Elder Kiln as his prize. When he went on a rampage during the God Wars, Saradomin and Armadyl convinced Bandos to fight him, afraid that Zamorak would attempt to form an alliance with him. Bandos bested TzKal-Zuk after leading him into a trap and dragged him back to the Kiln, where he was then bound by ensorcelled chains that would constrict his limbs harder the more he tried to break free.

Though Ful released TzKal-Zuk from his prison and commanded him to retrieve the eggs, due to the nature of his ascension he was able to retain his mind and will. As such, rather than charge at the cathedral he settled within Senntisten's sewer, where General Graardor led a Bandosian host and challenged him to a duel in order to honour Bandos. TzKal-Zuk easily defeated him and had him dragged from his arena, demanding that a worthier challenger face him in combat and threatening to march upon the cathedral if he was not satisfied. He received an answer in the form of the World Guardian, who faced him after fighting through waves of TzekHaar. After a ferocious battle that saw TzKal-Zuk channelling Ful's power, he was eventually defeated, upon which he acknowledged the World Guardian as a worthy opponent.

The added pressure from the TzekHaar Front, however, had several consequences: first, having run out of reinforcements and volunteers, Zamorak resorted to using his necromancers to reinforce the four fronts with the reanimated corpses of the fallen. Second, because the TzekHaar emerged from the forum directly north of the cathedral, the alliance's supply route was cut off. Finally, due to the added pressure across all the fronts, the Nodon dragonkin, the glacors and Croesus were able to push further towards the cathedral. In spite of this, the fronts were able to hold the line and draw the battle into another stalemate for the time being, though the gods were forced to acknowledge that their plan was merely delaying the end rather than preventing it.

The Eye of Het[edit | edit source]

No. Enough of this. No more pretending. No more waiting to be saved in a perfect crystal prison. Never again. If you won't break this stagnation, fine. See how long you last without me.

Zamorak

After over a month of more fighting, Icthlarin finally returned from travelling the universe. Unfortunately, he could not find anyone willing to aid their cause, unable as they were to grasp the magnitude of the threat of the Elder Gods, preferring instead to build their own defences. Seeing that the alliance had resorted to necromancy, Icthlarin proposed an alternative: rather than having to constantly reanimate corpses, he could retrieve a mystical artifact, the Eye of Het, which had the power to temporarily restore the willing dead to life. In exchange for retrieving it from under the Duel Arena, Icthlarin only asked that he be allowed to hold on to the artifact until he could determine that it was safe to use. The gods agreed to his condition and requested that he retrieve it quickly.

Before he could retrieve it, however, the Duel Arena was struck by an earthquake that caused the structure to crumble and sink beneath the sand, leaving an oasis in its wake. Forced to delay his mission in order to assist with the rescue and recovery efforts, Icthlarin asked the World Guardian to retrieve the relic for him. Once they retrieved it from Het's tomb, Icthlarin stated that the earthquake's timing hinted at someone attempting to steal the Eye before he could seize it; as such, he decided to withhold from delivering it to Senntisten until he found the culprit and asked the World Guardian to find clues.

The World Guardian's investigation led them to uncover a note that incriminated the Zarosians, but upon questioning Azzanadra he dismissed the note as a poor attempt to incriminate Trindine. Upon questioning the rest of the gods, along with Trindine, the World Guardian addressed them in the cathedral, where they were interrupted by General Khazard, who had stolen the Eye from Icthlarin under Zamorak's orders. Zamorak defended his actions by accusing Seren of needlessly prolonging the battle in the vain hope of sparing the eggs at any cost, an accusation that she did not deny. Having had enough of Seren's manipulations, Zamorak destroyed the Eye and left Senntisten in protest, declaring that if everyone was doomed to die anyway, then he would at least die free.

The broken stalemate[edit | edit source]

TzKal-Zuk storms the cathedral

Without Zamorak's assistance, the gods could no longer contain the growth of the eggs. And without their master to lead them, Zamorak's forces scattered over the next three months and withdrew from the battlefield, allowing the TzekHaar to push towards the surface. Moia was able to stop them at the city's entrance, where she met a woman named Hebe. Warning the World Guardian that the alliance was clearly in trouble, the trio headed towards the cathedral, where Hebe revealed that her true identity was Adrasteia, Saradomin's daughter. The gods explained that without Zamorak's necromancers the rest of the fronts were no longer able to maintain their defences and directed the World Guardian to help contain the attacks.

The World Guardian assisted the fronts by weakening Croesus, which had creept closer to the cathedral, and stemming glacyte reinforcements for the Arch-Glacor, which was being contained by Azzanadra alone. Finally, they moved to the Nodon Front, where the Dragonkin were mercilessly bombarding the cathedral with their siege engines. Using an abandoned siege engine, they quickly dealt with the attacking Nodon, only for Kerapac to intervene by using the Needle's power to rewind time and restore the siege engines. After repeating this several times, Kerapac decided he had enough and destroyed the alliance's siege engine, declaring that the cathedral would soon fall and that he had completed his mission.

Sure enough, TzKal-Zuk emerged from the sewers and began personally attacking the cathedral doors. Realising they had finally run out of time, Saradomin beckoned Armadyl to help him destroy the eggs. However, much to everyone's horror, Seren refused to let the eggs die and teleported away with them. Without the cathedral's wards to keep them away from the Elder Gods, Saradomin directed the World Guardian to find Seren and stop the Elder Gods from touching the eggs.

Now that they were no longer forced to focus on the eggs, the remaining gods were free to participate in the battle directly. Empowered with all the anima they had siphoned from the eggs, they were able to immediately turn the tide: Saradomin fended off Zuk and forced him to return to the Elder Kiln with the TzekHaar, Azzanadra was able to banish the Arch-Glacor and send it back to Leng, and Armadyl completely incinerated Croesus until there wasn't a trace of the fungus left. As for Kerapac, he left Senntisten to chase after the World Guardian in the hopes that they would lead him to Seren and the eggs. Without his influence, the Nodon became disoriented and returned to Anachronia.

With the last of the Elder Gods' forces having left Senntisten, the lengthy battle finally came to an end with a decisive, albeit costly victory for the alliance.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Once the World Guardian returned to Senntisten, they relayed to Saradomin, Armadyl and Azzanadra the events that had taken place beyond the city: how Jas and Kerapac were trapped in the Shadow Breach in Freneskae, how Seren fled to Iaia with the eggs and how the Elder Gods were reborn in the Ilujanka homeworld, from which it was highly unlikely that they would leave any time soon. Along with this they revealed that Moia had attempted to trap them in Iaia in order to assassinate them, to which the gods deduced that Zamorak was planning something.

With the battle finished, Saradomin and Armadyl returned to Falador and Prifddinas in order to help with the recovery efforts. Azzanadra, for his part, had a heart-to-heart with the World Guardian, where he conveyed his belief that Zaros would return someday and that stepping aside while the gods and mortals dealt with the Elder Gods was part of his plan. He then bid the World Guardian farewell before taking his leave as well.

The ensuing peace would not last, however: just as the gods predicted, Zamorak would soon make his move in the form of a demonic invasion across the human kingdoms, taking advantage of the fact that the forces of every one of his enemies had been vastly depleted during the siege.