History of Gielinor

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This article is about the updated version of the 2003 article on the official website. For a more accurate history, see History.
This article is about the updated article. For the original, see Transcript:History of RuneScape.
This article is official lore, copyrighted by Jagex.
This text is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website; the original text may be found here or from a different Jagex source.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

This is a brief history Gielinor as taught to the ordinary citizens of the kingdom of Misthalin.

Be wary! As with many histories, while much that you will be told will be solid facts, some things may also have a bias favouring those in the world who were powerful at the time. Other things will be guesses and theories by historians and may turn out to be flat out wrong.

Things are not always entirely what they seem! In fact, in a world like Gielinor, full of all sorts of mysteries, magic and monsters, lots of things are not what they seem.

The history of Gielinor is divided into six distinct ages, but very little is known of the first three ages beyond a handful of myths, legends, and religious texts. The amount of history that has survived these times is next to nothing, partially due to the vast lengths of time involved and partially due to the great God Wars of the Third Age, which brought most of the mortal races close to extinction.

You can view an animated history of Gielinor which covers the first three ages on YouTube: The Origins of Gielinor.

The Past[edit | edit source]

The First Age - Creation[edit | edit source]

The world of Gielinor was shaped by the Elder Gods at the start of the First Age. It was their perfect creation, and it was their last in a long line of worlds. Theologians and priests state that for much of this time the gods were still in the process of forming the world. Much of this time must have been spent making the various lands, seas, plants and animals. The First Age is said to have lasted four thousand years.

The Second Age - The Age of Gods[edit | edit source]

Scholars have deduced that the Second Age was roughly two thousand years long. Having laid silent and undisturbed for thousands of years, Gielinor was discovered by a young Guthix whose desire to share the world with others meant that he opened portals to bring other peaceful beings to the world.

Many of the intelligent mortal races began to form the beginnings of their great civilisations in this age though not all of the races that rose at this time have survived into the modern ages, so we know very little of them.

At this time the Guthix interacted much more directly with the mortals than the gods do in current times, but it was never his intention to stay. Believing that no god should have such influence over a world, when he felt Gielinor was ready, Guthix went to sleep, and left the inhabitants of Gielinor to live their lives without the influence of a god.

This peace was all to end in the Third Age.

The Third Age - The God Wars[edit | edit source]

The Third Age lasted for around four thousand years long and is also known as the time of the God Wars. Stories tell of when the gods found the peaceful world of Gielinor and wanted to claim it for themselves. This desire saw new portals to the world created, with new races who desired power, not balance and harmony.

Violence swiftly followed, with great and powerful entities, and agents of the gods, fighting cataclysmic wars during which time humanity could only just cling to survival.

The wars raged for centuries, but they came to an end when Guthix woke from his deep slumber when a large area of Gielinor was destroyed by Zamorak.

He cast them out, blocking their return with his edicts, so their wars would not further damage the fragile lands. But the damage had already been done, not just to the land now known as the Wilderness, but to Guthix's desire that the inhabitants would not worship the gods. Having been ruled for so long by these powerful beings, many of the mortal races stayed with their chosen deity, and continued to worship them despite them no longer being able to come to Gielinor.

The Fourth Age - The Age of Mortals[edit | edit source]

The Fourth Age, sometimes known as the Age of Mortals, lasted for roughly two thousand years. With the God Wars over, the mortal races were at last able to multiply and prosper. There were many races competing to make their mark in the world, though. Humans, dwarves, goblins, ogres, gnomes and many more all competed for land and resources. There was much fighting between the different races, so cultural and scientific advances were slow.

To make things even harder there were tales of strange undead necromancers who arose from time to time, summoning armies of undead skeletons and zombies which swept across the land destroying all in their path.

During the early parts of the Fourth Age most of the humans lived in nomadic tribes, battling to stay alive against each other and against the tribes of other races. Over time they started to make more permanent settlements throughout the world, but they continued to have to war with their neighbours.

Many legends, tales and poems exist from this time and tell of the exploits of many heroes such as Robert the Strong and Arrav of Avarrocka.

No race had supremacy in these wars for many centuries until human mages on the north-west continent stumbled across ancient runic magics!

The human mages learnt how to create powerful magical stones known as runestones. They began to create them in large numbers. How they made the runestones was kept a closely guarded secret between just a few of the mages so as not to let the information fall into enemy hands.

These stones meant that many people - not just accomplished mages - could use powerful magic. Virtually anybody with even a small amount of magical ability was able to do something with the runestones and so the humans started to become dominant throughout the world. These events mark the start of the Fifth Age - the Age of Humans.

The Fifth Age - The Age of Humans[edit | edit source]

The human settlements became big cities. They expanded their territories and the human tribes combined to form larger kingdoms. The kingdoms of Misthalin and Asgarnia quickly grew to become the kingdoms of RuneScape they still are today. The mages who discovered rune magic set up a great tower of wizardry in southern Misthalin.

Soon these rune stones were spread to neighbouring human tribes and the Kingdom of Kandarin came into existence. Smaller human strongholds were also established in places such as Al Kharid, Karamja, and Entrana.

For a period of time, things appeared to being going extremely well for the human kingdoms. Some people tried to stand in the way of their expansion, most notably a wave of invading barbarians who objected to the use of rune stones and rampaged through northern Kandarin and Asgarnia, but the rune stones were powerful enough that the kingdoms could deal with all that came their way.

Then disaster struck! At this point in time, the wizards allowed followers of Zamorak to join their ranks, which proved to be a fatal mistake. At a summit in the Wizards' Tower with most of the powerful mages gathered, the Zamorakian mages betrayed the others, igniting a great fire which razed the tower to the ground. Most of the great wizards were killed, and their great library which stored the key to much of their power was also destroyed.

Still, there were plenty of runes left in the world. Enough that the existing kingdoms were able to adequately defend themselves from invaders, though they no longer wished to expend runes to expand their borders any further.

Following the burning of the tower there was a massive backlash against Zamorak's followers, who had previously been tolerated, if not exactly welcomed. In many areas the Zamorakians quickly became outcasts who had to hide away from the rest of the world, though the Black Knights of the Kingdom of Asgarnia still held much political sway in that land.

Thus a relative equilibrium was found for the next hundred years, as the three great kingdoms held off all invaders. Although the wizards remained worried that the stocks of the powerful runes they had used to protect the kingdoms were running low. The enemies of Misthalin, Asgarnia and Kandarin were beginning to find footholds in their lands again in dark corners everywhere, and new heroes arose to maintain order and prevent the collapse of civilisation under the forces of evil!

As with most of Gielinor's history, all was not peaceful for long. The gods had been searching for ways back into Gielinor for some time and the path was paved with the events that took place not long after an archaeological dig unearthed an ancient home believed to belong to Guthix.

As the dig was explored further an alarm was set off, triggering a number of powerful beings to head towards the source. These generals and followers of the gods knew very well what had been discovered - the resting place of Guthix. There were many reasons that these characters sought out Guthix, though most were seeking the return of the gods; how this would happen varied between the groups. The Guardians of Guthix stood between him and against the incoming forces but they could not protect him, and he was killed by the Mahjarrat Sliske.

With Guthix dead, his edicts fell and Gielinor was open to the gods once more. From here, the Sixth Age began.

The Present[edit | edit source]

We find ourselves in the Sixth Age - the Divine Age. This is a time of change and opportunity for all. With Gielinor no longer protected by the Edicts of Guthix the gods can return at any time, and some already have. These gods have clawed at the world, hoping to uncover stashes of the magical energy that once prevented them from returning. With this magical energy, now recognised as divine energy, the gods could become powerful enough to claim the world as their own.

No one can tell what will happen next, there are many that fear a return of the God Wars, others wish for their god to return and prove that they are superior. Many followers have started gathering resources in the Wilderness, others are trying to recruit new believers to their cause. The Godless, a group who are small in number, believe as Guthix did: that no god should have a say in the lives of mortals.

With the World Guardian - you - given the power of Guthix in his dying moments, the future is uncertain. Will a new set of edicts be formed? Will the gods rage war? Or will you take the power for yourself?

Only time will tell. This, is now your story.