Zaros/History

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History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

Zaros' creator, Mah.

Millions of years ago,[1] Zaros was created on Freneskae by Mah, the youngest of the Elder gods.[2] After her abandonment by the other elders, who thought her to be stillborn, Mah climbed out of Freneskae's volcano and instinctively created both Zaros, the divine aspect of dark energy, and Seren, his light opposite, with the little energy she had. Seeing that Mah's birth resulted in her lacking any intelligence above primitive instincts due to the world's lacking anima, she was unable to teach Zaros anything and treated her creations as toys more than anything.[3]

He felt only resentment towards his cruel creator and desired to leave her. However, he also felt attracted to Seren, being her opposite, and she was interested in him as well. When close to each other, intense feelings towards the other would be triggered in both gods, breaking Zaros' concentration. He suspected this to be a measure applied to them by Mah to coerce them to stay with her, but he eventually abandoned her and Freneskae while she was sleeping. Seren chose to remain, taking care of Mah on the grounds that she owed her creation to her.

After Zaros left, Mah would often cry out for him, with Seren able to do little to comfort her. She also created sentient life in the form of various tribes, which included the Mahjarrat.[4]

Traversing the Multiverse[edit | edit source]

After fleeing from Mah, Zaros traversed hundreds of other, primordial, realms, eventually stumbling across Infernus. There, he encountered the first intelligent life he had seen other than himself, Mah, and Seren. The creatures he saw were demons and he took note of their intricate culture, civilisation and language, both concepts that had been foreign to him before encountering them.[5]

After visiting Infernus, Zaros continued on his journey, finding himself in a realm he named Vampyrium, where he observed vampyres living as feral beasts and preying on the weaker creatures in packs. Seeing their method of feeding as inefficient, Zaros introduced society and culture, both of which he had learnt from the demons, to the vampyres, giving rise to a nobility class which exists to the current day. While this caused a civil war, vampyre society flourished as a result. In gratitude, the vampyres swore allegiance to him.[6]

From Vampyrium, Zaros went to the other planes, and eventually encountered the four paths the other elder gods had taken, calling their destinations the Elemental Planes. There, he encountered other gods; ascendant mortals. He attempted to recruit these other gods to his cause, but was rebuffed, at times violently. Nor did he have much luck in convincing the mortal followers of these gods to join his cause. Amongst others, he would encounter the Icyene of New Domina and the aviantese of Abbinah.[7]

Next, he encountered the higher planes, where the paths of the Elder Gods merged again.

Return to Infernus[edit | edit source]

A virius, a subspecies of Chthonians who joined Zaros.

Eventually, Zaros arrived to Gielinor, more commonly known as RuneScape, around the beginning of its Second Age. This occurred relatively soon after Guthix, the god who had shaped Gielinor, had entered his first sleep. Although Zaros knew of Guthix, though only vaguely from Guthix's few, rare followers, Guthix had no knowledge of Zaros at all.[8][9] Upon seeing how the ascendant gods had carved out territories in the lands, he was angered by their arrogance to claim the world for themselves, and their proclaiming of themselves as gods, when only he and Seren were of truly divine origin. Therefore, he decided to teach them obedience, seeing it as his duty.[10]

Therefore, he returned to Infernus, where he approached the demons' leader, a massive Chthonian called Hostilius the Autocrat, who had devoured many Infernals during the Chthonian Rebellion, and requested twelve demonic legions in return for teaching the demons how to travel between worlds, so that they could attack and eat inhabitants of other realms rather than each other.[11]

Hostilius, who had accumulated significant intelligence due to absorbing the knowledge of his victims, decided to trick Zaros, in spite of easily being able to miss twelve legions. After many slick discussions, the demon set up an unbreakable contract - the deal involved the twelve legions and the knowledge being given to the eldest signatory, whom Hostilius assumed to be himself. Although Zaros immediately noticed the deception, he signed the contract regardless.[12] While the demon erupted in laughter at his own brilliance, Zaros spoke to the demonic crowd of his origins and how Zaros had been created aeons before Hostilius even spawned, and Hostilius fell quiet as he realised he himself had been tricked.

As a result, Zaros, the eldest signatory, received twelve legions while the humbled Hostilius got nothing in return.[13] The legions, consisting of Chthonian nobles (known as Dukes) leading their Avernic slaves, would give Zaros tremendous military power, exceeding that of any other god.[14] Each legion comprised of 1728 demons (twelve times twelve times twelve), giving Zaros a total force of 20 736 demons.[15]

Invasion of Gielinor[edit | edit source]

Zaros finding Gielinor in the Second Age.

Returning to Gielinor, Zaros and his armies arrived near the town of Senntisten, which, along with its surrounding villages, was ruled by a powerful god with several heads, Loarnab, although it was of limited intelligence.[16] Zaros's demonic forces brought sacrifices to lure the god. When most of the demons were killed, Zaros intervened and captured Loarnab, before using it as a power source to bring the rest of his forces through. This feat, coupled with the mere sight of Zaros' might, led the inhabitants of Senntisten to immediately accept him as their new ruler. He proceeded to conquer more territory, although Senntisten would remain the capital of his lands.[17] He would never engage in direct combat himself after the encounter with Loarnab, leading his armies passively instead.[18]

Soon enough Zaros began building a large empire in and around the continent known as Forinthry. Many humans joined his side, if only because his ever-growing armies conquered territory owned by other deities such as Saradomin. Zaros wanted to unite all the gods for his cause as well, but soon found out that gods were not as easy as mortals to bend to his will, and thus none of the other gods rallied to his cause. He also discovered that an inherent trait in himself that would subtly enforce loyalty to him in others, as long as they remained in his proximity. Despite the benefits, he despised this ability, deeming it wrong and unnatural to control others just like Mah controlled him. Only with time would Zaros know if his followers were truly loyal to him.[19]

Building an Empire[edit | edit source]

The fortress of Viggora, a human general who lived in the final years of the Second Age.

Over the course of several centuries, Zaros' empire grew to massive size, stretching more land than any kingdom ever established since, and the god ruled with force, aiming to put the entirety of Gielinor under his control. Its capital remained Senntisten, a large city in the south of the empire and the most advanced settlement of its time, possibly rivalling the elven city Prifddinas. It was also the centre of Zarosian worship, housing a renowned temple to the god in addition to at least one basilica. Other fortresses and cities rose from the ground as well, scattered throughout the empire, the most notable of which are Ghorrock, north of the Troll Country, Carrallangar, Dareeyak, Paddewwa, Kharyrll, bordering the Saradominist Hallowvale, and Annakarl.

The empire was constantly expanded through campaigns to the south, west and east, which were usually successful. Soon enough, the other gods came to despise and fear Zaros in equal measure. Although they could have taken him down in an alliance, their fear for him as well as disagreements with each other presumably prevented this from happening.[20]

However, the constant warfare and dominance of aggressive and hostile races such as demons made for poor living conditions for those in the lower-class of society, most notably for the humans living under Zaros. Although they had access to better technology and magic than, for example, the humans living in Hallowvale, life in his empire was generally dangerous and unsatisfactory.[21] Additionally, humans were considered the lowliest of the Zarosian races, not dissimilar to goblins in the army of Bandos, and often looked down upon, with even the Avernic demons enjoying a better life than most humans.[22] It was not unheard of for homeless humans to be eaten by Chthonian demons, and despite being against the law, Zaros was seemingly unaware of this, and it was ignored by those in the higher tiers of society.[23]

Despite this, better-off humans such as the priests and merchants in Senntisten, had more reasonable lives as the city grew ever larger. Its original inhabitants were converted into his clergy and educated in matters such as religion, law and the language of the Infernal demons. The city would always be the first to benefit of advances in fields such as agriculture, engineering and architecture. Centuries later, it was described as follows by Akthanakos:

Great halls and towers and aqueducts sprang up over the city and the lands around were filled with efficient, irrigated fields, mills, jennies and straight, well-maintained roads. The population continued to rise uncontrollably and the proportion that belonged to the clergy or the military fell and fell. More and more so, the humans devoted themselves to the provision of luxury and services for each other. The city had become its own purpose, not just an administrative centre but a great living creature in the centre of the empire.

Akthanakos[24]

Clash with the Menaphites[edit | edit source]

Jhallan, at the time a relatively powerful Mahjarrat who came to follow Zaros loyally.

At one point, Zaros launched a campaign to the south in an attempt to add the Kharidian Empire, ruled by the Menaphite Pantheon, to his empire. The Menaphites assembled an army, supplemented with mercenaries, to fight back but the overwhelming Zarosian forces proved too powerful. Therefore, Icthlarin, god of the dead, and his sister Amascut, set out to other planes in the hopes of finding allies who would be strong enough to defend their lands in the Kharidian - Zarosian War. They found these allies on Freneskae, realm of constant warfare, where he made a deal with the Mahjarrat; a tribe of extremely powerful magicians and creations of Mah. After a bloody battle between supporters and opposers of the proposition, the Mahjarrat agreed to venture to Gielinor with Icthlarin and defend the Kharidian Empire in return for the promise to revel in bloodshed, never to return to Freneskae.[25]

Icthlarin and his 'Stern Judges' arrived in the midst of battle and the Mahjarrat immediately vanquished the Zarosian troops with little effort. With their help, the Menaphites were able to stop the Zarosians' advancing and pushed them back to the northern fortress Kharid-et over the course of several years. However, the Zarosian commander, Duke Ceres, offered the Mahjarrat to join Zaros instead. The Mahjarrat Sliske, who had got into a feud with Icthlarin, agreed to join him and the Mahjarrat convened to discuss the offer.[26]

Some of the Mahjarrat argued that, in line with their traditions on Freneskae, a sacrifice should be made to appease Mother Mah through the Ritual of Rejuvenation, although they were far from Mah's volcano and the ritual marker was absent as well. Azzanadra explained the history of his tribe and the purpose of their rituals to Zaros, who, realising they were all Mah's creations, immediately understood how the marker functioned and agreed to create another for them.[27][28][29]

The Mahjarrat performed their ritual and sacrificed one of their own. Zaros explained that the sacrifice's energy had not gone to Mother Mah, whose existence he did not doubt, but had instead been dispersed among themselves. He also revealed that, on Gielinor, the Mahjarrat would have to perform rituals regularly to replenish their slowly withering powers and avoid dying, and advised to hold them every five hundred years. Later, the ritual would coincide with syzygy on Wahisietel's suggestion and the marker would be moved to an icy plateau near the fortress Ghorrock. Zaros' deep understanding of their tribe was a major factor in the decision of most of the tribe to join him.[30]

The now Zarosian Mahjarrat emerged from Kharid-et and joined arms with the Zarosian legion, attacking the Kharidian forces who fled to the south.[31] During their pursuit, the lesser number of Mahjarrat that didn't betray Ictharin prepared to make a last stand against the Zarosians. However, Tumeken, god of light and head of the Menaphite Pantheon interfered. Sacrificing himself, Tumeken exploded in a massive blast which not only obliterated the Zarosian legions, but his own army as well, incinerating all combatants to ash. Only a few dozen Mahjarrat were spared because Azzanadra had erected a protective barrier around them. Around four hundred other Mahjarrat, the majority of the tribe, had died along with the remainder of Zaros' troops. Wounded and exhausted, the Mahjarrat retreated to Forinthry.[32] Due to the sacrifice made by Tumeken to protect his people, a large desert was created separating the Kharidians in the south from the Zarosians in the north, both preventing any further large-scale incursions by Zaros, and forcing Zaros to realise he had begun to act like the gods he claimed to fight against. Thus, he retreated back into his empire and ordered his troops to do the same.

In accordance with their merit, Zaros granted the Mahjarrat high positions in his army and priesthood. Many became tribunes and pontifices, with four - Hazeel, Wahisietel, Zamorak and Zemouregal - being given the rank of legate and thus leadership of an entire legion. A few years later, Azzanadra became Pontifex Maximus, leading the entire Zarosian clergy. To avoid an internal conflict, Zamorak was lifted to Legatus Maximus. Zaros also formed a secret police in Senntisten, the Praetorian Guard, led by Sliske and Trindine. The former became Praefectus Praetorio for liberating the Mahjarrat from Icthlarin, and was known to abuse his position for his own amusement, being known to force "unwanted" humans to wear masks and kill each-other as part of a sadistic play for the highest echelons of Zarosian society to enjoy, although he quickly grew bored of it. Those who disagreed with Sliske's actions didn't speak up for fear of social disgrace, or being subject to the inquisition of the Praetorians.[33][34]

With his ranks led by the immensely powerful Mahjarrat, who replaced the twelve Chthonian dukes, Zaros became practically unstoppable. His empire would continue to expand, becoming the greatest the world would ever see. He intended for the Mahjarrat to inherit it, which, coupled with other reasons such as his distaste for his compelling of loyalty, prompted him to retreat from public and rule his self-sustaining empire from behind the scenes. Although Zaros had had knowledge of Seren's presence since the moment he had arrived, the two did not meet. Annoyed by the Guthixian, pacifistic and isolationist influences on her, he took the World Gate from her and the elves in Tirannwn, seeing use in it for himself.[35][36] With it, he was able to travel across the multiverse more easily in order to search for more life and gain more knowledge.[37]

The Ilujanka Conundrum[edit | edit source]

The dragon rider Hannibus, whom Zaros greatly respected.

At some point, Zaros travelled to Iaia, where he discovered the Ilujanka, a race of infertile reptilian humanoids riding creatures known as gurh. Iaia was a realm very different to Gielinor, both geologically and culturally; it was a peaceful world, with no need for conflict. Eventually, after some time observing them, Zaros came before them, and offered them to join his army on Gielinor in return for a cure to their infertility. Faced with the promised prospect of the return of childbearing to their race, some of them accepted Zaros' offer and accompanied to Gielinor through a portal. Adapting quickly to the ways their new world worked, learning the concepts of combat, war, betrayal, loyalty, and lies, they began to tame dragons instead of gurh and thus became known as the Dragon Riders. Over time, they proved to be formidable soldiers, becoming feared by Zaros' enemies.[38]

The Pit, where Zaros stored various body parts for experimentation.

In order to find a solution for the Ilujanka's infertility, Zaros required elder energy, unable to create life himself. Therefore, he returned to Freneskae, where he found Mah in a coma-like sleep and began to harvest her energy from the muspah. Using this energy, he manipulated aviantese, demons, vampyres and Icyene. Reforming their essence into new beings, he created hordes of powerful and dangerous monsters. Although they were zarytes, he dubbed them the Nihil, for they meant nothing to him as they were not the solution to the Ilujanka's problem. Although he had discarded the nihil as a failed experiment, Zaros noted that one of the nihil was larger and smarter than the others, and decided to uplift her as the other nihil would destroy her for being different by granting it sentience. This nihil would later call herself Nex and would become one of Zaros' most loyal and powerful followers.

Realising he required transcendence to be able to help the Ilujanka, Zaros decided he needed to become an Elder God himself, and sought to ask Mah's four sisters for aid in doing so. He searched for Gielinor's Elder Halls but instead of support, he discovered the Elder Gods' horrifying purpose. He found out about the Elder Gods' cycles and that Gielinor served only to provide them with sufficient anima before they would reawaken, destroy the entire universe in a process called the Great Revision, and start creating worlds anew. Zaros realised the world had not been made for mortals and that he needed to save all mortal life from annihilation.

He immediately commenced preparations to disappear from the public completely, instead hoping to become a "guiding voice" in mortals' heads in order to protect them from the Elder Gods. Zaros decided to leave his entire empire to Azzanadra and Zamorak while he would leave. Meanwhile, the dragon riders' numbers had greatly diminished - at the end of the Second Age, only five of them remained: Ablenkian, Apropos, Balustan, Hannibus and Morvannon.

Growing rebellion[edit | edit source]

Eventually, nearly two millennia after Zaros's arrival, some of his followers began to grow dissatisfied with the strict regime and poor living conditions. Most notable amongst these was Zamorak the Scourge, the most powerful of the Mahjarrat and Zaros's supreme legate. Zamorak approached some of his ilk and successfully convinced some of them to join him by playing in on their interests and promising them land and armies in return.[39][40] With the Mahjarrat Lakosta, Lucien, Enakhra, Lamistard, Ralvash, Hazeel and Zemouregal, as well as other powerful Zarosians such as the Avernic Tsutsaroth demons Thammaron and Zebub, the human general Viggora and the vampyre Lord Lowerniel Drakan on his side, Zamorak began planning a rebellion against Zaros, hoping to usurp his master and rule for himself. It has been speculated that his motives were ideological, or simply a putsch to attain power - the exact reasoning remains unknown.[41]

On a mission to the Fremennik Province, he took the journal of the scribe Perjour, which directly communicated his thoughts to Zaros, and substituted it with a fake duplicate, thus preventing the Empty Lord from finding out about his plans.[42] Even though Zaros did not fully trust Zamorak,[43] he did not suspect any betrayal until the moment Zamorak would strike.[44]

Zamorak, in addition to deceiving Zaros, also began to eradicate opposition. For example, during a reconnaissance mission to Prifddinas to find out about Seren's plans, in whom Zaros expressed significant interest,[45] Zamorak attacked the Auspah Char during an elven ambush and poisoned her, thus preventing her from stopping his plans and providing her with a slow and painful death. However, Char powered down and entered a magical sleep, allowing her to resist the poison's effect for millennia.

Despite this, Zamorak's rebellion would not have succeeded due to his master's immense power. However, when he managed to obtain the legendary Staff of Armadyl, the tides turned. The staff had been taken from its temple by the explorer Valdez, who planned to give it to Saradomin, until he was robbed by a thief named Rennard, who decided to sell the staff to Zaros and sent a messenger, Kharrim, to deliver the news. Kharrim was part of Zamorak's conspiracy, however, and went to the Mahjarrat instead, who was able to buy the staff from Rennard for a bargain. Being in possession of an Elder Artefact, Zamorak's powers were increased sufficiently and his followers would have a chance of succeeding.

Zamorak was aided further when Lennissa, a Saradominist spy in Zaros' camp, found out about his possession of the staff and informed her superior, the Wizard Dhalak. Figuring that Saradomin would benefit from Zaros' being defeated, Dhalak cast a concealing spell on the staff, enabling Zamorak to carry it without the Zarosian loyalists detecting it, rather than informing his god. After requesting the services of Morvannon and Apropos, two of the last five Dragon Riders, as bodyguards, and somehow obtaining the Stone of Jas, Zamorak and his followers made their move.

Defeat by Zamorak[edit | edit source]

Zamorak and his cohorts enter the throne room to 'discuss war plans'.

Under the pretence of discussing war plans, Zamorak and his associates approached Zaros' throne room and went inside, though the actual motive of recalling his followers was that there was an imminent coup, and Zaros intended to destroy it. There, Zamorak unsheathed the Staff of Armadyl and struck it into his master's back while his cohorts engaged in combat with the Empty Lord's forces. The events that followed are described by General Viggora as follows:

While we distracted the Empty Lord with our feints and attacks, and kept his bodyguards busy, Lord Zamorak outflanked him, unsheathed the staff and plunged it into his back! [...] The Empty Lord turned away from our battle, eyes burning with hatred, and towards Zamorak instead. Seeing this, we all fought with extra vigour, so that General Zamorak would not face our lord alone, but we were outnumbered by many hundreds of warriors and demons, and could not reach him to assist him. [...] The Empty Lord was a powerful god, stronger than any of the others awake at the time, possibly even as strong as Guthix is, and Zamorak was but a mortal: a Mahjarrat warrior all the same, with all of the strength and power that that entails, but mortal nonetheless, but to see him fight, you would not think of him as a ‘mere’ anything… He was war itself! Flurry after flurry of blows he rained upon the Empty Lord, and the very castle walls shook and quivered with their power, but the Empty Lord would not fall! Even with the weapon of a god embedded in his back, he fought on, and with each blow our victory seemed less and less certain…

Viggora

Even with the Staff sticking out of his back, Zaros fought Zamorak and overpowered him, lifting his former general into the air and proceeding to choke him as the Mahjarrat was screaming and kicking defiantly. It is likely that, aside from the physical battle, the two beings were also involved in a mental clash, unperceivable by 'simpler' beings such as humans.[46] However, at that moment, Zaros "lost his footing", according to Viggora, and fell over, which caused the Staff, still sticking out of his back, to impale Zamorak as well. What exactly happened remains a mystery, although it is quite unlikely that the god simply tripped, as Viggora believes.[47] At that moment, by pure chance, a great part of Zaros' divine power was transferred into Zamorak with the staff as conduit.

The actual events of the memory was remembered by Zamorak and inspected by Kharshai during the Sixth Age, where Zaros had sent Zamorak into a mind threshold and mentally overwhelmed him. As Zaros was overwhelming him, Zamorak soon realised the power of the Staff, as outside of transferring power, it also showed connections, and that this power would allow him to overwhelm the mind threshold. Zamorak used the Staff on Zaros, stabbing him in the chest and bringing the two out of the mind threshold and back into the corporeal world.

Zaros is "slain" by Zamorak.

Realising he was going to die, Zaros abandoned his body in a "bright flash followed by cold darkness" and his spirit left the scene as his body began to fade from existence, while Zamorak's newly acquired power made him seem more present than before. Nevertheless, the Mahjarrat collapsed next to Zaros' shrivelled corpse out of exhaustion. While Zaros, now incorporeal, was fleeing, a powerful curse struck all those who had played a role in the theft of the Staff of Armadyl. Valdez, Rennard, Kharrim, Lennissa, Dhalak and Viggora, although there may have been others, momentarily faded from the material realm and were trapped for eternity in the Shadow Realm. What exactly caused this remains unknown. The ghosts themselves believe the curse to have been uttered by Zaros as a final act of vengeance, at least one of them even claiming to have heard it as a "whisper in the wind," while Lucien deems this impossible and theorises it was a side effect of the crude stabbing with the Staff.[48] Moreover, it is open to doubt whether Viggora's accounts of the rebellion can be trusted due to the afflicted state of his mind after being shadow for thousands of years.[49]

Thammaron and other Avernic, whom Zamorak had promised to aid in overcoming the Chthonian regime in return for their support in the rebellion, gathered around the Mahjarrat's body and took him to Infernus. There, he would lead their revolution for nineteen years, after which he returned triumphantly to Gielinor, this time as a god himself, and with many hordes of Avernic, who had either destroyed the Chthonians or banished them to the Abyss, following him. Meanwhile, Saradomin and Armadyl had found out about Zaros' defeat and taken the Stone of Jas, respectively, the Staff of Armadyl from Zamorak in his absence. Their followers began to spread rumours of how the two gods had banished Zamorak themselves, which they did not stop. Zamorakian sympathisers and other gods began to attack the Zarosian empire, which began to crumble from all sides as the forces of Azzanadra, who had taken up leadership of the remaining Zarosians, depleted.[50] Zamorak's followers were driven out of Senntisten and hunted by the Zarosians while members of the Zarosian leadership tried their best to commune with Zaros and lead the empire in their god's absence. The five remaining Dragon Riders, for whom Zaros had not been able to find a cure, were viewed as traitors by both the Zarosians and Zamorakians for not choosing sides in a timely manner, and assassinated.[38] Hannibus, who did not side with either group, managed to escape his assailants, but fearing for his mount's safety, left it and was subsequently captured by Enakhra.[51]

Upon seeing that Saradomin had taken the Stone from him, and Armadyl took the Staff, Zamorak declared war on both of them, throwing the world into a war of gods, ending the Second Age.[52]

Diminishing of Zarosian following[edit | edit source]

Throughout the Third, Fourth and Fifth Age, Zaros' spirit travelled the multiverse and ventured far away from Gielinor. He eventually arrived on Freneskae, where he would indefinitely remain.[53] In this state, he did not have the ability to think or perceive anything, and through the slow process of absorbing energy from Muspah, creatures spawned by Mah's nightmares, only then was he able to recover his power and restore his mind.[8]

The Battle of Annakarl in 3100, wherein Saradominists and Zamorakians fought over Annakarl.

Meanwhile, the Zarosian Extermination was performed mainly by Zamorakians and Saradominists throughout the entirety of the Gielinorian God Wars; in an attempt to completely wipe all memory of the Empty Lord from the world, the Zarosian settlements were systematically attacked and destroyed. Zarosians themselves were persecuted; those who did not flee to safe harbours such as Senntisten, which would remain safe from attacks until the final few centuries of the wars, were mercilessly slaughtered. However, most of them remained loyal, believing Zaros to be ruling from the Shadow Realm rather than dead, and high-ranked Zarosians such as archbishop Ayanetka urged the others to remain vigilant.

A mural depicting the Zarosians attempting to reestablish contact with their lord.

Indeed, the Zarosians did not lose their faith. Mahjarrat such as Wahisietel and Azzanadra, whose prowess in battle and unconditional loyalty had earnt him the title 'Champion of Zaros', defended the Zarosian settlements with relative success. Nex defended the Mahjarrat ritual marker in the Battle for the Ritual Site but was lured into a cave by the opposing army of Saradomin, where she and her troops were imprisoned beneath the Temple of Lost Ancients for centuries. Meanwhile, Azzanadra continued to try and re-establish contact with Zaros from Senntisten, to no avail, but becoming psychologically affected by the absence of his god in the process.

Towards the end of the wars, however, the Zarosians were unable to persevere. During the Battle for the Godsword, Sliske tricked a group of Saradominists into releasing Nex from her prison before disappearing, but an alliance between Saradomin, Zamorak, Bandos and Armadyl managed to seal her once more after a whole lot of blood. Eventually, Azzanadra fell to a Zamorakian-Saradominist alliance and was imprisoned in the Jaldraocht Pyramid in the Kharidian Desert.[54] Before he was imprisoned, however, he had provided Sliske with an artefact for safekeeping, which would allow them to re-establish contact with Zaros later.[55] The latter would do so faithfully. In addition to trapping Azzanadra in the pyramid and filling it with many traps to prevent anyone from rescuing him, his defeaters also placed some of his life force in four diamonds, which were subsequently spread around the world by safekeepers and linked to four obelisks outside Jaldraocht, which, in turn, made the pyramid impenetrable to ensure Azzanadra's imprisonment.[56]

Around the year 3700, Wahisietel's attempts to make the Zamorakian and Saradominist besiegers of Senntisten turn on one another failed, prompting priest-king Dagroda to order the city's immediate evacuation, believing that its fall was plan of Zaros' "grand scheme". As the Zarosians fled to Ghorrock, Dareeyak and Carrallangar, the only fortresses to remain standing, Senntisten was taken over by Zamorakians and utterly levelled by Saradominists a century later, who built a new city on top of it; Saranthium.

The ruins of Dareeyak following the annihilation of Forinthry.

When Guthix awoke from his slumber and ended the God Wars another two centuries later, he established the Edicts of Guthix and banished nearly all gods from the planet. By this time, Zamorak had utterly destroyed Forinthry with the aid of the Stone of Jas that he had succeeded in stealing from Saradomin, completely laying waste to all Zarosian fortresses except for Ghorrock, which housed a small number of Zarosian refugees led by matriarch Lamarinta. As such, the Zarosian Extermination had not been completely successful; although most inhabitants of Gielinor had forgotten about the Empty Lord and those who hadn't did not dare utter his name, he was still worshipped, even though his followers had been reduced to the colony in Ghorrock and a camp of bandits in the desert.

Only in the Fourth Age did the few remaining Zarosians come to realise that Zaros was not ruling from the Shadow Realm, but had truly gone.[57] By the end of the age, knowledge of Zaros had almost completely disappeared, save for his very scarce few followers.

The god himself continued to slowly regenerate his power as well as the ability to think on Freneskae.[8]

Communication restored[edit | edit source]

In 169 of the Fifth Age, an adventurer and newly qualified archaeologist working for the Varrock Museum discovered the ruins of the Senntisten Temple in the Varrock Dig Site east of the city. They found a Zarosian talisman and a stone tablet with Zaros' name upon it, both of which are now on display in the museum, and thus returning knowledge of Zaros to the world, to a small extent.

Some time later, the same adventurer was recruited by Eblis, leader of the desert bandits, to release Azzanadra from the Jaldraocht pyramid in the southern part of the Kharidian Desert. To do so, the adventurer had to defeat three of the Zamorakian Guardians tasked with the protection of the Diamonds of Azzanadra, whilst the fourth gave up his diamond in return for a favour. The collection and subsequent placement of the diamonds on the exterior obelisks surrounding the pyramid allowed it to be opened. Azzanadra, who had lost track of time and transformed into a ghostly being, was shocked to learn that the God Wars were over and that Zaros had disappeared from his mind as well as the dominance of Saradominism, Guthixianism and Zamorakianism before leaving to think and plan.[58][59] The adventurer also released Akthanakos, another Zarosian Mahjarrat, from the grip of his rival Enakhra, who had likewise imprisoned him thousands of years prior in a temple built by herself.

The disguised Azzanadra in the renovated temple making contact with Zaros.

Azzanadra and Wahisietel, who had gone into hiding by assuming a human alias after the fall of Senntisten, began to plan Zaros' return and requested the adventurer's help in rebuilding the Senntisten Temple to establish contact with Zaros. Disguised as the human archaeologist Dr Nabanik, Azzanadra acquired clearance to renovate the temple with his new ally's help and oversaw its reconstruction by Kharidian workmen. He had the adventurer retrieve a collection of items, namely the frostenhorn from Ghorrock, the icon that Sliske had been safekeeping from the Barrows and another ancient relic which an accomplice had taken from Entrana. With these items, Azzanadra was able to create a communion portal in the restored underground temple, the magic of which could be amplified to reach even the farthest and most distant realms. He contacted Zaros, who made contact with Gielinor for the first time in millennia from an area on Freneskae known as the sanctum. After rewarding Azzanadra for his efforts, the two began to plan the god's return in secrecy. A significant problem was that Zaros was still incorporeal, and would require a body, even though he had more than regained his former power by this time.

Azzanadra, Akthanakos, Wahisietel, Char and Nex argue with the other factions about the fate of Guthix.

Some time later that same year, tectonic activity caused the magical seal imprisoning Nex to weaken, making the Ancient Prison accessible. Char was also restored in her cave near the Galarpos Mountains by the aforementioned adventurer. At the very end of the year, after the eighteenth Ritual of Rejuvenation, which saw the sacrifice of Jhallan, the resting place of Guthix himself was discovered and various factions raced inside to claim the kill, for Guthix' death would allow their respective gods to return to Gielinor. The Zarosian Mahjarrat, Char, and Nex convened and decided that Guthix should be woken and bargained with rather than killed, and Sliske enlisted the adventurer's help to aid them. When the other Zarosians arrived to the cave after a series of battles with other factions had already taken place and only the Guthixian defenders and Saradominist attackers remained, Azzanadra asked the adventurer to wake Guthix, but Sliske betrayed his allies and assassinated Guthix using the Staff of Armadyl, which he had secretly obtained beforehand. Although this cast doubt on his loyalty to Zaros, the death of Guthix was accompanied by the abolishment of his Edicts, thus allowing Zaros to return more easily. Additionally, the adventurer had been uplifted to World Guardian by the dying god, giving them resistance to divine magic.

Zaros and Azzanadra hence continued to plan the former's return as the Sixth Age began. A problem was, however, that the other gods had begun returning as well, which immediately led to clashes, such as the one between Saradomin and Zamorak at the Battle of Lumbridge. To prevent these other gods from posing any difficulties, Zaros ordered Sliske to create a distraction for them in order to keep his own return secret.[60] He did this by obtaining the Stone of Jas with the Dragonkin's inadvert help and gathering most of the major gods at the Empyrean Citadel, where he promised to award it to whoever would have slain the most gods by the next solar eclipse, to his fellow Zarosians' great dismay. Indeed, the gods seemed to be occupied by this as Armadyl and Bandos engaged in a heated battle shortly after, which ended with the latter's death.

Return to Gielinor[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Fate of the Gods.
The World Gate in the Shadow Realm.

With the other gods distracted, Zaros ordered Azzanadra and Sliske to make the final preparations for his return. To this end, Azzanadra travelled to a spot near the Arandar pass where the World Gate was located, albeit in the Shadow Realm. There, he met with his friend and ally, the World Guardian, and explained to them that they were to journey to Freneskae through the gate and do whatever necessary to return Zaros. He reluctantly revealed that Sliske's services to pull the World Gate into the material realm were also required, at which point the latter appeared. He took the World Guardian into the Shadow Realm so that they could activate the World Gate, which they successfully did, but also suggested that they did not necessarily have to help Zaros, but could also choose to sabotage his return, since he would be entirely at their mercy. Afterwards, the two returned to the material realm and the World Guardian set foot on Freneskae.

After a considerable time spent traversing the hazardous environment of Freneskae, avoiding streams of lava, toxic gases and lightning along the way, the World Guardian reached the sanctum, where they unlocked a door leading into The Pit, where Zaros was waiting for them, although he quickly vanished. A flock of nihil then arrived and the World Guardian was forced to kill them in order to progress. Afterwards, they climbed out of the pit to appear on Freneskae's volcano, where they saw Mah sleeping as well as Zaros' spirit. Zaros took the two of them inside their mind to be able to talk without rousing Mah and revealed that he needed a dark simulacrum woven from Mah's elder energy to serve as his new body, and that only the World Guardian would be able to create such an artefact. He also allowed them to ask him questions on many topics, such as his views on other gods, or races such as the demons and the Ilujanka. When the conversation was finished, Zaros sensed that Mah had indeed been roused by their presence, and offered the World Guardian to enter their mind in order to better withstand whatever she might do. [61]

Zaros shapes a simulacrum in his image.

As they left the mind threshold, Mah's nightmare spawned hordes of muspah, who proceeded to attack the World Guardian, while she herself occasionally produced devastating screams. After some time, Mah calmed down again, and the World Guardian was safely able to descend into the volcano's crater, which also contained Freneskae's Elder Halls. There, they found The Measure, an Elder Artefact, which they used to siphon Mah's energy. After gathering a sufficient amount of energy, they made a divine simulacrum and offered it to Zaros. If given a dark simulacrum, Zaros thanked the World Guardian. [62] If given a light simulacrum, Zaros asked them if they were sure of their decision; if they were determined to sabotage his return, he accepted it nonetheless, as he had no other choice. [63]

Zaros returns with a large wound in his chest if given a light simalacrum.

Zaros shaped the simulacrum into a new body, sustaining heavy damage if given a light simulacrum, and reformed his robes and mask. At that moment, his full presence caused Mah to awaken. Alarmed, the World Guardian gave Zaros permission to teleport the two of them away and Zaros transported them out a fraction of a second before Mah would have crushed them. [64] The elder god screamed in agony and rose up from the volcano to chase the two. Meanwhile, Zaros and the World Guardian left Freneskae through the World Gate and they gathered in a mind threshold once more, this time joined by Azzanadra, Sliske, Char and Nex.

Zaros meets with his most faithful followers.

Depending on the World Guardian's decision, the Zarosians either rejoiced, or glared hostile looks at the World Guardian for sabotaging their lord. Regardless, Zaros turned his attention on Sliske, due to the Mahjarrat's suggestion of sabotaging his return. Therefore, he promptly excommunicated the Mahjarrat from his following, to the latter's great anger. [65] Sliske threatened the World Guardian before leaving the scene. Next, Zaros ordered Char to watch Sliske, making sure his possession of the Stone of Jas would not invoke the Dragonkin's wrath. He charged Nex with keeping the activities of the warring gods in check, while Azzanadra was to search for Gielinor's Elder Halls so that Zaros could fulfil what he had attempted to do before Zamorak's rebellion: to find the elder gods, convince them not to destroy the universe, become an elder himself and cure the Ilujanka's infertility. If the World Guardian sabotaged Zaros' return, he also tasked Azzanadra with finding a way to extend the duration of his body. If the World Guardian assisted in his return, he tasks him with dealing with the Dragonkin.

Regardless of the World Guardian's decision, Zaros rewarded them for their efforts by giving them a crystal shard of his own body, which would protect them and enable them to contact Zaros from the sanctum on Freneskae any time. He then left to reacquaint himself with Gielinor and prepare his plans.

Restoration of Seren[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during The Light Within.

As the World Guardian carried a severely weakened Seren to Freneskae, they went through The Approach, where several Force muspah attacked them, who was forced to dodge their attacks as they were carrying Seren, until Zaros appeared and dismissed the Muspah. Zaros told them that it was not a wise choice to bring her here. The World Guardian told him that they had no idea what to do and Seren was getting weaker, Zaros told them that he had an idea to restore her. He asked them not to tell Seren of his presence and told the World Guardian that he could not assist them with the ritual, as he could not stay and watch her be reborn again due to the threads Mah had put to keep them together. Zaros took them down to the Elder Halls and explained the instructions to them before he left. [66]

The World Guardian completes the process, reviving Seren. Immediately, she notes his presence here and asks the World Guardian if he was here [67], to which they can tell the truth or attempt to lie to her. Regardless of their choice, Seren gives them a story from several millienia ago, when the two were looking over Mah. In the story, Zaros tells Seren that Mah is stunted due to the lack of anima and sees her as a waste of power, and wants to become an Elder God himself.[68]

Return to Freneskae[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Children of Mah.

The remaining Mahjarrat (barring Sliske), convened at the Gielenorian ritual marker again to discuss why their powers were draining at an alarming rate. Zemouregal wanted to sacrifice Kharshai, but Zaros came in before he could do so. The Zarosian Mahjarrat rejoiced at his arrival while the Zamorakian Mahjarrat were terrified of his presence. Zaros told the Zamorakians that he was not here to fight, and told them all to come to Freneskae if they wanted to live before leaving. Zamorak later arrived, and told them that what Zaros told them wasn't the truth.[69]

Zamorak then allowed Kharshai to search his memories for the real truth, due to his neutrality which would prevent biased opinion. During Zamorak's betrayal, when Zamorak impaled the Staff of Armadyl into Zaros, they fought each other mentally. Zaros had the upper hand on Zamorak and called the Mahjarrat lowly beings and mercenaries, showing that he thought very little of them. [70] When Zamorak realised the true power of the Staff, he overwhelmed Zaros. Regardless, the Mahjarrat decided to head to Freneskae, as they had no other choice.

The World Guardian returned to Freneskae and navigated through many obstacles to reach the ritual marker. Zemouregal attempted to sacrifice Kharshai once again, but Zaros quickly intervened and told the Mahjarrat that they would be performing the final Ritual of Rejuvination. Several of the Mahjarrat questioned the ritual, believing that they were going to sacrifice one of their own. Zaros clearly explained the process to the Mahjarrat, stating that they were draining from Mah herself. By doing so, they would never have to complete the rituals again. Zamorak later appeared and believed that he was attempting to empower himself; Zaros attempted to show Zamorak by using General Khazard as a test subject, prompting the god of chaos to reveal that Khazard was his son. The two then fought; Zaros easily overwhelmed Zamorak, as Zamorak's determination had withered through the ages. Zamorak attempted to channel his power to the other Mahjarrat, and Zaros, noticing this, quickly halted his attack, not wanting to make him a martyr.[71]

Zaros was impressed with Zamorak's resilience and powers, and told him that they would make an excellent pair if they worked together. He suggested creating a Viniculum Juris pact. When Zamorak refused, Zaros informed him that the only way "he [was] getting out alive" was if Zamorak agreed not to interfere with his plans. [72] Zaros outlined the terms of the pact, telling Zamorak that he would know what he had to do when Zaros referred to him as his Legatus Maximus. In return, Zaros promised to give them the ritual. He asked the World Guardian to be the witness of the pact, knowing that they would be in Sliske's game. [73]

When Mah began to stir, Zaros told the World Guardian to rush up the mountain to stop whatever Mah may have conjured in her nightmares. They entered Mah's mind with Seren's assistance. By the time they finished, Zaros, Zamorak and the Mahjarrat had already completed the ritual, draining almost all of Mah's power. Seren goes down to confront Zaros and the Mahjarrat, and as they argue, Zamorak and the other Mahjarrat soon sense that she shared the same energy signature as the Mah they met thousands of years ago and accuse her of genocide. Zaros tried to defend Seren's actions [74] despite the latter being angry at him. When Seren becomes angry at Zamorak and the Mahjarrat, Zaros was barely able to calm her down and had her leave the planet.

Zaros asks the World Guardian to meet him at the top of the mountain, by Mah's remains. Zaros later tells them that while he loathed her, a part of him felt sad. He later noted an Elder God core in Mah's remains and felt something dormant was lying within it. Zaros thanked them for their actions, as they had helped him and the Mahjarrat greatly. If they opted to tell him that Seren mercy killed Mah, then he understood her reaction and stated that it was likely that she would never forgive him. [75]

Nex's Empowerment[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during The Promised Gift.

Sometime after the death of Mah, Zaros visited Nex in her ancient prison and gave her extra power by giving her four crystals that would empower her. He explained the origins of the four crystals to her; the smoke crystal was created from a smoke demon in Infernus. The shadow crystal was made from 1001 shadow cacklers from the Shadow Realm. The blood crystal was created from the blood of Drakan's mother, who was also a true-born vampyre. The ice crystal was created from an arch-glacor on the frozen planet of Leng.

He left Nex with these tools, reminding her of her task to keep the younger gods in check, in addition to having her check on Seren to ensure she would not try to stop him.

Sliske's Endgame[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Sliske's Endgame.

Zaros was one of the participants in Sliske's Endgame. He was speaking with Seren about the death of Mah. Zaros visited Seren because they both knew that they could no longer oppose each other, as letting one of the younger gods get their hands on the Catalyst would be disastrous and prematurely wake "them" up. The World Guardian walked into the middle of their conversation, prompting Zaros to leave, but before he did, they handed them their invitations.

He was accompanied by his entourage, which consisted of Vindicta, Azzanadra and Char. In the labyrinth, Zaros and his group attempted to navigate through it but had difficulty doing so; however, they did meet with the World Guardian and Zamorak while navigating the labyrinth. When he met with the World Guardian with his entourage, he simply watched as Azzanadra and Char were arguing about what to do with Sliske. When Vindicta spotted the World Guardian, he ordered her to stand down. If his entourage was booted, then he told the World Guardian that regardless of the outcome, it would always benefit him.[76]

Upon meeting with Zamorak's group, both groups immediately began throwing insults at each other, before Azzanadra spotted Moia and asked who she was. Zamorak told Azzanadra that Moia was a half-human/mahjarrat hybrid, much to Azzanadra's horror. Azzanadra asked Zaros if he knew of her existence, but he simply stated that she was not important, and her secret died with Lucien. Azzanadra desired to destroy Moia, but Zaros told him to stop as they were here for the Stone. Both groups then left. If either group was gone, Zamorak had the urge to complete his rebellion, but decided not to because it had been in the past and he had saved his people. Zamorak admitted to why he began his rebellion, and Zaros admitted that he had always seen potential in him, albeit surprised with how he showed it. Zamorak then noted that he was feeling "loyal" to Zaros, due to his divinity being stripped of during the game. Zaros told him that his feeling of calm was fake, and his rage would return, but implored him not to let it master him before they left.[77]

If Zaros was the first to complete the first half of the maze, he decided to remove Saradomin's entourage, stating that it was the most logical decision. [78] If Seren was the first to complete however, then she decided to remove Zaros' entourage. [79]

Eventually, Zaros and Seren teleported to the Stone after an argument (and invoking their pacts, which would either hold or shatter depending on the World Guardian's choices in restoring them) about who should claim it when Kerapac appeared and destroyed it. Both Zaros and Seren assisted them in stopping Sliske; upon Sliske's death, all three were teleported to Jas' chambers.

Zaros requested Jas to make him an Elder God, as Mah had died and that the Elder Gods were dwindling. He offered Mah's core, though Jas refused, as he was not Mah. Zaros asked Jas what he needed to do to become an Elder God, and Jas simply replied with "life". Zaros showed proof with the creation of the nihil and Nex, but Jas had not made it clear to him, as she meant to create life from nothing, which she believed that only her kind was capable of. Zaros left the chambers in anger, stating that he had learned that there was no absolutes and that he would succeed in his task and claim his birthright.[80] He briefly returned to the Senntisten Temple before leaving Gielinor in search of something that would help him achieve this goal. Before he left, he instructed Azzanadra to prepare the Senntisten Temple for his eventual return.[81]

Post-Endgame[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Curse of the Black Stone.
The following takes place during Desperate Times.

When the World Guardian recruits Vindicta for the battle against The Ambassador, she mentioned that Zaros warned his followers about the danger The Ambassador poses, indicating the possibility that he is aware of Xau-Tak's existence. [82]

For unknown reasons, Zaros was not present at Seren's congregation for combating the threat of the Elder Gods - it is unknown if he had returned to Gielinor by then. Azzanadra, however, was present at Seren's congregation, suggesting that Zaros was monitoring his sister's actions.

Activating the mysterious monolith[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Archaeology/Pre-release.

Zaros teleported next to the mysterious monolith at the Varrock Dig Site. He commented that it was "curious" and then warned Guildmaster Tony and Azzanadra (disguised in his human form as Dr. Nabanik) to stay back before he activated the monolith, causing it to float and glow with purple light. After doing this, Zaros teleported away.[83]

Waiting on Anachronia[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Kerapac Track.

When the Curator tasks the World Guardian to retrieve mushrooms from Anachronia for study, they were led to Zaros by their tome of tracking. Zaros said he was waiting for something that would soon occur in the area.[84] The World Guardian commented that Zaros must spend much of his time waiting. In response, he said that he has spent more time waiting than the human species has existed.[85] He then revealed how he learned patience after a thousand years of being abused and treated like a plaything by Mah, his creator, and how his patience was how he escaped.[86] Zaros handed the World Guardian the last mushroom they needed before ending the conversation.[87]

Raksha[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Raksha, the Shadow Colossus (miniquest).

When Raksha's prison was discovered in the ruins of Orthen, the World Guardian entered the oubliette to find Zaros conversing with the prison's Keeper. After explaining Raksha's origins to the World Guardian, Zaros removed a vat of shadow anima from the containment system. While the Keeper had warned Zaros beforehand not to do this, knowing it would rouse Raksha into wakefulness, Zaros had confidence that the World Guardian would be able to handle the after-effects. Having acquired what he had come for, Zaros disappeared once more.

Final Preparations[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Azzanadra's Quest.

Zaros tasked Azzanadra with making the final preparations for his plan against the Elder Gods, telling Azzanadra to act as if he was acting on his own accord and not taking orders from him. Azzanadra asked him if they could rely on the World Guardian for assistance, as they had greatly assisted their cause in the past. For reasons unknown, regardless of their decisions with him, Zaros told Azzanadra that they could not be trusted for the upcoming plan, causing Azzanadra some grief as he was reluctant to betray a valuable ally. Nonetheless, he complied with his orders.

Azzanadra was able to locate the Elder Halls of Gielinor with the assistance of both the World Guardian and Ariane, fulfilling the task Zaros had given him a few years back. He also tasked both him and Trindine to take the Locator from Saradomin, as it would be vital for the plan's success.

Saradomin proved to be too strong for both Mahjarrat, so Zaros was forced to intervene by teleporting to the White Knight's Castle and used his powers to take the Locator from Saradomin, claiming that he was the rightful owner. He then proceeded to teleport away most of the Temple Knights and half of the White Knights, who became loyal to Zaros after Trindine used the Frostenhorn to amplify residue of Zaros's loyalty aura which had been instilled in them by Veilinus, the demon that was secretly Sir Vey Lance.

Returning to Kharid-et, he then stated that his plans were about to come to fruition, but had one more task to complete before doing so. The World Guardian, who arrived just as the meeting was ending, managed to hear that he was intending to attack the mysterious monolith in the Archaeologists' Guild, something which he anticipated would result in conflict with Seren, but he was prepared to do so. Azzanadra asked him about the Elder Gods' eggs, worried they would hatch, but Zaros reassured him that they would not be a threat before teleporting out.

Attacking the Monolith[edit | edit source]

The following takes place during Battle of the Monolith (miniquest).

Zaros sent Azzanadra and his loyal followers to claim the Monolith in his name. To his disappointment, they were having difficulty clearing the area of the triple alliance of Saradomin, Seren, Crux Eqal and the World Guardian. After a week since the battle started, Zaros teleported in to resolve the matter himself. He was immediately confronted by Seren and mysteriously stated that Gielinor was lost. Seren told him they could work together, but Zaros refused and stated that she would have to kill him to stop what he was doing, which she refused and teleported away. The items Zaros had taken in preparation for the event would prove useful in doing so - the vat of shadow anima from Raksha's chambers to protect him, the Locator to guide his way inside, and Mah's core to give as an offering to whatever rulers resided in the realm.

He then explained the Codex's true purpose to the assembled group - it was meant to cover up the rips in the universe that led to the Shadow Realm, as its toxic anima would endanger the universe, with one of the major tears being in Gielinor itself. Azzanadra offered to accompany Zaros, but he refused, stating that the atmosphere would kill him an instant. The Mahjarrat then offered to prepare the world for his return.

Zaros then opened the Codex and went inside, causing numerous shadow cacklers to emerge from the opening, not caring about what would happen to Gielinor.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Seren, "Desperate Times", RuneScape. "My mother was an Elder God... Thought weak, deformed, abandoned. No threat to Gielinor. She created me, millions of years ago, along with- with... another."
  2. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "I have always been. I was created this way. By Mah. She is an elder god. The youngest of five."
  3. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "She was born without memory or knowledge, only instinct. After finally clawing her way to the surface, her first instinct was to pour what little energy she had into the creation of me and my companion. That would likely be an affront to the other elder gods. To her I was akin to a child's doll."
  4. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "My companion intends to remain behind to tend and comfort our creator, believing that we are indebted to her for our existence. I feel no such debt. I shall leave and forge my own path."
  5. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "I have walked upon a hundred proto-worlds, half built and failing - the early works of Mah's elder sisters. But here, for the first time, I have stepped onto a plane that, although raw and imperfect, teems with conscious life. They have order and architecture, society, and bureaucracy. It is a machine with so many moving parts, and yet - against all odds - it works. From the Chthonian dukes to the Avernic slaves, each individual a cog in the machine. Even the ousted Infernals have a part to play. They also have something called language - an alien concept, but one I find most fascinating."
  6. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "I continue my exploration of the lower planes of the universe, this time of a world named Vampyrium. The dominant species is predatory and instinctual, though not lacking in awareness. They roam the surface and skies in small packs competing for prey. It is wasteful, both of these predators their prey. They can be put to better use. I intend to experiment with them - to teach them of society, of culture."
  7. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "Upon reaching the edge of the lower planes, four paths opened to me - each path laid by one of Mah's sisters. [...] These I call the elemental planes, and they overflow with diversity. It is upon these elemental worlds that I have first encountered creatures who refer to themselves as gods. They have some semblance of divinity, but, unlike me, they are not of truly divine origin. I am intrigued as to how such limited beings have overcome their inherent weaknesses, for they appear to have derived from among the mortal races. Indeed, many races from these planes follow the dogma of these self-proclaimed gods, and I unable to sway them to my cause."
  8. ^ a b c Jagex. Above the Lore - episode 12: The Joy of Zaros Mods Jack, Osborne and John A Above the Lore podcast, 16 October 2013.
  9. ^ Jagex. "God Letter 25 - Guthix Reiterates, 9" (Archived from the original.) RuneScape God Letters.
  10. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "Many of the races I encountered on my journey have flocked to this perfect world, led here by their deities... but this world does not belong to them. They carve out territories and scar the land with their petty skirmishes. They must be taught obedience. As a child of the creators, I feel it is my duty to bring these young gods to heel."
  11. ^ Sliske's memory, written by Sliske, RuneScape. "Zaros plainly requested the use of twelve legions of demons. Hostilius, too surprised to be offended, demanded to know what the tiny purple creature offered in return, and Zaros offered the secrets of travel between the worlds, to allow the Chthonians to devour whole new races rather than be reducing[sic] to preying on each other."
  12. ^ Sliske's memory, written by Sliske, RuneScape. "By defining and redefining terms throughout the document, he specified in fine legalese that leadership of the legions would be passed, not to Zaros, but to the eldest signatory, i.e. Hostilius. Zaros saw the deception immediately, but rather than call attention to it he allowed it to remain, knowing what Hostilius did not."
  13. ^ Sliske's memory, written by Sliske, RuneScape. "The humbled Hostilius pledged to Zaros his twelve mightiest Dukes and their legions, and since the same language had been used for Zaros's part of the trade, he received nothing in return."
  14. ^ Palkeera's memory, written by Palkeera, RuneScape. "Though he was never master of Infernus itself, even just a few legions gave Zaros military power unmatched by any of the other gods. The legions were formed of Chthonian nobles leading teeming hordes of Avernic shock troops."
  15. ^ The Account of Aesa Fellsdottir (Part 1), written by Aesa Fellsdottir, "Barbarian Assault/Rewards", RuneScape. "Then a mighty stranger came to that place, and bargained for the loyalty of twelve dukes and their legions. Each legion comprised demonic soldiers numbering twelve times twelve times twelve."
  16. ^ Akthanakos' memory, written by Akthanakos, RuneScape. "In the time before Zaros, at the dawn of the Second Age, Senntisten was a primitive human settlement much like any of the others that dotted Gielinor. It and the villages around it were ruled over by Loarnab, a many-headed god of limited intellect but tremendous might."
  17. ^ Akthanakos' memory, written by Akthanakos, RuneScape. "Zaros's legions trapped Loarnab and Zaros used his magicks to twist it into a living power source for his forces. The arrival of thousands of demons, and the torture and imprisonment of their god, so intimidated the people of Senntisten that they didn't even try to fight. They bowed down in worship of their new ruler. Zaros's legions spread outwards conquering more and more of the human tribes, but he remained in Senntisten and made it the centre of his civilisation."
  18. ^ Mod Jack. "Important question about Zaros." 19 November 2013. RuneScape Lore Discussion Forums.
  19. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "I... compel loyalty within others, forcibly. It is not something I have control of – it is something that was done to me by Mah. I am unable to rid myself of this… ability, but I must live with it. [...] It is one of the reasons I chose to withdraw from my own empire. I find the idea of coercing another mind to be… distasteful. But it only affects those in my presence, and the effect dissipates with time."
  20. ^ Lennissa, "The Curse of Zaros", RuneScape. "As I told you, the Empty Lord was extremely powerful, but not so powerful that he could rule over the other deities of this world. Should he have made a move against any other god, then he could still have been easily brought down by the combined efforts of the others."
  21. ^ Mod Jack. "Opinions on Zaros." November 2013. RuneScape Lore Discussion Forums.
  22. ^ Declaration of Viggora, written by Viggora, RuneScape. "I hoped that this would let humans deal as equals with our lord's demon and Mahjarrat forces. But most of them still saw humans as nothing more than feeble apes. Even though humans had become our lord's most reliable strategists and engineers, the other generals treated me with disdain."
  23. ^ Hazeel's memory, written by Hazeel, RuneScape. "There is a law in the empire against consuming humans, but I do not think they keep to it very well, and I do not think Zaros is aware of the violation. There are many forces that keep the streets of Senntisten clear of the homeless, and not all of them are economic."
  24. ^ Akthanakos' memory, written by Akthanakos, RuneScape.
  25. ^ Bilrach's memory, written by Bilrach, RuneScape. "We had no choice but to evacuate immediately, and fled with Icthlarin to his world. None of us ever returned to our homeland."
  26. ^ Jagex. Above the Lore - episode 4: The Secrets of Sliske Mods Osborne and Raven : "Was Sliske the first Zarosian Mahjarrat?" -"See, this is what I'd like to say... Well, after, you know, the God Emissaries story, then, I'd like to say he was." (24:24) Above the Lore podcast, 20 June 2013.
  27. ^ Mod Slayer. "Mahjarrat Memories FAQ." 21 March 2014. Recent Game Updates Forums.
  28. ^ Wahisietel's memory, written by Wahisietel, RuneScape. "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 to 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 Azzanadra 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."
  29. ^ 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'. Could they really be so? After my departure, could she have created more toys? 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."
  30. ^ Wahisietel's memory, written by Wahisietel, RuneScape. "The Ritual proceeded with an uncommon solemnity in the presence of an actual god, and afterwards Zaros explained what he had been able to perceive of it. In the absence of Mother Mah, whose genuine existence he seemed not to question, 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. When I later learned of the syzygy from human astrologers, I recommended this to the others and we have practiced it thus ever since. Zaros's replacement marker stone was eventually relocated to Ghorrock, where it remains to this day. I think Zaros's insight into our ways was the most significant factor in our decision to join the empire."
  31. ^ Kharshai's memory, written by Kharshai, RuneScape. "It took us only a handful of years to drive the Zarosian empire out of Menaphos completely, but at the fortress of Kharid-et we betrayed the one who delivered us from Freneskae and sided with Zaros. I obeyed the will of the strongest as is proper, but it is not something I am comfortable with. We emerged from the fortress and with the might of the Zarosian army, pushed the Menaphites and the small number of our kin who had not defected back into Menaphos once more."
  32. ^ Ralvash's memory, written by Ralvash, RuneScape. "When we followed Sliske and Duke Ceres through the gates of Kharid-et and turned our back on Icthlarin and the Menaphites we could not imagine what would become of us. We had spent only a few years among the Menaphite army, all of it on campaign, with ceaseless fighting against the Zarosian legions. Once we turned to Zaros, those of us who survived that final disastrous battle moved to the empire and were granted positions of power and authority within it by our new lord."
  33. ^ Jhallan's memory, written by Jhallan, RuneScape. "After the war with the Menaphites was over, we moved into the empire and Zaros bestowed on us high stations within its bureaucracy and military according to our merit. [...] For the more unusual predilections of Sliske and Trindine he created a new organisation, the Praetorians, the secret police of Senntisten. For his part in the liberation of the Mahjarrat from Icthlarin, Sliske was given the office of Praefectus of the Praetorians. Some years later, when the human occupant of the position died, Azzanadra was elevated to the rank of Pontifex Maximus and became the head of the church, and thus the second in command to the whole empire. To avoid conflict between his most favoured servants, Zaros also created the rank of Legatus Maximus and awarded it to Zamorak."
  34. ^ Ralvash's memory, written by Ralvash, RuneScape. "Sliske wrote and performed a play for the elite of Senntisten: the more urbane demons and the most powerful human merchants and bureaucrats. Before the play he took unwanted humans from the streets of the city, dressed them in brightly coloured costumes, and placed upon each a crude wooden mask. At his command the masks spoke aloud and controlled the movements of the players, compelling them to jerkily act and dance and mime his play like puppets, with the person behind the mask able only to watch his own actions. [...] Sliske performed it a dozen times before growing bored and moving on to something else."
  35. ^ The Book of Seren, RuneScape. "Whatever my goddess's intentions, they were set aside when a great emptiness fell upon this world. It spread like a blight across the land - led by one who cared not to live in harmony with the world as we did, but sought to control all and bend it to its will. We even lost the World Gate to its insatiable hunger, and we could travel no more to our crystal world of old."
  36. ^ Jagex. Above the Lore - episode 9: Audience with Mod Mark Mod Osborne Above the Lore podcast, 6 September 2013.
  37. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "I shall use this 'World Gate' to more quickly and easily explore creation, and to further my knowledge of magic and science. Perhaps there are mortal races left who might yet join my cause, on worlds I have previously overlooked."
  38. ^ a b Last riders, written by Hannibus, RuneScape.
  39. ^ Enakhra's memory, written by Enakhra, RuneScape. "I travelled with Zamorak as he went to each of the other Mahjarrat who doubted Zaros and told them what they wanted to hear."
  40. ^ Viggora, "The Curse of Zaros", RuneScape. "So anyway, Lord Zamorak and his trusted compatriots, namely myself, Hazeel, Drakan, Thammaron and Zemouregal made plans to overthrow our lord using the god-weapon, and by pledging allegiance to Zamorak as our master, were each to be given a large piece of land as our own in return."
  41. ^ Lamistard's memory, written by Lamistard, RuneScape. "Some said that he wished to rule, and that our rebellion was simply a political coup. Others claimed an ideological motivation, and of these it was the philosophy of chaos that gained the most traction."
  42. ^ Jagex. "Twice Burnt." RuneScape Lores and Histories.
  43. ^ Rennard, "The Curse of Zaros", RuneScape. "His name was Zamorak. I remember thinking at the time it was odd, because the fella was a mighty powerful warrior, but he was never fully trusted by… WHY can't I remember his name???"
  44. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "I did not anticipate for Zamorak's ascension, nor did I engineer it."
  45. ^ RuneScape. "He was curious of the activity of the ‘goddess’ Seren, hidden away in her crystalline city, and wished to send a party of the most trusted followers to scout the area, or so he claimed. When he told me, something seemed wrong, Zaros was troubled, I could feel it."
  46. ^ Mod Jack. "How Did Zaros Trip?." 19 August 2013. RuneScape Lore Discussion Forums.
  47. ^ Mod Jack. "Joy of Zaros Podcast Summary." 18 October 2013. RuneScape Lore Discussion Forums.
  48. ^ Lucien's memory, written by Lucien, RuneScape. "The strangest claim, consistent across all of them, was that Zaros had placed them in this state in a final act of vengeance for their part in his downfall. As much as I may be glad to see Zaros gone, I knew him well enough to find the claim implausible. I must believe they had something to do with the acquisition of the staff, though, or how would they even know of its existence? My theory is that when Zamorak crudely invoked the staff's power by the simple expedient of stabbing it into Zaros, some of the power that was released fed back through the staff into everything it had a recent connection with, especially those who had been in physical proximity to it. How or why it trapped them in that dead state I do not know."
  49. ^ Lucien's memory, written by Lucien, RuneScape. "In the course of my investigations I encountered a number of ghosts around the empire, including one that claimed to be our old friend General Viggora. The ghosts told a strange tale of Zamorak's acquisition of the staff, mixing personal testimony with whatever dreams and imaginings ghosts experience in their tormented unrest. [...] As for Viggora, he was a pathetic shadow of the mighty chieftain I had once counted as an ally, wallowing in imagined self-pity and his own delusions. When I returned to squeeze more information from him some years later, he had retained no knowledge of our previous meeting and responded to me as a stranger once again."
  50. ^ Zemouregal's memory, written by Zemouregal, RuneScape. "[...] those of us who remained held out against the Zarosians. We were aided in this as the other gods chose this time of crisis to launch their own invasions into the stricken empire, and Azzanadra's rapidly depleting forces were fighting on all borders."
  51. ^ Hannibus, "Hannibus Hunted", RuneScape.
  52. ^ Mod Emilee. "Game Update FAQ - 14/09/11." September 2011. Recent Game Updates Forums.
  53. ^ Mod Mark. "Behind the Scenes - March 2014." 28 February 2014. RuneScape News.
  54. ^ Ashuelot Reis, RuneScape. "Following Zaros's downfall in the Second Age, Azzanadra, the Mahjarrat-general of Zarosian forces, was defeated by the armies of Zamorak and Saradomin. He was driven back and imprisoned in the great pyramid of Jaldraocht."
  55. ^ Azzanadra, "The Temple at Senntisten", RuneScape. "It was no accident. An ally from the old days placed it in their care while I was trapped in that forsaken pyramid."
  56. ^ Eblis, "Desert Treasure", RuneScape. "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. The four pillars surrounding the structure are keeping the containment spell intact. By placing a diamond into each, you will breach the magical defences and begin to restore Azzanadra's power, and be able to enter the structure."
  57. ^ Amelia of Avarrocka, "The Book of Zaros", RuneScape. "At last, I understood. When a lord has no servants, he cannot be betrayed. Zaros will return, but he will rule not as a king in a palace, but as the unknown power behind all things. If he needs followers he will choose only a few, powerful beings. He will not need the tiny remnant of his first empire, whose only virtue is having kept faith. I die in peace. Zaros - in his wisdom - has forsaken me."
  58. ^ Jagex. Postbag 9 - "Transcript:Sawdust, Wallbeasts and Kebabs!", Letter 5, by Azzanadra. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
  59. ^ Azzanadra, "Desert Treasure", RuneScape. "More time must have passed than I had thought... Tell me, what news of great Paddewwa? Do the shining spires of Lassar still stand? And what of glorious Annakarl? The fortress is still intact? [...] My lord... What has become of you? I cannot hear your voice in my mind anymore! My thanks to you brave warrior for your help in freeing me from this accursed tomb, but it seems I have much to do to make amends. If the shining cities no longer stand, then it means that we must have failed my lord... How long have I been trapped here? Master... Have you truly been dispatched from this world? [...] Now, I must leave you, for there must be some trace of my master's power left somewhere."
  60. ^ Sliske, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "I promised Zaros that I would cause a distraction to keep his return secret for as long as possible, and I intend to keep it."
  61. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "If you let me in, I can absorb some of the damage caused to you by Mah and her muspah. I can also supply you with unlimited power to fuel ancient magicks and curses."
  62. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "Yes, this is exactly what I need to return to full strength. You have done well, World Guardian. I am in your debt."
  63. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "I see... There is no other who could perform this task for me - I am at your mercy."
  64. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "She's waking! We have to leave! I need your permission! World Guardian, now!"
  65. ^ Zaros, "Fate of the Gods", RuneScape. "Excommunication. You will have no further association with us. You are on your own."
  66. ^ Zaros, "The Light Within", RuneScape. "See the light that emanates from her, as revealed by the power of the elder halls.[sic] That energy must be passed into the fractured shards. Redirect the flow of light into those shards. When enough energy has been cleansed in this way, she will be restored. I will leave you to this task now. Tell her ... no, tell her nothing of this."
  67. ^ Seren, "The Light Within", RuneScape. "Ah ... but speaking of darkness, I sense my brother's lingering presence. He was here, wasn't he? Zaros."
  68. ^ Zaros, "The Light Within", RuneScape. "Forgive me. But why should we be imprisoned by the half-baked ideas of a child that dreams itself a god? I see a different way. I will find these Elder gods and I will claim my birthright. I will become as they and then I will make this universe ... perfect."
  69. ^ Zamorak, "Children of Mah", RuneScape. "Good. I know what Zaros has asked of you and I implore you not to obey him. He only has his own selfish interests at heart. No good can come of this pilgrimage to Freneskae, but I am well aware some of you will care little for what I say. So I must show you. I only ask that you use the information I bestow upon you to make the right decision."
  70. ^ Zaros, "Children of Mah", RuneScape. "Semantics! I simply told you what you needed to hear. You are nothing but glorified mercenaries, fighting for whoever is top of the food chain.
    Zamorak: This empire - your legacy - was built by us. YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT THE MAHJARRAT!
    Zaros: Nothing? I am your god. You are simply a child who has grown insolent enough to bite the hand that feeds. But you cannot bite now. Kneel before me."
  71. ^ Zamorak, "Children of Mah", RuneScape. "If I am to die, the power YOU gave me will become theirs!
    Zaros: What? No..."
  72. ^ Zaros, "Children of Mah", RuneScape. "You have no choice. If you wish to leave this place, I need to know you will not interfere with me again."
  73. ^ Zaros, "Children of Mah", RuneScape. "Then it is settled. Player can serve as our witness, [he/she] is sure to be present at Sliske's game. Let us begin."
  74. ^ Seren, "Children of Mah", RuneScape. "Do not defend me, Zaros. You will never stand beside me again."
  75. ^ Zaros, "Children of Mah", RuneScape. "Sister... Seeing Mah like that must have caused her immense heartache. Her reaction is even more understandable after making that decision. I do not expect she will forgive me."
  76. ^ Zaros, "Sliske's Endgame", RuneScape. "It is not a question of winning or losing. I have never seen the need, or felt the desire, to participate in mortal entertainments and this is no different. I have made sufficient effort to ensure that whatever the outcome, things will transpire according to my design."
  77. ^ Zaros, "Sliske's Endgame", RuneScape. "It is not real. Your rage will return. Your rage at me, in particular. But I urge you, Zamorak, for the sake of the warlord who once showed so much promise, and the righteous divinity you have become: do not let it master you. Come, we must go."
  78. ^ Zaros, "Sliske's Endgame", RuneScape. "It is the most logical decision."
  79. ^ Seren, "Sliske's Endgame", RuneScape. "This game is pointless Sliske. But I shall name Zaros as my target, if a target must be given."
  80. ^ Zaros, "Sliske's Endgame", RuneScape. "I have learned enough to know that there are no absolutes. If I can create life, you will accept me as one of you!
    Voice of Jas: Impossible
    Zaros: We shall see about that. I will not be denied."
  81. ^ Azzanadra, "Sliske's Endgame", RuneScape. "My lord has returned here after the affair. He was invigorated and determined in a way I have not seen him in some time. He has left this world for the moment, seeking something beyond the stars. He has requested I prepare the temple for his return, a task that I am more than happy to attend to."
  82. ^ Vindicta, "Curse of the Black Stone", RuneScape. "Kranon the Ambassador. I have heard of him. The Empty Lord has warned of the danger he represents."
  83. ^ Zaros, "Archaeology/Pre-release", RuneScape.
    • Zaros: Curious. Stay back.
    • Guildmaster Tony: By the gods.
    • Dr Nabanik: Zaros, what are you doing here?
    • [...]
    • Guildmaster Tony: He raised it... He actually raised it.
    • Dr Nabanik: Willingly it seems.
    • Guildmaster Tony: I've spent so long reasearching this and now it stands erect before my very eyes. And to be graced by the presence of Zaros, especially above the site of Senntisten...
  84. ^ Zaros, "Kerapac Track", RuneScape.
    • Player: What are you doing?
    • Zaros: Waiting.
    • [...]
    • Player: For what?
    • Zaros: I have need of something that will occur in this vicinity.
  85. ^ Zaros, "Kerapac Track", RuneScape.
    • Player: Do you spend much of your time just waiting around?
    • Zaros: World Guardian, I have spent more time waiting than your species has existed. You lack patience. I do not blame you. If my lifespan were as minuscule as yours I too would rush. I learned patience over the first thousand years of my existence.
  86. ^ Zaros, "Kerapac Track", RuneScape. "It is not an emotional matter but a factual one. Mah did not create us to be her children. She did not even create us as servants. We were her toys. Misshapen facsimiles of the bipedal life that tormented her mind and body. She did not know, care or possibly even understand that we had thoughts of our own. Perhaps we did not, initially. Perhaps we were merely mannequins. She only took us out when she wished to play. She contorted and articulated and smashed us, and when she was done she returned us to our cage. But over time I learned, I developed. In time I escaped. Because I was patient."
  87. ^ Zaros, "Kerapac Track", RuneScape.
    • Zaros: I believe you are looking for these.
    • Zaros hands you the final mushroom specimen you required. Is this what the tracker was being drawn towards?
    • Player: Thank you...