Zarosian extermination

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The Zarosian downfall refers to a group of conflicts in the Third Age that were an attempt to invade, annex and potentially destroy the contested territories of the collapsing Zarosian Empire.[1] It was primarily caused by the ascended Zamorak and his new followers, who defeated Zaros, as they claimed a portion of Zaros's vast empire for themselves, in which Saradomin participated, working mostly independently from Zamorak[2]. The forces of Bandos and Armadyl later took part in the conflict too, battling over a vast plain then known as Forinthry, which was covered by a network of heavily fortified Zarosian strongholds. Despite the power of their enemies, some managed to hold out for centuries, although most eventually conquered by the sheer numbers. 

History[edit | edit source]

The Betrayal of Zaros[edit | edit source]

Zamorak, the most powerful Mahjarrat general in Zaros' service, wanted to usurp Zaros' leadership of his vast empire and the Mahjarrat. When he, by chance, got hold of the Staff of Armadyl, he decided to make his move. With his close Mahjarrat followers Hazeel and Zemouregal, as well as the vampyre Lord Drakan and others, he plotted Zaros' downfall. His allies would engage Zaros' bodyguards while Zamorak fought their liege.

One week before his plan was executed, Zamorak approached the five remaining Dragon Riders, and gave them an offer; that he would provide them what Zaros could not deliver, in exchange for two of their number joining him as personal bodyguards. Morvannon and Apropos agreed to the deal, believing that if they helped Zamorak take Zaros' place as a god, he would cure their infertility.

Valdez, a Saradominist explorer, stumbled upon the Staff of Armadyl. He realised this immensely powerful weapon should not fall into the wrong hands. However, a thief called Rennard found Valdez, knocked him unconscious and stole the Staff. He intended to sell it to Zaros. Instead, Zaros' messenger, Kharrim, took it to Zamorak, who was mortal at that time. Lennissa, a Saradominist spy, found out about the sale and informed her superior Dhalak, a Saradominist mage. Dhalak was supposed to pass the information on to Saradomin himself, but he instead enchanted the staff so that Zaros could not detect it. He hoped that Zaros, the greatest enemy of Saradomin at that time, would be defeated. He also somehow obtained the Stone of Jas, likely also using it to aid him in the conflict.

Zamorak, accompanied by his loyal followers - many of the Mahjarratvampyresdemons, and a human called Viggora, set out to attack Zaros in his throne room.

Zamorak approaches Zaros, wielding the Staff of Armadyl.

Whilst the followers of Zamorak distracted the guards, Zamorak fought Zaros and managed to stab him in the back with the Staff of Armadyl. This weakened Zaros, but he still seemed to be much more powerful than Zamorak. With the staff still impaled in his back he seized Zamorak by the throat and lifted him into the air. Zamorak would have been killed, but somehow Zaros stumbled and fell onto his back. After that, the Staff of Armadyl crossed Zaros' body and impaled Zamorak without leaving it. Unexpectedly, it acted as a conduit that transferred Zaros' divine power to Zamorak. To survive, Zaros left his body and his spirit vanished from Gielinor to then appear in a very distant dimension. The demonic companions of Zamorak took him to Infernus, in order to instigate a rebellion to overthrow the Chthonian demons.

The God Wars[edit | edit source]

Soon after the attempted usurpation of the Zarosian Empire by insurgents loyal to the Legatus Maximus, Azzanadra, then Pontifex Maximus, took over the reins in Senntisten and administered what remained of his dominion, while Zamorak was absent gathering an Avernic demon army on Infernus. An ongoing civil war with violent uprisings ensued, and as such Azzanadra dispatched his general Nex to deal with the rebel forces, after which they were expelled in a massive counteroffensive. Although the empire's frontier was briefly secured, it was becoming increasingly contested.

As a result of his exposure to the Stone and absorbing some of Zaros's godly energy, Zamorak slowly became a god himself, and years later, with his godly powers fully developed, he returned to Gielinor, still wielding the Staff of Armadyl, in an attempt to reclaim the Stone. Upon his return, Zamorak sought out many of his former followers, and soon built an army to take over the world from the other gods. Many of Zaros' holdings, even large and prosperous cities, were soon taken over or wiped out by Zamorak. Saradomin, at that point Zaros' greatest enemy, also destroyed some of Zaros's cities, although this was done somewhat independently of Zamorak. After local Zarosian garrisons were defeated, citizens of the newly conquered imperial territories were forced to accept the authority of the god they were subjected to, although some followers of Zamorak and Zaros remained to worship their god in secret.

The battle of Kharid-Et[edit | edit source]

With the remaining military forces at his command, Azzanadra personally visited Kharid-Et[3], a fortress bordering the Kharidian Desert. and left a detachment of his distinguished secret police under Praetor Trindine to prevent powerful artifacts therein from being compromised, while her Praetorians did everything to aid the local garrison in holding off attackers, and evacuated the citizens suffering from raids of Saradominist and Zamorakian forces. The fortresses' soldiers suffered a bitter end, but not without taking their demonic besiegers with them to the grave[4], after which Zarosian necromancers from the Cult of Orcus revived the fallen in order to finish the remaining Icyenic Saradominist units off[5]. After the enemy forces within the fortress lay dead together with the remaining Zarosians, the Vaults were shrouded in the Shadow Realm by Trindine[6], thus invisible to the naked eye. Thus, Kharid-et ceased to be of importance to the battling gods- in the dark about its contents- and they shifted their focus towards the remaining strongholds, with Forinthry and Senntisten bearing the brunt of the God Wars. As a result, its secrets were kept hidden until an expedition, led by Dr Nabanik and funded by the Archaeology Guild, rediscovered and excavated the remains in the Sixth Age.

The Imprisonment of Nex[edit | edit source]

Nex, an extremely powerful Zarosian general.

At some point in the God Wars, Nex, a powerful Zarosian general, had gathered an army and was working to secure the Mahjarrat Ritual Plateau for the upcoming Ritual of Rejuvenation. Despite her strength, she was eventually forced by Saradominst forces into an icy cavern and trapped. The Saradominsts then built a temple around it, calling it the Temple of Lost Ancients.[7]

Many years passed. At this point, Zamorak had gathered an army so powerful that it seemed nothing could stop him from achieving victory of the god wars. In response, Saradomin forged a triumvirate of gods between himself, Bandos and Armadyl, in order to discuss their battle plans. The gods reached a conclusion, and forged the godsword, a weapon powerful enough to slay a god. An army was gathered, and the Armadylean Aviantese were given the task of delivering the godsword, so that Zamorak may be destroyed once and for all.

Misfortune befell the army, and it was quickly eviscerated by the vast Zamorakian forces. An ambush was also launched on the Aviantese delivering the godsword, attempting to seize the sword. The Aviantese fought off the Zamorakians long enough to retreat into the ancient temple in the mountains. There, they continued the fight for the godsword.

Both Saradomin and Bandos sent their forces to lend the Aviantese aid, marking the arrival of armies of Saradominist knights, while representing Bandos were the Rekeshuun goblins, ogres and orks amongst other, less abundant troops. Tensions quickly arose amongst the gods, and they soon turned against each other, and what should have been a war against Zamorak soon became a quarrel for the fearsome godsword.

The chamber where Nex is imprisoned.

At some point during the battle, a group of Saradominist priests and priestesses were approached by a stranger, who told them about Guthix and how Guthix was the only hope to save the world. The priests were persuaded to turn against Saradomin and become Guthixian followers. However, when the priests and priestesses performed the ritual that they were told would wake Guthix, Nex was instead awakened and freed from her imprisonment. The stranger, who was revealed to be the Mahjarrat Sliske, killed the priests and priestesses after they had done his bidding. One of them, by the name of  Ashuelot Reis, was proficient in Guthixian rituals, and was able to transform herself into a nature spirit so as to pass her story on to adventurers.

To defeat Nex, all four gods joined together to re-imprison Nex once again. They succeeded, and Nex was once again trapped behind the frozen door. After this, the four armies resumed fighting again for their godsword, where they remain to this day.[8]

Destruction of Paddewwa and capture of a Zarosian Temple[edit | edit source]

Armies of Gielinor article This article or section contains information about a character, creature, event or location which is only featured in the FunOrb game Armies of Gielinor. Because FunOrb has been closed as of 7 August 2018, this information can no longer be found at its original source.
The remains of Paddewwa.

As part of a campaign to reclaim the regions that would later become Asgarnia and Misthalin, Saradomin and his followers attacked the fortress of Paddewwa, on which Edgeville now stands. Some of the few remaining Zarosians outside of Senntisten had retreated to the fortress, and Saradomin wished to claim them as his followers.[9] In an effort to do this, he commanded an army to attack the fortress, and despite the Zarosians calling for reinforcements, he was successful, and the fortress was destroyed, although it is unknown if this was due to Saradomin's actions or the result of a later conflict.

The temple in the modern day, now abandoned and dedicated to Zamorak.

Some time later, Saradomin, Zamorak, Bandos and some Menaphites all attacked a Zarosian Temple in Forinthry in an attempt to capture it and retrieve the powerful artefacts inside.[10] All wanting the artefacts for themselves, their forces fought both each other and some of the remaining Zarosians who wished to protect the artefacts and the temple. After a long battle between the gods forces, the forces of Saradomin were victorious, and he claimed both the temple and artefacts for himself, although the temple was later abandoned, allowing the forces of Zamorak to claim it and repurpose it as a Chaos Temple.

The Imprisonment of Azzanadra and the fall of Senntisten[edit | edit source]

A mural depicting the fall of Zaros and the use of the Communion portal.

Senntisten, the most prosperous city of Zaros back then, survived for many centuries, trying to isolate itself from the devastated world. Within, devoted followers of Zaros, such as Azzanadra, worked to restore Zaros's influence on the world, even in their god's absence. To do this, they attempted to use a communion portal to regain contact with Zaros. Later in the war, Azzanadra was trapped by combined Zamorakian and Saradominist forces in the Jaldraocht Pyramid[11], and his Life Force separated into four diamonds, which were then given for safekeeping to four powerful Zamorakian warriors.

With both Azzanadra and Nex, two of Zaros's most powerful followers imprisoned, the forces of both Saradomin and Zamorak decided to take the opportunity to capture Zarosian capital of Senntisten, both creating armies to advance on the city. In an effort to try and save Senntisten, the Zarosian Mahjarrat Wahisietel attempted to turn the two advancing forces against each other by playing on their distrust of one another. However, he was unsuccessful with his ploy, and they continued to advance on the city, causing Dagroda, Priest-King of Senntisten, to order the Zarosian citizens to flee to the other remaining Zarosian strongholds, namely Carrallangar, Ghorrock and Dareeyak.[12] The Zamorakians then claimed the now-empty city, after a brief battle with the Saradominists, and claimed it as their own. Years later, Saradominists destroyed the now Zamorakian settlement and constructed Saranthium on its ruins.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Wahisietel, a Zarosian Mahjarrat.

Eventually, the damage to the world grew so great that the world "cried out with pain," after the cataclysmic destruction of Forinthry, a vast plain now known as the Wilderness. This resulted from a surrounded Zamorak drawing power from the Catalyst and obliterating the surrounding area. Guthix, the god of balance, awoke from his long slumber and established a barrier known as the Edicts of Guthix, to cast the gods out, and prevent them from interacting with the world in all but the slightest way, after which he left the world in the hands of his loyal appointed Guardians of Guthix.

After the Gods were banished, Wahisietel-  alias 'Ali The Wise' - travelled to Ghorrock (the last remaining Zarosian fortress after the God Wars), and informed its last inhabitants how the God Wars resulted without Zaros's presence: with the gods gone, the world could live in peace again. Cities were being raised and people were slowly recovering from the terrible consequences the war had made. Zaros's remaining followers, along with other god's followers, were still forced to live without their god: only a few of the strongest and most disciplined were able to survive the God Wars, including Azzanadra, Nex and her army, Char and others.

Zaros' return[edit | edit source]

Azzanadra reestablishes contact with his lord.

As Azzanadra and the player have managed to make contact with Zaros once more and the Edicts of Guthix were destroyed shortly after the attempt to assassinate Guthix, Zaros has been able to return to Gielinor and is to be restored in corporeal form, depending on the choices the players make in Fate of the Gods, all after about 6000 years (or 3 ages) of exile, distributing his plans to his close allies to further his goals as the god of control and fate in the Sixth Age.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Unknown, "Nex's Followers", RuneScape. "It was a crusade to rid the world of anything - and anyone - relating to Zaros. This resulted in the burning of books, buildings, and those with ties to Zaros who refused to kneel at the boot of Zamorak."
  2. ^ Philippa Wharton, Founder's journal page 1, Star Lodge Cellar, Infernal Source, Runescape. 'He stomps around now, claiming the humans as his own, be they of the empire or not. He snatches up the land and renames it, reshapes it - as if that is enough to claim it. We are embedded here, weeds in his garden.'
  3. ^ Prefect Livia Drusilla, Commander's log page 2, Kharid-Et, RuneScape. 'Today marked the surprise arrival of the Pontifex Maximus, accompanied by the Praetor (the friendly one, praise be to Zaros, not that sadistic clown) and their personal guard.'
  4. ^ Pater Lucius Castillius, Pater's log page 3, Kharid-Et, RuneScape. 'It took every ounce of martial strength in this fort to defeat the demon war party, and now nothing is left to continue our defence. The Prefect is dead. Her soldiers are dead. The civilians are evacuated. Only a handful of us remain.'
  5. ^ Pater Lucius Castillius, Pater's log page 3, Kharid-Et, Runescape. 'Once the icyene arrive, we shall raise the shield and trap them inside with an overwhelming force of undead - loyalist soldiers, traitorous demons and righteous angels alike. Death shall make allies of us all!'
  6. ^ Praetor Trindine, Praetor's log page 4, Kharid-Et, RuneScape. 'I have shrouded the entire praetorium within the Shadow Realm. It was draining, but the defence pylons helped lessen the burden, That should, at the least, keep away all but the most determined.'
  7. ^ Ashuelot Reis, "Ancient Prison", RuneScape. "Although time wears down all things, Nex could not be stopped, only gaining in power the more it fought. Eventually, Saradominists managed to lure it into a series of icy caverns - the same in which we now stand. After great effort and sacrifice, they managed to subdue the Zarosian forces and place them and Nex into a frozen, enchanted sleep. They promptly regrouped and created a massive temple to lock the beast within, the remains of which you see still scattered around today."
  8. ^ Ashuelot Reis, "Ancient Prison", RuneScape. "Nex was rapidly gaining power and nearing full strength once again. For the first and last time in history, all sides stood together and, with their massive numbers, managed to drive Nex back once more, sealing it behind the massive frozen door which I'm sure you've seen."
  9. ^ Saradomin, "Armies of Gielinor", RuneScape. "Humans have an amazing capacity for faith, even in the face of death of their God. Some of the last Zarosian followers have bunkered down in this old fortress. We shall show them the light... by force."
  10. ^ Saradomin, "Armies of Gielinor", RuneScape. "An important Zaros temple is located in this region. Zamorak, Bandos and even some Menaphite's are all descanding on it to claim the powerful artefacts inside. We must claim the temple for Order!"
  11. ^ Ashuelot_Reis, "Ancient Prison", 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."
  12. ^ Dagroda, "The Book of Zaros", RuneScape. "Wahisietel's attempts to set the armies against one another have failed. With a heavy heart, I therefore decree that we are to abandon the Holy City and retreat to the strongholds of Carrallangar, Dareeyak and Ghorrock."