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Kharid/Kharidian Desert
Also called Desert or The Desert (currently there are no other known deserts on Gielinor)
Capital Al Kharid
Cities and
Al Kharid, Sophanem and Menaphos, Ruins of Uzer, Pollnivneach, Bedabin Camp, Bandit Camp, Nardah, Desert Mining Camp , Duel Arena ,Mage Training Arena
Members Only Mostly, besides Al Kharid
No. of Banks 5 (3 members only)
No. of Altars 2 (1 members only, also the Ancient Magicks altar)
Teleportation Ring of duelling (Al Kharid and Duel Arena), Amulet of Glory (Al Kharid), House Teleport (if house is in Pollnivneach), Camulet, Pharaoh's Sceptre
Guilds None
Peaks None
Inhabitants/Race Human, Clay Golem, Scabarites, Camel, Crocodile, Wolf, Mahjarrat
Location on World map
Karamja Kharidian Desert Mos Le'Harmless
The blank dry desert.

The Kharidian Desert lies south of Misthalin and Morytania. The desert becomes a dangerous region south of the Shantay Pass, requiring a player to drink from Waterskins or other sources of water to avoid dehydration. Failing to drink will cause the player to receive Hitpoint loss.



The Kharidian Desert is a vast land found south of the wooded kingdom of Misthalin and Morytania. The desert is the home to some of the oldest civilizations in Gielinor, ranging from the Menaphites that built the cities of Ullek and Uzer to the bandits that are all that remain of the followers of Zaros. As a result, it is amongst the most history-rich and treasure-filled areas in the world. It is this that has attracted so many archaeologists and explorers to the area; but not without consequence.

The most modern settlement in the desert is Al Kharid, having been built in around 1950 in the Fourth age by settlers crossing the River Lum in Misthalin.

Most of the peoples of the desert are worshippers of Tumeken and the Desert Pantheon, although in recent times the population have started to abandon the old Gods and began worship of other, entities. This is demonstrated in the greedy, mercantile spirit of Pollnivneach, the destruction of the statue of Elidinis in Nardah, and the plagues in Menaphos have been blamed on this, as well as incorrect burial practices.

The Kharidian Desert is largely open land, seemingly untouched since the God Wars. Here the scorching desert winds blast the sand, turning the dunes into a sea. The blazing sun watches tirelessly from the sky, slowly draining the life of all that walks beneath it. The vultures circle overhead, eating the corpses of those that the desert bested, and packs of starving wolves search endlessly for prey, their hunger never sated. Many have entered the desert, never to return.

Indeed, the Kharidian Desert has earned its reputation as dangerous, merciless, and unyielding. Yet even here civilization has emerged, and great rewards await those with the courage and ability to travel into its wastes!


Kharidian Desert has the oldest known human civilization from the midpoint of Second Age or earlier, believed to be created as soon as humans arrived there. Known races inhabiting Kharidian Desert were humans and Mahjarrat, residing in Sophanem, Ullek and Uzer. Known gods and other deities worshipped by humans in this region were Desert Phanteon, Saradomin and Armadyl. Much of the south-eastern area of modern Kharidian desert was wooded.

During the God Wars, Kharidian Desert was a site for many important battles where many settlements, most notably Uzer and Ullek, were destroyed by Zamorakian forces. Uzer managed to survive throughout most of the god wars, falling into hands of armadylians, saradominists and zamorakians, until finally an elder demon Thammaron managed to destroy the city (at that time held by saradominists) defended by golems. However, he was mortally wounded and died after making escape to his dimension. Soon Ullek fell to the hands of Balfrug Kreeyath who later became a bodyguard of K'ril Tsutsaroth. A few survivors managed to escape.

However, not all the settlements fell. Menaphos and Sophanem, much smaller today than they were, accepted the refugees from destroyed cities. Former inhabitants of Ullek, for an example, influenced the city greatly, making these twin cities to be some of the oldest surviving human settlements.

During the God Wars, many of the worshippers of Zaros were forced to exile into Kharidian Desert from the northern regions to escape from saradominists and zamorakians. Even in Kharidian Desert, some of them were killed or imprisoned like Azzanadra. Remaining worshippers still reside in Bandit Camp.

At the beginning of Fourth Age, Kharidian desert was one of the few places where many humans lived on permanent settlements, although large part of Kharidian Desert were inhabited nomadic tribes, too. Menaphos and Sophanem continued to grow and many other settlements were created, most notably, Al Kharid near the end of the Fourth Age which managed to achieve political independence from the rest of the desert.

Fifth Age brought a new race, Scabarites, to influence who inhabited the tunnels beneath Ullek ruins. They eventually became a threat to Menaphos/Sophanem.


Kharidian desert is roughly separated into three regions - Northern, Middle and Southern part. River Elid also divides middle and southern regions into eastern and western parts.


Northern Region

A player passing through Shantay Pass, thus leaving the northern region.
Players fighting in the famous Duel Arena of Al Kharid.

Also called Al Kharid Desert. This place is the safest of the three and also open to non-members. It is politically independent from southern parts of the desert and the centre being Al-Kharid. Northernmost part of Al Kharid Desert has a mine with wide variety of rocks. It also has Duel Arena, Mage Training Arena and ends with the Shantay Pass on the southern edge. The Northern Kharidian Desert is the coolest region (temperature-wise), hence it's inhabitants and tourists suffer no desert heat effect.

Middle Region

Shantay Pass divides the northern and middle region where players can buy supplies to venture further into desert. Prior to April 2005 desert updates, anything south to Shantay Pass was called Shantay Desert by many. Middle region of the desert is more dangerous than northern one due to many monsters who are aggressive to low-level players. However most notable danger in this region is desert heat effect which is absent only in a few settlements. Fortunately, Kharidian Cacti grow in this region which can be cut with a knife to refill waterskins. The middle part of this region of desert contains Kalphite Lair, Desert Mining Camp, Bedabin Camp, ruins of Uzer, a hunting area and on the southern border there lies Bandit camp and Pollnivneach.

Southern Region

The southern region is the Kharidian Desert proper. The transition between middle and southern region, especially eastern part is smooth. Pollnivneach, Bandit camp and a mountain range approximately divide the middle and southern region in the east. In most of the southern region, players may notice slightly darker sand colour and especially the lack of Kharidian Cacti. This is where extra waterskins or especially Enchanted water tiara come in handy, when being away from settlements for extended periods of time. The monsters in southern part are also stronger than those found in middle part, for an example, River Elid is full of crocodiles. South-eastern areas near Ullek ruins and reed swamp are particularly dangerous places due to much larger crocodiles and scabarites residing there. The most important landmarks in southern part include Nardah, twin cities Menaphos (currently inaccessible)/Sophanem, several pyramids, mining quarry and ruins of Ullek underneath the swamp area.


Water and Equipment

Waterskins can be refilled by two methods. Any water-filled vessel, such as a Bucket or Sink, can be used to refill a Waterskin. Also, using a knife, players can cut Kharidian Cacti to fill waterskins. Cutting a cactus will not always give the player water, but if it does, the player will also receive 10 Woodcutting experience. Note that many parts of Kharidian Desert, especially in the southern part of the desert, don't have cacti to get water. You can also drink from other sources of water such as water in bowls. Note that you cannot drink from water on the map but not labelled as a water source such as the River Elid.

The Enchanted water tiara is a quest reward from Dealing with Scabaras which can be used in place of waterskins.

Wearing desert clothing, available from Shantay at Shantay Pass, will cause the player to drink less frequently. Without desert clothing, a player needs water about every 90 seconds. With a full set of clothes, a player needs water about every 120 seconds. The Desert outfit and Menaphite robes also provide protection like desert clothing. No other clothes protect against desert heat, despite rumours and opinions that Slave robes or the Robe of elidinis do so.


Although the desert houses many beasts, there are three common creatures that can be found in great numbers and that players should be prepared for. Desert Wolves, though only level 27, can be dangerous to lower-lever players. Ugthanki, level 42 desert camels, are aggressive and potentially dangerous, especially if the player is only wearing robes. In addition, along the River Elid the player can encounter level 63 Crocodiles which will attack the player if he/she strays too close to the river.


There are four major cities in the desert. The player does not need to drink water in most cities.

  • Al Kharid: Al Kharid is the only non-member city in the Kharidian Desert and is located to the north of the desert. Several quests can be started here including The Feud, Prince Ali Rescue and Shadow of the Storm. In Al Kharid there is a bank, a crafting shop, a tannery, a furnace, a platelegs shop, a plateskirt shop, a scimitar shop, some stalls and a palace. Other notable features are the Al Kharid Mine north of the city and the Duel Arena to the north east. If the player wants to enter from Lumbridge, he/she will have to pay a toll of 10 coins, though the player can pass for free after the completion of the Prince Ali Rescue quest.
  • Menaphos and Sophanem: Players are granted entrance to Sophanem if they have started the Itchlarin's Little Helper quest. However, Menaphos is currently inaccessible. Upon completion of the Contact! quest a bank becomes available for use in Sophanem.
  • Nardah: The city of Nardah is located in the south-eastern-most area of the desert. It is located near the Agility Pyramid. The player may buy a waterskin (full) from Ali for 1,000 coins. The reason of the high price is because the city is under a curse, featured in Spirits of Elid quest, which has dried up the fountain. The city also has a Choc-Ice stand, where the player can buy choc-ice for 30 coins each.
  • Pollnivneach: Pollnivneach is a desert city located on the banks of the River Elid. A substantial amount of the quest The Feud takes place here. The city is divided, essentially, between the bandits and the Menaphites. The player can purchase water here from the shop. There is a well, a kebab shop where the player may buy super kebabs and Red hot sauce, and a tavern, where drinks can be bought, and a camel merchant. The player can fill waterskins from the well by filling a bucket and transferring the water.

Other locations include:


The main form of transportation in the desert is by Magic carpet. They can take the player to a variety of places in the desert, such as:

This map shows where magic carpets can go. A blue line indicates a route.
  • Shantay Pass
  • Northern Pollnivneach
  • Southern Pollnivneach
  • Nardah
  • Menaphos and Sophanem
  • Bedabin Camp

The normal cost of such travel is roughly 200 coins. However, doing the Rogue Trader Minigame or wearing the activated Ring of Charos will decrease the price to 100 coins, and wielding both lowers it to 75 coins.

There are also several Fairy rings located in the desert.

In order to enter the desert from the Shantay Pass, the player must buy a "Shantay Pass" from the Shantay, which costs 5 coins. Instead of buying a shantay pass, players can get into the desert via Shanty Pass by Bribing one of the guards. This method costs 100 coins and is not recommended. Wearing armour of any kind, due to its metallic nature, is not advisable, as the player will get hot quickly and will soon use up your supply of water.

Extra Features

The Kalphite Queen

Kalphite Queen: The Kalphite lair is located west of the Shantay Pass, surrounded by bones. A rope is required to enter the Kalphitian tunnels and another to enter the Queen's chamber. Also, on the first level of the dungeon, there is a tunnel leading to the Dorgesh-Kaan south dungeon.

Azzanadra's Pyramid: The final Pyramid from the Desert Treasure Quest, this labyrinth is where the player can switch between the normal spellbook and the Ancient Magicks spellbook.

Agility Pyramid: Located just north of Nardah, this Pyramid is one of the more popular methods of training Agility. Players must negotiate each level of the Pyramid to reach the summit, where they can retrieve a golden pyramid exchangeable for 1,000 coins.

Pyramid Plunder: Located in Sophanem, this Thieving minigame allows the player to advance based on your Thieving level.

Dust Devils: Dust Devils are level 93 Slayer monsters. They require 65 Slayer and a Facemask to kill. They are located down a well east of the Bandit camp.

Desert Lizards: These Slayer monsters are located north of Pollnivneach. They require level 22 Slayer and an Ice cooler to kill .


Similarities to the Sahara

The Kharidian Desert shows great similarity to the Sahara Desert. Like the Sahara it has a long river, the Elid (which is similar to the Nile, Elid is also Nile spelled backwards with a D instead of an N at the end of the word). Gods in the region are very similar to the gods found in Egypt - the Jackal-headed god is virtually identical in purpose and form to his Egyptian counterpart. Even the famous Nile crocodiles have been imported as the Crocodiles found near the Elid.

The major features of the region, the Pyramids are similar, so is the idea of robbing the Pyramids - long a problem for the Egyptian Pharaohs.

This article uses material from the "Kharidian Desert" article on the Runescape wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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