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Up to date as of February 07, 2010

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A Statue of Scabaras.

Scabaras is a desert god, usually associated with isolation and, often, evil. Since his banishment in the Fourth Age, his following has diminished greatly, and the Menaphites highly discourage worshipping him.

He is usually depicted as a scarab or insect-like humanoid. Since he is god of solitude and was exiled, he is thought to be based on the Egyptian god Set. Still due to his scarab traits, he is also believed to be based on the Egyptian god Khepri. He is probably simply a mix of the two.

Should players pick up the beetle-headed canopic jar in the Icthlarin's Little Helper quest, they will be able to fight the level 75 Scabaras.

Contents

Beliefs

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Overview

A tablet depicting the Desert Pantheon, with Scabaras on the far right.

The central idea of Scabarite belief is to gain a permanent mental state of tranquillity known as enlightenment. This is accomplished by isolating oneself from the outside world, avoiding contact with any other living creature unless the worshipper is killing them or, in some cases, converting them.

Modern Followings

As a reward for centuries of loyalty, the Scabarite's human forms have faded, and they now appear as humanoid scarabs. Some believe this appearance is moulded after Scabaras himself.

Ideally, a Scabarite should lead their entire lives without contacting any others, as this pollutes the mind and draws them further from the path of enlightenment. Whilst isolated, Scabarites eat very little and spend most of the day meditating, a painstaking process that takes a lifetime to master. As a result of this lifestyle, the Scabarites have remained almost completely undetected for centuries.

Most Scabarites live alone within the Kharidian Desert, hidden in caves and tunnels beneath the ground. A very rare exception to this rule is in the Scabarite Tunnels in the South-eastern desert, where hundreds of cultists have recently taken up residence in the old tunnels of Ullek. Here, the High Priest of Scabaras has taken up residence.

Exactly how large groups of worshippers avoid mental pollution is unclear. A number of issues occur as a result of living in a group. Those that serve as warriors experience pollution by working together, and by continuously coming in contact with enemies. Breeding, also, is considered a pollution, and as a result doing either of these things is considered a great sacrifice necessary for the survival of the cult.

Although, Scabaras is a god of the Menaphite Pantheon. It would be wrong to claim this as a "religion", rather than a sect or cult of the Pantheon within itself.
A Scabarite ranger.

Early Followings

According to the Pharaoh Queen, during the Second Age, followers of Scabaras were not regarded as 'evil', and were more generally associated with Scholars, Philosophers and other intellectuals. She states that there is now much dissent between the different sects of the pantheon, where there once was cooperation, suggesting that following of Scabaras was once encouraged, or at least, tolerated. "Scabaras cleanses mind and body through solitude. His followers are always deep thinkers, coming to conclusions tempered by lack of distractions. If you wish for a life of study, you can do no better than to follow his ways."

She also states that "By the example of the dung beetle we learn that the unpalatable may be transformed into life through proper attitudes." This is an example which is followed by all who attempt to make the barren desert their home, even the Menaphites who highly discourage the worship of Scabaras.

History

A possible portrayal of Scabaras. Seen on a Sophanem wall.

Origins

Three different stories tell of the origins of Scabaras. All take place in Tumeken's Dream, a religious tale that details the origins of the Desert Pantheon.

First Version

The first, less common tale says that on the fourth day of Tumeken's Dream, Tumeken travelled to the southern reaches of the desert. However, as his dream took place in the Second Age, there was virtually no civilisation here. Feeling lonely and isolated, Tumeken found a cave to rest in. Inside the cave he observed a lone beetle, which dug through the cave wall three times. Each time it would appear, it would dig back into the wall, fleeing from Tumeken.

On the third time, however, Tumeken caught the beetle. He transformed the beetle into Scabaras, a son whom he hoped would remind his people of the dangers of isolation.

The following is an excerpt of a book describing Tumeken's dream, obtained from the Grand Library of Menaphos and translated by Reldo of Varrock:

Day, the Fourth - Scabaras

On the fourth day of his dream, Tumeken chose to travel to the south of the desert. Not much was to be found in that region, but it was the last place unexplored by him, and so he set out. The heat was particularly fierce that day, but regardless, Tumeken pressed on through endless dunes.

Hours passed without event. Not a single soul crossed the god's path; not one lone settlement. Yet the sun still bore down on the god, sweltering and desiccating him. Tumeken reached for his skin, for Elid's life-blood, but found it empty - he had drained it on his previous travels, forgetting to refill it each day. Knowing his predicament, he knew he had to seek shelter from the heat and wait out the day, lest he himself succumb to the desert.

As he was nearing his limits, his grateful eyes fell upon a lone tunnel entrance, which delved deep below the desert, providing him a cool place in which to recuperate. Many more hours passed within this cave, providing the god with ample time in which to reflect forlornly. During this time, he saw a small beetle burrow his way into the chamber, but noticing Tumeken, the creature burrowed away. An hour later, the beetle emerged out of another tunnel, but seeing the god still there, disappeared once again.

Yet another hour passed and the beetle returned, but Tumeken was ready this time, snatching up the cautious little thing and said: "You are, indeed, the most unusual being, digging your tunnels in isolation, avoiding contact even with me, your god. I shall give unto you a piece of myself, so that you may help me rule this desert realm, an example to my people of what can become of them, should they stray too far into solitude." And so, the lesser god Scabaras was forcibly born, the last of the lesser gods.

And Tumeken longed again to see his wife and children, and was impassioned by Scabaras to end his dream. For, despite their flaws, they were no more flawed than he. Night had now fallen, so, after emerging from the cave, Tumeken returned to his camp at the centre of the desert, not to rest for another day's journey, but to awaken from his dream.

 
— Author Unknown, Donated to Varrock Library by the High Priest of Icthlarin

Second Version

The Kalphite Queen is believed to have been created from Scabaras' blood.

The second, more commonly told tale says that on the fourth day of Tumeken's dream, Tumeken had a nightmare. From this nightmare was accidentally born Scabaras, who would prove an enemy of the Desert Pantheon for centuries.

Third Version

The third version of the tale, to which the Scabarites adhere, states that the first three days of Tumeken's dream ultimately proved unsatisfying, and that Tumeken sought to create a more perfect god.

On the fourth day, Tumeken created Scabaras, whom he ultimately found the most satisfying and ideal. Some hold to the idea that Scabaras was Tumeken's favourite son, although it is questioned why Tumeken would tolerate the banishing of his favourite child.

Banishment

Most documents suggest that the worship of Scabaras was tolerated by the Menaphites for thousands of years, lasting through the God Wars and into the Fourth Age. Archaeological evidence suggests that Scabaras was worshipped in Menaphos and Sophanem, and perhaps even Uzer and Ullek.

At the end of the God Wars, Guthix re-awoke and issued the Edicts of Guthix, a set of laws that stated that the gods could not directly interfere with the mortal world and that no large-scale wars could be initiated. Apparently, Scabaras disobeyed these laws, and eventually went so far as to outlaw the worship of all gods save himself. According to Neite, a former priestess of Amascut, Scabaras was banished in part for attempting to "undermine" Elidinis. By this, she apparently means that his worshippers attempted to dig under the River Elid. These actions prompted massive retaliation from much of the Menaphite society.

The Menaphites forcefully banished Scabaras from their civilisation, and views on his worship became much darker. In the Varrock Museum (Natural history section), a Natural Historian says that, according to legend, when Scabaras was banished, his blood spread on the scarabs, turning them into Kalphites.

Years of Banishment

For hundreds or even thousands of years, Scabaras's people sought to worship alone, seeking out isolated caves within the desert. During this time, anti-Scabarite philosophy diminished somewhat, although the Scabarites saw no need to return.

Many Scabarites have taken up residence beneath the swamps and cliffs in the South-east desert.

One large group, led by the high priest, recently found a home within the ancient caverns of Ullek, a city that was once amongst the most prosperous in the world. Here, led by their High Priest, they sought a life of worship, using their numbers as protection.

The Attack on Sophanem

The following takes before and during the Contact! and Dealing with Scabaras quests.

Scabaras on his throne.
Whilst meditating, the High Priest of Scabaras was confronted by a vision. A red-bodied woman, a hybrid of human and scarab, told him that, in order to achieve true enlightenment, all non-Scabarites must be eliminated. After much internal struggle, the priest succumbed to the woman's influence, believing her to be a messenger of Scabaras.

Searching for a way to gain entry to the Menaphite city of Sophanem, the Scabarites found that the tunnels could be used to reach Sophanem Dungeon, an ancient cave system that connected Menaphos and Sophanem. Entering from a crevice, the Scabarites placed a Giant Scarab at the fissure's maw to prevent the Menaphites from finding them.

After rigging the caverns with traps, the Scabarites launched an offensive on Sophanem, first destroying the city's underground bank. They then retreated, cautiously waiting to see what the Menaphites' response would be.

The Scabaras High Priest.

An adventurer eventually found the Scabarites' worship grounds east of the city. The adventurer managed to make contact with the Scabaras High Priest, whom they discovered was under the influence of Amascut, the goddess of destruction responsible for the plagues of Sophanem.

The adventurer freed the priest from Amascut's grip. The priest immediately called off the attack and agreed to make peace with Sophanem.

Trivia

  • The word Scabrous, which is derived from the Latin word Scabere. In Latin, Scabere means "to scratch". Scabrous means "rough to the touch" and "covered with raised, roughened, or unwholesome patches".

See also


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

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