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"Third age" redirects here. For the armour received from Treasure Trails, see Third age armour. For the dungeon, see God Wars Dungeon.
The Oracle possibly suggesting another God War or the God Wars Dungeon.
God Wars
Beginning End
Year 1 of the Third Age Year 4,000 of the Third Age
Place
All of Gielinor
Outcome
No clear victor; establishment of the Edicts of Guthix; departure of Gods from Gielinor; complete destruction of many races, nations, and regions.
Battles
Northern Kharidian Desert Campaign, Battle of Uzer, Battle of Ullek, Battle of Ardougne, Fall of Hallowvale, Battle for the God Sword
Combatants
Saradomin Forces, Armadyl Forces, Aviantese, Centaurs, Unicorns, Humans, few Zarosian Forces, Zarosian Mahjarrat Bandos Forces, Zamorak Forces, Demons, Orks, Imps, Werewolves, Ourgs, Ogres, Possibly Trolls, Vampyres and Vampires Humans, Zamorakian Mahjarrat
Commanders
Commander Zilyana, Kree'arra, Azzanadra, Barrows Brothers, Guardians of Armadyl General Graardor, K'ril Tsutsaroth, Lord Drakan, Viggora, Ogre Shamen, Hazeel
Casualties
Extremely high, specifics unknown, annihilation of Aviansie race Extremely high, specifics unknown, annihilation of Ourg race
Concurrent war
Dorgeshuun Civil War, Sea Slug Conflicts, Fall of Hallowvale, Keldagrim - Troll Country War
Previous war
N/A
Next war
Unknown


The Third Age, also known as the God Wars, was a time of great calamity in RuneScape. Although the God Wars themselves are not a part of the gameplay of RuneScape (except for the God Wars Dungeon), they are frequently referenced throughout the game and form the basis for many quests, characters, items, and locations.

All of the deities currently in this realm, and some who now are no longer with us, were involved in the war. Each took a faction, whether their own, or choosing to side with one of the stronger factions, until the only factions left were mine own and those supporting the hateful Zamorak. It was as things were building to a crescendo that the ancient Guthix, who had been unknown to us previously, stepped in and banished our combat from the lands. Sadly this has meant many of the issues over which we fought remain unfulfilled, but I blame not Guthix for his untimely intervention. If he had not interfered in our squabbles it is likely this world would have been scarred beyond repair, and I wish not for innocence to be the casualty of our war.
Saradomin

Contents

History

The God Wars bred many monstrosities such as K'ril Tsutsaroth, an Elder Demon that was thought for years to be only a legend.

During the Second Age, Zaros had almost complete dominion of the world. The areas that are now the Wilderness, Northern Misthalin, Northern Asgarnia and North-western Morytania formed the greatest part of his kingdom, where many great fortresses and cities were constructed. When he was betrayed and defeated by his Mahjarrat general, Zamorak, the Second Age ended and the other gods began ruling without interference. However, many gods, the most significant being Saradomin and Zamorak, wanted complete control.

After Zaros' defeat in single combat, Zamorak quickly rounded up Zaros' remaining loyalist followers and destroyed his fortresses and cities. The majority were destroyed quickly except for Senntisten, which held out for many hundreds of years. The war escalated as other Gods, seeing an opportunity, attempted to seize control of previously Zarosian areas. Zamorak was unable to efficiently conquer and maintain his holdings due to the speed with which he acted. The war escalated further, and by the time of the Fall of Hallowvale, almost the entirety of Gielinor was in chaos. The gods, at the time, could directly interact with the world, which caused destruction far beyond any that had been seen before or after the Wars.

During the Wars, countless civilisations, races, and animal species disappeared. Many were destroyed, while others hid themselves or underwent drastic changes in order to survive. Much of the world itself was mutated; once healthy lands were ruined or reformed. Most of these changes were so permanent that they continue to affect RuneScape today.

In fact, the entire world was on the brink of destruction when the fighting awoke Guthix from his sleep. At the end of the First Age, Guthix went into a deep slumber that stretched over many millennia. When he awoke, he found the world in ruin. He was so enraged that he instantly demanded that the gods stop fighting their wars on RuneScape, and to continue to hold influence only through their followers. Most of the gods left RuneScape, although they continued to watch over it and hear the prayers of their faithful. It was at this time that the Third Age, which had lasted approximately 4000 years, finally ended.

Entrance to Bandos's Stronghold in the God Wars Dungeon.

On 28 August 2007 Jagex released a dungeon entitled The God Wars Dungeon. A massive cavern that had been frozen for æons in northern Troll Country began to thaw due to tectonic movements in the Wilderness. This cavern, it was revealed, was the site of one of the God Wars' last battles; its monsters have not realised that the God Wars are over and they continue to fight. Players are able to explore the dungeon, but it is extremely dangerous. Though this is a massive, endless battle, with hundreds of monsters and warriors fighting for their gods, it pales in comparison to the bloody carnage that was the Third Age.

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Historical discrepancies

The true history of the God Wars is always somewhat difficult to determine. Having occurred several thousand years ago, information about the God Wars is difficult to come by.

However, an even more hindering factor are the differences in accounts of the Wars. Saradominists and Zamorakians often disagree on what truly occurred at the time. For instance, Saradominists such as The Wise Old Man state that when victory was nearly Saradomin's, he pitied the Zamorakians and allowed for a truce to be made. Zamorakians, however, insist that this was not the case, and have their own beliefs on the matter. Most now accept that it was actually Guthix who ended the Wars.

Another difficult subject are the Edicts of Guthix, which were created by Guthix when he ended the Wars. Some religious groups doubt their existence. Others, however, including many important religious advisers such as Aeonisig Raispher, highly encourage the following of the Edicts. This makes understanding them difficult, and has been the cause of many political disputes since their creation.

Significant occurrences

Known events

The God Wars hosted many historical battles and events that shaped the RuneScape we know today. Listed below are confirmed events that took place during the Wars, though there are many others that have long since been forgotten. Note that these events are not in order.

  • Uzer, the largest city in the Kharidian Desert, is besieged by Thammaron, an Elder Demon and chief lieutenant of Zamorak. Despite the Clay Golems' efforts to save the city, they are defeated and Uzer is destroyed. Thammaron, however, is severely wounded by an elite group of Golems, and he is forced to flee the dimension. The wounds eventually prove fatal. Thammaron's remaining army is crushed by Azzanadra.
A Dorgeshuun Cave Goblin as they appear today, changed by their years beneath the surface.
  • The Dorgeshuun goblin tribe is banished by the god Bandos after refusing to fight in a battle which they could not possibly win. Trapped underground, they struggle for survival, managing to build a city known as Dorgesh-Kaan approximately 800 years before the end of the Third Age. A civil war erupts between a republic and a tribal Dorgeshuun faction, but ultimately the republic prevails due to an earthquake that wipes out the opposing army.
  • The followers of Zaros struggle against the fury of the other gods that fight for control over Zarosian lands. Followers of Zaros are forced to flee into the desert and live as bandits.
  • Azzanadra, the champion of Zaros, is brought down and imprisoned in a pyramid. It is suggested that Zamorakian and Saradominist forces collaborated to bring him down, as he was immensely powerful (possibly even invincible).
  • The Wilderness, during the Second Age, was part of Zaros' expansive domain. Upon Zaros' defeat and the beginning of the God Wars, the Wilderness becomes a centre of warfare as a multitude of races and factions attempt to lay waste to the remaining Zarosians. By the end of the Wars, the Wilderness, which had been a forested paradise, is permanently scarred by the war and barren of all but the most twisted life.
  • Lord Lowerniel Vergidiyad Drakan, a vampyre lord, gains control of Morytania because of his assistance in Zamorak's rebellion. Southern Morytania, a lush forest also known as Hallowland, is quickly overrun by Drakan's hordes of werewolves, vampyres, and the undead. Queen Efaritay, the icyene queen of the area, is captured, giving Drakan complete control over the land. He converts the area's cities into large ghettos where the inhabitants are farmed for blood and he corrupts many of the icyene into the Vyrewatch. He then raises the sea and casts storms over the sun, transforming the landscape into a ravaged swamp. He constructs Castle Drakan and makes it his main stronghold. South-eastern Morytania is renamed the Sanguinesti Region. These events would later lead to the construction of the Paterdomus, the death of six of The Seven Priestly Warriors, and the closing of the Abandoned Mine.
  • Count Draynor, the brother of Lord Drakan, sets his sights upon the area that is now Draynor Village, although whether he gains control of the land during the Third or Fourth Age is unknown. Once separated from Morytania in the Fourth Age following the blessing of the River Salve, he is greatly weakened.
Meiyerditch, the once proud capital of Morytania. It has since become a ghetto ruled by Lord Drakan.
  • The Barrows brothers lead the forces of Saradomin into the heart of Morytania, seeking to release the land from Drakan's control. They are killed in battle and buried in the Barrows, only to be turned into spirits by a stranger that may have been Sliske.
  • The "Myriad" civilisation, which used to dwell in the Lumbridge area, is destroyed almost completely; the Light Creatures in the Lumbridge Swamp Caves are all that remain.
  • The Aviantese, a race of bird-creatures devoted to Armadyl, disappear. Several were frozen in a massive battle (the God Wars Dungeon) and have returned.
  • Dwarves, after realising that the Wars could force their race to extinction, seal themselves beneath the world's surface. They construct their capital, Keldagrim, which exists even to this day. Upon finishing its construction, the dwarves cease their use of magic.
  • The Digsite, known as Senntisten at the time, is destroyed by the forces of Zamorak, but is claimed by Saradominists some years later. The Wars ultimately destroy Senntisten, and in its place, Saranthium is built. Senntisten was the largest Zarosian city. The construction of Saranthium is known to have taken place between 3740 and 3804 by the evidence on two coins found at the Digsite, the only surviving records of dates from this age.
  • Gnomes, like dwarves, are forced to flee beneath the surface of the world. Their capital, the Gnome Stronghold, is ruined and remains so until the Fourth Age.
  • Mother Mallum, the queen of the Sea Slugs, attempts to conquer the world. She is narrowly stopped by the Saradominist Temple Knights, an organisation which was founded during the God Wars.
  • Hazeel conquers the land that is now Ardougne as part of his contract with Zamorak.
The Godsword, a weapon fought over in the God Wars.
  • A massive cavern, known today as the God Wars Dungeon, hosts a massive battle between the followers of Bandos, Saradomin, Zamorak, and Armadyl. The cave is hidden during the battle, freezing the combatants. Thousands of years later, in the year 169 of the Fifth Age, the combatants are unfrozen due to tectonic movement in the Wilderness. They resume their battle as they try to obtain the Godsword.
  • Bandos leads the ogres into the Feldip Hills, quickly wiping out the local populace and claiming the land as his own.
  • Wyrms, a species of ancient dragons much more powerful than any known dragon today, slowly disappear from continued use in combat and evolution. A specific genus of wyrm, the White Dragon, also disappears.
  • Wyverns, a species of flightless two-legged dragons, are believed extinct due to a massive climate shift. Their reanimated skeletons can only be found in the Asgarnian Ice Dungeon, the last remaining place that is cold enough for them to survive.
  • The Eastern Lands become largely inaccessible due to Necrovarus's conquering of Port Phasmatys. Some now doubt that the Eastern Lands ever existed due to the strange tales that surround the place.
  • The knowledge of the Ancient Magicks, extremely powerful battle spells, is largely forgotten. Having been used by only a select few Zarosians, their death resulted in the near extinction of these magicks. However, the spells have resurfaced and have fallen into the hands of evil mages such as Solus Dellagar, who recently slaughtered over 500 enemies near Edgeville and committed a number of crimes across Gielinor.
  • Contact with an underwater city is lost, with all memory of the city nearly vanishing from Gielinor. Few now remember it save Guthix himself.
  • It is likely that during the Wars, the barrier between Gielinor and Zanaris was broken, resulting in the easy transportation between the two worlds today. This happened to numerous other worlds as well, such as Puro-Puro, the Gorak Plane, the Killerwatt Plane, and countless others. Some of these worlds contained dangerous creatures, such as Goraks, that wrought havoc within Gielinor. But the threat was not contained within RuneScape; many battles were held in other worlds, and many realms were destroyed entirely.
  • Amongst the greatest desert cities was Ullek, a settlement found in the cliffs and swamps of the south-eastern desert. Shortly after Uzer was attacked by Thammaron, Ullek was attacked by Balfrug Kreeyath, a 3-faced demon and the future bodyguard of K'ril Tsutsaroth. The few that escaped eventually took refuge in Sophanem, which was a small village at the time.
  • The desert deities of the Menaphites, who had ruled the Kharidian Desert for countless years, fall from power, perhaps because of the large amount of combat taking place within the desert. Although they continue to hold sway in areas such as Menaphos, their influence diminishes largely in the outside world, even leading some to doubt their existence.
  • Yu'biusk is the original world of the goblins. Here they live in peace for thousands of years until being discovered by Bandos. Bandos takes them to Gielinor and leaves their world in ruin. Once in Gielinor, they become his devoted warriors, referring to him as the "Big High War God".
  • Nezikchened, a Black Demon of massive proportions, may have been imprisoned in a cave beneath the Kharazi Jungle during this time. Although little is known of Nezikchened, it is likely that he was a servant of Zamorak and was imprisoned by a small group of warriors, most likely Saradominists.
A revenant dark beast, long since perished in the God Wars.
  • Many of the thousands that perish in the Wilderness return from the dead as bitter Revenants. These creatures terrorise the Wilderness even after the God Wars end, their crazed, broken minds filled with bloodlust. Not able to die permanently, these creatures eternally haunt the Wilderness.
  • Dragontooth Island, a small forested land east of Morytania, is used by Saradominists as an outpost. They are brutally killed by an unknown enemy, leaving much of their tale a mystery.
  • Agrith-Naar, a powerful demon, is banished from Gielinor by Guthix upon his awakening. However, he still manages to influence Gielinor by controlling natural disasters.
  • The mysterious Ancient Cavern was most likely created during this time. Judging by a series of ancient pages found within the cave, it appears to have been artificially created thousands of years ago by an unknown entity. The presence of the Mithril Dragons that inhabit it suggest that the creator(s) must have been extremely powerful. In recent years, it seems a great number of people have been attracted to the cavern for various reasons. One is known to have been searching for the incarnation of Scabaras. Another seems to have been involved with Glough and Arposandra. A third believes the cavern is somehow involved with the Dragonkin. It would seem that the cave contains a great power.
  • A large island north of Morytania, commonly known today as "Kudos Island", is ravaged by war. Many of the animal species unique to the island are entirely wiped out. These long-extinct creatures are now being studied by the Varrock Museum, and the island itself will soon be reachable via barge.
  • The Fist of Guthix is formed shortly after Guthix returns to the surface. The manner in which it was created, though, is debated.
  • The town of Eastbridge is destroyed in the intense fighting.
  • At some point, Bandos' race of great warriors, the Ourgs, are destroyed.
  • Towards the end of the war (exact date unknown), Armadyl's most loyal and beloved followers, the Aviantese, are wiped out. Armadyl is so distraught that he abandons Gielinor.

Major conflicts

The God Wars Dungeon, where one of the God War's battles still rages on today.

During the God Wars there were thousands of individual battles and conflicts between the people of RuneScape. Although many have been forgotten, some of the more significant ones are still remembered today, such as those listed below. Please note that although these battles are basically in order, there may be some that are slightly out of place.

War tactics

Mother Mallum, a sea slug that used the Wars to her advantage.

The God Wars were a bloody time marred by battles. Because the land was ever-changing from the constant battles which plagued its surface, there were only a few long-standing cities. Occasionally large camps would be created, but rarely did any significant settlement survive for long.

Because of this, the battles of the God Wars were more violent and bloody than any other. Everyone was pushed to fighting; there were very few "civilians". There were no walls to hide behind and no cities to lay siege to. The majority of battles were battles held on open land with make-shift defensive structures placed to protect soldiers. While some armies made use of strategy and cunning tactics to overcome their foes, others chose brute force. Followers of Bandos in particular were known for their strength and brutality. Making use of overwhelming numbers, Bandos's armies took no prisoners.

Equipment

Heavy Bandos armour from the Third Age.

Armour such as this was used often in the God Wars. Far stronger than most metal used today, its resilience made it the equipment of choice for those that could create it. What it is made from, depending on class is white dragonhide, enchanted silk, and enchanted silver, but where it came from is unknown; the art of smithing this equipment was lost long ago. This armour is crafted so well that it can still be used today, and is highly prized amongst those with the funds or the skills to obtain it. This armour was called third age armour.

Siege weaponry was used primarily during the beginning of the Wars, although it was utilised at times later into the Third Age. To eliminate the remaining settlements, soldiers made use of battering rams, siege ladders, and other such equipment.

Combatants

A Zamorak mage
A Zamorak hawk

Every race, god (except Guthix), civilization, and animal species was affected by the God Wars, resulting in the eventual destruction of most of the world. Any that could fight fought, and those that refused were either enslaved or forced into hiding. These times saw the extinction of many of the world's races, many of which were incredibly advanced but weak in combat.

Click the above link to learn more about the individuals, mortal and immortal alike, that are known to have fought in the God Wars. Keep in mind that the list is very incomplete, and that perhaps millions of individuals have been forgotten.

Impact on Gielinor today

The digsite east of Varrock, where the proud Zarosian capital, Senntisten, once stood.
Dorgeshuun cave goblins excavating a battle site from the God Wars.

The God Wars continue to have an impact on Gielinor today. Many of the lands that were seized by certain races in the God Wars are still under their rule today. Many areas, such as the Feldip Hills and Morytania continue to be affected by their roles in the Wars. The wilderness, in particular, has remained virtually unchanged since it was destroyed during the Wars.

The God Wars also serve as a historical reminder to the rulers of the modern age. Since the Edicts of Guthix were put in place, there have continued to be countless battles; indeed, the Fourth Age was a time of great violence between the world's races. The only thing that has prevented these from escalating into all-out wars are the Edicts, which prevent large-scale attacks between different races and religious factions. Rulers must be careful to abide by these. For instance, King Roald III of Varrock is currently faced with a difficult situation; the werewolves of Morytania have begun to kidnap travellers near the Paterdomus to appease the blood tithes of the vampyres. However, the king can not launch a full-scale assault, as doing so could result in another God War and the destruction of the world. Some wish to circumvent the Edicts or remove them completely, including a number of splinter groups currently operating near the Paterdomus temple. The God Wars could be seen as RuneScape's equivalent of nuclear war in the real world.

Excavations are also being performed in the search for relics from these ancient times. This is a difficult task, however; the God Wars occurred over 4000 years ago, so nearly all of the artefacts from this time have been destroyed. Furthermore, there were few permanent structures during the time, leaving us with little understanding of the architecture, literature, or any other cultural aspects of the age. Fortunately, there is a considerable amount of armour that has survived within the earth, and in some areas pottery and other such relics can be found. The largest excavation currently under way is being performed by the Varrock Museum at the Digsite east of Varrock, which was once the Zarosian capital of Senntisten (and later Saranthium). Other, smaller, digs are also under way, such as the one performed by the Dorgeshuun. Recently, they discovered a large number of artefacts from the Dorgeshuun civil war while they were helping the dwarves to build the Dorgesh-Kaan - Keldagrim Train System.

Trivia

  • It is currently unknown as to whether or not Brassica Prime or Marimbo were involved in the God Wars, though Saradomin has claimed all the deities of Gielinor participated.
  • The Oracle's warning could also suggest that the God Wars Dungeon became unfrozen because of the Dying Knight outside who had managed to tunnel in to the dungeon. The intrusion of the Temple Knights could be the reason for the monsters in the dungeon once again becoming active.

References

  • RuneScape Game Guide
    • History of the World of RuneScape
Mr. Mordaut

Featured article
March 2008

Mr. Mordaut thinks that many things are dumb. However, the editors who wrote this article clearly were not. In fact, it was written so well that it is one of the few selected articles currently featured on the Main page.

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

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