The TzHaar are a race of golem-like humanoids that inhabit the TzHaar City, a lava-filled region beneath Karamja Volcano. The word "TzHaar" means "holy (sacred) fire". The TzHaar society is unlike any other, and only vaguely resembles any that exists on the surface.
Despite their fearsome appearance, the TzHaar are a peaceful race, and have existed beneath the surface of Karamja for thousands of years. Even today, the finer aspects of their society remain a point of great mystery amongst scholars.
Biologically, the TzHaar are one of Gielinor's greatest marvels. They appear roughly humanoid, but are made of solid obsidian and magma, though they appear fearsome they are actually gentle and kind. They possess four powerful arms, each of which has three fingers. The TzHaar are physically very strong, their guards capable of lifting massive mauls using a single hand. They very rarely suffer from disease, although they can develop small bodily problems such as poor vision. A common misconception is that the TzHaar feed on rock; the TzHaar actually feed on large mammals and rodents that tunnel beneath the surface.
TzHaar live very long lives, although the exact length is unknown. The TzHaar have the unique ability of memory transfer; a TzHaar will retain all of the knowledge and memories its ancestors had before it. This generally makes the TzHaar a very wise race.
Very strangely, they are born from eggs, which are incubated in pools of molten lava in the TzHaar city's centre. Even stranger than their birth is their death. When the TzHaar die, their bodies harden and lose all mobility. Yet, even as their bodies fail, their minds remain eternally locked within their corpses, which are often displayed in a statue-like state or broken down into the holy currency known as tokkul. Despite this horrible fate, the TzHaar seem to have accepted this, and believe that, when they die, their souls will eventually be brought to the heart of the volcano and given new life.
The most important part of TzHaar society is its caste system, which dictates what a TzHaar will do in life. At birth a TzHaar's caste is chosen based on their physical and mental traits, and they strictly follow this for the rest of their life.
The caste operates on four types; the TzHaar-Ket, the TzHaar-Xil, the TzHaar-Mej, and the TzHaar-Hur. Unlike many caste systems, each of the TzHaar castes is considered equal in power and respectability, but differs in its role in society. By dividing themselves, the TzHaar are able to effectively manage their people and retain a power balance.
When a TzHaar reaches an age at which they can no longer perform the jobs their caste dictates, they are relieved of their duties and are permitted to enter a life of "retirement". Even as elders though, the TzHaar are powerful, and will often mine or enter the Fight Pits or Fight Caves for entertainment.
In recent years, some young TzHaar have begun to seek the changing or abolishment of the caste system. Some, such as TzHaar-Hur-Brekt, feel that it should remain, but that limitations on non-caste-specific activities should be lessened. While this has not yet caused any problems, it is a concern amongst the older TzHaar.
The TzHaar-Ket are the guardian and police force of the TzHaar. At level 149, they are also the strongest. Towering over the other castes, the TzHaar-Ket are fearsome soldiers that follow a code not unlike the concept of chivalry.
A small rivalry also exists between the TzHaar-Ket and the TzHaar-Xil, although it has never proven a problem.
The TzHaar-Xil are the hunting class of the TzHaar. At level 133, they are second only to the TzHaar-Ket, although they are known to utilise both ranged and melee combat. In combat, the TzHaar-Xil are very diverse, wielding weapons such as TokTz-Xil-Ak, TokTz-Xil-Ul, and TokTz-Xil-Ek.
The TzHaar-Xil are responsible for feeding the people of TzHaar, and prey upon rodents and other large mammals capable of tunnelling into the volcano. They are black in colour, allowing them to more effectively blend with the volcano's obsidian walls.
The TzHaar-Mej are the mystic class of the TzHaar, although they are also the city's leading and governing class. Whether or not a single TzHaar rules is unclear, and it is possible that all TzHaar-Mej are part of a council.
As mystics, the TzHaar-Mej are generally the wisest, and are responsible not only for governing the city, but for recording their peoples' history in the TzHaar Library.
At combat level 103, the TzHaar-Mej are not the strongest, but are capable of defeating their opponents with magics that have existed since the dawn of time itself. In combat they wield an obsidian staff known as a TokTz-Mej-Tal.
The TzHaar-Hur are the craftsman class of the TzHaar. At level 74, they are the weakest of their people, and will avoid combat by any means possible. If pressed to combat, the TzHaar-Hur use only their fists but other TzHaar will come to their aid as the city is a multi-combat area.
Despite their lack of combat ability, the TzHaar-Hur are incredibly important to the TzHaar, and are capable of forging weaponry from obsidian found in the volcano. Apart from weaponry, the TzHaar-Hur are also excellent miners, architects, and sculptors, and further in the city their great works are said to be many.
Very little is known of the TzHaar's history. They believe that "They were born on the day volcano shook foundation of earth." This would suggest they were born some time during the First Age, perhaps when Guthix created the volcano. Others believe the TzHaar may be a remnant from an age in Gielinor that pre-dates even Guthix's arrival, when the world was once thought to be an "Empty Plane" but is now believed to have been ruled by Elder Gods.
The TzHaar lived for thousands of years beneath the holy fires of the volcano, lasting out the Second Age and cataclysmic God Wars with little surface contact. The TzHaar fought in the God Wars only briefly, but for what purpose is unknown. For millennia they carved a great city from the living earth, entering an age of prosperity with no war, crime, or concept of evil.
In the Fourth Age, the TzHaar are believed to have first made contact with the outside world without provoking hostility. The Varrockian noble Samuel Scourduel, while exploring Karamja, accidently found himself within the TzHaar city. The TzHaar first considered the humans as pets, thinking they were capable of only basic communication. Knowledge of their existence remained known to only a select few, and still most of the world was oblivious to the ancient ones in the volcano.
In the year 169 of the Fifth Age, a more continuous stream of contact was established between the TzHaar and the outside world. The TzHaar remain very cautious of humans, and most of their city still remains off-limits to outsiders so that the TzHaar can decide whether or not humans should be trusted.
The TzHaar language has not been fully translated, and as of yet only a few basic words and phrases are known to humans. From what little we understand, the TzHaar language combines words to form longer phrases; for instance, in the TzHaar word for humans, "JalYt", "Jal" translates to "foreigner" and "Yt" translates to "cold"; literally meaning "cold foreigner".
Fortunately, most TzHaar are willing to speak the human language, although a basic understanding of certain words is helpful when visiting the city. The TzHaar Library, contains hundreds of stone documents in the TzHaar language, which some day humans may be able to translate more fully.
The TzHaar numbering system is difficult for many to master because its base value is 12. This is drawn from the TzHaar anatomy. Each TzHaar has four arms with three fingers on each, unlike humans, who have two arms with five fingers on each.
Each used arm is represented by a horizontal line. The number of fingers used on the last used hand is represented by a vertical line. Each of these symbols represent one digit of the number.
TzHaar religion is a mystery. Some believe they follow an ancient god, who created the volcano. This has not been confirmed, but may be possible as they believe in some sort of after life.
Whether they follow a god or not, the TzHaar seem to see their volcano as sacred. TzHaar legend says that they were created along with it at the dawn of time, from the sacred fires of the forgotten earth. The creatures that were created along with it, such as the fearsome TzTok-Jad, are viewed as sacred as well.
The TzHaar believe that, when they die, their souls will eventually be brought to the heart of the volcano and given new life. TzHaar prophecy says that one day their race will draw to an end. The volcano will sink back into the earth, and the cold seas will flood their city, bringing to an end their people forever.
The TzHaar value honour and chivalry above all else. Throughout their history, no TzHaar has ever committed a crime, although it is the subject of some fictional tales and plays. Because some humans have no such values and willingly kill the inhabitants of the city, the TzHaar are cautious in dealing with them and continue to keep most of their city blocked off.
Amongst the fighting castes, combat is incredibly popular. The TzHaar partake in gladiator-style combat in their Fight Pits and fight ancient creatures in the Fight Caves. To excel in friendly combat is a major goal of most fighting TzHaar.
Ultimately, to perform the duties of one's caste well is the ultimate goal of the TzHaar.
The TzHaar-Hur are the craftsmen of the TzHaar, and have created many marvels. Deeper within the city is said they have created great structures from obsidian, with great halls and spires standing unrivalled.
Amongst the unique creations of the TzHaar is their weaponry, made from obsidian generally regarded as weak by humans. From it they have forged ornate and effective weaponry that has even become popular amongst the said humans.
The TzHaar are one of the 'races' who have champions of champions in the Champions' Challenge minigame. It is not currently possible to fight the TzHaar champion. Many players expect a future update will allow this champion to be fought, like a 2009 update allowed Glophren, the gnome champion, to be fought.