What has happened? How does history effect us? What do we know about the past of Gielinor? What forces are at work that shape the world as we know it (other than the Wizard Andrew that is)?
These are all important questions for both new and old Runescape players alike. In my last article, I covered the First, Second and Third Ages that were The Age of Creation, The Dawn of Civilization, and The God Wars, respectively. Now, the time has come to once again dive into the pool of knowledge and drink until bloated.
The Fourth Age
The Fourth Age lasted approximately 2,000 years and mainly dealt with the aftermath of the God Wars of the previous Age. It is more commonly known as The Age of Mortals and encompassed the founding, growth, salvation and re-organization of Varrock, and the formation and expansion of human kingdoms. The beginning of the Fourth Age was not marked by an event contained within it, but rather, the abrupt cease of the God Wars by the awakening of Guthix and the issuing of his Edicts.
As the God Wars that had threatened the very existence of Gielinor were over, the gnomes, emerged from their underground tunnels in which they had hidden. The beginning of the Age also marked the construction of the druid circles (altars to Guthix), and possibly the Observatory was built north of Castle Wars around the same time. Many new kingdoms were established upon the ruins of the old, for example Saranthium (a.k.a. Senntisten) was abandoned for unknown reasons while the previously nomadic humans start settlements which have grown to what we now know as Varrock (formerly known as Avarrocka), Entrana and Falador. Asgarnia and Misthalain were also officially established soon after, with the growth of their main cities, though Kandarin (the kingdom in which Ardougne is located) wasn’t officially established until the latter part of the Age.
Many of the most famous and obscure heroes we know lived during this period i.e. Arrav, Camorra and Robert the Strong who rid the world of Zemouregal’s first zombie invasion, Garak (an above average powered dragon that destroyed settlements near the wilderness), and the Dragonkin respectively. It is speculated that Camorra and Arrav had some sort of relationship, either as family, friends or lovers, as their statues are side-by-side in the Heroes’ Guild.
Interestingly enough, multiple larger scale conflicts broke out, first with the hunting/repression of the Gnomes, then the Ogre-Goblin Wars and subsequently the Desert Crusade (Saradominists from Avarrocka attempting to destroy a Zamorakian temple in the desert), the Battle of Plain of Mud, the Misthalin-Morytania conflicts and “The Great Battle” (Zamorakians living in the Outpost being driven out by the people of Ardougne).
Bilrach started digging the tunnels that would later become Daemonheim about mid way through the age and only stopped digging recently. The Consortium in Keldagrim rose to power, as did the monarchies in Avarrocka and Ardougne. Avarrocka was renamed Varrock during this period.
The first age also marked the start of human occupation in Morytania and their subsequent demise or subjugation via blood tithes by Lord Drakan. Also, Lumbridge and Al’Kharid were founded in the last hundred years of the Fourth Age, Lumbridge having been commissioned by King Claudius, the King of Varrock at the time. The elves also start their own internal conflict during this time, with the Iowerth Clan’s Rebellion that took both Tirannwn and Prifddinas from under the rule of then King Baxtorian.
The age ended with the start of the plague infection of Mort’ton and the first contact with the Dwarves since the beginning of the God Wars.
The Fifth Age
The Fifth Age, also known as “The Age of Humans” officially started with the rediscovery of the Stone of Jas in the mountains east of the Fremennik Province by a seer only known as “V——”. In the area, the power of the stone had changed the rock into what we now know as Rune Essence, though the Stone of Jas was shortly thereafter removed by “ones who walk a higher astral path” which could be a reference to the Moon Clan (the deposit of Rune Essence on their island suggests that the Stone at one point was on the Lunar Isle). The knowledge of Runecrafting ended up being commonplace knowledge, and runes were then mass produced by humans all over the world.
The sewers of Varrock, the Mage Training Arena and the Kinshra’s (Black Knights) fortress were all build during the beginning of the age, though Varrock did sustain the first attack of Delrith that was subsequently vanquished by the hero Wally. The Imcando Dwarves were decimated in the first 100 years of the age by the numerous barbarian invasions that ravaged the land. These barbarian invasions were the result of The Runecrafting Crusades, conflicts brought on by barbarians that believed Rune Essence to be sacred and left to the gods only managed in partially destroying the entrances into the Rune Altars and afterward settled in Gunnar’s Ground (a.k.a. The Barbarian Village) to regroup and continue.
The first Wizards Tower was burned in approximately the year 70 by Zamorak mages, and ended in the death of the key wizards that knew the secrets of Runecrafting and Rune Essence. At the same time, the Tunnels of Chaos were dug, as a way to attack Varrock from the inside. King Arthur arrived approximately 60 years later in the year 132, at which time Lord Sinclair gave them his most glorious mansion. A few years later, and in a seemingly un-related occurrence, Ardougne was split between the brothers Tyras and Lathas.
The destruction of Crandor occured a few years later, caused by the (not so) fearful dragon Elvarg. The Shield of Arrav was stolen, the pests and the Void Knights started to battle, a second necromancer assault was attempted by Lucien, the King of Falador falls ill and left the running of the city to Sir Amik Varze, the Kinshra were outlawed, King Tyras left West Ardougne and the story of adventurers started. All these are the events of the past years of the Fifth Age.
I hope that you enjoyed this 2-part summary of the history of Runescape, and can find it useful as a review of what has happened for what is to come (5th Mahjarrat Quest, possible explanation of the Mysterious Power, the possible return of Zaros and that which is unknown to all but those at Jagex). At the very least, I hoped it perked you interest to do the quests that you haven’t yet done, or at the very least, research the events which surround them.