The original Barrows brothers bosses were released on the ninth of May in 2005. Upon release, they provided the game with six powerful sets of armour. These armour sets had revolutionary secondary effects when wearing the full set. For years these sets were so popular among the masses, that when talking about Castle Wars, my first memory is wearing full Ahrim’s and a whip for ultimate barraging. Youtube was filled with Dharok max hit videos and Guthan’s was used for AFK combat skilling and Fight Caves endurance. But we’re not here to talk about the origins of the game update. We’re here to talk about the lore behind these six brothers.
It was the Third Age; in Morytania, the situation was dire. Vampyre Lord Drakan had conquered Hallowvale with his vampyre army. In order to retake Hallowvale, Saradominist kingdoms west of Morytania formed a crusading army. This army consisted out of thousands of Saradominist forces and mercenaries. This army needed strong leadership. The six newly enrolled warriors were the perfect candidates. They were strong, cunning and had very strong armour. But before we get to the war, let’s go back a little bit further.
In a small village, six farmer brothers lived their lives together. The handsome Guthan was madly in love with the beautiful Isolde and she was in love with him. However, a jealous Ahrim also fancied Isolde. Ahrim went to confront Isolde and called her an idolator. Claiming to protect his brother Guthan from this idolator, he killed her. Not being able to find Isolde, Guthan thought she left him. He went to the bar and had one or two drinks too many. In his grievance he got in a bar brawl with Commander Jaycliff and killed him. The commander was a Saradominist leader and Guthan was scared for retribution if they ever found out, it was he who killed the commander. He went out to seek help from Sliske, the friendly and helpful Zarosian Mahjarrat. Sliske tasked Guthan with persuading his other brothers to join the Saradominist crusade. He also provided the six brothers with power, armour and weapons. Guthan agreed and escaped from his sins. Though not every brother was easily persuaded, Torag was going to join the crusade on his own accord already. Eventually they all agreed and led the grand Saradominist army.
The crusade was a success as they won battle after battle. The six brothers combined were near unbeatable and they moved towards Darkmeyer at a much higher pace than expected. However, something felt wrong as the soldiers noticed a mysterious stranger watching their campaign. This stranger was of course Sliske. Upon reaching the last stronghold of Darkmeyer, Sliske had had enough. He spoke to the brothers and commended their efforts to please their god Saradomin. It was time, however: the brothers would now fight for Sliske and serve his god, Zaros. Sliske infected the six brothers and they died to their illness. The six champions of the army passed away right before the final battle. This caused complete disarray in the crusading army, resulting in a complete annihilation of the Saradominist forces. While having suffered considerably losses, Lord Drakan was victorious and remained ruler of Hallowvale.
The passed brothers were buried in what we now know as the Barrows. Here, Sliske cursed their graves and revived them as his personal wights. Tasked by Azzanadra, Sliske hid a secret artifact in the Barrows and left the brothers there to guard it. This artifact was later used to make contact with the banished Zaros.
While the main story is about Ahrim being a bad brother and Guthan making a deal with Sliske, the other brothers also have a background story. Dharok used to be a big bully when he was a farmer, preying on the weak. That’s quite fitting for the most dangerous brother, still killing new hardcore ironmen to this day. The flail swinging brother Verac had an even darker secret. While he never acted on it, he secretly worshipped Zamorak, the very god they were fighting against. According to Sliske, the brothers Torag and Karil also had their secrets, but since we didn’t play according to Sliske’s rules, we never found out what those secrets were. I personally believe that their secrets would be even darker than what we’ve heard so far. I believe this is the case because Sliske likes grand finales and because Torag and Karil are arguably the strongest brothers in their hard mode version: Rise of the Six. Karil’s bomb attack is dark enough already, but somehow he can also spawn lightning.
This concludes the tenth chapter of Forgotten Lore. After this point, the Barrows brothers finally met with the World Guardian, who would eventually free them from Sliske’s control, only to then kill them for over 4000 times to complete a collection log. However, it’s probably best to save this part of the story for when we finally decide to release our 50+ chapter special about Sliske.
Fun fact: In the lorebook “Fall of the Six”, they mention the strength of the brothers. By themselves they’re already really powerful, but they truly shine when fighting together. In the Rise of the Six boss fight you can experience this first hand. Alone, their mechanics are strong, but quite easy to deal with. Combined, their mechanics can truly destroy a team. Example: a Torag stun into Karil lightning or a melee brother spin results into death.