In this month’s instalment of Forgotten Lore, we’ll talk about the God who died too early: Bandos. Despite his premature death, many pieces of lore have been released through other content that reveal a lot about Bandos’ origins and past. Strap in!
Image Credit: RuneScape Wiki
Bandos’ homeplanet was ruled by a God known as Jododu Otoku, whose presence was the only thing that protected the planet from imminent destruction. The planet was otherwise occupied by a race of rhinoceros-like fighters. This rhinoceros race consisted of many tribes, and Bandos was born the son of the Kal-i-kra tribe’s chieftain. The Kal-i-kra tribe had been long at war with the Gozor tribe, and Bandos learned at a young age to love battle and hate the Gozor. When his father, the chieftain, was gravely wounded by a Gozor attack, Bandos killed his father as to give him a honourable death, and as such became the new chieftain of his tribe. Bandos’ intellect and strategic mind made him an excellent leader in battle, and he managed to drive the Gozor tribe into extinction.
Unfortunately for the other tribes, Bandos was also filled with a bloodlust that wasn’t yet satisfied after the defeat of the Gozor. One by one, Bandos and the Kal-i-kra defeated all of the other tribes on the planet. The last tribe to fall was the Hada-i-dar tribe. The son of its chieftain, hoping this would keep him alive, told Bandos about a group of mystic nomads called the Caretakers of Jododu Otoku, who supposedly knew the whereabouts of the God. Bandos heartlessly slaid the calf anyway, and used the obtained information to track down the Caretakers. Although the Caretakers put up some resistance, with one of them even managing to blind Bandos in one eye, Bandos was eventually successful in finding the resting place of Jododu Otoku. With the Spear of Annihilation, Bandos killed the God. Upon Jododu Otoku’s death, a barrage of asteroids immediately rained down on the planet. Only the freshly ascended Bandos was left standing, and he began to travel the Multiverse in search of other worlds to rule.
Image Credit: RuneScape Wiki
Before finding his way to Gielinor, Bandos came across Yu’biusk. We visit Yu’biusk multiple times during the Dorgeshuun quest series and during The Mighty Fall, but we only ever see it as a toxic, barren wasteland. This was very different before Bandos’ arrival, however; Yu’biusk was once a prosperous, green landscape filled with many types of creatures, among which were the goblins, orks and ogres. Even though we know these species as very violent now, they were once relatively diplomatic; they definitely did not agree on everything back on Yu’biusk, but they preferred to settle their disputes diplomatically rather than violently. Bandos came upon this world and was disgusted by its primitivity. He introduced his own form of civilization, which was really just Bandos’ way of saying “war is the answer to everything, do not have mercy, do not doubt me”. Bandos divided all species into tribes and ordered them to live in isolation. Where there was once union, there was now only division, and Yu’biusk quickly fell into a chaotic state of constant warfare. All species began to worship Bandos as their god, and they even followed him to Gielinor, where they served as his army in the ensuing God Wars.
Bandos’ efforts during the God Wars are relatively well documented and well known. Bandos did not care for the lives of his troops or for the spoils of war; all he wanted was to prolong the bloodshed. He made and broke alliances with the other Gods as he pleased. Bandos was one of the four important parties to participate in the war. He fought in the battle for the Godsword, which rages on to this day in the mountains near Trollheim. He conquered the Feldip Hills and established the city of Gu’Tanoth, as well as a forge known as the Warforge, where he trained his goblin soldiers and had a master smith, the Imcando dwarf Thalmund, produce unusually powerful bronze weaponry to arm his goblin soldiers with. Furthermore, it was in the Feldip hills where the demigod TzKal-Zuk emerged and the legendary battle between him and Bandos was fought. This battle lasted several days and was quite close, but in the end, Bandos did manage to come out victoriously. Bandos imprisoned TzKal-Zuk in the Elder Kiln, from which the latter only managed to emerge after being freed by the Elder God Ful to fight as her general in the Elder God Wars many thousands of years later.
After the God Wars ended and Guthix set up his Edicts, Bandos fought with him for a few years in an attempt to avoid banishment. Many battles were fought, but ultimately Guthix proved too strong. Ultimately, Bandos gave in and said he would peacefully leave Gielinor together with his followers, but Guthix did not have it. He teleported Bandos into the void before he could take his followers with him. Angry at the loss of his Gielinorian followers, Bandos returned to Yu’biusk and plunged the planet into its final stage of warfare and darkness. His remaining followers on Yu’biusk fought each other to extinction, and what was once a luscious, green world had now become a terrible, broken wilderness.
Bandos’ attempts to nullify the Edicts and return to Gielinor are the subject of the Dorgeshuun quest series. When Guthix was finally killed by Sliske in The World Wakes, Bandos returned to Gielinor and was delighted to fight in Sliske’s god-killing competition for the Stone of Jas. Unfortunately for Bandos, his participation in this competition didn’t last very long, as Armadyl managed to defeat and kill him in the second World Event, The Bird and the Beast.