Image Credit: RuneScape Wiki
As the Elder God Wars series has taken a turn to include gods from the desert, we will discuss these gods in this month’s installment of Forgotten Lore. Strap in!
At the start of the Second Age, after the start of Guthix’ first slumber, the God of the Sun arrived on Gielinor. Tumeken looked upon the lush and fertile lands of the Kharidian, and claimed them as his own. While travelling near and/or drinking from the river now known as the Elid, he came across the Goddess of Fertility and Growth, Elidinis. They married and had two children: the God of the Dead, Icthlarin, and the Goddess of Rebirth, Amascut. Icthlarin and Amascut were responsible for the souls of the deceased; Icthlarin would provide them with safe passage to the afterlife, and Amascut would give them a new life. Only Tumeken and Elidinis are said to have been powerful enough to be affected by Guthix’ edicts.
The Menaphite Pantheon is not complete without mention of the four minor gods. Whereas the four major gods described above were gods by birth, the same is not true about the four gods to come. In what way exactly they ascended is unclear, although a popular story on the matter is known as Tumeken’s dream. It is said that, at some point in time, Tumeken had a pleasant dream lasting four days, and on each of these days, he travelled to a different part of the desert. On each day, he came across and was enamored by a different animal, granting one animal deity-like powers on every day of his dream. The first of these is Het, the human God of Physical and Mental Health. Next is Apmeken, the monkey-headed Goddess of Friendship and Social Pleasures. Crondis is the crocodile-headed Goddess of Modesty and Resourcefulness, and Scabaras became the beetle-headed God of Wisdom and Isolation. Curiously, it is believed in this tale that the desert was already the barren wasteland as we know it today; however, Tumeken only ever experienced the desert as rich and resourceful greenland, so this tale is probably nothing more than just a tale, mythology used by the Menaphites to justify the existence of the minor gods. The full story is very interesting, although too long to cover here.
Up to this point, the entire story seems very peaceful and harmonious. However, this is not exactly how we have come to know of the desert gods. The first cracks began to show when Icthlarin famously brought the Mahjarrat race to Gielinor to combat the Zarosian forces trying to expand their empire into Menaphite territory. It is said that Amascut became corrupted by witnessing the immense power and might of the Mahjarrat, causing her to abandon her duties as the Goddess of Rebirth and become the Goddess of Destruction alternatively known as the Devourer. The arrival of the Mahjarrat to Gielinor and their subsequent defection from the Menaphite ranks to the Zarosian ranks was crucial for the Kharidian-Zarosian war in the Second Age. This war was eventually concluded when Tumeken sacrificed himself in a fiery explosion, causing mass casualties to both armies and turning the Kharidian into the desert we know it as today. Only a few hundred Mahjarrat survived the explosion, having been saved by a magical barrier erected just in time by our dearest friend Azzanadra. It is not known exactly what became of Tumeken; some say he died, some say he just disappeared. I guess we’ll find out in the future.
After Tumeken’s demise/disappearance, the desert was in shambles. Famously, in events later rectified by the player during the Desert quest series, Amascut managed to corrupt three of the four minor gods. She corrupted Het in some unknown way, causing him to lose his influence on Gielinor. Het finally returned to his senses and clear his mind of the corruption during Our Man in the North. Amascut took Apmeken’s senses and turned them into three demons, who she used to slay most of the desert’s monkey population. This was rectified during Do No Evil. Amascut got Crondis to physically consume her corruption, causing Crondis and other crocodiles to become angry, hostile and indulgent. The player relieved Crondis of the corruption during Crocodile Tears. Scabaras was also famously isolated or banished from the desert, as witnessed in the events of Contact! and Dealing with Scabaras. The exact cause and circumstances of his isolation are unknown, though; some say he tried to proclaim himself the sole deity of the Kharidian desert, others say he tried the Scabarites tried to undermine Elidinis. In any case, Scabaras is now in isolation in an unknown location, and his three siblings are trying to locate him so they can finally attempt to thwart Amascut’s plans. The timeline for this is all a bit hazy, as the desert quests up to this point are all strictly Fifth Age quests, and the series hasn’t been finished yet, even though we’re currently in the Sixth Age. We’ll see where this all goes eventually.
Icthlarin and Amascut are by far the most well-known gods of the Menaphite Pantheon, having played a role in many important quests. Although Amascut is limited to the Desert quest series as its main antagonist, Icthlarin has featured in a ton of important lore content since the start of the Sixth Age. Currently, he’s trying to find a mysterious relic known as the Eye of Het in the ruins of the freshly destroyed Duel Arena and investigating the circumstances of the destruction. This is Elder God Wars content brought to the player in the form of the Eye of Het I and Eye of Het II miniquests. The second miniquest just released today, on the 10th of January, and its lore implications are quite massive; definitely take the time to play through the miniquests!
That’s it for this month’s edition of Forgotten Lore. As an author’s note, I love that the desert pantheon is being roped into the Elder God Wars content, and I’m really excited to see where this is all going. It’s looking like things are going to escalate even more really soon, and I’m here for it. See you next month!