The desert gods are an interesting and varied bunch, yet seem to be the least paid attention to group of deities in Gielinor since the turning of the Sixth Age. They may not be the powerhouses that Zaros, Seren, Saradomin, and Zamorak might be, but they are important and intriguing. Much of their character has been extrapolated from Egyptian lore and expanded from that base. In order to get a look at the pantheon as a whole, we’ll take a look at each of the eight individually! As it would be
One of the original two of what would become eight, Tumeken entered Gielinor from an unknown plane during the Second Age like many of the gods during Guthix’s slumber. It seems as though he was one of the very first deities to enter through the World Gate as he claimed the Kharidian territory relatively unchallenged. At the time, the region was still lush and green spreading north from Menaphos up through Al Kharid. He and Elidinis came together to father Icthlarin and Amascut, and he is also credited with the deifying of the four lesser desert gods and goddesses: Crondis, Apmeken, Scabaras, and Het. These lesser deities have an origin that is somewhat fuzzy as the legend known as Tumeken’s Dream is widely thought to be just a story created to help pass along the Menaphite beliefs more than to be interpreted literally. They are considered to be avatars of his very own being from throughout his lands.
During the Second Age, Tumeken fought along with Icthlarin and Amascut with the Mahjarrat in tow battling against Zarosian forces in the Kharidian-Zarosian War. Once the majority of the Mahjarrat betrayed the Kharidian/Menaphite forces, the Zarosian army made its advance deep into what would soon become the Kharidian desert, further and further south. That is, until Tumeken used himself, seemingly, as the cause of a massive magical explosion that killed hundreds on both sides and left the once green land arid and barren. From this point on, Tumeken is thought by many to be either dead or asleep, his fate is relatively unknown. The Kharid-ib is thought to possibly be linked to Tumeken’s fate, and it has been said that his fate is made slightly clearer in a recent desert quest released with Menaphos, but I will refrain from spoilers here on this article.
Little is known about Tumeken’s wife other than that she arrived much near the same time as he in the Second Age, the two met on the banks of the River Elid, were wed, and produced Icthlarin and Amascut shortly after. Elidinis is deeply tied to the River Elid (parallel with the Nile) and finds her center of worship in Nardah. Unlike Tumeken, Elidinis remained on Gielinor through the God Wars surviving the Zarosian invasions until Guthix reawoke and established the Edicts, causing Elidinis to depart.
Icthlarin is introduced in Tumeken’s Dream by his creation when “from life came death.” His dog-like appearance comes from the fact that although Tumeken and Elidinis wanted biological children, they were not able to and thus infused part of themselves with their pet dog and cat (not kidding) from which came Icthlarin and Amascut. From his very creation, Iccy was tasked with the job of providing safe passage for souls across the River Noumenon to the afterlife. However, Icthlarin was much more involved in the God Wars than his parents seemed to be.
When the Zarosians began their campaign on the Kharidian lands, it quickly became clear that the Kharidian/Menaphite forces were sorely outmatched by the sheer size of the Zarosian army. In order to find aid, Amascut and Icthlarin both left Gielinor in search. Eventually, they happened upon Freneskae where they eventually were able to convince the Mahjarrat to join in their fight against Zaros and his growing empire. With the help of these “Stern Judges,” the Kharidians repelled the Zarosian offensive and had a brief taste of victory. This was short-lived, however, as dissension within the Mahjarrat ranks began to divide the group, many of them eventually leaving for the Zarosian side as they had become impatient with the recent lack of battle to be done. This schism reignited the war and pushed the Kharidian forces back nearly to Menaphos before the advance was stopped in its tracks by Tumeken’s last stand. From this point, Icthlarin was able to remain on Gielinor due to him only being a demi-god and also due to his crucial responsibilities in the Grim Underworld.
Amascut was created at the same time as Iccy, but she was the result of Tumeken and Elidinis’ divine essence being placed into the pet cat instead. Similar to her brother, she was to deal with the dead but on the other side of the same coin. Those who crossed the River Noumenon had the choice to either enter the afterlife or to be reincarnated, and Amascut was tasked with the safe passage to the latter. However, due to a deeply scarring event when Iccy and she visited Freneskae involving the Elder God Mah, Amascut returned to Gielinor for the remainder of the God Wars a changed being. Soon after, she began to develop darker tendencies, plotting to rule the Kharidian Plains on her own, and eventually gaining her name as “The Devourer.” Turning against her original role in the underworld, Amascut started devouring souls instead of guiding them, preventing them from ever reaching the afterlife or reincarnation. She continues to harry Icthlarin in his effort to guide souls into the afterlife in addition to plans to capture the Kharid-ib and other generally evil plots.
This ends part one of the Desert Pantheon series. For information on the four minor deities, please flip over the tape to side B, or simply wait for the second part of the article to come out. Whichever works.