Dark Altar

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Dark Altar
Dark Altar.png
Released7 January 2016 (Update)
ExamineSite of the darkest rites in Kourend's history.
Advanced data
Object ID27979

The Dark Altar is an artefact located north of Arceuus. Guarded by Tyss, the Dark Altar is one of the most significant artefacts to not only the Citizens of Arceuus, but in the history of Great Kourend as well. It plays a critical role in the freeing of trapped souls in Kourend,[1][2] as well as enabling the crafting of runes through the runic altars it has created.[3] This power enables the souls of Great Kourend's dead to be transported to the River of Souls, where they are brought to the afterlife.[4]

Players can use the Dark Altar to transform dense essence blocks into dark essence blocks, which requires 100% Arceuus favour. These dark essence blocks can then be used with a chisel and crushed into dark essence fragments, which are used to craft blood and soul runes. Each dark essence block is equivalent to 4 pieces of essence. Creating dark essence blocks will reduce prayer points by 1 per block and 2.5 Runecraft experience is gained per block.

Although not visible in-game, texts of an ancient language are inscribed on the Dark Altar,[5] which contains a recurring symbol that translates to sacrifice,[6] although it may also be interpreted as death.[7]

History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

The age and origin of the Dark Altar is not known, though is believed to have resided in the Karamjan Temple,[8] hidden within the Kharazi Jungle, until it was taken sometime after the Battle of Carrallangar during the God Wars by Skotizo and his expedition team under the personal orders of Zamorak.[9] The artefact is thought by the expedition team to be so powerful, that it would have allowed Zamorak to stand victorious in the God Wars,[10] though it is not an Elder Artefact like the Stone of Jas and the Staff of Armadyl are.[11]

However, upon arriving at the centre of the temple, Skotizo took the artefact for himself and decimated the expedition team,[12] and fled to lands far west. Skotizo would arrive on modern-day Great Kourend, and proceed to use the artefact to summon a large variety of monsters,[13] creating what is known today as the Catacombs of Kourend.

Discovery by Arceuus[edit | edit source]

Sometime after, the Tasakaal arrive on Mount Karuulm, who discover the artefact and appear to have gained great knowledge about it over the course of millennia.[14]

The artefact would later be discovered by refugees who founded Arceuus, calling it it the Dark Altar. Yet, the full extent of its power remains largely unknown, even by those who have dedicated their lives to study it extensively.[15] Amon Ducot, the author of the transvergence theory, believes it has the ability to "bring life out of death when reanimating corpses, corrupt individuals, and break minds",[16] while Tyss claims it can twist dimensions, warp minds, and bridge the gap between life and death.[17]

In addition, its power allowed it to draw energy from the planes where the true Blood and Soul Altars reside, creating Kourend's Blood and Soul Altar with which crafting blood and soul runes become possible without access to talismans.[18][19]

Use in Kourend's history[edit | edit source]

It is believed the Dark Altar possesses some rudimentary form of sapience that aims to be integral to the Citizens of Arceuus. By working to free souls and reanimate the ensouled, it chose to create Kourend's runic altars by drawing energy from the true Blood and Soul Altars, as well as allow the crafting of them exclusively via itself (in the form of dark essence),[20][21] in order to become an essential part of Arceuus' primary mission to free souls.[22]

The Dark Altar has also been used in significant points throughout Kourend's history. It was used to power the Doors of Dinh that sealed away the Wintertodt,[23] and was also used by Xeric and Xamphur to achieve immortality and maintain their control over Great Kourend. This same power was also used by Trobin Arceuus to grant the Citizens of Arceuus immortality through sustaining their bodies with its power,[24] though he credits the discovery to the Tasakaal.

Reanimation spells[edit | edit source]

Reanimation spells may be cast on ensouled heads near the Dark Altar, regardless of where the monster was originally killed, to reanimate a monster which can then be killed for Prayer experience and Arceuus favour. In addition, various Slayer and boss trophy heads, such as cockatrice heads and abyssal demon heads, can be sacrificed to the Dark Altar, granting an instant 2,500 Prayer experience (1,000 for Vorkath's head); this does not require or grant any favour.

The area in which reanimating any ensouled heads is possible.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Lord Trobin Arceuus, Old School RuneScape. "Our people also serves an important role in the wider world. We work to free trapped souls so that they may pass on to the next world. It is a crucial task that the Dark Altar helps us to perform."
  2. ^ Soul journey, written by Aretha, Old School RuneScape. "Ensouled heads are a sign of a soul in torment; it is therefore our duty to free such souls from their prison with all due speed. The magic of the Dark Altar enables the ensouled head to re-form itself a rudimentary body; this may be slain in order to grant liberty to the soul at last."
  3. ^ Transportation incantations, written by Amon Ducot, Old School RuneScape. "Our blood and soul altars are focal points where the energy comes into this dimension from the true Blood and Soul Altars, wherever they may be."
  4. ^ Soul journey, written by Aretha, Old School RuneScape. "...the Soul Altar enables our city's departed souls to have the comforting certainty of the River; it is clearly a great blessing..."
  5. ^ Ricktor's diary (7), Old School RuneScape. "Messrs. Stalae and Frayn proceeded to survey the site as I studied the ancient text found around the Altar itself. I feel that even though the text is ancient I will be able to make progress on understanding it."
  6. ^ Ricktor's diary (7), Old School RuneScape. "One word keeps appearing in all of the text I read, sacrifice. I do not yet know under what terms the word should be used, I must study further to understand more."
  7. ^ Ricktor's diary (7), Old School RuneScape. "His understanding of the language is beyond laughable and his translation of the symbol as 'death' rather than 'sacrifice', is simply absurd."
  8. ^ Malumac's journal, Old School RuneScape. "It took another day of searching but we think we've found it. The architecture is very unique and matches Zamorak's description. It looks like we may face a couple of challenges before the job is done though, the temple takes the form of a maze, one that is protected by numerous traps and guarded by some strange automatons. It's clear that whoever stored the artefact here did not wish for it to be recovered."
  9. ^ Malumac's journal, Old School RuneScape. "Impressed by our work, Zamorak himself has personally given us our next mission. For our lord himself to give out a mission is rare, it is clear that this is something of great importance to him. (...) The information provided was vague, but Zamorak believed we would find the temple on the southern part of the island."
  10. ^ Malumac's journal, Old School RuneScape. "Soon we will present the artefact to Zamorak and with it, he will win this war."
  11. ^ Jagex. "Q&A Summary 07/04/2022". 12 April 2022. (Archived from the original.) Old School RuneScape News. "The Dark Altar is not an elder artefact. I'll say that again just to make sure we're all understanding this correctly the way I'm wording this and the way I'm emphasizing this; the "Dark Altar" is not an elder artefact. There's a bit of fun speculation for you from what I mean by that."
  12. ^ Malumac's journal, Old School RuneScape. "...that's when our leader revealed his treachery, too late for us to stop it. He took the artefact from its pedestal and turned to face us. Before we could react, he launched a barrage of demonic magic towards us. Many were killed instantly."
  13. ^ Mount Karuulm diary, written by Karuulm, Old School RuneScape. "The arrival seems to be a demon of Zamorak, one in possession of an artefact I have never encountered. While the demon arrived alone, he has used this artefact to call upon a variety of creatures to his side."
  14. ^ Asteros Arceuus, "The Ascent of Arceuus", Old School RuneScape. "Within [Mount Karuulm] live the Tasakaal, three ancient beings with power over life and death. They granted my father the knowledge that led to the Ascent of Arceuus. (...) Their knowledge of the Dark Altar far exceeds ours."
  15. ^ Tyss, Old School RuneScape. "Our forebears spent their lives - literally, in some cases - learning to unlock its secrets and wield its power."
  16. ^ Transvergence theory, written by Amon Ducot, Old School RuneScape. "If we look at the Dark Altar as a whole we can see that it is able to bring life out of death when reanimating corpses, corrupt individuals and break minds."
  17. ^ Tyss, Old School RuneScape. "The power of the Dark Altar, reflected in these great crystals, can twist dimensions, warp minds, and even bridge the gulf between life and death."
  18. ^ Transdimensional notes, Old School RuneScape. "It is known, of course, that the Dark Altar can connect to other planes of existence. That is how it sustains our runic altars, by linking Kourend to whatever far-off realms contain the true Blood and Soul Altars."
  19. ^ Soul journey, written by Aretha, Old School RuneScape. "We therefore owe a debt of gratitude to the Dark Altar, for it is the Dark Altar's power that creates and maintains Kourend's soul altar, drawing energy to this realm from the unknown plane where the true Soul Altar resides."
  20. ^ Transvergence theory, written by Amon Ducot, Old School RuneScape. "I think it is no coincidence that the Dark Altar allows blood and soul runes to be created only as these are primarily needed to reanimate the dead."
  21. ^ Transvergence theory, written by Amon Ducot, Old School RuneScape. "By only being able to harness the essence changing power with dark essence, the Dark Altar has even more use and purpose."
  22. ^ Transvergence theory, written by Amon Ducot, Old School RuneScape. "It is almost as if the Dark Altar has some sense of self preservation and is looking for as many ways as possible to be integral to our community and thus, gain power within it."
  23. ^ Kaal-Mej-San, "A Kingdom Divided", Old School RuneScape. "The Dark Altar powers the Doors of Dinh."
  24. ^ Lord Trobin Arceuus, Old School RuneScape. "It was a thousand years ago, during the time of King Byrne II. I went to my people and shared the secrets of immortality with them. Not all of them accepted this gift of course, as was their right. Those that did, were granted new bodies to house their souls. These bodies are sustained by the Dark Altar."