Great Kourend

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The iconic sigil of Great Kourend.

Great Kourend is a kingdom found in the continent of Zeah, found far west of the mainland across the Western Sea. It is one of the three regions that make up the continent, the other two being the Kebos Lowlands and the Kingdom of Varlamore.[1] One of the largest kingdoms in Gielinor, it is larger than Misthalin and Asgarnia combined, and is similar in size to Kandarin.

Despite being called a kingdom, Great Kourend is actually a republic, currently ruled by the Kourend Council, with the five houses of Great Kourend ruling over the kingdom's five cities: Arceuus, Hosidius, Port Piscarilius, Lovakengj, and Shayzien. Although the five Houses can rule over their city as they see fit, they must also enforce and obey the laws set out by the Kourend Council.[2] However, after the events of A Kingdom Divided, Great Kourend is once again ruled by a monarchy.

Players can travel to Great Kourend by speaking to Veos, whose boat is located in front of the Rusty Anchor inn in Port Sarim. They can then choose to travel to Port Piscarilius, where most newcomers to the kingdom sail to, or Land's End, a small settlement in the south-western area of the kingdom, near the Kourend Woodland. In order to utilise teleports that take the player to the kingdom, players must have travelled to Great Kourend via Veos at least once.

History[edit | edit source]

The following section uses date conventions different from conventional formats. The date convention in Great Kourend, according to Arceuus horologist Imerominia, is to state the number of days and decades since the signing of the Royal Accord of Twill. For example, 3,573 - 73 is the 3,573rd day of the 73rd decade. For convenience, dates in this section will be followed by a conversion of the amount of years that has passed since an event. Decades with BA, short for "Before Accord", following them refers to the time before the Accord was signed.

Early history[edit | edit source]

A statue of King Rada I, founder of Great Kourend.

Great Kourend was founded by refugees fleeing from the mainland during the God Wars;[3] the exact date of this remains unknown. At the time, only Arceuus, Port Piscarilius and Lovakengj existed, led by leaders of their respective houses; Hosidius and Shayzien were founded later during the Dragonkin Conflicts in the Fourth Age about 2,000 years ago.[4] Out of the five cities, only the founder of Shayzien is known: Camorra Shayzien, a heroine who fought alongside Robert the Strong, Tristan Corvo and Aivas during the Conflicts.

During this time, the Shayzien Crypts were built, burying Camorra there. In the future, these crypts would host the tombs of the kings and queens of Great Kourend.

It was not until the 10th decade BA (1,510 years ago) that the five cities were united into the Kingdom of Great Kourend by King Rada I. Most of kingdom's history before the uniting of the five cities remains largely unknown, as they were lost during the Age of Strife in the 38th to 47th decades[5] (1,030 years ago).

Sometime during the reign of King Rada III from the 7th to 6th decade BA (1,480 years ago), the Tower of Magic was constructed.[6] The Tower has many powerful enchantments and traps, with many rooms and levels hidden from sight. It is assumed the Tower was used for magical experiments, as Lord Trobin Arceuus is currently using it for such a purpose.

The general of Zamorak[edit | edit source]

Sometime during the God Wars, before the arrival of refugees that would go on to found Arceuus, Lovakengj and Piscarilius, Skotizo, one of Zamorak's generals, made his way to Zeah after betraying and decimating the expedition team by taking the power of an unknown artefact found within the Karamjan Temple for himself.[7] Here, he used the artefact to summon a large variety of monsters, creating what is known today as the Catacombs of Kourend.[8] What happened to him afterwards is not known, but today, Skotizo remains deep beneath the Catacombs.

The Council of Elders[edit | edit source]

During the 6th decade BA (1,470 years ago), the families of the five houses rebelled against King Rada III, and formed the Council of Elders. The Council used the chambers in the Tower of Magic as their meeting place, and governed Great Kourend for fifty years from the 5th - 1st decade BA (1,460 years ago).

Hosidius is the provider of a majority the kingdom's food, and remains the largest city in Great Kourend today.

Sometime during the rule of the Council of Elders, a famine struck the kingdom. Five years after the famine began, Lord Hosidius met with the Lords of the other four houses, coming to an agreement that half of each house's lands be granted to Hosidius in order to grow more crops to stop the famine.[9]

The next day, he wrote a letter to the Council of Elders to, once more, grant this request as he had already done so multiple times before.[10] The request was granted, and the famine ends sometime after. Today, Hosidius remains the largest city in Great Kourend.

The Royal Accord of Twill[edit | edit source]

The Council of Elders was disbanded during the 1st decade (1,410 years ago) after the lords of the five houses (Ethrain Hosidius, Seabry Shayzien, Ret Piscarilius, Solange Lovakengj and Bourath Arceuus) wrote the Royal Accord of Twill, a document which detailed the transition of authority from the Council of Elders to the Royal Lords of the five houses.

The document detailed the rotation of succession between the Royal Lords of the five houses, with one Royal Lord becoming the Grand Lord of Great Kourend for one decade, and passing the office to the next Royal Lord. Thus, the Lord of Hosidius, henceforth known as Lord Hosidius I, ruled the kingdom for one decade. The next Royal Lord to rule was Lord Lovakengj I, then Lord Shayzien I, Lord Piscarilius I and Lord Arceuus I. After the rule of Lord Arceuus I, the cycle would repeat and Hosidius would have their Royal Lord rule Great Kourend.

The Long Winter[edit | edit source]

During the 2nd decade (1,400 years ago), the Winter Beast (now known today as the Wintertodt), an entity of unknown origin, ravaged the lands north of Great Kourend, causing them to experience perpetual winter, with livestock and crops freezing. The Winter Beast continued to ravage the Northern Tundras for another three decades, with the kingdom's attempts to subdue it unsuccessful.

On 1,778 - 5 (1,360 years ago), fearing the Winter Beast may eventually ravage Great Kourend, Lord Arceuus I ordered the construction of the Arceuus Library,[11] filled with texts, documents and research from all cities, in order to preserve the history of Great Kourend. Meanwhile, the most important texts were stored in the Library Historical Archive, a repurposed chamber of the Tower of Magic, for further study and additional protection.

On 1,748 - 7 (1,340 years ago), a master Lovakengj smith named Dinh creates a plan to defeat the Winter Beast. Meeting with the Order of the Sacred Flame, Dinh believed that the roots of the Bruma tree, a magical tree lying within the heart of the Northern Tundras, can emit the heat required to subdue the Winter Beast. Dinh proposed to construct a large prison in which to lure the Beast in, and seal it with a large set of doors made from various materials, including lovakite and bark from the Bruma tree, with enchantments placed by the Order.[12]

The Doors of Dinh continue to seal the Winter Beast to this day.

With Lord Lovakengj II approving of the plans, the prison's construction was completed 800 days later, with known casualties of sixteen Order members and two scouts. On 2,548 - 7, after five decades, the Winter Beast was successfully imprisoned and sealed behind the Doors of Dinh,[13] with Lord Lovakengj II declaring the day as Winter's End.

Breaking of the Accord[edit | edit source]

The cycle of succession continued until 1,048 - 13 (1,280 years ago) when Lord Shayzien III seized control of Great Kourend using the military under his command, and crowned himself king.[14] Writing the Royal Charter, he abolished the Royal Accord and formed the State of Kourend, which would serve the monarchy, govern revenues and mobilise forces.

On 2,547 - 20 (1,210 years ago), King Shayzien VI married Enia Hosidius, the daughter of Lord Hosidius.[15] Their son was crowned king four decades later (1,170 years ago), and took the name King Hosidius IV in order to distance the family from the breaking of the Royal Accord of Twill.[16] King Hosidius IV ruled for four decades, and his son, King Hosidius V, succeeded the throne and ruled until the early days of the 33rd decade (1,080 years ago).

The Great Expedition[edit | edit source]

In the early days of the 33rd decade (1,080 years ago), King Shayzien VII took control of Great Kourend. During his reign, he was obsessed with the Dark Altar, and had spent a large majority of his time in the Tower of Magic performing experiments on citizens he summoned. Here, he oversaw the construction of various new sections, presumably to conduct magical experiments.

Seeking to expand the territory of Great Kourend, on 1,740 - 36 (1,050 years ago), he ordered an expedition to explore the Kebos Lowlands west of the kingdom. A team was assembled and surveyed the immediate area west of the kingdom in order to assess the danger and scope of the king's expedition.[17]

Thirty-three days later, the survey team returns, reporting findings of a mountain beyond the swamps of the region.[18] King Shayzien VII then ordered to have the mountain as their main focus for the expedition, and assigned Magnus Rimor, a Shayzien commander and seasoned explorer, as the party leader.

After a week of interviews, Magnus selected five more members for his expedition: Doctor Bev Crushim, Lieutenant Thomas Berlin, Sergeant Henno Garvie, Corporal Rytin Edshirt and Corporal Keith Jones. With the party assembled, King Shayzien VII approved of the expedition plans on 1,800 - 36, giving the party 250 days to ascend the mountain and return with details of their findings.[19]

The party never returned. Assuming the party perished in the field, the expedition was declared a failure;[20] the mountain would become known as Mount Quidamortem, meaning "certain death" in Latin. During this time, King Shayzien VII also ordered the construction of a prison in the Tower of Magic.

An ancient temple housing an unstable altar, constructed sometime after the Great Expedition and before Xeric's reign.

However, a temple was constructed, presumably under the orders of King Shayzien VII, in a cave on the western side of the mountain sometime during the 37th decade (1,040 years ago). Within the temple, an unstable altar was created, giving off a similar power to the Dark Altar, while having the ability to amplify the true Dark Altar's powers, allowing it to reach areas it previously could not.[21]

Here, the natives species of lizards in the Kebos Lowlands were experimented on, creating creatures such as the Corrupt Lizardman. King Shayzien VII noted in a journal he wrote during this time mentioning compatible creatures in Quidamortem for mass production, suggesting he was creating the lizardmen as an army for Great Kourend.[22] Records of the experiments that remain imply that the process involved a combination of the breeding of humans and lizard creatures using dark magic.

The Age of Strife[edit | edit source]

A weathered statue on Mount Quidamortem depicting an ancient Xerician priest, or possibly Xeric himself.
Main article: Xeric

Sometime during the late 37th decade, the Battle of the Concourse began. King Shayzien VII was eventually killed in the battle on 3,316 - 37, ambushed by his own army of Elder Warriors; however, his body was never recovered.

A few days after the battle, Xeric appeared and was said to have had a similar appearance to Shayzien VII. It was quickly discovered that he had used the power of the Dark Altar and moved his spirit from his mortal body into an incorporeal one. With this newfound power, Xeric proceeded to kill the remaining leaders of the five houses, and claimed Great Kourend as his own, using the lizardmen army he had mass produced in Mount Quidamortem as his guards and enforcers. The lizardmen would sweep cities and farms, kidnapping people for his experiments.

During Xeric's Age of Strife, many fled from Great Kourend, seeking refuge south-west of the kingdom, beyond the Kebos Lowlands. Here, the refugees founded the kingdom of Varlamore.[23]

At the height of his reign in the 43rd decade (980 years ago), a resistance group called HAX (Humans Against Xeric) attempted to storm the Tower of Magic and defeat Xeric, but had failed, resulting in the loss of two hundred members.

King Byrne I[edit | edit source]

A portrait depicting an artist's impression of King Byrne I.

During 312 - 47 (940 years ago), Byrne, a farmer, witnessed a lizardman guard murder a child whilst working his farm. Outraged, he slaughtered the lizardman, with the entire town as witnesses. Urging the people to fight back, the people revolted, and within seven days, the lizardmen were outnumbered and driven beyond the kingdom in the Kebos Lowlands. During the revolt, the temple surrounding the Dark Altar was destroyed as well, weakening Xeric's power and forcing him into exile,[24] travelling west to Mount Quidamortem. After the successful revolt against Xeric, Byrne was crowned King of Great Kourend on 339 - 47.

During King Byrne I's rule, he established the Kourend Royal Guard, as he felt that it was dangerous for the Shayzien House to have control over the Shayzien Army,[25] the kingdom's only military, and also allowed people from other cities in Great Kourend to enlist in the Shayzien Army.[26] King Byrne I would rule for three decades, with his son King Byrne II ruling for another three decades after his father.

The Ascent of Arceuus[edit | edit source]

During the reign of King Byrne II (910 years ago),[27] Trobin Arceuus and his brother-in-law, travelled to Mount Karuulm to seek the Tasakaal, a powerful race of golem-like creatures. Trobin's wife had become very ill, and he pleaded to them to help his dying wife.[28] The Tasakaal then granted them the knowledge of immortality, saving his wife.

However, Trobin used this knowledge and shared the secrets to the Citizens of Arceuus, making them able to become immortal. While not all of them accepted immortality, those that did were granted new bodies to house their souls, which are sustained by the Dark Altar.[29]

Queen Biyrene I[edit | edit source]

Sometime during the reign of King Byrne II, he died of unknown causes, and his wife, Biyrene, was crowned as Queen Biyrene I, as their son, King Byrne III, was too young to rule the kingdom. During her reign in the 53rd decade (880 years ago), she took Lord Piscarilius, who was responsible for Great Kourend's spy network as Lord of Intelligence, as her consort, and birthed a daughter, Queen Biyrene II.

Once her son, King Byrne III, came of age, she unwillingly gave up the throne. Had the law of succession made by her late husband never existed, she would have not given up the throne for her son, wishing to finish the work for this kingdom that she had started.

During King Byrne III's reign in the 54th decade (870 years ago), he was stabbed to death in his chamber by an assassin. As King Byrne III had not achieved anything of note during his reign, it is believed that the assassination was arranged by Lord Piscarilius through the spy network in order to return his wife to the throne.

Queen Biyrene I would rule for another two decades before passing the throne to her daughter, Queen Biyrene II.

War of the Five Houses[edit | edit source]

Forthos as it appears today after its destruction in the War of the Five Houses.

During the 120th decade, King Agata IV was overthrown by the leaders of the five houses.[30] With no one next in line to the throne, an alliance between the Lovakengj and Piscarilius House formed to murder Lord Shayzien,[31] which was short lived as the two houses began to fight one another.[32] Meanwhile, the Hosidius House began to mobilise their forces,[33] and Lord Trobin Arceuus has begun to reinforce the defences of Arceuus, not wishing to participate in the civil war.[34]

Though the exact casualties are not known, structures that were known to have been destroyed include Shayzia, once a castle belonging to the Shayzien House, and Forthos, the former seat of the Hosidius House.[35]

While the war was seen by some as a petty squabble[36] and a war of pride between the houses,[37] the war ultimately lasted from the 121st - 123rd decade (200 to 180 years ago), with Arceuus never participating in the war. Despite this, the conflict became known as the War of the Five Houses.[38]

Relations with Varlamore[edit | edit source]

Varlamore, a kingdom south-west of Great Kourend, maintained a stable relationship with them, managing to avoid any conflict with the kingdom since their founding during the Age of Strife.

As part of a celebration of his 30th birthday some years ago, Emperor Imafore invited the royal family of Great Kourend to Varlamore, and gave them a grand tour of the kingdom. However, during the grand feast at his palace in Civitas illa Fortis, he killed the royal family by poisoning their drinks,[39] prompting Great Kourend to declare war on Varlamore.

The war had ended sometime before or during the reign of King Kharedst III in the 132nd to 135th decade (90 to 60 years ago). In the hope of repairing the relationship between Great Kourend and Varlamore, which had been destroyed after the war, the King ordered an envoy be sent to Varlamore to transport the Royal Accord of Twill to be displayed in the Grand Museum of Civitas illa Fortis.[40] However, the Accord became lost at sea, and remained so until it was recovered by Artur Hosidius in the 141st decade.

Today, the betrayal of Emperor Imafore remains fresh in the minds of Great Kourend's people, and the trust has yet to be regained, although it appears that Queen Zyanyi Arkan, Varlamore's current ruler, is eager to ease tensions between the two kingdoms during her visit to Great Kourend.[41][42]

King Kharedst IV[edit | edit source]

A statue of King Kharedst IV in the Kourend Woodland.

During the 138th decade (30 years ago), King Kharedst IV's wife died giving birth to his only daughter, Rose.[43] The day before Rose's 11th birthday, she and her father made their monthly trip to Lovakengj, where he purchased an ornate flask and an old rose-shaped locket from an old dwarf tinker.[44] The locket was given to Rose as a present, whilst he purchased the flask for himself.[45] Unbeknownst to the King, the flask he purchased was corrupted with dark magic,[46] and soon his mind became corrupted.[47]

Soon after, an Arceuus mage reached out to David Andrews, one of the King's advisors. An expert on old curses, the mage claimed that the King's curse had deteriorated his mind beyond saving, and gave a poison for David to kill him.[48] Accepting that the King could not be saved, the King's advisors proceeded to kill him with the poison.[49] As Rose was too young to take the throne at the time of his death, the King's advisors formed the Kourend Council in order to rule the kingdom until Rose was ready to do so.[50]

The Kourend Council[edit | edit source]

Rose soon discovered what the Council had done to her father. Unable to risk her telling the truth, the Council sought out the mage, who gave them a potion to stop her from revealing the truth.[51] While the potion did work on Rose, it was in actuality a poison made to destroy her mind and induce her into a comatose state.[52]

To cover up Rose's condition, the Council declared that Rose became insane after the death of her father, and considered her unfit for rule.[53] She was then moved away to an unknown location, away from public life.[54] With no suitable heir for Great Kourend, the Council was made permanent,[55] turning the kingdom into a republic. Despite this, its people still refer to it as a kingdom.

The Council proceeded to rule over Great Kourend for twenty years. While crime rates have risen, unemployment rates fallen, and housing becoming scarcer under the Council's rule,[56] the Council has also achieved notable progress within the kingdom, such as the installation of a sewage system in Port Piscarilius,[57] and establishment of safe trade routes from the mainland,[58] which ended Great Kourend's long period of isolation and allowing relations between the other kingdoms to be established.

Rose's Accord[edit | edit source]

Since the death of King Kharedst IV and Rose, the Council has been accused of corruption, with the Royal Society claiming the convenience of Rose going insane,[59] the same four councillors winning every quadrennial election since their formation,[60] and Councillor Sophia Hughes' recent arrest after the discovery of her ties with the Disciples of Yama,[61] a Zamorakian cult who follows the demon Yama in the Chasm of Fire.

During a protest by the Royal Society in Kingstown, the adventurer who had lent their assistance in arresting Sophia Hughes is informed by their leader, Martin Holt, that she escaped,[62] and that an investigation by the Royal Guard, led by Commander Lydia Fullore, is currently underway.[63] Upon an investigation of her home in Kingstown, it is discovered that she intends to escape to the mainland by via Veos' ship, and the adventurer and Lydia manage to intercept her. In a last ditch attempt, Sophia summons the Judge of Yama, who incinerates her for taking advantage of Yama's generosity and his trust,[64] and proceeds to battle the adventurer.

The adventurer discovers Rose and Councillor Liam Orson.

Before her death, Sophia Hughes had mentioned that she and the rest of the Council had done something a man and his girl,[65] whom is believed to be King Kharedst IV and Rose. Afraid that Councillor Andrews will be keeping a close eye on Lydia, she reluctantly asks the adventurer to seek Martin regarding Rose's fate.[66] The adventurer and him proceed to investigate, with Martin getting arrested by Tomas Lawry in the process.

Eventually, the adventurer's investigation leads them to a small shack at the base of Mount Karuulm in the Kebos Lowlands. Here, a hidden entrance to the basement results in the discovery of Rose and Councillor Liam Orson, who had been taking care of her since she entered into a coma. Having been discovered, he confesses to the adventurer and Lydia that the Council conspired to kill King Kharedst IV, but that they did so out of necessity. Liam reveals that they remain in contact with the mage, who helped them kill the King to obtain potions to help treat Rose. The mage was discovered to be Xamphur, Xeric's closest comrade. After surviving an encounter with him, the adventurer discovers that Xamphur was the one who gave David the poison to kill the King,[67] and that he was also responsible for redirecting energy from the Dark Altar, causing loss in power from the Dark Altar among the Citizens of Arceuus and the death of Thana.[68]

After moving Liam to Xeric's Lookout, the adventurer and Lydia decide to end Rose's suffering, and hold a funeral for her outside the shack.[69] With Liam's confession and the knowledge of Xamphur's involvement with the Kourend Council, the leaders of the five houses, Trobin Arceuus, Kandur Hosidius, Vulcana Lovakengj, Shauna Piscarilius, and Shiro Shayzien are asked by the adventurer to meet at Xeric's Lookout where they would decide on the next steps. After much deliberation, it is decided a new Accord, named Rose's Accord, will be signed into law upon a vote by the people,[70] where Kandur Hosidius would be crowned as the King of Great Kourend.[71]

The Kourend Council is removed from power.

After agreeing on the next course of action, the leaders of the five houses proceed to Kourend Castle and remove the Kourend Council from power.[72] After disbanding the Council, the vote to sign Rose's Accord passed, and Kandur is crowned King.

However, during the coronation banquet, King Kandur is killed by an assassin, and his son, Artur Hosidius, is crowned King afterwards. Asteros Arceuus, son of Trobin, serves as an advisor to Artur at Kandur's request before his death,[73] as well as Martin Holt, who used to work for the Council.[74]

Culture[edit | edit source]

The inhabitants of Great Kourend experienced a long period of relative isolation for thousands of years, primarily due to its distance from the mainland and the relative lack of awareness of lands beyond Kandarin (though few were aware of the Tirannwn region, but was not easily accessed due to the Galarpos Mountains making travel difficult). As a result, the kindgom has had little contact with the mainland, and has gained a cultural identity unique among the other kingdoms.

Date convention[edit | edit source]

Great Kourend has a date convention which is to state the days, then decades, since the signing of the Royal Accord of Twill.[75] For dates before the Accord was signed, "BA", short for "Before Accord", is added onto the date.[76] However, in recent years since trade routes were estbalished with the mainland, most citizens have quickly adopted the standard calendar used in the mainland, though Great Kourend's date convention continues to be used in academic environments such as the Library Historical Archive. [77]

Religion[edit | edit source]

The Altar of the Sun in the Forthos Dungeon.

Despite thousands of years of isolation, Saradominists continue to be the primary religion in Great Kourend,[78], though Zamorakians appear have a small following as well in the cult of Yama. Even so, different religions began to develop in Great Kourend, such as the religions of Ralos and Ranul, whose origins are traced back to the Temple to Ranul and Ralos, known today as the Forthos Dungeon. However, they are no longer commonly worshipped in Great Kourend, and instead became the primary religion of Varlamore, the kingdom to the south.[79]

Citizens of Arceuus, who have achieved immortality during the Ascent of Arceuus, no longer worship the gods,[80] with their church repurposed to be a place of meditation[81] and an ecumenical church where citizens may worship any god.[82]

Traditions[edit | edit source]

Great Kourend is known to celebrate a holiday known as the Decade Dawn Gathering, which takes place on the first day of a new decade.[83] A day known as Winter's End is also commemorated as the day the Wintertodt was imprisoned behind the Doors of Dinh.

Not much else is known about holidays and traditions within the kindgom.

Transportation[edit | edit source]

Transportation map for Great Kourend and the Kebos Lowlands

Players can travel to Great Kourend by speaking to Veos by his ship (or Cabin Boy Herbert after A Kingdom Divided) in Port Sarim, directly south of the Rusty Anchor Inn. Doing so will take players to either Port Piscarilius, the easternmost section of the city, or Land's End, the south-western docks near the Kourend Woodland. Players are able to choose to which point they want to be taken.

Favour system[edit | edit source]

The Kourend Favour interface found within the Quest List interface.
Kourend Favour.png

Most features available within the five cities of Great Kourend are locked behind a favour system, in which players must perform certain activities (marked on the minimap as Kourend task icon.png) for an individual city to gain favour from them. Once players have gained a certain percentage of favour from a city, they will be able to access more of the city's features. For example, players must have gained Arceuus favour before they are given access to the Arceuus spellbook.

By default, an overlay interface is displayed in the top-middle of the game client when the player is in Great Kourend. Hovering the mouse over the overlay allows players to view the percentage of favour the player has within a city in Great Kourend, as well as a small button on the right-bottom corner to view favour-gaining tasks and milestones for gaining a certain percentage of favour. Players can remove the overlay by clicking the small purple icon in the Character Summary tab and disabling the Favour Overlay.

Cities of Great Kourend[edit | edit source]

The kingdom is split into five cities (sometimes referred to as Houses), each with their own speciality and features.

Arceuus[edit | edit source]

Arceuus.png

The inhabitants of Arceuus are mystics who focus on spirituality and magic. It features:

Hosidius[edit | edit source]

Hosidius.png

The inhabitants of Hosidius are primarily farmers who focus on farming and cooking in order to supply food for the city. It features:

Lovakengj[edit | edit source]

Lovakengj.png

The inhabitants of Lovakengj are dwarves who provide equipment for Shayzien military, and focus on Mining and Smithing as crafts. It features:

Port Piscarilius[edit | edit source]

Port Piscarilius.png

The inhabitants of Port Piscarilius are fishermen who rely on the fishing industry for their source of income, and are also rampant with thieves and smugglers within the district. It features:

Shayzien[edit | edit source]

Shayzien.png

The inhabitants of Shayzien are soldiers of the military force who provides law, order and defence for the kingdom. It features:

Other areas of the Kingdom[edit | edit source]

Kourend Woodland[edit | edit source]

The Kourend Woodland is an area found in the south-western coast. It contains various hunter creatures and a small barbarian settlement in the eastern area (directly south of the Woodcutting Guild), along with three magic trees and four yew trees nearby.

The Old Memorial used to charge Kharedst's memoirs can be found here.

In the southern part of the Woodland, a small settlement named Land's End can be found. Players can reach the settlement via Veos by choosing to travel to Land's End rather than Port Piscarilius.

Northern Tundras[edit | edit source]

The Northern Tundras comprise of the snowy region north of Arceuus. Largely uninhabited due to the extreme cold, two abandoned settlements can be found here, the Settlement Ruins and the Fishing Hamlet.

In the centre of the region, the Wintertodt can be found imprisoned beyond the Doors of Dinh. Players can help subdue the Wintertodt for supply crates as a reward.

Music unlocked[edit | edit source]

Name Unlock details Music track
Arcane Unlocked in Arceuus or the Catacombs of Kourend
Country Jig Unlocked in Hosidius
Down by the Docks Unlocked in Port Piscarilius
Dwarven Domain Unlocked in Lovakengj
The Forlorn Homestead Unlocked at the southern Hosidius coast
Kourend the Magnificent Unlocked at Kourend Castle
The Militia Unlocked in Shayzien
Rugged Terrain Unlocked by the Graveyard of Heroes or in the Lizardman Canyon
Soul Fall Unlocked near the Soul altar
A Walk in the Woods Unlocked in the Kourend Woodland

Development history[edit | edit source]

This section focuses on the development history of Great Kourend after its release. For development history prior to the release of Great Kourend, see here.

Favour criticism[edit | edit source]

A map of Great Kourend upon release.

Great Kourend was released 7 January 2016 as the phase 1 update of Zeah. During this time, favour gain within what was referred to as the biggest city in the game was twice as slow, as the percentage gained for various activities was half of what it is today. In addition, the established lore was that the five Houses of Kourend are endlessly fighting for power after the death of their last king, thus gaining favour in one House while having favour in others would result in the loss of favour for those Houses.

Four days after Great Kourend's release, a Developer's Blog was released in response to player feedback that gaining 100% in some Houses are less rewarding than other Houses. The following additions passed the following poll:

Criticism of the restrictive nature of the favour system was still evident after the release of the additional rewards; this was changed with the release of the Architectural Alliance miniquest on 3 March, which allowed players to lock in their favour in a House once they have reached 100%, making it possible to earn 100% favour in all Houses.

Favour gain was further tweaked with the release of Client of Kourend on 20 April 2017, which rewarded 20% favour in a chosen House, and doubled favour gain in all Houses (the lore being that the word of Xeric's return has spread, and that the houses are now too busy to care about the player's loyalty).

Further balancing changes to favour gain was made with the release of Tale of the Righteous on 19 April 2018, which removed the doubled favour gain reward from completing Client of Kourend, now being the default rate of favour gain. In addition, changes were made to rebalance the average time spent to reach 100% favour.

The final change to favour gain was made with the release of X Marks the Spot on 7 February 2019, which removed the mechanic of losing favour in one House while performing tasks for another, thus no longer requiring players to lock in their favour. As a result, the Architectural Alliance miniquest now rewards an antique lamp.

Design criticism[edit | edit source]

A map of Great Kourend on 3 March 2016.

Though players criticisms with the design of the city (the unnatural 'square' geographic design of the city was the most common complaint) were prevalent ever since the release of Great Kourend, only minor adjustments were made throughout the months after its release, with the most major changes being done in an update on 3 March, which involved the addition of more scenery and clearer roads throughout the city and the change from a large clear field with the statue in the centre of the city to a large, tall monument. Despite these changes, the overall shape of the city did not change.

On 26 April, Reddit user GentleTractor created a post titled Zeah Redesigned, which addressed the design issues that players have had since its release. The post went viral and quickly gained the attention of Jagex Moderators, with Mod Mat K leaving a comment in the post that although GentleTractor's map was "very nicely designed", and that they may well take a few ideas from it, there is difficulty in changing what is already there without impacting the growth of Old School RuneScape as a game and as a business investment.

On 4 May, a Month Ahead newspost was released, revealing that the Old School Team will be releasing a Developer's Blog the week after, aiming to add small to medium sized updates to fill out unused areas of the city:

The team then stated that later in the year, they will be making major design changes to Great Kourend, with a concept image showing their design goals, which was made with the help of GentleTractor.

Mod West's Redesign[edit | edit source]

After the release of the Wintertodt on 8 September, work on redesigning Great Kourend began, with Mod West spearheading the project. Seeking feedback from players throughout the entire redesign, he posted his progress on Reddit on a weekly basis:

Image Description
Great Kourend redesign progress 1.png
Mod West's Great Kourend redesign concept.
Great Kourend redesign progress 2.png
Update #2, which fleshes out the Northern Tundras with the addition of the Settlement Ruins and the Fishing Hamlet (initially named "Destroyed Village"), and adds Land's End and the Kourend Woodland.
Great Kourend redesign progress 3.png
Update #3, which replaces the centre of Great Kourend with Kourend Castle and adds a river that flows through Hosidius. Xeric's Look out is added as an actual location.
Great Kourend redesign progress 4.png
Update #4, which shortened the Piscarilius pier, tweaks to the western end of the city (in preparation for the upcoming raid update) and changed the Hosidius coastline to appear more natural.
Great Kourend redesign progress 5.png
Update #5, which relabeled Great Kourend as a kingdom rather than a city. In addition, the colour scheme of Arceuus was changed and a path was added to Lovakengj via Arceuus. Part of the Shayziens' Wall was added as well. Lastly, the graveyard south of Shayzien had railings added around it, and more graves were added to the western side of the city, with the graveyard being given a name: the Graveyard of Heroes.
Great Kourend redesign progress 6.png
Update #6, which replaced some paved roads with natural dirt roads in the southern part of Hosidius, and the Crabclaw Isle is added.

Satisfied with the redesign, and needing to move on to mapping what would be Mount Quidamortem and the Chambers of Xeric, the Great Kourend rework was released on 17 November 2016.

In honour of GentleTractor for pushing the redesign of Great Kourend, an ancient machinery (in reality, a tractor) was added by the windmill in Hosidius. In addition, a knight was added in the Kourend Castle, who says he is from Varlamore, a kingdom to the south-west that GentleTractor had included in his original post.

Quests and lore[edit | edit source]

Upon Zeah's release, there were no quests that took place within the continent. Furthermore, the only lore that was available to players about Great Kourend were found in the Arceuus Library as well as small snippets about the Wintertodt through dialogue with NPCs in the Wintertodt Camp. Though it named some important events in its history such as the creation of the Royal Accord of Twill and the death of King Shayzien VII, there was no solid chronological timeline that players could rely upon.

The Library Historical Archive, developed by Mod John C as a side project to expand the lore of Great Kourend.

The release of the Chambers of Xeric on 5 January 2017 saw the addition of the Library Historical Archive, which added lots of lore about the kingdom's history, the story of Xeric and a timeline of ruling powers. Within the archive were historians who when spoken to, would tell players about specific subjects, as well as historical texts preserved that players could read, such as the Official Order of Construction and The Great Expedition. In addition, the unique date convention used by the people of Great Kourend was added.

On 4 April, a revision was added to the Slayer & Dungeons Developer's Blog proposing the addition of Great Kourend's first quest, developed by Mod Wolf: Client of Kourend. The quest, released on 20 April, revealed that Xeric was the client, who possessed Veos, a treasure hunter and portmaster, to inform himself about the current state of the kingdom.

Mod Ed, who developed the Great Kourend storyline and standardised its lore and history.

Mod Ed, a Junior QA Analyst who had left after the release the Wintertodt due to having completed his summer internship, returned to work at Jagex on 20 April 2017 and was promoted to a Junior Content Developer on 31 July 2017. He would soon develop more quests to continue the Great Kourend quest series and set up the quest's storyline through a novice quest for each of the five cities:

During development of the Kebos Lowlands, Mod Ed went through every possible dialogue and item in order to centralise the lore of Great Kourend and set a consistent timeline of the kingdom's history. The changes he made included the removal of the term "Zeah" from the game and the term "House" from the names of the five cities (now used to refer to the leaders of the cities), as well as changing the texts of many books that still referred to Great Kourend as a city two years after Mod West's rework.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Great Kourend was originally planned to be named "Great Goureng" by Mod Reach, who quickly changed the first and last letters after Mods Ash and Mat K pointed out its similarity to Hermann Göring (or Goering), a notorious Nazi military leader.[84]
  • The sigil of Great Kourend was designed by a player named Aaron Alluyn, who submitted the winning submission as part of a competition ran by Mod Ghost, a senior graphics artist in the Old School RuneScape team[85].

Concept art[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Jagex. Mod Ed's Twitter account. 8 January 2019. (Archived from the original on 29 May 2020.) Mod Ed: "[The Kebos Lowlands are] a separate region to Great Kourend and one of the three regions that make up the continent."
  2. Councillor Andrews, Old School RuneScape. "The five houses of Kourend each have their own leader who rules over their city. The leaders of the individual houses must enforce and obey the laws set out by the Kourend Council, but can otherwise rule as they see fit."
  3. Imafore's betrayal, Old School RuneScape. "[Great Kourend] was formed over a thousand years ago by settlers who had fled the God Wars."
  4. Imerominia, Old School RuneScape. "Hosidius and Shayzien were the two cities founded during the Dragonkin Conflicts."
  5. Amelia, Old School RuneScape. "Most of our history was lost during Xeric's reign."
  6. Pagida, Old School RuneScape. "The Tower was constructed by King Rada III. We don't know exactly when, since dates were not recorded before the Twill Accord."
  7. 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."
  8. Karuulm's old notes, 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."
  9. Hosidius letter, written by Lord Ethrain Hosidius I, Old School RuneScape. "Only yesterday did I meet with the lords of the other houses and we agreed in principle that all houses would offer half their land so we may farm more. Within six months we can have enough food to halt this famine."
  10. Hosidius letter, written by Lord Ethrain Hosidius I, Old School RuneScape. "My most venerable Council, I beseech you to grant my request as mentioned in previous meetings at your chamber. We can grow enough food to extricate us from the famine we have experienced these last five years. However, I cannot do so without the appropriate amount of land."
  11. Official Order of Construction, written by Lord Arceuus I, Old School RuneScape. "It is with this in mind that I, Lord Arceuus, Ruler of Great Kourend, hereby order the construction of a library. A library filled with texts, documents and research from all of Great Kourend. The library shall be constructed here, within Arceuus, and enchanted with spells from our greatest mages to protect the contents from evil."
  12. Winter's End, Old School RuneScape. "Dinh has constructed the doors to the prison from various metal compounds, including Lovakite, but they must be reinforced with Bruma bark and enchanted by the Order."
  13. Winter's End, Old School RuneScape. "Rejoice! Our mission has succeeded. The beast has been contained! The Bruma tree burns bright in the night sky, warming the northern tundra and holding back the beast."
  14. Imerominia, Old School RuneScape. "In the 13th decade, King Shayzien III seized control of Kourend using the military under his command."
  15. Royal Wedding Invitation, Old School RuneScape. "The State Chamberlain is commanded by The King to invite Mr Hanson Piscarilius to the marriage of His Royal Highness King Shayzien VI with Miss Enia Hosidius at Shayzien Chapel on 2,547 - 20 at High Noon."
  16. Imerominia, Old School RuneScape. "[The son of King Shayzien VI] took the name King Hosidius IV in an attempt to distance the family from the breaking of the Royal Accord of Twill."
  17. The Great Expedition, Old School RuneScape. "I have requested a team to survey the immediate area to the west. We will need this information to determine the level of danger and scope of the mission."
  18. The Great Expedition, Old School RuneScape. "The survey team reports findings of a mountain to the west of their encampment beyond a swampy area."
  19. The Great Expedition, Old School RuneScape. "King Shayzien VII has approved the expedition plans. 250 Days to ascend the western mountain and return with details of the findings."
  20. Phileas Rimor, Old School RuneScape. "Alas, according to records, the party never returned and were declared to have perished in the field."
  21. Gnosi, Old School RuneScape. "This [Unstable Altar], it seems to give off the same power as the Dark Altar. I believe this altar was created to amplify the power of the Dark Altar, allowing it to reach areas it previously couldn't."
  22. Phileas Rimor, Old School RuneScape. "'Quidamortem's creatures are compatible. The experimentation is proving successful and we will soon be ready to mass produce.'"
  23. Imafore's betrayal, Old School RuneScape. "The Kingdom of Varlamore was formed in a very similar way to Kourend, by those fleeing the Age of Strife."
  24. Ektheme, Old School RuneScape. "During the battle, the temple surrounding the Dark Altar was destroyed, weakening Xeric's power."
  25. Commander Fullore, Old School RuneScape. "The Royal Guard was established by King Byrne I. He felt that it was dangerous for Shayzien House to control the only military in the kingdom, so he decided to establish a small one of his own."
  26. Captain Bruce, Old School RuneScape. "Well at one time only citizens of Shayzien could join the army. It wasn't until the reign of King Byrne I that people from other parts of the kingdom were allowed to enlist."
  27. 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."
  28. Tasakaal, Old School RuneScape. "They came to us. Two of them. The brother and the husband. Her time was running out. They wanted to give her more."
  29. Lord Trobin Arceuus, Old School RuneScape. "Not all of [Arceuus] 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."
  30. Shayzia military orders, Old School RuneScape. "... all five of the leaders had agreed to the plan to depose the gluttonous King Agata IV."
  31. Shayzia military orders, Old School RuneScape. "It is with a heavy heart I must inform you of a great tragedy to befall our house. Lord Shayzien is dead. Murdered by a cowardly alliance between Lord Lovakengj and Lady Piscarillius."
  32. Shayzia military orders, Old School RuneScape. "The Lovakengj alliance with Lady Piscarillius was thankfully short lived, and there has been significant fighting between the two armies."
  33. Shayzia military orders, Old School RuneScape. "Meanwhile, Lady Hosidius has already rallied her forces as well, though it is unclear where her allegiances lie at this point."
  34. Shayzia military orders, Old School RuneScape. "Lord Arceuus has returned to Arceuus and reinforced the city. It seems he has no desire to participate in this conflict, but I suspect he will soon be given no choice."
  35. Martin Holt, Old School RuneScape. "Forthos was the seat of the Hosidius family before it was destroyed in the War of the Five Houses."
  36. Bloody diary, Old School RuneScape. "The war started from some petty squabble between the lords and ladies of the five Houses, and I do not regret leaving at all."
  37. Rose's note, Old School RuneScape. "Find a great ruin that has withered and died. A seat of power, lost in a war of pride."
  38. Sergeant Ricardo, Old School RuneScape. "Apparently [Arceuus] didn't even properly fight in the War of the Five Houses. Still, I guess 'War of the Four Houses while House Arceuus watched' isn't as catchy a name."
  39. Imafore's betrayal, Old School RuneScape. "He had the servants open a barrel of his finest Aldarin red. Then, he made a toast, to the royal family of Kourend... The entire royal family collapsed before the emperor who looked on with a smile on his face."
  40. Varlamore envoy, Old School RuneScape. "In the hope of repairing the relationship with Varlamore, King Kharedst III ordered an envoy be sent to the Shining Kingdom. However, the envoy is not all that was sent. Despite the protests of many, the King insisted that the Accord be taken with the envoy to Varlamore to be displayed in the Grand Museum of Civitas illa Fortis."
  41. Queen Zyanyi Arkan, Old School RuneScape. "From today, the sun will shine on our two kingdoms once more. The mistakes of the past are now behind us."
  42. Commander Fullore, Old School RuneScape. "[The King is] keen to put an end to the animosity between the two kingdoms. Rumor has it [Queen Zyanyi Arkan] feels the same way."
  43. Farmer Gricoller, Old School RuneScape. "[King Kharedst] married late and his wife... Unfortunately didn't survive bringing Rose into this world."
  44. Kharedst's memoirs, written by Rose, Old School RuneScape. "At this morning's breakfast he revealed to me what he'd been hiding in the form of a birthday present. It's beautiful! A locket of pale gold shaped like a rose that contains a wonderful painting of mother opposite a dark purple crystal."
  45. Kharedst's memoirs, written by Rose, Old School RuneScape. "He assured me [the locket is] certainly at least several centuries old in between quick sips from a peculiar ornate flask with an 'X' imprinted on the side. I suppose he picked that up yesterday from the tinker as well."
  46. Old dwarf, Old School RuneScape. "Are you saying the man I sold those trinkets to was the king?! Those were dark objects, corrupted with powerful magic. Dark magic."
  47. Councillor Orson, Old School RuneScape. "The flask was cursed. Some dark magic. He stopped being himself. Started saying things. Things he would do to people. To the citizens!"
  48. Councillor Orson, Old School RuneScape. "There was an Arceuus mage. He was an expert in curses, and he realised what was happening. He gave us the poison for the King."
  49. Councillor Orson, Old School RuneScape. "By then, it was already too late. The King had deteriorated too much. There was only one solution."
  50. Councillor Andrews, Old School RuneScape. "Kourend's last King, Kharedst IV, had only one child when he died. She was too young to take the throne, so the Kourend Council was formed to look after things until she came of age."
  51. Councillor Orson, Old School RuneScape. "We didn't want to kill her. She didn't deserve that. The mage gave us a potion. He said it would stop her revealing the truth."
  52. Commander Fullore, Old School RuneScape. "I did some research while you were gone. [Councillor Orson] wasn't lying. The poison they gave [Rose] irreversibly destroyed her mind. There is no cure."
  53. Councillor Andrews, Old School RuneScape. "Alas, she was very close to her father and his sudden death drove her to insanity."
  54. Commander Fullore, Old School RuneScape. "After what happened, public life was no place for her. The Council arranged for her to move away so she could escape all of that."
  55. Councillor Andrews, Old School RuneScape. "With no suitable ruler, the Kourend Council was made permanent."
  56. Artur Hosidius, Old School RuneScape. "[What makes you say the Council have done a bad job?] More crime. Fewer homes. More illness. Loss of jobs. The list goes on."
  57. Commander Fullore, Old School RuneScape. "You know that smell in Port Piscarilius? Imagine that but ten times worse. That's what it was like before the Council had a new sewage system installed. The entire kingdom is now cleaner and safer because of them."
  58. Commander Fullore, Old School RuneScape. "It was under [the Council] that trade with your lands to the east was established. Without those trade routes, you would have no easy way of getting here."
  59. Martin Holt, Old School RuneScape. "After the last King died, they [the Council] were only supposed to rule until his daughter came of age. However, according to the Council, the King's daughter went mad. Such a wonderful convenience for them of course."
  60. Lady Shauna Piscarilius, Old School RuneScape. "The Council is supposedly voted on by the people every four years. However, the seats have been held by the same four people since the Council was founded."
  61. Letter, written by Sophia Hughes, Old School RuneScape. "Child of Yama, I have left the items you requested at the usual drop-off, courtesy of the Kourend Treasury. It goes without saying, but I trust you will make our master aware of who is funding his return. Regards, Sophia Hughes"
  62. Martin Holt, Old School RuneScape. "Ah, so you're the adventurer who's been cooking up a storm around here. Well you'll be pleased to know your hard work was all for nothing. Councillor Hughes has escaped. Lucky her."
  63. Martin Holt, Old School RuneScape. "I hear the Kourend Royal Guard are leading the investigation. Commander Lydia Fullore is their leader."
  64. Judge of Yama, Old School RuneScape. "You have betrayed the trust of Yama, Sophia Hughes. You have used his generosity to your own advantage. For this, your life is forfeit."
  65. Sophia Hughes, Old School RuneScape. "You'd think they'd have some loyalty after all we did! After what we did to him. After what we did to his girl! We were in it together until it no longer suited them!"
  66. Commander Fullore, Old School RuneScape. "Martin. He's leader of Kourend's Royal Society. He knows more about the last royal family than anyone. If anyone can help you find Rose, it's him."
  67. Xamphur, Old School RuneScape. "Councillor Andrews isn't happy. This is the first time I've directly asked him to perform a task for me. Still, he soon calmed down after a little reminder of who gave him the throne. After all, he wouldn't want the others finding out he was in on it from the start."
  68. Xamphur, Old School RuneScape. "[David] placed the device right next to the Altar, just as requested. That said, I likely won't have long to acquire and store the energy needed. The device will no doubt interfere with the ascended humans of Arceuus. They will soon realise something is amiss."
  69. Commander Fullore, Old School RuneScape. "The poison they gave her irreversibly destroyed her mind. There is no cure. Someone else could make the potions, but all they do is prolong her suffering. This is no life for anyone. The truth is, Rose died long ago. All that's left now is an empty shell."
  70. Lady Shauna Piscarilius, Old School RuneScape. "The people should have a say. Anything we decide here should not be finalised until the people have voted on it."
  71. Lord Kandur Hosidius, Old School RuneScape. "My friends, thank you for putting your trust in me. This kingdom has suffered through much of late, but now it is time for that suffering to end. In honour of her sacrifice, I name this declaration Rose's Accord. With it, the Kingdom of Great Kourend will no longer be a kingdom divided."
  72. Lord Kandur Hosidius, Old School RuneScape. "We, the leaders of the five houses of Great Kourend, declare that the Kourend Council is no longer fit to rule. As such, you are relieved of your positions with immediate effect. Furthermore, you will both hand yourselves over to Lord Shayzien's soldiers. They will take you into custody where you will await your trial for the crimes of murder and high treason. Along with the now-deceased Liam Orson and Sophia Hughes, the two of you successfully conspired to murder King Kharedst IV and Crown Princess Rose."
  73. Asteros Arceuus, Old School RuneScape. "The King's late father asked for an advisor from Arceuus. He was keen for us to have a more central role than we did under the Council."
  74. Martin Holt, Old School RuneScape. "When the people voted on Rose's Accord, they voted for the Hosidius family to become the new royal family. From a technical standpoint that means they voted for King Artur. My job is to advise King Artur and ensure his actions have a positive impact on the people that he now rules."
  75. Imerominia, Old School RuneScape. "...the date convention in Great Kourend is to state the number of days and decades since the signing of the Royal Accord of Twill."
  76. Imerominia, Old School RuneScape. "Very little is known about those ancient times [before the signing of the Accord], but we refer to such times as decades 'Before Accord', or 'BA' for short."
  77. Imerominia, Old School RuneScape. "...as this is the Historical Archive, we stick to the dates used historically within Kourend."
  78. Mofina, Old School RuneScape. "Saradomin is popular with many uneducated citizens of Kourend."
  79. Brother Aimeri, Old School RuneScape. "I am a travelling monk from the distant land of Varlamore... I worship Ralos, a common practice where I am from."
  80. Mofina, Old School RuneScape. "While the gods are useful for tedious matters such as granting prayers during combat, we of Arceuus have long moved beyond the need to pay them homage."
  81. Mofina, Old School RuneScape. "This is a place of meditation, where a novice may contemplate the mysteries of the Dark Altar - without venturing too close to its power."
  82. Mofina, Old School RuneScape. "...you may use our church to worship any god you prefer. That would be an ecumenical matter."
  83. Chronicles of Xeric, Chapter V, Old School RuneScape. "Forgive me for not being with you for the decade dawn gathering but I'm afraid we have very little to celebrate."
  84. Dan. Origin of the name Great Kourend. 29 January 2020.*
  85. Jagex. Mod Ghost's Twitter account. 11 February 2016. (Archived from the original on 29 May 2020.) Mod Ghost: "Thanks for all who took part in the Great Kourend Sigil Design Competition, here's our winning submission. [1]"