|Kingdom of Great Kourend|
|Released||7 January 2016 (Update)|
|Inhabitants||Human, Dwarf, Citizens of Arceuus|
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. 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.
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.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early history
- 1.2 The general of Zamorak
- 1.3 The Council of Elders
- 1.4 The Royal Accord of Twill
- 1.5 The Long Winter
- 1.6 Breaking of the Accord
- 1.7 The Great Expedition
- 1.8 The Age of Strife
- 1.9 King Byrne I
- 1.10 The Ascent of Arceuus
- 1.11 Queen Biyrene I
- 1.12 War of the Five Houses
- 1.13 Relations with Varlamore
- 1.14 The Kourend Council
- 1.15 A New King
- 2 Transportation
- 3 Favour system
- 4 Cities of Great Kourend
- 5 Other areas of the Kingdom
- 6 Music unlocked
- 7 Development history
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Concept art
- 10 References
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]
Great Kourend was founded by refugees fleeing from the mainland during the God Wars; 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. 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 Kourend's history before the uniting of the five cities remains largely unknown, as most of Kourend's early history was lost during the Age of Strife during the 38th to 47th decades (1,030 years ago).
Sometime during the 6th decade BA (1,470 years ago), the Tower of Magic was constructed under the rule of King Rada III. 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. Here, he used the artefact to summon a large variety of monsters, creating what is known today as the Catacombs of Kourend. 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, 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).
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.
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. 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 Lords of the five Houses.
The document detailed the rotation of succession between the Lords of the five Houses, with one House lord becoming the Grand Lord of Kourend for one decade, and passing the office to the next House lord. Thus, the Lord of Hosidius, henceforth known as Lord Hosidius I, ruled Great Kourend for one decade. The next 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 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 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 Kourend'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, 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.
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, 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 Kourend using the military under his command, crowning himself king. 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. Their son was crowned king three decades later (1,180 years ago), and took the name King Hosidius IV in order to distance the family from the breaking of the Royal Accord of Twill. King Hosidius IV ruled for five decades, and his son, King Hosidius V, succeeded the throne and ruled until the early days of the 32nd decade (1,090 years ago).
The Great Expedition[edit | edit source]
In the early days of the 32nd decade (1,090 years ago), King Shayzien VII took control of 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 Kourend in order to assess the danger and scope of the king's expedition.
Thirty-three days later, the survey team returns, reporting findings of a mountain beyond the swamps of the region. 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.
The party never returned. Assuming the party perished in the field, the expedition was declared a failure; 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.
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.
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 Kourend. 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]
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 Lords of the Houses, and claimed Great Kourend as his own, using the lizardmen he had mass produced in Mount Quidamortem as his army, serving him as guards and enforcers of Great Kourend. The lizardmen would sweep cities and farms, kidnapping people for his experiments.
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]
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, travelling west to Mount Quidamortem.
After the successful revolt against Xeric, Byrne was crowned king of Great Kourend on 339 - 47, and ruled for three decades as King Byrne I, and his son King Byrne II ruled for another two decades after his father.
The Ascent of Arceuus[edit | edit source]
During the reign of King Byrne II (900 years ago), 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. 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.
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 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]
Sometime during the 121st - 123rd decade (200 to 180 years ago), a civil war between the five Houses broke out within the kingdom.
Aside from there being no unified ruler, the Forthos castle, the former seat of the Hosidius family, was destroyed during the war.
Relations with Varlamore[edit | edit source]
Varlamore, a kingdom south-west of Kourend, maintained a stable relationship with Kourend, 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 Kourend royal family of the time 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, prompting Kourend to declare war on the Kingdom of Varlamore.
The war had ended sometime before or during the reign of King Kharedst III in the 132nd to 134th decade (90 to 70 years ago). In the hope of repairing the relationship between 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. 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 Kourend's people, and their trust has yet to be regained, although Varlamore has sent one of their knights to the Kourend Castle on a mission to, presumably, ease tensions between the kingdoms.
The Kourend Council[edit | edit source]
In the 139th decade (20 years ago), King Kharedst IV died after ruling Kourend for four decades. As his wife died giving birth to his only daughter, Rose, who was too young to take the throne at the time of his death, the Kourend Council was temporarily formed in order to rule the kingdom until Rose came of age.
However, the Council declared that Rose became insane after the death of her father, and considered her unfit for rule. Accused of killing her father, she was locked away. With no suitable heir for Kourend, the Council was made permanent, turning Great Kourend into a republic. Despite this, it is still referred to as a kingdom.
Since the incident, the Council has been accused of corruption, with conspiracy theorists claiming the convenience of Rose going insane, and the same four councillors winning every quadrennial election since their formation, along with Councillor Sophia Hughes' ties with the Disciples of Yama, a cult who follows the demon Yama, who resides deep below the Chasm of Fire.
A New King[edit | edit source]
Due to the secrecy of the Council and how all four members had been the same since its inception, a few people were becoming irritated and upset. They accused the Council of corruption, with a former worker, Martin Holt, having been given a large donation intended to improve Port Piscarillius. However, the Council spent most of the money for renovating the castle, believing that it would be a popular tourist attraction and generate more revenue. This caused Martin to leave out of anger and form the Royal Society and demand a king to rule over the people.
At the same time, Martin tasked an adventurer to expose the Council's crimes, which to his surprise, resulted in the discovery of the conspiracy that killed Khardest and Rose. The Council were swiftly disposed following the discovery by the five houses, who had agreed to let Kandur Hosidius rule; Trobin, Vulcana and Shauna had no interest in ruling, while Shiro was secretly forced to comply when Kandur revealed his discoveries to him in a private conversation.
Kandur was crowned king and intended to bring peace with Varlamore while getting to the bottom of Xamphur's reappearance, but shortly after the banquet, he was assassinated, having been marked for death by an unknown entity. His son, Artur, is now the current ruler of Kourend.
Transportation[edit | edit source]
Players can travel to Great Kourend by speaking to Veos by the jetty 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.
- Players may use the Kharedst's memoirs book to teleport here after completing the Client of Kourend quest. This book allows players to teleport to each of the Houses.
- Players with level 25 Construction can have their player-owned house moved to Hosidius north of the Charcoal furnaces for 8,750 coins. Players may also make use of a Hosidius teleport tablet, made by combining a Teleport to house tablet and a Scroll of redirection if they do not wish to move their house. This still requires level 25 Construction.
- In the Arceuus Library players can find transportation incantations, a book which will unlock the Kourend Castle Teleport spell. Finding the book does not require Arceuus favour. Location of the book changes with world.
- A fairy ring, code CIS, will take players north of the Arceuus Library. Players must pay a one-off fee 80,000 coins to Trossa in order to use it.
- The fairy ring DJR teleports players near the Chasm of Fire.
- Players may receive Xeric's talisman from lizardmen, which can be charged with lizardman fangs. The talisman can teleport players to Shayzien, Hosidius and Lovakengj, Kourend Castle, and Mount Quidamortem.
- Players can also gain access to the mine cart transportation system that runs beneath Kourend at 65% Lovakengj favour. To open this mode of transport you must first speak with Miriam.
- Players can use a Games necklace to teleport to Wintertodt Camp, in the northern area of Great Kourend.
- With the addition of the Woodcutting and Farming Guilds, the Skills necklace also provides teleports to Great Kourend. There is only one requirement to use this teleport: you must have travelled to Kourend at least once before.
Favour system[edit | edit source]
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 ) 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 Quest List 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]
The inhabitants of Arceuus are mystics who focus on spirituality and magic. It features:
- The Arceuus Library, where players can assist customers in seeking texts found in the library.
- The Arceuus essence mine, where players can mine dense essence blocks, which are processed to create fragments used to create blood and soul runes.
- The Dark Altar, an ancient altar that allows players to process dense essence blocks into dark essence blocks.
- Tyss, a wizard who will allow players to access the Arceuus spellbook, which contains spells for necromancy.
Hosidius[edit | edit source]
The inhabitants of Hosidius are primarily farmers who focus on farming and cooking in order to supply food for the city. It features:
- The Tithe Farm, an intensive farming minigame.
- An allotment patch, vine patch, and spirit tree patch.
- Saltpetre deposits which are used in the creation of dynamite and sulphurous fertilisers.
- Charcoal furnaces, which are used to burn juniper logs into juniper charcoal, an ingredient used in dynamite.
- The mess, where players can feed Shayzien soldiers for favour and cooking experience.
- A general store, Little Shop of Horace.
- A farming store, Vannah's Farming Stall.
- Two pubs, The Golden Field and The Haymaker's Arms.
- The Woodcutting Guild, contains many low to high level trees, including the redwood tree, exclusive to the Farming and Woodcutting Guilds.
Lovakengj[edit | edit source]
- The sulphur mine, which is the only mine containing volcanic sulphur.
- The lovakite mine, which contains lovakite rocks, coal rocks, and a bank.
- A pub known as The Deeper Lode
- A general store, Little Munty's Little Shop
- A pickaxe store, Toothy's Pickaxes, that sells pots in bulk.
- The blast mine, where players blast rocks with dynamite to obtain ores.
Port Piscarilius[edit | edit source]
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:
- Anglerfish fishing spots
- Stealing artefacts for Captain Khaled
- A general store, Leenz's General Supplies
- A fishing store, Tynan's Fishing Supplies
- A food shop, Frankie's Fishing Emporium
Shayzien[edit | edit source]
The inhabitants of Shayzien are soldiers of the military force who provides law, order and defence for the kingdom. It features:
- The Infirmary, where wounded soldiers recover
- Tackling crime for Captain Ginea
- The combat ring, where players obtain Shayzien armour.
- Lizardman Canyon, where lizardmen, brutes, and shamans reside
- Jennifer's General Field Supplies
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.
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.
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]
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:
- Arceuus: Addition of thematic teleport spells to the Arceuus spellbook and the Resurrect Crops spell
- Hosidius: Access to the Vinery as well as the farmer's outfit and seed box from Tithe Farm
- Shayzien: The dragon warhammer as a drop from lizardman shamans
- Other: Graceful outfit recolours for each House of Kourend
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]
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:
- Magic tablets for Arceuus spellbook teleports - 12 May
- Sand Crabs and the Bear Your Soul miniquest - 19 May
- Hosidius fruit stalls and botanical pies - 26 May
- The Woodcutting Guild and the Lovakengj Minecart Network - 2 June
- The Catacombs of Kourend and Arclight - 9 June
- Skotizo, The Archaic Demon - 16 June
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.
Reddit user GentleTractor's proposed redesign of Zeah.
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:
|Mod West's Great Kourend redesign concept.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Update #6, which replaced some paved roads with natural dirt roads in the southern part of Hosidius, and the Crabclaw Isle is added.|
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 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, 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:
- The Queen of Thieves and The Depths of Despair, quests involving the leaders of the Piscarilius and Hosidius Houses, were released together on 9 November 2017 as part of Mod Ed's personal projects. This update also retconned the identity of Veos' Client, no longer being Xeric.
- Tale of the Righteous, a Shayzien quest about The Great Expedition was released on 19 April 2018.
- The Forsaken Tower and The Ascent of Arceuus, quests involving Lovakengj and Arceuus, were released together alongside the Kebos Lowlands on 10 January 2019.
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.
- 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.
Concept art[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- Imafore's betrayal, Old School RuneScape. "[Great Kourend] was formed over a thousand years ago by settlers who had fled the God Wars."
- Imerominia, Old School RuneScape. "Hosidius and Shayzien were the two cities founded during the Dragonkin Conflicts."
- Amelia, Old School RuneScape. "Most of our history was lost during Xeric's reign."
- Pagida, Old School RuneScape. "The Tower was constructed under the rule of King Rada III, though we don't know exactly when."
- 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."
- Old notes (Karuulm Slayer Dungeon), 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."
- Lord Ethrain Hosidius I, "Hosidius letter", Old School RuneScape. "Only yesterday did I meet with the lords of all 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."
- Hosidius letter, 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 5 years. However, I cannot do so without the appropriate amount of land."
- Official Order of Construction, 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- Imerominia, Old School RuneScape. "In the thirteenth decade, King Shayzien III seized control of Kourend using the military under his command."
- 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 Kourend Castle Chapel on 2,547 at High Noon."
- 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."
- 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."
- The Great Expedition, Old School RuneScape. "The survey team reports findings of a Mountain to the west of their encampment beyond a swampy area."
- 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."
- Phileas Rimor, Old School RuneScape. "Alas, according to records, the party never returned and were declared to have perished in the field"
- 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."
- Phileas Rimor, Old School RuneScape. "'Quidamortem's creatures are compatible. The experimentation is proving successful and we will soon be ready to mass produce.'"
- 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."
- Ektheme, Old School RuneScape. "During the battle the temple surrounding the Dark Altar was destroyed, weakening Xeric's power."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- Councillor Andrews, Old School RuneScape. "She [Rose] was too young to take the throne so the Kourend Council was formed to look after things until she came of age."
- Councillor Andrews, Old School RuneScape. "Alas, she was very close to her father and his sudden death drove her to insanity."
- Councillor Andrews, Old School RuneScape. "With no suitable ruler, the Kourend Council was made permanent."
- Martin Holt, Old School RuneScape. "After the last king died, they were only supposed to rule until his daughter came of age. However, according to the Council, she went mad. Very convenient for them as it meant the Council became permanent."
- 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."
- Letter (The Queen of Thieves), 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"
- Secret page, Old School RuneScape. "The King has been killed and I am 'Unfit for rule'... I have enough sanity left to know it won't be long until they come for me too."
- Dan. Origin of the name Great Kourend. 29 January 2020.*
- 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. "