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Released11 June 2001 (Update)
InhabitantsHumans, Monkeys, Tzhaar, Jogres
DiaryKaramja Diary
Advanced data

Karamja (pronounced ker-RAM-jar) is arguably the largest island in Gielinor. It is located to the south of the major kingdoms of Asgarnia and Kandarin. The island contains mostly jungle and tropical geography. You can reach Karamja using the fairy ring code CKR, or by charter ship. Different tribes of Karamja speak different Karamjan languages.

Location on World Map
Kandarin Karamja Kharidian Desert
Ape Atoll

History[edit | edit source]

Early period[edit | edit source]

Relatively little is known about the very early history of the jungle island of Karamja. From Malumac's journal, it is known that an expedition to the island was organised by Skotizo during the Third Age, under the direct orders of Zamorak. The goal of the expedition was to recover an artefact stored in a temple located within the Kharazi Jungle, believed to be of aid in waging the God Wars. It is not clear however who had built the temple or the stone guardians roaming the maze within, nor does the text provide much insight into the peoples that inhabited the island at the time.

Settlement & colonisation[edit | edit source]

From the perspective of continental Gielinor, knowledge of the island as a site of human habitation existed at least from the early Fourth Age onwards, as demonstrated by a Misthalinian map dated somewhere between the 500th and the 900th year of the Fourth Age, which labels the island as "Karamja", and by extension includes it within its portrayal of "human civilisations starting to settle into more permanent villages".[1] Nonetheless, it would take until the early Fifth Age before settlement of the island from the Gielinor mainland would begin in earnest, as can be surmised from a display at the Varrock Museum, which states that after Lumbridge had been established at the close of the Fourth Age, human settlements sprang up on Karamja "early in the next age".[2]

The beginning of this mainland expansion heralded a period of displacement for the tribespeople already present on the island, in particular for those that had inhabited its northern shores, such as the Rantuki tribe. From the testimony of Kangai Mau it is revealed that Brimhaven was erected on hunting grounds that had belonged to the Rantuki, and hence its settlers are accused by Kangai of theft.[3] Looting by the colonial factions is still not an uncommon occurrences, as evinced for example by the archaeologist Asgarnia Smith boasting about stealing the Golden Monkey of Tee-Tah-Toh from a "spooky old temple" he happened upon one day in the middle of the Karamjan jungle, under the auspices of the Archaeological Society of Varrock.[4] Another notable case is the ancient temple laden with traps discovered by Cap'n Izzy No-Beard, who then decided to turn it into a sports centre.[5]

The colonial presence on northern Karamja also seeks to exploit its economic potential, on the one hand through the cultivation of cash crops such as on the banana plantation near Musa Point, and on the other through the development of a tourist industry, promoted among other things by the guide book, which advertises daily boat trips to the "exotic island of Karamja".[6]

Culture & religion[edit | edit source]

Material culture[edit | edit source]

While remaining largely undocumented, the material culture found on Karamja can provide important insight with regard to the cultural achievements of its inhabitants. The wampum belt given to the adventurer during the Shilo Village quest for instance attests to the development of a writing system, used to communicate between the various tribespeople of Karamja by way of textile belts on which messages are encoded as patterns and colours. Furthermore, the trading sticks used as currency by the inhabitants of Tai Bwo Wannai demonstrate a significant economic innovation: as they appear to provide no obvious utility besides facilitating trade, nor seem to represent any other items that do, the trading sticks could be classified as a type of fiat currency, a type relatively uncommon among the polities of Gielinor. Various other examples of artisanal production can be given, such as the cultivation of the calquat fruit for the purpose of manufacturing containers for storing liquids, or the sophisticated arboricultural traditions, which includes growing Fyburglars and Mahogany trees, ideal for processing into boats or furniture.[7][8] Given the deep-rooted nature of Karamjan forestry, it should come as no surprise that the word for Mahogany itself is likely a clumsy transposition of the Karamjan term "m'oganwo".[9]

In terms of political organisation, both textual and oral sources support the presence of a kingdom on the island for an unspecified period in its history, ruled by Queen Rashiliyia and King Danthalas at some point during the Third Age.[10][11] It is unknown however what proportion of the island fell within the kingdom's borders, nor what level of centralised control the monarch was able to exert over its constituent tribes. Be that as is it may, the currently prevailing unit of social organisation is without a doubt the tribe, lead by a chief at the top of the hierarchy, closely followed by the position of shaman, who wields a significant degree of symbolic authority by mediating between the tribespeople and the gods, through such practices as ritual communion and divination.[12][13][14]

Religious practice[edit | edit source]

As stated in the section above, the shaman occupies a prominent role in resolving the tribe's religious matters, and accordingly, Karamjan religious practices can broadly be characterised as shamanistic. On the one hand, this term is usually used to describe a belief in the existence of a world of spirits (either benevolent or malicious), which is attested for example in the warnings given by Gujuo that evoke an "unknown force", consisting of spirits haunting certain parts of this world.[15] The existence of this spiritual world leads to an exigency to mediate between it and the social group, which constitutes the second definition of shamanism, as it is the shaman that is tasked with reconciling the two. They may sometimes include consciousness-altering substances in their religious ceremonies to bring this about, as Trufitus Shakaya is implied to do at the conclusion of Jungle Potion.[16] However, this contact with a spirit world also comes at a risk, as possession by the spirits can result from a failed attempt at reconciliation.[17][18]

In addition to the spiritual mediation offered by the shaman, another aspect of Karamjan religious practice can be found in the customs of ancestor veneration. For instance, in the scrawled note hastily written up by Ungadulu, he states his intention to have been to invoke the "spirits of his ancestors", and thereby pay them homage.[19] As Gujuo later explains, a class of priests called the 'Vacu' used to summon these spirits on behalf of the Kharazi tribe, but succumbed to evil spirits along the course of those attempts.[20] Other expressions of ancestor veneration are found in funerary customs, which prescribe how to appease or contain certain ancestral spirits – and so the adventurer must exhume the Zadimus corpse from the gallows and bury it again in the sacred mound at the centre of the village in order to release his spirit; and so the spirit of the undead Bervirius was contained by entombing his remains in a dolmen towards a setting sun surrounded by the sea.[21][22] Finally, these kinds of beliefs echo in the motivations voiced by Tamayu for his pursuit to slay the Shaikahan, which clearly evoke a duty towards past kin.[23][24]

A third and equally important pillar of Karamjan religious practice consists of the ceremonies surrounding a tribe's totem pole, although more questions are left open on this front. Its interest can be inferred from how widespread the practice of erecting these monuments is on the continent, as well as the emphasis the tribespeople themselves place on them: the theft of the Rantuki's tribal totem is seen as a grave injustice, and quickly redressed; the curse placed on the old Yommi totem of the Kharazi tribe leads its members to disperse into the jungle; likewise for the inhabitants of Tai Bwo Wannai, the repairing the tribal statue forms the primary concern of the village priest, Tinsay, and its repair signals the new-found concord of the returned villagers.[a] In a similar vein perhaps, one can find two lonely totem poles on the extremities of Tempoross Cove off the eastern shore of Karamja, which may well attest to a very similar set of religious activities practised by its past inhabitants as the ones currently performed by the main island tribes. Nevertheless, beyond the observable prevalence of these totems, and the fact that they appear to be closely linked to particular communities, little else is known about their specific role in worship and ritual. That they constitute of the site of social ceremonies in general however, there can be little doubt.[25]

Cult of Broodoo[edit | edit source]

Although seemingly no longer practised, the inhabitants of Karamja still feel the consequences of sacrificial rites performed in the past, which are locally known as the "Broodoo".[26][27] The term "Broodoo" can be employed in two distinct senses. Predominantly, it refers to the undead creatures that occasionally rise out of the ground before attacking their perceived tormentor – that is to say, the creatures known as Broodoo victims.[28] The Broodoo are believed to be the resurrected victims of an obsolete religious practice involving human sacrifice.[29]

In a second sense then, the term "Broodoo" can be used to refer to the sacrificial rites these reanimated creatures fell victim to, the results of which they now bear as a curse.[30] The selection of human offerings appears not to have been arbitrary: according to Sharimika, the individuals chosen as sacrifice were criminals.[31] These criminals underwent some sort of rituals through which they became accursed, before being buried alive shortly after, presumably dying in the process. Some ambiguity still surrounds the exact cause of death for the victims of Broodoo sacrifice, as there exist strong beliefs that the various types of Broodoo victim originally arose out of the distinct ways in which they died.[32][33] This belief would seem to be incompatible with the claim that the criminals were all buried alive at the end of the sacrificial process, as this would presumably lead to asphyxiation as their uniform cause of death. In contrast, Karamjans can be quite clear-cut in their ascriptions: green-skinned Broodoo victims for example are said to have died of poison, hinting at the fact that their curse can be dispelled by the application of an antipoison.[34] While explicit about the fate of the yellow- and white-hued victims, their known weaknesses to Relicym's balm and food-stuffs respectively would suggest that their end was brought about by the intentional infliction of some kind of disease in the case of the yellow Broodoo's, or deliberate starvation for the white variety.[35] In the aim of reconciling these apparent contradictions, it could be speculated that the practice of Broodoo involved the victims being encased in a tomb of some sort rather than being interred in earth, plausibly soon after being infected either with poison or disease, or simply without being left with any food.

Travel[edit | edit source]

TRAVEL MAP: See where you need to be and the best way to get there with this visual travel map of the land of Karamja.

A popular way to travel for free players is by ship from Port Sarim, which costs 30gp for the trip. Another ship route is available from the Ardougne Docks to Brimhaven. Players who wish to travel by boat will have their inventories searched by customs officers, as the law prohibits individuals from carrying rum off the island. Those who wish to circumvent this and smuggle rum to the mainland may find it helpful to check the guide for the Pirate's Treasure quest, where the player must smuggle Karamja rum.

Ship[edit | edit source]

(Points of origin listed on the left-hand side, destinations listed at the top.)

Ships Musa Point Brimhaven Ship Yard Cairn Isle Port Sarim Ardougne Charter Ships
Musa Point -- Yes* Yes* No Yes No Yes
Brimhaven Yes* -- Yes* No Yes* Yes Yes
Ship Yard Yes* Yes* -- No Yes* No Yes
Cairn Isle No No No -- Yes No No
Port Sarim Yes Yes* Yes* No -- No Yes
Ardougne No Yes No No No -- No

* Indicates access only through the charter system.

Regular service costs 30 coins to utilise; charter service is significantly more expensive, depending on the route.

Other methods[edit | edit source]

Geography[edit | edit source]

Northern Karamja[edit | edit source]

Musa Point[edit | edit source]

Musa Point is the north-eastern part of Karamja, and is the only part of Karamja that free players can access. While not really being a true village or city of its own, Musa Point is a trading establishment that supplies Asgarnia with resources such as bananas and assorted fish (primarily lobster).

At Musa Point, there is the home of Luthas, who runs the banana company. Players can collect 10 bananas for 30 coins. There is also a pub and a general store nearby. The pub is involved in the Alfred Grimhand's Barcrawl miniquest, which sells Karamja rum. The general store provides only normal stock, but there is a rope, jug, and banana spawn on the tables.

There are several creatures roaming the Musa Point, such as monkeys (which can be killed for slayer tasks or monkey corpses), snakes, and others.

Musa Point is also home to the one of the three lobster, swordfish, and tuna fishing spots available to free players (the others are in the Wilderness and Corsair Cove Resource Area). Because of this, the docks are quite popular. However, they are fairly far from the nearest bank in Draynor, so free players generally bring several sets of logs and a tinderbox to cook their fish right on the dock, especially when fishing swordfish. By cooking and dropping the tuna and burnt fish, they can stay for much longer. Some players train their Cooking while they fish by picking up dropped raw tuna, cooking it, and dropping it again.

There is also the Karamja volcano, where players who have finished the Dragon Slayer I quest can access the island of Crandor through the hidden door inside the volcano, it is also a popular spot where free players can farm imps for the Imp Catcher Quest. Members can also use the cave entrance on top of the volcano, to reach the Mor Ul Rek. The way of access to Musa Point is either via a boat from Port Sarim or via an amulet of glory teleport. There is also an Agility crossbow shortcut, a little south from the volcano. (Note that one's mith grapple will occasionally break.)

Karamja - Crandor Dungeon[edit | edit source]

Inside the volcano, Karamja has a dungeon allowing access to the Mor Ul Rek and Crandor. It is a useful location for both members and free players to fight skeletons, deadly red spiders, and lesser demons. The lesser demons are notable for the rune med helm drop - one of the best free-to-play monster drops. The dungeon consists of a long pathway along the edge of the volcano's lava. Players that have completed the Dragon Slayer I quest can go through a secret wall to access the rest of the dungeon. This section is also a long pathway with many skeletons and lesser demons, and also is where players of the Dragon Slayer I quest find Elvarg.

Mor Ul Rek[edit | edit source]

Mor Ul Rek is a city located underneath the volcano on Karamja. It is accessible by a small cave near the entrance of the Karamja - Crandor Dungeon. It is home to the TzHaar species and their two activities: the Fight Pits and the Fight Cave. The city uses a different currency from the rest of RuneScape: Tokkul. There are several shops in Mor Ul Rek that only accept Tokkul for payment.

Brimhaven[edit | edit source]

Brimhaven is a members-only pirate town west of Musa Point. Notable features include the Brimhaven Agility Arena and a House portal. There is also a spirit tree and fruit tree farming patch. Part of Heroes' Quest takes place in Brimhaven. In southern Brimhaven, Fly traps are scattered and mixed in the jungle with pineapple plants.

Northern Karamja jungle[edit | edit source]

Westernmost part of northern Karamja is a jungle inhabited with many tribesmen and has numerous gold rocks. It also includes access to the large Brimhaven Dungeon. The southern part of the jungle is connected by a small isthmus to the much larger south part of Karamja.

Southern Karamja[edit | edit source]

The majority of southern Karamja is covered by a large, dense jungle, and is divided into west and east sections by a large river. The river is able to be crossed by Agility shortcuts in the centre of the island and a bridge towards the south-west. Travel is from either Brimhaven to the north-west, by a gnome glider route that lands players south of the Ship Yard, by fairy ring code CKR, by the charter ship, or by the agility shortcut from Musa Point.

This rather large area features some cities (see below), the Nature Altar for Runecraft, a mine, and an area near Cairn island used to trap Horned graahks in the Hunter skill. There are also several aggressive monsters in the jungle like Jogres and Jungle spiders. Some of the monsters are poisonous.

Southern Karamja also features in a large number of quests, with the Legends' Quest, Shilo Village, Tai Bwo Wannai Trio, and The Grand Tree being notable examples.

Tai Bwo Wannai[edit | edit source]

Tai Bwo Wannai is a village in the middle of the Karamjan jungle. It is mainly accessed during the Tai Bwo Wannai Cleanup activity, and using the nearby general store for de-noting pure essence for crafting nature runes (talk to Aisles to de-note pure essence for 5 coins each).

This village is also the start point for Jungle Potion and Tai Bwo Wannai Trio quests.

Ship Yard[edit | edit source]

The Ship Yard is a shipbuilding facility featured in The Grand Tree and Monkey Madness I quests. Here, you can find workmen working and also hammers around the place. After completing The Grand Tree quest, you can use the charter ship to get to other parts of RuneScape. Also, you can get here by the Gnome glider south of the Ship Yard.

Shilo Village[edit | edit source]

Shilo Village is the southernmost town in Karamja, and the only way to gain access to the city is by completing the Shilo Village quest. It has a bank and has good fishing spots, and one of two mines of gem rocks for mining gems. However, it is hard to access other than using the Shilo Village cart system.

Its general store is the best to place obtain a large number of empty vials due to its proximity to the bank, and its fishing spots are good for training fishing.

Kharazi Jungle[edit | edit source]

The Kharazi Jungle is the southernmost part of whole Karamja and is heavily involved with the Legends' Quest. A machete and a woodcutting axe is needed to hack the thick bush in order to access the jungle properly. It is inhabited by Oomlie birds, jungle wolves and tormented warriors.

It is used during the Legends' Quest and RFD, but it is rarely used for anything else, other than Treasure Trails and occasionally to cut Mahogany trees.

Quests[edit | edit source]

Music unlocked[edit | edit source]

These songs are from the Karamja and Pirate playlist.

Changes[edit | edit source]

Date Changes
29 October 2015

The upper parts of some palm trees should now be visible from the ground along Feldip beach and on Karamja.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Karamja could be named after a real place. Karamoja, an area in Uganda, and/or Karimunjawa, an island in Indonesia, both places in the tropical climate zone.
  • Karamja seems to be influenced by the real life island of Jamaica.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Inasmuch as the tribal statue is stood at the centre of the community, functions as its site of worship, and is stated to be "the tribal statue Tai Bwo Wannai Village" according to its examine text, it can be seen as a totem, that is to say an object associated with a certain social unit, symbolically representing that community to the point of almost becoming synonymous with it.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Varrock Museum exhibit, display number 34.
  2. ^ Varrock Museum exhibit, display number 6.
  3. ^ Kangai Mau. Old School RuneScape. "[Player: Who are the Rantuki tribe?] A proud and noble tribe of Karamja. But now we are few, as men come from across sea, steal our land, and settle on our hunting grounds."
  4. ^ Asgarnia Smith. Old School RuneScape. "Well, this one time I found this spooky old temple in the middle of the jungle."
  5. ^ Cap'n Izzy No-Beard. Old School RuneScape. "I'd found a huge cave with all these platforms. I reckon it be an ancient civilisation that made it. I had to be mighty careful as there was these traps everywhere! Dangerous it was!"
  6. ^ "Guide book". Old School RuneScape. "Or perhaps the town of Brimhaven, on the exotic island of Karamja? It's only a short boat trip, with regular transport leaving from Ardougne Harbour at all times of the day, all year round."
  7. ^ "Gielinor's flora - fruit". Old School RuneScape. "A tropical palm like tree native only to the island of Karamja. (…) Although a completely inedible fruit due to its tough woody skin and hollow interior, it is cultivated instead as a way of storing liquid."
  8. ^ Sandicrahb. Old School RuneScape. "[Player: That's a nice boat! Would be a shame if something were to happen to it.] Made from the wood of the Fyburglars tree, strong and light weight! Perhaps if it went missing, I'd find you."
  9. ^ "Gielinor's flora - trees". Old School RuneScape. "The origin of the name is likely a miscommunication of the old Karamjan word m'oganwo."
  10. ^ "Tattered scroll". Old School RuneScape. "Bervirius, son of King Danthalas, was killed in battle. His devout mother Rashiliyia was so heartbroken that she swore fealty to Zamorak if he would return her son to her. Bervirius returned as an undead creature and terrorized the King and Queen."
  11. ^ Trufitus in Shilo Village. Old School RuneScape. "This is truly incredible bwana... So these are the remains of the dread Queen Rashiliyia?"
  12. ^ Timfraku. Old School RuneScape. "It should be clear to anyone that I am the chief of Tai Bwo Wannai. I ensure that things run smoothly in this village."
  13. ^ Mosol Rei. Old School RuneScape. "I don't think so Bwana, but you may want to consult with Trufitus the Shaman in Tai Bwo Wannai village, he may have some information which could help."
  14. ^ Trufitus. Old School RuneScape. "My people are afraid to stay in the village. They have returned to the jungle. I need to commune with the gods to see what fate befalls us. (…) Most excellent Bwana! You have returned all the herbs to me and, I can finish the preparations for the potion, and at last divine with the gods."
  15. ^ Gujuo in Legends' Quest. Old School RuneScape. "Be wary Bwana. There are many unknown spirits that reside in these dark areas. You may be tricked by an unknown force… [Player: What kind of unknown force?] Strange spirits that our forefathers summoned for visions. They haunt the underworld and caves that exist in this area."
  16. ^ Trufitus in Jungle Potion. Old School RuneScape. "I need to make a special brew! A potion that helps me to commune with the gods. For this potion, I need very special herbs, that are only found in the deep jungle."
  17. ^ Trufitus in Shilo Village. Old School RuneScape. "I dare not touch it. I am a spiritual man and the spirit of this being may possess me and turn me into a minion of Rashiliyia."
  18. ^ In Legends' Quest. "A scribbled note". Old School RuneScape. "The spirit of an ancient one lurks deep within my soul... I am too weak to cast the curse myself and fight the beast within."
  19. ^ In Legends' Quest. "Scrawled note". Old School RuneScape. "Day 1... I have prepared the incantations, and will invoke the spirits of my ancestors to pay them homage."
  20. ^ Gujuo in Legends' Quest. Old School RuneScape. "The 'Vacu' were priests who summoned the spirits of our ancestors. But the priests were enslaved by the evil spirits of the underworld."
  21. ^ Trufitus in Shilo Village. Old School RuneScape. "Zadimus is a spirit yearning for freedom. Bury him in a sacred place to release his spirit. (…) The ground in the centre of the village is very sacred to us. Maybe you could try there?"
  22. ^ In Shilo Village. "Tattered scroll". Old School RuneScape. "His remains were taken far to the South, and then towards the setting sun to a tomb that is surrounded by and level with the sea. This is the only way to contain the spirits of witches and the undead."
  23. ^ Tamayu in Tai Bwo Wannai Trio. Old School RuneScape. "I vow upon the blood of my fallen kin that I shall not set foot in that godforsaken village till I have slain the Shaikahan."
  24. ^ Tamayu in Tai Bwo Wannai Trio. Old School RuneScape. "The deaths of my kin have been avenged. You are my witness."
  25. ^ Gujuo. Old School RuneScape. "All of my people normally congregate around a totem pole. But ours has been polluted by an evil spirit. It has been transformed, and now our people are afraid to approach it."
  26. ^ Penwie. Old School RuneScape. "I've heard strange rumours about something the locals call the Broodoo."
  27. ^ Sharimika. Old School RuneScape. "The jungle is very ancient and many unspeakable acts have been witnessed on these lands."
  28. ^ Sharimika. Old School RuneScape. "So far three distinct Broodoo have been identified." Sentences like these illustrate how "Broodoo" is synecdochically employed to refer to the creature rather than the practice.
  29. ^ Penwie. Old School RuneScape. "I think they may be sacrifice victims – but I'm not sure why they are sacrificed."
  30. ^ Sharimika. Old School RuneScape. "These strange creatures have the curse of the Broodoo on them! They'll rise from their grave with their heads in their chests and move like crazy spirits of the afterlife."
  31. ^ Sharimika. Old School RuneScape. "Bizarre supernatural curses were placed on criminals and then they were buried alive!"
  32. ^ Penwie. Old School RuneScape. "I haven't quite worked out what they are but they seem to be some sort of undead whose ghastly fate depends on the way they were killed."
  33. ^ Sharimika. Old School RuneScape. "However... it is said that the means of their death provides the clue to their destruction."
  34. ^ Sharimika. Old School RuneScape. "The Broodoo with a green hued skin is said to have died from poison."
  35. ^ Sharimika. Old School RuneScape. "There is a broodoo of yellow hue and a pale skinned broodoo, but little is known of these two!"