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Also known as The Empty Lord
The Great Lord
The Stranger from Afar
The Ruinous Powers
Gender Male
Race God
Alignment Unknown
Aspect Darkness, Control
Colours Purple, Black
Adjective Zarosian
Zaros symbol.png

Zaros (Jagex pronunciation: ZÀ-ross) is the divine aspect of darkness, an ancient and today mostly forgotten god of Gielinor, and counterpart of the elven goddess of light, Seren. He was created by the Elder God Mah on the world of Freneskae, before he left to explore the universe. During the Second Age, Zaros reigned over a huge empire, which covered at least what is today Misthalin, Asgarnia, Forinthry and the northern parts of Morytania. Amongst his followers were the demons, the vampyres, the Mahjarrat, the dragon riders and some humans. At the time, Zaros was by a significant margin the most powerful of all of the Gods, save for Guthix. The golden age of Zaros came to an end when he was betrayed by one of his generals, the Mahjarrat Zamorak. This event also marked the end of the Second Age as a whole and is what ignited the God Wars.

Zaros is mostly forgotten in today's Gielinor, and almost all knowledge about him has been lost to oblivion. The few who know about him still fear him immensely, with many refusing to even speak his name out of fear for invoking his power. The handful of Zarosians still in existence are mostly hiding, with some silently plotting the return of their master.

He is also the patron of the Ancient Magicks, a spellbook of very powerful combat spells as well as teleportation spells to many of the now-forgotten settlements of his empire.

History[edit | edit source]

Origin[edit | edit source]

Zaros was created on Freneskae aeons ago by the Elder God Mah alongside his companion Seren. Where Zaros represented dark energy, Seren stood for light energy. Over time he began to resent his creator's possessiveness and longed to escape from her. This conflicted with Seren's belief that it was their duty to remain with their creator. She felt that Mah needed them and had only created them out of fear of being alone. Zaros eventually fled Freneskae whilst Mah was sleeping. Despite inviting Seren to join him she ultimately decided to stay with her creator, arguing that Mah gave them life and they were indebted to the Elder God for that reason. Zaros left Freneskae and began wandering the universe.

Arrival on Vampyrium[edit | edit source]

Little is known about what happened to Zaros after he left Freneskae. However it is known that he at some point arrived on the vampyre world of Vampyrium, where he became known as the Stranger from Afar, he taught the vampyres of culture and society, and changed them from hunting animals to more civilized beings.

Arrival on Gielinor[edit | edit source]

Zaros arrived at Gielinor during the beginning of the Second Age, where he started building an empire together with his followers.

Building an Empire[edit | edit source]

The approximate borders of the Zarosian Empire at its largest during the Second Age.

Over the course of several centuries, Zaros's empire grew to massive size, stretching more land than any kingdom ever established since, and the god ruled with force, aiming to put the entirety of Gielinor under his control. Its capital remained Senntisten, a large city in the south of the empire and the most advanced settlement of its time, possibly rivalling the elven city Prifddinas. It was also the centre of Zarosian worship, housing a renowned temple to the god. Other fortresses and cities rose from the ground as well, scattered throughout the empire, the most notable of which are Ghorrock, Lassar, Carrallangar, Dareeyak, Paddewwa, Annakarl and Kharyrll, bordering the Saradominist kingdom Hallowvale.

Eventually Zaros launched a campaign against the Kharidian Lands to the south. The Zarosians pushed the Kharidians back, until Icthlarin and Amascut ventured into the universe to find allies to fight back, they came to Zaros' homeworld of Freneskae where they recruited the Mahjarrat, which they brought back to Gielinor. With the Mahjarrat, then referred to as the Stern Judges of Icthlarin, on their side, the Zarosians were fought back and the Kharidians were victorious, but soon after one Mahjarrat betrayed the Kharidians and joined Zaros and managed to persuade many more to do so. This caused the war to break out again, but with the Mahjarrat on his side, Zaros' victory was inevitable, until Tumeken in a desperate act sacrificed himself to destroy the Zarosian forces, with a severe blow to his forces, the surviving forces of Zaros retreated, leaving the land for good.

Betrayal[edit | edit source]

Eventually, nearly two millennia after Zaros's arrival, some of his followers began to grow dissatisfied. Most notable amongst these was Zamorak the Scourge, Zaros's greatest general. Zamorak approached some of his ilk and successfully convinced some of them to join him. With the Mahjarrat Hazeel and Zemouregal, as well as other powerful Zarosians such as the demon Thammaron, the human general Viggora and the vampyre Lord Drakan on his side, Zamorak began planning a rebellion against Zaros, hoping to usurp his master and rule for himself. But to defeat Zaros, they needed a powerful artefact, such as the Staff of Armadyl.

Staff of Armadyl[edit | edit source]

Valdez, a faithful Saradominist, stumbled upon the Staff of Armadyl, who knew that it was a very powerful weapon and could not fall into the wrong hands. However, a thief called Rennard found Valdez, knocked him unconscious and stole the Staff. He intended to sell it to Zaros, but his messenger, Kharrim, instead took it to Zamorak. Another Saradominist called Lennissa found out about the sale and gave it to a Saradominist Mage called Dhalak. Dhalak was supposed to pass it to Saradomin himself, but instead he enchanted the Staff so that Zaros could not detect it and then gave it to Zamorak, so Zamorak could rebel against Zaros, thus destroying a common enemy.

Assassination[edit | edit source]

Zamorak with his close followers, dealt with Zaros' guards while Zamorak fought Zaros himself. He plunged the Staff of Armadyl into Zaros' back and wounded him. Zaros retaliated, and in the process Zamorak was impaled by the other end of the Staff. Zaros faded from the world, while Zamorak seemed to become more real. However, before his disappearance, Zaros uttered a curse unto Zamorak and all those involved in the rebellion. The curse was to make them wander around Gielinor as ghosts for eternity. Zamorak's ascension to godhood made him resistant, and supposedly only the humans directly and indirectly involved were affected. Viggora theorises that it was because all of Zamorak's other followers were magical and so the curse was much less effective on them.

Zarosian Extermination[edit | edit source]

With Zamorak's victory the Zarosian Empire began to crumble with Zamorakians and Saradominists tearing the once mighty empire down, attempting to erase Zaros and all reference to him from history. The God Wars that followed shortly after Zamorak's ascension put the remains of the empire under tremendous pressure, but even without their god, Zarosians such as Azzanadra remained loyal and fought for their lord. But eventually the Zarosians were fought back and reduced in numbers, their cities and fortresses were destroyed, with Ghorrock being the only remaining fortress still standing, and finally the capital city Senntisten fell at some point before year 3804 of the Third Age, reducing the once great empire to nothing.

Religion[edit | edit source]

The robes of darkness, adorned with the symbol of Zaros.

The symbol of Zaros is a (most often purple) circle with four small, rounded juts pointing outwards surrounding a Greek (equidistant) cross, and is usually found as ornament on Zarosian artefacts and clothing. Almost nothing is known about what exactly Zaros's philosophy or religion was about, except that he was followed by a great number of demons, vampyres, humans, a small group of Dragon Riders and most importantly the Mahjarrat.

All traces of the Zaros religion have been destroyed save for a few altars: one underneath the Digsite, another in Azzanadra's pyramid, and two located in the Wilderness, one in the Ferox Enclave, one in the Ruins of Camdozaal, and one just east of the enclave. A symbol of Zaros is also found at the Settlement Ruins in the Northern Tundras.

Followers[edit | edit source]

Originally Zaros was worshipped in his empire in the north-east of the continent. However, its settlements were destroyed by Zamorak and Saradomin before the former utterly laid waste to the land itself. Most traces of the Zarosian religion and the god himself, such as altars and temples, have been destroyed by Saradomin and Zamorak during the Zarosian Extermination in an attempt to wipe all traces of him from RuneScape. His remaining followers were either killed or forced into hiding if refusing to defect. Without their god, the Zarosian following diminished throughout the Third and early Fourth Ages, until being reduced to a small number of Kharidian bandits.

Groups and races[edit | edit source]

  • Certain Kharidian Desert Bandits - Descendants of Zarosians, who as a result of the Zarosian Extermination were forced into the desert, where they settled as bandits.
  • Certain Mahjarrat, not including the ones who betrayed him.
  • Ancient wizards - Mysterious wizards appearing during Treasure Trails.
  • Some demons such as Blood reavers
  • Various groups of humans - Inhabitants of the Zarosian Empire, during the Second and Third Age.
  • Some dragon riders - A group of beings with a unique talent for taming and riding dragons.
  • Some vampyres - The vampyres were initially followers of Zaros, but with Lord Drakan's rebellion together with Zamorak, there are no known Zarosian vampyres left today.

Notable individuals[edit | edit source]

  • Ablenkian - A Dragon rider, who remained loyal to Zaros, but was deemed a traitor and killed by Ripper Demons led by Corveth.
  • Akthanakos - A Mahjarrat of average power who is the sworn enemy of Enakhra.
  • Azzanadra - An exceptionally powerful Mahjarrat and one of Zaros' most faithful followers.
  • Corveth - A female of unknown race, who branded Ablenkian a traitor to Zaros and had a group of Ripper Demons kill him.
  • Eblis - A bandit of the Kharidian Desert Bandit Camp, who aided in Azzanadra's release from the Jaldraocht pyramid.
  • Nex - An exceedingly powerful Zarosian general. A Zaryte sealed away by a forced alliance between the four god factions fighting in the God Wars Dungeon.
  • Sliske - A devious Mahjarrat, described as the serpent-tongued.

Affiliated items[edit | edit source]

Items in italics do NOT provide protection against Zaros's troops in the God Wars Dungeon:

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Zaros was first mentioned in the 2003 quest The Dig Site.
  • Before the release of Nex and the Ancient Prison most items, affiliated with Zaros, are referred to as "ancient", rather than "Zarosian".
    • The remaining items possess the suffix: "of darkness".
  • A humorous version of Zaros could be seen in the Eastern Lands during the 2014 April Fools event.

See also[edit | edit source]