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Lore Clean-Up: Timeline, etc.

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AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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Dear friends and fellow lorehounds,

I want to share with you here a mess of thoughts meant to help clean up some of the lore, especially from the first five ages.

Part 1: Scale Theory/Gielinor's Geography
Part 2: Length of Ages/What Happened during the Godwars?
Part 3: The Canonical Order of Quests/What Year is it?

04-Oct-2017 22:08:06 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:19:03 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

Posts: 1,700Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Part 1: Scale Theory/Geography

I recently revisited the Old School Mousepad Map of Gielinor - sorry I didn't post it here; I don't have an account for it. I think we could treat this map as a very good, properly scaled map of Gielinor. It has some drawbacks, but they are fixable. For example, it's missing some known islands, but includes Braindeath. It moves Ashdale near to Lumbridge, Draynor and Lumbridge Swamp south onto a penninsula, and the Wizards' Tower to an island west of the new penninsula. The Kharidian subcontinent perhaps leans a little too far west but could be re-oriented to restore its continuity with the Wushanko Isles in the east.

It also has some significant advantages. It's nicely drawn. The various regions are not so boxy; their climates make more sense. The cities do not occupy so much space. And the strategic significance of several geographic features becomes obvious. I will survey a few:

04-Oct-2017 22:08:12 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:09:32 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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A) The mountains of Sanguinesti are prominent. This provides a location for the vale (i.e. valley) of Hallowvale. This highly defensible mountainous region would have made it possible for Saradomin's Icyene to hold it, along with the neighboring regions of Hallowglade and Humblethorn, against the Zarosian Empire for eight centuries.

B) The continuity of the Trollweiss Mountains all the way to Ice Mountain and White Wolf Mountain on either side of Burthorpe Plateau is apparent. (If I could add to the lore, I'd call these Mt. Lassar and Mt. Apertar, respectively.) Except for its eastern border with Misthalin and the small gap between Mt. Lassar and the head of the Lum (which I have elsewhere called the Gap of Pudor), these mountains keep Asgarnia safe from all but trolls.

C) Senntisten lies on a narrow strait between the Lum river basin and the region of Al-Kharid north of Shantay Pass (which I have been calling Hetland). This strategic location between the mouths of the Lum and the Salve and between Misthalin and the Kharidian is unmatched in Gielinor. I want to draw on this observation below in my exploration of Gielinor timeline, especially during the Godwars.

That's it for Part 1 - just some observations and hopes that the mousepad map might afford some new insights. Because the new map might help us to rethink the layout of Gielnior, I have included as an appendix the features most visible, could we inhabit each of the map's regions at the end of the 5th age - these would generally be mountains, rivers, towers, and fortifications.

04-Oct-2017 22:08:16 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:19:26 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

Posts: 1,700Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Part 2: Length of Ages/What Happened during the Godwars?

(1) Many are familiar with my past thoughts on shortening the early ages of Gielinor. I still hold that 12,000 years of history - preceding the 5th age - is simply too long for good storytelling - it's too stretched out for us to make connections among the stories of mortals, and it never lets us get a grip on what happened through all that time. So, different from my previous thread, I want to propose another way to make sense of the early ages.

(2) I will begin with two points. First, we have very few dates from the early ages. In fact, I only know of two for sure: from the coins of Senntisten, dated 3740, and of Saranthium, dated 3804 - "presumeably from the 3rd Age," says the Museum. There are other dates suggested on the Wiki - I will make use of these below, but I haven't been able to track down all their sources.

(3) Second, the division of history into ages, or specifically the restarting of calendrical dates according to each age, is not helpful for understanding history. Rather, it is more helpful to impose a periodization (i.e. a division of ages) back onto an uninterrupted series of dates. Because of this, and because such a move might aid the development of RuneScape's lore, I propose that we read the dates on the coins from the digsite not as indexed to the 3rd age but as absolute, indexed to an important event preceding the Godwars.

(4) Obviously I am toying with the lore. It is easy to defend the ancient division of Gielinor's history into ages based upon the political motives of various factions throughout its history. But it is equally plausible that the periodization of Gielinor's history that we know was developed relatively late and wrongly imposed upon ancient records. Therefore, I would like to explore how the history of the Godwars might appear on a vastly reduced timeline.

04-Oct-2017 22:08:20 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:10:32 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(5) So let's begin. I will call a year on this reduced timeline, e.g., 3740 CC - CC for common calendar. Senntisten belonged to the Zamorakians in 3740 CC and to Saradominists in 3804 CC. That's the basic proposal. Everything else that follows will be even more speculative but hopefully interesting.

(6) First, to set it aside, I don't know what event might have marked the year 1 CC. This could have been the arrival of Guthix, or the construction of the World Gate, or the arrival of some population through the World Gate, or the commpletion of all the migrations through the World Gate, or the slumber of Guthix. In any case, it does not so much matter what happened in the year 1 - it is likely to have been legendary anyway.

(7) It has been suggested that Zaros controlled all of Forinthry, Misthalin, the North, parts of the desert, Kharyll, enough of Trollweiss and Fremennik lands to reach the World Gate, and perhaps all of Asgarnia. I think it is likely that Saradomin had at times holdings along the southern coast of Misthalin and significant parts of Asgarnia, given his stronghold at Entrana. He might have held some of these places at the time of Zaros's banishment, pace FunOrb.

(8) We know that after the fall of Zaros, Zamorak left Gielinor for twenty years while he fought with the Avernic on Infernus. During that time, it is likely that Saradomin and the other gods took advantage of Zaros's absence to attack his empire. I imagine that Saradomin would have struck quickly, moving against Kharyll and Senntisten from Hallowvale and against Lassar, Padewwa, and Senntisten from Entrana or any of his holdings in Asgarnia.

04-Oct-2017 22:08:24 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:10:58 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(9) According to sources like the Wiki and FunOrb, Zamorak returned to Gielinor to claim the Stone of Jas and quickly captured Hallowvale, along with many of the Icyene. It is likely that tensions would have been high between Saradomin and Zamorak until some time after the complete conquest of the Hallowland. It is furthermore likely that after having recognized the Hallowland as irretrievably lost to him, Saradomin chose to cooperate with Zamorak in opposing the remnants of the Zarosian Empire.

(10) The Wiki dates the Battle of Annakarl (about which I have discovered nothing) to the year 3100. I will assume that this is 3100 CC. Furthermore, despite the talk of centuries and centuries of slow progress and trench warfare in The Song from before the War, I assume that all of the gods would have moved quickly against the Zarosian Empire and that much of the Empire would have fallen quickly. Therefore, I propose that 3100 CC lies relatively close to the beginning of the Godwars, one or two centuries in. So Zamorak's rebellion occurred around the years 2900 to 3000 CC.

(11) The campaign against Zaros's empire in Forinthry probably saw the destruction of Padewwa, Carrallanger, Dareeyak, and Annakarl, all in the first centuries of the Godwars. This campaign probably ended with the Battle for the Ritual Site and the imprisonment of Nex shortly after 3100 CC. The imprisonment is said to have occurred near the start of the Godwars.

04-Oct-2017 22:08:28 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:11:23 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(12) Senntisten is said to have been in Zamorakian hands for only a short time. Therefore, it seems that Senntisten stood as the last part of the Zarosian Empire for another six centuries, shielding the Kharidian from the endless wars on its northern frontier. Because the beseiged Zarosians blocked the land route into the Kharidian, the Menaphites only had to defend their coasts and to ward off attacks via air or portal. While the Menaphites remained in the desert and the Zarosians held Hetland and the Senntisten Strait, Bandos likely gained footholds in Feldip, Karamja, and Trollweiss. It is likely that Armadyl always held the Galarpos, that Seren stayed in Tirannwn with most of her elves, that Zamorak never lost his hold over Sanguinesti, and that Saradomi never lost Entrana. But all the rest of Forinthry, western Morytania, Misthalin, Asgarnia, Kandarin, Piscatoris, and the Fremennik Isles likely changed hands.

(13) What was stable in the world must have changed again when the Zarosians could no longer hold the Senntisten Strait. Before the city itself fell to Zamorakians, Saradominists invaded the northern desert, establishing themselves at Uzer. Some Zarosians fled into the desert. Zamorakians soon followed. Saradominsts took Senntisten, and Sliske led the brothers to their barrows. During the final centuries of the Godwars - when The Song from before the War takes place - the Zamorakians conquered much of the Kharidian, destroying Saradominist Uzer and Menaphite Ullek. In one final act of cooperation, Saradominists and Zamorakians came together to imprison Azzanadra in Jaldraocht. Then, spread thin by the desert campaign, Saradominist and Zamorakian forces moved north to Forinthry for the final battles of the Godwars.

04-Oct-2017 22:08:31 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:11:48 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(14) It is said that Guthix returned around the 4000th year of the 3rd age. I will assume that he returned around the year 4000 CC. This completes a brief account of the Godwars - an account shortened to just ten or eleven centuries. It's hardly a sketch, fillable with countless stories, yet this sketch provides us with a believable skeleton around which those stories could be built. Only a few key regions are covered, but it accords with all the known lore, as far as I know.

(15) Next, let's briefly explore the 2nd and 4th ages. Concerning the 2nd, I propose the following: Saradomin and Zaros arrived in Gielinor at very nearly the same time, probably within decades of one another. My evidence: The Wiki page on Ullek (I have not yet found the source) speaks of a time when the Mahjarrat successfully defended Ullek from Zarosian forces who attacked from the Hallowland "before the Icyene had arrived." Hallowvale is an eminently defensible location - Zaros moved quickly to establish his empire and attacked Ullek even before he had entrenched his troops in the region of Hallowvale. Saradomin is also likely to have moved quickly to establish himself in Gielinor. (It took him a few minutes to arrive after the death of Guthix.) I doubt he would have hesitated before taking so valuable a position as Hallowvale. Therefore, it is likely that Saradomin captured Hallowvale from Zaros with his Icyene very soon after both Zaros and himself had arrived in Gielinor. Obviously other accounts are possible, but without further evidence I find this theory persuasive.

04-Oct-2017 22:08:35 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:13:24 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(16) It is said that the Icyene ruled over the Hallowland for 820 years. If we assume that Zamorak took Hallowvale very quickly upon his return, then Saradomin's capture of Hallowvale predates Zamorak's rebellion by 800 years. If Saradomin and Zaros arrived in Gielinor shortly before Saradomin's capture of Hallowvale, then the two of them arrived in Gielinor shortly before the years 2100-2200 CC. It is likely that Tumeken arrived before this time and that Armadyl and Bandos arrived after it. Unfortunately I can't say much more concerning the dates of events preceding the Godwars.

(17) Regarding the 4th age, I am very skeptical of the existing length. The Wilderness is littered with ruins from the Godwars. Lumbridge is said to have been founded in 1937 of the 4th age upon ruins from the Godwars. Lumbridge is an all-important strategic location - how could it have gone 19 centuries unsettled by any race? The civil war in the Feldip Hills is attributed to the loss of Bandos' guidance, and its effects last throughout the time of the elven kingdom in Kandarin - up to two thousand years of slaughter in the Feldip Hills! Finally, the Godwars seem far too close in the cultural memory of Gielinor's people, while the intervening millennia seem to carry little weight.

(18) For these reasons, I struggle to imagine the 4th age lasting more than 500 years. I would find the claim that the 4th age lasted for a millennium or two more believable if there was a reason provided for the long cultural stasis Gielinor's humanity seems to have endured. Lack of runestones just isn't convincing - humans managed to fend off dragonkin, Mahjarrat, demons, and sea slugs without plentiful runestones. The presence of Bandosians could support the current account, but this aspect of the lore has hardly been developed.

04-Oct-2017 22:08:39 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:13:50 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(19) If I could play with the lore, I'd cut the 4th age to 1000 years and provide a good reason for the stasis endured during its first five hundred years. Elsewhere I've written of a severely conservative school of human mystics from the Gap of Pudor who preserved the magical learning of the earlier ages and maintained the delicate balance of power following the Godwars until their destruction by the dragon Garak in the middle of the 4th age - something like this would allow us to see increased cultural development beginning around 4500 CC.

04-Oct-2017 22:08:42 - Last edited on 04-Oct-2017 22:14:26 by AttilaSquare

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