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Why Saradomin split his armies

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Hguoh
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Hguoh

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Alleluia said:
Now imagine, on the far side of the wall you have living a cannibal who has blared out how he is looking forward to wolfing you down. Satisfied, you have gotten the message loud and clear, and he starts knocking down the partition that sits between your borders. How will you react?


You're assuming Zamorak made his intentions clear. Even if we grant the assertion of Zamorak intending to topple Saradomin next, Zamorak could have very well have hidden that.

Drakan takes Hallowvale? Well, Zamorak and the main body of his forces are clearly tied up far more North, and he has little reason split his forces while up against the armies of other gods. So Drakan comes off as a rogue agent.

Can Zamorak help put down his rabid dog? Sure, as soon as he can actually spare the forces to do so. Capturing Senntisten and it's infrastructure gets Zamorak both geographically and economically in a better position to aid against Drakan.

Alleluia said:
Unfortunately for Zamorak, it took him until that fateful day Saradomin claimed Senntisten for himself. Zamorak would try to outmaneouver Saradomin, but it was too late. Zamorak could hope for no more than brilliant tactical feats while retreating from “Saranthium”, but found himself ground up from all sides.

Some say Saradomin only won thanks to help and cooperation from Armadyl and Bandos. It goes to the heart of what made Saradomin such a towering figure: he, Zamorak's ally number one, managed to exploit other gods to defend him, adding muscle to his authority. Until this very turn of events, Saradomin had wisely feigned neutrality.


Given Zamorak's insistence that Saradomin betrayed him, I'm inclined to believe that Zamorak was sincerely invested in the alliance. I am, however, also inclined to believe that Saradomin would think and reason about the situation much like you have:

03-Mar-2018 22:01:41

Hguoh
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Hguoh

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Letting Zamorakian forces take the city, concentrate forces and resources into a single city, and then level it with the SoJ or the help of the armies of his new allies Bandos and Armadyl.

Alleluia said:
In reality, then, Zamorak’s already on Gielinor when Saradomin dares to face Nex with his army. If so, why would Saradominist soldiers, who were only on par with Zamorakian troops in both quantity and quality, fight the unstoppable Nex alone? Zamorak’s myth merchants would say: some of our soldiers fought, but, in the beginning they weren’t enough, nor any good, obsolete. No point even paying attention to them, let’s just define the most sophisticated type: the Mahjarrat. Those deployed before the alliance, we’ll just forget about: junk. Here, though, is how this “junk” looked in terms of qualities:


For one, the Zamorakians were busy fighting on other fronts trying to snatch back territory they'd lost in Zamorak's absence.

For two, I'm doubting a significant Saradominist military force actually did battle directly with Nex. See prior posts for issues with Ashuelot's tale of events.

For three, I'm very doubtful that the Saradominists acted alone on this one. The target is far more important to Zamorakians, after all, and the statement that the Saradominists acted alone comes from an individual in a time period when Saradomin and Zamorak were enemies and most traces of their former alliance annihilated.

03-Mar-2018 22:03:15 - Last edited on 03-Mar-2018 22:11:22 by Hguoh

Hguoh
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Hguoh

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Alleluia said:
Thanks to those qualities, Zamorak could cursh his foes not merely by numbers, but rather by maneuvering and concentrating Mahjarrat as a magic striking force at break-neck speed, able to move quickly and strike true, sweeping across obstacles and knifing deep into the enemy’s rear, quickly covering vast amounts of terrain.


Mahjarrat are formidable yes, but not unstoppable by any means (as we've clearly witnessed). The Carnilleans managed to disable Hazeel for more than a century due to a quick strike in the night. Zemouregal has been foiled at least twice in his attempts to conquer Varrock with a zombie army (his area of expertise) by mere humans. Enakhra built temples more than she fought. Bilrach was a Summoner who brought Demons to Gielinor to fight rather than do so himself. Lamistard is known to have avoided direct conflict with other Mahjarrat by tunneling beneath the Ritual Site indicating at least a preference against participating in conflict (if not being less effective in combat). Lucien was physically weak (could barely lift a sword) with some strength in spell casting, and was promised control over Forinthry (so more of a management kinda guy than a fighter). Palkeera was particularly special to Zamorak. Ralvash was of 'average power' for a Mahjarrat (similar to Bilrach minus the demon summoning).

And this is even before we consider the weaknesses of the Mahjarrat: they are few, and they are fragile. By the time the God Wars came about, there weren't many Mahjarrat left, and for all their power, they've proven quite able to die in combat and be imprisoned for extended periods of time. Normally, this wouldn't be that big of an issue for a race, but Mahjarrat had notable difficulties reproducing and needed to sacrifice at least one of their number on a regular basis in a specific manner.

Overextending with them the way you speak of could easily mark the end of their species.

03-Mar-2018 22:29:01

Hguoh
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Hguoh

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Alleluia said:
Another possibility is that there was not any agreement between Saradomin and Zamorak yet, so that the former took the initiative, and locked Nex down to keep both rival Mahjarrat from benefiting.


We are told Saradominist Forces stuck around at least long enough to build the Temple of Lost Ancients and bury Nex's palace. We are given little indication that he made any attempt at controlling the Ritual Site himself or even knew of its significance. For all appearances, his interests were in removing Nex and her sizable portion of the remaining Zarosian military.

Alleluia said:
Wouldn’t it make more sense, then, if Zamorak's vampyre would go north-westwards, against the thin-spread Zarosian formations in Forinthry (if not already beaten), instead of driving a wedge through Saradomin’s sacred Icyene city(Chronologically speaking, for all we know, the latter took place right after the Battle for the Ritual Plateau, that's why it's so apalling when being allies).


That's also why it makes no sense for Drakan to be operating under Zamorak's orders when he attacked Hallowvale. You're also assuming they started out in Viggora's Folly (named as such because it sank into the swamp it was built on). We know the Zamorakians were backed into a corner before Zamorak returned and brought the demons with him and that other gods had already conquered much of the Empire's territory. Given that we know the Zarosians were hunting them down, at least when able, it's less likely that the Zamorakians ended up in any fortress near the capital. More likely, they ended up further north, away from the capital. I'd guess they were holing up in what would eventually be the Mage Arena or Rogue's Castle.

03-Mar-2018 22:50:09

Hguoh
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Hguoh

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Alleluia said:
Judging on Drakan’s untrustworthiness, lust for power and land, I imagine him bargaining with his master for support, something like: "now that we, since that glorious day, have granted you our unwavering loyalty in the betrayal of the Empty Lord, shall we tend to expanding our promised lands? I suggest, as Senntisten is still holding strong, striking at Saradomin’s fortress nearby, while he’s northbound and exposed, wishing to gather our closely guarded secrets, of which we already dispose, my Lord. My vampyres will be able to hold a base from there, and, then I can give you my most powerful legions.”


I could definitely see that, but, again, Zamorak insists that Saradomin betrayed him and broke the alliance, and Saradomin made no attempt to deny this when it was brought up (instead opting to egg Armadyl and Bandos on to execute Zamorak).

03-Mar-2018 22:57:15 - Last edited on 03-Mar-2018 22:57:29 by Hguoh

Hguoh
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Hguoh

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Alleluia said:
Anyone who finds Zamorak’s entry into the war a date worth thinking about, should find an answer to the following question: who razed the neutral wall of Zarosians separating Zamorakian and Saradominist territory? The barrier between Forinthry (bordering Senntisten) and Hallowvale (bordering Kharyrll) was a double row - except in one place: Viggora’s folly. Anyone not wanting a border dispute had to bring to bear all their military might and wisdom to keep an enemy from reaching this territory, tightly locking it down. Wonder who got there first. Kharyrll, though, got exposed to "Zamorakians" as well.


You're assuming few participants. There were many gods who once inhabited Gielinor prior to the God Wars largely reduced that number to the big 4 active gods who played major roles in the God Wars. We know Bandosians remain on what was once Forinthry, but that Bandos didn't arrive on Gielinor until the God Wars were in full swing, so some other god could have been there and invaded Forinthry from the mountain range to it's West. We're given little indication as to who controlled the land around Asgarnia or Lumbridge (though the Zarosians at least raided the area around where Lumbridge would come to be).

There's also the possibility of invasion from the North (which would explain why Zamorak apparently retreated to the center of the Wilderness at the end of the God Wars (which could also be where the Zamorakians we initially forced to retreat to when fleeing the Zarosians and being forced back by invading armies)).

03-Mar-2018 23:09:48

Ascertes
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Ascertes

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I think part of Saradomin's problem was one of logistics. Saradomin's territories were relatively spread out, with known holds in Hallowvale and Entrana (I can't actually recall any others at the start of the God Wars,) which were not exactly close together. Sure, Saradomin can teleport troops around, but there has to be a limit on this otherwise I think we would have seen it far more often.

I think Saradomin's ultimate goal was to acquire as much territory as possible in a short span of time, forge some alliances and fortify the new territory before hostilities would inevitably resume. In a way, it was a gamble that did pay off in the end.

On a side note, IIRC the Saradominists were actually winning against Drakan's incursion into Hallowvale; it was a covert infiltration that spelled the downfall. If Drakan could have won through sheer military might, I would like to believe he would have done so, being all about primal instincts and stuff.
-Ascertes, King of all the Hallowlands and the Ever-Chosen of Saradomin.

04-Mar-2018 05:04:27

Sodden Hound
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Sodden Hound

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Ascertes said:
On a side note, IIRC the Saradominists were actually winning against Drakan's incursion into Hallowvale; it was a covert infiltration that spelled the downfall. If Drakan could have won through sheer military might, I would like to believe he would have done so, being all about primal instincts and stuff.

You're right - the vyres kidnapped Efaritay's husband Ascertes and forced a surrender with that. Efaritay herself said icyene blood runs hot, so it's not out of the question that she'd agree to a surrender so rashly.
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04-Mar-2018 05:09:06

Alleluia

Alleluia

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Hguoh said:
We have one claim that Saradominists lured Nex into ice caves and put her and her forces in suspended animation there. However, this doesn't make sense with the revelation that the Temple of Lost Ancients was built upon Nex's palace and that Nex and her forces were imprisoned within said palace. My guess as to what actually occurred:

Saradomin gets wind of Nex's location. He sends a small strike force of Temple Knights to the area in secret and equips them with a spell to put an area in a form of suspended animation. The Temple Knights wait until the bulk of Nex's forces and, most importantly, Nex herself are within the palace before they cast the spell. From there, it's a simple matter of Saradominist forces mopping up the stragglers outside the palace and burying the evidence. This sort of tactic falls fairly well in line with the M.O. of the Temple Knights


That would be a fitting story, if it were not for the Temple Knights organization only being founded by Saradomin starting from roughly middle Third Age-ish. That would imply that Falador, too, already fell under his jurisdiction at that early point (again, Ritual Plateau is the first battle mentioned), while the empire (with Nex, Azzanadra and Senntisten still around for a while) is all but already on its knees.

To arrive so far south, however, he would also have to pass through either Lassar or Paddewwa, (modern-day Northern Asgarnia and Misthalin), which seemed highly unlikely considering he needed to handle Nex all alone with his elite knights at that point simultaneously defending his Icyene from from attacks in the east (whoever may have resided there, then). In contrast, the unnamed warriors fighting Nex were likely forefathers, or served as inspiration for the concept of the Temple Knights.
The power of
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04-Mar-2018 22:47:39

Alleluia

Alleluia

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Hguoh said:
You're assuming Saradomin would know that he and Zamorak would eventually be on opposing sides. We already know Zamorak to be very capable of pledging loyalty to a god's face and operating against them in secret. And that's if we assume Zamorak was plotting against Saradomin this whole time. We still don't know what event caused the breakdown of their alliance (Zamorak professes Saradomin turned against


Yes, I suppose that Saradomin realized he was supporting a revolutionary Zamorak, helping him in going against the empire’s regime (which was hostile to his own). He was very aware that the betrayal came out in Zamorak’s favour, who would also eventually take hold of its valuable resources, taking into account he was seen as Zaros’s heir so to speak, with some already rallying to his cause before Avernic rebellion.

When looking at their armies, diplomatically advanced without decimating each others lines, Saradomin, with his people’s best interests at heart, should have realized that once those armies had completely linked up (as the enemy of the enemy was dead), the remaining Zamorakian “evil” (for example: Saranthium) had to be resolutely fought off as a pest to “liberate” those “unclean” lands.

Yet we also know that the only first possible known event which opened hostilities on allied Saradominist territory was the capture of Hallowvale by: Zamorakians, even if Drakan was not straightforward, his essential vampyre troops ironically served in the Zamorakian army for the remainder of the war, at least until the final battle for the godsword.

It’s also possible that Saradomin was so hellbent on getting at Zarosian fortresses first (note that he took Paddewwa, being dangerously close to Senntisten) before the other. Only a fool wouldn’t realize that once their armies had linked up, there would inevitably be eventual border disputes.
The power of
Guthix
compels you.

04-Mar-2018 22:48:23

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