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In Defense of Saradomin

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Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Warning! There may be spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.

“It seems you have received a rather warped image of me in my absence. Remember, evil beings will always strive to turn you against what is good. With the edicts gone, we have much time for me to show you I mean only good for this world.” -Saradomin


Greetings, my fellow lorehounds. I am Skystone Jexel, or Sky Jexel for short. If you frequent Lore FC, you may already be familiar with me. If you’re familiar with me, you probably also know that I’m one of the few in the RS community who still follows Saradomin. There is a lot of controversy surrounding Saradomin, not to mention ludicrous amounts of vitriol, so naturally this has brought me into many, many debates with other members of the lore community, most of whom have tried to convince me that Saradomin is an evil or hopelessly deluded god. Many have gone as far as to say he should die (which is a really stupid idea, but that’s a topic for another time.) As you might imagine, this is a source of great annoyance for me, but not because people dislike Saradomin. If you dislike him, that’s your opinion and it would be unreasonable of me to hold that against you. What bothers me is that most of the people I see bashing Saradomin give me the impression that they simply -want- to hate him and haven’t actually thought things through thoroughly, either criticizing him for things that aren’t actually true or singling him out for things that they give other factions a free pass on.
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:02:41

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Perhaps even more importantly, however, I get the impression that a lot of people aren’t even listening to what I have to say in his defense. There is little more frustrating to me than the feeling that my words are falling on deaf ears, but I will spare you the rant. I simply request that as you are reading this, you read it with an open mind. I don’t expect you to necessarily agree with my reasoning, but you should not go into this prepared to disagree with me either. A lot of people seem to go into lore already wanting to hate Saradomin, and instead of making a decision based on the evidence, they twist the evidence to fit their decision. I don’t mean to insult anyone by saying that; it’s something we all do to varying degrees, and I’m probably doing a bit of it right now, but in the interest of fair and productive lore discussion, we should minimize it as much as humanly possible. Please distance yourself from whatever bias or preconceptions you may have and consider my arguments and the facts carefully before making your final judgement. Until you have finished reading this, you are neither an enemy nor an ally of Saradomin.
You are unaligned.


Now that that’s out of the way, I will address the arguments that I typically see being used against Saradomin, and attempt to explain why I, as a lorehound, don’t think he’s such a bad guy after all, starting with everyone’s favorite bit of Saradomin lore: his involvement in the Naragun God Wars.
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:02:50 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:05:25 by Jexel L

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Saradomin committed genocide against the naragi!


This is simply not true. While Saradomin’s actions on Naragun were heinous, they were not nearly as bad as people often claim. Saradomin destroyed Askroth, a naragi city, and probably killed thousands of innocent people in the process, but that is still a far cry from destroying an entire species. In fact, according to Guthix’s memories, Saradomin had already left Naragun by the time the naragi were wiped out.

“...the world ablaze, my neighbours dead all around. Even the blue giant had abandoned our world, leaving it to the strange beast.” -Guthix


Given the tone of Guthix’s memories and Kaigi’s journal, it is evident that Tuska and Skargaroth were responsible for most of the bloodshed on Naragun, not Saradomin. While Saradomin did indeed wage war against the Naragi, these sources mention far greater destruction after Tuska and Skargaroth’s arrival, and do not mention any further harm done by Saradomin. It is worth noting, in fact, that Kaigi’s journal and the World Gate engram in the memorial to Guthix suggest that Saradomin may not even have been fully responsible for beginning the war.

“There has been unrest within the refugee camp - some have been following Narix, who suggests we take arms and fight back. Others have been following Nakigi, who believes both sides are to blame for this war, and a compromise should be reached with Saradomin.” -Kaigi

“I was reminded of something Saradomin once told me...that he has never desired war, but we must fight to preserve peace. If we do not stand before the swarm, it will consume us. 'Some must die so all can live. Sacrifices must be made for the greater good.' Now those I swore to protect die in my name. They suffer for my mistake. It is a painful lesson, the kind of knowledge that forever changes one's ideals. I am finally beginning to understand the necessity of what happened on Naragun.” -Guthix
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:02:54 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:09:25 by Jexel L

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Some hold Saradomin responsible for attracting Tuska and Skargaroth to Naragun in the first place, due to the powers of his crown, but I find this to be a faulty argument. Although Guthix speculated that he did, there is no proof that this was the case, and in fact Tuska did not seem to have had an elder artefact at the time, and thus would not have been attracted to Saradomin’s crown. The only elder artefacts mentioned were Saradomin’s crown and Skargaroth’s sword. Besides, Tuska and Skargaroth did not simply hunt Saradomin down throughout the universe looking for his crown. Saradomin has brought the crown to Teragard and New Domina, both of which are still intact, and has not set foot on Mazcab to our knowledge, a world torn apart by Tuska.

For the sake of argument, however, let’s assume that Saradomin did in fact attract Tuska and Skargaroth to Naragun with his crown. Is he to blame for their actions? No. He is not responsible for their actions and could not have prevented them. If Saradomin had stayed away from any inhabited worlds, Tuska and Skargaroth would have eventually overwhelmed him and taken the crown. If he had gotten rid of the crown, someone else, potentially someone far worse, would have found it. Besides, if Saradomin had not visited Naragun, Tuska and Skargaroth would have simply destroyed another planet anyway. It was in their nature to destroy, and it still would have been even without Saradomin’s presence.

But I suppose all of this may be a moot point. Regardless of how you may feel about Saradomin’s actions on Naragun, they are not a reflection of who he is in the present anyway, as he has turned from that path and done what he could to atone for his past mistakes.
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:02:58 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:10:31 by Jexel L

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
“The ruin I brought to the Naragi is my greatest shame. Civilisations have risen and fallen, and still the actions of my past haunt me. And so they should, for regret begets wisdom, and I have much to regret. I was young and filled with a new and glorious power. I wore the Elder Crown, and thought it granted me the right to rule. In my arrogance, I did not anticipate the Naragi would refuse. I sought to make amends, when the beast and the hunter brought violence of their own. I fought against them for the same reason that I now battle Zamorak... To protect you. To remove a threat. As long as these invaders exist, your world shall never know peace.”
-Saradomin


However, many people have made the claim that Saradomin has -not- learned from his mistakes on Naragun, and that he still kills anyone who dares not to follow him, which brings me to the next common argument I hear.
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:03:03 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:13:27 by Jexel L

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Saradomin kills anyone who doesn’t follow him!


This is an argument I’ve heard time and time again, but it is not supported by the evidence. Jmod quotes have actually specifically stated that Saradomin only goes after those he considers a threat and would not smite people simply for not following him. Saradomin himself has also denied this.

“Your loyalties are your own to choose. I force no one to bow their knee before me.”
-Saradomin


However, I do not like to rely on Jmod quotes, as they are not technically canon and are meaningless from a roleplaying perspective, as they are information your character would not have, and inevitably people will argue that Saradomin was lying about not forcing anyone to follow him, so let’s judge things based on his actions. There are three arguments I typically hear to back up the claim that Saradomin forces people to follow him, but none of them really hold up when examined more closely: the naragi, Garlandia, and the Wand of Resurrection. I’ve already covered how Saradomin regretted what he did on Naragun and attempted to make amends and defend the naragi, so let’s move on to the other two.
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:03:07 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:14:58 by Jexel L

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Garlandia


Garlandia claims Saradomin ripped off her wings as punishment for refusing to fight for him, and this is often used as evidence that Saradomin forces people to follow him.

“At a banquet, he called across the room and asked whether I would be joining his infantry or his bombardiers. I told him that I had no intention of fighting at all. In his embarrassment over my refusal, he gathered everyone into the courtyard. There, he ripped my beautiful wings from me. For an icyene, that is as good as death.” -Garlandia


However, Garlandia’s claims contradict Saradomin’s side of the story.

“We were heading into a time of war, against an aggressor native to New Domina. I had been forced to militarise the noble icyene. The icyene are a powerful race, but still mortal, and their numbers comparatively few. I needed each of them to stand up and join the fight, lest they all suffer. But one refused. She cried out that the conflict would solve nothing. She proclaimed that all icyene should lay down their spears and embrace a peaceful approach. Her words were… enticing. I wanted to follow them myself. I would have loved little more than for conflict to end and peace to flourish. But I knew better. I knew inaction would lead to the destruction of my people. I had to show the icyene what they faced if they did not fight. I had to show them how the enemy would show no mercy… just as I had to show no mercy. I will not forget that… feeling. that horrible stretching sensation followed by that terrible, sudden, snap. Feathers and tendons falling around me like some horrible snowstorm. It was… cruel, but I had no choice. That act reminded the icyene why they were fighting, what they were fighting, and it reminded them that everyone must do their duty. A moment of cruelty, for decades of prosperity. A fair, if unsightly, trade.” -Saradomin
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:03:12 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:17:25 by Jexel L

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
So it’s Saradomin’s word against Garlandia’s. Why, then, should we believe Saradomin? For two reasons: first of all, Saradomin brings this up without the player questioning him about it. If the player points out that Saradomin has killed people before, he will use this as an example of a time he did something cruel for the greater good. If Saradomin was simply trying to make himself look better, would he not have twisted the story to paint Garlandia in a less sympathetic light, or better yet, avoided mentioning her at all unless questioned? The other reason is that Saradomin has admitted his fault in the Naragun God Wars, while he stands by his decision to rip off Garlandia’s wings. Why would he admit he screwed up in one case but not the other, especially given that destroying Askroth caused far more harm than ripping the wings off a single icyene?

We could argue for hours about whether or not what Saradomin did to Garlandia was justified given the circumstances, but I think the circumstances themselves are quite clear: he ripped off her wings not because she would not follow him, but because he needed his people to fight if they were to survive. Had the icyene embraced Garlandia’s approach, many more would have suffered, and Saradomin could not allow that. It was a sacrifice of one to save the rest.

Now that I have established that Saradomin did not rip off Garlandia’s wings for refusing to follow him, let’s move on to the matter of the Wand of Resurrection.
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:03:16 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:17:58 by Jexel L

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
The Wand of Resurrection


“Saradomin blasted the World Guardian for defying him!” the argument often goes. This, however, is untrue. You can disagree with Saradomin, even openly criticize him as much as you want throughout the quest and he will not harm you. So why does he blast you for not giving him the wand? Saradomin blasting the World Guardian for refusing to give him the Wand of Resurrection was not punishment for defying him, but a simple act of necessity. He needed the wand to save Sir Owen, and eventually to resurrect the centaurs. If you would not give it to him, he had no choice but to take it from you by force, and he used only as much force as was needed to ensure that. Note that Saradomin’s magical blast did not injure the World Guardian, merely stun them, and he did not continue his attack after the wand was in his hands, so it is unlikely that he was trying to kill them. I would argue that given the stakes, Saradomin’s actions were not only justified, but were the only reasonable course of action.

Imagine you had a loyal friend who had always been there when you needed him and was always eager to help you. Imagine that friend was dying from a disease and their only chance of survival was a cure. Imagine you came across an acquaintance who had the cure, but refused to give it to you, telling you that your friend had suffered enough and that you should just let them die. Would you accept that, or would you beat them up and take the cure? If your answer is “beat them up and take the cure,” that’s more or less what Saradomin did with the wand. He blasted the World Guardian because it was Sir Owen’s only chance of survival. He had a duty to protect his people, and he would have failed in that duty if he had refused to act and allowed a follower of his to die when he had a chance to save them.
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:03:20 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:19:26 by Jexel L

Jexel L
Mar Member 2011

Jexel L

Posts: 824Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
It is true that Sir Owen’s arm was corrupted as a result of his resurrection by Saradomin, but Saradomin knew the risk. He considered the consequences carefully and concluded that any chance of saving Sir Owen was better than no chance. Had Sir Owen become fully corrupted, the World Guardian or Saradomin could simply have killed him again, putting him in exactly the same place as if Saradomin had not tried to resurrect him.

“You are wise to be cautious of me. I have done many questionable things. I do what is necessary to protect my people, that they might live a life of virtue. It is possible that the wand will not judge me worthy, yet I must take the risk… for Sir Owen's sake.” -Saradomin


What Saradomin did was exactly what Sir Owen would have wanted. Sir Owen was a selfless and pragmatic man who devoted himself to helping others and to the greater good. Although his arm was corrupted, he did not hold it against Saradomin, and continued to serve him loyally. All he wanted was a chance to continue to fight for the good of the world, regardless of the personal cost, and that is what Saradomin gave him. One could argue that Sir Owen was a fool to continue serving Saradomin, but even if that were the case, it would still be his choice to make, not yours.

As with Garlandia, Saradomin taking the Wand of Resurrection by force was a sacrifice he made for the greater good. The World Guardian disobeying him or refusing to follow him had nothing to do with it.

“But Saradomin doesn’t really do things for the greater good!” you might argue. “He’s a power-hungry liar who is just trying to get on everyone’s good side so they’ll blindly follow him!” That brings us to my next point…
Skystone Jexel
, Supreme Warden of The Skystone Order and
Saradominist
Lorehound

The sword of the righteous and the shield of the defenseless.

26-Jan-2017 00:03:24 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 00:20:30 by Jexel L

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