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Zamorakianism Explored

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Dantalian

Dantalian

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I begin this document with the intention of explaining something about Zamorakianism, possibly the most maligned of the factions (besides the semi-dead Bandosian faction.) My aim is to explore the ideology and explain its core tenants, as I feel much of the actual ideas of Zamorakianism have been besmirched first by the Saradominist control of in-game history, and now by the vastly resurgent Zarosian movement among adventurers. The latter in particular perplexes me. More than once I have seen a nominal Zarosian espouse Zamorakian ideals only to, not too long after, denounce Zamorakianism as a blight upon the world. Perhaps (and I flatter myself here) I may make some Zarosians realize they are more Zamorakian than they are of their nominal faction, and cause others to realize they have more in common with Zamorakian ideology than their gut reactions allowed them to believe.

Having said that, covering the ideals of Zamorakianism is not done without some trepidation, for two reasons. First, Zamorakianism is an umbrella ideology whose adherents range from those of a simple "leave-me-alone-and-I'll-leave-you-alone" mentality, to staunch anarchists, to downright sadistic megalomaniacs. It is, after all, not a centrally controlled religion (such as Saradominism or ancient and to some extents modern, Zarosianism) and more of a coalition of usually intra-tolerant sub-factions who rally around certain core tenants.

The second reason, is, as hinted above, Zamorakianism is not a "nice" ideology (at times it can be quite nasty.) While, like nearly every faction (Armadylianism possibly excluded) it argues that this nastiness may be necessary at times, I know that certain people will find themselves unable to stomach it. That's understandable, and I only hope that, while they may still disapprove, these people will understand the WHY behind the ideology.
"He appears in the Form of a Man with many Countenances; and he hath a Book in his right hand. His Office is to teach all Arts and Sciences unto any; and to declare the Secret Counsel of any one."

09-Jun-2016 07:00:05

Dantalian

Dantalian

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I note that this will be a long work, and aim to do it in parts, so as to both maintain my time and to try not to overwhelm the reader. Comments, criticisms, and observations are of course, welcome, but please note that I may not have time to respond to them all. (Writing these entries alone takes enough of my time.) Also, note that, while this is something of a labor of love, I do have other things to do, so sections may very well be posted with significant amounts of time between them. Please understand.

For the sake of making things easier, I am included a table of contents below, that should come in handy if this is as spread out as I fear it might be. Unwritten sections are in a rough outline, and may change as they are actually written:

Tables of Contents
I. Origins of Zamorakianism - page 1
II. General Themes: Chaos, Power, and Freedom
III. The Betayal/Ascension as an Example
IV. The Zamorakian as an Individual
V. Contrasts
"He appears in the Form of a Man with many Countenances; and he hath a Book in his right hand. His Office is to teach all Arts and Sciences unto any; and to declare the Secret Counsel of any one."

09-Jun-2016 07:00:18 - Last edited on 09-Jun-2016 07:02:42 by Dantalian

Dantalian

Dantalian

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THE ORIGINS OF ZAMORAKIANISM

In order to understand any ideology or movement, it is often helpful to understand its roots. The roots of Zamorakianism may of course be found in the Zarosian Empire. During most of the Second Age, the Zarosian Empire was the pinnacle of society, possessing wealth, culture, power and learning unsurpassed by all other factions and nations. Yet, while technically one country, by the time of the betrayal the empire had split into two very different cultures, technically united, but unreconciable. This, ironically, was actually triggered by Zaros himself when he set up two different, mostly autonomous, and parallel governments. While Zaros was nominally at the head of both, his withdrawal to explore the mysteries of elder-godhood meant that these two governments acted almost entirely independently of one another, while their purposes all but guaranteed the development of different cultures and ideals.

I will refer to the first of these governments as the "Zarosian" government. Led by Azzanadra, this government was mostly focused on civil affairs. The function of this government was primarily to act as a bridge between Zaros and the populace. (Fittingly, the leaders of this government were priests bearing the title "Pontifex" or, "bridge-buidlers." ) Zaros would deliver new concepts and ideas he had discovered from his travels to the priests, who would then see to it that they were adopted by the populace. Simultaneously the priests acted as judges and bureaucrats, handling civil concerns according to Zaros' law, or bringing cases to Zaros' attention should they judge them of sufficient weight. It is likely already apparent, but this civil government was very reliant on Zaros. So far as we can tell, nearly every major technological advance within the Zarosian empire came from Zaros to the priests. Likewise, Azzanadra appears to have felt that his place was as a conduit for Zaros' will, and not an independent administrator.
"He appears in the Form of a Man with many Countenances; and he hath a Book in his right hand. His Office is to teach all Arts and Sciences unto any; and to declare the Secret Counsel of any one."

09-Jun-2016 07:00:45 - Last edited on 09-Jun-2016 07:01:27 by Dantalian

Dantalian

Dantalian

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On top of this, the civil government lived in relative wealth and comfort thanks to supply trains coming from all over the empire, which delivered every need and luxury to the bureaucrats. Unsurprisingly, the officials of the Zarosian government were almost entirely opposed to radical change (after all, when you're at the top, change can go very poorly.) They also viewed Zaros as absolutely essential. It was from him all wisdom seemed to come, and from him taht they derived their power. Because of this, they were loyal, but were also likely stagnant. What we can see from the records of the time support this interpretation. The Cthonhian dukes, once war-like and ambitious, had settled down into lives of luxury, leaving the fighting to their well-treated (but technically enslaved) Avernics. The mahjarrat of the Pontifex class had likewise settled into bureacratic roles. "He appears in the Form of a Man with many Countenances; and he hath a Book in his right hand. His Office is to teach all Arts and Sciences unto any; and to declare the Secret Counsel of any one."

09-Jun-2016 07:01:43

Dantalian

Dantalian

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The second government I will refer to as the "Proto-Zamorakian" government. It's scope of control consisted of the armed forces of the empire, which, it may be noted were in constant conflict with the forces of every nation near the empire. (I digress here to note that for someone who had the most powerful empire and "did not start wars" Zaros seemed to have been inept at achieving and keeping international peace through diplomacy.) It is of note that Zaros did not take part in any military campaigns at all. Likewise, the very nature of war prevented the slow, "leave-it-to-Zaros" approach of the inner (and safe) parts of the empire where the Zarosian government was based. Instead of relying on Zaros to send forth enlightment gathered from distant stars, the army would have to rely on adaptibility, opportunism and creativity. We also note that the very nature of constant war seems to have led to a somewhat meritocratic method of advancement. While it was all fine and good for a Pontifex to be selected by Zaros or his representatives, and then hold his position by virtue of Zaros' favor, this would be somewhat less practical in the every-changing chaotic front, where ability to succeed with minimal casualties and maximal gain, not pedigree, family name, or Church imprimatur would be the mark of a good leader. "He appears in the Form of a Man with many Countenances; and he hath a Book in his right hand. His Office is to teach all Arts and Sciences unto any; and to declare the Secret Counsel of any one."

09-Jun-2016 07:01:58

Dantalian

Dantalian

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We note that the military possessed among the ranks of its leaders, some creatures deemed "lower" in the Zarosian empire (such as humans.) It is not hard to see how some of the more ambitious members of these races would look to the militant Proto-Zamorakian government favorably, over the slow, bureacratic and change-resistant Zarosian civil government. We also note that by necessity, greater power and independence would be given to military commanders than to civil officials in the Senntisten government. No supreme commander in history has enjoyed military success by micromanaging his subordinates. The front is an ever-changing place were the ability to react without orders, and to seize opportunities as they present themselves (instead of sending for higher command approval) are valued traits, vital for success. Given that the Imperial military was hugely successful, it is safe to assume that Zamorak understood this and granted his subordinates significant independence, which, when combined with his own exploits, no doubt made him extremely popular amongst the military.

It should be noted that while civil office may very well benefit from adherence to a high moral standard, war benefits from significantly less from the same. In civil life, one can argue that their should be clear rules and laws, where one knows exactly what they are and are not allowed to do, and are punished for transgressions in accordance to their severity. In war, rules are less useful than guidelines, with punishment and reward being given based not so much on some hard and fast rule as the results of a specific action and circumstances surrounding it.
"He appears in the Form of a Man with many Countenances; and he hath a Book in his right hand. His Office is to teach all Arts and Sciences unto any; and to declare the Secret Counsel of any one."

09-Jun-2016 07:02:06

Dantalian

Dantalian

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The astute reader has no doubt noted by its very nature the military of the empire was adopting Zamorakian ideals, even as the civil government entrenched itself further in traditional Zarosian ideals (which may be summarized as "Control those below, show deference to those above; and remember Zaros is at the very top.";)

Now we reach the crux of the whole situation. At the time of the betrayal, the Zarosian Empire was running out of enemies to fight. The commanders of the empire, having grown used to independence, and gaining power and respect via merit, were beginning to see a grim future; one that at best would result in boring paper-work as bureacrats, and at worst, a fading to obscurity. Even had the betrayal NOT happened, it is very likely the empire would have found itself in civil war before long. As it was, as he had no doubt done many times on the battlefield, Zamorak decided to seize the initiative. Armed with the staff of Armadyl and the Stone of Jas, he marched the army, HIS army away from the front and back towards Senntisten.

It is open to interpretation as to whether Zamorak acted for the sake of a vision or purely seized on said vision to bolster his own ambitions. What can be said is that, by the time the army marched toward the soft center of the empire, Zamorakianism was a thriving faction, in fact if not in name, and this faction was eager to replace traditional Zarosian ideals with something more flexible and freedom-loving.
"He appears in the Form of a Man with many Countenances; and he hath a Book in his right hand. His Office is to teach all Arts and Sciences unto any; and to declare the Secret Counsel of any one."

09-Jun-2016 07:02:23

Sepulchre
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Sepulchre

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What Baxtorian said.

I will say this though: Zamorak isn't anywhere near as "evil" as Saradominists these days would have us believe. His philosophy would lead to more bloodshed and death than Saradomin's ever would... but the idea of being ruled by the most capable leaders isn't a bad thing.
A
World Guardian
must learn to find
Balance
in themselves.
Only then can they
Control
themselves and forge their own
Fate.

10-Jun-2016 05:19:29

Ancient Drew
Nov Member 2018

Ancient Drew

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I would say that Zamorak had spent a lot of his time fighting from youth, let alone being mortal. He would have fought on Freneskae, the Kharidian Lands, and on expeditions for Zaros away from the Empire. This would have led to his belief in chaos being the best way to grow strong and learn (growing in strength and intelligence being Zaros' own goal), along with the other Zamorakian Mahjarrat who believed that he would bring them back to their old roots. Much of this time would have been away from Zaros, and as such he was away from the loyalty pheromone that Zaros gives off. This 'weaning' of the pheromone would have led Zamorak to believe that Zaros had cast some mind-control magic on him, and that this subjugation had led Zarosians to be weak.

For me, the true Zarosian way is to take everything that happens and use it to better yourself, and to believe and never give up no matter what. This is similar to what Zamorakians do, and also many other factions. Saradominists are staunch in their belief that theirs is the one true god, a persona that may have been created by Saradomin himself in an attempt to inspire his followers to do good and chase justice. Zamorakians come in quite an assortment, and I understand quite a few of them including Moia, who had suffered under her father Lucien, and I'm grateful that Zamorak had helped her out.

As for the weak deserving to die, there are those who are frail of body and/or have something in their minds holding them back. They become strong by believing in themselves, and that is what religion is there for. Something to believe in, and something to hold on to. I can safely say that I've never known a Zamorakian to give up on their beliefs or goals, and that's something to admire.
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10-Jun-2016 09:24:38

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