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Theory of Runecrafting Altars

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LordáDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordáDrakan

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Greetings, lore forum lurkers
(El Baron von Osborne calls us lorehounds, so... 'Woof'?)! Today, you're in for a treat, if I say so myself. Er, right...

This thread compiles pretty much everything related to one of the most interesting and debateful lore topics out there. That is, runecrafting altars; their creation, utilisation and destruction (trikolon! :D). Extra attention has been given to the death altar, mostly due to the relatively large amount of information available in comparison to other altars in "inhospitable" locations (blood, cosmic) and perhaps also as a result of the impending elf finale! Most information listed here is already common knowledge, but I think that my combining and cross-referencing of many different sources has lead to some new stuff, which will hopefully spark some discussion.

I have made the distinction between conclusion/deduction from given sources and my own theories clear, namely by writing the latter in red. Throughout the text, you will find "footnotes" in the form of [n] (n being a number) - the corresponding sources may be found under the references section in the bottom posts for future reference. The table of contents will be followed by a short historical timeline and a list of terms defined in this context - if you're already an experienced lore canine, I would advise that you skip these.


Enjoy reading and please do share your own views! ...woof...?
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ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:52:43

LordáDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordáDrakan

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Table of Contents


1.0 Introduction
1.1 Table of C-- right.
1.2 Historical timeline
1.3 Wordlist
1.4 The Fremennik Feud
1.8 Creators and Pocket Dimensions
2.0 The Runecrafting Crusades
2.3 Future of the Altars
2.4 Epilogue
2.5 References
3.4 Advertisements
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

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ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:52:50 - Last edited on 20-Apr-2014 10:08:04 by LordáDrakan

LordáDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordáDrakan

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Historical timeline

Elaboration may be found under the references section. For now, please trust me that this is correct.


Unknown - The runecrafting altars come into being. How, when or why is unknown.

First Age - Guthix uses the Stone of Jas to produce masses of runes for the humans, including the Fremennik, to use. Missionaries spread them across the lands. The Stone is eventually laid inside a mine in the north, where it infuses the surrounding rocks with magical properties.

Second Age (most likely ľ could be First) - A Fremennik seer, V------, discovers the rune essence mine and the Stone. He and his followers mine the stuff en masse and discover it can be imbued with magic at certain locations. The Moonclan split from the Fremennik and continue practising runecrafting. They travel the land to build temples around most of the altars as protection.

Second Age, late - Runes become scarce as very few know how to runecraft and Guthix' supplies begin to run out, whereas usage of magic increases.

2000, Fourth Age - The rune essence mine is discovered by non-Fremennik; runecrafting becomes common practice and humans become the dominant race as the Fifth Age begins. Within years, the Wizards' Tower and Mage Training Arena are founded.

42, Fifth Age - Under Gunnar, the Fremennik strike back - they trek across the land and systematically destroy the Moonclan's temples, while the actual altars remain unharmed. Obviously, they are unable to reach the death, blood, astral or cosmic altars.

62, Fifth Age - Gunnar's Fremennik settle on the border of Misthalin and Asgarnia, having run out of steam. The damage, however, had been done.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:53:12 - Last edited on 20-Apr-2014 10:04:34 by LordáDrakan

LordáDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordáDrakan

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Wordlist

This list only defines the words in the relevant context.

Pocket dimension ľ A sort of "dimple" in Gielinor's space-time where most runecrafting altars are currently located. They can also be made by man, for instance, the Runecrafting Guild's pocket dimension, which is in the "shadow" of the Wizards' Tower. These pockets may be "flattened" using magic, thus returning their contents to the real world. It is possible to create teleportation spells to pocket dimensions.

Runecrafting altar ľ An altar devoted to a certain elemental power which can be harnessed to imbue empty rune essence with energy. While usually located in pocket dimensions resonating with the respective energies, it is possible to relocate one to the normal space using magic.

Runecrafting temple ľ Temple-like structure built around the runecrafting altars by the Moonclan. These have since been destroyed by the Fremennik invaders but can be used to access the actual altars.

Runespan ľ Dimension where runic energies are purer than on Gielinor. It is currently unclear whether this is an actual dimension or whether it was created by Wizard Elriss.

Stone of Jas ľ Elder Artefact used by Guthix to create runestones. It is also responsible for the creation of rune essence and the "civilisation" of V------. Also known as the Eye of Saradomin and the Fist of Guthix.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

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ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:53:37 - Last edited on 20-Apr-2014 10:04:27 by LordáDrakan

LordáDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordáDrakan

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The Fremennik Feud

Let's start in what is most likely to have been the Second Age, when Guthix had descended to slumber and man could not runecraft. Far north, in a frozen mine, a bulky Fremennik seer, hereafter referred to as V------ due to the rest of his name's being unknown, made the discovery of the century (if not of the entire sextet of ages) when he found the Stone of Jas embedded in a large piece of rock. Upon touching it, his entire body was transformed to look more like a modern human. But more importantly, V------ had discovered rune essence.

Soon, the Fremennik began to mine chunks, all of the same size, off the sparkling rock, which never did seem to deplete. By travelling across the continent, the Fremennik found out that these rocks were filled with power (that is, runic energy) in certain locations. They had discovered runecrafting.[1]

The result was a feud between the conservative Fremennik who rejected this new art on the ground that runecrafting was reserved for the gods alone and mortals should not meddle with that, and the Fremennik who argued that as many runes as possible should be created to defend from enemies' attacks. The council voted in favour of the former and runecrafting was outlawed. Its supporters, however, would not settle for this decision and, under V------'s leadership, continued to mine rune essence and craft runes.[2]

V------ and his followers spent much time locating the various runecrafting altars around the world and creating transport systems to them. In order to protect these beacons of power, they constructed temples around them.
The sources seem to suggest that the altars were already located inside pocket dimensions at this time. It's possible the Fremennik knew how to enter them, or used magic to temporarily unfold them. I will come back to this in the next section.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

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ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:54:23 - Last edited on 20-Apr-2014 10:04:17 by LordáDrakan

LordáDrakan
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LordáDrakan

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These temples were a step too far for the other Fremennik ľ the runecrafters, now known as the Moonclan, were expelled from the Fremennik tribe.[2] To avoid conflict, V------ and the Moonclan left the mainland to settle on Lunar Isle, a crescent-shaped island north-west of the Fremennik Province.[3]

Runecrafting was, however, primitive, in a way. While the source, a manual of the Moonclan, is ironically vague on this matter, it appears to be that the Moonclan could only temporarily infuse the rocks with magical power. By creating the Astral Temple, this changed.[4]
Whether this happened before the other temples were created is unknown. While the source seems to suggest otherwise (because the astral altar is on Lunar Isle, where the Moonclan went after constructing the other temples), it makes more sense for the Astral Temple to have been their first creation.


It also appears that the Moonclan were able to construct runecrafting altars themselves and they are said to have created an altar where any rune could be crafted; Ourania.[5* What is strange about Baba Yaga's dialogue on this matter is that she also says the Lunar mages constructed all runecrafting altars, whereas in other dialogue (source 3) she says they merely located the altars and built the temples. Because most sources are in accordance with the latter, I think it's safe to assume that this is a lorefail and the Moonclan did not construct any runecrafting altars ľ only the temples. This, of course, leaves the question as to how the Ourania altar came to be. It is not aligned to a specific elemental power nor is it inside a pocket dimension. I shall leave this open to discussion...
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

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ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:54:37

LordáDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordáDrakan

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As the Moonclan prospered on the Lunar Isle, their lives becoming entirely dependent upon magic and the people themselves becoming floaty mages who began to invent their own spells (over time, they stopped needing runes at all), the mainland humans began to run out of runes, seeing that runecrafting had more or less remained the Moonclan's privilege. Life was especially hard for the muggl-- er, Fremennik, who, over time, came to reject magic altogether. They resorted to other sources as a result; for instance, they would enslave Auspah to harness their powers over fire.

Time jump! Year 2000 of the Fourth Age (some 7000 years later) ľ wizards discover a rune essence mine in the north. This fantastic discovery signalled the beginning of the Fifth Age as humans used runecrafting and magic to establish themselves as the dominant race. Institutes such as the Wizards' Tower and Guild and the Mage Training Arena studied the arts of magic and runecrafting and invented new spells and techniques, discovered the laws of magic, etc.

The Fremennik weren't quite eye to eye with this. Led by Gunnar, a particularly violent Fremennik faction (suspected to be part of the mountain tribe Hamal is currently the chieftain of) began an invasion of Kandarin, Misthalin and Asgarnia in the year 42.[6] They systematically destroyed each of the runecrafting temples in an effort to make runecrafting impossible. During their rampage, they also annihilated the Mage Training Arena and Camdozaal, where the Imcando Dwarves had been using magical superheating. Fortunately, they failed to realise that the actual altars in their pocket dimensions were left intact.

After twenty years, they ran out of steam and settled near the River Lum in preparation for another invasion. By this time, all temples had already been destroyed.[7] Exceptions include the astral and Ourania altar (which have no temple) and the cosmic, blood, death and presumably soul altars (which they cannot possibly have reached).
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

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ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:54:56 - Last edited on 20-Apr-2014 10:04:05 by LordáDrakan

LordáDrakan
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LordáDrakan

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Why these temples are broken anyway is open to interpretation ľ a (lame) possibility is shared graphics. The blood altar would be an exception in that case.


In 169, the wizards sued the Fremennik for the inflicted damage ľ the outcome of the case depended on your role in it.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:55:06

LordáDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordáDrakan

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Creators and Pocket Dimensions

Now that we have covered the history of the altars, we should look at a more speculative subject; their creation. Now, according to Baba Yaga in the Ourania dialogue, the Moonclan created the altars and not just the temples.[5] Let's assume that's bogus.

This leaves the question who or what created the altars. First of all, we have an idea of when they were created. Or at least, we have an idea of when the death altar was created, but I see no reason for why the altars would have been created at different times. Now, according to Arianwyn, the death altar dates from "before we walked this land."[8] We know the elves came to Gielinor quite early in the First Age but they did not create the altar.

Therefore, it might have been Guthix; but why would Guthix bother creating altars if he'd already supplied humans with runestones (or vice versa)? A reason for this would be to enable them to create runes without relying on any gods, i.e. himself, but it'd be pretty stupid for him to create altars but forget the essence... Unless he put the Stone of Jas in that mine on purpose, but that would involve him somehow knowing that it would create rune essence. Besides, he'd've chosen a more hospitable location for the mine, considering it took a few millennia to discover. So it most likely wasn't Guthix.


If not Guthix, then perhaps the Elder Gods? Highly unlikely ľ they never anticipated mortal life to come into being nor did they require the altars themselves. So unless the TokHaar needed some playtoys in the form of powerful altars in pocket dimensions, the elders are ruled out.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

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ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:55:35

LordáDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordáDrakan

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This doesn't leave many candidates. The (unlikely) possibility that the death altar was built before all others remains; after all, it's quite important, having powers over life and all. Or perhaps we took Arianwyn's statement too literally? Solutions:

Ľ "we" does not refer to the elves as a race. It might refer to Arianwyn's clan (which could have split off from one of the original eight long after the elves had set foot on Gielinor), or perhaps to the rebel elves (very unlikely).
Ľ Arianwyn is wrong ľ the altar was built after the elves had arrived, but they simply didn't discover it right away (after all, it's rather deep inside the Galarpos Mountains). We do know that the elves built the Temple of Light; we just don't know which elves (I'll elaborate on this in a later section).

In summary, we have no idea as to who is the creator of the runecrafting altars. We can, however, say something about their locations, i.e. inside pocket dimensions. But who put them inside these pockets? The answer here is clear: nobody. The altars, in a way, did so themselves. An altar's energy, if you will, folds the space around it, placing it inside a pocket dimension. Therefore, it is possible to magically unfold this space and return the altar to the "surface" ľ which is exactly what the Moonclan have been doing to the Astral Altar.[9]

From this, we can conclude that the altars' being located in pocket dimension is a side effect of the immense power within.
Their creator will most likely have intended the altars to hold this power. Alternatively, it's possible that the structures absorbed specific aspects/elements Gielinor's anima due to being aligned with one such aspect/element. This, again, raises the question where they came from in the first place...
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ľ Zanik

20-Apr-2014 09:55:57 - Last edited on 20-Apr-2014 10:03:31 by LordáDrakan

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