Scabaras is one of the four minor gods of the Menaphite Pantheon, associated with isolation and tranquillity. Due to his nature, little is known of him, and since the banishment of The Sect of Scabaras, his following has diminished greatly. He is usually depicted as a scarab or insect-like humanoid.
The central idea of Scabarite belief is to gain a permanent mental state of tranquillity known as enlightenment. This is accomplished by isolating oneself from the outside world and avoiding contact with any other living creature as much as possible.
As a reward for centuries of loyalty, the Scabarite's human forms have faded, and they now appear as humanoid scarabs. Some believe this appearance is moulded after Scabaras himself.
Ideally, a Scabarite should lead their entire lives without contacting any others, as this pollutes the mind and draws them further from the path of enlightenment. Whilst isolated, Scabarites eat very little and spend most of the day meditating. As a result of this lifestyle, the Scabarites have remained almost completely undetected for centuries.
Most Scabarites live alone within the Kharidian Desert, hidden in caves and tunnels beneath the ground. A very rare exception to this rule is in the Scabarite Tunnels in the South-eastern desert, where hundreds of cultists have recently taken up residence in the old tunnels of Ullek. Here, the High Priest of Scabaras has taken up residence.Exactly how large groups of worshippers avoid mental pollution is unclear. A number of issues occur as a result of living in a group. Those that serve as warriors experience pollution by working together, and by continuously coming in contact with enemies. Breeding, also, is considered a pollution, and as a result doing either of these things is considered a great sacrifice necessary for the survival of the cult.
According to the Senliten, during the Second Age, followers of Scabaras were generally associated with Scholars, Philosophers and other intellectuals. She states that there is now much dissent between the different sects of the pantheon, where there once was cooperation, suggesting that following of Scabaras was once more accepted. 
She also states that "By the example of the dung beetle we learn that the unpalatable may be transformed into life through proper attitudes." This is an example which is followed by all who attempt to make the barren desert their home.
Due to his isolationist nature, very little is known of the history of Scabaras himself. Of what is known, most comes from legends, the accuracy of which is disputed.
Three different stories tell of the origins of Scabaras. All take place in Tumeken's Dream, a religious tale that details the origins of the Desert Pantheon.
The first, less common tale says that on the fourth day of Tumeken's Dream, Tumeken travelled to the southern reaches of the desert. However, as his dream took place in the Second Age, there was virtually no civilisation here. Feeling lonely and isolated, Tumeken found a cave to rest in. Inside the cave he observed a lone beetle, which dug through the cave wall three times. Each time it would appear, it would dig back into the wall, fleeing from Tumeken.
On the third time, however, Tumeken caught the beetle. He transformed the beetle into Scabaras, a son whom he hoped would remind his people of the dangers of isolation.
|“|| Day, the Fourth - Scabaras
On the fourth day of his dream, Tumeken chose to travel to the south of the desert. Not much was to be found in that region, but it was the last place unexplored by him, and so he set out. The heat was particularly fierce that day, but regardless, Tumeken pressed on through endless dunes.
Hours passed without event. Not a single soul crossed the god's path; not one lone settlement. Yet the sun still bore down on the god, sweltering and desiccating him. Tumeken reached for his skin, for Elid's life-blood, but found it empty - he had drained it on his previous travels, forgetting to refill it each day. Knowing his predicament, he knew he had to seek shelter from the heat and wait out the day, lest he himself succumb to the desert.
As he was nearing his limits, his grateful eyes fell upon a lone tunnel entrance, which delved deep below the desert, providing him a cool place in which to recuperate. Many more hours passed within this cave, providing the god with ample time in which to reflect forlornly. During this time, he saw a small beetle burrow his way into the chamber, but noticing Tumeken, the creature burrowed away. An hour later, the beetle emerged out of another tunnel, but seeing the god still there, disappeared once again.
Yet another hour passed and the beetle returned, but Tumeken was ready this time, snatching up the cautious little thing and said: "You are, indeed, the most unusual being, digging your tunnels in isolation, avoiding contact even with me, your god. I shall give unto you a piece of myself, so that you may help me rule this desert realm, an example to my people of what can become of them, should they stray too far into solitude." And so, the lesser god Scabaras was forcibly born, the last of the lesser gods.
And Tumeken longed again to see his wife and children, and was impassioned by Scabaras to end his dream. For, despite their flaws, they were no more flawed than he. Night had now fallen, so, after emerging from the cave, Tumeken returned to his camp at the centre of the desert, not to rest for another day's journey, but to awaken from his dream.
The second, more commonly told tale says that on the fourth day of Tumeken's dream, Tumeken had a nightmare. From this nightmare was accidentally born Scabaras, a result of Tumeken's increasing isolation.
The third version of the tale, to which the Scabarites adhere, states that the first three days of Tumeken's dream ultimately proved unsatisfying, and that Tumeken sought to create a more perfect god.
On the fourth day, Tumeken created Scabaras, whom he ultimately found the most satisfying and ideal. Some hold to the idea that Scabaras was Tumeken's favourite son, although it is questioned why Tumeken would tolerate the banishing of his favourite child.
After his creation, very little is known of Scabaras's activities or whereabouts. Unlike his three siblings, there are few concrete accounts of Scabaras himself ever interacting directly with mortals, although he is known to have occasionally acted indirectly via his followers.
At some point in the early Fourth Age, the followers of Scabaras were banished from the Kharidian lands, with some accounts even indicating that this included Scabaras himself, although the majority of sources do not agree with this.
The most widely accepted account, as told by the Sophanem High Priest, Neite and the Sphinx, claim that The Sect of Scabaras attempted to tunnel beneath the River Elid for unknown reasons, and that Elidinis saw this as an attempt to undermine her. As a result of this, she smote them in retribution, burying them under the land. After this, the Scabarites were never seen again.
Another legend, as told by a Natural historian in the Varrock Museum, claims that Scabaras proclaimed himself omnipotent and outlawed worship of all other gods. People soon revolted against Scabaras's repressive rule and banished him, spilling his blood over his scarabs, turning them into Kalphites. This legend is doubted by the historian however, and would contradict Scabaras's core belief of isolation.
Regardless, Scabaras has spent the majority of the time since his creation isolated from the rest of the world, in accordance with his beliefs, with his location unknown to even his siblings.
For hundreds or even thousands of years, Scabaras's people sought to worship alone, seeking out isolated caves within the desert. In the late Fifth Age, a large group, led by the high priest, found a home within the ancient caverns of Ullek, a city that was once amongst the most prosperous in the world. Here, led by their High Priest, they sought a life of worship, using their numbers as protection.
The theft of the Kharid-Ib
During year 169 of the Fifth Age, Scabaras, in an attempt to prevent Amascut from obtaining the Kharid-Ib, created a series of quicksand events which swallowed up one of the sundials that would lead it to Amascut. Ozan and an adventurer who were attempting to deliver the Kharid-Ib to Amascut as a ransom payment were swalled by this quicksand, and the diamond was stolen by one of Scabaras's kalphite followers, and taken deep into the dung kalphite tunnels to prevent the adventurer and Ozan from re-obtaining it.
Scabaras' plans to protect the diamond were foiled, however, as the adventurer and Ozan, believing that these events were mere coincidence, managed to get a hold of the diamond once again, and eventually handed it to Amascut in return for the freedom of Prince Ali Mirza. After obtaining the diamond, Amascut and Jabari spoke of Scabaras's earlier interference, and Amascut promised to deal with him later.
The Attack on Sophanem
Whilst meditating, the High Priest of Scabaras was confronted by a vision. A red-bodied woman, a hybrid of human and scarab, told him that, in order to achieve true enlightenment, all non-Scabarites must be eliminated. After much internal struggle, the priest succumbed to the woman's influence, believing her to be a messenger of Scabaras.
Searching for a way to gain entry to the Menaphite city of Sophanem, the Scabarites found that the tunnels could be used to reach Sophanem Dungeon, an ancient cave system that connected Menaphos and Sophanem. Entering from a crevice, the Scabarites placed a Giant scarab at the fissure's maw to prevent the Menaphites from finding them.
After rigging the caverns with traps, the Scabarites launched an offensive on Sophanem, first destroying the city's underground bank. They then retreated, cautiously waiting to see what the Menaphites' response would be.
An adventurer eventually found the Scabarites' worship grounds east of the city. The adventurer managed to make contact with the Scabaras High Priest, whom they discovered was under the influence of Amascut, the goddess of destruction responsible for the plagues of Sophanem.
The adventurer freed the priest from Amascut's grip. The priest immediately called off the attack and agreed to make peace with Sophanem.
- The word Scabrous, which is derived from the Latin word Scabere. In Latin, Scabere means "to scratch". Scabrous means "rough to the touch" and "covered with raised, roughened, or unwholesome patches".
- Since he is god of solitude and was exiled, he is thought to be based on the Egyptian god Seth. Still due to his scarab traits, he is also believed to be based on the Egyptian god Khepri. Scabaras could be loosely based on Serket, the Egyptian goddess of scorpions.
- ^ Mod Osborne. "The Seven Tiers of Godhood." 21 March 2013. Lore Discussion Forums.
- ^ Senliten, "Missing My Mummy", RuneScape. "Scabaras cleanses mind and body through solitude. His followers are always deep thinkers, coming to conclusions tempered by lack of distractions. If you wish for a life of study, you can do no better than to follow his ways."
- ^ Jagex. "Tumeken's Dream, Day, the Fourth - Scabaras." RuneScape Lores and Histories.
- Icthlarin's Little Helper - Quest with the possibility of fighting the Scabaras monster.
- Scabaras research - A book that discusses Scabaras.
|Facets of gods||
|† denotes gods that are deceased; ‡ denotes gods part of the Menaphite Pantheon|
|Part 6 of the Desert quest series|