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*Zaros' symbol is very similar to the United States Army 35th Infantry Division insignia, rotated slightly.
 
*Zaros' symbol is very similar to the United States Army 35th Infantry Division insignia, rotated slightly.
 
*One of the colour choices at [[Thessalia's Fine Clothes]] is Zarosian Purple, one of the few cases where Zaros is used instead of Ancient.
 
*One of the colour choices at [[Thessalia's Fine Clothes]] is Zarosian Purple, one of the few cases where Zaros is used instead of Ancient.
  +
*There are some similarities between Zarosianism, Christianity, and Judaism. For example, Zaros rose to power in the Kharidian Desert, which is the RuneScape equivalent of Egypt, which, according to the Bible, the Jewish Religion started to form. Also, Zaros' symbol is similar to the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_cross Celtic cross Celtic cross]. Zaros was also struck down, but his death was not permanent, this bears strong similarities to the Christian belief that Jesus, who, according to Christian belief, was/is God incarnate, was killed, but resurrected after his death.
  +
*Also, Zaros' NPC followers often do not refer to him by name, but rather as "Lord" (this is also true in the Ancient Book): This could be an allusion to how in Judaism (and more recently Catholicism) one does not pronounce the name of God (in Hebrew:י'''ה'''ו'''ה''' ,Romanized: YHWH or Yahweh) but refers to Him by the name " אֲדֹנָי" (Romanized as Adonai, meaning Lord.)
  +
*In addition to the above, Zaros was opposed to all the other gods at the time; throughout the Bible, Israel and its god are often spoken of as standing against the gods of all other nations.
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Revision as of 00:57, 26 October 2010

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It should consist only of facts from official Jagex releases and not speculation or predictions. For further details, see our future content policy.

Zaros, (also known as the Empty Lord, Great Lord and Unknown Power), is a god whose arrival in Gielinor marked the start of the Second Age. During this age, he ruled a vast empire stretching from Ice Mountain in Western Asgarnia to Canifis in Morytania, and from Ghorrock in north of the Wilderness as far south as Ullek in the Kharadian Desert. From his arrival soon after Guthix entered his first great slumber, to his downfall after his betrayal by Zamorak, he was the most powerful god known on Gielinor (other than Guthix himself), both in personal power and, in the amount of land he ruled. Zaros is associated with Ancient Magicks and Ancient Curses, as well as war and conquest, by virtue of his actions on Gielinor. Zaros has recently regained contact with his followers on Gielinor.

Zaros arrived in Gielinor after Guthix entered his first sleep. Therefore, it is likely that Guthix has little knowledge of Zaros and vice versa. After his arrival, Zaros persuaded the Mahjarrat, a powerful race of near-immortals, to join his forces. The Mahjarrat had previously served Itchlarin, one of the Menaphite Pantheon's main gods. Zaros conquered much of the desert with the Mahjarrat's assistance, gaining many followers. He then moved north to conquer Misthalin, Asgarnia and the whole of what is now the Wilderness, which was then a fertile plain. He founded several cities, of which Senntisten became the capital of his empire. This empire crumbled when Zaros was betrayed and banished by his foremost general, Zamorak.

Present-day Saradomin and Zamorak followers consider Zaros as an evil adversary. Others, like the inhabitants of Kharidian Desert and some Mahjarrat, still worship Zaros as their lord. There is currently no evidence on the motives of Zaros, other than the player may be part of his plans at some point in the future. This may involve the upcoming Ritual.

Saradominists such as Lennissa have claimed that

"Evil will always breed more evil, and will never be satisfied with what it has. The Empty Lord chose to ally himself with the dark creatures of this world, fully aware that their own natures would cause them to rally against his rule, and take every opportunity they could to betray him."

Some of Zaros's followers are evil in the conventional sense of being ruthless, enjoying being deceptive and seeking power for power's sake. Also, the Ancient Curses, seem to be evil (or just highly combative) in their focus on inflicting damage on others and draining others of their powers. Although some may jump to the conclusion that Zaros is evil, evidence is inconclusive. It is very likely Zaros' army of demons and vampyres committed evil, but there are no records of Zaros promoting evil, either during his conquest or his rule.

Zaros's legacy is still strong, as Saradomin will not speak of him, instead making evasive responses such as, "For your own continued good health, I implore you to drop this subject. Speak that name no more, and trouble not your mind with such thoughts." and Zamorak fears him immensely, implying Zaros in his prime possessed power surpassing that of either.

According to the Mysterious ghost, "As I told you, the Empty Lord was extremely powerful, but not so powerful that he could rule over the other deities of this world. Should he have made a move against any other god, then he could still have been easily brought down by the combined efforts of the others." However, with the aid of the Staff of Armadyl, Zaros's power would be magnified to a degree enabling him to overcome all on Gielinor, but due to the interference of the other gods and their followers, he failed to obtain the Staff.

Notable followers of Zaros include the Mahjarrat Akthanakos, Azzanandra, Jhallan, Sliske and possibly Wahisietel. Traditionally, the vampyres, dragon riders, and demons of Gielinor were allied with Zaros, but most, if not all of these, switched their allegiance to Zamorak once he defeated Zaros.

Zaros' Symbol on the Ancient Staff

Followers

Betrayal

Zamorak, a Mahjarrat general in Zaros' service, wanted to usurp Zaros' leadership of his vast empire and the Mahjarrat. When he, by chance, got hold of the Staff of Armadyl, he decided to make his move. With his close Mahjarrat followers Hazeel and Zemouregal, as well as the vampyre Lord Drakan and others, he plotted Zaros' downfall. His allies would engage Zaros' bodyguards while Zamorak fought their liege.

Staff of Armadyl

Valdez, a Saradominist explorer, stumbled upon the Staff of Armadyl. He realized this immensely powerful weapon should not fall into the wrong hands. However, a thief called Rennard found Valdez, knocked him unconscious and stole the Staff. He intended to sell it to Zaros. Instead, Zaros's messenger, Kharrim, took it to Zamorak, who was mortal at that time. Lennissa, a Sardominist spy, found out about the sale and informed her superior Dhalak, a Saradominist mage. Dhalak was supposed to pass the information on to Saradomin himself, but he instead enchanted the staff so that Zaros could not detect it. He hoped that Zaros, the greatest enemy of Saradomin at that time, would be defeated.

Defeat

Zamorak, accompanied by his loyal followers - many of the Mahjarrat, vampyres, demons, and a human called Viggora, set out to attack Zaros in his throne room.

Whilst the followers of Zamorak distracted the guards, Zamorak fought Zaros and managed to stab him in the back with the Staff of Armadyl. This weakened Zaros, but he still seemed to be much more powerful than Zamorak. With the staff still impaled in his back he seized Zamorak by the throat and lifted him into the air. Zamorak would have been killed, but somehow Zaros stumbled and fell onto his back. The Staff of Armadyl impaled Zamorak without leaving Zaros' body. Unexpectedly, it acted as a conduit that transferred Zaros' divine power to Zamorak, transforming the latter into a god. Both then left Gielinor. Zamorak returned quickly to a collapsing empire, Zaros' power completely assembled. He failed to gain control of the empire but would become one of the most important gods in Gielinor. Zaros, greatly weakened, and was only seen again recently.

The Empty Lord was a powerful god, stronger than any of the others awake at the time, possibly even as strong as Guthix is, and Zamorak was but a mortal: a Mahjarrat warrior all the same, with all of the strength and power that that entails, but mortal nonetheless, but to see him fight, you would not think of him as a ‘mere’ anything...He was war itself! Flurry after flurry of blows he rained upon the Empty Lord, and the very castle walls shook and quivered with their power, but the Empty Lord would not fall! Even with the weapon of a god embedded in his back, he fought on, and with each blow our victory seemed less and less certain…

Aftermath

Zaros faded from Gielinor while Zamorak seemed to become more real. However, before he was "banished", Zaros uttered a curse onto all those involved in the rebellion. The curse was to make them wander around Gielinor as ghosts for eternity. The following six people were affected by the curse:

Zamorak was also affected by Zaros' curse, but because he became a god, he couldn't die.

Several others involved were seemingly unaffected. Viggora theorises that it was because all of Zamorak's other followers were magical, so the curse was much less effective on them.

The followers of Zaros were actively hunted by followers of both Saradomin and Zamorak, hinting they worked together to bring Zaros down. However, Zamorak soon turned against Saradomin and other gods, starting the God Wars. Even during the God Wars, when Zamorak battled with other gods, he occasionally joined forces with Saradomin to fight off the remaining followers of Zaros.

Return

In the recent Q&As from three Jagex Moderators (Mod MMG, Mod Roderick and Paul Gower), it has been hinted that Zaros will return soon. It was also hinted many years ago by the Chaos Elemental in a Postbag from the Hedge with the phrase "bizarre boron swell", an anagram of "Zaros will be reborn"(also the word reborn has much deferent over return)

During The Temple at Senntisten, the player collects three items to give to Dr Nabanik (Azzanadra), used to contact Zaros. This creates a connection between the temple and the plane where Zaros is located, allowing speech. This connection is only the start of what may happen when Zaros is fully reborn, as shown in a cutscene. The cutscene shows the dark mage's portal going crazy (almost destroying the universe according to him) but the mage thankfully manages to control it. It also shows an earthquake which cracks a Zamorak statue at the Chaos Temple. The Monks of Zamorak are furious, and suspect it is the Saradominists' fault.

This manifestation of power appears to have violated the Edicts of Guthix, which prohibits all other gods from directly interfering with Gielinor (only the gods' followers can act on behalf of their gods). If this was indeed a violation, it is not known whether it was intentionally in violation of the Edicts, as the edicts were proclaimed during the God Wars, long after Zaros had disappeared from the plane of Gielinor. It is also possible that the Edicts do not affect Zaros as he had not been in Gielinor at the time they were put in place. Also in one of the god letters Guthix stated that he did not know of Zaros and when telling stories to Juna following the completion of the quest The Temple at Senntisten, she speaks of Zaros's return as a move towards balance; all of which increases the probability that Zaros is not affected by the Edicts.

Zaros speaks to Azzanadra through the communion portal.

Religion

The symbol of Zaros is a circle surrounding an equidistant cross, and is found on an ancient talisman at the Digsite, on the Ancient Staff, the new 'Ancient' clue scroll rewards (dragonhide, runite armour, vestments etc.), and on Glarial's tomb in the Waterfall quest. Zaros's colour seems to be purple or black, although cream and light blue dominate the restored Temple at Senntisten.

Originally Zaros was worshipped by an unknown empire in the north-east of RuneScape (the Wilderness); however, that empire was destroyed by Zamorak and Saradomin. Most traces of the Zarosian religion, such as altars and temples, have been destroyed by Saradomin and Zamorak; however, there are two known altars remaining: one underneath the Digsite and another in Azzanadra's temple.

On the Ancient Spellbook, the 4 teleports that lead to different levels of the Wilderness are also destroyed grounds of Zarosian worship: Carrallangar, Ghorrock, Annakarl and Dareeyak. The other teleports, Ice Mountain (Lassar), Canifis Pub (Kharyrll) and Edgeville (Paddewwa) were important military and defence fortresses. The Digsite is referred to by its ancient name, Senntisten.

Zaros probably had a treaty with Scabaras at one point. Talking to the Kalphite Queen head in a player-owned house, will sometimes cause her to say, "we are faithfully waiting for the return of Zaros". This is odd because the Kalphites are allegedly followers of Scabaras—for example, a Keris dagger works on the Kalphites. The Kalphites are also occasionally said to have been spawned from the blood of Scabaras. This may lead some to believe that the Kalphites are the followers of both Zaros and Scabaras. Others, however, believe that Scabaras was an enemy of Zaros, and the Kalphites are meant to stop his resurgence.

Some gravestones also show the Zarosian symbol on its top. When read, it says "_______, servant of the Unknown Power, perished in this place." Some gravestones found in the Yanille Agility Dungeon also bear the Ancient symbol of Zaros as well; why they are in a place such as Yanille is not known yet.

Due to deliberate effort on the part of Jagex, little is known about Zaros' actual teachings. As a result, players who call themselves Zarosians oftentimes differ on their views as to how their religion calls them to behave. Likewise, non-Zarosian players have vastly different views on Zaros and his followers.

Alignment

Zaros' alignment is a subject of much debate within the RS community. Making the subject of Zaros' alignment all the more confusing is the fact that even Zarosian players are split on the subject of Zaros' alignment, with many veteran players who follow Zaros claiming he is evil, and many newer players following Zaros claiming he is good. Part of this is due to Jagex deliberately being ambiguous about Zaros, and part of this is due to conflicting evidence found in game. However, it must be noted that at this point in time there is no conclusive evidence for Zaros being good or being evil. Listed below, however, is a list of the evidence for each viewpoint.

Common Evidence For Zaros Being a Benevolent Deity

  1. Zaros' followers are generally nicer to the player than Zamorak's: Throughout the game, Zaros' followers tend to be nice to the player. Azzanadra teaches the player ancient magicks and curses, Akthankos gives the player a Camulet, and Eblis gives the player an Ancient Staff. Players who believe Zaros is evil are quick to point out that generally speaking the player automatically helps the Zarosians, and is rewarded afterward. It also may be noted that Hazeel, a Zamorakian, will reward the player if the player chooses to help resurrect him in the Hazeel Cult.
  2. There is evidence that Zaros was kind to his own followers: Zaros' empire is said to have been one of the largest, and those within were said to live prosperous lives.
  3. Jagex said that Zaros is not evil: This is an often repeated statement on the RS forums and RS fansites, it is also a misquote. Jagex staff did at one point say "Zaros is not the god of evil." But this does not necessarily mean that he is not evil. Many would consider Zamorak or Bandos evil, even though neither is the god of evil.
  4. The wilderness was a natural paradise under the rule of Zaros, and under Zamorak it became a scorched waste: RS lore has shown that during the reign of Zaros, his empire extended into what is now the Wilderness, and that, at the time, the Wilderness was a beautiful place.
  5. Zaros allows the player to use his power in the form of curses: This is an often quoted example of why Zaros is a good deity. However, even Azzanadra, Zaros' most faithful servant, suggests that Zaros' reasons for giving the player curses is not necessarily benign, noting that he gave the player the ancient hymnal because the player is needed in Zaros' plans for return.

Common Evidence For Zaros Being a Malevolent Deity

  1. Juna said Zaros' return would help restore balance: This quote is often taken out of context; after doing Temple of Senntisten, should one talk to Juna about the quest, she says that as Zamorak is a usurper god, the return of Zaros would help restore balance. This on the surface appears to suggest Zaros wants balance, however, upon close examination, actually could suggest Zaros is a malevolent deity, as currently Zamorak acts as a counterbalance to Saradomin, who is generally considered a benevolent deity. Since Juna suggests Zaros taking back his position from Zamorak would aid the balance, it seems that she is suggesting that Zaros is a better counter-balance to Saradomin. In order to be a counter balance, to a benevolent deity, one would have to be a malevolent deity, for as Juna says "Balance lies in the juxtaposition of opposites."
  2. Zaros' followers were demons, vampyres, and other unsavory creatures: It is true that Zaros' followers, especially those followers who were in power were of races known for being malevolent and brutal. However, it could be argued that Zaros simply arrived at a time where all the more benevolent races were already sworn to other gods.
  3. Zaros was at least on unfriendly terms with Saradomin: Saradomin, his method's and arrogance aside, is generally considered a good deity. Furthermore, his followers consisted of some of the more pure races in the Second Age, such as the Iceyene, the Unicorn, and the Centaurs. As such it would be highly unlikely that Saradomin's followers would remain loyal to him if he was hostile toward a non-malevolent deity. Furthermore, Armadyl, who Jagex has stated to be the god of Supreme Justice, is commonly thought of as being Saradomin's ally at this time, which means that he likely was not on friendly terms with Zaros either.
  4. The Ancient Book is described as "unholy": The Ancient Book, which is Zaros' prayer book is described as "the unholy book of a forgotten god" This is highly unusual, as even Guthix's book is described as being "holy" even though he is the god of balance. In fact, the only other book described as "unholy" is that of Zamorak.
  5. Zaros' followers use curses: Generally, curses are associated with evil beings, and combined with the fact that Zaros requires players to forget prayers, which are often associated with good beings, in order to use his curses, is often cited as evidence that Zaros is a malevolent deity.
  6. Zaros seems to have been on unfriendly terms at least most of the gods: Evidence for this comes from the Ghostly Robes miniquest and RS history. In the former, Larissa suggests that all the gods had an agreement to come to each others aid if Zaros invaded any of them, and Viggora claims that the gods detested Zaros, even though he goes on to say they were more horrified that a mortal was able to kill a god. Also, while Zamorak and Saradomin are the only gods known to have worked together to destroy Zaros' followers in the Third Age, it is notable that apparently no other gods seem to have protested this, or offered their protection to the Zarosians.

Followers

File:Azza.png

Azzanadra. One of the few remaining Mahjarrat loyal to Zaros.

Groups and races

  • Desert Bandits - This group also reveres Azzanadra, as they believe he will bring back Zaros.
  • Certain Mahjarrat
  • Possibly Kalphites
  • Possibly some past citizens of Mort'ton - Tombs within the Shade Catacombs feature the symbol of Zaros.
  • Possibly some citizens of Varrock - Tombs within the Varrockian crypt feature the symbol of Zaros.

Notable individuals

Players

In addition to his NPC followers, Zaros has many player followers. As a result of this, Zaros was rated the third most popular god in Jagex's odd gods poll; falling behind Saradomin by a mere 113 votes. However, one could argue that the polls were skewed by the fact that free players could vote, and that since the f2p worlds only focus on the big three (Saradomin, Guthix, and Zamorak) f2pers predominately voted for them. Amongst member voters, Zaros rated second defeating the third place, Saradomin by nearly 900 votes. At the same time many players who follow the main gods didn't vote, only a small part of the players voted on this poll.

Bob the Cat

Bob the Jagex Cat was thought to be Zaros due to some dialogue when talking to him using the Amulet of Catspeak. However, there is no real evidence to support this. In the "Tail of Two Cats" quest, players find out that Bob is or was "Robert the Strong". Robert the Strong existed during the Fourth Age. If the player asks Bob the Cat while they have a cat following, he will tell their cat to join him and destroy Zamorak. Also, asking Bob the Cat in Catherby, should the player ask him about cats being created by Guthix and he will say "Well, I don't believe much really since I know I am Zar-... erm, well, no, I erm, meow?"

After completing The Temple at Senntisten, Dr Nabanik (Azzanadra) tells you to not get your information from a talking cat, and states that Bob is not Zaros. However it might indicate Bob, or his previous form Robert the Strong is linked to Zaros, who may have given Robert the power to defeat the evil Dragonkin.

Affiliated Items

^  - However there is no official confirmation (in-game, on the Forums or otherwise) of this item actually being Zarosian.

Trivia

  • In the Varrock Museum, the symbol of Zaros is sometimes identified as "Ancient Symbol".
File:Gravescenepic2.png

Zaros's Grave picture in God Letters Issue 15.

  • "The time has come, my warriors, to begin your servitude to me...to my god. But first, you must die..." from The Fall of Six hints at the return of Zaros. This is backed up by the recall of the Barrows Icon that was needed to contact Zaros, an icon protected by the Barrows Brothers.
  • Zaros may be a reference to Zoroaster (also called Zartosht), a prophet after whom the religion of Zoroastrianism is named.
  • After 16 June 2009 players were able to receive a Zaros Statuette in PVP/Bounty Hunter worlds as a reward for killing another player. It was later renamed Ancient Statuette. The Ancient Statuette is currently one of the most valuable rewards from PvP/Bounty Hunter worlds as it is worth 5 million coins.
  • The roads of Mort'ton appear to be shaped like a Zaros symbol. As well as this, the Shade Catacombs contain various gravestones with the symbol of Zaros. Also on the watertap, near the ectofuntus and farming patch. This is most likely due to the Zarosians who once lived there in the Second Age.
  • On the day of the release of Temple of Senntisten, the Message of the Week after a player logged in, referenced Zaros's return, saying "Guess who's back!". Though, it could refer to Azzanadra, who disappears after Desert Treasure.
  • There are gravestones in the Yanille Agility Dungeon that bear the Zaros symbol. These graves should not be confused with the Large Graves found throughout the world. The symbols on the large graves throughout the world are actually Celtic Crosses. The Zarosian graves (like the ones found in the Yanille Agility Dungeon) use the same symbol found at the top of the Ancient Staff.
  • The paths within the Mage Arena form a symbol of Zaros. This was probably a coliseum of sorts in the time that Zaros ruled those lands.
  • Zaros is the name of a village in Crete, Greece.
  • The symbol on Zaros' head could be based on Arnold Rimmer from the show Red Dwarf.
  • Zaros' symbol is very similar to the United States Army 35th Infantry Division insignia, rotated slightly.
  • One of the colour choices at Thessalia's Fine Clothes is Zarosian Purple, one of the few cases where Zaros is used instead of Ancient.
  • There are some similarities between Zarosianism, Christianity, and Judaism. For example, Zaros rose to power in the Kharidian Desert, which is the RuneScape equivalent of Egypt, which, according to the Bible, the Jewish Religion started to form. Also, Zaros' symbol is similar to the Celtic cross Celtic cross. Zaros was also struck down, but his death was not permanent, this bears strong similarities to the Christian belief that Jesus, who, according to Christian belief, was/is God incarnate, was killed, but resurrected after his death.
  • Also, Zaros' NPC followers often do not refer to him by name, but rather as "Lord" (this is also true in the Ancient Book): This could be an allusion to how in Judaism (and more recently Catholicism) one does not pronounce the name of God (in Hebrew:יהוה ,Romanized: YHWH or Yahweh) but refers to Him by the name " אֲדֹנָי" (Romanized as Adonai, meaning Lord.)
  • In addition to the above, Zaros was opposed to all the other gods at the time; throughout the Bible, Israel and its god are often spoken of as standing against the gods of all other nations.

See also

References