Mod Ramen joins us for another instalment of Behind the Crown where we talk about his journey to RuneScape and Jagex. He shares his stories and tells us how a boss is made. We also rundown Garden of Kharid patch notes and RuneScape outages.
How exactly is the Fresh Start Worlds XP modifier ramping down and should it be done another way? Cliff vs. Bell curve? We also catch up with Mod Jack’s two recent live streams covering RuneScape Design Vision and answering: What is RuneScape?
The Garden of Kharid feels small but it touches many facets of the Farming skill from more herb seeds to better compost, and a lack of disease. While Thieving gets an update to rival safecracking. We also discuss more Game Jam projects and the Sixth Age.
In this instalment of Forgotten Lore, we’re taking a deep-dive into an historically important character whose presence has an impact in both versions of RuneScape. Today, we discuss the tragic backstory of Baxtorian Cadarn.
Image credit: OSRS Wiki - RuneScape Wiki
During the God Wars, Baxtorian was the leader of the Cadarn Clan. Their goddess, Seren, had placed the safety of her elves above all else, and so she was not a major participant in the war. Despite this, the Galarpos mountains, which separates the elven lands of Tiranwwn from the modern-day kingdom of Kandarin, saw incursions of enemies that tried to make their way to the elven lands. Baxtorian, as the elder of the most powerful military clan, led the elven defence and fended off these incursions. At the end of God Wars, even though Seren had not really participated in them, Guthix ordered Seren to leave Gielinor alongside all of the other Gods. Instead, Seren decided to shatter herself, so that she might remain close to her elves.
Seren’s shattering was a shock to the elven society. Before her shattering, Seren had appointed Baxtorian and his wife Glarial to lead the elves in her stead. Baxtorian and Glarial took up the mantle of king and queen, and under their rule, elven society eventually stabilized. Aiming to restore ties with the rest of the world, Baxtorian led some of his elves through the recently constructed Arandar mountain pass, and they established an elven kingdom on the other side of the Galarpos mountains.
Under Baxtorian and Glarial’s rule, this new kingdom flourished. The expansion’ success was made possible through several non-aggression pacts that Baxtorian had negotiated with the local humans and gnomes, establishing the elven kingdom as a powerful and peaceful force. Only the ogres and goblins in the Feldip Hills, due to their engagement in a civil war following the banishment of Bandos, did not make such a pact with Baxtorian and his elves. For almost two millennia, this kingdom stood and its influence and power only grew, until one faithful day when the Arandar pass was closed off, and all communications with the elves in Tiranwwn ceased. The only other way to reach the elven lands was through an old complex of tunnels known as the Underground Pass, and so Baxtorian sent a group of scouts through the Underground Pass to discovered what had transpired in Tiranwwn.
Only one of the scouts returned to Baxtorian, with terrible news: the Iorwerth clan had orchestrated a violent and extremely bloody takeover of the elven capital of Prifddinas. Their motivation for this takeover was multi-faceted. On the surface, it looked like the Iorwerth clan had just used the absence of the Cadarn military, which over time had largely moved to Baxtorian’s kingdom in the east, to take over the city in a show of force. They wanted to prove their strength to the other elven clans, and step out of the shadow cast by the more powerful Cadarn military. However, it was revealed in the Old School RuneScape quest Song of the Elves that there were ulterior motives at play. The son of Lady Iorwerth had broken one of the seals in the Grand Library of Prifddinas, discovering that Seren had locked a fragment of herself away in the Temple of Light. Believing this fragment to be the crystalline Goddess herself, he became obsessed with finding the fragment and releasing it. When his mother expressed her reluctance to engage in his plans, he killed her and became the new Lord Iorwerth. Violently taking over Prifddinas and plunging the elven race into a civil war was the first step in his plan to find the fragment.
Upon hearing the news, Baxtorian handed his wife Glarial the reigns to his kingdom, and he led a five-year military campaign into Tiranwwn to reclaim Prifddinas. Baxtorian and the Cadarn clan besieged Prifddinas, but the city’s crystalline walls – constructed by Seren herself to defend against attacks from the gods – proved to be insurmountable. The tide of the war only turned when the Cadarn forced discovered a secret entrance into the city. The Cadarn elves devised a plan to rescue the clan elders from the city, after which they could sing the city back into its seed form. The night before the rescue missions were planned to start, Baxtorian received devastating news: during his lengthy absence, the human kingdoms in the east had grown considerably in power, and his kingdom was facing collapse. Intent to return east as soon as possible, but knowing his military operation in Prifddinas had to succeed first, Baxtorian remained in Tiranwwn. Their rescue missions took weeks to execute, but they were ultimately successful. Baxtorian and the other elders reverted the city to its seed form. Baxtorian ordered the other elders to go into hiding, and he retreated his troops through the Underground Pass, back to what remained of his kingdom in the east.
Unfortunately, nothing much had remained of his kingdom. Frequent human invasions had torn the kingdom to shreds, and queen Glarial had disappeared. Tragically, it is believed nowadays that the elven kingdom could have withstood these invasions under the strong military leadership of Baxtorian. However, Baxtorian was consumed with grief, and focused his efforts into finding his wife Glarial instead. By the time Baxtorian accepted that Glarial had likely been killed, his kingdom was beyond saving. The elves retreated west, back to Tiranwwn. Baxtorian, riddled with grief and guilt over the loss of Glarial, buried himself in their home underneath the waterfalls known today as the Baxtorian falls, hoping that Glarial had miraculously survived and would someday return to him there.
In this month’s instalment of Forgotten Lore, we’ll talk about the God who died too early: Bandos. Despite his premature death, many pieces of lore have been released through other content that reveal a lot about Bandos’ origins and past. Strap in!
Image Credit: RuneScape Wiki
Bandos’ homeplanet was ruled by a God known as Jododu Otoku, whose presence was the only thing that protected the planet from imminent destruction. The planet was otherwise occupied by a race of rhinoceros-like fighters. This rhinoceros race consisted of many tribes, and Bandos was born the son of the Kal-i-kra tribe’s chieftain. The Kal-i-kra tribe had been long at war with the Gozor tribe, and Bandos learned at a young age to love battle and hate the Gozor. When his father, the chieftain, was gravely wounded by a Gozor attack, Bandos killed his father as to give him a honourable death, and as such became the new chieftain of his tribe. Bandos’ intellect and strategic mind made him an excellent leader in battle, and he managed to drive the Gozor tribe into extinction.
Unfortunately for the other tribes, Bandos was also filled with a bloodlust that wasn’t yet satisfied after the defeat of the Gozor. One by one, Bandos and the Kal-i-kra defeated all of the other tribes on the planet. The last tribe to fall was the Hada-i-dar tribe. The son of its chieftain, hoping this would keep him alive, told Bandos about a group of mystic nomads called the Caretakers of Jododu Otoku, who supposedly knew the whereabouts of the God. Bandos heartlessly slaid the calf anyway, and used the obtained information to track down the Caretakers. Although the Caretakers put up some resistance, with one of them even managing to blind Bandos in one eye, Bandos was eventually successful in finding the resting place of Jododu Otoku. With the Spear of Annihilation, Bandos killed the God. Upon Jododu Otoku’s death, a barrage of asteroids immediately rained down on the planet. Only the freshly ascended Bandos was left standing, and he began to travel the Multiverse in search of other worlds to rule.
Image Credit: RuneScape Wiki
Before finding his way to Gielinor, Bandos came across Yu’biusk. We visit Yu’biusk multiple times during the Dorgeshuun quest series and during The Mighty Fall, but we only ever see it as a toxic, barren wasteland. This was very different before Bandos’ arrival, however; Yu’biusk was once a prosperous, green landscape filled with many types of creatures, among which were the goblins, orks and ogres. Even though we know these species as very violent now, they were once relatively diplomatic; they definitely did not agree on everything back on Yu’biusk, but they preferred to settle their disputes diplomatically rather than violently. Bandos came upon this world and was disgusted by its primitivity. He introduced his own form of civilization, which was really just Bandos’ way of saying “war is the answer to everything, do not have mercy, do not doubt me”. Bandos divided all species into tribes and ordered them to live in isolation. Where there was once union, there was now only division, and Yu’biusk quickly fell into a chaotic state of constant warfare. All species began to worship Bandos as their god, and they even followed him to Gielinor, where they served as his army in the ensuing God Wars.
Bandos’ efforts during the God Wars are relatively well documented and well known. Bandos did not care for the lives of his troops or for the spoils of war; all he wanted was to prolong the bloodshed. He made and broke alliances with the other Gods as he pleased. Bandos was one of the four important parties to participate in the war. He fought in the battle for the Godsword, which rages on to this day in the mountains near Trollheim. He conquered the Feldip Hills and established the city of Gu’Tanoth, as well as a forge known as the Warforge, where he trained his goblin soldiers and had a master smith, the Imcando dwarf Thalmund, produce unusually powerful bronze weaponry to arm his goblin soldiers with. Furthermore, it was in the Feldip hills where the demigod TzKal-Zuk emerged and the legendary battle between him and Bandos was fought. This battle lasted several days and was quite close, but in the end, Bandos did manage to come out victoriously. Bandos imprisoned TzKal-Zuk in the Elder Kiln, from which the latter only managed to emerge after being freed by the Elder God Ful to fight as her general in the Elder God Wars many thousands of years later.
After the God Wars ended and Guthix set up his Edicts, Bandos fought with him for a few years in an attempt to avoid banishment. Many battles were fought, but ultimately Guthix proved too strong. Ultimately, Bandos gave in and said he would peacefully leave Gielinor together with his followers, but Guthix did not have it. He teleported Bandos into the void before he could take his followers with him. Angry at the loss of his Gielinorian followers, Bandos returned to Yu’biusk and plunged the planet into its final stage of warfare and darkness. His remaining followers on Yu’biusk fought each other to extinction, and what was once a luscious, green world had now become a terrible, broken wilderness.
Bandos’ attempts to nullify the Edicts and return to Gielinor are the subject of the Dorgeshuun quest series. When Guthix was finally killed by Sliske in The World Wakes, Bandos returned to Gielinor and was delighted to fight in Sliske’s god-killing competition for the Stone of Jas. Unfortunately for Bandos, his participation in this competition didn’t last very long, as Armadyl managed to defeat and kill him in the second World Event, The Bird and the Beast.