The Third Age or the God Wars as it was also known was a time of great calamity in RuneScape.
During the Second Age, Zaros had almost complete control of the world. When he was betrayed and defeated by Zamorak, the Second Age ended, and the other gods could now begin ruling without interference. However, many gods, the most significant being Saradomin and Zamorak, wanted complete control.
Soon after Zaros's defeat, a massive war broke out. The gods, at the time, could directly interact with the world, which caused destruction far beyond any seen before or after the wars. During the wars, countless civilisations, races, and animal species disappeared. Many were destroyed, while others hid themselves or went under drastic changes in order to survive. Much of the world itself went under drastic changes, with much of the land being ruined or reformed. Many of these changes were so catastrophic that they continue to affect RuneScape even today.
In fact, the entire world was on the brink of destruction when the fighting awoke Guthix from his sleep. Upon the end of the First Age, Guthix went into a deep slumber that stretched over many millennia. When he awoke, he found his world in ruin. He was so enraged that he instantly ended the fighting and demanded that the gods stopped fighting their wars on RuneScape, and to continue to hold influence only through their followers. Most of the gods left RuneScape and travelled to the God Realm, the home of the gods. It was at this time that the Third Age, which had lasted approximately 4,000 years, finally ended.
There is also an armour set based off this age: Third age armour. This is some of the last remaining armour that was used during the God Wars.
Every race, god, and civilisation of RuneScape was forced to fight in the God Wars at some point. While some fought constantly in the wars, others were quickly destroyed or hid themselves. Below is a partial list of significant individuals that fought in the war, although there were many more whose names have been forgotten or are who played a somewhat lesser role than those listed here.
- Zaros (Zaros's defeat marked the beginning of the God Wars, so he did not actually participate. However, his remaining followers and civilisations still played a large role in the war)
- Lord Lowerniel Vergidiyad Drakan
- Mother Mallum
The God Wars gave birth to many historical battles and events, which shaped the Gielinor we know today. Listed below are known events that took place during the wars, although there are many others that have long since been forgotten.
- Destruction of Uzer by Thammaron, chief lieutenant of Zamorak.
- Banishing of the Dorgeshuun by Bandos. The Dorgeshuun soon erupt in a civil war, but eventually the battle ends and Dorgesh-Kaan is founded.
- The Wilderness, which was a lush forest filled with many prosperous civilisations in the Second Age, becomes the site of thousands of fierce battles. All of its civilisations are destroyed, and the land is permanently scarred.
- All of the The Seven Warriors except Ivandis are killed holding back the evil Sanguinesti invaders of Morytania, then called Hallowvale. The Sanguenesti army is led by of Lord Drakan, a Zamorakian vampire and brother of Count Draynor. Ivandis continues to resist Lord Drakan and his forces, although Drakan ultimately conquers Hallowvale. Saradominist priests soon bless the River Salve to prevent Drakan and his followers from attacking the rest of RuneScape, and construct the Paterdomus temple over the spot where six of the seven warriors fell.~
- Count Draynor, who was cut off from Morytania when the River Salve was blessed, conquers what is now Draynor Village. He slowly loses strength because of his separation from Morytania, and his hold over the land weakens over time.
- The Barrow Brothers lead the forces of Saradomin into the heart of Morytania, but are mysteriously killed and buried at the Barrows.
- The "Myriad" civilisation, that used to dwell in the Lumbridge area, was destroyed almost completely; the Light Creatures in the Lumbridge Swamp Caves are all that remain.
- The Aviantese, a race of bird-creatures devoted to Armadyl, disappear. Several were frozen in a massive battle, and have recently returned to continue their battle.
- Most of the dwarves flee beneath the surface and seal their capital, Keldagrim, from the rest of the world for thousands of years.
- The Digsite, known as Senntisten at the time, is destroyed by the forces of Saradomin and/or Zamorak (it is unknown exactly who destroyed the city). It was the largest known Zarosian city.
- The elves are forced to remain in Tirannwn, due to the danger of the lands beyond Arandar.
- Zaros's followers are removed from power and exiled to the Kharidian Desert, where they live as bandits. Some of the last known Mahjarrat loyal to Zaros, Akthanakos and Azzanadra, are imprisoned in the desert as well.
- The gnomes, like the dwarves, are forced to flee beneath the surface of the world. Their capital, the Gnome Stronghold, falls into ruination and remains in ruination until the Fourth Age.
- Mother Mallum, the queen of the sea slugs, attempts to conquer the world. She is narrowly stopped by the Saradominist Temple Knights, an organization which was founded during the God Wars as well.
- Hazeel conquers the land that is now Ardougne.
- Padewwa, Kharyrll, Lassar, Dareeyak, Carrallangar, Anakarl, and Ghorrock, Zaros's last remaining fortresses, are destroyed.
- The Tears of Guthix cause much of the rock beneath present-day Lumbridge to weep with godly energy.
- A large cavern in an icy land north of Trollheim plays host to a massive battle between the followers of Bandos, Saradomin, Zamorak, and Armadyl. The cave is hidden during the battle, freezing the combatants. Thousands of years later, in the year 169 of the Fifth Age, the combatants are unfrozen due to tectonic movement in the Wilderness. They then resume their battle.
- The wyrms, a species of ancient dragons much more powerful than any known dragon today, slowly disappear from continued use in combat and evolution.
- The wyverns, a species of flightless two-legged dragons, become extinct due to a massive climate shift.
- Orikalkum, a type of rare metal forged into armour and weapons by the dragonkin, falls into the hands of several other races such as humans and Fairies.
- The knowledge of Ancient Magicks, which were used only by followers of Zaros, is forgotten by most of RuneScape, leaving very few with the knowledge of how to use them.
~Note: Some historians speculate that the Seven Priestly Warriors actually fought early in the Fourth Age, before the founding of Varrock. This is further supported by the fact that the warriors are said to have come from modern day areas such as Taverley and Lumbridge. However, others suggest that these lands were occupied by other villages at the time. Because of this large uncertainty, this event is generally accepted to be part of the God Wars.
During the God Wars there were thousands of battles and wars between the people of RuneScape. Although many battles and wars of the Third Age have been forgotten, some of the more significant battles are still remembered today, such as the ones listed below. Please note that although these battles are more or less in order, there may be some that are slightly out of place.
- The Fall of Senntisten
- The Destruction of the seven Zarosian Fortresses
- The Wilderness Campaign (Wilderness Ruins)
- The Dorgeshuun Civil War
- The Sea Slug Conflicts
- The Fall of Hallowvalle
- The Morytania Campaign
- The Destruction of Uzer
- The Battle of Ardougne
- The Mortals Retreat