Eons ago, the great god Guthix discovered an empty plane; this plane would come to be known as Gielinor. He shaped it as he pleased, creating trees, greenery and seas. As he toiled, he began to tire. After 4000 years of shaping, he fell into a deep sleep he would not wake from until after the deaths of millions, and nearly the death of the plane itself. After the slumber of Guthix, more gods began to arrive on Gielinor. The first among these was Seren. She was the elven goddess of crystal. She was the first to begin to undo the work of Guthix. She built the Tower of Voices, in the future center of the great elven city, Prifddinas. Shortly into the second age, more gods arrived, Saradomin, Armadyl, and Zaros among them. These were the beginnings of the God Wars.
From the Chronicles of the God Wars, historically imprecise account by Pryters, 1st Librarian of the 2nd order of the White Knights:
The Godstaff of Armadyl
For years the Staff of Armadyl had lain unused in the Temple of Ikov. It was once guarded, but then abandoned for reasons unknown.
Valdez was a wandering monk, a servant of Saradomin, in an age when the gods were still on Gielinor. He had been wandering through the wilderness northeast of what is now Ardougne. He was tired, and made camp for the night. He unrolled his bedroll and lay down. His eyes just began to close as a voice said "Valdez, WAKE!"
He knew at once this was a power beyond him. Following the instructions, he got up. As he did, he saw a white raven. As he approached it, it took flight in a haphazard pattern, knowing Valdez would follow it. Soon after setting flight, the white raven disappeared. Valdez was amazed at the sight before him, the shadowy outline of a once brilliant temple. A barely recognizable symbol above the door identified the place as Ikov. Valdez had trouble reading the symbol and began to move closer. As he did, the shadowy outline began to fade, and he saw the true nature of the temple. It had fallen to ruin, fallen pillars and stones lay strewn across the courtyard. The few wooden doors that remained had been ripped off their hinges. Valdez cautiously set foot in the temple. There were busts of Saradomin, Zaros, and several others he did not recognize. An alcove led off to the side, and underground. Throwing caution to the wind and trusting in Saradomin to keep him safe, he set off down the passage. After 169 steps, he reached a brilliantly decorated chamber, with torches burning in their sconces. Within the chamber was a richly decorated chest of crystal containing a staff. Valdez cautiously walked to the chest and opened it with no resistance. As he picked up the staff, he felt a great blast of air rush through the chamber, blowing out the torches. As he held the gently glowing staff, an inscription rose out of the chest lid.
Beware mortal; this is an object capable of changing the world. Give it not to the great gods, nor to those who seek power. This is the staff of Armadyl, the great air god, whose power and justice shall never rest. Be careless in your attempt to safeguard it, and you will be destroyed. Be careful, and perhaps your short mortal life shall be enriched.
The inscription faded and the torches relit themselves, illuminating the path to the surface. As Valdez returned to the surface, he thought long over the message and was firm in his conviction to show Saradomin on Entrana. He traveled south for days, one night resting near a small town. During the night, a man snuck into his campsite and woke the light-sleeping Valdez.
"Who are you?" asked a groggy Valdez.
"I am but a lone traveler like you, I am known as Rennard," the man said. "I collect weapons and armor and sell them."
"And what is your procedure for acquiring such weapons and armor?" Valdez inquired, suspicious of Rennard's intent.
"My good man, for surely I can see you are a servant of Saradomin, a god I hold great respect for, and therefore must be merciful and good-hearted. I can hear the suspicion in your voice. I buy them from travelers desperate for food and water. I then turn around and sell them to another. It may not be the kindest thing in the world, but despite the gods' wishes the world does not revolve around faith, but rather currency.”
All the while talking, Rennard had maneuvered into a position where he could whack Valdez.
"So many lies," he thought. "Oh well, no harm can come of it." He swung his sack down, smashing into Valdez's skull and knocking him unconscious.
"Now, let's see what we have here," the thief said, rifling thought the monk's few possessions. "Ahh, this is a beauty," he said to himself after finding the Staff.
"This is not a man-made weapon, no, nor elven or dwarven. This is an immortal's weapon. I cannot wield it without fear of being destroyed, and as such, let's sell it, why not?"
He wrapped the cloth back around the Staff, and set off in the direction of the town, leaving the dead monk where he lay in the destroyed campsite. A ruthless thief, Rennard played by the only rules that he thought were important, his. He returned to the city and soon found what was known as a free tavern. He contacted a messenger, Kharrim.
"So, how are ye, ye scoundrel?" asked Rennard.
"Doing fine until I heard you wanted to talk to me," Kharrim replied good-naturedly.
"Well, that ain't no way to talk to a partner, now is it? But anysways, I got something good, I found it on the road into town."
"Ye stole it, ye mean."
"I relieved a man of it, yea, whatever. Anysways, it’s an immortal weapon, a weapon of the gods. I need to find a buyer among them, and you've got a few contacts among them, don't ye?"
"I might. Lord Zaros is a prospect, for sure."
"Well, if ye can contact him, I'll split the profits 70-30."
"Got a deal," Kharrim said, shaking his hand.
The next morning, Kharrim set off, bound for Senntistan. However, he never meant to go to Zaros with the staff, but rather General Zamorak, who was, at the time, a powerful mortal Mahjarrat. Kharrim was a servant of Zamorak, and knew of his lord's fascination with weapons and armor. He found Zamorak in a camp north of the city.
"Halt! Who goes there?" yelled a guard.
"Messenger Kharrim, reporting to General Zamorak!" Kharrim replied.
"He shall be informed of your presence."
Kharrim was escorted into a tent. He knelt before General Zamorak.
"Messenger Kharrim, report."
"Sir, a stupid drunken thief somehow stumbled upon a godstaff."
"And where is this thief?"
"Currently in a town far to the west. I traveled with all speed to tell you of this before he could change his mind."
"How much would it cost me, does he know its true nature?"
"He knows it was a god-weapon, but I believe it's the lost staff of Armadyl."
"That weapon has been lost for millennia, since Armadyl came to this plane with his Aviansies and closed the world gate behind him."
"I know this much, my lord, the weapon is certainly a godstaff, and the thief is unsure of what he has, would it not be worth a gamble to know?"
"Should you have failed me, you will wish you had never lived. Should you have succeeded, you shall be richly rewarded."
"Funny how such things sometimes work, eh, milord?"
"Keep your snide comments to yourself. You are not within my favor yet."
Zamorak gathered his elite guardsmen and set off, following Kharrim's directions. They traveled in secret, covering ground at a pace none but the Mahjarrat and vampyres could match. They soon came upon the town of which Kharrim spoke. Zamorak went in alone.
"Are you Rennard?" Zamorak asked.
"I might be, who wants to know?" Rennard said, slurring his speech.
"Kharrim sent me. I am a representative of the Empty Lord. I seek to purchase the item you have in your possession."
Swaying gently back and forth, Rennard replied "Don't you try to double-cross me, Mahjarrat. I can hold my liquor as well as the next guy."
"I offer you six sapphires, 3 rubies and a diamond."
"Ha! I knew this would be a double cross! Ye didn't even offer the most valuable of gems, emeralds! I want 10, just 10 emeralds, or there will be no deal!"
"I cannot bargain with such a master. I am beat, and will pay your unjust price."
"Pleasure doing business with ye, sir," Rennard replied, holding a hand to shake. Zamorak simply nodded, got up and left.
Outside the city, Zamorak arrived back at camp, with his most trusted lieutenants; the vampyre, Lord Drakan; the Mahjarrat, Zemouregal and Hazeel; the Elder Demon, Thammaron, and the newly arrived human Viggora.
"Milord, what is it?" asked Viggora.
"It is truly a god-staff. I know not whether it be of Armadyl's or of another's." Zamorak replied.
"Well, unwrap it then!" said Hazeel.
Zamorak opened the package; immediately the air began to crackle, and those with hair felt it stand on end. Carefully examining it, Zamorak gasped. "That foolish mortal wasn't lying. This is truly the god-staff of Armadyl."
"So what do we do now?" asked Drakan.
"We plan the attack." answered Zamorak.