THE RETURN OF ZAMORAK AND THE ZAROSIAN EXTERMINATION
Thirteen years had passed since the fall of Zaros. Many of his followers were still loyal; however a large proportion had switched their loyalties to Zamorak. During the absence of Zamorak, Zaros's empire had fallen, broken into pieces by the most powerful of his generals, including Nex, Azzanandra and Sliske, who had built small kingdoms out of the remnants, based at the fortresses of Paddewwa, Kharyrll, Lassar, Dareeyak, Carrallangar, Annakarl, and Ghorrock. These fortresses were to be the targets of Zamorak.
"My followers, you have been loyal to me through good times and bad, and you deserve to be rewarded. You may each have a portion of Gielinor, in the event that you prove strong enough to capture it. Drakan, you may have the city of Hallowvale and the surrounding lands. Thammaron, you may have Uzer." The rest of the lands were divided between the Mahjarrat and Zamorak himself. As the land was divided, a sentry from the outer reaches of the empire entered the room.
"Milord, a startling happening has occurred, the World Gate has opened! We can re-enter Gielinor!" the sentry shouted.
"Gather your forces, my generals! We march to war!" shouted Zamorak. His forces mobilized, vampyres, demons, and loyal Mahjarrat, and marched to the World Gate in startling numbers. The gate was reached, and the mass of soldiers charged through. Vampyres soared above, Mahjarrat and demons marched below. They landed in the Kharidan desert and marched north, beating down revolts and extending the outreach of power of Zamorak. One by one, the generals marched out with their armies to conquer the Zaros states. As they came, thousands of Zarosians converted to Zamorak, swelling his forces in preparation for attacking the Capital.
"Like dominoes they will fall, milord," said Drakan. "One by one until none are left but the capital. Then we will strike."
The fortress of Paddewwa, to the north of Hallowvale, was the first target of Drakan and his vampyres. His forces flew over the walls, destroying the defenses of the fortress. They fought their way into the main chamber, where a Mahjarrat commander named Hazasall was. Drakan immediately engaged him, his guards holding off Hazasall's. They matched blow for blow, their swords hacking at each other, thirsty for flesh. Teeth bared, Drakan sought out in opening in Hazasall's defenses and plunged his teeth into the Mahjarrat's neck. As the blood flowed out of Hazasall into Drakan, he felt his strength double, then triple, as the powerful Mahjarrat blood flowed into him. Few know that this is where Drakan got his famous strength from. Soon after, the Mahjarrat commander fell, dead, his body a husk of its former self. The Mahjarrat forces of Hazasall surrendered, seeing their leader dead on the floor. They would make a worthy contribution to the war in the coming campaign.
The weakest of the fortresses had fallen in mere days to the vampyres of Drakan, but the rest of them would not go as smoothly. As the vampyres consolidated their rule over Paddewwa, Carrallangar, a fortress protecting the Zarosian Empire's southern border from the forces of the Desert Pantheon, was besieged by the forces of the Elder Demon. Unlike the Vampyres, who simply flew over the walls, the demon's forces had to take them.
"Get up, you devils, kill, kill, kill in the name of Lord Zamorak!!" yelled Thammaron, pushing the Mahjarrat forward, attacking the gate of the fortress. Battering rams smashed into the gates, but still they held. Demons scrambled up ladders while Delrith, Thammaron's second-in-command, and Thammaron led the attack, slaying hundreds of defenders. They fought their way to the gates, the air filled with the smell of blood as defenders fell. Finally, splattered in blood, flesh and gore, with their own blood streaming from numerous wounds, the demon force took the gatehouse and opened it. Thammaron's forces spilled through, the Mahjarrat of Zamorak slaughtering their Zarosian brethren. They came to the main chamber, having besieged the city for nearly three months before breaking in, fighting the enemy for nearly a week through the passages of the fortress, tired and battered. In the center was Atkananthos, third-in-command of the military of the empire, after Zamorak and Azzanandra.
"You will never defeat me!" he yelled as he slew the thirty strong demon force sent at him.
"Delrith, attack!" yelled Thammaron.
"With pleasure, milord," Delrith said.
Blow after blow rained down upon both combatants, Delrith's hide and Atkananthos's armor both gaining many scars and dents. Delrith shot a massive bolt of lightning at Atkananthos, who blocked it, sending a fireball back at Delrith. This went on for hours before either side showed any signs of faltering. Atkananthos was first to show a sign of weakness, after a bolt of ice sent by Delrith succeeded in hitting the Mahjarrat. He staggered back, drawing the last of his power to fire an even larger fireball at Delrith, who blocked some, but not all of it. Both sides, and the spectators, knew it would soon be over. In the end, it proved to be Delrith's massive strength that struck the final blow.
"You cannot kill me. I am immortal, as the great lord Zaros cursed you, he blessed me with great survival!" Atkananthos yelled.
"Then we will lock you in a pyramid, never to be freed!" yelled Thammaron.
"HAHA, I will never truly be your captive, not while she is at large," he shouted back.
"She?" inquired Thammaron.
"The last of the great Zarosians. The race he created. They gain power as they fight. Your forces alone could not defeat her, much less the entire Zamorakian Army, let alone the entire military of the gods!" Atkananthos yelled. "You will perish, she will ensure that Zaros will come back, destroy the foolish gods, and regain his empire."
True enough, Nex was unknown to the Zamorakians, as she had been sent to the plane by Zaros himself, in the event of his defeat, to protect the Stone of Jas. Her fortresses in the north would be the last to fall to the Zamorakians, at great cost and an unholy alliance forged in the bitter struggle.
Two fortresses of Zaros were now in the hands of the Zamorakians, to begin the concerted fall of the last of Zaros's forces. Kharyrll, in the east, fell shortly after Carrallangar to the forces of Hazeel. Lassar, in the northeast, fell to the forces led by Zamorak himself, while the southeast, Dareeyak, fell to Zemouregal. The final two, Gharrock and Annakarl, were under the sway of the greatest of the Zarosian generals, Nex. Zamorak had heard the tales of Nex and gathered his entire force, his generals, and his loyalist forces together for the final battle. Zamorak himself led the attack against the first of the fortresses, Annakarl. In the northeast, farther north than Drakan's forces, Annakarl was defended by a force nearly a million strong of Zarosian Mahjarrat, demons, and humans. Mages, arch-swordsmen and powerful ancient magics were unleashed on the attackers, slaying hundreds in a short time. Zamorak rallied his forces and pushed forward, slowly.
"We will reach the walls," yelled Zamorak. "Unleash the Vampyres!" The vampyres, held in reserve until the outside battle was won, were signaled to attack, falling upon the walls, destroying catapults, trebuchets and all manner of defensive emplacements. In the center of it all was Drakan, his brush with Mahjarrat blood increasing his strength and speed; he cut down hundreds in his path. Despite the horrendous losses on both sides, neither made much of a dent in each other. Zamorak had gathered nearly all of his forces together, outnumbering the huge force in the fortress by nearly 3 to 1. Nex's forces, on the other hand, were nothing more than a slowing point to her, buying time to put her plan into action.
Thammaron and his demons had launched an attack against the west flank of the fortress, crushing the flimsy defenses there. Zamorak, seeing an opening, poured his forces into the defensive breach, gaining a foothold on the top of the wall. The smell of burning flesh filled the air as Zamorak, using his powers, threw up a massive shield of fire against the oncoming wave of attackers. After this, the battle descended into chaos, small groups closing in on one another, destroying small numbers of troops at a time. The Zarosians adopted a guerilla-like warfare strategy, hitting and running, refusing to allow Zamorak to take an inch of ground without paying for it in blood. Zamorak's losses were mounting, but for every Zamorakian that fell, they made sure at least two Zarosians fell as well. Many of Zamorak's commanders became cut off from their guards; for instance, Hazeel lost his Mahjarrat guard and found himself surrounded by nearly fifty enemy Zarosians. He fought like mad, blowing up everything with his magic, and defeated the force. Drakan, across the fortress, was surrounded by an even larger number of enemy Mahjarrat. When asked to surrender, he laughed, drew his sword and killed every one of the enemy. Finally, after nearly a month of fighting, the Zarosians fled the fortress, leaving behind nearly a quarter million dead, three hundred thousand wounded or prisoner and another quarter million defected to Zamorak. Two hundred thousand were the only Zarosians left from a force of one million earlier that month. Zamorak reigned victorious, but not without cost. Despite the addition of a quarter million Zarosians to his forces, his army size dropped to just over two million.
Six Zarosian fortresses had fallen before the onslaught of Zamorak; however, a strike by the forces of Saradomin, Armadyl and the newly arrived Bandos to the blitzkrieg empire of Zamorak would weaken it. Zamorak was about to face the first true test of his power...
END PART 3