Arrav was found abandoned as a boy near what is now Varrock. Arrav lived during the Fourth Age and his achievements earned him a statue in the Heroes' Guild next to a statue of Camorra, another historical figure from the Fourth Age. His axe is on display at the Outpost. Arrav is famous for using the Shield of Arrav to repel the MahjarratZemouregal's first zombie invasion of Varrock. However, it was not Arrav himself who drove back the zombies; he actually threw his shield to the grandson of one of the founders of Varrock. The grandson unlocked the shield's true power and destroyed the zombie army with it. Arrav was then slain by Zemouregal in retaliation. Zemouregal promised that he would return to attack Varrock once again.
During the Defender of Varrockquest, the player finds out that Zemouregal is planning another zombie attack on Varrock. The player meets level 180 Arrav in the Chaos Temple Dungeon, and learns that while his body is under Zemouregal's control, his mind is still intact. He cannot disobey Zemouregal's orders, and can only speak when Zemouregal's attention is diverted away from him. The player meets Arrav once again in Varrock Palace, during the zombie invasion. However, Zemouregal's influence is too strong, and Arrav is unable to speak. Once the player discovers that Dimintheis is the direct descendant of the grandson of the founder of Varrock, he will use the Shield of Arrav to rid the city of zombies for the second time. After that happens, Zemouregal departs for "The North", taking Arrav and Sharathteerk with him.
The player is required to fight Arrav during the "The Curse of Arrav" quest. He is level 180, and teleports at about half health, preventing the player from killing him. Later in the quest, the player learns that Arrav's heart is in Zemouregal's possession, at Zemouregal's Base. After passing many traps in the base, the player carefully saves and preserves Arrav's heart in a canopic jar. The heart is taken back to Ali the Wise.
Arrav's body finally gives out, and he turns to dust.
During the "Ritual of the Mahjarrat" quest, the player regains the full canopic jar from Ali the Wise to use against Zemouregal during The Ritual of Rejuvenation. When Zemouregal summons Arrav, the player leads Arrav to his heart, thus freeing him from Zemouregal's control. Arrav then turns against Zemouregal, and starts attacking him, and is far more powerful than at the time he fought the player, hitting thousands on the Mahjarrat who is invincible to the player.
Concluding the quest leaves one task left for the player: to find Arrav on the plateau. Arrav's body is thousands of years old and without the protection of Zemouregal's magic, it will soon crumble to dust. Arrav perishes shortly after talking to the player and thanking the player for saving him. Arrav's last thoughts are of the safety of Varrock as the player has freed his soul. Freeing Arrav's soul yields 3000 Prayerexperience.
Zemouregal's invasion of Varrock proved to be a success in this alternate realm, with Arrav only able to watch as his hometown was destroyed. After converting the Varrock to New Varrock, Zemouregal ordered Arrav to help Ellamaria with her garden, to his disgust. When the player arrives in New Varrock, Reldo has a task to help Arrav overthrow Zemouregal and bring peace and order to New Varrock. Arrav is interested in their offer, as he is disgusted with the work that both Zemouregal and Ellamaria give him, as he isn't a "gardening assistant" for her. Once the player breaks the black sphere which Zemouregal is using to control Arrav without focusing on him, he is surprised that he isn't under anyone's control anymore. After threatening Ellamaria, he thanks the player for freeing his mind, although he still needs his heart to be truly free.
The player later gets Arrav's heart back from Zemouregal's traps, and the player brings him Darklight and his shield once he is free. After beating Sharathteerk, and either sparing or killing him, he faces Zemouregal in battle. He manages to beat him and returns to the player to tell him of their success. As with the real Arrav, since his body is very old, sustained through Zemouregal's magic, he dies shortly afterwards.