|Release date||18 Feburary 2013 (Update)|
|Quest NPC?||Koschei's Troubles|
|Examine|| A powerful Mahjarrat.|
|Notable features||A neutral, powerful and wise Mahjarrat.|
|Release date||2 November 2004 (Update)|
|XP per kill||Unknown edit|
|Always drops||Fremennik blade|
|Examine text|| • Your challenge awaits!|
• He lives again!
• He keeps on living!
• He just keeps on going.
• Warrior of the Fremennik.
Kharshai is a neutral Mahjarrat who has been lost for years. He does not know he is Kharshai, however. During the events on the miniquest Koschei's Troubles, it is revealed that he has been disguised as Koschei the Deathless. He is notable for following neither Zaros nor Zamorak, the only Mahjarrat currently to do so. Due to his time as a Fremennik, Kharshai's appearance has been altered slightly.
In the Second Age, the Menaphite god Icthlarin brought all of the Mahjarrat to Gielinor from their hellish realm Freneskae. The Mahjarrat, Kharshai included, were loyal servants of the God of the Dead for many years. Meanwhile, Zaros, the god of power and control, was expanding his already vast empire (which stretched the entirety of Forinthry and parts of Hallowland and what are now Asgarnia and Misthalin) most prominently to the south in his campaign to conquer the Kharidian Lands. Seeing his lands being taken by invaders, Icthlarin put the Mahjarrat to use and the armies of Zaros could not advance. For years the Mahjarrat had served under their master, their war-like abilities frowned upon by Icthlarin. Zaros soon realised their usefulness and rallied them to his side, at the promise of more violence, combat and bloodshed. The Mahjarrat deserted the Desert Pantheon and joined the forces of Zaros, immediately occupying high ranks amongst his armies, a notable example being General Zamorak 'the Scourge'.
At the end of the Second Age, a treacherous plot formed by Zamorak was brought into action. With many allies, amongst whom Mahjarrat such as Lucien, Zemouregal, Enakhra and Hazeel, and godly artefacts (the Staff of Armadyl and the Stone of Jas) at his hand, Zamorak and his following stormed Zaros' fortress, where the former battled the god himself, the latter's bodyguards being distracted by Zamorak's men. By pure luck, Zaros was impaled by the Staff of Armadyl and was banished to another realm, leaving Zamorak victorious and more powerful than ever. He was banned from the plane by the other gods, but soon returned, now a god himself, and the God Wars erupted, which started with an extermination by Zamorak and Saradomin of every reminder of Zaros. The Mahjarrat split into two factions: those that followed Zamorak, and those that remained loyal to Zaros, which were no less dangerous, with immensely powerful examples such as Azzanadra and Sliske. This created a rift between the former allies and the Rejuvenation Rituals would, from then on, be based on a Zarosians v. Zamorakians battle.
It was most likely due to these events that Kharshai, witnessing the treachery his kin was capable of, decided that balance was to exist to maintain peace between the Mahjarrat. Being neutral, Kharshai soon started to play a lesser and lesser role amongst the Mahjarrat, until he eventually became but a background character, in fear of becoming the next sacrifice. According to the second set of Zemouregal's notes, Kharshai was of average power and temperament and survived by going with the majority during the rituals. Although Kharshai managed to avoid being sacrificed through this method, it left him with no close allies, which Zemouregal deemed a potentially dangerous situation in future rituals.
Attack and going into hidingEdit
At some point Kharshai started experimenting with a mineral, 'bane'. He wanted to see if it could be enhanced and used to make a fearsome weapon, and discovered that it could be tuned to be particularly harmful to a certain type of creature. Using this, Kharshai forged a heavy and powerful battleaxe, which he named Balmung, out of bane. He decided to "tune" it to Dagannoth, aggressive aquatic creatures, but to do so he needed a part of a creature's body. As such, Kharshai then set off on a small ship from The North to the Fremennik Isles to collect some blood.
On the way, he was attacked by an assassin at sea. According to Kharshai, he could not identify his assailant, but the battle was intense enough to destroy his entire ship. As the fight raged on, Kharshai panicked, fearing that he would be captured and sacrificed. He transformed into a human using his shape-shifting abilities. Knowing that he would still be traceable by other Mahjarrat, even though he was disguised, Kharshai erased his own memory and quickly created a toy ship with the indication that he is a Mahjarrat so that he could remember who he was should he later need it. Unaware that he is a Mahjarrat, his kin would be unable to locate him. His attacker had eventually been driven off in the battle but not before branding the symbol of Zamorak on Kharshai's naked chest. Unconscious, and his mission incomplete, Kharshai drifted off and, according to Chieftain Brundt, was found leagues away from the nearest ship or shore. Unwilling to let the seaborne stranger die needlessly, Brundt brought the shaken Kharshai to Rellekka when he was out at sea, while the unfinished balmung axe came into the hands of the royal family of Etceteria, one of the Isles of the Fremennik.It is unknown how long Kharshai's body was at sea; he could have been there from the era of the last Rejuvnation Ritual to the time when Brundt found him. Unable to remember anything, Kharshai merely tried to mutter his name, which the Fremennik interpreted as "Koschei." Koschei was taken care of by shoemaker Yrsa, and, impressed by his sudden recovery from his miserable state, the Fremennik dubbed him Koschei the Deathless. After being integrated into Fremennik society, fighting Koschei became one of the trials young Fremennik have to pass to achieve adulthood. Koschei was placed in an underground arena and, to win Thorvald the Warrior's vote, young Fremennik from then on had to pass his test on bravery and fight Koschei to the death (they would, of course, not be killed, but the point was to show no fear of death). Kharshai's plan had worked, for his existence was lost to the other Mahjarrat. Azzanadra, a Zarosian Mahjarrat imprisoned during the late God Wars, mentioned that, when he escaped the Jaldraocht pyramid, he was unable to detect Kharshai. In his own words: Kharshai may yet live, I can sense no trace of his death upon this world, but nor can I sense his pulse; perhaps his neutrality has earnt him a prison such as mine was.
The Battle for RellekkaEdit
Koschei became a valued Fremennik, even their champion, and was one of the commanders during the Battle for Rellekka, slaying hundreds of invading dagannoth for his supposed homeland. Koschei was later among the small party that was to defeat the Dagannoth Mother behind the attacks. He was placed to guard the entrance to her lair while the others, an adventurer who'd passed the trial, Prince Brand and Princess Astrid of Miscellania and Baba Yaga of the Lunar Isle Moonclan, would defeat her sentinels and eventually the Mother herself. As the party were about to advance, Koschei called them back for the immensely powerful Dagannoth Kings had arrived. He was easily able to hold his own while Brand, Astrid and Baba Yaga hurried back (leaving the adventurer to fight the Mother alone). After a tedious battle, Koschei and Baba Yaga were able to drive back the kings deeper into the dagannoth caves, after the unfortunate murders of Astrid and Brand. Mourning, Koschei returned to his regular duties in Rellekka. It should also be noted that this adventurer had been given the unfinished balmung earlier by Queen Sigrid of Etceteria, who described it as a powerful dagannoth-slaying axe and a family heirloom. By using it in battle, the Balmung came into contact with dagannoth blood and, unbeknownst to Kharshai, the enchantment was completed.
Recovery of memoriesEdit
By 169 of the Fifth Age, Koschei's lack of memory had troubled him. After the eighteenth ritual that had occurred that year, his mind kept being bugged by images of a blossoming tree south of Rellekka. He tried to chop it down, but to no avail. Koschei addressed the adventurer who'd fought the dagannoth to bring their balmung axe he'd received from Queen Sigrid before the battle, and chop down the tree. They succeed and find a strange chest without a keyhole. By mere touch, Koschei unlocks it, to reveal a toy ship within. It is written on the sail that Koschei will feel in his bones when the time has come.
After being exposed to water, the ship opened to reveal a white gem in a compartment. Upon touching the gem, Koschei's memories magically returned to him. He remembered everything that had happened and transforms into his Mahjarrat form, finding out that his long time as Fremennik has permanently altered his appearance. Within seconds, Enakhra arrives to the scene. Now able to sense him again, she claims that she came to check if it's truly Kharshai. Her Zarosian rival Akthanakos arrives momentarily, supposedly for the same reason, but all of them know that they wish to claim Kharshai for the Zamorakians and Zarosians, respectively. A furious Kharshai demands that they depart instantly, proclaiming his desire for balance. The Mahjarrat warn him not to count on the gods' support in the future and reluctantly teleport away.
Koschei in combatEdit
Before recovering his memories, players fight Kharshai in the form of Koschei as part of The Fremennik Trials quest. Although he has four attackable stages, the player can win a vote by simply defeating him three times because the test is about bravery and not about strength.
His combat level is not shown, but he will get progressively stronger, and gains increased lifepoints, defence, and strength each time he is defeated. Although the fourth form is difficult, it is not impossible to defeat him. If he is defeated the player will be rewarded with a Fremennik blade. He can be fought again after the quest as a Class E boss in the Dominion Tower, with the same moves and abilities as he had in the quest, but now able to fought with armour and weapons.
A Ring of Recoil can be an aid in killing the fourth form. When he hits, he always hits for 10-15 life points, but at a rate of 3-4 hits per second, and due to the rounding-up of the ring of recoil, would always hit him back for 10 at the same attack rate. Note, however, that a player would have to bring several rings of recoil, because each can only reflect 400 life points. Low-levelled players may find his third and fourth form rather difficult, so a Bracelet of regeneration or defensive amulet is strongly advised, for it will provide a little protection (do not wear a ring of life, or you will most likely have to start over again if your Lifepoints get too low). There are certain safe spots in Koschei's basement, such as the pillars of fire, or the many chasms in the ground. Players need only run quickly over to one side of a hole, and because Koschei only moves at a walking speed, players should be at one end of a hole long before he reaches the other end. However, do not stay in a safe spot for too long, or Koschei will disappear and you will have to fight him all over again. It is also strongly advised that players bring high-healing food, such as monkfish or sharks, as in his third and fourth form he hits progressively harder and quicker. Also, it appears that if you take too long fighting Koschei, he will simply disappear and you will have to start the challenge all over again. It is interesting to note that, if you manage kill him three times, decide to try and kill him a fourth time, but find yourself unable to, the trial will still be deemed as a success. Once your life points reach 10, the player will kneel down and be transported back to Thorvald, still completing the trial. This is because the challenge is a test of bravery, not strength.You can talk to Chieftain Brundt about Koschei's history. It is possible to bring certain weapons into Koschei's chamber. If you bring in a Dramen branch and a knife, you can carve a Dramen staff then and there. Note that if players die on his first, second, or third form, they will die a normal death and lose their items! Players can only die to his fourth form to get the vote! He only needs to be defeated three times, but if the fourth is defeated, Koschei will drop a Fremennik Blade.
- Kharshai's physical appearance is similar to Bilrach being that, he has been in human form for so long.
- Koschei's Troubles is similar to the Doctor Who two-parter The Family of Blood, where the Doctor becomes a human and hides his true self in a pocket watch. The Doctor's arch-enemy The Master (originally known as Koschei) undergoes a similar transformation in Utopia.
- Koschei has many traits (including the trait of being hard to kill) that are similar to that of the Russian Legend of the same name. However in this legend, Koschei's soul was in a needle, inside an egg, inside a duck, inside a hare, inside an iron chest, which was buried under a green oak tree, which is on the island of Buyan, in the ocean. The only way to defeat him was if the egg or the needle was broken, and in some legends it has to be done on Koschei's forehead.
- Koschei's examine info of "He keeps on going." during Blood Runs Deep is a reference to the energizer bunny commercials known for saying "It keeps on going and going...".
See Also Edit
- ^ Jagex. Postbag 38 - "What's the matter, Jad? Chicken?", letter #5. Postbags from the Hedge.