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Operation: Phoenix is the name given to what is claimed to have been an organised attack by Zamorakian wizards against the first Wizards' Tower, although it has never taken place. The operation supposedly took place in the year 70 of the Fifth Age, and ultimately resulted in the complete destruction of the tower and the loss of many magical secrets. The event, though referenced frequently throughout RuneScape's history and dialogue, has been referred to by name only once, in a Temple Knight commorb dossier obtained during the Wanted! quest. While even Zamorakian individuals such as Malignus Mortifer believe the operation to be real, it is, in fact, fiction.
Details regarding the incident itself are few, likely due to the fact it never happened. Prior to the supposed attack, Zamorakians had largely been tolerated, if not fully accepted, by most within nations such as Misthalin and Asgarnia. Many had worked in the Wizards' Tower itself, with Zamorakians being one of the four orders that made up the Tower's inhabitants. For reasons that are not completely clear, these Zamorakian mages betrayed the Wizards' Tower and, in the process, burned in to the ground. Many of the secrets of magic and runecrafting were lost as a result.
In reality, the ability to create new teleportation spells had been discovered by a Red Order apprentice, Kelavan. His master Zanmaron proceeded to ask the aid of the demon Azacorax to create a gateway to the Abyss in order to create a teleportation beam in the tower as an anchor for new teleportation spells. When apprentice Perien of the Blue Order discovered the involvement of demonic magic during the ritual, however, the Blue Wizards left. This made the beam-in-creation unstable, and it exploded in a blast of magical energy. This caused the entire tower to collapse and partially burn down, with Kelavan and Perien being the only survivors. Perien blamed the Zamorakians for the tower's demise and, after rebuilding and becoming archmage of the Second Wizards' Tower, he banished the Red Order. Since Perien's were the only records to exist of the tower's destruction, it is likely that he made up the attack, calling it Operation: Phoenix, to put shame on the Zamorakians even further.
Following the destruction, anti-Zamorakian sentiment was strong throughout the human kingdoms. Many Zamorakians, such as the Dagon'hai in Varrock, were persecuted and forced into hiding. Although this sentiment still exists today, it has diminished to a degree. The Wizards' Tower was later rebuilt, albeit on a smaller scale and restricted only to the Saradominist Blue Order. The modern Zamorak Magical Institute is believed by the Temple Knights to be descended from the Zamorakian mages originally responsible for the plot. This, too, is false, for the Z.M.I. is an organisation of Zamorakian mages attempting to steal the teleportation spell to the rune essence mine (Senventior disthine molenko) from the Second Tower.