Penance Runners are monsters encountered during the Barbarian Assaultminigame. They have no combat level, do not attack, and cannot be attacked. However, they must be killed before they reach the cave on the south side of the battlefield, or the Defender will lose the team three points. To do this, the Defender must either lure the runners onto traps with bait (Tofu, Crackers or Worms) or lure them enough so other players may use the Cannon to dispose of the Runners themselves.
At the traps, if the Runner says Blurghh, this means that the wrong bait has been placed, and the trap has failed and it will then run North. And if the Runner says Chomp chomp, this means that the Runner has taken the bait, and the trap will go off, which will kill it immediately. It is possible to kill multiple runners at once if they approach the trap at the same time.
In hard mode, if a runner eats the wrong type of food or is killed, it will say Aoooogah and cause heavy damage to nearby players.
Runners can also be damaged with red eggs or lured with blue eggs fired from the Egg launcher. Contrary to popular belief, using the cannon to kill Runners does not cause the team to lose points, nor does it prevent the Defender from gaining any from killing it themselves. The Defender does not gain points for the team in their role directly, the points earned are from the entire team's efforts.
In the Barbarian Assault hall, there is a statue and a plaque that describes them. It says: 'The Penance Runner - These creatures are attracted to the scent of their queen - charging to her aid in the hope of creating a barrier to protect her from threat. Their slithering pseudopods aid in motion, and their bulky bodies are effective shields, forming a strong barrier when linked together. they are willing to waste their own lives in the simple interest of protecting their queen. Using this interesting trait against them, Penance runners can be lured in the arena by the exit cave, which is doused with this scent. This is used to test combatants in how many Penance runners manage to get past and how many are stopped with the use of the traps. Penance runners are an energetic group, and take any opportunity to eat and restore energy. With this in mind, laying down fod within smelling distance of the runners will lure them along. However, they are not stupid, and look for different food to ensure they are not so easily tricked... Hence, giving them the wrong food wil send them running back to their caves. It's an interesting evolutionary trait, where information is sent telepathically between Penance runners... Information that we carefully intercept.'