|“||Why should you trust me? Well now, I don't have an answer to that. In fact, I do. You shouldn't.||”|
Sliske (pronounced slis-KAY) is a mysterious and powerful Zarosian Mahjarrat, responsible for the death of Guthix. Azzanadra describes him as "Sliske the serpent-tongued, who delves the shadows" and Zemouregal calls him: "One of the more powerful of our number. Sliske has particularly strong shapeshifting capabilities and powers over shadows. I would love to catch this guy, but he's a slippery fellow." Sliske is one of the more mysterious and powerful Mahjarrat, being unfindable unless he desires to seek you himself. He also collects strong warriors and adds them to his collection as his undead wights, which he uses in battle.
Although a devout Zarosian, Sliske is very unlike his fellow Mahjarrat. In line with his titles, Sliske is extremely cunning, confident, an excellent liar and able to betray allies at a whim. He often works towards his own goals while making his allies believe what they want to believe. This is most evident when he turns against an allied adventurer at the 18th Rejuvenation Ritual, and even more when he pretends to agree with Wahisietel and Azzanadra to wake and bargain with Guthix to return Zaros, when in reality he had somehow obtained the Staff of Armadyl, planning to slay the god and managed to do so in the end. Sliske is devious and manipulative and whatever he does, it is always for the good of Zaros or himself. Whoever of the two benefits, Sliske chooses the path he deems the most 'fun', regardless of others' opinions.
Guthix achieved his godhood by slaying the ancient god Skargaroth with one of the Elder Weapons, transferring Skargaroth's power to Guthix in a similar way as how Zamorak became a god. Azzanadra, however, states that, while the kill may have changed Sliske, he is strongly convinced that Sliske is not intent on achieving godhood, because he is loyal to Zaros and it would be too much to ask of him. This does not mean he hasn't received any godly powers from Guthix after his slaying. In addition, he is believed to be a god by a certain woman, who proclaims "Sliske's ways" as a god emissary. She is fairly uninformed, however, and is as such an inaccurate source.
Not much is known of Sliske's powers. He is known for "delving the shadows" and having "powers over shadows", as Zemouregal mentioned in his notes. Sliske's "power over shadows" is noted to be very useful by Azzanadra, who states that "Not many of our kind are able to reach into the Shadow Realm, but of those who can, Sliske’s mastery is unmatched." . Azzanadra has also said of Sliske, "An ally he may be, but I did not become master of my Lord's legions without being sure of the powers wielded by those close to me. Sliske is one whose actions can be seen each and every day in the smallest of this world's details."
Suggested by the fellow Mahjarrat's comments, Sliske has been proven to be quite intelligent and very cunning, and he is very aware of how he is regarded. His "Serpent-tongued qualities" seem to be similar to the abilities of the ring of Charos. Azzanadra states that "too many would assume this to be just his manner of speaking – he is far from being a snake. Rather, his words carry weight in the mind, and have a way of bending the weak to his will". He has also stated that "power is fleeting, and Sliske always gets what he wants out of deals; I’d advise, should you ever meet him, not to make deals with him.". This is has been evident many times in history; when Sliske tricked Saradominists into releasing Nex, when he claimed the souls of the Barrows Brothers, when he attempted to get a new wight at the 18th Ritual and when he pretended to agree with the other Zarosians to not kill Guthix, for example.
Sliske is thought to have great control over the undead, as he is the stranger described in The Fall of Six who granted the Barrows Brothers their abilities and reanimated their spirits; the stranger in the tale is described as "delving into the shadows at [the camp's] edge". Azzanadra states that "Sliske himself did not kill his Barrows toys, but it was the power he granted them that sealed their fate." This is true, for the brothers died naturally before Sliske claimed them for his collection. It seems Sliske only controls specific warriors of whom he thinks are worthy of becoming his slaves, unlike Zemouregal, who takes any zombie as his servant, and trains them later.
Aside from his power over his wights, the ability to convert new warriors to wights and his mastery of the Shadow Realm, virtually nothing has been seen of Sliske's direct combat abilities. Although he did slay Guthix, elder weapons do not seem to require sufficient experience to be used, as was proven with Guthix's stabbing of Skargaroth. In fact, it appears Sliske tries to avoid direct confrontations whenever possible. After the God Wars had begun, Sliske disappeared and when he later emerged during the Battle for the Godsword, he took the effort to gather Saradominists to release Nex instead of doing it himself, likely because he deemed it the most fun. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that Sliske, him being a Mahjarrat and quite a powerful one too, is very proficient at combat and has great magical skill.
History of SliskeEdit
Arrival to GielinorEdit
Sliske, like the rest of his kin, was brought to Gielinor from Freneskae, the realm of perpetual warfare, by the Menaphite god of the dead, Icthlarin. The Mahjarrat served him and protected the desert, until switching allegiance to Zaros, who offered them more combat and freedom. Sliske was amongst those Mahjarrat who grew happy with Zaros's reign, although he always retained a certain trait of unpredictability. As Sliske's own combat abilities are yet to be seen, it is likely that he animated the corpses of fallen enemies to serve as his wights, as he does today.
Not a lot is known about Sliske's actions during the fall of Zaros, when Zaros's general Zamorak started a rebellion which ended with Zaros vanished and Zamorak becoming a god himself. Zamorak briefly cooperated with Saradomin to destroy everything that remained of the Empty Lord's empire before beginning the God Wars against the remaining three gods of any significant power (Saradomin, Armadyl and Bandos).
Release of NexEdit
As the purge of Zaros' followers reached its conclusion, the last army of Zaros was trying to secure the location of the Mahjarrat ritual stone when they were attacked by Saradominists. Zaros' forces were led by the devastating creature Nex. The Saradominists had no hope of defeating such a strong force, so with great effort they drove Zaros' army back into a cave where they were sent into an enchanted sleep, after which the cave was sealed. Saradomin then erected the Temple of Lost Ancients around it. As even Zaros's most powerful champion, Azzanadra, fell to the forces of Zamorak and Saradomin, and the settlements of Zaros fell one by one, Sliske did what he did best and went into hiding as the God Wars began.
Towards the end of the God Wars, a small flock of Armadyl's Aviantese followers were ambushed by a much larger group of demons that Zamorak had sent. The Aviantese carried the "Godsword", an exceptionally powerful weapon imbued with the power of a deity. Unable to repel the attack, the Aviantese fled into the very same temple, unaware of what it covered. Forces from all sides soon arrived, and the Battle for the Godsword erupted.
Sliske, seizing the opportunity, disguised himself as a follower of Guthix and used his manipulating influence on a group of Saradominists. He told them that Guthix was an almighty god, the only one powerful enough to stop the war (which, some time later, turned out to be true) and that a ritual had to be performed to awake Guthix from his slumber. The priests, amongst whose number was Ashuelot Reis, were converted to Guthixism and performed the ritual. To their horror, the ritual instead unlocked the seal Saradomin had placed and thus opened the Ancient Prison, as had been the Mahjarrat's intention. Nex and her forces were free, and caused huge losses amongst all sides. Sliske slipped away again, his work done.
Unbeknownst to Sliske, all four forces (those of Zamorak, Armadyl, Saradomin and Bandos) united for the only time in history to drive back the Zarosians. Eventually, they succeeded and they sealed the army behind a frozen door. Its key was smashed into four pieces, one to be guarded by each faction. Their common threat defeated, the factions once again broke into fighting one another. As a result of the constant warfare part of the temple itself collapsed, burying and freezing the four remaining factions for millennia. Ashuelot saw the error of her ways and became a nature spirit in the icy prison, ready to warn people for the atrocities ahead should they ever breach the frozen door.
|“||The gifts I bestowed upon you have served you well, and you, in turn, have served your god. Now, it is time to begin your servitude to me...to my god. (...) But first, you must die...||”|
As a reward for helping in the coup of Zaros, Zamorak had granted vampyre overlord Lowerniel V. Drakan the right to invade Hallowland and claim it as his own, after which Drakan invaded the country with his army of vampyres. The defending icyene put up a good fight, but the country eventually fell. When he reached the capital Hallowvale, where humans and Icyene lived in peace, he managed to kidnap King Ascertes, forcing Queen Efaritay to surrender and give up the city. Drakan gave power to an already strong vampyre named Vanstrom Klause to find the last Icyene of Hallowland, Efaritay's son Safalaan, and renamed the city Meiyerditch.
A Saradominist campaign was launched at the end of the God Wars (one of several in history that attempted to liberate the Sanguinesti region), consisting of an army of several thousand mercenaries and warriors, in an attempt to reclaim "Morytania" in the name of Saradomin. They were led by six brothers, each very adept at their branch of combat. Sliske appeared before them, disguised once again, and granted them great powers. The campaign advanced, albeit with difficulty. After one last stop, the army advanced and reached the walls of Darkmeyer and Castle Drakan. Sliske then appeared before the six brothers, Ahrim, Dharok, Guthan, Karil, Torag and Verac, and spoke to them. He told them that he had given them power so that they could serve their god, but now, it was time for them to serve his own. The brothers all subsequently died and were interred under barrows just outside Darkmeyer, ending their campaign. Sliske raised the brothers as his undead minions and tasked them with guarding a precious Zarosian artefact. Drakan had suffered a blow, but due to the brothers' deaths, the campaign failed and the vampyres turned out victorious. The indifferent but satisfied Slike disappeared yet again.
18th Ritual of RejuvenationEdit
|“||I have been following your progress for some time now, watching from the shadows. You have grown most powerful, and now I am rejuvenated, I have an opportunity to expand my collection.||”|
Sliske, as always, arrived to the Ritual in 169 of the Fifth Age shortly after Lucien. He revealed himself to the present adventurer as the individual who had been keeping The Barrows Brothers trapped as vengeful spirits. He appeared at Ghorrock for the Ritual of Rejuvenation just at the time the adventurer, whom he had been following for a while, Wahisietel, Sir Tiffy Cashien and a battalion of Temple Knights were about to fight Lucien and his forces, and joined the fight against Lucien, aiding in defeating the powerful Ice Demons that he summoned.When the Ritual commenced, Sliske went along with Lucien's suggestion that the fellow Zarosian Jhallan should be sacrificed because he was the weakest of their kind. When the decision was about to be made, Wahisietel demanded that Lucien had to be the one sacrificed due to the danger he posed to Gielinor, starting a fight between the Zarosian and the Zamorakian Mahjarrat. During the fight, Sliske summoned the Barrows Brothers once more to fight off Zemouregal's followers, starting with Armoured Zombies and ending with Zemouregal's second-in-command, Sharathteerk. Zemouregal summoned zombie Arrav to keep Sliske and his wights at bay, but the adventurer broke Arrav's curse using the latter's heart and the hero of Varrock proceeded to sent a flurry of attacks at Zemouregal. Unable to withstand both Arrav's and Azzanadra's attacks, Zemouregal begged Lucien for help, but after his cousin simply ignored him, he realised Wahisietel had been right and prompted all Mahjarrat to turn on Lucien. They agreed and both Zarosians and Zamorakians focused their attacks on the aspiring god.
After the Ritual was completed and Jhallan was sacrificed, Azzanadra summoned the power of Zaros, severely damaging Lucien in the process. Enraged, Lucien brought in and touched the Stone of Jas in attempt to use its power to punish the opposing Mahjarrat. However, the Dragonkin were summoned and they killed Lucien after a short but intense brawl. After witnessing Lucien's death, most of the Mahjarrat teleported away, terrified by the Dragonkin but satisfied by the outcome of the Ritual. Sliske was one of the two Mahjarrat that did not teleport away (the other being Wahisietel). Instead, impressed by the adventurer's power, Sliske remained to attempt to claim them as a new addition to his collection, but failed as the priest Akrisae saved them by jumping in front of the spell that Sliske had cast. Akrisae was then turned into a wight called Akrisae the Doomed and Sliske teleported away with his new minion, commenting that he would do for now, before Sir Tiffy could attack him.
Discovery of Guthix's retreatEdit
|“||We will not kill Guthix. You have my word.||”|
Later, Sliske disguised himself as the Shadowed Figure to do some reconnaissance around RuneScape. He could be found around the Grand Exchange, the entrance to the God Wars Dungeon, and near the ruins by the Legends Guild. An archaeologist from Varrock Museum, Orlando Smith, discovered an ancient Guthixian site in Kandarin. Thinking it may be the resting place of Guthix himself, a location that many Mahjarrat looked for for a long time after the end of the God Wars, Sliske quickly formed a plan of action to find Guthix and undo his edicts.
When Orlando enlists the adventurer's help to explore the dungeon (the adventurer strangely being able to open the ancient door), they accidentally set off the alarm system of the cavern, unbeknownst to them also wakening Guthix. After Orlando is slain by three automatons, which are part of the security system, thinking he was a Mahjarrat, Sliske reveals himself, pretending to be Guthix. The adventurer does not believe this however, and Sliske reveals his true identity, explaining why the automatons had traced a Mahjarrat lifeform. He states that his intention is to find Guthix and negotiate Zaros' return with him and not killing him, which is what other gods' followers are looking for. He explains that they are standing in Guthix's resting place and that triggering the alarm was sensible all over the world. He predicts that many other creatures are about to storm in, eager to reach Guthix and kill him to return their own god. As such, he advises that the adventurer side with the Zarosians, who will not kill Guthix, while pretending to side with the Guthixians (who will want to protect Guthix, obviously) to reach him first. When asked why Sliske should be trusted, he simply replies he shouldn't be. After that, he conceals them in the Shadow Realm, and they visit the Wilderness Crater, where the sword Guthix slammed into the ground when declaring his edicts is pulsating red light. Sliske explains that the sword was activated when the alarm was triggered and that it is communicating with all the stone circles - include the Zamorakian one near Varrock. They then spy on Zemouregal and Sharathteerk in Zemouregal's Fort, seeing Zemouregal finding out that Guthix's cave has been discovered as some dark wizards report to him that the stone circle is crying out with pain. They move on to the entrance of the God Wars Dungeon and notice Commander Zilyana flying off towards the cave to return Saradomin. As they return to the cave, the ground begins shaking when Zilyana, Kree'arra and K'ril Tsutsaroth storm in in their attempt to assassinate Guthix, to which Sliske teleports away and advises the adventurer to try not to die. He then proceeds to the Ancient Prison and releases Nex.
The slaying of GuthixEdit
As the adventurer defeats Kree'arra and ventures further into the cave, allying themselves with the Guardians of Guthix and other important Guthixians, they arrive in the central chamber when all factions attack at once. A mighty battle erupts and, after dealing with General Graardor, K'ril Tsutsaroth, Zemouregal and Enakhra (all come to return Bandos and Zamorak respectively) Zilyana appears with her army and kills the Guardian of Guthix Cres, thinking him to be Guthix. Having secretly followed the Saradominists, the powerful Zarosians (Sliske excluded) swarm the room and after a tense discussion, while no one payed attention, Sliske betrayed the player, broke into the last chamber and quickly killed Guthix with the legendary Staff of Armadyl, proving the adventurer's trust misplaced. Even Azzanadra was surprised by Sliske's act, despite earlier warnings of Wahisietel not to believe that Sliske would not kill Guthix. It is unknown if Sliske acquired the power of Guthix, if Guthix had already transferred its powers to the adventurer or if its power was simply lost. According to many notable Zarosians, Sliske secretly did that to become the most valuable and respected Zarosian and that he didn't betray Zaros, he killed Guthix in his name. They haven't seen him since that event but still state with much security that such thing is normal for Sliske and that he is loyal to Zaros. It is currently unknown if he has become a god, but various sources, including Azzanandra, suggest he hasn't.
It is unknown how Sliske obtained the staff, as half of it was in possession of the Dragonkin after the events of the last ritual, but it should be noted that Sliske still has the staff, effectively making him one of the most powerful beings currently alive. When Mod Emilee was asked how Sliske obtained the Staff of armadyl she stated that it was relatively easy for him to craft a new orb for the staff, but how he obtained the shaft is a revelation that will shake the world.
As said before, Sliske owns of a collection of wights, which consist of powerful warriors who Sliske converted into an undead form. These undead do not become weaker with time, making perfect slaves for the Mahjarrat. Currently, seven wights of Sliske's are known;
- The Barrows Brothers - he acquired these at the end of the Third Age near the Great Vyrewall, in what is now called the barrows town.
- Ahrim, "the Blighted" - a powerful magician
- Dharok, "the Wretched" - a strong warrior carrying a greataxe
- Guthan, "the Infested" - a potent warrior using a spear
- Karil, "the Tainted" - a nimble crossbow archer
- Torag, "the Corrupted" - a valiant warrior using twin warhammers
- Verac, "the Defiled" - a powerful warrior wielding a flail
- Akrisae, "the Doomed" - a powerful warrior-priest. Sliske acquired him in 169 of the Fifth Age during the 18th Ritual, on the ritual site, although he had missed his original target.
- Sliske is the third individual known to have defeated, and the second to have killed, a god, the other two being Guthix, who slew Skargaroth, and Zamorak, who defeated Zaros. Like Zamorak, Sliske used the Staff of Armadyl. In addition, both Sliske and Zamorak did not immediately ascend to godhood, unlike Guthix. The latter was banished from Gielinor and became a god elsewhere. Sliske's fate remains unknown, although he is unlikely to want to become a god.
- His name is similar to the Polish word "śliskie" meaning "slippery".
- Mod Osborne revealed that Sliske may possibly be a god. This is reinforced by Sliske being a part of the God Emissaries, confirmed in the first episode of Above the Lore with Mods Ana, Osborne and Ollo. Other sources disprove this, however.
- Sliske has a luchador mask aligned to him called el serpiente (meaning the snake), suggesting an affiliation with serpents. It likely refers to his title of "the serpent-tongued".
- ^ Pronunciation Guide - RuneScape Wiki. RuneScape Wiki. Jagex Ltd. Retrieved on 2012-10-26.
- ^ Jagex. Postbag 20 - "Tales from earlier ages", letter #3. Postbags from the Hedge.
- ^ Zemouregal, "Notes (k-z)", RuneScape. *
- ^ Wahisietel, "The World Wakes", RuneScape. "[Sliske] is slippery; always lurking in the shadows. You can never be quite sure what he is intending, but you can always guarantee his actions will either benefit himself or Zaros."
- ^ a b c Azzanadra, "The World Wakes", RuneScape."I have known Sliske for my entire life. I do not believe he would ever strive for [godhood]. He is a faithful supporter of Zaros, and he has no wish to rule. It would be far too much responsibility for him."
- ^ a b c "Above the Lore - Episode 1". 02-05-2013 - Note: Relevant information between 11:00 and 12:00.
- ^ a b c Jagex. Postbag 44 - "Postbag from the Heim", letter #4. Postbags from the Hedge.
- ^ Jagex. Postbag 38 - "What's the matter, Jad? Chicken?", letter #5. Postbags from the Hedge.
- ^ Jagex. "The Fall of Six." RuneScape Lores and Histories.
- ^ a b Mod Emilee. "The World Wakes - FAQ". 08-03-2013. RuneScape News.