The Lore of RuneScape
This writing is a record of the ancient times. Much is questionable guesswork but the records are far less than complete. As more is discovered this document will expand and change.
The First AgeCreation of RuneScape. Giants briefly are dominate species (according to ancient records), but are soon supplanted by Elves, Gnomes, Men, and Dwarves. First clashes between Zamorak and Saradomin.
The Second AgeThe race of Elves wiped out or driven off by Dark Forces from the West. Baxtorian makes his waterfall refuge and hides the treasures of the elves. Whatever remaining Elves there were vanished completely. The only remaining sources of information on the Elves are magically defended and preserved locations like the Baxtorian Waterfall and the tomb of Glarial. This is also the first mention of the Rune Stones, powerful stones capable of many wonders.
The Third AgeThe White Knights of Falador launch the Dawn Ascension, they drive the Black Knights back into their stronghold by the Wilderness and Iban is killed. It is persumed that Zamorak had a larger and more open following of men before this time, even if it was slavery and obedience through fear. At this time the dwarves may have recovered many of the lost Elvish treasures, according to the 'Book of Baxtorian' which was compiled in the fifth age.
The Fourth AgeScorpius builds first telescope, communes with Zamorak and becomes a follower of Evil in exchange for foresight. This is an interesting contradiction, that a man of science would chose to follow the Chaotic One. Even more surprising that Zamorak would even accept such a person into his retinue. Scorpius' doomed spirit and his followers still haunt his grave site near a Zamorakian place of worship. At this time the war between Saradomin and Zamorak became so intense the world itself was nearly toppled, we can assume that it was at this time the original telescope was lost and the last remnants of elder civilizations like the Elves and the Zaros Cult were buried, if not out rightly destroyed.
The Fifth AgeAt the beginning of the Fifth age, Saradomin and Zamorak made a pact (possibly compelled by Guthix) not to directly interfere with the affairs of RuneScape. They handed that governorship over to the greatest mage of the era, Gower, who has continued their work. Zamorak and Saradomin continue to guide their servants from a far. Lately, many uprisings of the sleepless Zamorakian dead have occurred. Scorpius, Iban, Khazard, and Zombie Quenn on Karamja. Iban and the Zombie Queen both brought powerful armies back from the grave against mankind while Khazard nearly succeeded in destroying one of the only two known settlements of Gnomes. This seems to be a intentional attack against all the living, who knows how much further it could go? We think that even Guthix finds Zamorak's reliance on the undead reprehensible because they break the natural cycles of life and death, unbalancing the universe.
The GodsSaradomin probably the most publicly and widely acknowledged god of mankind; alters to Saradomin can be found quite easily in most any town. Saradomin is the god of reason and order, 'Strength through Wisdom' is his motto. He is closely connected with magic and prayer. However, the Zaros Followers were so thoroughly destroyed by Saradomists, Zaros's existence has only now been discovered. Saradomin despises Zamorak and his like, they've been at war almost from the begriming of the world. Saradomin's recent communications with his people (and the outright theft of that means of communication by Zamorak) reveal that the fraternal strife between them is far from over.
Zamorak although mankind gives a fairly good show of following the wisdom of Saradomin, alters to the Dark god can still be found in the slums of large cities or in dark strongholds beyond the boundaries of mainstream civilization. Zamorak is the god of Chaos and Evil, he is filled to the brim with spite and disgust for everything and everyone, he delights in all death and mayhem, even when it is directed at his own servants. Some of them are so hostile they even avoid each other. In the fifth age, most his human (and living) servents have been beaten down by Saradomists (or just people that don't want to be randomly decapitated whilst mining). Zamorak has come to rely more and more on undead, which can disturbingly involve the local extinction of the human race. It may be that Zamorak is trying to supplant mankind completely.
Guthix has been known of for some time, but his position is ambiguous at best. "I am both, I am neither, I am Guthix". Guthix has a small following of Humans, which unlike Saradomists and Zamorakians rely on herblaw, and possibly very ancient magic. Just where Guthix stands on an issue or what he will actually do is always questionable. Guthix is apparently the god of the Dwarves, who mostly keep whatever religious rites they observe to themselves. The numbers of henges and Dolmens scattered across RuneScape also suggest that the Guthix Cult was once far larger. But it is presently composed of a tight-nit group of introverted herbalists who refuse to do any more traffic with the outside world than necessary. Guthix is enigmatic, but he also has revealed he still maintains RuneScape and its creatures in their natural cycles.
Zaros and the vanquished gods until very recently, it was thought that the three primary gods were all the existed in RuneScape. However clear evidence of at least one additional deity has been found in the area west of Varrock. Zaros seems to be a Chaotic god like Zamorak, but his following was completely overrun by Saradomists and almost every trace of his religion destroyed. It is unknown if these gods still exist or if they are bound by the pact between Saradomin and Zamorak that places all power in the hands of the Mage Gower.
RacesMan - by far the most evident and widely distributed (both in philosophically and spatially) race. Human settlements can be found almost anywhere. Humans, at least in general and publicly, serve Saradomin with only a relatively small cult obeying Zamorak and a even smaller one aligned to Guthix. But of course there are thieves, slavers, barbarians, and primitives who don't acknowledge any gods and are in entirely for their own.
Dwarves - solitary and moody, the dwarves have been around at least as long as men, but haven't bothered making their prescience felt very often. The Dwarves owe mild allegience to Guthix. A very distant branch of the dwarfish race, however, is fanatically Zamorakian. The Chaos Dwarves are mostly driven into solitary places where they can take adventurers unawares with little threat of reprisal. The dwarves have settlements of various sizes all over RuneScape.
Gnomes - long hidden in remote strongholds or through confusing mazes, Gnomes have (cheerfully) barricaded themselves against the world. Their small size and cleverness make them the targets of evil factions of men, who hunt and slaughter stray gnomes. The only gnome settlements are far to the West along the impassable mountain range. It is unknown what deity the gnomes follow but they are certainly closely aligned with nature.
Elves - very little is known about the elves, except that they were once powerful and inhabited the now empty regions far north of Ardougne. Baxtorian, the last king of the Elves, lead a five year campaign against the forces of Evil which apparently succeeded. Somehow, enemies slipped behind Baxtorian's forces and laid waste to the Elvish lands so the victors returned only to empty ruins. Most of the Elves were simply gone, Baxtorian's wife Glarial was found dead. Baxtorian was insane with grief, he abandoned his armies and the remnants of his people, entering his magical Waterfall fortress and never came forth. Legend says he was waiting for Glarial's return, even after she was buried in state and defended by the Natural Forces of Runes which He and Glarial had much power over. The race of Elves seems now to be extinct or hidden very distant as yet unexplored lands.
This represents only the least beggining of the chronicling of RuneScape. It shall expand and even change as the true facts become known or better understood.