The battered tome (also called Histories of the Hallowland) is a quest item found during In Aid of the Myreque. As its name implies, the content of this book is mostly a history of Morytania. It does also raise questions about the origin of Lord Lowerniel Vergidiyad Drakan.
In years gone by, the land or Morytania went by another name... that of the 'Hallowed Land'. Much of that age has now disappeared into mists of time. And as distant and forbidding as that time appears to be, sometimes like that dread land Morytania itself, we need to shoulder our heavy armour and trudge wearily onwards. To understand the past gives us some glimmer of hope of understanding our time here now and perhaps a hopeful glance at a future. The strange structures of the land or Morytania is due, most likely, in no small part to the many wars that have been fought through the lands of RuneScape. But even here, there is something quite strange about the terrain. Swampy and rotten, the foul smell of death and desolation fills the air. Where does this pungent aroma come from?
It is said that before the dark Lord Drakan arrived in Morytania, a very different land existed. A green land, pleasant and bounteous. Sufficient to please hundreds of farmers, and to supply large towns, villages and cities with food. there is little information to support this idea, but there are hints that this land had not always been the darkened and dreadful place it now appears to be.
There is some speculation about a time before our recorded history when there appeared to be some disputes between the gods. In this time, it is said, that Saradomin and Zamorak brought forces into the world to fight for them and claim large areas of land. Where they brought these forces from and how is still a mystery. But, we can hardly deny that many weird and un-natural creatures do exist in this land, things which even the most advanced of scholars do not yet comprehend. Many of these creatures still infest Morytania and their place of origin is still not properly located.
As an example of strange creatures let us focus on the Ghasts in Mort Myre swamp! Which bizarre act of nature caused these freakish creatures to exist? It seems that whoever dies in that diseased and disgusting place is forever doomed to it, ever hungry and searching for victims to feed on. Blessed it is then that somehow brave new adventurers are able to reveal these foul creatures and destroy them (with great aid of Guthix, who adores balance amongst all things), and at the same time release the tortured soul from its earthbound torment.
It is clear that some influence is at work in Morytania and its intent is bent towards evil. Before this dark period in history, Morytania is believed to have had a golden age of peace. It is hard to imagine that the Shade infested town of Mort'ton could have once been a busy, happy thriving bustling town. And even Canifis, once a busy market village supplying all manner of goods to the local population, instead of a cesspit of Werewolf activity and a certain death trap for all but the hardiest of adventurers. Stories and yarns told by the inhabitants of Morytania, and those lucky few who make their way out of that dark land, give us some glimpses of what might have happened there. From these peoples come many bits of story and song from which we can piece together a plausible history line, that is the true aim of this tome.
Let us begin with the current overlord of Morytania, Lowerniel Vergidiyad Drakan. His reign in Morytania has been unchallenged in the history of this land, as far as we can tell. But how long has this been? What do we know of this dark lord? It is clear to many who have visited Morytania that he is a creature of darkness, a Vampyre, but by which strange happenstance did he come to be here?
Some reports say that he came from beneath the ground of a great castle that stands in the middle of Morytania, but reports claim that a huge city lies beneath the castle, this does not seem plausible. Yet others say that there are countless tunnels which lead into a flaming dark inferno, which it is claimed these dark creatures come from, even more unlikely. What is interesting is that in all these great yarns, one fact remains always the same; he came into and attacked a castle which already existed.
It is the author's belief that the castle existed before Drakan entered Morytania and that some other power existed in the land before him. What this power was is not known, though stories again give us a glimpse at what might have been. Once such tale is of a Queen from far away land of considerable power and revered by the peoples. It is also claimed that the peoples named the land 'Hallowvale' after her, though there is no true record of this.
It is interesting to consider, is it not, that a time of peoples and pleasantness could have existed in the land of Morytania before this. And perhaps to consider, hope and pray that at some point those times shall be returned to this dark, plagued and unhappy land.
However, let us not forget that had it not been for the seven priestly warriors at Silvarea, that lands of Morytania might extend today as far as Falador... and Varrock may have been an even more sinister city than it appears today! And of those seven, perhaps the most intriguing could said to be Ivandis Seergaze of Lumbridge. His silvthril rod of power with blue serene gem was said to have been crafted by the artisans of Saradomin himself. And though there are no accurate records, it is said that its exacting and precise dimensions and shape were the just reason for its great power.
When asked about how it was made and how it came into being, Ivandis had always simply commeted "Of Silvthril and exact dimensions is the item constructed. After enchantments that come from the magic of man can it be placed in our lord Saradomin's holy water, where magical blessings will 'He' commit to it."
It is not clear why he should hide such important details in such incoherent ramblings. Suffice to say that many artisans have tried recreating this holy relic in a bid to supply adventurous types keen on restoring balance to Morytania. But alas this could not happen because the true dimensions of the relic are not accurately known. It is believed that this secret, along with the artefact, died with Ivandis and now lies sealed up inside his tomb beneath Paterdomus, never to be seen again.
Another infuriatingly cryptic element which is yet to be explained is the 'Balance' which Guthix is supposed to have invested in Ivandis, in the form of a potion. Once again his cryptic message does not help very much. "Guthix's balance needs to be fed to those minions of darkness in order for the balance to be restored. And this task is carried out only when they are held in Saradomin's power. for this to occur, one should supplement a common potion of bodily restoration with the essence of garlic and silver dust, the later being gained by the use of a strange machine in the tower to the north east of Morytania and in the hands of some ghostly beings."
Whatever the truth of all these details, it seems clear that Drakan is intent on staying. His authority in this region has never been challenged and perhaps arguably has grown over the centuries. Reports from the area are limited and vague so perhaps the truth is either far less, or far greater than we may currently comprehend. In any event, it is clear that some strategy should be forthcoming if Drakan's evil minions should once again try to spread into Misthalin. It is believed, perhaps in error, that Paterdomus will stand forever as a silent guardian against the power of Morytania. Perhaps one day we will see a redress of the evil that Drakan has brought to Morytania, and we will get to witness first hand the bounteous riches and wholesome living that can be had in that land once called 'Hallowvale'.