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 Chapter 23: Tidings of Doom

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Red Blizzard

Posts : 164
Join date : 2011-05-30
Age : 25
Location : Elsewhere

PostSubject: Chapter 23: Tidings of Doom   Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:40 am

At first, their arrival was thought to be a joke. They brought with them suitcases, helmets, and weapons, walking through the front door in a loosely organized gaggle. It wasn’t until they had proceeded up the stairs to their own corner of the castle was it made official. The Guardians of Doom were moving into Requiem. Correction: some of the members of the Guardians of Doom were moving into Requiem. They retained their old memberships, kept their old positions, and talked with their old friends. But for the most part, they were members of Requiem.

Their timing was crucial. The captains still in base were discussing measures to open the passage up so that Saint could return once he had rescued Soluna on Islix Sylvia. Plans were being made to open up the wall that cut Requiem off from the Echoing Eiscir. They needed all the help they could get for this two-pronged assault. What the Guardians of Doom offered was raw, unfettered strength, condensed into the form of five heartless creatures.

And they were literally heartless.

Priest watched Blizzard walk by him down a hallway, animatedly conversing with two figures in dark armor. Even at a distance of ten paces, he could feel their malevolent aura stretching out, smothering him. He shuddered. Why, of all people, did they have to be allied with arguably the evilest clan in the world? At least not all of them were Remnants, those truly soulless shells of humans that had clung to Lizargeco when the world was shattering and clans everywhere were falling apart. Now that much of the continent had regrouped into various little war camps, the Guardians of Doom were thriving more than ever, with Requiem doing supremely well in its own element. It was just beyond its borders that the trouble started. New recruits were less and less willing to travel further than a few dozen miles from their hometown to join a clan, which made Requiem a difficult proposition, now that much of its available supply had been used up.

“Wondering about something?”

Priest turned to find a man with tame black hair and bright eyes staring at him with mild curiosity. After searching about in his mind for a few moments, Priest found a name. Skull, the youngest of the Guardians to arrive, so named for the ghastly visage on his helmet. He looked innocent enough without his helmet on, but even then, Priest was reserved.

“I’m just wondering what motivated you to come here. The Guardians of Doom is a nice enough clan, from what I hear.”

“Yeah, well, we’ve made a few friends here over the years.” He nodded to Dye, passing down another corridor. He was locked in a heated debate with a Remnant, their voices bouncing all over as they turned a corner and went into a side room.

“How did you guys come to know Dye?”

“His reputation, for one. But he started coming over to our base for visits a few months ago. I guess he was just curious to see what it was like.”

“Hmmm...” Priest looked around, watching as the members of another clan mixed with those of his own. “I wonder if Lizargeco felt this way when Blizzard first arrived.”

Skull shrugged. “I wasn’t around during that time. In all honesty, I thought he had always been a member of the Guardians of Doom. Just not a Remnant for some strange reason.”

“I notice you’re not a Remnant either.” Priest noted Skull’s unaltered human form. But Skull grinned wickedly at Priest, reminding him briefly just where he came from.

“Maybe on the outside I look normal...” Skull thumped his chest, right over where his heart was supposed to be. “I’m not the same when I’m in battle.” And for reasons other than the malevolent aura, Priest had chills.


Blizzard made his way down to the gathering room, sinking into a chair near the fireplace. His two companions, sporting comfortable black clothes, settled down near him. On one side, feet propped up on a small table, was a man nicknamed Udds. He was a Remnant and a dragonslayer of wide repute, infamous for his brutal slaying tactics and his targeting of talking, “friendly” dragons rather than the wild ones who preyed on mankind. A large scar across one side of his face had permanently disfigured one cheek, making him appear as if he were always smirking at something. He was in the middle of telling a particularly raunchy joke while Blizzard and his other companion listened. This other companion was Reaper, a newer member of the Guardians of Doom. He, like Skull, wasn’t a Remnant, being part of the massive recruiting binge that had netted the Guardians a mass of members from which to choose from for various missions. Having survived the initial bloody battles that all grunts were put through to weed out weaklings, Reaper had managed to rise to a considerable rank in his first clan. Despite his evil background, he had a friendly demeanor, and many considered him capable of rising to a similar rank in his new clan.

“...and then he died.” Reaper guffawed and Blizzard laughed politely, Udds leaning back comfortably in his seat and looking around. “Yeah. Funny thing is, that was a real story.”

“Really?” Reaper looked at Udds, mildly surprised. “It sounded too random to be real.”

“No...I remember that scene actually.” Blizzard leaned forward in his seat. “I think I was there. I think I saw the last bit of what happened.”

Udds nodded. “Yeah, I remember you were there. You came in at the end, helped me to take out the body.”

Reaper shook his head. “How long have you two known each other?”

“Oh...ages...I think this is the second time Udds came here.”

“Yep. Last time I was here, this place was still a little hideout underground.”

Blizzard chuckled. “Those were the fun days. I remember you lost your cat here. Kept on searching for it for hours.”

“What happened?”

“It had a stomachache from eating too many rats. Eventually Jacob found it, and it puked all over his shoes.” Blizzard and Udds both roared with laughter.

“Wait...so why is this the second time Udds is here?”

“Oh...” the vestiges of laughter died from Udds’s face. “I misbehaved.” He gave Reaper a knowing wink.


“Oh, you know...bothered the Captains one too many times, harassed the other members... I got kicked out for bad behavior. You Requiem people are a buncha uptights.”

Blizzard sighed. “It’s the way we run. We’re not all evil here, so the mixture is a bit fragile as it is. People with different views mix more often here. It’s not just like the Guardians, where you have different shades of evil. Here, you have good and evil clashing all the time.”

A clash next door. They all looked up. Loud yells could be heard.


“Yeah. Just get used to it. Welcome to Requiem, both of you.”

Reaper looked around. It looked like a nice place to stay... Another crash. Reaper jumped, his eyes catching Udds’s features. The dragonslayer winked knowingly.


Dye groaned as he leaned against a wall, staring down at a cracked toe. Already, he could see blood welling up underneath the gritty nail. He swore, then put on his sock and sandal, wondering if he should bother Priest over this. In a rage, he had kicked the stone wall, compounding his worries. Now his foot hurt like hell, and there was a sizable dent in the wall as well. He hoped the internal structure of the castle hadn’t been compromised.

The source of his rage was petty, almost childish. On the very day of their arrival, he had gotten into an argument with one of the new members of Requiem, Merci. Their contention was over something equally childish: the Guardian games. Each had come up with their own game for the Guardians to enjoy, immersing the more restless members in fantastic worlds of their own making, complete with challenges and storyline. Dye, having replaced Merci as the organizer of these games, had attracted some flak already for his handling of the games. Merci, for his part, had tried to interrupt one or two of Dye’s own games while they were in motion, resulting in bad blood between the two of them. Now that Merci was here, promising to make things for Requiem better, Dye had every reason to be uncomfortable. They had met, argued for several minutes over what each person was doing here, in which Merci had gotten the upper hand in the debate. He had that annoying debate style that always left a bad taste in your mouth, no matter if you won or lost. After he had left, Dye had kicked the wall, shouting out every swear word he could think of. When he noticed he hadn’t left a mark on the wall, he kicked it again, cracking his toe. Dye groaned, sinking down against the base of the wall. What was he going to do now...


Staitus was listening to music, sitting serenely in the main hall with his companion and fellow expatriate from their former clan, Demons of Hell. That companion, Boomfus, was plinking out chords on his shark guitar, tuning it according to his personal tastes. After a couple satisfactory strums, he dove into a wild, wailing solo that drove the hairs up on everyone’s neck, vibrating the windows to the point of shattering. After half a minute of on-the-edge madness, Boomfus settled back into a slow, rocking tempo, giving Staitus a moment to breathe. His music was always an experience to behold.

“There’s something you don’t hear every day.” Both heads turned upwards to find a dark figure leaning at the foot of the statue of Angel, feet dangling off the edge of the pedestal. He jumped down as they saw him, landing lightly on his feet before turning towards them.

“Hey there. Are you one of the new members?”

“That’s right. My name’s Death. Or at least, that’s what everyone else calls me.”

“That’s ironic. The statue...”

“Yeah, yeah, Angel of Death. Where do you think he went after he left you guys?” Death flashed a grin at both of them, but the question had no effect. Neither had ever heard the story before. Death’s eyes flicked back and forth from one impassive face to another. “Aww, come on, don’t tell me you don’t care!”

“We really don’t know much about him...or at least, I don’t.”

“Mmm. Me neither.”

Death sighed. He already know more of Requiem’s lore than these two. “For your information, this big boy here was the guy who founded the clan. One-Wing, master of life and death. Scared the shit out of people he was fighting. He would hop in for a chat around our clan once in a while, share drinks with us and all that. He went by the name of Eliam while he was with us. We never had a problem with this clan while he was leader.”

“Wait...so you’re saying that Eliam was a member of the Guardians of Doom?”

“That’s right!” Death was beaming at their incredulous faces, glad he had finally gotten a reaction out of them. “The Leader of good was once a friend of evil.”

“So, what happened to him after he left?”

“He wouldn’t know.” They all turned to look at a man with calm features and dark, heavy armor walking towards them.

“Hey Merci...” Death took a step towards the newcomer, but he brushed by, coming to a stop before the other two.

“I hope you two haven’t bought too much of what he’s been saying. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

“Hey...wha...Merci! I...!”

“He joined the Guardians of Doom long after Eliam had disappeared. He’s just repeating what he’s heard from others.”

“So...” Staitus took a step forward. “Would you happen to know what happened to him?”

“Oh, no, not me. He was even before my time. Not that it matters anyways. Our one-winged friend left a great legacy of people who have learned a thing or two from him.” Merci’s eyes flickered towards Death before continuing. “Anyways, how’d you get that guitar of yours?” Staitus’s head drooped as the subject was changed, but Boomfus brightened up at the new topic.

“Oh, it’s a long story...” The talk went on for hours, as they discussed everything from the incident itself to the makeup of guitars in general. They touched briefly on Blizzard’s new guitar, before moving on from that to other things. It was getting dark when they finally ran out of words and started looking around for something to do. Staitus yawned. Death had mysteriously disappeared. Boomfus looked around. “So, what’s for dinner?”

Then a burly figure limped passed them.

“Priest! Can you do something about my toe?”

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Chapter 23: Tidings of Doom
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