The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
Okay, I'll be the first to admit that my entry is absurdly long. But I just got so into it, and I got kinda carried away. I should also tell you that xking595x is NOT a homicidal jerk who gives adventurers stupid quests. I just took a little artistic liberty with this. Enjoy!
As the sun
steadily rose into the sky, the ruined city stood eerily still. The fallen
buildings and wrecked cars meshed with the red spikes from Hell protruding from
the earth. A large, lone figure walked stoically through the dust-ridden
streets. It was War, the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
man with the title ‘Horseman’, I sure spend a lot of time walking. So
thought War as he trudged bitterly through the dead city.
moment, a group of undead crawled out of several nearby cars surrounding War. Bah!
I’ve had enough of these things! War put his hand on the hilt of his sword,
ready to fight, when suddenly-
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
In a few
short seconds, the undead hordes erupted in a splatter of blood and gore. War
suddenly found himself surrounded by the corpses of the- well, corpses. He
turned to see who had made such short work of the beasts and found himself
facing an old soldier armed to the teeth with guns. This soldier had long white
hair and a bushy white mustache. He wore a gray bandana and had an eye patch
over his left eye.
our little patch of paradise.” the soldier said gruffly. “What business do you
a message telling me that I could find an ally here to help me in my battle
against Heaven and Hell.” War answered.
message was from my employer. Follow me.”
soldier walked off towards a large, dark castle in the distance. War followed
“So who is
your employer? What is he doing here, in the fallen Kingdom of Man?” War asked.
himself the X-King, and he is a very powerful overlord who spends his time
recruiting video game heroes such as yourself. There was a real estate issue
while he was looking for a place to build his giant fortress of doom, so he
built it right here, in the forgettable post-apocalyptic setting of Darksiders.
So far, no one has objected.”
But I’m not exactly what you would call a video game hero.” said War. “I always
considered myself sort of an anti-hero.”
huh? Have you considered that maybe you are a hero- but that you’re just
a really unlikable hero?”
War muttered, confused.
met a lot of protagonists passing through here, and after a while I’ve started
to notice a lot of tropes. What are you? You’re a large, violent man who fights
giant supernatural entities. It’s almost as if you’re trying to imitate the
style of a certain Ghost of Sparta. What else do you do? You run around in
dungeons and use a boomerang, kind of like that kid with the weird green hat.
Is that a giant sword on you’re back? I can list ten characters off the top of
my head that carry around giant swords on their backs. Look, I’m sorry if I’m
hurting your pride here, War. But you’ve just become so routine.”
down at the ground. He was feeling a strange, painful feeling in his chest.
What emotion was this? Rage? No, it wasn’t rage. Was it brooding? No, it wasn’t
brooding either. But what else could it be? Those were the only two emotions
that War knew!
we are.” said Snake- I mean, the soldier.
up. He stood before a fortress that must have been twice as large as the entire
city. The tower had been painted various shades of black, white, and red, which
gave it a sort of angsty teen-rock vibe. War now understood why the fortress
had to be built in area populated only by dead people. Had it been built within
100 miles of any living person, a homeowner’s association would have foreclosed
along the red carpet and it’ll lead you to the throne room.” the soldier
then kicked the large oak doors open, as he did with all large doors. He walked
into the fortress, and was halfway through the main corridor when he heard the
old man mutter “God help you” before the oak doors slid shut abruptly, sending
a loud echo through the room.
made it to the throne room, where he saw the X-King sitting upon a large,
extravagant throne. The king’s eyes and hair were covered by a black helm with
a red X marked across the forehead. He wore a fancy black tunic that was fitted
tightly at the torso to show off his manly chest and abs. On his shoulder sat
an orange squirrel with a cigar in its mouth, and at the side of the throne was
a huge, jet-black shotgun adorned with white skulls.
A man in
black armor that looked like a space marine stood in front of the throne,
facing the X-King. The king looked down on the man with a bored expression on
his face. The man kept rambling on about something called a “reaper” until the
X-King cut him off, saying “Listen, Commander. I understand why you’re so
popular and respected, but whenever I spend time with you I’m bored out of my
mind. You want to talk about politics? Try conversing with my shotgun.”
lifted his weapon off the floor and pointed it at the Commander. Suddenly, a
dialogue wheel appeared between the gun and the Commander. It had three choices
1) Do what you know is right, Shotgun!
2) You don’t really want to talk, do you Shotgun?
3) Hello, Shotgun. Meet Mr. Grenade Launcher!
Commander chose the third option, pulled out a grenade launcher, and fired it
at the X-King. However, it landed right inside the barrel of the king’s
shotgun. X-King fired his weapon, sending the Commander’s own grenade back at
him. The Commander exploded in a glorious display of lasers and gore.
placed his weapon back on the ground. “Now that was a satisfying end to
the Commander’s story!” The squirrel on the king’s shoulder let out a
bad-tempered chirp. Then, as if in response, the king added, “Well, it was for
noticed War in the room and said, “Oh, are you the next one? Great! Come
forward and tell me what your heart desires”.
uncomfortable, War approached X-King and said; “The message told me that you
could assist me in my quest to restore balance between good and evil”.
you prove yourself to be worthy in my eyes, then sure. I’ll help you win all
the ideological battles you want. But be warned: you will have to act as my
errand boy for a long time and do a lot of quests that serve no real purpose.”
accustomed to that sort of thing.”
you are. All right. You’re first quest is to find the demonic merchant named
Vulgrim, who is wandering around somewhere east of here. Tell him that you’re
looking for an item that can ‘foretell the end times’. Make sure you use those
exact words, because it’s a code. He’ll sell you a package without telling you
what’s inside. Bring that package to me.”
So War set
off on a long, difficult journey through the wasteland. Many demonic hordes
attacked him as he searched for Vulgrim, and he had to fight hundreds of the
undead. When he finally found Vulgrim, things went as the X-King said they
would, although War had to pay an outrageous fee for the package. Battle-worn
and weary, War returned to X-King’s throne room with the package in his hands.
entered the room, a man dressed in a white outfit stood before the king. X-King
sat on the throne, reading a long scroll. “You’ve done some pretty impressive
things, Assassin. Not only are you adept at climbing over buildings and
blending in with crowds, but you are also a shrewd real estate investor. I
could really use someone like you around here.”
lowered the scroll, smiling. But as soon as he got a clear look at the Assassin
in front of him, he frowned. “You aren’t the same assassin that was here last
time. Where is that guy?”
Assassin answered, “You’re referring to my predecessor. He died a long time
this crap?” the king yelled, enraged. “You can’t replace that guy! I’m not
hiring some womanizer-assassin with an Italian accent; I want a cold-blooded
killer! It doesn’t matter if you have two hidden blades. You’ll never be half
as cool as the old guy.”
X-King then let out a whistle that
sounded a lot like a bird chirping. Immediately after, the old soldier with the
eye patch fell from the ceiling and stabbed the Assassin in the abdomen. He
then flung the Assassin’s corpse over his shoulder and walked out of the room
without a word.
The X-King leaned over in his
throne and said, “Well, it looks like this assassin…” (He then quickly donned a
pair of sunglasses) “…just got desynchronized”. He sat there for a moment,
smiling to himself, then put his sunglasses away and motioned for War to come
over to the throne and laid the package at the king’s feet. X-King unwrapped it
and pulled out a large, expensive-looking cigar. The squirrel on his shoulder
chirped with delight. “Great work, War. I don’t know how much longer we
could’ve held out without these.” He held out one of the cigars for War to
take. “You want to try one out?” War held out his hand to take it, but X-King
yanked it back and said, “Well, you can’t. We’re saving it for a special
occasion. Now on to you’re next quest: go into the main corridor of this castle
and Snake will give you the info.”
In the main
corridor, War found several large piles of crystals and wires. The old soldier
named Snake stood in the middle of it all, holding what looked like a large
textbook. “These are the pieces of a very big, heavy, and expensive chandelier
that the king wants to be hung in this corridor.” Snake said. “You’re uh…
‘quest’ is to put it together and hang it up.”
“Is this a
joke?” War asked, gritting his teeth. “Why on earth are you having a Horseman
of the Apocalypse hang up a chandelier?”
have super strength.” Snake answered calmly. “And this chandelier is super
heavy. Here are the instructions.” Snake thrust the textbook into War’s arms.
“Get to work.”
It took War
three hours to make sense of the instructions, four hours to put together the
pieces of the chandelier, and about two more hours to assemble them all on the
ceiling of the main corridor. When War finally completed this task, X-King
strode into the room and admired the chandelier.
fantastic!” the king exclaimed. “It’s so big! And it’s so expensive!” X-King
pulled out his shotgun and fired at the chain that held the chandelier. It fell
to the floor with an ear-shattering crash that seemed to shake the entire
castle. “…and it’s so heavy! It’s perfect!”
turned towards War, who stared at the shattered pieces of the chandelier on the
floor, dumbfounded. “I just needed to see how well it would crash on the
floor. And it crashed very well.” X-King said. “But now I need you to hang it
up again. So I guess that’ll be your third quest.”
at the king, attempting to communicate all the rage that filled his mind. He
contorted his face into the most horrible scowl he could muster.
X-King said. He then put both his hands on War’s face and pushed it upward in
an attempt to create something that resembled a smile. The tension in War’s
face lessened. This whole situation felt so alien to him. Usually, whenever he
scowled at someone, they would scowl back at him in kind; this would usually
culminate in a scowling contest that sometimes went on for hours until one of
them got tired and withdrew. At no point in his immortal life had War ever had
anyone try to make him smile. That was just silly.
state of confusion, War spent another eight hours putting up the chandelier
just as it had been before. He then returned to the throne room, where once
again X-King had a video game protagonist standing before the throne. It was a
large, muscular man wearing a dark black cape and a mask with two points on the
top of the head.
me, Dark Knight, I’m a huge fan of your exploits,” the king said. “But your
recent activity has left me sorely disappointed. So you will not be leaving my
going to kill me, like all those other heroes?” the Dark Knight asked, his tone
not going to kill you! What kind of a fan would I be if I did that?” X-King
said, indignant. “I’m just going to lock you in my dungeon indefinitely so you
can’t disappoint me anymore.” X-King pulled a lever by his throne. “Try rising
from this, Dark Knight!”
fraction of a second, the floor under the Dark Knight’s feet split open, making
him through a trap door into a dark void. The trapdoor closed as quickly as it
had opened, and the Dark Knight was gone.
it’s time for your final quest. I have a dungeon for you to explore.”
grabbed War’s attention. Finally! A quest that he could get excited about!
of here, in the Charred Plains, there’s an abandoned mansion with a large,
shiny emerald hidden in the basement. I need you to bring it to me.”
the significance of this emerald?”
worry about it. Just make sure you avoid the Groaner. It’s a huge, green
monster that cannot be killed by conventional means. So don’t try to fight it.
Just go in, grab the emerald, and bring it back.”
sure? Usually whenever I’m about to leave a dungeon I kill the giant monster
hear what I just said? You can’t kill the Groaner by conventional means. That
huge sword on your back qualifies as conventional means.”
if I find an item in the dungeon that allows me to defeat-”
Cannot. Be killed. By. Conventional. Means. Now go.”
And he did
go. War journeyed to the abandoned mansion, which proved to be a fairly stereotypical
haunted mansion- filled with bats, howling wolves, and ghosts. Several stained
glass windows tinted the inside of the house green, which made it a bit more
interesting, but not by much. War had to spend several hours exploring an ugly
series of tunnels underneath the mansion, where he could hear the Groaner
snoring. Since he had been forbidden from attacking the Groaner, War simply
snuck into a room, grabbed the emerald, and snuck out without waking the
Groaner. There was no boss battle, and no climatic finish. The dungeon was
fairly disappointing overall.
returned to X-King’s castle, Snake stopped him at the main corridor. “The
X-King is having a particularly tense moment with another video game
protagonist. He would prefer to have you wait right here for the moment.” Snake
then closed the double-doors, leaving War alone in the corridor.
particularly tense moment? War thought. I saw the king kill a space
commander with his own grenade and assassinate an assassin. What would he call
those? Mildly tense moments?
decided not to pry into matters that did not concern him, and waited patiently
outside the throne room. After a bit of waiting, he thought he heard a distant
roar. War thought nothing of it. Most likely it was an angry Hellhound in the
city. A while later, he heard the roar a second time, only louder. Once again,
War thought nothing of it. Causing unpleasant noise is common Hellhound
behavior, for they are notoriously inconsiderate creatures. War allowed himself
to daydream, and thought back to his childhood on the open pastures of Limbo.
He remembered running over the hills with Ruin and the other Ponies of the
Apocalypse that his family had domesticated. He remembered his father telling
war stories to him and his brothers on their camping trips in the Forest of
Skulls. And most longingly, he remembered brushing Ruin’s fiery mane up on
their little house on the Prairie of Judgment.
instant, the large oak doors at the other end of the corridor flew off their
hinges as the Groaner, a huge scaly green monster with enormous, slender arms
and eyes that glowed like fire, came crashing into the castle. It let out a
long, gut-wrenching groan that seemed to reverberate off the walls, and then it
said, “Why did you take it from me? The emerald… my precious emerald…”
black eyes scanned over the room until they found War, then it let out a
piercing screech and bounded across the corridor towards him. War grabbed the
hilt of his sword, ready to take on the beast.
means, War. You have to use unconventional means.” Said the X-King, who had
suddenly appeared behind War. When the Groaner was halfway across the corridor,
X-King pointed his shotgun towards the ceiling and shot the chain that held up
the heavy chandelier that War had painstakingly hung up. Just as it had before,
the chandelier fell and filled the castle with a deafening crash. Only this
time the Groaner’s cry of pain was added to the sound of the crash, for the
chandelier landed on the monster’s head. The sound died out and the Groaner lay
still on the floor of the main corridor.
stepped forward and put his foot on the monster’s mangled corpse. In that pose,
he pulled out a cigar (one of the cigars War had trekked across the wasteland
to find), lit it, and smoked over his fallen enemy.
staring at the king, perplexed. “You had me do all these ridiculous quests so
that you could kill the Groaner and smoke over its corpse?”
right,” the king answered. “And I must say, you’ve done a fairly commendable
out the Groaner’s emerald. “Why did you have me steal this?” he asked. “Why did
he want it back so badly?”
know,” the king answered. “Apparently the Groaner’s father gave it to him while
he was on his deathbed. The point of having you steal it was to lure the
Groaner into the castle, where I could smash it with the chandelier.”
how did you know the chandelier would work, anyway?”
honestly. I just knew that dropping chandeliers on monsters usually kills them.
It’s worked all the other times I’ve done it.”
silent for a moment, and then said, “So after all of this, have I proven myself
worthy in your eyes?”
about that…” the king said, sounding a bit guilty. “This is a bit awkward, but
I’ve already given my favor to the Ghost of Sparta. And I can’t give my favor
to two large men with anger-management problems. It would offset the
balance of the thing.”
turned to face him. “But don’t let that get you down,” he said. “While he was
here, the Ghost gave me this wonderful severed head as a gift. To show there
are no hard feelings between us, I’ll let you have it. Think fast!”
threw the head of Medusa across the room, with its face facing War. As he
looked upon Medusa’s face, War’s entire body became stone. He stood there,
unmoving, and Medusa’s head landed in his outstretched arms.
walked over to the statue that was once War, carefully placed a cloth over
Medusa’s head, and slung his arm across the shoulder of the statue. “Hey,
Snake!” he yelled. “Brian Fargo was right! It looks like War…” (he slipped his
hand into his pocket) “…never changes- Crap! I don’t have my
put his hand over his face, bemoaning his failure in what should have been the
perfect one-liner. He stood there for a moment, ashamed. Then he stormed out of
the room, taking a moment to look back and yell, “Snake, call that
monster-stuffing service and have them make the Groaner’s corpse into a trophy
thought for a moment more, then yelled, “Also call the sculptor. Have him
sculpt War’s remains into a statue of Kratos. We’ll send it to him as a
birthday present.” Then he strode out of the room, his black cape flapping