For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still!
“Ok, so the greater demon comes in and chops Nukera’s head off, right?”
It’s a nice day. No wind. A dull sun obscured by thick cirrus clouds.
“Regular guy, Nukera is, really nice but nowhere near being able to kill a greater demon.”
I’ve got them hooked on my story. Their widened eyes asking –no, begging- for the rest. I continue.
“So there I am in the deepest area of the wilderness, about to get this Nukera guy’s runite armor when this Zezima guy pops out!”
I’ve got them now. Any mention of Zezima is a killer. Cries from my friends rise, amidst which is said:
“It can’t be!”
”He’s a regular legend!”
“He’s the greatest! He gave me a medium rune helm once-”
“-And with a bit more defence I can WEAR it!”
“So here he comes and lashes the monster to bits…”
I pause…for dramatic effect.
“And proceeds to almost kill me! I run out of the wilderness, barely making it alive when I feel the ‘bad feeling’ come off!”
Story/Regaling time over, the gang sets off. It’s still early in the day, the sun bright in the sky, but Xswaene has a long way to Falador, and Kiorek has to go back to the Barbarian Village. It’s just me, Grae, and Liroel left in our usual meeting place at the Blue Moon Inn. The way it’s always been. Nothing’s changed.
“That bad feeling…is the worst,” says Grae.
“Of course!” I reply, “it’s what Zamorack instills in that wilderness place, it’s what allows people to hurt people!”
“’Sides,” says my good friend, Liroel, “I don’t believe your story. If you’d seen Zezima, you’d be blinded. He’s a demigod is what he is. ‘Sides, you’re a wimp when it comes to the bad feeling, Max. ‘Member when we made a dare to see who could go farthest into the wilderness? You barely went in one step!”
“After which you only went in two!” I yell.
“Yeah? Well, Grae-“
“Only went in,” says Grae, “fifty steps…and the second time we tried, I only went in ten, and you only one, and Max one-hundred.”
“Yeah!!!” I boast triumphantly. I’m not usually one to brag, but I did beat Liroel, if only this one time. Even if it wasn’t of my own accord… Even if.
“Whatever…I’m heading home. See ya tomorrow, right?” And Liroel leaves Grae and me and heads to his house, along the paved streets of Varrock, and into the Varrockian castle. See…Liroel was an orphan, and servant-boy of King Rhoald. We never did know where he hailed from…
“For defending me.”
”You went in to save that…Acacia girl…when none of us had the guts…No problem…” “Thank, Grae.”
An awkward pause starts…and we look up into the now darkening sky, the feather clouds floating peacefully by.
“Still coming to the wilderness tomorrow?” I casually ask, even though I myself am scared to death of the coming trip.
“…Yeah…but I have a bad feeling in my gut…”
Another awkward pause, and Grae leaves. Just like that.
“So do I, Grae. So do I…”
The wind shireks… I ponder in my solitude of crazy things. Things not worth mentioning. Once I’m good and ready, I head home.
The autumn leaves crunch beneath each of my steps, while the wind howls into my face. Another night, another time for sleep, another dream.
I dream of being in a different world, where my life is just a game. Where everything I do is controlled by a higher force, a higher me. A me other than the me I am. A nightmare. I wake up, shake the dream off, and head to the Blue Moon Inn.
We walk quietly along the east road of Varrock, heading North to the Jolly Boar Inn. The sun hasn’t even come up yet, everything is a blur, and lost sleep makes me trudge along.
And the trees begin showing loss of life, the leaves gone, the trunks hollow. The Wilderness. Zamorack’s domain.
There I am, in my cheap steel plate. Grae, as always, comes with his full rune, and Liroel, as promised, dons his rune medium helm. I give Kiorek my steel legs. Barbarians usually wear no armor, and that is a bad thing in the Wilderness.
“I brought the food,” I say, and share my lobsters, the ones I bought with my money, with my friends.
And we go our separate ways, as always.
I decide I’ll head Northeast.
The dirty rats fall beneath my blade.
I continue on, and kill a giant. Its club narrowly avoids my skull, and after all is said and done, I bury its bones. Saradomin’s holiness fills me.
I continue on, when I hear a blood-curdling scream. It sounds of red. A heart-stopping red. The red of spilled blood. I rush over and find Liroel perched over Kiorek. Grae is there, too. Kiorek's eyes are bright, they try to tell me something. What happened? I don’t know, but Kiorek vanishes. To Lumbridge.
The way of the gods. Guthix, as always, preserving balance with a life to each death teleports those who die to Lumbridge. Which is why, every once in a while, you see a nude person appear in the castle courtyard of Lumbridge. This is also why the clothes merchant is the most liked person in Lumbridge.
Then Liroel strikes Grae…above the jugular. Grae looks shocked…falls to the ground…and vanishes.
“WHAT THE HECK!? YOU FRIGGIN KILLED HIM. I’LL FRIGGIN KICK YOUR BUTT!” I yell (although heck, friggin, and butt weren’t the words I exactly used).
“And how will you do that Max?” Liroel says. His voice raspy.. cold. A reminiscence of what it used to be.
“Y-you’re not Liroel!” I shriek.
“YES, I AM. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN LIROEL. DON’T YOU SEE?! I AM THE GREAT GOD ZAMORACK!!! NOW BOW BEFORE ME ANGEL OF DEATH!!!”
“Angel of Death? What the h-” but I’m cut short as a powerful urge to bow strikes me.
I struggle against the urge, and Liroel transforms before my eyes. Into Zamorack.
They say Zamorack looks like a demon…but no one knows for sure…
Zamorack is a demon of a giant of a demon. He is to a King Black Dragon, what the dragon is to an ant.
And he says to me, “Yes! You! Maximillian! You are Guthix’s slayer! You are the preserver of balance! You are the one who will be my downfall! But not if I kill you first!”
And a red glow appears…and Zamorack’s death mark is placed upon my head…
‘Oh, Guthix,’ I pray, ‘Help me now. Oh, Saradomin…am I to die? Am I? Am-……’
And so another Angel of Death is felled. The cycle restarts.
Another is born.
But Zamorack will slay him once again. Zamorack will resume life as an unnamed child from an unnamed place.
The next Angel and Zamorack shall be friends. All will transpire as has transpired. The new Angel shall be born. And the cycle continues.
What Zamorack does not know…is that this next Angel of Death…will be the one who kills him. I will make sure of that…
Because I am still alive.
That is what Zamorack does not know.
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