(Here’s Round Four of Trollfiend’s head-to-head, no-holes-barred cage fight with Amorphis. In this match, there are charges and counter-charges of Betrayal, and eventually a killing blow. To catch up on what’s going on here, read this post. Also, be sure to check out Trollfiend’s own blog, ALSO, WOLVES.)
The crowd is oddly silent as I step into the arena for this, my fourth battle against the music of Amorphis. I look up from the blood-soaked sand to see that the crowd is not merely silent; the arena is empty. Why was I summoned to do battle with no audience to witness?
Foreboding sets in…something is not right.
And then I see her, stepping from the shadows: the serpent assassin herself, Tuonela. So this is how it is to be. My victory has frightened Amorphis, and so they send their silent killers in the darkness.
I have fought the ancient and deadly Order of the Clean-Sung before. I know their dirty tricks. I know how they can fool the mind with raspy hooks and beguile the soul with the lament of sirens. I am prepared…but still this sense of doom pervades. My victory over Elegy still boils in my blood, but it was a victory hard-won, and I am not sure I have the stamina or the wits for this battle.
I have to remind myself why I am here. The Betrayal. Yes, in capitals, because it was an event so profound that it deserved a name. Amorphis won my confidence with their folk-tinged melodic death metal. I pledged my fealty to them, unto death. And they turned on me. Even then I could not believe they would consort with the Order…I was blinded by my pain and rage. But Tuonela stands now before me, as damning a piece of evidence as you could want.
I’ve no wish to die in the shadows, so I charge in. She counters with ‘The Way’, a defensive opener that has a certain grace…but it is not a killing blow, and this battle will not be decided otherwise. From beneath her cloak she slips a light Morning Star. I shake my head. Compared to the pummeling I got from The Karelian Isthmus, that weapon will be like tickles from a feather. If that is how she hopes to kill me, we will be here until Nightfall.
“I know your name,” I call. “Tuonela. TUONELA!”
The assassin pauses. I have her! I move in for the kill.
“Why do you fight the inevitable?” she says.
I am taken aback. My arm, raised for the finishing blow, falls at my side.
“The Betrayal,” is all I can say. Anger flashes in her eyes.
“And what of yours?” she spits back. “What of your betrayal? You claimed fealty to Amorphis, but in the passing of a moment your loyalty evaporated like mist. The fealty of a coward means nothing. You abandoned Amorphis to journey in a dangerous land alone, your so-vaunted loyalty nothing more than an empty promise. It is YOU who are the Betrayer!”
And she attacks.
I recognize the move – it is ‘Greed’, though it might just as well be called ‘Hubris’. I had been expecting the cunning close-fighting tactics of the Order, and she is instead using my own weapons against me. A simple trick, and yet I fell for it. She cuts deep, and I feel my blood begin to flow.
Staggered by the pain, I do not see the second attack…it is an Order manoeuvre called ‘Divinity’…but she is using my own weapon to execute it (and possibly me). I drop to the sand, feeling my life draining away, and with it, my resolve.
But I am not dead yet. I cannot forget the promise that was made and then broken. Her words fill me with doubt, but that is the hallmark of the Order of the Clean-Sung. Tuonela has made a mistake – she has forgotten that I trained with the angry masters of the Brutal Harshes, and rage is my weapon. I rise again.
Panicked, she tries another trick…Shining the reflected light of a Rusty Moon in my eyes, but I am not Withered. Summer’s End has come for the assassin. I step in past her counter and quickly snap her neck. Regardless of my feelings toward her masters, she fought well and deserved a clean death. A hollow victory, but victory none the less. Wearied, I return to the pits, wondering what Amorphis will throw at me next, and with the assassin’s words ringing in my ears.
“It is you who are the Betrayer…”
Round 4: Amorphis 2, Trollfiend 2.
I was just playing Assassin’s Creed 2. This was such a perfect way follow up…
Though now I’m scared to try to deal with reality….I’m afraid it’s gonna stab me.
I’ve spent the last two weeks completely avoiding reality. Or has it been four weeks? I can’t remember. SWTOR is like some mad scientist’s combination of meth and weed.
Well, reality sucks anyway. Fuck that guy and his nasty acne.
I’ve been avoiding reality too. I’ve been living here.
Do you mean in Seattle or at (in? on?) NCS?
I meant NCS, but Seattle is pretty unreal, too, especially with last week’s snowmaggeddon. When it comes to dealing with snow and ice, the city and 99% of its drivers are fucktarded in the extreme.
Isn’t Seattle like the lumberjack version of San Francisco?
I love San Fran, and I lived there for a year and a bit…but that place is so far from reality it makes H. P. Lovecraft seem like a history writer.
That sounds like Vancouver as well, although most drivers in my city are fucktarded anyways.
I’d been looking forward to reading this one- Tuonela was the first Amorphis album I ever bought (it was around this time I discovered them), and it remains my favorite. Not surprised at the outcome, but didn’t guess it would have been over so quickly.