The Tip.It Times

Issue 15299gp

The Quiet Foe

Written by and edited by Kaida23

Sit down, stranger, and listen as I tell you a story. A story about you.

Like many stories, it starts with love at first sight. Your first step out into Lumbridge revealed a world different from any you've been to before. Perhaps you didn't step out but stepped in, badgering the cook for a quest or harassing the Duke. Maybe you poked at everything and lifted into your inventory anything that wasn't nailed down: logs, discarded robes, spare gloves and boots out of crates -- a junkyard magpie in your curious exploration. Or found friends already waiting upon your arrival more than willing to guide you through these lands, only happy to be together at last.

You were newborn. Freshmeat to some, a likely friend and ally to others, or a potential foe in the battlefield of the wilderness. You felt this deep in your bones. It didn't take long for the many possibilities to become something or someone, rushing into your blood and boiling over into excitement that yes! At last! Now here was a realm where you could become anything. Knight, knave, treekiller -- whichever you chose, whenever and wherever you wished, you could become. Never in your life will you find anything like this again. Stranger, you fell in love with Gielinor.

Now you stand before me after your many, many travels. Stronger, wiser, certainly more experienced than I am in matters I hardly touched on, yet you're jaded and sometimes bitter with anger and regret. I will not ask you what happened. Instead I ask, when? When did this happen?

You've begun looking at what could have been, looking to the glory of the past, and the future is something clouded from your sight or filled with the thunderstorm of your predictions. Yearning for the good times, laughing at the bad, wishing to meet friends long gone once more, hoping in your heart to recapture that spark when you were a naive fool. Yes, yes, of course there's always something new and interesting at least every fortnight if not every week, but the feeling that it's all become stale creeps into the back of your mind. You've grown, to put it as bluntly as possible, quite old in this realm. Oh, never you mind how rich, or how mangy and penniless, you are the next time we see each other. Age has its own quality. Take it as a backhanded compliment, if you will.

Who am I to assume I know all this, eh? I'll tell you, stranger.

I am death.

No, Death with a capital D is a funny skeleton with a scythe and a strange fetish for rock music. I'm only a little death. Small, plain, and unassuming. The one who forces out your final breath before the Big Dee ferries you through the dark. You know me as well as I know you. I was there when you realized you were about to lose your last sliver of health to your murderer. I was there when your attention lapsed and a dragon sent you to your grave. I was there to roll the dice when you fell in the Underground Pass. I was most certainly there when a bald man in a tattered cloak speared you innumerable times. I found that amusing.

I was there when the gods of this realm retreated beyond the heavens where none can reach, abandoning you.

I am the one who killed your euphoria after completing a quest. I choked your willpower and turned you away from things you thought too difficult or mundane. I numbed your mind from tasks that seemed to have no end, made you jealous and fanned your hunger for other people's wealth, let your emotions cut loose until you chose to do something rash. But don't blame me, I merely oversaw the natural course of things taking place. A midwife's work, really.

So what is it that I want from you now, hmm? Oh come, come, surely you've realized, friend. Since Big Dee is a busy anthropomorphic being, I'm here in his place for the rest of what's left of you. Oh yes. You. This time, it's my turn to ferry you not out of the dark and back into the light -- but out of the realm.

You needn't worry I'll up and collect right away, friend. There's rules, see? I have to give you choices. For a mortal, there are always choices, and I'll abide with whatever it is you wish. You can struggle out of your misery -- which I very much doubt -- and reach out to others that you've ignored in your aloof attitude. You could always try to live without your gods by taking matters into your own hands. Breathing life into neglected places, building a kingdom with your own two hands, changing the very things you found lacking with your ingenuity; all choices. There are things you haven't done, much less finished, or even tried. That's a choice.

Or I can take you with me right now and you will leave Gielinor forever.

So what do you choose, Old One? Is your adventure over?

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