Dueling Grounds

A short Darksiders story celebrating the lovely War/Strife art piece I commissioned from DayGlowBlue. ♥

The crowd cheers, rising from the seats of the marble colosseum in a blinding wave of white robes, whiter hairdos, and a flurry of white wings, as another challenger bites the dust.

Yeah, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Pigeons have their own version of the Arena. They call it “The Dueling Grounds”, and the list of rules is so damn long I got dizzy just watching the scroll unfold. The first one, of course, is that only angels are allowed to fight. Pfft. And he asks me why I feel more at home in Hell despite the heat. There is no place in all of Creation more inclusive than the pits of the Arena. Everyone is welcome to bleed and perish there, bird and bat alike. Here, you’re not even allowed to die.

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The Sun and the Moon

The Sun and the Moon, by Anjian

Look at this. Just sit a while and look at it. It’s so good, it’s hypnotic! I cannot give it enough praise. Look at that phenomenal shade of blue on Strife, and the details on War’s decorations, his magnificent fur cloak and Strife’s smooth, gunslinger’s outfit. Look at how big and fuzzy and warm War is, and how sharp, detailed and cool Strife is. I love War’s fingerless glove and his sturdy hand with well-shaped nails. I love it that Strife has a third eye, a trait of his Riot form. Note the Horsemen symbol on War’s medallion and Strife’s belt, the frickin’ runes on the barrels of Strife’s pistols, and the sting-shaped ends of his scarf. Take a bit to appreciate how all War’s jewelry is round, and all Strife’s, angular. And the subtle inversion in the golden glow of Strife’s eyes and the chilly blue of War’s.

It’s a masterpiece. A thousand words would not suffice.

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From “What the Wind Knows”

By A. Harmon

The actual quote in the original form, with more text captured for context, can be found under the break. What follows here is a version I altered to make it more general and gender-neutral, because I was especially impressed and affected by the sentiments as they apply to my current obsession with War and Strife from Darksiders. I also cast one part as verse, because that’s how it sounded. Beautiful!

If all people loved their spouses as I love mine,
we would be a useless lot.
Or maybe… the world would know peace.
Maybe the wars would end and the strife would cease
as we centered our lives on loving,
and being loved.

I know the novelty will wear off, and life will intrude before long. But it is not the newness of love, the newness of us, that has captured me. It is the opposite! It is as if we always were and always will be, as though our love and our lives sprang from the same source and will return to that source in the end, intertwined and indistinguishable. We are ancient. Prehistoric! And predestined.

Image: Fractal flower by Luis-Bello

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Not Alone – A Darksiders Story

I wrote a Darksiders story! About War and Strife! Yes, yes, the “tentative” one I mentioned in the previous post. ♥

It’s been more than 10 years since a game (or anything else, for that matter) inspired me enough to write fic for it and I’m incredibly glad I stumbled upon this. I’m even more delighted, and still can’t quite believe, that my old friend and partner in crime, Anjian, is willing to row this tiny canoe with me. ♥

Writing this story has been a wonderful, unforgettable experience. I hope it will make someone else happy too. ♥

War and Strife agreed to leave the past behind, but there’s one memory from the time of the Nephilim invasion of Eden that they both hesitate to give up.

Cover by ♥ Anjian ♥

Read it here or on AO3.