Oh, we always had options, but we never had a choice.
— Valkron, Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune
Warriors of the World is a Ragnarok Online fanfiction written by Sage Wren focusing on the tale of eight mercenaries who team up to deal with a problem their kingdom is facing. It very soon escalates into a gigantic issue of epic proportions that causes them to get involved with politics, war, magic, legends and monsters.Initially written in 2007, the trilogy went on hiatus in 2009. Four years later, the writer decided to rewrite the fanfic. The project is known as Warriors of the World 2.0, often abbreviated to just WotW 2.0.The instalments:
Soldiers of Fortune (SoF): Eight mercenaries unite over a common goal - to find out who is behind the "threat" affecting the kingdom and the source of brief, if intense, sessions of pain that only they are affected by. The truth is far more sinister than they expect it to be. This is the story that kicks off the trilogy. Completed.
Flight of the Phoenix (FotP): In the wake of a prophecy, the Kingdom of Rune-Midgard declares the War of Emperium - a friendly mercenary guild competition to determine who will defend the Kingdom from the enemies mentioned in the prophecy. While the newly born Raulus guild is reluctant to join, unexpected circumstances force them to join and become involved in the complex world of guild politics.
The Legend Reborn (TLR): Ten years after the events of the previous instalment, the prophecy begins to start coming true. With the Kingdom in trouble and despair running high among the civilians, a race of "superhumans" come to their aid - but their real motivation remains unknown, and so does the motivations of their enemies.
A yet unnamed prequel that features the Battle of Al'Zahur and explains how things are the way they are in Soldiers of Fortune.
Aerith and Bob: Ethnicity only bears some relevance to a name if it's within the Kingdom and even then it's still vaguely non-indicative of the character's origins, but names like Valkron and Iruna seem to mesh well with normal names like Lucius and Silas within the Kingdom's melting pot of cultures. This is a reference to the naming conventions of the NPCs within the game itself.
All Deaths Final: The Resurrection spell is explicitly said to have been banned by the Church because they believe the spell is "playing God", something that they heavily discourage. It also has its limitations - there is a ten-minute window immediately after a death, and then the soul is considered to have departed from the mortal world. Anyone resurrected from this state would permanently be an Empty Shell. Or, if particularly malicious in life, will come back as a revenant hellbent on destroying life.
All There in the Manual: The official tumblr has extra information that doesn't get elaborated in the fic and tagged as "lore".
Anachronism Stew: The setting is very medieval, but clothes have zippers, there is electricity and there are corporations explicitly named as such. Emeth wears a pair of headphones and everyone knows what it is and what it usually does despite having no other electronics show up elsewhere throughout the story.
Art Evolution: Both the writing and the accompanying art improved massively after the four-year hiatus.
Author Appeal: Many characters are literate, and often have a great respect for the written word. Those who can't respect the written material anyway even if they don't understand what it's saying.
Ban on Magic: Type A. No magic-user is allowed to use old magic under any circumstances whatsoever within the Kingdom. Anyone who breaks this rule will be subject to the wizards of Geffen enforcing the law.
Subverted. The game has large butterflies called Creamies and rabbits called Lunatics as mobs, but the fic refers to them as just butterflies and rabbits.
Played straight with the Tarou and Familiars, which are rats and vampire bats respectively.
The Church: The Prontera Parish, the Monastery of the Mist and the Order of Juno are under the same church, despite their stark differences.
Church Militant: The Holy Order of Juno, the one organisation mainly responsible for spreading their religion throughout the continent. They will always come in peace, but if attacked they are armed with sword, shield and spear to deal with the problem. While the majority of them are Technical Pacifists, a few can go too far if not restrained by the Order's rules.
Curse Cut Short: Mostly caused by another character interrupting when they realise what the next word is going to be.
Elsewhere Fic: While there are plenty of references to in-game quests, NPCs, locations, mobs and equipment, the world of Midgard portrayed in the fic is drastically different from the Midgard in the game. The author has advised readers to think of the fic as an alternate interpretation.
Footnote Fever: Used to explain bits and pieces of information about the world in general.
Healing Hands: Crusaders have to heal others by holding their hands above the affected area. Priests are exempt from this, although Samaroh notes that it's the most effective way to heal.
Hold Your Hippogriffs: All the characters use terms familiar to their world to replace words in normal English idioms and proverbs.
Horse Of A Different Colour: Peco Pecos in the Warriors of the World trilogy are more intelligent and empathetic than the game versions, but it takes a rider to know theirs very well before they can understand the honks. Horses are apparently completely extinct and only appear as monsters, ghosts or undead, as with the case of the Nightmares and the horses that Abysmal Knight and Lord of the Dead ride.
Humans by Any Other Name: Humans in the story are called Normans. While the monsters explicitly refer to them as human, the Normans only ever refer to themselves as Norman. "Human" is only used as an adjective.
Mage Tower: Played with in the case of the conical Geffen Tower. It is too dangerous to live in; it was built over the entrance to an old underground city inhabited by monsters and restless dead in order to maintain the protection spells around the entrance and prevent monsters from invading Geffen. While it earths magical surges in the atmosphere like a magical lightning rod, only one wizard can be found on the top floor and he only works there.
Magic Knight: All of the crusaders. In fact, the entire Order of Juno.
Meanwhile Scene: The Raulus dominates most of the scenes in the story, but there are many of these showing things going on in other places.
The Medic: At any point in the series you can expect both priests and crusaders to act as one.
Oh My Gods!: When characters are not swearing by the Catholic God they're busy swearing by Thor, Odin and Tyr, including Nay-Theist Valkron. Khan has on one occasion exclaimed "For Ra's sake!" although he also refers to Tyr.
Only One Name: Everyone in the stories is this, barring a few individuals. Apparently they do have last names, but they're not important.
OOC Is Serious Business: Multiple times characters often realise something is probably going to go down badly based off a drastic change in another character's body language rather than being told.
Overly Long Name: The Prontera Royal Chivalry of the Honoured Knights of the Kingdom of Rune-Midgard. People just call it "The Chivalry".
Playing with Fire: Emeth, throughout the entire trilogy. Justified that wizards usually specialise in one element for ease.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The members of the Raulus party were only united by one common cause: they shared the same unexplained recurring Mind Rape. They don't intend to do much more than help find the source of the portal, but suddenly they're the only ones left who can do something about it. So they resign themselves to it.
Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: A lot of the list on the trope page is present in the mercenaries' natural speech patterns, including plenty of "uh". There is the occasional abrupt (fake) eloquence, but otherwise there is an informal, natural atmosphere as a result.
The rewrite incorporates the plot of the discarded fifth instalment into the plot of the third.
Humans are now called Normans as of Chapter 18 of SoF.
Running Gag: It's mentioned in one chapter of SoF that birds tend to fly into the steel tip of Geffen Tower since they get blinded by the reflected sunlight. Every time Geffen comes into focus in a chapter after that, one bird will definitely fly into the tip.
"A bunch of mercenaries who canít stand the hell out of each other but donít exactly have much of a choice when everything goes to pot. Written by a Norse mythos fanatic with Chronic Worldbuilding Syndrome, Letís Make Everything Epic Disease and a deep love for bittersweet endings and character interactions."
Teleporters and Transporters: The major teleportation network run by Kafra Corp serves as a way to connect major cities in and out of the kingdom, provided you pay the fee for the service. Teleporting is called "warping". People can also warp using magically imbued Fly and Butterfly Wings.
There are portals as well, but they can be only created with old magic, which humans can't use. Emeth specifically explains the difference between warps and portals in Soldiers of Fortune.
Translation Convention: The fanfic is written in English, but it's specified that all characters are actually speaking New Runic, the Common Tongue of the Kingdom. According to the footnotes, New Runic is based off English even though it's written in runes, justifying the puns and wordplay.
Weird Trade Union: Every profession belongs to either a guild or a union or an institute or other, and each one is responsible for something or other within the Kingdom. Word of God has provided a full list.
The X of Y: Warriors of the World, Soldiers of Fortune, Flight of the Phoenix.
Year X: Soldiers of Fortune, at least, is said to take place in the year 50XX AR.