Fan Fic: Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune

Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune (SoF) is the first instalment in the Ragnarok Online fanfic trilogy Warriors of the World written by Century (also known as Sage Wren). First published in 2007 on Fanfiction Net, it was rewritten in 2013 after a long hiatus and completed in 2014.

In the Kingdom of Rune-Midgard, a mercenary knight named Valkron is forced to join his fellow mercenaries in identifying a potential "threat" to the kingdom. While at first reluctant, he discovers that he and seven other mercenaries are the only people who have a negative reaction to a strange event. Suspecting that this is connected to the threat, he and the motley group of mercenaries set out to determine the cause of this event despite the Kingdom eventually dismissing the threat as nothing to be concerned about, and then begin to uncover and experience a number of strange events that seem inexplicably linked to one another...

The Soldiers of Fortune subtitle is only present in the 2013 rewrite, as the original was supposed to be a standalone. The rewritten and completed version can be found on the official WotW tumblr and, later in 2014, Fanfiction Net and Archive of Our Own.

Followed by Warriors Of The World Flight Of The Phoenix and preceded by a as of yet unnamed prequel.

There will be spoilers, so tread with caution. A character sheet exists for tropes pertaining to the characters.

Tropes featured in this fanfic:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Baphomet's scythe shears through anything that isn't demonic or dark arts in nature like paper. For several chapters, tree branches and snow were being cleanly cut just for being a few inches away from the blade, and Iruna had to keep it away from everyone's belongings because it was "too sharp".
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Glast Heim culverts, which has the space to take the Raulus party walking abreast and then some, and still let them keep their feet dry.
  • Action Girl: Since most of the women featured in the story are mercenaries or fighters by profession, all of them basically qualify.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Prancing Peco tavern and inn in Prontera.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Baphomet doesn't interfere with Argath in SoF even though he's more than capable of taking the vampire knight out by himself. His reason is that he usually leaves the Normans to prove themselves to him, but the mercenaries don't trust him on that.
  • Angst Coma: Samaroh falls into one for a short while after he realises he can't do anything to heal Valkron's cursed wound. There is no explanation for what brought this about except the realisation that he's failed, but it looks to be explained in the second instalment.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • Valkron is a Knight Commander, and true to everyone's expectations and his reputation within the story he kicks ass pretty hard.
    • But subverted with several of the other Chivalry Knight Commanders. The rank can also be obtained for exceptional service in administration, and the knights who do have this rank solely because of paperwork are not the strongest when it comes to the field.
  • Back from the Dead: Argath.
  • Badass Bookworm: Unsurprisingly, given that they are also mercenaries, Emeth, Samaroh and Iruna. Their professions require that they read, but when they're out on the field they can hold their ground.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: An offscreen version. Argath granted someone's wish to be a person better than everyone else by taking full control of the person because the Blood Judge's opinion is, technically speaking, the person who's better than everyone else is the Blood Judge himself.
  • Big Bad: Argath Iruvedla.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sagna and Edell arrive in the nick of time to save Valkron from joining the portal's destruction at the end.
  • Blunt "Yes": Emeth is fond of these.
    Valkron: "Okay? Okay? That all you can ask?"
    Emeth: "Uh, yeah."
  • Book Ends: The first paragraph of the first and last chapters is almost the same - the only change is the season, to show passage of time.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: There is a lot of this going on by way of the villain's Mind Control powers.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Chapter 22, Argath shows disdain towards humans for "excessive use of natural resources", prompting Valkron to ask "Are you quite done spouting green aesops at me?" Two chapters later, Valkron meets Argath in person and the first thing he says is "...I visualised you as more of a treehugger."
    • In another chapter there's mention of a rocker playing its violin in the distance. The rocker appears right when there's a tense moment, and it makes a hasty exit. It takes a while before the same rocker's violin starts up again, implied to be at a much further distance than it was before.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Argath Iruvedla, no questions asked. He knows that everything he's doing is bad, wants people to join him in his quest to purify the world of humanity and flaunts his power to show that he really isn't kidding.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Appears immediately at Chapter 10 after 9 chapters of lighthearted banter.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Aldev, who turns out to be possessed by the Big Bad to break up the Raulus party and then kill them all.
  • Collapsing Lair: The reconstructed underground Glast Heim Culverts at the end. Complete with Chase Scene.
  • Commander Contrarian: Aldev, Aldev, Aldev. He always has to counter any suggestions on how to progress further with negative or discouraging statements. He even contradicts himself at times and doesn't seem to care that he does. The other mercenaries are quick to point this out.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Valkron against Baphomet, Bapho being the stomper. Granted, Valkron was having to fight Argath's curse at the same time, which didn't help matters.
  • Darker and Edgier: There is a lot more violence and blood in the rewrite than in the original, and quite a few implications that the happy world is not all as it seems.
  • Demonic Possession: Argath implies he did this to Aldev in order to control him. The guy's soul was consumed in the process. Considering what happens in the ending, whether he regains his identity or remains dead is still up in the air.
  • Determinator: Valkron manages to temporarily overcome Argath's curse through sheer willpower while fighting Baphomet.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Iruna just about stops herself from this in Chapter 29 after Emeth nearly burned an entire town to the ground while under Argath's control.
    "Amaru? If the fire goes out, make one before the snow reaches our belongings. I trust your firemaking skills. Not saying I don't trust yours," she added hastily to Emeth, "and if you want to contribute your firemaking to his go ahead, I'm just...I'm just know what? Forget it. I'm not making this any better."

    "Yeah, best to leave it as it is," Emeth agreed.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Valkron has a minor case of this when it comes to Iruna, like focusing on her chest instead of her face when she's not wearing her armour. This is despite the fact that she never wears anything revealing or titillating.
  • Endless Winter: The beginning of Argath's reign seems to be heading the Kingdom towards one of these.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Baphomet doesn't mind setting up schemes for the Normans to fall prey to, but draws the line at completely wiping out an entire sentient race for whatever reason.
  • Evil Counterpart: Argath is this to Valkron. Both hold (or held, in Argath's case) positions of responsibility and both are overseers appointed by their superiors. The difference is that Valkron uses his power and authority for the good of others whereas Argath uses his power and authority to accomplish his own motives.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Kanya gets this unfortunate end via getting her arm broken and then her neck snapped as she screams in pain.
  • Fantastic Racism: Argath thinks the Beasts are much more superior than the Normans. His entire agenda is wiping out the Normans so that the Beasts can roam Midgard freely like they did in the past.
  • Foil: Valkron and Emeth are foils to each other. One is uptight, a loner and a natural leader, the other is a laid-back team player who prefers to follow. The line progressively fades all the way to the end of the story.
  • For the Evulz: Near everything Argath decided to do when being bored over the 500 years since his resurrection. Particularly clear in Chapters 21 and 22 where he manipulates both Emeth and Edell just to watch Valkron agonise over how he can't do anything about it.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Battle of Al'Zahur, a war between mercenaries and the Chivalry, which affects the plot in the trilogy in no small way. Though Valkron, who was part of it, is reluctant to talk about it, it gets brought up quite often. He is not particularly amused by this.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Aldev's death left behind a great amount of blood splattered across the floor and ceiling, but his actual death goes undescribed.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs:
    • "Yoyoballs" is apparently the substitute word for "tricks", as in "playing tricks".
    • "Where in the everloving fires of Muspelheim did you come up with that?"
    • "Been there, done that, but never bought the tunic."
  • Humans Are Flawed: Baphomet states that this is exactly why humans are so interesting to him and how they make his job to spread chaos much easier.
  • It's Personal: Valkron only gets really determined to solve the problem when he gets cursed.
  • Kill All Humans: More like Wipe Out the Kingdom, though when the majority of Normans are dead the Big Bad doesn't bother cleaning up the last vestiges of humanity because he's surmised he's already won. Which is, to be fair, true, but...
  • Let Me Get This Straight: "When most people notice something going wrong, they stay away. You, on the other hand, have just said you want to get closer to it to investigate. And you see nothing wrong with that?" To give context, Valkron's response to Emeth wanting to go back to a completely deserted city just to find out what's going on with no knowledge of anything going on at that point.
  • Light 'em Up: Samaroh gets into the action even though he's primarily a healer, using healing spell Sanctuary to specifically deal some hurt to demonic creatures. He later does the same with the spell Magnus Exorcismus.
  • The Medic: Most of the time it's Samaroh ("resident priest"), but sometimes Iruna helps him out.
  • Noble Demon: Baphomet definitely qualifies; he relishes the idea of injecting chaos in the world, but won't allow balance to be disrupted and will give the humans a leg-up if he can get away with it. Especially because he thinks humans are much better at being evil than demons are.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: If someone does something so stupid or wrong that Valkron can't even come up with a sarcastic response to, he does this.
    "No. No." (Beat) "No."
  • No Ontological Inertia:
    • Valkron's curse is an aversion - even after Argath is dealt with, it's not broken.
    • Averted with killing Argath; the portal remains functioning and open. Justified in that he only set it up; its power source is entirely independent of his contributions. Only when they destroy the power source does it finally collapse.
    • However, killing Argath does destroy the entire reconstructed Glast Heim Culverts since that was his actual work.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Redova mentions an incident with bedbugs where he just happened to "be in the same room and had nuthin' to do with them." The story is never elaborated.
    • The Battle of Al'Zahur is this in-universe. Only the people who were there know what happened and they're not allowed to talk about it due to "sensitive information".
    • Valkron's reputation seems to have originated from a series of expeditions he was assigned to. Apart from the name of each expedition and the fact that all he did was "disobey orders to save lives", little else is elaborated. He doesn't want to talk about them, either.
  • Ominous Fog: One follows Argath and his darkwing entourage around for a while, and several times the Raulus can't head off on their mission because the fog is too thick to navigate through. It serves to delay them as well as give cover for Argath's attacks.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted when Valkron gets a sword in his left shoulder. His left arm is rendered completely useless and the only way he stays on his feet is adrenaline.
  • Only in It for the Money: Averted despite the fact that they're, you know, mercenaries. The reward for assessing the potential "threat" gets discussed between the mercenaries and ultimately chucked aside in the face of what truly ends up being at stake.
  • Power Trio: Valkron, Emeth and Iruna as a really odd íThree Amigos! variant.
  • Precision F-Strike: Valkron drops one in Chapter 19.
    "Look here, you little shit," he growled.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The members of the Raulus party are 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.
  • Red Shirt: The Payan guards during the invasion get picked off really quickly.
  • Scenery Gorn:
    • St Capitolina Abbey, dear gods.
    • The ruins of Glast Heim in SoF and the destruction of the reconstructed Culverts.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Valkron is dangerously being on the verge of getting his knighthood stripped because he does this one too many times. He is well aware of this.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While not initially planned in the beginning, Chapter 17 progresses from "waiting for information" to "keep moving" to "we are getting out of this right now" when the Geffen Ten Guilds Raid suddenly goes horribly wrong and the characters, outnumbered and unprepared, have no other choice but to run. Quite aptly the chapter's title is "Escape".
  • Self-Deprecation: Aldev tends to go completely unnoticed by other characters as if he's being repeatedly forgotten about. This culminates in Emeth asking him "Why are you such a forgettable person?!" The author confesses to repeatedly forgetting about Aldev in the footnotes.
  • Snow Means Love:Snow begins falling when Valkron reciprocates Iruna's affection for him with a kiss in return for her earlier one.
  • Soiled City on a Hill: Glast Heim.
  • Take That: There is a throwaway line in Chapter 22 mentioning Khan throwing stones, and then everyone else throwing stones. This is noted as a reference to the Throw Stone skill, a quest skill that only the Thief class can naturally learn and the only skill that allows the player to throw stones - and how stupid this would be in a realistic setting.
  • 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.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • During the Payon chapters Iruna goes to check on Emeth while saying "hopefully he hasn't set fire to something."Later that night Emeth, under Argath's control, sets fire to the east side of Payon.
    • In Chaper 24, Emeth asks "what's the worse that can happen?" in a deserted city. The Big Bad makes his appearance to the party at the end of the chapter. Even the quietest member of their party tells him not to say that.
  • There Should Be a Law: Played for Laughs in Chapter 13, where Iruna lightheartedly notes, "You just inflicted Samaroh on the sages, there should be a law against that", after Valkron sends the Insufferable Genius Smug Snake priest to borrow a thaudolite.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 10, solely because it takes a dark turn right after nine chapters of normality.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Showing what happened to the world after the climax.
  • World-Healing Wave: Destroying the portal releases the souls of those who died and restores time to a point where the portal hadn't been built yet. Only those who survived the events of the portal remember what happened.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Argath shifts into black bats with silver wings to travel.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Evil: Why Argath is disappointed with Valkron.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Samaroh says a fairly deadpan one in Chapter 17 when a monster Emeth just fried in the chest and sent flying into a house gets to its feet almost immediately.
    Samaroh: "You're joking."