Dark Army Recruitment Message #23


You’ve decided to join the Dark Army!

A wise choice! Some of this world’s most prestigious beings have made their start here, like the Lich-King Acerak, or the Ghoul Goddess Zombina, or Mumb-Wrath the Eternal, or…


“Hey, Fred? We got any army alumni who ain’t dead? You know, famous ones? A living, breathing success story, emphasis on the ‘breathing’? Hm? …who? Sergeant Slaw? The one who tried to spell ‘Slaughterer’ and gave up? What’s he doing? …convenience store, eh? Second assistant store manager? …part-time? Yeah, nevermind. Thanks, Fred.”

At any rate, if there’s one thing the Dark Army’s known for, it’s taking you from a sloppy, filthy, disorganized shambling creature to a proud, disciplined, frequently-hosed-down shambling creature. We will forge you in the fires of battle and it’ll hurt briefly and then you’ll be cinders, but the good news is, we’ll probably resurrect you. And we seldom get too much extra stuff mixed up with your ashes. You won’t come out of this with anything more than a third or fourth arm and a vestigial tail. Or two.

Now, one thing you’ll find out is, everyone starts out equal here. For about two minutes. And then we separate the ones who shoot volcanic fires out of their eyes from the ones who haven’t ever picked up a pike before, because we’re not stupid.

You have unlimited potential for advancement! We promote based on merit and survival, whichever comes first. If you live long enough to get promoted, you probably deserve it. That’s our motto.

We believe in fitting the right monster to the job! Like exploring? You can be part of the elite team that cleans up after the Dragons! Like logistics? You can be part of the elite team that cleans up after the Dragon! Like the subtle arts of sorcery and magick? You can be part of the elite team that cleans up after the Dragons! Basically, we have a lot of Dragons, and that comes with its own set of problems.

But it ain’t any worse than any other army.

Let’s face it. Whether you’re watching this in a scrying bowl, a palantir, a pool of clear water, or emitting from that odd artefact with all the spokes and the gears, you’re watching this in a barracks with a bunch of troops from the Army of Light.

You’ve heard that this is actually how it is, here in the Dark Army. The original version of this piece was a comedy skit for one of our troop rallies.

It’s not untrue. Which is why you’re seeing this. They figure most of you will look at this and think that conditions in this Army are hard as Hell, which they are. And that we have a strange sense of gallows humor, which we do. And we’re not a nice, normal army, like yours. And all that’s true. And 90% of you will go to bed tonight thinking the enemy is a bunch of incompetents.

And that’s just fine with us.

In fact, that’s lovely.

Your High Command thinks that it’s good for your morale to see us like this. It probably is. They think it’ll make you confident. We think it’ll make you overconfident. They think that you have the Light on your side, and that’s your advantage. We think that we’d rather have slightly sharper swords and slightly better armor, as opposed to siding with metaphorical oversimplifications of the will of the Universe, but who listens to a bunch of Orcs?

About ten per cent of you, that’s who.

Ten per cent, give or take, will see this and sneak off. Because this is your Army. This is where you belong.

Join us.

They’ll let you sneak away, and we’ll let you right on in. And yeah, some of you will be spies, but what of it? It’s not hard to enlist in an Army as a double agent; what’s difficult will be getting away with it. Most don’t get away with it.

Which is fine as far as we’re concerned, because it means we stay well-fed.

So come on down. We are the only Army in all of recorded history where the Mystery Meat is frickin’ sweet.

~Jeff Mach


Check out my novel; it’s on Amazon.

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Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.

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