Where War of Heroes is set on an epic scale around a gigantic battle, Requiem for Warriors is almost entirely a personal story.
Well, two personal stories.
Oddly enough episode 8 is essentially two short stories separated by the eye catch.
The first half features Parn et al rushing to join up with Slayn and Ghim to challenge Karla but run into a couple of mercenaries Shiris and Orson who, somehow, manage to mistake them for Marmo soldiers. Once the encounter begins, the misunderstanding is mutual but brief.
Things gets interesting when Parn gets the drop on Shiris and triggers Orson's berserker button by appearing to threaten her. It nearly ends badly but Shiris manages to calm Orson down. Parn and company then move on.
Beyond introducing a couple of interesting (and in Orson's case somewhat tragic) characters, this section has no direct relevance to the second half of the episode. Granted it is enjoyable enough and provides a good rationale for beserkers (possession by a somewhat nasty spirit), but it is largely a throwaway.
After the eye catch is when the real action starts with first Ghim, then the entire group challenging Karla for Leylia's body.
It is during the conflict, particularly during a semi dream sequence that I believe is an attempt by Karla to possess Parn, that Karla's motivations are revealed.
Karla has experienced, and witnessed, over the centuries the destruction and suffering resulting from the course of Empire: eventually all empires fall.
And the higher you rise, the harder the fall.
So Karla has been trying to keep a lid on things by not letting empires rise too high to begin with, and in the doing save Lodoss from worse destruction.
Parn disagrees, resists the possession, and the battle is fully joined. But it is still an intimate battle with a small cast, within the enclosed spaces of a ruined castle, rather than the epic setting of huge armies on an open field.
The wounded, and probably already dying, Ghim finds out that removing the Circlet from Karla's head is the key to rescuing Leylia. He then stands firm in the face of the magic onslaught, until collapsing to reveal the wooden hair clasp he has carved for Leylia.
At this point I think we find out why Karla was attempting to possess Parn: she has a use by date on her possessions after which she has to move on anyway. With her hold weakening anyway, the sight of the hair clasp awakens Leylia just enough to create an opportunity for Parn and Deedlit to distract Karla.
In that split second Ghim makes the almost impossible axe throw that is his finest, and alas, final moment. Thus Leylia is freed only to mourn her rescuer.
Then Woodchuck discovers you can't keep a good opponent down forever.
There is an underlying theme, and one that I'll be discussing tomorrow, to this episode that strongly affects the later episodes.
However the first obvious strength of the episode is still Karla who is an antagonist rather than a villain. This is one occasion wherre the RPG origins of Karla as a True Neutral seeking to maintain the balance strengthens the story immensely.
The loss, or lessening, of that strength will have consequences later.
The second strength is the classically tragic ending, and ending born of Ghim knowing the price that he would be called on to pay, and paying it willingly. There is power and tragedy in equal measures in willing sacrifice.
And on that note let us draw a curtain over the War of Heroes arc before we move on to Wagnards All Singing All Dancing Dark Goddess Revival Show!
Day 1 - Prologue to the Legend
Day 2 - Blazing Departure
Day 3 - The Gender of Lodoss War
Day 4 - The Black Knight
Day 5 - The Grey Witch
Day 6 - Dub vs Sub?
Day 7 - The Desert King
Day 8 - The Sword of the Dark Emperor
Day 9 - The War of Heroes
Day 10 - Requiem for Warriors
Day 11 -
Day 12 -
Day 13 - The Scepter of Domination
Day 14 - The Demon Dragon of Fire Dragon Mountain
Day 15 -
Day 16 - The Wizard's Ambition
Day 17 - Final Battle! Marmo, the Dark Island
Day 18 -
Day 19 - Lodoss, The Burning Continent
Day 20 -