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-   -   The Exiled - [A Riven-centric Fic] (http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1792805)

Ryugi Kazamaru 02-06-2012 02:58 AM

The Exiled - [A Riven-centric Fic]
 
UPDATED 8/14!! - Most Recent Part - Page 15 - Chapter 3: Part 2 Continued

A while ago I had an idea for a fanfic involving Riven. Yes yes, I know lots of people write about Riven, but I was drawn to her as a character due to her past, her struggle, and her goals. I wrote a chunk of this story on a whim and titled it "The Exiled - [Garen vs Riven]" and posted it in the General Discussion forums for consideration. Over time, though, I sorta forgot about it. However, I stumbled across a few good fics on here, and it made me want to play with the idea again. This is the result, the story from the beginning this time. I have no idea how long it'll be, or even if I'll finish it. Regardless, I hope it's something you guys can enjoy, even if you aren't a Riven fan.

Cheers,
Ryugi

The Exiled

Chapter 1 - “The Clash of the Cache” [Part 1]

Sunlight poured down over the vast Field of Justice known as Summoner’s Rift, and all across Valoran citizens were gathering to watch the clash of superpowers being held within the Field’s borders. Noxus was, once again, facing off against Demacia over a territorial dispute. A new vast field of raw minerals, gems, and gold had been discovered along the borders of both territories, and neither side was willing to back down from claims to the riches. Rather than the conflict boiling over into another Kalamanda Incident, the two governments had decided they would settle the matter on the Fields of Justice before anything could get out of hand. Nicknamed the “Clash of the Cache” the match between the two superpowers was quickly announced to be one of the highest grossing events since the “Noxus vs. Ionia Rematch” some time ago.

A set of amber eyes looked out across the vast expanse of trees and hills separating their owner from the opposing faction. The eyes betrayed nothing to the outside observer, but a glimpse into the mind behind the eyes would reveal intense turmoil on various levels. It was this turmoil, however, that the summoner was trying to sift through as the rest of the team was summoned to the platform. The thoughts of the summoner were scrambled as the eyes turned to regard those who appeared. An elderly man with a bird appeared first, followed by a striking young woman with a scar running down her face, and twin blades at her hips. A man cloaked with a segmented cape and hood appeared next, his eyes even more intense than the amber orbs that looked at him. Lastly, a ferocious beast covered in dark fur appeared, sunlight glinting off of sharp fangs. A tongue flicked over the teeth, now slick with saliva as the beast sniffed the air, a manlike grin twisting onto his beastly features.

The eyes didn’t falter, but the summoner felt a twinge of hatred and unease flow through his mind as the eyes regarded the new arrivals. At last, he spoke to his charge. “Calm yourself. I understand how difficult this must be for you, but-“

You can not possibly understand…” The reply was quick, the wavering echo of the reply sounding in the summoner’s mind. The voice was strong, and yet, at the same time, betrayed a pain deeper than he could grasp. “You might see my thoughts, know my past, but you do not know my heart, Summoner.

“Miss Riven, please. If you can’t focus yourself, I cannot assist you, and your abilities will not be fully unlocked! This is a very complex process!” Riven sighed. The stress was overwhelming. Her debut match within the League was something of this magnitude, and she wasn’t sure of herself. To top it all off, her summoner seemed to be fairly unskilled as well. She could detect his anxiety through the link, and it made her even more uneasy. These facts combined with the people who she was to consider her “allies” made it even worse. She felt sick, even, but did her best to swallow it back as the caw of a crow caught her attention.

“Well, well…if it isn’t The Exile herself. I’d heard you were going to be fighting with us in this little disagreement, but I didn’t expect you to be so…” Jericho Swain glanced up and down along Riven’s frame. His gaze felt entirely uncomfortable, almost like a buzzard eyeing its next meal. “…disappointing.”

“Such a scrawny little thing…” Katarina Du Couteau smirked and leaned forward, her hands on her hips. “Your reputation had me thinking you were larger than life, but look at you. Heading into battle with a broken sword, wearing rags.” She closed her eyes and crossed her arms, standing tall once again, a few inches taller than the other young woman. “And you dare call yourself a Noxian. I’ve seen gutter trash present themselves better. Present company included.”

“…” The cloaked man didn’t say anything, but an eye twitched imperceptibly and he shifted. “Lady Du Couteau, we should get into position. The match will be starting soon.”

“Of course. We WILL be fighting with a handicap, after all.” Katarina took a final look at Riven as she brushed passed her, Talon following her as the pair headed towards the bottom path across the field.

“Pay her little heed, my dear. I may be disappointed with you, but you have room to improve upon that initial perception.” Swain slipped a silver ring with a blue glow upon his hand as he limped by Riven, heading towards the middle path. “Only the Strong Survive, and you, my dear, have survived a great deal…” A laugh sounded from Swain as his bird joined in on it, the cackling pair leaving earshot.

“Just stay out of my way, Little Girl.” The growling statement was delivered with a snarl as the wolf left the platform, heading for the forest. “If you are not friend, you are foe. And if you are foe…you are prey…” Riven watched as the other Noxians left the platform and headed into the battlefield. By process of elimination, she knew she would have to be taking the top path through the Rift to provide even coverage.

“Alright, Miss Riven. I’ve gathered a ‘Doran’s Shield’ enchantment for you. It will bolster your defenses and your ability to heal. It’s a solid choice, I think…” Riven started marching towards the lane, sword in hand. “Wait! Miss Riven! Let me explain the process and my spells to you!”

“There’s no need. This is a battle. It can’t be any more difficult than everything else I’ve been through…” Her summoner continued to protest, but Riven shut him out of her mind. She didn’t need anyone. She was a soldier, a fighter, and she would do the only thing she knew how to do. Fight. Even as she lay sprawled across the battlefield that day, chemicals stinging her skin, her eyes, her lungs, as the screams of death and anguish etched themselves into her memory for all eternity, she fought to pull herself to her feet. She dragged herself away from that place, still shocked, but driven by that one goal. She would survive. She would live through this terror; she would revive Noxus, and reforge it into something of which she, and the world, could be proud. ‘I am surrounded by greed, vanity, pride, envy, and dishonor. These people…this is what Valoran sees when they see Noxus. But I will change that. They will see…what true strength really is.’

“I’m glad you’re finally focused, Miss Riven, but internal monologues and flashbacks really mess with our link...” Riven stiffened as the summoner finally found his way into her mind once more. “Now then. You’re not facing standard soldiers here. You’re facing the full might of the Demacian Military. Garen Crownguard, leader of the Dauntless Vanguard will be fighting alongside his sister Luxanna. Demacia’s Crown Prince, Jarvan Lightshield IV is here as well. That isn’t all. Prince Jarvan has brought along his comrade Shyvana, the Half-Dragon, and to top it all off, Ionia’s most talented healer, Soraka the Starchild, has decided to fight for Demacia in this engagement, on account she has some kind of score to settle with Warwick. All said and done, it’s a powerful team composition, and very unlike anything you may have faced before.”

“That only means I’ll have a challenge waiting for me. It’ll be another hurdle to overcome. I’m no stranger to difficulty, Summoner.”

“A challenge indeed. That’s why I picked the spells I have to assist you. I read your profile and know enough about you to make an educated guess. I’ve chosen the Flash spell, and the Teleport spell for you. They do not help you directly, but will give you a larger battlefield presence.”

“You’re not going to try to force your will upon me?” Riven was somewhat shocked. She knew the powerful spells that the summoners could unleash often turned the tide in battle for their champions. There were spells that increased almost every aspect of a champion, or even struck back against foes. On top of those, many champions tended to follow the orders or suggestions of their summoners in battle. The combination of minds usually had differing effects on the champions, sometimes forcing a champion to act in a way they would not usually act. She’d heard stories of summoners forcing their decisions upon champions to such an extent that they effectively caused a loss for their side, the champion sometimes unable to fight back against the influence of the summoner. With the admission of her summoner, however, Riven felt far more at ease than she had originally been.

“I know enough about you, Miss Riven, to know you prefer to do things on your own. Rather than me telling you what to do, just tell me what you need, and I’ll do my best to assist you.” Riven could feel the summoner grin on the other end of the mental link. Perhaps he knew more about her than she gave him credit for. “Don’t worry, Miss Riven. You’re the experienced one here. I’ll trust your judgment over my gut whenever I can.”

Riven nodded and continued to move down the path. She kept her eyes and ears open as she neared a large bend in the terrain, a river running off to her right side. She spied the towers that acted as backup for an absent champion, amazed at how large and menacing they were. Large glowing crystals hummed and crackled with magical might as the match got underway. It was eerie, really. Bushes lined the path, providing cover for ambushes, or an easy escape route, but all in all, things seemed quite simple. As Riven contemplated her positioning, the sound of many footfalls caused her to glance behind her as a small horde of magical minions marched onward towards an impending clash. The sound of more caught her attention, just as a similar horde of purple-clad minions rounded the bend.

“Minions, used to simulate armies. They are manifestations of magical energy, and grant me resources to improve your abilities with various spells and enchantments, not unlike the ‘Doran’s Shield’ enchantment you have now. Don’t have any qualms about killing them. They aren’t really alive.” Riven nodded and leapt into action, weaving between her minions to reach the enemy line, striking repeatedly with her blade. The motions felt good as she stretched muscles and joints, the motions of combat settling in, slowly. The minions quickly dropped from multiple wounds, however, as she cleaved one of the purple constructs in half, a roar echoed from the bushes, and a blast of flames burst through the plants. Riven instinctively jumped back as the aura of flames charged towards her, showing a body within them.

“Retreating so soon? We’re just getting started!” Shyvana threw herself into the air as Riven jumped to the side, the woman’s flaming fist striking the ground where she had just been standing, throwing chunks of debris forth from the power. The aura of flames seared the air, Riven’s own minions igniting and falling as the Half-Dragon laughed and leveled her gaze upon her opponent. “I’ve heard you’re a powerful fighter, so prove it, Noxian!!”

Riven watched as the woman charged, clashing with Riven’s broken blade before she clamped her gauntlets down upon it, trapping it. Only now did Riven realize that they were shaped like a dragon’s maw. The woman’s silvery armor reflected the red flames dancing around her, and her glowing eyes showed her ferocity and determination. The look, combined with the flames showed Riven exactly why the woman was so feared in combat. Those were dragons’ eyes… With a ferocious battlecry, Shyvana tore her gauntlets back, Riven’s blade being wrenched from her grip, sending the shattered weapon spiraling through the air to land some distance away.

“Hahahaha! What is this!? You’re WEAK!” As Riven stumbled backward, the woman spun around into a powerful kick, striking Riven hard in the stomach, and sending her flying backward into the rocky foundation of her tower. Her vision exploded with stars as the wind was forcibly knocked from her lungs. Her skin burned from the woman’s fiery aura as she pulled herself into a standing position and wiped a bit of blood from her lip. “Pathetic! And to think you were toted as being some sort of poster-child for your people! You’re nothing.” Shyvana snarled and spat. “The minions put up a better fight than you do…” The aura of flames burned out as Riven’s hands curled into fists and her arms started to quake, her eyes downcast. “What’s the matter, girl? Don’t tell me you’re going to cry?”

“Heh… You think I need my sword to stop you?” Riven’s amber eyes met with the eyes of Shyvana, boring into the woman with all the ferocity of a woman scorned. As she spoke, Riven began to step towards Shyvana, her eyes unchanging. The Half-Dragon merely scoffed and cracked her knuckles.

“Big words from a little brat cowering under her tower.” Shyvana grinned. “This should prove interesting… Bring it, girl. I’ll give you a glimpse into the belly of the beast…” Shyvana’s aura pulsed up again as a second wave of minions came to reinforce the line, and she charged into the fray once more. Despite her advance, Riven was completely undaunted, and continued to walk forward.

“Miss Riven! What are you doing? Without your sword, she’ll tear you apart! You’re already injured from her first assault!”

“Welcome to the League, Little Girl!” Shyvana roared as she dove on top of Riven, her fist cocked back into a ferocious strike. Auras collided. Dust was thrown into the air as flames ripped across the battlefield, but as it settled, the Half-Dragon’s eyes opened wide in shock.

Riven was holding an outstretched hand, her right, and without moving an inch, she had completely held off Shyvana’s strike, her draconic gauntlet clasped between the fingers of Riven’s own. “Welcome to Noxus.” With a jerking motion, Shyvana’s head met Riven’s in a ferocious headbutt, sending the Half-Dragon reeling from the blow. “Everyone has told me how I’m nothing but trash, how I’m weak and worth nothing.” As Shyvana collected herself, Riven continued to move ahead, pushing the woman towards her own turret. “But I’m more than that. My hands are stained with blood, and sin. My heart aches from the weight of my past actions.” Shyvana snarled and launched a blast of flame from her gauntlets, but Riven‘s right arm smashed through it as she continued her advance. “Yet, I will never stop fighting. And nothing, not you, not Noxus herself, will keep me from attaining my dream.”

“What the hell are you?” Shyvana snarled as her flame aura subsided once again.

“I am Riven, the Exile. Forgotten daughter of Noxus, trained for combat since I was old enough to hold a sword, and you…” Riven paused for a moment as she felt her strength boosted by the slain minions around her. “You are in my way.” In a flash, she shot towards Shyvana with a burst of speed, her resolve bolstering her defenses as she shot forth a battlecry with such force the opposing woman was stunned, flinching, before a ferocious punch from her right hand slammed into the Half-Dragon, sending her tumbling backwards across the ground to land in a heap.

“Riven…” The woman coughed as she pulled herself to her feet, clearly quite wounded. Her face twisted into an odd grin. “I’ll remember that name…” An awkward silence passed between the two women before a voice boomed through the Field, announcing first blood, and a second later, Shyvana’s facial expression changed dramatically. Her ferocious eyes opened wide and her pupils dilated. With that single motion, she looked far less menacing, and far more vulnerable. “Jarvan!!” Without another word, Shyvana turned tail, flames pouring from her once again as she raced back along the path, blue light surrounding her until she disappeared, having recalled back to the Demacian base.

“What happened?” Riven asked her summoner as she reached down, grasping her sword in hand.

“Prince Jarvan was ambushed in the river, by Warwick, as he attempted to strike down a wounded Katarina. Soraka attempted to heal him, but was held back by Talon, who jumped her and forced her to retreat. It was hardly a fair fight.” Riven could feel her summoner’s disconnect from the situation. “Really, though, I should be asking YOU that. You were incredible. Shyvana is a very strong champion that excels in hand to hand combat, and yet you held her off like she was nothing.” Riven shook her head as she went back to striking down the mindless minions.

“My gauntlet has runes inscribed upon it to lessen the blows of impact upon my hand and wrist, otherwise I’m liable to shatter my own bones from the force I am capable of producing with it. It is a side effect of pushing my body beyond normal limits. I have not forgotten the basics of hand to hand combat despite wielding a blade…” Her summoner seemed interested in hearing this, but for the moment, his mind shifted to other, more pressing matters.

“You’re certainly impressive, Riven, but I suggest you allow me to recall you back to the Nexus. You were wounded fairly significantly in your fight with Shyvana. If one of the Demacians gets the jump on you, they could take you out. Taking out a champion gives a substantial bonus to the magical properties a summoner can bestow upon his champion, and with Jarvan going down, the Demacians will be looking for an opportunity to even the battle.” The summoner smiled on his end of the link. “Besides, you’ve accrued enough power from the minions that I can further enhance your abilities, and the Summoning Platform is the only place I can do that.” Riven nodded. She understood that she wasn’t invincible, and she certainly did not want to suffer the same fate as Jarvan Lightshield. “Alright then. This should only take a few seconds.” Blue light enveloped Riven and a pillar of light shot into the sky. A wave of dizziness washed over her before, in an instant, she found herself back at the platform on which she’d started the battle.

“We’re off to a good start, Miss Riven, but this is just the beginning…”

Grand Viper 02-06-2012 01:34 PM

This is very well written, very well thought out, and very bad ass. I like this Riven, not all weepy and emotional from the get go (Like mine). This is a determined woman, this is someone who knows what she wants already and is going for it. She is already sure of herself, and I must say once more I like this one quite a bit. I can't wait for more man!

Ryugi Kazamaru 02-06-2012 02:05 PM

Wow! Thank you very much for the encouragement. To be honest, your fic was the one that got me really wanting to write this again.

I liked the vulnerable Riven you portrayed, because, honestly, I think that's a part of her too. She is vulnerable and lonely. She doesn't have anyone, but she puts on a strong face to the world and fights with all her strength regardless.

Both, I think, are valid manifestations of her personality, and I intend to really try and develop both in this story.

In any case, thank you very much. I'm actually working on part two right now in Word. XD

Spoiler - She just "met" Lux.

Ryugi Kazamaru 02-06-2012 04:23 PM

And here is part 2. Enjoy, all!


Chapter 1 - “The Clash of the Cache” [Part 2]

The summoner did not lie. The battle had just begun. Over the course of the next few minutes, several more defeats were registered. Warwick was struck down by the combined forces of Soraka and Lux, who met up with Garen to take down Katarina. However, Katarina had leapt into the fray, dealing heavy damage to the trio with her ultimate technique. As they made ready to retreat, however, Garen struck Katarina down before she could finish off Lux, before Talon appeared from thin air to score a devastating double defeat with a torrent of blades, the young girl barely managing to escape with her summoner’s Flash spell. All said and done, the Noxian side of the conflict was very quickly gaining ground. Meanwhile, Swain continued to hold off strikes from both Jarvan and Shyvana in the center of the field, cackling the whole time.

“Okay, Miss Riven. With Katarina and Warwick down and Talon retreating to heal, the bottom of the Rift is left undefended. The top of the Rift is more or less balanced between minions, so we can afford a detour.” Riven nodded. However, she wasn’t used to leaving her post. With a final swipe across an opposing minion, Riven turned and started to move quickly down the side of the river as her summoner continued his explanation of the situation. “Before they left, the Demacians managed to destroy a great deal of minions. This has caused a massive wave of enemy minion forces to decimate any wave of ours that has approached them. I’ve already imbued you with a ‘Brutalizer’ enchantment, an enchantment for speed and to refresh your abilities more quickly, and am working toward a ‘B.F. Sword’ enchantment. If you defeat that large wave, we should have enough power to get you that increase, and let me tell you, I think you’ll enjoy it.”

“I understand.” However, she paused, glancing at her footprints in the mud along the water’s edge. A talented warrior could track her movements by following her trail. She searched for a section of solid ground, soon finding a large boulder half-submerged in the terrain, and made her way toward it. “Didn’t you say you had a teleport spell, Summoner?”

“Actually, yes. Did you want to use it?”

“Yes. Leaving a trail would not be a wise choice. I could easily be tracked.” Riven approached the rock and jumped on top of it, her footprints leading to the rock, but no farther. Anyone tracking her now would only be left with a dead end.

“Alright. Hold still. I’m going to teleport you directly into the fray, so be ready for anything.” Riven nodded and crouched down. Orange light surrounded her, and a feeling of dizziness washed over her once again. This time, however, it felt stronger, more direct. As she watched, the world faded from view, and for a split second, she had the very strange sensation of simply not being, as if she was disconnected from her physical body. An instant later, and she was back within herself, and directly in the midst of an all out war.

Chaotic bolts of energy rained down around her position, striking minions all around her. She threw herself to the side as a canon ball streaked past, hitting one of her own larger minions. In front, purple-clad minions fought valiantly with their blue-clad foes, tiny swords and shields clashing again and again as they dueled, but the numbers were simply too great, and the blue side was losing ground quickly. As Riven scanned the battle group, her eyes locked onto the minion riding the cannon. He’d be the first.

She rocketed into the fray, speeding through the enemy’s front line and deep into the rear. She could feel dozens of small glowing eyes tracking her as bolts of energy began to collide with her form, but her resolve would not be phased. With a battle cry, the minions were stunned and damaged by the onslaught of energy released, as sword swipe after sword swipe rained down upon the canon minion and his allies. Green, crackling energy surged along her blade, damaging all that would stand in her way. As the canon minion fell back from the onslaught, so too did dozens of the diminutive casters. Bolts were fired once more, but with another dash, her resolve was renewed, and after another flurry of blows, the entire wave of enemy minions had been demolished.

“Well done, Riven! Great work! With that, you’ve netted enough power for the big enchantment I told you about. Not only that, but your timing couldn’t have been better.” Riven watched as a wave of reinforcements met up with her wounded troops, and continued to march towards the enemy turret with vastly increased numbers. “Those little guys will be able to do some serious damage.” As her summoner continued to explain the situation, Riven noticed something very odd. It was a red dot that traced up between her legs to her chest. She’d never seen something like this before.

“Summoner, can you tell me what this red do-“ No sooner had Riven spoken, than her summoner shouted across the mental link, worry and alarm clearly audible in his tone.

“Miss Riven, MOVE!!”

“DEMACIA!!” Riven lurched to the side as a thunderous blast of dazzling arcane energy surged overhead, burning the wave of minions striking the tower to ashes, and leaving a burning wake of torched grass and dirt in its wake. The air sizzled as Riven pulled herself to her feet as a voice sounded. “Aww, come on. I totally had you! You’re no fun at all…”

“What the…? Is this some kind of game to you!” Riven frowned and brushed herself off, gripping her sword tightly as she glanced at a young woman with golden blonde hair and shimmering armor coming into view through the blackened bushes.

“Oh come on, it’s nothing personal. I mean, you’d try and stop me if I was harassing your minions too, right? Forcing us to kill such darling little things... Barbaric, right?” Luxanna Crownguard giggled. “Anyway, you’re too uptight! You should learn to relax a bit more.”

“You… You can’t be serious.” Riven was dumbfounded. “There is a great boon for our countries at stake here, and you’re treating it like-“

“Like it’s no big deal?” Lux chuckled again and twirled her staff. “That’s because it isn’t. There’s always some new thing to fight over. One is the same as any other.” Lux pointed to Riven and moved her finger up and down, gesturing to her face. “Seriously, all that frowning and you’ll get grumpy wrinkles like Du Couteau. You’re much too pretty for that.”

Riven blushed, stiffened, and frowned all at the same time. Who the hell was this strange woman? A healer would not have this kind of ferocious power, and she had already met the Half-Dragon. That meant that this very strange young woman had to be… “Luxanna Crownguard…”

“Oh please. You make me sound like an old lady!” Lux smiled. “Just call me Lux. It’s much shorter, and much cuter, don’t you think?”

“I think you’re crazy…” Riven sighed and shook her head. She was in the middle of a battlefield, in an active war zone, and here she was talking with her enemy. She couldn’t lose her focus. For all she knew, this woman was simply trying to disarm her so she could strike her with that massive blast of light again. At least she’d learned to watch out for telltale dots of light. A valuable insight to be sure. “Now then, enough talking. Are you going to fight me or not?” Lux was silent a moment before responding. Riven tensed and pulled herself into a fighting stance as she waited.

“Hmm, nope!” Riven deflated, her arms hanging limply to her sides as Lux giggled and spoke again. “I’ve gathered enough energy simply by standing here and talking with you. So, I’m going to head back to base a gather a new enchantment. No need to fight you. You know, come to think of it, I didn’t get your name.” Riven could only stare blankly. These Demacians were crazy…

“Riven… My name is Riven.”

“That’s such a wonderful name, very strong and suiting for someone like you. Keep on keeping on, Riven of Noxus.” Lux turned to leave, blue light surrounding her as she did. “And really, stop frowning. You have such a lovely face. Don’t let it go to waste!” Riven was about to reply, but as she opened her mouth to speak, a whistling sound rapidly approaching her position caused her to instinctively duck. A blade whizzed over her head, aimed directly for the recalling Lux, causing the young woman to jump backwards, the light fading.

“Oh my~ Sorry about that, Exile.” Boots crunched dirt as Riven rose and spun to see the form of Katarina appear from the bushes, catching her blade as it returned to her. “I guess I didn’t see you standing there.” Katarina sneered.

“Well, with that scar running rampant over that wrinkled old face it’s a wonder you can see anything!” Lux chuckled and brandished her staff.

“Continue to make comments like that and I’ll be forced to cut out that tongue of yours, Demacian.”

“Pffffffffft!” Lux gave Katarina a full raspberry, sticking her tongue out before she spoke again. “Come and try, if your old bones can keep up!”

“Little brat!!” Katarina charged towards Lux as the young woman hopped backward and summoned a ball of light in front of her, halting Katarina in her tracks as it detonated, slowing her to a crawl. However, the assassin smirked and vanished from view, only to appear behind her opponent, delivering a slash directly into the rear of her armor. Lux stumbled, but managed to catch herself long enough to throw her baton towards Katarina, the skilled Noxian assassin nimbly dodging as it returned, granting the young woman a shield, even as Katarina retaliated with her own thrown weapon.

“Miss Riven? Aren’t you going to help Lady Du Couteau?” Riven struggled to act. The woman being attacked was her enemy, and yet, she wished no harm upon her. Katarina was her ally, and yet, she felt no kinship with the woman. She represented everything she hated about Noxus. The greed, the envy, and the blind lust for personal gain. “Miss Riven?”

Without a word, Riven charged into the fray just as Katarina began to spin, hurling wave after wave of daggers towards the mostly defenseless Lux. As she charged, she let out a resounding shout, the outburst of power knocking Katarina off balance, as Riven jumped into the air, bringing her blade down into the ground near Lux with such force that the power sent the young blonde flying into the air, and back several dozen feet. Her heart was racing, pounding in her chest as the woman stood up looking, shocked, at Riven. Riven glanced to Katarina, before returning her gaze to Lux, and motioning with her head for the woman to return, quickly, back to her own base. Without a word, Lux backpedaled, smiling softly, and mouthing a silent “thank you” to Riven. As Riven watched her go, her heart continued to pound, adrenaline surging through her veins. ‘What did I… What did I just do?’

“EXILE!!” Riven turned just in time for her head to roll with a powerful slap across her face, causing her to stumble backward from the force. Her face stung as her amber eyes glanced to a livid Katarina Du Couteau, seething with rage and contempt. “What the hell are you doing, you absolute piece of trash!” Katarina brandished one of her blades and held it against Riven’s throat. “I should kill you where you stand for letting that little Demacian cur get away.”

“Killing your own allies for incompetence would leave you with none standing, Lady Du Couteau.” A deep baritone came from the bushes as Garen Crownguard, leader of Demacia’s Dauntless Vanguard pushed them aside. Katarina quickly kicked Riven back and away from her and spun to meet Garen.

“You flatter me, Crownguard.” Katarina twirled her blades, cracking her neck. “You’re very kind for revealing yourself. I was under the impression you were going to stay hidden in the bushes, as always.” Garen raised an eyebrow and grinned slightly.

“A ward in the bushes, I see. Ever clever, Lady Du Couteau.” Garen brandished his sword. Riven watched as he effortlessly moved the blade into a striking position, in his right hand alone. His strength was incredible. Granted, she was certain her sword was larger when formed, but nonetheless it was an impressive weapon to be sure. “Your comrade’s mistake allowed me to remain hidden longer than under normal circumstances. You should count yourself lucky for her involvement. She may have saved you from my blade.”

“Words, Crownguard. Only words. Show me some actions to back them up!” In an instant Katarina pounced upon Garen as the big man unleashed a valorous shout, his weapon singing through the air to strike her, as both blades caught the massive weapon, her legs digging into the earth from the force.

“Why carry that big toy if you can’t use it! Compensating for something?” Katarina took a step back, ending the clash as Garen stumbled forward, her blade slicing cleanly along his side for the first blow. However, the big man spun back around, the flat of his weapon casting Katarina back across the ground. She hissed and grinned through the pain of the strike.

“It is unbecoming of a knight to strike a woman. In your case, however, I’m afraid I have to make an exception!” Light surged through Garen’s blade as he charged into the fray once more, swinging wide, just as Katarina vanished, the missed blow kicking up sand and gravel as she appeared behind him, striking hard with both blades. However, despite being struck three times, the big man seemed completely undamaged. Instead, this time, his weapon pulsed with power, and a typhoon of energy thundered forth, ripping into the ground around him, casting Katarina through the air, only to land on her feet several feet away, clutching her side. As the energy subsided, Garen gripped his blade, stabbing it into the ground next to him and crossing his arms with a laugh. “Your technique is unparalleled, Lady Du Couteau, but you can not stand against the might of justice.”

“Perhaps not alone, Crownguard…but…” Katarina grinned.

“AROOOOOOOOO!!” A blur of dark blue fur streaked from the forest, pouncing on Garen with a flurry of teeth and claws. Warwick struck with no warning, delivering strike after strike against Garen’s Demacian plate armor, just as Katarina shot into a spin, throwing blade after blade at the stunned form of her foe. With a final flurry, the wolf-man cast Garen aside, licking his lips with a snarl. However, the grin on Katarina’s face faded as the big man stood up once again, battered, but still undaunted. He was even more defended than usual…

“A vicious strategy, Lady Du Couteau, but your treachery will not be the end of me this day!” In a flash, Garen’s blade glinted with light as he spun into a mighty strike, slamming Warwick to the ground, as the torrent of power erupted from him once more. Riven watched as the tyhpoon-like power of the Might of Demacia's spinning blade cast Katarina and Warwick through the air. She felt no sympathy for the flying wolf man, he was, after all, a former chemist of Zaun, and one that had helped the atrocities of that fateful day.

Warwick landed on his back, tumbling before he caught himself, snarling, before he dropped to a knee, and fell flat. Blue energy surrounded him as he was defeated, but Katarina caught herself, blades crossed in a defensive pattern as she glanced to Riven, blue circular patterns shining around her feet as her summoner recalled her back to the Nexus.

"Curse you, Summoner! Let me fight!" The redhead cursed as the spell continued. Seeing that she was not going to have her way, she turned to Riven angrily with a snarl. "Now's your chance, Exile. Show us you're still worth something, or I'll kill you myself. Weakness has no place on the Fields of Justice, or in Noxus." Katarina spat Riven's self-imposed title before she looked to Garen, grinning slyly. "Sorry to run, Crownguard, but I'll be back to finish your sister off, before I come for your head..." As she vanished into the ether, she laughed, a grimace showing on Garen's features. The massive man huffed.

"That woman is a thorn in my side..." Garen turned to regard Riven. "I know of you, Exile. Poster-child of Noxus, skilled fighter, and yet, you turned your back on your own people. While I cannot fathom why you assisted my sister, your actions have been despicable... Even in the blackness that is Noxus, surely you understand desertion is unforgivable." He leveled his massive weapon at Riven and spoke again. "Surrender now, and you'll be spared my blade. Or, come forth, and you shall find honor in death..." Riven picked herself up, her face still stinging from Katarina’s strike.

"Haven't you heard, Demacian?" Riven's strong eyes met Garen's as she gripped the handle of her shattered blade, meeting his challenge with one of her own, her resolve burning through her limbs as she stared down the Might of Demacia, undaunted. "I've been killed once before..."

Cerubois 02-06-2012 07:00 PM

Riven+Lux4ever

I like where this is headed. Please continue!

Jaykoboy 02-06-2012 07:57 PM

*Sniff, sniff...*

I...I smell Riven...

Kidding, kidding. Of course, it's far too late at night to be reading this, so I'm going to read it tomorrow. But it LOOKS promising...if Cerubois and GV have good things to say about it, it's likely I will, too. GCJ, away!

*Flies into side of building*

-Jaykoboy-

Ryugi Kazamaru 02-06-2012 11:54 PM

Chapter 1 - “The Clash of the Cache” [Part 3]

Dusk. It was raining now. The screams and echoes had ceased, and only the deathly silence paid homage to what had transpired. Slaughter. Total and complete destruction had been visited upon the Ionian people, well as many unlucky Noxian soldiers that simply gotten in the way of the Melters and their horrible weapons of destruction. Her eyes were glazed as she walked through the valley of death. The only sounds were the distant rumble of thunder, the pitter-patter of raindrops on armor, cloth, and flesh, and the single pair of squishing footfalls that marked her motion through the grizzly scene. Blood, water, and various other fluids stained her boots in a variety of colors, and the acrid stench of chemical burns stung at her throat. Suddenly, she couldn’t breathe, the world spun, and she collapsed onto all fours, gauntlets striking the earth as she wretched across the ground before her, coughing and hacking. She curled her hands into fists, gripping the earth, gritting her teeth, as the weight of what had transpired struck her.

It was her fault. She’d lead the men into the valley, ordered the girl to be taken and dealt with. She, while not directly responsible, had done her part in bringing death to her comrades, and to the innocent Ionian people that lay all around her, charred beyond recognition by Zaun’s most talented chemists. Only the strong survive. The thought, now, made her sick. There was nothing strong about her, or weak about the men who had died, and all around her were reminders of just how fragile, how flawed, that vision truly was. That vision died in her as the rain poured down around her. The freezing droplets washed away that false notion, and at the same time, filled her with a realization. She’d been living a lie, serving a flawed purpose, and on top of that, Noxus was broken. This burden of self-realization clung to her, weighed her down, and tugged on her heart, as if the gravity of the realization that her whole purpose in life seemed flawed carried physical force. However, what burdened her even more, was that her countrymen back home knew nothing of this, failed to see it or understand it. They were committed to the terrible lie that was their vision of Noxus.

However, in that instant, painful realization, another moment of clarity flowed into and crept along the edges of her consciousness. In the end, the strong had survived. The “her” that was a blind follower of all that was Noxus had died in the bombardment, along with the screams of her dead comrades. What knelt down on this battlefield was someone different. Her body was heavy, but slowly, she pulled herself to her feet as thunder rolled overhead. Yes, that was it. The strong had survived, and this realization was that strength. The realization that she, Riven, Poster-Child of Noxus, had the inner strength and determination, the sheer fortitude of will to change all she felt was evil and corrupt and wrong about her beloved Noxus. She would make them see, make them understand what true strength was, and she would bring Noxus to glory in a way that she and all of her people would celebrate.

Summoning all her inner reserves of strength, she lifted her massive blackstone rune sword, forged in the belly of the flawed Noxus, forged to be nearly unbreakable, to the sky, and let out a booming cry that echoed across the battlefield, thunder answering her cry as lighting flashed behind her. In a single motion, she brought the blade down onto the hard ground below, and with a massive pulse of green energy, the unbreakable weapon shattered like so much glass, just like the false ideals and visions of her young life. The shards of her sword littered the ground around her, broken reminders of what had once been. She hefted the broken handle of the blade, amazed at how light it seemed to be without the weight of the rest of the weapon behind it. A single green rune still shimmered with light, faint traces of the full weapon still flowing from it, as if the blade remembered where it came from, just as she did. She soon left Ionia, and never looked back to the broken pieces of her weapon. She'd been counted among the dead that day, and yet she survived. Now, she was back, fighting for a Noxus she would be proud to call home once again.

"The time for talk is over!" Her eyes bore into Garen as she finished, and shot into the fray, her blade gripped tightly within her grasp, her resolve forming a barrier as she cut a line across the leader of the Dauntless Vanguard.

"DEMACIA!!" As Riven's strike neared, Garen's resolve negated much of the force of Riven's strike, even as his own weapon flashed and met Riven's in a massive clash. Sparks flew as his decisive strike hit home, sending Riven reeling, her shield drained. She flew through the air, but twisted and spun, landing on her feet in a crouching position.

"Dammit...!" Riven cursed as she realized her abilities were being blocked by the Demacian's power, and watched as he advanced, spurned onward by his strike, driving home another blow, but Riven was faster. She hurled herself to the side as the Demacian's blade carved a chunk from the field, sending the clod of earth sailing through the air. Even still, contact with the ground had not halted his sword's advance, and with a hefty jerking motion, the blade moved around and overhead for a cleaving slash. Pain surged along Riven's body as she realized she'd been struck with tremendous force, a critical hit to be sure, even as she fought to keep the blade from cutting her in half with her own blade. She grit her teeth and spat blood to the side as she stumbled back, feeling her blade pulse once again with energy. The silencing effect had worn off. As she measured her wounds, Garen pointed his blade at her and spoke. "One final chance, Exile. Your broken blade will not stand up to the Might of Demacia. Stand down." Riven's head turned downcast, shadow covering her eyes, her whole body quaking with something indistinguishable. Garen looked at the woman, confused. Was it fear? Was it anguish, sorrow, guilt? However, as she spoke, he realized was it was.

"...My blade may be broken, but my spirit is not!" It was fierce tenacity, greater than any he had ever seen before. Despite the woman’s size, she carried a resolve as mighty as any Demacian. Fire burned in Riven's eyes as she lifted her blade to the sky and let forth a battlecry, a burst of green energy surging from her form and enveloping her blade, chunks of shattered metal forming the full shape of her weapon. "No holding back!" As Garen's eyes widened at the sudden transformation, Riven shot forward once more, a burst of ki forming around her once again. It literally erupted, blasting the ground away from her, and stunning the Might of Demacia in his tracks.

"What sorcery is this?!" Garen knew instinctively that his courage and defenses would not be able to protect him from the onslaught he now faced. He'd blown his chance, but he was far from finished. He grinned as Riven closed upon him. "What is it that The Seneschal says? A warrior's spirit is never broken…"

The massive runic weapon hammered against the brilliant Demacian plate, carving scars into the resilient metal, and sending the Might of Demacia stumbling backwards from the force of the blow, but Riven was not finished. She threw herself into the sky, green energy pouring from her as she pulled into an overhead slash, sending a torrent of power into the Demacian, followed by another lighting fast strike of unbelievable strength.

'So fast, and yet so powerful… Could I truly have underestimated her so much?' The leader of the Dauntless Vanguard was assaulted again and again, each blow lighting fast, and ferociously powerful, and as he moved to counter-attack, the woman would leap away, striking as she re-positioned herself, hitting an open spot with an even stronger blow. Her grace was equaled only by the strength of each attack hammering his plate mail. Her form would cause even the most talented among Demacia's ranks to be envious of her control. This, however, was not the time to stand slack-jawed with awe. This was the time to strike, and as Riven dropped, her final blow throwing Garen back and away from her, he did just that.

"Have at you!" A torrent of golden light surged around the warrior as he spun into the fray, a whirlwind of bladed destruction. The typhoon of whirling power whipped the grass as Riven was assaulted by the attack time and time again, clashing with green and gold sparks against her awakened blade. It was like standing in a torrent of razors, each one tearing into her skin as she attempted to defend with her ki and resolve. However, despite her strongest determination, it was torn through like so much tissue paper, and even a warcry, erupting with stunning force did little to spurn the advance of the spinning blade. With a final strike, Riven was thrown from the maelstrom, rolling across the grass as she pulled herself to her feet. Her whole body ached, blood soaked the bandages around her arms and the white of her rag like clothing, but her spirit, still, was not broken. As she looked across the field to Garen Crownguard, she saw that he, too, was battered and beaten, but his eyes still burned with spirit, just as hers did.

"Yield, Exile!"

"Not as long as I still breathe!"

Eyes locked, and for a moment, both warriors knew what had to be done. Green energy surged around Riven's Runic Blade even as golden light erupted along the full length of Garen's. Torrents of magical energy surged forth from both blades as the full power of Valoran’s greatest political powers were awakened to their full potential. Then, it happened. A massive golden blade fell from the heavens, even as Riven roared out her own challenge. Wind whipped around her blade as she swung a thunderous pulse of raging green blades shot across the ground, tearing away the topsoil and ripping the ground apart, both attacks striking home at the same instant...

Then, silence. The only sound that passed between the two warriors was the sound of the wind, gentle and serene through the blades of grass of Summoner's Rift, and then as both warriors stood, a voice slipped between them.

"Impressive...Exile..." Blue light pulsed around Garen Crownguard as his form was pulled back to the ether, defeated. However, as he spoke, Riven became aware of a burning sensation that gripped her body. Even at the last moment, as she herself had summoned all her power, the Demacian's summoner had cast his Ignite Spell to guarantee her temporary end. She collapsed, exhausted, and beaten, but still strong, even as her summoner spoke.

"You fought well, Miss Riven. There is no shame in this defeat..."

"Thank you for...allowing me to win under my own strength. I was not sure, especially in this, that you would." Riven spoke as she closed her eyes.

"Some battles are best fought on your own. Even us lower-level summoners know that. For all others, I shall assist you, Miss Riven. I know your mind, after all... Riven could feel her summoner grin through the link as her body underwent the re-summoning procedure. “Besides, by defeating Garen, and a few unlucky minions along the way, you’ve earned a very substantial bonus to my power pool. Your next enchantment will be a very powerful one indeed. Do the words ‘Infinity Edge’ mean anything to you?"

As Riven’s body disappeared into blue energy, a raven flew overhead, heading towards the center of the Rift, and back to her master, Jericho Swain, his mouth twisting into a grin.

"Thank you, Beatrice. Always such a dear... I do believe we can use this woman to further our plans, wouldn't you agree?" The raven landed on his shoulder, squawking, as her master began to laugh, cackling, even as a spear with a Demacian flag on it nearly struck him, his eyes turning to the intruder.

"I hope you'll share what you believe is so humorous before I kill you, Swain." Jarvan IV stepped forward, brandishing his spear, Shyvana the Half-Dragon shadowing her mentor, even as Swain laughed, taunting the pair.

"Such harsh words coming from a Prince. You should show respect when addressing your elders, or has that father of yours forgotten to teach you manners?" Beatrice cawed, fluttering her feathers as Katarina and Talon both appeared behind Swain, twirling and brandishing their blades.

“Tch! Three against two is hardly fair odds for all of you.” Shyvana cracked her knuckles and tossed a strand of red hair free from her face. “You’ll have to do better than that!”

As if to answer, a howl sounded as Shyvana moved sideways, barely avoiding a clawed hand making a swipe against her. Warwick skidded to a halt on all fours before standing and snarling. “You talk big, dragon. But you’re only HALF beast.”

“At least I bathe.” She sneered. “I thought Noxian lapdogs were supposed to be well taken care of.” Shyvana laughed as Warwick moved to step forward, Katarina placing the flat of her blade against the wolf, halting him mid-step.

“Easy, boy. Besides, that dragon has clipped wings. She’s hardly as strong as the real thing. Don’t waste your time on her.”

“That may be, Granny, but Shyvana is still far lovelier than you, and I’ve seen her bad side.” Katarina scowled as Lux moved into the fray, trailed by Soraka.

“Garen shall be restored soon. He was taken down by the new arrival, but not before dispatching her first. I expect they’ll both be returning shortly.” Several pairs of eyes on both sides of the conflict looked to Soraka.

“That gutter trash took down Crownguard!? Impossible! Her summoner must have exhausted his strength.” Katarina spat her words in anger, clearly enraged. “She’s made a mockery of real strength.”

“So, the Exile defeated Garen, eh? She must be a very powerful opponent indeed…” Jarvan grinned. To defeat Garen in a battle of power was a difficult task for any swordsman. For him to be bested was no small matter.

“As I said, my Prince, she proved herself to be quite powerful when I faced her. I’d count us lucky that she is not against us.” Shyvana spoke, before glancing to Warwick and Katarina. “She’s easily more worthy of our time than those two.”

“It can’t be helped then. We’ll have to finish this without him.” Jarvan brandished his spear, glancing to the Noxians across the river.

“I agree… This incessant prattling is distasteful. I came here to fight…not to talk.” Talon deployed his arm blade and twirled several others between his fingers, his hawk like stare meeting Jarvan’s own.

“Alright, that’s enough you egocentric fools…” Swain sighed, coughing slightly. “I’ll give you one final chance, Lightshield. Surrender the mining rights to Noxus, and this can all be over, and we won’t have to endure any more of this mindless bloodshed. Not that I mind, really. I would just hate to have our little tie be broken, and get all ugly…”

XxXxXxX

Across the field, Riven appeared back on the summoning platform, a bit dizzy as she took in her surroundings. However, as she did, she heard her summoner’s voice once again. “Miss Riven, there’s no time to lose! I’ve equipped you with an ‘Infinity Edge’ enchantment. You will find every strike you unleash will be radically stronger than they were previously. However, I’m afraid I have some rather regretful news as well. Both sides are meeting in the middle of the rift to try and negotiate some sort of agreement, and by the looks of things, neither side is willing to compromise. Things are about to get very, very bloody if something doesn’t happen to halt the fighting. Contrary to popular belief, not every match comes down to the wire where one side is beating down the Nexus of the other side. Most don’t like to endure the pain and bloodshed of battle for that long.”

“Noxus will not surrender. They only know how to fight, unless forced into another option.” Riven sighed and tried to think. “Tell me more about these other matches. How do they typically go?”

“Well, usually, if an agreement cannot be reached, battle continues until one side surrenders or is defeated. In order for a side to be defeated, their Nexus must be destroyed, and in order for their Nexus to be destroyed, their protective towers and Inhibitors must be removed from play, allowing the Nexus to be attacked directly, usually under heavy fire from the opposing side…” As her summoner finished, Riven got an idea.

“Summoner, can you use your teleportation spell on me once again?”

“Well, of course I can. I think it’s come off cooldown by now, anyway. Where should I place you? Perhaps the tower closest to the meeting?”

“No.” Riven took a deep breath and sighed. “I want to teleport to the minion wave closest to the enemy base.” Riven felt her summoner grow confused and somewhat worried.

“While I admire your courage, teleporting directly into firing range of an enemy tower, you won’t be able to do very much by yourself. Plus, towers are very powerful.”

“The wave is just my beginning point. Please, summoner, just do as I ask. Trust me.” The summoner could feel the resolve and uneasiness across the link, but he’d already sworn to allow her to make the big decisions.

“Alright, Miss Riven. The minion wave you spurned onwards near the bottom during your fight with Garen is striking the tower. However, there are very few minions there. In just a few shots, your cover will be blown. A minion becomes invulnerable during a teleportation spell, but that will not save the rest of the wave.”

“I understand.” Riven steeled herself as the wave of dizziness washed over her and the feeling of disconnection with her body arrived once more. As she arrived, however, she realized just how dangerous the situation was. A powerful blast of energy obliterated the minion to which she had teleported, casting debris through the air. Only one minion remained, and it looked in bad shape. Without a second to spare, Riven charged away from the tower toward the bushes of the forest as the final minion went down. Then, just as she was about to clear the maximum range, the tower fired upon her.

A bolt of purple energy streaked toward her position. She pushed her legs to their limit, bursting forward, the speed of her movement acting as a dampener to the damage as the blast exploded against her, sending her across the ground, tumbling end over end. The power of the blast was surprising, everything considered, but her speed and defense had paid off, and she had taken only minor damage. She pulled herself to her feet and took off in a dead sprint as her summoner spoke to her. “Miss Riven, where are you going?”

“No time, just tell me where the middle path is from here, and tell me the quickest route.” Riven tore through the forest, leaping over bushes and fallen trees. Her heart raced. She had absolutely no idea where she was going, or even if her plan would work, but she had to try. She had to fight against the needless bloodshed that her people seemed to thrive upon. She burst through line of trees and bushes, nearly slamming into a monstrous golem, a blue aura pulsing from it. It turned to regard her and started toward her, but Riven was too fast, speeding away with another dash as she continued.

“Okay, I can Flash you over this wall if you like, that will put you directly between the two main towers of the middle path to the Demacian base. One wrong move, though, and you’ll be blasted to pieces by both turrets. There aren’t any minions to take strikes for you up here.”

“Do it! Now!” Riven surged ahead, her body feeling lighter, as, in an instant, she felt herself become insubstantial, and cast through the ether to appear beyond the wall of trees and thick foliage, directly in front of a marching Garen Crownguard. The Demacian’s eyes opened in shock as he brandished his massive sword, speaking powerfully.

“Exile! I must commend you on your courage, or foolishness, to trespass this far into enemy territory. But I’ve no time for your blade!” The big man pushed Riven aside with his massive strength and continued onward, but Riven called out, out of breath.

“Garen Crownguard!” The tone and urgency of Riven’s voice caused the large man to halt and regard her for a moment as she continued.

“Would you have time...for an offer of cooperation…?”

Ryugi Kazamaru 02-07-2012 12:58 PM

Oh my, upvotes! That's a nice surprise to see. Anyway, I'm starting on Part 4 right this instant.

I'm also flattered that all these Riven Fic writers have given me praise. Means a lot to be "accepted" by your community. XD

Thanks everyone.

Ryugi Kazamaru 02-08-2012 01:58 AM

I hope you guys don't mind part 4 being a little, erm, longer than the previous sections.

I got a little carried away with a certain battle taking place...

Ryugi Kazamaru 02-08-2012 02:14 AM

Chapter 1 - “The Clash of the Cache” [Part 4]

“Would you have time…for an offer of cooperation…?” Riven was quiet as she watched The Might of Demacia. Everything she’d done was to get her to this exact moment. She could not enact her plan without someone else to assist her, and the only person within range, outside the scope of her allies, was Garen. She knew he, like her, had to have recently risen again, and like a good soldier, committed to his country, he would move to assist them in the quickest manner possible, down the center of the Rift. With her summoner’s teleportation to move her a great distance, and his knowledge of the layout of the forest, she was counting on him to get her where she needed to be. Garen regarded her with a raised eyebrow, his sword still in hand.

“Exile, you wish to betray your countrymen after they have accepted you back into their fold?” He frowned. “You are truly without honor.”

“No! Not betray!” Riven’s voice exploded from her small frame, tinged with a hint of her inner turmoil. Garen was taken aback for a moment as she continued. “I wish only to end this violence, and stop this needless bloodshed between our people.” To her dismay, Garen laughed.

“Stop bloodshed? Exile, bloodshed is all your people know! Violence, underhanded battle tactics, trickery, subversion, espionage, virtually every vile word in our language can be attributed to an action done within the confines of that blight upon Valoran!” He scoffed. “Yet you stand here, asking me to help you stop this bloodshed?”

“Unwarranted death, needless sacrifice, a blind following of flawed ideals… Those go on within that ‘blight’ upon Valoran, Crownguard.” Riven’s eyes softened as she spoke, and Garen’s features followed suit. “The Noxus I love is not the Noxus I wish it to be. I told you I died once before, Demacian, and I meant it. My former Noxian ideals died with me. It is for that reason that Du Couteau looks at me with hate, and why all my allies keep me at arms length. They do not trust me, and they do not accept me.” She looked to Garen’s eyes. “So, I’ve come to you simply as I am. Warrior to warrior, not as an agent of Noxus, but as one of her people. Please, help me stop this.” Garen was silent a moment, breeze blowing through the trees of Summoner’s Rift, a faint crackle from the turrets as their target remained just barely outside their reach. After a moment, Garen’s brow eased into a calm smile.

“I understand, Exile. I knew from the moment I watched you intentionally save my sister from Du Couteau that you were different. You are not a heartless warrior. You do not kill in cold blood, and you use your sword to protect others, as well as defend your beliefs.” He lowered his massive blade and crossed his arms across the pommel. “I saw it in your eyes when you fought me, and when you defeated me. There was no malice there, simply a sense of duty, and of an unending moral code to do whatever it took to see your beliefs to fruition, whatever they may have been.” Garen nodded and brushed himself off. “Forgive my harsh words. They were meant to test you. I had to be sure.” Riven nodded, understanding completely. “Now then! What would you ask of me, Exile?” Riven allowed a small smile to cross her features as she spoke.

“Both our people are trying to negotiate a solution to the situation in the center of the Rift. I know my people well enough to know they will not back down, especially if they have a chance to get it all through combat. I have talked to my summoner, and I have an idea.” Riven pointed to the massive towers on either side of her. “You and I are very strong, and I believe we could destroy those towers with relative ease.”

“Of course we could, but I do not see your point, Exile.”

“You march down the bottom path, striking down all towers in your wake. I shall strike them down across the upper path. The two of us will gain a great deal of power from felling minions, as well as forging a path to the gates of our opposing bases. By felling towers and getting near the Nexus, our respective sides-“

“Our forces will be forced to split off any combat to ensure the other side does not gain an upper hand. And with the power we shall gain, we will be better outfitted against any threat they attempt to throw our way. Most impressive, Exile. I assume we shall keep pushing deeper into the bases until we can strike the Nexus, yes?”

“Right. However, once the minion forces have been enabled to strike the Nexus, we will pull back, and suggest both sides solve their differences outside the Fields of Justice, as straight up conflict will not be guaranteeing any victories here. That will convince my people to take their offers to the table, as there, at least, they have a more solid chance to get what they want.” Garen grinned and nodded.

“I must say, Exile, this is a very bold plan. There is no guarantee that it will work, but I see no other options other than a long bloody conflict. I will help you.”

“Thank you, Crownguard.” Riven hefted her blade and started back into the forest. Garen watched her go, disappearing into the bushes, talking to himself as he looked to the sky.

“Victory for our allies, defeat for our enemies…and justice for all.” He nodded, pleased with the situation, before marching quickly toward the bottom path.

XxXxXxX

“For the last time, Swain, I will not give up mining rights. Our excavators found the site first, we have a right to claim it for Demacia!” Jarvan’s spear pointed accusingly at Swain, whose feathers weren’t ruffled in the slightest.

“Yes, yes, young Prince. You’ve made that abundantly clear. Your penchant for stating the obvious and repeating yourself is testament to your vast knowledge of political affairs.” Swain smirked, his words fraught with sarcasm. Jarvan glared. “However, the vast majority of the deposit is within the Noxian border. Allowing you to mine it would compromise the safety of our borders.”

“And of course Noxus knows all about compromising safety and mining deposits, especially when they’re included in the same acts.” Shyvana growled, remembering the Noxian Soldier found dead in the mines of Kalamanda.

“You should keep your pet on a shorter leash, Prince Jarvan. She’s starting to think she’s a person.” Katarina grinned and admired her fingernails as Shyvana bristled.

“Shyvana, at ease, she’s just trying to provoke you.” Jarvan glanced to Katarina before returning his gaze to Swain. “I don’t want anymore bloodshed assuming we can avoid it, Swain. I’m not being unreasonable here. We found the deposit; we have every right to claim it. I’ve even offered that we limit our mining to the Demacian side of the border to allow you to mine the remaining section. What more do you want?” Swain chuckled, Beatrice turning to look at Jarvan and cocking her head side to side.

“Our surveys show approximately seventy percent of the deposit is on Noxian ground. Therefore, I suggest that seventy percent of everything you mine be given as a gift to the Noxian Government, to show how thankful you are for us allowing you to mine within our borders.” Jarvan brandished his spear as Swain laughed, Katarina and Talon moving in front of him.

“That is absolutely insulting!” Jarvan spoke, outraged. “You would effectively be forcing us to mine the deposit for you, and commit no resources to it whatsoever! Where is the fairness in that!” Swain just smirked.

“Who said anything about it being fair, my dear Prince?” He took a step forward. “Watching your people mine resources for us would bring me nothing but many hours of unequaled enjoyment. Proud Demacia, forced to mine for that which they despise. The irony is so wonderful I can barely contain myself.”

“You never intended to negotiate in good faith, did you, you monster?”

“Sticks and stones, my dear Prince. Regardless of my intention, that is my only offer. If you don’t like it…” Swain nodded to Talon, Katarina, and Warwick. “…We can always settle this the old-fashioned way.”

“Don’t force my hand, Swain.” Jarvan gripped his spear as Shyvana cracked her neck. Lux frowned and Soraka kept a close eye on Warwick.

“Come now, Lightshield. I can see it in your eyes. You want to kill me, and always have. Well, here I am. This is the only time you’ll get the chance.” He motioned to the Rift, the trees, hills, the river, and the turrets. “There is no entourage to hold you back, no League halting your blade. This is what you want. Combat to prove your superiority, to serve your country’s interests. This is your chance to shine!” An orb of magical energy pulsed to life in Swain’s hand as he cackled and stared down Jarvan. “This is your battlefield! And I am your enemy! So follow your instinct and FIGHT!!” As he finished, Swain thrust his hand toward Jarvan, the ball surging towards him. However, before it struck, a barrier of light pulsed around him, absorbing the damage.

“Shyvana, with me! Lux, Soraka, support duty!” As soon as he spoke, Jarvan surged forward, spear in hand, Shyvana bursting into flames and charging after him. Swain laughed, energy pulsing from him as his form grew and distorted into the massive shape of a demonic bird. Katarina and Talon instantly disappeared from view, each one landing near Lux and Shyvana respectively, as Warwick let out a howl and dove towards Soraka. As Jarvan watched his allies fall away from the onslaught, he turned to face Swain as the man’s demonic ravens dove towards him.

“Your battle is with ME, Jarvan Lightshield! Let us finish what we started in the Judgment Hall!” With a roar, Jarvan charged ahead, his spear spinning wildly, cutting down the ravens, a barrier of energy surrounding him as he threw himself into the air, his weapon thundering with energy as he dropped towards Swain.

“For Demacia!!” The impact threw huge chunks of debris into the air as walls of earth surrounded the two, cutting them off from assistance for the moment.

XxXxXxX

“Miss Riven! The negotiations have broken down, and both sides have begun fighting! You’d better hurry!” Riven’s summoner’s voice pulsed through Riven’s mind as she cut down more minions, nearing the first outer tower once again.

“How much energy do you have stored up?” Riven spun through the air, bisecting a minion in half as she followed it up with a wide sweeping blow, felling three more. She’d been at it for quite some time by now, and there seemed to be wave after wave as she neared the tower.

“Enough to grant you an additional enchantment of great power, but I would suggest you strike down at least a single tower before you return. The teleport spell is nearly ready, and by the time it is, we can return quickly and push forward.”

“Understood.” Riven leveled her gaze at the tower before her, a massive stone knight with a scepter, surrounded by purple-clad warriors and casters, each with glowing yellow eyes. As her blue-clad minions pushed ahead, she shot into battle once more, absorbing a great deal of the damage herself to spare her magical warriors the initial brunt. However, she allowed them to soak the powerful blasts from the tower itself to buy her time to dispatch the minions fighting back and defending the point. As they struck her, green energy pulsed from her blade, cutting down all who would stand against her strength as she ducked and weaved between strikes, her powerful resolve shrugging off strikes from her enemies. As she threw herself into the air, she spotted enemy reinforcements inbound, marching down to defeat several more of the magical constructs.

As her minions began to blast chunks from the tower using their own attacks, Riven shot forward, intercepting the incoming ranks, cutting them down with every aspect of her abilities. Well-aimed slashes cut down the fragile casters in the rear, as she turned to intercept the bigger, stronger melee fighters after the softer targets had fallen. Her increased damage and strength from the enchantments allowed her to become an unstoppable force against the waves of minions. They would never be capable of defeating her in her current state. As the reinforcements fell, Riven turned back to the tower.

The massive construct was well made, but the bombardment of the minions had weakened its supports significantly. As she approached, she spun into the fray, the sharpness of her blade shattering and cleaving through the rocky body of the tower with terrible force, and after several well-aimed strikes, the massive body of stone and magical stones cracked and rumbled, falling to the ground below. The first tower had been destroyed.

“Miss Riven, Garen has just destroyed his first tower as well. The other summoners are alerting their champions to the news. They’re still fighting, however.” Riven sighed as her mass of minions made their way across the fields to the second tower mostly unopposed.

“I didn’t think a single loss would faze them. Get me back to base, and let us collect that enchantment.” Her summoner nodded, or at least gave a strange affirmative feeling through the link, and the blue light surrounded Riven as she was recalled back to the base. The familiar dizziness passed soon enough, and as she stood on the platform, she felt a massive surge of energy pulse through her body. “Summoner?”

“The ‘Bloodthirster’ enchantment. It increases your attack power, and gives you additional attack power for every minion you strike down, in addition to absorbing some of the damage you deal as strength. With this, you’ll be able to accomplish your goals more easily. Not only that, but it will make you even more resilient.” Riven nodded.

“Good. Now, send me back into the fray, and we’ll take down that second tower.”

In a flash, Riven was back on the field, and spun into the task of destroying the advancing minions before her own subordinates could meet them, guaranteeing they would be the most effective when they struck the tower. Her summoner was correct. As each new minion fell, more power seemed to gather, and she felt more refreshed. Strikes made against her seemed to fade away with each counterstrike, and she continued to gain more strength. Finally, after more and more fighting, she reached the second tower, far deeper into enemy territory. As enemy minions approached, they would see a virtual army of blue spreading out across the path, with a woman leading the charge. Each new wave was decimated faster than the first, and soon, the minions, and a final strike from Riven, brought the second tower crashing to the ground.

XxXxXxX

Jarvan raged as the talons sprung from the ground, holding him in place, the walls of his strike falling away. He struggled to free himself as Swain approached, roaring with mad laugher as his pets dove towards the defenseless Prince. However, a cry quickly came from one of his subordinates.

“General! My summoner reports that Garen Crownguard has felled two of our outer towers, and he has amassed a great deal of enemy minions to press the assault!” Talon appeared beside Swain as Shyvana roared, wondering where her prey had gone as the blades circling her form suddenly slashed into her.

“What!?” Swain roared and turned to the captured Jarvan. “Was this your plan all along, Lightshield? Delay us with talk of negotiation and strike down our defenses behind our back?” Jarvan could only laugh.

“I wish I could claim such a thing, Swain, but The Might of Demacia is acting under no orders of mine…” Jarvan’s face was smug as Swain raged, until Soraka called out above the din of battle as well, Warwick being held in place by a prison of light as Katarina was slammed to the ground by a falling burst of purple energy.

“Two of our towers have been felled by the Noxian Exile as well, Prince Lightshield!” Jarvan’s face contorted into surprise for a moment before he laughed even harder.

“So, what’ll it be, Swain? Continue this battle until Crownguard decimates your Nexus? Or will you go to stop him?” Jarvan watched as Swain stood silently, his flock of ravens circling him, before he growled and barked orders, motioning to Katarina, Talon, and Warwick.

“You three, put a stop to that oafish brute. Destroy him! I’ll handle things here…” He cackled and turned back to Jarvan. “Besides, I’m not through with you yet…” Jarvan only chuckled through a grin.

“Luxanna, assist your brother. Soraka, keep them alive.” The two of them nodded before charging after the other three champions. As they left, Jarvan turned to Shyvana. “Shyvana, deal with the Exile. Use everything you have.” However, instead of acting immediately, Shyvana protested.

“My lord! I will not leave you to fight alone… Allow me to fight by your side, please.” The Half-Dragon’s eyes softened as Jarvan’s hardened. He could see the worry seeping into her features.

“That is an order from your commander, Shyvana. You would not allow the base to be overrun, would you?” Jarvan could see the hurt in the woman’s eyes and hear it in her voice as she bowed her head, hiding them from view. However, the hurt faded from her tone as quickly as it appeared and she sighed.

“Yes, my lord. As you wish.” Flames pulsed to life around her as she took off towards the Demacian base. “Be careful…”

“Dismissing your pet and all your comrades to fight me alone, how noble.” Swain scoffed, his ravens cackling along with his laugh. “So foolish… You’ve just made this too easy.”

“I could say the same thing about you, Swain. Now then, let’s finish what we started...” Jarvan grinned, spinning his flag around his arm before stabbing it into the earth beside him. In a flash, he shot towards Swain, the Noxian’s ravens diving toward him, but a glowing barrier of energy surrounded Jarvan, their attacks dealing little damage as he thrust his lance ahead, piercing Swain as he attempted to move aside, red staining the feathers, but not before a burst of energy shot from the Noxian’s clawed hand, striking the barrier and dismissing it.

Jarvan dove to the side as Swain took a swipe at him with his claw, the talons leaving deep scratches across the golden armor of his shoulder as the Demacian lifted his spear in a wide swing, slashing against Swain’s unprotected back. The demonic bird howled and squawked with rage, growling as he spun, a torrent of power surrounding the ground around Jarvan as Swain tried to root the prince in place, talons rising to attempt to grab hold of his legs. However, Jarvan’s lance pulsed with energy, extending again, striking his Standard. The prince surged forward, slamming into the massive bird with all the might he could muster, riding him through the air before both of them crashed to earth. Swain flailed his arms, trying to recover, but as he did, Jarvan brandished his standard and stabbed it straight through Swain’s shoulder, pinning the demonic bird in place as his six red eyes glowed blood red, howling in pain and anger.

“I’ve slain dragons, and destroyed many of the most vicious beasts throughout Valoran, Swain.” Jarvan lifted his spear over her head as he stared down at the pinned creature thrashing about. “Their horns and fangs adorn this armor, representing the challenges I have overcome. Compared to them, you’re nothing…”

“We’ll see about that!!” As Swain spoke his raven swooped in from above, a blast of energy surging forth from it, striking Jarvan as he stood there, causing him to stumble back. With ire in his six red eyes, Swain waved his hand, fire pulsing to life, a blast of flames striking the dazed Demacian champion as he fought to defend to no avail. The prince was thrown off his feet, the flames surging over his body as he recovered on all fours, pulling himself to a knee with his spear, blood dripping to the ground below. A “Deathfire Grasp” enchantment, Jarvan realized. Swain’s summoner knew him far too well. Jarvan estimated close to half of his strength had been sapped by the single strike. He cursed under his breath. He’d been too confident. Swain was not incredibly durable, but with that power, he did not have to be.

The ravens dropped down upon Jarvan, tearing away chunks of his body with each clawing talon and ripping beak, and transferring it all to Swain. Talons rose from the ground, latching onto the kneeling prince as he cried out in agony. Pulling from his reserves of strength, fueled by his pain, Jarvan pushed against his binds, but as he did, Swain waved a clawed hand and he felt his strength drain away, exhausted by his summoner’s spell, and more talons rose to trap him in place, followed by a blast of power that tore away his life force. As Jarvan cried out, the demonic and twisted voice of Swain taunted him.

“What’s the matter, Demacian? Get up!” Swain’s raven shot a blast of power into Jarvan once more, bringing forth another roaring cry of pain. “Where’s your spirit now? Your talk of superiority? I’m waiting Demacian!!” With a thunderous strike, Swain’s clawed hand slammed into Jarvan’s form, tearing him from the ground, causing even more agony as he struggled to rise. His attempts were halted, however, as Swain pinned him to the ground with a clawed foot. “Pathetic creature…” Then, he aimed his arm towards Jarvan, sickly energy glowing around it, just as a massive shadow blotted out the sky above him.

“We’ll see who’s pathetic, demon!” With a roar, Swain was thrown from Jarvan as the transformed form of Shyvana thundered overhead, tearing through the tree line, and throwing Swain across the ground as the dragon’s teeth ripped a massive wound across the demon’s body, flames surging around her. In the same instant, every raven descended upon Shyvana, tearing at her, but she was undaunted, her claws ripping into Swain, draining his life-force from her ‘Bloodthirster’ enchantment, even as Swain’s own power drained it away. For the moment it was a complete stalemate. As Jarvan watched, pillars of light fell from the heavens all across the rift, his strength flowing into him, his wounds healing from the power of Soraka’s Wish.

He rose to his feet, green energy surging around him as his summoner’s healing spell sealed even more of his wounds as he began to run towards Swain. The demon bird was thrown across the field and baked in the heat of Shyvana’s burning breath as Jarvan threw himself onto his comrade’s back, running along its length. Swain backed away, throwing his raven minions towards the pair, even as they burned in Shyvana’s flames. With a final thrust, Shyvana cast Jarvan into the air with a whipping motion of her head and neck, propelling him into the sky, sunlight glinting off the tip of his blade as he plummeted towards Swain.

“DEMACIA!!” The ground exploded upward as the added momentum of Jarvan’s fall increased the damage as Swain was impaled in the center of the crater, his demonic form fading at the last possible second. As the blue light of defeat pulsed upward around Swain, the Noxian Commander could only laugh.

“You may have defeated me once, but you still failed to protect your base. Even now the Exile is pushing down your Nexus turrets!” Swain faded from view, but his voice was quick to offer a final taunt. “Relish in the taste of your failure, Demacian!” Cackling laugher faded away as Swain’s raven took off towards the Noxian base. With Swain gone, Jarvan turned to face Shyvana, who shifted back into her human state, her yellow eyes looking apologetic.

“My lord, I-“

“Silence, Shyvana.” The half-dragon stiffened. “You disobeyed a direct order from your Commander. You know what that means.” Shyvana’s eyes looked away.

“I do.” Under normal circumstances such an action was grounds for a court-martial and a dishonorable discharge from the Demacian Military. Her heart sank.

“However…you did save the life of your prince.” Jarvan’s voice softened. “I was foolish, and charged in without thinking. You, however, tried to warn me against such things.” He chuckled. “You…do know that if I fell, I would have been re-summoned, right?” Shyvana looked sheepish, the faintest hint of a blush crossing her cheeks.

“It would have meant a loss for our team, and an advantage to the Noxians. I could not allow that to happen.” She looked to him. “You have your honor to keep intact, after all.” Jarvan laughed.

“That I do. A prince must lead his people to greatness. His follies are hard pressed to be forgotten.” Jarvan nodded in the direction of the Demacian Base. “Come. We need to peel the Exile from the turrets. If Swain was telling the truth, we must hurry.” Shyvana nodded, and together, both began to recall back to the Nexus.

Despite their victory against Swain, the battle continued to rage…


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