The Razor Edge

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Luckhunter

Senior Member

11-24-2011

It was untidy, that room.
But then, one should expect a mage’s workshop to have some mess.
Madred bent over his workbench, eyes squinting, mouth moving silently. His dark hair was frazzled and dirty, his clothes were rumpled and his expression was that of a man who has been pushed almost to the edge. But he was close now… So close.
The stone surface before him was covered in the tools of his trade. Glass vials of rare elements, heaps of iron and steel blades, rune books crackling with energy, unstrung bows, crystals that resonated with unknown power, strips of cloth… And diagrams, sheets and sheets of drawings and schematics depicting everything from swords to suits of armor.
Madred was a weaponsmith of a different kind, one who forged his creations out of Runeterra’s vast magical resources. For years he had supplied his deadly creations to the armies of Valoran, raking in profits as the armies of Noxus, Demacia and the rest battered themselves into pulp. Madred sold to whoever could pay, and cared not to what use his weapons were put. He didn’t care about much of anything anymore…
The door to his workshop swung open behind him, and he twitched in paranoid fear, looking to see who it might be.
“You’re still cooped up in here? Madred, you really need to get some fresh air!”
Madred relaxed as the one person in the world that he truly cared about stepped through the door.
“Hello, Kitae.”

He’d met her… how many years ago now?
He’d been visiting Zaun for the first time, and had not been at all impressed by the smog and the choked streets. In fact, he’d become lost almost immediately, and, winding his way down yet another dirty ally, he’d been set upon by a mob of thieves. They’d seen him instantly for what he was; a rich man, whose clothes alone would have cost any one of them a year’s honest work.
He’d warned off the first rush with his short sword, but then one of them knocked it from his hand with a rock and they were on him. He’d been down in the dirt trying to fight off the entire pack when there had come a sudden whistling noise, then screams. The bandits scattered, leaving one of their number lying stunned on the ground… and an extraordinarily beautiful woman stood over the stunned Madred, grinning.
“Well hello there, stranger.”
Madred had felt very self-conscience all of a sudden, and that had bothered him immensely, because he hadn’t been self-conscience in years. He had chosen to focus his attention of the strange device in the woman’s hand. It vaguely resembled the offspring of a slingshot that had mated with a hexblade.
“What is that contraption?”
“You like it? I’m calling it Kitae’s Shocker. Effective at a range of up to 30 yards, compact, easy to handle… I think I’ve got a winner.”
This was something that Madred understood.
“You’re an artificer then?”
“Isn’t everyone here?” The woman (Kitae?) offered him a hand, which Madred accepted.
“So, what’s your business in our fair city?” she asked.
Madred scowled.
“I’m here to present the newest model of my Dirgebomb to the Council. They’d placed orders for a full complement but apparently there’s some concern that they’re defective, and so now I’ve got to reassure the simpletons that they will work as advertised. A bloody waste of my time, really…” he trailed off as Kitae’s face lit up.
“You’re Madred! THE Madred! I’ve… I’ve…” she seemed lost for words.
“Yes, that’s me,” Madred said, even more uncomfortable now.
“Well then,” Kitae beamed, “You must come with me! I’ve got rooms at Murtcor Enterprises for the next week, and I’m sure they’ll find room for you! There are so many people here who want to meet you…”
Madred allowed himself to be led out of the ally, Kitae chattering happily all the way.

Madred had never got those Dirgebombs sold; the Council had hemmed and hawed for so long that the war had ended before Zaun could even enter it. But he hadn’t cared. He, Madred, the soulless, money-grubbing arms dealer, had found… What?
It wasn’t love. That, Madred was certain of. But it was human contact, a relationship that he hadn’t been part of for ages. Kitae shared his interests, his views of the world, and his genius. The one thing she didn’t have was his fame, and she hadn’t allowed that to bother her. It was more than he deserved.

“So? What’s this?” Kitae asked, forgetting her worries about Madred’s health as she spotted his creation.
Madred sighed.
“The Institute wants a weapon that counters durability. Specifically, Warmog has got them worried. Strap his armor on and you can take a massive amount of punishment before going down.”
Kitae nodded. It seemed odd, designing a “fair” arsenal, but that’s what the newly formed Institute of War wanted. It was a revolutionary idea; stop the destruction and magic pollution of the Rune Wars by solving political problems on a small-scale battlefield. It just drove the people responsible for making those weapons a bit insane.
“So this counters it?”
“I wish.”
“This” appeared to be a sturdy glove with slashing blades that protruded from the knuckles and extended over the fingers.
“’Madred’s Razors’ is what I’m calling it”, it’s creator said. “It cuts up unprotected flesh pretty well, you can block blows with it if you’re quick, and I’ve enchanted it so that it butchers summoned creatures… But it just doesn’t work on Champions! I’ve tried everything.”
He bent over his notes again.
“I’m sure I’ve overlooked something… something vital… something…”
“Madred.”
He looked up. Kitae stood there, looking at him with an odd expression. He realized that it was worry. Intense worry. Her face was lined and pale. She almost looked sick.
“You can’t just stay shut up in here, Madred. It’s not healthy. You’ve always been a master, you’ve always been committed, but now… You’re starting to frighten me. You need to take a break. You need to relax. The Institute can look after itself, I swear.”
Madred straightened.
“You don’t usually come in here, do you?”
She shook her head.
“How long has it been?”
“Two weeks, Madred. Two weeks since you’ve left your workshop.”
He blinked.
“You can’t keep doing this, Madred.”
“You really are worried.”
She smiled.
“I’d hoped that you’d pick up on that.”
Madred stood there for a few seconds, then stepped away from the workbench.
“Alright then, where to?”
Kitae’s smile grew wider.

It was late when Madred finally got back to the workshop. He and Kitae had walked the streets of Demacia (they’d both moved there a few years ago ), marveled at the sights, gone to the opera… The classic night out. He’d enjoyed every minute of it, and resolved, not for the first time, to do it again soon. As Kitae was so fond of reminding him, he had money. Why not use it?
His good mood lasted as long as it took him to reach the workbench and look down.
The prototype was gone.
He searched for it frantically, brushing aside priceless minerals, stacks of papers, every bit of clutter. Searching, searching, under the bench, inside his high-security vault, everywhere he could think. It was to no avail.
His Razors were gone.
A suspicion grew within him, fueled by innate pessimism and lack of sleep.
Had she…? Could she have…?
No. No, it was impossible. Kitae would never have stolen from him.
He swept the room one last time, then tottered towards bed. Things would look better tomorrow.

He still couldn’t find them the next morning.
Madred was out of the workshop bright and early. He hadn’t got any sleep that night, worry and fear eating holes in him. He stumped down the street, headed for Kitae’s home. She’d know… She could help him.
There was some commotion I the yard that lay adjacent to her lab. Voices, laughter, a general hubbub. Madred broke into a shambling run.
A croud had gathered, and at the center were Kitae and a stranger robed in the distinctive style of an Institute of War Weapons Inspector. There was something in Kitae’s hand that caught the light as she showed it to the robed man…
Madred couldn’t breathe.
Kitae wore a gantlet of silvery metal that encased her hand. A flat blade stuck out of it, a wickedly barbed blade that seemed to cut the air itself. As the crowd watched, Kitae swung the weapon at a wooden dummy standing upright in the field. There was a shimmer of light, and the dummy’s head came sailing off. The bystanders clapped and cheered, and the Inspector nodded.
“A fine weapon indeed, Miss Kitae. What did you say it was called again?”
She smiled, the same smile that she’d given to Madred.
“Kitae’s Bloodrazor, sir.”
Madred had heard enough. He fled, weeping.

He sat at his workbench for five days.
He didn’t eat, and he slept in fits and starts. His eyes stared, unseeing.
Betrayed. Betrayed by the one person in the world who was worth anything to me.
He would die, he vowed, before he trusted anyone again.

A knock came on the door.
It came again.
Madred rose, heart still full of pain, and opened the door.
A young man stood there, dressed in the uniform of the Demacian Postal Service. He clutched a bulky package in both hands. He must have knocked with his forehead, Madred realized dully.
“Mr… Madred?”
“Tha’s me.”
“I have… bad news, sir. You knew Miss Kitae, I presume?”
Alarm bells went off.
‘Yes…?”
The man gulped.
“I’m terribly sorry to say that Miss Mitae has passed away, sir. The healers said it was some chronic illness that sapped her body of strength. I… I’m so sorry, sir. I’ve been told you two were close.”
Madred remembered how she’d looked, how pale she’d been.
The man continued doggedly.
“She left a note, and this package, sir. It’s addressed to you.”
He offered the package, and Madred took it, still in a daze.
“If there is anything I can do, sir…”
“No… No. Thank you, but there is nothing that anyone can do.”
He closed the door on the young man and felt the tears start to fall.
Dead? How can that be? She was the healthy one! How can I outlive her? It’s not right! It’s a joke!
He weighed the package in his hands.
What’s she given me? What can she possibly give me after all she’s taken away?
He crossed to the workbench and slit the brown paper wrapping. It fell away, revealing a short note… and a padded glove-shaped container.
Trembling, he read the note.
Dearest Madred,
I haven’t been able to reach you, and my time on Runeterra is nearly at an end. The Institute has accepted this weapon into its arsenal, but I know that you can do better. This is my last gift to you, in thanks of many years of joy. I will soon be gone, but you will live on, and that gives me the greatest joy of all.
I love you,
Kitae
Tears flowing, he opened the container.
Her bloodrazor, sleek and deadly, gleamed in the lamplight. He grabbed it to him as if it were her and wept freely, rocking back and forth.
How could I ever have doubted? How? How? How?
He dumped the weapon on his bench and set to work.

A pair of robed figures stood in a stone-walled antechamber, conversing.
“It turns out, my lord, that Madred’s final creation far surpasses that of Kitae’s. His Bloodrazor is more complex, certainly, but almost twice as effective at cutting through the kind of durability that Warmog’s creations supply.”
“Interesting. Interesting indeed. Have they found out what happened to the old man?”
“No, my lord. The civil authorities finally broke into his workshop, and there he was, dead on the floor, with the Bloodrazor sitting on the bench. He must have finished it right before he died.”
“Tragic, indeed,” mused the second figure, “but at least he was able to finish. Madred’s Bloodrazor will find its place on the Fields of Justice soon enough, as will his simpler Razor. Odd that he hadn’t constructed a prototype of that one… Lucky his notes were still there, really.”

Far, far away, a man bent over a chunk of glass and metal, and spoke to it, infusing the lantern with his will.
His trip to the Far-lands had been a success. He had returned to the Kumungu Jungle laden with plunder; strange jewels, fine clothes, deadly weapons. He had exiled himself to this place, forsaking the world of pain and war and death to the north, but he couldn't forsake its treasures.
The glove had been the most perfect theft. He'd heard of the old man, heard of his greatness and of his creations, and he had desired one for himself. Finally, the old man had left, and it was the work of a few moments to pick the lock, swoop in, and take the glove from where it lay.
He whispered to the lantern, watched it glow with power. It would be his weapon now; his magic combined with the old man's genius.
He spoke, and his name carved itself on the base of the item.
"Defend me, O Lantern of Wriggle."
He'd hide it away; he knew of an ancient burial ground where none would think to look. The other people that lived here were superstitious louts; they'd gut him if he showed something like this off. Yes, he'd hide it until he really needed it. And then let anything stand in his way.


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IS14696195e1336cdef530a

Senior Member

11-24-2011

woa that was a long thread
im to lazy to read it but i think its good :P


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Luckhunter

Senior Member

11-25-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSNBluebear View Post
woa that was a long thread
im to lazy to read it but i think its good :P
Thanks for trying.


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YamiBelgarath

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Senior Member

11-25-2011

It was quite interesting, but as I recall (though I could be wrong about this) one of the JoJ articles described Ezreal finding Wriggle's Lantern. You might want to check on that, but otherwise it was really very good.


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ThinhNguyen

Senior Member

11-25-2011

im not reading that


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Luckhunter

Senior Member

11-25-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamiBelgarath View Post
It was quite interesting, but as I recall (though I could be wrong about this) one of the JoJ articles described Ezreal finding Wriggle's Lantern. You might want to check on that, but otherwise it was really very good.
Blimey. Thanks for the tip.

Edit- BLAST. That'll teach me. REWRITE

Thinh- You make me sad.


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HomelandFighter

Member

11-25-2011

nice.


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Invictrix

Senior Member

11-26-2011

Wow it never occurred to me to write about the weapon designers. They are like the tony starks of LOL. I read the whole thing and I am impressed +1.