Cataclysm of the Dragonborn
[[Chapter 42 NOW AVAILABLE!]]
[[I've been considering writing this story since Riot redid Shyvana's lore and I finally got around to it. Enjoy.]]
Here are the current Available Chapters:
Part 3, 4 and 5
Part 7, 8, 9, and 10
Part 16 and 17
Part 18, 19, 20, and 21
PART 24 and 25
Chapter 28 and 29
Chapter 30 and 31
Chapter 32 and 33
Chapter 34 and 35
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[[I'm going to try and update this regularly, probably somewhere between 1 or 2 chapters a week when i get down to it, and who knows how many while I've got nothing better to do. In the mean time, enjoy the story.]]
"Only time and the running of water shapes the stones at the bottom of a river."
Nearly two years has thus passed...
Two long years.
Jarvan stood tall, looking out over the vast deserts of Shurima. His men had bedded down for the evening, Jarvan Lightshield IV taking his customary first watch. He had long ago learned a great appreciation for the cold and refreshing night air, using the time alone to think. He just let his mind roam, wandering where it pleased not bothering to reel it back in less something undesirable came calling to he and his men's camp.
He had been struggling with his feelings about himself and his position for every day of the two years he had been searching the vastness of Valoran. What he was exactly searching for? well, he hadn't found it yet, but he intended to keep searching until he did find it. He had long ago left behind the feelings that tied him to Demacia. He only let himself worry about himself and his men now. He tore his eyes from the vastness of the starry night sky to look his men over. Of the twelve he had chosen to accompany him on his journey of self discovery, only 8 remained. They lay around the smoldering remains of their cooking fire, each one sleeping silently. The day had been just a rough as each day before hand. The men greeted sleep each evening as if it were a new bride and they had just returned from a long campaign against the Noxians.
Jarvan scowled, his anger flaring at the thought of that *******, Jericho Swain. The crotchety old man was a tactical genius and a maniacal ******* to boot. Even before he had journeyed to the war front with his father, King Jarvan Lightshield III, he had heard nightmarish tales from the maids who had attended to him as a boy. He had aspired to fight and defeat the famed tactician one day, believing the stories to be tales and that there was no way one man could be so cunning and dangerous. As he had grown, he had approached each day with gusto, striving to be the best. The fastest, the strongest, the first. He had often been so, but his best friend had always been there at his side. Garen Crownguard was his best friend growing up, and the two were inseparable. Everywhere Jarvan IV went, Garen was right there with him.
When given the chance to finally challenge the famed Noxian tactician, Jarvan had charged at the task with more than just gusto. Stupid and blind pigheadedness had led him to charge straight into an ambush, the horror stories of Jericho Swain only starting there. After most of his company had been slain around him, Jarvan was thrown in shackles and forced to watch as the few survivors of his company was executed before his eyes, one by one. When it came time for Jarvan IV to be executed himself, he had accepted his fate with the grim realization that he was only a shadow of his father searching for glory with blind ambition leading the charge in his efforts. Jericho Swain had stood over him, his crimson eyes staring maliciously back at him over his scarf. He had asked Jarvan if he had any last words and Jarvan had only stared back him for a few seconds. As if to smack those gloating eyes that stared at him, Jarvan only offered him one thing.
“Sure.... you may kill me...go ahead make a martyr of me... but my beliefs...my ideas.....they hold the strength of a thousand... There is only one truth, and you will find it at the point of my lance.” With that he had bowed his head to Urgot, the Headsman's Pride, the butcher of Noxus. Even that blundering oaf of a butcher couldn't miss a target like that. As Jarvan closed his eyes, accepting his fate and willing the images of Swain's face from his mind, he waited for the blow that would end him finally, his years of fighting and following in his father footsteps only leading him in circles, chasing his tail like a stray puppy.
His mind thought of his family and friends, their faces flashing through his mind.
But it never came.
As the blade came down, a ruckus erupted from the rear of the formation that Swain had erected to keep his prize from escaping while he dealt with them in his own method of choice. What he hadn't expected was the timely intrusion of The Dauntless Vanguard, captained by Garen Crownguard himself. The formation, collectively eyeing the prince of Demacia and eagerly awaiting his head to fall, had made a fatal mistake in leaving a small section of their flank exposed. Taking advantage of this, Garen and his force had bore down upon them, ripping Swain's Battalion asunder and driving a pincer attack straight through the enemy lines. He drove his forces hard and fast straight into the heart of Swain forces, where Garen immediately launched himself upwards, bring his sword down in a hammer blow on the High Noxian Executioner. As the already piece-meal man fell to pieces, Garen struck the binding chains that kept Jarvan bound and tossed him his lance. Jarvan, reeling in surprise, was swept away by Garen and the Vanguard, as they made a hasty retreat while the Noxian forces tried to make sense of what had just happened. Unable to pursue, they had to quickly reform their ranks and attempt to see to the felled Noxian executioner.
Back in the safety of Garen's Vanguard, Jarvan looked back on himself and how foolish he had been, now having to accept the shame of his foolishness. He had lost his entire company and he had nearly lost his life by his own bravado driven judgement. As the mixture of emotions ran through him, gratitude, sadness, surprise... he came to the realization that he was a failure in everyone's eyes. Everything he thought he had achieved in life had just as easily been accomplished by his long time companion. Even in his resigned state expecting death, Garen had been there. He had successfully done what Jarvan had tried and failed at: dealing a blow to Swain's pride.
Feelings of disgust and resentment had clouded Jarvan's mind over the next few months as he tried to deal with his clouded mentality. He could never seem to escape Garen's shadow and he came to hate Garen and he especially came to hate himself for it. One evening Jarvan decided that he alone would have to prove himself and he would do so on his own terms. Under the veil of night, Jarvan gathered the twelve remaining members of his shattered company and he asked each one if they would accompany him on a journey to find himself. With twelve of his remaining men in tow, he set out through the northern rends of Valoran, battling with bandits, outlaws and the horrendous monsters that were found throughout the land.
It had been easy at first, only having to deal with small time bandits and petty criminals. With much disgust, Jarvan continued to chop them down, only doing so because it gave him something to do. He had journeyed as far north as the Freljords and as far east as Noxus itself. He had fought with many a champion, each boasting their strength, but soon, Jarvan grew tired of these petty foes. He couldn't stand the slaughter of weak monsters and the many boastful men who challenged him over and over.
Three months having past, Jarvan and his men were growing tired of their current conquests. They had journeyed into the small, sleepy mining town of Kalamanda, north of the Mogron Pass. There, they had heard of the tales of what lay below the Great Barrier. An old prospector had crowded one of the many small tables at the back of the pub they were eating at. He overheard their griping and offered to tell them a tale of the mysteries that lay below the Great Barrier. He told stories of mighty beasts that had been found to roam the plains and devoured even great men like they were nothing more than breakfast. With the prospect of such a challenge before him, Jarvan and his men had immediately set out, bound for the Great Barrier.
Their excitement had given them swift feet and it wasn't long before they had arrived at the Gap of Mogron. A mighty desert stretched out before them, with ruined stone pillars and buildings reaching out from under the sand like sharks in the sea. In the far off distance, a massive storm swirled above the sands, purple lightning arcing down upon the ground like the sinewy fingers of a malevolent god toying with his creations below. As they peered out into the vastness of the Shurima desert, a sound had echoed out from the mountains above them. Swooping down from the cliffs like a massive bird of prey, a mighty dragon had descended upon them like a god descending from the heaven to deliver his judgment upon them.
With his glistening talons extended, he descended upon them, crashing into the formation of thirteen. The dragon had spewed flames, catching Reynold, Jarvan's sergeant, by surprise. The man was a flack outline against the multi-thousand degree heat for only a few seconds before he disintegrated to nothing. As the dragon beat its enormous wings, letting the stream of fire die away, only dust and steam from the vaporized man was left. His armor clattered away on the hard stone, as two more of his men were lifted away in the dragons talons. One was cast against the jagged rocks at the base of the cliffs, falling into them from several hundred feet. The sound of his impact was sickening and carried all too well on the empty wind of the Shurima desert. Jarvan watched in horror as the other was lifted away into the stone jungle of the jagged cliffs of the Great Barrier, His screams of terror echoing around them like a mad man taunting them to go on.
They had only passed through the great barrier and Jarvan had already lost three men. His blind ambition had yet again struck its toll like the bell of a church ringing its mourning tone for the dead and the gone. As his men struggled to their feet, Jarvan could only roll onto his back and stare into the sky, wondering just what the gods had against him. He could only laugh at the irony of it all. A boy born into nobility, asking god why he was so cruel. If he wished, Jarvan could return to his home with nary a consequence. He would eventually inherit the throne regardless, but he would never be able to deal with himself if he did. Even if everyone forgot about his foolishness, he would never be able to forget his own mistakes. As he struggled to his feet, he met the eyes of each and every one of his troupe.
"I won't promise that you'll return from this journey..." He said, with solemn eyes and a determined heart,"...and I can't promise that I'll return, but I won't force any man to accompany me into this hell. Only the foolish, the ****ed, and the determined have journeyed beyond this point." He paused, snorting at the irony. "At this point, I believe I am a mix of all three. I'm going though, and if you wish to follow me, then pick yourself up and fall in. I'm not going to fall victim to my own mind, and I refuse to fall victim to this world." With that, Jarvan turned and stepped forth through the breach. As he stepped out into the desert a mighty gust of wind struck him, nearly bowling him over. As he tumbled over, he was caught by the hands of his Lieutenant, Isaacs, one firmly grasping his arm, the other white knuckled on the collar of his breast plate.
"We're right behind you, sir." The Lieutenant said firmly, a hard but determined smile on his face. The remainder of his men stood there behind him, their weapons at their sides, each nodding at the prince, each ready to face the danger with their swords held high and their spirits held higher.
[CENTER]_ _ ___ _ _[/CENTER]
Jarvan looked out over the wastes with satisfaction. Two years and he had only lost four men. He was slowly returning to the great barrier, slowly drifting home. He had found his fears and he had challenged them and won. He and his men had journeyed across the wastes below the Great Barrier, Shurima, Fyrone, Kumungu and the Plague jungles. During his times exploring the vast tracts of land that made up the southern half of Valoran, he had met many a character. He had sparred with many different champions of the League, each suggesting he make his way there and search for more answers there. Jarvan had initially rejected the idea of joining the league, but now, he was becoming more and more interested in the group that was known as the League of Legends. He intended to join it as soon as he returned home.
Jarvan lay back against the cool stone simply drinking in the cool night air. He closed his eyes briefly, wondering what awaited him as when he returned home to Demacia. The image of the mighty dragon who had killed three of his men the first day he had journeyed into Shurima came to his mind briefly. His eyes shot open, the lust for the blood of that draconian ******* flaring in his veins. That dragon remained as one of the few challenges he had been unable to conquer. As he let his mind wander, the sound of a dragon in pain echoes throughout the relatively peaceful night.
The sound was disturbing, one he had never heard before, like the dragon was sad as well as hurt. It's cries were ear shattering, ringing through the night with such a frequency as though it could nearly cut through your very being. Jarvan peered out through the night, searching for the source of the sound, trying to identify the direction the baying was coming from. Throughout the night, the sound continued to echo through the sky, before it finally died out just before dawn.
"You think it finally died?" Isaacs asked tentatively. He and the rest of the men had long risen from their bedding and were sitting around the fire, clutching their weapons. With everything they had seen in the past few months, it would take much to shake his men's nerves. The sounds that had been echoing through the night were haunting and disturbing. they were hollow and longing, as if the dragon was being tortured by its own mind. The beast had been struggling to hold onto every inch of its life, struggling against everything.
"If it hasn't I intend to put the poor beast out of its misery." Jarvan said hollowly.
The sounds had reminded him of the mental scars that he had come to carry, when he had been resigned to his death long ago. Unlike him though, this monster had been desperately trying to survive. It was fighting death as best it could though the tone was as if it had been begging whatever ******* gods it prayed to for life. The sound of the dragon was etched in his mind and it was something he would not long forget. With his men long disturbed by the gut wrenching sound, Jarvan decided to set out early in the general direction of the sound.
As he and his men ascended the rocky cliff, the sounds of a young woman crying began to echo through the wind that pounded the cliff faces. With only a cursory glance and a nod from his lieutenant, Jarvan readied his weapon and quickened his pace. As he crested the stone monolith, what he found surprised him. As he brought his lance to bear, his eyes came upon a young girl with dirty reddish hair who was weeping over the body of the dragon, drying blood reaching out across the monolith like the web of a spider. As he took a cautious step forward she turned on him, bearing her teeth, going down on all fours and growling at him. She was defending the dragon's corpse. It took Jarvan only seconds to realize that this was no ordinary girl. She had violet eyes that burned with a passionate fire and long hair that swirled upwards around her as she prepared to pounce. Her hand turned into that of a dragon as she began forward.
Jarvan tossed his lance to the side as she leapt at him, her body turning to the blue and scaly skin of a young dragon. Her wings were shredded, but she still charged for Jarvan's throat as she struggled along the ground, the nature of flight not coming. He braced himself, grabbing her around the neck as she charged, tumbling backwards, towards the edge of the stone monolith. As she thrashed, her form grown to nearly twice his size, Jarvan struggled to control her. He grasped her snout and reached around her neck, heaving with all of his might as he clasped his legs around her body, struggling to hold on. She tossed her head from side to side and he began to apply pressure to her windpipe. Sensing what he was doing she tossed her head against the ground, dislodging his grasp. He collapsed on the ground, winded by the impact. As he struggled to his feet, the half-dragon squabbled to her feet, standing back and eyeing Jarvan tepidly. He had only just clambered to his feet when the dragon came again, charging at him ferociously.
Calling on his lineage, he summoned his light shield, a barrier of pure light forming between himself and the dragon. She crashed into it, and using the moment that she was stunned, Jarvan leapt forth and grappled with the small dragon again. He wrapped an arm around her neck again and drove her snout down upon his arm, applying pressure. She struggled again, trying to shake his grasp loose, but soon it fell docile, the lack of air causing her to black out. As the creature finally collapsed, Jarvan hit the ground again, this time, next to a young woman, hardly as tall as his shoulder. She lay quietly upon the ground, her chest heaving as she sucked air into her lungs. Jarvan rolled onto his back, gasping for breath, his heart racing. The young half-dragoness was silent, her naked form lying silently on the ground next to him. He looked her over, her pale face framed by the dirty red hair. Dark circles were under her eyes, her faced bruised and dirty, teary streaks across her cheeks. Jarvan sat up, looking up at the sky and wondering what had possessed him to do something so foolish. His men rushed forth, moving to her still form with binding ready. He waved them away though, searching for his voice. He was hoarse, his throat dry from the fear and the effort that had consumed his heart while he had struggled with the half-dragoness.
With looks of surprise on their faces as his men looked on, Prince Jarvan drew a blanket and wrapped the young half-dragoness in it, doing his best to preserve her modesty. She had a pretty face, which looked almost serene in the early morning light. Jarvan ordered his men to stand guard and to notify him when she awoke, and to not take any action against her other than keeping her here. The men went about their morning, preparing a small cook fire and doing their best to not discuss the girl with hushed tones. Despite the chatter, Jarvan's mind was muddled with confusion and he needed time to think. He perched himself on the edge of the cliff, his mind a jumble as he began to sort out his thoughts. His body had acted without orders, subduing the dragoness, not killing her. The image of her standing over the dead Dragon, wearing nothing but the caked on blood and dirt hung in his mind.
This young half-dragoness... just who was she?
Jarvan pondered the shifting sands of the Shurima desert with trepidation, his mind racing in circles. His feelings were like the sands of the desert, constantly shifting and eternally moving.
"Your legacy shall drift away, blown into eternity, like the sands of the desert."
The words were stuck in his head, the advice he had been given striking him as oddly painful and true. The more he thought about it, the less he seemed to care about his so called 'legacy' and more about the actions that defined him. When Jarvan had originally met the Curator of the Sands, he wasn't exactly how to approach the scholarly creature. He easily stood two or three feet taller than Jarvan, who was taller than average at six foot six. The dog headed librarian was anything but ferocious though, more at home among his books and the ruins of the Shurima desert than the League of Legends. Jarvan initially raised his lance in defense, his search leading him into the desert. However, as he charged the beast with the glowing eyes and the massive staff, he felt himself slow, his body growing weak and brittle. He slowed to almost nothing, falling to his knees in exhaustion. The Anubis watched him for a few seconds, his ears twitching as Jarvan's men stirred restlessly behind them as the Anubis brought his staff close to the neck of their prince.
"What brings you to these hallowed grounds with such malicious intent?" His voice rang out around them, rumbling with a deafening tone, echoing through the ruins.
"I've come to challenge you!" Jarvan struggled to shout, his voice hoarse and his chest heaving in exhaustion.
"Do not try my patience." His voice rang out again, his temper obviously growing short. "You now stand where angels fear to tread."
"I fear no man!" Jarvan tried to shout, his voice growing smaller and smaller, getting stuck in his throat.
"Your soul will be measured." He bellowed, his height nearly tripling, a raging sandstorm erupting below his feet. stones and rubble were lifted into the air, swirling faster and faster, threatening to tear the very ground out from under their feet. Jarvan watched as his staff came down towards his head. He froze, his body bracing for the blow that would surely crush his skull. Swain's face loomed in front of his eyes, taunting his once more.
Once again.... the blow never came. The curator simply stood there, eyeing Jarvan curiously.
"You need not kneel before me, merely treat me with the respect you would your average man." the spoke serenely, the echo gone. Jarvan stood up slowly, reconsidering the Anubis. "Stay your blade young one." Jarvan nodded slowly, throwing his lance over his shoulder. In the near week that Jarvan and his men had been with Nasus, Jarvan had learned much, but Nasus continued to speak in riddles for much of the break from their fighting and journeying. There was something else that he had been told by the rather enigmatic creature during their long conversations together though, sticking in Jarvan's memory.
"When all is said done, your legacy is only a reason for people to remember you when you have passed on. Define yourself by your actions, not by your achievements."
Jarvan had been struggling to understand exactly what the Curator of the Sands had meant when he had spoken those words at their departure. There were times that he often reconsidered the words, trying to discern the difference between actions and achievements.
Actions and achievements are the same thing... are they not?
Jarvan frowned, debating over it for the hundredth time.
"PRINCE!" Jarvan was torn from his recollection and meditation. He looked around, expecting an attack but he was only met with the sight of his men crowded around a small cook fire as they prepared supper, a pot simmering over the weak flames. They had huddled down in one corner of the bowl like depression that the stone monolith consisted of. There were steps down into the basin, a natural spring which trickled water, and a massive stone overhang that sheltered much of the plateau from the sun and the elements. The dragoness lay beside the dead dragon atop the overhang, another set of winding steps leading up atop of it. From opposite the overhand there was a step stone stair case the wound down the monolith towards the mountains that made up the Great Barrier. There were pillars in various states of ruin along the lip, signifying this monolith's roll as an ancient watch tower from long ago.
He wondered where they had gotten the wood but dismissed it, the smell wafting over and making him realize he was ravenous. He looked into the sky, the sun beginning to set, a flock of ravens circling overhead. He shielded his eyes from the sun as he pulled himself to his feet, his lance clinking against the bones that dotted and decorated his armor. He turned, putting his back to the sun and examining the small plateau. On one side, the body of the dragon lying rotting and still, on the other the body of the young dragoness stirring beside him.
Jarvan peered over his shoulder and checked the sun. It was a blazing orange color, quickly becoming a deep and bloody crimson color as time swept by. It was an ominous omen for sure, but many a sun had been just as foreboding and nothing had come of it. A youngish short blonde haired man came striding up the stone steps.
"The she-dragon stirs, sire." Forsythe said, leaning in, his voice soft as if he feared disturbing her. As one of the youngest members of the group at 23, Forsythe was still a seasoned veteran of combat. He had served several tours of duty directly under Jarvan's command and on multiple occasions he had proven himself to be a ingenious and tenacious fighter, often wading into the worst situations to stand at the Prince's side. Jarvan could read Forsythe's uneasiness, his hand resting on his sword, his other hand clenched into a fist at his side. Underneath his dirty blonde mop of hair, Jarvan could see the ever so small crease in his brow. Jarvan put a hand on his shoulder nodding silently. The gesture may not have looked like much to most, but it easily put all of the men at ease for now.
"Don't worry." Jarvan said, nodding. Forsythe nodded in return, the doubt in his face evaporating.
"Sir." Forsythe said, letting out a breath of air he seemed to have been unconsciously holding. Jarvan smiled weakly. To be honest, he didn’t even know what he was doing or what he planned on doing with the young dragoness. He turned and watched her for a few seconds, her shoulders heaving with the deep breathing of sleep. She was stirring though, her hands going to the blanket, pulling it over herself as she slept.
The dirty reddish hair flopped about a bit, tossing and turning beneath the rough woolen blanket. Jarvan felt a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. Despite her rather ragged exterior, the girl had a striking and rather inhuman beauty about her, beneath all of the grime and blackened dragon blood. Jarvan watched her, quietly contemplating the pale skin and the fiery red hair, wondering exactly why he had decided to only subdue her rather than kill her.
In two years, Jarvan had slain bandit lords, dragons, stone golems, berserkers, Lizard Elders, griffons, trolls, and every sort of mythical beast you could imagine, many with ease. Never once had he stayed his blade in the face of a vicious enemy, but for this young woman, who had been crying over the body of a dragon… Jarvan had thrown his weapon aside and dove head first at her, doing all he could to subdue her. He took a step in the opposite direction, turning back to the cliff and looking out over the vastness of the desert.
There had been rumors of a half-dragoness floating around the barrier towns, carried on the words and whispers of those who still believed the dragons to exist in the wild, outside of the control of the burgeoning League of Legends. Dragons were extremely elusive creatures who preferred the company of their mates or solitude to being around other races that they considered 'inferior' to themselves. They often retreated to the farthest reaches of the southern half of Valoran, taking advantage of the heat and desolate terrain. There were those that journeyed closer to civilization though. Often times they were the target of big game hunters and military parties, their aggressive territorial nature impeding the expansion of the nation states that had formed, each vying for more territory than the other. With such rapid expansionism, dragons had often been driven from their homes and cast out into the wilds to start a new.
There were ...exceptions though.
“Why have you come here?” Jarvan spun, coming face to face with the young woman at the last second before she bowled him over. Jarvan rolled head over heels, ending up on his back, staring upwards into the sky. the Dragoness was poised on all fours, ready to launch herself at Jarvan again. Jarvan rolled onto his stomach after a few seconds and pushed himself to his feet. Several of the men ran up, the look of surprise on their faces quite clear as they had dropped everything they were doing and sprinted to stand at their Prince's side.
"Stay back sire!" One of the men began to say, but Jarvan cut him off as he approached the young woman slowly. One of his men tried to hand him his lance, but Jarvan merely pushed it away. He tossed his helmet to the side and unclipped his shoulder pauldrons, the heavily armored and horn spiked armor pieces falling away. Forsythe charged forward, his sword brandished. He raised it over his head and began to bring it down, but the dragoness simply swatted him aside. He crashed into the stone wall, ending up crumpled up on the ground. She loomed over him, his sword held between them as he struggled to regain his footing. She grabbed it from him, a rather disgruntled look on her face, bent the blade into a ninety degree angle and tossed it aside. She raised her hand up, flames flickering along her flattened hand.
Jarvan sprinted and dove, cannonballing into the dragoness and knocking her away, the two of them grappling through the air. Jarvan crashed down on top of her, restraining her as best her could. She managed to get her legs to her chest though, and was able to kick Jarvan backwards. He skidded backwards on his back, ending up at the feet of his men. They hauled him to his feet and stood at arms, several of their personal weapons drawn. Forsythe groaned as he pulled himself to sit up, groping his boot for his knife.
“Stupid bit…-“ He started to gripe, only to be cut off as Jarvan placed his hand over the young soldiers chest, silencing him immediately. He glanced at Forsythe briefly, only shaking his head from side to side. Jarvan stepped forward, pulling a length of rope from his belt and holding it at his side.
“Why have you come here?” she hissed again, her hair cascading around her face. Her expression was angry and bore the signs of a deep seated grudge against Jarvan and his men.
"Calm down," Jarvan said, trying to placate the young half dragoness, handing the rope over to one of his men. "We only wish to talk." He took a step forward, his palms raised to her to show that he was unarmed and meant no harm to her. She looked almost surprised at the gesture, but as he took a second step towards her, she took her own step back, a foreign look upon her face. It was only there for a split second, but Jarvan read the expression and slight change in posture in an instant.
Fear. She was afraid.
Jarvan took another step forward and, matching him, the dragoness took another step back. Her foot bumped into the wall. Fight or flight and there was no longer anywhere to retreat to. Something must have triggered in her mind because at that, the anger on her face returned and she launched herself through the air, her hands aimed straight at Jarvan's neck.
He stepped into the jump and brought his shoulder up hard, right into her stomach. Her claw like fingernails raked over his cheek though, leaving a set of deep gashes on his cheek. She scrabbled on his shoulder, as her spun and brought her down across his body to land roughly on his knee. He had instinctively brought his elbow up to crush her skull and had begun to bring it down to finish her, but he froze as the anger returned to fear for another instant. Taking advantage of his second of hesitation, she twisted and yanked his leg out from under him, sending him sprawling onto the ground. She rolled onto his chest and brought her hand up, plunging her flattened hand straight at his eye. He jerked his head to the side, her hand striking the stone with a sickening sound that was a mix of shattering bone and rock. She froze, the pain welling in her eyes. Jarvan tossed her aside and rolled on top of her, pinning one arm beneath her back. He froze, staring into her angry face, into her almost magenta colored eyes. Through the anger, he could see the fear, but behind that fear there was a dim fire. It wasn't aimed at him, but skyward, as if she was cursing her fate and challenging the heavens.
He paused, but kept her pinned. With a nod of his head, he was tossed the rope. Keeping her securely pinned, Jarvan tossed her onto her stomach and trussed her hand and then her legs. She writhed against the bindings for a few seconds, but they were too tight and she was obviously too famished to actually fight against Jarvan's mass. Satisfied she wouldn't be able to escape, Jarvan unpinned her and pulled himself off of her. He sat her up against the wall and stood up, dusting himself off. He picked the blanket up from where she had left it and shook it off, wrapping it around the Dragoness. Despite the pain in her hand and anger on her face, the Dragoness blushed as Jarvan wrapped her up.
"Take a while and calm yourself young one." He said, leaving her in the shade of the rock and turning away. He picked his armor up off of the ground and dusted it off, taking a few seconds to examine all of the scars in the metal and the little bits of monster he had adorned it with, building up to what it was today. He stepped away and left her.
The Dragoness cocked her head to the side reconsidering the man as he walked away. He had broad shoulders and scaly armor covered in dragon scales, talons of great creatures, and other bits and pieces of paraphernalia from other parts of Valoran.
Her father had once told her that the humans were a brilliant but aggressive species, making their way across the world, carving a deep scar through the land wherever they went. All you had to do was look around and you could see the ruins of human aggression that littered the land. Her father had told her of the rune wars, the result of a deep seated hatred between humans for petty reasons that most of the higher evolved creatures would have never succumbed to. It had been a disastrous conflict that would have ended the entire world had they not come to terms with what they were actually doing to the environment. Soon afterwards they had forcefully found a peace between themselves and forged a shaky alliance to deal with the effects that was befalling the world.
Her father had watched it in its entirety, recording and archiving the events so that he could one day pass them on to the humans in an effort to preserve the world's health. He had been greeted with some respect by the humans for it, but he was also treated as a traitor by the dragons and cast out. He was not welcome among the humans though, still viewed as the beast that he was, not as the scholar he acted as. Thus he had been outcast from all society he could have actually related to and thus exiled himself to the Barrier lands where he could watch over both the humans and the dragons that roamed the southern wastelands. He had found a home in an abandoned watch tower, a testament to the rune wars that erupted from the barrier mountains like a massive scar.
Over the hundreds of years he stood citadel to the pass through the barrier mountains, watching over the humans and other creatures that came and went. The dragoness had never been able to coax the reasoning from her father but it was during this time that he met a human woman and bedded her. It was from that human woman that the Dragoness was born. Eventually though, she had been abandoned by her mother at the foot of the citadel after which the woman fled, and Faust never heard from her again. He had raised the young girl by himself, teaching her to survive, to fight, and to learn above all else. She would have to adapt to survive in the world, and to do so she would have to be smart. Despite her animalistic instincts and unfound aggression, the young dragoness had come to find that her curiosity was unending, and her father was glad to do his best to teach her everything that he knew.
However, there came a time when their peaceful and happy lives would have to end. Now her father was dead. The dragoness lay her head back, thinking of the rugged face of her father, a deep gash over one eye, but a smile that could melt even the coldest heart. The sadness came rushing back, leaving her shoulders shaking and the feeling of guilt in her gut.
The men had been mostly quiet, only the small stirrings of conversation echoing through the group occasionally. The food had been fixed and passed around. Jarvan had been silent though, only staring at the stew with empty eyes.
His mind was heavy with the thoughts of the young dragoness' eyes haunting him. He wondered if that was how he felt when he had accepted his death. The image of Swain's gloating face floated before him, haunting him endlessly. He had always regretted that failure, his own stupid judgment leading him nearly to his death and leading most of his men to their own deaths. It was something he regretted every day, a move that he couldn't atone for and something that would mar his history till the day that he died. There were over a hundred graves that had been filled because of him alone, many of his closest friends laying six feet underground because of it. He stood up with the shallow bowl of stew in hand and to the curious glances of his men, he made his way over to the dragoness.
"Sire?" Argyle muttered, a small frown forming on his lips.
"You're going to feed that beast?" Isaacs asked, tight lipped. Forsythe took several steps to follow him, but Jarvan cut him off.
“Leave us.” Jarvan spoke quietly. “And stay your tongue.” Forsythe matched his gaze for a few seconds, trying to gauge just how serious Jarvan was. After a few seconds he nodded, turning, and with a quick glance at his blade and a disgruntled shake of his head, he left Jarvan and the dragoness under the outcropping at the edge of the monolith. Jarvan kneeled before her.
“My apologies…” He said slowly, “Are you hungry?” Jarvan coughed, turning his head to the side and ignoring the fact that sitting there, with only the rough blanket that barely covered what Jarvan couldn’t see. Her pale skin shone in the ruddy red sunlight that reflected off the dull stone of the monolith, her red hair framing her pretty face. Jarvan avoided gazing on her body though, matching her gaze. They stayed there, their gazes locked. Moments passed, the young dragoness finally diverting her eyes. She turned and looked to the dragon, remaining silent.
“Why have you come here?” She asked for the third time, her voice softer, staring into the sun. “What do you want? Why did you spare me?” She turned back to the corpse of the dragon. Jarvan sighed, pulling his helmet off. He ran his hand through his hair, setting the food aside and the helmet next to it. She only glanced at the food briefly, but there was an audible growl from her stomach as she looked away, her face blushed in embarrassment. Jarvan nodded knowingly and pulled the knife from his boot. Upon seeing the shining blade, the dragoness pressed herself against the wall, trying to put distance between herself and the blade. Jarvan placed a hand out calmingly as she whimpered barely, her hand wrenched in an odd position due to the bindings. He grasped her uninjured hand carefully and cut the bindings. He sat down roughly, pulling a small bottle of water and a bandage from a pouch on his belt. He put the food at her side and gestured for her to eat it.
“My name is Jarvan Lightshield IV.” He said, turning to look at the dragon briefly, pulling her hand closer to look at it in the light. She seemed incredibly docile for a dragoness, but Jarvan wasn’t about to provoke her. He tended to the injured hand as gently as he could, washing the dirt from her bloodied knuckles and bracing and wrapping her hand.. She shifted against the wall, trying to hide her discomfort and the pain in her hand. "If you're hungry, please, eat."
"But..." She said softly, never taking her eye from the blade that sat at his side. "This is your food."
“You eat it, for I am not hungry right now." He said quietly, wrapping the bandage over, dissatisfied at the first wrapping. She tentatively picked up the bowl and wincing against his rather crude first aid, slowly began to eat. She chewed on the leather meat and potatoes quietly as he examined the other cuts on her arms and face. Her body was frail and looked weak from a lack of nourishment over the past few days.
"I am merely a man searching for atonement and reason.” He said slowly. He knew that the bits of bone and fang on his arm said otherwise, but he didn't need to give her reason to doubt him. He was trying to choose his words carefully. After a few moments of awkward silence, he finally decided to ask a question he was afraid he knew the answer to. “Was he close to you?”
“He was my father…” She spoke solemnly, looking to the ground, hiding her eyes with her long and unkempt hair.
“Faust.” Jarvan said quietly, nodding knowingly. He looked to her for a reply, only getting a small nod as a confirmation.
“Yes… Faust.” She spoke quietly, reverently, her voice hollow and cold. Jarvan could only nod once, his feelings mixed. He fumbled with his helmet awkwardly, the dragon horn tipped crown seemingly out of place as he looked over the corpse of a dead dragon, trying to comfort the beast's half-human daughter. The situation was irony at its finest. Here he was conversing with a scantily clad, and extremely attractive half-dragon, a beast so vicious that she could rip his head clean off if she so desired. Jarvan had set out to slay beasts like her and here he was talking to her, comforting her as best he could, admiring her beauty. Jarvan mentally struck himself, putting her appearance aside. He wanted to ask questions about everything, his curiosity growing the more he stood there. “It’s Shyvana.”
“Shy…vana?” Jarvan repeated
“Yes, My name. It means ‘Of the Dragon’s blood’ in draconian.” She said, avoiding eye contact still, setting the empty bowl aside. Jarvan offered her the animal skin water bottle. She accepted it and lifted it up, draining it in a single go. After a few seconds, she opened her mouth again, then shut it, her jaw working as she thought carefully how to phrase her next thoughts. “My father gave me that name. He told me to bear it with pride, for I represented the best of both the humans and the Dragons.” Her voice was a mix of emotions, none of which Jarvan was good at reading. He had never been close with any dragons, and he had always been too busy with his duties to deal with women on any level of intimacy other than that of an officer and a soldier.
Luxanna Crownguard had once told him that he was thicker than average. Young, stupid and full of nothing but martial idiocy and foolish ideals. Jarvan had taken it to mean something completely different, but his years of roaming the planes of southern Valoran had given him much in the way of time to reflect upon his life. The sad thing was that Jarvan was thick headed. Looking back he had realized just how often he had missed his father’s overarching messages, ignoring the politics and reasoning for the thrill of combat and the sheer hatred of the Noxians that had been very nearly shoved upon him every night and day. Looking back now, he hadn’t learned nearly as much as he should have, could have or wanted to, but if there was anything that he had learned, it was to not judge a book by its cover. He slowly reconsidered the young dragoness, who was probably inspecting him in a similar manner, just as much confusion clouding her mind as clouded his. She was much smarter than she let on, and she was also hiding whatever feelings she was feeling. Jarvan wanted to trust her for he pitied her, but he didn't know what to say or how to feel around her.
“So you’re only a half dragon then… it is true.” Jarvan said slowly, setting his helmet down. He unlatched his breast plate, putting it down beside the helmet.
“Yes, it is.” Shyvana said weakly, an almost pitiful little smile crossing her face as the memories of her father began to swirl in her thoughts again.
...The best of both the humans and the Dragons...
The thought hung in her mind as she silently reconsidered the awkward Demacian who sat next to her, attending to the small wounds on her body.
Jarvan Lightshield IV...
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