These gems are the cause of the Brackern’s power. These rare gems had been forgotten by all but the powerful, dormant race. That is, until Skarner awakened, full of rage and pain. The world still corrupted by magic. When he calmed, he had noted the progress, but he knew it was not enough. He knew it was not safe for his people. Then news came about the Kalamanda conspiracy and his faith in the League was shattered. It was obvious that the League did not have Valoran’s interests at heart and if they cared not for the continent, they cared not for the Brackern.
Thus, Skarner decided to get a summoner to fully back his interests as a true ambassador for the Brackern. He decided that Geokhan, a minor summoner who had already mentioned his distrust of the League, was a good man for the job. However, no true human could understand the way of the Brackern, thus Geokhan was told he needed to venture forth and collect an Arachia and fuse with it. A quest that could destroy him if he succeeded as the human mind is not well adapted to the power housed in the crystals of the Brackern.
This is where our tale starts. Geokhan’s return to Piltover for the last time as a man. How is he to return? Dead? Mad? Fused with power? Taric’s Boyfriend? Geokhan didn’t know it, but the Arachia wasn’t the only thing he would be learning from. The road teaches all who walk its path. Its enlightenment, however, is often not cheap.
Turn the Page
Geokhan charged into the store. It was just before opening and normally Geokhan would be setting up, but not today. Today may be the beginning of the end. No, it was an ending. An end to Geokhan, the simple summoner and the beginning of…Something Else. Geokhan had no idea what it was, but he was driven to go get it. As profitable as his jobs were, his life was in a slump. He was going nowhere. This was a chance to be a part of something he believed in. POWER! Geokhan was no warrior, but he grew tired of watching others fight for him because he was too weak. His parents had cut him off when he left home, he didn’t make friends easy, and he was always sitting in the back. Unnoted he would be no longer. He would have POWER! They would have to notice him. If they did not, then they would be made to. He would have responsibility, but he could deal with that. His duties would be to his liking and he felt the world needed less summoners.
Geokhan dashed to his woodsmen supplies, and started to remove gear he would need, when Greg, the store’s unofficial mascot, came out of the target range. Greg yawned as though he had just awakened, which was probably true as it was about noon time. He looked at Geokhan and gave a soft sigh.
“Someone finally decided to try to get you to skip town and stay gone?”
Geokhan flashed a look at Greg, but get promptly back to packing.
“Got a quest of a lifetime and, if I am lucky, it won’t drive me insane. I won’t be here for a few days…or ever. One or the other.”
“Whoa, a REAL quest? Like going save a duke’s daughter kind of thing?”
“Why a duke’s daughter?”
“Who would ask you to find a princess? I wouldn’t ask you to find my shoes…if I still had shoes.”
“One day I will get you to a shoe maker and have him make you into shoes. For now I must go to the mountains. I think the Ironspike Mountains are my first destination.”
“What are you looking for?”
“Oh that one. Took your damn time.”
“I didn’t see a big hurry, and it didn’t hurt to get some of my arrows double checked and I finished my last project.”
“I hope you get eaten on the road.”
“On that note, you’re coming too.”
“Yay, a suicide mission. Can’t I just stay here and sleep? It’d be more fun. I could start a pool with your clients to see how long it takes to find out you’re dead.”
“The amount of faith from you is staggering. I need you to come along. Besides, it’ll be fun to get out of the shop. Especially because I might never come back. If I never come back, you will never become human again.”
“You little piece of Zuanite trash.”
“Says the guy who mugged the old married couple on their fiftieth anniversary.”
Geokhan had finished packing all of his survival gear and had his signature blade at his side. He went into another section of the shop and pulled out his long bow and a quiver of arrows. He also pulls out a relatively small dagger and tosses it to Greg. His expression is lighthearted and cheerful. Geokhan didn’t expect too much trouble, but it didn’t hurt to be ready for it.
With that, he opened the door and, for one last time, he turned to gaze back into his shop. He started with the left hand side of the room. It had his armors, from gleaming plates of Noxian steel, to green leather from the basilisks of the Kumungu Jungle. Next to those were his shields. Gleaming towers of steel and solid oak bucklers embossed with the insignia of city-states or the League itself. Then his eyes fell on a fence row of spears and polearms and double blades. The memory of hearing Leona use his spear to slice a dummy in half was a fond one. His craftsmanship enabled this. His eye continued to scan the room until they fell onto his favorite place in the shop. The counter. This is where the deals were made. Where the customer’s gleaming smile told him they loved his product. This was where he surprised them with a design that exceeded expectations and made them nod their head in amazement in the design’s simple effectiveness. The laugh he shared with Viegar’s servant when he told him the code phrase for an enchantment. ‘Not one client unhappy with the product’ he had said. This is a larger part of his life than anything. His greatest success was running this shop. And here he was. Leaving it all. Likely, for good.
“I hope this isn’t the last I see of this place. This is home.” Geokhan mutters to himself.
“Yo, Geokhan! We got places to go! I don’t want to miss a match on the blitznet!” Greg shouts from outside.
“Yeah, yeah… I guess it’s time to move on.”
No Rest for the Wicked
Geokhan and Greg made good time on their way to the Ironspike Mountains. Greg wasn’t happy about the going, but Geokhan felt a strange sense of urgency. Was it related to his quest? Was he just putting pressure on himself? He had heard that Brackern died attempting to do this, and was he greater than any of them? Of course not. He barely made it to the rank within the League that he was. His manager always told him he was about to get passed for promotion. Last time he got a raise was when Fizz got Lulu to pay rent. How could he expect to succeed? Greg, in his weird unintentional way, pushed Geokhan forward. His constant whining and complaining forced Geokhan to try to prove that this quest was no waste of time. He had to find it to prove Greg wrong. He had to prove his fears wrong.
Geokhan was thinking about the Arachia and was thus zoned out, when Greg smelled something odd. It was of the worst alcohol he had ever smelled. He almost got dizzy from the little he could sense, but it was also familiar. He realized it had been ages since he had been near the moonshine the bandits near Piltover brew. The bandits had apparently moved closer to Piltover. With Caitlynn busy with the League and more tourists moving through, the profits were increasing, but not if others beat you to the visitors. Normally, Greg would have used this opportunity to get rich. At the end of the day, Geokhan was a summoner and a businessman, and thus had money. He was carrying quite a bit and he had many magical items on him. However, the bandits would torture and then sell Greg, as he was a unique creature. The last thing Greg wanted was to be dissected by some wizard.
Greg took a step closer to Geokhan as they walked down the road and whispered.
“Geokhan, now you might want to be a little wary right now.”
“Hmm? Shut up Greg. We’re not there yet,” Geokhan said absentmindedly.
“Geo! Bandits,” Greg hissed sharply with a tug on Geokhan’s robes.
There were four of them walking onto the road ahead of them. They were dressed in furs and leather. Two were very similar in appearance, dark hair and sharp blue eyes that promised pain. Very similar heights suggested brothers. They both had clubs made of the local trees. There was a small scrawny lad no more than 15 years with dirty blonde hair and a broken nose hiding slightly behind these two. His face was dirty and dark, speaking of his troubled life. The last man was a brute. Almost the height of Alister and arms larger around than Greg, his bald head appeared to show off his scars. On his shoulder rested a warhammer, whose head was made of steel with a wooden shaft. This brute of a man stepped forward to speak to Geokhan with a wide confident grin on his face.
“Oi! This be a private road. We needs to be asking for yer wallets and pouches to let ye pass.”
Geokhan was not amused. “I believe that this road is a public road. You have no such right.” He stated with the authority befitting a summoner of the League.
The big bandit laughed. “I think we got the right of might here, Fancy Pants. There be four of us and only one of you.” With that he dropped his hammer into his left hand and started bouncing it in his hand.
“What? Am I chopped liver or something?” Greg yelled in an indignant voice as he stepped out from behind Geokhan.
The Bandit captain looked stunned by the small red imp coming out from behind Geokhan and even more so when he found his rhythmic tapping become significantly more difficult. He blinked at his arm and then charged angrily at Geokhan, yelling and raising his hammer to lay Geokhan low. Geokhan, expecting this from watching spars between champions, Flashed away from him and towards the archer. The archer had not been able to string his arrow when Geokhan smacked him upside the head with his shield. The brothers closed in behind Geokhan with their clubs ready to slash at him and Geokhan ducked below them. The brothers hit each other and one of them hit the ground hard, groaning and clutching his head in pain. The other had been staggered, but he pushed on, trying to keep Geokhan busy while the captain slowly came up behind Geokhan. Geokhan blocked his next swing with the edge of his blade and the club snapped in half.
After shocked look of his own, Geokhan laughed at the confused bandit. “And that, boys and girls, is why we make clubs out of oak and not ash.”
He then made to pursue the bandit further, but the brother, showing typical bandit loyalty, ran out of there. Geokhan then turned to see the big man had caught up to him and the Exhaust spell had worn itself out. The brute did not seem happy.
“There ye go messing up me men. I’m gonna have to end ye now. To show ‘em what happens when ye piss off Pretty Pete. Sorry mate, but I got me reputation to keep up. So long, Fancy Pants.” He raised his warhammer high and brought it down on where Geokhan had been standing. Geokhan just avoided the blow by rolling to the left but he noted the sizable hole in the dirt where he had been standing and knew one blow like that would end him. Geokhan rushed at Pete to slam him with his shield, but Pete had been in a fight or two and simply threw his fist at Geokhan. Geokhan flew into a tree and fell down about 4 feet down to the ground. His sword was still in his hand but his shield lay in the bushes three feet away and Pete was standing over him with his hammer raised for the final blow.
Geokhan closed his eyes, thinking the end was near. That’s when he heard the scream. He opened his eyes to see Greg lodging his dagger into Pete’s knee and biting his calf. Pete shook wildly, trying to remove Greg. Geokhan took his chance. He dashed at Pete and slashed at his abdomen. Pete kept his mind open and saw the attack and managed to block the blow with the shaft of his hammer.
Geokhan went spinning away and Pete finally dislodged Greg, sending him flying. He turned to see Geokhan with his blade ready.
“Oh, ye didn’t run. Not so smart on yer part.” Pete laughed and he followed up with a quick lunge, thrusting with his hammer. Geokhan sidestepped and retaliated with a thrust of his own. Pete’s thrust had left himself unbalanced, and thus he could not bring the hammer in to deflect the blade. Geokhan’s blade slid into Pete all the way to the hilt. Geokhan starred at the wound and slowly raised his eyes to Pete’s. Pete was in shock. Pete looked up at Geokhan from his wound and tried to deliver his last words. He only spat out blood all over his own chest. His hammer slipped to the dirt and the light slowly left his eyes. Geokhan just held the blade tightly, letting it tilt over and freeing the blade of the corpse’s grip.
Geokhan was a summoner. He killed champions daily through other champions, but it wasn’t the same as ending a man. Watching this life end with his own eyes and knowing this life would not be rekindled.
Geokhan just stood staring into the eyes of Pete. Geokhan ran into the woods and threw up. He didn’t know this man. Pete tried to kill him, but he was human. It wasn’t something he watched. He caused this. No one else.
“I killed him,” thought Geokhan silently. “I killed someone. He is dead because of me. What have I done?”
Greg walked up behind Geokhan. He wouldn’t admit it to anyone else, but he had grown to like Geokhan. The man had treated him well, despite the target practice. That was why he had attacked Pete in the first place.
They said nothing for a while. Geokhan just stood next to a tree bent over, his left hand on the tree to support himself and his right on his knee. Greg walked up to him and placed his hand on Geokhan’s back.
“You had no choice.”
“I could have given him his money. I could’ve run away. I could’ve-“
“You could’ve let him end your dreams for more of that moonshine they cook up in the hills. You could’ve let him kill you. No, you couldn’t. You have a destiny.” After a slight pause, Greg added, “We got to get going. You go ahead… I’ll catch up. I should check their pockets.”
Geokhan merely nodded his head and went down the trail. He stopped when he got to Pete. He burned that image into his mind. The look of shock on Pete’s face. He then carried on down the trail. Already the stunned brother had run off, but the kid was just starting to wake up. Geokhan went to him and hoisted him up by the collar.
“Listen, kid. I just killed your boss. You go home or go to Piltover. I catch you doing any banditry or other nonsense; I will end you as well.” Geokhan’s eyes had taken a dark look. Demons danced behind his irises. He threw the boy onto his back and the boy scrabbled past him towards Piltover. In Geokhan’s mind, he had to try save this soul from the crime that he had committed. Hopefully whatever higher powers there were, would take this a partial penance. He doubted it, but he knew he could try to sleep better that night. Maybe he had saved one from the fate he now endured.
Short Changed Hero
Greg found Geokhan’s camp late in the night. Geokhan had set up a fire and a pot of stew he had made with his vegetables and the jerky he brought with him. He had a full bowl in his hand, but he wasn’t eating. He was simply stirring it and staring into the fire, his eyes still dark. Still haunted by Pete’s face.
“Hey Geokhan, that smells good.” It actually smelled awful, but that was beside the point.
Geokhan just thrust his bowl in Greg’s general direction.
“Smells like mud to me.” Geokhan grumbled.
“Oi, who are you?”
“You sound like a **** brained pessimist. Where is happy go lucky?”
“He went looking for his cup of coffee.”
“We got some of that.”
“Not that ****. Before you dropped by and tried to rob the shop, Lulu and I got into a rather tense relationship. She stole my office and my wallet. That’s why I opened the shop, to deal with the credit agency. Soon after, some of us got together to kill her. Towards the end, I saw not the demon she appeared, but the person she was. I quit that venture and tried to get forgiveness. If nothing else, from myself. I had a cup of Godot’s coffee. He fixed me up the worst coffee imaginable, but I drank it down and knew what I needed to do to set myself straight. I can’t help but feel he would know what to say now. Hell, any champion would know what to say right now…well, except Lulu. They have all done this. Some of them have done it a lot. I don’t know how they all look so normal. I feel…wrong. Guilty.”
“Well, I do know a trick for that,” Greg reaches into a bag he had carried with him from the fight on the road. It was filled with loot he had taken off of Pete, including a steel warhammer’s head, a bag of gold, and a flask of bandit moonshine, which he removed, took a long drink and handed it over wincing. “It’s the best in the hills.”
Geokhan reached for it, and he took a quick drink before gasping in pain. “What was in that? Trundle’s piss?”
“You don’t wanna know. You aren’t the only one who has shed blood on this road. I-”
“-know what I am going through? You weren’t looking into his eyes! You didn’t see the life leave them! How could you know?”
Greg just stared at Geokhan. Greg sighed and simply stated to Geokhan, “How can an ambassador be so consumed with guilt? Drop it or drop this quest and go home. Tell Skarner you failed. You have to be strong or you will be ignored.”
Geokhan took another slow drink from the bandit moonshine.
“Listen, Geokhan. I never killed a man, but you know you had no choice. You even saved that kid. I heard what you told him. I also smelled his piss as he ran. You do what has always needed done. I have seen you summon. You are a monster on the fields with Skarner or Alister.”
“That’s different! I killed a man!”
“Pretty Pete is… was wanted. Rather well known in the bandit community around here. Rape, murder, assault, robbery. Did the world a favor, ending him. Believe there is a bounty…”
“You can go back and grab his head and turn it in.”
“NOT THE POINT! I was there to see one of my mates kill a mark. He took a lot of pleasure in letting the old lady think she could run… He shot her in the knee and clobbered her to death. Next day, Caitlynn shot him in the head while he held a girl at knife point.”
“The universe will hunt the guilty down. You happened to be its blade for a moment. If the universe wants your hide, it’ll take it. It doesn’t need you to. Get on with your life. It’s all you can do.”
“So says the philosopher. What makes you so wise in this?”
“I know scars in the soul.”
Geokhan sat there and stared at the fire. “Let’s get some rest. Still a long way to where we’re going.” He said mechanically. He lay down with his back to the flames and closed his eyes.
From behind his eyelids, Pete stared back at him the whole night.
Carry On My Wayward Son
The next day was rather uneventful. This was good and bad. It was good as Geokhan was not in the proper emotion state for fighting anything. This was bad as Geokhan had trouble hunting as is, and his tortured mind made it even worse. His hands shook and he wasn’t as aware of his surroundings. The deer saw him before he saw them, and he was up in trees most of the time. He even fell out of a tree once while waiting on a deer to walk down the game trail.
Greg was worried. Geokhan talked less and less. His pace slowed down. He wasn’t looking ahead. He was looking down. His shoulders slumped as if his pack had doubled in size. His hair actually had lain down, something Greg thought wasn’t possible.
They had reached the Ironspike Mountains on the third day of hiking. Towering crags of stone loomed before the duo. Some of the peaks still had snow, even this late into the summer. However, Geokhan pointed out, what they were after was under the mountains, not on them. Still the task looked impossible to them until Greg noted a hut off the trail.
“We should ask if the locals know anything about giant crystals that imbue super powers.” Greg joked with Geokhan when he passed the word to him.
“Sure. Let’s go talk to them.” Geokhan proceeded in the direction indicated.
“Wait…I was joking. Let’s not. There could be witches or cannibals.”
“Greg, I need some local knowledge on the surroundings. This is not a well charted area. No, I don’t want to talk to anyone. I need to.”
Geokhan walked to the door to the cabin alone, Greg having taken to the shrubbery. It was relatively normal looking, but the garden had few vegetables. Mostly herbs. Geokhan didn’t recognize any of them at first glance, but he remembered what Greg had said about witches. Geokhan rapped on the door in a staccato rhythm.
An ancient voice called back to him, “For the last time, Joffrey. I won’t embalm your mother. She has been dead far too long. Damn your family traditions. Let her rest!”
“Well, I know for a fact my mother is still among the living and she most definitely did not name me ‘Joffery’.”
A set of quick and soft steps could be heard as the old man ran to the door. Geokhan could almost hear his bones creak with age. The old man opened the door a crack and peered out at Geokhan. His eyes were a dark brown. They had only just started to fade, even though the owner was easily over seventy years of age. The old man wore simple clothing; similar to the clothing Geokhan’s father wore when they used to go work on the farm. They did have plenty of hands back then to do the work, but Geokhan’s father wanted to teach his son ethics through hard work. It had saddened Geokhan greatly when his father thought Geokhan was turning away from it all to be a summoner and had disowned him all those years ago. In reality, those ethics were still a guiding beacon in his life.
Geokhan was snapped back into reality by the old voice, “And who might you be, young lord?”
“I am Geokhan, summoner of the League and-“
“You own that weapons shop in Piltover? The one with the imp?”
“That is correct. I am a bit far from home. How did you know that?”
“One of the towns guard got one of your blades while he was in a conference on detective work.”
“Glad to see my product help out the little people as well as champions and summoners.”
“Now, what brings your kind to Glenhaven?”
“Well, I am looking for a specific kind of landmark. A tight V shaped valley. It would have been mineral rich perhaps at one point, or it still is. It also would be near the edge of the range.”
“Hmmm….I would have to think about it. I remember an old mining operation near here, but the mine dried up towards the start of the League and the miners left. I think I got it on one of my old maps.”
“I would like to see that.”
“Come on in, I got some coffee brewing.” The old man opened the door widely and started to walk inside. Without turning, he raised his left hand over his shoulder and waved him in. “Oh how do you like you coffee?”
“Pitch black and awful tasting.”
“How long have you been out on the road?”
“Not too long and way too long.”
Can I Play with Madness?
Cup of coffee in hand, Geokhan was searching the maps for the valley he hoped held the Arachia. The coffee was standard, but it wasn’t what he wanted. He would make sure he talked to Godot when he returned to the League…if he ever did.
Doubt reared its ugly head and spoke its horrible truths in Geokhan’s ears. Then, Pete whispered his last words over and over again in Geokhan’s mind, only dineing in the gurgle of blood pumping out of his mouth. Geokhan closed his eyes tightly and started to breathe in and out forcibly, silently screaming at the images and sounds to go away. The old man, who had introduced himself as Yosive Truesword, had been watching Geokhan go through five of these episodes with Greg standing on the table next to him.
“So how is the northern road?” Yosive asked.
“I guess they were adequate. Slight bandit trouble. Slightly less now.” Geokhan replied coldly, still trying to smother the demons in his soul.
“Run into one of Pretty Pete’s gangs?”
“Ran into Pete.”
“That man has been a terror to this area for quite a while.”
Geokhan paused for a moment and stared into his mug. “…Pete is dead. Left him to rot on the road. I watched the light leave his eyes. I watched his corpse fall and his heart stop beating.”
“Good. Never forget your first. The first woman you loved, the first gold you made, the first man you killed.”
“Good? How is that good? I killed him! I killed a fellow human being!”
“Some men deserve it. Killing someone who deserves it is one hell of a lot better than killing a man who doesn’t.”
“What do you know about slaying men?”
Yosive’s face darkens to something Geokhan finds familiar. It is the face Geokhan himself had been wearing for the past week.
“Served with a mercenary group back in the early days of the last Rune War. I was green. Thought war was a game, that I would be more of a man for taking part. I didn’t care for the cause, just the heroic battles next to champions, like Garen or Swain. It was in a battle near the Marshes of Kaladoun when our group hit our first real battle. At the time, we were on the Noxian payroll heading into the ongoing fight. This was rather normal for them to have us come in and reinforce a battle they thought wasn’t going their way as we were a group of linebreakers. Most of our encounters were too late or unneeded until that point. This time we thought we came to a fight that was already won. We were about ready to start to a cleanup, when the Demacian troops charged in from over the hill. They were fresh and outnumbered us, but the Noxians said we had to hold them off. Our commander was eager to let us get some fighting done as some of the men were getting antsy. I was pushed to the front of the line, a ritual for their greenhorns. That’s when I saw the fully armored knight pointing and yelling. His armor was very decorated and his voice was stern and charismatic at the same time.
I knew he needed to die. Killing the commander always means victory. That’s what I was taught about war. So when we charged, I made a beeline for him. I pushed through, just smacking people around, letting my shield brothers finish them. When I reached the commander, I found him mounted on a horse. He tried to lay me low, and I dashed under the horse and sliced at its leg, bringing it down on top of the Demacian. With the horse keeping his master vulnerable for me, I leaped onto him and quickly jabbed in through his armpit with my dagger to end him. I stood back, and then saw his face. His helmet came off when the horse fell. He wasn’t any older than me. He looked scared as the light left his eyes. I was in shock myself, until I was blasted into oblivion by a mace.
When I came to, I found myself with the thanks of the Noxian general and my commander. I had apparently saved countless lives. All I saw for the next year was the eyes of that kid that I had killed.
So yes, I know what it’s like. I also know that that sick feeling you have in your gut never really dies. You just grow numb to it. You will find the killing to be easier. I started to find it too easy and that’s why I live alone up here growing herbs and the like. I hoped that, away from battle, they would stop haunting me. They don’t. You have to carry them around. It reminds you that you are still human.”
Geokhan’s mind digests the information while Yosive goes back to looking over the map. He excitedly slams his fist down and yells, “How could I forget a name like that?”
“What?” Geokhan asked confusedly.
“The name of that mine. Hell’s Bells mine. It’s about three miles to the southwest.”
Hall of the Mountain King
Geokhan, Greg, and Yosive made their way to Hell’s Bells the next day. Yosive had gathered some of his herbs and an old sword. Geokhan kept telling him to simply point the way and run back home, but Yosive simply would not be told otherwise.
All the way to the mine, Geokhan was back to staring into his soul to find answers to why he felt so badly and what to do to fix it. All these people had to try to tell Geokhan how to react to the horrors of life. Geokhan was unsure of whether Greg was right in thinking that drink would help him, or becoming a hermit like Yosive had done. What else could he do? He had tried to keep the demons pent up through his own will, but they still circled him. They breathed woe and hopelessness into his soul. They made the world lose its beauty. They made it lose the charm it had for those innocent in heart.
They reached the mine in short order. It wasn’t boarded up, which had Yosive worried.
“Closed mines get sealed. Why isn’t this one? Who is here now? What is here now?”
“Only one way to find out.” Geokhan answered. He placed a ward at the mine’s entrance.
“That should last us a week. We got what we want by then and we got the easy way out.”
Geokhan stepped into the mine when he felt an odd… something. That something was calling him closer and Geokhan had a solid feeling of what that something was based on it telling them to go deeper. As they went down the main shaft, they hit an intersection. However, Geokhan felt as if he knew the way. They went deeper and deeper. Then they heard the scraping.
Suddenly the path behind them closed. Geokhan’s torch went out in the rushing air. Geokhan heard the footfalls of something. It was coming closer. It wasn’t the skitter of something curious, it was the march of someone who knew exactly what lay ahead. When Geokhan relight his torch, there was a compact, pale man in front of them. The man appeared rather human, except for his eyes. They were covered by skin and the eye sockets behind the coverings appeared empty.
He stomped hard onto the floor as if it was a greeting of one foe to another, loud and proud. Defiant and strong.
“That guy has some articulate feet.” Greg said softly.
“And keen ears.” The man replied in a cold voice. “I am Boulderkin, Vanguard of the Geomancers, who are the Masters of the Earth. You are not welcome here.”
“The cave-in was a good hint.” Yosive stated.
“Bit rude to tell us we can’t leave and block the door.” Greg added.
Boulderkin appeared to frown. “I regret to inform you that no one leaves us when they discover us, especially summoners and their demonspawn.”
Geokhan eyes flared with a life they had not had in days. However, this spark was of rage, not excitement. “I think not. I am on a quest for one of the most powerful gems in the whole world in an attempt to free it of its wars and its battles. Thus was the League was formed. They may have forgotten, but I have not. You shall not stop me. I have been stalled long enough. Within this mountain lies my destiny and you shall not deny me.”
“I will not deny your destiny, for your destiny is death.” Boulderkin ordained and with that he threw his arms into the air, grabbed something invisible to the trio of adventurers, and pulled the ceiling down on them.
Never had Boulderkin faced a summoner. He knew their vibrations from years of vengeful thoughts. His race had long hated summoners. They had been banished from the light when they dared speak out about the summoners’ misuse of power. The generations had made them bitter, but wise. They stayed secret and safe under the uncharted areas of the Ironspikes and they studied their craft. Still, he regretted the fact that the summoner had to die. This one had felt different than the ones he had felt on the surface. He dismissed it as the closeness of the man having less interrupted vibrations. He felt their life forces struggle to survive in the rubble, but he was certain their wounds were mortal and went back into the tunnels. He would speak to the Elders in the Chamber of Crystal. They must be made aware of the opening to the surface.
This wasn’t the first to find a way into their lands. Many had wandered into caves to mysteriously disappear, often in a cave-in made by Vanguards like Boulderkin. It had yet to fail to kill those travelers and treasure hunters. However, Boulderkin had caught a summoner. Boulderkin, like most of his brethren, was unaware of some enchantments that were used on the surface. Like the shield charms that protect allies, like within Geokhan’s blade. As such, Geokhan, Greg, and Yosive crawled out of the cave-in relatively unscathed.
“Well time to go, Geokhan.” Greg stated. “They probably already found all the stupid crystals. Let them keep them.”
“No. One of them is sending me a message. It’s calling me. It wants to be unburied.”
“You sure that shield charm stopped the rocks from hitting your head, son?” Yosive asked doubtfully.
“I know it sounds crazy, but these crystals are why I am here. These geomancers do have the crystal I think, but I doubt the crystals shared their nature with those who are not their chosen.”
“Then why are they talking to you?” Yosive asked. He had seen some strange things, but this Arachia business was rather unbelievable to the old mercenary.
“Because I was chosen. If Fate lead me here, then I will not turn back.”
Boulderkin marched into the Chamber of Crystal. Boulderkin knew not the vibrant colors of the gems around him, or the gleam and shine that marked his passing. He only felt the dull vibrations the gems pulsed. Most wouldn’t feel them, but his mind had been tuned to pick up all vibrations and sounds. It is the only thing that allowed his ‘sight’. Boulderkin was gifted in his senses, hence his responsibility of Vanguard, but the Elders were more gifted. It was their ancestors who had first started their clan. They had been the first to feel the vibrations of an angry world. They convinced many mages that summoners would destroy the world, or the world would destroy all of man. Their gift had saved most of the clan from the genocide the summoners put onto them when they had enough of the unruly clan.
The Elders already sat in a circle around the room. They already knew what the Vanguard had to report. Boulderkin stepped into the center of the room, knelt down softly, and slammed his fist into the floor, sending the shockwave that was the traditional greeting of the Vanguard to the Elders. The Vanguard was expected to remain physically strong, and the strength of his shockwaves was a testament to his skill. Boulderkin received mild applause for his and, given the emotionless state that they have tried to create, that was high praise.
“Elders, you heard what happened in the tunnel above us?”
The Elders made the crystals vibrate to the point they made a dry, robotic voice stating, “Of course, Vanguard. We also know your quarry still lives. You were too confident. Finish him off by any means necessary.”
Boulderkin’s face and vibrations slipped from their blank state to one of shock. “I dropped the tunnel on them. They could not have survived.”
“Do not underestimate the summoner. He lives and he is coming here. You must stop him.”
“Yes, my masters. He will be stopped.”
With that, Boulderkin marched off to gather support. This time he planned to have the summoner’s head as proof.
Meanwhile, Geokhan, Yosive, and Greg continued to walk down the tunnels. Greg was whining, Geokhan was doubting, and Yosive was actually paying attention to the surroundings. Geokhan’s torch was not in good shape and that was the source of the current rant from Greg.
“What happens when that one burns out? Trust in the kindly natives to help us out?”
“We’ll be fine. We’re getting close.”
“Getting close? I think that means you’re full of it or that we are in trouble.”
Yosive turned to his allies and was about to tell them to be quiet when he heard the scraping. He dashed at Geokhan and Greg and pushed them backwards as the tunnel collapsed on where the two had been standing. When the dust cleared, Yosive was nowhere to be seen.
“Holy…” Greg muttered.
“Now is not the time, Greg! We got company!”
Three Geomancers had made a tunnel that attached to the one they had just collapsed and they marched towards them. Geokhan had a grim look on his face.
“Greg, keep one of them distracted. I’ll get the other two.”
“Are you nuts?”
Geokhan cast Ghost onto Greg and Flashed over to the Geomancers with his blade slashing. It drew blood and one of the Geomancers went down clutching his neck. The other had backed up and brought the earth up around his body as a shield like Malphite does. That’s when Greg leapt up onto his back and tried to stab him in the eyes. Geokhan turned his focus to the last of the three and saw only a great wall blocking the tunnel. When he turned back to Greg, he heard it crack. The wall fell down onto the group.
The cave-in was cleared relatively easily by the Geomancers. At the bottom of the pile, was the broken form of Yosive. Boulderkin noted his breathing and walked to him.
“Come to see… an old man… breathe his last?”
“I wanted to know why you saved the summoner.”
“He is… a good man.”
“He is a summoner.”
“And… a good man.” Yosive said firmly as he coughed up blood. He laid his head down on the rocks and closed his eyes. His breathing stopped shortly thereafter and Boulderkin stomped his foot lightly, almost as one would blow a paper boat out to sea.
Boulderkin then went to Geokhan and Greg, who were bound with solid rock up to their necks, weapons and all.
“Two of my kin are dead thanks to you. I should kill you now.”
“And whose bright idea was it to drop a tunnel on them?” Geokhan countered.
“We are going to plead guilty for a reduced sentence.” Greg stated automatically.
“What?” Both Boulderkin and Geokhan snapped.
“Reduced…wait…sorry, forgot where I was, since I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING IN THIS PITCH BLACK TUNNEL!”
“Greg, for the love of Valoran, shut up before you get us killed sooner as opposed to later.” Geokhan growls.
“You named the demon, Greg?” Boulderkin asked.
“Nope, his mother did. It took me a while to figure it out. 21 questions were yes wasn’t my face getting eaten and no was my face getting eaten.” Geokhan said.
“The good ol’ days.” Greg added.
“I agree, because now you won’t shut up.” Geokhan snapped.
“You both bother me. It does not matter. I will take you to the Elders and kill you there to prove once and for all that you are dead.” Boulderkin stated as he turned from them.
Boulderkin marched down the tunnel and the two Geomancers pushed Geokhan and Greg after him. Geokhan noted that they were getting even closer to where he wanted to be, but refused to say anything. He knew that once they reached the Elders, he could do something.
They ventured through the great subterranean city of the Geomancers, but no one there enjoyed the view as they were all blind in this darkness. The city housed a thousand Geomancers, all of whom felt the passage of the summoner and grew wary. The Vanguard was not worried. He had his quarry now. He would kill them in front of the Elder so that no one would question him.
Knocking on Heaven’s Door
The Arachia hold infinite knowledge and grant power to their wielders. Gems that have only one soulmate a lifetime and they have never beckoned to a human before. Not even the Geomancers, who worshiped Runeterra. The few that were in the mountain holding Hell’s Bells mine had been waiting for someone else. One of them found its partner for this lifetime. Geokhan was who it wanted and all it could project was a call to Geokhan. A magical call that only Geokhan would hear. As Geokhan drew closer, the gem increased the power of its call.
It was driving Geokhan crazy. He knew he had to wait for his moment, but the gem kept pushing him. This was one of Geokhan’s fears coming to light, that the Arachia would drive him insane. He worked hard to keep that call back, not to disengage it, but keep it at bay. It was only the image of Pete’s dead eyes that put the call at a tolerable level, but at the cost of the internal demons in his soul to run loose and prey on his conscience. He felt agony in his soul, but it was the only thing keeping him from doing something suicidal.
They walked down what sounded like a road, turned a corner, and Geokhan saw a light. It was a multitude of colors that made Geokhan open his mouth in awe. Greg was similarly amazed. He actually stopped whining. Just seeing the light again made the two of them feel better about life, like there was a meaning to this struggle, and there was a reason to continue. Geokhan suddenly understood why there was so much light and color up ahead the barren tunnel. It was because it was his destination. It was there where his destiny lay.
Geokhan sprang into action, casting Surge on himself, breaking his earthy bonds, and smashing the back of Boulderkin’s head with his empowered fist. With the other two geomancers were in shock and couldn’t react in time to stop Geokhan from dashing into the Chamber of Crystal.
The crystals hummed in greeting. In a circle sat seven old men who were blind like Boulderkin and almost just skin and bones.
“Welcome to the Chamber of Crystal, Summoner.” The crystals hummed.
“I am Geokhan, a neutral summoner of the League of Legends, Owner of the League Arms, Armor, and Augments, Envoy and apprentice of Skarner, the Crystal Vanguard. Your vanguard has slain a friend over a trespassing charge and you threaten my life. Is that all the formalities or I need to list off some other piece of ****?” He had his sword drawn, but his shield had yet to be unlatched.
“We do not recognize any summoner’s authority here. Your kind threatens ours, thus you will die. Vanguard! End this man.”
Boulderkin pushed through the doorway, his face screamed of rage. Geokhan stood staring grimly at the old geomancers, slowly gathering his thoughts. He harnessed all of his pain and suffering for this quest and channeled it into a rage. He had nothing left to lose now. This was the end of Geokhan, the summoner. Everyone in the room knew it. Geokhan howled and charged at Boulderkin. Boulderkin raised the stone around him to protect himself from the charge, but Geokhan just tackled him to the ground and started smashing his fist into Boulderkin’s head. Boulderkin slammed his hand onto the stone floor and withdrew a stone club from the floor, which he smashed on Geokhan’s side, knocking the summoner off.
Geokhan rolled into a crouch about five feet away and drew his shield. He readied its charm and charged again. Geokhan smashed against Boulderkin and pinned him to the wall. Geokhan yelled and slammed him with the hilt of his blade. He was trying to break that infernal stone armor when the Arachia called to him again. He instinctually looked at the center of the room. There was a large crack and a faint light. Then Boulderkin crashed his club on the back of Geokhan’s head and the world started to get blurry. Geokhan stumbled backwards as more and more blows were laid onto him. He could feel the Elders applause, he heard Greg scream at him to strike back, and he heard someone screaming in pain. It must have been himself. Geokhan lost his feeling, but he knew ribs were broken and he was drowning in blood. His left radius was shattered and the matching ulna was broken. His nose was broken and his glasses were crushed under Boulderkin’s feet. He was dying.
When Boulderkin had let up, Geokhan was kneeling on the crack in the floor. Blood was pooling around him. Boulderkin was saying something, probably about the folly of summoners and the supremacy of the Geomancers. Geokhan didn’t care. He was too weak for summoner magic and his willpower was just about spent. He had one last thing he wanted to do and when sounds returned to the world, Geokhan spoke with blood frothing at his lips.
“The defeated gets… to speak his last words?”
Boulderkin looked at Geokhan warily, but nodded.
“I did not come here for you. I came for something else. It lies under your very noses. You all are ignorant to the power that lies under my knees. It has been calling to me all day. It brought me here. Why? Because none of you are worthy.”
“NOT WORTHY? I have defeated you in combat! I am more worthy!”
“You are worthy of staying in your hole and drowning in your darkness. You are all controlled by hatred. I know not your conflict or how you have been wronged, and I don’t care. I will show you the truth. Maybe then my death will mean something.”
Geokhan slammed his shield with his broken arm into the ground with all of his remaining might, knocking up dirt and stone. Exposed was a crystal that Geokhan had never seen, but was familiar with. The arachia was cyan colored, about three feet long and a foot wide, and it had runes that taunted the viewer with where they lay in or on the gem. It ‘spoke’ to Geokhan as if they were old friends without saying a word. Collapsing on top of the crystal, Geokhan laid his hands on it and whispered to it.
“There you are…I hope you didn’t think I’d give up on you. Guess I am just a little…late.”
With that, Geokhan laid his head down and felt the warm vibrations the arachia gave off, drifting into unconsciousness.
An End Has a Start
Geokhan awoke to pain, searing pain. His ribs were on fire and his arm felt like thousands of daggers were being stabbed and twisted into it. His face felt like a warhammer had just crushed it. Needless to say, that Geokhan wasn’t laying comfortably… much less, quietly. His screams echoed throughout the valley. Greg hurried to Geokhan with a bit of wood and a bottle of some oddly colored liquid.
“Drink this. The Geomancers promised it would help heal you.”
Geokhan grabbed the bottle and drank it down. He regretted it almost immediately as it tasted like Trundle’s piss mixed with a cat’s hairball. He was about to scream again when Greg swiftly shoved the piece of wood into Geokhan’s mouth.
“Now bite down on that as hard as you can.”
‘Yes, nurse.’ thought Geokhan angrily. He complied as his pain got about ten times worse. He screamed through his clenched teeth, which was so much quieter and made Greg feel less like killing Geokhan himself. His bones slowly shifted into place inside of him, muscles reconnected, organs regenerated. It was a long and painful process, but Geokhan’s injuries were severe.
About an hour later, Geokhan’s pain went down to a tolerable level. His bones had not completely healed, but they were set properly and his lungs were not internally bleeding. He pushed himself up into a sitting position and promptly stopped using his left arm for anything. It was still rather sore. Geokhan turned to Greg and gave him a quizzical look.
“Is this hell?” Geokhan asked.
“Then why are you here? Cause I was dead. There was no way I was going to live through that.”
“Unless the Geomancers let you live.”
“And why would they do that?”
“They said something like the ultimate crystal in the world. They tried to pick it up and it just lashed out at them, vaporizing that Vanguard fellow.”
“Well, that’s nice.” Suddenly, Geokhan’s left hand had Greg by his throat. “Where is it, Greg?”
“I got it in your pack! I didn’t leave it! Let me go!” Geokhan felt the arachia softly hum at him, still calling its avatar. With that, Geokhan released his grip and nodded for Greg to continue. Greg brushed himself off angrily, as if he was trying to brush the stains off his pride.
“I was surprised to see the turnaround in personality once they discovered they couldn’t have it. I thought they would waste me and let you kick the bucket, but when the Vanguard got zapped, they figured that Runeterra would disapprove if the arachia lost its owner. Gave me the bottle and told me to get you out. We aren’t welcome back, by the way.”
“Almost dying puts things into perspective. I am not free of my guilt, but it is not as important to focus on as trying to stay alive. Alive, I can atone. Dead is dead.” Geokhan glanced around. “Where are we?”
“I think we are south of the mountains.”
“Now see, I knew that ward would be useful.”
“There’s a first time for everything.”
“It’s a brand new day…This is where one would normally start to walk into the sunset…”
“But you got fractured ribs and an arm that is trying to sit straight.”
“Life is not going to be the same. Not anymore. I may…scratch that, WILL make enemies. Powerful enemies. You best prepare yourself.”
“What about you? Do you think you’re ready to kick this anthill over?”
“Pissing these guys off is nothing compared to the anger I have for myself. Let them come.”
((I hope you all enjoyed this. This is my first Fan fiction. This was my first writing 'for ****s and giggles'. This is directly related to some of the Roleplay forums interactions. I have a link my character’s profile on the character database. For more background information please see the Roleplay thread titled ‘Ask the Scorpion’. You could go examine my thread titled ‘League Arms Armor and Augments’ for other tid bits.))
((EDIT: should I add more space between the lines?
EDIT2: almost 200 views and no comments...good, bad, or ugly?
EDIT3: Changed ending to fit better with the background information.
EDIT4: More spaces between lines. Looks pretty.))
I GOT A COMMENT!?!?!!?
I FEEL SPECIAL!!!
Seriously though, thank you. This was more of a one shot deal, though I might write up something else later on.
This storyline is going to be finished off in the current Skarner's ask thread in the RP forum, but should Geokhan need to go on another grand adventure, I will be sure to try to meet your expectations.
ON A SIDE NOTE: Any constructive feedback? This is my first serious work of fiction and I kinda want to know how I can improve.
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