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[STORY/CHALLENGE] My Talks with the League

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Issun: Akali, I presume? You're here sooner than I expected.
Akali: Yes, I am.
Issun: Well, the sooner, the better, I guess. To start, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Akali: Balancing myself on high places. I can't afford to lose my edge in combat, so I balance myself as part of training.
Issun: So I've heard. Anyway, what do you like about the League of Legends?
Akali: That despite how its members threaten to tear each other asunder, it keeps them all relatively in line.
Issun: That is the League's job, and so far, we've done a good job of it.
Akali: Yes, you have.
Issun: What do you dislike about the League?
Akali: The feeling that you summoners aren't doing your job well enough.
Issun: Perfect equilibrium is almost impossible to attain with such diverse fighting styles and motives.
Akali: Notice that you just said "almost". And don't worry; my comrades and I are doing our part as well.
Issun: Yes, you are. Anyway, do you miss anyone in your homeland?
Akali: ...My mother...
Issun: Really? I thought she treated you worse than a pack animal.
Akali: In your eyes, it may have been so, but I loved her and respected her all the same just as she loved and respected me. Besides, if not for her training, I would never have succeeded her as the Fist of Shadow.
Issun: I see. Well, moving along, what's your favorite food?
Akali: ...I...never gave that much thought. But if I had to choose, I guess I'd have to say tsukimi udon. It was my mother's favorite dish as well.
Issun: Was?
Akali: She disappeared long ago, leaving only a note that told me to do what must be done. I haven't seen her since.
Issun: Oh...Well, what's your favorite color?
Akali: Lime green.
Issun: I see. Who have you met anyone in the League who particularly interests you?
Akali: In what sense?
Issun: Uh, any sense, I guess.
Akali: Ahri and Wukong. They both have motives that seem pure to themselves, but they don't realize what danger they pose to the delicate balance needed to maintain this world.
Issun: If by that, you mean becoming things they apparently weren't meant to be, I see your point.
Akali: And should their motives be fulfilled, what barriers will be left?
Issun: Who knows? Anyway, to finish this, how long do you plan to stay in the League?
Akali: Until my services are no longer required.
Issun: Good answer. Well, thanks for participating in this interview.
Akali: You're welcome, summoner. Goodbye.

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Continuing our series on Champion interviews, I had an opportunity to interview one of our more controversial champions. Singed is a Zaunite chemist working under military contract for Noxus. His innovations in chemical weapons and soldier enhancements changed the face of war in Valoran, as demonstrated in the Noxus-Ionia conflict (12-20 CLE). He is responsible for the genocide of countless Ionians and Noxians in that conflict. Chapmions associated with Singed are Warwick, his mentor in the chemical trade, Master Yi, who's entire community he killed during the war, and Riven, a Noxian soldier who nearly died during an incident involving the horrendous deaths of both Noxians and Ionians alike by Singed's chemicals. Recently he has entered the brewing industry with Gragas, having set of on a joint venture to distribute the popular 'Graggy Ice'. We had a chance to talk to the scientist while he worked in his chemical plant in Zaun.

Journal: First thing I must say is thank you for your time. You are a busy man, I take it?

Singed: You came at a good time. I have been waiting for a chance like this to come out to the world again. It's refreshing.

Journal: How is life in the League of Legends, after so many new faces like Riven and Vicktor?

Singed: I welcome them dearly. Meeting old friends is always such a test. Riven especially pulled herself together quite well after what happened. I can't grasp how she survived. That girl should be dead. Master Yi too. However, seeing firsthand their mortality on the Fields of Justice also perplexes me. Next question.

Journal: You speak of death and killing like it's inconsequential. No offense to you, but this obviously comes off as insanity to the rest of society outside Zaun. Do you feel left out in a way?

Singed: On the contrary, I fit right in. No difference between me and this 'society' you speak of. We both enjoy fine dining, reading literature - I recall us holding hands while strolling down a beach in Ionia a few years back. That is why I don't hate society. I like my job as a chemist. So don't pester me about who uses my creations! I am an instrument. Think of Sona and her strings. We make beautiful music together, me and society.

Journal: Speaking of fine dining, what are your tastes in food? It can say alot about you, for sure.

Singed: I must tell you an interesting story. You know that place right outside the Institute?

Journal: Morgana's 9th Circle?

Singed: Yes. I had never been there until an extended stay in the Institute during the Ionia versus Noxus match. She has a talent for seduction, and it shows in her pastries. Pastry chefs and chefs in general have so much in common with chemists. It's a proffessional job, and we hold ourselves to the highest standards. Theirs is making good food, mine is making good solutions. Also there are so many intricacies in measurement and preparation. We share some of the same tools.

Journal: How insightful. Now, I'm sorry to have to put you through this, I know how we all hate arbitrary things like this. The Journal has obligated me to ask a question that may seem like just a waste of time.

Singed: Do your worst, I'm sort of masochistic like this.

Journal: What is your favorite color?

Singed: Green. It's very lively, volatile. Such a coincidence that Riven and Yi have a preference for this color as well.

Journal: Alright, and one last thing before our time runs out. How long do you plan to stay in the League?

Singed: The League is my laboratory. I can't live without it.

Journal: Again, thank you for your time.

Singed: I hear you.

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You may have heard his name in the Journal here and there, but in recent weeks his performance in the newly rennovated jungle has many summoners interested again. Malphite is a being entirely made of rock. A quiet individual, he normally can be found meditating in the rock gardens outside the Institute of War. In another world, Malphite was part of what he calls the Monolith, an unfathomably gigantic rock which hosts a sort of hive-mind. Since his arrival to the League, Malphite has settled down here in the company of fellow stones. We spoke to him during his meditation. In his concentration, it takes a bit of time for him to form and articulate answers in between questions.

Journal: Thank you for your time. What do you like in the League of Legends?

Malphite: There is order here. The world outside is so full of chaos, dissonence, beings without a calling. I want to bring them into a higher existence.

Journal: Do you see any flaws in the League?

Malphite: Too much magic. It changes things. I am changing. I feel it in my mind. I used to love impartially and without comprommise. But now I have a preference.

Journal: Preference? Explain that.

Malphite: There is one. Preference. Person. I want to play with her more.

Journal: Would it be intrusive if I could ask who?

Malphite: Yes.

Journal: I won't pursue it. If you could go back to the Monolith, would you?

Malphite: [This answer is paticularly thought out, taking him almost five minutes to reply.] No. I enjoy this work. I want to see how a Monolith is formed. It will start with the League. Here I have friends. There is song here.

Journal: What are your thoughts on the current state of human society? Do you think it's 'in tune', so to speak?

Malphite: I do not understand society. What is it? I was part of a whole, yet society is not a whole. One being is only one being. They talk of true order. I know true order. It is nothing like this. Not when there is killing for no reason.

Journal: So what do you do about this cacophany?

Malphite: It is a human world. So I stand with like minded beings, human or not. We will heal this earth as much as we can. She can hear us, summoner. Her ears are acute. She may be mute, but she can hear us. Even now.

Journal: Can you name a few of these people?

Malphite: I like the Kinkou order. I have conversed with Maokai often. Rammus is okay. Karma meditates with me often. I want to visit Ionia soon. Sona sings of it often.

Journal: But I thought she has no voice.

Malphite: We speak through song. The songs reminds me of home. They need no words.

Journal: Anything to add before we end this conversation?

Malphite: No. I cannot think of anything by myself.

Journal: Thank you so much for your time.

Malphite: Solid.

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Perhaps one of the more misunderstood Champions in the League, Taric is the outstanding authority of gem-related magics, working with the Institute's mages and summoners to better understand the ancient power that lies beneath our feet. He is a Gem Knight, harnessing the power of precious stones to smite his enemies. Always the gentleman, Taric has interests in entertainment as well, as shown in his theatre production 'The Sound of Magic'. While normally hesitant to be interviewed, he has allowed the Journal one of those rare and fleeting glances into his personal life.

Journal: Thank you so much for your time.

Taric: It's a pleasure.

Journal: How goes your study of the magics of Runeterra?

Taric: The influx of new champions into the League is very enlightening for me and my companions who are into this sort of thing.

Journal: Any champions in paticular?

Taric: Skarner of course had piqued my interest when he first emerged in Kalamanda. Although he still wraps himself up in home sickness most of the time, the conversations we had together were very insightful. As you know, through him I discovered a new way to use my Radiance technique on the fields of justice.

Journal: That thing where you smash your hammer on the ground, yes?

Taric: Seems straightforward, but I assure you would have never come to being without Skarner.

Journal: Ever considered taking on an apprentice for your gem magic?

Taric: I'm a bit too busy for that. But it's not that hard to grasp. One only needs to look into a gem and find it...

[Four hours of dialogue have been ommitted for the sake of brevity. Taric elaborates on the use and powers of the major catagories of gems, their meaning, and how to apply it to everyday living.]

Journal: Thank you for that insight. To change the subject, what is your favorite food?

Taric: Oh. You caught me off guard there. I am fond of light salads. My father taught me a great deal on herbology.

Journal: Many summoners were very excited to see your newest black and red color scheme on your 'Bloodstone' armor. What was the motive for such a bold direction in your fashion design?

Taric: That costume is not of my design. I was confronted by my PR staff a while back and they informed me that I wasn't "appealing" to the younger summoners getting into the job. And so I said back 'What? I'm supposed to the the most aethetically balanced of all the champions here! This is outrageous! They have no taste!' I tried to keep them off my back about it but eventually we saw a major drop in people who wanted me summoned. So I gave in. It was the height of the 'dark and edgier' trend in costume design. So at first I wanted to show them a deep purple anthemyst get up. That was dropped in favor of what came out as my Bloodstone armor. Don't get me wrong, I have no qualms wearing it. But...black is just so boring.

Journal: What of the other champions? You think any of their wardrobes can use some improvement?

Taric: Swain definately. There are so many exciting things going on with robes and military regailia recently. Trundle also could use something to spice it up.

Journal: Any last thoughts or comments?

Taric: To dispel any rumors, I will make it very clear to my more frivolous admirers. While I support same-gender marriage and friend to all in the homosexual community, I am not gay.

Journal: I think we are well out of time. Thank you for coming out to us.

Taric: You're welcome, friend.

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Issun: Katarina, I presume.
Katarina: What? Did all these daggers on my person give me away? Or did you recognize me for some other reason?
Issun: Uh, well, I actually wanted to conduct an interview with you.
Katarina: Okay, but you'd better watch your back. I just might stab you in it when you leave.
Issun: That...is not very reassuring. To start, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Katarina: Let me answer that question with another question. What would you do if you found yourself cornered by some two-bit punk who thinks he's a match for you?
Issun: I think I get where you're going with that.
Katarina: (laugh) I thought so.
Issun: Moving on, what do you like about the League of Legends?
Katarina: What else? The chance to kill my enemies. Over and over and over again.
Issun: I see. What do you dislike about the League?
Katarina: Sometimes, you summoners make me do things I'd never do in actual combat, like running blindly into bushes where I know enemies are hiding.
Issun: A lot of those summoners are novices and/or otherwise unskilled, but moving on, is there anyone you miss in your homeland?
Katarina: Sort of. I have several old mementos from home. The first knife I ever laid my hands on, for instance, I still keep around, even though it's broken right now; it was a gift from my father.
Issun: I'm sure your father's a great man. Well, by Noxian standards, at least.
Katarina: I hated my father.
Issun: Oh, then I'm sure your father’s a total wiseacre.
Katarina: (throws a dagger at Issun's head, barely missing his scalp) How dare you talk about my father like that!
Issun: Okay. Sorry. Calm down, will you?
Katarina: Oh, okay. Continue.
Issun: That’s better. Now, then, what’s your favorite food?
Katarina: A good Cornish pasty will do in a pinch, and the ones from Morgana’s 9th Circle are particularly worth dying for. In every sense of the phrase.
Issun: How about a color?
Katarina: Red, of course.
Issun: I probably shouldn’t ask why. Moving on, who have you met in the League who particularly interests you?
Katarina: If you mean in any sense, I’d have to say Blitzcrank. Whatever crawled into his head and died must’ve made a horrible mess of his “Fleshling Compatibility Service”.
Issun: Well, it did say you and Garen would theoretically make a perfect couple.
Katarina: I know, right?
Issun: Yeah. Anyway, to finish, how long do you plan to stay in the League?
Katarina: Until war comes to Valoran again. And believe me when I say that it can and will someday. When it does, I have to be ready to fight for Noxus’ glory.
Issun: That’s kind of what Garen told me when I interviewed him.
Katarina: Really?
Issun: Uh, well...um, thanks for letting me talk with you.
Katarina: Remember to watch your back when you leave.
Issun: I will.

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Ascension stories are not a foreign thing to the League of Legends - Rammus, Twitch, and Blitzcrank to name a few. Ahri took the next step forward. As a fox in Ionia, she desired to be human. She took the life energy of a dying magician and gained her wish, but only in part. Before entering the League she carried herself as a seducer of men, stealing their souls to become more human. As time progressed, a growing sense of guilt developed in her psyche. She came to the League to find a way to go about reaching her goals without hurting more people. Ahri now makes herself at home in her mountain cottage in southern Ionia where she invited me for the interview. We talked, oddly enough, in her bedroom.

Journal: Thank you for your time, ma'am.

Ahri: I will indulge you.

Journal: What do you do in your spare time?

Ahri: I go out into the world. In this form I am more aware of the magic in this world than I could ever had been as a fox. It's quite exhilirating to take it all in. Especially in the cities.

Journal: Perhaps you could describe one of these outings for us?

Ahri: Oh, how you prod at me. I go there to bathe from time to time. While it's nice out in those private woods, there is something that lures me to the bath houses. I like to observe, and maybe... return the favor.

Journal: Is this to sort of integrate yourself into human society?

Ahri: I already have the hang of that. You know how I -handle- people. Life here in Ionia is more than just fitting in.

Journal: What are your thoughts on the current state of Valoran as a whole?

Ahri: I pay little mind to that sort of thing. I think if I ever wanted anything to change in this political world, all I would have to do is -ask-.

Journal: Perhaps describe a situation where you would do so?

Ahri: Well...if they gave up my home to some big mean Noxian, I'd be so sad. But I can trust summoners -like you- to make sure that doesn't happen, can I? Come closer, I can barely hear you.

Journal: Sure thing. Do you have any regrets discovering humanity?

Ahri: No. I get to interact with all sorts of people, get to know them intimately. These human talents can accomplish that better than I could fathom while I was a fox. I can -elaborate- if you want.

Journal: Please do.

Ahri: The League has it all figured out. The method remains the same...

Journal: As in luring men into your lair and forcing intercourse with him?

Ahri: ...Yes. But with each climax is released a little bit of a person's spiritual energy. Something that I had been extracting all at once before. But thanks to the League, I've discovered that all it takes is just that natural release to get what I want. I just have to be more -persistant-. Why don't I show you?

Journal: So what you are saying is that you are still permitted to go about working your talent and no harm will come to anyone?

Ahri: They just get very exhausted. You're so wound up...why don't I...

Journal: Are there other champions in the league you have interest in?

Ahri: Anyone with a heart, really. Anyone with a heart strong enough for me. I'm very -open-.

Journal: You're not one to name names, right?

Ahri: To protect everyone of course. Our meetings are normally in private. Most of them are in this very room...

Journal: 'Everyone' implies a lot of people.

Ahri: Men and women.

Journal: All so you can become more human, yes?

Ahri: Yes. I think you can help me if you'd just...

Journal: Any other comments on the League?

Ahri: The only reason I invited you here was to seduce you into ***.

Journal: Oh? I think we can allow some time for you to expand on that. Why me and not some other hapless Ionian?

Ahri: The truth is everyone is scared of me. After doing it with most of the other champions...

Journal: You're okay with being so candid? You still have the option of saying this off the record.

Ahri: ...they started to avoid me in fear of sharing a bed with me. You know how most of them are so uptight. Apparantly nobody wants this pleasure in such excess that they pass out for hours. I can show you exactly what I mean, just say yes!

Journal: I think we're gonna have to cut this short. Thank you for your time, ma'am.

Ahri: But-wait! Don't leave me! I haven't had a fix in months! T-tell the other champions I'm still available!

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I think I've stolen enough of your thunder for now. Planning to do Janna sometime later, just to exhaust people's options.

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Viktor: Ah, another summoner. Come to bask in the splendor that is progress?
Issun: (nervous chuckle) Well, no, but as long as I'm here, I'd like to conduct an interview with you.
Viktor: Very well, but don't delay me any more than you must.
Issun: Okay. To start this interview, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Viktor: Look around this hallowed sanctum that is my laboratory. What do you see?
Issun: (looks around to see blueprints and gadgets galore) Good answer.
Viktor: (creepy chuckle) I thought as much.
Issun: Well, moving on, what do you like about the League of Legends?
Viktor: That all who behold me stare in awe and admiration at my designs...well, except for maybe a handful of people. That poofy-haired smart-aleck yordle, Heimerdinger, for instance.
Issun: I think I understand where you're going with that.
Viktor: You'd best. The last person who misunderstood me ended up at the receiving end of my death ray.
Issun: You know, I still don't exactly know the concept of a death ray. I mean you can't shoot death at people, can you?
Viktor: You can shoot something that causes instant death. What my death ray fires is a secret only I and its victims will ever know.
Issun: Okay. So, what do you dislike about the League?
Viktor: That so many people call me crazy when I tell them about my glorious evolution. They have no idea what they're missing.
Issun: Such as?
Viktor: How does it feel to never have to feel the burdens of fear, anger, or sorrow?
Issun: I...don't know.
Viktor: Exactly.
Issun: So, I guess that answers my next question, which was, "Do you miss anyone in your homeland?"
Viktor: It does.
Issun: And that also answers the three questions I was going to ask after that, which were, “What’s your favorite food?” “What’s your favorite color?” and “Who have you met in the League who particularly interests you?” Am I right?
Viktor: Yes, yes, and no. There are several league champions I have met who particularly pique my interest. First, there’s my “son”, Blitzcrank. His sentience has progressed farther than I could ever have hoped.
Issun: I know what you mean. He’s become quite popular around the Institute of War, especially with the rise of those PERV machines of his.
Viktor: Indeed. Second, there’s the yordle, Rumble. His passion for perfection in metal rivals my own, yet his perception falls short.
Issun: He did only have stuff from a junkyard to work with.
Viktor: Third, there’s the self-proclaimed “Headman’s Pride”, Urgot. Professor Stanwick Pididly used designs that I long considered failures to revive him. Even with that necromantic energy of his, he should have perished long ago.
Issun: I don’t know either, and I don’t think he cares. Anyway, how long do you plan to stay in the League?
Viktor: Until I reach the peak of perfection in my design. That will be the day my glorious evolution comes to fruition.
Issun: Okay. Well, thanks for letting me talk with you.
Viktor: With utmost efficiency. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a mechanical heart to finish...(starts getting pestered by his robotic arm) and a mechanical arm that I have to teach some manners...

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I think I've stolen enough of your thunder for now. Planning to do Janna sometime later, just to exhaust people's options.

Rest assured that every contribution you and everyone else makes matters.

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Fizz: Hiya, summoner! You didn't come here to fish with me, did you?
Issun: Sadly, no, and I don't like fishing anyway. I did, however, come to interview you.
Fizz: I'm all ears and mouth, so interview away.
Issun: Okay. To start, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Fizz: I'll give you a hint. It starts with "s" and ends with "wimming among schools of fish in really rough water".
Issun: (chuckle) I get it.
Fizz: Yep. Then again, I do have to take a quick dip every now and then, or I'll dry out. My skin isn't watertight like yours.
Issun: I'll bet. Next question: what do you like about the League of Legends?
Fizz: I guess you could say how well its living quarters simulate each champion's native environment. When I wanted my room flooded, they somehow managed to turn it into a humongous fish tank. It wasn't what I had in mind at all, not that I minded.
Issun: That, I guess, is a mystery we'll never be able to solve. Now, what do you dislike about the League?
Fizz: Have you seen what the Institute of war calls "seafood"? I mean seriously. Fish and chips? Fish is supposed to be eaten raw, not deep fried!
Issun: Well, they typically use cod when they make it. Isn't cod freshwater fish?
Fizz: That's not the point!
Issun: Okay! Okay! I get it. So, do you miss anyone in your homeland?
Fizz: I don't know. One day, I'm saying goodbye to my parents and siblings to fight a great white with an eye patch. The next day, everyone I've ever known and loved is gone. Vanished into thin sea foam. I didn't find any signs of hostile activity, though, so I'm guessing the rest of my race is still out there.
Issun: Good to see that you have a positive attitude about that.
Fizz: And that, coincidentally, is one of the reasons some people mistake me for a yordle. Do I look like a giant rat or smurf to you?
Issun: Well, now that you mention it, no. Now then, what's your favorite food? You've mentioned fish several times already.
Fizz: And do I need to say it again? Well, actually, yes. More specifically, barracudas. Sharp-toothed, bad tempered, and oh so worth the effort.
Issun: How about a color?
Fizz: Orange. One word of advice: never--and I mean never--try to sniff an anemone.
Issun: I'll keep that in mind. Anyway, who have you met in the League who particularly interests you?
Fizz: You know how I said that some people think I'm a yordle?
Issun: Yes.
Fizz: Well, it turns out that other people think so because I've been spotted hanging out with that suicidal nutball, Corki. Personally, I'd never go up in that plane of his; he keeps crashing it into random stuff. You could probably buy a zoo with all his medical bills.
Issun: Don't remind me.
Fizz: Of course, that doesn't mean I'd never go up in any plane. Just Corki's.
Issun: Okay. Well, how long do you plan to stay in the League?
Fizz: Ah, yes. Glad you asked. I...uh, well, I actually haven't thought that far ahead yet. I just figured I could stay here until the rest of my race drags me home by my ears. Then again, I have no idea when that'll happen, so, I mean...
Issun: Yeah, I get it. Anyway, thanks for letting me interview you.
Fizz: Letting you what now?