Looking down now upon Beycrof, my mind wanders over the chaos and thrum of the battle upon the Field of Justice. I could almost feel the blades piercing Ezreal's flesh all over again, hear the triumphant shouts of “Demaciaaa!” as my team was slaughtered whenever we ventured into the open. It had hardly been worth turning up for. Why do I even bother any more? I ask myself.
The memories come unbidden and vivid. A fiery and dust-choked cloud overlay the hamlet in my minds eye. The bloodstained drapes in the tavern spill from broken windows like entrails, the general store lies eviscerated and dozens of laughing, crowing shirtless men in helms carouse among hacked-open bodies and between burning and partially-collapsed homes. This was Beycrof some twenty years before when a Barbarian tribe had decided a simple raid was no longer enough to sustain their population. Beycrof had been all but destroyed in a single afternoon and evening. In my mind's eye I can almost see where my family used to live before a torch hurled through an oiled paper window ignited my parents' straw mattress and the thatch roof before the hovel collapsed upon my parents as my mother carried me out of the conflagration and my father turned back for my younger brother who had stumbled...
Gripped by a blind rage I wrestled myself free of my mother's dying embrace and grabbed at a nearby body hoping to pull the ridiculously out of proportion blade out of the corpse's still-warm hand but instead felt a snapping and the sword's strength-enhancing rune came away from its setting and into my hands. Snarling, I felt new power flow into my muscles and I rushed the nearest Barbarian, and tackled the man (who was more than three times my size) and hurled us both into another nearby burning hut. I felt the flames licking at my skin and the searing pain of my body being literally roasted by the heat.
I cannot say whether that moment lasted seconds or hours but at last I was pulled free of the flames by a hand wrapped in a heavy purple robe that shed the flames as water runs upon glass. A Summoner from the League of Legends had chanced upon the massacre and witnessed my harnessing of a rune with no formal training. With but a a few casual waves of his hands he forced the barbarians from the town and extinguished the blaze. Then he carried me for most of the next day, healing my wounds with magic and telling me of the formation of the League of Legends and its goal of ending open war in Valoran forever. I had not returned to my home town until this very moment.
Suddenly, the vision of the past ends and I find myself looking at Beycroft again as it exists now. Soon, soldiers from Demacia will arrive and begin incorporating the town into the Demacian way of existence. While there are a great many virtues to be found in Demacia, tolerance is certainly not among them. Many villagers would not adapt easily to the strict Demacian rule. There will almost certainly be executions. League decisions are sealed for twenty years. Children born today won't remember it ever being any different. Just as I remember almost nothing but a lifetime of service to the League. And it is all my fault.
Picking my way down the slope and toward Beycrof I begin rehearsing what I might say to the villagers down there who likely won't recognize the face of a man who had once been the child of residents murdered two decades previous. But to prevent others from suffering what I suffered as a child I will endure blisters and falls, feeling half of myself die time and again to blades and burns and savage claws. I will endure the sting of failures great and small, rebukes from fellow Summoners and those I failed, and the tears of those I make miserable with my victories.
That is why I choose to Summon. The kind of suffering that Summoners like myself endure daily on the Fields of Justice and the manifold agonies yet to come which are beyond my imagination are a price well paid if it prevents others from those same agonies. The League of Legends prevents untold destruction and suffering that would surely blossom in its absence. As I enter the hamlet of Beycroft for the first time in over twenty years I wish I could say I was returning home, but the small chamber I live in at the League campus is the only home I've ever known.
First off I'd like to apologise that its taken me weeks and weeks to get back to this thread. My first post had a real chilling effect and I wanted to counteract that with a slightly different take on what brings Champions and Summoners to what would be almost a living hell were it a real institution and not set dressing for a video game. I finally have some free time to do writing again and so I thought I'd provide a second take on the subject myself. I welcome any other posts and stories that you may happen to write as well as any feedback. I'd really like to see "Why we Summon" as an ongoing project and I hope I can garner more interest as time goes on. And now on to the story:
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