The Rise of the Steam Golem: Blitzcrank
"... Heard the news?" one of the drunken men at the bar was talking, loudly I guess so the entire bar could hear. "About what? How your wife left you because you're always here with us?" The raging laughter was loud and hard on the ears, but I never shifted from my seat in the dark corner of the bar.
Zaun, the city-state of muck and smog, and apparently loud drunken too. Though, they could be found in any city. They were also the best sources of information, and information is very valuable to a Wanderer. "Shut up Henx. No man, a Time-Wizard recently joined The League. They say he can shift through time at will, and pop up from behind you! And...." Ah, so the rumors about the Time-Wizard were true then. I had heard of him while traveling to Zaun. And this League. It was gaining more and more popularity as the years went by.
I remember when I first heard mention of The League. I was a much younger man, even younger than when I found Blitzcrank. I was on the road to Bandle City (a city in yordel country) to meet an old acquaintance of mine when I came upon a young yordel girl. As you can imagine, I was quite surprised to find fresh tears in the yordel's eyes. As yordels are usually happy and spirited individuals I spent much time with the girl yordel as we made our way to Bandle City. Never learning her name but learning of her plight. It turned out that she was on her way home from Demacia, but that I could find her at The League of Legends if ever again I wished to talk to her. Of course at the time I had no idea what The League was, or what it meant, it took several months for it to gain even a shred of the popularity it has now.
This brought me back to thoughts of the Time-Wizard. Not much was known about him. Only that he lived in a clock tower and that his home had been destroyed. Besides that the truth was rumor, and truth from rumors is as reliable as quicksand. I made a mental note to ask more about him went I headed to a bigger city. Not that Zaun wasn't a big city. It was big in its own way. Industrious beyond measure, the government had very lenient laws on subjects that related to exploration of technology, science, and magic. Just the other day, a mage had been trying to transport matter from one place, to a different place while changing its shape. You can imagine such a feat impossible all you want, but he actually managed to move the crystal ball from his laboratory to his room on the upper levels of the subterranean network of rooms. And even managed to change its shape, well he argued anyways. For as soon as the teleportation was complete it exploded with quite a boom. Many of the levels around his house had to be quarantined.
"...still wouldn't stand up to the madness that is Singed! Did you see the last fight? He demos lied that...." the chatter rambled together from there. It seemed the League of Legends was a hot topic these days. My mind wandered to the sounds and smells that made up Zaun. It being so industrious made Zaun a very hard place to live. As the smog and waste from the many factories made breathing quite hard and if you stayed outside too long the skin would start to itch. Not only that but the smell was...strong. This day had marked my seventh day in Zaun and yet still when I stepped out into the open air discomfort still frayed my mind. Waste from the many factories was transported through levies cut into the ground and was sent sliding down into the subterranean cavern that was known as the Underdock of Zaun, to a main sewage system at the bottom.
I could hear the Shimmerlings outside. As they slathered on the Shimmer, you could hear the moans and giggles that reflected the ectasy of the high. A combination of clanks and bumps marked the awakening of many golems transporting their owners to and fro. It was hours still from sunrise and yet still this city had already awakened. A sigh escaped my lips, probably the first noise I had made since entering the bar and asking for my drink. I rose, walked to the bar passed several gold coins, tossed a nod to the bartender and made my way to the door. It was then that I heard the first mention of the steam golem. Nothing important, just a hint of what was to be a big ordeal in Zaun "...no I'm not lying. I got a cousin who works at the college. She told me that there's been a new breakthrough in some kinda steam technological bull**** and that they've created something. It's all hush, hush of course but I'm telling ya guys. Something bigs brewing over at the college." the man was saying with some excitement. New inventions at the Zaun College of Techmurology were nothing to be lightly brushed off. The Famous Singed the alchemist was head of a division of the College, if that told you anything.
I turned, with my hand inches away from the door and looked at the chubby man sitting on the stool by the bar. I heard no sounds of lying in his voice but for this to be the first I've heard of something this big I was by no little amounts surprised. "Excuse me; did I hear you mention something about the college?" The man turned, his flowing brown hair masking his left eye as his hard face peered at me. Zaunians weren't known for their hospitality of strangers, and his eyes seemed to be trying to decide whether I was worthy enough of his time. Finally, "Yeah stranger, been hearing some rumblings about a new invention they got going on. Some new project. My cousin works there ya see, and she told me that they've been working on this secret project for months now. She overheard some of the head honchos mention something about new steam technology." The more he talked, the more apt he seemed to become about telling me.
"She didn't happen to mention what kind of technology? Perhaps a better machine for the factories? Such a thing wouldn't be that big would it?" Of course it wasn't some new factory machine, but to act dumb were the easiest, and often the most successful trick. "Nah, no way, something this big would have to be something new. They've got all kinds of machines in those factories. This is gonna be a weapon, or something. I'm sure of it." and indeed he looked very determined, surprising for how drunk he was. "Ah Rumos, stop blabbing. I haven't heard a **** thing about this secret 'project', and I ain't seen yo' cousin in years! Not to say I wouldn't like to, right boys?" This brought on a roar of agreement and laughter. Apparently the man known as Rumos had a very appealing cousin.
More cursing sprouted and as this was probably the most information I would get out of the lot so I exited the bar. Looking around, I shifted into the shadows and made my way down the streets of Zaun toward my room. Several times I stopped and eavesdrop if I heard mention of the college, or anything interesting. But nothing was to be learned more than what I knew. Finally in my room, I set my daggers on the nightstand by the bed and readied myself for a short nap before heading out again. I needed to find out more about this secret project, and if all else failed I could sneak into the college and find out for myself what was going on. Being able to stealth oneself proved to be quite valuable when information was needed. But I would soon find out such a plot would be unneeded as I was to find out very soon what exactly the Zaun College of Techmaturgy had crafted.
It was less than a week later. A boy, unknowing that I was stealthier upon the side of the corner of the alleyway collided into me at full speed. "I..I..I'm sorry mista. I didn't mean to." the boy stammered out. I looked down at his horrified face. I smiled at him, "What's the rush boy?"
"There's gonna to be a meeting at the plaza, next to the big boy's school. Gonna' be huge! They got some weapon they're gonna show everyone! You have to be there mista!" With that he was gone again, racing down the streets with a skill that even I had to admire. I looked toward the heart of the city where the plaza was located. Hmmm, so they're already having a showing? It'd been less than a week that I had heard of this project, and already there's going to be a city wide meeting about it. Must be big. I summoned the magic once more, to shield my body for normal eyes and reached my hands up my back grasping the hilts of the daggers tied to my back. Reassuring myself of their safety, and mine, I started off toward the plaza.
The plaza wasn’t really a plaza, for in Zaun no plants would grow that were open to the thick air filled with smog and smoke. It was more an open area that ran from the College’s marble walls to the network of streets that branched off to the series of factories that were located conveniently right next to each other. There were raised platforms on the edges of the area that would serve as seating for locals and in the middle of the area held a stage. Already, the Guardas had surrounded the stage informing newcomers to take a seat and that the ceremony would start soon. Already the entire outer ring of the plaza’s platforms were full to the brim with people. I kept to the side of the cold, hard marble walls of the college careful to avoid any contact. I looked around, finally deciding that the best place for me was probably on the walls of the college itself. Glancing up the 18 foot wall I grinned slightly, reasserting my grasp on the magic that stuck tightly to my skin that was keeping me invisible. I took a short breath, bent my knees and ran at the wall, quickly running up the side of the wall until I was able to grasp the top of the wall and pull myself to a seating position.
From atop the walls of the College I was able to see the stage perfectly. There were three things on the stage. First, on the left facing to my right, were four chairs and like any good ceremony these chairs gleamed slightly with a golden passion. I snickered to myself, golden chairs? These people know no limits of pride. To the right of the chairs stood the main event. I couldn’t make out a shape, for what was covering it jutted at rigid angles, and at the end draped straight down. Indeed, if I was to take a guess I would said there was some kind of weapon standing on that stage. The top was round and thinner than the rest, from there the covering draped down and flowed out wide to the left and right, almost as if the thing had shoulders and then draped straight down from there.
But right at that moment I wasn’t given a chance for further inspection as my instincts were screaming danger. I took a crouching posture upon the wall and scanned the area. I immediately saw what had triggered my trained instincts. For not but ten feet from the wall I was taking my seat, leaned against the side of the one of the platforms where a group of maybe 50 locals sat, was the infamous Dr. Mundo. I’m sure for all of you reading this journal that you’ve heard of Dr. Mundo the madman of Zaun. If not I’ll give you the short version. He was born with no concious, quickly killing any animal he could get his hands on, then his parents (or so its said). Upon receiving his medical license he was drafted by the Noxus high government to do research for them, and eventually fight for them in the League of Legends.
Mundo stood 8 feet if he stood 1. He upper body bulked out three times the size of his legs. His arms, a grotesque purple color, were probably the size of a medium size tree. And his eyes, eyes that I should mention were digging holes into mine, were a glowing red gaze of hatred. I wasn’t for sure if he could see me until I smiled widely and tipped my head at him with a wave of my hand. He moved then, a simple grunt of his body and he sauntered off. The look he gave me before he departed was one of venomous hatred. I could have gone my entire life without having to peer into those eyes. But before I could give Mundo any more though a loud booming came from the middle of the plaza.
“ATTENTION!!!! LADIES, GENTLEMAN, YORDELS! Please quiet down now. Please we’re about to begin the ceremony. If you would all take your seats and quiet down we will be getting started very soon. As soon as Professors Stanwick, Victor, and Chaz get here we will be beginning. Please take your seats and remain quiet.” With that the announcer stepped from the stage and descended into the room located behind the stage. Despite my disciplined nature I found myself becoming extremely excited. The blood pumping through my body warmed my limbs and I stood up to wait for the real show to begin. I remember looking out among the crowd and thinking that if this truly was a new weapon that surely the Noxus high government would have sent an embassy to see the showing of such a new invention. But then again, I didn’t even know this many people existed in Zaun, so perhaps they were lost inside the crowd.
At that moment three men exited the room behind the stage and began to walk up the stairs that led up to the top of the stage. The one in front, who I would later learn was professor Stanwick, had a hard face and dead eyes. Eyes that had lost their humanity a long while ago, but then again a scientist had no room for morality in Zaun. By the time the three took their seat I was pacing among the wall trying to lose some of the excess energy that was pumping into my system. When the announcer returned to his place upon the stage the area went dead quiet. Which was quite a feat given how many people were in attendance that day. Now I’d like to tell you that I remember everything that was said that day, but sadly that’s not the case. You see, as soon as the curtain went off of that golem my eyes were glued.
It was midway through Professor Stanwick’s speech on a new evolution of Steam Techmaturgy research that I first saw him. “…anyways in laymen’s terms, we’ve combined…” the announcer walked over to the drape covering. “…with techmaturgy. This combination of steam and magic has allowed us to create the most efficient mach…” the little man grasped the drape in his hands firmly. “...we’ve even been able to better program him with the knowledge of everything from factory….” The announcer raised his arms in preparation of the showing. “…although limited obviously he will be the first of his kind to have the autonomy to work without an operator..” the rest of the speech mattered little to me. For soon after, the announcer look a step back and drew hard behind me, with incredible vigor it looked like. The sheet fell swiftly down off the machine.
There he was. He was glimmering in the mid afternoon sun, or what sun could make it through the thick smog of Zaun. His head, completely round, which was mounted on a very wide body of metal. He stood on short thin legs. Indeed, he was golem, which there were many in Zaun. But where as most golems must be turned on and off, this one just came to life in front of my eyes. His entire body lurched forward, his eyes lighting up, steam rising up from behind his body. A mechanical hum sounded as he spread his legs. There wasn’t the usual clanks and creaks that were associated with the movement of golems. His head scanned the area, with the mechanical hum deepening. It was then that he spoke. It’s been argued that at the time of this birth he only contained the intelligence that they had programmed him with. But I still believe that golem was born with the intelligence of a hundred men.
“Hello, my name is Blitzcrank. I’m an autotronic, steam operated, techmaturogically enhanced golem. I would like to thank you for welcoming me to this city and am looking forward to meeting all of you and working with you to better this lovely city we live in.” Blitzcranks voice was mechanical in nature. But had the rise and falls of normal speech. And if the faces of the professsors were to be a judge, this speech was not planned out before hand. Stanwick’s face was one of utter disdain as he stared hardly at Blitzcrank, Victor and Chaz glanced at each other faces full of excitement.
A few humming seconds went by, as Blitzcrank’s head turned this way and that, awaiting a response it seemed like. Finally clapping broke out to the right of the stage, then cheering and whooping from my left. Then the entire area were on their feet yelling, hollering, clapping, stomping feet. From my left I heard a young man shout “Take that you piltover *******s, we’ve got ya now!” As I stood there, on the wall of the college staring out at Blitzcrank it seemed he looked over his right shoulder, and directly at me. His shining eyes seemed to be radiating joy. It was to be several days until my own personal meeting of Blitzcrank, but it was on that day that Blitzcrank would win the hearts of the people of Zaun.
I was walking down a road, not really going anywhere, pondering if it was my time to move on to another city. I had seen what I wanted to here; Blitzcrank’s unearthing was quite the show. It was said there was a debate going on on legal matters concerning Blitzcrank. But such matters bothered me not; I was more concerned with Blitzcrank himself. The urge to meet such a thing was paramount in me, but as of yet I had not been able to even catch another glance at him. As he had been locked away inside the college.
As I made my way down the winding streets of Zaun a strange feeling started to creep inside me. Not the blaring ringing like what had happened at Blitz’s showing with Mundo. But a dull noise inside me. I looked around, my hand going to a dagger at my back. Nothing, the streets were dead quiet. Yet I knew, something, something wasn’t quite right. It was the middle of the day, almost all the people that lived in this neighborhood would have surely been at work, or in their houses doing housework.
I bolted down the street, grasping at the magic to hide my form, I slid my Windstriker Daggers from their sheathes at my back. The smooth resounding hum that sounded from them reassured me as I made my way deeper and deeper into the residential area of Zaun. The ringing was getting louder and louder, I leeped upon a crate of food stacked by a baker’s shop, launched myself sideways onto the crevice that was cut into the side of a building that held a window and from there jumped to the top of the houses. From up here I had a much better vantage point, and a much louder ringing in my head. Something was very wrong. I stood there for several seconds, using magic to feel out the area. Only one area was blank to my senses, this either meant another magic user, or some kind of shield. This being Zaun who knew what it could mean, but it was my only lead. Swiftly jumping from house to house, I made my way over.
There are two ways to use magic to make one invisible to the eye. You can summon a thin layer of magic to surround you, or to fit your skin, which then reflects the light that hits you back. This is the easiest way to maintain stealth, and by far the most widely used. The other way is to enchant the area around you, and imbue magic into the light allowing it to pass right through you. This is much harder and more costly to the user for this takes a great deal of magic to maintain, and a much greater concentration. But the first way is most always detectable by those who know the arts of magic and stealth. I myself know both but almost always employ the first method. It was because of the first method that I was easily able to spot the sentry on the top of the adjacent house to me. I silently switched roofs, and walked up behind him. He smelled of blood, the scent of an assassin.
A quick jerk of my wrist sent his blood spewing from his neck, and his body falling from the roof. Making a mental note to return for the body, I looked across the street at the house he had been watching. It was then that I heard the screaming, the blood wrenching screams of a little girl. I started to move when the girl burst from the house. She was covered with blood, couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8. Her black hair was matted to her body. Her sobs were causing her little body to quake and lurch and she ran from the house, quickly followed by three hooded men. The girl’s screaming had seemed to bring others out as various doors were being slammed opened and voices could be heard. Yet the assassins did not stop. Just as I was about to launch myself into the street I saw two things happen almost simultaneously. The assassin closest to the girl pulled back his dagger arm and lurched forward, slicing the air with the arc of his arm, and a huge golden mass propelling itself from nowhere smashing itself into the assassin. A loud crunch could be heard even from my perch as the assassin rolled repeatedly until hitting the side of the nearest house.
As things seemed to slow down I quickly realized it was Blitzcrank that had crashed into the assassin and was currently holding the sobbing girl in his arms. “Quake in fear, fleshing. Metal is harder than flesh, I would advise you leave immediately. Or else.” Blitzcrank, the Steam Golem, stood taller than any man, his right arm around the girl protectively, his left poised to block any oncoming attack. The assassins took a second to assert themselves, and then launched themselves at Blitz. I cursed myself afterwards for not having joined the foray earlier, but I was too caught up in what was happening. A golem, a creature created from metal was risking its life for a human. A girl.
The first assassin launched himself over Blitzcrank and earned a blow to the side of Blitzcrank face. The dagger seemed to glance right off Blitz’s metal body. Blitz leaned forward with his heavy mass and his leg shot out from behind him and hit the assassin midriff and sent him sprawling down the street. By this time the second assassin had reached him and got two quick slices off, each landing close to the girl, yet not hitting there mark and slicing into Blitz’s metal frame. A quick jerk of his arm sent this assassin rolling across the ground like a doll. It was around this time that three more forms seemed to creep from the shadows. The other two assassins had regained themselves and joined them. They stood 5 strong. Suddenly I felt the call of magic, and immediately knew they were summoning their own magic’s. The best assassins had every tool available to them.
I was confused as to what magic they had used, but quickly my confusion left for as quick as a snake the left most assassins darted out and sliced into the left part of Blitzcrank body. Yet this time, instead of glancing right off, the blade went through Blitzcrank’s metal body like a knife through butter. Never flinching, Blitz turned his body to better shield the girl and rammed into the assassin with a loud crunch as the man’s body turned to mush and fell. Finally, I snapped out of my haze and launched myself across the street to the roof. I run down the roof, over to the next one, never letting my eyes leave the battle. They had Blitz surrounded now, yet no matter how they darted in and out, slicing through Blitz’s armor, digging deep grooves into his form, he ever so valiantly protected the girl. Never letting harm touch her.
By the time I was in a position to join the battle Blitzcrank was covered with gashes all over his body. Two of the five assassins were down, probably to never arise. The three that were left bolted for Blitzcrank for one final attack. I took a breath, released my magic, and fell. I landed not but inches away from the nearest assassin, his shocked eyes only head their shock for a mere second as I slide one blade deep into his chest between two ribs, while the other slicing into this hamstring. A quick kick and I sent the assassin rolling, never stopping. I couple of steps brought me up behind the second assassin, while Blitzcrank having seen my assistance turned to keep the third assassin from sneaking a blade into the girl.
A short jab to the back of his leg sent the assassin falling to the ground, as I hopped forward to dig a blade into the back of the man’s neck. His muffled grunt was all I heard as I looked up, look a step and sent my other dagger flying. It hit it’s mark as it landed and sank itself deep into the last assassin’s head. As the dust settled around us, it was morbidly quiet all around us. My deep breathing and Blitz’s mechanical hum were the only sounds I could make out. As I bent over to retrieve the dagger from the man’s neck. I noticed a tattoo. Blue, with an axe and hammer behind a creature’s mouth. The Noxian Crest. Why would Noxus send assassins to kill a little girl and her family? Deep in thought, I almost missed Biltzcrank.
His once gleaming golden body was now muddled with dirt and blood, covered in gashes; he seemed to be more a junkyard plaything rather than a sentient golem. His shining eyes were radiant as he peered down at me and handed me back the dagger that I had thrown. “Thank you fleshing, for your assistance.” His voice seemed to be brimming. “I would like to ascertain your name, if you’d allow me the pleasure.” It amazed me how human he sounded. I don’t mean his voice, obviously, for it was pure mechanical. But the way he talked, it was…unusual.
“You may call me The Wanderer, for that is who and what I am. As for my name, I guard that as dearly as you would guard that little girl.” It was the first time I had noticed the little girl was not in his arms. I assumed he had left her with one of the man people now coming onto the scene. “I must beg apologies; I am not one for crowds. If you would like to speak more you may meet me in the plaza a week from now, at sundown.” With that I melted into the shadows of the alley between two houses and from there left Blitzcrank staring after me.
We Wanderer’s do not like attention; we best serve our cause by staying in the shadows, never getting involved. But I could not have just sat idly by while this brave machine protected the life of a creature not his kin. I could hear the shouts and cheers miles away still. It seemed Blitzcrank would be known as a hero, celebrated as one too. Good, he deserved that. I made my way to my room to rest. The day’s events were a bit more than I had planned when I had awoken that morning. And I was anxious to see if Blitzcrank would join me.
I cleaned my daggers off, returned them to their sheathes. Laid down on the bed and contemplated. I was still shocked to find that the assassins had been Noxian. Ever since Mundo’s loyalty to the Noxus government, and his pledge to fight for them also in the League, it was assumed that Noxus and Zaun would enjoy an unspoken union. I should head for Noxus soon, and see what I can find out. Whoever hired the assassins would not be happy to find they had been thwarted. Hopefully no word would spread of my involvement. I had remained unknown to the many faces of governments up to that time..well, mostly. Yet I had no more time to dwell on the matter, as sleep quickly found me
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