Legends of the League: Wings of Dusk

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Hey, everyone, Gyarados is IN THE HOUSE! After a botched fanfiction a few years back, I decided to start off 2014 with a series of long-term fanfictions. Hold on to your horses, this is going to be a wild ride...

WARNING: Possibly too mature for kiddies under the age of 15. Hope you like blood and guts, people, there may be some vivid scenes in the future.

And, without further ado, let's begin:

Legends of the League: Wings of Dusk
Gather closer, men and yordles, that I may tell you a story.

A story of the boy born with nothing but his mind and magic.

A story of the man born for nothing, but destined for everyting.

A story of the cripple who dreamed to soar higher than any other.

He was worshiped by thousands, feared by millions, shunned by the one he cared for most.

He was Jericho Swain.


Chapter 1: Fragile

Living in the slums of Noxus was not something anyone willingly did, and a process that not many survived. Lighting, food, fresh water, and life were all luxuries for the impoverished that made a pitiful day-to-day existence in this black hole of disease and death - possibly enhanced by a certain undead ferromancer that was rumored to stalk the darkest allies of this already godforsaken den. And with what was to be one of the last of the Great Rune Wars in full-blown bloodshed, what passed for an economy in these parts broke down. So in layman's terms, life sucked shi*t more than usual.

In this pit of misery, in the middle of a ground-shaking war, a child was born.
Titania, a young girl of eighteen with an ironic name, considering her lot in life, gasped in the pains of post-labor as her mother wrapped the newly born child with the cleanest rags in the house (which weren't much cleaner than the dirtiest ones). Titania's father had joined the Noxian forces for a pension slightly better than the one he received as a metal scavenger, and, at the time his grandson was having his umbilical cord tied and cut off, the man was having his viscera ripped out of his abdomen by a particularly sadistic Demacian sergeant. Titania herself had resorted to prostitution in order to keep herself and her mother alive, and selling her body had resulted in this.

A bastard child, with nothing to call his own.

"He's a boy. Small," said Titania's mother. "Small for even a newborn. He'll be harder-pressed than most to survive. And with the war..." She did not complete that sentence.

Titania painfully turned her head. "Let me... see him..." The mother obliged, and pressed the baby next to her daughter. "He's so small. So...fragile..."

Titania's mother sat down on a chair, exhausted from performing several hours of midwifery and from the grim realization of what the baby boy's birth meant. Her face twisted into deep sadness and self-loathing, knowing what she had to do but knowing how much it would tear her daughter apart. After a dark silence, she finally spoke. "We'll... have to take him away. We're barely surviving as it is. One more mouth to feed, and we'll all be dead by wintertime."

Titania knew that she and her mother could not hope to care for themselves and the child as well. But she was through with living; this girl of eighteen years, not even legally old enough to drink, forced to sell herself to lecherous men just to live another day. She didn't care what happened to herself at all. But the boy...

"I'll take him to Sunset District's orphanage," her mother said, with a firm but still pained look in her eyes. "Matron Diane's a distant relative of your father, she can take care of him better than we can."

Titania nodded, her eyes closed in concession and hopelessness. She hugged her child closer to her and opened her eyes, staring into those of her boy for the first and last time. Those eyes, half closed out of pain from being exposed to even the dim evening light, shone coal-black, and gleamed with an intelligence that was beyond his five minutes of exposure to Noxian slum life - which was five more than any sensible creature would desire. Titania knew, in her heart, that she could not possibly let this child, her child born from an encounter with a faceless man, die.

Even if it meant giving him up.

After a few more minutes of simply absorbing every physical detail of her child, Titania gently lifted him up and passed him to her mother. "Whatever happens, he has to live. Don't let him die."

Titania's mother nodded, regretful for everything that had to happen to their family, and walked out of the shabbily made, dusty shack. Titania watched her leave, with the baby boy. She took in every moment.

For there would be no more of those same moments for her. Titania would never see her child again.

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Comments on my work are greatly appreciated. I would like to make my debut story as good as it can get. I'll go ahead with releasing Chapter 2 soon, possibly today!

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7/10, interesting ideas and good storytelling and not to mention good grammar that I often find lacking in this forum (when I see the wrong their/they're/there, my mind seethes with rage). Pretty dark and realistic as well. Overall, I'll stay up to date with this one. Chapter 1 could be a bit longer, but my first wasn't big either.

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Thanks for the feedback Ehereal, I'll try to do better and make this an amazing story for the readers. Without further ado, here's Chapter Two!

Chapter 2: Bullied

"Get the ball, runt!"

The six-year old child hurriedly ran towards said red rubber ball, which almost comically bounced up and down the streets of Sunset District. The ball rolled to a stop once it bounced against a seafood merchant's barrel of haddock. The merchant scowled at the boy as he picked up the toy and ran back to the other children.

Get the ball, Runt, the boy thought. Anders is an idiot.

Anders himself was quite the physical specimen; even with the war bringing rations a little lower each month that passed, he was well built for his twelve years of life, towering above the younger children at five foot five. Anders was always stronger than the other orphans, so naturally he deserved the most food. And naturally, whoever he asked gave him a portion of their meal.

"Twenty seconds, Runt," the adolescent scoffed, as the child dropped the ball at his feet, gasping for breath. "Looks like you'll be giving half your dinner to me tonight. And didn't Matron Diane say that dinner'd be her special salmon fillet? Yum, I could taste it already. Mm-mm!" he said as he rubbed his belly - lean, but more muscled than the average Noxian kid - as his playmates quickly got the hint and burst out in (slightly forced) laughter as the small boy hung his head.

"Hey, you know, Runt," Anders said, still giggling with perverse joy, "one of these days, you might be able to grab that ball in ten. Then I'll only take a quarter of your food, instead of half. Sounds like a fair deal, huh? Huh?" The boy mumbled something, and Anders frowned. "You didn't say yes, Runt. Say, 'yes, Mr. Anders, I think that's a swell deal.' Come on, say something." The boy didn't reply. Anders suddenly gripped the boy's shoulders and started to violently shake him. "Say YES, dammit!" The boy's eyes seemed to project sheer terror, but he didn't say anything. "You won't say yes, huh? You won't say yes? THEN SCREW YOU!" Anders dragged his junior up, grabbing his ragged, two-sizes-too large coat with one clenched fist, and used the other to rabbit-punch him twice, hard.

Anders panted in rage, furious for some inexplicable reason that he could not fathom. And because he couldn't figure out why he couldn't fathom it (on top of not knowing what the word "fathom" meant), it only served to make him angrier. "That's what you get for trying to mess with me, punk." Anders spat at the prostrate orphan, dusted off his sleeve with an over-exaggerated movement, and said to his stooges, "Come on, let's go play somewhere else. Get another kid to be Ball Runner, the Runt's no good at all." The troupe stomped off to another part of the plaza, and presumably found enjoyment in inventing an excuse for the next Ball Runner, a stringy fellow with cracked glasses, give up a portion of his dinner to Anders and Co. Anders had no worries about the Runt trying to tell the Matron on him; they never did. They never could, as Anders tucked in his punches; he gave them enough force to hurt for days, but never enough to visibly bruise. He could deny the whole thing ever happened. He had before. He always got away with it.

One might wonder why on earth no passersby bothered to defend the orphan; surely even one person would give a helping hand to this poor boy, a total slave to Anders's whims when Matron Diane wasn't around. But this was Noxus, Noxus under Boram Darkwill's regime. A battle-hardened dictator with an iron fist upon his people more cruel than he was to his enemies, the eternally youthful leader, who had dabbled in necromancy to keep the same physical appearance he had fifty years prior, was a man who had used mass killings and social segregation as tools to keep all his subjects in check and in paranoia, afraid to offer generosity to another human being and be tried and summarily executed for "refusing to comply to the Noxian way." For Boram's ideal of the "Noxian way" was strength; the strength of the individual, being able to crush anyone and everyone else on his race to the top, reaching the acme of success, and then laughing down at the piles of broken bodies and crushed aspirations that he left in his wake. The Runt was simply an unfortunate victim in Anders's claim to fame, and people left it at that.

The Runt knew this. He knew much more, and unlike the morally impoverished citizens hurriedly walking around his body that lay flat on the ground, he actually thought about it. The Runt did not have an official name yet; a Noxian child was given a Naming Ceremony at the age of seven. But his nickname was apt; the Runt was smaller than some of the four-year olds, barely breaking three and a half feet. In terms of physical strength, the Runt was a miserable failure by Darkwill's standards and should have died a long time before.

But this obscure orphan, unloved even by the stern matron who took care of him and twenty other abandoned children, had something much better than mere physical strength. He had his mind. Painfully getting up to his knees, the orphan bent his head in what people would say was defeat - he even forced a few tears to fall, just in case Anders's compadres were watching him - but in his own private sanctum, this six-year old grimly smiled, with knowledge beyond his tender years.

Check and mate, he thought. Andres didn't know the reason for his anger, but the Runt knew Andres better than the preteen knew himself. Andres, like any extortionist, was a glorified bully; and, like all bullies, he was a coward, envious of something that he either consciously or unconsciously desired, and attempted to gain it by making others suffer. When the Runt refused to accept Anders - he was the first to do so in quite a while, which equates to about three years in kid-time - Anders saw a glimpse of the thing that he despised the most; himself, as a sadistic, apathetic animal that pillaged as he saw fit and violated human morals and ethics, no matter how diluted they were in Noxus. Anders saw that he could never see the way the Runt did; and he hated the squirt for that.

Let them play, the mind far superior to that of its owner's physical tormentor's. Let them believe that they're the strongest. Let them start to think that they will be the next Hand of Noxus or Grand General. The books I've bothered to read, unlike those fools over there, tell me a different story. People who get to the top always forget the depths from which they've risen from. Give them the faintest promise of success, and thousands explode in a mad rush to take, and seize, from the opportunity and each other. Let them look to heaven, so that they won't notice me sticking a dagger between their shoulder blades.

Of course, in our age and time, this talk would be seen as insanity, no less psychotic than the bully who beat him and the other young orphans on a regular basis and the faceless groups behind Anders who did nothing to intervene in his suffering. But again, consider all the factors that led to the creation of such evils as Anders, and how the Runt must have been affected by these factors as well. They both were born in Noxian slums - an immediate minus there. They were born with nothing, were given nothing, and raised and taught lessons that pounded a doctrine of absolute strength through maximum materialistic gain into their hearts and souls. One took Darkwill's dogma and lionized it, forever glorifying the belief that acquisition for one must mean destruction for another; and so, by destroying dozens of human hopes and dreams, he would truly be the pinnacle of perfection. And the other... well, at this time he was still developing his personal ideologies, somewhat molded by the "Boramic Noxian" ideal that was flaunted around by so many unwitting as gospel truth. But there was already a change. One that would lead to a revolutionary spark that would forever change the course of Valoran's future. And again, we must feel pity for the poor boy, and all the men, women and children of Noxus, who were taught an unethical, immoral system of thought that permanently tarnished innocence by telling these people nearly from birth that not only was it right for others to suffer or even die if you gained something from doing so, but also that it was an excellent idea to wield the knife yourself, and use it upon your closest friends and family. Now the Runt, who was scarred by Boram's twisted policies, who lost the grandparents and mother that he never knew about due to an unreasonable war that he had no voice in to stop, was only apt to think this one sentence as he indifferenly stared at the older orphans laughing at the new Ball Runner as his glasses were crushed to dust by Andres's boot. It was the single sentence that he muttered as the older boy that he perceived to be an obstacle, the first of many, held him by the scruff of his neck.

"I'm going to kill you."