BEWARE THE GREAT WALL OF TEXT!
I suggested a new champion a while back, and decided to write his League Judgment as an exercise. Here ya go. You may want to read his lore beforehand.
The men and yordles of science in the city of Piltover are renowned for some of the world’s leading techmaturgical revolutions. In light of the rampant (and ethically questionable) experimentation in Zaun, the inventor known as Heimerdinger decided to spearhead a project intended to bring protection and assistance to those summoned to the Fields of Justice. While a standardized design for automatons was present, Heimerdinger was unsatisfied with the lack of potential they had in combat. After months of failure, a colleague approached Heimerdinger with a groundbreaking new idea. Psionics were manifested through mental power. Who better to harness psychic power than the analytical mind of a machine? Heimerdinger was amazed with the resulting prototype, who was dubbed “Tangent,” in keeping with his divergence from typical living construct design.
While Tangent was originally heralded as an incredible step forward in the field of robotics, some of Piltover’s more traditional yordles grew wary of the machine. Paranoid that Tangent would eventually rise against his creators, a group of radical yordles stormed the Academy of Science and Progress. In a violent altercation that resulted in a hextech bullet being lodged in his chest, Tangent killed the yordles in an act of self-defense. Weeks prior to the incident, Heimerdinger had left to join the League, leaving no one to defend the automaton’s actions. The public grew frightened of him, viewing his murder of the yordles as proof that they were right. Tangent was released from custody nearly eighteen months later, but not without some mental scars caused by the agonizing psychological tests he was subjected to. Tangent firmly requested to join the League, not only to uphold his initial directive, but to clear his name.
League Judgment - Tangent
Date: 7 September, 20 CLE
Repeated triplets of clean, metallic clanks ring down the Institute of War’s Great Hall, a rhythmic cacophony perpetrated by the solitary figure traversing its length, staff in hand. Tangent walks with purpose, the gleaming techmaturgical energy core in his chest illuminating his path. A dark purple robe shields the room from the luster of his polished metal body.
Two shining sapphire eyes subtly dart to and fro, appraising the automaton’s surroundings. For a brief moment, Tangent stops to take in the chamber’s impressive architecture. A series of marble vaults extend upward, producing a parabolic ceiling reinforced with crossing beams at the top, each touching the vaulting projections at only one point. Although impressed by the aesthetics of the design, the techmaturgical prototype dismisses it as being functionally superfluous, and continues his trek.
Ultimately, he encounters his final obstacle. A pair of marble doors looms above him, as if designed for creatures many times his size. What purpose does this architectural excess serve? The idea plagues his logical mind. As he observes the doors, he discovers an inscription.
“Progress is a function of utility and majesty.”
With the lightest touch his mechanical hand can provide, the doors freely swing open, revealing nothing of particular interest. Curious to uncover the unseen mysteries of beyond, he enters.
To his surprise, his shining core does not reveal anything in the chamber within. In fact, it is as if his core is not providing any light at all. His metallic frame, once host to the shining luster provided by his chestpiece, was now at the mercy of the darkness. His senses abandon him. He cannot see. He cannot hear. He cannot feel. Is he malfunctioning?
His chest flares in incendiary agony. A bright light washes into his eyes, and the sounds of a thousand familiar voices flood into his head.
“Just a few more adjustments, Professor.”
“Excellent! Ensure that his mana reserves are full. We don’t want him shutting down on us within five minutes.”
“This project is a load of nonsense. Surely a living creature can perform his task better?”
“Ignore the naysayer, Professor. This has been the fruit of your labor!”
“What do you expect from such a substandard intelligence? Ah yes, he is functional! His primary systems are active.”
The blinding light receded, and the fire in his chest abated. When he gathered his senses, he discovered he was in a supine position on a large table, with a congregation of men, tall and small, dressed in white coats and glasses surrounding him. One in particular stood out. But who was it? If he could only hear the voice once more…
“Eureka! He is alive!”
That voice. That high-pitched voice prone to cracking. The body it originated from was one of the small ones. He stood no more than a meter tall, his curly golden globe of hair dominating his voluminous head.
“Automaton, you are the pinnacle of techmaturgical creation. I am Heimerdinger, your maker. I welcome you to the world of the living.”
Heimerdinger! The man was responsible for Tangent’s entry into life. He nurtured him, taught him, encouraged him… abandoned him.
Tangent’s machine grace had also left him. He struggled to find the familiarity with his body, but alas to no avail. In a series of awkward, jerky movements, he rose and sat on the table. As he surveyed the room, he saw many individuals with expressions of awe and shock, as if someone of his kind had never been seen before. They began clapping, and cheering.
“Brilliant! It actually works!”
“This is a triumph!”
“Indeed, a huge success!”
The men swarmed the diminutive yordle, exchanging all manner of congratulations and handshakes. As the formalities continued, Tangent’s senses were once again overwhelmed…
When he came to, he discovered he was standing face to face with Heimerdinger in solidarity, amidst the courtyard of the Yordle Academy of Science and Progress. Most of the furniture had been pushed aside to create a makeshift proving ground for Heimerdinger’s creation. The inventor clasped his hands behind his back, as if awaiting something.
“Well, go on! Show me what you’ve learned!”
Almost unconsciously, Tangent held his arms out and rocketed into the air. After a series of somersaults, he crashed down into the turf several meters away, casting off a howling, burning gale of flames. Undaunted by his exertion, he stood and clenched his staff firmly, infusing it with energy from his core. With a wide sweeping motion, a volume of air a few meters away spontaneously surged with a crackling blast of energy, throwing some chairs and a table to great heights. Finally, he hunkered down, rocked by a series of vibrations as he overloaded his power core. His stance shot back up, and the area immediately surrounding him exploded into a hellish maelstrom of power. His core flickering from the discharge, he knelt down and rested his staff before him.
“Oh, bravo! Magnificent! Truly amazing progress!” Heimerdinger was jubilant following the construct’s display of destructive potential. “You will make an excellent protector!”
Tangent cocked his head slightly, his lenses twitching at the sound of the word. Protector? Was that was he was? His abilities bordered more on destruction than protection. How could he protect anybody with such murderous power? If his function were to protect, how would he do it?
He found himself transposed again, this time into a ruined laboratory. Tangent immediately gathered a sense of impending danger from the room. As he surveyed the lab, he found several yordles at his feet, their lives cut short by some horrifying power. Across the chamber, some more yordles had been claimed by the cataclysm. Was he responsible?
Crack. An all-too-familiar agony shot through Tangent’s chest, throwing him to the floor. The slug, lodged in his chest, permeated his entire being with a tortuous malady, releasing pulses of some arcane toxin into his energy conduits. A cackling yordle wielding a pistol entered his vision, standing over him. His firearm was aimed directly at his shining chestpiece.
“You’re an abomination!” the yordle screamed. “You were never meant to be! You are proof that these crackpots are no better than the monsters of Zaun! This thing in your chest keeps you alive, right? I wonder what would happen if I were to break it…”
The slug continued corroding his vitality. Warnings and error notices screamed in his head. His processing became cloudy. Cleansing himself of the hextech poison was vital, or he would perish before the yordle could squeeze the trigger again. But how? All he knew to do was destroy.
So destroy the poison.
Tangent's core flared brightly, filling the room with a green light as blinding as the sun. The disconcerted yordle took a few steps back, but kept his weapon trained on the automaton.
Pulses of energy coursed through Tangent's fibers. Something was launched out of the entry point in his chest. The hextech slug, warped and smoldering, landed at the yordle's quaking feet. Utterly frightened, the yordle squeezed off another round from his revolver. It froze in midair right above Tangent's core, and was then flung back towards the yordle, striking him in the chest. He howled in agony as the biological agents spread rapidly through his tiny bloodstream.
"YOU WILL NOT IMPEDE MY DIRECTIVE, MEDDLER."
Tangent launched himself onto his feet, flinging the yordle across the room. With an invisible grasp, he wrenched the revolver from the yordle’s trembling hand, twisted it into a tiny metal knot, and tossed it aside. With the same phantom grip, he took hold of the terrified yordle and pulled him in close, forcing him to stare into the automaton’s glaring eyes. Right as he was about to seal his assailant’s fate, darkness enveloped him.
Tangent found himself back in the void. The pain was gone. The rage had left him. Was it all an elaborate simulation?
He stood face to face with Heimerdinger once more. However, this time the yordle had a stern, disappointed look on his face.
He adjusted his spectacles. “Tangent, why do you want to join the League?”
Tangent calculated his response, admist a soft whirring emanating from his head. “I have a directive I must carry out. I must protect the other members of the League.”
The yordle shook his head. “Why do you want to join the League?” repeated Heimerdinger. The tone in his voice sharpened.
Tangent's voice speaker chirped in surprise. That was not the correct answer? His directive was not the reason that he was here? What was it?
“Well?” Heimerdinger persisted.
Tangent remembered the incident in the laboratory. A group of radical yordles had taken the Academy by storm, frightened by the presence of the automaton. They made an attempt on his life. He ended them in an act of self-defense. Heimerdinger had left the Academy for the League, and thus could not justify Tangent’s actions to the authorities. Tangent was detained, subjected to a series of psychological evaluations. He was literally taken apart and combed over. His psyche was probed, prodded, poked. Was he operating safely? Would he go berserk and strike down everyone around him? Eventually, he was released, none the worse for wear physically. But what did Heimerdinger think when he learned of the incident?
Tangent chose his next words carefully. “I am not a monster. I am a protector. I am here to protect. Those who say otherwise are incorrect. I must prove them incorrect. You know what I say to be true. You created me.” Tangent’s every syllable rang with purpose. “I will not allow any obstruction to stop me.”
Heimerdinger chuckled proudly. “How does it feel, exposing your mind?”
Tangent kneeled down to place his hand on the shoulder of his creator. His hand touched nothing, and instead saw the apparition evaporate into the void. He was once again alone.
“It is progress,” he delivered.
Light returned to the world, and Tangent saw the mighty doors before him swing open at last. Heimerdinger’s voice echoed in the back of his mind.
“You have much to prove, Tangent. Prove yourself firsthand by fighting alongside me!”
I liked your initial concept of the hero, and it's great to see you're fleshing out his story. It fits in with the tone of the other Judgments we've seen so far, and it is pretty **** well written. Great job, I don't know where you can improve (though I'll read again sometime to give it another check).
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