I don't care too much for the appealing nature of the yordles. But stepping on exploding mushrooms that explode and corrode away at your health is not my idea of fun >: ( He's a broken and ridiculously annoying champion. I CAN NEVER CATCH THE BA$TARD. He, along with Master Yi, Twitch and all the free champions piss me off.
Honestly, I wish they never included the free champion choice, and just stuck to giving you 450 ip when you start. There are so many people who choose the worst possible builds, and they whine like blithering 6 year olds when they lose >.< I genuinely fear for the future of the League.
on another note: Kitty... You're levelling up too quickly D: I can't catch up T_T
Well if it makes you feel any better, just because I'm leveling doesn't mean I'm getting any better XD.
I love to be the AP Teemo with the annoyingly deadly mushrooms. It brings my heart joy when people hit them LOL
But I do think people are too mean in the community. Riot needs a leveling system like CoD or something where people can start over at Lvl 1 but in a different matchmaking queue or something. I almost quit playing before I hit level 5 because there were so many jerk smurfs.
I gotta say Kitty, you're good at art. You should add a sketch for every one of your chapters One that summarizes the chapter.
(I have no regrets. Piling work on you XP)
I do feel kinda guilty for procrastinating so much XP. Got 3 assignments due tomorrow. Yet I'm here XD
Um, I had to fix some wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff in the last chapter. Jarvan said they found Vayne a few days after Garen's exile and I wanted it to be, more specifically, earlier that same day. So yah. Sorry everyone I dun messed up lol.
Revolution by Design: Part One
It was difficult at first, dealing with house arrest and the anti-magic cuffs, but Luxanna Crownguard was far from inactive. Usually reverse engineering magic came easily to her, but the cuffs had just enough techmaturgical workings inside it to slow her down for a couple of days; the tracking device inside had been especially troublesome to work around and tamper with, but once altered and combined with the ditzy personality she faked for the public, the world was still very open to her. Even though the mage was once a spy for Demacia, when she put on her silly act, even the soldiers guarding her didn't take her seriously. Degrading, perhaps, but it had its uses.
As such, she was able to spend much of her time in the capital city's library brushing up on the delicate inner workings of the Demacian government, animatedly telling the guards she wanted to be a council member, just like her mother. This was far from the truth, but if there was anything special operations had taught her, it was how to lie, though, after a few days in her mother's presence, she might have said anything to get out of the house.
The mage dreaded spending time with Lilia, even if it wasn't as terrible as anticipated. Granted, the Crownguard matron didn't speak to her for the first two days after learning the truth about the ordeal, which helped significantly, but that didn't stop her mother from huffing or moping around the manor in a silence that spoke volumes. However, the days following saw Lux develop a new appreciation for her mother as Lilia pressed her for details, searching for something, anything within the story that might exonerate her children.
The mage might have just told her mother the same tired tale over and over if Jarvan hadn't approached her a few days after the incident with an idea to supplant himself upon the Demacian throne and overhaul Demacia's standards. Technically it could be considered treason, but Jarvan was already the next in line; they were just going to hasten the process slightly.
Step one was to win Lilia's sympathies and plant the seeds of King Jarvan III's incompetence, the most difficult part, in her opinion. Her mother, like many older Demacians, tended to be rigid in thought, though her father's death she'd seemed to soften her over the years. Even so, Mrs. Crownguard was still highly regarded within the Demacian legislature, an influential member even, making her perfect for what Jarvan had in mind.
Lux knew the success of the entire operation rested on her shoulders. It wasn't enough just to tell Lilia what happened, she had to sell it. Downplay their actions, emphasize the consequences, play into the maternal instinct that existed somewhere under that hard Demacian shell. It would snowball soon enough as long as Lilia came to all the right conclusions herself.
Lux couldn't help the crafty smile the crossed her face as one of the Vanguard soldiers knocked on her bedroom door and announced the Prince's arrival. Jarvan III thought an army was power? No, words were power.
"How is my favorite Crownguard?" Jarvan IV greeted.
"Isn't that spot reserved for my brother?" she quipped, joining him in the hall.
Escorting her down the stairs to the manor's study, Jarvan grinned, "Only when he's around." With a wave of his hand, the soldiers left the room.
Lux rolled her eyes as she fell into the couch. "Speaking of Garen, did you see him when you were at the League?"
"Sure did, and he wrote the letter," he stated, brandishing the folded paper stashed in his bag and passing it to the Crownguard girl for her inspection. Her blue eyes scanned it quickly and, seeing that it was as she dictated, folded it, setting it beside her.
"Looks good," she nodded and lowered her voice to barely a whisper. "That will be helpful in getting mother on our side, especially coming from Garen."
Jarvan leaned forward, his chin propped against his hand and an uncharacteristically grim look on his face. "Do you think I should be doing this? Is this the right way?" he asked, searching her sharp eyes. "You're brilliant, Lux. If you think it's a bad idea, tell me now."
Luxanna allowed her smile to fade and her brow to furrow as she hesitated in answering. Jarvan was one of the few Demacians who recognized her aptitude and treated her as she deserved, actually listened to her. With a single word, she could alter the fate of the man before her and she briefly felt the same giddiness that coursed through her during the most dangerous reconnaissance missions; unlike in her youth, when everything was taken from her by force, she now had the power to irrevocably change everything.
Her beloved Demacia...
"Yes," she murmured. "It will work. If he won't listen to reason like you say, then this is the option we must take. And I will make sure that it works."
The Prince nodded and relaxed against the cushions. "Why are you going along with this anyway?" he questioned. "It was only an idea but you really seem to want to do this."
Twining her fingers together and clasping them behind her head in a girlish manner, Lux let her radiant smile assume its familiar position on her face. "I love Demacia, I really do. But she's going down a bad path and you, and I, and every citizen in the nation can see it." Her eyes hardened and her smile seemed to lose its warmth as she finished, "We have the power to make it better, so we have the responsibility too. I could make it so children wouldn't have to join the military..."
Her voice had begun to crack and Jarvan gave her a sympathetic look, but before he could speak, Lux, her mask once again fixed firmly on her face, grinned, "But you're doing it for her right? Your lady love?"
A booming laugh escaped him. "Lady love? That's a little outdated. But... yes," he admitted.
"So romantic," she giggled. "Just like Garen."
The Prince wrinkled his nose. "If you say so."
"It would seem LeBlanc is declaring war," Swain muttered to himself as the League broadcast of her speech ended. "She honestly believes this will work?"
His musings were cut short as a firm knock on the door announced Darius's arrival. "Grand General, what will Noxus's response be?" he questioned bluntly, his empty hand twitching at his side for the handle of his axe.
"Nobody will control Noxus," Swain replied, his tone even. "Not even the League. We did not take control of the nation by chance. We took it because we are the strongest. The time approaches when we will demonstrate to the world the power of Noxus."
Darius was impassive as ever as he stated, "There are those in Noxus who still do not support your ascension to power. If you do not act soon, they might think you... weak for allowing this to happen."
The hint of threat was clear enough to Swain, who merely laughed. "Then I would challenge those who question my abilities as I challenged Darkwill." The burly soldier seemed to accept his words with a nod, so the Tactician continued, "Has Draven returned to Noxus?"
"He will be here shortly, General," he replied, saluting and turning on heel to leave the office. "I will make sure he sees you right away."
Once alone, Jericho rested his forehead against his fingertips and let out a tired sigh. He'd never met anyone that matched his cunning until LeBlanc entered his life, and being on the receiving end of her antics was more tiring than he could have imagined. But her actions now seemed so out of place. What was he not seeing? Did she actually make a mistake by moving too early?
"Have no fear, Draven's here!"
"Draven," he acknowledged, standing to greet the Glorious Executioner and his brother as they shut the door behind them. "I wanted to talk to you about your previous orders."
The cocky man flashed his characteristic smirk. "Kill the DuCouteau's? I didn't even get the chance to go back for Katarina after Urgot ****ed her up."
Darius sighed at his brother's lack of propriety, but Swain simply waved it away. "Yes, indeed. I'm changing the plan slightly."
"Draven still gets to kill them, right?" the moustached man pressed, earning an elbow in the back from his brother, who hissed, "Shut up."
"Don't worry, Draven. I want you to have your moment," Jericho promised. "But I need you to wait."
With a frown, the larger of the brothers stated, "Sir, she's in the Institute infirmary. Weak. It would be simple to kill her off now."
"I don't want to kill a cripple," Draven interjected. "That's boring."
"Quiet!" Swain hissed. "Trust me, she will not remain a cripple long. You'll get your show, in front of the biggest crowd you can imagine."
The Executioner furrowed his brow skeptically. "And how do you know that?"
His near infinite patience wearing thin, the Grand General shook his head and replied, "I am called the Master Tactician for a reason. Noxus will not sit idly by as the Institute of War declares martial law, so it will be for many other city-states. We will be ready and we will be the ones to prosper."
The brothers were quiet momentarily, until Draven asked, "So... there's going to be a war?"
Neither could see the sinister grin forming behind Swain's collar, but his tone made it evident enough. "It is extremely likely, yes. Be ready for it. Dismissed."
Each gave a salute, Darius's crisp and Draven's exaggerated, and turned to leave. Once a safe distance from the General's office, the Hand of Noxus snarled, "Show some respect for the Grand General, would you?"
"Ah, shutup, Darius," he muttered dismissively. "Do you think what he said is true? Will there be a war?"
Darius heaved a sigh, his age showing in the lines clearly etched on his face and the tired darkness under his eyes. "Probably. Swain hasn't been wrong about anything yet." Always fighting, always killing. As much as he enjoyed it, sometimes even he wanted nothing more than to sleep.
For the younger of the Blood Brothers, the prospect of war had the opposite effect: His eyes seemed to shine as he grinned, "Then it'll be the perfect chance to share Draven with the rest of the world."
Darius resisted the urge to punch his brother in his cocky face. Often, he wondered if it was his own fault Draven was like this, coming from the time when they were starving boys on the streets of Noxus; he'd shielded his younger brother as best he could from the cruelties of the world, filled the boy's head with fantasies while he killed and threatened and stole. Back then, he was sure every day was going to be their last so he'd tried to make it bearable for Draven, but by his own strength they survived, and the elder put his talents to a better use in the army. Darius had hoped his brother would carve out a respectable living in the military as well, but Draven didn't even make it six months. "Too boring," he claimed and went on to become the showy, incorrigible executioner of Noxus.
Yes, the people of Noxus loved him for his bloody shows, but Darius knew, for all his brother's skill in the art of killing, he wouldn't make it in a war; he didn't respect it, didn't believe he could really die. The soldier shook his head, and clapped his heavy hand on his brother's shoulder without a word. They were men now, and it had stopped being his job to protect Draven a long time ago.
"So who isn't here?" Katarina demanded, scanning the crammed room. Garen squirmed uncomfortably, nearly stepping on Cassiopeia's tail in the process and receiving a glare from Talon next to her. On the other side of the assassin's bed Riven stood in front of the window, the setting sun behind her silhouetting her body. Her arms were crossed and her hard eyes shifted suspiciously to Nasus beside her. The canine creature was hunched so the room could accommodate his large frame, and cowering slightly at his feet the yordle summoner Octavius who aided him in the Archives.
"Everyone we could get on short notice is here," Garen chimed.
"Good," she nodded. "Ok everyone who is here knows something about what's been happening so far, and I brought you here to discuss some very important details so we can make a plan."
Talon sighed, "Well what do you have in mind? It's not like we know any more now than we did a few days ago, and you're in the hospital."
Nasus's flowing voice responded in kind, "It does sound rather hopeless, Miss DuCouteau."
But in spite of their protests, Katarina let out a ferocious grin. "That's what you think. I haven't even gotten to tell you the new things yet! So, has everyone heard what happened in Demacia?" As she anticipated everyone except Garen shook their heads. "Well, a mysterious summoner leaked very personal information about Demacian Champions to the king right? Very much illegal, and done under the pretense of avoiding a Rune War." Looking momentarily at Garen, she added, "Specifics aside, Demacia ended up pulling four of their strongest Champions from the League roster."
"That doesn't make sense," Cassiopeia interrupted. "Losing League presence could provoke a war."
"This is true," Nasus murmured. "Why would the King of Demacia believe such a thing?"
All eyes glanced momentarily to Garen, who shrugged, "Jarvan would be the one to ask about that."
"Let me tell you why," Katarina interjected. "Vayne told me, the source was so reliable, he would have no reason to disbelieve it."
A concerned expression was growing on Cassiopeia's face, but Talon rolled his eyes and remarked, "Who could be that important?"
"A High Councilor, that's who," she responded, receiving shocked looks from everyone in the room. "Vessaria Kolminye."
With a solemn shake of her head, Riven finally spoke up, cutting straight to the point. "That is terrible, but what does this have to do with LeBlanc? She's the real reason we're here, right?"
"Wait a second," Garen blurted. "Did Vayne try to confront High Councilor Kolminye about this?"
The Exile shot him a hard look for his interruption, but Katarina, a confused look on her face, replied, "Yeah, she came and talked to me right before Urgot attacked me. Said she was going to get answers from Vessaria herself."
"Well, she's dead now," he explained. "Jarvan said they found her in Demacia this morning. So if she turned up dead after confronting Vessaria, who just declared martial law..."
A hush settled about the room as each of the Champions absorbed the new information, until finally Cassiopeia ventured a quiet, "Then Vessaria might be working with LeBlanc?"
Katarina bit her lip nervously, but nodded. "It's possible, right? LeBlanc wanted power, the Institute has power."
"More possible corruption within the Institute of War," Nasus lamented. "Runeterra approaches war now because of this. The cycle of Life and Death would be completely unbalanced."
"We can't just make baseless accusations though," Cassiopeia reminded. "It's pretty telling to us, that Vayne's death isn't a coincidence and LeBlanc might be somehow linked to Vessaria. But we need proof. Something that really shows LeBlanc had her sights set on the Institute."
Another moment of silence descended on the group, and as Garen caught Katarina's gaze in his own, he was reminded of their mission in Noxus and their foray into LeBlanc's office. "Her journal," he stated, and Katarina's eyes sparked in remembrance. "I think Jarvan has a copy of LeBlanc's journal. That might be proof enough."
"We're going about this all wrong," Talon suddenly spoke. "We don't need proof. Who are we going to present it to that isn't involved? The most powerful person in Valoran is corrupted and no one is going to go against her for fear of retribution. We don't know which or how many summoners she has on her side." His fists clenched at his side and his red eyes flashed defiantly as he continued, his voice lowered. "We know the truth, so we make the call. We go after Vessaria, and we don't tell anyone linked to the Institute in any way."
"You're right, we don't know how many people could be against us. Could be the whole Institute for all we know," Katarina acknowledged. "But somehow I don't think the six and a half people in this room could take on all this. We need allies."
"We are not likely to receive any help from Noxus," Riven pointed out. "They will side with Swain, who we know is allied with LeBlanc."
Garen shook his head likewise. "I think Jarvan, Lux, and Shyvana will help, especially when they hear about what Vessaria did. Jarvan might be able to convince some soldiers and other Champions, but the King won't go for it."
"What about other city-states?" Nasus asked. "Vessaria has essentially declared a martial rule over Valoran. There are those who will not take kindly to this and perhaps be willing to fight her, especially when told about the truth of her actions."
Tapping her clawed fingers lightly against her chin, Cassiopeia murmured, "Whole governments are unlikely to help right away. The risk is too high, because if we lose... well, they have too much at stake. But we could likely convince individual Champions to fight with us. Technically, Champions are supposed to do what's good for Valoran."
"And Champions tend to be paragons of their craft," Riven added, locking eyes with the serpentine woman across from her. "If enough Champions sided with us, it would be like having an army."
"I still don't think it's a good idea," Talon huff, crossing his arms. "We could try for stealth, get her alone-"
"Vayne tried that and it didn't work," Katarina interrupted. The hooded assassin shot a withering glare at her, but she pressed on. "I don't want to risk losing anyone in this operation if it can be avoided. It would be better if we were all together."
Shifting her red gaze to the darkening sky, Riven sighed, "So how will we recruit allies? We can't just go around advertising this sort of thing."
"For the utmost secrecy, I would suggest we simply explain our case to the Champions most likely to aid us," Nasus proposed. "I am well versed in many Champions' backgrounds, and..." For a moment his eyes had a distant look to them, as if lost in time, but he shook his head and finished, "I have some skill in judging people's character, though not as much as my brother once had. I can compile a list of those Champions, and divide them amongst each of us. We will need to be quick from here on though, so that summoners to not glean this information through the mind meld on the Fields of Justice."
"I will write a letter to Jarvan and my sister," Garen claimed, before turning to the mousy Octavius, who'd been sitting in absolute silence the entire meeting. It's not who he would have picked, but if Nasus trusted him... "You can do the sending spell, right?"
The yordle bit his lip and murmured, "I've only done it a few times. Always with help."
"Can you at least send yourself?" Garen pressed. "To Demacia and back?"
"I think so," Octavius replied, looking suspiciously at the soldier. "You want me to take the letter?"
The Demacian nodded in the affirmative, stating, "It'll be safer that way. No risk of it getting lost somehow. You put it directly in my sister's hands, no one else's."
"See, we're off to a great start," Katarina grinned. "But, given our less than pristine backgrounds, Cass, Talon, and I might have a harder time convincing people to do anything with us." Looking between Riven, Garen, and Nasus she stated, "It'll probably end up being you three who do most of the recruiting. Successfully anyway."
"Fair enough," Riven declared, pushing away from the window and brushing past the group toward the door. "Since we have decided what to do, I will await word from Nasus." Snapping her hand in a tight salute, the Exile added, "Forever strong," before leaving.
"Now that's nostalgic," the red-headed Noxian smirked.
Beckoning his assistant with his giant hand, the canine Champion stepped around the room with surprising agility for a figure his size. "We shall begin work immediately and report as soon as possible. Recover quickly, Miss DuCouteau."
Once out of earshot, Talon muttered, "He's a weird one."
"Well I like him," Cassiopeia declared. "He's a gentleman." The hooded assassin scowled.
Ignoring the bickering behind him, Garen knelt beside Katarina and took her hand in his. "Talon and Cassiopeia want to spend some time with you, so I'm going to my room."
"And you'll come back tomorrow?" she asked, earning a skeptical look from the soldier.
"Do you have to ask?" he grinned.
Talon made a sound of disgust and grabbed the back of Garen's shirt. "Get out already, please. I'm gonna choke on all the bull****."
Katarina laughed and gave his hand a squeeze, her green eyes shining. "See you tomorrow."
"Definitely." With a nod to Talon and a murmured, "Good night," to Cassiopeia, the Demacian collected his weapon from the Infirmary's front desk and made his way down the dimly lit corridors.
Upon unlocking the door to his room, he noticed his now cleaned clothes folded neatly on the edge of the unused bed, and an unaddressed envelope resting atop the bundle bearing the wax seal of the Institute of War. A feeling of anxiety formed in his gut but he ripped it open anyway, skimming the elegant handwriting.
24 May, 22CLE
To Mister Garen Crownguard:
Changes were made to your Champion status and you have been removed from the official League roster on 22 May, 22CLE. Your presence is requested tomorrow, 25 May 22CLE at 10am within my office in order to discuss these changes and, if necessary, make arrangements for enlistment. Please note: In order to continue your stay in the Institute of War, you will be required to submit to new Champion inductions, including an official Judgment and if accepted, report for summoning for the League.
High Councilor of the Institute of War
The fact that he wasn't technically a Champion anymore completely slipped his mind with the events of the past two days. The Judgment process was unpleasant, and mind meld was risky with the information he just learned, but he needed what the Institute had to offer. Kiersta wanted to discuss it first though; perhaps he could strike some kind of deal with her to avoid the Judgment. Obviously he was proven a reliable Champion, it shouldn't even be necessary.
If she delved too far, saw too much somehow and wanted to confront him, he felt certain he could take her one on one. To protect Katarina, he would do it if necessary.
Garen deflated with a heavy sigh and tossed the letter to the floor, his borrowed clothing following shortly after. As he showered and collapsed into bed for an early night, the soldier decided that he would be very glad when this was finished.
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