THE PROPHECY IS CONCLUDED, THE STORY OF WOE COMPLETE. READ UPON MY TALE AND TAKE HEED, FOR FEW SHALL SURVIVE THE COMING OF THE VOID.
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scene ii - page 2
scene iii - page 3 (completed)
scene iv - page 6 (completed)
scene v - page 8 (completed)
scene vi - page 11 (completed)
scene vii - page 12 (completed)
scene viii - page 12 (completed)
scene ix - page 14 (completed)
scene x - page 14 (completed)
scene xi - page 14 (completed)
scene xii - page 16 (completed)
extras - page 29
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ACT I scene i - Judgment
These were the last words ever heard by Prisoner 666.
"Murderer! How dare you break the laws of the League!" Proclaimed high summoner Phreak.
"For the crime of murder against champions, murdering summoners... use of forbidden powers and exceeding the limits set by the League, we sentence you to life in prison, stripped of all your powers..." High Summoner Jesse Perring said, passing final judgment.
'"But he did nothing wrong! Shaco or Vladimir could have been the cause of those deaths!" Protested a 13-yr old Annie, a girl who grew up as a champion, and entering adolescence as one.
"The evidence is too difficult to ignore in this circumstance. only a high-level necromancer, unrestricted by the League, could reanimate so many, and so quickly dispatch champions." H.S. Shurelia said, trying to calm the champion.
"Besides... Shaco and Vladimir have left the league- among others..."
"Shaco and Vladimir left the day after the murders occured!" Annie said again, this time leaving the room in tears. Ashe, who had remained silent in the room all the while, left to go after Annie.
"So you're just using him as a scapegoat??? blame him for something he didn't do??? there is no justice in this!" Said Master Yi; the years have not been kind to him, as he immediately began coughing uncontrollably. He was chasing Singed in their last battle... how could the poison not have worn off?
"Every city-state demands justice for the deaths of their beloved champions; if the League cannot deliver, then Runeterra will collapse into all-out war." H.S. Phreak added.
And that was that. Countless days passed; Prisoner 666 would hear no more of the League, or of anything in Runeterra for that matter, for the countless moon rises that would pass. the guards would occasionally speak of war, and the League's apparent fall. but none of these mattered- when he was stripped of his powers, he slipped in and out of comas; there were days when the guards no longer bothered to feed him. He lost track of time; days became months, months became seasons, seasons became years. How many, it no longer mattered.
He began to feel the shadow of death descending upon him; his curse may have been lifted, but because of this, he became mortal again, and like any man, he feared death; Alone, in a dank, dark single cell. feelings of hatred, vengeance, bitterness... receded. Without power, only fear remained. he had become... weak.
Then, one day, as death virtually hovered outside his cell, Prisoner 666 heard a familiar sound- the chirping of a small bird- actually a mimicry- because the bird that entered through the complex vents effortlessly melted and reanimated within the cell.
Ashe's scout hawk...
it looked around the cell, and when it eyed the prisoner, it seemed to contentedly melt into a small pool of water. A few minutes later, the sound of battle outside roused the inmate's interest.
"We are under attack!" a cry went out, only to be followed by the roar of flames, and the stench of burning flesh.
"It's no use! they're all champions! AUGH!" the wind itself seemed to part to swift blade strikes. one cry of pain followed another in rapid succession.
Prisoner 666 sat up for the first time in what seems to be his life.
the door to his cell began to frost over; cold air seeped into his cell. he began to shiver, then instinctively shielded himself; two sword blows, delivered so swiftly as to seem as one, smashed through the door.
A black cloak and hood, white hair, icy bow, and a very large chest came into his vision. Ashe slapped the prisoner suddenly,
"Hey! up here!" she pointed to her face. the Prisoner complied and met her deep gray eyes. age had not dulled the cold, regal beauty of Ashe.
"By Wuju's blade, is that really him? did you make a mistake? this is just some Convict... a common criminal." Master Yi entered, curious as to the sight before him.
"We're breaking you out because it said here in the manifest you used to be a champion. Who are you?"
"Uh... ah... I don't..." He began, but his thoughts were murky, his memories gone.
"Never mind. Here, take these- Doran's blade and shield- you can at least use these, right?" Let's go!" Ashe pulled him out of his cell and back into the clang and clamor of the world. More guards approached, but her arrows caught them instantly in their hearts;
"Shot through the heart. that's cold, Ashe." an unfamiliar voice said. it was a young woman in blue robes; ocean blue and flowing, almost as though it was a robe of water.
"Illurien, see to our... friend here. He seems hurt." Ashe said, and the young blue girl quickly complied; water seemed to flow from her hands and then doused the Prisoner's head; his senses were clearing, but his thoughts were still a blur.
"Oh... sorry. I... I was a new champion back in the final days of the League..." she apologized, over-using her powers.
"League... the League has fallen?"
"Ah..." the girl began...
"It is a very long tale, my friend. we will tell you of it once we escape from this place. Hurry! enemies are quickly descending upon us! Annie, free the other prisoners!" Master Yi quickly points to the other cells; Annie Obliges by summoning her Nether Bear Tibbers, and having him tear the doors from their hinges. one by one, the prisoners are being released- some of them champions, some villains...
"Quickly. Heimerdinger's Airship cannot wait forever!" Master Yi leapt at guards incoming from the entrance, his sword cleanly severing limbs from bodies. Prisoner 666 almost grimaced at the violence; but he suddenly realized these guards were no longer quite human. vile purple blood flowed from major veins; they were still twitching even in death. One or two seemed to be sporting tentacles beneath their hoods... what has happened?
ACT I, SCENE ii - The Pact
The great flaming bear commanded by a now not so young-Annie obliterated wave upon wave of the inhuman guards; Prisoner 666 noticed the young red head. She had been a child in the League; he had seen her grow up, amassing fame and fortune for being a powerful champion. Now, she has grown into a young woman, fighting to help a nameless, escaped prisoner from a hell-hole in some changed, desolate world.
Combat seemed so foreign to the Prisoner after so long; his reactions were slow, his attacks weak, and his stamina questionable. he can defeat one guard, maybe two, but nowhere near the skill of a Champion... the other prisoners were not faring as well either. two had already fallen to poisoned arrows; a third, speared with a wicked trident. Ashe, Master Yi, Annie and Illurien all wondered if freeing these prisoners was worth it.
"Come to me." A voice suddenly resounded in The Prisoner's mind. he gasped out in pain, kneeling and clutching his head; it was as if the world were suddenly spinning.
"What? what's happened? were you injured?" Master Yi paused to aid his companion.
"Come to me! I await you here!" the voice said again, and visions of hallways of the prison rushed through his mind, leading to a secure armory.
"We...something just hit me bad. There's something in the armory... I think I need it." The Prisoner said, wondering if thought ever passed through his lips as words.
"The Armory? it's just a short sprint from here, crossing the courtyard... good idea. these guys might need better equipment. we don't know if any more of them are waiting outside." Ashe quickly surmised, loosing an arrow instinctively against another head that sprang from the corner. The guard was pinned the masonry before he could take another step, his viscous purple blood staining the wall.
They reached the courtyard, a bloody tangle of purple blood, maimed corpses, and broken arms and armor. The ground is scorched, and anything not of stone has either melted or been reduced to cinders... apparently Annie's power had grown over the years. The very ash on the ground seems to carry great sorrow. Towards the gate, they saw the large ovoid shape that was Heimerdinger's latest creation, one whose simplistic name was provided by an irritated Master Yi, "Air Ship." Its great rotary engines, six in all, created great gusts of wind and noise; how it could have possibly approached without alarming is beyond anyone's guess.
A ramp leading into the ship awaited its passengers; motion-sensitive turrets surrounded the ship's perimeter, denying all trespass. However, they were not leaving yet; Ashe animated an Hawk and whispered a short message in its ear;
"passing through the armory. BRT."
Suddenly, the ground began to tremble. The prisoners tried to maintain their balance; the champions grimaced and cursed.
"No, not now..."
From beneath the ground emerged a great and terrible beast, terrible to behold, to hear, and to smell. It roared mightily, quickly releasing bony spines which killed three prisoners instantly; a swipe of its giant, scythe-like claw disemboweled an unfortunate passer-by, and thoughtlessly ate a prisoner trembling in fear before it.
"Cho'gath...?" The Prisoner's first thought came to mind. The great serpentine creature looked around, plunged its claw into itself. From its swollen, translucent belly disgorged dozens of dog-sized creatures that resembled their massive transport; creatures of claws, fangs, tentacles and murderous, slimy intent.
"Voidlings!" shouted Ashe. she immediately nocked her her bow with seven arrows, firing a volley of arrows into the wave of creatures. Each one found a kill, but neither their numbers nor their strength dwindled. Master Yi was quickly surrounded, though the speed of his blade held them at bay... Annie and Tibbers waded into the thick of the melee, claiming scores of their own.
"Cascade!" shouted Illurien, and immediately she turned into a swift, narrow stream of water, striking with enough force to bludgeon the creatures. She instantly materialized by Master Yi's side, wielding water in a myriad of forms; as a flowing whip, a sharp blade and a crushing mace all at once.
Meanwhile, the Prisoner still lay on the ground, dazed and confused; while he was half-blind from getting ash in his eyes, he struggled to grip the reigns of his mind. Should he join this battle? reach the armory? or should he make a dash for the ship? none of them seemed achievable at this point.
The large tunneling creature continued to disgorge its passengers, though it began to pay heed to its surroundings yet again. One by one it toyed and slaughtered prisoners gripped in terror; when its face grinned with sadistic glee, it lay his eyes on a nearby champion... the archer was being careless. Whether by instinct, experience or simply sensing the vibrations in the ground, The Prisoner simply made a mad dash, every step a slow and agonizing struggle to reach Ashe.
The Prisoner used a simple push to move Ashe out of the way of several sharp spines that burst from the ground; Ashe needed only a split second to realize what had happened, and quickly froze the tendrils before they returned to the ground. Ashe seemed to mouth a curse, or a cry of sorrow, but the Prisoner's ears were deaf now- all his senses knew was pain.
Pain unlike anything before shot through the Prisoner; each tendril which had penetrated him sprouted a thousand more needle-like protrusions and released toxins into his body; the world nearly vanished, as there was only pain... everything began to slow down and fade in his vision. Master Yi's sword seemed to hang in the air motionless, and an arrow from Ashe stayed mid air. The world, in the Prisoners eyes, had stopped. his vision was transfixed upon the darkness of the hallway leading to the armory. He started to hear footsteps. heavy, dull metal ringing upon stone. Emerging from the shadows, a large figure, clad in gray plate armor and a flowing black cloak engulfed all his senses- upon his shoulder rested a two-handed spiked mace. This is too familiar... he thought.
Hateful red eyes, and a breathe cold as night gazed down upon the dying Prisoner, lifeblood abandoning him to death or worse. An armored hand reached down to clutch the man's throat, bringing his mortal eyes to meet the armored one's.
"Pathetic. After being powerful for so long, you still end up dead, doing something stupid, as nobody." It spoke in a voice that seemed to come from the Prisoner's own psyche; a voice that sprang from sorrow and misery.
"Who... who are you?" He tried to mouth, but his voice was lost.
"I am the Shadow within. I am the tears of your loved ones, the blood of your enemies. I am your power, nearly lost because your mortal weaknesses surfaced once, undoing our Pact." the voice intensified, and memories of painful events began to overwhelm the broken man.
"My... my power... who... who am I then?"
"Your name... your name caused thousands to shed tears, and tens of thousands, blood. Your name was underestimated, scorned - yet ultimately feared; Yours are the dominions of of Metal and Death, and no other claims such mastery."
"Hurry. you are about to be severed from this mortal shell; Invoke thy name, Renew the Pact."
"Mordekaiser." The name was seared onto his mind, his soul.
A conflux of power centered on the dying form of the man; the blood of the fallen enemies flowed, and arranged themselves to form a mystic circle beneath him. All around, the twisted metal of the battlefield- stained with the blood of countless innocents- liquefied, and flowed towards the circle, as would lifeblood returning to the heart. Magic served as Anvil and flame; memory, the smith's hammer. The metal reshaped itself into layered plates, welding itself onto the body as though a choreographed dance- each one knowing its place. The blood circle vaporized, and welded shut the metal, leaving no weakness in the armor. Finally, the metal kissed his face, and surrounded his head; his mortal senses were replaced with a single one - a vast darkness, lit by pinpricks of light known to most as souls.
Master Yi was tiring. Each blow he dealt was practiced and effortless, but the battle itself seemed to drain him. Suddenly, in the flash of a blade-stroke, he eyed the figure a stone's throw away. The Prisoner he had thought slain saving Ashe was gone- instead, there stood the Master of Metal, forging his weapon from the twisted remains of his enemies.
The great creature, Cho'gath and yet not, roared angrily at this new enemy. From beneath his carapace he released a volley of armor penetrating spines- deflected with a single forearm. He brought low his scything claw, only to have it painfully broken upon solid iron. In its blind fury, it dove mouth first to swallow the upstart whole; the Iron man did not even flich.
It closed its massive maw around him, and happily swallowed, not minding the taste of metal. Its victory is fallacy, though; a tempest of iron shrapnel rose up within his throat, reducing flesh and carapace to purple pus and liquid. The iron man landed with a heavy thud, having brought the beast low, its head now beneath those it sought to slay. It opened its maw in an attempt to roar, but could not do so in the absence of a windpipe. With practiced movement, Mordekaiser lifted his mace up- now crackling with entropic energy - and brought it upon the creature's skull, instantly scattering bone and brain matter. The voidlings went feral without their master to guide them, and turned upon one another. Others simply wandered off.
Ashe got back up, and seeing their victory today, allowed herself a smirk and a sigh of relief. She went to recover what arrows were not broken. Master Yi was tempted to lean on his sword; Illurien came to his aid, offering the waters of healing, easing his pain.
Annie came over beside Mordekaiser. She snapped her leather-gloved fingers, and a conflagration engulfed the behemoth's corpse- it reduced the vile thing to a crisp... then to cinders, then to ash to be scattered to the wind. She did not look at the man beside her; his presence alone was already a familiar thing.
"Stupid idiot... why'd you have to take so long to come back..." She muttered in a frustrated breathe, holding back heavy tears. She felt a heavy metal hand on her head. Ashe smiled at the sight. She assisted Master Yi to the airship, and beckoned them to follow. she would have her moments with him later.
ACT I scene iii - History Revealed
Notes: sigh... not a lot of buzz. If I don't get more views, I'll just cap this on ACT I. scene iii is dialogue, emotes, and back story, so not so much action as in the previous two. Perhaps this post-apocalyptic fiction is too droll? anyway, bit by bit, the world of Runeterra after the League is unveiled.
Several buzzing, flying machines followed the revered inventor, Heimerdinger. They released steam, small cogs, and oil everywhere, even as they perform tasks set by their creator. Tasks which include waving questionable 'scientific' devices at the released Prisoners, and writing down whatever data they gathered of them. "Hmmm. how very disappointing! None of these ne'er do-wells register as champions! As I said, this was a complete waste of time!" he said bluntly, shooting a quick glance at the injured champions and surviving prisoners.
"The ship is a bit short on hands, Scientific One." Master Yi suggested, though Heimer would quickly protest. "What? NO! absolutely NEGATORY! I will not have such lower intelligences tinkering with my greatest invention ever! HMPH!" he paced back and forth in impatience, muttering to himself over the waste of time and resources for this.
"Could you at least ask them what they do? maybe they can lend a hand in other parts of the ship." Ashe said, tending her wounds with an ice arrow tip.
"Very well. You! who are you and what do you do?" He pointed a finger at the closest Prisoner, a scrawny little man with disheveled hair. "I'm a physician from Za- Demacia, sir. I was a political prisoner, opposing the war..." Heimerdinger gasped with relief "A doctor? not some healer who works with weeds and superstition but with biology and diagnosis? why didn't you say so! welcome, welcome! Illurien, child, lead the good Demacian doctor to our Infirmary. His talent will be of great use." the young blonde water sorceress complied, politely guiding the doctor through the ship.
"And you?" He raised a brow to the next prisoner. "Ah... I'm just an entertainer, Mr.Heimerdinger... satire of the state leaders." he smiled weakly; he was even skinnier and weak looking than the doctor. "Hmm... entertainment, I suppose the common crewman could use uncultured entertainment like yours. Welcome then."
Annie, impatient as always, pushed forward and imposed herself. "Ah... Heim, we DID recover a champion. tall, dark and terrible Mordekaiser." Heimer took a step backward, recognizing the assault machine before him. "Hmm, ah, yes... good, good... well, I must be off. I must speak with those hooligan Yipsnakes over our next destination." With that, he was off.
"So... who will Mordekaiser be bunking with?" Master Yi asked dryly, noticing the two girls stopping in their tracks. "He can't take the Megling commandos' room, he'd crush the bunks... and Illurien already occupies my suite's guest room." he smiled, slightly. Coolly, Ashe turned to face the juggernaut, "You're welcome to stay with me if you'd like." she said with an added smile, and confidently walked on. Annie still didn't say anything; her face was red. "WHAT? You... you can't stay in a girl's room! That's just wrong!" she blurted out, catching the attention of a few of the Yordle crew. "Why not? It's not like we'll be in the same room..." Ashe teased Annie.
"I jest... I will ask Illurien to stay with Ashe. I will be more than glad to entertain our friend. Besides, I am the only one who possesses an armory that can house the massive suit." Master Yi finished, slightly laughing to himself. On que, he quickly evaded a bolt of fire aimed at his head. Annie stormed off, flustered and embarassed.
The halls of the Airship were designed rather hurriedly, as human and Yordle ergonomics vastly differed. At least the main hallways could accomodate the massive bulk of iron; though some rooms intended to be of general use were a bit... cramped.
Master Yi's suite onboard the ship is lavished with a wooden interior, with martial tapestries adorning the walls and potted plants by the windows. traditional lamps provided light, and the smell of sandalwood incense made the room slightly pleasant. As is customary of Yi's people, he welcomed Mordekaiser to sit on the floor... which was already buckling under the weight of his armor. "Er... would you like to remove your armor first?" he asked, his eyes on the splintering floor joists.
Remove the armor... Mordekaiser could hardly remember a time back in the League when he could. the curse that bound him then robbed him of his flesh, leaving only a soul trapped inside an iron sarcophagus. But now, something has changed; the power seemed to wax and wane. He could no longer feel the power of the armor tugging at his soul- what had happened to it? He could also feel the weight of the suit wearing him down physically... he's never noticed how heavy it was before. With an eldritch phrase, the armor completely parted in front to let the man out. It was a relief; but the scarring on his body was simply too much. some of the injuries he took in the earlier battle still stung. He took the robes he was offered, and wore them.
Master Yi poured traditional Ionian blue tea for them, the smell calming. Master Yi... he had been with the League since its beginning, and back then he was already middle aged. Though this is the first time he saw the man behind the mask, he could see the lines and gray hairs of advancing years.
"Well... so there is a man beneath the metal." he began, offering the glass to his new companion. "Many held belief for a long time you were simply a malevolent creature, undead or spirit..." He suddenly turned off from the topic, knowing how rude it must be. "How are your wounds? You took blows that should have killed lesser men and even champions." He said, making an observation of the scarring on Mordekaiser arm.
"I'm fine." nothing else seemed approprate a response. "Yi... this world has changed. I suppose, seeing you're still alive, you know all there is?" "Only what has happened before my eyes, friend." was his response. "What has happened? Why is the League no more? where are the others? Where are we going? what is your mission? those guards at the prison..." Curiosity gave way to many questions, though Yi raised his hand begging patience.
"One at a time, dark one. we will need several pots of tea to fully discuss the state of the world. I suggest you ask each one of us but one question a day, and in time, you will learn for yourself more than words can every say."
"So, to answer one question, what has happened to the League itself- the fate of its champions a tale for another time."
"After your.. trial... things in the League worsened. they could not address the dysfunction of the death inhibitors. A few more battles took place, and the newer champions were being killed on the field- as well as the summoners who commanded them... to the delight of some of the more malevolent among us." Yi took a sip, as though the thought left a bitter taste in his mouth.
"Did you kill any champion, Yi?"
"Yes... and yet, no. we are addressing the fall of the League my friend, not my past demons."
"Eventually the League was disbanded, and a global war, as we feared, broke out. No more restrictions- Noxus unleashed its full horrors upon the world, bringing ruination to the land. And then *It* happened."
"The invasion. weakened by war, the nations could not resist as Cho'gath tore open the void itself and spilled horrors that made Noxus seem pacifist. he feasted upon the magic and the dead, growing physically and magically powerful." There was a long silence, as such events seemed unreal, and difficult to take in.
"You must tire of this talk." He placed his empty cup on the low table. He begins to cough and spasm violently; blue tea and viscous blood begin to pour from his covered mouth.
"Yi!" Mord stood up suddenly, but Yi waved him away.
"Call... [cough, cough] Illurien... get my medicine... from infirmary." Yi retrieved a small vial from a nearby shelf and drank it in one swallow. He sat down gasping for breath. His companion left immediately.
Mordekaiser opened the door, and entered the hallway; but as he closed the door, he found himself a world away. the narrow, well-lit hall had been replaced by an endless, desolate expanse and a sky tinged with crimson and brimstone. All over were the remains of a hundred battles, the weapons and armor of the unburied dead. the very ground beneath him was skulls and bones rather than dirt.
Tartarus... he did not know why his senses shifted to this plane of existence, but he did not need them to know a terrible presence stood behind him. He turned around, and immediately was lifted of the ground by an armored hand; he was being gripped by his throat by the very armor he was supposed to be wielding. the armor spoke in his own voice, but deeper, and another malefic presence behind it.
"What are you doing?" the Armor of Hatred asked of its owner and slave. "I could ask you the same thing... I'm trying to save Yi." he gasped, knowing he did not need to speak clearly for this thing to understand him.
"Yi is weakened to the point of death. You should enslave him now."
"Why??? If I did that, it would be permanent!"
"So? was it not our original contract that we would enslave all the champions?"
"The old contract was void! I was removed from the League, against my will!"
"That does not matter... it seems you've recovered some of your humanity... Very well. Apparently there is no pushing you for now. But remember, continue on this path, and I will consider leaving."
"That's a lie, and we both know it. You need me, a lot more than I do you!" He gathered the strength to raise a hand against his armor; he closed his eyes and pushed as hard he could... but rather than gripping the cold steel of armor, he felt something soft. He opened his eyes, and his senses had returned to the ship. In his hand was the chest of a rather dumbfounded Illurien. "Ah.. what... why..." she couldn't say anything appropriate at this point. In this awkward situation, the man began apologizing vehemently.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING???" A very angry Annie shouted from behind, connecting her fist to his Jaw, sending him backwards, crashing into the wall.
"YOU PERVERTED FREAK! YOU WERE SPACING OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HALLWAY, SHE WAS CONCERN AND SUDDENLY YOU GO GRAB HER! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU???" Annie was on fire now; her first was summoning an orb of fire. "It's Yi... he's having an attack." He mouthed desperately to save himself. It was then Illurien gasped, and hurriedly entered Yi's suite. "There's a fresh batch of medicine down in the infirmary. Annie, Morde, please go!" were her parting words.
They ran as fast as they could down into the infirmary, pushing aside men and yordle alike. The political writer was emerging from the infirmary, greeted the champions, and had the wind knocked out of him. Annie hurriedly scanned the room, and eyed a rack of vials on Illurien's alchemy station; she quickly left with them, with Mordekaiser following suit. Something caught his ear, however.
"Help..." moaned someone from behind the curtain. Mordekaiser quickly investigated, and saw the Demacian doctor-prisoner lying face first on the ground in a pool of his own blood. There was a pantry knife in his back; it was remarkable he was still alive.
"What on earth is happening here..." Quickly he removed the knife, cleaned the wound, and spoke to the doctor. "Who did this?" the doctor took a moment to answer. "Please... My medical kit... in the drawer... I'll be fine, but I never saw his face. He took the canister being kept in the storage." Wait. That writer that emerged just now. He had an unusually large amount of metal on him- even more than the engineering crew. Hastily he scanned the hallway.
"Hey you!" He shouted at the man, who was about to turn a corner. The man stopped. He took his time to answer.
"...Yeeeeeeeeeeees?" the writer replied, without facing Mordekaiser. He marched over to the writer, the steel walls peeling back and breaking into bits at his passing, forming into a wicked ball of twisting metal in his hand. Without hesitation, he released the metal into a cloud of shrapnel in front of him; the pieces buried themselves in the walls, windows and the writer's back. It seemed, for an instant, the writer was dead. Could I have been mistaken? Mordekaiser thought. he blinked twice, and the slain body turned into a torn blanket. No, he wasn't.
"Once again... the joke's on you!" Shaco's unmistakable laughter betrayed his deception, and Mordekaiser twisted himself in the nick of time to dodge the calculated blow aimed for his heart.
"You were always one of the clever ones, not like those other muscle-bound fools who chased me into their deaths!" this seemingly ordinary man was without a doubt the demon jester; outside the league he had a fine career of impersonation-assassinations, but his twisted smile, and his evil eyes gave him away to those who knew.
"Why are you here, Jester?" Mordekaiser asked, the shrapnel promptly removing themselves, creating a death cloud around their master.
"Well now, wouldn't you like to know... Perhaps I'm here to join this merry band of heroes to rid the world of the blight that is the Void!" He said, applying sacrasm like icing on cake. "Oh... and what's in it for you?" Mordekaiser asked, knowing this conversation would lead nowhere. he slowly advanced, knowing the cloud would injure the Jester regardless of his tricks. Shaco stepped backwards, with both hands behind him.
"Oh, but its the right thing to do isn't it? to help our fellow man... perhaps a girl would fall for me. I've had my eye on Ashe... you don't mind, do you? you have two other girls fawning over you." he threw knives into the cloud. they both knew it wouldn't work; the knives simply rippled and twisted in the cloud, becoming shrapnel. "I'll be to Tartarus and back before I let you do as you please. We still have the unresolved issue of me going to prison for 8 long years!" he threw the knives back, but Shaco vanished from sight as the steel was about to kiss his cheeks.
"Believe me, brother. Us hiding out in that hole was a vacation compared to what happened to everyone else... But for now, I'll be having some fun in this mad new world of ours!" Shaco's laughter rang throughout the hallway. Heimerdinger arrived to investigate the commotion, and shrieked at the sight before him. "You brute! what have you done to my beautiful hallway! I knew bringing a ferro-kinetic entity onboard would be a disaster! Explain yourself!" He poked Mordekaiser furiously, not noticing the cloud of shrapnel flying around him.
"Shaco... is onboard." He said plainly. Heimerdinger gasped, and irritation became worry. "Oh dear, oh my... the demon jester... ehrm, what is he doing here? I have to improve ship security now... Extra precautions must be taken... I have to build a detector turret..." Heimer's face clearly expressed his fear of the Jester.
"I don't think he plans on staying. He got what he wanted, but I don't know how he'll get off the Ship." The shrapnel reshaped themselves again, fitting seamlessly back into the wall where they came from. "Oh dear, but I do..." Heimer said, turning pale after seeing something he saw outside the window.
The sound crystals, which transmitted messages throughout the ship, echoed with a female crew member's voice. "Attention: Nightfall is coming. the Airship will now land and deploy according to evening protocol." the message repeated two more times. "Night-time... protocol?" Morde looked at Heimerdinger, and his answer was prompt.
"We have a slight issue when the sun goes down in this part of the continent." The sound crystals activated again, this time the sound of male crew members in a rush. "Professor, we've located the Demon Jester! he doesn't seem to be resisting! we're siezing him now!"
"No you fools!" Mordekaiser shouted, though unsure if the crystals could also transmit.
"AAAAAUGH!" the sick, familiar sound of an exploding hallucination fills the ship, followed by the cries of pain of several crew members.
"Well my good friends, it's been fun!" Shaco's voice dominated the ship; apparently he had come into possession of a speaking stone. The Airship had already landed, and outside, in the light of dusk, they saw a runner sprinting into the jungle. He made an obscene hand gesture as he finally faded from sight.
"With Ashe's scout, we'll be able to follow him." Mordekaiser started, heading for his room.
"No... as I said, night brings about a very startling concern." Heimerdinger said firmly, unusually serious enough to make the dark one take heed.
ACT 1 scene iv - For we bask in the twilight of our pasts
All the champions convened in the war room; a reinforced circular chamber located near the bridge with a large divination pool in the middle. Illurien used her divination to sense the perimeter outside the ship. Master Yi was present, and was in a fit condition. Annie and Ashe had changed into their battle dresses. Mordekaiser was still wearing Ionian robes, a sight a bit unusal to them.
Mordekaiser moved to the bridge; the large viewing windows were being shielded by bulkheads of adamantine- a very impressive, and expensive defense. At the helm of the ship, Corki was issuing orders in ship-jargon to the crew. "Oh, hello there, ensign. We're bunking down for the evening... no one is authorised to leave the ship until sunrise."
"Explain to me why we are preparing to defend ourselves... and from what." he asked, scanning the horizon. "Well, with any luck, we won't be encountering hostiles tonight, and everyone can grab some shut-eye..." Corki said matter-of-factly. "Hostiles?" He was definitely curious now.
"You will wish you won't know. But really, you metallic abomination, go and make battle preparations!" Heimerdinger pulled him out of the bridge; Mordekaiser saw some things in the night sky, just as the bulkheads closed. Lots of some things.
The Iron sepulcher stood there in the armory, ominous and silent. Hesitantly he approached, and the armor resonated with his soul; it would accept him, for now. The armor opened up, like a terrible maw ready to devour its occupant. He could feel the minute hooked chains digging into his skin, the cold metal enclosing him more than just physically... He shouldered his weapon, and headed to the war room.
"A patrol of terror-wings is passing us overhead, but they will not notice us..." Illurien's eyes were aglow with her power; in the water was a gray-and-white vision of the sky, filled with winged monstrosities; each one much, much larger than a voidling. They filled the night with a sonorous drone, a sound that seemed to make the crew want to sleep. They were searching for prey. The human and Yordle crew outside were huddled, and quiet, pistols, handcannons, bayonets and cutlasses on hand. they gasped slightly as the lights began to blink. They listened intently to Illurien's divination.
After a long while. "The patrol has passed." she said, sighing in relief. everyone had similar reactions. Ashe was already beginning to doze off on the couch; Annie apparently asleep on her lap. Fire and ice... but good friends. An hour passed. then four more. the time-telling machine Heimer created was marked at 2.A.M. Everyone was sleeping; even Yi had fallen asleep while meditating in lotus position. Illurien maintained a vigil, and She had company.
"So... I assume these things come out only at night?" Mordekaiser asked, his tall, dark stature dominating even in shadow.
"Correct." she said, keeping her focus on the pool. "And... they kill anything they come across?" Mordekaiser wanted to learn of this new enemy, and develop counter-measures.
"No, actually they've been instructed to capture. They grab anyone walking outside at dark; they don't bother normal people who completely barricade. still, there have been incidents... holing up is just the safest measure for now." She said, unblinking for the last five hours.
"Captured. where do they take them?" Interesting.
"To Cho'gath, I guess." She said, with a sigh after. One question at a time, Yi had said. asking any more wouldn't really be much help right now.
"Uh-oh. Stalkers." the divination pool once again lit up, this time on the ground; great four legged beasts, twice the size of a voidling and very much more heavily muscled, were roaming in a large pack- they too produced that droning sound that seemed to search out sleepy prey. Yi awoke to the sound; Annie found herself drooling on and embracing Ashe's chest, much to the now awakened Frejlordian's chagrin. Yi looked at them with a smirk. They shot back with an arrow above his head.
"They're a fair distance away from us. I think they'll also go by without noticing us." the pack ran closer and closer to the Ship, their path taking them dangerously near. "I think... we're safe." Illurien dared to say. As though he heard her say it, something unusual registered in the pool's sight, something a dagger-throw away from the Pack.
"What... is that? some kind of box?" Illurien asked, curious herself.
"Prepare to be boarded!" Mordekaiser shouted instinctively to the crew outside.
* * *
The brush stung Shaco's exposed face and skin as he ran, leaped, flipped, tumbled, somersaulted and skipped through the dead forest. He smiled to himself; it was one of the easier times he's had escaping. Oh darn it, this thing is really heavy, he thought to himself, referring to the rune covered metal canister strapped to his back. Several void creatures were running in his general direction, and he was not amused.
"Boxes of joy oh joy!" With an arcane phrase He conjured two boxes from the pocket dimension where he kept many tools of his trade, and threw them behind him; he then clambered up a tree, waited and watched. BOOM! the creatures that stopped to inspect the objects were awash in virulent toxins; in a few seconds, they were paralyzed; heavily breathing, their eyes found their prey turned predator. Shaco took out his knife and smacked his lips, coming down to the ground. "Fun, fun, FUN!" He took his time to inflict sadistic torture upon the creatures; he soon found himself frustrated, as these beasts did not know fear, nor pain- all they knew was their obedience to their master, and blind fury.
"Hnnn! NO FUN!" Shaco cried out, finishing his work quickly. I wonder if they really do take captives to feed Cho'gath... that would be really funny to watch! He laughed to himself again. Focus, Shaco... they promised lots of gold for this heavy old thing. Better finish this now and have fun later.
"March, march, march!" he chanted to no one in particular. He ran through the dead forest, to the designated place where he would meet with those funny people with weird looking swords dressed in black pajamas. Seriously, they have no fashion sense!
* * *
"The cargo hold is lost!" the Yordles were in tears; they saw their friends being taken alive. More of the beasts entered to hound the crew; the dozens of creatures lying dead on the cargo hold doing nothing to impede their rampage. In these close quarters, Mordekaiser swapped out his mace for punching daggers formed from his armor. A Stalker leaped at him with intent to bite off his arm, only to have his jaws captured by armored hands. With raw violence, He snapped the jaws wide open, breaking the thing's skull and tossing its corpse aside. More were coming, and Morde ushered the last of the crew members to safety. Heimerdinger threw his whole belt of primed Hex-tech grenades into the Cargo hold, before sealing the doors shut.
"Terror-wings have returned! they're melting through the engines! We're going to crash!" Illurien's harried voice carried over the sound crystals, followed by a dozen other dire reports on the doomed state of the ship.
"We're getting fires in the engine room..." "This is Corki! the adamantine bulkheads are being broken off at the joints!" A report from the bridge. "Bunkers 1 and 3 have been breached. No survivors." Another report, from the personnel chambers.
"Stalkers are breaking the bulk heads!" How did all this happen so fast... Mordekaiser looked at the crew, seeing suffering on every face. Ashe was quickly counting off her remaining arrows, while Annie was incredibly fazed; the Stalkers spewed viscous spittle all over each other. the spittle proved a highly fire ******ant substance.
"The stalkers have already adapted to Annie's power- that's the scariest thing about them. Once they encounter an enemy, and with even a single survivor, the next generation evolves... to counter us." Ashe explained, gasping for breathe. A poisoned spine had lodged itself in her leg, while a claw swiped her forehead, making her periodically clear the blood from her eyes.
"Small wonder you were using normal arrows." Morde answered. "There's no slowing them down. Only Yi's blade style proves unadaptable to- but he's only one man." Heimerdinger said, repairing a pistol from an incapacitated crew member. "I will fight to the end, regardless." Yi resolved, gripping his sword just a little harder. The claw swipes on his arm made him tremble, though. "They will not give us the honor, Bladesman." Mordekaiser concluded, seeing the tenacity of those creatures.
"Indeed... We must-" Yi's words trailed off, and the massive force of the thick skulled stalkers striking the door fell silent. The world grayed. Time slowed again, and Mordekasier saw his Shadow move from beneath him. The Armor of Hate spoke to him. "This situation is to our disadvantage."
"What?" His shock was unhidden. He instinctively knew what would happen in the next few moments. He would be saved...
"We... We cannot be captured!" The armor spoke, as it does when afraid.
"NO! don't do this! not now!" his pleas unheard, the Armor of Hate buried an iron spike into Mordekaiser's heart. he collapsed, his companions rushing to his aid. As he lay on the floor, nearly dead, His last visions were of the crew and Champions being taken. Illurien was the last, her eyes filled with tears. she reached out to grasp Mordekaiser's dead form with healing waters, but to no avail.
And then, The memories of a life lost to the dark warrior flashed before his eyes.
* * *
Writers warning: this next one will be wtfiswrongwitchubro-wrong. skip it if you don't want to get sick.
"Sieg! The graduation ceremony is about to begin!" A honeyed, youthful female voice said, gasping as she ran over to the young man. The 18 year old known as Sieg was a lanky, handsome young man who's been friend and lover to the girl for over a year now. They both wore the flowing black robes and red scarves of apprentice mages; she couldn't help but smile as he turned his handsome face and long hair to face her. Scribbles, the fairly large dog assigned to their care at this camp, barked happily and ran around his two human friends.
"Ah… Lisa. I wanted to give this to you." He held out his hand, and in it was a metallic flower, a delicately sculpted object of affection. She flipped her cheek level blonde hair back, and her smile broadened, as she asked, "And what is this? Did they teach you this at camp?" she eagerly took the gift. She appreciated more than the thought, as this was obviously a very intricate work of art and diligence. "No, I just… used a few junk metal spoons to make it."
"But Sieg… this must've taken hours! When did you find the time?" She asked, inspecting the flower further. It was completely unblemished by fire or the blows of a chisel. "Hehe… can you keep a secret? I have this ability with metal..." He explained further about his ferro-kinetic ability.
"So I've been able to do a little this and that, but I can't work with big pieces." She put the flower in her pocket, making a mental note to keep this beautiful memento. "Hey! We still have a graduation ceremony! And afterwards, you'll be talking to my mother about… you know. If you think about ditching, I'll find you and kill you!" She said with a serious face; the next second she was giggling again.
"Ah yes… that…" This was a very unusual camp indeed. Young aspiring mages from all over the country were brought to a government training center where they were taking care of dogs for the last three months, while learning incantations they didn't really understand, nor bothered to research. Each pair was assigned a cottage, and one thing led to another, and now Sieg was going to have to explain to Lisa's mother why her only daughter was pregnant.
So they proceeded into the forest clearing was taking place; the Pairs were waiting with their dogs, their parents attending the event. Sieg eyed Lisa and her mother, and with hesitation he walked over to them. Lisa's mother was hiding an imminent explosion of blind fury with a mother's smile."Hello Sieg… Lisa told me something very interesting just now. She also told me you wanted to ask me something very important."
"Ah yes… Ma'am, I'd like to formally ask you for Lisa's hand…" he began, when one of the faculty came over. "Apprentices, it's time." She said, placing an unusual collar on Scribbles the dog. They took their places next to Jack and Rose, an older couple who were nonetheless very good friends to Sieg and Lisa. "Well, it's proving time Sieg! I got Cookie and Fido a lot fatter than Scribbles, so we should be ahead!" Jack joked, pointing to their much more voluptuous canine. "I don't think it's about getting your dog fat, Jack… and I doubt this is a contest."
"Well students, it's been a comfortable three months of light study and fun…" a cheer erupted as the camp master wizard spoke. "And now everything you've learned you will put to the test. Councilors, if you will…"
The students made room as faculty members went around to each pair. Sieg and Lisa were the first pair. "Scribbles, huh…" the councilor started, putting his hand on some mechanism on the collar. "Sorry boy." He pulled something with a large amount of force, and in the next moment this happy camp would go all to hell. Scribbles collapsed to the ground, unmoving; a wire in the collar instantly slit the canine's throat, spilling an obscene amount of blood onto the engraving in the ground. The blood pooled into magic circles, and for the first time, the apprentices suddenly understood the terrible truth of what they were being taught.
Lisa gasped in unbridled shock, staring at Scribble's dead form. Sieg, in his anger, grabbed the councilor by the collar. "What the hell are you doing man?" He said with fury, but as he was about to strike the man in the face, a very strong thrust from a baton struck the apprentice in the gut, bringing him to the ground. All around, the other pairs were crying out in horror as their dogs were being systematically killed.
"LISTEN WELL APPRENTICES! In the next three minutes, you will use the spells you've learned to reanimate your dogs… and kill your partners. Failure to comply will result in the termination of your family members present here." The camp master explained with cold callousness.
"What is this… Has everyone suddenly gone crazy?!" Sieg asked, when he realized the situation he was in. The other pairs were taking care of two dogs, but seeing he didn't have a family member in attendance, they were assigned only one. Which means Lisa is being forced to choose between her single mother and him. Sieg looked at the horrific sight nearby, as Jack reanimated Cookie and Fido, and had them chase down and kill Rose. He was grinning and crying at the same time; both his parents were there.
"Jack, what the hell!" He exclaimed, to no avail. He could not bear to look over at the guardians in attendance; Rose's father was attending, and his voice carried over to Sieg's ear as familial. Jack was only interested in saving himself. "Hehehe... so what if that promiscuous little girl dies... it looks like I won't be lonely in my line of work." He eyed Lisa, who was kneeling beside Scribbles.
"Lisa… save yourself… do not let your mother get killed." He warned Lisa, but he was instantly consumed by sadness as she was already leaning over Scribbles and invoking the reanimation curse. Scribbles rose up from death, a feral mindless monster under Lisa's command. Blood was still oozing from the dog's throat.
"I'm… I'm sorry it had to come to this Sieg." She mouthed a sincere apology through her tears; Sieg resigned himself to death, knowing living with that curse was a fate much worse. He closed his eyes, but the slashing teeth did not come. Sieg dared to open his eyes, and saw Scribbles mauling his killer. The faculty member could not mouth a defensive spell in time. Unfortunately, several of the fellow apprentices surrounded Lisa, their own pets hungering for the flesh of the living.
"LISAAAAAAA!" he shouted, reaching out in futility. Lisa was instantly brought down, torn to pieces before Sieg. No, this can't be happening… this can't… Lisa's eyes were still crying as her innards were being violated by the undead. It's over… Lisa's dead, her mother meeting the same fate… what a horrible way to end this life… if at least he didn't have to see Lisa die…
Time slowed down, the world grayed and silenced. The horrible chewing and grinding sounds went away, and Sieg found himself standing up. He went over to Lisa's form, and embraced her spirit; his sorrow was so deep as to numb his heart forever. Then he felt a presence nearby. It was heavy and metal, yet also evanescent and otherworldly.
"Boy. You do not want this, do you?" it asked, reading the boy's heart and mind as to require no answer.
"In the next few moments, you will die. Lisa's death will go unanswered. This massacre will be buried. But that need not be." Sieg turned slightly to face the shadowy presence. He mouthed something, but no words would pass his lips.
"I am here to change your life. All I need is your consent." Sieg said nothing. Knowledge, hidden and imprinted in the depths of his soul, reached out for the presence. The world came back to hellish normality, and time flowed again. The hounds leaped for his throat, but spiked chains shot out of the earth to ensnare the undead; the chains crushed every bone and sundered every undead muscle, rendering them useless.
From the center of the gathering, a massive weapon, a two-handed war mace, covered in spiked chains and broken sealing scrolls, burst forth from the granite flooring. It had a malevolent power that paled the undead hounds here; but it was a power to be controlled. Sieg, the small man, gripped the Mace, and with an otherworldly strength, lifted it up. At that moment, the weapon bound itself to Sieg.
"Your name henceforth shall be Mordekaiser, King of death. Let them know your wrath." The presence said, urging on the burning vengeance in him. The other undead hounds wailed and keened; they had a new master now. None of the Necromancers who inflicted this on him would survive.
Act I scene v - The madman of Zaun
Everything was cold now, and quiet. The horror of reality gave way to a darker nightmare, and all of it exacted a weighty toll on what remained of the dark warrior's soul. Cold metal upon his skin, and cold beating rain were what greeted him as he awoke.
He opened his eyes, and saw that the skies wept, slowly and rythmically, as though mourning the loss of so many things. He noticed he was breathing again, alive, thanks to the armor's powers of protecting its wearer... at any cost. He attempted to lift himself up, but found everything to be so heavy. The armor's power had waned to a critically low point saving Mordekaiser. The armor's full weight bore down on him, while the slick mud held him fast, making physical movement unbelievably difficult.
Those beasts could not bring me down, but an armor seeped with mud is keeping me on my back, he thought, affording some amusement in this endless misery.
A small creature suddenly fell on Mordekaiser's face. It was one of the race of Yordle, dressed in scout ranger's attire. The small, furry face peered into a dark helmet. "Teemo?" he was very surprised to see the strange scout master, of all beings. He was said to have been confined to asylum after assassinating several of the new champions, after he was incarcerated himself. Mordekaiser saw Teemo now sported a shovel than has seen many days of a whetstone's care. He suddenly felt his hand reaching for a weapon. Any weapon.
"Oh! hello there! Are you in trouble sir? fear not! Captain Teemo is on duty!" He stood at attention, took out his shovel (a spade in human hands) and starting humming the scout's tune while digging him out of the mud... which will take a while. Teemo did not answer any questions, nor did he seem to even recognize him.
Mordekaiser had little choice but to wait it out. Raining, the surrounding area shrouded in mist... several black figures began emerging from the fog. There was no mistaking them- Demacian soldiers, corrupted in flesh and soul, still flying the blue and yellow banners of their homeland, but now seeking blood to spill. Slowly they approached the oblivious Teemo, hissing and growling like the beasts of the void they were. Their weapons hung free, eager for use.
"Teemo...Captain..." he worriedly asked; Teemo simply kept on digging.
"Don't worry. You'll be out in a jiffy!" the little one assured him; he tried to get up, but still nothing. The closest foe was already about eight feet away... when in a flash of purple light, the creature exploded, sending purple matter all around.
A mysterious warrior appeared above Mordekaiser, having materialized from the shadows before his eyes. He was more heavily robed now than when he was a champion; his whole body was concealed now, and the dark azure cloak carried
mysterious sigils. His mask, the antediluvian artifact known as the Face of the Deep One, had brilliant yellow eyes that seemed to see through his soul. Every word he said seemed to carry a dark echo from a terrible place.
"Mordekaiser..." Kassadin began, launching an orb of void energy at another close-by foe, causing the creature to partially implode. A lump of flesh and a pool of blood were all that remained of it.
"Evelyn took your disappearance very hard, just so you'd know." He finished, vanishing and reappearing several feet away, detonating another of the creatures. From his arm a blade materialized from thin air, a thrum of void energy. Kassadin swung it against a charging enemy, instantly slicing through armor and flesh, from knave to chop with disturbing ease.
Five more attempted to catch him, but Kassadin instantly teleported behind the confused group opponents. With a single arcane word, a wave of negative energy erupted from his hand, striking the hapless targets, causing them to implode with a sickening popping sound. Seeing the Void Walker made the rest retreat.
"Alrighty! mission accomplished!" Teemo said, having swiftly scraped away the heavy mud keeping Mordekaiser down.
"My thanks, Void walker..." Mordekaiser made a few more quiet gestures. Kassadin extended his hand, helping the downed warrior to his feet.
They find themselves in an abandoned Zaun guard post, a small scouting tower which provided meager shelter. Teemo swiftly set up a fire and a kettle of stew... which contained several creatures no longer identifiable. He gave one bowl to each of his companions. Kassadin nodded thanks, as he slowly removed the pieces of Mordekaiser's armor with his blade.
The Demacian doctor, who strangely survived, had accompanied Kassadin, and now inspected and dressed Mordekaiser's wounds. Apparently, the armor inflicts far greater harm than its owner's enemies ever could.
"Okie dokie! The camp is set up and the perimeter is secure! You three start the camp activities while I gather more firewood. hut two three four..." With that, Teemo marched out into the rain.
"I knew your blade was a powerful weapon, but to think it simply dissolves metal on contact... You should have been a deadly champion." Mordekaiser commented, flinching as the armor was removed this way. The pieces literally hook themselves painfully beneath the skin, and it took all the doctor's skill to extract the problematic metal.
"The League's limits at times, I do not comprehend. But it would have been most problematic for the conventional sword-wielders." Kassadin assisted the doctor, tossing the bloodied hooks into a waste pit. He looked at the armor and felt something sinister calling out to him. He tore his vision away from it.
"Kassadin, where are the others? the crew? Ashe, Annie, Yi..." the warrior asked, now bandaged and wearing a salvaged white cotton shirt.
"Taken, dark one, save for this doctor." The doctor grinned as he cleaned himself with rainwater. He disposed of his instruments promptly. "Hello... I guess they didn't find me hiding in a closet... heh." "The Void stalkers hounded each and every one of you, until none were left. Yet, knowing your control over death, you somehow escaped capture." Kassadin said.
"I couldn't do anything..." "ARGH!" He threw aside his helmet, cursing the dark entity he did not completely control. The iron spike in his heart had already left, repairing whatever damage it dealt and reviving him this morning.
"There is very little any of us can do... For now. Knowledge of the void and taking action are two different things. Even if I were to divine where they were to be taken, rescue may prove beyond our abilities."
"What are you doing here?" He asked of the void walker.
"I responded to a sorcerer's call from Illurien; But Riftwalking is not teleportation, my friend. But now I sense something afoot in the blasted ruins of Zaun. Something ominous, something that will cause ripples in the vastness of the Void."
"And the Scout master?" Mordekaiser looked at the mysterious stew.
"Ah... I have peered into his mind and see nothing that has any cohesion. I encountered him several days ago hunting stalkers, setting up devious killing grounds but still protecting refugees. I simply asked him for directions to Zaun, and he suddenly volunteered to... accompany me." Kassadin looked into his bowl, a bit hesitant, and set it aside. Mordekaiser, however, found himself hungry for the first time in a while. At full power, the armor sustained all his bodily functions, allowing him to battle for days without rest. Now... well, Teemo may be a skilled scout, but he can hardly cook.
"You said we were close to Zaun? Shaco was heading there. He was carrying something important..." He had finished his serving with gusto, and picked up his mace. "Wait wait! no need to be hasty now, right? you're injured... and you're not wearing your armor." the doctor protested half-heartedly, knowing how little his opinion mattered.
Kassadin too protested. "I have just butchered your armor, and now you intend to go to a place where death lurks in every corner? Your reasoning has become null and void, dark one."
"If you're afraid to come along, then don't. And thanks for the patch up." Mordekaiser patched together boots and chainmail from the dead soldiers, and began marching to Zaun in regular armor. Teemo showed up, looking a bit concerned but not enough to stop the dark warrior.
"Did he just call you..." the doctor asked. "SILENCE!" erupted from Kassadin.
They reached the shattered city late in the afternoon, the shadows of the ruins extending long. It was not a war that occured here, but a massacre; there was hardly any defensive preparations, hardly any hold-outs. Every defensive feature of the city, whether intended or by initiative of a resistance force was unused. death simply came here and knocked upon every door and defiled every bedroom.
"Oh boy! tracks! Time to consult my nature handbook to identify them..." the scout said, quickly doing as stated.
Mordekaiser knelt down, inspecting the tracks himself. "A lot of people came through here; they were attempting to hide their numbers by walking in single file. And precisely following each other's steps." He said, observing the marks.
"A large scouting force returning to a ruined home? unlikely. they would not take precaution to hide their number." Kassadin said. Then he silently tapped Mordekasier's shoulder, pointing towards something in the alleyway nearby.A Void cultist, recently killed, was lying face-down... knife in the back. He was in fairly plain sight. Another deliberate move. "Er... maybe it isn't safe here." the doctor said, hiding behind the champions.
"You're right. I don't see them, but I can sense their metallic weapons." Mordekaiser gripped his weapon a little more tightly. "Kassadin, take the doctor to a place to hide. We are not alone." He complied, Riftwalking the doctor some distance from the battle. Teemo was hiding behind Mordekasier's leg, his blowgun and shovel ready.
A hail of shurikens flew from the shadows; they buried themselves in armor and flesh, causing the dark one pain. "****, I can't even deflect these things..." The shadows themselves seemed to dance towards them; their speed and unpredictability made reaction difficult. a dozen warriors shrouded in shadow and silence leapt from the darkness, striking at multiple angles; Mordekaiser and Teemo tried to connect blows, but were injured themselves instead. And so, they ran. A sword sought his hamstring, but he was able to parry the blow and continue running.
* * *
Several warriors were able to ambush Kassadin, and he was pressed to fight. The doctor did as was told, and started running- but not randomly. He ran with calculated purpose, and knowledge of Zaun's streets. He sought out one particular laboratory out of the others here, and once inside he quickly went to the basement level.
"Where is it, where is it, where is it..." He muttered as he frantically searched. He found what he sought buried beneath heaps of notes and laboratory equipment- a storage chest. He gasped with glee, and opened it- Inside was a large medical syringe, carrying a strange green liquid. He was pleased, as the warriors pursuing him were nearby now.
* * *
"The scout's code says, discretion is the better part of valor!" Teemo shouted as he darted quickly away from the battle. Mordekaiser was injured, the flimsy chainmail doing little to protect him from shuriken and kunai. He leapt over a low wall, taking cover as another hail of metal came his way; his power over metal was still exhausted, and he was forced to run like wounded prey. Teemo sure runs fast.
Mordekaiser did not need to look up that several ninja had already surrounded him, ready to deliver the final blow. "**** you all..." He spat, and closed his eyes. Perhaps now he would have his freedom.
"That. is. ENOUGH!" A voice carried over the battle, and immediately the shadow warriors disengaged, stepping back into the darkness. A single figure emerged from the shadow, his deep blue attire easily marking him a high-ranking ninja. His battle attire, his hood markings, his very aura... this was no ordinary warrior. This was the Eye of Twilight himself, Shen. The sub-leader of the group ran over and bowed to Shen, apparently explaining their actions.
"No such order was given. The Master of our order will not be pleased at this news." Shen said, and the ninja repeatedly bowed and begged for forgiveness. Shen turned to the wounded warrior before him.
"You are a skilled warrior to face the Kinkou Order by yourself. skillful, or perhaps foolish." He remarked; his masked faced betrayed no emotion.
"The Kinkou Order... What are you doing here, Shen?" He asked, making eye contact with the mighty ninja warrior. Still, he showed no outward reaction. "That voice... can it be?" He asked, and another figure emerged from the shadows; a woman in dark green ninja battle attire. She bore two kamas, her black hair in a pony tail. The Fist of Shadow, Akali...
"I recognize the voice, and the face matches Eve's enamored description of him. I thought he'd be taller, though." She remarked, kneeling beside the wounded one and quickly applying ninja medicines. Akali's movements were precise and graceful; this woman could easily kill him as she was treating him.
"Mordekaiser. What business do you have here?" Shen asked. "I could ask you the same, Shen." Akali helped him to his feet, and he nodded his thanks. Shen held his otherworldly calmness. "The order's seers saw something of great importance here, something that can alter the destiny of this world. we intend to ensure it will."
"So... what now?" He asked, squinting at the sharp pain of the medicine applied. A lightning bolt struck in between the three, and a yordle in deep purple ninja dress materialized. He spoke at a rapid pace. "Shen! The master! We've reached the vault but the guardians and traps activated!" This was Kennen. Shen, Akali and he composed the Order's great triumvirate of warriors. Shen spoke again,
"Then we three must go and aid our master. But First, I would have the key." he said, extending his hand outward, as though waiting for something. In the middle of them all, Shaco materialized, but none of the ninjas were surprised. Shaco, now in his old red-black jester costume, handed the cylinder over to Shen. He smiled as he spoke with Mordekaiser.
"Hello again, fellow inmate! what a coincidence to meet you here! were you sight seeing the city by any chance? The inns are quite vacant this time of year!" Two ninjas produced a small chest of gold and jewels, and swiftly distanced themselves from the Jester. Shaco defies sight as he stashed the large chest into his jacket, seemingly vanishing.
"Well... will there be anything else..." He started, but was cut off with a firm hand. "Leave, Jester. your presence is no longer required. Our business is done." "What? But I was just starting to have fun! You're a real kill-joy, Shen!" Shaco laughed and skipped around the shadow warrior, lightly tapping him on the shoulder.
Mordekaiser's anger could not be held for long. "If you have no need of him, then at least let me kill him before I go berserk!" Shen considered the request in the blink of an eye. "That is a reasonable request. Seek out the remains of the Techmathurgy Academy after the deed is done." The three warriors dashed off into the shadow, as did the rest of the Order's forces.
Shaco started running immediately, with a hellbent Mordekaiser in quick pursuit. He leapt through a window; Mordekaiser plowed through the whole wall. The pursuit seemed to prolong, when Shaco saw a good opening for a deceitful escape. He stopped at another ruined wall, and as Morde brought his mace to the jester's face, he vanished into thin air, teleporting through the massive edifice. Not Even Mordekasier could break through that.
Shaco laughed to himself, unaware of a large, muscle-bound human-aberration standing in his way. He turned his head too late, as a massive purple forehead connected with Shaco's face. The Jester fell to the ground with a heart-warming thud, bloodied and unconscious.
"MUNDO GOES WHERE HE PLEASES! Can't say the same for you, though!"
END OF SCENE 5
ACT I scene vi - Date with destiny
Kassadin allowed himself a sigh of relief. The warriors he was battling suddenly stopped and retreated. Then the sun went down, and his endless vigil resumed. The cracks in the ground were not just the scars of battle, but started to glow with an eerie purple light. Small creatures, akin to worms but with fist sized maws began to crawl out of the cracks.
Kassadin stepped back as the aberrations slowly crawled towards him; he was compelled to teleport up to the destroyed roofs of buildings. He then proceeded towards the Main academy. The skies here above Zaun crackled with a purplish eldritch storm, heralding the coming of a terrible entity. Why now... why here? Kassadin thought. This is no coincidence. *It* must have known all along. He ran and rift-walked as fast as he could.
* * *
Mordekaiser crashed his mace repeatedly into the solid brick wall; when it eventually gave, he found himself face-to-face with a purple humaniod creature brimming with muscles. His upper body was grossly out of proportion, as was his strength and ability to withstand punishment. This was the madman of Zaun, Mundo.
"SPIKY HEAD!" he said in that inarticulate tone. Mordekaiser recognized the torn clothes belonging to the 'demacian' doctor accompanying them earlier; who knew that was Mundo himself, in his human form. He was carrying several of the ninjas' swords, dipped in a sick purplish goo.
"I GOTZ DA CLOWN GOOD. HIHIHI." He picked up the downed clown, whose forehead was bleeding profusely.
"My thanks... why is you... why are you here?" Mordekaiser asked, shaking his head and battling to remain articulate. "MUNDO KNEWZ YOU'D NOT GET CAUGHT BY LITTLE CHO'GATHS, SO MUNDO FOLLOWZ SPIKEY HEAD. MUNDO NOT DUMB, YOU KNOW. MUNDO DOCTOR WENT TO FANCY SCHOOL." He declared, gesturing to his head and then to a far off structure.
"What do you want now?" "CLOWN CARRY REAL METAL THINGY. GAVE PAJAMA MAN FAKE METAL THINGY
PAJAMA MEN PROMISE MUNDO LOTS OF GOLD." Mundo said, beginning to pick his nose absent-mindedly.
"Astounding... We must go then. I would also like a word with the master of the order." Mordekaiser finished; he was not pleased. Someone had ordered Shaco's actions, leading to the capture of several champions. This someone had to pay.
"MUNDO USED TO SCHOOL THERE. MUNDO STILL REMEMBER." So the two warriors dashed off, reaching the academy fairly quickly through back roads. The ground beneath them was already breaking apart.
* * *
The tunnels beneath the academy were littered with the remains of iron golems, akin to the league's robotic
champion Blitzcrank but weaker. Each automaton was cleanly cleft in twaine; whoever battled them destroyed
each one with a single blow. "I have never seen the master do battle before. This is... almost obscene." Akali commented, as she and her two companions sprinted through the shadows of the labyrinth, leaping over broken heaps of stone and metal.
All around, signs of violence against the guardians were clear. The traps that were triggered found no victims. Golems, constructs fueled by elemental spirits, were pulverized, cleaved, perforated, and generally torn apart with seeming impunity.
"I have, Akali. And you should pray you never see him strike a human down- it is horrific beyond belief." As Shen said that, they arrived at their destination.
The large circular vaults chamber was dimly lit by magic blue crystals on pedestals. The high dome ceiling extended indefinitely high, while a doric columnade flanked a dozen, evenly spaced vaults. In the middle of the massive chamber stood a massive statue, an amalgam of metal, stone, and magical crystals. It was much larger than the pervious guardians of the labyrinth. It stood nearly 6 men tall, and must weigh six thousand of them. The warriors of the order were searching the room for more traps, studying the warded doors, and observed the statue very carefully, lest it animate when none were looking.
In the lobby connecting access hall and vault, stood the Master.
The lobby was lit with the same dim blue light. Standing no more than five feet tall, and wearing a tip-shredded black cloak, the master of the order was adorned with markings and stylized armor befitting his station. This was his battle dress, and it declared him to be the Master of the Kinkou- a warrior without peer even amongst the champions of the League, and among the most dangerous beings on RuneTerra. Promptly the triumvirate kneeled before the Order's master.
"Shaco has brought the Key, as promised." Shen presented the cylindrical key to the Master. Without saying a
word, The master simply crushed the cylinder with a single armored hand, revealing a deadly poison dart trap
within, disguised as a Jack-in-the-box.
"A fake! what do we do now?" Kennen asked, though when the master looked at him he felt himself inappropriate.
"The master, I presume?" From behind the three ninjas emerged the two warriors, Mordekaiser without his armor, and Mundo slinging Shaco on his shoulder. Mundo began talking directly to the Master,
"YOUZ PROMISE MUNDO GOLD IF MUNDO BRINGS METAL THINGY. MUNDO BROUGHTS METAL THINGY AND NOT FUNNY CLOWN."
The master, silent as ever, brought out a bag of gold and jewels and threw it at Mundo's feet. He eagerly picked it up and threw the unconscious clown front of the master. Mundo eagerly shook the bag and was pleased with the jingling sound. Mordekaiser, however, had his eyes locked intently on the figure of the Master.
Shen stood up, and paced himself into a close distance to Mordekaiser. "Mordekaiser... I sense you are here with hostile intentions." Akali then followed, brandishing her kamas. "Do not do anything foolish." she warned, while Kennen drew forth several electrified shurikens. "We three are more than enough to bring you down; do not think to challenge our master!" They had taken positions guarding their master's position. In the vault, several warriors had stopped what they were doing and also drew their weapons.
"I dare you to stop me. I will be asking somethings of your master, and beat answers out of him in need be!" Mordekaiser declared, shaking his fist at the quiet figure in the back.
"HIHIHI. MUNDO THINK YOUZ ALL SISSIES. NO ONE BEATS MUNDO!" Mundo said excitedly, drawing out a large cleaver from a scabbard resting at his back.
"How dare you! you may be champions, but you dishonor us by addressing our master-" Shen felt a powerful energy looking at him; he turned around, and saw the master gesturing for the three to stand down. The master took two steps forward.
"As... you wish, lord." Shen said, bowing deeply and making room. "Hoho, you're in for it now..." Kennen snickered under his breathe. Akali nudged him to be silent.
Mordekaiser stood his ground, feeling no metals on this armored figure. "Heh, shadow dragon scales, huh..." he remarked, recognizing the incredibly rare material which could only be found in the wilds of the Shadow Isles, his former home.
"Let me get straight to the question at hand... Why did you hire Shaco, of all the champions, to steal something
from Heimerdinger? DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENED BECAUSE HE WAS ABOARD THE SHIP?" He said with fury, recalling the terrible event instigated by a single Jack-in-the-box from the psychotic clown now lying incapacitated before
The master simply nodded 'yes'. Something snapped in Mordekaiser from such a shallow, unfeeling answer. He took a step, and swung his mace with terrible force downwards on the rather small Master of the Kinkou. He felt a solid connection, heard the satisfying crunch of a ruptured skull and a broken neck. Instantly the warrior fell down face-first, breaking a granite tile. The master's body did not move.
For a moment, the whole order was quiet- their master was slain with a single blow. Mordekaiser lifted up his mace, the spikes smeared with blood and pieces of armor. The three ninjas were shocked and appalled at the sight before them. Mordekaiser turned around to face the three, he himself not knowing what would come next.
Suddenly a voice came from where there shouldn't be.
"I didn't suppose that satisfied your need for answers, Master of Metal." A voice, soft, young and feminine, came from the broken body of the Master. He, or perhaps she, slowly began to stand up, cleaning the debris off herself. Kennen was shocked into embracing Akali, burying himself in her chest. Shen, even under the mask, was completely caught off guard. Undisciplined gasps emerge from the Kinkou warriors in the vault room. Mundo had ran a fair distance and hid behind a column.
"Well then... I suppose I owe you an explanation about everything." She said, removing her hood and dragon-motif
helm to reveal a lustrous brunette ponytail, incredibly smooth pale skin, and piercing red eyes. Her
dragon-motif mouthpiece remained on, hiding her identity.
"The master is a woman?" Akali thought to herself. Oh my, this opens doors for me...
"Who the hell are you?" Mordekaiser couldn't help but ask, momentarily distracted by this unnatural display of
AUG 30, 2010 update
"I'm someone you don't want to know, Mordekaiser. I've done terrible things to many people, yourself included." she said; her voice, face and attitude would have you believe she was the youngest in the room.
"MUNDO DON'T GET IT." Mundo emerges from behind the column, walking towards the conversation. His eyes were locked on the inhumanly beautiful, regenerating master of the Kinkou. "Why doesn't anyone give straight answers in your order..." spat Mordekasier, burying his face in his palm.
"Very well. at least, to put a name to the face, I was known as Ashura. Also..." Ashura was interrupted as Mundo came closer to her, his face and body imposing on hers. He was easily four or five times bigger than her. "MUNDO CALLZ YOU SISSY FACE. BUT YOUZ A GIRL. MUNDO WONDER THOUGH, YOUZ BIG BOSS OF FUNNY PEOPLE. HOW OLDZ ARE -DUOOOOOH!" A casual right back-hand strike sends the doctor flying into the column. Mordekaiser speaks without skipping a beat.
"Ashura. You hired Shaco to steal something. Have you any idea how unpredictable he is? he'd kill for no other reason that to laugh at it! He-" Mordekaiser's tone and voice quickened and became angrier, though he was quickly cut off, with a gentle but firm hand.
"I was counting on him to betray the others to the hunters of the void." Ashura interrupted. The master of metal raised an eyebrow of misunderstanding.
"For all his chaos, I can see a pattern, simple, predictable- I needed him more than just to simply take the key. I needed several champions captured, and to simply ask Shaco to 'ensure they are captured' is akin to throwing water upon blight-fire. No, I simply did not specify him a fate for the champions... it seems my prediction was true. Their capture was essential, for we must know where they are being taken." She explained, as though with all the wisdom and knowledge of ages.
"SPIKY HEAD. WHAT IS GIRL SAYING?" Mundo said, picking himself out of the rubble of the ruined column and wall.
"She said Yi and the others were planned to be taken. But how on earth can you locate them? Your seers?" Mordekasier inquired, not able to see the intent behind the mask. "No, our seers cannot... that is the reason we came to this vault. Doctor Mundo, the key, if you will."
"OKAY." With a big, meaty hand Mundo searched the still unconscious Shaco's jacket. With each handful, Mundo was pulling out boxes, knives, ropes, straps, surgical tools, and a hundred other miscallenaties before triumphantly revealing
the metal cylinder. He handed it over, receiving his long due payment. At the base of the gargantuan statue, Ashura slid the cylinder into the pedestal. Magical runes and energy flowed from it, removing the wards upon the vaults, and opening them. Something was amiss.
Every two vaults were alike; one vault held a collection of gold, jewels, and deeds in zaun, and beside it held another, the contents exactly the same. Another two held a pair of Infinity edge... other potent items were found in the vaults. The two vaults in the center held something small and obscure.
"I assume this to be trap mechanisms... pick the fake, and our massive stone friend..." Mordekaiser makes an assumption, which was met with a remark,
"MUNDO PANCAKES?" he said, the joke catching even the ninja trio by surprise. the Master of metal placed his
hand assuringly on Mundo's shoulder. "Indeed friend, let's hope it does not come to that. We can also assume directly attacking it will also cause the guardian to defend itself." he said, chuckling a bit. He approached Ashura, intent on finishing this tale.
"No more cryptic talk, Ashura. tell me What is it here that's so important." He said, about to place his hand on her turned shoulder, but reconsidered that to be an unwise act. She spoke, knowing he was there. "There is no real need, you only have to see for yourself to understand. Mordekaiser, I will ask you to aid me. Have your powers recovered?" she turns around, asking so easily.
"Somewhat." he shrugged.
"The creature is partially metal. I need you to hold him down while I break him." she requested, though it was in a commanding tone. "Ordering me around?" he raised another eyebrow, in displeasure.
"Please?" clasping her hands together and leaning forward slightly, Ashura teased. The Kinkou warriors were all
"Fine. Let's do this." He finished, Ashura climbing to the top of the statue.
Metal, metal... the dark one closed his eyes to ease into that sixth sense of his, feeling all the metal nearby surrendering to the grip of his power. His senses fell onto the construct before him, but like walking upon a sheet of ice, he began to slip into vertigo; something terrible lurked in the last vault.
"Aiding others yet again? You will learn your place, mortal!"
The dark voice echoed like a banshee's scream in Mordekaiser's mind. the accursed armor was here, and it sought out its host like a ravenous beast. From the last vault erupted red and black strands of liquid metal, shooting true to the cursedone, no longer attaching itself slowly onto him, but rapidly consuming him... He screamed and lashed out, to no avail. The armor struck at the nearest ninjas, creating deep slash wounds in them; they fell back. Mundo, Shen, Kennen and Akali all rallied to subdue him, but were quickly tossed aside as well.
"Mordekasier!" Ashura shouted, quickly somersaulting down from the now awakening guardian statue. She did not even
look back as massive cracks formed all over it, reducing it to rubble. She landed heavily on her feet and hand, and charged fearlessly into the maelstrom of metal. With unearthly grace she evaded each of the the infernal armor's murderous strikes; two blows glanced off her bracer, while a third caused a deep wound in her face, which healed in the blink of an eye.
She grasped the beating black heart of the armor, and pulled as hard as she could out of his chest. A metallic appendage quickly wrapped around her arm and worked its way to her chest, slicing deeply as it went. With a final cry of pain and effort, she pulled the arachnoid manifestation of Hatred from Mordekasier and crushed it with a swift boot.
"How... how did you know how to stop the Armor of Hate?" the dark one asked on his knees, coughing up blood.
"Because I was the one who made it." She said nonchalantly.
AUG 31, 2010 update
"Master, your arm... your chest..." Kennen approached with concern, his eyes locked on the latter while taking out his medical kit. Ashura waved him away, as the injuries regenerated in the blink of an eye. She grimaced as the bones and muscles set themselves painfully. Kennen hid his disappointment. "You... you did this to me...inhuman b(expletive)" the wounded Mordekaiser spat, locking eyes with her. She stood indifferent, while he was just ready to black out. She simply replied, as she picked him up and shouldered him,
"I told you, the more you knew, the more you wouldn't like me." They headed just outside the central vault, and propped Mordekaiser against the wall. He was slowly recovering though, as the armor's preservation power was now working. The armor restoring his vitality was familiar yet now so despicable. He was already on his feet when another figure entered the chamber.
Phasing yet again through the air, Kassadin materializes. His luminous green blood dripped on the floor in painful amounts. He falls to the ground, wounded and with dire warning. He looked up to the champions present, then looked past them towards Ashura, then to the dark one.
"I see... the warrior has been reclaimed by his armor. Is it here, Ashura?" He said, addressing the master directly. It seemed they knew each other; Ashura and Akali quickly came over, helping the Riftwalker to his feet.
"It is, Kassadin- the thing that will change our fates." Ashura said, instructing Akali to tend to Kassadin's wounds. "Then we must hurry, things have gotten worse- a Hecatonchieres has materialized from the Void."
"A what?" Akali asked, vigorously cleaning the wound but hesitating to touch the green ichor that was Kassadin's
blood. Ashura called all the ninjas present, and speaks in an audible, commanding tone. "Shen! take the wounded and prepare a portal to return them to the order! The rest of you get into the central vault with the small box, and be ready to mobilize." Ashura's word was the order's will. "Yes, milady." Shen bowed, and retrieved a large, rolled up bamboo scroll from the supplies. He began a complex series of chanting and hand gestures, as a magic circle of a portal began to materialize.
Mordekasier regained his composure... the armor, Infernal as it was, was the only thing that gave him any worth at the moment. He had so many questions right now, so much bitterness towards that ... woman... but he chose paid attention to Kassadin's warning.
"Exactly what is coming, Kassadin?" He asked, still weak from the armor's attempt to consume him. "Hecatonchieres... a particularly vicious entity from the void, a sinister force of destruction. Here on this realm where it may materialize, It resembles a massive... redwood. Fifty heads and a hundred scything claws serve as its branches." he said, the description alone seeming to frighten the League's wielder of Void powers.
"HUNDRED HANDS? MUNDO HAS ONLY TWO! DATZ LOTS!" He remarked, awfully quiet in the last few minutes, as though pondering the description. "And it moves very swiftly." Kassadin added.
The vault chamber begins to shake. dust and loose lamps fall from the ceiling. The ninjas quickly rally around Shen, who is absolutely focused on his chanting and hand signs. The portal is completed, and with Ashura's leave, the nameless warriors leave the scene, carrying their many wounded.
"Good, Shen. Now, let's go see to the vault." Ashura said, the champions all proceeding to the vault. There, on a simple stone pedestal, was a small box, lit by a glow crystal, was the object of destiny. All the terrors they had faced now led to this moment. Mordekasier and Kassadin were the ones to open the box; the master of metal carefully disabling the lock, and Kassadin slowly lifting the contents. If his mask could display emotion, they would do so now.
"What is it? What is it? What is it?" Kennen asked furiously, incredibly curious as to what could bring the master herself to the field. Unable to see properly, He jumped up and down, nearly ready to transfom into pure energy. "Oh my god..." Akali covered her already masked mouth. "Astounding." Shen crossed his arms in surprise. "IZZAT WHAT I THINK THOSE IS?" Mundo asked, familiar with the held artifact.
"Our fates are now no longer set in the Void." Kassadin proclaimed, adding to the weight of the object in their
Mordekaiser could only nod... he too recognized them.
Act I scene vii - Dante's... I mean, Mordekaiser's Inferno
"These are the cards of Twisted Fate... his divination tools!" Kassadin explained to them, revealing a leather bound deck of cards. "But... what good is it that we have Fate's cards?" Akali asked, confused by the find. "I believe Kassadin is saying, with these cards, we can Find Cho'gath's true whereabouts and restore balance. I can use our last scroll..." Shen began to suggest, but Kassadin interjected.
"A foolish prospect even for the mighty Kinkou. Firstly, know that we cannot defeat Cho'gath without severing his link to the other side; I had hoped to find the means to that here, but these cards are but a stepping stone on our quest."
"Then the order will take them. We will find all the champions ourselves." Shen asserted. Mundo added with unusual intelligence, "FANCY HAT FINDZ ALL CHAMPS REAL FAST." They all began to agree on that course of action, as they could rally everyone and bring the battle to Cho by the next sunset.
Mordekaiser voiced a concern, catching their attention "No! you must rescue Master Yi and the others first! Their lives are in peril!" In a surprising move, Ashura voiced agreement. "I concur. We do not know the fate of the other champions, and it would be foolish to assume they are all ready to battle. We do, however, know several are heading towards their deaths. Shen can open a gate to your where they are. Unlike Fate, we can only use one card at a time."
"Very well. Who else shall accompany us?" Kassadin asked of the gathered champions.
"MUNDO COME BUT YI DON'T LIKE MUNDO. YI MIND IF MUNDO SAVES?" "I'm sure he'll be grateful." Ashura assured
Mundo. She turned to her three warriors "Triumvirate, go and save your fellow champions." Shen used the powerful divination tool, drawing Yi's card of destiny. Placing it upon the scroll, it revealed the place- deep in the Kumungu Jungle, at a site of ruined temples. He opened a portal; the three ninjas entered the gateway, followed by Kassadin, then Mundo carrying a Shaco that was coming to... He buried a fist into the clown's face, and he went back to dreamland.
Ashura stopped Mordekaiser. He angrily objected, and became furious as the portal closed.
"What? But I must go! Why do you stop me?" He retaliated, his patience for this 'master of shadows' becoming short indeed. With a single statement though, the dark one would change his heart. "Mordekaiser... You cannot save anyone when you yourself are in need of saving."
A brief silence. He threw aside the hand on his forearm, and replied, looking away, "You're responsible for everything that's happened to me.... why on earth would I trust you now?"
"I don't really know. The fact that you are, in a sense, alive now, means you can make a great difference in the world- and I am more than willing to answer for everything that's happened. But first, you must be freed of the armor's contract." She explained, knowing all her words reached deeply into the lost soul before her.
"So, what now? we have no more portal scrolls. Where would we go?" He inquired, reluctantly agreeing. "Outside, beneath the ruined guardian, was the last treasure in this vault- a gateway to the nether realms. We need to go to Tartarus and Acheron, the places where I originally made the armor."
Outside, The vault shook. The dreaded creature known as Hecatonchieres was breaking through the dome, and would soon search for prey.
"You're kidding." the master of metal said, extremely uneasy to fight some horrific monstrosity.
"The doorway we seek demands blood sacrifice; violence to open the way to the realm of violence. You'll have to fight that thing." She explained, beginning to open the vault. "Now I know you're insane!" Mordekaiser could only shake his fists in endless anxiety. "Would you prefer fighting through all seven layers of the nether world instead?" She asked, with a dry tone.
"... You have so much to answer for." he pointed a finger at her, to emphasize. "Don't remind me. Here, these chains will be useful." She grabbed several coils of spiked chain, and handed them
The abomination breaks open the dome, slithering like a centipede. It stops, attached to the ceiling; two hundred eyes spot the web of spiked chains. Fifty monstrous jaws and a hundred scything claws, scattering about the body randomly, roared and wailed. The infernal chains formed into a barrier held by Mordekaiser's will; but they will not last long. Ashura is hard at work reading the abyssal texts on the door, appeasing dark and forbidden powers. Figures I have to fight the psychotic hundred clawed monster with fifty hungry mouths, the master of metal thought.
The creature rushes the chains and broke through. Six mouths and sixteen claws were hellbent on ripping Mordekaiser to shreds; not wanting to test his armor, he dives out of the way, only to be caught by two more sets of teeth trying to tear him apart. Furiously he beats his spiked fist into one face, only to have four claws from behind attempting to sunder his limbs at the joints. The beast furiously shaked, throwing the master of metal beside a busy Ashura. Not even taking her eyes of the work before her, she presents some advice.
"You know, you have a spectacular ability to survive in the worst environments... my agents told me of how you defeated that Ravenous Tunneler the day before." she said, resuming the reading.
"But this thing has many little mouths and... I can't believe I was about to agree with that." He said, getting up and preparing himself for another round. "Well, I suppose you'll have to be creative... or just brutally direct."
Mordekaiser calls forth the metal from within the vaults, and surrounds himself with a cloud of fast-moving shrapnel, swift enough to tear through carapace and bony claw. The creature screamed and raged as its prey shredded past its defenses, and buried a clump of spiked chains into a single Mouth; Mordekaiser reeled at the pain inflicted by two claws that penetrated his armor, burying themselves into his shoulders. He shoved both hands into a face that was all but torn off, and proceeded to hook several chains to the open wound. Now, when the beast struggled, the chains held fast, the vault's remaining columns doing the work.
"Ugly..." He cursed, lifting up his mace to deliver a beating. Having focused his attacks on one spot of the beast, the monster attempted to move to bring the rest of its fangs and claws to bear, but Mordekaiser relentlessly thrashed the open wound again and again, driving the bundle of chains deeper at the same time. forty maws roared in pain, a deafening experience... but the warrior pressed on until the beast whipped its body to knock him away again.
Mordekaiser keeps his grip on the chains, and by performing a swift contracting move, the creature explodes into a river of blood, guts and gore, fifty heads simultaneously being shredded by chains violating from the inside. The viscous purple goo funneling into the center of the chamber. This seemed to catalyze a eldritch reaction, causing the symbols to glow an infernal red.
"That's it. The next time I encounter a giant monster, I'll skip the fight and just ask it to eat me." the dark one fell to his knees, exhausted and bloodied. He let go of the chains. As Ashura walked up to him, the floor beneath them began to fall away several granite slabs at a time, revealing an endless pit that descended into the nether world. They quickly moved to avoid falling, and safely reached the edge of the pit.
"It is a tactic that suits you... WATCH OUT!" behind Mordekaiser, a claw lifted itself by muscle memory, and went for Mordekaiser's exposed head- but Ashura quickly leaped to push Mordekaiser out of the way. The stray claw made short work of Ashura's small waistline, cleaving her in half at the midsection, before the monster's carcass fell into the pit before them.
Sept 3, 2010
Mordekaiser looked into Ashura's pain ridden eyes, as only half of her rested on him. She coughed up blood, and heaven forbid she was still alive and in unimaginable pain. The dark one quickly set Ashura aside, stood up, and created some distance between them. He thought for a few moments of how to explain this to the triumvirate, when he noticed something unusual.
The blood pouring from both... halves... did not pool as normal, but flowed to each other. in a sight that cannot be unseen, the lower and upper body of Ashura came together, bone, blood and entrails repairing themselves... until only a shallow scar remained. In less than a minute, she had cheated death with unheard of impunity. Mordekaiser was relieved and thoroughly disturbed. She stood up, holding the scars on her waist, until those too disappeared.
"This is a sturdy body, cutting me in half won't kill me... crosswise, anyway." She mused, smiling at Mordekaiser's expression of concern and disgust.
"So, We've clearly established you are not human." he finally blurted out, crossing his arms.
"Does my nature spark curiosity in you, dark one?" She said, walking with a purposeful gait outside the dark circle, with Mordekaiser in tow. A narrow bridge leads to a spiral staircase in the middle of the pit. leaning on the twisted metal railing, Mordekaiser looks down into the unfamiliar.
"No. It may interest your warriors, it does not to me. So... why are we going... down.. again?" He asked, never having truly encountered every layer of the underworld. "We're going to have a talk with several entities involved in your armor and your contract." She said, standing beside the 8 foot metal juggernaut. She also leaned on the rails.
"That's... a very long way down for stairs. Do we have enough time to walk?" Mordekaiser asked.
"Oh, of course not. Valoran will be completely overrun before the next full moon, so we're taking the express." Ashura places her hand on Mordekaiser's neckguard, and heaved forward with all her might.
"Wha- AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!" Ashura callously pushes Mordekaiser down the pit, falling into the endless red gloom. Other ****ed souls were also falling with Mordekaiser, but their wails did not block out Mordekaiser's prolonged cursing.
"DAAAAAAAMN YOU, YOU BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII...." And he was out of earshot.
"I wonder where that Twisted Fate fellow is now." She said to herself, before taking a deep breathe, placing her hand on the railing, and vaulting over the low barrier. Her cloak and silver hair whipped in the rushing wind of freefall. It would be a while before they reached the bottom.
* * *
Far away on the western side of the continent, in the treacherous Conqueror's Sea, between The frigid coast of Frejlord and the dreaded Shadow isles... was the Island of Midway. And upon Midway was Charon's Port, the staging area for hundreds of thousands of refugees from both Demacia and Noxus retreating the mainland invasion.
Aptly named it was, for in ages past, those that went to the Shadow Isles did not return alive.
A sleazy, dirty saloon known as 'Gangplank's Locker' was an establishment of ill-repute. Gambling, prostitution, alcohol and lethal duels were the mainstay of existence. Frustrated Pirates from Bilgewater who emigrated their business here found great success. The legitimate task of transporting refugees to the Land of the Dead was profitable enough; the robbing of said refugees even more so.
Tonight was no different than any other night; laughing, drinking, carousing, and wench-groping was at an all time high, as a very successful crew had just finished a 'job'.
At a poker table in the back, laughter was especially loud. A man in a long, brown hat and a brown coat was losing terribly; the pirates were half-drunk and enjoying their gold and girls. The man kept his face out of sight, keeping his eyes down.
"Give it up, and fold, lad! This just ain't yer night! If you keep playing, you'll have to wager the clothes on ye! hahar!" the pirate next to him said, his long greasy hair emitting an odor most foul. the other two players weren't so attentive to their hygiene either.
"Well, since it won't be such a long night, would you gentlemen be so kind as to help me with a bounty I'm trying to collect?" He asked cooly, taking a sip of his ale giving them a small poster with some tough-looking face. "Aye, aye... let's see the landlubber who's head will give you more gold to lose..." They passed it around, but didn't comment. The losing player noticed some strange looks between them.
The pirate returned the bounty notice, and said in a hammy disappointed voice, "Sorry matey, aint seen the likes of such a scallewag. Now, fold?" He asked of the hatted one.
"Ah well. I call, friend, and raise you every piece of clothing I'm wearing." He said with great confidence, taking of his cloak and placing it on the table. The pirates laughed, and in good gaming spirit raised all their gold as well. They showed their hands, showing two full-houses and a four of a kind. The man in the hat paused for a bit, looking disappointed. The pirates' smiles vanished when he dealt his hand.
"Sorry friends, but it seems lady luck is smiling on me tonight." He revealed his hand to show a spades-suite royal flush. He eagerly sacked all the gold, and made his way to the bar. He ordered a drink, and awaited the drawing of swords... to his relief, there wasn't.
"You seem quite the cardmaster, sir... Do you have a name?" A busty, well-groomed woman in a very revealing red lace dress approached the man with a overly friendly tone.
"Well, I hate to come off as an arrogant man, miss, so I'd prefer to keep to my own business." He said in that calm manner, catching the woman offguard with a glance, then sipping some whiskey.
"Oh, that's too bad... you looked like a man who could afford a good time." She said, shaking her hips once, winking, then turning away to drink. The man changed his tone, and spoke in a more lively reply,
"Well, if that's the case, I'd be happy to oblige your services."
"Let's go up to my room then." They went up to the back rooms of the second floor; each one was locked, but had highly audible, morally questionable activities. They reached the last room, a well decorated, dimly lit love nest that simply reeked of perfume and lust.
"Let me get comfortable, honey." She said, teasingly removing her coat and skirt in the candlelight. She was down to her stockings and red corset, her shadowed eyes meeting his. She offered herself up to him, spreading her legs earnestly to lock with his; she smelled of flowers, honey, and sweet words.
The cardmaster closed his eyes, held the woman at her waist, and locked lips. Unknown to him, she was slowly pulling out a pistol from her stockings, while two men with cutlasses in hand were hiding in the closet.
Reserved for Act II scene i - Curing the mad chemist
Akali wiped the purple slime off her kamas, the sweat from her brow, and the blood from her injuries. The deep gash in her thigh and back were particularly troublesome; she had to remove her skirt and top, though not in front of her companions. Thankfully, the sloped, dense jungle of Kumungu provided adequate cover. A recently liberated, slimed covered Annie helped her by cauterizing the wounds. The intense rain did not help Annie's small, cauterizing flame.
"Ah... thanks for saving us, by the way..." Annie quietly muttered as she helped fold away slimy and torn clothes and worked on the injuries. Annie also hung her noxian war-mage dress, which consisted of a black leather tunic and a sturdy combat-skirt.
"No thanks is necessary. Mordekaiser deemed it highly necessary to save you all, and our master concurred." Akali nodded, using the salves in her medical kit to clean out the wounds and neutralize possible poisons.
"So... where is he?" Annie asked after a moment of thought of hearing the name. "He and the master went... somewhere else. They did not tell us." Akali responded fairly quickly. "Oh... I see." Annie quieted herself.
"You are... attracted to Mordekaiser?" Suddenly escaped from Akali's mouth, with a small smile.
"EEEEH???" Annie blushed, her face quickly becoming red. She dropped the bandages she was working with.
"Ever since Mordekaiser the man revealed himself all those years ago... well, a number of women in the league.." Akali started, but Annie covered the ninja's mouth and loudly interrupted,"I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! HAHAhaaaa... It's just... that tall, dark warrior was alot more human than we gave him credit for in the end."
"If he were to be a warrior of our clan, he would no doubt father strong.." Akali began to suggest, but she quickly let out a girlish squeal as Annie bandaged very tightly a nasty wound. "AAAAHHAHA! OH LOOK WE MISSED AN INJURY!" they allowed themselves a couple of giggles between themselves.
"AKALI! ANNIE!" Ashe suddenly emerged, still squeezing the slime from her cloak. They looked at her with a concerned look.
"It's Yi! he's not breathing!"
They returned to the ambush point fully dressed, where Kassadin had just freed the swordsman from the swollen abdomen of a morphed Stalker beast. The champions and the crew were trapped in a preservative soup which resisted most physical attempts to free them, but the Void walker's mystical blade parted the membrane with a bubbling sound. The other crew were conscious upon being freed; but Yi was worryingly unconscious.
"Stand back! I, Heimerdinger, am also a trained physician! I will resucitate Yi!" The revered inventor, just recovering from incarceration, said with good intentions. He took a deep breathe, knelt beside the aged swordsman, and prepared to revive their friend.
* * *
"To shake or not to shake..." A tall, lanky bald man covered from nose to toe in bandages, wearing heavy boots and a Zaun chemist's tunic, stood over the bloated remains of a Stalker beast. It had suddenly emerged from thin air, and attempted to assault the nefarious Singed, only to step onto a gas trap. It choked to death slowly and painfully.In its bloated abdomen was a human girl, held in chemical stasis.
He shook up a green bottle in hand, and thrust the container into the purple goop; it quickly bubbled, then dissolved, releasing the blonde, blue dressed young woman. She was still unconscious, despite the beating rain and the flowing river she rested in.
"What do we have here..." Singed muttered to himself, but he coughed a bit- he took a breathing mask connected to an apparatus in his massive shield, and breathed deeply several times. He retrieved a vial from a collection of beakers in his belt pouch, and let the girl inhale the pungent fumes. She awoke coughing and spasming, the substance a whole unreal level of foul.
"Wha... who... who are you?" She asked of Singed when she had come to her senses.
"Know that you owe me now, child. I am Singed, the genius chemist of Zaun..." He began, with a pompous air.
"Singed?...SINGED!!??!" When she heard it, she said the name with rising anger.
"Ah... you've heard of me? Wait, why do you look so familiar..." Singed raised an eyebrow, and was nearly caught off-guard by what happened next.
"CASCADE!" The blonde girl's form bubbled and transformed into boiling water; the river water seemed to merge with her, and she smashed herself in full force against Singed's shield. His years of experience allowed him to raise his defense in time.
"WATER LOCK!" Illurien flowed and materialized behind Singed, trapping him in a large sphere of scalding water, floating a foot off the ground. Illurien was being unbelievably ruthless, an unheard hate filling her usually gentle eyes and heart. The water was forcing itself into Singed, scalding and drowning him at once. With a trained response, the mad chemist reached for a vial in his pouch and broke it open in the water. The sphere froze instantly and broke, while Singed rolled and positioned himself at a tactical distance.
"Foolish girl...now I recognize you. You're that pedophile Yi's child consort. Did he teach you to serve him well?" Singed let out a laugh, secretly drawing forth two more vials from the storage compartment in his shield.
"He taught me well enough to deal with you! YOU WILL HAND OVER THE CURE TO YOUR POISON NOW!" a small streamof water formed into a wuju blade, and Illurien seemed deathly intent on using it. Singed moved to drink the
first vial- as he predicted, the water blade flew true, slicing through his shield with frightening ease and spilling insanity potion all over him.
"Know your place girl!" Singed threw the second, hidden vial at Illurien; her inexperience stalled any reaction from her. The vial smashed into Illurien, freezing her watery body... she was quickly immobilized. Singed strutted over, cackling at his victory.
"You were looking for a cure, girl? Well, too bad. like I would give that old man the antidote... Had I known that was you, dear Illurien, I would have used this..." He drew forth a vial filled with a caustic black substance.
"Now... let's see how this reacts with your unique anatomy." He uncorked the bottle, and with sadistic glee took his time to slowly pour the contents...
SEPT 9, 2010 UPDATE
Materializing from the void, Kassadin appeared beside Singed and immediately sliced his bandaged hand off from the wrist. Singed did not flinch or shout in pain, but appeared only mildly irritated. He held his Void blade to the mad chemist's throat, ready to part his head from the body.
"Fancy meeting you in the jungle, void walker. And you brought friends." Just over the hill Singed eyed the other champions who were now within striking range. His attention was on the Void blade thrumming with energy, vaporizing the rain drops that fell on it... it was far more powerful outside the limits of the League.
"Indeed. I cannot help but think how we run into the man who poisoned Master Yi..." Kassadin started to speak, but Singed drew forth another vial; He swung what remained of his shield into Kassadin, but the latter avoided it with another Riftwalk. Ashe's arrow struck the vial a split second later.
"Try that again." the Void walker warned.
"So... the old boy's sick eh?" Singed asked, feigning concern. "Because of your poison!" Illurien accused; Annie came over and snapped her fingers, a warmth spell undoing the frozen Illurien and turning her back to normal.
"Well would you describe his symptoms? Is his skin coarse and slimy?" Singed continued his interest in the topic, though the champions did not take any amusement. "What are you talking about?" Kassadin rejected Singed's musings.
"That fateful day on the battlefield Yi destroyed my main reserve of toxins... getting some on himself and most on me... I realized something different when my usual antidote was not working." the mad chemist explained, the other champions now listening.
"Wha... I thought you were immune to your own stuff?" Annie interrupted. the mad chemist looked at her with a frustrated face. "I am immune, if it really were my own. Take a look for yourself." Singed quickly removed his bandages, revealing a horrific sight- Singed's burnt flesh had transformed into dark scales and hide. His one arm ended in five claw tipped digits, while the hand Kassadin severed was actually a massive writhing tentacle. He teased the females by extending the appendage into their faces; they were thoroughly disturbed.
What was most startling was, from his nostrils down, there were four tentacles and a lamprey's maw on his face. Singed was transforming into a Void creature.
Gasps emanated from all champions, and even Kassadin back away a few steps. "By the Void..." he exclaimed. "My eyes!" Kennen looked away and covered his eyes as he just arrived. "That is just wrong..." Ashe grimaced, covering her mouth in disgust. "EEW!" Annie simply shuddered. "What... happened to you, Singed?" Shen asked, after catching Akali who had nearly tripped over.
Even in this condition, Singed managed to laugh heartily. "I suspect something tampered with my poisons that day. Tell me, has Yi's ailment become malignant? has he lost control of his limbs?" He was clearly relishing the look on their faces.
"He's... just having breathing troubles." Akali answered, after composing herself. "Oh my. and I thought I had someone with similar symptoms to study. How can he resist transformation for
so many years? Ah... of course. the girl." Singed's sharp mind quickly answered his own question. He was aware Illurien had the ability to create Waters of Life, a potent curative normally derived from the most remote virgin springs in Valoran.
"So... what brings you here?" Kassadin asked the inevitable question.
"Looking for a cure to this.. transformation, of course." Singed stated as-a-matter-of-factly. That would have been obvious.
"But why Kumungu?" Illurien was finally able to talk to Singed, though with much resentment burning beneath her voice.
"Idiot girl. Just across the Kumungu River, northeast, is Icatha, where the bulk of the invasion originated. If I am going to find a cure, I'll need a pure sample of this transformation..." Singed scolded the water wielder, frustrated at the champions' lack of critical thinking.
"So you would risk being hunted by the beasts and terror wings?" Akali inquired.
"Bah. do I look like I am traveling in a massive ship that begs to be discovered? I am far more practical than you'd give me credit for." Singed eyed Heimerdinger coming over the hill, but upon making eye contact the inventor quickly doubled back.
"Then we will aid you in this, Singed... but you will provide the cure to Master Yi first." Kassadin commanded Singed.
"Oh? and what if I refuse? I've come this far without anyone's aid. What's in it for me?" the mad chemist continued his antagonizing of the people around him.
"I don't know... how about we don't kill you. It's not really a choice, Singed." Ashe drew an arrow and aimed for Singed's face. "Bah. Do not get in my way then... fools." He raised his arms in compromise, and returned to his own camp area.
Heimerdinger saw Singed finally walking away, and came over, a few surviving crew members supporting Master Yi. "I suggest we find shelter. Master Yi has regained consciousness but has high fever, and being in the rain will not do him any good."
SEPT 10, 2010 UPDATE
Twisted Fate, in a compromising position under a woman sees the pistol and counters accordingly. He holds the pistol by the barrel and forces the would be assassin to shoot into the wall; he drives his fist into her make-up heavy face, causing her to fall off the bed and her wig to come off to reveal a red head.
"You... you would hit a lady???" She said in her original voice, promptly revealing her identity.
"You'd think me a fool to fall for your charms *again*, Miss Fortune? fool me once, shame on me.
fool me twice..." He winked at her, but before he could mkae his way out, the bounty hunter waved to her henchmen.
"GET HIM!" She shouted at the closet where two henchmen were hidden. A small, greasy pirate took aim with his pistol, but a mystical gold card knocked the gun out of his hand. A second pirate, armed with a massive axe, attempted to decapitate the card master.
"TAKE HIM ALIVE, YOU IDIOT!" She said, gathering herself and searching for her pistol.
Fate dodges and parries, and lands a solid right hook into the pirate' gut and a left elbow to his face. This distracted him enough for Fate to take away the axe, and strike the hatchetman with the blunt end. He was knocked unconscious. The smaller pirate crawled to retrieve his pistol, but Fate's fist proved enough to knock him out. Master Yi's unarmed lessons proved a highly valuable survival skill after the League.
"Now I take my leave, mademoiselle..." The cardmaster bowed formally, but would be stopped in his tracks before long.
The hallway filled with armed goons, and Fate could not resist.
"Stupid Fate... I parted you from your Cards of Destiny. There's no way you can escape this time." She picked up her gun and kept it trained on Fate. She walked up to him, and caressed his face teasingly.
"Looks like the odds are stacked in my favor, Fate. you're one hard customer to catch." She complimented the man who'd escaped all others through the years.
"I don't know about that..." He replied with a smirk.
"Whu.." sarah Fortune began to lose her balance, and leaned on the wall. A strange, invisible mist began to creep over the building. The pirates in the hallway were falling sleep, and Fate himself was feeling rather weakened. He forced a smile though, as his friend had finally arrived. Walking past the smelly bodies of sleeping pirates, a peculiar figure was making her way to Fate's room.
She wore a tattered black dress, the edges of the skirt and sleeves ragged, the white blouse underneath slightly dirty. Under the feathered hat, a deathly pale, beautiful face was unfazed by the powerful magic. Her eyes were aglow with power, and the scar on her throat glowed the same.
"Dang, Lisa.... you have to use such powerful magic..." Fate said, barely able to stand himself, trying the shake off the powerful slumber enchantment.
"Would you prefer I enslaved these insects?" her voice was a sweet, honeyed enchantment in itself. Men of weaker wills would quickly succumb to her powers. Fortunately, Twisted Fate was a mage with a resistant mind, if only an unusual mage.
"No... You're timing is impeccable. Come on. Miss Fortune knows where this sorry bounty is... Don't know why you want him though. He's small fry compared to others." He tied up the sleeping Miss Fortune and shouldered her form. They had a horse-wagon waiting outside.
"I don't want him. I need him for something he knows." She answered him sharply, and the proceeded outside.
Through the dead of night, Fate drove the wagon to the hilly outskirts of town, to the abadoned mines. Lisa held Miss Fortune tight, her grip impossibly strong. Fate had only a few words for his former paramour.
"All those bounties were claimed 'dead', and you even had to get rid of the bodies... what happened to you Sarah?" He asked, though he knew she would not change her understandable answer.
"Shut it, Fate... I did what I had to, to keep my men and their families well fed in this war. If that meant offing a few scalewags, what's the difference?" she said, not looking at Fate as she answered.
"This invasion... has brought about so much gray morality. It disturbs me when lines are blurred." was Lisa's only reply.
They arrived at the location the bounty hunter had provided. An old maintenance shaft covered by planks of wood provided access to the destination. They lowered Miss Fortune into the darkness first, much to her discomfort.
"Need a light down there, mon petit?" Fate asked, as his companion leapt down into the abandoned mine shaft, landing hard on the bare earth and stirring up dust, causing Fortune to cough.
"I can see perfectly, thank you." Lisa declined, but their guest was quick to protest.
"Hand me a light, Fate!" Miss Fortune's frightened voice echoed, and Fate obliged. She quickly regretted her request, as she smelled and saw the inevitable pile of dead bodies of her past bounties stacked and rotting; one man's eyes were still intact, and seemed to stare at her. Sarah's conscience was slowly catching up to her.
Lisa, however, seemed totally unfazed by the macabre sight before them. She quickly scanned the piles of bodies, and swiftly found her dead man. "Here he is, Fate. Haul him up." Lisa said to Fate, who awaited on the surface with a winch. Slowly, he carried Lisa and a dead man out of the mine.
"Wait... wait a minute, honey! you can't leave me here all alone!" Fear had totally overtaken Fortune's voice, as the oil in the lamp was quickly depleting, her only source of illumination dying out.
"You're right." When Lisa said that, the desperate Miss Fortune hope flickered, then was quickly cut off.
"You have all the company you need." Lisa's smile was the most terrible thing Fortune had seen in her life; eldritch energies swirled in the mines, enveloping the bodies.
As the lamp's light quickly flickered out, The corpses littered about began to stand up, their eyes aglow with the same fell powers as Lisa's. Their existence now driven only by revenge, they turned their sights- and teeth- to Miss Fortune.
"YOU AIN'T SEEN THE LAST OF ME, FATE!" were the bounty hunter's last words, as Fate and Lisa quickly departed.
Fate dared not protest Lisa's decision.
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