[Story] Humble Interaction

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Zunqivo

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Senior Member

01-09-2012

I bump


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SpicyJackTheBard

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01-09-2012

I really and truly enjoy this. The fact that you seem to focus on the relationship with Sona on the Fields of Justice rather than off is quite an interesting take. I think I would fall prey to the trap of being the guy that shows up and buys a front row ticket to every one of her concerts, leaving a massive bouquet in her dressing room, and comes off as a total creep. The way your character seems to forge a more intimate bond with Sona through the League is great. :3


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Farnbil

Senior Member

01-15-2012

The Lunar Revel

Everything looked up that night. To every eye that cared to see it was a clear sky. Stronger than ale, intoxicating. While the Institute celebrated the Lunar Revel on the mainland, dozens of summoners like me made the long trip to Ionia to immerse ourselves in an authentic experience. We made it to the coast by airship, and then hopped on a commerce vessel to cross the sea. A tailwind backed us the entire journey, cutting travel time by nearly half-turning a week long voyage into a three day sail. Out there the stars envelope your being. I climbed up the mast and saw them all close in. I should have jumped to catch one at random, ask it to speak to me in the absence of its friends. What would happen if I had taken it along with me to Ionia? We could have sat under the full moon and be we could be full with it. Then I would release the star; let it join all the others in the night sky while it shines brighter than before. Perhaps that one star would ignite other stars nearby and begin a chain reaction, so that one could see the entire population of stars. Sailors could navigate even during the day. Those lost and world-weary could always find their bearings when blinded by a searing truth.

The Serene Gardens is a sprawling complex of carefully pruned bushes, gnarling trees, contemplative stonework, and the most admirable woodwork I’ve ever seen. Every piece in that place beckons you to examine the narrow intricacies through a spyglass, to isolate your awareness and suck you in for hours. The snow reflected the red hue of the lamps so that it looked like old parchment On the edge of the gardens were vendors selling food along with miscellaneous merchandise like antique weapons and enchanted novelty toys. But the magic was staring down from above us as the moon shone right above the Great Tree-a gigantic cherry blossom tree whose bare branches were lit up by lanterns. The summoner from Piltover, still learning the etwahl, walked with me as both of us shuffled through a large crowd around the tree. It sat in the center of an open circle, next to a low red building which hosted a stage. Constant erformances were lighting up the night more than the lanterns. Right when the moon’s arc was to cross directly over the tree, there would be a finale, a special guest. Sona is arguably the face of the lunar revel with her traditional red dress and natural brown hair. She was half the reason I sailed to Ionia, the other half being the snow.

We encountered a big cast iron bell in the gardens, or it encountered us. It was stout and cylindrical, housed under an ominous wooden roof. Even in the still winter air I could feel it vibrating eerily. Being the inquisitive fool I am, I tapped a fist on it. A deep and resounding ring penetrated me as if retaliating against my idle tampering with a savage blow. And that is when I collapsed.

The Serene Garden is not a bad place to fall asleep in. However, going into a short blackout does not feel good anywhere. Knocked out by the ring of a bell! This should be funny in retrospect, and in a crude sense of slapstick it is. But let me show you the nightmare.

It took place in the Demacian concert hall where I first saw Sona. I was sitting in the frontmost seat. Everything was darkened by something more powerful than an absence of light. The place was afflicted with an overbearing toxicity. Onstage was Mordekaiser, his glowing red eyes and noble stance pinning me down with fear. On his shoulder was the gigantic metal mace. His voice came out slow and with a great deal of cruel sadism.

“Suffer, then die.”

Without my knowing, Singed was next to me the entire time. He laid a hand on my chest as a syringe sunk into me. I started to convulse violently, my skin began to burn.

“You will not take him from me.” Singed snarled in response to the intimidating Mordekaiser behind him. “This world must be silenced. We must fill their lungs so they will stop screaming at us. I want quiet!”

Mordekaiser quickly raised his free hand. A spiked metal mace like the one he wielded rose up from the ground and smashed into Singed from under his legs. The chemist let go of the syringe as he was engulfed in metal shards. He wailed in agony while writhing on the ground. In the same tone as before, Mordekaiser repeated hauntingly to me “You will suffer, then die.” A sanguine red fog enveloped my head and my eyes rolled back in pain. “You will suffer, then die…” As he trailed off, my vision blackened. Slowly the pain died out, so thoroughly that the only sense of physical self left was in my hearing. It was that ringing you get in your ears when the brain has nothing to listen to.

The melody was slow to come. It was mournful, simple and unadorned. The notes tell you not to weep, but just wait and look on. I felt like I was being lifted out of a hole as the song only lasted for about a minute. When it ended, Mordekaiser finished his last statement. “Die…” Suddenly I was thrust upward into a chilling wind.

“And be reborn.”

I woke up on a grassy patch in the garden, my face in contact with snow. Why not in a sick-bed? Was nobody there ever bothered to notice a guy who got knocked out for as long as I was? With this in mind I sat up and discovered I was wrong. The summoner learning the etwahl grabbed my hand and checked my pulse. He stared at me with a worried frown on his face, then turned to a man behind him and said something. Together they helped me up on my feet as another pair of hands dusted off the snow on my back. All I could do was think of a logical explanation for how I collapsed. Was it something I ate? That bun vendor from earlier looked pretty suspicious, I could tell in his mustache. No man with a family to provide for would ever be caught dead wearing his mustache. I looked to my left and saw the bun vendor hoisting my arm over his shoulder. He smiled when I looked at him, saying “How much did you drink? The alcohol is pretty strong here, too much to handle for most tourists.”

In a half dazed state I asked how long I was out. The summoner spoke. “For a while. Maybe three hours. We couldn’t wake you up at all, so Bing and I hauled you out here to see if this would work.”

Three hours? That killed me. We missed Sona’s performance! The trip was ruined! And I had to bring back that horrible nightmare to! At least I learned the vendor’s name. I thanked them both sincerely. “Not just us. Take a look behind you.” said Bing, motioning his head.

Sona stood there smiling, her red robe speckled with white snow. The etwahl floated before her as she laid both her hands on it. Our eyes were locked. It’s that intimate stare which most people try to avoid. It clobbered my chest and knocked the breath out of my lungs. This is a hook. One can cast it out into the sea and hope for a bite. She caught the three of us together that night. I smiled back.

Not since the first time I met her in person did I ever hear her voice. So when she spoke to me in that untainted voice of hers I listened intently. Her mouth did not move.

“I felt the pain you were going through, yet you were silent inside. Don’t be afraid to speak, for you are not alone. Express your love to others. Speak through them like you did through me. With no pride to shelter you, with no anger to raise your voice, no fear of rejection to stop you. Nothing else, not I, not them, no magic in this world will ever own you again.”

I stepped forward. I had so many things to say, yet no words that I could ever conjure up to do it. So instead of offering a thank you or some profound something to tie our exchange together, I cried. I cried for thrusting myself into a sea of talk, going out into the storm with only a parting wave to my friends before I nearly sunk. I cried for all the stars I dropped and let die in the distant past. I cried for the people who yell at everything, drowning out every conceivable form of voice that could calm them. Drained of strength, I fell into Sona’s arms. Her hands embraced my head, and I felt her pulse again through her chest. The etwahl floated beside us and plucked out a tune. It was the same one from my dream, picked out of my brain by Sona’s delicate hands, and it repeated for a long while. Gradually I regained my senses.

I slowly looked back up to her eyes again with my own pitiful face, lined with tears. This was supposed to be a professional relationship? Romance like this is mundane to her, I hope. Many summoners need this. Lots of champions in the League can do what Sona did for me.

I turned around to face the etwahl playing summoner behind me. He looked fatigued, so I said we should all enjoy the full moon that night before it’s gone. Turns out we had the best view of it right where we were, so we all sat down and bathed in the pale light.

We were free to say whatever we wanted; I could have tried to coax Sona to speak again so that everyone else could hear. But the snow was already open and content.


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Farnbil

Senior Member

01-15-2012

And that's that. I can't express my thanks in words to those who read this through to the end. Please comment, criticize and ask questions!

A note on Sona/Mordekaiser pairings:

I am an advocate of a more optimistic pairing between the two. Rather than Sona yielding to a dark corruption like I've seen in the large majority of tellings, it seems more likely that Mordekaiser would be 'tamed' by her song. She is not one to be dominated by anything, especially not by pleasure or sadism. If it's her instrument with the bloodlust, I still think that her will won in that contest.


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Zunqivo

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Senior Member

01-15-2012

Aww, it's over...

I really enjoyed my entire stay. My question is, what now? Do you plan on creating another story, continue on this one, or what?

And, I assume your favorite champion is Sona, right? Because she's my favorite too


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Farnbil

Senior Member

01-17-2012

I'm looking into the Piltover trio (Gangplank, Miss Fortune and Fizz) for an odyssey. If not that, explore Taric or Gragas as a character (that is, not played for laughs)

And yes, Sona is my favorite champ. I gotta make myself be heard in lane.


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Zunqivo

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Senior Member

01-18-2012

Another question: how old do you think Sona is? I see people say 20, but I think about 17 because her lore said something about growing up in the orphanage until her late teens.


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Farnbil

Senior Member

01-22-2012

Two arguments for her being 20+

1. Dat rack
2. She stayed with Lestara for a time after her adoption, long enough to develop a means to fight in the League of Legends

She seems well developed for a teenager, in more ways than one.


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NidoNyte

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Senior Member

02-06-2012

I can't begin to imagine how you think your lengthy compositions couldn't accomplish what my mere paragraphs endeavored for. You're skilled, and description doesn't elude you. You have a good grasp on action and reaction of the human nature, and the only thing I see that I think I should point out is your occasional cliche. I think you should try to use your own words more than using a statement comfortable to the ears of others, but that might just be me.

Keep on keeping on


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Farnbil

Senior Member

03-10-2012

Cantata

I thought this attraction was beyond infatuation. Even though our relationship is intimate, such closeness is only part of the job. Nothing more. Even though we open ourselves completely to each other on the playing field, all of a sudden I feel further from her than ever before. It seems I have been exhausted of substance. Things are changing, and it's shown how I've overstayed my welcome.

My own incompetence in summoning is surfacing itself again. Mistakes are being made that shouldn't happen. I'm falling into traps, missing the cues, shutting down. Death on the field is not something to panic about, but for the first time in my entire career I felt a part of me die every time I let Sona fall. The pain, the loss of consciousness, a sheer violent destruction of thought and of the senses. And then silence. My own voices come in to taunt me, how I let her die without reason. She can't be to blame, her hand only guides the music. No amount of her condolence can overcome that dread of slipping again. I must be the first person in her career to say that I don't want to hear her again.

These are my problems. I've had enough of her hand-holding. Tired of running repeatedly into my wall. That's what this relationship is. She having to deal with me injuring her through neglect and stupidity. It's time I give up. No use in causing both of us further harm. This means I won't be able to share thoughts with her anymore. But she'd be better off not consorting with an utter dimwit like myself. Not just stupid, stupid and hopelessly EMPTY. What she said in Ionia wasn't true. She owns me! I...I don't know.

I need to stop summoning.

This I expressed to Sona during a chance meeting in the institute. It was cold, almost cruel of me to simply say it in that abrupt manner. But the world is cruel enough for us to exist together. I kept a good distance from her as I ranted along on the tiny veranda overlooking the gardens. It was early morning, not even sunrise. The light was a muted deep blue, obscuring our definitions. Sona doesn't fit this light very well. Few people were awake at this hour. Adhering to the cliche, my aching heart wouldn't let me rest. So I let it collapse right in front of her in a bleeding mess. Sona listened, closing her eyes in meditation. The etwahl floated silently behind her, deprived of Sona's impulsive idle plucking. The silence grounded a wall between us.

What surprised me was her reaction She made no effort to comfort me. Sona took her right hand and extended it daintily across her face, then wiped it back. A single slow methodical wave. Her expression was expertly subdued. Wouldn't be surprised if it was out of confusion. She backed off while looking at me. She did not pull her eyes away from mine until she turned a corner and was gone. Just like that.

****. That was, dare I say, real. Tangibly, overwhelmingly real. Directly rejecting her hurts like being dismembered.

I immersed myself in other duties around the Institute. Correspondence trips are always in full drive. I signed up for all the excursions available. Many of them were at least a week away, so that gave me time to finish up the required paperwork.

Still can't take my mind off of Sona. Especially her face from that morning. Was she angry? How could that be, I'm just another summoner among hundreds of others who converse with her every day.

Let's examine the logic behind my behavior. Does my skill at my job warrant me shoving her off so thoroughly? Summoning is my career! My profession! I studied past all my youth to work at the Institute.

And after a lifetime of experience...nothing to put on a plaque really. Positive testimonials from my clients across the board, but only in low profile matches. Sub par. Below average. When you're representing a poor farmer trying to hold his farm from some Demacian noble on the fields of justice, those words cut deep. These thoughts are incessantly depressing.

I was pulled out of my own head into reality by a strong breeze. There's a park next to the Institute, a big field dotted with trees. Mornings look just stunning here with the brightness. Along the trails into some wooded areas go lots of traffic. Lots of crows flitting and cawing around lately. Their calls compete with the songbirds. Could take it as a metaphor for inner conflict if I were so inclined. Didn't make the scenery any less tranquil.

Swain was out and about again, holding a public seminar on summoner strategy and tactics some distance away from the tree I'm currently sitting under. No good that'll do me. I recall going to several of them regularly throughout my stay in the Institute. I still have the hundreds of flashcards I made, listing protocols and maneuvers. All for a futile effort. I should sell them.

The crows are getting more active, flying in denser formations above the crowd. Getting a bit loud, but nobody seems to notice. Suddenly, a particularly large raven landed a few feet away from my foot. It stood with a tense regality. One of Swain's birds probably. It's holding a small package wrapped in brown paper in one of its claws. The raven cried loudly at my face, then hopped closer. I grasped the package with care. The raven quickly flew away, and I was left alone in this big empty expanse with someone's voice in my hands. I opened it right there.

The last time I saw an Innervating Locket was in the Journal of Justice, an article pronouncing the maker's death. It was shaped into a heart, carved from purple hued stone and embellished with silver trim. A simple crown emblem topped the front. I delicately traced my fingers around it searching for the latch.

The locket was pulsating with a familiar power. It was rich and sonorous yet rang strongly with guilt and grief. Probably handled roughly during the trip here. That's why the magic is acting up. Yet I can't recall why the artifact was decommissioned in the first place.

I opened it with reluctance. Obviously the locket signifies something profound and bothersome. Ugh, I'm not done shaking Sona off yet to fiddle with this purple heart thing dropping from the sky.

It's a note in place of the portrait. Funny. Reading it wouldn't hit me as hard as a picture right? The handwriting is very neat and flowing. Took some time writing this I bet.

"It would be a fruitless effort for me to try and bring you back to the institute. I have a concert in Zaun next week. You would find it enlightening. The choice is yours if you want to see me again. It would give me a chance to be candid with you."

...Sigh. This needs looking into. I have all these engagements. But what does she mean by giving up on her? She doesn't seem to be bothered by any loss of family or loved ones. We would have shared that grief together. Goodbyes should be very easy for Sona. And she has friends to keep things interesting right?

All of that was dead wrong, I discovered, when Swain himself took some time from his schedule to examine me after the seminar. For good reason. It would mean a lot to have a League champion like himself be tasked with delivering a package to some no-name summoner. The Noxian general noticed the locket in my hand as he stood over me. " Sona never was the one to keep secrets." he said solemnly. "Your ignorance of her past disturbs me greatly. I must remedy this immediately, seeing the woman has grown attached to you in this manner." Carefully, he sat next to me under the tree, paying mind to his leg. The dominating effect of his stare didn't follow him downward. "She's kept from you her human side in fear of getting too close. It something all the champions are practiced in. We are role models, paragons of our nations and races. To take this path is dangerous for both of you." I laughed (for longer than I should have) in part fear, part defiance, part desperation. Swain leaned forward. "That says you're sure you want to know. Frankly, I don't find any strategic advantage in courtship."

I'm making the trip now, to Zaun, by airship. The locket hangs by a chain on my neck. This next meeting will be a mutual hurdle, for both of us. I've talked much of affection in the past. Nothing more, nothing less. However maybe the following rhetoric will examine a word infinitely more powerful than that.

Pastiche

Nah, not that one. I just never had the chance to write it on paper before. Get ready for it, the real word, here it comes, you'll never guess what it is...

Love


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