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Poet Ultima: Archives

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Poeta Somnium

Senior Member


Page II - Legue Judgments

The first piece I wrote for another Summoner; Faust - The Merchant of Death (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2106632) by Script Lord.

League Judgment (Faust - The Merchant of Death)

Candidate: Damien Faust


The man standing in the Great Hall was perhaps the shadiest character to enter the Institute of War to date; no easy feat, considering the moral standings of some of the League’s current participants.

Nothing about him appeared distinctly nefarious, aside perhaps from the grim skull that ornamented the cap of his cane. In his free hand he habitually strokes the casing of an old pocket watch on a gold chain, though he has yet to examine the time. He was finely attired and well-kempt, but something about the predatory shift of his steely eyes and his subtle smirk bespoke of ill-intentions. He was the sort of man who could scheme and barter his way out of any situation; the kind of man only a fool would trust… and he could make a fool out of anyone.

The double doors open to admit him. Faust removes his fine bowler hat for a moment and slicks back his dark hair. Replacing the cap afterward he smirks at the blackened void beyond the double doors as though he recognizes an old friend there, and marches confidently inside.


“Foolish mortal.” Mephistopheles hisses through Faust’s mind. “Foolish, foolish, foolish, FOOLISH, FOOLISH!”

“Mind how you speak to me, demon.” Faust replies calmly as he waits in the darkness. “I am your master, you are not mine. You would do well to remember that.”

“How could you have so easily allowed our capture?” Mephistopheles raved. “You jeopardize our very existence with your scheming!”

Faust grinned quietly. “Sometimes a pawn must be sacrificed to secure the checkmate. I always come out on top, in the end. You’ll see.”

Mephistopheles settled into brooding silence in the back of Faust’s mind, and not a moment too soon. Faust blinked, closing his eyes for a fractal second. He opened them again to a sight he had done everything in his power to forget.

This couldn’t be…. It simply couldn’t. But it was. Everything was as he remembered it…. outside, he heard the rowdy bustle of a Bilgewater night. The musty smell of the antique shop interior was being tinted more and more by the coppery smell of blood. It was the smell of approaching death. Faust looked down at his shaking hands, covered in crimson. In one hand he held a dagger, in the other…. The seal. The contract that would grant him infinite power…. There was only one thing left to do. His hands stopped shaking.

How many times he drove the blade into the old man he couldn’t recall; this hallucinogenic reliving of the event was no more clear than when he had perpetrated the act the first time. Looming over his slaughtered grandfather, he felt fully the power of The Contract flood through his veins. Nothing could stop him now. Smug, he leans down to take the old man’s pocket watch from his corpse before he takes his leave. He reaches out, his fingers tug the glinting timepiece from his grandfather’s pocket….

A bony hand clamps painfully down on his forearm. Faust tries to break free but the grip is iron clad.

“Why do you want to join the League?” His grandfather demands, staring at him with wild dead eyes. Faust tries to scream. He cannot seem to divert his gaze from the old man’s cold gaze. “Why do you want to join the League? Why do you want to join the League? WHY DO YOU WANT TO JOIN THE LEAGUE?”

Somewhere in the depths of his mind he hears maniacal cackling, it is not his own voice. A manic revelry crashing over the steadily growing roar of that infernal question; “WHY DO YOU WANT TO JOIN THE LEAGUE?”

Faust wrenches free, dropping the knife to the ground and fleeing to the back of the shop, trying to outrun the gurgling laughter of his dead grandfather. He desperately flings open the back door, but it opens not into the back alleys of Bilgewater as it had those many years ago. It opens instead to a swirling void of darkness. Within it, two blazing crimson eyes, staring into his very soul.

A deafening, hellish voice rips through his skull; “Master….”

The darkness rushes forth and envelopes him, and there is silence again.

Faust is again alone in that impenetrable black void. The memories of that night in his grandfather’s shop seem an infinity away. He is shaken by the ordeal more poignantly than he would care to admit, but he suppresses the feelings.

A new voice sounds off in the darkness, no longer the voice of his grandfather. “Why do you want to join the League?”

Faust grins to himself. So the High Council thinks they can swindle a swindler out of his own deal? They would have to do better than that to find out his true reasons for joining.

He laughs aloud. “That’s for me to know, and you to find out.”

Another League Judgment, For: Nin'Jha - The Frog Blade (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1856475) by EpicFrogNinja

League Judgment:

Candidate: Nin’Jha


The very fact that Nin was standing in the Great Hall spoke volumes as to how vast the reach of the war truly was. The frog-like race from which Nin hailed, -- the Amphi, -- were perhaps the most reticent of Valoran’s many races, hardly leaving the sanctity of the Jade Forest or interacting with the other inhabitants of Ionia. They had no stake in this war; but they had been caught in the crossfire.

Even the High Council knew little about the details of the Amphi people; they had politely requested not to be disturbed by League officials and the Institute respected those wishes. While they did not know much about the Amphi, one thing was clear; Nin was different than the others of his kind.

The Amphi were a peaceful and meditative people, but there was a cold gleam of determination in Nin’s eyes that told of a focus deeper than meditation, and a purpose that had nothing at all to do with peace.

The doors to the Reflection Chamber opened, but no one ever saw Nin pass through them.


Nin was not afraid of the dark. He had witnessed things far more terrifying than darkness and lived through them. ….yes, he had lived. He had lived and others had not. Others who had been very dear to him.

If the High Council intended to test him, then they would have to do better than darkness. He had become more than acquainted with darkness recently; he had in fact made it a part of him, a shroud he wore and an entity in which he placed his trust. Darkness was his friend, and a weapon second only to the Ionian katana at his side.

The High Council did not disappoint. Nin’s throat began to burn from the acrid stench of smoke in the air, and his ears picked up familiar screams. Nin closed his eyes, all too aware of what he would see when he opened them again. The heat of the flames was overbearing, he could hear the sound of steel being dragged through flesh, there was sulfurous reek of violent magic. He opened his eyes.

It was all there; his village in ruins, his friends and family dead in the streets. The Noxians and Zaunite soldiers seemed like giants, tearing through the Jade Forest in a stampede of biochemical poisons and savage weaponry. They could not be defeated…. Could not be stopped….

Nin felt the grass moving beneath his bare feet, felt the wind in his face. He was running. Running for his life.


He stopped, panting for breath, tears streaming down his cheeks. Not again. He could not run. He had to be brave. He had to fight.

Turning around, Nin saw the glow of the flames through the forest, saw the pillar of russet smoke rising into the sky. He could still hear his people screaming. There was a sword in his hand.

Nin raced back through the forest, effortlessly darting through the underbrush. Only once he broke through a clearing into his village was he forced to halt.

A Noxian soldier loomed over the village, an armored titan, taller than even the trees around the village. Nin could not see his face; it was a shroud of black. Nin knew he was not real; no human had ever achieved such a height, but he was terrified nonetheless.

“Why do you want to join the League.” The towering soldier intoned. His voice shook the forest.

Nin was frozen in place. His hand tightened around the hilt of his katana but he could not move.

“Why do you want to join the League?” The soldier repeated. He took a monstrous step forward, crushing building underfoot. Nin could hear the dying screams of the people within.

He felt again the grass rushing beneath his feet, felt the wind in his face. He was running again. But this time, in a different direction.

“For my people!” He screamed, charging towards the nightmarish colossus. Nin leapt, higher and farther than any of his kind ever had, propelling himself upwards towards that impossible height. He darted nimbly through the massive fingers as the titan tried to swat him down and continued upwards, a war-cry being ripped from his throat as he swung his blade with all his might at the face of the monster that had taken everything from him.

Nin was immersed in darkness again. The stench of smoke and death was gone, the heat of the flames was replaced by a cool nothingness. The screams…. The screams would stay forever in his memory.

“Why do you want to join the League?” Asked a new voice; a gentler voice.

Nin was breathless for a moment, when at last he could speak; “For my people.” He repeated quietly.

Doors opened in the darkness and Nin made his way out onto the Fields of Justice.

League Judgment for Cedric - The Blade's Anger (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2214361&highlight=cedric) (designed by Pirateelfdog)

League Judgment.

Candidate: Cedric


Denizens of the Institute of War were keen to circumvent the newcomer as he entered; no one had ever dared enter the Institute so openly armed or boasting so wicked a weapon. It was the blade that drew the eye more than the man; a long, undulating keris blade gleaming a luminous sanguine, leaving a white-hot trail as he dragged the tip against the dark marble floor. Neither sheath nor scabbard was readily apparent; the blade, it seemed, knew no resting place.

But the weapon could only hold the onlooker’s attention for so long; the wielder was not one that could be easily ignored. His wild ebony hair hung scattered in his face, veiling eyes lit with fevered obsession and a manic grin. It was the face of a man who had forsaken sanity in the pursuit of some tireless objective.

He did not slow as he neared the doors of the Reflection Chambers, did not pause to contemplate the ancient maxim scribed above them. If anything, his pace quickened, his gaze becoming more fervent. The sword rose up, a hellish divining rod marking the path toward some absolute end. The blade reared back, glowing brighter, as though in anticipation of a coming kill, and with a cry tinged with mania the man slashed across the marble doors. The strike drew a shower of white sparks and the shriek of tortured stone. The doors yielded beneath the assault, but the blade glowed still brighter, as though unsatisfied.

The radiant blade probed into the impenetrable darkness beyond, the man following behind, as though being led. Onlookers were left to question; was it the man who wielded the sword…. or the sword who wielded the man?


This was a strange darkness; Cedric did not care for it at all. He could feel The Blade, firm and thriving in his hand, felt it’s power seeping into his palm and coursing through his fingers, but this peculiar darkness smothered even The Blade’s ever-present luminosity. It had been so long since he had been without that unearthly glow…. He could scarcely recall a world not tinged in that crimson ambience. He felt so vulnerable without it.

There was no memory to relive before The Blade. He was a vessel to The Blade’s thoughts, The Blade’s desires. He was the vehicle of The Blade’s will. Who he had been prior was of no interest to The Blade, and it had been done away with.

But there was a memory that the Blade had clung to. A memory that interested The Blade a great deal. The memory of a woman…. Quick, deadly, her rapier the only sword fast enough to best The Blade’s current vessel. This “Cedric” had served The Blade well, had fed it kill after kill, but The Blade would not be sated until it had fed from this woman. It needed her…. Craved her. Oh how The Blade longed to be plunged into her guts, to bask in her blood, to taste that killing prowess within her and rob her of it.

And then, beyond that…. This League of Legends, where The Blade could feast and grow, consuming everything in an unrestrained frenzy of infinite gorging. The Blade could sense them, all of them, could smell their power. And soon, the time would come to taste their flesh.

Suddenly, Cedric was there again; an open plaza in upper Demacia, surrounded by onlookers. His old sword lay useless on the tiles some feet away, the back of his sword hand stinging were the woman had raked the tip of her rapier, easily disarming him. He felt the tip of her sword at his throat, tilting his chin up, forcing him to meet her gaze. She was smirking at him, as though amused.

“Why do you want to join the League?” She asked playfully, a note beneath her accent suggesting she was teasing him.

Cedric could not respond. He had been bested. The disappointment of the defeat washed over him again, and beneath it, a growing determination to hone his skills to perfection in the wake of his loss. Never again would his sword-hand be left empty.

With a trill of laughter, the woman whisked her blade away, turning her back and beginning to walk away. The question remained; “Why do you want to join the League?”

He felt a sudden weight in his right hand, a strange warmth. It spread through him, empowered him. Looking down, Cedric was greeted by a familiar ambience.

He had closed the distance in a breath, The Blade driving through the woman’s back and out the other side. The power…. The power he consumed was incredible. Laughing as he basked in the glory of it, Cedric hoisted her into the air, a cadaver flag raised in celebration of the glory that was The Blade.

She hung limply, her lifeblood dribbling down The Blade, feeding it. With dying breath she gasps; “Why…. Do you want to join…. The League….”

“…..Power.” The Blade replies.

She expires, her useless carcass being flung to the ground. And then it is gone. Cedric is alone again in the darkness.

No…. not alone. The luster of The Blade prevails now over the darkness. Cedric stands in an unholy crimson glow. Doors part in the distance, and The Blade leads him toward the feast of feasts.

League Judgment for Quixar - The Splintered Mind. (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1723430&highlight=quixar)

League Judgment

Candidate: Quixar


Quixar patiently scuttles after her human escorts. “Noxians” they call themselves. They lead her down many dark passages. The scientist walking in front of her unintentionally teases her with its close proximity; how easy it would be to bite its head off. Bite its head off. Bite its head off.

But Quixar refrains. The Eye is closed. The past did not dictate the future and the present was a stagnant nothing. When The Eye opened and the past came again, they would bite its head off. But not before, not after. The Eye dictates when is when.

The humans seem very intrigued by Quixar. Quixar does not know why, nor does Quixar care. She wants only to be complete again.

The human with the head is approached by a human in robes. They talk in their barbaric language, a cacophony of bleated noise. How Quixar hates them. Oh to bite their heads off…. Bite their heads off….

Bite their heads off.

But Quixar refrains. They Eye is closed. The humans keep making noise. Quixar understands, but does not care. She wants only to be complete again.


They are in a large room. The human in the robes has a friend. They both reek of ugly magic and fear. Quixar does not wish to bite their heads. It will taste…. Icky. She wants instead to wrap them up and smother their stink. Wrap them up and listen to the nothing that ensues and feel them die.

"I am Bertrand Wordsworth, keeper of history in the Arcanum Majoris.” The first says. He gestures to the human next to him. “This is Superior Summoner L.B. Briskes. What may we call you?”

“We…. Are…. Quixar.” She gurgles. “….we wait…. to be complete.”

“Hm.” The smellier of the two humans, “Briskes” it called itself, looked pensive. “What of your kind, Quixar? What does your kind call itself?”

“We are but shards of our self.” Quixar responds. "We are but shards of ourself, and when the Eye opens, we will be complete once more."

“You speak of the Eye of Icathia.” Said “Wordsworth.” “Icathia, to the best of our knowledge, was destroyed a long time ago, if it even existed at all. How is it you know of it?”

“Your ‘knowledge’….” Quixar makes an alarming, throaty noise punctuated by shrill overtones. The duality of the projection was eerie, but it is later recognized to be a chilling cackle. The creature was mocking them.

Quixar’s many eyes focused on Wordsworth. “We know many things that many forgot. We remember many things that were never known. We, blinded, see what all your nothing became and what your nothing will become. And once the Eye opens…. We will be complete once more.”

Wordsworth felt a chill creep down his spine before he had even asked his question. “And…. What will happen, Quixar? What will happen once you are complete?”

The mammoth arachnid clicked its dripping chelicerae, as though excited. Its coarse hairs bristled. Miniature facsimiles of the creature began to grow and fester, being shed from the carapace like scabs.

“When we are complete….when the Eye opens….. the past at last has come.”

The two robed men exchanged unnerved glances, doing their best to suppress their anxieties as the half-dozen miniatures scurried about the hall, as though searching for something.

Briskes was suddenly eager to have the beast bound to the League and be done with it. Wordsworth’s questions could wait. “You are to be admitted into the League of Legends, so that we may continue further study.” He said, unable to keep a tremor out of his voice. “Before we can admit you, I must be granted access to your mind. Do you comply?”

Again came that hellish cackle of laughter, echoing hauntingly through the arching ceilings. More of the hatchlings fell from the creatures exoskeleton. Quixar’s speech was growing steadily more lucid, more expressive…. And more alarming.

“Look, and see what your feeble eyes may behold in that darkness. Look unto the darkness and let then darkness look unto you. Meet the Eye with your own, and accept your blindness. You who strains your sight out toward the future. When the Eye opens, when we are complete again, you will see. You will see.”

The swarming hatchlings as one returned to their source, burrowing again into the arachnid’s carapace from which they came. Quixar closed its many eyes, becoming silent, waiting for them to make the next move.

Wordsworth and Briskes again shared a worried look. What exactly were they getting into?

Tentatively, Brisks forged a link, tapping into the creature’s mind, prepared for any manner of unknown horror.

Briskes closed the channel immediately. Quixar opened her eyes, staring at him. She almost looked pleased.

“What are you.” Briskes demanded, shaking.

Quixar crept closer, dropping her voice to a hiss.

“We are the harbinger. We will be complete once more.”

League Judgment for DryRun's champion Mira - The Corrupted (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2067541). Wrote it on accident. XD

League Judgment

Candidate: Mira


She was not altogether well. A fool could deduce that much. She remained fair, but it was a beauty latent beneath a mask of haggard affliction. Her appearance suggested she had weathered some great trial; and was suffering through it still. She gripped a shawl around her thin shoulders, still shuddering despite the temperate spring afternoon. The quiver and longbow she had slung over her shoulder seemed to weigh terribly on her. Her face pale and fevered eyes sunken and ringed, as though she had gone too long without sleep. She clutched a hand to her stomach from time to time, as though forever on the verge of being violently ill.

But there was a determination about her as she moved through the Great Hall. A sense of vital urgency. One was inclined to guess that her driven haste was connected in some way to her condition, but without knowing for certain what that condition may be, her reasons for confronting the Reflection Chambers were anyone’s guess.

Arch Adjudicator Rozuel Fecirem watched Mira struggle across the Great Hall from a far-off alcove. From time to time she would be forced to falter to a stop, doubled over in pain, but she steadily continued to make her way to the stone doors of the Reflection Chambers nonetheless.

Fecirem’s eyes narrowed. This was no ordinary sickness. The way the woman moved…. He had seen it before. It was something beneath the beleaguered gait of illness that he recognized; her footsteps. For all her stumbling, her footfalls made scarcely a sound. She moved like a ghost without even meaning to.

And then there were her eyes…. Wild. With fever? Yes, a fever of sorts. But he had seen those eyes before. Evelynn, The Widowmaker had the same mania in her eyes. He, among a few others, knew what Evelynn truly was. By the time Eve had come to the League she had long ago succumbed to the demon within herself, embraced it. This newcomer however, seemed to be trying to fight back with everything she had.

The woman collapsed against the doors, summoning every particle of strength in order to force them open. Fecirem turned and left the Great Hall. He dared not think about the consequences if his postulations proved correct; if she too fell victim to her illness and strayed down the same path Evelynn had, the Institute of War, -- and all Valoran, -- may have a serious problem on their hands.


Mira collapsed in the darkness, trembling uncontrollably. Along the empty miles from Demacia she had little by little found a balance in her condition; a way to suppress the maddening nausea and bloodlust without feeling so terribly drained. But as she entered the Institute of War, surrounded by people, controlling herself seemed suddenly impossible. It took every shred of willpower she had to ignore the need; she could hear the blood pounding in the veins of the people around her, could almost taste it. She suffered brief, fitful hallucinations of attacking, biting, clawing, feeding…. Those around her could not have guess the peril they so very narrowly avoided. Moving through the Great Hall, Mira fought with everything she had to hold back, and the effort…. She worried that it may have very nearly killed her.

She did not want to leave the dark void in which she now resided. It was peaceful. The hunger was dormant, and little by little she felt her strength ebb back. Once her shaking had subsided, she cautiously made it to her feet.

And then she was on her back again, staring dazedly up at the grey morning sky, surrounded by the smells and sounds of the marshes. There was a sharp rending sensation at her throat, a full-body spike of pain like death itself, and then peace.

Slowly, she clambered to her feet and looked around. Her blouse was stained with blood. Her blood. It smelled delightful.

A shadow lurked off amongst the skeletal trees on the other side of the bog. She could not see its face, but she knew it was smiling at her.

In the blink of an eye it was gone; a fleeting shadow disappearing into deeper shadow. There was no time for thought; Mira ran, plodding through the waist-deep bog, swimming, struggling. She clambered up the muddy banks exhausted but did not relent, giving immediate chase to her attacker. She wanted answers.

The sharp branches, bracken and thorns cut through her clothes as she tore through the marsh; the sting of pain was too real to be a dream, but she ignored it. She could ignore less-so that tantalizing smell of blood as it trickled from her narrow scrapes and scratches. The aroma was intoxicating…. She cleared her head and focused, powering through whatever skeletal coppices the swamplands dared to put in her path. She needed answers.

And then she stuttered to a halt. On a hill in the horizon she saw the bright lights of Demacia, beyond the high keep walls. Before her was her quaint village, and all was still. Her enigmatic nemesis was nowhere to be seen.

As though drawn by some alien force, Mira pushed open the doors of the nearest cottage, and immediately slammed it closed again. Inside, she had witnessed a slaughter unlike any other…. Blood smeared the walls, sundered body parts lay scattered about, faces….. faces of people she knew, staring with dead eyes.

She looked down. Her hands were covered in blood. She could taste blood on her lips, trickling down her throat. Her belly was warm and full with it.

Mira tried to scream, but couldn’t. “No….” She gasped, staring in disbelief at her bloody hands. “No…. this isn’t who I am….”

“Embrace it.” Said the shadowy figure behind her. “Let it take you…. Feel the power….”

Mira indeed felt the power, surging through her. And now longer did she suffer that overwhelming nausea. She felt…. Sated. Yes, perhaps this was the answer….

Slowly, she turned around. She still could not see her assailant clearly, but still knew they were smiling at her, sensing victory.

The shadowy hand rested on the shoulder of a child. Fair haired, wide eyed, innocent. No…. please, no, not a child…..

“Embrace it.” The shadow chuckled. “Embrace what you are.”

Mira stared in horror at the sight of the child. Her every sense was amplified a hundredfold; she could hear the rush of blood in the boy’s veins, could smell it. The rapid thrum of the child’s heart was like a dinner bell. How sweet it would taste….her brief sense of satisfaction ended abruptly; the hunger was back in full force.

“Embrace it.” The shadow repeated. “Embrace what you are.”

The heart fluttered faster. It was maddening. It resounded in her head like a manic metronome. She was going to die from hunger. She needed to rend and tear and maim and feast on this child, gorge herself on every last drop of blood.

“….What you are….” The shadow teased.

Mira took a step forward, and then stopped. The shadow was smiling at her again. She knew it. That monster…. It did not control her. She was no slave to its caprices.

She had no recollection of drawing her bow, of even having it in her hands, but it was. The bolt flew true; the shadow shrieked and withered, crumbling to the ground in a heap.

“This isn’t what I am.” She whispered fiercely. Slowly, she approached her tormentor, and was stunned by what she saw.

The figure on the ground.... was her. An arrow imbedded in her chest, eyes staring like glass. Dead.

The child looked up at her, said something, but she was too deeply immersed in shock to hear it. The child spoke again, and she was slowly brought back to her senses.

“Why do you want to join the League, Mira?” The child asked. It was not a child’s voice, but still soothing…. Gentle.

Dazed, Mira stared long and hard at her own corpse, shot dead by her own arrow. It was a long moment before she could reply.

“…..I have to fight it. Because…. That is who what I am. I have to fight it.”

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Poeta Somnium

Senior Member


For Arilian - Queen of the Elements (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1840566) (Havoc202)

Arilian - Queen of the Elements

Candidate: Arilian


The geological formations to the south of the Institute of War, -- particularly Mogron Pass and Mount Targon, -- oftentimes funneled strange weather northward from the Shurima Desert and Kumungu, so the occupants of the Institute were somewhat accustomed to sudden storms. But today…. There was something sentient about the clouds; they did not move in from the south. The did not move in from anywhere. They were just…. There, hovering strangely, as though waiting for something to happen. Grey and ominous, they appeared eager to release their torrents like a hydrous air raid. Thunder growled in the distance.

Arilian entered the Great Hall, the smooth marble feeling strange beneath the soles of her feet after so many miles walked on the bare earth. She felt strangely disconnected within these walls; magic was thick on the air, a smog she had to swim through in order to maintain her bond with the elements. She did not care for all this cold lifeless marble; dead stone, stripped of life. She felt smothered. Nevertheless, she marched on, making her way to the towering twin doors.

The doors loom high over the young woman, but Arilian did not appear intimidated. Thunder cracked directly over the Institute, shaking the building. A rush of wind blew through the front doors, and Arilian slowly lifted a few inches into the air, her eyes glowing white, her hands lifting to either side, conducting the forces around her. The earth rumbled and quaked and the twin doors parted, permitting admission to the impenetrable blackness of the Reflection Chambers within. Arilian cups her hands together, shaping a sphere; after a moment, fire flickers to life between her palms, and in a flash a gout of flame stabs into the darkness beyond, but is doused in the shadow, expiring in a hiss of smoke.

Arilian frowns softly at this defiance, but does not appear intimidated.. The thunder overhead eases, the turbulent earth comes to rest. The whirling gale subsides, a gentle zephyr carrying her across the threshold.


If Arilian had felt disconnected from the elements in the Great Hall, the Reflection Chamber left her feeling starkly naked; unbearably vulnerable. She felt completely cut off, unable to hear the call of the elements at all. A moment of panic gripped her; for half a decade she had always heard the voice of the planet, understood it, communed with it. Now, in this darkness…. She had never felt so alone.

But the darkness was short lived. Her surroundings took on a russet luminosity. Her eyes began to ache from the intensity of it. And then her connection with the elements was suddenly stifled no longer.

The first thing she felt was the pain; hot, horrific pain all over her body. She screamed, falling to her knees in the blackened soil. It was the earth, crying out to her; she felt its agony. She could not breathe; air struggled to speak to her, choked with smoke and ashes. The thunderous clouds overhead loosed their tempests in vain, unable to douse the inferno that consumed the land.

It was the fire…. The fire was out of balance.

Weak, trembling, Arilian raised her eyes to the vista; she witnessed a panoramic view of scorched earth, ashen trees; utter desolation. The world had been reduced to a wasteland. The balance had been compromised.

Fire consumed, destroyed, devoured. There, out in the distance was a lone silhouette, standing in a pillar of fire that reached up into the sky, challenging the rain. She heard his terrible roar, his rage. The being known as Brand would not stop until fire had claimed everything.

Fire was the only element that was created by man, and was therefore impure. It was volatile, it was inherently corrupt. While the other elements required nurturing and encouragement to attain harmony, fire inversely had to be contained, controlled, subdued. Its sentient desire to overcome and dominate the other elements had been what created the being called Brand in times of old. Brand’s very existence upset the balance of nature; the Shamans before her had always struggled to keep it in check, sealing it away into the caves of northern Lokfar. But Brand had been released, and even the League of Legends could not contain it forever.

Arilian knelt in the scorched mud and wept uncontrollably, overwhelmed by the agony of the elements as they transferred their pain into her. Nature was slowly dying. She had failed. She had failed to maintain the balance, and now all was lost. Her power was nothing in the face of the Burning Vengeance.

“Challenge me.” Growled the creature Brand. “You, Mistress of Elements. Come, I invite you to master me.” It was taunting her.

“How like fire,” Arilian thought bitterly, “So confident in its own strength.”

But rightly so. The monster blazed higher, towering over the charred terrain around it. “CHALLENGE ME.” Brand commanded. “Challenge me so that I may at last assert my dominance over your pathetic kind! The time of man and beast has ended! Challenge me, feeble creature, and meet your end!”

The clamor of the suffering elements racked her body, but Arilian climbed unsteadily to her feet. Brand had grown, consuming every resource it encountered. The body of Kegan Rodhe had long combusted, unable to contain the demon. Brand now existed in its true and horrible form; a wall of fire, hundreds of feet high. The sky was lost behind the mantle of acrid black smoke. The heat, even at such a distance, threatened to end her. Arilian was an insignificant speck before its fury, but she had to try.

She summoned the earth, calling up great walls of rock, corralling the demon, but Brand only laughed its horrid, deafening laugh. The rocks grew white-hot, melting into magma, only fueling its power. She called down the lightning to no avail. She summoned great winds, hoping to snuff it like a great candle, but only fanned the flames, much to Brand’s delight.

All her desperation, all her anguish, she channeled into harnessing her last resort; water. She coaxed every drop of rain from the clouds she could, but it evaporated from the sheer heat before even coming into contact with the flames. It was not enough. Brand only laughed and laughed.

She stirred the seas, harnessed the tides, forced the ebb and flow with every iota of strength she had. The oceans crashed over the shore, overtook the land, tidal waves reaching into the heavens before washing over the fiery titan. Brand bellowed in agony, a cloud of steam erupting from the base of the flames and obscuring the land. It was over.

And then, after a moment, that horrid laughter came again.

She saw the glow beyond the cloud of steam, and then it suddenly exploded, clearing the atmosphere in a fiery inferno. Brand could not be doused.

Arilian collapsed. She had nothing left. The demon was too powerful to be defeated. The world was consigned to fiery oblivion, and she could not stop it. No one could.

….. too powerful….

She was going about this all wrong. Fire was power incarnate; of course she could not defeat it; its power would forever be greater than her own. What she had to do was outsmart it, not conquer it.

Water, while the seemingly obvious solution, could not best fire in a contest of power. Not now, anyway; Brand had escalated to something beyond elemental power. She called instead upon air again, this time with a different tactic in mind.

Brand’s wild laughter faltered, surprised. It’s fiery reaches flickered, ever so slightly. Silently, Brand observed, trying to deduce her intentions. By then it was already too late.

Arilian grew faint, dizzy, again collapsing into the mud and cinder, but still she channeled the air, manipulating it ever so gently. She gasped for breath despite herself. She was going to die. So be it.

Realization suddenly dawned. “NO!” Brand roared. It attempted to lash out at her, but fizzled, shrunk, struggled to remain alight. “YOU WITCH! YOU WITCH YOU WILL PAY! YOU ALL WILL PAY!”

Inky darkness swam at the edges of Arilian’s vision, still she fought on. She commanded air to leave this place, to go far away. Of course without air she could not survive…. But neither could fire.

Brand ranted, raged, but all its power and anger was for naught. Sheer power was nothing without balance. Even fire relied on the balance.

The atmosphere was empty, and Brand had consumed every other resource. With a silent snuff, it was gone. Arilian lost consciousness. For better or worse, it was over.

She opened her eyes to a cold marble floor and the hem of fine robes. She looked up, dazed, and took the hand the elderly Summoner offered and made it unsteadily to her feet.

“I believe you have already made it clear why you want to join the League.” He said grimly. “Why you need to join the League.”

Arilian said nothing. She out her hand in front of her, a lick of fire fluttering to life in her empty palm. She stared at it, studied it. She controlled it for now, but the world was but the world could only imagine how very close it was to destruction. The balance must be preserved.

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