(I've been meaning to do this for some time and I finally got around to working up the motivation to do so! Please enjoy and please comment! I love every single comment I get.)
Date: March 27th, 11 CLE
The only sound that could be heard was the trotting of small Yordle feet in iron boots up the long flight of stairs that led to the Institute of War. Upon reaching the top flight, the small being stopped to catch her breath. Even at a running pace the journey was rather long for someone so... small, shall we say. "Tactical location inside a mountain... clever... but so unnecessarily hard to access..." she panted in between breaths. Her attire was recognizable as that of a Megling Commando, an elite unit of protectors to the city state of Bandle City. her ears twitched, and her snow white hair glistened in the dark of the Institute's lantern lit building. Protective metal gloves covered her hand, presumably for operating the heavy weaponry the Commandos are famed for. She took her time to admire her surroundings as she made her way to the large door at the end of the hallway. She peered up, straight up in fact, to see the insignia above. "Truest opponent lies within huh?" she said as she rubbed her chin, pondering it's meaning for about a second, before simply dismissing it as another one of those silly metaphors that try and sound mysterious yet never lead to anything. Rubbing her fists together before giving a hefty shove, she uses an exceptional portion of her strength to push on the gigantic door in front of her.
The door promptly refused to open.
"Oh for f*ck's sake...." she swore. Try ans she might, she simply didn't have quite enough strength to open the massive piece of masonry. The Yordle proceeded to run off, and back down the stairs. An hour or so later, she returned with a large cannon obviously built for two Yordles, yet she was carrying it on her own just fine. It would be more appropriate on a Zaunite War Engine then a Yordle. "If you don't wanna open.... I'll MAKE you open" she grumbled. She ran to the opposite end of the room, directly in front of the doorway, and promptly loaded a cannonball marked with a skull and crossbones into her oversized weapon. gripping her hand on the lever, and pointed it directly at the door. A small click could be heard as the wick on the cannon lit. A second later, a boom resonated across the room as a large cannonball impacted against the door, blowing it into rubble. A sly smirk spread across her face as she hopped on into the Reflection Chamber.
(Fine her for the door, her salary should cover for a new one)
Tristana opened her eyes, and instead of darkness she awoke to carnage. Massive spikes of pain shot through her entire body as she gazed forwards at the burning sky whilst drops of blood from her forehead dripped down past her eyes to the verdant green field. The screams of the dying and the screaming of artillery shells could be heard as her shellshocked ears adjusted. She instantly recognized where she was. Blueberry Hill, Bandle City, 18 years ago during the Battle of Bandle City during the closing of the last Rune War. To this day it is considered the bloodiest battle of the war, and a narrow defeat for Noxus that cemented their hatred of the furry race. She had been playing with her best friend Maybelle on the swingset when the bombings began. If she recalled correctly then, ah yes, there was her friend's corpse, skull half melted, fingers tugging on her foot as the biochemicals continued to melt her down. It had not come fast, she (and herself) had been screaming and crying for roughly half a minute, never quite understanding what was happening in her final panic. The tree the swingset had been attached to was a burning log at this point. She jumped a bit as a flaming branch feel several feet away. As a child, she and been disoriented and confused, too busy crying and not truly understanding what was going on. But as an adult suddenly thrust back into a living nightmare, she was frozen with terror and the horrors of war.
To her right the legless body of a poor Yordle soldier laid there. He was very fresh, smoke just coming off of his body, his rifle at his side cracked and broken. The stench of flesh permeated the air in excessive quantities, High above, Corki's Flying Yipsnakes were dogfighting as one of them began it's long and burning plummet into the forest below. On the left, a squad of soldiers were firing into the treeline below. Despite remembering it clearly, her heart skipped a beat when the medic of the group, treating a wound that had spelled the end of one Yordle's kneecap, took a blast of fire directly to the back of the head. She fell down onto the patient she had been treating, and they both began to catch fire as the wounded Yordle panicked and began screaming. Distracted by his concern for his comrades another one of the five turned his head just in time to receive a crossbow bolt through the skull. As the wounded yordle rapidly became a flaming effigy and ceased moving, one of them simply broke down and ceased moving. The last remaining of the five began dragging his friend across the field, directly towards where Tristana was.
"You have legs, use them!" the more currently sane of the two said, his brunette fur covered in ash, blood, and gunpowder. In his other hand he was lugging a massive cannon, one that was extremely familiar to Tristana. The other one with the bandages covering his forehead and the ruffled blue fur simply clutched his rifle as tight as he could, and was mumbling prayers to the god Yelanus. "Is that a f*ckin child?" said the brunette one. The other simply continued mumbling. "Bloody ell you're useless" he said as he dropped him behind a stump and ran over to Tristana. Picked her up by the chin he gazed into her terrified eyes as Tristana instantly recognized who this was. She wanted to say something, anything, a question, but nothing came out. The Yordle looked over to the corpse of Maybelle and with a light tap removed her acidic grasp from Tristana's pant leg.
A loud cry from many voices sounded as Noxins from all sides charged out of the forest. "AVON!!! MOVE!!!" the Yordle yelled as he picked up and hoisted Tristana over his shoulder. Avon, the other Yordle, simply began firing wildly into the crowd. One unlucky Noxian took a bullet through the chest, dropping instantly. As Tristana's vision bounced up and down, the world blurred out. Avon continued to fire even as the Noxians chopped him to pieces. Her savior simply kept running, Tristana over one shoulder and cannon over the other.
When her world un-blurred Tristana was safe in the arms of her mom and dad as the Yordle warrior handed her over. The more safe part of town, the inner city, would remain untouched by the war. After having read the initials on her shirt the soldier had searched for her house for about 45 minutes before finding it. "She's still in a state of shock, probably gonna need counseling. Keep her in bed" he says. Her mom continues to talk to him while her dad picks her up and carries her off to bed. He tucks her in, tells her it will all be fine, and then heads back downstairs. She sat there for who knows how long before the Yordle soldier headed on in and sat himself down in a nearby chair, putting on the best smile he could. "Well the city could still be vulnerable to attack, so I figure might as well guard this place, make sure nothing bad happens to you" he said. Tristana continued staring at him. "I'm Keivan, Captain of the Megling Commandos, and until this siege is over, your personal bodyguard" he said with his smile still plastered on.
The silence that followed was awkward, although Tristana remembered everything that followed. "Mr. Keivan" she said in her small girlish voice. "Yes?" "Am I going to be safe?" she had asked him. The grizzled Yordle simply chuckled. "Of course. They won't hurt you so long as I'm around" he said. Tristana remained unsure. "I promise" he said. It was at this point something in Tristana awoke as she remembered. This man, this warrior, fighting with immense bravery to protect a single child and being able to survive all these battles, it made her temporarily forget the horrors of war. "Can you... tell me a story?" she asked. Keivan simply smiled and began to talk. Began to talk of a hundred stories, and forged the beginning of a friendship. All of this yet only 5 summers old.
Tristana blinked as she was back in the darkness, a blue robed summoner standing in front of her. "Woah" she simply said. "The Judgement reflects the mind of the individuals, reveals them, shows who they are and why they are here. So tell us Tristana, why are you here?" the summoner asked her. She chuckled, "That it?" she said. "Simple, Bandle City needs champions, all we have is Teemo. And no offense to the guy but he ain't exactly that cool. Yordles need a bonafide badass, someone that others will see as more cool then cute. It's why I came here, end of story" she said with a smirk on her face the whole time. The Summoner continued to stare at her. "Plus your waiting lists are long as hell, 4 months? Really?" she commented. "You tell only half the truth, you have something your heart does not wish to reveal" said the Summoner. Though his face could not be seen, he could clearly see Tristana's who had curled into a frown, her ears drooping. "No idea what you're talking about" she said, clearly wishing to avoid the subject. The Summoner glowed and all became white.
From that point on Tristana experience a hundred memories of her and Keivan together. He practically became one of the family. He would often be invited over to dinner, they would go to the zoo and amusement parks together, and every day for the next 15 years the two were inseparable. Yet every day a new story would be told by Keivan, one of his glories in battle, and every time Tristana became more and more inspired and sure of her life dream. When she became of age to join the Megling Commandos, the now retired Keivan had never been happier, and even more so when she became a prodigy among the Commandos, marksmanship the likes never seen before. The old soldier had practically keeled over when she had scored a head shot on every single target at the shooting range. He had ruffled her snowy white hair and told her he had never been proud of one more so then her.
Of course, good times never last.
When the scene shifted she whispered "Please no" as the Summoner stared along with her at the scene unfolding. Keivan lying, barely conscious in his final hour in a hospital bed. Heart monitor beeping slowly but steadily. Tristana watched herself tearing up, as did herself in present, whilst the old Yordle continued smiling. "Oh don't even think about giving me that" he said. "G-give what?" she sniffed. "Those tears, you knew very well this was going to happen. At the very least get sad after I'm gone, you're too tough to cry" he said. "Emotions too weak for you I suppose" she said. "Yeah, guess so" he chuckled. He turned his head towards her, tired and wrinkled eyes open as much as he could muster.
"Now then, I have one last story to tell you before I go, pay attention because I'm not going to repeat it" he said. Tristana remained at attention. "The box under the bed, go on and open it. I think you'll like it" he said, as he coughed in a raspy fashion. "Ugh f*ck you old age..." he mumbles. Tristana opened the box and stared agape at it's contents. Slowly and with all the care in the world, she hefted up Keivan's cannon that he had been carrying around for all these years. "Keivan, this is your cannon, I can't take thi-" "Except you will, because this is my dying gift to you and you are gonna enjoy it as hard as the f*cking moon! I know how much you've wanted this, and if you can handle a Rifle as well as you do then you can handle the Ruby Bazooka".
Tristana nodded. "Now then, what I'm about to say to you, don't freak out". Tristana leaned in closer. "That there cannon, is the same exact cannon used by Megling all those centuries ago" he said. Tristana's eyes went wide as dinner plates as she stared at Keivan, then at the cannon, and then back at Keivan and then back at Keivan, then back at the cannon, then-. "You may be wondering how I got this? Thing is, Megling was my great, great, great, great grandmother" said the old soldier. "And you decided not to tell until you were on your deathbed?!" Tristana gawked. "Two reasons for that. The first being that if I told you right away you might have gone blabbing to some people about it. I don't need all the attention, just wanna live a quiet life, partying and carefree. Which, thanks to you, I was able to do". "The second reason?" asked Tristana inquisitively. "I wanted to see your reaction, worth it" he chuckled. Tristana rolled her eyes.
"Now listen, I'm not gonna be around for much longer, so humble me with my one last request" said the veteran of 1000 battles. "Anything" said Tristana. "Don't treat it like some delicate piece of Ionian glassware, I want you to actually use it! That weapon needs action like a pirate needs rum" he said, as he began coughing. Tristana handed him a glass of water which he chugged. "F*cking lungs, anyway, like I said, I want you to become captain of your unit. The world is changing Tristana, and Bandle City needs strong people like you" he said as he began coughing again. "But why me? N-not that I reject it, I mean, I love it! It's just... what made you choose me?" she asked. With tired eyes, Keivan blinked and sighed. "Because, you're my only friend Tristana".
"What? But I thought-" "You thought wrong" he said as he interrupted her. "I am one crotchety ass old geezer, you actually think that I'd have friends? Nah. Before you came along all I had was my squad, and they're currently six, maybe seven feet under. You had that spark, that spark of adventure in ya" he said. Tristana stayed silent. "So if I had no desire to join the Commandos, we would never have become friends?" she said, a tone of disappointment visible. Keivan scoffed. "Bah, quit moping. Course we'd still be friends, you're a like-able person. too nice for your own good sometimes I swear. Toughen out a bit would ya?" he said. Tristana nodded "Can do". Keivan began coughing again, and Tristana could only watch her friend suffer.
Keivan turned his head and gazed out the window. "Looks nothing like a warzone, our beautiful city. Everything's so quiet, so peaceful. What more would a Yordle want in life?" he asked. "Not much else" she said as she held his hand. The memory began to fade, as Tristana of the present observed Tristana of the past and Keivan holding hands as the birds peacefully chirped outside and the merchants did their work. Not two minutes later he was dead, quietly holding Tristana's hand.
It returned back to the present, the Summoner staring at the red cheeked and puffy eyed Tristana as she wiped her eyes. "I'm not crying! It's dust in my eye!" she protested. "Now tell me Tristana, why do you truly wish to join the League of Legends?" said the Summoner. Tristana sniffled and wiped her eye. She remained silent. The Summoner continued to wait. Time passed for 30 seconds before she got the courage to speak up. "Because... because I need to honor his memory! I'm... I'm scared I won't amount to anything! If I simply go my entire life running through the same drills over and over again, what honor does that bring? Nothing! Every Yordle to wield the Ruby Bazooka has fought in a Rune War, but the Rune Wars are over and gone now! The only place left to fight is..." "The League of Legends" the Summoner finished. "Yeah" she said, as she put her smirk back on. "I-If I can make it up to the top, become a star fighting battles all the time AND simultaneously representing all the Yordles, and especially the Megling Commandos, then I'll be happy in life. Nothing much else really matters to me" she said. The Summoner nodded.
"A-And think! What would have happened if I had never met him? What would have happened if I had been something l-like a banker or a candy seller? Nothing would have happened! My life would just fade into memory, nobody would remember Tristana the Librarian for her courageous book sorting deeds! No! They are gonna remember me as Tristana, the Megling Gunner!" she exclaimed, finishing her tirade with a pant, followed by a deep breath. When she looked up the Summoner was gone, replaced by a glowing light in the pitch black room. She stood there, all alone, pondering her situation. A small sheet of paper seemed to float down from nowhere. Caching it, she read the contents of it and smiled, calming her inner storm.
Dear Tristana Eldavn
You are hereby cordially invited to the League of Legends on behalf of the Institute of War.
Signed, High Councilor Heywan Relivash.
Tristana sat, perched atop Blueberry Hill with her sheet of acceptance. She sat next to the grave of Keivan, her greatest friend, her inspiration, the one who gave her purpose. "I really can't thank you enough, without you... dunno what would have happened" she said as she laid her hand on the gravestone. "Maybe would have simply fell into obscurity.... Maybe I would have died right then and there..." she said as she pondered before standing upright. She gazed across the fields. If one had told you the bloodiest battle of the war had happened here you would simply laugh them off. She held her sheet forward to the sunlight. It wasn't just a sheet of acceptance into the league, it was a sheet of purpose, a sheet of honor. One that promised her the glory that she needed to prove her worth in this life.
On that day, the Megling Gunner locked and loaded, and was forever remembered for many centuries to come
Almost cried, punched a wall felt manly enough to respond. The only problem is when tristana was being carried back to her house. How did Keivan know where her house was because from the way the story is worded she was suffering from shock and couldn't talk. Other than that its a beautifully touching story.
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