Permafrost Diplomacy-A Karma Story

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Eyowyn

Senior Member

04-05-2013

Updated! Chapter 7: Tact is up! <----link to chapter on fanfiction.net

Back to normal posting schedule!

Hi guys! Welcome to the beginning of Permafrost Diplomacy, a tale of reworked Karma and the new Freljord lore.

I am going to be taking a lot of inspiration from Hinduism for the story, as I feel Karma and her mantras deserve. The chakras mentioned in this chapter are Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra; Ajna, the Brow Chakra; Vishuddha, the Throat Chakra; and Anahata, the Heart Chakra. Go visit the Wikipedia page on chakras if you want to learn more about them and what they represent!

I offer my thanks to AerithRayne, who I’ve been enjoying talking to for the past few weeks in her League of Legends forum thread, and who made me want to place a story solely on Valoran.

Enjoy!

I'm hoping to keep all the chapters but the first on fanfiction.net and discussion here.

Check out this link to a thread that itself has links to articles by Riot about the new Freljord lore. http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=3300709


Part One: The Duchess
Chapter 1: Decorum


Breath. Stable and grounding. Living air, light, entering the body, flushing out toxins in exhale, releasing negativity, rooting the self in the now, offering stability, focus, clarity.

Sometimes breath could be the only thing that could be relied on. For the last fifteen years, her breath had come in three beats. Inhale, one. The Noxian invasion. Two. The resistance. Three. The Zaunites. Exhale, one. The Great Stand of the Placidium. Two. The Trial for the Isle. Three. The Rematch.

Three was neither too fast nor two slow. It calmed her heart but permitted exertion. It centered her. It was something she could control, that she could depend on. Her breath and her will could not be disrupted.

If they were, then she was defenseless.

In the months before, she had her fans. But the antiques had never been meant for the use she put them to, and they had grown fragile. For fear of breaking them, she no longer manipulated blades of will she hid between the folds. Instead, she kept them hidden in her dress, for comfort and for state appearances, and, as only she knew, to use at her last stand.

Karma breathed steadily as she walked through the short grass of the center lane of Summoner’s Rift, a gentle hum emanating from the light of her will that kept her Mantle of Decorum aloft behind her head. Her hair was held back by three metal rings, perfectly in order, a dark glistening red beneath the warmth of the sun.

“All is in accordance,” she murmured, and began, without any sort of hurry, a series of languid movements with her arms and legs. She stood up straight, her arms at her sides, with the backs of her hands up, and closed her eyes. Then she placed both of her palms together, her fingers pointing towards the sky, in front of her chest, while shifting her weight to one leg and bending the other until her foot pressed above her knee. Slowly, she lifted her arms, raising her clasped hands towards the sky as she opened her eyes. Behind her, the hum intensified, the light of her will starting to blaze as her heart slowed and slowed in its beats and tranquility settled over her like armor. When her arms were straight over her head, she let her lips curve into a smile and slowly brought her arms back to her sides and her foot back to the ground.

As she completed her exercises, tiny blue minions started to wend their way around her, trotting their way towards the purple side, and she heard the robotic voice of Orianna command, “ravage.”

She took a breath and started forwards, murmuring “gayah nah kereh be” in Old Ionian. The words sharpened the world to crystal clarity. Karma raised an elegant hand and pointed towards Orianna who was standing just outside her purple minions, throwing spiked gears into the blue ranks. Her Ball had shot into the rushes on one side of the river and was barely visible as a gleam of metal.

Karma focused and the skin on her hand started to tingle as her will coalesced around it like a shining glove. Her duty sung within her.

She released it and it shot forwards, flaring the iridescent green of a butterfly’s wing as it slammed into Orianna’s plated chest. The Clockwork Lady stumbled, briefly falling to her knees as she frantically rewound the key on her back.

Karma let her long sleeves fall forwards to cover her hands as her will erupted from the earth beneath Orianna in a sheet of pale flame. With a horrible crunching, popping sound, Orianna’s framework collapsed, twisted irreparably, before the light of summoning whisked her away.

The Enlightened One watched calmly until her enemy had firmly disappeared and then began to summon knives of spirit into her hands, each which she held between two fingers before pointing at an enemy minion and watching as the translucent blades shot unerringly through their hoods.

Her thoughts were elsewhere.



“We are finally, finally certain that no traces of the Noxian occupation forces remain,” Irelia sighed a month before Karma’s match, her huge blade drooping behind her. The dark circles under the young woman’s eyes looked like they’d been carved there.

“Excellent,” Karma said briskly, tapping the handle of one of her elegant fans against the table. They were in one of the offices in the Placidium, a room paneled with dark wood with troughs full of trickling water on each side. In the center was a table with a great map of Ionia, with three great squares carved into the wood on the side. Within these squares lay a multitude of tiny flags. The top square held velvet flags, representing Noxian forces—all of these had been returned to the square from the pinholes in the map. The middle square’s flags were swatches of rose silk, representing villages where order had been restored, and only a few of them were left off the map. The bottom square held what concerned them now.

Within, were three jet black flags.

Irelia reached over and plucked one out, placing in in the center of the islet of Shon-Xan.

“The Pit of Pallas,” she said gravely.

Karma, her face expressionless, scooped up a second and placed it on the furthest edge of Ionia’s most remote northwestern island.

“The Order of Shadow,” Karma murmured.

Irelia’s blade darted forwards, separating into innumerable tiny blade that whirred over the last flag like a swarm of biting flies. They speared through it and lifted it above the main island of Ionia.

“The Celestial Fortress,” Irelia spat.

Karma blinked slowly, feeling weariness seep over her. “We should leave Syndra for last. She is a rebellious child, full of sound and fury, but she will do little harm to our people as she troubles with herself,” the Duchess said calmly, resting a hand on her friend’s shoulder.

“She’s missing,” Irelia said heavily. “No one’s seen her fortress in the last two weeks. Who knows what she might be up to?”

Karma squeezed lightly before she let her hands fall back to her sides, her dark eyes as calm as the Placidium’s reflecting pool. On her next exhale, she sent her spirit out with her breath, letting it expand through the whole island of Ionia in the briefest moment. The untroubled lives of many of the villagers appeared to her as bright flames in a pale sea, untroubled aside from two shadows on the water’s surface, both in the places she expected them to be. But Irelia was right. Syndra was missing.

Karma focused. She inhaled and her spirit rushed back to her, invigorating her with the will of her people. One, two, three…and she reached out again, looking for even the smallest disturbance. Nothing. The sea was a sheet, untroubled by waves—no! She saw something. A tiny ripple, leading off to the west. It was so small it look like the mere parting of the waters by a child’s finger. She strained the reach of her senses, following it until the strength of her homeland began to falter. The ripple grew the further west she went, until at the furthest edge of her perception she could see it touch the land.
Karma gasped and grabbed her fan tightly in her hand. Her will was wavering and the effort of looking so far shot terrible pain down her spine, through the centers of her chakra.

But she had one last thing to look for.

She looked down at the ripple and descended to the pale ocean’s surface, squinting at it for even the smallest of clues. Her eyes burned and distantly she felt tears begin to roll down her cheeks, smearing the red teardrops just below her lashes. But there was something floating, just there…she reached out for it and felt a tremor run through her body.

Karma sighed regretfully and pulled her spirit back, back to the room behind the Placidium. Irelia gasped and reached for her as she smiled briefly, wiping away the blood trickling from her nose with her sleeve.

“Syndra went west, Irelia, and into Valoran,” Karma said firmly, looking her friend in the eye.

Then she fainted, her decorum collapsing with her legs, and felt Irelia’s strong arms hook under hers before the black consumed her.


When she woke, it was under the stern gaze of Soraka.

“What were you thinking, Karma?” she hissed. “Seconds more, and your efforts would have destroyed your mind. Your will is not strong enough to sustain your body through cerebral hemorrhage!”

Karma, her chin tilted upwards slightly, shook her head. “No, Starchild. As long as my will remains, I will not falter. I did not wish to risk a longer recovery period just for a small piece of additional information, however, so I returned to my body. It shouldn’t be more than a few days, correct?”

“I’m tempted to keep you here for a month!” Soraka snapped. “You can’t risk yourself like this, Duchess! If you continue to overextend your spirit, you will exhaust yourself and you will die!”

“I do what is necessary,” Karma said, her face blank of anything but the implacable dignity in her eyes. Delicately, she reached up and felt expertly at pulse points. Soraka sighed in disgust and placed a strong blue hand on her brow.

“Rest, Duchess. Ionia can survive without you for another day or so. Irelia’s already sending out messengers to ask if any of the coastal villages saw the Celestial Fortress. We’ll find out where Syndra’s gone while you recover,” she said, a warm pulse of golden light racing down her arm and into Karma’s head.

The Enlightened One did not sigh or smile at the touch of healing. Instead, she asked, “does anyone know I am here? Does anyone know I fainted?”

“No, Duchess,” Soraka said. “Irelia brought you to me by the back ways. I left word that I was discussing matters with you and that we were not to be disturbed.”

Karma listened quietly, then smiled and laid her head back on her pillow, her short red hair in a messy pool around her, free from its restraining rings. “I will rest, Soraka,” she said gratefully, and closed her eyes. Soraka gently brushed her hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ears. The Starchild reached over for a basin of warm water and a cloth, then set to gently scrubbing Karma’s face. Under her tender hands, the scarlet teardrops and their black outlines disappeared.

Soraka sent another pulse of healing into Karma’s temples and felt her charge relax into peaceful sleep, curling up on herself. The Starchild brought the coverlets up and patted them down around her.

Karma looked so young and gentle when she slept, a mere child, unfit for war. Without the armor of her unbreakable will, she seemed so fragile that Soraka could hardly bear to let her go back out to fight.

The Starchild reached down and held the Duchess’ hand as she slept, singing a soft lullaby of no language that Valoran had ever known.


“She went to Freljord?” Karma asked, a tiny furrow in her smooth brow. Irelia nodded, her blade dipping down as well.

“All reports agree that the Celestial Fortress was spotted on the northern horizon from the Piltover border with the Ironspike Mountains,” Irelia repeated.

“What would she want with Freljord?” Karma murmured, reaching up unconsciously to make sure she could still feel the paint of her teardrops. They were an excellent conduit of her chakra, unifying Sahasrara, Ajna, and Vishuddha for clarity of thought, purity of spirit, and lucidity of expression. She could not believe that Soraka had washed them from her face. She had felt uncertain of herself ever since she had looked in a mirror and seen them missing.

“Whatever it is, I will find out,” Irelia said grimly, her blade flexing and expanding.

“You can’t go after her now, Irelia,” Karma soothed, “first we must tend to the Pit of Pallas and the Order of Shadows. We can’t leave them to fester on Ionia’s heart. Syndra will keep in the north until we are ready for her.”

“Not ‘we’,” Irelia said quietly, her face shadowed. Karma looked up at her in surprise, clutching her fans.

“You cannot think to go alone?” she said, startled.

“I will summon the Kinkou to assist me,” Irelia said, looking at Karma with a particular ferocity in her eyes, “but you will be returning to the Institute, Duchess Karma.”
Karma’s features remained untroubled, but the uncertainty that had been ****ling at her return with a fury.

“Why?” she asked, her composure seemingly unruffled.

“Your powers increase every day, Duchess, but you’re too reckless with them,” Irelia said haltingly, a faint flush on her cheeks. “You work yourself to death every day and night and I haven’t heard you laugh or seen you really smile for weeks. They call me the Will of the Blades but your will is greater than any weapon. Go back to the Institute. Rest. Train. Be untroubled for a little while. Without you, there would be no Ionia. We don’t want to lose you.”

Karma looked at her steadily, without a quiver. “If that is the will of the Elders,” she acquiesced gracefully, bowing her perfectly coiffed head.

Without another word, she left.



As the last of the purple minions fell, she heard a horrible, slavering roar and flicked her gaze up to the riverside. With a wave of her hand her spirit hardened in front of her, just before Warwick launched himself out of the shadows, his claws extended towards her face, and slammed into solid air.

“I will feed on you, Ionian!” he raged as a thin rope of pale green energy looped around his throat, sending tendrils down to his feet. Quickly, but calmly—always calmly—Karma retreated to her tower, her breaths leaving more forcefully as Warwick slashed at her shield. Before it could break, her questing spirit found a weakness in his animal mind and paralyzed him with indecision just as they reached the range of her turret. Karma seconded its mindless blast of energy with a flare of will burning into his chest. Warwick yelped and fled, his fur blackened and bloody.

Karma leaned against the cool stone base of the turret and watched without emotion as Lee Sin’s shout caught Warwick before he could vanish and the Blind Monk put him down with a vicious palm to his neck.

“I hope you are not injured, Duchess,” he called, and Karma gave a rare, unguarded smile—mostly because she knew he could not see it.

“I am well, thank you Lee,” she replied, and murmured a farewell as he bowed and leapt back into the jungle.

Her time of inactivity (as she would call it) in the Institute of War had not been entirely fruitless, but she was growing weary of being separated from her beloved homeland. She wanted to know how Irelia’s efforts to lockdown the area around the Pit of Pallas were succeeded. She wanted to see the barrier wards put up around the northwest island herself and see if they were as resilient as her will. She wanted to travel north by carriage and baggage train and see what damage Syndra had done in Freljord, and repair it with her own careful words and promises.

Freljord…there were murmurs of great unrest there, here and there in the League. Trundle’s tribe had risen to new and dangerous prominence, coming close to the border of Ashe’s lands, and the barbarians were restless with peace. Sejuani and her allies had consolidated their power and were burning farmland and slaughtering herds every day. The tenuous stability Ashe had worked for all her life was collapsing in ashes around her feet.
Karma suspected that there was something more behind it, and her suspicions rested on Syndra. A powerful, malign force was pushing against the boundaries of peace in Freljord.
Should that force be Ionian in origin, the implications for her homeland would be dire.

But Karma revealed none of this worry on her face or in her words. She was calm, implacable, dignified, noble. She was the very image of Ionia.

Until Irelia told her she was no longer required to be passive, then she would wait, and find grace in patience. She let her feelings of rejection flow smoothly through Anahata and be transformed into tranquility.

Orianna reappeared in the distance, and Karma straightened up, her eyes shielded once more.


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CheckmateToronto

Junior Member

04-05-2013

Moar!

I really like how you incorporated details of the rework into the story. Most people skip over that stuff.


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AerithRayne

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Senior Member

04-06-2013

Hey, on FF, you don't have any spaces like you do here to show a change in the scene. It's just a giant text thing. FF doesn't like double enters, apparently. Thought you should know.

Moving on, YES KARMA! A part of me just really wants to write a story for every support (even faux-support like Lux :P), but there is no time. I appreciate one on Karma springing up just as I was thinking about it XD

(P.S. Awh... thank you, sweetie! *gushes*)


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Eyowyn

Senior Member

04-06-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerithRayne View Post
Hey, on FF, you don't have any spaces like you do here to show a change in the scene. It's just a giant text thing. FF doesn't like double enters, apparently. Thought you should know.

Moving on, YES KARMA! A part of me just really wants to write a story for every support (even faux-support like Lux :P), but there is no time. I appreciate one on Karma springing up just as I was thinking about it XD

(P.S. Awh... thank you, sweetie! *gushes*)
FF, why have you betrayed me?


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AerithRayne

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Senior Member

04-06-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyowyn View Post
FF, why have you betrayed me?
Just use the lovely line-thingy they have


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Eyowyn

Senior Member

04-06-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by AerithRayne View Post
Just use the lovely line-thingy they have
I think I fixed it. We'll see when it updates.


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ElderCheese

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Member

04-06-2013

Whats this a karma story at last? I do not believe that i believe it to be true


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Eyowyn

Senior Member

04-06-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElderCheese View Post
Whats this a karma story at last? I do not believe that i believe it to be true
I love Karma and the League game in the first chapter is based off one of my first games with her after the rework.

My match history informs me I went 13/4/16.

Edit: Replying to Checkmate Toronto

I spent a lot of time in custom games zoomed in on Karma watching her spell animations and her idle animations for this chapter. I wanted her stretching to be recognizable as her recall, her energy blasts as Soulflare, etc. to Karma players.

I have a lot of trouble remembering her ability names because I still think of them as heavenly wave, spirit bond, and soul shield.


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Eyowyn

Senior Member

04-07-2013

Take a look at the links in this thread. http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=3300709

It's a series of short little articles about Riot that expand a little on the new Freljord lore. I'll be using it as a resource for the story.


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Eyowyn

Senior Member

04-07-2013

Posted Chapter 2!

I also had an excellent time playing League with AerithRayne today. She plays a mean Lux/Katarina/Janna!

(Got to stop that killstealing, though.)