Ezreal stood atop the highest hill he could find, although in a place called the “Tempest Flats” the so-called hill was more of a slightly steep incline. He scanned the horizon letting hisexplorer instincts take over, searching for any source of water, food, and shelter.
He took out his canteen and took a small sip of water, he shook it and frowned. “I think fighting in the League has dulled some of my senses,” he said to no one in particular. It didn’t seem that long ago, that he was leaving Amumu’s archeological dig site at the pyramids in the Shurima Desert. The yordle mummy had used some of his influence in the League of Legends to fund an expedition to the Pyramids where he had awakened, hoping to find some clue as to who he used to be and why his sadness had such a hold on him. The mummy had invited the prodigal explorer to assist in the dig, and since Ezreal had found his amulet from one such pyramid there was no way he could refuse. That and he didn’t want to disappoint the sad mummy. As much as he liked and respected Amumu he was a real drag sometimes due to his depression infecting those around him. Not that it was his fault of course, and he had learned to rein it in a bit, so people weren’t affected as before.
Once the expedition had gotten underway it was found that there once was a large civilization in the Shurima Desert made of yordles and humans and it was them who had built the magnificent pyramids. Amumu had tried to remember which pyramid and which sarcophagus he woken up in but his years of wandering before joining the League had faded his memories.
Ezreal’s job was to scout ahead of the archeological team and map out the areas, marking anything that might be of any interest. It was long and bitter work but for the young explorer he would have it no other way. He had just finished one such excursion before returning to the surface camp.
“Ezreal, good timing I just heard a nice bit of information for you.” Amumu had been waiting for him playing with bit of bandage to pass the time.
“Oh, what would that be?” Ezreal had asked doing his best to hold back a sudden wave of sadness coming from the mummy’s presence.
“We have received word from the Institute of War and from Bandle City that there have been strange weather patterns to the east of here near the Tempest Flats. Recently, there was a huge earthquake in the area.” Amumu went on, the bandage around his foot flopping around as they moved towards the mess tent. “Most notably there have been several strands of never before seen magic seeping from that area.” Amumu looked at the food being served, since he was undead he didn’t need to eat or drink, but he still liked to look at the food nonetheless.
“Really, near the Tempest Flats, isn’t that where Icathia is supposedly located?” He filled a mug with some coffee and a grabbed a sandwich “Well supposedly anyway.” He took a small bite of the sandwich grimaced and sighed. “Why did the Institute send this information?” He was about to take another bite but decided against it.
“Well they wanted to know if you would like to have first dibs on the area.” The mummy said matter-of-factly, eyeing the sandwich. Ezreal handed the sandwich to his friend and the undead yordle happily accepted.
“Why me though? Don’t they have a wealth of people to investigate?” Ezreal asked he took a sip of his coffee which was more bearable.
“Well you are a champion and champions get top priorities in many situations, this being one of them.” Amumu took a bite of the sandwich, “besides I figure you of all people would love to have a chance to explore the ruins of the great lost city.”
Ezreal really didn’t have a comeback to that. Even if the earthquake uncovered clues to the mystery of Icathia, which would make it dangerous as, well hell really considering it is supposed to be the point where the Voidborne originate. It was still in a location no one had really explored yet; a tantalizing prospect to the Master Pathfinder.
The mummy saw the spark of exploration in his fellow archeologist’s eyes. “If you want, you can go and do a little digging around out there.” The mummy said taking another bite out of the sandwich.
“Are you sure? I mean you asked me to come out here and help.” Ezreal said trying not to sound too hopeful.
“You have helped your expertise in the field of archeology and cartography has allowed us to move faster than we ever thought possible. However, work is still a slow process and it will still take us days to catch up. “If you want to, feel free to do a little side project.” Ezreal nodded.
“If you insist.” He smiled the prospect of studying a never before seen land was just too good to pass up. Any doubts he had earlier were washed away by the mere thought of that.
Amumu finished his sandwich and it seemed a thought struck him. He turned on his saddest gaze, “You will come back though, right?”
After loading up on a few provisions from camp and saying his goodbyes to a few of the members of the expedition he set off. Amumu had assured him that he would send off a message to the Institute and to Bandle City that he was beginning his explorations.
Making it to the Tempest Flats from the pyramids of Shurima Desert on foot was just a few days’ journey or so. The desert itself wasn’t so bad, travelling at night when it was cool and resting during the day in rock formation and caves was simple enough. The real problem was going to be the Flats themselves. While it can get pretty cold at night in the desert, the flats offered no real protection to the biting cold winds that gave the flats its name. However, the explorer had been in worse conditions before and this adventure would be no different. Except, of course, his current predicament.
He did his best to conserve as much water as he could trekking through the desert but somewhere along the way he miscalculated how much he was actually drinking and his water supply was dangerously close to empty. He wasn’t above “recycling” water but he would most certainly prefer to keep that as a last resort. He continued scanning the horizon and spotted a dark shadow out in the distance. Using his looking glass he spotted a few bushes and some small trees.
“Better than nothing I suppose.” He said to a rock who seemed particularly interested. In a place like the flats trees and shrubberies have a hard time growing, so a small alcove of them could mean some kind of water source. What seemed like a long walk later and he had arrived at a small spring. He dipped his amulet into the water to purify it. When he was satisfied that it was safe enough to drink he filled he canteens with as much water as he could and gratefully began drinking some of the refreshing water. He leaned against a tree to catch his breath and get a little rest.
He woke from his revelry with a start. Something was off. It was as if something was out of place; that something was watching him. His survival instincts kicked in and he rolled out of the way just in time. A bolt of magical energy crashed against the tree trunk he was leaning against. Ezreal fired back in the direction the bolt came from but hit only branches. He ran in what he assumed was back the way he came. His attacker reappeared and fired another shot but since Ezreal was running the shot went wild.
“No skill at all!” He shouted at his flickering opponent. The magic this guy was using was so uncontrolled that even without his amulet Ezreal’s innate magical prowess could track his erstwhile attacker. His opponent was reappearing again but this time Ezreal was ready for him. He teleported behind his enemy and shot him in the back. This stopped his opponent long enough for Ezreal to line up another shot, but when he saw his enemy’s face he was taken aback. It was himself, in a matter of speaking.
Now, Ezreal had fought himself before on the Fields of Justice. Whenever two summoners on different sides would summon the same Champion a complete copy would form, although it was more to it than that. The copy would be the Champion in every essence. Being copied was always a fairly painful experience but recombining was also quite nauseating. Everything either of them did would be remembered once the two became whole again. The memories would come flooding back all at once and it was usually enough to bring Ezreal to his knees.
The doppelganger standing before him was no mere copy. On the Fields of Justice seeing your double always brought along a feeling of familiarity. This person or creature was not familiar to anything Ezreal had seen before. He was Ezreal but twisted. His hair was pitch black, his skin was an unearthly shade of bluish purple. His clothing appeared to almost be alive; a swirling mass of faces twisted and churned in terror and agony. The things that struck Ezreal the most about his clone were his eyes, which were a ghastly shade of yellow which seemed to drain the life of everything around them. The other thing was his amulet; it was a deep shade of dark red that seemed to pulse with raw power. Ezreal looked at his own amulet. It allowed him to tap into his own magic prowess without the need for actual training. By this creature’s fighting style it seemed to just blast raw magic with the amulet without really trying to aim. Ezreal figured that that would make things easier for him.
Ezreal teleported away and shot a bolt back at his enemy. The creature countered by firing his own. The bolts collided in midair and resulted in a large explosion. Despite being a fair distant from the explosion Ezreal was still blown back a bit. His doppelganger fared worse being closer to the blast as he staggered back up.
Ezreal jumped on top of a large rock and turned to face his opponent. He didn’t think he had inflicted that much damage on his opponent but his copy was beginning to look worse for the ware.
His enemy fired a shot but it was way off target smashing harmlessly against the rock Ezreal was standing on. Ezreal fired back his shot more precise catching his attacker high in the chest. The other Ezreal staggered, a look that the real one assumed was pain spread across its face.
“So you do feel pain. Good to know.” Ezreal taunted. The copy just smiled revealing a row of sharp pointy teeth. The doppelganger brought up his amulet glove and said something in a language Ezreal had never heard before, and the amulet began to glow.
“Oh, dregs” Ezreal’s body was already moving even before he realized what was going on. He ducked behind the rock just as the barrage smashed against it. Luckily the bulk of the attack’s energy was wasted, hitting and passing through the boulder, but the magic still carried forward. Ezreal was hit hard by the attack. Excruciating pain began to blossom from his right shoulder and blood started to seep into his explorer’s tunic but Ezreal counted himself lucky, had his opponent had a bit more finesses in aiming that blow would have ended the battle for sure.
“My turn!” Ezreal stood taking his left hand off his wound which caused more blood to spill though his tunic. The copy let out a warcry, bloodlust had taken over throwing good sense out the window. The creature charged toward him again, still not nearly as fast as it was at the beginning of this skirmish but still fairly agile. Blast, it must have recovered some, Ezreal thought; I only have one shot at this, better make it count. Ezreal aimed his own glove at his advancing copy, taking great care to make sure this would hit. He waited, watching for that perfect moment to strike. Just as the doppelganger began to close the gap between the two of them Ezreal took his shot.
“Trueshot!” The magic blast smashed the clone in the head sending it reeling backwards in midair. It landed sprawled out on the grassy surface of the flats. Ezreal staggered, the attack and blood loss was taking a toll on his body. He used a little bit of magic to cauterize the wound but he was going to need some rest after this. He limped over to the body of his clone, the adrenaline from the fight slowly leaving his body, causing him to feel the true pain of his body’s exhaustion. To his horror his copy was still alive, if only barely. It growled at him muttering something in that alien langue that Ezreal had heard before.
“I don’t know what you are but the world can only handle so much of me.” Ezreal charged his latent magical energy into his glove and made a fist. The creature didn’t seem scared to him, more angry than anything.
“Accept your fate.” Ezreal brought his fist down on the creature’s head but only hit grass and soil. The would-be sound of the creature’s skull cracking and splitting was met with the silence of the flats. The creature had disappeared.
First chapter, first attempt at a story. Second one is with my beta and will be here as soon as she sends it back. Hope you enjoyed it.
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