Vladimir: Crimson Elite – 11

29 Jun

The pain was agonizing. It felt as though his world was spinning around, nothing like the sensation blood travel normally gave him. This was supposed to be a place of peace, where he felt centered. This burning had violated his sanctuary and he could think of nothing else. After a few seconds that seemed like an eternity, Vlad appeared inside the dining room of his temple home. He threw the box of armors he had retrieved off to the side before staggering to the staircase that led to the basement area. Though no sunlight reached these rooms, it made no difference to Vladimir, whose eyes felt as though they were simply dark holes in his once fine visage. He was barely able to stay on his feet as he made his way down the stairs to the pools of blood that adorned the depths of his home. The blood of every sacrifice ever made for the cause of the hemomancers lay down there, for just such an occasion. He collapsed as he hit the bottom of the stairway, knowing he only had moments left before he would die if he did not make it to the pools.

He felt the blood pulsing around him, and managed to crawl his way to the narrow walkway. With the last of his strength, he threw himself off the side, into the pool. For days, the chamber was still, with no discernible movement. Finally, a broad shouldered figure began to float out of the pool. His eyes glowed red, burning embers in the otherwise pitch black room. “Excellent.” The voice that came out of the large man was deep and self-assured. Vladimir lifted himself onto the walkway using a pathway of blood and admired his new figure. Inside the pool he had opened every pore in his body, inviting the blood of thousands to mix with his. It had transformed him, and made him stronger physiologically and magically.

The Crimson Reaper stood there a moment, feeling better than he could ever remember before heading back upstairs. He lit a fire and the room was bathed in an orange light that cast long shadows upon the floor. Vladimir looked towards the box he had thrown away and went to pick it up. Even his walk had matured, his arms swinging powerfully and his strides seeming purposeful. He examined the armor that had been meant for him and was pleasantly surprised. He quickly tried it on and realized that the armor had adjusted itself to fit him. He was impressed. The blacksmith who had crafted these was clearly a master. ‘I should find out his name in case I ever need anything else,’ thought the Blood Lord. He walked over to the large mirror hanging on the wall to examine himself.

He saw a black body suit, made of the same diamond material that somehow flowed perfectly with that other plates on him. It allowed for unrestricted movement, which Vladimir was thankful for. Set on the body suit was a skeletal looking metal coating that culminated in a ruby focusing crystal on his chest. Sprouting off of this were metal plates covering his shoulders. The pauldrons sported wicked looking spikes and a large red cape flowing out of the back. Vladimir was pleased with the armor and the transformation in general. He made a point to remember to thank Cassiopeia the next time he saw her, even if it was right before he killed her.

After he had viewed himself thoroughly, Vladimir gathered the rest of the armor back up and walked over to his blood runes. He hoped that everyone would be at the cave, and he was looking forward to the reunion with Riven. He had bonded with her during their short time together and was pleased that she was not disgusted by his abilities. He again began to melt into his oblivion and was delighted that the old sensation had returned. As he regained corporeal form in the cave he looked around. Sitting there at the table he saw Katarina and he dropped the armor where he was. As he was preparing to attack a voice yelled from the side, “Vlad, NO!” He looked over and saw Riven lunging toward him, trying to stop him from attacking. “What the hell is she doing here?” Vlad asked incredulously. “We’ll explain in a minute, just calm down!” Riven looked worried, but the hemomancer relaxed a bit and said, “Ok. This oughta be good.” He walked over to the table and intentionally sat on the other side from Katarina, never taking his eyes off her.

At this moment Talon walked in and a grin spread across his face when he saw Vladimir sitting there. “Vlad, welcome back. Judging from the armor you’re sporting, I take it you were successful?” Vlad indicated towards the dropped armors and Talon retrieved them quickly. He laughed gleefully, “These are even better than I could’ve hoped for!” He immediately took his out and began to put his on when Vlad interrupted, “Not to kill your thunder, but why is she here?” He nodded towards Katarina and Talon said, “Of course, let me fill you in.” Vlad learned of what his partners had been up to, hearing of their movements in detail. When Riven’s deeds were being discussed she looked grim, but when he looked over at her, she almost imperceptibly shook her head. He took his queue and stayed silent, merely impressed at the entirety of the plan.

Once their small meeting was done, everyone went to get their armors on and Vlad was impressed. That Talon had possessed the foresight to order one for Katarina long before she had joined was astonishing, and she looked ravishing in her new smooth black armor. Talon looked at her and remarked, “Well, High Commander Katarina, what do you think?” She looked slightly taken aback at the name and then smiled. “I think that you’re frighteningly good at knowing how people react, but excited. I believe this is simply more proof I’m on the correct side.” Talon looked smug at this and Vlad had to admit, she had a point. “And you, Riven? What do you think?” Talon looked over expectantly at her. Riven’s armor was simple, a black set of armor with a little ornamentation on the chest and shoulders. She wore a red shawl over it that managed to cover what she was doing with her arms until it was too late for an enemy to react, and she looked moderately pleased with the outcome. “These will be effective, but I have no desire to wear that helmet.” She pointed at the remaining piece on the ground and Talon winced; no doubt thinking of the cost that had gone into its production.

He quickly recovered and said, “That’s fine, no need to make you uncomfortable. As I’m sure you can guess, our last piece here is for Cassiopeia, who has rejoined us now thanks to our new ally.” He smiled at Katarina who nodded her acknowledgement. “Now, the seeds of rebellion have been sown. Let’s make sure that we’re the ones who can reap the benefits.” With that, the Crimson Elite sat around the table and began planning their assault on the Noxian High Command.

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