Ashe: The War for Freljord – 15

21 Jul

Ashe turned away from Alistar and prepared herself. There was nothing she could do directly, Volibear and Nunu would be in charge of their respective armies. Although they were outnumbered nearly four to one, Ashe was confident after seeing the ursine in battle. The yetis had been flailing until the ursine had shown up. Of course, Olaf had been there too, and that was a great loss for the Freljordian forces. Ashe hated to turn her back on retrieving Tryndamere after all this time, but knew he’d be more upset at losing control of Freljord than her taking extra time to rescue him.

She wandered over to a large rock sitting near her and listened to the preparations being made by both camps. Unfortunately, they were speaking in their native tongues and she didn’t understand a word of it. Despite this, she could tell by the way the people were reacting to their leaders, that she still had quality generals on her side. After some time of sitting and thinking about what needed to be done, she called over Alistar, Volibear and Nunu. The three came up to her and she waited a moment before saying.

“We need to leave tonight. Every second we waste gives them more time to get ahead. I am going to rely on you three to lead us into battle, with Volibear having full command. I am going to find Tryndamere and hopefully rally the barbarians into battle with us.” She stopped and looked to Alistar. “I have a special request of you, Alistar.” The minotaur looked surprised and said, “Anything I can do, I’d be glad to help.”

Ashe smiled, feeling somewhat strained, but continued, “I need you to travel north from here. There’s a mountain on the northern edge of the forest. On the top of this mountain, you will find a cryophoenix named Anivia. She is a valuable ally and warrior, and we will need her in the upcoming battle. She should not be difficult to find, and once you’ve contacted her, I would like you both to come join us.” Alistar nodded and said, “I will leave at once. Nothing can hold me back.” He bowed slightly and bounded off with a speed that surprised Ashe.

Nunu and Volibear looked to each other, attempting to get a measure of each other before Volibear said, “I am glad to have you with me. As soon as your people can be ready, we depart.” Nunu smiled mischievously and told the ursine, “Only if you think you can keep up.” With that, he quickly began back towards the yeti, leaving Volibear standing there alone with Ashe.

She let a wry smile come to her lips at the playful jab and said, “Now, Volibear, they are going to beat us to the capital. I’m hoping that it won’t have fallen. As long as our people stand strong, it should still be up. If that is true, then things are easy. There will be a grand battle on the plains outside the canyon. I trust your judgment in such a situation. However, in the worst case scenario, if you get there and the capital has fallen, things are very different. I want you to blockade the entrance to the canyon. Have Nunu and the yeti’s begin to scale the edge. When I get there with the barbarians and Anivia, we will assault our own city, hopefully exterminating the Noxian threat while we’re at it.”

She hesitated, “Many Freljordians of all races will die in this battle.” Volibear put his paw on Ashe’s shoulder and said, “My queen, sometimes the right decision is the most difficult one. We will defend our land from any threat, whatever the cost.” She smiled and put her hand on his paw. For a brief moment the two stood there and Ashe said, “Thank you, Volibear. Now go, give them hell.” He roared his appreciation and began back towards the ursine. She heard him in the distance roaring instructions, and hoped things would go smoother than she anticipated.

She closed her eyes, shut out her thoughts of what would happen in the future and began to concentrate on the matter at hand. She focused, putting herself completely in the mindset of the Frost Archer. She would track down Sejuani’s lair, and save Tryndamere. She opened her eyes and scouted around. She saw nothing that would help her in the immediate area, but remembered where Nunu had said he saw the army. She traced his directions back to the spot and found an obvious trail there.

She followed it for two miles before she saw the trail stop at a cave. Intrigued, Ashe peered inside and could only see darkness. She pulled out an arrow, enchanted it with a hawk shot and lightly fired it inside. The room illuminated and all Ashe saw was an empty cave. Disappointed, she walked inside and kept her eyes peeled. As far as she could tell, it was an ordinary cave, but she knew that couldn’t be true. An army’s footsteps had led into here, and this room could only hold twenty men at the most.

Suddenly, a loud grinding like a machine began and Ashe immediately brought up her bow. The back wall of the cave began to split right down the middle and Ashe was amazed by the hidden door from nowhere. Despite this, she held her aim, ready to fire and heard voices coming through. “We should get to the capital as quickly as possible,” Ashe’s eyes opened wider with shock when she realized it was Sejuani coming through the door. She was looking back at someone Ashe couldn’t see and the Frost Archer took advantage of the momentary distraction. She unleashed an arrow that pierced her directly through the shoulder.

Sejuani cried out in pain and surprise. Ashe had already fitted another arrow when a familiar voice rang out, “Ashe no!” She almost dropped her bow from shock and saw Tryndamere jumping out in front of Sejuani, protecting her. She picked up her bow again and aimed it at her husband, confused by these events. “Tryndamere, out of the way, let me slay the traitor.” Sejuani began to speak behind him but he cut her off with a hand gesture. “Ashe, let me explain.”

She didn’t put down the bow, but didn’t interrupt either, so Tryndamere continued, “She was indeed the reason the Noxians are here, but she’s been betrayed. Noxus promised her that she would lead Freljord, but it turns out they are just using our war as a cover to annihilate us.” Ashe spoke up and addressed Sejuani directly, “And this means I should trust you why?” Sejuani stepped out in front of Tryndamere and looked Ashe in the eyes, “At this point, I have no chance. Noxus has incorporated my remaining Winter’s Claw into their numbers, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’d rather have one of the three sister’s descendants rule Freljord, and at this point that means you.”

Sejuani paused, hesitating before surprising Ashe more than any of the recent events. She kneeled before the Queen of Freljord and put her head down. “I pledge my loyalty and life to you, Ashe, Queen of Freljord. I will do whatever it takes to keep the territory out of another’s hands, including my own.” She stayed kneeling down and Ashe was too taken aback to say anything for several long moments. She realized that the air was hanging heavy and rushed over to Sejuani, helping her to her feet. “All I’ve ever wanted is peace for Freljord. However, when someone brings war to our doorstep, we will meet it head on. I would be proud to go into battle with you Sejuani, and keep Freljord out of foreign hands.”

Ashe updated the two on everything that had taken place in the last few days and they listened attentively. Tryndamere’s face remained impassive during the telling of Olaf’s final act, but she could see in his eyes that he was hurt. There would be time to discuss it later, now they needed to focus on the events at hand. “Tryndamere, the three of us need to go and rally the barbarians. Volibear and Nunu will need back up as soon as they can get it.” He nodded and the three set off almost immediately.

As they left the cave, Sejuani whistled loudly and her boar came charging out of the forest thirty seconds later. She hopped on and had the other two join her. As they were riding, she snapped off the end of the arrow shaft and yanked it out by herself. Ashe was amazed by her toughness and was glad that the fighting between the two had stopped. She knew that they were about to face the most important war in Freljord’s short history, and would need all the allies she could find.

Hey guys, I’m out of town right now, so the timing of the next few posts are going to be screwy. I will be back on Monday night, so that will probably be another late one, but after that we should be back to normal (you know, the only KIND of screwy schedule). This one was originally supposed to go into the next part of the journey, but by the time I was done saying what I wanted to for the first half it was already one of the longer posts.

I think this means I’ll be doing something a little different than I intended, but hey, most of the time that only makes things more exciting! Have a good one summoners, wherever you are!

-Tale Master

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