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Ashe: The War for Freljord – 20

26 Jul

Ashe was leaving her vantage point, planning on firing at any soldiers who threatened the retreating army, but stopped when she looked down. Sejuani was standing there, alone, holding the enemy off. Her boar lay dead a few paces away, and Ashe knew that meant trouble for Noxus. A few tried to pass her, but she smote them down, seemingly without effort. Tryndamere was saying something to her, but Ashe couldn’t tell whether she acknowledged it. After a moment, he gave up and followed the Freljordian army in a swift retreat.

Ashe knew she should run after him, but stood transfixed, watching the events unfold. Sejuani stood there, motionless, but still no Noxian dared go after her. They stood there, facing off against each other for thirty seconds before Sejuani darted forward suddenly. She swung her mace into the middle of the Noxian crowd and created her now infamous ice prison. At that moment, any enemies who were not caught converged on her and began hacking at her. Ashe could not bear to watch her one time rival be slaughtered so mercilessly.

The Frost Archer looked down for a moment, composing herself before drawing an arrow. She slotted it into its proper spot on her bow and concentrated. She let loose a powerful enchanted arrow that grew in size and brilliance as it flew down. By the time it touched down where Sejuani’s corpse lay, the arrow had grown to the size of a minotaur, and impacted with the force of several bombs. Ashe began to run away, but turned back briefly to see what had happened. Lying there, her body perfectly preserved in crystal, was Sejuani, the Winter’s Wrath.

Ashe smiled a wan smile, glad that she could help memorialize Sejuani so beautifully. After a moment of wistful thoughts of a friendship that never could have been, Ashe began to sprint as fast as she could towards her Freljordian army. She reached the edge of the canyon just as the last of the Freljordian army was climbing over the wall of debris at the entrance. She attached a length of rope to one of her arrows and shot it into the top of the cliff.

Scaling down the wall took mere moments, and she was able to be reunited with her people. She threw herself into Tryndamere’s arms, allowing herself a second to be glad to see him. Everything she’d been feeling welled up inside her momentarily, but she pushed it back down, determined to be strong for her people. She immediately took charge and addressed the assembled group. “Freljordians, we have lost our homes today. I think we have all realized that Noxus is now the biggest threat to safety in Valoran. I have failed you entirely as queen, and allowed these brutes to come and take over our land. I intend to offer my services and warnings to Demacia. I understand that because of my failures, some of you may wish not to join me. I understand entirely, and as of now, I am dissolving the monarchy of Freljord. You are all free to do as you please, but I recommend you go into hiding as long as Noxus remains a threat.”

She paused, giving everyone gathered time to think. After ten seconds of silence, Volibear walked forward and took his place next to her. Nunu followed shortly after, and Alistar joined as well. Seeing their leaders placing their faith in Ashe, the assembled people formed ranks and stood at attention. Ashe smiled and said, “Well then, onwards to Demacia.”

She led her people south west towards Demacia. Even though they were exhausted, everyone marched straight on through the night and the next day. As they reached the edge of Freljordian territory, Ashe looked back at the land she had ruled yesterday. Where they stood there was no storm, and the sun shone down on the land, making it appear peaceful. She stopped for a moment, allowing the army to march on, and she made a promise to herself.

‘I will do whatever it takes to stop Noxus. I will not have allowed so many to have died in vain. I promise you this, Freljord: Noxus shall pay.’ With that, she turned around and headed towards Demacia.

Epilogue

Talon looked down at the battlefield. His forces had taken a large hit, but they accomplished what they set out to do. The nation of Freljord was no more, and a potentially powerful enemy had been destroyed. Noxus was closer than ever to achieving their goal of global domination.

His newest plan was to sit back and rebuild their resources for a time. He could not keep up this conquering pace due to the spirited resistance of the peoples he planned to envelope. For now, he would sit back and lend aid to Zaun. During his tenure here, he had received word that Zaun had invaded Ionia, figuring they would still be weak from the aborted invasion from Noxus. The fight had gone well for them initially, but Ionia proved to be every bit as stubborn as they had been for the Noxians.

If the Zaunites were smart enough to accept his help, he would have found a truly powerful ally, as well as potentially having an opportunity to eliminate another threat. ‘Yes,’ Talon thought, ‘The future looks bright under my rule.’ He smiled, and calmly walked inside the castle. It seemed that a cup of tea was in order.

We hit 1500 views today. It’s only ten am here, and we’ve hit 1500 views! This is amazing! I was planning to make you guys wait until much later today for this, but I wanted to celebrate the milestone!

I’m also going to leak the next one (since you probably discerned the general idea from the epilogue). It will be an Ionian centered story, with big roles possibly incoming by certain protagonists who may or may not have been headed there. If that sentence made any sense to you, congratulations :).

For now, I’ll leave you with my thoughts on the War for Freljord. As I’ve said several times, being a new writer there will be rocky points, and I think a lot of the midsection of the War for Freljord counts as that. I tried to go too broad with this story, and got away from the characterization that made the Crimson Elite series great. I will remedy that in this upcoming series, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been reading for their support.

Have a good one summoners, and be prepared for a few days days of HOPEFULLY entertaining filler.

-Tale Master

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

Ashe: The War for Freljord – 12

18 Jul

Ashe ran as best she could on her injured leg, putting space between her and the Noxian assassin. She turned around, slotting an arrow into her bow as she did. She brought it up, ready to fire upon Katarina but gasped when she saw how badly the situation had deteriorated in the last five seconds. She saw Olaf with a knife sticking out of his heart and Katarina calmly walking up to him. Ashe’s arms fell to her sides as she watched Katarina calmly slit Olaf’s throat. She couldn’t think, couldn’t understand how the mighty warrior had fallen.

Katarina turned her attention towards Ashe and the Frost Archer snapped out of her momentary reverie, bringing her bow back up to fire. At that moment, Katarina clutched her side and Ashe noticed the deep cuts left there by Olaf’s axes. She took aim and fired, the arrow flying straight for Katarina’s heart. In that instant, Ashe saw an ursine just to Katarina’s left smash a Winter’s Claw soldier towards the Noxian general. The soldier flew perfectly in front of Ashe’s arrow and it pierced him directly through his midsection.

By the time the soldier had hit the ground, Ashe saw Katarina disappear into a group of Winter’s Claw. A loud shout by the Noxian rang out, “Retreat immediately. Winter’s Claw retreat!” Ashe fitted a group of seven arrows onto her bow and let fly into the midst of the group, hoping to get lucky, but merely took down several foot soldiers. As one, the five thousand soldiers left in the Winter’s Claw army began high-tailing it to the southeast. The yeti had clearly lost all taste for fighting and instead of giving chase, immediately began searching the battlefield for wounded.

The ursine were an entirely different matter. It was clear they were enraged about the toll the battle had taken on the yeti army and many were giving chase. Ashe didn’t see Volibear and wondered if she should take charge of the ursine when she heard his powerful voice radiate across the battlefield, “Ursine! Stand down!” The Queen of Freljord was impressed with the respect Volibear obviously commanded among his troops. Not a single one gave in to the primal urge to chase down the fleeing prey.

Ashe immediately went over to Olaf’s corpse, and collapsed next to it. She shed tears silently over his body, allowing herself a few moments to grieve. After promising herself she would honor his last request, to save Tryndamere, she composed herself. She looked up and saw that there were two other people in just as much pain from losing friends and loved ones. She called out Volibear’s name and found him several hundred yards away in the middle of the battlefield. The snow beneath them was tainted red, and Volibear had a nasty gash across his nose, but otherwise looked unharmed. Ashe was grateful she did not need to bury more than one friend that day.

“Please, give your people and the yeti the time they need to properly bury the dead. We will rest tonight and leave in the morning. Any Winter’s Claw soldiers you find alive should be brought to me and I’d like you there to help me question them. We will find their headquarters, and we will assault them.” Volibear agreed readily before relaying the instructions to his people. Ashe walked back to Olaf’s corpse and began digging through the snow with her hands. It was so cold that it burned, but she did not stop working. Her friend had died so that she may live, and she owed him this much.

After an hour, Ashe had dug a grave past the snow and into the frozen dirt beneath it. She knew that it would be deep enough, for the snow never truly melted in Freljord. She gathered his axes and lay them across his chest, paying her respects to the man who gave so much. As she was replacing the dirt and snow she had uncovered, Volibear came up and began helping without a word. Ashe was pleased that she had someone to lean on right now and the two quickly finished.

“Have your people done what they wanted with the bodies?” Ashe asked. “Yes,” said Volibear gently. “Many fine creatures died here today, and I fear that only more bloodshed will come. I saw a prophecy of a Freljord in conflict, and it appears there was nothing I could do to change it.” The agony in his voice at being unable to help his people hit home hard with Ashe and she patted his arm. “Let’s go get some sleep. We can talk in the morning.” The two wandered towards the yeti and attempted to find who was in charge. The yeti language was similar enough to ursine that Volibear was able to have a rudimentary understanding of what they were saying.

“He says to have my army dig snow caves for the night outside of town, but you and I are to visit the elders.” Ashe was unhappy, but would not disrespect a request from the yeti elders. She had only met them once before, when negotiating the treaty that brought them into the current Freljordian system. Ashe and Volibear had to travel three miles, through the bloody, snow covered plains of the battlefield, and then through the streets of the yeti territory. The streets were empty and quiet, almost unsettling for an outsider like Ashe. She spotted the hillside the elder’s caves were located in, and pointed it out to Volibear. The two trudged up the hill and entered the cave tentatively.

Volibear called out, and the elders rushed down from their throne. The three began bowing at the feet of the two friends and they exchanged a look of surprise. Volibear barked something and the elders responded in kind. The meeting between them was very short, but at the end the elders came up and touched her hand gently, and she had the impression they were thanking her. She nodded her head and smiled, weary though she was. After a few more moments Volibear said, “Let us go.”

The two left and he spoke to her, “From what I could understand, we are free to stay here as long as we want and they give us their thanks. ‘Without us, no victory was possible’.” Ashe looked over at her new friend and said, “I fear we may not get any sleep tonight, friend. Let’s not impose upon any of the yeti, they’ve been through enough today. We will go back to the ursine army and discuss today’s events.” Volibear and Ashe slowly made their way back to the battlefield, Ashe having more and more difficulty with her injured leg. Eventually, Volibear simply scooped her up and sat her on his shoulder, giving her a faster, if less smooth, ride.

When they reached the battlefield, one of Volibear’s most trusted lieutenants came up excitedly. Ashe let Volibear speak to him in their native tongue before asking what had made him so excited. Volibear grinned and said, “We have a live prisoner.” Ashe realized this was good news and the two followed the excited lieutenant. They quickly reached the snow cave he had built up, and Ashe was impressed. The hole had been built upwards slightly and actually functioned as a small room, comfortably fitting the two ursine and Ashe.

On the floor, unbound, she saw a soldier bearing the Winter’s Claw mark on his armor. He looked terrified, and Ashe realized the appearance of the ursine probably seemed like a bad dream from his perspective. There was no reason to expect it would’ve happened, and they’d only stumbled upon the battle due to sheer luck. She composed herself, knowing that this man would be easy to break. Smiling, she asked, “Why did you attack us here today?” The man was shaking, probably from cold and fear, Ashe surmised. His voice was weak, and squeaking. “Our orders were to take the yeti by surprise, leave none alive.

Ashe was disgusted, but pressed on. “Are you of Noxus or the Winter’s Claw?” The soldier looked surprised, but said, “I’m originally from Noxus. I’ve been living with the Winter’s Claw over the last two months.” Ashe was pleased he wasn’t lying to her yet. “Where have they been hiding out?” He hesitated here and Volibear stepped in perfectly, “It would not behoove you to lie to her.” The menacing way in which he was standing on his hind legs seemed to make the soldier shrink even further. “I can’t tell you, or they’ll kill me! Promise me you’ll let me live and I’ll tell you whatever you want.”

Ashe looked to Volibear the two stepped outside for a moment. She said quietly to him, “We can turn him over to the yeti to face justice, does that seem fair? We will ensure they don’t kill him.” He laughed softly and said, “We owe him no such honor, but that is fine.” The two went back in and Ashe said, “Deal. If we don’t find them however, I will make sure you die a slow and painful death. One of my closest friends was slain on the battlefield today, and that does not bode well for any who should incur my wrath.” The soldier looked horrified and quickly blurted out, “They are in the minotaur’s forest! We’ve been working with the minotaurs for a few months now and we built an underground lair in their forest lands. Please don’t kill me!”

Ashe left him there whining pathetic and alone. Volibear ordered his lieutenant to take the prisoner to the yeti and return when he was done. Ashe and Volibear sat down alone and discussed the day’s events. “Well, now we know how the Winter’s Claw is getting so many soldiers and materials. They have full Noxian backing. We’re in trouble Volibear. Once we retrieve Tryndamere, we’re going to need to reach out to the nearest city states.” He nodded and said, “This is indeed displeasing, as well as hearing that the noble minotaur have fallen under their rule.”

Ashe agreed with him, and was now worried about how Nunu had fared. She had sent him directly into the enemy without even realizing it. ‘Nothing I can do about it now,’ she thought to herself. “Well, tomorrow we finally know where we’re going and nothing can stop us. Sejuani will not disrupt this new peace we are working towards.” The ursine chieftain grunted his agreement and the two friends began planning their assault on Sejuani’s fortress.

I like this one. I wrote it last night at 3:30 am (couldn’t sleep so thought I’d get one out for ya) but I like the outcome anyways. Not too much to say about it other than have a good one summoners!

-Tale Master

Ashe: The War for Freljord – 10

16 Jul

Olaf brought down his axes with a conviction that frightened her. Ashe thanked her lucky stars that the berserker had taken a liking to their land, and would not fight against her. The dragon collapsed and the whole chamber thudded as its body slammed against the ground. She looked around, trying to spot any danger that may still be lurking. When she was satisfied they were safe she hurried over to Volibear, hoping to help any way she could.

She had been surprised to find the ursine last night, but extremely pleased. She had been meaning to send an emissary for quite some time, but could not decide who would be good to send. She had eventually decided on going herself, but was unable to find any time to break away and make the trip. Finding Volibear amicable and in her time of need was quite the stroke of luck. She refused to take it for granted and knew that his people would be able to tend to him better than she could. She called to Olaf, “Go back to the entrance and see if we can find a way out. We need to get him to his people as quickly as possible.”

Olaf went sprinting back down the tunnel and Ashe fired another hawkshot arrow after him. It lit up the tunnel brilliantly and she knew he’d discover what he could. She began to wander around the cavern, attempting to find some clue about where the Winter’s Claw had gone. The cave appeared to be empty other than the large dragon’s corpse, and Ashe was bitterly disappointed. Many ursine had died today for nothing, and she knew it was her fault for being reckless.

She heard Olaf shouting her name and quickly began to move down the tunnel towards him. “Ashe, the ursine are digging us out. They’ll be another half hour or so.” She slowed as she got to Olaf and said, “Alright, good work. In the meantime, let’s go stay with Volibear, and make sure he’s safe.” When they reached the cavern again, Ashe saw Volibear sitting up and looking around. He roared with delight upon seeing them and said, “You two are quite excellent fighters! I didn’t know what to expect from humans, but that was extraordinary!” He laughed loudly and Ashe looked over at Olaf. The two exchanged a look that was puzzled, but amused, and they both joined him in laughter.

After they’d all settled down, Ashe sat next to Volibear and said, “Tell me of your people Volibear. I’ve been intrigued by your species for some time now.” He grinned widely and Ashe saw a vicious looking row of teeth. “There’s not much to tell really. We’ve been situated north of here, about three days travel, for as long as our stories tell. We live at the base of a mountain that is sacred to our people, and the chieftain is appointed by birthright. We’re generally peaceful, but were attacked by a branch of Winter’s Claw a few days ago. I decided that this meant it was time to join your Freljordian alliance and attempt to ensure that our land does not descend into chaos.”

Ashe wanted to hear more, but did not press him. Instead she heard Olaf begin to speak, “Well we didn’t know what to expect from ya way up there in the north! We’ve wanted to speak to you guys forever, but we just didn’t know who to send! Anyways, now that we’re all chummed up, I’ve gotta ask, how is it you’re alright? You were out cold, and a direct hit from a dragon is nothing to laugh at!” Volibear chuckled and said, “It actually has to do with the armor and gauntlets I wear. It is the mark of the chosen, and all chieftains must ascend our great mountain before our people will follow their rule. At the top, if we are successful, lighting will strike our trappings and enchant them with abilities. One of these is extreme regeneration in times of need.”

Olaf looked impressed, no doubt thinking it mirrored his own tribe’s abilities. Just then they heard roaring echo down the tunnel. Volibear smiled again and said, “I believe they’ve freed us from our rocky imprisonment.” The three got up together, and walked down the hallway towards the new opening. Ashe said, “We appreciate your help, Volibear, but getting my husband back is personal business. We could not ask you and your people to risk their lives on our account.” The ursine regarded her for a moment before saying, “After what we just went through together and the fearlessness with which you battle, I would be ashamed of myself if we did not help you now. We will travel with you, and we will find Sejuani. I believe I owe her some personal payback as well.”

Upon reaching the open air, Ashe felt completely rejuvenated. The sun was high in the sky and she had a fantastic new ally. “Well then, I say let’s continue towards the yeti lands. I’ve been meaning to see if we can find Nunu and see if we can count on the minotaurs as well.” Volibear said, “Well either way, it’ll be good to get back in touch with the yetis. Generations ago we had a strong alliance. For some reason, it dissolved between us, and I’d like to reopen communication.”

After a quick deliberation with his commanders, Volibear announced that they were ready. Ashe told the two, “We should reach the yeti by nightfall. Let us hurry and get there.” With Ashe in the lead, the army began marching southeast, towards the yetis. This gave the three Freljordians plenty of time to talk, and they touched on everything. Olaf’s voyage to Valoran, Ashe’s ascension to queen and Volibear’s childhood with his brother were all talked about at length between the three.

Finally, after a comfortable silence, Ashe said, “Olaf, I just wanted to thank you. I know you and Tryndamere had become extremely close, and I just want you to know he appreciated it. He is a man of action who’s been somewhat forced into a docile role. You help him stay sane.” Olaf looked embarrassed at this revelation and muttered, “No, no, think nothing of it.” Ashe was glad to see that he knew how important he was to Tryndamere, and subsequently to her.

The rest of the journey was spent with Ashe filling Volibear in on the happenings in Noxus, as well as the recent political changes in Freljord. He listened rapturously and his questions were very penetrating. Ashe was pleased with how sharp this leader was and was even more convinced she had a powerful ally. The sun began to set, and Ashe saw that they had a reached the outskirts of yeti land. She smiled and looked forward to seeing the elders again when she heard faint cries of battle. Alarmed, she told Volibear to stop, and he roared out to his army to do the same.

Listening even harder, Ashe distinctly heard the sounds of yeti roars and human battle cries. “Something is wrong. There is a battle ahead, let’s go find out why.” With that, Ashe sprinted forward, and heard the ursine following behind her. They didn’t have to run far before she saw a grand battle already taking place, with the yetis engaged in battle against a detachment of the Winter’s Claw. She turned to Volibear and said, “The humans are the same who attacked your home.” He nodded and roared to his people, telling them the situation.

With that, Ashe gave a battle cry and began to sprint towards fight, thinking ‘This is my first chance to clean up Freljord.’ She drew an arrow and slotted it into her bow. While running full speed, she took aim at the nearest soldier and let it fly.

And just to make a liar of myself, here’s the new one especially early today! I can tell you that on Mondays and Wednesdays I have obligations at night, so you’ll either get really early posts, or really late posts on those days. Unless I specify otherwise, you should be getting one in the afternoon or evening every other day xD.

As for the story, I’m still a new writer and I’m deciding how I like to write things. I feel like the last 3 or 4 days have been substandard and I have not been pleased with the result. Today is the first in a while I’m happy with, and I hope you guys are too. I’m starting to learn what I like and don’t like to write, so chances are that means the quality should be improving :). Crimson Elite was more Riven’s story told from three angles, and I really enjoyed that. This one has been an ensemble cast, and it feels like too much is going on to really appreciate any one character. It’s something I will keep in mind when moving on to the next story arc! As i said before, if there’s something you like or don’t like, feel free to let me know!

On a final note for today (and ensuring this is the longest annotation ever) I still would like to know how you guys ended up here! Have a good one summoners.

-Tale Master

Ashe: The War for Freljord – 5

11 Jul

A feeling of dread had been slowly growing inside her. She discovered Tryndamere had left almost immediately upon looking for him that evening. While it was slightly immature of him to run out and join Olaf’s expedition, it was that stubborn warrior streak that Ashe admired in him. She had heaved a sigh and even chuckled to herself a bit. Now however, Ashe had become worried. They should have been back the very next day, but two days later, there was still no sign of them. She tried to tell herself that she was worrying over nothing, that Tryndamere could handle himself, but the words felt empty.

Just as she had decided to send out a large portion of the army to go find out what was happening in the outer caves, an assistant came rushing in and announced the groups return. Ashe attempted to keep herself calm, but rushed out of the map room, doing her best not to break into a run. She managed to get as far as the vast entrance hall when the magnificent wooden doors were pushed apart. Olaf stood there, in front of ten men, and Tryndamere was nowhere to be seen. He had various cuts and bruises on his body, as well as a rather deep looking cut in the middle of his right thigh.

Despite this, Olaf rushed over and kneeled before Ashe. “I’m so sorry, m’lady. He’s been taken by the Winter’s Claw. We were ambushed by Sejuani and managed to get most of them, but she captured him in some kind of ice prison. After that they ran off and we gave chase for a day, unable to catch them. I submit myself to any punishment you see fit to give.” He spoke facing the ground, clearly ashamed. Ashe was shaken. Even though she had been afraid of this, it seemed crazy that her new husband was gone. She had grown used to his company, and no longer wished to be without it.

She looked at Olaf and without saying a word, began to march back up to her room in the tallest tower. Olaf began, “M’lady where are you-“ But Ashe was already out of earshot by the time he finished speaking. She got back up to her room and quickly changed into her traditional archers garb. She caught a look at herself in the mirror and smiled. Her hooded, tight cloak, and long boots reminded her of a time when she could solve her problems the way she wanted, instead of diplomatically.

A knock came at her door. She said nothing, but began to load up her quiver with arrows. “M’lady? What are you doing?” Olaf sounded nervous at the door. Ashe waited a moment and said, “Olaf, come in here.” He cautiously opened the door and waited next to it. “Olaf, I’m going after him. I’d like you to come with me, but this is not an order. This is a request.” Olaf looked surprised and eyed her suspiciously. “Who will be in charge on Freljord then?”

Ashe said, “I have plenty of advisors who can handle the day to day running, but no soldiers bar the two of us who can handle Sejuani. This isn’t up for discussion; it’s merely whether or not you’ll come with me.” Olaf stared for a second, taking a measure of the situation, and then broke into a large grin. “Of course I’m going. It’ll be an honor to fight with you.”

Ashe headed down to the map room and Olaf followed hot on her heels. She went up to a large map of Freljord and said, “Where did we last see them?” Olaf thought about it, and replied, “At their ancestral homes, east of here.” “Exactly.” said Ashe. “So we need to head out there and see if we can find any clues that can tell us where they went to. I’m hoping we can run into Nunu coming back along the way. He should be on our path if we take a slightly winding way there.”

“Olaf, go rest up for the night. I need you in prime condition for tomorrow’s journey, for once we start I’m not stopping.” Olaf grinned, obviously pleased at the thought of rescuing Tryndamere. “Of course m’lady. My axe is thirsty.” He then left and headed to his chambers for a deserved night’s sleep. Ashe was planning out the attack in her head and knew it would be difficult. She felt better knowing that as long as they were bringing the fight to Sejuani, her capital was safe. The Winter’s Claw only had a population of ten thousand, and only five thousand were in fighting shape. With those numbers Sejuani would be forced to be careful with how she spent her rescources, so hopefully this wasn’t as reckless as she feared.

Ashe looked at the map, and whispered out loud, “I’m coming for you Tryndamere. Together we can fully unite Freljord at last.”

Just a short one today, but hopefully gives more insight into Ashe for the coming chapters. I’m fairly excited for where this is headed, and after several action packed installments, it seemed like it’d be good to take a slight break and give some build up!

Oh, and I just noticed this, because I was checking on the page… but seriously Dat Ashe. Riot was just begging us to look at it when making this picture. That is all.

-Tale Master

Ashe: The War for Freljord – 1

7 Jul

She gazed out her window, across the frozen landscape before her. Sitting in the tallest tower of her castle, she saw nothing but snowy landscape and frost covered mountains. The thought calmed her, for she felt at home in the ice. She heard a noise coming from the spiral staircase that led up to the tower and looked over. Her husband, dressed in his finest royal trappings came up and smiled upon seeing her. She returned his smile warmly, hoping she could convey her feelings without words. Their marriage had started as an arranged one, solely for the purpose of uniting the barbarian tribes with the Freljordians. Queen Ashe had known, however, from the moment they met, that Tryndamere, chieftain of the barbarians was no ordinary man. She had been intrigued by his movements and upon seeing him in battle had no doubts about the arranged marriage. Though it had not been very long, the two had fallen deeply in love and would do anything for each other.

“What brings you up to our tower so early?” she asked playfully. He smiled, but it quickly fell off his face. “Anivia came by a few minutes ago to deliver news.” Ashe kept her face even, waiting for him to continue. “It turns out that Noxus has kept their word. They’ve withdrawn their forward forces everywhere around Runeterra. The world is singing their praises… well, the world isn’t damning them anyways, and that’s something new.” Ashe thought about this, and what it meant for their infant country. In the months since Noxus had united itself under the banner of the Crimson Elite, the country had done a complete turnaround on foreign policy. Before, it had seemed that Noxus wanted world domination, but the current leader, Talon, was focusing only on internal matters. It was a welcome change, but she wasn’t certain she trusted it.

She broke out of her musings and asked her husband, “Interesting, of course, but good to hear. Perhaps we can attempt to contact them soon and see where they stand with our people.” Tryndamere’s face turned dark at this proposal and Ashe was not surprised. His family and tribe had been ruthlessly murdered by a group of Noxian assassins early on in his life. Despite this, he had proven himself a capable ruler, and she knew he would put the good of his new country first. “Yes, we’ll see what they have to say soon. But let’s give things a little more time to settle.”

“Come dear, I need to get an update on the movements of the Winter’s Claw.” As the two walked down the stairs, Ashe reflected upon the recent events in Freljord. It had only been six months since Freljord had become united under one banner, but the transition had been wonderfully smooth. After Lissandra had abdicated her post and pledged fealty to Ashe, the Ice Dervish tribe had quickly integrated in with their people. Shortly after, Tryndamere’s barbarians came to join, and in the most surprising turn of all, Nunu, the Yeti Rider, came at the head of the yeti tribe. The Winter’s Claw were the only people in Freljord who had refused to come to the newly united state. Led by Sejuani, a fierce warrior, the Winter’s Claw had proven themselves to be far too stubborn to join. However, despite making their dissatisfaction known, they had not made any aggressive moves yet.

As Ashe and Tryndamere walked hand in hand down the stairs they emerged in a huge room lined with maps. This entire room was devoted to tracking the movements of every army they could keep tabs on in Valoran. It was not very busy right now, the only people in the room having their heads buried in maps. Ashe spotted who she was looking for and walked over. “Olaf, Nunu, good. We need a status update on Sejuani’s movements. I know they haven’t attacked yet, but I can’t help but feel she’s gearing up for an attack and I want to be ready.” Olaf had moved to Freljord only recently, but Ashe already trusted him with her life. He had originally washed up on the shores of Demacia, but found the weather too warm there. He preferred the cold, for it reminded him of his homeland. Naturally, he wound up in Freljord. “M’lady, we haven’t been able to track any of their movements yet. It seems as though they simply disappeared after their last visitation, and it worries me. They abandoned their ancestral homes, and suddenly they’re just gone.”

Olaf’s concern was one that Ashe shared. She looked towards Nunu and asked, “What of the Minotaurs in the north? Have we heard anything back from them?” She had recently sent out a small band of emissaries from the yeti’s, trying to bring the minotaur tribes into their fold. “Unfortunately, I’ve not had a chance to hear back from them yet.” His voice was still small and slightly squeaky, but despite being a child, Ashe knew he was a very important voice for their cause. “I was planning to make the trip home today so I could hear back myself. If they’ve not succeeded, I’ll go to them personally. Alistar and I are very close and I’m sure I could persuade him to see reason.”

Ashe nodded, pleased with the hard work her lieutenants gave her. “Excellent, that sounds perfect Nunu. You’ll be taking Willump I assume?” Willump was Nunu’s adopted Yeti brother, and the two were inseperable. He was currently outside hunting for whatever food he could scrounge up. “Of course Madame! He would probably eat me if I left him behind.” The group chuckled, and with that, Ashe headed back upstairs. She was waiting for something, but she wasn’t sure what.

She sat down on the bed heavily and Tryndamere asked, “What’s bothering you, my love?” Ashe leaned against him and said, “I think I’m just getting restless.” She looked down at her royal trappings, felt the pressure of the crown on her head and continued, “I’m not used to being queen. I haven’t been hunting in ages, I haven’t been able to track anything. It’s just frustrating having to give orders and not being able to be out there, helping.” Tryndamere looked at her and said, “Yes, I know what you mean. Remember, you’re not the only warrior in this room.” She looked up and he was smiling, so she knew he’d meant it playfully.

Just as she’d started to relax, a shout came up the staircase, “There’s been an attack on our outlying caves! All the guards are dead!” Ashe bolted upright, senses on full alert. So this is why she’d been uncomfortable all day. She had known something was wrong and this was it. She quickly walked to the stairs and held herself with full regal bearing, “Do we know who did this?” “Not yet, m’lady.” She saw that Olaf had come to deliver the news himself. “Very well. Captain Olaf, I want you to take a team out to the caves and investigate this. If there’s trouble, back off. I don’t want to lose anyone else over this.” He nodded and hurried off to carry out his orders.

‘Well, well.’ Ashe thought. ‘It appears that I will get some excitement yet as queen.’

I’m going to start doing annotations at the end of some posts now! This will either be to update you on anything coming up or changing about the schedule, answer any recurring questions there might be in the comments, or just to say something I want to say about the post! Plus, I like talking with you guys, so let me know what you think of anything. Including “That comma placement in the third sentence of the second paragraph really sucked. I think you should quit now.”

For this first one, I just want to explain that I know Olaf isn’t traditionally a Freljordian champion, but there aren’t many of those. Because of that, several of the champs who become big parts of this series will be added on because I choose them to be, not because they fit in with pre-established lore.

-Tale Master