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Nunu: The War for Freljord – 14

20 Jul

Nunu and his companions had found a small ravine to hide in the day after their escape. It had served as their campgrounds as they contemplated what to do. Nunu figured it was no use trying to get back through the minotaur territory. Surely they had been branded outlaws. Alistar had argued that it was also no good trying to skirt around the territory, the minotaurs had the surrounding area too well covered. Jessup had been nearly silent for the entire time they had been stuck in the forest. Out of ideas, they had begun to learn how to live off the land and were biding their time until a solution could present itself.

Although they hunted smaller animals and passed the time with stories, it had become rather dull over the past week. One night, Nunu had been attempting to capture a passing rabbit with magic, but stopped suddenly, hearing a rhythmic thud on the ground. He quickly scampered up a lush tree nearby and peered around, trying to find the cause of the noise. He was shocked to see a legion of Winter’s Claw soldiers headed to the southwest, out of the forest. At their head was Katarina Du Couteau, the Noxian assassin, and she looked injured. She was walking with a limp and had a large bandage attached to her side.

Nunu surmised that she must be doing some bidding of Sejuani’s and felt a pang of uselessness. His new country was being taken over and he was stuck here in some forest. He desperately wanted to do something, but restrained himself. Acting now would only get himself killed, and that would help no one. As the army marched past, he sat there, wondering how he could get out. He was resolved to figure out some way to get out of this forest to warn the capital, even if it meant risking death at the hands of the minotaur.

He fell asleep in the tree, knowing he would not fall and give away his position. Though his sleep was fitful, when he awoke in the morning, the last of the army had long since vanished in the distance and Nunu quickly hopped down from the tree. He ran back to the ravine and found Alistar talking with Jessup. He burst out, “The Winter’s Claw are on the move, led by Katarina! They were headed southwest, clearly skipping the minotaur lands.” The others jumped up and looked alarmed. Alistar said, “I wonder where they are headed, and why they would skip their own ally’s territory? Regardless, show us where they went!”

The three began to get up and leave when Nunu felt the ground rumbling again. He whispered harshly, “Quick, in the ravine and hide!” The three ducked down and Nunu slowly peered over the edge, trying to see whether the army had returned. He was shocked to see Queen Ashe approaching in the distance, and an army of ursine and yeti following her closely. He excitedly told his companions, “It’s Ashe. She’s here with an army!” The two looked excited and jumped up. Nunu yelled out, “Ashe, over here!” He went running over and his Queen’s face looked surprised.

“Nunu, what are you doing here?” Nunu laughed and said, “It’s a long story, but I must tell you, Sejuani is working with Noxus!” Ashe looked grim and said, “We’ve learned the hard way. Her hideout is here, in this forest. Do you know where?” Nunu looked taken aback, and thought about it. “No, we haven’t seen it anywhere.” Ashe and Nunu made the introductions to all their companions and caught each other up on the events that transpired since they last saw each other.

“How did you get through the minotaur territory?” Nunu asked. Ashe looked concerned and said, “I was going to ask you what happened there. It was completely empty when we went through. It looked recently abandoned.” Nunu’s face lit up, “They must have gone with the Winter’s Claw I saw leaving here last night! They were skirting around the minotaur territory and I couldn’t figure out why. Since Katarina was leading them, she must have known you would be on your way and tried to avoid you.” Ashe looked aghast and said, “The capital! They must be headed there to take it!”

She immediately turned to Volibear and said, “Get your ursine ready, we need to turn around immediately.” She turned to Nunu and said, “I need you to take charge of the yeti army. They will listen to you, and I have no desire for this to be completely autocratic.” With that, she walked away and stopped to talk to Alistar. Nunu couldn’t help but overhear as she said, “Alistar, I would be pleased to have you join our fold. I know your people have turned against you and our new peace, but I would be delighted if you’d join Nunu as an advisor for now.” The minotaur smiled grimly and said, “I thank you for your kind words. I shall repay them as best I can on the battlefield.”

Nunu quickly approached the yetis and announced himself in their own tongue. “My fellow yetis, I am Nunu. Today I come before you with a grave announcement. We are going to war…”

I’m going to make an admission, this one is a bit of a cop-out. I don’t like how the Nunu story line played out, and I don’t like writing as him. Hopefully, I won’t have to again, now that the groups have united again. If I’m being honest, I’m not pleased with this work, and I’m at a bit of a road block on how it would work if I did more Nunu. I’ve actually been through several drafts of this entry, which I’ve never done before and didn’t like any of them. This is the one that I thought sucked the least. I doubt there will be another Nunu entry, so consider this the end of his mini-story inside of the series.

Hopefully this one wasn’t too disappointing, (although having just read it back, I’m sure it will be) and I can make it up to you guys with another epic conclusion to a mini-series :). On a happier note, I’m really excited for what’s coming! Have a good one summoners (since you’re not getting a good story).

Tale Master

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Nunu: The War for Freljord – 6

13 Jul

Nunu sat there, clutching his brother’s corpse when a large hand reached down and picked him up. A gruff voice whispered, “We must go now, please, I will take Willump.” Nunu looked up and saw his friend Alistar through his wet eyes. Alistar put Willump’s body over one shoulder; Jessup’s over his other and began to walk briskly away. Nunu followed him closely, in shock over what had just happened. ‘How could Willump die?’ He thought numbly. ‘We’ve been joined at the hip since we’ve met, he can’t be dead.’

As they wound through the streets of the Minotaurs homeland, Nunu lost track of where he was. Upon reaching Alistar’s home, they quickly ducked inside and closed the blinds. It was a simple house, made of logs cut down from a nearby forest. Despite only being one room, and Alistar’s enormous size, the room appeared spacious enough for comfortable living. Nunu felt no joy in seeing his old friend given the circumstances, and the minotaur was currently busy tending to Jessup’s wounds.

Nunu looked over to the mat in the corner and saw Willump’s lifeless body lying there. He went over to him and stared. ‘I can’t let this stop us from our dream. We will unite Freljord, and I’ll always remember you.’ He took a second to compose himself and finally looked over to Alistar. “Thank you, my friend. I needed someone to be strong for me.” The minotaur looked solemn and said, “No need for thanks, and no need to be strong yet. I don’t think you need to do anything before the morning. Get some sleep.” Nunu thanked him and curled up on the ground. He was asleep before he even realized he had closed his eyes.

The next morning, Alistar gently awoke Nunu and said, “Unfortunately, the situation is far worse than we feared.” Nunu sat up and groaned. “Well, go ahead…give me a status update.” Alistar walked over to his small kitchen and began cooking some meat on his stove. Nunu realized he was famished and appreciated the gesture. Jessup lay on the couch, asleep but breathing.

“As you know, you were attacked by a delegation of the Winter’s Claw last night. Unfortunately, they did not all die as we thought. I think they sacrificed the soldier’s they threw at you on purpose. The rest of the group immediately went to the chieftain and told their tale of your savage attack. Unfortunately, with no dissenting story to be heard, our chief believes it.” Alistar looked unhappy, and Nunu sighed. The minotaur served two plates of the meat and they ate in silence for a long while.

Nunu finally said, “I need to speak with your chief regardless, I promised Queen Ashe I would.” Alistar nodded and replied, “I have already arranged it for noon, but I warn you, there are several voices against you. I believe they have been paid off, and it does not bode well for a friendly meeting.” Nunu considered his words and said, “Regardless, thank you. Without you Jessup may well have died as well, and I probably would have destroyed half the town.”

They finished eating and they began to prepare for their meeting. Just as they were planning to leave, Jessup sat up on the couch. He looked around wildly, asking what had happened. Nunu walked over and broke the news to him. He sat there a moment before a hard look came over his face. “Let me come with you brother. I no longer trust anything happening around here, and hopefully we can help each other’s odds of survival.” Nunu clapped him on the shoulder and the three friends went off towards the chieftain’s dwelling.

As they arrived at the house, Nunu marveled at its size compared to the buildings around it. It was at least three stories tall, made of polished wood, and looked brand new. Nunu asked about it quietly to Alistar who said, “Things have been very different lately. Minotaurs tend not to care about material wealth, but about a month ago our chieftain demanded a new home. We are not to argue, and made him this place. He has accumulated many opulent things in a very short time, and it is slightly disturbing. Unfortunately, questioning the chief is a sure way to be executed, so no one says anything.”

Nunu was already suspicious from the night before and didn’t like the sound of what he was hearing. He began to get an uneasy feeling and reconsidered his approach for a moment. After debating with himself, he knew that this meeting was his entire purpose for being here, and not having it would mean that Willump had died for nothing. He shored up his resolve and walked up to the large wooden door, knocking loudly. He waited for a long time before a minotaur opened the door and looked down.

He was young, hardly older than Alistar and Nunu was taken aback. He had assumed the chieftain would be an elder, like the yeti clans. He looked up and said, “I am Nunu, the Yeti Rider. I am an emissary from Queen Ashe of the Freljordian capital city, and I came to speak with you about joining us in our goal for peace.” The minotaur, a deep blue that almost looked black, stared back before saying, “Yes, come in then.” He brought the three guests inside and they all looked at each other uneasily upon entering. There were many golden figurines and treasures that seemed very expensive.

“Your home is lovely,” Nunu commented a little timidly. He was worried by the opulence on display, wondering where he had accumulated such wealth. The chief answered, “Thank you. I recently began to realize that I enjoy the finer things in life, and have been outfitting myself accordingly.” He seemed very smug upon saying this, and Nunu looked over at Alistar. His friend appeared to be uncomfortable, and Nunu’s sense of foreboding was growing. The chieftain disappeared up the stairs and called down, “Follow me, my office is on the second floor.”

Nunu slowed his walk and whispered to Alistar, “Are you sure we can trust him?” The minotaur hung his head before softly saying, “I honestly do not know. The chief is acting suspiciously and I’ve never seen such a disgusting display of wealth by a minotaur. Proceed carefully.” Nunu nodded and headed up the stairs. Jessup stayed as close to him as he could, and Alistar brought up the rear, keeping his head on a swivel. They found themselves in a hallway as they came to the top of the stairs, with four doors around them. Only one was open, and Nunu headed towards it.

As he opened the door, he saw the chief standing behind a large wooden desk, and a figure standing next to it. It took Nunu a moment to realize what he was seeing, but gasped when it hit him. Draven, the glorious executioner of Noxus, was readying his throwing axes. He looked wicked standing there with a chilling smile, spikes protruding from the armor at all angles. His armor was a dark blue, tainted with glowing skulls and imbued with a claw in blue warpaint on the front of his breastplate.

Nunu had no time to think of the implications and shouted, “It’s a trap!” before diving behind the door. He heard a battle axe hit the side of the hall right where he’d been standing and quickly clambered onto Jessup’s back. They ran down the stairs, Alistar leading the way by a fraction. Two guards tried to step in their way, but Alistar sprinted towards them and dove forward, headbutting the two back against the walls. The trio took advantage of their momentary opening and sprinted through the door, out into the streets.

“To the forest, it’s the only way!” Alistar shouted and bounded towards the woods behind the chief’s house. As they wound their way through the trees, Nunu kept using his blood warming magic on his brother and his friend to aid their getaway. They ran for most of the day, only resting as it grew dark. They found a small clearing and collapsed, exhausted from the effort of the day. Even though it was risky, they built a small fire to keep warm and gathered around it to discuss the day’s events.

“It was Draven.” Nunu said bluntly. “As in Noxian Draven, standing there, complete with Winter’s Claw armor. That’s why they’ve been hiding in the shadows. They’re biding their time, supporting a revolution. Just by turning Freljordians against each other, they can essentially come in and conquer the region without much risk. As long as we all turn on each other, we’ll be easy pickings for a Noxian conquest.” He looked downcast and for the first time since he could remember, he felt like a child. His brother was dead, his country was in peril, and here he was out in the woods with a yeti and a minotaur. Things were not looking good.

Alistar filled him in on the things happening around the minotaur lands lately, and Nunu was distressed to learn that popular opinion had already turned towards the Winter’s Claw. Apparently, they had been bringing gifts for months now, telling tales of Freljordians persecuting and attacking them. None of this was true, and Nunu was appalled at the accusations. “Nothing we can do now but get a good night’s sleep and assess our options,” he said to his companions. “Rest up, and we’ll discuss it in the morning.”

This one is the longest I’ve written yet, but I feel like there’s a lot to get to. Hopefully you enjoyed it, and the background didn’t spoil it too much ;). You’ll be getting another one later in the day (I hope!) and from there we should be back on the regular schedule!

-Tale Master

Nunu: The War for Freljord – 3

9 Jul

After leaving the City of Freljord, Nunu and Willump had taken the day’s travel to get to yeti territory. Upon reaching yeti territory, their older brother, Jessup, was already sitting there waiting for them. Nunu surmised scouts must have seen them coming and gone to alert them. They had a few moments of bonding before Nunu, speaking yittish, said, “We must meet with the elders at once.” Jessup said, “Of course. Stay close to Willy, for everyone is on edge right now.” The pair followed the larger yeti quite a ways before coming to the hillsides that the yeti called home.

Nunu quickly dismounted Willump, not wanting to show disrespect towards the yeti. Everyone knew the two were brothers, and they enjoyed being together, but to ride a yeti in front of the elders was a sign of subservience, and Nunu had no wish to offend his adopted people. They crossed the threshold into the crystal cave and Nunu was awed as always. The cave glittered brilliantly in soft firelight given off by the torches. The walls were perfectly rounded and there were ice statues carved everywhere. This cave had stood for as long as any of the yeti could remember, and Nunu loved it very much. The three elders sat on modest thrones, and had very wise, wrinkled faces.

He kneeled and beside him he saw Willump do the same, waiting to be addressed before speaking. “Nunu, Willump, our prized sons. How are things in the city of Freljord?” Nunu smiled and said, “Things have been going very well. We’re getting our feet on the ground, so to speak. As of yet, we haven’t had any trouble from the Winter’s Claw, although Queen Ashe thinks that an attack is coming soon.” The elders conferred softly with each other before a different one spoke up. “As we’ve said before, we think Ashe is a fine leader, and Tryndamere, the Barbarian King, adds might to their cause. I do not think we need to be worried. Now, I assume you are here about the delegation we sent out to the minotaurs?” Nunu nodded his agreement.

The last elder spoke up, “I’m afraid we do not have good news. They have not come back and we’ve been given no ransom demands or warnings.  I fear that our delegates have been killed. Whether it was by minotaur hand or someone looking to give us trouble, we do not know.” Nunu was very concerned by this. “Forgive me if I speak out of place, but what is your take on the situation elders? We’ve been on very good terms with the minotaurs, and I don’t believe they would turn on us like this.” The three looked at each other and the first one spoke, “Very astute, young Nunu. This is one of the reasons we value you so highly. We have spoken about it at length and agree that it would be an odd move for the minotaurs to make.

For the first time, Willump spoke in their presence.  “If we could, Nunu and I would like to volunteer to go and follow up with them. No disrespect intended towards the previous delegates, but the two of us would be well suited if trouble popped up. Considering Nunu’s previous friendship with Alistar through the League, I feel we could certainly make some headway.” The elders smiled in unison and conferred quietly again. Nunu and Willump waited patiently, showing no signs of frustration about side conversation, despite their youth.

Finally, the first elder said, “We agree. This seems like the best course of action. Stay here for the night and you may ride out tomorrow. It is one day’s yeti travel away.” The Elder smiled, knowing the way the two got around. Nunu and Willump thanked the elders and then took their leave. When they reached Jessup’s home, dinner was waiting and they all sat down to eat. Willump filled Jessup in on what had happened at the meeting while Nunu stuffed his face with vigor. After licking his plate clean, Nunu looked up and said, “I want you to come with us Jessup. Something strange is going on, and two yetis are always better than one.” Jessup tilted his head thoughtfully and then said, “You mean three yetis little brother. You’re just a runt.” The three of them laughed long and hard at this, and when the settled down, Jessup said seriously, “I agree. I shall join you two on your quest.”

They slept well that night, enjoying the warm comforts of the yeti hut before taking off at daybreak. A small contingent had turned up to see them off, and Nunu was heartened as always to see how his people had taken him in. His thoughts turned to the danger ahead, and wondering what had happened to the previous delegation. The day’s trek was difficult, but Nunu used his magic to keep his brothers warm and happy. It was a nifty little trick he had learned on cold night, but he managed to heat others inner body temperature, and whenever he did so, the effect was mimicked inside of him. It was quite a useful spell to know in the cold lands of Freljord, and both his brothers enjoyed the effects, making them pleased to have him along.

As they reached the edge of minotaur lands, Nunu told them to stop. “Let’s camp just outside for the night. There’s a ridge off to the side that seems like it would work well for us.” They ventured over and set up camp, using Nunu’s blood boil in lieu of a fire. They took turns keeping watch. Nunu went first. He had time to sit there, think, and brood on this delay that he had caused. He wasn’t sure why he wanted to wait until tomorrow, but there was something he didn’t trust about the circumstances. As his watch ended, nothing of note had happened. Nunu began to hope he had simply been overly cautious and allowed himself to drift off to sleep.

Just when it felt he had managed to nod off, he was awoken roughly by Jessup. He was up instantly, alert to everything around him. He looked off in the distance where Jessup was pointing and saw a band of Winter’s Claw headed towards the minotaur territory. He drew a deep breath and whispered to his companions, “It is as I feared. Sejuani is intervening, probably trying to court the minotaurs while keeping us away. My guess is she’s asking them why we haven’t contacted them if we want them to be part of our state. Unfortunately, this changes things. Let’s follow them.”

The yetis were up in a heartbeat and they followed the group, silently making their way through the snow. They came upon the outskirts of the minotaur town and watched the Winter’s Claw enter the inn. They were about to follow them inside when they heard a mighty growl behind them. Nunu looked back and saw Jessup’s back with a mace hanging out of it. He was roaring in pain and the Nunu immediately threw an enchanted snowball at their attackers. In the dark it was difficult to tell, but it looked as though there were only five, all on foot.

‘This shouldn’t be a problem for two yetis with a mage,’ thought Nunu confidently, and Willump charged into the fray. With Willump lunging left and right attacking all he could, Nunu kept throwing his enchanted snowballs, which impacted with the force of bricks. They slumped down and finally Nunu felt comfortable channeling his most powerful spell. He began to suck the heat out of the air, and the Winter’s Claw warriors began trying to run away. Their feet began to freeze to the ground and they knew they were stuck. Finally it exploded with force and frozen them all solid. Nunu laughed triumphantly and said, “It’s cold out there…”.

He hopped off Willump and went to check on Jessup when he heard another roar, this time higher pitched and more desperate. He wheeled around quickly and saw Willump standing there, a battle mace sticking out of the front of his chest. As the yeti looked at Nunu, he said, “Goodbye, brother,” and the mace was ripped back out the other side. Nunu went into a rage and began using every spell he could think of, launching them wildly. His wild snowballs hit the attackers and several buildings, causing holes to erupt all over.

Eventually, he calmed down and kneeled over his brother. He quietly said to his brother’s rapidly cooling body, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” His sobs carried into the night and away with the howling wind.

Early post today, woo hoo! This marks the first time a major part of League of Legends dies (I copped out with Cassiopeia, but I felt Noxians have good reason to be able to). It also marks the first original character we’ve seen in Jessup. It’s certainly an indication of where this series is headed, and I actually really enjoyed writing this whole one. The credit for the yeti language of yittish will have to go to my girlfriend, who actually edits most of these before I can post them!

As always, let me know what you think, good or bad. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of you through the comments and I always love new people as well!

-Tale Master