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Riven: Ionian Fervor – 15

15 Aug

There were a lot of things she was confused about. The last thing she remembered was bringing her blade down through Cassiopeia’s chest and then the world had gone black. Upon waking up, this woman had been about to interrogate her before Vlad and a blind monk came bursting in. They quickly turned the tables on the so-called Duchess and she revealed that she had been working with Talon. Despite this whirlwind turn of events, Riven was only bothered by one thing. When the duchess told them she was going to step down, she wore an expression that was just… wrong.

Riven couldn’t come up with another way to describe it other than the shame in her voice didn’t match the look in her eyes. They finished interrogating her and Vlad had the other two women in the room take the Duchess to the prison. He turned to the blind monk and told him to go round up the guards and see if they could explain what had happened. She was impressed with how well he was taking charge and the ease with which he was leading.

Finally, he turned towards her and broke into a wide smile. “Riven, it’s good to see you.” She stood up for the first time and walked over to him, hugging him closely and said, “It’s good to see you too. What on earth happened?” Vlad laughed and told her a quick synopsis of how the two of them had ended up in Ionia and Riven was amazed. “Why didn’t you just leave me? I was as good as dead and all you did was risk your own life.”

Vlad’s look was reproachful and he said, “If I left my first real friend to die, I don’t think I’d be a very popular man.” Riven laughed and suddenly realized, “My rune blade! Where is it?” Vlad said, “Ah, actually I was going to see if that might be something you wanted to do. I had to leave behind my armor and your blade when I ran into Singed at the inn south of here.” Riven’s face grew incredulous, “You ran into Zaunite Singed? What on earth is happening here in Ionia?”

Vlad’s face grew serious and he replied, “Too much to explain thoroughly, but the short version that you got from Karma is, Zaun is invading. I believe they’re winning as well, so we need to rally the people starting tonight.” Footfalls echoed down the corridor outside and Riven immediately tensed herself for a fight. She saw the monk peer his head around the door and relaxed a bit until she saw his expression. “Vlad, we’ve got news. Let’s get Irelia up here.”

Lee Sin took off down the hall and the two former Noxians followed him closely. They headed down towards the holding cells when they got to Irelia and Soraka. The two looked surprised and asked what the hurry was. Lee Sin looked grave and said, “Malthrir has fallen. Master Yi gave his life protecting the province, but shortly after his death it fell completely. They have a large foothold in our country now.” The five warriors stood there, contemplating.

Riven spoke up, “Well, I know I’ve been absent up ‘til now, but it sounds as though Talon is up to his old tricks. It just feels like he orchestrated this whole thing, even if Zaun is the one doing the heavy lifting.” The group nodded and Vlad said, “We need allies, plain and simple. If Noxus lends their backing to this, we don’t have enough to stop them from conquering us.”

Lee Sin spoke up, “Well, I do have a, um… Friend in Piltover.” He sounded slightly nervous and Riven thought about it, “I might have a contact there as well. Plus,” She paused and said, “…from there, I may be able to get Demacia on board to help.” The group looked impressed and Vlad said, “That’s right, Shyvana may be willing to help you.” He looked excited and the group seemed to exude optimism. “Well, there it is. Lee Sin and Riven will travel to Piltover. We need to tell them it’s urgent, and that Runeterra could very well fall if we don’t receive help.”

Riven laughed out loud and everyone looked straight at her. She paused briefly and said, “Well, it appears there’s no rest for the weary. Let’s go get us some allies.”

Alright guys, this is the last one that is part of my strange schedule. As of tomorrow, it’ll be another late post, but it should be a nice long one. It should be nice and action-y as well :). I hope I managed to make these ones interesting, while still keeping em nice and short!

Have a good one summoners.

Tale Master


Filler 4: Well Guys…

6 Jul

I blew it! I have nothing for you this evening xD. I may have something good in a bit, but no need to check back until tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, the first episode of a new series (The War for Freljord) will be out and I hope you guys enjoy. Same continuity as the Crimson Elite series, but different characters and focus.

– Fail Master

Edit: Here ya go guys, a little something to keep you happy until the new story is released (I loved it, and it’s what Riven is supposed to look like in her Crimson Elite armor!)

This is brought to us by Fincbdrummer on deviantart. Go give his stuff a look through, there’s some more cool stuff on there :).

-Redeemed Tale Master

Filler 1: Riven Drawing

4 Jul

This first post comes to us from Ryanwag222 over on Reddit! He knows about the face, but I liked it anyways, and it’s far better than anything I’d be able to produce xD.

Happy 4th of July American summoners, and Happy 4th of July (the day, not the holiday) summoners around the world!

-Tale Master

Riven: Crimson Elite – 14

2 Jul

As they reached the ninth floor hallway she spotted them. The infamous Blood Brothers, Darius and Draven stood in their way. Darius was a hulking beast, wearing his same armor from the last time they fought. Draven was not quite as armored, but his two lethal spinning axes were whirling in his hand. Riven had heard plenty of stories about how talented he was with them, and was not keen to find out. Talon looked over towards her and she nodded. She realized this was why she had come along. She was to delay two of Noxus’ finest warriors to allow Talon to get through to the General. With that, she did not waste any more time before pulling out her broken sword and flying forward at her enemies.

She dashed forward and to the left, feinting towards Draven first. The pair seemed to expect this and Darius immediately moved to get in front of his brother. Right then, Riven saw Talon burst by, and fled to the opposite side of the hallway. Riven started her triple slash but after the second swing was blocked by Darius, she concentrated a ki burst, stunning him. As she dove past the dazed warrior, Draven lined up an axe and sent it sailing towards her head. Riven deflected it away and charged at the Glorious Executioner. He turned and fled down the hall, retrieving his downed axe on the way. By then, Riven knew Darius would be back up and turned just in time to dive out of the way as he was rushing at her, blade held high. He swung downwards, looking to cleave her skull, but she was too quick. She dove back underneath him while he was still off balance and kicked up into his stomach, doubling him over.

Just then she felt a searing pain in a line down her back. The inch long spikes on the end of Draven’s throwing axes had penetrated her armor fully and she roared in pain. She brought the hilt of her sword down with a crack on Darius’ head. He slumped over and she turned to face Draven, hoping to fend off his attack. Just as she turned, she saw four blades appear, one in both arms and both legs, quicker than her eyes could follow. He collapsed and hobbled back into the room on the side of the hall. Riven turned and saw Katarina sprinting up the hall towards her. “He’s upstairs,” Riven said and Katarina quickly ran after Talon. Riven sat there, clenched her teeth and grimaced through the pain as she pried the axe from her flesh. Blood began to pour out of her wounds and she looked around for something to staunch the bleeding. She found a tapestry hanging and tore off several strips, plugging the inch deep holes down her back. As soon as the searing pain died down, she went over to the door and jammed Darius up against it. She knew it wouldn’t hold Draven forever, but it gave them time to hear him coming out if he wanted to cause trouble.

Aching with pain, she slumped down against the wall and sat there, catching her breath. They had done it. She knew Talon would not have a problem dealing with a man like Darkwill, and that meant the deed was done. Soon after Vladimir came rushing up the stairs and upon seeing Riven gasped. He ran over to her and moved the makeshift gauze away. “Let me try something,” he said and then put his hands to her back. It felt weird, but when she looked down, her wounds were closed and she felt slightly better. “You still lost a lot of blood, but that’ll at least prevent you from losing any more. How’d it go up here?” “It was just swell, as you can see,” Riven said, “Talon is upstairs with Katarina and they should be done by now. Let’s go see.” At that moment Katarina and Talon came rushing down the stairs. They looked far more panicked than someone who had just won over the allegiance of a nation. “What’s wrong?” Riven asked quickly. It was Katarina who spoke. “The guard and my sister refuse to take our side on the situation. There’s a revolt in the town square led by them. We need to take care of it immediately.”

Riven shared their concern and wondered what course of action they should take. This was not entirely unexpected, although they had all assumed Cassiopeia would follow Katarina anywhere. “Vlad, we’ll need you to make blood runes here and transport Riven to your runes closest to the square. Come back as quick as you can, and then you’ll be able to take us.” Talon spoke with all the authority he had, and Riven had to admit, he was a strong leader. “Sounds good, but Riven’s-“ Vlad started to point to Riven’s wounds but she cut him off. “No, this is a good plan. Let’s go.” The hemomancer looked like he wanted to protest further but after a withering look from Riven he began creating the blood runes. Once they were set on the floor, he grabbed Riven’s arm and they disappeared. Riven noticed that each time she traveled like this, the less she minded, and barely even felt any odd sensations as she reappeared inside of an attic. “We’re right outside the square, just head north one block and you’ll find it.” Vlad paused, hesitating and then said, “Riven… be careful. I don’t want you to get hurt.” She smiled and said, “Just go get my backup and you won’t have to worry about that.” She was trying to sound more confident than she was. She had lost too much blood and needed the others to get there as soon as possible. Vlad disappeared and she stepped down into the house and out in the street.

When she got to the square she yelled, “What is going on here?” The soldiers all looked over to her as one and stood up straight, in full military posture.  “There she is. There’s the one who has been causing all this trouble.” The hissing voice was quiet, but carried quite well over the complete silence in the square. Cassiopeia slithered up atop the steps in the center of the town square and said, “Men, this woman who stands before you is the reason your families are going hungry. This woman is the reason that your leader lies dead in his castle. This woman is everything that is wrong with Noxus right now. If we eliminate her, it is the first step on our path to global domination.” Riven was confused, ‘How could Cassiopeia possibly know any of this without being informed by Katarina?’ That was when it hit her. She was being set up. The people were not going to take all of the changes going around without someone to blame, and Talon had set her up perfectly. She was the perfect scapegoat for everything. She had destroyed the food storage facility and left plenty of witnesses. She had just assaulted the castle and made herself far more visible than Talon had; plus, she a former soldier who had almost been killed by her own people. She made the most sense as someone with a big enough grudge against Noxus to perpetrate all of these actions.

‘This is why Talon wanted me so badly. This is why I’ve been getting the jobs I have. And now, my public execution at the hands of the army means that no one is dissatisfied.’ Riven despaired, but did not let it show on her face. She merely pulled out her broken rune sword and stood there, ready to challenge any who came. No one moved for several moments, and then she stood up straight. “Come then, if you wish to challenge me, come see what my blade can do. You’re all being lied to by your new administration. You will be used, like I was. However, no matter what you do to me, with your weapons, your lies, and your corruption… no matter what tool you use, my spirit is not lost. I am Commander Riven, Exile of Noxus. Come at me if you dare!” She bellowed these words, which echoed around the silent streets of Noxus. The army looked frightened, but then Cassiopeia shrieked, “KILL HER!” The army charged with a loud cry and Riven dropped into a deep state of concentration. She used all of her anger, all of her hatred at the injustices committed against her and focused on her blade. When she opened her eyes, her rune blade was forged again and she smiled, knowing that when she died here today, she would take many souls with her.

The closest soldier flew at her and she dodged to the side, swinging her full sword through him, slicing him at the waist. Before she could look over another two were at her coming in high. She stabbed one and the other’s blade bounced off her new armor. She quickly stabbed again at the opening created and yet another soldier fell. She moved this way and that, dodging and diving with an elegant beauty. Her movements were fluid and every time she received a hit, her armor kept her from taking the full force of an attack. She slashed, she swung her brilliantly glowing rune sword, and every time she picked a target, it found its mark. The pile of bodies around her began to grow and the soldiers were starting to hesitate to come after her. She kept moving, slowly wearing down inside from the enormous amount of concentration keeping her sword took. Combined with the lack of blood, and sheer exhaustion from the weeks she had spent in motion she knew she did not have much time left. None of the Noxians saw this, all they could see was a goddess moving around the battlefield, slaying all who came before her.

Eventually, a shriek came out, “Enough! Move aside, all of you.” Cassiopeia came slithering through the ranks and faced Riven. “If these cretins cannot properly deal with you, I will.” Riven, weary to the bone, knew she did not have enough energy left for a full fight. She dropped to one knee, balancing herself on her sword and looked down. As she sat there, her only thought was, ‘This is it. I’m going to die.’ Just saying it to herself in her head steeled her, got her ready for it. She decided upon one last triumphant act before she bowed out. She staggered to her feet, taking off her black armor. Thought it had served her well during this last stand, she didn’t want to die in the symbol of the Crimson Elite. Still holding tightly onto her rune blade, she stood up, using the blade for balance. It was taking all of her effort just to keep it together for the next ten seconds, but she would not fail. The medusa hissed, “Come Riven. You are done. I will take you into captivity and you will have a fair trial.” Cassiopeia’s smile was frightening and Riven knew what the outcome would be. “It is not me who should be tried, but you and your band of wicked warriors. Cassiopeia, you,” she emphasized her next words carefully, “you are beyond redemption.”

With that, the exile jumped forward and swung her blade through the torso of the serpentine woman, watching her body slump down to the side. Completely spent, Riven dropped to her knees and fell further, onto her back. Staring up into the sky, as her vision faded at the edges, she saw the stars and couldn’t help but think ‘If this is dying, it’s really not so bad.’ With that, the Exile’s eyes closed and the world around her went black.

Riven: Crimson Elite – 12

30 Jun

Riven was the first one back to cave. She steeled herself, ready to confront Talon, but she already knew that she would be staying with him. He genuinely seemed to believe that Noxus could be a power, and Riven believed he could do it. She only had to wait a few hours before she heard Talon climbing the cliff, talking to someone. She was immediately on alert, knowing that if were Vlad he would have come in by blood travel. When he finally got to the mouth of the cave, she saw Katarina walk in behind him. “Riven!” He exclaimed, “So you succeeded.” He was smiling, but faltered when he saw her expression. “Ah, you’ve found out. Listen –“ “Look, I understand why you did it,” Riven interrupted, “but that doesn’t mean I agree with it. I have chosen to follow you because I want to unite Noxus. I want us to be the power in the land. What I don’t want is to have a regime change just for the sake of it.” Talon looked at her and said seriously, “I completely agree. It was not an easy choice for me to make, and I lied to you because I needed your full cooperation. I’m sorry it had to be that way, but I could not have you hesitating. It needed to be done” His expression lightened slightly and he said, “Now, we just need to wait for our friend Vladimir to get here. He has presents for each of us, so in the meantime, rest up!”

Talon went on to explain the details of his mission, answering Riven’s questions about their extra member. After several hours, Talon went hunting out in the forest, leaving Riven and Katarina sitting there. They did not speak to each other, Riven preferring to sit in silence. Just when she had started to drift off, she heard an odd squelching noise in the corner and saw Vlad teleporting in. She was excited to see him, but saw him getting ready to attack Katarina. She quickly stepped in to stop him from hurting her, and Talon walked in right then. She sat there as Vladimir repeated the process she had just gone through of catching up on events and Vlad handed out armor. She liked hers, but refused to wear the helmet. She didn’t like the gaudy ornamentation on it, and felt it would narrow her field of view. After all the niceties and catching up happened, the group gathered around the table and began planning their infiltration of Noxus.

“Normally,” Talon began, “I would be telling you all your parts separately, so you would not be able to break under torture. For this mission, however, if any of us were to fail, the whole thing fails. This means we need to work together closely, and there can be no mistakes.” “The participants agreed, and Talon pressed on. “Now, for first stage, we have Katarina. She is going to go back and report that I ambushed her, exactly as I did. The difference will be, she will report my death at her hands. I will have fallen off the bridge and because of this, security will be much more lax than it has been.” Katarina nodded her understanding and then said, “This is true, and I have complete control of the guard. I will be moving them to the square in the center of town, based on a rumor that I will have picked up.” Talon smiled and she continued. “That will leave a token group of guards actually surrounding Darkwill, although I’d be surprised if Darius wasn’t there. General Swain is out overseeing the defensive preparations in southern Ionia, so this is a fine time to strike anyways.”

Talon switched his focus to Riven and Vladimir. “You two will be directly escorting me, pushing our way in. Vlad, I know you have blood runes around the city, so you will be our main method of transportation. There are ten floors that we’re going to have to make our way through, though as it stands we will only really find opposition on three floors. The ground floor should have a rather large security contingent to prevent anyone from entering. The ninth floor is where the sleeping quarters for higher ranking warriors are held, and it’s probable we’ll have to deal with them there. The top floor is where Darkwill’s chambers are located.” He looked back and forth between the two of them. “Obviously, this is going to be dangerous. I may have to leave one, or both of you behind to deal with whatever is in our way, because our only goal here is Darkwill. With him gone, the way to the Noxian throne is open. It’s very possible that some of us will die here. Do we all understand this?” Riven nodded her agreement, feeling confident that she would not fall. She looked over to Vlad, and was surprised to see him looking uncomfortable. “Yes, I understand,” he said softly. Riven was intrigued and wanted to ask what was troubling him, but decided it would be better to wait.

“Perfect. We begin at midnight tonight, so make certain you are prepared.” With that, they realized they were dismissed and Vlad and Riven got up. They left the cave together and began to take a walk through the wilderness. “So, what happened with you and the food storage facility?” Vlad asked as soon as they were out of earshot. “When you went to retrieve the armors, I was told I was going to destroy a weapons facility. As you know, it ended up being food storage. I’m still uncomfortable with the damage this will bring to Noxus, but I must admit, rumors of hunger and tension are already spreading. Talon created the perfect climate for a coup.” Vlad looked over at her, “Yeah, this plan is pretty fantastic from a logistics point of view, but I can’t help feeling that something is off. His pulse quickens whenever he starts talking about this plan. Maybe it’s just excitement about a big operation, but it just feels like there’s something more.” His voice trailed off and she could tell he was worried, but she smiled reassuringly at him. “Well, as long as you and I watch each other’s backs, there should be nothing to worry about right?”

She looked over at him and playfully grabbed his arm, “Now what about this? When you left you looked like you weighed less than a hundred pounds, and you come back as the most ripped man in Noxus?” He laughed sincerely, and the sound was good for Riven to hear. She hadn’t been truly happy since her country had betrayed her, and being with Vlad was like being back with her squad. “Oh, you know, a little of this, a little of that… a little of the blood of a thousand souls empowering me.” His teasing grin was the same as ever, and Riven knew that he’d only changed physically. He caught her eye and said with a straight face, “Care to make a donation?” Riven burst out laughing and all the tension of the meeting and their upcoming plan drained in one instant. They wandered for another hour until they came upon a tree that had a low hanging branch, perfect for sitting on. They collapsed down next to each other and sat there in silence, enjoying their surroundings.

“Do you trust him yet?” Riven asked after a while. “No.” Vlad said quickly. “He is a man who is loyal to himself alone, but nothing has changed. He needs us. Plus, we have both showed him loyalty, which he would be stupid to discount.” Riven nodded and thought to herself, ‘Do I trust you yet?’ She knew the answer was yes. She would trust Vlad with her life at this point. “And what about Katarina? What’s your take on her?” Vlad considered a moment and then said, “Surprisingly, I think she was the only one in that meeting without any doubts. She fully believes in Talon, but you know what they say. Converts always make the biggest fanatics. I don’t think we have anything to worry about from her.” They sat there for a while longer in a comfortable silence until the sun started to set.

“We better get back so we can prepare properly,” said Riven. Vlad got up and walked beside her, and the two friends walked back towards the cave. Now that they had a plan, the air seemed charge, ready to burst. They had reached the calm before the storm.

Riven: Crimson Elite – 10

29 Jun

The Exile staggered to her feet. What had she done, what could she do now? The only thought on her mind was to run, far away, where none of this would matter anymore. As she ran west, leaving city lines, she a heard a manic voice yell, “Hey! Where are you going, let’s blow this joint!” She turned her head and saw Ziggs, the Yordle with a penchant for destruction, in a hovering vehicle, flying towards her. “Come on, come on, come on!” The Yordle seemed hyped up, excited by what he had just done, and Riven had no wish to continue with him. “Leave me, we will escape separately.” The pint-sized demolitions expert shrugged and then banked sharply, flying off north towards Piltover. Riven decided to blank her mind and simply carry on for now. She chose to get to the Howling Marsh, a place where none would follow, and would decide what to do next from there.

She ran for nearly a day straight, barely pausing at all, and when she finally made camp in the marsh, she fell asleep almost instantly. When she finally woke up, she was thankful her sleep had been dreamless; a godsend in the state she was in. She finally sat there and took the time to reflect on what had just happened. She realized now that she had been played by Talon from the start. He knew exactly how to manipulate her, knowing her fury at the weapons would take over her caution. ‘To be honest,’ she thought, ‘he is the ideal Noxian leader. He’s cunning, a gifted warrior, and had a brilliant plan.’ She knew that by destroying the food supply, Noxians everywhere would become angry. Starvation was one of the quickest ways to incite a riot, and Talon had just hit a masterstroke. Faith in the current leadership would be at a low, and that creates a window of opportunity. He would be able to strike out, and either through violence or even just political maneuvering, he could slip in and fill the power vacuum left at the top.

Riven was begrudgingly impressed with Talon’s plan, but this did nothing to lessen her guilt. She was far too familiar with the way the Noxian mind worked to be upset with him for lying to her, but she could not get over her role in the destruction. She sat there feeling sorry for herself, allowing the guilt to be overwhelm her. The squad in the Ionian war, the people of Noxus and her own life falling to pieces around her hit her like a tidal wave. She used her much needed time in the wilderness to let all the pent up emotion and pain out. She sat there, sobbing silently for long time until there was nothing left inside her but a fierce determination. While Talon may not have been much different from the other rulers, she had chosen her path when she sided with him. She would support him in his efforts to rule Noxus, and be a loyal advisor. Hopefully this would allow her to have an opinion about his choices and could stop him from committing more atrocities, repeating the mistakes of the old rule. She decided she would waste no more time feeling bad for the past and instead looked to the future.

A short ways off, a voice cried out, “Back lich! You have faced nothing like me.” Riven was taken aback. She thought she was alone in this wilderness and wondered what was happening. Quickly and quietly, she stole over and glanced through a thicket of bushes to see a dragon fighting a lich. The dragon’s scales shone orange and red as the light danced across them, a stark contrast to the blood red robes and black skin of the lich. The dragon was dancing in and out of range, attempting to dodge pinkish orbs that flew at her from the lich’s staff. The lich laid an orb directly behind the dragon, causing it to dodge forward to bite him. Just as the dragon closed in, a magical wall appeared in front of the beast, causing her to revert to a blue skinned humanoid. Riven was taken aback, but knew that the magnificent creature was in trouble. She leapt out from behind the trees and drew her blade. Upon seeing a new competitor the lich quickly backed away. He threw another magical wall up and disappeared behind it into the darkness.

“Thank you, stranger.” The blue skinned woman had a deep, compassionate voice. ‘A little surprising for a half-dragon,’ thought Riven. “No problem, but what happened here? Why would you go after a lich alone?” The dragon sighed, “Alas, that was my own fault. I merely came to these woods to have a little time away from society and attempt to stay in touch with my dragon’s roots in a constructive manner. I did not realize that such evil lay here. Before we speak further, we should leave in case that monstrosity decides to come back.” They traveled quite a ways in silence, Riven sensing that she could trust this mysterious woman instantly. “Now then, I am Shyvana, elite guard to Prince Jarvan IV. Who might you be, friend?” Riven inhaled sharply, then replied, “I am Riven, formerly a commander in the Noxian army.” Half-expecting a fight, she kept her hand close to her sword, but the half-dragon made no threatening movements.

“I have heard of you, although you are now called Riven the Exile, are you not?” Riven simply shrugged and sat down heavily on a nearby rock. “I didn’t realize that was my new title, but it’s fitting.” Shyvana seemed to understand that she didn’t wish to discuss it and merely stood there watching the Exile closely. Abruptly she changed the subject, “Why do you fight with a broken blade?” Riven was slightly startled by the switch, but answered, “I don’t know. I like my rune blade, we’ve been through a lot together, and not to brag, but I can still do a fair amount of damage with it.” Shyvana considered this before saying, “I have heard tell of rune blades being forged anew if their wielder is talented enough. They are a curious weapon in how closely they are tied to their users. The utmost concentration is required, but you strike me as someone who is a quick learner. Something about your scent is… intelligent.” Riven wasn’t exactly sure what she meant by that, but was very intrigued about her sword. “You’re telling me that if I concentrate hard enough in a battle I can re-forge my runeblade to its full length?”

“I have only heard speculation, but yes. I believe if you focus your emotions and energies into it that completing it should be possible.” Shyvana finally sat down on a rock next to Riven and the two engaged in long conversation. Riven relayed the events of the past few weeks, leaving out only the items of the Crimson Elite, explaining her presence in the swamp away by saying she needed time away as well. Shyvana furrowed her brow at this, possibly sensing she was lying, or omitting part of the truth, but said nothing. At this point, Shyvana told of her upbringing as part of the dragons’ culture before her father’s death for having spawned a half-dragon. Then she told of Demacia and its ideals of honor and service winning her over with Jarvan IV personally repeatedly demonstrating these qualities over time . Riven was shocked at how much she and this Demacian had in common, but said nothing, choosing to listen rather than speak.

After a long while Riven turned towards the half-dragon and said, “It was a true pleasure meeting you today, Shyvana. I sincerely hope our paths cross again somewhere other than the battlefield.” Shyvana chuckled and said, “You as well, Riven. If you ever find yourself in need of a place to stay, I will personally welcome you with open arms.” With that, the dragon turned away and started back home while Riven contemplated the strange luck she had by finding a friend out here.

Finally, she began to head back to the cave that had become the Crimson Elite’s meeting place. She felt as though ages had passed since the events at the food storage facility and walked with a newfound sense of purpose. She had always thought that the Demacian brand of justice was tyrannical and supported the weak far too much to be effective, and subsequently was surprised at how much of what Shyvana said made sense. She shook the thought out of her head and prepared for her next meeting with Talon.

Riven: Crimson Elite – 8

27 Jun

Riven watched Vlad sink into the ground and out of sight. She was confident he would complete his mission, yet a feeling of unease hung over her. Still staring at the spot where he had left, she shook off her misgivings and focused back on her leader’s instructions. “What do you need me to do, Talon?” Talon paused before saying, “I have a… specialized job for you to do. I’m not going to lie to you. It will likely involve a lot of killing, and will be extremely difficult. I need you to do it because I have faith in your abilities to cause some destruction while keeping yourself away from harm.” He stared at her, waiting to see her reaction, but she merely watched him back. He pressed on, “There is storehouse where a secret Noxian weapon is being hidden. It lies in the small village of Askay, just at the base of this mountain.” For the first time, Riven’s face betrayed her interest. “So am I steal something out of this place, or simply take it down?” Talon’s pleasure at her reaction was evident. “I want you to take down every bit of it. Leave no remains at all.”

Riven thought about it for a second, “So what am I to do, slash it to the ground with my poor broken sword?” The Blade’s Shadow chuckled, “No, I wouldn’t expect even you to do that. I have a contact who will meet you there. Do you know of Ziggs, the Hexplosives Expert?” Riven was taken aback. “I thought he was firmly on the Piltovian side, how on earth did you hire him.” “Let’s say he’s more dedicated to his hexplosives than his new home. When I contacted him about this, he jumped at the chance. Of course, he thinks that we’re upset with Noxus and hope to bring them down, so it would be wise not to dissuade him of that notion.” Riven thought about what was being asked of her and was fairly excited. She couldn’t help but enjoy the idea of destroying those weapons that had torn her world apart. “I’ll do it. When am I meeting with him?” “You will meet him at an inn on the outskirts of town. It should only take you half a day’s travel to get there, and I’d like you to meet with him at sundown. Rest up and get ready for the evening.”

Two hours later, after having rested and eaten, she got up to leave. Before she could leave the cave, Talon caught hold of her arm and said, “This is the start, Riven. This is when Noxus becomes the place we’ve all wanted it to be.” Riven smiled, heartened by these words and gave him a nod, setting off with a brisk pace. The journey seemed to fly by, and before she knew it, Riven sat inside the inn on the outskirts of town. She saw the factory coming in, and was impressed with the size of it. She was surprised that it would be out here, considering the land was surrounded by farming areas and livestock. ‘Well, I suppose a weapons factory does need a lot of people working there,’ Riven thought to herself. After an hour, she saw a Yordle wearing goggles walk into the establishment. She regarded him a moment, and was half amused. He was dressed in body armor almost from head to foot, and had a giant cartoonish bomb strapped to his back. She knew by reputation that he was actually the foremost explosives expert on Valoran, but his strange appearance was comical nonetheless.

She caught his eye and hailed him over. As he sat down, the Yordle said, “This’ll be a blast.” He grinned with one of the biggest smiles Riven had ever seen and the two got down to work. After an hour of deliberation, Riven knew that her job was to assault the compound from the front, drawing the guards’ attention away. Ziggs would infiltrate the compound from the backside, using a low impact charge to bounce himself over the fence. From there, he would proceed to place bombs all around the warehouse and bring it down in one large explosion after the two were at a safe distance. It seemed pretty simple, and the main reason it should work was the element of surprise. Noxus simply didn’t think Talon knew anything about these weapons, and Grand General Darkwill had a habit of underestimating his enemies. Riven and Ziggs decided on a time to strike and the Yordle left Riven sitting at the table, biding her time.

She became restless, wishing her time to act would get there. Her mind drifted to the day she had been betrayed by her country and rage began to fester inside of her. Her resolve to take down the weaponry grew with each passing minute and when her moment finally came, she was ready. Walking through town, she looked at each face and realized most of these people knew this factory was there and did nothing to stop it. She was disgusted, but nothing would come between her and her goal right now. After a short walk she reached the front of the compound and walked up to the only opening in the barbed wire fence. A guard post sat there, filled with a group of four men who stood up quickly upon seeing the approaching woman.

“You there, stop! This is Noxian government property, and you’re gonna wanna turn away right now lady.” Riven unsheathed her sword and smiled the same grim smile she always wore before a fight. “I will not turn away, and I’d like to see you stop me.” The guards grew angry and charged at the impudent woman who stood before them. Riven quickly dodged out of the way of the first guard and thrust her blade into his neck. She had no time to admire her handiwork, as the next two swung at her high and low. She jumped above one, while ducking the other and concentrated on releasing her pent up energy. It stunned both guards momentarily, and she slashed at the unfortunate pair three times. They fell, dead before they hit the ground and an alarm began to go off in the background. Suddenly a group of fifteen more guards came running out of a barracks inside the compound and looked around. They spotted Riven and headed over, and she couldn’t help but think the entire group’s armor was severely lacking for such an important facility.

She shrugged off the thought and focused again, knowing she would need to keep moving to negate their advantage of numbers. She began to run away, dashing this way and that, taunting them to come after her. Whenever one would get too close she would suddenly fly back in with her signature triple slice, and kill them instantly. After a few minutes, Riven found herself several hundred yards away from the compound with fallen corpses dotting the landscape between them. Only seven of the original nineteen remained and she stopped. ‘Only three minutes left before the Yordle gets to light his fuse,’ Riven mused. The guards kept their distance, clearly having learned that she was not one to be trifled with. “What do you want here? Why would you come and attack our village?” “You know what you’ve done you filthy vermin. My burdens of the past started because of places like this. Your weapons are used on Noxian soldiers as well as the enemy. Total annihilation should not be the goal of warfare!” The guards looked stunned. “Weapons? What are you talking about? This is the food storage facility for the entire land of Noxus.”

At that moment a blast that lit up the night sky formed brilliantly behind the guards back. Riven was blinded and looked away, hitting the ground to avoid being struck by flying debris. After a few moments, she looked over towards the compound and saw a giant gaping hole in the ground. ‘I… I just doomed thousands of citizens,’ Riven thought. ‘I… I…’ She got up to her knees, unable to speak or even think. She looked up to the sky and yelled, heart heavy with the knowledge that she had effectively murdered half the population of Noxus.