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Sejuani: The War for Freljord – 19

26 Jul

The journey had been rough. Sejuani sat atop her boar, looking down at the battlefield below. Corpses of several species lay strewn about. The ursine and yeti were a pitifully small group at this point and Sejuani felt a pang of regret. She knew it was largely her fault for giving the Noxians a way into Freljord. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much more she could do than to fight here as a Freljordian. She would die before she would see her homeland fall under foreign rule.

She had travelled from the forest with Ashe and Tryndamere to the barbarian lands very quickly. They left the minotaur’s land without incident and from there it was a straight shot over snow covered plains. Once they arrived, Tryndamere wasted no time. He spoke with the barbarian chieftain, who ruled while Tryndamere was in the capital, and within an hour the barbarians were ready to go. Sejuani was impressed, but supposed that because of their nomadic ways, they were always ready to pick up and go.

On their way to the capital, Sejuani mused that with their two thousand barbarians in addition to the ursine and yeti, they may have a chance. Upon arriving at the canyon, they were concerned to see an odd landscape. The walls of the canyon looked severely damaged in two places, and the result was two walls of debris. Ashe had looked over at Sejuani and the two whispered about their plan. Ashe said, “I think I will scale the walls quickly and aim to assist from above. The last time I was in the middle of a battle, it did not end well.”

Sejuani felt a pang at the comment, knowing that a close friend of her companions had died in a battle with the Winter’s Claw and Noxian army. She pushed the feelings aside, knowing there was no time to waste, “I agree. I will be relying on you to zone them out of certain areas we look weak in. Use those enchanted arrows of our ancestors. I’ll be damned before Noxus takes our land.” The two women looked into each other’s eyes, clasped hands for a moment before Ashe ran off, scaling the canyon wall.

Sejuani and Tryndamere stood in front of the army and he ordered them forward. They climbed the first mound without much problem, and slid down into the newly formed ravine. As they settled themselves, Sejuani looked up and saw Ashe watching their progress. Sejuani signaled they were ok and Ashe pressed forward, past the second mound. At that moment, Talon’s voice carried down the canyon and rang out clearly in Sejuani’s ears. She and Tryndamere ushered the barbarians forward, rushing them up the second mound of debris.

Talon was offering them the opportunity to surrender, trying to establish himself as a benevolent ruler. In response, Sejuani had heard a deep voice announcing that there would be no surrender and that his people would fight to the last. Just then Sejuani saw a giant crystalline arrow shoot out from Ashe at the top of the canyon. She heard it explode down below and made it to the top a moment later. Astride her boar, with Tryndamere next to her and the barbarians at her rear, Sejuani surveyed the battle.

From just to her left, Tryndamere let out a battle cry that signified the start of the engagement for Freljord’s rule. She began to charge down the hill and heard Talon in the background, yelling the same to his army. Immediately she channeled the northern winds around her and was pleased to see the familiar aura surround her. Any who dared tread in it would find themselves slowed and an easy target for her battle mace. She charged directly into the fray and was immediately confronted with a group of Noxians wearing her Winter’s Claw colors.

Her smile was positively homicidal and she let out a yell of pleasure as she brought her mace down upon them. She heard the familiar cracking of their skulls as bone met metal and squealed with delight again. Any time one of them came close enough to attack her they were struck by a flying ice particle from her aura. When they were dazed, she cruelly connected with her mace and sent them flying. After mere moments in battle, she had already racked up a body count and the Winter’s Wrath was pleased.

She looked around to see where she wanted to go next, and saw a brutal scene. Even with the injection of the barbarians and Ashe sniping anyone she could see, the Freljordian army was very clearly losing this battle. The few remaining ursine were now huddled in a group, keeping each other alive rather than attacking. The yetis were being rallied by Nunu, but every time they went forward, were rebuffed by the minotaurs. The barbarians were the only ones rampaging forward and killing any they got near. It was effective, but Tryndamere himself had said that their enthusiasm would only get them so far.

If the battle continued on much longer, the people of Freljord would be eliminated entirely. She watched the cryophoenix diving up above the battle, ready to turn around and swoop down when a minotaur picked up a rock and hurled it at her. It struck the cryophoenix’s wing and she tumbled down to the ground, landing with a resounding thud. The group of Noxians nearest her jumped down and stabbed her, killing her in the process.

Sejuani charged forward, and slaughtered half the men with a sweep of her mace. The rest backed away, holding their ground against her. Sejuani gasped at the sight in front of her, for the bird appeared to be dragged into a vortex of ice and reappeared in front of her eyes as an egg. The group of Noxians were stunned, staring at the spot that had housed a giant bird. Sejuani took advantage of this distraction and decapitated the group with one solid swing. As she completed her attack, the egg cracked open and in a swirl of beautiful crystallization, the cryophoenix materialized before her again.

“Thank you.” The bird said in a deep woman’s voice that somehow touched Sejuani at the core. The Winter’s Wrath stood there, unable to believe that such a diverse group of people would give their lives to defend each other and dove back into the fray. Killing left and right, she swung her mace with impunity, striking all those around her. She saw Tryndamere and turned towards him, pushing her boar onwards.

When she reached him she yelled, “You must retreat. Our home is lost! Go south to Demacia, we will need allies to defeat this menace.” He struck his blade towards her, and for a second she thought he had stabbed her. Then, the corpse of a minotaur slumped down on top of her, knocking her breath out and she thanked him. He replied, “I know we are lost, what more can we do?” Two minotaurs began to charge towards them, putting their heads down to smash them.

Sejuani knew she was in trouble and dove off of her boar, hitting the ground hard. She saw Tryndamere dive on the other side and watched, helplessly as the overgrown cows collided with her boar. He held his ground and there was a sickening thud as the boar put down his head. A minotaur’s head was impaled upon the boar’s tusk, but her companion was clearly dead. He lay there, unmoving and Sejuani yelled in anger. She charged the remaining minotaur and smashed him in the face with her weapon. The large animal hit the ground hard and she yelled to Tryndamere.

“Leave, NOW! Before we lose anyone else to this pointless battle.” She heard Tryndamere yell out a retreat call and all the groups listened. As the yetis went by she saw most of them were sporting large injuries and only felt her rage increase. Only a small handful of ursine were left to retreat, and their chieftain in the lead was bleeding from several deep wounds on his body. They carried the body of a minotaur between them, and he looked as though he was still breathing. Tryndamere’s barbarians were the last to head up the hill, looking back to cover their retreat.

Sejuani stayed where she was at the bottom of the debris wall and kept her gaze squarely on the approaching enemies. The first group to get to her attempted to engage her and she smashed through them as if they wore no armor. Another trio attempted to get in close, and she channeled the northern winds again, having them howling around her. As soon as they got in range to strike, she brought up her knee, thrusting it into the face of one, while smashing down on the other two with her mace.

Tryndamere yelled to her, “Let’s go!” but she did not look up. Sejuani knew this was to be her penance for bringing this scourge upon the land she loved. She would make up for it the only way she knew how. She would kill. “Tryndamere, leave me. I’m covering you.” The barbarian king knew he had no time to argue and saluted her, unseen, behind her back. With that, he scampered over the wall, chasing down the rest of the defeated Freljordian army.

Sejuani stood there, shaking with rage, and laughed bitterly at the Noxian army in front of her. They were scared of a single woman, and she would make them feel it. She feinted forward with her body and a few in the front flinched. She laughed again, knowing that this was the kind of laugh that sent chills down a normal person’s back. She yelled out to the army in front of her, “Is there no one else? I will do battle until the bitter end.” She paused, letting her voice drop. The battlefield was silent, and the wind carried her words when she spoke them, “Winter is coming.”

With that, she leapt into the middle of the enemy army, swinging her mace with all the force of her tribe’s history. The Winter’s Wrath had swung her powerful mace for the final time.

Well, I’m happy with it. There may be one or two more, depending on how long the wrap up for this one takes. Have a good one summoners.

-Tale Master

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Talon: The War for Freljord – 18

25 Jul

The cry from overhead was piercing. The entire battle stopped for a moment to see what was making that sound, and Talon was dismayed to see a cryophoenix and a minotaur dropping down from the sky. He knew then that he would be needing the reinforcements he had prepared to come in earlier. He looked back at the ursine chieftain he had been dueling with and determined he couldn’t take too much more. Even though he had stabbed the bear well in the back by Talon’s knife, and had taken a shot to the gut from a spear, the ursine seemed unruffled.

Talon quickly began to run at the bear, who looked surprised for a moment by his boldness. The chieftain ran to meet him but just as Talon ducked within range, he dove sideways and rolled out of sight, hidden by a mass of bodies. He quickly got to his feet, ducked between the groups fighting each other and navigated the battlefield quickly. He wanted to get back to the castle and unleash his minotaur allies he had waiting in reserve.

His plan had been highly dependent on the invading army being weakened by his trap at the canyon mouth. Talon was furious with himself for underestimating his opponents, for they had sent another detachment to invade from the canyon walls. It was basic strategy, and he knew he was smarter than that, but allowed his species’ bias to get in the way. It was a mistake he would not make again.

As he dove through the battle, stabbing any ursine and yeti he could see, he spared a glance backwards to see what he could gather. The ursine looked to be in trouble, for there was only half of their original contingent left, surrounded by several thousand Noxian soldiers. Talon was alarmed to see that the death toll would be much higher than he had been hoping, but knew eliminating the threat from Freljord would be well worth it in the long run.

The minotaur and the cryophoenix were both over fighting with the group of yetis on the west wall, and there was a great commotion from his soldiers as a small ice storm seemed to appear on top of them. As they cowered slightly, trying not to be struck by ice shards, the yeti would come in and rip them apart. Talon knew they were in trouble and sprinted the distance to the castle, ignoring the fight around him. He smashed through the oak doors quickly and yelled for the minotaur chieftain to get down here.

The minotaur leader came running down the stairs with Draven. The two quickly saluted to Talon who wasted no time before saying, “We need your contingent to go in. The ursine and the yeti are putting up a better fight than we would have hoped.” Draven spoke up, signifying that the minotaur leader was already deferring to him. “Of course sir. We’ll show them a spectacle like they’ve never seen before.” He grinned maniacally and Talon knew the bloodthirsty executioner would get the job done.

Talon quickly ran up the stairs to the same balcony he had addressed his people from earlier in the day. He wanted to get a bird’s eye view of what was happening on the battlefield below, as well as be ready to address everyone when the time came. Just as he reached the balcony, he heard a yell and looked down below. The minotaur were pouring out of the castle and charging into the fray. They immediately ran to the canyon sides and began to push the yeti back.

Every moment Talon saw them ceding more and more territory, getting pushed back by the reinvigorated Noxian forces. He laughed to himself, enjoying the thinning numbers of the enemy. After a short time, the combined forces of the minotaur and the Noxians had the entire enemy number pinned against the wall of debris, leftover from the earlier explosions. Talon called down, his voice booming and echoing across the canyon.

“Halt the attack!” Immediately upon hearing his words, he saw his forces pull back slightly. The enemy, still contained, gathered together in a circle, holding their ground. They looked weary, and considerably smaller than when they had started. Talon guessed there couldn’t be more than a thousand of them combined. He smiled, then continued, “Yetis, ursine, you have fought valiantly today. Although you have come to invade our beautiful lands of Freljord, I must commend you on your display of fighting prowess. It would be a shame to see you fall here today, when you could be put to better use serving us. I ask you, please submit and join our cause.”

Talon let the words hang in the air, and gave the enemy time to consider. He knew that they would refuse, but even this moment of mercy would convince the Freljordians in his army that he truly wanted peace. It would make assimilating them even easier when the time came. He heard a roar come back that echoed down the canyon and a strong, deep voice rang out, “Enemy of Freljord, you will never earn our allegiance. We will fight you today to the last man… If we are eliminated here today, it will not go smoothly for you. We will inflict such a toll upon you that every man who lives through this day will be plagued by the memory of us. Stories in Noxus will tell of the ursine and yeti to frighten small children to sleep. We shall not yield!”

Talon was about to give an order to attack when something he did not understand happened. An enchanted ice arrow, the size of a human being came flying out from the ledge on top of the canyon. It struck in the middle of a group of minotaurs and exploded upon impact. Just then, a large group of humans began to appear at the top of the debris pile. At their front was Tryndamere, king of the barbarians, and Sejuani, leader of the Winter’s Claw. The two looked imposing in front of an army of barbarian warriors and Talon knew the battle had now begun in earnest.

Tryndamere let out a battle cry and the barbarians began to charge down the hill. He yelled to his own army and they pressed inwards, looking to finish them off. Talon smiled, knowing that regardless of the outcome, Freljord was finished.

Here you go, another day, another post. Unfortunately, this one is largely exposition, but we’ll back in the thick of things tomorrow. Sorry it’s another late post, but at least we’re still getting em out! Have a good one summoners!

-Tale Master

Sejuani: The War for Freljord – 13

19 Jul

She had been getting back reports of failure after failure. The Winter’s Wrath lay down in her bed, unable to sleep. The attack she had led on the Freljordian capital had been a success. She had taken Tryndamere, and he still stood there, trapped in a prison of ice. The detachment she sent to the ursine had not reported back, but she had learned why this morning. Katarina had come back, grievously injured, and reported that the ursine had intruded upon their annihilation of the yetis. Sejuani was furious to find out that not only had her soldiers failed to subdue the ursine, but had likely been eradicated.

This meant that her only allies at this point were the minotaurs. Luckily she still had a force of twenty thousand Noxian and Winter’s Claw soldiers under her command. She knew that her forces had effectively been halved, but it was still enough to do some damage where it was needed. She had gone to bed, livid with the day’s events, but knowing she’d need some rest. If Queen Ashe and her army of ursine and yeti were planning to come here, they’d get here in the morning.

Restless, Sejuani sat up on her bed for a moment, wondering how everything could have gone so wrong. It had seemed like a godsend when Noxus offered to help her, but she hadn’t expected the other native Freljordians to put up such a fierce resistance. She ran her hands through her hair, exasperated and gave up on the idea of sleep. She stood up, dressed herself in full armor as she always did when appearing in front of her people. She began to walk down to the main hall of her underground cavern.

The entrance was ingeniously hidden, inside of a cave with a fake rock wall in the back. To enter, you needed to flip a switch hidden in the top right corner that looked exactly like a crack in the rock. If intruders didn’t know what they were looking for, it was nearly impossible to see. Once you were past that, there was a long hallway that only fit four people abreast of each other at a time. It was quite safe from sieges and Sejuani was very pleased with the Zaunite inventor she had paid to come up with the plans. She heard that he was now embroiled in a war with the former Noxian blacksmith now residing in Piltover, but she was not too concerned with their business.

As she reached the main chamber, she immediately knew something was wrong. Although it was the middle of the night, there should have been at least one hundred soldiers bustling about, doing their duties. She stood there for ten seconds, waiting, and nothing moved. Sejuani bellowed, “Winter’s Claw, in formation!” Her voice echoed throughout the cave and she waited. When no one responded she grew furious, not believing that her people would dare to defy her. Looking around she saw no trace of anyone other than Tryndamere, the light shining down directly upon him.

On a rampage, Sejuani proceeded directly to the soldiers barracks on the far side of the stronghold. Opening the metal door with a loud bang, she peered inside, ready to give hell to the first person she saw. In an instant, it became clear that things had changed. The rows of bunk beds, lined up should have been full of sleeping soldiers, but were completely empty. She grew more cautious as she walked down the main aisle, looking for a clue of what might be wrong. Faintly she heard a low moan carry across the seemingly empty room.

Looking around, she finally spotted a soldier lying in a pool of blood. She ran over as quickly as she could and said, “What happened here?” The soldier looked up at her with blank eyes, clearly on the precipice of death. “The Noxians… took everyone. I resisted… she stabbed me.” With that, the soldiers breathing became bubbly. Sejuani knew she only had time for one more question and asked, “Where are they going?” The soldier’s head hung, but he answered almost inaudibly, “The capital. They’re taking cont…” Before he could even finish his sentence, the soldiers eyes closed and his body slumped.

A chill raced down Sejuani’s spine. She should have seen it coming. Noxus didn’t want an ally, they wanted Freljord out of the way. This ridiculous infighting was just a way to keep the different tribes apart and unable to help each other. Without an early warning system, the capital of Freljord would be very easy to assault. They had at least twenty thousand with them, and possibly more if reinforcements had come. In that moment Sejuani felt another rage spark up inside of her. ‘They played me like a fool!’ She thought impotently. ‘What can I possibly do to counter this?’

As she went over the scenario in her head, she realized her only chance was to swear allegiance to Ashe. They needed to get back to the Freljordian capital as soon as possible to prevent it from being taken. Without the guidance of Ashe and Tryndamere, the capital would fall easily, taking away any advantage the Freljordians might have. If they could just get back first, they might be able to use the defensive advantage well enough to outlast and outfight the Noxians.

She despaired at the thought of giving up her right to rule, especially to her hated rival, but the thought of losing control of Freljord to an outsider was even worse. She resolved herself right then that she would do whatever it took to keep Freljord from falling. She would swallow her pride, beg for Ashe’s forgiveness and offer any help she could. The first step would be one of the hardest. She walked back out into the main hall and approached Tryndamere’s frozen body. She focused her mind and peeled back the layer of ice in which he was trapped.

She refocused on the scene in front of her and saw him sprawled on the ground, gasping for air. She waited, giving him time to adjust to the dim light before saying, “Tryndamere, I have set you free for a reason. Please, give me a moment before you attack.” He looked towards her and she saw the rage in his eyes building. She only had a moment to explain. “Freljord is under attack by Noxus. I am submitting myself to Ashe’s rule. She is headed here, we need to get back to the capital as soon as possible.”

He stopped where he was, surprised, his hands not leaving his sword hilt. He spoke with a voice as cold as the ice he had been imprisoned in, “Why should I trust you, butcher of innocents?” Sejuani met his gaze firmly and said in as even a tone as she could, “Because at this point, we have no other choice. If you will not trust me, Freljord will fall.”

Hmmm, ominous words Sejuani, very dark! 🙂 This one is getting realeased a little early today because I finished it early, so enjoy!

Tale Master

Sejuani: The War for Freljord – 7

13 Jul

She sat there, looking around the inside of her lair. Located in a forest just outside of minotaur lands, Sejuani knew she was safe here. Thanks to Noxian funding, the minotaurs were already on her side, as well as a larger legion of troops than she would have thought possible. The lair was dark, with no access to direct sunlight. It was dimly lit by brackets of torches hanging on the walls and was bustling with activity. She had already given out her directives for the day and enjoyed watching her orders get followed.

It had been about two months ago that Noxus had withdrawn from their Ionian invasion and contacted Sejuani. The new leader, Talon had come himself, wearing his full Crimson Elite regalia. He looked intimidating, Sejuani admitted to herself. He had asked her how she felt about her country being taken over by another, knowing she could not be happy. She had almost attacked him out of anger when he stopped her with a sentence. “What would you say if I told you I could offer you control of your country? All of it.”

Sejuani had narrowed her eyes and said, “I’d say that sounds too good to be true. In my experience, things that sound too good to be true, are.” Talon chuckled and said, “Too right. I will admit I have a price, but it is one that I don’t think you’d hesitate to pay.” He paused, clearly waiting for Sejuani to ask. After waiting a few seconds she said, “I’m listening. What inconsequential thing could you want in return for control of a country?”

Talon took off his helmet and held it at his side. He smiled and said, “As you know, I’ve recently become the ruler of Noxus. It’s simple. There is a bit of bad will towards Noxus thanks to the previous ruler, and I have no allies. I will help you become ruler of Freljord in exchange for your allegiance. You would not bow to me, simply be a reliable partner. Demacia is currently trying to make diplomatic ties with every group in Valoran, and I am in need of someone to be by my side.”

Sejuani had considered his words for a long time before finally saying, “Deal. Now how will you help us?” Talon laid out his plan clearly for her. She would be given forty thousand Noxian troops at her disposal, as well as several Noxian generals to serve as her lieutenants. She would work on attacking all the separated groups of Freljord individually and attempt to keep them from uniting and coming to each other’s aid. Sejuani had merely smiled and said, “Ok. Let’s do this.”

As time went by, she had prepared her people, built up their forces and gotten ready for their assault. She had contacted and bribed the chieftain of the minotaurs, luring him firmly to her side. Finally, a week ago, she had sent out four groups to each of the different settlements. One went to the minotaur lands, to act as an on call battalion. She sent the Noxian executioner Draven there. Another was sent to the ursine, to either persuade them to join her forces, or be exterminated. This group was led by a newly promoted general from Noxus. Sejuani noticed she did not have the same steel in her eyes the others did, and was unsure how her mission would go. A third, led by Katarina, was sent to the yeti lands and remain hidden until they received her signal to strike. The last group would be headed by Sejuani herself, and they would be raiding the Freljordian capital.

Her plan had been to capture a high-ranking officer and extract whatever information she could out of them; in the end, she got something better. It had been Tryndamere himself who came out to battle and when Sejuani saw him, she knew he would be her new target. She had caught him in her ice prison and dragged him all the way back to the Winter’s Claw lair. He now stood, unmoving in the center of the dark room, still trapped in a magical prison of ice. He was left there as a reminder to all, that to oppose her reign was foolish.

She watched her subjects bustle around and waited, knowing that soon, they would be striking from all areas at once, and the United People of Freljord would all fall in one clean stroke.

Annnnd we’re back on schedule. There’s two released today to make up for yesterday, and tomorrow we’ll have one out like always :). I had originally intended to put this scene much earlier, but as I was writing I realized it didn’t organically fit anywhere. After Nunu’s narrow escape yesterday, they ended up in the forest behind Minotaur territory, so it seemed like it was finally time to give you guys a behind the scenes look at what was happening.

I hope you’re all as excited about where this is leading as I am :).

-Tale Master