Tag Archives: Ashe

Irelia: Ionian Fervor – 9

8 Aug

It had been a week since Irelia’s small band had defeated the Zaunite forces. She had sent a messenger back to Karma, trying to find out what the newest plan was, but to no avail. She waited five days, more than the time needed, but heard nothing back. Malthrir had seemed to be past the imminent danger, so Irelia let Master Yi take over again and declare everything back to normal. On the fifth day, she bid Master Yi farewell and headed back to the capital.

The journey took her two days, and during that time she had much to think on. She wanted to know why Zaun had sent such a small invasion force. Why was Karma not taking this seriously? What had happened to her in recent weeks that had caused this? She was curious as to what had happened to Vladimir, the charismatic stranger from Noxus. She hoped Soraka would have some news when she returned.

The traveling was uneventful, and Irelia arrived in Ionia precisely when she meant to. As she traveled through the city, headed towards the Placidium, she noticed the people were acting strangely. As she passed by a shop, she asked a customer coming out, “Why does everyone seem so one edge?” The Ionian gave her a strange look and said, “You haven’t heard? Zaun has attacked our southern shores and grievously injured Master Wukong. Even now he sits in the Placidium, where the Starchild attempts to revive him.”

Irelia thanked her and hurried on her way. Well, at least one question was answered. Zaun invaded the north because they were invading the entire country. This, coming so soon after the Noxian invasion, would be difficult to counter. They had not had time to rebuild their strength, and under Karma’s leadership, they weren’t likely to anyway.

When she reached the Placidium, she burst inside and went straight to Karma’s chambers. There were two sentries posted outside the doors, something Irelia had never seen before. As she moved to step inside, the sentries both crossed their spears and said, “No entry right now. Orders from the Duchess.” Irelia gave them a withering stare and said, “If you don’t move now, I will go in by force. I do not wish to hurt you.”

The guards looked at each other and moved their spears. Irelia did enjoy having a reputation sometimes. She thanked them and entered the inner sanctum. Soraka was kneeling before Wukong’s prone body, and Karma stood off to the side, observing.  The Duchess turned quickly, and upon seeing Irelia, wore a look of disapproval. Irelia was shocked to see this once wise and caring woman so callous.

“Irelia, leave us. The Starchild needs to concentrate.” Soraka stood up and turned towards them. She looked surprised to see Irelia but merely stated, “I’ve done all I can. It’s up to Wukong now.” Karma pursed her lips and didn’t say anything. Soraka smiled at Irelia, trying to infuse her with confidence. Irelia looked at the Duchess and said, “Reporting from Malthrir, we met with a Zaunite invasion force. We held them off and pushed them back, but I think we need to go into a full defensive. This is obviously a full scale invasion.”

Karma smirked and said, “No, we are handling things just fine. If the Monkey King over there had been smarter, we would have lost no ground against the Zaunites. We are withstanding their invasion just fine.” Irelia was concerned and started, “Ma’am, please. If I may speak bluntly-“ but Karma cut her off. “No, you may not. I have new orders for you and I expect you to follow them. There was a break from the prison west of here. It was that man from Noxus and a Shojin monk who showed seditious tendencies that escaped. I want you to bring them back.”

Irelia was incensed. “You mean in the middle of an invasion on our shores, you want me to worry about two escaped convicts?” She could barely keep the disdain out her tone and Karma’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “That is exactly what I want you to worry about. If there’s a problem with that, please, let me know.” Irelia took the hint and merely said, “Yes ma’am. I would request that Soraka come with me. If they’re as dangerous as you hint, I may need the healer with me.”

Karma considered for a moment before saying, “That is fine. Oh, and when you meet the Noxian, tell him that if he resists, his friend dies.” Irelia was aghast that Karma could be this cold and uncaring, but said nothing. At that moment, a page burst into the chambers. Karma looked angry and was about to tell him off when the page shouted, “Freljord has fallen, Freljord has fallen!” He stopped a moment to gather his breath, then went on.

“Reports are that infighting between Queen Ashe and another tribe leader Sejuani caused their fall, and Noxus stepped in to help negotiate a truce. They refused and started an all-out civil war that led to the destruction of the territory.” For a moment a look of pleasure crossed Karma’s face and Irelia could not fathom why this was good news. “This doesn’t sound good Duchess. I’ve met Ashe before she was queen, and she always had a fairly level head. I don’t see why she would fight until her people fell.”

Karma said, “Thank you Irelia. Your opinion has been noted. Please carry out your orders.” Irelia begrudgingly bowed to the Duchess and left. Behind her, Soraka gave the unstable leader a severe look before bowing as well. She followed Irelia out of the building. They didn’t say anything until they had successfully left the Placidium behind.

Quietly, Irelia said, “What on Runeterra is wrong with her?” Soraka, keeping her voice hushed, replied, “It’s been getting worse lately. She appears power hungry and was disappearing for long hours a few months ago. It has stopped lately, but her attitude has obviously taken a turn for the worse.” Irelia looked grim. “Well… regardless, we have some escaped convicts to catch. I would make a guess that they headed west from the prison, and I think we both know what lies in that direction.”

Soraka shook her head and said, “Yes, I pray they have not already run afoul of the Kinkou.”

This is easily the most fun I’ve had writing yet (and I had a lot of fun writing the Crimson Elite Series). Hopefully this is enough to both sate some of your thirst for knowledge, while teasing you to want even more! I hope no one has managed to figure everything out yet, but I welcome all guesses.

By the way, am I the only one who thinks Kinkou sounds like a dumb name? I haven’t had a problem with anything else from the lore, but I kinda wish there was a better name for that one. Oh well. Have a good one summoners.

-Tale Master

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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

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

Talon: The War for Freljord – 16

22 Jul

Talon sat in the throne. It was a little less opulent than his new throne in Noxus, but it would do for now. Preliminary reports had just come in from the frontlines that the ursine and yeti armies were approaching. These simple Freljordians had been so easy to manipulate. He had personally infiltrated the inner workings of the Freljordian capital a month ago. It had been perfect with all the chaos of different groups coming together under one banner. None of the high ranking officials knew their counterparts from other tribes, and he’d been able to slip in under the guise of an Ice Dervish at times and a barbarian at others. It had been the perfect cover in the chaos.

He had merely bided his time, having given Katarina the orders long ago on how to lead the Winter’s Claw armies. He spent his days getting closer with everyone that he could, mingling with the common folk and upper class alike. It had served him well until the day finally came when Ashe called her advisors into a group. Talon had managed to stay away from Ashe so far and was only called into the meeting by friends he had made with other advisors.

She had quickly explained that the king, Tryndamere had been taken and that she was leaving Freljord in their capable hands while she went to retrieve her husband. Talon had smiled, knowing it was his time. As soon as Ashe had left the castle he began to spread the rumor that she had abandoned her post and her people in this time of war. No matter how many high-ranking officials shot it down, the lie spread like wildfire and the people grew restless. Talon was already well aware of how to step in and assume power from his Noxian conquest. Doing it again was all too easy.

Within one week, he had effectively been crowned Steward of Freljord, ostensibly holding the throne until the true king and queen came back. Earlier that morning, Katarina had come with her Winter’s Claw and Noxian soldiers, causing Talon to declare an official statement. He had been in the midst of addressing the people, explaining his great victory in turning the Winter’s Claw to their side, when a trusted lieutenant came and delivered the news from the scouts about the marching armies. He had smiled momentarily, but managed to put on a shocked look before turning to the people gathered below.

From his balcony in the middle of the Freljordian castle his voiced boomed out powerfully, “People of Freljord, it has just come to my attention that an army is marching upon us. The ursine, the bear-like race from the north, have begun to march on us. They fear us, because they cannot understand us, and this fear has led to hatred. I have been trying to establish diplomatic ties with them, but unfortunately, I have not had enough time. The yetis to the east, have turned against us because the beloved Nunu was not happy with the way he had been treated by the king and queen.”

He paused, allowing himself to get slightly choked up, before pretending to bravely continue his speech. “I have failed you, and to compound the disaster, I must now ask something of you. We must stand together against this tyranny. I will not let our differences, be you Winter’s Claw, Ice Dervish or even part of the queen’s own tribe, get in our way. I ask you, people of Freljord, to stand together and fight this menace!” The crowd below began to cheer wildly and Talon knew he had hit the mark. He gave the signal to his generals below who quickly gained control of the people and began to segregate them into battalions.

He had disappeared back inside and made his way to the throne. As he sat there, he thought to himself, ‘Everything is going according to plan. By this time tomorrow, there will be no more Freljord. Noxus will have a firm grasp on the eastern half of Valoran, and I can bring the world to its knees.’ The Noxian dictator smiled again and dressed in his Crimson Elite armor. Gleaming, as if new, he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. His defenses around the capital were set. A roar echoed down the canyon and Talon chuckled softly, before saying to himself “The war for Freljord begins.”

So I’m still out of town, and thought I wasn’t going to have time to get one out today, but luckily for you guys I found it xD. I was planning on skipping this one altogether, but I actually really enjoyed how it came out, so I’m going to post it anyways (I do what I want, much like Mundo).

I enjoyed getting back to Talon and now you know what shenanigans he’s been up to since Crimson Elite concluded. Unfortunately, tomorrow, I will be driving back home and then I immediately have to go to work, so it will be a late post tomorrow, but fear not, for post I shall. Have a good one summoners.

-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

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

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