Tag Archives: Katarina

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

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Nunu: The War for Freljord – 14

20 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tale Master

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

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

Olaf: The War for Freljord – 11

17 Jul

He sprinted into battle with a reckless abandon. As soon as he caught up to the invading humans he was throwing his axes. Instantly beheading two Winter’s Claw, he quickly retrieved his weapons and rounded on another group. His blood was pulsing, and every time he struck an enemy he felt invigorated. The yetis around him were valiantly fighting and holding their own. Unfortunately, Olaf could see that there might just be too many soldiers for them. Between the yeti and the ursine, their forces were only around three thousand, while he knew he had seen at least ten thousand of the enemy.

‘I guess I’ll just have to even those odds,’ he thought to himself. Grinning maniacally, he dove into the midst of ten enemies. With one mighty swing he slew four of them and turned to face the rest. They stared him down, ready to fight when they were smashed from behind by a group of ursine. Olaf laughed, “Thank you mates!” Then he turned back into the fray, looking for anything he could do. He spied Ashe on the edge of the engagement, picking out her targets and taking them down, one by one.

He was impressed with her marksmanship and turned back to face the battle. At that moment he saw a group of yeti young lying on the ground, injured. Two grown yeti were in front of them, attempting to hold off a large group of Winter’s Claw, but as Olaf sprinted towards them, both were impaled by battle maces. Olaf cried out, “Death by steel!” and charged at the group. They paused for one second and that was all he needed. He threw one axe and it landed firmly in the chest of the closest Claw.

He stood there, forming a barrier between the Winter’s Claw and the yetis. The enemies hesitated for a moment before charging at him. Olaf focused and used one of the mightiest abilities known to his people. He was channeling his inner energy and would be temporarily infused with the power of a demigod. As he opened his eyes, he knew that the blood of the Ragnarok was flowing through him and he prepared himself.

All in one movement, Olaf cleaved through the middle of an enemy as though his armor did not exist, following through and picking up his second axe from the soldier’s corpse. Having both axes back, he proceeded to bring down the soldiers two at a time, ignoring any wounds they inflicted upon him. He was the Ragnarok, the mightiest of all the Lokfarian gods. Nothing would slow him down now. He slaughtered the group without mercy, blindly letting his fury out. After no more than ten seconds, he stopped to let himself breathe and saw a group of more than thirty dead by his blade.

He looked down at himself and saw he was covered with injuries. ‘This is nothing,’ he thought to himself. He looked back at the yetis on the ground, smiled and waved his hands away from himself, trying to communicate that they needed to leave. The closest one nodded and collected his fellows. As Olaf watched them leave the battlefield he was proud to have done his part in protecting them. Fleetingly, he wished Tryndamere were here. He wanted to go to battle with his friend again, and resolved himself to free his king.

Olaf took stock of the battle and saw that things were going well. It was true many yetis and ursine lay dead, but none had given in without a fight. For every fallen soldier on his side, Olaf counted two or three for the enemy. He looked around and was shocked with what he saw. Katarina DuCouteau of Noxus was throwing her knives into the necks of the nearby yetis. Olaf knew he didn’t have time to think of what this meant, all he knew was she was dangerous. As he sprinted towards her, Katarina caught sight of another target and Olaf’s blood grew cold.

Katarina had spotted Ashe off to the side and was now sprinting at her. Olaf followed along as closely as he could, but his fear for Ashe had offset his adrenaline a bit. Now that he had stopped he could feel his injuries clearly. He had taken many wounds and knew he wasn’t in great shape, but he would protect Ashe whatever the cost. Ashe caught sight of Katarina and began to fire arrows as quickly as possible, but Katarina dodged soldiers and arrows with ease. She had woven her way through the battlefield well, and as soon as she had an opening, flung four knives with deadly accuracy at Olaf’s queen.

Ashe dodged as best she could, but was still struck in her right leg and left arm by two knives. She collapsed, fitted another arrow in and tried to let fly at Katarina. It passed harmlessly to her left and Katarina began to dive in for the kill. As a last resort, Olaf readied an axe and threw it as hard as he could at her. Just as Katarina was about to strike the Frost Archer, Olaf’s axe cut her deeply on her side, passing through cleanly and landing on the far side of her.

She lurched to a stop and looked back for her attacker. Seeing Olaf coming near she looked at him contemptuously, and readied herself for his attack. He felt vulnerable with one axe, and knew he couldn’t channel the might of Ragnarok again, injured as he was. He began to duel with Katarina, but he soon realized that she would be too fast for him. He kept up, blocking as best he could, before shouting out to Ashe, “Get away! Go, save Tryndamere!”

That momentary distraction was all the time Katarina needed. She plunged a knife deeply into Olaf’s chest, right through his heart. He gasped with pain, and sunk to his knees. With the last of his energy, he swung his remaining axe as hard as he could, hitting Katarina’s waist. She cried out in fury and pain, before picking up two of her knives. She walked over to the injured berserker, and without hesitation, brought her knives sweeping across his neck.

The last thing he felt was pride at having done his duty admirably, and then all at once, felt no more.

Short, sweet, and back on target. I think I’ve hit my stride again (If I do say so myself 🙂 ), and I’ve really enjoyed the last two days. This one has been planned for some time, but originally it was going to be much later in the story. Despite that, I felt like now was a good time for this, and more answers will be coming soon!

Hope you’re enjoying these as much as I’m enjoying writing them, and have a good one summoners!

-Tale Master

Vladimir: Crimson Elite – 15

3 Jul

Vlad felt uneasy as he reappeared in the castle. ‘Riven should not be out there alone!’ he thought. He looked towards Talon and said, “Who’s next?” The leader looked uncomfortable for a moment before saying, “Surely you get it by now Vlad. We need someone to blame for this ordeal. It’s all well and good that we succeeded, but surely the populace won’t accept this unless we have an enemy to present to them.” Vlad’s face remained blank, but inside he was seething. Talon continued on, nonplussed, “In this case, Riven is believable, and already there. Thanks to Katarina and Cassiopeia, everyone already believes that this whole sequence of events was accomplished thanks to Riven. This is the best possible thing for Noxus.” Vlad considered his words carefully before saying, “You’re no different. I thought I was fighting for a Noxus where things could be different, and instead you give me the same thing. You’re sacrificing loyal people to further your personal agenda. I’m leaving.” He turned away from his leader and began to walk back down the hallway towards the runes.

“Where will you go Vladimir? You know I can just as easily turn you in like I did Riven. Stay with us while you still have a chance.” Talon spoke these words beseechingly, and Vladimir was impressed with the depth of emotion he was capable of fabricating. “Talon, congratulations on your rule of Noxus. I warn you, if we meet again, it will not be as friends.” He turned and saw Katarina lifting a knife to throw at him, but he was already melting into the runes beneath him. The last thing he saw was Talon’s face, staring at him with an intensity that frightened Vlad. ‘Yes, Noxus has found a true ruler,’ he conceded. Upon appearing back inside the attic, he heard a shriek reverberate across the ground. He knew that would be Cassiopeia starting the attack and he hurried to the town square. He could hear war cries and death gasps in equal measure as he ran down the streets. He was pleased Riven wasn’t going without a fight.

As he rounded the corner and came within view of the square, he saw a peculiar sight. The fighting had stopped, and Riven was on one knee, balancing herself on a completed blade. He realized she had somehow managed to reforge her rune blade and was impressed; that was not an easy skill. Cassiopeia had writhed up in front of her and he saw Riven stagger to her feet. He began running towards her, wishing to help when he got close enough to hear “-you are beyond redemption.” With that he watching in awe as Riven lunged forward and managed to slice Cassiopeia’s body in half, just between the stomach and the chest. Her body slump to the side and Riven landed on her feet briefly. As she was falling down, Valdimir was crestfallen and hoped he was not too late. The soldiers, stunned at the death of their commander, stood there for a moment before a lieutenant shouted them forward at her. Vlad shouted, “Pitiful creatures. Leave now before you find your precious city in ruins!” A few hesitated, but did not run, so Vlad launched bloody projectiles at them, killing three men instantaneously. During this confusion as the Noxians backed away frightened, Vlad picked up Riven’s body, quickly created a set of blood runes on the ground and disappeared into the blood.

He had teleported them back to his temple home and he could only think of one thing to try. He could still feel her blood pulsing, but barely. The wounds at this point seemed both spiritual and physical, making this very difficult to heal. He rushed her down to the pools beneath his home and attempted a last gasp effort. He had never thought of this before, never having given a care to anyone but himself. He was going to try the same healing technique he used with blood for Riven. He placed her in the pool and concentrated on the blood. He could feel it pouring into her, revitalizing her injuries and wounds. He could feel her physically becoming healthier and knew it was working. After a few minutes in the blood he pulled her out and lay her down on the steps. She was breathing, although she had not yet awoken. He knew they could not stay here; Talon would be looking for them as quickly as he could. Unfortunately, he had no blood runes outside of Noxus, and had to carry her with him on foot.

He quickly set out, not wishing to be caught, and walked the rest of the night and all of the next day before collapsing in the woods. Now that he finally had time to sit and reflect, he gazed over at his companion. They were an unlikely pair, and it was the first taste of friendship Vladimir had ever really enjoyed. As a boy his fascination with blood made him an outcast, and Dmitri had always been more of father figure than a friend. This realization only served to make the hemomancer more determined to save her life. Unfortunately, he only knew of one living creature who could heal such deep scars.

At daybreak, Vladimir gathered up his courage and set off east towards the sea. He was headed to Ionia to get Riven the help she required. He would not rest until he found the healer. As he trudged on, weary, hungry and wanting to give up one word kept going through his head, pushing him on. ‘Starchild.’

Epilogue

Talon sat on his throne, considering how quickly the last month had flown by. He had made a mistake by letting Vladimir go, but since then he had acted flawlessly. With the entire country looking for the two fugitives, there was no chance of his involvement being leaked, which suited him well. Although Cassiopeia had died, there was talk that a combination of necromancy and techmaturgy may be able to save her, similar to Urgot. A grateful Katarina was the most dedicated second in command he could ever have asked for. He had pulled the Noxian troops out of Ionia, deciding instead to focus on training and preparation. This made the world think that they were safe, that the new leader was going to be a different breed from the previous administration.

Unfortunately for them, he had other plans. The Blade’s Shadow smiled, thinking to himself ‘Shortly, our plans for global domination will be set in motion. By the time they come into play, it will be too late to stop us. All will be united under the Noxian banner.’ With that, he stood up and began to walk towards the war room. He didn’t want to keep his new subjects waiting.

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.