Previous Update: Against Apocalpyse
Secrets of Shurima
by CupcakeTrap (edited by 501st Big Mike, Naggarok, and RaptorAttacks)
This lore update concludes the Battle of Shurima, which began in Shield of Light. Champions and Summoners of Runeterra have fought their way into the depths of Zaun’s pyrikhos mines, to the chamber that contains the origin of the Void rift that threatens to tear the world apart.
As with the previous update, this is being posted in a rougher-than-usual form, because time is of the essence and I want to keep moving forward. I plan to come back and clean this up later. Thanks to everyone who helped to review this and offer suggestions as I banged it out!
Viktor set his metal boots against the cavern floor, locking them in place with the dull thunk of gravitic clamps, and faced down Malzahar. The Prophet of the Void had surely sensed the Solar Codex the instant Merricurry had removed it from the null-magic pouch.
“And in your final hour, you turn to the rotting spellbooks of a fallen empire. But you must know this cannot save you.”
As Malzahar spoke, Viktor felt the Void rift’s caustic power burning away the ethereal bonds that held reality together.
WARNING: THAUMIC MATRIX DESTABILIZING
ANTICIPATED RESULT: DESTRUCTION OF RUNETERRA
ANTICIPATED RESULT: FAILURE OF GLORIOUS EVOLUTION
UPDATING TEMPORAL ESTIMATE …
>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:06:12
He heard Merricurry’s voice from behind him, as she looked over the sigils she had uncovered on the golden altar buried within the pyrikhos below.
“Mothership protect us.”
Viktor sensed Malzahar studying him, examining his defensive field for gaps. He was uncertain what had evoked this ambiguous response from the yordle. But turning away from Malzahar to investigate would, he determined, be a grievous tactical error. He channeled as much power as he could spare into the arcane focus of his scepter, and terminated all non-essential cognitive functions in order to devote his full attention to the rapidly amplifying distortion around Malzahar. He had faced this lunatic Prophet many times on the Fields, but suspected that he now possessed new capabilities.
The darkened cavern came into sharper relief as Summoner 333LOM, his trusted acolyte, looked through their arcane link and pried the echoes of Icathian invocations from Malzahar’s gathering aura. The words streamed into Viktor’s mind.
… zakath abori zakala rizath …
Ambient thaumic readings plunged as Malzahar unleashed his extradimensional attack. Viktor had long ago mortified his flesh against simple mammalian pain, but this tide of distortion suffused his techmaturgic senses with a new kind of agony, like that of a resonating crystal glass about to shatter. A rush of Runeterran magic saved him: Summoner 333LOM’s counterspell drove back the shrieking torment. As the Summoner’s barrier unraveled, he searched for some pattern he could identify and control, some vulnerability in Malzahar’s incantation.
SCANNING TARGET PHASE VARIANCE …
TARGET PHASE VARIANCE ACQUIRED: THETA-100-M
COMPUTING COUNTER-PHASE SOLUTION
PRIMARY MATRIX RESOLUTION: ZETA-9000-A CROSS SIGMA-100-M
The scepter’s arcane focus flashed as it projected a harmonic resonance link to disrupt Malzahar’s attack — and then suddenly torqued to the side, nearly knocking Viktor to the ground as he fought to retain his grip. The focusing crystal began to oscillate. The casing that held it in place began to creak.
ERROR: COUNTER-PHASE SOLUTION NON-ZERO RESULT
WARNING: HEX CORE DESTABILIZING
COMMAND: TERMINATE RESONANCE LINK
The link broke. Viktor recomputed his balance-kinetics and regained his footing. He had studied the pyrikhos extensively, examined Void rifts created in Zaun’s laboratories, and faced Malzahar many times on the Fields, but his theories seemed useless as he sought a means to neutralize this extradimensional spellcraft, or even to comprehend its structure.
Malzahar laughed as he swatted aside another shock blast from Jayce’s Thunder Hammer. But the simple-minded purity of the Piltovian hextech energy projectile, however poorly it spoke of its designer’s creativity, did provide a useful framework for measuring the field around Malzahar. Zaun’s studies into extradimensional theory could barely begin to model such a complex Void waveform: a recursive interdimensional phase variance pattern with no stable chrono-linear index solution, so alien that it not only slipped past the strands of normal space that made up Runeterra but entirely evaded its temporal framework as well. A truly fascinating phenomenon—but if Malzahar were not stopped, there would soon be no one left to investigate it.
Malzahar clenched his left hand into a fist, and a sphere of Void energy formed around Viktor. It collapsed with immense force.
From afar, Summoner 333LOM conjured an arcane barrier around him. Almost at once it began to break, but it was the structure Viktor needed to re-establish his defensive matrix. The Void’s alien howl grew louder as the currents shifted, biting and clawing at the thin barrier between them and their prey. Viktor and 333LOM worked frantically to match it change-for-change, to meet chaos with order, but their solutions were never complete, and as those pockets of error collapsed against the onslaught, the Void came closer and closer.
They heard Malzahar’s voice.
What clever little vermin you are. You understand so much…so much knowledge of a world which will soon be no more. Soon, Viktor, you will be obsolete.
Viktor’s defensive field crumpled around him, now buzzing mere centimeters away. One section ruptured, and a spike of Void energy broke through to pierce his side. Internal components disintegrated into atoms. The Void’s demons flooded into the wound, and began to devour him from the inside.
Viktor reflected upon his impending destruction. Perhaps Merricurry would discover a solution. Perhaps apocalypse might be averted. Perhaps the Evolution could continue without him. Malzahar’s voice interrupted these contemplations.
You know that you have failed. I wonder: can you still feel regret? What about shame? Perhaps even fear? Bring forth whatever scraps of emotion you have left, Machine-Man, and we will devour them as well. The Void cannot be—
The distortion field broke apart, and Viktor fell. Hydraulic fluid pooled around him as his internal power regulation system failed. Wild arcs of techmaturgic energy scattered and blurred his vision, but through the haze he saw that Zac had tackled Malzahar to the ground, and was drawing his weight back for an overhand blow. It slammed into an anti-kinetic Void pulse, and as Zac reeled from the impact Malzahar drew his sword and slashed his arm off at the shoulder.
>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:05:42
Viktor turned and dragged himself to Merricurry, who was frantically working figures on a pad of paper by the erratic light of her thaumex. Its display showed a signature somewhat like that of highly refined pyrikhos.
ERROR: SEVERE DAMAGE TO CORE SYSTEMS
OVERRIDE: CURRENT TASK PRIORITY ABSOLUTE
The power surges disrupted vocal signals badly. He struggled to generate intelligible speech.
“WHAT. … HAVE YOU FOUND?”
Merricurry was too immersed in her calculations to speak. She simply pointed at the sigils. Viktor refocused his failing scanners on them.
>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:05:29
LINGUISTIC COGITATOR ACTIVATED
LANGUAGE RECOGNIZED: SHURIMAN/ANCIENT
DISCERNING GLYPHS …
Viktor heard Summoner 333LOM’s voice. Her magic was holding his damaged systems together. For now. The main passageway is flooding with Void energy. The ritual circle is losing cohesion. Summoner Zinovie Fenix is attempting to summon another Champion, but there’s too much distortion.
His optical scanners still focused on the glyphs, Viktor sensed Morgana’s ethereal presence fading. She and Zac were likely being overwhelmed. He laboriously turned his head to confirm.
Jayce stood back from the melee and studied the two entryways into the chamber. Malzahar had resealed them both with an energy barrier. “An extradimensional rift, with a secondary inflection point and a primary directional conduit … ”
DISCERNING GLYPHS …
>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:05:19
Merricurry took bits of twisted metal and fragments of pyrikhos that had been fired into glass from their null-magic pouches, spacing them around the slab in an improvised hextech array. Purple smoke hissed up from the dark sand below.
FRAGMENTS DECODED: ASCENDED / SHURIMA / SECOND / AGAIN / RETURN / XERATH
>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:05:02
Jayce continued. “ … but they are linked, just not in real-space … so where is all this anchored?”
FRAGMENTS DECODED: MAGUS / POWER / TRUE / ASCENSION / PERISH / CANNOT / ETERNAL
>>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:04:58
Merricurry popped a wax-sealed stopper from an obsidian vial. She yelped as the contents burst out in a boiling geyser, narrowly missing her face. Paw trembling, she upended the vial and poured what liquid remained within over the array. The smoke began to coalesce into humanoid faces and the figures of animals.
Jayce activated a wrist-mounted hextech ergometer and swept the beam along the ground. “Geomancy isn’t your strong suit, is it, Malzahar. No, you’d have to use the clearest leyline.” Background data. Analyzed and stored. Viktor had no processing time to spare on contempt for Jayce’s plodding monologue.
FRAGMENTS DECODED: NASUS / FOOL / FAILURE / RETURN / COMPLETE / EMPEROR / NEW
>>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:04:41
Viktor looked at the Solar Codex opened beside Merricurry, and suddenly understood. The vast pyrikhos deposits here had formed around the temple of an ancient Shuriman cult of some kind. A cult to Xerath. A cult of a second Ascension. The dimensional fabric had already been weakened by the cult’s rituals and sacrifices. This altar was an interdimensional point of inflection, a spacetime funnel that focused the pyrikhosian radiation into a coherent projection. Regardless of whether or not it could tap into whatever forces governed Ascension, it clearly could be used to breach the fabric separating Runeterra from the Void.
“Face the Void!”
He heard Morgana scream and crash to the floor, gripping the sides of her head until she fell unconscious. Contextual scan data indicated a psycho-dimensional breach that had brought her mind into direct contact with the Void.
FRAGMENTS DECODED: EMPEROR / OLD / SUPPRESS / BURY / KILL / NAME / FORGET / KILL
>>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:04:34
Jayce retuned his hammer’s techmaturgic generator. “Time to level the playing field.”
Viktor’s arm spasmed, damaged motors grinding as he held out his scepter and scanned Merricurry’s hextech array. All seemed intact for now, and at least sufficiently stable … but then he saw the fault. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? THE OMICRON SUBFIELD!”
Merricurry nodded. “I know. It’s not compatible with the Shuriman enchantments. Lock it down!”
FRAGMENTS DECODED: EMPEROR / NEW / ASCEND / RETURN / SHURIMA / GLORY / MAGUS / XERATH
>>>> COUNTDOWN: 00:04:22
Viktor projected a modified techmaturgic death ray into the array. The beam shot randomly from fragment to fragment, casting up white and green sparks with each ricochet. But it was working; the subfield was phasing out, below the range where it might clash with the Shuriman spellcraft. They would only need to hold the array together long enough for them to solve the underlying field equation and break the Void rift’s connection to the altar.
He heard a crash as Jayce swung his hammer down into the rocky ground. A fissure burst open and shook the cavern. The Void-energy barriers separating the cavern from the main tunnel, and the Summoning circle, collapsed. His connection to 333LOM was restored, and with it much of his strength. He saw allied Champions charging forth just as Malzahar lifted Zac into the air and smashed him down. Purple tendrils lashed up from the ground, binding the Champion and ripping him apart into quivering green blobs. Viktor’s calculations had proven correct, though only just: Zac had occupied Malzahar long enough for replacements to arrive.
But something was wrong. Viktor’s internal thaumex readings became erratic to the point of incomprehensibility. Likely, they were malfunctioning due to damage. He was about to begin an emergency reset when he looked down at Merricurry’s thaumex and saw the same patterns.
Jayce. That imbecile! The energy that had been sustaining the barriers had been fed back into the primary circuit.
REVISING ESTIMATE: TIME TO DESTRUCTION OF RUNETERRA VIA PRIMARY MATRIX COLLAPSE
INCORPORATING NEW DATA: PHASE VARIANCE REVISED FROM 7 UNITS/SECOND TO *ERROR*
Malzahar thrust both palms forward and locked the newly arrived Champions in the grasp of a null-magic beam.
Merricurry measured a volume of red pyrikhos and slowly poured it into a flask of thick blue gel. “Almost have it … ”
RETRYING ANALYSIS …
INCORPORATING NEW DATA: PHASE VARIANCE REVISED FROM 7 UNITS/SECOND TO *ERROR*
Viktor watched Malzahar overwhelm Runeterra’s mightiest Champions as their power drained away.
Malzahar sneered. “Perhaps you thought to outnumber me? You thought yourselves many, against one. But you are finite, against the Void!”
Viktor looked up and saw yellow eyes blink open in the darkness. He could no longer perceive the rock above. Distance itself ceased to have meaning. He thought he was beside Vi as her hextech gauntlets, their auto-kinetic compensators disabled, dropped to the floor and brought her with them. Merricurry, who had been just beside him, had somehow vanished into the distance. But then he was instead beside Malzahar, watching his eyes flare with hateful strength, wreathed in energies Viktor had never before perceived. And yet also somehow above, looking down on Garen as he collapsed under the weight of his own armor. And slowly he became aware of claws sinking into his arms, climbing up them toward his neck, and of jagged jaws within his stomach gnawing their way into his chest. His vision tumbled erratically. It was as though the spatial arrangement of the points making up the cavern had been shattered into a shifting cloud. Perhaps that was precisely what had happened. Perhaps this was what it was like when the foundations of the world came apart.
REVISING ESTIMATE: TIME TO DESTRUCTION OF RUNETERRA VIA PRIMARY MATRIX COLLAPSE
>>>> COUNTDOWN REVISED FROM 00:04:22 TO *ERROR*
PRIMARY MATRIX FAILURE CONFIRMED
DESTRUCTION OF RUNETERRA IN PROGRESS
His vision flickered to black, and then all he could see were six enormous yellow eyes. Their jaundiced light brightened, until he saw the oily sheen of purple mandibles below, reaching around him.
Viktor! The warp-field equation for a Summoner teleportation spell within a null zone of 17 by 3 Nowaks!
Hearing 333LOM’s voice made him wonder if perhaps there still was a Runeterra. Somewhere. The answer drifted through his mind. The sensation was strangely pleasant. Simply solving an equation. 17 by 3 Nowaks would describe seventeen different null-geometries, but only two of them were isomorphically compatible with a teleportation spell. He sank into the fractal patterns, and felt the satisfaction of emerging from a realm of theoretically infinite complexity with a defined answer.
Gamma-theta-4, air-12-north-3, cross sigma-alpha-19 … seventh-order.
Yellow eyes. Dripping purple jaws. But then, a familiar sound, from the … Fields of Justice, something he had heard long ago, a swirling column of light …
The yellow, the purple, and the black all dripped away. He saw the rocky chamber within Mine Six once more, illuminated by a teleportation beam as it resolved into Xerath, hovering above.
Xerath’s laughter echoed against the walls. “Malzahar, you petty conjurer…”
The currents of Void energy which had flooded the room now coursed up into the fragments of sarcophagus surrounding Xerath. “In the cosmic nullity of the Void, these Champions are helpless morsels. Your magic strips them of their power…but frees me of my prison!”
Viktor looked down at the altar. The sigils had changed.
FRAGMENTS DECODED: XERATH / GLORY / XERATH / GLORY / XERATH / GLORY
Malzahar released his hold on the other Champions, and cast all his power at Xerath. The Shuriman Magus made no attempt to evade or deflect, and the cosmic field bound tight around him.
The sigils on the altar rapidly spread, until they covered the stone walls.
FRAGMENTS DECODED: XERATH / GLORY / XERATH / GLORY / XERATH / GLORY
Merricurry was frozen with shock. Viktor snatched the flask from her paws and poured it onto the altar’s surface. The rift began to dim and fade.
Xerath’s sarcophagus blurred and de-phased, becoming little more than wisps of cloud around a blazing sun of cosmic power.
Spectral humanoid figures filled the cavern, chanting in Shuriman.
DECODING AUDIO, FILTER SHURIMAN/ANCIENT
FRAGMENTS DECODED: XERATH / MAGUS / RETURN / COMPLETE / REJOICE / SHURIMA
Malzahar’s spell guttered out and failed. He raised a hand to shield his face from the radiance that now lit the cavern day-bright.
“Shurima shall rise again to rule Valoran. And in its histories shall be recorded forever the tale of Malzahar, the Blind Prophet. You sought to destroy this world…and unmade these blasphemous shackles that bound me!”
The boom of Xerath’s laughter filled the cavern. “Gaze upon the glory you have unleashed, Sightless One! The Void is only the shadowed space between dimensions, a filthy crevice befouled by your vermin masters. You are a slave to vermin, and I am the light of the cosmos!”
Malzahar fled toward the closing rift. Xerath made no move to halt his escape, turning instead to his spectral worshippers. Viktor scanned them; they registered as
RESULT: NECROMANTIC ENTITY/PHASED
RESULT: SPECTRAL CONSTRUCT/PHASED
but his readings became erratic. They began to corporeate, shifting from abstract psychic images into humans wearing ancient Shuriman clothing. Breath, pulse, warmth, flesh…yet such a transformation was theoretically impossible. The Prime Nullity that underlay all of necromancy, the fundamental truth that the conversion of life to unlife was absolute, and the Prime Corollary, that the energetic demands of the inverse would be infinite…
Nasus lifted himself to his feet and dragged himself forward, visibly weakened. He spoke in Shuriman.
FRAGMENTS DECODED: XERATH / INSANE / RESIST / SHURIMA / NEW / VALORAN / LEAGUE / STRONG
Viktor heard the familiar sound of an anti-magic implosion. He looked up to see Kassadin, who had emerged from the rift, striking Malzahar unconscious with a null sphere.
As the distortion stabilized, Viktor detected an incoming transmission with HexKorps encoding.
TRANSMISSION: “Repeat, enemy reinforcements, surrounded, cannot hold position.”
TRANSMISSION: “Hostile Void, necro forces approaching.”
TRANSMISSION: “Repeat! Surrounded!”
Kennen’s ears twitched to the side. “I sense a great disturbance … ”
Xerath rose higher, speaking to his newly incarnated worshippers in Shuriman.
FRAGMENTS DECODED: WITNESS / POWER / XERATH / COSMOS / WRATH
The cavern began to shake. The ground surged up, bringing the altar with it. A massive arcane shockwave blasted the rock above into a cloud of dust, revealing the starry night sky. Reanimated undead and ravening hordes of Voidspawn encircled them, as Valoran’s armies fell back further and further. Viktor calculated that the structure below had lifted them up approximately fifty-seven meters. They now appeared to be on its roof. Heaps of pyrikhos had fallen around its walls as the mine’s tunnels and caverns crumbled during the ascent.
Xerath unleashed his power. Cracks of blue energy shone down from the purple sky, and the desert night became bright as day. He looked down upon Nefara’s undead armies, and the Voidspawn that followed beside them. He extended what appeared to be his arms and slashed their ranks with beams of what Viktor could only identify as some kind of cosmic energy. The sky split open, struck apart by columns of arcane force. Reanimating enchantments and Void energy alike burned away into the aether as Xerath obliterated the advancing hordes. The sand beneath them flashed into jagged glass.
In less than fifteen seconds, Xerath had annihilated them all, save one. Her undead soldiers utterly destroyed, Nefara stood alone.
Most curious. Viktor could not conceive that the lich could have dispelled such a powerful evocation, yet somehow the path of destruction had stopped mere meters from where she stood. He looked up to Xerath, and noticed a peculiar optical phenomenon. The indistinct energy field had shifted into a more humanoid shape. He magnified the field’s upper segment, and saw the outline of a human face, even an expression. He analyzed it, and it appeared to be one of…recognition? Simultaneously, his sarcophagus began to coalesce once more.
Viktor sensed a disruption in the local temporal matrix. The disruption was spatially limited to a field that enveloped Xerath and Nefara. He attempted to refine the scan, but could find no sensible interpretation of the the sensor data. Perhaps it was another rift forming? Yet there were no other signs of dimensional instability.
The hot sun beats down on the courtyard. I look up at the blue sky and feel it warm my face.
My face. I reach up and press my palm against my cheek. I feel flesh, not bone. I gasp … I breathe! I feel air rushing into my lungs, not dry desert wind blowing through my dessicated rib cage.
Another dream? I thought they had gone forever. Was that only a nightmare?
I hear the soft rush of flowing water. I look down into the fountain, overflowing with bright, clear water.
My heart pounds. My heart pounds! I sink my hands into the fountain. It is deliciously cool. I splash it over my face. It runs down over my mouth, and I remember what that is like. I plunge my hands into the water again. I bring my cupped palms to my mouth and drink. It soothes my dry throat, revives my parched tongue. I snatch up another handful. My hair falls over my face as I gulp it down.
I hear a metallic clang. I look beside my feet and see a bright flash of gold glittering in the sun. A circlet crown. The crown of a princess of Shurima. My crown.
I kneel to pick it up. As my soft fingers close around the hard metal, I begin to sob. It’s all going to end. It’s all going away. How I’ll hate myself for letting go of this dream.
I lift my head and wipe the burning tears from my eyes. It leaves a smudge of green kohl along my forearm. I blink and see clearly again. An anxious young man in robes is standing in front of me. Decorated robes. The robes of…a Magus. His name, what was his name? I know his face…I know his voice…
Xerath. The Magus. Strange young fellow. People talk about him. They say he’s quite odd, even for a Magus. I’ve been meaning to find out whether there’s any truth to the rumors. If so, something might need to be done.
He frowns as I rise back up to my feet and smooth my dress.
“And what exactly do you plan to do about me, Princess?” His eyes narrow.
I swallow. Words tumble through my head. Words for times like this. Something about presumption, or about addressing a princess, or knowing his station, or…
He steps closer. “This never happened.”
I stare back. I can’t read him. He’s odd, very odd. Was that a threat? It didn’t seem like it. He said it so matter-of-factly.
Oh please, no, please let this dream not end. What have I done to deserve this? Please just let me dream.
“Magus, do you forget your station?” My words sound hollow, even to me. Like I’m pretending. Like I’m a novice actor, emptily reciting lines from the stage. How ashamed I’ll be when the curtain falls.
He shakes his head. He looks sad, somehow. But it’s so hard to tell. He’s so very odd.
“It didn’t happen like this, my dear Princess. And I am sorry.”
Droplets of water mixed with my tears tickle my lip as they fall. I taste their salt, and brush them away.
I shake my head. “Of course it’s happening. This is happening right now. And you’ve nothing to apologize for. I simply must be getting on my way.” I want to run, but I don’t know where I could possibly go.
I see another figure moving past in the distance. A man with a long white beard and lost, frightened eyes. Mumbling to himself. His clothes look Urtistani. He is soon gone.
The young Magus approaches me. He slumps down to sit on the edge of the fountain. He holds his face in his hands. “Yes, we must.”
I brush a lock of my hair back into place. “You’re very familiar with me. I doubt I’ve spoken with you more than twice before.”
He looks up. He looks so tired. I feel dread tightening my chest.
He rubs the back of his neck, slowly. “Yes, we must be getting on our way.”
I see his head twitch to the side, as though glimpsing something over his shoulder. His eyes go wide.
Chains snake up his arms and bind him tight. He screams as metal clamps around his shoulders, his chest, his head. His face falls into darkness.
I feel sick. Something putrid bubbles out from my mouth. A repulsive stench chokes out the sweet summer air. I raise my hand toward my lips, and see rotting flesh fall from my bones.
I try to scream. I have no breath.
No, please, just let me dream!
Viktor had only just lifted Merricurry’s thaumex to verify the peculiar readings when they abruptly halted. He heard Xerath bellow as his sarcophagus returned to normal phase. The cosmic energy emissions dropped to barely noticeable levels.
He looked down to Nefara, and similarly found no trace of the temporal/cosmic phenomenon there. The lich turned away and vanished, accompanied by thaumic signatures consistent with a teleportation spell.
TASK: PREVENT DESTRUCTION OF RUNETERRA
The League’s envoys arrived in less than an hour.
Field repairs had stabilized Viktor’s power systems sufficiently to prevent further degradation. He warily scanned the throng of Champions and Summoners as they argued. He would not put an outburst of violence from one of these excitable mammals beyond the realm of possibility. This argumentation was tedious: there was work to be done!
Rumble smacked his paw against the metal frame of his mech and leaned forward. “Yeah, we did. And what if we hadn’t? That rift would have opened up and we’d all be snacks for Voidlings.”
Viktor seethed. “IT WAS THESE FOOLS WHO DESTABILIZED THE THAUMIC MATRIX WITH THEIR ATTACK!”
Jayce arched an eyebrow and smirked in an eminently hateable way. “So in other words,” he turned to the League’s envoys, “the question is whether the Void rift was the result of, option one, Zaun’s massive Void-energy mining operation, option two, Zaun’s Void-powered army, or option three, the rest of us trying to prevent the apocalypse.”
Merricurry growled. “ …by starting the largest battle Valoran’s seen in fifty years on top of a delicate mining operation you obviously understood nothing about!”
Jayce glanced back to the yordle. “Well, we certainly understand it now. And speaking of preventing the apocalypse, why are we standing around here talking when we should be neutralizing that pyrikhos back there? Before another rift opens?”
Summoner Kuronan of Zaun swept his hood back and thrust a finger at Jayce. “I’d like to see you try. We left too many survivors the first time. We won’t make that mistake again!”
Viktor clenched his fist. “AS THE SUMMONER SAYS! THE HEXKORPS STANDS READY. ANY AGGRESSION WILL BE TERMINATED WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE!” He tilted his head toward Jayce. “AND GREAT PLEASURE!”
Garen stepped out of line. “Abomination! Your lust for power has nearly destroyed our world!”
Merricurry snarled. “Another threat! What else could we expect from Demacia!?” She looked over the Bandle City and Piltovian contingents. “From any of you?!”
Poppy stared Merricurry down. “We issued a demand for peaceful compliance, pursuant to Section 17 of the Peace of Kalamanda. You didn’t leave us any choice.”
Summoner Kuronan of Zaun rebuked the yordle ambassador. “We received no peaceful demand!”
Quinn stepped forward. Valor screeched indignantly. “We delivered it ourselves! Little Miss…” she fumbled for a word, “ …Rocket Launcher there shot at us! With a … well, a rocket launcher!”
Viktor heard Jinx cough. He turned to face her. She slowly opened one of Blitzcrank’s compartments and produced a sheet of parchment with a broken wax seal.
“So, uh, Viktor, I’ve got this letter for you… ” He snatched it out of her hand.
Swain grimaced. “I have no more time to waste here.” He pointed at the Demacian contingent. “Demacia is in violation of the Shuriman Edict of 24 CLE. They unlawfully attacked Zaunite territory. The League guaranteed the safety of that territory with its edict.” He turned to the League envoys. “Now if the League’s word still means anything, you’ll enforce it.”
The head of the Council’s delegation met Swain’s gaze for a few moments, then nodded. “And indeed it does.” He looked to Jarvan III.
There was silence.
Garen stepped forward, bearing down upon the envoy. His hand closed around the hilt of his broadsword. “You dare to look upon the King of Demacia as a common criminal?!”
Swain’s raspy voice answered. “Certainly not a common criminal. He’s the other kind.”
Garen turned on Swain, teeth bared in a manner comparable, Viktor noted, to that of an angry ape. “You vulture. I’ll not suffer your—”
Jarvan III spoke. “Stay your hand, Sir Garen.”
The words froze the brute where he stood.
Jarvan stepped forward, and placed a hand on Garen’s pauldron. “There is not a man more courageous in all the land. But our vindication shall come at law, not by the sword.” He looked to the League’s envoy. “I commend myself to your custody, Summoner. I ask that those who came here under my orders be left at liberty. The wounded are many, and in sore need of aid.”
The envoy bowed his head. “And so they shall.” He gestured to a man at his side. “Warden, if you would.”
Xin Zhao came to Jarvan’s side. “I ask that Your Majesty not yet discharge me of my duty.”
Jarvan addressed the warden. “Then there shall be two.”
Viktor watched the League’s Summoners lead them away. He looked to the nearest Zaunite Summoner, Naggarok, and raised a triumphant fist as he spoke.
“THE PYRIKHOS IS SECURED. THEIR OBSOLETE ARMY LIES BROKEN BENEATH OUR TREADS. THEIR PRIMITIVE AGGRESSION HAS FAILED. THE APOCALYPSE ITSELF WE HAVE NULLIFIED.”
He faced the assembled troops of the HexKorps, and spread his arms wide.
“WE MARCH ON TO OUR GLORIOUS FUTURE! NO TYRANT, NO SUPERSTITION SHALL STAND IN OUR WAY. TOGETHER WE SHALL BRING THE GLORIOUS EVOLUTION!”
Next Update: Epilogue