Summoners of the League of Legends! Hear ye and be warned that the Council has decreed that a contest of arms upon that Field of Justice known as the Howling Abyss shall conclusively resolve the disputes hereafter described.
♦ 14 MARCH, 25 CLE. BILGEWATER accuses BANDLE CITY of spying upon it using the so-called Lunar Monitoring and Analytic Operations system, and dispatching Reconnaissance Operations Front-Line copters to intercept a privateer fleet on the Guardian’s Sea.
♦ 15 MARCH, 25 CLE. THE FRELJORD demands that THE SHADOW ISLES return the souls of Winter’s Claw warriors diverted into the custody of the Isles by alteration of the leylines of the Conqueror’s Sea.
Let the word of the League be as law, lest all the powers of Runeterra arrange themselves against ye. There may be no appeal.
This weekend will feature two sets of shoutcasted matches. Each set will be comprised of three matches, the first beginning at 12:30 p.m. Pacific.
As always, we expect we will have some last-minute gaps in the rosters. If you’d like to play a part in Factions history, show up! We’ll pull from the crowd if need be.
We’ve brought together more lore writers for this weekend, with the aim of giving these matches a stronger place in the Factions storyline. These matches will also have stat point prizes, meaning that the factions that win today will hit the next storyline with a small but noticeable power boost.
For a change of pace, we’ll be holding these matches on the Howling Abyss.
Saturday, 14 March, 25 CLE—Bilgewater v. Bandle City
Bilgewater accuses Bandle City of using its lunar base for espionage. It wants an end to Bandle City’s unilateral use of its Lunar Monitoring and Analysis Operations system (which, to answer a strangely common question, can indeed directly interface with the guidance systems on Reconnaissance Operations Front-Line copters). It demands observer access to the apparatus, and relaying privileges so that its own vessels can use it for navigational purposes. Bandle City, in turn, aims to use this dispute to clear up the legality of lunar surveillance once and for all.
Graves stretched, working the creaks out of his old bones as he took a look around the chamber. Those lawyers had been going on long enough.
“The Council recognizes Malcolm Graves, Champion of the League, and Bilgewater’s ad hoc emissary in this dispute.”
“Yeah, yeah, hold yer horses.” He patted at his pockets until he found a fireflint and his last cigar.
Kolminye looked over at her marshal, who spoke up. “Begging your pardon, sir, but in accordance with the new policy against the combustion of herbal preparations within the Institute, we must ask you to refrain while in chambers.”
With the unlit cigar between his teeth, Graves answered with a cock-eyed glance and a grunt. He took his time returning the cigar to his pocket, and spoke as he did so.
“Y’see, the thing about this is I’ve been told some mighty troubling news.” He thought about how much he wanted to inhale the robust aroma of that fine cigar.
He smiled as his eyes searched the Councilors’ bench like a poker table. Not that he was much for card games these days. “These Summoners here,” he jerked his thumb back at the robed figures sitting behind him, “they tell me…”
He slapped the table and thrust a finger at the little fuzzballs sitting not ten feet from him. “THAT THESE VARMINTS ARE SPYING ON US!”
Several of the yordles shrieked. One actually hid behind another. He had to work hard not to crack up, which would have ruined the effect entirely. He didn’t much care about this spying business, but Sarah Fortune had asked him to put on a show, and he was happy to oblige. He’d laugh his head off once he got back to his chambers. Where he planned to smoke his damn cigar in peace.
He forced himself to come back from that rather pleasant thought. Now was the time to play up the rough and tumble Bilgewater routine.
“They got themselves some kinda fancy rig up on the moon, and they’ve been watching Bilgewater like a buncha peepin’ toms for months.”
The chief delegate from Bandle City got up. He yapped back. “There is no law against lunar surveillance! And let the Council take note of what we found when our Lunar Monitoring and Analysis Operations system dispatched Reconnaissance Operations Front-Line copters to the scene: a privateer fleet flying Bilgewater flags and absolutely stinking with Noxian magic sailing for a Piltovian merchant convoy on an intercept course!”
Graves let the outraged fluffball huff and pant. “Bilgewater ships go where they wanna go.”
“If we hadn’t sent warning, that would have been the third convoy to go ‘missing’ since the Void War! The High Command is using Bilgewater privateers to prey on helpless merchants, and rebuilding its war machine with its ill-gotten gains!”
Did he really just say “ill-gotten gains”?
Graves snarled. “What’re you playin’ at? League’s got no jurisdiction on the high seas.”
The yordle squeaked back. “No jurisdiction? Who do you think you are, Swain?!”
Graves frowned. For the first time, he took this a little bit personal. That had been an ugly business, and it didn’t help that by the end of it Swain had played Nami for a sucker. Using Bilgewater’s money to buy the lives of a bunch of damn fool Demacians, and giving Swain the cash to put two new legions back on active duty. Sarah Fortune wouldn’t have let that happen.
Kolminye spoke before Graves could. “Bandle City’s accusations are being investigated by the Maritime Affairs Committee. The honorable representative from Bandle City will restrict his remarks to the issue at hand.”
“I have nothing further to say to this miscreant!”
Graves arched an eyebrow. “Hoo, boy. Miss-cree-ant.” He glanced back at the Summoners. “One’a you fellas, find out what that means and lemme know. Jus’ don’t ask me to spell it.” They laughed together, and he didn’t even have to look over to know that the yordle was boiling over with rage. It was the damnedest thing: some yordles just could not abide being laughed at, despite being the most objectively ridiculous creatures on Valoran that had ever gained the power of speech. And that’s counting Zaunites, the old joke went.
“Now I was in a downright foul temper there, but this little varmint seems to have restored me to my,” he skewed his accent toward the urbane, “customarily cheerful disposition.” He looked back at Kolminye. “With your approval, ma’am, I reckon we oughta take this to the Rift.”
Kolminye nodded, and was about to speak when the yordle representative piped up again.
“Bandle City asks that the Council issue a summary ruling on sub-motion four.”
Kolminye thumbed through the rather tall stack of rather petite papers filed by Bandle City. She seemed surprised when her eye caught the page. “…the Abyss? Really? For an arranged dispute?”
“Yes, High Councilor.”
Graves shrugged. “Fine by me. Your boys can die wherever they like.” His hand had already started to go for his pocket when he remembered. Damn. Woulda been a downright dramatic moment to light up a cigar.
Kolminye raised her gavel. “The selection of the adjudicative panel shall be determined by contest of arms upon that Field of Justice known as the Howling Abyss.” She struck. “It is so ordered.” She looked over at him. “Dress warmly, Mr. Graves. This hearing is adjourned.”
The stakes for this match will be Espionage points.
Miss Sarah Fortune watched as Summoner Rex Tréffle waved his hands around the silver sphere the yordles had given them. The hot sun beat down on the weathered wood of the ship’s deck, and the heat brought up a damp and musty scent. He’d been at it for almost an hour now, mostly setting up the sphere’s hextech cradle. If those little fuzzballs had double-crossed them, she’d take it out of their hides.
Understanding flashed in the Summoner’s vivid green eyes. He made another quick gesture, and the orb rang, surface shimmering as though molten. A beam of light shot up into the heavens. Perhaps all the way to the moon.
“Mmm. Now that looks promising,” she said, sauntering over to take a closer look. His eyes met hers, and for an instant, the psychic link showed her the full expanse of the sea around them, as seen from above, overlaid with currents of arcane energy. It was beautiful. And this wasn’t just for show. Try hiding from us now.
She curved her lips into a predatory grin, and ruffled the Summoner’s hair beneath his hood. “Let’s take her back to port. Drinks are on me.” She favored him with a wink, then walked past him toward the pilot’s station.
Sunday, 15 March, 25 CLE—the Freljord v. the Shadow Isles
Sejuani has discovered that fluctuations in nexus alignment have been channeling the funerary barges of Winter’s Claw warriors across the Conqueror’s Sea to the cursed shores of the Shadow Isles. She demands that this be set right, and that the Winter’s Claw be allowed to retrieve the barges (and the souls of those they bear) before the Isles’ necromancers can work their foul magic upon them.
It was the custom of the Winter’s Claw to send their honored dead from their shores on funerary barges with polished armor and sharpened weapons, ready to join the spirits of their ancestors on that timeless celestial battlefield whence came the immortal courage of the Claw’s warriors. In the middle of the night, Sejuani was awoken by one of the very few would who dare such presumption: the High Kin-Priest of the Winter’s Claw. He told her that those slain in battle on Krocylea still had yet to answer their name-prayers, which had been offered daily for a full fortnight. “We must consult the Frostguard,” he informed her, and hearing his grave tone she set aside her habitually ingrained distrust for Lissandra’s wily sages.
Within days, a council of all the tribes had gathered. They discovered that something was diverting the spirits of the slain from their deserved places at the sides of their ancestors in glorious battle among the stars. Their Summoners laid out a mage’s map and described a terrible possibility: that the Shadow Isles had used the Harrowing to twist Runeterra’s ethereal conduits to draw the death-barges into the Isles’ waiting bone-fingers. With the ocean-ways thus distorted, their final acts of loyalty to their slain friends had become betrayals of the worst kind.
The gravity of the offense momentarily united the three tribes. Queen Ashe sent word to Demacia on Sejuani’s behalf. The royal chancellor confirmed their fears. They had consulted Ceruleana, mistress of the depths, and she spoke of a changing of the tides that had much perturbed her. Yet she would not herself act, for its cause lay with the barriers between dimensions, and after the catastrophe in Shurima she refused to tamper again with such magics.
The Freljord’s representatives filed suit with the Council under one of the League’s oldest treaties: an agreement on the manipulation of nexus alignment and leyline convergence. It was a carryover from a centuries-old international compact from the Rune Wars. Though dutifully transcribed into the first volumes of the Council’s lawbooks, it had become all but obsolete since the League’s foundation.
It was decreed that these two factions would meet upon the Howling Abyss, to decide by contest of arms whether the Isles should be commanded to return the barges to the Freljord, and to revert the alterations made to the leyline-currents of the Conqueror’s Sea.
The stakes for this match will be Military. Mordekaiser is most desirous to add these powerful warrior-souls to his undead army, while their return would strengthen the ancestral spirits of the Winter’s Claw.
After the Freljord’s victory on the Fields, the League commanded the Shadow Isles to release their hold on the leylines that had drawn so many souls into their clutches. For some, it came too late: they were bound to the dark wills of Mordekaiser and Thresh. But many more fled the Isles to the heavenly battlefields over Freljord. As the howls of the Ursine rose from the snow, the clang and clash of weapons fashioned of starlight echoed across the Freljord from on high. Many name-prayers were sung that night, and when the sun dawned on the tundra, it found the Winter’s Claw rising with renewed strength.