This week is featuring the inter-alliance matchups. So, each faction will face off against their allied faction in the arc. Since the allies are playing against each other, for this week players will not be able to play for their allied faction in the featured matches.
Official lore and stakes are posted!
Saturday, June 11 – Icathia vs Bandle city
Tristana was not fond of guard duty–especially guarding someone so vanilla as Mayor Jadefellow–but the Institute was abuzz with enough action to make her feel like she was truly on the front lines. The Bandle Gunners had more recruits than ever and many of her fellow veterans were training them, so it fell to her to represent them at the League. It was a duty she served with pride.
Mayor Jadefellow chattered nervously next to her. “Fine weather, eh? The blackberries are being harvested at home no doubt…heh. Uh, Champion Tristana, do you like blackberries? I’m partial to them myself…”
Tristana rolled her eyes, shrugging. “They’re ok. I’m more interested in all the kooky people around here.”
Her golden eyes fell on a pack of purple-robed figures, many hunched over and gibbering to themselves. Some of them had extra limbs, Tristana noticed.
“Ah yes, that would be…that would be our delegates, just on time for the meeting,” Jadefellow glanced at his pocket watch. “Will you excuse me, Champion Tristana? I want to go freshen up in the restroom.”
Tristana adjusted the strap of her cannon which hung to her back. “You do you. Just don’t be late!”
She watched him scurry into the swinging door of the men’s restroom before turning back to gaze at the Icathians. Some of their behavior reminded her of the squirrels back home, jittery and nervous. Others seemed normal, well-mannered even–with perfect posture and slight smiles. Tristana wasn’t sure she liked either version.
“Are you…Tristana of the Bandle Gunners?”
Tristana turned, looking for the source of the voice. She raised an eyebrow as she had to gaze down to look at a fuzzy gray Yordle.
“Guilty as charged,” she replied, “How can I help you?”
“I just wanted to…thank you. I heard you fought for my favor on the Fields. Very admirable, you were. Beep-Beep was pleased.”
Tristana nodded with a frown. “Yeah…I’m sorry, who are you?”
The Yordle’s ears perked up. “I apologize. I am Timi’u of the Soo’Par Mane tribe of Argyre. It is a pleasure to finally meet you.”
“Oh! Nice to finally meet you, too!” Tristana slapped Timi’u on the back. He rubbed his spin gingerly. Tristana grinned. “So you’re the one the Freljord had their beards in a twist for! What brings you back to the Institute? I figured you’d be collecting all sorts of data for your Mothership.”
“Actually it is Lanpoa, not the Mothership,” Timi’u corrected, “And I’m afraid Lanpoa has other plans for me. I am petitioning the League for magical education resources for Argyre.”
“That’s a great idea! You guys are as clever as us. With a little training, you’d probably blow them to smithereens same as me,” Tristana elbowed him playfully, “Us Yordles gotta stick together!”
Timi’u nodded with a weak smile. “If only it were that easy…this is the second time my petition has fallen through. Not enough support I guess.”
“What? That’s ridiculous. I’d support you!”
Timi’u’s eyes lit up. “Would you?”
“Sure! There’s no way they could shoot down a petition supported by the Bandle Gunner. I’ll put in a good word for you.”
Timi’u dug into his shirt pocket hurriedly. “Oh thank you, thank you Tristana of the Bandle Gunners! That would help us most definitely! Here…here’s some of the paperwork. It is…messy. I cannot read Valoran well, but hopefully you can adjust the readwords…?”
Tristana waved a hand, taking the papers. “No problem, we’ll take care of it.”
“Thank you, thank you!”
Mayor Jadefellow sauntered out into their conversation just as Timi’u was conveying the details to Tristana. “What’s all this?”
“Mayor,” Tristana said with a short salute. “This is Timi’u of…uh, he’s from Argyre.”
Tristana briefly explained Timi’u’s plight, making sure to use big hand gestures to make it seem important. Mayor Jadefellow frowned.
“I’d like to help…but many of Bandle’s resources are tied up at the moment…” he trailed off, glancing at the Icathian delegates, who were entering the meeting room. “If you’ll excuse us, we have an important meeting to attend. I’d be happy to discuss this further at a later date, when my paws aren’t so tied.”
“But honorable Mayor, we need this as soon as possible. Lanpoa has warned us–“
“Yes, yes, I believe in that ship of your’s as much as the next Yordle, but I have other matters to attend to.” He sauntered away into the room, waving a hand for Tristana to follow.
“Sorry, Timi’u,” Tristana sighed, “We’ll get back to it soon, ok? I promise.”
Timi’u gave one last concerned look before Tristana followed Jadefellow into the room.
The room felt cold, perhaps because of Tristana’s concern for Timi’u’s petition. It continued to plague her mind as the Icathian delegates began to speak. They all spoke at the same time.
“Greetings Mayor, Champion. We are servants of Ak’Oip, the One That is Many. We have been asked by the Great Prophet Malzahar to speak to you about a proposition.”
The Mayor’s ears flipped back. “What proposition would this be?”
“It is Korzari. They are trapped by mortal walls.”
Jadefellow clasped his paws together, taking a deep breath. “The matter of Jane Bluefield was already settled before the League. It’s also a matter that doesn’t concern Bandle City.”
The delegates’ eyes collectively narrowed. The tall, proper one eyed Tristana with purple eyes…or were they green? Tristana blinked and then they were blue.
“Icathia is Bandle City’s concern. You don’t want your reputation spattered before the League once again,” they chorused.
Tristana glared, right at Multi-colored Eyes. “What Mayor Jadefellow is trying to say is that we would prefer not to have our reputation spattered before the League once again, and would prefer not to speak on a convicted criminal’s behalf. Especially since she’s not from Bandle. She doesn’t even work for us. Bandle City has no obligation.”
Multi-colored Eyes’ smile disappeared, as did half a dozen other smiles around him. Tristana’s eyes narrowed. She could knock out all those eyes from this distance across the table, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Jadefellow nodded, a bead of sweat dripping down his brow. “Precisely. Even if Bandle wanted to, we have no say in the matter.”
“Well,” they chanted, “let’s decide that before the League shall we? Mayor Jadefellow, you are aware there is precedent for ‘determining support for a classified project’ to be a valid League match criteria?”
“What?” Tristana gaped. She turned to Jadefellow, who was nodding slowly.
“Very good, Jadefellow. We will fight for Bandle City’s support. This will be brought before the League–“
“Wait a second, you can’t just–” Tristana froze when she reached for her gun. She felt Timi’u’s papers in her leather strap, where she had stuffed them. She smirked.
“Mayor Jadefellow, take the challenge.”
She pried out the papers. “We have a petition we’d like you to support in return,” Tristana explained, “If Bandle wins, you have to support our ‘classified project’, got it?”
Their grins returned simultaneously, some of them revealing fangs. “Very well, Champion Tristana.”
Outside, the Mayor whimpered lightly as they watched the delegates walk away. Tristana grasped his shoulder.
“Sir, I might be talking out of line here, but I think Icathia takes us Yordles for naive fools. They didn’t even bother hiding their manipulation!”
Jadefellow’s mustache quivered. He turned his gaze down. “Quite.”
Sunday, June 12 – the Freljord vs Bilgewater
As Illaoi shares with the world one of the holiest places of her faith, the Marai continue their crusade to cleanse the oceans and the Freljord makes a revolutionising discovery. The Marai seek to use the purifying waters of Tinak Ime, the Endless Waterfall, to cleanse the evil blackwaters that claimed the champion Nautilus and have made several vessels disappear throughout the years. The Freljord instead seeks to use them to stabilise the Draught of Eternity, a lifesaving potion that, when it doesn’t simply kill the imbiber, prolongs longevity and freezes all afflictions until they can be safely cured. Both factions seek to use the holy waters for an appropriately altruistic purpose, but it will be up to the Summoners on the Fields to determine which is more worthy.
The Serpent Isles, in the summer, had the kind of weather that could make one forget life’s difficulties. In the innermost island, the lush rainforest sheltered one of the holiest places of the church of Nagakabouros. Illaoi had had to fight tooth and nail to allow paylangi in it, much less share the waters with others. The arguments she had had with the rest of the priesthood had almost led to a schism, which had been staved off only by Bilgewater’s unimpeded success. Convince them that they had Nagakabouros favour had been difficult, but the evidence was undeniable.
So it came to be that a delegation from the Institute, with representatives from all nations in Runeterra, were being allowed to set foot in to the holiest of places. Tinak Ime, the Endless Waterfall, was a true natural wonder. Not only was it a cascade hundreds of feet tall, not only were the waters gathered from the heights of Illan Asere, the Mountain of Motion, but the lagoon that formed at the end of the waterfall was in constant flow, with rapid currents moving back and forth. By some divine miracle from ancient times, the water that gathered at the lagoon would travel deep within the earth and somehow ascend the mountain once more, for the cascade’s flow never changed and the lagoon’s level never wavered.
The natives of the Serpent Isles had tales upon tales about Tinak Ime, of heroes that had drank or bathed in its waters and gained divine blessings, of villages that had been saved by its purifying powers, and of the omens that seers had seen while gazing upon it. The waters of Tinak Ime were sacred, with powers to heal, cleanse and bless. For centuries and centuries, it had been jealously guarded. No paylangi had been allowed to lay eyes upon it. Foreigners had been murdered to prevent the secret of its existence from reaching even Bilgewater itself. And now, Illaoi was not only sharing its blessings with the world, but also willing to use its holy waters liberally in order to bring about great good in the world.
Once the announcement had been made and the delegation had split up in groups according to allegiance and then treated to the usual cold hospitality of the natives, there were two factions that eyed the waterfall with interest.
“I think this could be it,” Nami said hopefully. “I think this could vanquish the blackwater.”
“It must be destroyed,” Nautilus stated, each syllable sounding like one of his slow, ponderous steps.
“Divin’ suit’s got a point,” Graves muttered. “When I was young, I saw it swallowin’ a ship whole. Ain’t a pretty sight.”
“My sources tell me it’s become more active lately,” Miss Fortune told the others. “One of Lowtide’s ships went missing yesterday. It doesn’t usually do this, but it seems like all this activity in the area has… angered it, I suppose.” She looked at the others with fire in her eyes. “I’m not about to let it keep killing our men and get away with it.”
Gangplank lifted his chin as he studied the redhead woman. He was casually peeling a mango he had plucked from a nearby tree. “It ain’t erryday that I agree with the docks’ resident harpy, but I respect that.” He met her gaze. “Kill my men and I sink ye. I can get behind that.”
Not too far away, plants slowly lost their lushness from the cold around the Freljord delegation.
“How are the latest experiments?” Ashe asked Lissandra, casting her eyes about for eavesdroppers.
“Promising,” Lissandra replied with a sly smile. “My acolytes have taken to call the elixir ‘the Draught of Eternity’. Very poetic, if a bit inaccurate.”
“Times have changed,” Sejuani said, looking at the waterfall. “Here I am, supporting witchcraft and potion-brewery. You are lucky that this potion delivers every warrior’s dream: a promise that no dishonourable death will claim you. That you will die in battle, as you should. That no illness will take you, no hunger will claim you, nothing but a blade shall stop you.”
Ashe thought to frown, but she was too used to Sejuani’s philosophy. “Or that no parent will lose a child to winter’s bite, that a child will not be orphaned by plague, that heroes will not be taken from us too soon.” Sejuani turned to stare at Ashe, but said nothing. Ashe continued, “Finally something all of the Freljord can rally behind.”
Lissandra’s smile became wider, as if amused by a joke only she was in on. “Indeed. The only concern is the success rate. I cannot allow for the draught to be used on people yet, as it freezes animals to death about as often as it saves them from poison.”
“So we’re missing an ingredient, perhaps?” Ashe ventured.
“The process of filtering the potion through the true ice piece that Lanpoa gave us seems to be what gives the liquid its properties, but it also imbues too much elemental residue in it. We have been trying different cleansing agents, but so far none have worked.” Lissandra turned to the waterfall. “This is why I came here. I had one of my acolytes take a sample while Illaoi was delivering her speech.” She turned to one of the Freljord Summoners nearby. “Freya, do we have the results?”
The Summoner closed her eyes and hummed for a few seconds. A blue light shone from behind her eyelids. When she opened them, one could see the fading glow of magic. Her wide smile confirmed the news before she said anything. “It works! We found it!”
Later that evening, it would come as a bitter surprise for both Freljord and Bilgewater as they petitioned Illaoi for the rights to use the waters of Tinak Ime, when the priestess deferred the matter to the League.
“You both are pursuing your desires,” she declared. “That is good. That is The Way. However, there is no Truth for me to bear and no spirit for me to test. Remain in motion. Fight for your desires on the Fields. Let Nagakabouros choose.”