Previous Update: The HexKorps
The Terror of the Void
by Montesque64 and CupcakeTrap
The stars have vanished from the sky, replaced with the blinking yellow eyes of demons from the Void. The apocalypse is nigh.
As Ceruleana’s prophecy foretold, a Void rift is opening within Zaun’s Shuriman dark sand mines. When their entreaties to Zaun warning of this prophecy were rebuffed, Demacia and its allies from Piltover and Bandle City tried and failed to destroy the mines by force. The Demacian army, once the mightiest in Valoran, fell into a broken retreat before Zaun’s techmaturgical war machines backed by Noxian legions.
It was then that the portal began to open. Demacia and its allies now join Zaun and Noxus, as bitter enemies unite in a desperate attempt to break through the Void swarm and close the portal before Runeterra is devoured.
This lore update is chock full of carnage as the mightiest factions in Valoran battle the unleashed power of the Void. Many of the details come from the matches which were fought to resolve the battle.
The golden tide of Demacian soldiers rolled forward, hastening to follow Prince Jarvan’s battlecry. The Zaunite war machines had slain many of their comrades in the battle for the mines. Those who remained took the places of the fallen with impeccable discipline as they marched forth to do battle alongside those very same Zaunites against a much greater threat. Should they fail, should the dimensional rift inside the mines open fully, Demacia would fall before the Void onslaught, and all of Runeterra with it. Here was proof that they had been right—not that it would do them any good, unless they could reach the portal and close it.
A sea of black armor and cruel steel axe-blades charged beside the glittering remnant of the once-proud Demacian army. Grand General Jericho Swain, fresh from his victory over the Reformist insurgents in Noxus, had taken to the battlefield to personally command the Noxian legions. The men and women under his command seethed with determination to prove their own might and win glory, yes, but they were also ready to die to show the world that no alien beast from beyond could match the ferocity of Noxus.
Rockets and hexbombs arced overhead and crashed down into the sand, blowing great gaps in the endless swarm of Voidspawn. Zaun’s HexKorps thundered forth and drove the Void back to the mines. Those remnants of the Bandle City expeditionary force and the Piltover Airship Armada which were still functional buzzed overhead, dropping the last of their explosive payload into the seething mass. The sole remaining operational Yordle gunship had an unfortunate encounter with a particularly high-flying Zaunite shell, and crashed into the mass of Voidlings with an impressively explosive impact.
“Hold position! Maximum firepower!”
The croaking, mechanical voice spoke directly into the modified ears of the Zaunite gunners, and a brief pause in the unceasing volley was quickly followed by the painful whine of their artillery. Their assault began to thin the Voidling swarm. For a few moments, it looked as if the renewed Void invasion would end as quickly as it began.
Deep within the pyrikhos mines, Malzahar knelt before the iridescent portal that led to the space between dimensions, between worlds. A Zaunite Summoner, whose green-lined robe bore the arcane sigils of both Order and Anarchy, used a crystal sphere to channel dark Icathian magic into its surface. A constant tide of Voidlings vomited forth, swarming around Malzahar and skittering past him to the mine’s entrance, hungry for the mortal flesh beyond. They were numerous beyond counting, but Malzahar sensed the battle raging outside. Each flash of Demacian holy magic, each burst of the bastardized Void energy powering the Zaunite explosive shells, each dark wave of Noxian necromancy cut into his thoughts as it sheared through the Voidling swarms. They were falling faster than he could summon replacements.
The portal warbled, and in the cacophony the Prophet of the Void heard his name. He trembled and answered, pleading.
Masters! I will set you free! This world shall be yours! Only lend me your power and I shall break their desperate charge. Soon they will see the perfection of the world you shall build. We need only delay them a little longer …
A red and purple flash burst the dimensional fabric. A tremor shook the cavern. Malzahar looked over his shoulder to see Cho’gath and hear his malevolent laughter.
A MAGNIFICENT FEAST AWAITS.
Cho’gath lumbered into the tunnel that led to the surface.
Prince Jarvan IV, riding at the vanguard, spared a glance back at the united forces of Valoran advancing almost as one to defend their world. Perhaps something more will come of this, he dared to hope. The thought brought a bittersweet smile to his face.
Hope, and his smile, failed as a hulking shadow detached itself from the darkness within the mines. It bellowed, and even the bravest Demacian soldiers lost heart.
I COME TO FEAST ON YOUR FLESH.
Cho’gath stomped. The sands hissed as they rumbled and shifted beneath the army’s feet. Their momentum sent them tumbling forth. Chitinous spines erupted from the sands, impaling the soldiers where they had fallen, men and women screaming as the twitching protrusions sawed them through and their lifeblood poured out.
With ponderous steps and an ear-shattering roar, the Terror of the Void shambled forth, his immense bulk completely blocking the mine’s entrance.
The soldiers of the HexKorps were the first to recover from the shock. Their Void-touched machinery and implants had left them accustomed to the terrible howl of the dark cosmos beyond Runeterra. On Viktor’s order, they turned their fire toward Cho’gath, but even their heaviest weapons glanced uselessly off his carapace. Reality warped before their eyes, and he grew larger and larger as smoothly as a candle flame’s light spreads across a shadowed wall. The monstrosity was at once real and unreal.
Cho’gath chuckled at the tingle of the Zaunite techmaturgic weaponry. These mortals presumed to comprehend the Void, because their pitiful trinkets were fed by sand contaminated by the merest tinge of the Void’s refuse?
MALZAHAR ADMIRES YOUR TOYS. I FIND THEM…LACKING.
Cho’gath sniffed the aether. The scent of the Void grew stronger. Soon these vermin would choke and die as their sun and moon—
A gruff voice came from far below, mere steps ahead of his feet.
Poppy patted the haft of her hammer against her gauntleted palm with a soft clink clink clink. “My friend wants to talk.”
Before Cho’gath could move, the Iron Ambassador lunged forth and heaved her hammer around in a broad arc that ended in an impossibly powerful impact against his knee. Chitin splintered and ichor spewed forth. The enormous beast, staggered by the devastating blow, threw back his head and opened his maw in a scream.
Poppy ground her teeth together and grimaced against the sonic assault. She felt blood dribbling from her ears down her neck. She could not even hear herself as she spoke.
“Point taken.” She sprang into into the air and landed atop Cho’gath’s shoulder, as the vile creature’s talons slashed through the place where she had stood. Her eyes met his — a strange sight, for even one of them was many times larger than the little yordle’s entire body.
“HYAAAAAA!” Her blow drove a fissure through one of his mandibles. He flung her off, and she crashed into the sand below.
Cho’gath reared back and raised his taloned foot above Poppy. As she struggled to one knee, he heaved his entire weight forth to crush her.
She suddenly felt a familiar magical link form, and heard a voice in her mind. You are seriously out of position there, lil’ buddy.
She glanced aside and saw Summoner Paddo of the Riotous Fists Clan, hanging onto the side of Rumble’s mech as its jumpjets flared on and drove it forward. He swept his hands into a well-practiced arcane gesture. A golden light flashed before her as Cho’gath’s foot fell. She reached out for the portal the Summoner had opened—
—and instantly stood behind Cho’gath. She felt Paddo’s relief through the link.
Before Cho’gath’s foot could strike ground, Rumble pierced him with twin electro-harpoons.
The yordle cackled. “WHEEEHOOO!”
Summoner Paddo clung to Tristy’s metal frame for dear life as Rumble threw the thrust control lever forward and body-checked Cho’gath in a crash of steel and chitin. With one foot still off the ground, Cho’gath staggered, then whirled around to smash the mech aside.
Poppy turned to face Cho’gath once more. She shrugged her shoulders back and popped a kink in her neck. “Round. Two.”
Abruptly, one of Zaun’s main hex-lightning generators fell silent, save for the screams of its operators. An alien voice crept into the minds of the artillerists. Hmm…fascinating. A reboot of the thaumic matrix triggers portal formation. The Zaunites watched with horror as the generator was disassembled molecule by molecule, leaving behind a floating mass of tentacles and hideous purple eyes where the machine had stood.
More subjects are required. Vel’Koz turned towards the other machines, focused beams of energy lashing from its eyes and tentacles, disintegrating hextech engineers in a rapid flicker of light.
The patterns are repetitious. A new-
Vel’koz was interrupted as a burst of magic disrupted his defensive matrix, allowing an explosive bolt to lodge between his scales and explode. He recoiled to see a Summoner in armored purple robes and an enormous-eyed gas mask, one of her pauldrons etched with the designation 333LOM. He swept her with a beam of purple light.
A machine acolyte wielding Summoning magic. Unusual, though not without—
She fired again, and he intercepted the bolt with a tendril. It disassembled in midair into casing, charge, and pyrikhos primer. Its pieces fell to the sands.
He projected his thoughts onto hers. Regrettably, you must be disassembled.
She cocked her HexKorps boltgun again, and conjured a ball of purple fire into her other hand. She spoke in a mechanical tone.
“I was about to say the same to you.”
Vel’koz flung a tendril out, snaring the Summoner’s arm and wrapping tight. The magical fire guttered out as he began to drain the strange energies inside her. She fired her boltgun again. Having analyzed its composition previously, he trivially modified his defensive field to disperse the explosion into a noisy but harmless haze.
Stoic humor. An intriguing concept. He lashed a tendril around her neck. I am curious as to what inner workings generate such verbal output. Her mask begin to erode. At what point in the disassembly process will such output cease? A third tendril wrapped around her waist, ensuring the subject would not move in such a way as to disrupt the analysis. Her armor still blocked him from a deep scan. Organic/mechanical composition ratio remains unknown.
Vel’koz suddenly detected a thaumic wave of Runeterran origin approaching from behind. He raised an eyestalk and bent it back, to see Viktor borne aloft on a hextech platform of some kind. Curious. Multiphase integration of pyrikhos beneath my present location, according to a nonlinear amalgamation schema. Most unconventional. When this formula is solved, it would appear that …
Vel’koz paused his disassembly of the Summoner in his tendrils. This represents a significant complic—
Viktor struck the sand with his scepter, and Vel’koz found his rather pedestrian view of the Shurima Desert at night abruptly replaced by a chaotic storm of techmaturgical energy. It was excruciatingly painful and most intriguing.
The Prince of Demacia watched as Cho’gath’s scything talons rent the men-at-arms of Houses Laurent and Buvelle. Their ranks broke into full retreat: they had held as long as could be expected, but their casualties were too great. Most of Valoran’s forces had halted in place, none wishing to be the first to enter the circle in front of the cave which denoted the Void beast’s range. Flanked by all manner of abominations from beyond, and a seemingly endless swarm of Voidlings, the Terror of the Void still blocked the path into the mines.
Jarvan took a breath and surveyed the battlefield. The combined gunfire from Piltover’s rifle troopers and the soldiers of the HexKorps did little more than chew up Voidlings, and those little beasts were the least of their worries.
Our time is running out.
His horse stamping impatiently, Jarvan considered his position. The tides of the battle had shifted, and he found himself near other familiar faces from the League.
Nasus, the Curator of the Sands, walked steadily on. He regarded the horde with a dour expression that did not change as a trio of blade-armed Void monsters rushed toward him. A sweep of his staff illuminated the sands with an arcane circle and brought them down. He stood over them, impassive.
“You have left the timeless Void and come to Runeterra. Here you will be instructed concerning two forces that over this world reign supreme.”
He angled his staff down. The circle that bound them darkened, and their struggles slowed.
He whirled his staff overhead, and spun the aether above into a vortex.
“… and Death.”
He swung the staff down. The circle burst, and its intricate ethereal strands tore the demons apart like razor wire.
Nasus looked back at Jarvan, measuring the courage and fear in his heart with but a glance. “Their death awaits.”
Jarvan dismounted from his steed and turned to a Summoner, Michelus Magnus, a former Demacian commander who had returned to service for this battle. “Summoner. Rally all those who can fight and hold our flank at all costs. We shall see to the fiendlord Cho’gath personally.” If they could hold the horde at bay long enough, and if Cho’gath could somehow be slain, they might gain entrance into the mine in time to close the portal.
“My liege,” the Summoner, once called “Big Mike” when he was but a young warrior in the 501st Regiment, answered with a bow of his head. He raised his sword, charging the silver blade with a surge of magical energy, and bade his horse back into the fray. As he rushed on, a swing of his sword cast the ethereal image of an ancient Demacian battle standard down to plant into the sands: it seemed that Big Mike still remembered the old enchantment, long since retired from use on the Fields of Justice. His weary soldiers fought with renewed vigor, splitting Voidlings apart with their spears and swords. They would hold the line, trusting their prince to slay Cho’gath and halt this apocalypse.
Zilean drifted forward to join Jarvan and Nasus as they advanced toward Cho’gath. Jarvan reflected upon his many battles against the beast on the Fields of Justice, but wondered what good that experience would do against his fully unleashed power, amplified by the gathering Void storm that threatened to destroy Runeterra.
His thoughts were soon interrupted. “Wait for meeeeee!” cried Amumu, bandaged feet pattering through the sand to catch up with the others.
Cho’gath roared defiance at the advancing Champions, slashing a claw through a jet of flame and knocking Rumble’s mech back into the walls of the mine.
As Poppy hammered at his shin, Cho’gath snarled his challenge.
I WILL DEVOUR YOU!
A stomp of his foot sent a pulse through the dark sand and knocked Amumu’s tiny body up into the air. Jarvan vaulted above the spikes that erupted from below, snatching Amumu up by his bandages and unceremoniously chucking him at Cho’gath.
“That wasn’t very niiice…” the sad mummy whined as he sailed toward Cho’gath. He landed with a rattling crunch against his carapace, where the pitiful figure clung to a small gap one of Poppy’s hammer blows had opened. He wailed, and a toxic aura of misery began to eat away at the monster’s immense form.
Cho’gath flung Amumu down into the sand.
He lunged forth, maw open to devour the undead yordle, when a nauseating wave of chrono-distortion enveloped him. The world around him seemed to speed up, or perhaps it was he who was slowing down.
He heard a steady tick … tick … tick … tick … tick … and his eyes widened as a snare woven from the strands of time itself tightened around him and burst into a flash of golden light.
The explosion blinded him, and when it cleared Amumu had scampered out of sight.
Jarvan narrowly avoided being ripped in two by one of Cho’gath’s massive claws before landing with an earth-shattering impact before the creature. Walls of earth rose up, locking him in with Cho’gath.
Feeling his own reflexes sped by Zilean’s magic, Jarvan danced aside from blows that could have leveled a building, striking with snake-like speed whenever a brief opening presented itself. Small gashes now covered the Terror’s shell, but Zilean’s magic was wearing off, and the blows were becoming increasingly difficult to dodge. With unexpected cunning, Cho’gath feinted with one of the claws on his back, and as the prince dodged from the expected blow he ran straight into the massive claw swiping from the side.
His golden armor shattered, Jarvan IV was blown back into the sands.
Cho’gath chuckled as he smashed free of the earthen arena and looked about, seeking his next victim. He spotted Nasus and pounced, intending to crush the Curator of the sands beneath his bulk and rip out his throat.
But Nasus suddenly began to grow, surrounded by a purple light which infused his body and burned Cho’gath’s eyes. Nasus met him strength for strength, grabbing him from the air and slamming him into the sand. Cho’gath felt something wrap around his leg, and saw the mummy flying through the air from behind the dune where he had been hiding.
“Don’t…hurt…my…friends!” shouted Amumu, shaking with rage. He struck his fists into the sand, and a hex-circle of Shuriman glyphs bound Cho’gath in place.
THESE WILL NOT HOLD ME, DEAD THING. SOON YOU WILL JOIN WITH THE VOID.
Amumu giggled darkly. “Oh yeah?” He narrowed his tiny glowing eyes.
A geyser of dark sand sprayed up as a vortex formed below. First a snout, then bloodshot red eyes, then a maw of flashing teeth rose from the hot sands. Renekton, grown to nearly Cho’gath’s immensity, erupted from the portal wielding his wicked blade.
Cho’gath roared and thrashed, but the hex-circle only gripped tighter. The sad mummy’s curse seethed through him, poisoning his extradimensional aura with Shuriman magic from long ago.
“OOOH! OOH! Turn around! Turn around!” Jinx slapped Blitzcrank’s shoulders, upon which she rode, urging him to turn about to watch the action. The clanking golem complied. Jinx distractedly chucked a grenade behind her, which sufficed to obliterate the handful of Voidlings that had survived her minigun rampage.
“You got any popcorn?”
Blitzcrank pistoned his fists along their metal tracks.
SHALL WE ASSIST?
Jinx pursed her lips in a few seconds of thought. “Hmmmm … nope.” Sure, the world might be about to end, but getting close to Cho’gath made it pretty likely that her world would end even sooner.
Her eyes went wide as Renekton threw himself into a spinning slash. Cho’gath tried to guard against the blow with one of his arms, which Renekton’s blade roughly severed.
Renekton hacked again and again, slaver dripping down his jaws. Cho’gath snapped one of his bonds and hooked his arm, pulling him in where his weapon would be of no use.
Renekton’s claws seized one of Cho’gath’s horns, and yanked his head into his enormous jaws. He relished the fiend’s panicked thrashing for only a moment. Then, he twisted.
Cho’gath’s form disintegrated as his head was wrenched from his neck, sending his essence back out into the Void. He would soon reconstitute himself in a new form. But a short time was all that was needed.
Singed lobbed a flask of bubbling pink liquid at the mine entrance. It burst, dissolving the onrush of Voidlings into a repulsive purple foam. “It is time.”
Swain glanced aside at Jarvan, then turned to Viktor. “I’ve studied the layout of the mines. The main corridor is too broad. We’d be overwhelmed. There’s a secondary route, which—”
“—WOOOOOOOOOO!” Jinx cried out in manic glee as she rode the charging Blitzcrank through the mine entrance, gun ablaze. Vi ran after her, cursing loudly, while Caitlyn perched atop the mine entrance and scanned the approaching horde for targets.
Swain stared after her, then sighed. “Wonderful. Decoys.”
Beatrice squawked something in agreement. Swain chuckled. Valor, perched on Quinn’s shoulder, seemed rather aghast. Quinn snapped off an enchanted crossbow bolt that pierced a Void monster through one of its many eyes. “You’re right, Valor. That is disgusting.” Beatrice preened.
Together, the Champions strode past where Cho’gath had stood and approached the mine’s entrance. Soldiers and Summoners of all nations formed side ranks, fighting desperately to hold back the swarms that poured out of Zaun’s warpgates.
Yellow eyes blinked open amid the spreading purple sky.
Discussion Thread: Reddit
Discussion Thread: Boards
Next Update: Against Apocalypse