Previous Update: Mirrorwater
The techmaturgical force of Vi’s roundhouse swing pulverized the head of Jayce’s commemorative statue. Her left hand clamped down tight on the sheet of parchment it held. She slammed a kick between the statue’s legs, lifting it up from its base and breaking the rigid stone. Her left fist drove through the statue’s chest and popped out the other side. The broken stonework fell in pieces.
Silence froze over the Piltovian Hall of Progress within the campus of the Institute of War. Ziggs stopped mid-chew, one searching paw still stuck inside his oily bag of doughnuts.
Jayce narrowed his eyes. “So counting that … Vi went 3 and 14. Glad Cait brought you along.”
“You wanna GO, Iron Man!?” Vi’s gauntlets gnashed their pistons and spat steam.
Jayce braced his hammer. “I want to secure the Mirrorwater for Piltover.”
He looked up at Rumble. “… and Bandle City.”
Rumble arched an eyebrow and returned a patronizing look. Ziggs decided it was time to resume chewing, and made up for lost time by cramming a second doughnut in.
Vi flung the tattered sheet of parchment aside. “Well you can do it without me. I’m not getting pounded again for some sparkly magic spacewater.”
Rumble’s bitter laughter startled Vi. She looked back over her shoulder at the mech-mounted yordle.
“I can’t believe I let Summoner Jandz talk me into this. Ha!” He leaned forward in his control seat, angry paws curling around the levers that operated his suit. “It’d be one thing if I thought I could whip you into shape and win a share of that Mirrorwater for some Yordles who HAVEN’T sold out. But this is ridiculous. None of you have a chance. I’m out.”
With that, he turned and stomped off.
“Let him go,” Summoner Lysithix said with a shrug, in a matter-of-fact rather than emotional tone. “We don’t need him.”
The Champions turned to look at the table at which sat a select circle of Summoners.
“Poke. Ranged harassment. That’s our forte. Superior deployment of superior technology,” Lysithix continued.
“My, this sounds productive,” Caitlyn opined with a cold smile. She directed its frosty superficial cheer at Jayce and Vi in turn, then looked back to the Summoners. “Continue.”
A Summoner whose arcane powers derived from an eccentric study of abstract logic and geometry, thusly nicknamed “the math mage” by the crowds, picked up the thread. “We need damage at a distance—”
Ziggs made emphatic mmmph mmmph sounds through his mouthful of doughnuts, paws waving wildly.
“—which we obviously have—”
Ziggs finished his mouthful in time to cackle.
“—and we need the capacity for tactical disengagement.”
Caitlyn spoke up again. “I have developed a few ‘crowd control’ devices myself…perhaps—”
“Cupcakes and nets aren’t gonna cut it, Caitikins.” Vi crossed her arms and sank her weight onto one foot. “You get some frosting on their armor, and then they’re all,” she contorted her face and goofily princified her voice as she mimed planting a flag, “DEMACIAAAAAAAAAA and then Princess over here,”
“is like,” Vi waved her hands and feigned panic, “oh no, I weigh 90 pounds and most of it is hair gel and goggles and ughhh there’s a spear in my face waaaah heeeeeelp me Vi.” She waggled her enormous gauntlets in the air.
Orianna and her ball whirr-clicked curiously. Their metal “skirts” spun in sync, a measured quarter rotation.
Ezreal pointed at the clockwork girl. “No! No you did NOT!”
Caitlyn stifled a laugh.
The “Math Mage” spoke up again. “It’s essentially like Vi said. Demacian arena tactics are functionally isomorphic to Demacian battle tactics, built around an arsenal of engage-and-seize maneuvers. They commit fully, lock their enemies down, and attempt to destroy them in one decisive engagement. We cannot play their game and expect to win. But change the game and they lose.”
“Ah!” Heimerdinger exclaimed with manic, deranged optimism. “Very good! You begin to understand! We require disengagement capacity and crowd control, to disrupt their brutish, apish advance to melee range!”
Summoner Yazamat stood up excitedly. “Poke! Poke! Poke! Evade! Poke! Poke! And then! BAM! One girl wrecking crew, RAVAGE,” the Summoner clasped hands percussively, “weakened enemies are destroyed!”
“So who exactly is roadblocking these Demacians, again? How are we gonna ‘disengage’ from Team Lockdown?” Vi asked.
There was another spell of silence. A hang-gliding Yordle messenger took the opportunity to scamper inside, brandishing a letter.
“Excuse me! Excuse me!” Her claws hastily unrolled the stiff paper, puncturing it in places. “I only have like a second before, uh, she gets here, she’s so stupidly fast, so, short version, as a herald of the League, I announce, uh, with great honor, for the promotion of techmaturgy and responsible use of hextech devices, being a mutual interest, uh, somethingsomething, that you will shortly be visited by—”
A gust blew through the hall, and the messenger hastened aside to make way.
THE TEMPEST IS AT YOUR COMMAND!
“…you ever get cold dressed like tha—”
“—shut up, Vi.”
Janna, the Storm’s Fury, added to Piltover!
Rumble’s status is now uncertain.
It’s been brought to my attention that, lore-wise, Rumble not only isn’t part of Piltover but really really hates Piltover. This is a shame for two reasons: first, visually, his “hamster in a steam-powered mech” image meshes very nicely with the feel of Piltover, and second, Piltover is definitely the underdog faction right now and I would hate to cut anyone from their lineup while they figure out their strategies. So I’ve decided to keep him on. I’m addressing the theme issue as follows: Bandle City really needs the “Mirrorwater” to help amp up their magi-tech research. In fact, Rumble is sponsoring some promising Yordle researchers who are trying to set up an academy to rival Piltover’s. The last thing Rumble wants is for the Mirrorwater to go straight to Piltover, which he fears would basically doom Bandle City to remaining in their shadow. His first impulse was to get Bandle City in on this competition. Unfortunately, despite a frantic effort by Bandle City’s best attorneys (Yordlawyers, they call them), Bandle City was unable to convince the League that they had a plausible claim to the Mirrorwater that would allow them to join the competition. So he made a deal, one he considers deeply distasteful but pragmatically necessary: he will fight for Piltover, but only if Piltover grants Bandle City an equal claim to the Mirrorwater if they win. From Piltover’s perspective, this is a steep price, but one they feel they need to pay. But this deal is tenuous, and who knows whether or not Rumble will leave for good.
Next Update: Noxian Reinforcements