Previous Update: The League Intervenes (Noxus)
The League Intervenes (Ionia)
The small fountain gurgled in the center of the room.
Arranged around it were three mats, upon which sat three figures. Each had a map of the island of Shon-Xan before them, and each map showed an ugly red mark on the Southwestern shore of the island.
“This cannot stand,” said the first. She wore her armor, and her ever-present blades brandished themselves angrily around her, giving the lie to her seemingly calm demeanor. The warleader of Ionia, Irelia, continued, “At first they dare to settle upon Ionian lands, uninvited, and when we attempt to oust them with minimal loss of life, they bring their ships, bring their armies, and rip one of our own ports from us. I have sent orders that any further ships which our Navy comes across flying Noxian colors are to be dealt with harshly, to balance the scales.” She nodded to the second figure at the last.
The figures, clad in dark blue, with only his eyes uncovered, made no acknowledgement. Shen seemed content to peer down at the map before him. Irelia watched for a moment, then tsk’d in frustration. “Well, if the leader of the Kinkou cannot endorse my choice, what do you say, Enlightened One?”
Karma, the final member of the informal Ionian council, also gazed down at her map, as if seeking answers beyond its surface. “I cannot disagree, Irelia. You know I bear no more love for Noxus than you do, and for equally good cause. Much was lost in our first war with Noxus. Your brother, my elders. Still, I cannot help but feel that this is…different, somehow.” She paused, and sighed wearily, “But Ionia must be defended, and your forces have done well. How would you recommend we proceed from here?”
“As for that,” replied the Will of the Blades, “I may have something to recommend.” Irelia opened her mouth to continue, but was interrupted by a sudden, loud chime. Accompanied by a clap of air, a robed figure stood before the fountain in the center of the room, dressed in the robes of a Summoner.
“Hear ye, and be warned!” The figure’s voice boomed in the small room as a golden scroll appeared before it. “This affront to the peace of Runeterra shall not abide. Thus, a contest of arms is called to settle this dispute between the Sovereign Archipelago of Ionia, and the Grand Meritocracy of Noxus. This contest shall be arranged a week’s time hence, between the named powers and any allies who may see fit to aid them. Let the word of the League be as Law, lest all the powers of Runeterra arrange themselves against ye. There may be no appeal.”
Having delivered its message, the hooded figure disappeared, leaving only the golden scroll, which dropped to the stone floor with a ringing clang. Karma extended her hand, and the scroll flew to it gracefully. She perused the scroll, and nodded. “We should, perhaps, have expected this sooner. The League has decreed that, should Ionia once again emerge victorious, Noxus will be compelled to return Dwan-Ko to us. However, should we lose, we will be required to open our ports to Noxian ships.”
“This is an outrage! They threaten to cripple our war efforts should we lose, while offering us only what is ours by right should we win!” Irelia cried angrily. The blades which had been circling above her head began to clang furiously against one another.
For the first time, the leader of the Kenku spoke, his voice yet calm, even after the unexpected interruption. “Perhaps. But, then, they said nothing of not attacking Noxian ships before they reach the ports. Our blockade will stand, we simply cannot refuse those that penetrate it the opportunity to offload their goods.”
“You know that the Noxians will only use that as an excuse to smuggle weapons and supplies to their soldiers and the squatters they call colonists!”
Shen at last looked up from his map. “Yes. Would we not do the same, were our positions reversed?”
Irelia’s eyes narrowed, and she scowled, but did not reply. After a moment, she seemed to relent, and turned back to Karma. “Regardless. As I was saying, we may have allies. Allies who may now be even more important than before.” The warleader turned to the vine-covered trellis which led into the open-air room where they sat. “Please enter, our honored guest.”
The burbling of the fountain seemed to gain intensity as a strange creature entered the room. She had the tail of a fish, and floated in upon a cushion of water, a wave that moved with her, bearing her with it as it flowed. Her upper body was that of a beautiful human woman, though still distinctly piscine.
“Greetings, fellow champions,” began Nami, the Wave Caller, then halted, unsure of how to proceed.
Karma stood from her map and gave a small bow and a smile to her guest. “Nami! It is a distinct pleasure to see you here, in such peaceful surroundings, rather than in the tumult of the Battlegrounds.”
Nami returned the smile, and the bow. “Likewise, my lady. And the news I bring will be even more pleasing to you, I have no doubt. Recently, my fellow aquatic champions and I, as well as the champions of the island of Bilgewater, have formed an Alliance which we hope will oversee and safeguard the oceans of the world. The conflict which has raged between your nation and Noxus has caused great disturbances in the seas surrounding these islands, and so we have deemed it necessary for us to intervene. Thus, we have decided to lend ourselves to your cause in any disputes which may arise, particularly,” she gestured to the golden scroll before Karma’s mat, “within the League. In return, we will ask only that, after the port of Dwan-Ko is returned to you, you give it the status of a Bilgewater protectorate, through which we might oversee the waters of Ionia.”
Karma lowered herself back to the ground, and motioned for Nami to seat herself as well. The mermaid looked about at the mats, giggled softly, and moved herself to the center of the room, where she settled comfortably into the babbling fountain. “Your offer is most well timed, Wave Caller, and we give you thanks. But the cost of our port, which is even now lost to us, is great indeed. What say you, my advisors?”
Irelia nodded decisively. “A port in Bilgewater’s hands is infinitely better than in Noxus’. I say we accept their offer. Shen?”
The ninja peered down at his map, eyes narrowed now. Slowly, he looked up, and looked at each of the women who led his nation of birth. “I…am unsure. I believe, however, that I am also in the minority in that regard. I defer to your wisdom. For now. But I must retreat to meditate on this further with…my clan. Farewell.” With no further words, he stood, clasped his hands together, bowed, and strode unhurriedly from the room.
Karma watched him go, uneasiness stirring behind her eyes. “Well. I suppose we must accept your alliance, Nami. As well as its cost.”
Nami once again bowed her head to the Enlightened One. “I promise, I will make every effort to insure you do not regret it, my lady.”
Next Update: Sword of the Wind