Vol. VII, Iss. 2—Published at the Institute of War on 27 October, 27 CLE
- Previous: Vol. VII, Iss. 1
- Next: Vol. VII, Iss. 3
This issue contains resolutions to the Week 2 Featured Matches from the Kin-Fire arc.
Gnar Leads Argyrian Expedition to Nyrothian Mainland
By Summoner Pemmel “WizardMouse” Pawson
When Gnar joined the League in 24 CLE, no one seemed to know quite what to make of this curious prehistoric creature. The subsequent discovery in 26 CLE of Nyroth, and the island of Argyre with its ancient population of Gnar-like yordles, brought some resolution to this mystery, and gave the lonely Gnar new kinfolk to live and play with.
The Harrowing is on its way, and the yordles of Argyre are taking shelter around Lanpoa, their smaller version of the Mothership of Bandle City. Timi’u, great sage of Lanpoa, has received a vision of a piece of Lanpoa which was lost to raiders from the mainland long ago, before the cataclysm. This artifact has the power to ward away harm and malevolent spirits. For reasons no longer entirely clear, it is known as the “Four-Feel”. Lanpoa illuminated the path to the Four-Feel’s location weeks ago, but the magic quickly faded with distance, and the yordles who followed it soon became lost in the wilderness of the mainland. This author himself participated in some of these expeditions, which were thrilling (if ultimately disappointing) adventures through the ruined old world of Nyroth. Alas, even Institute-honed arcane senses proved insufficient to follow the faint thread of magic that led to the Four-Feel. The faculty of the Yordle Academy in Piltover did their best for their distant cousins on Argyre, but could not devise a hextech scanning device sensitive enough to separate the flickering trace-magic of Lanpoa from the arcanosphere of Nyroth’s spell-battered mainland.
Enter the Scrying-Lens, forged by Ornn in the time of the Rune Wars, kept at the Ornnhjaln for thousands of years, rescued therefrom during the Black Winter by intrepid (and sadly doomed) Summoners, lost to the Shadow Isles in the Mists, and now the subject of a dispute on the Fields of Justice.
The Freljord’s Summoners and Champions, led by Gnar himself, prevailed on the Fields, and will now bring the Scrying-Lens to Nyroth to aid in this search for the Four-Feel. The lens is too fragile to risk teleportation, and will thus be conveyed by Piltovian airship, guarded by warriors from Queen Ashe’s household retinue. The journey will take several days. Yours truly will be joining Gnar on his trek.
The Scrying-Lens had also been sought by Amumu, who (tearfully) petitioned the League for it so that he might decipher new hieroglyphs that have appeared on the Floating Pyramids, some of which may contain the mummified bodies of his friends from his past life. Or so he thinks—his recollection of his mortal life is, sadly, quite vague. Best of luck to you, Amumu!
(21 October, 27 CLE)
Thresh Snares Souls of Ancient Hearthblood Tribe
By Summoner Brynhilda “BrynBear” Ironfist
Ornn’s return to the mortal world is drawing the departed souls of the Hearthblood to the light of the Kin-Fire. The Hearthblood people lived in the Freljord thousands of years ago, and Ornn walked among them. In the chaos that followed the First Rune War, he fought his brother Volibear in a world-shaking clash of the gods. The Hearthblood perished, caught between their furious blows. Volibear fled into a series of assumed mortal lives, while a grief-stricken Ornn retreated into his forge.
Ornn petitioned the League for access to the Kin-Fire, even before its ultimate fate is determined, in order to attempt to reach these departed souls. But another petition soon followed, from the Shadow Isles—from Thresh, the Chain Warden. “I will welcome them…into my collection,” he said. Many expected these words to bring Ornn charging with his hammer held high, but the Champion kept his composure, merely grunting, and turning immediately to the Summoners and Champions around him. Thresh likewise began to plan for battle.
Today, the Champions of the Freljord and of the Shadow Isles met in combat on Summoner’s Rift. Ornn has acclimated quickly to the Fields of Justice, but Thresh has fought on them for many years, and showed that prowess today. The Shadow Isles defeated the Freljord, and the League granted Thresh’s petition to “examine” the Kin-Fire with his Summoners for one hour. I was allowed to enter the chambers as a League observer and representative of the Herald, and it is my task to bear witness to what transpired there.
The Kin-Fire is a bright green flame held within the bowl of a bone torch. Ornn forged it, legend says, from the severed finger-bone of Anjalni, the ancient god of death. I do not think I can yet describe the feeling of looking into that eerie light. If you were imagining the Kin-Fire as a cheerful orange flame crackling in a hearth, you have imagined wrongly. Nor does it give out any heat that can be felt in this world.
The chamber was cold, and it became colder. The air itself seemed to become thinner, but as the chants continued, so too did my own need for breath somehow diminish. As a Summoner, I have been exposed to many powerful magics, but I still had to fight hard not to be drawn in too deeply. The Summoners who Thresh brought with him, their purple robes edged in the dark green of the Shadow Isles, surrounded the Kin-Fire torch and chanted a web of interwoven sounds. They held up artifacts I was able to recognize as ancient Freljordian in nature: daggers, scraps of weathered hide used as parchment, wispy bits of cloth from long-deterioriated garments. Thresh himself stood still and silent, but for the links of his chain-scythe rattling as he rocked it back and forth, and the creak of his lantern.
So it went until the hour was nearly over. It seemed that the Isles’ victory would be for naught. But then Thresh whipped his scythe out through the green-blue flames, and hauled it back until it caught on something. A figure came out of the flames, seeming like flame itself at first, but then becoming a human form. I remember a ghostly hand grabbing desperately at the chain, and then a face. Thresh tugged the chain, and caught the ghost within his lantern. I think I glimpsed her face one more time through the walls of the lantern, but Thresh did not himself look down at his prize: he was already swinging his scythe around and casting it back into the fire. By my best count, fifteen souls entered Thresh’s collection before the doors to the chamber opened and Thresh was bidden to withdraw.
I sought out Ornn himself, and found him in council with Summoners from the Freljord, as well as several other Champions—including, I noticed, Volibear. It appears that he is committed to the task at hand. Perhaps he has endured the guilt of the Hearthblood tribe’s destruction for so long that the old scars cannot be reopened. Or perhaps the grief is still too great for him to speak of it. Or so I thought—and then he looked up from the map of Summoner’s Rift they had laid out over the table, and addressed me directly.
“How many?” he asked.
I gave him the tally: fifteen. He stared back at me, and I do not ever wish to receive such a stare again. The best I can do is to say that I was being stared at by a demigod contemplating extreme violence.
Then, he spoke.
“No fighting at the Institute. It’s a good rule. Can’t fight at the Institute of War. Maybe they should call it the Institute of Peace. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.”
The room began to chuckle nervously, mostly because we could not believe that, after all this, Ornn was turning to the oldest joke in the Summoner book. (“Hey, you can’t fight in here, this is the Institute of War!”)
The room went dark. One of the two lanterns illuminating the table was now gone, replaced by Ornn’s hammer, Hammer. The lantern was still there, of course. Just suddenly very, very thin, and pounded inseparably into the table below. I smelled lamp oil, then saw it dribbling down the sides of the table. I think that were our civilization to suffer the same kind of cataclysm as that which reduced Nyroth’s cities to dust and rubble, still the metal of that lantern would remain just as it is, driven into the stone of that table.
“He’s gotta leave the Institute sometime.”
Neither I nor anyone else in the room knew quite how to respond. Shortly thereafter, Ornn continued by saying, “Now we get back to work. Let’s talk jungle.”
(22 October, 27 CLE)
Gnar Leads Argyre to Lost Artifact
By Summoner Pemmel “WizardMouse” Pawson
I accompanied Gnar and his Argyrian compatriots on an expedition deep into the Nyrothian mainland, much of which remains a blasted wilderness years after the Freljord restored Yoroth with rune magic. We sought a protective artifact which was once part of Lanpoa. This artifact, called the “Four-Feel” for reasons that are no longer entirely clear, was taken by raiders thousands of years ago. Recently, Lanpoa projected a magical trace to the Four-Feel, which the Argyrian yordles had tried in vain to follow.
Wielding the Scrying-Lens retrieved from the Ornnhjaln cache through combat on the Fields of Justice, Gnar led the way through Nyroth. The astonishingly fine resolution of the glass separated the trace-magic from the ambient magical radiation, allowing the party to track down the Four-Feel.
The trail led us through a cratered, mountainous wasteland right up to a treacherous gorge. While Ashe’s guards kept watch against bandits, Gnar took the Scrying-Lens in his mouth and hopped down the walls of jagged rock with astonishing ease. I myself took considerably longer to descend by rope. At the base of the gorge, we discovered a cave, and what appeared to be a cache of hidden treasure within. Inside a battered but still intact chest—a simple bit of spellcraft overcame the primitive magical lock—we found the Four-Feel. I can describe it as a sphere imposed onto a box, the entire assembly made of a strangely lightweight metal.
Engineers from Bandle City assisted in installing the Four-Feel onto Lanpoa, whereupon I sensed an arcane emnation projecting outward in all directions, enveloping Argyre. Timi’u, renowned sage of Lanpoa, informed me that the Four-Feel now serves as a barrier against the malevolent spirits that come during the Harrowing.
A great celebration was held, with Gnar as the guest of honor. He further increased his share of the glory by triumphing in both a pie-eating contest and a wrestling match. At the end of the festivities, he curled up beside Lanpoa with the others.
(26 October, 27 CLE)
Amumu Deciphers Hieroglyphs, Resurrects Shuriman Royalty
By Summoner Amy “Bright2morrow” Nickels
The Floating Pyramids are off limits in a big way. They have been since the founding of the League, and now that Azir is Emperor again, that goes double. When Amumu asked the League to let him explore the pyramids, it didn’t take long for the Council to tell him no. (Hard not to feel sorry for the little guy, but don’t we remember what happened when some curious yordles went prying into a pyramid?) Still, they did authorize him to at least examine the surface of one of the pyramids, which has been displaying peculiar new markings since the Harrowing. He wanted to get ahold of the Scrying-Lens to examine the writing before it faded, but that artifact went to Gnar instead.
Even without the Scrying-Lens, Amumu was able to make some progress, with the help of Karthus and a couple of Summoners familiar with ancient Shuriman magic. Then came a real shock: this wasn’t a tomb for a single royal Shuriman, but for three of them: Prince Hallar of Iktho (modern-day Icathia), Princess Etan of Urtistan, and Prince Farim of Targos (modern-day Mount Targon). Not only their names, but even their images appeared, albeit hazily. I was there at the time, and I can tell you, Amumu was positively gleeful. (Yes, it was just as weird as it sounds to see Amumu happy.) He said that he thought he recognized their faces from when he was alive.
At that point, I went back to the Institute to write this story. I was going to end it by saying that Amumu was seeking permission to make contact with the entombed royals, as soon as they figured out how to do that without damaging the enchantments.
Well, things changed pretty abruptly this morning. Just as this issue was going to press, I got word that Amumu had thrown a bit of a tantrum, and smashed the door to the pyramid open. While everyone else fled Amumu’s tantrum, Karthus stayed. It’s not entirely clear what happened next, except that a couple hours later Nasus showed up and found Amumu and Karthus had been joined by three mummies, each just a bit taller than Amumu, and that Nasus banished all involved back to the Shadow Isles.
A source of mine in the Shadow Isles says that the resurrected royals did show up there. Oddly enough, they don’t seem to be inclined to spend much time with Amumu. Sorry, little guy!
As of press time, I haven’t heard anything about what kind of sanctions the League might impose on Amumu or the Shadow Isles over this.
(27 October, 27 CLE)
Questions and Answers
Readers of the Herald are invited to submit their questions regarding these articles, as well as general inquiries. We shall endeavor to reply as thoroughly as we can to as many as we can.
Yurstin “thestealthgerbil” Yudling, Acolyte Summoner