The Right Weapon—Shurima


from The Right Weapon


The next weapon was indeed much more “traditional” than the yordle device.

“You know, there’s an idea…” the Keeper murmured, and took a beaten bronze scabbard etched with Shuriman glyphs from the wall. It was short, with a strangely abrupt curve.

“This is the second-oldest weapon I have,” he said, proudly. “It was forged long before Azir was born.” He paused. “Or hatched, I suppose.”

“Born, kind of Ascended, destroyed, reborn, Ascended for real this time,” Mauro said, succinctly reciting the god-emperor’s vital history. He hesitated there. Admittedly, there were some papers he’d read, interesting at first and then headache-inducing after a while, about the dynamics of Ascension and whether Azir was “properly” Ascended before or after the destruction of Shurima. He’d heard Zilean trying to explain the matter to Ryze.

And of course, this being the League, there had been several disputes over the legal significance of these events. Leave it to the League to hold a deposition in which the deponent was asked how many times he’s died and on what planes of existence. He’d heard it theorized that Void creatures such as Cho’gath allowed themselves to be Summoned as part of an elaborate scheme to corrupt the League from the inside, and bring a reign of otherworldly madness beyond the comprehension of the mortal mind. He sometimes wondered if they’d got it wrong. Maybe Cho’gath and his ilk just wanted a front-row seat while they watched the real masters of mind-rending insanity at work.

We demand clarification of your response: in your view, which we do not concede to be dispositive, did the rulership of Shurima transfer to Dar’khos when you, and I quote, grappled with the beasts of oblivion across an infinite sea of the brightest light? And if so, how would this relate to the chronomantically displaced portions of Urtistan, which may have chronoshifted to a time when you had not been born but your ancestors did hold imperium over said parts? (Hmm? Oh. Yes.) Indeed, as my colleague says, we do of course hereby reserve the right to question said beasts of oblivion or said sea of light, should either become available for questioning.

“Born, dematerialized, rematerialized, Ascended,” he tried, again.

“I’d wager even he has trouble keeping it all straight,” the Keeper said, not unkindly.

Mauro stepped forward, and gestured toward the still-sheathed sword.

The Keeper obligingly drew it from its scabbard. The scabbard had the warm solar glow of rich Shuriman bronze, but the blade was the pearl-white of the full moon. It did not shine quite so brightly as the Demacian steel. Perhaps, he thought, the Demacians had abstracted the moon’s brightness as some kind of ideal concept, whereas what he saw here was the pure image of the moon itself, intact and whole.

As Mauro took the sword into his hand, the Keeper spoke on its behalf. “Do you know where you stand in history?”

Mauro turned the blade this way and that. It was heavy. The strange thought occurred to him that the glow was enveloping him, slowing his movements as though he were immersed in deep water.

“I’m a Nyrothian, come to Valoran. That seems like a lot of history. I think of myself as more historical than the average person.”

The sword hissed and twitched in his grip, jerking its point back toward his heart, like a watersnake snapping out of the waves. His grip on the hilt seemed no more helpful in stopping this than a grip on a snake’s tail could control its fangs.

There was a bronze flash. With a much faster motion than Mauro had assumed him capable of, the Keeper had swung the scabbard around and slid the sheath back over the blade. Mauro was pale.

“I think it may have been forged before sarcasm was invented,” the Keeper jested, putting it carefully back in its place. “And the older Shurimans are not always so welcoming of new things as the modern Dar’khosian intellectual.”

Mauro barely heard the banter.

“Did that sword just try to kill me?” he asked, any trace of irony completely flattened out of his voice.

“Magic swords,” the Keeper explained.

“How about—”

“—something else, yes,” the Keeper agreed. “I may have spoken too soon. Let’s try another modern option.”

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