Chapter 1 of The Runeterran Rift War
The void-hound scanned the snow-covered trees dotting the forest which, despite the freezing cold of the climate, managed to retain much of it's lush foliage. It was a peculiarity known only in Lokfar and only in the magical forests of Yggdra - if a yordle were to suddenly be plopped into the middle of the dense forest, with it's mystifying combination of beautiful white snow, freezing air, and verdant greenery, the poor thing may have thought himself under the influence of one of the wonderful psychedelic shrooms that dotted the lands near Bandle City.
Nevertheless, there was no such thing as a yordle in Lokfar, and the stalking void-hound was searching for another sort of being entirely. The forest was strangely silent, but the dog was so intent in it's mission that it did not pay to mind the soundless rustling of leaves above him. As it slinked along the foliage, the hound's eyes darted quickly left and right, determined to locate and destroy it's desired prey.
It was not to be, however. Careful as the hound was, it had failed to notice the enchanted being who, under a black spell of silence, dropped soundlessly onto the forest floor from above. The being had the form of an angel, her face framed on both sides by long, slick purple hair that dropped delicately around her shoulders. The mysterious purple irises of her eyes fell emotionlessly upon the dog before her. The angel lifted her slender, wickedly barbed sword she had proudly named Stilleangl, and with a quick motion, slashed downward and cleaved the dog in two. The black enchantment originating from her blade stifled the shocked yelp that would have escaped the dog's throat, and so the entire scene happened without so much as a sound.
Without even a second glance at the now lifeless voidling, the fallen angel, Morgana, lifted Stilleangl and pointed it towards her left hand, and calmly stabbed the blade into the flesh. Instead of piercing it, however, the tip of the blade simply disappeared into her palm, and in a moment the entire metal of the blade had vanished into her hand. It was, to put it mildly, a creative interpretation of a scabbard made possible through her sorcery, but one which befit the chaotic and dark spirit of this black angel.
As the last of her sword disappeared into her hand, the aura of silence vanished, and the sound of leaves and branches rustling crept back into the area inhabited by the fallen angel. Morgana turned and faced north towards the direction of Odin's Stronghold Svarfnir, and set her violet pupils in that direction as she fell deep into thought, gazing absently at her surroundings as her eyes seemed to search for something which was no longer there.
Curse my sister! I was so close to branding that stupid Viking under my control, and then she just HAS to show up with those ridiculous void-creatures that she decided to annex into her domain. Honestly, the Angelia Consulate takes away her Writ of War and asks her to stay her "righteous" conquests for awhile, and instead she goes and singlehandedly subdues an entire dimension and "convinces" it's residents to serve as her replacement army. Then the Angelia "Cowards" pretend it never happened...so now I have to deal with those absurd void-scum at every corner. UGH! ….and that damn viking! ...How ironic that the very reason I chose him as my Agent, was the very reason he was able to break my spell and escape from my branding!
A white-feathered Owl landed on a branch above the dark being, and gazed at the angel intently. It cocked its head left and right, as if it were observing some peculiar anomaly that did not belong in this serene forest, then fluttered off, possibly in search of it's next meal. Morgana paid no mind to this, however, and instead let out a small cry of frustration, and started walking towards the direction of Svarfnir. As she walked, she lifted her left hand and touched the skin under her eye gingerly, feeling the small wound that blemished her otherwise flawless features, but yet failed to detract from her alluring visage. Regardless, she let her lovely long strands of hair fall forward ever so slightly, so that it partially covered her eye and obscured the wound.
Still...I have to admit that I certainly made the right choice in choosing him. A mere mortal, yet with a strength of spirit that could rival mine, and what's more, he manages to singlehandedly wound me...an angel of Astora Angelia. ...With the power of my branding to ascend his spirit, he may yet rival my sister in strength...
With her thoughts fixated on the lovely ferocity and defiance of that viking's spirit, she allowed herself a slight smile, and again grazed over the wound with her fingers, this time with a touch of admiration colored with the soft undertones of lust.
In her reverie, Morgana noticed too late the beam of amber energy that poured down from atop the forest canopy, and which landed with a shuddering thunder onto the soft earth behind her. Ripples of energy blasted out from the center of the beam, and the old mighty trees of Yggdra shuddered loudly with an ancient reluctance as if being woken from a slumber lasting a thousand years. Morgana spun around and let out a slight hiss, as a sharp voice resounded from within the beam. The beam dissipated, and the form of another angel arose from the chaotic fluttering of disturbed foliage, it's form so noble and heavenly that it contrasted sharply with Morgana's dark mien.
"My my...and here I spy that wretched **** I once called my sister...a wilted flower uprooted by the mighty wind of Her Majesty, and expelled from the perfect sunlit realm of Astora Angelia, deemed unfit to blossom among it's glorious verdure gardens. How fitting to find it wandering this pathetic realm, rotting into the ground where it belongs."
Morgana stared at her sister with an almost bored look, as if she had gone over this moment a thousand times before. She never understood Kayle's propensity for making such grand entrances, and she was convinced her penchant for the metaphorical only served to make her even more annoying. Still, a wilted flower was hardly the worst thing she had been likened to, and a sly smile crossed Morgana's face as she entertained the thought that deep down Kayle missed seeing her little sister after her exile of almost 100 years.
A mocking laugh escaped Kayle's lips, which served to break Morgana from her little fantasy. The celestial being stared at the fallen angel, and slowly walked around her, appraising her from every angle with a look of disdain.
"100 years of exile, and here I find you now, alone in a sad forest on a mortal plane, a plane destined to fall under the grasp of Her Majesty's righteous rule. Where will you run to after my armies have cleansed this realm of all impurities?"
Morgana clenched her fists tightly. The thought that she would run from the tyranny of her older sister bit sharply at her pride.
"I am not running, sister. You underestimate the inhabitants of this world. Their spirits are naïve, but their wills cannot be broken so easily. They wander this plane with a conviction and purpose to take what they desire, and above all, the choices they make are their own, and with this gift of freedom they have built a magnificently diverse world that spans across the edges of this Earth. A world that even resembles Astora Angelia as it was before it fell under the oppression of your collective vision."
Kayle's countenance seemed to darken upon hearing the fallen angel utter this last sentence.
"I have heard enough! Astora Angelia's glory has never shined more brightly than it has under my direction. Every righteous command uttered from my lips forms a glorious anthem upon which the angels of Astora Angelia unite, forming a perfect harmony. Without Her Majesty, the angels would fall into utter discord, crying out with confused notes of despair that would form a raucous cacophony of turmoil."
A sly smile crossed Morgana's lips, and she took a step closer to her heavenly sister.
"Yes, Kayle. You rule with absolute totality, and every word that escapes your lips becomes absolute law. And that is why it would be such a shame if you were to be silenced forever."
Morgana lifted her left arm up towards her body, with her palm turned inwards, as if she wanted to draw some object out from her hand.
"The true purpose of my blade, Stilleangl, forged through the pain of 100 years of exile...," Morgana stared at her sister with an unwavering determination.
"I may not have the strength to destroy you, Kayle, but a single nick from this blade will silence your voice for a thousand years, and end this wretched tyranny you have forced upon our world."
Kayle fixed her eyes on the fallen angel standing before her. She rose up as if to issue another harsh rebuke, but instead, burst suddenly into an uncontrollable fit of laughter that echoed for miles across the tundra of Lokfar. A blade infused with magic strong enough to silence her for a thousand years! Just the very idea was so ridiculous that she let loose again a vigorous howl of laughter, and this time even the ancient trees of Yggdra seemed to sway in resonance to her gleeful amusement.
As suddenly as the fits of laughter surfaced, they stopped just as quickly. Kayle reached down towards her scabbard in one quick motion, and drew her powerful claymore, Hauteclere. Coils of heavenly fire whipped through the pristine metal of the claymore, and danced majestically around the steel of the blade. In one jarringly swift motion, the heavenly angel burst forward like a flaming fireball towards the fallen angel standing before her. As she approached, she lifted her claymore high above her head, and then brought it down in one thundering blow upon the unlucky being below her.
Morgana was not phased by this awe-inspiring display of speed and power. She drew Stilleangl out from it's sheath, clutched it with both hands, and with a sweeping motion, slashed the blade upward quickly in an effort to parry her sister's opening salvo.
The two blades met and clashed with brutal force. A wave of energy sparked outward that blew the dead foliage beneath the sisters in all directions, but Morgana's sword shined brightly, and nothing could be heard around them except pure silence despite the chaotic scene. The two angels drew back, and Morgana scanned her blade quickly in a roundabout fashion. Stilleangl had parried her sister's mighty armament without so much as a scratch! The fallen angel could not help but feel a slight tinge of pride at this fact.
Kayle did not falter. The heavenly angel straightened up, and drew in a large breath. With a sudden, abrupt motion, she let loose a ferocious scream directed at her sister, which caused the ground to tremble and the leaves to scatter away from the forest floor, revealing the bare earthen soil of the ground beneath. There was no discernible sound that could be heard, but anyone who beheld this display could clearly see the power that emanated from Kayle's angelic form.
Stilleangl's blade began to vibrate violently, and Morgana let out a sharp yell of surprise. She willed her sword to hold still, but the cold steel ignored the wielder's pleading cries. Looking up, Morgana saw her sister prepare for a second strike, upon which the heavenly angel burst forward in a rapid velocity of movement, set her claymore, and made ready to slay the fallen angel before her.
Morgana's sword was still vibrating. She couldn't stop it. Out of options, and with a vengeful Kayle approaching quickly, she lifted the blade up and held it horizontally along her body, using her left hand to reinforce the blade along the end so that it formed a barrier between her and the oncoming fury of Kayle.
The two blades clashed again, but this time, Morgana heard a loud crack from within her blade.
It's going to break!
Stilleangl shuddered slightly, and then it's blade shattered into pieces along where Kayle's claymore had struck the metal. With the sword now unable to contain the fury of Kayle, all of the pent up sound energy released outwards in a defeaning roar that shook Morgana down to the very core of her soul.
Despite all that had happened, Morgana knew she was only milliseconds away from death, and saw only one way to come out of it alive. In that split second, Morgana desperately held out the palm of her left hand, and positioned it to face the furious attack of Kayle and her claymore. Faced with the oncoming despair of death, Morgana was now going to try to sheathe and contain the mighty claymoreHauteclere with her bare hand.
A surge of burning pain exploded from within the fallen angel and radiated throughout her body as Hauteclere's blade disappeared into her left hand and became bound within her magical sheathe. Morgana let out a hideous scream, driven half delirious with pain as the claymore's fiery energy protested loudly at being held captive within this fallen angel. The force of Kayle's attack was too strong for Morgana, and both she and Kayle were thrown backwards with earth-shattering force, both becoming pinned against one of the massive and ancient trees of the forest Yggdra. Morgana felt as if her entire body would break apart and shatter like the remnants of her now broken sword.
With the force of the initial attack now dissipated, the two angels stood facing each other. Kayle stared at the hilt of her claymore with an incredulous expression, as she took in the fact that her blade was now sheathed within this wretched fallen angel. She let out a cry of annoyance.
"Have you gone insane Morgana? Did you really think I would let you snatch Hauteclere from my grasp and that you could just take it? There is only one true owner of this sword!"
The flames of Hauteclere were still burning inside Morgana, and threatened to destroy and escape the magical scabbard she had placed within her essence and consume her body entirely. Morgana knew she did not have much time to carry out her gamble. She lifted her right hand and pointed it towards her sister, and began to utter a soul shackle spell. A hundred magical chains of dark energy materialized in the air before her, whipped about in a spiderlike frenzy, then shot out with necromantic energy, and started slowly inserting itself into Kayle's body one by one. Morgana faced her sister and proclaimed an ultimatum.
"Sister, you know well the strength of my binding magics. They can shackle even the soul of a powerful angel such as yours. I believe you only have two choices – release Hauteclere and escape the full force of my soul shackles, or stay and try to draw the blade out with your strength, killing me in the process but taking the full effect of my spell, remaining bound to the earth beneath you for eternity."
Kayle glared furiously at the fallen angel. She had underestimated the resolve of her sister. She was willing to die rather than release Hauteclere. With each passing moment, the soul shackles inserted itself one by one into her body, and she could feel the phantom chains wrap itself further and further inside her soul, and begin to harden within. Kayle released her grip from the hilt of her claymore and leapt backwards out of range of the remaining whiplike chains of energy. She watched as the hilt of her claymore disappeared into Morgana's hand. The chains that had already inserted themselves into her body solidified, and she felt her movements slow as she became weighed down with what felt like a hundred thousand pounds of force driving her into the ground.
Morgana wasted no time. While even a single soul shackle was enough to bind a common soul in place for eternity, Kayle was no mere mortal, and the few chains binding her soul were not strong enough to hold the angel for any significant period of time. Morgana unfurled her long, slender, raven-like wings and took flight, bursting from the ground and leaving a slender beam of dark purple energy in her wake. She shot through the forest canopy and turned northwards towards the crimson-colored castle in the distance.
Without Kayle's presence, Hauteclere's flames subsided, and Morgana was now capable of binding the claymore within her sheath with less effort. Her wounds from the recent battle were extensive, however, and after a few minutes of flight, she was forced to descend onto the earth of Lokfar below. Morgana felt utterly exahusted and ready to collapse. The atmosphere of Runeterra was not pristine like in her homeworld, and flying with any sort of speed in this world took an immense amount of energy and effort, and she was almost completely spent from her battle against her sister Kayle. The fallen angel collapsed onto her knees, and simply breathed a heavy sigh of relief. She was alive! And what's more, she now held within her the mighty claymore of her sister. Morgana found herself laughing out loud, almost giddy at the thought the way events had transpired.
A deep, low sounding horn filled the air from off in the distance, and Morgana was brought out of her trance. She looked off into the distance towards the mighty stronghold, and sensed the energy of an enormous army of void-creatures approaching the castle.
How silly of me, to think that I would have time to rest and recover from my wounds.
Kayle's void army had already commenced it's march upon Odin's mighty stronghold, and Morgana knew that all she had accomplished would be for naught if the viking she had chosen for her branding were to perish under the might of the void-creatures. The fallen angel stood up once more from her chosen resting spot, and made her way with haste towards the looming stronghold off in the distance, a place which would soon become the battleground between the void army and the mighty vikings of Lokfar.
End chapter 1.