I am SO sorry that this took so long. I have been very busy the past few days. This chapter post is not as long as the others and is much more open ended because I gathered a general sense that you all wanted to spend this chapter interacting with one another.
There is, however, a bit of a twist. Perhaps new lines need to be drawn. Perhaps new alliances... new allies, need to be considered?
I will leave that to you!
The Riot War – Chapter 5 – Yes, I Am Mad, Bro…
The palace shook violently under the tremendous force of the blast. The sharp crack of snapping wood and the deep grind of rending stone echoed through the cavernous halls as Lady Nikasaur’s castle buckled under its own weight. The walls nearest to the explosion fell first, those adjacent following suit when the stress upon them became too great. Not long after, the roof began to collapse sending massive chucks of granite and marble careening toward the ground, crushing anyone unfortunate enough to be beneath it at the time. Rubble, smoke, and gore painted the landscape as the destruction came to rest. When the dust finally settled, half of the Palace of Nikapolis lay in ruin.
Trapped beneath the debris in a convenient little pocket that had somehow survived the devastation, Morello groaned and rolled onto his back. His head was reeling, his ears were ringing, and the pain that pulsed through his battered form was immense. But he was alive. Sitting up slowly, he opened his eyes. With almost no light to be seen, the dark lord quickly shoved his fingers into his eye-sockets, buffing himself, increasing the effectiveness of not only his cones, but also his rods by 473.6%, granting himself substantial low-light vision. After allowing himself a moment to adjust to his new ability, he looked around, trying to find a way out.
There was none.
But he did find Lady Nikasaur, her legs pinned beneath a large pile of wood and stone. By her side was her most loyal subject and closest advisor – as well as occasional late-night confidant/ice-cream consuming partner – Kog’Maw, unconscious but still breathing. Morello thought for a moment, then a wicked grin spread across his pallid countenance. He had an idea.
Stumbling to his feet, Morello shuffled over to Kog’Maw. He scooped the creature up and held it under one arm. He placed a hand upon Kog’Maw’s… maw, and bestowed upon him/her a most powerful base damage buff. Then he squeezed as hard as he could. A line of corrosive ooze spewed forth from the beast and spattered upon the rubble. In a matter of seconds, daylight began to peek through. A moment later, a hole wide enough for Morello to escape through opened. A blast of cold wind rushed in as Morello threw the still unconscious Kog’Maw aside. As he crawled through the hole, he heard the din of combat ringing in the distance. It sounded as if many were battling against something very large. Morello thought nothing of it. He assumed it was the IsC forces clashing with Baron Nashor.
The palace creaked and groaned in protest to its own weight as Morello made his escape, leaving Lady Nikasaur and Kog’Maw behind. The dark lord laughed to himself as he ran through the rubble, directly away from the battle. This was merely a setback. The IsC had won this day, but Morello knew that in time, they would meet their fate. The foolish Pigeon King and his army would soon fall. Then, Morello thought to himself, with no one left to oppose him, Leona would finally be his… forever. But before Morello had a chance to fully enjoy that sentiment, something stopped him dead in his tracks. As Morello rounded a corner and prepared to escape the Nikasaur Manifest largely unharmed, he ran into a wall of spears.
A purple wall of spears.
Morello managed to stop himself just in time to avoid being skewered.
“What is the meaning of this?” Morello asked, his face twisted in a combination of frustration and confusion.
The small contingent of Zileas’ purple minions quickly moved to surround the dark lord. They brandished their weapons ominously. Their intentions were quite clear. Morello’s eyes narrowed curiously.
“Message from Master Zileas,” one of the minions said, tossing a piece of parchment toward Morello.
Morello picked it up. It did indeed bear the seal of his master. He opened it, read it, then threw it back at the minion general. Without a word, he reached into his cloak and produced a pair of clawed gauntlets – Madred’s Bloodrazor to be precise. The minions surrounding him began to shift uneasily.
“Do you surrender yourself willingly, or do we have to bring you in?” the lead minion asked.
Morello did not reply. He simply began muttering a spell – a buff. Little did the minions know, he was creating a patch note for himself that granted him a global AOE that procced on hit effects.
The ensuing wave of gore was prodigious.
Abandoned by his master, Morello stormed off into the wilderness, vowing to destroy Zileas at any cost. As the dark lord disappeared into the mist, the last line of his master’s letter repeated itself in his head, tormenting him: