Cleavey's Close Encounters of the Armoured Kind
Shuffling feet can easily mask the sounds of the night when one travels alone. Never looking forward, only down at his feet, the armadillo walks endlessly in one direction. He does not know why he is here or why it was he who was given this... this existence, but his mind discerns nothing as he watches his gnarly toes scuttle dust with his wandering. The moon is barely bright enough to illuminate his path, and he does not care for the trees and canyons he passes with barely a glance in their direction. He has lost count of the days he has spent since his new awakening, roaming the land in search of others of his kind. He has found creatures, some smaller than himself, and some larger; all fearful of his nature. No settlement has met him with anything other than viscious eyes and sharp blades to his throat, forcing him onwards, endlessly, to search for whatever it is he should be seeking. He is tired, so tired. Stumbling, he collapses into the dirt and closes his eyes in exhaustion. The moon is high overhead as sleep takes him. For the first time since he can remember, he dreams.
He awakens to blinding light, and he shifts his arm to cover his eyes from the tormenting radiance. Dust has crept into the gaps between his thick bone plates, grating like sandpaper as he rolls to a standing position. His eyes open, accepting the light of the day and allowing him to see the ground beneath his feet. His eyes roll upwards to see another pair of feet not his own, these wearing leather boots each secured by an iron buckle. He raises his head, expecting to see a sword pointed to his face as the others have all greeted him with. Instead, he focuses on the face of a young unarmed man, his features set and yet strangely soft. His short golden hair is fitted with a pair of goggles, and he has two black lines painted on his cheeks. His attire matches that of his shoes, leather and secured by an assortment of buckles and straps along with a hood hanging over his shoulders. His eyes stare into the armadillo's, trying to discern what he sees. Rammus does not blink or show expression, stoically waiting for what will happen next.
A deep voice resounds from behind the gold haired boy as Rammus realises there are several armed men standing behind his confronter.
"Ezreal, have you found it?" the voice bellows, thick and certain.
"See for yourself," the gold haired boy, Ezreal, replies.
A large, armoured hand appears on Ezreal's shoulder and moves him aside. A huge man, the owner of the bellowing voice, steps forward and takes his place beside Ezreal. A massive suit of armour covers his entire body, shining brilliantly in the sunlight. Beneath an ornate helmet is a determined face, with strong features and eyes that hold extreme personal conviction. In his other arm is an enormous lance, adorned with jewels and wicked spikes, easily twice the armadillo's height. The man arches over and peers closely at Rammus.
"Are you sure this is it?" he asks quietly, close enough that Rammus feels his breath.
"Have I ever made a mistake Jarvan? This is what the council sensed," Ezreal replies with a smirk.
"Very well," Jarvan says, returning to an upright position. He continues to stare at the strange creature before him.
"Can you speak?" he asks. He recieves only a blank expression. His mouth curls in irritation and he turns to face Ezreal.
"Do you think it will cooperate?" he queries.
Ezreal glances down at their find before looking back and replying. "It looks harmless. He'll probably just be food for the jungle when we take him back to the League," he jokes, "we'll see if it follows us when we leave, and if not maybe we can entice it with food."
Jarvan shakes his head and places his hand on his chin in thought.
"It doesn't seem very receptive, there's no guarantee it won't flee when we turn our backs," he counters.
Rammus ceases to listen as they begin arguing about how best to handle the situation.
The armadillo sureveys the area. They are in a large, dusty clearing edged by the beginning of a lush green forst. The soldiers behind the two arguing men are shuffling their feet looking uncomfortable, some staring at Rammus and others intently focusing elsewhere, clearly unnerved by him. He pays them no mind and turns away from them, peering back at where he came from. He sees only more dust and a few trees, with some small hills dotting the horizon. He came from nowhere, and he is going nowhere. He may as well stay with the ones who are not killing him. The two men have stopped arguing and are waiting for him to turn around again. He slowly shifts his feet and begins turning, and halts as his eyes spy a small glint of light in the nearby forest. His eyes focus for just a moment, long enough to see a stealthy blade slide back into the brush. Suddenly, an arrow flies out of the trees, hurtling through the air until it embeds itself in the arm of one of the soldiers. The man screams as Ezreal looks up and points.
"We're under attack, defend yourselves!" he yells, settling his feet to stability.
"For Demacia!" roars Jarvan, lifting his lance to his shoulder and charging towards the men pouring from the treeline.
Barely a few seconds have passed before Rammus is watching the two forces collide with each other, blood splattering over the earth as men are stabbed and cut. Jarvan powerfully projects his lance outwards, impaling two soldiers on the sharpened spike at the end before retracting it again. Ezreal is standing behind the soldiers, projecting bolts of light at the enemies using an ethereal bow. The mystical bolts envelope his foes with furious power, burning them badly and leaving them writhing on the ground in pain. The armadillo does not shift, unsure of what to do. He watches as a shadowy woman darts across the battlefield, silently appearing behind Jarvan's soldiers and killing them before they can react. She throws out a blade, hiding behind her men as it strikes down multiple people, cleaving them in two. Jarvan swings his lance and slices the men she is hiding behind to ribbons. As he lowers his lance again for a deadly strike, she launches herself into the air and flips over his head, landing upon and killing another soldier with her daggers. She stabs her weapons into the ground and begins pulling knives from behind her back. She gracefully twirls and spins, flinging the sharp blades into each soldier she is surrounded by, dropping them like flies. Jarvan raises his arm to protect his face as the knives clatter over his thick armour plates, some of them cutting through weak points in his armour and causing him to grunt. Men are dying rapidly and Rammus acts, taking a few steps forward with a single idea in his head. Ram.
Ezreal phases away from the assassin's onslaught and fires bolts of energy at her. She deflects them with her blades and continues killing. Ezreal realises he is unable to do anything and tries to pull some of the wounded men away from her. Just as he is about to call for a retreat, he feels the ground rumble and churn. The enemy soldiers are losing their footing and tripping with the shifting earth, easy prey for Jarvan's men. The armadillo rolls rapidly over the terrain, closing the gap almost instantly and colliding with the assassin. She clutches her stomach and stumbles, bewildered by the short creature assaulting her. Confused, she lashes out at it mindlessly, cutting her arms painfully on the spikes of its shell. The creature drops to all fours and shoulders powerfully into her legs, driving his spikes into her thighs. Bleeding and badly injured, she rolls backwards and disappears into a cloud of black smoke.
"Retreat!" she commands, limping back towards the trees. Her soldiers all obey her order and begin running for the forest. Jarvan raises his arm and yells at the top of his lungs.
"HALT," he orders, "DO NOT CHASE THEM!"
His soldiers watch as a runic circle appears on the ground in front of them, sending black tendrils out of the ground to latch onto the corpses. The men move back from the magic, afraid. Jarvan eyes a man in the trees and watches him turn to walk away, leaning heavily on his cane.
Jarvan approaches Rammus to talk as Ezreal directs the men to clean up the bodies and tally losses. The armadillo is still expressionless, and simply stares into his eyes.
"You will come with me, and join us to fight in the League of Legends. There you will engage in battle with many foes, defending the honour of Demacia and earning the respect of out nation, if you so choose," he says, awaiting reply with an expectant look. Rammus does not move for a few moments, thinking. He has found something to do. He does not break eye contact as he opens his mouth to speak.