Cataclysm of the Dragonborn
[[I've been considering writing this story since Riot redid Shyvana's lore and I finally got around to it. Enjoy.]]
Update: Sorry about the massive delay, things have been busy.
Update: Part 6 now available!
Here are the current Available Chapters:
Part 3, 4 and 5
Part 7, 8, 9, and 10
[[I'm going to try and update this regularly, probably somewhere between 1 or 2 chapters a week when i get down to it, and who knows how many while I've got nothing better to do. In the mean time, enjoy the story.]]
"Only time and the running of water shapes the stones at the bottom of a river."
Nearly two years has thus passed...
Two long years.
Jarvan stood tall, looking out over the vast deserts of Shurima. His men had bedded down for the evening, Jarvan Lightshield IV taking his customary first watch. He had long ago learned a great appreciation for the cold and refreshing night air, using the time alone to think. He just let his mind roam, wandering where it pleased not bothering to reel it back in less something undesirable came calling to he and his men's camp.
He had been struggling with his feelings about himself and his position for every day of the two years he had been searching the vastness of Valoran. What he was exactly searching for? well, he hadn't found it yet, but he intended to keep searching until he did find it. He had long ago left behind the feelings that tied him to Demacia. He only let himself worry about himself and his men now. He tore his eyes from the vastness of the starry night sky to look his men over. Of the twelve he had chosen to accompany him on his journey of self discovery, only 8 remained. They lay around the smoldering remains of their cooking fire, each one sleeping silently. The day had been just a rough as each day before hand. The men greeted sleep each evening as if it were a new bride and they had just returned from a long campaign against the Noxians.
Jarvan scowled, his anger flaring at the thought of that *******, Jericho Swain. The crotchety old man was a tactical genius and a maniacal ******* to boot. Even before he had journeyed to the war front with his father, King Jarvan Lightshield III, he had heard nightmarish tales from the maids who had attended to him as a boy. He had aspired to fight and defeat the famed tactician one day, believing the stories to be tales and that there was no way one man could be so cunning and dangerous. As he had grown, he had approached each day with gusto, striving to be the best. The fastest, the strongest, the first. He had often been so, but his best friend had always been there at his side. Garen Crownguard was his best friend growing up, and the two were inseparable. Everywhere Jarvan IV went, Garen was right there with him.
When given the chance to finally challenge the famed Noxian tactician, Jarvan had charged at the task with more than just gusto. Stupid and blind pigheadedness had led him to charge straight into an ambush, the horror stories of Jericho Swain only starting there. After most of his company had been slain around him, Jarvan was thrown in shackles and forced to watch as the few survivors of his company was executed before his eyes, one by one. When it came time for Jarvan IV to be executed himself, he had accepted his fate with the grim realization that he was only a shadow of his father searching for glory with blind ambition leading the charge in his efforts. Jericho Swain had stood over him, his crimson eyes staring maliciously back at him over his scarf. He had asked Jarvan if he had any last words and Jarvan had only stared back him for a few seconds. As if to smack those gloating eyes that stared at him, Jarvan only offered him one thing.
“Sure.... you may kill me...go ahead make a martyr of me... but my beliefs...my ideas.....they hold the strength of a thousand... There is only one truth, and you will find it at the point of my lance.” With that he had bowed his head to Urgot, the Headsman's Pride, the butcher of Noxus. Even that blundering oaf of a butcher couldn't miss a target like that. As Jarvan closed his eyes, accepting his fate and willing the images of Swain's face from his mind, he waited for the blow that would end him finally, his years of fighting and following in his father footsteps only leading him in circles, chasing his tail like a stray puppy.
His mind thought of his family and friends, their faces flashing through his mind.
But it never came.
As the blade came down, a ruckus erupted from the rear of the formation that Swain had erected to keep his prize from escaping while he dealt with them in his own method of choice. What he hadn't expected was the timely intrusion of The Dauntless Vanguard, captained by Garen Crownguard himself. The formation, collectively eyeing the prince of Demacia and eagerly awaiting his head to fall, had made a fatal mistake in leaving a small section of their flank exposed. Taking advantage of this, Garen and his force had bore down upon them, ripping Swain's Battalion asunder and driving a pincer attack straight through the enemy lines. He drove his forces hard and fast straight into the heart of Swain forces, where Garen immediately launched himself upwards, bring his sword down in a hammer blow on the High Noxian Executioner. As the already piece-meal man fell to pieces, Garen struck the binding chains that kept Jarvan bound and tossed him his lance. Jarvan, reeling in surprise, was swept away by Garen and the Vanguard, as they made a hasty retreat while the Noxian forces tried to make sense of what had just happened. Unable to pursue, they had to quickly reform their ranks and attempt to see to the felled Noxian executioner.
Back in the safety of Garen's Vanguard, Jarvan looked back on himself and how foolish he had been, now having to accept the shame of his foolishness. He had lost his entire company and he had nearly lost his life by his own bravado driven judgement. As the mixture of emotions ran through him, gratitude, sadness, surprise... he came to the realization that he was a failure in everyone's eyes. Everything he thought he had achieved in life had just as easily been accomplished by his long time companion. Even in his resigned state expecting death, Garen had been there. He had successfully done what Jarvan had tried and failed at: dealing a blow to Swain's pride.
Feelings of disgust and resentment had clouded Jarvan's mind over the next few months as he tried to deal with his clouded mentality. He could never seem to escape Garen's shadow and he came to hate Garen and he especially came to hate himself for it. One evening Jarvan decided that he alone would have to prove himself and he would do so on his own terms. Under the veil of night, Jarvan gathered the twelve remaining members of his shattered company and he asked each one if they would accompany him on a journey to find himself. With twelve of his remaining men in tow, he set out through the northern rends of Valoran, battling with bandits, outlaws and the horrendous monsters that were found throughout the land.
It had been easy at first, only having to deal with small time bandits and petty criminals. With much disgust, Jarvan continued to chop them down, only doing so because it gave him something to do. He had journeyed as far north as the Freljords and as far east as Noxus itself. He had fought with many a champion, each boasting their strength, but soon, Jarvan grew tired of these petty foes. He couldn't stand the slaughter of weak monsters and the many boastful men who challenged him over and over.
Three months having past, Jarvan and his men were growing tired of their current conquests. They had journeyed into the small, sleepy mining town of Kalamanda, north of the Mogron Pass. There, they had heard of the tales of what lay below the Great Barrier. An old prospector had crowded one of the many small tables at the back of the pub they were eating at. He overheard their griping and offered to tell them a tale of the mysteries that lay below the Great Barrier. He told stories of mighty beasts that had been found to roam the plains and devoured even great men like they were nothing more than breakfast. With the prospect of such a challenge before him, Jarvan and his men had immediately set out, bound for the Great Barrier.
Their excitement had given them swift feet and it wasn't long before they had arrived at the Gap of Mogron. A mighty desert stretched out before them, with ruined stone pillars and buildings reaching out from under the sand like sharks in the sea. In the far off distance, a massive storm swirled above the sands, purple lightning arcing down upon the ground like the sinewy fingers of a malevolent god toying with his creations below. As they peered out into the vastness of the Shurima desert, a sound had echoed out from the mountains above them. Swooping down from the cliffs like a massive bird of prey, a mighty dragon had descended upon them like a god descending from the heaven to deliver his judgment upon them.
With his glistening talons extended, he descended upon them, crashing into the formation of thirteen. The dragon had spewed flames, catching Reynold, Jarvan's sergeant, by surprise. The man was a flack outline against the multi-thousand degree heat for only a few seconds before he disintegrated to nothing. As the dragon beat its enormous wings, letting the stream of fire die away, only dust and steam from the vaporized man was left. His armor clattered away on the hard stone, as two more of his men were lifted away in the dragons talons. One was cast against the jagged rocks at the base of the cliffs, falling into them from several hundred feet. The sound of his impact was sickening and carried all too well on the empty wind of the Shurima desert. Jarvan watched in horror as the other was lifted away into the stone jungle of the jagged cliffs of the Great Barrier, His screams of terror echoing around them like a mad man taunting them to go on.
They had only passed through the great barrier and Jarvan had already lost three men. His blind ambition had yet again struck its toll like the bell of a church ringing its mourning tone for the dead and the gone. As his men struggled to their feet, Jarvan could only roll onto his back and stare into the sky, wondering just what the gods had against him. He could only laugh at the irony of it all. A boy born into nobility, asking god why he was so cruel. If he wished, Jarvan could return to his home with nary a consequence. He would eventually inherit the throne regardless, but he would never be able to deal with himself if he did. Even if everyone forgot about his foolishness, he would never be able to forget his own mistakes. As he struggled to his feet, he met the eyes of each and every one of his troupe.
"I won't promise that you'll return from this journey..." He said, with solemn eyes and a determined heart,"...and I can't promise that I'll return, but I won't force any man to accompany me into this hell. Only the foolish, the ****ed, and the determined have journeyed beyond this point." He paused, snorting at the irony. "At this point, I believe I am a mix of all three. I'm going though, and if you wish to follow me, then pick yourself up and fall in. I'm not going to fall victim to my own mind, and I refuse to fall victim to this world." With that, Jarvan turned and stepped forth through the breach. As he stepped out into the desert a mighty gust of wind struck him, nearly bowling him over. As he tumbled over, he was caught by the hands of his Lieutenant, Isaacs, one firmly grasping his arm, the other white knuckled on the collar of his breast plate.
"We're right behind you, sir." The Lieutenant said firmly, a hard but determined smile on his face. The remainder of his men stood there behind him, their weapons at their sides, each nodding at the prince, each ready to face the danger with their swords held high and their spirits held higher.
Jarvan looked out over the wastes with satisfaction. Two years and he had only lost four men. He was slowly returning to the great barrier, slowly drifting home. He had found his fears and he had challenged them and won. He and his men had journeyed across the wastes below the Great Barrier, Shurima, Fyrone, Kumungu and the Plague jungles. During his times exploring the vast tracts of land that made up the southern half of Valoran, he had met many a character. He had sparred with many different champions of the League, each suggesting he make his way there and search for more answers there. Jarvan had initially rejected the idea of joining the league, but now, he was becoming more and more interested in the group that was known as the League of Legends. He intended to join it as soon as he returned home.
Jarvan lay back against the cool stone simply drinking in the cool night air. He closed his eyes briefly, wondering what awaited him as when he returned home to Demacia. The image of the mighty dragon who had killed three of his men the first day he had journeyed into Shurima came to his mind briefly. His eyes shot open, the lust for the blood of that draconian ******* flaring in his veins. That dragon remained as one of the few challenges he had been unable to conquer. As he let his mind wander, the sound of a dragon in pain echoes throughout the relatively peaceful night.
The sound was disturbing, one he had never heard before, like the dragon was sad as well as hurt. It's cries were ear shattering, ringing through the night with such a frequency as though it could nearly cut through your very being. Jarvan peered out through the night, searching for the source of the sound, trying to identify the direction the baying was coming from. Throughout the night, the sound continued to echo through the sky, before it finally died out just before dawn.
"You think it finally died?" Isaacs asked tentatively. He and the rest of the men had long risen from their bedding and were sitting around the fire, clutching their weapons. With everything they had seen in the past few months, it would take much to shake his men's nerves. The sounds that had been echoing through the night were haunting and disturbing. they were hollow and longing, as if the dragon was being tortured by its own mind. The beast had been struggling to hold onto every inch of its life, struggling against everything.
"If it hasn't I intend to put the poor beast out of its misery." Jarvan said hollowly.
The sounds had reminded him of the mental scars that he had come to carry, when he had been resigned to his death long ago. Unlike him though, this monster had been desperately trying to survive. It was fighting death as best it could though the tone was as if it had been begging whatever ******* gods it prayed to for life. The sound of the dragon was etched in his mind and it was something he would not long forget. With his men long disturbed by the gut wrenching sound, Jarvan decided to set out early in the general direction of the sound.
As he and his men ascended the rocky cliff, the sounds of a young woman crying began to echo through the wind that pounded the cliff faces. With only a cursory glance and a nod from his lieutenant, Jarvan readied his weapon and quickened his pace. As he crested the stone monolith, what he found surprised him. As he brought his lance to bear, his eyes came upon a young girl with dirty reddish hair who was weeping over the body of the dragon, drying blood reaching out across the monolith like the web of a spider. As he took a cautious step forward she turned on him, bearing her teeth, going down on all fours and growling at him. She was defending the dragon's corpse. It took Jarvan only seconds to realize that this was no ordinary girl. She had violet eyes that burned with a passionate fire and long hair that swirled upwards around her as she prepared to pounce. Her hand turned into that of a dragon as she began forward.
Jarvan tossed his lance to the side as she leapt at him, her body turning to the blue and scaly skin of a young dragon. Her wings were shredded, but she still charged for Jarvan's throat as she struggled along the ground, the nature of flight not coming. He braced himself, grabbing her around the neck as she charged, tumbling backwards, towards the edge of the stone monolith. As she thrashed, her form grown to nearly twice his size, Jarvan struggled to control her. He grasped her snout and reached around her neck, heaving with all of his might as he clasped his legs around her body, struggling to hold on. She tossed her head from side to side and he began to apply pressure to her windpipe. Sensing what he was doing she tossed her head against the ground, dislodging his grasp. He collapsed on the ground, winded by the impact. As he struggled to his feet, the half-dragon squabbled to her feet, standing back and eyeing Jarvan tepidly. He had only just clambered to his feet when the dragon came again, charging at him ferociously.
Calling on his lineage, he summoned his light shield, a barrier of pure light forming between himself and the dragon. She crashed into it, and using the moment that she was stunned, Jarvan leapt forth and grappled with the small dragon again. He wrapped an arm around her neck again and drove her snout down upon his arm, applying pressure. She struggled again, trying to shake his grasp loose, but soon it fell docile, the lack of air causing her to black out. As the creature finally collapsed, Jarvan hit the ground again, this time, next to a young woman, hardly as tall as his shoulder. She lay quietly upon the ground, her chest heaving as she sucked air into her lungs. Jarvan rolled onto his back, gasping for breath, his heart racing. The young half-dragoness was silent, her naked form lying silently on the ground next to him. He looked her over, her pale face framed by the dirty red hair. Dark circles were under her eyes, her faced bruised and dirty, teary streaks across her cheeks. Jarvan sat up, looking up at the sky and wondering what had possessed him to do something so foolish. His men rushed forth, moving to her still form with binding ready. He waved them away though, searching for his voice. He was hoarse, his throat dry from the fear and the effort that had consumed his heart while he had struggled with the half-dragoness.
With looks of surprise on their faces as his men looked on, Prince Jarvan drew a blanket and wrapped the young half-dragoness in it, doing his best to preserve her modesty. She had a pretty face, which looked almost serene in the early morning light. Jarvan ordered his men to stand guard and to notify him when she awoke, and to not take any action against her other than keeping her here. The men went about their morning, preparing a small cook fire and doing their best to not discuss the girl with hushed tones. Despite the chatter, Jarvan's mind was muddled with confusion and he needed time to think. He perched himself on the edge of the cliff, his mind a jumble as he began to sort out his thoughts. His body had acted without orders, subduing the dragoness, not killing her. The image of her standing over the dead Dragon, wearing nothing but the caked on blood and dirt hung in his mind.
This young half-dragoness... just who was she?