ACT I scene vi - Date with destiny
Kassadin allowed himself a sigh of relief. The warriors he was battling suddenly stopped and retreated. Then the sun went down, and his endless vigil resumed. The cracks in the ground were not just the scars of battle, but started to glow with an eerie purple light. Small creatures, akin to worms but with fist sized maws began to crawl out of the cracks.
Kassadin stepped back as the aberrations slowly crawled towards him; he was compelled to teleport up to the destroyed roofs of buildings. He then proceeded towards the Main academy. The skies here above Zaun crackled with a purplish eldritch storm, heralding the coming of a terrible entity. Why now... why here? Kassadin thought. This is no coincidence. *It* must have known all along. He ran and rift-walked as fast as he could.
* * *
Mordekaiser crashed his mace repeatedly into the solid brick wall; when it eventually gave, he found himself face-to-face with a purple humaniod creature brimming with muscles. His upper body was grossly out of proportion, as was his strength and ability to withstand punishment. This was the madman of Zaun, Mundo.
"SPIKY HEAD!" he said in that inarticulate tone. Mordekaiser recognized the torn clothes belonging to the 'demacian' doctor accompanying them earlier; who knew that was Mundo himself, in his human form. He was carrying several of the ninjas' swords, dipped in a sick purplish goo.
"I GOTZ DA CLOWN GOOD. HIHIHI." He picked up the downed clown, whose forehead was bleeding profusely.
"My thanks... why is you... why are you here?" Mordekaiser asked, shaking his head and battling to remain articulate. "MUNDO KNEWZ YOU'D NOT GET CAUGHT BY LITTLE CHO'GATHS, SO MUNDO FOLLOWZ SPIKEY HEAD. MUNDO NOT DUMB, YOU KNOW. MUNDO DOCTOR WENT TO FANCY SCHOOL." He declared, gesturing to his head and then to a far off structure.
"What do you want now?" "CLOWN CARRY REAL METAL THINGY. GAVE PAJAMA MAN FAKE METAL THINGY
PAJAMA MEN PROMISE MUNDO LOTS OF GOLD." Mundo said, beginning to pick his nose absent-mindedly.
"Astounding... We must go then. I would also like a word with the master of the order." Mordekaiser finished; he was not pleased. Someone had ordered Shaco's actions, leading to the capture of several champions. This someone had to pay.
"MUNDO USED TO SCHOOL THERE. MUNDO STILL REMEMBER." So the two warriors dashed off, reaching the academy fairly quickly through back roads. The ground beneath them was already breaking apart.
* * *
The tunnels beneath the academy were littered with the remains of iron golems, akin to the league's robotic
champion Blitzcrank but weaker. Each automaton was cleanly cleft in twaine; whoever battled them destroyed
each one with a single blow. "I have never seen the master do battle before. This is... almost obscene." Akali commented, as she and her two companions sprinted through the shadows of the labyrinth, leaping over broken heaps of stone and metal.
All around, signs of violence against the guardians were clear. The traps that were triggered found no victims. Golems, constructs fueled by elemental spirits, were pulverized, cleaved, perforated, and generally torn apart with seeming impunity.
"I have, Akali. And you should pray you never see him strike a human down- it is horrific beyond belief." As Shen said that, they arrived at their destination.
The large circular vaults chamber was dimly lit by magic blue crystals on pedestals. The high dome ceiling extended indefinitely high, while a doric columnade flanked a dozen, evenly spaced vaults. In the middle of the massive chamber stood a massive statue, an amalgam of metal, stone, and magical crystals. It was much larger than the pervious guardians of the labyrinth. It stood nearly 6 men tall, and must weigh six thousand of them. The warriors of the order were searching the room for more traps, studying the warded doors, and observed the statue very carefully, lest it animate when none were looking.
In the lobby connecting access hall and vault, stood the Master.
The lobby was lit with the same dim blue light. Standing no more than five feet tall, and wearing a tip-shredded black cloak, the master of the order was adorned with markings and stylized armor befitting his station. This was his battle dress, and it declared him to be the Master of the Kinkou- a warrior without peer even amongst the champions of the League, and among the most dangerous beings on RuneTerra. Promptly the triumvirate kneeled before the Order's master.
"Shaco has brought the Key, as promised." Shen presented the cylindrical key to the Master. Without saying a
word, The master simply crushed the cylinder with a single armored hand, revealing a deadly poison dart trap
within, disguised as a Jack-in-the-box.
"A fake! what do we do now?" Kennen asked, though when the master looked at him he felt himself inappropriate.
"The master, I presume?" From behind the three ninjas emerged the two warriors, Mordekaiser without his armor, and Mundo slinging Shaco on his shoulder. Mundo began talking directly to the Master,
"YOUZ PROMISE MUNDO GOLD IF MUNDO BRINGS METAL THINGY. MUNDO BROUGHTS METAL THINGY AND NOT FUNNY CLOWN."
The master, silent as ever, brought out a bag of gold and jewels and threw it at Mundo's feet. He eagerly picked it up and threw the unconscious clown front of the master. Mundo eagerly shook the bag and was pleased with the jingling sound. Mordekaiser, however, had his eyes locked intently on the figure of the Master.
Shen stood up, and paced himself into a close distance to Mordekaiser. "Mordekaiser... I sense you are here with hostile intentions." Akali then followed, brandishing her kamas. "Do not do anything foolish." she warned, while Kennen drew forth several electrified shurikens. "We three are more than enough to bring you down; do not think to challenge our master!" They had taken positions guarding their master's position. In the vault, several warriors had stopped what they were doing and also drew their weapons.
"I dare you to stop me. I will be asking somethings of your master, and beat answers out of him in need be!" Mordekaiser declared, shaking his fist at the quiet figure in the back.
"HIHIHI. MUNDO THINK YOUZ ALL SISSIES. NO ONE BEATS MUNDO!" Mundo said excitedly, drawing out a large cleaver from a scabbard resting at his back.
"How dare you! you may be champions, but you dishonor us by addressing our master-" Shen felt a powerful energy looking at him; he turned around, and saw the master gesturing for the three to stand down. The master took two steps forward.
"As... you wish, lord." Shen said, bowing deeply and making room. "Hoho, you're in for it now..." Kennen snickered under his breathe. Akali nudged him to be silent.
Mordekaiser stood his ground, feeling no metals on this armored figure. "Heh, shadow dragon scales, huh..." he remarked, recognizing the incredibly rare material which could only be found in the wilds of the Shadow Isles, his former home.
"Let me get straight to the question at hand... Why did you hire Shaco, of all the champions, to steal something
from Heimerdinger? DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENED BECAUSE HE WAS ABOARD THE SHIP?" He said with fury, recalling the terrible event instigated by a single Jack-in-the-box from the psychotic clown now lying incapacitated before
The master simply nodded 'yes'. Something snapped in Mordekaiser from such a shallow, unfeeling answer. He took a step, and swung his mace with terrible force downwards on the rather small Master of the Kinkou. He felt a solid connection, heard the satisfying crunch of a ruptured skull and a broken neck. Instantly the warrior fell down face-first, breaking a granite tile. The master's body did not move.
For a moment, the whole order was quiet- their master was slain with a single blow. Mordekaiser lifted up his mace, the spikes smeared with blood and pieces of armor. The three ninjas were shocked and appalled at the sight before them. Mordekaiser turned around to face the three, he himself not knowing what would come next.
Suddenly a voice came from where there shouldn't be.
"I didn't suppose that satisfied your need for answers, Master of Metal." A voice, soft, young and feminine, came from the broken body of the Master. He, or perhaps she, slowly began to stand up, cleaning the debris off herself. Kennen was shocked into embracing Akali, burying himself in her chest. Shen, even under the mask, was completely caught off guard. Undisciplined gasps emerge from the Kinkou warriors in the vault room. Mundo had ran a fair distance and hid behind a column.
"Well then... I suppose I owe you an explanation about everything." She said, removing her hood and dragon-motif
helm to reveal a lustrous brunette ponytail, incredibly smooth pale skin, and piercing red eyes. Her
dragon-motif mouthpiece remained on, hiding her identity.
"The master is a woman?" Akali thought to herself. Oh my, this opens doors for me...
"Who the hell are you?" Mordekaiser couldn't help but ask, momentarily distracted by this unnatural display of
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"I'm someone you don't want to know, Mordekaiser. I've done terrible things to many people, yourself included." she said; her voice, face and attitude would have you believe she was the youngest in the room.
"MUNDO DON'T GET IT." Mundo emerges from behind the column, walking towards the conversation. His eyes were locked on the inhumanly beautiful, regenerating master of the Kinkou. "Why doesn't anyone give straight answers in your order..." spat Mordekasier, burying his face in his palm.
"Very well. at least, to put a name to the face, I was known as Ashura. Also..." Ashura was interrupted as Mundo came closer to her, his face and body imposing on hers. He was easily four or five times bigger than her. "MUNDO CALLZ YOU SISSY FACE. BUT YOUZ A GIRL. MUNDO WONDER THOUGH, YOUZ BIG BOSS OF FUNNY PEOPLE. HOW OLDZ ARE -DUOOOOOH!" A casual right back-hand strike sends the doctor flying into the column. Mordekaiser speaks without skipping a beat.
"Ashura. You hired Shaco to steal something. Have you any idea how unpredictable he is? he'd kill for no other reason that to laugh at it! He-" Mordekaiser's tone and voice quickened and became angrier, though he was quickly cut off, with a gentle but firm hand.
"I was counting on him to betray the others to the hunters of the void." Ashura interrupted. The master of metal raised an eyebrow of misunderstanding.
"For all his chaos, I can see a pattern, simple, predictable- I needed him more than just to simply take the key. I needed several champions captured, and to simply ask Shaco to 'ensure they are captured' is akin to throwing water upon blight-fire. No, I simply did not specify him a fate for the champions... it seems my prediction was true. Their capture was essential, for we must know where they are being taken." She explained, as though with all the wisdom and knowledge of ages.
"SPIKY HEAD. WHAT IS GIRL SAYING?" Mundo said, picking himself out of the rubble of the ruined column and wall.
"She said Yi and the others were planned to be taken. But how on earth can you locate them? Your seers?" Mordekasier inquired, not able to see the intent behind the mask. "No, our seers cannot... that is the reason we came to this vault. Doctor Mundo, the key, if you will."
"OKAY." With a big, meaty hand Mundo searched the still unconscious Shaco's jacket. With each handful, Mundo was pulling out boxes, knives, ropes, straps, surgical tools, and a hundred other miscallenaties before triumphantly revealing
the metal cylinder. He handed it over, receiving his long due payment. At the base of the gargantuan statue, Ashura slid the cylinder into the pedestal. Magical runes and energy flowed from it, removing the wards upon the vaults, and opening them. Something was amiss.
Every two vaults were alike; one vault held a collection of gold, jewels, and deeds in zaun, and beside it held another, the contents exactly the same. Another two held a pair of Infinity edge... other potent items were found in the vaults. The two vaults in the center held something small and obscure.
"I assume this to be trap mechanisms... pick the fake, and our massive stone friend..." Mordekaiser makes an assumption, which was met with a remark,
"MUNDO PANCAKES?" he said, the joke catching even the ninja trio by surprise. the Master of metal placed his
hand assuringly on Mundo's shoulder. "Indeed friend, let's hope it does not come to that. We can also assume directly attacking it will also cause the guardian to defend itself." he said, chuckling a bit. He approached Ashura, intent on finishing this tale.
"No more cryptic talk, Ashura. tell me What is it here that's so important." He said, about to place his hand on her turned shoulder, but reconsidered that to be an unwise act. She spoke, knowing he was there. "There is no real need, you only have to see for yourself to understand. Mordekaiser, I will ask you to aid me. Have your powers recovered?" she turns around, asking so easily.
"Somewhat." he shrugged.
"The creature is partially metal. I need you to hold him down while I break him." she requested, though it was in a commanding tone. "Ordering me around?" he raised another eyebrow, in displeasure.
"Please?" clasping her hands together and leaning forward slightly, Ashura teased. The Kinkou warriors were all
"Fine. Let's do this." He finished, Ashura climbing to the top of the statue.
Metal, metal... the dark one closed his eyes to ease into that sixth sense of his, feeling all the metal nearby surrendering to the grip of his power. His senses fell onto the construct before him, but like walking upon a sheet of ice, he began to slip into vertigo; something terrible lurked in the last vault.
"Aiding others yet again? You will learn your place, mortal!"
The dark voice echoed like a banshee's scream in Mordekaiser's mind. the accursed armor was here, and it sought out its host like a ravenous beast. From the last vault erupted red and black strands of liquid metal, shooting true to the cursedone, no longer attaching itself slowly onto him, but rapidly consuming him... He screamed and lashed out, to no avail. The armor struck at the nearest ninjas, creating deep slash wounds in them; they fell back. Mundo, Shen, Kennen and Akali all rallied to subdue him, but were quickly tossed aside as well.
"Mordekasier!" Ashura shouted, quickly somersaulting down from the now awakening guardian statue. She did not even
look back as massive cracks formed all over it, reducing it to rubble. She landed heavily on her feet and hand, and charged fearlessly into the maelstrom of metal. With unearthly grace she evaded each of the the infernal armor's murderous strikes; two blows glanced off her bracer, while a third caused a deep wound in her face, which healed in the blink of an eye.
She grasped the beating black heart of the armor, and pulled as hard as she could out of his chest. A metallic appendage quickly wrapped around her arm and worked its way to her chest, slicing deeply as it went. With a final cry of pain and effort, she pulled the arachnoid manifestation of Hatred from Mordekasier and crushed it with a swift boot.
"How... how did you know how to stop the Armor of Hate?" the dark one asked on his knees, coughing up blood.
"Because I was the one who made it." She said nonchalantly.
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"Master, your arm... your chest..." Kennen approached with concern, his eyes locked on the latter while taking out his medical kit. Ashura waved him away, as the injuries regenerated in the blink of an eye. She grimaced as the bones and muscles set themselves painfully. Kennen hid his disappointment. "You... you did this to me...inhuman b(expletive)" the wounded Mordekaiser spat, locking eyes with her. She stood indifferent, while he was just ready to black out. She simply replied, as she picked him up and shouldered him,
"I told you, the more you knew, the more you wouldn't like me." They headed just outside the central vault, and propped Mordekaiser against the wall. He was slowly recovering though, as the armor's preservation power was now working. The armor restoring his vitality was familiar yet now so despicable. He was already on his feet when another figure entered the chamber.
Phasing yet again through the air, Kassadin materializes. His luminous green blood dripped on the floor in painful amounts. He falls to the ground, wounded and with dire warning. He looked up to the champions present, then looked past them towards Ashura, then to the dark one.
"I see... the warrior has been reclaimed by his armor. Is it here, Ashura?" He said, addressing the master directly. It seemed they knew each other; Ashura and Akali quickly came over, helping the Riftwalker to his feet.
"It is, Kassadin- the thing that will change our fates." Ashura said, instructing Akali to tend to Kassadin's wounds. "Then we must hurry, things have gotten worse- a Hecatonchieres has materialized from the Void."
"A what?" Akali asked, vigorously cleaning the wound but hesitating to touch the green ichor that was Kassadin's
blood. Ashura called all the ninjas present, and speaks in an audible, commanding tone. "Shen! take the wounded and prepare a portal to return them to the order! The rest of you get into the central vault with the small box, and be ready to mobilize." Ashura's word was the order's will. "Yes, milady." Shen bowed, and retrieved a large, rolled up bamboo scroll from the supplies. He began a complex series of chanting and hand gestures, as a magic circle of a portal began to materialize.
Mordekasier regained his composure... the armor, Infernal as it was, was the only thing that gave him any worth at the moment. He had so many questions right now, so much bitterness towards that ... woman... but he chose paid attention to Kassadin's warning.
"Exactly what is coming, Kassadin?" He asked, still weak from the armor's attempt to consume him. "Hecatonchieres... a particularly vicious entity from the void, a sinister force of destruction. Here on this realm where it may materialize, It resembles a massive... redwood. Fifty heads and a hundred scything claws serve as its branches." he said, the description alone seeming to frighten the League's wielder of Void powers.
"HUNDRED HANDS? MUNDO HAS ONLY TWO! DATZ LOTS!" He remarked, awfully quiet in the last few minutes, as though pondering the description. "And it moves very swiftly." Kassadin added.
The vault chamber begins to shake. dust and loose lamps fall from the ceiling. The ninjas quickly rally around Shen, who is absolutely focused on his chanting and hand signs. The portal is completed, and with Ashura's leave, the nameless warriors leave the scene, carrying their many wounded.
"Good, Shen. Now, let's go see to the vault." Ashura said, the champions all proceeding to the vault. There, on a simple stone pedestal, was a small box, lit by a glow crystal, was the object of destiny. All the terrors they had faced now led to this moment. Mordekasier and Kassadin were the ones to open the box; the master of metal carefully disabling the lock, and Kassadin slowly lifting the contents. If his mask could display emotion, they would do so now.
"What is it? What is it? What is it?" Kennen asked furiously, incredibly curious as to what could bring the master herself to the field. Unable to see properly, He jumped up and down, nearly ready to transfom into pure energy. "Oh my god..." Akali covered her already masked mouth. "Astounding." Shen crossed his arms in surprise. "IZZAT WHAT I THINK THOSE IS?" Mundo asked, familiar with the held artifact.
"Our fates are now no longer set in the Void." Kassadin proclaimed, adding to the weight of the object in their
Mordekaiser could only nod... he too recognized them.