Geokhan sent a letter saying he had a family emergency and that he would be gone for a week. He got a quick reply stating that all Kalamanda business could wait that long. Well, that was a bit rude, but Geokhan needed the break. His bags were packed and then he saw Greg at the door waiting.
“You’re not going.” Geokhan told Greg.
“Didn’t want to. I was somewhat hoping you would give me the keys to the cellar.”
“You drank half of the cellar. Not happening.”
“Not like you drink any of it.”
“I’m saving those as gifts. You might want to let ‘em sit for a while anyway. I just bottled those ones up last week.”
“Ah well, I guess I’ll see you later, then.”
“Greg…thanks for not opening that letter. I needed to read it myself to believe it.”
“No problem. Hope it goes well.”
“It might not, the lack eating might freak them out.”
“Yeah ‘cause they won’t note the change in skin tone.”
“It HAS been long enough.”
Geokhan hit the road and caught a blimp to Demacia. From there he followed the trails to Clearwater. At the town stables, there were a few horses to rent. Something Geokhan’s father had thought up to encourage clients to buy his horses. A test ride to the ranch and the clients understood how the horses were as a whole. The townsfolk were all a little freaked out by Geokhan, as summoners aren’t common. They never saw his…nature as his hood was up and his gloves were on.
As Geokhan was about to take the north road out to the ranch, three vaguely familiar figures blocked the road. One was a sheriff and the others were deputies, all were fat and overly confident and on foot.
“Oi, what’re you?”
“Someone you wouldn’t recognize, Brad. Isn’t it too cliché for the town lowlife to somehow end up as sheriff?”
“What did you just call me?”
“A thug that I wouldn’t want to waste my time dealing with.”
“I really don’t have time for this. YA!”
Geokhan’s horse reared and galloped toward the sad excuse for lawmen, making them dive away.
Geokhan let out a yell and shouted, “It’s good to be home!”
At the ranch, Geokhan was greeted by a posse. Word moved fast in a small town. Geokhan dismounted and tied his horse to the fence at the gate. Geokhan still had his hood up and his back to the crowd when they gathered towards him. A quick glance over his shoulder revealed a tall muscular man marching in front of the crowd of fifteen ranch hands. Messy brown hair that tried to stay straight, dark brown eyes that understood everything...That was Timothy.
“Well, you got bigger. What are you feeding yourself? Mundo steroids?” Geokhan said jokingly over his shoulder.
“Geoffery?? Is that you, you little jackass? Let’s get a good look at you.”
“Just a warning, a lot has changed.”
“You can’t look any worse than you did when you found Thunder didn’t like you and got kicked into a cesspool.”
“Challenge accepted,” Geokhan muttered as he turned around and slowly lowered his hood.
“I…What the hell did they do to you there?”
“Well, you see, I told Taric that he and Singed were made for each other. The relationship didn’t last long and they both were rather unhappy with the performance.”
Timothy burst out laughing…but stopped and looked at Geokhan with a frightened look.
“I was joking, Tim.”
Timothy shook his head. In disbelieve or relief, Geokhan didn’t know.
“You have quite the tale, I’m sure, but we have to reintroduce you to everyone.” Timothy yelled to the house that Geoffery was here and it was safe to come out. There were many familiar faces that hesitantly shook Geokhan’s hand and some new ones that refused to touch him. Magic was rare here and people feared it.
At last, came family… it went as Geokhan thought it would. His mother looked at him and ran away in fear. His father just glared at him and went after her. Geokhan was crestfallen, but not shocked. He knew this was going to be rough…if he could even reconnect. Lastly, there came a small boy about 10 years old with long messy dirty blonde hair and a dirty face. He looked frightened and curious.
Geokhan knelt down to look the boy in the eye. Yes, this was definitely Timothy’s kid.
“This is your Uncle Geof…Geokhan. Say hello, Jim.”
“Hello.” Jim said in a nervous voice.
“Hello there, Jim. I know I look weird. I am not too weird though. I know a guy who is constantly on fire. Not a happy fellow.”
“That’s Brand. You don’t know him.”
“I have…summoned him a couple times. You get to know someone when you do that.”
“Why are you blue?”
“I…I was asked to find something. It did this to me, to protect me and to strengthen me.”
“What is it like?”
“Well, hygiene isn’t an issue anymore and people sure notice me, but… it’s a lonely life.”
“Can I touch your face?”
“Go ahead. I am sure the discharge won’t kill you for long.”
Timothy and Jim both jumped back at that and Geokhan burst out laughing.
“That wasn’t funny, Geoffery!” Timothy shouted.
“You’re right…it was priceless.” Geokhan replied while he tried to catch his breath. Timothy smiled at that while shaking his head. Parts of the old Geoffery where buried under that crystal shell.
“Jim, I promise it won’t hurt.” Geokhan told the frightened boy who had taken shelter behind his father’s leg.
Jim looked at his dad for assurance and Timothy reached to Geokhan himself and touched Geokhan’s head. Another thing Geokhan missed…contact. The warmth of contact was lost on him. So many years…and he couldn’t feel his kin. Jim looked at him very seriously.
“You were right, Tim. He is full of questions. If he sets the barn on fire I think he has a future with the…his uncle.” Tim raised an eyebrow skeptically, but Geokhan had turned to his nephew. “Go ahead.”
Jim slowly reached out and grabbed at Geokhan’s nose. It was a bounding moment. One Geokhan would cherish.
Later in the evening, Geokhan was sitting on the porch with Tim and they talked about what had happened during their time apart. Liam had been retired for about a year and Tim had doubled the farm’s profits because of Kalamanda. Tim’s wife died in childbirth and Tim had taken to the ranch with zeal to cover up the pain and to provide for Jim. He was worried he hadn’t done right by Jim, but Geokhan smacked him on the back of the head.
“Bro, he is an alright kid. Dad worked just as hard as you and we turned out fine…well, you did fine. He still thinks I am a waste of time, effort, and energy.”
Geokhan shared most of what had happened, but when he got to his latest adventure in the mountains… he couldn’t continue. He just leaned forward and looked at the floor.
“Geoff, what is it?”
“Geoff is gone. Maybe he died on the road out of Piltover. Maybe he died when his father shunned him for what he was. I am not the brother you grew up with. I see the men I killed to get here and I am not sure it was worth it.”
Tim leaned back in his seat, digesting the information.
“Good. If you hadn’t cared, you wouldn’t be my brother. That is the one thing I think father feared the most, was you would forget about others and focus on yourself.”
“Am I thinking of others? I went out on that road from Piltover seeking adventure, fame, and power. Yeah, it was also the right thing to do, but I was more intrigued by the Arachia. There are times I think that I am not worth the lives I have ruined. A trail of bodies leads to where I am now. Was it worth it?”
“It is, or you would have turned back long ago. You always did come to the right choice and then think through five other choices and still pick your first.”
“What if I’m wrong?”
“Probably nothing. If you’re right, maybe everything.”
“Glad you can say that. I may never have a family and be forced to watch all who are close to me die before I find the path that leads me back to a mortal shell. THIS” Geokhan waves at himself. “I didn’t want. I can see the world ending.”
“It’s a vision I get in my sleep. I see a land consumed by war and a battle to end it all…and I carry the key. The key to set the world free of it…but I think I’m too late.”
“Is this…common with Arachia?”
“No and that frightens me. Is it real or delusion or placed by those who wish me to see it and do something?”
Tim just sat there and watched the horses get herded into the stables for the night. He was about to say something when a horse carrying a large load struggled up the road to the ranch.
“Well, what do you know? It’s good ol’ Sheriff Brad. He must want to meet you and catch up.” Tim said with a healthy dose of sarcasm.
Brad made it to the house (barely) and proceeded up the step to the porch when he saw Geokhan and tried to draw his blade with a look of fear and shock on his face. Geokhan just launched a quickly grown shard into his belt pouch.
“Nice to see you again too, Brad. I trust the rolling around in the street didn’t hurt too badly.”
“Rolling around in the street? You tried to run him over with a horse?” Tim asked.
“How’d you know?”
“Let’s call it a new family tradition. If Brad tries to bully me, I charge my horse at him.”
Brad wasn’t amused. “Who…WHAT is that thing?”
“Brad, you mean you don’t recognize my brother? He hasn’t changed that much…I think he let the hair grow a bit…the robes are also quite nice with the crystalline hide.”
Brad still gripped his blade but he knew Geokhan had him if he drew it. “Something attacked McCarter’s ranch. It was brutal, a bloody mess. Just after that thing came into town? I think it’s….that.” Brad nodded at Geokhan.
“Really? Brad, you’re dumber than your horse. He’s been here all day.”
“Bandits then.” Geokhan said and drew his blade. “Tim, get a militia together. Brad, go get the townsfolk ready and set up in the town.” Geokhan went to his horse and mounted it.
“Where are you going??” Brad asked.
“Scouting. We need numbers and intent.” Geokhan rode off into the shadows.
Guardians of Asgaard
Geokhan rode to the McCarter’s ranch. He was no woodsman, but he thought he could find an odd trail. It was looking hopeless. Geokhan had NO idea what he was doing. There was simply so much blood. A month ago he would have been stunned in horror, but times had changed and his family was threatened. It didn’t help him out find those responsible. Then, he heard a horse riding up the rail. He drew his blade and hide away near his horse.
Whoever was walking up the trail didn’t startle the horse and Geokhan relaxed. Few could hide ill will from an animal and horses knew their masters. Timothy walked up the trail with a blade in hand. Geokhan analyzed the blade quickly and mentally. Long sword about four feet long and double edged. Iron, not steel. Old, but decently kept. Someone had sharpened it like an axe, which was a little too dull.
“Why are you here? You should be gathering a militia and going to the village.” Geokhan called out.
“I thought for a moment and figured you had learned some bushwork in your weapons shop and was about to do that, when Father told me to go help you. He can get a militia, so I figured why not? He was right. You have no idea what you’re doing. You almost covered up the tracks in your pacing.”
“Says the nitwit with a dull blade.”
Timothy looked at his blade reflexively and with a scowl at Geokhan grabbed his whetstone and tossed the blade Geokhan’s way.
“Let’s stick to what we know then. You sharpen and I’ll find the trail.”
Geokhan grabbed the sword and sharpened the blade with the whetstone. A good edge on a blade is sharp enough to cut skin and yet dull enough to hack through armor. Some tried to over-sharpen the blade and cause it to lose its edge after only a few hits, sometimes breaking the blade’s edge and making sharpening difficult. Sharpening the blade was a small art. Nice and smoothly, like brushing a horse. Like a horse, a blade had feelings and wanted to be cared for. You didn’t want to brush a horse unevenly and you also didn’t want to do thus with a blade. Treat a blade right and it never falter in your hand, but harm it and it will break on you.
“Geoff! I got the trail! It looks odd.” Timothy was crouched over an old trail that lead to game trails.
Geokhan ran over with his brother’s blade and handed it to him
“What is it?”
“There are a lot of large barefooted brutes.”
“…this could be…How did they find this out? I didn’t tell anyone about home.”
“What? Who did you bring to my home, Geoff?”
“Zaunites…I told you I was fighting their actions and they aren’t happy.”
“And you ran here? You came back to hide?”
“NO! Tim, I wanted to face them, just not this way or here. I was going back in a week. I didn’t expect that they would actually send a hit team to silence me.”
“Then you leave and they leave us alone.”
“I can’t… I leave and they’ll slaughter everyone to make sure I am not hiding. I need to kill them or make them follow. I think they were just trailing me and lost me when I charged out of town. They don’t know where I was all day, so they’ll burn all the ranches until they find me.”
“You and I are going to have a long talk when this is over.”
“For now, let’s confirm who we’re dealing with and silence them. They can’t be allowed to say where they found me.”
“Wait, you’re an ambassador. Can’t you get League help or declare some action against Zaun?”
“I’m the little fish in the big pond full of sharks. I’m not that big to directly fight Zaun. I can tell everyone to bugger out of Kalamanda, but I can’t call Zaun out on a couple of extremists or a bandit clan, even if they were encouraged by Zaun without some serious proof. Let’s face it, this looks like a bandit raid. Those prints will be gone soon and if they are lucky, no one would be the wiser.”
“Dammit, what are we fighting then?”
“Based on what you said, it sounds like Mundo’s …but I doubt they have his experience or skill. They’ll take a beating though.”
“Good, the McCarter’s were good folk. I would hate for their murders to die too quickly.”
“They’ll enjoy the beating, so I’ll be killing them quickly. Remember what we are out here to do. Find out their goals and warn the others. If we can, we impede their progress.”
“Let’s go, then. They’ll want to use the night just as much as we do.”
((1,700... Well, I think I'm doing something right. I am glad to have entertained some of ya and I hope you enjoy this tale...cause I'm still gonna keep writing it. I will think about throwing some champions in the mix, but I kinda want to keep the focus on Geo. It's his story and it may not mean much to Valoran at the end of the day, but Geokhan's story is one I wanted to write. OC OP!!! I also thought the love stories are little too...abundant. So blood, fear, and battle for me.))