Many a friends I know have journeyed to the Fields of Justice from our little village just a few miles from the Institute of War.
We're a small people. Not small as in population, but small as in...short. Shorter than yordles mind you.
Anyways...every few weeks, a summoner comes to our village, sometimes it's a high level summoner, and if we're really lucky, High Councilor Kolminye drops by for a visit as well! It's exciting times, she picks the best of our warriors and brings them to the fields of justice to fight!
The families of those select few are sent back gold and letters from their loved ones, telling tales of their encounters with champions, and ensuring that their lives are set! It is sometimes tough though...those who get sent out don't make it back, but Kolminye once told us that the champions of our people are taken care of, and have extremely important duties on the fields.
Weeks and months went by, and as boys came of age, they would begin to train in combat. Several would work in magic as well, which was rare to find amongst our people. Usually if you could master magical powers you were sure to go, but it was difficult. I myself was training with shields and swords, quickly becoming one of the strongest in my village!
A few times I was declined, which only made me train harder and harder, until that one day...
The summoner came about like always, and I kissed my wife and son as I rushed off to line up. Right away all of our village's mages were rallied off and taken by a second summoner accompanying the first, and in a burst of light they vanished, taken away to a world of glory. A few of my friends, Lopin and Wurt were in that group. I couldn't wait to see them again, so I stood proud and tall, my weapon and shield adorned in hopes I would be picked. The summoner walked across the line looking up and down each individual, occasionally asking them to perform an attack, and sending them to a small engraved area on the ground where the teleportation occurred.
As the summoner approached me and he looked up and down me, his dark purple robes looking shades lighter from the suns rays. I began to sweat, worrying about if I would be chosen or not. He nodded to me and continued down the row. I turned and flashed the widest grin I could to my wife. Tears formed in her eyes as she waved to me, my son asking her where I was off to. She began to tell him the tales of how I would soon become a great fighter in the League of Legends. A position of honor. They could not view my matches of course, our village was to poor, even with the gold the Institute provided us, we were just making it by.
I gave my final glance to my wife as I joined the other fighters within the circle, and the summoner stood in the center. I was thankful that I wouldn't have to worry for my family any more, the Institute would make sure to take care of them for me.
As the summoner began to murmur, the circle illuminated and in a bright flash we arrived in the main chambers at the Institute of War. We looked around in awe at the world around us. The ceiling was higher than we could have ever dreamed, and the summoners walking around were incredibly tall!
Leading us through the halls the summoner took our large group of small people down a few flights of stairs. Less and less light became available as we entered a corridor with a wooden door at the end. I spotted the first group of our village's mages filing in with several other groups of other village mages. As we walked down the hall several other groups of village warriors began to join us in our march down the hall, and the door swung open, after closing behind the last mage.
"How many will you need today?" The summoner leading our group questioned a guard stationed at the door who began to flip through several pages.
"Same number as the mages, so about 45." The summoner leading us nodded and began to count off the group. He was nearing the end, and I hadn't been selected, until he called out 42 and his finger fell on me. I was so excited...not only was I selected, but I got to entire a match right away! Once 45 was reached, the selected of us began to shuffle through the narrow door into a poorly lit room with three summoning pads. The mages were all split into three groups of 15, each lined up in threes. Another summoner in turquoise robes with his hood on was lazily attempting to create the rows, and he watched as us warriors filed in.
"Alright, warriors, line up same as the mages in no particular order, if you see your friends you might want to join them." I turned to see where the other warriors were being filed off to, but only saw the guard giving the summoner in the room a dirty look, before it closed behind us. I decided to find a group and spotted Lopin and Wurt together in a line, so I rushed off and stood in front of them. I turned around to talk to them to discuss my excitement, but a quick jolt to my back shut me up. I spun around to find the source of the zap and saw the summoner with his finger outstretched, a small wisp of smoke coming from the tip. "Mouths closed, eyes on the head of the minion in front of you."
The summoner snapped his finger and in all of the warrior hands appeared a small club and a spiked shield. On top of that, a turquoise colored fur coat wrapped us all, with a small wooden mask over our faces. I questioned the actual use of this in combat, and watched as the mages recieved pointy turquoise hats, robes, and wooden wands. Everything matched the color of the summoner's robes.
"Alright, since you are all new here, this is how it goes. On your team are Katarina, Warwick, Sona, Brand, and Caitlyn. These are your team's champions, and you should avoid coming in contact with them in any way. On the enemy team, are Twisted Fate, BlitzCrank, Malzahar, Singed, and Trundle. If you see any of those champions, you are to attack them, but only if they are the only thing around. If there are other mini...." He paused, catching himself. "Other fighters like you on the other team, you are to battle them first. Unless of course the enemy champion is attacking one of your teams. Then you may intervene. Otherwise, keep to fighting anything in Pink...purple...you get the picture." He tapped the wall and the three portals burst to life before our eyes.
"When I say next, then one by one the rows will go through the portal. Keep moving straight until you see the enemy, and then engage. Keep to your path and your path only." The summoner pulled up a chair, and the latest issue of the Journal of Justice. On the cover was an image of BlitzCrank next to an odd machine with pictures of it. He began to count to himself but I wasn't focused on him anymore. I was trembling with excitement. I was the first row to be in battle. I also noticed a few of our people a top cannons. I don't remember any of them coming from the village, maybe I would ask how to be able to use such a devastating vehicle. I quickly snapped my head forward remembering the orders.
"Alright, first row." He patted the wall as a signal and I marched forward, watching the back of the warrior's head in front of me as we walked through the portal. Everything changed in a flash and I kept walking. The world around me changed to a bright world with beautiful marble group and walls. Enormous turrets next to the building we were exiting from looked ferocious, and would more than likely take out any one of us with ease. I shivered at the thought and turned forward. I would make my family proud.
We descended some steps to the bottom lane, passing two more towers on the way. As the third tower came into view I spied Caitlyn and Sona, waiting patiently. I wanted to introduce myself but thought it best to try and talk to them after the fight, since even further past them I could see a row of pink fighters heading towards us.
I let out a tiny war cry as we headed towards the fight.
The pink soldier in front of me swung his mace at me, and I easily deflected it with my shield, but as I swung my mace to hit him, a blast of magic hit me from one of the enemy mages. It would do them no good though, I often sparred with mages! I began to bash away at the soldier in front of me when I felt a sharp pain. That wasn't normal... In the letters our people were immune from pain, given the good life. We fought and then were healed to prime condition.
Another sharp pain across my shoulder, tearing the fur armor I was wearing. No...this was all wrong. As the soldier in front of me fell I looked past the fight and spotted Twisted Fate tossing cards in my direction. My legs were to short to dodge his attacks, and soon my body grew weak...
Things got blurry.
My body was burning up in immense pain, as I watched the soldiers around me cry out in panic.
The mages behind me were cut through by enchanted playing cards. I watched as their blood covered bodies collapsed to the ground.
No...It...couldn't end this way.
I started to crawl towards Lopin, the last mage in our group still standing. I outstretched a hand, having left my weapons behind. I saw the look of terror in his eyes, the realization that we were dying without purpose, that we had been working our whole lives towards this...meaningless event. A card crossed his throat, and he collapsed.
As soldiers and enemy mages, still alive from the onslaught trampled our bodies, I felt a hand at my side. Twisted fate was knealt beside me, shuffling through the tiny pockets of the pants I had worn from home. He pulled out a tiny family picture. Wurt had painted it for me, and then used the magic he knew to shrink it, so I could carry it with me.
"Junk..." Twisted Fate crumpled the paper and tossed it over his shoulder, making a grunt noise of disappointment. "Where is it..." His eyes lit up as a jingling noise could be heard. My savings... I forgot to give them to my family!
I had been saving up from farm work in hopes to get enough so my family could get tickets to see a real League Match. I had actually hoped they'd be able to watch my match...
"There's always extra when I check them...I wonder why that is." Twisted fate shrugged as he pocketed the money I had worked hard for, and walked away like it was nothing. I rolled back over, tears forming in my eyes as I crawled towards the crumpled up picture of my family. I smiled at it, knowing that even if I die here today, my family will still be taken care of. My only wishes, that my son doesn't make the same mistake I do. As the bodies around me began to dissolve into the earth, I could feel my own body vanishing. I held the picture tight, and smiled, feeling that this sacrifice for my family might be worth the pain.
Back at the Institute, A summoner was given a small picture of a minion and his family. On the back was a written note from it's owner. "My beautiful wife Mia, and my handsome son Kai, forever will I love you, and forever will I be with you."
"This one has a son, and we won't need to probe his body to duplicate his writing either. Get to work." The man left the summoner to his duty as he analyzed the handwriting. "By the way, his life was lost to Twisted Fate."
Two Weeks Later
Kai swung his sword in a circle and his mother duck beneath it to avoid losing her head. "You know, you're just like your father when he was young. Mind you, I'm not as young as I used to be, so eventually you might actually take my head off." Kai smiled and set his father's weapons down, gifts sent to them from the Institute of War with two gold pieces.
"Maybe one day I'll get to fight in the League just like my father!" Kai circled his mom kicking the air with his stubby legs in excitement.
"Maybe you will, if you keep at it. I have faith you'll make it." The mother grinned down at the son as she began to moved the clean laundry from the clothesline to their home, when the two circles outside their village began to illuminate.
"Mom they're here they're here!" Kai rushed off from the house and stood by the village fence, as all the soldiers and mages kissed their wives and began to line up. Three summoners appeared this time, and as the mages grouped up with the first one, the third arrival walked over to Kai and patted him on the head, handing him an envelope. It was from the Institute, and he snatched it, thanking the summoner, before rushing off to his mother. The summoner feigned a smile and stood beside the second summoner, who was counting off the accepted warriors.
"I got a letter Ma! I think it's from Dad!" Kai rushed over to his mother and handed her the envelope. She tore the paper and opened a folding note.
It's been nearly two weeks hasn't it? I haven't stopped thinking about you once in all the time here at the Institute. It's been a tough start I will admit, some of these guys are just so much stronger! I'll beat them eventually, I'm determined. I hope things have been going well, I know the Institute is taking care of you while I'm gone. I bet Kai has gotten to be quite the man now. Tell him he best be taking care of his mother, he is the man of the house after all.
Life here is pretty amazing. On my first day I got to fight! Can you believe it? Me of all people in a League Match, like we talked about when we were younger. I fought along Caitlyn and Sona, both as good at fighting as they are beautiful, though nowhere as beautiful as you. I became friends with Twisted Fate too. We talked about family, and I told him all about you guys. I think he cheats at cards though, he always wins, and makes sure you never forget it. Anyway...I've got to go get ready for another match, tell Kai I hope to see him here sometime in the future, I need to see him all grown up! Maybe he can fight with his old man one day too. I love you both so very much!
Tears swelled in Mia's eyes as she read the letter and she held it to her. Kai flipped the envelope over and a small paper fell out of it. It was the picture of their family, with the note on the back, identical handwriting to the letter. Kai looked at the picture, and at his father, before inspiration hit and he rushed off to spar with the other local boys. Mia read the note to herself as the remaining summoners disappeared in a bright light with the village's chosen warriors.
"My beautiful wife Mia, and my handsome son Kai, forever will I love you, and forever will I be with you."