The boat was rocking violently, the powerful waves threatening to throw it upside down and leave the crew and its mercy. Down in the depths of the ship Caitlyn sat polishing her rifle while Corki sat tuning up his vehicle. Riven sat across from Caitlyn and was also polishing her sword admiring how perfect it looked once more. The only one not partaking in equipment maintenance was Teemo, who none of them could even see since he had been still for almost their entire journey.
"Are you ever going to move Teemo," asked Riven
"Want me to blind you?"
"I would prefer you didn't," she said chuckling. "That rifle is beautiful Caitlyn."
Smiling she said, "Heimerdinger really went all out on this one. It has longer range than my old one and delivers are more powerful shot."
"What are those then," Riven asked pointing to the three rectangles protruding from the rotating chamber.
"These are three clips each with a different type of ammo in it. The one pointing up is the clip that is use at the time and this one is standard rounds. The other two have either electric rounds or incendiary rounds."
Chuckling she said, "They aren't much to look if you compare them to the custom rounds I designed myself."
"What do they do?"
"Why ruin the surprise," she said with a rogue grin.
From above they heard footsteps running down the stairs. One of the captain’s pages stopped at the bottom of the stairs gasping for breath.
Finally he got enough air in his lungs and said, "We will be landing on Ionia in a few minutes.
Teemo finally moved, scaring the page back up the stairs.
Laughing Riven said, "That wasn't very nice Teemo."
No more conversation was spared as everyone began to pack up their equipment. Soon after they finished they felt the boat hit solid land. As they disembarked they couldn't help but notice the heavy security around the harbor.
Turning to the captain Caitlyn asked, "Do you know why there is increased security?"
"I'm afraid I don't Ms. Caitlyn but I'm sure Irelia had a good reason for it."
As they walked into the harbor town they witnessed three full platoons of soldiers running to different posts. Over in the command post set up in the village they found Irelia's second in command.
Walking over Riven saluted the lieutenant saying, "I've returned Lieutenant."
"Welcome back Commander."
"If I may ask sir, why is there such an increase in security?"
"While you were gone we were attacked by a small force led by Shaco."
"How did he get in?"
"We still don't know how he got here, but the Captain wants us to increase security across all harbor towns."
"New ones straight from the Captain. You are to join us here to fortify defenses as well as teach our soldiers how to recognize Noxian scout movement."
"Yes sir. Sir, what about our liaison with Demacia?"
"Yes about that."
Before he could finish Riven saw Etheria walking through the square heading towards the pier.
"Did she really decide to send Etheria?"
"Did she believe he could sit through tedious council talks without saying something impertinent to some noble?"
"I think she is just hoping the death toll stays low at this point."
Ionia: three days earlier
A gong resounded throughout the harbor village, the signal for an incoming enemy attack. Off in the distance four Noxian landing craft. From the craft came hundreds of grey colored soldiers and scattered throughout the soldiers were Urgot, Sion, and Cho'Gath.
From the center of the village came Irelia's command, "All soldiers to defensive positions."
Caitlyn jumped up, grabbing her rifle, and started climbing the stairs that lead to the top of the lighthouse. Once there she set up her rifle on the rail and slotted in two clips of standard rounds. As the soldiers reached the outskirts of the village several explosions of purple smoke exploded from the ground, indicating that Teemo would be chuckling to himself right now. Caitlyn fired into the crowd of soldiers dropping at least one for every shot. As she looked down she saw Riven dueling with Sion. As he tried to cut her in half Caitlyn fired a round into his foot hoping to disrupt his rhythm. Sion appeared unphased by the assault and continued his assault on Riven. Sidestepping his heavy blow Riven stabbed deep into his thigh. Sion appeared not to notice, but he seemed to move around slower. Off to the side Cho'Gath started towards the wall protecting the village. Before he got close to the wall a dart hit him on the jaw. Emerging from the shadows Teemo started firing hundreds of poison darts, peppering Cho'Gath's hide with small wooden specks.
Laughing Cho'Gath said, "What do you think you are doing puny rat?"
In response Teemo fired a blinding dart in between Cho'Gath's eyes. Cho'Gath screamed in pain and began blindly stomping around trying to crush Teemo underfoot. Unfortunately, Teemo started to move quickly and wove in and out of Cho'Gath's feet.
"Puny rat, I will punish you for this,” afterwards Cho'Gath ran into a field of mushrooms while still unable to see.
Screaming in pain he attempted to find Teemo in the tall grass that was around him.
Spotting a small figure a short distance away he bent over with his mouth agape, "NOM NOM NOM NOM."
After he finished eating Cho'Gath continued moving towards the wall. When he was only a few feet from the wall he suddenly keeled over spewing purple gas from his mouth. While Cho'Gath struggled to move another dart struck him between the eyes blinding him once again.
"Curse you puny rat."
As Teemo subdued Cho'Gath the wall underneath the lighthouse suddenly dissolved leaving a wide open road for the Noxian soldiers. Caitlyn looked down into the grass searching for anything out of the ordinary. Then she saw it, a dark green pattern slithering through the grass. As she tracked Cassiopeia she missed the twenty Noxian soldiers who came forth and dragged Cho'Gath back to the ship. Sion and Riven were still trading blows. Riven taking a heavy blow on her left arm, Sion taking numerous wounds to the chest that seemed to do nothing. As she centered on Sion the lighthouse Caitlyn was in suddenly shook. Looking down she saw Urgot firing his acid hunters at the lighthouse. Each time one hit it took out a chunk of the lighthouse and disrupted her aim. Caitlyn pulled one of the custom rounds from the rigging on her rifle and loaded it into the barrel. Taking aim again she centered on Urgot. Before she could fire the lighthouse rocked and started tilting toward the ground. Knowing she only had seconds she centered on Urgot once more and fired. The round split into four pieces and struck the ground around Urgot. Laughing he fired once more not noticing the spark jumping between the bullet fragments. As he fired another hunter electricity arced from the bullet fragments, attracted to the metal in his body. As the electricity fried Urgot Caitlyn jumped from the lighthouse rolling as she hit the dirt. Now the Noxian soldiers were retreating having lost two of their champions. Looking up Caitlyn noticed the dark green pattern slithering away. Caitlyn grabbed another custom round, loaded, and took aim. The shot was more luck than skill as Cassiopeia was easily camouflaged by the grass, but regardless the bullet flew through the air and expanded into a net that fell upon Cassiopeia as she was reaching the boats. Riven and Teemo swiftly made their way toward Cassiopeia and secured her, Teemo firing darts to keep the Noxians at bay.
Irelia strode out onto the battlefield calling, "What do you have there Commander?"
"Caitlyn caught us a big one Captain."
Irelia reached Riven and looked down to see Cassiopeia caught in Caitlyn's net.
Smiling she said, "Send her on the next boat to Demacia."
Demacia: five days later
Storming out of the council chamber Lux coulnd't help but be exasperated, which was a rare thing indeed. The problem was that the military and the aristocracy could not see eye to eye and it was costing them loyal soldiers every day. Swerving around the corner she bumped into two aristocrats and hastily apologized before she recognized who she was talking to.
In evident delight she asked, "Fi, Vayne what brings you two up to the council?"
Fiora replied with, "Just some news from Irelia about the situation in Ionia."
"Did anything new happen?"
"New would be an understatement. They were attacked by Shaco and some scum from the Shadow Isles."
"That isn't good," said Lux finally being serious.
"Please, I could take that clown while half asleep."
"Did she say anything else?"
"Just that a permanent liason is on their way with full details."
"Aww that's too bad I kinda liked talking with Riven."
Just then Vayne interupted asking, "Do you feel any magical disturbance Lux?"
"No, but why do you ask?"
"I'm sensing some black magic nearby."
"Any that you recognize?"
"No, and that is disturbing."
"Hmm. Sounds like fun. Let's go."
Without further conversation she grabbed Vayne by the wrist and pulled her down the stairs out into the main square of the city. After muttering to herself something about Lux she went after them. At Vayne's direction they meandered into the back alleys of the sprawling city-state. Turning down an alley they saw a pool of blood and on the other side of the alley they saw a man, with the right half of his body hidden in shadows and on the other half a black tattoo in the shape of a wing, holding up another by the throat.
Fiora swiftly drew her blade and closed the gap between them like a bolt of lightning. Before her blade reached him Fiora felt a rising heat behind her. She hit the ground at once just in time to watch a beam of white hot light streak over her head. It never reached its target as around him was some barrier that diverted the beam skyward.
Dropping his victim he turned to them saying in a voice that rang in their ears longer than it should have, "It is a pleasure to meet you Luxanna Crownguard."
"Who are you," demanded Fiora from the ground.
"I believe you will know soon enough. I look forward to seeing you again Lux. It would be quite enjoyable I think to have a duel with you."
Without another word he simply vanished leaving behind his victim.. Rushing over to him Vayne sat him up only to find a letter in his hand stamped with the seal of the Noxian High Command. The man jumped up as if stabbed and ran down the alley trying to work his way past Lux. His flight was short lived as Lux bound him with chains of light.
"Those are new Lux" said Fiora.
"Thanks. It's something I've been working on in my spare time."
"I wonder who he is," said Fiora.
"He is scum," came Vayne's voice, "I smell death on him, very much like the scent I find on necromancers, but this one is different somehow."
"Regardless once he is in prison we will find out everything."
After delivering the man to the nearest prison the three washed themselves off and then once more proceeded to the council chambers. As they strode toward that council doors they eagerly discussed who they saw in the alley. Vayne was the most confused saying that she had never felt the kind energy coming from him. As they strode into the council room they saw seated in the liaison’s chair a young man with a headband drawn over his left eye leaning back with his other closed. As he leaned forward Lux noticed the tattoo on his left side. Time seemed to slow down as she registered what she was seeing. Pulling out her baton she flicked it causing a dome of light to appear around him
Rising in confusion Garen asked, "What is the meaning of this Luxanna?"
"This man here is a murderer. Not long ago the three of us found him in a back alley standing over a pool of blood with another man in his hand to be killed."
"You have proof of this?"
"The other man in question is in the prison right now."
"This is quite interesting," came Etheria's voice, "quite the ingenious spell you have here Lux."
As he finished speaking the dome of light contracted becoming smaller as well as changing until in his hand sat what looked remarkably like a sun.
"How did you do that," asked Lux
Smirking he said, "Maybe another time Lux. What she failed to mention Sir Crownguard was that the two men in question were Noxian agents.”
"That still does not give you the right to kill them," proclaimed Garen.
"What is done is done.”
“Indeed,” came the king’s voice,”we can look into this matter later Sir Crownguard. Continue.”
“I wish to know about the man known as Swain.”
"What about him?"
"Are there any records of him at any point before he showed up in the Noxian military, not excluding even the smallest of possibilities?"
Garen seemed somewhat downcast as he said, "I'm sorry to say that none of our intelligence agents have found anything."
"If I've heard correctly Swain can transform himself into a raven like form. Is this true?"
A faint smile crept up on him as Etheria said, "Then I'm afraid you can't kill him."
Garen's became low as he asked, "What do you mean we can't kill him?"
"Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that you aren't a capable warrior. What I'm saying is that it is literally impossible to kill Swain."
"Why is that?"
"There were an exceptional amount of casualties in the last Rune War correct?"
"Yes, but why is that relevant?"
"When there is an exceptional amount of an element of life is released or experienced in the world it is rare, but possible for an incarnation of that element to be released into the world. In this case it's safe to say that Swain is an incarnation of death."
Stunned silence was the only thing that greeted this proclamation until Lux managed to get out, "Is there any way to get rid of him?"
"Do you have someone who can completely erase someone's existence in an instant?"
"Then no there isn't you will have to find some way around him or somehow seal him."
"Why can't we just kill him," asked Garen.
"How do you kill somthing that never possessed life in the first place? Swain isn't a living being. He is simply an existence and you can't kill that which does not possess life."
"How do you know of such things," Garen asked in a low voice.
"You think I've just been sitting on that peak for the past few decades. I've been gathering information through magic."
"Unlikely. In fact I think you are hiding something from us."
Garen pulled his sword from his scabbard and moved toward Etheria.
"If you want to keep that blade, then you better reconsider what you are planning."
Garen kept striding forth and when he reached him he pulled back his arm and thrust his blade into Etheria's heart.
Turning his head Etheria asked, "What did you think that would accomplish?"
The entire room went completely still as they took in what they were seeing.
"I would pull out your sword if you want to keep that arm of yours."
Looking down Garen saw black fire spreading along his sword melting it into black lumps. Garen immediately dropped his sword and observed as the rest of his sword turned into a black mess on the floor.
"Looks like you figured it out Sir Crownguard."
"You are an incarnation."
"Yes, but what does that matter in this situation."
"What are you an incarnation of?"
"What makes you think I’m going to tell you that?"
A knock on the door distracted them and they turned to see a foot soldier entering the room.
"This had better be important soldier," came Garen's response.
"It is Sir Crownguard. We've received a report from Ionia."
"What is it now?"
"Sir, they've captured Cassiopeia Du Couteau."