In a damp,cold cell beneath the grated ceiling of Noxus's arena a Minotaur sat arms folded with wrist and ankles bound in gleaming enchanted steel. "Winter is coming to Noxus" the Minotaur thought. Rising his head slowly opening recent wounds at his neck, "painful, but just a splinter of what my heart has suffered."
Looking out the small barred window at the top of the wall he looked at the dieing light in the sky, his thoughts trailing back to his tribe.Distant hazy memory filled in, it would almost be time for fireside celebration of successful storage for the coming winter. Everyone in the Tribe would sing dance and love under the stars. A pale moon was in the sky and embers jostled up and down from the dancing of the Minotaurs and the pounding of feet that echoed across the Great Barrier.
It would be chilly but the consumption of spirits would remedy that.Setting down looking into the fire he glanced up at his wife was exiting his hut with the younglings in tow.Firelight gleamed from her ruby red eyes passion was in them and they where drunk of the fullness of life. Setting the younglings down by her husband she quickly took to his side embracing as an icy chill bellowed flames high into the night sky.
"She wants to become a warrior like you" she whispered in their caress "Like me?" He said chuckling silently. Looking over he saw her gazing into the fire and to the elder who had gathered the attention of all listeners with ancient tales and legends from the old wars, but most importantly the Minotaurs in them. The Celebration would continue long into the dawning of the next day. The sun bursting over Crested peaks, rays settling over a smoldering wood.The cold almost masking the burning of countless body's.
Barking orders the only thing interrupting the gusting of the wind..."Alistar! Alistar!! come on your last bout is today"! Breaking away from the haunting memories Alistar looks down even from sitting at the small child. "Again today?" "Ayelia I'm too tired I just cant take anymore." "Can't take anymore?" "Nonono it was you who taught me to stand up to those bullies to get up after being hit down." "You can't give up Alister you just can't." "Your the only friend I have since I was sold and if you cant fight they...they will kill you!"
Tears began to swim down the young child's face. Alistar reached slowly with his large finger wiping her cheek,"don't cry small one it is the nature of all things to end" he said as she wrapped both arms around his finger. "But my end is not here not now" he said standing bleeding from his recent battle wounds; painful but hes felt worse before.
Six Years Ago
Above the dank smokey streets of Noxus,carved from the very stone of the mountain is the Grand Citadel. Its ramparts gleaming in the pale morning sky. The Prince was lively this morning today he would take his rightful place beside his father, ascending to second in command of the city-State. He sat in his study pouring over scout reports and looking across charts where battle lines are drawn.
Looking at his opposition he was forming in his head the look of his father when he brought back the Demaican heads of state on pikes of course. He was so preoccupied with his maps that he did not hear someone enter the room. A sharp whistle of wind was heard and then between his forefinger and his thumb was a dagger.
"Little Prince's shouldn't play general" Katirnia said. Unflinching he picked it out of the map and threw it back; she deftly caught it."Not now Katirnia you of all people should know that today is when you refer to me as sir. I've no time for your games and tricks so what is it you want?"
" Simmer down their prince no tricks not today at least, I was sent by your father he wishes for you to see him before the ceremony."Tell my father I will see him shortly I..." "its and order Prince". With that Katrina quickly turned to leave.
"Or should I say sir" she said before laughing walking out of his chambers.Rising from his desk he approached a window overlooking the city his reflection faint in the glazed surface.Checking his uniform he turned and started out of his chambers. Secretly he always feared his father with his seemingly endless life span.
More then a few of his personal friends have asked about the reclusive leader. As for the Prince he did not know much himself.As he neared his fathers personal quarters two Elite Guardsmen kept vigil their green robes adored with arcane runes that oscillated with a faint hum.
Still as statues they watched faces masked by helms of darkness. "These were no mere soldiers",the Prince thought. They were the Faceless Noxian Elite guard. Three pairs of glowing red eyes stared looking distantly across the chamber not seeming to focus on the Prince at all. He knew better though, as he neared the entrance one of the two stepped in front and spoke in a dust cracked voice "Halt what is your purpose here?"
"I was told to meet my father in person." The eyes unflinching stared into his own their piercing gaze seeing into his very soul. "Proceed" it proclaimed and stepped aside. Anxiety fading the Prince continued. In the normal army of Noxus it is considered both a great honor and condemnation to become one of the faceless.
For in becoming one you lose your own identity, token funerals are even common.Not once has one ever disobeyed an order even when asked to go on suicide Missions. Some speculate mind control or magic is used to create them. "Regardless they represent the fist of the Noxian war-machine and soon" the Prince thought. "Soon I would control them all!"
Pushing the glided ebony doors open he entered. The room was dark with curious oddities adorning the far side of the wall. Standing at the entrance the Prince looked towards the windows a tall figure stood in front eclipsing the filtered light pouring forth. "Yes father?" He asked.
"Sit down my son" Darkwill said, his voice was gravely but held genuine love. Kerian made his way to the other side of the room sitting in one of the blood red lounge chairs. Even facing his father's back his sense of authority was almost palpable. He was dressed in his formal attire, golden vambraces engraved in the form of a raven adored his wrists. Flowing green robes, glided elegantly went to just above his feet. Slowly he turned to face his son. His face looked young but his eyes were deep in their sockets set with great horrors and joy.
A long scar ran across his left eye. A deep shade of red his eyes seemed to glow in the dim light from the window. "My son what is it you think that measures a man." The question caught Kerian off guard as he stumbled over his answer. "The honor he brings to his country" Kerian finally said proudly. Chuckling lightly "reminds me of the Du Couteau children."
Suppressing his agitation Kerian tried to get to the point of the conversation. "What did you wish of me father?" he said. "What do I wish hmph. I wish you could know what the true measure of a man is my son, but sadly the horrors of war have torn it from your mind." upon finishing he sounded saddened.
"The real measure of a mans worth is not in the battles he wins nor the honor he brings to his family and country. No the true worth of a man is how he serves the world and its people not just the ones he cares about. I am old beyond remembering but this war has wearied me and our people my son." "And it is about to come to an end."
Kerian was speechless,all his life the Demacian's were hated feared and above all killed. The prospect of peace was never in his darkest nightmares. Shocked Kerian barely got out the words "H..How?" "A New organization calling itself the League of Legends was formed from the best and brightest magi in all of Runeterra." Darkwill said briskly. "Did they force you father if so we can...." Kerian began but was quickly silenced by his father.
"No I've already agreed to its formation and its backing. If King Jarvan III has any sense he will soon do the same. The bloodshed between our nations will end." "Peace..." Kerian said dryly. "Who else knows?" "Only my generals at the moment know of the treaty." "So am I counted in that number father?" Kerian said furiously. "Yes son you are." Darkwill said. "You took all of it away from me. I was going to lead our people in this war. I would have crushed their forces. I...I...I would have made you proud of me father!" Kerian said emotionally distraught.
He began towards the door. But upon standing up he was embraced by his father. " I already am son." Darkwill said calmly. Pushing away from the embrace "You ruined my dreams father, all of my hopes." His face red with anger he turned. "Commander Set Halt!" Darkwill ordered. Instinctively Kerian stopped in his tracks. "About face!" blared General Darkwill. Kerian no longer saw his father. "You are a power hungry warmongering tyrant. said Darkwill placing his hand gently on his sons cheek. "And that is my fault." Whipping his hand away Darkwill quickly became serious again.
" Commander you will report to Commander Swain for your mission you are not to report to the ceremony tonight." At this Kerian flinched but said nothing. "He will instruct you on a expedition to the barrier lands to rid it of a Minotaur pest. You will lead this expedition commander." Are my orders clear?" Darkwill said authoritatively. "Crystal Sir." Kerian said grimacing. "Dismissed" said Darkwill. Quickly exiting his fathers room Kerian went back to his room a different man.
Racing back to his room he quickly entered slamming his chamber door shut, breaking the hinges in the process. Entering his study the very sight of his battle maps and strategy infuriated him further. "How could he be such a coward." thought Kerian pacing. "HOW COULD HE." he yelled grasping his writing chair and flinging it hard against the wall impacting a bookcase. Shards of wood flew in all directions, books fell and pages fluttered across the air.
Breathing heavily Kerian remembered his conditioning . Personal feelings aside he was a solider at heart his feelings come secondary. Remembering his orders he quickly changed into his battle raiment. Setting aside his general uniform a great sadness welled up inside him. He had come so far only to be set back. Leaving his room in ruins he left the Citadel and left his dreams there too.
Swain sat in the middle of a large group of people he was assigning each a section to clear from the tribal camp. The entire group was just inside the city's primary walls about to set out. "The 5th Legion will approach from the flank cutting off their most likely escape route. I will have legions Two and three with me as we sweep the village." Kerian walked in as he finished his sentence. All men including Swain stood attention with him leaning on his cane. "At ease." Kerian said distastefully. "Sorry for the intrusion sir but you caught me at a disadvantage." Swain said carefully. "Think nothing of it Commander it was a recent change." "A change?" Swain said. "Curious." At this a ebony bird flew across the top of the group its talons raised it graciously perched itself on Swains shoulder. Ignoring the bird Kerian continued.
"I have been reassigned to lead this mission." Kerian said loud enough to be heard by the entire group. A small clamor aroused from the troops as many of them thought Commander Swain to be strange. Swain had risen greatly in a very short time through the ranks of the military. His record showed him to be brilliant in combat tactics. Even Kerian himself considered making him his tactical officer when he became general. "But as for the plan that is still you Swain." I expect to be briefed soon after this planning is finished. "Yes General" Swain said. Kerian quickly corrected him "Lieutenant Commander." "Sir?" Swain asked smugly. "Not general" Kerian said callously. "Oh forgive me Commander my mistake. Swain finished.