Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chapter Two

Leona was a very busy Solari, especially with the upcoming Sun Festival and all ensuing events surrounding the annual holiday. However, when the League's esteemed Night Hunter had asked to speak with her on a very important, humanitarian subject, the Radiant Dawn instantly cleared her schedule and put off returning to Mount Targon in order to meet. It was not a particularly unusual surprise to see the three Void monsters walking in tow of Vayne, as it was her week to babysit them, but her guards were not as accustomed to the bizarre creatures.

Kog'Maw trotted up ahead, eager to greet one of his supports, but jumped back to cling to Vayne's leg when two sword-wielding Solari lunged at him. Leona herself stood, stepping beyond her guards and ordering them back, "You may depart for a while, these are friends, no need to be on the defense."

The Solari underlings reluctantly left, eying the Voidlings in disgust on their way out, but unable to see Nami, hidden between Cho and Kha'Zix's towering figures. Leona hugged Kog briefly once her guards had departed, glad to see the youthful Voidling, and greeted Vayne.

"It's unusual anyone sees you off the battlefield, a pleasant rarity," the Solari smiled, extended her hand to shake, then laughing in the direction the guards retreated, "They're going to ask me later why I didn't demand you bow. Some of the young Solari trainees are so wrapped up in traditions and rituals, but none of you are inhabitants of Mount Targon; as my friends I would be ashamed to have you act so archaic towards me."

"I'm fairly certain you couldn't tell if Kog bowed anyways, he's already so short and stubby," Vayne pointed out, and the young Voidling plopped to the ground, tripping over himself as he tried to curtsy like he'd seen the Demacians do whenever Jarvan approached.

"Anyway, though you are always welcome to drop in, what requires you to seek my presence so swiftly?" Leona queried, contenting herself with patting Kog as she awaited her explanation.

"Perhaps you heard of the newest champion joining our ranks shortly? Your sun has not yet fully cycled since her announcement, but we met her already, and have a request," Vayne stepped aside to reveal Nami fully, in all her fishy glory. Leona gasped, surprised by the sleek tail and wave swirling beneath the mermaid, but nodded her head upon regaining her senses.

"Yes, Nami, isn't it? Pleasure to meet you, I'm Leona, the head of the Solari. I doubt you've come simply to introduce me, though."

"No, we were hoping you could tell us something about a Moonstone. Nami needs to find it or her people will be subject to the forces in the ocean without protection. I'm sure her cause resonates with you."

"Oh indeed, I can sympathize with her efforts, though I know nothing of any stone by that name. We don't even have any Solari elders to ask anymore, they were all slaughtered... You are welcome to look into the archives on Mount Targon, of course, by my special permission, but I'm afraid there is nobody among our ranks left alive who could inform you."

Vayne turned to the four champions behind her, thinking back on how Diana had killed the oldest Solari off, and thus those most likely to recollect ancient legends relating to the Moonstone. The Voidlings looked prepared to depart for Leona's home, but Nami rushed forward, unsatisfied, "How can nobody remember?! It's only been a hundred years since the last landwalker brought the Moonstone to my people, yet nobody knows where it is or has heard anything about it. We've been forgotten when we need this stone the most and oh, I'm running out of time to find it."

Leona sighed, reaching out to embrace the distraught mermaid, who was wringing her hands out of concern and fear for her immediate future efforts. A slight pang of guilt coursed through her mind, wondering if, had her people not expelled the Lunari so thoroughly, the Moonstone would not be lost or forgotten, left untold in legends by the victors who had silenced all notion of the Moon worshippers' might. Diana had never mentioned the stone in any tale ever recounted to Leona, not that she ever personally spoke to the Scorn of the Moon, yet what were the odds a Moonstone was not connected with the Lunari? Smiling to comfort Nami, Leona spoke once again in her best soothing bravado tone, "I shall personally accompany you until your quest for the Moonstone ends, whether in success or failure. If we do not find record of it in my people's library, than we shall continue onwards until we do find a trail to follow."

"But Leona, the Sun Festival is coming up, surely you must be busy preparing for that, and what will your subjects think if THE Iron Solari is absent after what happened before?" Cho'Gath voiced his concerns, thinking of the timing but secretly hoping for chaos ensuing as a result of Leona's absence after the events surrounded Diana.

"I find it an interesting coincidence our Sun Festival is around this same time that Nami must find her Moonstone. If there is a relation between the Lunari and her stone tied in with our own celebration, our journey will be swift. If not, my people will understand I must defend all who come before me in need of assistance," the Radiant Dawn firmly declared, planting her foot into the ground, the clank of armor as her heel connected with the concrete echoing her stance on the matter.

"Come, we should not waste more time. It sounds uncertain how much longer Nami's people have."


Though the Solari Archive was a massive wealth of knowledge on old lore of the land, and had recorded everything notable in the history of Mount Targon and its people, the investigation was hampered in numerous ways. Nami had personally never seen a book before and was mystified by the idea of paper, her youthful age showing in her inability to focus on scanning the shelves for anything useful. The Voidlings, though able to read the modern language, were thoroughly confused by any older scripts and variants, and thus useless for reading any ancient texts. This left Vayne and Leona to scan the oldest and possibly most useful books, in a highly unsuccessful search.

"It seems that, when the Lunari were eliminated, the Solari completely removed all traces of them from the archives. Look, several of these books have had entire sections ripped out from them, you can see the missing paper. They're merely records of weddings and births, but if you notice, the section on Solari all seem to have ended. I believe these were records of Lunari, thoroughly purged after they lost the fight," Leona finally noted, holding up a book and showing the torn old stubs of paper left in its spine.

"Indeed, any book about the Lunari was likely even easier to burn. I haven't seen them mentioned in a single book. I hate to ask and insinuate you would hide anything from us, but, is there a more sacred Solari archive, perhaps with texts they do not wish anyone else to see? I find it odd they would have burned their own records of where Lunari temples and villages were," Vayne warily inquired, feeling horribly out of place accusing Leona of not sharing everything with them when she had already permitted them into the reserved Solari library.

"I have personally read every book in that collection myself and studied every map, drawing, anecdote, everything, in that room. Nothing about the Lunari or Moonstone is present," the Radiant Dawn insisted, clapping shut the book in her hand.

"Looks like there's nothing here to help us then... What will I do if I can't find the Moonstone? My people will die out remembering me as the lone Tidecaller to fail her quest," Nami sighed, sinking to the ground. She looked on the verge of tears, staring at the mounds of books in front of her that held no information whatsoever. Cho swung a clawed arm around her, patting her gently in an effort to comfort her.

"There is someone else we could ask..." Kha'Zix pointed out, unsure if he should mention her considering the tension and history.

"You wouldn't need to go with us to speak to her, Leona, I'm sure we could go on our own," Vayne assured, just as uncertain how the Radiant Dawn would react to seeking help from the person who killed her fellow Solari.

Picking up her sword, Leona planted the tip firmly into the ground through a crack in the floor before turning to face the others after several minutes of thinking, "I will accompany you to see Diana. I vowed my services in aiding the recovery of the Moonstone and a Solari does not back out. We will find the stone before it is too late, starting with the Scorn of the Moon."

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chapter One

 Vayne sighed, rolling over on her now-sandy towel. She had been forced to take the three Void monsters out for their weekly fun day, and this week they intended to visit a beach far south that was always sunny and balmy, regardless of the season or weather anywhere else. The beach was, of course, the absolute last place she wanted to be, lounging around in revealing clothing getting skin cancer and watching the Voidlings in their water skins splashing about mindlessly. But, she had managed to get out of the past two babysitting sessions, and the League officials weren't having any of her excuses this time. All the AD carries were tasked with accompanying the Voidlings and ensuring their safety, which was really an excuse to prevent them from eating entire villages while seeing if they could be acclimatized to normal Runeterran life that did not involve digesting cities.

Her Dragonslayer outfit was suitable enough for lying on a large towel on the beach, waiting for Kog to get hungry and demand they leave for food. Unfortunately, it had been several hours, and he was still happily splashing around with Cho'Gath and Kha'Zix. Perhaps she should have brought a particularly savory snack with which to lure his appetite out, in the unusual event he didn't start talking about food within an hour of arriving.

Cho batted the beach ball over to Kog, who hit it with the lantern dangling on his head, their webbed feet allowing them to traverse the water much faster than Kha'Zix, who grumbled often he needed to adapt to the ocean properly. At least they hadn't asked her to play with them or go for a swim - the Voidlings were oddly polite thanks to Cho'Gath's manners lessons and fascination with being a true gentleman. They allowed her to sit, ever-observant, reading a novel on the seashore and didn't bother her with their games. Which, she supposed, was the benefit to actually going along with her responsibility to babysit - it let her catch up on reading and get away from the nagging hoards of other champions.

Just then, the familiar signal of the end of the outing rang out from the ocean - Kog'Maw's somewhat-raspy muttering, "I hungry."

Glancing out over the top of her sunglasses, Vayne smiled, ever-so-briefly, at the other two Void monsters shaking their heads in dismay.

"Really now, Kog, you just had your breakfast but a few short hours ago," Cho protested, slapping his webbed claws down to the water, making quite a splash.

"He eats more than your mother did, ha HA!" Kha'Zix cackled, quickly leaping away as the larger Voidling lunged at him, toppling over into the water. The trio began wrestling as the Night Hunter smirked, returning to her novel, before a fourth movement caught her eye.

Her attention darted far down the shore, to a strange splashing in the water approaching them. From the distance, she was unable to make out what was swimming towards, but she hopped up, deeply regretting her decision not to bring her larger crossbow along, and ran to the gently-crashing waves.

"Get out of the water, something's coming at you, I can't tell what it is yet. If it's anything like Fizz's stupid shark friends I want to be on the opposite side of the continent from it," she yelled, struggling to grab the attention of the Voidlings over their loud laughter and eerily inhuman shrieks of delight as they rolled about in the sea.

Kog'Maw noticed her attempting to signal them first and sent out an ult like a flare to get the other two to focus and together they trudged out of the surf, staring down the coast at the swiftly-approaching disruption in the otherwise-glassy ocean surface. It neared the shore before slowing and cautiously approached. Vayne was expecting to see some hideous fish monster, along the lines of Cho and Kog's skins, but what popped its head out of the water surprised her even more.

"Hello, m-my name is Nami, do any of you have a Moonstone? I really need to find one," an oddly-human face queried, glancing around in confusion at the four figures staring down at her. Vayne jumped back, a very un-Demacian thing of her to do, but the shock of seeing a woman with fins for hair was too much. There were rumors, of course, of mermaids existing, but as fiendish sirens waiting to lure men down to the bottom of the ocean. If this one wanted to lure the likes of Cho and Kha to the depths below, well, Vayne would've seen everything then.

Finally she regained her voice enough to glance around at the absent looks on the Voidlings' faces and affirm their lack of knowledge, "No, I'm afraid none of us have ever heard of it."

The creature hauled herself out of the water, onto the shore with them, revealing her shimmering green tail. It really was a mermaid, but she had no ominous look about her, and in fact appeared quite young and scared.

"Oh, oh I just don't know what to do then. Do you know anyone who would have the Moonstone?" the mermaid asked, looking even more depressed than she had before.

"Never heard of it in any legends or myths, perhaps you could tell us some information about it, and we could piece things together if there is such a stone?" Cho'Gath reasoned, extending a webbed hand to shake Nami's in greeting.

"Well, my people thrive on the light of the Moonstone to protect us, and we must trade a pearl for the stone every hundred years. I've come with the pearl," she explained, dragging a magnificent pearl out of a kelp bag wrapped around her upper body and holding it up, "But there was no land walker in this cove of enchantments. I waited and hunted around and nobody came. I don't know what they're supposed to look like, or even what the Moonstone is like, but I know someone has to have it. If I can't find it, I'll never be able to return home, not even as a failure, because I won't have a home to go back to."

"That sound horrible! There, there," Kog lamented, reaching out his stubby arm to pat Nami on the back in an effort to comfort her. Vayne once again let a small smile break through at the kind gesture before turning back to the mermaid, who looked extremely downtrodden, "We know of someone who deals with the powers of the sun, and a moon follower as well, perhaps Leona will know something or be able to take us to the Solari Library, where an old book in the archives might have information on the Moonstone?"

"Indeed a wise suggestion, though the Solari seem to despise the moon. It's possible they even got rid of this stone themselves. But it can't hurt to ask," Kha'Zix concurred, fluttering his wings as the other Voidlings nodded their heads.

Nami tentatively looked around the shore, suddenly realizing she was in the company of three rather frightful monsters, only being held in check by a slender woman with a small crossbow left on her towel. Sensing her discomfort, the Night Hunter copied the actions of her fellow women when cooing over puppies and small children, raising her voice to exaggerate her words and throwing her arms around Kog's cylindrical figure, "Oh don't worry about these three, they're harmless, unless they think you're food. But they won't eat you, will you, Koggy?"

The shortest Voidling thumped his foot against the ground, relishing in having his head and neck scratched. Kha'Zix shook his head at the display of affection, leaping off to start the long walk back. Cho'Gath followed him, beginning on a long explanation of the surface world to Nami, who somewhat reluctantly tagged along, floating slightly above the ground on a ripple of water as if she was swimming through the air.

"Ah yes, we should introduce ourselves to the young Madame. I am Cho'Gath, the lumbering lummox with wings is Kha'Zix, the squat one is Kog'Maw and our caretaker for the day is Vayne," the largest monster turned around, realizing his manners had been sorely lacking.

"It's... a pleasure to meet all of you. Are you sure Leona will know where I can find the Moonstone?" Nami timidly asked, pausing to look back at Vayne and Kog'Maw, bringing up the rear of the party.

"No, not at all, but perhaps she can give us a clue of where to go next. There's plenty of eons-old champions in the League, one of them may remember something," Vayne shrugged, making sure everything she brought was safely tucked into her bag.

"The League?" the mermaid cocked her head, looking about in confusion.

The other four just smiled - "You'll learn about it soon enough."