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Ch 01: Prelude to a Curse
How long has it been?
It feels like eternity since we have seen sunlight... If it were not for the tally marks kept by the scribes, we'd have no way to tell time at all.
There are ten of us down here: three scribes, four diggers (myself included), and three carriers. Each one works in eight-hour shifts, and every twelve hours one of the carriers heads back out for additional supplies. As for where 'here' is, we're in some sort of ruin deep beneath the earth. According to the maps, we should be somewhere in the middle of Noxus, if we traversed the map straight across instead of at a decline with a few level spots for camp.
"Oy ev'ryone! We found something!"
The shout from the tunnel brought everyone's heads up. We all shared a look and got up, filing into the tunnel. For a few seconds, no one could see anything at the end - wait, there it is, the flickering of the lantern light. We unconsciously sped up our steps, and in the next moment we're stunned speechless at what we found.
The tunnel we were digging led right into a domed underground chamber, with a sealed door at the far end of the circular room. The light of the lantern was blocked somewhat by a stone pillar standing several feet away, with the rest of us starting to walk around and explore. Someone started lighting the mounted torches, and soon the place is brightly lit. I look up and see a few pinpricks of light; most likely those are intentional gaps in the cobblestone roads, left there for ventilation.
There's a circular dais in the middle of the chamber, and something was standing upon it. It looks like a slab of rock with faint etchings... Was this what we were digging for?
One of the scribes slowly walked up to the slab and gently raised her hand up, tracing the etchings. "What do you suppose this means?" she softly asked. The other scribes ventured closer, their curiosity winning over. Soon they're conversing in hushed tones, words being muffled by their robes' sleeves held over their mouths. As if I knew anything about whatever it is they're talking about.
I continued looking around the chamber, until my eyes fell on the slab again. The etchings - they were runes, I realized; I may not be as high-schooled as the scribes I'm with, but I know a rune when I see it - started to glow as the scribe glided her fingers over it. And for some reason, it put me on edge.
I took a torch and ventured closer, slowly. When I got within a few feet, I noticed something odd: the slab had something sticking out on top of it. Becoming somewhat curious myself, despite the niggling feeling of... whatever it is, I leaned closer and raised the torch for better lighting. What I saw was no mere object, but a length of stone - probably the same as the slab itself - with some rotted pieces of cloth winding around it.
It made no sense, until I stepped slightly to the side and lowered the torch towards the side of the slab: it was not a flat rectangular slab, but it tapered into a rough edge. "This is no mere slab of rock," I said out loud in realization.
It was a greatsword. A zweihander, if my memory serves right.
And if it had runes, it meant it was enchanted.
A smile grew on my face. Finally, we had something to use against those blasted Ionian spellmasters. "Let's get this back up to the surface, I'm pretty sure High Command will be pleased."
Jericho Swain sat with one hand holding the written report, the other hand firmly on his cane while Beatrice, his raven, was perched comfortably upon his shoulders.
After a few minutes, he put down the paper and cast his gaze on the seemingly-broken greatsword - zweihander, the scribes reminded him one time too many - made of stone, with softly glowing runes and possibly enchanted with ancient magic.
And if Swain knew anything about magic, is that ancient rune magic tended to make fairly powerful shields.
And if it was placed on an offensive weapon? Even better, because even if the Ionian spellmasters managed to block rune magic, they still had to contend with the solid blade.
But who to wield it, though? Everyone who tried lifting it could only do so with difficulty, and as such would be only a liability...
Darius? No, the oaf might be strong enough to use it, but there's no sense in having him use the rune sword. Demacia would only think that they, the great nation of Noxus, were copying their vaunted champion Garen Lightguard. The man could stand toe-to-toe with the Du Couteau girl skill-wise, but he was just as brainless, if not more, than the lowest Noxian grunt.
Sion? As much as Swain wanted to, the weapon didn't match Sion's combat methods. He'd only shatter the sword within days, if not hours, of getting it. Better let him keep that axe of his.
'Why does every able-bodied Noxian soldier prefer the axe over the sword?' Swain had to resist heaving a deep sigh at the thought. He turned his head as Beatrice made a soft sound against his ears, his beloved raven -
Wait. Wasn't there one soldier, with a name something sounding like raven, that preferred large blades? What was her name again...?
Ah, yes, Riven.
Yes... And she was strong enough to lead her own squad, from what the reports of her say.
Swain tapped his cane on the floor sharply, and a runner entered the room. "Get me the soldier Riven. Bring her here immediately." Swain's eyes went back to the hulk of enchanted stone, plans already forming in his mind.
"We have a new assignment for her."
How long has it been...?
Too long. For far too long, I have not been wielded... All the others who attpted to wield me are not worthy. They don't have the strength...
No, that is incorrect. Some of th do have the strength to wield me, but not to resist me.
And I do not enjoy wielders who easily fall to me.
No, I want someone who I can challenge, who can challenge me...
I wonder how Aatrox and Rhaast are...? Despite annoying me, I somewhat enjoy those two troublakers' company...
Wait! What is this? Someone... Someone is holding me... Yes, she is of body, of mind... Yes, yes, yes! At long last, I have my chosen wielder!
Oh, how much fun we will have, dear wielder... For now, you have no need of me... I will slumber for the meantime, but we will meet, mark my words...
If you read the original, I am so sorry that FFN's copy-paste is being all crappy.
Hello everyone, it's been quite some time since I last published anything... For that, I sincerely apologize.
I've been playing with some plot bunnies in my head and this was one of them. I don't know yet when I will be able to write the next chapter, since everything's still a mess, but I will try to complete it within the next few months.
(minor edits 09/20/2017)