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Shadow Isles Crow







A Desperate Alliance Edit

by Montesque64 (edited by Agrofox and CupcakeTrap)

Recently, the inquisitive yordles of Bandle City decided to use a pyrikhos bomb to blast through the magical seal on an ancient Shuriman tomb, the Pyramid of Akhtal. They crept inside, andcame face to face with an insane Shuriman lich corrupted by the creeping contamination of the Void. They escaped and re-sealed the tomb, but they have grossly underestimated Nefara’s powers …

The Lich Queen Nefara now sends a massive undead army to destroy Bandle City and turn its inhabitants into undead minions. The nations of Runeterra have risen to defend Bandle City from this invasion, but even their combined might may not suffice.

This is the story of the battle for Bandle City.

“There’s no doubt, sir, they’re headed straight for Bandle City.”

Teemo, Scoutmaster of Bandle City, cursed and turned away from the scout who bore the report.  “Wonderful.  Just wonderful.  Let the council know I’m setting up a perimeter, but we don’t have the Yordles to mount any sort of real defense.  How many were there?”

The young Yordle scout shifted his feet nervously.  Teemo was a legend in the corps, and he didn’t want to give the Swift Scout anything but an accurate report…even so… “Sir…I don’t know.”

Teemo, who had begun pacing back and forth across the small room which served as the outpost’s command center, stopped abruptly and leaned forward, ears twitching furiously.  “You don’t know?  Scout, I know for a fact you have been trained in estimating enemy troop numbers, the same as your compatriots.  So how is it that you ‘don’t know’?”

Feeling even smaller than he was, the young scout replied.  “Yes sir.  But sir…I couldn’t even see the edges of their army.  Only the front.  No place behind where they petered out, and nowhere to either edge that I could see.  Sir…There were too many!”  He quivered, the retelling having brought back to the surface all the terror he had felt when confronted with the massive army even now bearing down upon their beloved city.

Teemo leaned back, away from the young yordle, looked him in the eyes for a moment, then sighed wearily.  “I was afraid you’d say that.  Tell the council we’re going to need all the help we can get.  Otherwise, we don’t stand a cupcake’s chance at a birthday party.”

***

“And are you certain that no agreement can be reached regarding the Mothership?” Summoner Naggarok inquired, once more.

“No, no, I’m quite sorry,” Responded Summoner Harry, a round Yordle with a large, beakish nose whose appearance was reminiscent of the flightless birds of the Freljord, “Bandle City simply cannot allow you, nor any other human, to set foot within the Mothership.  Nothing personal, you see?  We haven’t granted Piltover access either, after all.”

“Fair enough,” sighed the senior Zaunite summoner.

“Tabling that matter for now, I believe that the only remaining bone of contention is the clause regarding a cessation of all espionage between our states, yes?” Ottoman DCCXIV (of a most prestigious and ancient name) inquired, tapping his quill pen against his teeth as he studied the minutes of the meeting he had been writing.

A Yordle Summoner raised his paw.  Admiral Wrath stood upon his chair, and proclaimed, “We have just received reports from Teemo and his men that the Undead army is more vast than we had originally anticipated.  Gentleyordles and ladies of Bandle City, I propose that now is no time for bickering over fine print.  Zaun has…much to our surprise, offered an imminently fair treaty, with little gain solely to themselves.”  Many of the Zaunite summoners scowled at the Admiral, but he continued, unphased.  “I posit that we must accept this treaty, and cease all espionage against them, so long as they promise to do the same.”

From the back of the room a booming voice responded, “But Mundo like Expeenodge!  Mundo very sneaky!  Mundo sneaks where he pleases!”  This was thoroughly ignored by the delegates as a whole.

“Then we are agreed?” Naggarok held out a pale hand to the Yordle ambassadors.  The small creatures exchanged glances, obviously wary, but in the end Harry extended his paw.  The deal was made.

***

“Whose bright idea was this, exactly?” Shouted Ezreal, into his hextech communicator.  He shot a brilliant blast from the magical, bow-shaped construct on his arm, piercing a row of skeletons directly through their skulls.  Unfortunately, the swarms to all sides of those skeletons continued forward unabated.

No answer was forthcoming.  He hadn’t really expected there to be.  All his compatriots in the Piltover Expeditionary Force were likewise occupied either directly attempting to stem the undead tide, or assisting Heimerdinger and the Yordles in fortifying the city.

“‘Hold the pass,’ they said, ‘you’ll be fine’ they said,” he continued to complain, as his hands blurred with speed, letting loose bursts of purifying light, each one firmly landing in an undead skull.  “Well guess what?  I’m a sniper!  I don’t see Caitlyn out here standing in front of the smelly hordes.  Why not send out Jayce?  Mr. Man of Tomorrow is beefy enough to just stand in front of these losers.  That would keep them occupied for a while.  GrrrrAAA!”

The prodigal Explorers eyes glowed white and his boots rose from the ground as he summoned and released a huge, arc-shaped beam of light.  The undead were mown down, cut down at waist height, as the beam swept through trees and undead with equal impunity and effect.  He fell to one knee, gasping for breath, and chuckled.  “There.  Let’s see you come back from that.”

As if in answer to his request, many of the undead bodies began to reknit themselves, severed torsos rejoining legs, with even more flowing in from the sides of the cleared area.  “Y’know, I’m beginning to hate you guys even more than the freaking Noxians!”

***

“Status report!” Barked Caitlyn, keeping her eye to her rifle’s sights.  The undead were a half mile away, now, and picking them off through the trees was becoming increasingly easy.  Her aide, a young officer from the newly upgraded Piltover sheriff’s department, jumped, and swallowed nervously.

“We’ve just received reports that all three forward positions have been overrun.  Demacia went first, but both our post and Zaun’s were overrun in advance of our timetables.  Err…Ma’am.”

The sheriff of Piltover smirked, and squeezed the trigger once more, watching through her sights as a massive undead monstrosity fell, with two of her bullets through its eyes.  “I hate to think what Vi will say if she hears all the formalities you lot insist on.  I’ll never hear the end of it.  In the trenches, Bat, I’m just Caitlyn.  Or sheriff, if you must.  Understood?”

“Yes ma’am!”

Caitlyn sighed, and took another shot.  She heard rapidly approaching footsteps from her left and right, and stood, rifle ready to swing in either direction as needed.

From the left, a heavily armored figure crashed through the trees.  Caitlyn’s eyes narrowed.  No, not armored.  Just a metal body.  Viktor’s laser burned through the undergrowth in his way as he entered the small clearing.  He surveyed it with yellow, glowing eyes as another shape burst in from the right.  She was pretty, in an alien way, though her eyes glowed golden and catlike, and scales and claws protruded from her arms.

“Viktor, Shyvana.  I assume things are going no better at your stations?”

“Bah!  I burn them by the hundreds, and thousands come behind them!  I told them I should have been allowed to bring my machines into the forest, but no, that coward Heimerdinger insisted they be left behind to guard the city!” Viktor ranted, glowing eyes pulsing in time with a clockwork heartbeat.

Shyvana merely growled, flexing her claws and shaking her head.

“Y’know, chums, I’m beginning to suspect our defensive arrangements were perhaps…insufficient.” Caitlyn said slowly.  “In fact, I think that we should take our stand right now.  The three of us, rather than each alone. Worth a shot, anyway.” She smiled, hoisting her rifle to her shoulder.

“That could yield a…beneficial extrapolation of power,” Viktor replied slowly, obviously reluctant.  “Much as I detest working alongside inferior life forms.”

Shyvana had calmed enough to speak, now, though her eyes glowed brighter than ever.  “I think that sounds…just lovely.” She smiled, revealing sharp, pointed teeth.

“Good.  Because here they come.  Take your shots as they come, boys and girls!” The sheriff’s rifle swung down to her shoulder, and with a cracking report took the first zombie to shamble into the clearing cleanly between its eyes.

“EXTERMINATE!” Shouted Viktor, his voice box crackling ominously, as his lasers and electrical contraptions sowed swathes of destruction through the advancing horde.

Shyvana dashed forward, momentarily seeming to be surrounded by the aura of a dragon.  “Now you guys have got me all fired up!” She laughed maniacally, before leaping into the air and sweeping forward.  When she landed, she was a dragon in truth, felling all around her with savage tooth and claw, the heat of her flames felt even where Viktor and Caitlyn stood paces behind.  The undead ranks began to fall apart in the face of her onslaught, making them easy pickings for Viktor and Caitlyn.

The dragon maiden was borne forward by her bloodlust, and Viktor and Caitlyn wordlessly followed.  Heimerdinger’s timetables hadn’t been accurate.  But then, neither had they accounted for the possibility that the horde might actually be beaten backward, at least temporarily.  Caitlyn intended for the Yordles to get all the time they needed.  She looked back, to see Officer Bat staring in awe at the three champions.  “Go back to Bandle City!  Tell them what’s going on.  We’ll hold them off for as long as we can!”

Hold-the-line-shaded

A battlefield sketch by Summoner DarkbreakerEx and ImaginationStarts.










Heimerdinger looked down from the battlements of Bandle City.  the forests before the city walls had been cut back for as far as was feasible, creating a massive killing field the undead would be forced to cross before reaching the city.  Brave Yordles stood at the walls, prepared to sell their lives dearly in defense of their home and their Mothership.  Even so, he knew, none of that would have been enough against the swarms bearing down upon his beloved city.  Fortunately, it wouldn’t have to be.

“Are your men ready, chemist?” The revered inventor inquired of the figure who stood behind him, hunched under the weight of a massive tank of noxious chemicals.

“Of course…professor,” replied Singed.  “You have merely to give the word.”

“Well then.  Consider it given.”

Singed nodded, and pressed a bright green button at his waist.  Suddenly, the temporary warp gates which had been erected in front of the city walls came to life, with a basso thrumming sound, and mechanical monstrosities began to gush forth.  Blocky, spiky, and most inelegant, the machines and soldiers of the HexKorps issued from the gates, and took up station before the city.

The Mad Chemist spoke into a Hextech communicator.  “Have you located any of the high value targets we discussed, rat?”

“What?  Heheheh.  Yes!  Got one right here!  The glowy one with chains!  Burn him down, I wanna watch! Hehehehe.” Twitch’s manic voice responded, and a burst of green smoke exploded from the trees some distance away.

Singed mounted the battlement, raising a megaphone to his bandage-covered mouth.  “Soldiers of the HexKorps.  You know what you are here to do.  You will do it well.  I…we…created you for nothing less than complete success.  You will not disappoint.  Now.  Destroy the target.  Annihilate it so thoroughly that the land will shudder at your power, and nothing grow there for all the ages of men!  HexKorps.  Code Exterminatus!”

With a roar, massive batteries of guns and psychic energies erupted from the mass ranks of the HexKorps, and began to rain down upon the smoky area.  A few, at first, from those particularly quick on their triggers, but soon a rain of explosions and energy cascaded from the sky into the forest, with a rippling impact which was nearly physically painful to those who watched from the city’s walls.

Singed watched it, apparently impassive, until he finally nodded his approval.  His eyes narrowed for a moment, and Heimerdinger heard him mutter, “Hmm.  I wonder if Twitch remembered to evacuate the area…Ah well.  No matter.”  The revered Yordle inventor shuddered, and turned to watch the destruction raining from the sky upon the undead, now spreading across their entire front.

***

Well.  This couldn’t be going much worse, thought Tristana.

The Lich Queen had learned surprisingly fast, and had sent in incorporeal spirits to trip the carefully prepared minefield in front of the city before the first zombie or skeleton so much as crossed the treeline.  Thus, Bandle City’s first line of defense amounted to so much wasted time and effort.

Even so, she and her Megling Commandos, as well as the variety of war machines and turrets mounted along the city’s walls, and the hundreds of defenders of various shapes and sizes, were now managing to mow the undead down nearly as quickly as they advanced.  The front still moved closer, but its momentum was slow, and despite appearances there were not an infinite number of troops the lich could afford to waste.

“Red alert, red alert!” The communicator at her belt crackled, and she cursed softly.  That had to mean…

A spiraling green beam descended from the clouds like a lightning bolt, sending a squad of her gunners flying amongst chips of masonry.  Squinting down the barrel of her gun, she saw its source, the robed figure of Karthus, standing in the treeline, preparing to call down another barrage of unholy energy upon the defenders.  To her left blasts of fire rained down into the defenders, indicating that Brand had joined the fight as well, and directly below her she saw a hunched figure wielding a shovel, and raising the corpses of the slain, Yordle and undead alike, to fight beside him.  Well, we knew we couldn’t keep them out of this forever.  She had hoped for a bit more time, however.

“Tristana, reports are in saying the West gate has been breached by Mordekaiser and his forces!” A Yordle cadet gasped, sliding to a halt beside her.

The Megling gunner growled and let loose another volley of explosive rounds into the undead below, taking particular care to inconvenience Yorick Mori. “Alright.  Tell everyone to fall back to the next position.  Take what machines with us that we can, and spike the rest.  Last thing we need is them turning our own weapons on us from the walls.”

Tristana heard the cadet scurry off to pass the order, but remained where she was, thumbing back the hammer on her gun once more.  She would be the last off the wall, and she’d make the undead pay in blood and bone for each step they took until the last Yordle was safely in the fallback position.

***

“I told you we couldn’t trust them!  What do they care about the mothership?!”  Grumbled Rumble, frantically pulling levers and pushing buttons as his mech scythed down the undead.

“Again, Rumble?  This really is getting dull. Would you really want to do all this ourselves?  I, personally, prefer not being an undead monstrosity.”  Kennen dashed about like a lightning bolt, cutting undead off at the knees wherever his glowing trail passed.

“We could’ve handled it!  Ack!” Rumble shouted as three zombies snuck past his machine’s arms and began to climb towards him.  Suddenly, there was a flash of red light, and each zombie’s head was sliced cleanly off by what appeared to be glowing playing cards.  Twisted Fate touched the brim of his hat, and dashed off to help another spot in the line where a breach seemed imminent.

The only visible part of Kennen’s face was the area around his eyes, but his arched eyebrow said enough for an entire expression.  “Alright, fine,” Rumble muttered, “maybe they’re not completely useless.  Still…” the mechanic’s face grew distant, “I don’t know that even they’re going to be enough.”

The undead had pressed Bandle City’s defenders back into nearly the center of the city, so that the bulk of the Mothership rose high above, casting its cool shadow down upon those who fought for it and its people.  Many Yordles and humans had fallen, and their numbers even now bolstered the undead ranks, fresh Yordle and human corpses dotted amongst decaying monstrosities.

“Perhaps…” responded the Kinkou Yordle, closing his eyes, “but I think I sense a change in the balance.”

Rumble looked askance at him.  Nothing had changed that he could tell, but Kennen had slowed, and was merely standing before the undead, eyes crinkled slightly as if he were smiling beneath his mask.  Suddenly, a bright flare of light erupted from just in front of the mothership, and a lithe human figure rose into the air, twirling what appeared to be a baton.

“YAAAAA-HAA!” Shouted the figure in a high voice, as she thrust the baton in front of her.  A bright column of light flashed into the undead, burning them to ash wherever it passed.  Over the sizzle of undead flesh, Rumble could barely make out a rumbling chant from the ground over which Lux floated, as she channeled purifying light into a seemingly unending blast.  He had heard that Demacia had recently perfected some form of void purifying system, but he hadn’t expected it to be quite so…spectacular.

The beam swept onward, passing over Yorick and his ghouls, who had been about to overtake a small detachment of Piltover riflemen.  The ghouls were obliterated, but Yorick merely halted, looked about for a moment, and then resummoned them.  This time, however, he ignored the riflemen and began laying about him with his shovel, bashing in undead skulls with every stroke.  Whatever magic the Demacians had worked, it seemed to be cleansing the undead champions’ minds of the Lich Queen’s influence.

With a swift, elated look at one another, Kennen and Rumble charged forward in the wake of the Demacian magic, followed by the united forces of Piltover and Zaun, to sweep the undead utterly from their city.

Results Edit

Bandle City: Due to losses incurred in the defense of their city, Bandle City has suffered a slight loss in military power.  Fortunately, they were successfully able to prevent the undead from reaching the Mother Ship, and no research was lost.  

Unfortunately, in the fighting, Poppy, Teemo, and Kennen were wounded, and will be unavailable for June 8-14. 

Piltover: Piltover itself remains safe, and losses were slight.  Piltover performed well in the swarm game, and bonds between Bandle City and the City of Progress were reinforced by their willingness to send all they had to defend the Yordles.  

Regrettably, in the fighting, Zilean got too close to the zombies and got eaten.  He’ll be working on reconstituting himself temporally for the next week, and will be unavailable June 8-14.

Zaun: A somewhat uneasy agreement was forged between Zaun and Bandle City, and Zaun has received access to the undead corpses for research purposes.  Mutual pacts of non-spying and non-sabotage were sealed, and both Yordles and Zaunites are hopeful for a new era of peace between the two factions.

Singed was nearly overrun by the undead, but drank his Insanity Potion and ran away.  They chased him.  It wasn’t pretty.  Zac appears to have disappeared somewhere, saying something about a “Savage Land” where someone needed rescuing.  He’ll be gone June 8-14.

Demacia: The Demacians were able to test out their void purification system to great result, and their mages suffered few casualties.  They now must choose whether to heed Ceruleana and attempt to take control of the Pyrikhos, or begin trying to purge it from Runeterra.  

Lux, safely behind the front lines, nearly lost control of her powers, but was able to restrain herself.  She is uninjured.

Next Update: A Scientist's Decision

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