001: The Champion Select Tavern, Demacia

Image Credit: Robert Schilling

Image Credit: Robert Schilling

By: Victor Flores

Gragas cleaned the bar with a rag so dirty it wasn’t clear whether it was helping or hurting the situation.  He placed a martini glass filled with some sort of concoction in front of the warrior wearing disheveled armor which had matching fur-trimmed boots.  Taric leaned into his color coordinated cosmopolitan, “You know, I really think that something funny is going on out there on the Fields of Justice.  Vayne, you can’t tell me that you’ve never once felt that your roll went a bit further than it should have, or that you’ve hopped over a rock you shouldn’t have?”  He addressed the woman sitting across from him, she dressed typically in all black leather, with multiple shimmering silver crossbow bolts resting in an empty highball glass, which was clean, solely because it’s current user was meticulous about her equipment.  

She had long ago sworn off drinking if Gragas was behind the bar but she still knew the spirits were an excellent solvent.   The summons from the “fairy” knight about possible cheating on the Field of Justice intrigued her enough to take a whole fifteen minutes between her target practice sessions.  “Perhaps, but in the heat of battle who can know what is off chance and what is a lucky shot?”.  She began reloading the now clean and polished bolts back in her spare arm quivers.  “Why the inquiry now?, what happened out there Taric ?”  

Taric sat back, braced himself and tossed back the drink with a grimace, preparing himself for what he was about to say.  “Vayne, I was out of mana… Ashe was trailing me, I was winded.  She had me dead to rights, the tower was in sight but I knew I wasn’t going to make it.  Then out of nowhere, as the arrow that would have put me back on the base plate flew at me, I was healed from nowhere, and the arrow struck, but didn’t slay me.  Then I got faster somehow, and made it to the towers safety.  Explain that to me.”  

Vayne thought for a moment, and considered his proposal.  Was it be possible, that some hand operated fate other than their own? Some great power from beyond guided them on the Fields of Justice?  If so, was a great day in Victorious battle somehow influenced by these great beings?  Preposterous …. “Taric, I’m pretty sure you just healed yourself at the last moment as soon as you regenerated the mana,  simply forgetting due to the stress.”  It’s our skills and training which determine the fight.  We have good days and bad days, it’s never some great ‘Summoner’ like you hear whispered around here from time to time when someone’s had too much to drink.”  She waited as the hulking mountain of a man which passed as a bartender refilled Taric’s glass with more of the thick pink liquid.

Taric sighed.  “Vayne, it was right after you went back to the shop, you and I both know that your bolt shouldn’t have finished Soraka.  She was hit by it, and running away then several seconds later the announcers gave you the points for the kill.  She looked like she was on fire too.  I know you didn’t have the Elder Lizard Buff, you were with me the whole time! ”  He pointed at her to emphasize his point.  

Vayne shifted uncomfortably.  “Perhaps Soraka is … allergic to silver?”, she replied weakly picking up the remains of his drink and slamming it back herself.  “I don’t know, maybe there is someone out there looking out for you.  I however, get by on skill.  Ugh… what IS that stuff?” she asked, looking disgusted.  Taric smiled, it’s distilled Teemo mushrooms mixed with vodka, mostly harmless, just poisonous enough to give you a buzz, and it’s pink, so it matches my armor… I’m having a life crisis, that doesn’t mean I have to be unfashionable about it. Okay so we’ve decided that there may be some outside power which gives us an edge, or makes us lose it.  I’m okay with that, lets go ask Diana, she was some sort of moon priestess, maybe she has some divine insight on the matter.  I’ll help you practice after.”  

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