The Fall of Fury Company (Part 1)

The ground was damp underfoot.

It squelched with every step, giving ever so slightly, sliding just as you rolled into the next step.

The mud was slick, fed by rotting corpses and blood.

The bare morning light was quiet, eerily so, as a damp fog descended upon the valley.

Shon-Xan will never know true peace. This war has spread more blood across these lands than the rain that falls from the heavens.

The ground was soft from the bodies that lay rotting in the sun from the day before had grown bloated and foul, their bellies bulging from beneath the cracked and smashed armor they had once worn proudly. The bodies were not just soldiers, and their wounds weren’t just from blades and arrows. The corpses were misshapen and deformed, bones twisted and skewed at odd angles, protruding from beneath melted flesh. Rags decorated the bodies of several small corpses, far smaller than the rest.

“Even children do not escape the horrors of war.”

The young captain toed the corpse over with her boot, covering her nose with an arm to try and remove the stench that escaped the body. She grimaced, forcing herself to swallow the bile that rose in her throat and burned her nose.

“Something the matter, captain?” One of the soldiers slowed to a stop next to her, raising a eyebrow as he watched her gaze. “Captain Riven?”

“Kirill. It’s nothing.” Riven said, shaking her head as she pulled her hood back and shook her hair out. She grimaced as she shifted the massive sword upon her back, the strap cutting into her shoulder. “I don’t like seeing so many Noxian uniforms spread through the corpses. It unsettles me, considering we were only met with half the enemy forces Intelligence predicted.”

“These Ionians may be peasants, but they fight like savages.” The massive sergeant Kirill remarked with disgust, shaking his head. “Shall I slow Fury Company and clear the road?”

“No, we don’t have time.” Riven shook her head and stepped away from the body. “We’re still lagging behind the 42nd Standard. The longer we delay here, the farther behind we fall.”

“Very well, captain.” The man said, taking a deep breath before gagging, shriveling up his nose and shaking his head. “Bloody putrid stench.”

“Kirill, I want you to take your platoon forward and scout ahead.” Riven ordered. “And send a courier forward to connect with the 42nd. I don’t want to get opened up on in this fog.”

“Of course, ma’am.” Kirill barked, snapping off a salute and stomping away through the mud. Riven felt the bile rise up in her throat again, it wasn’t just blood that was staining her boots a putrid brown color.

“Captain!” The cry came from the front of the formation.

“Erin?” Riven blinked a few times as the slender, raven-haired woman panted, hunched over her axe. “Erin, what’s going on?”

The woman straightened up, snapping off a quick salute. “We’ve got a survivor, ma’am.”

“A wha…” Riven shook her head. Survivors were an unfortunate part of an invasion. “Show me.”

“Of course. This way, ma’am.” The raven-haired soldier took off at a jog, forcing the captain to keep pace with her, running to catch up.

“Where did she come from?” Riven growled, her soldiers watching her with unsteady eyes as the company ground to a halt. To the soldiers, civilians were a hassle, a pain they were forced to deal with instead of embracing the thrill and glory of battle. Riven forced herself to wear a straight face; if any of her soldiers saw her show even the slightest mote of weakness, the effect upon their morale would be ten-fold. Only the strong survive, so for the sake of my men, I must remain the strongest.

Their advance ground to a halt, Erin pointing forward to where Kirill stood, his platoon around him, weapons raised.

“Step forward with your hands raised!” Kirill shouted, gesturing the pale form forward with his axe.

“Why stop, sergeant?” Riven asked, stepping up beside him, her hand straying to the sword upon her back. “We’ve dealt with civvies before…”

The distant specter swayed slightly, drifting from side to side as the form of a young woman faded from the fog. Long black hair was streaked with dirt and blood, matted against her slender form. She appeared older than riven, her green eyes cold and distant, the eyes of a woman who had seen too much horror. She clutched a bloody, cloth swaddled bundle to her stomach, the pain on her face and the horror of her cries more than enough to tell Riven what the bundle had contained at one time.

“Oh.” Riven muttered, taking a deep breath. “Kirill, take Johannes and move her off the road. Give her something to shut her up. I don’t want to deal with this now. Not in this weather, not here.”

“Shit…” Kirill muttered, running a hand over the side of his shaven head. He took a slow deep breath and then nodded. “Right, captain. Johannes, on me.” The younger soldier snapped to attention, saluted and bounded forward, his armor clanking  with every step. “We might as well get this over with.”

“Yes sir.” Riven could hear the unease it his voice. She watched as the two men swept forward, their weapons sheathed and tucked away behind them. Riven shivered. She ran a hand over the back of her neck, her hair standing on end.

Something’s not right…

“Ma’am…” Kirill approached her slowly, inching forward, his palms toward her. “Ma’am, you need to get off the road.”

The woman’s eyes narrowed, the fear and distance evaporating instantly. Her hand lashed out impossibly fast, a long weapon with hooked blades at each end appearing and disappearing again, an arc of crimson blood left in its wake. Riven blinked once, the action had been so fast she had barely seen it. Two splashes could be heard in the perfect silence as Kirill’s hands hit the ground in front of him. The sergeant looked down, two bloody stumps held up in front of his face as blood splashed over the young girl’s face. She spun, dropped low, and tossed the swaddled bundle, the blanketed lump landing amid the remainder of Kirill’s platoon, a hand full of steps away.

Ice coalesced in Riven’s stomach as the battle around her seemed to slow. The world around her was surreal as corpse rose up to reveal Ionian soldiers clad in black and brown. Some had hid beneath corpses, others were painted red with blood like demons come to life.

Only half the expected number… Riven’s own words rang in her head. The realization struck like a fist to the gut.

Around them, Ionians rose up like an army of the damned, here to drag Fury Company to the depths of hell. They charged like madmen, their fear of death and of the invaders broken, leaving only pure, distilled rage for the butchers that carved through their land. It was as if an army of undead were coming to call, coming to exact is revenge in a toll of blood from the Noxians.

From Fury company…

From Riven’s company.

“AMBUSH!”

The Fall of Fury Company (Part 1)

The Rise and Fall of the Lore of the Legaue of Legends Part (1.5)

So recently I’ve been chiming in on some of the comments and threads on Reddit regarding lore and what the fans want. Some of the comments have made me realize that my shortened answers are being misinterpreted.

So, before addressing some of the major issues they raise, let me say this:

I DO NOT WANT THE OLD LORE BACK.

Now, I will be honest, I miss the old lore, but I’m not above admitting that some of it was really, really sketch, and the logistics and realities of it were stretching a lot of the different elements of the world itself and the characters within.

HOWEVER.

That doesn’t mean I approve of Riot’s method of changing it or their efforts to provide meaningful content to those who want it. Besides, what about all the awesome old stuff that happened?

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(Seriously. This shit happened. It’s still canon because Swain is Grand General, right? Or is he back to just being a general. How fucking cool is this? What can’t this still be a thing?)

NOW, back to the responses to some people on Reddit because I can’t be assed to write the same response to multiple people.

The first and biggest issue that people seem to have, summed up by Reddit user u/Standupaddict: “I don’t know why everyone want 5 degrees of separation between all the characters. If anything the fact all the champions don’t know each other shows that Runeterra is a large diverse place. Its unrealistic that all the best fighters in an entire continent would happen to be all be related somehow.”

It’s not about every champion being connected to every other champion. It’s about champions being tied to Valoran and Runeterra. Most of that invovles being tied to other champions or existing lore. However, much of Riot’s recent moves have involved creating new lore or new ties to ‘lore’ that doesn’t exist. Stories that they reference as if they were established long ago, instead they don’t exist, and still don’t even months or years later. It’s not about having ties to every single champion through the League of Legends, it’s about having a reason of existing within Runeterra. Even if our gameplay within the Fields of Justice have absolutely NO ties to the lore of said game, we are supposedly playing in a league of LEGENDS. Why is joe schmoe a goddamn legend? Why is he so famous that he’s a ‘legend’? Without anything that ties us to a greater world, without anything that gives us any sense of what goes on in Valoran, how are we to know what is important? How do we know what makes someone worth of being one of these ‘legends’ that we talk about? Most of the time, all we have to go on is a few paragraphs, a few pictures, and the word of Riot that this guy really is that much of a badass. Okay Rito, do us a favor. Instead of telling us that he’s a badass… show us. Make us believe in terms of the bigger world that someone really IS cool and interesting.

Someone also made a point of mention that Riot stopped making the effort of tying champions together with their Champion Bios and Reveals. that’s great and all, I appreciate the fact that the champions are getting more interesting and better overall, and I wouldn’t have a problem with this if there was anything else tying champions to Valoran in the greater sense, but aside from two admittedly mediocre events (especially looking back), there has been nothing that has done that for any of the other champions released or otherwise in ages. Three champions, Quinn, Lissandra, and Azir, have gotten something bigger, something more interesting, something that has tied them into Valoran that hasn’t been either their release or teaser. How many does that leave though? So many still only have tangential connections to Valoran, and even worse, the many champions who had ties to the League have yet to be fixed. Whether it was their entire story or simply their reason for being a ‘legend’ (*cough*Jax*cough*), they’re still just hanging there, unresolved and dangling.

Next, I wanted to address the issues regarding what Riot does well and what they don’t do well with their current lore, and how that pretains to what lore fans (those who have been around and know what it was like) actually want out of the content we seek and keep asking for.

So most people seem to assume that because I want more, better, lore–stories that connect the world we play in to what we’re doing, who we’re playing as– that I don’t appreciate or like what little Riot does put out. I fucking LOVE the art they put out, I love the music, the videos, the maps and gamemodes… they’re awesome. I ADORE the music. It’s some of the most awesome stuff I’ve ever listened to. Demacia Rising? Holy shit it’s like nothing I’ve ever imagined.

But it still leaves us with a massive void. I think Ekko’s background is a good example of what we want when people say that they want lore. It ties stories together, it gives deeper meaning to the history that other champions have, but it also doesn’t get rid of elements we already know and love. It’s a fun and detailed exploration of Zaun and who comes from it. So, this gives me hope for the future, especially Tahm and all his interactions, as well as the Bilgewater event. I’m hoping that because Riot is rewriting Bilgewater as the center of the Blackmarket and all that there will be lots of little hints and things that tie champs together, similar to how Light (the old man on Howling abyss) makes little comments to some champions. I mean… Fucking christ, I think I would just about die if we saw one of the Shopkeeers comment to Jarvan “So how about that dragoness. She likes to make a mess of things, doesn’t she?” or simply a comment about Shyvana crushing on Jarvan. But even then, those sort of little interactions. Those little hints into Valoran… we need more or that. I mean shit, we’ve still got the Shadow Isles, Demacia and Noxus, Ionia, Piltover, Icathia… So many different options… but are we only going to get them every year or two? As big a company as Riot is… can’t be get a little more than that? Comics, books, videos, maps, songs… the options are endless. Why won’t Riot use them?

JoJ Project NEW

(This better be good)

Lastly, issues about the actual mechanics of the Institute of War and how Summoners, the Institute, and champions all interact:

This will actually be the majority of a post soon, mostly about how some mechanics of the Institute are really bad for any story and how they could have been better implemented or fixed to actually become a serious, believable, and interesting element integral to the history of Runeterra that was a very interesting idea that was poorly implemented and never fixed because of the early abandonment of the larger lore efforts by Riot.

This post is shorter than I originally intended, but I haven’t really had as much time as I wanted to work on this blog or my writings, so this has just been a short ranting post about my opinions and some of the crap that I see posted by people who don’t understand what the old lore used to be like and the greater implications about what Riot has been doing and not doing for so long regarding their lore.

The Rise and Fall of the Lore of the Legaue of Legends Part (1.5)

The Rise and Fall of the Lore of the League of Legends

Originally, this was more or less a blast of Riot and the Narrative team. I’ve tried to tone it back a bit after some thought. This is the first of several parts addressing different common issues I and other fans have with Riot’s lore. Hopefully this can spread a little light on some of Riot’s larger issues in context with some recent commentary on Riot’s decisions and productivity.

JoJ Project NEW

With all the recent noise about how poorly Riot has been doing its job as a gaming company regarding releases and promised content, I figured this as good a time as any to go ahead and write the editorial on Lore I’ve been asked to publish ever since my panel at LEC^2 bombed completely. (Context regarding what happened can be found here).

This will probably span a few posts because of the length, but we’ll go ahead and jump right in with an introduction to the context and subsequent execution, as in being drug into the street and shot, of the last vestigial remnants of overarching Lore. Later on I’ll go pretty in depth into the reasons why the decision was so questionable and received so poorly and how it could have been executed better so it might have been received better by the fans. (I say might because despite the complaining and the vicious backlash by the lore interested community; RPers, authors, artists, and everyone in between, there was some sound reasoning that was both stated and left unsaid by Riot in their crusade against having a unique story element that set them apart from almost every other fantasy game out there.)

Without further ado, onwards! Demacia! (Sorry, I’m a bit of a Demacia fanboy)

WHAT CAUSED THIS SHITSTORM (on the lore side of things)

For those of you who are either too young or too new to League to remember what it was, the Journal of Justice was a newspaper, written by various different ‘authors’ from the world of Runeterra to give us, the summoners, a tangible link to the on-goings and events that happened in the world we all do battle upon. Started near the launch of the game, with the first issue being published June 13th, 2010, the Journal of Justice was the largest source of lore and story for those who fought in the League of Legends. Aside from champion bios and Champion Judgements (short stories written to provide a look at a Champion’s reason for joining the League of Legends), there wasn’t much else given to those of us who wanted to know more about what was going on in Valoran. Back then, Riot’s creative capabilities were more limited by manpower and capabilities, but that is to be expected of a company just getting on their feet. But it wouldn’t last long; the Journal of Justice was only the first casualty of Riot’s quest for new and better ways of developing the League of Lore, when it was axed abruptly in September of 2011, leaving a story unfinished and many readers wondering what had happened. Two follow-up issues were published in May of 2012 to bring the unfinished story to a close, which left many readers confused and left them with many unanswered questions, that to this day have yet to be explained or revealed.

It wasn’t long after this that the only other form of Lore we had, the Champion Judgements, was axed as well with the final judgement getting released alongside Varus’s launch, though many champions had already been skipped over due to already shoddy backgrounds as champions were bent to fit into the existing world of Runeterra and the confines of the Institute of War. (Such as Shyvana’s original background). Even the massively popular Ionia vs. Noxus ‘rematch’ was never repeated, despite its introduction of an element very much core to the game, the Ionian Boots of Lucidity, and the pivotal decision that it resolved: would the Noxian occupation of Ionia continue or would the oppressive Noxian war machine get repelled from the Island Nation? The fate of Valoran was sealed when GuardsmanBob, a prominent streamer and figure in the scene at the time, started the ball rolling with a terrifying Udyr game that changed the fate of Valoran forever. 15 years of oppression were ended as Noxus was forced out, less they withdraw from the League of Legends and face war with Demacia once again.

Thus the Lore of Legends had come… and there it went.

Despite these different attempts at developing the Lore, Riot was not satisfied with the results. With the JoJ gone and the Champion Judgements abandoned as well, Riot promised new, better forms of lore to depict what was happening in Valoran. While many fans were excited about what could come from these products, there were many others who were sad the JoJ and Judgements were gone.

So what did Riot do to fill the void of a severely story lacking world that was now hanging in the balance, left detached like a hundred different strands of yarn, all unravelling from a single scarf?

…Not much actually. ‘Fuck all’ would be a bit more apt a term, but I’m trying to be polite here.

Okay well almost nothing. But it wasn’t really much of anything either because the few tidbits were were given were just champion teasers. Considering how slow Riot’s champion release rate would drop (which we can clearly see now, years later), it’s difficult to call the efforts consistent or even ‘Lore’ focused because often times it would only involve the latest character to be released and whatever poor champion was getting retconned to give the new guy a purpose. (Cough Aatrox and Tryndamere Cough).

It would be nearly a year and a half after the original axing of the Journal of Justice before we got a decent taste of Lore outside of basic champion teasers and biographies. From the world of Valoran  emerged our first taste of Lore on a greater scale with the teasers for Quinn and the release of Lissandra two months later. Fast-forward another two months to Aatrox. We got the semblance of something ground shaking. Magelords and a Protectorate that had been fighting millennia ago and even now they were shaping the world we played in? Could this be the lore change we’d all been waiting for? A new official couple in Ezreal and Lux? What is this, pure madness?

Pretty much, yeah. Kind of threw me for a loop actually.

In a rather disappointing turn of events, it turned out these ideas and seemingly unifying history of the world of Runeterra would be nothing but a half hearted attempt at giving a champion a greater story. Unfortunately, nothing further ever developed from the Magelords and the Protectorate, despite rumors that Summoner’s Rift was a once great battlefield of these two factions. Nothing ever became of any of the different ideas introduced with this and it was all locked away into the vault labeled ‘Riot’s Lore’, never to be touched again like many projects Riot had long promised fans.

But what about ‘Insert event of your choice here’!? That’s Lore, right?!

Yes and no. There were a few other things I didn’t really cover because they either didn’t tie into anything existing or they brought absolutely nothing to the table new in terms of lore or story. A few minor ‘events’ fall into this grey area such as ‘The Great Hunt’ and other repeated sale events such as the Lunar Revel and Snowdown. So while these events fell under the broad idea of ‘Lore’, they were not new introductions to the League of Legends universe, and while they often came with pictures of music, they weren’t interesting or groundbreaking in terms of storytelling on any scale.

During this rough time for lore fans, Riot’s champion release rate had fallen to barely a fourth of what it had been previously, and while there were several good attempts at rekindling the popularity of the Lore, the attempts were mostly false starts that didn’t do much outside of the small, integral cast of characters involved in each event and they often had little to no interaction with the rest of Valoran. Despite these lacking qualities, in many ways this was for the better. in the larger sense of the game. Better, more interesting to play champions were released with new mechanics and improved old mechanics applied to a new canvas. But with further attention turning to ESports, other game elements begin to fall into the same rut as Riot’s abandoned Lore: Riot promised the issues were swept under the rug and avoided like the plague (See pathing issues, the replay system, etc). Elements of the game that used to take riot days or weeks to fix through hotfixing and subsequent patches stretched out into months and in extreme cases years. Champion releases slowed to a crawl, champion relaunches have slowed to an even slower rate, and some issues altogether were abandoned, locked away in a closet somewhere in the latest Riot Money Palace where the key would promptly be thrown away and forgotten about for a matter of weeks while something flashy happened in esports till some poor sod remembered the little red-headed step child that had mysteriously gone missing.

So what did Riot decide to do to bring this fix and improve this poorly maintained issue?

MAKE EVERYTHING DARK AND MYSTERIOUS!

Sorry. Had to make the joke at least once. But that does bring me to a point, one that still has many League fans in a bit of a tizzy because of similar problems.

10 months ago, a controversial decision was made in regards to League of Legends’ Lore: The Institute of War was being removed completely, Summoners were getting eliminated completely as a relevant game element, the Fields of Justice are now just pretty set pieces of no importance and the entirety of the old Lore (the Journal of Justice and anything else deemed in the way) was getting its canon status removed. Headed by Tommy Gnox, the ‘Narrative Team’ decided that they were getting boxed in by limits of the Institute of War, and to grow the story of League of Legends, they were going to scrap and start the story over again.

That leaves us with the question:

Why do this to the fans?

When the decision to remove the Institute of War from League of Legends, they completely remove the single most important Lore element of the League of Legends. It left most people one of two things: confused or outraged. Summed up rather eloquently by summoner DHNinja in the comments following the reveal of this new plan, the attitude for anyone who cared about the lore was as follows: “As someone [who’s] been very invested with in the lore; I feel like a part of me just died.”

But Riot had their reasons. Few agreed with them, but there was a problem that needed to be addressed. Riot promised us a replacement and despite their desire to completely retool the lore, they forgot one thing. The new lore. They didn’t fix any of the issues, they didn’t give us any new content, they flipped us the bird and stood up tall expecting us to thank them for it and be excited at the very prospect of a new story. Riot did the equivalent of stepping up to the plate with their bat, hoping to knock it out of the park, only to realize that their bat was a giant sign that said ‘FUCK YOU’ in block caps as they proudly and defiantly ignored the stadium booing them from every direction.

While I’m not above admitting there are definite issues with the old lore, most people wanted fixes and more lore… not the complete removal of what little we had. The Institute of War was limiting and fairly poorly implemented after Riot started to press their boundaries, but it was an original idea with novel consequences. Besides, a mediocre story with its fair share of problems is better than no story at all, right?

SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US AND WHAT IS LEFT

Fast forward ten months.

There are only two significant things of note that have been added in this period of time that pertain to the Lore in a remotely larger sense than selling more champions or skins on release: the Shurima Relaunch and Sion’s Champion Relaunch.

Things that are still unfixed or remain unaddressed: Many champions have had their origins and backgrounds completely voided and have seen no attempts at being fixed or addressed. Among these are Kayle, Fiddle, Jax, Lee Sin, Skarner, Morgana, Nocturne, Brand and many others with smaller issues that don’t fully void their character, but leaves it hanging and lost. Other issues larger issues were created and left hanging such as the War in Kalamanda and the Liberation of Ionia. We know some of the events still happened… Swain is still the Grand General of Noxus, as proven by Sion’s teasers and what Lore we glean from that, but even then, with the IoW gone there is nothing left that separates Riot’s brainchild from the rest of the world. What once was a interesting, dynamic, and politically charged setting for grand battles and a constantly evolving story line fueled by player interaction has been reduced to a game of 5 random characters fighting 5 other random characters who could have simply been plucked from another game and would have as much importance as the next bloke.

Riot’s overarching Lore is locked away tight somewhere with the Replay system, kept in limbo by the rumored shitty management that has exploded recently, a lack of forward direction, a two giant padlocks that go by the name of RETCONS and ESPORTS.

But that’s not to say there aren’t ideas of how to salvage something from this mess. Riot had some admittedly solid grievances but that doesn’t excuse the laziness and utter lack of content we, as fans and patrons, have been left with, and the recent acquisition of Graham McNeill is an admittedly bright light in these dark days for the Lore of League of Legends. But, as recent issues have shown us, Riot is far from infallible and they are quite capable, if not more likely, to screw the pooch with this one, like other hot topic issues.

So what does this all mean? It took the Narrative team 18 months to decide to cut out the heart of League of Legends instead of trying to fix it. Because why bother fixing it when you can just cut it free, right? Better to rip it off than to do it slowly… right? Guys? ….Guys?

All I have to say to Riot is this: Good luck, Rito… you sorely need it after pissing off so many fans.

For more context on why this was a slap to the face of fans everywhere, you can scroll down and check out some of the comments left by Rioters (Tommy Gnox’s comments in particular, just look for the ‘Comment is below Threshold’, they’re pretty easy to find) in the original announcement and some of the subsequent (Thousands upon thousands) of threads wherein a confused fan try to figure out who hopped off their medications and glean some sort of idea about what the fuck is going on in Runeterra.

In segments to come, I will examine why the decision to can the lore was made, what could have been salvaged and how it could have been fixed, an analysis of why Riot overreached in their statements and what remains from the old lore, the results of Riot’s decisions on champions and other events in Valoran, and a bit of background on the lore as a primer of the issues involved, leading us to a look at the possible narrative direction that League of Legends as a game could follow.

The Rise and Fall of the Lore of the League of Legends

Cataclysm – Plans and Goals

So, now that I’ve got this blog up and running, I figured I should probably get some actual news and such out about my primary project that most people know me for: the Cataclysm Series.

Where we’re at:

I’m working on Cataclysm: Beginning of the Fall currently. No estimate of a date for release of prologue yet, but planning is well underway and I’ve got a lot on paper, but nothing really is organized. Just a bunch of disconnected scenes at the moment.

Where I’m going:

I can already tell that there will likely be another book after this one that is actually my first true straight up work of fiction… I’ve been working off a template up till now. But that’s a different animal to tackle and that’s a long ways away.

What I’m working on currently:

At the suggestion of friends and an invitation from another website, I’m going to Upload the Cataclysm series (1, 2, 2.5 and then 3 as it comes out) onto Wattpad, as well as Archive of Our Own if I get in. I’ll be posting updates to this blog about what’s going on.

What I’d like to work on at some point:

I’ve been thinking about contacting Riot in regards to KindleWorlds or something similar, like Kindle Direct Publishing or CreateSpace. I’m not entirely sure what the policy regarding the later two are as far as Fan Fiction goes, and I’m not exactly sure if I want to subject myself to the restriction and such that comes with KindleWorlds, but I also suppose it also comes down to what Riot will let me do, since I am using their characters and such.

We’ll see what happens.

Cataclysm – Plans and Goals

Yesterday, I attended LEC^2. (LECC or LoL East Coast Convention). It was a shit show. Here’s my story about what happened.

So, about 4 months back, at the very end of January, I got asked to put a panel together for this convention, as there had been very little in the way of interest in the entire thing and there was already trouble with getting scheduling set up. A friend of mine who I help run a Guild out of Richmond asked me if I’d be interested and I said I’d consider it. Well, regardless, I’d done panels/presentations on League as a cultural phenomenon at other small cons in the past so I agreed. I mean, why wouldn’t you? I’m not exactly a big name content creator. I don’t have a massive youtube following… I just write fan fiction and argue with people on the internet about lore and how Riot likes to make stupid decisions and pour all their time and effort in Esports.

And man, I was really excited too. I had been asked to do a Lore panel! My specialty! This will be fun.

For the next four months I worked up this amazing presentation all about the Lore behind the two major powers that drove the League of Legends, why Riot canned it all, and how it could have been done better to guide my panel. I was all set, months in advance.

Well…

Fast forward to the beginning of June. I’m done with classes and now I’m working two jobs, so scheduling is a pain. I know what days the conventions is going to be…. but that’s it.

There has been nothing, no information, no schedule, not a single damn thing about Panels. They were written in as just ‘Panels’. There wasn’t an indication as to what went where, who was doing what, when it was going on… I was completely in the dark. AND I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PRESENTING A PANEL TO GOD KNOWS HOW MANY PEOPLE IN LESS THAN A WEEK. I WAS FREAKING OUT.

T-minus 2 days.

Lo and behold the schedule is finally released. My panel is 1pm Friday. Okay, I can work with that. First panel of the convention, so no pressure right? I’ve got this. I’m excited.

There was one little doubt I had though… I had seen anything about the panels. I had been asked for several varying levels of description. A full paragraph, and a short snippet. I assumed these would go in schedules and that nice big guide book you get from conventions usually. You know the ones that have bio’s on important people, schedules, information and all that. So I wasn’t too worried.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

No.

So, because was Friday, most people were working, and my panel had been scheduled at the exact same time as the Meet and Greet opening. And it was right next door.

The realization of what was coming was pretty crushing. All the big names that this convention had likely paid for to come visit were going to be right next to me doing their thing, and I was going to likely be passed over. But no worries. I’m prepared to give my presentation and just chat with anyone who wanted to hang out and listen to what I had to say.

So 12:45 rolls around and I go and get set up. There’s a projector and Microphones and stuff set up, it all looks pretty solid. I set up my laptop with my powerpoint stuff and wait.

I had seen a few TVs set up on stands that looked like directions and descriptions. I checked a few out and didn’t see anything. Technical errors right? Nope.

Turns out, I sat in an empty hall for 50 minutes, chatting with one person, the staffer who was supposed to sit and help me with any issues I ran into.

Needless to say other than a few people poking their heads in, nobody knew what the fuck was going on and I wasted a bunch of my time, money and a lot of effort because these morons had no idea what the fuck they were doing. It was sad and maddening, considering the hosts had invited me to come but had made be spend $44 fucking bucks to get into the glorified twitch meet and greet.

So yeah. Fuck this.

Thanks to the one guy who sat through this shitshow and chatted so I didn’t feel like a complete dunce.

Oh and thanks to Trick2G for the swag for my guild, and Sky for giving me his signature in exchange for a hug. And calling me ‘Bear’.

TL;DR: Fuck that, never again. Got screwed out of a bunch of time and money cause people organizing this shit had no clue what was going on.

I’ll likely do follow up to this mess at some later point, actually going over it and spelling out my criticisms better, but for now I just wanted to get this out.

Kingsbane Teaser

A distant rumble passed through the asteroid as the sharp tones of a buzzer cut through the small cabin.

Valin sat up and ran a hand over his face, mussing the dirty blonde hair aout as he dragged himself into a sitting position on the edge of the bed. He grimaced as he wiggled his toes just above the bulkhead, dreading the coming shock. He took a deep breath and pushed himself up, shivering as electricity ran up ad down his body, from the tip of his toes, to the top of his head, all the way down to the tips of his fingers.

The asteroid rumbled again, somewhere under the bulkhead, the reverberations running up through the soles of his feet, up his spine and rattling his teeth.

Valin waved his hand towards the wall, activating a solenoid flush with the smooth bulkhead. “VeeAy, bring down the shutter and prepare incident reports for my watch.”

The small orange figure shimmered to life in the form of a small child, a ball tucked under his arm. The Virtual Assistant nodded and shimmered away as the shutter outside the small window in Valin’s cabin cracked, sunlight shining through the sliver, spilling brilliant orange light over the floor.

Valin scratched his head as he looked out the window, posting fists upon his hips as he watched the carnage unfold outside his cabin window.

Through two feet of carbon reinforced poly-steel, streaks of orange fire pained the sky above the earth a myriad of shades of brilliant oranges, earthen grays, and bloody reds. The earth sat floating distant, no longer an aquamarine gem, but barren desert pock marked by thousands of meteors that fell with regularity. Orange streaks had just begun to highlight the dark side of the northern hemisphere, streaks of orange and gold lighting the earth just below the horizon.

“Valin, are you up?” The intercomm crackled to life, the solenoid glowing now. The strangled static couldn’t hide the annoyed feminine tone.

Valin scratched his chest as he punched in a quick code into a panel on the wall, the scent of coffee brewing slipping into the air. The solenoid lit up again, but Valin had already punched the transmit button. “I’m up, Jules. Can you have Sergei send the report from last night to my VeeAy? It looks like we’ve already got another meteor shower developing over Canada.”

“I think I can convince him.” Jules’ voice crackled over the intercomm. There was a moment of silence that Valin used to open the constituter and pulled out the cup of coffee. He looked down into the murky contents of the insulated cup and grimaced. He sighed as he stepped back up to the window. The Crepuscular rays that pooled on his floor slowly diminished as something passed the porthole. Valin looked up from his cup of coffee and the floor, only to watch as an Archimedes class carrier drifted past, the blue motes of light of its fighter pickets dancing about like fireflies.

The UCNS Retribution I believe… The mile long carrier drifted past several long moments later, the light pooling on the floor of Valin’s cabin once again.

The solenoid blinked once. “Valin, you haven’t fallen back to sleep again, have you?”

“No Jules.” Valin grumbled softly, trying to keep the annoyance from his voice. “Do you have the report for me?”

“Have I ever let you down?” Valin could hear the smile in Jules voice.

“Not even once.” Valin indulged in a smile as the light on the solenoid blinked out as he set his cup of coffee down on the table and went about dressing himself for the day ahead. “VeeAy, please read off Lieutenant Solomov’s report.”

The orange figure shimmered to life again, nodded once and then blinked into a massive screen that spread across one entire wall of Valin’s cabin.

“Lieutenant Sergei Solomov, watch officer of Meteor Station One-zero-seven-three-Zed-Alpha. Coalition adjusted date: January 7th, 2377. End of watch notes as follow. Light meteor showers observed over Australian DMZ, remnants of the Pan-American Continental remains, heavy showers over the Russian-Georgian Nuclear Reserve. Damage to observation bunkers minimal, nuclear weapon storage bunkers all appear to be intact. Combined force of Jah’Le, Lehnth, and Varth’Kah ships made entrance into the system but was repelled by the garrison fleet. No Coalition losses reported. Salvage of alien vessels has begun. Remains of Luna continue to break up and orbital distance continues to degrade at approximately 50 kilometers per day. Reclaimers attempting to land on the Protected Colonial Reserve were escorted from the battle zone by frigates of Garrison fleet. End of report.”

The Protected Colonial Reserve. Earth. Valin looked down at the desolate remains of a home planet that humankind had once called home and snorted in disgust. We may have lost Earth, our home, but in their desperation to demoralize, they instead galvanized. It won’t be much longer till we’ve crushed the supposed Revolutionaries and their Insurrection.

The orange wall display glowed, casting harsh shadows in the cabin, but as Valin’s eyes glanced over the read out, he could only sigh and shake his head.

The solenoid blinked. “Admiral Valin, Captain Makarov has requesting a meeting, sir.”

“Tell him to come back with something interesting.” Valin growled as he straightened his tie and adjusted his collar. “I grow tired of simply policing the Garrison Fleet and babysitting the meteor scientists who like to watch rocks fall to earth. I grow tired of the endless waiting.”

“The Captain requests to speak with you regarding two things, Admiral.” There was a pause in the transmission. “First is security preparations for the Centennial of the New Belgrade Christmas Massacre. He apparently has some concerns about the dropping of so many caskets as a part of the Return ceremonies.”

“As with every year, Florence has more security concerns.” Valin exhaled sharply, shaking his head. “And the second matter?”

“A Revo Fleet is approaching Agricultural Planet 538, Bessna.” Jules said over the intercomm. There was a moment of silence before the door hissed open and the Admiral’s assistant walked through the doorway, a tablet under one arm and a fresh cup of coffee in the other. Jules smiled at him briefly, her raven hair glimmering in the harsh, sterile light that shown in from the corridor. Icy blue eyes sparkled dangerously as she handed over the coffee and then the tablet. “Naval Special Projects has sent out an alert asking for assistance, clearance level Alpha-Crimson.”

Valin froze for a brief moment. Alpha-Crimson for a junker Revolutionary Forces fleet? That hasn’t been enacted since the end of the first contact war, 112 years ago. What could the Revos possibly have the would call for Alpha-fucking-crimson? “Do we know why the security alert went out?”

“Yes, Admiral.” There was a moment of silence as Jules’ eyes fell to the deck. She took a deep breath and looked up at the Admiral and nodded bravely.

“Kingsbane, sir.”

Kingsbane Teaser

What this is all about…

Hi,

I’m Marshall ‘ValkyrieLead’ Smith and this is my blog.

I like League of Legends, writing, games, Mechanical Engineering, Esports and all sorts of stuff in between. Basically whatever the hell I want to talk or rant about at the time.

This site is going to be all about my personal stories, fanfiction I write, commentary on E-sports, criticism of stupid decisions people make (looking at your Riot), and other things, such as art or videos.

Hopefully you’ll find some of my content entertaining… or thought provoking. Maybe you’ll think I’m dumb. Or mad, but hey, leave a comment and chat with me. I love arguing–I mean talking–with people about this stuff.

Cheers,

Val

What this is all about…