_[This entry into the [Skins Story Slam 2018](https://boards.oce.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/player-creations/ob8mmZki-skins-story-slam-2018-enter-now) by ANGRIER BEE scored second place. Here it is, recorded for posterity!]_
Night was descending upon the Iron Mines when the Party arrived. An ominous purple glow spilt forth from the entrance, and bathing in its bleak aura was a horde of skeletons.
Crouched on a rocky ledge overlooking the mines, Jayce Brighthammer murmured to himself. ‘Stick to the long shadows, move silently, enter the mine undetected.’
‘Skeletons can see in the dark, fool.’ shot Karthus Lightsbane, ‘Why don’t I simply dominate the skeletons and have them serve me?’
‘I’m not sure I trust you having a horde of skeletons.’
‘Why wouldn’t you trust me? I’m completely trustworthy. I haven’t turned on you yet.’
As the two glared at each other, a loud belch echoed through the quarry from behind them.
‘IT'S PRETTY DARK UP HERE GUYS, I CAST LIGHT!" Gragas Caskbearer said.
Jayce winced hard, and Karthus attempted to counter the spell, but it was too late. All three flared like the sun, and as one, the skeleton horde below them turned their head towards the party.
‘OKAY GUYS, THAT WAS MY LAST SPELL! I TAKE A REST!’
Jayce and Karthus had no time to react, as the horde began to clamber up the side of the cliff, forming a ladder of bone and gristle. At the top, Jayce and Karthus readied themselves for battle.
‘Let me dominate them. They shall serve the Deathsinger!’
‘You’ll never be able to control so many, better to let me handle them. Cover my rear against flanking. Gragas, you run support.’
‘What flanking, fool? They’re coming from one direction.’
Gragas belched again. ‘I’m resting!’
The first skeleton made its way onto the ledge, bones chattering as it hoisted its shield and raised its sword. Jayce roared, bounding forward to join the battle as Karthus strategically positioned himself behind Gragas and began to cast spells.
‘How long do I have to rest before I get my spells back?’
‘Longer than this battle will take, so feel free to get up now and be useful.’ Jayce said, swinging his hammer in a wide arc and smashing three skeletons into dust.
Karthus began to chant the words of an eldritch spell, runes of purple energy forming in the air around him, his eyes glowing with arcane power.
‘I said no domination. You can only control four at a time.’
‘How do you know what I can do Jayce? You’ve never seen me cast this spell before.’
‘I read your character sheet.’
‘What is this “Character Sheet” you speak of? I've never heard of such a spell. ’
Jayce rolled his eyes as Gragas leapt to his feet. ‘OH YEAH! I should see what I’ve got left on that thing.’
Karthus ceased his chanting with an irked hiss. ‘Fine’. Humming a single resounding note, both Karthus and the Horde were illuminated by a sea of pale purple lights.
Jayce gave a frustrated sigh and stepped back. ‘That's worse, we’re not even near the final boss yet. ’
The hum rose, reaching its crescendo as thousands of the arcane lights blasted through the enemy Horde. When the last blast fell, only a sea of crumpled bones and dust were left.
‘What a waste of a requiem’ Jayce gestured with his hammer at the strange eyeball floating above the ledge. “And now it knows we're coming too.”
‘I’LL DRINK YOU UNDER THE TABLE, SCRUB!’ screamed Gragas, finger pointing at the eyeball, massive grin splitting his lips. The eyeball made a sound like a balloon letting out air and shrivelled into dust, unable to withstand the psychic assault of Gragas’ mockery.
‘Haha, one shot the boss!’
Jayce and Karthus looked at each other.
'He knows that wasn't the boss right?'
‘I thought Caskbearer was out of spells?’ Karthus said.
‘This one’s free! I’LL DRINK YOU UNDER THE TABLE, SCRUB! I’LL DRINK YOU UNDER THE TABLE, SCRUB! I’LL DRINK YOU UNDER THE TABLE, SCRUB!’
‘And yet you still hasn’t found any healing spells. You two parasites will be the death of me.'
‘Aren’t you already dead?’ Jayce said.
‘STOP LOOKING AT MY SHEET!’
After a short rest, they began to pick their way down the cliff and into the mines. Their stealthy approach was occasionally interrupted by Gragas shouting new spells into the echoing mines, but nothing came forward to meet them.
Karthus drifted at the back of the party, careful to keep out of the watchful eyes of the Paladin as he read through his grimoire.
‘So, Jayce. Would you say you’re a particularly wise individual?’
‘I’ve got pretty good stats.’
‘Hmm. Yes. Stats. Indeed.
The tunnel walls began to narrow and tighten. Thin shards of Iron were scattered ahead of them, illuminating the discarded tools lying around them.
And how is your constitution?’
‘I’m...healthy. Why do you ask?’
‘No reason, no reason. On a scale of one to fifty, about how healthy are you right now?’
‘I’m about a thirty-two. Got any healing?’
‘No, no, just making sure.’
‘What are you planning?’
Jayce eyed Karthus with utmost suspicion. ‘Whatever happened with Rugged Garen, anyway? You said you were going to bury him.’
‘I did bury him!' Karthus assured.
######'It’s not my fault if he chooses to dig himself up again.’
‘Do either of you want a drink?’ Gragas said, proffering a cask out of thin air.
Karthus and Jayce looked back at him. ‘Where did that come from?’
‘New spell!’ he said, belching warm air into their faces. ‘Anyway, isn’t it funny that we haven’t seen any more monsters? I think this Mine is pretty easy.’
Karthus and Jayce looked at each other.
‘Gragas…’ Jayce said.
‘Never.’ Karthus said.
‘Say that again.’
**AGREED.** Said the Vel’koz.
Jayce’s body was a shattered mess, pierced by a thousand beams from the eyes of the Vel’koz. Karthus was hiding in a corner, trying to avoid the gaze of the Vel’koz’s massive central eye. Gragas was happily standing in the middle of the lair.
‘I don’t think I have any spells that can help.’ he said, offering the body a cask of ale. A beam of blue light from the Vel’koz’s smaller eyes picked him up and slammed him against the wall, knocking him down. ‘Hey, I wasn’t ready. He just had his turn.’
‘Don’t worry Gragas, I will save us. I planned for this eventuality.’
Karthus pulled out his Grimoire and began to whispers the words of a spell. Shimmering runes and black smoke began to form around the body of Jayce.
‘Don’t you dare make me undead.’
‘I free you from your prison of mortality and welcome you into my service. Arise, my second minion!’
‘I knew you did something to Garen!’
‘Shutup, you’re supposed to be dead. Now, Obey my commands. Protect your master.’
‘Vel’koz are able to control undead, you idiot.’
As the body of Jayce began to wail on the fragile form of Karthus Lightsbane, his face upturned in a rictus grin. ‘Stop smiling about this, Jayce. We’re all going to die.’
‘You're the one that made me dead.’
'It's Undeath, you're supposed to show gratitude to your new master.'
'I AM SHOWING MY GRATITUDE.'
Gragas picked himself up and looked around the chamber of the mine. It was all up to him.
He approached the floated form of the monstrous Vel'koz. He looked deep into the creature's swollen centre eye, put his hand on his heart, and yelled to the everyone.
‘TIME TO ROLL OUT THE BARREL. I SEDUCE THE MONSTER!’
Karthus, Jayce, and Vel’koz looked around the table at each other, and back to the grinning drunk.
**ALRIGHT. ROLL A D20. YOUR CHANCES OF SURVIVAL ARE… LESS THAN ZERO. **
All eyes watched the spinning die as it tumbled across the battle mat and landed face up, a two and a zero shining in the light. ‘Pucker up, big boy!’
**NOT AGAIN. **