Light & Shadow

The wail of souls echoed throughout the night, it was cold and desolate of human contact, a place that had been forgotten by time. Lucian’s footsteps padded in the loamy ground while he eked through the thick fog of the cemetery. Sweat trickled down the nape of his neck, a mixture of fear and excitement ran through his veins. It had been five years ago to the day that he lost Senna, the embodiment of all that was pure in the world, the love of his life. Just reminiscing made him grind his teeth and tighten his grip on his ancient weapons, Light and Shadow. His pace hastened as he found himself at the centre of the hallowed ground, where a thick spectral aura emanated. It was here where he lost her, and it was here where he would get her back. Rows of forgotten tombs lined the cemetery; graves of the nameless were left untended, cracked and desecrated, the stench of the dead pierced the air. Lucian weaved through the tombs into a space left clean of death, the sheen of the moonlight etched out his surroundings, then…the souls stopped screeching. A blanket of silence swept over the night sky, the only sound to be heard was Lucian’s rushing pulse. Until a noise grew in the distance, Clink! Clink! Clink! The rattle of chains drew ever nearer. The light of a lantern beaconed out from the shadows, whilst Lucian froze. It was him, The Warden of Souls, Thresh. He stood there; a sickening aura lingered around the demon, when a blaze of souls around him erupted, creating a blast of air that engulfed Lucian, knocking down into a grave. The glowing skull of Thresh radiated in the darkness; “The Purifier, we meet again.” Said Thresh, his voice warped and twisted. Rage fuelled Lucian, leaping to his feet he drew his weapons, releasing a flurry of shots that pierced the air, all were dead eye accuracy, yet none so much as grazed the demonic spectre. Thresh loomed in the distance, his hulking frame appeared to hover above the ground as it gradually glided closer to Lucian. “Purifier, leave this place and never return.” The creature growled with such intensity, that it made Lucian quiver with fear. “You have my word, I will never come back here, just give her back to me.” There were traces of dread in the way Lucian spoke, an overbearing feeling of being powerless suffocated him as he stared into the socketless abyss of Thresh’s skull. The beast threw it’s lantern at Lucian’s feet landing with a heavy thud. Though it was muffled, the cries of Senna’s voice could be faintly heard. Lucian could not resist, his legs crumbled beneath him onto the soft earth below, his attention was completely drawn to his lost love; meaning he couldn’t see the chained hook hurtling its way towards him. The pain seared through Lucian, scythe carving into his upper torso causing a sanguine stain upon his jacket. The ligaments in his shoulder had severed leaving his right arm useless, he dropped Light onto the soil below. A fiendish grin swept over Thresh as the behemoth clawed the chains closer, dragging Lucian nearer to death. With great desperation Lucian cocked his weapon, trying to muster the strength and courage to keep a steady aim. His arm was faltering, and the looming spectre was drawing ever closer, Lucian roared with despair and in turn opened fire, an ardent blaze of raw energy leapt from the weapon, it’s pathway true. Through the pain Lucian found a brief smirk knowing that he had slain the beast. The beam was inches away from it’s mark, when a speck of light intercepted, placing itself upon Thresh’s chained vest. Lucian was dumbstruck his shot had been blocked, the smirk he had once donned was left aghast. As if reading his mind Thresh bellowed “Fool! I am the warden of souls, they are my weapon and they are my armour.” Lucian’s heart sank, he had underestimated his opponent for a second time. His breath became a rasp, the green of his eyes started to fade as he could feel his soul sapping out through the sickle buried in his chest. Letting out sporadic shots that continuously were blocked by the spectral armour of Thresh, the ominous thought that he could not mortally wound his nemesis dawned upon him, it had been all for naught. Tears welled in his eyes, but a fury burned inside him, the heat of blood oozing down his arm. Letting out a roar that could have been heard down in the pits of hell he let loose a barrage of shots into the cemetery’s ground. Earth began to fly; the dust and dirt of graves filled the night sky providing a veil for Lucian. With an iron-like grip he seized the hook and ripped it out with great vigour, a tail of blood flowing forth from the wound. The pain was immense but he was free, darting for cover under a large headstone the darkness and dirt as his shield. The howling of souls once again filled the graveyard, the orbs of spectral energy began to whir, sending the dust into the clouds above, removing Lucian’s cover. Thresh cackled “my lantern sees all” as the Warden of Souls paced forwards. The gravestones creaked and moaned, the sickly sweet scent of death loomed in the air, pungent as ever. Lucian leapt to his feet, arm still immobilised. Thresh stopped his pursuit and began a low hum; the hum breaking into a yell. The ground began to shake, fissures appearing and cracking the earth. Six coffins burst forth from the ground standing strong in a hexagonal formation ensnaring Lucian. The distance from each coffin was walled with a layer of souls filled with the faces of the slain, comrades of Lucian, mighty warriors of Runeterra that had befallen the cruel fate of Thresh. An eerie silence reared again, making Lucian’s stomach drop “no one escapes The Box, let alone a one armed coward.” The coffins started to shift, the space between them was getting smaller, edging ever closer; screams louder; death inescapable. Twirling his scythe, Thresh began to taunt Lucian, tossing the lantern over the box but catching it in mid-air with his hook. “And what would you do if I just slay her, Purifier? Your efforts are in vain, your love is not the first soul I have taken and she will not be the last.” His grip tightened on Shadow, memories of Senna whirled around in his head, “it was always for her,” screamed Lucian, “A beast cannot know love, you can take her to the edge of hell and I’d be there on your heels. You took the better half of me, Thresh, and what you left is a shell, I have no fear of death, life is not worth living without her. It’s for her, it’s for SENNA!!!!” The Box walls grew tighter, the souls were sapping Lucian’s strength, collapsing to his knees with his last ounce of will he raised Shadow “for you, my love.” He whispered, crashing to the ground, the beam shot true, and shattered the wall of souls, the moaning faces dissipating into the aether. Thresh, unscathed, looked down upon Lucian and roared with laughter “and so ends the tale of The Purifier, his last act of defiance a blazing miss!” Lucian’s body lay stiff, the blood on his jacket had caked, and Shadow lay strewn on the floor, a broken tool. Heavy gasps of air filled the night; Lucian sputtered blood onto the dirt below. “I-,” he said, choking for breath “I- didn’t miss.” Thresh’s laughter became even more violent and vicious. “I- wasn’t aiming for you.” The laughter halted. The prized lantern that had entombed Senna was cracked. Light poured forth from the lantern illuminating the desolate sky, warmth enshrouded the air. Amongst the chaos, she stood there, draped in pure-white robes, an angelic aura emanated from her, the purity blasted forth from the darkness. Running with great fervour towards her beloved, tears streaming down her face, she edged ever closer to Lucian’s still frame. Bending down she held him in her arms, Lucian’s breaths were soft, life was escaping him, but the lovers locked eyes, slowly and painfully he raised his arm to her cheek and wiped away a tear “Senna, I-“ she put her finger to his lips, “they’ll be plenty of time for that, rest” she pleaded. Memories of their time spent together flooded through Senna’s mind, her attention was completely drawn to her lost love; meaning she couldn’t see the chained hook hurtling its way towards her until…
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