Dawn till Dusk

**Dawn Till Dusk** _By Gr1fter_ The small tavern was bathed in a golden glow from a beam of sunlight that came from a dusty window and reflected off the woman’s armour. ‘Have you seen her?’ The barkeep stared at the woman asking the question, his hand paused mid swipe of the bar and he cocked one bushy eyebrow. ‘Silver hair?’ the barkeep asked in gruff tone The woman nodded. Her cascade of red hair shimmered in the beam of light. ‘Crescent tattoo?’ he continued, one stumpy finger placed on his forehead. The woman nodded again. The barkeep narrowed his eyes. ‘Yer not from ‘round ‘ere are ya?’ he asked as he leaned one elbow on the bar and placed a fist under his chin. The woman’s posture stiffened and her hand thumped against her chest. ‘I am Leona,’ she stated. ‘Templar of the Solari, Defender of Mount Targon, Aspect of…’ ‘HEY!’ the barkeep shouted. He stood up straight and shifted his gaze to the doorway. Leona spun around, startled by the barkeep’s change of demeanour. Her hand tightened around the leather bound hilt of her sword, her fingers flexed in anticipation of danger. In the doorway stood a man. A red cape swirled around his feet and under his moustache he had a thick cigar gritted between his teeth. The man looked left, then right before he pointed to his chest. His eyes widened in innocence. ‘Me?’ he asked. ‘This is a non-smokin’’ establishment,’ the barkeep declared in a sullen tone.’You gotta get rid of that.’ The man plucked the cigar from his mouth, rolled it in his fingers and tossed it aside. ‘Humph, I was thinkin’ about quittin’ anyway,’ he said and moved to a nearby table. He sat down and propped a large, double barrelled shotgun against the wall. He signalled for the waitress and ordered a pot of ale and a tray of biscuits. Leona turned back to the barkeep. He scratched his head. ‘Look lady, I ain’t seen this silver haired, crescent tattoo wearin’ girl ya lookin’ fer,’ he said. He started to wipe the bar with his cloth. ‘But, if she been to Piltover someone would’ve noticed.’ A squeaky voice came from the back corner of the tavern. ‘We saw her.’ Leona looked to where a young couple lollygagged at a booth. The girl had long, blue braids that were wrapped around her neck, blue tattoos on her arm and wild, red eyes. The boy had a pure white mohawk and a white hourglass painted on his face. The girl jumped out of her seat and skipped over to where Leona stood. She circled the warrior, taking in every detail of her armour. Leona shifted her stance and glared at the girl. ‘Speak,’ she demanded. ‘Where did you see Diana?’ The girl paused, cocked her head to one side and put a finger to her lips. ‘Ummm,’ she said as her face screwed in thought. ‘Wait, I’m thinking.’ ‘Zaun,’ said the boy as he fiddled with a contraption on his wrist. ‘We saw her in Zaun two days ago; maybe three. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of time.’ The blue haired girl glared at the boy. ‘Thanks, Timestamp. I was gonna say that.’ She snapped her fingers and leaned towards Leona. ‘You gonna hurt her?’ she whispered with a toothy grin. ‘No, that is not my intention.’ The girl pulled back and rolled her eyes. ‘Booooooring,’ Just as Leona was about to speak, another figure darkened the doorway to the tavern. ‘JINX!’ the figure shouted. Leona turned and saw a woman with bright purple hair, a wicked grin and two huge, metal fists. ‘Resist arrest already!’ the woman said, pounding her fists together in a threatening manner. Before Leona could react to the newcomer, Jinx had run across the room and grabbed the white haired boy’s hand. The girl turned to the woman in the doorway. ‘Vi stands for stupid!’ She taunted before they leapt through an open window. A gleeful cackle followed them as they fled down the street. As the couple disappeared out the window the woman let out an aggravated growl and charged. ‘Eat this!’ she screamed before she threw one of her metal fists straight at the brick wall. In an explosion of dust and mortar she punched a large hole through the wall and careened after the couple. Outside, several pedestrians stopped to observe the carnage before they continued with their business. As the dust settled and the last loose brick crumbled to the floor another woman stuck her head through the tavern doorway. She was wearing a yellow and purple striped stovepipe hat, matching corset and carried a long, intricate rifle. ‘Woman,’ she said as she gasped for air and placed her hands on her knees. ‘Big, hands?’ The barkeep pointed to the hole in his wall. ‘Thata way, Sheriff,’ The woman tipped her hat and picked up her rifle ‘Hot on the trail,’ she said before she dashed through the hole in pursuit of Vi and Jinx. Leona patted some dust from her shoulders. ‘That was… unusual.’ The barkeep scoffed. ‘Lady, this is a pretty normal day. If it’s not someone breakin’ me walls, it’s some guy settin’ thin’s on fire by touching them, a giant catfish eatin’ me out of stock, a mermaid getting’ everything wet every time she laughs, a Yorlde with a giant hammer smashing thin’s or a masked man mutterin’ about the number four.’ He tossed his cloth on the bar. ‘Trust me, the only reason I would rememba the woman yer lookin’ for is ‘cause she sounds relatively normal.’ Leona looked around the tavern and saw previously unnoticed scorch marks, water damage, repaired furniture and patched up walls. Her hand dipped into her pocket and she placed some gold coins on the bar. ‘I only have one more question,’ she said. ‘Which way to Zaun?’ The barkeep scooped up the coins and placed them in his pocket. ‘Head to South Port,’ he said, pointing in the general direction. ‘Yer can get a ferry cross the bay.’ Leona nodded, thanked the barkeep, picked up her shield and left the tavern. Outside she was almost knocked over by a precession of overall wearing Yordles who pushed wheelbarrows full of bricks and carried trowels, brooms and buckets. They stopped at the hole in the tavern wall and unloaded their tools. ‘Clean up crew!’ one of them shouted before they loaded broken bricks into buckets. In the distance an explosion echoed through the city and a pillar of smoke rose into the sky. No one in the busy street acknowledged the detonation and continued their conversations and travels as if nothing unusual had occurred. As the smoke dimmed the sun Leona looked up. ‘Every day the sun chases the moon across the sky,’ she said to herself. ‘As will I pursue Diana.’ With those words Leona, The Radiant Dawn, disappeared into the crowd and continued her quest.

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