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    Bilgewater

    Who I am
    Joel Fulleda
    @joelfulleda

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    For the Legends of Runeterra regional card collection, see  Bilgewater. Edit • Image • Reference

    Faction

    Bilgewater

    By Unknown Author

    Starring: Fizz, Gangplank, Graves, Illaoi, Miss Fortune, Nautilus, Pyke, Soot Kench, Twisted fate

    "   "Welcome to Bilgewater!"
    — Gangplank

    Bilgewater It is a haven for smugglers, marauders and unscrupulous people, where fortunes are made and ambitions shattered in the blink of an eye. For those fleeing justice, debt or persecution, it is a city of new beginnings; no one on the winding streets of Bilgewater cares about your past. It is a melting pot of cultures, races and creeds, full of activity at all hours.



    Although it is incredibly dangerous, Bilgewater is also full of opportunity, free from the shackles of government, regulation, and moral constraints. If you have the currency, almost anything can be bought in Bilgewater, from forbidden hextech to favor with local crime lords. However, at dawn, the unwary are floating in the harbor, their purses empty and their throats slit.

    Summary

    • 1 Lore
      • 1.1 Bilgewater Champions
      • 1.2 Other related champions
    • 2 History
    • 3 Architecture
      • 3.1 Carving of Tahm Kench
      • 3.2 Summoners of Snakes
    • 4 Places
      • 4.1 Butcher's Bridge
      • 4.2 The winery
      • 4.3 Slaughterhouse sheds
      • 4.4 Gun'dola
      • 4.5 Cemetery
    • 5 Fauna
      • 5.1 LomofĂ©rreos
      • 5.2 OcklĂ©podos
      • 5.3 Plunder Crabs
      • 5.4 Dock Rats (Sharp Fin)
      • 5.5 Shark-infested waters
      • 5.6 Sea monsters
      • 5.7 The Great Barbuda [Nagakabouros]
    • 6 Economy
      • 6.1 Currency
      • 6.2 Spoils of war
    • 7 Ships and Fleets
      • 7.1 The Massacre
      • 7.2 Banners of Jagged Hooks
      • 7.3 The Boatman
      • 7.4 Killer Fleet
    • 8 Weapons
      • 8.1 Hand Cannon
      • 8.2 Crimson Scroll Dagger
    • 9 Gangplank
      • 9.1 Scourge of the Seas
      • 9.2 Noxianos
    • 10 Miss Fortune
      • 10.1 The Bounty Hunter
      • 10.2 The White Dock
    • 11 you've never had friends like these two
      • 11.1 Twisted Fate
        • 11.1.1 The Wallet Stealer
        • 11.1.2 The Master of Cards
      • 11.2 Malcolm Graves
        • 11.2.1 The Life Robber
        • 11.2.2 The Outlaw
    • 12 Seas of Fire
      • 12.1
        • 12.1.1 Los Muelles del Matadero, The commission, An old friend
        • 12.1.2 Waiting, Meeting, Fireworks
        • 12.1.3 Wildcards, Alarm, Sleight of Hand
        • 12.1.4 Bone Carving, Strength Lesson, A Message
      • 12.2
        • 12.2.1 Fight on the Docks, The Butcher's Bridge, A Blast
        • 12.2.2 They approach, Over the abyss, Take the leap
        • 12.2.3 The Show, An Observer, Night Falls
        • 12.2.4 The jump, some very fine boots, oranges
      • 12.3
        • 12.3.1 Blood, Truth, The Daughter of Death
        • 12.3.2 The Plunge, A Fight With Darkness, Peace
        • 12.3.3 Fire and Ruin, A Conclusion, The Worst Part
        • 12.3.4 Red Sky, Shark Bait, Reconciliation
        • 12.3.5 Chaos, Ruined Man, Purpose
      • 12.4 The day of judgment
    • 13 HARROWING
      • 13.1 Memories of Harrowing
        • 13.1.1 The Battle of Navajas Crossing.
        • 13.1.2 The Drowned Anchor.
        • 13.1.3 The Mowing of the Smuggler's Cove.
        • 13.1.4 The Battle of the Serpent.
        • 13.1.5 The Fall from the Shadow.
        • 13.1.6 The Wild Hunt.
        • 13.1.7 The Death of the Conqueror.
        • 13.1.8 The Battle of Puerto Enlutado.
        • 13.1.9 The Crimson Army.
        • 13.1.10 The Whirlpool.
        • 13.1.11 The Shroud.
        • 13.1.12 The Flower of Ionia.
      • 13.2 The Shadow and Fortune
    • 14 The Shadow and Fortune
      • 14.1 Blood in the streets
      • 14.2 Glory in death
      • 14.3 And in the depths
      • 14.4 The Great Barbuda
      • 14.5 Something stupid
      • 14.6 The red shroud
      • 14.7 The Shadow of War
      • 14.8 The Purifier
      • 14.9 The city of the dead
      • 14.10 The sanctuary
      • 14.11 She is not dead
      • 14.12 Strangers Associates
      • 14.13 On the move again
    • 15 References
    • 16 Wildlife

    Lore

    Bilgewater is a port city like no other, home to monster hunters, harbor gangs, indigenous peoples, and merchants from across the known world. Over time, it becomes a vital stop for commercial ships traveling near the Serpent Islands. Almost anything can be bought here, from outlawed hextech to the favor of local crime lords. There is no better place to seek fame and fortune, although death lurks in every alley and the law is almost non-existent.



    Bilgewater Champions

    Fizz Gangplank Graves Illaoi Miss Fortune Nautilus Pyke Soot Kench Twisted fate


    Other related champions

    • Ahri traveled to Bilgewater with her bodyguard Yasuo.
    • Camille trained with natives of the Serpent Islands, where she learned to effectively use a grappling line and a hook.
    • Hecarim attacked Bilgewater during the Harrowing and razed the port of Gray Harbor.
    • Janna protects the sailors of the Serpent Isles.
    • Kalista punishes traitors in Bilgewater.
    • Karthus attacked a Bilgewater ship.
    • Lucian defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
    • Olaf defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
    • Ryze visited Bilgewater when searching for a passage to the East to search for the Geogenic Runes.
    • Swain is antagonistic towards Gangplank after the latter stole his personal warship, the Leviathan.
    • Thresh attacked Bilgewater during the Harrowing.
    • Yasuo traveled to Bilgewater with Ahri as his bodyguard.
    • Yuumi traveled to Bilgewater in search of her Master, Norra.
    • Zed is antagonistic towards Gangplank after the latter sacked the Temple of the Serrated Knife in Ionia.

    History

    Bilgewater has a thriving industry around hunting sea monsters. Every day, fleets raise anchor at dusk in pursuit of such powerful beasts. When successful they return to the slaughterhouse docks to turn the remains of the monsters into flesh, bone and hard skin.



    Architecture

    Bilgewater lacks natural resources for construction, forcing its inhabitants to reuse everything they can. It is normal to see the remains of ships from as far away as Ionia, Demacia and Freljord itself as part of its architecture.

    Tahm Kench Carving

    The image of old Tahm Kench marks the dens of greed throughout Bilgewater. A symbol of greed and outgoing freedom, the King of the River's face not only appears in the form of graffiti, but also serves as a guide for those seeking to satisfy indecent appetites.

    Serpent Summoners

    Either due to magic or their ancient architectural design, these hollow pillars are used by snake summoners to mimic the screams and screeches of the horrors that inhabit the seafloor, to bring them to the surface or to scare them away.

    Places

    Butcher's Bridge

    This stone bridge was once the path to a temple entrance, but now the Butcher's Bridge is a dangerous connection between the slaughterhouse piers and the Bilgewater slums.

    The winery

    Located at the end of a pier, surrounded by waters infested with sharks and razorfish, and by the dangerous gang of Jagged Hooks, Gangplank's warehouse is full of treasures and loot from around the world. After the destruction of the Massacre, the wineries laden with Gangplank treasures were looted and those who followed the fearsome pirate abandoned their allegiance.



    Slaughterhouse sheds

    Following a successful hunt for sea monsters, the murderous fleets return to the slaughterhouse docks to reduce the creatures to armored flesh, bones and furs within these massive sheds. A lucrative market for glands, organs and secretions derived from snakes thrives in Bilgewater.

    Gun’dola

    These elevated platforms transport goods and meat, bones and fat from a sea monster slaughtered all over the islands on old rails. Some of the gondolas have cannons installed, a cunning inspiration for the name of this place.

    Cemetery

    The cemeteries consist of many buoys that float on the surface and that are tied to the corpses on the seabed. Rich people are buried in expensive coffins under spectacular tombstones that sway in the water, while the poor are often tied up en masse to old anchors under flooded barrels.

    Fauna

    Various monsters from all over Runeterra are dispatched via the black market, extensively trained, and sold as life products for entertainment, industrial use, or simply as loyal subordinates. Illegal trade is especially prevalent in a pirate haven like Bilgewater. As it is the main source of trade in the black market, those who pay more Krakens will undoubtedly get better monsters than those who pay less. Examples of these mercenary beasts are the Ironmock, the Ockléopedos, the Pillager Crabs, and the Sharpfin.

    Lomoférreos

    Siege Tanks

    Ocklépodos

    Support utility

    Looter Crabs

    Hostigachamps

    Dock Rats (Sharpfin)

    A terrifying mix between shark and rat, these creatures are larger than dogs and are known for

    stalk drunks and lonely fishermen on the darkest nights. They generally travel in packs and can easily rip a man's leg off with one bite.

    Rats grow and become more monstrous as they age. An adult dock rat is a Sharpfin.

    They are, in equal parts, contempt, agility and sharp fangs, closer relatives of sea cobras than of rats.

    No one has survived long enough to see the underside of a dock rat, they can swim like a shark and sneak like a rat, so there is no safe place.

    They like porogalletas, only they understand it as pores made of cookies.

    Longshoremen sleep on raised bunk beds to avoid being eaten by dock rats while they sleep.

    They are natural enemies of sewer lions.

    They have poisonous spikes on their tails ... although most people don't survive long enough to see them.

    Before they were used to keep the docks clean of garbage since they eat whatever.

    Shark-infested waters

    The sea around the slaughterhouse docks usually darkens with the blood of the slain sea monsters. The bait attracts sharks and other predators to the different ports, which gives way to violent foams.

    Sea monsters

    Huge sea monsters are a constant threat in the seas around Bilgewater, and over the centuries a market industry was created from hunting and slaughtering them. The reason why these beasts approach the islands is unknown, but their impact is undeniable.

    La Gran Barbuda [Nagakabouros]

    Also known as the Mother Serpent by indigenous cultures around the city, Greater Barbuda is the supreme deity of Bilgewater. Their ancient myths tell of careless sailors who forget to leave the traditional tithe at the Serpent's Well as they sail their ship to the ports of Bilgewater.

    Economy

    Currency

    Every day merchants, merchants, and privateers from all over Runeterra bring goods and riches to the prosperous port. Only a fool would reject gold, regardless of the foreign dignitary's face that appears on the coin. Bilgewater however mints its own money, Silver Snakes and Gold Krakens.

    Spoils of war

    When Gangplank's ship returns to port, laden with the treasure of its latest victory or high seas robbery, it first passes through the slaughterhouse docks to leave its new riches in the captain's hold.

    Ships and Fleets

    The Massacre

    Archivo:Bilgewater The Dead Pool.jpg

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    A massive three-masted beast, Gangplank's flagship is one of the most infamous ships in all of Runeterra. Inherited after his ruthless patricide, the Massacre is a good reminder of the captain's fearsome power and the physical manifestation of it.

    Jagged Hook Banners

    One of the oldest and fiercest gangs in Bilgewater, the Jagged Hooks pledge their allegiance to Gangplank. Their name comes from the curved and twisted weapons they use to hunt sea monsters.

    The Boatman

    In Bilgewater, the dead are not buried, they are returned to the ocean. The ferryman takes the bodies of the dead to the various cemeteries scattered along the canals that surround the city.

    Killer fleet

    There are fleets that leave the port every day at dusk to hunt sea monsters. Being rivals who identify with unique symbols and traditions, many of the fleets constantly fight each other to establish dominance.

    Arms

    Hand cannon

    Being relatively inexpensive, these repaired weapons are popular with the wide range of dockside gangs, common bandits, and young corsairs.

    Crimson Scroll Dagger

    Someone was willing to pay a hefty sum for this modest dagger from Gangplank's treasure. Both its origin and its use are unknown.

    That another fight for some of the most wanted loot is taking place.

    Gangplank

    Scourge of the Seas

    Unpredictable and brutal, the dethroned king of looters whom everyone knows as Gangplank is feared the world over. Wherever he directs his black sails, death and ruin must accompany him, for such is his bad reputation that the mere sight of his insignia on the horizon makes even the most seasoned sailor tremble.

    Gangplank made his fortune by abusing the trade routes of the Twelve Seas, thus making many powerful enemies. In Ionia, he provoked the wrath of the deadly Order of the Shadow after sacking the Temple of the Jagged Knife and it is even said that the great general of Noxus himself swore to see Gangplank smashed to pieces, after he stole the Leviathan, the ship of Swain's personal war and the pride of the Noxian fleet.

    While Gangplank has drawn the ire of many, no one has been able to bring him to justice, despite the assassins, bounty hunters and entire fleets who have sent after him. Seeing the increasing amount of rewards being offered on his head gives him ruthless pleasure, and he makes sure to post the notices on the Bilgewater Most Wanted board for all to see whenever he returns to port with his treasure-filled ship.

    In more recent times, Gangplank was defeated by the bounty hunter Miss Fortune. He destroyed his ship with all Bilgewater as a witness, killed his crew and shattered his aura of invincibility. Seeing him vulnerable, Bilgewater gangs rose up against him, fighting each other for dominance of the port city.

    Despite being horribly injured in the explosion, Gangplank managed to survive. Bearing a series of new scars and a new metal arm in place of the amputee, he is more than determined to regain his strength, claim what he considers to be his right, and mercilessly punish anyone who turns against him.

    Noxianos

    The massive Noxian war captain flinched and dropped his ax as Gangplank stabbed him deep in the gut with his saber. Blood spurted from the warrior's tattooed mouth as he recited a never-before-heard curse.

    Gangplank disdainfully drew his saber and shoved the dying man onto the deck. His heavy armor made a rumble as he collapsed. His blood mixed with the water that fell on the front deck of the war galley. The black painted hull of Gangplank's ship loomed over the other ship, until it was held together with hooks and boarding ropes.

    Gangplank clenched his black and gold teeth, enduring the pain. The Noxian was about to defeat him. Even so, he refused to show weakness in front of his crew and smiled with great effort.

    Wind and rain beat against his body, and he turned to glance at the rest of the Noxians. He had declared a deadly duel against the enemy captain, and now that he had won, his fighting spirit was gone.

    "This ship belongs to me," Gangplank roared, so loud it was heard even in the midst of the heavy blizzard. Is there anyone who has something to say about it?

    One of the Noxians, a huge warrior with tattoos on his face and dressed in spiked armor, glared at Gangplank:

    "We are children of Noxus," he yelled. Any of us would proudly die before letting someone of your ilk take over our ship!

    Gangplank frowned, then shrugged.

    "Very good," he said and turned away.

    Gangplank showed his crew a cruel smile.

    "Kill them all," he roared. And set his ship on fire!

    “I was already slaughtering people and sinking Noxian war galleys when you were still wetting your panties, sailor. You don't want to face me. "

    Miss Fortune

    The Bounty Hunter

    Beauty and Danger: very few can match Miss Fortune in such attributes. She is one of Bilgewater's most infamous bounty hunters, who created her legend on a trail of riddled corpses and captured loafers. The thunderous echo of his twin pistols ricochets off the smelly berths and squalid shacks of the port city, an unmistakable sign that another brawl over some of the most wanted loot is taking place.

    Like most of those who rise to fame in the twisted salt-encrusted maze of Bilgewater, Miss Fortune's hands are drenched in blood. But this was not always the case, as she was once known as Sarah, the beloved daughter of a famous gunwoman who lived peacefully in her lonely workshop on an island. Young Sarah helped her mother with the forge: filing safety, calibrating triggers, or casting custom pistols. His mother's skill in creating firearms was legendary, and her custom-made pistols were in the collections of many wealthy nobles. But they were often coveted by ruthless and dark-hearted people.

    One such person was a Bilgewater raider from recent successful raids named Gangplank. Arrogant and confident of his power, he demanded that Sarah's mother make him a pair of pistols that were unique in the whole world. Thus, a reluctant deal was struck and exactly one year later Gangplank returned for his weapons. She was wearing a red scarf over her face and had no intention of paying for what she had asked for. He planned to take the weapons by force.

    The pistols Sarah's mother had created were truly a work of art: twin hand cannons, of great beauty and precise lethality. Too good for someone like this unscrupulous man, Sarah's mother declared when she saw the brute corsair Gangplank had become. Furious, Gangplank seized the weapons and fired at her with his own creation, before pointing them at the husband and Sarah herself. Then, full of resentment, he set the workshop on fire and threw both pistols to the ground, declaring that if they were too good for someone like him, then no one could have them.

    Sarah woke up in the center of an egregious scene: her blond hair stained with blood and a couple of bullets lodged in both sides of her mother's heart. He crawled through the burning ruins of his home, the remains of the pistols clinging to his bleeding chest. Her body healed, but part of her mind was forever trapped in her mother's workshop consumed by fire and there was not enough soap that could remove the vivid red from her hair; or at least that tells the story. Endless nightmares began to haunt her thereafter, but Sarah learned to cope with them with a consuming obsession for revenge. She repaired her mother's pistols and found out as much as she could about the looter with the red scarf as she rose to power, preparing for the day when she was ready to assassinate him.

    After embarking on Bilgewater, Sarah killed her first victim, within minutes of stepping on the crooked planks of the pier: a drunken pirate with a gallon of Myron's Dark on his belly and a price tag on his head. Sarah shot him in her stupor and dragged the corpse to the Most Wanted board, from which she tore a dozen more posters.

    Within a week, he'd collected every single one of those loot, and criminals unfortunate enough to get in Sarah's path were either dead or behind bars. He quickly built a fearsome reputation in the taverns and gambling clubs of Bilgewater. She thus became Miss Fortune, Bad Fortune, to inspire fear in her victims and hide her true intentions, gaining fame with extravagant feats. Gangplank would never recognize her; it would be just another bounty hunter on the busy streets of Bilgewater.

    Over the years, stories about Miss Fortune spread far and wide, each one more impressive than the last. He captured the Siren of a captain who discovered in the worst way what it means to put his hand where it should not be, drowned the chief of the Silk Knife Corsairs in one of his own barrels of rum, and brought the Mad Ripper out of his lair, the stomach of a dismembered leviathan, the slaughterhouse docks.

    Gangplank was still too powerful to face openly, so Miss Fortune spent the years between cunning and intrigue, surrounding herself with a small but loyal group of allies and lovers that she would ultimately use to cast off her demons. But killing Gangplank would never be enough for Miss Fortune. Only to completely humiliate him and reduce to ashes everything that was dear to him could satisfy the blood-red haired bounty hunter.

    And that day finally arrived.

    Miss Fortune risked everything to execute her first maneuver against Gangplank. After spinning complicated plots over others, the Massacre ended up in pieces and engulfed in flames alongside the dock, with the self-proclaimed King of Bilgewater finally dethroned. And the best part was that all Bilgewater saw him fall.

    Now, with Gangplank overthrown, the port city's looter captains and gang bosses vie for his place.

    The battle for Bilgewater has begun.

    The White Dock

    Bilgewater White Wharf owes its name to the layer of bird droppings that covers it from end to end, something to be expected from a place where the dead go. People here didn't bury corpses; they returned them to the sea. A cemetery of the submerged dead whose graves hung suspended in the cold depths, marked by hundreds of buoys. Some were mere signs with names; others, elaborate grave markers carved to recreate krakens or voluptuous wenches.

    Miss Fortune sat on an empty Rapture Ron crate at the bottom of the dock, her legs crossed and a noxious cigar dangling from her lower lip. In one hand, he held a respirator attached to a half-submerged coffin that floated shallow in the water. In the other, he held a frayed rope that passed through a rusty block of pulleys and ended up tied to the lid of the coffin. Both of his pistols were holstered and at close range.

    The moonlight reflected a faint glow through the mist coming from the sea, turning the dirty surface of the water a tobacco yellow color. Carrion gavias squawked in a row over each of the roofed pandos that surrounded the pier, which always indicated a good omen, for these birds recognized the signs of good fishing better than anyone.

    "About time," he murmured, as a man with a shaved head and a dragon-scale coat appeared in the narrow, debris-strewn alley. A group of sharp-toothed dock rats followed him, hoping he was drunk, fainting, and watching him become easy prey for them. His name was Jakmunt Zyglos, one of the Painted Brothers. Any salty bone corsair had tattoos, but every inch of Zyglos was covered in clawed snakes, lovers' names, and records of every ship he sank and man he killed. His skin was as valid a confession as any she had ever seen.

    He strode determinedly down the dock, but his wary eyes moving from side to side betrayed his false assurance. His hand gripped the long saber, with a blade made of shark teeth, that hung from his waist. He also possessed a firearm, a gaudy carbine with crystalline tubes running down the barrel.

    -Where is? Zyglos demanded. "You said you'd bring it."

    "Is that a bloody Piltover hex carbine?" She asked, ignoring his question.

    "Answer me, damn it!"

    "You first," Miss Fortune said, tugging a bit of rope from the pulley and sinking the coffin a little further. After all, I don't know how long this vent is going to last and you don't want your brother to run out of air, do you?

    Zyglos took a deep breath and watched Miss Fortune relax.

    "Yeah, damn it, it's from Piltover," he said as he drew the gun and held it out on the trigger safety.

    "It's from the faces," said Miss Fortune.

    "You're the expert," he said scornfully.

    She released even more rope. Air bubbles came out of the coffin, now completely submerged. Zyglos held up his hands, regret spilling from his eyes.

    -Agree! Agree! He pleaded. It's yours. Get it out of there. Please.

    "Will you come calmly?"

    Zyglos let out a fatalistic laugh.

    "What alternative do I have?" -I ask-. You sank my ships and killed all my men. You sent my people to misery or galley slaves, and for what? For a fucking stolen hex pistol? For loot?

    "For both and a little more?"

    "So how much am I worth to you, bitch?"

    -How many? Five hundred silver snakes.

    "All this fuss over a paltry five hundred snakes?"

    "Money is not what will end up killing you." It's the fact that you're one of Gangplank's loyal men, ”Miss Fortune said. That's why I want him dead.

    -Dead? Wait, the reward says alive!

    "Yeah, but I was never good at following directions," Miss Fortune said before releasing the rope and vent. The coffin plunged into the darkness of the dead from the deep, leaving all traces of agitated bubbles. Zyglos called out his brother's name and ran toward her, drawing his sharp sword. She let him get close enough before drawing her pistols and firing both barrels at him, one in the eye and one in the heart.

    Miss Fortune spat the cigar into the sea and blew smoke from each cannon.

    "Personal defense," he said with a smile, practicing the lie he would tell the bounty stewards. The idiot came at me with a sword full of teeth. I had no other choice.

    Miss Fortune bent down to pick up the fallen hex carbine. He turned the gun in his hands. Too light for your taste, but very well made and absurdly lethal. The ghost of a smile appeared for a second on his face as he remembered the warmth of the old workshop, the smell of gun oil, and the feel of his mother's hand on his shoulder. Miss Fortune sighed and shook the memory from her head before it turned sour. He tossed the pistol into the water, letting it sink into the dead. The sea demanded his tribute after all, and besides, he hadn't lied: the gun was worth a small fortune.

    He stood and then walked back to Bilgewater. He knew he had to throw Zyglos's body into the water, but the dock rats and carrion topsails needed to eat too, didn't they?

    And fresh meat was a rare treat at Muelle Blanco.

    "The greater the risk, the greater the reward."

    You've never had friends like these two

    When they were young, Twisted Fate The Wallet Stealer and Graves The Life Stealer were dedicated to making their own on the streets of Bilgewater and around the world. Until Twisted Fate left Graves rotting in jail.

    Twisted fate

    The Wallet Stealer

    Twisted Fate is a notorious card game expert and con man. He has gambled and used his charm throughout much of the known world, earning him the hatred and admiration of the rich and the fools alike. He rarely takes things seriously, waking up each day with a mocking smile and a careless air of bravado. Everywhere you look, Twisted Fate always has an ace up its sleeve.

    Born in the nomadic town of the Serpentino River, the boy learned the magic of cards at an early age and soon understood what it meant to not be liked by anyone. Tolerated for the exotic goods they produced, but isolated by their strange customs, its people were not very well received wherever their colorful river boats took. The elders said that was the way the world was, but the fact that they refused to fight that prejudice was something that always irritated the young boy's sensibilities.

    Some men who had lost their fortune gambling at the river people stalls returned shortly afterwards in the middle of the night to exact revenge, with clubs in their hands and encouraged by a cheap distillate. They drove the people from the river back to their boats with beatings and insults, and in the end they pointed their weapons at the boy's family. He couldn't take it anymore and struggled. He expelled the men by nimbly beating them with his own clubs.

    Proud of what he had done, the boy was dumbfounded when his people turned their backs on him. The retaliation was against the river code and there was only one punishment for it: exile. His whole world fell apart. The boy saw how the boats of his people sailed without him leaving him with nothing, alone in the world for the first time in his life.

    He reached adulthood by passing from town to town, entering the gambling clubs of each city he came to, where he used his supernatural skill with cards to earn money and survive. The fact that he was able to take money from the presumptuous, arrogant and cruel was an added value to him. Although he was careful and let his opponents win some hands, he soon learned other ways to fight when some disgruntled opponent tried to regain his lost fortune.

    Across one of the tables, he met a certain Malcolm Graves and, recognizing a kindred spirit, joined forces with him. They both spent years building a notorious reputation all over Valoran. With each scam, deception and assault, the inveterate gambler searched for new and more dangerous ways to dominate the cards.

    Their search ended in the worst way when an assault went awry, resulting in the capture of Graves. The rivereño, on the other hand, was freed by chance of the twisted fate. The true circumstances of what happened that night and its terrible outcome was always a mystery, since the gambler never talks about it. Looking to start over, he returned his name to the waters to adopt another: Twisted Fate, the one with twisted luck.

    Since then, Twisted Fate has continued to play with luck in low- and high-end clubs, in every city it visits, where it makes countless fortunes in its wake, though no one knows what it does with its winnings (besides buying fine clothes) not even for who works so hard to accumulate so much wealth. He has been jailed with great fanfare on several occasions, but no prison in Runeterra has been able to catch him for long. Twisted Fate is never in his cell the next morning, and all he leaves behind is a playing card as a mockery and a sign that he was ever there.

    In Bilgewater, Twisted Fate and Graves were finally able to settle scores. After a destructive battle and narrowly outsmarting death at the hands of Gangplank, the duo finally put their differences aside and worked together again.

    Almost untraceable, Twisted Fate is said to vanish into thin air whenever an enemy believes they have him cornered. Quite a useful skill for a man who has dispatched thousands of people of his gold ...

    The Master of Cards

    All the people of the Glorious Fortune had their eyes on Twisted Fate. He felt how all the customers in the gambling hall were watching him with a mixture of envy, excitement and malicious anticipation for him to lose everything on his last play.

    Beyond the greed of such places, Twisted Fate felt a particular purpose in that place, like a rope tied around his neck. The cards writhed nervously, warning him of danger. He knew he should retreat and get out of there before falling into the hands of whoever was after him, but the opportunity to ruin the man across the table was too attractive to pass up.

    He smiled at his opponent, a greedy merchant who made his fortune on sweat and blood from the scourged backs of slave miners. The man's clothing was expensive: Freljord furs, handcrafted leather, and Bilgewater marine amulets. On each finger was a gold ring that cost more than any man could earn in a lifetime. Aromatic smoke billowed out of the pipes, covering the fortune composed of money, jewels, and deeds that lay between them, like a pirate's stockpile of treasure.

    Twisted Fate nodded to the merchant. "I think it's your turn, Master Henmar."

    "I know the rules, creek rat," Henmar said, as Twisted Fate ran his tattooed fingers in a repetitive spiral over the cards. And don't think your dirty sleight of hand is going to distract me into making a mistake.

    "Distract him?" Twisted Fate said, showing stark assurance with each gesture. "I declare that I would never stoop to such dishonorable tricks."

    -No? So why do you look the other way every now and then? Said Henmar. Listen carefully, I deal with the best and I know the expression of a desperate man when I see it.

    Twisted Fate showed a mischievous smile, changed the cards in his hands, and took off his hat in an exaggerated way.

    "You are clever, sir." Definitely, ”he said before looking around the crowd. It was the usual people; men and women who expected whoever won to be generous to those around him. The cards trembled as Twisted Fate's eyes fell on certain individuals. Then he tasted rancid milk in his mouth. He had long ago learned to trust that reaction as a sign of an impending uproar.

    There, a man with an eye patch and a woman with fiery hair. They were definitely armed and aware of their elusive nature. Did you know them? Probably not. Did they work for Henmar? Did they protect their wealth? Unlikely. Someone like Henmar would point out that he had companions. They were bounty hunters. The cards were waving even more in Twisted Fate's hands. He gathered them all together and put them on the table.

    "You have the kind of look that tells me you already know you're going to lose," Henmar said with the tone of a man who believes that everyone around him is inferior to him.

    "So how about we make this even more interesting, sir?" Twisted Fate replied, before swiping the cards like a fan as he watched the bounty hunters get even closer. Do you want to double the bet?

    "Can you pay that much?" Henmar asked suspiciously.

    "Definitely," Twisted Fate said, staring at the merchant and pulling a heavy bag of coins from the large pocket of his long jacket. And you?

    Henmar licked his lips and snapped his fingers. A footman behind the merchant handed him a similar pouch of coins. The Gloriosa Fortuna audience muttered together as they placed the gold next to the rest in the middle of the table. Wars had been fought for less money than was at stake.

    "You first," Henmar said.

    "Gladly," Twisted Fate said, flipping the cards over as the bounty hunters charged.

    The man with the eyepatch looped himself over him with a capture collar. The woman called out his name and drew a pair of identical pistols.

    Twisted Fate kicked the table underneath, throwing coins, cards, and scrolls everywhere. Thunderous bullets left fist-sized holes in the table. The capture collar closed, but when the smoke cleared and people stopped screaming, Twisted Fate was nowhere to be found.

    Henmar rose to his feet, his face filled with rage as he searched for his opponent in vain. He looked at the pieces of the table scattered on the floor and his face turned pale.

    -Where is the money? -scream-. Where is my money?

    There were five cards turned over on the floor of the Glorious Fortune.

    It was a winning hand.

    "It's not a bet if you can't lose ..."

    Malcolm Graves

    The Life Robber

    Malcolm Graves is a wanted man in every kingdom, city, and empire he has visited. Hard, determined and, above all, relentless, he managed to amass a small fortune (which he later lost) thanks to a life of crime.

    Raised on the dirty docks of Bilgewater, Malcolm soon learned to fight and steal, skills that served him well all these years. As a young man, he slipped to the mainland amid the murky waters of the bilge of an outgoing cargo ship, and stole, lied, and gambled everywhere he passed. But it was across the table from a risky card game that Malcolm met the man who would change his life: the con man known as Twisted Fate, with luck as twisted as his name. Both recognized in the other the reckless passion for danger and adventure, and thus was born a less than dysfunctional collaboration that would last almost a decade.

    The combination of the unique abilities of Graves and Twisted Fate built an effective alliance that racked up never-before-seen numbers of raids. They robbed and swindled the rich and fools in exchange for money, fame, and the sheer thrill of getting their way. The adventure was as attractive to them as the pay.

    In the border area of ​​Noxus, they antagonized two well-known families, only to be able to carry out the rescue of a feigned kidnapped heir. That they kept the money and then offered the vile boy to the highest bidder, should not have surprised whoever left the negotiations in their hands. In Piltover, they are known to be the only thieves capable of opening the supposedly impenetrable Synchronized Vault. Not only did they empty the vault, but they also tricked the guards into putting it on a cargo ship that they themselves had stolen. Only long after they were lost over the horizon did people learn of the assault; and they also found Fate's flagship card.

    However, luck did not last forever. During an assault that ended up going wrong, Twisted Fate apparently betrayed and abandoned his partner. They caught Graves alive and put him in the infamous prison known as the Closet.

    Years of imprisonment and torture followed, during which time Graves dedicated himself to cultivating his hatred for his former partner. Surely someone weaker would have succumbed, but Malcolm Graves endured it all until he managed to escape. With much effort, he regained his freedom and began the search for Twisted Fate, the man whose betrayal sentenced him to a decade of unspeakable misery.

    Years later, Graves finally met Twisted Fate. However, after discovering the truth of what happened and escaping death at the hands of Gangplank alongside his old comrade, Graves left his thirst for revenge behind. Older, although not wiser, both decided to continue their friendship where they left it, seeking to get rich with that very combination of deceit, assault and precise violence.

    The outlaw

    Locked in an empty bar, bleeding from a dozen wounds and surrounded by an army that wanted him dead, Malcolm Graves had arguably had better days. Worse too, so now was not the time to worry. Graves leaned against the battered bar and picked up a bottle. He sighed when he read the label.

    "Demacian wine?" Is it the best you have?

    "It's the most expensive bottle I have ..." said the innkeeper, trembling with fear under the bar, over a glittering ocean of broken glass.

    Graves looked around and smiled.

    "I think it's more like the last bottle you have left."

    The man was in a panic. He was clearly not used to being in the middle of a shootout like that. This was not Bilgewater, where lethal brawls occurred ten times a day. He knew Piltoverse to be a more civilized city than Graves' home. At least in some respects.

    He ripped the cork out of the bottle with his teeth and spat it on the floor, then took a drink. He stirred the liquor in his mouth before swallowing it, just like the old rich men he had ever seen did.

    "It tastes like urine," he said, "but you can't look at the holes in a pot, right?"

    There was a scream through the broken windows, filled with undeserved confidence and the false swagger of one who outnumbered you.

    "Give it up, Graves." We are seven against one. This is not going to end well.

    "You're not wrong about that," Graves yelled back. If you want to get out of this alive, you better bring more men!

    He took another drink from the bottle and set it on the bar.

    "Time to work," he said and took his inimitable shotgun from the bar.

    Graves reloaded the gun, loading new bullets into the chamber. He closed it with a lethal and satisfying sound, so loud that even the men outside heard it. Those who knew him knew what that noise meant.

    The outlaw slid down the bar and made his way to the door, shattering the glass on the floor with each step. He stopped to look through broken glass. Four men were hiding behind a makeshift cover: two on the second floor of an elegant workshop and two in the shadowy side entrances. They all pointed their muskets or crossbows.

    "We follow you around the world, you son of a bitch," the same voice yelled. The bounty said nothing about taking you dead or alive. Come out now with that cannon of yours held high and there will be no need to spill blood.

    "Oh, I'm going right now," Graves said. Don't worry a bit about it.

    He pulled a silver snake from his pocket and tossed it onto the bar, where the metal circle remained spinning in a puddle of rum before falling face-up. A trembling hand picked it up. Graves smiled.

    "That's by the door," he said. "What door?" Asked the innkeeper.

    Graves slammed his boot on the front door and ripped it off the hinges. He threw himself through the splintered frame, propped himself up on one knee, and fired the gun from his hip.

    "Now you bastards!" He yelled. Let's get this over with!

    "We came for your gold, not your heads, so don't even think about playing heroes."

    Seas of fire

    Los Muelles del Matadero, The commission, An old friend

    The docks of the Rat Town slaughterhouse, a place as smelly as its name suggests.

    Yet here I am, hidden in the shadows, breathing the stench of blood and the open guts of sea serpents.

    I dive deeper into the darkness, hiding my face with the brim of my hat. Members of the Jagged Hooks, armed to the teeth, hover nearby.

    Their reputation as savages precedes them; they would surely defeat me in a fair fight. Just playing fair isn't my thing, and I'm not here to fight. Not this time.

    So what am I doing here, in one of the dirtiest corners of all Bilgewater?

    Well the money. What else could it be?

    The assignment is a risky move, I know; but he couldn't pass up a reward of that size. Also, I made sure the cards played in my favor.

    I don't intend to stay for long. I'll go in and out of here, as fast and quiet as possible. When I'm done, I'll collect my share and disappear with the sun. If all goes well, I'll be on my way to Valoran before they realize the damn thing is gone.

    The thugs turn the corner of the huge slaughterhouse shed. That gives me two minutes before they come back. Plenty of time.

    The silver moon hides behind a blanket of clouds while the dock is covered in shadows. There are boxes scattered throughout the port after the day today. They are perfect for hiding.

    I see guards posted in the main hold. Their vigilant silhouettes carry crossbows. They whisper loudly, like fishermen's wives. Not even with bells on their clothes any of these cretins would have listened to me.

    They think that no one would be foolish enough to come this way.

    A bloated corpse hangs above, for all to see. The bundle turns slowly in the night breeze that sweeps across the bay. It's ... unpleasant. A huge hook, like the ones used to hunt for blankets, holds the body in the air.

    After crossing chains rusted by the humidity of the stones, I come to a pair of imposing cranes, which carry the giant sea creatures to the slaughterhouse sheds to be slaughtered. Hence comes the nauseating smell that permeates every corner of this place. I'll have to buy new clothes when I'm done with this.

    Across the bay, beyond the baited waters of the slaughterhouse docks, a group of ships drop anchor while their lanterns sway with the swaying of the water. A boat attracts my attention: a gigantic war galleon, with black sails. I know who the owner is; everyone in Bilgewater knows who owns it.

    I stop to savor the moment. I'm about to rob the most powerful man in town. It is always exciting to look death in the eye and spit in its face.

    As expected, the main cellar is as closed as the legs of a noble maiden. There are fixed guards at all entrances, and locks and bars on the doors. If it were not about me, I would say that it is impossible to penetrate this place.

    I sneak down an alley at the other end of the warehouse. It has no way out nor is it as dark as I would have preferred. If I'm still here when the patrol gets back, they'll see me. No doubt. And if I am captured, my last hope will be a quick death. Most likely they will take me with him ... where my end would be much slower and more painful.

    The trick, as always, is not to get caught.

    I hear footsteps. The thugs came back early. Hopefully I have a couple of seconds left. I pull a letter from my sleeve and slide it between my fingers without thinking, something as natural to me as breathing. This is the easy part; what comes next is the delicate.

    I unleash my mind and the letter begins to glow. I feel the pressure around me; the possibility of getting anywhere almost bends me. I narrow my eyes and think of the place I have to get to.

    Suddenly I feel a turn in my stomach that is familiar to me, just as I move. In an instant, the air moves with me and I enter the cellar. Without a trace.

    I'm amazed at how good I am.

    Outside, if one of the Jagged Hooks looked down the alley, it would only see a letter falling to the ground. Probably not even that.

    It takes me a few moments to orient myself. The dim glow of the lanterns seeps through the cracks in the walls. My eyes adjust to the light.

    The cellar is packed to the brim with treasures brought back from the Twelve Seas: resplendent armor, exotic artwork, and glittering silks. There are many valuables, but I'm here for something else.

    I divert my attention to the loading doors at the front of the warehouse, where the last shipments should be held. I touch each package and packaging with my fingers until I come across a small wooden box. I can feel the power emanating from within; this is what got me here.

    I open the lid.

    My prize is in sight. It is a magnificent dagger, resting on a black velvet bed. I am about to take it, when ...

    Ch-chom.

    I am petrified. The sound is unmistakable.

    Before I say a single word, I know who the person behind me is.

    "Fate," Graves says through the shadows. So long.

    Waiting, Reunion, Fireworks

    I've been here for hours. There will be those who cannot stay still for so long. I, on the other hand, have my anger to keep me company. And I'm not leaving here until the score is settled.

    Well after midnight, the snake finally appears in the cellar. As always, out of nowhere and using the same old magic trick. I prepare my shotgun, ready to blow it up. After years of searching for this traitorous son of a bitch, here he is, in front of my eyes, at the mercy of the cannon of Destiny.

    "Fate," I say. So long.

    He had prepared a better phrase for the occasion. Funny that he sent her to hell as soon as I saw him in front of me.

    And Fate? His face said nothing. There was neither fear nor regret. Not even a hint of surprise, even with a loaded gun pointed at him in the face. Damn it.

    "Malcolm, how long have you been standing there?" He asks me, with a hint of a smile in his voice that only makes me more enraged.

    I aim. I can pull the trigger and leave him as dead as a rat in the sea.

    It is what you should do. But not yet. I need to hear you say it.

    -Because you did? I ask him, knowing full well that he will come up with some witty answer.

    "Is the weapon necessary?" I thought we were friends.

    Friends. This bastard is making fun of me. All I want to do now is rip off his smug head, but I have to stay calm.

    "You look as elegant as ever," he tells me.

    I lower my head to see the razorfish bites on my clothes; I had to swim to avoid the guards. Ever since she amassed a little fortune, Fate has been obsessed with looks. I can't wait to spoil the outfit. But first I need answers.

    "Tell me why you left me to blame, or they are going to pick up the pieces of your pretty face from the rafts." This is the way you have to talk to Twisted Fate. If you give him the slightest opportunity, he will start to confuse you with his words until you do not know where your head has been.

    His elusive way of being was quite useful to us when we were partners.

    "Ten damned years, locked up!" Do you know how a man ends up after something like that?

    No, you don't know. For the first time, he doesn't have something clever to say. You know very well that you betrayed me.

    "They did things to me that would have driven any other man crazy." Only anger kept me on my feet. And imagine this moment, right now. That's when the witty answer comes in:

    "So… I was the one who kept you alive." Maybe you should thank me.

    That is the last straw. I am so furious that I can barely look at him. He wants to provoke me. That way, when the anger has blinded me, he will be gone. I take a deep breath and ignore the bait. It surprises him that he does not take the bait. This time, I won't leave without an answer.

    "How much did they pay you to hand me over?" I growl.

    Fate stays where she is, smiling. He is trying to buy time.

    "Malcolm, I would love to discuss this with you, but this is not the time or the place."

    Almost too late I noticed a letter dancing between his fingers. I wake up and pull the trigger.

    FIVE.

    Discarded. By little and I also blow his hand.

    -Moron! He barks at me. I finally made him lose his temper. You just woke up the whole damn island! Do you have any idea who owns all this?

    I did not import.

    I prepare the second shot. I can barely see his hands moving when his cards explode around me. I respond with shots, without being clear if I want him dead or dying.

    Before I find him again in the smoke, my anger and the rain of splinters, someone kicks open a door.

    A mob of thugs roar in to add to the dose of confusion already prevailing throughout the place.

    "Are you really sure you want to do this?" Fate asks me, ready to throw another bundle of cards at me.

    I nod and prepare to shoot.

    It is time to settle accounts.

    Wildcards, Alarm, Sleight of hand

    The matter is complicated. Fast.

    The whole warehouse is littered with Jagged Hooks, but Malcolm doesn't give a damn. The only thing that interests him is me.

    I feel like Graves' next shot coming toward me, I dodge it. The sound of his weapon is deafening. A box explodes right where I was half a second before.

    I think my longtime partner is trying to kill me.

    I acrobatic leap over a pile of mammoth ivory as I hurl a trio of cards in the direction of my pursuer. I duck to hide before they hit their mark, ready to find a way out. I just need a couple of seconds.

    Although he curses aloud, the letters barely delay him for an instant. The bastard has always been a tough nut to crack. A pretty stubborn one. He has never known how to leave the past behind.

    "You're not going to run away, Fate," he says with a growl. Not this time.

    No doubt. Its charm has not changed one iota.

    But he is wrong, as usual. I'll get out of here as soon as I find a way out. There's no point talking to him when all he wants to do is get even.

    Another shot. A bullet ricochets off priceless Demacian armor, then embedded itself in walls and the floor. I move from left to right, zigzagging and feinting, running from start to finish. Graves chases me, bellowing his threats and accusations, his shotgun barking relentlessly in his hands. For a big man, he's fast. I had almost forgotten.

    And it is not my only problem. With all his screaming and shooting, the idiot unleashed a hornet's nest of guards. The Jagged Hooks have us cornered. They are also cunning enough to have left some of their men guarding the front door.

    I need to get out of here, but I won't leave without what I came to get.

    I drag Graves across the warehouse until I reach my starting point, just before he does. There are Hooks between me and my prize, and more are on the way. There is no time to lose. The letter in my hand glows red hot. I throw it right to the center of the cellar doors. The detonation bursts the hinges and scatters the Hooks. I move in that direction.

    One of them recovers sooner than expected and tries to hit me with a hand ax. I swing to dodge the blow and kick his knee as I toss another deck of cards at his friends to keep them at bay.

    With the path cleared, I seize the ornate dagger I came to steal and hook it onto my belt. After so much trouble, at least get paid.

    The cargo doors, wide open, call for me. But there are too many Hooks piled up. There is no way out, so I decide to stay in the only remaining silent corner in this house of orates.

    A letter runs between my fingers when I get ready to change places. However, just as I was starting to walk away, Graves appears, stalking me like a mad dog. The butt of Destiny recoils and reduces a Jagged Hook to pieces.

    Graves's gaze goes to the letter that glows in my hand. Knowing what it means, he aims the smoking barrel of his pistol at me. I am forced to move, to interrupt my concentration.

    "You can't run forever," he roars after me.

    Admittedly, he is not an idiot. You don't give me the time I need.

    It's taking me out of focus, and just thinking about the Hooks getting me is already getting to me. Your boss is not known for being merciful.

    My head fills with thoughts. Among them I distinguish the feeling that someone has set me up. They offer me a simple assignment out of nowhere, when I need it most and, surprise, I find my old partner at the scene of the robbery, waiting for me. Someone much smarter than Graves has wanted to see my face.

    This can't happen to me. I'd punch myself for being so careless, but there's a whole dock full of giants ready to do it for me.

    Right now, all that matters is getting out of here anyway. Two blasts from that damn Malcolm shotgun send it flying. My back ends up bumping into a dusty wooden box. A crossbow bolt lodges in rotting wood just behind me, inches from my head.

    "There is no way out, my dear," Graves yells at me.

    I look around me. The fire from the explosion is reaching the ceiling. You may be right.

    "They betrayed us, Graves," I yell at him.

    "You must know a lot about that," he replies.

    I try to reason with him.

    "If we work together, we can get out of this."

    I must be desperate.

    "I'd rather we both died here before trusting you again," he growls.

    I did not wait something less. Trying to get him to reason only increases his anger, which is just what I need. The distraction gives me enough time to get out of the cellar.

    I can hear Graves inside, growling. No doubt he went to check the place where he was, finding nothing more than a letter by way of provocation.

    I throw endless decks through the loading doors behind me. Too late to fiddle with.

    I feel bad for a moment, for leaving Graves in a burning building. But I know him; I know this will not end him. He's too stubborn to be killed like this. In addition, a fire on the dock is a serious thing in a Buenos Aires town. All of this could buy me some time.

    As I search for the fastest way out of the slaughterhouse docks, the sound of an explosion makes me look up.

    It is Graves, who appears through a hole created by himself after blowing up one side of the cellar. He has the look of a murderer.

    I greet him with my hat and start to run. He chases me firing his shotgun.

    I have to admire this guy's determination.

    Hopefully he won't kill me tonight.

    Carved in bone, A lesson in strength, A message

    The young urchin's eyes were wide and frightened as he approached the captain's quarters.

    It was the agonized screams coming from the door at the end of the passage that made him start to think twice. The screams that echoed through the claustrophobic decks of the huge black warship could be heard by any member of the crew aboard the Massacre. Just what the captain wanted.

    The first officer, his face thick with scars, had put his hand on the boy's shoulder to comfort him. They stopped in front of the door. The boy flinched as another tormented wail rang out from within.

    "Sign me," said the first officer. The captain will be interested in hearing what you have to say.

    After hearing him say that, he banged on the door intensely. A moment later, a tattooed hulk carrying a broad, curved sword across its back opened the door. The boy did not listen to the words the two men were saying to each other. His gaze was on the burly figure sitting with her back to him.

    The captain was a large, middle-aged man. His neck and shoulders were thick, similar to those of a bull. He had rolled up his sleeves and his forearms were completely drenched in blood. A red overcoat hung on a nearby coat rack, along with his black tricorne.

    "Gangplank," the urchin said in a breath, his voice full of fear and dread.

    "Captain, I figured you'd want to hear this," the officer said.

    Gangplank said nothing or looked anywhere, determined to get on with his work. The scarred sailor gave the boy a push, who staggered before regaining his balance and stumbled a few steps that brought him closer to the Slaughter captain, like someone approaching the edge of a cliff. His breathing was quickening as he contemplated the captain's work.

    There were several bowls of bloody water on Gangplank's desk, along with a group of knives, hooks, and surgical instruments.

    On his work table lay a man, bound securely with leather straps. The only thing he could move was his head. He looked around him in wrenching despair, his neck stretched out and his face covered in sweat.

    The boy's gaze went hopelessly to the left leg, which had been skinned. The boy suddenly realized that he could not remember the reason that had brought him there.

    Gangplank stopped his work to look at the visitor. His eyes were as cold and lifeless as a shark's. He held a long knife in one hand, gently resting between his fingers like a fine paintbrush.

    "Carving in bone is a dying art," Gangplank said, turning back to see his work. "Few today have the patience to carve a bone." It takes time. You see it? Each cut serves a purpose.

    Somehow the man was still alive despite the wound on his leg. All the flesh and skin of the femur had been skinned. The boy, paralyzed with horror, noticed the detail of the design, a motif of tentacles and waves, which the captain had carved into the bone. It was a delicate work, even beautiful. That made it scarier.

    Gangplank's living canvas began to sob.

    "Please ..." he groaned.

    Gangplank ignored her pathetic plea and dropped the knife. He spilled a glass of cheap whiskey on his work to clean the blood. The man's cry nearly tore at her throat until she collapsed in the mercy of unconsciousness. The eyes threatened to pop out of their socket. Gangplank grunted in disgust.

    "Child, remember these words," Gangplank said. "Sometimes even those who are loyal to you forget their place." From time to time, you should make sure they remember it. Power really has to do with how others see you. If you show yourself weak for a moment, it will be your end.

    The boy nodded, his face completely pale.

    "Wake him up," Gangplank said, gesturing at the unconscious crewman. "The entire crew should hear your song."

    When the ship's medic entered the scene, Gangplank looked back at the boy.

    "So," he said. "What was it you wanted to tell me?"

    "There is ... a man," said the boy, hesitating at each word. "A man on the dock in Rat Town."

    "Go on," Gangplank said.

    "He was trying not to be seen by the Hooks." But I could see it.

    "Aha," Gangplank whispered as his interest began to fade. The captain turned to his work.

    "Keep talking, boy," the first officer asked him.

    "I was playing with a deck of special cards." They glowed strangely.

    Gangplank rose from his chair like a colossus rising from the depths.

    "Tell me where it is," Gangplank said.

    The leather belt of his holster creaked in his clenched fist.

    "In the big cellar, the one near the sheds."

    Gangplank's face flushed with fury as he pulled on his overcoat and grabbed his hat from the rack. His eyes also looked red in the lamplight. The boy was not the only one who stepped back as a precaution.

    "Give the boy a silver snake and a plate of hot food," the captain ordered his first mate as he walked purposefully toward the cabin door.

    And tell everyone to go to the dock. We have work to do.

    Fight on the Docks, The Butcher's Bridge, A Blast

    I'm coughing black. The smoke from the cellar fire gnaws at my lungs, but I don't have time to catch my breath. Fate runs away. He would rather die than spend another eternity stalking him throughout Runeterra. It is time to put an end to it.

    The bastard sees me coming. He pushes a couple of stevedores out of his way and runs along the dock. He's trying to trace his escape route, but I'm hot on his heels; so it will be impossible for you to concentrate.

    There are more Hooks swarming around the perimeter, like flies in a latrine. Before they can get in her way, Fate throws a couple of her exploding cards and takes out the bullies. A pair of Hooks are nothing to him. But I do. I'm going to make it pay and Fate knows it. He sneaks down the dock as fast as he can.

    His scuffle with the jetty thugs gives me enough time to catch up with him. When he sees me, he launches after a huge pile of whale vertebrae. With one shot from my weapon I destroy his hiding place as a multitude of bones fly through the air.

    He responds by trying to rip my head off, but I manage to shoot his letter in mid-flight. It explodes like a bomb and sends us to our knees to the ground. He quickly stands up and runs away. I shoot with Fate at all that it gives.

    Some Hooks approach us with chains and sabers. I take a violent turn and blow their insides until they come out of their backs. I run before I can hear the wet thump of his guts crashing against the jetty. I set my sights on Fate, but was interrupted by a pistol shot. More Hooks approaching, better armed.

    I hide behind the hull of an old trawler to return fire to them. My trigger just clicks. I have to recharge. I insert fresh ammunition into the cylinder, spit my anger on the floor, and plunge back into chaos.

    All around me I see wooden boxes in pieces, blown apart by gunshots and explosions. A shot knocks out a good part of my ear. I pluck up my courage and start to fight my way with my finger on the trigger. Destiny ends up with whoever gets in front of it. A Jagged Hook loses its jaw. Another flies off towards the bay. A third is reduced to a handful of tendons and muscles.

    Amid the chaos, he spotted Fate escaping to the farthest corners of the slaughterhouse docks. I run past a fishmonger dangling hunting eels. They just skinned one; his guts kept spilling out onto the dock. The man turns to me, clutching his butcher hook.

    BAM.

    I blow his leg off.

    BAM.

    I continue with a headshot.

    I push the stinking carcass of a razorfish out of my way and keep moving. The pooled blood from the fish and Hooks we knocked down is up to my ankles. Enough to give a classy guy like Fate a fit. Even with me behind him, he slows down so he doesn't stain his skirts.

    Before I can catch up, Fate runs off. I feel like I'm out of breath.

    "Turn around and face me!" -shouted him.

    What kind of man doesn't take care of his problems?

    A noise to my right calls my attention to a balcony with two more Hooks. I shoot him, he collapses and falls to pieces towards the dock.

    The smoke from the gun and debris is very dense. I can't see a demon. I run to the sound of her delicate boots rumbling against the wooden planks. He is making his way to the Butcher's Bridge, on the edge of the slaughterhouse piers. The only way out of the island. For nothing in the world will I let it escape me again.

    Upon reaching the bridge, Fate stops short in mid-run. At first I think he's going to give up. Then I realize why he stopped: At the other end, a mass of bastards with swords stands in his way. But I'm not going to stop.

    Fate turns to avoid the edge of the swords, but only bumps into me. I am his wall. Its trapped. Look to the side of the bridge, towards the water. He's thinking of jumping, but I know he won't.

    You no longer have an alternative. He starts walking towards me.

    "Look, Malcolm." Neither of you have to die here. As soon as we get out of this ...

    "You're going to run away again." As you always have.

    He doesn't answer me anything. Suddenly he is no longer overly concerned. I turn around to see what he's paying so much attention to.

    Behind me, I see how all the slags capable of carrying a pistol or a sword invade the docks. Gangplank must have called his boys from all over town. Moving on would only sign our death warrant.

    On the other hand, dying is not my biggest concern today.

    They come closer, Over the abyss, Take the leap

    The Hooks have no reason to rush. Not anymore. They know they have us trapped. Behind them, it seems that all the ruthless assassins and vermin in Bilgewater are saying present. There is no way back.

    At the far end of the bridge, blocking my escape route to the labyrinth of the Bilgewater slums, no less than the entire band of Red Hats appears. They dominate the east side of the riverbank. They serve Gangplank, as do the Jagged Hooks and most of the bloody city.

    Graves is behind me, drawing closer with each step. The stubborn son of a bitch doesn't care about the mess we've gotten ourselves into. I really have a hard time believing it. Here we are again, like so many years ago. Knee deep in trouble and I can't get him to hear me.

    I wish I could tell you what really happened that day, but it wouldn't make sense. He wouldn't believe me for a second. Once a thought lodges in your skull, removing it takes time. Clearly, time is something that we do not have.

    I retreat to the side of the bridge. Near the rail I see winches and pulleys suspended below me, many feet above the ocean. My head is spinning and my stomach falls into my boots. When I return to the center of the bridge, I realize the crossroads I have gotten into.

    In the distance I can see Gangplank's black-sailed ship. From there we are approached neither more nor less than an armada of boats at full throttle. Apparently all his men are on their way.

    I can't escape the Hooks, the Hats, or the hard-headed Graves.

    I only have one way out.

    I put one foot on the bridge gate. I had not realized the height. The wind whips my coat and makes it flap like a sail in the wind. I should never have gone back to Bilgewater.

    "Get out of there right now," Graves says. I'm sure I heard a bit of desperation in his voice. He would be devastated if he died before obtaining the confession that he has sought so much.

    Deep breath. The fall is long.

    "Tobias," Malcolm says. Back off.

    I stop. It was a long time since I heard that name.

    A moment later, I take the leap.

    The show, An observer, Night falls

    The Cheeky Hydra was one of the few taverns in Bilgewater that had no sawdust on the floor. It wasn't often that a drink ended up on the floor; why speak of a pool of blood. But tonight, the bustle could be heard up there by the Risco del Saltador.

    Men of relative repute and better resources threw toads and snakes singing fantastic tunes about the worst misdeeds they had committed.

    And there, in the midst of the tumult, a person led the revelry of the night.

    He waddled around toasting the health of the port captain and all his watchmen. Her bright red hair moved freely and captivated the gaze of all the men present, who had not set their eyes on anything but her anyway.

    Although the crimson haired mermaid had made sure no glasses were left empty tonight, men weren't drawn to her for the sheer joy of being drunk. What they yearned for was the glory of beholding her next smile.

    With the tavern still abuzz with jubilation, the front door opened, from where a soberly dressed man appeared. Going as inconspicuous as is only possible after years of practice, he walked to the bar and ordered a drink.

    The young woman took a fresh glass of amber ale from between a rickety counter.

    "My friends, I am afraid I must withdraw," the lady said with a dramatic gesture.

    The men from the port responded with shouts of protest.

    -Good good. We already had a good time, ”he said in a tone of tender reproach. But I have a busy night ahead of me and you are already late if you intend to get to your posts.

    Without bacillary, he climbed up on a table, but first he looked at everyone around him with a hint of glee and triumph.

    "May the Serpent Mother have mercy on our sins!"

    He gave them the most captivating of his smiles, raised the jug to his lips, and drank the barley in one gulp.

    "Especially the bigger ones!" He said, tapping his glass on the table.

    He wiped the beer from his mouth to a thunderous roar of approval and blew the crowd a kiss.

    At once everyone withdrew, like subjects after their queen.

    The amiable port captain held the door for the lady. He was hoping to get one last look of approval, but she was already walking the streets before she could notice his polite, wobbly bow.

    Outside the tavern, the moon had set behind the Nidal del Manumiso and the darkness of the night seemed to extend until it reached the woman. Each step that led her away from the tavern was more purposeful and confident than the one before. Her carefree facade had dissolved to reveal her true self.

    There was no longer an iota of what a few seconds ago inspired joy and enthusiasm. He looked despondently, not towards the streets or alleyways around him, but into the distance, thinking of the thousands of possibilities that tonight brought with him.

    Behind her, the man in plain clothes from the tavern kept up with her. His footfall was silent, but disconcertingly fast.

    In the span of a heartbeat, he synchronized his steps perfectly with hers, inches from her shoulder, just out of her line of sight.

    "Is everything in order, Rafen?" She asked.

    After all these years, he still couldn't believe that he still wasn't able to surprise her.

    "Yes, Captain," he said.

    "Didn't they detect you?"

    "No," he replied resentfully, after controlling his disgust at the question. The harbormaster had no one watching and there was not a fly on the ship.

    "And the boy?"

    "He did his part."

    -Very well. See you at the Sirena.

    After receiving his order, Rafen walked away and disappeared into the darkness.

    She kept going as the night engulfed her. Everything was set in motion. The only thing missing was for the actors to start the show.

    The jump, some very fine boots, oranges

    I hear Graves roar as I dive. All I can see is the rope below me. It is not time to think about the fall or the unknown and gloomy depths.

    Everything becomes a blurry mixture of hurricane force winds.

    I almost shout for joy when I reach for the rope, but it burns my hand like red-hot iron. My fall stops suddenly when I reach the mooring point.

    I stand there for a moment, cursing.

    I had heard that falling into the water from a height like this was not enough to kill a man, but I prefer to risk launching myself towards the stone loading dock from which I am at least fifty feet away. I'll die, but I'd rather a thousand times that than drown.

    Between where I am and the stone platform are a pair of heavy-duty cables that run from here to the mainland, one going and the other back. They are driven by noisy and rudimentary mechanisms. They are used to transport slaughtered parts of sea beasts to markets throughout Bilgewater.

    The wires vibrate as a heavy, rusty bucket, as big as a house, plows its way toward me.

    I let a smile spread across my face for a second. At least until I see what's inside the car. I'm about to fall feet first into a steaming vat of fish organs.

    It took me months to earn the coin I paid for these boots. Flexible as gauze and strong as tempered steel, they are a handcrafted work made from the skin of an abyssal sea dragon. There are less than four pairs in the whole world.

    Got damn.

    I coordinate my jump with precision and land right in the middle of the snack bucket. Cold bait seeps into all the hand-sewn fibers of my prized boots. At least my hat is still clean.

    Suddenly I hear the damn shotgun bark once more.

    The mooring line explodes.

    The cart emits a screech as it releases from the cables. I gasp when the bucket hits the stone platform. I feel the foundations of the pier shake before tipping over to one side.

    Everything falls on my head, including a ton of fish guts.

    I struggle to stay on my feet while looking for another way out. I feel the Gangplank ships approaching. They are almost here.

    I crawl dizzy toward a small boat docked at the loading dock. I can't get to the middle of the stretch when a shotgun blasts his helmet wide open to the ground.

    Watching the boat sink, I fall to my knees, dead tired. I try to catch my breath holding my own stench. Malcolm is standing next to me. Somehow he got here too. Of course he was able to do it.

    "You don't look so elegant anymore, do you?" Graves smiles and looks me up and down.

    "When are you going to learn?" I say, standing up. Every time I try to help you, I ...

    Graves shoots him to the ground in front of me. I'm sure something hit my shin. "If you just listen to me ..."

    "I've heard you enough, my friend," he interrupts, muttering every word. It was the biggest robbery of our lives and you run away before I knew it.

    -Before? I told you...

    It is followed by another shot and another shower of stones, but I don't care anymore.

    "I tried to get us out of there." All the rest of us realized that nothing was going the way we expected, ”I told him. But you didn't want to give in. As always — the letter is in my hand before I even know it.

    "I told you then, all you had to do was support me." We would have gotten out of there, happy and stuffed. But you chose to run, ”he tells me, taking a step forward. The man she used to know seems to have been lost behind a layer of hatred built up over the years.

    I'm not trying to say another word. Now I see it in his eyes. Something inside him broke.

    Over his shoulder I see a glow; it is a flintlock musket. The vanguard of the Gangplank troop is coming towards us.

    I throw a letter without thinking. It cuts through the air just in the direction of Graves.

    On a weapon from a throne.

    My letter ends with one of Gangplank's men. His pistol was pointed level with Malcolm's back.

    Behind me, another member of his gang falls to the ground wielding a knife. If Graves hadn't shot him, he could have just finished me off.

    We both looked at each other. We did not lose the habit.

    The men of Gangplank now surround us on all sides, drawing closer and closer amid howls and boos. We cannot fight so many.

    A Graves that doesn't stop him. He raises his gun and realizes that he has no bullets left.

    I do not draw any letters. Has no sense.

    Malcolm gives a roar and lunges at them. That is their way of doing things. With the butt of the pistol, he breaks the nose of a bastard, but the mob gives him a beating.

    I feel hands grasp me and hold my arms. They lift Malcolm off the ground. Blood falls from his face.

    Suddenly I stopped hearing the screams and howls of the mob. I feel chills.

    The wall of thugs retreats to make way for a silhouette, a man in a red coat, addressing us.

    It's Gangplank.

    Up close it is much bigger than I imagined. And older. The lines of his face are deep and defined.

    With one hand he holds an orange while peeling it off with a carving knife. He does it slowly, concentrating on each cut.

    "Tell me, comrades," he says. His voice is a deep, hoarse growl. Do you like bone carvings?

    Blood, Truth, The Daughter of Death

    The fist hits my face again. I slam into the deck of Gangplank's ship. A pair of cast iron handcuffs dig into my wrists.

    They put me to my feet with difficulty and force me to kneel next to Fate. The truth is, I couldn't have stood up if this pack of virolent thugs hadn't forced me to.

    The huge, muscular jerk who hit me walks in and out of my sight.

    "Come on, son," I tell him. You're doing it wrong.

    I don't see the next blow coming. I feel an explosion of pain and my face returns to the deck. They pick me up again and put me on my knees. I spit blood and some teeth. Then I smile.

    "Son, my grandmother hits harder than you and we buried her five years ago."

    He reaches out to hit me again, but a word from Gangplank makes him stop immediately.

    "Enough," said the captain.

    Swaying a bit, I try to focus on Gangplank's blurred silhouette. My sight clears slowly. I see he's wearing the damn dagger that Fate tried to steal on his belt.

    "Twisted Fate, right?" They told me you were good. And I'm not one to look down on the work of a great thief, ”Gangplank says. He takes a step forward and stares at Fate. But a good thief would know that it is best to avoid stealing from me. He leans down and looks me straight in the eye.

    "And you ... If you were a little smarter, you would know that the best thing would have been to put your weapon at my service." But it doesn't matter anymore.

    Gangplank gets up and turns his back on us.

    "I'm not an unreasonable man," he continues. I don't ask people to kneel before me. All I'm asking for is a modicum of respect ... something you guys spit on. And that cannot go unpunished.

    His crew begins to approach, like dogs waiting for the order to tear us apart. Either way, I don't feel nervous. I am not going to give you that satisfaction.

    "Do me a favor," I say, nodding at Fate. Kill him first.

    Gangplank giggles.

    He gestures to a man in his crew, who begins to ring the ship's bell. In response, a dozen more ring out throughout the port city. Drunks, sailors and shopkeepers begin to pour out of the streets, drawn in by the commotion. Damn wants to go public.

    "Bilgewater looks at us, boys," Gangplank says. It's time to give them a show. Bring on the Daughter of Death!

    I hear cheering as the deck rumbles with the clamor of stomping to the ground. They bring an old cannon. It may be rusty and green from how old it is, but it's still a beauty.

    I take a look at where Fate is. His head is down and he doesn't say a word. His letters were taken from him ... once they were finished finding them. They didn't even let him keep his stupid dandy hat; Now I see a little bastard wearing it in the crowd.

    Of all the years that I have known Fate, she has always been able to find a way out. Now that he's cornered, I can see the defeat on his face.

    Good.

    "It's what you deserved, you damn bastard," I growl at him.

    He looks back at me. There is still fire in his eyes.

    "I'm not proud of the way things turned out ...

    "You let me rot in there!" I interrupt.

    "I and the rest of the crew tried to get you out of there." And that cost them their lives! He answers angrily. We lost Kolt, Wallach, Brick ... all of them. And all for trying to save your stubborn hide.

    "But you came out safe and sound," I reply. You know why? Because you are nothing but a coward. And nothing you can say is going to change that.

    My words hurt him like punches. He does not try to answer. The last spark of fighting in his eyes fades as his shoulders sag. It was all over for him.

    Not even Fate could be such a good actor. My anger dissipates.

    Suddenly I feel tired. Tired and old.

    "It all went to hell and I guess we're both to blame," he says. But I wasn't lying to you. We really try to get you out. It doesn't matter anymore. You're just going to believe what you want anyway.

    It takes me a moment to digest his words; It takes me a little longer to realize that I believe him.

    Hell, he's right.

    I do things my way. I always did. Every time I went out of line, he was there, supporting me. He was the one who always found a way out.

    But I didn't pay attention to it that day, nor have I since.

    That's why I ended up having both of us killed.

    Suddenly they jerk us up and drag us into the canyon. Gangplank pats him like his pet.

    "The Daughter of Death has served me well," he says. I've been looking for the opportunity to fire her as she deserves for a long time.

    A group of sailors drags a thick chain and begins to wind it around the barrel. Now I realize what they intend to do.

    They put us back to back, and the same chain runs through our legs and handcuffs. A bolt snaps shut, tying us to the chain.

    A boarding gate opens at the side of the ship, up to where the cannon is taken to take its place. Onlookers fill the quays and quays of Bilgewater, ready to witness the spectacle.

    Gangplank rests the heel of his boot on the barrel.

    "Well, I couldn't get rid of this one," Fate says over her shoulder. I always knew that one day you would be my undoing.

    I let out a laugh when he says it. It's been a long time since I last laughed.

    They drag us to the shore of the ship like cattle to the slaughterhouse.

    I guess this will be my end. I had a good life while I could. But luck is not eternal for anyone.

    It is right there that I realize what I have to do.

    Carefully pressing against my cuffs, I manage to reach into my back pocket. Still there; It's the letter from Fate that I found in the cellar. He planned to use it to shove it down his bloody throat.

    The bullies looked Fate up and down to see if she had any cards, but not me.

    I give it a shove. Because we're chained together, it's easy to hand Fate the letter without being noticed. I can feel him hesitate when I hand it over to him.

    "As tribute they are insignificant, but at least they will do me good," Gangplank says. Give my regards to Great Barbuda.

    While greeting the crowd, Gangplank knocks the cannon overboard with a kick. The hulk falls into the dark waters in a splash and begins to sink rapidly. The chain on the spring falls with him a moment later.

    Now that our end is near, I believe Fate. I know he tried everything to get me out, just like every time we worked together. But this time, and for the first time, I am the one who has the solution. At least I can make up for it with that.

    -Get out of here.

    Fate starts to make her movements and turns the card between her fingers. As power begins to accumulate, I feel an uncomfortable pressure on the back of my neck. I always hated being around him when he did this trick.

    Suddenly, it vanishes.

    The chains that bound Fate fall to the dock with a bang, which elicits some screams from the crowd. My chains are still tight. Even if he doesn't get out of this one, just seeing the expression on Gangplank's face already makes it worthwhile.

    The chain of the barrel makes me fall. I hit the dock and groan in pain. An instant later I fall from the boat.

    The cold water hits me and takes my breath away.

    I am submerged. I sink quickly. The darkness drags me.

    The plunge, A fight with the dark, Peace

    The letter Malcolm put in my hand could easily lead me to the dock. I am so close to the coast; from there, disappearing into the crowd would be a breeze. He could escape this island pigsty in less than an hour. This time no one would find me.

    A moment later, all I see is his enraged face as he disappears into the depths.

    Damn it.

    I can't abandon it. Not after what happened last time. Escape is not an option. I know where I have to go.

    I feel the pressure build up and then I disappear.

    In an instant I'm right behind Gangplank, ready to do my thing.

    A member of your crew detects me with no explanation for how I got here. As he thinks about it, I punch him right in the face. His body falls on a pile of perplexed cabin boys. They all turn to look at me, sabers at the ready in their hands. Gangplank leads the charge and tries to cut me right at the throat.

    But I am faster than him. In a single subtle movement, I slide beneath the arched steel and strip Gangplank of the beloved silver dagger from his belt. Behind me, I hear curses that could break the mast in two.

    I jump up onto the deck and tuck the dagger into my pants as the end of the chain snaps against the shore of the ship. I reach out and grab the last steel link before it disappears overboard.

    When the chain breaks, it pulls me to one side and that is where I realize what I just did.

    The water is coming towards me quickly. In that eternal instant, every part of my body wants to let go of the chain. Being a freshwater man who can't swim has haunted me my whole life. And now he will condemn me to death.

    I take one last breath of air. Suddenly, a carabiner shot pierces my shoulder. I cry out in pain and let my last breath go just before the sea carries me away.

    Frozen water hits my face as I sink into its suffocating blue eternity.

    It's my worst nightmare.

    I feel the panic building. I try to contain it. It almost got over me. More shots go through the water above my head.

    I see sharks and stingrays nearby. They can taste the blood. They follow me as I fall into the abyss. I keep sinking.

    Only terror lives in me, there is nothing of pain. I feel my heartbeat in my ears. My chest burns. I must avoid swallowing water. The darkness twists around me. It is too deep. There is no way back. I already understand clearly.

    But I can still save Malcolm.

    I hear a thud under my feet. Then the chain is loose. It's the cannon, which has just hit the ocean floor.

    I use the chain to crawl into the shadows. I see a silhouette below. I think it's Graves. I crawl desperately towards him.

    Suddenly I see that he is in front of me, although I can barely make out the outline of his face. I think he shakes his head to show his anger that I came back.

    I'm going to pass out. My arm is numb and I feel like my skull is crushed.

    I let go of the chain to get the dagger out of my pants. My hand is shaking.

    I search blindly in the dark. By some miracle, I find the lock on Graves' handcuffs. I insert the dagger to try to force it, just as I did with a thousand other locks. But my hands don't stop shaking.

    Even Graves must be terrified. By now, his lungs should have given up. The lock won't budge.

    What would Malcolm do in my place?

    I twist the dagger. Goodbye to delicacy. There is nothing left but to resort to brute force.

    I feel like something gives. I think I cut my hand. The dagger falls. In the direction of the abyss. And it runs its course ... What is that glow?

    Right above me, I perceive a deep red. Red and orange. It is everywhere. It's beautiful… So this is dying.

    I laugh.

    I start to swallow water.

    It is nice.

    Fire and ruin, a conclusion, the worst part

    Miss Fortune looks out over the bay from the deck of her ship, the Sirena. The flames reflected in his eyes as he tried to assimilate the level of destruction he had caused.

    All that remained of Gangplank's ship was burning debris. The crew had been killed in the explosion, drowned in all the chaos or eaten by a colony of razorfish.

    It had been a tremendous moment. A huge rolling fireball had lit up the night like a new sun.

    Half the city had witnessed it; Gangplank had made sure that it did, just as she expected. He had to humiliate Twisted Fate and Graves in front of all Bilgewater. He had to remind everyone why it is better not to run into him. For Gangplank, people are just tools you can use to stay in control. This was the letter that she used to kill him.

    The shouts and the bells echoed throughout the port city. The news would spread like wildfire.

    Gangplank is dead.

    The corners of his lips drew a smile.

    Tonight was just the fruit of all his efforts: hiring Fate, alerting Graves, all just to distract Gangplank. Getting his revenge had taken him years.

    Miss Fortune's smile vanished.

    From the moment he burst into her family's workshop with her face covered in a red scarf, she had been preparing for this moment.

    Sarah lost her parents that day. Even though she was just a child, he was still able to shoot her while watching her parents bleed to death on the floor.

    Gangplank had taught him a hard lesson: no matter how secure you may feel, all your achievements, your goals, your loved ones ... well, your world can collapse in the blink of an eye.

    The only mistake Gangplank had made was not making sure that she died. His anger and hatred had allowed him to endure that hard, cold night, and so on every night after that.

    For fifteen years she devoted herself to gathering everything she needed, waiting until Gangplank forgot her, lowered his guard, and was comfortable in the life he had built. Only then could he really lose it all. Only then would I know how it feels to lose your home, to lose your world.

    She should feel blissful, but she just felt empty.

    Rafen joins her on the gunwale and breaks her reverie.

    "That's it," he says. It's over.

    "No," says Miss Fortune. Not yet.

    He stopped looking out over the bay to look at Bilgewater. Sarah hoped that ending him would end his hatred. However, all he did was untie it. For the first time since that day, she felt really powerful.

    "This is just beginning," he says. I want everyone who has sworn allegiance to him brought to me. I want the heads of your lieutenants hanging on my wall. Burn every brothel, tavern, or winery that bears your brand. And I want his corpse.

    Rafen shuddered. I'd heard words like that once, but never from her mouth.

    Red Sky, Shark Bait, Reconciliation

    I thought a lot about the way I would like to leave this world. Chained like a dog at the bottom of the sea? That had not occurred to me. Fortunately, Fate manages to open the padlock on my shackles just before dropping the dagger.

    I untangle myself from the chains, thirsty for air. I turn to where Fate is. The poor thing does not move a muscle. I put my hand around his neck and start kicking toward the surface.

    As we go up, everything lights up with a reddish hue.

    A shock wave knocks me over until I don't even know where the surface is. Pieces of iron fall. A cannon dives a few feet away, followed by a scorched piece of rudder. There are also bodies. A face covered in tattoos stares at me in shock. The severed head then slowly disappears into the darkness under our feet.

    I swim faster, my lungs about to burst.

    An eternity later he reached the surface, coughing up salt water and gasping for air. The problem is that upstairs it is almost unbreathable. The smoke chokes me and sticks in my eyes. I saw many things burn in my life, but never something like that; It seems they have set the whole world on fire.

    "Damn it ..." I hear myself murmur.

    Gangplank's ship is gone. Chunks of smoking debris are scattered across the bay. Islets of red-hot wood collapse everywhere and whistle as they sink. A burning candle falls right in front of us and almost drags Fate and me away for the last time. The burning men leap desperately from the scorched remains into the water to silence their cries. The smell looks like the apocalypse; it is a mixture of sulfur, ash and death, between burned hair and melted skin.

    I look at Fate to see how she is. I have a hard time keeping it afloat. The bastard is heavier than he looks and it doesn't help that my ribs are broken. I find a smoking piece of helmet floating near me. It seems to be solid enough. I throw us both on top. It is not exactly a boat, but it will do us anyway.

    For the first time, I can watch Fate closely. I see that he is not breathing. I press his chest with my fists. Just when I start to worry about where her ribs are going to end up, Fate coughs up a lot of salt water. I collapse and shake my head once more as consciousness begins to regain.

    "Damn stupid!" What did you come back for?

    Answering me takes a minute.

    "I thought I could try to do it your way," he drawled. I wanted to know what it felt like to be a hardhead. He keeps coughing up more water. Feels horrible.

    Razorfish and other even more vile sea creatures begin to surround us. I'm not going to be bait for anyone. I take my feet off the shore.

    A mutilated crewman appears on the surface and holds onto our raft. I put the boot on his face and float him out of my sight. A thick tentacle runs up his neck and drags him back deep. Now the fish have something else to distract themselves.

    Before they run out of fresh meat, I grab a board from our raft and use it to paddle away from the butcher shop.

    I push against the water for what seems like forever. My arms feel heavy and sore, but I know very well that I can't stop myself. When I manage to get away from the massacre a bit, I lie on my back.

    I'm exhausted as a shotgun shell as I look out over the bay. It is dyed red with the blood of Gangplank and his crew. There are no survivors in sight.

    How am I still breathing? He may be the luckiest man in Runeterra. Or maybe Fate's good fortune is enough for both of them.

    I see a body floating nearby with an object that seems familiar to me. It's the little bastard who was with Gangplank, Fate's hat in his hands. I take it off and throw it at Fate. I don't see a look of surprise on his face, like he always knew he was going to get it back.

    "Now we just need to find your weapon," he says.

    "Are you serious about going down there again?" I answer, pointing to the bottom.

    Fate's complexion takes on a particular green hue.

    -We do not have time. Whoever did this left Bilgewater without a boss, ”I say. This is going to get ugly any minute.

    "Are you telling me you can live without your shotgun?" -asks me.

    "Maybe not," I reply. But I know a good gunsmith in Piltover.

    "Piltover ..." he says, lost in thought.

    "There's a lot of money circulating there right now," I say.

    Fate concentrates for a moment.

    "Hmm." I'm not sure if I'd like to be partners again… you're stupider than you used to be, ”he finally says.

    -It's okay. I don't know if I would like to have a partner named Twisted Fate. Who the hell came up with that little name?

    "Well, it's a thousand times better than my real name," Fate says with a laugh.


    "You're right," I admit.

    I smile. It feels like old times. I immediately erase all expression from my face and look him directly in the eye.

    "I only have one condition: if you think of leaving me carrying the bag again, I'll blow your bloody head off." And without the right to reply.

    Fate hush her laughter and look back at me for a moment. After a while, smile.

    -It's a deal.

    Chaos, The Ruined Man, Purpose

    Bilgewater was devouring itself. The streets echoed with the screams of the desperate and the dying. The fires in the poor neighborhoods caused ashes to fall throughout the city. Control had been lost and now each gang was rushing to fill the power vacuum after the fall of a single man. A war had started after three simple words were revealed: Gangplank is dead.

    The ruthless ambitions and petty resentments that had been kept at bay for years could now be turned into concrete.

    At the docks, a group of whalers pounced on a rival fisherman. They skewered him with harpoons and left his body hanging on a longline.

    At the highest point on the island, the towering floodgates that had been there since Bilgewater was founded were nothing more than a memory. A cowardly gang leader was ripped from his bed by a rival. Their screams and whimpers were silenced as they threw their head against the hand-carved marble of their own home's staircase.

    Along the dock, a Red Hat flees and tries to stop the bleeding from a wound on his head. He looks over his shoulder to see if he's still being chased, but can't see anyone. The Jagged Hooks rebelled against the Hats. The boy had to go back to his hiding place to warn the rest of his comrades.

    He rounded the corner and yelled for his companions to gather their weapons and join him. But his thirst for blood dried his throat. Right in front of the Red Hats' lair was a group of Hooks. Their swords dripped blood. At the head, a lean figure, hardly a man, drew a wicked grin on his pockmarked face.

    The Red Hat had time to curse one last time.

    Across the bay, in a dark and silent alley, a doctor was trying to practice his trade. The gold he had received was more than enough to pay for his services ... and buy his silence.

    It had taken him half an hour to tear the coat soaked from the skinned flesh from his patient's arm. The doctor had seen horrible injuries in his career, but couldn't help but back away when he saw the bruised arm. He paused for a moment, terrified of the effect his next words might have.

    "I'm ... sorry." I can't save his arm.

    In the shadows of the candlelit room, a bloody ruin of a man tries to compose himself before struggling to his feet. The hand that still served him shot out like a whip and seized the trembling doctor by the neck. Slowly and measured he lifted it off the floor and placed it against the wall.

    For a moment of terror, the wild man looked at him indifferently, wondering what he would do with him at his mercy. Suddenly he released it.

    Lost in panic and confusion, the killer coughed violently as the shadowed mass walked to the end of the room. Passing through the light of the surgeon's flashlight, the patient reached for the first drawer of a badly brought cabinet. Thoroughly, the man opened each drawer looking for what he needed. Finally, he stopped.

    "Everything has a purpose," he said, staring at his mutilated arm.

    He took an object out of the case and threw it at the doctor's feet. There, in the lantern light, the polished steel of a bone saw gleamed.

    "Cut it," he said. I have work to do.

    Trial day

    While Twisted Fate and Graves managed to escape, Bilgewater turns into chaos as the streets rumble with the screams of the desperate and dying. A war began shortly after three words were heard: Gangplank is dead.

    HARROWING

    Memories of Harrowing

    The Battle of Navajas Crossing.

    - An army of Bilgewater led by Miss Fortune and Captain Gangplank - fighting together after a difficult truce - faces the Black Mist.

    - The losses are uncountable.

    - The fleet ends up dispersed.

    The Drowned Anchor.

    - An element of Harrowing becomes relevant

    - A large figure cloistered in a rusty diving suit is reported, seen in the heart of the battle.

    The Harvest of the Smuggler's Cove.

    - No survivors.

    The Battle of the Serpent.

    - A snake charmer brings a Blue Flame Leviathan to the surface to face the Harrowing.

    - The Black Mist disperses before touching Bilgewater, but the Giant of the Deep is killed in the process.

    The Fall from the Shadow.

    - The Black Mist surpasses the defenses of the Faro del Sur, sinking it to the bottom of the sea.

    Bilgewater is left without the protection of its guiding light.

    The Wild Hunt.

    - Hecarim leads a ghostly host that sows desolation on the shores of Gray Harbor.

    - Despite the valiant defense waged by the fishing fleet anchored there, all souls are lost.

    - Puerto Gris continues to date uninhabited.

    The Death of the Conqueror.

    - The mighty Conqueror Galleon is lost in the depths, along with 30 other warships.

    - There are those who claim to have seen, in subsequent Harrowings, the Conqueror riding on the ethereal waves of the Black Mist.

    The Battle of Puerto Enlutado.

    - Mordekaiser's spectral demon leads the Harrowing in a night of slaughter and terror, plunging Mourning Harbor into darkness.

    - It is said that since then the souls of the apparitions continue to scare away their empty streets.

    The Crimson Army.

    - A warrior fleet from Noxus falls into the hazy clutches of the Black Mist.

    - More than 30 boats are lost.

    - There are no survivors.

    The Whirlpool.

    - In its desperate attempt to flee the Black Mist, the Ruin of Light frigate is swallowed by the sea.

    La Mortaja.

    - Until half a century ago, this had been the largest extent reached by Harrowing on record.

    The Flower of Ionia.

    - An Ionian fleet of unknown size is lost in the darkness of the Harrowing.

    The Shadow and Fortune

    With the fall of Gangplank, chaos takes hold of Bilgewater, where old rivalries are settled in blood and gang warfare threatens to tear the city apart. Miss Fortune ponders the price of her revenge, as the Black Mist advances from the Shadow Isles to descend on the harbor in a fierce storm of death and nightmares.

    When the events of "Tides of Fire" came to an end, the change suffered by the port city was more than evident. Twisted Fate and Graves put their differences aside and went in search of new adventures. Sarah Fortune toppled Gangplank in a shower of lead. And the city itself stopped being a typical pirate region to become a realistic and dangerous place, populated by people of all kinds.

    Unfortunately for Miss Fortune, Bilgewater changed, though not in the way she expected. Gangplank was a ruthless leader, but his grim determination was the only thing standing between Bilgewater and total chaos. And precisely in that situation of chaos comes the Black Mist of Harrowing to engulf Bilgewater. Miss Fortune has a choice: Rise as leader or watch the undead decimate a city already weakened by the chaos she caused.

    The Shadow and Fortune

    Blood in the streets

    The Wild Butchers pierced the Jackdaw's jaw with a rusted pin and hung it for the carrion vermin on the pier to feast on its remains. This was the seventeenth victim the hooded man had seen tonight.

    A quiet night for what is customary in Bilgewater.

    At least since the Corsair King met his death.

    Some dock rats had already eaten much of the man's feet with their red fangs and were now huddling in stacked baskets to bite the soft flesh off his calves.

    The hooded man continued on his way.

    -Help. Please.

    The words were drowned in a throat flooded with blood, from which they barely managed to get out. The hooded man turned as his hands reached for the weapons dangling from his belt.

    It was incredible that the Jackdaw was still alive, hanging from the bone-handled skewer. The hooks penetrated deep into the wooden frame of a loading crane. There was no way to free the Jackdaw without smashing its skull.

    -Help. Please, ”he repeated.

    The hooded man paused to consider the Jackdaw's words.

    -So that? He said at last. "If I get you down from there now, you'll be dead by morning."

    The Jackdaw raised his hand carefully and drew it to a hidden pocket in his patchwork doublet. From there he took out a golden kraken. Despite the lack of light, the hooded man could see that it was genuine.

    The scavengers snorted and bristled as he approached. The dock rats weren't very big, but meat this appetizing was loot they would fight for. They showed their long, sharp fangs, spitting saliva infected with a thousand pests.

    The man kicked one of the rats and sent it into the water. Then he crushed another. They snapped mercilessly, but the hooded man's cunning footwork prevented them from approaching to taste meat; each of his movements was fluid and precise. He killed three more before the rest were lost in the shadows; his red and gloomy eyes glowed in the dark.

    The hooded man stood next to the Jackdaw. His features were indistinguishable, but the light of a lone moon suggested that this face was not smiling.

    "Death has come for you," he said at last. Accept it and be sure that I will make it meet its end.

    He reached into his coat and pulled out a shiny silver blade. It was the length of two palms and was engraved with symbols on the edges, extending the length in a spiral. It looked like an ornate leather awl. He placed the point under the dying man's chin.

    The man's gaze widened; his hand scratched the hooded man's sleeve as he gazed out at the vast ocean. The sea resembled a black mirror that gleamed with the light emanating from countless candles, dock braziers and lamps, distorted through the recycled glass of the thousands of hulls on the cliff face.

    "They know what lurks on the horizon," he said. They know the horror of it. And yet you tear apart like wild beasts. I can't find an explanation.

    He twisted and slammed his palm against the flat of the awl handle, plunging the blade into the man's brain. One last cadaverous reflex and the Jackdaw's pain was over. The gold coin fell from the corpse's hand and into the ocean with a light splash.

    The man withdrew the blade and cleaned it with the Jackdaw's rags. He put it in the sheath inside his coat and then took out a golden needle and a piece of silver thread bathed in the waters drawn from a Jonian spring.

    He baked the man's eyes and lips with a skill worthy of someone who has done this kind of work more than once. As he cooked, he recited words that he had learned centuries ago; cursed words that a dead king spoke long ago.

    "The dead will no longer be able to claim you," he stated as he finished his work and replaced his tools.

    "Maybe not, but we won't leave empty-handed, of course not," replied a voice behind the hooded man.

    She turned around and pulled back her hood to reveal a face the color and texture of aged mahogany, and cheekbones that looked angular and patriotic. His long dark hair was tied in the center revealing the bare sides of his skull, while his eyes, which seemed to have witnessed unspeakable horror, surveyed the newcomers.

    There were six men, they wore leather aprons stained with blood and cut in such a way that they showed their muscular limbs wrapped in tattoos of thorns. Each wore a serrated hook and carried belts from which hung a variety of butcher knives. Small-time thugs enraged by the fall of the tyrant who ruled Bilgewater with an iron fist. In his absence, rival gangs sought to seize new territory, and thus the city turned into chaos.

    Stealth was not his strategy for this situation. Spiked boots, the stench of guts, and the sputtering of various curses announced their presence long before they did.

    "I don't care if a coin goes to the Great Bearded, of course not," said the biggest of the butchers, a man with a belly so prodigious that it seemed like a miracle that he could get close enough to a corpse to disembowel it. . But one of ours killed old John there, with all the law, right. So that golden snake belonged to us.

    "Do you want to die here?" Asked the man.

    The fat man laughed.

    "Do you have any idea who you're talking to?"

    -No. And you?

    "Tell me then, so I can carve your name into the rock that I will use to sink your bones."

    "My name is Lucian," he replied, opening his long raincoat and pulling out a pair of pistols forged from carved stones and polished metals unknown to even Zaun's most intrepid alchemist. A blazing shaft of light struck down the fat butcher, leaving him in a scorching hole where his grotesquely swollen heart used to be.

    Lucian's second pistol was smaller, more showy elegance, and fired a blazing line of yellow fire, which split another of the butchers in half, from collarbone to groin.

    The others wanted to flee like dock rats, but Lucian took care of them one by one. Each burst of light represented a fatal shot, and in the blink of an eye, all six butchers lay dead.

    He put his pistols away and pulled his raincoat back on. Others would be drawn in by the noise and fury of his work, and he didn't have time to save these men from what was coming.

    Lucian sighed. It was a mistake to stop his march through that Jackdaw; But perhaps there is still an iota of the man he once was. He could feel a memory threatening to resurface; he shook his head to avoid it.

    "I can't go back to being the man I was," Lucian lamented.

    He is not strong enough to assassinate the Relentless Jailer.

    Glory in death

    Olaf's chainmail was drenched in blood and guts; he growled as he used his ax with one hand. Shorn bones and torn muscles sprouted from the weapon; its edge had been tempered in a bed of Pure Ice deep within the Freljord.

    Torch in hand, it pierced the krakensierpe's soaked entrails; With each blow, the deeper it went. It took him three hours to get that far. Getting through its huge glowing organs and thick bones was no easy task.

    It is true, the beast was already dead: he skewered it a week ago, after a long hunt that began in the north and lasted a month. Strong arms and broad backs had thrown more than thirty harpoons from the deck of the Winter's Kiss to pierce its scaly skin, but it was Olaf's spear that had killed the beast.

    Killing that animal in the heart of a churning storm outside Bilgewater had been exhilarating, and for a moment, as the ship heeled and nearly tossed it into the jaws of the beast, he thought this would be the moment when he would finally achieve the glorious death he so longed for.

    But in that instant, Helmsman Svarfell, damn his mighty shoulder, centered the rudder to straighten the ship.

    And Olaf lived. A shame One day closer to the terror of dying peacefully during his sleep, now old and with gray hair.

    They docked in Bilgewater hoping to sell the corpse and section it into battle trophies: huge teeth, black blood that burns like oil, and a rack so large it could cover their mother's drawing room.

    The other members of the tribe, exhausted from the hunt, slept aboard the Winter's Kiss, but Olaf, always impatient, could not rest. Instead, he took his glowing ax and began to dismember the colossal monster.

    At last he could make out the inside of the beast's jaws: a ribbed esophagus so large it could swallow an entire clan or crush a looting vessel with thirty oars in one bite. Its teeth were sculpted fangs that looked like obsidian rocks.

    Olaf nodded. -Yes. Just as to encircle a circular heart of windwalkers and bone and ash readers.

    He drove the piercing base of the torch into the krakenswyr's flesh and went to work; he hacked the jaw until a tooth came loose. After hooking the ax to his belt, Olaf raised the tooth over his shoulder as he grunted from the tremendous effort.

    "It's like a frost troll gathering ice to carry it to its lair," he complained as he made his way through the beast's entrails, walking through blood and caustic digestive juices that reached his knees.

    After a while, he was able to get out through the krakenswyr's giant back wound and took a deep breath of slightly cooler air. Even after being inside the guts of the beast, Bilgewater was still a foul soup of smoke and sweat and dead things. The air had the heaviness of the stench of many people living crowded together, like pigs in a quagmire.

    He gave a nauseating spit and exclaimed, "The sooner I get back north the better."

    The air in the Freljord was so excruciating it could cut you to the bone. Every mouthful of this air tasted of stale milk and rotten meat.

    -Hey! Shouted a voice from the water.

    Olaf scanned the darkness and spotted a lone fisherman, paddling out to sea past a line of buoys adorned with dead birds and bells.

    "Did this beast just screw you up?" The fisherman yelled.

    "I didn't have gold to pay for the boat fare, so I let it swallow me up in the Freljord and bring me south," Olaf agreed.

    "That's a story I'd definitely sit down and listen to!" Said the fisherman, and smiled and drank from a broken blue glass bottle.

    "Come to Winter's Kiss and ask for Olaf," he yelled. We will share a barrel of Gravöl and honor the beast with songs of doom.

    And in the depths

    The air around Muelle Blanco often smells like seagull droppings and rotten fish. But not today: it tasted like charred meat and smoke, a taste Miss Fortune was already getting used to. Ashes darkened the sky and foul gases came from the west of lit containers of melted leviathan grease at the Slaughterhouse Docks. Miss Fortune had a greasy mouthfeel; he spat on the crooked beams of the pier. The water underneath had a layer of waste that was expelled by the thousands of bodies that sank over the years.

    "Boy they had a rough night," he said, pointing to the smoke rising from the western cliffs.

    "That's right," Rafen replied. The bodies of many Gangplank men will sink tonight.

    "How many more did they catch?" Asked Miss Fortune.

    "Ten more of the Crabs," Rafen said. And the Graveyard Hooligans won't give us any more trouble.

    Miss Fortune nodded and turned to look at the ornate bronze cannon by the dock.

    Corvo Navajas lay inside the barrel, killed by the gunshot he received the day everything changed, the day the Massacre exploded before Bilgewater's eyes.

    A shotgun shot reserved for her.

    It was Corvo's time to go down with the dead, and she owed him; He must be there and witness how he was lost in the depths. Nearly two hundred men and women had approached to pay their respects: her lieutenants, former members of the Corvo gang, and strangers who, Miss Fortune thought, were former comrades of the deceased, or perhaps simply curious who clung to the woman. Hope to see the woman who killed Gangplank.

    Corvo had told him that he was once the captain of his own ship, a two-masted brig that was the terror of the Noxian coast, but the only proof of that was his word. Maybe it was true, maybe not, but in Bilgewater, many times the truth was far stranger than any story that could be heard in the many slums of the city.

    "I see you have them fighting on the Slaughterhouse Docks, too," Miss Fortune said, brushing ash particles from her lapels. Long red hair fell from his tricorne hat and rested on the shoulder pads of his formal frock coat.

    "Yes, it was not difficult to turn the Dogs of the Rat People against the Kings of the Dock," Rafen replied. This Ven Gallar always wanted that patch. The Travyn boys say they took it from their father more than a decade ago.

    "Is it true?"

    "Who knows," Rafen replied. It doesn't matter if it happened or how. Gallar is able to come up with any nonsense to seize that part of the docks.

    "There's not much left to control around here."

    "No," Rafen agreed with a smile. They have been killing each other. I don't think we're going to have a problem with any of the gangs.

    "Another week like this and no man from Gangplank will be left alive."

    Rafen shot her a puzzled look, but Miss Fortune pretended not to notice.

    "Come on, let's sink Corvo at once," Miss Fortune said.

    They walked to the canyon, ready to throw it into the sea. A forest of wooden buoys floated on the surface of the water, from simple drywood discs to elaborate sculptures of sea serpents.

    "Does anyone want to say something?" Asked Miss Fortune.

    Nobody said anything. He gave the order to Rafen, but before they could push the cannon into the water, a booming voice echoed across the dock.

    "I have a few words for him."

    Miss Fortune turned to see a huge woman dressed in colorful robes and acres of cloth, striding down the pier toward them. A band of tattooed natives accompanied her: it was a dozen young men armed with spears made of sharp teeth, wide pistols and clubs with hooks. They strutted like the arrogant gang members that they were, always next to their priestess, as if they were the owners of the pontoon.

    "Hell, what is she doing here?"

    "Did Illaoi know Corvo?" Rafen asked.

    -No. He knows me, ”Miss Fortune said. I heard that she and Gangplank ... do you understand me?

    -Seriously?

    "It's what they say."

    "By Great Barbuda, I am not surprised that the people of Okao have made our lives miserable these past few weeks."

    Illaoi carried a huge, spherical stone that appeared to be as heavy as the Siren's anchor. The High Priestess carried it everywhere, and Miss Fortune supposed it to be some kind of totem of the Indian religion. What everyone called the Great Barbuda, they knew by an unpronounceable name.

    Illaoi pulled a peeled mango out of nowhere and took a bite out of it. He chewed the fruit with his mouth open and peered into the barrel of the barrel.

    "A man from Bilgewater deserves Nagakabouros's blessing, doesn't he?"

    -Why not? Said Miss Fortune. After all, he will meet the goddess in the background.

    "Nagakabouros does not live in the depths," Illaoi asserted. Only foolish paylangi believe that. Nagakabouros is in everything we do, it is what moves us forward on our way.

    "Yeah, how stupid of me," Miss Fortune said.

    Illaoi spat the fibrous mango bone into the water and swirled the stone idol like a giant cannonball, then held it right in front of Miss Fortune.

    "You're not stupid, Sarah," Illaoi said, laughing. But you don't even know who you are, what you did.

    "Why are you here, Illaoi?" Is it because of him?

    "Ha!" Not at all, ”the priestess exclaimed. I am a devotee of Nagakabouros. A god, a man? What kind of choice is that?

    "None," said Miss Fortune. Bad luck for Gangplank.

    Illaoi smiled, revealing a mouthful of mango pulp.

    "You're not wrong," he said, nodding slowly, "but you're not listening to me." You allowed a sharp eel to slip off the hook and now you must stomp on it and leave before it sinks its fangs into you. It won't take long for you to stop moving forever.

    -What do you mean?

    "Come see me when you understand," Illaoi said as he extended his hand. In her palm was a pink coral pendant, adorned with a series of curves that radiated with a central focus, like a solitary eye that did not blink.

    "Take it," Illaoi said.

    -What's that?

    "A Nagakabouros coin to guide you when you're lost."

    "Tell me the truth, what is it?"

    "It's just what I'm telling you."

    Miss Fortune hesitated, but there were too many people to offend a Great Barbuda priestess by rejecting her gift. She took the earring and removed her hat to wrap the leather strap around her neck.

    Illaoi leaned over to whisper something to him.

    "I don't think you're stupid," he told her. Show me that I'm not wrong.

    "Why should I care what you think?" Said Miss Fortune.

    "Because a storm is coming," Illaoi replied, nodding to something over his shoulders. You know which one, so you better be ready to turn your bow into the waves.

    He turned and kicked the canyon where Corvo lay into the water. It splashed with great force and sank into a foam of bubbles before the debris surface took shape again; only his cross remained, which rose and fell to indicate who was below.

    The Great Barbuda priestess went the way she had come, toward her temple on the cliff, and Miss Fortune turned her gaze to the sea.

    A storm was building on the high seas, but this was not where Illaoi had pointed.

    He was referring to the Shadow Isles.

    The Great Barbuda

    No one fished at night in Bilgewater Bay.

    Piet, of course, knew why; he knew those waters since he was born. The currents were treacherous, the hull-breaking rocks lurked a few feet above the surface, and the bottom of the sea was littered with wrecked ships whose captains did not pay the sea the respect it deserved. But even more important: everyone knew that the spirits of those who drowned in the sea felt lonely and wanted others to accompany them.

    Piet knew all this, but still he had to feed his family.

    Because Captain JerimĂ­ad's ship had been burned to the ground by being caught in the crossfire between Gangplank and Miss Fortune, Piet was out of work and penniless to buy food.

    He downed half a bottle of Elusive Cider to pluck up the courage and make up his mind to push his can into the water in the middle of the night. The possibility of later sharing a drink with the Freljordian giant also helped calm his nerves.

    Piet took another swallow from the bottle, adjusted the stubble that was discomforting his chin, and poured a sip of the liquid into the water to honor the Big Bearded.

    Hot and numb with liquor, the fisherman rowed past the warning buoys and his dead birds, until he reached a stretch of ocean near where he had had some luck the night before. JerimĂ­ad always said that he had a good nose to know where the fish would be, and something told him that he would find them where the remains of the Massacre went.

    Piet pulled the oars out of the water and put them away before finishing the Cider. After making sure to leave one last drink in the bottle, he tossed it into the sea. His drunken, tired fingers baited the hooks with larvae that he found in a dead man's eye and then tied his lines to the jaws on the gunwale.

    Closing his eyes, he leaned over to one end of the boat and placed both hands in the water.

    "Nagakabouros," he said, hoping that using the native name for Great Barbuda would bring him some luck, "I'm not asking too much of you." Please help this poor fisherman and treat him to some bites from your cupboard. Take care of me and keep me safe. And if I die in your embrace, let me stay in the background with the rest of the dead men.

    Piet opened his eyes.

    A pale face stared at him, somewhat cloudy, inches from the surface. It glowed with an icy, lifeless light.

    Piet screamed and recoiled in panic as his lines, one by one, began to tighten. They spun the boat as thin spirals of mist rose from the water. The mist grew thick and the light from the Bilgewater cliffs was soon fading into darkness as a coal-dark mist loomed from the sea.

    The birds that must have been dead on the buoys began to chirp, then the clamor of bells could be heard as their convulsed bodies rocked the buoys from side to side.

    The black mist ...

    Piet fumbled for the oars; terror did not allow him to place them on the oarlocks. The mist was so icy it was numbing, lines of necrotic black piercing his skin at the mere touch. She cried when she felt a chill from beyond the grave freeze her spine.

    "Great Barbuda, Mother of the Deep, Nagakabouros," she sobbed. Guide me home, please. I beg you, please ...

    Piet couldn't even finish his prayer.

    A pair of chains with pointed hooks pierced his chest; small drops of crimson blood fell from their tips. A third hook pierced his stomach, another his throat. Two others pierced his palms and pulled him down hard, pinning Piet to his boat.

    Agony seized his being and he screamed at the presence of a figure of pure evil emerging from the dark mist. A greenish fire enveloped his horned skull, and sockets dug by avenging spirits burned with flames, basking in his pain.

    The spirit from beyond the grave wore an ancient dark robe, with rusty keys dangling at its side. A corpse lantern wrapped in chains groaned and swayed with monstrous appetite in one of its clenched fists.

    The crystal of the infernal lantern opened to receive him and Piet felt his spirit being ripped from the heat of his body as he did. The cries of countless tortured souls screamed from deep inside, enraged in their eternal purgatory. Piet fought to keep his spirit from leaving his body, but with a spectral scythe, his time in the world of the living came to an end, and the lantern glass finished closing.

    "An unfortunate soul, that's you," said the grim reaper who had taken his life in a voice from beyond the grave. But you're hardly the first to claim Thresh tonight.

    The black mist began to spread. The silhouettes of malevolent spirits, howling specters, and ghostly riders multiplied within its misty interior.

    Darkness covered the entire sea and reached the mainland.

    And the lights of Bilgewater began to go out.

    Something stupid

    Miss Fortune closed the barrels of her pistols and placed them on the table next to her short-bladed sword. Endless frenzied bells and cries of alarm came from the panicked city, and she knew exactly what that meant.

    It was the Harrowing.

    To cope with the approaching storm, she left the window blinds of her new villa wide open, as if daring death to come for her. Whispering winds brought with them the hunger of the mist and a chill that chilled to the bone.

    Perched high on the cliffs east of Bilgewater, the village once belonged to a much-hated gang leader. In the midst of the chaos of Gangplank's fall, he was hauled out of his bed and his brains smashed on the cobblestone.

    Now this place belonged to Miss Fortune, damn it if she suffered the same fate. With the tip of his finger, he traced the curves of the earring Illaoi had given him during the sinking of Corvo. The coral felt warm, and even though he didn't really believe what it represented, it was a more or less pretty trinket.

    The door to her bedroom opened and she dropped the earring.

    She knew who was behind her without even turning around. Only a man would dare to enter without knocking on the door first.

    -What are you doing? Rafen asked.

    "What do I seem to be doing?"

    "It looks like you were about to do something very stupid."

    -Stupid? Said Miss Fortune, placing her hands on the table. A lot of blood was shed and we lost a lot of good people to get rid of Gangplank. I can't let the Harrowing take me away ...

    "Take what from you?"

    "Take this city from me," he stated as he lifted his pistols and arranged them in their custom-made holsters that he carried around his waist. And you're not going to stop me.

    "We are not here to stop you."

    Miss Fortune turned to see Rafen standing in her bedroom doorway. A score of his best warriors waited in the lobby, armed to the teeth with muskets, drum pistols, resounding packages of shrapnel, and cutlasses that looked like something out of a museum.

    "You seem to be doing something very stupid too," she said.

    "That's right," Rafen agreed, as he walked to the open window and slammed the blind. Do you really think we're going to let our captain face that alone?

    "I almost died trying to defeat Gangplank, and I'm not done yet." And I don't expect you to join me, not tonight, ”Miss Fortune said, standing before her men and resting her hands on the etched walnut hilts of her pistols. This is not your fight.

    "Of course it is," Rafen complained.

    Miss Fortune took a deep breath and nodded.

    "There is a very good possibility that we will not live to tell about it," he said, unable to hide the hint of a smile that formed on his lips.

    "This is not the first time we have fought the Harrowing, Captain," Rafen exclaimed, striking the skull on the pommel of his sword. And condemn me if it's the last.

    Olaf was in sight of the Winter's Kiss when he heard the screams. At first, he ignored them, since screaming is nothing new in Bilgewater; but then he saw men and women flee in terror from the pier, and then he became interested.

    They scrambled out of their boats and fled into the winding streets as fast as they could. They did not look back and did not stop, not even when a companion stumbled or fell into the water.

    Olaf had seen men flee from combat, but this was something else. This was a brutal terror, the kind I had only seen etched on the corpses disposed of in the glaciers where the Ice Witch is said to dwell.

    The shutters were closing across the dock and the strange symbols he'd seen on each door were being frantically dusted with white powder. Huge winches raised wooden structures formed by the moored hulls of ships that were high up in the gorges.

    He recognized a bartender who ran a seedy bar where the beer was stronger than troll piss. He called it.

    -What's going on here? Olaf yelled.

    The innkeeper shook his head and pointed out to the ocean before slamming the door shut. Olaf left the krakenswyr's tooth on the stone dock and turned to see why there was so much fuss.

    At first he thought a storm was coming, but it was a very thick and dark fog coming from the sea, although it was approaching at a disconcerting speed and a smooth pace.

    "Oh, I see," he said as he unbuckled the ax from his belt. This seems interesting.

    The feel of the leather handle of his war weapon suited his grounded palm as he passed it from hand to hand, shifting his shoulders to loosen his muscles.

    Black mist swept away the farthest ships and Olaf's eyes widened as he saw spirits drawn from the darkest of nightmares wriggling in the mist. An enormous terror knight, a monstrous chimera part warhorse and part man, led them past a black reaper that radiated green fire. The lords of death unleashed a host of spirits that covered the dock, as they flew toward Bilgewater harbor at alarming speed.

    Olaf had heard the natives whisper about something called the Harrowing, a time of doom and darkness, but he hadn't expected to have the joy of facing it with ax in hand.

    The multitude of wraiths smashed the miserable hovels and merchant ships and corsairs alike with claws and fangs; they tore them to pieces like a cub carrying prey in its snout. The tarps and ropes gave as easily as rotten tendons. The heaviest masts splintered as the ships fell one on top of the other to shatter.

    A few Howling Wraiths flew toward Winter's Kiss, and Olaf roared in fury as he saw the looter's keel veer and split. Its beams froze in less than a second. The ship sank with great rapidity, as if it were loaded with rocks, and Olaf watched as his fellow Freljordians were dragged to the bottom of the sea by creatures with cadaverous limbs and mouths like hooks.

    "Olaf will make you wish they had stayed in their graves!" He yelled as he charged forward down the dock.

    Out of nowhere, spirits emerged from the ocean and directed their frozen claws at him. Olaf's ax swung, forming a glittering arc furrow through the host. The dead gave hideous screeches as its edge tore at them; the Pure Ice blade was more deadly than any enchantment.

    They howled in his second death and Olaf sang the song he had written for the moment of his death with almost lustful vigor. The lyrics were simple, but matched any saga written by the wandering poets of the icelands. How long did he have to wait to sing that song? How many times did you fear that you would not have the opportunity to do so?

    A glistening haze that formed murderous jaws surrounded him, specters and ethereal forms was that. Cobwebs of frost covered his chainmail and the deathly touch of the ravenous spirits burned his skin.

    But Olaf's heart was powerful, pumping blood that burned with a fury foreign to anyone but the Berserker. He shook off the pain of the ghostly touch, and felt reason fade and fury build.

    A crimson foam formed at the corners of his mouth as he nibbled the inside of her cheeks, leaving the flesh raw. He roared and brandished his ax like a madman, not caring about the pain. He just wanted to murder his enemies.

    That they were already dead didn't matter to him in the least.

    Olaf raised his weapon, ready to deliver another ax blow, when a deafening noise of splintering columns and ceiling beams falling to the ground exploded behind him. He spun to face his new enemy, as a blizzard of destroyed wood and stones cascaded over the dock. Sharp shards sliced ​​through his face and fist-sized chunks of stone smashed into his arms. Melted fat and animal fluids fell like a nauseating drizzle as a hideous moan came from the dark mist.

    And that's when he saw it.

    The spirit of the krakensierp rose from the remains of the Slaughterhouse Docks. Titanic and full of fury, its ghostly tentacles rose, then fell and struck with the force of lightning thrown by an enraged god. An entire street was in ruins in the blink of an eye, and Olaf's maddened fury finally surfaced as he beheld an enemy worthy of claiming his life.

    Olaf raised his ax in salute to his assassin.

    -You're a beauty! He screamed, and charged forward seeking his doom.

    The red shroud

    The woman was beautiful, with wide almond-shaped eyes, full lips, and high cheekbones, as is common in Demacia. The portrait in the locket was a tiny masterpiece, but it did not capture the depth of Senna's strength and determination.

    He hardly ever looked at his photo, for carrying his pain so close to his heart made him weak. The pain was a chink in his armor. Lucian couldn't allow himself to feel the weight of his loss, so he slammed the locket shut. He knew he must bury him in the sand of the cave under the cliffs where he was found, but he could not bury his memory in the earth as he had done to her body.

    He would avoid his pain until Thresh was destroyed and he could avenge Senna's death.

    Only then could he mourn the loss of his wife with tears and offerings to the Lady in the Veil.

    How long had it been since that terrible night?

    He felt the lurking abyss of unfathomable sadness that followed him, as if to ambush him, but he suppressed it with the same fury that he had done so many times. He resorted to the teachings of his order, repeating mantras that he and Senna learned to protect themselves from emotions. Only in this way could he achieve an internal balance that would allow him to face the deadly terrors that escape all imagination.

    The pain lessened, but it never went away.

    At times, he reluctantly opened the locket and felt the distance between himself and the memory of his wife grow. He found that he could no longer remember the outline of her face, the smoothness of her skin, or the particular color of her eyes.

    The further he went on his hunt, the further back the memory remained.

    Lucian lifted his head, letting a breath escape his lungs to slow the rate of his heartbeat.

    The cave walls were pale limestone, sunken into the cliffs on which Bilgewater was built. The movement of the water and the stones that the natives brought formed a labyrinth under the city, unknown to many. The pale rock faces bore endless engravings of spirals, rippling waves, and shapes that could be described as open eyes.

    He understood that these were symbols of the religion of the natives, but whoever recorded them had not visited the place in many years. He discovered it by following the secret symbols of his own order, symbols that would guide him to places of refuge and aid in any city on Valoran.

    Only faint reflections of light gleamed from the cave ceiling, but as her eyes followed the spiral of etchings, a radiant light spread from her palm.

    Let me be your shield.

    Lucian lowered his gaze; the memory of his words was as clear as if he were next to her.

    The locket glowed with a sparkling green flame.

    He wrapped the chain of the locket around his neck and drew his ancient twin pistols.

    "Thresh," he sighed.

    The streets of Bilgewater were deserted. The ocean bells were still ringing and the cries of terror echoed from the bottom of the sea. Rat Town was completely covered by the Black Mist and hurricane storms battered the desolate Mourning Harbor. Fire burned the entire length of the Butcher's Bridge and a shimmering mist clung to the cliffs above Gray Harbor.

    People in the upper reaches of the city hid in their homes and prayed to Greater Barbuda that the Harrowing would pass them by, that pain would fall on some other unfortunate.

    An amber-gray guardian candle burned in each window, all gleaming through green sea-glass bottles; burning roots of the Empress of the Dark Forest hung from the doors, shutters, and planks that covered the entrances.

    "Do people still believe in the empress?" Asked Miss Fortune.

    Rafen shrugged, his lips tight and his eyes scowling, searching for threats in the mist that formed. He pulled a burning piece of the same root from under his shirt.

    "It all depends on where you put your faith, doesn't it?"

    Miss Fortune drew her pistols.

    "I have faith in these and in us," he said. But I'll take a root sprig if you have any left over. What else do you bring?

    "This cutlass helped me survive the last six Harrowings," he said as he tapped its doorknob. "I offered a bottle of aged rum to the Great Bearded One, and in exchange, a man sold me this knife, he swore that its blade is pure solar steel."

    Miss Fortune looked at the sheathed knife and, without even seeing the blade, knew that Rafen had been swindled. The quality of the hedgerow was far inferior to be a Demacian leaf, but she wasn't sure if she should tell him.

    -What about you?

    Miss Fortune patted the pouch where she kept her bullets.

    "They've all bathed in Myron's Dark Rum," she said, making sure each of the thirty men heard her. If the dead want to fight, we will confront them with our own spirits.

    The overwhelming grief did not give much room to laugh, but anyway he managed to see some smiles, he did not expect more on a night like this.

    He turned and walked toward Bilgewater. He descended some twisted stairs, carved from the rocks of the cliffs; he crossed secret bridges with ropes about to give way and forgotten alleys that had not been trodden in years.

    He led his men to the great square in one of the shantytowns on the pier, where the houses swayed together, as if their twisted eaves were whispering secrets to each other. Each facade was a framework of driftwood, and frost patterns clung to the crooked beams. Icy winds blew through the driftwood scraps, laden with cries and screams from the distance. Burning braziers, hanging from the hundreds of cables strung between the buildings, smoked strange herbs. Puddles of water rippled and showed images of things that weren't really there.

    On normal days this place was a thriving market, packed with stalls, restless meat vendors, roaming innkeepers laden with drinks, loud merchants, pirates, bounty hunters, and crisp shipwrecks from all over the world. This place was within sight of most of Bilgewater, and that was exactly what she wanted.

    The mist clung to each wooden cliff.

    The remains of the masks wept frozen tears.

    Fog and shadows were gathering.

    "The Plaza Robacarteras?" Rafen said. How did we get here? This was my territory when I was just a petty thief. I thought I knew every corner of this place.

    "Not all of them," said Miss Fortune.

    The houses that remained were quiet and dark; She resisted the urge to look through the ripped, billowing sheets that had been nailed to each of the portholes.

    "How is it that you know all these roads and I don't?"

    "Doña Bilgewater and I are one-size-fits-all," Miss Fortune asserted, her eyes narrowing as she spotted the dark mist approaching the plaza. She whispers her secrets to me like we're old friends, so I know a lot of little alleyways that you have no idea about.

    Rafen grunted as the group fanned out into the empty plaza.

    -And now that?

    "Now let's wait," Miss Fortune replied once they reached the center of the plaza, where they felt most exposed.

    The black mist churned with things twisting in its dark guts.

    Suddenly, a ghostly disembodied skull emerged from the darkness, eyeless and with sharp teeth. His jaw could open wider than any other bone structure could allow, and an anxious moan formed in his throat.

    Miss Fortune's bullets pierced both of her eye sockets and the skull disappeared with a screech of frustration. The captain spun the barrel of both pistols so that the ingenious mechanisms within them reloaded.

    For a moment, silence reigned.

    After a while, the black mist erupted with unbearable shrieks, and the spirits of the dead appeared in the square.

    Shadow of war

    For the second time that afternoon, Olaf made his way into the krakensierpe's bowels. He brandished his ax like a maddened lumberjack, chopping left and right with unbridled glee. The beast's massive limbs were as fragile as mist itself, yet the ice on its blade sliced ​​through them like flesh.

    The tentacles flailed and slammed on the stones of the dock, but Olaf was too fast for a man his size. Slow warriors did not survive in the Freljord. It stumbled and stabbed as it passed, amputating a large chunk of a limb, which disappeared as soon as it was severed from the monster's body.

    Even under the claws of the red shroud, Olaf could see the creature's skull amid the chaos of ghostly limbs that surrounded it.

    The creature's eyes were alight with the fury of the spirit of its life.

    A moment of sublime connection washed over them.

    The soul of the beast knew him.

    Olaf laughed heartily.

    "This is the one who took your life, and now we unite in death!" He roared. If you were to kill me, we would fight forever beyond the realms known to mortals.

    The prospect of eternally fighting such a relentless foe filled his aching muscles with strength. He lunged into the beast's jaws, not caring about the pain; each jerk of the krakenswyr's tentacles burned its skin far more than the blizzards blowing shards off the shores of LĂłkfar.

    He leapt through the air with his ax flying high.

    He saw the face of glorious death.

    A tentacle surprised him and caught him by the thigh.

    He fluttered it in a giddy fashion, lifting it up into the air.

    -Let's go! Olaf bellowed, raising his ax skyward in homage to their shared destiny. To death!

    A ghostly creature with sharp claws and a mouth full of frozen fangs emerged from the turbulent mass of spirits. Miss Fortune put a bullet in her face and vanished like a gale.

    A second shot, and another spirit disappeared.

    He let out a smile amid his fear as he sought refuge behind an eroded rock beacon bearing the effigy of the River King, to reload his pistols. Carried away by impulse, she leaned down and kissed him right in the middle of his toothy grin.

    It all depends on where you place your faith.

    Gods, bullets, or innate ability?

    The smile faded from his face when one of his pistols jammed with a piece of metal. His mother's sermons sprang from the depths of his memory.

    That's what happens when you let someone else mix your powder, Sarah, he thought, as he put his weapon away and drew his sword. He had taken it from the captain of a Demacian galley heading north off the coast of Shurima; it was one of the finest pieces of craftsmanship I had ever seen.

    Miss Fortune left her shelter, and began firing her loaded pistol and brandishing her sword at the creatures of the mist. His shot knocked another specter down and the edge of his sword sliced ​​through it like flesh and blood. Did the spirits of the dead have a physical component that could hurt them? It seemed impossible, but he was hurting something inside him.

    He didn't have time to think too much about it, and he suspected that if he continued to do so, the power he had accessed would disappear.

    Men and women screamed as the merciless storm of spirits filled Wallet Plaza. Wraiths ripped with claws that froze their blood or pierced their chests to rip out their hearts in unspeakable terror. Seven had died, perhaps more, and their tortured souls had left their bodies to turn on their comrades. His men fought heroically with swords and muskets to the cry of the Great Barbuda, their loved ones and even pagan gods from distant lands.

    Whatever works, Miss Fortune thought.

    Rafen was on one knee, his face ashen; she was breathing like a dock whore after a long shift. Remnants of mist clung to him like cobwebs and the flaming root around his neck burned with a crimson glow.

    "On your feet, this battle has a long way to go," he said.

    "Don't tell me when the battle is over," he complained, straightening up again. I've been through so many Harrowings that you couldn't reach your fingers to count them.

    Before Miss Fortune could say anything, Rafen leaned to the side and shot something behind her. A mixed spirit of wolf and bat screeched as it faded, and Miss Fortune returned the favor by taking down a beast of sharp claws and fangs that pounced on her lieutenant.

    -Everybody to the floor! Shouted Miss Fortune, before pulling shrapnel bombs from her belt and throwing them into the hurricane mist.

    The explosion they generated was deafening; fire and smoke invaded the place. Wood chips and rock fragments bounced everywhere. Chunks of broken glass fell like a glittering shower of daggers. A stinging mist filled the plaza, but made by the living and free of spirits.

    Rafen shook his head and put a finger to his ear.

    "What was in that bomb?"

    "Black powder mixed with the essence of copal and rue," Miss Fortune replied. It is one of my special reservations.

    "And that has an effect on the dead?"

    "So my mother thought," he answered again.

    "It is enough for me and I have plenty," he said. You know, maybe we can get to ...

    "Don't say it," Miss Fortune warned him.

    The mist began to amalgamate with the plaza, first in tendrils and thin strands, and then in luminous outlines of monsters: things with shared legs, fanged jaws, and arms that ended in hooks or pincers. The spirits they thought they had killed.

    They would regain their forms and return.

    What did people say about the plans and contents of a latrine?

    "It seems that the dead are not easy to kill," Miss Fortune complained, trying not to show her fear.

    She was a fool to think that petty trinkets and blind faith could defeat the spirits of the dead. He wanted to show the people of Bilgewater that they didn't need Gangplank, that they could shape their own destiny.

    Instead, she was going to end up dead while the city lay in ruins.

    Suddenly, a low rumbling echoed across the square. Then another.

    Deafening thunders rose within the threatening storm.

    So much so that it was like hammering on an anvil. They struck swiftly and thunderously until their violence shook the ground.

    -What the hell is that? Rafen asked.

    "I don't know," Miss Fortune replied, as the figure of a spectral horseman bathed in black silver emerged from the haze. He was riding a warhorse of strange proportions, and his helmet was shaped like a terrifying demon.

    "A death knight," Miss Fortune said.

    Rafen shook his head, his face was pale.

    "No gentleman," he said. It's the Shadow of War ...

    The purifier

    A paralyzing terror invaded Miss Fortune's company at the mere mention of this eternal nightmare of murderous rage and endless fury.

    The Shadow of War.

    In ancient times, his name had been Hecarim, but no one knew for sure if that was true or the invention of an ancient storyteller. Only fools dared to tell their ghoulish legend around the fire, and not before having drunk enough rum to sink a Noxian warship.

    As the Shadow of War emerged from the mist, Miss Fortune began to realize that she was no ordinary horseman. A cold fear fell on his shoulders, like a veil at the sight of a monstrous creature.

    Perhaps Hecarim was once a separate knight, man, and horse, but now they were one, a towering giant whose purpose was to destroy everything in its path.

    "They have us surrounded," said a voice.

    Miss Fortune risked taking her eyes off the armored centaur to see an entire army of knights; their silhouettes sparkled with a radiant greenish transparency. They pointed with spears or swords of dark glow. Hecarim drew a huge, pointed glaive, the edge of which emanated green fire.

    "Do you know any secret corridors to get out of here?" Rafen asked.

    "No," said Miss Fortune, "I want to face that bastard."

    "Do you want to face the Shadow of War?"

    Before Miss Fortune could reply, a hooded figure leapt from the terrace of a grain store to descend upon the plaza. He landed in style; a worn leather raincoat spread out behind him. He carried two pistols, but they were unlike any Miss Fortune had ever seen on her mother's weapons table. They were a metal craft, made of bronze, reinforced with pieces of what appeared to be carved stone.

    The light was imposed on the square thanks to the fiery rays released by each of their pistols, whose discharge made the destruction of the Massacre look ridiculous. The man spiraled around, marking targets and killing them, one by one, with astonishing speed. The mist burned where its rays struck, and the wraiths screeched as they were consumed by the light.

    The mist receded from Wallet Square, taking Hecarim and the death knights with it. Something told Miss Fortune that this was just a momentary respite.

    The man holstered his pistols and turned to see Miss Fortune. He pulled back his hood to reveal handsome dark features and haunted eyes.

    "It's what happens with shadows," he said. A little light and they disappear.

    Olaf was not happy with this downfall.

    He expected the men to speak of his epic battle with the Krakensierpe, and not of this ignoble fall to his death.

    He hoped someone had seen him charge the sea beast.

    He prayed that at least one person had seen him caught in the embrace of the spectral tentacle, being tossed high in the sky, only to flee before seeing him throw him like an unworthy chunk.

    Olaf crashed through the roof of a building bolted to the side of the cliff. Or maybe it was the hull of a ship? It fell too fast to see what it was. Battered beams and ceramics accompanied him in his crashing fall through the building. He could see astonished faces screaming during his journey to the abyss.

    Olaf crossed a floor. A girder propelled him against the wind as he hurtled off the Bilgewater cliffs. It bounced off an outcropping of rocks and crashed headlong into a window, then smashed through yet another floor.

    Violent curses followed him on his descent.

    He ended up spinning in a forest hanging from ropes and pulleys, flags and pennants. The fall gave him a good beating, and his weapon and limbs were left dangling. Fate mocked him; instead of a red shroud, it was wrapped in a cocoon of folded canvas.

    "Not like that, damn it!" He growled. Not that way!

    The city of the dead

    "Who are you and where can I get guns like yours?" Asked Miss Fortune, offering her hand to the newcomer.

    "My name is Lucian," he replied, taking her hand gingerly.

    "It's a real pleasure to meet you, friend," Rafen exclaimed, slapping him on the back like they were old comrades. Miss Fortune saw that Rafen's confidence made Lucian uncomfortable, as if he had forgotten how to behave in front of others.

    His eyes surveyed the edges of the plaza; his fingers played with the hilt of his pistols.

    "You are more than welcome," Miss Fortune said.

    "We must move," Lucian said. The Shadow of War will return soon.

    "You're right," Rafen said, imploring his captain's approval. Time to go back and close all the hatches

    -No. We are here to fight.

    "Look, Sarah." I get it. We won Bilgewater and you want to fight for it, to show everyone that you are better than Gangplank. Well, it's done. We step into the Black Mist and fight the dead. It's so much more than he ever did. Anyone who dares to peek through those windows knows it. Heck, even those who don't have the guts to look are sure to find out. What else do you want?

    "Fight for Bilgewater."

    "There is a difference between fighting and dying for Bilgewater," Rafen countered. The first option suits me better than the second. These men and women followed you to hell, but it's time to go back.

    Miss Fortune faced her company of warriors, each one of those ragged and ruthless rioters. They all seemed capable of selling their mother for a shiny trinket, but they gave her everything and much more than she could ever hope for. Venturing into the Black Mist was the bravest action any of them had ever taken, and he couldn't reward them by leading them straight to their death just because of their thirst for revenge.

    "You're right," he said at last, taking a breath. There is nothing to do here anymore.

    "Then may fortune be with you," Lucian said, as he walked away and drew his pistols again.

    "Wait," Miss Fortune said. Come with us.

    Lucian shook his head. "No, there is a haze specter that I have to destroy." They call him Thresh, the Relentless Jailer. I owe him a death.

    Miss Fortune noticed the lines around her eyes deepening and recognized the expression she wore herself since her mother was murdered.

    "He took someone from you, didn't he?" He asked.

    Lucian nodded slowly without saying a word, but the silence outweighed any sound in his voice.

    "This is clearly not the first time you've seen your face with the dead," he added, "but you won't make it at dawn if you stay here alone." That may not mean anything to you, but whoever this Thresh has taken from you, he wouldn't want you to die in this place.

    Lucian looked down, and Miss Fortune noticed the locket hanging from his neck. Was it his imagination or some trick of the mist that made him radiate in the moonlight?

    "Come with us," Miss Fortune said. Let's find a safe place until tomorrow and you'll live to do it again.

    -Sure? What place is safe in this city? Rafen sneered.

    "I think I know a place," Miss Fortune replied.

    They left Portfolio Square and headed west to the Serpent Bridge where they found the Freljordian. It hung from a crooked pole like a corpse wrapped in a gallows. However, unlike most lifeless bodies, this one rolled like a fish out of water.

    A pile of splintered debris surrounded him. Miss Fortune looked up to see the distance of her fall and how many cliff dwellings she had traversed.

    The answer was a long way, and the fact that he was still alive was practically a miracle.

    Lucian pointed his pistols, but she shook her head in denial.

    "No, this one here is on the right side of the grave."

    Muffled screams could be heard inside the wrapping; Beating curses could be heard anywhere in the world, spoken in a heavy Freljordian accent.

    Miss Fortune placed the tip of her sword on the canvas and began to cut it from top to bottom. A bearded man fell on the edges like a calf just expelled from a torn amniotic sac. He was embraced by the stench of fish guts and entrails.

    He struggled to his feet, then brandished an ax with a blade that looked like a shard of ice diamond.

    "How do I get to the Muelles del Matadero?" He asked, staggering like he was drunk. He looked around, confused; his head was a mass of bumps and bruises.

    "I always recommend going by the nose," Miss Fortune replied, "but I don't think it can be of much help to you."

    "I will kill the krakensierpe ten times if necessary," the man declared. I owe him a death.

    "It seems that many have the same debt," Miss Fortune replied.

    The sanctuary

    The Freljordian introduced himself as Olaf, warrior to the true ice lady, and, after recovering from his shock, declared his intention to join them until he could fight the most dangerous spirit they would find within the Black Mist.

    "Do you want to die?" Lucian asked.

    "Of course," Olaf replied, as if the question was the epitome of stupidity. I'm looking for an ending worthy of a legend.

    Miss Fortune left the man with his dreams of heroic death. As long as he brandished his ax in the right direction, he would be welcomed into the group and would advance with them.

    The fog besieged them three times, each time taking the life of an unfortunate member of the company. Malicious laughter echoed from the sides of the buildings. It was like the sound of a mole grinding rusty steel. Rows of carrion birds squawked on the terraces, anticipating a meat feast in the moonlight. Welcoming lights danced in the darkness of the mist, like seductive cadaverous candles on an all-swallowing swamp.

    "Don't look at them," Lucian warned.

    His warning did not reach the ears of a man and his wife in time. Miss Fortune did not know their names, but she knew that they had lost their son to a sea fever a year ago. They fell off the cliff following a vision in the lights that only they could see.

    Another man slit his throat with his own gaff before his friends could stop him. Yet another disappeared into the mist without anyone noticing.

    By the time they reached the Serpent's Bridge, their company had dwindled to less than a dozen individuals. Miss Fortune couldn't feel bad for them. She had warned them not to accompany her. If eternal life was what they wanted, they would have taken refuge behind closed doors and protective carvings, clinging to coiled talismans of Great Barbuda, praying to whatever comforted them.

    But against the Harrowing not even that could guarantee their safety.

    They passed countless destroyed houses; its doors and shutters hung dead on leather hinges. Miss Fortune was staring straight ahead, but it was impossible to avoid feeling the accusing stares on frozen faces and feeling the terror of her last moments.

    "You have to give the Black Mist some credit," Rafen said as they passed another ossuary with cold, dead families inside.

    She wanted to be angry with him for accepting such horror, but what good would it do? After all, he was right.

    Instead, he focused on the silhouette of the mist-shrouded structure on the other side of the bridge. It stood in the center of a crater carved out of the cliff, as if a powerful sea creature had bitten off a large chunk of rock. It was built with the debris washed away by the ocean, like most places in Bilgewater. Its walls were made up of wood washed up by the sea and branches from far away lands, and its windows were made up of the looted remains of ships that floated from the bottom of the sea. The construction had the peculiar characteristic of not having a single straight line in its entire structure. Its unique angles gave the sensation that it was moving, as if one day it might go to plant temporary roots elsewhere.

    Its needle was just as crooked, fluted like a narwhal's horn, and crowned with the same spiral symbol that hung from Miss Fortune's neck. A shimmering light enveloped the emblem, and where it shone, the darkness gave way.

    -What is that place? Lucian asked.

    "The Great Barbuda Temple," Miss Fortune replied. Nagakabouros's house.

    "Is it a safe place?"

    "It's better than staying out here."

    Lucian nodded and they all started across the winding stretch of the bridge. Like the figure of the temple, the bridge was quite inconsistent; its cables undulated, as if they were alive.

    Rafen stopped on the ruined parapet and looked down.

    "It goes up more every year," he said.

    Reluctantly, Miss Fortune went to his side and looked over the edge.

    The docks and Rat Town were in Black Mist; the network of gondolas could hardly be seen. Bilgewater was drowning in the mist, caught in its lethal grip; its tendrils seeped even deeper into the city. Screams of terror could be heard in the distance. Each represented the end of a life and the addition of a fresh soul to the legion of the dead.

    Rafen shrugged. "A few more years and no place in Bilgewater will be out of reach."

    "A lot can happen in a few years," Miss Fortune said.

    "Does this happen every year?" Olaf asked, one foot on the parapet, ignoring the dizzying fall, unafraid.

    Miss Fortune nodded.

    "Excellent," said the Freljordian. If my destiny is not to die here tonight, I will return when the Black Mist is present again.

    "Whatever you say," Rafen replied.

    "Thanks," Olaf said, and slapped him on the back so hard it almost knocked him off the bridge. The Freljordian's eyes widened as he saw a multitude of tentacles emerge from the mist and uncoil to crush the Rat People's dwellings.

    -The beast! He exclaimed.

    And before anyone could stop him, he climbed onto the parapet and launched himself off the edge.

    "Damn crazy," Rafen said as Olaf's figure disappeared into the mist below them.

    "Anyone who brandishes ice has a bad head," said Miss Fortune. But this guy is the craziest I've ever met.

    "Get everyone in," Lucian implored.

    Miss Fortune felt the urgency in his voice, and as she turned she saw him faced with a towering figure covered by a dark robe and chain hooks. A pale green light enveloped the specter, which with one of its pale hands raised a swinging lantern. Fear washed over Miss Fortune, a fear she had never felt, never since she saw her mother die, and she stared at the barrel of the assassin's gun.

    Lucian drew his pistols. "Thresh is mine."

    "All yours," she told him, and left.

    Miss Fortune turned her gaze up to where shadows surrounded the temple. His breath stopped for a moment when he saw Hecarim and his death knights on the crest of the crater.

    The Shadow of War raised its fiery glaive and the spectral horsemen urged their infernal steeds to descend. No mortal horseman could so easily descend from that place, but these horsemen were dead.

    "Run!" Yelled Miss Fortune.

    Is not dead

    A noxious green light thickened the end of the bridge. The Relentless Jailer hid his cadaverous features under a hideous hood, but the light from his flashlight revealed the remains of disfigured flesh, emaciated and devoid of all emotion but sadistic pleasure.

    He moved smoothly, like all of his kind, groans of pain erupting from his robes as he advanced. Thresh lifted his head slightly, and Lucian watched the hint of a smile widen in anticipation, revealing sharp teeth.

    "Mortal," Thresh said, savoring the word like it was candy.

    Lucian knelt and recited the clarity mantra to prepare his soul for the battle that was about to begin. He had prepared for this moment a thousand times, and now that the moment had come, his mouth was dry and his hands were drenched in sweat.

    "You killed Senna," he scolded as he raised his head and straightened up. The only person left in this world.

    "Senna ...?" Thresh wondered. The sound it made was wet, foamy, as if made by the squeezed neck of a gallows knot victim.

    "My wife," Lucian replied, though he knew better than to speak, as each word could become a weapon that the specter could use against him. Tears clouded his vision; pain threw away all preparation and a shred of logic. He lifted the locket hanging from his neck and opened it in an attempt to make the specter understand the depth of all that he had lost.

    Thresh smiled; his sharp teeth glinted as he touched the glass of the lantern with a yellowish fingernail.

    "Yes, I remember her," he said, delighted. A vital soul. Still fertile and warm. Ready to be tormented. I was hoping for a new life. It flourished in her. Fresh, new, like a flower in spring. It is so easy to defoliate and wither dreamers.

    Lucian raised his pistols.

    "If you remember her, maybe you will remember these too," he blurted out.

    The jagged smile under the ragged habit never wavered.

    "The luminous weapons," he said.

    "And light is the bane of darkness," Lucian exclaimed, channeling every remnant of hatred to his ancient pistols.

    "Wait," Thresh pleaded, but Lucian didn't wait.

    He fired a couple of dazzling shots.

    A conflagration of cleansing fire engulfed the Relentless Jailer; their howls were music to Lucian's ears.

    But soon the howls turned to bubbling laughter.

    A halo of dark light dissipated around Thresh and then ended up inside his lantern without the fire touching him in the least.

    Lucian again fired a shower of radiant lightning that, despite hitting the target, had no effect. Each shot dissipated harmlessly against the glowing mist of black energy emanating from the lantern.

    "Yes, I remember those weapons," said the specter. I stripped her secrets from Senna's mind.

    Lucian froze.

    -What did you just say?

    Thresh laughed with a loud, consumptive screech.

    -You do not know? You never suspected even a bit after the reborn order found out about my existence?

    Lucian felt cold terror in his stomach. A fear that he never wanted to acknowledge for fear of going crazy.

    "She didn't die," Thresh continued, raising the lantern.

    Lucian saw tortured spirits writhing inside him.

    Thresh smiled. "I ripped his soul out of him and kept it."

    "No ..." Lucian said. I saw her die.

    "Still screaming desperately inside my flashlight," Thresh said, drawing closer with each muffled word he uttered. "Every second of your existence is pure agony."

    "No," Lucian sobbed, his antique pistols slamming against the stones of the bridge.

    Thresh circled him with the serpentine chains that emerged from his leather belt to slide down the body of the fallen Purifier. The hooks pierced his raincoat in search of the soft flesh underneath.

    "Hope was his weakness." Love, his ruin.

    Lucian looked at Thresh's disfigured features.

    His eyes were holes that contained nothing but a dark and infinite void.

    There was no longer a trace of whatever Thresh had been during his earthly life. Without compassion, without mercy, without humanity.

    "All is death and suffering, mortal," said the Relentless Jailer, his hand reaching for Lucian's neck. No matter where you try to flee, your only legacy is to die. But before death, there is me.

    The air weighed down on Miss Fortune's throat as she ran toward the temple. His lungs struggled for air, and the ice slowed the work of his veins. Spirals of unnerving mist reached the temple rock, propelled by the presence of the two lords of the dead. Brilliant flashes of lights blazed behind her, but she didn't look back. He felt the clatter of hooves stomping on the rock; glowing sparks could be seen in the dark.

    He imagined the breath of the spectral riders on the back of his neck.

    The space between her shoulder blades burned at the thought that a spectral spear might reach her.

    Wait, how can they produce sparks if they are ghosts?

    The thought was so absurd it made her laugh, and she was laughing even as she slammed against the crooked wooden doors of the temple. Rafen and his exhausted gang were already there, banging their fists and palms on the door.

    "In the name of Great Barbuda!" Let us in! He begged.

    He looked up when Miss Fortune came to his side.

    "The doors are closed," he explained.

    "I noticed," she gasped, as she tugged at the earring Illaoi had given her. He placed his palm on the door, pressing the coral hard against the wood.

    "Illaoi!" -scream-. I'm ready to stomp on that damn eel. Now open the damn door!

    -Eel? Rafen asked. What eel? What are you talking about?

    "It doesn't matter," he replied, slapping his hand bleeding against the wood. I think it was a metaphor.

    The door swung outward, as if its entrance had never been blocked. Miss Fortune stepped back to allow her warriors to enter first, then turned around.

    Hecarim raised and brandished his glaive, searching for his skull.

    A hand took her by the necklace and pulled her back. The point of the weapon sliced ​​an inch from his throat.

    He fell hard against their backs.

    Illaoi was standing in the doorway, holding her stone idol in front of her like a shield. A white haze clung to him like electricity.

    "The dead are not welcome here," he declared.

    Rafen and the others closed the door and bolted both rusty anchors with a heavy oak stick parked. A strong impact shook the door.

    The wood cracked and splinters flew.

    Illaoi turned and passed Miss Fortune, who was still sprawled on a mosaic of conch fragments and clay.

    "You took your time, child," the woman said, as Miss Fortune rose to her feet. The temple was packed, with at least two hundred people, maybe more. He recognized a representative part of the inhabitants of Bilgewater: its native population, pirates, merchants, and a variety of seamen, as well as unfortunate or unintelligent travelers who docked with the Harrowing being so close.

    "Do you think that door will hold?" -I ask.

    "Maybe yes, maybe no," Illaoi replied, walking towards a statue with many tentacles located in the center of the temple. Miss Fortune tried to figure out what it represented, but gave up after the umpteenth time her eyes were lost in the many spirals and circular curves.

    -That's not an answer.

    "It's the only one I have," Illaoi said, placing his idol in a concave recess in the statue. He began to move around her, then struck a series of rhythmic strokes on her thighs and chest with his fists. The people inside the temple imitated her. He clapped his palms against her bare skin, in addition to stomping and speaking in a language the captain did not know.

    -What are they doing?

    "We give the world some movement back," Illaoi replied. But we will need more time.

    "Well, they will," Miss Fortune promised.

    Lucian felt the spectral hooks penetrate his flesh. They were much colder than the northern ice and twice as painful. The jailer's hand closed on her throat and her skin burned at the touch of the specter. He felt his strength drain from him, and his heartbeat slow.

    Thresh lifted Lucian and raised his lantern, ready to receive his soul. The lights within it wailed and writhed restlessly; Ghostly faces and hands pressed against the glass from within.

    "I longed for your soul long, Shadowhunter," Thresh said. But only now is it ready to be mowed.

    Lucian's vision blurred, and he felt his soul leave his bones. He fought, he tried to resist, but the implacable reaper reaps souls since the world is world, and he knew more about this art than anyone else.

    "Try harder," Thresh said, with a monstrous appetite. Souls burn even more when they fight.

    Lucian tried to speak, but the words weren't coming from his mouth, just a stream of warm breath that carried his soul.

    A glittering scythe hovered above Lucian, a blood-soaked soul reaper. His blade trembled with anticipation.

    Lucian...

    That voice. His voice.

    My love...

    The murderous edge of Thresh's blade turned to seek an angle that would make it easy to separate the soul from the body.

    Lucian held his breath as he saw a determined face in the lantern glass. One of thousands, but one who had more than one reason to push his way to the front.

    Full lips and wide almond eyes begged him to live.

    "Senna ..." Lucian sighed.

    Let me be your shield.

    He knew immediately what he meant by that. The bond between the two was as strong as when they hunted shadow creatures together.

    With the last bit of strength he had left, Lucian grabbed and ripped the locket that hung from his neck. The chain reflected a silver glow in the moonlight.

    The Relentless Jailer saw that something was wrong and snorted angrily.

    Lucian was faster.

    He grasped the chain like a sling, but instead of dropping a lead bullet, he used it as a whip to catch the arm holding the flashlight. Before Thresh could get rid of it, Lucian pulled the silver awl from the sheath inside his coat and plunged it into the wraith's wrist.

    The Relentless Jailer screeched in pain, a sensation he probably hadn't experienced in a thousand years. He released Lucian and rolled over in agony. Suddenly, the thousands of souls that were trapped in his lantern found a way to attack their tormentor.

    Lucian felt his soul return to his body. He took in great gulps of air, like a drowning man who managed to rise to the surface.

    Hurry my love. It is too strong...

    His sight returned, much clearer than ever. Lucian picked up his pistols from the ground. He caught a glimpse of the briefest glimmer of Senna's face in the flashlight and etched it on his heart.

    His face would never fade from his memories again.

    "Thresh," he said, pointing both pistols at him.

    The Relentless Jailer looked up. The emptiness of his eyes burned with anger as he watched their captured souls defy him. He looked Lucian in the eye and held out his lantern, but the rogue souls dispelled any protection they had once offered.

    Lucian fired a searing, perfect burst.

    The bullets pierced through the Relentless Jailer's ghostly robe and burned his spirit form, turning him into a fiery inferno of light. Lucian advanced on Thresh; their twin weapons were on fire.

    The Relentless Jailer, howling in agony, was moving away from Lucian's ruthless curtain of fire, now that his spectral form did not have the power to withstand the attack of these weapons of ancient power.

    "Death has come for you," Lucian asserted. Accept it and be sure that I will make it meet its end.

    Thresh howled one last time before leaping off the bridge and falling into the city like a burning comet.

    Lucian watched it fall until the Black Mist swallowed it up.

    He fell to his knees.

    "Thank you, my love," Lucian said. My light.

    Strange associates

    The walls of the temple shook from the violence of the attack. Black mist oozed between the uneven floorboards and the cracks in the discarded glass of the windows. The door shuddered in its own frame. Desperate claws ripped through the wood. The echo of countless screams, like a gale of howls, beat against the uneven-beamed ceiling.

    -There! Miss Fortune screamed as she spotted countless mist-creatures staring with crimson eyes through the broken part of the wall that was once a series of Ionian tea boxes.

    He threw himself right in the middle of the wraiths. It was like jumping naked in the middle of an ice hole dug out of a glacier. Even the slightest touch with the dead absorbed heat and life.

    The coral earring burned and burned her skin.

    He grasped his stolen sword and began to pierce the creatures with it, feeling the same burning again as the last time. Its bullets were useless against the dead, but the Demacian sword could wound them. They were backing away; they backed away from her, yelling and snorting.

    Do the dead know fear?

    It seemed so, as they fled in terror from the shining edge of the sword. But he would not allow them to escape: he stabbed and stabbed the mist, no matter where it appeared.

    -That's it! Run! -scream.

    A girl screamed for help, and Miss Fortune immediately came to her rescue, before the mist could reach her. He lunged and caught her in his arms rolling on the ground to get her to safety. Cold claws dug into his back. Miss Fortune wheezed as a devastating cold crept through her limbs.

    He stabbed behind him, and something dead screamed horribly.

    A woman taking refuge behind an overturned bench reached out to catch up with the girl. Miss Fortune released her to run to her shelter. He had to strain to stand up; weakness ran through him like a raging infection.

    Gunshots and the clash of steel were heard everywhere, accompanied by howls and screams of terror.

    —¡Sarah! —Gritó Rafen.

    He looked up just to see how the oak bar that secured the door cracked from inch to inch. Rafen and a dozen men leaned their backs against the door in an attempt to contain the attack, but the door was beginning to give way, sinking inward with each knock. The cracks began to spread out, allowed into the eager hands of the mist. Misty phalanxes snatched a man whose cries, begging for mercy, cut off abruptly to disappear into the thick blackness.

    The arm of another man who was about to help him also disappeared into the mist.

    Rafen whirled and stabbed his dagger through the gap.

    Claws tore away the useless weapon in his hand.

    A howling body made its way through the collapsed door and plunged its hands into Rafen's chest. The lieutenant roared in pain; his face turned pale.

    Miss Fortune staggered toward him, almost out of strength now. His sword sliced ​​through the spectral arms and the creature screeched as it disappeared. Rafen collapsed on top of her, they fell together and were sprawled on the ship.

    Rafen gasped for breath; his countenance was as weak as hers.

    "Don't die on me, Rafen!" He wheezed.

    "It takes more than one dead to kill me," he growled. The bastard just took my breath away.

    A glass was broken somewhere on the ceiling. Overhead spirals of dark mist coalesced into a suffocating mass of hungry teeth, claws, and eyes.

    Miss Fortune tried to get to her feet, but she couldn't with her weary limbs. They gritted their teeth in helplessness. Only a few members of his company were still standing, and the people who took refuge in there did not know how to fight.

    The dead were entering.

    Miss Fortune turned and looked at Illaoi.

    The priestess was surrounded by her people, who continued to surround the statue with their ritual of fists and palms. It didn't seem like it was having any effect. The strange statue was still immobile and powerless.

    What did i expect? Come to life and drive out the dead like an iron golem from Piltover?

    "Whatever you're doing, do it faster!" Yelled Miss Fortune.

    A part of the roof broke off and flew into the storm surrounding the temple. A swirling column of spirits penetrated the place, landing like a tornado. Wraiths and other things that defied human comprehension broke out of the ghostly vortex to attack the living.

    Finally, the door gave way and finally opened. The woods were dry and rotten from the contact of the dead. The shrill sound of a hunting horn filled the temple, and Miss Fortune's hands rushed to cover her ears to ward off the deafening echoes.

    Hecarim stormed the temple, trampling the men propping up the gate with their bodies. The flaming glaive of the Shadow of War stripped them of their souls, and the icy fire on its edge lit the temple with an ominous blaze. His death knights rode in behind him, and the spirits already within the temple withdrew in recognition of Hecarim's infamous glory.

    "I made it clear that the dead are not welcome here," Illaoi bellowed.

    Miss Fortune looked up to see the priestess standing beside her, sturdy and stately. Pale light clung to his limbs and sparked the stone idol he held with his trembling hands. The veins in his neck bulged like hamstrings, his chin was tight, and sweat ran down his face like a stream.

    Whatever Illaoi was doing, it took a lot of effort.

    "These mortal souls are mine," Hecarim proclaimed. Miss Fortune couldn't help but recoil from the iron words her voice was emitting.

    "No, they are not," Illaoi countered. This is the house of Nagakabouros, whose position is opposite to that of the dead.

    "The dead will have what they claim," Hecarim stated, pointing his glaive at Illaoi's heart.

    The priestess shook her head.

    "Well, it won't be today," he replied. "Not while I can move."

    "You can't stop me."

    "As deaf as dead," Illaoi scoffed, grinning as a prominent glow emerged behind her. I didn't say that I was going to stop you.

    Miss Fortune turned and saw that the statue of spirals radiated a dazzling brilliance. A white light emanated from its surface; the shadows fled from his grasp. He covered his eyes as the glare increased, like twisting tentacles. The light dispelled the Black Mist completely upon touching it, exposing the twisted souls within it. The sinuous light chased the dead away; it purged the evil magic that had denied them their eternal rest for so long.

    Miss Fortune expected screams, but instead the dead cried with joy as their souls were released to continue on their way. Light streamed across the cracked walls, and Miss Fortune screamed after he touched her and removed the deadly numbness from her body with a blast of heat and life.

    The light of Nagakabouros surrounded Hecarim, and she saw the fear that caused him to think of the transformation it would bring about.

    What could be so frightening as to choose to remain cursed?

    "You can be free, Hecarim," Illaoi said. His voice was tired, almost at the limit of what he could bear, due to all those he had released. You can move on, live in the light as the man you always dreamed of being before his pain and folly brought you down.

    Hecarim roared and swung his glaive at Illaoi's neck.

    Miss Fortune's sword intercepted her and the collision produced a flash of sparks. He shook his head.

    "Get out of my city," he exclaimed.

    Hecarim retracted his glaive for a second attack, but before he could, the light reached him and pierced his veil of darkness. He bellowed in pain; his burning touch caused her to collapse. The rider's silhouette sparkled, as if they were two photographs in a case waving in the candlelight against the same curtain.

    Miss Fortune caught a glimpse of a tall horseman, clad in silver and gold armor. A handsome, imposing young man with dark eyes and a glorious future ahead of him.

    What happened?

    Hecarim roared and fled the temple.

    His knights of death and darkness went with him; a host of ragged and ragged spirits followed him.

    The light of Nagakabouros spread across Bilgewater like impending dawn. No one who has seen it could remember such a pleasant sight. It was like the first rays of sunshine after a storm, like the first hint of heat after a bitter winter.

    The Black Mist yielded to her; it was clouded in an agitated whirlwind of spirits shuddering with fear. Some of the dead faced each other in a kind of frantic struggle to get back to where they had come from, while others eagerly sought the liberating embrace of the light.

    Silence reigned once the Black Mist withdrew towards the ocean, in the direction of the cursed island where it demanded authority.

    Finally, dawn broke on the horizon, as a cleansing wind blew through the city and the people of Bilgewater breathed a collective breath.

    The Harrowing was over.

    On the move again

    Silence took over the temple. The complete lack of sound was a stark contrast to the chaos of just moments ago.

    "It's over," said a relieved Miss Fortune.

    "Until next time," Illaoi said wearily. The hunger of the Black Mist burns like a disease.

    -What did you do?

    -What I had to do.

    "Whatever it is, I appreciate it."

    Illaoi shook her head and put her powerful arm on Miss Fortune's shoulder.

    "Thank the goddess," Illaoi said. Make an offering. Something big.

    "I will," Miss Fortune replied.

    -You better. My god doesn't like empty promises.

    The underhanded threat exasperated her, and for a moment she thought of going through the skull with a bullet; but before he could feel the tickle of his pistols continue, Illaoi slumped like a broken topsail. Miss Fortune tried to hold her, but the priestess was too big to hold herself.

    They went face to face together against the floor.

    "Rafen, help me get her off my back," he pleaded.

    Together they supported Illaoi against a broken bench. They grumbled from the effort of having to lift their colossal weight.

    "Great Barbuda rose from the seas ..." Rafen said.

    "Don't be stupid, old man," Illaoi reproached. I already told you that Nagakabouros does not live under the sea.

    "So where does he live?" Rafen asked. In the sky?

    Illaoi shook his head and punched him in the heart. Rafen grunted and doubled over in pain.

    "That's where you'll find her."

    Illaoi smiled at the tangential nature of her response. Then his eyes closed.

    -She's dead? Rafen asked, rubbing his aching chest.

    Illaoi raised his arm and slapped him.

    Then he began to snore like a lung-sick longshoreman.

    Lucian sat on the edge of the bridge and watched the city emerge after the Black Mist had lifted. He had hated Bilgewater at first glance, but it revealed a hidden beauty as the light of dawn bathed its ceramic ceilings in a warm amber glow.

    A city reborn, like every time the Harrowing faded.

    An appropriate name for such a grim moment: the Horror, the Harrowing; but one that carried only a fraction of the sadness of its origins. Would anyone really understand the true tragedy of the Shadow Isles?

    And if so, would you mind?

    He turned around when he heard footsteps behind him.

    "It's a rather nice view from up here," Miss Fortune said.

    "But only from up here."

    "Yes, this is a vermin nest," Miss Fortune acknowledged. You meet good people and bad people, but I've been trying to get rid of the worst.

    "I am told, you started a war," Lucian said. There are those who say that you burned the whole house to kill a single rat.

    He saw a trace of courage appear on her face, which soon disappeared.

    "I thought I was improving everyone's situation," the captain said as she straddled the parapet. But things are just getting worse and I have to do something about it, now.

    "Is that why you ventured into the Black Mist?"

    The woman thought about it for a moment.

    "Maybe not at first," he replied. I let an eel slip off its hook when I killed Gangplank, and if I don't catch it and hook it back up, it's going to bite a lot of people.

    "An eel?"

    "What I mean is that when I overthrew the King of the Pirates, I didn't really know what would happen when he was gone." It didn't matter much to me either, ”he acknowledged. But I already saw what happens down there, when there is no one to take control. Bilgewater needs someone strong at the top, and there's no reason that someone shouldn't be me. The war has barely started, and the only way for it to end quickly is for me to win it.

    The silence between them stretched.

    -My answer is no.

    "I didn't ask anything."

    "You were going to do it," Lucian replied. You want me to stay and help you win this war, but I can't. Your fight is not my fight.

    "Could be," Miss Fortune argued. The pay is good and you would be killing a lot of wicked, and saving a lot of innocent souls.

    "There's only one soul I'm interested in saving," Lucian replied. And I won't save her in Bilgewater.

    Miss Fortune nodded and offered her hand.

    "Then I say goodbye and wish you a good hunt," he said, already on his feet and brushing the dust off his pants. I hope you find what you're looking for. Just keep in mind that you can lose yourself in revenge.

    Lucian watched her hobble back toward the ruined temple, as the survivors stumbled out into the daylight. He thought he understood what was motivating him, but he had not the faintest idea what he felt.

    Revenge? His mission went beyond revenge.

    His beloved was under the torment of an undying specter, a creature of ancient times who understood suffering more than anyone.

    Miss Fortune didn't understand a fraction of his pain.

    Lucian sat up and looked up at the sea.

    The ocean had calmed down. It was a vast expanse of emerald green.

    There was already movement of people on the docks; people repairing boats and rebuilding their homes. Bilgewater never stopped, not even after the aftermath of the Harrowing. He glanced at the forest of rocking masts; I was looking for a boat that was not badly damaged. Perhaps he could convince a desperate captain to take him to his destination.

    "I'm coming for you, my light," he said. And I will set you free

    The fisherman grumbled as he scrambled with the stern winch to yank the big man out of the water. The rope was frayed, and he was sweating in the icy air as he tugged on the handle.

    "By the hairs on your bearded chin, you are a huge bastard, sure you are," he complained, hooking him to the armor with a harpoon and setting him on the billowing deck. He was on the lookout for predators, from the surface or from the depths.

    It was not long after the Black Mist receded for many ships to launch into the sea. The waters were teeming with looters, and if you weren't quick, you'd be left with nothing.

    He was the first to spot the man adrift, and had to fight six sewer thugs before he could reach him. Be struck by lightning if some slag from the pier managed to steal this loot.

    The large man had been floating on a bed of what looked like the remains of a giant krakensierpe. Its tentacles were battered and swollen with noxious gases, which were what kept the figure of the big man and his armor afloat.

    He released the man on deck and leaned him by the gunwale before taking a diagnostic look at his body.

    A heavy iron chainmail composed of rings and scales, sturdy, fur-lined boots, and a magnificent ax hung from his armor belt.

    -Oh yeah. I'm going to win some krakens with you, sweetheart, ”he said, dancing a merry jig on his ship. Some krakens of course!

    The big man coughed and spat out brackish water.

    "Am I still alive?" -I ask.

    The fisherman stopped his merry jig and slid one of his hands in search of the long knife at his belt. He used it to gut fish. He didn't see why he couldn't use it to cut a person's throat. It would not be the first time that a rescuer helped someone find the Great Barbuda to claim their loot.

    The big man opened his eyes.

    "Touch that knife again and I'll cut you into more pieces than that bloody krakensierpe."

    References

    http://lan.leagueoflegends.com/es/site/bilgewater/#

    http://lan.leagueoflegends.com/es/site/shadow-and-fortune/index.html

     v · eRuneterra geography
    Value Nations
    • Demacia
    • FrĂ©ljord
    • Noxus
    • PiltĂłver
    • fence
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Howling Abyss
    • Ironspike Mountains
    • Lokfar
    • The great barrier
    Shurima Nations
    • PiltĂłver
    • fence
    • Icathia
    • Ixtal
    • Mount Targon
    • Shurima desert
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Crystal Scar
    • Ixtal Jungle
    • Kalamanda
    • God
    • Serpentine River
    Ionia and Oceanic Nations
    • Stagnant Waters
    • Ionia
    • Shadow Islands
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Butcher's Bridge
    • Conqueror Sea
    • Guardian Sea
    • Islands of the Blue Flame
    • The Twisted Forest
    Other Kingdoms Nations
    • Bandle City
    • Mount Targon
    • Emptiness
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • The clear
    • Emptiness
    Disputed Locations
    • Howl Marsh
    • Kaladoun
    • Kaladoun Swamps
    • Mogron Pass
    • Jungle of the Plague
    • Urtistan
    • Voodoo lands
    Alternate Universe Locations
    • Cosmic Ruins
    • Crash site
    • War Institute
    • Magma Chamber
    • Proving ground
    • Substructure 43
    • Summoner's Rift
    • Valoran City Park
    Game Location
    • Butcher's Bridge
    • Cosmic Ruins
    • Crash site
    • Crystal Scar
    • Howling Abyss
    • War Institute
    • Magma Chamber
    • Proving ground
    • Substructure 43
    • Summoner's Rift
    • The Twisted Forest
    • Valoran City Park

    Wildlife

    • Country
    • Sea

    The Land and coastal areas house an large assortment of astounding creatures, such as: Wharf Rats and Scuttler Crabs Scuttler Crabs. There are also more mundane creatures inhabiting the coastlines and docks such as seagulls. Various monsters from across Runeterra are shipped through the black market, trained extensively and sold as living commodities for entertainment, industrial use or simply as loyal underlings. The illegal trade is especially prevalent in a pirate haven such as Bilgewater. As is the principle in the black market trade, those who pay more Krakens undoubtedly get better monsters than those who pay less. Examples of these mercenary beasts are: Ironbacks Ironbacks, Ocklepods Ocklepods, Plundercrabs Plundercrabs, and Razorfins Razorfins.

    Wharf Rat

    A Warf Rat and her young.

    Wharf Rats a terrifying blend of shark and rat commonly found on the docks of Bilgewater. These creatures are larger than dogs and are known to prey upon drunks and lone fishermen on moonless nights. They often travel in packs, and are easily capable of biting a man's leg off.

    Scuttler Crab

    Scuttler Crab Scuttler Crab or Rift Scuttler lives in the fresh waters of Valoran and can be found near the docks of Bilgewater and in Summoner's Rift. They are small green-shelled crustaceans with 3 pairs of legs and one pair of front claws. They sometimes bury themselves into the muck of the river to avoid predators and are known to either avoid or flee from dangers. To confer peaceful resolution (Hence the elusive pacifist nickname) to the force that subdues it, it will grant them them a boon: a persistent field around it that grants vision and magical speed to the aggressor and its allies.

    In Bilgewater one can come across many astounding creatures brought from the dark and mysterious Guardian's Sea, such as: Dragon-Sharks, Sea Serpents, Giant Squid, Four-eyed Shark Creature and Kraken. There are also more mundane creatures inhabiting the sea, coastlines and docks such as: octopi, hammerhead sharks, devilfish, clams and fish.

    Hammerhead Sharks

    They are a ocean dwelling species of sharks native to the Guardian's Sea and Bilgewater. Their brown hide is rough, almost scale like. They head is in the shape of a hammer with two pairs of eyes and also have five fins for movement.

    Giant Squid

    Giant Squids are a deep-ocean dwelling species of squid native to the Guardian's Sea. They tend to be the size of a house, although some are said to grow even bigger, and can sometimes attack smaller ships. They are also usually hunted for either food or sport, the latter of which is just as dangerous as the former.

    Krakens

    Krakens are large serpent/octopi-like species that have been sighted in the Guardian's Sea. They possess a set of tentacles and five eyes, two pairs and one large one at the center of the forehead. The mythos behind this species is so well known on the Blue Flame Islands and that many structures in honor of this species were constructed by the original denizens of Bilgewater. Their image has been used for the currency of Bilgewater, know as Krakens Golden Krakens.

    Sea serpent

    Sea Serpents are a large species of ocean dwelling serpents native to the Guardian's Sea. They presents on the sea is so well known be the denizens of Bilgewater that their nations crest and Silver Serpents currency is a Sea Serpent. They can also be summoned by serpent callers. One account from the Harrowing records the might of these creatures, having halted the progress of the Black Mist before it reached Bilgewater, though the beast was slain in the process.  v Â· eRuneterra geography
    Value Nations
    • Demacia
    • FrĂ©ljord
    • Noxus
    • PiltĂłver
    • fence
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Howling Abyss
    • Ironspike Mountains
    • Lokfar
    • The great barrier
    Shurima Nations
    • PiltĂłver
    • fence
    • Icathia
    • Ixtal
    • Mount Targon
    • Shurima desert
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Crystal Scar
    • Ixtal Jungle
    • Kalamanda
    • God
    • Serpentine River
    Ionia and Oceanic Nations
    • Stagnant Waters
    • Ionia
    • Shadow Islands
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • Butcher's Bridge
    • Conqueror Sea
    • Guardian Sea
    • Islands of the Blue Flame
    • The Twisted Forest
    Other Kingdoms Nations
    • Bandle City
    • Mount Targon
    • Emptiness
    Geographic Regions and Locations
    • The clear
    • Emptiness
    Disputed Locations
    • Howl Marsh
    • Kaladoun
    • Kaladoun Swamps
    • Mogron Pass
    • Jungle of the Plague
    • Urtistan
    • Voodoo lands
    Alternate Universe Locations
    • Cosmic Ruins
    • Crash site
    • War Institute
    • Magma Chamber
    • Proving ground
    • Substructure 43
    • Summoner's Rift
    • Valoran City Park
    Game Location
    • Butcher's Bridge
    • Cosmic Ruins
    • Crash site
    • Crystal Scar
    • Howling Abyss
    • War Institute
    • Magma Chamber
    • Proving ground
    • Substructure 43
    • Summoner's Rift
    • The Twisted Forest
    • Valoran City Park


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