The Howl of Noxus

Already posted this in the comments of the original post, but figured I'd leave it here for anyone who's interested, enjoy! Aggression, discipline, relentlessness - That’s how the warrior Darius earned tremendous respect in Noxus. With a sinister and strict stare, his mighty and terrifying Battleaxe firm in hand, he glanced out of the stone round arch window. A self-confident grin flickered across his scarred face. He had drastic changes in mind for Noxus’ future, pridefully dead set upon them being successful. He looked over his shoulder as he heard a faint, hoarse laugh. Full of enthusiasm, Draven swung his axes, threw a questioning glance at Darius. “It’s time, isn’t it, brother?” A short, ominous silence followed that question, Darius just gazed into the Distance. He turned around slowly and looked sternly into his brother's crazy eyes, while he stroked the ragged blade of his mighty axe with his bare hand - “It is time already,” Weeks passed as the Noxian army commanded by Darius and his brother marched through the scorching heat of the Shuriman landscape. Their red banners buffeted with sand and their knees ached with exhaustion. They pressed onward. The harsh, desolate dunes felt endless, half their supplies were destroyed from the earlier Xer'sai attack, and a quarter of their men with them, morale was low and even Darius himself began to feel the futile ambition of his campaign creeping behind him. However, after what felt like hours, he faintly saw a cave in the distance, a place to recover and rejuvenate with what little they had left, a hope that this conquest wasn't fruitless. In the shade, the battalion regained its strength, ate and spoke amongst themselves, Darius, on the other hand, stood brooding at the back end of the cave system, both hands rested on the pommel of his axe, rummaging in his thoughts, thinking about the future of Noxus, and the massive threat now posed to it: Garen, first Demacian guard, now God-king, a being of immeasurable strength that stood to annihilate the likes of the Noxian people, to create a world of order, of despotism, an absolute nightmare. He could not let this stand, yet even he, despite his strength and renown, felt humbled against his rival, a taste of disgust goes through his mouth. "Brother, when should the men continue the march?" Draven intruded, with his ever so frustrating grin plastered on his face. "Command them to get into formation, I will follow shortly." With that and a final brooding glare into the black abyss that was the rest of the cave, the general picked himself up and slowly walked out into the sweltering sun once more, mind set on one thing and one thing alone: Godhood. Yet, as these thoughts began to swirl, he saw his commanded battalion of hundreds stand in perfect formation before him. Each and every one of them a proud Noxian soul, clad in gray steel wielding swords and spears and each one more loyal to their nation, and their general than the next, all of their collective strength and force of will cemented to follow whatever orders are given to them. Their numbers may have dwindled, but Darius knew they would not fail him. After hours of continued exhaustion, the sun finally set, coloring the sandy horizon in a golden brown hue, a welcome change as the lunar glow began bathing the desert, vanquishing the heat and the searing light. Through the darkness, Darius finally saw the silhouette of what he hoped was the goal he's been tirelessly working towards, a massive structure, made of dark granite and alloy that still housed a shine despite what must have been an eternity of being weathered by sandstorms, with blood red jewels peppering its massive entrance and a height that reached to the clouds, it was here: The temple of the God-king. Darius brandished his battle axe and grabbed a lantern, before commanding Draven and his men to stand guard at the entrance, much to his brother's discontent as he heard his dissatisfied complaints on his way in. But that didn't matter to him then, nothing did, nothing except for finally being able to tear down Garen's vision of a world subjugated to his will. As he walked into the temple his vision was severely limited, the place was so colossal it was almost as if it was built to house entire cities, yet as his aimless trek finally reached what seemed to be the great hall of the temple. The room was in shambles, from long metal tables set to feed hundreds split in half and destroyed to enormous cracks and craters on the bejeweled floor patterns. Yet the centerpiece of this empire of ruins was the throne set high above everything else, ivory white arched and layered with a golden outline above a large flight of stairs, still in perfect condition, still inhabited by the corpse of its ruler. Darius composed himself as he attempted to process the overwhelming sight before him, he felt a small nudge of fear, birthed of the unknown that he has just been absorbed into, but he was no fool, he has come too far to turn away now. With distinction in his figure, he took his first steps onto the spotless ivory stairs, one step after the other the throne got closer, the power of the corpse still lying on it emanating stronger the closer it got, but he wouldn't stop, he kept walking towards it until he was a hair's length away. Both the body and the throne that housed it was sizeable, the fallen warrior no less than double Darius's size and covered in dark, thick armor that from inspection seemed almost impervious, and still the fallen king clenched his axe, smoldering red and shaped like a wolf's head. Darius attempted to hide his amazement from himself and watched the axe sternly, slowly reaching for it before it exploded in a bloody cloud of smoke the second he touched it, throwing him all the way to the bottom of the stairs and back first into the ground, knocking the wind, and almost the consciousness, out of him. As he rose from the ground with his aching muscles, he saw the horror before him: a bloodthirsty wolf so large that its maw alone could devour Darius whole, its fur of a menacing violet-red hue and its growl reverberating off the walls of the room with the intent to kill in its fiery eyes. It leaped into the air and honed onto the injured general, Darius considered his options and with all the might he could muster held his axe towards the beast, and as it connected it knocked him into a wall but left a massive, bleeding gash on the wolf's snout, recoiling it backwards, not nearly enough to kill it but allowed for a few precious seconds of composure. As Darius stood on his feet once more, he took charge towards the visibly angered wolf, he leaped into its side, dodging what would've been a lethal bite and slashed at its leg, the wolf's titanic claws however, reacted by cutting his steel shoulder pad in half, leaving a large flesh wound coursing through his arm. He took off the plate and was left to fight the beast bare-chested, it felt hopeless, it had claws that cut through steel and speed defiant of its gigantic size, but Darius persisted, sweat on his brow and adrenaline pushing him to his bodily limits. He charged once more with a roar, almost mindlessly, but as the beast mirrored him and launched itself forward, Darius feinted his attack and dropped below the creature, embedding his axe into its underside. The wolf dropped with a weeping howl and the general stood up almost immediately and in opportunistic fashion began landing punch after punch onto the wolf's snout. The battering continued, but the hound finally took action and with lighting fast speed opened its bleeding maw to devour its aggressor, Darius held the maw open with all his strength, but it was waning. Both fighters stared at each other viciously as they stood in this standstill, the wolf's teeth slowly piercing Darius's arms, both their wounds seeping blood into the cracks of the chamber floor. Darius was supposed to give out, his muscles were torn and his body wounded, but he wouldn't move. The wolf pushed forward with everything it could but no matter the damage he sustained, the general would not fall. Five minutes passed. Ten. Both continued to stare down at each other, muscles aching and waiting for the other to give out, but neither of them would on account that the slightest movement could mean death. Eventually, the brute feinted backward and away, and to Darius's surprise, bowed its head before him, with droplets of blood still falling to the ground, as if it was almost oblivious to all the wounds it has sustained, or the axe still stuck in its underside. With confusion, and then caution, Darius extended his hand onto its head, and almost instantly, the wolf dispersed into the same blood red smoke. The vapor entered Darius through his eyes and mouth, he felt immeasurable agony, trivializing the pain he had just sustained in the fight, his eyes shone white hot as his body was about to burst but as soon as he felt his end approached, everything went black. Upon waking up, Darius saw before him the very same wolf, docile and waiting in anticipation for his rise. Not long after it was clear what had happened. He was clad in the very same armor worn by the dead God-king, he held the wolf-shaped axe, and everything was sizeably smaller, even the wolf which was a behemoth just minutes before. He could feel the power now running through him, his strength felt endless and uncontested, and the wolf, now more loyal to him than any soldier could be. The Hand of Noxus had become what he had hoped to destroy, he had become a God-king. He walked up the stairs to the throne, each thud echoing across the room, raised the axe into the air, and cut the gold and ivory throne, as well as the body lying on it, clean in half. "No more rulers, No more gods." He said under his breath, followed by a booming howl from his newfound ally. A howl so loud and sharp that the entirety of Runeterra was witness to it. Especially, Garen who for the first time in what felt like an eternity, felt a tinge of fear in his heart.

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