Truth Lies Just Beneath the Surface by Kamil Jadczak, 2014. Related Posts: - Silent Sundays: La Bête du Gévaudan (2010)
the Loose Cannon
Jinx lives to wreak havoc without a thought for the consequences, leaving a trail of mayhem and panic in her wake. A manic and impulsive criminal, she despises nothing more than boredom, and gleefully brings her own volatile brand of pandemonium to the one place she finds dullest: Piltover. With an arsenal of deadly toys, she unleashes the brightest explosions and loudest blasts - all the better to shock and surprise the hapless authorities. Always just out of the law’s reach, Jinx’s favorite game is to toy with Piltover’s finest - especially Vi.
Piltover had long been known as the City of Progress, a place where peace and order reigned. That serenity was challenged when a new kind of criminal arrived, the likes of whom had never been seen. This mysterious outlaw unleashed a series of warped and destructive capers that endangered the entire city, and left its people reeling from the worst crime spree in Piltover’s history.
As the string of crimes without rhyme or reason hit the city, sightings of the lawbreaker emerged. Though the young woman’s origins were a mystery, some saw traces of Piltover hextech in her firearms, while others described the street fashions of Zaun in her dress. Because her arrival always brought trouble with it, those who crossed her path soon gave her a name: Jinx.
As Jinx’s rampage escalated, Caitlyn - the sheriff of Piltover - responded by declaring a state of emergency and organizing a city-wide manhunt. In typical Jinx fashion, the criminal marked the Piltover treasury, the city’s most secure building, with a direct challenge to its most abrasive officer. With a caricature of Vi’s face splashed across the treasury’s facade, and a scribbled time and date of her supposed raid, Jinx was openly daring the enforcer to stop her from robbing it.
Determined to put the troublemaker behind bars, Vi watched and waited outside the treasury until Jinx’s time had finally come. True to her scrawled promise, the smiling menace showed her face. Knowing this was her chance to capture the outlaw, Vi gave chase into the building’s interior. She smashed through wall after wall to chase down Jinx, who giggled as she lit up the evacuated treasury with fiery explosions. Vi finally cornered the criminal inside the vault, but Jinx wasn’t done just yet. With a maniacal laugh, she fired a barrage of rockets, bringing the entire building down upon them both.
When Vi finally crawled out of the ruins, the battered enforcer found no trace of Jinx. Adding insult to injury, not a single ounce of gold had been taken from the ruined vault. Instead, the criminal left a parting message to her favorite officer of the law - a challenge only now visible through the gaping opening in Piltover’s skyline. The lights of the city spelled out a simple taunt: you’ll never catch me. As Vi read the message, she heard the distant laughter of her new nemesis, and the city plunged into utter darkness for the very first time.
”Oh look - I’m opening my box of care! Oh wait - it’s empty!”
the Piltover Enforcer
To Vi, every problem is just another brick wall to punch through with her gigantic hextech gauntlets. Though she grew up on the wrong side of the law, Vi now uses her criminal know-how to serve Piltover’s police force. Vi’s brash attitude, abrasive humor, and blatant refusal to follow orders can often infuriate her by-the-books partner, Caitlyn. But even the sheriff of Piltover cannot deny that Vi is an invaluable asset in the fight against crime.
As a child growing up in the lawless outskirts of Piltover, Vi learned to rob and cheat to get by. Stealing and stripping hextech hardware gave her the skills of a master mechanic, while life on the streets taught her self-reliance. When she was six, a ragtag group of criminals took a shine to the young delinquent and brought her into their fold. By the time Vi was eleven, she had become a seasoned accomplice, and she relished the thrill of every heist.
Vi’s attitude changed when a raid on a mining facility went bad. She was forced to decide between fleeing with her crew and trying to save the innocent mine workers from a collapsed tunnel. Vi chose to play the hero. While searching for a way to free the mine workers from the rubble, she discovered a damaged robotic mining rig. Improvising, she wrenched off its huge fists and modified them into makeshift hextech gauntlets. Fitting the heavy weapons to her tiny hands, the young girl flexed her arm and threw a powered punch at the rubble. The force of the blow blasted away the rock. With the workers free to escape, Vi fled the scene.
After that job gone wrong, Vi severed her connection to the crew. She returned to a life of solitary crime, but stole only from other criminals. As the years went by, Vi modified and improved her hextech fists, allowing her to bust up heists and snatch loot with ease. Eventually, word of her notoriety reached Caitlyn, the famed Sheriff of Piltover. Rather than seek Vi’s arrest, Caitlyn offered the criminal a way to pay her debt to society: work for the law in Piltover. Vi laughed. To her, a job that let her beat up crooks without forcing her to run from the cops sounded perfect. She immediately accepted. Caitlyn now struggles to keep Vi in line, and Vi treats Caitlyn’s orders as mere suggestions, but when they work together, they are feared by all lawbreakers in Piltover.
”It’s a shame. I’ve got two fists, but you’ve only got one face.”
the Ice Witch
Lissandra’s magic twists the pure power of ice into something dark and terrible. With the force of her black ice, she does more than freeze - she impales and crushes those who oppose her. To the terrified denizens of the north, she is known only as ”The Ice Witch.” The truth is much more sinister: Lissandra is a corruptor of nature who plots to unleash an ice age on the world.
Centuries ago, Lissandra betrayed her tribe to evil creatures, known as the Frozen Watchers, in return for power. That was the last day that warm blood ran through her veins. With her corrupted tribesmen and the strength of the Watchers, she swept across the land like a terrible blizzard. As her empire spread, the world grew colder and ice choked the land. When the Watchers were defeated by ancient heroes, Lissandra did not lose faith and swore to prepare the world for their return.
Lissandra worked to purge all knowledge of the Watchers from the world. Using magic to take human form, she masqueraded as numerous seers and elders. Over the course of generations, she rewrote the stories of the Freljord, and so the history of its people changed. Today the fragmented retellings of the Watchers are seen as children’s tales. But this deception wasn’t enough - Lissandra also needed an army.
She set her sights on the noble Frostguard tribe. Lissandra knew corrupting the Frostguard would take centuries, and so she launched her greatest deception. She murdered and stole the identity of the Frostguard leader. Then she slowly began to warp the tribe’s proud traditions. When her human form grew old, she faked her own death and then murdered her successor to steal her identity. With each generation, the Frostguard grew more insular, cruel and twisted. Today, the world still sees them as a noble and peaceful tribe that guards against evil creatures like the Ice Witch. In truth, they now serve the witch and long for the glorious return of the Watchers.
Lissandra knows that on that day nations will fall and the world will be reborn in ice.
”Close your eyes and let the cold take you.”
Hired Gun Lucian