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One of the reasons Piltover is known as the City of Progress is because it has an extraordinarily low crime rate.
This hasn't always been the case; brigands and thieves of all sorts used to find the city-state an ideal mark for plunder, primarily due to the valuable resources it imports to fuel its techmaturgical research. Some even theorize that it would have fallen long ago to the chaos of organized crime if not for Caitlyn, the Sheriff of Piltover.
Born the daughter of a wealthy statesman and a pioneering hextech researcher, Caitlyn discovered her natural gift for investigation when, at age 14, her father was assaulted and robbed on his way home. She snuck out of her house that night with her father's rifle and tracked down the muggers from the crime scene.
At first, her parents did their best to discourage her from such risky hobbies, but she was incorrigible. Wishing to protect her daughter in the only way she knew how, Caitlyn's mother began outfitting her with techmaturgical devices tailored to her sleuthing needs.
Caitlyn quickly gained notoriety, both because she was single-handedly defeating crime in Piltover and also because she soon developed into a ravishing beauty. She never backed down from a case or a challenge, and she was one of the sharpest shots in the city-state.
Her services were soon requested by Demacia to help track down a mysterious outlaw who had begun committing high-profile heists. The bandit, who always left a card with an ornate 'C' at the scene of the crime, became Caitlyn's nemesis.
To this day, Caitlyn still searches for this cat burglar, and the chase has led her all across Valoran. She has joined the League to hone her skills and gain the influence necessary to track down the only quarry that has managed to evade her.
- 31 December, 20 CLE
Caitlyn enters the Great Hall with a series of whirs and clicks, as the lenses extending down from her hat adjust to allow her to study the space in meticulous detail. She has a long rifle slung over her shoulder, and she bears its weight so comfortably one would doubt she's ever without it. Her ensemble is as alive with the activity of gears as it is revealing, both facets competing for attention.
She takes the room in with the eye of an investigator, noting the placement of all objects. She scrutinizes the marble doors to the Reflecting Chamber with grim determination. Satisfied that she could analyze a crime scene there later if necessary, she pushes through the doors.
The darkness weighed on her skin like dew after a long stakeout, cool and sobering. As if in response to the thought, she heard the light patter of rain on cobblestone behind her. Startled, she spun around too quickly, banging her elbow against something solid. The 'something' was a grimy brick wall on which a sinewy creature reminiscent of the Baron Nashor was graffitied in glorious detail. With conditioned skepticism, her eyes panned from the wall down the long alleyway next to her. She caught a gasp before it left her throat. Resilience Way. No matter how many hours she'd spent there, the place always gave her chills. Her gaze went to the sky, where she could see the spire of Constance Tower casting its familiar light out over the city, reminding Demacians never to slacken the grip on their ethical reins. Sadly ironic that the same tower allowed the fugitive, the mysterious 'C', to escape when he was so nearly within her grasp.
She could recall every detail of the day on a whim. It sat in her memory like a picture of a dead lover taped to a mirror, there to remind you of what you could have had. The pursuit began in the lobby of the Artificer's Guild Hall in Demacia's crowded Honor Square. A student studying Advanced Techmaturgical Wafer Fabrication had, by chance, stopped at the Guild in order to speak with Moraj Wossit about her requirements for Guild entry. Wossit was some Average Joe paper-pusher who, unbeknownst to her and his superiors, had been ditching work early on Thursdays while he got, as he put it, 'elective stress therapy'. Caitlyn had heard that line enough to know that he meant 'something my wife and kids shouldn't know about'. So much for Demacia's bastion of morality, although in retrospect he could have just been watching a late League match with a brew for how tightly wound the city-state had its people. In any case, the student happened to barge into his office and found his desk in disarray with the window open. She retrieved a supervisor who, concerned, contacted the local authorities.
Caitlyn had been in town investigating the last enigmatic card that 'C' had left. It was the fourth in a series of roughly identical cards he'd left at the scenes of his heists. All of them bore only a single character: 'C'. This one was left in place of the Celestial Crystal stolen from Freljord's Dervish Crystal Hall. She'd determined that he chose paper stock in slightly different shades to let her know which part of Valoran he planned to hit next. There was some meaning to the ink and font he used, but she hadn't cracked that yet at the time. Thanks to his earlier theft of the Greatsword of Milthorn from Demacia's Royal Palace, Caitlyn had deduced that he meant to show up there again, and she was speaking with the constable when the message came from Guild Hall. She accompanied the constable there on a hunch, and when they arrived, the lobby was rife with security goons.
The supervisor had been mindful enough to check the Senior Artificer's office, where Wossit had been provisioned with special access. When he got there, the office was in a similar state of chaos. Most importantly, the treasured Helm of the Protector, which had been carried to Demacia years before by League Champion Poppy, was missing from an open safe. It had been entrusted to the Artificer's Guild for some kind of magical tune-up, and the Guild monkeys had assured Caitlyn that the whole operation had been completely hush-hush. In the safe another card waited, mocking her inability to decipher its clues.
Security locked the building down immediately. Caitlyn was listening to the Chief of Security's recounting when she noticed one security officer who kept depriving her of a square look at his face. It was incidental enough to seem unimportant, but after five minutes of distracted glances, she decided to strike up a conversation. She made it a solid four steps in his direction before he bolted for the stairs.
She chased him up ten flights of stairs, never breaking stride. She reached the roof just in time to see him swinging away on a line affixed to the top of the Constance Tower. As he swung, it was clear that he'd calculated this escape to reach the roof of the Gillson's Training Hall. This was too close to let him slip away, so she leveled her rifle and took aim for a leg. Her quarry had slipped up this time, as he could not deviate from his path, and timing her shots was what Caitlyn did best.
She pulled the trigger.
In a flash, the perpetrator fell from the line. Caitlyn didn't understand; the bullet shouldn't have hit so soon. Time slowed to a crawl as she watched him descend through the air. She watched until he disappeared between the buildings and dashed back down the stairs.
And here she was again. Standing in Resilience Alley where he fell. There were witnesses everywhere who saw him fall into the alley, and yet it was empty. No body, no blood, no explanation for how he could have survived, and nobody saw him leave. That night, she sat there in that raining dump of an alley for hours, searching for an answer.
As though responding to the memory, a panel in the soaking cobblestone floor slid open.
Caitlyn leapt back, jerking her rifle off her shoulder in a practiced motion and training it on the hole. A low chuckle echoed out from the darkness.
"Tricky, aren't I?" A voice said.
Caitlyn couldn't come to grips with the situation quickly enough. "Step out slowly!"
"Nah, I'm not gonna do that." The voice was tinged with amusement.
"I'll give you 'til the count of three. If you aren't in plain sight with your hands up, I'm just going to use the muzzle flash from this rifle to light my way." Caitlyn was accustomed to overcoming obstacles. "One... "
"You won't do it, you don't have the - "
"You know if you shoot me, you'll never find out how I - "
"Three." Caitlyn pulled the trigger, but the gun clicked hollowly.
"Why do you want to join the League, Caitlyn?" The voice was suddenly solemn.
"I'll ask the questions here! Who - " She didn't like being interrogated.
"Why do you want to join the League, Caitlyn?" There was a level of control in the voice that caused a sense of dread to creep up her spine.
"You already know the answer to that question or you wouldn't have taken me here." She waited, but no response came. "He's the only case I've had to leave open. I'll become better. I'm going to catch him, and the League will be my tool to do just that."
"How does it feel, exposing your mind?" The question came in a whisper from behind her ear, and the trap door in the alley snapped shut. She whirled about, but all she saw were the ornate marble doors of the Institute. Behind her lay the path to becoming a champion.
"If you want a piece of my mind, just ask next time. I'll save you the song and dance." She smirked, knowing that she was being watched, before slinging her rifle over her shoulder and continuing into the League.
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