The Trees Live!
- And they agree, it’s overrated
L.B. Briskes commenting from the Institute of War
It’s not often that I am the deliverer of breaking news. I prefer to leave the “Johnny-on-the-scene” shtick to the younger lot, whose wisdom is trumped by naïveté. Mind you, I don’t mean to downplay their efforts. After all, it is upon their broken, labored backs that my salary is generated. For that, the martini of my indifference is garnished with a modest olive of unspoken appreciation. (Those of you who would assert that vermouth would have made for a stronger metaphor have no business partaking of any beverage not distilled in a bathtub.)
Digression aside, it so happened that while most diligent young reporters were out “pounding the streets” or “keeping noses to grindstones” (or whatever hackneyed jargon the kids are peddling these days), I was attending a match on the Twisted Treeline. I’d nestled myself in the corner of the VIP area amongst a throng of noisy summoners who spent the better part of the pre-game festivities expounding the virtues of self-importance. Fortunately, they were preoccupied enough to afford me some privacy, a thing as rare and cherished as the overpriced hot dog I purchased from the Arena stands.
The match began as one would expect, with champions from Piltover and Zaun exchanging tiresome banter and moody glares. The action was painfully dull. I'd just risen to make an early exit when the crowd around me stood in unison to a chorus of gasps and shrieks. When I turned, what I beheld was something truly odd. A tree, part of the scenery, had suddenly become quite mobile. The champions, despite often being privy to sights which would cow or at least startle the average man, seemed to be in an equal state of shock. The collectively dropped jaw of all onlookers fell lower still as the rampaging arbor slew all six champions on the map.
His techniques were quite unusual. He was able to coax life into saplings, which he then hurled at his opponents, and which themselves attacked once they landed. All the while—as though walking were an insignificant evolution—the tree was talking! Unfortunately, perhaps too quickly adopting the common demeanor, he was whining incessantly about the recklessness of magic and the tragedy of upsetting nature.
I admit that I have previously allowed myself to muse on the topic of sentient plants, but never once had I envisioned them so eager to return to the drudgery of stillness and the eventual promise of fueling a fire, stabilizing a cart, or housing rodents.
Although the plants of my musings also didn't single-handedly dispatch a sextet of world-class combatants. Hmmm.
The rowdy band of summoners who had besieged my ears since I arrived did prove of some use in suppressing the plant. Descending to the Field, they managed to overwhelm it with magic, though I’m sure it would have surrendered voluntarily if exposed to their incessant conversation. One Noxian summoner even saw fit to destroy the poor tree, but he was restrained by the others – a sideshow far more entertaining than the match.
The tree was quickly whisked away to receive the League's patented poking and prodding, and I departed quickly while others lingered to discuss how they suddenly found something worth discussing. I later learned that a lowly minion summoner had given the earliest warning, stating that one of the nexuses seemed to destabilize for a moment just before the old oak made his debut. The League has issued assurances that the nexus has been examined and is thoroughly unlikely to explode, animate further flora, or otherwise kill you in your sleep.
All in all, the night will remain in my memory as one marked by a lack of disappointment. (Though it withers next to the teeth-clenched, vein-popped expression on Farnsley’s face when he was forced to request that I write this article.)
The Eye InsideRam Steed!
Henril Dreving commenting from Demacia
As you have already noticed, I am not Ram Steed.
Ram still lies unconscious on his bed at the Mercy Sanitarium in Demacia. The injuries he suffered at the hands of the Demon Jester, Shaco, have healed, but he still hasn't woken up. It's as if the deep stab wounds have ruptured his very will to live. Some days, it seems as if his restless spirit longs to come back into this world. On others, it seems as if it is ready to leave. Fortunately, those close to him have not left his side during this ordeal. Hopefully there is something in him that feels that love and wants to come back to it.
This is man who is willing to suffer for his journalistic integrity. Fans asked him to find and interview Shaco and, despite knowing the risks, Ram would not stop until he had that interview. There are many who claim that he is nothing more than a glorified gossip columnist (and those that say even worse), but Ram Steed is the kind of reporter that has proven that he is willing to put his life on the line for the people.
Reporting on the comings and goings of the League's champions seems insignificant right now. I'm quite certain that I couldn't do Ram Steed's column justice, so I won't even try. Instead, let's look at some of the letters of support that we've received regarding this tragedy.
“Speedy recovery, Steed. I wish you all the best! Oh, and I hope you don’t believe that a voluntary interview with Shaco qualifies for our wager about who would be shanked first.” – L. B. Briskes
“That Shaco’s barmier than a sailor in love with a sea cow! Best from all your mates down in Bilgewater!” – Cpt. Morgan Rackham
“I think the universe has a way of setting itself right. Ram’s interview is the perfect example of that.” – Bob Nashahago
“OMG BRO ARE YOU OK!??” – Vanwoot
“It seems like in your interview with Shaco that instead of asking 10 questions you asked 11 questions. this could of lead to Shaco stabbing you cause of it.” – RyKen BD
"Ramsteed, Ramsteed, Ramsteed.
Such a pity you may have missed the punchline.
But fair chance I say
since chance you played,
for did you merely expect
a judicator of death
to give you anything less
than what you should expect.
“You have interviewed Shaco as requested by Stimraug, and now it seems you may have to pay with your life. Be strong and hold on to life! Without you, the Journal of Justice wouldn’t be half as good.
I have been following the Journal for a while now. I look forward to every new issue, and now Shaco attempts to murder you? I hope that the Summoners of Valoran will stop summoning Shaco in the future.
People who do should be banished from Runeterra. I am certain that Shaco will receive his just punishment.
Thank you for doing what you do for the readers of the Journal of Justice. Be well soon!“
– Lymdil, Noxian Summoner
“Be brave Ram Steed!
You had the guts to do what millions of others will never dare, and this is why this informant position is yours! I sincerely hope that when you recover, you will be properly rewarded for your good and dedicated services to the League of Legends! I wish you a quick recovery and hope you will return as soon as possible.”
– Emporio nonov
“Hey, Ram... If you survive after your recent interview with Shaco, you should send him a letter to thank him for stabbing you nearly to death. Everyone knows that the ladies dig scars...”
Large Explosion Blows Crater in Road Outside Demacia
Newton Rook reporting from Demacia
Efforts to repair the road outside the Eastern Victory Gates began today in Demacia after a magical explosion blew open a crater late last week. The blast reportedly came from an overburdened rocket-cart operated by League Champion Heimerdinger as he drove away from the famous Demacian monument.
According to Demacia Security Captain Dolan Bladewalker, Heimerdinger was given special permission to leave the city only minutes before the blast. “As part of Demacian security regulations, city entrance checkpoints are outfitted with Piltovian Techmaturgical Sensors,” he said in an interview with the Journal of Justice. “Heimerdinger’s cart spiked off the charts! Galio happened to be there as part of a security checkpoint inspection, and he volunteered to escort Heimerdinger out as fast as possible.”
Witnesses say that Galio accompanied Heimerdinger 300 meters down the road leading east from Demacia when the vehicle began to emit smoke and a high-pitched whistling sound. The Revered Inventor waved his arms and leapt from the vehicle as Galio immediately shepherded away several pedestrians who were walking past. The explosion occurred minutes later, blowing open a hole in the ground that spanned the entire width of the road. No injuries were reported.
Demacian authorities say that Heimerdinger’s construction team was given permission to assist with the repairs as part of his commitment to maintaining good relations with the city-state.
A group of yordles wearing the logo of Piltover Customs, Heimerdinger’s workshop, on their suits appeared on the scene yesterday. Luxanna Crownguard and Heimerdinger were assessing the damage with Demacian surveyors when they arrived.
Heimerdinger made a statement soon after the event: “Months of experiments wasted! The techmaturgical frequencies emitted by that security checkpoint clearly conflicted with the delicate forces enchanting my new D.O.O.M. machine! However, I absolutely apologize for the destruction.”
The inventor continued on to explain why he was building a “D.O.O.M” machine in Demacia: “Demacia is located next to rare crystals that act as naturally inverted energy capacitors. They suck the magic right out of you! Anywhere else, I’d have to artificially simulate the process. Naturally, I set up a workshop at Demacia to expedite my work. It was when the explosive properties of my experiment became apparent that I decided it was best to take it out of the city. By the way, it isn’t ‘Doom Machine’; it’s D.O.O.M. machine–or Drain Out Of Mana machine.”
Luxanna Crownguard made a follow-up statement about the event: “We’ve had our differences on the League battlefield at times, but Heimerdinger is always welcome in our city. If he wants to continue his experiments, however, we ask that he clear it with Demacian officials first.”
The yordle maintenance team is expected to finish repairs by the coming weekend with the assistance of Demacian road workers.
When asked if he planned to restart his experiment, Heimerdinger replied: “Perhaps sometime in the future. Unfortunately, this work has already taken much of my time, and I must be off to research a new idea: how to turn the lights off with magic!”
The Mailbag of Justice
Senior Summoner Ralston Farnsley commenting from the Institute of War
Too often I feel I must take this opportunity to send my thoughts out to those suffering in the world. I’ve even been told that there will never be an end to pain, and that I ought to consider favoring more pleasant topics. However, I firmly believe that the road to a better society is paved with empathy, diligence, and the pursuit of truth, be it beautiful or ugly. These are the qualities I strive to promote in the Journal of Justice and its staff. With this said, our thoughts go out to the families of the Demacian miners trapped in Kalamanda. We wish for nothing more than their safe return.
“Is there any way to recover Sona's voice? Every time I summon her she talks to me in my head and I find her voice very lovable I was wondering if there was any way to help her?” – Summoner Anybody
Since her rise to fame, many doctors and mages have offered to help Sona recover her voice. Some have even taken steps to determine the cause of her mutism through divination, although to no avail. Sona has always maintained the same stance on the issue: anything she wants to say can be expressed through her instrument. In fact, she has written that the most wonderful part of conversing through her music is that the true meaning is never lost or misinterpreted, as can sometimes happen with words. On more than one occasion, she has stated that her mutism is both a gift and a defining aspect of her character.
“I am a simple summoner with a huge problem. I have a crush on Irelia. Why is this a problem? Well I am a Noxian and this star-crossed romance is not meant to be. So my real question is to Irelia: If I were to switch sides...could we maybe go on a date or something?” – Logano
Well, the ladies of the League are certainly no strangers to admirers, and typically these sorts of questions go unanswered. However, I happened to run into Irelia, and I mentioned your letter in passing. She requested that I publish a response:
“Dear Logano, I’m flattered that you would voice your feelings, and that you look beyond the outdated cultural barriers between our city-states. I would never ask a person to betray their beliefs or loyalties for me. I have suffered greatly at the hands of certain Noxians, but no person is defined by their banner, only by the choices he or she makes. This said, I must confess that my heart is taken. By who? That will be my little secret, at least until I’m caught by Mr. Steed.”
“Although the burning monk has sustained several injuries, I would like to know if there is news of his recovery. Was he able to regain his eyesight or does he have new "methods" of seeing the world? Has his recovery been rapid or is there still room to go? I understand that his fellow monks are skilled in healing martial arts but details would be nice.” – ChonC
The monks of the Shojin monastery have actually kept very tight-lipped about the whole affair. The monk who immolated himself has been sealed away since the event. Though I haven’t been able to get distinct details, I’m led to believe that he has not gotten his vision back. Publicly, all he has stated is the following: “The only vision I sought was one of a free Ionia. That I live to ‘see’ it is more glorious than anything my eyes ever beheld.” Beyond that, I do know that his health is stable, and there are rumors that he learned something during his dramatic protest that has changed him, although the story gets fuzzy beyond that.