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Posts Tagged ‘bilgewater’

 

GANGPLANK HAS RETURNED

 

Gangplank has survived Miss Fortune’s attack with only a metal arm to tell the tale. His classic skin has been updated to reflect this piece of the story and his current skin has been relegated to Captain Gangplank, which you’ll acquire for free if you played a matchmade game with GP during the Bilgewater Tides event.

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Here’s how his model looks now, stacked up next to his skins:

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Gangplank returns and the event end draws near

BY PABRO

TLDR: Bilgewater: Burning Tides sails away on August 10 at 10:00 BST. You can earn the free Captain Gangplank skin if you own the champion and play a full matchmade game with him (or if you’ve already played at least one) before the event ends.

The orchestrated spectacle of the Dead Pool’s destruction led many to believe that the dread reaver Gangplank perished in the flames. But what is dread may never die, and Gangplank returns to reclaim what he believes to be rightfully his.

Fitted with a new limb to replace the one he lost, the Saltwater Scourge will soon rain cannonballs down on Summoner’s Rift again after a brief stay on the PBE.

Since this is the first time we’ve done something so dramatic with story and theme, we’re commemorating the event with the Captain Gangplank skin depicting the dread pirate from before the events of Bilgewater: Burning Tides. All players who own and play (or have already played) an entire matchmade game as Gangplank during the event will receive the Captain Gangplank skin for free.

Captain Gangplank reflects a simpler time, when one uncrowned reaver king ruled over Bilgewater with an iron cutlass and a fearsome love of scrimshaw. While base Gangplank has been irrevocably changed by Miss Fortune’s masterful scheme, the Captain Gangplank skin hearkens back to before the pirate’s bloody fall.

With Gangplank’s return imminent and the conclusion of the story trailing the choppy wake behind Bilgewater: Burning Tides’ stern, the end of the in-game event draws ever closer.

Bilgewater: Burning Tides sails over the horizon in just over a week, stowing in its hold the bundles, merch, icon rewards, and game modes. Whether you’re looking to brawl in the black market, add the free Captain Gangplank skin to your wardrobe, or acquire any other Bilgewater spoils, you’ve got until August 10 at 10:00 BST.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far, and we’ll see you on the battlefields!

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chapter-heading-epilogue

EPILOGUECHAOS THE RUINED MAN PURPOSE

Bilgewater was devouring itself. The streets rang with the shrieks of the desperate and the dying. Fires burning in the lowly slums rained ash across the entire city. Control had been lost, and now every gang rushed to fill the power vacuum left by the fall of one man. A war had been started by the spread of three simple words: Gangplank is dead.

Savage ambitions and petty grudges that had festered for years were now being acted upon.

On the docks, a crew of whalers ran down a rival fisherman. They skewered him with harpoons and left his body hanging from a trotline.

At the highest peak of the island, tall opulent gates that had stood since Bilgewater’s founding were battered apart. A cowering gang lord was ripped from his bed by a rival. His mewling cries were silenced when his skull was dashed upon the hand-crafted marble of his own front steps.

Along the wharf, a fleeing Red Cap attempted to staunch a bloody head wound. He looked over his shoulder but could see no sign of his pursuers. The Jagged Hooks had turned on the Caps. He had to get back to the safe house to warn his crew.

He rounded the corner, screaming for his brothers to gather their arms and join him. But his thirst for blood dried in his throat. Standing in front of the Red Caps’ own den was a band of Hooks. Their blades dripped with gore. At their head, a wiry figure, barely a man, creased his pock-marked face with a vicious grin.

The Red Cap had time to utter one last curse.

Across the bay, off a quiet back alley, a physician attempted to ply his trade. The gold he had been handed was plenty to buy his services – and assure his silence.

It had taken half an hour to peel the sodden coat from the sloughing flesh of his patient’s arm. The doctor had seen many horrific injuries before, but even he recoiled at the sight of the mangled limb. He paused for a moment, terrified of the response his next words would provoke.

“I… I’m sorry. I can’t save your arm.”

Within the shadows of the candlelit room, the bloodied ruin of a man composed himself before staggering to his feet. His good hand shot out like a lash and wrapped around the throat of the quivering doctor. He lifted the surgeon slowly, measuredly off the floor and pinned him to the wall.

For a terrible moment, the brute stood impassively, considering the man in his grasp. Then he abruptly dropped him.

Lost in panic and confusion, the healer coughed violently as the shadowed mass strode to the back of the room. Passing through the light of the surgeon’s lantern, the patient reached for the top drawer of a well-worn cabinet. Methodically, the man opened each drawer searching for what he needed. Finally, he stopped.

“Everything must have a purpose,” he said, looking at his mutilated arm.

He pulled something from the case, and threw it to the doctor’s feet. There, glinting under the lantern was the clean steel of a bonesaw.

“Cut it off,” he said. “I’ve got work to do.”

 

 

Mystery skins return

Wizardcrab New Portrait The Dead Pool may be sitting atthe bottom of the sea, but not all of its treasure is lost. During the final week of Bilgewater: Burning Tides, Mystery Skins and Mystery Chests are back in the store!

Here’s the twist: During Bilgewater: Burning Tides, for every six mystery items you purchase for yourself or friends, you’ll receive a free Mystery Skin after the event ends!

Mystery Chest – 790 RP

Mystery Skin – 490 RP

Mystery Chests cost 790 RP, guaranteeing an unowned skin worth 975 RP or more.

Mystery Skins cost 490 RP, guaranteeing  an unowned skin worth 520 RP or more.

You have until 02:00 PDT on August 10 to earn bonus Mystery Skins, so get ahold of one before they sail away.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]

 

BILGEWATER BURNING TIDES ACT 3

Act Three of Riot’s Bilgewater event is now up on the promo site.

 

Live the Event

Explore the World

Act Three Lore

[ Note ] You can check out all the upcoming pirate-themed content HERE.

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CAPTAIN FORTUNE

Captain Fortune is now available for hire at 975 RP.

 

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MODEL

Miss Fortune Skin 1 Miss Fortune Skin 2

 

Recall Banner

Miss Fortune Recall

 

 

EXPLORE THE WORLD

You can explore waters around the Slaughter docks HERE.

Dead Pool

 

 

chapter-heading-act-3-part-1

ACT THREE PART ONE

BLOOD TRUTH DEATHS DAUGHTER

The fist slams into my face again. I go down hard, hitting the deck of Gangplank’s ship. Pig-iron cuffs dig into my wrists.

I’m hauled back upright and forced to kneel alongside T.F. Not that my legs would hold me if this pox-ridden mob made me stand.

The massive, slab-muscled bastard that hit me swims in and out of focus.

“Come on now, son,” I slur. “You’re doing it all wrong.”

I don’t see the next one coming. There’s just an explosion of pain, and I’m back on the deck. Once again, I’m lifted up and forced to kneel. I spit out blood and teeth. Then I grin.

“My old ma hits harder than you do, boy. And she’s been dead and buried five years now.”

He steps forward to knock me down again, but a word from Gangplank stops him in his tracks.

“Enough,” the captain says.

Swaying slightly, I try to concentrate on Gangplank’s blurred outline. Slowly, my eyes clear. At his waist, I see he’s wearing that damn knife that T.F. stole.

“Twisted Fate, huh? I heard you were good, and I’ve never been one to look down on a good thief,” Gangplank says. He steps in close and glares at T.F. “But a good thief knows better than to steal from me.” He hunkers down and looks me square in the eye.

“And you… If you’d been two shades smarter, you could have put that gun to work for me. But we’re past that now.”

Gangplank stands up and turns his back to us.

“I’m not an unreasonable man,” he continues. “I don’t expect folk to bend the knee. All I ask is a modicum of respect – something you boys pissed all over. And that can’t go unpunished.”

His crew pushes in, like dogs waiting for the order to rip us apart. I ain’t rattled, though. I won’t give them the satisfaction.

“Do me a favor,” I say, nodding toward T.F. “Kill him first.”

Gangplank chuckles at that.

He nods to a crewman, who starts banging away on the ship’s bell. In answer, dozens more across the port city ring out. Drunks, sailors, and shopkeeps start pouring onto the streets, drawn by the ruckus. The bastard wants an audience.

“Bilgewater’s watching, boys” Gangplank says. “Time to give ’em a show. Bring out Death’s Daughter!”

There’s a cheer, and the deck drums with the clamor of stamping feet. An old cannon is wheeled out. It may be rusted and green with age, but it’s still a beauty.

I glance over at T.F. His head’s down, and he ain’t sayin’ nothin’. They took his cards off him… once they found ’em all. They didn’t even leave him his stupid, dandy hat – some little inbred bastard in the crowd’s wearing it.

In all my years of knowing T.F., he’s always had an out. Without one, here and now, he looks defeated.

Good.

“You’re gettin’ what you deserve, you son of a bitch,” I snarl at him.

He stares back at me. There’s fire in him still.

“I ain’t proud of how things went-”

“You left me to rot!” I interrupt.

“Me and the whole crew tried to break you out. And they died for it!” he snaps back at me. “We lost Kolt, Wallach, the Brick – all of ’em – just trying to save your stubborn ass.”

“You made out alright, though,” I reply. “You know why? It’s because you’re a coward. And nothing you’ll ever say can change that.”

My words hit him like a punch in the guts. He doesn’t argue. The last glimmer of fight in him goes, and his shoulders slump. He’s done.

I don’t think even T.F. is this good an actor. My anger fades.

I feel tired suddenly. Tired and old.

“Everything went to hell, and maybe we’re both to blame,” he says. “I wasn’t lying, though. We tried to get you out. Doesn’t matter. You’ll believe what you want anyway.”

It takes a moment for that to sink in. It takes a moment longer to realize that I believe him.

Damn me, he’s right.

I do things my way. Always have. Whenever I pushed it too far, he had my back. He was always the one with the out.

But I didn’t listen to him that day, and I haven’t since.

And now, I’ve killed us both.

Suddenly, T.F. and I are yanked to our feet and dragged toward the cannon. Gangplank pats its muzzle, like it’s a prized hound.

“The Death’s Daughter’s done well by me,” he says. “I’ve been wanting to give her a proper send off.”

A heavy chain is dragged forward, and sailors begin looping it around the cannon. I see now how this is gonna pan out.

T.F. and I are shoved back to back, and the same chain is run around our legs and through our manacles. A padlock snaps shut, binding us to the chain.

A boarding gate in the ship’s bulwark slides open, and the cannon’s rolled into place in the gap. The wharfs and docks of Bilgewater are now packed with gawkers, here to see the show.

Gangplank rests the heel of his boot on the cannon.

“Well, I can’t get us out of this one,” T.F. says, over his shoulder. “I always knew you’d get me killed one day.”

A laugh escapes my lips at that. It’s been a long time since I laughed.

We’re dragged toward the edge of the ship, like cattle to the slaughter.

I guess this is where my story ends. I had a good run for a while there. But nobody’s luck lasts forever.

It’s only then that I know what I should do.

Carefully, straining against my manacles, I reach into my back pocket. It’s still there; the playing card T.F. dropped back in the warehouse. I’d aimed to shove it down his bastard throat.

They checked T.F. good for cards – but not me.

I nudge him. Chained back to back, it’s easy to hand the card off to T.F. without being seen. I can feel him hesitate as I pass it to him.

“You two will make a meager tithe, but you’ll serve,” says Gangplank. “Give the Bearded Lady my regards.”

With a wave to the crowd, Gangplank kicks the cannon over the side. It hits the dark water with a splash, and sinks fast. The chain on the deck spools out after it.

Now, at the end, I believe T.F. I know he tried everything to get me out, like he did all those times when we ran together. This time, for once, I’ve got the out. I can at least give him that.

“Get outta here.”

He starts going through the motions, spinning the card around his fingers. As the power starts to build, I feel an uncomfortable pressure in the back of my skull. I always hated being close to him when he did his trick.

And then, he’s gone.

The chains binding T.F. drop to the deck with a crash, and there’re shouts from the crowd. My chains are still locked tight. I ain’t getting out of this, but it’s worth it just to see the look on Gangplank’s face.

The cannon’s chain yanks me off my feet. I hit the deck hard, and grunt in pain. In an instant, I’m dragged over the edge of the boat.

The cold water hits me, stealing my breath.

Then I’m under, sinking fast, dragged down into the dark.

 

 

chapter-heading-act-3-part-2

ACT THREE PART TWO

THE PLUNGE A FIGHT WITH DARKNESS PEACE

The card Malcolm puts in my hand could easily get me to the wharf. I’m so close to shore, and from there, the huge crowd’s just perfect for me to vanish into. I could be off this rat’s ass of an island inside an hour. This time, no one would ever find me.

Then all I can see in my mind is his pissed-off face disappearing into the depths.

Son of a bitch.

I can’t leave him. Not after last time. There’s no running away from this. I know where to go.

The pressure builds, and then I shift.

In an instant, I’m right behind Gangplank, ready to make my move.

One of his crew spots me – he looks baffled, like he’s trying to figure out how I got there. While he thinks about it, I punch him square in the face. He collapses into a crowd of bewildered deckhands. They all turn on me with cutlasses drawn. Gangplank leads the attack, slashing straight at my throat.

But I’m faster. In one deft move, I slide underneath the arcing steel and lift Gangplank’s prized silver dagger from his belt. Behind me, I hear cursing that could split the mast in two.

I leap to the deck, stowing the dagger in my britches as the end of the chain tears toward the edge of the ship. I stretch and grab the last steel link just before it disappears overboard.

The snap of the chain hauls me over the side, and now I realize what I’ve done.

The water is coming at me fast. In that frozen moment, every single part of me wants to let go of the chain. Being a river man who can’t swim has plagued me my whole life. Now it’ll be the death of me.

I take one final gulp of air. Then a musket shot rips into my shoulder. I yell out in pain, and lose my last breath just before I’m dragged under.

Frigid water punches me in the face as I sink into the suffocating blue.

This is my nightmare.

Panic wells inside. I try to quell it. It’s almost too much. More shots pierce the water above me. I’m still sinking.

Sharks and devilfish circle. They taste the blood. They follow me deeper into the abyss.

Everything is terror. No pain now. Heart pounds in my ears. Chest burning. Gotta keep the water out. Darkness coils around me. Too far down. No way back. I know that now.

But maybe I can save Malcolm.

Below me, there’s a thud, and the chain goes slack. The cannon’s hit the seabed.

I pull myself down the chain into the shadows. There’s a shape below. I think it’s Graves. Frantic, I drag myself toward him.

Then he’s right in front of me, though I can barely see the outline of his face. I think he’s shaking his head at me, angry that I came back.

I’m growing faint. My arm is numb and my skull is being crushed.

Letting go of the chain, I pull the dagger from my waist. My hand trembles.

I fumble in the darkness. By some miracle, I find the lock on Graves’s cuffs. I work the blade to coax it open, like I have a thousand locks before. But my hands won’t stop shaking.

Even Graves must be terrified. His lungs have to be giving out by now. The lock isn’t budging.

What would Malcolm do?

I twist the dagger. No finesse – nothing but force.

Something gives. I think I cut my hand. The dagger is falling. Into the abyss. There it goes… Is it glowing?

Above me, bright red. Red and orange… Everywhere. It’s beautiful… So this is what it’s like to die.

I laugh.

Water rushes in.

It’s peaceful.

 

chapter-heading-act-3-part-3

ACT THREE PART THREE

FIRE AND RUIN A CONCLUSION TURN FOR THE WORSE

Miss Fortune stared across the harbor from the deck of her ship, the Syren. Flames reflected in her eyes as she absorbed the full level of destruction she had wrought.

All that remained of Gangplank’s ship was burning wreckage. The crew had been killed in the detonation, drowned in the chaos, or claimed by the swarming razorfish.

It had been glorious. An immense ball of rolling fire had lit up the night like a new sun.

Half the city had witnessed it; Gangplank himself had seen to that, as she knew he would. He had to parade Twisted Fate and Graves in front of Bilgewater. He had to remind everyone why no one should cross him. To Gangplank, people were just tools used to maintain control – so she’d used that to kill him.

Shouts and tolling bells echoed across the port city. Word would be spreading like wildfire.

Gangplank is dead.

The corners of her lips curled into a smile.

Tonight was merely the endgame: Hiring T.F., tipping off Graves – all just to distract Gangplank. It had taken years to exact her revenge.

Miss Fortune’s smile faded.

From the moment he had stormed into her family’s workshop, his face hidden behind a red bandana, she had been preparing herself for this moment.

Sarah lost both her parents that day. She was just a child, but he shot her down as she stood watching her parents bleed out on the floor.

Gangplank taught her a harsh lesson: that no matter how safe you feel, your world – everything you’ve built, everything you care for – can be taken away in an instant.

Gangplank’s one mistake was not making sure she was dead. Her anger and her hate had sustained her through that first cold, painful night, and every night since.

For fifteen years, she had scraped together everything she needed; waiting until she wasn’t even a memory to him, for him to drop his guard and get comfortable in the life he’d built. Only then would he truly be able to lose everything. Only then would he know what it felt like to lose his home, to lose his world.

She should have been feeling exultant, but she just felt empty.

Joining her at the gunwale, Rafen jolted Sarah from her reverie.

“He’s gone,” he said. “It’s over.”

“No,” replied Miss Fortune. “Not yet.”

She turned from the harbor, casting her gaze across Bilgewater. Sarah had hoped that killing him would kill her hate. But all she had done was unleash it. For the first time since that day, she felt truly powerful.

“This is just the beginning,” she said. “I want everyone loyal to him to be brought to answer. I want the heads of his lieutenants mounted on my wall. Burn every bawdy house, tavern, and warehouse that bears his mark. And I want his corpse.”

Rafen was shaken. He’d heard words like that before, but never from her.

 

 

chapter-heading-act-3-part-4

ACT THREE PART FOUR

RED SKY CHUMMING THE WATERS RECONCILIATION

I’ve thought a lot about the ways I’d wanna go out. Chained up like a dog at the bottom of the ocean? That one never crossed my mind. Lucky for me, T.F. manages to pop the lock on my shackles just before he drops the dagger.

I scramble out of the chains, thirsty for breath. I turn toward T.F. Poor bastard’s not moving. I twist my hand around his collar and start kickin’ toward the surface.

As we go up, suddenly everything lights up bright red.

A shockwave knocks me ass over ears. Chunks of iron sink past us. A cannon plunges by. Then a charred hunk of rudder. Bodies, too. A face covered in tattoos stares in shock at me. The severed head then slowly disappears into the darkness beneath us.

I swim faster, my lungs set to bust.

An age later, I’m at the surface, coughing up salt water and gasping for air. But it’s damn near unbreathable. Smoke chokes me and claws at my eyes. I’ve seen things burn in my time, but never like this. Looks like someone set the whole world on fire.

“Damn me…” I hear myself mutter.

Gangplank’s ship is gone. Bits of smoking debris are scattered all across the bay. Fiery islands of wood collapse all around, hissin’ as they go under. A flaming sail falls right in front of us, nearly dragging T.F. and me back down for good. Burning men desperately jump from smoldering pieces of wreckage into the water, quietin’ their own screams. It smells like the end of everything – sulfur and ash and death; cooked hair and melting skin.

I check on T.F. I’m strugglin’ to keep him above water. Son of a bitch is a lot heavier than he looks, and it ain’t helping that half my ribs are broke. I find a piece of scorched hull floating nearby. It looks solid enough. I pull us both on top. It ain’t exactly seaworthy, but it’ll do.

For the first time, I get a good look at T.F. He ain’t breathin’. I wail on his chest with my fists. Just when I’m worried I’m going to cave his ribs in, he coughs out a lungful of seawater. I slump and shake my head again as he slowly comes to his senses.

“You stupid son of a bitch! What did you come back for?”

It takes him a minute to answer.

“Thought I’d try it your way,” he mutters, slurring his words. “See what being a stubborn ass felt like.” He hacks up more water. “Feels awful.”

Razorfish and even meaner sea critters are startin’ to gather around us. I ain’t about to be anything’s chow. I pull my feet away from the edge.

A mangled crewman bobs to the surface, grabbin’ for our raft. I plant my boot in his face and shove him off. A fat tentacle wraps around his neck and drags him back under. Now the fish have something else to keep ’em busy.

Before they run out of fresh meat, I break off a plank from our raft and use it to paddle us away from the feedin’ frenzy.

I pull at the water for what seems like hours. My arms are heavy and hurtin’, but I know better than to stop. Once I’ve put some distance between us and the massacre, I collapse onto my back.

I’m spent like an empty shotgun shell as I look out over the bay. It’s stained red with the blood of Gangplank and his crew. Not a survivor in sight.

How am I still breathing? Maybe I’m the luckiest man on Runeterra. Or maybe T.F.’s carrying enough good fortune for the both of us.

I see a body floating by, holding something familiar lookin’. It’s Gangplank’s little inbred bastard, still clutching T.F.’s hat. I take it off him and toss it to T.F. He ain’t even a little surprised, like he always knew he’d get it back.

“Now we just need to find your gun,” he says.

“What, you itchin’ to go back down there?” I say, pointing to the deep.

T.F. turns a funny shade of green.

“We ain’t got the time. Whoever did this, they left Bilgewater without a boss,” I tell him. “It’s gonna get ugly here, fast.”

“You’re telling me you can live without your gun?” he asks.

“Maybe not,” I say. “But I know a really good gunsmith in Piltover.”

“Piltover…” he says, lost in thought.

“Lot of money flowing through there right now,” I say.

T.F. figures hard for a moment.

“Hmm. Not sure about having you as a partner again – you’re even dumber than you used to be,” he finally answers.

“That’s alright. I’m not sure about havin’ a partner called Twisted Fate. Who the hell came up with that?”

“Well, it’s a damn sight better than my real name,” T.F. laughs.

“Fair enough,” I admit.

I grin. It feels just like the old days. Then I go stone faced and look him dead in the eye.

“Just one thing: You ever have mind to leave me holding the bag again, I’ll blow your goddamn head off. No questions.”

Fate’s laugh dies down, and for a moment, he glares back at me. Then, after a while, he just smiles.

“You got a deal.”

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]

 

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Discussion on New Poppy Banner

Meddler talks about the likelihood of Poppy being a dedicated tank post-rework.

 

Extra resources

 

Poppy hasnt been nerfed because shes not a consistent pick ban in pro play

Meddler Final PortraitThat’s it in a nutshell. Poppy getting picked occasionally doesn’t worry us. Poppy as regularly played though, pick/ban especially, would be a problem. Because of that we’ve got a Poppy rework in progress, with one of the aims of that project being to make it so if Poppy’s strong enough to get regular play that’s fine, rather than something we feel compelled to deal with.

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Do you think Poppy should be changed from a burst champion to a tank

Meddler Final PortraitI do feel tank is a good fit for Poppy. She’s a determined, honorable, warrior who wants to be right in the middle of the fight. Her signature gameplay traits are a hammer smash, charging someone into a wall and being extremely hard to kill, all of which can fit well with the tank class (think more Sion as a tank, than Braum as a tank).

Certainly, she’s also got a lot of kill potential at present. Extremely hard to kill or CC, really burst champion with some mobility’s not a good combo though, and it’s only held in check at present since Poppy’s early game is atrocious and she’s kept a bit weak in general. Of the two sides of her we could focus on the tank/fighter side seems like a much better fit to me than the assassin/burst side.

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Will you keep Lolipoppys original splash art after the rework

Meddler Final PortraitI haven’t dared ask what the plans for that are nightmarish creation are yet.

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Isnt it boring for paladins to always be in the middle of fights and not do damage

Meddler Final PortraitI’m with you that honorable and middle of the fight aren’t the same thing. I’d describe both Ashe and Lee Sin as honorable in terms of personality for example, yet neither wants to be right in the midst of everything (Ashe wants to keep her distance, Lee Sin usually wants to be killing or ulting a prime target so spends more time around the edges waiting for his moment). In Poppy’s case though I feel both honorable and middle of the fight do apply.

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Shens Q and W to be reworked Banner

Meddler iterates on  the recently-mentioned Shen rework and mentions his Q and W spells will likely be completely changed.

 

Extra resources

 

Why are TF and Pantheons ults not canceled by damage like Tahm and Reksais

Meddler Final Portrait Consistency’s something we explicitly wanted to avoid in these cases. The goal with Rek’Sai and Tahm Kench’s ults was to offer teleports that were used in different ways to avoid overlapping too much on what makes TF and Panth distinctive. Rek’Sai has no range limit on her teleport, but can’t use it to disenage easily, while TF’s much more slippery, but has a significantly shorter range and a noticeably higher CD.


Consistency’s something we do value in cases where it makes things easier to understand at a glance (e.g. the commonly used ‘you’ve stunned’ purple VFX above stunned champions’ heads). It’s not something we want to pursue whenever possible though. We want different champions to bring different tools to the game, testing different skills and creating different decisions. Additionally, sometimes a solution in one case isn’t appropriate for another (e.g. Lucian’s a spell cast heavy ADC whose mana costs become much less significant over the course of the game. Kog’Maw’s another spell cast heavy ADC, his mana costs need to remain really meaningful however).

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I find Shens Q having the same range as Yasuos Q to be very unthematic

Meddler Final PortraitMatching thematics with gameplay is something we put a lot of effort into, there are times though where we need to prioritize balance over lighter thematic expectations. Having a thrown weapon have the same range as a long spear stab or sword thrust is that sort of case (by contrast if Caitlyn, as a sniper, had a really low attack range that’d be a pretty significant disconnect).

As far as Shen goes we think he’s in a pretty effective spot right now and don’t currently have any plans to add more power to him. It’s also very likely his Q will be replaced or very heavily modified in his gameplay update (we’d like to give him a more interesting combat pattern for laning/1v1s and changing the Q will be a significant part of that).

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Do you think Swain is in a good spot right now

Meddler Final PortraitOverall yes. We’ve always been a bit suspicious that Swain might actually be too strong and potentially pretty oppressive if the right meta came along. So far though that remains just a theory. Swain doesn’t see regular professional play, but his balance is in a good spot otherwise. No current plans for him as a result.

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Will there be any changes to Shens lack of splitpushing or his Feint W

Meddler Final PortraitIt’s very likely we’ll keep Shen as a low waveclear champion, his inability to push quickly’s a really important safety valve on his ultimate.

Feint we’ll almost certainly replace outright. Odds are fairly high some form of other defensive ability will replace it, Shen needs some inherent survivability.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Changelog for New Hud Banner

Changes to the new HUD will be hitting the PBE next week.

 

HUD changes for next PBE build

Chager Final PortraitWe’ve received a lot of good feedback and have made some adjustments to the HUD to test out before the next release:

  • Cooldown timers now take the entire skill square (no longer circular)
  • We’ve made the CD timers go from full to empty to better show cooldown time (vs. fill up)
  • Off cooldown flash has been changed in color (gold) and reduced in animation length
  • Multiple sounds have been removed or softened (skill up, scoreboard open close, player stat window open close)
  • Some fonts have changed
    — Please note we’ve just implemented a new font system and are going through and tuning all the places fonts are displayed. There’s still a lot of polish left to do but we wanted to get it out and tested on PBE as we iterate
  • Changed crit and attack range in the character stats page (crit now displays in bottom left of base window and attack range in bottom left of extended stat window)

Things we’re looking to get out early next week:

  • Adjusting color of OOM and CD to have differentiated colors
  • Ongoing font work (both color/shadow and size/typography)
  • More space between ally portraits and minimap (and making portraits bigger)
  • Level up animation color differentiation and animation shortening

Thanks,
-Chager

[ Link to Post ]

 


Colorblind Mode is in a terrible state

Rayven New PortraitHi, we hear you! We are working on a TON of readability improvements for the next patch including:

  • Clearer, larger fonts
  • Text colors and styling (as well as darker bgs for contrast)
  • Full square ability cooldowns with a more readable color
  • Pulled way back on animation length and noise
  • A lot less blue
  • More negative space between elements
  • Larger team frames and meters
  • More readable stats
  • More readable spell pips

All that said, our internal colorblind testers (red/green) found the new minimap to be more readable than the old one due to the toned down bg. Are you having trouble tracking info on it?

[ Link to Post ]

 


Can you not make pots fully gray when they cant be used

Rayven New PortraitWe might pull back on the fully grey pots. They’re grey in the old HUD as well, but not completely.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 


Will we be able to move around item slots in the shop menu

Rayven New PortraitWe want this as well. Weren’t able to do it as part of this feature though 🙁

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The new minimap is weird and attracts my eyes when I dont want to look at it

Rayven New PortraitIt was jarring for us at first too, but in the end we felt things read better with the dim bg. Your feedback is noted though. LMK if you get used to it over time.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 


The scoreboard is currently hard to navigate

Rayven New PortraitYeah we want to improve the scoreboard this patch. What else are you having trouble seeing other than MIA?

[ Link to Post ]

 

 


The Champion stat icons for Attack Range and Crit Chance should be swapped

Rayven New PortraitThanks Throstus, we are swapping AR for crit and I’ll move that icon over 🙂

[ Link to Post ]

 

 



The cooldown and outofmana animations look to similar to each other

Rayven New PortraitWe are doing a big differentiation pass on cd and oom. The funny thing is, they were both blue in the old HUD as well. Need to find the right balance though.

[ Link to Post ]

 



Why was the scoreboard global kills towers moved to the bottom right

Rayven New PortraitThe concept was to get frequently checked strategic info in one glance rather than darting your eyes around the screen. I think we could have chunked info better for sure to cut down on the “clutter.”

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The shop menu takes too much space Can we be given the option to resize it

Rayven New PortraitYou can scale the Shop down by grabbing and dragging the bottom right corner – I agree it’s too big. I scale mine all the way down.

We are working on most of the contrast issues you mentioned.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

HP as True damage mechanic Banner

Fiora’s new ultimate has caused some balance concerns among the community regarding the lack of counterplay in spells that deal %HP true damage.

 

Extra resources

 

I hope HP true damage doesnt become an overused mechanic in new kits

Meddler Final PortraitIt’s a mechanic we only intend to only use very occasionally (hence the 4 year gap between Vayne’s release with it and Fiora’s rework gaining it). It’s something we’ve explored on a few different prototypes post Vayne release, this is the first time though where we’ve concluded it was an appropriate fit. % max hp physical/magic damage or flat true damage are almost always the more appropriate tool for abilities that need to be limited against squishy targets/strengthened against tankier targets.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Whatre your thoughts on Vaynes current state

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re pretty happy with Vayne’s current state. She’s a reasonable pick, especially if you build a team that supports her well. She’s got clear weaknesses though, and doesn’t offer things almost all other ADCs do. When you pick Vayne you’re choosing to give up various tools in exchange for her strengths.

[ Link to Post ]

 


RANKED DECAY RETURNS ON JULY 27TH

 

Ranked decay coming back on July 27th

Riot Mirross Final PortraitHey folks,

Last week, we temporarily disabled ranked queues and ranked decay so players wouldn’t lose LP while ranked was down. Ranked decay will be re-enabled return on July 27 at 12:00PM PDT in all regions.

The time that’s passed will still count against your inactivity period when decay is re-enabled, so if you’ve taken a break, make sure to play a game before July 27 if you want to avoid the LP penalty. If you’ve been playing consistently, this won’t affect you at all.

Ranked decay refresher:

Bronze, Silver & Gold:

There’s no decay in solo or team queues for these tiers.

Platinum & Diamond:

Solo and team queues:

After 28 days of inactivity in a particular ranked queue, you’ll be hidden from the standings in your league. You’ll also lose LP depending on your current tier. Every seven days thereafter, you’ll lose LP until you play a match in that queue particular.

Master & Challenger:

Solo queue:

Decay sets in after 10 days of inactivity to ensure competition continues at the highest echelons of League.

Team queue:

Decay occurs after 28 days to account for the difficulties of managing five (or more) player schedules.

Find out more about ranked decay.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Bilgewater Wallpapers Banner

Riot’s LAN site has posted all sorts of digital Bilgewater-themed goodies:

 

WALLPAPERS

BW.Crest_1920x1080

Young.TF.Graves_Splash_1920x1080 Pre.GP_Splash_1920x1080 TF.v.Graves_1920x1080 SlaughterDocksSkins_Splash_1920x1080 MF_Splash_1920x1080 GP_StandingAlone_1920x1080

 

Summoner Icons

Graves.Icon.320x320 TF.Zoom.Young.320x320 Graves.Zoom.Young.320x320 Bilgewater.Crest.320x320 TF.Icon.320x320

 

BILGEWATER SETTINGS Act1.Explore.the.world.FB.Cover.851x315 Act2.Explore.the.world.FB.Cover.851x315

 

FANMADE WALLPAPER

Artsed.Carnicero.1920x1080 (1)

 

FANMADE ARTWORK

portada1 portada2 portada3

 

FANMADE PORTRAITS

graves missfortune fizz Gangplank thresh twistedfate nami rata graves gp twistedF ms

 


Bilgewater Events and Tournaments Banner

You can find a Bilgewater tournament to participate in and compete for rewards HERE.

 

TLDR: Bilgewater-themed live events are happening all around the world. Join the party and experience Bilgewater in a whole new way–and yes, there may be loot to plunder.

Special Bilgewater Boarding Parties are being planned and we need you on board. Be a part of history as you meet with other players and bring Bilgewater to life. Crew members who are victorious in combat (we mean tournaments) will be rewarded with Bilgewater prizing. If you’re part of one of the in-person Bilgewater Boarding Parties, there may be exclusive swag you can’t get anywhere else.

Be part of League of Legends history and bring Bilgewater to real life!


WHAT BOARDING PARTIES ARE HAPPENING NEAR ME

Community-Run Events

These are special Bilgewater Boarding Parties organized and run by members of your local community. These events will take place between July 30th and August 9th at in-person locations around the world and online.

To register for a community-run Boarding Party head to the Community Events page, find an event near you (or online) and click the “Register” button. Be sure to read the event details for info on how to join in the fun. New events will be added as they are approved. Be sure to check back often to get the most updated list.

 

INPERSON TOURNAMENTS

In-person tournamentsMeet other League of Legends fans for a face-to-face tournament held in a real-world location near you. Competition takes place on the Butcher’s Bridge ARAM map or the Black Market Brawlers game-mode.




ONLINE TOURNAMENTS

Online tournamentsCan’t make it to an in-person Boarding Party? Then make your adventure virtual by joining an online tournament. These events take place on the Butcher’s Bridge ARAM map or the Black Market Brawlers game-mode.




INPERSON PLAY SESSIONS

In-person play sessionsIf competition isn’t your thing, look for a Bilgewater Play Session, a non-competitive opportunity to play on the new on the Butcher’s Bridge ARAM map and Black Market Brawlers game-mode.




Approved community-run tournaments are eligible for special Bilgewater digital prizing based on event type and size. Prizing will be awarded to the top teams in the tournament. Check out each event’s “Prizing” section for more information. Players must be registered for the event on the Community Events page to be eligible for prizing.


BILGEWATER SWAG

bwbp_chestA limited number of in-person Bilgewater Boarding Parties will be receiving a shipment of exclusive Bilgewater swag (which means ‘free stuff’) that isn’t available anywhere else. As always, supplies are limited, and not every attendee or Boarding Party is guaranteed loot.

 






If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected].

 

Bilgewater Burning Tides Banner

Act one of the Bilgewater events is now up on Riot’s promo site.

 

Bilgewater – Burning Tides

Act One

[ Note ] You can check out all the upcoming pirate-themed content HERE.

 

Live the Event

It’s an all-random melee on Butcher’s Bridge

Once an ancient stone bridge leading to a temple entrance, Butcher’s Bridge has been kept up haphazardly and primarily serves now as a connection between the slaughter docks and one of Bilgewater’s slums.

[ READ THE DEV BLOG HERE ]

 

EXPLORE THE WORLD

You can explore the Warehouse and learn about Bilgewater’s currency and denizens HERE.

Warehouse Screen

 

 

chapter-heading-act-1-part-1

 

ACT ONE PART ONE
THE SLAUGHTER DOCKS THE JOB AN OLD FRIEND

The Rat Town slaughter docks; they smell as bad as their name suggests.

And yet here I am, hidden in the shadows, breathing the blood-and-bile stink of butchered sea serpents.

I melt deeper into the darkness, pulling the brim of my hat down low over my face as heavily armed members of the Jagged Hooks stalk by.

They’ve got a reputation for savagery, these boys. In a fair fight, they might take me down, but I’m not big on playing fair, and I’m not here to fight. Not this time.

So what brings me here, to one of the foulest districts in Bilgewater?

Money. What else?

It was a gamble, taking on this job, but the payout is big enough that I couldn’t pass it up. And besides, I cased this place to stack the deck in my favor.

I don’t intend to linger. I want to be in and out as quickly and as quietly as possible. Once the job’s done, I aim to collect my payment and be gone before dawn. All goes well, I’ll be halfway to Valoran before anyone knows the damn thing’s missing.

The thugs turn the corner of the massive slaughter shed. Means I’ve got two minutes until they swing back around – plenty of time.

The silver moon slides behind a bank of clouds, covering the wharf in shadow. Crates from the day’s work are scattered across the dock. It makes for easy cover.

I see lookouts on top of the main warehouse, silhouettes standing watch, crossbows in hand. They’re gossiping loudly like fishwives. I could be wearing bells and these idiots still wouldn’t hear me.

They think no one would be fool enough to come here.

A bloated corpse hangs overhead, a warning for all to see. It spins slowly in the midnight breeze coming off the harbor. It’s an ugly sight. A huge hook, the type used to catch devilfish, holds the body aloft.

Stepping over rusted chains lying limp upon wet stone, I pass between a pair of towering cranes. They’re used to haul giant sea creatures into the slaughter sheds for butchering. It’s those looming factories that are the source of the gods-awful stench that permeates everything here. I’m gonna need to buy myself a new set of clothes once this is over.

Across the bay, past the chum-churned waters of the slaughter docks, scores of ships lie at anchor, their lanterns swaying gently. One of the vessels draws my eye; a massive, black-sailed war galleon. I know whose ship that is. Everyone in Bilgewater knows.

I take a moment to gloat. I’m about to steal from the most powerful man in town. There’s always a certain thrill that comes from spitting in death’s eye.

As expected, the main warehouse is locked up tighter than a noblewoman’s virtue. Guards posted at every entrance. Doors locked and barred. For anyone other than me, it would be impossible to break into.

I duck into a blind alley opposite the warehouse. It’s a dead end, and it’s not as dark as I’d have liked. If I’m still here when the patrol comes back, they will see me. And if they get ahold of me, the best I can hope for is a quick death. More likely, I’ll be taken to him… and that would be a far more painful, drawn out way to go.

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

Then I hear them. The bruisers are returning early. I have seconds, at best. I snap a card from my sleeve and weave it through my fingers; it’s as natural as breathing. This is the easy part, the rest can’t be rushed.

I let my mind drift as the card starts to glow. Pressure builds around me, and I’m nearly overcome with the promise of everywhere. Half-closing my eyes, I focus, and picture where I need to be.

Then, there’s the familiar lurch in the guts as I shift. A displacement of air, and I’m inside the warehouse. Gone with barely a trace.

Damn, I’m good.

One of the Jagged Hooks outside might glance up the alley and notice a single playing card falling to the ground, but probably not.

It takes a moment for me to get my bearings. Dim light from the lanterns outside creeps in through the cracks in the walls. My eyes adjust.

The warehouse is crowded, stacked high with treasures from all over the Twelve Seas: gleaming suits of armor, exotic works of art, shining silks. All things of considerable value, but not what I’m here for.

My attention is drawn to the loading doors at the front of the warehouse, where I know I’ll find the most recent arrivals. I run my fingertips across the various cartons and crates… until I come to a small, wooden box. I can feel the power emanating from within. This is what I’m here for.

I unlatch the lid.

My prize is revealed; a knife of exquisite design, lying upon a bed of black velvet. I reach for it—

Chh-chunk.

I freeze. There’s no mistaking that sound.

Before he even speaks, I know who’s standing behind me in the darkness.

“T.F.,” says Graves. “It’s been a long time.”

 

chapter-heading-act-1-part-2

 

ACT ONE PART TWO
THE WAIT REUNION FIREWORKS

I’ve been here for hours. Some folks might get bored standing still this long, but I’ve got my anger to keep me company. I ain’t leaving this spot until I settle the score.

Long after midnight, the snake finally shows. He suddenly appears in the warehouse, using that same old magic trick. I prime my shotgun, ready to turn him inside out. After years spent looking for that treacherous son of a bitch here he is, dead to rights at the end of Destiny’s barrels.

“T.F.,” I say. “It’s been a long time.”

I had better words ready for this moment. Funny how they all went out the window as soon as I saw him.

But T.F.? His face shows nothing. No fear, no regret, no hint of surprise. Not even while facing down a loaded gun. Gods damn him.

“Malcolm, how long have you been standing there?” he asks, the smile in his voice enrages me.

I take aim. I can pull the trigger and leave him deader than sea scum.

I should.

Not yet, though. I need to hear him say it. “Why’d you do it?” I ask, knowing full well he’ll just come back with something clever.

“Is the gun really necessary? I thought we were friends.”

Friends. The bastard’s mocking me. Now I want to tear his smug head off – but I’ve got to keep my cool.

“You’re looking as dapper as ever,” he says.

I look down at the devilfish bites on my clothes. I had to swim to get past the guards. Ever since he got a little money, T.F.’s been a stickler for appearance. I can’t wait to mess him up. But first, I want answers.

“Tell me why you left me to take the fall, or they’ll be pickin’ bits of your pretty face out of the rafters.” This is how you’ve got to be with T.F. Give him room, and he’ll pull your strings ‘til you don’t know which end’s your ass.

His slipperiness came in handy when we were partners.

“Ten damn years in the Locker! Know what that does to a man?”

He doesn’t. For once, he’s got nothing cute to say. He knows he did me wrong.

“They did things to me that would’ve driven most men mad. All that kept me from breaking was my anger. And thinking about this moment, right here.”

Then comes the clever reply: “Sounds like I kept you alive. Maybe you should thank me.”

That one gets me. I’m so mad, I can barely see. He’s trying to goad me. Then, when I’m blind with rage, he’ll do his little disappearing act. I take a breath and leave the bait alone. He’s surprised I ain’t biting. This time, I’m getting answers.

“How much did they pay you to sell me out?” I growl.

T.F. stands there, smiling, just trying to buy some time.

“Malcolm, I’ll be happy to have this conversation with you, but this really isn’t a good time or place.”

Almost too late, I notice the card dancing through his fingers. I snap out of it and squeeze the trigger.

BLAM.

His card’s gone. Almost took his damn hand off, too.

“Idiot!” he barks. I finally made him lose his cool. “You just woke up the whole damned island! Y’know whose place this is?”

I don’t care.

I ready a second shot. I barely see his hands move, then cards explode all around me. I fire back, not sure if I want him dead or just almost dead.

Before I can find him again in the smoke, fury, and splintering wood, a door gets kicked open.

A dozen thugs come roaring in, just to add to the damn mess.

“So, do you really want to do this?” T.F. asks, ready to throw another fistful of cards at me.

I nod, and hold my gun steady on him.

It’s time to settle up.

 

chapter-heading-act-1-part-3


ACT ONE PART THREE
WILD CARDS ALARM SLEIGHT OF HAND

Things get ugly. Fast.

The whole damned warehouse is crawling with Jagged Hooks, but Malcolm couldn’t care less. I’m all he’s interested in.

I sense Graves’s next shot coming and turn away. The boom of his gun is deafening. A box explodes where I’d been a fraction of a second earlier.

I do believe my old partner is trying to kill me.

Somersaulting over a stack of mammoth ivory, I whip a trio of cards in his direction. Before they hit home, I’m already ducking into cover, looking for an out. I only need a few seconds.

He curses loudly, but the cards won’t do more than slow him down. He’s always been a tough bastard. Stubborn, too. Never knows when to let things go.

“You ain’t gettin’ away, T.F,” he growls. “Not this time.”

Yep, that trait’s still riding him hard.

He’s wrong, though — as usual. I’ll be taking my leave as soon as possible. There’s no use talking to him when he’s out for blood.

Another blast, and shrapnel ricochets off a priceless suit of Demacian armor, embedding into the walls and floor. I dart left and right, weaving and feinting, sprinting from cover to cover. He sticks with me, roaring his threats and accusations, his shotgun barking in his hands. Graves moves fast for a big man. I’d almost forgotten that.

He’s not my only problem. The damned fool’s stirred up a hornet’s nest with all his shooting and hollering. The Jagged Hooks are all over us, but they’re smart enough to leave some men barring the main doors.

I have to get gone — but I’m not leaving without what I came for.

I’ve led Graves on a merry dance around the warehouse, and I arrive back where we started a moment before he does. There are Hooks between me and my prize, and more coming, but there’s no time to wait. The card in my hand glows red, and I hurl it dead center of the warehouse doors. The detonation blows them off their hinges and scatters the Hooks. I move in.

One of them recovers faster than I expect, and he swings at me with a hatchet. I sway around the blow and kick out his knee, hurling another spread of cards at his friends to keep them honest.

My path clear, I swipe the ornate dagger I’ve been hired to steal, hooking it onto my belt. After all this trouble, might as well get paid.

The gaping loading doors beckon, but there are too many damned Hooks piling in. There’s no way out there, so I make for the only quiet corner left in this madhouse.

A card is dancing in my hand as I prepare to shift, but as I start to drift away, Graves appears, stalking me like a rabid bear. Destiny bucks in his grip, and a Jagged Hook is shot to tatters.

Graves’s glare is drawn to the card glowing in my hand. He knows what it means, and swings the smoking barrels of his gun at me. I’m forced to move, interrupting my concentration.

“Can’t run forever,” he bellows after me.

For once, he’s not stupid. He’s not giving me the time I need.

He’s keeping me off my game, and the thought of being taken down by these Hooks is starting to weigh on me. Their boss is not known for his mercy.

Among the dozen other thoughts rattling around my head is the nagging feeling that I’ve been set up. I’m thrown an easy job out of nowhere, a big score just when I need it most – and surprise, there’s my old partner standing there waiting for me. Someone a lot smarter than Graves is playing me for a fool.

I’m better than this. I’d kick myself for being sloppy, but there’s a dock full of goons waiting to save me the trouble.

Right now, all that matters is getting the hell away from here. Two blasts from that damned gun of Malcolm’s send me scurrying. My back slams against a dusty wooden crate. A crossbow bolt lodges in the rotted wood behind me, just inches from my head.

“No way out, sunshine,” Graves yells.

I look around and see fire from the explosion starting to spread to the roof. He may have a point.

“We’ve been sold out, Graves,” I shout.

“You’d know all about that,” he replies.

I try reasoning with him.

“We work together, we can get out of this.”

I must be desperate.

“I’d see us both dead before I trust you again,” he snarls.

I didn’t expect anything else. Talking sense to him just makes him angrier, which is exactly what I need. The distraction buys me just enough time to shift outside the warehouse.

I can hear Graves roaring inside. No doubt he just rounded on my spot only to find me gone, a single card on the ground, taunting him.

I launch a barrage of cards through the loading doors behind me. It’s long past time for subtlety.

I feel bad for a moment about leaving Graves in a burning building – but I know it won’t kill him. He’s too stubborn for that. Besides, a fire on the docks is a serious deal in a port town. It might buy me some time.

As I search for the quickest way off the slaughter docks, the sound of an explosion makes me look over my shoulder.

Graves appears, stepping through the hole he’s just blown out the side of the warehouse. He’s got murder in his eyes.

I tip my hat to him and run. He comes after me, shotgun booming.

I have to admire the man’s determination.

Hopefully it won’t kill me tonight.


chapter-heading-act-1-part-4


ACT ONE PART FOUR
SCRIMSHAW A LESSON IN STRENGTH A MESSAGE

The young urchin’s eyes were wide and panicked as he was led toward the captain’s quarters.

It was the agonized screams emanating from the door at the end of the passageway that gave him second thoughts. The cries echoing through the claustrophobic decks of the enormous, black warship were heard by every crewman aboard the Dead Pool — as intended.

The first mate, his face a web of scars, rested a reassuring hand on the boy’s shoulder. They came to a halt before the door. The child winced as another tortured wail issued from within.

“Steady,” said the first mate. “The captain’ll want to hear what you’ve got to say.”

With that, he rapped sharply on the door. It was opened a moment later by a hulking brute with facial tattoos and a broad, curved blade strapped across his back. The boy didn’t hear the words spoken between the two men; his gaze was locked on the heavyset figure seated with his back to him.

He was a big man, the captain, and of middling years. His neck and shoulders were thick and bullish. His sleeves were rolled up, and his forearms slick with blood. A red greatcoat hung from a peg nearby, alongside his black tricorne.

“Gangplank,” breathed the urchin, his voice thick with fear and awe.

“Captain, I figured you’d want to hear this,” said the mate.

Gangplank said nothing, nor did he turn, still intent as he was on his work. The scarred sailor nudged the boy forward. He stumbled before he caught his footing and shuffled closer. The child approached the captain of the Dead Pool as he would a cliff’s edge. His breath quickened as he caught full sight of the captain’s work.

Basins of bloody water sat upon Gangplank’s desk, along with an array of knives, hooks, and gleaming surgical implements.

A man lay upon the captain’s workbench, bound tightly with leather straps. Only his head was free. He looked around in wild desperation, neck straining, his face covered with sweat.

The boy’s gaze was inexorably drawn to the man’s flayed left leg. The urchin suddenly realized he couldn’t remember what he came here to do.

Gangplank turned from his work to stare at the visitor. His eyes were as cold and dead as a shark’s. He held a slender blade in one hand, delicately poised between his fingers, like a fine paintbrush.

“It’s a dying art, scrimshaw,” said Gangplank, his attention returning to his work. “Few have the patience for carving bone these days. It takes time. See? Every cut has a purpose.”

Somehow, the man was still alive, despite the ragged wound in his leg, the skin and flesh peeled back from his thighbone. Transfixed with horror, the lad saw the intricate designs the captain had carved upon that bone; coiling tentacles and waves. It was delicate work, beautiful even. That just made it even more terrible.

Gangplank’s living canvas sobbed.

“Please…” he moaned.

Gangplank ignored the pathetic plea and set down his knife. He splashed a cup of cheap whiskey over his work, clearing it of blood. The man’s scream threatened to rip his own throat out, until he slumped into merciful unconsciousness, his eyes rolling back in his head. Gangplank grunted in disgust.

“Remember this, boy,” Gangplank said. “Sometimes, even those who are loyal forget their place. Sometimes, it’s necessary to remind them. Real power is all about how people see you. Look weak, even for a moment, and you’re done.”

The child nodded, his face now drained of color.

“Wake him,” said Gangplank, gesturing toward the unconscious crewman. “The whole crew needs to hear his song.”

As the ship’s surgeon stepped forward, Gangplank swung his gaze back to the child.

“Now,” he said. “What did you want to tell me?”

“A… a man,” said the boy, his words faltering. “A man on the Rat Town docks.”

“Go on,” Gangplank said.

“He was tryin’ not to be seen by the Hooks. But I seen him.”

“Mm-hmm,” Gangplank muttered as he began to lose interest. He turned back to his work.

“Keep goin’, lad,” the first mate urged.

“He was playing around with some fancy deck of cards. They glowed funny.”

Gangplank stood up from his chair, like a colossus rising from the depths.

“Tell me where,” he said.

The leather belt of his holster creaked in his tightening grip.

“By the warehouse, the big one near the sheds.”

Gangplank’s face flushed an angry shade of crimson as he pulled on his greatcoat and claimed his hat from its peg. His eyes glinted red in the lamplight. The child was not alone in taking a wary step back.

“Give the boy a silver serpent and a hot meal,” the captain ordered to his first mate as he strode purposefully toward the cabin door.

“And get everyone to the docks. We’ve got work to do.”

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]