Legendary Tinker (Worm/LoL) (2023)

Scattered 5.5

2001, June 1: Dnipro, Ukraine

I stood at the top of a hill, looking down over a sea of white and red. They were my Petricite grove and this was the Garden of Babylon, named for the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders.

Why Babylon?

I felt Eden was a little too uncreative. Besides, I was Christian, whatever the state of my soul at the moment. Calling it "Eden" felt a little… pretentious.

The Petricite trees were planted in spacious rows. At first glance, it seemed as though there was too much space. The trees were already nearing three stories tall, but there was enough space between them to fit almost an entire city block.

That was no accident. These trees the size of houses were saplings. They were positively tiny compared to the skyscraper-sized behemoths native to Demacia. Though to be fair, Demacian Petricite had almost a full millennium to reach their full height.

As it was, Petricite trees grew slowly, but I cheated somewhat by converting not redwood pinecones, but small saplings. By bypassing the germination process altogether, I could plant them while they were already partially grown. I then dug wells and irrigation channels filled with the Water of Life. The waters of the Blessed Isles would promote their growth. It was where Maokai was from after all.

Between each tree was a plot of some foreign flower or fruit, ranging from some of the tamer plants from the Kumungu Jungle to the Veraza azaleas bred by their namesake family in Zaun's cultivars. There were even a few puffcaps, their green and purple heads iconic to any fan of the game. Each were carefully cultivated by a mix of Hero's drones, trustworthy Case-53s, and humans who had been vetted for the purpose.

As far as the humans went, it was a simple matter to visit a primitive earth and offer a village free reign over incredibly rich land, free of predators or enemies. I shouldn't have been surprised to find out that half of them thought of us Cauldron executives as either mortal avatars of gods or divine messengers.

It honestly made me deeply uncomfortable. There was a small part of me that reveled in the awe and worship, but… but it all rang hollow. I did not have their best interests in mind. In the end, I was exploiting them as glorified gardeners. True, their lives were better for it and my influence was a net positive, but they were a means to an end, not some chosen followers of the "god of life and harvest" or whatever other bullshit title they called me when I wasn't around.

The part of me that wanted to be praised and exalted? I wanted that as an inventor and creator. I wanted people to know how awesome my inventions were. I wanted them to stand awestruck as I punched a hole through Scion's chest, pioneered interstellar travel, or figured out how to raise the dead, not because I introduced them to the wonders of Home Depot's gardening section.

I put all of that out of mind with the ease of long practice. In the end, Babylon bettered some lives and got me a sustainable supply of Petricite that I didn't need to convert myself. I'd just have to live with the moral discomfort.

I turned around and headed back into the compound at the top of the hill. It was connected to the rest of Cauldron in the same way everything else was: Doormaker. Cauldron HQ's floorplan looked like a winding maze, or perhaps some kind of dismembered kraken carcass that had been scattered across multiple continents and worlds.

Lately, I'd been spending as much time in this lab as the Madhouse in DC and the reason was simple: I finally cracked alchemical mass production.

Or rather, Renata Glasc, Singed, and the other chembarons of Zaun cracked mass production and I finally figured out how to shamelessly steal and repurpose their ideas.

Best of all? I didn't have to pollute the hell out of my personal garden world to do it.

To be fair to myself, I'd more or less always known how to mass produce. It wasn't as though the concept of assembly lines was somehow foreign to me. No, the problem had always been a matter of energy and effort.

All of my inventions were powered by the World Rune, and that came with plenty of advantages. Namely, nothing lost power. Ever. As a cosmic force of creation, it was simply impossible for the World Rune to ever fail in its capacity as a battery. Nor could anything I made be reverse engineered by another tinker in any meaningful way. I was using a completely foreign form of energy that Shards were simply unequipped to understand.

But there was a major disadvantage as well: Because the World Rune was permanently grafted to my soul, I had to be the one to power it all. Sure, some things like Control Wards could work by inserting a bit of my mana to act as independent batteries, but they weren't permanent.

No, my answer to mass production came thanks to Hero. Or rather, it all lead back to his Wayfinder. I'd attuned it to him using blood magic pioneered first by the likes of Vladimir and later refined by the Black Rose Order of Noxus. I'd been so focused on the mission of saving Hero's life that I failed to fully consider the implications of what I'd done. By using blood magic to link his soul to the Wayfinder, I bound the item to him. If he lost it, I could easily find it for him with a minor ritual, no matter the distance.

(Video) NAIL IN FOOT!

Then the natural question came: Why can't I do that with myself?

No one else's soul was powerful enough to fuel an assembly line of mass-produced goods, but I'd already figured out how to make connections to souls that weren't limited by distance. So, that's what I did.

I made a giant Mana Crystal out of enough quartz to put Rolex out of business and turned it into a mana storage device that linked back to my soul, a Nexus. It siphoned a monstrous amount of mana to keep itself running, but the World Rune was infinite anyway and since the mana wasn't going through my body, I didn't suffer any side effects.

I then used it to power several manufacturing and alchemical processes in the lab, including a production line for some of the more basic potions and a wellspring of the not-quite Water of Life that nourished Babylon's fields. Right now, the potions catalog included the basic health potion, the Elixir of Rejuvenation designed to restore lost limbs, and a "Sump Tonic" that cured various lung diseases.

That Sump Tonic was a tonic made by a certain chembaron for her Zaunite wage slaves. There wasn't any compassion involved. Rather, she noticed that there were too many who were dying from inhaling the Zaun Gray. Instead of spring for actual gas masks, she decided that since alchemy was her expertise, she'd rather just cure the symptoms. Of course, constant exposure to the Gray made the tonic a stopgap at best, but squeezing some extra time out of her workers was all she cared about in the end.

Terrible news for those at the Sump Level, but great for the people of Earth-Bet. So long as they didn't dive back down into a coal mine or something, the Sump Tonic could cure virtually any lung disease.

On a minor note, this meant the NEPEA-5 lawsuit against Rubedo's health potions finally came to a head in the Supreme Court, quite fast as far as legal proceedings went. Rubedo's "breakthrough" into mass production forced the court to examine the case in great detail. There was a lot of legal jargon thrown around about precedents, regulation of medical products, and the rights of heroes as business entities, but there could only be one conclusion: My detractors were laughed out of court.

The original reason for the lawsuit was to buy time for investors to gauge my alchemical abilities and move funds around accordingly so it grated on me a bit that they'd gotten exactly what they wanted. Still, small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

The Number Man started several proxy companies contracted to sell my potions across the United States and abroad. Nominally, these companies prevented the formation of a monopoly centered around my alchemical innovations. In reality, Kurt was having a blast yanking the world's pharmaceutical market around by the nose.

The secret identity and location of the mysterious Ward who got whisked away by Alexandria became something of a hot commodity to everyone outside the loop.

All of this got me two lesser runes I'd unlocked over the past eight months: Magic Footwear and Cosmic Insight.

I received Magic Footwear after I completed my armor and set the Tear of the Goddess into its breastplate.

Magic Footwear was similar to Biscuit Delivery in that it granted me a mundane skill on top of the primary boon. It made me the greatest cobbler alive with knowledge of shoemaking from Runeterra. No matter the style or fit, from horseshoes to elegant art pieces that belonged on fashion runways, if it fit on feet, I could make it. Not that it was a particularly useful skill to have in the modern age.

On top of the situationally useful shoemaking skill, I also received knowledge of various types of enchantments, all pertaining to speed and movement. If an enchantment existed with the primary purpose of making something go faster, slower, or in a different vector, I knew it and could remake it.

If Magic Footwear was hyper-specialized, Cosmic Insight broadened my horizons, literally.

I ignited this lesser rune the night after I finished the layout of Babylon and planted the first groves. In the temple of my soul, I saw constellations shrink until they could fit into the palm of my hand. I zoomed out of the temple, out of my soul, until for the briefest instant, I saw a glimpse of the true vastness of space. There at the edge of the universe, I felt as much as saw the ebb and flow of time and space, that delicate dance that wove the Grand Tapestry.

And then it was over.

The lesser rune wasn't enough for me to get more than a glimpse. I was returned to the temple, making me feel like my soul had been used as some kind of cosmic rubber band. It did give me enough to understand what the game would call "ability haste." In other words, cooldowns. I could now engrave enchantments that reduced the cooldowns of my products and artifacts. Basically, enchantments that made other enchantments more efficient.

Of course, the very first thing I did was to make my potions factory more efficient. Cauldron actually had legitimate streams of income now.

I loved how everything built on itself. I was truly becoming a monster and I couldn't be prouder.

On another note, I was a little nervous. I wasn't an idiot, most of the time; I could recognize basic patterns. The next rune, if the pattern held up, would be another Keystone. The last one had changed me, both physically and spiritually, by turning me into a Feljordian folk hero. Though it seemed lackluster at first glance, the potential it imparted was immense. Compared to Glacial Augment, I wasn't sure what to expect of Unsealed Spellbook and First Strike.

X​


2001, June 4: Washington, DC, United States

(Video) Freckled Zelda Enchants The Judges With "Colors of The Wind" | AGT 2022

I dodged out of the way of Verdeer's charge, deflecting the edge of an antler with my shield. Sparks flew as I activated the Blitzshield's static field, but my opponent's diamond-like antlers did not conduct electricity.

That was fine. I amped up the brightness to the max.

"Aaah! Oof." Gold Rush screamed as she lost track of where she was going and ran into my fist. Her enhanced speed came with appropriately increased muscle density so the punch to her gut didn't do much, but that was all the distraction I needed.

The ice that flowed through my veins flooded into my armor and coalesced in the crystals on my shoulders. As I leapt away, jagged icicles sprouted from my footprints like stalagmites, deterring pursuit. I could have grabbed her and drained her power, reducing her to a normal girl, but Verdeer was already recovering.

Without the Winter's Approach, I could barely generate a refreshing breeze, a puff of snow crystals that'd make Sejuani die laughing. With it, Glacial Augment's true worth showed itself. Every movement I made produced an "ice echo" similar to Leviathan's.

I was effectively a cryokinetic much like Just-Ice of the Arlington Wards.

That revelation had incited whole new rumors and speculations about me being a tinker whose specialization was mimicry. It wasn't, but the PRT was milking it for all it was worth. In the past three months alone, I'd had four different PR events where Just-Ice, Glace, and I posed together.

On the plus side, only Glace was tapped to keep a functioning ice rink in the National Mall through the summer.

I put aside my annoyance with Powell and drew my relic pistol, pumping four rounds down range before Gold Rush could recover.

Unfortunately, Brickhouse was on the ball and clods of earth intercepted all but one of my light bullets. He could pull cement from the walls or beneath the mat as easily as clay, but he almost exclusively used the clay set aside in piles in the training room during sparring. It saved on repair costs apparently.

None of the light bullets I'd fired their way were strong enough to break the hardened clay so he threw them my way in retaliation.

I blocked them with ease, catching three on my shield, dodging out of the way of two, and kicking the last apart in a shower of dirt and ice fragments. Every spin and step sent a flurry of ice crystals lancing through the air like I was Elsa, but I wasn't the only one who could make distractions.

Verdeer closed in again, this time accompanied by Brickhouse. My nominal leader's hands were fully encased in solidified clay; he knew his strikes wouldn't dent my armor. Gold Rush flanked around me, leaving her curtain of golden light behind her to try and slow me down.

I shoved my shield in Verdeer's face to deflect his charge, but he was waiting for it. He twisted his neck and swerved on his own, hooking his antlers to tear away my protection. I was briefly tempted to fire a Zeri-style bolt into his skull but remembered that he wasn't electric proof, just his antlers.

Reluctantly, I made a twisting motion with my left wrist, detaching the shield and letting him run away with it. If I let him drag me around by the arm, I'd find myself overwhelmed in short order.

Still, I made him help me in his own way. The momentum of his turn was used to twist me around, launching me in a roundhouse kick that clocked Gold Rush across the jaw.

She too had gotten better at anticipating my movements over the past several months. She was one of the few capes who could actively keep pace with my newfound speed and she made good use of it. She turned with me, making my foot come in contact with her slowdown trail.

I suddenly felt as though my foot lost half its momentum. Given she was already rolling with the kick, it was barely enough to jostle her chin. It'd probably leave a bruise, but she'd shrugged off a lot worse.

The sudden drop in my momentum also kept me from completing my spin, forcing me to land on my hands and remaining knee in a textbook three-point crouch. I knew what was coming and tucked myself into a roll, evading Brick's downward fist.

This was how our spars usually went now. I'd quickly graduated from fighting them individually and they treated me more like a raid boss to beat down through coordinated assaults. Perhaps there was a bit more consternation about being surpassed by a nine year old than I'd initially assumed.

Regardless, I swept a leg in a wide arc, sending a gale of frozen air to destabilize them. I was lucky enough to catch Brick as he recovered from his punch.

He landed on the ground with a pained grunt, just in time to see a light bullet strike the mat mere inches from his head.

He got the message and rolled himself out of bounds. It was rare for our dear leader to be the first to lose but he took it in stride.

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I saw Verdeer behind me, ready to throw the Blitzshield like a frisbee. Of my fellow Wards, he was the only person who could use it without negating his own power, perks of being a Case-53. He'd asked me to make him something similar at one point, but PR cut off that idea as incongruent with his image.

The shield flew like a discus, albeit with considerably greater speed. Had I continued to rise, it would have found the back of my helmet. Instead, I turned my crouch into a flip and kicked the shield as it flew by.

My foot collided with the shield just slightly off center, sending it flipping through the air like a quarter. In the same motion, my pistol came up to fire two shots at Gold Rush, who had recovered from my foot to her chin. The blasts weren't enough to cause any real harm, but they knocked her on her ass.

The Blitzshield came down and I managed to catch it in hand, quickly slipping my left arm through the harness. I turned to face Verdeer.

"You and me, Verd," I said with a confident smirk.

He grunted and broke his stance. "Nah, we're done. You win, you little monster."

"Excuse you, I'm not little," I huffed with mock indignation.

"Yeah, that's what you take issue with," I heard Gold Rush mutter from the floor. "Seriously though, did you get faster? I could've sworn you were faster than me for a second."

"No, no I didn't. I'm just more efficient with my movements. You move like a sprinter; I move like a martial artist."

"Verd's right. You are a monster."

"I am," I said agreeably. "Are we done for the day? I still want to go fine-tune some stuff."

"Yeah, we're done," Brickhouse spoke. "You go get to your tinkering."

I nodded respectfully to my Wards Leader and headed back to the Madhouse. A lot had changed on this side of the Door as well.

For starters, I was no longer homeschooled. I received my high school diploma, or at least the homeschool equivalent, last month. I was shocked to find that I was not in fact the youngest to ever graduate high school. That honor went to one Michael Kearney who graduated high school at the age of six. And, he did it without the benefit of a past life to his name.

Mad respect.

Funnily enough, mom wanted me to start looking at colleges. There was something to be said for Asian parents no matter the world, but I managed to talk her out of it with a promise to do it later when I was a more appropriate age. It took some doing, but in the end, I managed to convince her that "being a hero" was a perfectly fine activity to pad my application. Secretly, I thought it was the "mentored by Hero" that sold it for her.

Asians…

I toweled off the sweat from our spar and began to sketch out more of the rune matrices that would make up my new eyes. They were orbs of True Ice. Or rather, my Orbs of True Eyes.

No, I'm not sorry.

True Ice had become remarkably cheap, comparatively, since Glacial Augment, but that didn't mean these prosthetics were easy to make. There was a whole underlying development process that I simply wasn't willing to cut corners from. The eyes were the most complex machines in nature and I wasn't taking any chances with mine.

To start with, I had to sink these orbs in an alchemical solution that was "genetically and magically neutral" as one Dr. Monteiro put it. Which, to be clear, was very different from simply being inert. Piltovan surgeons needed to be able to prevent rejection and similar complications without the advantages of modern internal medicine and this was how they did it.

The solution was derived from one of the plants that now decorated Babylon. Specifically, the Veraza azalea, named for the family of chembarons who pioneered the botanical genetic engineering process.

After making sure that my body would accept the new eyes, I had to inscribe each face of the multi-faceted orbs with individual runic matrices. Hell, I made a microscope and had Armsmaster help me miniaturize the Hextech Multitool just so I could start on this project.

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Even with the improved tools, I already went through six or seven eyes trying to figure out the best way to position each runic matrix relative to the others.

In the end, I decided to work from the back of the eye outward. At the base of course was the neural interface system that would collect incoming information, translate it to something my squishy meat-brain could compute, then transfer it down the optic nerves. Then, because magic was bullshit and I didn't have to give two fucks about the anatomy of an actual eyeball, I made three runic matrices to mimic the role of retinas.

Yes, three. Each matrix was positioned to form an equilateral triangle and acted like an oracle's Elixir in their own right. Just getting them to sense mana at the same rate and frequency was a pain, made worse by the realization that I needed to remake the neural interface matrix because the sensory input was too much.

The goal was to have each eye triple up on that spherical vision, effectively letting each eye triangulate objects by itself. Quadrangulate? Was that a word? The inspiration came from dragonflies and their highly advanced compound eyes that let them snag flies out of the air, over water, ignoring reflections, solar glare, and their own constant movement.

Dragonflies were nature's predator drones and if pokémon were real, yanmega would be at the top of my fuck-Arceus list.

I could have stopped there. A pseudo-byakugan with individually operated eyes that could triangulate any target in range, pierce any illusion, and see the currents of mana that flowed through all existence? Yeah, they were fine as they were. I even managed to double the radius from a hundred fifty meters to three hundred meters.

But if I stopped there, I wouldn't have been making any real use out of the base material. I didn't just pick True Ice because of the monstrous amounts of mana it could hold.

True Ice wasn't just "that thing that won't melt that Gragas uses to chill his booze." It was, quite literally, the crystallization of an idea. It was why even people who received no formal magical training like Sejuani could use True Ice weapons to perform feats that, by all logic, should belong in the realm of mages.

Ashe's bow could make an arrow the size of a horse and somehow make it fly straight not simply because it crystalized the air around her to generate mass, but because it slowed physical concepts like inertia. Projecting the idea of "cold," of "slowing down," onto intangible ideas was the domain of master craftsmen and the Bow of Avarosa was a masterwork like few others on Runeterra.

I was a master craftsman.

Sort of...

To be fair, I had much to learn. Potential did not equate to true skill and experience, but I was getting there.

In the end, I had to come up with a compromise. Initially, I wanted to pull an Esdeath and "chill" time. Perhaps because I lacked the full integration of the World Runes or because my own understanding was lacking, but that proved to be too much.

I was always pressed by the World Rune to build the best things I could make within my current talents and it turned out that my talents were lacking. So, instead of fruitlessly chasing after the idea of "frozen" time, I focused on keeping the chilling effect internal.

My eyes would "chill" my own perception of time, giving me minutes to think and plan in the nanoseconds it took for a bullet to reach me. Strictly speaking, it made zero sense. To experience a moment of "slowed time," one's perception would need to speed up, not slow down, but True Ice tended to tell physics to go take a hike.

And then, as if being Neo wasn't enough, I decided to leave room to expand my range of vision. Avarosan rangers could do something similar, seeing through the eyes of their omen hawks. I wasn't ready yet, but by leaving a sympathetic rune matrix on the eyes, I could come back later to connect a familiar.

With a satisfied smile, I got to work on what would hopefully be the last draft of my eyes.

Author's Note

I ain't no gardener and I sure as hell didn't study sustainable forestry in college. You'll just have to forgive me that that section was rather weak. Assume that these people are being taught and groomed to harvest smaller branches of Petricite and dream blossoms. I could turn this into a kingdom building fic, but I felt that this would be too much of a derail.

As for why I capitalize Petricite but not dream blossoms… I don't know. I started doing it way back in Charmed and I want to remain consistent.

Goddamn it took a full chapter just to get everyone caught up on time skip shenanigans. The big takeaway is that Andy cracked mass production. And you know what that means: hextech.

Not the piddly little shield he made, but truly industrialized assembly lines, as Heimerdinger envisioned. As far as I'm concerned, this mass production unlocks for Andy the secrets of the Hextech line of skins. Jarvan's weird two-pronged lance. Annie's not-pedobear. Alistar's… Alistar. Everything in that line of AU skins is now up for grabs, though I may have to play around with their provided lore a bit.

Evan Monteiro is one of the designers for the Champion, Camille. Seeing how I couldn't find the name of Camille's in-lore surgeon, I figured this would be a neat little name drop.

(Video) if you ever see this CREEPY PALE LADY in school, RUN AWAY FAST!! (SCARY)

Veraza azalea is a reference to Corina Veraza, a character who shows up in Legends of Runeterra. She is a chembaron, and developed a flower that can feed off the Zaun Grey. She has a skill called Magnum Opus, a flower which, in-game, obliterates the top five cards of your opponent's deck and deals one damage to all enemies per spell destroyed. It used to be really,

really strong before power creep kind of got to her.

Omen hawk is a weak monster from LoR.

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