The Ionian countryside burned. Noxian Legions ripped through the land like a serrated knife, their gleaming armor blood-red in the sinking sun. Blazing temples lit the waning daylight, and distant cries of anguish filled the air.
Nestled in the foothills of Tevasa Mountain was a village of perhaps a hundred people – but home to no great warriors. Some families fled. Some prayed. Others held their loved ones close and wept. Fifty brave souls prepared to fight. They cleaned the dirt from their pitchforks and bound knives to broom handles.
Mounting panic shone in the eyes of every defender; they knew they had no hope. With the dust of the Noxian advance already visible in the distance, there was little to do but make peace with their gods. The sons and daughters of Ionia took deep, steadying breaths of mountain air, gazed into the starry twilight, and waited for the slaughter soon to come.
Ahri‘s nine tails swished: a nervous tic. Her sharpened senses warned of danger. Crouched in the shadow of a towering willow she listened, watched, and waited. She had observed the villagers for weeks: watching from afar, but never trusting herself to approach. She heard families talking over dinner, the laughs of women who might have been her sisters, and the games of children. Ahri would listen for hours on end, tearing herself away only when the longing grew too sharp.
Though she had little understanding of nations or politics, instinct alone told her something was very wrong in the world today. Curious, and fearing for the villagers, Ahri sniffed the air. She pinpointed the source of her disquiet, and dashed into the night.