Echoes of the Past: Samira, The Rose that Survived
Sun 4th Oct 2020 - 2:44pm
Samira was born to a family of street performers in the City of Amakra. There they danced and entertained the common folk for a living. But the city that stood among the desert dunes in the eastern edge of the Great Sai. Now lay unmarked, its fate unknown to this day. Reports say it was raided by zealous fanatics at one point during Samira’s fourteenth birthday. The only other information we have about Amakra is its connection to Malzahar. The infamous Prophet of the Void once called the city home.
"The aforementioned raid was done by followers of Xerath. The devious Ascended mage that caused the collapse of the mighty Shuriman Empire many decades ago."
That night Samira watched the brutality on her people unfold first-hand. Many were forcibly gathered and slaughter like livestock, all in Xerath’s name. It was the first time Samira was stricken by overwhelming fear all her life. Unable to move as the ruthless killings transpired in front of her. No amount of audacious street performances could have prepared her for this. Yet something inside kept her from fully losing oneself to fear. It kept her alive. A self-inflicted hatred of her own weakness. Being downright powerless to do anything felt disgusting to her. It was something she’d never want to feel again in life.
It was a miracle her family and a couple others survived the onslaught. Wounded but alive, the survivors fled to the Noxian-controlled coastal city of Bel’zhun. Where they enjoyed a relatively peaceful life under the protection of Noxus despite the Suns of Bel’zhun, a rebel splinter group, presence in the city. The people of Bel’zhun seem content living with their Noxian counterparts. Some even grew rich very fast by selling off expensive artifacts to Noxians stationed in the city.
"It was the perfect place to start a new. Most did, living their quiet lives but Samira saw the city as her proving grounds."
Determined to regain the courage she lost that night, Samira dared herself in every performance, gradually getting more fearless after each stunt. Still it was never enough for Samira. Her thirst for the thrills of danger was seemingly insatiable. Nor were her performances adequate enough to sustain her and her family financially. With both parents still too injured to work the streets, she alone fended for the whole family. It wasn’t until a local Noxian Warband started to recruit members for their cause did Samira see the opportunity for both financial stability and a new chance to prove herself. With nothing to lose, Samira joined immediately.
Time spent on the street performing made her extremely agile and the raw talent she had greatly impressed many of her peers. She was quickly became proficient with the blade and her exceptional aim made her a deadly marksman. Her marvelous prowess for combat made her a formidable foe in the battlefield. Still her often reckless nature lead to frequent altercation with her officers, who saw her daredevil attitude too unpredictable to safely rely upon. And after two long frustrating years of training, Samira got her chance with Captain Indari. Little is known about this particular captain besides being a former saboteur. She saw value in Samira while others did not. Her fearless yet impulsive nature was something Captain Indari could use in her own private warband. A specialized group of warriors tasked with more unconventional missions not suited for the regular military. Samira gladly accepted Captain Indari’s offer.
Soon enough she found herself in the thick of battle. Just like Captain Indari had promised. She felt alive for the first time as the adrenaline pumped through her veins. She reveled in the face of uncertain peril. This feeling she wanted to immortalize forever.
"By choice, she turned her body turned to a tapestry of commemorative body art."
"Tattoos that celebrate only the most unforgettable feats Samira has ever done on the field."
Despite her new life with the warband, she still finds time to share her adventures with her parents, every chance she gets. One such adventure brought her to the Plains of Rokrund.
"Found southward of the Immortal Bastion, near the Varju Mountains. A place highly contested by Noxus due to its rich saltpetre deposits."
The Rokrund natives had sought to permanently remove themselves from the Noxian Empire but, being too valuable of a commodity to lose, Noxus answered hard with five warhosts to combat this treasonous act. Yet a snake hidden among their ranks and the Rokrund’s explosive advantage made defeat inevitable for Noxus. Egregious was the loss that it managed to force down the Grand General’s hand, to the pleasure of those that conspire against the Noxian Visionary.
Swain personally met with his generals at Noxus’ Rokrund encampment to strategize an end. During which Brannin Granth threatened to kill Swain with an explosive device stashed underneath the war table. Brannin could never forgive Swain for what he did to House Granth. His family lost a considerable amount of wealthy and power after the wake of Swain’s coup. Still the Black Powder Plot was merely a clever ruse from someone far powerful than Brannin. He was a simple tool to test Swain. His hatred and miniscule mind made him vulnerable.
"Behind the scenes lurked the Cult of the Black Rose. An ancient cabal that predates Noxus. Its sinister matron, Leblanc has for ages manipulated individuals like Brannin to further the Black Rose’s twisted agenda."
Brannin ultimately failed his attempt and died at the clutches of the Grand General’s demonic hand. Swain knew from personal experience who orchestrated this ploy against his life. With the Black Rose’s involvement brought to light, it was imperative that the conflict in Rokrund be dealt with immediately, which was a task given to Captain Indari’s warband. They were swift to pinpoint the Rokrund stronghold and was closing in to the rebel leader when tragedy struck. A terrifying explosion erupted from the enemy base. It is unknown what and who triggered the blast. Was it a desperate act of defiance on part from the Rokrund Natives when Captain Indari’s warband attacked, an unfortunate accident with the black powder stocked inside, or something more disquieting?
"For Noxus has been known to implore a far costly approach to conflict whenever deemed necessary. Another case of friendly – fire in the battlefield or a deliberate underhanded tactic to ensure victory?"
Its cause maybe shrouded in black smoke but the effect it did was clear as day. Many died in the explosion while countless others were crushed as the fortress came bearing down on them. Despite the carnage, Samira with no disregard for her own safety flung herself to the crumbling fortress and rescued the heavily injured Captain Indari.
"Samira lost her right eye yet her courageous action that day saved her Captain, at least most of her."
Captain Indari lost more than just her legs. She blamed herself for their failure. Disgruntled by her actions that day. Captain Indari disbanded her warband upon their return. Which left Samira no other choice but to return home to Bel’zhun, because there was nothing Noxus could offer that was even remotely close to what Captain Indari had given her. The excitement from battle, the thrills of danger had all vanished.
Life back home was rather tedious for her. She was not the same girl she once was the first time she arrived here a few years ago. Samira had already experienced life on the edge, and she knew her ravenous appetite for danger could only be satiated by Captain Indari. Only Indari fully understood her peculiar interests. Samira tracked her former captain and struck up a bargain with her. Though hesitant at first, Indari become Samira’s handler. Her military connections made it easy to gather the most dangerous contracts.
"Samira now a mercenary for hire relishes every moment of her new job."
The thrill she longed for was back. And it only grew more exuberant as her reputation started to flourish. She became well known by the Noxian elites. Her impressive feats like defeating a chem-baron in hand-to-hand combat and surviving a Bilgewater raid among other things has even caught the attention of the Noxian High Command. Other times Samira would simply be seen jumping off cliffs in Shurima or arm-wrestling outlaws.
She has on some occasions been tasked in secret to undermine other warbands to safeguard Noxus itself. Like she once did in a compound near Qualthala, a southern coastal settlement nearby Rokrund. It was rumored to have housed a deadly weapon capable of threatening the Noxian Empire. Unfortunately, by the time Samira arrived the weapon was long gone stolen. A few warmasons, a broken stone prison cell with a large gaping hole, and pieces of metal twisted beyond recognition were all that greeted her. Samira could not remember the last time something eluded her. It got her curious as to what kind of weapon they kept here. Samira was determined to find out for herself.
"Still her exceptional skills weren’t the only thing Samira relayed upon during battle."
She has with her an arsenal of powerful weapons at her disposal. From guns to swords and even a combination of both. Samira would at times treat herself to new toys often to annoy Indari. Dropping a hefty chunk of gold coins to any that pique her interest. And among those that garnered Samira’s curiosity was a pair of black powder pistols. She found them at a hole-in-a-wall weapon store in Noxus called Lani & Miel Munitions. The weaponsmiths came recommended by one of Indari’s old saboteur connection. The apprentices were also moonlighting as tattoo artist which attracted Samira. The guns were crafted using specially imported materials from the business proprietors’ homeland.
"The guns were not only stylish but also deadly as it had untested Zaunite technology. Which was perfect for the thrill – seeking Samira."
"Blaze & Thorn"
Her right hand “Blaze” has a black charcoal hue. Etched on its side is a golden rose that befits Samira’s Desert Rose title. A similar golden rose is embroidered on the gun’s holster. In her left hand, “Thorn” is a sleek revolver and that has a silver coating. The pistol grip is adorned with a golden rose stem, its holster proudly sporting a Lani & Miel Munitions symbol.
Besides her pistols, Samira wields a custom-engineered sword. For a more up and close kind of buzz. “Vanquish” had a black coat, sharp edge and a single barrel firing mechanism to give sudden kick on Samira’ swing. The mechanism can propel the sword forward to break open armor. Its side depicts a similar golden rose design that matches her entire ensemble.
With her talents recognized by those above her. She became an expensive yet indispensable asset to have, which attracted many clients to Indari’s doorstep. One potential client could be the sinister Black Rose. Though no concrete proof of their dealings with either Samira or Indari brought to light, there have been subtle hints that provides some sense to this speculation.
"Lani & Miel Munitions"
Her guns and sword all bear the mark a golden rose. Which could mean that Lani & Miel Munitions, where Samira bought her pistols, is secretly owned or at least its owners manipulated by the Black Rose. In one occasion after Samira’s visit, a burly man that retouched one of her tattoos suddenly changed to a pale lady and interacted with Indari.
"Guns and Roses"
The lines “Captain Indari, you will give her whatever she wants – the empire needs Samira.” were uttered by the pale lady, in response to Indari’s comment about Samira’s reckless behavior. This small talk leads many to believe that the Black Rose has been influencing Samira’s life. Her knowing about this revelation is still unclear.
Similarly, the contracts she receives from Indari has a rose insignia included. Being a former captain of such a specialized warband, it would not be unheard of that she had made contact with the Black Rose in the past. And even Samira’ signature bears a rose.
"Samira’s Contracts and Signature"
The depths of this relationship still remain a mystery. On a recent wanted poster from Noxus, details about a criminal fugitive with the identical MO to that of Samira’s mystery thief in Qualthala was shared to the public. Heavy Noxian armor warped and torn to pieces.
"Noxian Wanted Poster"
With specific instruction to bring the fugitive if detained to the nearest Noxian building marked with a black rose. This particular line gives credence that the Black Rose are also after the weapon or they themselves sent Samira in the first place. Still only time will tell what lies in Samira’s future. Between the Black Rose and a deadly weapon on the loose, Samira is sure to have the time of her life.