Innately connected to the latent power of Runeterra, Ahri is a vastaya who can reshape magic into of raw energy. She revels in toying with her prey by manipulating their emotions before devouring their . Despite her predatory nature, Ahri retains a sense of empathy as she receives flashes of memory from each soul she consumes.
Abandoned in the snowy woods of northern Ionia, Ahri knew nothing of her original family save the token they left her: a pair of matching gemstones. She joined a pack of icefoxes as they stalked prey on their morning hunt, and before long they adopted her as one of their own. With no one to teach her the magic of her kind, Ahri instinctively learned to draw it from the world around her, shaping destructive and quickening her reflexes to take down prey. If she was close enough, she could even a deer into a state of tranquility, so much that it remained serene even as she sank her teeth into its flesh.
Ahri first encountered humans when a troop of foreign soldiers camped near her den. Their behaviors were strange to Ahri and, curious to learn more, she watched them from afar. She was especially drawn to a hunter who, unlike his wasteful companions, used every part of the animals he killed, reminding her of her fox family.
When the hunter was wounded by an arrow, Ahri felt his life seeping away. She instinctively devoured the essence leaving his body, and gained brief flashes of his memories - the lover he had lost in battle, his children from a strange land of iron and stone. She found she could push his emotions from fear to sorrow to joy, and charmed him with visions of a sun-soaked meadow as he died.
Euphoric at the rush of absorbing the hunter's life, Ahri felt more alive than ever, and traveled Ionia in search of more victims. She relished toying with her prey, shifting their emotions before consuming their life essence. She alternated between dazzling them with visions of beauty, hallucinations of deep longing, and occasionally dreams colored by raw sorrow.
She grew drunk with memories that were not her own, and exhilarated in the lives of others. Through stolen visions, Ahri watched through their eyes as they pledged fealty to a temple of Noxian invaders., sacrificed offerings to a deity of the sun incarnate, encountered an tribe of vastaya that spoke only in , and glimpsed mountainous landscapes unlike any she had seen. She experienced heartbreak and elation in tantalizing flashes that left her craving more, and wept at the massacres of Ionian villagers at the hands of
Ahri was surprised when the memories led her to discover the tale of an unearthly fox demon. As she absorbed more life essence, she grew to identify more and more with her victims, and felt guilty at ending so many lives. She feared that the myths about her were true - she was no more than a cruel monster. But whenever too much time passed between feedings, she sensed her own power fade, and could not help but partake once more.
Ahri tested her self-control by consuming small quantities of life essence, enough to absorb a memory or two but not enough to kill. She was successful, for a time, but was tortured by her unending hunger and soon succumbed to temptation, indulging in the dreams of an entire coastal village.
Tormented by her mistake, Ahri could not forgive herself and felt a deep sorrow that forced her to question her own existence. She withdrew to the forest caves, isolating herself in hopes of controlling her relentless desire. Years later she emerged, determined to experience every facet of life through her own eyes. Though she might indulge in occasional essence, she resisted consuming entire lives. With the twin gemstones as the only clue to her origin, Ahri set out in search of others like her. No more would she rely on borrowed memories and unfamiliar dreams.
- (This lore was originally released along with the Ahri statue, which has currently become unavailable)
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.
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.
Seven Noxian scouts eased through the brush, pushing ever closer to the mountain. Dark-eyed and wary, the men kept their hands on their weapons as they crept through the settling dusk.
Ahri found them in a matter of moments and followed them through the forest. She darted between the trees, suspicion mounting as she observed their movements. Of their mission, Ahri could only guess, but she had fought enough battles to know killers when she saw them.
The squad's captain scanned the undergrowth. Without breaking stride, he whispered a brief order to the man at his back, who relayed it to the man at his. Ahri thought nothing of it, and continued her silent pursuit.
Suddenly, seven hands reached for seven arrows.
"Now!" roared the captain. The Noxians loosed as one, and a flurry of hawk-fletched arrows flashed towards Ahri.
She dived from the bushes as two arrows sliced through her sleeve. Ahri ripped it off and dashed into cover, yellow eyes aflame with shock and fury: she would lose no sleep in killing these men.
Ahri opened her palms to the sky, and felt the raw power of her spirit coalesce. Her nine tails fanned out in all directions as she pulled white fire from the air with a snarl. With a flick of her wrist, Ahri summoned threeof spinning flame. She dodged another volley of arrows before leaping for the nearest tree, coiling her tails to spring from its trunk, back towards her assailants. The Noxians scattered as she landed in their midst. The man closest to her thrust a knife, but the blade cut only air. Ahri danced through her foes with blinding speed.
The fiery motes around her engulfed the three nearest men. White flames seared them, but Ahri had more than brute force in her arsenal. She vaulted from tree to tree, rising higher with every bound. She spotted the squad's captain crouched between a tangle of tree roots, his bowstring taut. Given half a chance, Ahri knew he'd put an arrow through her eye. She crept silently to the branches above the captain's shelter and spoke, her soft words laced with beguiling power.
"Human", she whispered. "Come to me."
The captain's features went slack. Through no will of his own, he set down his bow and walked from cover. He looked up, eyes wide with desperation and desire.
"Now climb", said Ahri, blowing the man a kiss.
The captain, utterly in her, scrambled for footholds on the tree trunk. Ahri summoned a of lambent energy to her palm, its innocent appearance belying its vast power. She drew back her arm, allowed herself a vulpine grin, and hurled it downwards.
The orb streaked through the captain before flying back to Ahri's palm, and his smoking body fell to the forest floor with a thud. The remaining scouts fled in terror, but running proved every bit as futile as hiding. Ahri vaulted from branch to branch, tails whirling behind her as she struck two men down with thunderous bolts of energy.
The last man collapsed in a tangle of limbs, clutching at his broken bones as Ahri landed gracefully beside him. She grabbed the Noxian's throat, and put her face an inch from his.
"You brought this on yourselves", she hissed, and snapped the man's neck with a blast of concussive force.
Only one task remained.
Ahri had no qualms about gaining her humanity by taking it from men who had no use for it. She knelt over the fallen Noxian, feeling his pulse fade. She placed her hands to either side of his face. The light of hisflowed from his eyes and mouth, and a thrilling sensation surged through Ahri. His humanity poured into her, and she felt the fox within withdraw with every heartbeat. Her tails curled in pleasure, her expression rapturous.
Yet even lost in that glorious sensation, Ahri heard the sound of approaching footsteps. The villagers, hearing the sounds of combat, were coming to investigate. She couldn't let them see her like this, draining what remained of a dying man's life. To their eyes she would seem a terrifying mystery: a damnable half-breed stray, neither human nor beast.
Reluctantly, Ahri turned from her feast, seeing shapes moving through the trees and bushes. She recognized the men and women she had watched from afar, remembering the friendship she hoped they might one day share.
But today was not that day, and Ahri turned to flee into the woods.