The Bilgewater Union (commonly referred to as Bilgewater) is an island nation of the Blue Flame Islands, which are located in the southeastern coast of Valoran. Bilgewater was officially founded on September 19, 150 years ago.
Bilgewater, over the years, has become a vital stop for trade ships traveling near the Blue Flame Island. While this increased the nation's wealth and influence over Valoran, it has also made the nation a major refuge for piracy, and the island itself a tempting target for pirate raids. Rum is the nations major export, which is made in the various pubs and taverns down the Fleet Street. Before sailing into the port, onlookers can see the image of a white skull on the large rock behind the city.
There are currently 18 known locations encompassing Bilgewater.
Once an ancient stone bridge leading to a temple entrance, it's been kept up haphazardly and primarily serves now as a connection between the slaughter docks and on of Bilgewater's slums.
Gangplank's warehouse is situated at the end of the pier, guarded on three sides by sharks and razorfish-infested waters and on the fourth by the vicious Jagged Hooks dock gang. His warehouse is full of loot and spoils from every corner of the world.
The Grey Harbor was once an eastern port for Bilgewater. Many fishing vessels would dock here after their journey to the Guardian's Sea. But 4 years ago, during the Harrowing, The Wild Hunt lead by Hecarim lays waste to the port. The location remains uninhabited to this day.
Isle of Buhru
Port Mourn was located at the eastern part of the southern Island of Bilgewater. 32 years ago during The Battle of Port Mourn, the revenant Mordekaiser lead the Harrowing on a night of slaughter. The location remains uninhabited to this day and some say that specters haunt its empty streets.
Located at the north-eastern part of Bilgewater, its primary purpose was for stashing pirating goods. No inhabitants have been spotted near the location after the last Harrowing.
Slaughter Docks are located in Rat Town, beneath Butcher's Bridge. After a successful sea monster hunt, the slaughter fleets return to the slaughter docks to render the massive creatures down to meat, bones, and armored hides inside enormous sheds. A lucrative trade in glands, organs, and secretions harvested from the serpents thrives in Bilgewater. Slaughter fleets leave port at sunset every night to hunt mighty sea monsters. As rivals represented by unique symbols and traditions, many of the fleets constantly fight among themselves for dominance.
The Southern Beacon was an old structure used by ship captains to guide them away from rough shores. After the Harrowing battle that occurred at the location some 9 years ago, the Southern Beacon was destroyed.
West Bay is the main entrance to the largest settlement of Bilgewater, Rat Town. Butcher's Bridge, which is located upstream and above the Slaughter Docks, acts as a gate to the inner parts of the city as well as the bridge to the Temple of The Mother Serpent, one of the largest and most important structures of Bilgewater's previous native inhabitants. Because of the cities mixed cultural heritage, location boast a large variety of architectural designs. From inverted Freljordian logships against the carved cliff-faces to the structures and carvings of the indigenous population. Fleet Street has various pubs and taverns and boasts the nations finest Rum, such as The Brazen Hydra which patrons could be heard all the way to Diver’s Bluff. Freeman's Aerie, The Syren, and The Dead Pool are also notable locations of the city.
- The Land and coastal areas house an large assortment of astounding creatures, such as: Wharf Rats and Scuttler Crabs.
- There are also more mundane creatures inhabiting the coastlines and docks such as seagulls.
- Various monsters from across Runeterra are shipped through the black market, trained extensively and sold as living commodities for entertainment, industrial use or simply as loyal underlings. The illegal trade is especially prevalent in a pirate haven such as Bilgewater. As is the principle in the black market trade, those who pay more Krakens undoubtedly get better monsters than those who pay less. Examples of these mercenary beasts are: Ironbacks, Ocklepods, Plundercrabs, and Razorfins.
Wharf Rats a terrifying blend of shark and rat commonly found on the docks of Bilgewater. These creatures are larger than dogs and are known to prey upon drunks and lone fishermen on moonless nights. They often travel in packs, and are easily capable of biting a man's leg off.
Scuttler Crab or Rift Scuttler lives in the fresh waters of Valoran and can be found near the docks of Bilgewater and in Summoner's Rift. They are small green-shelled crustaceans with 3 pairs of legs and one pair of front claws. They sometimes bury themselves into the muck of the river to avoid predators and are known to either avoid or flee from dangers. To confer peaceful resolution (Hence the elusive pacifist nickname) to the force that subdues it, it will grant them them a boon: a persistent field around it that grants vision and magical speed to the aggressor and its allies.
- In Bilgewater one can come across many astounding creatures brought from the dark and mysterious Guardian's Sea, such as: Dragon-Sharks, Sea Serpents, Giant Squid, Four-eyed Shark Creature and Kraken.
- There are also more mundane creatures inhabiting the sea, coastlines and docks such as: octopi, hammerhead sharks, devilfish, clams and fish.
They are a ocean dwelling species of sharks native to the Guardian's Sea and Bilgewater. Their brown hide is rough, almost scale like. They head is in the shape of a hammer with two pairs of eyes and also have five fins for movement.
Giant Squids are a deep-ocean dwelling species of squid native to the Guardian's Sea. They tend to be the size of a house, although some are said to grow even bigger, and can sometimes attack smaller ships. They are also usually hunted for either food or sport, the latter of which is just as dangerous as the former.
Krakens are large serpent/octopi-like species that have been sighted in the Guardian's Sea. They possess a set of tentacles and five eyes, two pairs and one large one at the center of the forehead. The mythos behind this species is so well known on the Blue Flame Islands and that many structures in honor of this species were constructed by the original denizens of Bilgewater. Their image has been used for the currency of Bilgewater, know as Krakens Golden Krakens.
Sea Serpents are a large species of ocean dwelling serpents native to the Guardian's Sea. They presents on the sea is so well known be the denizens of Bilgewater that their nations crest and Silver Serpents currency is a Sea Serpent. They can also be summoned by serpent callers. One account from the Harrowing records the might of these creatures, having halted the progress of the Black Mist before it reached Bilgewater, though the beast was slain in the process.
The native inhabitants of Bilgewater are rugged seafaring folk and many, naturally, are also pirates. While some vessels are kept protected within safe waters, their nation has little jurisdiction over what occurs in the open seas. Sailors intrepid enough to venture out there are free to decide their own fate and fortune. Many Bilgewater pirates also sail to other nations and are known for their raids on settlements. The port-cities are the home to Gangplank, the Saltwater Scourge. He arose to represent his nation, though his true motives, as he is a pirate, are questionable. Gangplank and Miss Fortune, the Bounty Hunter, often bicker over their nation's future direction. Both strove to unite the people of Bilgewater in order to turn them into a strong and independent society.
One of the oldest and fiercest dock gangs in Bilgewater, the Jagged Hooks swear undying allegiance to Gangplank. They take their name from the wickedly curved tools many of them use while hunting sea monsters.
Bilgewater is a relatively lawless nation, particularly in the pirate-run slums. The majority of the Islanders denizens carry a variety of weapons, which range from cutlasses to pistols, in order to protect themselves at all times. Traditionally, the Bilgewater warriors coat their weapons with the remains of their drinks the night before a battle or raid. This has the effect of increasing the pain of wounds caused and often spreads diseases such as gangrene, inhibiting their enemies' ability to fight back. Many of their larger ironclad ships are also outfitted with multiple cannons that can strike targets over long distances.
Bilgewater lacks natural building resources, forcing its inhabitants to scrounge whatever they can. It's common to see remnants of ships from as far as Ionia, Demacia, and the Freljord incorporated into the architecture.
Massive sea monsters are a constant threat in the waters around Bilgewater and over the centuries, a trade industry has grown out of hunting and harvesting them. The nature of the beasts attraction to the islands is unknown, but their impact cannot be denied. Seeing behemoths rise from the deep is just part of a normal day for grizzled veterans of the criminal haven. As a result, sea monster iconography can be seen all over the nations structures and other everyday objects as part and parcel of Bilgewater’s unique appearance.
Wile the nation takes and uses all kinds of currency from all corners of Runeterra, it also mints its own currency. Two known currencies in Bilgewater are called Golden Krakens and Silver Serpents. The former coinage is favored by mercenaries.
Gun'Dolas are raised platforms that transport goods and rendered-down sea monster meat, bone, and fat across the islands on rust worn rails. Some of the Gondolas have cannons installed, inspiring the locals' clever name.
Hand-canons are relatively cheap repurposed weapons used in Bilgewater and are popular among the myriad dock gangs, common brigands, and young corsairs alike.
The relative peace that has kept over Valoran has led to an increase in trade and the desire for worldly imports. The demand for Bilgewater's famous rums is especially high.
Captain Morgan Rackham gives a few samples:
- Rapture Rum
- If you've got a bit of jink to spare and don't mind paying for a bit of celebrity, you can head on over to Fortune's Favor on Fleet Street for a bit of Miss Fortune's private stock. Rapture is clear as diamonds, with a pleasantly clean aroma of cut cane. To shake things up, Miss Fortune adds a hint of pepper and hot cinnamon to keep you warm on deck during stormy days at sea. To be enjoyed with your favorite tropical fruit, Miss Fortune's Rapture Rum is every bit as much the exotic beauty that she is!
- Gangplank's Black Pearl Rum
- Let me ask you a question, sailor. Have you ever chewed rum? No?! Well then you've probably never run afoul of Gangplank and his fabled Black Pearl. Aged in charred oak casks and infused with some of the richest spices that Valoran has to offer, this rum comes out blacker than pitch and about as thick. Gangplank's Black Pearl is a draught for the true rum enthusiast, only. The rest of you blokes are just going to wind up feeling barmy and running for the deck rails. So be careful! I've seen a bit of the black stuff lay out even the roughest blighter with nary a hint of warning.
- Myron's Dark Rum
- This rum is the trademark drink of Myron's Murderhole, one of the most famous and historic bars in all of Bilgewater. Dark in color with the aroma of woody molasses, this infamous spirit is a veritable staple of Bilgewater sailors on the high seas. Richer than its lighter relatives, this dark beauty finishes with an uncanny sweetness that's just perfect for taking the edge off. Enjoy with hot water, or even straight from the bottle. Either way, Myron's Dark will keep you warmer than a pea coat on a blustery day.
- Mount Atin Eclipse Rum
- This rum is characteristically served at Plankwalkin' Pete's, a newfangled bar run dockside by a barmy lad with a peg leg. Light amber in color, Mount Atin will assail your senses with the aroma of sweet grass, molasses, nutmeg, and just a hint of citrus. A bit dry on its own, your typical dose comes served with tonic and a lime, so after a glass or two you're well on your way to warding off both scurvy and malaria.
Ol' Tahm Kench likeness marks dens of avarice throughout Bilgewater. A symbol of greed and uninhibited freedom, the River King's face appears as lewd graffiti almost as often as it is a guidepost for those looking to satiate tastes of an indelicate sort.
The Bearded Lady
The Bearded Lady, also known as the Mother Serpent by the indigenous people of the islands around the city, is the patron deity of Bilgewater. Myths about her date back centuries, and it's a reckless sailor who fails to drop the traditional tithe into the Serpent's Well upon docking his ship in Bilgewater.
On September 19th, 150 years ago, the port city, later known as Bilgewater, was officially founded, creating a haven and destination to pirates and seafarers everywhere. What started off as a one-day celebration of Bilgewater's origin became a weekend, and due to the raucous nature of the islands inhabitants, celebration spread through the entire month. September has come to embody sailors enjoying the end of the temperate season, drinking the last of the summer ales and participating in unruly games to prove their worth as the fiercest pirate in Valoran.
- Lady Luck
- A continuous gambling tournament where skill is just as highly prized as being quickest to draw the knife in your boot. A vast assortment of games and competitions await, with gold Valors passing hands after every blackjack and snake eyes on the table. Lady Luck can be a fickle mistress, easily swayed by a card up your sleeve and the words "all or nothin'".
- Drink The Water!
- An indisputable challenge, a pirate orders the Bilgewater Special, which is a foul, unidentifiable mix of liquor from behind the bar, with each pirate mixing in a bit of whatever they can find around the table or in their pockets. The brave one to drink it all gets a pat on the back, all the Valors that can fit into the empty mug, and an evening's worth of indigestion.
- The Ruckus
- Armed only with a wooden club or an abandoned peg leg, pirates leap aboard a ship in a King Of The Hill competition to see who can stay atop the Crow's Nest longest, and is crowned the Captain of The Ruckus for the year. Beard protection is accepted, but shoes are prohibited.
Bilgewater is a sea-monster-hunting crime haven, a home to a wide variety of denizens seeking adventure, fortune or clandestine careers. While the pirate-friendly town has little respect for the laws of other nations, they have their ports open for people from all the world's corners.
Blue Flame Island is closer to the Shadow Isles than any other area, and the first to be enveloped by the yearly Harrowing. Areas close to Bilgewater, like the Gray Harbour, have been culled by spectral assaults in the past.
At least some inhabitants in Bilgewater are of Freljordian decent, and occasionally one finds inverted Freljordian longships againt the carved cliff faces.
As Runeterra’s biggest black market Bilgewater trades all manner of illicit hextech pilfered from Piltover.
Ties between Yordle Land and Bilgewater have always been a little tense, mainly due to the occasional pirate assaults on yordle vessels.
During Noxus' hostilities on Ionian soil, many pirates from Bilgewater sailed to the island nation. For years they ruthlessly pillaged the settlements along the island's coastlines and fought naval battles with Ionian vessels when engaged. Even after the war, many Ionians still feel deep enmity towards Bilgewater due to their denizens' actions.
While the two nations have no true alliance, Bilgewater and Noxus are on relatively beneficial terms with one another. Bilgewatian pirates on occasion will assist the Noxian military, should they see the endeavor profitable. Though the Noxian military campaigns were eventually stopped, Katarina, the Sinister Blade, is a mainstay down at Bilgewater's Fleet Street. She can often be seen poking her head into the pubs and taverns in search of sailors down on their luck, offering an even share of the plunder to those willing to sail under her command.
Piracy Strikes Bandle City Merchants
The pirate Tiresias Ellington and his crew boarded a Bandle City ship and sacked the vessel of its cargo. This particular shipment was on its way to a celebration, a commemoration to Poppy, the Iron Ambassador, and her appointment to service as envoy between Demacia and the yordles. Bandle City appealed to the other nations to solicit reparations from Bilgewater for the loss of the goods, along with spoiling their anniversary plans. Bilgewater's stance was that they were not responsible for the actions of a few independent sailors.
GrugMug Grog Slog
The famed Bilgewater GrugMug Grog Slog was a yearly competition amongst privateers looking to prove their mettle as the hardest drinkers on the high seas. Both grog-drinkers and grog-crafters alike convened at the GrugMug Tavern to crown the year's best "Scab" and "Glug". The Scab was awarded to the creator of the strongest, most corrosive grog, and the Glug was awarded to the hearty soul that can drink the most of it before requesting medical attention. Historically, Gangplank had won the Scab title for 15 years, ever since he joined his father on his ship, the Dead Pool.
The most recent GrugMug Grog Slog event concluded after an exhausting 6 hour final between Gangplank and Sarah Fortune. In the end, Scab title was awarded to Miss Fortune in an unexpected upset after several tense stages of caustic tests and analysis. The panel of judges declared her the winner when her concoction melted completely through the pewter mug, table, and the floor. Gangplank's recipe stopped just short of eating through the floor, instead pooling in a steamy puddle upon the resin-coated floorboards.
Attack of the SeaAfter wandering the ocean for many years the fish-like creature known as Fizz discovered one of the ports of Bilgewater. He was fascinated with the existence of life above the water and could not resist exploring the one of the islands. In his endless curiosity, Fizz inadvertently meddled in the affairs of the humans who lived there, and his presence did not go unnoticed. His mischief angered many residents who eventually sought to capture or kill him. Fizz found himself cornered, and he prepared to return to the sea despite the fondness he'd come to hold for Bilgewater. As he stood at the docks, a massive dragon-shark attacked the port. Fizz defeated the beast, using his resourcefulness and knowledge of the creature's weaknesses to his advantage. Having earned the gratitude and respect of the humans, Fizz decided to stay in Bilgewater.
The Titan of the Depths
A gigantic man in an iron diver suit appeared upon the shores of Bilgewater. Referring to himself as Nautilus, he vows to search for the men who had condemned him to die in the sea depths and punish them for the time and life he lost.
First Light after the Harrowing
Though the Black Mist fades and the souls it claimed will soon forget their past, the threat of the fell tide will not be forgotten. Worse than all previous years, those who lived are left to wonder where it will return, and whether anyone will survive when it does.
I - 1 Year. The Battle of Knife Straits. An armada from Bilgewater, led by Miss Fortune and Captain Gangplank – sailing together under an uneasy truce – meets the Black Mist head on. Heavy casualties sustained. Fleet scattered.
II - 1 Year. The Drowned Anchor. One element of the Harrowing stalled. Reports of a large figure encased in a rusted diving suit seen in the heart of the fighting.
III - 1 Year. The Reaping of Smuggler’s Cove. No survivors.
IV - 3 Years. The Battle of the Serpent. A Blue Flame leviathan is goaded to the surface by a serpent caller to face the Harrowing. The Black Mist is dispersed before it reaches Bilgewater, but the giant from the depths is slain in the process.
V - 9 Years. The Shadow Falls. The Black Mist overcomes the defenses of the Southern Beacon, and it sinks beneath the sea. Its guiding light is now lost to Bilgewater.
VI - 4 Years. The Wild Hunt. Hecarim marshals a spectral host and lays waste to the port of Grey Harbor. Despite valiant resistance from the fishing fleet anchored there, all souls are lost. Grey Harbor remains uninhabited to this day.
VII - 21 Years. The Death of the Conqueror. The mighty galleon Conqueror is lost to the depths, along with 30 battleships. Some have claimed to have seen the Conqueror riding the Black Mist in subsequent Harrowings.
VIII - 32 years. The Battle of Port Mourn. The revenant Mordekaiser leads the Harrowing on a night of slaughter, and Port Mourn falls to darkness. It is said that specters now haunt its empty streets.
IX - 17 years. The Crimson Armada. A Noxian war fleet is caught in the Black Mist. Over 30 vessels lost. No survivors.
X - 37 years. The Maelstrom. The frigate Light-Bringer’s Bane is swallowed by the sea while sailing to outrun the Black Mist.
XI - 49 years. The Shroud. Up until half a century ago, this was the furthest extent of any known Harrowing.
XII - 33 years. The Flower of Ionia. An Ionian fleet of unknown size lost to the Harrowing.
As evinced here, the Harrowing has grown bolder and stronger over the last half century. I fear for the future should this trend continue.
- The name Bilgewater a combination of two English words, bilge and water.
- The word bilge is a modification of Middle French word bougette, the earliest known use is in the fifteenth century.
- A is lowest compartment on a ship, below the waterline. Bilge water may contain water, oil, detergents and various other liquids and materials. The Bilges primary use is to keep the unwanted liquids and materials below decks during sea travel.
- Bilgewater was inspired by a real historical pirate nation of . During the , the strongest pirate factions from the had made a union with one another, which eventually formed the pirate nation.
- Bilgewater's eastern parts have been completely ripped by the Harrowing, its main western part is due for a future attack.
- Bilgewater's theme had possibly took inspiration from Black Sails Opening title sequence.
- , , , , , and are Bilgewater artifacts.
This section lists material and events that has been added to or changed Bilgewater's body of canonical material.
Some material is no longer considered canon. Non-canonical sources include some of the Journal of Justice information and Champion Judgements. Some outdated material, like that which include mention of the Institute of War, is set to be updated to some extent at a future date.
- Gangplank, 19-Aug-2009 release. The faction's first representative.
- Miss Fortune, 08-Sep-2010 release. A pirate-hunting foil for Gangplank.
- Bilgewater Days was a small event posted on the forums 16-Sep-2010. It described a celebration of the founding of Bilgewater 150 years prior, including descriptions of festivities and games.
- "Raise Your Glass!" , issue 7 of the Journal of Justice, posted 14-Oct-2010, described a selection of Bilgewater rums; Rapture Rum, Gangplank's Black Pearl Rum, Myron's Dark Rum and Mount Atin Eclipse Rum.
- "Katarina, Privateer of Noxus" , issue 8 of the Journal of Justice, posted 27-Oct-2010, described Katarina as an occasional dabbler with piracy to go along with her Bilgewater Katarina skin.
- "Piracy Strikes Bandle City Merchants" , issue 13 of the Journal of Justice, posted 11-Jan-2011, features a small dispute between Bandle City and some pirates from Bilgewater.
- "Gangplank Loses Coveted Prize to Miss Fortune" , issue 17 of the Journal of Justice, posted 09-Mar-2011, described a drinking competition called a "GrugMug Grog Slog". The competition ended with Miss Fortune claiming the title of "Grog Scab" from Gangplank.
- Graves, 19-Oct-2011 release. Bilgewater-born travelling conman.
- Fizz, 15-Nov-2011 release. Settled in Bilgewater after fighting off a dragon-shark.
- Nautilus, 14-Feb-2012 release. Emerged near Bilgewater after his transformation.
- The Harrowing of 2014 featured Bilgewater and their history with the Black Mist.
- Fallen Bilgewater settlements Smuggler's Cove, Grey Harbor and Port Mourn are mentioned.
- Gangplank, Miss Fortune and Nautilus are mentioned fighting off spectral assaults during the most recent Harrowing.
- Tahm Kench, 09-Jul-2015 release. Demon preying on Bilgewater victims.
|Fizz, the Tidal Trickster||Residence; respected mischief of Bilgewater|
|Gangplank, the Saltwater Scourge||Birthplace; fiercest pirate captain of Bilgewater|
|Graves, the Outlaw||Birthplace; Bilgewater conman|
|Miss Fortune, the Bounty Hunter||Birthplace; renowned pirate catcher of Bilgewater|
|Twisted Fate, the Card Master||Residence; Bilgewater conman & Graves's former partner|
Other Related Champions
|Katarina, the Sinister Blade||Privateer of Noxus|
|Nautilus, the Titan of the Depths||Probable birthplace; site of emergence|
|Tahm Kench, the River King||Demon preying on Bilgewater victims|
- ↑ Origin of the Martyr's Gambit
- ↑ Flavor text of Martyr's Gambit.
- ↑ Black Market Brawlers
- ↑ Bilgewater Days at LeagueofLegends.com. Posted on September 16, 2010
- ↑ GrugMug Grog Slog
- ↑ Blog: Exploring Runeterra
- ↑ The Harrowing 2014
- ↑ First light after the Harrowing
- ↑ Bilgewater: Burning Tides
- ↑ Building Bbutcher's Bridge the Bilgewater Event
- ↑ Privateer of Noxus
|Geography of Runeterra|
|Valoran||Factions & Nations|
|Other Planes of Existance|