For the item, see Bilgewater Cutlass item Bilgewater Cutlass
Bilgewater Butcher's Bridge

Bilgewater Crest icon



By Unknown Author

Lawless port city

Bilgewater Crest

Bilgewater Crest icon

Governance: Attitude towards magic:
Gang syndicates Employ
Level of technology: General environment:
Medium Tropical archipelago

Bilgewater is a haven for smugglers, marauders, and the unscrupulous, where fortunes are made and ambitions shattered in the blink of an eye. For those fleeing justice, debt, or persecution, it is a city of new beginnings; no one on the twisted streets of Bilgewater cares about your past. It's a melting pot of cultures, races, and creeds, alive with activity at all hours.

While incredibly dangerous, Bilgewater is also ripe with opportunity, free from the shackles of government, regulation, and moral constraints. If you have the coin, almost anything can be purchased in Bilgewater, from outlawed hextech to the favor of local crime lords. Nevertheless, come daybreak, the unwary are found floating in the harbor, their purses empty and their throats slit.


Bilgewater is a port city like no other - home to monster hunters, dock-gangs, indigenous peoples, and traders from across the known world. Over time becoming a vital stop for trade ships traveling near the Serpent Isles. Almost anything can be purchased here, from outlawed hextech to the favor of local crime lords. There is no better place to seek fame and fortune, though death lurks in every alleyway, and the law is almost non-existent.

Champions of Bilgewater

Other Related Champions

  • CamilleSquare Camille trained with natives of the Serpent Isles, where she learned how to effectively use a grappling line and hook.
  • HecarimSquare Hecarim attacked Bilgewater during the Harrowing and laid waste to the port of Grey Harbor.
  • JannaSquare Janna protects sailors around the Serpent Isles.
  • KalistaSquare Kalista punishes betrayers in Bilgewater.
  • KarthusSquare Karthus attacked a Bilgewater ship.
  • LucianSquare Lucian defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
  • MordekaiserSquare Mordekaiser slaughtered every inhabitant of Port Mourn.
  • OlafSquare Olaf defended Bilgewater against the Black Mist.
  • RyzeSquare Ryze visited Bilgewater when searching for a passage to the East to search for the World Runes.
  • SwainSquare Swain is antagonistic towards GangplankSquare Gangplank after the latter stole his personal warship, the Leviathan.
  • ThreshSquare Thresh attacked Bilgewater during the Harrowing.
  • ZedSquare Zed is antagonistic towards GangplankSquare Gangplank after the latter ransacked the Temple of the Jagged Knife in Ionia.


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.

Shadow Isles Black Mist

Black Mist Map

I - 1 Year. The Battle of Knife Straits. An armada from Bilgewater, led by Miss FortuneSquare Miss Fortune and GangplankSquare 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 NautilusSquare 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. HecarimSquare 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 MordekaiserSquare 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.

Shadow Isles Crest divider

As evinced here, the Harrowing has grown bolder and stronger over the last half century. I fear for the future should this trend continue.

Burning Tides

Bilgewater Burning Tides

Burning Ship, Burning Tides.

"This is just the beginning.

I want everyone loyal to him brought to answer.
I want the heads of his lieutenants mounted on my wall.
Burn everything that bears his mark.

And I want his corpse." - Miss FortuneSquare Miss Fortune [1]

For many of those fleeing justice, debt, or persecution, Bilgewater is a city of new beginnings. But for some, the past is something you can never escape. Twisted FateSquare Tobias 'Twisted Fate' Foxtrot, hired by an unknown Miss FortuneSquare benefactor was tasked to steal and return a Crimson-Coil dagger from one of Captain Gangplank's warehouses located in Rat Town's Slaughter Docks. Easily avoiding the detection of the Jagged Hooks gang, Twisted Fate managed to infiltrate the warehouse, only to be confronted by his old partner: GravesSquare Malcolm Graves.

Filled with rage at his partner's betrayal, Graves started shooting at at Tobias in an effort to settle the score with him. With Gangplank’s warehouse burning and the pirate captain’s thugs swarming, the resolution of Graves’ and Twisted Fate’s long-simmering feud threatened to engulf the entire city in flames. Informed of the destruction of his warehouse, GangplankSquare Gangplank set off to catch both men in the act.

Both Graves and Twisted Fate tried to flee from the wrath of the Pirate King but with no success. Gangplank tortured them, then tried to publicly execute them in front of the whole city for their misbehavior. Hearing the news of this event, Miss FortuneSquare Sarah Fortune set her plan in motion to confront Gangplank for murdering her parents. Graves had managed to sneak away with one of Twisted Fate's cards, snatched during their previous fight around the city. Twisted Fate used the card to teleport out of his chains; both he and Graves nearly drowned in the resulting mayhem, but at that moment, Miss Fortune's plan hit its climax, and his ship, the Dead Pool, exploded. Gangplank was presumed dead in the blast.

Bilgewater Burning Tides storyboard 4

GangplankSquare Gangplank surviving the destruction of his ship.

In the aftermath of the destruction of the Dead Pool, Gangplank’s spoils-filled warehouses were plundered, and those who followed the dread pirate forfeited their allegiance. A war started with the spread of three words: Gangplank is dead. Miss Fortune took the opportunity to purge the city of anyone that was loyal to the dreaded pirate.

Despite receiving horrific injuries in the explosion, Gangplank survived. Having lost everything from the attack, GangplankSquare Gangplank sought help from his first love IllaoiSquare Illaoi, who deemed him worthy of life in the eyes of Nagakabouros. Sporting a multitude of fresh scars, and with a newly crafted metal arm to replace his amputated limb, he is now determined to rebuild his strength, reclaim what he sees as rightfully his, and ruthlessly punish all those who turned against him.

Shadow and Fortune

With the fall of Gangplank, Bilgewater descended into chaos as old rivalries were settled in blood and gang warfare threatened to tear the city apart. Miss FortuneSquare Miss Fortune, the leading figure of this uprising, systematically removed all of GangplankSquare Gangplank's former or continuing allies from any place of power, so as to assure her spot as the ruler of Bilgewater. During one of her excursions, she was stopped by IllaoiSquare Illaoi, who warned Fortune to stop her foolish behavior and prepare for the coming Harrowing.

As a fisherman and a warrior of the Freljord, OlafSquare Olaf desired worthy battles and a glorious death to avert an old curse. The Krakenwyrm, one of his monstrous kills during his stay in Bilgewater, was sold to one of many Bilgewater's slaughter docks.

Amidst the constant chaos of the city streets, LucianSquare Lucian prepared for the Harrowing's arrival.

Bilgewater Harrowing

The Harrowing comes to Bilgewater (by Riot Artist Patrick Faulwetter)

The next evening, the Harrowing arrived in Bilgewater in an attempt to purge and rip the souls out of everyone within. Undead spirits flew across the night sky and shrouded the city in a dark mist of damned shrieking souls of the Shadow Isles. People fled, cowered, or prayed to the Bearded Lady for the The Black Mist not to take them. With each citizen and living thing killed, a new spirit arose. Even the carcass of the Krakenwyrm arose, seemingly wanting to finish its fight with its slayer.

During all this, ThreshSquare Thresh sought out new victims and souls for his collection. Unbeknownst to him, he was being hunted down by LucianSquare Lucian. Enraged by the presence of his wife's killer, Lucian swore to defeat the monster and finally rid the world of its torment. In the end, Thresh managed to escape his pursuer after a short and tense battle. As a parting gift of further torment, Thresh had conveyed that the soul of his wife, Senna, was still trapped inside his lantern. An unsettled Lucian would continue his purge of the undead while also trying to save the soul of his dead wife.

OlafSquare Olaf, LucianSquare Lucian, and Miss FortuneSquare Miss Fortune ended up meeting one another in a brawl against the undead. Remembering the advice Illaoi gave her, Miss Fortune proposed that they head towards the Temple of Nagakabouros to seek out the help of its priestess. But while traversing the Butcher's Bridge, they were confronted at the temple's entrance by HecarimSquare Hecarim. Separated and barely escaping with their lives, they managed to get inside the temple, where some of the surviving citizens prayed with Illaoi for Nagakabouros' salvation.

As the Black Mist and the undead army poured into the temple, IllaoiSquare Illaoi fended off the onslaught with the power of her god, and freed Bilgewater from threat of the Harrowing.

Despite its losses, the city lived on. Miss Fortune and Lucian, each given a new purpose, parted ways and wished each other luck. After Olaf's second encounter with the undead Krakenwyrm, he also departed Bilgewater, seeking out new challenges and worthy battles.


Visions of Bilgewater

Bilgewater Butcher's Bridge

Looming over the main harbor is Butcher’s Bridge, an ancient stone overpass built into the cliffs, connecting the bustling piers with the notorious slums beyond. Some still use it to access the Temple of Nagakabouros, but most now gather here to fight duels or exchange their illicit wares.

Bilgewater Approach

Surrounded by treacherous straits and towering cliffs, Bilgewater Bay is as dangerous as those who call it home. Visitors are often seduced by seemingly limitless opportunity, and become permanent residents—realizing that the longer they stay, the more they can exploit others for power and wealth.

Bilgewater Slaughter Docks

Sea monster attacks are a constant threat around Bilgewater, but over the years myriad lucrative industries have grown out of hunting and harvesting the massive creatures. Vessels haul them back to port, to be rendered down into meat, oils, hides, armored scales—even bones and teeth—for sale at the thriving dockside markets.

Bilgewater Carving Bays

From MacGregan’s Killhouse to the renowned outfits at Bloodharbor, slaughter docks operate day and night to turn death into profit. Only the most successful captains can ever hope to run their own dock, so most are forced to haggle for the best deal before their prize begins to rot in the water.

Bilgewater Waterways

Bilgewater’s lowliest inhabitants dwell in a labyrinth of meandering canals and hidden inlets, with no separation between the homes they build and the sea where they ply their trade. Indeed, traversing perilous waters is not just an occupational hazard, but part of daily life.

Bilgewater Ancient Architecture

Various settlements within the greater city have been built upon the remains of a far older civilization. Long abandoned temples have been converted into homes and places of business, with scaffold walkways leading from one establishment to another.

Bilgewater High and Dry

There is a commonly accepted truth in Bilgewater: the higher you climb, the less likely you are to drown. Those with money in their pocket will frequent the uptown taverns, enjoying fine drinks and merry conversation—even though, in a day or two, they will be back down at the wharf, wrangling a crew for their next dismal voyage.

Bilgewater Homes

Lacking natural resources for construction, much of Bilgewater has been built up with whatever people can bring, find, or steal—be it repurposed masonry, or even the broken hulls of the ships they traveled in.

There are currently 19 known locations encompassing Bilgewater:


On the isle of Buhru, one of the isles of the Bilgewater island chain,[2] battle isn't considered a test of strength but of will.[3] These Isles are the location from which the religion of Nagakabouros and its IllaoiSquare priestess originate from.

Butcher's Bridge

Howling Abyss icon Butcher's Bridge is an ancient stone bridge leading to the temple entrance of Nagakabouros. It's been kept up haphazardly and primarily serves now as a connection between the Slaughter Docks and one of Bilgewater's slums.

Gangplank's Warehouse

Gangplank's warehouse was situated at the end of a pier, guarded on three sides by sharks and razorfish-infested waters, and on the fourth by his vicious Jagged Hooks dock gang. It was full of loot and spoils from every corner of the world. In the aftermath of the destruction of the Dead Pool, Gangplank’s spoils-filled warehouses have been Bilgewater Crest profileicon plundered, and those who followed the dread pirate have forfeited their allegiance.

Grey Harbor

The Grey Harbor was once a district of Bilgewater. Countless fishing vessels would dock here after their journey to the seas around the island. But four years ago, during a Harrowing, HecarimSquare Hecarim's spectral army laid waste to the port. The location remains uninhabited to this day.

Port Mourn

Port Mourn was located on an island near Bilgewater. 32 years ago, in the Battle of Port Mourn, the revenant MordekaiserSquare Mordekaiser led a Harrowing and slaughtered the inhabitants. The location remains uninhabited to this day and some say that specters haunt its empty streets.

Smuggler's Cove

Located on the eastern tip of Bilgewater Bay, its primary purpose was for stashing pirated goods. No living inhabitants have been spotted near the location since the last Harrowing.

Slaughter Docks

In addition to the deadly currents, hidden reefs and the constant threat of piracy, massive sea monsters are a constant threat in the waters around Bilgewater. Fleets leave port at sunset every night to hunt these mighty beasts. If successful, they return to the Slaughter Docks to render the once-great creatures down to meat, bones, and armored hides.

Bilgewater Slaughter Docks

The Slaughter Docks are located in Rat Town, beneath Butcher's Bridge. The sea around the Slaughter-docks is often darkened by the blood of slain sea monsters. The chum draws sharks and other predators into the many harbors, stirring up a violent froth. 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. 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 Slaughter Docks

Southern Beacon

The Southern Beacon was an old structure used by ship captains to guide them away from rough shores. After a Harrowing nine years ago, the Southern Beacon was destroyed.

Rat Town

Butcher's Bridge Minimap

West Bay Map

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, the area boasts a wide 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 island's finest rum. (They say that patrons of the Brazen Hydra can be heard all the way to Diver’s Bluff!)

The Dead Pool

Anchored near the Slaughter Docks, the enormous, three-masted behemoth, Gangplank’s flagship was one of the most infamous vessels in Runeterra. Inherited after his ruthless patricide, the Dead Pool was as much a reminder of the dread captain’s power as it was the physical manifestation of it. When Gangplank’s ship returned to port, laden with loot from his latest piracy or high-seas victory, it first berthed near the Slaughter Docks to deposit new riches in the captain’s warehouse. It has since been destroyed, and its remains are scattered all across the Slaughter Docks and the sea bed of White Wharf.

White Wharf

Located near the Slaughter Docks, Bilgewater’s White Wharf earned its name thanks to the layer of bird waste covering it from end to end, which was only to be expected at a resting place for the dead. In Bilgewater, the dead are not buried, but given back to the ocean, and this is where it all happens. A grave of the sunken dead hangs suspended in the cold depths, marked by hundreds of bobbing grave-buoys. The graves of poor residents have merely name posts, tied en masse to old anchors beneath waterlogged barrels. The wealthy have lavish bobbing tombstones with carvings resembling rearing krakens or buxom sea wenches, and are interred within expensive caskets below the surface. The Boatman ferries the bodies of the departed to the various graveyards scattered about the straits surrounding the city.


Wildlife diversity is fairly low around Bilgewater; you're most likely to see wharf rats, seagulls, and Rift ScuttlerSquare Scuttle Crabs.
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: IronbackSquare Ironbacks, OcklepodSquare Ocklepods, PlundercrabSquare Plundercrabs, and RazorfinSquare Razorfins.


Black Market Brawlers mode

Warf Rat, Ocklepod, Plundercrab, and Ironback.

IronbackSquare Ironbacks are squat bipedal creatures that resemble turtles or tortoises. Though not as tall as a human adult, they are far wider and more heavily-built. When domesticated and used for combat, they act as siege engines. Their stout strength can tear down whole structures with ease; and when outfitted with armor to complement their thick hide, they can endure the most grievous assaults.

Wharf Rat

Wharf Rat

A Wharf Rat and her young.

RazorfinSquare Wharf Rats are 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.

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 hammerhead sharks, and kraken.
There are also more mundane creatures inhabiting the sea, coastlines and docks such as octopi, hammerhead sharks, devilfish, clams, and ordinary fish.


Dragon-sharks are a large deep-ocean dwelling species of shark native to the seas around Bilgewater. A hide of one of the sharks is used for creating a shop stand on the Butcher's Bridge in Bilgewater. One of the famous Dragon-Sharks is Chomper, who terrorized the shorelines of Bilgewater before being defeated by Fizz and becoming his companion.

Four-eyed Hammerhead Sharks

Four-eyed Hammerhead Sharks are an ocean dwelling species of sharks native to the seas around Bilgewater. Their brown hide is rough, and almost scale-like. Their head is in the shape of a hammer with two pairs of eyes, and they have five fins for movement.

Giant Squid

Giant Squids are native to the seas around Bilgewater. 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. Both objectives are dangerous.


Krakens are massive serpentine leviathans that have been sighted in the seas around Bilgewater. They possess a set of tentacles and five eyes, two pairs and one large one at the center of the forehead. There is enough mythos behind this species on the Serpent Isles 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.


OcklepodSquare Ocklepods are crustacean-like creatures that magically hover above the ground unassisted. They either inhabit or have been outfitted with a metallic helm with submarine periscope jutting above, the creature's eyes peek through the helm and periscope. This creature is mostly used for intelligence-gathering and support roles as they are capable of magically shielding nearby allies as well as revealing distances. This is especially infuriating in attrition wars as the creature's telepathic sight could easily reveal an ambush and its shielding capability is able to see troops through the thickest of fires.


PlundercrabSquare Plundercrabs are large crustaceans that wear cannon-mounted parapets as their shell. It is unknown whether they inhabit the said weaponry naturally, or are purposely outfitted. Used as living artillery pieces, they lay down cannon fire from afar. They seem very intelligent for an animal, as they can trained to pick out high-priority targets to focus fire upon.

Scuttle Crabs

Rift Scuttler OriginalSkin

A Rift ScuttlerSquare Rift Scuttler.

Rift ScuttlerSquare Scuttler Crabs or Rift Scuttlers live in the fresh waters of Valoran and can be found near the docks of Bilgewater (and in-game, in Summoner's Rift). They are small green-shelled crustaceans with three pairs of legs and one pair of front claws. They sometimes bury themselves into the muck of a river bed to avoid predators and usually flee from danger in any way possible. If corrupted by The Void, a Rift Scuttler turns into a Rift HeraldSquare Rift Herald.

Sea Serpent

Sea Serpents are so well-known in Bilgewater that the city's crest and Silver Serpents currency both feature them. They can be summoned by serpent-callers; one account from a bygone Harrowing records the might of these creatures, which halted the progress of the Black Mist before it reached Bilgewater, though the beast was slain in the process.


Culture of Bilgewater

Bilgewater The Serpent Isles

While much of Valoran knows the archipelago as the Blue Flame Isles, to the indigenous people of Buhru they have only ever been the Serpent Isles. Buhru’s ancient culture is highly respected, reflected, and sometimes imitated in the daily life of Bilgewater—including traditional medicine, and monster hunting techniques.

Bilgewater Nagakabouros

Central to Buhru culture is Nagakabouros—god of life, growth, and perpetual motion. Also known as the Mother Serpent, the Great Kraken, or the Bearded Lady, she is commonly depicted as an enormous, monstrous head with many spiraling tentacles.

Bilgewater Harpooners

One of the most important roles on a hunting crew is the harpooner, who hooks and slays the beasts, and entire crews will be built around a veteran who can teach others a thing or two along the way. Many harpooners are marksmen, or particularly fearless freedivers... but few survive long enough for their reputation to become widely known.

Bilgewater Tools of The Trade

The most skilled monster hunters know the old ways are often the best. Following the traditions of the Serpent Isles, these cunning traps and vicious hooks are each crafted for luring and slaying specific creatures, and such implements will be passed down from generation to generation.

The indigenous culture of the Blue Flame Isles is highly respected by the inhabitants of Bilgewater and aspects of it have been incorporated into daily life. The native peoples' knowledge of the ocean and its denizens is second to none; no ship is able to navigate the perilous straits around Bilgewater without their guidance. Those of indigenous descent often hold key roles in Bilgewater's fleets and gangs and are regarded with almost mystical reverence, as are the rare few embraced by their community.

Bilgewater Indigenous

Indigenous culture

Bilgewater is a relatively lawless nation, particularly in the pirate-run slums. The majority of the island's denizens carry a variety of weapons, which range from cutlasses to pistols, in order to protect themselves at all times. Traditionally, Bilgerat 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.

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 Bilgerat pirates also sail to other nations and are known for their raids on settlements.

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.

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.

Whether by magic or ancient architectural design, serpent callers use hollowed-out pillars to mimic the screams and screeches of the denizens of the deep, summoning them to the surface or chasing them away. One such serpent was called upon during a recent Harrowing to aid Bilgewater against the onslaught of undead.

There are several ancient languages spoken in Bilgewater and islands around it; one of which is spoken by priests of Nagakabouros from the Isle of Buhru, such as IllaoiSquare Illaoi
(The ancient Buhru Illaoi uses is a mix between real life Nahuatl, Polynesian, and Mayan languages)

Buhru Language[4]


Buhru ['bʌ] is an inflectional and agglutinative language, i.e. Buhru-speakers modify a word to express grammatical categories: like a noun's number, a verb's tense, etc. by adding affixes, yet roots and affixes almost always remain unchanged:

  • Buhru's plural suffix is -i, e.g. yaotl [ja.otɫ̩] "enemy" > yaotli [ja.otli] "enemies"
    • (from Nahuatl yāōtl [ˈjáːˈ.oːt͡ɬ] "warrior > enemy" & yāōmeh [ˈjáːˈ.oːmeʔ] "warriors > enemies", from root yāō-)

Buhru has two grammatical genders:

  • Feminine nouns typically ends with a vowel, like Llatoo [latu];
  • Masculine nouns typically ends clusters tl [tɫ̩] & chtl [ʃtɫ̩], occasionally c [s], e.g. yaotl
    • (Nahuatl does not have grammatical genders, only two noun classes: animate and inanimate).
    • (In Nahuatl, -tl ~ -tli ~ -li are absolutive singular suffixes, to mean that the noun is not possessed; e.g. yāōtl "enemy" vs. tēyāōuh "someone's enemy"; itzcuīntli [it͡skʷiːnt͡ɬi] "dog" vs. tēitzcuīn "someone's dog"; cal- + -tli = calli "house" [ka:li] vs. tēcal "someone's house")

Each Buhru syllable contains:

  • an optional onset of one or more consonants, e.g. opochtli [o.po.ʃtli], whose syllables have all three structures V.CV.C⁺V;
    • from Nahuatl ōpōchtli [ˈoː.poːt͡ʃ.t͡ɬi] "south", whose three syllables are actually structured V.CVC.CV; more here
  • an obligatory nucleus of one vowel, e.g. oro, aco, ata, umo, buhru etc..
    • Hiatus is allowed, so Buhru speakers may produce a sequence of vowels without intervening consonants: poao, uocae, etc.
  • an optional ending of one or more consonants, e.g. chtl.
    • an ending l will become syllabic and velarized into [ɫ̩] ~ [l̩ˠ] (like English -le & -el). (not the case in Nahuatl)
Word Formation

Full words contain at least three syllables, e.g. Iccia "Eye’Sse’a." [aɪs.sia]

Adjectives, adverbs, and particles (analogous to Japanese honorific -san さん) are usually disyllabic, yet they often do not stand alone, but must accompany trisyllabic nouns, e.g. kaiya-oto Kai’Yah Oto [kaɪ.ja].

The language is broken into two-syllable words, three-syllable words, and five-syllable words. Typically a single thought takes about twelve syllables.: “Kaiya-oto iccia, ohomoc-ata uotaca.


For longer words use a (dash) if needed to signify a morpheme boundary. Never use an apostrophe (rare exceptions exist, like sa'eu).


Buhru possesses a deep orthography: a sound does not always correspond to the letter in a one-to-one fashion; for example: Y is pronounced like English "y" [j] in yaotl [ya.otɫ̩] but "sh" [ʃ] in Yaowc [ʃa.oʊs].

  • Vowels
    • “Ao” does not exist. Use “Oa” instead.
    • “Ea” does not exist. Use “Ae” or “æ” instead.
    • “E” letter does not exist. Replace with “AE” or ii (Sean = Siian).
    • “X” sound does not exist.
    • “Er” sound does not exist.
    • “Ir” sound does not exist.
    • “Ou” do not exist. Replace with “ua” or “u” (out = uat).
    • "Oo" does not exist, except at the end of feminine words. (boot = Buot) (Llatoo).
    • “Ai” sound very rare. Do not use this sound most times.
    • “As” does not exist and is not used.
    • “Y” is only used at the beginning of a word for the “eye” I sound.
  • Consonants
    • “K” is replaced by C.
    • “M” is only used next to vowels and is never the beginning or end of a word.
    • “S” is replaced by C. The S sound does not exist.
    • “T” is never alone. Add another consonant. Tl, Tl, Tc, t…
    • “Th” /θ/ sound does not exist. Do not use this sound.
    • “H” is never used alone. (hr , htl etc..).
    • “U” can be used as vowel or as consonant for V.
    • “L” is never alone (The “L” sound is always long. IF using L Add another consonant.
    • Ll, tl, lw, lc, ul, etc..).
    • “Sh” does not exist and is not used.
    • “V” letter does not exist. For sound replace with U.
    • Be aware and avoid direct use of of Tl, Tc, cll, Chtl, Ythl, etc…

Words are built on combinations of real-life Aztec, with additional elements of Hawaiian, Maori, Aboriginal Australian, Ancient Greek, Latin, etc.

  • Abulaccanii.
  • Althabo.
    Altoc - Awaken to reason.
    Altoc, kaiha sa-iu. Altoc kaiha sa-iu. Altoc kaiha sa-iu.
  • Aocarzintli.
  • Arzintli - Sacred water.
  • Arzintli Qaoc.
  • Ata.
  • Atha.
  • Bauhro Laidahcii.
  • Bradhuc Ladcii.
  • Bru-ahcci Lahdi.
  • Buahdacci.
    Bru-ahcci Nagakabouros-cho, Naga-cho.
  • Buara Dalii.
  • Buzulduac.
  • Burahdatc Lacbi.
  • Caolz.
  • Chodatc.
  • Coatl.
  • Colotl.
  • Ctamacihtol.
  • Cuatl.
  • Curi.
    Epoi Buhru, daliet che.
  • Ghiara.
  • Guhra Ctaoc (Gow’rah Shaos).
  • Guyra.
  • Ictae.
  • Ibuhr.
  • Illaoi.
  • Illuka.
  • Illuora.
  • Ioelu.
  • Ioilu.
  • Iwtia.
  • Kaiha.
  • Kaiya.
  • Lcaoc.
    Nagakabouros, oqul, oqul.
  • Nlaepin.
  • Nura.
  • Oalhauchtli.
  • Octala.
  • Octulu.
  • Ohlaoc.
  • Omu.
  • Opochtli.
  • Oqul.
  • Oto.
  • Otomoc.
  • Owaimoc.
  • Ozoac.
  • Ozomoc.
  • Poao.
  • Qo-a xoas.
  • Qo-a Yegu.
  • Qo-uto.
  • Qaoc Cuatl.
  • Qalotl.
  • Qoachitli.
  • Qoasotl.
  • Qtocaotl.
  • Rava Ocllo.
  • Rava Ucllo.
  • Sa’eu.
    Sa’eu yama oka-shai.
  • Sa-iu.
    Sheeyutu Nagakabouros. Nagakabouros chee chok.
  • So Aolo
  • Taepl.
  • Tjorrah.
  • Tlaco.
  • Tlatha.
  • Tua.
    Tua chok yaotl. Tua chok, yaotl, omu.
  • Tuamaz.
  • Ubrucii.
  • Ucanu.
  • Ulioc.
  • Upali.
  • Uqioc.
    Uratu-chok uracheon-mata, rubura ata tufon.
  • Uwan Yaowc (Oo’wan Shaos)
    Uwan Yaowc kaiha. Uwan Yaowc kaiha.
  • Vae-a.
  • Vaia.
  • Xaiv.
  • Xaoc Guhra.
  • Xoas.
  • Xoco.
  • Yaotl - Enemy.
  • Yaotli - Enemies.
  • Yllacta.
  • Yulutl.
  • Yuotldii Lahyi.
  • Yuralha.
  • Yurochtl.
  • Yutu.
  • Zocua.


Golden Krakens

Golden Krakens

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 Krakens Golden Krakens and Silver Serpents Silver Serpents. The former coinage is favored by mercenaries.[5]


Gondolas 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-cannons are relatively cheap pistols used in Bilgewater. They 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 RackhamSquare 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.

Sea Shanties

Malphite IronsideLoading


Sail on Ironside, sail on

We row hidden by the sea’s might
Sail on Ironside, sail on
Let blood red sails not pass this way
Sail on Ironside, sail on
Let us see the first light of day
Sail on Ironside, sail on
If it arrives over the swell
Sail on Ironside, sail on
If it arrives first ring the knell

Sail on Ironside, sail on...
― Lines from a rogue slaughter fleet rowing dirge


Bilgewater Bearded Lady

The Bearded Lady

Locals pay respect to an ancient sea monster/deity depicted as a monstrous creature said to dwell in the abyssal darkness below the islands, which some call the Bearded Lady. When arriving in and leaving port, sailors throw offerings overboard in the hope of quelling her wrath.

Also known as Nagakabouros and the Mother Serpent by the indigenous people of the islands around the city, the patron deity of Bilgewater is the goddess of motion, sky, and the sea. 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. IllaoiSquare Illaoi, the Goddess' priestess, tests weaklings and the dead to see if they pass Nagakabouros's judgement. The Goddess directly intervened in one of the recent Harrowings to stop the Black Mist from destroying the entire city of Bilgewater.

Tahm Kench

Ol' Tahm KenchSquare Tahm Kench's 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.


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.

Shadow Isles

The Blue Flame Isles are closer to the Shadow Isles than anywhere else, and the first to be enveloped by the yearly Harrowing. Areas close to Bilgewater, like the Grey Harbor, have been completely wiped out by spectral assaults in the past.


At least some inhabitants in Bilgewater are of Freljordian descent, and occasionally one finds inverted Freljordian longships against the carved cliff faces. Freljordian fishermen constantly trade with the nation.


As Runeterra’s biggest black market, Bilgewater trades all manner of illicit hextech pilfered from Piltover. The Sun Gates allowed Bilgewater to prosper as a haven for pirates and reavers who prey on ships traveling to and from Piltover.


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 its denizens' actions.


Thanks to GangplankSquare Gangplank's marauding against Noxian warfleets, Bilgewater and Noxus are on shaky terms with one another. At some point Gangplank managed to steal the Leviathan, SwainSquare Swain's personal warship, earning the personal enmity of Noxus's Grand General. After Gangplank's fall from power, it is unknown if relations between Bilgewater and Noxus have improved. However, Bilgerat pirates on occasion will assist the Noxian military, should they see the endeavor profitable. It is also said that Byrne, one of Miss FortuneSquare Miss Fortune's mans who died during the events of Burning Tides, was the terror of the Noxian coast, but it is unknow if those affirmations were true.


Serpent Crest profileicon
  • The name "Bilgewater" is a combination of two English words: bilge and water.
    • A bilge is the lowest compartment on a ship, below the waterline. The bilge may contain water, oil, detergents and various other liquids and materials. The bilge's primary use is to keep unwanted liquids and materials below the decks during sea travel.
  • Bilgewater was inspired by a real historical pirate nation: Nassau. During the Golden Age of Piracy, the strongest pirate factions from the Caribbean Islands allied with one another, eventually forming the pirate nation.
  • Bilgewater's eastern parts have been completely ripped apart by the Harrowing. Its main western part is due for a future attack.
  • Bilgewater Cutlass item Bilgewater Cutlass, Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate, Ghostwalkers item Ghostwalkers, Lifeline item Lifeline, Martyr's Gambit item Martyr's Gambit, Spectral Cutlass item Spectral Cutlass, and Sterak's Gage item Sterak's Gage 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.[6]

  • GangplankSquare Gangplank, 19-Aug-2009 release. The faction's first representative.
  • Miss FortuneSquare 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.
  • Journal of Justice (Issue 7: Raise your Glass!), posted 2010-10-14, described a selection of Bilgewater rums: Rapture Rum, Gangplank's Black Pearl Rum, Myron's Dark Rum (mentioned in Down Among the Dead Men and Shadow and Fortune: Chapter Two), and Mount Atin Eclipse Rum.
  • Journal of Justice (Issue 8: Katarina, Privateer of Noxus), posted 2010-10-27, described KatarinaSquare Katarina as an occasional dabbler with piracy to go along with her Katarina BilgewaterCircle Bilgewater skin.
  • Journal of Justice (Issue 13: Piracy Strikes Bandle City Merchants), posted 2011-01-11, features a small dispute between Bandle City and some pirates from Bilgewater.
  • Journal of Justice (Issue 17: Gangplank Loses Coveted Prize to Miss Fortune), posted 2011-03-09, described a drinking competition called the 'GrugMug Grog Slog'. The competition ended with Miss Fortune claiming the title of 'Grog Scab' from Gangplank.
  • GravesSquare Graves, 19-Oct-2011 release. Bilgewater-born travelling conman.
  • FizzSquare Fizz, 15-Nov-2011 release. Settled in Bilgewater after fighting off a dragon-shark.
  • NautilusSquare Nautilus, 14-Feb-2012 release. Emerged near Bilgewater after his transformation.
  • The Harrowing of 2014 featured Bilgewater and its history with the Black Mist.[7][8]
    • 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 KenchSquare Tahm Kench, 09-Jul-2015 release. Demon preying on Bilgewater victims.
  • Burning Tides,[9] 22-Jul-2015 release. An event focuses on the story between GravesSquare Graves, Twisted FateSquare Twisted Fate, GangplankSquare Gangplank and Miss FortuneSquare Miss Fortune on the island nation of Bilgewater. The event features a Bilgewater-themed ARAM map; Butcher's Bridge.[10]
  • Building Bilgewater: A Pirate Renovation,[11] 27-Aug-2015 release. A large detailed article talking about the development of post-retcon Bilgewater as well as the methods by which Riot's lore team works on lore events.
  • Dev Blog: Into the Mists: Creating Shadow and Fortune,[12] 03-Nov-2015 release. A large detailed article talking about the development of post-retcon Bilgewater and Shadow Isles as well as the process in making the story continuation of the Bilgewater event.


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