|The first lands|
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Ionia, in original Vastayan nomenclature: The First Lands, is a land of unspoiled beauty and natural magic. Its inhabitants, living in scattered settlements across this massive archipelago, are a spiritual people who seek to live in harmony and balance with the world. There are many orders and sects across Ionia, each following their own (often conflicting) paths and ideals. Self-sufficient and isolationist, Ionia has remained largely neutral in the wars that have ravaged Valoran over the centuries - until it was invaded by Noxus. This brutal conflict and occupation has forced Ionia to reassess its place in the world. How it reacts and the future path Ionia will follow is as of yet undetermined, however, animosity against Noxus has led to militarization and vigilantism. Thirst for the dark arts is on the rise.
Known as the First Lands, Ionia is an archipelago of natural beauty and magic. Its inhabitants, living in loosely collected provinces, are a spiritual people, seeking harmony with the world. They remained largely neutral until their land was invaded by Noxus—this brutal occupation forced Ionia to reassess its place in the world, and its future path remains undetermined.
Champions of Ionia
Other Related Champions
- is a celestial that intervened at the Battle of Bard Mountain.
- was a Noxian field commander during the Noxian invasion.
- is searching for remaining Lunari in Ionia.
- is a Bilgewater pirate that ransacked Temple of the Jagged Knife.
- is a Demacian spy who extracted valuable information for Ionia in the Noxus-Ionia conflict.
- is a Marai Tidecaller searching for the Aspect of the Moon in Ionia.
- visited Hirana Monastery during his search for the World Runes.
- was born in Ionia and resided in an orphanage before being adopted by House Buvelle of Demacia.
- participated in the slaughter of numerous Ionian citizens during the Noxian invasion.
- participated in the slaughter of numerous Ionian citizens during the Noxian invasion, and lost his arm to .
- was brought to Ionia during the Noxian invasion and was later trained under .
- is the vessel for four eternal spirits and defended Ionia during the Noxus invasion.
- was born in Ionia, though he was captured and spent some time as a gladiator in Noxus before being released by Jarvan II.
- currently resides in Ionia, having been adopted by the Konte family after deserting Noxus and put on trial for the murder of Elder Souma.
Birth of the Vastaya
The vastaya's origins can be traced back to a hidden corner of Ionia where a group of humans fled to escape the Great Void War. There, these refugees came into contact with a tribe of intelligent shapeshifting creatures who were greatly in tune with the world's natural magic. These spiritual creatures, known as the Vastayashai'rei, welcomed the human refugees and eventually produced what Runeterrans now refer to as vastaya - a blanket classification for any number of species of chimeric creatures. Over time, the varied offshoots began to settle in different regions and naturally adopted different forms (simian, avine, piscine etc.) according to the creatures which most embodied their strongest characteristics.
Many vastaya later migrated to faraway lands outside of their original home of Ionia.
Destruction of the God-Willow
Some of the Vastayashai'rei resided in the sacred grove of Omikayalan, the "Heart of the World". In its center stood the God-Willow. This massive tree, dripping with long gossamer leaves that shimmered with golden-green light, was of immense importance to both human Ionians and the vastayan people of the continent, which guarded the tree from anyone who wished it harm. Unfortunately, the tree was destroyed by an invading war party from the Freljord, its leader transformed by its natural energy into the being known as, the Green-Father.
The Golden Demon
For years, Ionia’s southern mountains were plagued by the infamous “Golden Demon.” Throughout the province of Zhyun, a monster slaughtered scores of travelers and sometimes whole farmsteads, leaving behind twisted displays of corpses. Armed militias searched the forests, towns hired demon hunters - but nothing slowed the beast’s grisly work.
In desperation, the Council of Zhyun sent an envoy to beg Great Master Kusho for help. Upon hearing of the region’s plight, Kusho feigned an excuse for why he couldn’t help. But a week later, the master, his son Shen, and star apprentice Zed, disguised themselves merchants and moved to the province. In secret, they visited the countless families emotionally shattered by the killings, dissected the horrific crime scenes, and looked for possible connections or patterns to the murders.
In time, they journeyed together with their master to track down the infamous Golden Demon. When they finally succeeded in capturing this feared “monster,” it was revealed to be a mere man named Khada. The young Zed marched forward with his blades held high, but Kusho stopped him, ordering that Jhin be imprisoned in Tuula instead.
Though Shen and Zed both thought the killer deserved heavier punishment, Shen accepted his father’s decision. He strived to emulate the Eye of Twilight’s dispassion, and so found himself failing to console a bitter and resentful Zed.
From its formation, the residents of Ionia preferred to pursue personal enlightenment instead of waging constant battles with other nations. The militaristic nation of Noxus saw their "weakness" as an opportunity. Noxian spies began to trade aggressively with the Ionians, traveling through provinces to study its weaknesses and identify critical targets.
Not long after, the warhosts set sail for Ionia as part of the long-planned Noxian invasion.
The southern provinces of Ionia were the most open to trade and were also among the wealthiest. It was there that the Noxian forces landed under the cover of night. After being met with little resistance, Noxus’ forces formed their first beachheads and began their invasion. While the war was heavily in the favor of the Noxian forces, the Ionians would not surrender. In response to a growing Ionian resistance, Noxus brought in mercenaries from Zaun. The mad scientists implemented unspeakable tactics, unleashing their cruel creations on noncombatant civilians. These acts of terror were what finally brought forth the full anger of the Ionians.
Bringing all its might and martial traditions to bear, the nation fought back fiercely. The turning point of the war came at the "Great Stand of the Placidium", where the Ionians forced the Noxians to stop their advance and give ground. Though they suffered high casualties, the Ionian warriors eventually brought the invaders to a stalemate, pushing them back to their power bases. Despite their losses, the forces of Noxus still hold in control of a few provinces.
The Order of Shadows
Returning from the hunt for Jhin, Zed's heart bloomed with resentment, and he began to struggle in his studies. He was haunted by the memories of Jhin’s grisly murders, and the rising tensions between Ionia and the imperialistic forces of Noxus only worsened his disillusionment. Many of the provinces were soon occupied by the enemy. Despite this, the Kinkou focused on maintaining Ionia’s spiritual harmony and Master Kusho refused to fight back.
Zed ventured deep into the temple’s hidden catacombs, and there he discovered an ornate, black box. Even though he knew it was forbidden to any but the masters of the order, he peered inside.
Shadows enveloped Zed’s mind, feeding his bitterness with contempt for the weak, and hinting at an ancient, dark magic.
Returning to the light of the temple, he came face to face with Great Master Kusho. Zed demanded the Kinkou strike at the Noxian invaders with every means at their disposal. When Kusho refused, Zed turned his back on the order that had raised him.
Unbound by Kinkou doctrine, he raised a following of warriors to resist Noxus. Any soul who threatened his homeland, or stood idle in its defense, was marked for death without mercy—including native vastaya who wavered in their allegiance. Zed urged his followers to embrace the fervor of war, but soon enough he realized his own abilities would never match his ambitions without the black box.
Amassing his new acolytes, he returned to the Kinkou temple, where he was met by Kusho. The elderly man laid his weapons at Zed’s feet, imploring his former pupil to renounce the shadows in favor of a more balanced path.
Moments later, Zed emerged back onto the temple steps. In one hand, he grasped the box—and in the other, his freshly bloodied blade.
The Kinkou, frozen with shock, fell in droves as Zed’s warriors cut them down. He then claimed the temple for himself, establishing his Order of Shadow, and began training his acolytes in the ways of darkness. They etched their flesh with shadowy tattoos, learning to fight alongside shrouded reflections of themselves.
Far from home, Shen felt a jolting imbalance within the Kinkou Order—rushing back, he came upon the survivors of a bloody coup. Repressing his anguish against Zed, he led the remnants of the Kinkou to safety in the mountains. Shen took up his father’s spirit blade, as well as the title of Eye of Twilight. His role was not to seek vengeance, but to rebuild the order. Following the core tenets, he began to recruit and train others, hoping to restore its strength.
Though Zed did not reconcile with Shen and the remaining Kinkou, now scattered throughout the provinces, they reached an uneasy accord in the aftermath of the war.
The Battle of Bard Mountain
Noxian troops tried to capture Bard Mountain and obtain a valuable magical artifact kept by the locals. During the battle, the village sage was tasked with taking the artifact to one of the Celestial shrines on the top of the mountain. The Noxians mortally wounded him with arrows before he could reach the shrine. But as his last act of defiance, he used the artifact to strike his would-be-killer, obliterating him and slicing a nearby peak in half. This misuse of the artifact's power had drawn the attention of a, who promptly intervened in the event. He retrieved the artifact and took it away from the mortal plane before the Noxians and Ionians could use its power for war.
The Dreaming Pool
Many years have passed since the Noxian-Ionian War, in which both sides never achieved complete victory. While Ionians were able to repel further Noxian invaders from the heartland, Noxus still retained a few coastal territories. Among these was the island of Fae'lor, governed by a vastayan turncoat named Kalan.
Several Ionians that once called this island their home infiltrated its Noxian fort - formerly a monastery - in the hopes of reaching Dael'eh Ahira, the Dreaming Cave, and kill the immensely powerfulwho was imprisoned inside decades before. She was being guarded by Noxian forces, who the Ionians feared would accidentally release her and her power.
Their mission proved unsuccessful. Syndra was released, and Fae'lor was all but destroyed, its fortress lifted from the ground by the now freedinto the sky and moved northward to an unknown location.
Visions of Ionia
Ionia is a large archipelago located off the east coast of Valoran. The currently well-known locations encompassing Ionia are:
The main island of Ionia is split by a mountain range into two regions, Navori and Shon-Xan. It is also the location of the Ionian Capital, The Placidium, and Vlonqo.
Located on Ionia, the province of Navori spans the western half of Ionia and is home to various villages, prestigious schools, sacred magical gardens, and the iconic Placidium of Navori.
- Kinkou Monastery: The Kinkou Monastery was the home of an ancient warrior clan. During the war against Noxus the Monastery was taken over by Shadow Order, who now use the location as their own headquarters.
- Lhotlan Tribe: Deep within the Lhradi Forest of Navori live the endangered Lhotlan vastaya, whose most prominent members are and .
- Omikayalan: Known as the Heart of the World, the grove was a sacred place to all Ionians. The vastayashai'rei protected its most important landmark: the God-Willow, a massive tree, dripping with long gossamer leaves that shimmered with golden-green light. During ancient times, a battle between the groves protectors and Freljordian warriors ended with the God-Willow's destruction. The whimpers of countless beasts, the bawling of rivers, the howling of trees and the dripping tears of moss, they lamented the God-Willow’s death in a symphony of mourning. Centuries have passed and at the place where the God-Willow once stood, a being known as the emerged with a clear mission and purpose: to protect all life and teach the world's people to respect and appreciate all that is.
- Placidium: The Placidium, one of Ionia’s most iconic structures, is located in the heart of Ionia. This building is home to the School of Transcendentalism, an organization dedicated to raising Ionia’s populace to the greatest spiritual enlightenment. Many of Ionia’s most successful diplomats have spent at least some time studying at the Placidium.
Not much is known about Shon-Xan, the eastern region of Ionia Island, though it is presumably the origin of one offavorite weapons, the Shon-Xan footed glaive.
- Puboe is a human town that was the center of a few recent events. and freed several vastaya from a prison here, and was assigned to kill a corrupt councilman who sold the town out to Noxus, though the murder did not actually occur in Puboe.
- The Garden of Forgetting may be located here. has visited the garden at least once to erase her troubled memories. Its keeper is Ighilya (Ionian: 'Great grandmother'), also known as the Eater of Secrets, the Forgotten, or the Witch Gardener. The flowers and the fruit of the Garden have deep magical properties that can take away a person's memories or life essence.
Bahrl is an island in the central part of the chain, south of the main island of Ionia. The villages of Tevasa and Wuju are located here, as is the Epool River, wherefound .
- Wuju: Located on Bahrl, it is the birthplace of and the art of Wuju. It has since been destroyed during the Noxian Invasion of Ionia.
- Tevasa: It is located on the north side of the island region of Bahrl. At the footholds of the mountain, there is a small peaceful village with approximately hundred people. During the Noxian invasion of Ionia, pillaging Noxian soldiers were defeated by the hands of who grew attached to all the villagers and had a desire to protect them from harm.
Possibly located on Zhyun, though this is unconfirmed, Bard Mountain was the site of a battle over an ancient artifact that resulted in the appearance of.
Fae'lor is a small island to the west of the main island of Ionia. It is the location of the Dael'eh Ahira, the Dreaming Cave, which previously imprisoned. Its famous monastery school was converted into a Noxian fort during the invasion. The island has since been stripped bare by Syndra's power, and the fort ripped free of its foundations.
Galrin is one of two islands in the region of Houhjo (the other being Sudaro), located near the southern tip of the island chain. The Ghetu Desert (formerly the Ghetu Sea), the Nistaram Forest, and Valmar and Kai's village of Pallas are located here.
- Pallas: The ancient village Pallas was established upon the coastal shores. The inhabitants of this village have forgotten much of their long history, but their duty as custodians to the Temple of Pallas was never abandoned - until Noxus arrived.
- Temple of Pallas: Aeons ago a gold-armored figure arrived upon the western shore of Ionia, bringing with her an insatiable device. Here she imprisoned a bow within a deep chasm and sealed it off using the natural magic from the Ionian landscape. The nearby settlement was tasked with maintaining the seals as what lurked inside was powerful enough to break its bonds and eventually be unleashed. Erecting a grand temple around the chasm, the villagers rarely wavered from this task, despite its purpose being entirely forgotten. sought refuge in the water-filled chasm when Noxian forces attacked Pallas, and the darkin Varus was released.
Oulin, Qaelin, and Ralin
These islands make up a small cluster in the northeastern part of the archipelago. Hirana Academy and Monastery are located on Ralin.
- Hirana Monastery: The monks of Hirana Monastery are renowned for self-control. and defended this place.
According to: "Weh’le is a phantom port, a hidden coastal village, protected by the mystical properties of Ionia. Unlike Fae’lor, she doesn’t welcome outsiders, and you won’t find her on the maps. Should Weh’le appear at all, it is always on her own terms, daring people into doing very dumb things.
"Most approach from the sea, dreaming of riches, discovery or maybe just a new start, only to have their hopes dashed in an instant. First, the shoreline that once called to them vanishes behind a dense wall of cobalt fog crackling with arcane power. The sea rises and falls violently before unleashing torrents of crushing waves. As the survivors cling to their splintered vessel, the fog pulls back for the briefest of moments, allowing them one look at the flickering lanterns of Weh’le cruelly saying goodbye just before the water pulls them down to the bottom of the Breathless Bay."
Akali is a frequent visitor to the village, where she gets additions to her impressive dragon tattoo - and assassinates betrayers of Ionia seeking to flee the archipelago.
A mountainous island in the south of the Ionian archipelago, it was previously plagued by the infamous. Before the Invasion of Ionia, Zhyun was known to have its own council.
- Jyom Pass: This was where was captured by Kusho, , and . There is a Blossom Festival held here.
- Kashuri: The Kashuri Armories forged traditional weapons for a long time, mostly swords and bows. The war against Noxus changed that, and they began making poor copies of Piltover's hextech weapons. Now they have been 'inspired' to make new weapons harnessing the abundant magic in Ionia, like pistol-rifle.
- Temple of the Jagged Knife: Located in the island province of Zhyun, it is controlled by Order of Shadows. It was previously ransacked by and his pirate crew.
- Tuula: A city located in the southern mountainous province of Zhyun. was initially imprisoned here by Kusho, , and .
According to, Ionia has over 200 different species of talking dragons. Those who study these dragons speak of ancient, elemental runes split between the bloodlines.
One of the oldest magical trees in Ionia, it was destroyed byseveral decades ago; she was infused with its massive power.
Another of the oldest magical trees in Ionia, it was destroyed centuries ago by Ivern the Cruel, who absorbed its power and became the.
Luonn Kon are giant spirit animals located in Ionia. They take the appearance of massive stone golems and are often benevolent in nature. Some of them assist local inhabitants in creating makeshift dams.
Sun apples are a common type of tree located in Ionia. Its fruit can warm a person and even tan a person's entire body.
Native to the Nistaram Forest, this terrifying predator is a theropod-type creature with eight eyes on each side of its head, a large horn atop the snout, and a maw with multiple rows of pointed teeth.
These herd animals are described as goat-like buffalo.
Rivers of Grass
Quite literal rivers of grass, flow and move with the tides of magic. Landfishers, if intinued with the magic of the landscape, can cultivate and collect all the grains and fruits that grow in these areas.
Located near the coastal Azure Farms of Ionia Island, these specific crabs are attuned to the spiritual energies of the area. At certain times of the year, people might give offerings and gifts to the local sea spirits. If those offerings are appreciated, thousands of yellow crabs might walk onto the beaches and just wait to be captured later in the year.
The Ionian continent is a haven for those who seek spiritual evolution and enlightenment. While populated primarily by humans and vastaya, some yordles and other beings also make Ionia their home. There are many spiritual centers and schools of enlightenment in Ionia, though they might not always agree about important questions. Such pursuits leave little time for thoughts of imperialism; the Ionians have historically been extremely peaceful by nature. That does not mean, however, that they are helpless or unable to defend themselves.
Ionia appears serene and, fittingly to its natural magic, almost enchanted. Its ornate buildings are literally made out of features of the landscape through magical harmony. Ionian architecture is characterized by a sense of natural flow and grace, aspiring to reflect the ethereal beauty of the land. Grand, open spaces ensure that one is never fully divorced from what organically existed there before.
Ionia is home to many human languages & dialects, though the Zhyun dialect is the most-spoken of the Ionian, possibly descending from the ancient Ionian language still used by to chant her mantras. It's unknown if Yasuo speaks another dialect from the same dialect chain or a completely different language.
- Anar - "Brother" (cf. *ɐnḗr "man")
- Dyeda - "Daughter" (cf. *dʰugɐtḗr "suckling")
- Erzai - "Son" (cf. *wérsēn ~ * "man") sḗn
- Emai - "Mother" (cf. * am- )
- Fa*pɐtḗr "protector ~ provider") ir - "Father" (cf.
- Svasa - "Sister" (cf. *swésōr "same-blooded")
- O-fa - "Grandfather" (also to address an elderly man)
- O-ma - "Grandmother" (also to address an elderly woman)
- Gaen Na Kyri Vi. - Reap the winds of.
- Jia - Pain.
- Lath Rian Oune Vi. - Weave the threads of.
- Phyla - Tranquility.
- Sae Eleisa Tera Vi. - Discover the meaning of.
- Saera - Magic.
( - based, though flawed)
- Igei Ton
- Sorye Ge Ton
- - Golden Excellence.
Apart from the human languages on Ionia, there is also the Vastayan language, one of whose various dialects is Baraashi, as spoken by Lhotlan's tribe-members 
(Baraashi used elements of the Finnish & Arabic languages as its basis)
- Vastaya Baraashi dialect (Lhotlan Tribe)
- Baasi - I (future tense).
- Eli, Ella - Love (masculine, feminine).
- Example of a Vastayan conversation.
- Faash - They (present tense).
- Ighilya - Great Grandmother.
- Iminha - Little One.
- Mi - My.
- Mieli, Miella - My Love (masculine, feminine).
- Mu'takl - A slang for "Blood traitor".
- Na - To not be.
- Om - Magic.
- Ouulavaash - Farewell.
- Soura - To Gather.
- Taitah be tervaash - Rest in peace/well.
- Tann - Here.
- Va'h - To be (present tense).
- Vastaya - Vastaya (the people).
- Vi - Wild.
- Vi-om - Wild-magic.
A festival where painters, musicians, calligraphers and other types of artists celebrate the artistry of Ionia. One such festival was held in Jyom Pass in the Zhyun province, where the infamouswas finally captured.
Not much is known about Ionia's government currently, but most areas seem to have regional administrations that don't always share philosophies. Each village has its own small council.
The Ionians have created some of the most remarkable martial art forms on all of Runeterra – a manifestation for their pursuit of enlightenment.
The Art of Wuju was founded on obtaining absolute spiritual awareness of one's self and one's enemy. , the keeper of this ancient art, descended from one of the few tribes dedicated to the preservation of Wuju. Due to the massacre of his kin, Master Yi is now the last master of his art. He has pledged to keep the Wuju style alive by teaching the art form to other individuals, such as .
The Hirana Academy and Monastery is home to many skilled and enlightened monks. Their adepts are some of the most devout proponents of personal harmony within one's self. Though the monks deplore violence, they are not defenseless as they are skilled enough to turn and redirect an opponent's strikes. In an act of selflessness, the monks took in, and taught him how to harness and control his animalistic fury... most of the time. blinded himself in a desperate fury while defending the monastery.
The Kinkou are an ancient clan dedicated to the preservation of balance. Order, chaos, light, darkness - all things must exist in perfect harmony for such is the way of the universe. The Order is led by a triumvirate of ninjas - , , and - who uphold its causes in the world and are each entrusted with one of three sacred duties: Watching the Stars, Coursing the Sun, and Pruning the Tree. However, Akali has since left the order to pursue her own path.
Order of Shadows
The Order of Shadows is a new clan that has dedicated themselves to learning the forbidden art of the shadows and killing anyone who refuses to learn. Their leader,, rediscovered these ancient techniques and used them to take over the Kinkou Monastery.
The Navori Brotherhood are an ultra-nationalist group established during the Invasion of Noxus. Although they aim to defend their people from foreign attackers, they also aspire to control the continent under one rule, and are willing to attack and kill fellow Ionians who don't align with their vision for Ionia - including .
The Shojin Monastery is home to peaceful monks that have long practiced the martial arts of inner healing. Through meditation, the monks are capable of rejuvenating from injuries at a heightened rate. Some of these priests can also display acts of incredible willpower, such as suffering through agonizing amounts of pain for weeks without crying out.was raised here.
During Noxus' invasion of Ionia, 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.
While Demacia campaigned against Noxus's imperial ambitions, it was unable to prevent the disasters that were inflicted on Ionia. It is unclear if Ionians feel animosity towards Demacia as a result.
Not much is known about the current relations between the two nations. The first known interaction between the two cultures ended up with the destruction of theby a stranded band of Freljordian warriors... but the second was a friendship between and .
After the defeat of Noxus and the return of most annexed lands, it is unclear of the present political conditions. It is well-known, however, that many Ionians have a vendetta against Noxus.
- The name Ionia comes from the
Ἰωνία, after the tribal name Ἰά(ϝ)ωνες, with unclear etymology, possibly from:
- noun *wiH-s "force", whence Greek (ϝ)ī́s (w)is;
-  verb *h₁eysh₂- "to push, to strengthen", whence ῑ̓ός īós "arrow".
- The real-life namesake is
, after , located in , now in modern-day .
- There are also the located at the western part of modern-day .
- Ionian names are usually derived from 
, e.g. , , , etc. with some influences
- Exceptions exist, however: e.g. from ; from ; from .
- Ionia's crest resembles Mantle of Decorum.
- Ionians practiced  : the deceased's corpses are left to the elements and scavengers, then collected and cleaned by .
- Ionia has over 200 species of talking dragons.
- Ionian prisons are known to be humane. Unless they house vastaya.
- Despite Ionia generally having low-tech weapons, their new high-tech weaponry is generally housed in the Kashuri armouries and used by people who have authorization by the regional authorities, such as .
- The serpentlike crest of Ionia features its colors - white, teal green, and honeysuckle.
- The 
, , , , , , and are Ionian artifacts.
- The three blades of represent the Land, Name, and Nation of Ionia.
- Related Music
- Related Videos
- Ionia Universe Page
- Eduard Santangelo's Vastaya Field Journal
- Confession of a Broken Blade
- Kinkou Order
- Shadow Order
- Lunar Revel
- PROJECT Initiative
- The Blood Moon
- ↑ http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~rnoyer/courses/51/PIEKinship.pdf
- ↑ Vastayan Baraashi dialect
- ↑ Beekes, R.S.P. Etymological Dictionary of Greek, p. 594-595, 609
- ↑ https://nexus.leagueoflegends.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Jhin_Namestorm_exvj79ng3h59rqlp70n8.pdf
- ↑ http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Confessions_of_a_Broken_Blade#II
- ↑ Irelia on talking dragons
- ↑ Jhin Q&A 1
- ↑ 
- ↑ Jhin Q&A 2
- ↑ New item icons