Prince Jarvan IV comes from a lineage of kings, and is favored to lead Demacia in the next era. Raised to be the paragon of Demacia’s greatest virtues, Jarvan IV often struggles with the heavy expectations placed upon him. On the battlefield, he inspires his troops with his fearsome courage and selfless determination, revealing his true strength as a leader of men.
Though the Demacian ruler is chosen by a high council from a selection of worthy candidates, the last three kings were descendants of the same line. As King Jarvan III’s only child, Jarvan IV was groomed since birth to continue that tradition. His family’s intentions were reflected in all aspects of his life, from his courtly duties to his name. Educated by the finest historical scholars and tutored in the ways of ruling a kingdom, Jarvan IV also studied the techniques of war.
During Jarvan’s combat training, he was often paired against a young warrior named Garen, who was preparing to serve as the next ruler’s Crownguard. Jarvan admired Garen’s sheer fortitude, and Garen, the prince’s quick thinking. The two were soon inseparable.
When Jarvan IV came of age, his father bestowed upon him the honor of serving as a general in the Demacian army. Though Jarvan IV had studied the theories and tactics of warfare, and could win a duel against his swordmaster, he had never stood on the front lines of a battle, much less taken a life.
Determined to prove his worth through victories in battle, Jarvan IV led his troops against bands of Winter’s Claw reavers, warring tribes, and even a coven of rogue mages. Though he commanded his troops to great success, Jarvan was always flanked on all sides by guards sworn to protect him, and felt that his impact as a fighter was often stifled.
When Noxian warbands raided the farmlands near Demacia’s border, Jarvan IV led his troops to defend the nation. He and his men rode for days in the wake of the Noxians. To Jarvan’s horror, the atrocities were far worse than he had anticipated. The Noxians had razed entire townships and slaughtered hundreds of Demacians, with only a handful of injured survivors left to tell the tale.
His officers advised the prince to withdraw and send for reinforcements. But Jarvan was shaken by the faces of the dead, and he could not turn his back on survivors in need. He would protect the wounded while ensuring the enemy forces did not escape without a fight. Besides, he reasoned, a secondary force of Demacian soldiers could not possibly arrive in time to face the Noxians. He was convinced that he had to act now.
Jarvan split his troops, ordering some to remain and care for the injured civilians, while he led the remaining soldiers onward. They ambushed the Noxians during the night, but in the chaos of battle, Jarvan was separated from his guards. He fought fiercely and slew many enemies, but was ultimately overwhelmed. The Noxians took Jarvan IV prisoner, to be paraded through the Immortal Bastion in chains upon reaching Noxus.
As Jarvan was dragged further from Demacia during his weeks of captivity, he was ashamed that the rashness of his decision to pursue the Noxians had led to needless Demacian deaths. Crushed by the loss, he came to believe he no longer deserved to live in Demacia, let alone inherit its throne.
One moonless night, Garen and an intrepid band of soldiers known as the Dauntless Vanguard attacked the Noxian encampment. Though the Demacian warriors could not reach Jarvan, he used the distraction to fight his captors and escape. As he ran, a Noxian soldier shot an arrow into Jarvan’s side, but the young prince persevered and fled into the wilderness.
Jarvan sprinted until he collapsed, hiding in the hollow of a fallen tree and bandaging his wound as best as he could. He lay for days drifting in and out of consciousness, knowing his death must be near. Unsure if he was awake or dreaming, Jarvan would later recall a purple-skinned woman with eyes of fire who carried him to a remote Demacian village.
There, he rested under the care of local healers, who treated him with medicinal herbs as they nursed him back to health.
As Jarvan regained his strength, he found solace in the small settlement nestled in the wild hills of outer Demacia. For the first time in his life, he was free from the pressures and demands of his royal duties. He felt at peace in the village that had welcomed him so openly, though he was a stranger. Jarvan also learned that his strange, purple-skinned savior was a fellow newcomer known as Shyvana.
The serenity of village life was disrupted when a monstrous dragon terrorized the nearby communities, burning buildings to cinders and farmlands to ash. Jarvan knew the settlement would not survive a dragon attack, so he led the villagers to a nearby stronghold - Castle Wrenwall.
That night, Jarvan caught Shyvana leaving the compound. She confessed that she was half-dragon, and that the ruinous creature plaguing them was her own mother, Yvva, who resented Shyvana as a blemish on her bloodline. The monster would not stop until Shyvana was dead. Like all Demacians, Jarvan had been raised to distrust the magical beings of the world - but he saw Shyvana’s goodness and strength, and was determined to repay his life-debt to her. Only together could they take down such a fearsome enemy.
With the dragon’s return an ever-present threat, Jarvan trained the Demacian villagers to fight alongside the soldiers of Castle Wrenwall. He chose the ancient petricite ruins to the west as the scene of their battle. The structure had once been a high temple built during the cataclysmic upheaval of the Rune Wars, but now the magic-nullifying stones would serve as their best defense against the dragon. He even tipped their arrows with sharpened petricite, knowing that only by drawing all their efforts together did they have a chance of killing such a mighty beast.
Jarvan and the soldiers hid themselves nearby, while Shyvana stood in the center of the ruined courtyard. Jarvan watched in awe as she transformed into a dragon, roaring plumes of fire into the sky as an open challenge to her mother. Though the villagers backed away in fear, Jarvan steadied their courage, reminding them that Shyvana would help destroy their enemy.
Soon enough, an even more fearsome silhouette blackened the sun, and Yvva, the great dragon, was upon them. On Jarvan’s command, the soldiers loosed dozens of petricite arrows into the dragon’s back, weakening her powers with every strike. The dragon reared up in pain and exhaled streams of flame. Soldiers were charred in their armor, but still more arrows flew and the close confines of the nullifying ruins anchored her to the earth.
Jarvan stood in awe as Shyvana and her mother collided with earthshaking force. The colossal beasts battled in a furious blur until Jarvan could hardly tell them apart, and he held his archers back in fear that he would wound his friend. He despaired as Shyvana collapsed back into her human form with blood streaming from her neck. But she looked her mother in the eyes and, with flaming claws, tore the steaming heart from her breast.
With the threat vanquished, Jarvan IV finally felt worthy of returning home. He had come to understand that true Demacian values were not simply about victory, but about standing together as one, no matter their differences. To reward Shyvana’s bravery, he promised that she would always have a home in his kingdom. But they both knew Demacia as a kingdom remained deeply suspicious of magic, and Shyvana vowed not to reveal her dual nature as she fought at Jarvan’s side. Together they traveled to the capital with the skull of the dragon Yvva in tow.
Though many were thrilled to see their prince return safely, others questioned Jarvan’s judgment in recruiting Shyvana into his guard, and suspicions grew as to why he had not gone to the capital immediately after escaping the Noxians. No matter what King Jarvan III himself thought, outwardly he welcomed his son back into the court. As Jarvan IV resumed his royal duties, he swore to uphold Demacian ideals by building a nation that valued each one of its citizens, uniting them together against whatever threats they faced.
- Ivory, Ebony, Jasper
General Miesar slid an ivory cone across the map. Jarvan wondered at the simplicity of the white piece. No head, no features denoting a face. Just a simple rounded shape, neutral and plain, with no resemblance to the hundred Demacian soldiers it represented.
“If we lead our knights south now, we can attack the argoth head-on before they reach Evenmoor,” said General Ibell, a stout woman with commanding eyes.
“The argoth are fiercest in swarms,” said General Miesar as he paced the length of the tent. “They rely on overwhelming numbers to defeat direct attacks. If we cannot divide them, they will slaughter us long before we reach their queen.”
Jarvan strode to the edge of their tent, parting the fabric and gazing out across the valley.
He might have enjoyed the view – morning light made the verdant landscape sparkle with dew, and the village of Evenmoor looked peaceful from a distance. But an ominous gray shape swelled on the the horizon as the horde thundered in the distance.
The argoth were not enormous creatures; fighting one alone would be easy enough, but in large numbers, they were subject to the dominating will of a queen, able to move and fight as one vicious unit. This swarm was bigger than any Jarvan had seen before.
Miesar wiped sweat from his brow. “They’ll be here by this evening?”
“Sooner,” said Ibell. “We have an hour, maybe two if we’re lucky, until the argoth overwhelm Evenmoor.”
Jarvan turned back to the map. Ten ebony cones representing the argoth stood at the outer edges of Evenmoor, overshadowing the single Demacian cone. The queen was marked by a smaller figurine of red jasper, right in the heart of the ebony mass.
“Any charge would need to fight through hundreds of argoth to get near her,” said Jarvan, gesturing to the red stone. “What do you propose?”
Miesar halted his pacing. “I’m afraid you won’t like this, my lord, but we could retreat. Surrender Evenmoor. Return on the morrow with forces strong enough to cut through the horde and slay the queen.”
“Leave Evenmoor to the argoth?” asked Ibell. “That’s a death sentence for these people. They will be overrun in a matter of hours.”
Jarvan stared at the ebony and ivory until they merged in his mind’s eye. All he saw was the red queen stone. Ibell raised her eyebrows. “You see something?”
“A desperate plan,” Jarvan replied, “but it is all we have. We conceal our fiercest fighters within Evenmoor and lay an ambush. With such a small band they won’t anticipate our attack. Then, when the queen is within reach, we strike hard and fast. With her death, the swarm’s unity will be broken.”
“Into the center of the argoth, my lord?” Miesar said. “That, too, may be a death sentence.”
“But we give Evenmoor a chance of surviving the attack,” said Ibell.
“No plan is without risk,” Jarvan said. “I will lead only those willing to join me, and will not engage until our hope of victory is greatest. We bide our time until the eye of the maelstrom is upon us, and then strike from within. With the queen dead, it will be a simple matter to fight our way out.”
Ibell slid a single ivory cone to the village on the map, then moved the circle of ebony pieces forward until they overlapped Evenmoor entirely. The jasper queen stood at its center. With a flick of her finger, she tipped the red stone over. That done, she slid two more white cones to join the fight.
“This is our plan,” said Jarvan. “Ibell and Miesar, you and your troops will lead the second wave.”
“Aye,” said Miesar.
“And you, my lord?” Ibell asked. “Where will you be?”
“I have a queen to kill,” Jarvan replied.