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Karthus/History

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Previous Lore

"There is no sweeter song than the last breath of the dying." - Karthus Karthus

Karthus is a terrible creature who was once a mortal so obsessed with death that he eagerly embraced the gift of undeath. Now in his unlife as a lich, Karthus is closer to his beloved grave than he ever imagined. He commands magic with oblivion as its source, and seeks to bring his grim truth to the rest of the world: only in death does life gain clarity and purpose.

Even as a boy, Karthus was different. There was a darkness within him that could not be denied. The young child clung to the shadows and shunned the company of others. He snuck into the funerals of strangers, and spoke to their tombstones in the cemetery. He sought out corpses of animals to preserve and memorialize them, creating a grim collection of morbid art.

Karthus volunteered to tend to the sick and dying, though his intentions were not to help, but to closely witness the passing of those who were beyond help. Ultimately, he went so far as to elaborately stage his death, and he secretly observed his own funeral with intense fascination.

When others discovered what Karthus had done, they were so shocked and disturbed that, in a way, he became truly dead to them. Karthus found himself fully rejected by the living.

His isolation only served to fuel his obsession. Karthus delved further into his exploration of death, and became fascinated by the legends of the Shadow Isles. There, it was said, the specters of the deceased continued on in unlife everlasting.

Possessed by these tales, he knew he had to discover for himself if they were true. Journeying to those dreaded isles, Karthus soon found himself wandering through the mist, overcome by the surreal beauty of the place. He felt as if he had finally come home.

He had always chased the elusive purity of the moment of death, when life passed and in a single instant achieved meaning. Karthus saw that undeath was like that moment, preserved in dread stillness forever. He had discovered his destiny, to cross over the veil and leave the living behind for eternity.

Something awoke in the Shadow Isles that day, when Karthus did something no other creature had ever done: he willingly gave his life over to undeath. When he reentered the world, Karthus had become the embodiment of his own obsession.

An undying lich with the keys to life and death, he seeks to bring his dark Requiem.png Requiem to the world.


"Come visit my home, and I shall sing a dirge of your life as it once was." - Karthus Karthus
Karthus Render old

The vast quantities of physical magic that were consumed and destroyed during Valoran's numerous Rune Wars have scarred much of Valoran. Many locations far from civilization have been morphed into hazardous and dangerous locales.

The Howling Marsh is one of these places, and the self-appointed overlord of this land is the lich known as Karthus. It is thought that Karthus was a mage who, in life, was foolish enough to enter the fetid waters seeking his fortune, and that he was forever transformed by whatever dark magic permeates the swamp.

Karthus now rules over his swampy dominion with an iron (albeit skeletal) fist. Visitors are not welcome, and those who are not scared away by the lich's terrible power most likely end up as one of the undead themselves... skeletons and zombies in Karthus' growing army of eternal servants. On the darkest of nights, Karthus is said to sing the tales of those who have succumbed to the swamp, past and present.

Karthus' tenure in the League of Legends is one of the more unusual ones in the history of the League.

First, it is highly unusual that a lich who was known for isolation and hatred of life would even be a willing part of an organization which promoted the preservation of life. Next, Karthus specifically eschews the accrual of power and influence gained through service to the League; he is essentially an unpaid volunteer.

This behavior is completely different than what his life outside of the League would have onlookers believe. Karthus has never spoken about his intentions in being a champion of the League, and in fact becomes quite agitated when asked about it. In the interests of not aggravating a lich, most sensible people subsequently drop the issue.


Previous Abilities

Previous Quotes

Upon Selection
  • Karthus Select
    "Do you... feel a chill?"
Attacking/Movement
  • Karthus.attack1
    "Share... my curse!"
  • Karthus.attack2
    "Their pain... is my pleasure!"
  • Karthus.attack3
    "I... obey."
  • Karthus.attack4
    "Float... on..."
  • Karthus.attack5
    "Your wish?"
  • Karthus.attack6
    "For the unliving!"
Taunt
  • Karthus.taunt
    "I'll put you... in my book!"
Joke
  • Karthus.joke
    "I cannot use your skull. You have a misshapen head."
Laugh
  • Karthus.laugh1
    Karthus laughs.
  • Karthus.laugh2
    Karthus laughs.
  • Karthus.laugh3
    Karthus laughs.

Previous Splash Art



Patch History

V6.4
  • KarthusSquare.png Statue of Karthus [S|L]
    • Bug Fix: Eagle screech being heard globally by allies when Karthus dances
V5.24
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • New Effect: Wall slow is reduced to 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% after 1 second
V5.6
  • General
    • Basic attack frame updated
V5.5
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Bug Fix: Enemy champions sometimes dashing through wall and not being slowed
V4.11
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Bug Fix: Allied-ultimate HUD indicator displaying it as available even when it wasn't
V4.10
  • KarthusSquare.png Statue of Karthus [S|L]
    • New Effect: A certain bird of prey screeches when Karthus dances
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Bug Fix: Appearing to grant more vision than intended
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Removed: Being interrupted by movement commands
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Particle updated for visibility

V4.9

  • Visual Update
    • General
      • New models and textures for all skins
      • New voice-over
      • New lore
      • New ability icons
      • New Classic artwork
      • New team-color indicators for basic abilities
    • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
      • New area-of-effect indicator
      • Single-target hits updated with new critical-strike-style combat text and unique sound effect
    • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
      • New enemy debuff visual
V4.5
  • Stats
    • Armor increased to 15 from 11
V4.4
V3.12
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Enemy warning buff duration updated to match impact delay
V3.10
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • New Effect: Casts at maximum range if targeted beyond it during Death Defied.png Death Defied
  • Defile.png Defile
    • AP ratio reduced to (+ 20% AP) from (+ 25% AP)
    • Bug Fix: Cooldown reduction allowing it to be rapidly toggled (thus increasing its damage output)
V3.7
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Removed: Major FPS performance hit across all maps
V1.0.0.152
  • Stats
    • Movement speed increased to 335 from 310
V1.0.0.146
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Removed: Reducing armor
    • Magic resistance reduction changed to 15% from 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 flat
V1.0.0.142
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Cooldown increased to 200 / 180 / 160 seconds from 180 / 150 / 120
V1.0.0.131
V1.0.0.130
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Wall duration reduced to 5 seconds from 7
    • Slow application changed to once from per-crossing
    • Dominion
      • Bug Fix: Karthus sometimes immediately awarding a double kill when affected by both Sunlight.png Sunlight and Storm Shield
V1.0.0.126
V1.0.0.118
  • Death Defied.png Death Defied
    • Duration reduced to 7 seconds from 8
    • Removed: 20% death timer reduction
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • AP ratio reduced to (+ 60% AP) from (+ 70% AP)
V1.0.0.105
V1.0.0.103
  • Death Defied.png Death Defied
    • New Effect: All abilties are free to cast while active
    • Bug Fix: Various usability issues
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Cost reduced to 20 / 26 / 32 / 38 / 44 from 20 / 28 / 36 / 44 / 52
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Cooldown reduced to 18 seconds from 22
V1.0.0.101
  • Death Defied.png Death Defied
    • New Effect: Grants 20% death timer reduction (to compensate for active duration)
    • Code remade for bug fixing and for usability troubleshooting
V1.0.0.100
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Bug Fix: Rank-up tooltip displaying incorrect slow increase
V1.0.0.99
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Cost reduced to 150 / 175 / 200 from 200 / 300 / 400
V1.0.0.86
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Bug Fix: Tooltip displaying incorrect AP ratio
V1.0.0.75
V1.0.0.70
  • Stats
    • Armor growth increased to 3.5 from 3
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Range increased to 875 from 825
    • Cost decreased to 20 / 28 / 36 / 44 / 52 from 24 / 32 / 40 / 48 / 54
V1.0.0.63
  • General
    • Basic attack projectile speed increased to 1200 from 800
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Damage increased to 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 from 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115
    • AP ratio increased to (+ 30% AP) from (+ 25% AP)
  • Defile.png Defile
    • AP ratio increased to (+ 25% AP) from (+ 20% AP)
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Removed: Enemies getting vision of Karthus on-cast
V1.0.0.61
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • AP ratio increased to (+ 25% AP) from (+ 20% AP)
V1.0.0.52
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Bug Fix: Incorrect AP ratio
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Bug Fix: Slowing units 2 seconds after particle had faded
V1.0.0.32
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Cost reduced to 24 / 32 / 40 / 48 / 54 from 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65
  • Defile.png Defile
    • Cost reduced to 30 / 42 / 54 / 66 / 78 from 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90
V0.9.25.34
  • General
    • Secondary/critical strike animations updated
V0.9.25.24
V0.9.25.21
  • Death Defied.png Death Defied
    • Duration reduced to 8 seconds from 10
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Wall updated for visibility
    • Bug Fix: Incorrect wall spawning
    • Bug Fix: Targets sometimes not being slowed when crossing the wall
    • Duration reduced to 7 seconds from 9
  • Defile.png Defile
    • Cost increased to 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 from 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Cost increased to 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 from 24 / 32 / 40 / 48 / 54
V0.9.22.16
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Cost increased to 24 / 32 / 40 / 48 / 54 from 18 / 26 / 34 / 42 / 50
  • Defile.png Defile
    • On-kill mana gain changed to 20 / 27 / 34 / 41 / 48 from 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55
    • Removed: Mana regen on champion kill
    • Cost increased to 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 from 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • AP ratio reduced to (+ 60% AP) from (+ 70% AP)
    • Removed: Being canceled by Cleanse.png Cleanse
V0.9.22.15
  • Stats
    • Attack damage increased to 44 from 39
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Range reduced to 825 from 900
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • New Effect: Wall targeting cursor
  • Defile.png Defile
    • Removed: Double cost on-cast
V0.8.21.110
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Diameter increased to 200 from 185
July 10, 2009 Patch
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Damage increased to 250 / 400 / 550 from 200 / 350 / 550
June 26, 2009 Patch
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Slow reduced to 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80% from 80 at all ranks
  • Defile.png Defile
    • Cooldown reduced to 0.5 seconds from 1
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • Bug Fix: Buff tooltips display
June 19, 2009 Patch
  • Lay Waste.png Lay Waste
    • Damage increased to 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 from 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110
    • Tooltip updated
  • Wall of Pain.png Wall of Pain
    • Cast range reduced to 1000 from 1200
    • Resistances reductions reduced to 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 from 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40
    • Duration reduced to 9 seconds from 12
    • Removed: Lingering after particle fades
    • Cooldown reduced to 22 seconds from 25
  • Defile.png Defile
    • Damage increased to 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 from 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100
  • Requiem.png Requiem
    • AP ratio reduced to (+ 70% AP) from (+ 75% AP)
    • Removed: Casting while dead
June 12, 2009 Patch
  • Added

References

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