This lore is out-dated and is no longer considered canon.
Before Nocturne, people believed that dreams were figments of their imaginations, meaningless images that flashed through the mind when one slept. This belief was put to the test when a rash of sleep-related incidents started afflicting summoners of the League. Some would wake up screaming, terrified and beyond consolation. Some could not fall asleep, slowly going mad as the nights ticked by. Some simply never woke up. Physicians were baffled until a Field Architect happened to pass out next to a nexus on the Twisted Treeline. Witnesses said he cried out once and then stopped breathing. Immediately after, magical energy arced out from the nexus, and Nocturne appeared.
Nocturne did not take his introduction to this world kindly. He slaughtered everything he could find before summoners were able to magically confine him. After a period of intense study, League experts divined that Nocturne hunted summoners in their sleep, attacking them in a place where their magic was useless. This seemed to be his only purpose. The families of the victims demanded justice, but League officials were concerned that death might only return Nocturne to the place from which he came. They bound him to a nexus fragment, trapping him in the physical world. As punishment for his crimes, they allowed summoners to call upon Nocturne in League matches, bending his will to the summoners he hates and creating his own personal nightmare. League scholars don’t know whether he truly came from the plane of dreams, or whether there are any more like him. Some theorize that the summoning act affected the summoners' subconscious minds, luring Nocturne to them in their sleep. Perhaps the most disturbing theory is that Nocturne is a person’s nightmare come to life. If this is true, they wonder, who is the dreamer?
“The darkness is closing in... it’s pitch black now... but I can still see him...”
― Kevin Ma, patient #4236
"Embrace the darkness."
"Cut them from this world!"
"Their twilight approaches."
"The light is fading."
"Drip drop, the sound of blood."
"Help is not coming..."
"I sense fear."
"Do I scare you, summoner?"
"Are you getting tired yet?"
"This place disgusts me."
"People are flames to be blotted out."
"Afraid of the dark?"
"Swim in terror!"
"Are you my nightmare, or am I yours?"
"Bring me more flesh bags to slice up!"
"Weather forecast for tonight: dark, with a chance of pain!"
The Field Architect has had a long day. Surveying the grounds for signs of degradation is no small task; taking readings every five feet is essential in order to detect even the slightest disturbances in the intricate energy fields. An overlooked spike in the surrounding forces could set off a chain reaction of destruction due to the rampant use of magic on the Fields of Justice. In his own little way, he liked to think that he was saving Runeterra one checkpoint at a time.
His work complete, the architect makes his way back to the summoning platform, where he passes a nexus that should have been dormant. An unbidden spark inside the nexus catches his eye. He turns to investigate only to be struck by a wild burst of energy arcing out of the nexus. The architect collapses to the floor in a heap, sprawling on the unforgiving cobblestone.
His body shrivels as a noxious trail of thick smoke pours out of his open mouth. It is shivering with life and pulsing with horrors.
It is born of nightmares.
Nocturne had drifted through the minds of humans for endless expanses of time. He beheld the faces they yearned for, absorbed the desires that coursed through their veins, and inhabited the fantasies that set their hearts ablaze. He lingered within the despicably human illusions they conjured in the narrow expanse that was their puny brains.
From all of them, he consumed the magic that rippled through their souls.
Nocturne had only a moment to examine his new found physical form before a circle of robed summoners appeared around him. He knew who they were before they even revealed themselves. These were the overlords whose faces consumed each mind of every summoner whose dreams he haunted. They were the voices that drenched lesser kinds with promises of great power, and they were the hands that directed the ebb and flow of the entire world. Nocturne knew what these humans wanted, but they would not get him.
His shadowed form ghosted silently toward one of the humans, reaching out with the ethereal tendrils of his consciousness. The cloaked human spasmed as his hands rose to tear at his own head. A bloodcurdling scream ripped through the air, then choked off into silence as the human's mind collapsed into itself.
The other humans barely had a chance to react before Nocturne was on them. He reached out with his limbs as twin blades extended forth from his arms to rend human flesh from bone. The shadow darted low and slashed upwards with his blades, impaling an unfortunate summoner through the entire length of his body.
Nocturne felt a group of humans rush up from behind; for a second, his form pulsed. Darkness smothered the entire field, an oppressive blackness that breathed and sighed. Victims eternally trapped in the phantasm murmured in the summoners' ears, promising eternal torment and pleading for release. Disembodied hands clawed at the living, desperate to rip any semblance of existence away for their own keeping.
The remaining summoners lashed out, flailing against the ghastly fingers that only disappeared long enough to reappear again in greater numbers. Spell incantations decayed on their lips as the magical energies refused to heed their call. The darkness began to suffocate the humans, and they clawed at their eyes in a wild attempt to regain their sight. Devoured by terror, they didn't even sense Nocturne's approach, nor did they feel the blades that cleaved through their soft bodies and condemned their souls to an eternity in the darkness.
One summoner had stood apart from the others. He was decorated with gold chains draped over purple robes. Unaffected by the blindness and horrors, he had chosen to observe impassively as the carnage unfurled. No expression flickered over his face as the pooled blood stained the hem of his robes, nor did his visage change when the dismembered head of his former comrade bumped up against his leg.
The summoner spoke. "Impressive. I see that the eons you've spent leeching off our minds have managed to serve some purpose."
"I know who you are." Nocturne returned.
"I'm flattered." The summoner sneered. "Then you should also know that it is time you repay us for the horrors you have wrought upon our kind."
"And how do you plan to do that, human?" A monstrous howl echoed from the shadows, something akin to what those humans called a laugh.
"You are now in the world of our control. And you shall be in our service."
"You call this pitiful existence 'payment'?" A flick of Nocturne's hideous blade sent a pile of steaming entrails splattering across the ground. He readied the jagged edge for this last foolish one. "You may have conjured me into your world somehow, but all you will receive is destruction."
With a roar, Nocturne heaved himself at the summoner. His blood-soaked blade came within a razor's width of carving that aggravating smirk off the human's face. Metal circled around his wrists, clanging shut, and sent him flying backwards into a heap of metal chains.
"No. This is your reparation." The summoner's lips parted, wet with anticipation. "Welcome to the League."
The summoners whose bodies lay in a pile around him raised their heads. Their arms shot out and clamped onto Nocturne with an iron grip. They dragged him downward, forcing his physical existence into submission. Every part of him screamed out against the shackles as he involuntarily bowed to the towering head summoner. Nocturne was now in service to the League, and it was his own eternal nightmare.
Cursed Revenant Nocturne concept art (by Riot Artist Sunny Koda)
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Champion Sneak Peek
Have you ever taken in a horror film only to go to bed with your eyes wide open on the lookout for things that go thump in the night? Well while we’re on the topic of things akin to ghosts, goblins, phantoms, specters, apparitions, poltergeists and very possibly the boogieman, allow me to be the first to introduce you to Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare. But don’t worry! While he might feature prominently in the next thriller you decide to take in, you probably won’t find him hiding under your bed or in your closet. Or will you?! Don’t be paranoid!
Nocturne throws a shadow blade which deals damage, leaves a Dusk Trail, and causes champions to leave a Dusk Trail. While on the trail, Nocturne ignores unit collision and has increased Movement Speed and Attack Damage.
Nocturne empowers his blades, passively gaining attack speed. Activating Shroud of Darkness allows Nocturne to fade into the shadows, creating a magical barrier which blocks a single enemy spell and doubles his passive attack speed if successful.