Noxus is a city-state on the eastern part of Valoran.
The human city-state of Noxus is in many ways the moral antithesis of Demacia; it is a settlement where the physically and mentally strong acquire power through any means, regardless of the consequences to their fellow citizens.
The citizenry of Noxus generally stands behind the principle that "only the strong survive", regarding the qualities of benevolence and compassion as signs of weakness. Strength begets strength, at least as far as the humans of Noxus are concerned. This seeming cruelty, however, is not an indicator of chaos. As is naturally and necessarily the case with humankind, Noxus is an orderly city-state, where rules protect the citizenry from harm… at least from their peers. In Noxus, however, those with power are clearly protected by the law more than those without it.
Where other human settlements tend to welcome non-humans into their midst, Noxians are decidedly xenophobic. Non-humans are, at best, made to feel unwelcome within the borders of this city-state. There are exceptions to this, but only after the non-humans in question have proven themselves to be either useful or feared (or both). Human visitors and immigrants to Noxus are made to feel only slightly better, again proving themselves only by either demonstrating competence or inspiring terror in their enemies.
Prior to the formation of the League, Noxus was renowned for a spectacle called The Fleshing. It was a gladiatorial event with a cruel twist: as a fighter wins their matches, the number of opponents they fight simultaneously, generally other prisoners of war, would increase. This meant eventual death for every contender, though also unparalleled glory. Both Xin Zhao, the Seneschal of Demacia, and Alistar, the Minotaur, are survivors of the spectacle, with Xin Zhao holding the record for defeating the most opponents.
The ruling political organization of Noxus is called the Noxian High Command, and it acts as the head of the military. In Noxus, the military controls every aspect of the political landscape; there is no separation between the warfare and politics. The eternally youthful-looking leader of the High Command, General Boram Darkwill, had ruled Noxus for countless years. General Darkwill had far exceeded his average lifespan as a human; it is rumored that he was kept alive through necromantic magic. Such a conclusion would seem to make sense, especially when considering that he had ruled the Noxian High Command since before the time of King Jarvan I of Demacia. His seemingly endless hunger for power and conquest has driven Noxus to be the nightmarish threat to its neighbors that it is today.
In more recent times, the Noxian government was in a transition state. General Boram Darkwill was assassinated, and Noxian High Command was in the process of selecting the next Grand General. There was a power struggle between the different Generals, and political squabbles between their supporters had broken out across Noxus.
Finally, by defeating challenger Keiran Darkwill, Jericho Swain assumed the position of Grand General of Noxus. He was able to overcome the odds of the duel with his cunning and quick wits. With the support of his allies, namely Darius, he seized the highest position in Noxus.
MilitaryMilitary service in Noxus is compulsory for a period of six years, with all of its citizens retained as active reservists until their golden years. The Noxian High Command reserves the right to draft any of its citizens, regardless of age, into military service in times of dire need. Active Noxian military personnel are afforded a higher level of citizenship in Noxian society, and it is not uncommon for most citizens to remain active in the military for ten or more years. There is seldom a lack of work in the Noxian military, even with the forced quasi-peace that exists between Noxus and their eternal rivals, the Demacians.
Noxus is a city that resembles its inhabitants – dark and sinister. The foundation of the city was built into a granite mountain, and a fair portion of the city lies underground. Structures are built on top of and into the mountain itself. A tremendous man-made moat, filled with a witches' brew of foul and putrid liquids, circumnavigates the city; the moat serves as a powerful means of cutting off access to Noxus through all but a few key points, which are heavily guarded. At the top of the granite mountain resides the headquarters of the Noxian High Command; the mountain itself vaguely resembles a demonic skull from a distance. Beyond the huge city walls lie the Noxian denizens that are too poor (or not lucky enough) to live inside. The subterranean city level of Noxus is almost as large as the top level, with numerous shops, taverns, and residences comprising the seedy underbelly of the notorious city-state. Noxus contains the largest network of dungeons anywhere on Runeterra, with numerous Noxian nobles claiming ownership over the various labyrinthine passages and subterranean rooms.
Link to the League
The Noxian High Command strategically chose not to oppose the formation of the League of Legends, and even went as far as to give tepid support for its activities. It was clear to Valoran's power brokers that Noxus could read the writing on the wall: to oppose the League, especially with the vast majority of Valoran behind its formation, would have been tantamount to suicide. By supporting its formation, Noxus achieved two ends. Firstly, Noxus would have some degree of forced peace between itself and Demacia. This would allow Noxus to focus its efforts on conquest elsewhere, though its track record in this conquest since the formation of the League has been considerably underwhelming. Secondly, Noxus would focus its considerable magic talent into the League, allowing for a potentially greater degree of success in conflicts against the Demacians. To date, the endless war with Demacia has been just that – endless. The Noxian conflict with Demacia has, for the most part, surrogated itself into the Fields of Justice for considerably less cost in material and manpower. While its mortal foe has been able to relax some, Noxus has been able to relax considerably more without the iron fist of Demacia looming overhead.
In more recent times, the Noxians' Barbarian Pacification Campaign was halted when the barbarians allied themselves to Freljord, the newly ascended city-state. The Noxians were forced to recall their troops in abidance to the League rules. Noxus had also lost its rematch against Ionia and returned their hold on the southern provinces back to the island city-state. Noxus later got into a short war with Demacia in the village of Kalamanda. Escalation of the war was prevented due to League intervention.
Ties with Zaun
The city shares a friendly relationship with the city-state of Zaun. The Noxian High Command would often summon Zaunite champions to fight in the League on their nation's behalf. In addition, Noxus assists Dr. Mundo, the Madman of Zaun, in his ambition to create the perfect science-enhanced killer. They have provided the doctor a laboratory within their city and have given him free reign to pursue his life's work in his spare time. Mercenaries from the city were also recruited by Noxus during their invasion of Ionia, the two most heinous of them being Singed, the Mad Chemist, and Warwick, the Blood Hunter. The brand of mass death and destruction these two madmen unleashed remains a festering scar on Ionian history. When the necromantic reanimation of Urgot, the Headsman's Pride, proved problematic for Noxus due to his lifetime of injuries, a prevailing scholar of Zaun named Professor Stanwick Pididly provided the solution by forging a new body for the headman.
Death to the King
Demacian army led by their King, Jarvan I, had pushed Noxian army to their city walls. Sion ordered one of his men to bar the gates while the rest forced the enemy soldiers to fight them for every bit of Noxian soil. He demanded that they pushed forwards striding as a giant through the Demacian rabble with one clear purpose: to cut their army's head from its body.
Jarvan's royal guardsmen believed they could halt his charge. They were wrong. He cut them down, one by one, until only he and the king remained. Battered and fatigued, Sion continued the fight the king. He battled Jarvan beyond the point of breaking and was finally bested… but not beaten. With his dying breath, he locked his fingers around the king's throat and broke the will of a nation. The Demacian King, Jarvan I, was dead.
Seeds of Doubt
THORN: "The Grand General puts on a brave face, but he takes this loss harder than he lets on. With his most trusted supporter dead, he feels the treacherous eyes of his generals on his back".
PETAL: "A successor must be chosen. Demacia's shaken. We can't squander this opportunity"!
THORN: "Darkwill sees assassins in every shadow; he is paralyzed by fear".
LEBLANC: "No. He is stalling. Darkwill did not become the Grand General by being a coward. Find out why".
PETAL: "Darkwill's thralls are searching for something. Snatching up articles of the arcane: rituals of blood and bone, relics of the Shadow Isles, and things darker still".
THORN: "He desires things we can offer. An interesting opportunity".
LEBLANC: "I will bend his ear. If he is receptive, ensure we can provide what we promise".
CITIZENS OF NOXUS! OUR FORCES STAND ASSEMBLED. WHILE DEMACIA'S LIE LEADERLESS. THE TIME TO STRIKE IS NOW! BY THE ORDER OF THE GRAND GENERAL, WE WILL MARCH ON THE MORROW. WITH THE BUTCHER OF JARVAN AT OUR HEAD. BEAR WITNESS!
DARKWILL: "What did you do"?
LEBLANC: "Provided you with what you desired, nothing more."
DARKWILL: "This is not what I desired!"
LEBLANC: "You sought to raise this corpse to do your bidding once again. In that, we have succeeded."
DARKWILL: "Look at him! This... thing has no place at the head of an army. "
LEBLANC: "Not as a leader, no. But your friend was never so much a leader as a killer. And he has never been more perfectly suited to that role than he is now. He does not fear, he does not question—he does not die!"
DARKWILL: "Damn you. I have no other choice."
To the office of the Grand General, There is no doubt the revenant is an effective weapon. It almost razed the fortress at Andras singlehandedly. However, it's also responsible for nearly as many casualties among our forces as the Demacians. The thing seems to feast on the very act of slaughter. It took a company of heavy infantry to subdue it this time, and it's only getting stronger, hacked to pieces or no.
The toll on morale has been heavy. The soldiers find it disquieting to see one of their heroes turned into a monstrosity. It causes them to contemplate how they might be rewarded for their own service. I've had to cull three score regiments for refusing to march aside the thing in battle. I fear the situation will only get worse with time.
Respectfully, Grand General, some things are better left buried.
ACCESS TO THIS MEMORIAL AND THE SURROUNDING AREAS IS HEREBY FORBIDDEN WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM THE GRAND GENERAL. VIOLATORS OF THIS ORDER FACE PUBLIC EXECUTION.
Zaunite Trade Relations Improve
At the base of the Ironspike Mountains, along the main trade route between Zaun and Noxus, there lies two smaller villages: Askay and Meland. For generations the people of those villages had been embroiled in a bloody feud. The lawlessness of the region had complicated the development of trade agreements between the two city-states, limiting their interaction to wartime pacts serviced by mercenary contracts and alchemical weapons. However, after some Noxian intervention, both Askay and Meland have put aside their differences and declared their allegiance to Noxus. With the conflict resolved, Zaun and Noxus were now free to pursue more thriving peacetime trade relations.
Boram Darkwill departs from NoxusThe Demacian soldier who publicly confessed to conspiracy and sabotage in Kalamanda was found dead in his cell yesterday, a victim of Nyzer poisoning. Investigations are underway, but as of yet Kalamanda officials are at a loss as to how such a poison managed to elude the notice of its guards. With news that the prisoner's interrogation was scheduled for later this weekend, suspicious eyes are being cast at the visiting delegations of Noxus and Demacia.
Though representatives from both city-states denied any wrongdoing, military activity had visibly increased in both camps over the last few weeks. Perhaps most disturbing of all, a carriage believed to contain General Boram Darkwill himself was seen departing Noxus soon after the prisoner's fate was discovered. By all accounts, the ageless, reclusive leader of Noxus hasn't set foot outside of the castle since the formation of the League of Legends over two decades ago.
Boram Darkwill AssassinatedGeneral Boram Darkwill and his accompanying platoon of Raedsel Guardsman were found slain on the roads not far from the village. Analysis of the scene indicated that the entire troop was eliminated with terrifying efficiency. Noxian scouts were unable to find any traces of an attacking force or any signs of survivors. Swain later ordered the bodies of every slain Noxian soldier be put to fire, as is the Noxian ceremony for fallen ranking officers in wartime conditions. He then accused Demacia for the assault, as they are the only other military on this continent which was capable of it.
In a public response, King Jarvan III of Demacia decried the attack, and stated that he did not order the assassination. Swain declined Jarvan's invitation to discuss the situation, which may indicate that the damage was already done. The last remaining natives of Kalamanda, including the mayor and his councilmen, were evacuated from the region.
War in KalamandaThe collective fears of Valoran were realized in Kalamanda as the standoff between Noxus and Demacia escalated to all-out war. Initial estimates placed casualties in the hundreds. It appeared that Prince Jarvan IV of Demacia struck the first blow against General Swain of Noxus. According to eyewitnesses, Swain was making his usual rounds of the Noxian camp when he was ambushed by Jarvan. The two became locked in combat, and soldiers from both camps immediately engaged each other in efforts to come to their aid.
Though battle between these embittered rivals has been heated, ambassadors from both sides pledged that their forces would refrain from the use of unsanctioned magic. Chancellor Malek Hawkmoon, spokesman for Noxus, called it a "steel and slugs" engagement, a Noxian military term for a physical-only wartime operation. Neither army gained a significant advantage over the other. The bulk of the fighting took place on the fields just outside the village's primary dig site, though the contested area gradually expanded. Prince Jarvan was not seen on the battlefield since his initial clash with Swain, though Noxus' Master Tactician was seen in the front lines, issuing commands and urging his troops onward.
Jarvan's absence caused a great degree of speculation that the Prince may have been killed or captured, but the Demacian forces did not falter. Their morale was bolstered by Garen and the Dauntless Vanguard, whose efforts stymied the Noxian offensive at nearly every turn. King Jarvan III reportedly donned his own royal armor, although his exact position remained a mystery. It was likely that Xin Zhao, the Seneschal of Demacia, was with him.
Kalamanda PacifiedIn an unprecedented show of force, the League of Legends conjured a temporal stasis bubble over the entirety of Kalamanda, trapping the warring forces of Noxus and Demacia in a mid-battle state of suspension. The soldiers inside were to be extracted and returned to their homes, but the League pronounced the village and its immediate surroundings uninhabitable.
The League had sent four hundred summoners to the far edges of the Kalamanda conflict, transporting with them a small nexus that was, according to scholars of the Arcanum Majoris, a centerpiece of the Arcanum Vault. Utilizing ancient Urtistani techniques refined by League champion Zilean, the Chronokeeper, these summoners undertook an enchantment the magnitude of which hadn't been seen in Valoran since the Rune Wars. A great deal of care was devoted to ensuring that Runeterra sustained the least possible destruction as a result of the spell.
Though experts believed the damage to Runeterra is minimal, they have determined that the area occupied by the bubble will be magically unstable for decades. Soldier extraction had begun, and would continue for several weeks. It was a slow and intensive process, as Zilean believed improper extraction may lead to chrono-displasia, a disease he himself endured. League surveyors were dispatched to the village to assess the true extent of the damage, as well as to determine if there would be any way to speed its restoration. The League made arrangements for the families of Kalamanda residents, accepting responsibility for restricting them from their own homes.
Ambassadors from Noxus and Demacia took residence in the Institute of War and negotiated the safe return of their soldiers, as well as terms for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Noxus Cries Havoc
While a history draped in the glory of combat has hardened the citizenry of Noxus with the expectation of loss, Noxus stands in the wake of a truly unprecedented event in Noxus' proud nation's history. Never before has a General of the High Command been struck down so cruelly or senselessly. Noxus' ancient rivals – having stooped lower than ever in their thirst for our blood – have awakened in us a rage beyond comprehension. Day and night, the howl of our citizen soldiers can be heard echoing through the streets and alleys amid the drums of war and the sharpening of blades. The forges shall burn long into the night as the war machine of Noxus turns!
While the High Council of Equity has, in their infinite wisdom, seen fit to intercede against Noxus on behalf of these violators of the League's peace, the people of Noxus remain defiant as ever. With our Eternal General Boram Darkwill struck down, we rally to the side of our esteemed council of commanders. The members of the High Command have put aside their personal vendettas for honor's sake, instead focusing their efforts on a single, shared agenda: to revenge a wrongdoing against our Empire and the people's pride that cannot be allowed to stand.
While Noxus' counterattack might be stymied by League intervention for the time being, they cannot change the resolve that beats in the heart of this defiant warrior of the Empire. Proclaiming Noxus fervor unmerited, they would bid us do nothing while they squabble and debate over the right course. If this is an unjust war it is one begat through the hypocrisy of a state founded pretense of virtue, but the practice of treachery.
It was Demacia's own crown prince that struck the first blow after Noxus' legions held their disciplined reserve following their leader's assassination. The League's accusations of warmongering are as slanderous as they are unfounded, and their refusal to serve justice against these self-righteous murders will not be soon forgotten within our hallowed walls. The time for discourse has passed. A storm is coming. And our memory is long.
Ivory Ward Marketplace Destroyed
During the night, a battle erupted within Noxus' famous Ivory Ward marketplace late last week, devastating the area's main square. Noxian authorities have ruled the fight a political squabble related to the turmoil still raging in High Command after the death of Boram Darkwill.
The black of night shrouded the whole of the Ivory Ward when guards responded to the disturbance in the marketplace area. The Ivory Ward itself is one of the oldest and most wealthy districts in Noxus, and military-assigned guards in the area are sparse because its tenants typically hire private security.
Noxus has seen an increase in outbreaks of violence since the attack from Jarvan III and the assassination of Boram Darkwill, as his death has High Command in turmoil over the rightful successor to his title. The power struggle has trickled down into the rest of Noxus as citizens take arms in support of the various Generals vying for the seat of the Grand General.
The compromised marketplace remains under investigation by Noxian authorities, and residents of the Ivory Ward have drastically increased their security. No casualties have been confirmed, but one merchant whose stock was destroyed, Vexus Nirac, has not been seen since the day before the marketplace battle.
Swain returns to Noxian High Command
The turmoil in Noxus following the death of Grand General Boram Darkwill intensified this week when Jericho Swain returned to High Command. Upon his arrival, the Master Tactician gained the immediate support of Noxus's prominent military figures, positioning him as the strongest rival to Keiran Darkwill for leadership of Noxus.
The seat of the Grand General has remained vacant since the death of Boram Darkwill. Over the past weeks, the controversy over Darkwill's succession turned to outright hostility. Many of Noxus's notorious and powerful soldiers stepped forward in an attempt to lay claim to the title. Thus far, none have remained alive long enough to maintain control over the city-state.
Keiran Darkwill, the late Grand General's youngest son, remains one of the more ruthless aspirants in this dispute. He has successfully thwarted several assassination attempts, struck down his challengers, and rallied significant support behind his name. Only Darius, one of Noxus's most respected and feared Generals, has earned as much of a following within High Command as Keiran Darkwill. Many predicted the two would inevitably clash and that the victor would rise to the throne. Upon Jericho Swain's return, General Darius forged an immediate alliance with the famed Master Tactician and with this, High Command has become even more divided with those siding between Keiran Darkwill and Jericho Swain.
Swain Seizes Power in Noxus
Jericho Swain defeated Keiran Darkwill in a duel contesting the leadership of Noxus last night, winning the support of High Command. Despite rumors of involvement with the Institute of War's scandal in Kalamanda, Swain has been named Grand General – the highest position in Noxus.High Command remained divided in support between the two men since Swain returned earlier this month. Keiran Darkwill challenged Swain to a duel to settle the dispute, claiming that such a standstill was a "coward's game." Many members of High Command believed this to be a strong move and expected Keiran, a notoriously skilled duelist, to win. Keiran intially had the upper hand but due to Swain's magical tactics, Keiran surprisingly lost.
The gathered members of High Command unanimously agreed to swear loyalty to the Master Tactician. With none remaining to protest his claim, High Command named Jericho Swain the Grand General of Noxus.While High Command has embraced his rule, Swain's leadership remains controversial in Noxus's lower houses. Some accuse Swain of willing participation in Heywan Relivash's scheme to obtain Kalamanda.
Bridge to the Past
- Excerpts from the journal of Grand General Swain
A shame Keiran failed to enjoy his father's longevity, not that he'd have been able to enjoy the high office at all had I not designed it. The Grand General's chambers harbor many secrets. My secrets now.
The elder Darkwill was well versed in the art of necromancy. It will take me decades to pore through his library of grimoires, but that will be time I can steal, as he did.
I made a discovery today, one of Boram Darkwill's first dabblings with death magic. It seems he was attempting a resurrection of some sort. But whose return was he seeking?
The previous regime was exacting in its manipulation of the historical record, but there is just as much a story to be told by what's missing from the record as there is by what remains.
I found it. Deep in Old Noxus lies a memorial that speaks of former grandeur and a fall from grace. Therein lies the man Boram Darkwill attempted to rouse from his eternal slumber.
It's still in there, clawing at the walls. I would almost pity it, if I thought it capable of suffering.
LEBLANC: "I haven't had the pleasure of your company for some time, Grand General".
SWAIN: "You have my favor. That is enough".
LEBLANC: "And yet, I suspect you're here to seek the Black Rose's assistance once more".
LEBLANC: "After the last charade? Enough that you should be very mindful of how you use it. Whatever you intend had best be brief".
SWAIN: "No chicanery this time; my need for subtlety is nearing its end. I must secure my position with bloodshed, and that requires a blunt instrument".
LEBLANC: "It sounds as if you have one in mind".
SWAIN: "Let me show you".
"We've come full circle: a Grand General in need of a champion, the Black Rose seeking to wind its roots further into High Command, and a fallen warrior starved of battle. This time, it will be different. Boram managed to revive the body successfully, but all he got was a mindless beast with a single instinct: to devour life. I can't fix a thing so broken, but I can rekindle its purpose, and that may be enough for my plans. The ritual is prepared, and the body still hungers. Drink deep of the blood of your killer, son of Noxus, and live again.".― Swain
- The city-state motto for Noxians is, "Forever strong!"
- The former leader of Noxus, General Boram Darkwill, was believed to have been assassinated by Demacian forces shortly before the major conflict in Kalamanda. But resent sources would indicate that The Black Rose was behind this plot.
- Noxus has a team called the "Crimson Elite", which is the Noxian counter to the Demacian "Commandos". Talon was the first member revealed to be on the team, the second one being Riven.
- The skins are likely not part of the official lore.
- Katarina has an unreleased Crimson Elite skin, meaning she is likely a part of the Crimson Elite.
- The name "Noxus" may be based on the Latin word "Nox", which means "night" or "darkness".
- The and the are artifacts of Noxus .
- The is a Noxian weapon, created to aid in their conquest of Ionia.
|Cassiopeia, the Serpent's Embrace||Birthplace; former Noxian temptress|
|Darius, the Hand of Noxus||Birthplace; active duty Command General|
|Dr. Mundo, the Madman of Zaun||Residence; infamous Zaunite researcher|
|Draven, the Glorious Executioner||Birthplace; famed Noxian entertainer|
|Katarina, the Sinister Blade||Birthplace; renowned Noxian assassin|
|LeBlanc, the Deceiver||Birthplace; Matron of the Black Rose|
|Morgana, the Fallen Angel||Residence; owner of Sinful Succulence |
|Singed, the Mad Chemist||Infamous Zaunite alchemist|
|Sion, the Undead Juggernaut||Birthplace; former Noxian Command General|
|Swain, the Master Tactician||Birthplace; Grand General of Noxus|
|Talon, the Blade's Shadow||Birthplace; assassin serving General Du Couteau|
|Urgot, the Headsman's Pride||Birthplace; former High Executioner of Noxus|
|Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper||Birthplace; powerful Noxian hemomancer|
|Warwick, the Blood Hunter||Infamous Zaunite manhunter |
|Alistar, the Minotaur||Former prisoner of Noxus|
|Annie, the Dark Child||Daughter of the Gray Order exiles|
|Elise, the Spider Queen||An ally of the Black Rose |
|Gragas, the Rabble Rouser||Sojourns into the city for supplies|
|Irelia, the Will of the Blades||Demanded an early rematch between Noxus and Ionia|
|Jarvan, the Exemplar of Demacia||Nemesis to Grand General Swain|
|Karma, the Enlightened One||Single-handedly defeated the Noxian army invading her village.|
|Kayle, the Judicator||Seeks to defeat her sister, Morgana|
|Lee Sin, the Blind Monk||Protested against the Noxian occupation of Ionia|
|Master Yi, the Wuju Bladesman||Seeks revenge for the destruction of his village|
|Quinn and Valor, Demacia's Wings||Captured a Noxian assassin|
|Riven, the Exile||Birthplace; former Noxian poster child|
|Sivir, the Battle Mistress||Defected from the Noxian military|
|Twisted Fate, the Card Master||Former card shark|
|Varus, the Arrow of Retribution||Seeks vengeance for the massacre of his village|
|Vayne, the Night Hunter||Investigates the Black Rose's activities|
|Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil||Went mad from imprisonment|
|Xin Zhao, the Seneschal of Demacia||Known as Viscero; escaped the Fleshing|
|Places in Runeterra|
|Field of Justice|
|Continents and Dimensions|