There are many on Runeterra who are attracted to the study of magic or, in recent times, the emerging field of techmaturgy. For most, pursuit of such knowledge is formalized in a college or university.
The halls of traditional study were never for Ryze, however, who felt a more raw and primal connection to the magic of Runeterra than those who tried to teach him. He struck out on his own as a young man to discover what already called to him.
Ryze traveled the world, seeking the wisdom of powerful hermits, witches, and shamans - anyone who had something to share beyond what was taught in the city-states of Valoran.
When he had learned all he could from these fonts of wisdom, Ryze turned to seek the lost, forgotten, and forbidden knowledge in the world, delving into mystical worlds where others feared to tread.
Ryze's tireless searching for magical knowledge led him to an ancient form of spellcraft known as thorn magic. This art required Ryze to tattoo spells on his body, permanently infusing his being with vast arcane power and finally fulfilling his need to bond with the mystical energies of Runeterra.
His travels also led him to uncover the giant indestructible scroll he now carries on his back - the purpose of the inscribed spell remains a secret only Ryze knows. He claims it is an abomination - something that he must safeguard from the world.
This has piqued the curiosity of many, though no one is sure how to separate the scroll from Ryze, or if it is possible to overcome the rogue mage to do so.
Since then, Ryze has joined the League of Legends to study the magical creatures and powerful will-workers that fight there, in order to complete his exploration of mystical Runeterra.
The halls of traditional study were never for Ryze, who felt a more raw and primal connection to the magic of Runeterra than those who tried to teach him. As a young man, he traveled the world, seeking the wisdom of powerful hermits, witches, and shamans.
When he had learned all he could, Ryze turned to seek the lost, forgotten, and forbidden knowledge in the world. This led him to an ancient form of spellcraft known as thorn magic. This art required Ryze to tattoo spells on his body, infusing his being with vast arcane power.
His travels also brought him to the giant indestructible scroll he carries on his back. The purpose of the inscribed spell is a secret only Ryze knows. However, he claims it is an abomination, something that he must safeguard from the world.
Today, Ryze has joined the League of Legends to study the magical creatures and powerful will-workers that fight there, in order to complete his exploration of mystical Runeterra.
- 24 September, 10 CLE
Ryze strides along the marbles halls; face deliberate, jaw set and determined. His eyes hold a sense of urgency and undeniable purpose that is mirrored in his gait. His simple traveler's clothes pose a stark contrast to the elaborate tattoos that snake their way across his wiry frame, marring every inch of his exposed flesh.
Slung over his powerful back hangs a scroll; precious cargo from how he cradles it. From the embossed spellbook in his grip to the lesser scraps of parchment at his side, nothing is borne with more reverence. He stops for a moment beneath an archway marked by a double door and an inscription: "The truest opponent lies within." The Rogue Mage extends a hand, parting the portal, before striding boldly inside.
Ryze stood for a moment in the dark, calm but alert. He sniffed the air. There was something here... a tangible presence.
"A visitor?" called a voice from the black, "How strange. I loathe uninvited guests!"
Every muscle in his body tightened like a coiled spring. Out of the darkness strode a lithe, beautiful woman, dressed in a loose fitting dress. From neck to fingertips, she was covered in tattoos.
"Lilith?" he gasped, "How did you find me?"
She reached out a slender hand, lightly drawing her long nails down Ryze's bare chest.
"Ryze", she purred, "You cannot hide from me." She drew in closer, catching him in her embrace. "I have a secret", she whispered, pulling herself close to his cheek. "I will never let you go!" she snarled, biting his earlobe suggestively. He shivered.
The pinch in his ear became a sharp sting. He heard an impact and fell reeling to the ground, catching himself on pure, unmarked hands. He recognized them as his own, but that was impossible. He hadn't seen his bare flesh in years.
"Trespasser!" rasped Lilith's voice.
"Pardon, mistress", he started, climbing to his feet on the ramshackle porch of a lonely cabin, "I am weary and in search of shelter for the evening. The Howling Marsh is no place to be caught after dark."
"I do not shelter insufferable wayfarers", she replied, folding her arms implacably. A slight breeze caught her wild hair.
Ryze sneered. "I am not to be trifled with..."
She cut him off. "Trifled?!" she screeched, extending a finger. Energy crackled along the patterns on her arm, racing across the distance between them. First it was just the jolt. The breath rushed from his lungs and for a moment he blacked out. The next thing he knew he was lying on his back in the mud, gasping. His body tingled, and he shook from head to foot. Lilith stood over him, silhouetted in the setting sun, energy still coursing along the ink in her tattoos.
"You will learn respect, vagabond", she said, even voiced once again.
"Please, mistress", Ryze gasped, "spare my life."
She knelt over him, leaning in just inches from his nose, her hair falling into his face. She dug her fingernails into the shirt over his chest, "Why, pretty thing? Why should I spare your life?"
He inhaled sharply through the pain in his chest, "Because I have been searching for you for my entire life", he stammered, "and it would break my heart to die, now."
Lilith sat up slightly. She smiled. "How interesting", she replied. Ryze's strength failed him and he passed out.
He awoke lying face down on a plush mattress, arms and legs spread wide. He tried to move, but found himself bound tightly in place. Next to him on the pillow lay a series of razor sharp thorns and a font of violet liquid.
"Awake so soon", Lilith muttered coyly, entering the room through a beaded curtain. She climbed onto the bed with him, straddling his lower back. "Tell me, wayfarer", she quipped, reaching for her implements, "what is it about me that is so fascinating?" She dipped a barb into the inkwell.
"I have studied magic since I was a boy", Ryze croaked into the pillow. He felt a twinge in the nape of his neck and he winced.
"Don't squirm!" Lilith shouted, bringing a hand down hard on his shoulder with an audible smack. Ryze gritted his teeth through the pain and continued. The burning sensation spread as she went about her bloody work.
"Always, my masters taught me patience, to remain in control, to never surrender to my passions", she changed needles. He could feel blood and ink pooling in his open wounds. "They called me a liability; refused to finish training me", he went on, "You know another way."
"Charlatans", Lilith spat, wiping the blood from his back with her dress. She bent low over him, her hot breath on his neck. She whispered, "but we know better, don't we. Magic is energy. All our enthusiasm; our rapture; our fury. They are conduits for our power." She licked her lips. "I can show you the way."
She freed his limbs. "Now roll over", she snapped, another needle clutched lightly in her fingers, "I haven't finished."
Ryze grudgingly obeyed, though his body throbbed with pain. Above him in the rafters hung an elaborate scroll on stretched parchment, larger than a tapestry. "What is that?" he asked, remembering himself.
Lilith's face grew ashen. The room around him fell away to darkness. "You stole it from me!" she shrieked, arms flailing, tears streaming down her face, "How could you?! Betrayer! Betrayer!" She struck him a dozen times before he could restrain her.
"I had no choice!" he cried, "You wouldn't listen! You would bring ruin on us all!"
Lilith scoffed. "Why do you want to join the League, Ryze?"
Ryze released her and she pulled away. He adjusted the scroll on his back. "I must keep it safe."
She smiled. "How does it feel, exposing your mind?"
Ryze determined countenance returned. "I will do what I must", he replied.
He raised a hand to shield his face as the doors to the League of Legends swung open, and light came pouring in.
- Upon Selection
- "Let's go, let's go!"
- "Unpleasant? I'll show you unpleasant!"
- "Right back at you!"
- "Can you handle this?"
- "Let's go, let's go!"
- "Come on already!"
- "Don't hold me up!"
- "Take this scroll and stick it... somewhere safe."
- "I got these tattoos in rune prison!"
- Ryze laughs.
- Ryze laughs.
- Ryze laughs.
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