The Shurima Desert (commonly known as Shurima) is an arid territory in the southern half of the continent. Many men have gone mad beneath the glare of the Shurima sun. It is also the location of the newly resurrected Shuriman Empire, a vast civilization that bloomed millennia ago. It shares borders with Demacia and Noxus.
Ancient beings called Ascended originate from this area.
Shurima was once a powerful empire that spanned the farthest reaches of the vast southern continent. After an era of expansion and prosperity, its last emperor was betrayed by his closest friend, and the empire fell to ruin. Its gleaming capital was all but destroyed in an earth-shaking cataclysm and the empire was left in ruins, its people scattered and its mighty cities devoured by the sand. Now Shurima is a barren wasteland, an unforgiving desert where only the strongest survive and its people cling to the few remaining oases and strips of fertile land around the coast.
In the millennia since Shurima’s fall, tales of its glorious capital and gleaming sun disc became little more than myths and debased religions among the descendants of the empire’s few survivors. Most of Shurima’s inhabitants now dwell in small tribal outposts clustered near water or built upon the bones of ancient cities, venerating the glories of the past. Some hunt buried riches among the ruins of the fallen empire or earn a living as sellswords, warriors for hire who fight for rich paymasters before disappearing into the sands. Others try to forget the past, looking to the future and nations across the ocean as partners in trade.
Yet the ancient myths of Shurima do not rest easy and are stirring once more. Whispering winds from the heart of the desert speak of mighty cities rising from the earth, of a golden warrior marching at the head of an army of sand. Rumors spread of ancient heroes reborn, of a war between gods that will shake the very foundations of the world.
The city of Shurima has risen, and nothing will ever be the same.
There are currently 19 known locations encompassing Shurima.
An oasis in the desert, it fell to ruins after Xerath's flawed Ascension. It has risen once again with the resurrection of Shurima's long lost emperor, Azir. In its prime, it was the center of Shuriman society. Because of its immense importance as the center of trade and culture of the empire, many cultural, educational centers and markets bringing goods from all over the Empire sprung up. It also housed special burial grounds for the most influential of its citizens, such as The Tomb of the Emperors. The city is divided by ringed districts and city levels. The city's wealthiest citizens lived in the top rings of the city, while middle and lower classes (with slaves) lived mostly in settlements built on the rocky cliff sides of the outer and lower rings. The Palace of Ten Thousand Pillars, Themple of the Sun and Oasis of the Dawn are located at the center of the city. The most important road in the city was The Emperor’s Way. The city was built around the ancient Sun Disc that floats above The Circle of Ascension and the city itself. The city also had the most advance irrigation system of its time, seemingly unsurpassed until modern times. Floating gardens decorated with palms and other flora protected its many terraces from the burning sun.
Circle of Ascension
Located at the very center of the city, above the Grand Temple, Oasis of the Dawn and the Imperial Place, The Circle of Ascension is the main focal point from which most the privileged beings of Shurima's past harnessed the powers of the Sun Disc and became Ascended beings. It was also the center location of Ancient Shurima's destruction and its modern rise from the grave. The circle is accessible with the Stairs of Ascension and The Emperor’s Way, the most important road within the city.
Tomb of the Emperors
Deep in the capital city lies the Tomb of the Emperors. For the last millennium it has acted as the makeshift prison of Xerath and Renekton. It is guarded by the statue of a huge serpent. When the tomb opened the serpent came to life, impaling Cassiopeia on its fangs, its venom transforming her into a terrifying half-snake creature.
Oasis of the Dawn
"When the sun is at its peak, the pool blends in with the shimmering heat, looking as if its waters run off into infinity."―lore
Described as the Mother of Life, the oasis is located near The Tomb of the Emperors. The bloodline of the entire city, it the city's main source of fresh water. The water is fused with unknown magical properties and has immense healing powers. It is said that any edge dipped into this pool will stay sharper and strike truer than any other sword. It has almost all dried up until the newly resurrected Azir brought a dying Sivir to the now magical pool. The waters' powers healed her fatal wounds. This act of selflessness from Azir made him worthy of ascension which ultimately revived his broken city.
The fallen empire has littered the dunes with ruins. A mysterious creature can be found wandering the desert. Skarner defends the entrance to a realm deep beneath the Shuriman wastes; what he protects no one knows. Buried tombs also hold ancient secrets; Amumu rose from such a tomb; in another Ezreal claimed an Ascended artifact of incredible mystical power. Kenethet, Vekaura, Nashramae, Nerimazeth, Zuretta, and Astrologer’s Tower are located in this desert wasteland.
A settlement at the edge of Shurima, bordering with the Empire of Noxus.
Sai is the harsh, southern desert defined by rolling plains of sand, sharp stones and eerie silence. Located between the end of the desert and the Capital, it is for the most part, completely uninhabited besides the Xer'Sai and their queen Rek'Sai, whom has single-handedly claimed vast parts of the desert. Traders and armed caravans will go hundreds of miles out of their way to avoid her territory, though cunning bandits have been known to lure the unwary into her killing grounds.
Within a hidden valley live the Brackern; a species of sentient, crystalline scorpions with great magical power. For thousands of years they lived peacefully in this secluded corner of Shurima, but when the Rune Wars ravaged Runeterra the Brackern hid themselves by hibernating beneath the earth to wait out the devastation, and hopefully wait out the extinction of the human race. In recent times the sleeping Brackern were discovered by thieves who stole several namestones from their bodies; stones which are critical to the livelihood and culture of the Brackern, so much so that those with stolen stones face immediate death if they should wake, and many cannot even be roused from their slumber. Skarner, one of the strongest Brackern, was able to wake himself and has set out to reclaim all of the stolen namestones while also ensuring that no humans ever find the valley.
Creatures from the Void that plague the southern deserts. They are the size of big dogs on average, but can be smaller and much bigger. Rek'Sai by far the biggest and the most dangerous of the species. Xer’sai burst from their small burrows and savage anything nearby, at the detriment of desert caravans. Once dead, the Xer'sai decompose at an abnormally rapid rate and become inedible.
Beside the Xer'Sai other creatures from the Void, referred to as "outerbeasts", can be found in the desert.
Desert goats that travel in herds.
Large and aggressive minotaur-like creatures. They are humpbacked quadrupeds with long limbs and thick horns.
This breed of camels are used by Caravans as transportation.
Gigantic scarabs that roam in swarms, looking for unfortunate travelers to feed on. They seem to be common prey for Rammus.
The current inhabitants of Shurima's desert are mainly descended from the survivors of the fall of Shurima's empire. The origin of their culture reaches back to Azir's time. During those times, slavery was a common thing in the Empire. It was so common that the entire Empire was dependent of slaves as a working force. One of the former slaves, Xerath, tried to seek revenge for position, which inadvertently caused the Empires downfall. Ironically, his plan was implemented right after Azir emancipated all slaves in the empire. After the fall of Ancient Shurima, the society has evolved as they eke out an existence in their harsh environment of the desert. Commonly the nomads, such as Sivir, practice tomb robbing and mercenary service. The people are also known to produce seers blessed with foresight. Malzahar was born with such abilities.
The southern desert is plagued by Xer'Sai, vicious monsters originating from the void. To scout from attacks by Xer'Sai caravans can employ Elujrav'i', or "bell riders". They can also employ "Saih'kharash'i", or "sand walkers". These are poor locals who travels with the caravan, but can quickly be outrun in case of an attack by the Xer'Sai, at which point they serve as unfortunate decoys while their employers escape.
Wile the nation takes and uses all kinds of currency from all corners of Runeterra, it also mints its own currency. The main currency of Shurima is called Securi.
The general styles of clothing tend to differ depending on the era and social status. Regular commoners tend to wear simple practical garments for the harsh desert lifestyle. In ancient times and with the current more wealthier, people tend to wear lose flowing clothing with many decorative gold jewelry either on their feet, hands, head or torso. The common royal colours were gold, red, white, and emerald green. Sun Disk symbols were a prevalent motif in Shuriman clothing.
The Great Weaver
The Great Weaver is a Shuriman deity which weaves the lives and destinies of each individual and holds individual triumph into consideration since even the smallest rock is important in weaving the larger tapestry of life. The belief of the Great Weaver started some time after the events of ancient Shurima's fall and is widely followed by desert dwellers and shepherds.
The enigmatic armordillo that roams the deserts of Shurima. Rammus comes and goes appearing to the people of Shurima at random, usually by accident, looking for food, or because of some other agenda. However, this hasn't stopped the people from creating wild theories about his origin, race, and goals. Some say he is harbinger of change, others say a god, and still others claim him to be a guardian of Shurima. Whatever the case, he will continue to roam the desert, and mystify all that comes across him.
Shurima currently has no centralized government, being most regions are controlled by local leaders due to the isolation between settlements. In ancient times all regions were governed by feudal lords that answered to the Emperor of Shurima, who was located at the Capital. Azir proclaimed himself Emperor again after his resurrection and intends to unify the nation again.
A favorite location for Noxian plunderers and poachers, Shurima represents a land of opportunity for most Noxian citizens that decide to go there. People like Aelon's Uncle  and Cassiopeia would risk everything to seek out wealth and power in this unforgiving land. Noxians usually hire local guides and mercenaries such as Sivir for their grave plunders. Azir, the self-proclaimed Emperor of Shurima, has resurrected the its ancient capital and has made his mission to resurrect the old Empire as well. Time will only tell as to what political relations Shurima and Noxus will have in this new political landscape.
"A cloud of smoldering destruction hangs in the night sky. This is the Fall of Shurima.
The Ancients groped blindly in the darkness, threatening to unravel the very fabric of creation in their hubris. Noble Shurimans who Ascended found a loose thread in the universe’s tapestry, and pulled upon it. The vulgarity of their ambition consumed thousands of innocent lives and ended a golden age.Such was the fate of mighty Shurima and of men who would become gods."― Ionian storyteller
A Dire Threat To Ancient Shurima
- Described by Ezreal.
Shurima's been gone for centuries. It's hardly anything but dust now, but the ruins that remain show a massive civilization that once thrived in the desert. I have no idea what happened to the empire. It seems like it vanished without a trace... but that's a whole different mystery.
I found this urn in a tomb there. From the look of the place and some of the carvings on the walls, it was the final resting place of a great Shuriman warlord who led a battle against impossible odds. He and his men should have gone out in a blaze of glory, but somehow, they won. Just a handful of warriors defeated thousands of enemies who rose against them.
It's no wonder they'd immortalize that kind of victory on the walls of a tomb, but what is this dark figure doing on the urn? What part did he play in this battle? I just don't get it.
Fall of the Empire
"Azir’s hubris proved disastrous. As the Sun Disc focused the dawn rays into a transformative beam, Xerath betrayed Azir, shoving his emperor aside and stealing its power for himself."
"In an instant, Azir was obliterated – and Xerath remade as a spectral being of pure, malevolent energy – as the city around them was swallowed whole by the desert."
" Nasus and Renekton, Ascended heroes of Shuriman legend, sensed in an instant that something had gone terribly wrong and rushed to the Sun Disc. They hurled Xerath into a chained sarcophagus – but the magus shattered it into shards."
"Renekton dragged Xerath into the Tomb of the Emperors and shouted to Nasus to seal the door. With a heavy heart, Nasus entombed his brother with a madman in the buried ruins for all eternity.
Or so he believed…"
Descent Into the Tomb
"The tragic fall of Shurima was nothing comparing to the tragedy of its rise from the grave.
In a market at the edge of a desert. A stranger appears. Cassiopeia, a noblewoman from Noxus looking to hire a guide to take her to the fabled lost city. But not just any guide, she hires a owner of a legendary blade, the mercenary called Sivir. Sivir gathers her band of sell-swords and set out in to the desert to find the very bones of Shurima.
Five days beneath the broiling sun a scout spots towers juddering upwards and a stairway leading underground. They climb down, into the darkness.
Ancient treasures gleam in the torch-light, even Sivir is astonished of the grandeur of the ruins. Her men head deeper in only to stumble into traps and be eviscerated. Sivir is stunned with horror, but Cassiopeia does not flinch. She sees only the statue of a huge serpent silently guarding the door to the tomb of the Emperors and smiles.
The ancient weapon is a key. Cassiopeia betrays Sivir. She picks up Sivir's blade, puts it into the lock. The guardians curse is triggered. The stone serpent comes alive, impales Cassiopeia in its jaws - the venom sears her flesh like acid.
Sivir drags herself away, life blood flooding from her wound and then succumbs to darkness..."
Rise of the Ascended
"As Sivir lies betrayed and bleeding, something incredible occurs. For though she does not know it, Sivir is the last in the bloodline of Azir, Shurima’s lost emperor. And as her blood soaks into the ancient sands, a deep magic sparks to life. Resurrection!
First Azir’s mind, then his body. Snatched back from oblivion to be reborn. Then he sees Sivir, wonders at her face, he sees himself in this daughter of Shurima. In that moment, he has no thought of empires or rituals. He only knows: she needs his help.
He must take her to the Oasis of the Dawn - the Mother of Life. He smells the waters - smells of life. He prays he is in time. He does not dream that he, Shurima’s greatest emperor, can at long last earn his Ascension and bring back his broken city. He dares not dream that if he can save her...Azir can save them all."
The Sands have shifted
- Shurima is resurrected, and Runeterra's future is forever altered. Xerath and Renekton have been unleashed from the Tomb of the Emperors. Nasus, haunted by his brother's heroic sacrifice, is relentlessly pursued by Renekton in his mad thirst for vengeance. Bristling with power and resentment, Xerath plots to reforge Valoran in the fires of revolution. The serpent's curse is the terrible price of Cassiopeia's ambition, but it also promises a power she never imagined. Azir, Ascended ruler of a fallen civilization, envisions a new Shuriman empire, while his descendant Sivir, ever the mercenary, looks to turn the situation to her advantage. Shurima is a land of mystery... but some mysteries refuse to remain buried.
- For more detail, see here
Having returned to Shurima after hearing word of the empire's restoration, Taliyah made her way from the coastal city of Bel'Zhun around the borders of the Sai, heading to Kenethet and then Vekaura on her journey to the capital. On the way she found a fatally wounded Sivir, and brought her to safety within the city's borders. Nasus, who had been searching for the remnants of the Emperor's lineage since Azir's return, also found his way to Verauka, but before he could meet his intended target Xerath assaulted the city with a force of mind controlled warriors from scattered tribes, and his own incredible power.
As Xerath bombard the city and his soldiers laid waste to its inhabitants Nasus finally found what he was looking for in Sivir and her saviour Taliyah. He told Sivir of her importance; with her blood having restored Shurima, she would likely be instrumental to the nation's future, but Sivir had never cared for that ancient legacy and told Nasus she wanted no part in it. After brief words between the Ascended warrior, the mercenary and the stone mage Nasus gave Sivir a magical pendant to keep herself concealed from Xerath while as they escaped the city before going to face the powerful magus himself. Xerath had come to end Azir's lineage completely, and the two clashed in a battle the likes of which Shurima had not seen in ages. Though Nasus was able to stand against Xerath for a while, it did not last, and he was felled by his foe's immense magical power, but Xerath did not want Nasus to die just yet. He had his enemy's death planned out, and it was Renekton who would kill Nasus. Knowing a confrontation between the brothers was inevitable, and knowing how durable Nasus was, Xerath brought down the buildings of Verauka upon the curator's head, burying him completely before departing.
Thanks to the magic of Taliyah many of the city's denizens survived; sheltered by shields of woven stone. Nasus was among them, and while grateful for her help, he had done his job. Sivir was safe for now, and he looked to the future, hoping against hope that he could save Renekton from his insanity, so that the two of them could defeat Xerath together.
- The name Shurima comes from ancient Egyptian word "Shu", meaning emptiness and "he who rises up".
- It is also the name for the Egyptian god associated with . Shu's father was . This perfectly describes Shurima itself, as the son of The Sun.
- The Emperor of Shurima had other titles such as the Golden Sun or Beloved of Mother Desert.
- The speech that Lissandra gives in the Howling Abyss mentions that Shurima had not yet been swallowed by the desert when the Frozen Watchers lived in the Freljord, indicating that the desert empire was not the oldest of Valoran's nations.
- For some, ancient Shurima was an Atlantis-like myth. Others, like the current inhabitants of Shurima, knew it existed a long time ago but did not believe any "true" Shurimans remained. Renekton and Nasus were also stories for them.
- The only know map of Shurima is symbolic in its nature. Ancient Shuriman people used it purely for recognizing key landmarks of the Empire and it was before the use of realistic cartography.
- The map shown rising and the setting of the Sun, an important cosmic body in Shuriman culture. In Shurima, as any visitor knows, the sun rises in the East, sweeps high across the sky on the North side, and then sets in the West. If we take these symbols that represent dawn, noon, and the missing setting sun, then the drawing is orientated with North at the top. It also shows the key mountain ranges of those directions (Mount Targon facing the North).
- Shurima's fall was recorded in a constellation by a Celestial Being known as Bard.
- Shurima is described as a place that had a thriving culture, not only a strong military and a powerful emperor. It had a sense of personal identity with art, music, literature, trade, magical technology, etc. Azir's motivation to bring the golden light of Shurima to other nations neither was nor is for conquest; he truly believes that Shurima was the height of civilization, and could only continue to grow more wonderful.
- Although Shuriman, Malzahar isn't directly involved in Shurima's return. He has his hands full.
- Almost all the names given to the Voidborn are ancient Shuriman in origin.
- The  , , , , , , and are Shuriman artifacts.
- Shurima's crest was inspired by the Sun Disc.
|Azir, the Emperor of the Sands||Birthplace; Ascended being; Shuriman Emperor|
|Nasus, the Curator of the Sands||Birthplace; Ascended being; brother of Renekton|
|Rammus, the Armordillo||Residence; travels across the Shuriman desert|
|Rek’Sai, the Void Burrower||Residence; largest and most feared of the Xer'Sai|
|Renekton, the Butcher of the Sands||Birthplace; Ascended being; enraged brother of Nasus|
|Sivir, the Battle Mistress||Birthplace; mercenary, sole living descendant of Azir|
|Skarner, the Crystal Vanguard||Birthplace; guardian of the slumbering Brackern|
|Taliyah, the Stoneweaver||Birthplace; wandering stone mage|
|Xerath, the Magus Ascendant||Birthplace; Magus to the Emperor; Ascended being|
Other Related Champions
|Aatrox, the Darkin Blade||Aided a Shuriman warlord in ancient times|
|Amumu, the Sad Mummy||Awokened from an ancient Shuriman tomb|
|Cassiopeia, the Serpent's Embrace||Hired Sivir to raid the Tomb of the Emperors; transformed by a Shuriman curse|
|Ezreal, the Prodigal Explorer||Discovered a magical artifact in a Shuriman tomb|
|Kassadin, the Void Walker||Presumed birthplace; leader of the "Preservers"|
|Malzahar, the Prophet of the Void||Birthplace; Shuriman seer; leader of the "Cult of the Void"|
- ↑ Azir Shurima Azir page
- ↑ Shurima Story page 1
- ↑ Shurima Story page 2
- ↑ Rek’Sai Scourge of the Desert
- ↑ Rek’Sai: Scourge of the Desert
- ↑ Azir Creative Q&A 1
- ↑ Rek’Sai: Scourge of the Desert
- ↑ Azir Creative Q&A 3
- ↑ Rek’Sai: Scourge of the Desert
- ↑ Shurima Story page 2
- ↑ Azir Creative Q&A 2
- ↑ Ascension Game Mode page
- ↑ Shurima Story page
- ↑ Shurima Story page
- ↑ Shurima Story page
- ↑ Shurima Story page
- ↑ Azir Creative Q&A 3
- ↑ Shurima map explained
- ↑ Azir Creative Q&A 4
- ↑ What about Malzahar? Isn't he a Shiruman?
- ↑ Voidborn names
- ↑ Of Shurelya, Coins and Reveries
|Geography of Runeterra|
|Valoran||Factions & Nations|
|Other Planes of Existance|