Clearing Obstacles for a Rematch
Quinton Groat reporting from Noxus
The tragic news of the Shojin monk, who suffers even now, has shocked Runeterrans everywhere. Flowers and well-wishes have arrived at the Shojin Monastery in droves. Public vigils have been held in every city-state, and hundreds of letters have been sent to the Institute of War, pleading for intervention on behalf of the monk. This event is heartbreaking, but the amount of public response generated for one man is inspiring. Today, in the midst of all these stirred emotions, the Noxian High Command made a stunning announcement.
Chancellor Malek Hawkmoon, the officer of the Noxian High Command charged with overseeing the Noxian presence in Ionia, gave this statement after returning from an emergency conference in Noxus. "After conferring with my honored colleagues in the High Command, we have decided to take this grievous situation into our own hands and bring the people of Valoran some peace. Before I go into further detail, I would like to address some of the statements which have been made surrounding our presence in Ionia."
"It has been said that Noxus is a heartless, imperialistic war machine. It has been implied that ours is the seat of evil. I would like to assure you, we have families, homes, and children just like anyone else, and our soldiers in Ionia miss theirs dearly. Our undertaking there has been in the service of the Ionians. In the wake of the war, these southern provinces were left in debris and disarray. We have spent our own precious resources rebuilding what was lost and the 'riches we now plunder' are far from compensation for what we have invested in these efforts."
"Noxus is indeed a war machine, for this we are proud, not ashamed. Our sons put their lives at stake in the pursuit of excellence. We respect those who meet us on the battlefield too much to treat them like children or invalids. If you oppose Noxian forces, you are considered an equal opponent, and granted no quarter, as such is the highest insult amongst true warriors. It is a disgrace to cross blades with an enemy and then cry oppression when you are bested. Ionia was given the option to surrender without violence, as are all nations which the noble Noxian forces visit. They declined, and they lost. I wonder if the public would react the same way if Noxus requested repayment for the sons it lost in the Ionian incursion."
"Now, as I said, Noxus has decided to do what is in its power to bring peace to Valoran, though we have received nothing but threats and slander since the monk’s protest began. Noxian blood is infused with the scent of the battlefield, and Noxians do not hide behind politics. Make no mistake, challenging the edicts of the League of Legends is not only unlawful, but undermining to a system which has saved Runeterra from ruin. However, it is our right to grant Ionia its rematch before the proper term has elapsed, and we have heard their plea. If Ionia desires to meet Noxus on the Fields of Justice to determine the fate of the southern provinces, then we accept the terms and encourage them to send their very best."
The Ionian Elders called an assembly immediately following Hawkmoon's speech, and they promised that an official response was soon to follow.
The Master of Metal
Jace P. Prest reporting from ZaunDown in the slums of Zaun, where the gutters glow green with techmaturgical runoff, one can find all manner of unsavory characters: the disreputable, the disadvantaged, and the disillusioned. These are the homes of back-alley sorcerers and shimmer addicts, all those whom critics say are the byproducts of Zaun's rapid and reckless research initiatives. Yet, despite (or perhaps, because of) the many negative images associated with the Zaunite slums, thrill seekers frequently venture down to these dark alleys. They come in larger numbers every week, and all come for one reason: the undeniable allure of Zaun's underground techmaturgical music scene.
With instruments powered by techmaturgical amplification, "Techma-Tune" musicians and their strange, wailing sound have been gaining ground in Zaunian taverns for years. Those hip to the scene gather in droves to listen to the stylings of bands such as "The Hexbenders", "Yordle Mothership", or "Tainted Nexus". For the price of a cheap (and questionably concocted) beverage, any traveler can shove for shoulder-room to see these talented groups perform.
Though the Techma-Tune movement has long been an unknown scene outside of Zaun, a new star recently pushed interest in this genre of music beyond Zaun's borders and into the hearts and minds of countless Valorans. For the past few months, Mordekaiser, the Master of Metal and champion of the League, has been storming the stages of Zaun with devastating effect as lead guitarist of the band "Pentakill". His dark, pounding rhythms resonate deeply with his followers. One fan says, "His strings speak to the torment of my existence." Another gushes, "I know that deep beneath that armor beats a broken heart like mine. I love you, Mordekaiser!"
We had the privilege of speaking briefly with the League fighter and night rocker:
JP: Mordekaiser, you're an enigma both in and out of the arena. What draws you away from the Field of Justice to pursue this surprising side-project?
M: My fans. I am drawn to their disease.
JP: You mean their feverish love of this Techma-Tune music?
Pentakill's popularity exploded recently when Mordekaiser appeared on stage with an unlikely co-star: Sona, the League's darling diva! The masterful mistress of strings has been regularly rocking at Mordekaiser's side in true Techma-Tune style, clad in silver chains and black finery. The two have been busy releasing more captivating singles than ever before, with Sona's otherworldly serenades adding a somber and captivating undertone to Mordekaiser's gritty, powerful chords. Though Sona was (understandably) unavailable for comment, Mordekaiser has confirmed his desire to expand the ensemble further into a full band: "I would welcome those who would bring my music further power. We are known as Pentakill, and we shall rock as no other. Join us, if you are so bold."
Hear Pentakill perform their new hit, "Mask of Madness" at Trogsworth's Tavern in the heart of Zaun’s trade district any night this week. Be warned – it's standing room only and the crowd can get a little raucous. Also, if you yourself are a talented techma-musician, gather your courage and approach the stage afterwards for a personal audition!
The Unstoppable Hurricane
Aria Breker commenting from Demacia
The pursuit of justice is often a thankless job. When our soldiers are tirelessly toiling on the front lines, their benevolence is often met with hostility, even from those who they are trying to protect and defend.
However, there are often happier and unintended side effects for those who fight under Demacia's banner. Garen, one of Demacia's League champions, now finds himself at the center of attention from citizens and summoners alike due to his domination on the Fields of Justice. His battle prowess has brought widespread fame to both himself and our grand city-state. Eyes have turned to Garen as a leader, carrying his teams to victory in the name of Demacia.
Recent broadcast matches featuring the Might of Demacia have drawn extraordinary amounts of excitement. Spectators are often found reveling in the streets of almost every city-state after a match, ecstatically hailing Garen's performance on the battlefield. Fans describe Garen as "tireless", "invincible", and "...almost as if he never needs to cool down". They delight in the fact that he is able to silence enemies with the mighty swing of his blade, seemingly unconstrained by the limitations that other champions seem to face. The artistic have taken to expressing their admiration for Garen's skill by deluging the local markets with paintings and songs reflecting Demacian pride. Children run through the streets of city-states across Valoran, yelling "DEMACIA!" much to the chagrin of parents trying to instill their offspring with pride for their own city-states.
Garen has made quite an impression on non-supporters as well. Even those who support other champions in the League grudgingly acknowledge his unmistakable battle presence. Opponents have been overheard calling him an "unstoppable hurricane". Others swear that they can almost see Garen's mighty sword striking down from above when he claims a foe. Not all opinions are positive, however, with dissenters complaining about Garen being judgmental on the battlefield; painfully so. Some claim that he seems overpowered, as though Garen's fighting ability and battle-tested skills were anything but well-earned from experience.
Demacian military officials have taken note of Garen's exceptional performance. Already the leader of the Dauntless Vanguard, Garen was called upon to bring his expertise to overhaul Demacia's military training. His training program, called "Battle Regimen for Ultimate Soldier Heroism", has since been introduced to the entire Demacian army. It is a well-crafted conditioning program wherein soldiers learn a variety of tactics and strategies employed by Garen on the Fields of Justice, including perseverance, courage, and how to strike decisively against our foes.
Armed with the "Battle Regimen for Ultimate Soldier Heroism" fighting strategy, the enemies of justice have much to fear. When the Demacian army descends upon challengers, our enemies will not stand a chance against the whirlwind of might.
The Eye Inside
Ram Steed, your eye inside the League of Legends
The world keeps on turning and so do the dramas and fortunes of the League of Legends. This is Ram Steed coming at you, hard at work from the very heart of the League itself. I'm laboring tirelessly to bring you more of what you really want – the dirt on the bravest of the brave and the highest of the high. Champions, you can hide nothing! Our readers demand to know!
Who Didn't See This Coming?
Just a few days ago, Calliope Productions (located in Demacia) announced its latest musical, The Sound of Magic. Now, normally this reporter could not care less about musicals, so why the sudden interest in this one?
Because this one is helmed by the Gemknight himself!
The Sound of Magic isn't just a musical – it's a symphonic bonanza. This reporter was fortunate enough (depending upon your point of view) to have been allowed into one of the rehearsals. The songs are epic, pretty much everyone is dancing, and the costumes are, well, outrageous. I've never seen so much frilly business in my entire life, and the colors make it look like a flower bed threw up. Taric is the lead designer in all of this, and it shows.
The Gemknight actually deigned to give me a few choice words:
"I'm excited about this opportunity. Musical theater has always, in some way, been in my blood. This production is top notch and I am honored to be center stage. It's wonderful that I get to show my fans a different side of me."
It certainly is going to be a stark contrast to butt-kicking for a living, that's for sure. Hopefully, the prime performances won't interfere with Taric's duties to the League of Legends. If not, maybe he can bring some singing and dancing to his battles – maybe even in one of those frilly costumes... as long as they don't clash with his hammer!
Little Poppy's Big Vacation
As both Bandle City's ambassador to Demacia and as a champion in the League of Legends, Poppy certainly has a lot of responsibility. She also has fame and power, which give her command over resources that would make this reporter blush... and she's been busted for abusing it!
How, you might ask? How could such a beloved Champion, such a sweet little yordle, be guilty of abusing anything?
By using those resources to travel to Seafoam, the exclusive resort on the western coast, vacation spot for the wealthy of Demacia. This reporter received a tip from an anonymous source which revealed the following information. According to her position, Poppy is given a certain amount of money a year to travel as an ambassador. This amount is significant, but not enough for a luxury vacation – but this is exactly where the money came from. The yordle Champion racked up room service bills, spa days, shopping sprees on the renowned Grayhill Road, and a stay in the penthouse suite of a five-star resort hotel. The estimated cost of this single vacation is far in excess of the annual income of most Valorian citizens.
Naturally, neither Poppy nor any of her staff was available for comment. Do I believe Poppy has a tough job? Yes. Do I believe she deserves time off to enjoy her life? Absolutely. Do I believe that she should be allowed to take over-the-top expensive vacations on the Demacian tax-payers money?
So what can we do to hold officials like Poppy accountable during moments of financial mismanagement like this? It is the responsibility of you, the reader, to write to the Demacian government, and let your opinions be known!
On the other hand, the question many readers will want an answer to: does Poppy take Whomper to the beach? This reporter thinks yes.
Dear Mr. Steed
Once again, I dig into my mailbag to see what sort of fascinating letters you, the readers, have sent me. This week's question is interesting.
"Dear Mr. Steed –
Has Rammus ever tried to encourage other armadillos to go into the Kumungu Jungle in hopes they might also change?" -- Salindor the Summoner
Consider that you're the only sentient armadillo on Valoran, and you're a guy. What do you think would eventually something that you'd want in your life? That's right – a female counterpart. Rammus has been around the League for a while now.
When asked, Rammus had this to say: "Shut up."
Sources close to Rammus say that he is unabashed in finding young female armadillos and trying to get them to go to the Plague Lands. He's offered protection and everything. There are some who have gone with him, but the rare magic that created Rammus in the first place isn't likely to come out and play just because someone asks. It hasn't stopped him from trying, and he has no lack of volunteers, as it appears that he is a bit of sex symbol to the armadillo community (which looks really weird now that I've actually written that out).
Thanks for writing in, Salindor!
If you've got something to say to Ram Steed, mail me personally here at the Journal. Some infernal techmaturgical machine will get your message and pass it on to me.
The Mailbag of Justice
Senior Summoner Ralston Farnsley commenting from the Institute of War
These are eventful times – the monk's protest has stunned Ionians and incited the passions of citizens all over Valoran. We at the Journal of Justice have many feelings about these events, and although we cannot control their outcomes, I can promise you that we will continue providing you with the most late-breaking news (every two weeks)!
"Honestly I must know, why does everyone even acknowledge the League when they are all going to be wiped out by the Void? Our prophet Malzahar has already assured us that the Void is coming and there is nothing we can do to stop it. I only hope that my dedication to the Void is taken notice and Malzahar will help save me from the impending doom." -- profpwn
We recognize that there is a growing faction of Runeterrans who either worry about or welcome the Void, particularly as Malzahar has gained popularity in the League. You are free to believe what you please, profpwn, but there have been incidents in the past where Void cultists have turned to violence, either against themselves or others. I want you to understand that this sort of behavior only hurts you and those around you. If there is any truth to what Malzahar is saying, I would rather use my magic to protect Runeterra and its citizens, and I'd really like to have you on my side!
"Several individuals have sought my explanation as to why certain champions, on a nigh weekly basis, seem more willing to serve more summoners, requiring little to no influence within the League to gain access to their powers. Would you mind providing the good people of Valoran a general explanation?" -- Adjudicator Fayd
This is a good point to bring up, Adjudicator, thank you for your assistance educating the younger summoners. The League of Legends serves many purposes. First and foremost, it acts as a mediator for the city-states so that conflicts can be resolved without causing harm to the world. However, the League is also a medium through which people all over Runeterra can find common ground. People from all corners of the world attune their crystal screens to broadcasts of battles on the Fields of Justice. All champions admitted to the League must make themselves available from time to time – both for the younger summoners to refine their arts and also so that there are always battles to watch.
"The protests of the Ionian monk have drawn a great deal of attention recently, turning the eyes of thousands to the island city-state. As with many others, I extend my sympathies to the Ionians, but I am curious as to what actions the league is considering about the issue." -- Cykrus, Demacian Summoner
Many people share your concerns, Cykrus. I cannot speak in an official capacity for the League, but I know that this issue is being taken very seriously. The fact that Ionians felt the need to protest so deeply moves the heart, but I think it’s important to remember that both parties agreed to the terms of the Trial for the Isle well beforehand. At the same time, the Shojin monks have long been a beacon of wisdom for people all over Runeterra. The loss of even one is a tragedy for thousands. Unfortunately, I think the best we can do is to remain calm and hope for a fair resolution before his magic runs out.