Ionia Celebrates Annual Festival of Fire
Henril Dreving reporting from Ionia
Ionians from every province gathered beneath the flowered branches of the Great Tree in the Serene Gardens yesterday for the city-state’s annual Festival of Fire. An early summer tradition, this festival is a symbol of Ionian culture, celebrating the cleansing and rebirth of the spirit. League Champions Shen and Akali attended the festival as guests of honor, performing in the festival’s retelling of The Tale of Reina.
Festivities began early yesterday morning as citizens poured into the Serene Gardens. Vendors set up shop along the garden’s edges, offering wares of traditional Ionian food, garb, and antique weaponry. Citizens mingled in the shade of the Great Tree and wrote their woes and worries on scrolls to be hung from the Tree’s branches.
“This is the primary tradition of the festival,” explained Master Hana, an Ionian adjudicator. “Together, we identify that which plagues us. As we enter the darkness of night, which we call 'facing the Blood Moon', we confront them as one. With the rising of the sun, our fears and woes are cleansed, our spirits rekindled.”
During the night, Ionian citizens were treated to various musical and theatric performances pertaining to Ionian history or legend.
The headlining performance this year featured League Champions Shen and Akali, who performed The Tale of Reina, a legend in which an ancient Ionian warrior is hunted by an evil spirit.
Akali took the part of Reina herself, dressed in formal Ionian red and white battle garb, and Shen played the spirit that plagued her, adorned with a fearsome mask. As the legend goes, Reina fled the spirit for years, yet it always found and tormented her. Finally, Reina donned her own mask to confront the spirit, but when she turned to face it, it never came again, frightened away by her strength.
“The story bears the same message we embrace at the festival,” said Akali after the performance. “We all have darkness that pursues us. Here, we identify our fears and worries when we hang them upon the Great Tree. Like Reina, we must confront the darkness within our spirits. We must be stronger than that which torments us.”
When the sun rose in the morning, when the Tree had become almost fully concealed behind scrolls, an Ionian summoner lit them briefly aflame. As the magic dissipated, the sun shone brilliantly through the branches of the Great Tree. “This is the festival’s greatest lesson,” said Master Hana. “Out of any darkness comes the grandest of light.”
Ghost Sightings Reported Near the Bubbling Bog
Quinton Groat reporting from Lirab
The citizens of Lirab, a small Demacian town just south of the infamous Bubbling Bog, have been stirred up by a recent rash of “ghost sightings”. According to sources, a number of specters have been seen floating above various parts of the Bubbling Bog’s viscous expanse. “Due to the bog’s unstable nature, it’s very difficult to investigate these claims,” said Parrin Maylor, the Governor of Lirab. “It does make you start to wonder though, once you’ve heard the same story repeated so many times. That’s why I sent word to Demacia.”
The first report came from Horatio Nerp, a gas farmer whose property abuts on the bog itself. Nerp’s attention was first drawn by a light that seemed to bounce along above the bog’s surface in the distance. “I’ve lived here my whole forty-four years and I’ve never seen any light like that. Then, this see-through critter pops up outta nowhere. I don’t scare easy, but I didn’t stick around to make sure it was a real ghost. I dunno what else you’d call it though.”
The sudden appearance of these ghastly apparitions may not be arbitrary. Lirab isn’t a popular place to live. Gases emanating from the Bog often drift south on the wind, carrying with them a variety of “pungent” odors. In such a modest population, people took notice when a new face appeared, just before the sightings began. “ Sullen-looking guy. Nobody talked to him because he seemed…well…creepy, but he didn’t seem to want company anyhow. He had a serious hunch, a cowl pulled low over his face, and he always carried around this old shovel,” added Nerp. “He wandered around town for a bit, like he was looking for something, then left as quietly as he came. When you live this far off the beaten path, sometimes you just opt not to ask questions.”
Wesker Mollifen, an investigator appointed by Demacia to evaluate these reports, remains unconvinced. “You always hear about these sorts of things from small communities on the far reaches of civilization. It’s no coincidence. Rumors tend to spread quickly and then people’s eyes start playing tricks on them. I’m not saying anyone’s intentionally lying. This is probably the result of illumination from swamp gases and overactive imaginations.”
The Art of Summoning
L.B. Briskes commenting from the Institute of War
If my secretary Olivia can be trusted (her honesty, I mean – she is a truly dismal wing-woman), many of your letters convey confusion as to the magnitude of the roles played by summoners in the League of Legends. We are not merely robed, second-string stagehands fervently supporting the lauded champions of the League. We are not the janitors or night watchmen of society as a whole. We are the penultimate practitioners of sorcery, manipulating the very fabric of reality with such precision that we may steer the course of history whilst preserving Runeterra with calculated efficiency. And no, I have never extracted a rabbit from my hat – that would eat up all the space for contraband.
Some people have not-so-politely indicated that my opinion of summoners may be inflated due to the fact that I am one. I say that a low opinion of others should not be mistaken as a high opinion of oneself. Yes, yes, magic by and of itself is not uncommon in Runeterra and many people are capable of manifesting a couple cantrips, but summoning magic exists on an entirely different level. Not only must one reach into the ether and locate a single being amongst the swirling miasma of living energy, but one must then mentally assume that same space in addition to one’s own. This is roughly akin to simultaneously following the flight paths of two specific flies in a swarm, one with either eye.
(For those of you staring lizard-eyed in two directions with unimpressed, folded arms, the analogy falls far short of the act. That is extremely unsettling though.)
Once one has tackled the art of thinking in two places, one must finesse one’s integration with the subject.
This is basically like trying to put a jellyfish in a sweatshirt with an appropriate amount of sleeves. Depending on the strength and willingness of the subject, there is an equivalent danger of being stung. The process of then performing heroic feats in your new jelly-sweatshirt is relatively simple compared to the rest of it, though this is what garners the most attention.
Summoners do this every day. The strain of concentration and energy needed to fulfill such a task would alone drive most men stark mad, and that’s before considering the consequences of any misstep. They are universally disastrous. Even the most experienced summoners are monitored during the summoning process in hopes of preventing (or at least minimizing) the destruction should something go wrong.
Most summoners commit decades of their lives to mastering the many arcane fields which comprise summoning magic. The League screens thousands of candidates every year with extreme prejudice, identifying only a handful who will be given the opportunity, through rigorous study and evaluation, to be entrusted with its secrets.
There are no cheap parlor tricks, no techmaturgical shortcuts, and no safety nets. In return, summoners are courted by city-states to represent them in political disputes and afforded the highest accommodations society has to offer. Though you don’t see us on the Fields of Justice, we are the life behind every action, the architects of every match. I’m not known for my appreciation of the efforts of others, but to all you summoners who make the League of Legends possible, I hereby tip my hat.
Alright, where did this rabbit come from?
The Mailbag of JusticeSenior Summoner Ralston Farnsley commenting from the Institute of War
The last issue generated a tremendous response from summoners reaching out to champions and the agents of the League regarding all manner of subjects. We appreciate your mail! If we haven’t published your question yet, don’t be discouraged, keep letting us know what’s on your mind!
“ Xin Zhao's story of facing hardship has been majorly inspiring to me personally. When it feels like the entire world is against you, it just seems so easy to give up, but Xin Zhao never gave up and always continued to fight. Many times in my life I have been presented with situations where it would just be easier to give up. So my question for you, Xin Zhao, is how do you maintain the will to fight against impossible odds? What is your source of unbreakable courage and will?” – IncognitoP
Xin Zhao indeed possesses unnatural courage. When faced with adversity that would send most men fleeing, Xin Zhao has instead charged forward, time and time again. His valor is a testament to the strength of Demacian warriors. I must admit, your questioned piqued my curiosity as well.
”People often mistake what is truly hard in life. When you stand toe to toe against any enemy on the field of battle, options are stripped away. Fight or die. If you’ve thought about giving up, you’re probably already dead. The courage that Jarvan II taught me – the will you speak of – was the courage to lead men. To make decisions that will lead to the deaths of friends, and to stand by them even when you know you could be wrong. Or when no decision is right. To fight and die is easy when measured against this. Whenever things seem impossible, I need only to remember Jarvan II. That man would do anything for his men, and they would do anything for him, myself included, without regard for the odds or the consequences. I continue to serve his memory.”
“I'm curious if the origins of Olaf and Brand could give us heightened insight into the true extent of the Rune Wars' effects on our world. Have there been any efforts to talk to Olaf, in particular, to compare histories and see if any of the world-shaking effects of the Rune Wars had repercussions even in Olaf's far off and mysterious continent of 'Lokfar', and if so, what were they? It is intriguing to think that our own lives could be changed by an event which occurred in a place we didn't even know existed.” – Tegan
Olaf, since he arrived at the League of Legends, has notoriously withheld information about Lokfar. I have seen firsthand what happens when someone gets too nosy, so I opted to speak with Brand. He isn’t much more personable, but he is restrained.
”The Rune Wars? I don’t much care for the affairs of you creatures. You seem to believe that everything that has transpired on the world has done so for or because of you. More than once this world was cleansed by the purity of fire. You assume this is bad, but the world you live in today was a product of that purification. Sometimes the slate needs to be wiped clean. The fires will come again, whether you hide behind your League or not.”
“To Jarvan: As an avid female fan of yours, I've grown quite curious about a certain subject that may concern your lifestyle. As Crown Prince, it's your job to one day take the throne and conceive a heir... Is there a certain princess that you have your eye on, or someone you might give that title to be yours? If so, would we ever see her join the League and help fight at your side? Your love life is something this summoner has grown very curious about!” – xSeohyunx
Well you have certainly set your sights high. The Crown Prince of Demacia is one of the most powerful men on Runeterra, both figuratively and literally. With all his time spent fighting, I wonder what thought he has put into this particular matter.
“It is one of the King’s duties to produce an heir, and I owe it to my family to continue the legacy they started. In my travels I once met…[Jarvan here went silent for several moments]…but she is no more. I have not afforded much attention to romantic interests as of late. I trust that when the right woman enters my life, I will know it.”