War in Kalamanda
Quinton Groat reporting from Kalamanda
The collective fears of Valoran have been realized in Kalamanda as the standoff between Noxus and Demacia has escalated to all-out war. Initial estimates put casualties in the hundreds, with reports continuing to flood in. The High Councilors of the League of Legends called for an emergency assembly of League and city-state representatives as soon as fighting broke out, but they have yet to release an official statement.
It appears 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, who was lurking in shadows nearby. The two became locked in combat, and soldiers from both camps immediately engaged each other in efforts to come to their aid.
“Jarvan has always been a bit of a hothead, but it’s hard to imagine him starting the fight with stakes like these,” commented Tryndamere, who has recently been in negotiations with Demacia following Freljord's ascension to city-state status. “Those two have always had a special hatred for each other though, if anyone would get to him, it would be Swain.”
Though battle between these embittered rivals has been heated, ambassadors from both sides have pledged that their forces will refrain from the use of unsanctioned magic.
Chancellor Malek Hawkmoon, spokesman for Noxus, called it a “steel and slugs” engagement, employing the Noxian military term for a physical-only wartime operation. This doesn’t offer much reassurance to neighboring villages, but it has bought the League some breathing space while it strategizes a response.
Neither army appears to have gained a significant advantage over the other. The bulk of the fighting has taken place on the fields just outside the village’s primary dig site, but the contested area is gradually expanding. Prince Jarvan hasn’t been seen on the battlefield since his initial clash with Swain, but Noxus’ Master Tactician has stridden the front lines, issuing commands and urging his troops onward.
Jarvan’s absence has caused a great degree of speculation that the Prince may have been killed or captured, but Demacian forces have not faltered. Their morale has been bolstered by Garen and the Dauntless Vanguard, whose efforts have stymied the Noxian offensive at nearly every turn. King Jarvan III has reportedly donned his own royal armor, although his exact position remains a mystery. Wherever he is, it’s fair to say Xin Zhao is at his side.
The League has been somewhat tight-lipped about its reaction to this tragic turn of events, but High Councilor Heywan Relivash has promised that he plans to respond with “swift and decisive” action.
Noxian High Command in Turmoil
Kaldera Carnadine reporting from the Institute of War
Since the death of Boram Darkwill two weeks ago, Noxian High Command has existed in a state of unrest and contention. Despite raging debates, the successor to the Grand General’s empty seat remains unclear.
According to Noxian scholars, the Grand Generals of Noxus have historically risen to power through unrivaled military success and support. However, Boram Darkwill’s unusually long reign saw the creation of the League of Legends. “With the oversight of the Institute of War, we have fallen upon a time of relative peace,” said Chancellor Malek Hawkmoon. “The role of High Command has changed. We negotiate, we manage the provinces and territories under the Noxian banner, we govern. We are peacekeepers. It is difficult to evaluate any one General without the visceral results that war once gave us.”
At the head of the dispute is the late Grand General’s youngest son, Keiran Darkwill. While he does not hold a General’s rank, he has an impressive military record. Keiran oversaw Noxus’ acquisition of Askay and Meland last year and is also responsible for driving back the minotaur tribes of the Great Barrier. “With the situation in Kalamanda grown dire, we have no time for games,” said Keiran.
“It is only right that the seat of the Grand General remains with the Darkwill line.” Darkwill’s eldest son, Draythe, has yet to address the public following his father’s death.
While Keiran Darkwill does hold a strong following, he is not without opposition. The death of Boram Darkwill has revived investigation of General Du Couteau’s disappearance, an effort driven by his daughters, Katarina and Cassiopeia. General Du Couteau was largely considered Boram Darkwill’s most trusted and skilled General until he vanished late last year.
“If my father were here today, he would stand the undisputed successor to Darkwill,” commented Katarina. “It is too great a coincidence to ignore that the two most powerful men in Noxus have been removed from their positions in so short a span of time.”
Even as High Command remains in turmoil, a great deal of interest lies with General Jericho Swain. As a League of Legends champion, he remains the most recognizable face of Noxian High Command and his military record is exceptional. “Even in his absence, members of High Command have voiced support to his name,” Hawkmoon said. “As it stands, Jericho Swain is the presiding General on Noxus’ only warfront. That is more than most Generals can boast.”
General Swain, occupied in Kalamanda, could not be reached for comment.
Cpt. Morgan Rackham reporting from Zaun
Blimey! It’s a blustery day here at the port in the city-state of Zaun. Shame that every sailing vessel not flying a black pennant has her sails furled up tighter than the bark on a tree! See, Zaun ordered that the shipping lanes be cleared while a Noxian convoy takes on merchandise and gets headed back towards the home country. While this means the dockside is busier than a handsome barmaid back home in Bilgewater, it also means that every honest sailor unfortunate enough to drop anchor in Zaun since the regrettable business with the late, great Boram Darkwill might as well be in dry dock.
Despite assurances from Zaun’s Board of Directors that they aren’t involved in trading wartime supplies, the streets have been positively buzzing with rumors concerning what might be boarding a fleet of Noxian state ships that’s so important they don’t want anyone else’s vessels moored within spitting distance. The Noxians haven’t exactly been forthcoming with information on what they happen to be transporting out of Runeterra's fair industrial paradise, either. Suffice to say that – given that this is Zaun – it could be just about anything. One thing’s for certain, however: whatever it is, Noxus and Zaun are willing to disrupt open trade with a number of other nations to ensure that it makes it out to sea without incident.
The ports haven’t been this empty of merchant ships since the last time Piltover and Zaun were launching warships across the bay at one another!
Matter of fact, the only blighter outside the Noxian Navy that’s still loading freight on a day like today is an eccentric chap by the name of Darin the Daring who owns a blimp tourism service on the outskirts of the city. The chant is that the bloke’s fond of boasting that he once defeated Janna, the Storm’s Fury, in a zeppelin race. While he’s probably more pumped full of hot air than one of his balloons, the cheeky little upstart’s all there enough to have the presence of mind to retrofit his fleet to profit from the shipping crisis. He’s got every merchant worried about making his quota lined up down the street trying to book their cargo out for a trip on one of his blimps! And while he’s prospering in the meantime, it’s certainly not making him any friends down on the waterfront.
If being landlocked isn’t enough to get a get an honest sailor fuming, being laid up with a bad case of cabin fever watching Darin’s Daring Dirigible Delivery cruise off with your profits is bound to raise a few pulses. Presently, this particular string of cancelled shipments has only resulted in a long series of benders and perhaps a few honest brawls between seamen. But the tensions still mounting, and there’s no telling what a good and honorable mariner might get himself up to after he’s been sat landlocked in a dockside tavern for a bit too long.
The Mailbag of Justice
Senior Summoner Ralston Farnsley commenting from the Institute of War
To our faithful readers: with the assassination of Boram Darkwill, we mourn a world leader who stood, at the founding of the League of Legends, a pioneer of progress. The Grand General put aside the aspirations of Noxus for the greater good of us all. Today, we bear witness to the first open warfare on Valoran’s soil since the day of founding twenty-one years ago. In these dire times, dear readers, stay strong and have faith: the League of Legends stands an indomitable and unwavering guardian of this land. You will be protected.
“My question is addressed to Master Yi. Your will for the preservation of the Wuju style deserves the utmost admiration as many who would face the trials that you have would merely crumble while you choose to face them unwavering in the face of adversity. However there is one such trial that you have yet to face: Time. As all in existence knows, time is ever flowing and although it can be manipulated through magic it is never be driven from its course. I am sure that one with such awareness as you should have already contemplated that time is your greatest enemy against your will for preservation of the Wuju style since you are but the only one left preserving it. I was wondering if you are considering taking on a disciple so that you may pass on your skills to another so that Wuju may continue to live on, or maybe you already have a disciple that we are not aware of: a secret apprentice?” – J.R Kishi
Master Yi often spends his time meditating and training near the Great Barrier south of the Institute of War. I managed to intercept him on his way to one of these sessions. The Wuju Bladesman, with a knowing smirk, offered this answer to your question:
“I suppose it will not remain a secret forever. The tenets of Wuju dictate that a master must not seek an apprentice. Rather, the apprentice must come to the master. As the last disciple of Wuju style, I struggled with this tenet for many years, but patience has served me well. My apprentice has come to me. Wuju will live on.”
“ Rumble is great. I've always been a decent Rumble summoner and now I ask him this question. Are you able to upgrade Tristy to a less rusted up state? I mean, the League would have to allow some kind of payment or materials you can use to turn Tristy into a real terror on the battlefield. She seems very flimsy when not paired with support. (Also, I was wondering if you had a crush on Tristana. Just because you're both from Bandle City and your machine shares a similar name...)“ – B.R.
Rumble recently established a workshop at the Institute of War to occupy during his stays here, and I must say he’s been one of our most vocal residents. As I entered his workshop, a potato whizzed past my head and spattered into the hallway beyond, launched by what appeared to be a stack of bottomless pots and pans, a dislodged kitchen sink, and a burnt fuse. Rumble called it a “test model.”
“Tristy? What do you mean, ‘a less rusted state?’ She’s perfect just the way she is! I’ve already had more than one complaint about how strong I built her. It’s just like I said: Tristy’s real yordle tech. Even if she could get any stronger, she’d wreck anyone who came within three feet of her! And, um… your second question… I-I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“In my travels, I met some of the Rakkor, but despite being flattered to learn that my favorite champion is Pantheon, they did not want to clear my doubts about the people and the traditions of the Rakkor. My question is: Who gave you your weapons, Pantheon? And how was your training until you left Mt. Targon?” – Dewars
With Leona's acceptance into the League of Legends, the subject of the Rakkor has come up frequently at the Institute. The Artisan of War was eager to offer you a response:
“The Rakkor have no concept of ‘training.’ For my people, what you call ‘training’ is the height of childhood experience. We relish the day we first enter the arena with our peers, wielding wooden shields, spears and swords. We live for the dream of one day receiving a relic-weapon. Mine—my spear and shield—belonged to a warrior called Zeonia long ago. One day, when I die in glorious battle, they will be passed on again.”