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Zara, The Cryptic King

1 Growth 18 1 Growth 18
Health 542.64 (+73) 1783.6 Attack damage 100 (+11.47) 295
Health regen. 20.18 (+0.8) 33.8 Attack speed 0.25 (+0%)
Mana 409.52 (+67) 1548.5 Armor 24.384 (+3.2) 78.8
Mana regen. 5 (+0.35) 11 Magic resist. 32.1 (+1.25) 53.4
Attack range 150 Mov. speed 200


Ancient Aegis
Golden Aegis

There is no delay when autoattacking, but Zara cannot increase his attack speed. Killing a minion with an autoattack resets Zara's autoattack animation.

Does not gain damage reduction upon buying armor and magic resistance. Rather, Zara gains up to 20% of his maximum health as a shield that regenerates 4% maximum health every 5 seconds.

Upon reaching the maximum value, Zara also gains a physical damage shield worth (0.8% maximum health per armor) and a magic damage shield worth (0.8% maximum health per magic resistance). Each shield regenerates 4% maximum health every 2 seconds not in combat.

Archaic Bludgeon
RANGE: 500
COST: 200 / 175 / 150 / 125 / 100 mana
Hammer Shock

Zara slams the ground with his sword, Suppression icon suppressing enemy units hit for 1 second, then imbuing a glyph on the enemies that Grounded icon ground, Slow icon slow by 20% (+ 8% per 100 armor), and deal physical damage over 5 seconds.

  • Physical Damage per second: 40% base AD

Archaic Bludgeon deals twice the damage against minions and recovers mana for every unit slain by Archaic Bludgeon.

  • Minion Damage per second: 80% base AD

Autoattacking an enemy with the glyph extends its duration for 2 seconds.

  • Mana Recovery: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 mana

Might of the Occult
COST: 100 mana
Spell Flux

Zara inscribes a sigil that cause his physical and magic damage shields to merge into a total shield. Disables the regenerative portion of the shields. The total shield diminishes by 1% maximum health per second until reaching a 20%, then regeneration of the shields are enabled.

  • Armor Reduction: 10 (+2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 10% bonus armor)

Zara is empowered for 10 seconds causing his attacks and abilities to reduce the armor and magic resistance of enemy units hit for 5 seconds.

  • Magic Resistance Reduction: 10 (+2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 10% bonus magic resistance)

Runic Redux
RANGE: 1000 / 200 (+50% Magic Resistance)
COST: 200 mana
Realm Warp

Zara casts a rune on the ground and channels for 2 seconds vanishing into the ether. After the channel is completed, the rune will bind onto the first enemy champion that steps on it.

「 Magic Damage: 200 - 625 (based on level) 」「 Minion Damage: 300 - 975 (based on level)  」

A force implodes upon the rune 2 seconds after the channel is completed and Zara reappears with an explosion dealing magic damage and stunning all enemies hit. Deals 50% bonus magic damage to minions.

  • Stun Duration: 0.5 / 0.875 / 1.25 / 1.625 / 2

Blade of the Reborn King
RANGE: 1000 / 1500 / 200 / Global / 100
COST: 200 mana
COOLDOWN: 300 / 225 / 150
Infinity Edge item

Zara calls upon his ancient claymore and sunders all foes with a three strike combo lasting 10 seconds. During this combo, Zara is only allowed to cast Runic Redux and instantly blinks after the channel instead of disappearing. Runic Redux can be interrupted by enemies during this cast. While casting Blade of the Reborn King, Zara cannot cancel Blade of the Reborn King, cannot be interrupted, and will continue casting after reaching 0 health. If Zara reaches 0 health during Blade of the Reborn King, Zara will die after the combo is finished.

The first strike crashes down upon enemies all enemies in a linear path, dealing true damage to all enemy units and structures, Slow icon slowing them by 75% for 2 seconds.

  • True Damage: 100 / 300 / 500

After 3 seconds, Zara's second strike slashes enemies in a conic wave, dealing magic damage and knocking enemies back.

  • Magic Damage: 280 - 1000 (based on level)

3 seconds later, Zara's final strike tears the ground asunder launching a tremor that deals physical damage to all enemy units in its path. Upon striking an enemy champion or turret, the tremor explodes knocking up enemy units and dealing physical damage to all enemy units and structures caught in the blast.

  • Physical Damage: 420 - 1200 (based on level)


  • Increased movement speed from 100 to 200.
  • Fixed formatting for clarity.
  • Increased Blade of the Reborn King's cooldown from 200 / 150 / 100 to 200.
  • Increased regeneration of physical and magic damage shields from 2% maximum health per 2 seconds not in combat to 4% maximum health per 2 seconds not in combat.
  • Archaic Bludgeon
    • Double Damage on minions.
    • Mana recovery per rank. 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 mana
    • Slow changed from 9% per 100 armor to 25% (+5% per 100 armor)
  • Runic Redux
    • Explosion AOE changed from 130% Magic Resistance to 250 (+100% Magic Resistance).
    • 50% bonus Magic Damage on minions.
  • Blade of the Reborn King
    • Magic damage changed from 300 / 650 / 1000 per rank to 280 - 1000 (based on level).
    • Physical damage changed from 400 / 800 / 1200 per rank to 420 - 1200 (based on level).
  • Conquering the Abyss completed.
  • Added Runic Affinity
  • Runic Redux stun duration reduced from 1 / 1.4 / 1.8 / 2.2 / 2.6 to 0.5 / 0.875 / 1.25 / 1.625 / 2.
  • Archaic Bludgeon Slow icon slow changed from 25% (+ 5% per 100 armor) to 20% (+ 8% per 100 armor).
  • Cooldown changed from 200 to 300 / 225 / 150.
  • Ancient Aegis
    • Killing a minion with an autoattack now resets Zara's autoattack animation.
  • Archaic Bludgeon: Rework
    • Cooldown increased from 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 to 16.
    • Physical damage changed from 75 - 296 (based on level) to 40% base AD per second the glyph is active.
    • Now Suppression icon suppresses the enemies for 1 second and imbues a glyph, for 5 seconds, after the Suppression icon suppression, that Grounded icon ground, Slow icon slow, and damage enemies with the glyph. Autoattacking an enemy with the glyph extends its duration for 2 seconds.
  • Runic Redux
    • Cooldown raised from 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 to 15.
    • Explosion radius lowered from 250 +100% Magic Resistance to 200 +50% Magic Resistance
  • Runic Affinity completed.
  • Added Champion Bio.


  • Highest damage output to expect on a single autoattack is 3,596. Utilizing Trinity Force item.png Trinity Force, Sterak's Gage item.png Sterak's Gage, Infinity Edge item.png Infinity Edge, and three 75 AD items with full Critical strike icon crit damage runes.
  • The cast time for Archaic Bludgeon is 1 second.
  • The interval between disappearing and reappearing with Runic Redux is also 2 seconds.
  • If Zara's armor or magic resistance is reduced lower than the ratio of his shield, he will diminish his shield similar to the total shield, 1% maximum health per second, until it reaches the adjusted ratio.
  • Returning to the spawn pool will also regenerate his shields. It's balanced by the fact that his slow ass won't be able to take advantage of this and his priorities on levels encourages him to stay in lane for as long as possible.
  • The extended duration of Archaic Bludgeon's glyph only occurs once per glyph.
  • Zara cannot be healed once he reaches 0 health during Blade of the Reborn King, however he can be revived to prevent death at the end of the duration.
  • When Zara is revived, he immediately gains the 20% total shield as well physical/magic shields worth the product of his health upon revival and the 0.8% armor and 0.8% magic resistance for each respective shield type.


I've gone down the beaten path of trying to make a legitimate Assassin/Tank. I was working on this for a while and came to no avail since a tank that deals damage is simply a beefed up fighter. I've had some debates in the past with tanks in general with Ntoulinho. When I came to the question, "What makes a tank unique?" Upon blueprinting a design for a tank, I remembered this old project of mine.

I thought to myself about the significance of hybrids. Not just the AP and AD everyone thinks of, but also the primary and secondary mixes and symbiosis seen in life in general. On the economic scale, it is done for growth in efficiency through trading. On a biological scale, it is done to avoid hazards and also for efficiency. In League of Legends, it is done to enhance one particular iteration to an indomitable force. One such example is in the typical item build of an ADC. These champions buy massive amounts of AD, attack speed, Critical strike icon critical strike, and armor penetration in order to amplify the one thing that converges from all of them: autoattacks.

Looking in terms of class primary and secondary attributes, mage supports are known for their relentless battering of bursts and utility due to how mana and CDR are where they converge. The mix creates an effect of helplessness from enemies since good reactions from the mage support can allow for much juking due to the frequent level of downtime between abilities. A mix of tanks and fighters, being very apparent, is through the duration of battle due to health being where they converge. Living to fight longer is the main point of the tank fighters which allows them to fearlessly charge into an ongoing battle bringing large momentum in fights to feel like an inescapable truck bulldozing its way through. So what about assassins and tanks? Where could they possibly converge? I concluded it was their base damage.

Assassins are known for getting their penetration. It allows them to handle any counters to their ratios and push their lead as far as possible. However, tanks are also known to forgo their damage options for additional base damage due to their low ratios. Juggernauts, who are mixes of tank fighters, get items such as Sterak's Gage item.png Sterak's Gage and Dead Man's Plate item.png Dead Man's Plate to exemplify this point of high base damage with some like Skarner Skarner being also designed for Sheen item.png Sheen. As such, I found that the only way to truly make an assassin tank work is to take advantage of penetration and throw gigantic amounts of base damage into the kit.

Champions like Kha'Zix Kha'Zix and Rengar Rengar are seen with numbers that only scale with levels, to simulate getting a lead over the enemy. I decided to make this top priority by literally removing all ratios that would increase damage output and instead making the whole damage output scale with levels. That means that if there is no lead, there is no coming back. No turnabout elixirs here, sorry. Q~Q However, I used this as legitimacy for the massive numbers you see on Zara. Having an ultimate that deals a net 2,700 damage is nothing to scoff at. It also loosens priorities a bit. Instead of ranking up an ability to maximize damage, priority shifts towards the utility since the damage will go up through levels anyways.

The visceral aspect of the priority on base damage is massive impact. Tanks are known for having large downtimes and assassins are known for being very vulnerable. By creating a gigantic level of base damage and armor and magic resistance shredding, there is a massive amount of pain able to be dealt with the combination of your own damage and the damage of teammates. The combination also crushes the priority of building damage as there are no ratios for increasing damage output outside of armor and magic resistance for the shredding. However, this brought about massive struggles that I compromised through pushing the boundaries vastly.

The handicaps I placed are all speed related. More specifically: movement speed, attack speed, cast times, and DPS vulnerability. I cut down on movement speed, because the last thing we need is a monster slapping every carry with a Critical strike icon 3,000+ critical strike. If Nasus Nasus, and potentially Sion Sion, did not have infinite damage scaling, I would say that this is the most intense form of a juggernaut as you can get. Of such grandiose intensity that it pushes itself from the boundaries of fighter into assassin. As such I needed to completely obliterate attack speed and significantly lengthen cast times to prevent him from being ridiculously overboard.

  • The DPS vulnerability comes with his tankiness. Now, if he is tanky why can't he survive DPS? Well, the method I went about it completely removes the prominence of sustain--such as the potentially insane lifesteal. By completely removing damage resistance, Zara is going to be taking tremendous damage output. Proof is in how we believe assassins are the top notch damage around, when carries obviously have the highest damage output due to consistency.

The compensations I gave back to him were all burst related. More specifically: gigantic base AD, turret destruction, largest mana pool, and burst durability. The tremendous base AD allows him to utilize powerful autoattacks like Jhin Jhin and Graves Graves. I want to encourage the more offensive route of Critical strike icon critical strike since his slow actions make him feel like a traditional samurai due to the tremendous force behind each strike. With this tremendous force in mind, I felt that all this compensation was still not enough to make Zara feel powerful in a unique way. So I gave his Blade of the Reborn King the ability to damage turrets on its true and physical damage portions. I wanted to give a vibe similar to how Sion Sion barrels into a turret with his ultimate as it is an extremely slow ability. Due to how important his abilities are, I made a shift towards having a large mana pool with low capability to regenerate it. I wanted to give Zara the priority of using his abilities carefully while not giving him too much stress over mana. While he will still need to build mana, having the largest mana pool will at least alleviate it slightly.

  • The burst durability is through his tankiness. Since assassins and carries are known for getting penetration, I wanted to create a method that would defend him against penetration. As such, I thought about the concept of EHP. If his EHP was unaffected by penetration, it would be tremendous. I liked the limitations a shield gave so I transformed what was supposed to be EHP into shields. Zara has slight vulnerability to armor and magic resistance reductions in terms of tankiness, but it is over time rather than immediate. This means that in order to defeat him, methods of increasing raw damage is best. However, against burst, the fact he can transform investment in magic resistance into a shield against physical damage and vice versa is very valuable. However, I balanced it in a way that is not too much over a super armored Rammus Rammus.

As for the background of Zara, he is actually one of the original characters made in my story. In my story, he is known as the conqueror due to wielding the sword called: the Avenger. He is the rival of another called the guardian, who wields a sword called: the Defender. If this sounds familiar, yes these are both the same as of Lenaieka's sword from Nazareadain. I was very surprised with how well it matched with my own story. Her upbringing was a lot like Don, the guardian's. However since Runeterra has nothing to do with my story, I am transforming Zara into a totally different character which will avoid any clashes.

While he is supposed to be something like a General from the Fire Emblem series, I am instead making him a samurai ghoul to better fit into the lore of League of Legends from my story. Since anger and death are two very prominent themes in my story, the Shadow Isles is a very good place for many of my characters. It's particularly good for Zara though, since he the Shadow Isles is in the Conqueror's Seas. However, runes and glyphs are of immeasurable importance and as such I gave him a title that seamlessly merges it all together, The Cryptic King.


A Distant Memory

"Gracefully..." With elegant agility, a slice cuts straight through a tree. The lumberjacks holler in approval as the tree begins crashing down.

"Thanks chief! We couldn't even be able to cut em down with a battleaxe--let alone a hatchet," a worker expresses in gratitude for taking down the largest timber in the forest.

"The key is in the form." Zara expresses as he sheaths his sword. "It's our most prominent weakpoint. Practice that and while you are at it, practice calling me King. This is a kingdom afterall."

Returning from the foothills of the Ironspike Mountains, Zara gazed upon his kingdom. Curved in a horseshoe fashion to match the bay jutting between it, Zara hardly could believe that he inherited this at the speed that he did. Building upon the remnants of a war-ridden dominion, Zara was in the process of expanding the grounds of a fallen faction. Not too long ago, Zara was but only the chieftain of a neighboring village. However, after a long series of internal disputes within a fallen empire, one of the factions nearby sought to Zara's village for help.

Zara sprung into action with magnanimous zeal, commanding every villager to gather resources and assessing the efficiency of their labor. It was not long until Zara gained such a large reputation within the faction of the empire that they decided to merge territories and declare him as their new king.

Zara's niece was happier than she could ever be as she could finally utilize her skill with the spear in ways other than hunting. Suddenly Zara rushed back to his castle, as he remembered that she was scheduled to see him. She was going to show Zara a new trick using the weight of her spear to propel herself in any direction. He knew it was possible to propel oneself forward, but backward was something that piqued his curiosity.

"How's the city folk?" Zara asked as he passed a lieutenant of the Iron Order.

"At ease," he grunted in reply.

Stated contradictory to how the lieutenant felt. A large portion of the Iron Order were remnants of the fallen empire. The lowly were ruthless, the great were warmongers. After the great chaos of anarchy, the peaceful times was a large contrast for the knights. Too disparate for some to handle.

While Zara found his work to be grand, others knew that the empire was moreso. An expanse stretching along the eastern borders of Valoran was all the domain of the lost empire. While some were appreciative of the kind acts of Zara, others found he pushed too far. Some thought him a great king, others believed him a weak replacement. With that, the story fades into darkness. A darkness I cannot remember.

Conquering the Abyss

Light shimmers and refracts upon my gaze...

Where am I?

It is cold and heavy. Drifting toward a dark place.

This place is wet and flowing. Is it the ocean? No, no. I would be drowning. Unless...

Mana? No way, I would be rising rather than falling as mana is heavier. Much heavier, I would know. Falling? Ah, yes it is I who drifts toward the abyss. I'll wade in these waters soon enough, but I can't.

My arms? I move, yet I do not move. I gaze around me. Fish. Yes, I must be in the ocean deep. However, that is a big fish. A really big fish. In fact, it's almost as if-

"Holy shit! A fish is on my arm!"

I yell, but I cannot hear. Nobody can hear. I'm alone. Well, except for this fish.

Is this how I die? Drowning into the abyss, with a fish.

No. I'm in the ocean, deep within. Yet I do not drown. I had a fish gnawing away at my flesh. Yet I did not notice. Thus I cannot die, I will not drown, and I cannot lose. Especially when-

"I eat fish like you for breakfast!" Clamoring to reach my sword as an explosion of light fills the expanse of darkness with a blue luminosity, I look the fish dead in its dead fish eye.

Wait, dead fish eye? This fish is dead, yet it is alive and gnawing as I bash it ruthlessly with my sword. Slicing it's fins, tearing its cartilage, making sashimi from this dead fish until finally, it lets go.

The fish crashes into the abyss as I stand beside it. Bubbles soar towards the surface as I let out a sigh. I stare upward at the fading light, my newfound destination. Stuck in a crevice, the only way to go is up. However, it will not be easy.

I'll need to conquer these seas to rise up. That won't be hard. I did not die. I did not drown. I did not lose.

So I take up my sword, tip my broken crown to the shark that challenged me, and I move forward--toward the accursed fish that I see in the dying of the light.

Runic Affinity

"Accursed fool..." I muttered to myself, as I set up runes to cross the Serpentine River. "Thinking that the World Rune would protect his tribe forever." Glancing over at my glowing satchel I let out a sigh. "This kind of power will only backstab anyone who tries to tame it."

Completing the inscription, I grab my satchel to place the World Rune in a place where nobody can find it. However, as I held the satchel, I could not help but remember those I have left behind as I look back, towards the Freljord. Looking ahead, I see the river and think, "This crossing would only be able to fit five anyways. Plus, I cannot have anyone stealing the World Runes during the pass."

Before I can get into position, I feel a rumble. The rumble grows louder each passing moment.

"An earthquake, in Kaladoun? No, that's impossible. However if it's coming from the ocean-" I panic and scramble to set up a barrier. If a tsunami truly was coming, it would be coming fast and there would be no time to run. As I finish my barrier and step inside, a wave of dread fills my soul as I see the surface of the ocean resonate with a circular expansion. I take my stance as the head of a leviathan breaks the surface.

"By the scrolls, what is a leviathan doing this close to the shore?" I exclaim as I blast an arcane bolt at the leviathan, but the leviathan continues to rise with an amplifying quake each passing moment. As I barrage the monster with a flurry of my arcane prowess, I cannot help but wonder, "Why does this leviathan not recoil?" As I ponder upon this, I find that the leviathan is lying on top of another rising object. Trying to discern what it is, the quaking amplifies as I finally bear witness to a massive clouded eye.

"A whale?!"

I fall in complete awe as I see the corpse of a whale rising alongside the leviathan. Upon further examination, even the leviathan was long been dead. Beyond the whale, I witnessed the crushed remains of sharks, giant squids, Kraken, etc. Once the stacked remains rose to as high as a mountain, it crashed upon the shoreline. A crater was formed on the marshland in its wake. I could not help but barf in utter disgust of the putrid flesh that lied before me.

"Where could I sell these?" An unknown voice asks. I look around me to see that a ghastly being snuck up behind me. I scrambled into a battle stance as quickly as possible, but- "Woah, woah! I don't mean any harm." the ghoul interjects. "I just want to know where I could sell these... fish."

Composing myself I replied, "Sorry, but I highly doubt anyone would buy those things."

"Ah..." The ghoul releases with a disappointed sigh. "I figured as much. Who would even want to eat this junk?"

"Eat?!" I exclaim in total surprise. "I thought you were going to sell this as game, trophies for collectors."

"Oh, right," the ghoul affirms. "I could have done that couldn't I?"

As the ghoul examined the fishes, I took time to examine his form. The ghoul bore a broken crown alongside a sword he began poking the fishes with, I assume both eroded from the ocean. Despite his absent-minded disposition and rugged clothing, an aura of regal might emanates from his ghastly outlook. It comes to at no surprise to me due to the mighty strength I stand witness to, as he rummages through the flesh, carrying whole sharks with one arm as the other dangling arm fell off. Wait a second.

"Hey." I call out to the ghoul.

"Yeah?" he replies.

"Well, your arm..."

"What about it?" he questions further.

"It fell."


"Well, fell off."

"Oh!" the regal ghoul chortles. "Don't worry about that, it's useless anyways."

Silence in disbelief, I can only shake my head. Suddenly, I notice something peculiar--something dangerous.


"Zara," he replies, " and you are?"

"Ryze Ryze." I reply to the sudden introduction.

"Ryze Ryze, I see. Okay, go on."

"May I have a look at your crown?"

A sharp silence cuts between us as he ponders. Did I push too far? To incur the wrath of this being would be the end of me. Despite my worries, Zara removes his crown. "I don't see what could spark your interest about this rusty old thing, but go ahead."

Zara passes the crown to me and I touch the jewel within. It is faint, cold, but alive.

"If it does not trouble you, I would like for us to go to my study," I offer to Zara to further examine this crown.

"That's fine with me, I don't have a destination anyways." Zara accepts as he tears away a freshly killed shark. "Can I bring this?"

I nod as I change the destination of the runes to the Freljord. Beckoning Zara inside, I begin the channel to the other realm. I must verify the integrity of the crown. Zara may be a mighty foe, but if it comes to it, I will face him head on. Else the World Rune, that is his crown, may spark another disaster.

Following the strange blue man as we crossed into another dimension, I could not help but wonder who he may be. In any case, he is the only lead I have for understanding this predicament. My head starts pounding as I come to realize, I've transformed. I am no longer the man I once was, but what does it matter if I cannot remember? If only I could remember...

The man, named "Ryze Ryze," threw his satchel into the unknown plane which seemed fizzled out of existence and at the very next moment, the blistering winds bombards us relentlessly. Just when I was getting used to the warmth of the bogs, I now have chills coursing through my soul. Suddenly, Ryze Ryze hands me back my crown. As I don my broken crown, I can feel the chills dissipating until the air no longer feels windy. Ryze Ryze gives me a strange look and then continues forward to what seems like an out of place library.

Escaping the from the cold blizzard and entering with the rune wizard, I fathom the architecture of the vast library. From the outside, it did not seem like much. However entering inside, the whole mountain the library was enclosed in was the library itself. Shelves expanding all around the cavern and rising as high as the peak. The regal beauty reminded me of home, wherever that is.

"Zara," Ryze Ryze calls out to me,
"Let's go, let's go!"

I rush over to see Ryze Ryze, surveying a large scroll that he laid onto the table. It contained elaborate constellations, painted stories, branching paths, cogent equations, etc. The formatting of these scrolls give fond memories of lessons about mana.

Examining me and then the scroll Ryze Ryze arrived at a conclusion, "I knew it." Ryze Ryze's gaze fixated on a constellation of a broken crown, warped by a mysterious mist.

Looking back at me he asked, "For further confirmation, can you tell me the name of your sword?"

"My sword?"

"Yes, your blade." Ryze Ryze probed.

"Well, I'm a king."

"Right, I could guess from the crown."

"My crown has a crack in it."

"That's right."

"So it's ruined."

"Yes, we established that already."

"So that means this blade..."

"Come on already!"

"Is the Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King."


A deafening silence cuts between the two of us.

"You're joking right?" Ryze Ryze asks to break the silence.

"Of course I am!"

Ryze Ryze shakes his head in a display of extreme irritation.

"The point I'm trying to make is that this is no magical sword." I explain in an attempt to ease his frustration. "It's simply one of the many ornate swords from my kingdom. Outside of looking fancy, which it does not even accomplish anymore, it is just a brutish weapon."

"Well, even so. There is more than enough proof with the crown itself." Ryze Ryze proclaims, "This crown has a World Rune."

"What in the world is that?"

"It is a very dangerous artifact." Ryze explains. "This has cataclysmic power that has the potential to reshape, no, destroy all of Runeterra."

"WOAH! Are you sure this crown can do all of that?"

"I'm positive." Ryze Ryze reassures me with the grave front he is showing me. "I've seen its power before."

"Well, you can keep your apocalyptic-"

"But..." Ryze Ryze interrupts me as I began removing my crown. "I fear that it may come at a great sacrifice to you."

Downtrodden by the might of the crown, I release my hand and ask Ryze Ryze, "What do you mean by that?"

"There seems to be a significant connection between you and the World Rune." Ryze Ryze explains as he studies the scroll. "Normally, ghouls become insane after their revival. Which is why I have been very cautious on our first encounter."

"Oh, I apologize for that."

"No need for apologies, you were not insane so that is a good thing," Ryze Ryze assures me. "However, that is exactly what is peculiar. You should have gone insane, but it is as if the World Rune is protecting your sanity."

"What is so strange about that? If the World Rune is protecting me, it would obviously protect my judgement."

"That's what YOU think..." Ryze mutters with as he closes his eyes, as if he was reminiscing on disappointing events. "What actually happens is a corrupt hunger for power overwhelms the user. It causes the most sane minds to plummet into insanity. I was thinking your wild strength came from the combination of the World Rune and being a ghoul, but you could carry that fish of yours perfectly fine without the crown." He states as he points at the huge shark I have been nibbling on throughout the whole conversation.

"Yeah, I guess you could blame it on a primal instinct."

"What do you mean 'primal instinct'?" Ryze Ryze asks to probe for more information.

"Well, I was alive when I should have been dead. So, I knew I needed to live. It's as simple as that." I answer Ryze Ryze while gazing into the dead fish's eye. "Even I couldn't believe my strength. It was as if my will to live became power on its own."

"That's a ghoul's might alright." Ryze Ryze nods his head in self-confirmation. "Unfortunately, I have no experience with dealing with ghouls like you."

"So, you want my crow-"

"YES!" Ryze Ryze exclaims abruptly. "I mean, yes, that would be very helpful."


I cannot even reply. My head is pounding with a furious force. The total lack of respect over my belongings, well he did ask first, but now he wants my stuff? My crown of all things? The gall, the impudence...

No way. Did he say what I think he did? You knew I would go crazy, become an insensible monster with this monstrous power of mine. Oh, oh no. Oh, he wants me dead? No. No, he does. Yes. You want me dead. I- no, I don't understand. Why? Wait...

They want to kill me before I become insane? Oh my. No. No! NO! I cannot die. No. Not here. Not now. I cannot, I will not, I am not dying. No, I am dead, how can I die? Did I die? How? Why? Where? I do not understand. Can't wait, must act, must...

Eviscerate the enemy. They want me dead? I'll have their head. No, their heart--their will. Grasp their will in my hand and crush it. Then they will fall. Heartless, bathed in the blood wrought by their own hands. The blood within their own hands. Gouge out the eyes that belittle me. Disembowel those who spat at my feet. Scald those who wish me burn. Then do it all over again. Do it for you? Do it for me? Do it for him? Do it for her.


Opening my eyes, clouded by the black mist that shrouds this cavern. I bear witness to the ruins of the ancient temple. The temple of knowledge, the library. I gaze up at the crumbling shelves and tumbling books from on high. The flickering flames that illuminated this place have long burned out. The lone light comes from above me. I look up, and it still comes from above me. No, my crown? Yes, my crown. This broken, old thing. A bead of water streams down my cheek as I realize how broken this crown truly is. It is ruined, just like I ruined this place.

" Ryze Ryze" I call out, into the darkness. "I know you can hear me..."

I call out once more, but there is no response. Only the fluttering of pages as they fall from the ceiling. In response, I toss my crown into the strewn pieces of literature along the ground.

"If you want my crown, take it," I holler out into the darkness. "I am no longer a king. I do not even remember the name of the kingdom I ruled any longer."

With a deep breath, "However, before you claim my crown. You must kill me." I request from Ryze Ryze. "The stars and scrolls themselves state that my life would end in ruin. There is no peace for me here."

Coughing hoarsely, I lose my balance and fall to the ground. My hands, chest, no, my entire body is erupting into a black mist. I can clearly see my limbs crumbling before me. I guess this is how it ends. What a pitiful ending, uneventful and melodramatic, although it is an end fit for someone such as myself: The Ruined King.

I close my eyes and await the eternal slumber that befalls me. However, it does not arrive. Rather, I did not arrive. As I slowly peek at what is going on and notice that the mist has ceased its expulsion, the crumbling as well.

"Was my will to die not strong enough?"

"No." A voice from behind states. "My will for you to live is too strong."

I turn my head and see Ryze Ryze as he lets go of the crown that is now on my head.

"Don't toss that around carelessly. It may cause another explosion." Ryze Ryze scoffs at the scene I made. "I must say though, your selflessness is admirable. Everyone I've dealt with so far has given into the power of the World Runes."

"Well, you were right," I stated in reply. "The World Rune definitely does not help with sanity."

"However, you could read the scrolls," Ryze Ryze rebutted as he set up some runes. "The scrolls have always saved me from the influence of the runes, so its no surprise you were saved too."

"Its the one of the reasons I changed my mind."

"Wait, what do you mean Ryze Ryze?" I ask in astonishment.

"Well, this place here..." Ryze Ryze states while directing attention to the entire cavern "Is a very powerful place for someone like me."

"So this was a trap?"

"Yes, but then I realized I could not take you on no matter how hard I tried," Ryze Ryze states in a disappointed manner. "The simple nature of my ability prevents me from doing so."

"The nature?"

"Yes, the World Rune." Ryze Ryze replies while pointing at my crown. "It protects you with a veil that can nullify all the magic I utilize. Watch." Ryze Ryze throws an arcane bolt at me. I flinch as it approaches me, but then it abruptly dissipates.

"As you can see, this is the main reason why I changed my mind." Ryze Ryze bluntly states as he continues to work on the runes. "So, why did you change your mind?"

"What do mean change my mind? Letting this crown go was my original intention," I asked out of confusion.

"Well, it must have been a struggle fighting against both the instincts of a ghoul and the desire of the World Rune simultaneously."

Thinking about it again, it truly was difficult. I normally would have fallen easily into the desires of the World Rune, but...

"I did not come back to life on a conquest for power. I am sure of that. I know how dangerous messing around with power can be." I gaze at the destroyed architecture of the library. "Ah, the magnificence of this shelter from cold air. Something I would expect out of my kingdom."

Downtrodden, I take a deep breath and continue, "Sullied, by the force I possess. I have ruined the one place that feels like home. However, that is not the worst part." I state as Ryze Ryze props his head up in curiosity.

"The worst part is, I think I have done this before."

"What did you do?" Ryze Ryze asks out of curiosity as he finishes the runes.

"I don't know."

"Well, you'll find out soon enough," Ryze Ryze concludes.
"Come. The runes beckon."

I step into the rune warp without hesitation. I do not know where it goes, but going anywhere is better this mess of a place.

Forged from Sand and Runes

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