I don't like assassins coming in and ruining my day! Let's make a carry who can deal with them.
Admittedly that wasn't quite the beginning of my train of thought with this champion. It actually started when I watched one of famed LoL player Stonewall008's rare DotA2 videos, where he outlined the abilities of a particular DotA hero, Silencer. He said that Silencer had an ability that automatically silenced foes who cast spells around him, preventing them from pulling off combos. Later, during a matchmade normal game, as I witnessed a Sivir narrowly escape death from a fed Akali with a well-timed Spell Shield, I started thinking if it would be possible to make a carry who was strongly resistant to assassins in general.
Enter, Marisa Karisgold! Her form is statuesque, her body is voluptuous and shapely, her long hair shines with the brilliance of polished gold, and her green eyes sparkle more than a Twilight vampire in the sun. Once a young member of the Demacian nobility in House Karisgold, her life took a turn for the dark upon a night of a visit from a familiar Night Hunter. Given the choice between betraying all she ever knew and letting her family's despicable acts of terror continue, she chose the former - now, she works with Vayne as a sleeper agent, quietly retrieving information so the assassin do her duty and gradually purge the ranks of the Demacian nobility. But even she knows her safety cannot last forever...
Karisgold is an extremely slippery carry-type champion with many mechanics well-suited to dealing with errant mages. She is certainly not easy to play - her Flare is a skillshot that can require a deft hand to aim, her spell shield is unforgivably short in its duration and long in its cooldown and her sole escape mechanism demands a tight decision between waiting for additional charges or using it immediately. But between her Sanguine Pallor's large burst damage reduction, her Carmine Barrier's ability to selectively ignore entire spells, and her Scarlet Shock's excellent potential for escape attempts, she can be extremely hard to pin down and kill. Her Flare and her Death Penalty let her fulfil her assassin designation, preventing targets from escaping and letting her do anything between easily slaughtering a lone opponent to picking off an MVP in a teamfight.
Whenever Karisgold suffers an attack that deals 70 + (20 × level) damage to her or more, she gains a burst of 40% / 50% / 60% damage reduction that decays over 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every two minutes, and is not affected by cooldown reduction.
COST: 40 mana
Active: Karisgold fires a flare in a line that sticks to the first unit it hits, revealing them for 5 seconds. Karisgold's next attack on the marked target deals bonus physical damage equal to a base amount plus a percentage of the target's missing health and grants her bonus movement speed for 2 seconds.
Active: Karisgold conjures a brilliant barrier for 1 second that blocks the next unfriendly spell to hit her. If a spell is successfully negated, the offending enemy champion immediately becomes silenced for a short duration and Karisgold is refunded 45 mana.
If Carmine Barrier blocks a spell from a champion marked with Death Penalty, the silence duration is doubled.
Active: Karisgold fires an enchanted silver bullet into a targeted enemy champion, dealing physical damage and marking them for death for 4 seconds, during which all damage Karisgold deals to them is increased.
If the target enemy champion dies while under the effects of Death Penalty, Karisgold gains an additional 50 gold and the ability's cooldown is refreshed.
To most, the darkness represents the unfamiliar, the unseen, and the unexpected. To lose the gift of vision and the foresight of future danger is too great a burden to bear. Yet there are still those that find solace in its black reaches, and protection from equally deadly forces that operate in its inky depths. Marisa Karisgold is one of these people, though it was not of her own volition that she came to be there.
Years ago, Marisa was a promising young adult of House Karisgold of the Demacian nobility, daughter of two famous business entrepreneurs occupying a sizable portion of the trade market. She showed fine talents in the arts and crafts and coupled it with a strong sense of justice and morality which made her commonly sought out among the aristocracy for her uncanny ability to defuse and resolve - sometimes viciously so - the political disputes as was wont to occur so high in the ranks of the Demacia's most privileged. To many, she seemed destined to be one of the finest noblewomen to grace the halls of the Golden Palace, but even before she was born, such a fantasy could never have come to fruition.
One particularly dark night when a glorious full moon hung in the sky, Marisa had retired for the evening and was preparing herself for another night of sleep when a shadow cast itself over her room. Turning in shock, a black silhouette had perched itself on the window sill, with dark red glasses giving a disturbing facade. In a tone as frigid and brittle as ice, Vayne, the Night Hunter gave Marisa an ultimatum - aid her in the purging of the Demacian nobility, and of her very own parents, or be put down along with all of the other fallen ones she'd hunted down. The disbelief on the woman's face was all that Vayne needed for her to submit the evidence - photographs, and stolen logs all revealed that her parent's business was nothing more than a facade for a massive joint slavery ring and black market trade. In tears, the disillusioned woman told the hunter of all the hidden passageways around their family's estate, as well as where all of their patrols and magical security systems were set up. The next day, the local newspapers reported of a terrible fire that consumed the Karisgold home, and claimed the lives of it's two leading members. Their daughter had never been found, and was presumed dead.
The false death acting as her cover, Marisa reluctantly began to work as a sleuth for the Night Hunter within Demacia's borders - loopholes and weaknesses would be discovered, and then the assassin would begin her work. Yet the orphaned woman knows that her time is short, and dreads the day her fate catches up to her.
"When you've fallen as far as you can... the only way you can go is up."
Karisgold quietly walks through the halls of the Institute with her hands buried in her pockets and slightly bowed to hide her face behind the high collar of her overcoat. This gesture seems almost futile - if her extremely generously-proportioned body, still discernible even under her thick outer clothing, would not be sufficient, the existence of her coat's powerful scarlet palette and her long blonde locks in the white walled halls of the Institute of War would easily demand the attention of even the most absent-minded of Runeterra's officials. Yet her eyes betray the reasons - the haunted look and tired way her irises dart about the room speak volumes of a character who has seen far too much in her short lifetime.
The young woman pauses briefly in front of the Doors of Acceptance to admire the statues and details on the decor surrounding them. She allows a hesitant smile to form on her lips perhaps in passing homage to her old life. Then, as soon as it comes, it is gone, and she reaches out to part the doors. Startled as the doors abruptly part before she can touch them, she steels herself as much as her mental fortress will let her and pads into the darkness beyond.
Marisa gave a respectful nod towards her aide. "Thank you for your offer, Esme, but I think I will attend to myself tonight." She gave the teenage girl a brilliant smile. "You've been an exception help to me in the few months since you've started assisting me in my duties. Why don't you take a short leave off work for a while? You certainly deserve it."
The girl backed up, flustered. "A... me, leave? B-but... my lady, I can't just abandon you like this! What about the art convention that's coming up in two days?"
"It's not abandoning me if I say it's not." Marisa winked. "I've checked my schedules. Nothing I will be doing in the next three or so days will particularly benefit from multiple pairs of hands, so there's no risk. If there are any complaints whatsoever, then please redirect any detractors to me and I will handle it. Until then, I order you take a minimum of two days off work. Spend them however you see fit. I'll pull some strings and also keep you on full pay for the duration."
Esme dropped her head in defeat. "... thank you, my lady. You are too generous."
"Not in the slightest." Marisa reached forward and grabbed the girl in a surprise hug. After a moment of surprise, Esme slowly sank into the embrace, even quietly letting out a 'hmm' in comfort. "Off with you, then. Two days passes faster than you think."
After the requisite exchange of valedictions, Marisa watched her servant girl leave before retreating to her bedroom at the top floor of the estate house, quietly seating herself before the mirror to prepare herself for a night of sleep.
The night is chill, my lady, she wondered idly to herself. Even with her window closed the temperature of the room was unusually low. Perhaps there was a draught somewhere that had recently sprung up. She shrugged. It would be an inconvenience, but nothing she couldn't sort before the end of the week.
Picking up an elastic hairband to tie her hair up into a bun, she paused. Something in the reflection of her mirror did not quite seem right. It took her a moment or two to realise it, but she then noticed her window was wide open. Whirling around, the air around her thinned and she drew in a terrified gasp.
"Don't scream," Vayne said icily. "By the time your guards get here they won't find anybody left to rescue and it only makes my job more inconvenient. So do remain quiet."
The Night Hunter dropped down from her perched position on the window sill into the room, standing up to reveal herself in all her dark glory. Frozen in fear, Marisa likely could not have found the mental fortitude to let out a scream even precluding the veiled death threat Vayne had uttered. The assassin casually walked right up to the stunned woman with not even the sound of a footstep to otherwise betray her presence.
"Look at you," Vayne muttered. "If just the sight of me is enough to render you speechless, then I dread what you'll do when you learn what your parent's business policies truly are."
Terror made way for confusion, which was just enough for Marisa to croak out a weak, "What?"
"If you are half as smart as the pompous fools in the noble Houses claim you are," she sneered, "you will know who I am. Your parents have condemned and thrown themselves to the darkest depths of black arts and practices. They ought to be cut from society, and I have every intention of doing so myself tonight. I am here to ask you if you would assist me with my work."
Too many questions swirled around in Marisa's head for her to single out any one to ask first. She eventually settled on, "How do you know all this?"
Vayne stared at her, unimpressed. "Is your reputation founded on selling yourself to the nobles or are you so weak-willed you lose coherent thinking just looking at me? I know this the same way that I know you have a particular dislike for the suitors of the Nightwing House, you rotate the lingerie you wear around in a precise order every week, and that your favourite meal is braised lamb with steamed vegetables. I am the Night Hunter. I have my ways."
The girl, momentarily stunned at the sensitive information, managed to summon a small amount of courage from deep within her. "And what proof do you have for these transgressions, then?"
Vayne remained silent but reached an arm behind her, causing Marisa to tense for an instant. The hand returned to view cradling a worn paper attache with several papers visible within. The woman simply tossed them onto the floor, spilling its contents over the carpet. Marisa craned her neck to glimpse what was on them.
Photographs, mostly. But of what kind...
A shuddering gasp left her lips as she drew back. What was this...?!
"Terrence Arbalest," Vayne said coolly. "Thirteen years old, was once a chimney sweep in the lower lying areas of Demacia. Dismissed from his job after damaging a house by mistake, and taken in by your mother Tabitha Karisgold. I don't think he quite understood what he was letting himself in for, and he has neither slept in a true bed nor eaten satisfactory food in months."
She nudged another photo forward with a foot. "Dawn Vasquez. Eighteen and worked as a serf for a local Demacian baker. Leaving the furnace lit one night caused a fire that lost control and lost her source of income. Now? Slave-girl to a circle of crime lords, one of whom is your father, Archibald Karisgold. They frequently bicker over who has their first turn with her."
"Stop," she whimpered, shutting her eyes. "These must be fake-"
Vayne's hand snapped up to haul Marisa's jaw upwards with an iron grip. The girl stared into the dark red glasses of her infiltrator. "Cast your memories back, fool. You've spotted the looks your father and mother receive from the populace, yet you do nothing. You've seen the gatherings of young men and woman who disappear into your parent's private complex, never to be seen again, yet you do nothing. You've witnessed your predecessors to a successful family become ever more bigoted and ruthless by the day, yet what have you done? Nothing." Vayne stamped the floor and the photos occupying it. "You think these are fake? They are as fake as as the blood on your hands. I give you this choice to pay the price with your own, or work to redeem yourself with me. There will be no negotiation."
"Why are you doing this?"
Vayne went very still, and for a fleeting moment Marisa wondered if she'd made another extremely silly question. But then the assassin surprised her again - she sighed, lifting her head to stare at the ceiling in contemplation.
"You remind me of myself, when I was younger," she said quietly.
Marisa sunk her head, unsure of what quite to make of that.
"How very intriguing."
Startled, Karisgold looked up again to see Vayne giving her an amused smile. This wasn't how it went before...
"So Vayne is not quite as detached as she may prefer to let on," the summoner impersonating Vayne mused.
The assassin, still as her illusory younger self, scowled. "What does it mean to you?"
"Merely a curiosity," he replied smoothly.
Her eyes narrowed. "You lie."
'Vayne' let out a smirk, solidifying the fact that she was an illusion and far from the real thing. "The League has it's own business with Vayne just as she has her own with us. Please respect that privacy. But for you, I only have two questions. Why do you want to join the League, Karisgold?"
"To join Vayne in her quest to purge the League of Legends," she said quietly.
The summoner's smile faded. "Now, look who is lying."
She shifted. "... I am afraid," she finally admitted.
"How does it feel, exposing your mind?"
She straightened. "That honesty still has some merit, even in this day and age. At least that is something I can appreciate."
The summoner cocked an eyebrow questioningly but did not comment on the jibe. "Remember, we will be watching," she finally said cryptically. Nary a fraction after she had finished, the scenery flashed brightly and faded back into the darkness of the chamber she'd entered minutes before. She looked down and noted her return to her old body. Sighing as fleeting memories flitted through her head, she donned an impassive look as she continued her journey through out of the darkness and into the League.
Scarlet Shock: Damage lowered to 14/18/22/26/30 from 10/20/30/40/50.
Sanguine Dart: Reworked into Red Flare.
Red Flare: Karisgold fires a skillshot that marks the first target hit with a flare, revealing it. Upon next attacking this target, she deals bonus physical damage and gains movement speed.
Scarlet Shock: Movement and attack speed component removed.
Crimson Pallor (Innate): Karisgold gains a large burst of damage reduction upon taking a large burst of damage.
Sanguine Dart: Karisgold shoots a target enemy champion, dealing damage and revealing the target for a long duration.
Carmine Barrier: Karisgold negates the next spell targeted against her within a short timeframe and silences the owner of the spell upon a successful cast.
Scarlet Shock: Karisgold gains charges from nearby enemy spellcasts and can expend them to boost her movement and attack speeds and slow and damage surrounding enemies.
Death Penalty (Ultimate): Karisgold shoots a target enemy champion, marking them to deal increased damage and increase Carmine Barrier's silence against them. A targeted enemy champion's death will refresh Blood Diamond.