The Rune Wars Edit
Until only twenty years ago, Runeterra was on a collision course with disaster. As quickly as Runeterra’s denizens would band together in ancient times as tribes, opposing tribes would war to settle their disputes. No matter the era, the preferred choice of warfare has always been magical. Armies would be enhanced or decimated by spell and rune alike. Champions made the most of magical items forged for them as they led or supported armies. Summoners – often the de facto leaders of Valoran’s political forces – would unleash mighty magical powers directly against foes and their holdings with little regard for consequence. With such an abundance of raw magical power at their disposal, there was little motivation for summoners to explore more environmentally-friendly forms of warfare.
Within the last two hundred years, however, the dangers of unchecked magical warfare began to expose the fragility of Runeterra to everyone residing in Valoran. The last two Rune Wars drastically altered the geophysical landscape of Valoran, even after magical energy was focused on restoring it. Violent earthquakes and horrific magically-fueled storms made life on Valoran challenging, even before factoring in the horror of warfare on the populace. It was theorized that another unchecked Rune War would tear the world asunder.
The League of Legends EditAs a direct response to the world’s growing physical and political instability, Valoran’s key magicians – including many powerful summoners – came to the conclusion that conflicts needed to be resolved in a controllable and systemic way. They formed an organization called the League of Legends, whose purpose was to oversee the orderly resolution of political conflict in Valoran. Housed in the Institute of War, the League would be given the authority by Valoran’s political entities to govern the outcomes of the organized conflict they would administer.
An Ancient Mystery In RuneterraEdit
Hey, everyone. Ezreal here.
Normally, I wouldn't ask for help. I've come across a lot of interesting relics in my travels, but never anything like these.
I've gathered everything on my desk for all of you to take a look. The important thing is that these relics were found all over Runeterra, and they date from different and completely unconnected eras. The thing is... they all share one similarity: they show a dark figure, clearly inhuman, wielding a jagged blade.
This is a mystery I'm not sure I want solved. From what I can gather so far, this dark figure has been at the center of many bloody conflicts and tales of war. What do you think? Who is this figure, and what role has he played in Runeterra's history?
Oh, and if you really want to hear some of the stories about these things... I'll tell them, but some of them aren't pretty.
Take a look at this. It's a stained glass window from Demacia.
Don't ask me how I got it. I'm going to give it back, I promise. I'm borrowing it for research, and they'll never know it's missing. Demacians never stop talking about light, so what do they really need a window for, anyway?
Look closely. See the shape in the center with the wings and the jagged sword? That's the figure I've been seeing everywhere.
This is the first artifact that really got me thinking. It's not that old, and it can't really go back more than a few generations at most. I asked around, and nobody knows what the figure is or if he has a name. They all agreed on one thing though: whoever this figure is, he's clearly someone worth remembering to be immortalized like this.
But why does he appear in so many other places? So many of these artifacts are ancient, and some are from lost civilizations so old they don't even have names.
How is that possible?
This statuette is from Noxus.
Yes, Noxus. You know how I feel about Noxians, but their city is full of history. It'll take more than dark magic, guards with massive axes, and a creepy bird guy to keep me from exploring the most important places in Valoran.
Noxus is full of these kinds of statuettes. Usually, they're made as tributes to the nation's greatest heroes, but this one doesn't look like any Noxian war hero I've ever heard of. I know of plenty, too, believe me: pick up any Noxian book and it's probably a way-too-lengthy chronicle of some hero's life, conquests, and the size of their weapon. I wouldn't have looked twice at this one if I hadn't recognized the figure.
Here's the thing that's really nagging me... what's Noxus doing with statues of a figure that shows up in Demacian art, too?
When I noticed the similarities between the Demacian stained glass and the Noxian statue, I had to know more. I pulled as many books as I could out of the library at Piltover's academy. There are some sections there restricted to everyone but academy graduates. I could have gotten in on my own, but I didn't want to burn any bridges, so I had Jayce help me out. Everyone loves that guy.
The smaller one is a book of Noxian war poems. Most of what's inside is standard Noxian military fare, but the blade on the cover captured my attention.The big one right here is an old book of fables and stories. Not all of them are entirely true, but one of them caught my eye. The character in the story is an arrogant general leading his warriors into battle and winning with ease. He has the last of his enemies cornered, but… you know what they say about pride before a fall.
A great warrior—that's right, our dark figure—appears in the battle. The arrogant general's enemies, men on the verge of death, are inspired by his presence. "They rose from their knees as though he'd lit their very blood aflame," it says. "The shamed general watched as his men were cleaved by an army that had begged for mercy just moments before. His enemies had become murderers and butchers. As they closed on him, the general could not be certain whether they were still men at all."
Shurima's been gone for centuries. It's hardly anything but dust now, but the ruins that remain show a massive civilization that once thrived in the desert. I have no idea what happened to the empire. It seems like it vanished without a trace... but that's a whole different mystery.
I found this urn in a tomb there. From the look of the place and some of the carvings on the walls, it was the final resting place of a great Shuriman warlord who led a battle against impossible odds. He and his men should have gone out in a blaze of glory, but somehow, they won. Just a handful of warriors defeated thousands of enemies who rose against them.
It's no wonder they'd immortalize that kind of victory on the walls of a tomb, but what is this dark figure doing on the urn? What part did he play in this battle? I just don't get it.
You can carve plenty of interesting things out of the Freljord's ice. That place has always been a battleground, so I wouldn't have thought twice about digging up a dagger like this one if it weren't for two things. One: check out the etching in the metal. Look closely enough and you'll see the same serrated design found in the rest of these relics. Two, well… the dagger's hilt is carved from human bone.
Here's where it gets more interesting. The tribesmen of that region say the figure on the blade is a legend, a "warrior-savior" who appeared during a battle against a hated rival tribe several years ago. They'd almost lost the battle, but the warrior appeared and led them to a crushing victory over their enemies. They left no one alive, but when the tribesmen went to celebrate with their champion, he'd already vanished. They say that - in his memory - they took the bones of their enemies as trophies.
It sounds like a similar story to the one from the Shuriman tomb. Both tell of a warrior who appeared and turned the tide of a great battle... but at a gruesome cost.
This Ionian woodblock was carved long before the war with Noxus. They're rare nowadays, but they're always more or less the same. They all depict things of beauty: landscapes, monks in meditation, the stars and the night sky, all of that "enlightenment" stuff they're always on about. All of them... except this one.
I got lucky with this one. I found it stuck between the pages of that huge book. It's not the same paper, and it's pretty damaged. Maybe someone got to this research before me, but they didn't get as far as I did.
In the image, it looks like these men are revering a statue of the dark figure. The statue itself looks like it's half-unearthed. It might not even be something they built, but something they found.
What is it about this figure that drove these people to be so devoted to him?
I won these coins off a certain Card Master whose name I won't say... and whose real name I don't even know. I'd lost every single hand up until this one, and the one time I beat him, of course he'd bet completely useless old coins. I can't spend them anywhere in Valoran. At least I've found a "use" for them now. It took me a while to realize it, but that's the same jagged blade on these old coins.
Finally, there's this pendant to the right. It's very, very old, and I have no idea where it originally came from. That's the dark figure's face right there in the metal. Whoever he is, he's been around for a really long time.
That's all I've collected so far. So… what do you think? Who is this figure, and what does his presence mean?I know one thing: I never want to meet him...
- On Ezreal's desk there was a picture of who appeared to be Ezreal and Lux, although her face was obstructed by a compass. When asked, Ezreal became embarrassed and "hid" the image, which he "didn't mean to leave out".
- The full image was later posted by a Zaun Lab Bot 
There are many regions and settlements on Valoran. The most well-known are:
- Northern Lands
- The Great Barrier
- Southern Lands
- Surrounding Islands
- Conqueror's Sea
- Guardian's Sea
The League of Legends recognizes settlements with substantial influence on Valoran as city-states. These nations are afforded a great deal of rights and protections within the League, such as being allotted one League Assembly chair. The chosen emissaries are entitled to reside at the Institute of War and cast votes in League Assemblies on their city-state's behalf. They may also appeal to the League for general arbitration of political affairs.
Any settlement can apply for membership in the League and ascend to city-state status. However, they must fill certain League requirements:
- 1. The settlement's population must be of sufficient size.
- 2. The settlement must have a defined governmental structure.
- 3. The settlement must have a means to police itself.
There are currently eight city-states recognized by the League:
|Places in Runeterra|
|Fields of Justice|
|Continents and Dimensions|
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